Magic Missile 5e D&D Guide

Magic Missile is one of the most well-known spells in the time of this game. 

For wizards Magic Missile’s popularity could surpass any other spells on the table. 

It has the same features as the latest version, automatic hits using multiple projectiles to reduce damage.

The rules of Magic Missile are found in the Players Handbook on page 257.

Magic Missile 5e

Evocation: 1st Level

Casting Time: 1 Action

Range: 120 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Instantaneous

Three glowing darts are an awe-inspiring force. Each dart is aimed at a creature you choose that is visible within the of. 

A dart inflicts one force and 1 + 4 damage the intended target. Darts strike all at once and you can choose to direct them at the same creature or a group of them.

At higher levels: If casting this spell with the slot for spells of 2nd or higher level it creates one additional dart per slot level that is higher than 1st.

The rules of The rules for Magic Missile allow the character to target fire at one opponent or spread it across multiple targets. 

It is possible to target multiple targets. increase when the spell is applied at higher levels. 

The downside of automatically hitting multiple targets is lower damage and the absence of capability for critical attacks.

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Is Magic Missile Good?

Magic Missile is an automatic hit that at the base level produces three darts of magical force that each does 4+1 damage. 

They are able to hit all one target or be split into multiple targets. Each time you cast, it creates a brand new dart, which follows exactly the same rules.

It is a classic spell that can be found in almost every wizard’s book of spells.

But what makes Magic Missile good? The first and most obvious reason is that it is because the shield spell is able to block Magic Missile completely. 

Additionally, Magic Missile can’t critically hit due to the fact that there isn’t an element of the roll. In addition, it’s able to be directed at a creature you observe.

At a lower level, Magic Missile can deal enough damage to eliminate or severely damage an enemy or enemy. 

As you progress in levels it isn’t able to show up if you’re considering straight damage capabilities. 

Other spells, such as Burning Hands and Scorching Ray can swiftly surpass Magic Missile.

Magic Missile deals with force damage that is more often resistible than other types of damage. 

It is important to take this into account when making comparisons of Magic Missile to spells like Burning Hands.

Does Covering Influence Magic Missile?

Covering does not impact Magic Missile in 5e. If you can identify the area of the target, Magic Missile will hit.

Anything less than the total cover gives you an armor class advantage. Because Magic Missile doesn’t require a roll, the covering does not affect it.

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In addition to being invulnerable to attack, Magic Missile also doesn’t require any material components.

Is Magic Missile Always Hit?

Technically, yes, Magic Missile will always hit an object that the player is able to be able to see. 

The damage can be mitigated by the use of a Shield spell or magical object like a brooch of Shielding.

Does Magic Missile Target Objects?

The spell’s description says, “A creature of your preference.” This stops Magic Missile from targeting objects.

Do you think Magic Missile Cause Separate Concentration Checks?

A concentration check is mandatory every time a caster is struck with a Magic Missile. 

Although the spell description says, “Darts all strike simultaneously.” There are still three (or more) separate hits. This will require the use of a concentration test for every hit.

Concentration checks are Constitution saving throw. 10 or the equivalent of half the damage sustained which is the higher number.

Magic Missile vs. Burning Hands

Magic Missile

  • 120-foot Range
  • 3 Targets at the base casting
  • Automatically hit to get 1d4+ per dart (3) average of 9
  • Components of the Somatic and Verbal Components
  • 1 Action

Burning Hands

  • Self (15 Foot Cone)
  • The Area of Impact (6 possible targets)
  • Dexterity Remains in effect for half damage 3d6(average 9.)
  • Components of Somatic and Verbal Communication
  • 1 Action

Comparing spells this way helps to discern the benefits and disadvantages of Magic Missile and Burning Hands. 

Both are spells of level 1 that are able to damage enemies from multiple angles.

The result of the comparison isn’t conclusive. As with many spells in the game, they are also situationally dependent.

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For one shot at a long distance, Magic Missile is the best option. For smaller targets at close distance, Burning Hands is probably the better option. 

In fact, breaking down the damage doesn’t reveal anything since the numbers are very similar. Burning Hands does cause fire damage, which is a pretty typical resistance.

Chromatic Orb is another spell of the first level that is well-known. The problem that is with Chromatic Orb is its material component cost of fifty GP (diamond). 

Magic Missile and Burning Hands are considerably more accessible to adventurers at the beginning of their careers.

Final Words

In numerous video games, Magic Missile is an essential item. It is the first spell a wizard taught. 

In 5e, there are plenty of spells that are able to be competitive early on or even bypass entirely at higher levels.

Magic Missile is a trusty favorite, but it does not have the endurance of other spells that can perform at a higher level. 

It’s, however, entertaining and nostalgic to play Magic Missile and that’s all you need.