You need to think about more than just damage in battle. If you want to win, you should also think about how well you can handle getting hurt.
There are many different ways to make things better. Resistance lets you take less damage, and agility lets you avoid it.
This is what Dungeons and Dragons tries to do with its Armor Class, or AC, and its healing powers.
When I played and ran games in the Adventurer’s League, I saw all kinds of builds. From tanks with a lot of hit points running around to druids who never stop healing.
There were players with ACs higher than dragons and players who took so little damage they might as well have been invincible.
Since I’ve been playing for ten years, I know how those builds work and what makes them good.
In this Healing Spirit 5e guide, we’ll look at one of the most broken healing spells in the game and see what they did to fix it.
Dungeon Masters should be careful with this D&D power, because in the right hands, it can do crazy good things.
- Healing Spirit 5e Stats
- What is Healing Spirit 5e Spell?
- How does Healing Spirit work?
- What Made Healing Spirit Good?
- How to Use Healing Spirit?
- What does Healing Spirit look like?
- Why did they change Healing Spirit?
- Original Healing Spirit 5e
- Healing Spirit 5e Nerf
- Healing Spirit 5e Pros and Cons
- Healing Spirit vs. Other DnD 5e Healing Spells
- Healing Spirit vs Heal
- Healing Spirit vs Healing Word
- Healing Spirit vs Cure Wounds
- Healing Spirit vs Aura of Vitality
Healing Spirit 5e Stats
|Casting Time||1 Bonus Action|
|Duration||Concentration, up to 1 minute|
What is Healing Spirit 5e Spell?
Healing Spirit 5e is a summoning spell for Druids and Rangers at level 2 that calls forth a healing beast or fey spirit.
When a creature is within the healing spirit’s five-foot cube, the caster can have the spirit heal that creature for 1d6 points per turn.
The spirit can heal 1 times plus the spellcaster’s spellcasting ability factor, but at least twice.
When they saw this, they added something to stop a full healing at such a low level.
“The spirit can heal as many times as 1 plus the spellcaster’s ability factor (at least twice). After that many times of healing, the spirit goes away.”
The decision limits what seemed to be an infinite amount of healing to a very small amount. From good to just a little below average. Even if you think of it as the least amount of healing, 2d6 points, 1d6 is not a lot.
At the time, the players were glad that the spell was made less powerful. They could see that the spell wasn’t working as well as other spells of the same level.
As a 2nd-level spell, it could heal more than 300 points, which was more than Power Word Heal, which was the most powerful healing spell at 9th level.
The 9th-level spell, on the other hand, healed one subject to full health without rolling a die. This spell could fix more and give the healing to more people in the group.
Before the errata, one of D&D’s main game designers, Jeremy Crawford, offered a house rule to go with the spell because it was so powerful. Which was later changed and put out as a full update for all the players.
How does Healing Spirit work?
Healing Spirit was changed because some clever DnD players found a way for whole parties to keep using it over and over again. So Healing Spirit doesn’t work the same as it used to, but it’s still a useful low-level healing spell.
How Healing Spirit works at the moment:
- A spellcaster can send a Healing Spirit 60 feet in any direction with their bonus action. They don’t need anything made of matter to do it. A 5-foot-tall “healing cube” circles the Healing Spirit.
- When a monster moves into or starts its turn inside the 5-foot healing cube, the caster can roll 1d6 to heal them. The word “choose” is important because it means that enemies (or party members who have irritated the user) can’t just use the healing cube whenever they want to.
- The person using Healing Spirit has to focus, which means that if they are hit by damage, they have to pass a Constitution saving throw. If they don’t succeed, they lose focus (and their Healing Spirit). Healing Spirit is also gone if you become unable to move or cast another concentration spell.
- The healing spirit can heal up to 1 times plus the spellcaster’s spellcasting ability factor. Wisdom is used as a spellcasting skill modifier by both Druids and Rangers. This is because their power comes from being in harmony with nature, which includes being in harmony with the healing spirit. This means that Healing Spirit can heal up to 6 times, if the factor is +5. You can only heal a creature once per turn.
- The spellcaster can also use a bonus action to move the Healing Spirit up to 30 feet. This helps the Healing Spirit adjust to changes in the fight, like when a party member gets hurt and needs healing.
Drop Healing Spirit on a downed friend to heal them at the start of their turn.
What Made Healing Spirit Good?
Back then, it was the best healing spell outside of battle because it healed over five party members for 10d6. As long as it was in the right place during battle, it would heal a large area every round.
Players used to gather around and dance in and out of the circle to get the most relief. So, instead of an average of about 5d6, they change it to 10d6 per character.
That would give about 200 points of healing to 5 people on average. Since this magic is of the second level, you can get it at level 3, which is a lot for that level.
Now that the corrections have been added, it is much weaker. Now, it depends on how good the Caster is at casting spells.
These are your stats, which are used to figure out how many spells you can remember and how powerful they are.
Even though, in the right hands, it is still a powerful spell. Its use has gone down because some spellcasters don’t put a lot of points into their main casting number.
Whether it’s to invest in other stats or to go after a certain trick or build.
How to Use Healing Spirit?
So, this spell might look easy, but as a continuous healing spell, it has many parts and functions. It can be used for more than just to heal 1d6 times.
First, let’s look at each part of the spell to see what makes it different from a normal healing spell.
- Makes an invisible spirit that looks like a fey or a beast: Most healing spells can be cast right away. Cure Wounds, Healing Word, and even Power Word Heal are all good examples. This spell keeps going. Even with the changes, it still takes a lot of time and focus and lasts for many turns. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it does mean that if you get hit hard enough, the spell could stop early.
- It is a power that heals a moving area: A few healing spells, like Prayer of Healing, Mass Cure Wounds, and Aura of Vitality, can heal an area. Even so, most of the other healing spells with a large area of effect only heal people in a large area instead of making a zone of healing.
- Lastly, the spell can only heal a certain number of animals a limited number of times. This caveat hasn’t been added to any other spells yet. It works like Lay on Hands or Channel Divinity: Preserve Life in that it takes hit points from a pool and spreads them to other characters.
All things considered, this can be seen as a way to heal one character over time or as a big burst of healing for one group at low levels.
With the error, I’d say it’s not as good as more powerful healing spells, but it still has its place in higher-level play.
Let’s look at a few other healing spells to see how this one stacks up. For this, we’ll only look at healing spells that Druids can cast and give them a +3 Spellcasting Modifier.
For comparison, the amount of healing will also be its average, and every spell will be cast at the second level to meet Healing Spirit.
|Cure Wounds||1st Level (Upcast to 2nd)||2d8+3=13|
|Goodberry||1st Level (Cannot be Upcasted)||10|
|Healing Word||1st Level (Upcast to 2nd)||2d4+3=9|
|Healing Spirit||2nd Level||4d6= 16|
Healing Spirit’s numbers are, of course, spread out over a lot of people. So, if you want to heal just one person, Cure Wounds will heal for more.
Healing Spirit, on the other hand, heals for more in total. So, if your party was hit by a spell with a wide area of effect or has been fighting all day, this spell is better.
What does Healing Spirit look like?
The healing spirit can look like any animal or fairy you want. It should be a figure that has something to do with nature, since the spell is based on the idea that Rangers and Druids are in tune with nature.
It makes sense to call a healing spirit with the same alignment as you, like a unicorn if you are good, a troll if you are bad, or a dryad if you are neutral. But do what you think is best!
Why did they change Healing Spirit?
When Healing Spirit 5e came out, it was clear right away that the people who made it made a mistake.
The spell’s creators didn’t limit how many times the spirit could heal, so party members could keep going back and forth through the cube.
This ability to heal at will outside of battle threw off the game’s balance in a big way.
The power of Healing Spirit also made other healing spells useless. Prayer of Healing, on the other hand, is the Cleric’s second-level choice.
It takes 10 minutes to cast and can heal 2d8 + the caster’s spell-casting ability factor for up to six creatures.
This gives a person a maximum of 19–20 HP every 10 minutes. The first Healing Spirit could heal up to 60 HP per person per minute.
Original Healing Spirit 5e
In the first version of Healing Spirit 5e, animals could heal once every round, or once per turn. In DnD 5e, a round takes about 6 seconds.
The healing cube lasts for 60 seconds and heals 1d6 times. This meant that players could possibly heal for 10d6 per round!
The original Healing Spirit made things hard for Dungeon Masters (DMs) and made fights dull.
In battle, the original Healing Spirit couldn’t be used too much because party members had other things to do besides heal, and enemies could target the person who cast it if they wanted to.
Outside of battle, players could just line up and walk through the cube without a care in the world.
Healing Spirit 5e became the most powerful healing spell in DnD 5e as soon as it came out. Only at the level 2!
Healing Spirit 5e Nerf
Before it was changed, people tried different house rules to limit the power of Healing Spirit. For a while, many players followed D&D game designer Jeremy Crawford’s unofficial Twitter advice: “Healing Spirit ends once the spirit has restored hit points a number of times equal to twice the caster’s spellcasting ability modifier.”
Then, in April 2020, Healing Spirit 5e was changed for the worse. The error list for Healing Spirit 5e says:
The following text has been added to the second paragraph: “The spirit can heal a number of times equal to 1 + your spellcasting ability factor, with a minimum of twice. After being healed that many times, the spirit goes away.”
The Healing Spirit 5e nerf was a controversial choice, since the spell had become a mainstay in battle at many tables by that time.
Most players were fine with how Healing Spirit was used in battle, but they didn’t like how it was abused outside of battle. Even the idea of resetting HP outside of fight was appealing to many adventurers.
Rangers were also hurt more by the change than Druids were. Druids have other ways to heal, and when they upcast Healing Spirit, it works very well.
Rangers can only use a small number of healing spells, and they don’t get access to 3rd level powers until level 9. This makes “upcasting” at level 2 useless.
Healing Spirit isn’t as strong as it used to be because of the change, but it still has a lot of spirit.
Healing Spirit 5e Pros and Cons
Healing Spirit Pros:
- Offers party healing flexibility
- Can be used at start of turn
- Can be used at your party members’ discretion
- Can be moved
- Area of Effect
- Convenient out-of-combat healing
- Upcast + Wisdom modifier scales great (Druid only)
Healing Spirit Cons:
- Takes concentration in combat
- Can provoke an opportunity attack in combat
- Can be hard to get to
- Can be targeted by enemies
Healing Spirit vs. Other DnD 5e Healing Spells
The main benefit of Healing Spirit is how flexible it is. You can use it all on one character, or you can let other characters heal when they need to. There may be cheaper or better healing spells, but Healing Spirit is good at everything.
Healing Spirit vs Heal
Heal is a level 6 power that might be the best way to heal a single person in 5e. Healing Spirit can give about half of Heal’s HP gain to a single creature at level 2 if you roll well and have a high enough wisdom factor.
Healing Spirit vs Healing Word
Healing Word isn’t like Healing Spirit, which has an area of effect, so you have to pick a specific subject. Also, it is 1d4, not 1d6.
Healing Spirit is like a more expensive Healing Word for rangers, since it takes up a 2nd level spell spot and can’t be upcast.
Healing Spirit vs Cure Wounds
Cure Wounds is one of the best single-target healing spells in terms of hitpoints returned (1d8 + spellcasting factor per level).
On the other hand, it’s a touch spell, and touch spells can be…well, touchy in battle. On the other hand, Healing Spirit can be used whenever it is safe to do so.
Healing Spirit vs Aura of Vitality
Even though Aura of Vitality is powerful at 3rd level, a Druid doesn’t use it very often. Healing Spirit, on the other hand, can be used in any case.
Aura of Vitality is also focused on you, which gives you less freedom but heals for 2d6 instead of 1d6. Druids also can’t unlock level 3 skills until level 5.
What book is Healing Spirit in?
Healing Spirit is in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, on page 157.
Who can use Healing Spirit 5e?
Healing Spirit is normally only available to Druids and Rangers, but the skill Magical Secrets lets Bards add it to their spell list as well.
Does Healing Spirit 5e heal enemies?
No, it’s up to the person using the Healing Spirit’s cube to decide if the thing it heals. This makes it impossible for enemies or anyone else the user doesn’t think is worthy to use the Healing Spirit.
Did Healing Spirit get nerfed?
The way the spell is written, “you can cause the spirit to heal a creature.” This means that even if an enemy walks into the spirit’s place, he won’t be healed if you don’t want him to be.
What is the Spellcasting Ability Modifier?
That number is used to figure out how your magic works and how strong it is. Each Caster has its own modifier. Wizards and Artificers use their Intelligence factor. Wisdom is used by Druids, Clerics, and Rangers. The Charisma modifier is used by sorcerers, paladins, and warlocks. To get this factor, you take your stat, take away ten, and divide the result by two. It would look like this ([Stat-10]/2) and give a number between 0 and 6.