Hex 5e D&D Guide

The Hex spell can be used as an individual damage boost to one victim. 

If a character has the chance to increase their damage per attack it’s a positive thing.

The rules of Hex are located inside the Players Handbook on page 251.

Hex 5e

  • Enchantment: 1st level
  • The casting time: 1 bonus action
  • Range: 90 feet
  • Components: V S Components: V, S (The eyes of a petrified newt)
  • Duration: Concentration for up to one hour

You cast a curse upon any creature you detect within the range of. When the spell is over it deals an additional 1d6 necrotic attack to the target each time you attack the creature with your attack. 

You can also choose a specific ability during the casting of the spell. The target suffers an advantage in ability checks that are made using the selected ability.

If the target’s hit points fall by 0 points by the time this spell expires then you may use an additional action on the next turn to curse the new creature.

A Remove Curse cast on the victim ends the spell early.

At higher levels: If casting this magic spell with the slot for spells of 3rd or 4th levels and above, you can keep your focus on the magic for as long as 8 hours. 

If you choose to use a spell slot that is 5th and higher, you can keep your focus upon the spell for as long as 24 hours.

These rules of Hex provide the true benefits of the spell: it’s a bonus ability to cast. This means that you can attack and cast in simultaneously. 

Another benefit of the spell is that it allows it to move between different targets once the first target is reduced to the point of zero hit points.

This implies that it’s not a single-time casting, as the damage boost could be carried over to other potential targets.

The target gains a disadvantage when making ability checks using an ability that is chosen which could be massive against enemies that have special attacks like the grapple.

Who Can Cast HEX IN 5E?

Hex 5e D&D Guide

Hex can be found on the spell list of the following classes and abilities:


There are no subclasses that receive Hex for free.

Although the Warlock class is the only one that can cast the spell Hex, other classes may be able to do so by acquiring a feature such as Magic Initiate. The only drawback to using this feature is that you will need to take a lengthy break before you can cast Hex again.

Is Hex Good?

Hex gives a boost in damage for each attack that is made on the target. It penalizes the target for throwing a saving ability. 

You can also transfer the Hex to a different target once the target you initially chose drops to the point of no-hit. 

This is what makes Hex an extremely useful spell that must be kept in the arsenal until the middle levels, if not at all.

The sacrifice for concentration may be negative. The limited benefits of up-casting can be a problem. 

They should be balanced in the majority of situations by the advantages discussed previously. 

In addition, the length of the period is up to one hour at the lowest level. This is a long amount of time for an enemy or adversary (if outside of combat) to pay the penalty.

Hot Tip

Hex is a bonus ability to cast. It means the ability to cast Hex on your target and then use your attack move or spell that’s cantrip on that same round.

What are the rules for hex in 5e?

The following is a rundown of the rules for Hex in D&D 5e:

  • In the same turn that you cast Hex, you are free to attack or make use of a cantrip. You are free to take any other actions during your turn, including attacking and casting a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action, due to the fact that the duration of Hex’s casting time is treated as a bonus action. On the other hand, you are unable to cast another spell that is not a cantrip during the same turn (PHB 202).
  • When you take a hex from a target that you have just killed, you are unable to choose which ability will be affected by the curse. When you curse a new creature, you are not recasting the spell; rather, you are only continuing its effects through sustained concentration. This is because the description of the spell states very clearly that you must “choose one ability when you cast the spell.”
  • The disadvantage caused by Hex is ignored when calculating attack rolls or saving throws. Ability checks are the only thing it does, but they are still important for things like grapples.
  • Hex always succeeds in landing. It is not a spell attack, and there is no sving throw associated with it.
  • If you manage to land a critical hit, you get to roll two dice to determine how much damage Hex takes. This is due to the fact that achieving a critical hit during an attack roll causes all damage rolls associated with the attack to be multiplied by two. “if the attack involves other damage dice…your roll those dice twice as well,” it says in the Player’s Handbook (PHB 196).
  • There is no requirement for you to immediately recase Hex after the target loses all of their hit points. Technically speaking, the rules as they are currently written do not specify that you are required to re-cast Hex immediately after the target you were targeting passes away. The phrase “a subsequent turn” appears in the text; “the subsequent turn” is not present.
  • Because of this, you are able to reuse the Hex spell hours later provided that you are able to keep your concentration on the spell throughout the process. Mike Mearls, who was the co-lead designer for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, as well as Jeremy Crawford, have both verified this information on Sage Advice.
  • In order to keep your concentration, you might or might not need a target within range to which you can transfer hex. Maintaining focus for a significant amount of time is most certainly meant to be accomplished, but the specifics of how this is supposed to be accomplished are less clear. Does the death of a creature result in the incorporeal “Hex monster” being stowed away in the pouch of the Warlock until it is required once more?
  • Or does the Warlock need a living creature to move Hex into before the next battle, such as a bug or a rodent, in order to be able to kill it and transfer Hex? It all comes down to taste, functionality, and ease of use — More on this in the “Hex DM Tips” section below.
  • When a creature takes damage or has trouble passing an ability check that is affected by a hex, only then will it realize that it has been affected by the hex. According to Jeremy Crawford, “a target doesn’t know it’s under the effect of a spell like hex until it experiences the effects of the spell,” which means that the target is unaware that it is under the influence of a spell like hex.
  • Hex can be stacked with the effect of Hexblade’s Curse. When you deal damage to a creature that is under both of these effects, you must add the hex damage (d6) as well as your proficiency bonus (from Hexblade’s Curse) to the damage that you deal.
  • You do not add your proficiency bonus to the damage bonus you receive for the first instance of damage you deal or the hex damage you deal.
  • The Saving Throws you make are unaffected by hex. Checks of one’s abilities (PHB 174) and attempts to avoid death (PHB 179) are two different things.
  • When used again, Hex does not use up one of your available spell slots. We have mentioned this a few times already, but just to be absolutely clear: the only time a spell slot is used up by the Hex spell is when it is first cast.

Who Can I Target With Hex 5e?

With the Hex spell in D&D 5e, you can cast it on any living thing that you can see as long as it is within range. This includes creatures that are not friendly to you, such as adversaries or creatures that are hostile, among other examples.

Keep in mind, however, that the spell has a range of 90 feet, and the target creature must be within that range in order for you to be able to target it.

In addition, the target of the spell must be a living creature; you are unable to direct the spell at inanimate objects or specific locations.

Can You Hex Crit?

Damage caused by attacks is impacted by critical hits. This means Hex damage is part of the critically hit-related damage. 

It’s a spell that confers an additional damage bonus, but not a modifier, or natural ability, therefore it will cause damage when it is an attack that is critical.

Hot Tip

Hex cannot save DC which makes it an excellent ability to gain by using the magic initiate feat.

What is Hex stack with Hex Blades Curse as well as Bestow Curse?

Hex is a spell for concentration. Bestow Curse is a spell of concentration. Thus, they are not able to stack. 

Hexblade’s curse can be described as an ability rather than a spell and doesn’t require concentration, therefore it can be used in a stack. 

Hexblade’s Curse does not gain from an attack that is critical and is included as an effect modifier.

Utilizing Hex outside of Combat

Hex as with many spells is targeted towards combat, however, the longer duration of the spell suggests that there are applications for it beyond combat, too. A few non-combat applications for Hex are listed below:

  • Then, you can throw it at your opponent in a competition like archery, drinking.
  • Casting it over casters to make it harder for them to sustain the spell.
  • You can use it against someone you don’t want to lose with apprehension or fear or you would like to be a lot easier to manipulate.

When the animal you used Hex on is unable to reach 0 hits, then you can select a different monster to curse. This means that you can select the ability of your choice to be disadvantaged.

Bottom Line

Hex is a multi-faceted spell that provides low-level characters with the ability to increase damage on an opponent. 

It is a fantastic time to use a concentration spell and also impedes the ability test for the person who is targeted. There is no save needed, which means the effects are virtually assured.

Final Words

For 1 1st class spell Hex can be a good option. It provides a damage boost and penalizes certain ability-related checks but doesn’t offer the ability to save. 

The duration of casting is as close to the best as it gets, and you can also choose to switch the targets, which is akin to receiving the chance to cast again.

There are numerous opportunities to use it in non-combat combat too. This makes it an extremely effective spell at lower levels, and an appropriate choice for higher levels.