5E What is the most powerful spell?

Yaarel

Adventurer
Help figure out the best spells! What spell do you think is the best? Sort the spells below, from the worst (at the top) to best (at the bottom), according to the one you would *want* more than the others above it.

Each spell is better than the one above it, and less good than the one below it. If you see a spell that you feel is out of order, suggest which two spells it can move between.



[sblock=SRD Spells by Level]
5e System Reference Document − Open Gaming License



0-Level Cantrips
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
True Strike

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−less useful
Poison Spray
not bad
Shocking Grasp
−excellent
Shillelagh

Less Useful
Message
Acid Splash
Spare The Dying

Not Bad
Ray Of Frost
Mending
Light
Produce Flame
Dancing Lights
Druidcraft
Thaumaturgy

Good
Prestidigitation
Sacred Flame
Resistance
Guidance
Mage Hand
Chill Touch
Fire Bolt

Excellent
Vicious Mockery
Minor Illusion
Eldritch Blast



1st-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Detect Evil And Good
Create Or Destroy Water
Jump

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Identify
Illusory Script
Purify Food And Drink
−less useful
Detect Poison And Disease
Comprehend Languages
Floating Disk
−not bad
Alarm
Feather Fall
−excellent
Find Familiar
Detect Magic

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−lower level
Color Spray
−less useful
Divine Favor
−not bad
Burning Hands
Inflict Wounds
−excellent
Thunderwave
Hunter's Mark

Less Useful
Speak With Animals
Animal Friendship
Charm Person
Unseen Servant
Protection From Evil And Good

Not Bad
False Life
Heroism
Hellish Rebuke
Longstrider
Bane
Sanctuary

Good
Disguise Self
Command
Grease
Shield Of Faith
Mage Armor
Silent Image
Expeditious Retreat
Fog Cloud
Cure Wounds
Goodberry
Hideous Laughter
Sleep
Entangle
Faerie Fire

Excellent
Guiding Bolt
Magic Missile
Healing Word
Bless
Shield



2nd-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Find Traps
Enthrall
Warding Bond
Ray Of Enfeeblement
Continual Flame
Acid Arrow
Detect Thoughts

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Locate Animals Or Plants
Animal Messenger
Cordon of Arrows
−less useful
Augury
Gentle Repose
Arcanist's Magic Aura
Darkvision
−not bad
Magic Mouth
Find Steed
Rope Trick
−excellent
Prayer Of Healing

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−lower level
Magic Weapon
−less useful
Flame Blade
−not bad
Branding Smite

Less Useful
Gust Of Wind
Locate Object
Zone of Truth
Protection From Poison
Calm Emotions
Knock

Not Bad
Barkskin
Arcane Lock
Aid
Enhance Ability
Enlarge/Reduce
See Invisibility
Lesser Restoration
Blindness/Deafness
Darkness
Shatter
Spider Climb

Good
Pass Without Trace
Silence
Blur
Heat Metal
Alter Self
Hold Person
Scorching Ray
Web
Levitate

Excellent
Spike Growth
Invisibility
Moonbeam
Mirror Image
Spiritual Weapon
Flaming Sphere
Misty Step
Suggestion



3rd-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Daylight
Create Food And Water
Sending
Tongues

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Speak With Dead
Water Breathing
Phantom Steed
Water Walk
Meld Into Stone
Glyph of Warding
−less useful
Plant Growth
−not bad
Magic Circle
−good
Clairvoyance
Animate Dead
Call Lightning
−excellent
Tiny Hut

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−lower level
Bestow Curse
−good
Vampiric Touch
Spirit Guardians
excellent
Lightning Arrow

Less Useful
Remove Curse
Speak With Plants
Nondetection
Gaseous Form
Wind Wall
Protection From Energy
Beacon Of Hope

Not Bad
Stinking Cloud
Blink

Good
Sleet Storm
Slow
Dispel Magic
Lightning Bolt
Fear
Haste
Mass Healing Word
Counterspell

Excellent
Revivify
Hypnotic Pattern
Conjure Animals
Fly
Fireball
Major Image



4th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Ice Storm
Phantasmal Killer

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Secret Chest
Hallucinatory Terrain
Divination
Faithful Hound
Guardian Of Faith
−less useful
Private Sanctum
−not bad
Fabricate
Conjure Minor Elementals

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
not bad
Fire Shield

Less Useful
Stone Shape
Locate Creature
Blight
Control Water
Dominate Beast
Stoneskin

Not Bad
Confusion
Compulsion
Freedom of Movement
Wall of Fire
Conjure Woodland Beings

Good
Dimension Door
Giant Insect
Death Ward
Black Tentacles
Arcane Eye
Resilient Sphere
Banishment

Excellent
Greater Invisibility
Polymorph



5th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Cloudkill
Flame Strike

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Legend Lore
Reincarnate
Passwall
Contact Other Plane
Commune With Nature
Commune
Telepathic Bond
Creation
Planar Binding
Conjure Elemental
Geas
Hallow
Tree Stride
−less useful
Dream
−not bad
Raise Dead
Awaken
−good
Teleportation Circle
Scrying

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−excellent
Contagion

Less Useful
Mislead

Not Bad
Dispel Evil And Good
Dominate Person
Modify Memory
Insect Plague
Telekinesis
Seeming
Greater Restoration

Good
Hold Monster
Wall Of Stone
Arcane Hand
Cone Of Cold
Animate Objects
Mass Cure Wounds

Excellent
Antilife Shell
Wall Of Force


6th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Move Earth
Irresistible Dance
Circle Of Death
Sunbeam
Wall Of Ice
Blade Barrier
Wall Of Thorns

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Find the Path
Guards And Wards
Programmed Illusion
Instant Summons
Wind Walk
Create Undead
Freezing Sphere
Transport Via Plants
−less useful
Forbiddance
−not bad
Word Of Recall
−good
Magic Jar
Conjure Fey
Planar Ally
Contingency
−excellent
Heroes' Feast

Not Bad
Eyebite
Disintegrate
Flesh To Stone

Good
Harm
Chain Lightning
True Seeing
Globe Of Invulnerability

Excellent
Heal
Mass Suggestion



7th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Sequester
Arcane Sword
Divine Word
Project Image
Etherealness
Prismatic Spray
Fire Storm

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
lower level
Mirage Arcane
Symbol
Conjure Celestial
Magnificent Mansion
Resurrection
−not bad
Teleport
good
Delayed Blast
excellent
Simulacrum
Regenerate

Less Useful
Finger of Death

Good
Reverse Gravity

Excellent
Plane Shift
Forcecage



8th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Glibness
Earthquake
Animal Shapes
Sunburst

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
lower level
Control Weather
Demiplane
good
Antipathy/Sympathy
excellent
Mind Blank
Clone

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
lower level
Holy Aura

Less Useful
Power Word Stun
Incendiary Cloud
Antimagic Field

Not Bad
Dominate Monster
Feeblemind

Excellent
Maze



9th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Weird
Power Word Kill
Time Stop

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
lower level
Storm of Vengeance
True Resurrection
Imprisonment
Gate
not bad
Astral Projection
excellent
Foresight

Not Bad
Mass Heal

Good
True Polymorph
Shapechange

Excellent
Meteor Swarm
Prismatic Wall
Wish

[/sblock]
[sblock=All Official Spells by Level]
WotC intellectual property
ph − Player's Handbook only (unavailable in 5e SRD)
sc − Sword Coast Player's Guide
ee − Elemental Evil Player's Companion



0-Level Cantrips
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Magic Stone ee
Blade Ward ph
True Strike
Mold Earth ee
Thunderclap ee

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−less useful
Sword Burst sc
Poison Spray
not bad
Shocking Grasp
Lightning Lure sc
Thorn Whip ph
good
Booming Blade sc
−excellent
Green Flame Blade sc
Shillelagh

Less Useful
Message
Gust ee
Friends ph
Shape Water ee
Acid Splash
Control Flames ee
Spare The Dying

Not Bad
Ray Of Frost
Create Bonfire ee
Mending
Light
Produce Flame
Dancing Lights
Druidcraft
Thaumaturgy

Good
Prestidigitation
Sacred Flame
Resistance
Guidance
Mage Hand
Chill Touch
Fire Bolt

Excellent
Frostbite ee
Vicious Mockery
Minor Illusion
Eldritch Blast



1st-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Detect Evil And Good
Create Or Destroy Water
Jump
Witch Bolt ph

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Identify
Illusory Script
Purify Food And Drink
−less useful
Detect Poison And Disease
Comprehend Languages
Floating Disk
−not bad
Alarm
Beast Bond ee
Feather Fall
−excellent
Find Familiar
Detect Magic

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−lower level
Color Spray
−less useful
Arms of Hadar ph
Divine Favor
−not bad
Compelled Duel ph
Hail of Thorns ph
Earth Tremor ee
Burning Hands
Inflict Wounds
Searing Smite ph
good
Wrathful Smite ph
Thunderous Smite ph
−excellent
Ensaring Strike ph
Thunderwave
Hunter's Mark
Hex ph

Less Useful
Speak With Animals
Animal Friendship
Charm Person
Unseen Servant
Ray of Sickness ph
Protection From Evil And Good

Not Bad
Armor of Agathys ph
False Life
Heroism
Hellish Rebuke
Longstrider
Bane
Sanctuary
Absorb Elements ee
Chromatic Orb ph
Catapult ee
Ice Knife ee

Good
Disguise Self
Command
Grease
Shield Of Faith
Mage Armor
Silent Image
Expeditious Retreat
Fog Cloud
Cure Wounds
Goodberry
Dissonant Whispers ph
Hideous Laughter
Sleep
Entangle
Faerie Fire

Excellent
Guiding Bolt
Magic Missile
Healing Word
Bless
Shield



2nd-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Find Traps
Enthrall
Warding Bond
Ray Of Enfeeblement
Continual Flame
Acid Arrow
Snowball Storm ee
Detect Thoughts
Dust Devil ee
Cloud of Daggers ph

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Locate Animals Or Plants
Animal Messenger
Skywrite ee
Cordon of Arrows
−less useful
Augury
Gentle Repose
Arcanist's Magic Aura
Darkvision
−not bad
Beast Sense ph
Magic Mouth
Pyrotechnics ee
Find Steed
Rope Trick
−excellent
Prayer Of Healing

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−lower level
Magic Weapon
less useful
Flame Blade
−not bad
Branding Smite

Less Useful
Gust Of Wind
Locate Object
Zone of Truth
Protection From Poison
Calm Emotions
Knock

Not Bad
Barkskin
Earthbind ee
Arcane Lock
Aid
Enhance Ability
Enlarge/Reduce
Crown of Madness ph
See Invisibility
Lesser Restoration
Blindness/Deafness
Darkness
Warding Wind ee
Scorcher ee
Shatter
Spider Climb

Good
Pass Without Trace
Silence
Blur
Heat Metal
Alter Self
Earthern Grasp ee
Hold Person
Scorching Ray
Web
Levitate

Excellent
Spike Growth
Invisibility
Moonbeam
Mirror Image
Spiritual Weapon
Flaming Sphere
Misty Step
Phantasmal Force ph
Suggestion



3rd-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Feign Death ph
Daylight
Create Food And Water
Sending
Tongues
Wall of Water ee

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Speak With Dead
Water Breathing
Phantom Steed
Water Walk
Meld Into Stone
Glyph of Warding
−less useful
Plant Growth
−not bad
Magic Circle
−good
Clairvoyance
Animate Dead
Call Lightning
−excellent
Tiny Hut

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−lower level
Bestow Curse
Flame Arrows ee
Conjure Barrage ph
not bad
Elemental Weapon ph
Blinding Smite ph
−good
Vampiric Touch
Spirit Guardians
Crusader's Mantle ph
excellent
Lightning Arrow

Less Useful
Remove Curse
Speak With Plants
Nondetection
Gaseous Form
Wall of Sand ee
Wind Wall
Protection From Energy
Beacon Of Hope

Not Bad
Hunger of Hadar ph
Stinking Cloud
Tidal Wave ee
Blink

Good
Sleet Storm
Minute Meteors ee
Slow
Erupting Earth ee
Dispel Magic
Lightning Bolt
Fear
Haste
Aura of Vitality ph
Mass Healing Word
Counterspell

Excellent
Revivify
Hypnotic Pattern
Conjure Animals
Fly
Fireball
Major Image



4th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Ice Storm
Phantasmal Killer
Aura of Life ph

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Secret Chest
Hallucinatory Terrain
Divination
Faithful Hound
Guardian Of Faith
Elemental Bane ee
−less useful
Private Sanctum
−not bad
Fabricate
Conjure Minor Elementals

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
lower level
Grasping Vine ph
not bad
Fire Shield
Staggering Smite ph

Less Useful
Stone Shape
Locate Creature
Blight
Control Water
Dominate Beast
Stoneskin

Not Bad
Aura of Purity ph
Confusion
Compulsion
Freedom of Movement
Wall of Fire
Storm Sphere ee
Conjure Woodland Beings

Good
Dimension Door
Giant Insect
Death Ward
Vitriolic Sphere ee
Black Tentacles
Arcane Eye
Resilient Sphere
Banishment

Excellent
Watery Sphere ee
Greater Invisibility
Polymorph



5th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Immolation ee
Cloudkill
Flame Strike
Control Winds ee
Transmute Rock ee
Maelstrom ee


SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Legend Lore
Reincarnate
Passwall
Contact Other Plane
Commune With Nature
Commune
Telepathic Bond
Creation
Planar Binding
Conjure Elemental
Geas
Hallow
Tree Stride
−less useful
Dream
−not bad
Raise Dead
Awaken
−good
Teleportation Circle
Scrying

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
good
Banishing Smite ph
Swift Quiver ph
−excellent
Contagion
Conjure Volley ph

Less Useful
Mislead

Not Bad
Dispel Evil And Good
Dominate Person
Modify Memory
Insect Plague
Telekinesis
Seeming
Greater Restoration

Good
Hold Monster
Circle of Power ph
Wall Of Stone
Arcane Hand
Cone Of Cold
Animate Objects
Mass Cure Wounds

Excellent
Antilife Shell
Destructive Wave ph
Wall Of Force



6th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Move Earth
Irresistible Dance
Circle Of Death
Sunbeam
Wall Of Ice
Blade Barrier
Wall Of Thorns
Arcane Gate ph
Investiture of Wind ee


SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−lower level
Find the Path
Guards And Wards
Programmed Illusion
Instant Summons
Wind Walk
Create Undead
Freezing Sphere
Transport Via Plants
−less useful
Forbiddance
−not bad
Word Of Recall
−good
Magic Jar
Conjure Fey
Planar Ally
Contingency
−excellent
Heroes' Feast

Eldritch KnightVery Close Range, Weapon Attack
lower level
Investiture of Stone ee
Investiture of Flame ee
Investiture of Ice ee

Less Useful
Primeordeal Ward ee

Not Bad
Eyebite
Disintegrate
Flesh To Stone

Good
Harm
Chain Lightning
Bones of the Earth ee
True Seeing
Globe Of Invulnerability

Excellent
Heal
Mass Suggestion



7th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Sequester
Arcane Sword
Divine Word
Project Image
Etherealness
Prismatic Spray
Fire Storm

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
lower level
Mirage Arcane
Symbol
Conjure Celestial
Magnificent Mansion
Resurrection
−not bad
Teleport
good
Delayed Blast
excellent
Simulacrum
Regenerate

Less Useful
Finger of Death

Not Bad
Whirlwind ee

Good
Reverse Gravity

Excellent
Plane Shift
Forcecage



8th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Telepathy ph
Glibness
Earthquake
Animal Shapes
Sunburst

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
lower level
Control Weather
Demiplane
good
Antipathy/Sympathy
excellent
Mind Blank
Clone

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
lower level
Holy Aura

Less Useful
Power Word Stun
Horrid Wilting ee
Incendiary Cloud
Antimagic Field

Not Bad
Dominate Monster
Feeblemind
Tsunami ph

Excellent
Maze



9th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

Lower Level
Weird
Power Word Kill
Time Stop

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
lower level
Storm of Vengeance
True Resurrection
Imprisonment
Gate

not bad
Astral Projection
excellent
Foresight

Not Bad
Power Word Heal ph
Mass Heal

Good
True Polymorph
Shapechange

Excellent
Meteor Swarm
Prismatic Wall
Wish

[/sblock]
 
Last edited:

Yaarel

Adventurer
Spells from Worst to Best

spell name, official spell level, source

source:
[no source] (SRD, System Reference Document)
ph (Player's Handbook only, unavailable in SRD)
xg (Xanathars Guide To Everything)
sc (Sword Coast Player's Guide)
mm (Monster Manual)

Spells in red seem less competitive with other spells in the same level, and appear more appealing among spells in a lower spell level.




Minor
(minor effect, seldom useful, subpar for 1st-level slot)

Skill Check
Legend Lore 5 − History
Find The Path 6Survival
Locate Animals Or Plants 2 − Survival
Detect Poison And Disease 1Medicine
Animal Friendship 1 − Animal Handling
Enthrall 2Persuasion/Intimidation/Bluff
Find Traps 2 − Perception/Investigation

Jump 1 an Athletics stunt requiring a check, beyond the reliable Jump distance
Detect Evil And Good 1 − Arcana/Religion
Identify 1 − automatically happens during each Short Rest − but might require a Arcana/Religion check for special situations

Perhaps A Skill Check
Feign Death 3ph − perhaps Medicine
Glibness 8 − perhaps Deception
Detect Thoughts 2 − Insight/Perception − perhaps also to detect unseen thinkers

DM Gives A Hint
Contact Other Plane 5perhaps Arcana/Religion per Long Rest
Augury 2perhaps Arcana/Religion per Long Rest
Divination 4 − perhaps Arcana/Religion per Long Rest
Commune With Nature 5perhaps Arcana/Religion per Long Rest
Commune 5perhaps Arcana/Religion per Long Rest


At-Will
True Strike 0perhaps combat action like Help or Ready
Magic Stone 0xg
Mold Earth 0xg
Blade Ward 0ph perhaps combat action like Dodge or Charge
Thunderclap 0xg

Eldritch Knight − very close range
Color Spray 1

Various
Hallucinatory Terrain 4
Mirage Arcane 7
Imprisonment 9
Speak With Dead 3
Move Earth 6
Secret Chest 4

Illusory Script 1
Animal Messenger 2
Skywrite 2xg
Purify Food And Drink 1
Create Food And Water 3
Create Or Destroy Water 1
Acid Arrow 2
Witch Bolt 1ph
Instant Summons 6



0-Level Cantrips
From the worst ... to the best!

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−less useful
Sword Burst 0sc
Poison Spray 0
not bad
Shocking Grasp 0
Lightning Lure 0sc
Thorn Whip 0ph
good
Booming Blade 0sc
−excellent
Green Flame Blade 0sc
Shillelagh 0

Less Useful
Gust 0xg
Friends 0ph
Shape Water 0
xg
Acid Splash 0
Produce Flame 0

Control Flames 0xg
Spare The Dying 0

Not Bad
Message 0
Ray Of Frost 0
Create Bonfire 0xg
Mending 0
Light 0
Dancing Lights 0
Druidcraft 0
Thaumaturgy 0

Good
Prestidigitation 0
Sacred Flame 0
Resistance 0
Mage Hand 0
Chill Touch 0
Fire Bolt 0

Excellent
Frostbite 0
xg
Vicious Mockery 0
Minor Illusion 0
Eldritch Blast 0
Guidance 0



1st-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−less useful
Comprehend Languages 1
Warding Bond 2
Daylight 3
Floating Disk 1
Reincarnate 5
Passwall 5
Phantom Steed 3

Water Walk 3
Darkvision 2

−not bad
Continual Flame 2
Cordon Of Arrows 2
Alarm 1
Beast Bond 1xg
Feather Fall 1
Water Breathing 3
good
Locate Object 2
Fog Cloud 1
Darkness 2
−excellent
Find Familiar 1
Detect Magic 1

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−less useful
Arms Of Hadar 1ph
−not bad
Divine Favor 1
Compelled Duel 1ph
Hail Of Thorns 1ph
Earth Tremor 1
xg
Burning Hands 1
Inflict Wounds 1
Searing Smite 1ph
good
Wrathful Smite 1ph
Thunderous Smite 1ph
−excellent
Flame Blade 2
Magic Weapon 2

Ensaring Strike 1ph
Thunderwave 1
Hunter's Mark 1
Hex 1ph

Less Useful
Speak With Animals 1
Charm Person 1
Unseen Servant 1
Ray Of Enfeeblement 2
Ray Of Sickness 1ph

Not Bad
Armor Of Agathys 1ph
False Life 1
Heroism 1
Hellish Rebuke 1
Longstrider 1
Bane 1
Sanctuary 1
Chromatic Orb 1ph
Snowball Storm 2xg
Catapult 1xg
Ice Knife 1xg

Good
Command 1
Grease 1
Dust Devil 2xg
Disguise Self 1
Shield Of Faith 1
Barkskin 2
Protection From Evil And Good 1
Mage Armor 1
Silent Image 1
Expeditious Retreat 1
Cure Wounds 1
Goodberry 1
Dissonant Whispers 1ph
Sleep 1
Faerie Fire 1
Hideous Laughter 1

Excellent
Irresistible Dance 6
Entangle 1
Absorb Elements 1xg
Guiding Bolt 1
Cloud Of Daggers 2ph
Magic Missile 1
Healing Word 1
Shield 1




2nd-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−less useful
Gentle Repose 2
Arcanist's Magic Aura 2
Faithful Hound 4
Zone Of Truth 2
−not bad
Beast Sense 2ph
Sending 3
Telepathy 8ph

Telepathy Language mm
Tongues 3
Telepathic Bond 5

Magic Mouth 2
Wall Of Water 3
xg
−good
Pyrotechnics 2
xg
Plant Growth 3
Meld Into Stone 3

Rope Trick 2
−excellent
Prayer Of Healing 2

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
less useful
Flame Arrows 3
xg
−not bad
Branding Smite 2
Vampiric Touch 3
good
Conjure Barrage 3ph
excellent
Find Steed 2

Less Useful
Gust Of Wind 2
Protection From Poison 2
Calm Emotions 2
Grasping Vine 4ph
Knock 2

Not Bad
Earthbind 2xg
Arcane Lock 2
Aid 2
Enlarge/Reduce 2
Crown Of Madness 2ph
See Invisibility 2
Lesser Restoration 2
Blindness/Deafness 2
Warding Wind 2
xg
Scorcher 2xg
Shatter 2
Spider Climb 2

Good
Enhance Ability 2
Silence 2
Blur 2
Alter Self 2
Earthern Grasp 2xg
Hold Person 2
Scorching Ray 2
Moonbeam 2
Levitate 2
Web 2

Excellent
Heat Metal 2
Pass Without Trace 2
Spike Growth 2
Mirror Image 2
Invisibility 2
Spiritual Weapon 2
Flaming Sphere 2
Misty Step 2
Phantasmal Force 2ph
Suggestion 2



3rd-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−less useful
Guards And Wards 6
Sequester 7
Elemental Bane 4
xg
Creation 5
−not bad
Cloudkill 5
Beacon Of Hope 3

Magic Circle 3
−good
Protection From Energy 3
Glyph Of Warding 3 − abusable: obviate concentration, then Teleport from lair
Clairvoyance 3
Animate Dead 3
Call Lightning 3
−excellent
Programmed Illusion 6
Tiny Hut 3

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
less useful
Elemental Weapon 3ph
not bad
Bestow Curse 3
Blinding Smite 3ph
Crusader's Mantle 3ph
−good
Spirit Guardians 3
excellent
Lightning Arrow 3

Less Useful
Remove Curse 3
Speak With Plants 3
Stone Shape 4
Nondetection 3
Gaseous Form 3
Wall Of Sand 3
xg
Wind Wall 3
Immolation 5
xg
Hunger Of Hadar 3ph

Not Bad
Guardian Of Faith 4
Ice Storm 4
Stinking Cloud 3
Tidal Wave 3xg
Blink 3

Good
Sleet Storm 3
Minute Meteors 3
xg
Slow 3
Erupting Earth 3xg
Aura Of Life 4ph
Dispel Magic 3
Lightning Bolt 3
Phantasmal Killer 4
Fear 3
Haste 3
Mass Healing Word 3

Excellent
Conjure Animals 3
Hypnotic Pattern 3
Aura Of Vitality 3ph
Counterspell 3
Revivify 3
Fly 3
Flame Strike 5
Fireball 3
Circle Of Death 6
Major Image 3



4th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−less useful
Storm Of Vengeance 9
Private Sanctum 4
Control Water 4
Hallow 5
−not bad
Wind Walk 6
Fabricate 4
Conjure Minor Elementals 4
excellent
Banishment 4

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
−less useful
Investiture Of Ice 6xg
not bad
Investiture Of Flame 6xg
Fire Shield 4
Staggering Smite 4ph

Less Useful
Control Winds 5xg
Locate Creature 4
Blight 4
Dominate Beast 4
Geas 5
Stoneskin 4
Insect Plague 5
Wall Of Fire 4

Not Bad
Aura Of Purity 4ph
Divine Word 7
Confusion 4
Compulsion 4
Freedom Of Movement 4
Investiture Of Wind 6xg
Storm Sphere 4
xg
Conjure Woodland Beings 4

Good
Tree Stride 5
Dimension Door 4
Arcane Gate 6ph
Giant Insect 4
Create Undead 6
Vitriolic Sphere 4
xg
Arcane Sword 7
Weird 9
Investiture Of Stone 6xg
Arcane Eye 4
Transmute Rock 5
xg
Black Tentacles 4
Resilient Sphere 4

Excellent
Death Ward 4
Watery Sphere 4xg
Greater Invisibility 4
Polymorph 4
Bless 1 − compared to other attack bonus spells, +2.5 ranks here − not broken but probably makes more sense as a class feature − Compare Magic Weapon



5th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−less useful
Dream 5
Control Weather 8
Word Of Recall 6
Planar Binding 5
−not bad
Conjure Elemental 5
Demiplane 8
Magnificent Mansion 7

Awaken 5
Raise Dead 5
Resurrection 7
−good
Scrying 5
Holy Aura 8
−excellent
Freezing Sphere 6
Teleportation Circle 5
Transport Via Plants 6

Eldritch Knight − Very Close Range, Weapon Attacks
good
Banishing Smite 5ph
Swift Quiver 5ph
−excellent
Contagion 5
Conjure Volley 5ph

Less Useful
Mislead 5
Blade Barrier 6

Not Bad
Wall Of Thorns 6
Wall Of Ice 6
Wall Of Stone 5
Maelstrom 5
xg
Dispel Evil And Good 5
Modify Memory 5
Telekinesis 5
Seeming 5
Greater Restoration 5

Good
Hold Monster 5
Dominate Person 5
Circle Of Power 5ph
Arcane Hand 5
Project Image 7

Cone Of Cold 5
Prismatic Spray 7
Animate Objects 5
Mass Cure Wounds 5

Excellent
Sunbeam 6
Antilife Shell 5
Destructive Wave 5ph
Wall Of Force 5



6th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−less useful
Forbiddance 6
Teleport 7
−good
Magic Jar 6
Conjure Fey 6
Planar Ally 6
Etherealness 7
Contingency 6
−excellent
Heroes' Feast 6

Less Useful
Primordial Ward 6xg
Fire Storm 7

Not Bad
Eyebite 6
Disintegrate 6
Flesh To Stone 6

Good
Harm 6
Chain Lightning 6
Bones Of The Earth 6
xg
True Seeing 6
Time Stop 9
Globe Of Invulnerability 6

Excellent
Heal 6
Mass Suggestion 6



7th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
−less useful
Symbol 7
True Resurrection 9
Delayed Blast 7

−not bad
Animal Shapes 8
good
Conjure Celestial 7
Earthquake 8
excellent
Simulacrum 7
Regenerate 7
Plane Shift 7

Less Useful
Finger Of Death 7

Not Bad
Whirlwind 7xg

Good
Reverse Gravity 7
Sunburst 8

Excellent
Forcecage 7



8th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
good
Antipathy/Sympathy 8
Gate 9
excellent
Mind Blank 8
Clone 8

Less Useful
Power Word Kill 9
Power Word Stun 8
Horrid Wilting 8xg
Incendiary Cloud 8
Feeblemind 8
Antimagic Field 8

Not Bad
Tsunami 8ph

Good
Maze 8
Dominate Monster 8



9th-Level Spells
From the worst ... to the best!

SetupLater Benefit, Long Casting, Significant Prerequisite
not bad
Astral Projection 9
excellent
Foresight 9

Not Bad
Power Word Heal 9ph
Mass Heal 9

Good
True Polymorph 9
Shapechange 9

Excellent
Meteor Swarm 9
Prismatic Wall 9
Wish 9


 
Last edited:

ccs

39th lv DM
9th lv.
Best = Wish
Worst = anything that's not Wish?

0-8th lv.
BEST= whatever best represents the character that'll be casting them.
WORST = whatever least fits a particular character.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
For the sake of standardization, you are a hypothetical non-melee Wizard who can cast any spell that exists, but can only use spell slots to cast them. You cannot perform rituals, so must use up spell slots for these. You lack at-will cantrips, and instead use 0-level spell slots to cast 0-level spells.
 

rgoodbb

Explorer
But you missed the best one out: Friends.

"The rest of it doesn't matter because we're friends....la la....doopeedoo."
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
The 5e SRD (heh, thankfully) omits Friends from the spell list. The SRD as most of the spells − its missing roughly 40 spells. We’ll add these in afterward, once the SRD list stabilizes.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
For the sake of standardization, you are a hypothetical non-melee Wizard who can cast any spell that exists, but can only use spell slots to cast them. You cannot perform rituals, so must use up spell slots for these. You lack at-will cantrips, and instead use 0-level spell slots to cast 0-level spells.
Ok, see post #3....
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Level 10
Caster Wife.
11 O'CLOCK spell.
Verbal.
"it is eleven pm. Time for you to go home." So far for the last 17 years no one in my game group has saved against it.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
The "best spell" can vary depending on the situation and opponent.

I'm standing just above a fragile snow pack and the enemy forces are in the valley below me? Shatter is the best spell ever! Hundreds dead with a 2nd level spell.

I have Wall of Fire up and several enemies on this side of it? Thunderwave is the best spell, because it can push them all into the Firewall.

I'm facing enemies immune to fire? All my fire spells just went from "best" to "worst".

Fighting Salamanders (vulnerable to cold) - all the cold spells that are usually 3rd or 4th best are now The Best.
 
The "best spell" can vary depending on the situation and opponent.

I'm standing just above a fragile snow pack and the enemy forces are in the valley below me? Shatter is the best spell ever! Hundreds dead with a 2nd level spell.

I have Wall of Fire up and several enemies on this side of it? Thunderwave is the best spell, because it can push them all into the Firewall.

I'm facing enemies immune to fire? All my fire spells just went from "best" to "worst".

Fighting Salamanders (vulnerable to cold) - all the cold spells that are usually 3rd or 4th best are now The Best.
Yep. Versatility is the best spell.

For instance, in 3.0, wizards had versatility in choosing what spells they prepped into slots at the beginning of the day, while sorcerers had versatility in choosing what spells they devoted slots to as the day progressed. Each was very good at bringing the 'best' spell to bear in any given situation, but the wizard, common wisdom and a Tier 1 ranking held, edged out the sorcerer in that regard.

Of course, in 5e, wizards still prepare spells each day with all the versatility they had in 3e & earlier, but then, they - and everyone - casts spells using slots spontaneously with all the versatility of a 3e Sorcerer, /as well/.

So, what's the best spell in 5e? The one you're casting.
 
Shield is very strong, but personally I'd go with Aura of Vitality as the one spell with the most disruptive potential for a campaign. (Ab)used correctly, that spell is an order of magnitude better than a regular healing spell of its level; it's so good that it would often be cheaper to actually soak damage and/or disruptive spell effects like Hypnotic Pattern rather than using spell slots (Counterspell, Shield, Paladin Divine Smite) to try to kill the attacker before he can get them off or to disrupt the effect after it begins. It's possible for a sorc 3/life cleric 1/lore bard 6 to heal over 2000 HP per long rest at level 10 using Extended Aura of Vitality.

Even without fully abusing the spell, the spell Aura of Vitality warps the very class most closely associated with it (Paladins) by making Divine Smite look pretty bad. When you have the chance to spend a 3rd level spell slot on either inflicting 18 damage on a usually-low-AC enemy like say a Death Kiss, doing about 10% of its HP damage, or to simply kill the Death Kiss 10% slower but heal 70 HP to yourself and/or the party afterwards, Divine Smite starts looking pretty bad, especially in a classical attrition-oriented dungeon crawl.

TL;DR Aura of Vitality can completely eliminate HP attrition from a campaign. I don't know of any other spells with as much disruptive potential for normal gameplay, not even Wall of Force.

P.S. Conjure Animals is my runner-up, as clearly the best of the conjuring spells. But unlike Aura of Vitality it has some pretty specific playstyle vulnerabilities, e.g. a campaign with tons of AoE monsters like Flame Skulls would make Conjure Animals look pretty bad.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
Before I go on to 2nd-Level spells, help look more carefully at the 1st-Level list.

Each spell in the list tends to be slightly more useful (more powerful, happens more frequently) than the spell above it, and slightly less useful than the spell below it.

An example is where to rank Magic Missile and Mage Armor. It is clear these two spells are either Excellent or Good, in the general sense. Any spell in the same category − Excellent, Good, or so on − is comparable in value and quality to the other spells in the same category.

Personally, I strongly prefer acquiring Magic Missile and Mage Armor, over Find Familiar. Yet, I have to admit Find Familiar is an excellent spell, versatile and effective. I also have to admit the limitations of Magic Missile and Mage Armor.

For Magic Missile, the reliability (auto-hit, no save) is highly valuable and versatile. The low damage is an acceptable tradeoff.

Magic Armor is a solid spell, enjoying 8 hour duration, despite it being modest, with even a mundane chain shirt being superior, objectively speaking.

Shield is a highly useful spell with its reaction allowing its use when actually needed. Life saving.

Hunters Mark is probably ‘broken’ compared to other 1st-level spells. Notably, many analysts want Hunters Mark to become a Ranger class feature, rather than a spell in a spell list.
 

Advertisement

Top