Introduction: Wizards are powerful spellcasters who rely on their intelligence and vast knowledge of arcane magic to conquer their foes. Starting as a level 1 wizard, there are many choices to make regarding race, point buy, background, weapons, armor, and spells. This article will guide you through optimizing your level 1 wizard to make the most out of your character’s abilities.

Optimal Race: High Elf: High elves make excellent wizards due to their inherent racial traits. They gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity and a +1 bonus to Intelligence, which are both important stats for wizards. Additionally, high elves gain an extra cantrip from the wizard spell list and have darkvision, making them versatile and adaptable.

Optimal Point Buy: With a standard point buy system, distribute your points as follows:

  • Strength: 8
  • Dexterity: 14 (16 with High Elf bonus)
  • Constitution: 14
  • Intelligence: 15 (16 with High Elf bonus)
  • Wisdom: 12
  • Charisma: 8

This distribution maximizes your wizard’s Intelligence and Dexterity, which are vital for spellcasting and defense, while providing a decent Constitution for hit points.

Optimal Background: Sage: The sage background is a natural fit for wizards as it grants proficiency in Arcana and History, both of which are Intelligence-based skills. Additionally, the background feature “Researcher” can help your wizard uncover useful information and lore during your adventures.

Optimal Weapons: Light Crossbow: While wizards aren’t known for their weapon prowess, a light crossbow can be useful for situations when you’re out of spells or facing enemies resistant to magic. With a Dexterity of 16, you’ll have a decent chance to hit and deal some damage.

Optimal Armor: Mage Armor spell: Wizards don’t have access to armor proficiency. However, the Mage Armor spell allows you to increase your AC to 13 + your Dexterity modifier, providing a solid defense without the need for armor. It lasts for 8 hours, so make sure to cast it before entering dangerous situations.

Optimal Spells: Cantrips:

  1. Fire Bolt: A reliable ranged damage cantrip that scales as you level up.
  2. Minor Illusion: A versatile cantrip that can create distractions, hide objects, or provide cover.
  3. Prestidigitation: A utility cantrip for various minor magical effects, useful in and out of combat.
  4. (High Elf bonus) Mage Hand: A useful cantrip for manipulating objects at a distance.

Level 1 Spells:

  1. Mage Armor: As mentioned earlier, this spell is essential for improving your AC without armor.
  2. Shield: A reaction spell that can boost your AC by +5 when hit, helping you avoid damage.
  3. Sleep: A powerful crowd control spell at low levels, allowing you to incapacitate several enemies at once.
  4. Magic Missile: A reliable damage spell that doesn’t require an attack roll and can target multiple enemies.

Conclusion: Following this guide will optimize your level 1 wizard, providing a strong foundation for your character as you progress through your Dungeons & Dragons adventures. Remember, while optimization is useful, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the story you create with your fellow players!

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