Enchantment Wizards know better than most just how powerful the right combination of words and some arcane know-how is.
Dedicating themselves to the study of magic that influences and controls others’ perceptions, emotions, and will, only the most disciplined minds can resist these Wizards’ charms!
Whether you’re looking for friends, minions, or some blurry mix of the two, the School of Enchantment has you covered.
Shall we get into it?
This is the full guide to the Enchantment Wizard in D&D 5e!
What is the Enchantment Wizard in D&D 5e?
Wizards who specialize in Enchantment magic are notoriously clever. After all, it takes a certain type of person to dedicate themselves to the study of magic that affects others’ minds!
Some of these Wizards use this magic as a way of asserting their will on the world around them.
They might act as puppet masters who use a mixture of their own charm and some magical “encouragement” to manipulate those they surround themselves with.
However, Enchantment magic can also be useful for situations that require a more diplomatic approach.
Using their magic to calm tempers or convince someone to see reason, Enchantment Wizards can be incredibly useful in de-escalating situations.
Of course, the typical Enchanter falls somewhere between these two options.
Viewing the minds of others as clay that is meant to be molded, there’s an undeniable artistry to what these Wizards do.
Though conversations about the morals and ethics of what they do are another issue entirely… I imagine most critics tend to change their minds on the matter quite quickly…
The Enchantment Wizard is one of eight Wizard subclasses that appear in the 5e Player’s Handbook.
Role in the Party
As with any Wizard, the Enchantment Wizard is perfectly capable of providing magical utility and artillery for their party. Magically opening locks, launching fireballs, and all that good stuff is certainly within their capability.
Realistically and regardless of their specialization, any Wizard is going to want some standby utility and blasting spells for when the need arises.
But let’s look at the specific party roles of an Enchantment Wizard.
Unsurprisingly, these characters can make for a great Face for the party. At the very least, their charms can be a great way to support whoever the party’s Face is.
In campaigns with plenty of roleplaying and intrigue, an Enchantment Wizard can have an absolute field day.
But Enchantment magic also brings a ton of control to the table.
Spells from this school tend to be incredibly powerful and can entirely shut down someone who fails their save against one.
In the mid and higher tiers, enchantment magic can even help you entirely dominate another creature so that they will fight for you!
You might think of the Enchantment Wizard as a type of “arcane opportunist” in that way. They’re constantly looking for opportunities to turn a powerful or influential person into a new friend or minion.
The stakes are high with enchantment spells, but the rewards of a well-cast spell and/or some friendly convincing are hard to deny!
If anyone can pull off a massive and sudden turn of the tables in an encounter, it’s the Enchantment Wizard!
Enchantment Wizard Features 5e
Enchantment Wizards have dedicated their lives to the study of arcane magic but specialize in the school of Enchantment.
Because they have such a deep understanding of this magic and its power, they’re capable of more powerful Enchantment magic than other Wizards.
This is reflected in the Enchantment Wizard’s class features.
Let’s dive in!
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Enchantment Savant (Level 2)
We kick things off with a feature that is shared by all of the Wizard subclasses in the PHB.
As a specialist in Enchantment magic, you’re more efficient when it comes to adding Enchantment spells to your spellbook.
The gold and time you must spend to copy a Enchantment spell into your spellbook is halved.
As a Wizard, your spellbook is your single most important possession. You will constantly be looking to learn new spells and add them to your precious spellbook.
Of course, this does take time, money, and a bit of luck when you’re looking for specific spells to copy into your book.
Thankfully, the time and gold cost for copying Enchantment spells is cut in half for you!
Note that you’re not only limited to learning Enchantment spells. In fact, it’s still a very good idea to pick up some standbys like Fireball or Misty Step for when it’s time for action.
I strongly recommend checking out my article that covers using and managing the Wizard’s spellbook in more detail to help you with this. It’s quite literally the most important thing for any Wizard to know.
Hypnotic Gaze (Level 2)
The Enchantment Wizard’s Hypnotic Gaze feature has the potential to be incredibly powerful when used cleverly.
This can lock down enemies or NPCs and open tons of opportunities for you and your party.
It also gives me vibes of Kaa from The Jungle Book which is, honestly, a pretty fun bonus as well!
“Trust in meeeeee….”
As an action, choose one creature that you can see within 5 feet of you.
If the target can see or hear you, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your Wizard spell save DC or be charmed by you until the end of your next turn.
The charmed creature’s speed drops to 0, and the creature is incapacitated and visibly dazed.
On subsequent turns, you can use your action to maintain this effect, extending its duration until the end of your next turn. However, the effect ends if you move more than 5 feet away from the creature, if the creature can neither see nor hear you, or if the creature takes damage.
Once the effect ends, or if the creature succeeds on its initial saving throw against this effect, you can’t use this feature on that creature again until you finish a long rest.
Okay, so that’s a lot of text in the description… But let’s break this down a bit, shall we?
You can do this as much as you want per day, but it can only be used on a given creature once per long rest.
Since the saving throw against Hypnotic Gaze is made versus your spell save DC, a higher Intelligence score will help you more reliably keep your targets entranced.
Practical Use for Hypnotic Gaze
Because your target is now immobile and completely “out of it”, Hypnotic Gaze can create some major openings.
You might use this on an NPC that your party needs to interrogate or bring back alive to claim a bounty. They’ll be so focused on you that they don’t notice that they’re being tied up by your party!
Maybe you’re keeping the target blissfully unaware of their surroundings while your Rogue pickpockets them.
In combat, you could potentially use this to daze and disable a high-priority enemy.
While they’re going to snap out of their state when they take damage, your party should have ample time to reposition and then bring the pain.
But let’s be real for a moment…
Wizards are notoriously squishy with their d6 hit die. Being a mere 5 feet from an enemy in combat isn’t exactly something most Wizards want.
To my mind, Hypnotic Gaze is particularly useful as an escape strategy.
If a big, dumb, and angry Hill Giant is about to turn you into an enchanting pancake, Hypnotic Gaze is well worth the action. The Hill Giant will be left in a daze while you get as far away as possible.
Furthermore, the next attack against the dazed brute will be at advantage, which is perfect for a Rogue’s Sneak Attack or a Paladin’s Divine Smite!
Also, keep in mind that this works great if you get grappled as well. While you hypnotize your attacker, you’ll be able to weasel your way out of their grip!
Instinctive Charm (Level 6)
Actually, speaking of the defensive capabilities of enchantment magic, at level 6 you gain the Instinctive Charm feature.
It’s time to cause a bit of confusion for your enemies…
When a creature you can see within 30 feet of you makes an attack roll against you, you can use your reaction to divert the attack, provided that another creature is within the attack’s range.
The attacker must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC.
On a failed save, the attacker must target the creature that is closest to it, not including you or itself. If multiple creatures are closest, the attacker chooses which one to target.
On a successful save, you can’t use this feature on the attacker again until you finish a long rest.
You must choose to use this feature before knowing whether the attack hits or misses. Creatures that can’t be charmed are immune to this effect.
30 feet of range is solid and should cover most of the battlefield in most encounters.
As enemies shoot arrows or launch spells at you, a quick glimmer of enchantment magic can cause them to attack their allies instead!
Unless a specific enemy makes their Wisdom saving throw, you can actually use this on them each round (provided you have your reaction available, of course.)
How’s that for frustrating?
It’s a bit harder to get use out of this if you find yourself in melee range of an attacker.
You’d either want to have multiple attackers on you (which is certainly not ideal) or maybe have them attack your higher-AC ally that’s nearby instead.
It’s a bit messy either way, really.
Still, it can save your neck in a pinch!
Split Enchantment (Level 10)
There are few things that I love more than spellcasting efficiency!
With the Enchantment Wizard’s level 10 feature, Split Enchantment, you can now make twice as many friends!
When you cast an Enchantment spell of level 1 or higher that targets only one creature, you can have it target a second creature.
Most of your staple enchantment spells only affect one target at a time.
Sure, it’s not bad. But why wouldn’t you want more?!
Now you can have TWO foes drop to the floor laughing at your hilarious jokes with Tasha’s Hideous Laughter!
Or you can get an extra admirer with a single casting of Charm Person!
Why not double up on your Suggestion and get another pair of helping hands to assist with some errands?
Though, of course, where this feature really shines is when you cast Dominate spells. Gaining control over one enemy can already have a huge impact on combat, but gaining two new minions is just outright dastardly!
There’s not a lot of depth to go into with Split Enchantment, but don’t let that fool you. This is an incredibly powerful feature to have!
Alter Memories (Level 14)
The Enchantment Wizard’s capstone feature is very cool, but it’s also a bit weird and kind of situational.
When you cast an Enchantment spell to charm one or more creatures, you can alter one creature’s understanding so that it remains unaware of being charmed.
Additionally, once before the spell expires, you can use your action to try to make the chosen creature forget some of the time it spent charmed.
The creature must succeed on an Intelligence saving throw against your Wizard spell save DC or lose a number of hours of its memories equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier (minimum 1).
You can make the creature forget less time, and the amount of time can’t exceed the duration of your enchantment spell.
The big draw here is that you get a great amount of deniability when you are charming others.
After all, most people tend to have some very strong feelings toward spellcasters that twist and manipulate their minds and emotions. Some might even find ways to retaliate!
With Alter Memories, you’re able to make your “friend” blissfully unaware that they were charmed. They’ll have no idea that you had a pleasant conversation together in which they revealed every last bit of juicy gossip about their boss or secret plans.
So perhaps you convinced a notoriously tight-fisted noble to give a generous donation to the city’s reconstruction following a dragon attack.
Maybe you can now count on the support of a mercenary leader and their group in a coming battle.
Look, when we’re talking about Enchantment magic, it’s safe to say that we’ve left a certain code of ethics at the door A LONG TIME AGO.
But, hey, at least we’re not being sloppy about it, right?
Alter Memories – Pros vs Cons
Considering that this is your capstone feature we’re talking about, I want to go over some pros and cons that you should be aware of.
As I mentioned, it’s a situational and somewhat weird one…
The downside is that you’ll be relying very heavily on your Charm and Dominate spells to get any real value out of this.
Remember: If a spell (like Friends, for example) doesn’t explicitly give them the Charmed condition, Alter Memories can’t apply.
Hopefully, you’ve also invested in your Charisma ability score up to this point. A higher Charisma score will increase the number of hours that you’re able to affect with Alter Memories.
In situations where it actually applies, Alter Memories can be a useful feature.
After all, the last thing the party needs is another enemy who is angry that they were charmed. (Though, honestly, it’s justifiable…) But at this stage of the game, those situations become considerably less common in most games.
At level 14, you are almost certainly heroes of renown, and manipulations like this aren’t as necessary as they were in those early adventuring days.
So, your reputation will generally precede you in out-of-combat situations (where this really applies).
In combat situations, you’re probably not worried about altering the memory of someone who is about to meet the business end of a fireball spell.
That’s not to say that this is useless. In fact, in a game with lots of RP and intrigue, it can be an incredibly impactful capstone feature that allows you to easily cover your tracks!
This makes having a Session Zero so incredibly important.
If you plan on playing a game that goes into these higher levels, you want to know that you’ll have a useful capstone feature. If that game is considerably more combat-heavy, you won’t likely get much real use out of this feature.
That could very well inform whether you want to play an Enchantment Wizard or not, so it’s wise to know what you’re signing up for!
To connect your Enchantment Wizard into the game world and story, we have to start by addressing a certain elephant in the room…
There’s a certain question of morals to be considered with this school of magic.
Sure, Necromancy Wizards get a bad reputation and, quite often, they deserve it. However, an argument can still be made for certain “good” things that come from their… umm… field research…
But distorting, manipulating, or outright commanding the minds of others is another story!
There are certainly “good” or otherwise justified uses for this magic. It can be a reliable way to diffuse situations without violence or “encourage” compliance from prisoners, for example.
However, it can also be used by unscrupulous and power-hungry spellcasters for all kinds of schemes.
Even seemingly innocent pranks with enchantment magic have the much larger implication of denying or affecting the free will of others.
Among those who are familiar with magic, the school of enchantment will always be viewed with a very high level of suspicion.
As an Enchantment Wizard, the biggest questions that you need to ask of your character are:
- How is Enchantment magic viewed in the world around them?
- How do they feel about this perception?
- What drew them to this school of magic, and to what end?
- What lines will they not cross?
- Do they prefer to work within a system (academia, law enforcement, etc) or do they prefer to march to the beat of their own drum?
Such a character can go a million different ways, but the concept of “free will” makes for an excellent jumping-off point as you decide who your character is.
Is the Enchantment Wizard Good?
I’ve got to be honest…
Of all the Wizard subclasses in D&D 5e, I have the hardest time forming a solid opinion of the Enchantment Wizard.
On one hand, there is a LOT to love about the features that this subclass gets.
Hypnotic Gaze and Instinctive Charm can certainly be lifesavers. Not to mention the shenanigans that you can stir up with Hypnotic Gaze and some teamwork, whether in or out of combat!
Meanwhile, Split Enchantment doubles the mileage that you get out of your enchantment spells.
Used cleverly, enchantment magic can absolutely change interactions, encounters, and even your entire game. This is a school and subclass that rewards creative thinking, a dash of charisma, and luck.
But it’s exactly that last part where things get dicey…
Enchantment magic can have a massive impact, but so many enchantment spells fall into the “save or suck” category.
In other words, when the spells work, they work INCREDIBLY WELL. But when they don’t work (such as an enemy succeeding on their saving throw), you just burn the spell slot.
So, there’s a major “all or nothing” aspect to the Enchantment Wizard.
How much you love or hate this subclass will likely come down to two main things:
- The type of campaign you’re playing. (Lots of RP and intrigue is especially ideal.)
- How much your targets’ dice hate you.
It’s also worth mentioning that there is no shortage of enemies who are resistant or immune to the Charmed condition.
This is a particularly common trait for constructs, undead, fiends, and fey creatures.
So, the Enchantment Wizard is maybe a bit of a risky pick, though I would certainly never consider it a bad subclass. Just make sure you have a fallback plan for when your enchantments won’t cut it!
Conclusion – Enchantment Wizard in D&D 5e
I hope you’ve found this guide to the Enchantment Wizard in D&D 5e helpful!
Funny enough, in all the games that I’ve run or played in throughout 5e’s life, I’ve only ever seen one Enchantment Wizard in the party. Even still, it was a small campaign of five sessions or so.
Looking at discussions online, it seems to be one of those subclasses that just doesn’t get talked about very often.
However, that seems odd because it’s really an incredibly solid subclass.
Maybe a bit risky, sure. But features like Hypnotic Gaze and Instinctive Charm bring some wonderful extra survivability to the standard Wizard kit!
So perhaps that’s just my own experience.
But what are your thoughts on the Enchantment Wizard in D&D 5e? Let’s chat in the comments!