Dungeons & Dragons: Best Spells For 1st Level Druids
Druids in Dungeons & Dragons have a mixture of healing spells and offensive magic that uses nature, so players need to choose spells carefully.
Druids have access to a number of unique abilities and spells in Dungeons & Dragons, which is why players need to carefully choose their magic spells at level one. Druids can heal wounds, communicate with animals, and unleash nature's wrath upon their foes, but they can only do so a limited number of times per day.
Druids get some of their most interesting abilities at level two in D&D, as they gain the ability to transform into animals and can choose their Circle subclass, giving them access to new spells or abilities. Level one Druids only have access to a few Cantrips and spells in Dungeons & Dragons, and the types of equipment they can use are limited compared to the other classes. As such, the initial spell selection of a Druid is vital.
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A first-level Druid in D&D knows two Cantrips, but these can be used an unlimited number of times. They are similar to Clerics in Dungeons & Dragons in that they have access to their entire spell list, but they can only prepare a limited number of them each day. A Druid can prepare spells equal to their Wisdom modifier plus their level. This means that most Druids in D&D will be able to prepare three or four spells at level one. They can only cast two first-level spells before needing to rest, so Druids need to pick their spells carefully based on the needs of the party.
Dungeons & Dragons: Best Druid Cantrips
Druids have a couple of great offensive Cantrips in D&D. These are best for Druids who want to focus on healing or nature spells for their first-level slots. Produce flame works as both a ranged attack spell and as a light source, while thorn whip has the ability to pull enemies away from allies or NPCs, giving them the breathing room to escape. The Druids with a low Strength score can benefit a great deal from shillelagh, as it empowers a wooden club/staff in such a way that they can use their spellcasting ability for attack/damage rolls. It can also be cast as a bonus action, so another Cantrip can be used in the same turn.
There is also the druidcraft Cantrip, which is mostly useless (in the same sense as prestidigitation) except for one function. Druidcraft has the ability to predict the weather for the next 24 hours. This is useful when traveling between areas or in Dungeons & Dragons campaigns where survival is a major aspect of the gameplay, so it should take up a Cantrip slot if a lot of exploring is going to happen.
Goodberry, More Like Greatberry
Bards and Clerics in Dungeons & Dragons have to choose between cure wounds and healing word for their healing spells. Cure wounds heals in d8s, but it costs an action and the target needs to be touched. Healing word only heals in d4s, but it only takes a bonus action to use and it has range. This means cure wounds is better for after-battle healing. If there is a Druid in the party, then the other D&D spellcasters may as well just throw cure wounds in the bin, or at least they should at level one.
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Druids have access to a spell called goodberry, which creates ten magical berries that each restore a hit point. It takes an action to eat one of these berries, so they're not a substitute for potions in battle, but they're one of the best spells for healing outside of combat. A cure wounds spell always has a chance of rolling a one (including the Wisdom modifier), but goodberry is ten guaranteed hit points of healing that can be spread around the party as needed. The goodberry spell also has the benefit of giving full nourishment to a character for the day, kind of like the Lembas bread from The Lord of the Rings. This makes the spell essential for Dungeons & Dragons campaigns that have a survival element, like Tomb of Annihilation.
Best 1st-Level Druid Spells In D&D
Healing word is still a great Dungeons & Dragons spell for Druids to choose, even with goodberry on the table. It's especially useful for groups that are short on healers. Entangle is great for dealing with enemy spellcasters or groups of weaker minions, as they're one Strength check away from becoming restrained and their movement will be reduced.
Animal friendship and speak with animals are fantastic D&D spell choices for adventures set in the wild, as the local wildlife can often give vital hints as to locations or nearby enemies. Thunderwave is a great spell for when the party is surrounded and the player needs to create some breathing room, especially if they have been swarmed by minor enemies that are just waiting for attacks of opportunity. The Druid has a lot of options on the table and it helps if the player knows what kind of Dungeons & Dragons campaign they're playing in, so that they can prepare for the road ahead.
Next: Dungeons & Dragons: Best Spells For 1st Level Wizards
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Dungeons & Dragons: What Are The Best Druid Spells in the Game?
Some of the most interesting spells in Dungeons & Dragons are designed specifically for the Druid class, playing up their intimate relationship with plants, animals and the natural elements. While that makes them perfect for role-playing, it also makes them trickier to optimize.
Because Druids draw power from nature to cast spells, making the right spell choices is an important part of any character build. Not all the Druid spells available are wise choices. While some are among the best options in the game, others will most likely be a waste of space that could be better filled by a better option.
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Cantrips are an important part of any caster's spell list, but Druids, unfortunately, don't have access to some of the best offensive options in the game like Fire Bolt or Eldritch Blast. In their absence, Druids may be tempted to take Poison Spray or Shillelagh, but neither are good options, with limited range that would make a more reliable weapon a better alternative. Create Bonfire or Frostbite prove far better. Even though their damage doesn't seem impressive, their ability to control an area or impose disadvantage can be valuable.
One of the first Druid spells available that any caster should take is Entangle. It brings the plant life in a 20 foot square alive around a target, creating difficult terrain and potentially restraining any creatures within its span that cannot make their Strength saving throws. Crowd control is always valuable, especially at lower levels, but one which contests Strength while also imposing difficult terrain is a particularly good option. Most ranged attackers a D&D party is likely to face are ranged for a reason: they don't like melee. Entangle can not only trap them in place, but it make it extremely hard for them to escape.
Goodberry is another lower level option that's easy to overlook. Though producing 10 berries that give one hit point each does not seem like much, the berries last for 24 hours, so any Druid with spare spell slots can use them up at the end of an adventuring day to walk around with a bag full of extra health for the party. Goodberries are an indispensable source of nutrition in campaigns where Dungeon Masters impose more realistic restrictions on how often characters are eating and nourishing themselves.
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Not all a Druid's best options are lower level spells, though. Fourth level's Giant Insect creates a handy way to multiply the number of allies fighting alongside the party in combat, fifth level's Maelstrom is one of the best area control spells in the game and eighth-level's Tsunami is a devastating way to control the battlefield that cranks all the benefits of Entangle up to With such options, there is plenty for a Druid to look forward to as they level up. If they choose wisely they can become the best support a party could ask for in battle.
Compared to other classes, Druids do not scale up all that well in terms of their power at higher levels. Abilities like Wildshape start to lose their value the weaker the beasts they turn into become in comparison to the monsters a party faces. This makes choosing the right spells critical for staying competitive at higher levels. Controlling the field of combat and the movement of enemies is a unique niche to fill that not all casters excel at, but as beings who are one with the lands around them, Druids can turn the land itself into another ally.
KEEP READING: Dungeons & Dragons: What Are the Absolute Best Sorcerer Spells in the Game?
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D&D: Best Druid Spells for Every Level
“Whether calling on the elemental forces of nature or emulating the creatures of the animal world, druids are an embodiment of nature’s resilience, cunning, and fury.”
- Player’s Handbook
Druids are a versatile class that excel in almost any role. They can be support players, healers, tanks, or whatever role the party needs to fill.
You can see this versatility reflected in their spell list as well. It has some unique class-exclusive options that let you do things like control plants, summon creatures, speak with animals, harness the elements, or transform into beasts.
Overall, there’s a lot of room for creativity in how you decide to play your druid. It’s one of the best things about this class!
But with such a huge variety, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This article will help you sift through the druid spell list to pick the best, most versatile options for your character.
Best Level 1 Druid Spell: Healing Word
Heal from a distance with the help of Healing Word.
1st level Evocation. You restore hit points equal to 1d4 + your Wisdom modifier to any creature within 60 feet of you. This is one of only a couple healing spells available to lower-level characters.
Why Healing Word Is Great
- Healing spells are always useful, but this is especially true for the early levels of the game. While you might not be your party’s designated healer, you’ll be grateful to have this spell handy when things are going downhill.
- I would argue in favor of Healing Word over the other level one healing spell available to druids, Cure Wounds. While it restores fewer hit points, Healing Word has a range of 60 feet where Cure Wounds can only be cast on a creature you are currently touching. This is useful when a party member is hurt but not close by or is hard to reach because of a factor like difficult terrain.
- Healing Word is one of the few bonus action spells, while Cure Wounds takes up your entire action on your turn. This makes Healing Word a better use of your action economy.
Second Best Level 1 Druid Spell: Entangle
1st level Conjuration. You gain control over plant life and make thick vines sprout from the ground in a foot square. Any creature in that space must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be restrained by the plants until the spell ends.
Why Entangle Is Great
- This is a nice early-level area control spell that can potentially disable multiple enemies.
- It turns a foot area of the battlefield into difficult terrain, which means even creatures that resist being restrained have their possible movement cut in half.
- It’s a great move to use in collaboration with other party members, trapping a creature so an ally can target it with attacks. Some of my favorite moments of the game are when multiple characters work together by combining different effects and achieving a powerful result, and Entangle lends itself to that kind of teamwork.
- It’s one of the druid exclusive spells, which means you’ll only get a chance to use it when you're playing as a druid character.
Best Level 2 Druid Spell: Moonbeam
And now in the name of the moon, I'll punish you!
2nd level Evocation. A beam of magical light shines down onto the battlefield. Creatures who start their turn in the beam or who move into it must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 2d10 radiant damage. They take half as much damage on a successful one.
Why Moonbeam Is Great
- This is a nice combat option for lower-level druids. It’s one of the spells that consistently chips away at an enemy’s hit points over several turns, which really starts to add up over the course of multiple rounds.
- No matter what, this spell ALWAYS does damage when you use it. Even on a successful Constitution saving throw, the target will always take half damage.
- The other second level spell that operates in a similar way is Flame Sphere, but I prefer Moonbeam. It does more outright damage, and the damage type is more useful. Fire is commonly resisted, while only a few creatures in the Monster Manual have resistance to radiant damage.
- It’s even more useful against shapeshifters, who roll their saving throws with disadvantage and revert to their original forms on a failure.
- Moonbeam is another iconic druid exclusive spell that you should take advantage of while playing as this class.
Second Best Level 2 Druid Spell: Enhance Ability
2nd level Transmutation. You touch a creature and give it a magical enhancement from a range of different effects. You can bestow advantage on Constitution, Strength, Dexterity, Charisma, Intelligence, or Wisdom Checks, as well as some other minor but useful bonuses (like taking no fall damage or gaining some temporary hit points).
Why Enhance Ability Is Great
- This is one of the best buff spells. With a corresponding buff to every ability, it has a wide range of possible uses in a variety of challenging scenarios. Whether fighting, negotiating, sneaking, or schmoozing, Enhance Ability can give your party the boost it needs.
- Because this spell has a few different effects to choose from, it almost feels like multiple spells in one. It adds more variety to the different actions you can take at any given time and can be useful in pretty much any scenario.
Best Level 3 Druid Spell: Conjure Animals
Don't fight your own battles get your pets to do it for you.
3rd level Conjuration. You summon fey spirits that take the form of animals. There are a few different options for the number of creatures and their CR level. The more challenging the creature, the fewer you can conjure at one time. These creatures are friendly to you and your companions and obey any commands you give them.
Why Conjure Animals Is Great
- Third level spells represent a whole new level of power for spellcasters and Conjure Animals is no exception. While it requires concentration to use, it’s powerful enough to make it worth it.
- The best way to use this spell is to conjure as many creatures as possible, which essentially gives you multiple actions and attacks on a single turn. Summoning eight wolves is one of the best ways to do this since their Pack Tactics trait gives them advantage on attacks made while they are near each other.
Second Best Level 3 Druid Spell: Erupting Earth
3rd level Transmutation. You cause a foot area of the battlefield to erupt in earth and stone. Each creature in the area has to make a Dexterity saving throw. They take 3d12 bludgeoning damage on a failed save or half as much damage on a successful one. The ground also becomes difficult terrain until cleared, each 5-foot-square taking one minute to clear by hand.
Why Erupting Earth Is Great
- This is great because of its dual functionality: it deals a big blast of initial damage AND creates difficult terrain, so you have a damage spell that also works as area control.
- It’s a non-concentration spell that gives you greater control to shape the battlefield in interesting ways, and it has no time limit beyond someone spending a minute per square to clear the effect. Given that one minute of combat is equivalent to ten rounds of combat, none of your enemies are going to be able to take the time to clear the area.
- Erupting Earth never stops being useful throughout your campaign, as it scales pretty well as you level up.
Best Level 4 Druid Spell: Polymorph
A druid in the midst of transforming.
4th level Transmutation. This spell transforms a creature into a new form, with an unwilling target making a Wisdom saving throw to avoid the effect. This new form can be any beast whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target's (or the target's level, if it doesn't have a challenge rating). The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form and it can't speak, cast spells, or take any other action that requires hands or speech.
Why Polymorph Is Great
- Polymorph is commonly considered one of the more powerful fourth level spells in 5th Edition. It’s almost a given that a druid will take this once it's available to them.
- This spell’s greatest strength is in its versatility. You can use it on yourself or on your allies as a kind of buff, bestowing Strength or other skills, or as debuff on enemies, turning them into non-threatening creatures.
- It also has plenty of utility outside of combat for situations that require things like stealth, flight, or other abilities.
Second Best Level 4 Druid Spell: Wall of Fire
4th level Evocation. You create a massive wall of flames. When it first appears, it inflicts 5d8 damage on a failed Dexterity check or half as much on a successful one. The side of the wall that you and your allies are on deals no damage, but the other side deals 5d8 fire damage to each creature that ends its turn within 10 feet of it.
Why Wall of Fire Is Great
- Wall of Fire is a great spell option for area control. While it also does damage, its most beneficial effect is the power it gives you to shape the battlefield.
- The best way to utilize this spell's effects is to use it in combination with another team member’s spell or action to magically or physically force enemies into the flaming wall.
- It’s an effective way of preventing a group of enemies from reaching the party, especially while you attempt to heal or complete some other sort of necessary action.
Best Level 5 Druid Spell: Maelstrom
Get a little wet and wild with the spell Maelstrom.
5th level Evocation. A swirling foot wide body of water appears. Any creature that starts its turn in this area must succeed on a Strength saving throw or take 6d6 bludgeoning damage and be pulled 10 feet toward the center.
Why Maelstrom Is Great
- Maelstrom covers a foot area of the battlefield in difficult terrain. Most creatures would have to take two turns or dash just to reach the edge of the area of effect, and that’s if they succeed on the Strength saving throw to avoid being tugged towards the center of the water.
- It can be difficult to escape, and there’s the potential for an enemy to be continuously pulled back to the center after each escape attempt.
- It’s super effective against creatures who don’t have a swim speed, since for them each foot of movement costs 2 extra feet in difficult terrain while swimming.
- There’s potential to be creative and collaborative with this spell. If you or another party member can do something to force enemies to stay in the affected area, you can inflict continuous damage.
Second Best Level 5 Druid Spell: Reincarnate
5th-level Transmutation. You can reincarnate someone into a brand new body if they have died within the past 10 days and their soul is free and willing. However, the body they are reincarnated into has an element of randomness to it: the DM can either roll on a table of races to decide or choose the new form themselves.
Why Reincarnate Is Great
- This is the only resurrection spell that is exclusive to druids, which means the only time you’ll be able to experience Reincarnate’s fun and random potential is when you’re playing as this class. It’s really worth experiencing at least once!
- This is a good option to have if no one in the party has Raise Dead or another resurrection spell. If you only have Revivify, Reincarnate lets you bring someone back to life even if they’ve been dead for some time.
Best Level 6 Druid Spell: Heroes Feast
Nothing is better than a shared meal with friends, except maybe one that gives you all the benefits of the Heroes Feast Spell.
6th level Conjuration: A huge feast appears with magnificent food and drinks for you and your party members to enjoy. The meal bestows some great buffs to give everyone an extra edge during your next battle and all of the benefits last 24 hours.
Why Heroes Feast Is Great
- While Heroes Feast does require a 1, GP gem-covered bowl to cast, it’s a worthy sacrifice for the spell’s incredible benefits. Giving yourself and your party members immunity to poison and being frightened, advantage on Wisdom saving throws, and multiple buffs to everyone's health is an amazing way to prepare for an approaching encounter you know is going to be super difficult.
- This is also a spell you can do the night before a major battle. Because of its hour duration, you can take a long rest after casting and regain the spell slot while still reaping its benefits.
Second Best Level 6 Druid Spell: Wind Walk
6th level Transmutation. You and ten willing creatures are turned into clouds for up to 8 hours, with a flying speed of feet and resistance to damage from nonmagical weapons.
Why Wind Walk Is Great
- Wind Walk allows you to cover massive distances in short amounts of time without the restrictions common to true teleportation spells.
- It also functions as more than just a kind of teleportation spell. Since you are in cloud form, you can squeeze through tight spaces or get into places you otherwise couldn’t. Your party can bypass obstacles like cliffs, mountains, bodies of water, or other barriers.
- While Transport Via Plants is great, there are reasons why this might be a better option. With Transport Via Plants, you have to have seen or touched the destination plant at least once before you cast the spell. Wind Walk doesn’t require this kind of previous planning to use. It’s also still useful even if you are in an area without plant life, such as a desert or a prison cell.
Best Level 7 Druid Spell: Whirlwind
Send your enemies spinning with Whirlwind.
7th level Evocation. You create a whirlwind that draws in any creature within its radius who fails a Dexterity saving throw, dealing 10d6 damage (or half damage on a successful throw). Once inside the whirlwind, any large or smaller creature has to roll a Strength ability check: on a failure they are restrained, and on a success they are hurled 3d6 by 10 feet away in a random direction.
Why Whirlwind Is Great
- This spell has the potential to remove many of your enemies while also dealing a decent amount of damage.
- Any victim caught inside the whirlwind has to make ability checks (as opposed to saving throws or skill checks), which means it can be difficult for even enemies with high Strength or Dexterity to escape.
- Even when a creature is successful, they’re still thrown in a random direction up to feet away. And because you can move the whirlwind up to 30 feet in any direction, you could plausibly suck the target right back up after they’ve escaped.
Second Best 7 Level Druid Spell: Reverse Gravity
7th level Transmutation. This spell does exactly what its name suggests. All creatures and objects in a foot area that aren’t anchored to the ground fall upward for the duration.
Why Reverse Gravity Is Great
This is a ridiculously fun spell that has the potential to be both hilarious and totally devastating.
If there’s a ceiling or solid object of some sort overhead, everyone targeted by this spell receives falling damage when they make contact with it. You could definitely cast Reverse Gravity, inflicting damage when your targets hit the ceiling, and then immediately end the spell and let them crash to the ground, dealing double damage.
You could use this spell to escape from a sticky situation or to get something out of reach. There’s a lot of creative potential here for really fun applications.
Best Level 8 Druid Spell: Tsunami
8th level Conjuration. You create a massive wave that is feet long, feet high, and 50 feet thick. Each creature within its area must make a Strength saving throw and take 6d10 bludgeoning damage on a failed save or half as much damage on a successful save.
Why Tsunami Is Great
- The wave moves 50 feet away from you at the start of each of your turns, carrying away any creature trapped inside it. This pushes enemies away and prevents them from escaping unless they succeed on Strength (Athletics) checks.
- The creatures must also hold their breath while being carried off by the wave, unless they have the ability to breathe underwater.
- This spell can definitely be used in collaboration with some of your party members to push all of your enemies into an area control effect like Wall of Fire, Maelstrom, or Blade Barrier.
Second Best Level 8 Druid Spell: Earthquake
8th level Evocation. You cause a seismic disturbance that rips through the ground in a foot- radius, creating difficult terrain. When you first cast this spell and at the end of every turn you spend concentrating on it, each creature must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is knocked prone. The spell has additional effects, like creating huge fissures in the earth or destroying structures and buildings.
Why Earthquake Is Great
- Casting Earthquake really makes you feel like an elemental god on the battlefield, giving you the power to rip fissures into the earth or destroy entire villages. This is exactly the kind of power you would expect to see in a higher-level druid.
- It can also be a useful way to interrupt spells negatively affecting the party. Each creature on the ground that is concentrating must make a Constitution saving throw, and the creature's concentration is broken on a failed save.
- The fissures this spell can create are pretty powerful. Up to six of them can appear, and any creature standing on a spot where a fissure opens must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or fall in. While the locations are chosen by the DM, these fissures could be used to wipe out enemies or as an impassable barrier to protect the group from an approaching threat.
- This spell can be used to deal damage to structures, causing them to collapse and inflicting damage to any nearby creatures. The collapsed building can also bury the creature in rubble, requiring an Athletics skill check to escape.
Best Level 9 Druid Spell: Shape Change
Changing into dinosaurs with the Shape Change Spell is always a good option.
9th level Transmutation. This is the ultimate shapeshifting spell. You can change into any creature that you’ve seen before with a CR equal to your level or lower. You gain the statistics of the chosen creature - but you also keep your original ability scores, proficiencies, and class features. You can use your action at any point during the spell’s duration to assume a different form following the same restrictions and rules for the original form, with one exception. If your new form has more hit points than your current one, your hit points remain at their current value.
Why Shape Change Is Great
- One of the best things about this spell is that you gain the benefits of shapeshifting without having to give up all of your class features while transformed.
- You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, while also gaining those of the creature you’ve changed into.
- You can change shape multiple times during the duration of the spell. This means you can continuously adapt to fit the situation at a moment’s notice.
- A very popular tactic is changing into a dragon, which admittedly does feel very cool. But there are tons of other interesting and unique creature options to explore in the Monster Manual and Volo’s Guide to Monsters.
Second Best Level 9 Druid Spell: Foresight
9th level Divination. You touch a willing creature and give them several different benefits. The target can't be surprised and has advantage on all attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Other creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls against the target.
Why Foresight Is Great
- One of the best buff spells in the whole game, Foresight is infinitely useful. Most of the rolls you have to make in Dungeons and Dragons are attack rolls, ability checks, or saving throws, and this spell gives you advantage on all of them.
- It also has a pretty long duration of 8 hours, which means you can cast it on a fellow party member and have them reap the benefits for a whole day of adventuring.
- This spell can also be used to allow someone a small glimpse of the future, though what and how much they see is left to the DM’s discretion.
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DnD 5e – Druid Spell List Breakdown
Last Updated: September 27,
Druids have a unique spell list with a lot of exclusive options. While they still have healing options and support options, many of their spells focus on area control and shaping the battlefield.
Table of Contents
RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.
- Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
- Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- Green: Good options. Useful often.
- Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
I will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, even if it is my own, because I can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. I also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and I can’t guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.
The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released and this article will be updating accordingly as time allows.
RPGBOT is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
Optional spells are marked below with (Optional) following the spell’s name. These spells are considered optional rules, as described in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Consult your DM before deciding to use these spells.
- Control FlamesEEPC / XGtE: Notably omitted from the function of Control Flames is the ability to create or extinguish them. Druidcraft and Prestidigitation both grant the ability to light or snuff out small flames. Control Flames will let you spread flames, extinguish them, change their color, etc., but if you want to light a torch you need to use flint and tinder like a commoner. You can use this to dramatically improve the effectiveness of torches, or to snuff out enemy light sources at a distance, but those are situational uses that you can address with better light sources like the Daylight spell or by using water. Neither function is frequent or useful enough to justify a cantrip with so little functionality.
- Create BonfireEEPC / XGtE: This spell is fantastic for the Druid. It matches the damage of Produce Flame, it can do ongoing damage if enemies stay in place or move into the square, and the Druid has very few spells which require Concentration at low levels so the Concentration requirement isn’t a significant hurdle like it is for other spellcasters like the Cleric. If you position yourself well, you may be able to use this with Thorn Whip to repeatedly pull enemies into the square for additional damage. This is a great introduction to area control spells, which is fantastic because the Druid’s options for area control are some of their best spells.
However, Create Bonfire’s reliance on Concentration can become a problem as you gain levels because Concentration is such a precious resource, and many of the best spells require Concentration. If your game doesn’t include an option to retrain cantrips, I would skip Create Bonfire entirely. If you have a way to retrain cantrips, consider taking Create Bonfire at low levels, but be prepared to replace it if you find that you’re not using it consistently.
- DruidcraftPHB: This spell is profoundly disappointing. It does almost nothing, and the things it does are nearly useless.
- FrostbiteEEPC / XGtE: Low damage for a cantrip (d6-based), but the big appeal is Disadvantage on the target’s next weapon attack. Unfortunately, it works on Constitution saving throws, and those tend to be relatively high compared to other saving throws.
- GuidancePHB: As long as you’re not concentrating on something with a long duration between fights, you should be constantly throwing this on your allies. Your Rogue should have Guidance for every skill check they make while searching, sneaking, handling traps, etc.
- GustEEPC / XGtE: If this scaled somehow I would be interested. If it had more options, I would be interested. If had better range, I would be interested. But as it stands this spell is almost totally useless.
- InfestationXGtE: Constitution saves tend to be high, which is this spell’s biggest problem. The damage is low but fine, and the forced movement is enough to make it useful by forcing enemies to move around in dangerous places or move out of a grapple despite your lack of control over the direction.
- Magic StoneEEPC / XGtE: At low levels, a spell attack dealing 1d6+Wisdom will be more damage than any of your other cantrips. But every other damage cantrip will match it at level 5, and without Extra Attack to let you throw more stones you’ll never get more than 1d6+5 damage. On top of that, casting Magic Stone consumes your Bonus Action, so it’s difficult to use in conjunction with other options. Your best bet is to get three NPCs to stand behind you, pull rocks out of your hand, and throw them at enemies while you use your action to do literally anything else.
- MendingPHB: Too situational. Short of Rust Monsters, nearly nothing in 5e deals damage to your equipment.
- Mold EarthEEPC / XGtE: You know what else can do this? A shovel. Sure, shoveling will take a long time, but you get at most 3 cantrips (5 with Circle of the Land), and if you can replace a cantrip with a mundane item it’s probably a bad cantrip. The only important function is to create difficult terrain, but you’re limited to two ongoing effects, which means you only get two 5-foot squares. And, again, you could do that with a shovel. You’re about as likely to use this in combat as you are to use a shovel, too.
- Poison SprayPHB: This highest damage die for cantrips, at least until Toll the Dead came along. Poison spray has serious problems: 10 ft. range, and it works on a Constitution saving throw, so enemies will frequently resist it.
- Primal SavageryXGtE: More damage than you can get out of any other Druid cantrip except Poison Spray, but no function beyond damage. If you’re building for melee without Wild Shape, you need to consider this against options like Shillelagh, Thunderclap, and any ranged cantrip that works on a saving throw rather than an attack roll. Primal Savagery will beat out Shillelagh at level 5 unless you’re getting a second attack from something like Polearm Master. A Circle of Spores Druid with Polearm Master and Shillelagh will deal more damage than Primal Savagery, but only until 17th level and only while running Symbiotic Entity.
- Produce FlamePHB: The Druid’s go-to damage cantrip, it notably also allows you to hold the flame and carry it around as a light source. You should be able to light fires with it even though that function isn’t specified in the spell’s text. You are holding a flame large enough to cast twice as much light as a candle, after all.
- ResistancePHB: Considerably more difficult to use than Guidance. Your best bet is to throw this on an ally before going into combat, but if you have that luxury you should be casting a better Concentration spell.
- Shape WaterEEPC / XGtE: This is as abusable and versatile as Prestidigitation. Freeze a solid 5 foot cube of water and drop it on someone. Pour water into a lock, freeze it, and allow the ice expansion to break the lock. Put a dome of ice over something you’re protecting. Build a small bridge in 5-foot segments. Block a hallway. Freeze a door in place. The uses are numerous and fantastic. If you have a barrel of water and this cantrip, you have a solution to most problems. Honestly the fact that this spell is so much better than its other elemental equivalents (Control Flames, Gust, and Mold Earth) is a good indication of just how awful those spells are. See my Practical Guide to Shape Water for more on how great Shape Water is.
- ShillelaghPHB: Stuck in melee? Out of Wild Shape uses? Don’t use your dumped Strength score: use a magic stick! Shillelagh is a neat spell, and it’s a popular option for clerics (via multiclassing or Magic Initiate) so that they don’t need to devote ability score increases to Strength or Dexterity. However, it’s not a great option for most druids. Druids never get Extra Attack, so the most damage you can ever get from melee attacks is 1d8+5 (avg. ), which will be matched by Produce Flame at 5th level (2d8, avg. 9). As much as I love the idea of a druid standing in melee with a magic staff and a shield, it’s just not a practical option. However, the Circle of Spores Druid may be an exception. Symbiotic Entity provides a boost to weapon attack damage which may keep Shillelagh viable as far as 11th level, at which point you should consider Thunderclap for your melee needs.
- Thorn WhipPHB: The damage is fine, but the real appeal is the pull effect. 10 feet may not seem like much, but its enough to pull enemies off of ledges, to pull low-flying enemies into melee, to pull enemies into an area control effect like Create Bonfire or Wall of Fire, to pull enemies out of a grapple, or in a pinch you can pull an ally out of a dangerous location (albeit at the price of some friendly fire).
- ThunderclapEEPC / XGtE: Damaging every creature within 5 feet of you is great if you’re in melee facing numerous enemies. Even with Extra Attack you will deal more damage with this against three or more foes than you could with a weapon. See my article on Melee Cantrips vs. Extra Attack for a breakdown of the math comparing melee cantrip spells to normal martial attacks.
- Absorb ElementsEEPC / XGtE: A fantastic defensive option at any level, this will save your life when you encounter an unpredictable source of elemental damage like as a trap or a spell. The bonus damage on your next attack is largely useless, but it still feels cool when you use it.
- Animal FriendshipPHB: Arguably easier than proficiency in Animal Handling, but it will become obsolete once beasts disappear around CR
- Beast BondEEPC / XGtE: Interesting, but druids don’t have something like a beast companion which would signfiicantly benefit from this. You could cast Conjure animals and combine it with this, but I don’t know if that’s worth the spell slots.
- Charm PersonPHB: If you can cast this on a target outside of combat without them noticing, this can be a great way to defuse a potentially hostile situation. However, the spell has some complications. Charm Person has no visual effect like a ball of fire, so there’s no visual indication that the spell succeeded or failed. The target doesn’t know that they’ve been targeted by the spell if they succeed on the saving throw, but you don’t know if they succeeded or failed unless your DM decides to tell you (and they are under no obligation to do so). So generally your best bet is to cast this once or twice and hope for the best before presenting yourself to your target.
- Create or Destroy WaterEEPC / XGtE: The ability to magically create water has many uses. Few of them are combat-related, but combined with Goodberry and an appropriate plant, this allows you to be fully self-sufficient.
- Cure WoundsPHB: More healing than Healing Word, but the action economy is considerably worse. Save this for when you need hit points and you’re either out of hit dice or don’t have time to rest.
- Detect MagicPHB: Someone needs to have it in every party.
- Detect Poison and DiseasePHB: Very situational, and unless you can also cast Protection From Poison there’s little you can do about it anyway.
- Earth TremorEEPC / XGtE: Not nearly enough damage, and being prone isn’t enough of a problem in 5e. The difficult terrain effect is the real draw. It only works on “loose earth or stone”, but that covers nearly anything you’ll stand on except wood, so it’s an easy way to create difficult terrain. Unfortunately, it also effects you so be careful not to trap yourself among enemies.
- EntanglePHB: A great are control spell at any level. Strength saving throws tend to be low for any creature that isn’t a gigantic Strength-based brute, so it’s easy to restrain even high-level enemies. However, it requires Concentration so you can’t easily combine it with things like Create Bonfire.
- Faerie FirePHB: The lowest-level option to deal with invisible creatures, and Advantage on attacks against creatures which fail their save means that this remains a powerful support option well into high levels, especially against bug bulky enemies with high AC but poor Dexterity saves. Hopefully you won’t run into any invisible creatures at 1st level, but but it’s important to have some way to deal with invisibility just in case.
- Fog CloudPHB: An excellent way to cover your escape, but you can’t see through the fog any better than anyone else, so don’t expect to fight in this without some other advantage most of the time. Fog Cloud can be a way to negate Advantage if your enemies have the upper hand, so if you’re facing enemies who are invisible, hidden, or have some other source of Advantage, Fog Cloud can take that away, effectively leveling the playing field so that no one can see each other. Such situations are rare, but it’s nice to know that there’s a countermeasure when those situations do arise.
- GoodberryPHB: Not useful in combat, but more healing per spell slot than Cure Wounds. Players: Dump all of your spell slots at the end of the day into Goodberry so you have a giant bag of healing to use between combats the next day. DMs: Limit your players to 10 active berries at a time specifically to prevent them from doing what I just suggested.
- Healing WordPHB: More important than Cure Wounds, especially at low levels. As a bonus action you can heal an unconscious ally enough to get them back into the fight, and you still have your action for a cantrip.
- Ice KnifeEEPC / XGtE: Not enough damage, and you not only make an attack for the primary damage, but the targets also get saving throws to totally avoid the splash damage.
- JumpPHB: Too situational.
- LongstriderPHB: A helpful buff for highly-mobile characters, and with an hour-long duration it can be a great use of low-level spell slots once your 1st-level spells start lagging in combat.
- Protection From Evil and GoodPHB (Optional): An absolutely fantastic defensive option, but it’s technically situational.
- Purify Food and DrinkPHB: Cast this as a ritual and you’ll never need to worry about spoiled food again. One of many reasons that Dungeons and Dragons makes a terrible wildernesss survival game.
- SnareXGtE: Good for setting a trap, or if you’re resting somewhere dangerous with a convenient choke point like a narrow halway. Targets are restrained for at least one round, which is hopefully enough for you to fight your way out of your bedroll and grab a weapon.
- Speak with AnimalsPHB: Its function is obvious enough that it probably doesn’t need exploration, but Speak with Animals is probably the most druid-y spell a druid can cast. Just be warned: animals aren’t very smart, so their ability to convey useful information may be hampered despite removing the speech barrier.
- ThunderwavePHB: With the exception of Gust, this is one of your very few options for pushing enemies away from you. It’s especially appealing if you can push an enemy into an area control effect, but otherwise it’s not a good go-to option for damage output in combat.
- Animal MessengerPHB: Situational and less reliable than similar spells like Sending, but it’s also a spell leve lower than Sending and it’s a ritual. If you know that your recipient is going to be wherever you send your message, this works fine. Unfortunately, the recipient doesn’t get to respond.
- AuguryPHB (Optional): This is my absolute favorite divination spell because it allows players to politely ask their DM for hints. Castable as a ritual with a reusable material component, if you have time you can cast this repeatedly to questions all sorts of decisions.
- BarkskinPHB: 16 AC will exceed the AC of almost every worthwhile Wild Shape form, even with 20 Wisdom and the Monk’s Unarmored Defense. As long as you can commit your Concentration to Barkskin, it’s a fantastic option for AC. However, since it’s a Concentration spell you’ll run the risk of the spell ending any time something hits you, and 16 AC isn’t high enough to keep you safe if you’re drawing a lot of fire. If you’re not fighting while in Wild Shape, skip Barkskin. 14 Dexterity, Hide armor, and a shield get you 16 AC, and Barkskin provides a minimum value for an AC and doesn’t interact with any bonuses of any kind, including shields and magic items, so it’s totally redundant for the vast majority of druids..
- Beast SensePHB: The intent is that you will use this to scout an area using an animal. Maybe you cast Speak With Animals on it, then send it to explore somewhere and use Beast Sense to get a first-hand account. If you’re desperate, you might also use this on an animal and carry it around to help address issues like blindness, deafness, or your own lack of darkvision. Your DM might reasonably impose Disadvantage on things like attack rolls when doing this due to the uncomfortable shift in perspective, but if you’re truly desperate it might be enough.
- Continual FlamePHB (Optional): Having reliable, constant light is really nice. Cast this on a shield, a necklace, a weapon, or maybe a whole bunch of different things to guarantee that you always have adequate light without casting light or lighting a torch.
- DarkvisionPHB: Darkvision is a significant tactical advantage, and with an 8-hour duration this is a fantastic way to get it.
- Dust DevilEEPC / XGtE: The one-minute duration means that you can spend a lot of time pushing enemies around. The damage is puny, so you’ll need to combine this with other area control effects to do any meaningful damage. Unfortunately, Dust Devil requires Concentration so it’s hard to combine with other effects like Create Bonfire.
- EarthbindEEPC / XGtE: Technically situational, but at high levels flight becomes a defining tactical option. If you can fly and your enemy can’t, you often win the fight be default.
- Enhance AbilityPHB: Fantastic and versatile. Eagle’s Splendor on your party’s Face make social interactions much easier, and Bull’s Strength provides a huge edge while grappling. Enhance your spellcasting ability to get Advantage on the ability checks to dispel magic.
- Enlarge/ReducePHB (Optional): A great option both as a buff for melee allies and as a utility option, though I would rarely try using this to shrink enemies. You can use this on a small ally to make them small enough to smuggle in a pocket, or you can use this on and ally to give them an edge against enemies that rely on grappling. The bonus damage for being enlarged is nice, but not really worth the spell slot unless the target is making a huge number of weapon attacks like a high-level fighter.
This works while using Wild Shape, but maybe not how you would expect. The spell enlarges or reduces the target’s weapons, but natural weapons like claws and teeth aren’t “weapons” much in the same way that unarmed strikes aren’t weapons. RAW enlarging/reducing yourself won’t impact Wild Shape beyond your size, but Jeremy Crawford has stated that RAI he would allow it to apply to unarmed strikes, so your DM might allow it to work with natural weapons, too. Either way, discuss it with your DM before you prepare this so that you’re not having a messy rules discussion in the middle of a fight.
- Find Traps: Too expensive and too imprecise. Invest in Investigation.
- Flame BladePHB: This spell is awful. If it worked like Shadow Blade it would at least be usable, but as it’s written it’s immediately worse then Produce Flame or any other attack cantrip. 3d6 damage (avg. ) barely exceeds 2d8 (avg. 9), and cantrips will scale without costing higher-level spell slots.
- Flaming SpherePHB: An interesting but sometimes difficult option, Flaming Sphere combines area control and regular damage output, but monopolizes both your bonus action and your Concentration for the 1-minute duration. In small areas where enemies can’t easily get away from the sphere, it can be a reliable source of ongoing damage while also helping control a small area. However, the sphere only applies damage when it rams a creature or when a creature ends its turn; in the intervening time creatures can run past or even directly through the sphere unharmed.
- Gust of WindPHB: Potentially a great way to shove enemies around, but at 15 ft. per round enemies will frequently be able to walk back the distance they were pushed without issue. Your best bet is to push enemies into area control effects, but since Gust of Wind requires your Concentration you may have trouble creating effects to use.
- Healing SpiritXGtE: This spell was massively weakened by errata issued in The cap of 1+mod uses means that most you can expect at most 6 uses of the spell, which totals just 6d6 healing when cast at 2nd level. That’s still incredibly effective for a 2nd-level spell slot and it’s definitely better than Cure Wounds, but it’s likely not good enough to replace healing from a short rest when your party is in rough shape. The healing goes up by 1d6 per spell slot past 2nd, so you can double the healing by using a 3rd-level slot. Generally you don’t want to use this during a fight because the healing isn’t fast enough and it requires Concentration.
- Heat MetalPHB: Situational by design, but against nearly any humanoid in metal armor, this spell is a death sentence. The damage will be slow, but disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks makes martial characters (the ones typically in metal armor) basically useless. Upcasting the spell is suprisingly efficient since the additional damage applies every round, so if you’re fortunate enough to encounter a suitable enemy, use this to its fullest.
- Hold PersonPHB: On/off button for humanoids. Things that you’ll obviously think of as humanoids (goblins, humans, etc.) stop being common threats at low levels, and at high levels generally the only humanoid threads will be powerful NPCs. Humanoids are a tiny portion of the monster manual, so this spell is situational by design.
In encounters with multiple foes, you can up-cast Hold Person to paralyze multiple targets, so when AOE damage spells aren’t a good idea for whatever reason this can still handle groups of enemies. Paralysis is a serious status condition, granting Advantage on attacks against the targets and guaranteeing Critical Hits for attacks made within 5 feet of the target. Send anyone with a weapon into melee to finish off the targets before they manage to succeed on a save.
However, remember that targets get an additional save at the end of each round, so you can’t predict how long this will stay in effect. If you up-cast this to affect multiple targets, you may reach a point where so few of them are still paralyzed that maintain Concentration may not be worthwhile.
- Lesser RestorationPHB: You won’t need it all the time, but everyone needs it eventually.
- Locate Animals or PlantsPHB: Very situational. Situations where you need to find some specific type of plant are usually a major story point rather than some routine task. If you need this, you can likely wait a day to prepare it and cast it as a ritual.
- Locate ObjectPHB: Too situational, and too easy to counter. Anyone with any knowledge of magic that’s trying to hide something will wrap it in lead.
- MoonbeamPHB: It’s easiest to compare Moonbeam to Flaming Sphere. In a practical sense, they’re both an ongoing spell which will deal damage to one creature once per turn and the creature gets a save to reduce the damage (or avoid it for Flaming Sphere). Moonbeam does more damage and targets save for half, but since Constitution saves tend to be so high creatures will frequently resist it. Moonbeam also deals radiant damage, which is a rarity for the Druid. All told, it’s a very efficient use of a spell slot, so at low levels before cantrip damage improves and while you have very few spell slots to throw around, this is an excellent combat option.
- Pass without TracePHB: A +10 bonus in a game where most characters max out at +11 is huge. The bonus is enough to offset problems like a fighter in full plate armor. But remember: this is not invisibility. You can’t cast this and crouch down in plain view and magically disappear. I hear that mistake being made constantly on podcasts. A +10 bonus doesn’t negate line of sight rules. You still need cover or something.
- Protection From PoisonPHB: Situational, but poison is common across the full CR range, so this is a fantastic defensive option at any level. The 1-hour duration means that you can get a lot of mileage out of a single spell slot even if you cast it ahead of time.
- SkywriteEEPC: Only useful as a novelty. Still, it’s hard to resist the ability to insult someone by writing nasty things about them in the sky for everyone to see for miles around.
- Spike GrowthPHB: 2d4 damage every 5 feet, and it’s every time the creature “travels”, not every time the creature moves. So if you push or pull the creature, they take damage. A foot radius sprea is a fairly large area, too, so you can easily affect whole rooms or long stretches of hallway.
- Summon BeastTCoE (Optional): The lowest-level Summon spell introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of everything, Summon Beast is an excellent spell. With a 1-hour duration you can get a ton of mileage out of a low-level spell slot, and the beasts are very effective in combat. If you have other melee allies, throwing one of the beasts with Pack Tactics alongside them can yield a lot of consistent, reliable damage. The Air beast has Flyby, which is appealing if you need a more durable version of the owl familiar’s hit-and-run Help trick, but won’t be as effective offensively as the Land and Water options.
For more help, see my Practical Guide to Summoning Spells.
- Warding WindEEPC / XGtE: A decent buff for melee druids, including both Circle of the Moon and Circle of Spores. Making the area around you difficult terrain makes it hard for enemies to move toward or away from you, and disadvantage on ranged weapon attacks keeps enemies with ranged weapons from picking you off from afar while you’re closing the distance.
- Aura of VitalityPHB (Optional): Never use this in combat, but 20d6 healing for a 3rd-level spell is very efficient. Even Healing Spirit can’t match this amount of healing at the same spell level (with the errata and a +5 spellcasting mod, 6 uses, 2d6 healing when cast at 3rd level, total 12d6 healing).
- Call LightningPHB: Definitely situational and hard to use effectively. I’ve updated my assessment of this spell numerous times because it really is hard to pin down. With a minute duration, you can produce a total of bolts of lightning, each dealing 3d10 (or more) damage in an AOE. This is a very efficient use of a spell slot, but the single-round damage is poor compared to spells of the same level, so if you’re just trying to kill whatever’s in a room and move on, you should look elsewhere.
The cloud itself is immobile, and lightning bolts must target a location “under the cloud”, meaning anywhere directly beneath the foot radius cloud. That’s a big area, but it’s still immobile, so unless you’re in a long fight or multiple fights within one area you’re likely going to allow this to expire before you get the full effect.
You can activate the lightning bolt effect while in wild shape, which means that you can turn into something sneaky like a rat or a small bird and go unnoticed while raining lightning on your foes, but the other problems remain, and your enemies are likely to seek cover (a ceiling would provide full cover) or move out of the area of the inexplicable storm cloud which is at most feet above you.
- Conjure AnimalsPHB: The lowest-level “Conjure Creature” spell, Conjure animals can be a powerful tool. At low levels, a single CR 2 creature is a significant increase to your party’s combat capabilities. However, like other Conjure Creature spells, the DM decides what animals you summon (you get to select the CR, just not the specific animal), which means that you need to trust your DM to give you something helpful.
For more help, see my Practical Guide to Summoning Spells.
- DaylightPHB: A Continual Flame, Light, or even a torch is typically sufficient, but sometimes you need to light up larger areas like dark battlefiends or massive caverns. This also dispels magical darkness of 3rd level or lower, which is great if you’re fighting enemies like drow which can produce magical darkness. Tragically, you can’t cast Daylight at a higher level to dispel magical darkness of higher levels.
- Dispel MagicPHB: Every party needs someone who can cast Dispel Magic. It’s simply too important to forgo.
- Elemental WeaponPHB (Optional): If your party doesn’t have magic weapons, this is a great way to get them. Druids can’t cast Magic Weapon, either, so this is basically your only option.
This is especially appealing for the Circle of Spores druid. It synergizes well with Polearm Master, and with a 1-hour duration you can afford to upcast the spell and drag one casting through multiple encounters (assuming that you can maintain Concentration, which may be difficult).
- Erupting EarthEEPC / XGtE: This is probably the closest the Druid gets to fireball. But it deals 2/3 as much damage and has a quarter the surface area, so it’s clearly for a different purpose: You’re using this spell for the difficult terrain. The damage is enough that you won’t regret casting it instead of a cantrip, and even at higher levels it’s a great way to place some difficult terrain. The difficult terrain effect is nearly permanent, so if you have time you can use this to set up ambushes and choke points which can define encounters against anything that can’t fly.
- Feign DeathPHB: Very situational.
- Flame ArrowsEEPC / XGtE: This is a waste of a spell slot. It amounts to at most 12d6 damage, which is a tragic waste of a 3rd-level spell slot. If you somehow manage to hit one target with all 12 arrows, you’ll do more damage than Fireball. But you have to somehow hit with a bunch of arrows or pass them off to someone who will, and following the typical attack vs. AC progression means that a player will hit something like 65% of the time, which means you’re getting 65% of the maximum damage, so something like 7d6. At that point, Erupting Earth is better.
- Meld into StonePHB: Very situational.
- Plant GrowthPHB: Situational. Outside of normal adventuring activities, the ability to enrich land to double crop yields is very useful. But DnD is a game primarily about adventuring, and the option to make an area of plants overgrown is the more important option for most adventurers. In most cases, Entangle will work fine if you just need to slow your enemies down, but Plant Growth doesn’t expire, so those plants remain difficult to walk through until someone clears the plants (which may requires hours of chopping and/or burning). The spell also doesn’t specify that the plants grow along the ground or surfaces, so RAW it can create a sphere of plants, creating super-difficult terrain extending feet into the air, potentially engulfing flying enemies.
The math on Plant Growth’s speed reduction is impressive. Since most creatures have a speed of around 30 feet, moving at 1/4 speed means that they can move one 5-foot square and be left with 10 feet of movement that won’t get them anywhere (unless they dash or something). Jeremy Crawford has clarified that Plant Growth doesn’t create difficult terrain, so it’s possible that difficult terrain would stack with Plant Growth, but I personally think that’s not how it’s intended to work. Plant Growth specifies that “a creature moving through the area must spend 4 feet of movement for every 1 foot” while the difficult terrain rule specifies that “moving 1 foot in difficult terrain costs 2 feet of speed”, and since those two statements conflict I think you’re intended to use whichever effect is greater rather than stacking them or multiplying them or something.
While it’s not discussed in the text of the spell, it seems likely that Plant Growth would also impede vision. If you turn a nicely-tended hedge into a foot-radius hemisphere of super-difficult terrain, there’s clearly enough stuff in the way that seeing through it is difficult. This would necessarily mean that creatures inside the area would likely be concealed to some degree, so don’t expect to drop Plant Growth on and enemy and then spend the next several turns spraying them with cantrips until they fall down.
Plant Growth’s problematic limitation is that it requires plants to be in the area. However, there doesn’t seem to be any restriction on how many or how large these plants must be (just that they must be “normal”, whatever that means), and where there’s lack of clarity there’s room for shenanigans. For example: you might carry around a potted plant and throw it into the area to provide the necessary plant life to support the spell. Plants like mint or clover can fit into a small pot, and when you make them grow you get a pretty and pleasant-smelling field of super-difficult terrain. If your DM scoffs at the idea of foot-tall clover patches, consider carrying a bonsai tree or some other plant which would normally be very tall (though a bonsai might not qualify as “normal” since we don’t know what that word means here).
- Protection from EnergyPHB: An excellent defensive option, but you may be doing alright with Absorb Elements.
- RevivifyPHB (Optional): Everyone who is capable of casting this should keep it handy. It’s simply too good to forgo.
- Sleet StormPHB: This spells is challenging. The area of effect is excellent, and combining difficult terrain, possibly falling Prone, and making the area heavily obscured make it difficult for creatures to act effectively while in the area and if they’re near the center it’s difficult for them to escape. On top of that, spellcasters will have trouble maintain Concentration while making repeated checks against high DC every turn.
However, beyond inconveniencing creatures within the area, this doesn’t get you much. You can’t see into the area to target creatures within the are with others spells since spells typically require line of sight, and Heavily Obscured blocks line of sight (though some spells, like fireball, don’t require you to be able to see), so unless you have an ally who dropped an ongoing damage effect within the area the best you can do is wait or run away. At that point, Fog Cloud may be just as effective.
- Speak with PlantsPHB: Situational.
- Summon FeyTCoE (Optional): The summon options do little to improve upon Summon Beast.
For more help, see my Practical Guide to Summoning Spells.
- Tidal WaveEEPC / XGtE: Being knocked prone typically isn’t a problem in 5e because standing costs so little. However, being knocked prone while flying causes you to fall, potentially taking a bunch of damage. This spell notably doesn’t require that it be cast on the ground or on top of a body of water. You could cast this in mid-air, or even wholly underwater. Using it mid-air seems like a good way to counter multiple flying enemies. However, hitting more than two enemies with a line effect (even one that’s wide like Tidal Wave) can be very difficult, so it’s rare that you’ll hit more than two targets with this.
- Wall of WaterEEPC / XGtE: Warding Wind also causes Disadvantage for ranged attacks and it’s both a level lower and it follows you.
- Water BreathingPHB: Situational, but crucial when you need it.
- Water WalkPHB: Usually flight is a better option than walking across a liquid. The spell notably doesn’t allow a saving throw, so you can use this on hostile creatures underwater to force them to surface.
- Wind WallPHB: Extremely situational.
- BlightPHB: Not enough damage for a spell slot this level, and Constitution saves tend to be high.
- Charm MonsterXGtE: A great nonlethal way to deal with enemies. It doesn’t require that the target be able to understand you, but otherwise has the same complications which Charm Person does: the target is only friendly toward you, and when the spell ends they know that they were charmed.
- ConfusionPHB: I’ve hated Confusion since 3rd edition. It’s unpredictable, unreliable, and makes combat take twice as long as it would normally. It’s great that it’s an AOE, and you might be able to make creatures attack their allies, but there are too many points of failure for it to be a reliable option.
- Conjure Minor ElementalsPHB: The same CR range as Conjure Animals, but a spell level higher. You could argue that elementals might be more useful than animals since elementals can often do things like move through solid stone or light things on fire, but you’re still totally beholden to the DM’s whims. You might need an earth elemental and get a magmin or something. The spell isn’t limited to vanilla elementals; any creature of the Elemental creature type qualifies.
For more help, see my Practical Guide to Summoning Spells.
- Conjure Woodland BeingsPHB: The same CR range as Conjure Animals, but a spell level higher. Fey are interesting creatures with a wide range of capabilities, so your DM is free to give you any number of options which may be either perfectly suited to the situation or totally useless.
For more help, see my Practical Guide to Summoning Spells.
- Control WaterPHB: All of the effects are situational, and there are some weird edge cases like using the Flood option on a puddle or a full bucket where it’s unclear what happens when the water overflows its container.
- DivinationPHB (Optional): Much more precise than Augury, and it works much further into the future. The 25gp component cost won’t hurt much at this level, but it’s enough to deter you from using this every time you have a question.
- Dominate BeastPHB: Beasts tend to have poor Wisdom saves, and there is rarely a better way to handle a potentially hostile creature than by dominating it. This spell can trivialize an entire creature type, which is impressive for a spell at this level, and the scaling is good enough that using a higher-level spell slot is appealing if you encounter a sufficiently powerful beast that you could reasonably drag it through a few encounters. Even if the spell ends prematurely, beasts aren’t especially smart and they might view the creatures which you were forcing them to fight as enemies and continue fighting them, or they might simply flee if they are injured. Beasts rarely fight to their last hit point unless they’re defending their young or something. They’re animals, not zealots.
- Elemental BaneEEPC / XGtE: Druids depend heavily on damage types covered by Elemental Bane, especially fire damage, but devoting your Concentration to this means that you can’t concentrate on many of the Druid’s best spells. Note that the extra damage is per turn, so if your allies can deal the same type of damage you can pile up a lot of damage very quickly. Unfortunately, the save is Constitution-based and Constitution saves tend to be high.
- Fire ShieldPHB: An excellent defensive option for Circle of Spores and Circle of the Moon, Fire Shield has a minute duration but doesn’t require Concentration, so enemies will think twice about taking advantage of your terrible AC.
- Freedom of MovementPHB: Nice, but situational.
- Giant InsectPHB: This spell is really good, but I still hate it because the best way to use the spell is to keep a bunch of bugs in jars to use with the spell so that you’re not dependent on whatever bugs happen to be within 30 ft. of you, and I just can’t bring myself to write “I have jars full of bugs” on a character sheet. But if you’re not me, and you don’t mind the mere concept of willingly interacting with bugs, this spell is good. In practice it’s very simiilar to Conjure Animals, but you can choose the creature you want by targeting an appropriate bug.
Spiders are good for crowd control, scorpions have blindsight, wasps are good for flying enemies, and centipedes are numerous enough to block big sections of a battlefield, and their damage is as good as the giant wasps’ so if you don’t need flight they’re a great way to bog down enemies with no AOE options. Also: Spiders aren’t instects. They could have called this spell “Vermin Growth” or “Giant Vermin”, but I think 5e is trying to get away from the word “Vermin”, which was a creature type in previous editions.
- Grasping VinePHB: This is not nearly good enough for such a high-level spell, and requiring Concentration and monopolizing your bonus action makes it nearly useless. Your best bet is to combine it with something that produces difficult terrain like Erupting Earth to keep a creature stuck inside a foot radius, but there are simply too many failure points to make this even remotely reliable. Without the ability to produce useful combos, this is a weak and unreliable crowd control effect. If this was a 1st-level spell, I think I would still prefer Entangle. Granted, Entangle is really good, but the fact that Grasping Vine is 4th-level and worse than Entangle really highlights just how weak it is. If you’re desperate to use this, try attaching it to a ceiling and pulling creatures off the ground and then dropping them.
- Guardian of NatureXGtE: This is a challenging spell. The benefits are great, but the duration is short and the spell’s effectiveness depends heavily on how you’re built. Primal Beast is clearly intended to be the scary offensive form, but a druid making Strength-based melee attacks is either a poorly built druid or they’re using Wild Shape.
Great Tree is usually the better option: advantage on Dexterity- and Wisdom-based attacks covers important options like daggers, but also covers anything you can use with Shillelagh. The temporary hit points will help compensate for your poor AC, and the area of difficult terrain will help you keep enemies in convenient melee range.
Circle of the Moon druids can get some use out of Primal Beast, but it has a Bonus Action casting time and a 1-minute duration, so until you get Beast Spells at 18th level it’s hard to get both effects going at the same time and you have at most 9 rounds to actually use the effects. Circle of the Moon can choose to Wild Shape as either an Action or a Bonus Action so you can start both effects in the turn, but you won’t be able to do much else in that turn. During the remaining 9 rounds you’ll be very effective, but it’s still only 9 rounds.
- Hallucinatory TerrainPHB: Situational.
- Ice StormPHB: This spell is terrible. Two types of dice for no readily apparent reason. Two types of damage, which makes sense but is still annoying. Compare thisis to Erupting Earth: ice Storm’s AOE is much bigger (20 ft. cube vs. 20 ft. radius cylindar), but it does an average of just 3 more damage, and the difficult terrain only lasts until the end of your next turn so it’s nearly pointless. This simply isn’t good enough to justify being a spell level higher than Erupting Earth.
- Locate CreaturePHB: More effective than mundane tracking, but the 1,foot range can be a problem if the target is actively fleeing from you. If you’re going to use this, be sure that you’re moving faster than your target.
- PolymorphPHB: Fantastic and versatile, but also very complicated. See my Practical Guide to Polymorph for detailed advice on how to get the most out of Polymorph.
- Stone ShapePHB: Where Transmute Rock is a gigantic sledge hammer, Stone Shape is a scalpel. You’re able to finely shape relatively small quantities of stone nearly however you choose, and a 5-ft. cube of stone is enough to get quite a lot done. However, the wording is itentionally limiting: Everything you do with a specific casting must occur within a 5-ft. cube; you don’t just get a 5-ft. cube worth of stone with which to perform shenanigans.
- StoneskinPHB: Expensive, but really good. Barkskin is Stoneskin’s only competition, and resistance to weapon damage types will be more effective than 16 AC.
- Summon ElementalTCoE (Optional): Summon Beast is better offensively both in and out of the water. The best use case for Summon Elemental is to summon an earth elemental if you need a Defender that can withstand melee attacks.
For more help, see my Practical Guide to Summoning Spells.
- Wall of FirePHB: An absolutely fantastic area control option.
- Watery SphereEEPC / XGtE: If you just want to restrain creatures, cast Entangle. The primary appeal here is the ability to restrain the target, then drag them around for the spell’s duration.
- Antilife ShellPHB: Helpful against melee enemies with short reach, which includes a large portion of the Monster Manual even at high levels.
- AwakenPHB: Neat, but extremely situational.
- Commune with NaturePHB: 3 miles isn’t an especially large range, but since this a ritual you can cast this repeatedly as you travel. You might get some useful information, but your DM (and your party) might get sick of sitting around waiting for you to perform the ritual every time you travel 6 miles. You might be able to get away with performing this from the back of a wagon or something, which would let you cast it repeatedly without slowing things down.
- Cone of ColdPHB (Optional): Solid instantaneous damage with a big cone.
- Conjure ElementalPHB: While you get to choose the type of elemental summoned, you don’t get to pick the CR, so your DM is totally allowed to screw you and make you summon a single steam mephit or something else incredibly low-CR. Don’t use this unless you sincerely believe that your DM will give you something worth the spell slot. Also, be very careful to maintain Concentration for the duration of the spell. Losing control of your summoned elemental could be a serious problem if things are already going badly for you.
For more help, see my Practical Guide to Summoning Spells.
- ContagionPHB: Sage Advice made significant changes to how this spell works, so if you have a physical copy of the Player’s Handbook make sure you go download the latest version of the Sage Advice and Errata documents.
If you hit the target with a melee spell attack, they’re poisoned for a minimum of 3 turns. Poisoned is an extremely effective debuff, though many creatures are resistant or immune to it. Even so, the Poisoned effect may be more significant than the disease. The target must fail a total of three saving throw to apply your chosen disease, and considering a typical combat lasts round many enemies won’t live long enough for that to happen. Consider the Poisoned effect the primary effect of the spell, and think of the disease as a neat novelty which might come up if you don’t manage to kill the target fast enough.
- Control WindsEEPC / XGtE: A downdraft is a great way to deal with groups of flying enemies since falling prone while flying causes the target to fall. But there are other options like Earthbind which can also handle flying enemies with a much lower-level spell slot, though admittedly Earthbind only affects one target and they won’t take falling damage.
- GeasPHB: This spell is situational by design. It has a 1-minute casting time and Verbal components, so you’re not going to break this out in combat or while sneaking around in a dungeon. You’re going to restrain the subject, and stand around chanting for a full minute and hope that they fail the save. Once that’s done, you need to give them a suitable command (read the spell description). Generally you’ll want it to be something that benefits you, but will also take the target most of the duration to keep them from becoming a problem for you. Also remember that the base effect of the Charmed condition makes it easier for you to talk the creature into doing things with Charisma checks, so a Geased creature may be a useful ally for the duration of the effect even if the original order isn’t directly related to what you want them to do.
Increasing the spell level extends the duration, but weirdly the damage doesn’t increase. 5d10 is a nice pile of damage, but it doesn’t scale with spell level and at some point the target will get smart enough to wake up, trigger the 5d10 damage, take a short rest, then go about their business. If the damage scaled this would be less of a problem, but damage is so easily repaired in 5e outside of combat that without further penalties Geas is more a tax on hit dice than the magical shackles it’s intended to be. If you want a homebrew fix, add a level of fatigue each day that the target is out of compliance, or make the damage impossible to heal until they go a day without taking it. Neither of those is a perfect solution, but they’re miles better than an average of damage.
- Greater RestorationPHB: A crucial healing option; someone needs to have this in every party.
- Insect PlaguePHB: Combining both ongoing damage and difficult terrain, Insect Plague is a good area control option, further improved because you can place it in the air or underwater, rather than on the ground. However, the radius isn’t big enough to prevent a creature from escaping if its willing to spend its Action to Dash, so look for other ways to force the creature to stay inside the sphere like shoving, tripping, or casting Wall of Stone.
- MaelstromEEPC / XGtE: A great area control effect. The damage isn’t much, but it covers a foot radius circle in difficult terrain, so creatures at the center of the square with foot speed need to Dash just to reach the edge of the effect. If you can force creatures to stay in the area somehow (knock them prone, push/pull them, restrain them, etc.), you can get a lot of damage out of one spell slot.
- Mass Cure WoundsPHB: You never want this to be a good option. It’s your best bet when you need to revive a dying ally that you can’t reach, but even then Healing Word is typically sufficient.
- Planar BindingPHB: Situational and very difficult to use. Druids can’t cast Magic Circle, so you need to ask a friend for help or stumble across one in the wild. You also don’t get high-level summoning options like Gate, so the best things you can bind are Fey and Elementals summoned via Conjure Elemental and Conjure Fey. Plus, there’s the 1,gp consumable material component.
For more help, see my Practical Guide to Summoning Spells.
- ReincarnatePHB: Back in , the Reincarnate list was much weirded. You could reincarnate people as badgers. 5e’s version is exclusively options from the PHB, which is much more useful but way less fun. This is a good option if your party can’t get Raise Dead for some reason, but keep in mind that changing races will probably wreck the target’s build.
- ScryingPHB: In previous editions druids could use any still pool of water for Scrying, and as much as I miss that bit of flavor it was a bit unfair. Scrying is a spectacularly powerful option, and if you know enough about major chracters you can use to repeatedly spy on them to learn things which you might otherwise be totally unable to learn.
- Transmute RockEEPC / XGtE: In previous editions, this was two spells, and if you were quick you could transmute mud to rock, then back into rock once enemies had sunken into it. Now that combination is specifically prohibited, but transmuting rock to mud is still a decent combiantion. Adventuring frequently takes you to places with stone flopors and ceilings like caves and castles, and even if you don’t use this to restrain enemies, you can use it for things like walking through walls, collapsing structures, or generally just ruining anything made of stone. It affects a foot cube, which is enough to do a horrifuingly large amount of structural damage.
- Tree StridePHB: In a forest this can be a helpful way to quickly travel short distances, but It’s not nearly as effective for short distances as Misty Step, it’s not good for long distances (you can go about a mile total if all the trees line up perfectly and you run a little bit during your turns), and you’re totally limited by the position and species of trees.
- Wall of StonePHB: Wall of Stone useful defensively for creating instant cover, and you can use it to segment off portions of a fight to isolate enemies from their allies, or to put a barrier between your allies and problematic enemies. The ability to make the effect permanent also means that with repeated castings you’re able to build structures with it, provided that you can meet the “merge with and be solidly supported by existing stone” requirement.
- Wrath of NatureXGtE: This would be a great spell if you could guarantee that you were in an area with trees, grass, and loose stones every time you fought something. But you can’t do that, and forests are a relatively small portion of most worlds’ environments.
- Bones of the EarthEEPC / XGtE: If you’re inside somewhere with a low enough ceiling that you can pin enemies against the ceiling, this is great. Otherwise it’s borderline useless.
- Conjure FeyPHB: Fey are powerful creatures with a wide variety of abilities, but remember that the DM selects which creature you summon, so you can’t guarantee that you will summon something useful. You don’t even get to pick the CR, so your DM is totally allowed to screw you and make you summon a single frog. Don’t use this unless you sincerely believe that your DM will give you something worth the spell slot. Also, be very careful to maintain Concentration for the duration of the spell. Losing control of your summoned fey could be a serious problem if things are already going badly for you.
For more help, see my Practical Guide to Summoning Spells.
- Druid GroveXGtE: Not the sort of spell you cast often while adventuring, but the fact that you can make it permanent makes it a really cool spell to cast when you retire from adventuring.
- Find the PathPHB: Situational, and often difficult to use, but still very interesting. The hardest part of using the spell is finding an object from the place you want to go. Once you’ve solved that problem, Find the Path merely gives you directions. It doesn’t avoid hazards and it doesn’t point out traps, so be wary of traps and ambushes along the way.
- Flesh to StonePHB (Optional): Single-target save-or suck, but they get multiple saves and Constitution saves tend to be high so you can’t count on this to work reliably. Even if the target does succumb to the spell, it takes at least three rounds.
- HealPHB: One of the best healing options in the game, especially during combat.
- Heroes’ FeastPHB: The duration is instantaneous, but the effects of eating the feast last 24 hours, and that’s definitely not confusing. Jokes aside, you should cast this spell every day. Poison and fear are common nuisances, and advantage on all Wisdom saving throws is spectacular. On top of those already amazing benefits, 2d10 extra hit points is a small but still helpful boost to your party’s durability (and it stacks with Aid!). Note that these extra hit points aren’t temporary hit points, so you can still add temporary hit points on top of your boosted hit point maximum. The only drawback is the 1,gp cost to cast the spell.
- Investiture of FlameEEPC / XGtE: A solid offensive option, the damage for being adjacent to you is easy to apply if you’re grappling (easily accomplished by many Wild Shape forms) or to use to encourage enemies to run away and potentially draw opportunity attakcs, and using Wild Shape doesn’t end the effect so you’re free to turn yourself into a flaming owl, fly into position to use the line of fire effect, then fly to safety.
- Investiture of IceEEPC / XGtE: Largely similar to Investiture of Flame, but you trade ongoing fire damage for an area of difficult terrain around you. You also trade Investiture of Fire’s line for a cone of the same length, but in exchange for the broader AOE you lose a little bit of damage.
- Investiture of StoneEEPC / XGtE: The earthquake effect is mostly useless, but the other effects are fantastic. Resistance to weapon damage types is fantastic for a class with notoriously low AC and only d8 hit points. Circle of the Moon druids will find it especially useful since the effect continues while in Wild Shape, allowing you to remain in Wild Shape longer before running out of hit points. The difficult terrain point may not seem especially useful, but until this level the majority of the Druid’s spells which create difficult terrain do so by scattering rubble which this spell conveniently allows you to ignore.
- Investiture of WindEEPC / XGtE: A 60 foot fly speed is considerable, and disadvantage on ranged weapon attacks against you means that the only easy way to hit you is with spells or something. Of the investiture spells, this is easily the best option for Circle of the Land Druids who generally can’t risk being close enough to use Investiture of Flame/Ice offensively (except possibly while flying around as a fire/ice breathing owl), and who need to avoid being attacked too much to use Investiture of Stone.
- Move EarthPHB: Extremely situational, but by this level you might have a permanent base of some sort, and the ability to reform the terrain in an area that you frequent can be very helpful. Flatten arable land for farms, roads, and buildings. Dig trenches for irrigation as a moat. Redirect the flow of rivers, or reshape lakes and ponds. Create safe harbors by lowering land adjacent to water enough that ships can sail in. Combined with Stone Shape, Wall of Stone, and some naturally occurring local stone you have everything you need to build yourself a castle.
- Primordial WardEEPC / XGtE: In most cases, Protection from Energy is sufficient because most creatures can only dish out one type of non-weapon damage. However, if you’re facing a spellcaster or something horrifying like Tiamat, you’ll want to cover all the bases. This spell notably omits resistance to Necrotic, Psychic, and Radiant damage, which is a crucial vulnerability to understand before depending on Primordial ward, and it’s also a great data point when explaining how useful it is to be able to deal those damage types.
- SunbeamPHB: An efficient use of a spell slot, giving you the equivalent of Lightning Bolt every turn. The blinding effect is great, too, but Constitution saves tend to be high, so think of it more like an added bonus on top of the damage rather than as a core component of the spell.
- Transport via PlantsPHB: The duration is only one round, but “any creature” means that you can queue up a small horde of creatures and charge them through into the entrance plant by having them all run into the center then run away from the exit in the space of a single round. The spell doesn’t specify that creatures must exit into an unoccupied space, which opens up further room for abuse. You can feed as many creatures through the plant as you can physically squeeze through, so it’s basically a magical clown car tree gate thing. Oh, and it goes to any sufficiently large plant on the same plane of existence, so you can transport between planets (provided that there are suitable destinations in your setting) or to less far-off places like the Underdark, provided that you’ve been there once before and have seen/touched a suitable destination plant.
- Wall of ThornsPHB: Casting Wall of Fire at a 6th-level spell will do almost as much damage, and Wall of Fire affect creatures within 10 ft. of the wall so it’s much easier to apply the damage. However, fire damage is commonly resisted and aside from the damage there is little preventing enemies from moving through a Wall of Fire. Wall of Thorns’ damage will be less commonly resisted, it blocks line of sight, and moving through it costs 4 times as much movement as normal. If you add difficult terrain with something like Erupting Earth, it’s profoundly difficult to get out of or through the wall, and if you can push or pull enemies into the wall somehow they’ll have a lot of trouble getting out of it.
- Wind WalkPHB: Transport Via Plants is your go-to travel option, but if you’re scouting an area from the air or if there are no suitable plants, a ft. fly speed is a great way to do it. That’s 10 times as fast as most players can walk, so you can cover huge distances in the spell’s 8-hour duration.
- Fire StormPHB: Imagine a fireball that you got to cut up and shape in foot cubes. That’s essentially what Fire Storm is. It’s a decent blast spell, but it doesn’t do nearly enough damage for a spell of this level.
- Mirage ArcanePHB: This is a difficult spell. The affectable area is huge, the distance is Sight (go climb a mountain on a clear day), and the effects of the illusion are tangible enough that you can physically interact with them, including picking up sticks or stones. But it’s unclear how far that goes: Can you burn the illusory wood to keep yourself warm? Can you smooth over difficult terrain in the same way that you can make smooth terrain difficult? Could you place stairs in the side of a clear cliff face? How far up and down does the effect stretch? The closest we have is these twotweets which indicate that you have a lot of leeway, and that the effects are real enough that a creature could drown in illusory water, brun in illusory lava, and climb illusory trees. Your DM will be the abiter of exactly what you can get away with, but the spell itself is a wildly versatile toolbox.
- Plane ShiftPHB: Combination travel/banishment in one spell. You can easily replicate teleportation by casting Plane Shift twice to get where you want to be on the same plane. You can also banish a creature to a plane where they’ll be really unhappy, like a living creature banished to the plane of fire, or a demon banished to Celestia. The spell requires a Charisma save to resist, and many monsters have terrible Charisma saves because they’re horrifying monstrosities.
- RegeneratePHB: Too situational to select as a spellcaster with a limited number of spells known. DnD doesn’t have injury rules which lead to limb removal except in very specific circumstances, so it’s not like characters are losing fingers and toes despite spending potentially years being sliced and diced by all manny of oponents.
- Reverse GravityPHB: If used under the right circumstances, this spell is a death sentence for many creatures. If affected creatures can’t grab onto something, they don’t get a save. If they can’t fly and can’t fight at range, they’re floating targets for up to a minute. If you’re facing creatures of larger size than your party members, you can place the cylindar slightly off the ground, dragging tall enemies into the air while your allies duck below the bottom of the cylindar.
- SymbolPHB: While many of the effects are wonderful, the inability to move the symbol and the high casting cost are prohibitive.
- WhirlwindEEPC / XGtE: Casting this spell is a commitment: enemies won’t just walk into the whirlwind, so you’ll need to spend your Action every turn to move it. Hopefully you’re in close enough quarters that you’ll be able to hit multiple enemies each turn, but they’ll probably figure out that a foot tall tornado isn’t something which they want to stand by. Once you have a creature in the whirlwind, the victim is making ability checks to get out rather than a saving throw or a skill check, so even creatures with high Strength or Dexterity may need several attempts to escape. And even when they do escape, they’re hurled between 30 and feet in a random direction. Unfortunately it looks like hitting objects won’t hurt them (though they may take some falling damage), but you can always go pick them up again on your own turn if they’re close enough.
- Animal ShapesPHB: Essentially a worse version of Mass Polymorph, the size, creature type, and CR limitations gives you few good options. The current published highest-CR beast (excluding creatures published in adventures, which generally aren’t available outside of those adventures) of Large or smaller size is the Giant Scorpion at CR 3, which isn’t a great option for combat at this level. You could use this for scouting by turning into something like rats or spiders, but if you just want to fly around quickly Wind Walk is better.
If you do choose to take Animal Shapes into combat, remember that you can spend an Action to change the forms of the targets, and every time targets assume a new form they start at full hp for that form. By changing forms every turn, you can keep your allies’ hit points high and weather huge amounts of damage at little cost. This won’t make attacks in a low-CR form effective, but if you can turn a bunch of weak allies (trained animals, NPCs, familiars, etc.) into beasts, you can turn them into a powerful defensive from line while your other allies do the real fighting.
- Antipathy/SympathyPHB: Difficult to use because it targets a single type of creature, but if you’re facing a homogenous group of enemies you can greatly hinder them with either option. Even against single creatures, using Sympathy to force an enemy to approach one of your party members (sympathy on a paladin to attract a lich) can force enemies into a situation which will end in their death.
- Control WeatherPHB: Very situational, and kind of a pain for the DM. Go to your setting’s arctic equivalent, and raise the remperature to “Unbearable Heat” for 8 hours. That certainly won’t cause horrifying and potentially irreperable ecological damage that the DM will need to either totally disregard or track in some unpleasant fashion for the duration of the campaign.
- EarthquakePHB: Unless you’re specificlally trying to destroy buildings, this spell is too subject to the DM’s whims to be reliable. The fissues are the only part of the spell which can reliably harm enemies who aren’t inside a collapsing building, and you have no control over where they appear.
- FeeblemindPHB: Wisdom-based and Charisma-based casters are extremely vulnerable to Feeblemind. Even creatures who cast spells as a supplement to their other abilities can be seriously inhibited by suddenly being less intelligent than many animals.
Beyond limited spellcasting, I’ve always found this spell difficult to manage for other enemies. 1 Intelligence and 1 Charisma is obviously very poor, but what is the victim capable of? If they’re a cleric, can they still cast spells? What are they smart enough to do in combat? There’s a lot of room for the DM to interpret how this works and which abilities creatures can still use. While that could be fun and very effective, it also makes the spell’s effect totally dependent on the DM and their interpretation of what an affected creature is mentally capable of doing.
- Incendiary CloudPHB (Optional): Basically Cloudkill with a bunch of improvements. The damage is fully doubled, the damage type is improved (though fire is still one of the most commonly resisted damage types), and Dexterity saves are more effective than Consitution saves. The damage roughly matches a Fireball cast at the same level (avg. 45 vs. avg. for Fireball), and the damage applies every round for the full 1-minute duration. However, it still retains some of Cloudkills biggest issues. First, the damage applies when the spell is cast but only re-applies to creatures inside the effect when they end their turn inside the cloud. With a foot radius, most creatures can easily walk out of the cloud. The spell is also forced to move 10 feet every round, and the text explaining how that works is absolutely nonsensical. RAW you get to choose the direction, but you only get to choose that it moves directly away from you. Fortunately, Jeremy Crawford clarified that you choose its heading, so you’re free to make the cloud slowly roll back and forth in the same small area if you choose to do so.
- SunburstPHB: Imagine fireball with three times the radius and it blinds the targets. The targets get a Constitution save every turn to remove the blindness so you can’t expect it to stay in effect for long, but the save is at the end of their turns so they’ll spend at least one turn blinded if they fail the initial save, and that may be enough to determine the outcome of the encounter.
- TsunamiPHB: Push everything you’re fighting away from you at 50 ft. per round, and prevent them from escaping unless they make Strength (Athletics) checks. The creatures aren’t restrained or anything so they can still use ranged weapons and cast spells, but then again you’re also free to shoot at them as they’re carried off, and you’re not holding your breath. If you have allies who can throw up area control effects like Wall of Fire or Blade Barrier, you can use this to force enemies through those effects.
- ForesightPHB: This is, without a doubt, the best buff in the game. With an 8-hour duration you can throw it on the lucky recipient and watch them laugh their way through nearly any challenge for a full day worth of adventuring.
- ShapechangePHB: The best polymorph spell for targeting yourself. The ability to change forms while still under the effects of a single casting makes you fantastically versatile, allowing you to change forms to suit the situation at a moment’s notice. However, it takes an action to change forms so you want to avoid doing so in combat. Generally you should have a few go-to combat forms, but avoid any creature that has spellcasting in its stat block, as losing the creature’s spellcasting will typically reduce the creature’s CR considerably. If you’re ever unsure what to pick, pick a dragon. It’s hard to go wrong with a high-CR dragon.
- Storm of VengeancePHB: For a 9th-level spell with a cool name and an exciting description, this spell is terrible. The effects replace each other every round rather than adding on top of each other, so you need to consider each effect individually. The only meaningful damage is the lightning bolts in round 3, and notably that’s also the only damage which affects objects. I can’t guess why hailstones large enough to deal as much damage as a greatsword somehow can’t affect objects, but I suppose 2d6 damage to a castle for one round isn’t going to do more than annoy some masons. The wind and cold damage from rounds 5 through 10 are the bulk of the spell’s effect, but the damage is pitiful and you can get the wind effect from other spells. The only case I can think of where this spell is useful is if you want to murder a small community of peasants in ramshackle houses at incredible distance.
- True ResurrectionPHB: The Druid’s first and only conventional way to raise the dead. Previously your best option was Reincarnate, which was fine but unpredictable. Ideally you want to rely on the lowest-level available option for raising the dead because the material components are so expensive, but the Druid doesn’t get much choice. If you don’t want your friend coming back as a different race, you’ll need to drop 25,gp to do it or find a cleric.
Druid 5e best spells
20 Best Druid Spells For DD 5e
Druids in Dungeons Dragons 5th Edition (DD 5e) rely on the forces of nature for their magical powers, including their full spellcasting progression and bestial transformations with Wild Shape.
The class has a versatile spell list containing many thematic choices that allow Druids to heal and buff allies, damage and disable enemies, and alter their environment.
Through my experience with druids, I found that they can fill in most of a party’s spellcasting needs; plus specializing your prepared spells can make you especially potent in almost any given niche.
I usually prefer versatility when playing this class, so my opinions on the 20 best Druid spells for DD 5e reflects that playstyle.*
*NOTE: This list includes only 1st-level spells or higher. Also when I mention levels, I mean specifically the designated level of each spell, not when a Druid would gain access to them.
Transport via Plants
Source: Player’s Handbook
Druids first gain access to long-distance teleportation through this 6th-level spell, allowing them to travel from one Large-sized inanimate plant to another on the same plane of existence.
The only caveat here is that the Druid must have seen or touched the plant at their intended destination.
Transport via plants has the bonus of being very fitting to the Druid’s nature motif.
Druids have access to many spells focused on dealing damage over time.
Both moonbeam and flaming sphere are 2nd-level spell options that fit this category. Moonbeam affects a 5-foot radius area, while flaming sphere is a 5-foot diameter sphere that deals damage to adjacent creatures or whatever it rams into.
Of the two, moonbeam has the better damage type with radiant, and flaming sphere understandably deals the often more resisted fire damage.
On the other hand, flaming sphere requires only a bonus action to move, making it the superior choice in action economy compared to the action required to reposition moonbeam.
These two spells are the earliest examples of the type of pure, sustained damage Druids can deal, though higher level damaging options sometimes come off as too costly in terms of spell slots and action economy.
This 8th-level spell gives Druids two distinct options for its effects, which can target either one creature or a specific area.
Antipathy causes creatures of a certain type to become frightened of the target and forces them to move away from the target; sympathy compels that type’s to approach the target instead.
Either effect lasts for a whopping 10 days, so you can theoretically prepare it for your entire party over a matter of days—especially useful if you plan to engage a certain type of enemy in battle.
Source: Player’s Handbook
Once Druids gain access to 3rd-level spells, they can prepare plant growth for their daily list of spells. This spell has two effects, depending on how long you take to cast it.
The 8-hour cast enriches the land within a half-mile radius, improving their potential bounties during a harvest; this option fits right in with the druidic theme and can open different roleplaying opportunities.
The 1-action cast time causes all plants within a foot radius of a designated point to thicken, making it even more difficult for creatures to move through.
Though this other effect requires plants to already be in the area, the effect helps you control the battlefield, either messing with positioning or deterring enemy movement altogether.
As the spell requires no concentration, plant growth allows Druids to layer another spell on top of the altered terrain.
Source: Player’s Handbook
For full spellcasters, 9th-level spells represent the peak of their magical capability (though it often takes a while to get there), so this list wouldn’t be complete without at least a mention or two.
For up to an hour, shapechange enables your Druid to transform into any creature you’ve seen at least once, so long as its Challenge Rating is of your level or lower.
Essentially, this spell provides a more versatile version of Wild Shape with a shorter duration, allowing you to change into creatures beyond beasts.
Like other transformative abilities, access to these various forms can aid you in any situation.
Source: Player’s Handbook
A Druid can grant targets certain buffs with this relatively versatile 2nd-level spell.
The main benefit lies in receiving advantage for ability checks for a specific ability score, though a few also give additional benefits.
Since ability checks are a relatively common part of the game, enhance ability is a handy spell for all Druids to keep prepared.
Source: Player’s Handbook
A powerful 7th-level spell, plane shift enables your Druid to transport yourself and up to eight willing allies to another plane of existence—given that you have the appropriate material component. However, this spell can prove useful in combat.
When you target an unwilling creature who fails a Charisma saving throw (which many creatures lack a good bonus to) against plane shift’s effect, you can shunt them into another plane of existence.
For many creatures, such a fate often equates death, making this spell a potent choice to eliminate an enemy.
Source: Player’s Handbook
To cast this 6th-level spell, you must acquire a 1, gp material component that gets consumed during the casting. In exchange, your Druid conjures a bountiful feast for up to 12 people.
For the next 24 hours after consuming the feast, the spell grants an absurdly good set of benefits: removal of all diseases and poison, immunity to poison and the frightened condition, advantage to all Wisdom saving throws, and a 2d10 increase to hit point maximum.
If you have an important adventuring day coming up, then it’s well worth to spend the gold for the Druid to cast heroes’ feast.
Source: Player’s Handbook
Another 9th-level spell choice for Druids, foresight provides one of the most potent buffs in the game, providing the several effects to a creature for eight hours.
The target gains advantage (meaning they roll a d20 twice and take the better result) on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws; and they become incapable of being surprised.
Additionally, other creatures have disadvantage on attacks against a target buffed by foresight. As a support spell, Druids can’t go wrong with this choice—put it on someone that attacks often, like a paladin or fighter!
Source: Player’s Handbook
Next to Clerics, Druids are probably the second most potent class for healing in the game.
And their access to the 6th-level heal spell solidifies that spot.
Heal provides some serious restorative effects, as the target regains 70 hit points and recovers from any blindness, deafness, or disease effects.
Druids that want to fill in this support role should prepare this spell once they gain access to it.
Source: Player’s Handbook
Faerie fire is a 1st-level spell that affects a foot cube with a burst of colors.
Creatures in the area who fail their Dexterity saving throws against the effect are outlined with light, causing attacks against them to have advantage and preventing them from benefiting from invisibility effects.
Using this spell, your Druid can provide both a party buff and an enemy debuff in one casting.
9. Wrath of Nature
Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
Wrath of nature is a very thematic 5th-level spell that conjures nature-like trappings (such as brush, rocks, and tress) over a large area.
For up to a minute (concentration willing), this spell can deter, restrain, and damage creatures of your choice in the area.
The great part about this spell is that its various effects don’t require your action beyond the initial casting, leaving you to spend your following turns on other options.
Source: Player’s Handbook
Entangle provides an early game choice for area denial and enemy crowd control.
This 1st-level spell creates a foot square of weeds and vines which count as difficult terrain; moreover, this area can restrain creatures that fail their Strength saving throws while moving through it.
The effects last while you maintain concentration, up to a minute, and restrained creatures need to spend their action whether they succeed or fail, to even attempt to escape.
Overall entangle is a great spell to have prepared for up-and-coming Druids.
Source: Player’s Handbook
With this 1st-level spell, Druids can create up to ten magical berries that restore 1 hit point each and that provide a day’s worth of nourishment.
This spell provides a very efficient means of healing, especially for low-level parties.
Berries can be distributed and eaten by other characters on their own accord, making them potent for simply bringing allies back from unconsciousness.
While goodberries lose their effects 24 hours after their creation, Druids should generally have this spell prepared, as there’s little reason not to constantly create batches from leftover spell slots at the end of an adventuring day.
6. Healing Word
Source: Player’s Handbook
In 5e, healers can get by with restoring small amounts of hit points to their allies because of the death save mechanic and the fact that total hit points can’t go below zero.
Healing word gives Druids a 1st-level bonus action spell that heal creatures enough to get them back in a fight.
Since this spell leaves your action for other options (so long as you don’t cast another spell), picking up healing word is generally an optimal choice.
5. Pass Without Trace
Source: Player’s Handbook
Short of turning everyone invisible, pass without trace is the next best thing for helping yourself and designated creatures within a generous radius to yourself move around discreetly.
This 2nd-level spell provides a considerable +10 bonus to Stealth checks and prevents affected creatures from being tracked for up to one hour (so long as you maintain concentration).
Pass without trace helps even your armored allies become sneaky and makes rogues (or similarly deft characters) even better at getting by undetected.
4. Healing Spirit
Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
With this spell, your Druid summons a restorative nature spirit at a designated point.
Creatures of your choice that move through it receive some healing the first time they do so during a turn, and this effect lasts for up to a minute (with your concentration).
As written, the spell has no limit for how many creatures can benefit from this effect or how many times you can invoke its healing, making it a contentious and often banned spell barring tweaks.
However even if your DM adjusts how healing spirit works, it may likely still be an efficient pick for healing at the cost of (at minimum) a 2nd-level spell slot.
Source: Player’s Handbook
An extremely versatile 4th-level spell, polymorph allows you to rely on a repository of beast forms for solving your problems.
For example, a Druid can cripple an enemy by turning them into a nearly harmless creature like a rabbit or small turtle.
Transforming into a large bird can help you ferry allies over obstacles and long distances, while the back of a whale can temporarily serve as a seafaring vessel.
Druids might innately get the option to change into useful beast forms, but polymorph extends that capability (to a limited extent) to their allies.
2. Absorb Elements
Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything/Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
Druids get their best spell option for their reaction with absorb elements.
When you take acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage, this 1st-level spell allows you to gain resistance to the corresponding damage type until the start of your next turn.
Its additional effect also charges up the next melee attack you land with 1d6 of the same damage type, though only during your next turn.
A great defensive pick, this spell can potentially save your Druid from a lot of damage.
1. Conjure Animals/Woodland Beings/Elemental/Fey
Source: Player’s Handbook
Druids have access to a slew of spells that allow them to summon different types of creatures.
Once called forth, these creatures follow your orders, fighting for you and using their abilities as needed.
The type of creature depends on the spell used: conjure animals (3rd-level spell), conjure woodland beings (4th-level spell), conjure elemental (5th-level spell), and conjure fey (6th-level spell).
The creatures you summon can give you access to a wide breadth of skills and even spellcasting.
On top of possible battle capability, these conjure spells should prove useful for in- and out-of-combat situations. Plus, it never hurts to have a few more bodies on the field to help in a pinch.
Depending on what level of spells your Druid can access, I recommend having at least one of these spells always prepared.
Ianara Natividad is a writer and editor who loves gaming, creative writing, content creation, and history. Since early she has contributed extensively to Worldbuilding Magazine, a digital publication dedicated to worldbuilders. Ianara enjoys working with other content creators and relishes every opportunity to write something new and exciting.
There are a couple of options available for the type of Druid that a player can choose. A druid type that focuses on spells over wildshape abilities will find a large list to choose from daily, similar to a divine caster. They also have circle types that give them access to spells that are not normally on the Druids spell list.
Best Druid Spells 5e
Druidcraft is spell exclusive to Druids, and its a cantrip, so, yes, all Druid’s should take it. It isn’t a flashy or particularly useful spell, but it does allow for solid RP and has in-game benefits.
The caster can create a sensory effect that tells the weather over the next 24 hours, they can make a seed sprout or a flower bloom, create a sensory effect such as leaves falling or a puff of smoke, and also extinguish or light a candle, torch, or campfire. It is the nature version of Prestidigitation.
The 1st level Evocation spell is not the most powerful in the game, but the 1d4+mod healing will do in a pinch. The Druid can be an effective healer, although it is a significant waste of resources to fill that role. That being said, all Druids should prep Healing Word just in case the main healer goes down or is occupied. It is a bonus action spell that still allows the Druid to do other druid things.
Conjure Woodland Beings
Conjure Woodland Beings is a 4th level conjuration spell exclusive to the Druid and Ranger. This spell can be the bane of existence for DMs since it allows the caster to conjure a variety of fey creatures to aid them.
The creatures available are based on CR with a max of 2, so the spell itself is not overly powerful. The creatures can receive verbal commands from the caster as a free action. The group has its own initiative, and each creature has a turn.
This can slow down combat since there is a potential to add 8 creatures to the casters side, but it can also save the party if used correctly.
Wrath of Nature
The 5th level evocation spell, Wrath of Nature, literally brings the casters surroundings to their aid. Any tress, rocks, and grasses within a foot cube spring to life, causing significant effects. Grasses and undergrowth create difficult terrain, trees deal 4d6 damage to enemies within 10 feet, roots and vines can entangle and restrain creatures, and rocks can be used as projectiles as a bonus action dealing 3d8 damage.
This spell is a great anti-mob spell. It allows the caster to control the battlefield and deal extra damage each turn. Forcing enemies to traverse difficult terrain can immediately change the flow of combat.
Summon Elemental is a 4th level conjuration spell. It allows the caster to call forth an elemental spirit to aid them. When the spell is cast, the caster determines the type of elemental: air, earth, fire, or water. There is a stat block for the Elemental within the spell.
The creature is an ally that shares initiative with the Druid and acts right after.It obeys verbal commands the caster issues as a free action. The creature disappears when it reaches 0 hit points, or the spell ends.
The versatility of being able to select the Elemental is big. This allows the Druid to summon a creature that can deal full damage to enemies who are resistant to other types.
Conjure Animals is a 3rd level conjuration spell exclusive to the Druid and Ranger. This spell allows the caster to conjure a variety of beasts to aid them. The creatures available are based on CR with a max of 2, so the spell itself is not overly powerful. The creatures can receive verbal commands from the caster as a free action. The group has its own initiative, and each creature has a turn.
This can slow down combat since there is a potential to add 8 creatures to the casters side, but it can also save the party if used correctly. This spell is available earlier than some of its variants and is a classic Druid spell to have.
The 5th level transmutation spell allows the caster to grant consciousness to an otherwise unintelligent creature or plant. Awaken only works on targets with an intelligence score of 3 or less.
The spell grants the target an intelligence of 10, a language the caster knows, and the ability to move if not able to do so normally. A tree or plant uses the stats for the corresponding creature in the DMG. The creature remains charmed for 30 days as long as the caster or their companions do not harm it.
At the end of the duration, the creature can chose to remain friendly to you based on how it was treated.
Druid Grove is a Druid exclusive spell that is 6th level abjuration. It allows the Druid to create impressive effects in a specific location that ranges from a foot cube to a foot cube. If the spell is cast every day in the same spot for a year, it becomes permanent. When it is cast, you can specify types of creatures that are not affected by the spell. There is also the possibility of creating a verbal password.
The effects created include solid fog in 5-foot squares, grasping undergrowth functioning as entangle, grove guardians or trees to protect the area, plus gusts of wind, spike growth, and wind wall. Creatures specified by the caster do not suffer penalties from these effects.
Available as a level 2 transmutation spell, Barkskin grants the target a minimum AC of 16 regardless of the type of armor worn. This is especially important for Druids who swear off manufactured Metal or potentially unarmored allies who suffer stat damage. A range of touch and concentration requirements are the main downsides to having this spell ready.
Commune with Nature
Commune with Nature is available to the Druid as a 5th level spell. The ritual spell allows the caster to become one with Nature and the surrounding features. Above ground, it provides knowledge of the world around you out to 3 miles. Underground the range is limited to feet.
The caster can ask for information on three things of their choice. These facts could include terrain, bodies of water, prevalent plants, minerals, animals, and people; in addition, the presence of strong fey, fiends, celestials, elementals, or undead can also be determined.
This spell can effectively take the guesswork out of night shift watch.
This cantrip is the baseline for the combat druid outside of their wildshape. As a bonus action, the caster can turn a wooden weapon into a magical weapon that deals d8 damage. The caster also uses their spell casting ability instead of strength when making attack and damage rolls.
Since Druids are generally opposed to metal weapons, this increases their damage output tremendously, especially when a magic weapon is needed. The downside is that the spell doesnt increase in damage as other cantrips when the character increases in level.
Entangle is a 1st level conjuration spell primarily available to the Druid. It is really the first crowd control spell in the arsenal and is pretty decent at that. It causes grasping vines and weeds to sprout from the ground causing the foot cube area to become difficult terrain.
When the spell is cast, a creature stuck in the area must make a strength save vs. the casters spell save DC or be restrained. This allows the spell to remain relevant at higher levels.
8. Ice Storm
Ice Storm is a large AOE spell available to the Druid as a 4th level spell. The spell creates a foot radius and foot-high cylinder of pounding hail that deals 2d8 bludgeoning and 4d6 cold damage on a failed Dexterity save. The remaining hail stones make the area difficult terrain until the end of the casters next turn.
Another great example of the Druids ability to control the battlefield. Spells like these can slow down or wipe out mobs completely, allowing other party members to focus fire on the main threat. As always, friendly fire can be an issue with AOE spells.
7. Guardian of Nature
Available as a 4th level spell to the Druid, Guardian of Nature has become one of the most popular spells around. The caster can transform into one of two shapes imbued with magical energy.
The primal beast form improves speed by 10 feet, grants darkvision, strength-based attack rolls are made with advantage, and melee weapons deal an extra 1d6 force damage.
The great tree form grants 10 extra hit points, constitution saving throws are made at advantage, dexterity and wisdom-based attack rolls are made at advantage, and while you are on the ground, the ground within 15 feet of you is difficult terrain.
The spell is not as powerful as wildshape but grants significant advantages to any type of druid build. It really adds to the flexibility of this class, both in function and flavor.
Stoneskin is a straightforward 4th level spell. It has a range of touch and grants the target resistance against non-magical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. The targets skin becomes as hard as stone.
5. Antilife Shell
Antilife Shell is effectively a Druid exclusive though some Clerics can also get it. It is available at 5th level. The spell surrounds the caster with a protective shell that prevents affected creatures from passing through it.
The creatures can still cast spells and make attacks with reach weapons, though. The spell requires concentration and also is ended if you move to force a creature into the barrier.
This is a catch your breath and prep spell. Perhaps best saved as a last resort. It makes the list due to the impressive Nature of the spell and the limited access.
4. Summon Fey
Similar to the conjure spells available to the Druid, Summon Fey allows the caster to call for aid from another creature. This 3rd level spell is different from the others, though, instead of choosing from a type with CR restrictions, only one creature is summoned.
The fey that appears has a stat block that is listed with the spell. The creature shares the casters initiative, acting right after, and takes verbal commands as a free action.
3. Call Lightning
A powerhouse damage spell for the Druid, Call Lightning, is 3rd level conjuration spell. The caster summons a storm cloud with a foot radius. Within that radius, when the spell is cast, the caster can call down a bolt of lightning dealing 3d10 damage to all creatures within 5 feet of it with a failed Dexterity saving throw.
The best part of this spell is the persistence. On subsequent turns, the caster can use an action to call down another bolt of lightning. The effect lasts for 10 minutes with concentration, effectively providing the Druid a 3d10 damage small AOE spell for the entire battle.
Earthbind is a 2nd level transmutation spell that shows up on a few lists. It is not commonly chosen with those classes, which is why it is ranked so high on the druid list. Earthbind causes yellow bindings to wrap around an airborne creature.
This reduces its fly speed to 0, causing it to descend at a rate of 60 feet per round until it reaches the ground. The creature does get a strength save, though.
This can be a great surprise spell from the Druid when dealing with flying creatures that are out of the party tanks reach. Other classes overlook the potential of this spell in favor of long-range damage attacks.
1. Heat Metal
Heat Metal might be the best 2nd level spell available. It has numerous uses, but for a Druid who has sworn off of manufactured metal objects, the flavor is too good. The caster chooses a metal object, and it heats to glowing red hot.
Any creature in contact with the object takes 2d8 damage at the base level cast. If the creature is holding the object, it will drop it on a failed constitution saving throw.
This spell is the end-all against armored enemies. It allows the caster to deal repeated damage for the duration that metal armor is worn, which is a significant number of rounds. The spell is just too nasty not to be number one for the Druid.
The Druid has an impressive list of spells that allow them to change the numbers in a fight and change their own role to fit what it required. They serve as a backup healer very well and be able to change the layout of the battlefield to their advantage. The Druids versatility makes them a valuable asset to any adventuring party.
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Magic in Dungeons and Dragons is an integral part of the game. It permeates the very world of DnD and is expressed in many ways, from powerful beings with latent supernatural abilities to crafted items and artifacts of power. If you are seasoned in DnD 5e, you already know that sorcerers and wizards control the majority of the game. However, another creature that can change the course of the game is a druid.
Spells in DnD 5e create many desired results, such as creating water, releasing a fireball, creating shields, and many more. There are hundreds of spells one can use in DND 5e. But apart from sorcerers and wizards, druids also have some of the most unique yet powerful spells in the game. What makes a Druid spell unique is its ability to control and shape the battlefield. If you want to start your campaign as a druid, you can check this article on how to create a DND character.
If you are looking to enhance your character beyond healing and support, then it is time you had a look at some of the Druid Spells in DnD 5e. Therefore, here is the list of all the DnD druid spells you can use in the game to take control of the battlefield.
Druid Spell List 5e
Here is a list of the Druid Spells in Dnd 5e:
Cantrips (0 Level)
- Poison Spray
- Produce Flame
- Animal Friendship
- Charm Person
- Create Or Destroy Power
- Cure Wounds
- Detect Magic
- Detect Poison And Disease
- Faerie Fire
- Fog Cloud
- Healing Word
- Purify Food And Drink
- Speak With Animals
- Animal Messenger
- Enhance Ability
- Find Traps
- Flame Blade
- Flaming Sphere
- Gust Of Wind
- Heat Metal
- Hold Person
- Lesser Restoration
- Locate Animals Or Plants
- Locate Object
- Pass Without Trace
- Protection From Poison
- Spike Growth
- Call Lighting
- Conjure Animals
- Dispel Magic
- Meld Into Stone
- Plant Growth
- Protection From Energy
- Steel Storm
- Speak With Plants
- Water Breathing
- Water Walk
- Wind Wall
- Conjure Minor Elementals
- Conjure Woodland Beings
- Control Water
- Dominate Beast
- Freedom Of Movement
- Giant Insect
- Hallucinatory Terrain
- Ice Storm
- Locate Creature
- Stone Stape
- Wall Of Fire
- Antilife Shell
- Commune With Nature
- Conjure Elemental
- Greater Restoration
- Insect Plague
- Mass Cure Wounds
- Planar Binding
- Tree Stride
- Wall Of Stone
- Conjure Fey
- Find The Path
- Heroes’ Feast
- Move Earth
- Transport Via Plants
- Wall Of Thorns
- Wind Walk
- Fire Storm
- Mirage Arcane
- Plane Shift
- Reverse Gravity
- Animal Shapes
- Control Weather
- Storm Of Vengeance
- True Ressurection
The Best DnD 5e Druid Spells
DnD Druid 5e spells are divided categorically into a total of 9 levels. Each level contains a certain number of spells that come in handy during specific situations in the game. However, choosing the best spells amongst nine levels is tough.
Therefore, here are some of the best DnD 5e Druid Spells:
1. Conjure Animals (3rd Level)
As the name suggests, this 3rd level spell allows you to conjure spirits that have an animal’s form and overall stats. You can summon a spirit that can take up the form of an animal and also has its stats. The summoned spirit generally occurs in unoccupied places that are within the visible range. When you cast this spell using a higher-level slot, you can make more creatures appear, twice the number if used using a 5th level slot, thrice the number if used using a level 7 slot, and four times the number if used using a 9th level slot.
2. Call Lighting (3rd Level)
The Call Of Lighting spells lets you form a storm cloud cylinder that sends lightning bolts on your enemies. Exclusive only to Druids and Temple Druid Clerics, this level 3 spell deals a 3d10 damage to anyone who fails a dexterity saving throw and deals half that amount to those who succeed in a dexterity saving throw. With a range of ft, this 3rd level spell is perfect for open combat. Casting this spell with a level 4 slot or above increases the dealt damage by 1d10 for each slot above level 3.
3. Entangle (1st Level)
This level 1 spell lets you create an area of denial for effective enemy crowd control. Casting the Entangle creates 20 foot square of weeds and vines. For a certain duration, this creates a problematic terrain for enemy combatants to enter or fight upon. Also, this 20 square foot area tends to restrain animals that fail their strength saving throws as they move through this challenging terrain. When the spell ends, the weeds and vines will wither away.
4. Faerie Fire (1st Level)
This concentration-based spell automatically outlines all objects within a foot cube radius in blue, green, or violet color. Similarly, it also outlines every creature in the area if it fails the dexterity saving throw. For a specific duration, objects and affected creatures shed dim light in a foot radius. This is an excellent spell that lets you see invisible creatures or the ones in the dark and impart damage.
5. Goodberry (1st Level)
Often dismissed, the Goodberry is one of the most unique yet underrated spells in DnD 5e. Casting this level 1 spell lets you create ten magical berries. Each magical berry restores one hit point and provides a day’s worth of nourishment. Any creature can consume a magical berry to get one hit point and sustain for a day. However, these berries lose their potency if they aren’t used within 24 hours.
6. Heat Metal (2nd Level)
The Heat Metal is a powerful spell that lets you cause an object to glow red hot. Using this spell, you choose any metal object (weapons/armor) visible within range to shine red hot. Any creature that comes in contact with this flaming object takes a 2d8 fire damage as long as the spell lasts. Casting this spell using a level 3 slot of higher increases the damage by 1d8 for each slot above level 2.
7. Heroes Feast (6th Level)
As the name suggests, casting this spell brings a great feast of magnificent food and drinks. This feast is available for 1 hour and disappears after that. However, the feast takes effect after the hour is up. Any creature that consumes the Hero’s feast receives several benefits. It is cured of poison, disease and gets full immunity against poison and fear. In addition, the creature can make all Wisdom saving throws with advantage.
8. Moonbeam (2nd Level)
With this level 2 spell, druids get access to many spells that deal damage over time. Casting this spell causes a silver beam of light to come down and spread across a five and form a 40 feet cylinder on the ground. The cylinder tends to fiup with lighting as long as the spell lasts. Any creature that enters the area is engulfed in ghostly flames that cause immense pain and needs a Constitution save to get out of. This spell deals a 2d10 on failed Constitution save and half the damage on a successful one.
9. Plane Shift (7th Level )
The Plane shift is a powerful level 7 shift that lets your Druid transport itself to a completely different plane of existence. You can transport your druid over eight willing creatures to your specified destination such as the City Of Brass, Palace of Dispater, Street of Steel, Gate Of Ashes, or the Sea Of Fire. Also, the plane shift can be used to banish an unwilling creature to another plane. If an animal fails to save, then it is transported to another plane of your choosing.
Plant Growth (3rd Level)
This spell is somewhat similar to the Entangle. Casting this level 3 spell causes vitality into plants over a specific area. You can either cast this spell to garner immediate benefits or reap the long-term benefits. When you can cast this spell, all the plants within a foot radius turn thick and overgrown, and any creature passing through that area must use 4 feet of movement for every 1 movement it covers.
Pass Without A Trace (2nd Level)
As the name suggests, this level 2 spell is aimed explicitly at stealth. When you cast this spell, you are covered by a veil of shadows, and your foot movement is completely silenced, thus keeping your enemies from detecting you and your companions. In addition, if your creature stays within 30 feet during the spell, you get a +10 dexterity check and cannot be traced by anyone except magical beings.
Polymorph (4th Level)
You can transform a creature within range into a completely new form when you can cast the Polymorph. Every unwilling creature must make a successful Wisdom throw to avoid the Polymorph. However, this level 4 spell does not affect a shapeshifter or a creature with 0 hit points. When the spell ends, the transformed creature returns to its original form along with its statistics.
Reincarnate (5th Level)
As the name suggests, casting the Reincarnate spell lets your form a new adult body that will contain the soul of a dead humanoid you have touched. Note that the creature has to be dead for no longer than ten days for this spell to work. Also, the target’s soul should be free for this spell; otherwise, the spell crashes. The reincarnated creature recalls its former life and experiences.
Casting this level 0 spell causes the wood of a club or a quarterstaff you are holding to be imbued with nature’s power. Also, the weapon damage becomes a d8, and the weapon becomes magical if it isn’t already. The spell ends if you cast it again or drop the weapon.
Spike Growth (2nd Level)
This spell is somewhat similar to the Plant Growth spell. However, casting the Spike Growth will cause a foot radius to be covered with hard spikes and thorns, making the area an impossible terrain during the spell’s duration. Also, the transformed land looks completely camouflaged, meaning any creature traveling through the area cannot see the thorns and spikes and must make a Perception check against your spell to see the Spike Growth on the land.
The Bottom Line
We hope our article was able to successfully able to walk you through some of the best Druid DnD 5e spells. These spells are arranged categorically into levels , and each level has some exciting spells on display. Mentioned above are some of the best Druid spells in Dnd 5e off the top of our head. If you think we might have missed a particular spell(s), feel free to drop your suggestion in the comment section below.