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Guide to
Wizards: Being
a God


God: controlling a particular aspect

or part of reality

Introduction: Yeah, before you tell me, I know, there are already
Wizard threads out there for referencing. These are the primary 2 for the 3.5
Logicninja's guide to Wizards: Being Batman (By Logicninja)
If you didn't get it from the title - Logicninja's thread is the inspiration for
this one. I agree with Logicninja on a lot of things and disagree on a lot of
other things. The intention of this thread is for players to get different
perspectives and opinions on the class from two different optimizers who play
a lot of wizards. Wizards are great in that they give a lot of choice. My choices
aren't always right for everyone - but they will likely be right for some.
I also really like Logicninja's style. I've emulated it to some degree here.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all.
The Wizard's Handbook (by Dictum Mortuum)
For those who don't know this - Dictum Mortuum is probably the busiest
fellow on the OP boards. I've lost track of how many Handbooks he's
maintaining (including the "Making Handbooks" handbook - no kidding). His
handbooks present lots of options - and try to keep out personal opinion. Very
useful for reference. However - Dictum Mortuum keeps it very broad and
open - which is great - but different then you will get on this thread.
The Conjurer's Handbook by Echodork
This is a very specialized look at conjuration. Echodork said this - which has
served as a starting point for defining roles in a party (I wanted to give credit):
Benign Transposition: Two willing subjects switch places. Like, the big, stupid Fighter and
the handsome Conjurer who finds himself grappled. No somatic component. Unconscious
creatures are always considered willing targets, even if they wouldnt be willing if they knew
what they were signing up for.
These are the CO boards - and the Wizard is generally accepted as one of the top 5 in power
levels. I've read through both Logicninja's and Dictum Mortuum's threads (which offer
different perspectives already) and think there's more perspective that can be given those
looking for more options for the class. I wouldn't waste my time writing a long thread like this
one if I didn't think I had something different to add to the conversation.

Options are good. That's the one (and only) point I'll make on this entire
thread that I will claim is indisputable. The rest is all based on perspective
and opinion and can all be questioned and debated. Feel free to disagree with
me - you won't be alone. Long as you understand that you are wrong
kidding). So without further ado - lets get into it.
A little side note about style Be prepared for me presenting a black-andwhite D&D world. These are opinions - and I'm presenting them strongly,
intentionally. Really no point in presenting what is essentially an opinion paper
and being wishy-washy.

What do you mean God?

We've all heard that the standard party in D&D revolves around 4 iconic roles. For
those who have spent the last 25+ years of their life NOT playing D&D those roles
are: Meleer, Healbot, Arcane caster and Skillmonkey. The rest of us knew that already.
In other words - if you go back to Basic D&D there were 4 human classes. Thief (now
we call them rogues to be politically correct), Magic User (now we call them Wizards
since it sounds less boring), Clerics and Fighters.

However, rules have changed and party roles have changed. A party with the 4 iconic
roles should do just fine - but I would define the roles differently.

Out of combat you have 4 roles:

Social ("The Fop"): This guy thinks he's the leader. Whatever - he does
the talking well everyone else lets him.

Sneak ("The Corpse"): This guy sneaks ahead to scout the enemy's lair
and finds and disarms traps for the group. Why do I call him the "Corpse"? - reread
what he does again.

Healbot ("The Gimp"): Anyone who spends his character's resources for
healing is clearly the party Gimp. That said - you want a party gimp. Preferably - not
you. (though it can be done with Arcane Disciple)

Utility Caster ("Everything Else"): The party transporter, the

party Diviner. One way or another - this is the casters' role - in other words - this is
That's it - everyone else is just taking up space. You should have all those bases
covered - but lets face it - D&D is primarily about combat. No matter which of the
above your character is good at, if he can't contribute in a fight - your character is a
liability to your party.

In combat there are also 4 roles - these are the

roles that get filled:
The Big Stupid Fighter: This role involves two things: Doing HP damage to
BBEG, forcing BBEG to attack you with his viscous weaponry. The Big Stupid Fighter is
not always a fighter (though stereotypically he is). He may be a Barbarian, a
Summoned Critter, or a Druid. In order to qualify as a Big Stupid Fighter he should be
any character that actively tries to be the target of enemy attacks. For those who
wonder why I would label this character as "stupid" regardless of their INT score reread the previous sentence.

The Glass Cannon: This role involves one thing: Doing HP damage to BBEG.
The Glass Cannon is like the Big Stupid Fighter except he does not want to take
damage. Usually this is not due to superior intelligence - but instead due to inferior HP
or AC (or in most cases - both). The Glass Cannon is often a Rogue (Or Rouge for our
13 year old readers), a Gish, an Archer, or a Blaster (the inferior wizard).

God: When reality would entail the above two meeting a rather messy end someone will need to make some adjustments to said reality in order for the above
two to instead meet glorious victory. What other label could such a force be labelled
as than "God"? Well - how about "Primary Caster" One label or another - this guy
needs to make Reality his Witch (replace the "W" in your head.) in order to do his job

The Waste of Space: This is the character of the player who thought a
Bard/Monk/Sorcerer multiclass was an excellent idea - or who thought healing was a
good "combat" role. This character just doesn't fill any of the above roles well enough
to be anything but a liability to the group. You probably have had one in your group.
Heck, you probably have one in your current group. Don't sweat it - as long as it isn't

* Why isn't the Healer useful in combat? Good question. There are two ways you can
live your "pretend" life - reactively or proactively. God will alter reality to prevent
damage, a healer will try to do "damage control" (pun intended) after the damage has
been taken. Simple truth: The mechanics of the game make preventing damage
more efficient then healing damage after the fact. That's not to say a well placed
"Heal" or even "CLW" never has use in combat - but if you're doing your job - it
should never be required as a primary role.

How Wizard's fill the 8 roles:

As a wizard, you can technically fill any 4 of the non-combat roles, as well as any 4 of
the combat roles. You just can't fill ALL those roles Despite what you may have
read elsewhere - a wizard has limited memorizations and castings per day - no matter
the size of his spell book.
In other words - it's not the SIZE of the spell book that counts - it's how you use it.
Though lets face facts - the SIZE is still pretty important...
The Fop: Charm person, Suggestion - you can fill this role if you are willing to, I mean "invest" the spells to do it. Personally - I would let anyone else
willing to fill this role do so.
The Corpse: Invisibility, Summon Dead Celestial Monkey (SM I), Fly (move silently),
Divination (for scouting) - yeah you can do this too - but honestly - this is a last resort
- let anyone else fill this role first if it would involve any risk to your person. After all look at the NAME! Also - if you find yourself spending a lot of spells to fill this role,
and chose not to play a Beguiler - you may not be an idiot, but lets face it - you
aren't brilliant either.

The Healbot: The only way you can fill this role is with Arcane Disciple (healing). If
you do get delegated this position - I can say with authority - "ASSUME THE
POSITION". Save your crying for after the others are asleep. At least make sure the
wands of CLW are bought with party funds or you can change "GIMP" to "CHUMP"
The Utility Caster: Occasionally the Cleric can fill this role - but usually it will be you.
Conjuration, Divination and Transmutation spells will usually be the ones required.
Your speciality will be "Party Taxi" - but all the other stuff gets filled in here too.
The Big Stupid Fighter:

You can never PERSONALLY be the Big Stupid Fighter - but you can summon one. If
your party lacks the BSF and you want to know how to fill the niche with your Wizard
- you should scroll down until you get to my sig and click on "Mastering the
Malconvoker" and I will guide you through the build of this wizard.
The Glass Cannon:

The Gish build and the Blaster both fill this role in very different ways. Personally - I'm
not big on playing Glass Cannons - and will let others explain how to make a most
excellent GISH build. It's amazing how many people on these boards drool over
Gishes. "Oh please - can I use godlike power to become one of the pathetic grunts
who get all dirty and bloody and risk death every battle?" The popularity is puzzling to
me. Yeah - Gishes make great Glass Cannons - but I just don't see the appeal in NOT
being God...
The Waste of Space:

Yeah - it happens. Give your wizard too many roles and he will run out of spells and
be a waste of space before you can say "I suck". Multiclass your wizard and expect to
fill this role until you get a few levels of your "Hybrid" PrC. Or skip the Hybrid PrC
altogether and just suck forever. As in the above illustration - Drow wizard's really
rock - well, at least they suck them.


This is the role this thread is based upon. Three kinds of wizards alter reality so that
the Glass Cannon and the Big Stupid Fighter think they are better than they are.
Those three wizards are Battlefield Controllers, Buffers, and Debuffers. Your best bet
is to do a bit of all of them - but you can make wizards exclusive to each role as well
without sucking.

Three Ways to Play God:

Battlefield Control:

In order to be an effective battlefield controller - you should consider your primary

goal to line up your enemies flanked by your Glass Cannon and Big Stupid Fighter one
at a time and backwards, all while standing on their heads. This will make the BSF and
the GC win the combat with little damage to themselves - and they will feel like "they"
won. That's the point - you're God after all, let the mortals have their victory.

In order to be an effective Debuffer - you should consider your primary goal to have
your BBEG standing in front of your GC and BSF dazed, stunned, nauseated, STR = 1,
Dex = 1, Level = 1, and Blind for good measure. This will make the BSF and the GC
win the combat with little damage to themselves - and they will feel like "they" won.
That's the point - you're God after all, let the mortals have their victory.
(Note to readers: Debuffing can more literally be termed as reducing attributes or
levels of opponents - I extend the term to be anything that impairs or damages the
abilities of the enemy - which is why I include things like "blinding" to be a debuff)

In order to be effective at buffing - you turn your Big Stupid Fighter into a Colossal,
Stupid Fighter on crack, and your Glass Cannon into an Adamantium Chain Gun. This
will make the BSF and the GC win the combat with little damage to themselves - and
they will feel like "they" won. That's the point - you're God after all, let the mortals
have their victory.
Which is better? It depends. They all rock - but Debuffing tends to be better against a
single BBEG, while Battlefield Control tends to work better against multiple foes with
my experience. Buffing is more of a tertiary role forGOD.
Which should you concentrate on? Depends on your stats - which is what we'll get into

What STATS does GOD have anyways?

Unfortunately - no matter how close to God you become - your DM is closer. The
point-buy, Random Roll and Elite Array are the most common methods of attribute
Any way you slice it - here's the simple rules I follow when making my God. Highest
stat goes to INT - no exception. My CON is always at least 14. Whatever else I can
afford goes into DEX. This is before Racial modifiers.
Random Roll: Put your highest roll into INT. Dex and Con should have your second
and third highest roll, and the other stats get the dump. If your 3rd highest stat is at
least 14, put your second highest stat into DEX, otherwise, your second highest stat
should go to CON.
Elite Array: This one sucks. Best you can do is put the 15 into INT, the 14 into CON
and the 13 into DEX. Might as well put the 12 into CHA, the 10 into WIS and the 8
into STR. Stupid elite array...
Point Buy (15): Ouch - Put 8 points into INT (15), 6 points into CON (14), and one
point into DEX (9) and dump the rest.
Point Buy (22): Put 16 points into INT (18), 6 points into CON (14) and you're done.
This one fits wizard to a "T"
Point Buy (28): Put 16 points into INT (18), 6 points into Con (14), and 6 points into
DEX (14).
Point Buy (32): Put 16 points into INT (18), 6 points into Con (14), and 10 points
into DEX (16).
You will notice that DEX is the most fluid stat. This will determine how much your
character will rely on Ranged Touch spells. If you end up dumping DEX you will want
to avoid these spells (don't worry - there are lots of solid spells that don't require to
hit rolls) - if you mananaged to maintain at least 14 points of DEX, they can be quite
good and should find a spot on your spell memorization slots.
The "To Hit" rolls are common for Debuffing spells - so if your DEX sucks, you are
more of a Battlefield Controller/Buffer - that's OK, these are still solid options. Directly
Debuffing is nice for a power trip though.
Easy enough?

What Race is GOD?

Your Best Choices are:
Human: Not your best choice, but always a decent choice, and human is ALWAYS

listed first. The human benefits from a bonus feat (which is huge) and bonus skill
points. There are no attribute or size modifiers - which makes the Human work best
with low point buys (15 or 22) or Random Rolls that force you to dump DEX. The
Human will work on other ways to maximize defence than AC and work on other ways
to play GOD than "to hit" roll spells.
Strongheart Halfling: Gets the Bonus Feat (Still huge), a stat penalty to a dump
stat, a bonus to DEX, and small size (which is good for both "TO Hit" and AC). This is
pretty much just superior to a Human - but you will feel a little cheesy taking this
race. If you are going the Metamagic powered debuffing Ray spell route this is the
race for you.
Whisper Gnome: Gets 2 stat penalties to two dump stats, gets 2 stat bonuses to two
good stats. Gets Small Size (for To Hit and AC), 30 foot movement, and some other
goodies too. You will feel a lot cheesy taking this race - but it is undoubtedly the best
race for builds that concentrate on DEX. Also excellent for Ray casters.
Elf (Grey, Fire, and Sun - the INT elves): They all get +2 to INT without level
adjustments, but they all get minuses to CON which is bad. You also give up the
bonus feat - and are working with Medium size. The +2 INT is the best Stat increase
you can get - but there are some heavy drawbacks to consider. This Race is for the
builds that will be using Targeted spells that provide saving throws.
Halflings, Gnomes and Dwarves: These all get stat bonuses to a good stat, and
stat minuses to a dump stat - but they also all have 20' movement without providing
as many advantages as the above races. These aren't terrible choices - but they aren't
your best choice either.
Other Races: Keep in mind that anything with an INT penalty or a Level Adjustment
is bad (especially the latter). Nothing is as good as the Races above, but if you avoid
INT penalties and Level Adjustments you can still be half decent.

What Alternate Class Features would GOD take?

Domain Wizard (UA Variant): If your DM is stupid enough to allow this - always
take it. The best is either the Conjuration or Transmutation domains (big surprise)
that contain almost without exception solid spells. Domain wizard basically will give
you the benefit of specialization (1 extra casting per level of spell) without the
drawback (no lost schools), oh yeah - you also cast your Domain spells at +1 level
and you get to add them to your spell book for free. You are not limited in the number
of times you can memorize your domain spells. So basically it is in every way superior
to a generalist, and in most ways superior to a specialist. Your DM won't allow this
unless he's a moron. If you don't take it when it's allowed - then you're the moron.
Specialist: Get one extra casting per level of spell and give up one or two schools
that are full of lousy spells you didn't want to memorize anyways. This is an easy

choice. Specialize in Conjuration or Transmutation to be the most effective GOD.

Focused Specialist: I like this option - you get to play GOD for longer than other
wizards - and playing GOD is what it is all about. It does however further limit your
range (so you can't fill as many of the non-combat roles - yawn.) Find a school to
which you want to memorize lots of spells. I'll make it easy - they rhyme with
Ronjuration or Ransmutation. When you are focusing your memorizations - you will
want to think about this when picking feats - which I will touch on later.
Here's my thread on Focused Specialists and why I like them so much.
Immediate Magic: Mostly, they suck. However, familiars can also be a mixed
blessing. Here's how GOD chooses. If GOD is a Conjurer - he takes this (Conjuration
Immediate Magic is great - like conjuration wasn't good enough already). If GOD is a
Transmuter - he skips this.
UA Variants:
Fighter Feats: To me, giving up Scribe Scroll for Improved Initiative is a good deal.
Conjurer variants: Enhanced Summoning is Scribe Scroll for Augment Summoning.
For a conjurer - who will do at least a little summoning - this is a good choice. Rapid
Summoning - this would be good except you already took Abrupt Jaunt. Rapid
Summoning is more for the dedicated summoner anyways - that's not you.
Transmuter variants: Spell Versatility - this is good - especially for focused
specialists. Transmutable Memory - This is phenomenal cosmic power right here.
However, the price is very high. Consider carefully.
Spontaneous Divination: I always want to take this - but there's always something
else I want to do with my level 5 bonus feat - and by level 10 I'm PrC'ing. It looks
darned good though.
Granted Domain Power: This is one of those things I often end up doing with my
level 5 feat. Why settle for a bonus feat when you can do so many other things. Some
domains grant class skills (which can be good for PrC requirements), some domains
grant bonuses to certain spells or spell types (Inquisition, Evil, Good etc), and hey some grant bonus feats - but not restricted to just metamagic.
Other Stuff: Nothing else grabs me as overly important for GOD.

GOD created stinky FEAT:

("Stop Treantmonk!!! - our ribs are breaking from the laughter")
Your Options:
Flaws: If your DM allows you to take a flaw, take one. If he allows you to take 5, take
5. These are always worth it and naive DMs still think they are well-balanced.

The Metamagic focused Route: Take Arcane Thesis on at least one spell you plan to
cast a lot and take a bunch of metamagic feats to apply to it. (For example - Arcane
Thesis (Enervation), Split Ray, Twin Spell, Empower Spell, Maximize spell pretty much
effectively debuffs anything). This route is practically made for Incantatrix's and
Ultimate Magi. Does pigeonhole you a lot though - and is feat intensive.
The School focused Route: I like this option better, and therefore it is the option
you should take. Take feats that apply to your specialized school, and maybe one or
two metamagic feats to go with Metamagic School Focus. This option works especially
well with Focused Specialists.
The "I want my familiar to be GOD too" route: It's amazing how many feats you
can take that make your familiar better. Take them all and your familiar will be better
than you. The question is whether it's because your familiar is so great, or because
you aren't. Dictum Mortuum loves familiars - check out his Familiar Handbook
thread for more information (no kidding - I told you he has a handbook for
The "I think Metamagic is better than it actually is" Route: This is an all too
common route where the character ends up with a ton of metamagic it can't afford to
apply to its spells. Mostly this is just a waste of a ton of feats. The thing to realize is
that although Metamagic can be good - it also adds levels to your spell - and even mid
level wizards will be casting primarily low level spells. Metamagic is good if you have a
trick to make it cheaper - otherwise it's strictly an "OK" option.
The "I wish I could be a lower level than the rest of the party" route: This is
also an all too common route based on craft skills. Hint: crafting charged items
(Wands, Staves, Scrolls and Potions) is the best way to lose XP without a lasting
Here's my suggestions for the Routes I would actually consider taking:
The Metamagic Focused Route: (Or - the slightly inferior but not terrible
Arcane Thesis: The basis for this strategy. Apply it to spells that benefit greatly from
metamagic and that you plan to cast ALOT. Ray spells are a good choice. If going this
route - you should take this multiple times - on different level spells. You probably
can't afford to take it more than 2-3 times though - or you won't have enough feats
left for the metamagic.
Split Ray: Basically a twin spell for half the cost but applicable only to Rays. Rays
tend to be the best Debuff spells - so this is a good way to go.
Empower Spell: Proven over and over to be a mechanically better choice than

Maximize most of the time. +2 levels for +50% to random results.

Maximize Spell: Although considered inferior to Empower - when you're piling on the
metamagic - it is a good secondary choice after empower.
Twin Spell: When all the above are added to a Ray, and then you twin - well - that's
a lot of Debuff.
Heighten Spell: An unfortunate necessity since Globes of Invulnerability can be of
great distress for this build
The School Focused Route: (Or - I don't just want to be GOD - I want to be an
The Focused Specialist Conjurer:
Cloudy Conjuration: The first feat you should take. With the "Adjacent to caster"
option you can place it between you and your enemy for full concealment until your
next turn. It can also be used as minor battlefield control, and a small debuff. Is
activated for free every time you cast a conjuration spell (even a cantrip)
Spell Focus/Greater Spell Focus: Lots of Conjuration spells do not offer saves, but
many of the best spells of the school do. +2 DC is nothing to sneeze at - it makes a
tangible difference to the chance of the enemy to succeed on that saving throw. The
cost of 2 feats for that +2 may be high though. +1 with Spell Focus is almost a nobrainer though. It will help you qualify for Archmage, Master Specialist as well.
Sculpt Spell: Turn your 10' square Grease spell into 4 10' squares, or a 20' spread or a 40' Cone - for +1 level metamagic.
Metamagic School Focus: Use Sculpt Spell for free on 3 spells per day. Grease,
Cloud of Bewilderment, and any of the Fog spells are good choices.
Acidic Splatter: Not a bad choice for a conjurer since they have so many acid spells.
Not hugely effective - but something to use when you run out of spells. Of more use
at low levels - consider retraining later on.
Summon Elemental: Not a bad utility feat. This thing is way to wimpy to be of
significant use to you in combat - but can be used to spring traps, do some minor
scouting (like find out what's on the other side of the wall), set fire to things if you are
a pyromaniac, put out fires if someone else is a pyromaniac. Not a bad feat selection
at all.
Improved Initiative: Lay down your Battlefield Control before the enemy goes,
prevent being flat-footed when the enemy goes. This is just a good option - no matter
what the naysayers say.

The Focused Specialist Transmuter:

Spell Focus/Greater Spell Focus: Good for the same reasons it's good for
Conjurer's. Maybe even more so.
Toughening Transmutation: This is very good at low levels - at higher levels you
need another form of DR to "stack" this with. Preferably a X/- DR. Otherwise the
x/magic will render it pretty useless.
Extend Spell: Lots of transmutation spells have long durations, and it's especially
sweet to make long lasting spells last especially long with this Metamagic Feat. Note
that Extend Spell makes the Rope Trick - trick useful a great deal earlier.
Metamagic School Focus: Pick three transmutation spells on your list and extend
them for free. How about 3 hr/level spells? (Rope Trick, Greater Magic Weapon and
Overland Flight come to mind immediately)
Improved Initiative: Good for the same reason it's good for the Conjurer. Maybe
slightly less so.
Ability Enhancer: This is from Dragon magazine - so basically is added as a footnote
- but adds +2 to any ability enhancements offered by Transmutation spells. Um - how
about Animalistic Power?
Other Feats that GOD will enjoy:
Minor Shapeshift: Basically you add your HD in temporary HP every round as a swift
action. Later on you will be using Swift Actions for other things quite often - but this is
still pretty sweet. You can choose some other options - but nothing as good as the HP.
Alacritous Cogitation: Basically spontaneous casting on one spell slot. When you
consider the spells that you can potentially have in your spell book - this puts Sorcerer
spontaneous casting to shame. I never have room for this feat - but someday...
Arcane Disciple: Add some non-wizard spells to your list. This isn't quite as good as
it sounds since the spells are cast off of Wisdom. However - by adding the spells to
your list, you also allow yourself the ability to use spell trigger items for that spell even if your Wisdom sucks.
Knowledge Devotion: This isn't quite as good for Wizards as it is for Archivists - but
the + to hit is good for Ray spells, the + to damage... - well, the + to hit is decent
Insightful Reflexes: If you ended up Dumping Dex - then your Ref Save is worse
than bad. Ref is also the save most useful for avoiding HP damage (and you are

squishy). This will help quite a bit in that regard.

Spell Penetration/Greater Spell Penetration: Lots of creatures have SR - and as
you go up in levels - they become the norm. You just can't have enough Assay Spell
Resistance spells for all of them. Spell Penetration is pretty much a must. GSP is a
nice to have.
Craft Contingency Spell: No pesky one at a time limitation contingency.
Contingency is one of those spells you feel a little bad about losing along with
evocation. Just take this feat instead. Use it with 1st level spells (Hello Benign
Transposition) for cheap contingencies.
There are lots of other good feats out there - but you MUST be out of choices by now

Spells and GOD - phenomenal cosmic power:

Save Or Die - Not as good as you've been told:
Yes, Save or Die is powerful - however, it is overrated. This is why:
Lots of enemies: You take down one and do little else to help your Big Stupid
Fighter and Glass Cannon. You spent a high level spell doing so.
Congratulations - you've been demoted from God to Glass Cannon. Ouch!
One Big Enemy: You either do nothing or everything. The Big Stupid Fighter
and Glass Cannon are either in lots of trouble or are feeling useless. This is like
the chess player who is addicted to using his queen - ends up losing it, and
then sucks for the rest of the game. Use your lesser pieces (That's the big
stupid fighter and the glass cannon - your peons) to your advantage - let them
do the dirty work - your job is to make it easy for them, not to take their
place. Try to take their place your spells will run out fast.
By Yourself: Now in this rare circumstance - save or dies are actually quite
good. However - avoid this situation like the plague. If there is no Big Stupid
Fighter, then YOU are the Big Stupid Fighter, except you aren't Big, and you're
not a fighter (but you are stupid if you had any chance to avoid this ugly

Treantmonk's Guide to Wizard

Spells: God's Tools - Part 1:
In this thread I will break down spells school by school - which are underrated, which

are overrated (All IMO - this isn't Gospel - only the Gospel according to Treantmonk)
More threads will come - detailing spells from the various schools of magic. However,
there is no timeline (nor will I likely continue once 4E hits the shelves)
To the readers: If there's a spell you think I should look at - post it and I'll include it in
my guide - though be pre-warned - I do not guarantee I will hold the same opinion as
Sources: I use PHB, PHB II, Complete Series, and SpC (these are both the books I
own, as well as those allowed in the campaigns in which I play) - so all the spells
listed are from those sources. (these guides are not completely unselfish - I reference
them periodically with my own characters)
There are lots of gems in various other sources - but I've found there are lots of good
spells to round out your spellbook in the sources used. By all means, if you would like
to highlight a spell from another source - post it in a reply (along with the source and
the specs) for the readers to reference.

Kinds of Spells: This is how I break down the types of

BC: Battlefield Control. This is the spells that involve impeding movement of your
opponents - aiding movement of your allies, or in any other way treating the world as
your own personal chessboard.
Debuff: Debuffing is anything you cast on an enemy to impede his ability
mechanically. Lowering of attributes, Blinding, Sickening, or scaring the living crap out
of. Debuffing - as the name would indicate - also includes removing any buffs your
enemy might have.
Buff: Buffing is improving the abilities of your allies mechanically. Whether it be
through giving them extra attacks, better AC, or merely providing them a flanker. The
nice thing about buffs is they likely won't involve saving throws.
Blast: A Blast is a spell that does HP damage to your opponent. Blasts are a pretty
basic part of any Wizard's toolbelt - but IMO make a poor central focus to any Wizard.
My suggestion is to cast Blast spells when you have nothing really useful to do.
Utility: These are those spells that have uses that aren't necessarily related to
combat. Often utility spells can be useful in combat - but more circumstantially.
Save or Die: These spells give you a saving throw - or you're dead (or effectively
dead). Personally, I don't like these spells - since they tend to target Fort - and are
higher level then spells which can give you the win without avoiding the fun. You are

usually better with a debuff if you like this style of spell.

Multiple Threat: A spell that covers more than one of the above at a time is a
multiple threat spell. For example - a spell that does damage as well as impede the
enemies movement would be a double threat (BC + Blast), while a spell that does
damage, impedes the movement of the enemy, gives them mechanical penalties, and
gives your allies bonuses would be a Quadruple threat (BC + Blast + Debuff + Buff).
By the way - if you know of a Quadruple threat spell - let me know!!!

Rating the spells:

After breaking down the spells, I will self-righteously give them either the Treantmonk
stamp of approval - or the stamp of the foot, oversimplifying the use of each.

: This spell's a Turkey. Not worth having in your spellbook at all.

: Not all bad, but not good enough for me to recommend
: Run of the mill. It's OK, but nothing special
: The spell is solid. I recommend it
: This spell is highly recommended
: YES!!!!!

Part 1: Evocation

In two separate threads Ive clearly made the case that Evocation should be the first
school you should drop when you specialize. I stand by that from an optimizers
The reason for that is because Evocation is known for Blasting and I think blasting
should be secondary with arcane casters (especially wizards) since there is so much
more effective stuff they can do (Buff, Debuff, Battlefield control). Not that a wizard
should completely disregard all blast spells only that they probably shouldnt be the
#1 purpose of your wizard.
The non-blast spells of Evocation can by-and-large be duplicated or at least
reasonably substituted with a variety of spells from the conjuration and illusion
schools. However just because they can be substituted does not necessarily make
them bad.

Recent focus on the Warmage (and the level of its suckage) also makes me consider
Evocation as well. Eclectic learning is considered THE choice for warmages but
what could you do with advanced learning if you kept it in its original form? Surely
there are some decent Evocation spells of the appropriate levels to keep the ability
worthwhile as written.
However, more specifically recently Ive given thought to What if I decided to
specialize in Evocation. As a believer in Practical Optimization it is worthy of a look.
One thing I hate is accepting the Status Quo without question. When it appears that
Ive contributed to that status quo it is doubly worth a double check
So with no further ado these are:
Evocation Spells that warrant closer inspection:

Level 1:
Dawnburst (CM)(Warmage suggested!): (Double Threat Debuff + Blast
) It
does a bit of damage to undead and light sensitive creatures (not too bad for a 1st
level spell 1d6 + 1/level), and provides torchlight but the real selling feature of
this spell is it reveals invisible creatures for the duration (1 round/level). Glitterdust is
a way better spell but this gives you a no-save reveal invisible spell that will only fill
a 1st level slot which makes it viable at higher levels.
Persistant Blade (SC): (Double threat: Blast + BC
) the damage isnt impressive
but this spell can be used to flank an opponent. Kind of similar to a summon spell
since it can be used to flank except that the blade cannot be damaged (which has
the positive that it wont be destroyed but the negative that it doesnt provoke attacks
from the enemy). Seems like it could be a really nice BC to pair with a party rogue.
Bloodwind (SpC): (Buff
) Turn an ally's natural attacks into ranged weapons as a
swift action - this is a 1 round buff - however - this could still be a decent spell to cast
at high levels (and through a rod of lesser extend). Swift action buffs are useful. At
low levels - I can't see it being worth a cast though.
Magic Missile (PHB): (Blast
) Simple spell - we all know it well (I cast magic
missile at the darkness). Its not overly impressive for damage but it always hits,
ignores incorporeal, does not provide energy resistance, and scales up to caster level
9 making it a decent spell for a blast spell.
Tensers Floating Disk (PHB): (Utility
) A rare Evocation utility spell. Overall its
not too impressive, but if you are creative it can have its uses. I remember a wizard
who had a fly spell used Tensers to piggy back the party archer over water on a ship
at sea adventure. Otherwise it is a long duration packhorse spell.
Kelgores Fire Bolt (PHB II): (Blast

) 1d6 per level damage is pretty good for a

first level spell. The partial damage through SR feature is pretty lame.
Bigbys Tripping Hand (PHB II): (BC
) Creates a chance to trip one opponent if
they fail their Reflex Save. Grease trumps this spell in every way except for range.

Level 2:
Seeking Ray (PHB II): (Double Threat: Blast + Buff
) OK let me get this
straight. A 3rd level caster casts seeking ray and: 1) He ignores firing into melee
penalties 2) He ignores Concealment and cover (except total) 3) he does 4d6
electricity damage 5) He gets +4 to hit with all Rays for 1 round/CL. Opponent gets no
save. Wow. Up to 6th level this spell completely trumps scorching ray it doesnt
scale with level as well however.
Bigbys Warding Hand (PHB II): (BC
) Slow an opponent to movement for 1
round/level. This spell has a few really nice features: 1) No save instead they they
do a str check difficulty 12+your key ability modifier. 2) You can change targets during
the spell with a move action.
Frost Breath (SpC): (Double Threat: Blast + Debuff
) Opponents caught in the 30
foot cone that take damage and fail their Ref save are Dazed for a round (Daze is one
of the good ones). The damage is lousy (1d4 for every 2 caster levels) - but it just
needs to be enough to do 1 hp of damage for the daze effect. Remember you have to
get close to work cones - but this spell would work well with Sculpt spell.
Gust of Wind (PHB): (BC
) This spell doesnt get talked about nearly enough. It is
situational but against small (and tiny) opponents it rocks. Against medium
opponents its pretty decent as well (especially flying ones). Opponents who cant
move forward are basically out of the action while they watch helplessly as their allies
are slaughtered. This spell begs for Extend Spell.
Ray of Ice (SC): (Triple threat: Blast+BC+Debuff
) A triple threat spell that
targets Ref. If the save is made you do the humble damage nothing great, but if
they fail you immobolize them and give a -2 attack penalty. The opponent is stuck
until they free themselves by damaging the ice or making a DC 18 Str check. Nice
triple threat here.
Slapping Hand (SC): (Buff
) Basically, unless the target makes a DC 20
concentration check, it provokes an immediate attack of opportunity from those who
threaten it. Its like a poor-mans mass snakes swiftness. Its better in the fact that it
does stack with Haste, it is worse in the fact it uses an attack of opportunity from your
allies and does not provoke ranged attacks, and can be negated with the
concentration check. This spell is made for those encounters where your party is
surrounding the opponent who is a non-caster. DC 20 concentration is hard to make
untrained even with a good Con score.

Scorching Ray (PHB): (Blast

) People LOVE this spell so much that Ive seen
people suggest that Evocation should not be banned because of this spell. If you love
Scorching Ray, I suggest you take a look at Seeking Ray its just better up to level 6.
However at level 11 this spell is doing 12d6 damage with no save. However its
not quite as good as it sounds since Energy Resistance will apply 3 times to that
(Hey dont worry who has energy resistance to Fire anyways?) My overall
impression is that this spell is good but overrated.
Shatter (PHB): (Debuff or utility
) Blow up your opponents weapon or their
armor, or their spell component pouch, or their Divine Focus. A very useful spell
despite the humbling fact that Warlocks can get it with infinite use at level 1.
Battering Ram (SC): (Double Threat: Blast + BC
) the damage blows, but the
Bulls Rush effect is pretty decent since it gives you a +10 check off the bat (which is
pretty good at low levels). This spell doesnt scale so in the long run you are better
off with Bigbys Striking Fist, but at low levels except for range, this spell is just
better. Im not a huge fan of bull rush but combined with a wall of fire for example
it has its uses. Against Medium or smaller creatures a gust of wind spell is likely
Force Ladder (SC): (Utility
) This is a rare evocation utility spell. You create a
ladder of force that lasts 1 min/level and can be up to 60 feet long. Follows the same
line of utility as levitate or spiderclimb except it is less versatile but can be used by
multiple party members. Overall circumstantially good.
Bigbys Striking Fist (PHB II): (Double Threat: Blast + BC
) Battering Ram and
this spell are very similar (Light damage + Bull rush attempt) this spell has better
range (medium) and scales with level. That said before 10th level Battering Ram is
probably your better choice. Afterwards this spell is.
Electric Loop (SC): (Double threat: Blast + Debuff
) The damage is less than
impressive, but all creatures hit must make a Ref save for half, those that fail make a
will save or be stunned for 1 round. Unfortunately, the secondary ability targets a
stronger save.
Luminous Swarm (CM): (Double Threat: Blast + Debuff
) This spell obscures an
enemies vision giving a 20% miss chance for the duration - and some damage that is
poor enough it is barely worth mentioning. I can't help but think that there are spells
that blind at this level - but the 20% miss chance does not provide a saving throw - so
the spell gets a "not bad" rating.
Fireburst (SpC): (Blast
) Does 1d8 damage (max 5d8) in a burst centered on
you. I tend not to be big on spells that eminate from you (you should avoid being
surrounded by enemies - and should you find yourself in that position - your energies

should be at getting out of that position - not blasting unless you believe you can take
down all those creatures around you.)

Level 3:
Great Thunderclap (SpC): (Double threat BC + Debuff
) This is the kind
of spell that made blast spells less than impressive. Make a Will, Fort and Ref
save - the Fort isn't such a big deal (deaf for a minute), but both the will
(Stun for a round), and the Ref (Fall prone) have a nice effect. Again - a
prime candidate for sculpting.
Manyjaws (SpC): (Blast ) A pretty cool blast spell. 1d6 damage per/level
of force damage (ref save for half) basically split however you want between
your enemies and repeating for 3 rounds (concentration). This spell begs for
extending, and also begs for sonorous hum. This spell is just better than
Fireball if you don't have a large quantity of foes huddled close together.
Blacklight (SC): (BC ) The Evokers answer to Fog spells. Blacklight is
actually better than Fog Cloud since your opponents cant even see 5 through
it but you can. You can also have it move with you (or cast it on a crossbow
bolt and fire it for stupendous range). Casting it on the enemy is another
option that I find less fantastic due to the Saving throw and the SR applied.
You want to play God? This spell does the job perfectly.
Ray of the Python (PHB II): (Debuff ) An evokers Slow. In most ways its
not as good (Requires a to hit roll, opponent can move + attack), in other
ways its actually better (No save on the first round, targets Reflex). Overall
I like it quite a bit.
Flashburst (SpC): (Debuff
) Blinds creatures in the effect for 2d8 rounds
(which is not as good as Glitterdust - a 2nd level spell) but Flasburst has a
larger area, effects those not within the effect, has long range, and can dazzle
those who make their save. I would think this might be dangerous for your
allies since it will be pretty impossible to have them not require the save as
well which is a serious drawback. Basically a spell to cast in a pre-prepared
tactical environment.
Wind Wall (PHB): (Buff
) Complete arrow immunity for 1 round/level.
Unfortunately your own archers are similarly screwed. It is situational but in
the right situation indispensible.
Ghost Lantern (CM)(Warmage suggested): (Buff
) Creates a light spell
that only you and your allies can see. Basically its Mass Darkvision except
level 3. Unfortunately the duration is significantly worse (10 min/level) so
not ideal for long dungeon crawls like the aforementioned.

Capricious Zephyr (SC): (BC

) Certainly puts the boots to Battering Ram
of the previous level. This spell gets a bull rush every round for 1 round/level
(heres the gravy) knocks the opponent prone if they fail a Ref save. This spell
has an Achilles heel though. The Bull rush is a less than impressive +6 that
does not scale with level.
Prismatic Mist (PHB II): (Random either Debuff or crappy blast
) The
area of this spell is impressive (30 radius) and if you tend to roll high on
d8s can be effective. Basically 1s, 2s and 3s are pretty much useless (nearly
insignificant damage) but 4s and above are all good varied effects. This
really is only good if cast on a group of creatures thus messing up formation
and tactics of the enemy.
Glowing Orb (SC): (Utility
) Yet another light spell except this one is
permanent. The Glowing Orb can also shed light up to 60 feet maximum. As a
sorcerer or warmage you should never take this spell but as a page in the
spellbook not a bad choice for a wizard. Definitely superior to the
everburning torch.
Sonorous Hum (SC): (Self Buff
) Maintains concentration on a spell for
you even allows you to cast other spells. Its almost like the Spirit Shamans
spirit guide in a spell. The drawback is the short duration (1 min/level) and its
a standard action to cast, which means this spell is good but not quite as
good as some might have you believe.
Sound Lance (SpC): (Blast
) Does sonic damage to a single target. Fort
save for half. Manyjaws is a far more versitile blast (and has duration) as a
3rd level spell IMO - so I would recommend memorizing that instead if you
want a blast spell memorized. This was advertised to me as "The evoker's
counterspell" - but I don't really see why it is any better than any other sonic
or force blast in this function.
Fireball (PHB): (Blast
) Oh how fireball has fallen from the mighty
heights of 1E and 2E. However it is not as Sucktastic as some would have
you believe. 1d6/level is OK damage but the key here is the 20 radius
spread which means you can do 1d6/level damage to a large number of foes.
Unfortunately they save for half, and it does fire damage which is a common
resistance. Its not terrible but not great either.
Shatterfloor (SC): (Double Threat: Blast + BC
) 1d4/level sonic damage
in a 15 radius spread and makes the floor difficult terrain. Its situational
but occasionally useful and the damage is OK for a double threat spell (and
sonic which is a bonus).

Bigbys Disrupting Hand (PHB II): (Debuff

) This spell is problematic.
The big problem is that the target is effectively getting a saving throw using
their Concentration skill modifier which is likely going to beat the heck out
of any and all saving throw modifiers they have. The math just doesnt work
out for this one.

Level 4:
Ice Storm (PHB): (Double threat: Blast + BC
) Most double threat spells
are poor in one area or the other this one is pretty good for both. The
damage is 5d6 with no save (but applied as split Bludgeoning/Cold which
means you could have the damage sucked up with DR/Resistances), and it
s movement, and remains for a round that discourages movement into the
area. Yet another evocation spell that would do will with an extend effect.
Crushing grip (PHB II): (Double Threat Debuff + BC ) : This spell is
pretty cool. It is basically a standard action spell and a full round casting spell
in one. Slow your opponents move and give it -2 to basically everything with
NO SAVE immediately then have a chance to Paralyze at the beginning of
your next turn. With a 3 round duration this spell seems hungry for extend
spell metamagic.
Otilukes Resilient Sphere (PHB): (BC ) An excellent all round spell. Two
main uses of this spell are: 1) Save or lose against opponent removing him
from the action while you slaughter his pals. 2) Protect from death cast
around yourself or an ally who is near death for protection. Very handy spell
to have in reserve.
Defenestrating Sphere (SC): (Double threat: Blast + BC ) The
Bigger,meaner brother of Capricious Zephyr following the various list of
evocation spells that knock enemies around and prone. Fort is not the best
save for this spell to target and it offers 2 saves against the total effect
however, the total effect is pretty impressive (thrown 1d6x10 feet and
knocked prone + take 3d6 damage). As a single effect it is not up to snuff
for a 4th level spell but as a 1 round/level effect this is a combat-long
spell effect making it an excellent spell.
Floating Disk, Greater (SC): (Utility/Buff
) The Evokers answer to
Overland Flight. Floating Disk lasts 1 hr/level and can be used for 20
(perfect) flight. Unlike Overland you can pass it between characters as needed
(though it must stay within 15 of the caster) but offers a slower speed.
Overall, I would suggest Overland Flight is probably the better spell (and
given a high enough caster level Phantom steed trumps them both) but
this spell does have some versatility advantages and remains a decent

alternative for an evocation specialist.

Wall of Ice (PHB): (BC
) A lesser wall of stone. Wall of Ice is one of the
first solid barriers you can put up to separate foes, block escapes, or encase
yourself for protection (not as good as Otilukes for that but works in a
pinch). Avoid placing one adjacent to enemies if you cant avoid this the
spell is probably not worth casting.
Sword of deception (SpC): (Double threat: Blast + Debuff
) When I
read these spells I try to convert the mechanics in my head to how it would
work in gameplay. Currently I'm playing a 9th level wizard in one of my
campaigns, and an 11th in another. In neither case can I think of a combat
where this sword would hit even reasonably often since it uses your CL as it's
BAB with no bonuses (You can get some CL bonuses - but nothing that is
going to come near a decent stat bonus). Most spells like this either give a
stock Str bonus or let you use your casting stat as a bonus. Otherwise, this
spell would've been pretty good.
Wall of Fire (PHB): (Blast
) I just can't get too excited by this spell. It
does pretty lousy damage to things near it (fire damage), and slightly less
lousy damage to things that pass through it. If Undead pass through it the
damage is all the way up to average. The "no-save" portion of the spell is
attractive, as is the fact that it will stay in place for Concentration +1
round/level - but in the end the damage just isn't all that great - and fire
damage is the worst (most common resistance in the game) Clever uses
might have merit (use a Capricious Zephyr to bull rush opponents back and
forth through the wall maybe).
Shout (PHB): (Blast
) Crappy damage blast spell (though sonic damage is
a plus). Basically it is an inferior spell except for the one bonus no somantic
component. This means you can cast it if you are held or grappled etc.
Frankly in those cases you are probably better to have a dimension door at
the ready IMO though.
Forcewave (SC): (BC
) Yet another knock opponents back spell. This
one is special in that it is a swift action. It is similar to battering ram but
effects all within 10 of you. Extremely situational (and a situation you should
avoid) but the swift action casting is a real selling feature.
Wingbind (SC): (Debuff
) This is basically a save or lose for fliers that
targets Ref. Naturally I cant help but think of dragons who like to fly
overhead and blast you with breath weapons at high speed. However as a
4th level spell this isnt cheap and remains very situational.
Channelled Pyroburst (PHB II): (Blast

) Although Im not a big blast

fan, I do like the versatility of the Channelled spells. Can be cast as a swift,
standard, full round, or 2 round spell doing varying degrees of damage and
area depending on time devoted. Overall, I like Orb spells better though.

Level 5:
Wall of Force (PHB): (BC
) Limited duration impervious wall. Personally I
prefer a wall of stone but unlike the wall of stone the wall of force cant be busted
through (and allows vision through). If you can find a spell that grants a gaze attack
(I thought of eyebite but it doesnt officially seem to be gaze) this spell could be the
Channelled Sonic Blast (CM): (Blast
) This one is quite a bit better than
Pyroburst (level 4). Firstly, it does Sonic damage, secondly the AoE are a bit better,
and finally, this spell really pays you off if you go the distance (2 rounds of casting) as
the area becomes a 60 radius burst (HUGE) and possibly deafens those within.
Finally, this spell targets Fort and lets face it, Mettle is rarer than evasion.
Bigbys Interposing Hand (PHB): (BC
) Give yourself a nice cover bonus vs one
opponent as well as slow their movement towards you no saving throw. I love how
much detail this spell gives regarding destroying the hand. If you can get your
opponent to waste his attacks on your spell effect then its done its job. Frankly I
think Solid Fog is probably more effective overall.
Sending (PHB): (Utility
) Send a 25 word message basically anywhere and get an
equivalent response. Sounds more like a divination than an evocation to me but
here it is. For a FS this spell will definitely be a versatility tool.
Fire Shield, Mass (SC)(Warmage suggestion): (Buff
) Mass resistance to Cold
or Fire as well as the other rebuking effects of Fire Shield. Although Im not a huge
fan of fire shield the ability to Mass it (to ALL allies in close range) as a 5th level
spell seems like a bargain to me.
Sonic Shield (PHB II): (Triple threat: Buff + BC + Blast
) Ooohhh- triple threat
but not as good as it sounds. It is a self buff for +4 deflection that lasts only 1
round/level. Creatures that hit you with a melee strike take a minimal amount of sonic
damage and make a Fort save or are knocked back 5 feet. The knocking back 5 feet
could actually be fairly useful to maintain mobility and casting without provoking
attacks of opportunity but shame on you for getting in that position. Moreso its the
duration that irks me most. Basically, unless you get to prepare for a combat, this
spell would steal your first casting which is a heavy price.
Cone of Cold (PHB): (Blast
) Untastic and nonpressive the Cone of Cold does
the standard 1d6 damage/level. Cold damage is a common resistance by this level as

well. However look at a 60 cone in the back of your DMG thats a lot of squares.
Not a great spell but for LOTS of lesser foes it could be very handy.
Cyclonic Blast (SC): (BC
) Yet another knock the opponent back evocation
spell. (Wow there are alot of these!) This one has a +12 on the check (does not
scale) and treats flying creatures as one size class smaller. Overall, this one seems
less impressive for its level to me. By the time I can cast this I will be almost as well
off with a mere Bigbys striking fist.
Greater Fireburst (SpC): (Blast :
): Has the drawbacks of the lower level
Fireburst (2nd level) - it's a blast centered on you (not good), does fire damage (we
are getting to levels in which fire damage becomes bad), and does damage but
doesn't get you out of the situation of being surrounded by enemies and not allies.
The damage is pretty good - but straight damage as a single instantaneous effect
doesn't impress.

Level 6:
Howling Chain (SC): (Triple Threat: Blast + BC + Debuff
FAVORITE EVOCATION SPELL ) 15 reach chain that will last through the battle
tripping opponents on every round (+15 on the opposed Str check!) then hitting them
and leaving them shaken plus it can make attacks of opportunity. Cast it 15 in front
of you for a defensive/offensive chain of awesome. Pay the 500 gp for the Arcane
Focus and put this in your spellbook right now. Seriously - this is my favorite
evocation spell - period.
Contingency (PHB): (Utility
) One of the best emergency spells in the game.
However the Craft Contingency feat duplicates it pretty well. Nevertheless this one
is XP free. I like having an Otilukes resilient sphere appearing around me if my HP fall
below a certain threshold. However the uses of this spell are only limited by your
Bigbys Forceful Hand (PHB): (BC
) Yet another Bull Rush the opponent away
from you spell. The shining spots here are: 1) It lasts 1 round/level, 2) When not
bull-rushing its a Bigbys interposing hand which isnt bad in itself.
Thunder Field (PHB II): (Double threat: BC + Blast
) The Blast portion is pretty
small (1d8) but may screw casters because the damage is taken on their turn. Ref
save or fall prone every round for the duration of the spell. Basically your opponents
will need to save on round 1 or crawl out. Thats pretty good battlefield control. I think
Freezing Fog is a little better since it has similar effects plus a Solid Fog effect, but
Thunder Field is doing sonic damage on the opponents turn, and has a fall prone
effect every round which freezing fog doesnt so there are some advantages to this
spell. Overall pretty good (though slightly humbling that Bards get this spell as a
4th level spell).

Otilukes Freezing Sphere (PHB): (Double Threat: Blast + BC

) Extremely
situational but if you have it when you are fighting on water this can be a great
spell. This spell has the ability to be held for up to 1 round/level and can be
discharged during that time as a standard action. That sounds like something that
could be optimized but I cant really think how. (Other than holding one as a battle
begins in case you get silenced/grappled etc.)
Storm of fire and ice (CM): (Double threat: Blast + BC
) Other than a potential
(and I do mean potential It could quite easily do less damage) increase in damage
this spell is the same as the 5th level Ice Storm and therefore you would be better
memorizing that one than this one. The extra level is definitely not paying off here.
Ray of Light (SC): (Debuff
) Ray spell that blinds the enemy for 1d4 rounds as a
level 6 spell. The bonus here is the lack of a save the downside is that blinding
spells are available by level 2 (glitterdust) that can affect multiple foes with no to hit
roll, for a longer duration. No save is good but this spell should have been 4th level
Lingering flames (CM): (Blast
) This spell lost me at "This spell functions like
fireball except the area remains filled with fire for the duration of the spell". Yawn.
This is a level 6 spell - and we end up with a circular wall of fire with lousy duration. A
combination with Solid Fog was mentioned - but the Solid Fog (which is an awsome
spell of mere 4th level) is doing the real work of that combination.

Level 7:
Bigbys Grasping Hand (PHB): (BC
) Like the forceful hand except this one
grapples. Also the grapple modifier is high enough to grapple all but the Biggest,
Baddest opponents (Its grapple check is your CL + your primary casting stat modifier,
+ 14). The way the spell is written it doesnt look like it can pin but this still is pretty
useful and strays from the normal bull rush opponent use of evocation BC spells. I
should point out that this is the best Bigbys hand spell IMO, and unfortunately the
last good one.
Submerge Ship (SC): (Utility
) The price tag of this spell is 2,500 gp but I
would suggest this should be a party-wide investment and this is exactly the kind of
thing that I envision a wizard accomplishing. Turn your ship into a magical submarine
Delayed Blast Fireball (PHB): (Blast
) Not an impressive spell mechanically
but the roleplaying implications are fun. The Iconic scene in action movies where the
hero walks away as the planned explosion carries out behind him can be recreated
with this spell to great personal satisfaction. The downside is when whatever got
exploded behind you calls out Is that all you got? afterwards...

Forcecage (PHB): (BC

) Near ultimate BC this spell gets named again and
again every time I dis evocation as a redeemer of the school. The spell offers no
saving throw and basically offers a get out of combat free card against any creature
that fits in the windowless cell or a Prepare for arrow death against anything that
can be held in the barred cage (preferably without firing anything back). Every time
this gets mentioned I look up the spell and am sold until I see a 1500 gp price tag on
every casting of this spell. 1500! I didnt accidentally add a zero or anything! This falls
into the eternal optimization trap that so many spells fall into (Like Maze) its
awesome in theory but that price tag DOES add up in actual game play and any
spell with costs that involve 4 digits is simply not practical long term.
Prismatic Eye (SC): (Blast or Debuff
) So for a level 7 spell you can cast a
prismatic spray and affect your enemy with one random prismatic color or summon
a prismatic eye that will hit them with all 7 (eventually). There is no AoE but this is
still pretty solid. I like spells that keep pestering the enemy long after you cast them
and this is such a spell. The +6 to hit isnt very good but with touch attacks it is
probably enough for most enemies. Whoops - a set DC of 19 is horrible. At this level
(we assume you are at level 13) nobody is failing a 19 saving throw. Now the "4"
result will still cause 1d6 Con damage even on a successful save - but overall - expect
this spell to do little else.

Level 8:
Otilukes Telekinetic Sphere (PHB): (Utility or BC
) This spell looks so cool on
paper but is very circumstantial. If you need transport through a hostile environment
this spell can do that for you. Encasing your opponent in this spell just doesnt have
all that much going for it that Otiliukes resilient sphere doesnt and is a much
higher level. I can see circumstances where I would love this spell but they are not
circumstances that are likely to come up in the average gaming session.
Bigbys Clenched Fist (PHB): (Triple Threat: BC + Blast + Debuff
) This
variation on Bigbys Interposing hand instead strikes the foe for moderate damage
every round. The foe then saves vs stun or is stunned for 1 round. This ability is not
even as good as Bigbys Grasping Hand yet puzzlingly is a higher level spell.
Greater Shout (PHB): (Double Threat: Blast + Debuff
) Take the one advantage
of shout (verbal as the only component) and remove it and you have greater shout.
Wow what are those S, and F doing in the components line? OK this spell is
absolutely crap-tivating me. Add the Save or be stunned one round just doesnt
impress much with 8 level spells. Heck power word: Stun is an 8th level spell
provides no saving throw, has a multiple round duration, and is only a verbal

Level 9:

Instant Refuge (SC): (Utility

) First off getting access to teleportation through
evocation is good in its own right. Second off this spell is permanent. Third off it
can stack with contingency. Fourth off it is more flexible in conditions than
contingency. Downsides first off this is a 9th level spell that teleports you (and not
your allies) second off there is an xp and gp cost to do it. Overall a good spell to
have casted on yourself.
Detonate (PHB II): This double threat spell (Save or die, Blast
) isnt actually
mechanically impressive for a 9th level spell but the visual is cool enough that I
could imagine giving one memorization slot to it. I mean - you make the subject
Bigbys Crushing Hand (PHB): (Double threat: Blast + BC
) A very slightly
improved version of Bigbys Grasping Hand. Certainly not worth 2 extra levels. Level 9
spells are supposed to be more impressive than this.
Reality Maelstrom (SpC): (BC
) Those in the primary area save or get sent to
another plane. Since by this level greater planeshift is not going to be uncommon - I
would call that a little short of save or die. Those in the secondary area get 2 saves to
avoid the effect. Has an impressive visual (the picture in SpC is cool) - but the
mechanics shouldn't be providing the save in the primary area. This is a 9th level spell
afterall. My standards are high at this point - as these spells are in the same category
as Shapechange, Timestop, Wish and Gate.
Final conclusions
Praise for evocation: Evocation contains several strong spells in the BC field as well
as some nice Multiple Threat spells. The image as a Blasting spells only school is
clearly a myth. Although there isnt a lot of utility within the school a few spells
stand out as winners in the utility field (Force Ladder, Greater floating disk,
Contingency, Sending).
Weaknesses of the school: I found very few spells of levels 8 or 9 I thought were
worth the level, I also found a lot of redundancy (how many push the opponent
away spells does a mage need at the ready?).
Evocation Specialists: Should be very playable. I would focus on BCs you will be
pushing your opponents all over while your Big Stupid Fighter and Glass Cannon finish
them off. You will be able to substitute Evocation for Conjuration for many BC type
spells Blacklight instead of Fog for example. Overall I think you get a few more
options with Conjuration but the evoker should still remain quite viable.
Focused Specialists: My test for whether a school should be considered for FS is
this: Can you think of 3 memorizations that you would want in that school for every
level of spell? My answer as far as Evocation goes yes up to 7th level spells.

Therefore I would consider an Evocation FS for a campaign up to level 14 beyond

that you might find the Evocation School overly restrictive.

Treantmonk's Guide to Abjuration:

God's Tools

Treantmonks rant about defensive spells: After completing evaluation of spell

after spell that is a defensive self buff with a standard action casting time and 1
round/level duration I feel I need to vent a bit - so here it is:
Ive got nothing against a good defence honestly. However generally speaking I
think the first round of combat for a wizard should involve laying the smack down.
This should be done with a heavy summoning, battlefield control, or buff/debuff. In
most partys the wizard is at the back of the action this is no mistake. Youve got
lousy HP and are squishy as hell.
Yes you can get that AC and defensive walls up to incredible heights but if youre
spending even the first two rounds on that the rest of the party should kill you for
taking a share of the treasure when you are a complete waste of skin. (The sad thing
is, I don't believe I'm overstating here)
If the Big Stupid Fighter lets you down and you find yourself looking at the kneecaps
of the BBEG then of course defensive action should be taken otherwise Ive got
a real problem with casting spells on yourself at the beginning of combat Just in

case. This will be reflected in some of my evaluations.

That said, defensive spells that effect the whole party at the beginning of combat (like
a mass energy resistance: Acid when you see the black dragon) are a Buff which is
just good tactics.
Basics of Abjuration: Abjuration is a very specialized school. For God, you are
mostly looking at Buff/Debuff though there is a bit of Battlefield Control in there as
The point of looking at each school individually is to find some gems in each school.
Overall - I ended up a little dissapointed with Abjuration, which, although is not
completely absent of rocking spells, is definitely light on them.
Completing the Evocation Guide turned into a pleasant surprise as I found spell after
spell that were excellent - and that ended up being a strong motivator to complete the
This time I found abjuration ended up pretty much where I expected. A few spells you
don't want to be without - and a lot of repetition. This is part of the reason it took so
long to complete this guide. It ended up more of a chore and less of a pleasure.
To the readers: If there's a spell you think I should look at - post it and I'll include it
in my guide - though be pre-warned - I do not guarantee I will hold the same opinion
as you.
Sources: I use PHB, PHB II, Complete Series, and SpC (these are both the books I
own, as well as those allowed in the campaigns in which I play) - so all the spells
listed are from those sources. (these guides are not completely unselfish - I reference
them periodically with my own characters)
There are lots of gems in various other sources - but I've found there are lots of good
spells to round out your spellbook in the sources used. By all means, if you would like
to highlight a spell from another source - post it in a reply (along with the source and
the specs) for the readers to reference.

Kinds of Spells: This is how I break down the types of spells...

BC: Battlefield Control. This is the spells that involve impeding movement of your
opponents - aiding movement of your allies, or in any other way treating the world as
your own personal chessboard.
Debuff: Debuffing is anything you cast on an enemy to impede his ability
mechanically. Lowering of attributes, Blinding, Sickening, or scaring the living crap out
of. Debuffing - as the name would indicate - also includes removing any buffs your
enemy might have.

Buff: Buffing is improving the abilities of your allies mechanically. Whether it be

through giving them extra attacks, better AC, or merely providing them a flanker. The
nice thing about buffs is they likely won't involve saving throws.
Blast: A Blast is a spell that does HP damage to your opponent. Blasts are a pretty
basic part of any Wizard's toolbelt - but IMO make a poor central focus to any Wizard.
My suggestion is to cast Blast spells when you have nothing really useful to do.
Utility: These are those spells that have uses that aren't necessarily related to
combat. Often utility spells can be useful in combat - but more circumstantially.
Save or Lose/Die: These spells give you a saving throw - or you're dead (or
effectively dead). Personally, I don't like these spells - since they tend to target Fort and are higher level then spells which can give you the win without avoiding the fun.
You are usually better with a debuff if you like this style of spell.
Multiple Threat: A spell that covers more than one of the above at a time is a
multiple threat spell. For example - a spell that does damage as well as impede the
enemies movement would be a double threat (BC + Blast), while a spell that does
damage, impedes the movement of the enemy, gives them mechanical penalties, and
gives your allies bonuses would be a Quadruple threat (BC + Blast + Debuff + Buff).
By the way - if you know of a Quadruple threat spell - let me know!!!

Rating the spells:

After breaking down the spells, I will self-righteously give them either the Treantmonk
stamp of approval - or the stamp of the foot, oversimplifying the use of each.
: This spell's a Turkey. Not worth having in your spellbook at all.
: Not all bad, but not good enough for me to recommend
: Run of the mill. It's OK, but nothing special
: The spell is solid. I recommend it
: This spell is highly recommended
: YES!!!!!

1st level spells

Protection From X (PHB): (Buff):
+2 deflection AC (this is the good one adds
to touch AC), and +2 resistance bonus on saves against spells/attacks of creatures of

creatures of the alignment specified by the spell. At low levels this is quite good mid
to high levels these bonuses are already provided through Rings of Protection and
Cloak of Resistance. However this spell also prevents contact by summoned
creatures (only creatures of one alignment are immune to the effect) and totally
gimps any enchantment by enemies irregardless of alignment. This makes this an
excellent buff at any level (and a killer wand).
Karmic Aura (CM): (Debuff):
Swift action spell that makes opponents that attack
you make a will save or be fatigued for 3 rounds. It only lasts 1 round/level. One
selling feature is it affects creatures to attack you with ranged attacks or spells as
well. At higher levels this becomes a strong use of a swift action.
Shield (PHB): (Self Buff):
Grants you a +4 shield bonus to AC. Mage armor is
better in most respects except that this spell is far more stackable with other AC
granting effects. (And of course Mage Armor and this spell stack with each other)
Alarm (PHB): (Utility):
Alerts you of any unauthorized creatures entering a given
space. The alarm can be either silent or audible (generally audible is so your
companions can also be alerted). The duration is good but this spell is generally
inferior for campsite protection then a Rope Trick. However there are other utility
uses for this spell.
Hold Portal (PHB): (Utility):
Hold a door shut for 1 min/level. This spell is far
from infallible but has moderate use defensively or to cover retreat.
Nightshield (SpC): (Self Buff):
Minor resistance bonus to saves and immunity to
magic missile for short duration. Overall this is worse than Protection from X by quite
a bit.

2nd level spells

Arcane Turmoil (CM): (Debuff):
Works as a targeted dispel magic and it also
removes a prepared spell from the target. This spell is second level making it
superior to using an actual targeted dispel under most circumstances.
Resist Energy (PHB): (Buff):
Various energy protections are a dime a dozen,
but this one is very low level and provides 10 resistance vs a particular energy. This
resistance increases with CL (up to 30 and 11th level). Overall one of the better
energy protection spells.
Protection From Arrows (PHB): (Buff):
Grants damage reduction 10/magic vs
arrows until it has prevented 10xCL of damage. The magic designation is very
limiting though at low levels it can be very good in certain situations.
Earth Lock (SpC): (BC):

Constricts a small section of natural tunnel preventing

enemies from passing through it. The duration is permanent which is nice, but the
effect is so-so. If you lack other battlefield controls though this one is situationally
Arcane Lock (PHB): (Utility):
Locks any door or latch. It also makes the latch
harder to break (+10 to DC to do so) however, dispel magic or knock also opens the
door. Purely utility.
Obscure Object (PHB): (Utility):
Protects an object from being discovered
through divination effects. This spell has an 8 hour duration which limits its very
situational effect.
Dissonant Chant (SpC): (Debuff):
Causes creatures in the effect radius to have
difficulty on concentration rolls and require concentration rolls to cast spells. The
problem is that the difficulty of the concentration check should be relatively easy for
most spellcasters. Possibly worthwhile if you can target multiple casters in the effect.
Scintillating Scales (SpC): (Buff):
Turn your natural armor bonus into a
deflection armor bonus. This would seem most useful if you have natural armor
bonuses through multiple sources making them stackable. Very situational
(Deflection bonuses are not that rare) the duration isnt all that impressive either.
Distracting Ray (SpC): (Debuff):
Basically a really crappy counterspell. The
spell requires the caster being targeted to make a single really easy concentration
check to cast the spell. Furthermore this spell requires being used as a counterspell
(ready your action hope the enemy makes a casting action). Its like Dissonant
chant except it restricts your actions, only works on one target (once) and requires a
to hit roll. It also requires you to surrender your pride and self respect.

3rd level spells

Dispel Magic (PHB): (Debuff):
To those regular to CO, this is obviously THE
staple of abjuration. Uses include debuffing the DMM Cleric, or casting it over an area
to remove a hoard of summoned creatures or remove buffs from multiple opponents.
You can also use Dispel Magic to counterspell of course you should never
counterspell so thats kind of useless (If you must counterspell ready a good hard
blast spell instead). There are many ways to improve your dispel roll so this can
become quite the focus for your character dont forget that this spell is reactive
though. (Being proactive tends to be better in most situations)
Anticipate Teleportation (SpC): (Battlefield Control):
OK, this is just a very
nice spell. Enemy teleporters basically are screwed extra bonus if the enemy
attempts teleportation-style battlefield controls (Like benign transposition). The 500gp
focus is well worth the cost. With a 24 hour duration I would be casting this
consistently by 10th level.

Magic Circle against X (PHB): (Buff or debuff):

My favourite use of this spell is
using it as a prop for my Planar Binding spells (excuse me while I wipe drool from the
corner of my mouth). In combination with Planar Binding and with spellcraft
Fortification is the only use of focusing inwards I can really imagine. Otherwise,
this is a nice buff spell. It grants the bonuses of Protection from X with a radius
spread. Note that the deflection bonus will not stack with rings of protection, so dont
count on the AC bonus being a big advantage.
Karmic Backlash (CM): (Debuff):
As Karmic Aura except now you are exhausting
the attacker. Again - it is the swift action casting time that makes this spell attractive.
Disobedience (CS): (Buff):
For 1 hr/level the subject is immune to mental control
including charm/compulsion effects. The real candy here IMO is that the caster
attempting the mind control has to make a will save or believe their mind control
attempt was successful, and the subject of the spell is aware of any commands given.
With a little bluff, this could really mess up the enemy.
Tenacious Dispelling (CM): (Debuff):
Very similar to dispel magic, but the first
time you cast it must be targeted. The second time you cast (if before the end of your
next turn) it can be targeted or area, with a +2 on the check. There are other ways to
get dispel bonuses, and the loss of versatility here (as well as pigeonholing future
actions) makes this spell lesser to dispel magic.
Explosive Runes (PHB): (Blast):
6d6 blast damage, possible Ref save for half.
Ive seen time and time again the reference to the strategy of casting this spell many
times and then triggering it next to an enemy by casting a dispel magic and
intentionally failing the roll. Personally, I dont know of any rules allowing you to
purposely botch a dispel magic roll (and normally dispel on your own spells always
succeeds without a roll) so if there is a rule that allows this let me know either
way, I would expect DMs will not allow this strategy due to the stink of it (and shame
on you to those players that try it). Otherwise, as for the intended use of the spell it
probably wont come up when you need to injure your enemies so Im not so big on
Earthen Grace (SpC): (Buff):
Make damage from earth or stone nonlethal. Note
that after the creature takes its HP in nonlethal damage the spell ends (and further
damage is lethal) so this spell will NOT allow you to fall ridiculous heights and survive.
In actuality, this spell is highly situational (and 1 min/level duration means you need
to cast reactively) probably a better scroll than something to actually have in your
spell selection.
Repelling Shield (CM): (Double threat: Buff+BC):
Once again, a spell that is
only good if you are attacked (melee attack by adjacent foe no less). In which case,
there is a moderately decent BC of moving your opponent if they fail a Ref save. Lets
be clear here avoid all situations where you could be in melee like the plague. Spells

like this should not give you false confidence. Leave being a Big Stupid Fighter to
those who are Big, Stupid and Fighters.

4th level spells

Dimensional Anchor (PHB): (Debuff):
A ranged touch attack that makes
teleportation and etherealness, either by spell or spell-like ability, not work. SR works,
but otherwise there is no saving throw. It is situational, but against an opponent you
know is capable of such actions (like a demon or devil for example), this can be an
excellent debuff.
Wall of X (SpC): (Battlefield Control):
A pretty good battlefield control. It
prohibits summoned creature of described alignment (note that this restriction is more
specific than protection spells) and requires will saves of any creature of the
prescribed alignment to pass through. The size is good as is the duration. One nice
feature above other battlefield controls is that your party members should be
unaffected (or they have some explaining to do!). There is a 25gp material component
which is pretty cheap, but Im always loathe to pay.
Dispelling Screen (SpC): (Multiple Threat Debuff/BC):
This spell is kind of
interesting. You can create a wall or sphere (or hemisphere) that does a targeted
dispel on any creature or object that goes through it. Even more interesting is that it
does not allow any spell effects through it period (Spell effects not operating on
objects or creatures cannot pass through the screen). Of course this restriction affects
the caster too but it gives this spell definite possibilities. Casting a hemisphere
around the party fighter for example will have him immune to targeted magic from
outside the sphere if he isnt moving alot this could be quite useful.
Resist Energy, Mass (SpC): (Buff):
Basically a chained Resist Energy spell. The
duration could use a boost to 1hr/level which it does not receive however. Situational
but worth keeping in reserve as a mass buff.
Globe of Inv., Lesser (PHB): (Debuff):
Protects area against spells of 3rd level or
less. Same reaction/duration problem. However this spell screams for contingency.
This spell can also seriously cramp the style of those who rely on quicken spell or
massive metamagic scorching ray casters and their ilk.
Resistance, Greater (SpC): (Buff):
Provides +3 resistance to saves. Unlike
Resistance, this buff is good for 24 hours. Although this spell does NOT stack with a
cloak of resistance (and most characters should have at least a +1 cloak by mid
levels) the +3 may be more than the cloak around the level this spell is received
and it frees up the cloak position for other magic items. The bonus is a little low for
the level of spell IMO but not bad.
Stoneskin (PHB): (Buff):

Does this spell get love or what? Personally, I see

250gp material component cost and Im done. 10/adamantium? Nah, Ill just avoid
getting hit and save my money.
Otilukes Suppressing Field (CM): (utility):
Create a 20 foot emanation around
you that suppresses one subtype of magic. No, its not like antimagic field since the
caster gets to make a CL check to bypass your field. Oh yeah, full round to cast. Way
to situational and not all that wonderful even in those situations. Pretty much
useless unless you know the specifics regarding the magical capabilities of your
Fire Trap (PHB): (Blast)
like explosive runes except it has a 25gp material cost,
does less damage, does fire damage (easily avoided), is a higher level, and is
triggered by opening instead of reading. Faces the same drawback as explosive runes
(does HP damage when you dont need it). Unless used as part of an ambush I dont
see a lot of use to this spell.

5th level spells

Refusal (SpC): (Battlefield Control/Utility)
Very interesting spell does not allow passage into area by spellcasters or users of
Spell like abilities. The will save to defeat seems weak at first, but there is a penalty
to the save equal to the level of the highest spell or SLA available to the creature.
Additionally, the caster can set conditions to bypass the ward (alignment, passwords,
etc). In the end that makes this a very nice spell for BC. If you are going to the
Abyss take 3 of these.
Spell Theft (CS): (Double threat: Debuff/Self Buff):
Use a targeted dispel on an
enemy and remove the spells from them and grant them to yourself. There is a
spellcraft roll necessary for each spell. Also note that the maximum CL is +15, making
it a halfway point between dispel/greater dispel.
Wall of Dispel Magic (SpC): (Debuff/Utility):
Make an invisible barrier those
that pass through are treated as if a targeted dispel had been cast on them. It has no
effect on spells cast through the wall and the wall must be straight which makes
me a much bigger fan of dispelling screen despite the visible effect.
Break Enchantment (PHB): (Utility):
Similar to Remove Curse, break
enchantment can reverse magical enchantments/transmutations of spells 5th level or
lower. The one minute casting time ensures that this spell is not usable in combat.
Purely utility and in that matter I would probably never have it memorized unless
I knew I needed it, though it is probably worth a spot in the spell book or a scroll.
Dismissal (PHB): (Save or lose):
Send an extraplanar creature back to its plane
of origin if it fails a Will Save. Big problem here is that Extraplanar creatures often
have excellent will saves. This is basically a save or die spell in disguise. Its

situational, and in the right situation, its OK, but not fantastic.
Contingent Energy Resistance (SpC): (Buff):
I liked this spell until I read the
description. Contingent Energy Resistance basically sounds perfect. Heres the
problems though 1) duration is 1 hour/level hardly worthy of being labelled
Contingent, 2) The energy resistance provided is 10, and does not scale with CL.
Thats a big problem.
Indomitability (SpC): (Buff):
Touch spell grants recipient the ability to survive
one strike that would otherwise be deadly, merely lowering the recipients HP to 1. The
duration is 1 min/level which means this is a buff that you would need to cast in
combat. In most cases I cant see how this would save an otherwise doomed
character for more than one round and it really should be immediate. Oh yeah, its a
touch spell too. Except in unique situations (intentionally setting off an otherwise
deadly trap for example) I cant see much combat use in this spell.
Reciprocal Gyre (SpC): (Multiple threat Blast/Debuff):
Cast on a creature with
Spells or SLA currently affecting it it takes d12 damage/spell effect. If a will save is
made, damage is taken. If the will save is missed, the target gets a Fort save or be
dazed 1d6 rounds. This does not dispel the magical effects or effect persistant spells.
Where do I begin hmm, how about with this spell sucks.

6th level spells

Resistance, Superior (SpC): (Buff):
The apex of the Resistance spells. Like
Greater Resistance, this spell is a 24 hour buff, unlike Greater Resistance, the
resistance bonus is impressive (+6). This spell would be a prime candidate for Chain
Spell if you can power metamagic
Antimagic Field (PHB): (Debuff):
Suppresses all magic around you for
10min/level. This of course is very bad for you but if your party is outmatched
magically this can still be a worthwhile sacrifice for you to make. The suppression
ability is quite potent however, keep in mind that summoned creatures with SR will
need you to defeat that SR to suppress them.
Dispel Magic, Greater (PHB): (Debuff):
A necessary bump up to dispel magic,
that is good for the same reasons. I wouldnt jump right to this one at level 11
necessarily though. By CL 15 or so, the old version wont be very effective anymore.
Anticipate Teleportation, Greater (SpC): (Battlefield control):
Like its
predecessor, this is a very nice spell. The question is whether increasing the delay
from 1 to 3 rounds and identifying the type of arriving creature is worth 3 extra spell
levels. In my view, Anticipate Teleportation does the trick but there is definitely an
argument for using this version instead at high levels.

Karmic Retribution (CM): (Debuff)

Like Karmic Aura except that creatures that
attack you must make a will save or be stunned for a round. As with the other Karmic
spells the Swift action casting is the selling feature. The question is whether Karmic
Retribution is so much better than Karmic Backlash to deserve a 6th level spell slot.
I'm not sure it does - however - it is still solid for the level.
Guards and Wards (PHB): (Utility):
A neat spell that you will always want to
cast/use but many of us never will (except in down time). The 30 minute casting
time ensures you wont be using it in combat, but the effects are kind of neat (and
make your stronghold very difficult to invade).
Ruby Ray of Reversal (SpC): (Utility):
Definitely an interesting spell. It has 5
different situational uses. It can spring traps at range, open things, create holes in
walls of force, reverse polymorphs, and dispel magic jars. All the uses of this spell are
situationally useful, but none come up enough for me to recommend this spell be
memorized. It might be worthy of a scroll in your repoitoire though.
Repulsion (PHB): (BC):
Sigh. Standard action casting, 1 round/level duration.
Sound familiar? Otherwise, this would be an awesome protection spell for a God.
Globe of Inv. (PHB): (Buff):
Call me a broken record. I hate standard action
defense spells with 1 round/level durations. This is no exception. Complete immunity
from spells levelled 1-4 is good but setting up this spell is going to be a pain. Too
high level to contingent - I'll pass on this.
Prismatic Aura (CM): (Buff)
Sigh...Prismatic Aura suffers from all the drawbacks
of the typical abjuration defense spell. First off, it has standard action casting/1
round/level duration which means you lose your first round casting this spell.
Secondly it only affects combatants who attack you in melee. If you find yourself in
melee dont cast this spell cast dimension door and get out of melee!!! This spell
is in the same book as Karmic Retribution which is swift action casting and affects all
creatures that attack you, ranged, melee or magic. This is a turkey.

7th level spells

Energy Absorption (CM): (buff/healing!):
Quite an interesting, if not odd spell.
It is a hr/level buff that provides 10 energy resistance against all 5 energy types. This
is a little weak on its own but get this you can (as an immediate action) expend
the spell to absorb the energy of any energy based attack and in addition to full
immunity to any and all energy types used in the attack, the subject actually heals
half of the damage the effect normally would have caused. Instantly in my head I
consider the possibilities of intentional friendly fire (The fighter is getting low on HP
so you lob an area energy blast into his wake damaging his enemies while healing

Banishment (PHB): (Save or lose):

The more potent version of dismissal.
Banishment allows 2 HD of creatures to be banished per CL. The big draw here is that
you can boost both your spells DC and your CL check to defeat SR by presenting the
target with objects or substances with which the target is opposed, hates, fears etc.
Should be easy enough for banishing evil outsiders...after all youre a mage how
many charms depicting the holy symbols of good gods can you fit on one necklace?
The point is that the DC/CL boosts are stackable.
Ironguard (SpC): (Buff):
The standard problem of 1 round/level standard
casting defensive spell. This is a pretty good defensive spell though. Complete
immunity to metal (magical or not) is a pretty good spell effect. What Big Stupid
Fighter wouldnt love this spell when going toe to toe with an Iron Golem? (or even
90% of enemy fighters). If the Big Stupid Fighter is in actuality, a Druid, his natural
attacks can also bypass metal armor (though would be made useless against Iron
Energy Immunity (SpC): (Buff):
100% immunity to one kind of energy for 24
hours. The long duration makes this a good choice, but at least consider Energy
Absorption which is the same level, and probably a better spell overall with similar
effect. This is your choice if you expect repeat high power attacks with a single energy
Greater Dispelling Screen (SpC): (BC):
Like dispelling screen except the CL
bonus on the dispel check caps at +20. Frankly, the chief ability of the dispelling
screen is the prevention of spells cast through it. This is unchanged with the greater
version making me sceptical whether the 3 extra levels give appropriate payback in
spell power.
Antimagic Ray (SpC): (Debuff):
Screw an enemy caster. Beware though that the
caster can still use his spell trigger items freely (my mages at this level always have
some backup), as well they get the satisfying knowledge that you spent 100gp to cast
this spell. If you miss on your ranged touch the 100gp is lost forever as well as
your spell slot. If youre facing a God Wizard, expect him to Abrupt Jaunt out of the
way and laugh at you.
Sequester (PHB): (Utility)
Turns creatures and objects invisible and undetectable
(except by items that provide true seeing effects), the duration is 1 day/level.
However, creatures effected are in suspended animation until the spell wears off. This
makes the spell highly situational.
Ghost Trap (SpC): (Debuff):
Turn incorporeal creatures corporeal. The benefit of
such a debuff doesnt require elaboration but I should point out that most enemies
are corporeal making this spell highly situational. The short duration requires that
you cast it during combat in most cases.

Spell Turning (PHB): (Self Buff):

Turns back 1d4+6 levels of targeted spells
back on their caster. The casting time is 1 standard action and the duration is 10
min/level. As such, I would think it would be pretty hard to be sure you are going to
be targeted by spells (area spells and effect spells are not turned). This is a huge
drawback. Im not big on blowing 7th level spells because the BBEG in the next room
might target me with a targeted spell.

8th level spells

Mind Blank (PHB): (Buff):
24 hour protection from divination (yawn) and any
mind effecting spells or effects (BINGO!). Yes, that basically makes the entire
enchantment school obsolete for 24 hours/day. Very solid buff.
Wall of Greater Dispel Magic (SpC): (utility):
Like wall of Dispel Magic except
that you get the standard + to CL of Greater dispel on targeted dispel checks. Frankly
I think the Dispelling Screen spells are superior than the Wall of Dispel Magic spells
due to the ability to automatically stop ranged/targeted spells going through the
screen. Only the invisible effect makes this a situationally superior spell.
Dimensional Lock (PHB): (BC/Utility):
An area spell that restricts
extradimensional travel. The duration is sick (1 day/level) which means you can use
this to protect areas from extradimensional visitors indefinitely. Unfortunately, the
spell is static so its use in combat is pretty restrictive. Dimensional Anchor will
serve instead.
Prismatic Wall (PHB): (Battlefield Control):
Basically a supped-up wall of force.
The flat wall shape makes this spell significantly less potent than the 9th level sphere
version. Make an absolutely impenetrable wall that your opponents absolutely must go
around to get to you sigh.
Protection from spells (PHB): (Buff):
Take 6th level Superior Resistance
increase the effect to +8, make it only good against spells, gimp the duration, give it
a 500gp material cost, a 1000gp focus cost. Yes, you can use it on multiple creatures
(1/4 levels) but it is still an absolutely shameful waste of an 8th level spell slot.
Spell Engine (SpC): (Utility):
Spell allows you to switch out all your prepared
spells for others from your spellbook. By RAW a focused specialist can potentially
switch his focused school spells for spells of non-specialist school as long as the spell
is within his spellbook (interpreting the spell this way stinks to high heaven though
and Treantmonk does not suggest being cheesy). This spell sounds great doesnt it?
Look again. This spell requires a 500gp material component, and if that wasnt
enough, 250 xp. Treantmonk says that if you are worried about preparing the wrong
spells buy some scrolls for backup.

9th level spells

Maw of Chaos (SpC): (Double threat: Debuff + Blast)

ohhh an abjuration
blast spell. This one is pretty good too (even worth a 9th level slot). Cast this on the
enemy group and they are in trouble. First off they take d6/caster level damage
(untyped and no limit) and they make a save (Will) or are dazed. The next round
anyone who is still in the AoE takes the damage and makes the save again. And so on
for the duration of the spell. Dazed characters cannot move so will stay and
continually take damage. Also any enemy wanting to use a spell or spell like ability
better have a decent Concentration score (not all SLA creatures do) or they wont be
able to use them. This spell lasts 1 round/level.
Absorption (SpC): (Buff)
Its a selfish spell but a pretty decent one. It works
a lot like spell turning but instead of turning the spell you absorb it and you can
use those spell levels to cast one of your spells without losing the memorization slot.
Also if a spell cannot be completely absorbed you can partially absorb it
reducing its effect (which is something spell turning doesnt do). With a 10 min/level
duration you can often have this pre-cast when entering combat which is a
definite selling feature.
Reaving Dispel (SpC): (Double threat: Debuff + Buff)
A greater dispel magic
spell that allows you to take the spells you dispelled (on a targeted dispel) and
reassign them to yourself. Could be huge against say, a Cheater of Mystra (or any
DMM cleric). I cant help but immediately think that my party Cleric might have some
cool DMM persisted personal spells that he could cast twice I reave the first set, and
he keeps the second. Anyone see a reason that wouldnt work (Besides a stingy
Prismatic Sphere (PHB): (Battlefield Control):
The ultimate protection spell it
protects you against everything. Unfortunately you need to leave the sphere to be
doing anything yourself. This spell could be decent for emergency regrouping or
mixed with a Hewards fortifying bedroll even to regain spells. However, it too
unfortunately, is not going to be used in the average combat.
Imprisonment (PHB): (Save or Die):
This spell is a touch-save or die (and unlike
most death in D&D this guy is a lot further than a resurrection from walking and
talking again). The point of this spell (since save or die that targets will as a 9th level
spell BLOWS) is that the creature cannot be brought back. However, constantly
resurrecting bad guys is a pretty rare problem so this spell becomes circumstantial
which is bad for 9th level spells.
Mordenkainens Disjunction (PHB): (Debuff)
The ultimate Dispel. MD will
totally nuke all spells and possibly magic items too (they get a will save). You can
potentially save magic items in an Anti Magic Field. Frankly MD is a bad spell to cast
since D&D characters are LOOTERS and nuking all the magic items isnt a good looting
tactic. I can really only see this spell being used in emergencies. Once again it is
circumstantial which isnt good for 9th level spells.

Magic Miasma (SpC): (Double threat: BC + Debuff)

Creates a Solid Fog (as the
spell) that also gives a minus to caster level and DCs of spells to those within. Those
who leave the area get a Will save in order to get the CL back. Solid Fog is level 4
this just doesnt scream to me This is 5 spell levels better than that spell. Giving CL
and DC penalties to enemy casters with no save is pretty cool but they get the save
as soon as they leave the fog (and who has freedom of movement options at this
level? Um just about everyone.)
Effulgent Epuration (SpC): (Buff)
Gives the caster or recipient (which can be
changed in the middle of the spell) a bunch of spheres that block enemy casts
directed at the recipient. Its really, really good at what it does (lots of blocks 100%
chance of success) but the duration sucks and its purely defensive for 1 person at a
time only. This means this spell is just the kind of spell you almost never should cast.
Overall Opinion: In the end I am a little underwhelmed. Unlike Evocation I could not
see making an effective Focused Specialist from this school (maybe a specialist).
However, there are definitely some bright points. As much as I hate the standard
action, 1 round/level defensive spell - with the Karmic spells you don't need go down
that route since they are swift actions.
Everyone knows dispel magic is a great spell - but does everyone know that dispelling
screen blocks all spells? Do they know you can make it a hemisphere around another
There are also a number of 24 hour spells. Certainly worth a spell slot for many of
My next guide for Gods will be Necromancy. I do not anticipate it taking as long as
this handbook took me as I have some vacation time coming up in a couple weeks.
As always - point out my various mistakes and I will go back and fix them!



So I'm about to start playing a Diviner, and I was looking for help with
divination spells. You know how many guides there are strictly about
divination spells?
You're reading it right now.
Sure, there are mentions here and there, but considering how many people
take Diviner for the bonus spell you'd think it'd warrant more of a mention
than a few spells listed here and there in more general threads. And after
Treantmonk20 (who is a fabulous guide-writer) mentioned that his next three
spell guides weren't going to be Divination, I said, "TK, if you don't do it, no
one will. Well, not in a decent amount of time, anyway."
Hence, this guide. It was made very quickly by going through the Mango

index and reading the interesting-looking spells. (I read the short descriptions
and took a peek at the better-looking ones.) If there's anything you don't see
here, especially from newer books, let me know. I think the newest book this
rehost had was Complete Scoundrel, so I might be missing some good ones.
As mentioned, this guide is based primarily on the MangoDex. I'm going to
work on getting all the sources up, but that may take a while and it honestly
isn't my first priority.
Sources Used
PHB = Players' Handbook
PHBII = Players' Handbook II
SpC = Spell Compendium
CAr = Complete Arcane
CM = Complete Mage
CS = Complete Scoundrel
RoD = Races of Destiny
RoS = Races of Stone
DrM = Dragon Magic
SW = Stormwrack
RoF = Races of Faerun
MoF = Magic of Faerun
RoE = Races of Eberron
MoE = Magic of Eberron
More coming soon...
A Note On Spontaneous Divination
About half of the spells on this list are Sor/Wiz spells. That's because this is,
like TM's guide, a guide targeted at specialist wizards. However, there are a
lot of other good divination spells out there, and a good number which appear
at a lower level than the Sor/Wiz version on someone else's list. Various
abilities, most notably Spontaneous Divination, give you access to these;
therefore, I'm listing them here as well. They'll be in separate parts of each
A Note On Divination Spells in General
The spells I've left off this list have one thing in common -- they're incredibly
situational. This means that, while they're not candidates for spellbook
inclusion or Expanded Knowledge like the rest of these are, they make great
targets to fetch with Spontaneous Divination or even spells to put in magic
items. If you're playing a Wizard that has access to that kind of tech -- and

anyone that has access to Spontaneous Divination should be using

it -- I'd recommend just browsing through Mango's complete list. You'll see
some neat stuff on there that I'm sure will get used at some random point in
The Rating System
Unabashedly stolen from Treantmonk, the rating system follows.
: This spell's a turkey; not worth having in your spellbook at all.
: Not bad, but not good enough for me to recommend. Can also be too
specialized to see general use; most divinations fall into this category.
: Run of the mill. It's OK, but nothing special.
: The spell is solid. I recommend it.
: This spell is highly recommended.
: If you don't use this spell, I'm going to come to your house and shoot
your dog.
Also, a (-) next to the source indicates that a lower-level version of the spell is
available on someone else's list.
Sor/Wiz Spells
Detect MagicPHB: (
) The applications are limitless. There's not much
better to do with your 0th-level slots, anyway.
Read MagicPHB: (
) Not horrible. A great thing to be able to spontaneously
Other Classes
Bard -- Know DirectionPHB: (
) Really situational, but one of two other 0thlevel divinations in the game. Again, worth being able to do spontaneously.
Sor/Wiz Spells
Arrow MindSpC: (
) This is a great spell to use after you've run out of
everything in every other level and you're pulling out the crossbow. You're
squishy, so why not make sure that things don't go horribly wrong when you're

out of spells?
Combat ReadinessDotU: (
) +1/3 CL (min +1, max +6) insight to init and
no flank bonus for enemies at 1 min/level is more than decent.
Comprehend LanguagesPHB: (
up a lot.

) Situational, but it's a situation that comes

Find Temple: (
) Generally speaking, this spell is awful. There have been a
few times, though, that I've really wished I'd had it.
Guided ShotSpC: (
) Let me get this straight. No cover or concealment on
your next ranged attack roll -- spell or not --as a swift action 1st-level spell?
IdentifyPHB: (
use this spell.

) You're a diviner. Your party's going to kill you if you don't

Instant LocksmithSpC: (
) Rogue? We don't got to show you no Rogue! We
don't need no stinking Rogue! This and a few other spells can combine to make
Rogues essentially useless, and are even better on an Arcane Trickster. (Divine
Oracle or Unseen Seer are also good things to add for a Rogue replacement.)
Instant SearchSpC: (

) See above.

Locate CitySpC: (
) Strictly inferior to Lay of the Land, but if you can't get
access to that it'll work. Also very situational, but a lot more useful than Find
Temple in unexplored territory.
Scholar's TouchRoD: (
) Multiple applications of this mean you can read
entire libraries. Chain Spell for even more fun. You now have an excuse for
metagaming the heck outta everything.
Sniper's ShotSpC: (
/ If you are an
Arcane Trickster or Unseen Seer, this is unbelievably useful. If you're not, it's
Targeting RaySpC: (
) I'm personally not a fan, but a lot of people are.
+CL/3 insight to hit on all ranged attacks is nice, though.
True CastingCM: ( ) Sure it costs a standard action, but +10 to CL to
overcome SR is nothing to sneeze at, and it stacks with Assay Spell Resistance.
True StrikePHB: (

) The ol' standby. For when you really need something to

Other Classes
Truth Domain 1 -- Detect ThoughtsPHB: (
and even better at level 1.

)This is a great spell at level 2,

Ranger 1 -- Lay of the LandSpC: ( ) You are never lost. Ever. Also tells you
where all the evil towns are, plus any interesting dungeons.
Cleric 1 -- WieldskillPGtF: ( ) +5 comp to a skill and a free half-rank in that
skill if it's untrained, or any one proficiency. Not as good as +10, but I'll take
Sor/Wiz Spells
Insidious InsightRoE: (
) Only against one target, but +10 insight bonus
to four social skills is pretty good.
Balancing LorecallSpC: ( ) I'm not gonna lie, duplicating the effects of
several skills and feats as long as you have ranks in balance is pretty nifty.
Chain of EyesSpC: (
) There are very few Div spells at this level that are
this capable of getting you into secure places like this one is. Cast it on a
buddy first, then have him trade it off.
Detect ThoughtsPHB, (-): (
) "I know your horrible secret!" "What? That's
impossible!" "Perhaps for YOU, puny mortal!" The trick here is the "Don't think
about elephants!" method: unless someone's REALLY good, saying something
like "I know your horrible secret!" will probably bring it to the target's surface
Locate ObjectPHB: (
) Perhaps the best way to explain how good this spell
is is to say that "my f*** ing car keys" is a legal target.
Spymaster's CoinCS: ( ) The short duration once activated is the only thing
stopping this from being one of the best divination spells in the game. As it is,
it's darn good for second level.
Sense WeaknessMoE: (
) Who needs metagaming when you can cast a
spell? Know Vulnerabilities is almost strictly better, but it's two levels up on
Other Classes

Drow Domain 2 -- Clairaudience/ClairvoyancePHB: (

level as it is at third.

) As good at this

Cleric 2 -- Divine InsightPHB: ( ) I can think of a lot of builds that'd want a

5+CL, max +15 insight bonus to a given skill check.
Cleric 2 -- Find TrapsPHB: (

) See Instant Locksmith in 1st level.

Cleric 2 -- Guidance of the AvatarHere: (

) +20 Competence to a single
skill check. If you can get a 3.0 website spell allowed, DO IT.
Ranger 2 -- Hunter's EyePHBII: (
) CL/3 SA dice. Sexy with Unseen Seer,
sexier with Sniper's Shot, sexiest with both.
Bard 2 -- Know VulnerabilitiesSpC: (
) On the other hand, if you have
access to this at the Bard level it's pretty nifty. We all know a vampire's
weakness by metagaming, but now our character knows it too!
Druid 2 --Listening LorecallSpC: (
Why are you not using this spell?
Druid 2 -- Share HuskPHB: (
Cleric 2 -- StatusPHB: (

) Blindsense. Excuse me, blindSIGHT.

) Because who'd suspect a cat of spying?

) I'm sure you'll find a use for this.

Druid 2 -- Tojanda SightSW: (

) 360o vision. Not bad.

Bard 2 -- TonguesPHB: ( ) Let's not kid ourselves: a lot of people go into

divination for forgery. This helps a lot, assuming that you get to write the
language too. Even if you don't it's still a really useful spell.
Druid 2 -- Wild InstinctsRoE: ( ) +10 insight to Listen and Spot is quite
good, but the real winner here is always keeping Dex to AC. Sneak Attack? I
think not!
Alter FortunePHBII: (
) If I didn't hate XP components so much, I'd use
this thing nonstop. A no-save, no-SR, immediate action reroll is bad enough.
Pair it with Spontaneous Divination and, well....
Arcane SightPHB: (

) Being able to see where all the magic is is pretty

Battlemagic PerceptionHoB: (
) Situational -- it'd be a lot better if it didn't
require LoE, but plenty good on a battlefield or in a large city.
Clairaudience/ClairvoyancePHB, (-): (
) This is your first location-based
scry, and it'll be quite useful until you get scry location.
UnluckSpC: (
) TsuyoshiK's Favorite Divination Spell. A third level spell. A
THIRD LEVEL SPELL, Will save, that makes the opponent reroll everything?!
This is the only directly offensive divination spell, but what a heck of a spell it
TonguesPHB, (-): (
) See if you can get it from the bard list as a 2nd. It's just
as useful here, though it goes down a bit for higher level slot usage.
Absorb MindBoVD, Corrupt: (
) So you take 2d6 WIS damage every time you
use this. So what? It's really good for getting info out of dead people when you
can't speak with dead, and you get to eat their brain!
Path of the ExaltedBoED, Sanctified: (
) In the immortal words of Admiral
Ackbar: "IT'S A TRAP!" This spell is really rather unique and would be really
good... if you could cast divinations 24 hours before using it.
Other Classes
Wu Jen 3 -- Commune with Lesser SpiritCAr: (Varies) Can actually be more
useful than any other commune spell... if spirits are around. Talk to your DM
before the game prior to using this spell.
Cleric/Oracle Domain 3 -- DivinationPHB: ( ) Oracle is mentioned here
because you can pick it up by going Divine ORacle, which is a good idea for a
lot of reasons. A much-improved Augury for a 3rd-level slot is delectable.
Cleric 3 -- Know OpponentSpC: ( ) This spell is for when the DM has thrown
a humanoid, disguised creature, or a homebrew monster at you. Knowing its
attacks can sometimes be as valuable as knowing its defenses -- though if you
want to know the latter, just cast Know Vulnerabilities and have done.
Bard 3 -- Listening CoinSpC: ( ) Would be strictly worse than Spymaster's
Coin if not for the far longer duration. As is, very useful.
Bard 3 -- ScryingPHB: (
) The spell that all other scrying spells are
measured against, at a lower level thanks to Bard. Always, ALWAYS worth it,
though it's a bit outclassed by its greater variant.
Bard 3 -- SpeechlinkCAd: (
) An annoyingly short duration for this type of
spell holds back an otherwise excellent choice.

Arcane EyePHB: ( ) Even with the short duration, an invisible, mobile sensor
that you directly control is plenty good.
Assay Spell ResistanceSpC: (
use of this spell should be self-evident. Second only to Unluck.
Identify TransgressorBoVD, Drug: Okay, listen. This spell should not be evil. It
shouldn't have the evil descriptor, and the drug and location components have
nothing to do with the spell. Why are they there? Because some idiot decided
that every spell in the BoVD HAD to be an evil spell. Therefore, we get a
perfectly innocent spell consigned to darkness forever. Talk with your DM about
getting rid of those components; if you do, it rates a (
Know VulnerabilitiesSpC: (
) At this level, just make a Knowledge check.
Higher than this, I'd argue that my character's been adventuring long enough
to hear about these things.
Locate CreaturePHB: (
) Too many ways to stop it for my taste, but it has its
uses. One of which is targting "MY f*** ing car keys that were animated by
that f*** ing mage."
ScryingPHB, (-): (

) Even a level later than the Bard, still a darn good spell.

Other Classes
Bard 4 -- Legend LorePHB: (
) If you're going to be casting it over and
over, at least don't do it from 6th level slots.
Cleric 4 -- Greater StatusBoED: ( ) Okay, first off, make sure you're not
looking at the Heroes of Battle version, 'cause that one sucks. Being able to
cast spells through the status is pretty nifty, even if they do have to be lowerlevel.
Sor/Wiz Spells
Prying EyesPHB: (
) One of my favorite spells solely because of the visual,
it's quite effective as well.
Telepathic BondPHB: (

Other Classes

) Needs moar duration, but not bad.

Cleric/Oracle Domain 5 -- CommunePHB: ( ) Like contact other place, but

without the "I'm a babbling idiot" risk. Lots of questions at a time.
Bard 5 -- Scry LocationCS: (
pair, they do.

) Just as useful as scrying. Make a great

Cleric 5 -- True SeeingPHB: ( ) Useful for ruining your DM's "a

doppelganger!" plotlines, among other things.
Sor/Wiz Spells
Analyze DweomerPHB: (

) Mass identify. Wooo. Not impressed.

Eye of StoneRoS: (
) The ability to send an invisible eye through solid
stone into a room that you're not even positive exists should not be
Eyes of the OracleDrM: ( ) A weird sort of Cerelity analogue. Generally
useful, and init bonuses are always cool.
Legend LorePHB, (-): (
high for it.

) I don't like this spell in general, and 6th is just too

Scry LocationPHB, (-): (

True SeeingPHB, (-): (

) Still brilliant, but 6th level is pushing it.

) Much less useful at 6th level.

Other Classes
Cleric 6 -- Find the PathPHB: (
with adventure plotlines.

) This is just a great way to generally muck

Bard 6 -- HindsightSpC: ( ) At this level, pretty nifty. Rather situational, but

you just became the city's #1 detective.
Bard 6 -- Greater ScryingPHB: (
) Just the 100% chance of screwing with
people via message is worth the slot to me. The extended duration is very
good, too.
Druid 6 -- Stone TellPHB: (
Sor/Wiz Spells
BrainspiderSpC: (
their brains!

) These walls CAN talk!

) Lots of telepathic fun, and you don't even have to eat

Greater Arcane SightPHB: (

) If you're wondering why this is rated so high,
let alone on the list at all, it has something to do with the fact that all the other
7th level divinations are about as powerful as vision.
Other Classes
Wu Jen 7 -- Commune with Greater SpiritCAr: (Varies) Not a bad little
spell... as long as there are lots of spirits in your campaign. Talk with your DM
pre-game if you're going to use this one.
Time Domain 7 -- Moment of PresciencePHB: (

) A level early? Yes,

Sor/Wiz Spells
Discern LocationPHB: (
) A good start to a one-two combo with another
divination spell. "My f*** ing car keys" is still a legal target, although if
Olidammara has really decided to screw you today you still won't find them.
Moment of PresciencePHB: (
makes TK happy.
Greater Prying EyesPHB: (

) +CL insight to any one of a variety of rolls

) Now your flying eyeballs have true seeing.

Other Classes
Time Domain 8 -- ForesightPHB: (
if you're not a Divine Oracle 10.

) It's a level early. Sort of worth it now

Sor/Wiz Spells
ForesightPHB, (-): (
) Time gets you it a level lower, and honestly, many of
the benefits can be found elsewhere. If you're not a Divine Oracle and you
can't get this at 8th, though, take it.
HindsightSpC, (-): (
) Oh, come on. You're telling me you can't think of better
things to do with a 9th-level slot than THIS? Works really well as a 6th-level,
Other Classes
Destiny Domain 9 -- Choose DestinyRoD: (
Seriously, though, a reroll on EVERYTHING is pretty darn good. If you're an
Incantatrix, this ain't a bad one to persist.

Treantmonk's Guide to Wizard

Spells: God's Tools - Part 4:
In this thread I will break down necromancy spells spell by spell - which are
underrated, which are overrated (All IMO - this isn't Gospel - only the Gospel
according to Treantmonk)
More threads will come - detailing spells from the various schools of magic. However,
there is no timeline (nor will I likely continue once 4E hits the shelves)
To the readers: If there's a spell you think I should look at - post it and I'll include it in
my guide - though be pre-warned - I do not guarantee I will hold the same opinion as
Sources: I use PHB, PHB II, Complete Series, and SpC (these are both the books I
own, as well as those allowed in the campaigns in which I play) - so all the spells
listed are from those sources. (these guides are not completely unselfish - I reference
them periodically with my own characters)
There are lots of gems in various other sources - but I've found there are lots of good
spells to round out your spellbook in the sources used. By all means, if you would like
to highlight a spell from another source - post it in a reply (along with the source and
the specs) for the readers to reference.

Kinds of Spells: This is how I break down the types of spells...

BC: Battlefield Control. This is the spells that involve impeding movement of your
opponents - aiding movement of your allies, or in any other way treating the world as
your own personal chessboard.
Debuff: Debuffing is anything you cast on an enemy to impede his ability
mechanically. Lowering of attributes, Blinding, Sickening, or scaring the living crap out
of. Debuffing - as the name would indicate - also includes removing any buffs your
enemy might have.
Buff: Buffing is improving the abilities of your allies mechanically. Whether it be
through giving them extra attacks, better AC, or merely providing them a flanker. The
nice thing about buffs is they likely won't involve saving throws.
Blast: A Blast is a spell that does HP damage to your opponent. Blasts are a pretty
basic part of any Wizard's toolbelt - but IMO make a poor central focus to any Wizard.
My suggestion is to cast Blast spells when you have nothing really useful to do.

Utility: These are those spells that have uses that aren't necessarily related to
combat. Often utility spells can be useful in combat - but more circumstantially.
Save or Die: These spells give you a saving throw - or you're dead (or effectively
dead). Personally, I don't like these spells - since they tend to target Fort - and are
higher level then spells which can give you the win without avoiding the fun. You are
usually better with a debuff if you like this style of spell.
Multiple Threat: A spell that covers more than one of the above at a time is a
multiple threat spell. For example - a spell that does damage as well as impede the
enemies movement would be a double threat (BC + Blast), while a spell that does
damage, impedes the movement of the enemy, gives them mechanical penalties, and
gives your allies bonuses would be a Quadruple threat (BC + Blast + Debuff + Buff).
By the way - if you know of a Quadruple threat spell - let me know!!!

Rating the spells:

After breaking down the spells, I will self-righteously give them either the Treantmonk
stamp of approval - or the stamp of the foot, oversimplifying the use of each.
: This spell's a Turkey. Not worth having in your spellbook at all.
: Not all bad, but not good enough for me to recommend
: Run of the mill. It's OK, but nothing special
: The spell is solid. I recommend it
: This spell is highly recommended
: YES!!!!!

Part 4: Necromancy

Necromancy is a school I usually drop with a specialist wizard, and my suggestion has
always been that necromancy is a good choice to drop, and it is also a good choice for
specialization depending on the style of wizard you are playing.
Necromancy is best known for debuffs, usually delivered through touch or rays, and
either have no save or target Fort. After going through the spells, this generalization
isn't bad when it comes to accuracy. Necromancy is not limited to these things, but
most spells do seem to fall in those categories.
I've always figured if you decide to make a debuffer who focuses on Rays you should
go with a necromancer, pick up split ray, and go to town. Certainly that strategy isn't a

bad one, though I was able to find a few gems that worked in different ways than the
standard Ray debuff. Certainly the non-necromancer who keeps the necromancy
school has some options.
So with no further ado these are:
Necromancy Spells you should consider for your wizard, and those you should pretend
don't exist:

Level 1:
Ray of Enfeeblement (PHB): (Debuff):
No save debuff that provides a Str
penalty of 1d6 +1 (per 2 levels) up to 1d6+5. The ranged touch can be challenging at
low levels, but this spell levels beautifully, so you still want to be using it at mid level.
Cause Fear (PHB): (Debuff):
Have opponent frightened for 1d4 rounds if they
fail a will save or shaken for a round if they do. Doesnt level well (up to 5 HD max)
but a decent effect at low levels.
Backbiter (SpC): (Double threat: Blast/Debuff):
Have next attack of BBEG hit
himself for full damage. 2 problems with this spell are: 1) Will save negates, 2)
Duration is 1 round/level but the spell is discharged after 1 attack. Still, this spell is
worthwhile to target a target with poor will save and huge attack or AC.
Deaths Call (CM): (Double threat: Blast/Debuff):
Spell bursts 10 feet around
caster doing 1 point of damage/level (max 5) and fatiguing those who fail a Fort save.
The 10 foot range is a problem (have to get close), the spell has enhanced effect for
swarms. Personally, if Ive got enemies or swarms in melee with me fatiguing is not
enough, however, at least the fatigue has no duration which is good at 1st level.
Spirit Worm (SpC): (Debuff):
This spell does up to 5 points of Con damage (1
damage per round per level up to 5), but the limitations are pretty severe. First, it is a
touch spell, secondly, it allows a Fort save every round the spell ends if any of those
saves are successful. So in order to do 5 Con damage the creature requires 5
missed Fort saves in a row. It wont happen, youll be very lucky to get 2.
Reaving Aura (CM): (Blast):
Swift action spell that does 1 point of damage to
creatures between -1 and -8 HP, and kills those at -9. Way to circumstantial for me
Chill Touch (PHB): (Double threat Blast/Debuff):
Touch spell that does mediocre
damage and potentially one point of str loss. Even the one use per level doesnt save
this spell.

Level 2

False Life (PHB): (Self Buff):

A 1 hr/level self buff that provides temporary HP
equal to 1d10 + 1/CL (max +10). This a a good deal that will remain a good deal for
many levels.
Ray of Weakness (SpC): (Debuff):
Ray that gives untyped -2 penalty to attacks
at speed is reduced by 10 feet with no save. Solid debuff. Note that this spell does not
state a minimum speed, which means if you cast it on something that has a speed of
10 or less (perhaps reduced by other means) then they do not move at all.
Stolen Breath (SpC): (Debuff):
Sickens an enemy with no save for 1 minute.
They can use a full round action removing the condition. Very solid debuff, and
superior to Ray of Sickness in pretty much every way.
Scare (PHB): (Debuff):
The next level of Cause Fear. Scare can effect multiple
foes up to 6HD. This is a considerable powerup from Cause Fear making this a strong
spell. It will level decently for a few levels then trail off due to the HD maximum.
Curse of Impending Blades (SpC): (Debuff):
Target takes -2 to AC, which isnt
that impressive however, the draw of this spell is that there is no to hit roll, no save,
long duration, and medium range. To be used on the super tough BBEG.
Escalating Enfeeblement (CM): (Debuff):
acts as Ray of Enfeeblement, except
if cast at someone who is fatigued, exhausted, or already suffering a penalty, damage
or drain to a physical ability in which case it does 1d10+1/CL (max +5).
Necromancers have many ways to fatigue/exhaust/drain abilities however the
wording of this spell suggests to me that it would stack with other ability penalties to
Str, at least RAI. However, by RAW it wont. I like regular Ray of Enfeeblement for the
level better I think.
Spectral Hand (PHB): (Utility):
Spectral Hand will deliver touch spells at range for
an entire combat (even long ones), but not multiples. The ability to deliver touch
spells at range is very good, but this spell will take you out of the combat for the first
round (unless you have preparation time) which is a significant drawback. This spell
will deliver spells of up to 4th level only, reducing the viability of quickened Spectral
Hands at high level.
Desiccating Bubble (SpC): (Blast):
Much like flaming sphere except does 2d4
instead of 2d6. However, one nice thing is that the damage isnt energy damage so
will bypass energy resistances.
Blindness/Deafness (PHB): (Debuff):
Blindness or deafness (deafness???) effect if
target fails a Fort save. Other than duration this spell is a joke compared to
Glitterdust which targets an area, targets a weaker save, and defeats invisibility as

Ghoul Touch (PHB): (Debuff):

This debuff provides a Fort save (lousy) and
requires a touch to deliver (lousy), one advantage is the sickened effect that can
actually debuff multiple foes, but that only occurs if the original Fort save misses.
Command Undead (PHB): (Save or lose):
The difference between Command
undead and Charm Person are this: Command undead is more circumstantial and is a
higher level spell.
Shroud of Undeath (SpC): (Utility):
Make yourself appear undead to other
undead so they wont attack you (ho hum). Cure spells do damage and inflict heals
you (potentially useful circumstantially). This spell just doesnt scream useful to me.
Ghoul Glyph (SpC): (Debuff):
Sepias snake sigil for necromancers. As with
sepias the effect is incredibly circumstantial.
Wracking Touch (SpC): (Blast):
Lousy damage from a touch attack. A
Necromancer gets little from this spell. However, for Rogues, this spell automatically
applies sneak attack damage. My next UMD rogue is definitely getting a Wracking
Touch wand.
Bonefiddle (SpC): (Double threat: Blast/Debuff):
Target takes 3d6 sonic damage
per round and a -20 to Move Silently checks. Lasts up to 1 round/level
(Concentration). Again, a successful Fort save (which is granted every round) ends the
spell. 3d6 blast that is completely negated by a Fort save is unimpressive even with
Sonic damage.
Death Armor (SpC): (Blast):
Yawn. Standard action, 1 round/level spell that
does lousy damage to those who strike you in melee with non reach weapons.
Ray of Sickness (SpC): (Debuff):
Ray spell that sickens target for 1 round/level.
Sickening is not enough of an effect to be worth the ranged touch. Compare to Stolen
breath this spell requires a to hit roll, and lasts a shorter duration, and has a shorter
range. Yuck!
Life Bolt (SpC): (Blast):
Blast spell that does moderate damage to undead
nothing to anyone else oh except for you, you take nonlethal damage (1 to 5 points
based on CL). Horrible, horrible spell. Extremely circumstantial and when that
circumstance arises its OK at best.
Spawn Screen (SpC): (Utility):
Should the subject of this spell perish over the
duration by the hands of spawn creating undead (like a wraith), you dont rise as
spawn youre just dead. Hooray!

Level 3
Ray of Exhaustion (PHB): (Debuff):
Make a ranged touch attack, and if your
opponent fails their Fort save they become exhausted (nasty condition including -6 to
Str and Dex and movement), if they make their save they are still fatigued (seminasty condition including -2 to str and dex, no running or charging). If you hit
someone who made their first save with a second ray they will be exhausted with no
save. This spell also sets up an opponent for Escalating Enfeeblement. Im a fan of
spells that hurt you even when you make your saving throw (and mettle is pretty
Curse of Impeding Blades, Mass (SpC): (Debuff):
Take the decent Curse of
Impending Blades and have it affect enemies in a fireball sized burst. You need to be
facing multiple high AC enemies for this spell to be worthwhile but in that case, it
will be awesomeness.
Halt Undead (PHB): (Debuff):
Like Hold Person for undead except that it will
affect up to 3 undead with one casting and unintelligent undead receive no saving
throw. Definitely a solid spell in any campaign where undead are moderately common.
Undead Torch (SpC): (Buff):
1 undead/level does 2d6 extra damage to living
targets for 1 round/level. If the undead creature is destroyed living creatures
moving through that space take 2d6 damage for the duration as well. Im not a big
fan of animate dead necromancers but this is a pretty solid buff for a bunch of
Skull Watch (SpC): (Utility):
A permanent Alarm spell. I question whether the
Skull can be moved or not. If it can, this could be a very useful single-cast utility spell.
If not, then I would stick with Alarm.
Vampiric Touch (PHB): (Double threat Blast/Self Buff):
Touch your enemy and
they take damage (1d6/2 CL, max 10d6) and you receive temporary HP equal to the
damage for 1 hour. There is no save, but the damage isnt very good and it must be
delivered by touch. Unless you have Sneak Attack or some other method to
significantly improve the damage I dont really see the point.
Disrupt Undead, Greater (SpC): (Blast):
Take a cantrip and make it do a bit
more damage and you have Disrupt Undead, Greater. Undead take 1d8/level (max
10d8) from a Ray. The damage is decent for a 3rd level blast, but it is circumstantial.
Healing Touch (SpC): (Buff):
Heal up to 1d6/2 CL with a touch. The drawback is
you take that damage yourself. Leave healing to the Cleric, Druid or Bard...really.
Junglerazer (SpC): (Blast):
1d10/level (max 10) damage to Fey, Vermin, Plants
and Animals in 120 line. Like Greater Disrupt Undead, the blast damage is solid for

the level, but the targets are circumstantial.

Mind Poison (SpC): (Debuff):
Touch spell does 1d10 Wis damage now and
another 1d10 in one minute. Heres the large drawbacks: Its a touch spell, victim gets
a Fort save for each to negate. If you are using a 3rd level debuff that targets Fort, it
better affect several targets to play the odds (ie stinking cloud). The DC is 10+Ability
mod+1/2 CL. This will likely result in a similar DC to other 3rd level spells when you
get this spell but it will level with you. However, when you target fort on a single
target, you are playing with fire. This spell will burn you.
Spider Poison (SpC): (Debuff):
Like Mind poison except targets Str (and only
does 1d6 damage). DC works in the same way. This spell should be avoided for the
same reason.
Prickling torment (CM): (Debuff):
Sucks. Target makes Fort save or suffers a
mediocre debuff (technically blast too, but I hesitate to give such crap the title dual
threat). Terrible.

Level 4
Enervation (PHB): (Debuff):
A highly touted spell that is likely worth its
reputation. Hit the opponent with a Ranged touch and they take 1d4 negative levels
with no save. Negative levels give you minuses on pretty much everything, including
saving throws. Keep in mind that a single hit with this spell is a mild (if wide ranging)
debuff, not a total enemy destroyer. Sometimes the way this spell is described it is
easy to forget that a strong opponent hit with this spell is still tough - just less so.
However, the effects are wide reaching which adds versatility to to debuff, and also,
the effects stack, making this a strong Split Ray candidate.
Fear (PHB): (Debuff):
The next step up from Scare this time a Cone of 30ft is
targeted (which is a significant step down from Scare), and there is no HD limit. Like
the other fear spells, this spell is solid.
Burning Blood (SpC): (Double threat Blast/Debuff):
Target a single creature, for
1 round/level they make a Fort save. Any round in which they fail their Fort save they
take 1d8 fire and acid damage, and they can only take a move action. Making your
save doesnt end the spell. I love spells that keep screwing your enemies for rounds
after the spell is cast. If making your save once ended this spell it would ruin it.
Fortunately, thats not the case.
Animate Dead (PHB): (Utility):
Create Zombies and Skeletons. Zombies and
Skeletons pretty much suck, but they can block squares in front of you. They however
are pretty squishy for the 25gp/HD price you pay to create them. If you go down this
route, be prepared to replace destroyed undead very regularly.

Finger of agony (CM): (Double threat Blast/Debuff):

For 3 rounds the creature
takes 3d6 damage and is nauseated. On a successful Fort save the damage is halved
and the condition reduced to sickened. Not a terrible spell, but probably too high a
level for the effect.
Horrid Sickness (CM): (Debuff):
Multiple targets are nauseated if they fail their
Fort save for 1 round/level. After the first round, a second save can reduce the effect
to sickened (move action for a chance at a save you do get a move when
nauseated). More precise than Stinking Cloud with a somewhat lessened effect. This
should probably be an equal level to the aforementioned.
Bestow Curse (PHB): (Debuff):
Touch spell that targets Will or you take a
sizeable penalty to any number of things chosen by the caster. The Will Negates, and
Creature Touched parts are a big problem.
Contagion (PHB): (Debuff):
Make a touch attack and the opponent fails a Fort
save (notice two problems with the previous sentence? Me too.) and the opponent is
struck with a disease of the casters choice which will cause some mild attribute
damage. The disease carries on should you actually cast this on someone you dont
intend to kill in the short term.
Touch of Years (CM): (Debuff):
Basically another form of Contagion requiring
a failed Fort save and a successful Touch attack. The ability drain is a bit higher than
Contagion, but the same lousy parameters apply (touch, fort save negates). Yuck.
Seed of Undeath (CM): (Utility):
Ho Hum. A limited way to increase the HD limit
of controlled undead (by your HD), but more difficult to set up (must be cast on target
as a full round spell before their death). If you are huge into raising undead, this is a
no-brainer even if not overly potent. For everyone else this is inferior to Animate
Dead in every way (including a 1 day/level duration).

Level 5
Spiritwall (SpC): (Triple threat Blast/BC/Debuff):
Cast a dome around
your enemies and have them make a will save or flee for 1d4 rounds (through
the wall) then they will take 1d10 damage and Fort save or take a negative
level. The wall cannot be seen through provides cover, and blocks line of
effect. You can also have the dome around yourself (and allies) and have the
affect focused outwards or you can just make a wall and have the affect
focused out the side of your choice. Versatile, triple threat, oh yeah...
Magic Jar (PHB): ( or die?):
Cast this spell and put your
soul into a gem, then as a full round action, possess one of your foes (Will
save negates) and have him attack his buddies. Then when your host dies, do

it again, and again you get the picture. One possible scenario is you cast the
spell early have your familiar sneak the gem into the middle of a horde of
baddies and slaughter them all without them understanding what is
happening. Yes this is a good spell.
Channelled Lifetheft (CM): (Double Threat Blast/Debuff):
I like the
Channelled spells, and this one is particularly nice. The highlights are this:
As a swift action you can fatigue a foe in Close range, as well as grant
yourself 5 temporary HP with no save. As a Full Round action you can exhaust
the foe, do 5d4 damage, and grant yourself temporary HP equal to 10 +
damage dealt. Ranged debuffs with no save or to hit roll are wonderful,
especially if you add versatility of casting time.
Nights Caress (SpC): (Dual threat Debuff/Blast):
A touch spell that
targets Fort (ouch). Does 1d6 damage per level (max 15d6) regardless of
save. If save is failed, they also take 1d6+2 Con damage (which is huge if
they fail). The damage being resistant to the save gives you a decent
consolation prize when your target makes their save. However, if they fail
once chances are good that they will fail if you followup with another the
following round since their Con was damaged previously. Im not a touch spell
fan but if you are this is one of the best.
Touch of Vecna (CM): (Triple threat: Blast/Debuff/Save or die):
If target
makes their Fort save they take 1d8+1 per CL (max +10) damage (sucks)
and is shaken for 1 round (sucks), if they fail their save they are paralyzed
permanently (basically dead). So a touch save or die, that deals a minor
debuff and blast on a failed save. Not worth it overall.

Wrack (SpC): (Debuff):

Simple save or lose that targets Fort.
Unfortunately, since it targets Fort it likely wont work. If it does though, the
opponent is really screwed, prone, blinded and helpless for 1 round/level +
3d10 minutes.
Symbol of Pain (PHB): (Debuff):
Due to the casting times and that they
are triggered spells, the symbol spells are all circumstantial. It also allows a
save to negate at has a 1,000gp material component. Except in the rare
circumstance where this spell is passable, normally it isnt worth it.
Waves of Fatigue (PHB): (Debuff):
Fatigue everything in a 30 cone with
no save. Yes, this spell is level 5, yes, Ray of Exhaustion is level 3 and
fatigues your foe if they save and exhausts them if they dont. Except now
you potentially affect multiple targets but have no chance of exhausting your
foes. Not worth it, even with no save.

Graymantle (SpC): (Debuff):

Prevent target from healing or recovering
ability damage for the duration of the spell (1 round/level) unless it makes a
Fort save. When it makes its Fort save you wasted your spell slot and your
Cryptwardens Grasp (CM): (Debuff)
Grant your foe mummy rot on a
successful touch attack and failed Fort save. Yawn...another spell that
requires touch and provides a strong save to negate.
Miasma of Entropy (SpC): (Utility):
Rot a bunch of wood. Yeah,
whoopee! Like shatter limited to destroying useless crap. The spell description
indicates a Fort save for half, what of rotting would be is not named in
the spell description. Who cares? Lousy spell.
Blight (PHB): (Blast):
Kill a plant or do moderate damage to a plant
creature with a touch attack. Total garbage for the level.
Death Throes (SpC): (WTF? ):
Dont know what to call this spell
maybe a dual threat self debuff/blast? If you die, you explode doing 1d8/level
damage in a 30 radius. You cannot be raised or resurrected, but lets face it,
your party wouldnt want to resurrect you after you screw them with this.
Likely theyll dance on your grave (if they are alive to do so). This spell makes
garbage seem like gourmet fare. I would go so far as to say this spell might
be the worst in the game of any school of any level. Not worth a cantrip.

Level 6
Opalescent Glare (SpC): (Debuff)(Not rated since I'm convinced I'm missing
something) Im clearly reading this wrong or its been errated. Let me know!
(Otherwise it is so broken you should never use it) The way I read this is that you give
yourself a permanent (apparently) gaze attack that kills evil creatures of 5hd or less
(fear for 2d10 if they make a will save). Non-evil creatures and evil creatures of more
than 5HD make a Will save or suffer the fear effect. The range is 60 feet. If this is a
single round thing it is an OK spell anyways.
Contagion, Mass (SpC): (Debuff):
Take the two crippling features of Contagion
and remove one (touch attack) and keep the other (Targets Fort) but make it cover
multiple opponents. This spell is now worthwhile as a combat debuff since with
multiple targets some Fort saves will be missed.
Fleshshiver (SpC): (double threat Debuff/Blast):
In the first round the target
makes a Fort save or is stunned for the round. If their HD is equal or less than your
CL they are stunned with no save (nice). On the following round they make a second
Fort save (regardless of first round save result) and if they fail they take 1d6/level

(max 15d6) damage and are nauseated for 1d4+2 rounds. Targeting Fort is weak
but the target must make 2 saves which redeems this spell nicely. Solid debuff.
Ray of Entropy (SpC): (Debuff):
On a successful ranged touch, your opponent
takes a -4 penalty to Str, Dex and Con for the duration of the spell. For the record, a
Maximized, Empowered Ray of enfeeblement would be the same level and cause a -14
penalty to Str. However, this spell could be followed up by an escalating enfeeblement
which might be a decent option if you like Rays.
Incorporeal Nova (SpC): (Save or die):
Save or die that targets Will. Affects
1d4/CL (max 20 HD) worth of creatures which must be incorporeal or gaseous. This
spell is highly circumstantial but could be useful with several weaker incorporeal
Spectral Touch (SpC): (Double threat Debuff/Self buff):
For 1 round/level you
can make a touch attack, which, if successful, grants you 5 temporary HD, and causes
the target (if they fail a Fort save) a negative level. Not nearly enough to warrant
touch attacks. However if you cast this and use it on helpless prisoners (you are
such a jerk) then you could potentially gain 5 x CL in temporary HP for an hour.
Imperious Glare (SpC): (Debuff):
1 creature/level (no which more than 30
apart) make Will saves or cower for 1 round/level. This spell requires you have a
frightful presence ability (you can set it up with Aura of Terror spell). The requirement
reduces this spell from very strong to slightly weak. (2 6th level spells to set up one
Aura of terror (SpC): (Debuff):
Cast on yourself (standard action), grants a 30
radius emanation centered on you. Whenever you charge or attack (charge or attack?
WTF???) Creatures with HD equal or less than your CL make a Will save or are
shaken. This spell is total garbage unless used to set up Imperious Glare, in which
case it is only slightly subpar.
Create Undead (PHB): (Utility):
Slightly improved Animate Dead spell for double
the material cost. Honestly, by the level you can cast this spell I question the
usefulness of a ghoul...
Eyebite (PHB): (Debuff):
For 1 round/3 CL you can use this spell to debuff an
enemy in close range (you will probably sicken them) but they get a Fort save to
negate. The multiple uses is a nice feature, but the debuff isnt all that impressive and
the Fort save to negate is a killer.
Symbol of fear (PHB): (Utility):

See symbol of pain above.

Undeath to death (PHB): (Save or die):

same spell, but more circumstantial.

Circle of death for undead. Basically the

Revive Undead (SpC): (Utility):

Basically Raise Dead for undead with all the
same drawbacks and limitations. Unless you have party members that are undead
this is not worth it.
Circle of death (PHB): (Save or die):
Kill 1d4 hd/CL of creatures (Max HD 8) in a
40 radius burst. Creatures get a Fort save to negate and lowest HD creatures are
affected first. This can be used to thin a large crowd of lesser enemies but in most
battles will be less than impressive. Oh yeah, 500gp per casting.
Ghoul Gauntlet (SpC): (Save or die):
Touch save or die that targets Fort yuck.
Furthermore the dying process is gradual, so the target can fight on in the
meantime (they take 3d6 damage/round until dead). After they die you get a ghoul.

Level 7
Waves of Exhaustion (PHB): (Debuff):
Like cone of fatigue except the
creatures are exhausted (nice increase) and the cone is 60 long (very nice). So nasty
debuff over large area with no save. Yep, this is nice.
Avasculate (SpC): (Dual threat: Blast/Debuff):
You must make a ranged touch
attack, and if it hits, the opponent is reduced to its current HP with no save (not big
on blasts but thats very good), and it makes a Fort save or is stunned for a round
(yawn). One of the better blast spells around.
Evil Glare (SpC): (Debuff):
Nice. For 1 round/level you get an effect that
paralyzes a target for 1d8 rounds (on a failed Will save). Assuming you are a 13th
level caster thats 13 spell effects for the price of one. The big restriction is that you
cant target the same creature twice so only use this in big battles.
Kiss of the Vampire (SpC): (Self buff)
Basically you turn yourself into a vampire
for 1 round/level. You get DR 10/magic, enervation (touch), vampiric touch (touch),
charm person and gaseous form. As undead you can be turned, heal from negative
energy etc. For a Gish build this might be OK but touch attacks make me nervous.
Its unclear whether the abilities granted would work with Spectral Hand if so, you
get an enervation spell 1 round for the duration, which is pretty decent.
Control Undead (PHB): (Save or die...basically):
Mass Dominate Person for
undead but with a crappy duration. Once again, this is circumstantial (undead only),
but against multiple undead foes this should end the fight if you have a good DC.
Necrotic Curse (CM): (Utility):
Turns positive energy into negative energy in a 20
ft radius emanation for 1 hr/level. This could be devastating to anyone healing injured
comrades in the area, but remains quite circumstantial. Nevertheless, at super-high
levels, when heal spells are thrown around like candy, this could be devastating to an
unsuspecting opponent. I recommend one of the skill tricks that will prevent spellcraft

rolls to know what you cast.

Barghests Feast (SpC): (Utility):
Prevent resurrection of a corpse by destroying
it utterly for 5000gp! Hugely circumstantial, though lower level than imprisonment I
suppose (though easier to circumvent).
Finger of Death (PHB): (Save or die):
The most basic save or die possible.
Opponent in close range makes a Fort save, if they succeed, they take minor damage,
if they fail, they die. If you like save or dies, this is the staple. For me, save or die is
not my thing.
Symbol of Weakness (PHB):

See symbol of pain above.

Arrow of Bone (SpC): (Save or Die):

So you cast this on a projectile or thrown
weapon which then gets a +4 enhancement bonus for one attack (yawn), costs 50gp
material component (I hate those, even though 50gp isnt much for the level), and
creates a save (Fort) or die if it hits. The only advantage of this spell that I can see is
with a 1 hr/level duration, you can have other party members launch these while you
cast other spells in combat.
Energy Ebb (SpC): (Debuff):
Supposedly a one-up on Enervation, but what a
disappointment. Hit the target with a Ray and they gain one negative level. On
followup rounds (one per level) the target makes a Fort save or takes another
negative level. One successful Fort save ends the effect. So basically, expect one or
maybe 2 negative levels from this spell.
Sword of Darkness (SpC): (Debuff):
I have the same problem with this that I
have with Sword of Deception (see evocation guide). The Base to hit is your CL (no
attribute bonuses, or any other to hit bonuses) and you have to make a hit against
the opponents full AC (you cant even flank) so expect to miss fairly consistently. If
you could hit consistently this spell would be pretty good however instead it
Retributive Enervation (CM): (Debuff):
Like Abjuration all over again. A
basically defensive spell that is a self buff only, standard action casting, and one
round/level. Skip it.
Seed of Undeath, Greater (CM): (Utility):
Ugh! I question the greater
designation of this spell that requires a 5000gp material component to make it an
area spell rather than targeted. Really not worth it, even for someone concentrating
on Undead horde creations.

Level 8
Avascular Mass (SpC): (Triple threat Blast/Debuff/BC):

Basically this

spell is avasculate (see level 7 spells) with a quickened/heightened web

attached. You strike the original target and a web of writhing blood vessels
(cool visual) attach to opposing points and entangle those within (like a web).
The secondary effect lasts one round per level. Is attaching what is in effect a
2nd level spell to a 7th level spell make it worth it as an 8th level spell? I
would say circumstantially yes, though many creatures will have freedom of
movement or teleportation options by this level.
Blackfire (SpC): (Debuff):
Hit opponent with Ray and they Make Fort
save every round or lose 1d3 Con and are nauseated. If they make their save
they are only sickened that round. Those adjacent to victim make Ref saves
or the spell effect spreads to them. It is the spreading feature that makes this
spell decent.
Horrid Wilting (PHB): (Blast):
As Ive made clear before, Im not big on
single threat blasts (as this is), but as far as single threat blasts go this is
the best you can get. Nearly limitless foes can be struck, it maxes at 20d6, it
wont hit your allies, and it strikes long range, and isnt energy damage.
Basically its everything you could want from a single threat blast (except
perhaps low level!). Fort save for half will likely be made by many, but at least
mettle is rare.
Veil of Undeath (SpC): (Self Buff):
Give yourself the various
immunities of the undead for 10 min/level. Immunity to mind affecting spells
is childs play by this level, but immunity to level drain, ability drain, paralysis,
fatigue, exhaustion, death from massive damage, critical hits, stunning, death
effects it adds up. A decent self buff even for the level.
Clone (PHB): (Utility):
Resurrection for Wizards. Needs to be prepared
ahead of time, otherwise it works alot like resurrection (including the negative
level) except its a bit cheaper (and a higher level spell). Does not hold a
candle to Greater Resurrection. There may be some circumstantial advantages
to the way the spell works (for example, it gets you out of harms way right
away) as well as some disadvantages.
Create Greater Undead (PHB): (Utility):
As the other create undead
spells except now you have a variety of incorporeal creatures available. For
utility purposes, such a creature could be handy, though most wont be much
use in combat at this point.
Symbol of death (PHB):

see the other symbol spells.

Heart of Stone (SpC): (Buff):

Buff yourself for a year with a minor DR
and resistances (nothing earth shattering here) costs 500 xp and 5000 gp.
The bonuses are too small to be worth much, they will be easily

overshadowed by other self buffs despite the impressive duration on this.

Greater Bestow Curse (SpC): (Debuff):
Like Bestow Curse except the
penalties are greater. The things that actually needed improved with Bestow
Curse (Touch attack, Will negates) are not. Why this is a level 8 spell is
beyond me.
Skeletal Guard (SpC): (Utility):
Could be called Animate Dead, Mass.
You make lots of human warrior skeletons with one standard action. Wow, and
at this level (15th and up) human warrior skeletons are SO impressive too!
Your enemies will shudder, Dont sick the skeletons on me...please!!!!

Level 9
Wail of the Banshee (PHB): (Save or die):
Creatures in a 40 foot radius spread
(max 1 per level) make a Fort save or die. Save or die isnt my thing, but mass save
or die I'll say is worth 9th level designation.
Enervating Breath (SpC): (Debuff):
Basically a double strength enervation
attached to your breath weapon. Of course you need a breath weapon for this to be of
any use to you, if you have one, it is just better than energy drain due to the mass
Soul Bind (PHB): (Utility):
Like imprisonment for Necromancy except the subject
must already be dead. This spell basically prevents resurrection which may be
completely useless or a godsend depending on your DMs style. In the majority of my
campaigns, it would tend towards the useless end of the spectrum.
Astral Projection (PHB): (Utility):
Basically this is a Plane shift spell except that:
a) the travel is not instantaneous, and b) if you die you return to your own body fit
as a fiddle. This spell has been 9th level right since 1E, and since 1E Ive been unable
to reason why it remains a 9th level spell. Seems underpowered to me for the level.
Energy Drain (PHB): (Debuff):
Like enervation except it does 2d4 negative levels
(rather than 1d4) and the effect lasts longer (which likely will never come into play).
Keep in mind a split ray enervation would be only level 6, that makes this spell a total
turkey. When we reach 9th level spells the standard is much higher than this.
Plague of Undead (SpC): (Utility):
Mass animate dead except the zombies or
skeletons have maximum HP for their HD, yes, I said zombies and skeletons with a
9th level spell. Basically, you will raise a creature that will be CR 8 if you are lucky.
Greater Planar Binding can get you a Pit Fiend by the way, and its level 8.

Final Thoughts: Yep, necromancy is good at debuffing. Yep, not many BC's or Buffs

there (though there are some - even some good ones). I find that necromancy swells
around the middle (Check out level 5 - Three spells of YES!) - but is sparce at the
ends (not a single necromancy 9th level spell I think is great, and at first level, Ray of
enfeeblement is the only spell worth getting excited over).
I'm just not sure I would specialize in necromancy now except as a flavor thing. Very
narrow field - and not alot of spells (I pretty much included every necromancy spell in
this guide) - and lots of turkeys.
If you are going with Unseen Seer or Arcane trickster (Glass cannon) this is definitely
a school to keep though.

Treantmonk's Guide to Wizard

Spells: God's Tools - Part 5:
In this thread I will break down conjuration spells spell by spell - which are
underrated, which are overrated (All IMO - this isn't Gospel - only the Gospel
according to Treantmonk)
There is already a guide to conjurers - that breaks down the school by spells (as well
as feats, skills, Prc's etc.) It is a good guide worthy of your attention - but the
repetition here is largely to satisfy my format for school breakdown. Hey - and a bit of
repetition is good right? (never mind a second opinion)
More threads will come - detailing spells from the various schools of magic. However,
there is no timeline (nor will I likely continue once 4E hits the shelves). At this time I
still plan an illusion and enchantment guide (transmuation and divination having been
completed by other board members). Expect each of those guides to be reasonably
small (which I will explain)
To the readers: If there's a spell you think I should look at - post it and I'll include it in
my guide - though be pre-warned - I do not guarantee I will hold the same opinion as
Sources: I use PHB, PHB II, Complete Series, and SpC (these are both the books I
own, as well as those allowed in the campaigns in which I play) - so all the spells
listed are from those sources. (these guides are not completely unselfish - I reference
them periodically with my own characters)
There are lots of gems in various other sources - but I've found there are lots of good
spells to round out your spellbook in the sources used. By all means, if you would like
to highlight a spell from another source - post it in a reply (along with the source and

the specs) for the readers to reference.

Kinds of Spells: This is how I break down the types of spells...

Summoning: This is a new category of spells that is more prevalent for
conjuration. A Summoning could refer to a spell with the Summoning subtype or
the Calling subtype but in either case will call a creature to do your bidding.
Summoned creatures can be used for attack (blast), grapple (debuff), Blocking the
enemy (BC), aiding another (Buff), or for SLA or skills (Utility). However, they often
require a full round action to summon, and with that versatility comes reduced
effectiveness at each of those tasks. I like summoning because versatility is power
however, consider carefully, because a summons not up to the task you give them is a
wasted spell.
BC: Battlefield Control. This is the spells that involve impeding movement of your
opponents - aiding movement of your allies, or in any other way treating the world as
your own personal chessboard.
Debuff: Debuffing is anything you cast on an enemy to impede his ability
mechanically. Lowering of attributes, Blinding, Sickening, or scaring the living crap out
of. Debuffing - as the name would indicate - also includes removing any buffs your
enemy might have.
Buff: Buffing is improving the abilities of your allies mechanically. Whether it be
through giving them extra attacks, better AC, or merely providing them a flanker. The
nice thing about buffs is they likely won't involve saving throws.
Blast: A Blast is a spell that does HP damage to your opponent. Blasts are a pretty
basic part of any Wizard's toolbelt - but IMO make a poor central focus to any Wizard.
My suggestion is to cast Blast spells when you have nothing really useful to do.
Utility: These are those spells that have uses that aren't necessarily related to
combat. Often utility spells can be useful in combat - but more circumstantially.
Save or Die: These spells give you a saving throw - or you're dead (or effectively
dead). Personally, I don't like these spells - since they tend to target Fort - and are
higher level then spells which can give you the win without avoiding the fun. You are
usually better with a debuff if you like this style of spell.
Multiple Threat: A spell that covers more than one of the above at a time is a
multiple threat spell. For example - a spell that does damage as well as impede the
enemies movement would be a double threat (BC + Blast), while a spell that does
damage, impedes the movement of the enemy, gives them mechanical penalties, and
gives your allies bonuses would be a Quadruple threat (BC + Blast + Debuff + Buff).
By the way - if you know of a Quadruple threat spell - let me know!!!

Rating the spells:

After breaking down the spells, I will self-righteously give them either the Treantmonk
stamp of approval - or the stamp of the foot, oversimplifying the use of each.
: This spell's a Turkey. Not worth having in your spellbook at all.
: Not all bad, but not good enough for me to recommend
: Run of the mill. It's OK, but nothing special
: The spell is solid. I recommend it
: This spell is highly recommended
: YES!!!!!

Part 5: Conjuration

Conjuration is one of the two schools they say: "Never drop", but why? Well, there are
2 answers. First reason is Battlefield control. Conjuration is your best school for this
wizard pursuit. Second reason is the pure quantity of spells. Only Transmutation
boasts more spells overall.
Is Conjuration the best school?
This is a tough question to answer but an easy one to simplify. The simple question is
this: Which is better, Transmutation or Conjuration? Once youve answered that
question you know what the most powerful school is.
My conclusion is this: it depends. Yes, I realize that is a wishy-washy answer so let
me qualify it with some more provocative answers for which Im better known.
From spell levels 1-3, Conjuration is the best. Transmuation comes in a strong second
but from those levels Conjuration sees an unparalleled strength in Battlefield control
and debuffs (with a couple more minor buffs and utility thrown in). Transmutation just
doesnt measure up IMO.

Spell level 4 is more complicated. Conjuration has some very good spells, but
Transmutation has the ever-broken polymorph. However, being that I dont condone
the use of the spell that WotC gave up trying to fix once you take polymorph out of
the equation Im still putting conjuration on top.
Spell levels 5 and 6 are tough. Both schools are very strong in these levels and I
would consider it a toss up.
Spell levels 7 and 8 I believe Conjuration is still a good school but now takes a back
seat to Transmutation, that is really coming into its own. The big thing here is that
Battlefield Controls are starting to become obsolete. Enemies more and more often
have multiple movements, teleportation, and freedom of movement options. This
severely weakens the conjuration school that relies on these spells for the majority of
its strength.
Spell level 9 is a total wipeout. Transmutation sees its apex of power, while
conjuration is at its all time low. I would not even rank conjuration 2nd best at this
level (though not the worst by any means).
So it depends. For me, most of the campaigns I play in begin at low level and will
end anywhere between mid level to high level. Therefore, more often than not Im
playing a character between levels 1 and 15. For me, that means Conjuration is the
best choice. However, if you find yourself playing more high level games (or epic
play), then you should consider transmutation as your best choice.
So with no further ado these are:
Conjuration Spells you should consider for your wizard, and those you should pretend
don't exist:

Level 1:
Grease (PHB): (BC):
Close range opponents in a 10 square make Ref saves or
fall prone. Furthermore, they must make Balance checks to get up, or to move (even
if Ref is made).
Benign Transposition (SpC): (BC):
Close range spell that teleports 2 allies
switching their position. This spell does not have the Must be on the ground
restriction of baleful transposition so you can cast this on the ally about to be
swallowed whole and the summoned dire rat. Heh heh. It also can be used to get you
out of a sticky situation, replacing you with the big stupid fighter. (check with DM on
legality - IMO it is OK by RAW but there may be different view on their part)
Wall of Smoke (SpC): (BC):
Do not be deceived by the name. This wall is 10
thick and you can place it over your enemies. It is your fog spell of choice for 1st
level spells since the wall also includes a Fort save or be nauseated for a round as an
added bonus.

Resinous Tar (CM): (BC):

This spell is the anti-grease spell creating a similar
area of stickiness. Overall, at low levels, grease is better because of the chance to
fall prone. However, Resinous tar doubles movement rates through it with no save
which is nice. Also, casting this on a creatures clothing makes them more vulnerable
to grapple attempts (-5 to resist or escape grapple or -5 to escape pin)
Mage Armor (PHB): (Buff):
One hour/level +4 armor bonus. This spell makes
Braciers of Armor completely obsolete. The +4 can be improved with PrC dips
(Paragnostic apostle is the easiest for a +6).
Mount (PHB): (Utility):
Summoning spell that is a standard action and 1
hr/level. The obvious use of this spell is for travel, however, it is also useful as a quick
getaway, or even to throw 4 squares of meat between you and BBEG (The horse wont
fight but it does take up space).
Blockade (CS): (BC):
Swift action spell that puts a 5x5x5 block of wood in
close range for 3 rounds. The effect isnt that impressive but can block charges,
prevent flanking, block line of effect and other small controls. For a swift casting, it
has its uses.
Hail of Stone (SpC): (Blast):
5 radius blast that does 1d4 dam/level (max
5d4). The downside is that it is a full round casting and that it is 5gp per casting. The
good point is that it grants no save. Area blasts with no save are pretty good for first
Summon Monster I (PHB): (Summoning):
The combat applications for this
spell are extremely limited. 1 round/level duration and full round casting limit this
spell for combat, beyond that you can get a small monstrous spider to entangle one
medium sized opponent per round on a ranged touch and thats pretty much it
(unless you are aquatic celestial dolphins are very tough for the level). However, for
utility this is a great spell. Use celestial monkeys to trigger possible traps, use
Dolphins for 100 blindsight, use spiders for tremorsense.
Unseen Servant (PHB): (Utility):
1 hour/level telekinisis. Use it to carry your
stuff and hand it to you at need. Can completely replace Tensers floating disk.

Level 2
Web (PHB): (BC):
This spells only downside is the requiring of opposite anchor
points otherwise it rocks. There is a Ref saving throw, but succeeding that saving
throw does you almost no good at all. You remain entangled facing concealment all
around, and severely hindered movement. This spell remains near-broken even at mid
levels. Yes I even like web more than glitterdust.

Glitterdust (PHB): (Debuff):

Youve all heard how great this spell is. 10 spread
that blinds all within, outlines invisible creatures and creates a -40 penalty to hide
checks. A successful will save negates the blindness. Yes this is awesome.

Create Magic Tattoo (SpC): (Buff):

This creates a 24 hour buff on a creature
touched. The buffs available are level dependant. Most are pretty minor, and likely
eclipsed by your magic items (small resistance bonuses to saves, enhancement
bonuses to attributes, deflection bonuses to AC). The superstar here is the +1 CL buff
(available at CL 13). Also note that there is no reason you cant buff some secondary
attributes that you might not normally buy items for. Note that you must have a
relevant craft skill to use this spell, with a DC check based on the level of buff used,
also note that you can have a maximum of 3 magic tattoos at a time. However,
despite that, this is an excellent buff that levels well. However, there is a 100 gp
material cost - I recommend for the one time splurge of an eternal wand to pay up
front. Otherwise - make sure to use your lesser extend rod!
Fog Cloud (PHB): (BC):
20 burst that grants concealment, totally messes up
enemy archers (no save no SR). The range is decent (Med), as is the duration (10
min/level). There are going to be countless Fog spells available but the original
has a beautiful simplicity.
Cloud of Bewilderment (SpC): (Debuff/BC):
10 spread nauseates those within
(on failed fort save) until they leave the cloud at which point they are still nauseated
for 1d4+1 rounds afterwards. The cloud also offers concealment. This is basically
stinking cloud, mini. Decent spell but the area is small (yes it can be shaped
Dimension Hop (PHB II): (BC):
Teleport the subject of the spell up to 5 per 2
CLs. Will negates, so this is best used on an ally as a short range dimension door. The
caster can also teleport themselves a short distance with this spell as well. Range is
Baleful Transposition (SpC): (BC):
Have 2 subjects switch place. The subjects
can be friendly or unfriendly (or you). There are some downsides of this spell
compared to benign transposition though. The subjects must both be connected (via
the ground usually) and a will save by any of the subjects negates this spell. Overall,
Im less impressed with this spell than benign transposition but it still has value to
bring squishy bad guy up close, while sending a Big Stupid Fighter into the midst of
the enemy.
Summon Monster II (PHB): (Summoning):
Not impressive for combat, and no
better for utility than SM I. For most wizards, I suggest skipping this inferior

Melfs Acid Arrow (PHB): (Blast):

I do not like this spell, no it doesnt give a
save or SR, but it is a single threat blast that does unimpressive damage extended out
over rounds. Even a 5 acid resistance makes this spell completely worthless.

Level 3
Sleet Storm (PHB): (BC):
This spell has a 1 round/level duration but has
many improvements over Fog Cloud as a BC spell. First, vision is completely blocked
within (instead of 5). Secondly, the range is long. Thirdly, its HUGE (40 radius).
Fourthly, it hinders movement. Finally it cant be dispersed with a gust of wind. Very
solid BC.
Dimension Step (PHBII): (BC):
Do you enjoy chess? If so you will love this
spell rearrange your pieces to create the best battlefield possible. Give multiple
allies a short range teleport to flank foes evade enemy battlefield controls escape
grapples whatever.
Stinking Cloud (PHB): (Debuff/BC):
As cloud of Bewilderment but 20 radius
spread. That is a vastly improved area making this a very solid spell. The Fort save
negation means that unless you can target multiple weaker opponents with this you
shouldnt bother.
Summon Monster III (PHB): (Summon):
One of the best combat-based
summoning. You want to summon either the Celestial Bison or the Fiendish Ape.
These two summons are very solid for the level of spell good HP, decent To Hit, Nice
damage. If mixing with Haste the Bison is the better summons, otherwise I lean
towards the ape for the extra attacks. Note that the Fiendish Dire Bat is large enough
to carry a rider which can give a short duration flight.
Phantom Steed (PHB): (Summoning):
1 hour/level summons that carries you
at 20/CL with 240 maximum (yes you read correctly it is FAST). As your CL
increases, so does the movement options of the steed right up to unlimited flight at
CL 14. Yes thats 240 flight for 1 hour/level. The only downside is that the Phantom
Steed is rather squishy, and you best have a feather fall ready should it get blasted
while you are up high.
Mage armor, Greater (SpC): (Buff):
Like mage armor except the base armor
bonus is +6. This means that it can be easily made +8 with a one level Paragnostic
Apostle dip (which you should do). Thats a pretty good 1 hour/level armor bonus for
a wizard I must say. Good enough to make the party Monk approach not sucking.
Melfs Unicorn Arrow (PHBII): (Blast/BC):
A decent dual threat this spell
does 1d8+8 damage and bull rushes the target with a DC 21 to resist. You get
additional arrows for every 3 levels over 5th (up to 5 arrows). Decent dual threat
very evocation in its flavour (dual threat damage push backwards)

Caustic Smoke (CM): (BC/Debuff/Blast):

Barely a blast (1d6 damage), this
simulates a Fog Cloud, but those within make a Fort save or suffer a -5 spot/search
and to hit rolls (we dont really care about the spot and search but -5 to hit is a
fantastic debuff). This lasts for 2 rounds after they leave the smoke. Furthermore
anyone who takes acid damage from any other effect (acid breath?) while in the cloud
makes a Fort save or is blinded for a round. Solid multi-threat spell for the level. The
5 round duration is sufficient.
Grasping wall (CS): (Debuff):
A wall adjacent to your enemies sprouts hands
that entangle them unless they make a Ref save. In most ways this spell is inferior to
Web which entangles even those who make their Ref save, however a couple of
advantages here: 1) You do not need the anchor points that web needs, 2) Your allies
are not hindered by this spell. These advantages make this a not bad spell
(entanglement is a decent debuff)
Bands of Steel (SpC): (BC):
Opponent makes a Ref save or they are
immobilized. Im not big on single target spells that are negated with a successful
save, but the Ref being targeted makes this spell decent. Note that if a target
becomes immobilized, they can use a Full Round Action to attempt to break free
(which still gets them out of your hair for a full round at least not bad). Edit: Please
note that creatures over medium size are not affected by this spell.
Scattering Trap (PHBII): (BC):
A very interesting spell trap 1 5 square per 2
CLs with a teleportation trap If anyone enters the square they make a Ref save or
are teleported 1d6 squares in a random direction. This can totally mess up enemy
tactics and the multiple spell effects is a nice feature.
Corpse Candle (SpC): (Utility):
Why this spell is not a divination is beyond me. 1
min/level candle that illuminates hidden/ethereal/and invisible beings and items in a
5 radius. The small radius is limiting for combat purposes but given time to search a
room the candle should find everything.
Acid Breath (SpC): (Blast):
A conjurers answer to fireball. 15 foot cone that does
1d6 acid damage per level (Max 10d6) with a Ref save for half. Acid damage is less
commonly resisted than fire, but the range and AOE are significantly worse than
fireball (which is an average spell at best). However for a conjuration spell its not
a terrible blast.
Servant horde (SpC): (Utility):
Mass Unseen Servant. Unless there is a flavour
reason for this spell, I would suggest that a regular unseen servant probably fits your
needs. One possible use is the making of multiple items quickly available to you or
your companions at need.
Regal Procession (SpC): (Utility):

Basically this is the Mount spell on a mass

enhancement. By this time, mount is probably not your best/only fast retreat but
your party may benefit from this spell if a quick retreat is called for. Otherwise, this is
base utility providing the characters with faster movement during travelling.
Mage armor, Mass (SpC): (Buff):
Mage armor to multiple targets. This is actually
pretty circumstantial, since usually most of your party does not benefit from this spell.
Perhaps combined with summoning this could be handy but generally, I would think
your mage armor needs more easily and effectively taken care of with the base
version of this spell, or the greater version.
Luminous Assasin, Lesser (PHBII): (Summoning):
Inferior to Summon
Monster in almost every way please notice the almost. This spell is a standard
action summoning and the first attack the luminous assassin makes treats the foe
as flat footed. Otherwise summon monster is comprehensively superior to this spell.
With 7 hp this summon will perish with one hit, reducing the amount of times it can
attack and miss your foe, failing to do the lousy damage it does.

Level 4
Evards Black Tentacles (PHB): (BC):
Creates a 20 radius spread of tentacles
that grapple those within. The grapple check is your CL +8 which isnt bad and allows
it to improve as you level (though note that at high levels not much will be grappled
by this spell). There is no saving throw (other than your grapple check) or SR.
Creatures not successfully grappled still have impeded movement. Technically, the
tentacles do damage to grappled creatures on subsequent rounds, but the damage is
lousy (1d6+4). Nice BC.
Dimension Door (PHB): (Utility):
Teleport a short distance with verbal
component only. Very solid short range teleport. The big advantages of this spell over
lower level teleportations are: You can take others with you, its core.
Solid Fog (PHB): (BC):
No save fog spell that restricts movement within to 5
round. That effect is huge, but note that this spell is dispersed easily with wind, and
freedom of movement of course will ruin your day as well. However, at those mid
levels (before Freedom of Movement is often seen) this spell can be invaluable for
separating enemies.
Wall of Sand (SpC): (BC):
Your first semi-solid wall spell. Please note this spell is
a significant step down from Wall of Stone, it can be moved through (though
movement is impeded), must be straight and only lasts Concentration + 1 round/level
however, it still blocks line of sight, line of effect, missile attacks etc. Considering
this is a level 4 wall spell it is not at all bad.
Summon Monster IV (PHB): (Summon):
For straight combat SM III is
probably better for the level but Ive found Fiendish Dire Wolves to be fantastic

trippers. Combined with the fact they are your best combat summons in other
respects for this spell as well this adds a bit more BC on the spell.
Orb of Fire (SpC): (Blast/Debuff):
My favourite orb spell. First, lets get this over
with Orbs hit only one target (and require a to-hit roll to hit even the main target)
and therefore have disadvantages when compared to many other blasts. The damage
is decent but not immense but this Orb includes a save-or-be-stunned for a round
that targets Fort. They will probably save but its an added effect that can screw
them if they dont save and if they do they still take the damage. Not amazing
but the addition of the dual threat makes it decent.
Wall of Water (SpC): (BC):
The advantages of this spell over Wall of Sand are an
improved duration and range (as well as some minor circumstantial stuff). The
disadvantages are pretty severe. The wall is pretty easily moved through, doesnt
block line of sight, and is much easier to move through.
Translocation Trick (SpC): (BC):
You and one other creature switch places and
appearances (as disguise self spells on each). If the other creature makes a Will save
the spell is negated. The obvious use is to switch places with opposing BBEG and let
their minions kill them while you laugh. I dont recommend that option since the
single Will save can make this a wasted cast. Instead consider switches with your own
party members. Let the BBEG attempt to avoid you so they can get at the Big Stupid
Fighter for a change. Beware though that this spell puts you out of position (and a
good position that is) and should only really be used if your defences are about to get
breached. Verbal component only.
Bloodstar (SpC): (Debuff):
Cast this spell and the bloodstar hovers above your
foe, and each time they take damage in combat, they make a Fort save or lose a Con
point (damage). Everything (except for the Fort save) about this spell screams to me
that I should like it. However, Ive had opportunity to use this spell multiple times and
find the way it works makes it exceedingly circumstantial. The combat needs to last
several rounds, and need to fail at least a few Fort saves for this to work. This means
they need to be struck several times. Of course a creature that can survive several
attacks probably has a wicked Fort save. Its hard to explain mechanically why this
spell isnt all that effective, only explain that in my experience it just isnt.
Leomunds Secure Shelter (PHB): (Utility):
Creates a 2 hour/level shelter for
you to rest in. Generally speaking I find Rope Trick to be even more secure than this
spell and its only 2nd level. However, this spell could have use for housing larger
groups (but why not multiple rope tricks then?). Ultimately, it comes down to not that
this spell is bad but rope trick is so good it makes this spell largely obsolete.

Level 5
Planar Binding, Lesser (PHB): (Summoning):
The Planar Binding spells are
cast in conjunction with Magic Circle spells to bring an extraplanar being into this

plane and then bargaining with it to serve you. SR applies, and there is an opposed
CHA check involved but since the task can be up to 1 day/level, the spell can be cast
in downtime. DMs beware allowing template creatures to be called with this spell is
a big mistake. It is very tough anyways. The DM should attempt to find loopholes in
the bargain or have allies of the extraplanar creature consider revenge or something
or this spell (and its more powerful incarnations at higher levels) can get out of
control. Consider a Planar Bound Nightmare gives you effectively Astral Spell (9th
level spell) as well as a really cool mount, there needs to be a real downside to this or
your wizards will have a legion of bearded devils as their personal bodyguard.
Teleport (PHB): (Utility):
Travel 100 miles/CL and bring friends. The ultimate
travel spell. Teleporting places you are not all that familiar with can put you slightly off
the mark (and potentially even cause damage), but assure your comrades thats
precisely where I intended for us to appear for reasons your intellect couldnt
possibly absorb. This spell is fantastic and makes certain adventure types
completely obsolete to your party as your spells reach phenomenal cosmic power.
Wall of Stone (PHB): (BC):
So heres real BC for you. Make a wall of stone
anywhere you like in combat and shape it anyway you like. Its stone blocking
movement, sight, spells, attacks etc. It can be broken but not easily. Its also
permanent giving it a very real utility use as well (insta-bridge, insta repair-wall etc.)
Attempting to trap creatures within a stone dome gives them a Ref save to avoid the
effect. The limitation of this spell is that it must be connected to existing stone for
dungeons though this means it can be used basically anywhere.
Viscid Glob (SpC): (Debuff):
Very similar to Bands of Steel, viscid glob requires
you make a ranged touch attack and the opponent makes a Ref save or is stuck in
place. As with Bands of Steel they can use a full round action to attempt to break free.
Unlike bands of steel other enemies who come in contact with the spell effect get
stuck themselves. Large (or larger) creatures can be prevented from moving with this
spell but can otherwise act normally. The Ref targeting is a weak save to target at this
level though I try to avoid single target save negates spells by this point.
Dimension Jumper (CM): (BC):
Teleport yourself up to 30 once per round as a
move action. This spell is a swift action to cast which is nice, and can be used to
teleport back and forth past your own BCs which can provide you an effective defence
without requiring a standard action.
Evacuation Rune (CS): (Utility):
A bit like Gemjump of the next level
Evacuation rune is a preselected teleportation location precast. There are some
notable differences though. Evacuation rune is a 24 hour cast so although it can be
cast at the beginning of the day (or the end if you save an open slot), it must be
repeatedly cast. It also teleports only you. There are 2 very nice attributes of this spell
that are rather unique though. First, it is a swift action to activate and second the
preselected location can be moved (so the rogue could take it with him while he

scouts ahead for example) meaning there are more uses for this than just retreating.
Dimension Shuffle (PHB II): (BC):
Pretty much the ultimate rearrange the
battlefield spell as you teleport enemies and allies alike. The enemies can make Will
saves to avoid the effect but in the end you will get a pretty conclusive
rearrangement of the battlefield to your liking.
Cloudkill (PHB): (Debuff/BC):
The next type of fog spell. This is unlike the
others in that it moves 10 per round away from you (this is a severely limiting
factor). Creatures within the cloud suffer effects based on their HD and Fort save. The
big deal here is a high HD creature that makes its save STILL takes Con damage
(1d4/2) every round they are within the cloud. This spell does pretty good when you
first get it, but does not scale well with level. Also you need to mix it with Solid Fog
or Evards to get maximum effect, otherwise the Con loss is just too small.
Summon Monster V (PHB): (Summoning)
an average SM spell. Note that the
Fiendish Giant Crocodile is Huge and has Improved Grab with a +21 grapple score.
That is probably a higher grapple than Evards when you first get this spell and it
does and takes damage as well. However, you are still using a full round to summon,
and targeting only one opponent with it. Situationally it is your best grappling spell
from 9th to 10th level.
Phantasmal Thief (SpC): (Debuff):
This unseen servant-like apparition can steal
from your opponents and bring the booty to you. The problem is that you cant steal
anything they are wearing or holding (otherwise I would suggest stealing spell
component pouches!) and it can only steal one item at a time (or I would suggest
stealing the contents of a spell component pouch). It can attempt to disarm a held
item, but the disarm check is equal to your CL (which isnt very good for a disarm).
There are still some nice uses for this spell and it essentially gives you a free debuff
every round but the limitations are severe.
Call Zelekhut (SpC): (Summons):
Call a Zelekhut to perform a task for you that
cannot last longer than 1 hour. Zelekhuts are pretty tough for this level of spell but
you need to spend 100 xp to cast this spell (readers of my guides know how I love
Material and XP costs to spells). Lesser Planar Binding provides a more versatile
selection of creatures without the xp cost.
Leomunds Secret Chest (PHB): (Utility):
Send a 5,000 gp chest (up to 1 cubic
foot/CL) to the ethereal plane for up to 60 days, and retrieve at any time. The utility
RAI would make this spell a fairly expensive, but reliable way to store your spellbook
away from dangerous conditions to be retrieved to rememorize and then sent out
again. However, there is an abusive use to this spell I will only bring up to point out
you shouldnt do it. Many opponents will fit in the chest and using a baleful
transposition or similar spell you could get them in that chest (or with a translocation
trick in the chest and nobody would know) then send the chest away and the

opponent is gone with no save for 60 days (or forever if you dont mind losing the
5,000gp chest.) Its a trick and you are better than that.
Greater Dimension Door (SpC) : (BC):
Like dimension door except that you
cant go as far (close range), but you can repeat the process every round for 1
round/2 levels as a move action. Situationally useful, but usually wasteful. The spell is
still a standard action to cast.
Vitriolic Sphere (SpC): (Blast):
Beefed up Melfs Acid Arrow. In the end the
damage just isnt all that impressive, and if the save is made the damage is horrible.
There is no dual threat here.
Luminous Assassin (PHBII): (Summoning):
This faces the same
advantages/disadvantages as the rest of the Luminous assassin line. The standard
action summoning is nice but the 3rd level assassin this summons is simply nothing
compared to what you could summon with a SM V. For that matter it is nothing
compared to a Fiendish Dire Wolf summoned with a rapid summon monster IV...

Level 6
Planar binding (PHB): (Utility):
Potentially broken for the same
reason as Lesser Planar Binding but worse because for a mere one level advancement
in spell level you can call a creature with double the HD. Theoretically you can bind an
Efreeti and get 1 wish/round for 1 day/level. Theoretically the DM could never invite
you to play in his group again as well (or merely severely misinterpret every wish you
make Raze your intelligence? Of course master.... This spell is easily abused so
play nice and you wont force your DM to figure out ways to make his campaign
playable again.
Freezing Fog (SpC): (Triple threat BC/Blast/Debuff):
Basically this is solid fog
with a quickened/heightened/widened grease spell added on. Theres some
inconsequential cold damage merely for flavour. Mixing two good spells like Solid Fog
and Grease (that are naturally synergetic) makes this a very good spell. This remains
my favorite conjuration spell for the strong triple threat and synergy of the BC/Debuff
Gemjump (SpC): (Utility):
Greater Teleport only the location must be
predetermined at the casting of the spell. The best part is that this is cast earlier
and lasts indefinitely (until you need it) meaning that in some ways, its even superior
to greater teleport. Very solid spell.
Tunnel Swallow (SpC): (BC/Blast):
This is a circumstantial spell in that it only
works in tunnels (including worked tunnels/natural tunnels/corridors), but the effect is
great. 1 d6/CL damage and move the opponents up to 50 in either direction. Ref save
for half damage and get this half movement (most spells would have the save

negate the movement portion of the spell). A decent blast a decent BC, mixed into a
nice dual threat.
Summon Monster VI (PHB): (Summoning):
Bralani Eladrin have a number of
interesting abilities including a cure serious wounds 2/day. As a secondary emergency
heal this could be useful to you. For combat this is one of the weaker SM spells.
Tactical Teleportation (CM): (BC):
Like Dimension Step except they decided to
make it level 6 instead of level 3. Yes, there is a small increase to distance your allies
can reposition themselves but nothing that would make this spell worth even 2
levels higher.

Level 7
Choking cobwebs (CM): (BC/Debuff):
With a single casting, you basically get
web with a chance to sicken those inside (with a failed fort save). A second casting of
the same spell however is pretty severe. Movement becomes much more hindered
and those within make Fort save every round or are nauseated and take 1d4 Con
damage (unlike cloudkill no immunity to poison immune to the effect). Naturally,
you want to keep throwing up movement inhibitors after this summoning/evards
whatever will keep them there until their con drains to 0. With a 1 min/level duration
you have time.
Greater Teleport (PHB): (Utility):
Like Teleport except there is no requirement
to study the location you are teleporting to, and range is no longer a factor period.
Teleport a million miles if you like.
Summon Monster VII (PHB): (Summons):
The Avoral has a huge variety of
utlity abilities including true seeing, every knowledge in existence at +12, and others.
Huge elementals make pretty good combatants at this level (including some useful
combat feats).
Stun Ray (SpC): (Debuff):
Hit the opponent with this Ray and they make a Fort
save. If they fail, they are stunned for 1d4 + 1 rounds, if they succeed they are
stunned for 1 round. So this spell means automatic stun end of story. However, keep
in mind it is a single target, and duration isnt impressive. The spell is a solid debuff
but not game breaking.
Plane Shift (PHB): (Utility)
You and your companions travel planes. Purely utility,
and usually campaign dependant. However, can be an invaluable resource in those
Mordenkainens Magnificent Mansion (PHB): (Utility):
Now this is like Rope
Trick except the inside is huge, fancy, and filled with unseen servants. The only reason
to use this rather than the former is pride but youre a wizard, is a little pride so

undeserved? Mechanically however, I cant recommend it.

Call Kolyarut (SpC): (Summoning):
Summon a Kolyarut. Like Zelekhut but
tougher. Now the XP cost is 250 thats significant. Its not like you dont have other
options either (many creatures Planar Bound at this point will even be tougher than a
Kolyarut) I should point out however that Kolyarut gets enervation at will. I cant
justify the xp cost but make your own mind up.
Dragon Ally (SpC): (Summoning):
Makes the call inevitable spells seem cheap. I
include only this one spell (though they line up with the call inevitable spells exactly).
The XP costs are the same but now you can give them all your gold as well
(minimum 50gp per HD of dragon). This is basically the wizards answer to the Planar
Ally spells. However, the wizard didnt NEED an answer to those spells. Not
recommended for prohibitive costs.

Level 8
Planar Binding Greater (PHB): (Utility):
Potentially bind a Pit Fiend, or
a Formian Queen, or a Planetar. Once again play nice this spell is easily
Maze (PHB): (BC):
Pick an opponent remove them from combat with no
save. They can return (depending on their Int score for duration), but you get
that time to clean up their allies and put a forcecage in their square (or
Summon Monster VIII (PHB): (Summoning):
The Colossal Fiendish
Monstrous Centipede actually is a pretty decent BC. Basically an immense wall
of HP that moves on your command. However, were talking 8th level spells
here this one is average for the level at best.
Greater Plane Shift (PHB): (Utility):
Like Plane Shift except you appear
exactly where you want. Again, this spell is purely utility and campaign
Deadly Lahar (CM): (Blast/Debuff):
Large cone does so-so damage and
slows creatures who fail their Ref save. A slow effect that targets Ref is nice
as is the large area of the spell but for an 8th level spell the effect isnt
strong enough.
Fierce Pride of the Beastlands (SpC): (Summoning):
Summon 2d4
celestial lions and 1d4 celestial dire lions to attack and miss your foes an
incomprehensible amount of times. These creatures are far too weak for the

Level 9
Summon Elemental Monolith (SpC): (Summoning):
Summon an Elemental
Monolith for concentration (up to 1 round/level). The drawbacks are that
concentration is required and you still have the 1 round casting time but Elemental
Monoliths are quite tough and have a plethora of feats. For a 9th level spell its not
earthshattering (though an earth elemental monolith can literally do that I suppose)
but a fairly solid summoning for the level.
Towering Thunderhead (CM): (BC):
Create a 40 spread mass of dark clouds
(concealment as fog cloud) that provide a wind wall and hinder movement. Your
movement is not hindered, and any sonic or electricity spell of 7th level or lower cast
within is empowered for free. This spell is only going to be useful to you if you have
some decent electricity or sonic spells to cast (or your allies do). That will likely
require you casting spells out of school (probably evocation).
Teleportation Circle (PHB): (Utility):
Teleport theoretically near infinite targets
theoretically infinite distance. Circumstantial but impressive nonetheless (teleport an
entire army with this). Most of the time Greater Teleport will serve you and your
immediate group just as well as this spell.
Obedient Avalanche (SpC): (Triple threat Blast/BC/Debuff):
Huge area spell that
does so-so damage, but can bury creatures in 20 radius spread who fail their Ref save
(good save to target, but teleport/freedom of movement is common by this level).
Creatures outside the 20 radius spread, but inside the 40 radius spread take less
damage and are bull-rushed outwards. Not bad, but not 9th level impressive type
Gate (PHB): (Summoning):
Call in a creature way tougher than you or your
opponent and have it lay waste. Threads on these boards would suggest you should
cast this every combat but the 1000xp cost makes me disagree. It is a huge effect
with a huge cost. Personally, I would consider having it in reserve for emergencies
but no way I would use it repeatedly. There you go Gate-maniacs I dont
recommend this spell flame away!
Summon Monster IX (PHB): (Summoning):
The worst SM for its level. Few
options, and nothing really impressive for this level. An Elemental Monolith would lay
waste to anything you can summon here and the versatility factor isnt that
impressive since the SLAs and the like tend towards the weak side.
Abyssal Army (SpC): (Summoning):
Cast this spell and summon 2d4 dretches
(useless), 1d4 babau demons (basically useless) and 1 vrock demon (marginally
useful at best). They get maximum HP per HD, which for all but the Vrock isnt

much. Maybe the babau demons and dretches can aid another or something but
this spell just doesnt cut 9th level.
Sphere of Ultimate Destruction (SpC): (Blast):
Very similar to black Blade of
Disaster except you dont need to concentrate but you can only move it at 30 round
(and the range is longer). It suffers for the same reason.
Black Blade of Disaster (SpC): (Blast):
Get a disintegrate 1/round for 1
round/CL as long as you maintain concentration within close range. If the target saves
(Fort save) they take 5d6 damage. This last part kills this spell in my eyes.
Heavenly Host (SpC): (Summoning):
Like Abyssal Army except you get 2d4
lantern archons and 1d4 hound archons and none of the summons is even halfway
good. Maximum HP lantern archons and Hound Archons arent very good at this level.
Greater Dimension jumper (CM): (Utility):
Like Dimension jumper except the
range is now 60 feet (instead of 30), and it requires a swift action (rather than a
move action) and its 9th level rather than 5th. Did you see 4 levels worth of
improvements? Me neither.
Final Thoughts: Yep - there you go, notice lots of
later? However - as a whole - the school rocks.

early on and lots of

My suggestion for those who travel the conjuration school to high level is to prepare.
Summon Elemental Monolith is a decent spell - but you can make it more effective
through Rapid Spell/Metamagic school (conjuration) as well as Augment Summoning.
A ring of Mighty Summons is also recommended.
After learning my lesson with Necromancy - I've decided that just because
Enchantment and Illusion are smaller schools - I won't include all the spells - but
merely highlight those I feel are worthy of a second look. Smaller schools mean less
great spells - that's just reality, but those schools still have gems for us to find.
(I know there is an enchantment school breakdown already. However, not one with my
current format - so a bit of repetition is likely - just like this guide and Echodork's
Conjurer's Guide)

Treantmonk's Guide to Wizard

Spells: God's Tools - Part 6: Illusion
In this thread I will break down illusion spells spell by spell - which are underrated,
which are overrated (All IMO - this isn't Gospel - only the Gospel according to

This is the 2nd last thread for schools of magic (enchantment will come later today) however, I intend 2 more guides for players wishing to play "god". One will rate PrC's
from various sources - the other will rate alternate classes you may wish to consider
for your "god" character. I intend to use a similar format to these spell guides, with
my standard

Though I may abbriviate it somewhat...

To the readers: If there's a spell you think I should look at - post it and I'll include it in
my guide - though be pre-warned - I do not guarantee I will hold the same opinion as
Sources: I use PHB, PHB II, Complete Series, and SpC (these are both the books I
own, as well as those allowed in the campaigns in which I play) - so all the spells
listed are from those sources. (these guides are not completely unselfish - I reference
them periodically with my own characters)
There are lots of gems in various other sources - but I've found there are lots of good
spells to round out your spellbook in the sources used. By all means, if you would like
to highlight a spell from another source - post it in a reply (along with the source and
the specs) for the readers to reference.

Kinds of Spells: This is how I break down the types of spells...

BC: Battlefield Control. This is the spells that involve impeding movement of your
opponents - aiding movement of your allies, or in any other way treating the world as
your own personal chessboard.
Debuff: Debuffing is anything you cast on an enemy to impede his ability
mechanically. Lowering of attributes, Blinding, Sickening, or scaring the living crap out
of. Debuffing - as the name would indicate - also includes removing any buffs your
enemy might have.
Buff: Buffing is improving the abilities of your allies mechanically. Whether it be
through giving them extra attacks, better AC, or merely providing them a flanker. The
nice thing about buffs is they likely won't involve saving throws.
Blast: A Blast is a spell that does HP damage to your opponent. Blasts are a pretty
basic part of any Wizard's toolbelt - but IMO make a poor central focus to any Wizard.
My suggestion is to cast Blast spells when you have nothing really useful to do.
Utility: These are those spells that have uses that aren't necessarily related to
combat. Often utility spells can be useful in combat - but more circumstantially.
Save or Die: These spells give you a saving throw - or you're dead (or effectively
dead). Personally, I don't like these spells - since they tend to target Fort - and are

higher level then spells which can give you the win without avoiding the fun. You are
usually better with a debuff if you like this style of spell.
Multiple Threat: A spell that covers more than one of the above at a time is a
multiple threat spell. For example - a spell that does damage as well as impede the
enemies movement would be a double threat (BC + Blast), while a spell that does
damage, impedes the movement of the enemy, gives them mechanical penalties, and
gives your allies bonuses would be a Quadruple threat (BC + Blast + Debuff + Buff).
By the way - if you know of a Quadruple threat spell - let me know!!!

Rating the spells:

After breaking down the spells, I will self-righteously give them either the Treantmonk
stamp of approval - or the stamp of the foot, oversimplifying the use of each.
: This spell's a Turkey. Not worth having in your spellbook at all.
: Not all bad, but not good enough for me to recommend
: Run of the mill. It's OK, but nothing special
: The spell is solid. I recommend it
: This spell is highly recommended
: YES!!!!!

Part 6: Illusion

To the reader of past guides: You will notice that the illusion guide is small. Much
smaller than past guides. Your eyes do not decieve you - there are various reasons for
1) I discovered through the abjuration/necromancy thread that just because a school
has less spells doesn't mean you should include more of the "should ignore" spells into
the guide. It gives the guide a negative feel without really adding any useful
information. If I don't include a spell in the guide - it probably means I'm not a big fan
of it.
2) Illusion is a difficult school to rate. Of all the schools - how do you rate a spell with
the versatility of "Shadow conjuration" or even worse "major image"? The
effectiveness of these spells is limited mainly by the imagination of the user - so
please take that into account.
3) Illusion is an interesting school in that it has a few spells that are awsome
standouts, and a lot of spells that are garbage compared to those few spells.
Note that the enchantment guide will be even smaller - much smaller - but for slightly
different reasons.
Finally - illusion creates alot of debate. Can you use an illusion to create an illusionary

pit in a floor? Can you use Shadow Conjuration to emulate an effect and choose to not
make a saving throw to disbelieve? People have their minds set so completely on
these areas that nothing is going to change it - but before you make up yours - I do
like the take on illusions that Skip Williams has - check the guide below for more
All About Illusions
So without further ado: Here's the illusion spells your wizard should take a second
look at:

Level 1:
Silent Image (PHB) (BC or Utility):
Very likely the best first level
spell in the game. Yes, better than grease, ray of enfeeblement, sleep and the rest.
This spell allows you to create pretty much anything and the opponent only gets a
save if they interact with it. Your imagination is the limit though generally I suggest
imitating other spells (higher level spells) with it. This spell is still useful at high levels.
Color Spray (PHB) (Debuff):
Creates a small cone that targets will save of those
within. At low levels if they miss their save they lose. Later on it becomes a more
minor debuff but continues to be decent through the mid levels. It does require you
getting uncomfortably close though.
Disguise Self (PHB) (Utility):
Useful utility spell though easily replicated with
a ridiculously cheap magic item permanently.
Net of Shadows (SpC) (BC):
A more specific and controlled version of obscuring
mist. You choose targets who essentially have the same modifiers as if they were in
an obscuring mist. Enemies get a will save to avoid the effects. Not bad though
somewhat circumstantial.

Level 2:
Invisibility (PHB) (Buff):
Make yourself or an ally invisible for 1 min/level.
Although attacking reveals the invisible creature, keep in mind that indirect stuff (so
basically anything a God would normally do) does not.
Blinding Color Surge (PHB II) (Double threat Buff/debuff):
makes a will save or is blinded for a round. Regardless of their save result, you turn
invisible for 1 round/level. The multithreat is somewhat redundant, but will benifit
your allies for the cost of reducing the duration of your invisibility - this is a decent
Mirror Image (PHB) (Buff):
Beautiful self buff that makes you extremely hard to
hurt. Up to 8 additional images that have an equal chance of being hurt by an attack

as you do. Very tough for an opponent to beat.

Minor Image (PHB) (BC or Utility):
The next step up from Silent Image.
Basically the same spell except you can add some sound to this one. Frankly still a
good spell, but it doesnt add a lot on silent image so you should usually use that one.
Delusions of Grandeur (SpC) (Debuff):
A debuff that targets will. Basically
the standard -2 on just about everything. The nice thing is that this will stack with all
those other similar debuffs (sickened, fatigued, shaken etc)
Phantom Foe (SpC) (Buff):
Basically give an ally a single mirror image which
flanks his melee foe. Should work well with a glass cannon who gets separated from
the BSF.
Vertigo (PHB II) (BC):
Debuff that targets will. For 1 round/level if the opponent
fails a will save, they must make a DC 10 balance check or they can't take a move
action (and fall prone if missed by 5 or more). The weaknesses of this spell are: 1)
single opponent saves and the spell is wasted, 2) If they have balance, or a decent
dex, this spell won't accomplish much.
Blur (PHB) (Buff):
Attacks miss 20% of the time for 1 round/level. Only
mentioned to point out that this spell is often overrated. Way inferior to mirror image
as a defensive buff IMO.

Level 3:
Phantasmal Strangler (CM) (Debuff/Blast):
Ive always been a fan of
summoning for the purpose of grappling enemies but this spell is just as good or
better. The opponent gets a Will save, but if they fail, they are grappled and taking
damage every round until they are unconscious. Nice spell!
Vertigo Field (PHB II) (Debuff/BC):
20' radius spread of targets must make a
FORT save (not will!) or be nauseated for 1 round. Terrain within the field is difficult
and within there is a 20% miss chance (no save). One nice feature of this spell is you
can exclude your allies from the nauseating effect.
Legion of Sentinels (PHB II) (BC):
Fill a 10' radius space with ghostly
sentinels that flank and make attacks of opportunity on foes (you need to check errata
to find they attack with your CL and do 1 bonus damage per 3 CL's (max +5)). It is
best to think of this spell as a battlefield control, not a summoning spell.
Invisibility Sphere (PHB) (Buff):
When your whole party needs to travel
invisibly, this spell will allow you to do that. It does require you huddle close but this
is still decent utility.

Mask of the Ideal (CM) (Buff):

Basically an eagles spender on speed that stacks
with eagles spender. Increase Cha for Planar Bindings or Malconvokers bluff checks,
as well as a circumstance bonus to bluff and diplomacy.
Hood of the Cobra (CM) (Debuff):
One creature makes a will save or is shaken.
Then you make touch attacks for 1d6 con (fort negates). Not a big touch attack fan,
otherwise this would be awesome.
Displacement(PHB) (Buff):
Like blur, but now the miss chance is 50%. You are
still better off with mirror image (IMO), though this spell actually stacks decently with
that if you get a chance to layer defences before a fight.
Shadow Binding (SpC) (BC):
Like Web except that you get a will save to ignore
the effect (bad) however, you dont need anchor points like web (good).
Major Image (PHB) (BC, Utility):
The next step up the image spells. This one
can now include smell and thermal effects. Once again not a huge amount better
than silent image and in most cases, the first level spell will do the trick. This one
can talk, which could possibly be useful in certain situations.

Level 4:
Greater Mirror Image (PHB II) (Self Buff):
like mirror image but much
better. Firstly, you add 1 image/round (max 8 ) meaning that as your opponents hit
images they reappear. Most importantly however, this spell is an immediate action
casting - this is a big, big deal.
Shadow Conjuration (PHB) (flexible threat):
Mimic any conjuration
(Summoning or creation) spell of 3rd level or lower with 20% affect. The power of this
spell varies greatly depending on whether you believe the saving throw is optional. If
it is this spell is great, if it doesnt, this spell is good. Note that PrC options can
improve this spell greatly.
Shadow Well (SpC) (BC):
Maze with a will save. Thats basically this spell
remove your opponent from combat while you finish off his allies/prepare for his
return. The will save to ignore is bad but otherwise, a decent spell.
Greater Invisibility (PHB) (Buff):
Like invisibility but you can attack. The
duration now sucks. Still, for BSF this is a good buff. For yourself, stick to invisibility
and indirect attacks.
Hallucinatory Terrain (PHB) (Utility):
Actually, very circumstantial.
Phantasmal Killer (PHB) (Save or die):

Change the appearance of terrain.

This save or die grants 2 saving throws

(Fort and Will), but if you love save or dies this is a low level one.
Phantom Battle (PHB II) (Debuff):
Opponents in a 20' radius spread make a
will save or they cannot make attacks of opportunity. Regardless of their save, they
are considered flanked (hello rogues!). Unfortunately, leaving the affected area ends
the effect.

Level 5:
Shadow Evocation (PHB) (flexible threat):
As Shadow Conjuration
above except it can mimic any evocation spell of 4th level or lower. This is an
extremely versatile spell, but again, much of the versatility is dependant on whether
you believe that you can skip your save when you cast shadow contingency on
yourself (which would make a huge effect on whether it works at all).
Friend to Foe (PHB II) (Debuff):
This illusion could be easily labelled an
enchantment spell. You make one creature per CL (can't be more than 30' apart though you want them close anyways), make a will save or begin attacking his
companions. I've seen this spell used to great effect.
Persistant Image (PHB) (BC):
Next in the line of image spells. This one works
as major image but requires no concentration so you can have an illusion for 1
min/level. This is a decent improvement on the spell line though still pales in
comparison in power level (for the level of spell) to silent image IMO.

Level 6:
Permanent Image (PHB) (Utility):
OK now once again Im impressed. Make
an illusion that essentially has permanency on it (with a small material cost and no XP
cost) you can move the image by concentrating on it at any time. Nice.
Shadow Walk (PHB) (Utility):
An illusionists mass transport spell probably
inferior to teleport but easily as good as a clerics wind walk. In addition, you can
take unwilling subjects (if they fail their save) and lose them in the shadow plane.
Shadow Grappler (SpC) (BC):
Only mentioned in this guide so you dont get it
confused with Phantasmal Strangler the 3rd level spell which is really good. This
spell is worse than that one and level 6.

Level 7:
Project Image (PHB) (Buff):
Kind of like Mirror Image except it
doesnt disappear when hit, and you dont need to be visible at all, and your spells
originate from it (which is probably the biggest feature), and you can see and hear

from it. So basically throw a projected image in the midst of your enemies and go to
town. Absolutely game breaking (and frusturating for a DM!)
Greater Shadow Conjuration (PHB) (Utility):
As Shadow Conjuration with a
60% reality and it can duplicate up to 6th level. Again, very versatile and now fairly
effective even if disbelieved.

Level 8:
Greater Shadow Evocation(PHB) (Utility):
As Greater Shadow Conjuration
but evocation spells up to 7th level. Still very versatile, and becoming more real
very solid spell.
Superior Invisibility (SpC) (Buff):
Like greater invisibility, but with improved
duration and much harder to detect. Avoids tremorsense, blindsense, sent, see
invisibility, invisibility purge but does not evade true seeing. Against certain
creatures useful, against others, not so much (and true seeing isnt that rare by this

Level 9:
Shades (PHB)(Utility):
As shadow conjuration but up to 8th level and 80%
real. This actually is not quite as great as it appears, as the high level conjuration
spells arent as impressive. Still a good spell but not as great for the level as Greater
Shadow Conjuration actually.
Final Thoughts: Overall Im pretty impressed with illusion. Lots of options besides
the standard Silent Images and Shadow Conjuration/Evocations.
However, if you are going with a Focused Specialist illusionist going with a
Shadowcraft mage/Shadowcrafter seems to be a total no-brainer. However Im
convinced that a Focused Specialist Illusionist who does not take this route could still
be effective however, be aware that you will be almost exclusively targeting Will
this reduces versatility and can be the worst save to target at high level.
Personally - the one thing I have against playing a dedicated illusionist is that you are
going to hear the phrase "I Disbelieve!" over and over again. For those who don't
know - the "word" disbelieve (verb) is ridiculous, and makes me want to gag. Just a
personal response, as the "word" bugs me greatly - and always has.
The "Shadow" magic debate: So, those who have been following my conjuration
guide responses may have discovered that it turned into a huge debate regarding
"Shadow Conjuration" and the like spells.
The debate started with the suggestion that a Create Tattoo spell cast with Shadow
Conjuration would achieve the same effect without the material component.

Then it was suggested that this was a bad alternative, since the spell would only have
a 20% chance of working since the caster would obviously know that they were
casting a "shadow" spell.
The debate moves on without resolution - it comes down to whether you believe that
the caster can choose whether to save vs. the shadow spell or whether you believe
that they automatically disbelieve. Better check with your DM...

Treantmonk's Guide to Wizard

Spells: God's Tools - Part 7:
Yes - this enchantment guide is small, wee, minute, and petite.
For those who haven't seen it - there is a very well written and maintained guide to
enchantment already:
Enchanter Handbook
This handbook will list and rate every enchantment spell from pretty much every
source you can imagine. Someone mentioned to me after my first guide, that an
Enchantment guide would be redundant.
I agree with that sentiment. After all - I clearly am not the expert at enchantment as
the OP of the guide. Although I do think they are overly enamored with enchantment
spells - for rating the spells against each other - the guide works nicely.
However, there is something the enchanters handbook won't do for you, which should
make this guide a decent companion to that one. It doesn't give a lot of detail on
which spells to use to get around the rather large disadvantages associated with
enchantment spells.
Enchantment is an interesting school - certainly unique amongst all spell schools.
Should you face off against an enemy with a low will save enchantment offers you a
huge number of solid options; maybe you will make the enemy into your thrall, or
perhaps just friends, or perhaps you will leave them a quivering mass on the floor
your Big Stupid Fighter can slash into ribbons.
When it comes to mind-affecting/will targeting magic enchantment is the best
school, with tons of effective spells but, dare I say it? The school becomes
redundant, and the weaknesses become difficult to circumvent. The school ends up

being very specialized.

The conventional wisdom of course is this: Should you come across an enemy immune
to mind-effecting magic, or with a great will save have your thralls attack him. Use
non-enchantment spells to back them up.
However, if you are considering enchantment as a speciality school this probably
isnt enough. At low levels, you probably dont have thralls yet and if you are a FS,
your spells will be mostly enchantment. So in this guide I will be focusing on
enchantment spells that fit at least one of these two requirements.
1) not mind affecting
2) does not grant a Will save
This ended up reducing the size of this guide more than I ever expected. Firstly, ALL
enchantment spells are mind-affecting. I suspected as much, but I can now confirm it
completely (at least in the sourcebooks I use).
Secondly, if an enchantment spell offers a save - it's Will. Again, I suspected as much,
but can now confirm it (though a respectable number offer no save).
Thirdly, enchantment is small. I mean small! I never noticed that my spell
compendium offered NO enchantment spells of 5th or 6th level. Hundreds of spells
offered to wizards at that level - but not a single one is enchantment. That is how
small this school is. It is likely the smallest school in the game.
This should then be a useful tool for those specializing in enchantment to add
versatility to their spell list and with enchantment this is an important and difficult
Technically, buffs such as heroism are mind affecting and grant a Will save but since
its a buff, those factors become irrelevant.
Sources: I use PHB, PHB II, Complete Series, and SpC (these are both the books I
own, as well as those allowed in the campaigns in which I play) - so all the spells
listed are from those sources. (these guides are not completely unselfish - I reference
them periodically with my own characters)
There are lots of gems in various other sources - but I've found there are lots of good
spells to round out your spellbook in the sources used. By all means, if you would like
to highlight a spell from another source - post it in a reply (along with the source and
the specs) for the readers to reference.

Kinds of Spells: This is how I break down the types of spells...

BC: Battlefield Control. This is the spells that involve impeding movement of your

opponents - aiding movement of your allies, or in any other way treating the world as
your own personal chessboard.
Debuff: Debuffing is anything you cast on an enemy to impede his ability
mechanically. Lowering of attributes, Blinding, Sickening, or scaring the living crap out
of. Debuffing - as the name would indicate - also includes removing any buffs your
enemy might have.
Buff: Buffing is improving the abilities of your allies mechanically. Whether it be
through giving them extra attacks, better AC, or merely providing them a flanker. The
nice thing about buffs is they likely won't involve saving throws.
Blast: A Blast is a spell that does HP damage to your opponent. Blasts are a pretty
basic part of any Wizard's toolbelt - but IMO make a poor central focus to any Wizard.
My suggestion is to cast Blast spells when you have nothing really useful to do.
Utility: These are those spells that have uses that aren't necessarily related to
combat. Often utility spells can be useful in combat - but more circumstantially.
Save or Die: These spells give you a saving throw - or you're dead (or effectively
dead). Personally, I don't like these spells - since they tend to target Fort - and are
higher level then spells which can give you the win without avoiding the fun. You are
usually better with a debuff if you like this style of spell.
Multiple Threat: A spell that covers more than one of the above at a time is a
multiple threat spell. For example - a spell that does damage as well as impede the
enemies movement would be a double threat (BC + Blast), while a spell that does
damage, impedes the movement of the enemy, gives them mechanical penalties, and
gives your allies bonuses would be a Quadruple threat (BC + Blast + Debuff + Buff).
By the way - if you know of a Quadruple threat spell - let me know!!!

Rating the spells:

After breaking down the spells, I will self-righteously give them either the Treantmonk
stamp of approval - or the stamp of the foot, oversimplifying the use of each.
: This spell's a Turkey. Not worth having in your spellbook at all.
: Not all bad, but not good enough for me to recommend
: Run of the mill. It's OK, but nothing special
: The spell is solid. I recommend it
: This spell is highly recommended

: YES!!!!!

Part 7: Enchantment

Level 1
Shock and awe (SpC):
Mind affecting but no save. This spell can only be cast in
a surprise round (circumstantial) to give your opponents a -10 to their initiative.

Rouse (PHB II):

Wake up your allies quickly. This spell is intended as a reaction
to your party being hit with a sleep spell. This makes it horribly circumstantial.

Level 2
Ray of stupidity (SpC):
Mind affecting, subject takes 1d4 +1
Int DAMAGE no save. Very nice, you CAN drop an opponent to 0 with this spell, you
can hit opponents with this multiple times. The obvious (but wrong) target with this
are wizards. Personally, when my 4th level party gets attacked by a T-Rex - I will drop
it with a single spell, no save. Treantmonks FAVORITE enchantment spell right here!
Touch of idiocy (PHB): (Debuff)
Mind affecting, but no save. This spell gives
the target a 1d6 penalty to all its mental stats (Int, Wis and Cha). This amounts to
quite a bit of penalties but to stats are only circumstantially useful to your enemy
(and seldom all of them). The touch spell factor is also limiting.
Mechanus Mind (SpC): (Buff)
Mind affecting buff. This spell gives the target a
+4 will save vs mind affecting spells and abilities. They also receive a +2 bonus on Int
based checks and a -2 on Cha based checks. The 3rd level spell disobedience
(complete scoundrel) will make this spell obsolete.

Level 3
Ray of dizziness (SpC):

Basically slow on one target with no saving throw.

Heroism: (PHB): (Buff)

This buff gives the target creature a +2 morale bonus
to attack rolls, saves and skill checks. A far cry from Haste or Mass Snakes Swiftness
but a decent buff nonetheless, and with 10 min/level duration it lasts much longer.
Rage: (PHB): (Buff)
Give allies the benifits of rage - but wait, not really. You
actually give 1/2 the benifits of rage and all the drawbacks (except the fatigue at the
end). You can affect multiple allies (1 / 3 levels) which is the only reason this spell
avoids "non-recommendation" status. Thanks to Trednis for pointing out this spell
affected willing targets only...

Level 4
Battle Hymn (SpC): (Buff)
Allies within 30ft can reroll will saves if they are
missed. A little circumstantial but not bad as a buff.
Vecnas malevolent whisper (CM): (Blast)
Put any target with 10 HP or less to
-9 with no save. A decent finishing touch for the high AC monsters.

Level 5
Nothing not a single non-mind affecting or non-will save spell I could find. This was
the first time I noticed that the Spell Compendium lists no spells for enchantment of
5th or 6th level.

Level 6
Greater Heroism: (PHB) (Buff):
Much like heroism except double the bonuses
(+4) and add temporary HP equal to your CL and immunity to fear. Note however that
the duration reduces to 1 min/level.
Freezing Glance: (Frost) (Debuff):
Please note the source (which is not a
standard sourcebook), but this spell is too good not to mention. Although it does
target will - it is not mind-affecting, so mind affecting immunity will not help you. For
one round/level, you gain a gaze attack that targets one opponent. That opponent
makes a will save or is frozen in place (unable to do anything at all - worse than
paralyzation) for 1 min/level. Attacking them grants an additional saving throw. So a
11th level caster is basically getting 11 "spells" from this. (Thanks CantripN for
pointing out this spell)

Level 7
Power Word: Blind: (PHB) (Debuff):
You blind one opponent with no saving
throw. Note however that SR still works, there is a maximum HP allowed or the spell
fails (200 hp), and assuming the creature has over 100 HP, the duration is small (1d4
+1 rounds).

Level 8
Ottos irresistible dance: (PHB) (Debuff):
This spell turns your subject into a
useless capering idiot for 1d4+1 rounds with no saving throw. Note that it is still
mind-affecting and allows SR. However, barring immunity or resistance the subject
of this spell is toast as long as you can finish them off during the duration (they also
have a -4 AC and a -10 to Ref saves, but I cant think of any Ref targeting save or
dies off the top of my head).
Power word: Stun: (PHB) (Debuff):
Like power word blind, except the HP limit
is reduced (yes, reduced) to 150, and the duration is worse (expect 1d4 rounds for
most opponents). Stun is a nice effect but you are much better off with the stun ray
from SpC (conjuration level 7), as it also results in a minimum of 1 round of stunning
regardless of save, and has no HP limit.

Level 9

Power word: Kill (PHB) (Debuff???):

Like the other power words except now
the HP limit sucks (100 hp), however, the duration is much improved (youre dead).
Assume most of your enemies begin with too many HP for this to work you need
some method of divining HP, or take your best guess and pray.
Final Thoughts: Again, enchantment is a small school - and a specialized school.
There are however, a number of very strong "no save" spells. I was surprised and
impressed with Rage. Ray of Stupidity and Ray of dizziness were less of a suprise, but
each extremely effective.
In the end, I've come to a conclusion that a FS enchanter has an acceptable number
of options to use against creatures with a high will save. However, the lack of options
against creatures immune to mind-effects is a vulnerability that will only be overcome
with non-enchantment spells.

CantripN's Guide to Transmutation


Well, I went and made myself a Focused Transmuter... Looking at the Handy
Links, I must admit I had been quite surprised there was no guide to
Transmutation spells! Considering that Transmutation and Conjuration are the
2 most powerful and versatile wizard schools, it's a shame. So, after going
through almost every book printed, here it is, finally.
In case you're wondering, yes, it's very much possible to play a Focused
Specialist (Transmuter) at all levels. It's about as good as a Focused Conjurer.

The Rating System

Unabashedly stolen from TM, the rating system follows.

: This spell's a turkey; not worth having in your spellbook at all.
: Not bad, but not good enough for me to recommend.
: Run of the mill. It's OK, but nothing special.
: The spell is solid. I recommend it.
: This spell is highly recommended.
: Jackpot!
Level 1:
Enlarge Person (
) - Gives your Fighter Reach, so he can kill things
better. If you didn't get it by now, that's your job: letting the Big Stupid Fighter
kill things.
NerveskitterSpC (

) - It helps you win Initiative. That's pure WIN, right

Treacherous WeaponExEv ( ) - Save negates, but not only does it scale until
9th level, it can be cast as either an Immediate Action or a Standard Action which doubles the effect. Awesome spell.
Ray of ClumsinessSpC ( ) - It's Ray of Enfeeblement, except instead of
weakening offense, it hurts their defense. Really nice spell, easily lowering AC
and Reflex saves. Kill those pesky Rogues with this.
Expeditious Retreat (+Swift)PHB/SpC (
) - It's a spell for running away.
You have a d4 HD. Guess what you do when your Big Stupid Fighter fails?
Hoard GulletDrM (
) - How about a Bag of Holding... at level 1? Sure, it's
not perfect, but it's a good spell to know.
Snuff the LightDotU (
) - I'm sure you can see the use of turning off the
lights as a Swift Action...
Reduce Person (

) - It adds to your AC and some skills. Not bad, but

barely worth a slot.

Feather Fall (
) - Like Magic Missile, it's a spell every Wizard knows. It's a
handy little thing to have, but somehow the others live without it.
Magic Weapon (
) - Only ever of any use when facing DR and Incorporeal
enemies, this is a fairly useless spell. At low levels, you don't need it; At high
levels, you have Greater Magic Weapon.
Level 2:
Alter Self (
) - This spell deserves a whole thread, also here. I don't
recommend you use it, but it's power is undeniable.
Quick PotionSpC (
) - Not only does this allow you to save actions in combat and
let the peons act in your stead, it can be used to store emergency healing potions and
the like. Also, these potions aren't made at minimum CL. A fun trick with this is
making the Material Component for Tenser's Transformation and it's derivatives.
Jaws of the MorayStorm (
) - It gives the BSF an extra attack per round. It's no
Haste, but it's good. Not only that, but it's kinda like Improved Grab.
Levitate (
) - That's like flight, except you can't move as easily. If they can't
reach you, they can't hurt you.
Rope Trick (

) - This is your safe haven spell. Use it well, grasshopper.

HeroicsSpC (
) - Again, your job is making the fighter able to better smash things.
This spell does that nicely.
Swift FlySpC (
) - That's Fly, 1 level early. Useful for running away, covering
distances or along with other spells (Levitate/Greater Floating Disc), getting actual
flight. If you're an actual Transmuter, this is a (

), because you can get Sudden

Fox's Cunning (
) - I only mention this spell because of a trick related to Quick
Potion and Mental Pinnacle. Without it, it's not a very good spell except for raising DC
at low levels.
Knock (
) - Opening doors is not your job. The rogue can pick them and the
barbarian can smash them, but if you want a quick, easy, assured and simply
enchanting entrance, use this. It makes rogues cry.

Heart of AirCM (
but little else.

) - You want this spell for the combo with other Heart of... spells,

Level 3:
Haste (

) - Get this one on your allies, and you make them that much deadlier.

Slow (
Fly (

) - Get this one on your foes, and you basically win.

) - You can fly! No more of this "walking" mere mortals do!

Celestial AspectBoED - (
) If you can get someone to cure the ability damage,
it's plain out better than Fly, and offers other options, to boot. If not, it's still rather
Shrink Item ( ) - You can use this spell to carry around bonfires, statues, boulders,
corpses, or just about anything else. Not only can you break the game with this, you
can pillage and loot anything not nailed down.
Greater Magic Weapon ( ) - Give your allies +5 weapons. They'll thank you for it
more than if you'd cast another Fireball.
Heart of WaterCM ( ) - Remember the days when not being able to cast Freedom of
Movement was a weakness of Wizards? Now you can cast it, and better than any
Cleric ever could.
Greater Mighty WallopRotD (
HaltPHB2 (

) - HUGE damage boosts to your allies.

) - Immediate Action debuff. Very nice.

DragonskinSpC (
) - This is mostly nice to get Energy Resistance, but the NA
doesn't hurt, either.
Dolorous BlowSpC (
That's pretty cool.

) - Give the BSF Imp. Critical and Automatic Confirmation.

Mass Snake's SwiftnessSpC (

) - Not everyone uses Haste well. A Swift Hunter
might prefer this, for instance. Also useful if your foes move around a lot or there are
a lot weak ones.
Animate WeaponCM (
) - The effect depends on the size of the weapon, not you.
Have the BSF carry a spiked chain that wouldn't shame a titan. Might be slightly
broken if you use it like that, but it's plain useless otherwise.

Sense of the DragonRotD (

to have.
Control TemperatureFrost (
for so much more. Not bad.

) - It's essentially Blindsense 30', which is always good

) - This is your Endure Elements, except you can use it

Wand ModulationCS ( ) - You might need the same spell a lot of times at once, and
this allows for it, but it's hardly cost-effective.
SiphonCS (
) - This one is nice if you have an URGENT need for spells, but it's really
expensive to use, unless you have a Staff of the Magi.
Level 4:
Polymorph (
) - You win. No save to avoid awesome. Probably one
of the most broken and open ended spells ever. If your type isn't Humanoid, it gets
just as silly earlier.
Displacer FormSpC (
) - Not only is this a decent combat form, but you also get
Displacement (yes, this is a Trans spell, not an Illusion), and you get to keep your
CelerityPHB2 (

) - You can act out of turn. That's so powerful, it's silly.

Heart of EarthCM (
bonuses? Great value.

) - Stoneskin for free, as well as Temp HP and synergy

Perfect SummonsBoED (
) - At this point, you'll be meeting lots of spellcasters,
demons and devils. Guess what those guys do? This gets you free, powerful, allies.
Voice of the DragonSpC (
) - You're not the party face, but you can cast
Suggestion! Considering you've probably prohibited Enchantment, this is good.
TrollshapePHB2 (
) - This gives you Regeneration. Enough said. It's a defensive
spell, and a good one.
Spell EnhancerSpC (
) - Pretty darned nice. When casting CL dependent spells, this
is amazing. Use it to get the good kind of Phantasmal Steed, for instance.
Baleful BlinkPHB2 (

) - Save or lose 50% of your actions? Nice!

Passage of the Shifting SandsDrM (

decent speed, and an attack capacity.

) - Very nice getaway spell, it gives you

Mnemonic Enhancer (
) - Adds some versatility, and if you have a day in
advance, you can get free spells.
Call of StonePHB2 (
well be a SoD.
Stone Shape (

) - Wierd sort of Slow, and given a high DC and CL, it might

) - Pretty darned useful in natural terrain and stone walls.

Repair Critical DamageSpC (

) - You're no healer, that's for sure, but if you have a
Warforged ally, this spell and lessers are useful.
Alliance UndoneExEv (
) - This one removes all "alliance" bonuses with no save, in
a large area. Bardic Music? Marshal Auras? Flanking? None of that, and more. Mostly
useful against a party, hence the lowish rating.
Mark of the Enlightened SoulDrM (
) - Regeneration/Good exists, and with this
spell you can bypass it and get free Empowered spells. Not bad, I think, but this is for
those rare times you blast.
Scramble PortalSpC (
over Gates with this.

) - Only ever of use in a planar campaign or the like. Screw

Level 5:
Draconic PolymorphDraconomicon (
) - This is Polymorph, except
improved in every way that matters! If you thought Polymorph was broken (it
probably is...), then don't even look at this spell.
Telekinesis (

) - You can grapple Ghosts with this, damnit!

Mass FlySpC (
) - This spell will win you encounters against earthbound foes
without a doubt. It's even rather good for aerial combat. LEARN THIS.
Lord of the SkyDrM (
) - I love this spell! You're a Wizard, so a good assumption
is that you don't walk often. If you're a Transmuter, it's a given. With this, you can
make sure you have aerial superiority or even force your foes to land. Swift Action
blasting every round to stress the point is also pretty cool. This is an
Evocation/Transmutation spell, so you need to be able to cast Evocation.
Flesh to IceFrost (

) - Your first real SoD! Woohoo!

Greater Enlarge PersonSpC (

) - Essentially, this is Permanent Enlarge Person. If
you have a BSF, this is certainly handy, saving you the actions on buffing him (it?).
Lightning LeapCM (

) - Transmutation doesn't usually move you around. Sure, it

gives you the means to do so, but it rarely does so directly. This is rather unique, and
damaging those in your path is rather stylish. Sculpt this for better maneuverability.
Heart of FireCM (
) - It doesn't stack with Haste, but Fire Resistance all day long,
an OOC speed boost and the Fire Shield are all nice. Not to mention the combo with
the other Heart of... spells.
Airy WaterStorm (
) - This is like Water Breathing, except it's actually good and has
a decent duration. It lets your party fight better underwater, too.
Zone of PeaceCity (
) - It's an Emanation around you preventing BSFers from
drawing their weapons. That's pretty cool.
Trait RemovalSK (
) - If you can somehow trap Pun-Pun for a while, this is how
you disable him. It also has plenty of use in removing bad racial traits like Light
Blindless, weakening Bound Pit Fiends, and if you can cast it as a Full Round action
with Uncanny Forethought (hasn't seen Errata yet...), you can use it mid-combat to
remove annoying abilities.
Transmute Rock to Mud (
) - Utility is awesome, but entrapping foes with this
followed by TMtR is even better.
Transmute Mud to Rock (
even better.

) - A really good spell in a swamp, and with TRtM it's

Overland Flight (
) - If you plan to use this indoors, get one of the spells that
improves maneuverability or the Pectoral of Maneuverability. Otherwise, this is your
first hour/level flight spell.
Greater BlinkSpC (
) - I don't like wasting actions on defense while in combat, but
this is pretty good, I admit. With Eyes of the Oracle active, this offers immunity to
most things.
Xorn MovementSpC (

) - Because Earth Glide is just dandy!

Swift EtherealnessPHB2 (
level spell!

) - When you need it, you really do. Still, this is a 5th

Form of the Threefold BeastPHB2 (

) - Probably the worst combat form spell for
it's level. If I'm losing my casting for the duration, I'm expecting something good.
Level 6:
Mental PinnacleSRD/XPH (

) - Become a powerful Psion for the encounter! Cast

this spell once and you'll last the encounter. Ask your DM whether you get bonus PP
for a high INT score - I'd rule that yes. An Enchanter casting this spell can manifest
powers with a truly scary DC.
Brilliant BladeSpC (
using Arcane spells.

) - Truly a good spell when meeting anyone wearing armor or

Lesser DragonshapeDrM (
) - None too shabby. You can rip a level appropriate foe
apart, especially if you're pre-buffed.
Scalding MudSand (
) - This is like Stone=>Mud=>Stone, except they take
damage, and it's just one spell. Not bad, I think, especially combined with Solid Fog or
Flesh to Stone (
) - It's a Save-or-Die. I actually like those, even if I often prefer
stuff like Slow or Black Tentacles. Even so, unless you can use Flesh to Ice, this is the
earliest you get a real SoD.
Disintegrate (
) - This is an old staple, and quite a bit overrated. Damage is good,
but only if they fail their save. A level earlier you got a Save-or-Die, so this don't
impressin' me much. The utility of this spell is very good, with destroying walls, floors,
Walls of Force and the like, though. If you want this kind of damage, without a horrid
save, look at Stored Lightning Bolt (SoS).
Mages Lucubration (
) - Think of it as a Pearl of Power 1-5 for a 6th level spell.
Not bad, but not the best use for the slot.
Ooze PuppetSpC (
) - Not something I'd prepare, ever, unless I plan to meet an
Ooze. But if you do, it's truly good. My very own Living Spell? Sign me up!
Tenser's Transformation (
) - I'm now a Fighter! Except I'm scrawny, have no
proper equipment, and far more stupid than a wizard or fighter should ever be. This
should be [Mind-Affecting, Stupid].
Nightstalker's TransformationSpC (
) - This is like Tenser's Transformation,
except you at least get Evasion and SA. This MIGHT be good if you cast it along with
using Shapechange/Polymorph, but it's still a terrible spell.
Level 7:
Elemental BodySpC (
) - Immunity to Stun, Parlysis, Poison, Sleep... the list goes
on and on! Oh, and you can Fly (Perfect) at your base speed all day long. This is my
favourite Transmutation spell!
Glass StrikeSpC (

) - This is a Fort save or die... that affects Objects! You know

what that means, right? Use it on Undead and Constructs while laughing like mad!
Reverse Gravity (

) - Assuming they can't fly, this isn't a Save-or-Die; It's just a

Statue (
) - Hardiness 8 all day long is fun. Not only does this reduce damage by
a lot, it also cuts energy damage down by quite a bit. This is even better on your
Control Weather (
) - Hurricanes are fun, and you can decimate whole armies
with this. Takes time, but it's worth it.
Brilliant AuraSpC (
) - Personally, I prefer the other options and using Brilliant
Weapon, since not all your allies need it, but I can't say this is bad. Your entire party
ignores Armor and Shield bonuses.
Unicorn HeartCM (
) - That's no flight, but the bonuses to skills, increased speed
and DD are useful. Along with Elemental Body or the other Unicorn... spells, this is
rather nice, but still, we're talking 7th level spells here...
Body of WarSpC (
) - So I get to turn into a mighty Warforged Titan! Wow! You
can't cast spells now. Congratulations, you're a BSF, but at least you're an OK one.
The amount of immunities this gives is HUGE, and even though you have no CON
score, you keep your HP.
SynostodweomerSpC (
) - Whoever said Wizards can't heal, obviously missed this
spell. Hardly efficient, but when you need it, you really do.
As the FrostPHB2 (
) - Not the most powerful spell, but Slow is good. Useful vs.
very mobile foes who are smart and want to kill you specifically, and the DR is not bad
at 10/Magic and Piercing. It also makes you an Outsider with Cold Immunity for the
Adamantine WingsCM (
) - You can get almost the same effect with lesser spells.
Still, this one offers some utility in letting you bash down doors and getting a
Quickened Blast for free.
Level 8:
Polymorph Any Object (
) - Turn your allies into Sun Giants! Turn
your foes into Rocks! Utility abounds! If you don't use it as a buff, it's not actually
broken, just really good.
Greater CelerityPHB2 (
) - Unless you have some sort of reason to use a Full Round
Action, such as Uncanny Forethought or a Full Round Action spell, I really don't see

how this is worth 4 (!) spell levels above Celerity. Even so, I can't discount it totally,
since it has SOME use.
GhostformSpC (
) - If you're a Sorcerer, this is much more interesting. Anyhow, it's
a useful spell to know, but you don't really want to waste an action casting it. Also, it's
only a slightly improved, if at all, version of Greater Blink (SpC)...
Level 9:
Shapechange (
) - Turn into whatever monster you like and abuse
any racial trait! That's the pinnacle of transformative magic, and is every bit as broken
as the lesser versions. By now, you've come to expect this.
Time Stop (
) - You'd just stopped time. That's quite a feat, right there! Relish it
by using Rainbow Falls and casting 3d4 Stored Lightning Bolts for ~1050 points of
Replicate CastingSpC (
) - Not quite Time Stop, but if you want to cast Heal, a
prohibited spell, or even follow a Planeshifter, you need this.
DragonshapeDrM (
) - You don't generally want to enter melee, but with this you
might just beat them in their own game.
Planar PerinarchPlH (
) - Interesting spell. This lets you literally be God, after a
fashion, on many planes. Don't expect the local powers to appreciate your messing
around with their domain, though. Were this usable on the Prime, I'd rate it higher.

Prestige Classes for GOD - when just being GOD isn't

good enough:
* Decent Choice
** Good Choice
*** Great Choice

Archmage ***: This is a great choice for a specialist or focused specialist since you
already have Spell Focus (or should) for your chosen school. It will take you a whole
one level of Master Specialist (see Complete Mage PrCs) to get the Skill Focus
(Spellcraft), so you only need Spell Focus in one more school to qualify.
Archmage is not a PrC you need to take all 5 levels of but it certainly is a decent
choice for 5 levels. Heres a breakdown of the High Arcana abilities:
Arcane Fire: Skip this garbage. Yuck.

Arcane Reach: This is normally +2 level metamagic. Take it once twice probably
isnt worth it.
Mastery of Counterspelling: I hate counterspelling have them counterspell you.
Mastery of Elements: Unlike Energy Substitution metamagic you can switch
energy to sonic. Very few creatures are immune to sonic. This actually makes Acid Fog
a decent spell. This is a good choice but not a must have.
Mastery of Shaping: Must have. If you go Archmage and dont take this I will be
very disappointed in you. This will have the appropriate holes/hallways in your solid
fog spells which makes me in love with this ability.
Spell Power: Adds CL to your spells. This is decent (also helps with Spell Penetration)
but not necessarily huge.
Spell Like Ability: A good choice for 9th level spells that you cast often. Thats it.
Basically for 5 levels of Archmage I would suggest (in this order) Mastery of
Shaping, Arcane Reach, Mastery of Elements, Spell Like Ability (shapechange or time
stop), Spell Power
Also use specialist slots to power the high arcane never give up generalist slots.
Loremaster *: You need one useless feat for entrance and can get as much as 5
secrets in 10 levels - one of which replaces said useless feat. The other secrets are OK
but not great.

Complete Arcane:
Fatespinner **: Levels 1-4 are great and easy to qualify for. Level 5 isnt worth it.
The abilities are all limited in use but still, you are basically The Fortunes Friend
without the lost caster levels.
Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil *: Yes I acknowledge the abilities of this PrC are
impressive, however, it is a pain to qualify for (SF and GSF abjuration??? WTF?) It
also requires extensive level investment to pay off. It is a good choice but it already
gets too much love on these boards and there are lots of other great options for GOD.
Mage of the Arcane Order ***: Tired of being told that Focused Specialists lack
spell versatility? Very well, take 7 levels of this and sacrifice specialist slots for
casting spellpool spells. Problem solved. Im in love with this PrC due to spellpool
being so incredibly versatile and wonderful. One crappy feat required for entrance.
Wayfairer guide *: For a conjurer this is a very easy one level dip for some
moderate teleportation bonuses with no drawback.

Complete Divine:
Sacred Exorcist *: Level one gives Turn Undead (yeah you cant use DMM, but

there are a million divine feats out there that are now of use to you. (Divine Vigor,
Glorious weapons). The second level gives detect evil at will if that is of interest to

Complete Mage:
Master Specialist **: Specialists should qualify automatically by level 4. However
waiting until level 6 to enter is wise (to take advantage of Granted Domain power or
other 5th level granted alternate class features for wizard). You can use this PrC to get
Greater Spell Focus as a bonus feat at level 3. The Skill Focus (Spellcraft) will help you
qualify for Archmage. This PrC is a great 3 level dip or in the case of Conjurers
decent for 10 levels (the 10th level ability is really good for Conjurers if you can wait
out all 10 levels).
Ultimate Magus *: This one is for the Metamagic Focused Route only and even
then consider the loss of caster levels. However it is certainly worth consideration if
you are going that route. If you do decide to go Ultimate Magus use Beguiler as
your other class. The skills rock, it gets as many castings as a sorcerer, and it uses
INT as its primary stat. Dont worry if you arent a fan of the spell list the majority
of your spell slots will go to power metamagic anyways.

Complete Scoundrel:
Malconvoker: ( can't rate this) Well I love this PrC, but its not for GOD, its for
Wizards who want to create Big Stupid Fighters. Deserved special mention anyways.
The level 5 power is basically free twin on summon monster spells.

Complete Champion:
Paragnostic Apostle **: Easy, easy qualifier. Nepence once said to me that the first
time he saw this PrC he vowed To come back and check it every time I make a caster
to see what it could add. (Im paraphrasing from memory). Nepence is a smart guy.
This is an easy dip go for one level or all 5 either way its good. Knowledge is
power abilities to consider:
Accurate Retort: +1 to hit with Ray Spells against creatures with NA. So basically
+1 to hit. Not bad.
Backhanded Attack: OK but very specific in use. If you love orb spells this is
worth considering
Call of Worlds: Decent for summoners for you not so much.
Discern Weakness: Take only in campaigns where you fight a lot of one type of
Divine Understanding: Skip me.
Energy Supremacy: Yawn. Might be OK for blasters but not GOD.
Manifest Ethos: Great for blasters for GOD, well, not terrible anyways.
Mind over body: Yawn

Mind over Matter: Take this. Greater Mage armor now gives the protection of full
plate. (Preplan for the skill requirement Knowledge (architecture) is not normally
Mortal Coil: Yawn
Noble Presence: Yawn
Penetrating Insight: +1 spell penetration that stacks with spell penetration. Good
See through the veil: Yuck
Spatial Awareness: Decent choice
If you go all 5 levels I would suggest (in order): Mind over matter, Penetrating
Insight, Spatial awareness, Manifest Ethos, Accurate Retort.

Building GOD:

The Focused Specialist Conjurer

Battlefield Controller: - The Versatility
This build is a Focused Specialist that will have lost little versatility over a generalist
while gaining all those extra spell memorizations:
Stats: See my 22 point build suggestions. Increase INT for levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20.
Race: Strongheart Halfling (cheesy - but not as cheesy as a whisper gnome)
Alternate Class abilities: Level 1 (Fighter feats, Immediate magic). Level 5 (Domain
granted power - Magic Domain - now you can use spell trigger items from any school)
1: Conjurer (1)(Cloudy Conjuraton, Improved Initiative, Cooperative Spell)
2: Conjurer (2)
3: Conjurer (3)(Sculpt Spell)
4: Conjurer (4)
5: Conjurer (5)
6: Mage of the Arcane Order (1)(Metamagic School: Conjuration)
7: Mage of the Arcane Order (2)(Extend Spell)
8: Mage of the Arcane Order (3)
9: Mage of the Arcane Order (4)(Spell Focus: Conjuration)
10: Mage of the Arcane Order (5)
11: Mage of the Arcane Order (6)
12: Mage of the Arcane Order (7)(Augment Summoning)
13: Master Specialist (1) (Skill Focus: Spellcraft)
14: Master Specialist (2)


Master Specialist (3) (Rapid Spell, Spell focus - transmutation)

Archmage (1) Mastery of Shaping
Archmage (2) Spell Like Ability: Timestop
Archmage (3) Arcane Reach (Spell Penetration)
Archmage (4) Mastery of Elements
Archmage (5) Spell Power

What this build has going for it:

It's save DC's for Conjuration spells will be very high. It will have lots of castings per
day - and can switch out conjuration spells for spellpool spells from non-conjuration
It can also use spell trigger items from any school of magic due to the "Magic Domain"
granted power.

The Focused Specialist Transmuter

Buffer/Debuffer: - The DC specialist
This build focuses less on maintaining versatility and jumps right into a
Buffing/Debuffing specialty. This build is made so DC's will be high - but has lots of
Buffing spells to fall back on when the opponent has ridiculous saves or SR. In most
combats he should start with a buff (maybe a haste) and then start debuffing come
round 2.
Alternate class abilities: Focused Specialist (Transmuter), Fighter feats, Domain
Granted Ability (level 5)
Race: Grey Elf
Stats (32 point buy): Int 20 (16 points), Con 12 (6 points), Dex 16 (6 points), Cha
12 (4 points)
1: Transmuter 1(Spell Focus: Transmuation, Improved Initiative)
2: Transmuter 2
3: Transmuter 3 (Spell Penetration)
4: Transmuter 4
5: Trasmuter 5 (Family Domain)
6: Master Specialist 1 (Toughening Transmutation, Skill focus: Spellcraft)
7: Master Specialist 2
8: Fatespinner 1
9: Fatespinner 2 (Minor Shapeshift)
10: Fatespinner 3
11: Fatespinner 4
12: Sacred Exorcist 1 (Divine Ward Glorious Weapons)


Master Specialist 4 (Greater Spell Focus: Transmutation)

Paragnostic Apostle 1
Paragnostic Apostle 2 (Spell Focus: Conjuration)
Archmage 1
Archmage 2
Archmage 3 (Greater Spell Penetration)
Archmage 4
Archmage 5

This God uses Slow and Call of Stone as high DC debuffs while using Haste or Mass
Snake's swiftness to basically give their own party 10:1 attack ratio (or therabouts maybe not quite that much )
Advantage of this build: This build will rely more on buffing than the previous
Conjuration build. As such the Divine Ward feat will be of exceptional advantage
allowing allies to be targeted with touch spells at range. Later on Archmage will
allow basically the same thing at which point you will want to retrain your Divine
Ward feat for Glorious Weapons (basically mass align weapon).
The domain granted power will give a nice party-buff of +4 Dodge to AC to all allies
around you as a free-action 1/day. This keeps the BSF's where they should be around you as a shield.
The slightly higher CHA is to optimize the eventual Turning ability granted through
Sacred Exorcist so it is usable more times/day.
Enemies will have a difficult time with the Tranmuters debuffs when the saving throw
is altered through Fatespinner (and even worse when they make their save and the
Transmuter forces a reroll). The increased initial INT score through the racial choice
will also make DC's higher.
This character will focus on Haste or Snakes Swiftness along with Polymorph for
Buffing the 3 free extends can be used for Greater Magic Weapons, Rope Trick (at
low levels), or Overland Flights.

Magic Items:
Here's the straight goods on wands - generally - they aren't great. You are stuck with
a lousy caster level, they're charged, and if you want a decent level spell they are
hideously expensive.
The requirements of a good wand are as follows: Level 1 spell, Level 1 caster level,
Spell gives no saving throw, doesn't grant Spell Resistance, and the spell is useful

enough to use often despite the requirements. Then you are talking about a wand that
is cheap (750 gp) and good. For those who like math - that's 25gp per charge.
Pretty restricted stuff - but not impossible - here's some examples of wands that are
actually a good deal. You might want these as a wand instead of having them in your
Benign Transposition: No save 1st level spell that you will have use for on multiple
occassions. The wand restricts your range somewhat - but is well worth 750 gp.
Protection from X: An excellent wand - keep it for when you travel the Abyss or
somewhere else where outsiders will have dominate person as a SLA at will.
Silent Image: Useful utility wand. I use mine if I run out of Wall of Stone spells. It
does grant a save - the idea is to use it when the opponent is not likely to try to save.
Enlarge Person: A buff spell that should last through the combat.
True Strike: Grant yourself a +20 to hit next attack. Can be useful at low-mid levels
for Ray spells you don't want to miss.
True Casting (CM): Grant yourself a +10 on your next spell penetration roll. It's a
standard action - but a half-decent substitute for Assay Spell Resistance.
Get the idea?
(Note: There are a million-and-one ways to optimize wand use and to waste charges
on Wands at a truly astonishing rate. The Rod of Many Wands, Metamagic Wand Grips,
Dual Wand Caster are a few things that come to mind. If you really like charged items
- and love depleting charged items as fast as possible - you are reading the wrong
thread. In fact, Dictum Mortuum has a handbook for wand users that will give you all
the methods to spend your money faster than you could ever hope to recover it - no

I hate scrolls - they are a one-shot item which (with my miserly ways) means I'll be
too cheap to ever use any I have. They just sit there - declining in value to me as I
level - makes me boil to think about it.
Also - a scroll for a spell you might cast only once in a blue moon is also often worth
the dough.
Here's some examples of spells that make good scrolls:
Corpse Candle: You won't use it often - but sometimes you will really need it
Ethereal Jaunt: Again - a once in awhile useful spell
Get the idea?
Staves are very powerful - they are also ridiculously expensive and charged. The more
spells your staff has - the worse the deal is (since extra spells add to the value of a
staff but not to the charges). Generally - I don't recommend staves unless it is a spell
you cast very inconsistantly (you might cast it 4 times one day - 0 the next. The kind
of spell you either need or is useless). In that case - have the staff specially made with just that spell on it. Never get a staff with less than a 4th level spell (5th is
better) - or you are paying for caster levels that you didn't need.
It's pretty restrictive - but here's a staff I would consider at high level:
Teleport: Spell I use often - but not everday. I always hate the slot this takes up on
the memorization list - because when I need it - I NEED IT, but somedays I'll need it
more than once, others I won't need it at all.

Repeat after me: "Potions suck"


Tend to be horribly overpriced. The ring of sustenance does not do what you may have
heard. For a ring to be worth it - it either needs to be a minor effect (so not superexpensive) or a stupendous one.
Rings to consider:
Feather Fall: I like to use Phantom Steed as a long-duration super-fast fly spell at
mid-high levels (Mid because you can get your CL boosted with other means than just
levels). If you do this - this ring is a good investment - trust me.
Invisibility: Super expensive - but worth it once you can afford it.
Ring of Enduring Arcana: Not too expensive (6,000) and your spells are 20%
harder to dispel.
Spellguard Rings: Tend to be of more use in groups where there are is one primary
Big Stupid Fighter. In that case - very worthwhile. Cloudkill away!!!
Miscellaneous Items:

I love items that I can use over and over (I'm sure you've figured that out.) Here's
some gems to consider:
(Note: I don't have MiC and I'm not getting it now with 4.0 just around the corner.
Use these examples of a guide for how to pick the right magic item for your wizard
when you look through the MiC)
Pearls of Power: These are EXPENSIVE - hey wait - 1st level pearls of power are
cheap! Worthy to pick up a few 1st level pearls so you can keep casting and casting
and casting.
Headband of Intellect: Get this ASAP - then upgrade it whenever you can afford to
do so. It will grant you some extra spell castings and raise your DC on spells. (Later
on - the Tome of Clear thought as well naturally)
Amulet of Health: Less important than the INT bonus - but being a little tougher
doesn't hurt.
Cloak of Resistance: Good for any character - you too. +1 is cheap.
Heward's Handy Haversack: Also a must for any character - especially one with a
variety of wands, scrolls and wands!
Heward's Fortifying bedroll: Super cheap - super good.
Armor and Shields:
It's expensive, but you can get armor and shield (bucklers) that have 0% arcane spell
failure. You can then enhance them to give yourself a great AC. Personally - I tend to
concentrate on the defensive spells - but Dictum Mortuum analyzes this option in his
wizard's thread (see my link at the beginning of post)

I love Rods as a way to get metamagic without wasting all my feats. I especially love
the lesser varieties as I am cheap (as if you couldn't tell). Preplan though, when you
pick a metamagic rod make sure you've already answered this question: "Which spell
will I use this rod on?"
Extend, Lesser: Great for your all-day buffs (Mage armor, Greater Mage Armor,
Create Magic Tattoo), Great for all-day utility (Rope Trick). One is great - two might
even be worthwhile.
Enlarge, Lesser: Cheap way for double range. Definitely not worth taking the feat but as a Rod - this could definitely be worth it based on circumstance. Keep it in your
Haversack for Move Action readiness.
Silent, Lesser: Save for a rainy day (by rainy day I mean for when you have silence
cast on you or you need to be vewy-vewy qwiet)
Quicken, Lesser: Painfully expensive but extremely powerful. You've spent all this
investment on getting lots of spell memorizations - now find ways to burn them all off
as fast as you can! This is not a rod to rush into - but pick it up at high levels instead.

Filling your memorization slots:

Despite what you may have read elsewhere - wizards do not have every spell they
need whenever they need it. The goal of building your Wizard with Focused Specialist
and Maxing out Int is to have as many as possible.
The next trick is to have the right spells in your slots. You can keep open slots which
you can fill later in the day if you want - that comes down to personal play style. I
tend to fill all my slots right away so they can be cast on a moments notice.
I'll give some examples of memorizations for a the Versitile Caster/Focused
Specialist conjurer example above. I'll use a few different levels (5th, 10th,
15th) to give perspective.

5th level: Slots: 0: 6, 1: 7, 2: 5, 3: 4

0: Caltropsx3, Detect Magic, Light, Mage Hand
1: Mage Armor, Wall of Smoke, Grease x2, Expeditious Retreat (swift), Targeting Ray,
Silent Image
2: Web, Glitterdust, Cloud of Bewilderment, Rope Trick, Invisibility
3: Stinking Cloud, Glitterdust (Sculpt spell meta), Bands of Steel, Haste
Recommended Magic Items: Rod of Extend (lesser), Wand of Benign Transposition,
Cloak of Resistance (+1), Headband of Intellect (Totals 8750gp) (The Rod is probably
your first priority here - the Cloak of Resistance is the most expendable)
Recommended Strategy: You aren't high enough level to just blow all your spells

yet. Start each battle with one of your 3rd level memorizations and then assess your
situation. If it should be easy going from here on, then cast down some caltrops and
make use of your cloudy conjuration feat for minor battlefield control. If things are
tough - go into 2nd and 1st level spells in following rounds. Keep at least 1 Glitterdust
or Cloud of Bewilderment in reserve in case there are more combats than you

10th Level: Memorizations: 0: 6, 1: 8, 2: 8, 3: 7, 4: 6, 5: 5

0: As level 5 example
1: Mage Armor, Wall of Smoke, Grease, Expeditious Retreat (swift), Targeting Ray,
Silent Image, Blockade x2
2: Web, Glitterdust x2, Cloud of Bewilderment (sculpt metamagic for free), Rope Trick,
Invisibility, Create Magic Tattoo, Fog Cloud
3: Bands of Steel, Haste x2, Corpse Candle, Stinking Cloud, Dimension step, Mage
Armor (greater)
4: Dimension Door, Solid Fog, Bloodstar, Wall of Sand, Assay Spell Resistance, Celerity
5: Teleport, Cloudkill, Wall of Stone (Sculpt metamagic for free), Overland Flight
(extend for free), Wall of Good
Recommended magic items: Rod of extend (lesser), Headband of Intellect (+4),
Pearls of power - level 1 (x 5), Rod of silent spell (lesser), Heward's handy haversack,
Heward's fortifying bedroll, Amulet of health (+2), Cloak of Resistance (+2), Wand of
True Casting (Total gp value: 39,750 - leaves some extra room for incedentals)
Recommended strategy: You now have a lot more spells. Use your rod of extend on
your greater mage armor and your Create Magic Tattoo at the beginning of the day.
Cast blockades or swift expeditious whenever they're helpful and recover them with
pearls of power. Start battles with a 4th or 5th level spell. Follow it up with 1st or 2nd
level spells in following rounds. Use cloudy conjuration for defense (place in front of
you). You stillcan't just waste spells or you will still run out - but you can nova at need
without completely draining yourself.
You also have spellpool to swap out spells as required. Use it.

15th Level: Memorizations: 0: 6, 1: 8, 2: 8, 3: 8, 4: 8, 5: 8, 6:

6, 7: 5, 8: 4
0: As level 5 example
1: Wall of Smoke, Grease, Expeditious Retreat (swift)x2, Targeting Ray, Silent Image,
Blockade x2
2: Web, Glitterdust x2, Cloud of Bewilderment (sculpt metamagic for free), Rope Trick,
Invisibility, Create Magic Tattoo, Fog Cloud
3: Haste x2, Corpse Candle, Stinking Cloud, Dimension step, Mage Armor (greater),

Phantom Steed x2
4: Dimension Door, Solid Fog, Bloodstar, Wall of Sand, Assay Spell Resistance x2,
Celerity x2
5: Teleport, Cloudkill, Wall of Stone, Wall of Good, Friend to Foe, Evacuation Rune,
Shadow Evocation, Transmute Rock to Mud
6: Freezing Fog x2 (One enhanced with sculpt spell), Tunnel Swallow, True Seeing,
Antimagic Field, Dispel Magic (Greater)
7: Stun Ray (Extend for free), Choking Cobwebs (CS) (Sculpt Spell for free), Summon
Monster VII, Brilliant Aura, Reverse Gravity
8: Maze, Plane Shift (Greater), Deadly Lahar (CS - huge cone slow effect), Chain
Recommended magic items: Ring of Feather Fall, Ring of Enduring Arcana,
Headband of Intellect (+6), Amulet of health (+4), Metamagic Rod of Quicken
(lesser), Metamagic Rod of Extend (lesser), Metamagic rod of Silent Spell (lesser),
Heward's handy haversack, Heward's fortifying bedroll, and treat yourself to a nice
metamagic rod as well. Should have lots left over for whatever else you like.
Recommended strategy: You are now flying at 240' on your phantom steed all day.
The second is in case the first goes down. There are more spells on the list that simply
enhance other spells (Celerity, Assay spell resistance) - since you can now afford more
castings of these type of spells. There are lots of Battlefield controls, Buffs and
Debuffs on the list. Use mid level spells for most battles - plus you can afford a high
level spell for every battle with some left for reserve.
Freezing Fog + Sculpt spell just makes me smile.
Thanks guys!
If there are any alterations that need to be done, just PM me, and I'll be right on it!
Disclaimer (again):
I did not write any of the above hanbooks or spell guides.
Tsuyoshikentsu wrote the Divination spell guide.
CantripN wrote the Transmutation spell guide.
malaspina reformatted the code after the wotc boards change
Treantmonklvl20 wrote everything else above.
Thanks to those for writing amazing guides!

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