It really has a lot going for it and feels like a D&D Greatest Hits. But what it is lacking is a real witch class.
Well...I am not getting ready to write one to be honest. I have plenty on my plate, but that doesn't mean I can't try to make something witch-like.
So something I have done with pretty much every other version of D&D I have played, most recently with 4e. That was fun, but ultimately...well we know how that all turned out.
With 5e it has been a bit of different story. For this experiment, I took five character concepts I have been playing around with for different things and thought this might be fun.
So in each case I built a by-the-book character of each of the main magic-using classes (and one extra, but I will get to that), cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, and wizard. I used a variety of the backgrounds, feats, skill choices, and spells to create witch-like characters.
So far I have finished the warlock, the cleric, and druid. I am working on the wizard and the sorcerer next. I also built a paladin using the Oath of the Ancients, to build a witch-knight like character.
I am particularily fond of the Acolyte and Sage backgrounds for the characters. I typically give Acolyte to the Arcane characters and Sage to the Divine, but not always. It helps give them some background that I think would make them fell more "witchy".
Magic Initiate and Ritual Caster are also good feats to choose. Typically something different than they already are. My Warlock for example has Ritual Caster (Wizard) and Magic Initiate (Cleric).
Lastly are the spells. There are a lot of great witch-like spells in the new PHB, much more so than say 4e had. But there is still room for improvement. There are plenty of spells in my Basic Witch book that could be converted and even improved under 5e. "Bewitch" is one of the first examples that comes to mind.
Pretty much everything else I can cover in role-playing. The Cleric and Druid were tested out last week while my son ran Hoard of the Dragon Queen (or "Hoard of the Demon Dragon" as he was running it). The Warlock has been coming in off and on while I have been running.
The real test for me will be the wizard and sorcerer. For 4e the Wizard made the best "witch" for the concept I wanted to play and the Sorcerer did the same for 3e. Interestingly enough the Cleric was the best 2e witch and the Druid the best 1e one. Again...at least for concepts I was doing at the time.
Again, I am not ready to write a 5e witch class, nor am I even convinced I need to, but the experiments will continue.