5E [GUIDE] By your Powers Combined: A Land Druid Handbook
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    [GUIDE] By your Powers Combined: A Land Druid Handbook

    By Your Powers Combined: A Land Druid Handbook

    Though the Circle of the Moon Druid receives most of the attention (on account of being borderline broken at high levels), the Land Druid is still no pushover. With generally higher AC and the ability to cast more spells, as well as retaining access to Wild Shape for primarily utility purposes, the Circle of the Land Druid is an extremely versatile and effective magic-user. With a little bit of everything, it can fill nearly any role you want it to. Use this guide if you're looking to create a primary caster with both offensive and support capabilities, or if you just like the idea of summoning an army of wolves to devour your enemies!

    UPDATE (3/31/16): Added races from the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide.

    1. Introduction

    This guide will use the following ratings:

    Red is crap. It is clearly worse than other options, or only useful in specific corner cases.

    Purple is below average; its only useful in rare instances, and even then it's just okay.

    Black is really meh. It can be good or bad, depending on your style, but there's definitely better stuff out there.

    Blue is good. It's an above-average choice for most builds.

    Sky Blue is great. It's better than most other options, and a solid choice for any Druid.

    Gold is excellent. These are options which are just universally good choices for pretty much any character.

    2. Class Features

    As a Land Druid, your class features are a bit sparse. However, you make up for this with an extremely versatile selection of spells, and the ability to cast more of them a day.
    Features

    Druidic: This is largely a throwaway feature that will rarely come up, unless there happens to be another Druid in your party, or you run into a bunch of NPCs who can speak this "secret" language. It's basically just... there.

    Spellcasting: This is, obviously, your bread and butter. As a Land Druid, you won't be focusing a lot on wild shape, so the majority of your capabilities are going to revolve around spells. You are a full caster, with a selection of spells that lean heavily toward support, but also allow you to deal significant damage with the right build.

    Wild Shape: Though this is the main focus of Moon Druids, Wild Shape is far more situational for Land Druids, since it takes up your action and is limited to creatures of CR 1 or lower (which you only gain access to at 8th level). You probably won't be using this in battle much, except to get an extra boost of HP in a crisis situation, or to pursue a creature that can outrun your humanoid form.
    Out of combat, however, this feature is much more useful, as the various forms you gain access to allow you to do recon and set up ambushes almost as well as a Rogue. Your exploration abilities (including swimming, climbing, flying, burrowing, and the benefits of being an innocuous tiny animal) make the Ranger's abilities look like cheap parlor tricks!

    Bonus Cantrip: This is the first benefit you gain from the Circle of the Land, and it's decent. One extra cantrip is always nice, although it would be better if the Druid had a larger selection of cantrips to choose from.

    Natural Recovery: this feature is basically the same as the Wizard's Arcane Recovery feature. At maximum, this feature allows you to recover 10 1st level spell slots per day during a short rest, though the actual number of recovered slots can be much lower if you choose higher level slots. None of the slots can be higher than 5th level, but all the best spammable spells are 5th or lower anyway.

    Circle Spells: Depending on your choice of Land, this feature can be more or less useful. It has a dual purpose in that it not only provides you with a list of auto-prepared spells (freeing up space for more spells you might want to prepare), and also grants access to spells that Druids normally can't cast. For a comparison of the different lands, see the next section.

    Land's Stride: Can be great in campaigns that feature a lot of travel through rough terrain, especially if you do a lot of scouting for the party. In combat, this can allow you to escape pursuit by creatures who can't pass through difficult terrain, especially if that terrain would cause them damage. Stand in a patch of thorny briars and sling flaming spheres at them from relative safety. The bonus against magical plants is situational, but still a nice addition.

    Nature's Ward: The first benefit is largely useless unless your campaign includes a lot of elementals or fey, but what you really want from this feature is the immunity to poison and disease. A lot of monsters have nasty poison and disease effects, and you're one of a select few classes to gain outright immunity to such maladies!

    Nature's Sanctuary: A really flavorful feature whose usefulness depends largely on your DM. By the time you reach 14th level, how many beasts or plant creatures are you likely to run into? Honestly, it seems like this and Nature's Ward should've been swapped. In any case, it can still be of great use in the event that you run across a powerful NPC with a bunch of guard dogs or something.

    Timeless Body: Unless your campaign spans a number of centuries, this feature is likely to be useless. The only instance where this would provide you any mechanical benefit is if your DM likes Time Travel highjinks.

    Beast Spells:
    This feature is exceptionally useful for Moon Druids, but it's still a good feature for you. Though burning an action on Wild Shape is still a big price to pay, this feature at least allows you to cast a selection of your spells while mixing it up as a beast. With a little reflavoring, this can have pretty badass RP uses too (Wild Shape into a Giant Eagle and cast Call Lightning; congratulations, you are now a Thunderbird!).

    Archdruid: Combined with the above feature, you are now a lethal spellcaster in both humanoid and beast form! Turn into a tiger and slash enemies with your "flame claws," become a frost-spewing dinosaur, or just lay down Haste or summon a Swarm of Elementals to aid you while tearing it up as a grizzly bear. Though your limited selection of forms for wild shape don't provide you the same level of nigh invincinbility this feature grants to Moon Druids, the benefit of an infinitely regenerating temp HP buffer cannot be understated!

    3. Circle Spells and Land Types

    As stated before, your selection of Land will be the defining feature of your Druid build. There are two main reasons for choosing a particular Land. Most players will seek to maximize the number of new spells that are added to their spell list, since many spells are amazing in the right party. Alternatively, you may choose a land type for flavor reasons (e.g. a Drow Druid would have a hard time justifying any land type but Underdark), or because the Circle Spells provided by it are spells you would want to always have prepared anyway.
    Land Types

    Arctic Druid: Only two spells on this list are unavailable to the base Druid; the excellent control spell, Slow and Cone of Cold. Other than those two spells, however, the rest of the list is fairly meh. If you are a heavily control-focused Druid who's priority is shutting down your enemies instead of killing them, you might consider this Land, but otherwise, you'll probably want to look elsewhere.

    Coastal Druid: This Land provides a more trickster-type playstyle, with access to Misty Step and Mirror Image as well as giving you an auto-prepared Conjure Elemental (which, strangely, is not limited to Water Elementals). The other spells on the list are, however, very situational.

    Desert Druid: As a Druid of the Desert you gain access to Blur, Silence and Create Food and Water, and also can auto-prepare Blight, Protection From Energy and Insect Plague. Depending on your campaign, this Land can be extremely useful, and in a desert-focused campaign (like Dark Sun) this Land is a top contender.

    Forest Druid: You gain access to Divination, and Spider Climb, a spell made useless by the fact that you can actually climb as a spider as early as level 2, without burning a spell slot. On the other hand, you have both Barkskin and Call Lightning auto-prepared, which can really help if you plan on using those spells a lot. However, these are the only noteworthy spells on the list.

    Grassland Druid: Welcome to the motherload, boys and girls! This Land grants you four non-Druid spells; Invisibility, Haste, Divination, and Dream. Just Haste would be a reason to suggest this Land, but with Invisibility added in, as well as two additional (albeit lackluster) spells tacked on, this becomes a top contender for the best overall land. However, if your party lacks a front-line fighter that you can drop Haste on, and you have little use for stealth, some of the other lands may be more attractive.

    Mountain Druid: You gain Spider Climb, Lightning Bolt, and Passwall. The other spells on this list are reasonably useful, making this a pretty solid choice. You can use Wall of Stone for utility or control, and Stoneskin for some added resilience against non-magical weapon users.

    Swamp Druid: You can use Darkness, Melf's Acid Arrow, and Stinking Cloud. You also have Insect Plague auto-prepared. Other than the awesomeness that is Stinking Cloud (especially once you gain Nature's Ward at level 10), this land doesn't really give you anything remarkable. But then again, if you want Stinking Cloud, you should really just choose...

    Underdark Druid: The only real competition for the Grassland Druid, the Underdark Druid comes with a great selection of spells, including Stinking Cloud, Cloudkill, Greater Invisibility, Spider Climb, and Web. It also comes with Insect Plague and Gaseous Form auto-prepared. If your party doesn't have a good target for Haste, and you can come up with an in-game reason your character lives in the Underdark, then this is the clear choice.

    4. Races

    Races

    Aarakocra:
    A home-game exclusive, and it's easy to see why. With a bonus to WIS and DEX and a Fly speed of 50ft. right out of the gate, this little gem soars right into the top spot right alongside Wood Elves and Variant Humans. They basically get no other class features (except their useless talons), but honestly, why would you need them when you can fly through the sky raining spells on people?

    Aasimar:
    Introduced in the Dungeon Master's Guide, these guys aren't technically official, so ask your DM if you want to play one. With a boost to Wisdom, resistance to two damage types, and some free spells, (including Lesser Restoration), Half-Angels make quite good Druids. The only thing that keeps this from being better is that their +2 is in a dump stat, and the other two spells they get aren't likely to make a huge difference.

    Dragonborn: The Dragonborn, sadly, make very poor Druids. Though their Breath Weapon and elemental resistance is of more use to a Land Druid than a Moon Druid, it gives a boost to two dump stats, and has little else to make up for it. If your build places heavy emphasis on weapon combat, then this might be better.

    Dwarf, Duergar. Not as good as the Hill Dwarf, and quite a bit better than a Mountain Dwarf, the Duergar's innate spellcasting is boss if you mostly work at night or in dungeons and underground ruins. Its improved Darkvision and extra language are mostly ribbons, but still useful in some situations. A boost to Strength is probably wasted, but at least you still get the +2 CON.

    Dwarf, Hill: As in 4th edition, Dwarves make surprisingly good Druids, with a bonus to Wisdom and a quite useful boost to Constitution as well, and the extra HP make you just a bit tougher than the average Druid. Their resistance to Poison damage and proficiency with axes and hammers is not quite as useful to a Druid, but it does help to keep you safe from poison until Level 10. Darkvision is also a helpful thing to have, especially since you won't be using Wild Shape as much.

    Dwarf, Mountain: Pretty much the only thing they have going for them is a boost to Constitution. They have all of the weak points of the Hill Dwarf, but provide nothing as an incentive. As a Druid, you need neither a boost to strength, nor training in light or medium armor (especially considering the "metal armor" problem).

    Elf, Drow: Dark Elves offer little other than the standard bonus to Dexterity. Though you get a few spells, and superior darkvision, they key off Charisma, which is probably one of your dump stats. Add to that the Sunlight Sensitivity, and you have a recipe for a dead Druid. If your campaign takes place primarily underground, and your build focuses on a reasonably high Charisma, then this might be Okay, but still pretty niche.

    Elf, Eladrin: Slightly better than the High Elf because of it's innate ability to use Misty Step, it otherwise has the same benefits and drawbacks. This guy is also a DMG-exclusive, so ask your DM if you want to play one.

    Elf, High: This is okay, but not spectacular. The bonus to intelligence is probably wasted, though the extra language and cantrip can be nice. If you have a decent Intelligence score, you might be able to make use of this, especially if you choose a Utility cantrip like True Strike or Light.

    Elf, Wood: Wonder of wonders, Wood Elves make fantastic Druids. Their ability scores are perfectly aligned, and their other features mesh extremely well to a sneaky scout-type Druid that patrols in front of the party in search of incoming threats.

    Genasi, Air: A bonus to DEX and CON is not bad, and the ability to cast Levitate once a day can be handy until you gain flying forms at level 8. Unending breath is really nice too. Definitely one of the better Genasi, but the lack of a WIS bonus and any other notable class features keeps this from being Sky Blue.

    Genasi, Earth: Easily the worst of the Genasi, for a Druid or otherwise. Pass Without Trace is a pretty nice spell, but it's already on your list, and seriously, how does being sneaky synergize with an Earth Elemental with a STR/CON boost? Even for the rare melee weapon Druid, you have much better options elsewhere.

    Genasi, Fire: Probably the best of the four, all things considered, but sadly not too great as a Druid. Getting Produce Flame and Burning Hands for free are great bonuses, but the lack of scaling and reliance on Constitution (which you have little reason to ever boost) really kills the usefulness of these features later on. That being said, it's not horrible, and for specific builds you could do worse.

    Genasi, Water : Now we're talking! A boost to Wisdom and Constitution, Acid Resistance, and two free spells (admittedly, not the best spells, but still). The ability to breathe underwater and the swim speed are also great benefits, especially if your campaign includes a lot of aquatic exploration. Overall, a fine pick for any Druid.

    Goliath: I was glad to see these guys return, and they are pretty good, overall. They do get a bonus to Constitution, but without the Wisdom bonus they are really only suited to the odd melee weapon-focused Druid (or maybe a Multiclass character). That being said, they get a lot of great features that can still make them useful for niche builds, so they're not totally horrible.

    Gnome, Deep:Largely equivalent to the Forest Gnome, with a few differences. Instead of free Minor Illusion and speaking with beasts, you get Superior Darkvision (without Sunlight Sensitivity attached) and Stone Camouflage, which is useful if you expect to be adventuring in rocky terrain a lot. The bonus to Dexterity is nice, too. If you take the associated feat this race becomes way better, obviously..

    Gnome, Forest: Forest Gnomes are an interesting case. Their bonus to intelligence and small speed are of little use. However, they have a number of benefits that are useful to Druids, not the least of which is their blanket advantage against all mental magic! In addition, the Forest Gnome's bonus to Dexterity provides higher initiative, AC, and weapon attacks with ranged and finesse weapons, and their ability to speak with small beasts is, to say the least, appropriate for a Druid.

    Gnome, Rock: Rock Gnomes provide most of the same drawbacks and benefits as Forest Gnomes, but their unique traits are a bit lacking for a Druid. Though a boost to CON is nice, it isn't as useful as the Forest Gnome's traits.

    Half-Elf: Though the bonus to Charisma is usually wasted, the two variable boosts more than make up for it, and the rest of this race's traits combine to make a pretty appealing package. Two extra skills, an extra language, and Fey Ancestry make an exceptional party face.With the added versatility of the Variants introduced in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, these guys can be tailored to a number of other roles as well.

    Halfling, Ghostwise: With the advent of the S.C.A.G., Halflings have unexpectedly skyrocketed to the top spot alongside Wood Elves and Variant Humans. Boasting a +1 WIS to go along with the default +2 DEX, these creepy little mofos gain limited telepathy along with the same benefits as the base Halfling. This make them superb scouts; simply sneak around in beast form 30ft. ahead of your party, and use your telepathy to sound the alarm if you see anything!

    Halfling, Lightfoot: Halflings are decent as Druids due to their bonus to dexterity, Lucky, and their ability to hide behind larger creatures. However, the speed penalty and boost to Charisma don't help your case. Can still be useful for a stealth-focused Druid that likes to play the party face.

    Halfling, Stout: A bit of toss-up, and largely equivalent to the Lightfoot. The resistance to poison is wasted after 10th level, but the bonus to constitution is more useful to most Druids than the Lightfoot's Charisma bonus. If you want to play a Halfling, the sub-race is largely a matter of preference.

    Half-Orc: Surprisingly, a Half-Orc can make a fairly decent weapon-focused Land Druid. Though the bonus to strength does nothing for your spellcasting, the CON bonus is helpful for the added HP. Darkvision and Relentless Endurance are also broadly useful to all Druids, while Savage Attacks can be an interesting benefit for a Druid armed with a Staff and the Shillelagh spell.

    Human, Default: As with most classes, the default human is lackluster. Most of those ability boosts will be of little use, and it has no other features.

    Human, Variant: Likewise, the variant human is just as useful to Druids as it is most other classes, raising the question of why this wasn't the default to begin with. The free skill, language, and feat at 1st level more than make up for the loss of a few superfluous stat bumps.

    Tiefling: The half-devil, unsurprisingly, doesn't make a good guardian of the natural world. It's ability boosts are both in likely dump stats, and its racial spells, while a nice addition, key off one of those dump stats. For a party face with the right ability scores, this might be slightly better, but you're still going to be a bit behind in your spell save DCs, AC, and Hit Points. Overall, still not an optimal choice.

    Tiefling, Variant: The S.C.A.G. brings a boost to the Tiefling as well, allowing you to replace that useless CHA boost with a much more valuable bonus to DEX, and the CHA-based Infernal Legacy spells with Freaking Wings! All-in-all, this new Tiefling has a lot going for it, and in the right party can somewhat make up for the lack of a WIS boost.

    5.1 - Ability Score Improvements


    ABIs

    +2 STR
    : Not needed for the vast majority of builds, unless you reallly want to wield two-handed weapons and be a Druid.

    +2 CON: Gives you more HP and better Concentration saves, but not strictly necessary for most Land Druids, who should be avoiding attacks rather than absorbing them.

    +2 DEX: This is likely the best choice for your ABI's once your WIS is maxed. Unless you convinced your DM to give you non-metal Medium Armor, you're going to be relying on this for your AC. Also gives you more Iniative, finesse/ranged weapon competence, and boosts to Stealth (important for scout Druids).

    +2 INT: Intelligence gives you basically nothing except boosts to knowledge skills and Investigation. Even with Nature being keyed off Intelligence, you can usually leave your 10 or 12 in this ability and be done with it.

    +2 WIS: You are a primary caster, and this is your casting stat. As you can see below, there aren't really any feats that you absolutely HAVE to take as a Druid, so most builds will be better off maxing their Wisdom A.S.A.P.

    +2 CHA: Most Druids aren't going to need this. If you didn't put your 10 in INT, you can safely put it here and be done with it. That being said, if you wanted to go the extra mile and take Inspiring Leader, then feel free to drop your 13 in here.

    5.2 - Feats

    feats

    Alert: Especially with a control-focused Druid, higher initiative and the ability to avoid ambushes are good perks. In addition, if you regularly scout ahead far from the party, this feat could help protect you from hidden enemies getting the drop on you.

    Athlete: Though this provides you more mobility, much of the benefit is less useful to a Druid, especially once you gain the ability to wild shape into creatures with a fly speed. That being said, it can be more useful if your DM is a big fan of including Free Running into your battles.

    Actor: A waste of a feat. Performance and Persusion are invalidated by Charm Person, and if you want to mimic voices, just wild shape into a Raven.

    Charger As a Land Druid, the last thing you're going to want to do is get all up in a dude's grill. That being said, a weapon-focused Druid may find this feat marginally useful.

    Crossbow Expert: Good for a Druid that has proficiency with crossbows, but everyone else should avoid it.

    Defensive Duelist: You are not generally going to be wielding a weapon, as that would prevent you from casting spells unless you have a free hand, or also have War Caster . If you do, then this feat becomes quite good.

    Dual-Wielder: You have little reason to be wielding one weapon, let alone two.

    Dungeon Delver: For a Druid who doubles as the party Rogue, this feat can be very useful for scouting dangerous dungeon passages.

    Durable: Decent, but not as good as Toughness.

    Elemental Adept: The Druid has a fair selection of elemental spells available, and this feat can be helpful. That being said, it would've been much better if it simply allowed a reroll (like Great Weapon Fighting) instead of changing 1s into 2s.

    Grappler: If you are close enough to an enemy to grapple them, you have made a grave mistake.

    Great Weapon Master: One of the most OP feats available, it nevertheless doesn't serve a Druid terribly well, as carrying a two-handed weapon would preclude spellcasting without War Caster, and why would a Druid be walking around with a Greatsword anyway? That being said, it is noteworthy that the feat's first benefit does not apply only to heavy weapons.

    Healer: This feat makes turns the healer's kit from borderline useless to excellent. Though it doesn't provide much healing, being able to bring an unconscious ally up from 0 HP once per encounter is a great boon. If other party members have healing spells, you can bring them up to start a heal train that turns the tide of battle. The ten uses per kit limit is largely pointless, since they cost a mere 5gp a piece.

    Heavily Armored/Heavy Armor Master: Unless you can convince your DM to give you a suit of Scale Mail made out of horn or leather, both of these feats are about as useless as a Popsicle in Alaska.

    Inspiring Leader: For most Druids, this feat isn't going to be quite within your reach. If you put your 13 in Charisma, though, this feat is a great boost to your party's survivability. Being proactive makes it slightly more useful than Healer, in such cases.

    Keen Mind: An idetic memory is cool and all, but not at the price of a precious feat and bump to a dump stat.

    Lightly Armored: Need I specify why this feat is useless?

    Linguist: A few extra languages and the ability to write ciphers can be useful, but it's not really top priority.

    Lucky: This feat is good for almost any character, Druids included.

    Mage Slayer: This has some synergy with your beast form, since unnarmed strikes are technically melee weapon attacks. Advantage on spells is nice too. However, tanking it up in melee is really more of a moon druid thing. That being

    Magic Initiate: This is a hard feat to rate, since your mileage may very heavily based on your ability scores. If you focus on wisdom, your only real option is Cleric, but if you've got the points to spare you could branch out a bit. The once a day limitation is a little disheartening, but this feat becomes pretty useful if you can convince your DM that it lets you cast the chosen spell with your own slots.

    Martial Adept: This feat could actually be interesting for a Druid that likes to use weapons. It's worth noting that the majority of the Battlemaster's maneuvers don't specify Melee Weapon Attacks, so you could still hang in the back and shoot a bow/crossbow if you don't want to mix it up in melee. That being said, for most builds it won't be worth giving up your +2 to Wisdom.

    Medium Armor Master: If you have a Dexterity of 16 and have convinced your DM to give you a suit of Scale Mail that isn't made of metal, than this feat could beWorth it, but otherwise you should just stick to Light Armor like a good boy.

    Mobile: Just the first two benefits can go a long way toward keeping you out of harm's way, and it's worth noting that the Thorn Whip cantrip, as a melee spell attack, qualifies for the third benefit. With this combo, you no longer have to worry about being pinned down in melee.

    Moderately Armored: Useless.

    Mounted Combatant: If you want to be dragoon Druid, this is a good feat. But for most Druids, it's not too useful.

    Observant : Bumps your casting stat, and has some nice reconnaissance benefits for a stealthy scout-type Druid.

    Polearm Master: For a Druid, this feat takes a little more work to be borderline broken than for most classes. Use a Staff as your Druidic Focus, drop Shiellelagh on it, and pick up this feat. Now you can mix it up in melee to your heart's content, with the added benefit of incentivizing enemies not to get near you unless they want to eat an AoO.

    Resilient: You're already proficient in Wisdom saves, so the obvious choice here would be Constitution for your concentration spells. About as useful as it is to everyone.

    Ritual Caster": You get this for free, so why burn a feat for more?

    Savage Attacker: Might be okay for a weapon-focused Druid or one that likes to attack in beast form, but for most Druids this is largely useless.

    Sentinel : You are a primary caster effectively restricted to light armor and all of your best spells use concentration. Need I say more?

    Sharpshooter: Not too good for Druids, considering they don't get proficiency with bows or crossbows. For an Elf, this is Better, but unless you have some way of getting extra attacks, you're probably better off with Cantrips.

    Shield Master: This feat is actually pretty decent. The first benefit is probably wasted unless you're a melee weapon Druid, but the defensive benefits are generally useful for any Druid.

    Skilled: If you really, really want proficiency in a skill, and can't get it any other way. Alternatively, if you're subbing for a Rogue, and you'd like Theives' Tools prof.

    Skulker: Actually pretty decent for a stealthy scout-type Druid. Sniping a dude from cover without being discovered is a lot easier to do with a bow or crossbow than with a ball of fire. Then again, the easiest way to get proficiency in bows and crossbows is to be an Elf, for whom this feat is effectively useless..

    Spell Sniper: Pretty nice benefits, and you get an extra cantrip. The only problem is that your only real choices are Produce Flame and Thorn Whip, since the other WIS-based options don't require an attack roll. Becomes a lot better if you invest in Charisma, as then your options are expanded to include Chill Touch, Fire Bolt, Eldritch Blast, and Ray of Frost.

    Svirfneblin Magic: Oh my... if this is a preview of what racial feats will be like in this edition, then sign me up! Not only are you effectively immune to divination magic forever, but they also throw in a once-a-day Blur, Blindness/Deafness , and Disguise Self, all without burning your spell slots. If you are a Deep Gnome, this feat is probably why.

    Tavern Brawler : Not terrible, but generally pointless unless you have a very specific build. It's only rated purple because you could, potentially, use this to grapple enemies with unarmed strikes in beast form.

    Tough:A solid choice for any character, especially a squishy caster.

    War Caster: This feat would be worth taking just for the first and last benefit, but it's practically mandatory if you want to go sword and board and still cast spells. That being said, it's not strictly necessary for a pure caster Druid, as you can easily just wield a Shield in one hand and leave the other hand free for casting.

    Weapon Master: As with most characters, this feat's only real purpose is to pick up a weapon proficiency that you really want, but for some reason can't access otherwise. Honestly, though, if that's your problem, a one level dip into Cleric would be a MUCH better deal.


    6. Multiclassing

    multiclassing

    For most Druids, the ability to ignore components is quite a benefit, though it may still be worthwhile to multiclass if you don't mind losing out on your capstone features. You get your ninth level spell slot at level 17, and Beast Spells a level after that. This means that you can take up to 3 levels of another class without sacrificing your spellcasting abilities. In general, this guide will assume you chose to play a Druid primarily for the spellcasting, so it will focus on what you can get with a 3 level dip into each class.

    Barbarian

    There is not a lot for a caster Druid here. You will have to pump Strength and Constitution, as well as maintaining a high Dexterity and Wisdom, in order to make this MC work. In addition, your inability to cast spells (or even concentrate on them) during a rage and the class's heavy focus on Melee Weapon attacks make this a non-starter for all but the most niche Druid builds.

    Bard

    The Bard is an interesting choice, but a difficult one to make work well. You would have to have a high Charisma as well as Wisdom to make the best use of it, which leaves little room for pumping Dex and Con. You would gain access to some nice control spells, and the benefits of the Bard Colleges, so all in all it's not that bad of a trade-off if you plan to be a back-row buff-bot and/or Mezzer. However, it's nothing the Druid can't already do effectively enough by itself, and a few levels of Cleric would probably work better overall.

    Cleric

    You probably all saw this one coming, but the Cleric is an excellent class to MC with Druid. For the low, low price of a few levels in Cleric you get Channel Divinity, Domain spells, armor and weapon proficiencies (depending on domain), a bunch of amazing buffs, and it uses the same Spellcasting stat, so there's almost no MAD to worry about. That, and since Clerics are full casters, you don't even fall that far behind the curve in your spellcasting abilities. Overall, it's definitely one of the best options for an MC.

    Fighter

    Access to [color="goldenrod"] War Caster [/color] is what makes or breaks this MC, as you won't be getting far without it. If you can pick it up from being a Variant Human or at level 4, then this build can be an interesting choice. Take a Light Armored Dex-Fighter and focus on Finesse Weapons or Archery, and you should have plenty of points left to be an effective Druid. You get more HP, Second Wind, Action Surge, and a Fighting Style for just two levels. If you've got the INT to spare, you can even go Eldritch Knight to poach some nice Wizard spells, though this starts to verge heavily into MAD territory. In addition, your spellcasting is going to take a serious hit if you take more than a few levels of this class (which you're probably going to want to do for Extra Attack).

    Monk

    Who needs metal armor when you have Kung Fu? This class synergizes quite well with the Druid, especially if you use a Staff as your Druidic Focus. Either use Martial Arts to Finesse it, or cast Shillelagh to use your Wisdom, and take advantage of the free unarmed attacks and Flurry of Blows. Since you're going to want to keep your hand open anyway, this build also doesn't rely on War Caster to function. In addition, depending on how your DM rules the Martial Arts and Unarmored Defense features, these benefits also carry over to your Beast Form (can you say "Kung Fu Panda"?). Overall, a very solid MC choice for just about any Druid.

    Paladin

    You have to have pretty high Strength and Charisma to even attempt this MC, and at that point you're already drifting into MAD territory. Divine Smite and Lay on Hands are nice, but probably not worth it for most Druids. If you want a melee Druid, you're probably better off choosing a class that synergizes better (e.g. Cleric/Ranger). For niche builds, this could be an interesting choice, and especially flavorful if you choose Oath of the Ancients, but optimizers will want to steer clear of the Pally.

    Ranger

    The Ranger is not the best choice, but its definitely an option to consider for Druids who want weapon competency without sacrificing too much spell power. You get a Fighting Style, and some great Ranger spells (e.g. Hunter's Mark), and the stats line up almost perfectly (as long as you eschew non-finesse weapons), but you're going to have to invest many levels into your Ranger side to get the best features.

    Rogue

    Here's another amazing combination, especially for the sneaky scout type Druid. You get Expertise, Cunning Action, and Sneak Attack, all for just two levels of Rogue (allowing you to still pick up Beast Spells at Level 18). Prowl around in Beast Form and pounce on unsuspecting prey, and then Cunning Action yourself back into the bush before they even know you're there. In humanoid form, you can use Cunning Action to maneuver around enemies and stay out of harm's way, or dart in, cast a spell, and dart away. All in all, a solid choice.

    Sorcerer

    Another sub-optimal choice which nevertheless has some potential. You would need to pump Charisma and Wisdom to make this work, but with the Dragon Sorcerer's AC bonus this may not be too much of a burden to bear. In exchange for a few levels of Sorc you get to poach some good blasting spells, and your spellcasting doesn't take that much of a hit either. That being said, if you really wanted to be a blaster, you probably should've just played a Wizard.

    Warlock

    The same problems as the Sorcerer, but a few more perks. Invocations are the main perk, particularly the at-will Mage Armor. You also gain a few good Mezzing spells, and a few bonus spell slots, but you'll have to be careful about spreading your ability scores too thin.

    Wizard

    Once again, a niche build that has some interesting options, but presents some serious drawbacks. First of all, your Intelligence will have to be pretty high to make use of the potent blaster spells the Wizard is known for, and that's going to put a big strain on your ABIs. Unlike the Sorc or Warlock, the Wizard has no method of counteracting this problem, other than to dump Dex and just constantly have Mage Armor going. Second, to really get the most out of being a Wizard, you're probably going to have to get at least to 3rd level spells, which is going to cut into your Druid spell levels. But, if you're okay with sacrificing some higher level slots to get access to Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Haste, and so forth, then by all means, take a night class at Hogwarts.

    7.1 Spells

    The following ratings are based not only on the utility of the spell, but also how likely you are to want to have it prepared on a regular basis. In addition, ratings will also take into account whether or not you should spend a spell slot on such spells. This means that most ritual spells will have a low rating, since there's rarely any reason to burn a spell slot when you could just cast it as a ritual.

    Spells marked with a (*) are specific to the Elemental Evil adventure path. Thus, they may not be available to all Druids in AL settings.

    Level 0 Spells (Cantrips)

    Create Bonfire: It's not horrible as an area denial spell, but the fact that it uses your concentration slot hurts this spell's utility. Better if you lock down the enemy so it has no choice but to stay in the bonfire and roast, but still not amazing.

    *Control Flames: This is an interesting spell for the aspiring midnight arsenist. At face value, it would seem to be a simple flavorful elemental control spell with few practical uses, until you reread the first use and realize YOU CAN SET A DUDE'S WHOLE HOUSE ABLAZE IN UNDER FIVE MINUTES! Since the spell says nothing about the fire you spread burning out if you move it to a new square, you can recast this spell every six seconds to fill up to 10 squares with flame in one minute. Assuming the average two-story house is a 20 foot cube, you can have the whole place wreathed in flames before the owner even gets out of bed!

    Druidcraft: This is the Primal equivalent to Prestidigitation and Thaumaturgy. As such, it is difficult to rate, as it largely relies on how creative you are in its usage. That being said, it's definitely the least useful of the three, generally speaking.

    *Frostbite:The Druid's answer to Vicious Mockery, it does slightly more damage in a slightly less useful type, with a slightly less useful effect keyed to a slightly less useful save. Overall, though, "not as good as Vicious Mockery" is a weak insult to give a cantrip.

    Guidance: An excellent spell if you remember to use it often. Also of note, it can apply to Initiative rolls.

    *Gust: Basically a poor man's Mage Hand, it requires a bit of positioning to be useful, but it does have the added benefit of being able to push creatures.

    *Magic Stone:Interesting, but the lack of damage scaling puts it seriously behind other cantrips. It's basically a way of giving nearby warrior types a decent ranged attack in a pinch, but since it uses your bonuses anyway, why not just use Produce Flame and let them throw a normal rock?

    Mending: Borderline useless except in specific situations.Once Warforged get an official release, though, this might actually become useful if your DM translates "repair" into "heals HP."

    *Mold Earth: Another basic Elemental control spell that's big on flavor and light on in-combat utility. I suppose if you had time you could use this to fill a battlefield with difficult terrain, but other than that, there are better spells out there.

    Poison Spray: Wow, what a turd. Basically, the only thing going for this spell is that it's the most damaging cantrip available to Druids. However, it has no other effects, deals Poison damage (commonly resisted), and has a range of TEN FEET! At that range, wouldn't you just be better off picking up a reach weapon and smaking someone?

    Produce Flame: This will be the go-to cantrip for the majority of Druids. It does pretty decent damage, scales well, and also has a utility function by producing light. Essentially, it's like Fire Bolt and Dancing Lights rolled into one.

    Resistance: Not nearly as useful as Guidance, since you have to know you're going into a fight with a creature that has some nasty save-or-suck abilities, it only wards one person, and has to be reapplied after every save. In my opinion, this is a spell that really should've been a bonus action.

    *Shape Water: As you might have guessed, this is another flavor spell. I suppose you could try using it to redirect the flow of a 5-foot wide river to drown a village of Goblins, or something, or slowly making an ice bridge across a lake 2 squares at a time, but that's about it.

    Shillelagh: If you use a staff as a focus, you want this spell. Even if you don't plan on fighting in melee, it takes a single bonus action to use and lasts the whole fight. You'll not only have a backup weapon in case you're pinned in melee, but you also can take advantage of the odd Opportunity Attack that comes your way. As mentioned above, taking Polearm Master along with this spell can also be an extremely effective combination.

    Thorn Whip This is an interesting cantrip in that it allows you to make a melee spell attack at range, and it's your only cantrip that provides you with battlefield control. Combined with the Mobile feat, you can use this cantrip for all kinds of shenanigans. Pull up next to your Fighter or Barbarian, Thorn Whip an enemy to pull them toward you, and then run away to let your meat shield deal with him.

    *Thunderclap: New Thunderwave Lite, now with 30% less soft control! Seriously, though, it's a decent spell, and helps fill the painfully empty niche of AoE cantrips. Not a bad third pick for your bonus cantrip.

    Level 1 Spells

    *Absorb Elements: A nice spell, but not quite a shoe-in for most builds. If you took Thorn Whip or have a respectable melee attack, this spell is a good pick. Either way, resistance to some of the most common elemental damage types for a 1st level slot isn't bad.

    Animal Friendship: Even if you didn't eventually get a better ability that was always on, this is still burning a spell slot on what should be a skill check. Pass.

    * Beast Bond: This is an interesting spell, but unlike the Ranger, you probably won't have a beast around consistently enough for this to be worth it. It takes concentration too, which sucks, because this would've been wicked when combined with Conjure Animal.

    Charm Person: Don't really know why this is here, since Druids aren't known for being social butterflies. In any case, it serves you about as well as any other charm spell does.

    Create or Destroy Water: Unless you're running a Dark Sun campaign, or otherwise have a reason to need a lot of water, this spell is pretty weaksauce. Honestly, this really should've been a ritual.

    Cure Wounds: Touch range and burning your action keep this from being super good in combat, but it really helps when you need to patch everybody up afterwards. If you need in combat heals, you should probably stick to Healing Word.

    Detect Magic: If you have some reason to suspect mystic shenanigans are afoot, cast this as a ritual. Otherwise, I'd pass.

    Detect Poison and Disease: If you think something is poisoned or diseased, you should probably just stay away from it and save the spell slot. Or, just cast this as a ritual.

    Earth Tremor: The damage is a bit disappointing as a 1st level spell, but it is a rare Close Burst 2 that knocks enemies prone on a failed save, so it's not totally awful. It also deals bludgeoning damage instead of thunder, so make of that what you will.

    Entangle: Your first real hard control spell, it has a decent range and fills it with difficult terrain. Keep in mind that ONLY creatures that are actually in the burst when it's created are in danger of being restrained, so after that first turn it's utility is severely limited.

    Faerie Fire: With the right positioning and some failed saves, this spell can be DEVASTATING! It is slightly hurt by the fact that it targets DEX (which most creatures that turn invisible are likely to excel in) and the fact that it's not party friendly. However, that's not necessarily a problem if you drop it on the tank, as advantage is an excellent incentive to attack the meat shield rather than you.

    Fog Cloud: This spell's usefulness is highly dependent on your party's ratio of melee to ranged characters. Since heavily obscured only affects creatures that are in the zone, you can drop it and have your whole party sit back and pin-cushion the hapless enemies while they're blinded. If, however, you're one of the few artillery pieces in a group of melee beatsticks, then this loses a lot of utility.

    Good Berry: Out of combat, this spell amounts to 10 free hit points for a 1st level slot, which is less than Cure Wounds, but without the randomness of dice rolls. Unfortunately, it doesn't scale, which really kills its utility at later levels. In combat, this spell is almost useless unless your DM rules you can administer a berry to an unconscious character as you would a potion. If so, this spell basically becomes much less useless.

    Healing Word: Take it. Seriously. Unless you have another mainline healer or a ton of potions, you're going to need it. The actual amount of HP it heals is total crap, but its real potential is the ability to bring an unconscious ally back up from 0 as a bonus action. Over, and over, and over.

    *Ice Knife: One of only three AoE spells available to you at this level, it has a slightly smaller radius than Earth Tremor, but does damage more on par with other 1st level spells. That being said, it is hurt by the fact that it must be centered on a creature, and therefore is harder to place for maximum coverage. In addition, the fact that you need an attack roll AND a save to get the full effect might make some people wary of picking this up.

    Jump: As cool as it is to respond to "there's a 50ft chasm in front of you" with "I jump it," there are probably more effective uses for your 1st level slot.

    Longstrider: If you need more speed, just Wild Shape into a riding horse.

    Purify Food and Drink: In the rare instances where you have no choice but to shove something into your body that you would need to purify, you can just cast this as a ritual.

    Speak with Animals: If you really insist on having a conversation with a squirrel, there's a ritual for that.

    Thunderwave: An extremely useful spell, it does decent damage for its level, scales quite well, and (most importantly) can be used to escape from an enemy without disengaging, by pushing them away from you and then bolting. Be aware, however, that is explicty VERY LOUD.

    Level 2 Spells

    Animal Messenger: Actually not horrible for the times when you need it. But, when you do, cast it as a ritual.

    Barkskin: Best used to protect the squishiest members of your party, since the warrior types are almost certainly going to have an AC of 16 or higher already. You can also use it on yourself, but between Studded Leather, +2 Dex Mod, and a Shield, you shouldn't really have trouble reaching AC 16 yourself. I suppose the way its worded, it could also be used to counter debuffs to AC, but there aren't many of those in this edition (yet).

    Beast Sense: Much like Beast Bond, there's not really a lot of reasons to use this. Even if you're a member of one of the five and 3/4ths races in the game that don't have Darkvision, you can just Wild Shape into a beast that does. Plus it burns your Concentration slot.

    Darkvision: Just like above, there's not a lot of justification for burning a 2nd level slot to give one person darkvision for eight hours (especially since you can't upcast it for more targets). Pretty much only useful if your party has one random human or Dragonborn that can't see in the dark, and you're all really opposed to just lighting a torch.

    *Dust Devil: Basically, it's a movable Fog Cloud that does piddling damage for a 2nd level slot, and at half the radius. I guess it could have some uses with the ability to push enemies around, but it still doesn't seem worth it in the long run.

    *Earthbind: Simple and straightforward, this spell is devastating against flying enemies, and utterly useless against anything else.

    Enhance Ability: This is an interesting spell with a variety of uses, although its really a shame that the Mental Abilities don't get additional bonuses like the physical ones do. Bear's Endurance is the obvious winner here.

    Find Traps: Or, and this is just a suggestion, you could make a Wisdom (Perception) check to search for traps.

    Flame Blade: Not a bad spell. Summoning the blade itself is a bonus action, and the damage is nice for a spammable attack. Requiring concentration is a blow to its usefulness, though, as is the fact that you would have to remain in melee to make full use of this. For a melee Druid with War Caster this becomes pretty nice, overall.

    Flaming Sphere: Easily one of your best damage spells at this level, it effectively allows you to deal 2d6 fire damage as a bonus action, as well as giving some really great area denial, since enemies will have to keep moving away unless they want to burn. Do keep in mind that it's not party friendly, though, so be wary of where you park it each turn.

    Gust of Wind: This isn't that bad of a spell, as it effectively forces a creature that fails the save to spend their whole movement and Dash just to make any headway. If you have a high cliff or other hazard to push them off/into, then this spell becomes pretty good. The lack of any damage makes it a little less appealing, though.

    Heat Metal: Much like Earthbind, this spell is amazing against enemies wearing metal armor or wielding metal weapons, but not very good otherwise. It's a good choice if you have an extra preparation slot and nothing better to put in it.

    Hold Person: One of your best spells for hard control, paralysis is an amazing effect, and it doesn't break on damage. Give your party at least one round of guaranteed crits, and possibly more if the enemy flubs their WIS save. The limited targetting and Concentration may be a problem occasionally, but it's pretty likely that most enemies you face at this level will be humanoid (Orcs, Goblins, Gnolls, etc.)

    Lesser Restoration: For the Druid that doubles as a healer, you can't really go wrong with this spell. A range of touch and the cost of an action means you'll probably want to save it for emergencies, or out of combat status cures.

    Locate Animals or Plants: Unless your DM likes sending you on fetch quests like you're in World of Warcraft, you'll want to pass on this. See the below spell for a clever way of using spells like this, however. The range makes this spell better for following critters long distances, but since the duration is instantaneous it's really more of a radar pulse than a tracking device.

    Locate Objects: Much like the spell above, it's main use is to find something you're looking for when you know more or less where it is. However, one clever way of using these spells is as a kind of Druid homing beacon! Plant a unique item (or plant, or beast) on the person of someone you want to track, and then use this spell to lead you to where it is. It's only good out to 1,000 feet (almost a mile), but it's still far enough that your mark won't see you tailing them.

    Moonbeam: A Druid exclusive, this spell is no Flaming Sphere, but its certainly not bad. The damage is good, and has some nice area denial added in. This spell becomes borderline broken if you can convince your DM that a creature "enters the area" when you move it over their space. Congratulations, you now have your own personal satellite laser!

    Pass without Trace: This is a great utility spell, both for its solo scouting applications, and also for situations where you absolutely positively have to avoid being seen. It also effectively eliminates the disadvantage from wearing medium or heavy armor.

    Protection from Poison: You'll eventually get immunity to poison, and for curing your allies of poison you have Lesser Restoration . That being said, with an hour long duration it's not totally horrible if you know you're about to face a bunch of giant spiders or something.

    Spike Growth: A nice area denial spell with the added benefit that it can be used to set ambushes. It's really useful at the level you get it, but the lack of any scaling makes its usefulness drop off sharply after then.

    *Skywrite: Only being able to form ten words, and the fact that literally everyone for miles can see them, makes this spell not as useful as you would hope. However, it does allow more instantaneous communicate than Animal Messenger, and the lack of privacy could be circumvented if you write your message in code (*coughLinguistcough*).

    *Warding Wind: This one is hard to rate because it has a lot of little situational benefits that, taken together, add up to a lot of utility. The defense against ranged attackers is the most obvious benefit,along with generating difficult terrain.

    Level 3 Spells

    Call Lightning: Welcome to 2nd tier, boys and girls! Once you unlock this spell, you're pretty much always going to want it prepared. PROTIP: take two levels of Tempest Cleric for the Channel Divinity, Destructive Wrath, and then watch the skies! Note: it is, unfortunately, not quite as useful if your campaign focuses on indoor dungeon crawling.

    Conjure Animals: Do you want to make that poor Beastmaster Ranger feel even more inadequate? How about summoning eight beasts to his one? The limit on CR 2 monsters and lower hurts this spell's utility a bit in the long run, so use it while its borderline broken and then swap it out for the higher level versions.

    Daylight: If this spell generated actual sunlight, it might have some combat utility, but as is it's basically just a Light spell on crack.

    Dispel Magic: Ready action: Dispel Magic. "He casts fireball at you," says the DM. "No he doesn't," you gleefully reply.

    *Erupting Earth: It does only half the damage of Fireball and spawns DT, but then again, you don't have access to Fireball. It's a decent instant damage spell (of which you get rather few), so pick it up if you've got a spare preparation slot and expect to be adventuring in places with low ceilings.

    Feign Death: In the rare instances that this spell is actually useful, you can just cast it as a ritual.

    *Flame Arrows: On a Ranger, this spell might be worth it. As much competition as the Druid has for their precious Concentration slot, doing an extra 12d6 fire damage over as many rounds (and attack rolls) just isn't worth the 3rd level slot.

    Meld into Stone: There's a number of possible uses for this spell, such as ambushes, emergency rest stops, or just hiding while your party gets massacred. However, the fact that it only helps you and that you're a sitting duck in there hurts its overall utility.

    Plant Growth: The ultimate in soft control, you can make a 100 foot sphere of DOUBLE difficult terrain, while conveniently excluding the spaces that you and your allies are going to walk through. Even better is that it doesn't require concentration, so you can combo it with spells like Cloudkill to effectively end an encounter in two actions. Oh, and you can also use it to help out your local corn subsidiary...

    [color="purple"Protection from Energy:[/color] Only one target, requires concentration, and only lasts an hour. It's not horrible, and can certainly come in handy in an Elemental Evil campaign, but you probably have better uses for your 3rd level slots...

    Sleet Storm: It's like Fog Cloud and Grease got together and had a baby, and its baby was hell on wheels for warriors and casters alike. Much like Fog Cloud, this spell is much less useful if you are the only character in the party with decent ranged attacks, but if not, it can easily be an encounter-ender. Have fun locking your foes in a blinding mist, slipping and sliding while you and your allies laugh and pelt them with missiles and ranged magic from relative safety!

    Speak with Plants: This is actually an interesting spell. For 10 minutes (no concentration) you can shut down any difficult terrain within 30 feet of you, or create it wherever you walk. It also grants some limited reconnaissance abilities, and some limited control over plants (but not plant creatures). Worth a pick if you've got a spare preparation slot and will be travelling through a forested area.

    *Tidal Wave: Not bad, but not great either. The damage is low for a 3rd level slot, but it does have a decent area and has the potential to knock several creatures prone on a DEX save. The lack of higher level versions is baffling, and makes the spell a poor choice by the time you gain access to more powerful slots.

    *Wall of Water: If you absolutely have to have a Wall spell with a 3rd level slot, you're probably better off with Wind Wall below. Unless you really need protection from fire attacks, it's better in pretty much every way.

    Water Breathing: For you this spell is useless after 4th level, since you can use Wild Shape to cruise around as a Shark. For your party, though, it basically does exactly what it says on the tin. If you adventure a lot underwater, then use it, if not, take a pass on it.

    Water Walk: Why breath underwater when you can walk on top of it? Not a bad spell to pick up once you've prepared everything you absolutely need.

    Wind Wall: Superior to Wall of Water in pretty much every way. Its not as useful as the higher level Wall spells, but it's only 3rd level, so what do you want?

    Level 4 Spells

    Blight: Pretty decent damage, and doesn't require concentration. It is excellent against plant creatures, obviously, so if you know you're going to fight some Shambling Mounds or whatever, feel free to prepare this.

    Confusion: An AoE disable that has a fairly good chance of forcing the target to waste its turn. An easy choice.

    Conjure Minor Elementals: Not as useful as Conjure Animals, but still a good pick. Your choices are limited to CR 2, so mostly Mephits, with Azers, Gargoyles, Magmins and Fire Snakes tossed in.

    Conjure Woodland Beings: This spell is rated so high for one reason and one reason only; Pixies. Even though they're essentially minions, those are EIGHT minions that come preloaded with Fly, Sleep, Polymorph, and more. Compared to this, the other options are pretty mediocre. Satyrs are pretty much your only real option thus far if you want a meat shield.

    Control Water: This spell can be absolutely devastating to a sailing ship or other seaborne vessel, but its uses on land are relatively limited. If there's no water around to control, this spell is basically useless.

    Dominate Beast: This is a decent spell, but is hurt by the fact that you're probably not going to be coming across many beasts at Level 7, when you get this spell. Even so, it's not a bad spell to have, you just have better options at this level.

    *Elemental Bane: This spell can be extremely useful if your party has the ability to deal one of the listed damage types on a consistent basis, but otherwise you're going to be limited to your own cantrips and the odd instant damage spell. Even so, it's not a bad spell to have.

    Freedom of Movement: A good spell to prepare if you have a backup slot for it, and you think you'll have a use for it. useful if you have a reason to think you'll be up against creatures that use a lot of DT, grappling, or other means of restraint. Sucks that it only affects one person, though.

    Giant Insect: Just barely outclasses Conjure Animals at the level you get it, but is itself outclassed for everything other than Giant Scorpions as soon as you get fifth level slots. Still, it's a decent spell if you carry a jar of bugs around.

    Grasping Vine:An interesting spell, which could have a few applications for battlefield control. It doesn't deal damage, but it is a bonus action to use and sustain. If only it didn't use your precious Concentration slot...

    Hallucinatory Terrain: Like most illusions, this is hard to rate. If you can make clever use of it, cool, but otherwise you should pick something more defined.

    Ice Storm: Your go-to instant damage spell for the mid-level tier. It does pretty good damage, spawns DT, and has a decent radius.

    Locate Creature: Burn a 4th level slot for what is essentially an auto-success on a Wisdom (Survival) check to track? No thanks.

    Polymorph: It's limited to beasts, but it can still be useful for granting a massive amount of temporary hit points to your allies by turning them into Mammoths or (once you hit 8th level) Tyrannosaurs. Or, alternatively, turn your enemy into a Frog, stuff them in a glass jar, and toss them in a river.

    Stone Shape: This spell has lots of potential utility uses, but not a lot of combat applications.

    Stoneskin: Resistance to non-magical weapons is a great effect, and the duration is solid. The fact that it uses Concentration and has a ridiculous component cost keep it from being extremely useful, though. Also doesn't help you against elemental damage or magical weapons.

    Wall of Fire: Now you're thinking with Walls! This is probably the best of the wall spells to use in combat, as it is one of the only ones that deals damage. You can use it to deter pursuit, split up an encounter into smaller pieces, or just surround a poor bastard in a towering inferno and leave him to burn.

    *Watery Sphere: This is not a bad spell, but the arbitrary restriction on its most obvious use hurts it. Still, since it's a Concentration spell, there's nothing stopping you from moving your little swimmers off a cliff and then ending the spell to drop them. It's also possible to drown creatures with a Constitution modifier of 0 or lower using this spell, if you can trap them for the entire minute (this is great if you have another caster on your team to Paralyze them first).

    Level 5 Spells

    Antilife Shell: Prevent anything other than undead or constructs from coming near you. No save, so rolls, just flat-out stops them from entering the shell. That said, it doesn't stop magic or ranged weapons, or attacks with reach weapons. Also, it may or may not affect creatures already within 10 feet of you, depending on how much emphasis your DM puts on the phrase "extends out from you," so your mileage may vary.

    Awaken: This... is an interesting spell. If you've ever wanted to have a talking animal following you around, this is the spell for you. If you've got a month and 30,000gp to spare, you could also make an army of living trees and reenact the assault on Sarumon's Tower in the LotR.

    Commune with Nature: Like a more limited version of Commune, it can only tell you about the natural features of the area around you. To counterbalance this, however, the nature spirits apparently always tell you the truth, and don't get annoyed if you keep asking them questions (unlike those pesky gods).

    Conjure Elemental: This is a powerful, but dangerous spell. CR 5 and lower has a good deal of powerful creatures for you to summon, though the fact that you have to have a 10 foot cube of their respective element puts a bit of a limit on the usefulness of fire and water elementals. If you use this spell, make sure you stay away from anything that could break your concentration, unless you want to spend the next hour running from a pissed-off rock monster.

    Contagion: Six possible devastating effects, no concentration, and a duration of SEVEN DAYS? Where do I sign! Somewhat hurt by the fact that it takes (at minimum) three rounds of failed CON saves to kick in, during which time your target is free to pound you into a reddish paste because you had to get up close to him to deliver this TOUCH range spell. If you have access to a Familiar and/or a spell like Hex or Bestow Curse to give your enemy disadvantage on his saves, that really helps to mitigate these weaknesses.

    *Control Winds: This has some interesting and versatile utility effects. It's a decent pick for a spare slot.

    Geas: Turn a Dragon into your bodyguard for a month, or send the BBEG on an epic quest to reclaim your toothbrush. The usefulness of this spell is limited only to your imagination, and the likelihood of your target passing a Wisdom save. Just don't cast it on a Cleric or another Druid, unless forcing them to burn a 3rd level slot on Remove Curse is part of your plan.

    Greater Restoration: Oddly, this is less generally useful than Lesser Restoration, since the conditions it reverses tend to be much more rare. It's nice to have if you know you're going up against creatures that can charm, curse, Petrify, or Energy Drain you, but it's not really something you'd always prepare.

    Insect Plague: One of your only decent damage spells this level, unless you picked up Cone of Cold or Cloudkill from your choice of Land. It's got a nice range, a decent radius, and the damage is passable. It also throws down DT and lightly obscures the area, so it is definitely a good area denial spell as well .

    *Maelstrom: Largely equivalent to Insect Plague above; it has a larger radius, deals slightly less damage,and targets a lesser-used save. Obviously more useful at sea, where you could use it to drown an enemy with a CON mod of 0 or lower, it still has comparable soft control applications when used on land.

    Mass Cure Wounds: Less single-target healing than a 5th level Cure Wounds, but saves you the slots of having to cast it multiple times. A worthy upgrade.

    Planar Binding: If you've always wanted to have a Genie butler, this is the spell for you. Though, honestly, for the time and component cost, you're probably better off waiting until you get 9th level slots so you can get the best bang for your buck. Until them, stick with the "Conjure X" spells.

    Reincarnate: Another Druid exclusive, this is your version of [color="dodgerblue"]Raise Dead[/color]. It's a necessary evil, but keep in mind that unless you have a merciful DM, or you're lucky on the die roll, this has a very high likelihood of screwing up the build of whatever character you use it on ("have fun with your new Gnome Barbarian, brah! Lol!"). Even moreso if your're an Aarakocra, Genasi, Goliath, or Svirfneblin, since they're (by RAW) not even on the list.

    Scrying: It has its uses, but the fact that you can only see people/places you have seen (or at least heard of) before limits its utility. The component cost is also pretty high, but at least they're reuseable.

    *Transmute Rock: Now this is a good spell. You have soft control, hard control, and even some damage (albeit mediocre at this level), all rolled into one spell. Not only that, but with two alternate applications, you can target your choice of saves.

    Tree Stride: If you're in a forest or other heavily wooded area, this spell is amazing. If you're in a place with no trees.... not so much.

    Wall of Stone: Not quite as useful in combat as Wall of Fire, this spell makes up for it in superb out-of-combat utility. You can literally use this spell to build an entire castle, given enough time and spell slots, as the wall becomes permanent after ten minutes of concentration. Even if you don't want to dabble as an architect, you can use it to create bridges, stairs, or giant slabs to crush your enemies, as well as just a standard wall to hedge in enemies. Just keep in mind that creatures get a DEX save to escape if you try to close them in, potentially wasting the spell's effect.

    Level 6 Spells

    *Bones of the Earth: This is a fairly good control spell that can also be used for area denial. It works best in narrow corridors, where you can use the pillars to create a six-square deep barricade that your enemies have to chip through one pillar at a time.

    Conjure Fey: This spell is essentially an upgrade to BOTH Conjure Animals and Conjure Woodland Beings, allowing you to summon either a beast or Faerie creature with a single spell, of up to CR 6. Unfortunately, you can only summon ONE such creature, which makes the horde tactics of the lower level versions impossible.

    Find the Path: This spell is pretty much only useful if you need to return to someplace you've already been as quickly as possible, and/or you're totally lost and need to retrace your steps. Otherwise, I'd give it a pass.

    Heal: This will restore a bit more than half the target's hit points, no rolling required. It also works at range, and has a minor restoration effect tacked on. Overall, not a bad choice for out-of-combat healing, or a "break glass in case of emergency" spell.

    Heroes' Feast: This is a nice spell to cast at the beginning of the day, or when you take a short rest after a hard fight. It has some pretty nice effects, and they last for a full day. That being said, the 10 minute cast time and hour-long feast means you have to be sure you won't be disturbed.

    *Investiture of Flame: If you ever wanted to be able to turn into a Fire Elemental for 10 minutes, this is the spell for you. Immunity, Resistance, and an at-will fire laser is a nice package. Just keep in mind that the fiery aura is not party friendly, so no Cure Wounds spells for you.

    *Investiture of Ice: Another cool (hah!) spell, this is great for both tanking and playing keep away, and the AoE Ray of Frost effect is great for a Druid focusing on control.

    *Investiture of Stone: Unfortunately, this one isn't quite as good as the others. It effectively gives you Stoneskin plus a weak AoE prone effect that deals no damage. The Meld with Stone effect is pretty cool, but not enough to really make this spell shine.

    *Investiture of Wind: Another great Investiture spell, this one is really useful for battlefield control with its AoE push effect.

    Move Earth: It's hard to see what use this spell could have, since it only affects soft earth (so you can't even really use it to build stuff). Other than digging trenches, graves, or other pits, it doesn't seem all that useful. Though, I suppose it would come in handy if you want to undermine a fortification wall.

    *Primordial Ward: This is an amazing defensive spell! You get resistance to ALL the most common elemental types, and you can pop your resistances in an emergency for total immunity! Definitely worth a pick if you're expecting to fight spellcasters, dragons, or Elementals.

    Sunbeam: A bit low on damage for a 6th level spell, and a bit tough to position for maximum coverage, but having a spammable laser beam that blinds everyone it hits is still not something to be taken lightly. Deadly against Drow, Vampires, and other creatures that hate to be in sunlight.

    Transport via Plants: This spell reminds me of the Zelda Oracle games, where you fast travelled between magic trees. It has a very short duration and is somewhat situational, but the benefit of being able to instantly appear anywhere you've seen a tree is hard to ignore.

    Wall of Thorns: A great area denial spell, it takes a total of 20 feet of movement to get through the wall, and can totally shut down an encounter with clever placement. Put it 15ft in front of your enemies and a creature with Speed 30 will be forced to either waste its action to Dash or end its turn in the wall and take the damage TWICE.

    Wind Walk: This spell is basically Gaseous Form dialed up to 11. In fact, depending on your DM's interpretation of the phrase "assumes a gaseous form," this spell may subsume it's functions entirely. With a 10 minute casting time and an extremely inconvenient minute long transformation to and from cloud form, this spell screams "out of combat utility" at the top of its lungs. Useful when your whole party needs to get somewhere A.S.A.P.

    Level 7 Spells

    Fire Storm: When you absolutely, positively, have to incinerate an entire legion of soldiers, this is the spell you use. With a total of 100 cubic feet that you can position any way you want, this thing can blanket a whole city block in flames. The ability to exclude plant-life is an odd, if thematically appropriate, bonus.

    Mirage Arcane: Now, this one is interesting and, like most illusions, difficult to rate. It effectively allows you to turn the land within a mile of you into a nightmarish hellscape, a twilit forest, or whatever else you want. Though the spell doesn't specify whether the illusory terrain can cause damage, the fact that it can create REAL difficult terrain, even for creatures that see through the illusion, at least leaves the possibility open.

    Plane Shift: Most people will probably see this as a simple utility spell that does exactly what it says on the tin, and for the most part, it is. However, take note of the last paragraph, and then consider how many horrible places in the multiverse you can effectively strand an enemy who fails a single Charisma save.

    Regeneration: This spell takes a full minute to cast, but provides a simply ABSURD amount of healing; 4d8 + 615 over the course of an hour, in fact. That's just 40 or so shy of healing a TARRASQUE to full health. Basically, you cast this spell on the party tank, and he or she is literally invincible for an hour (since the regeneration doesn't shut off if he drops to 0).

    Reverse Gravity: Basically an "I Win" button if you're outdoors or in a place with very high ceilings. The best place to use this is underneath an object suspended 100ft in the air. That way the target takes 20d6 damage when it strikes the object, then another 20d6 when the spell ends and it falls to the ground, for a total maximum of 240 damage per target. That being said, this spell is much less useful in enclosed spaces.

    *Whirlwind: The radius is a bit small, and 30 feet doesn't seem quite high enough for a tornado, but this spell is still solid. Not only does it deal damage in and of itself, it also can do 3d6 extra bludgeoning damage if the target falls from its maximum height. If your DM interprets "a random direction" to include STRAIGHT UP, it can actually be even better if the target makes their save, since 3d6 x 10 adds up to 180 feet onto their fall.

    Level 8 Spells

    Animal Shapes: Basically, you give your whole party an upgraded version of Wild Shape. It's also worth noting that, by RAW, there's nothing stopping you from targeting yourself with the spell, effectively giving you a small taste of what it's like to be a Moon Druid for a day. The need for concentration and the fact that you still need your action to switch forms keeps this from being too great.

    Antipathy/Sympathy: A bit situational, but still decent, you can use it to set an irresistable trap (cast it on a random rock in the middle of a pool of lava) or ward yourself or an ally against a particular type of enemy.

    Control Weather: This spell has a lot of flavor and RP potential, and can certainly deal serious damage if your enemies happen to be travelling by sea. That being said, it takes an extremely long time to get to the point where the weather is actually dangerous, unless it was already fairly crappy to begin with.

    Earthquake: This spell is another one of those YMMV spells, as how poweful it is largely depends on the charity of the DM. It has the potential to be amazingly good if you target an enemy stronghold and/or fill the battlefield with fissures. But, in the middle of an open field and without DM fiat, this spell is basically just a slightly upgraded version of Sleet Storm.

    Feeblemind: This is one of those spells that you almost feel bad for using. If the target fails the save, it essentially becomes the bastard child of Forest Gump and George W. Bush for AT LEAST A MONTH! Not quite as useful against warrior types, who technically don't need INT or CHA to kill you.

    Sunburst: It's basically an instantaneous version of Sunbeam with a much larger radius and higher damage.Better if you really need the extra firepower, but less useful for a longer fight where the control effects outweigh the DPR.

    Tsunami: Though this is definitely a potent spell, the fact that it takes one minute to cast really restricts its uses. There's no way you're going to cast this spell in combat unless your enemies are at least 600 feet away from you when the battle begins. That being said, it might be an "I WIN" button in naval combat if you can stay safe for 10 rounds, and with a range of sight you can just stand on a hill and blast your foes from a mile away.

    Level 9 Spells

    Foresight: The mother of all buffing spells! Give one ally advantage on ALL attack rolls and saving throws, and give EVERY attack against that ally disadvantage for 8 hours, no concentration required! It uses up your only Level 9 slot, but honestly, for a Support-focused Druid, what else could you ask for?

    Shapechange: This spell is basically Polymorph, except you can change your form as many times as you want. Because of the way it's worded, you're probably better off transforming into the beefiest creature you've ever seen to get the maximum amount of THP, and THEN transform into what you really want to be.

    Storm of Vengeance: This spell is a Druid exclusive and also surprisingly bad. Though it can cover an obscene amount of space at a ridiculous range, the actual damage the spell deals is absolutely pathetic. On average, you'll be doing 3-6 damage PER ROUND with a level 9 spell. The only real damage spike occurs on turn 3, and even then, you can't focus fire on one dude, so your actual DPR is barely better than a Level 5 Fireball. You're better off just casting Call Lightning, which lasts ten times longer and deals 9d10 damage per round in a 3x3 (or 10d10 if you use an existing storm).

    True Resurrection: Screw time limits and body parts, this spell can straight up form a new body out of nothing!

    7.2 Land Spells

    Since your Land spells are always prepared, these ratings will reflect mainly whether or not they're worth a spell slot to actually cast.
    Druid Land Spells

    Blur: This is a good defensive spell. It's useful against multiattackers, but concentration keeps it from being great.

    Cloudkill:The damage is pretty good, and provides some soft control. The main problem is that you have no control over its motion, so unless you have some way to trap the vapors and the targets in the same area, its just going to blow away after a few turns. The bit about being heavier than air makes a pit trap the obvious choice.

    Cone of Cold: A solid AoE with good damage, and doesn't require concentration.

    Create Food and Water Unless you're in a Dark Sun campaign or forgot to buy enough trail rations, this spell is largely useless.

    Divination: The spell itself is fine, but it's a ritual, so there's no reason to burn a slot on it.

    Dream Despite doing damage, this spell is mostly for flavor. The only practical use would be to kill off extremely weak NPCs in their sleep, or prevent an enemy spellcaster from regaining their spell slots. Other than that, it's just a fancy version of the Sending spell.

    Gaseous Form: The primary use for this spell is bypassing barriers and gaining a fly speed before level 8. Your inability to attack or cast spells makes it largely useless in combat. Use it before you hit level 8, then just transform into a Raven or a swarm of Beetles.

    Greater Invisibility: Excellent spell, especially if you have a Rogue in the party.

    Haste: This spell is amazing if you have a party member with good melee attacks, particularly a Barbarian, Fighter, or Paladin. If you don't, the spell is still useful, but not quite as OP.

    Invisibility: If you can't get the improved version, this one is the next best thing.

    Lightning Bolt: A solid instantaneous damage spell that does good damage. Can be a challenge to position for optimal coverage, though.

    Melf's Acid Arrow: This spell is slightly more useful to you than it would be for a Wizard, since Druids are sorely lacking in instantaneous damage spells. That being said, it does 1st level damage for a 2nd level slot, so...

    Mirror Image: A solid defensive spell, it's better against enemies that have a single heavy attack, rather than multiattacks.

    Misty Step: The ability to teleport as a bonus action is definitely worth a 2nd level slot.

    Passwall: A useful spell to have, but nothing spectacular.

    Silence: There's no better control spell against an enemy spellcaster, as the vast majority of spells have a verbal component. The only thing that keeps it from being amazing is that you can't move the zone, so you have to have some way of preventing them from just walking out of it.

    Slow Cripples spellcasters, multiattackers, and creatures that rely on mobility to be effective, this is an all-around great debuff. If you really want to be a jerk, you or one of your friends can follow this spell up by spamming Dex-save AoEs like Ice Storm and Fireball.

    Spider Climb: Yeah, you could burn a slot on this. Or you could just use Wild Shape to morph into a spider...

    Stinking Cloud: This spell mixes soft control with hard control, and can possibly have some use in area denial as well. Unfortunately, your inability to move the zone and the relatively small radius makes it easy for an enemy to just walk out of it.

    Web: This spell is basically an improved version of Entangle, with the potential for a wee bit of damage if you light the web on fire. It's a bit odd, though, in that it forces creatures to make a Dex save to avoid being snared, and a Strength check to break free. As such, its better to use it on speedy foes (who will be harder to hit, but less likely to escape) than strong ones (who will easily be snared, but just as easily break free).
    Last edited by ChameleonX; Thursday, 31st March, 2016 at 09:28 PM.
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  2. #2
    Good one!

    I can suggest the inclusions of Aasimars and Eladrins (both in the DMG). Aasimars boost your WIS and give you two resistances, along with some light-like spells. Eladrins have Misty Step 1/day, which is timelessly good. Keep up the good work.
    Last edited by LightningArrow; Thursday, 17th March, 2016 at 09:32 PM.

  3. #3
    Detect poison and disease may be better than you think. It detects posonous creatures too. So it is one of the rare spells to locate creatures.

    Also on your divination comment: you need to memorize ritual spwlls as a druid so it is not a wasted slot.

  4. #4
    One more thing: Create Food and Water is a great spell. Not to create food for the party, of course - everybody should have some rations and a waterskin - but it endears you to common folk who are usually very glad with some free food, and to community rulers as well (you're feeding their people, after all). Never underestimate a good first impression.

  5. #5
    You might want to mention that moon druids are really only OP at low and high levels. Bears arn't as impressive past level 5, and mammoths are mostly a sack of hit points that prevent you fom casting spells. Compared to an extra call lightnning, and not needing to share combat wild shape with utility wild shape.

    Though once you get beast spells, things change, doubly so for archdruid
    Last edited by mellored; Tuesday, 22nd March, 2016 at 04:35 AM.

  6. #6
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    Helpful Guide! thanks.

    Three notes:

    You don't talk about the armour restrictions, which I find limiting, because I don't want to have to negotiate something so basic with the DM. In Volo's guide, Lizardfolk effectively bypass the armour restrictions of the Druid: with natural armour and the ability to make a shield out of a beast carcass, the non-metal restrictions (variously interpreted by various dms) can effectively be ignored.

    Re: Locate Object (level 2). 1000 feet is way less than a mile.

    Crossbow Expert is a useful get if you are playing shield-and-spellcaster: the second bullet point applies to ranged spell attacks, and alone might be worth the feat.
    Last edited by Kobold Stew; Saturday, 22nd April, 2017 at 03:18 AM.

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