Everybody loves a good wizard. From Newt Scamander to Gandalf the Grey, the power of these spellcasters is the stuff of legends.
We’re drawn to these characters for their ability to conjure up incredible beasts, create light with nothing but a word, or even just finish the housework with a flick of the wrist.
One of the benefits of wizards having such a grasp on pop culture is that we know what a wizard looks like. Pointy hat, big robe, probably holding a neat wand or staff.
Somewhere along the way, that’s what we decided to go with, and ever since, the same motifs have definitely made it into our favorite roleplaying game.
Here’s the cool thing though — in 5e, a pointy hat is more than just a pointy hat. Magic items are abundant, or at least they can be, and wizards go hand and hand with them.
Today, we’re going to be talking about what exactly makes a good magic item for a wizard. Then, we’ll be jumping into our list of the top magic items in 5e that a wizard can pick up.
What Makes a Good Wizard Item?
To put it briefly, wizards are powerful spellcasters that really can’t take a hit all too well. We want items that keep them safe or ones that make them so strong that safety isn’t a concern.
Making Wizards Tougher
We typically call wizards squishy because they have the lowest hit dice (d6) of any class and they don’t get any armor proficiencies from their main class. This means low health and low AC.
In other words, you’re probably going to get hit, and that hit is probably going to take a good chunk of your HP with it.
I mean, let’s look at the numbers. Unless you roll stupendously, you’ll probably be putting your highest score in Intelligence and then your next best in either Dexterity or Constitution.
With the standard array (which is slightly better than what you’d get with an average six rolls of 3d6), that gives you a +2 bonus in Intelligence, a +2 bonus in one of either Dex or Constitution, and a +1 bonus in the alternate choice.
It makes more sense to protect ourselves from getting hit than to give us an extra bit of cushioning for when we do get hit, so let’s say we choose Dex for the +2.
At 1st level we have 5 health and an AC of 12. It doesn’t take a mathematician to see how easy that character is going down.
Okay, now that I’ve hopefully convinced you that wizards are helpless, let’s talk about getting them some help.
Most AC-boosting items come in the form of armor, unsurprisingly, but there are several rings, staffs, and other wondrous items that you can throw on to give yourself an edge.
As soon as you can find uncommon items, you can adorn yourself in a Cloak of Protection to pick up a +1 bonus to AC and saving throws.
Of course, there are other ways to keep yourself protected. Healing items are a great way to go, like the aptly named Amulet of Health that boosts your constitution score up to 19 while you wear it.
Then, most items concerned with movement and stealth are going to allow you to keep yourself out of harm’s way, not even worrying about AC or hit points or any of that jazz.
Take, for example, the Cloak of Displacement. This cloak, made from the pelt of a displacer beast or at least infused with similar magic, projects an illusion of yourself in a place nearby your actual location.
This effect gives creatures disadvantage on attack rolls against you, an effect that’s roughly equivalent to a +5 bonus to your AC.
Maybe you want to be more light on your feet. Try a pair of Winged Boots on for size, and soar up into the air where all the swords in the world couldn’t reach you. Then, just rain down hellfire from above. It’s a pretty solid deal.
There are a lot of ways to stay safe, and some just require some creativity. When you have the option to take a magic item, spend a little time thinking about how you can use it to get yourself out of a sticky situation.
Making Wizards Stronger
Now onto the fun stuff. Wizards are one of the best spellcasters in the game, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
Any item that gives you a boost to spell attacks, spell-save DC, or spell slots is basically guaranteed to be good for you. From there, if you can find anything that lets you access new or more spells, you’ll be on top of the world.
These items are really easy to pick out. Staves, rods, wands; if you could picture a wizard using it, it probably works well with this class.
Also, since spells are the most common type of magic in 5e, they are just littered throughout all of the many magic items available as a way to add extra effects.
You’ll probably want to avoid weapons with innate spellcasting, but that almost goes without saying.
Beyond that, there is a very special type of item introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything that you should definitely try to get your hands on.
Wizard spellbooks are nothing new, but ones that are magical items in their own right are definitely items to be coveted.
There’s a spellbook for just about every school of magic with the basic model of including a list of spells and a unique, school-related ability.
Definitely pick one up to cast some incredible spells, and enjoy the added bonuses that come along with them.
What Are the Best Magic Items for Wizards?
Below is a list of magic items that every wizard player should get to use at least once. These are by far the most useful items you can pick up — items that are even worth a bit of pestering your DM for.
The items below are not listed in any specific order. Some may be better for a certain style of wizard than others, which tend to be how items are designed.
Staff of the Magi
The Staff of the Magi is one of the most powerful items in the game.
With all of the spells and other abilities it has to offer, it’s almost like gaining 5 or 6 levels in wizard anyway. It only makes sense for the party to hand this item over to you if you happen to stumble across one.
Staff, legendary (requires attunement by a sorcerer, wizard, or warlock)
This staff grants you a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls when used as a magical quarterstaff or a +2 bonus to spell-attack rolls.
The staff has 50 charges for the following properties. The staff regains 4d6 + 2 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 20, the staff regains 1d12 + 1 charges.
You have advantage on saving throws against spells. In addition, you can use your reaction when another creature casts a spell that targets only you.
If you do, the staff absorbs the magic of the spell, canceling its effect and gaining a number of charges equal to the absorbed spell’s level.
However, if doing so brings the staff’s total number of charges above 50, the staff explodes as if you activated its retributive strike (see below).
While holding this staff, you can use an action to expend some of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it, using your spell-save DC and spell-attack bonus.
The spells are listed below along with the amount of charges necessary to cast them.
- Conjure Elemental 7
- Dispel Magic 3
- Fireball 7
- Flaming Sphere 2
- Ice Storm 4
- Invisibility 2
- Knock 2
- Lightning Bolt 7
- Passwall 5
- Plane Shift 7
- Telekinesis 5
- Wall of Fire 4
- Web 2
No charges required:
- Arcane Lock
- Detect Magic
- Mage Hand
- Protection from Evil and Good
You can use an action to break the staff, performing a retributive strike. The staff creates an explosion that expands to fill a 30-foot-radius sphere centered on it.
When you do this, you have a 50 percent chance to instantly travel to a random plane of existence, avoiding the explosion.
If you fail to avoid the effect, you take force damage equal to 16 x the number of charges in the staff. Every other creature in the area must make a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw and take damage according to the distance.
See our full Staff of the Magi guide for more info.
This staff is so incredibly powerful that it could easily be a magical artifact, some unique item created long ago and lost to time.
Fortunately, it’s just a legendary item, so while there are rules on how to destroy it, it won’t likely be something a quest revolves around or something you must destroy to keep out of evil hands.
No, this powerful staff is yours to wield, and all of its magic is yours to command.
I mean, this is a spell that gives you 50 full levels of spells to cast, that’s about what a 16th-level wizard would be able to cast on their own.
If you do the math, you’re almost doubling your spellcasting potential, and that’s before we even considered all of the other benefits.
Everything a wizard could want is here in this item. Spell bonuses? You got it. New/more spells? You got it. What about the ability to block spells? Yep, and you can absorb them while you’re at it.
Be sure to grab this if you have the chance, but beware, a sorcerer or warlock in your party might make a compelling reason why they should have it instead.
Robe of the Archmagi
If the Staff of the Magi is the ultimate weapon for a wizard to wield, then the Robe of the Archmagi is the ultimate piece of equipment to don.
Whether this is a blue robe with stars and crescent moons or a pure white mantle adorned with elegant golden patterns, this is what you’ll want to wear for any occasion.
Robe of the Archmagi
Wondrous item, legendary (requires attunement by a sorcerer, warlock, or wizard)
This elegant garment is made from exquisite cloth of white, gray, or black and adorned with silvery runes. The robe’s color corresponds to the alignment for which the item was created.
A white robe was made for good, gray for neutral, and black for evil. You can’t attune to a robe of the archmagi that doesn’t correspond to your alignment.
You gain these benefits while wearing the robe:
- If you aren’t wearing armor, your base Armor Class is 15 + your Dexterity modifier.
- You have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
- Your spell-save DC and spell-attack bonus each increase by 2.
Sure, as far as legendary items go, this doesn’t really have a comparable host of crazy effects, but beauty lies in the simplicity with an item such as this.
This comes with a classic +2 to all things regarding your spells, but that’s not the main focus here. The big draw is an incredible AC alongside advantage on magical saving throws.
DMs will have to pay attention to what is and isn’t a magical effect, but more often than not, this is really going to come in your favor when dealing with large AOE effects.
Staff of Power
If the Staff of the Magi and the Robe of the Archmagi had a baby, it would be the Staff of Power. Only a very rare magic item, it is slightly less powerful than either of its superiors, although it contains aspects of both.
Staff, very rare (requires attunement by a sorcerer, warlock, or wizard)
This staff can be wielded as a magic quarterstaff that grants a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it. While holding it, you gain a +2 bonus to Armor Class, saving throws, and spell-attack rolls.
The staff has 20 charges for the following properties. The staff regains 2d8 + 4 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20.
On a 1, the staff retains its +2 bonus to attack and damage roll but loses all other properties. On a 20, the staff regain 1d8 + 2 charges.
Power Strike: When you hit with a melee attack using the staff, you can expend 1 charge to deal an extra 1d6 force damage to the target.
Spells: While holding this staff, you can use an action to expend some of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it, using your spell-save DC and spell-attack bonus. The spells are listed below along with the amount of charges necessary to cast them.
- Cone of Cold 5
- Fireball 5
- Globe of Invulnerability 6
- Hold Monster 5
- Levitate 2
- Lightning Bolt 5
- Magic Missile 1
- Ray of Enfeeblement 1
- Wall of Force 5
Retributive Strike. See above.
Read more about this item in our full guide to the Staff of Power.
While this item is less powerful than its “parents” combined, it’s still an incredible item to wield.
In fact, some might say that since this only takes up one attunement slot, it’s better than having both of the other items we’ve discussed.
We trade out a wealth of charges for a smaller stock of spells and only 20 charges, but don’t be concerned; this is still similar to gaining several levels in your class.
We also get a new melee attack that deals a nice amount of extra force damage to our targets.
On the defensive side, we still have a retributive strike as our last-resort option, but we also have the very nice +2 to AC and saving throws.
All together, this is a powerful item that will give you a healthy mix of defense and offense in 3rd-tier play (or earlier if your DM doesn’t mind upscaling encounters).
Cloak of Displacement
We’ve already talked about the Cloak of Displacement above, so I’ll keep this relatively brief.
This is an item that protects you from so much and is useful from the first moment you throw it on to the moment your adventurer decides to retire.
Cloak of Displacement
Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)
While you wear this cloak, it projects an illusion that makes you appear to be standing in a place near your actual location, causing any creature to have disadvantage on attack rolls against you.
If you take damage, the property ceases to function until the start of your next turn. This property is suppressed while you are incapacitated, restrained, or otherwise unable to move.
Consistently imposing disadvantage on your enemies is such an incredible benefit that it’s almost insane to receive this as early as 2nd-tier play.
I’m not one to complain though, and you shouldn’t either. Roughly equivalent to a +5 bonus to AC, this is an item you’ll never want to take off.
Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement by a spellcaster)
Last, but certainly not least, are the Illusionist’s Bracers. Don’t let the name fool you though, these are useful for far more than a few Minor Illusions.
Whenever you cast a cantrip, you can use a bonus action on the same turn to cast that cantrip a second time.
There are a lot of benefits to this; so many in fact that listing them would just be an in-depth guide to 5e cantrips.
From a massive edge on your opponents when you’re launching two damage-dealing cantrips on the same turn to the most literal application in creating two Minor Illusions to create a more convincing mirage, these bracers will do wonders for you.
It comes down to the simple fact that in 5e D&D, more is often better, especially when we’re considering the action economy of combat.
Other Wizard Magic Items (At Every Tier of Play)
As wizards are the foremost magical researchers, it makes sense that magical items would serve them well.
I’ll make our lives really easy by saying that just about any non-weapon magical item (and even a few weapons) is a good place to start when you begin filling up your attunement slots.
Still, there are some that are better than others, so below I’ve thrown in a bit of an expanded list, including items that will serve you well in all tiers of play.
Brooch of Shielding (Uncommon)
Anything that can protect you from even a bit of damage is great. Considering that you’re a magic user, it stands to reason you might come up against evenly matched foes that dish out force damage and Magic Missiles.
With immunity to that particular spell and resistance to the damage type as a whole, this item is sure to leave you a bit less scarred at the end of the day.
Cloak/Ring of Protection (Rare)
Both of these items give you a +1 to your AC and saving throws. Throw them together, and you get +2, a great bonus considering we likely won’t be throwing on armor any time soon.
Winged Boots (Uncommon)
Flying away from your problems may not be a solution in real life, but it certainly is when you’re a low-leveled wizard just trying to make it to the next long rest.
Amulet of Health (Rare)
This item gives you a constitution score of 19 while you’re wearing it.
Not having to worry about an entire ability score is such an incredible advantage when building your character, especially when it may be the most important ability score to your survival.
Bracers of Defense (Rare)
A +2 to AC while not wearing armor or a shield is perfect, considering you won’t be doing either of those in the first place.
Elven Chain (Rare)
Not proficient in armor? No worries. You automatically are proficient with this +1 chain shirt. That’s a minimum of 14 AC without having to concern yourself with multiclassing.
Mantle of Spell Resistance (Rare)
Advantage on saving throws against spells is such a simple yet elegant bonus that you can pick up from this cloak.
Ring of Free Action (Rare)
As a caster, you’ll quickly become the target of magical restraining effects and other similar deficits. This little ring will protect you from a whole slew of magical conditions and even allow you to avoid the effects of difficult terrain.
Ring of Spell Storing (Rare)
The last item we’ll touch in is a simple way to increase your efficiency. Sure, you can store spells in this ring and hand it to the fighter so they can concentrate on them.
You can also just wear this yourself and enjoy a few more damage-dealing spells each day; just remember to fill it up on your off days.
Be it cloak, ring, staff, wand, or just a really nice brooch, equipping yourself with a small arsenal of magical items is almost necessary to survive as a wizard.
Find and choose the right ones, and you might just become the Archmagi of whatever magical group exists in the worlds you explore.
As always, happy adventuring.