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The Wizard doesn't get a ton of changes, but they're all positive, and no one's getting nerfed in the D&D 2024 Player's Handbook anyway

by: Randy -
More On: Dungeons & Dragons

Right behind Fighter and Rogue, Wizard is the most popular class in Dungeons & Dragons. Today, designer Jeremy Crawford from D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast talks at length about the changes coming to the Wizard class in the 2024 Player's Handbook. This was another class—along with the Rogue—where WotC told itself, "Just don't mess it up."

Magic is overpowered in D&D and Wizards are arguably the most powerful magic users. I say as my players each enjoy a cup filled to the brim with DM's Tears. When I say "arguably" the most powerful, players of the other magic-using classes will certainly debate that point. Overall, as with every character class in the upcoming Player's Handbook, everyone is getting buffed, and no one is getting nerfed. D&D power creep continues unbridled into its next 50 years!

As a quality-of-life improvement, Wizards no longer use their Intelligence modifier plus Wizard level to determine their number of prepared spells. They will instead refer to a fixed value in the Wizard table.

What makes a Wizard shine? The sheer number and variety of spells available to them. So that's what the designers leaned into with the mostly-the-same but still-improved Wizard class.

The Ritual Casting tag will disappear—because any spell can be cast as a ritual. Casting a spell as a ritual means it takes longer to cast (10 minutes, perhaps, instead of one action). And Ritual Casting doesn't burn a spell slot.

Starting at 1st level, Wizards can also replace one cantrip each per Long Rest—no other class can do this—and spellbooks can be used as a spellcasting focus (an object replaces material components in spells).

Starting at 5th level, Wizards can swap one prepared spell for one in their spellbook each Short Rest. Very important in keeping Wizards agile.

Also, somewhere along the line, Abjurer wizards are just going to be walking up and "shattering" spells as a bonus action? Interviewer Todd Kenreck says, "Amazing," but I think what he means for Dungeon Masters around the world is, "No thank you!" Because as far as the storytelling element of being a DM is concerned, there's no more boring result than, "Nothing happens," and that's what spell negation becomes: A whole lot of nothing going on. It's the worst.

Check out the always-neatly-outlined D&D Beyond post on the changes coming to the Wizard. If you play D&D for pure power fantasy, then Wizard is the way to go. Any primary spellcaster is, really. Sorcerers may outpace them in the early race, but not in the long run. I've always admired Wizards from a distance. Admired their bookish nature and their willingness to pore over 100 pages of spells in every Player's Handbook since the '80s, as least as far as I can remember.