Guidance — Top Tier: Alex’s Top 7 Wands

No matter what campaign you’re playing in, wands are among the most important treasures that you can find. The ability to have a magical stick packed with spell charges for your expenditure simply cannot be beaten—a well-timed wand casting can make or break combats, and its often what can keep your party going after a particularly difficult combat.

That being said, not all spells are created equal when it comes to wands. Some are really good, and others underperform by a lot, especially in Pathfinder Society where it is very uncommon for you to find a wand with a caster level above the minimum level needed to craft the wand. Today in Guidance, I’ll be sharing the Top 7 wands that I’m most thankful to have in my possession on arcane spellcasters, divine spellcasters, and psychic spellcasters.

You ready? Then let’s take a look at these wands!

7. Wand of Cure [BLANK] Wounds

The first wand we’re going to look at is the most obvious—healing wands. These come in three varieties—cure light wounds, cure moderate wounds, and cure serious wounds. As a general rule, cure serious wounds wands are simply too expensive to see too much play in the early levels, but cure light wounds wands are STAPLES of low-level play, especially in Pathfinder Society. Seriously, cure light wounds wands keep the party refreshed and roaring to go; they’re the glue that puts the party back together again after the most difficult fights, and they’re the magic item that essentially allows PFS parties to be as mismatched as they are. (That, and the fact that few PFS scenarios are designed to require all of the game’s roles.) Cure moderate wounds wands are also very helpful, but I find that most parties don’t have them as often as they have cure light wounds—CLW is simply too cost effective to ignore. So we’re not ignoring it.

6. Wand of Identify

I am a HUGE sucker for wands of identify. Why? Because knowing what magic items do is REALLY important, and wands of identify greatly shift the odds of knowing what your equipment does in your favor. Even better, you can use identify to effectively “try again” on a Spellcraft check to identify an item that you failed, which means you can try to identify the item the old fashioned way and break the wand out only as a last result. As a result, these wands last forever, and I love them for it.

5. Wand of Mage Armor

Wizards don’t care about preparing mage armor, since they aren’t limited in their spells known. Spontaneous spellcasters, however, CRAVE this spell. They NEED it. Because really, who wants to spend a spell known on a spell that you’re going to cast once per day? For 750 gp, 50 charges of a 1 hour duration mage armor spell is PLENTY and affordable. Better still, if you’re playing an unarmored or low-armor character, having a wizard bop you with a wand of mage armor once every hour is simply the best. Simply the best, I say!

4. Wand of Bless

Man, I love me a wand of bless for the same reason that I love wands of mage armor—because this isn’t a spell you’re going to want to cast all the time, and when you get right down to it there isn’t a huge difference between 1 minute/level and 1 minute—both are roughly going to be one combat long, and if you run out, so what? 50 more minutes where that came from! I almost always try to pick this one up on my oracles / inquisitors if at all possible. Consider me a fan.

3. Wand of Comprehend Languages

This wand is a great example of, “Your mileage may vary,” but in PFS I consider it practically an essential. You often run into ancient ruins or strange creatures that want to interact with you, and you never want to be stuck as, “the guy who can’t understand the other person.” I’ll admit that comprehend language’s lack of ability to reply in the foreign tongue keeps it from being #1 on the list, but this is definitely a consumable that I wouldn’t want to be without.

2. Wand of Protection from Evil

All right, this might be one of the most practical wands on my list. Why? Well, have YOU ever been in a fight where your barbarian failed a save against a dominate monster spell? I have, and it’s not pretty. Protection from evil won’t protect you from things that aren’t evil (there are different alignments for that), but man is it helpful to give allies rerolls against effects that possess or exercise mental control over them whenever you want. Honestly, duration doesn’t matter as long as you can just shut the enemy down. And when you get down to it, isn’t that what we all want?

1. Wand of Lesser Restoration

So the final wand on my list, wand of lesser restoration, won’t turn the tide of combat. Lesser restoration isn’t flashy like that. But MAN is it vital. Ability damage is something that can shut down an adventuring party of any level, and the ability to remove tons of it quickly is very useful. This wand is probably the most expensive on my list, being a 2nd level spell, but it is SO vital that I would say that its worth it. Whenever a cheap “used” wand of lesser restoration appears on one of my characters’ chronicles, I always pick it up. You never know what you’re going to run in to.

Generally speaking, wands are very useful—especially when you manage to pick up a few charges of spells that you wouldn’t normally want to walk around town with. Even fully charged, wands are a steal for their price, so no matter your class, consider grabbing a few wands whenever they just happen to show up. You’ll thank me when the wand saves your character’s life, trust me! But now, I leave the topic in your capable hands, readers. What are your Top 7 must-have wands? Leave your answers in the comments below, and I’ll be back next week with more tips, more tricks, and more Guidance!

Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alexs Twitter, @AlJAug.

Alex Augunas

Alexander "Alex" Augunas is an author and behavioral health worker living outside of Philadelphia in the United States. He has contributed to gaming products published by Paizo, Inc, Kobold Press, Legendary Games, Raging Swan Press, Rogue Genius Games, and Steve Jackson Games, as well as the owner and publisher of Everybody Games (formerly Everyman Gaming). At the Know Direction Network, he is the author of Guidance and a co-host on Know Direction: Beyond. You can see Alex's exploits at, or support him personally on Patreon at

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  1. Steven

    This was a helpful topic! Some of you choices weren’t obvious to me at first. Cure and Mage Armor are the two I’ve used most. For out-of-combat healing, some of my characters prefer Infernal healing for the automatic 10 HP over the fickle rolls for CLW. (Some GM’s allow taking 5.5 HP, especially out of combat, so Infernal Healing is almost twice as good.)

    My first character bought a wand of Grease. It worked well for a couple of levels, then I realized the unscaling DC made it hard to use on bad guys. I thought I’d wasted 2 prestige until the scenario when we were bit with Black Tentacles, and I was able to help two of our martial characters to escape by greasing them and helping their checks to get free. We succeeded what looked temporarily like it would be a TPK!

  2. Keras

    What about a wand of Heightened Awareness? It is quite the useful spell for wanding in my opinion.

    • Alex Augunas

      Its not a bad wand, no. But I also don’t think its as generally applicable as the other wands I’ve mentioned. Not every character is going to be able to make use of that +2 to Perception and Knowledge checks, and casting the spell just to burn it for the initiative bonus feels sort of wasteful to me, I guess?

      So no, its not a bad wand by any stretch of the imagination, but its also not a spell that I’m crazy about in general.

  3. Joe Collins

    We have been seeing a lot of wand of Mount in our campaign.

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