Spellcasters are a beloved and varied category in Dungeons & Dragons. They’re powerful, can be challenging to play, and there are varieties to suit all play styles. Spells can add a touch of grandeur and exemplify the wonder of the game, capturing that fantasy world we crave. In addition, spellcasting villains make for some of the fiercest, craftiest, and most challenging foes.
This is what makes Xanathar’s Guide to Everything an essential supplement for players and Dungeon Masters alike. This book contains a list of new spells ranging from tame to humorous, to downright awesome! So, here are ten of those spells from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
10 Abi-Dalzim’s Horrid Wilting, 8th Level Necromancy
Art by Gaétan Weltzer.
Necromancy is one of the darker sides of magic and wizardry and as such, draws in many a player when picking their spells. Abi-Dalzim’s Horrid Withering will make anyone feel like a cackling super-villain upon casting. This spell sucks the moisture out of everything and everyone within a 30-foot cube that you can see within 150 feet.
Non-magical plants are instantly killed, shriveling up to nothing. Creatures that are not constructs or undead must make a Constitution save or take a hefty amount of necrotic damage. In addition, magical plant creatures and water elementals make the save with disadvantage, as their vitality is literally shaped and dried up.
9 Tenser’s Transformation, 6th Level Transmutation
Sometimes, a battle can get tough, party members go down, and items or spell slots run out. This is particularly painful when the foe is SO close to being brought down. This spell is that last push. Tenser’s Transformation is a self-casting spell that will provide you with buffs needed to win the fight.
You receive 50 temporary hit points, advantages to weapon attacks (of which you get two of each turn), extra force damage when those attacks do hit, and proficiency with all armaments to add an extra bonus. This state will last up to ten minutes as long as you are concentrating on the spell. However, it all comes at a price; at the end of the spell, you are hit with a level of exhaustion.
8 Crown Of Stars, 7th Level Evocation
Art by Hellstern.
This spell is epic in appearance as well as in effect. Upon casting, seven little stars flash into existence around your head and float there emitting bright light. Then, on your turn, you can throw one of the stars at a target within 120 feet, thus expanding it. If it hits your target, they are hit with a modest amount of radiant damage.
Crown of Stars can also be cast at higher levels. At each level, the spell creates two extra stars for you to hurl. You might be tempted to hang onto your stars for light or save them for the next bigger and badder foe, but don’t be stingy with them. The spell only lasts an hour and any unused stars will simply vanish.
7 Wrath of Nature, 5th Level Evocation
Art by Edli.
Druids and Rangers are classes that are characterized by their love and connections to nature. Druids are formidable casters while Rangers straddle the line between spellcaster and martial fighter. This spell is not only epic to behold but also quite harmful. This spell works a 60-foot cube at a point you can see within 120 feet.
Within this cube, nature springs to life and lashes out against your foes. Grassy undergrowth will become difficult to traverse, trees slash and whip with their branches, roots, and vines grab hold of foes to prevent them from escaping, and rocks leap off the ground to bludgeon enemies. All of these effects will continue for up to a minute as long as you're concentrating on the spell.
6 Invulnerability, 9th Level Abjuration
Art by chasestone.
Quite frankly, this spell has the capacity to be flat out broken. Many spells in Dungeons & Dragons require physical components to cast the spell. However, not all Dungeon Masters enforce this rule because it can be rather time-consuming for everyone to keep track of endless bits and bobs and it just bogs down the pace of the game for some players.
Invulnerability, for the price of an expensive and rare piece of adamantine, grants its caster complete and total immunity to damage for up to 10 minutes as long as you concentrate on the spell. While in combat, every turn is six seconds. This means that you could be untouchable for up to 100 turns!
5 Psychic Scream, 9th Level Enchantment
If you are a fan of Charles Xavier or Jean Grey (or the mutant's alter ego, the Dark Phoenix) from the X-Men series, then psychic scream will be on your list of spells to add to your character. What the spell does is rather simple but its effects are devastating and potentially gory in the best, most cinematic way.
The caster emits a numbing blast of psychic energy for 90 feet that can affect up to ten creatures. These creatures then take a devastating amount of psychic damage and are stunned if they don’t succeed an Intelligence saving throw. The best part though is that if you kill creatures with this spell, their heads explode in a fantastical fashion that will be sure to add to the excitement of combat.
4 Ceremony, 1st Level Abjuration
This spell is a low-level ritual that is only available to paladins and clerics. Using their religious devotion, the character performs the spell to grant one of several benefits to the target or targets. You can cleanse a creature of their wrongdoing, create holy water, provide aid to a young adult creature who is coming of age, induct a creature who wishes to be in the service of your deity or perform a funeral for a corpse thus making it immune to being reanimated for seven days.
One of the most humorous and best ceremonies for roleplay is performing a wedding; this grants the couple a bonus to their armor as long as they remain near each other for the next seven days.
3 Danse Macabre, 5th Level Necromancy
Art by Springborg.
Every necromancer, either player character or campaign villain, dreams of becoming powerful enough to raise their very own army of undead. While there is a spell to raise the dead in the Player’s Handbook, that spell only raises one corpse. This spell will create five at once. In addition, you get to choose whether your new servants are skeletons or zombies and they get bonuses based on yours.
Your personal horde can be commanded to attack foes or guard locations. If five isn’t enough for your army, then casting this spell at higher levels will animate an additional two undead for each level; thus, you can raise up to 13 corpses to do your bidding!
2 Illusory Dragon, 8th Level Illusion
As mentioned previously, it is most unwise to underestimate illusion wizards and this is another prime example. After a certain point, when illusion wizards cast their spells, they have the ability to infuse the illusion with magic from the Shadowfell to make it real! Such is the case with this spell.
The caster creates a dragon of their choosing that can stalk the battlefield and deal actual damage to enemies with its breath weapon! Foes can not hit it or cast spells on the dragon and even if they manage to see through your trick, they will still take half damage from its attacks.
1 Mental Prison, 6th Level Illusion
Illusion magic might seem like a collection of parlor tricks with little combat use. At lower levels, this might ring true for a time but once you learn higher-level illusion magic, you will be just as feared as another caster. For the more chaotic or evil leaning spellcaster, mental prison is a must-have spell.
This spell takes hold of an enemy’s mind and if they fail to make an intelligence saving throw, they will see around them a dangerous, hostile environment trapping them in place and nothing else. If they move through (including attacking it) or out of the illusion, they take a massive amount of psychic damage and the spell is over.