The wizard class has come a long way since the very first Dungeons & Dragons game. Originally known as "Magic-Users," they had the biggest potential for magic. In the 2nd edition they were known as mages. It wasn't until the 3rd edition that this class was formally titled "wizard." 5e has renovated the game to make the Wizard class more balanced and allows players more freedom to craft their wizard characters. Wizards might be the original spellcasters, but they have plenty of checks and balances to keep them from getting too out of hand in a standard campaign. Though, that isn't to say that they can never become overpowered. While there are limitations to all spells, a creative player (with the ok given by an accepting DM), can create a wizard whose's magical prowess outshines their more squishy vulnerabilities.
Here are 10 Ways to Make An Overpowered Wizard in Dungeons and Dragons.
10 Spell: Wish
Wish canonically, is considered to be "the mightiest spell a mortal creature can cast". Wish has a number of things it can do like duplicating any 8th level spell or lower for basically "free", or any of the effects listed on its spell effects. From creating an object that's worth 25 grand in gold to healing twenty creatures completely and negating all status effects on them, and more, Wish is a 9th level spell with nearly boundless potential.
The spell isn't even limited to what is written on his description, a player could potentially wish for anything as long as they get permission from their DM. But be warned, it's also up to the DM what consequences may come from using Wish.
9 Spell: Power Word Kill
The School of Enchantment is all about controlling and influencing the minds of others, you'll find spells like Bless and Bane hail from here. Being able to influence others can come in handy whether its to charm a guard to let you into an important place, give your party an added bonus to help them out, or to weaken an opponent to finish them off. Powerful enchantment spells can make any creature do anything, even die. Power Word Kill is an amazingly strong spell that's pretty much a one-hit kill. This 9th level spell lets the caster utter a word that will compel one targeted created they see, within 60ft, to just die. If they have 100 hit points or less.
8 School Specialization: Divination
Part of making a character of the wizard class means that once they hit level 2 they can choose an Arcane Tradition from the 8 schools of magic. Each school of magic has its own properties and grants the wizards who specialize in them certain abilities. Those who specialize in the school of Divination seem to have access to some pretty powerful abilities in comparison to a lot of the other schools.
Automatically a wizard gets Portent which lets them roll 2d20s and use the number of that roll to replace any roll they or another creature makes. They have many more abilities as well, including the ability to get a 5th level and lower spell slotback when they cast a divination spell at 2nd level when they reach level 6.
7 Spell: Fireball
One could say the Fireball spell is the "bread and butter" of a wizard's spellbook. It's a spell they can learn once they get their 3rd level spell slot, and, for being one of the earlier spells acquired, the punch it packs is pretty significant. With a large casting range of 150 feet, a wizard can unleash this magical attack on their enemies. Any creature in the 20 ft radius that Fireball was launched has to make a Dexterity saving throw and whether they make the save or not, they still take damage (8d6 or half). And it only gets stronger when it's cast at higher levels, with the damage increased by 1d6 for each slot level above 3rd.
At a 3rd level spell slot, the maximum amount of damage Fireball could unleash is 48 points of damage, and at a 9th level slot, the maximum amount of damage is 84 points.
6 Spell: Animate Object
Outside of reenacting "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast, Animate Objects can potentially make a wizard a little OP. With this spell, a player can animate up to 10 objects. Each object, depending on their size, has HP, AC, Str, Dex and an attack. Objects that are considered tiny add a +8 to their attack rolls and deal 1d4 +4 damage and Huge items add +8 to their rolls and do 2d12 + 4 damage.
You can only, realistically, have one huge object and either a medium or 4 tiny or small objects at your command at a time, but that is at least two more attacks a wizard can have at their disposal, and two forms of protection, if they decide to have those objects protect them.
5 Subclass: Lore Master
The Lore Master subclass comes from Unearthed Arcana so it isn't an official subclass, but depending on what a player's DM allows, they might allow it. Lore Master is an arcane tradition that's all about understanding the mechanics of magic, which gives them tons of boosts and abilities. At 2nd level, their proficiency bonus is doubled when they use a Religion, History, Arcana or Nature skill. And when they roll for the initiative they can use Intelligence or Dexterity. They have the ability to change the nature of spells, like the type of damage it delivers or the type of saving throw it requires.
Another OP ability of a Lore Master is when they hit level 10 they're allowed to replace one prepared spell with another spell as a bonus action, and at 14th level, they're allowed to cast any spell from any class' spell list regardless of whether its a wizard spell or not.
4 Spell: Sunburst
Sunburst is an 8th level spell that shines an intense burst of sunlight in a 60-foot radius, and every creature in range has to make a Con saving throw. If they fail that's 12d6 radiant damage, and only half if they manage to save.
This spell also casts blindness on any creature that fails the saving throw which not only makes them unable to see, but they fail any check that requires sight, all attacks on them have advantage and all of their attacks have disadvantage. They can become unblinded at the end of their turn if they make a successful Con saving throw.
3 Spell: Meteor Swarm
The school of Evocation has some of the more powerful offensive spells a wizard can learn. And one of the strongest spells that can be considered a bit OP in a wizard's arsenal is Meteor Swarm. This spell makes Fireball look tame. It's a 9th level spell that has a range of an entire mile and a radius of 40 feet. Four firey meteors crash down and any creature in that radius has to make a Dex saving throw.
If they fail they take a whooping 20d6 fire damage and 20d6 bludgeoning damage! And it's only cut in half if they make the save. So the maximum amount of damage this one spell can do to a creature is 240, which is awesome or terrifying depending on which end of the spell you're on.
2 Spell: Simulacrum
The Simulacrum spell is a spell exclusive to wizards. At 7th level and with a lot of time, snow or ice and a few other components, a wizard can make a duplicate of a beast or humanoid that they can touch for 12 hours. This duplicate has half of their HP and pretty much all of its other statics. Where this spell can get OP and potentially game-breaking is when a wizard uses it on themselves. Then they have another being that has the same spell slots as them, and same abilities completely under their control.
1 Spell Combo: Polymorph + Disintegrate
Polymorph is a pretty strong and handy 4th level transmutation spell that can transform a creature into another creature for an hour. And Disintegrate is a 6th level spell that pretty much lets you destroy anything if it's Hit's points drop to 0 after taking 10d6+40 force damage. Using these two as a combo makes for a devastating effect, how? Well, if an enemy target manages to fail both the saving throws for Polymorph and for Disintegrate then it's a guaranteed kill. Powerful enemies can be changed into less harmful forms and then turned into a pile of dust with no hope of coming back. Unless someone has Wish or True Resurrection spell.