Last Updated: April 25, 2022
This guide is for the version of the Water Genasi published in Monsters of the Multiverse. For the classic version of the Genasi, see our Genasi Handbook.
Water genasi are descendants of marids, genies from the elemental plane of water. This heritage manifests in their traits as spells that manipulate water, but also as acid resistance and Acid Splash for some reason. I have no idea. Usually you get cold resistance with water-associated stuff, but what do I know?
The Water Genasi changes surprisingly little when it was reprinted in Mordenkainen’s Monsters of the Multiverse. They added a 2nd-level innate spell, traded Shape Water for Acid Splash (possibly because WotC didn’t want to reprint Shape Water or because they read about all the crazy stuff you can do with it), and moved to the new standard for ability score increases. Nothing really big here.
But the Water Genasi didn’t get any better with these changes. Water Walk is only useful if you’re in a place where water is hazardous (rare in most games) or if you’re in an aquatic campaign. Acid Splash is a decent attack cantrip, but not so good that you won’t be tempted to take others. Overall, the spellcasting just isn’t particularly impressive.
Table of Contents
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.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- : Good options. Useful often.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
I will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, even if it is my own, because I can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. I also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and I 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.
Water Genasi Classes
This section assumes that you’re using the option “Customizing Your Origin” rules presented in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. If you’re not using those rules, scroll down to the next section.
Artificers can’t cast either of the Water Genasi’s leveled spells, but they have infusions to provide everything else that the Water Genasi gets and the spells are only situationally useful.
Spellcasting is bad for the Barbarian and since it’s the Water Genasi’s signature trait, there’s nothing here worth having.
The Bard can’t learn any of the Water Genasi’s spells without resorting to Magical Secrets, so everything that the Water Genasi brings in new. A water genasi bard would be great in an aquatic campaign.
The only new spell is Acid Splash, and clerics have Sacred Flame. Acid resistance is fine, but acid damage isn’t common. Darkvision is also nice, but abundantly available from other races.
Acid Splash is the only new thing that the Water Genasi brings to the Druid. Darkvision? Turn into an animal. Acid Resistance? Sure, but it’s not common enough to be a problem. Breath underwater? Again: turn into an animal.
The Water Genasi’s traits aren’t useful enough for non-caster fighters, and the Water Genasi’s spells aren’t useful enough for an eldritch knight to justify using them.
If you’re in the water, play a locathah, a sea elf, a triton, or anything else that breaths water. The spellcasting isn’t helpful here.
Maybe the Water Genasi’s best martial option. Acid Splash can give the Paladin a decent ranged attack option, acid resistance isn’t always useful but it doesn’t hurt, and Darkvision is always welcome. The leveled spells aren’t consistently helpful, but in an aquatic campaign they might see a little bit of use.
If you want to attack at range, use a bow. The leveled spells are only situationally useful, and Water Walk is already on the Ranger’s spell list.
None of the Water Genasi’s spells are helpful for rogues. Shape Water would have been great, but WotC took that out. If you want to be a rogue underwater, play something else.
I would consider a water genasi sorcerer in an aquatic campaign. Sorcerers can already get all of the Water Genasi’s spells, but sorcerers are strictly limited on their number of spells known, so extras are nice (provided that you can actually make them useful).
Warlocks don’t get the Water Genasi’s leveled spells, and innate spellcasting is always welcome on the Warlock, but unless you can actually make the spells useful you’re not getting any benefit. Your best bet is a water genasi warlock in an aquatic campaign.
You can replace everything that the Water Genasi offers with a spell.