Introduction

Wizard races should first complement the Wizard’s core function as a spellcaster. Wizards can do nearly anything with spells, and leaning hard into spellcasting is a consistently effective choice. Beyond supplementing your spellcasting, also consider ways to make your wizard more durable.

For wizards, Intelligence increases are crucial, and nothing else is strictly necessary. Increases to Dexterity and Constitution can also be helpful, though they’re less important. The custom origin rules or the post-Tasha’s changes to race design make that easy to achieve, so if you’re using more recent rules its easy to achieve.

The wizard’s biggest liability is their lack of durability. Traits which improve your AC like the Tortle’s natural armor or resistance to common damage types will go a long way to help you stay alive until you have magical answers to those problems. Natural flight can put you safely out of enemies’ reach and won’t consume Concentration like the spell Fly.

Traits which expand your spellcasting are very helpful, especially at low levels. Additional cantrips are great because wizards don’t get very many, and innate spellcasting can offer access to spells. Races published after Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything allow you to re-cast innate spells with spell slots, effectively adding those spells to your spell list and automatically preparing them. This can give you access to spells from other class’s spell lists, such as the Fairy giving you access to Faerie Fire.

After reading this handbook, I encourage you to read my Wizard Handbook.

Table of Contents

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Wizard Races

Keep in mind that not all races will be available in every game. Consult your DM about which races are welcome in your game, as not all settings are appropriate to every setting or even to specific campaigns within a setting which might otherwise welcome any and all races.

AarakocraEEPC

UpdatedMMoM: Flight without Concentration or magic. Excellent, but other flying options are typically more effective.

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases and flight without Concentration or magic. Excellent, but other flying options are typically more effective.

Default Rules: Lack of an Intelligence increase hurts, but flight without Concentration may be worth it. Of course, the Tiefling can get an Intelligence increase and flight, so there’s little reason to play an aarakocra wizard.

AasimarVGtM

UpdatedMMoM: The Aasimar’s damage resistances are difficult for the Wizard to replicate, and with nearly no healing options Healing Hands is a good way to save a dying ally. Radiant Soul is your best transformation option, but if all you want is flight you’ll do better with a race with permanent flight.

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, two damage resistances, and Darkvision. Healing Hands offers a rare healing option for the Wizard, but the Transformation is still the big reason to play the Aasimar.

  • Fallen: The range is too short and the save is Charisma-based.
  • Protector: Flight when you need it, but only long enough to get through combat. The damage bonus works with spells, so your best option is to spam AOE damage spells and apply the damage bonus to a target which failed its saving throw.
  • Scourge: Without any other source of damage, most wizards are dead before the transformation ends.

Default Rules: Two damage resistances and Darkvision, plus a little bit of Innate Spellcasting. Unfortunately, without an Intelligence increase that’s simply not enough.

  • Fallen: Bad ability spread.
  • Protector: Bad ability spread. The flight is tempting, but not enough.
  • Scourge: Bad ability spread.

Aasimar (DMG Variant)DMG

Classic (Customized Origin): +2/+1 increases, two damage resistances, and Darkvision. The innate spellcasting gets you Lesser Restoration and Daylight, which aren’t normally available to the wizard. Lesser Restoration reduces your party’s need for a cleric or druid in the party, but this isn’t enough to make you a real healer.

Classic (Default Rules): Bad ability spread.

Air GenasiMMoM

The Wizard can already replicate everything special about the Air Genasi.

Bugbear

UpdatedMMoM: Fun if you want to start every combat with Scorching Ray. If you can act before your target, Surprise Attack will fully double your damage from Scorching Ray. Otherwise, the Bugbear is unremarkable.

Classic (Customized Origin)VGtM: +2/+1 increases, Darkvision, and one skill. Surprise Attack only works with spells which make attacks, so at low levels the damage boost can be a great opener. But as you gain levels, spell attacks become less common so the Bugbear’s traits will gradually stop being impactful.

Classic (Default Rules)VGtM: Bad ability spread.

Centaur

UpdatedMMoM: All that the Centaur brings to the wizard is speed, and if you want to be fast you can cast Expeditious Retreat.

Classic (Customized Origin)GGTR: All of the Centaur’s interesting traits are tied up in Strength.

Classic (Default Rules)GGTR: Bad ability spread.

Changeling

UpdatedMMoM: Everything that the Changeling does will eventually be made obsolete by spells like Disguise Self.

Classic (Customized Origin)ERLW: +2/+1 increases and two skills. Shapechanger is the Changeling’s signature trait, but you can cast Alter Self, Disguise Self, and Polymorph, so Shapechanger feels pretty minor.

Classic (Default Rules)ERLW: Bad ability spread.

Deep GnomeMMoM

Everything that the Deep Gnome does can be done with a low-level wizard spell.

DragonbornPHB

Chromatic: Once you hit Aganazar’s Scorcher or Dragon’s Breath starting at level 3, the Chromatic Dragonborn’s breath weapon stops being interesting. The damage resistance is nice, but wizards can (and should) cast Absorb Elements. Chromatic Warding is harder to replicate, but nowhere near good enough to justify the Chromatic Dragonborn as your race.

Gem: The breath weapon’s damage type is great, but the 15-foot range is dangerous for the Wizard. Short of bladesingers, wizards should never be so close to enemies. The damage resistance is hard to replicate since the Gem Dragonborn’s damage types aren’t covered by Absorb Elements, but the damage types are also uncommon. Psionic Mind is neat, but wizards aren’t much of a face so you’re likely only using it on your allies. Gem Flight is helpful in combat, especially since it doesn’t require Concentration, but if you just want flight you should play a fairy or something. I think the Gem Dragonborn would make a good bladesinger.

Metallic: Repulsion Breath can be replaced by Thunderwave, but Enervating Breath is harder to replace. Even so, it’s not strong enough with a 15-foot range to be the only meaningful thing that you get from your race.

Customized Origin:

  • ClassicPHB: With the introduction of the Fizban’s variants, there is no reason to play the classic Dragonborn, either with or without the custom origin rules. The new variants are strictly better in absolutely every way.
  • DraconbloodEGtW: If you want Advantage on Charisma checks, cast Enhance Ability.
  • RaveniteEGtW: Only works if you’re wielding a weapon, and there is very little reason for a wizard to do so beyond low levels.

Default Rules:

  • ClassicPHB: None of the Dragonborn’s abilities are helpful to the wizard, and if you want something like a breath weapon there are plenty of spells which will do the job.
  • DraconbloodEGtW: An Intelligence increase, Darkvision, and a breath weapon. Forceful Presence is neat, but you’re probably going to dump Charisma.
  • RaveniteEGtW: Bad ability spread.

DuergarMMoM

Wizards can replicate most of what the Duergar does with spells, but if you’re planning to face mind flayers and similar foes, the Duergar may be worth a look.

DwarfPHB

For the updated version of the Duergar, see their separate race entry on this page.

Customized Origin: One +2 increase and a second increase from your subrace, poison resistance, and weapon and tool proficiencies that you probably won’t need.

  • DuergarSCAG: Decent in a subterranean campaign, but nothing good enough to offset Sunlight Sensitivity.
  • HillPHB: Another +1 increase and a bunch of extra hit points.
  • MountainPHB: A second +2 increase and medium armor proficiency. If you’re worried about the Wizard’s terrible durability, this is a great answer.

Default Rules: The only thing which the Dwarf offers the Wizard is durability, but considering how frails wizards are that’s a tempting offer.

  • DuergarSCAG: Strength and some spells which a Wizard can already cast.
  • HillPHB: Of the two Dwarfs, Hill Dwarf is the better option only because it gets even more hit points, and the bonus Wisdom is helpful for the Wisdom saves. Mage Armor won’t match the AC of medium armor provided by the Mountain Dwarf, but that may be fine if you’re good at avoiding being targeted with attacks.
  • MountainPHB: Strength is useless for a single-class wizard, but the Mountain Dwarf’s primary appeal is proficiency in medium armor. That provides a significant improvement to your AC, reducing your need for spells like Mage Armor and Shield. However, without an Intelligence increase you’ll lag offensively.

Earth GenasiMMoM

Unremarkable for most wizards, but excellent as a bladesinger.

EladrinMMoM

Fey Step isn’t a spell, making it a great replacement for Misty Step and allowing you to cast leveled spells in the same turn. That’s not enough to make it an amazingly powerful option, but it’s a great combo a few times per day.

ElfPHB

For the updated versions of the Eladrin, the Sea Elf, and the Shadar-Kai, see their separate race entries on this page.

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases (each subrace provides an additional +1), Darkvision, one skill (which you should leave as Perception).

  • DrowPHB: The innate spellcasting is fine, but it’s Charisma-based and you can already cast everything except Faerie Fire.
  • EladrinMToF: The teleportation is neat, but the rider effects are all Charisma-based. The Variant Eladrin is a better fit.
  • Eladrin (Variant)DMG: Misty Step on a short rest.
  • High ElfPHB: An additional cantrip is great, but it doesn’t improve the Wizard much beyond what they could already do.
  • Pallid ElfEGtW: The skill bonuses are decent and the Innate Spellcasting is nice, but Sleep is obsolete as soon as you get it and there are plenty of other races which provide Invisibility as an innate spell.
  • Sea ElfEGtW / MToF: Only in an aquatic campaign.
  • Shadar-KaiMToF: Since you won’t be bravely teleporting into melee, the damage resistance isn’t especially helpful. You also only get to teleport once per day, so it’s not as useful as the Variant Eladrin.
  • Wood ElfPHB: Nothing useful for the Wizard.

Default Rules: Dexterity is nice for your AC, and Perception can be very effective if you didn’t dump Wisdom. Darkvision is welcome on any character, but when you can cast Darkvision or conjure up light it quickly stops being important.

  • DrowPHB: The Charisma bonus is wasted on a Wizard, and the extra spells will be lousy since they’re Charisma-based.
  • EladrinMToF: Bad ability spread.
  • Eladrin (Variant)DMG: Perfect ability score increases, and Misty Step on a Short Rest.
  • High Elf: A small bonus to Intelligence, and you get an extra cantrip for free. Altogether a solid choice, but it doesn’t offer anything unique that you wouldn’t already get from the class with the exception of weapon proficiencies that we don’t care about.
  • Pallid ElfEGtW: Bad ability spread.
  • Sea ElfMToF: Nothing useful for the Wizard.
  • Shadar-KaiMToF: Nothing useful for the Wizard.
  • Wood ElfPHB: Wisdom is nice for saves and Perception, but that’s the best that the Wizard gets from the Wood Elf.

FairyWBtW / MMoM

Faerie Fire isn’t on the Wizard’s spell list, and it’s one of the best support spells in the game on top of being the lowest-level magic counter to invisibility. Access to that plus non-magical flight are absolutely stellar for the Wizard. You also get Enlarge/Reduce, which is neat but not as exciting, and you can re-cast both spells using spell slots. Overall, the Fairy is just an amazing basis for the Wizard.

Firbolg

UpdatedMMoM: With the exception of Hidden Step, the Wizard can replicate most of the Firbolg’s capabilities, and I’m not sure what a wizard would do with Speech of Beast and Leaf.

Classic (Customized Origin)VGtM: +2/+1 increases. Firbolg Magic is neat, but it’s Wisdom-based and rarely useful.

Classic (Default Rules)VGtM: Bad ability spread.

Fire GenasiMMoM

The Wizard can replace everything that the Fire Genasi does that’s worth having. Play tiefling.

GenasiEEPC

For the updated versions of the Air Genasi, the Earth Genasi, the Fire Genasi, and the the Water Genasi, see their separate race entries on this page.

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases (each subrace provides an additional +1), but the vast majority of the Genasi’s traits come from the subraces.

  • Air: You can replace these traits with spells.
  • Earth: Pass Without Trace is good, but not enough on its own.
  • Fire: The Customizing Your Origin rules don’t change the Fire Genasi much, but you might reverse the ability increases. The innate spellcasting is decent at low levels, but remember that it’s Constitution-based so it will fall behind as you gain levels.
  • Water: Only in an aquatic campaign.

Default Rules:

  • Air: Dexterity isn’t enough, and the Air Genasi’s other traits are terrible.
  • Earth: Earth Genasi are melee monsters, and even then not very good ones.
  • Fire: Intelligence, Darkvision, a free offensive cantrip, Burning Hands once per day, and fire resistance so you can drop fireballs on yourself a bit more often. Altogether, a decent option for Evokers, but the spellcasting is Constitution-based so your spell attacks and save DC will be a problem beyond low levels.
  • Water: Nothing useful for a Wizard.

GithMToF

For the updated versions of the Githyanki, the Githzerai, see their separate race entries on this page.

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases (each subrace provides an additional +2), but the bulk of your notable racial traits come from your subrace.

  • Githyanki: A compromise between the Hill Dwarf the Variant Eladrin, you get both medium armor and Misty Step once per day.
  • Githzerai: Mental Discipline is nice, and with proficiency in Wisdom saving throws you’ll be extremely well protected against Charm/Fear effects. The innate spellcasting is nice, but it’s all spells that you can already cast.

Default Rules:

  • GithyankiMToF: Medium armor proficiency means that you can cast spells in half plate, which is pretty nice. The psionics are nice, too, but you can learn and cast those spells already so they’re not a huge addition. Still, this is probably a better choice than the Mountain Dwarf thanks to the Gith’s Intelligence increase.
  • GithzeraiMToF: The psionics are nice, but you’re a wizard and you can cast those spells already.

GithyankiMMoM

Resistance to psychic damage is also nice, but psychic damage is uncommon and if you know it’s coming you can cast Intellect Fortress. The additional proficiencies don’t hurt, but wizards don’t do much with skills.

GithzeraiMMoM

With Mental Discipline in place you may be able to safely dump Wisdom. The innate spellcasting is a nice complement to your spellcasting, but it’s not going to make you significantly better than you would be otherwise.

GnomePHB

For the updated version of the Deep Gnome, see their separate race entry on this page.

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases (each subrace offers a +1 increase), Darkvision, and Gnome Cunning.

  • Deep (Svirfneblin)EEPC / SCAG: You’re not saddled with Sunlight Sensitivity, but the Svirfneblin still doesn’t offer enough that it’s useful outside of a subterranean campaign.
  • ForestPHB: Minor Illusion is great. It’s easy to compare the Forest Gnome to the High Elf: you give up the ability to pick your cantrip and a skill in exchange for Gnome Cunning.
  • RockPHB: Tinker is not useful enough to make this appealing.

Default Rules:

  • Deep (Svirfneblin)EEPC / SCAG: Interesting for stealthy wizard or an illusionist, especially in a subterranean campaign.
  • ForestPHB: A small Dexterity bonus can help your AC, and Minor Illusion for free saves you a Cantrip.
  • RockPHB: A small Constitution bonus can get you some much-needed hit points, and Artificer’s Lore is a great flavor for a Wizard, even if it’s not very impactful. Tinker is easily replaced by magic.

Goblin

UpdatedMMoM: Most wizards won’t need Nimble Escape often enough to make it meaningfully better than Misty Step, and while the damage boost from Fury of the Small is nice, it’s not amazing.

Classic (Customized Origin)VGtM: +2/+1 increases and Darkvision. Nimble Escape helps you stay out of melee, minimizing the need for things like Misty Step. Fury of the Small applies to spells, including AOE spells, but remember that saving for half damage will also reduce the damage from Fury of the Small so you want to apply the damage bonus when an enemy fails their save.

Classic (Default Rules)VGtM: Bad ability spread.

Goliath

UpdatedMMoM: Stone’s Endurance is certainly tempting on a class with so few hit points, but it’s not enough.

Classic (Customized Origin)EEPC: +2/+1 increases, one skill, and damage resistance. Stone’s Endurance looks neat, but without a decent AC it’s simply not enough to keep you alive. Look at the Hill Dwarf or the Githyanki instead.

Classic (Default Rules)EEPC: Bad ability spread.

Half-ElfPHB

Customized Origin: +2/+1/+1 increases, Darkvision, and Fey Ancestry. The ability increases are somewhat overkill, but they also make it easy to branch out into skills that aren’t Intelligence-based.

  • Aquatic Half-ElfSCAG: Only in an aquatic campaign.
  • Drow Half-ElfSCAG: The innate spellcasting is Charisma-based so it’s minimally useful, and you can already cast most of it.
  • High Half-ElfSCAG: The Wizard has more use for the Elf’s additional skill than for the Half-Elf’s additional +1 ability increase.
  • Standard Half-ElfPHB: Two skills offers a lot of room to expand your capabilities beyond what you can do with spells.
  • Wood Half-ElfSCAG: Nothing that’s helpful for the Wizard.

Default Rules: Half-elves are arguably the best race in the core rulebook, but they don’t do much for wizards. You can still get a small bonus to intelligence, but the half-elf doesn’t offer anything which you can’t get elsewhere.

  • Aquatic Half-ElfSCAG: Only if you’re in an aquatic campaign.
  • Drow Half-ElfSCAG: The free spells are decent, but you can cast comparable spells.
  • High Half-ElfSCAG: You get enough of your own cantrips already.
  • Standard Half-ElfPHB: Two free skills means that you can pick up some more knowledge skills.
  • Wood Half-ElfSCAG: Nothing useful for the Wizard.

Half-OrcPHB

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, Darkvision, and one skill. Relentless Endurance may keep you alive once, but the rest of the Half-Orc’s traits are wasted on the Wizard.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

HalflingPHB

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, Lucky, and Brave. Lucky is less useful for the Wizard than for most other characters because wizards rely more heavily on other creatures making saving throws instead of relying on attacks.

  • GhostwiseSCAG: Telepathy is neat, but you can replace it with a spell.
  • LightfootPHB: Without a major reliance on stealth, Naturally Stealthy is rarely impactful.
  • LotusdenEGtW: The innate spellcasting is decent, but it’s Wisdom-based so you’ll find that it’s unreliable due to the poor save DC compared to your wizard spells.
  • StoutPHB: A bit of additional durability.

Default Rules:

  • GhostwiseSCAG: Nothing useful for wizards.
  • LightfootPHB: Charisma is worthless to a Wizard, and if you need stealth you can cast Invisibility.
  • LotusdenEGtW: Bad ability spread.
  • StoutPHB: Constitution is nice, but not enough. The Stout halfling is marginally better than the other subrace options, but even then you’ll do better with the Dwarf.

HarengonWBtW

Hare Trigger will help you get your big spells out early in a fight when they’re most impactful, and Rabbit Hop can get you out of melee without more expensive options like Misty Step or Kinetic Jaunt.

Hobgoblin

UpdatedMMoM: Having an owl familiar will make the Hobgoblin’s traits obsolete.

Classic (Customized Origin)VGtM: +2/+1 increases, Darkvision, and light armor. The armor helps, and it’s probably enough to forgo Mage Armor. Saving Face is the big selling point here, and you can use it for high-value spell attacks or save it for a saving throw.

Classic (Default Rules)VGtM: The Constitution increase makes you nice and durable, and Saving Face is really great if you miss an attack roll with a high-level spell and don’t want to waste the spell slot.

Human

Customized Origin:

  • Standard: With perfect ability scores on the table for every race, there is no reason to play the Standard Human.
  • Variant: The Customizing Your Origin rules make no change to the Variant Human.

Default Rules:

  • Vanilla: Wizards really only need Intelligence, so a +1 to all of your scores is totally wasted.
  • Variant: You can still get a small bonus to your Intelligence, and you can get an awesome feat at level 1, plus a free skill. As awesome as all that is, the Custom Lineage is slightly better because two small increases aren’t as good for the wizard as one big increase.

KalashtarERLW

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, damage resistance, resistance on Wisdom saving throws, and probably the best racial telepathy option. That’s all fine, but you can also replicate the defensive traits with Mind Fortress and the telepathy with Rary’s Telepathic Bond.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

KenkuVGtM

UpdatedMMoM: It’s hard for the Wizard to put the Kenku’s traits to good use.

Classic (Customized Origin)VGtM: +2/+1 increases and two skills. Expert Forgery and Mimicry will rarely be impactful. Fun theme, but nothing mechanically impressive.

Classic (Default Rules)VGtM: Bad ability spread.

Kobold

UpdatedMMoM: Draconic Cry is great if you get stuck in close quarters, but there’s not much to be had from Draconic Legacy. Kobolds might make decent bladesingers.

Classic (Customized Origin)VGtM: +2 increase, Darkvision, Sunlight Sensitivity. Pack Tactics can offset Sunlight Sensitivity for the few spell attacks that you’ll make, and the rest of the time your spells require saving throws and don’t care if you need to squint at your targets. Still, Pack Tactics is the Kobold’s biggest trait, and you essentially need to ignore its existence.

Classic (Default Rules)VGtM: With a familiar (or a conveniently-place ally), Pack Tactics can give you easy Advantage. Pack Tactics still works with spell attacks, but spells which make attacks become less common as you gain levels so Pack Tactics will diminish in importance very quickly.

LeoninMOoT

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, Darkvision, and one skill. Daunting Roar is neat, but the range is tiny and you can cast Cause Fear and Fear (yes those are two different spells), so it’s hardly worth considering.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

Lizardfolk

UpdatedMMoM: The natural armor can be replaced by Mage Armor and the temporary hit points can be replaced by False Life. More skills are nice, but wizards have few good skill options.

Classic (Customized Origin)VGtM: +2/+1 increases, two skills, and 13+ natural armor. The natural armor will replace Mage armor, and the skills are great, but there’s nothing else here worth having.

Classic (Default Rules)VGtM: Bad ability spread.

LocathahLR

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, two skills, 12+ natural armor, and a long list of condition resistances from Leviathan Will. The natural armor isn’t quite as good as Mage Armor, but Leviathan Will can protect from things that AC can’t.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

LoxodonGGTR

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, resistance to charm and fear effects, and 12+Con natural armor. Given the choice between the two, the Locathah is better all around. The Loxodon’s biggest advantage is that their natural armor is Constitution-based, but as a wizard you’re likely sitting at 14 in both Dexterity and Constitution so that’s hardly an advantage.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

Minotaur

UpdatedMMoM: Too Strength-dependent. A Bladesinger could combine Booming Blade with Hammering Horns once you get Extra Attack at level 6, but it’s a very difficult, MAD build.

Classic (Customized Origin)GGTR: All of the Minotaur’s interesting traits are tied up in Strength.

Classic (Default Rules)GGTR: Bad ability spread.

Orc

UpdatedMMoM: Adrenaline Rush and Relentless Endurance provide some helpful insurance on a frail class, but you can replace them with Expeditious Retreat and False Life.

Classic (Customized Origin)VGtM: +2/+1 increases, two skills, and Darkvision. Aggressive is the Orc’s signature trait, but the Wizard is not a melee monster so it’s not helpful.

Classic (Default Rules)VGtM: Bad ability spread.

OwlinSCoC

Certainly better than the Aarakocra, if only because it provides more than just move speed, but not as good as the Winged Tiefling or the Fairy. Darkvision and Stealth proficiency are both great, but few wizards are brave enough to sneak around without relying on magic, and you can always get Darkvision from a spell, so neither are crucial.

Satyr

UpdatedMMoM: Magic Resistance is great, but it’s basically the only thing that you get, and now that it only applies to spells, it’s easy to replace with Counterspell.

Classic (Customized Origin)MOoT: +2/+1 increases, two skills, one instrument, and magic resistance. While the Satyr isn’t as durable as the Yuan-Ti Pureblood, the additional skills can help you expand your non-magical capabilities, which may be worth the trade.

Classic (Default Rules)MOoT: Bad ability spread. If you want Magic Resistance, play a Yuan-Ti Pureblood.

Sea ElfMMoM

The Wizard’s spell list can give you everything that the Sea Elf does.

Shadar-KaiMMoM

Useful for all the same reasons as the Eladrin, but the Eladrin is a better fit for most subclasses except the bladesinger.

Shifter

UpdatedMMoM: The shifting benefits won’t replace spells and the skill options aren’t helpful.

Customized OriginERLW: +2/+1 increases (each subrace provides an additional +1), Darkvision, and one skill. Shifting is the Shifter’s signature trait, offering a short-duration combat buff which includes temporary hit points which can be a good defense on top of the Wizard’s tiny hit point maximum. Of course, you could just cast False Life.

  • Beasthide: The +1 AC bonus won’t do much since your AC is so low to begin with, but the extra temporary hit points are helpful.
  • Longtooth: No wizard should even be able to use this effectively.
  • Swiftstride: Either teleport or cast Expeditious Retreat or something.
  • Wildhunt: Too situational.

Default RulesERLW: None of the Shifter’s subraces offer an Intelligence increase.

  • Beasthide: Bad ability spread.
  • Longtooth: Bad ability spread.
  • Swiftstride: Bad ability spread.
  • Wildhunt: Bad ability spread.

Simic HybridGGTR

Customized Origin: The Customizing Your Origin rules make no meaningful changes to the Simic Hybrid. You can move the Constitution increase around, but increasing Constitution is still the best way to use that increase.

Default Rules: A neat option, but you can get most of the race’s benefits from spells.

Tabaxi

UpdatedMMoM: The skills don’t work well for the Wizard, and beyond low levels you can make the Tabaxi’s traits redundant with low-level spells like Expeditious Retreat.

Classic (Customized Origin)VGtM: +2/+1 increases, two skills, and Darkvision. Feline Agility is the Tabaxi’s signature trait, and it’s not useful enough that the Tabaxi is an easy choice.

Classic (Default Rules)VGtM: Bad ability spread.

TieflingPHB

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, Darkvision, and damage resistance. Most of the subraces will give you innate spellcasting, but it’s Charisma-based so it’s hard for the Wizard to use effectively. Avoid spells which allow saving throws or which require attacks.

  • AsmodeusPHB/MToF: The spellcasting is fine, but Hellish Rebuke will be gradually less impactful as you gain levels both because your save DC will be poor and because the damage won’t scale.
  • BaalzebulMToF: Too reliant on saving throws.
  • DispaterMToF: Situational utility options, and the leveled spells are already on the Wizard’s spell list so you gain very little.
  • FiernaMToF: Too dependent on saving throws.
  • GlasyaMToF: You can accomplish a great deal with these spells before your spellcasting ability or save DC become an issue, which makes them great options for innate spellcasting.
  • LevistusMToF: Darkness is the only spell that’s going to be meaningfully useful.
  • MammonMToF: Situational utility options, but they’re all on your spell list already.
  • MephistophelesMToF: Flame blade is garbage.
  • ZarielMToF: Smite spells are bot a good choice for wizards.
  • Variant: FeralSCAG: The Customizing Your Origin optional rules make the Feral variant obsolete. All it does is rearrange your ability score increases.
  • Variant: Devil’s TongueSCAG: Too reliant on saving throws.
  • Variant: HellfireSCAG: Burning Hands may be more useful for you than Hellish Rebuke, but not by much.
  • Variant: WingedSCAG: Permanent flight without Concentration. You don’t need the free racial spells on a Wizard anyway, so this is a great trade.

Default Rules: A small bonus to Intelligence and access to Thaumaturgy, which is weird for a Wizard. The Flames of Flegethos feat is tempting for School of Evocation and other Blaster wizards. Perhaps the Tiefling’s biggest challenge is that the Innate Spellcasting is Charisma-based, so anything that allow a saving throw will be unreliable.

  • AsmodeusPHB/MToF: The ability scores don’t work as well for a Wizard as a race with a +2 Intelligence bonus. The spellcasting is fine, but Hellish Rebuke will be gradually less impactful as you gain levels both because your save DC will be poor and because the damage won’t scale.
  • BaalzebulMToF: ntelligence and access to Thaumaturgy.
  • DispaterMToF: Bad ability spread.
  • FiernaMToF: Bad ability spread.
  • GlasyaMToF: Bad ability spread.
  • LevistusMToF: Bad ability spread.
  • MammonMToF: Bonus intelligence, but the spells are really situational. You can do much better with other options.
  • MephistophelesMToF: Bonus intelligence, but Flame Blade is absolute garbage.
  • ZarielMToF: Too melee-centric.
  • Variant: FeralSCAG: Marginally better than the basic Asmodeus Tiefling because Wizards get more from Dexterity than from Charisma. According to the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, the Feral Variant is compatible with other variants, so if your DM allows it you may be able to use this in conjunction with another useful subrace.

    According to the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, the Feral Variant is compatible with other variants.

  • Variant: Devil’s TongueSCAG: Changing the spells doesn’t really improve the Tiefling for Wizards.
  • Variant: HellfireSCAG: Burning Hands may work better for Wizards than Hellish Rebuke if you don’t mind running into near-melee range to use it.
  • Variant: WingedSCAG: Permanent flight without Concentration. You don’t need the free racial spells on a Wizard anyway, so this is a great trade.

TortleTP / MMoM

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, one skill, and AC fixed at 17 without worrying about actual armor. Not quite as good as the Hill Dwarf (poison resistance, Darkvision) or the Githyanki (innate spellcasting), but pretty close.

Default Rules: 17 AC is great, but the Githyanki can do the same and also provides an Intelligence increase and some Innate Spellcasting.

Triton

UpdatedMMoM: The Triton’s traits can be easily replaced with spells.

Classic (Customized Origin)VGtM: Three +1 increases and Darkvision. The innate spellcasting is neat, but the spells are very situational, and they’re all on the Wizard’s spell list already.

Classic (Default Rules)VGtM: Bad ability spread.

VedalkenGGTR

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, one skill, and one tool. Vedalken Dispassion provides an excellent defensive option, and Tireless Precision can make you more effective at some non-magical stuff. If you just want durability the Yuan-Ti Pureblood may be more effective, but the Vedalken is still a very effective choice.

Default Rules: The Intelligence increase is a great start. The free proficiencies add some extra utility, and getting an extra d4 on the ability checks with those proficiencies really helps the Vedalken stand out as an expert. Vedalken Dispassion will help protect you from spells and effects which might otherwise take you out of a fight in one go.

VerdanAcInc

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases and one skill. Black Blood Healing is most effective on classes with tiny hit dice like the Wizard’s, so you’ll be less reliant on healing from other sources (provided that you survive to your next Short Rest). Telepathic Insight helps with some mental saving throws, and Intelligence saves aren’t common enough that lack of Advantage is a deal breaker. Taken as a whole, the Verdan makes for a reasonably durable wizard, but doesn’t significantly improve the Wizard’s capabilities.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

WarforgedERLW

Customized Origin: The Customizing Your Origin rules make no meaningful changes to the Warforged. You can move the Constitution increase around, but increasing Constitution is still the best way to use that increase.

Default Rules: The flexible ability increase goes into Intelligence, and the Warforged’s other traits will make you more durable than a typical sorcerer before considering spells. A warforged with Mage Armor would have an AC of 14+Dex totally unequipped, allowing you to meet the AC of characters in light armor and a shield.

Water GenasiMMoM

The Water Genasi’s benefits can be easily replaced with spells.

Yuan-Ti

UpdatedMMoM: Poison resistance and magic resistance are both nice, but since Magic Resistance was nerfed to only apply to spells, they’re not amazing.

Classic (Customized Origin)VGtM: +2/+1 increase, Darkvision, and poison immunity. Magic Resistance is a fantastic defense on any character, and the Wizard is no exception even though you have other defensive options like Counterspell. The Innate Spellcasting is useless, but it honestly doesn’t matter.

Classic (Default Rules)VGtM: Better suited to Sorcerers and Warlocks, but purebloods still make good wizards. Magic Resistance gives you a huge advantage over other spellcasters, and poison immunity helps with a very common damage type.

Dragonmarks

Dragonmarked DwarfERLW

Dragonmark traits replace your subrace.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Warding: The only new spell on the spell list is Armor of Agathys. Mage Armor for free once per day is nice, too. But those two things are not enough, and the other benefits aren’t significant enough to make up the difference.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Warding: The first published method to make an easily effective dwarf wizard without sacrificing Intelligence! Alarm is a good spell to have handy, but rarely worth one of your limited prepared spells. Mage Armor is basically a tax on low-level wizards that you pay to stay alive, and Mark of Warding removes that. You get each once per day for free. Several of the dragonmarks spells are already on the Wizard’s spell list, but there are several interesting new options like Armor of Agathys and Antilife Shell.
Dragonmarked ElfERLW

Dragonmark traits replace your subrace.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Shadow: The innate spellcasting is good, but nearly the entire spell list is already on the Wizard’s spell list. Pass Without Trace and Clairvoyance are good spells, but they’re not enough .

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Shadow: Bad ability spread.
Dragonmarked GnomeERLW

Dragonmark traits replace your subrace.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Scribing: The innate spellcasting is too situational, and the entire spell list is already on the Wizard’s spell list. The skill/tool bonuses are borderline worthless.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Scribing: Gnomes get an Intelligence increase, but you gain very little from the Dragonmark. Every interesting spell is already on the Wizard’s spell list.
Dragonmarked Half-ElfERLW

Dragonmark traits replace some of your normal racial traits, as described in the entry for each Dragonmark.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Detection: Rearranging the ability score increases is a minor improvement to Mark of Detection, but it was already a decent option to begin with. The skills and Innate Spellcasting are reasonably useful, and while the dragonmark spells overlap with the Wizard’s spell list, there are some good new additions like Divination.
  • Mark of Storm: The innate spellcasting is too situational, and the only new spell on the spell list is Wind Wall.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Detection: The ability score increases work well enough, and while there is some overlap with the Wizard’s spell list, you do add some new options including Find Traps and Divination, though Find Traps is borderline useless. The skill bonuses also line up well with given that you’re locked into a Wisdom increase and you’re going to take an Intelligence increase. Taking Proficiency in Insight and Investigation makes a lot of sense, and you might also add Perception if you can spare the skill proficiency.
  • Mark of Storm: Bad ability spread, and nearly every spell on the spell list is already on the Wizard’s spell list.
Dragonmarked Half-OrcERLW

Dragonmark traits replace ALL of your racial traits.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Finding: Heavily dependent on Wisdom for the skills, but the introduction of several spells from the Druid’s and the Ranger’s spell lists makes this an interesting options. While the innate spellcasting is nearly useless for the Wizard, the leveled spells include several interesting new options like Faerie Fire and Divination.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Finding: Bad ability spread.
Dragonmarked HalflingERLW

Dragonmark traits replace your subrace.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Healing: Healing is the biggest gap in the Wizard’s capabilities, and Mark of Healing solves that limitation nicely. While you don’t get high-level options like Heal and you can’t raise the dead, the ability to repair problematic status conditions and restore hit points is still a massive addition to the Wizard’s already formidable capabilities.
  • Mark of Hospitality: The skill bonuses aren’t especially helpful, and the innate spellcasting is mostly situational, but there are some excellent spells from the Cleric’s and the Druid’s spell lists which offer some interesting support options.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Healing: Bad ability spread, but both the innate spellcasting and the expanded spell list allow the Wizard to fill many of the healing functions which normally require a cleric. While you won’t get the high-level healing options like Heal or any options to raise the dead, you still get crucial options like Healing Word and Restoration. You’ll lag offensively, but if you can focus on utility and support options, you could be a spectacular contributor to the party without focusing on obvious offensive options. As an example: a Mark of Healing Halfling Diviner with the Bountiful Luck feat may be abundantly effective without ever directly interacting with enemies, but instead by acting as a force multiplier for the rest of the party.
  • Mark of Hospitality: Bad ability spread.
Dragonmarked HumanERLW

Dragonmark traits replace ALL of your normal racial traits.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Finding: See Mark of Finding under Dragonmarked Half-Orc, above. Mechanically, the final racial traits are identical.
  • Mark of Handling: Unless you’re really worried about beasts, there’s little to be gained here. The ability to use Animal Friendship and Speak With Animals against monstrosities is neat, but very situational.
  • Mark of Making: Thematically this makes a lot of sense, and the skill bonus seems tempting, but the Wizard can already do everything that Mark of Making offers. Conjure Barrage and Elemental Weapon are new to the Wizard’s spell list, but neither are especially interesting for the Wizard.
  • Mark of Passage: Misty Step for free once per day, but you can get that from the Eladrin, the Githyanki, and the Shadar-Kai, so the unique parts are the skill bonus which you won’t use and the spell list, which adds almost nothing to the Wizard’s spell list. The only new additions are Pass Without Trace and Freedom of Movement. Those are good spells, but not good enough to make this good.
  • Mark of Sentinel: Shield once per day is great, and the skill bonuses are workable, but the rest of Mark of Sentinel’s traits aren’t especially helpful. Vigilant Guardian is a death sentence for the Wizard, and most of the new spells aren’t helpful for the Wizard. Death Ward is a great spell, but on its own it’s not enough.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Finding: See Mark of Finding under Dragonmarked Half-Orc, above. Mechanically, the final racial traits are identical.
  • Mark of Handling: The ability score increase work, and many of the spells are new to the Wizard’s spell list, but they focus very heavily on a single creature type that never passes CR 10.
  • Mark of Making: The ability score increases are great, but all of useful spells except Elemental Weapon are already on your spell list so you gain very little except the Intelligence increase and a free cantrip.
  • Mark of Passage: The ability score increases work, and the extra speed and free Misty Step are helpful to keep you out of danger, but the only new spell on the spell list is Pass Without Trace.
  • Mark of Sentinel: Bad ability spread.

Lineages

Published in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and beyond, no Lineage exists prior to the introduction of the Customizing Your Origin rules, and as such each lineage has flexible ability score increases. Every Lineage has the choice of +2/+1 increases or three +1 increases except for the Custom Lineage which only receives a single +2 increase.

Lineages are applied on top of a base race. While the Custom Lineage isn’t affected by your base race, the three lineages published in Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft (Dhampir, Hexblade, and Reborn) borrow from your base race thanks to the Ancestral Legacy trait. Despite selecting a base race, you do not count as a member of your race for the purposes of any other effect, such as qualifying for feats or using magic items.

Custom LineageTCoE

+2 Intelligence, a feat, and your choice of a skill or Darkvision. Better for the Wizard than the Variant Human in most cases, and if you choose a feat which provides a +1 ability score increase you can start at level 1 with 18 Intelligence..

DhampirVGTR

A wizard should never be in a situation to use Vampiric Bite, you can cast Spider Climb, and you can get flight from numerous other places. There is very little mechanical justificatiom to play a dhampir wizard.

HexbloodVGTR

Wizards don’t get Hex, but they also have very little reason to use it, and you can already cast Disguise Self. Eerie Token is neat, and while it can be replaced with spells, those spells are often high level and expensive. Ancestral Legacy can get you two skills or flight. If you want flight, the Fairy will be more consistently effective, but a Hexblood wizard is still definitely a viable build.

RebornVGTR

The Reborn’s benefits are most useful when you’re in melee, but the only melee-friendly wizard is the Bladesinger.

More likely you’ll remain at a safe distance, especially if you use Ancestral Legacy to fly, which diminishes the usefulness of the Reborn’s other traits. At that point, most other flying races will be more interesting.