15 Strongest Wizards In D&D History

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The rules of Dungeons & Dragons strive to have no one class be more powerful than others. Despite this, wizards have historically ranked as one of the most powerful options available in many versions of the game. Furthermore, due to their iconic place in fantasy tropes, wizards often play major roles in the fiction of many settings.

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The annals of history for many D&D settings are filled with immensely powerful wizards. These casters often change the world with every step they take. There are those wizards in D&D history who stand above all others. They range from great heroes to unstoppable villains and everything in between.

Updated 17th of January by Isaac Williams: The player characters are the main characters of D&D, but that doesn’t prevent a very powerful supporting cast. D&D is full of very powerful wizard NPCs. This list has been updated with even more of them, including some from the Dragonlance setting.

15 Mordenkainen Is One Of Oerth’s Greatest Wizards

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An important part of the Greyhawk setting on the planet Oerth is the Circle of Eight. The Circle of Eight is an immensely capable cabal of wizards — primarily composed of creator Gary Gygax’s former characters — who hold great influence over the world. At their head is one of the most famous wizards in all of D&D, Mordenkainen.

Mordenkainen was Gary Gygax’s first-ever player character. He’s been given a prominent role in-universe to match his one in the real world. He is more powerful than almost any player character will be able to achieve, capable of influencing the entire multiverse with his actions. However, Mordenkainen’s commitment to neutrality prevents him from solving every problem in every setting.

14 Undarl Dragonrider Is The Most Powerful Of A Unique Sect

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Undarl Dragonrider the malaugrym magelord in DnD

The Forgotten Realms have a group of spellcasters known as magelords. These are particularly unique and powerful wizards. They train their magic to be versatile, fast, and powerful. Any successful magelord must be willing to overpower his fellows. Magelords use their power to subjugate and dominate less powerful beings.

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Undarl Dragonrider is one of the most powerful magelords to ever live. He is a malaugrym, a type of immortal shapeshifter that often aligns itself with the Forgotten Realms’ villains. Ultimately, it takes Elminster himself to bring down Undarl due to his raw power.

13 Azalin Rex Is Incredibly Powerful, But Cannot Grow

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>An undead mage casting spells in DnD

Azalin Rex is one of the Ravenloft D&D setting’s Darklords. He rules over the region of Darkon with an iron fist. Like many powerful D&D wizards, Azalin is a lich. However, the main benefit of lichdom has been turned against him. Azalin has infinite time to learn spells. However, his punishment is being unable to memorize any new magic.

Azalin Rex is static, something which distresses him greatly. His powers have reached their peak, and almost nothing can help them grow. However, this peak is still very high, making Azalin a powerful wizard and master necromancer.

12 Tasha Runs In Powerful Circles

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The wizard Tasha casting over a cauldron in DnD

Not all of D&D’s most powerful characters are good or even neutral. Some are outright villains. Nobody calls the wizard Tasha — also known as Iggwilv — a good person, but few could deny her power. One of the greatest enemies of the Circle of Eight, she is also the adopted daughter of the powerful witch Baba Yaga, mother of D&D‘s demon prince Iuz, and lover of the demon lord Graz’zt.

The only reason Tasha can thrive in such powerful company is that she herself is an incredibly capable wizard. She is one of the foremost experts on demons in the world and the creator of the Hideous Laughter spell. Furthermore, Tasha shows her power in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. There, she has ascended as an archfey, one of the Feywild’s most powerful beings.

11 Szass Tam Is Powerful Even For A Lich

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Szass Tam the lich casting a spell in DnD

A common fate for powerful wizards is that they begin to fear mortality, leading them to cross more and more moral lines to keep themselves and their power alive. This leads to them becoming D&D‘s iconic lich. They exist in a state of undeath that amplifies the wizard’s power. However, it turns them into an evil being that can only sustain themselves on the souls of others.

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While D&D is replete with liches, few are as powerful as Szass Tam. Tam is one of the eight rulers of the magocracy of Thay and one of the foremost necromancers in the entire Forgotten Realms setting. He can control entire legions of undead soldiers to do his bidding. Szass Tam manages to hold onto his position in a nation full of spellcasters who would love to usurp him.

10 Laeral Silverhand Is One Of Mystra’s Most Powerful Daughters

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The wizard and Open Lord of Waterdeep Laeral Silverhand in DnD.

In the Forgotten Realms, Mystra is the goddess of magic and one of the most active gods in the setting. This extends to having a number of immensely powerful children, known as the Seven Sisters. They are all incredibly capable spellcasters, outshining each other in different areas. The most accomplished, however, is Laeral Silverhand.

Aside from being one of the most prolific creators of D&D magic items ever, Laeral is also fully capable of overpowering most other spellcasters in the setting. She also expands her power in other ways. Laeral has amassed political power during her time as Lord of Waterdeep, through her marriage to Blackstaff, and by being well-liked by almost everybody in one of Faerun’s most powerful cities.

9 Raistlin Majere Is One Of Krynn’s Best

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Raistlin Majere of the Dragonlance setting in DnD.

Krynn, the world of the Dragonlance setting, has a lower power level compared to settings like Greyhawk or The Forgotten Realms. Its gods are less involved in day-to-day affairs. Its wizards are more regulated and regimented. Furthermore, even under prior rulesets, characters have rarely achieved levels over 20 during play.

Despite this, Raistlin Majere’s sheer power allows him to compete against some of the setting’s most acclaimed wizards. He’s also one of Krynn’s most influential individuals. Raistlin’s more than proven his strength by involving himself in the affairs of his setting’s gods. He’s even fought Taikhisis, head of the Dark Pantheon.

8 Sammaster Is A Chosen Of Mystra Turned To Evil

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The lich Sammaster clutching a staff in DnD.

The Chosen of Mystra in the Forgotten Realms are those given a special blessing by the goddess of magic. This vastly increases their magical power. Most of these become great heroes of the setting and save Faerun time and time again. As Mystra is a neutral deity, nothing stops them from being villainous.

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Sammaster is a former Chosen who has had a major impact on his world. Using his immense power to lead a dragon cult, Sammaster is the one who discovered how to turn dragons into dracoliches. This is an incredibly powerful ritual with long-lasting effects on the world. He’s also shown his power by fighting an avatar of the god Lathander and surviving.

7 Emperor Duulket Ariakas Combines Magic With Many Other Powers

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Emperor Duulket Ariakas planning war in DnD Dragonlance setting

Emperor Duulket Ariakas is one of Dragonlance‘s most dangerous villains. However, he doesn’t just restrict his power to spellcasting. Ariakas is also an immensely capable physical powerhouse. He channels powerful dark magic from the goddess Taikhisis while also being an armed and armored knight.

Having levels in both wizard and fighter doesn’t make Ariakas any less of a magical threat. He can tear a man’s head off with his bare hands. At the same time, his wizarding prowess is enough to unnerve mages like Raistlin.

6 The Simbul Is Powerful & Unpredictable

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Alassra Silverhand, the Simbul in DnD.

Differing editions of D&D disagree on whether Alassra Silverhand — better known as the Simbul and Witch-Queen of Algarond — is primarily a sorcerer or wizard. In either edition, however, she has at least some levels in wizard and is known as one of the most powerful spellcasters in Faerun.

The Simbul is another of the Seven Sisters and one of their most powerful. However, her power is matched by her unpredictability. She’s noted for having little control of her emotions and being willing to unleash her immense magical might at very little provocation. Despite this, Alassra wins the respect of many for how much raw power she can channel when she wants to.

5 Vecna Is An Ascended Wizard

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Vecna the Archlich casting magic in DnD

Vecna is one of the most infamous villains in all of Dungeons & Dragons. He’s even served as the final antagonist of Critical Role’s first campaign. Vecna the Archlich is a being that shows the true potential of wizardry. He wasn’t content with the mere power of a wizard. Vecna instead became a lich. From there, he managed to make the leap to godhood.

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Now the god of secrets and knowledge, Vecna is reviled as a scourge across the entire multiverse. Much of his power comes from his own innate divinity. However, Vecna still uses the trappings and abilities of a wizard — just far beyond what almost anyone else can match.

4 Elminster Is Faerun’s Most Famous Wizard

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Elminster the sage, of the Forgotten Realms DnD setting.

The Forgotten Realms are full of powerful spellcasters. There are reams of fiction dedicated to their adventures across the plane. Few are better-known or more accomplished than the sage Elminster, however, the star of a number of the setting’s books.

Elminster is the most favored among the Chosen of Mystra. He’s able to command even greater magic than many of his fellows. Elminster has saved the Forgotten Realms from desolation or destruction on several occasions, and his name is known across his entire world. Even in his high-magic setting, there are few who can match Elminster.

3 Niv-Mizzet Has Some Of The Multiverse’s Most Powerful Magic

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The dragon Niv-Mizzet from Magic the Gathering's Ravnica in DnD

Niv-Mizzet is a recent addition to D&D lore. He’s from Magic: the Gathering‘s Ravnica setting. It’s only in 5e that he’s been introduced to D&D with Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica. Nonetheless, Niv-Mizzet stands head and shoulders above most spellcasters in other settings.

Niv-Mizzet is one of Magic: the Gathering‘s most powerful dragons, and an incredible spellcaster on top of that. He’s known for his powerful magic inventions, many of which keep Ravnica functional. His 5e rules reflect this. Niv-Mizzet’s a rare spellcaster who can Concentrate on more than one spell at a time.

2 Fizban Is More Than Just A Wizard

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The wizard Fizban the Fabulous casting a fire spell in DnD

Fizban the Fabulous is a wizard from the Dragonlance setting. In many ways, he is a send-up of Gandalf the Grey. He often appears foolish, incompetent, or downright unhelpful. Fizban often casts his spells in unconventional ways or casts the wrong spell. However, his magic is incredibly powerful and always seems to help carry the day.

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This is because Fizban is much more than just a wizard. He’s an avatar of Paladine, one of Dragonlance’s most benevolent and powerful gods. Paladine is Dragonlance’s equivalent to the god Bahamut in other D&D settings. As such, Fizban can wield the power of a god when he truly wants to.

1 Karsus Is The Highest & Lowest Of Wizards

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Karsus trying and failing to become god of magic in DnD.

At least in the Forgotten Realms, no wizard is considered to have ever eclipsed Karsus in power. The man is infamous as the most powerful wizard to ever live, and also the most foolish and short-sighted. He is best known for his plot to usurp Mystryl and become the god of magic in her place.

Magic in 5e is capped at the 9th level. Karsus targeted Mystryl with a 12th-level spell, more powerful than any that had been cast before. He is infamous because he succeeded and then found himself unable to control her magic. Karsus died and brought ruin to his civilization in the process. Mystra became the new goddess of magic, and Karsus became known only for his folly.

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