How to build a Phoenix Sorcerer in 5e Dungeons & Dragons

Found in the depths of another realm, the Phoenix burns hot with its sacred and magical fires. Through the discoveries made in the Unearthed Arcana, Sorcerers have found new origins that harness the Phoenix’s powers for themselves, blazing a trail for all Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition players. 

If you are one of the players interested in exploring the Phoenix Sorcerer’s capabilities at your game’s table, then this guide is for you. We will cover the unique traits, recommended Race selection, and provide insight on roleplaying strategies to top it off. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Picking Your Phoenix Sorcerer Build Race

Your Race is an incredibly important decision due to the inherent bonuses earned from Race selection. It also determines how you look and what your backstory will relate to, ultimately influencing your character’s worldview. 

While the Sorcerer can do well with a variety of Races, the Races in our recommendations are particularly fantastic, so not only will your worldview be affected, but the way the world sees you will also change based on the chosen Race. Below we have the best picks for class optimization.

Best Race Pick – Tiefling

While not particularly tied to their demonic origins, the Tiefling Race was born from years of Demonkind and Human offspring, tracing their origins back to Asmodeus. Due to this, some parts of your in-game world will see the Tieflings in a negative light. On the other hand, the Tiefling is an excellent choice for a Phoenix Sorcerer both thematically and in optimized play.

Tieflings have an innate spellcasting ability and additional cantrips so that you have to worry less about which spells are needed and take more of the ones you like. They also gain a boost to Charisma, which will be your primary spellcasting modifier as a Sorcerer, essentially determining how effective your spells are. 

You also gain a resistance to fire damage, which plays well thematically with a Sorcerer learning to control Phoenix fire.

Second Best Race Pick – Aasimar

Where the Tiefling might be feared for their dark heritage, the Aasimar are celebrated or even worshiped for their angelic and celestial ancestry. 

The Aasimar gains a bonus to Charisma for your spellcasting, plus you gain Radiant Soul when taking this class, complementing your radiant and fire-type spells for the Phoenix subclass.

Subraces such as Protector or Fallen can help with your personal fantasy, so consider them if you are diving deep into your character’s lore and backstory.

Phoenix Sorcerer 5e build

Alternate Race Pick – Genasi (Fire)

While lacking the coveted Charisma bonus that will surely help your Sorcerer out early on, the Fire Genasi embodies the pure essence of fire and flame, aligning well with the Phoenix Sorcerer thematically.

As a Genasi, you will gain a bonus to Constitution, boosting your Health Points, and the Produce Flame cantrip, a utility cantrip that works with all the fire themes you will see with this class. Just be mindful of weaknesses to water if taking this Race as opposed to the Tiefling or Aasimar.

Embrace the Phoenix

You will be taking the Phoenix Sorcery Sorcerous Origin for your subclass, which is found in Unearthed Arcana for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. When embracing the Phoenix, you will be able to invoke fiery energy to dazzle allies and burn foes and you can even cheat death, but your abilities come at a cost and may not always be consistent, as the fire within seethes and yearns to be let out. 

These types of Sorcerers are elusive by nature, not wanting to harm others yet still acting recklessly and overconfident in their abilities. This is how the Phoenix lives and is how you will have to live once you take up this Origin at Sorcerer Level 1.


At 1st Level, you may touch any object and automatically ignite it, making torches and campfires easy to come by.

Mantle of Flame

The first true skill of the Phoenix Sorcerer, earned at Sorcerer Level 1. Once between each long rest, you may cloak yourself in the Phoenix’s fire, granting yourself the following traits: you glow a bright light for 30 feet and dim light an additional 30 feet, any creature that touches you or strikes you with a melee weapon with 5 feet takes fire damage equal to your Charisma modifier, and any time you roll fire damage on your turn, you gain a bonus equal to your Charisma modifier.

Phoenix Spark

Starting at Sorcerer Level 6, you gain the defining ability of the Phoenix- the power to cheat death itself. When you are reduced to 0 Health Points, you may use your reaction to draw on the power of the Phoenix. 

When you do so, you instead are set to 1 HP, and every creature within 10 feet of you takes fire damage equal to your Sorcerer Level + your Charisma modifier.

If you had Mantle of Flame active when using this ability, you instead add double your Charisma modifier to your Sorcerer Level for the fire damage and the Mantle immediately ends. This feature can only be used once between each finished long rest.

Nourishing Fire

A self-supporting ability, Nourishing Fire is gained at Sorcerer Level 14. Whenever you cast a spell that uses a fire damage roll, you may regain health equal to the spell slot level + your Charisma modifier.

Form of the Phoenix

The final ability for this subclass masters the flame burning within. While Mantle of Flame is active, you gain a flying speed of 40 feet and can hover, have resistance to fall damage, and Phoenix Spark deals an extra 20 damage flat to each creature when activated. 

phoenix sorcerer build 5e

Building your Sorcerer

Now that we have determined what the Phoenix Sorcerer build is, we will briefly explain what to pick when building your character on your character sheet.

  • Ability Scores: You will want to invest heavily into Charisma since it is your primary spellcasting modifier. Constitution boosts your Health Points and Dexterity boosts your Armor Class and Initiative rolls, making both great second Ability Score choices.
  • Sorcerous Origin: Obviously, we need to take Phoenix Sorcerer as our origin in order to unlock the powers of the Phoenix. Thematically this is nice as it is taken at Sorcerer Level 1, so your character starts with the benefits right away.
  • Spell Selection: As a Phoenix Sorcerer, your focus will be on fire spells that deal damage, as this fits thematically but also pairs with Nourishing Fire’s healing properties. Do not pick only fire spells though, as enemies can resist or even be immune to fire, so you will want at least one spell or a form of damage that counters fire resistance. 
  • Consider the support role in your table based on the other spellcasters. You may want to opt for defensive and utility spells sprinkled into your list, but keep in mind creative uses with spells such as Wall of Fire can increase a spell’s value. 

Phoenix Sorcerer Build Strategies

As a player, it is your job to determine who your character is and what they do in-game. At times, there can be a lot going on that makes the mental stack of D&D fun yet confusing when it is your turn to act, so we have compiled a brief overview of strategies both in combat and in roleplay. 

Playing with Fire

Explore the different ways you can manipulate fire in both combat and roleplay. In combat, bending fire to your whim can make creative solutions to dealing with enemies. 

In roleplay, add flare to your character and hone in on the recklessness that comes from being one with the Phoenix while still taking your role seriously. Both of these will create fear and amazement in your foes and allies respectively.

Resilience and Rebirth

Embrace your ability to revive. With decent bulk, you can strategically time when and how you will fall in battle, activating Phoenix Spark potentially with Mantle of Flame to deal big damage to enemies. 

Be mindful that you will return with only 1 HP, but if you have access to Nourishing Flame then you can quickly replenish your emptying vitality pool. In a close battle, allowing yourself to fall and burn can be the difference between a victory and a total party kill. 

Storytelling Opportunities

Your backstory will drive your character further than most other PCs can say, so use it to your advantage. Explore what it means to die and be reborn through the Phoenix’s powers. 

  • Has it happened before your campaign? 
  • How did you get the powers of the Phoenix? 
  • How do others view you as a Phoenix Sorcerer? 
  • As a threat, a protector, or something else entirely? 

These are all questions you can use as springboards when exploring the world your Dungeon Master creates, and they offer engaging ways to roleplay with NPCs and the other players in your party. 

Conclusion on making a Phoenix Sorcerer Build 5e

Playing a Phoenix Sorcerer Build means accepting the risks that come with playing with fire. We covered how to build your Phoenix Sorcerer and strategies for playing through roleplay and battle alike. 

What we didn’t tell you is the repercussions that come with playing the Phoenix Sorcerer, as those cannot be taught, they must be discovered through play. Pick the Race and spells that best fit your character’s flavors, burn through your enemies, and rise from the ashes in your next campaign.