Lightning Lure Spell – D&D 5e Guide

Some of the spells in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything have been revised, including the green-flame blade and booming blade.

One of these spells is called “Lightning Lure Spell”

Although the update tweaked it much less than the blade spells did.

But before we start fooling around, let’s take a look.

Lightning Lure Spell Details

Type: Evocation Cantrip
Casting Time: One Action
Range: Self (15 ft.)
Components: V
Duration: Instantaneous

With this spell, you can create a lightning lasso or whip.

Lightning strikes a creature within 15 feet that you choose, requiring it to make a Strength saving throw.

If it doesn’t work, it can be yanked up to 10 feet in your direction.

You deal 1d8 lightning damage if it comes within 5 feet of you, increasing to 2d8 at level 5.

At levels 11 and 17, the damage rises once again.

Who Can Cast Lightning Lure In 5E?

Lightning Lure Spell

Being a cantrip, the lightning lure is a rather simple skill to learn.

Artificer, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard spellbooks all include lightning lure.

To no one’s surprise, Eldritch Knight fighters and Arcane Trickster rogues can cast lightning lure as well because it is on the wizard spell list.

Clerics of the Arcana Domain gain access to lightning lure through their first-level domain feature, the learning of two wizard cantrips.

This spell is available as a race-specific option for high elves.

Using their Magical Secrets ability, bards can learn the spell, albeit they are much more likely to focus on learning another spell.

Any character can learn a cantrip or two from a class that has a lightning lure in its spell list by taking the Magic Initiate or Artificer Initiate feats.

Lightning Lure Interactions

Like the green-flame blade and booming blade spells, the lightning lure was altered in Wizards of the Coast’s eratta papers in the lead-up to the release of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

Thankfully, lightning lure hasn’t undergone many changes, so there aren’t many nuances to remember about how the spell works in conjunction with other elements.

War Caster

If you have the War Caster feat, the lightning lure will still work.

War Caster allows you to use a spell instead of a melee attack when an opportunity attack is presented to you.

The spell must only affect the creature that initiated the chance attack, has a normal casting time of 1 action, and have a single target.

However, there is some ambiguity regarding what a range of Self (15 feet) implies for the feat, as the lightning lure can only injure one creature at a time, as per the feat’s requirements.

On Twitter, D&D’s chief rules designer Jeremy Crawford explained in greater detail how spells function.

Self (15 feet), in his view, designates you as the origin of the spell rather than its intended recipient.

Opportunity assaults occur at the precise moment a creature is about to leave your reach.

That is to say that instead of the standard range of 15 feet, you can cast a lightning lure on a monster that is within 5 feet of you.

Even though you won’t be able to pull the creature, it will still be within 5 feet of you and subject to lightning damage.

Twinned Spell Metamagic

Spell range was 15 feet before Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything was made available.

Recently though, it has expanded its Self (15 feet).

In order to utilize the Twinned Spell metamagic, a spell must have a range of “other,” and since this spell now (kind of) has a range of “self,” it cannot be used with this metamagic.

There’s plenty of room for debate on the propriety of this “self” spell’s name, but the bottom line is that, by the book, it can’t be used with that sort of metamagic.

How to Use It?

Lightning lure is pretty special.

Casters can choose from a limited number of spells that disperse their target.

Even fewer spells exist that draw a target closer to the caster.

Pulling Targets

With its narrow range, lightning lure is best employed by melee spellcasters to bring an opponent closer for a close combat encounter.

It’s best for Bladesinger wizards, Eldritch Knight fighters, and College of Valor bards (if they can get it).

The abilities of these classes allow them to use cantrips in conjunction with melee assaults.

As part of the Attack action, a Bladesinger can use their special Extra Attack to cast lightning lure, ensnare an opponent, and then strike again.

War Magic is a special ability available to Eldritch Knights, allowing them to cast the spell and then use their weapon as a bonus action.

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Battle Magic is available to all bards of Valor, however in order to use lightning lure in this fashion, the spell must be mastered through the bard’s Magical Secrets.

Pulling Off The Ground

The spell’s effect is limited to drawing the target 10 feet in a straight line.

If you are 15 feet above the target, they will be dragged vertically upwards by 10 feet.

Depending on where you are and whether or not you have the ability to fly, you may find some novel applications here.

Theoretically, the spell could be used to pull someone down from a tree or wall if they attempted to climb it.

If you arrange things just right, you can draw someone standing on a higher platform diagonally down to your own level, or even just across empty space.

It’s possible to use this spell to bother mountain climbers or assassins mounting a castle wall from a safe distance thanks to your flying speed.

The additional lightning damage of a few d8s at that time is more of an insult after the fall damage.

Emergency Lasso

A little DM discretion will be needed here.

Opportunity attacks occur when a hostile monster moves out of range of your normal attacks.

You can make an opportunity attack when an ally falls past you or away from you into vacant space if you have the War Caster feat and the DM is feeling generous.

So long as you have permission to use this spell and don’t mind causing a little lightning damage, you might use it to catch a friend who is falling and bring them back to safety.

Clerics

Clerics of the Arcana Domain have access to the spell, but the Tempest Domain cleric usually sees the most value from it.

Since lightning lure also provides lightning damage, it can be used in conjunction with various abilities available to the Tempest cleric.

The lightning damage from the spell can be amplified to devastating levels with the help of Destructive Wrath.

It’s up to you whether or not you want to use this on a cantrip, but it’s there if you need it.

There are some novel applications for the spell Thunderbolt Strike.

The lightning lure will draw an enemy within 10 feet, while Thunderbolt Strike will drive it back by the same distance.

The creature would be yanked towards you and injured before being released back into its original location.

It’s nice to have something like this available.

Damage is dealt with by a number of area-of-effect spells whenever a creature enters the area for the first time that round.

You can reactivate area spells by dragging a creature that is already there and then pushing it back into the damage zone.

You should now be dealing the damage of lightning lure in addition to the damage dealt by abilities such as the wall of fire and blade barrier.

However, the lightning lure is restricted to use by sorcerers, wizards, warlocks, and artificers.

Although a cleric may be able to learn the spell due to racial traits, multiclassing, or achievements, this does not make it a cleric spell.

A DC is calculated based on your Charisma or Intelligence modifier at all times.

You should still consider learning the spell if you have a good score in one of those two statistics and the DC is high enough.

Clerics of the Arcana Domain who learn this spell can use the Wisdom skill to perform it, but they won’t get the bonus from Thunderbolt Strike.

Warlocks

Lightning lure is not something most warlocks who don’t sign the Pact of the Blade wish to take.

With the Grasp of Hadar invocation for eldritch blast, you can pull one creature you hit with the spell closer to you by 10 feet.

The only advantage of using lightning lure over eldritch blast is that it can be used against creatures within 5 feet without making an attack roll, which isn’t the best area to be employing lightning lure.

It’s a useful cantrip for combat warlocks who don’t want to learn eldritch blast and need a way to draw foes closer to themselves and their allies who use melee attacks.

Artificers

This spell has applications for Armorer and Battle Smith artisans.

The Guardian Armorer doesn’t gain anything like the Eldritch Knight’s War Magic ability, but this spell could be useful for drawing an opponent closer.

What Does Lightning Lure Do in 5E?

With Lightning Lure, any creature in range must make a Strength saving throw. If they don’t succeed, they are pulled up to 10 feet toward the caster. If they end the pull within 5 feet of the caster, they also take 1d8 (average 4.5) lightning damage.

Lightning Lure does the same amount of damage as other damaging cantrips, plus 1d8 at levels 5, 11, and 17.

Simple enough, but the rules section shows that this electrifying cantrip causes a lot of confusion.

What Are The Rules For Lightning Lure in 5E?

Here are the rules for DnD 5e’s Lightning Lure:

  • Lightning Lure can pull things up or down. The only rule of the spell is “in a straight line toward you.” If you are above your target, they will be pulled up, and if you are at an angle, they will be pulled up and over.
  • Sage Advice says that this is how Lightning Lure really does work.
  • Chance attacks can’t happen when you use Lightning Lure. “Don’t start an opportunity attack when someone or something moves you without you moving, acting, or reacting,” the rules say (PHB 195).
  • Since Lightning Lure doesn’t use the target’s action, reaction, or movement, the target can’t be attacked by chance.
  • You can’t use Lightning Lure with Sorcerer’s Twinned Spell, Distant Spell, or the Spell Sniper feat. Since Tasha changed Lightning Lure’s range from 15 feet to a 15-foot radius around the user, it can no longer be used with Sorcerer’s Twinned Spell (PHB 102).
  • In the same way, the Spell Sniper feat only works with spells that require an attack roll, which Lightning Lure does not. The Distant Spell metamagic can only be used with spells that have a range of 5 feet or more or can be cast by touching them.
  • Even if the range of Lightning Lure is increased, it can still only pull the target 10 feet. So far as I can tell, there is no RAW way to make Lightning Lure have a longer range. But even if a DM lets the spell’s range grow, it only does damage if the target ends the spell within 5 feet of the person who cast it.
  • A creature might be able to get out of a grapple with the help of Lightning Lure. Based on this Sage Advice thread about being pushed out of a grapple, it seems that you can be pushed out of a grapple, even by an ally.
  • This means that if you hit an ally who is being grappled with Lightning Lure and they make their saving throw, you can pull them out of the grapple.
  • There’s no need to move the target 10 feet. It says “up to 10 feet” in the spell, so you can choose not to pull the target at all (0 is up to 10, after all). You can also use LL on a creature next to you to deal damage automatically, since it is already within 5 feet of you. This won’t move the creature, though.
  • In a similar way, creatures that are restrained probably can’t be pulled by Lightning Lure either, but that’s up to the DM or depends on what’s holding them back.
  • You can’t use Lightning Lure as a grappling hook. It can’t target things, and it can only bring creatures closer. Spells don’t follow the laws of physics because they only do what they say.
  • Still, a DM can sometimes let this happen, but it does kind of open Pandora’s Box in that a player can always get an extra 10 feet of movement by Spidermaning around the room with a cantrip that can be used over and over again.
  • War Caster works with Lightning Lure. You can cast a spell instead of making an opportunity attack with the War Caster (PHB 170) feat, which works well with LL.
  • But an opportunity attack “stops the creature from moving and happens right before the creature moves out of your reach” (PHB 195). So it’s not like the creature moves away and then you pull it back, using up its movement in the process.
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How Do I Use Lightning Lure in 5E?

Here are some tips on how to use Lightning Lure in battle and when building a character:

  • Pull enemies into traps and spells or terrain that could hurt them. This is a simple tip that applies to all push-and-pull spells and effects. If you use Lightning Lure with spells like Spirit Guardians, Spike Growth, Cloud of Daggers, Moonbeam, Create Bonfire, Grease, etc., you can do more than just your measly cantrip damage.
  • This tip also works for common traps and gaps that lead to big falls. A small amount of preparation goes a long way.
  • Use while in the air or above an enemy to do more damage when you fall. Using Lightning Lure to pull creatures 10 feet up is a great way to use the spell because it adds fall damage to the spell automatically. The creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage and falls on its back when it falls 10 feet (PHB 183).
  • The prone condition is especially nice because it lets your melee allies attack the target, who just got pulled down to your level, with an advantage.
  • Prevent escape. This is pretty simple: If a bad guy is trying to get away, use your lightning lasso to pull him back so you can punch him in the face.
  • Bring down the bad guys who are on top. Aside from the damage they take when they fall and the fact that they become prone, bringing down archers, spellcasters, and so on can help your melee party members who can’t reach them otherwise.
  • Move an ally out of harm’s way without making them vulnerable to attacks. Remember how we talked about how moving with Lightning Lure doesn’t cause attacks of opportunity? Well, that’s true for everyone, including your friends.
  • If your friend is in a bad spot and running away would leave them open to attacks, you can help them by throwing them a Lightning Lure. RAW, they can’t fail their save automatically, so this is better used on allies with low Strength. The small amount of damage from the lightning is probably better than what they are facing.
  • Note that this can also be used to pull allies out of a grapple, unless your DM says that a spell vs. grappler Strength check is needed for this to work.
  • Use it with magical subclasses of the bruiser class. Lightning Lure works best for Gish-type builds like the Eldritch Knight Fighter, Hexblade Warlock, Valor Bard, and Bladesinging Wizard.
  • Being able to use a cantrip and an extra attack is huge, which is why Lightning Lure works so well for Bladesinging Wizards (Extra Attack, TCoE 77) and EK Fighters (War Magic, PHB 75).
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Who Can I Target With Lightning Lure 5E?

Lightning Lure can only be used on a single creature. You can’t pull something to you or pull yourself up by aiming at something high and still.

Is Lightning Lure 5e A Good Spell?

No, Lightning Lure is not a good spell for most character builds. Strength is a fairly high average ability score for creatures in the game’s main sourcebooks, and lightning damage resistance is one of the most common resistances (11% of the game’s creatures) even though lightning damage immunity isn’t very common.

Lightning Lure also has a very short range, which makes it almost useless against full-casting classes. It’s also a bad thing that it doesn’t have any utility options. If it could target objects, it could be used in more unique ways.

On the plus side, 1d8 damage is good for a cantrip, and the fact that it doesn’t have a somatic or material component means you can use it even if your hands are tied behind your back.

All of this said, Eldritch Knight Fighters and Bladesinging Wizards can do some really cool things with Lightning Lure, and any gish build will get good use out of a spell that pulls enemies closer to them.

Lightning Lure 5e Compared To Thorn Whip

At first glance, Lightning Lure and Thorn Whip look like they do the same thing: they both damage the enemy and pull them closer. But even though Thorn Whip does less damage (1d6; average of 3.5) than Lightning Lure (1d8; average of 4.5), it wins in every other way.

First of all, it’s a close-range spell attack with twice the range. This makes it possible to use it with things like the Spell Sniper ability. It also gives you a few more ways to move because the pull doesn’t have to be in a straight line; it just has to bring the creature closer to you (minor difference, but not nothing).

Last, Thorn Whip does magical piercing damage, which is almost never an enemy’s resistance and is never an immunity.

Lightning Lure 5e DM Tips

Let’s talk about the questions about the DM that we asked you to think about in the rules section above. This is what I think about each topic:

Can Lightning Lure pull a creature out of a grapple? Based on Sage Advice threads and how the rules are written, I think so. I’ve heard of some DMs requiring a check that pits the spellcaster’s ability to cast spells against the grappler’s ability to fight.

I don’t check, so I let it happen, which brings me to my next point…

Can a creature’s saving throw fail even if it doesn’t try? Even though the answer given by the rules is “no,” I tend to say “yes.” I think that the idea behind a saving throw is that the person being affected by a spell is trying to fight it off.

If a creature chooses not to struggle, it has chosen to fail its saving throw and be affected by the spell. This is how I think spells work in D&D, but you can definitely rule differently. The most important thing here is consistency.

Lightning Lure: Does it pull creatures that are held back? It depends on what kind of restrictions there are. Just like having your feet tied down doesn’t make it hard to concentrate, having your hands tied down probably doesn’t make it hard to move.

As far as I can tell, this depends on the specific situation. The rules don’t say anything about this interaction directly.

Should I let people use Lightning Lure to pull themselves? I don’t think so. It gives a player +10 feet of movement every turn if they spend a cantrip on it (which is wasting an action and so not ideal, but still).

Still, I love a player who can think outside the box, so if someone comes up with this on the spot as a way to get out of a tight spot, I’m all for it.