School of Enchantment Wizard 5E Guide | Rules, Tips, Builds, and More

enchantment wizard 5e

The Player’s Handbook focused mostly on specific schools of magic for Wizards to choose from. Enchantment is one of the most potent schools of magic, offering many spells that stop your opponents in their track. A Wizard who studies Enchantment for their major likely wishes to bewitch the violent – or oppress the masses. They may have learned from watching Fey, or simply scribing the ways of past rulers and introducing magical solutions to mortal problems. However you got into this school, you’re destined to magically entrance those who considered you an enemy. How does the school help you in this goal? Let’s check it out in our Enchantment Wizard 5E Guide. 

Beguile the Masses: Enchantment Wizard 5E

Any of the Player’s Handbook Wizard subclasses suffer from their Savant skill, reducing their usefulness at low level play. The Enchantment Wizard suffers a bit more than most wizard subclasses. They only attain one extremely useful ability; the rest are situational, and not exactly situations the Wizard wants to be in.

Enchantment Savant

All magic school-based Wizards receive a Savant skill of their magical type.

Beginning when you select this school at 2nd level, the gold and time you must spend to copy a Enchantment spell into your spellbook is halved

This is mostly flavor, but it can save you a decent handful of gold. It also means you’ll be much more willing to inscribe works into your spellbook from Enchantment, rather than learning them naturally. This is a shaky strategy at best; you’ll likely need to ask large town markets for scrolls if you want a specific spell… And then, you paid even more than the Savant saved for you!

This is entirely on the GM. Sometimes, this gives you a cheap and effective way to get the spells most important for you. Usually, however, you should still probably grab the most essential Enchantment spells, such as the Charms and Dominates.

Hypnotic Gaze

You get two 2nd Level abilities… Technically. This one isn’t exactly powerful.

As an action, choose one creature that you can see within 5 feet of you. If the target can see or hear you, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your wizard spell save DC or be charmed by you until the end of your next turn. The charmed creature’s speed drops to 0, and the creature is incapacitated and visibly dazed.

You can use this ability again on future turns to extend the duration without a save. You can’t be more than 5 feet away from them, and it cancels out if it takes damage, or if it can’t see nor hear you. Usable once per creature per rest.

This is theoretically quite fantastic. The “Charm” in this text is simply to make it so creatures that can’t be charmed are immune. This is quite literally paralysis, allowing you to incapacitate a target indefinitely on a Will Save. You’re incapacitated as well, but as long as your party can defend you, you’ve locked an opponent out of the fight. That can lead to perfect situations, such as tying up an important enemy for a trial, or simply having the Fighter gently drag them off of a cliff, not dealing damage until it’s too late (and having you walk with them, of course!).

Now, the problems. In order to activate this ability, you need to be within 5 feet of an opponent. 5. That means you’re a Wizard – a d6 class – in melee range. There are ways to set this up; for example, you can be invisible (this isn’t an attack or spellcast) and, since your opponent can hear you, you can incapacitate someone while not being seen. This falls apart in the late game, but it could be good for securing a single target. Or, if you give yourself a decent miss chance, like from Blink, this doesn’t require your concentration. However, in most cases, this is just way too dangerous for someone like you! Your enemy isn’t likely to be all alone, and their cronies can very quickly take you down (or wake the enemy up with a slap!).

You can make this do legitimate work, as long as you have party members with decent ability to hogtie. But, it puts you in a problematic place. Don’t make this the reason you take this school.

Instinctive Charm

It took a short while, but it seems like you’ve finally found a legitimate reason to be studying enchantment.

Beginning at 6th level, when a creature you can see within 30 feet of you makes an attack roll against you, you can use your reaction to divert the attack, provided that another creature is within the attack’s range. The attacker must make a Wisdom saving throw against your wizard spell save DC. On a failed save, the attacker must target the creature that is closest to it, not including you or itself. If multiple creatures are closest, the attacker chooses which one to target.

If they save, this can’t be used on them again for the rest of the day. You also can’t see if it hit or missed first; gotta do it right when intent is called. Oh, and this is a Charm.

Despite all those downsides, this is still a real solid ability… Against ranged attackers. Most combats are about 30 – 60 ft in size, so you’ll actually want to be around 15 ft away from the frontline if you want this ability to stick. Then, when an arrow is shot at you, you can use a reaction to make them shoot their own frontline. That’s pretty cool! What’s cooler is making a Disintegration not melt your face off.

This also isn’t restricted by normal means. You can use this on one person until they successfully save, rather than a number of times per day. So, if there’s an Archer that deals huge damage, but has low Wisdom, you just need to get in range to redirect them.

That Range is a bit of an issue. A lot of ranged attacks from casters are 60 ft range, meaning you’d need to get within half their potential range, and not have them move away. Bows can also get some distance on you if they really want to avoid this effect. If they don’t know, however, then there’s no reason for them to do so… Hope your GM doesn’t metagame that!

Against melee attackers, this gets harder to use. In most cases, you’ll be alone on the backline, so this reaction becomes useless… Unless you’re sitting next to your Ranger and want them to take the hit instead. The Ranger likely has better AC and health, so that might not be a bad idea. But, usually, this just does nothing in melee, given that you’re not leaping into frontline combat.

… Please don’t leap into frontline combat.

Split Enchantment

The most simple Enchantment school ability also happens to be, by far, the best.

Starting at 10th level, when you cast an enchantment spell of 1st level or higher that targets only one creature, you can have it target a second creature.

Simple, easy, and to the point. Also amazing!

Most Enchantment spells – at the lowest level they can be cast – are single-target. That means in swarm encounters (where your party is outnumbered), Dominating a single target would probably not be too useful. Not compared to a Fireball or Chain Lightning.

This changes things. This makes a level 1 Charm Person into a level 2 effect. It allows for effects like Hideous Laughter to target multiple creatures – something that’d be impossible otherwise. If you really want to curse two people with Geas, you can! This makes your enchantment magic far more useful in multi-person encounters – where Enchantment is normally weakest.

In the worst case scenario, this saves you a spell slot; By allowing you to cast spells that normally heighten to include multiple people without using higher level slots, you can save those levels for more influential effects. However, as the campaign goes on, and you attain access to the Dominate spells or Antipathy/Sympathy, you’ll see how powerful this effect truly is.

Alter Memories

This level 14 ability comes in two parts. The first is pretty minor.

When you cast an enchantment spell to charm one or more creatures, you can alter one creature’s understanding so that it remains unaware of being charmed.

Pretty specific; Charms aren’t uncommon, but they’re not exactly something you need to do all the time. Also, if you’re doing this in combat… You don’t care. The enemy will either be incapacitated or dead by the end of the fight, so them knowing that they were charmed or not doesn’t matter. That means you’re doing this out of combat, for a social campaign, and… Yeah, that can be useful. Charming the King might be a crime, but if the king doesn’t know, it’s possible that nobody does. It makes Charming a little more useful for the second debuff (your charmer has advantage on Charisma checks), since your friendship will stick around.

So, not exactly the most useful effect, but it’s pretty cool. Speaking of not useful…

Additionally, once before the spell expires, you can use your action to try to make the chosen creature forget some of the time it spent charmed. The creature must succeed on an Intelligence saving throw against your wizard spell save DC or lose a number of hours of its memories equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier (minimum 1). You can make the creature forget less time, and the amount of time can’t exceed the duration of your enchantment spell.

Okay, so… Now you can choose to make them forget their time charmed. And it’s based on your Charisma.

In some cases, this could be especially bad. Most creatures are Charmed to either protect you from combat or to convince them about something. If you make them forget things while they’re charmed, that’s either 1) useless, since they’ll be dead, or 2) detrimental, since they might be your allies. If you’re, for example, convincing that king to sign a contract to allow a known criminal to escape from prison, then this is useful. Or convincing a bandit leader to hand over her army before running away, giggling, then that might be another time. But usually, this can be completely ignored.

On a side-note, this combos hilariously with Modify Memory. So much time, gone!

You can find ways to use this, just like Hypnotic Gaze, but this is a somewhat useless capstone to your subclass.

Best Race for Enchantment School Wizards

You’re a Wizard, so Intelligence is just too crucial. And yet, you have some awkward abilities. Dexterity isn’t bad to boost your AC (or Stealth!) so you can get into melee for Hypnotic Gaze or Instinctive Charm. Constitution’s important for the same reason. And if you really want to get rid of some memories, Charisma’s not off the table.

It probably should be pushed to the side, though.

Feral (Winged) Tiefling

The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide had a few ups and downs, and the Feral Tiefling was an up. Unlike the normal Tiefling (Which isn’t a bad option here either!), this has +2 Dexterity and +1 Intelligence. You’ll be forced to increase your Intelligence for 4 and 8, but that’s not too bad.  Hellish Resistance is nice, but not amazing. Feral Tieflings have access to the traditional Bloodlines, so if your GM lets you, pick Winged for permanent fly speed. Then, you can fly in the air and guarantee your Instinctive Charm redirects Ranged Attacks! Great if your GM is willing to work with it.

Draconblood Dragonborn

The Draconblood Dragonborn from the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount might be a potent mind-infusing presence. +2 Intelligence and +1 Charisma is great (although the Charisma would just be for talking/removing memory without Multiclassing!). In addition, you get some okay area-of-effect options with your Breath Weapon, and free Darkvision. Forceful Presence is only useful if you are proficient in Intimidation or Persuasion… But this could make you the definite face of a party.

Conclusion – Our Take on the Enchantment Wizard 5E

The Enchantment subclass is just fine. You get huge bonuses to Enchantment, making it much more viable in combat… But your other abilities are either situational or straight-up weak. If the campaign starts at level 6 – or even better, level 10 – then you’ve got a good school. Otherwise, make sure your party can afford a slightly weak Wizard for a while.

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