10 Worst Paladin Spells in D&D

Paladins, the champions of justice and righteousness, are revered for their unwavering commitment to defeating evil and protecting the innocent. Their use of spells is central to their divine prowess, but not all are congruent with the holy mission they have sworn to uphold. While Paladins have a rich array of spells that aid in the battle against malignancy, the mending of wounds, and the safeguarding of comrades, these virtuous warriors must select their spells judiciously to remain true to their oath and devotion to the light.

1 Light

For those without darkvision, any spell that can illuminate your surroundings feels like a no-brainer. Yet, Paladins need to be more discerning when choosing spells due to their limited number of slots. Light may be completely unnecessary with the opportunity for more versatile options and cheap torches.

2 Mending

Mending can be an excellent role-playing tool throughout the game, but its uses are very situational. Unfortunately, as a low-level spell, players will quickly find that most items they desperately want to fix cannot become affected by the spell. Mending can physically repair torn mystic scripts, broken magic blades, and melted arcane keys but cannot restore its magic.

3 Resistance

This spell bears a resemblance to Guidance but offers somewhat limited utility. It requires an additional material component and applies solely to saving throws, which occur less frequently than ability checks. It typically finds its best use just before imminent danger. However, if a player foresees a looming threat, there are certainly more versatile and potent spells to choose from.

4 Spare the Dying

While this spell is better suited for dedicated healer classes like Cleric, it’s worth noting that a simple Healer’s Kit can achieve the same effect in terms of action economy without requiring proficiency. Unless the party lacks access to standard adventuring equipment, most Paladins would be better off exploring more practical spell options.

5 Thaumaturgy

Thaumaturgy can offer fun and whimsical applications for specific character types, but its practical benefits are often limited and situational in most campaigns. While many cantrips offer modest utility or power, there are likely better choices than this straightforward transmutation spell.

6 Cure Wounds

Usually, Cure Wounds would be a great spell to consider learning, especially for parties lacking healing magic. However, designating a spell slot for low-level healing magic for a class with limited spell slots and the Lay on Hands feature feels wasteful.

7 Detect Poison and Disease

Detect Poison and Disease can be cast as a ritual, adding versatility compared to similar spells. However, its usefulness remains highly situational and may be less practical for spellcasters with access to spells like Protection From Poison, a third-level spell commonly available to Paladins.

8 Locate Object

The effectiveness of this spell hinges on specific conditions, which a clever adversary can easily circumvent, making Locate Object a choice with limited practicality. Cunning arcane adversaries intent on concealing valuable or essential items would likely possess the knowledge and means to employ methods like lead wrappings, effectively negating the spell’s capabilities.

9 Purify Food and Drink

Performing this spell as a ritual ensures that concerns about spoiled food become a non-issue. However, many dungeon masters (DMs) often gloss over the intricacies of supply management, especially in the case of newer players or shorter campaigns. Unless your DM weaves a narrative emphasizing wilderness survival, this spell may serve no purpose.

10 Zone of Truth

One of the most significant drawbacks to Zone of Truth is that affected creatures are fully aware they are under the effect of your spell. Nothing keeps them from avoiding questioning or choosing not to speak at all. If you aim to get answers from an unwilling individual, having a party member with Detect Thoughts will be far more successful.

In conclusion, Paladins stand as ideals of honor, justice, and divine might, wielding their spells to smite the forces of wickedness and safeguard the innocent. While their spell list offers a multitude of abilities, some spells may not entirely align with their sacred calling. These ten spells, characterized by their manipulative or non-combat nature, are often less fitting for Paladins, who prefer confrontations and inspire others through their virtuous actions. For Paladins, their magic is not just a tool but a reflection of their unwavering commitment to virtue and their sacred duty to protect the light against the encroaching darkness.

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