The overpowered magic-user, complete with staff and flowing robes, is one of the fantasy genre's most iconic characters. If we trace the spellcasting classes to the source, all roads lead to the Wizard. The choices in RPGs always have a few options when it comes to magic users, but Wizards are typically an intellectual class that studies and memorizes their spells. In Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous the Wizard has the same distinctions.
Wizards are unique among the casting classes of the Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous because they rely on the ability score of Intelligence when it comes to their spellcasting abilities. That includes memorizing spells along with their hit rating and power level. Since Wizards are such a versatile class, it's hard to say which ability scores are more important than others with the exception of Intelligence. They are arcane casters that have learned their powers through practice as opposed to a spontaneous caster like a Bard or Bloodrager that has an otherworldly patron or intuitive abilities.
Like other vintage RPG classes, the Wizard is fairly easy to multi-class if you want them to use weapons or equip armor, but it's also common to build a pure Wizard that's just a really powerful caster. Their worldly knowledge often makes them the leader of the party and they're often the ones that serve as expository characters because they always seem to know everything.
The Wizard - Character Creation
- Intelligence: This is always the Wizard's most important ability score regardless of the build. This allows them to learn and memorize as many spells as possible.
- Consitution: A Wizard can put armor on, but it limits their spellcasting ability and accuracy rating, so it's better to go without and count on a few extra hit points to keep you standing instead.
- Dexterity: Use for the Wizard's ability to dodge attacks and spell hit to some degree. This is related to abilities like Stealth or certain weapon proficiencies if the build is moving in that direction.
- Strength: Only consider this ability score if you want to multi-class your Wizard or give them some kind of martial weapon ability.
- Wisdom: This could be a "dump stat" depending on the build, but keep in mind that several classes rely on Wisdom for special abilities and spellcasting in case you're thinking about multi-classing.
- Charisma: Wizards often take the leadership role in a party but it's not mandatory. If you want to combine your Wizard with another spellcasting class, it's important to remember that most of the others use Charisma as their most important ability score.
- Damage. Wizards are overwhelmingly a damage-dealing class with little room for variation. Players that are interested in this build, however, are often focused on a DPS role anyway and don't miss the lack of melee or healing action.
- Crowd Control (CC). Certain types of Wizards can wield their powers for control as opposed to dealing damage with spells like Sleep, and battlefield management can be the most important part of combat.
- CC and Support. Wizards don't heal, but they have a lot of spells that can be used to buff characters and improve their chances when it comes to critical hits, Luck, and other important factors that affect the dice rolls.
Races with bonuses to their Intelligence score aren't exactly rare, but there are definitely fewer when compared to races with buffs to ability scores like Charisma and Wisdom. Some of the classes are more customizable than others, allowing players to allocate points into the ability scores of their choosing, which is handy if you're building a certain kind of Wizard. This is also a factor to keep in mind if there's multi-classing or a Prestige class in a character's future.
- Aasimar. The Heritage choice of Emberkin, or Peri-Blooded Aasimar, would make a fine Wizard with the +2 Intelligence buff. The +2 Charisma is handy for future multiclass options and this race can use the Burning Arc spell once a day.
- Dhampir. There are several variations on the Dhampir that include Intelligence buffs along with additional bonuses to other scores including Dexterity and Strength along with some extra Arcane Knowledge, making it a great choice for any build.
- Dwarf. The Consitution buff is helpful, so if you put enough ability score points in Intelligence, this is possible but not an ideal choice.
- Elf. The Dexterity and Intelligence bonuses make this an obvious choice. Elves take a -2 penalty to Constitution, but that's a typical trait of some spellcaster builds.
- Gnome. Another race with a decent Constitution bonus but not much else to offer a Wizard.
- Half-elf. One of the best choices, Half-Elves can be tweaked to fit almost any class. They have handy Elven abilities like Elven Immunities and players can add +2 to any ability score when they first start building the character.
- Half-orc. It's not a crazy as it sounds, as this class gets a +2 bonus to any ability score. If you want to build a Wizard with martial capabilities, Half-orcs have an ability called Weapon Familiarity that makes them proficient with certain weapons.
- Halfling. Bonuses to Dexterity and Charisma but there's not much here to benefit a Wizard.
- Human. The most versatile race in the RPG universe also makes a great Wizard. Use the extra Feat to give your character a handy ability like Combat Casting, or perhaps something a Wizard wouldn't normally have like Deft Hands.
- Kitsune. The Keen Kitsune, one of the Heritage choices available for this race, includes a +2 bonus to Intelligence. It's such a nice start for a Wizard build that one of the best companions in Pathfinder: WotR is a Kitsune Wizard.
- Oread. An ideal race for characters that want to heal, take damage, or depend on Wisdom and Consitution as their primary ability scores. Wizards don't fit very well here.
- Tiefling. There are no less than eleven options for players when it comes to choosing a Tiefling Heritage, but only the General one includes an Intelligence buff. In fact, be extra careful if starting your Wizard with a Tiefling, as several of the ancestral traits include a penalty to Intelligence.
The Wizard Subclasses
Not every Wizard Archetype has access to the same abilities, and there are some profound differences between the subclasses, but all of them are damage or support classes that use Intelligence for their saving throws. One of the signature abilities of Wizards is Arcane Bond but not all Archetypes have access to it.
Arcane Bond can apply to either objects or animal familiars. Wizards use bonded objects to restore some of their memorized spells per day, while Animal Familiars buff their owner's abilities. For example, a Cat Familiar will improve a Wizard's Stealth checks and a Lizard Familiar will give them a natural armor bonus.
- Arcane Bomber. This Wizard likes to blow stuff up using both science and magic. They learn to make bombs, but in exchange, they give up Cantrips and Arcane Bond. It all depends on the kind of Wizard you want to be.
- Cruoromancer. One of the few Archetypes in the game restricted to race, this subclass relies on the inherent magic of their own vampire blood as the source of their power and is therefore only open to Dhampirs. Their specialist school is limited to Necromancy and they do not have Arcane Bond.
- Elemental Specialist. This Wizard is dedicated to the specialist school of Evication and they are dedicated to studying a single element.
- Exploiter Wizard. An Arcanist class uses their knowledge of the Arcane to cast spells instead of study or memorization, and this Wizard has the same powers.
- Scroll Savant. Nenio, one of the Companions available in the game, is a Wizard of this subclass. That's why Nenio can use her Intelligence modifier to cast spells and use scrolls instead of whatever minimum modifier the spell school normally requires.
- Spell Master. This Wizard doesn't have a Specialist School. Instead, they become adept at casting spells from every possible discipline.
- Thassilonian Specialist. The polar opposite of a Spell Master but with a more focused discipline than an Elemental Specialist. They use the obscure knowledge of the ancient Thassilon to enhance their already precise and deadly powers.
Prestige Classes And Multi-Classing Options
One way to determine the best matches when it comes to multi-classing is common ability scores and other special common features. There are plenty of other classes that share certain Wizard traits that are important to get through the game, such as Arcane Knowledge and Use Magical Device, and the Wizard has enough customization options to make almost any multiclass combination work.
WotR has so many different choices for classes in the first place that many players will find that multi-classing is unnecessary, but the option is always open for players who wanted to build that classic Fighter-Sorcerer. Being Arcane spellcasters, Wizards have access to several Prestige Classes, many of which require some level of arcane knowledge or basic casting abilities. Wizards in the Pathfinder universe have access to a limited number of weapons that cover some basic ranged and melee choices, such as clubs, quarterstaffs, and crossbows. Wizards also have the skills needed to use magical devices like scrolls and wands.
There aren't many other classes in Pathfinder that focus on Intelligence as their main stat, but there are a few notable classes that would combine nicely with the Wizard. The class has some weak spots when it comes to armor class, healing abilities, and hit points. These aren't all of the possible combinations that Pathfinder: WotR offers, just some of the more obvious ones, so creative players shouldn't let the following list deter them from their own unique Wizard build.
- Alchemist. Both classes have some key features in common, like relying on their Intelligence ability score and using scrolls. This is one way to build a Wizard with healing abilities or extra ranged damage capabilities in the form of explosives.
- Cleric. This works better with a ranged build and less armor as long as the Wizard has a Wisdom
- Fighter. The classic multi-class combination of spellcaster and melee class can work with a Fighter-Wizard build, provided each class has an ability score of 13 in both Strength and Intelligence.
- Hunter. Add some nature spells and animal companions to the Wizard's list of abilities by multiclassing with a Hunter provided they have a Wisdom score of at least 13.
- Magus. A lot of overlapping abilities might make this redundant, but some extra spells, martial weapon abilities, and improved AC makes it feasible.
- Rogue. The second most popular choice for a multi-class after the Fighter, this is a spellcaster with abilities like Stealth and Lockpicking along with some basic weapon abilities.
- Sorcerer. This is a class that uses Charisma instead of Intelligence to cast spells, so as long as your character can get past the ability score requirement, it's a nice way to get your hands on some Metamagic and spontaneous caster abilities.
- Witch. The best way to get access to Hexes, and is also a class that also uses Intelligence as their main stat, with the exception of the Stigmatized Witch Archetype.
- Arcane Trickster. A combination of spellcaster and Rogue, a Wizard needs abilities like Sneak Attack and Trickery in order to progress into this class, but they already have the required skill of casting second-level arcane spells.
- Dragon Disciple. This gives the Wizard an extra daily spell and crazy dragon-related powers like Dragon Form, Breath Weapon, and eventually a +2 Intelligence boost.
- Hellknight Signifier. There are two types of fighters in the Hellknight ranks, the ranged and the melee. This is the ranged, spellcasting wing of the merciless order, and they gain several extra casting abilities along with a cool mask.
- Loremaster. As long as your Wizard takes a Metamagic feat and knows at least one second-level arcane spell, they can become a Loremaster. This Prestige Class relies heavily on intellectual prowess, making it one of the most obvious choices.
Examples Of Wizard Builds
The Gandalf Build
- Party Role: Mainly support in the form of crowd control, but other than the obvious leadership qualities, this Wizard also has it in them to do some decent damage if it's needed. They might even have some martial abilities but they still stay with light armor.
- Ideal Race: Human, Half-Elf
- Best Subclass: Thassilonian Specialist or Spell Master
- Important Ability Scores: It's a ranged casting build, so Intelligence is still the most important ability score. Dexterity or Constitution can be the runner-up depending on how often they have to move into the field of battle.
Scroll And Device Expert
- Party Role: Support and Damage, and that can be in qual measure or favoring one or the other depending on the build. This Wizard tends to do use their weapons very little and stay at a ranged distance.
- Ideal Race: Kitsune, Half-Elf
- Best Subclass: Scroll Savant
- Important Ability Scores: The big one here in Intelligence with little other considerations outside of future Prestige Class plans, since this Wizard will avoid melee combat.
- Party Role: Damage, and that's both ranged and melee using a mix of magic, bombs, and good old steel.
- Ideal Race: Half-Orc
- Best Subclass: Arcane Bomber
- Important Ability Scores: This is a Wizard that can do a large amount of both ranged and melee damage. Certain racial choices and Feats that are part of the early build can give a Wizard some improvements when it comes to Constitution and Strength, which they need to focus on in addition to Intelligence.
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