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Dungeons & Dragons: The 10 Most Useful 9th Level Spells, Ranked

In Dungeons & Dragons the most powerful of all class abilities available to players is 9th level spells. These spells can save a party from defeat and/or win a fight immediately. They can control the flow of time, influence the minds of even the most powerful of beings, and give the caster the ability to alter reality itself. Most of the spells in this list are from 5th edition; however, there will be a few entries from previous editions. Spells from earlier editions of D&D are easily convertible to 5th edition rules – the only changes likely to be required are to saving throws. Any spell from earlier editions will include the source material in which they are detailed.

10 True Resurrection

True Resurrection allows the caster to bring a dead being back to life provided they have only been dead for 200 years or less and did not die of old age. The being comes back to life at full hit points and is cured of all poisons, diseases, and curses. If the target had missing limbs they are fully restored, and beings that were undead are “cured” of the undead status. This spell works even if a body is no longer present, but the target’s name must be known. This is on the bottom of the list due to the fact that there are many spells in 5th edition that restore life to a deceased being.

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9 Weird

This spell is essentially a more powerful version of Phantasmal Killer. Instead of one target though, Weird affects all enemies in a 30’ radius at a range of 120’ from the caster. Targeted beings must make a wisdom save or become frightened for the duration of the spell; which is one minute. Every turn the affected beings must pass a wisdom save or take 4d10 points of psychic damage. The spell ends if the target passes a saving throw. Considering this is a 9th level spell the initial effect of being frightened should occur without a saving throw.

8 Prismatic Wall/Sphere

This spell creates a shimmering multi-colored barrier that can be created in the shape of a wall or sphere. The caster can name beings to be immune to the spell’s effects at the time of casting. The barrier is composed of seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Each color causes a different effect to those who come into contact with the barrier. Most of these colors cause 10d6 points of damage, but some of the colors cause effects such as being held or petrified. Each layer must be destroyed separately via a specific damage type. Spells that dispel magic have no effect on the barrier.

7 Meteor Swarm

This is one of the most damaging spells available for spellcasters. Meteor Swarm allows the caster to call four meteors to fall from the sky to a designated location; within a range of one mile. The meteors’ impact zones are 40’ in radius and cannot overlap. Those caught in the impact zone take 20d6 fire and 20d6 bludgeoning damage; a passed dexterity save halves the damage received. Furthermore, any flammable materials not being worn or carried by beings in the impact zone are set on fire. This spell was nerfed in 5th edition (previous editions allowed the meteors’ impact zone to overlap), but it is still one of the most destructive spells in Dungeons & Dragons.

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6 Mass Heal

This is the ultimate healing spell available in 5th edition. This spell allows the caster to heal up to 700 hit points of damage (in total) to any number of beings. The spell does not require touching the recipient of the healing, and has a range of 60’. The healing effect is instantaneous and also cures any diseases, blindness, and deafness affecting a targets. This spell would possibly be higher in this list if the spell could be used to cause damage to undead creatures, but unfortunately it has no effect against them.

5 Time Stop

Time Stop stops the flow of time for everyone except the caster for 1d4+1 turns. During this time the caster can move and perform actions as normal, but any action that affects, or will affect, another being ends the spell. This causes the 5th edition Time Stop to be very under-powered compared to previous editions where the caster could cast damaging spells during the Time Stop; having them take effect simultaneously and immediately when the flow of time resumed. This allows the caster to only cast one spell that would affect someone else. This begs the question – why not just cast that spell instead of Time Stop?

4 Chain Contingency

The Contingency spell is available in 5th edition, but for some reason Wizards of the Coast did not include Chain Contingency. Instead of the one spell allowed to be stored by the Contingency spell, Chain Contingency allow up to three spells to be stored. These spells are released when the condition set during casting is met. A player could set the spells Stoneskin, Fly, and Mirror Image to be cast if they are attacked. The spells can be set to take effect simultaneously, or one per round. The only limitation is that the stored spells can only affect the caster –meaning Fireball or similar damaging spells cannot be stored. This spell can be found in the Wizard’s Spell Compendium from 2nd edition.

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3 Sash Of Spells

This is one of the most useful spells available to a wizard or sorcerer – if the DM allows it to be used that is. Sash of Spells creates a glowing sash that can store up to eight spells; which are placed in the sash during the eight turns following its creation. The spells can be of any level, and if two of the same spell is stored within the sash it creates a third use of the spell that does not count as one of the eight stored spells. The spells can be discharged one at a time from the sash through silent will – concentration is not required. The sash lasts until all the spells have been used, and can be transferred to another character if desired. This spell can be found in the 2nd edition book Volo’s Guide to All Things Magical.

2 Wish

This multi-purpose spell is one of the most powerful in Dungeons & Dragons. There is a list of effects that can be created by Wish without consequence. Examples given in the 5th edition Handbook include; restoring to full hit points up to twenty beings, grant immunity to a single spell, and creation of a nonmagical object of up to 25,000 gold pieces in value. The caster can choose to make a specific wish not listed, but the DM is encouraged to try to follow the exact wording of the wish – so players need to be careful. Wishing someone to be dead might send the caster into the distant future where the target has been dead for some time.

1 Mantle

This is perhaps the ultimate spell available in Dungeons & Dragons. This spell creates a magical barrier about the caster’s body that provides certain protections and grants the caster special abilities. This spell begins as a 6th level spell, but occupies the highest spell slot available; so a caster capable of memorizing 9th level spells must use a 9th level spell slot. The base Mantle gives the caster control over the temperature about their person, and is always under the effects of Feather Fall, Protection From Normal Missiles. Additionally, the caster can cast one spell to maximum effect and has immunity to one specific spell the caster is able to cast. For every caster level above 12th the mantle increases in power; this usually takes the form of adding an additional spell effect (like Levitate) and increasing the number of boosted spells and adding another spell to which the caster is immune. This spell can be found in the 2nd edition book Secrets of the Magister.

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