Wizard Of The Tavern

Divination Wizard 5e: (How Useful Is Portent?)

So before we begin, I must clarify, I love the 5e divination wizard.

It is my favorite subclass by an insanely large portion.

Its’ second-level abilities alone make this a valid choice for any straight build or multiclass build. 

Therefore, I will do my best to remain impartial to this subclass but do want to address the bias that may surface in this review.

In fact, I even used statistics to calculate how useful portent is for a player.

Which, I discovered Portent will be useful on average 78-97% of the time.

And tons of more really unique facts about saves that no one else has stated.

So, with that said, let’s begin the review on the divination wizard and some ways to optimize them.

How I Am Evaluating 5e Divination Wizard

For those who have read my previous reviews, feel free to skip this.

If you haven’t, welcome!

This is going over how I evaluate how strong a class is.

There are three things that I am reviewing in the in-depth guide.

I look over how strong the subclass is in combat, how much utility it has, and, if applicable, its’ roleplay ability.

This way everyone’s playstyle can be shown to fit their needs.

Now, when deciding if something is good for a guide, I look at what the subclass is trying to accomplish.

Then look at how successful it succeeds in that task.

For instance, in a previous article on the War Wizard, I concluded, attempts to make you a competitive front line.

I then figure out how well that ability succeeds in letting you front line, as well as how soon it comes online.

If it is accomplished at level 2, then it is early game.

Level 6 it is Early-Mid, Level 10 Late-Mid, and Level 14 is late game.

I rate earlier tiers better as most Dungeon and Dragons Campaigns do not go beyond level 8.

Without further a due, let start this review on the Divination Wizard.

Color Meaning

GOLD- “That’s gold Jerry! Gold!” If an ability is highlighted gold, then this means that this ability not only is what defines your subclasses but accomplishes it better than almost any other subclass. I rarely do Gold ratings, so definitely pay attention to them if you see me do it.

SkyBlue –If the ability is sky blue, it means that this ability is a defining trait in your subclass but for one reason or another is not game-breaking like gold.

Blue- If it is just blue, then it’s a good ability but there are plenty of other abilities that perform better. Still better to have in a subclass than other colors.

Black. Black is ok. These are your more niche abilities that have bonuses in some situations but not useful in others.

Purple– Purple is for very niche abilities. They have times when they are good, but these are rare and almost never come up. Not the best color to see for an ability.

Red- Red is dead. It is the worse color to see on an ability. That said, no matter the color, an ability can work so don’t ignore a subclass if they have a red. Enough imagination and can-do attitude will make it okay but not optimal.

Divination Wizard (Early Game)

I know, I know I just said I will try to be impartial but already gave it the rare gold rating.

Allow me to justify.

Not only me, but numerous other people I usually talk about D&D ratings also said it deserved a gold rating.

Moreover, after looking at other reviews, such as this one, they all give the highest rating to 5e Divination Wizards. 

The reasoning lies behind their second-level ability.

Portent has both utility, combat, and even roleplay aspects that exceed every other ability in the game.

Divination Wizard 5e: Portent

I give you the most game-breaking mechanic in all of D&D, Portent.

Portent states:

“Starting at 2nd level when you choose this school, glimpses of the future begin to press in on your awareness. When you finish a long rest, roll two d20s and record the numbers rolled. You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling rolls. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn.Each foretelling roll can be used only once. When you finish a long rest, you lose any unused foretelling rolls.

Now if the fact that you can give anyone a natural 20 sometimes does not excite you, then I actually did the math for how often your die roll will be useful for forcing enemies to fail a save.

Portent: The Math

Now a big question comes down to how often will my portent roll be successful.

Because, if you have a 10 to be used on your portent, it doesn’t really seem useful in most situations. 

To do this, I calculated the average monster saving throw for each ability.

Then I narrowed the average save to expect for each level.

From there, it was a simple calculation of the number rolled being lower than what was needed for a monster’s saving throw.

Portent: The results

The results are shown in the chart above.

What you will see is that as your level and DC rises, your odds of forcing a monster to fail a roll steadily grows.

Meaning at level 2 your divination rolls will have the least success.

While at level 17, there is a large chance of having a useful roll.

Ranging from 82.41% for a Constitution saving throw, to a 97.44% chance for intelligence saving throws.

This adds validation to the standard assumption among players that constitution is the easiest save for monsters, and intelligence is their hardest save.

That said, there was one thing in particular that interested me in the data, which was dexterity is the second hardest DC for monsters to beat.

Ranging from 78%-96% and jumping up at level 14 when you get your level 14 ability to have a third portent roll.

Moreover, I have always been under the assumption that strength and constitution have the easiest saves for monsters to beat.

However, while it is true from levels 1-9, by level 13, Wisdom and Charisma are tied with Strength saves.

Even surpassing strength saves by level 17.

Meaning any spells with strength-saving throws will have a higher chance to succeed against targets later on in the game but not early on.

All in all, the data shows many interesting discoveries among saves and monsters.

But, it goes to show that your chances of having a useful portent roll will always remain roughly 70% or higher.

Making Portent, a gold rating.

Divination Wizard: Expert Divination

I am always amazed at how much players love this ability.

Truth is, it is not that powerful.

Now there is math to show that this ability can do serious damage and cast tons of spells per day.

Which, if you are curious to see, the math can be found here on Reddit.

The ability states:

“Beginning at 6th level, casting divination spells comes so easily to you that it expends only a fraction of your spellcasting efforts.
When you cast a divination spell of 2nd level or higher using a spell slot, you regain one expended spell slot. The slot you regain must be of a level lower than the spell you cast and can’t be higher than 5th level.”

Now, it can be incredibly potent as by level 20, you can cast 91 spells a day.

Probably more than any other caster in the game.

That is how strong it is in regaining spells.

But what is failed to be looked at, is what you sacrifice for it.

The spell used to regain slots is the level 2 divination spell mindspike that deals 3d8.

This way you regain spell slots while fighting.

While on paper that looks great, truth is a wizard doing 3d8 damage and that is it, is pretty weak.

After all, even with second-level spells, you have access to spells like hold person.

Which with portent, gives you an 80% chance to paralyze an opponent and make every attack be a critical hit on it.

Therefore, its best use comes from using utility spells like arcane eye to mitigate the cost of 4th level spells that are expensive to cast.

Divination Wizard 5e: Third Eye

Basically, at 10th level Every time you rest, you can choose between,

  1. “Darkvision. You gain darkvision out to a range of 60 feet.
  2. Ethereal Sight. You can see into the Ethereal Plane within 60 feet of you.
  3. Greater Comprehension. You can read any language.
  4. See Invisibility. You can see invisible creatures and objects within 10 feet of you that are within line of sight.”

This has great utility depending on your needs.

Gaining a large variety of uses.

But sadly, while I might love it, it’s usefulness is not incredibly strong.

By 10th level, most people suffering from a lack of darkvision already have a way to circumvent it.

If not, well then this gains an even higher rating as now you have something always useful.

But for those that already have it, it is a wasted feature.

Next, we have ethereal sight, now maybe it’s me and my experience, but I can count the number of times we needed to see in the ethereal plane.

So not that great in comparison to others.

Then we get my favorite use of the Third eye for 5e divination wizards; Greater Comprehension.

This is a bookworm’s dream!

And guess what.

Most wizards are exactly that.

Now you don’t have to worry about knowing draconic to copy that mysterious scroll to your book or read the runes in a dungeon.

You know all the languages making for fantastic utility for your party.

Finally, we have the useful ability to see the invisible.

This is probably going to come up the most out of all of them making it the best.

Especially since now, invisible creatures don’t get advantage on attacks against you.

Shame it’s only 10 feet though.

Divination Wizard: Greater Portent

“Starting at 14th level, the visions in your dreams intensify and paint a more accurate picture in your mind of what is to come. You roll three d20s for your Portent feature, rather than two.”

I already briefly talked about how great this is mathematically.

But let’s go into the details a little bit more.

So, if you remember at level 14 you have a 86% chance to have a die roll that forces a monster to fail against any DC save.

However, this is due to having 3 portent rolls.

What if you only have the two?

Well, the result is only 73% of the time will you have a roll to force fail a monster.

Then what about the rest?

Well, I also calculated the difference for that as well.

At level 14 and 17, there is a 7-14% difference in having the roll you needed in all saves.

Therefore, you can reasonably say that this ability improves the effectiveness of a 5e divination wizard by 10.5%.

Making this a solid boost to the divination power.

Divination Wizard 5e: Suggested Build

Now for the suggested build, I don’t like to give someone a detailed guide.

The reason is, I want everyone to come up with their own unique ways to play them.

That said, this is more to show you some ways to make your divination wizard powerful and useful in every situation.

With that said here are my recommendations.


First, we have your race, I would suggest gnome, variant human, or halfling for your race.

Gnome for the +2 Intelligence.

Human for the Feat.

And Halfling to increase your ability to control the die by re-rolling ones.


Next, we have Divination Wizard spells, I would suggest Tasha’s hideous laughter, hold person, and slow for a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level spell.

Each are save or suck spells but all of them are deadly.

Plus with a 76% chance or higher to be able to force a creature to fail against these spells, they make solid picks.


As for some good feats, Lucky takes the cake by far.

Not only is it synergistic with the portent ability, but it also allows you to control the game so much your DM will wonder who is DM.

But, if that is not to your taste, Bountiful Luck is great for the class and makes a great support feat.

Personality Quirk

Finally, a personality quirk for a 5e divination wizard is to be terrified of the future.

It adds a nice bit of irony to have someone terrified that their premonitions are true.

Perhaps he saw his mother die in the future and is terrified to see it come true. Adds some good roleplay aspect.

If You Like This…

Finally, we have the “If You Like This…”

This is where I recommend a few subclasses similar to this one.

That way you can see if this is really what you like or if there is a better fit.

Another powerful wizard based on manipulation of dice rolls is chromatic wizards.

Their ability to warp dice rolls is similar to divination wizards but does it through spells rather than abilities.

Meanwhile, a classic sorcerer subclass is the Wild Magic subclass.

It can both help your dice rolls, or harm your enemy’s rolls.

However, it does have a little bit more chaotic oomph to it.

So I highly suggest looking at these subclasses if you like the divination wizard, as they have a similar feel but are slightly different.

Divination Wizard 5e: Conclusion

All in all, the divination wizard 5e is incredibly potent for its use of the ability portent.

As such, if you wish to play an optimized divination wizard you should focus on using that ability as much as possible.

Moreover, seeing how useful the ability to change fate is at any moment makes this a class that works well with any other class.

Have a fighter?

Add some divination to make sure the enemy misses you or to ensure your attacks hit.


Use the divination rolls for saves to make sure those two spells are effective.

It is just an incredibly strong subclass deserving of the gold rating.

That said if you think the divination wizard is a strong multi-class option.

Then you have to check out my review of the war magic wizard.

It is incredibly strong with a number of benefits that make it one of the best wizard multiclass subraces out there.

Well, I wish you an absolutely wonderful day!

And make sure to have fun trolling your DM with your divination rolls every once and while.

Definitely adds some spice to the campaign.

  • P.S. Now that you know the general information for the divination wizard. Why don’t you kick it up a notch with Wizard’s Mastery: A Complete Wizard’s Guide! Giving you even more information then than this for all ten wizard subclasses with ways to make your gameplay more memorable and more unique. Check it out today!

6 thoughts on “Divination Wizard 5e: (How Useful Is Portent?)”

  1. Hello Wizard!
    I’m a new visitor to your page, but I have to admit I like what you post! Your in-depth analysis of this particular class is very well done! Out of curiosity, would you ever do a piece on the Monk class and its various subclasses/schools? I’d really like to know more about it from your perspective!

    1. Anderson Craftheart

      Hey Branden!
      Thank you so much for the compliment! It always makes my day when I see someone message me about my posts. I would be more than happy to do monks (I actually plan to do one for every subclass). but since you asked, I would be more than happy to do one you want. So the real question is, is there a certain monk subclass you want to see? If so give me a week or so and I’ll write a review on it. Have a wonderful day!

  2. Great analysis, and I agree with you.

    But this must be a typo as they are both the easiest (emphasis mine):

    “This adds validation to the standard assumption among players that _constitution is the easiest_ save to beat for monsters, and _intelligence is their easiest_.”

    1. Anderson Craftheart

      Hey thanks for the compliment! And corrected, just goes to show you that even after 4 times proofreading mistakes are still made haha

  3. Why are you so excited about the Third Eye ability of Greater Comprehension? Comprehend Languages is a 1st level RITUAL spell. It costs nothing to cast it repeatedly. By the time a wizard gets Third Eye they ought to have Comprehend Languages in their spellbook.

    1. Anderson Craftheart

      It’s a personal favorite for Roleplay and personal preference. I just love having the ability on at all times.

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