Wizards in Baldur’s Gate 3 are revered for their mastery of arcane arts, wielding a staggering array of spells that can manipulate reality itself. As they reach level 2, Wizards must make a crucial decision that can shape their magical journey: choosing one of eight distinctive Wizard subclasses.
Each of these subclasses offers a unique set of features and bonuses, adding depth and personality to the wizard’s toolkit. We won’t let all those lonely years studying in a Wizard tower go to waste by easing you into Baldur’s Gate 3 Wizard subclasses, exploring their features, and helping you make an informed choice.
The eight Wizard subclasses
Wizard actually has the most number of subclasses in Baldur’s Gate 3, let’s take a quick overview of the available options:
- Evocation: Masters of destructive magic, Evocation Wizards focus on high-damage spells while minimizing harm to allies.
- Necromancy: Embracing the darker side of magic, Necromancy Wizards raise the dead and harness necrotic power to deal damage and gain health.
- Abjuration: These Wizards specialize in protective spells, creating wards and magical armor to shield themselves and their allies.
- Conjuration: Conjuration Wizards wield the power to summon creatures and manipulate space, adding unique strategic options to the battlefield.
- Divination: Masters of foresight, Divination Wizards can alter fate with their Portent Dice and excel at healing and supportive magic.
- Enchantment: Enchantment Wizards use charms and mind-altering spells to control and weaken enemies, making them valuable in crowd control.
- Illusion: Illusion Wizards excel at stealth and deception, using their magic to become invisible, create illusions, and confuse foes.
- Transmutation: Transmutation Wizards can alter the properties of objects and creatures, though their subclass is often considered less potent due to the utility-focused nature of their spells.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these subclasses and explore their unique features.
Evocation is the ideal choice for those who relish unleashing devastating spells from the safety of the backline. As an Evocation Wizard, you’ll gain access to the following features as you level up:
- Evocation Savant (Level 2): Learning Evocation spells from scrolls becomes more affordable, costing only 25 gold instead of 50.
- Sculpt Spells (Level 2): When casting Evocation spells, your allies within the spell’s area automatically succeed in their Saving Throws and take no damage.
- Potent Cantrip (Level 6): Your cantrips become more formidable, dealing half damage even when the target succeeds on its Saving Throw.
- Empowered Evocation (Level 10): You add your Intelligence modifier to damage rolls with all Evocation spells.
Evocation Wizards are damage powerhouses specializing in unleashing destructive energy while ensuring the safety of their comrades. If you’re too fond of Fireball and don’t want your allies dying from your indiscriminate pyromaniacal tendencies, Evocation Wizard makes you less of a menace.
But really, it’s the only way to go if you’re too focused on dealing damage due to the additional Intelligence modifier. It’s a big damage boost.
For those who find allure in the macabre and wish to command the forces of life and death, the Necromancy subclass is a fitting choice. Necromancers gain the following features:
- Necromancy Savant (Level 2): Learning Necromancy spells from scrolls becomes more affordable, costing only 25 gold instead of 50.
- Grim Harvest (Level 2): Whenever you kill an enemy with a spell, you gain hit points equal to twice the spell slot’s level (or three times for Necromancy spells).
- Undead Thralls: Additional Undead (Level 6): When casting Animate Dead, you can raise an additional corpse.
- Undead Thralls: Better Summons (Level 6): Your animated undead creatures gain extra hit points equal to your Wizard level, and your proficiency bonus is added to their attacks.
- Animate Dead (Level 6): Permanently learn Animate Dead, allowing you to create an animated minion from a corpse.
- Inured to Undeath (Level 10): You become resistant to Necrotic damage, and your maximum HP can’t be reduced.
Necromancy Wizards excel in both dealing small but frequent sources of damage and bolstering their defenses through the power of undeath.
This is the classic summoner build, though it lacks the versatility of the other Wizard subclasses since most of the features are focused on either summoning hordes of zombies or dealing pesky Necrotic damage (though it’s great against enemies that like to heal).
Abjuration Wizards are the guardians of the arcane realm, specializing in protective magic. Their features include:
- Abjuration Savant (Level 2): Learning Abjuration spells from scrolls becomes more affordable, costing only 25 gold instead of 50.
- Arcane Ward (Level 2): Your Arcane Ward can block damage equal to its charges, and it regenerates charges when you cast Abjuration spells.
- Projected Ward (Level 6): If an ally takes damage while your Arcane Ward is active, you can sacrifice it to reduce the damage they take.
- Improved Abjuration (Level 10): After each Short Rest, the intensity of your Arcane Ward increases by an amount equal to your Wizard level.
Abjuration Wizards excel at shielding themselves and their allies from harm, making them valuable additions to any party, especially for beginners.
It’s a support subclass that should let you commit or afford more mistakes on your playthroughs or in combat scenarios. But like support classes similar to Clerics, this subclass is not really that popular. Apparently, not many people enjoy playing passive support.
The Conjuration subclass grants Wizards the power to manipulate the fabric of reality, creating objects and summoning creatures. Their features include:
- Conjuration Savant (Level 2): Learning Conjuration spells from scrolls becomes more affordable, costing only 25 gold instead of 50.
- Minor Conjuration: Create Water (Level 2): Permanently learn the spell Create Water, allowing you to conjure rain and extinguish flames.
- Benign Transposition: Teleport (Level 6): Permanently learn Benign Transposition: Teleport, enabling you to teleport or swap places with an ally.
- Focused Conjuration (Level 10): Taking damage while concentrating on a Conjuration spell no longer breaks your concentration.
Conjuration Wizards wield the power to reshape the battlefield, offering a wide range of tactical options to their party, including non-undead summons.
This is the ‘other’ less evil summoner build for Wizards since Conjuration spells include summoning elementals. For some, they might be more appealing than fragile zombies since they offer more utility outside of clawing and gnawing at enemies. Moreover, the ability to reshape the battlefield is just thematic for Wizards.
Divination Wizards specialize in glimpsing into the future and manipulating fate to their advantage. Their features include:
- Divination Savant (Level 2): Learning Divination spells from scrolls becomes more affordable, costing only 25 gold instead of 50.
- Portent (Level 2): After each Long Rest, you gain two random Portent Dice, which you can use to alter Attack Rolls or Saving Throws.
- Expert Divination (Level 6): You gain an extra Portent Die, and your Portent Dice replenish after Short Rests.
- Third Eye: Darkvision (Level 10): Permanently learn Darkvision.
- Third Eye: Invisibility (Level 10): Permanently learn an ability to see invisible targets.
Divination Wizards possess incredible foresight, capable of turning the tide of battles with their Portent Dice.
On paper, Divination Wizards look impressive, but their level 10 subclass features are both wasted since you can just pick a race with innate Darkvision, and there’s a quest to gain the ability to permanently see invisible targets as early as the beginning of Act 1.
Besides, the only good Divination spells are Guidance and Hunter’s Mark, and those two are given out like candy to a lot of other classes.
The Enchantment subclass focuses on manipulating the minds of others, charming and controlling foes with their spells. Their features include:
- Enchantment Savant (Level 2): Learning Enchantment spells from scrolls becomes more affordable, costing only 25 gold instead of 50.
- Hypnotic Gaze (Level 2): Permanently learn Hypnotic Gaze, which can charm and incapacitate creatures.
- Instinctive Charm (Level 6): Charm an enemy attacking you, redirecting their aggression.
- Split Enchantment (Level 10): You can target two creatures with Enchantment spells.
Enchantment Wizards are masters of manipulation and control, turning adversaries into allies or rendering them powerless.
Enchantment Wizards might sound weaker compared to Evocation or even Conjuration Wizards, but the ability to toy with your enemies is underrated. Spells like Crown of Madness, Hold Person/Monster, Confusion, and even Hex are absolute game-changers, especially in the late game.
This subclass is right up there with the Evocation and Conjuration as one of the top Wizard subclasses.
The Illusion subclass excels at stealth and deception, wielding spells that create illusions and hide the truth and whichever heinous acts they plan to commit. Their features include:
- Illusion Savant (Level 2): Learning Illusion spells from scrolls becomes more affordable, costing only 25 gold instead of 50.
- Improved Minor Illusion (Level 2): Cast Minor Illusion as a bonus action, even when silenced.
- See Invisibility (Level 6): Permanently learn the spell See Invisibility.
- Illusory Self (Level 10): You can use your reaction to have an illusion take incoming attacks, recharging on Short and Long Rests.
Illusion Wizards are masters of deception, making them excellent choices for those who enjoy subterfuge and trickery. As stealth spellcasters, they’re decent, but then again, other classes are just better at stealth.
Moreover, there are lots of wasted subclass features here, like the See Invisibility and Improved Minor Illusion. At best, they’re effective distractions for the enemy and a defensive subclass.
The Transmutation subclass allows Wizards to control and modify energy, altering the properties of objects and creatures. Their features include:
- Transmutation Savant (Level 2): Learning Transmutation spells from scrolls becomes more affordable, costing only 25 gold instead of 50.
- Experimental Alchemy (Level 2): You can brew two alchemical solutions instead of one when combining extracts with a successful Medicine check of 15.
- Transmuter’s Stone (Level 6): Store Transmutation magic in a small stone, granting benefits to a creature carrying it.
- Shapechanger (Level 10): Permanently learn the ability to transform into a blue jay, granting flight and a reversion to your original form upon reaching zero hit points.
Transmutation Wizards possess unique abilities that can reshape both their allies and their own forms.
They have great spells such as Haste (the best buff in the game) and Polymorph, which can trivialize boss fights, but all other subclasses can use that, too. Still, Transmutation Wizards embody the essence of their class well enough that it’s easy to forgive some of the wasted subclass features.
Our personal picks – Evocation, Conjuration, and Enchantment
Those three Wizard subclasses offer the most benefits for your limited choices in this class. Enchantment spells, in particular, come way too handy in a tough situation against enemies.
Do keep in mind that other Wizard subclasses can also use just about any Wizard spell. And these three choices are only if you want to optimize or min-max as a pure Wizard.