Dungeons and Dragons: The Best Cantrips for Wizards
In Dungeons & Dragons, wizards are known for two things: wielding the most powerful spells in the game and dying frequently. For this reason, playing a wizard means being ready for every situation your DM throws at you, and the right cantrips are a crucial aspect of your preparation. But not all cantrips are created equal. Although a minor spell that deals damage increases in strength after certain class levels, some of the most powerful minor spells deal no damage.
Minor Spells are the lowest level spells you can cast, requiring no components and consuming no spell slots when cast. A wizard chooses from a list of 30 different minor spells, the greatest of any spellcaster. You can only prepare five Minor Spells at a time, but Wizards are the only class that can swap out one of their Minor Spells for another from their available list during a long rest (a change made to Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything). ), which means always having the right tools for the job.
Control the flames
Control Flames spell description allows you to manipulate fire in non-harmful ways, such as creating shapes and images in a flame, brightening and dimming the light of torches, and extinguishing fire in five-cube-sized increments feet.
As a magician, you will have access to fire spells, which have the passive effect of igniting flammable objects. And with Control Flames you can also spread fire, provided there is fuel nearby. Depending on your environment, this cantrip can be devastating.
Booming Blade is a powerful offensive minor spell. It enhances your typical melee attack with an afterburn effect that deals thunder damage to your target if they move after you hit them. At higher levels, your melee attack deals additional thunder damage, and thunder damage to a moving target increases.
The problem with Booming Blade is that it requires a melee weapon, which you might not have as a wizard. Wizards also tend to have lower armor classes, so this cantrip may not be ideal for your character.
Green Flame Blade
Like Booming Blade, this minor spell requires you to perform a melee attack on a target for it to work, but then allows you to deal additional fire damage to another creature within five feet of your initial target. As you level up, this adds additional fire damage to your melee attack and increases fire damage dealt to nearby creatures.
Again, you need a melee weapon for this cantrip to work, which you might not have, but multi-target damage is in a class of its own for a no-cost spell.
This minor spell causes the target to make an intelligence save or take 1d6 psychic damage, but the target will also subtract 1d4 from its next saving throw. This spell also provides a range of 60 feet, keeping you a safe distance from most melee attacks.
This spell debuff will eventually seem negligible. However, if you have a cleric or bard in your party with a similar enchantment, you can strategize how to disable your enemy’s saves.
The light produces more illumination in a single area than the Dancing Lights minor spell orbs. It also lasts for an hour, does not require concentration, and can be thrown at an object and passed to other party members.
Even with the darkvision trait, Perceptual controls are still at a disadvantage in the dark, so having a readily available light source is never a bad idea. And since the source of light from the minor Light spell is considered “magical”, magical darkness won’t be a problem.
Your wizard will likely have a low armor class, health pool, or both, so engaging in close combat is never ideal. The farther you can get the better, and with the Fire Bolt’s massive 120ft range, your next target probably won’t see this spell coming.
The minor spell deals 1d10 fire damage and, as mentioned above, can be used to ignite flammable objects, but that’s it. It’s simple yet popular due to its effectiveness, especially when paired with an exploit like Spell Sniper, which doubles the minor spell’s range based on the chosen attack.
Mending is the magical equivalent of duct tape. Each time this Minor Spell is cast, you can repair one foot of damage to virtually any object or type of material, including living constructs, in a single minute.
This spell leaves no trace of previous damage, so there is no need to worry about repeated repairs on the same object. As long as you have free time, your ranger will never need to replace the arrows, and the doors your barbarian breaks can be left as new.
Minor Illusion lets you create sounds or images from a distance of 30 feet. Most illusion spells rely heavily on the creativity and quick-wittedness of the caster, which is why they are great tools for an intelligent class like the wizard.
What’s most impressive about this cantrip is the investigation test a creature makes to reveal the illusions the magical nature has to beat your spellcasting DC save, so the spell remains viable until at the top level.
Genasi D&D, 5th
Similar to Control Flames, Mold Earth lets you manipulate small areas of dirt or stone. Excavating rockslides, printing images, and clearing a rocky road make this cantrip a handy tool for travelers, but tactical minds will go beyond its obvious uses.
As long as the ground is dirt or stone, you can use Mold Earth to dig trenches to give you the benefits of half or three quarter coverage and dig potholes to create difficult terrain for an oncoming charge. Why hope for favorable conditions when Mold Earth lets you plan?
Having a third hand is already helpful, but having a third hand that floats up to 30 feet away from you gives you endless possibilities. Unfortunately, this hand prevents you from attacking with it, but there are other spells in a wizard’s arsenal for this.
Mage Hand has a weight limit of 10 pounds, but carrying items is just one of the many uses this spell offers. For example, a set of thieves’ tools only weighs a pound, which means you can technically pick locks (or pockets) from afar without revealing your location.
What Shocking Grasp lacks in range, it makes up for in utility, especially at lower levels. In addition to dealing 1d8 lightning damage, the target can’t react until your next turn, allowing you to walk away without provoking an attack of opportunity.
It’s the perfect escape spell when a melee attacker is harassing your wizard and you need to get away. You also gain advantage when making an attack roll against a target wearing metal armor.
Like Fire Bolt, Chill Touch has a range of 120 feet but deals 1d8 necrotic damage instead. However, this minor spell also prevents the target from healing for a single turn, and if the target is undead, it has disadvantage on its attacks against you for one turn.
Fire damage is more often resisted among mobs than necrotics, so Chill Touch is a better bet overall when you’re unsure of what you’re up against. Additionally, the spell creates a skeletal hand in the space of the creature you are attacking. In contrast, Fire Bolt launches a fire particle from your location towards your target, so this Chill Touch continues to mask your exact location even after launch.
The message allows you to speak in the mind of a target, friendly or not, and they can respond to you in a whisper that only you can hear. There are limits to how far it can travel (up to 120 feet), and certain materials will block your telepathy, such as stone walls and anti-magic barriers.
Communication with other party members is vital to a wizard’s strategy and survival. And privacy of information is hard to come by in an adventure strip, which this cantrip does a great job of maintaining.
With Conjuring, you have access to a purse of minor, non-harmful magical effects that are limited only by your imagination. These cover everything from instantly cleaning your clothes to lighting your campfire to cooling your mug of beer.
When it comes to what makes a great wizard cantrip, it all comes down to what you can do with it. Conjuring offers a delightful array of seemingly cosmetic yet cunningly strategic effects that only a true arcane genius can unlock.
NEXT: Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Wizard Spells, Ranked
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