With the find familiar spell for wizards it is possible to have a companion to travel with you. With the magic initiative feat or the ritual caster feat more than just wizards can have themselves a pet on demand. But let us take a look at the list of those familiars and break down how well they work.
For this we are only talking about Find Familiar spell familiars. This does not include warlock familiars who have their 4 extra familiars to choose from. Also to note that the suggestions here are just suggestions. They are not the end all or the only reason to take a particular familiar. Story-line reasons may make a familiar a better choice over others.
The Best Familiars Are…
Things to note about the Find Familiar spell. A familiar can not take the attack action when in combat despite they get their own initiative and their own turn during combat. But they can take any other action such as the help or actions that are on their ability stat blocks. It is all about how creative you can be and if your DM allows it. So let us see the list of familiars and break down what each do.
- Bat: The bat has a lot going for it. It has blind sight. This makes it good for seeing in magical darkness as well as seeing invisible creatures. This is obvious from it’s keen hearing ability. Also… FLYING. Yeah that is great for scouting reasons.
- Cat: With it’s 30ft climb speed and bonus to stealth, this makes a cat a great familiar for making stealth scouting missions. It isn’t the best familiar option but it is a great option. Plus who doesn’t love a cat? (Yeah I am a cat person)
- Crab: The crab can go underwater and has blind sight of 30 ft. This allows you to utilize a familiar for deep underwater expeditions. But there is definitely a better option for underwater familiar due to it’s slow speed. Do not tell Sebastian I said that.
- Frog (toad): Toad suffers the same problem as crab, it lacks speed. It is an option for all you little wizards who always wanted a toad as a familiar (Longbottom?!).
- Hawk: Hawks are probably one of the best choices for a familiar. With a high dex they have a natural stealth, they have amazing fly speed and have Keen Sense allowing the advantage on perception checks. They are amazing scouts.
- Lizard: YAY!!! Climbing speed…. except the cat can do it better. But if you need darvision and climbing the lizard is your… animal… fey… whatever.
- Octopus: Probably the best option for underwater exploration. The octopus has advantage on stealth as well their Ink Cloud action making them great for not being seen. It has darkvision as well. They are really only useful underwater. Although I have seen a creative use of their darkvision to be used as goggles once (good job Widogast!).
- Owl: My top choice for a familiar. With a fast fly speed, good stealth and Keen Sight and Hearing, the owl is one of the best scouts. But what put’s it over the top compared to all the others is it’s flyby ability. This allows it to take the Help action in combat without fear of being attacked.
- Poisonous Snake: If familiars could attack this would be my top choice. Otherwise they are slow and don’t have a lot of great abilites or actions. But hey… if you are Slytheran, go for it!
- Fish (quipper): Another great option for a water creature if you had the ability to attack. It’s Blood Frenzy allows for advantage on attacks on wounded creatures. But must stick with its nice blind sight and and swim speed. But again there are better options.
- Rat: You would think that a creature this small would have a better dex/stealth score, but because of this it does not make it the best option for a scout. But heck if you are looking for a pet you want to call Peter… I mean Scabbers, go for it!
- Raven: One of the most popular choices due to the all the emo/edgelord… I mean.. It is just popular. It’s Mimicry feature can be useful for distracting enemies and depending on your DM it could be used in battle like a help action. Check with your DM first of course.
- Sea Horse: Errr 20 ft swim speed only? Yeah… try the octopus… unless your building a character pretty yet useless like the sea horse.
- Spider: Wow! The spider is very useful! Despite it’s slow speed it has good darkvision, perfect climbing and stealth. If you know you might be up against other spiders take advantage of it’s Web Walker and Web Sense to get a beat on those critters.
- Weasel: Pretty good stealth and pretty good perception. It does lack climb speed, but who doesnt love a weasel. Just make sure you take care of the poor guy. Don’t be a Laura Bailey!
Well it really is up to you on what you can choose. I personally find the owl to be the most versatile but if a different creature fits your story and personality better, then go for it. Also do not like the options here? Check with your DM about other familiar options. Make sure your get their approval to see about a different option.
What are you thoughts? Which familiar do you have or which would you choose? Was I wrong about some of the familiars? I would to love to know your opinions. Comment below.