Welcome to the first entry to my Pathology series, where I take on a DnD Class Path and break down its features and ideas for building a character using it. Xanathar’s Guide is out now, and thanks to one of my friends (again, thanks Saevrick!) I now have my own copy. I was browsing through it and fully intend to give it a full on review but I ran across a new “Path” option for Sorcerers that I had to talk about: The Divine Soul. The best way to think of these are Sorcerers whose power comes from divine ancestors. Imagine a child of Zeus’s bloodline and you get the idea here.
Firstly, this is a new Sorcerer bloodline available at level one and its primary function is to give the Sorcerer class access to the full range of Clerical Magic, essentially making an amazing support character. Given the Sorcerer’s access to Meta Magic, this blend is an amazing option for those of us who want to play true support styled characters. Lets talk about what the Divine Soul gets access to in addition to a normal Sorcerer, and the kind of things you can pull off using this Bloodline.
Level 1 Abilities:
At level 1 the Divine Soul gains the ability to learn spells from the Cleric Spell list. Basically whenever you would gain access to a new known spell, you can choose from any available Cleric OR Sorcerer spells. Now you don’t get more spells known so you are still limited in what you will have access to (15 total spells by level 20) but you now have a much broader base to choose from. Additionally, you choose which kind of Divine blood you hold, giving you an extra spell known. Good gets Cure Wounds, Evil gets Inflict Wounds, Law gets Bless, Chaos gets Bane, and Neutral gets Protection from Good and Evil. This is not based on your alignment either. A LG Divine Soul can have “Evil” blood and start with Inflict Wounds as an example.
You also gain Favored by the Gods, which lets you (once per short/long rest) to roll 2d4 when you fail a save or miss an attack and add it to your die roll. This can prevent near misses and help you not miss those important rolls!
Level 6 Abilities:
At level 6 you get Empowered Healing which is honestly an amazing support ability. Whenever you OR AN ALLY WITHIN 5 FEET! rolls dice to determine total hit points healed, you can spend a sorcery point to reroll any number of those dice once, assuming you are not incapacitated. You can only do this once per turn but honestly, this prevents low healing rolls on clutch heals and effects you and any healer within 5 feet. That’s amazing.
Level 14 Abilities:
You get wings. Period. You can use a bonus action to bring them into existence and gain a fly speed of 30ft. They last until you die, are incapacitated, or you dismiss them. Seriously, you just get straight up wings. They also change appearance based on your bloodline (angel wings for law/good, devil wings for chaos/evil, dragonfly for neutral. These are on use with no limit either which is hilarious.
Level 18 Abilities:
One per long rest when you are at less then half HP remaining you can (as a bonus action) recover a number of hit points equal to half your max. So good luck taking the Divine Soul down.
Now reading over this you can clearly see that the Divine Soul sorcerer is built to be an off healer and support character. The ability to select from two full spell lists, plus the bonuses to healing and mobility, grant a Divine Soul sorcerer the ability to get where they need and help those who need it. These abilities are in addition to the normal Sorcerer tricks such as Meta Magic and Font of Sorcery. So why should you play a Divine Soul instead of the other options?
For me it comes down to Meta magic and the ability to recover spell slots as well as versatility. This is honest to go my perfect class combination. If I were to build one, here is what I would do.
First, I would choose the Good bloodline, giving me Cure Wounds. Since spells scale based on spell slot used this gives me a solid healing spell no matter what level I am. I would then choose my two level 1 spells and 4 cantrips, and given that I would be in a support role first instead of a damage role, I would most likely go with this spread (and you can choose both cleric AND sorcerer spells for this)
- Cantrips: Spare the Dying, Fire Bolt, Mending, Acid Splash
- 1st Level: Bless, Chromatic Orb
The reasons for these spells are pretty simple. Spare the Dying should be on any support caster who can have it as it will simply stop any death saves on touch. Fire Bolt and Acid Splash give you two different damage options at range (one single target, one multi target) with two different elemental types. Mending is actually super useful and can repair all sorts of things. I even repaired magical plate mail with it although it takes time.
For the first level spells since you already have Cure Wounds, you take Bless to give your party a boost for a while, and Chromatic Orb gives you a flexible damage spell allowing you to pick and chose the elemental type you hit with it, hopefully exploiting a weakness.
From here its all up to you. At 3rd level you get two Metamagic options. Good ones to think about are Distant Spell (turn Cure Wounds into a 30ft Range Spell), Twin Spell (hit 2 people with many of your spells), and Empowered Spell (Reroll them damage dice!). If it were me, I would take Distant and Twinned. Hitting 2 targets with Cure Wounds or Chromatic Orb is beuno.
Personally I would most likely split my spell selection between buffs (Haste is a MUST in this setup) and damage abilities. If you find yourself getting into melee or being targeted for example, Spirit Guardians would be an excellent choice. Heal with Twinned Spell is a scary option at later levels, or Harm with Twinned or Empowered as well. In fact, you will most likely want to spend your limited known spells on utility first and damage second. Mage Armor (if you have Barbarian’s / Monks in the party), Dispel Magic, Counterspell, Death Ward, Mass Cure Wounds, Time Stop, and so on. Mixing any of these effects with your meta magic can be amazing as well.
The Divine Soul Sorcerer: An excellent Healer and Support caster for your next character. Be aware that a Sorcerer is not a ritual caster as well, meaning that you cannot cast spells for no cost. Leave those to the Clerics, Druids, and Wizards in general. Here are some spells that I personally suggest you take a look at if you are building a Divine Soul Sorcerer. These are my own personal preferences of course. You could take the Ritual Caster feat to get around this, and I have done this and it is incredibly useful, but it does cost an Attribute Increase so keep that in mind. Also your DM needs to allow feats (they are OPTIONAL after all!)
Suggested Spells Per Level
- 1st Level: Mage Armor, Bless, Bane, Chromatic Orb, Guiding Bolt
- 2nd Level: Spiritual Weapon, Enlarge / Reduce, Shatter, Warding Bond,
- 3rd Level: Fireball, Haste, Dispel Magic, Counterspell, Fly, Stinking Cloud, Mass Healing Word
- 4th Level: Death Ward, Polymorph, Stoneskin, Dimension Door, Guardian of Faith, Stone Shape
- 5th Level: Mass Cure Wounds, Greater Restoration, Cloudkill, Animate Dead
- 6th Level: Heal, Sunbeam, Disintegrate
- 7th Level: Finger of Death, Plane Shift, Teleport
- 8th Level: Dominate Monster, Earthquake
- 9th Level: Time Stop, Meteor Storm, Wish, Mass Heal
EDIT: Recently I posted an article giving all the Sorcerer Bloodlines, including our friend the Divine Soul, Bonus Spell lists! Check it out here.
If you are looking for more Path breakdowns, feel free to check out my “Pathology” tag here on my blog for more posts!