Wu Jen In D&D 3.5: An In-Depth Class Guide

The Wu Jen mystic is one of the most interesting arcane spellcaster classes in D&D 3.5. With a spell list focused on the elements, unique class features, and roots in Asian fantasy, the Wu Jen offers great roleplaying flavor and power.

But how viable are Wu Jens and what are their strengths and weaknesses? This comprehensive class guide has everything you need to know about playing a Wu Jen in D&D 3.5.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Wu Jens are solid spellcasters with elemental mastery and some martial arts skills. They excel at area control spells but lack healing. Their spell list requires planning ahead for versatility.

Class Features and Spells

The Wu Jen is a unique class in the world of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, blending elements of arcane spellcasting with a deep understanding of the natural world. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key class features and spells that make the Wu Jen a formidable force on the battlefield.

Spellcasting and Elements

The Wu Jen’s spellcasting ability is based on the power of the elements. They have access to a wide range of spells that allow them to manipulate fire, water, earth, and air. This gives them a versatility that few other spellcasters can match.

Whether they need to unleash a devastating fireball or create a protective barrier of ice, the Wu Jen has the spells to get the job done.

One of the unique aspects of the Wu Jen’s spellcasting is their ability to change the elemental focus of their spells. By spending additional spell slots, they can alter the damage type of their spells to better suit the situation at hand.

This flexibility allows them to adapt to different enemies and overcome resistances with ease.

It’s worth noting that Wu Jen spells are not limited to elemental effects alone. They also have access to spells that manipulate the natural world, such as summoning creatures from the Feywild or casting spells that enhance their own physical abilities.

This makes them a versatile spellcaster that can fill multiple roles in a party.

Bonus Feats

In addition to their spellcasting abilities, Wu Jens also gain bonus feats as they level up. These feats can be used to enhance their spellcasting ability, improve their combat skills, or gain special abilities that further augment their elemental powers.

Some of the bonus feats available to Wu Jens include Elemental Focus, which increases the DC of their elemental spells, and Elemental Spellcasting, which allows them to cast spells without the need for material components.

These bonus feats give Wu Jens a unique edge in combat and allow them to specialize in certain aspects of their spellcasting.

Arcane Secret Arts

As a Wu Jen progresses in level, they gain access to powerful Arcane Secret Arts. These abilities grant them additional spells, enhance their elemental powers, or provide unique utility abilities.

One example of an Arcane Secret Art is the ability to create an elemental familiar. This familiar can take the form of a small elemental creature, such as a fire sprite or a water elemental. The familiar can aid the Wu Jen in combat, provide utility abilities, or even deliver touch spells on their behalf.

Ability Scores

When creating a Wu Jen character in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, it is important to understand the role that ability scores play in shaping your character’s abilities and effectiveness in combat. Ability scores determine a variety of factors, such as your character’s strength, dexterity, intelligence, and more.

Here, we will discuss the priorities and starting scores for a Wu Jen character.


As a Wu Jen, your primary focus should be on intelligence. Intelligence is the most crucial ability score for a spellcaster, as it affects the number of spells you can cast, your spell save DC, and your spellcasting ability modifier.

A high intelligence score will greatly increase your effectiveness in combat and provide you with a wider range of spell options.

Secondary to intelligence, you should consider a high dexterity score. Dexterity affects your character’s armor class, initiative, and reflex saving throws. A high dexterity score will make you harder to hit in combat and improve your ability to react quickly to dangerous situations.

While strength and constitution are not as essential for a Wu Jen, it is still important to have a decent score in these abilities. Strength affects your character’s melee attack and damage rolls, while constitution determines your hit points and fortitude saving throws.

A higher strength score can be useful if you find yourself in close combat situations, and a higher constitution score will provide you with more durability in combat.

Starting Scores

When determining your starting ability scores for a Wu Jen character, it is recommended to prioritize intelligence and dexterity. Allocate your highest scores to these abilities, followed by strength and constitution. A balanced starting score allocation could look something like this:

  • Intelligence: 18
  • Dexterity: 16
  • Strength: 12
  • Constitution: 14
  • Wisdom: 10
  • Charisma: 8

Remember that these starting scores can be adjusted based on your character’s race and any bonuses or penalties they may have. Consider consulting the Dungeon Master’s Guide or other rulebooks for specific racial modifiers and adjustments.

By prioritizing intelligence and dexterity and allocating your starting scores accordingly, you will be well on your way to creating a powerful and effective Wu Jen character in D&D 3.5.

Best Wu Jen Spells by Level


Cantrips are the bread and butter of any spellcaster, providing small but useful spells that can be cast at will. The Wu Jen class has a few cantrips that are particularly useful. One such cantrip is “Mage Hand,” which allows the Wu Jen to manipulate objects from a distance.

Another useful cantrip is “Prestidigitation,” which allows the Wu Jen to perform minor magical tricks and effects. These cantrips may not be the most powerful spells in the Wu Jen’s arsenal, but they can be extremely handy in a variety of situations.

1st-Level Spells

At 1st level, the Wu Jen gains access to a range of spells that can be used to great effect. One standout spell at this level is “Burning Hands,” which allows the Wu Jen to create a cone of fire that damages all creatures in its path.

Another powerful 1st-level spell is “Sleep,” which can put a group of enemies to sleep, leaving them vulnerable to attack. These spells are just a taste of what the Wu Jen can do at this level, and they can be a great asset in combat and other situations.

2nd-Level Spells

As the Wu Jen gains more experience, their spellcasting abilities grow stronger. At 2nd level, they gain access to a range of powerful spells. One such spell is “Mirror Image,” which creates illusory duplicates of the Wu Jen, making it harder for enemies to hit them.

Another notable 2nd-level spell is “Web,” which creates a sticky web that can trap enemies. These spells, along with others at this level, give the Wu Jen even more versatility in combat and other encounters.

3rd-Level Spells

By the time the Wu Jen reaches 3rd level, their spellcasting abilities have reached new heights. At this level, they gain access to even more potent spells. One standout spell is “Fireball,” which creates a massive explosion of fire that damages all creatures in its area of effect.

Another powerful 3rd-level spell is “Fly,” which allows the Wu Jen to take to the skies and gain the ability to move freely in three dimensions. These spells, along with others at this level, can turn the tide of battle and provide the Wu Jen with even more options.

4th-Level Spells

At 4th level, the Wu Jen gains access to some of their most powerful spells yet. One such spell is “Dimension Door,” which allows the Wu Jen to instantly teleport themselves and their allies to a different location.

Another notable 4th-level spell is “Polymorph,” which allows the Wu Jen to transform themselves or another creature into a different form. These spells, along with others at this level, can be game-changers and give the Wu Jen incredible versatility and power.

Feat and Equipment Selection

Recommended Feats

When playing as a Wu Jen in D&D 3.5, selecting the right feats can greatly enhance your abilities and make you a formidable force on the battlefield. Here are some recommended feats for Wu Jen:

  • Spell Focus: This feat increases the DC of your spells by +1, making it harder for enemies to resist your magic.
  • Empower Spell: With this feat, you can increase the potency of your spells, dealing more damage or having a greater effect.
  • Maximize Spell: This feat allows you to maximize the damage or effect of your spells, making them more powerful.
  • Improved Initiative: Going first in combat can give you a significant advantage. This feat improves your initiative roll, increasing your chances of acting before your enemies.

By selecting these feats, you can become a formidable spellcaster, capable of dealing massive damage and controlling the battlefield with your magic.

Weapons and Armor

As a Wu Jen, your focus is primarily on spellcasting, so your weapon and armor choices are limited. However, there are still some options available to you:

  • Quarterstaff: This versatile weapon allows you to use it both for melee attacks and as a spellcasting focus.
  • Light Armor: While wearing armor can hamper your spellcasting abilities, light armor such as leather or padded armor can provide some protection without impeding your spellcasting too much.

It’s important to remember that Wu Jen relies heavily on their spells, so you should prioritize your spellcasting abilities over weapon and armor choices.

Other Equipment Choices

In addition to selecting the right feats and weapons, there are other equipment choices that can benefit a Wu Jen:

  • Spell Component Pouch: This pouch holds all the necessary components for your spells, ensuring that you have everything you need at hand.
  • Scrolls: Carrying scrolls with spells that are not in your repertoire can provide you with additional options in combat.
  • Potion of Cure Wounds: Having a potion of cure wounds can be a lifesaver in dire situations when you need to heal quickly.

By choosing the right equipment, you can enhance your spellcasting abilities and be prepared for any situation that comes your way.

Playing a Wu Jen Effectively

The Wu Jen is a unique and powerful class in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, capable of manipulating the very fabric of reality through their mastery of arcane magic. To make the most out of your Wu Jen character, it is essential to understand their spell preparation strategies, their role in a party, and how they compare to other classes.

Spell Preparation Strategies

As a Wu Jen, your spell preparation is crucial to your success in the game. Unlike other spellcasters, Wu Jens do not have a set list of spells known. Instead, they have access to a wide array of spells, and they must choose a subset of these spells to prepare each day.

To effectively prepare your spells, consider the following strategies:

  • Study your spell list: Familiarize yourself with the spells available to you as a Wu Jen. Take note of spells that complement your playstyle and have a diverse range of effects.
  • Plan for different scenarios: Think about the challenges your party might face and prepare spells that can help overcome those challenges. Having a mix of offensive, defensive, and utility spells can be highly beneficial.
  • Adapt to the situation: Remain flexible in your spell choices. If you find that the spells you prepared are not useful in a particular encounter, don’t hesitate to change them during a long rest.

By employing these spell preparation strategies, you can maximize your effectiveness as a Wu Jen and adapt to various situations that arise during your adventures.

Party Role

Within a party, the Wu Jen can fulfill several important roles. Their versatile spellcasting abilities allow them to excel in different areas, depending on their spell choices. Here are a few common roles that a Wu Jen can play:

  • Damage dealer: With their arsenal of destructive spells, Wu Jens can deal significant damage to enemies. They can unleash devastating area-of-effect spells or focus their power on a single target.
  • Support caster: Wu Jens have access to spells that can buff and heal their allies, making them valuable support casters. They can enhance the party’s abilities, protect their allies, or provide healing when needed.
  • Utility specialist: The Wu Jen’s diverse spell list includes spells for various utility purposes. They can teleport the party, create illusions, detect magical auras, or even summon creatures to aid in combat.

By understanding your party’s needs and adapting your spell choices accordingly, you can effectively contribute to the success of your group and ensure a balanced and enjoyable gameplay experience for everyone.

Class Comparisons

When comparing the Wu Jen to other spellcasting classes, several factors come into play. Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses that can affect your decision when choosing a character. Here’s a brief comparison of the Wu Jen with other notable spellcasting classes:

Class Strengths Weaknesses
Wizard Extensive spellbook, versatile spellcasting Reliant on spell preparation, limited spell selection
Sorcerer Spontaneous spellcasting, high number of spells per day Less spell variety, limited spell slots
Druid Access to nature-based spells, shape-shifting abilities Focused on nature-themed spells, limited arcane options

Remember, the choice of your class ultimately depends on your preferences and playstyle. While the Wu Jen may have its own unique advantages, it’s important to consider how it fits into the party dynamics and aligns with your character concept.

For more in-depth information on the Wu Jen class and its mechanics, refer to the official Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rulebooks or visit D&D Beyond.


With their mastery of elemental spells and magical martial arts, Wu Jens are a unique arcane class in D&D 3.5. By selecting the right mix of feats, gear, and daily spells, a Wu Jen can control the battlefield, deal damage, and protect allies.

While not as straightforward as a Sorcerer or Wizard, Wu Jens reward clever play with diverse magical abilities. Just be ready to put in extra preparation to get the most out of their spell list each day.

A well-built and played Wu Jen can hold their own in any adventuring party. Their flair for elemental magic and exotic abilities are perfect for players who want an arcane spellcaster that stands out from the crowd.

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