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D&D 5E Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade Nerfed in TCoE


Autistic DM (he/him)
So, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything is being released a week from now, and I know there is quite a bit of hype for the book so far. I personally am excited for some of the content (Class Feature Variants, Customizing Your Origin, Armorer Artificer, Beast Barbarian, Rune Carver Fighter, Phantom Rogue), but I am not excited for the changes to the Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade cantrips. They have now been changed to have a range of self (5 feet), making it illegible for Twinned Spell, Distant Spell, War Caster, Spell Sniper, and other combinations. It also no longer works with reach weapons, and is even more limited than it was before.

What do you guys think? Do you dislike the change as much as I do, or do you have different opinions on it? Please discuss below.

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I'm not too worried since I don't play AL and can alter things as I see fit. I'd definitely allow these to still be used for warcaster for instance.

Doesn't that apply to basically everything on this site? This doesn't seem relevant or needed.
I just think this is particularly opaque and unclear. They're reprinting the spells but presumably with no mention in the actual book that they've been changed since the last printing - if you bought the spell cards, for instance, would you even realise that what you have on the card and what the DM may have in their book don't correspond? They do spell out there's a change in the errata document, but they don't give us any clear reasoning behind why they're making the change.
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The cantrips from SCAG are very powerful considering that they, at face value, can be used by any '1-attack' warrior to gain a respectable damage increase. And ontop of that the modifying factors mentioned above come into play. We all know that booming blade and green-flame blade are ported over from 4E's Swordmage. I think they were inserted into 5E as an addendum to the bladesinger, which is a little strange since the eldritch knight seems more like the swordmage of old, than the bladesinger does.

The new rule changes ties the cantrips even more to bladesingers, strengthening that design choice.

It is what it is, I suppose. Both cantrips still play a role for all 'weaker' melee characters (such as a cleric, wanting to have a decent melee attack) that looks to to add to their melee output through the Magic Initiate feat.

Honestly, these cantrips are still good. The issues only come up when you are optimizing a build by selecting those combinations. Now there's nothing wrong with such a build, and this change will ruin it, but I think it's important to remember that this change will have absolutely no effect for most characters who use those cantrips.


Possibly a Idiot.
Over all, it reminds me of the nerf to the Ammunition Property.

You know, the one that was targeted at people busting out gun-kata twin hand-crossbows, but made the classic sling + shield combat style unviable. The one I despise because the DPR of people using the xbow expert feat didn't change at all, it was merely an aesthetic change.

Anyway, lets see what changed:

Range: Self (5-foot radius)
This is what guts the interactions with all the stuff in the OP. It's especially annoying considering smite spells don't have the 5' restriction. At least they work with reach weapons. Heck, I'm still not sure if you can use GFB to burn a secondary target that's 10' (or more) away from you because they didn't bother cleaning up that language.

Now, what I haven't seen people talk much about are the other changes.

Components: V, M (a melee weapon worth at least 1 sp)
You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you.

These changes do two things.
You can't use natural weapons with you blade spell (which is part of the ongoing problem with the name "weapon attack") and furthermore it also prevents using a focus to cast the spell so you can make a melee weapon attack with an improvised weapon. A method of attack that was admittedly sub-optimal and cumbersome in execution, but you cannot deny the appeal of using your flagon of ale to smack someone so hard that it lights them and their friend on fire.

In summary: These changes really don't do anything for the common person using the spell to magically stab people with their sword. It just messes up people having their goofy fun times with weird rules interactions.

Nets are Ranged weapons.
True. Not that you would want to do it anyway. But you could use it with a thrown dagger on a target within 5 feet. No reason to do so, but you could.

Anyway, IMO nothing is nerfed, these spells where simply being exploited in a way that the original designers (not WotC) did not anticipate, the wording change is simply to make the spells work the way they where intended to work. They are still among the most powerful cantrips.

I'm still not sure if you can use GFB to burn a secondary target that's 10' (or more) away from you because they didn't bother cleaning up that language.
I'm pretty sure it wasn't changed because the intent is that the secondary target is 5' from the first target, and the distance from the caster is irrelevant.

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