Inadequate Cleric Spells in D&D

Clerics in Dungeons & Dragons are divine spellcasters, serving as conduits for the power of their chosen deity. Their spells often reflect the nature and domains of their gods, allowing them to heal, protect, and smite with divine power. However, selecting the right ones is essential with a wealth of spells. Clerics must carefully choose spells that resonate with their deity’s domains and fulfill their duties to their faith and party.

Casting Resistance

1 Resistance

This spell is nearly identical to Guidance and debatably less valuable as it requires an additional material component and only applies to Savings Throws, which are less frequent than Ability Checks. In most instances, this spell is best cast right before the threat of danger. However, if a player knows something terrible is coming, far more comprehensive and robust spells are available.

Casting Thaumaturgy

2 Thaumaturgy

Particular character types may find many fun or silly uses for Thaumaturgy. However, its practical benefits are situational and often limited in most campaigns. Most cantrips are relatively minimal in usefulness or power, but there are likely better choices than this simple transmutation.

Casting Detect Poison and Disease

3 Detect Poison and Disease

You can cast Detect Poison and Disease as a ritual, making it more versatile than similar spells. However, its usefulness is highly situational and may be impractical for those who can cast Protection From Poison, a spell available to Clerics at third level.

Casting Purify Food and Drink

4 Purify Food and Drink

By casting this spell as a ritual, you can ensure you never worry about spoiled food. However, many dungeon masters (DM) avoid the monotony of provisions, especially for new players or short campaigns. Unless your DM creates a story involving wilderness survival, this spell could be useless.

Casting Find Traps

5 Find Traps

Expensive and imprecise, Find Traps is an ineffective spell choice, especially in a larger adventuring party. Not only would most Clerics find more success and utility by investing in their Investigation skills, but they could also readily leave this task to classes better suited to the job, like Rogues.

Casting Locate Object

6 Locate Object

The situational nature and the ease with which a clever enemy can counter this spell makes Locate Object a less practical choice. Any wise arcane enemy who wishes to conceal something noteworthy or valuable would know to employ lead wrappings to thwart the spell’s effects.

Casting Beacon of Hope

7 Beacon of Hope

While thematically intriguing, Beacon of Hope can be challenging to use effectively. Having your allies regain maximum hit points from healing is a fantastic benefit, but it requires an additional action to either use an item or cast another spell. This extra step means that in most instances, your Cleric will need to wait a full round to take advantage of the benefit—a precious amount of time in a tough battle. There are ways to strategize around this, but choosing a different spell makes more sense in most instances.

Casting Spirit Shroud

8 Spirit Shroud

Spirit Shroud falls short when compared to spells like Spiritual Weapon and Spirit Guardians. Notably, Spiritual Weapon deals the same extra damage without requiring concentration, while Spirit Guardians excels against multiple foes, especially with its lengthy duration.

Casting Dispel Evil and Good

9 Dispel Evil and Good

While Dispel Evil and Good packs versatility into a single spell, its individual effects are less potent than more specific spells. It can provide a certain level of defense but is debatably worse than Protection From Evil and Good. It can also expel a creature to another realm but acts as a less effective version of Banishment.

Casting Find the Path

10 Find the Path

Find the Path could be helpful for less-powerful players without access to more potent spells. However, as a sixth-level divination, most clerics would not gain the appropriate arcane knowledge until they reach level eleven. Far into a character’s development, a spell that acts as little more than a precise map feels useless compared to Plane Shift, which will practically solve long-distance travel in only two more levels.

Clerics in Dungeons & Dragons are divine conduits, spiritual guides, healers, and protectors. While not entirely without use, the ten spells discussed in this article may not align with the typical strengths and roles of Clerics. When creating a Cleric character, it is crucial to carefully consider spell selection to ensure they can fulfill their divine duties to their faith and party, emphasizing their role as spiritual guides and caretakers. Clerics should focus on spells that promote healing, protection, and guidance, harnessing their divine powers to uplift and support the living while opposing forces of darkness and evil.

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