PF2 Remastered Wizard Handbook


The Wizard is the iconic arcane spellcaster. With a broad and diverse spell list, the Wizard can solve nearly any problem magically. The Wizard has been my favorite class since 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons. Powerful, versatile, and thematically interesting, the Wizard goes out into the world to test their wits and their knowledge against whatever challenge the multiverse has to offer.

In a party, your role is defined by the spells you employ. You can serve as a Blaster with area damage spells like fireball, a Defender by summoning creatures to stand between your party and your enemies, a Face by enchanting other creatures, a Scholar with your vast Intelligence and ample skills, a Scout with divination spells and stealth options like Invisibility, a Striker with single-target spells like Disintegrate and Power Word Kill, a Support caster with a wide range of buffs, debuffs, and area control spells, and a Utility caster with access to all manner of spells for solving the world’s mundane problems with magic.

In truth, there is very little that the Wizard can’t do, and while it’s not the uber-class that it was in previous editions, the Wizard is still a profoundly capable and versatile class. However, with great versatility comes great complexity. Playing a wizard involves a lot of planning, tracking, and management. You can keep the class simple by focusing on damage spells and solving your problems by blowing them up, but many wizards will have a large suite of specialized tools and will need to choose from a long list of options to employ in any given situation. If you’re afraid of “analysis paralysis”, consider other class options like the Sorcerer.

Also see our supporting articles:

Table of Contents


RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.

  • 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.

Remaster Changes

Arcane Schools have changed significantly. The remastered rules removed the concept of schools of magic, so schools are now organized around concepts rather than the 7 schools of magic that have existed in DnD for decades. Wizards choosing a school still get an extra spell slot, but rather than choosing from your school of magic, you prepare spells from a pre-determined list of school spells.

Wizard Class Features

Key Ability: Intelligence. Like any spellcaster it’s used for your Spell Attacks and for your Spell DCs. Those are two of your most important stats, so keep your Intelligence as high as you can get it. Intelligence also grants you additional Trained skills at 1st level, allowing you to easily invest in numerous skills, including Lore options which other classes often need to ignore in favor of more important skills.

Hit Points: 6+ hp is not a lot, and with horrible AC you’re extremely vulnerable.

Proficiencies: The Wizard’s proficiencies are terrible. Your high Intelligence will give you an abundance of Trained skills, but that’s the height of the Wizard’s proficiencies in anything except spellcasting.

Hit Points: 6+Con hit points. Fortunately, you have plenty of room to boost your ability scores so your Constitution bonus can compensate.

Initial Proficiencies: The Wizard’s proficiencies are terrible. Your high Intelligence will give you an abundance of Trained skills, but that’s the height of the Wizard’s proficiencies in anything except spellcasting.

  • Perception: Trained at 1st level, and it maxes out at Expert at 11th level. Expect to rely on allies for Perception checks, and strongly consider Incredible Initiative if you don’t want to go late in the turn order in every fight.
  • Saving Throws: Only one good saving throw. Will is a great option, but only one good saving throw is still a serious handicap, and it never improves past Master. Your other saving throws will also increase to expert, but no further. You can take the Canny Acumen feat, but that won’t get you past Expert until 17th level, so you’ll spend most of your career with absolutely dismal saving throws compared to your allies.
  • Skills: Arcana, plus 2+int Trained skills at 1st level, for a total of 3+. That’s standard, and with 18 Intelligence at 1st level you’ll have plenty of trained skills. You should get more than anyone except the Alchemist and the Rogue.
  • Attacks: Simple weapons and unarmed strikes. A dagger is your best weapon option. Don’t expect to use any weapon except in the most unusual circumstances.
  • Defenses: No armor proficiencies, and your proficiency in Unarmored Defense never increases past Expert. Expect to rely on spells like Mystic Armor, and be sure that you have nice sturdy friends to hide behind. The Wizard’s saves are also terrible.
  • Spells: Standard progression for full spellcasters.

1: Wizard Spellcasting: The Wizard is a prepared Arcana spellcaster, preparing spells from their spellbook each day during Daily Preparations. You add two spells to your spellbook for free every level, but you can also collect more from other sources.

1: Arcane Thesis: See our Wizard Arcane Theses Breakdown.

1: Arcane School: See our Wizard Arcane Schools Breakdown.

1: Arcane Bond: Allows you to re-cast one prepared spell each day, potentially giving you an additional spell at your highest spell rank.

Wizards who select the School of Universal Magical Theory modify the benefits of the Drain Bonded Item action, allowing them to use it once per Spell Rank instead of just once per day. This is obviously great, but does come at the cost of a free Spell Slot per Spell Rank to prepare school spells.

Wizard Attributes

Standard Wizard

Intelligence and defenses.

Str: Dump.

Dex: AC and Reflex saves.

Con: Essential.

Int: Your Key Ability Score.

Wis: Will saves, Perception, some skills.

Cha: Probably a second dump stat.

Polymorph Enthusiast

The additional need for Strength causes some trouble, so you’ll need to balance your needs for 5 attributes.

Str: With decent Strength and Handwraps of Mighty Blows you can exceed the attack bonus provided by your polymorph forms, especially if you’re not using your highest-level spell slots to cast them.

Dex: Helpful, but you’ll rely on the AC provided by your spells much of the time so you may not need to invest heavily.

Con: Essential.

Int: Your Key Ability Score.

Wis: Will saves, Perception, some skills.

Cha: Dump.

Wizard Ancestries and Heritages

Your highest priority is an Intelligence Boost. Beyond that, Dexterity and Constitution Boosts are helpful, but not essential. Anything related to weapons won’t help you, but innate spellcasting is a great way to expand your spellcasting options, especially if you can get utility spells or buffs from other spellcasting traditions.

For more help selecting an Ancestry and Heritage, see our Wizard Ancestries and Heritages Breakdown.

Wizard Backgrounds

An Intelligence Boost is essential, then look for a Boost to one of your secondary ability scores to boost your defenses. Skill feats which complement Intelligence-based skills are an easy choice.

If you’re having trouble deciding, here are some suggestions:

Wizard Skills and Skill Feats

You get Skill Increases at 3rd and 5th level to raise skills to Expert, increases at 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th level to raise skills to Master, and increases at 15th, 17th, and 19th level to raise skills to Legendary. That means that you can maximize at most three skills, and the rest of your skills might not advance beyond Trained.

You get Skill Feats at even-numbered levels, giving you a total of 10 Skill Feats (and maybe another from your Background) by 20th level. Generally, you want to invest these feats in the same skills which you are choosing to maximize, though in some cases you may want to grab feats from skills which don’t require that you be more than Trained.

  • Acrobatics (Dex): Surprisingly important because it’s used for maneuvering while flying.
    • Cat Fall (PC1): Being knocked prone while flying is an easy way to counter flying creatures, and enemies can do it just as easily to you as you can do it to them. Cat Fall will reduce the effective distance you’ve fallen, allowing you to take less damage from a fall. However, the effects of Cat Fall scale based on your Proficiency level, so it may not be worth the skill feat unless you plan to increase your proficiency in Acrobatics.
  • Arcana (Int): Essential, and you get it for free.
    • Arcane Sense (PC1): If you can make Detect Magic free, you should cast it frequently any time that there’s even a remote chance that you’ll encounter magic. You’re going to maximize Arcana anyway, so this will get better as you gain levels. Of course, Detect Magic is a Cantrip which you could get by several means, and normal Cantrip scaling will be faster than waiting to become Legendary in Arcana.
    • Magical Shorthand (PC1): Wizards can, in theory, buy access to every spell on their spell list. Using downtime to reduce or even eliminate the cost to learn new spells can eventually save you a significant amount of gold, though you’ll give up time that you could spend crafting things.
    • Unified Theory (PC1): Your Intelligence will always exceed your Wisdom, so your Arcana will always exceed your Nature and Religion, so at the very least this is a numeric boost to those skills. More importantly, you don’t need to spend Skill Increases on Nature, Occultism, or Religion.
  • Athletics (Str): Strength is your dump stat.
  • Crafting (Int): You’re probably the smartest person in the party, and someone in the party needs it to handle magic runes, repairing items, etc. Also, Scroll Savant is really good.
  • Deception (Cha): Wizards are not a great Face since they have no dependence on Charisma.
  • Diplomacy (Cha): Wizards are not a great Face since they have no dependence on Charisma.
  • Intimidation (Cha): Casting a spell is typically a 2-Action Activity, which means that in many rounds you’ll have a spare Action and not much to do with it. In those situations, Demoralize is a great use of an Action. However, that spare action may also be important for the Sustain a Spell action.
  • Lore (Int): Too numerous and too vaguely-defined.
  • Medicine (Wis): You’ll have enough Wisdom to make Medicine viable, but hopefully you’ll be in a party with someone else who can cover it so that you can focus on Intelligence-based skills.
  • Nature (Wis): Despite being Wisdom-based, Nature may be an important skill for the Wizard so that you can identify spells being cast by other spellcasters.
  • Occultism (Int): On par with Arcana, and you have plenty of Intelligence to make it work.
    • Bizarre Magic (PC1): Most enemies won’t be able to identify your magic, and the few that can will rarely care.
  • Performance (Cha): There is no way for the Wizard to make use of this short of things like the Goblin Song feat.
  • Religion (Wis): Despite being Wisdom-based, Religion may be an important skill for the Wizard so that you can identify spells being cast by other spellcasters.
  • Society (Int): The closest thing you’ll get to a Face skill, and it also serves as the knowledge skill for humanoid societies.
  • Stealth (Dex): Never a bad choice, but don’t expect to be good at it.
  • Survival (Wis): Too situational.
  • Thievery (Dex): Solve these problems with magic, or leave it to someone who focuses on Dexterity.

Varying Skill Feats

  • Automatic Knowledge (PC1): While it feels very thematic for the Wizard, Automatic Knowledge forces you to use Assurance, which negates the Wizard’s high Intelligence.
  • Magical Crafting: Depending on your campaign, crafting during downtime can be a huge asset. But if your campaign rarely includes downtime in somewhere suitable to crafting, you’ll be fine without this.
  • Recognize Spell (PC1): With high Intelligence, passable Wisdom, and easy access to spellcasting-related skills, the Wizard is perhaps the best-suited character to identify enemy spells. You also have access to Counterspell and other means to counteract magic, so being able to identify spells as a Reaction can be a powerful tool against enemy spellcasters.
    • Quick Recognition (PC1): Using a Free Action means that you can identify spells multiple time between turns, which is crucial against multiple enemy spellcasters or if you need your Reaction for something else.

Wizard Feats

The Wizard’s Class Feats include spellshape options, additional familiar powers, improvements to Channel Bonded Item, and other options to enhance your spellcasting capabilities.

For more help selecting Class Feats, see our Wizard Class Feats Breakdown.

General Feats

  • Armor proficiency (PC1): Each tier of armor can increase your AC by 2 while reducing your Dex Cap, allowing you to put your Ability Boosts somewhere other than Dexterity. Your proficiency from this feat increases at level 13, which matches when the Wizard’s Unarmored Defense improves, so you’ll never need to think “I would be better off in Explorer’s Clothing.”
  • Canny AcumenPC1: Wizards have poor saves and poor Perception. The only problem with this feat is that you can’t take it more than once.
  • Incredible InitiativePC1: Casting an area control spell before anyone else acts can win a fight before it begins, so rolling well on initiative is often crucial for spellcasters.
  • Prescient Planner (PC1): Welcome in any party, but not always useful.
    • Prescient Consumable (PC1): Oh look, I conveniently have a scroll of the exact spell that we need to solve this problem!
  • Toughness (PC1): Wizards have few hit points, so more never hurt, but you should also be working really hard to avoid being targeted by things that deal damage.

Wizard Weapons

  • Crossbow (Any) (PC1): At low levels the option make a 1-Action Strike with a crossbow can be a major damage boost once per encounter. I don’t recommend reloading during combat If you have 2 Actions to reload, spend them casting a cantrip.
  • Dagger (PC1): The only melee weapon that you have any reasonable chance to hit with, but you should use it only when you have absolutely no other choice.

Wizard Armor

  • Explorer’s Clothing (PC1): Basically just a fancy outfit that you can apply magic runes to. Mystic Armor is probably enough, but if you want property runes you’ll need a permanent suit of “armor”. Don’t worry about the Dexterity Cap, either; if you’re exceeding 20 Dexterity you’re probably doing something unusual.


This is not a comprehensive list of archetypes which might be useful for this class. For more on archetypes, see our archetype handbooks.

  • Alchemist: Advanced Alchemy has a lot to offer. Alchemical Bombs are a tempting offensive option, but you’re not proficient.
  • Witch: A familiar, plus more Intelligence-based spellcasting which can be from any Tradition depending on your choice of Patron.

Wizard Multiclass Archetype

  1. Wizard Dedication: Two cantrips and Trained in Arcana.
  2. Arcane School Spell: The Wizard’s Focus Spell options are neat, but they’re not amazing.
  3. Basic Arcana: The Wizard’s 1st-level and 2nd-level Class Feats are mostly Spellshape options, and the majority of the feat options are available to many spellcasting classes.
  4. Basic Wizard Spellcasting: Intelligence-based Arcane spellcasting.
  5. Advanced Arcana: The Wizard has some interesting feat options which could be useful for other spellcasting classes, but there are also many feats which require specific class/subclass features only available to wizards.
  6. Arcane Breadth: I would wait to take this until you have Expert Wizard Spellcasting (or at least until you’re close to taking it), but the extra spell slots are excellent.
  7. Expert Wizard Spellcasting: More spells.
  8. Master Wizard Spellcasting: More spells.