This originally started out as a concept to get a lot of the utility cantrips for an entertainer build: control flames, gust, shape water, mold earth, mage hand, dancing lights, minor illusion, thaumaturgy, and perhaps druidcraft. However, after looking and thinking a bit, I was curious what build would be best for getting the largest number of cantrips possible.

My current concept has a Sorcerer 12, Cleric 4 and Wizard 4, starting out as either High Elf or Tiefling, and taking the Magic Initiate Feat and the Spell Sniper Feat for 3 extra cantrips.

Is there a better build out there to get more cantrips? I would like it to be somewhat viable, but that isn't a necessity.

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    I originally read this as "What is the maximum number of Catnips you can get by 20th level?". This makes a lot more sense. – David Starkey Sep 20 '16 at 19:27
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    @DavidStarkey a 18th level mage with True Polymorph can have any amount of Catnip Bush Topiary Guardians he wants. Just polymorph random rocks. – Mindwin Sep 20 '16 at 19:35
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    @Mindwin Don't forget the dire wildcats to go with them. – JAB Sep 20 '16 at 19:53

Using the point buy system and Tiefling as a starting race you can get 31 cantrips and 2 ASI to increase CHA to 20 or 32 cantrips with a sub-optimal build. Casting the Warlock's Eldritch Blast and Agonizing Blast your damage are not going to suffer too much while being able to hit things. The stat distribution that I suggest for not being too under-powered is this. Also, I suggest to start as a Sorcerer or Fighter for the CON saves (Sorcerer being better for this build).

STR 8
DEX 14
CON 12
INT 12 + 1
WIS 13
CHA 14 + 2

Classes

  • Warlock 4 with the pact of the tome: 3 + 3 = 6 (Any class)
  • Sorcerer 1: 4
  • Cleric 1 with the arcana domain: 3 + 2 = 5 (Wizard)
  • Bard 6 College of Lore: 3 + 2 = 5 (Any class)
  • Wizard 4 illusion school: 4 + 1 = 5 (Minor illusion)
  • Fourth 3 cantrip class†: 3

† Rogue (Arcane Trickster) or Druid (Land)

Feats

  • Magic initiate: 2

Race

  • Infernal Legacy: 1 (Thaumaturgy)

Total: 31

Alternatively, sacrificing an ASI and, instead use it to get Spell Sniper, you can obtain 32 cantrips, but this would be sub-optimal.

  • 2
    You can actually pump it up to 30, if you REALLY want to maximize your cantrips. If you steal 2 levels of fighter and one level of warlock, sorceror, or wizard, and put them into 3 cantrip class (bard), you lose a net 1 ASI, but you can select a cantrip with bard's magical secrets. – Ethan Sep 20 '16 at 18:50
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    @Ethan According to this site there are 35 cantrips. Almost every cantrip can be obtained, and I think that when other classes, cantrips and feats become available this numbers might change. – Chepelink Sep 20 '16 at 20:26
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    Yeah, I realized after I posted that there were a couple I was missing. Still, REALLY close to catching them all! – Ethan Sep 20 '16 at 20:34
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    I can't decode the last two lines in the “Class” section. What does 3 cantrip class 4' mean, and what does '- Rogue mean? – SevenSidedDie Jan 19 at 23:54
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    @KRyan AH, that explains it. Yeah, apostrophes can’t be used that way (at least in English typography). Chepelink, I’d suggest using numerals too, or for fun, the classics: *, †, and ‡. (If the * messes with formatting, you can force the formatter to ignore it by putting a slash in front of it, like \*.) – SevenSidedDie Dec 5 at 18:17

How to get the most, 38, cantrips (on the side of not-viable): (You only miss out on 5 and a blaster doesn't need Shillelagh, Green-Flame Blade, Booming Blade, or Lightning Lure. Spare the Dying is my least favorite cantrip so that's why I excluded it.)


The Build

Classes:

You may want to shuffle cantrips with shared lists around to land your attack spells on your primary casting ability or get the cantrips that I didn't choose, for this list I've assume Charisma.

  • Warlock 4 (The Celestial, Pact of the Tome): Light, Sacred Flame, Eldritch Blast, Magic Stone, Toll the Dead, 3 cantrips in your Book of Shadows✝ +8
  • Sorcerer 1: Acid Splash, Chill Touch, Ray of Frost, Shocking Grasp +4
  • Cleric 1 (Arcana Domain): Word of Radiance, Guidance, Resistance, Sword Burst, Poison Spray +5
  • Bard 10 (College of Lore): Thunderclap, Blade Ward, Friends, Mending, Primal Savagery, Thorn Whip, Mage Hand, Message +8
  • Druid 2 (Circle of the Land): Infestation, Control Flames, Druidcraft +3
  • Wizard 2 (School of Illusion): Minor Illusion, Mold Earth, Gust, Create Bonfire +4

✝ See Races for which ones to choose.

Feats:

  • Magic Initate: Two cantrips✝ +2
  • Spell Sniper: One cantrip✝ +1

✝See Races for which ones to choose.

Races:

  • There are multiple races that work for this build and which one you choose determines which options you select for your feats and Book of Shadows. You want to select attack spells so that they coincide with your primary casting ability. Frostbite and Fire Bolt are fully interchangeable in every list. +1

    Elf (High)

High elf gives you one wizard cantrip (choose Fire Bolt) and sets your primary casting ability to Intelligence (this is where your 1 ASI should go to reach 18 Intelligence).

  • Choose Bard for Magic Initiate to get Dancing Lights and Vicious Mockery
  • Choose Wizard for Spell Sniper to get Frostbite
  • Your Book of Shadows should contain Produce Flame, Shape Water, and Thaumaturgy

    Tiefling

Tiefling gives you Thaumaturgy and sets your primary casting ability to Charisma or Intelligence (choose either, this determines whether you choose Wizard or Bard/Sorcerer for your feats).

  • Choose Wizard or Bard for Magic Initiate to get Dancing Lights and Fire Bolt or Vicious Mockery
  • Choose Wizard or Sorcerer for Spell Sniper to get Frostbite
  • Your Book of Shadows should contain Produce Flame, Shape Water, and whichever you didn't get from Magic Initiate

    Half-Elf (Variant)

Half-Elf (Variant) gives you the option to get the High-Elf Cantrip feature (choose Fire Bolt if going Intelligence or Dancing Lights if going Charisma or Wisdom) and sets your primary casting ability to Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma (choose any, this determines your choices for your feats).

  • Choose Bard for Magic Initiate to get Dancing Lights and Vicious Mockery, or choose Druid or Sorcerer to get Produce Flame or Fire Bolt and Shape Water
  • Choose Wizard, Sorcerer, or Druid for Spell Sniper to get Frostbite
  • Your Book of Shadows should contain Thaumaturgy and whichever two you didn't get from Magic Initiate

    Tiefling (Variant)

The Devil's Tongue variant Tiefling gives you Vicious Mockery and sets your primary casting ability to Charisma or Intelligence (choose either, this determines whether you choose Wizard or Sorcerer for your feats).

  • Choose Wizard or Sorcerer for Magic Initiate to get Dancing Lights and Fire Bolt
  • Choose Wizard or Sorcerer for Spell Sniper to get Frostbite
  • Your Book of Shadows should contain Thaumaturgy, Produce Flame, and Shape Water

    Elf (Drow)

Drow gives you Dancing Lights and sets your primary casting ability to Charisma.

  • Choose Sorcerer for Magic Initiate to get Fire Bolt and Shape Water
  • Choose Sorcerer for Spell Sniper to get Frostbite
  • Your Book of Shadows should contain Produce Flame, Thaumaturgy, and Vicious Mockery

    Genasi (Fire)

Fire genasi gives you Produce Flame and sets your primary casting ability to Intelligence.

  • Choose Wizard for Magic Initiate to get Fire Bolt and Shape Water
  • Choose Wizard for Spell Sniper to get Frostbite
  • Your Book of Shadows should contain Dancing Lights, Thaumaturgy, and Vicious Mockery

    Genasi (Water)

Water genasi gives you Shape Water and sets your primary casting ability to Wisdom.

  • Choose Wizard for Magic Initiate to get Fire Bolt and Dancing Lights
  • Choose Druid for Spell Sniper to get Frostbite
  • Your Book of Shadows should contain Produce Flame, Thaumaturgy, and Vicious Mockery

    Yuan-Ti Pureblood

Yuan-Ti Pureblood gives you Poison Spray and sets your primary casting ability to Charisma or Intelligence (choose either, this determines whether you choose Wizard or Bard/Sorcerer for your feats).

  • Choose Wizard or Bard for Magic Initiate to get Dancing Lights and Fire Bolt or Vicious Mockery
  • Choose Wizard or Sorcerer for Spell Sniper to get Frostbite
  • Your Book of Shadows should contain Thaumaturgy, Produce Flame, and whichever you didn't get from Magic Initiate
  • Replace Poison Spray with Shape Water in the Wizard section.

Magic Items:

While you can't know the other two possible cantrips, you can gain access to them through attuning to the following magic items:

  • Staff of the Magi: This gets you Mage Hand so you can choose a different spell for Magical Secrets. Since this also gets you light, you could choose The Undying patron instead of The Celestial for Spare the Dying instead of Sacred Flame. +1
  • Ring of Shooting Stars (for non-Drow): This one is more limited as you can only use Dancing Lights in dim light or darkness with it but its lets you choose Prestidigitation or True Strike instead of Dancing Lights in all the places you would usually choose Dancing Lights under Race. +1 ish

Viability

To make this build semi-viable ,you would have to learn the feats from a special trainer instead of from ASI (DMG 231).

This would allow your primary casting ability to be brought to 20 and 1 secondary ability to be increased once.

  • Could you include numbers after each class so I can scan through and find the classes that contribute the most? – Voromir Kadien Jan 19 at 23:05
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    @Voromir added. – David Coffron Jan 20 at 0:31

For maximum possible cantrips, you take 1 level sorcerer, Mage Initiate and Spell Sniper, 4 levels in warlock, 1 cleric (Arcana), 2 druid (circle of the land), 1 wizard, 1 bard, 4 levels in eldritch knight fighter and 4 levels in arcane trickster rogue. Also, you can get one extra cantrip from racial bonuses from genasi, high elves and tieflings.

It's horribly sub-optimal, but it gives you 29 cantrips in total.

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    And don't forget to take a race that provides a cantrip too, like Tiefling provides Thamalurgy. – J. A. Streich Sep 20 '16 at 16:48
  • Why 4 levels in AT and EK? What about racial cantrips? – Derek Stucki Sep 20 '16 at 16:49
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    @J.A.Streich Thaumaturgy and with your point I think the answer would then be 29. Thamalurgy is how you try to explain your snuffles and congestion when the spring pollen is really severe. 8^D – KorvinStarmast Sep 20 '16 at 17:32

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