Wizard (Arcanist)


Role: Controller. You command eldritch forces, shaping them into spells designed to blast your enemies, bring them under your thumb, twist their senses, and impede their movement.
Power Source: Arcane.
Key Abilities: Intelligence; Constitution, Dexterity, or Wisdom

Armor Proficiencies: Cloth.
Weapon Proficiencies: Dagger, quarterstaff.
Implement: Orbs, staffs, wands, tomes
Bonus to Defense: +2 Will.

Hit Points at 1st Level: 10+ Constitution Score.
Hit Points per Level Gained: 4
Healing Surges per Day: 6+ Constitution Modifier.

Trained Skills: Arcana. From the class skills list below, choose 3 more trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Arcana (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Dungeoneering (Wis), History (Int), Insight (Wis), Nature (Wis), Religion (Int).

Build Options: Control Wizard, Illusionist Wizard, Summoner Wizard, War Wizard.
Class features: Arcane Implement Mastery, Arcanist Ritual Casting, Arcanist's Spellbook, Cantrips.

An arcanist is a powerful wizard who forgoes specialization to explore and use all that arcane magic has to offer. Rather than bind themselves to a particular school, as mages do, arcanists experiment with a wide range of magical effects from evocation to necromancy and everything in between. Considered dilettantes by their mage counterparts, arcanists see diverse study as a boon because it broadens their ability to deal with a variety of situations, by always having the proper spell on hand.
    The arcanist is a generalist and a theorist. This path of arcane study focuses more on a broader understanding of principles instead of specific techniques relating to schools. To an arcanist, how he or she casts a spell is far more important than what sort of spell is used. Many arcanists follow their imagination as to what spells they might learn and which they might use on any given day, rather than adhering to the dictates of academia.
    Like mages, arcanists gravitate to the adventuring life because it gives them the chance to discover interesting new spells and rituals to add to their spellbooks. Though they might lack focus, arcanists prove themselves equal to their schoolspecialist counterparts in both learning ability and application of that knowledge, and are counted as valued members of any expedition.



Your favorite powers restrict your enemies in various ways—crushing them in the coils of a lightning serpent, trapping them in a cloud of noxious vapor, or encasing them in ice. Intelligence drives your attack powers, so make it your highest ability score. Wisdom can help you maintain control over your enemies if you choose the orb of imposition form of Implement Mastery, so it should be your second-best score. Make Dexterity your third best score. Putting a good score in Constitution can help you stay alive by increasing your hit points and healing surges, as well as contributing to your Fortitude defense. If you choose the staff of defense form of Implement Mastery, your Constitution can also help your other defenses. Select powers that help you control the battlefield and make the best use of your high Wisdom score.
    Suggested Feat: Improved Initiative (Human feat: Human Perseverance)
    Suggested Skills: Arcana, Diplomacy, Insight, Nature
    Suggested At-Will Powers: cloud of daggers, thunderwave
    Suggested Encounter Power: icy terrain
    Suggested Daily Power: sleep


Your mysterious powers cloud the mind and assault the senses. The imaginary landscapes and phantasmal creatures you create impede, distract, and redirect your foes. Nothing is what it seems when you’re in control.
    Intelligence should be your highest ability score, since it governs your attack powers. A high Charisma score lets you enhance some illusion effects. Choose powers that have the illusion keyword, and take the Orb of Deception form of Arcane Implement Mastery to get the most out of them.
    Class Feature: Orb of Deception
    Suggested Feat: Phantom Echoes
    Suggested Skills: Arcana, Diplomacy, Dungeoneering, Insight
    Suggested At-Will Powers: illusory ambush, phantom bolt
    Suggested Encounter Power: grasping shadows
    Suggested Daily Power: horrid whispers


Terrifying creatures obey your call, and you order them to aid you and to fight for you. In addition to binding these monsters, you are skilled at conjuring objects made of magical energy to impede or harm your foes. You must use your own actions to control your summoned monsters, so your role in combat is quite different from that of other wizards.
    As with other wizards, a high Intelligence score is crucial to attack rolls and damage rolls. Your summoned creatures’ hit points depend on your own, and many conjuration spells deal additional damage or have improved effects that depend on Constitution, so make that your second-highest score. Use the Tome of Binding form of Arcane Implement Mastery, since it improves your summoning spells. Select daily powers that have the summoning keyword, and encounter and at-will powers that have the conjuration keyword.
    Class Feature: Tome of Binding
    Suggested Feat: Careful Summoner
    Suggested Skills: Arcana, Dungeoneering, Insight, Nature
    Suggested At-Will Powers: scorching burst, storm pillar
    Suggested Encounter Power: astral wasp
    Suggested Daily Power: summon fire warrior


Your delight is in powers that deal damage—lots of damage, to many foes at a time. Enormous bursts of fire, searing bolts of lightning, and waves of caustic acid are your weapons. Intelligence is your most important ability score. Dexterity should be your second-best score, and it is important if you choose the wand of accuracy form of Implement Mastery. Make Wisdom your third-best score. You might instead choose the staff of defense form of Implement Mastery, which lets your Constitution aid your defenses against some attacks. Even if you don’t, Constitution increases your hit points, healing surges, and Fortitude defense. Select powers that deal lots of damage and that make the best use of your high Dexterity score.
    Suggested Feat: Expanded Spellbook (Human feat: Action Surge)
    Suggested Skills: Arcana, Dungeoneering, History, Religion
    Suggested At-Will Powers: magic missile, scorching burst
    Suggested Encounter Power: burning hands
    Suggested Daily Power: acid arrow


You have the following class features.

You specialize in the use of one kind of implement to gain additional abilities when you wield it. Choose one of the following forms of implement mastery: Orb of Imposition, Staff of Defense, Tome of Binding, Tome of Readiness, Wand of Accuracy.

Orb of Deception
Once per encounter, you can use your orb of Deception power.

Orb of Deception PowerOrb of Deception

Illusionist wizards select this form of mastery to spread a wider net of deception over foes.

Free Action  

Trigger: When you miss an enemy with a wizard illusion power

Effect: Choose another enemy within 3 squares of the missed target. The chosen enemy cannot also be a target of the original attack. Repeat the attack against this new target, with a bonus to the attack roll equal to your Charisma modifier.

Requirement: You must wield an orb to benefit from this feature.

Orb of Imposition
Once per encounter while you are holding an orb on your turn, you can use your orb of imposition power.

Orb of Imposition PowerOrb of Imposition

Control wizards select this form of mastery because it helps extend the duration of their control effects.

Encounter      Implement
Free Action  

Effect: You can use your orb to gain one of the following two effects.
You can designate one creature you have cast a wizard spell upon that has an effect that lasts until the subject succeeds on a saving throw. That creature takes a penalty to its next saving throw against that effect equal to your Wisdom modifier.
Alternatively, you can choose to extend the duration of an effect created by a wizard at-will spell (such as cloud of daggers or ray of frost) that would otherwise end at the end of your current turn. The effect instead ends at the end of your next turn.

Requirement: You must wield an orb to use this ability.

Update (2/8/2010)
In the second sentence of the second paragraph, replace “saving throws” with “next saving throw.” This saving throw limitation is part of a larger effort to mitigate the use of saving throw penalties to lock down enemies for the duration of an encounter.

Staff of Defense
A staff of defense grants you a +1 bonus to AC. In addition, once per encounter, you can use the Staff of Defense power.

Staff of Defense PowerStaff of Defense

This form of mastery is useful for all wizards, particularly if you dabble in both control and damage-dealing spells.

Encounter      Implement
Immediate Interrupt  

Effect: you gain a bonus to defense against one attack equal to your Constitution modifier. You can declare the bonus after the Dungeon Master has already told you the damage total.

Requirement: You must wield your staff.

Tome of Binding
Once per encounter, as a free action, if you use your tome when using an arcane summoning power, all creatures summoned by that power gain a bonus to damage rolls equal to your Constitution modifier.
    You must wield a tome to benefit from this feature.
    Summoner wizards prefer this form of tome mastery because of its obvious benefits to their summoning spells. This form of mastery also provides benefits to certain conjuration powers.

Tome of Readiness
When you select this form of implement mastery, choose a wizard encounter attack power of your level or lower that you don’t already know. That power is now stored and available for your use at a later time.
    Once per encounter as a free action, you can use the stored power by expending another unused wizard encounter attack power of its level or higher. You must still take the normal action required to use the stored power.
    Each time you reach a level that lets you choose an encounter power, you can replace the stored power with a new wizard encounter attack power of your level or lower that you do not already know.
    You must wield a tome to benefit from this feature.
    Wizards of all builds appreciate this form of mastery because of the flexibility it allows them during combat.

Wand of Accuracy
Once per encounter, you can use your Wand of Accuracy power.

Wand of Accuracy PowerWand of Accuracy

This form of mastery is good for war wizards because it helps increase their accuracy with damaging powers.

Encounter      Implement
Free Action  

Effect: you gain a bonus to a single attack roll equal to your Dexterity modifier.

Requirement: You must wield your wand.

You gain the Ritual Caster feat as a bonus feat, allowing you to use magical rituals.

    Daily and Utility Powers: Your spellbook also holds your wizard daily attack powers and wizard utility powers (not including your cantrips). You begin with two daily attack powers in your spellbook, one of which you can use on any given day. Each time you gain a level that lets you select a wizard daily attack power or a wizard utility power, choose two different powers of that type at that level and add them to your book.
    After each extended rest, you can prepare a number of daily attack powers and utility powers according to what you can use per day for your level (see the Wizard Powers Prepared per Day table). You can’t prepare the same power twice on the same day.
    If you replace a power because of gaining a level or through retraining, the previous power vanishes from your spellbook and is replaced by the new power.
    Rituals: Your book also contains three 1st-level rituals of your choice that you have mastered.
    At 5th level, and again at 11th, 15th, 21st, and 25th level, you master two more rituals of your choice and add them to your spellbook. When you choose the rituals, they must be your level or lower.
    Capacity: A typical spellbook has 128 pages. Each power takes up 1 page. A ritual takes up a number of pages equal to its level.


You gain four cantrips of your choice.


Wizards make use of orbs, staffs, and wands to help channel and direct their arcane powers. Every wizard has mastery of one type of implement (see “Class Features”). Without an implement, a wizard can still use his or her powers. A wizard wielding a magic orb, staff, or wand can add its enhancement bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls of wizard powers, as well as wizard paragon path powers, that have the implement keyword.
Updated in Class Compendium.

Published in Player's Handbook, page(s) 156, Class Compendium.