Wizards' Handbook by Dictum Mortuum (DnD Optimized Character Build)/Feats

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General Feats[edit]

  • Combat Casting PHB: Don't take it! It's a trap! Skill focus (concentration) is going to be useful on any roll and not only when casting defensively.
  • Combat Expertise PHB: When using the attack function you can trade some BAB for AC. Not actually great, but can have its applications.
  • Improved Initiative PHB: Nice if you want to act early in the sequence to blast opponents and not worrying damaging allies. Also this reduced MAD as dexterity is less needed.
  • Toughness PHB: Every wizard starting at first level should pick this and retrain it later if he is allowed.
  • Improved Toughness CW: Bonus HP which are much needed for wizards and will also help your familiar, if you have one.
  • Knowledge Devotion CC: Gain bonuses to attack rolls and damage rolls against specific creatures. Since wizards have a thing for knowledge skills anyway, this is somewhat synergistic, but only if the bonus damage applies to your spells.
  • Flyby Attack MM: Available to you if you can fly, this is greater than mobile spellcasting CV because it does not require a skill check. With this you can take cover behind an item and employ hit-and-run tactics.
  • Dragonwrought RotD: Only for kobolds, this makes you a true dragon which really helps alter self and the like spells. Retain all your kobold racial traits and some dragon bonuses. Also you get a bonus on a skill related to your dragon heritage (platinum heritage lists concentration as a related skill, which seems to be the best choice generally).
  • Able Learner RoD: Useful to roguish wizards, this will make you able to continue advancing skills that were previously class skills.
  • Enduring Life LM: Gaining negative levels is a very bad thing. If you are in a campaign filled with undead horrors that constantly bestow negative levels, consider this option.
  • Bloodline of Fire PGtF, [Regional]: You get +4 bonus on saving throws against fire effects. Moreover you get a +2 bonus to your caster level for spells with the [fire] descriptor. Great starting feat, but you may want to retrain it at higher levels.
  • Bullheaded PGtF, [Regional]: Receive a bonus on will saves and you cannot be shaken. Fear effects really reduce nearly every roll, and this puts a stop to stacking those effects.
  • Dauntless PGtF, [Regional]: If feat retraining is allowed, this is a must 1st level feat for wizards. Nearly doubles your hit points and you can discard it later.
  • Fearless PGtF, [Regional]: This ability is very nice, but it can be easily emulated. Anyhow, this will increase your defensive capabilities.
  • Luck of Heroes PGtF, [Regional]: Gain +1 luck bonus on saving throws and +1 luck bonus on armor class. Nothing special, but it's going to help at low levels.
  • Mind Over Body PGtF, [Regional]: This is great like dauntless if you choose a race that further increases your intelligence. It also boosts your armor class and gain extra hit points whenever you choose a metamagic feat. You are most probably going to retrain it later, so consult your DM if those hit points stay around or disappear.
  • Otherworldly PGtF, [Regional]: This feat is top quality. Being an outsider means that you can benefit a lot more by alter self and polymorph spells, you gain darkvision and bonuses to diplomacy checks. There are some bad qualities to this, as some spells are not going to raise you from the dead, but they are proficient with all simple and martial weapons.
  • Tireless PGtF: As Fearless.
  • Craven CoR: Deal extra sneak attack damage equal to your hit dice. Nice feat if you are going to be sniping with your spells.

General Spell Feats[edit]

  • Eschew Materials PHB: Cast spells without material components. Unfortunately most of the times won't come into play and doesn't take care of the expensive components. Generally it is used when you don't have free hands to use or as a contingency when you don't have access to your component pouch.
  • Spell Mastery PHB: Nice if you become separated from your spellbook.
  • Spell Focus/Greater PHB: Not particularly good feats as they only pump difficulty class. They are regularly listed as requirements though.
  • Arcane Thesis PHB II: Great bonuses with the selected spell. This spell's wording is actually a problem and a lot of dirty tricks are based on that.
  • Arcane Toughness PHB II: First of all requires toughness. Second you heal only 1 HP per spell level. That's a terrible trade, even if you are dying.
  • Arcane Consumption PHB II: This is actually good. If it didn't require two worthless feats, this would be great. The difficulty class bonus is once per day only, but +4 almost ensures your spell will land. The constitution and fatigue problems can be overcome easily (such as the necropolitan template)
  • Spell Penetration/Greater PHB: If your archetype requires making SR checks regularly, this is worth it.
  • Elven Spell Lore PHB II: Gives both unnamed bonuses to caster level checks for dispelling and being able to change the spell's energy type.
  • Vatic Gaze PHB II: Use detect magic at will and use a swift action to determine a spellcaster's highest level spells.
  • Arcane Mastery CA: Able to take 10 in caster level checks. This will probably benefit higher level spellcasters more. Nice ability though.
  • Extra Slot CA: This feat is used many times in theoretical optimization for really broken stuff, but to the average wizard i don't think it's all that useful.
  • Extra Spell CA: This entirely depends on your DM. If you can select a spell from any spell list, this is top quality. Otherwise it is junk.
  • Innate Spell CA: Steep requirements.
  • Practiced Spellcaster CA: Nice for multiclass wizards. This makes up for your lost caster levels.
  • Ranged Spell / Touch Spell Specialization CA: Gives you +2 bonus on damage rolls. Very nice if that means any damage (such as strength or dexterity damage).
  • Extraordinary Concentration CV: This is a great feat. Although there is a skill trick that pretty much duplicates it, you can use both if needed.
  • Extraordinary Spell Aim CV: The obvious application is to blast enemies while protecting your ally. However there is more to this, like oppening holes to the antimagic field so that your magic items or defenses are not affected.
  • Mobile Spellcasting CV: This is like spring attack for spells, but it requires a concentration check, which is pretty high. A far better alternative to this is Flyby Attack MM which is perfectly safe and you don't risk loosing your spells. Of course it requires you to fly, but that's just a 3rd level spell.
  • Alacritous Cogitation CM: Provides some versatility by leaving a spell slot open to fill later. However, because the casting of the spell becomes a full-round action, this doesn't stop there. That's actually a bad thing for standard and lower action spells, but that's not the case for spells that have a large casting time. So you can reduce high casting time spells to just a full-round action.
  • Cloudy Conjuration CM: This is a great debuff lite every time you cast a conjuration spell. Essentially this provides you with a +2 DC bonus against targets who can be sickened. This is because the sickened condition bestows a -2 penalty to the target's saves. The best part is that it doesn't require a saving throw.
  • Dazzling Illusion CM: Not to great. The dazzled condition only bestows a -1 penalty to attack, spot and search rolls, which is nothing to die for.
  • Energy Abjuration CM: It's just a one shot ability, but the granted resistance is huge. Even if you spend a 0-level spell, you get energy resistance 5 to the first energy damage you will be exposed to.
  • Favored Magic Foe CM: Choose a creature type and gain spellcasting related favored enemy bonuses to overcome damage reduction and bestow penalties against your spells to them. Nice if you are in a campaign heavy against your favored magic foe.
  • Fearsome Necromancy CM: Again, this is a quick debuff that doesn't allow a save. However a lot creatures are immune to fear effects, so choose wisely.
  • Insightful Divination CM: Nice bonuses that last long, but i can't see why someone would choose spell focus (divination). With the spontaneous divination alternative class feature, this becomes more appealing to diviners.
  • Master of Undeath CM: Control an undead creature for some days, beyond your normal limit of controlled undead creatures. It's great and after the duration ends you can employ spells like control undead. Nice addition to a necromancer build.
  • Metamagic School Focus CM: Reduce the metamagic cost of spells that belong to a particular school of magic. Unfortunately it's too specific to be good. It requires both a specific school to which it can be applied and it is usable only 3 times per day.
  • Piercing Evocation CM: It's an ok ability, but the amount of energy you can convert will always be just 10 points.
  • Somatic Weaponry CM: Since it is a free action to remove a hand from your weapon, this is actually not needed, unless you plan on casting while carrying stuff you cannot hold in one arm.
  • Toughening Transmutation CM: This is junk to my opinion. The damage reduction can easily be overcome and the effect lasts for only 1 round. This is effective only if you find a way to cast a low level transmutation effect on the target you want to affect.
  • Unsettling Enchantment CM: Again this is weak compared to the feats related to necromancy and conjuration from this cycle. Better choose on of those, to benefit more both from the spell focus and the ability.
  • Master Spellthief CS: In case of roguish wizards this feat helps a great deal. First of all your arcane caster level for all arcane spells is equal to your spellthief and all your arcane spellcasting levels. In addition you do not incur arcane spell failure from arcane spells, but only if you are wearing light armor. The most controversial ability this feat stacks is steal spell. Although your arcane casting classes stack with spellthief levels to determine the spells you can steal with this ability, your ability to store them remains equal to your spellthief levels.
  • Earth Spell RoS: A bonus to heightened spells when touching the ground. This is an important ingredient to killer gnome builds. Outside that it's power is reduced significantly.
  • Cold Focus/Greater Frostburn: It's the same deal with spell focus PHB, but occasionally better. This is because of snowcasting Frostburn, a feat that makes you able to add the [cold] descriptor to a spell.
  • Primitive Caster Frostburn: Add additional components to a spell to raise its effective caster level. Nice way to boost a spell, but keep in mind that you can't add a component the spell already has.
  • Snowcasting Frostburn: A way to add the [cold] descriptor to your spells, this has applications, but in my opinion the snow it requires is limiting. Also opens up other feats.
  • Frozen Magic Frostburn: Unless you are constantly adventuring in cold areas, getting a situational bonus to your [cold] spells for two feats is obviously a bad trade.
  • Cold Spell Specialization Frostburn: As above, but this affects your [cold] spells' damage. Requires three feats, making it even less appealing.
  • Frostfell Prodigy Frostburn: Get a bonus to your attribute to determine your bonus spells only. The fact that it requires four feats to get this ability and it works only in certain areas, makes this trash.
  • Storm Magic Frostburn: Cast spells at +1 caster level during storms. Even though creating magical storms may be easy, there are better ways to boost your caster level.
  • Spell Focus (Good) BoED: Not only this is better than normal spell focus since it is easier to add a descriptor to your spells, the bonus is +2 to the DC instead of +1.
  • Vow of Nonviolence BoED: You get a +4 bonus on save DCs of nondamaging spells against humanoids or monstrous humanoids, but you must not cause harm to humanoid or monstrous humanoid opponents. Huge bonus to save difficulty classes, but has a great drawback, too.
  • Elemental Spellcasting PlH: Choose a specific element and cast the spells with the chosen descriptor at +1 caster level. Useful with feats like snowcasting, but otherwise limited.
  • Mother Cyst LM: This is too specific to be useful, but one particular spell, necrotic empowerment is too powerful to ignore. Huge bonuses and defensive abilities. Also can be persistent.
  • Aberration Banemagic LoM: Your spells are more efficient on aberrations. This is useful if you are going to deal with aberrations a lot, but otherwise it's not worth it.
  • Aquatic Spellcasting LoM: Again this is campaign specific. If you are going to adventure in areas in or near seas, get this.
  • Poison Spell DotU: Add a contact or injury poison as a material component to a melee touch attack spell you are casting. You do however risk injuring yourself with poison, which is easily overcome by acquiring the use poison ability somehow. Since drow rogues can swap their trapfinding ability for poison use at first level, this feat can help sneaky wizards.
  • Bane Magic HoH: Choose a creature type and deal more damage against those creatures. If you are in a campaign that features a certain creature type, you can choose this. However it is not that great, the damage isn't enough to make it useful.
  • Corrupt Spell Focus/Greater HoH: Useful if you get all your spells to be corrupt.
  • Spell Thematics PGtF: Your spells have a signature theme, a manifestation. This makes them more difficult to identify with spellcraft, fortifying them against counterspelling. Moreover you select one signature spell per spell level and you cast it at +1 caster level. Not the best out there to raise caster level, but adds flavor points.
  • Spellcasting Prodigy PGtF: It is still good. Treat your primary spellcasting ability score as 2 higher for bonus spells and save DCs --> check it on PGtF page 35. the feat description
  • Arcane Manipulation LEoF: This doesn't seem like much, but it has some great applications. The most obvious trick is using rings of wizardy of a certain level and breaking some higher level spells to that level. For example you can break three 2nd level slots to six 1st level ones and use a ring of wizardy I to double the spell levels.
  • Cormarythian Moon Magic LEoF: If you are going to play at night and on the surface this is great, as +2 bonus to your caster level is nothing to scoff at. It has no drawbacks during the day.
  • Spell Reprieve LEoF: Not actually that good, since it only affects only a single spell. You can use it to gain an important evocation spell, like contingency or wind wall. It has many applications in other schools as well.
  • Arcane Transfiguration LEoF: This is not worth it. If you want to cast spells from a prohibited school, then don't be a specialist wizard and lose three feats.
  • Familiar Spell Und: Hold one mastered spell of any level? This means that you have to keep your familiar, but that's not a bad thing in general.

Weapon-like Spell Feats[edit]

  • Improved Critical PHB: Improving the critical range of your spells isn't much and you will get it pretty late in the game.
  • Point Blank Shot PHB: While you get awfully close to your enemies, this helps both your attack rolls and damage. Also it's required for other feats.
  • Precise Shot PHB: Great if you regularly snipe targets in melee with a party member.
  • Improved Precise Shot PHB: Great, but the base attack requirement is steep. Most wizards won't be able to acquire this.
  • Weapon Focus PHB: This is just bad. Better choose point blank shot and get bonuses with every ranged weapon and to damage.
  • Ranged Recall CM: Reroll the attack with a penalty, but after all it's a touch attack, so it won't matter much. It's nice to have second chances, even if it is true for only 3 times per day.
  • Sickening Strike DotU: This ambush feat has a small sneak attack requirement and makes targets sickened. What is great about this feat is that it targets living targets (who probably are subject to sneak attack), which if used with a swift action weapon-like spell, can provide you a quick save-less debuff for your next spell, giving you effectively a +2 to its difficulty class.
  • Terrifying Strike DotU: As above, but just two notes. First it can be used to stack fear effects, but it is a mind-affecting effect, which more creatures may be immune to than the sickened condition.
  • Aleval School DotU: This is the same with the two feats above, but as written it can bestow the penalty to saving throws to anyone that is subject to sneak attack. The drawback is that it requires the feat weapon finesse, which isn't that great, and can be a pain acquiring it, due to roleplaying reasons.

Polymorph Feats[edit]

  • Arcane Strike CW: Unless you know what you are doing, don't get this. However it states that it is applied to all natural weapons so if combined with specific polymorph forms can give very nice attack power.

Summoning Feats[edit]

  • Augment Summoning PHB: Nice feat but requires spell focus (conjuration), which is pretty much worthless. Boosts to summoned creatures are good though.
  • Beckon of the Frozen Frostburn: Summoned creatures gain the cold subtype and deal extra damage.
  • Icy Calling Frostburn: Only useful in cold environments. If you call cold creatures they get increased benefits. Unfortunately, this feat gets even worse since the attribute bonuses are enhancement.
  • Celestial Summoning Specialist PlH: Add one good-aligned creature to the list of creatures for each summon monster spell that you can cast. Unfortunately since it states that you can normally add a different creature on the list by removing an existing one, this is feat isn't necessary.
  • Fiendish Summoning Specialist PlH: Ditto.
  • Corpsecrafter LM: Give enhancement bonuses to strength and hit points to undead you create. It's a feat that opens up a series of crafting feats, but it's actually good.
  • Bolster Resistance LM: Undead you create gain a +4 turn resistance.
  • Deadly Chill LM: Give undead you create a +1d6 cold damage with their natural weapons. This isn't worth it as the bonus damage is elemental and small.
  • Destruction Retribution LM: Not only if your undead die do spread damage, they also heal other undead creatures. This has interesting possibilities with expendable undead.
  • Necromantic Presence LM: Undead creatures you control get a +4 bonus on their turn resistance. You can just grab the bolster resistance feat and fortify your undead without being within 60ft of you. However this does opens up a nice little feat.
  • Necromantic Might LM: Undead you control within 60ft of you get a +2 enhancement bonus on their attack rolls and saving throws.
  • Nimble Bones LM: Give bonuses to initiative and land speed of undead you create.

Counterspelling Feats[edit]

  • Improved Counterspell PHB: Unfortunately this isn't good for wizards. Spontaneous spellcasters are better at counterspelling.
  • Dampen Spell PHB II: This is similar to granting yourself bonuses to saving throws (or to all your allies saving throws in case of area spells). To really become effective you'll have to expend spell slots of 2 or 3 probably. The bad thing is that this feat is completely useless on spells that don't require saving throws.
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