Deja vu

I’ve just been in this time before

Higher on the beat

And I know it’s a place to go

Deja Vu – Dave Rodgers

Introduction

The Chronurgy Magic Wizard (or Chronurgist) is a subclass from the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. As the name implies, this subclass is themed around time manipulation. It manages to do a good job of sticking to the theme with its features without going too far off the rails. It’s not going to start time traveling or anything like that. Instead, it causes little shifts, like rewinding a single moment by forcing a d20 to reroll. Or acting slightly earlier in a fight by adding the Intelligence modifier to initiative checks.

These features are all well and good, but they also happen to be on a Wizard. Maybe the reroll you force is the successful save against one of your spells. Maybe that bonus to initiative is the edge you need to put down a key spell. I’m sure you can see why this subclass is so widely praised.

Because chronurgists get access to dunamancy by default, be sure to see our Dunamancy Spell List Breakdown.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer

RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

We will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, in handbooks for official content because we can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. We also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and we can’t guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.

The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released and this article will be updating accordingly as time allows.

RPGBOT is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.

Chronurgy Magic Features

  1. Chronal Shift: Rerolls are always great, and you can use this after the target rerolls. The target can be you, an ally, or an enemy, so you can use this to divert critical hits, to offer another attempt on failed saves, or if you’re not worried about your own safety you could use this to let allies reroll missed attacks. Generally you should save this to be used defensively. Rerolling one ally’s missed attack will rarely save a life, but rerolling saves will save lives constantly.
  2. Temporal Awareness: A sizable bonus to Initiative. Going first is incredibly useful for spellcasters who can place area control effects to shape the rest of the fight.
  3. Momentary Stasis: Taking a creature out of a fight for a turn is great, but Constitution saves tend to be high, and the effect only lasts until the end of your next turn so you’re giving up your Action on your turn to possibly deny the target their own turn. It’s a fine trade if your party outnumbers your enemies, but if you’re outnumbered you should be fireballing things rather than trading turns with a single enemy.
  4. Arcane Abeyance: I see four ways to use this:
    1. You can have an ally cast a spell which typically affects the caster so that you can share powerful effects like Shadow Blade.
    2. You can have an ally cast a concentration spell and hold the concentration for you. This is especially useful for familiars who can cast the spell then run and hide without cutting into your party’s effectiveness significantly.

      If you’re especially cheeky and have access to the Ravnica backgrounds, being Orzhov and handing Spirit Guardians to your fighter is pretty fun.

    3. You can use it to let another creature cast a spell for you so that you can get an extra spell off in a hurry. A familiar is a fantastic choice in this case. They’re prohibited from making attacks, but nothing stops them from casting Fireball.
    4. Cast a spell with a long casting time, then freeze it upon completion. Carry the bead around for a bit, then activate it to deliver the spell.
    5. Give every member of the party their own Familiar. Give your Familiar a Familiar. Give that Familiar a Familiar.
  5. Convergent Future: Rerolls are great, but they’re still a roll. Take the risk out of it and just decide that a roll succeeds or fails. The cost is high, however, and it gets worse the more times you use this in a day. Few creatures can give you levels of exhaustion, so it’s usually not a problem, but the one time you encounter an enemy which inflicts Exhaustion you’re in serious trouble if you’ve used this at all that day. Also avoid things like starving, sleep deprivation, and forced marches. Dying at level 14 because you’re tired is hardly the way you want to go out.

Chronurgy Magic Ability Scores

We’re a Wizard and we do Wizard things.

Str: Nah, don’t need Strength.

Dex: Yeah we like having AC and getting better Initiative checks.

Con: We really like having HP and making Concentration saves.

Int: Need those spell save DCs and spell attack rolls.

Wis: Saves against some nasty effects. We are proficient, but if we’ve got points to spare we might as well get some.

Cha: Nah, someone else can be good at talking.

Point BuyStandard Array
Str810
Dex1413
Con1514
Int1515
Wis1012
Cha88

Chronurgy Magic Races

With only a few exceptions, we can just follow the Wizard Races Breakdown.

  • Harengon: For the exact same reason as in War Magic, Harengon’s Hare Trigger pairs incredibly well with adding our Intelligence modifier to initiative.

Chronurgy Magic Feats

Also check the Wizard Handbook for other feats not listed here.

  • Alert: Even more bonuses to Initiative on top of Temporal Awareness.

Chronurgy Magic Weapons and Armor

Magic is our ‘Weapons’ and we don’t get Armor unless we multiclass or something.

Chronurgy Magic Multiclassing

  • Twilight Cleric: If you can swing the stat spread, 1 level of Twilight Cleric gives Advantage on Initiative checks to stack on top of Temporal Awareness (and any other things we’ve stacked). It also gives all the way up to Heavy Armor and Shields. Keep in mind that if you can find some Mithril Full Plate, the Strength requirement is removed.

Check the Wizard Handbook for more options.

Example Chronurgy Magic Build – Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow

The example build shared below might seem a little shenanigans at first, taking a level of Twilight Cleric before taking 19 levels of Chronurgy Wizard, but this gives us some interesting benefits. The Chronurgy Wizard gains a bonus to Initiative checks, and the Twilight Cleric can give itself semi-permanent Advantage on Initiative Checks.

This is the primary benefit, but also having armor and shield access is worth enough for us to be behind by one level on Wizard spells, but the Cleric level keeps us on track for slots as well as giving us 1st-level Cleric spells. Handily, spells like Bless and Healing Word care little about our lower Wisdom score, another great benefit to the spellcaster multiclassing of 5e.

Abilities

We’re going to have an unusual spread to account for the multiclassing minimums. Using point buy, we’re putting 14s in Dexterity and Constitution, 15 into Intelligence, and 12 into Wisdom, with 8s in Strength and Charisma. Then from Harengon, we choose +2/+1, putting +1 into Intelligence and the +2 into Wisdom. See, super unusual for a Wizard.

BaseIncreasedLevel 20
Str888
Dex141414
Con141416
Int151620
Wis121414
Cha888

Race

We’re going with Harengon to go hard on going first all the time. Yeah, it’s a silly idea, but we’re a supremacy caster and going first means we win more than we lose. Perception is a good skill, so we’ll keep that free proficiency instead of trading it away.

Background

We’re picking up Sage for Arcana and History, so that we can take on scholarly duties, but we’ll trade out two languages for Calligrapher’s Tools and Forgery Kit, to further enhance our ability to do research and copy knowledge.

Skills and Tools

From taking Cleric at first level, we take Insight (because our Wisdom is decent so we might as well) and Religion (because we’ve got the Intelligence to contribute to it). From Harengon, we have Perception, again enhanced by our above average Wisdom. From modified Sage, we gain Arcana and History, as well as Calligrapher’s Tools and Forgery Kit.

Feats

At fifth level, Wizard fourth, we take an ASI for +2 Intelligence, reaching 18 Intelligence.

At ninth level, Wizard eighth, we take another ASI for +2 Intelligence, reaching 20 Intelligence.

At thirteenth level, Wizard twelveth, we take Resilient (Constitution), increasing Constitution to 15.

At seventeenth level, Wizard sixteenth, we take Skill Expert, increasing Constitution to 16 as well as becoming proficient in Investigation and taking Expertise in Perception to make up for only having a 14 Wisdom.

At twentieth level, Wizard nineteenth, we take Tough, to boost our hit point total.

Levels

LevelsFeats and FeaturesNotes and Tactics
1-Cleric 1All Armor and Shields

Skills
-Arcana
-History
-Insight
-Perception
-Religion

Tools
-Calligrapher’s Supplies
-Forgery Kit

Cleric Domain: Twilight
-Darkvision (300ft)
-Vigilant Blessing

Spellcasting
-Cleric Cantrips
–Guidance
–Mending
–Thaumaturgy
-1st-level Cleric spells
–Bless
–Faerie Fire
–Sleep
–Healing Word
Starting as a Cleric, we get some Armor and a Shield. We could gain these proficiencies by multiclassing into Cleric later, but we like getting the gear for free. We have the option of Heavy or Medium thanks to Twilight domain, a trade off of 1 AC vs 10 ft of movement speed as we lack the Strength to go full speed in most Heavy armor.

As for a domain, we take Twilight, giving us ridiculous 300ft Darkvision and the ability to have Advantage on Initiative checks. We also gain some spells from the domain, but we’re really here for Armor and the Initiative boost.

As far as Cleric spells, because our Wisdom will stay 14 we’re taking things that don’t have saves or attack rolls, like Bless and Healing Word for spells, or Guidance and Thaumaturgy for Cantrips.
2-Wizard 1Arcane Recovery

Spellcasting
-Wizard Cantrips
–Chill Touch
–Fire Bolt
Mage Hand
-1st-level Wizard spells
–Absorb Elements
–Find Familiar
–Grease
Magic Missile
–Shield
Silvery Barbs
–Gift of Alacrity
Our first level of Wizard. Arcane Recovery helps us get a little more out of our spell slots for the day.

As you read through the spell recommendations, keep in mind that I may omit some common good spells in the interest of not repeating myself in every handbook. By all means, also consult the Wizard Spell Breakdown as you choose your own list.

As for spells, we’ll take some attack cantrips.We’ll use Fire Bolt for damage and Chill Touch whenever the target is immune or resistant to Fire or if we need to keep a target from healing.

For spells, Absorb Elements and Shield are handy protection on top of our Medium Armor and shield, while Silvery Barbs is good for canceling incoming critical hits.

Magic Missile is some ok damage at this level, but not so much as we level up more because the upcasting benefits are poor.

Grease is a non-concentration puddle of difficult terrain, and that makes it great to mess up a 10-by-10 square.
Gift of Alacrity is another bonus to Initiative. If we want, we can put the Vigilant Blessing and Gift of Alacrity on someone else instead of hoarding it for ourselves. We have options.

We’ll want to pick up Find Familiar at some point as Familiars are very useful, especially alongside Arcane Abeyance at Wizard 10.
3-Wizard 2Arcane Tradition: Chronurgy Magic

Chronal Shift

Temporal Awareness
We get our subclass, Chronurgy Magic, the focus of this guide.

Chronal Shift allows us to force a reroll on any d20 we see. It’s like Silvery Barbs except we can use it on failed rolls we want to succeed as well, so save it for those and use Silvery Barbs when we want something to fail instead.

Temporal Awareness is just a simple adding Intelligence modifier to Initiative checks.

This puts our Initiative modifier right now at +7 before adding anything like Vigilant Blessing or Gift of Alacrity.
4-Wizard 3Spellcasting
-2nd-level Wizard spells
–Invisibility
–Knock
–Shadow Blade
–Vortex Warp
–Web
A level later than a single-classed Wizard, which is going to be our life from now on but that’s fine, we get our 2nd-level spells.

Web is a fairly strong spell, especially when cast by someone who basically always goes first.

Invisibility is good for sneaking around and surprising foes, getting to go even more first. Or for just sneaking around.

Knock, on the other hand, is not sneaky at all because of how loud it is. But it does let us go wherever we want.

Vortex Warp means that when we go first, which is all the time, we can decide where an ally gets to start. Perhaps our Barbarian gets to start by standing on top of a slow enemy Wizard who gets to go last.

Shadow Blade is not really something we want to cast personally, but instead something we might want to use with Arcane Abeyance later.
5-Wizard 4ASI: Intelligence +2 (16=>18)

Spellcasting
-Wizard Cantrip
–Prestidigitation
Better spell attacks, higher save DCs and Boosted Initiative.

Speaking of which, our Initiative modifier is now +9.

Prestidigitation is a fairly useful utility cantrip.
6-Wizard 5Spellcasting
-3rd-level Wizard spells
–Counterspell
–Dispel Magic
–Fly
–Hypnotic Pattern
More spells. 3rd-level this time.

Counterspell and Dispel Magic are staple spells that should be in somebody’s pocket.

Fly is Fly. Flying is tactically superior to walking.

Hypnotic Pattern has a similar use case to Web, but instead of leaving a lingering zone of hindrance it just Charms and Incapacitates everything in the area on initial cast. Use this spell over Web when Web would get in your party’s way.

Because we now have 3rd-level spells, I’ll shout out the Tasha-style Summon spells. With our staggered spell slots from the one Cleric level, having something that upcasts amazingly well like those Summon spells will give us great mileage.
7-Wizard 6Momentary StasisMomentary Stasis is sort of like a bad single-target version of Hypnotic Pattern. It does have one use case, though:

If an enemy is Concentrating and breaking their actual Concentration is hard for some reason, such as War Caster, this will break Concentration through inflicting the Incapacitated condition.
8-Wizard 7Spellcasting
-4th-level Wizard spells
–Banishment
–Black Tentacles
–Greater Invisibility
–Sickening Radiance
4th-level spells. More save-or-sucks.

Banishment takes a target away for up to a minute with one failed Charisma save. Great when there are two big foes to deal with in a fight that we want to fight one at a time.

Black Tentacles is just the Web spell, but it beats people up when they get stuck. Pretty funny looking, too.

Greater Invisibility can be a pretty useful buff spell if we just want to have an ally beat down the battlefield with Advantage. Maybe a Rogue with sneak attack, maybe a Fighter with Action Surge.

Sickening Radiance just microwaves the battlefield. If you manage to trap creatures inside the effect, eventually the Exhaustion will just kill them no matter how many HP they have.
9-Wizard 8ASI: Intelligence +2 (18=>20)The best spell attacks and highest of save DCs, as well as more initiative.

That Initiative modifier is now +11.
10-Wizard 9Spellcasting
-5th-level Wizard spells
–Hold Monster
Wall of Force
Wall of Stone
Hold Monster is like Hold Person, but for everybody. Except undead since they’re usually immune to paralysis.

Walls for Days. Having an assortment of wall spells is great because they each do something different. Wall of Force is more or less impenetrable, even to ethereal travel. Wall of Stone, on the other hand, becomes permanent if you keep Concentration for the ten-minute duration.
11-Wizard 10Arcane AbeyanceThis is the big feature we play Chronurgist to get.

Our first job is to use this to give everyone a Familiar. Then we can use it to hand out other personal spells like Shadow Blade or handing out a Concentration spell to someone who doesn’t have anything to Concentrate on.

Shenanigans option: We have 6th-level slots. Upcast Summon Fey, then hand it a 3rd-level Shadow Blade and have it attack three times every round for 3d8+3+6 per attack.
12-Wizard 11Spellcasting
-6th-level Wizard spells
–Contingency
–Eyebite
–True Seeing
Contingency. The guide linked here is a very good read about how to get the most from this spell.

Eyebite. Put a target to sleep every round. Have someone else stab it. Profit.

True Seeing is just helpful all around.
13-Wizard 12Feat: Resilient (Constitution)A boost to our Constitution saves, which in turn boost our Concentration saves.
14-Wizard 13Spellcasting
-7th-level Wizard spells
–Forcecage
–Plane Shift
Forcecage. Go first and cut every fight in half, go have lunch, and come back to finish off your foes.

Plane Shift for all our travel needs. Take the party on fun multiversal adventures.
15-Wizard 14Convergent FutureBe careful with the Exhaustion penalty and use this to stick an important save-or-suck spell or save an ally from a devastating failed save or incoming attack.
16-Wizard 15Spellcasting
-8th-level Wizard spells
–Illusory Dragon
–Maze
Pretend Dragon. Real Breath Weapon.

Or just lock a target in a demiplane until they pass a DC 20 Intelligence check.
17-Wizard 16Feat: Skill Expert
Constitution +1
Skill: Investigation
Expertise: Perception
We even out our Constitution score, increasing the modifier by 1.We also become proficient in Investigation and gain Expertise in Perception to more than make up for our Wisdom staying at 14.
18-Wizard 17Spellcasting
-9th-level Wizard spells
–Wish
–Foresight
I’m still contractually obligated to recommend that spell.

However, because Wish is boring, cast Foresight instead. No no, not on us. We’re already incredibly likely to win every Initiative. Put it on whichever martial is your glass cannon or benefits the most from Advantage. Probably some flavor of elf.

Deja Vu. I feel like I’m in a time loop or something. Or maybe all Wizards have a Convergent Future.
19-Wizard 18Spell Mastery
-1st-level Wizard spell
–Gift of Alacrity
-2nd-level Wizard spell
–Web
Start every day by giving the whole party +1d8 to Initiative checks.

Then start every fight with a Web blast to really stick it to your foes.
20-Wizard 19Feat: ToughAn extra 40 HP is nothing to scoff at. It’s the difference between a d6 and d10 hit die.