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Tier 2 Sorcerer Spells and Unearthed Arcana Metamagic in 5E D&D

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Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted shared their insights on the 5 best 3rd-5th level sorcerer spells in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. These are the spell levels a tier 2 sorcerer gains in 5E D&D. This popular series breaks down the spell access spellcasters gain in each tier of play. For sorcerers, Dave and Ted focus on the Metamagic options available to the class and how they affect spell choices. Since Wizards of the Coast recently shared a playtest document with new sorcerer Metamagic options, I thought it might be useful to take a look at Unearthed Arcana — Class Feature Variants and see if any of the new stuff there has an effect on this discussion. So let’s get into it.

Unearthed Arcana sorcerer Metamagic options

Unearthed Arcana — Class Feature Variants is a beefy playtest document with enhancement and replacement options for class features of all the classes in 5E D&D. Players all over the world excitedly poured over the contents to speculate on the implications and imagine characters who could put these options to terrific use in their games. We get quite a bit of mileage out of Unearthed Arcana here too, particularly this one with all the fancy new class feature variants to play around with and wonder about.

In the document, 5E D&D sorcerers get three new Metamagic options. Below the description for each of these new Metamagic options you’ll find the 3rd-5th level sorcerer spells they affect.

Elemental Spell

When you cast a spell that deals a type of damage from the following list, you can spend 1 sorcery point to change that damage type to one of the other listed types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder.

  • Fireball
  • Flame arrows
  • Lightning bolt
  • Melf’s minute meteors
  • Thunder step
  • Ice storm
  • Storm sphere
  • Vitriolic sphere
  • Wall of fire
  • Cone of cold
  • Immolation

The Elemental Spell Metamagic gives your 5E D&D sorcerer unparalleled versatility for their damaging attack spells. With this option you can rely on fewer spells to cover your bases and against certain enemies hammer them with elemental damage they are vulnerable to. For the most bang for your buck I’d say fireball is the premiere spell in this list. Transforming the fire into any element you need, with the already impressive base damage and scaling, turns fireball into a powerhouse. Honorable mention for thunder step and getting some extra versatility out of the damage part along with the utility of teleporting around is a sweet deal.

Seeking Spell

When you cast a spell that requires you to make a spell attack roll or that forces a target to make a Dexterity saving throw, you can spend 1 sorcery point to ignore the effects of half- and three-quarters cover against targets of the spell.

Spells requiring you to make a spell attack roll:

  • Storm sphere
  • Wall of light

Spells that force a target to make a Dexterity saving throw:

  • Erupting earth
  • Fireball
  • Lightning bolt
  • Melf’s minute meteors
  • Psionic blast (Unearthed Arcana)
  • Sleet storm
  • Tidal wave
  • Ice storm
  • Vitriolic sphere
  • Wall of fire
  • Enervation
  • Immolation

The effect sounds great, and potentially very useful. But if I’m honest cover so rarely comes up in my games, I can’t see Seeking Spell getting a whole lot of use. There’s certainly much more useful Metamagic options. On the other hand if cover does come up in your games often, this is a solid choice to squeeze more damage from any of these spells.

Unerring Spell

If you make an attack roll for a spell and miss, you can spend 2 sorcery points to reroll the attack roll. You must use the result of the second roll.

You can use Unerring Spell even if you have already used a different Metamagic option during the casting of the spell.

  • Storm sphere
  • Wall of light

While Unerring Spell only affects two 3rd-5th level 5E D&D sorcerer spells, it’s worth considering if either of these spells are on your list of known spells. They’re both concentration spells giving you the ability to make ranged spell attacks on your turn as a bonus action to strike a target with elemental energy. If you’re using your precious concentration to maintain either of these spells, you absolutely want to make the most of them. And since you can use Unerring Spell even when you use another Metamagic option when you cast the spell, this wins bonus points in my book. Pairing it up with Elemental Spell in the right situation can completely wreck a monster. There’s currently 13 monster entries with Damage Vulnerability to one of the elemental damage types. Watch out, awakened shrubs.

player tips

Metamagic for Dungeon Masters

One of the easiest and quickest ways to create a unique monster or adversary for heroic adventurers is slapping class features onto an existing monster stat block. You can apply any of these Metamagic options from Unearthed Arcana — Class Feature Variants to a spellcasting monster to give them some flexibility. Roll a 1d6 and give them that many Sorcery Points to play around with, or just pick a number.

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Nerditor-in-Chief Doug Vehovec is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, with D&D in his blood since the early 80s. Fast forward to today and he’s still rolling those polyhedral dice. When he’s not DMing, worldbuilding, or working on endeavors for Nerdarchy, he enjoys cryptozoology trips and eating awesome food.

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