In the 5th version of Dungeons & Dragons, characters have different skills that they focus on. Most barbarians are strong.
Most crooks are quick. Most bards are beautiful. Most of the time, these benefits are enough to help them deal with their problems.
Even a dwarf’s strength isn’t always enough to finish that last tankard of ale, though.
Like a computer that runs on helium, you sometimes need to blow up those numbers.
This Enhance Ability 5e guide shows how to use a spell to boost base stats to heroic levels when they aren’t good enough to do the job.
If you have this spell on hand, everyone in your party will feel even better than they thought they could.
- Bottom Line UpFront
- Stat Block
- The Six Enhancements
- Bull’s Strength
- Cat’s Grace
- Bear’s Endurance
- Fox’s Cunning
- Owl’s Wisdom
- Eagle’s Splendor
- Classes That Can Cast This Spell
- IS ENHANCE ABILITY 5E A GOOD SPELL?
Bottom Line UpFront
Enhance Ability is a 2nd level transmutation spell that gives one of six buffs based on an ability score.
For ease of reference, here is a brief rundown of the spells statistics:
- Level: 2nd
- School of Magic: Transmutation
- Effect Type: Buff
- Casting Time: 1 Action
- Range: Touch
- Target: A creature
- Components: Verbal, Somatic, Material (fur or a feather from a beast)
- Duration: Up To 1 Hour (Concentration)
- Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 2nd.
Enhance Ability is a 2nd-level skill that is easy to learn and use early on in your game. Unlike many other spells of the same level, it is still useful at the top levels because scaling isn’t a big part of how it was made. Advantage is always good on rolls, no matter what level you are, which makes this spell much more useful.
Even though the spell lasts for an hour, you risk losing it if you take damage or are knocked out. You can’t also cast another spell that needs concentration without losing this one, because you can’t focus on two spells at the same time.
It’s important to note that this spell has a material part, but it’s one of the easiest and least strict ones. There are many ways to use fur or feathers from any animal. Also, the spell doesn’t use it up, so once you have it, you’ll always have it.
The Six Enhancements
When you touch a creature with this spell, you can give it one of six magical benefits until the spell ends. Since you can only use one of these skills, it’s important to make a good choice. With the exception of Bear’s Endurance, each improvement gives a bonus on certain skill checks based on the ability it matches.
There are eighteen skills in the 5e DnD rules, and each of them is part of one of these enhancements. If you choose the right buff, you get an edge on all skill checks in the game. Advantage lets you use a second d20 when making skill checks and use the higher number to decide what happens.
This buff gives you a bonus on strength checks and lets you carry twice as much. If a rock is blocking your way, you can move it quickly by casting this on the muscle of the group. The extra carry weight isn’t as helpful as it seems at first, and it’s almost completely useless once your group gets a Bag of Holding. When you add this to the fact that it only gives an advantage to one skill, it’s easy to see why this is the least useful of the six enhancements.
Even so, this upgrade can still be used in a lot of creative ways. With just a piece of rope and the Fly spell, you can turn an ordinary barbarian into the party’s private helicopter.
This buff gives you an edge on dexterity checks and cancels out damage from falls of 20 feet or less. In other words, a dream for a crook! Sneaking, pickpocketing, and doing acrobatic flips all require checks based on agility. If a robbery goes wrong, being able to jump out of a window without thinking about it is a good way to get away.
Even if someone is incapacitated, they will still take damage from falling, so don’t throw paralyzed party members off of roofs expecting this spell to save them.
- Sleight of Hand
This buff gives advantage on Constitution checks and 2d6 temporary hit points. As you might guess, this makes it great for anyone in your party who is a tank.
The temporary hit points don’t last past the spell, but that’s not a big deal because if you needed them, you’ve already used them up by the time they go away.
Even though no skill is based on constitution, this doesn’t mean that this improvement can’t give you advantage on some checks.
Your dungeon master might give you a constitution check that isn’t in the rules (like hiking in bad weather) or change the base for an existing skill (like using fear as a constitution check for a particularly hard staring contest). Even without a check, this improvement is still worth it because of the temporary hit points.
This buff gives you an edge on checks that use your brain. This is great for wizards, but it can also help you pass any test of information. Checks in history, religion, and arcana can help you get knowledge from your dungeon master, and this buff will make sure you don’t mess up the roll.
This buff gives druids, priests, monks, and anyone else who wants to be friends with animals an advantage on Wisdom checks. It also gives you an edge on the checks Insight and Perception, which are both very useful.
Insight checks are great for figuring out what people are really up to when they talk to you, and perception checks are great for stopping people who try to sneak up on you.
As an advantage cancels out a disadvantage, you can also use this improvement to get rid of many of the bad things about being in the dark without darkvision.
- Animal Handling
This buff gives you a bonus when you make Charisma checks. This is especially helpful for Bards, Sorcerers, and Warlocks, especially if they are the face of the party.
With this addition to your social skills, it will be easier for you to persuade, scare, inspire, and trick people.
Classes That Can Cast This Spell
Enhance Ability is on the bard’s list of spells, and it helps them quite a bit. As a bard, you’re probably already the main source of support buffs for the group, so adding this spell fits well with how you usually play.
When it comes to the other normal job of a bard, which is to be the face of the party, being able to give yourself an advantage on charisma checks when you need it is very useful.
If you combine this power with the College of Eloquence subclass’s Silver Tongue feature, persuasion and deception checks will never be a problem again.
In fact, I rarely see a priest who has chosen to learn this spell, which is a shame because of how useful it is.
Most of the time, clerics have more hit points than most other classes, so they often play the part of the tank. So, clerics gain from both Bear’s Endurance and Owl’s Wisdom.
Owl’s Wisdom is great for boosting their high wisdom scores, while Bear’s Endurance gives them extra bonuses.
I think of druids when I think of Enhance Ability. They have the same place in my mind as a DM saying that a room “appears to be empty” or a strong feeling of fear.
I could say this is because the names of the improvements refer to animals, but I think it’s more likely that it’s because I was playing a druid when I first used this spell.
My favorite thing to do was use Bear’s Endurance to make myself stronger, then use Wild Shape to turn into a real bear.
This made me a super-mega-bear with a ridiculously high health pool. Since focus is a save based on constitution, you’re not likely to lose the spell in combat: Bears have very good scores for constitution.
Still, it’s possible, and losing those temporary hit points at the wrong place or time can be dangerous. Keep this in mind when you use this strategy, but don’t let it stop you from becoming the uber-tank your party needs!
Sorcerer adds tricks from Metamagic to this spell, which makes it more flexible. Extended Spell makes the effect last twice as long, for a total of 2 hours.
This means that your party will be stronger for longer. Quickened Spell lets you cast it with an extra action. This lets you use your action for something else, which is great for making the most of your actions in battle.
With Subtle Spell, you don’t need to say or do anything. This means you can cast the spell even if your mouth is tied and your hands are tied, and no one will notice.
Lastly, Twinned Spell lets you give a buff to two targets at the same time. Both targets must get the same boost, though.
From what I’ve seen, Sorcerers don’t use this power very often. Instead, they tend to focus on big explosions and fancy illusions instead of party buffs, which is a shame.
Metamagic can give this spell some rarely seen new dynamics that can make for some amazing plays. If you want to use a sorcerer, you should think about this spell. It’s incredibly underrated.
This Artificer brings its own style of synergy to the table and may be the best class to make this power work as well as possible.
Tool Expertise doubles the bonus you get for being good at something when you use a tool. Your intelligence modifier is added to your ability checks when you use Flash of Genius. Both of these go very well with a spell that gives edge on those checks.
Spell-Storing Item can be used to keep this spell ready for use in the hands of someone who isn’t a spellcaster. This lets them use the spell even if they don’t know how to cast it themselves. This is a great gift for your party members because it gives them a buff they can use whenever they want.
Paladin (Oath of Glory)
Though not a common oath for Paladins to take, those that do attain the Enhance Ability spell once they reach level 5. This spell excels as an accompaniment to the other features of this class, which also focus on buffing party members.
You also gain access to a Channel Divinity option called Peerless Athlete, which grants a personal buff similar to that of Bull’s Strength. Coupling this with Enhance Ability can grant a super-buff or allow another party member a buff alongside you.
Wizard (Optional Class Feature)
Enhance Ability is a unique spell because it is a useful spell that is available to many classes but not wizards, even though wizards are known as the “Swiss army knife” of spellcasters.
But if your table has chosen to use the extra class features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, you’ll find that Enhance Ability has made its way into the wizard’s bag of tricks and can be used by them as well.
Rogue (Arcane Trickster)
Most of the time, Arcane Tricksters can only choose spells from the enchantment or illusion schools of magic. However, there are a few spells they can learn that can come from any school, so they can choose this transformation spell.
So, they have to choose from the wizard spell list, which means the extra class features from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything have to be in play. But at level 17, they can learn to steal spells from other spellcasters (Spell Thief), so even if they don’t want to or can’t learn this spell, they might still be able to use it in some situations.
Having Cat’s Grace is a great help because it can improve almost all of your rogue skills. Whether you’re a thief or a scout, you’ll need to do some solo work at some point. This spell is great for sneaking around in the dark.
Don’t forget that this spell has a spoken part that can give your secret away to anyone with a good ear. Cast this spell ahead of time in a safe place. When you need it, you won’t be able to be seen or heard any more than a ghost.
It’s also great for Mage Hand Legerdemain, which uses Sleight of Hand checks to do things without getting caught.
IS ENHANCE ABILITY 5E A GOOD SPELL?
Yes, Enhance Ability is a great spell in DnD 5e. The sheer number of applications that Enhance Ability has is enough to make it the true “Swiss-army knife” of DnD 5e buff spells.
Plus, Enhance Ability stays powerful from early levels right up to the endgame of your adventuring career. Advantage never stops being useful — in fact, it just gets stronger as your party gets stronger and proficiency modifiers get higher.
How Good Is Enhance Ability?
Although how good a spell is can be subjective, not only shifting based on personal opinion but also on what obstacles you’re likely to face, Enhance Ability is versatile enough that it’ll probably prove practical in most campaigns. What’s more, it provides advantage, which isn’t something that becomes less useful at higher levels, making it useful for longer than other spells of its level. Often underrated and forgotten, Enhance Ability is an excellent spell!
Can You Cast Enhance Ability On Yourself?
es. The spell specifies its target as a single creature within touching distance. You are a single creature and are within touching range of yourself. Thus, you can cast the spell on yourself.
Does Enhance Ability Work On Saving Throws?
No. Whilst the spell does grant advantage on checks, it doesn’t for saving throws. An often overlooked rule, many mistakenly think of saving throws as a type of check. They indeed have a lot of things in common: rolling a d20, adding modifiers and attempting to beat a difficulty class. Unfortunately, however, they are not the same thing, and this spell will do nothing to help you take half damage from a fireball or resist the charms of a succubus.
Does Enhance Ability Work On Attacks?
No. Similarly to saving throws, attack rolls are not considered checks, and this spell will not grant advantage on them.