Game Mobalytics

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Arcane Trickster Spells [DnD 5e]

Arcane Trickster Rogues are widely regarded as a top-tier subclass in Dungeons and Dragons 5e. What sets them apart from other rogue subclasses is their access to spellcasting. They can learn Wizard cantrips and spells from the Illusion or Enchantment schools of magic. At certain levels, they can even learn any Wizard spell, giving them a wide range of options.

However, being an Arcane Trickster comes with its limitations. They have a limited number of spells they can learn, and their spell slots are extremely limited compared to other half-casters. As a Rogue, their primary ability score is Dexterity, so spells that require attack rolls or saving throws may not be as effective for them as they are for full casters.

To help you navigate through the spell options, I have compiled a list of the best Arcane Trickster spells by level from the Player’s Handbook, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

Best Arcane Trickster Cantrips

Here are the top cantrips for an Arcane Trickster Rogue:

  1. Booming Blade – Great for melee attacks, especially when you need to make finesse weapon attacks for Sneak Attack damage. The target takes additional thunder damage if they move before your next turn, making it an effective deterrent against melee foes.
  2. Minor Illusion – Useful for creating fake cover to be an unseen attacker and gain attack advantage.
  3. Message – Allows you to communicate with your allies from a distance, vital for stealthy scouting missions.
  4. Green-Flame Blade – Deals bonus fire damage to a creature within 5 feet of your target, useful for clearing out groups of enemies.
  5. Mind Sliver – Forces an Intelligence saving throw, weakening the target’s next saving throw and dealing psychic damage. Synergizes well with other spellcasters in your group.
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Here are the ratings for other Arcane Trickster cantrips:

  • Prestidigitation – 4
  • Shape Water – 4
  • Control Flames – 3
  • Fire Bolt – 3
  • Friends – 3
  • Light – 3
  • Acid Splash – 2
  • Chill Touch – 2
  • Create Bonfire – 2
  • Dancing Lights – 2
  • Frostbite – 2
  • Lightning Lure – 2
  • Mold Earth – 2
  • Ray of Frost – 2
  • Shocking Grasp – 2
  • Sword Burst – 2
  • Toll the Dead – 2
  • Blade Ward – 1
  • Gust – 1
  • Infestation – 1
  • Mending – 1
  • Poison Spray – 1
  • Thunderclap – 1
  • True Strike – 1

Best 1st-level Arcane Trickster Spells

At 3rd level, Arcane Tricksters can learn three 1st-level Wizard spells. Here are the top picks for an Arcane Trickster Rogue:

  1. Sleep – Knocks out enemies with low hit points, granting attack advantage on prone sleeping targets.
  2. Color Spray – Blinds enemies and gives you a better chance of critical hits, protecting your allies.
  3. Disguise Self – Handy for infiltrator-type Rogues, allowing you to change your appearance if caught.
  4. Charm Person – Advantage on social checks and the ability to gather information from charmed targets.
  5. Tasha’s Hideous Laughter – Causes a target to fall prone and incapacitated, setting you up for an advantaged attack.

Additional 1st-level Arcane Trickster spells and their ratings include:

  • Silent Image – 3
  • Illusory Script – 2

Best Wizard Spells to Get at 3rd-level of Arcane Trickster

At 3rd level, Arcane Tricksters can select two Wizard spells from the Enchantment or Illusion schools and one spell from any school. Here are the top choices for this spell:

  1. Find Familiar – A must-have for Arcane Tricksters, as it guarantees Sneak Attack damage every round.
  2. Shield – Provides a +5 AC bonus and protects against Magic Missile, making it a solid defensive choice.
  3. Fog Cloud – Creates a fog that obscures sight and limits enemy spellcasters’ effectiveness.
  4. Absorb Elements – Provides resistance to elemental damage and adds extra damage to melee attacks.
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Best 2nd-level Arcane Trickster Spells

At 4th level, Arcane Tricksters gain access to 2nd-level spells. Here are the best options:

  1. Mirror Image – Creates duplicates of yourself, increasing your chances of avoiding attacks.
  2. Blur – Gives attackers disadvantage on attacks against you, enhancing your defensive capabilities.
  3. Shadow Blade – Deals significant psychic damage and grants advantage in dim light or darkness.
  4. Invisibility – Allows you to scout or escape safely while remaining unseen.
  5. Hold Person – Paralyzes humanoid targets, granting advantage and automatic critical hits.

Additional 2nd-level Arcane Trickster spells and their ratings include:

  • Phantasmal Force – 3
  • Suggestion – 3
  • Tasha’s Mind Whip – 3
  • Magic Mouth – 2
  • Nystul’s Magic Aura – 2
  • Crown of Madness – 1

Best Wizard Spells to Get at 8th-level of Arcane Trickster

At 8th level, Arcane Tricksters can choose one Wizard spell from any school. Here are the top recommendations:

  1. Misty Step – A 30-foot teleportation spell that offers increased mobility and escape options.
  2. Detect Thoughts – Allows you to sense thinking creatures and read the surface thoughts of targets.
  3. Spider Climb – Grants the ability to move on vertical surfaces and ceilings, providing tactical advantages.
  4. Alter Self – Change your appearance to blend in or gain advantageous physical traits.
  5. Enhance Ability – Grants advantage on ability checks, helpful for skill checks you struggle with.

Best 3rd-level Arcane Trickster Spells

At 13th level, Arcane Tricksters can learn 3rd-level spells. Here are the top choices:

  1. Hypnotic Pattern – Charms and incapacitates creatures in an area, providing excellent control.
  2. Major Image – Creates convincing illusions that can deceive enemies or aid allies.
  3. Fear – Causes creatures to become frightened and run away, providing valuable crowd control.
  4. Enemies Abound – Forces a target to regard all creatures as hostile, causing chaos in battle.
  5. Phantom Steed – Summons a temporary riding horse, useful for transportation.
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Additional 3rd-level Arcane Trickster spells and their ratings include:

  • Catnap – 2

Best Wizard Spells to Get at 14th-level of Arcane Trickster

At 14th level, Arcane Tricksters can choose one Wizard spell from any school. Here are the top recommendations:

  1. Haste – Provides a wide range of benefits, including increased AC, movement speed, and extra actions.
  2. Fly – Offers utility and defensive capabilities, particularly against melee-only opponents.
  3. Summon Fey/Shadowspawn/Undead – Summons an ally to aid you in combat, adding offensive and defensive power.
  4. Counterspell – Allows you to prevent enemy spells, particularly useful against spellcasters.

Best 4th-level Arcane Trickster Spells

At 18th level, Arcane Tricksters gain access to 4th-level spells. Here are the top options:

  • Greater Invisibility, Charm Monster, and Hallucinatory Terrain from the Enchantment and Illusion lists.
  • Dimension Door, Polymorph, Stoneskin, Wall of Fire, and any 4th-level summon spells from the general Wizard spell list.

Frequently Asked Questions about Arcane Trickster Spells

  1. What spells can an Arcane Trickster get? Arcane Tricksters can learn Wizard cantrips and spells from the Enchantment and Illusion schools. They can also choose one spell from any Wizard school at certain levels.
  2. How many spells can an Arcane Trickster have? The number of spells an Arcane Trickster can have ranges from 6 to 17, depending on their level.
  3. Can an Arcane Trickster change cantrips? As per the rules, Arcane Tricksters cannot change cantrips. However, some DMs may allow changes during ability score improvements.
  4. Can an Arcane Trickster change spells? Yes, Arcane Tricksters can replace one spell each time they level up.
  5. Can Arcane Tricksters learn spells from scrolls? No, Arcane Tricksters cannot learn spells from scrolls.
  6. Can Arcane Tricksters ritual cast? No, Arcane Tricksters cannot ritual cast spells unless they have the Ritual Caster feat.

Remember, when selecting spells for your Arcane Trickster Rogue, consider the principles of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). Choose spells that enhance your character’s skills and playstyle, and always refer to official rulebooks for accurate spell details. Enjoy your journey as an Arcane Trickster and make the most of your spellcasting abilities!

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