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D&D 5E Earth, Storm, and Fire: A guide to elements

Gavin O.

First Post
So you've decided to specialize in a single element? Maybe you're a Dragon sorcerer looking to get your Charisma bonus to damage with all of your spells, maybe you're a tempest cleric, or maybe you're just doing it for roleplay reasons. So what element to choose? Knowing how many spells there are that deal damage of your chosen element isn't really useful information, what you want to know, is how many good spells there are in your element. To help you out, I've created a list of every spell you have access to as well as how I would rate it, from the perspective of someone who wants to use that element. So let's begin with Fire

Ratings Scale:

Red Even on a character dedicated to only using spells of this element, You shouldn't use this. It's that bad.
Purple Not great. If you're restricting yourself only to spells of a particular element, You'll probably end up needing to take some of these, but you won't be happy about it.
Black These spells aren't a reason you're excited to play a character specializing in their element, but you'd still pick them.
Blue A solid choice you'll be happy you have
Skyblue Something outstanding, these spells are a reason to look into focusing on their respective element

Cantrips
Fire Bolt (Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard) Long range and deals a very solid 1d10 damage (scaling as you level).
Create Bonfire (Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard) Requires a Dex save instead of an attack roll and forces you to break concentration, you get a tiny (5-foot cube) zone that deals good damage (1d8, scaling) to any creature that enters it. It's situational, but with the right geography this can be very effective, especially early when you're not using your concentration for anything.
Green-Flame Blade (Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard) If you're trying to melee with a character that doesn't get Extra Attack, the Blade cantrips are your best option, and this one is quite strong. It doesn't deal fire damage to the primary target until you hit level 5, but if you can hit two targets with it, you're dealing great damage for a cantrip. This spell does require you to have a competent melee attack though, since your attack roll is not made using your Spellcasting modifier (Unless you're a Hexblade)
Produce Flame (Druid) Compared to Fire Bolt, you trade 1 damage (scaling up to 4) and 90 feet of range for some utility in making a light. Still pretty good, especially if you don’t have darkvision.

Level 1
Burning Hands (Light Cleric, Sorcerer, Fiend Warlock, Wizard) 15 foot cone is decent range, but 3d6 damage (with half on a save) isn't very good. You'll need to position this in such a way that you hit two or three enemies (and preferably no allies) with it in order for it to feel impactful.
Chromatic Orb (Sorcerer, Wizard) 3d8 damage to a single target is also not very good, and this spell inexplicably requires a material component that costs 50 gold
Hellish Rebuke (Oathbreaker Paladin, Warlock) 2d10 damage is weak, and this spell also requires you be damaged by the creature you target. Saved from a red rating because of the reaction cast time.
Searing Smite (Paladin) In order for this to be better than a Divine Smite, the enemy needs to take the damage three times, which simply isn't going to happen reliably enough to make this spell worthwhile. If your DM rules that your steed gets the benefit from this spell as well and can attack, this does get better.

Level 2
Aganazzar’s Scorcher (Sorcerer, Wizard) Lines are, in general, a terrible AOE type. You would need to hit three enemies with this in order for it to be any good, and that’s just not going to happen reliably.
Dragon’s Breath (Sorcerer, Wizard) Mediocre if you need to cast this on yourself or a party member, and excellent if you can cast it on someone’s familiar.
Flame Blade (Druid) This uses your concentration, and you need to make three attacks with it for it to be better than Scorching Ray, and it’s melee range.
Flaming Sphere (Druid, Wizard) Uses your concentration, but does great damage and provides a small amount of area denial.
Heat Metal (Bard, Druid) Great if there’s an enemy with metal armor or a metal weapon, causes them to take 2d8 damage unconditionally and be forced to make a save or suffer disadvantage.
Scorching Ray (Sorcerer, Fiend Warlock, Wizard) Solid damage with high scaling, can divide the damage how you wish, and has good range. A great pick.

Level 3
Elemental Weapon (Paladin, Hexblade Warlock) +1 to hit and +1d4 fire damage to someone’s weapon (hopefully someone with extra attacks) can add up to a lot of damage, especially if you can get in two encounters during the one hour duration. Scales well.
Fireball (Sorcerer, Fiend Warlock, Wizard) At the level you get it, this does excellent damage, has great range and a large area of effect. Shame it doesn’t scale well.
Flame arrows (Druid, Ranger, Sorcerer, Wizard) Uses your concentration, lasts an hour but can only effect 12 pieces of ammunition total (hit or miss) and only adds +1d6 to damage. It's real bad.
Glyph of warding (Bard, Cleric, Wizard) It takes an hour and 200 GP to cast, but it lasts until someone triggers it. If you're high level with gold to burn, you could make a few of these out of throwable objects, use a spell glyph with a high-level fire spell, set the trigger for the spell glyph as the object touching the ground, and use them like grenades. For 200 Gold apiece, though, it would have to be a pretty high level spell.
Melf’s Minute Meteors (Sorcerer, Wizard) Compared to a Fireball, this trades some range, some area of effect, and some immediate damage for higher damage if you can fire off every meteor and better scaling. If you’re not using your concentration for anything else, I would take this over fireball.

Level 4
Elemental Bane (Druid, Warlock, Wizard) Gives the target a save, and if they fail they take 2d6 more fire damage (once per turn) and lose their fire resistance, and it uses your concentration. That’s not good enough to justify a fourth level spell slot.
Fire Shield (Fiend Warlock, Wizard) No concentration, lasts 10 minutes, deals 2d8 fire damage to anything that hits you, and grants you cold resistance. Decent.
Wall of Fire (Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard) In general, effects that rely on your opponents to stand in a damaging area aren’t very useful. Your enemies will either stay away, or take the damage once to walk through the wall.

Level 5
Flame Strike (Cleric, Devotion Paladin, Celestial/Fiend Warlock) Does the same damage as Fireball (which is two spell levels earlier) with less range and less area. If you don't have access to Fireball, this is servicable but not great.
Immolation (Sorcerer, Wizard) The damage is awful (same initial damage as a level 3 fireball, but only to one target, it gives a saving throw every round to end the ongoing damage (which is also low) and it uses your concentration.

Level 6
Investiture of Flame (Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard) By the time you get this spell, your fire bolt cantrip will already be doing 3d10 damage, almost as much as this spell's attack. The area of effect damage is unfriendly (as in, it hits your allies) and it requires concentration. That said, Fire immunity and cold resistance could be helpful.

Level 7
Delayed Blast Fireball (Sorcerer, Wizard) At its worst, this is a level 7 fireball that breaks your concentration. At its best, you could theoretically get 22d6 of damage (AOE) out of this, but that seems like a stretch. It's still fine, but not remarkable.
Fire Storm (Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer) 7d10 damage isn't very good for a level 7 spell, but the spell has good range and a great area (10 cubes of 10x10x10 each, which you can arrange as you choose so long as each cube touches at least one other) For battles against huge hordes, this might see some use. It's better if you don't have access to Fireball

Level 8
Illusory Dragon (Wizard) 7d6 damage isn't great, but a 60-foot cone is good, it only takes your bonus action to use, and it's repeatable. Plus the dragon can block paths for you. It takes a creature's whole action to try and determine that the dragon isn't real, many creatures have poor Investigation, plus it's a check and not a save so legendary resistance doesn't help.
Incendiary Cloud (Sorcerer, Wizard) For a level 8 spell, this just doesn't offer enough. 10d8 damage is abysmal, and the spell isn't good for zone control since it moves away from you.

Level 9
Meteor Swarm (Sorcerer, Wizard) Ridiculously long range, a huge AOE, and incredible damage.
Prismatic Wall (Wizard) Even more damage than Meteor Swarm (though not as much fire damage), plus it applies two conditions to creatures that try to walk through it. Doesn't require concentration, and your allies can pass through it at will. Phenomenal.


Options for a Fire-based character:

Feats
Elemental Adept Treating any roll of 1 as a 2 increases the average damage of a d6 from 3.5 to 3.66, which is not a very substantial increase, so the effectiveness of this spell largely depends on how much you need the ability to overcome fire resistance. I definitely wouldn't take this before getting my casting stat to 20.
Flames of Phlegethos (requires Tiefling) Rerolling any 1 increases the average damage of a d6 from 3.5 to 3.91, which is a little bit better but still not a substantial increase, and the melee punish deals weak damage and never scales. However, this feat is saved by the fact that it gives +1 to Int or Cha, which means you can start with 17 Cha and take this while still getting a bonus to hit and to damage. This feat makes Tieflings the premier choice for fire-based characters.
Magic Initiate (Wizard/Sorcerer) This feat allows any character to access two fire cantrips (Fire Bolt and Green-flame Blade) as well as a first-level spell from either class. If you want to play a fire-based Bard or similar, I'd recommend it.
Magic Initiate (Druid) This allows any Wisdom-based class to get a fire-based cantrip in Produce Flame, as well as another Druid cantrip and a first-level druid spell (of which there are no Fire spells but plenty of strong choices)

Dips into other classes
Warlock of the Fiend 3 3 levels in Fiend Warlock gets you two level 2 spell slots that recharge on a short rest, Hex to boost your damage, Scorching Ray, Fire Bolt and Green-Flame Blade, as well as Darkness+Devil's Sight for advantage on attack rolls, and another Invocation of your choice (I'd recommend Pact of the book and Book of Ancient Secrets) Much worse for builds without attack-caliber Charisma
Warlock of the Hexblade 1-3 1 level in Hexblade lets you make weapon attacks with your Cha, which is invaluable for a charisma-primary classes looking to make use of Green-flame Blade, Elemental Weapon, or both, and you also get a solid damage buff in Hexblade's Curse, and two fire cantrips in Fire Bolt and Green-flame blade, as well as two solid utility spells in Hex and Shield. Two levels gets you Invocations, and three gets you Darkness+Devil's Sight and a pact option. Much worse for builds that don't want to attack with their Charisma.
Shadow Sorcerer 3 It's not flavourful, but if you're only going to three sorcerer levels, Shadow is a better choice than Fire Dragon. You can still get your Fire Cantrips (Fire Bolt and GFB) as well as Metamagic. Careful spell allows you to drop fireballs without worrying about them hitting your allies, quicken spell allows you to weave together spells and melee more easily (or add another fire bolt to your turn) and twin spell costs less SP than quicken to double a fire bolt. In addition, you can spend two sorcery points to cast Darkness (while being able to see through it) and give yourself advantage on attack rolls.
Fire Dragon Sorcerer 6 We're getting a little out of the realms of a dip here, but this merits special mention as one of the only always-on bonuses to your fire damage, in addition to metamagic and access to fire cantrips, Fireball, and Scorching Ray.
 
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Gavin O.

First Post
Cold

Cantrip
Frostbite (Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard) The damage is weak, but imposing disadvantage on the target's next attack is strong, especially early when your opponents only have one attack.
Ray of Frost (Sorcerer, Wizard) More damage than Frostbite, and slowing the target's movement by 10 feet could mean the difference between them reaching melee range and not.

level 1
Armor of Agathys (Conquest Paladin, Warlock) No concentration, lasts an hour, gives you a solid HP buffer at low levels and punishes things that hit you. Scales decently
Chromatic Orb (Sorcerer, Wizard) 3d8 isn't great damage, and this requires a material component that costs 50 gold
Ice Knife (Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard) Does respectable damage to the primary target, plus a small AOE. If the target is very low on HP, this offers two chances to hit them and finish them off. Shame it doesn't scale well.

Level 2
Dragon's Breath
If you need to cast this on someone who can already attack, it's mediocre, but if you have someone who can't normally deal damage (like a familiar) it's great.
Snilloc's Snowball Swarm (Sorcerer, Wizard) Good range but terrible area of effect and bad damage with bad scaling. Pass.

Level 3
Elemental Weapon (Paladin, Hexblade Warlock) Give someone's weapon (preferably someone who can make multiple attacks per round) +1 to hit and +1d4 cold damage, and lasts an hour. Strong.
Glyph of Warding (Bard, Cleric, Wizard) For 200 gold, you can make a glyph of whatever spell you want and throw the object onto the ground to detonate it. Use as you see fit.
Hunger of Hadar (Warlock) If you can keep your enemies stuck in the area, this will outdamage a Fireball in two rounds, plus it blinds anything inside it and creates difficult terrain. Unfortunately, this spell doesn't scale at all.

Level 4
Elemental Bane (Druid, Warlock, Wizard) Gives the target a save, and if they fail they take 2d6 more cold damage (once per turn) for a minute and lose their cold resistance, and it uses your concentration. That’s not good enough to justify a fourth level spell slot.
Fire Shield (Wizard) No concentration, lasts 10 minutes, deals 2d8 cold damage to anything that hits you, and grants you fire resistance. It's okay.
Ice Storm (Tempest Cleric, Druid, Ancients Paladin, Sorcerer, Wizard) Less damage than a level 3 fireball but better range, and a bit of difficult terrain. It scales better than Fireball but it won't ever catch up to the former's damage. It's still serviceable.

Level 5
Cone of Cold (Arctic Land Druid, Sorcerer, Hexblade Warlock, Wizard) Massive 60-foot cone with good damage and decent scaling. This outdamages a fireball upcast to level 5 and will only get better thanks to higher scaling.

Level 6
Freezing Sphere (Wizard) 10d6 cold damage is awful at this level, but this spell has a MASSIVE 60-foot radius area of effect. Maybe in a battle against a huge horde of weak baddies this could see use, but you'd probably be better off casting a Cone of Cold
Investiture of Ice (Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard) Cold Immunity, Fire resistance, an area of difficult terrain that moves with you, and you can use your action to shoot off a 15-foot cone that does decent (14) damage and halves speed. It's decent.
Wall of Ice (Wizard) 10d6 cold damage is still awful at this level, and basically any creature can deal 30 damage to an AC 12 target in one turn in order to breach the wall.

Level 7
(Nothing)

Level 8
Illusory Dragon (Wizard) 7d6 damage isn't great, but a 60-foot cone is good, it only takes your bonus action to use, and it's repeatable. Plus the dragon can block paths for you. It takes a creature's whole action to try and determine that the dragon isn't real, many creatures have poor Investigation, plus it's a check and not a save so legendary resistance doesn't help.

Level 9
Prismatic Wall (Wizard) Deals extremely high damage (though only 10d6 cold) plus it applies two conditions to creatures that try to walk through it. Doesn't require concentration, and your allies can pass through it at will. Phenomenal.
Storm of Vengeance (Druid) It's real bad. The first round it does 3d6 damage. 3d6. For a 9-th level spell. The best effect (six lightning bolts) doesn't even deal cold damage.


Feats

Elemental Adept
Treating any roll of 1 as a 2 increases the average damage of a d6 from 3.5 to 3.66, which is not a very substantial increase, so the effectiveness of this spell largely depends on how much you need the ability to overcome cold resistance. I definitely wouldn't take this before getting my casting stat to 20.

Level Dips
Shadow Sorcerer 3 Get you the cold cantrips, metamagic, Ice Knife, and Dragon's Breath
Wizard 3 Gets you the cold cantrips, Ice Knife, Find Familiar, and Dragon's Breath (all based on Int instead of Cha)
Ice Dragon Sorcerer 6 +Cha to damage with all of your cold spells, free armor, and some more spell slots. Shame there isn't a good level 3 or 4 cold spell
 
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Gavin O.

First Post
Lightning

Cantrip
Lightning Lure (Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard) The effectiveness of this spell really depends on how often you want to pull a target towards you. If you're playing a primary caster, you usually don't want enemies within 5 feet of you.
Shocking Grasp (Sorcerer, Wizard) This spell doesn't have an impactful enough effect to justify being melee range.

Level 1
Chromatic Orb (Sorcerer, Wizard) 3d8 isn't great damage, and this requires a material component that costs 50 gold
Witch Bolt (Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard) 30-foot range isn't very good, especially since this spell breaks if the target is ever outside of that range. If you land the first hit, you can keep using your action to deal 1d12 damage (better than a cantrip though not by that much) to the target each round. At low levels this could be okay, but the scaling is awful and it requires your concentration.

Level 2
Dragon's Breath (Sorcerer, Wizard) Mediocre if you need to cast this on yourself or a party member, and excellent if you can cast it on someone’s familiar.

Level 3
Call Lightning (Tempest Cleric, Druid) 3d10 lightning damage in a 5-foot AOE every round for 10 rounds, and it scales well. At this level you'll need two hits to beat a fireball, at later levels it can do a fireball's worth of damage on each hit. Shame it requires your concentration and isn't available to Sorcerers and Wizards
Elemental Weapon (Paladin, Hexblade Warlock) Give someone's weapon (preferably someone who can make multiple attacks per round) +1 to hit and +1d4 Lightning damage, and lasts an hour. Strong.
Glyph of Warding (Bard, Cleric, Wizard) For 200 gold, you can make a glyph of whatever spell you want and throw the object onto the ground to detonate it. Use as you see fit.
Lightning Arrow (Ranger) 4d8 damage (replacing the damage of your weapon attack) plus 2d8 AOE (which doesn't affect the initial target) in a 10-foot range, and breaks your concentration, is just too weak.
Lightning Bolt (Mountain Land Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard) Same damage as a fireball but the area of effect is much worse.

Level 4
Storm Sphere (Sorcerer, Wizard) 20-foot radius zone of difficult terrain, deals minor damage each round (and you get the damage once guaranteed on each creature in the area when you cast it, and you can use your bonus action every round to shock something for 4d6 damage. A good spell, shame it does nothing if you miss and requires concentration.

Level 5
(Nothing)

Level 6
Chain Lightning (Sorcerer, Wizard) A bit less damage than a lightning bolt upcast to level 6, but it hits four targets and has no chance of hitting your allies.

Level 7
(Nothing)

Level 8
Illusory Dragon (Wizard) 7d6 damage isn't great, but a 60-foot cone is good, it only takes your bonus action to use, and it's repeatable. Plus the dragon can block paths for you. It takes a creature's whole action to try and determine that the dragon isn't real, many creatures have poor Investigation, plus it's a check and not a save so legendary resistance doesn't help.

Level 9
Prismatic Wall (Wizard) Deals extremely high damage (though only 10d6 Lightning) plus it applies two conditions to creatures that try to walk through it. Doesn't require concentration, and your allies can pass through it at will. Phenomenal.


Feats

Elemental Adept Treating any roll of 1 as a 2 increases the average damage of a d6 from 3.5 to 3.66, which is not a very substantial increase, so the effectiveness of this spell largely depends on how much you need the ability to overcome lightning resistance. I definitely wouldn't take this before getting my casting stat to 20.


Level Dips

Tempest Cleric (2,5-6) Two levels gets you a channel divinity that maximizes the damage of one of your lightning (or thunder) spells per short rest. Five levels gets you Call Lightning, and Six levels gets you a second Channel Divinity to maximize your damage again.

Lightning Dragon Sorcerer 7 Gets you Storm Sphere, +Cha to damage with all of your lightning spells, Metamagic, and free Mage Armor. I'm not sure if 7 levels can really be called a dip though.
 
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Gavin O.

First Post
Acid

Cantrip
Acid Splash (Sorcerer, Wizard) 1d6 damage to up to two creatures, as long as those creatures are within 5 feet of each other. This is really bad if you don't have two targets and pretty good if you do.
Primal Savagery (Druid) Same damage as Fire Bolt in melee range on a class that has access to Shillelagh. Interestingly, this is one of few spells without a verbal component.

Level 1
Chromatic Orb (Sorcerer, Wizard) 3d8 isn't great damage, and this requires a material component that costs 50 gold

Level 2
Acid Arrow (Swamp Land Druid, Wizard) The initial damage isn't great, the damage they take next turn somewhat makes up for it, but this is still only 6d4 damage to one target, and gives the target a turn to act before it takes the rest of the damage. It does scale fairly well.
Dragon’sBreath (Sorcerer, Wizard) Mediocre if you need to cast this on yourself or a party member, and excellent if you can cast it on someone’s familiar.

Level 3
Elemental Weapon (Paladin, Hexblade Warlock) +1 to hit and +1d4 acid damage to someone’s weapon (hopefully someone with extra attacks) can add up to a lot of damage, especially if you can get in two encounters during the one hour duration. Scales well.
Glyph of Warding (Bard, Cleric, Wizard) For 200 gold, you can make a glyph of whatever spell you want and throw the object onto the ground to detonate it. Use as you see fit.
Hunger of Hadar (Warlock) If you can keep your enemies stuck in the area, this will outdamage a Fireball in two rounds, plus it blinds anything inside it and creates difficult terrain. Unfortunately, this spell doesn't scale at all.

Level 4
Elemental Bane (Druid, Warlock, Wizard) Gives the target a save, and if they fail they take 2d6 more cold damage (once per turn) for a minute and lose their cold resistance, and it uses your concentration. That’s not good enough to justify a fourth level spell slot.
Vitrolic Sphere (Sorcerer, Wizard) Same range and area as a fireball, and deals a total of 15d4 = 37.5 damage, though a third of that come a turn later. Scales better than fireball.

Level 5
(Nothing)

Level 6
(Nothing)

Level 7
(Nothing)

Level 8
Illusory Dragon (Wizard) 7d6 damage isn't great, but a 60-foot cone is good, it only takes your bonus action to use, and it's repeatable. Plus the dragon can block paths for you. It takes a creature's whole action to try and determine that the dragon isn't real, many creatures have poor Investigation, plus it's a check and not a save so legendary resistance doesn't help.

Level 9
Prismatic Wall (Wizard) Deals extremely high damage (though only 10d6 acid) plus it applies two conditions to creatures that try to walk through it. Doesn't require concentration, and your allies can pass through it at will. Phenomenal.
Storm of Vengeance (Druid) It's real bad. The first round it does 3d6 damage. 3d6. For a 9-th level spell. The best effect (six lightning bolts) doesn't even deal Acid damage.

Feats

Elemental Adept
Treating any roll of 1 as a 2 increases the average damage of a d6 from 3.5 to 3.66, which is not a very substantial increase, so the effectiveness of this spell largely depends on how much you need the ability to overcome acid resistance. I definitely wouldn't take this before getting my casting stat to 20.

Level Dips

Acid Dragon Sorcerer 7 If you want to play an Acid blaster, you basically need Vitrolic Sphere, it's one of the only viable spells and scales decently. Your best option is Acid Dragon Sorcerer, which also gets you Acid Splash, +Cha to all your acid damage, free Mage Armor, and Metamagic.
Evocation Wizard 3 If you plan to use Dragon's Breath, three levels in Evocation wizard gets you that plus Find Familiar. Get an Owl Familiar or something else with a good fly speed, cast Dragon's Breath on it, and go to town. You could also go up to 7 levels for Vitrolic Sphere.
 
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Gavin O.

First Post
Poison

Cantrip
Infestation (Druid Sorcerer Warlock Wizard) 1d6 damage is okay, and this spell forces the target to move, but the movement doesn't provoke and you can't choose the direction.
Poison Spray (Druid Sorcerer Warlock Wizard) 1d12 base damage is the highest cantrip damage in the game (tied with Toll the Dead, but this is unconditional) but this spell has a measly 10-foot range.

Level 1
Chromatic Orb 3d8 damage isn't great for a level 1 spell, and this spell has a material component that costs 50 gold. That said, if you're playing a poison blaster, you'll take what spells you can get.
Ray of Sickness 2d8 damage also isn't great for a level 1 spell, and even if you hit, you don't get the secondary effect unless the target also fails their saving throw. Poisoned is a pretty good effect, but it only lasts one turn.

Level 2
Dragon’s Breath (Sorcerer, Wizard) Mediocre if you need to cast this on yourself or a party member, and excellent if you can cast it on someone’s familiar.

Level 3
(Nothing)

Level 4
(Nothing)

Level 5
Cloudkill (Death Cleric, Sorcerer, Wizard) For this to outdamage a level 5 fireball, you need to deal the damage twice, which is a problem since the spell keeps moving away from you and offers no penalty to movement.

Level 6
(Nothing)

Level 7
(Nothing)

Level 8
Illusory Dragon (Wizard) 7d6 damage isn't great, but a 60-foot cone is good, it only takes your bonus action to use, and it's repeatable. Plus the dragon can block paths for you. It takes a creature's whole action to try and determine that the dragon isn't real, many creatures have poor Investigation, plus it's a check and not a save so legendary resistance doesn't help.

Level 9
Prismatic Wall (Wizard) Deals extremely high damage (though only 10d6 poison) plus it applies two conditions to creatures that try to walk through it. Doesn't require concentration, and your allies can pass through it at will. Phenomenal.


Feats
Elemental Adept Treating any roll of 1 as a 2 increases the average damage of a d6 from 3.5 to 3.66, which is not a very substantial increase, so the effectiveness of this spell largely depends on how much you need the ability to overcome poison resistance. I definitely wouldn't take this before getting my casting stat to 20.

Level dips
Trickery Cleric 8 The only way in the entire game to get poison damage on your melee attacks, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Wizard 3 Get Dragon's Breath and Find Familiar
 
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Gavin O.

First Post
Radiant

Cantrip
Sacred Flame (Cleric) 1d8 damage is fine, its a Dex save instead of an attack roll, and has the useful benefit of ignoring cover.
Word of Radiance (Cleric) In order for this to be good, you need two targets, which means you need to have two enemies within 5 feet of you. It's situational, but it can be okay.

Level 1

Divine Favor (War Cleric, Paladin) Bonus Action cast, adds 1d4 radiant damage to all of your weapon attacks for one minute. A little weak, especially since it requires your concentration.
Guiding Bolt (Cleric, Celestial Warlock) 4d6 damage is pretty good at level 1, and the effect is also good, giving an ally advantage and encouraging focus fire. Doesn't scale well though.

Level 2
Branding Smite (Paladin, Hexblade Warlock) 2d6 damage is really bad for second level, the rider that stops invisibility is very situational but can be extremely important when it comes up.
Moonbeam (Druid, Ancients Paladin) 2d10 damage isn't great for second level, but this has a small AOE with a situational but okay rider, plus it lasts 10 rounds. Needing your whole action to move it hurts this a lot though

Level 3
Blinding Smite
(Paladin) 3d8 damage is pretty bad for third level, but this blinds the target until they make a Constitution save, which is pretty good.
Crusader's Mantle (Paladin) The effectiveness of this spell depends greatly on party composition. If you're in a party of all melee extra attack characters this can be great, in a more balanced party isn't not nearly as good.
Spirit Guardians (Cleric, Crown Paladin) This spell is incredible. 3d8 damage per round, friendly AOE with a wide radius, slows enemies, lasts 100 rounds, and scales well. If you're playing a radiant blaster, this is basically mandatory.

Level 4
Guardian of faith (Cleric, Devotion/Crown Paladin, Celestial Warlock) 60 damage is really good for a level 4 spell (Disintegrate at level 6 only deals about 75, and does nothing on a miss) and this lasts for 8 hours and doesn't require concentration. Shame it can't move
Sickening Radiance (Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard) 4d10 damage isn't great for a level 4 spell, but the area is massive and the range is good. One level of Exhaustion only gives disadvantage on ability checks, which probably won't be very useful in combat. The saving grace of this spell is how good it is against invisible enemies, since it doesn't require you hit them with an attack to reveal them like Branding Smite does.

Level 5
Dawn (Cleric, Wizard) 4d10 damage is pretty bad for a 5-th level spell, and the saves after the initial blast only happen at the end of a creature's turn (so it can take its turn to move out of the effect) plus this hits your allies.
Destructive Wave (Paladin) 10d6 damage is pretty good for 5th level (same as a fireball upcast to level 5), though only half of it is radiant. This is also friendly, plus it knocks prone.
Flame Strike (Cleric, Devotion Paladin, Fiend/Celestial Warlock) 8d6 damage is the same as fireball, a spell that's two levels lower than this, plus this one has a smaller area.
Holy Weapon (Cleric, Paladin) Bonus action cast, lasts an hour, adds 2d8 damage per hit to someone's weapon (doesn't have to be yours) and you can trade in the buff for a large friendly AOE that blinds. Just good if somehow nobody in your party has extra attack.
Wall of Light (Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard) I'm not a fan of walls that creatures can just walk through, and 4d8 damage isn't enough of a punishment to dissuade a creature from doing so. The special attack you get is also really weak, and eats up some of the wall each time you use it.

Level 6
Forbiddance (Cleric) This spell is extremely situational, but it could be extremely good. If you have a town that you need to defend from zombies or something, one casting of this will make the whole town pretty much immune to incursions from some creature types for a day (almost no creature can afford to take 5d10 damage per round for several hours) That said, it's entirely campaign-specific, so I can't really give it a great rating.
Sunbeam (Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard) Lines are generally not a great AOE type, but the damage would be respectable even if this only hit one creature. For 10 rounds you can use your action to fire off a laser that deals 6d8 damage and blinds on hit. Not bad.

Level 7
Crown of Stars (Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard) This takes seven rounds to get full damage out of and can only hit one target, but it can do pretty good damage when combined with other spells since it only uses your bonus action on rounds after the first, and it doesn't require concentration. Could see some use in long battles.

Level 8
Sunburst (Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard) 12d6 damage is pretty weak for an 8-th level spell (fireball upcast to 8 deals more) but this spell has a massive 60-foot radius and it blinds.


Class abilities
Radiance of the Dawn (Light Cleric 2) For the low(?) cost of your Channel Divinity, you get a friendly AOE that deals 2d10+your cleric level radiant damage. Great early on.
Divine Smite (Paladin 2) 2d8 damage (+1d8 per level of the spell slot) that can't miss, doesn't take any action to apply, and has no limit on the number of times you can use it per turn is excellent.
Divine Fury (Zealot Barbarian 3) 1d6+barbarian level damage (once per turn) that costs you nothing to use is great.
Radiant Sun Bolt (Sun Soul Monk 3) Gives you a laser beam that scales as you gain monk levels. Strong because you can spend one ki to shoot it twice as a bonus action.

Feats
(Nothing?)

Level dips
Light Cleric 5 Gets you access to the great radiant spells available to clerics, up to and including the amazing Spirit Guardians, plus one use of Radiance of the Dawn for an extra blast.
Paladin 2 Turn all of your spell slots into more radiant damage with Divine smite.

 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I'd love to see some discussion on ways to increase mastery of elements - feats, multiclass dips specifically for elemental boosts, etc.
 

Gavin O.

First Post
I'd love to see some discussion on ways to increase mastery of elements - feats, multiclass dips specifically for elemental boosts, etc.

I'd love to do that, but I'm not sure how much there is to say. Outside of Elemental Adept and the Tiefling Fire feat Flames of Phlegethos, I can't really find many feats specifically made for a build like this. Does anything jump out at you as worth mentionning?

I could look into multiclass dips though.
 

Herosmith14

First Post
Don't feel pressured or anything, but this thread could be pretty helpful to me, eventually, as I have a Storm Sorcerer with whom I'm trying not to stray too far out of the lightning/thunder/wind zone.
 

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