Xanathar’s Guide to Everything seems to really like subclasses that give Cleric features to other classes. The Sorcerer was one of them. Your spark of magic is different from that of a cleric; rather than worshipping a god, your ancestor might have been one… Or perhaps, your ancestor was an angel, or a demigod! Either way, you are naturally aligned with the gods, which puts you on a pedestal for religious organizations… And jealous monarchies alike. Why, then, should you become a demigod? That seems like a loaded question, but we should probably find out the answer in our Divine Soul Sorcerer 5E Guide.
Worthy of Worship: Divine Soul Sorcerer 5E
Mechanically, the Divine Soul sorcerer is one of the better cleric-like subtypes for any class. This is one of the most versatile classes in the game, with access to two whole spell lists. If that wasn’t enough, you gain an additional spell known for free – rare for a sorcerer! – and loads of powerful support and defensive features to keep yourself out of the Gods’ realm. This sorcerer is legit.
Divine Magic is one of the most fantastic 1st level features in the game. You may choose any spell from the Cleric or Sorcerer spell list whenever you learn a spell or cantrip. That’s a lot of utility! But, you still have so few spells known.
Realistically, this spell list is most useful for ironing out weaknesses in yourself or your party. The Cleric spell list focuses on support, buffs, information, and combat control. The Sorcerer spell list is concerned more about damage, with solid buffs as well. If you’re the only caster in your party, you’ll probably be taking more Cleric spells, but should consider getting some Area of Effect damage.
If you’re having trouble choosing from both spell lists (and it’s hard, I know!), check out our Cleric spells and Sorcerer spells of note. These are by no means definitive lists, and you should try to choose based on your party… But they aren’t a bad start.
The other aspect of Divine Magic is your free spell known! This is based on your affinity, and can be replaced by any spell on the Cleric Spell list, just like a standard Sorcerer spell.
- Good: Cure Wounds
- Evil: Inflict Wounds
- Law: Bless
- Chaos: Bane
- Neutrality: Protection from Evil and Good
This list has some solid options! Good’s Cure Wounds is a decent spell, but is outclassed in most cases by healing spells that take Bonus Actions. The problem with Cure Wounds is that, in combat, you don’t want to spend too many actions on healing; the best use of healing is making an ally conscious so they can keep fighting. You should lean towards spells that heal someone while letting you continue to harm people with cantrips. If you are Good, then consider replacing this spell with Healing Word.
Evil is by far the worst option. Inflict Wounds is just outscaled by other spells. And you’re a sorcerer; your damage options are so much more versatile, multi-targeted, and have better damage types. This should be replaced as soon as possible.
Bless is a solid buff spell! One of the best options here. It’s a great use of your low-level spell slots, giving an average of 2 to 3 allies’ attacks and saving throws. It scales decently, but probably a little better-off spent on level 1 spells.
Bane is… fine. It’s like Bless but there to try and prevent damage. Lowering enemy attacks by 2 is a 10% debuff to their chance to hit. Importantly, they also take an average of 10% debuff to their saving throws. Unlike Bless, you need to break past a Charisma saving throw… But who’s proficient in Charisma throws, right? This isn’t bad, but Bless might be a bit better in the long run.
Protection from Evil and Good is one of the best spells in the game… Sometimes. You get a massive bonus to your survivability against less than half of the enemy types. If you’re in a standard campaign, you’ll be just fine with this buff! Otherwise, you might find this lacking. It’s a great option to have in the pocket, but consider swapping it out if your campaign is looking like you won’t be fighting them in a while.
Favored by the Gods
The first standard class feature you get is… Fine. It’s pretty great, even!
Starting at 1st level, divine power guards your destiny. If you fail a saving throw or miss with an attack roll, you can roll 2d4 and add it to the total, possibly changing the outcome.
Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
This is a fairly non-standard boost ability. Most effects like this (including Bardic Inspiration) is just a single dice. That means that you can get a 1, or get a massive bonus, at random. This has a much, much more consistent range; 2 to 8 (rather than 1 to 8), and an average of 5 that you’ll get fairly often.
This is great for two reasons. One, you never want one of these abilities to roll a 1. Getting a 2 all the time gives you so much more leeway. It makes your minimum possible roll into a 10% chance to succeed. That’s fantastic!
Two, you’ll usually get a 5. An average of 25% success is quite substantial. And, since you’ll get it 1/4th of the time, you have a pretty competent Hail Mary under your belt. In a lot of these cases, it’s probably safer to save it for when a 2 will be a guaranteed success. But, if a 5 or 8 can save your life, then you’ve got 2d4 to burn!
This refreshes on short rests, so feel free to use them when you need to! Usually, this means that you spent a spell slot on a fairly strong ranged attack that you think could kill a threatening enemy. Or, you identify a spell cast on you is something intimidating, like Hold Person. In those cases, feel free to recover a failed roll by adding 2d4.
Incredibly, this is one of the few additive abilities that lets you roll after the GM says it failed. Try to make sure it’s still your turn when you throw 2d4s at your GM’s face, but you can think about it for a second after the results!
You just got two incredibly strong abilities, so you’re about due for a mediocre one.
Starting at 6th level, the divine energy coursing through you can empower healing spells. Whenever you or an ally within 5 feet of you rolls dice to determine the number of hit points a spell restores, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll any number of those dice once, provided you aren’t incapacitated. You can use this feature only once per turn.
I don’t want to say this is bad. It really isn’t. But… There’s a few problems.
As I was saying earlier, most healing magic is useful for picking an ally off the ground. You really want to make sure someone isn’t dying, but you don’t need them to be at maximum health. They’ll be walking and fighting the same at 1 HP or 205. And you probably don’t want to be spending sorcery points for out-of-combat healing, since you have the time to just chill out and restore health with effects that last a long time.
But this isn’t bad. If you have limited healing resources, then rerolling dice might be a way to save a healing spell or two in between fights. Usually, you want to save your points for metamagic, but rolling a 1 on several dice might be a huge waste of resources. That 1 sorcery point could add a lot of healing to a bad roll. You do have to be adjacent to whoever’s casting… So, make sure you’re hugging your healer, or being that healer.
You know the song, I know the song… We all know the song. Put on your favorite reference to flying, and let’s spread our wings.
Starting at 14th level, you can use a bonus action to manifest a pair of spectral wings from your back. While the wings are present, you have a flying speed of 30 feet. The wings last until you’re incapacitated, you die, or you dismiss them as a bonus action.
The affinity you chose for your Divine Magic feature determines the appearance of the spectral wings: eagle wings for good or law, bat wings for evil or chaos, and dragonfly wings for neutrality.
This gives you some permanent flight speed! Sorcerers have access to Fly, and this gives you half of that movement. But, for all intents and purposes, you currently have a permanent level 3 spell.
For those of you who don’t know the power of Flight, this is an insanely potent ability. Flight is the best mobility in the game, and offers several defensive and offensive benefits. For example, using flight, you can escape most Areas of Effect by simply being too high above them – the enemy would have to choose between you and your party! You can also put yourself out of range of any melee enemies who want to tell you how much they love spellcaster AC… At least, melee enemies who can’t fly.
Offensively, Flight puts you in a much better position to throw projectiles overhead at enemies hiding behind walls. It also lets you move as the crow flies and chase down any enemies who are running away.
Flight is huge, and having a permanent source of it, without needing to attune to any magic items? It’s essential for late-game combats, and gives you so many more options. Just make sure you don’t fly above a lot of enemies with bows and stuff… That might leave you the next hunting target!
Oh, and since you might have glorious wings, consider asking your GM if your conversation target is impressed enough to give you advantage on Intimidation or Persuasion. It might work, if your target’s a religious zealot or something.
The final ability for your sorcerous self is a rather potent heal!
At 18th level, you gain the ability to overcome grievous injuries. As a bonus action when you have fewer than half of your hit points remaining, you can regain a number of hit points equal to half your hit point maximum.
Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
This ability has a few fantastic features! Notice how it says “bonus action”? That’s right! You can cast a massive heal spell once per day, and it doesn’t even take up your turn! Nor does it take up your casting slot, meaning you can heal most of your HP and then sling a massive Fireball, or heal someone else.
Healing for half your hit points is… Probably not huge. You’re a d6 class. Unless you invested in tons of Constitution, this is probably going to be a 50-60 health heal. The Heal spell is a lot stronger than that, starting at 70 health. But hey, this heal doesn’t cost a spell slot! And even if it is only 50 health, not too many effects hit quite that hard. This will probably let you shrug off one or two hits, though you might be less protected against spells. Be careful flying around spellcasters!
Unfortunately, while you’re unconscious, you can’t take bonus actions; anything that deprives you of normal actions also deprives you of bonus ones. That’s a shame, since you can’t take reactions to recover from anything. You’ll need to heal yourself on your turn.
Even so, this is a fantastic recovery effect that essentially increases your survivability by 50% of your health. As a pseudo-healing blaster, staying conscious is essential. Your allies will thank you for this… And your spell slots will, too!
Best Race for Divine Soul Sorcerers
As usual for the Sorcerer class, Charisma is an essential element of your daily diet. You need to have a forceful personality to tie the heavens and the blood of your ancestors together, after all! Then, you probably want more Constitution than Dexterity. While AC is important, Constitution boosts your chance at saving against death effects like Finger of Death. It also boosts your health pool, which is helpful for both your standard healing spells and Unearthly Recovery. Consider getting Dexterity to a decent spot, at least!
The Player’s Handbook offers a really great choice for any Charisma caster. You are now a utility caster, and you should make sure your utility brings you to a good spot outside the battlefield! Half-Elves gain a +2 to Charisma and a +1 to two other stats. You’ll find Constitution and Dexterity to be solid choices. You gain some utility abilities like Darkvision and Fey Ancestry… Meaning your ancestors were connected to the fey and the gods. Wow. Skill Versatility will be great for you! Sorcerers have so few skills to begin with, so getting a handful of others (like… Religion, maybe) might help you in out-of-combat skill check scenarios. A staple choice!
This… Might be low-hanging fruit, but trust me. This Volo’s Guide race is great, and a good competitor for Half-Elf.
The Scourge Aasimar gets +2 Charisma, +1 Constitution, which is literally perfect. You gain Darkvision and the Light Cantrip, which is great utility. Celestial Resistance offers you resistance to a damage source you don’t normally have access to, and Healing Hands gives you… any healing. The Scourge only offers you a way to damage closeby enemies, and a small extra damage boost once per turn. Sadly, this damages you… Which isn’t too bad. You have access to healing magic, if you’re worried!
Conclusion – Our Take on the Divine Soul Sorcerer
That wraps up our Divine Soul Sorcerer 5E Guide. The Divine Soul Sorcerer might be one of the most versatile casters in the game. Access to two spell lists is one thing, but they get another known spell, some great defensive abilities, and can even boost healing significantly! It’s not going to replace a full-blown cleric anytime soon, but as an off-healer – maybe with a Paladin or Druid in the party – the Divine Soul sorcerer subclass can more than make up for lost ground. If you’re looking for a support that can dish out damage when needed, this might be your best option.