[Top 5] D&D Best Damage Types

D&D Best Damage Types
Cold, Piercing, Fire, Acid, Force. With Your Typings Combined You Can Damage Dragons!

What Damage Types Should You Wield in Dungeons & Dragons?

It should go without saying that all weapons & spells in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons do damage, but I needed an opening to this list, and all damages fall into different types. All together there are thirteen variations on damage contained in the base rules of D&D 5th Edition, and all weapons without magic effects fall into one of three: Bludgeoning, Piercing, or Slashing.

There are a good handful of creatures that resist the three most basic of damage types, and many more that resist the other ten.

Here's a list of our top 5 damage types that you can sling in spells, from the end of wands, or on the edge of your barbarians favored weapon.

5. Thunder

Don't hit the Storm King with lightning, make like Thor and punch with the sound of THUNDER!

Thunder damage is distinct from lightning damage in the same way that thunder is different from lightning. One is an explosive shock of electric energy while the other is an explosive wave of sound.

Thunder damage is resisted by at least 14 different monsters within the game while only 1 monster is vulnerable to the effects of thunder spells.

If Earth Elementals are giving you are problem, a hammer with a thunder enchantment will make quick work of them. Noise that is loud enough to deal damage is fun, but terrible when you have to infiltrate the currently occupied castle of the crown.

  • Sonic Damage is cool and applicable in off-the-wall schemes
  • Ever wanted to make a werewolf bleed from the ears?
  • Try some Thunderwave
  • Easily resisted

4. Psychic

The Mind Flayer is known for its abominable good looks, and its horrifying psychic damage.

An unseen pain bites at the edges of your mind, at first it feels like a headache, but a second and third hit let you know that this is psychic damage.

Mind Flayers are known to deal in psychic attacks, but a bard can deal the same with a well placed Vicious Mockery spell.

Since psychic damage happens in the head of the spells target it can be flavored in ways only limited by the imagination. 

  • Deal the best kind of damage, the kind that no one can see
  • Vicious Mockery is a fun spell for bards and those who like to taunt enemies; insult your enemies so harshly that they are psychically pained by your words
  • Low resistance rate among monsters in game
  • Flumph are the only creature vulnerable to Psychic damage

3. Bludgeoning/Piercing/Slashing

This four-armed beast knows how to get exactly what she wants; Utilize all physical damage typings at once.

Sometimes a wizard needs a spell that does what a weapon would do except better, because being a wizard is all about doing what the barbarian does with flash/flair.

We lump these three together to do a little cheeky cheat, and to prove that the normal damage typing is better than cold or fire except in certain circumstances.

  • Do damage like a melee fighter with a mage
  • usually comes packaged with other damage types, i.e. Ice Spike is Piercing/Cold
  • Between all 3 there are a lot of monsters with resistances to these damage types
  • Thorn Whip, Tsunami, & Wrath of Nature are just a few spells that you could use to get the physical damage type in a magic spell

2. Radiant

Paladin shows local farmers how he dispatches the forces of darkness by shining a little light on his magical blade.

A scorching white light burns the target, as if the divine itself wishes to smite that which would call itself an enemy.

This is radiant damage, and it is a wonder to behold. Radiant is the area of play of your paladins and clerics or any party member that calls upon the power of the gods or religion to get their work done.

  • Shadows and Demons don't stand a chance against Radiant Damage
  • Smite your enemies with the power of Divine Light
  • Become Self Righteous in Your Quest to Rend the Flesh from the Bones of Enemies of Your Deity
  • Take down zombies and vampires with ease
  • Impress the locals; makes your missionary work easier

1. Force

A warlock demonstrates to her new dragon friend all the fun they can have together by playing with force damage.

Warlocks will know this damage type like the back of their character sheet. A concentrated blast of pure magical energy, force damage is found in spells like Eldritch Blast and Magic Missile.

The energy is likened to that of running into a brick wall, or a brick wall running into you.

  • Eldritch Blast is the first, last, & only line of self defense a Warlock needs
  • Break down doors
  • use the Force Damage, dude
  • No monsters in the entire game resist Force Damage, and only 1 is immune

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Chris arrived fully formed on this earth 5 years ago when a sentient star exploded over the swamps near Texas' Gulf Coast. Enjoys laughter & controlled chaos
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Pokemon Sword
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