This (revised) sorcerer guide is designed for the LOB challenge of Baldur’s Gate II Enhanced Edition (EE). It features: 1) combat oriented spell selection - at least one, preferably insta-cast (cast time lesser than 5, which means you can instantly empty your spell book with Improved Alacrity) damage spell for most Levels; 2) emphasis on summoning (for the LOB challenge); and 3) slightly emphasizing solo over group challenges.
Level 1: Magic Missile, Blindness, Spook, Protection from Evil, Grease
*Identify: is not a combat oriented spell. Use scrolls or the Glasses of Identification if needed.
*Blindness: this is like a cheap insta-kill spell at Level 1, extremely useful in the early game. Chromatic Orb works similarly but fails regularly due to high saves of enemies under LOB.
*Protection from Evil: marginally useful when summing demons which do not count toward the summoning limit (“Gate” for longer duration), better than Shield and Armor which are made obsolete in the end game.
*Grease: enemies fall down if save is unsuccessful, with movement slowing down afterwards. It shines when used in conjunction with Improved Alacrity, Web, Incendiary Cloud, etc.
Level 2: Melf’s Acid Arrow, Mirror Image, Web, Resist Fear, Glitterdust
*Knock: is not a combat oriented spell. Use scrolls (cast from clones) if needed.
*Web: an area disabling spell that is extremely useful in the early game, especially when used with Summon Spiders.
*Resist Fear: is useful even if you have priests in your party (featuring insta-casting when party members or summons become panicked in battle), a must for solo’ers.
*Glitterdust: Glitterdust is a cheaper and weaker version of Powerword: Blind, allowing a save. On the upside it is party friendly, boasts a larger area effect, and may be blasted away with impunity using Improved Alacrity. It also reveals invisible creatures.
Note that Agannazar's Scorcher freezes the caster for a few seconds and is therefore not an insta-cast spell (despite its short cast time), easily made obsolete in the middle to late game.
Level 3(stock up on Vampiric Touch): Skull Trap, Haste, Slow, Dispel Magic, Remove Magic
Level 3 features one of the best damage spells: Skull Trap, which deals massive aoe damage at higher caster levels, and is IMO superior to Fireball and Flame Arrow; one of the best party buffing spell: Haste; and one of the best debuffing spell: Slow.
*Haste: invaluable to improving party/summons speed and APR.
*Slow: cancels the effects of enemy haste (which are quite common) without a save, and slows them further at a save with -4 penalty. Very useful, especially in the early game.
*Dispel Magic: provides quick suicide of Project Image (PI) clones (see below) - vital in big battles. You’ll still need Remove Magic for most fights, since there is no way you can protect against your own Dispel Magic.
There is no more room left for the following spells:
*Vampiric Touch: under EE, you can no longer cast on yourself/containers for the bonus hp. You can cast the spell on your own summons (Spiders and Mordenkainen's Swords), but the spell only lasts for an hour, so it’s probably not worth the hassle.
*Melf’s Minute Meteor: you’ll probably be exploiting PIs fairly regularly later in SOA and TOB, and PIs cannot attack at all, making this spell of very limited use. Energy Blades confers better damage, 4 turns (40 rounds) of Improved Speed, and recharges Level 9 spell pool coupled with Spell Trap.
*Resist Fire: rings and scrolls for fire protection are plentiful. Your own fire spells will no longer damage you if you’re wearing the Cloak of Mirroring.
Level 4(stock up on Minor Sequencer): Stone Skin, Summon Spiders, Malison, Improved Invisibility, Far Sight
Level 4 brings a variety of good protection and support spells to the table. The only damage spell - Ice Storm - is too weak to garner a spell slot at this Level.
*Summon Spiders: Spiders + Web + Haste are a Godsend in the early Levels; even for later Levels, they can soak up enemy damage and spell casting. Sequencing 3 Summon Spiders (an alternative to 3 Skull Traps) can often save you from a tight situation.
*Malison: is complementary not only to spells but also to many weapon effects: instant death effect of Vorpal Sword, stun effect of Celestial Fury, etc.
*Farsight over Wizard Eye (cast from scrolls if needed): It can be instantly casted multiple times, cannot be killed, and doesn’t count toward your summoning limit, very useful when using clones, Time Stop, and Improved Alacrity.
*Improved Invisibility: a spell that negates all enemy single-target spells. At Level 4, this spell is cheap, which means it can be stuffed into Spell Sequencers and Spell Triggers.
There is no more room left for the following spells:
*Minor Sequencer: a decent spell at this Level, stuffing and storing 2 webs can be beneficial, but probably not worth the hassle in the late game. Cast from scrolls if needed.
*Emotion: a decent crowd control spell, which allows for a save, but we have Slow already. Higher Level enemies are often immune to the sleep effect.
*Polymorph Other: a decent insta-kill spell, which is quite cheap at this Level, substituted by Finger of Death (for reasons below).
*Ice Storm: the damage is comparable to a Level 1 or 2 spell. As mentioned, it is omitted due to predominantly better spell choices at this level.
Level 5(stock up on Spell Shield - optional): Cone of Cold, Breach, Spell Immunity, Animate Dead, Lower Resistance
*Cone of Cold over Sunfire: Better damage towards the end game, offers damage variety - more bosses are immune to fire damage than cold damage toward the end game. The area effect is normally inferior to Sunfire, but superior when you are spamming Web, Grease, Incendiary Cloud, etc, and cannot approach the enemy frontline. Sunfire no longer bypasses enemy MR under EE.
*Spell Immunity: Under EE, this spell can be sequenced with a Spell Trigger.
*Animate Dead: Skellies can be cast with a cheap Level 3 cleric spell, but clerics normally cannot make use of Project Image, which means casting for free.
*Lower Resistance: almost a must have for boss fights.
There is no room left for Feeblemind, which is a cheesy insta-kill spell for many bosses. It may be casted from scrolls with clones.
Level 6 (stock up on Contingency): Improved Haste, Death Spell, Protection from Magical Weapons, Chain Lightning, True Sight
Level 6 confers many mediocre spell choices. The must-haves are Protection from Magical Weapons, Improved Haste, and arguably Death Spell.
*Improved Haste: This spell is added to the selection because EE no longer allows you to have dozens of Planetars (via Project Image cheese) - you are tempted to make most use of your single Planetar by giving it Improved Haste.
*Death Spell: nerfed under LOB - does not insta-kill weaker enemies as it is supposed to. However, it is still useful against summons (particularly Efreet-type summons that don’t die by conventional means). It’s better than Death Fog which kills your own summons.
*Chain Lightning: a mediocre damage spell at this Level. Chosen because it’s: 1) insta-cast; 2) party friendly; 3) damage diversification (electricity instead of fire/magic).
*True sight: the ultimate invisibility purge spell, you will use it quite often, though there are many alternative solutions, such as Dispel/Remove Magic, Book of Infinite Spells, or bombard straight-ahead with aoe spell.
Other alternative spells include:
*Contingency: nerfed under EE, spell cast time increased from 1 to 9, which obliterates its in-combat usefulness, making this spell appear slightly inferior to True sight. Chain Contingency is a far better upgrade.
*Protection from Magical Energy is a vital spell for those who love sequencing Skull Traps and using multiple Wishes: Abi-Dazihm on entire map. Under EE, the Cloak of Mirroring will protect you against your own damage spells, and 2-3 Abi-Dazihms is no longer sufficient to kill enemies.
*Invisible Stalker: a summon that comes with improved invisibility and lasts for 9 hours.
*Mislead: a cheese spell that benefits fighter/mage/thieves the most, but of limited use for pure mages. Improved Invisibility works almost the same and can be casted on other party members.
Level 7: Spell Sequencer, Project Image, Mordenkainen's Sword, Finger of Death, Limited Wish
Level 7 is home to the cheesiest spell in the entire BG saga: Project Image, and most of the cheese is retained in EE: PI + Time Stop + Improved Alacrity + spell casting havoc through insta-cast spells; PI + Improved Alacrity + Wish x5 for in-combat sleep and memorizing spells. Rinse and repeat after casting Dispel Magic on PI to free up your character. Most other spells hardly justify a Level 7 spell slot.
*Mordenkainen's Sword: not as useful under LOB mode as other modes, since your summons are much sturdier. However, having the most immunities and resistances among all summons, it still garners a Level 7 spell slot.
*Finger of Death: is justified as the single insta-cast damage spell for Level 7. Its importance is leveled under LOB due to high hp of enemies. Also, clones can recharge your Level 7 spell pool with Spell Trap enabled.
*Limited Wish: of situational use, comes in handy when fighting undead, spamming Webs (“I wish to make my party invulnerable”), and curing blindness/disease/poison (“I wish for my entire party to be healed”). Another upside factor is that the wish options are not random, like Wish.
Other alternative spells include:
*Mass Invisibility: a spell that can be replicated by casting PI + Improved Alacrity + multiple Improved Invisibility, which is insta-cast, hence the spell only confers utility benefits.
*Ruby Ray: will get rid of Spell Trap (which liches love to cast, and which blocks Imprisonment), and belongs to the school of Alteration hence unstoppable by common castings of Spell Immunity: Abjuration. Spell Strike, which is more powerful, can be casted by clones from scrolls ignoring improved invisibility.
*Spell Turning: of situational usage - primarily for the Agannazar's Scorcher cheese. In terms of protection, Spell Trap from Staff of Magi and Improved Invisibility would be enough. It can be replaced by the Book of Infinite Spells.
*Delayed Blast Fireball: prolonged cast time (7), mediocre damage, but able to be casted on the ground as a “trap”.
You will make the 5th spell choice of Level 7 only at the very end (Level 31), so the choice may not be of much significance anyway.
Level 8: Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting, Spell Trigger, Simulacrum, Incendiary Cloud
*Simulacrum: does not count towards the summoning limit, and can be used in conjunction with PI(have them cast Simulacrum) and Time Stop + Shapechange.
The only hard choice is between Incendiary Cloud and Powerword: Blind.
*Incendiary Cloud: Deals massive damage, which is no longer an “overkill” but rather necessary under LOB. It will no longer bypass enemy MR (using Chain Contingency: self), nor will it hurt the caster (wearing the Cloak of Mirroring) under EE.
*Powerword Blind: an insta-cast no-save disabling spell. However, as mentioned, it can harm party members (even yourself), and can be replaced by Glitterdust.
No room for Maze, which is also a decent spell with insta-cast.
Level 9(stock up on Shapechange): Wish, Time Stop, Chain Contingency, Imprisonment
The most overpowered spells are at this Level. Wish and Time Stop are the “bread and butter” for cheese tactics.
*Chain contingency: nerfed, cast time increased from 1 to 9 under EE. This makes it a far less appealing choice compared to the original version. No more in-combat instant bombings with 3 Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wiltings. The upside is that the spell can now be normally casted by Project Images without freezing the interface.
*Imprisonment over Shapechange: 1) sorcerers can rarely afford to lose their spell casting abilities; 2) Imprisonment (PIs cannot use Energy Blades) can recharge your Level 9 slots with Spell Trap enabled; 3) enemies killed under mind-flayer form do not grant experience, while Imprisonment can - which can be exploited in conjunction with Freedom for infinite experience; 4) the Shapechange scroll can be acquired in SOA, while there are only 2 Imprisonment scrolls in TOB.
Alternatively, use Simulacrum with Shapechange and Time Stop scrolls; buff it with Improved Haste + Enchanted Weapon. The upside is that your main caster is free from harm. The downside is that you’ll need multiple castings of Farsight beforehand for a clear view of the area.
Attributes - until TOB (Initial Roll = 90):
STR: 18 + Manual of Gainful Exercise = 19
DEX: 19 + Manual of Quickness of Action – Hell Trial (“Selfishness”: good path) = 19
CON: 16 + Manual of Bodily Health – Spellhold Attribute Drain = 16
INT: 14 + Tome of Clear Thought = 15
WIS: 14 + Tome of Understanding x3 + Hell Trial (“Wrath”: good path) = 18
CHA: 9 + Tome of Leadership and Influence + Hell Trial (“Wrath”: good path) = 11
STR: 19 + Machine of Lum the Mad = 20
DEX: 19 + Machine of Lum the Mad = 20 (spare stat that confers no additional benefit, may be given to another party member)
CON: 16 + Machine of Lum the Mad = 17 (ibid.)
INT: 15 + Deck of many things (“Star”) = 16 + Machine of Lum the Mad =17 (ibid.)
WIS: 18 + Machine of Lum the Mad = 19 (ibid.)
CHA: 11+ Machine of Lum the Mad = 12
- Player may copy the manual/tomes under multiplayer mode for max attributes of 25.
HP (max Level 31, vanilla): 10(d4 +2) + 21 = 81
Hell trial (“Selfishness”: good path): – 2 = 79
Find Familiar in TOB under LOB mode: (48 x 2 +20)/2= + 58 = 137
- Player may abuse this under multiplayer mode for infinite hp.
Deck of Many Things (“Moon”): +10 = 147
Original Version: 2009.01
Current Version: 2019.10