Druid Spells

Favorite Underutilized Druid Spells: Levels 4 through 6

“Druid” by Edli, © 2010 – 2020 Edli, Permission granted for non-commercial use.

In Underutilized Druid Spells Part 1, we highlighted low-level druid utility spells that kick butt. Now we’ll look at spell levels 4-6. This series will finish up with levels 7-9 in part 3.

Polymorph (Level 4)

A huge frost giant sweeps through town, stomping buildings to dust, and wreaking havoc on the helpless citizens. Your team tries to stop him with arrows and swords, but he seems unstoppable. You focus your mind and cast polymorph, reshaping him to a tiny ant.

Pros: Polymorph is useful in diverse situations. You can use it on an enemy as described in the scenario above, or you can use it on a near-death comrade. For up to an hour, your teammate, who was down to his last few hit points, will take the hit points of his new form, and his statistics are replaced by the new form’s statistics. You could also transform yourself into a formidable beast if you’re willing to risk losing concentration as you enter the heart of combat. Don’t forget that many beasts have superhuman senses like blind sight, burrow speed, fly speed, and more, making this an excellent utility spell as well.

Cons: This spell requires concentration and is limited to transforming creatures to a new creature that matches or is less than the target’s CR or level. Furthermore, an unwilling target will make a wisdom saving throw, which means your spell could fail. You need to keep yourself out of harm’s way to maintain concentration; this is why it is less desirable to cast this on yourself in combat.

Healing Spirit Cast at 5th Level

Your party’s barbarian takes the lead to strike down the Treant. You create a sphere of healing surrounding your noble companion. You sustain his wounds for a whole minute.

Pros: Druids don’t have many healing spells. I almost chose Mass Cure Wounds for this article but thought that Healing Spirit, when cast at a 5th level spell slot, can provide awesome effects. For one, this spell lasts ten rounds (one minute) and heals 4d6 per round. Plus, a druid can cast it sixty feet away and choose to move it as a bonus action. This means that for one minute of combat, you will have used one fifth level spell slot to heal a maximum of 240 hit points for one character. And let’s not forget that your whole party could take turns moving through the Healing Spirit to be healed each round (if this movement is feasible), potentially healing 1,000 hit points over the course one minute. If used out of combat, you could potentially heal your party completely. Compared to a fifth level spell, Mass Cure Wounds, Healing Spirit seems to be the superior spell as it scales. Just keep in mind that Mass Cure Wounds is an instant effect, not requiring concentration or positioning of party members, but it still only heals six people a maximum total of  170 hit points. If you need instant healing, Mass Cure Wounds is excellent. If you want sustainable healing for up to one minute, Healing Spirit cast at higher levels is incredible. If you have a party with high mobility (rogues, monks, etc.), then it’ll be easier to heal many party members with this spell; keep party composition/abilities in mind.

Cons: This spell requires concentration, so for ten rounds, you’ll have to keep yourself safe. It also requires tactical positioning in combat.

Reincarnate (Level 5)

Tragically, a party member has perished. Your team mourns over her loss. You retrieve the rare oils you’ve been saving and touch it to her cold corpse. A new body magically forms. Her eyes open, and she speaks your name reverently. Your party member lives again!

Pros: For some players, there is nothing worse than seeing a friend die. Maybe a dead NPC was the only lead you had to further your quest. With this spell you can breathe life back into the dearly departed. I have found that this spell always brings a lasting impact toward the end of a campaign when things seem to be bleak.

Cons: HEFTY price to pay: 1000 gold worth of oils. Unless your DM is a saint, you likely won’t easily find the components you need in a pinch. This spell also requires one hour to cast, so flippantly using this spell is not an option. Once you reincarnate a character, the spell will likely change the character’s race. You’ll need to work with your DM to figure out which racial features are lost and gained from the reincarnation’s race change.

Tree Stride (Level 5)

You’ve been separated from your party. A nasty chimera chases you through the forest. You can’t take him on alone, and he’s right on your tail. You touch a tree and focus your mind 500 feet ahead. With your next step, you teleport away, rendering the chimera into a distant memory.

Pros: Tree Stride is excellent when you’re in a bind. This spell lasts one minute (ten rounds), which means you can travel up to 5,000 feet (nearly one mile), plus your regular movement, as tree striding takes only 5 feet of your movement per round. Think of the utility: you could carry a message, transport an item, transport to a creature and attack, create distance between you and a catastrophe, and much more. Don’t underestimate the ability to travel between settlements quickly as a scout or messenger when you use Tree Stride.

Cons: This is a 5th level spell, which is a pretty high spell slot for a druid. It’s hard to make that call sometimes. This spell also requires concentration for one minute and requires that there are trees larger than yourself, so the spell is very terrain-specific.

Sunbeam (Level 6)

A horde of undead approach your party. Your teammates are steeling themselves for a bloody battle. Concerned for their safety, you evoke a line of sunlight that shines from your body, blinding your foes and stopping them in their tracks.

Pros: This might be one of the most powerful spells a Druid can cast. Nevermind the 6d8 radiant damage in a 5×60 foot line each round for an entire minute; the utility of this spell blows my mind. The targets are blinded until your next turn if they fail a constitution saving throw (disadvantage for oozes and undead). You can refresh the blindness each turn as you ‘zap’ them repeatedly. To be blinded means they fail ability checks relying on sight, and your team gets advantage on attacks against the blinded targets, and the blind creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls! Also, you create 30 feet of bright light and an additional 30 feet of dim light for the duration of the spell, which can be really helpful to your teammates who lack dark vision.

Cons: Beaming each round costs an action, which could be a bother, and the targets make a constitution saving throw, which means there is a chance your beam only does half damage and no blinding.

With these effective utility and damage-dealing Druid spells, you’ll find your character the star of the show in a pinch. What are your experiences with these Druid spells. What other spells did I neglect to mention? 

Also check out:
Part 1 | Part 3

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