Best spells as a magic-user


I’m not sure what it means, but I have always had an affinity for a magic user. I create wizards and spell casters, armoured with just simple robes, carrying a staff for their weapons, and wielding their spell books as their only defence against the approaching hordes.

I take my inspiration from the classic wizards of literature. Gandalf and Raistlin feature heavily in my motivation to play a caster. But I also like the immense power that they can wield. When you look at plots to take over the world, you never see a robust fighter leading the army. Mighty wizards have that accolade.

Spells are extremely powerful. But how you use them and which spells you carry, separates the hedge wizards from the mighty sorcerers.

In the post, I will share my favourite spells from those role-playing adventures and how I used them to wreak havoc.

Favourite Spells

Shield Spell


This spell is one of those that I took because of the image. I thought that caster the spell stopped all missiles or thrown weapons from hitting me. I got that wrong! The spells alter the armour class of missile weapons and that’s it. I am there, confidently telling the mobs to throw their daggers at me, thinking that they will bounce off my shield. Let’s not talk about how that turned out!

The shield spell does block magic missiles. Another one of my favourite spells. I like to try and hold up the correct amount of fingers for the spell!

Burning Hands

And talking about fingers. Burning hands is the first spell that I learnt the hand positions for! You spread your fingers, with your thumbs together, and blast the fire in the direction of the enemy.

Once I had the gestures sorted, I embarked on the spell materials for the incantations I conjured. In addition, I use to add detail to the narrative. For example;

The wizard opens their hand and sand slowly cascades to the floor!

Bonus points if you know the spell I just cast!

Pass Wall

This is when I got creative! Initially designed to put a hole in the wall this spell had many other uses. My favourite was to cast it underneath an opponent. Basically, this meant that they will fall through the floor and possibly down into the floor below!

Cast on the ceiling would make the contents of the floor above fall onto the opponent. It was a spell that you just let your imagination and creativity run wild on!

Darkness and Silent 15′ R

My tactic with both of these spells relies on a small stone to marble. My idea was always to cast these spells on the small stone and then chucked it into a room or down the corridor. With the darkness spell, I remember a version of it called continual darkness. I would cast this on a small stone and then wrap it in some cloth ready for the grand reveal


If I want to do some huge damage then fireball was the spell for me. The spell always caused other party members to swear and others to run for cover.

It did a lot of damage. The trick was to get it to streak away from me and the party so the ‘ball effect’ didn’t consume us all!

Wall of …

These spells were so flexible. I could curve them, or have the straight. They ranged from the humble wall of stone spell to the mighty Wall of Force version.

I could say the whole with these types of spells and, when I was the DM, they could allow my archmage to escape as the pursuing party ran slap, bang into the wall of force!

Death and Disintegration

Do these spells need any more description?

Monsters or party members gained a saving throw but they were the ultimate of spell casting. Linked to power words, a caster could literally kill someone or make important parts of their bodies gone forever!


And that’s it. My top spells as a magic user while playing AD&D first edition.

If you are a spell caster, then please let me know in the comments what were your favourite spells.

And if you are a fighter – I’m sorry just move on and guard the door!

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