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RPGBOT: A Comprehensive Guide to Arcane Trickster Spells

Last Updated: September 6, 2023


The Arcane Trickster subclass for rogues brings a unique set of skills focused on Enchantment and Illusion spells. While these spells add a tricky and deceptive element to the rogue’s abilities, they don’t replace their core offensive and defensive options. In this guide, we’ll explore the spells available to Arcane Tricksters and highlight their strengths and weaknesses.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Disclaimer
  • Rogue Spells
    • Cantrips
    • 1st-Level Spells
    • 2nd-Level Spells
    • 3rd-Level Spells
    • 4th-Level Spells


To provide a quick overview of the spell options, we’ll use a color-coding scheme commonly found in Pathfinder build handbooks:

  • Red: Bad or extremely situational options.
  • Orange: OK options that apply in rare circumstances.
  • Green: Good options that are useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options that are essential to your character’s function.

We will only cover official content and exclude 3rd-party and Unearthed Arcana content due to their variability and potential restrictions in different games.

Rogue Spells

Note: Optional spells are marked as (Optional) and subject to your DM’s approval.


As an Arcane Trickster, your Sneak Attack only works with weapon attacks. Therefore, focus on utility cantrips rather than offensive ones. Here are some options:

  • Booming Blade (Optional): Attack and use Cunning Action to Withdraw, granting hit-and-run tactics.
  • Create Bonfire: Provides useful area control and complements your limited spells that require Concentration.
  • Dancing Lights: Creates an amusing distraction, but can be replaced by Mage Hand and a candle or torch.
  • Green-Flame Blade (Optional): Enables attacking two enemies at once, compensating for the rogue’s difficulty in dealing with multiple foes.
  • Prestidigitation: Versatile and fantastic for utility purposes. Combine with Minor Illusion for creative deception.
  • Mage Hand: You automatically gain this cantrip.
  • Message: Useful for sending messages without revealing your position while sneaking around.
  • Minor Illusion: Allows for creative and deceptive uses, building upon the 5-foot cube limitation.
  • Shape Water: Highly versatile, enabling various creative applications like freezing, pouring, or blocking water.
  • Sword Burst (Optional): Not recommended for rogue playstyle, as it doesn’t solve the issue of handling crowds.
  • True Strike: Provides Advantage on your next attack, but usually better to attack twice over two turns.
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1st-Level Spells

As an Arcane Trickster, you have limited options for spells outside of the Enchantment and Illusion schools. Here are some notable choices:

  • Absorb Elements: Provides damage mitigation from sources outside of Enchantment and Illusion spells.
  • Disguise Self: A cheaper alternative to a Disguise Kit, but relies on your Spell Save DC.
  • Find Familiar: Offers scouting abilities and synergizes well with Sneak Attack.
  • Mage Armor: Raises your AC by 1 compared to Studded Leather, but limited spell choices make it hard to justify.
  • Shield: Boosts your AC until your next turn, useful against multiple attacks.
  • Silent Image: Great for creating distractions, with enemies needing to interact physically to detect the illusion.
  • Silvery Barbs (Optional): Offers powerful but complicated effects.

This is just an excerpt from the complete article. To read the full guide, visit RPGBOT.

RPGBOT is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.

YMYL Considerations

Remember, as an Arcane Trickster, your expertise lies in Enchantment and Illusion spells. Although these spells may limit your offensive and defensive capabilities, they provide you with unique ways to deceive and outmaneuver your opponents. Your intelligence may be lower compared to a wizard, but your cunning and ability to manipulate situations make up for it. Choose your spells wisely, taking into account their utility and compatibility with your playstyle. Additionally, stay up to date with the latest spell options and adjustments, as the meta and available resources evolve over time.

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In conclusion, the Arcane Trickster subclass offers a distinctive blend of rogue abilities and spellcasting prowess. By harnessing the power of Enchantment and Illusion spells, you can become a master of deception and manipulation. Choose your spells carefully, adapt to different situations, and embrace the art of trickery to outwit your foes.

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