D&D: 10 Best 5th Grade Wizard Cantrips, Ranked
The Wizard class grants players access to the largest spell list in the world. Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards will also end up with more spells than most, but they don’t have infinite slots. During long days of adventures or in difficult encounters, wizards will run out of spell slots or want to hold onto their higher level spells. This is why minor spells are so important to spellcasters.
Wizards have access to some of the most powerful spells in J&D. They can control others or reshape the landscape of the battlefield. But when those spells fail, cantrips are the alternative. Using no spell slots, Minor spells like Fire Bolt or Frostbite can deal decent damage to enemies, while Minor Illusion or Mage Hand can aid the party in their daily shenanigans.
ten Illuminate dark dungeons with light
Each group of adventurers will find themselves traversing a large dark forest or navigating a dark and cold dungeon. In these scenarios, if the torches are too much in the way and the players want to keep their hands free for their weapons, a wizard casting the minor spell Light can illuminate the space.
Light and sight are very important in J&D. Without significant light, enemies can sneak up on the group and attack them with a perk bonus. The party, at least those without darkvision, will attack with disadvantage. Light is one of those cantrips that seems unimportant until you desperately need it.
9 Foolish enemies with a minor illusion
Minor Illusion is one of those utility spells best used out of combat. This can be especially effective when trying to trick enemies with an illusion or convince a non-playable character of something. Players can create a sound as quiet as a whisper or as loud as a scream, and an object no larger than a five-foot cube.
Beyond that, the spell’s use is quite vague as much of what it can do is left solely to the imagination of the player casting it. The illusion can mimic someone screaming for help, can replicate an ID, or create a barrel to hide behind. The possibilities are really limited by the creativity of the player…and a five-foot cube.
8 Conjuring encourages player creativity
Conjuring is tantamount to casting a minor illusion without trying to deceive anyone. This is one of those cantrips that potentially has hundreds more uses than its description says, leaving a lot to the caster’s creativity. As an action, a player casts Conjuring to create a minor magical effect.
These effects involve turning off small light sources, creating small fireworks or musical tunes, cleaning or dirtying small objects, and much more. Players will often cast this Minor Spell as an afterthought when they want to clean up their clothes or warm up, but mechanically it could save some party members from attracting unwanted attention or taking damage.
7 Booming blade for sword wizards
Wizards mostly stay on the fringes of the battlefield, casting their spells from a safe distance, but the Bladesinger subclass breaks all wizarding conventions. Instead of hanging back, Bladesingers are encouraged to join their fellow barbarians and fighters on the front lines.
Booming Blade is a fantastic minor trick for any wizard focusing on melee weapon combat. As part of the minor spell, the wizard makes a melee attack against a creature. The target takes standard weapon damage, and if it moves, before the start of the wizard’s next turn, it takes 1d8 thunder damage. Booming Blade deals high damage and encourages wizards to come closer.
6 Frostbite imposes a downside on attacks
Spells and minor spells should be balanced D&D, and most are. If a spell deals a significant amount of damage, that’s probably its primary function. If a spell does little damage, it’s probably serving other functions. Frostbite is an excellent minor spell that causes a target to make a Constitution saving throw. If the target fails, it takes 1d6 cold damage.
Although the damage is decent, it’s not the minor spell’s only function. The target also has disadvantage on the next attack it makes before the end of its next turn. Spellcasters are masters at helping their party members strike and making sure enemies can’t touch them.
5 Fire Bolt is a classic wizard cantrip
Have some of the lowest average hit point totals of all J&D class, wizards tend to stand on the fringes of the battlefield, casting their spells from a safe distance. Fire Bolt is a fantastic cantrip for wizards who like to hang back, as the spell’s distance reaches up to 120 feet.
The spell is also one of the most damaging minor spells, striking targets for 1d10 fire damage that increases as the magician levels up. Fire Bolt also burns flammable items that aren’t worn or carried, making it a great tool for bypassing various blockages in forests or dungeons.
4 Mind Sliver reduces enemy saving throws
Most creatures in Dungeons & Dragons have low Intelligence values, which makes any ability, spell, or minor spell that forces a creature to make an Intelligence saving throw even more valuable. Mind Sliver forces an enemy to make this Intelligence saving throw. If they fail, they take 1d6 psychic damage.
The damage is decent enough, but the best part of the spell comes in the form of a d4 that the target must subtract from their next saving throw made before the caster’s next turn. This d4 reduction could help an ally with their next spell, or could be used to trap an enemy in a series of successful Mind Sliver attacks.
3 Creating a bonfire creates an obstacle on the battlefield
Dungeons & Dragons battlefields are often littered with dangerous obstacles that the party must avoid. Enemy creatures are rarely the only threats the party will face in an encounter. Create Bonfire allows players to give the Dungeon Master a taste of their own medicine.
The Minor Spell Create a Bonfire creates a large 1.50 meter bonfire. Any creature in that space, or any creature that enters that space on its turn or ends its turn there, must make a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d8 fire damage. This cantrip is ideal for creating obstacles for enemies and controlling their paths.
2 Form water is especially useful for traversal
There are many fantastic and versatile utility spells in J&D. Even though Shape Water is only a minor spell, it can potentially be as useful as any higher level utility spell. Shape Water can do a lot of things, leaving a lot to the imagination and ingenuity of players.
Players choose an area of water no larger than a five-foot cube and manipulate it into different shapes, freeze it, move it, and can even change its color. This cantrip can be very useful when traversing difficult terrain like swamps or when fighting enemies in tight spaces. Freezing water could block paths in a dungeon or create slippery, difficult terrain for enemies.
1 Mage Hand is a wizard’s first line of defense
Dungeon masters like to fill their worlds with all sorts of dangerous and unknown magical artifacts, trapdoors, and probably a few mimics. Thieves handle the most locks, and just about every magic item must first be examined by the wizard. In these scenarios, casting Mage Hand is an effective way to check for danger and keep the party safe.
Locks can be trapped, so why not cast Mage Hand to pick the lock first? Magic items can be harmful to those who touch them, so why not throw Mage Hand to hold the item while the wizard identifies it? If something were to cause damage, it is better for the mage’s hand to take the damage rather than the wizard.
NEXT: D&D: 10 Best 5th Grade Cleric Cantrips, Ranked
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