D&D 5E What are the "iconic" spells in 5e?

dregntael

Explorer
In discussions about spells in 5e, I quite often see the argument that some spells are "iconic" D&D spells and are for that reason more powerful than other spells of the same level. For example, fireball and lightning bolt seem to be considered iconic. So I was wondering, what are the other iconic spells? Are they all damage spells or are there also others? It would be interesting to have a list of these spells, so you could make them less powerful (and possibly others more powerful) for an interesting twist on the standard D&D tropes.

I think the following spells at least qualify for the title of "iconic spell": bless, invisibility, sleep, heal, meteor swarm, (true) polymorph, and wish. What others do you think there are?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Magic Missile is iconic, but not unusually powerful in 5E.

Haste is iconic, but also not unusually powerful under most circumstances.

Animate Dead is probably iconic, and also unusually powerful.
 

cbwjm

Legend
Fireball and lightning bolt are the spells I've always thought of whenever thinking of a magic-users/wizards ever since I started playing with the rules cyclopaedia, they are a bit ahead of the curve at 3rd level but average out at level 5+, at least according to the DMG guidelines. Magic missile is another spell that seems pretty iconic and I would probably also include shield.

Other than cure wounds, I'm not sure what the iconic cleric spells would be. You're probably right in that bless is one of them, but I don't really know otherwise.
 


jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
If you are really asking: which spells do we think are deliberately powered up in 5e, to reflect their history?

Then fireball and lightning bolt are the only two that stand out to me.
 

CydKnight

Explorer
It's going to depend on your criteria for "iconic". Then it's going to depend on who you ask. Assuming you are going by the general definition "a thing regarded as a representative symbol of something", and assuming the "something" is 5E D&D, what exactly qualifies a spell to be iconic?

As for me, I really don't place that kind of label on this spell or that spell. I think of the style of play I am trying to execute for the class along with what other types of PCs are in the party and the theme of the campaign. Then I pick spells that I think are going to be useful. If one becomes more useful than others then I suppose you could say that spell is iconic for me at least with that particular character.
 

Other than cure wounds, I'm not sure what the iconic cleric spells would be. You're probably right in that bless is one of them, but I don't really know otherwise.

Given how much they are part of the iconic way to play a cleric in this edition, I would say bless, spiritual weapon, and spirit guardians.

As to iconic, Shillelagh and the SCAG cantrips have got to be in there. Entire builds seem to rise and fall around them.

Overall, it depends on what is needed to be considered iconic. Is it that it is really powerful (or really powerful for its level, etc.)? Really powerful in this edition but not others (fireball and meteor swarm are powerful in all editions except 3e, so them being powerful in 5e is nothing special, but they are powerful)? New?
 

aco175

Legend
Adding Eldritch Blast. Even in 5e it remains more powerful than the others. It is not one that I tend to think of when I remember the old 1e and 2e days though, since it was not around.

I remember knowing how powerful a wizard was by the number of Magic Missiles he shot at you.
 

Adding Eldritch Blast. Even in 5e it remains more powerful than the others. It is not one that I tend to think of when I remember the old 1e and 2e days though, since it was not around.


Eldritch Blast is perhaps the most iconic spell possible. It's just iconic to the warlock, not 5e. :)
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top