By Jacobe Simon-Hanks
Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition offers many ways for players to flex their powers and creativity through the characters they make.
The Wizard is a powerful spellcasting class and is one of the defining and most well-known classes in all of D&D. By the 3rd level, spells begin to get stronger, Cantrip Formula is unlocked for Wizards, and players can become more individualized with how to present themselves through combat and roleplay.
With that being said, the list of available spells is dauntingly large, but here we will consolidate it into a more digestible format. Grab your character sheets; these are the best level 3 Wizard spells in D&D 5e.
This is quite possibly the most iconic spell in all of Dungeons and Dragons. The only reason anyone does not take Fireball is because they either cannot use it or it does not fit their character, and even then, Fireball can likely fit into an ice Wizard’s kit. This spell is class for a reason.
It creates a massive explosion of flames, dealing damage to every creature within a 20-foot radius. The damage scales with the caster’s level, so even at high level, Fireball will tear through even the toughest of foes. Fireball is a great spell for dealing with groups of enemies, even when hiding behind cover due to its wide coverage.
Fireball, like all fire spells, can also set structures and objects ablaze, creating distractions and harmful environments for anyone not on the Wizard’s good side. Hindering enemy movement is also a possibility depending on context and your Dungeon Master’s discretion, which is always a bonus to any spell since it supports the party.
Counterspell is a must-pick level 3 Wizard spell for any Wizard hoping to defend themselves or their party against enemy magic. The numerous charms, incantations, and harming attacks that Wizards, Warlocks, Sorcerers, etc. get as players can also be used by NPCs and enemies, so having a set and consistent counter to these spells is important, and luckily, as its name implies, Counterspell does just that.
Specifically, Counterspell allows the caster to attempt to interrupt and cancel out an opponent’s spell as they are casting it. The success of Counterspell is determined by a contested ability check, but with strategic and careful use, it can be a powerful tool for shutting down an enemy spellcaster. Since the spell is still counted as spent when countered, Counterspell is particularly useful against high-level enemies, as it can prevent them from utilizing their most powerful spells.
It’s also a great way to protect party members who are vulnerable to enemy magic, such as those without their own spellcasting abilities, or party members who may struggle against guaranteed hits.
3. Lightning Bolt
Like Fireball, Lightning Bolt is a 2nd level spell with a large area of effect that can deal with multiple targets at once. Unlike Fireball, its area of effect is unique in that it can strike enemies connected by a straight line, making it great for taking out opponents who are clustered together as well as for hitting enemies that are out of range of other spells.
Chaining the lightning between targets is key to maximizing this spell’s potential. The damage from Lightning Bolt is significant and can not only bring enemy boss characters to their knees but also destroy structures and open pathways that other spells may have difficulty creating.
If your Wizard is an electric-themed mage, Lightning Bolt can act as a strong replacement for Fireball, while taking both together can make a powerful caster in any player’s hands.
4. Dispel Magic
Dispel Magic is yet another must-have spell for any Wizard, as it allows the caster to end magical effects that are affecting themselves or those around them. Unlike Counterspell, Dispel Magic relies on already being under the influence of an adverse magical effect, so the two spells are not quite interchangeable.
If you are the type of Wizard that wants to capitalize on all things defensive, taking both Dispel Magic and Counterspell is not a bad idea. Dispel Magic can be used to dispel enemy buffs as well as negate effects that hinder your party’s progress or own combat capabilities. Dispel Magic is also great for removing magical barriers or structures erected and held up by magic.
Spells that control or manipulate a valuable NPC can also be dispelled. As you can see, Dispel Magic has a lot of uses that can make or break a pivotal moment in any campaign, but this is further amplified by creating a combination with Detect Magic from the level 1 Wizard spell list.
5. Life Transference
Life Transference is a powerful necromancy spell that allows you to sacrifice your health to heal another creature. When you cast this spell, you take 4d8 necrotic damage and choose a target creature within range. That creature regains hit points equal to twice the amount of damage you took.
This yields an average of 18 damage taken and 36 healing given on any given cast, which is by no means a small number even at the higher player levels. The versatility of Life Transference comes from its ability to heal other creatures at a relatively low cost. The spell will keep allies alive, NPC and PC alike, but be mindful of your own health points, as the cost can quickly add up and create a dangerous situation.
If you can couple this spell with some form of lifesteal, bonus health, or are stocked up on healing potions, this spell can become a staple in your party’s composition as a unique form of support. Regardless, this spell is a unique and powerful necromancer option for any Wizard wanting to toy with the essence of life and death.
Slow is a powerful spell that can affect multiple enemies at once, causing them to become sluggish and less effective in combat. This spell can be particularly useful against enemies who rely on speed or agility, traits that will affect their chances of getting hit, by hindering their movements and turning advantageous checks into normal ones, and normal checks into disadvantages.
Slow can also be used to slow down an enemy spellcaster, making it more difficult for them to cast spells as reactions to your party’s moves each turn. Objects and structures can also be slowed down, preventing them from falling, rising, or moving before you or your party are done with them.
If a structure were to start falling, Slow can give additional time to get in or out, and if a projectile is on its way, Slow can create an opportunity to dodge an otherwise painful attack. As with many utility spells, this one only gets stronger with creativity and the right opportunities.
Fly is a spell that allows the caster to take flight, as well as any targets they choose, offering greater mobility and allowing them to bypass obstacles that would normally impede their path.
This spell can be particularly useful for movement in combat as well, as a ranged ally can be given flight, and they would be able to fly out of enemy range and strike from above. Aarakocra are particularly powerful at all times due to their inherent ability to fly at any time.
Giving this ability to anyone with a single spell is just as strong, but it is balanced by a time duration and requirements for a spell slot. Regardless, this spell’s potential is vast in its utility and inherent mobility boosts.
8. Leomund’s Tiny Hut
Leomund’s Tiny Hut is the first spell in our series of Best Wizard Spells to create a space for the party. This spell is a powerful, defensive spell that creates a small, impenetrable dome that can protect you and your allies from outside threats. The dome is large enough to accommodate up to nine Medium creatures and last for up to eight hours.
Unless your table is particularly large, nine creatures should mean a full party plus some NPCs or companions as well, and the eight-hour timer means you can safely long rest inside, and play the waiting game with those on the outside. Since Leomund’s Tiny Hut can create a safe haven in a wide range of situations, it proves itself to be a truly versatile spell.
Regardless of your party’s current quest or their environment, this spell will always offer a safe rest stop to recuperate and prepare for the next day.
Final thoughts on top level 3 Wizard spells
That’s it for the best level 3 Wizard spells for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. As you can probably tell, the spells are quite powerful and offer many ways for players to showcase their character’s strength, personality, and talents.
While these spells are deemed among the best, it is important to think of spell combos and synergies with your party as well, meaning weaker or seemingly useless spells might grow in power with the right context. Either way, using this list of spells is both a safe bet and a surefire way to become a truly fearsome caster, ensuring every opponent knows you are a force to be reckoned with both in and out of the battlefield.