The best spells for arcane rogues in 5e | Rogue Subclass Guide - Tabletop Joab (2023)

Arcane Trickster is one of the best rogue subclass options available in 5e.

Combining the utility of arcane magic with the swiftness of the rogue, these rogues are truly ready for...well...just about anything!

But which spells should you choose as an Arcane Trickster?

This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when playing this subclass!

So don't worry, dear reader!

This blog post details the best spells for Arcane Tricksters in 5eso you can make an informed decision when choosing your spell list.

Table of contents

What kind of spells can you use?

Arcane tricksters don't have the variety of spells open to them that traditional casters like sorcerers, sorcerers, ordruids.

When your Arcane Trickster reaches level 20, he will know 13 spells. Of these, 4 can be from any school you like, but the others must be either Charming or Illusion.

Because of this, you need to be a bit more selective when choosing spells.

Well, having said that...

It's not uncommon for people to lose interest in this great subclass upon learning of this limitation. But rest assured, you have many great options to help you in your naughty deeds!

Also, charm and illusion are the most entertaining schools of magic if you like messing around with people's minds!

(Yes, I see you smiling cheekily!)

What to look for when choosing arcane cheat spells

As an arcane cheater, you want to focus your spell choices mostly on things that are useful, rather than dealing direct damage.

Not only can you do a lot of damage to your followerssurprise attackas is, but your Spell Save CD will almost certainly be lower than a dedicated wizard.

After all, his Dexterity score is almost certainly higher than his Intelligence score!

The ideal spells for this subclass provide a clear utility that supports your rogue skills and doesn't rely on forcing enemies to save.

If you want to see what skills I'm talking about, take a look at oursComplete Guide to the Arcane Trickster Villain! Not only have we covered all of the abilities of this archetype in this article, but there are also ideas on how to connect the character to your game world.

The best casting options for your arcane trickster by level

This is not the be-all and end-all of how you MUST build your Arcane Trickster. However, these are the spells that I cannot wholeheartedly recommend enough.

We'll break down these spells by their caster level, and I'll explain why I recommend each of these options.


Let's start over with the cheats!

Becoming an arcane cheat at level 3 grants you three of them. At level 10 you get a quarter.

Mage Hand (Summon)

magic handis the biggest "must have" on this list. This is mainly becauseYou literally have to choose itas one of your cantrips if you take this subclass.

Despite being a fantastically useful and versatile spell, Arcane Trickster takes it to a new level.

Many of your subclass's core abilities will depend heavily on your Mage hand. This allows you to use it to steal, disarm traps, pick locks, and distract enemies while performing a sneak attack (with advantage!).

Little Illusion (Illusion)

little illusionit's one of those spells with practically endless uses.

A series of tricky clues, the distracting sound of a roaring bear, or any other simple illusion can be incredibly helpful when trying to fool others.

Booming Blade (Evocation)

If you want to increase your damage output,booming leafIt's a solid choice. In particular, it pairs well with the rogue's Cunning Move ability.

Hit the enemy with Booming Blade (yes, Sneak Attack would still work if you're smart!), use your bonus action to switch off, and laugh when they take damage because they're trying to chase you.

Embassy (transmutation)

As a villain, you'll almost certainly need to do some exploring before the party from time to time.

That's where theNewscantrip is very good. As long as one of their allies is within 120', they shouldn't have a hard time relaying information to the group.

If you're trying to set an ambush or something happened and you need to call in the cavalry, you'll be glad you took that!

Level 1 spell

You know some level 1 spells early on. Please note that only one of these can be a school other than Illusion or Enchantment!

In almost all situations, I strongly recommend the first choice on this list...

Find Familiar (Summon)

Isfind familyThe spell is so useful for an arcane cheat that it almost breaks.

Your familiar is not only an excellent scout, but can also be incredibly useful in battle.

This is especially true if you choose the well-known owl. Thanks to its Flyover ability, your feathered friend can swoop down, use the Assist action (which gives you an advantage in your attack), and fly without provoking an attack of opportunity.

If endless free sneak attacks sounds a bit cheesy, that's because, frankly, it is.

If it sounds incredible, it's because it absolutely is.

disguise (illusion)

wear costumesIt is ideal for infiltration.

With some cunning, you can use it to frame others for your actions or to impersonate others. Otherwise, you can infiltrate enemy bases as Henchman #47 or Miscellaneous Servant #23.

Until someone notices your actions, they will be looking for someone else!

Still Image (Illusion)

Another spell you can be really creative with,still pictureIt has innumerable uses.

Need a quick hideout? Throwing a fake wall or crate to hide behind could save your bacon from pursuers or patrolling guards! Of course, it can also be easier to sneak attack when you're itching...

You can use it as bait to divert the enemy's attention away from you. Conversely, if you summon an image that's scary enough (and trick them!), you can potentially get enemies running.

dream (spell)

At low levels, theSleepSpell is almost annoyingly powerful.

Lower level creatures have lower hit points, which is what this spell is all about. DC does not need to be saved!

Just put enemies to sleep and you can steal their bags, run, take them out one by one, or all of the above!

However, at higher levels it's probably worth changing these. While you can cast it at higher levels to increase the number of dice you roll to potentially put enemies to sleep, it just doesn't scale that well beyond the early game.

But as useful as it is in the early game, it had to be on this list!

Level 2 spells

There are several solid tier 2 spell choices available to you, but I wanted to narrow this down to the best of the best. When every spell is valuable, you want options you can trust!

invisibility (illusion)

You know, that had to be on the list...

invisibilitydoes exactly what it says. Couple that with the Disguise Yourself spell and your natural agility and you're an infiltration/reconnaissance pro!

Not much more to say than that should be on every arcane trickster's cast list.

Misty Step (Summon)

A prime candidate for one of my personal favorite spells in all 5e,foggy passit's so damn useful.

As a bonus action, use to move up to 30 feet to a spot you can see.

Whether you're using it to initiate combat for a sneak attack or as an "Oh no!" To get out of trouble quickly, this is a great trick to keep your sleeves up.

Shadow Sword (Illusion)

Another strong, must-have spell that actually greatly increases your combat ability! It's hard not to loveDark Sword!

The sword you summon not only deals an impressive 2d8 damage, but it also deals psychic damage (which very few creatures are resistant to!)

But it's getting better!

When you are in the twilight or darkness, your attacks automatically gain advantage. So enjoy these free sneak attacks every round!

Since the summoned sword has the Finesse trait, and Dexterity is almost certainly your highest attribute score, you don't even have to worry about bothering to get the most out of this spell. Driving will feel as natural as breathing!

Just summon the sword as a bonus action and let your enemies know what time it is!

Hint (Enchantment)

I almost didn't include this in the list, butexcitationIt completely changed so many matches I've been in on both sides of the DM screen.

this magic isit will require concentrationand your enemies by failing a Wisdom check.

They should be of decently high cast difficulty, but it's still a bit risky to use one of your (limited) cast slots. If you choose not to invest much in your IQ score, it might not be a good idea.

But if they fail, it's up to you what they will do for the next time (up to 8 hours)!

Level 3 spells

At level 13 you have access to level 3 spells.

There are some really powerful spells at this level that fit the arcane trickster role like a glove!

Fly (Transmutation)

As a villain you are already quite mobile, but you can also take to the skiesVolarthe spell chooses that up to 11.

In or out of combat, there are so many great uses for this spell.

Other (Transmutation)

Since you only get one attack per turn,Hurry upIt can double your chances of landing a sneak attack. Also, the bonus movement, bonus AC, and bonus on Dexterity checks are pretty nifty.

However, you should be careful. This is a concentration spell, so it can be a bit risky when you're drawing enemy attacks!

It is possible to use this spell in...unique ways...

While under the effects of this spell, it's technically possible to cast your sneak attack twice.

Attack the first enemy and deal damage to your sneaky ones.

Then use the second action this spell grants you to perform the ready action. Something like "If our fighter attacks, I will attack X enemy". You want this to be something fairly obvious that's going to happen to trigger your reaction.

Once your reaction activates, you attack again with the ready action. However, since Sneak Attack can only be used once in a turn (not once per turn), you now deal all that extra damage if your second attack hits and you still meet the Sneak Attack requirements.

Be careful: it's up to your DM if this is considered "creative" or "abuse".

main image (illusion)

Conmain pictureyou can create incredibly compelling images of visible objects, creatures, or other phenomena. Without others interacting with it and making a successful research check, it looks completely real.

The only real limit here is your imagination. It's very hard to overstate how versatile and useful this spell is!

Level 4 spells

You gain access to level 4 spells once you reach level 19.

To highlight a few other options, I've decided to include three of the best casting options here. But honestly there is one that I recommend more than all others...

Dimension Gate (Summon)

I likeGate-DimensionI like Misty Step for the same reason. It's one of those spells that's perfect for getting you in or out of trouble as you wish.

While it takes one action to cast (compared to Misty Step's extra cast time), you can fly 500 feet AND take a friend with you.

Not bad and every villain can always use an option to quickly escape!

Greater Invisibility (Illusion)

Yes, you should choose that.

Ok, ok, I'll explain a little more...

increased invisibilityAllows you to become invisible, but you remain invisible while attacking and doing everything else.

If there's one spell that makes you laugh out loud while casting an Arcane Trickster, this is it.

Steingestalt (Transmutation)

Steinformis another spell that can find tons of creative uses in almost any campaign.

Enemies chasing you through a stone corridor? Just design the door in stone shape!

Need to enter the enemy's stronghold without attracting attention? As long as it's no thicker than 5 feet, a door can be built right next to it!

This spell can be very useful when useful, although I don't know if I would pick it from the options. At this stage of the game, your allies likely have ways of dealing with most of the obstacles this could overcome.


Well, that concludes my choices for thosebest spells for arcane trickster rogues by level.

Needless to say, you can't take everything on this list. But I hope this article has helped you choose spells that work well with your character and party.

If you choose your spells carefully and look for ways to use them creatively and effectively, you'll be virtually unstoppable at any level!

Are there any spells that you would add to this list? Let's talk in the comments!

Do you plan to play a villain? you will want to look at me!

Until next time!

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