Sorcerers are mighty spellcasters whose magic comes not from study or bargaining, but from within.
Through fate, genetics, chance, or otherwise, Sorcerers are able to use magic in a way that stands apart from other casters.
Because their magic is so instinctive, they’re able to alter certain spell effects with powerful metamagic or use sorcery points to recover spell slots in a pinch (and vice versa!)
But just because your powers were a gift that doesn’t mean you can’t be a bit picky!
In this article, we’re ranking every Sorcerer subclass in D&D 5e.
Honorable mention is given to the theme and style of each of these subclasses, but we’re really focusing on mechanics, impact on the game, and how powerful they are in general situations.
Which Sorcerer subclass will take the number 1 spot?
Find out now!
Number 8 – Storm Sorcery
Unfortunately, the Storm Sorcerer finds itself at the bottom of this ranking.
This isn’t a terrible subclass. Even beyond its very cool theme, there are some things that it does very well mechanically.
It’s more accurate to call this a situational subclass rather than outright “bad.” In a naval campaign where the Storm Sorcerer’s ability to control the winds can really come into play, they’re great.
Using bursts of wind to move in and out of enemies’ reach, these Sorcerers play a game of “keep away” with their foes. They can move in close, drop some AoE lightning or thunder damage, then quickly whoosh away.
Additionally, the Storm Sorcerer’s later features at levels 14 and 18 (Storm’s Fury and Wind Soul) are fantastic. Storm’s Fury lets you punish those who attack you with a shock of guaranteed lightning damage while Wind Soul lets you and your friends all fly.
But having weaker features on the front-end except for in specific situations, unfortunately, puts the Storm Sorcerer at the bottom of this ranking.
Become a force of nature with the full guide to the Storm Sorcerer!
Number 7 – Draconic Bloodline
The blood of dragons flows deep within your veins, granting you your sorcerous powers.
Depending on which type of dragon you choose for your ancestor, you’ll be focusing on dealing and resisting a corresponding type of damage. Fire, Lightning, Cold, Acid, and Poison damage are all options available to you.
Your Draconic Resilience makes you much tougher than the average, squishy Sorcerer in both hit points and armor class. As you level up, you’ll eventually gain the ability to fly and use your Draconic Presence to inspire awe and fear in those around you.
The Draconic Bloodline is a solid Sorcerer subclass with a ton of style and great features.
The only thing putting it lower on this ranking is that you really need to pick up the Elemental Adept feat to get the full power of the Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer.
While elemental damage can be great for exploiting enemies’ weaknesses, it gets rough if those enemies are resistant or immune to your elemental specialization.
With the Elemental Adept feat, you can get around those situations which makes this an excellent subclass option.
Bring Draconic fury upon your foes with the full guide to the Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer!
Number 6 – Shadow Magic
Want to make your enemies afraid of the dark? Look no further than the Shadow Magic Sorcerer!
The Shadow Magic Sorcerer gets a ton of useful utility features. Mixing these shadowy utilities with the Sorcerer’s devastating casting abilities makes for a powerful blend. Depending on your environment, positioning, and strategic prowess, this can be an incredibly powerful subclass.
Shadow Magic Sorcerers are at their best when in dark environments or those with dim light.
They can see in darkness (even magical darkness) and at later levels can teleport up to 120 feet if their destination has shadows they can jump to.
But the Shadow Sorcerer’s main feature is its ability to summon forth a shadowy Hound of Ill Omen. Not only does your faithful doggo help attack the enemy you sic it on, but its presence near the enemy also gives the enemy disadvantage on saving throws against any spell you cast.
You’ll have plenty of nasty spells you can drop on the enemy now that they’ll find it nearly impossible to save against!
Embrace the darkness with the full guide to the Shadow Magic Sorcerer!
Number 5 – Wild Magic
For the most part, the Wild Magic Sorcerer is a great way to find out how risk-averse someone is.
Sometimes you may end up nuking an entire swarm of enemies. Other times, you might drop a fireball on yourself, your party, and everyone else inside the tavern when you were just trying to show off a little spellwork.
If you really want to harness the power of chaos and let that guide your way, the Wild Magic Sorcerer is for you. These characters can absolutely defy any expectation or rule of “how things are supposed to work” just by being there.
Tides of Chaos allows the Wild Magic Sorcerer to make virtually every roll with advantage right from level 1. Of course, that also means you’re rolling on your Wild Magic Surge table constantly as well, but that’s probably why you chose this subclass in the first place, right?
As you level up, you’ll gain more ability to affect the dice being rolled at the table as well as get more say in what result you get from your Wild Magic Surges.
With a DM that is supportive of your Wild Magic Surges and a love of the random on your part, you’re in for a treat with the Wild Magic Sorcerer.
Just make sure your party is ok with your high-risk, high-reward antics as well!
Let chaos reign with the full guide to the Wild Magic Sorcerer!
Number 4 – Lunar Sorcerer
Coming to D&D 5e from Dragonlance, we have the Lunar Sorcerer!
Versatility is the name of the game with these casters. Embodying three different moon phases (New Moon, Full Moon, and Crescent Moon) their spells and features change depending on which phase they are using.
In fact, the Lunar Sorcerer gains a whopping 15 bonus spells (5 from each lunar phase) plus a powered-up use of the Sacred Flame cantrip!
The Full Moon offers supportive and defensive options for these Sorcerers to protect themselves and their allies.
Meanwhile, the New Moon phase allows the Lunar Sorcerer to inflict some vicious debuffs on enemies, increase damage output, and harness the power of the shadows.
Finally, the Crescent Moon phase uses illusions and transmutation to ensure that you’ve always got a few extra tricks up your sleeve.
The trick to mastering Lunar Sorcery lies in knowing when to change your Lunar phase and how to best support the party’s strategy and goal.
With impressive options that help you efficiently manage your precious sorcery points, you should have no trouble managing your most important resources and helping your team.
While this is certainly a powerful Sorcerer subclass, it is also a bit of a juggling act. Newer players will likely find it overwhelming, but those with a solid knowledge of how D&D 5e works and eye for how to best support their team will have a blast with it!
Light the way with the full guide to the Lunar Sorcerer!
Number 3 – Clockwork Soul
At last, we come to the top 3!
The Clockwork Soul Sorcerer is a force of Order that strongly functions as a support caster for their party. Much like the Wild Magic Sorcerer, these characters also play heavily with affecting dice rolls at the table.
With the ability to nullify advantage and disadvantage or enter a Trance of Order that allows them to roll no less than a 10, there are some very impressive features to the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer!
Not to mention, they can also provide a fairly powerful defensive buff to themselves or allies with their Bastion of Law feature!
But what really rockets this subclass up to the top is its Clockwork Magic feature. This nearly doubles the number of spells known by the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer versus other Sorcerous Origins!
The only thing holding this back from the number 2 spot is that players who aren’t intimately familiar with D&D 5e will struggle to get as much value from this subclass.
Much like with the Lunar Sorcerer, this subclass especially rewards being familiar with the 5e system. When you have a deeper understanding of how D&D 5e works and your party’s capabilities, it’s much easier to make a crazy powerful impact as a Clockwork Soul Sorcerer.
However, even in the hands of someone who doesn’t know the system inside and out, this is still an incredibly powerful option! Just be wary of finding yourself with “analysis paralysis” as a result of the number of spells at your disposal!
Maintain balance and order with the full guide to the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer!
Number 2 – Divine Soul
Bringing the sheer power of both the Sorcerer and Cleric spell lists, the Divine Soul Sorcerer takes the number 2 spot in this ranking!
The Divine Soul Sorcerer is a powerful healer for the party. They have access to all of the Cleric’s spells plus their Empower Healing feature which lets them reroll healing dice.
But they aren’t limited to just tending to their allies’ wounds! For those who invoke the wrath of the Divine Soul Sorcerer will be cleansed in the holiest of fires!
The Cleric spell list is already very powerful but being able to enhance it even further with the Sorcerer’s metamagic can be earth-shattering.
Add in the ability to fly with your Otherworldly Wings feature and the ability to regain half of your hit points as a bonus action with your Unearthly Recovery and you get an incredibly powerful subclass option.
Everything about this subclass is simply amazing, but there was one that just barely beat it out for the top place…
Shine a holy light for your party with the full guide to the Divine Soul Sorcerer!
Number 1 – Aberrant Mind
With psionic power, a massive and powerful spell list, and the ability to transform into an alien monstrosity to suit their needs, the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer has slithered into the number 1 spot in this ranking!
Everything about the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer completely breaks the mold of what a Sorcerer subclass can be. It’s powerful and incredibly fun (if not a wee bit disturbing) to play!
There really are no limits to how you can use your Telepathic Speech feature to coordinate with your party or freak out NPCs. Meanwhile, your Psionic Sorcery is great for helping you efficiently use your most precious resource: sorcery points.
By the time you’re turning into slimy, aberrant monstrosities, you’ve already been dominating the game with cleverly applied Divination and Enchantment magics.
At level 18, your capstone feature lines you up to drop enough damage to possibly end most combats (even at this high-tier level of play) in less than 6 seconds.
This is a subclass that offers complexity for those who can’t get enough options and want new ways to engage with the game world. But it’s also so grounded that even new players can quickly get to living out their dreams of being an eldritch horror!
It’s been a hard-fought ranking, but the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer absolutely deserves the number one spot!
Quick side note: I’m not going to comment on whether the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer has psychically compelled me to place it at the top of this ranking. I most certainly have not been implanted with an alien lifeform controlling me like a tentacled Ratatouille.
Get creepy with the full guide to the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer!
Conclusion – Ranking Every Sorcerer Subclass in D&D 5e
It was incredibly difficult to pick the order for the top 3 subclasses for this ranking.
They’re all amazing but the Aberrant Mind just really hit that perfect note of mechanical power, style, and user-friendliness that got it into the top spot.
But, of course, this ranking is entirely based on my own opinions while trying to be as neutral as possible. Every one of these subclasses has the potential to be a character that you will love playing and remember forever!
Would you have ranked these Sorcerer subclasses differently? Let’s chat in the comments!
If you’re playing a Sorcerer, you’ll want to also check out my guide to using Metamagic in 5e!
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You can find the Draconic Bloodline and Wild Magic Sorcerers in the Player’s Handbook.
The Divine Soul, Shadow Magic, and Storm Sorcerers are in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Find the Clockwork Soul and Aberrant Mind Sorcerer in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
The Lunar Sorcerer can be found in Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen
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