Druids in Dungeons and Dragons have an exceptionally versatile set of abilities. In addition to being full casters with access to their entire spell roster, they have the ability to transform into animals to better explore or fight. Even with expanded spell lists and many nonmagical abilities, druids will still use their minor spells.
Minor spells are a caster’s daily bread because they do not require the use of a spell slot. Cantrips also improve as the character grows, meaning they are never useless. Spellcasters fall back on their minor spells when they want to conserve resources or when they’ve already burned through all their spell slots, and Druids have exceptional choices for their at-will spells.
ten Control flames can be great in a pinch
One of four elemental control spells, Control Flames allows the user to manipulate an area of nonmagical fire that can fit into a five-foot cube. They can expand or extinguish the flame, as well as make it show simple shapes. This spell is very useful for roleplaying and flavoring purposes, especially for a Circle of Wildfire Druid. However, it is also a practical choice, as it could allow the user to quickly extinguish a burning building or improve the visibility offered by a torch or lantern.
9 Magic Stone gives ranged magic attacks to the whole party
Magic Stone is one of two druid minor spells that help cover up their missing weapon skills. It allows the user to enchant three pebbles or stones, essentially turning them into magic projectiles that use the caster’s cast modifier instead of the normal attack bonus.
Not only does this give the druid a decent ranged attack, but the pebbles can also be given to another character, who uses the druid’s cast attack modifier when using them. Being able to give the fighter or barbarian a ranged attack in the blink of an eye can be extremely useful.
8 Thorn Whip can attract enemies
Many spellcasters want to stay out of the fray, but druids are perfectly comfortable getting into the thick of things. Thorn Whip allows the user to strike a target up to 30 feet away, dealing damage and bringing the target up to 10 feet closer. This can be useful to prevent enemies from fleeing or to lure a squishy enemy nearby before transforming into a bear and killing.
7 Druidcraft is full of flavor
The primal magical equivalent of spells like Thaumaturgy and Conjuring, Druidcraft is a great all-around cantrip. It can be used to cover all sorts of fun and tasty effects a druid might want to produce, like causing a flower to open or a cascade of leaves to fall.
It also has minor practical application, as it can accurately predict the weather for the next 24 hours. Whether for pure flavor or adventure utility, most Druids will likely find use in Druidcraft.
6 Producing flame is for utility and combat
Like many druid minor spells, Produce Flame has many uses. It allows the user to conjure a ball of fire in their hands, which they can use to light up the space around them within a 20 foot radius. The bullet can also be launched as a spell attack, inflicting 1d8 fire damage on hit. It’s not as much damage as a spell like Firebolt, but the added versatility of being able to hold fire as a light source is well worth a few points of damage.
5 Primal Savagery is a great melee cantrip
Druids looking to deal damage up close without going completely savage can get a lot of use out of Primal Savagery. It allows the user to temporarily take on a bestial appearance, such as a scorpion tail or grinding fangs. At first glance, this might seem completely inferior to Poison Spray, which can hit up to 3 meters and deals a d12 of damage instead of a d10.
However, Poison Spray requires the target to make a Constitution saving throw, while Primal Savagery is a melee spell attack. Many monsters have a high Constitution, which makes this spell much more likely to hit. Additionally, it deals acid damage instead of poison damage, a much more evaluative type that monsters can resist.
4 Form water can be very useful for exploration
The druid’s spell list is full of situational spells that are useless until they are vital. Shape Water is one of them, as it could be a completely dead choice in one campaign while being the absolute star of another. It allows the user to manipulate water in several ways, including changing its direction and color. However, perhaps its most useful effect is the ability to freeze or melt a five-foot ice cube in a single action. It may not be hugely economical in combat, but it can be used in exploration to create bridges and dams or to melt ice barriers.
3 Mold Earth can create new dungeons
Of the four elemental control cantrips druids have access to, Mold Earth is the most likely to be useful. It allows the user to handle dirt and stone, including excavating loose soil into five-foot chunks.
This can be quickly used to dig hideouts, seal caves, or shape the environment for the benefit of the party. It can also be used to turn ground into difficult terrain or vice versa, giving the druid some interesting tactical options.
2 Shillelagh makes a druid a fighter
Any druid looking to mix it up in melee without using its wild form should seriously consider taking Shillelagh. This spell allows the user to enchant a club or staff to deal 1d8 damage and use their spellcasting modifier instead of Strength for attacks. Barring Magic Stone, this weapon can’t be given to another character, but it’s still an exceptionally useful spell, essentially putting the Druid’s melee abilities on par with the most frontline members of the party.
1 Orientation improves all skills
Orientation is one of the best spells in 5th edition, and druids are lucky to have access to it. It allows the user to give another party member, or themselves, an additional 1d4 to add to a single ability check made within the next minute. Since 5th edition Skill DCs don’t really scale much with higher levels, having anywhere between a +1 and a +4 on a check is extremely useful throughout an adventurer’s career. Since it only requires one action to cast, most adventurers will be able to cast it before almost every skill check the party has to make.
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