Last Updated on January 22, 2023
Sorcerers are one of the three pillars of the Arcane in Dungeons & Dragons. The Fifth Edition brought a reimagining of the Sorcerer that provided them with significant buffs from their previous iterations.
These buffs left many players interested in trying out the new Sorcerer class and wondering where to start. Let’s take a look at the best races for building Sorcerers.
Regardless of race, Sorcerers should put their highest stat into their Spellcasting Ability, Charisma. This is true even of Sorcerers who want to deal with weapon damage. Your second highest ability should go into Constitution and then Dexterity.
The Makings of a Powerful Sorcerer
The most important feature of a race that makes their aptitude for sorcery strong is the Charisma bonus. The Sorcerer’s primary stat is their Spellcasting Ability, Charisma, so if the race boosts Charisma, the Sorcerer is better off.
A +2 bonus to Charisma means starting with a 17 in Charisma using Standard Array or Point buy and potentially beginning with a 20 in Charisma when rolling stats. Thus, the first feature you want to look for in a Sorcerer race is a Charisma racial bonus.
Players will also want to look for races that give resistances as racial traits. Sorcerers can’t wear heavy armor and are often susceptible to high burst damage spells. A damage or condition resistance will help your Sorcerer stay alive on the battlefield.
Lastly, looking for classes that grant innate spellcasting will bolster and diversify your Sorcerer’s damage output. Sorcerers tend to be pretty reliant on their spell slot pool to deal damage. Nothing wrong with that; they’re primary casters, after all.
You’ll also want to look for races that give bonuses to defensive stats, mostly Constitution. Constitution will help the Sorcerer stay alive and provide a substantial hitpoint bonus that can be the difference between life and death early on.
Dexterity will increase your Armor Class, so Dexterity is also a good sink for stats. Strength is a dump stat for Sorcerers and should be avoided if you’re trying to min-max your character. There are few Strength saving throws, and the Sorcerer doesn’t use Strength for their magic.
However, if you’re going with a weapon-based Sorcerer build, Strength may be an essential stat for you to have so that you can use your weapon effectively.
Tieflings feature racial aptitude for magic in their bloodlines; Tiefling Sorcerers will get an extra cantrip and a few extra spells that they can cast using their racial traits.
They also come preloaded with a +2 Charisma bonus, allowing the Sorcerer to start with 20 points in their Spellcasting Ability if the game uses rolled Ability Scores.
Tieflings also have an innate resistance to fire damage which can help the often-squishy Sorcerer stay alive.
Yuan-Ti Purebloods get the same +2 Charisma trait that Tieflings have and, like Tieflings, come with some innate spellcasting to bolster their Sorcerous heritage.
Yuan-Ti Purebloods also have immunity to poison damage and the poisoned status, providing a healthy defensive bonus for Sorcerers.
While all Aasimar gets +2 Charisma, Variant Aasimar has a more robust innate spellcasting capability than their counterparts. Aasimar also has resistance to necrotic and radiant damage, giving them a little defensive boost.
Like the others on this list, Half-Elves have an innate +2 Charisma that helps them with spellcasting and allows them to start the game with their spellcasting modifier maxed out.
The Half-Elf doesn’t necessarily have the same innate magical abilities that the races above. However, the player can allocate their two other Ability Score points into defensive stats and roleplay stats. Pumping extra energy into Constitution can help the Sorcerer stay alive.
Half-Elves are quite possibly the best race in the game overall. So, taking that power and putting it onto your Sorcerer is an excellent option for those looking for a power boost.
Variant Human is another strong race, and its power can be well-used by the Sorcerer. Variant Humans receive both +1 to two ability scores and choose a feat at the first level.
The feat that you choose can be either roleplay or mechanic-oriented. War Caster is a remarkable feat to take on Sorcerers, especially if you’re planning to play a Sorcerer with a focus on melee weapon damage.
If you select the Actor feat, you can pretend that you have a +2 Racial Bonus to Charisma, and if you choose Resilient, you can get a third Saving Throw proficiency.
Durable and Tough both grant the Sorcerer a little bit extra on the defensive side and make great choices for those looking for defensive stats.
Simic Hybrids get +2 Constitution and +1 to any other trait, allowing them to give themselves a Charisma boost while also taking that juicy Constitution boost for more durability.
Once you’ve selected your race, it’s time to take other considerations like your background and skill proficiencies. While the Hermit background is strongly recommended for min-maxing their character, there are no hard rules on background and skill proficiencies.
Sorcerers were buffed in Fifth Edition to make them one of the three core Arcane caster classes, and people have taken a liking to these innately magical spellcasters.
No matter what decisions you make for your Sorcerer, you’re bound to have fun slinging spells at your enemies.
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When I’m not writing about RPGs, I’m playing Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, X-Wing miniatures, and many other lovingly-crafted tabletop games with the people I love.