D&D 5e Sorcerer subclass expanded spell list featured image is a combination of images by Wizards of the Coast’s D&D 5e Player’s Handbook and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
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Players have wished to have Sorcerer subclasses that possessed expanded spell lists for years now. Giving them more spells would make them more versatile since Sorcerers are starving for more spells. Sorcerer expanded spell lists would greatly help Sorcerer subclasses as they’ve helped other classes’ subclasses.
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything finally made good on the desire of Sorcerer players to learn more spells. The book gave us two new subclasses: the Aberrant Mind and the Clockwork Soul. Each new subclass had an expanded spell list, allowing them to learn more spells automatically. In addition, they could swap out those spells for new ones of particular schools of magic.
I’m lending a hand to any dungeon master looking to implement them as homebrew in their games or any player looking for ideas to pitch to their DMs. I’ll explain my method and then get into each subclass for their expanded spell lists.
Expanding Sorcerer Subclass Spell Lists
My primary goal is to add spells to each Sorcerer subclass to compliment their features and match their themes. I’ll attempt to avoid redundancies of spells that fit similar functions, and I’ll generally avoid packing in too many concentration spells since they compete with one another. Spell swapping mitigates these problems (precedence in the TCoE Sorcerer subclasses).
I am cautious with the spells that I enable Sorcerers to learn. I am not fond of TCoE opening Sorcerers up to Wizard spell lists when they swap spells from their expanded spell lists. My method avoids excessively open-ended options. Wizard spell lists, for example, should seem special in how expansive they are; giving Wizard spell lists to too many characters makes Wizards feel less special to me. Also, I wouldn’t say I like the multiclassing implications of allowing Charisma-based full spellcasters to pick up Warlock spells like Armor of Agathys.
I also prefer spells in the PHB, XGtE, or TCoE since those are books that players are more likely to access. Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, for example, is not a book that players may have purchased (it’s more for DMs). When I specify potential spells to swap, I’m talking about theme-relevant spells, not mechanically-superior spells.
Let’s get into each subclass and my proposed expanded spell list for them.
Divine Soul Sorcerer Expanded Spell List
You can replace one spell you gained from this feature with another spell of the same level when you gain a sorcerer level. The new spell must be from the schools of evocation or conjuration from the Cleric or Sorcerer spell list. Spells gained from this feature count as Sorcerer spells for you.
- Sorcerer Level 1: Command, Shield of Faith
- Sorcerer Level 3: Locate Object, Aid
- Sorcerer Level 5: Tongues, Revivify
- Sorcerer Level 7: Death Ward, Banishment
- Sorcerer Level 9: Commune, Summon Celestial
It’s important to remember that this subclass already has Divine Magic feature, which allows a few Cleric spells to be learned depending on the alignment affinity of your divine power: Bane, Bless, Cure Wounds, Inflict Wounds, or Protection from Evil and Good. I’ll avoid placing these spells on the expanded spell list.
You might wonder why I limited swaps to evocation and conjuration spells. I chose that because this subclass can already learn any spell from the Cleric spell list. It seemed fine to limit the swap choices for the expanded spell lists. I’ve not changed the Divine Magic feature that the subclass already inherits. Swapping to evocation or conjuration Cleric spells allows the Sorcerer to grab desirable spells like Mass Cure Wounds, Spirit Guardians, or Healing Word.
The Cleric spell list is full of good options, so I focused on some of them that would be reasonably deity-agnostic. A lineage with divinity can come in many forms that don’t involve light and righteousness, after all.
Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer Expanded Spell List
You can replace one spell you gained from this feature with another spell of the same level when you gain a sorcerer level. The new spell must be from the schools of evocation or transmutation from the Sorcerer spell list. Spells gained from this feature count as Sorcerer spells for you.
- Sorcerer Level 1: Cause Fear, Chromatic Orb
- Sorcerer Level 3: Alter Self, Dragon’s Breath
- Sorcerer Level 5: Fear, Protection from Energy
- Sorcerer Level 7: Fire Shield, Leomund’s Secret Chest
- Sorcerer Level 9: Bigby’s Hand, Summon Draconic Spirit
I think the temptation with this subclass is to give it dragon-color-specific spells. I prefer to give the subclass spells that evoke draconic themes regardless of dragon type. For this reason, I focused on effects that have to do with greed, fear, variable elemental damage, and actual dragons.
Cause Fear allows you to tap into the immensity of a dragon’s presence and frighten your enemies. Chromatic Orb can use the element of your choice based on your draconic bloodline or the monster you’re fighting when you cast it.
Dragons can famously transform into humanoid forms, so it makes sense to have Alter Self change your appearance. Dragon’s Breath is another variable elemental damage spell that can fit whatever draconic lineage you select if you wish to do so.
Leomund’s Secret Chest gives you a place for your dragon-like hoard. You might give your character a flaw that has to do with the draconic greed for treasure.
Bigby’s Hand can be a draconic claw summoned to aid the caster. It may conflict with Summon Draconic Spirit for using concentration; one will probably be switched out (player preference as to which one).
Shadow Magic Sorcerer Expanded Spell List
You can replace one spell you gained from this feature with another spell of the same level when you gain a sorcerer level. The new spell must be from the schools of necromancy or illusion from the Sorcerer or Warlock spell lists. Spells gained from this feature count as Sorcerer spells for you.
- Sorcerer Level 1: Mage Armor, Silent Image
- Potential swaps for Arms of Hadar, False Life, Cause Fear, or Disguise Self
- Sorcerer Level 3: Misty Step, Mirror Image
- Sorcerer Level 5: Animate Dead, Summon Shadowspawn
- Sorcerer Level 7: Evard’s Black Tentacles, Shadow of Moil
- Sorcerer Level 9: Negative Energy Flood, Passwall
- Potential swaps for Danse Macabre, Seeming, or Dream
I added the Warlock spell list for swaps since it has many illusion and necromancy spells that fit the Shadow Sorcerer’s theme.
The inclusion of Mage Armor may seem strange since it’s an abjuration spell. Describe Mage Armor as a shadowy shroud protecting the Sorcerer. You can swap it if a build doesn’t need Mage Armor for protection. You could make False Life the spell to take Mage Armor’s place and flavor it the same way.
Misty Step can be similarly flavored to be a shadowy jaunt like the Shadow Monk subclass. It feels like less of a fey teleportation spell and more of a shadowy movement (I picture the move Shadow Sneak from Pokemon). I also recommend flavoring Mirror Image to be shadowy duplicates of yourself while your proper form becomes shadowy to match them. I didn’t select Darkness because the subclass feature Eyes of the Dark already gives it to the character.
I was tempted to make Mordenkainen’s Faithful Hound one of the spells for level seven because it matches the Hound of Ill Omen subclass feature. I ultimately decided to omit it since the other spells seemed more thematic and unique to Sorcerers.
Passwall is another spell that may seem odd. I envision it as opening a shadowy door through a wall. It might seem like a Looney Tune painting a hole in a wall and walking through it if you’re going for a Toon World feel from Yu-Gi-Oh. Since Passwall is a transmutation spell, it wouldn’t usually be a swap option, so I made it the default for the expanded spell list.
Storm Sorcery Sorcerer Expanded Spell List
You can replace one spell you gained from this feature with another spell of the same level when you gain a sorcerer level. The new spell must be from the schools of evocation or conjuration from the Sorcerer or Druid spell lists. Spells gained from this feature count as Sorcerer spells for you.
- Sorcerer Level 1: Fog Cloud, Thunderwave
- Potential swap for Ice Knife
- Sorcerer Level 3: Shatter, Warding Wind
- Potential swaps for Rime’s Binding Ice or Gust of Wind
- Sorcerer Level 5: Call Lightning, Wall of Water
- Potential swaps for Lightning Bolt or Sleet Storm
- Sorcerer Level 7: Summon Elemental, Control Water
- Potential swaps for Storm Sphere or Conjure Minor Elementals
- Sorcerer Level 9: Destructive Wave, Maelstrom
- Potential swaps for Control Winds, Conjure Elemental, or Cone of Cold
I added the ability to swap to Druid spells for this subclass as they are on-theme. I also avoided cold spells since the Storm Sorcerer isn’t wintry, but spells can be swapped for that theme. For example, I could see a wintry Storm Sorcerer swapping Fog Cloud for Ice Knife.
The Storm Sorcerer’s theme is a storm at sea. You can focus on any storm, but I prefer spells that have to do with maritime mayhem. Elementals also appear in the Storm Sorcerer’s theme. Other stormy spells feel “on brand” for this Sorcerer, but I prefer lightning and thunder spells that synergize with Heart of the Storm. Water and wind spells are similarly selected.
Summon Elemental will be rewarding to use with the Storm Sorcerer’s Wind Speaker feature, allowing the character to communicate with many elementals. I also like that Summon Elemental isn’t usually on the Sorcerer spell list, so it helps make the Storm Sorcerer unique. The same goes for Control Water not being on the Sorcerer spell list.
Rime’s Bind Ice was on my list of potential spells, but it didn’t fit the theme; however, Rime’s Binding Ice is an evocation spell on the Sorcerer spell list, making it quickly gained with a swap.
Maelstrom and Destructive Wave are also spells that Sorcerers can’t normally access. They fit the theme, but I could see players swapping out a spell to gain Cone of Cold or Control Winds if they like those spells for their character themes. I’m not saying those spells are mechanically superior, just that they may fit a theme better. Some Storm Sorcerers may focus on ice spells for winter storms.
Wild Magic Sorcerer Expanded Spell List
You can replace one spell you gained from this feature with another spell of the same level when you gain a sorcerer level. The new spell must be from the schools of enchantment or transmutation from the Sorcerer spell list. Spells gained from this feature count as Sorcerer spells for you.
- Sorcerer Level 1: Bane, Chaos Bolt
- Sorcerer Level 3: Enlarge/Reduce, Alter Self
- Sorcerer Level 5: Blink, Tiny Servant
- Sorcerer Level 7: Summon Elemental, Polymorph
- Sorcerer Level 9: Animate Objects, Awaken
I believe any of these spells can fit with the Wild Magic Sorcerer’s theme described in the PHB. It suggests being pickled or exposed to other planes of existence to alter the character. If you flavor your spellcasting as inherently erratic, any spell can fit the theme.
When I picture Wild Magic, I see a character who accidentally alters the world around them. Casting spells is not accidental, but spells can be flavored as responding to a character’s need or emotional state instead of formally casting them. I also imagine inanimate objects coming to life. Blink is also an erratic spell that can feel like a character glitching into different nearby locations.
This is homebrew. You can make your own lists to suit your concepts! I highly recommend allowing expanded spell lists for Sorcerer subclasses. Playing a Sorcerer is more fun when you don’t feel strapped for spell options.
What changes would you make to these lists? Do you think I did a good job? Let me know by leaving a comment or shooting us an email.
Thanks for reading! Enjoy your adventures this weekend.