15 Best Cantrips In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

In the game Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, cantrips are spells with a level of 0, which don’t require slot spells to cast.

The full spellcasters (Bards, Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Wizards) have cantrips in their list of spells for their classes

The characters in these classes have a few and are learning more as they advance through the levels.

Some of these cantrips are used as combat options that are offensive, similar to the martial artists who fight with weapons.

In other situations, cantrips can provide casters with additional utility in tackling obstructions.

When you consider the numerous options available It is worth taking a close look at what you can do with your selection of cantrip options.

In my experience, I’ve had many spellcasters and have an idea of which spells are most beneficial to an adventurer. 

If you’re trying to maximize the spellcaster’s abilities, then here are my selections of the top cantrips available that you can use in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition.

18. Mind Sliver

Even a small loss of orientation can throw anyone off, which can sometimes be fatal.

This Enchantment Cantrip (which needs Verbal components) lets casters confuse the mind of a creature within 60 feet, forcing it to make an Intelligence Saving Throw.

If the creature fails the Save, it takes 1d6 points of psychic damage and has to make another Saving Throw before the end of the caster’s next turn with a -1d4 penalty.

Mild Sliver is an easy spell that any Spellcaster can turn into a powerful Cantrip. Immunity and resistance to Psychic damage are uncommon, and Intelligence is often a creature’s worst stat.

Also, the Save penalty can cause other people in the party to do more damaging things.

17. Chill Touch

Necromancy’s Chill Touch lets someone else feel the cold release of death. With this Cantrip, which has both Verbal and Somatic parts, a player conjures a skeleton hand that casts a spell at a distance.

If the target is hit, they take 1d8 Necrotic Damage and can’t get healed until the beginning of their next turn.

When it hits an undead creature, the target can’t attack the person who casts the spell. At 5th Level (2d8), 11th Level (3d8), and 17th Level, its base damage goes up (4d8).

Even though Chill Touch does less damage than Fire Bolt, it can be very useful against enemies with healers because it stops them from healing.

Also, the Undead are hard to hit, which can make Chill Touch a useful tool when fighting these enemies early in the game.

16. Fire Bolt

Fire Bolt (Evocation) is one of the best ranged attacks a Spellcaster can learn. It sends out a fiery bolt of arcane energy.

When cast, this spell can do 1d10 fire damage to a creature within 120 feet. This spell is an offensive Cantrip, and its damage increases at 5th Level (2d10), 11th Level (3d10), and 17th Level (4d10). It needs both verbal and physical parts.

If a spellcaster needs an offensive attack, Fire Bolt is one of the best Cantrips they can get. Toll the Dead does more damage, but Fire Bolt is better because it has a longer range.

Read Also:  11 Best Martial Weapons in D&D 5E

But after 5th Level, Fire Bolt loses its shine. With a Light Crossbow, a player with 14 Dexterity can do more damage than with Fire Bolt.

15. Light

Source: Player’s Handbook

It’s simple in theory, but this spell turns any object into a lighting source for up to an hour. You can only cast the spell on one item at the same time.

Your fellow comrades with no features of dark vision will be grateful to have a bright light.

In addition, an object illuminated by light could cause distractions or assist in the search for obscure or dark places.

14. Mold Earth

Source: Elemental Evil Player’s Companion

A spell that allows you to manipulate stones or dirt and mold earth to create various effects. You can move loose earth as if you had a magic shovel or design symbols and messages in stone.

It is possible to transform the dirt or stone that is on the ground to make it difficult terrain.

In general, the mold earth provides you with the possibility of modifying your surroundings in the right conditions at the very least. It is useful when it is used correctly.

13. Shocking Grasp

Source: Player’s Handbook

This offensive spell offers players a close-combat option in the event that they find themselves in a corner.

After hitting successfully using a melee that you have successfully mastered, you can deal lightning damage to your shocked targets.

As with the majority of cantrips that cause damage in the game, grip damage occurs at levels 5, 11, and 17.

Furthermore, this trick removes the target’s reaction to hitting; this is particularly beneficial to disengage you from your adversaries while avoiding potential attacks and causing some damage in the process.

12. Mending

Source: Player’s Handbook

When characters take on adventures on their own, they’ll likely smash a few things, whether during a battle or breaking through a window to carry out the purpose of stealing.

Mending is a simple and frequently quick method of repairing damaged items.

The cantrip is able to repair a fracture or tear in a piece of material without leaving any evidence of the damage. It’s even taking it to glue two pieces of broken to each other.

All you need is a little imaginative thinking to make this trip to great use.

For instance, you can hide crucial documents (such as the treasure map) by breaking them into fragments and then repairing them to make them whole again.

Simple, yet effective.

11. Message

Source: Player’s Handbook

This spell is often misunderstood and permits you to briefly interact with the creature at a distance of 120 feet.

Only the intended recipient can hear this message. The receiver is able to respond just by the person who sent it.

In the absence of specific obstacles, the spell will hit the target with precision.

While it’s not the flashiest way to go but messages can keep characters in contact with one another.

10. Spare the Dying

Source: Player’s Handbook

This exclusive Cleric cantrip stops creatures from bleeding by stabilizing them to 0 hit points.

Spare the dead won’t be a factor for undead creatures, or even constructs. However, they’re not targets for the typical player anyways.

This cantrip can be a lifesaver for buffs that block players from healing or you’re not able to heal.

Read Also:  Fog Cloud 5e D&D Guide

9. Ray of Frost

Source: Player’s Handbook

A cantrip that is offensive or a ray of frost can cause cold damage, which increases when your character increases levels.

Although it’s not equipped with the most powerful damage to die, this cantrip is useful because the speed of the target decreases by 10 feet prior to the beginning of the next turn.

The speed reduction could be helpful in stopping enemies from gaining access to your allies or fleeing.

8. Booming Blade

Source: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

This melee-focused cantrip provides players the experience of a spell sword.

The blade’s boom lets you try a weapon attack with extra magical effects.

If you hit the target the creature, you add thunder injury to the hit and the creature takes additional damage if it is willing to move prior to the beginning of the next turn.

Both of the instances of damage get additional damage dice at levels of 5, 11, 17, and 5.

Another spell in this sourcebook, Green-flame Blade is a similar spell. However, it causes fire damage, which is transferred to another victim.

The blade’s boom can be thwarted slightly as the effect of the secondary one deters movement, as it could cause a large amount of thunder damage in the event that a creature is struck and decides to move.

7. Vicious Mockery

Source: Player’s Handbook

The characters who make use of this trick unleash insults that are legitimately damaging to their victims, and not just emotionally.

It’s true that the spell doesn’t cause much damage as long as it’s a function of your character’s level. However, few creatures possess resistance to and immunity against psychic harm.

The thing this choice lacks in terms of offensive power, it makes up for in its utility. A vicious mockery makes the target suffer a disadvantage when it comes to its next attack roll, which occurs before the next turn is over.

This spell is only available for the spells in Bard’s book.

If you’re adept at quick comebacks and clever one-liners you can say in the middle of a battle, Vulgar is a great way to add a story-telling element to it!

6. Mage Hand

Source: Player’s Handbook

For arcane casters, the magic hand is a good early version of telekinesis.

This spell produces tiny hands that float around and manipulate objects for you.

The hand itself isn’t able to engage in combat, use magic objects, or lift anything heavier than 10 pounds. In other words, it will operate in accordance with the instructions of the caster.

The Mage’s hand can be used to perform various long-distance snarks, including retrieving objects from far away, opening doors, and much more.

The cantrip also has many possibilities of uses and greatly benefits from the creativity of the player.

5. Toll the Dead

Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

To Clerics, Warlocks, and Wizards Toll the dead is an ideal offensive trick.

In addition to having good power, it can also deal with 1d8 necrotic injury (which the majority of creatures do not have resistance to) in the event that the target is unable to make the Wisdom check against it.

If the target is already wounded, the damage dice are increased to 1d12. As with other cantrips like it, the number of damage dice increases at levels 5, 11, and 17.

Read Also:  D&D 5e Spell Guide: Dimension Door

In general, Toll, the Dead boasts significantly higher damage potential from a base in comparison to the cantrips with range.

4. Minor Illusion

Source: Player’s Handbook

This cantrip generates the sound or image of an object that is no bigger than a five-foot cube that lasts up to one minute.

While it is a bit of a game with your Dungeon Master, the minor illusion is a great game to play with an inventive player.

It is a great way to create distractions through an indistinct sound. Perhaps you’re looking to create the illusion of obstructions by putting a boulder in the way of a walkway.

The idea of creating a cover, such as an enclosed wall or door, may also aid characters in hiding from enemies.

3. Eldritch Blast

Source: Player’s Handbook

Since the release of this edition, the eldritch blast has been widely regarded as the most effective damage-cantrip.

Level 1 characters begin with a single beam that causes 1d10 force damage. Later, they can get another beam at level 5, 11, or 17 (for an ultimate number of four attacks)—so you’re more likely to be able to cause damage with this spell.

There is no resistance for enemies to the force damage of eldritch blast. One creature is the only one with immunity to the type of damage that makes the cantrip ideal in virtually every battle.

The Warlock spell list for the class has the exclusive right to use the eldritch blast. Additionally, the Warlock can select features to really shine through with other damage options, as well as the ability to control crowds.

Non-Warlock characters may need to use optional abilities or multi-classing in order to access it however, that expense could be worth it in the event of an effective and damaging cantrip.

2. Prestidigitation

Source: Player’s Handbook

For arcane casters, prestidigitation works as a catch-all-cantrip for tricks in the parlor and other lesser magical tricks.

As an example, this effect can help alleviate concerns about lighting or snuffing sources of light (like torches) and cleaning up the gear used for adventuring as well as flavoring food items.

In limited instances, prestidigitation can produce harmless effects on the senses as well as illusions and trinkets that are temporary tiny symbols or marks.

The overall effectiveness of this cantrip will differ based on the way the DM handles certain minor details. 

Although players may find creative ways to use prestidigitation’s abilities to conjure.

The Druidcraft and the thaumaturgy cantrips have similar flavorful effects but are more paranormal or nature-based and paranormal-themed.

1. Guidance

Source: Player’s Handbook

Perhaps the most effective cantrip to be found in this game is guidance. It offers the player the chance to earn a flat d4 increase on their next ability test (which is comprised of skill tests as well as initiative rolls) following which the spell is over.

As long as your attention isn’t interrupted with another spell you’ll be able to repeat casting it.

An average adventuring group will perform several skill checks per game, which means that the ability to guide is an extremely useful buff that can be used repeatedly.

With this cantrip’s general usefulness, any spellcaster (typically clerics and druids) that has access to guidance should nab it.