I'm starting a new campaign with a level 3 divination wizard. My race is custom lineage with fey touched feat and I selected gift of alacrity as the free first level spell to cast (together with misty step of course).

My idea for the character is a crowd control wizard, not interested in damage but disabling the enemies. For example casting hold person and make sure he fails the saving throw with portent or with mind sliver. I'll take lucky feat at level 4 too.

I currently have the following spells and attributes selected. I took both mage armor and mirror image but I'm not sure if it is worth casting both at the same time, or if mirror image means mage armour is not worth casting.


Strength 8 (-1)
Dex 14 (+2)
Con 14 (+2)
Int 18 (+4)
Wis 12 (+1)
Cha 8 (-1)


  • Light
  • Mage Hand
  • Mind sliver

Level 1 spells:

  • Detect Magic (R)
  • Find Familiar (R)
  • Comprehend Languages (R)
  • Shield
  • Mage Armor
  • Magic Missile
  • Gift of Alacrity
  • Absorb Elements
  • Disguise Self

Level 2 Spells:

  • Misty step
  • Hold person
  • Mirror Image

Is this selection of spells likely to achieve my goals of crowd control/disabling on top of usual wizard survival/utility given my current race, attributes and intended feat, or would different spells fulfill that purpose better?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome and thanks for posting your question. It can help to make your question specific enough for it to be answered, e.g. Should I swap mage armor with something else? (in the context of combat strategies). You've also put in two questions, so being specific will help. If you have multiple questions, you can ask more than one. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Dec 22, 2022 at 12:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've reworded the title to better fit the body text, and rewritten part of the body text for clarity \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Dec 22, 2022 at 13:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ We will need to know what restrictions are placed upon you, are you using UA content, are all books and optional content allowed, etc. Tentaively we should bne able to answer the selection part, but not the better purpose. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2022 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


Looks OK

I play a divination wizard. Overall, your list looks solid. I would not swap mage armor for something else, I would rather drop mirror image for something else.

Mirror Image is not going to help much with battelfield control, and you already have good defensive resources with mage armor and shield. I do have mirror image, but rarely if ever use it. I used mage armor and shield a lot. Mage armor holds for much longer, it only consumes a level one slot, not one of your precious level 2. You also can use it to bolster your familiar's AC. If things go right, the fighters should cover you from attacks anyways, so you do not want to spend your first round casting mirror image which you may not even need, when you could instead incapacitate a key opponent. And if an opponent gets too close for comfort, you can always misty step away.

I would consider web in its place, which is a really solid level 2 spell for control purposes. If you want to take out single targets with Portent, suggestion is another great choice, that again works against many opponents, and has many other flexible uses beyond combat.

Other observations:

Magic Missile. If you goal is control/disabling instead of damage, you can consider Hideous Laughter on level one insted of the missile. It does allow for resaves, but it removes an opponent from action for a lowly level one slot, and it not limited to humanoids. I have taken dragons out of action with that spell, it will be useful even into the higher levels, and even removing a strong opponent for one round can save your team a lot of hurt.

Mind Sliver. Using Mind Sliver to push through other spell effects is a questionable strategy, because you have to burn two actions on it, and if they make the Int save, you just wasted a full round doing very little. It can help if you first target them with the main effect, and then use this to make it harder to get out of it with resaves.

Hold Person is solid because it paralyzes the opponent, and that is nasty when your buddies can attack them and may be worth it even for a round, but it does allow for re-saves every round, which is suboptimal if you want to maximize your Portent. You could instead pick levitate, which can take melee opponents out of the running without any resaves, and has nice side benefits as a utility spell.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Good arguments and for each, however can you write the response to the question: "Should I swap mage armor with something else? (in the context of combat strategies). Yes, no, maybe. Otherwise the question would be best suited in a forum. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Dec 22, 2022 at 12:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Fritz-sama, Ah, I see, yes, that could work a bit better. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2022 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ I want to second web. It's just an incredibly powerful effect for its level. It has downsides -- specifically that it has no friend-or-foe differentiation and targets that are strong or agile have a good chance of staying out of it, but on the other hand if even one or two creatures have to spend an action to escape, you got a good effect out of it, so it's hard to argue with as a crowd control spell. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2022 at 14:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Depending on your campaign environment, Maximillian's Earthen Grasp is nice in terms of its flexibility with control and damage possibilities (you just need to be somewhere with soil). You should have some damage potential, but might consider a damaging cantrip rather than a leveled spell. My level 6 control diviner uses chill touch when she is not locking down targets. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Dec 22, 2022 at 14:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ I second @Kirt's assessment here, and thought to put it in the answer, but felt that was going a bit too much in changing what the OP wants to do. I'd pick a damage cantrip (probably fire bolt for a point more damage per die and setting things on fire, but chill touch is good for battefied control, and works better vs resistance) in place of one of the cantrips, probably light that can easily enough replaced with a continual flame item that can be covered up, and use my level one slot for other things. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2022 at 15:05

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