Choosing an Array
Many classes can get away with very focused ability score assignment; notably, the "Specialist" [ 18/14/11/10/10/8 ] array. These classes depend mostly on their primary ability score, with very few meaningful references to the secondary in their powers or feats (see: PHB and Essentials Fighters, and PHB Wizards). Sorcerers, on the other hand, have a very strong tie to their secondary ability (either STR or DEX) because that score:
- contributes directly to every damage roll you make
- contributes directly to your AC
- is referenced by a huge number of your attack and utility powers
Selecting your Scores
- "turquoise">Strength – Provides your FORT defense, as well as your damage bump and AC for Dragon/Cosmic Sorcerers. Wild and Storm Sorcerers can dump it and use CON for FORT. Recommend 14-16 before racials for Dragon and Cosmic Sorcerers.
- Constitution – Useful for the surges and HP. Good for a couple elemental feats. Recommend 10-12 before racials.
- Dexterity - Provides your REF defense and Initiative, as well as your damage bump and AC for Wild/Storm Sorcerers. Dragon and Cosmic Sorcerers can mostly (but not entirely) ignore it, as it is a prerequisite for many good feats. Recommend 14-16 before racials for Storm and Wild Sorcerers. 10-12 for Dragon and Cosmic Sorcerers.
- Intelligence – Of no use to you. The only reason not to make this your dump stat is you are forced to take Arcana. Recommend 10-12 before racials.
- Wisdom – Nothing you will ever do as a pure Sorcerer requires Wisdom. Dump stat. Recommend 8-10 before racials.
- Charisma – This is your highest score, or tied for highest. This fuels your attacks, so make it great. Recommend 16-18 before racials.
- Dragonborn – These were born to be Dragon Mages. +2 STR and CHA, a STR based minor action blast, additional toughness, AND bonuses for being bloodied. Further feat support makes them top tier Dragon Sorcerers. They make excellent Cosmic Sorcerers as well, but without the support. Dragon breath is one of the few ways to get a real nova turn as a Sorcerer, since the only other way to get minor action attacks is via power swapping.
- Dwarf – With their racial stats updated to +2 CON and a choice of +2 STR or WIS, Dwarves don't make bad sorcerers anymore. Between the STR bump and their minor-action Second Wind, Dwarves are a pretty decent choice for a tough Sorcerer, making particularly good front-line Dragon Sorcerers.
- Eladrin - Eladrins now get +2 INT and a choice of +2 DEX/CHA, which makes them decent sorcerers of any kind; ironically, where they used to be better Wild/Storm sorcerers, having +2 INT kind of pushes you towards Dragon/Cosmic types. The teleport is never bad to have, and they get nice feat support.
- Elf – They get +2 DEX, which is nice, but their choice of +2 WIS or +2 INT is useless to you. Elven Accuracy helps to off set the lack of CHA, however, and high move speed is always good.
- Half-Elf - Half-Elves get +2 CON and a choice of either +2 CHA or WIS (hint: take the CHA bonus). A Half-Elf Dragon/Cosmic sorcerer can easily pick up hide armor by level 2, and start working on shields very quickly. The at-will from another class is great, and feat support for that trick is abundant.
- Halfling – Among the best Sorcerers. Wild and Storm Sorcerers get bonuses to both their stats, a fantastic racial power, and a bonus to defenses for OAs.
- Human – Can give you +2 CHA, which you want. The lack of a secondary boost is made up for by their bonus skill, bonus feat, and +1 to Fort/Ref/Will. Heroic Effort is an awesome racial power, and usually outclasses the third at-will choice, since a lot of the power of Sorcerer at-wills is contained in their Spell Source choice. Add to that a strong racial Paragon Path and good feats, and Humans are top tier Sorcerers.
- Tiefling – An excellent choice. They get bonuses to a skill you care about (intimidate), as well as a nice bonus to attack. Their fire resistance is equal to the resistance you get as Sorcerer at the beginning of a tier, but gets better once you start leveling. Tieflings get +INT, so they already have fair Reflex, and their support for fire powers makes Dragon Magic a top choice for Tieflings, though they also make incredible Wild Sorcerers at Paragon.
- Deva – CHA makes them a solid choice, even if WIS is a dead stat for sorcs. The racial features also aren't bad-- Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes is great for turning a near-miss on a daily into a hit, and melee sorcs of the dagger and dragon varieties will get some mileage out of the bonus to defenses late in the fight and the dual resistance to radiant and necrotic.
- Gnome – A CHA race, so never a bad choice. Dragon or Cosmic Magic is the best choice for Gnomes since the INT bonus to REF will go to waste on a Storm or Wild Sorcerer.
- Goliath – No CHA, but a bump for STR. The bonus to WILL is mediocre for a CHA based class, as it doesn’t shore up your weaker defenses. Some fair feat support. Will get hide armor very easily.
- Half-Orc – In much the same boat as the Goliath, but Half-Orcs also can make passable Storm or Wild Sorcerers.
- Shifter, Longtooth – See Goliath. Sorcerer’s will find a little more use for the Shifter racial than the Goliath racial.
- Shifter, Razorclaw – WIS is useless to you, but the DEX is nice. Storm or Wild Sorcerer for these guys.
- Githzerai – Only good for the +2 DEX variety. The racial features are useful to everyone though, and some of the feat support is fantastic.
- Minotaur – Go for the +STR and +CON variety to pick up hide armor easily. Unless you want to spend a lot of time in melee, and are good at it, don’t go Minotaur- the racial features, powers, and feats just aren’t good unless you are in melee.
- Shardmind – They get CHA, and INT. For the same reasons Gnomes and Tieflings want to be Cosmic or Dragon Sorcerers Shardminds ought to be the same- to not waste the inherent bonus to REF due to INT.
- Wilden – WIS is useless to you, but the DEX is nice. Storm or Wild Sorcerer.
- Bladeling (MOTP) – See Wildens and Githzerai.
- Changeling (EPG) – Excellent Storm or Wild Sorcerers. Changeling don’t get the awesomeness that Halflings or Drow get (worse feat support, and the racial power for getting combat advantage isn’t as powerful as the Drow powers) but if you are interested in Changelings you are doing it for the ability to change your shape. And they get +CHA and +DEX, so that’s pretty nice.
- Drow (FRPG) – Awesomesauce. The stat bumps are in the right place, the racial powers are good (who doesn’t like combat advantage?), and they get feat support. Storm or Wild Sorcerer.
- Genasi (FRPG) – At least they get +STR. Because Genasi work very well with elemental damage they do make good Sorcerers with the right feats, particularly Storm and Dragon (because they get to pick their damage types). Amazing feat support and ease of multiclassing Wizard borders Genasi on blue.
- Kalashtar (EPG) – Kalashtar do get +CHA, but absolutely nothing else about the race (including feats) makes them good Sorcerers. Kalashtar are very, very close to being black, but they make incredible intimdatomancers, which is something a Sorcerer might want to look into.
- "blue">Shade (HoS) - Wait, why only blue? Don't they have perfect stats to be Wild and Storm sorcerers? Well, yes, but they also have no useful racial features of any kind, a racial penalty to their durability, and by far the worst racial power in the game, especially for a striker. So, in the grand scheme of things, Shades make worse DEX sorcerers than races that don't have a DEX bonus... and that is really, really sad. :(
- Vryloka (HoS) - Strange though the fluff may seem, Vryloka flex stats (fixed CHA bonus and choice of DEX or STR) make them perfect sorcerers of any variety. The racial power is great for a striker (you will ALWAYS bloody or kill something in EVERY fight) and they resist the most common damage type in the game. Be careful of the penalty, though: the loss of even a couple points of your healing surge can be rough early on if you didn't put points into buffing your CON.
- Warforged (EPG) – At least Warforged get +STR. The racial power is always nice to have, but that’s about all this race draws (though making your best defense even better isn’t bad). Dragon or Cosmic Sorcerers.
- Gnoll (D 367) – Fine Storm or Wild Sorcerers. Unfortunately, most of a Gnoll’s racial package goes towards melee, and DEX based Sorcerers are not the sort who have any reason to be in melee.
- Revenant (D 376) – Perfect stats for Wild and Storm sorcerers, and the extra toughness is really nice for a glass cannon. Being able to pick up another race’s feats is pretty awesome. Through feat support, Revenants can actually become extremely accurate.
- Shadar-Kai (D 372) – They make fine Wild or Storm Sorcerers. Feat support is good.
- Hobgoblin (MM) – A surprisingly good choice. The +CHA is of course good, but the Initiative bonus and racial power make Hobgoblin’s a winner. As a Wild or Storm Sorcerer they will be going first quite easily, and will have rounded defenses thanks to the +CON.
- Kobold (MM) – +DEX is the only thing Kobolds bring to the table. Shifty is a really, really good power, but DEX based Sorcerers have no incentive to mix it up in melee, where Shifty is best. Wild or Storm Sorcerers.
- Githyanki (MM) – Don't even bother.
- Goblin (MM) – Excellent Storm or Wild Sorcerers. Skill bonuses in things you are already fair at, a racial power to keep you where you want to be (i.e. out of combat), and perfect stats.
- Orc (MM) – Good for the same reason as Warforged (+STR), but with zero feat support, and the racial features aren’t as useful.
- Bugbear (MM) – Can be equally mediocre Sorcerers of any type. The racial power isn’t bad, though it is hard to get off without mixing it up in melee.
- Bullywug (MM2) – Not a good choice. +DEX is nice for Storm and Wild Sorcerers, but the racial features are useless.
- Duergar (MM2) – Other than darkvision... no.
- Kenku (MM2) – Great Storm and Wild Sorcerers (and very thematic Storm Sorcerers). Stats are prefect, and the skill bonuses are good. The racial features are nice to have, but not entirely useful to you.