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Best Wizard Races


Advice

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I am going to be playing a wizard in an up coming ap, and was wondering what people thought was the best race and traits for that?


From the core races, I'd say Elf is the best choice along with Human and Half-Elf.

If you are allowed some others, the Tiefling, Sylph and Wayang are also viable choices that come to mind.

Lantern Lodge

Peri-Blooded Aasimars also have a bonus to Int.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Samsaran, with the Mystic Past Life alternate racial trait.

Peri-Blooded Aasimar(Middle aged) with the Immortal Spark alternate racial trait.


Didn't the Ratfolk have one, too?
Even though personally I don't like them.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Samsaran, with the Mystic Past Life alternate racial trait.

How could I forget about that? I think the Samsarans are awesome.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Ratfolk are awesome. They make better Alchemist, but good Wizards.

How could you not like Ratfolk?

Dark Archive

it completely depend on what kind of wiz you want to play.

for example
fetchling wizard get some free illusion (shadow) spell.
the ratfolk gains a +2to int, is small, and gets many other bonus.
a sylph wizard gains some special habilities with the winds.

and so on...

so you need to tell us first what kind of wizard you would like to play :)


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Ratfolk are awesome. They make better Alchemist, but good Wizards.

How could you not like Ratfolk?

I don't know, they just fail to interest me. I wouldn't ban them if I were DM, though.

Also, even though they don't get an Intelligence bonus, the Dhampir have their own Wizard archetype.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Ah.
They remind me of my pet mice, and my passed on pet rat.
Also, Willard, Mouse Guard, Secret of Nimh, Ben, and Redwall.

Guess I am a bit of a rodent fan.

Scarab Sages

I have always been partial to human wizards. The bonus feat is very difficulty for me to give up unless I have a specific build in mind using another race.

For example, I am currently putting together a wizard using darkness + shadow grasp. He will be a tiefling with the fiend sight feat.


I think rodents are interesting, but the same intrigue just doesn't come to me with the Ratfolk.

Also, I love Tieflings. I plan to play a Daemon-Spawn Tiefling Wizard in Rise of Runelords. Thanks for the idea, Artanthos.

Sovereign Court Star Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sylphs are pretty wonderful. They gain access to one of my new favorite first level spells, Windy Escape.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Samsarans can cast that too.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I find that it's pretty hard to argue with the vanilla elf wizard. You basically get Spell Penetration for free (and it stacks with Spell Penetration, so SR can be made almost trivial), a +2 to your prime casting stat, a +2 to your most often used to-hit stat (and AC stat), and resistance to some of the most debilitating spells and effects in the game. The bonus to Spellcraft for identifying items is just icing, but it's especially good at low levels.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

Fatespinner wrote:
I find that it's pretty hard to argue with the vanilla elf wizard. You basically get Spell Penetration for free (and it stacks with Spell Penetration, so SR can be made almost trivial), a +2 to your prime casting stat, a +2 to your most often used to-hit stat (and AC stat), and resistance to some of the most debilitating spells and effects in the game. The bonus to Spellcraft for identifying items is just icing, but it's especially good at low levels.

Yeah, standard elves are basically built to be wizards. And the Arcane Focus alternate racial trait drops about the only thing you don't care about for a +2 to defensive casting. Unless you have something specific in mind, there's not much that beats the elf.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Elves, and Elf flavor, always rubbed me the wrong way.

The whole thing is like walking into some weird 18th century masquerade ball, where everyone is so uptight, snooty, and fabulous, that you can't tell who's man, who's woman, who's happy, who's angry, if any loves you, or hates you, and the air smells faintly of rotten lavender, and pretentious.


Fatespinner wrote:
I find that it's pretty hard to argue with the vanilla elf wizard. You basically get Spell Penetration for free (and it stacks with Spell Penetration, so SR can be made almost trivial), a +2 to your prime casting stat, a +2 to your most often used to-hit stat (and AC stat), and resistance to some of the most debilitating spells and effects in the game. The bonus to Spellcraft for identifying items is just icing, but it's especially good at low levels.

+1. The weapon proficiencies help a little at low levels, too. I wouldn't buy a longbow, but if you get your hands on one, you can use it when you've got nothing better to do on your turn.


Wow thanks everyone one better much any thing paizo is allowed, and i was wanting to go necromancy debuff style.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

A highly regarded expert wrote:
Fatespinner wrote:
I find that it's pretty hard to argue with the vanilla elf wizard. You basically get Spell Penetration for free (and it stacks with Spell Penetration, so SR can be made almost trivial), a +2 to your prime casting stat, a +2 to your most often used to-hit stat (and AC stat), and resistance to some of the most debilitating spells and effects in the game. The bonus to Spellcraft for identifying items is just icing, but it's especially good at low levels.
+1. The weapon proficiencies help a little at low levels, too. I wouldn't buy a longbow, but if you get your hands on one, you can use it when you've got nothing better to do on your turn.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, you can drop this for a +2 concentration to defensive casting. Buying/keeping a bow isn't worth the 75/37.5 gp, at least at the levels when you might use it, and when do you ever intend to swing a sword? You can also trade out low-light vision for darkvision, but it causes a -1 to attack and sight-based perception in bright light. Not a bad option depending on your campaign. If your GM is using traits (sounds like yes) you should probably get Reactionary and Eyes and Ears of the City. Put a point in perception and you can have at least +5 at first level even with a 7 wis.

You are free to not like the flavor of elves, in which case I would recommend humans for the bonus feat. Improved initiative, spell focus, and combat casting are all good. I guess another skill (your 8th most likely) isn't bad either. If you also hate humans, anything with a bonus to int will work well enough.

EDIT: When using debuffs, you will need as big of a save as possible and will frequently need to break spell resistance. Human can get you spell focus earlier, and elf gives you a free +2 vs spell resist. A high int benefits the save, so make sure your int is 20 (assuming point buy).


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, Witch is a much better Debuffer.

Just letting you know.


Riuken wrote:
Buying/keeping a bow isn't worth the 75/37.5 gp, at least at the levels when you might use it, and when do you ever intend to swing a sword?

When did I ever say you should buy one? It helps at low levels when you tend to run out of spells pretty quick. You'll ditch it by 5th.

Most of my wizards have been in melee at low levels. I wasn't looking to fight, but things have a way of not going how you'd like them to, at times. If you can use a sword, why would you use a lesser weapon? Again, you're likely to encounter an enemy who has a sword at some point. Why not take it if you win?


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I have to go with the Elf. Especially with the Spellbinder archetype from the ARG. A teleportation specialist with the favored class bonus going into extra shifts (Teleports) Pick up Augmented Summoning as soon as you can, and use Monster Summoning for your bond spells.

What you have is Wizard who can out summon a Druid. You never have to worry about having a useless spell memorized.

Arcane Focus is a no-brainer. Take combat Casting, and the trait desperate focus and you end up with an insane concentration check that. This works out to a +8 bonus to cast defensively.

The bonus to Spell penetration is also too good to pass up.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Well, Witch is a much better Debuffer.

Just letting you know.

And the Gravewalker Archetype is just gravy. Or is that Grave-y?

Sorry.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

A highly regarded expert wrote:
Riuken wrote:
Buying/keeping a bow isn't worth the 75/37.5 gp, at least at the levels when you might use it, and when do you ever intend to swing a sword?

When did I ever say you should buy one? It helps at low levels when you tend to run out of spells pretty quick. You'll ditch it by 5th.

Most of my wizards have been in melee at low levels. I wasn't looking to fight, but things have a way of not going how you'd like them to, at times. If you can use a sword, why would you use a lesser weapon? Again, you're likely to encounter an enemy who has a sword at some point. Why not take it if you win?

With respect to keeping a weapon, I mean that selling it is probably better than trying to use it. Also, the altrnate trait remains useful at all levels, where the weapon proficiencies are only minorly useful for a few levels. The extra 1 point of average damage of a longsword over a quarterstaff doesn't matter much when your hit chance is so low. You're probably better firing infinite 1d3 touch attacks than 1d8 attacks against full AC that will run out and add encumbrance. Not that the proficiencies aren't useful, just that I don't think they're better than +2 to defensive casting.


Riuken wrote:
A highly regarded expert wrote:
Riuken wrote:
Buying/keeping a bow isn't worth the 75/37.5 gp, at least at the levels when you might use it, and when do you ever intend to swing a sword?

When did I ever say you should buy one? It helps at low levels when you tend to run out of spells pretty quick. You'll ditch it by 5th.

Most of my wizards have been in melee at low levels. I wasn't looking to fight, but things have a way of not going how you'd like them to, at times. If you can use a sword, why would you use a lesser weapon? Again, you're likely to encounter an enemy who has a sword at some point. Why not take it if you win?

With respect to keeping a weapon, I mean that selling it is probably better than trying to use it. Also, the altrnate trait remains useful at all levels, where the weapon proficiencies are only minorly useful for a few levels. The extra 1 point of average damage of a longsword over a quarterstaff doesn't matter much when your hit chance is so low. You're probably better firing infinite 1d3 touch attacks than 1d8 attacks against full AC that will run out and add encumbrance. Not that the proficiencies aren't useful, just that I don't think they're better than +2 to defensive casting.

Have you ever played a low level wizard? Mine sometimes end up in melee. A better weapon is a better weapon. It's not world-changing, but every little bit helps. Why are you arguing with solid facts?

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

GM Goblin King wrote:
Riuken wrote:
A highly regarded expert wrote:
Riuken wrote:
Buying/keeping a bow isn't worth the 75/37.5 gp, at least at the levels when you might use it, and when do you ever intend to swing a sword?

When did I ever say you should buy one? It helps at low levels when you tend to run out of spells pretty quick. You'll ditch it by 5th.

Most of my wizards have been in melee at low levels. I wasn't looking to fight, but things have a way of not going how you'd like them to, at times. If you can use a sword, why would you use a lesser weapon? Again, you're likely to encounter an enemy who has a sword at some point. Why not take it if you win?

With respect to keeping a weapon, I mean that selling it is probably better than trying to use it. Also, the altrnate trait remains useful at all levels, where the weapon proficiencies are only minorly useful for a few levels. The extra 1 point of average damage of a longsword over a quarterstaff doesn't matter much when your hit chance is so low. You're probably better firing infinite 1d3 touch attacks than 1d8 attacks against full AC that will run out and add encumbrance. Not that the proficiencies aren't useful, just that I don't think they're better than +2 to defensive casting.
Have you ever played a low level wizard? Mine sometimes end up in melee. A better weapon is a better weapon. It's not world-changing, but every little bit helps. Why are you arguing with solid facts?

I play them quite often, and withdrawing is usually the first thing I think to do, not try to beat the orc in melee, even with my fancy longsword. I'd rather have a +2 to cast color spray (or something similar) than slightly higher damage if I hit, assuming I can't just withdraw. Still not saying the proficiencies aren't useful, just that based on my exprience I think the +2 to defensive casting is better.

Of note, I've had my wizards stay in melee and fight it out about 3 times that I can remeber. The one time I can remember hitting I was laying dead on the floor before my next turn came up.


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People have mentioned sylphs, but nobody's mentioned the best part about them: Spontaneous Divination. The sylph-only wizard archetype lets you spontaneously trade out prepared spells for any divination in your spellbook of the same level or lower.


Thanks everyone for the help.


Riuken wrote:

I play them quite often, and withdrawing is usually the first thing I think to do, not try to beat the orc in melee, even with my fancy longsword. I'd rather have a +2 to cast color spray (or something similar) than slightly higher damage if I hit, assuming I can't just withdraw. Still not saying the proficiencies aren't useful, just that based on my exprience I think the +2 to defensive casting is better.

Of note, I've had my wizards stay in melee and fight it out about 3 times that I can remeber. The one time I can...

So, your point is, better weapons ARE better.

I'm glad we agree.

Sczarni

Azlanti =P


Elf or Samsaran are my favorites.

Elf especially with the beneficial alternate race features.

The Aasimir everyone is suggesting is also powerful though, and Ratfolk are decent.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Ratfolk are awesome. They make better Alchemist, but good Wizards.

How could you not like Ratfolk?

They are small, slow and weak.


none of which matter for a Wizard but you asked.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Elves, and Elf flavor, always rubbed me the wrong way.

The whole thing is like walking into some weird 18th century masquerade ball, where everyone is so uptight, snooty, and fabulous, that you can't tell who's man, who's woman, who's happy, who's angry, if any loves you, or hates you, and the air smells faintly of rotten lavender, and pretentious.

sounds more like a David Bowie music video...LULZ.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I was under the impression that David Bowie's music videos, and movie roles were simply about his package.

I know Labyrinth was.


Duran Duran? ...And if I cry for yesterday in the ordinary world, I will learn to surviiiive! And as I try to make my way to the ordinary world...blabbity blah. Maybe that video was closer.


Good Races for Wizard

a lot of people have suggested the elf, sylph, tiefling, ratfolk and peri blooded aasimaar.

but here are a few alternatives

Duergar, you don't get an int bonus, but you get a better version of elven magic, darkvision, a handful of immunities, some dwarven defensive goodies, and 2 more hit points per level over the elf and sylph. HP keeps you alive.

Fetchling; the big things are gloom shimmer and shadow blending. miss chance when you need it. no int bonus, but you gain darkvision and a dexterity bonus to help initiative, reflex and AC.

Ifrit; no int bonus, but wildfire heart gives you +4 to initiative and stacks with improved initiative. you also get darkvision and the same racial modifiers as a fetchling.

1/2 elves, int bonus, and if built right, skill focus can lead you to eldritch heritage, which can give you a few sweet powers for convenience

1/2 orcs, with the right substitutions, you can have skilled, darkvision 90, and an int bonus.

Damphir, no int bonus, and you have difficulty healing, but you have some interesting defensive boons such as ignoring the penalties of negative levels, allowing you to use artifacts more easily, and the best darkvision range out there.

drow; some of the feats give you decent spell like abilities with which to save you slots. some of them are useful like detect magic or dispel magic. best darkvision range out there and the double edges sword known as spell resistance.

dwarf, kind of a lesser version of the Duergar with more charisma. defense and survivability focused.

strix, no int bonus, but permanent flight from level 1 saves you valuable spell slots.


Samsara, there really is no competition.
And probly summoner spells, getting a whole bunch of spells early.

Then at lvl 11 you can spam elder earth elementals..
Or craft a wand of teleport, or wand of wall of stone (wand of instacastle!)

Ofcourse, it may be too powerful to be allowed. :(


Goblins!
Sure they don't get the bonus to int, but they get a +4 to dex, which is a very nice boost to init, ranged attacks, ac, cmd, and some skills
They dump the stats you dump
Small size for the ac and atk without the speed penalty
Can trade out the ride and stealth bonuses for a + 4 perception (or keep as is, still pretty nice)
The tangle feet feat. This has a heavy feet tax, but it can be amazing vs non flying enemies. Really, how many GMs give the non rogue-like bad guys ranks in acrobatics anyway?
Biggest reason: I love goblins


With elves, if you don't care about longswords or bows, you can take the alternate racial feature giving you a +2 racial bonus to concentration when casting spells defensively. Very useful for Magi but also fairly useful for wizards.


Nu'Raahl wrote:

Goblins!

Sure they don't get the bonus to int, but they get a +4 to dex, which is a very nice boost to init, ranged attacks, ac, cmd, and some skills
They dump the stats you dump
Small size for the ac and atk without the speed penalty
Can trade out the ride and stealth bonuses for a + 4 perception (or keep as is, still pretty nice)
The tangle feet feat. This has a heavy feet tax, but it can be amazing vs non flying enemies. Really, how many GMs give the non rogue-like bad guys ranks in acrobatics anyway?
Biggest reason: I love goblins

also a good choice.

no int bonus but i'd say it is on par with the Duergar, Fetchling and Ifrit for viability.

your AC is 1-3 points higher than the alternatives with no net CMD penalty

you can get fat bonuses to stealth and perception

you have no speed penalty

darkvision is always a plus


Any race with an Int bonus is automatically superior as a Wizard. Gnome-magic only applies to Illusion spells and doesn't give more spell slots. Gnomes are almost insultingly useless as spellcasters which doesn't help with their popularity issues.

Humans should be Sorcerers instead of Wizards (again, it's that Favored Class option. Are you kidding me, almost double the spells known for a spontaneous caster?!).

Elves make the best Wizards only because they begin with Martial Proficiency with Bows and Longswords -- and this only matters at low levels where plucking a bowstring contributes more to a fight than any nuke available. Sleep is nice and all, but ... Dreamspeaker and Elven Magic are much less useful than they appear: Few important Divinations allow a save and the Spell Penetration doesn't help you out in the low levels where your Wizard actually needs help. Spellcraft checks are all but trivial unless you're abusing the item crafting rules (and you don't need a measly +2 to do that, you just need to sweet-talk your DM and obfuscate the already muzzy rules...). Seriously, the flexibility provided by that Human feat, once again, supercedes any racial bonus that Elves the so-called "masters of magic" would like to provide.

D&D, if you ask me, should just delete all the Core races. They're so done to death, and the imbalances have been there since forever. That's why the Advanced Race Guide is the most important book Paizo has put out yet: it allows groups to (more easily) completely do away with the tired old Tolkein tropes and create actually new and interesting Player Races.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Samsaran, with the Mystic Past Life alternate racial trait.

Mystic Past Life provides almost no benefit to Wizards. It doesn't allow you to add spells to your list which are not of the same "type". i.e., you can't add Divine spells to your Arcane spellcaster's list and vice versa. It's basically to give a Cleric some Druid spells (or the other way around).

Due to their Favored Class racial option, Samsaran make better Oracles. (it's actually pretty grating that some races get bonus spells known as Favored Class options, it simply makes all other races hopelessly outclassed for Sorcs/Oracles...)


Samsaran
*sizeable gap*
Tiefling
*sizeable gap*
Elf
*sizeable gap*
Ratfolk
Sylph (Diviner only)

In about that order.

Samsaran wizard adds spells from the Summoner list to get them way early. Or from Bard, whatever.


Aunt Tony wrote:


D&D, if you ask me, should just delete all the Core races. They're so done to death, and the imbalances have been there since forever. That's why the Advanced Race Guide is the most important book Paizo has put out yet: it allows groups to (more easily) completely do away with the tired old Tolkein tropes and create actually new and interesting Player Races.

I disagree, I like the traditional races, and many of the new ones just seem mary sue or special look at me races that don't bring anything I like to the table.

I like the advanced race guide, but 1/3 of the races are just human/animal hybrids, 1/3 are human/elemental hybrid, 5 or 6 are the traditional fantasy races, that leaves 5 or 6 that are good original races.

But most of the problem is that many of those races don't really lend themselves to a good world building.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Sylph (Diviner only)

Leaving aside your ordering (I'd put Sylph along with Elf, possibly higher - not sure why you put Tiefling so high, since outside of the int bonus their abilities, while broadly handy, don't have any special synergy with wizardry) I have to disagree with you about this. Spontaneous Divination means that Diviner is maybe the worst choice for a Sylph. The major advantage of Spontaneous Divination is that you never have to prepare a divination spell and yet you still always have the right one for the job. Forcing your bonus specialization slots to be divination spells sort of defeats the purpose.


I think Sylph are best as an Air Specialist bloat mage with persistent flight at level 7.

I call it the Sylph Co. Blimp.


Benly wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Sylph (Diviner only)
Leaving aside your ordering (I'd put Sylph along with Elf, possibly higher - not sure why you put Tiefling so high, since outside of the int bonus their abilities, while broadly handy, don't have any special synergy with wizardry) I have to disagree with you about this. Spontaneous Divination means that Diviner is maybe the worst choice for a Sylph. The major advantage of Spontaneous Divination is that you never have to prepare a divination spell and yet you still always have the right one for the job. Forcing your bonus specialization slots to be divination spells sort of defeats the purpose.

the stock tiefling receives a bonus to dexterity and intelligence with a CHA penalty instead of a CON penalty. they also have access to the prehensile tail optional ability which grants them the ability to retrieve scrolls as a swift action with their hands full. for the price of a feat, they can have +2 natural armor bonus to AC.


Tieflings can also just plain get +1 nat armor to AC with another swap. And darkvision. And immunity to person spells (though reduce person is nice...).

Sylph...I forgot the elemental schools, I guess those work, too. But if I can't oppose divination, I'd want to be a foresight diviner. Otherwise, having divination opposed is hardly even a penalty. 2 cantrip slots for detect magic and a bunch of downtime spells take more slots to use. Oh well.

Liberty's Edge

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Ratfolk are awesome. They make better Alchemist, but good Wizards.

How could you not like Ratfolk?

I think my problem is I want to use them for everything now


If I remember correctly, elf is the best of the core races, followed by (not necessarily in order) human and half orc. Humans for the feat, half orcs for that one extra round of consciousness, which is extremely useful for wizards (also half orc racial weapon proficiencies give you things that you could actually make use of in melee if necessary).

After those would be half elf, simply for the potential +2 to Int.

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