Do you hear that ticking sound?
The Clockwork Soul Sorcerer exists as a force for preserving the perfect and delicate balance of the world around them.
If life is like a timepiece, the Clockwork Soul sees all things within it as small gears with specific functions working independently towards a common goal of order.
Maintaining and manipulating these “gears,” these Sorcerers bring the power of efficiency and order to the table.
So, wind your watch and don’t touch anything! This is the full guide to the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer subclass in D&D 5e!
What is the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer in D&D 5e?
The Clockwork Soul Sorcerer is one of two Sorcerer subclasses introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. It appears alongside the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer in the same book.
Within the grand architecture of the multiverse, things are held together with perfectly measured and highly efficient order. Nowhere is this truer than the clockwork realm of absolute order known as Mechanus.
You may not know why, but you are now an important part of that machine. You begin to find that you have a strong pull within you to find and execute your function.
The Clockwork Soul Sorcerer pulls their powers from Mechanus. As a result, they’re able to directly affect greater parts of the world around them. Small calibrations and changes to situations and objects are ultimately meant to keep things moving in an orderly fashion in accordance with their function.
While some might view the “black and white” binary predictability as tedious or boring, the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer sees this as glorious. Efficiency and measurability are necessary for things to function properly.
So what if the system is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding system! Isn’t it marvelous when things just work how they are supposed to?
Side note: are you sure you don’t hear that ticking sound? I swear it’s getting louder…
Role in the Party
All Sorcerers can be blasters and that’s equally true for the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer. But where the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer specifically excels is as a support caster.
Even outside of the spells they gain with their Clockwork Magic feature, their features allow them to buff and protect their allies while sabotaging enemy dice rolls!
Because you’re affecting dice rolls, there’s a fun “meta” aspect to the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer.
You might even think of the Clockwork Soul as a type of hybrid between the Sorcerer class, a Divination Wizard, and a Cleric. There’s a lot going on here, but it makes for a powerful supporting caster!
Clockwork Soul Sorcerer Abilities
So let’s get into the actual features that the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer gets.
These are seriously cool and make you a powerful support caster for the party. From negating advantage/disadvantage to warding damage and summoning a swarm of Modron spirits to tidy the party up, you bring more than a little order to even the most chaotic of situations!
Clockwork Magic (Level 1)
Sorcerers have been dying for bonus spells for years now and the Clockwork Soul delivers!
The bonus spells that you get depend on the number of levels you have as a Clockwork Soul Sorcerer. These count as Sorcerer spells for you and don’t count against the number of spells you know.
Since Sorcerers can swap out their spells when they level up, you can swap these out as well. The new spell can be from the Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard spell list which gives you plenty of options.
Just keep in mind that the new spell has to be of the same level as the one you’re dropping and must also be either an abjuration or transmutation spell.
|1||Alarm, Protection From Evil and Good|
|3||Aid, Lesser Restoration|
|5||Dispel Magic, Protection From Energy|
|7||Freedom of Movement, Summon Construct|
|9||Greater Restoration, Wall of Force|
Having an extra 10 spells known in total nearly doubles the maximum amount of spells known by a level 20 Sorcerer. Having so many extra options is a great thing!
The only spells on this list that I would look at swapping out are Alarm, Freedom of Movement, and maybe Greater Restoration if you already have a Cleric or Druid with access to it.
All in all, this is a very solid list of bonus spells for your role in the party!
Keep in mind that your metamagic adds even more “oomph” to these spells.
Casting Aid with a doubled duration of 16 hours with the help of the Extended Spell metamagic is amazing. Do it before a long rest and you’ll recover all your spell slots and sorcery points while the benefit is still active for the next 8 hours once you wake up!
Related: Metamagic in D&D 5e Explained!
Restore Balance (Level 1)
All things ultimately work towards a state of order, but sometimes they need a helping hand. As it turns out, you are that helping hand!
When a creature you can see within 60 feet of you is about to roll a d20 with advantage or disadvantage, you can use your reaction to prevent the roll from being affected by advantage and disadvantage.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
As you level up, you’ll continue to get great use out of this feature. Being able to just straight up deny advantage or disadvantage on a roll for the low cost of a reaction is fantastic. Especially in high-tension clutch moments, you’ll be incredibly glad you have this!
Examples of good times to remove disadvantage:
- You or an ally are trying to attack an invisible enemy
- Making an attack roll or ability check while poisoned
- Trying to deceive/persuade someone who is already suspicious of you
- You or an ally are making a Dexterity saving throw while restrained
- Attempting to climb a slick surface or see through thick fog while keeping watch
Example of good times to remove advantage:
- Enemy is attacking you or an ally who is prone, blinded, stunned, paralyzed, etc.
- Attempting to use an enchantment on a Hag or other Fey being that is resistant
- An enemy is gaining advantage from Pack Tactics (like wolves or kobolds)
Sorcerers don’t typically have many options for using their reaction, so this is fantastic.
Now that you’re looking for situations of advantage or disadvantage, you will be surprised at just how often this comes in handy!
Bastion of Law (Level 6)
At level 6, the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer gets a nice defensive buff for themselves and their allies.
As an action, you can expand 1 to 5 sorcery points to create a magical ward around yourself or another creature that you can see within 30 feet of you. The ward lasts until you finish a long rest or until you use this feature again.
The ward is represented by a number of d8 equal to the number of sorcery points spent to create it. When the warded creature takes damage, it can expand a number of those dice, roll them, and reduce the damage taken by the total rolled on those dice.
Depending on how many sorcery points you spend for this, a single use can negate up to 40 points of damage. (If the person rolling the d8s is incredibly lucky, anyway.)
Nobody ever wished they were taking more damage, so this is a great way to possibly save you or another party member’s life. Especially in battles against big enemies or bosses, this is incredibly nice to have.
Keep in mind that with this ability you’re negating damage. This means that you can still give this to an ally even if they have temporary hit points already as a damage buffer.
Additionally, this ward lasts all the way until the party finishes a long rest. If you’ve got a lot of adventuring ahead of you, you’ll get a ton of mileage out of this.
A Quick Word About Using Bastion of Law
As always, use judgement and moderation with this feature. Your sorcery points are essential for playing a Sorcerer, but they are also not meant to be hoarded.
Throw a ward on whichever of your frontliners tends to take the most abuse or needs the defensive buff the most!
Just make sure you’re giving it to someone who will use it. If you use this again, the first ward disappears and that just means it’s wasted sorcery points!
Used well, this is a very impactful defensive feature that will help you all throughout your adventuring career.
Fitting with the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer’s theme, look at the specific role and placement of each member of your party. Which “part” would benefit the most from some extra reinforcement in a way that is resource-efficient?
Trance of Order (Level 14)
Bust out the glowsticks because it’s trance time!
As a bonus action, you can enter your Trance of Order for one minute.
For the duration, attack rolls against you cannot benefit from advantage, and whenever you make an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can treat a roll of 9 or lower on the d20 as a 10.
Once you use this bonus action, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest unless you spend 5 sorcery points to use it again.
Okay, so it’s not THAT type of trance but it’s still a great feature!
Denying enemies advantage against you with their attack rolls is good, but as a support-focused Sorcerer you’ve hopefully not been finding yourself in those situations very often.
Not rolling less than a 10 for attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws means you’re almost guaranteed to succeed every time. Only the highest of DC checks and armor classes will give you trouble, but the odds are definitely in your favor here.
The main problem this feature faces is that Sorcerers don’t particularly have many options for spells that require an attack roll. If you’re looking to go on the offensive with this, upcasting a spell like Chromatic Orb or Scorching Ray is most likely your best bet.
Defensively, you’ll be happy to know that you’ll succeed on most concentration checks with ease. Between not rolling less than a 10 and the Sorcerer’s proficiency in those saves, you’re pretty well covered.
Trance of Order’s duration is enough to last you for the entirety of most combats.
I’m not sure it’s worth spending 5 sorcery points for this, but one use per long rest is still good for situations where you need some extra reinforcement on your side.
Clockwork Cavalcade (Level 18)
I don’t know if anyone else finds the image of this feature as funny as I do, but this is a doozy!
As an action, you summon spirits of order in a 30-foot cube originating from you. The spirits look like Modrons or other constructs of your choice.
Once you use this action you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest unless you spend 7 sorcery points to use it again.
The idea of a swarm of Modrons frantically optimizing (including people) within a given space just makes me laugh every time.
Anyhow, these modron/construct spirits are intangible and invulnerable. They create several effects within the cube before vanishing.
We’ll take it piece by piece.
the spirits restore up to 100 hit points divided as you choose among any number of creatures of your choice in the cube.
100 hit points of healing is nothing to turn your nose up at. Even at level 18, this is a ton especially considering that the first use of this is free!
any damaged objects entirely in the cube are repaired instantly.
Repairing objects might be useful depending on the situation.
As long as the entire object is within a 30-foot cube, it will be back in tip-top shape in no time. Even for things that aren’t necessarily broken, I imagine the modrons tidying them up (like polishing the Paladin’s armor or scrubbing dirt off the Ranger’s boots.)
every spell of level 6 or lower ends on creatures and objects of your choice in the cube.
Lastly, you’ve got a free Dispel Magic removing spell effects of level 6 or lower. Getting rid of enemy buffs or pesky debuffs on your own party can quickly turn a combat around!
One of the coolest things about the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer is that there’s this element of fate to the class. Everything is some part of a grander design and plan which means the parts simply need to do their job.
As one of those parts, you’re effectively an instrument of fate.
Perhaps you were a bit obsessive-compulsive as a child (and probably still are). Things were meant to be kept tidy and each of your toys had a specific place that it was kept.
Even as you got older, you found that things were just better when they were organized and made well. You probably have a bit of a mind for tinkering as you would improve certain objects’ designs if only to make them work “properly.”
After all, being functional does not mean that something is efficient!
You started hearing a ticking sound. It was faint at first but continued to get louder and louder until the exact moment that you became 20 years, 51 days, 18 hours, 3 minutes, and 42 seconds old, and your powers made themselves apparent.
You have a pull within you in accordance with the designs of Mechanus and absolute order. Where that pull guides you and the people that you encounter are yet to be known, but you are tasked with keeping everything in order until the patterns of things show you otherwise.
Is the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer Good?
The Clockwork Soul Sorcerer is an incredibly powerful subclass option in the right hands. For those who are newer to D&D, it’s still a strong pick but can admittedly be a bit overwhelming.
Much like a watch, the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer has a ton of smaller parts working together in perfect order to make it function well.
You need to have a strong understanding of the subclass itself, the Sorcerer class, and how D&D 5e works as a system to get the most value out of the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer subclass.
So, yeah, this is a fantastic subclass for those familiar with the ins-and-outs of D&D 5e. The features themselves are great, but it’s mostly the options opened up by Clockwork Magic that rocket this up to the top-tier category.
Unless you’re looking for a challenge, it might be better to check out a different Sorcerer subclass if you’re a new player. (Though hopefully, I’ve got enough content on this site to help you out either way!)
See where the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer falls in my full ranking of every Sorcerer subclass in D&D 5e!
Conclusion – Clockwork Soul Sorcerer in D&D
You’re hearing that ticking sound now? Perhaps Mechanus has some plans in store for you, dear Sorcerer!
Anyhow, that wraps up this guide to the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer in D&D 5e. I hope you’ve found this helpful!
Got questions or an awesome concept for a Clockwork Soul character you want to share? Let’s chat in the comments!
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Now if you’ll pardon me, I have to go meticulously calibrate my clocks and watches…
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