[Top 15] D&D Most Powerful Spells

Spellcasting in D&D can be a blast, especially when you want to cause shenanigans.

Is your spellcasting getting a little bland?

Being a spellcaster in D&D can be an amazing experience - spells give you the power to perform feats that would otherwise be impossible. You can shoot fire from your palms, trick your enemies into seeing things that aren't there, or heal your companions' wounds.

But as you gain power as a spellcaster, it might get overwhelming choosing your spells. There are hundreds of available spells in the D&D sourcebooks, and sometimes it's hard to figure out what's worth putting into your repertoire. Often, I find myself going back to the same old spells over and over again. 

Hopefully, this article will take some of the guesswork out of it for you. Here are the top 15 most powerful spells in D&D. 

15. Foresight

This spell allows you to bestow a willing creature with a temporary look into the immediate future. In essence, this knowledge gives that creature advantage on everything that they could possibly be doing during that spell's duration - making attacks, attempting tasks, or avoiding damage. This spell lasts for 8 hours, essentially making that creature a short-term oracle for an entire day.

Why Foresight is a Great Spell

Foresight is the ultimate buff for your teammates - there's a reason it's a 9th-level spell. If you're expecting some hard fights or tasks ahead, giving someone advantage on literally everything they do is a good way to tip the odds in your favour.

This spell is particularly good if cast on a tank character - fighters, barbarians, or other melee-focused characters who are going to be in the midst of battle can definitely benefit from a little peek into who is going to be swinging an axe at their head a couple of seconds before it happens.

Foresight Details

  • Sourcebook: Player's Handbook (pg. 244)
  • Spell Level/School: 9th-level divination
  • Classes: Bard, Druid, Warlock, Wizard
  • Subclasses: Arcana (Cleric), Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Eldritch Knight (Fighter)
  • Find the spell description here.

14. Clone

Are your players worried about what might happen if their character dies in combat? Resurrection is expensive, and maybe your character is disdainful of clerics or the religion most likely to resurrect them if they suffer a critical failure at an inopportune time.

Clone is the solution for necromancers who have access to a place to keep a huge vessel for their double to grow up in. Essentially, you remove a piece of your flesh, perform the ritual, and let the clone grow in its vessel for 120 days. After it's matured, your soul will automatically transfer into it when you die. If this how Mario gets all those extra lives?

Why Clone is a Great Spell

OK, I can admit that this is a spell that your players might never use. It's expensive (roughly 3000 gold in total for one ritual) and requires your players to have a safe home base to stash their emergency body. However, this is a really good spell to give your villains.

Think about it: the party finally tracks down their big bad and kills him. Problem solved, right? They go about their business, only to discover that, incredibly, the man that they killed is still alive, walking around, and up to his nefarious deeds. This is a great plot point or a way to extend your adventure.

Clone Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 222)
  • Spell Level/School: 8th-level necromancy
  • Classes: Wizard
  • Subclasses: Arcana (Cleric), Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Eldritch Knight (Fighter)
  • Find its details here.

13. Storm of Vengeance

If you're into raining down vengeance from the heavens on anyone who crosses you, then put this spell in your spellbook. You conjure a huge, churning storm cloud in a 360-foot radius. Every single creature underneath that cloud must make a Constitution saving throw when it appears - that could be an entire battlefield of enemies!

If that weren't already awesome, you can continue to do damage with the storm as long as you're concentrating on it, up to 10 rounds. The cloud conjures acid rain, bolts of lightning, hail, and freezing rain. Nothing and no one is safe from your wrath!

Why Storm of Vengeance is a Great Spell

Honestly, this spell is just a tad overpowered. Doing what is essentially constant damage for ten entire rounds of combat is insane. But it is a 9th-level spell, meaning that you can only cast one per day. It's a last resort trump card for a druid in a tight spot.

Additionally, this spell has a lot of cinematic potential. Imagine your party, pinned between two armies. They're running out of spells, and they fear total obliteration. Then the druid gathers the last of their magic to cast the most powerful spell they know. The storm ravages surrounding enemies, leaving corpses and injured enemies in its wake. That would be a session I would be talking about for the rest of my life.

Storm of Vengeance Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 279)
  • Spell Level/School: 9th-level conjuration
  • Classes: Druid
  • Subclasses: None
  • Find its details here.

12. Prismatic Wall

Prismatic Wall, or as I like to call it, the Rainbow of Certain Death, is possibly the most colourful way to do serious damage to your enemies in the entire game. You create a beautiful, glowing vertical wall - it can be as big as you want it to be, up to 90 feet long and 30 feet high. It's only an inch thick, but that's no reason to underestimate it.

When a creature attempts to pass through the wall, it must pass through seven separate layers, each a different colour of the rainbow. Each layer has a different effect and has a different specific method to destroy it.

Why Prismatic Wall is a Great Spell

This is a great spell for both player characters and NPCs. It's pretty unique and adds interesting mechanics to combat. It can do a ton of damage, especially to creatures that are too dumb to avoid or destroy it, or aren't dexterous enough to make the saving throws against each layer's effects.

I also really love this spell for its capacity to become a dungeon puzzle. Figuring out how to dispel each layer can be a fun task for players who can't cast this spell yet (and thus don't know its mechanics). 

Prismatic Wall Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 267)
  • Spell Level/School: 9th-level Abjuration
  • Classes: Wizard
  • Subclasses: Arcana (Cleric), Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Eldritch Knight (Fighter)
  • Find its details here.

11. Forcecage

Got an enemy that's been annoyingly slippery? Why not trap them in an immovable magical cube? That's the whole idea behind Forcecage. You create a magical box that blocks outside magic, interferes with teleportation and interplanar travel, and extends into the Ethereal Plane to further prevent escape.

You can keep your unfortunate prisoner in their magical box for up to an hour, or until they manage to pass a Charisma save to teleport out. Notably, you can't attack them while they're in there, but you can keep them right where you want them.

Why Forcecage is a Great Spell

I really like this spell because of its utility. Interrogating an uncooperative NPC? Put them in an inescapable box. Apprehending a master criminal known for picking locks? Put them in an inescapable box. Mad at your bard for seducing everything that isn't nailed down? Time out in an inescapable magical box.

It's a pretty expensive spell, but you could easily give it to an NPC to use against your players if they're constantly getting out of simpler traps.

Forcecage Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 243)
  • Spell Level/School: 7th-level evocation
  • Classes: Bard, Warlock, Wizard
  • Subclasses: Arcana (Cleric), Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Eldritch Knight (Fighter)
  • Find its details here.

10. Time Stop

You know that trope in animated movies when the really hyper character drinks something caffeinated and starts moving so fast that time stops around them? This is that effect but in spell form. Unfortunately, you have less control than the animated characters do while under this effect, but you can still use it to your advantage.

Maybe you need time to set a trap underneath an enemy or dodge an attack that might knock you unconscious. Maybe you just need a split second to yank an ally out of imminent danger. However you use it, stopping time might just be the trump card you need to get out of a tight spot.

Why Time Stop is a Great Spell

Manipulating time and space is a big deal, but using it to occasionally tip the scales in your favour can be really fun. This spell has a lot of potential to be used in creative ways by cunning players. When given to an NPC, it can really throw a monkey wrench into a party's well-laid plans. However you slice it, it's one of the most interesting utility spells out there.

Time Stop Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 283)
  • Spell Level/School: 9th-level transmutation
  • Classes: Sorcerer, Wizard
  • Subclasses: Arcana (Cleric), Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Eldritch Knight (Fighter)
  • Find its details here.

9. Animate Objects

You need some quick minions, but you don't have any organic material around. You are, however, in a house filled with furniture and small objects. A minute later, you have up to 10 friends that can help you in battle or guard you against threats.

Animate Objects works a lot like other minion-creating abilities and spells, with the notable difference that it can be used on pretty much anything, provided that the object isn't magical and isn't being worn or carried by a creature.

Why Animate Objects is a Great Spell

Firstly, it's pretty powerful for a 5th-level spell. The ability to make servants out of anything you have lying around can make dungeon-delving a completely different ball game. Giving the spell to an NPC can put your players in a sticky situation where anything around them could become an enemy. Talk about a creepy dungeon!

Animate Objects Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 213)
  • Spell Level/School: 5th-level transmutation
  • Classes: Artificer, Bard, Sorcerer, Wizard
  • Subclasses: Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Clockwork Soul (Sorcerer), Eldritch Knight (Fighter), Forge (Cleric)
  • Find its details here.

8. Arcane Eye

If you need to keep an eye on something - or someone - then this spell is for you. You create an invisible eye hovering in the air for up to an hour. This eye transmits visual information to you, and you can use an action to move it.

Why Arcane Eye is a Great Spell

This spell is powerful in a different way than some of the others - it essentially allows you to spy on things undetected. This is a game-changer, especially in campaigns that involve espionage or diplomacy quests. It's more definite than scrying, and the eye is undetectable to anyone other than the caster.

The best part? It's only a 4th-level spell, so it's well within the grasp of your party members earlier in the campaign than most of the other spells on this list.

Arcane Eye Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 214)
  • Spell Level/School: 4th-level divination
  • Classes: Artificer, Wizard
  • Subclasses: Aberrant Mind (Sorcerer), Arcana (Cleric), Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Eldritch Knight (Fighter), Knowledge (Cleric), Swarmkeeper (Ranger), Seeker (Warlock)
  • Find its details here.

7. Disintegrate

Move over, Thanos; someone else is going to start snapping. This spell does exactly what the name implies - it does a ton of damage, and if that damage reduces the target to 0 HP, they disintegrate into dust. It can be used on creatures, inanimate objects, or magical creations like the Wall of Force spell. Any creature killed by this spell can only be brought back by True Resurrection or Wish. Good luck with that.

Why Disintegrate is a Great Spell

This spell is ridiculous for a 6th-level spell. This is the kind of spell that ruins boss fights and can derail an entire campaign. But, when in the hands of a responsible player, it can be really useful. Because remember, you don't just have to cast it on your enemies - you can cast it on objects and magical barriers as well. 

If your party wants to get into a building, and they aren't worried about being subtle about it, then Disintegrate will do the trick. If they're trapped inside a magical barrier, then Disintegrate might just save their lives. And you can also reduce that annoying NPC to a pile of dust if you want.

Disintegrate Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 233)
  • Spell Level/School: 6th-level Transmutation
  • Classes: Sorcerer, Wizard
  • Subclasses: Arcana (Cleric), Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Eldritch Knight (Fighter)
  • Find its details here.

6. Simulacrum

If you daydream about being able to have D&D adventures with Frosty the Snowman, I highly recommend you look into this spell. You create a duplicate of a beast or humanoid that you're touching - this duplicate is made out of snow or ice, but it appears the same as the original creature.

After you've created it, the simulacrum exists until it drops to 0 hit points or you cast the spell again. So, if you play your cards right, you can make a whole new party member!

Why Simulacrum is a Great Spell

This spell has so much potential. While it is pretty expensive to cast (what powerful spell isn't?) it can be a game-changer. First of all, the spell's description never states that the creature you're duplicating must be alive. Second of all, the simulacrum has all of the same stats as the creature you duplicated, with the notable exception that it has half of the original creature's maximum health and it can't regain expended spell slots. So, for example, if you kill a powerful NPC or lose a comrade in battle, you could theoretically make a copy of them.

You could also use this spell as emotional blackmail for your players - for example, an evil NPC uses it to make a copy of one of the party's dead friends to use against them later. Just in case you wanted to traumatize your players.

Simulacrum Spells

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 276)
  • Spell Level/School: 7th-level illusion
  • Classes: Wizard 
  • Subclasses: Arcana (Cleric), Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Eldritch Knight (Fighter)
  • Find its details here.

5. Power Word Kill

This one does exactly what it says on the box - you speak an ancient word of power that causes your target to drop dead, provided they have less than 100 hit points when you cast the spell. While the effect might seem a little anticlimactic compared to an epic boss battle, there's definitely something satisfying about the idea of telling the enemy you've been chasing to drop dead and having them listen.

Why Power Word Kill is a Great Spell

If this was anything other than a 9th-level spell, I would say that it was too powerful. However, because it can only be cast once per day, it becomes more of a last resort or a flourishing power play, depending on how your character feels about casting it. 

Additionally, there is no description of what the power word actually is, meaning that you can tailor this cinematic moment to your needs. It can be serious, awe-inspiring, sarcastic, or ridiculous, depending on the character casting it.

Power Word Kill Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 266)
  • Spell Level/School: 9th-level enchantment
  • Classes: Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
  • Subclasses: Arcana (Cleric), Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Eldritch Knight (Fighter)
  • Find its details here.

4. Sunburst

If you're fighting an army of demons or undead, or perhaps just an annoying vampire, why not smite them with the power of the sun? Sunburst creates a huge flash of brilliant sunlight, blinding everything in a 60-foot radius that fails a Constitution save. It also does a huge amount of damage - 12d6, to be exact. Dud anyone get dipping sauce for this extra crispy vampire?

Why Sunburst is a Great Spell

This spell is a really good AOE spell for fighting anything that is vulnerable to radiant damage - which is a lot of creatures that D&D parties will commonly be fighting. I really like that it also debuffs enemies.

On top of all that, it's one of the few spells on this list that is available to Druids - we're a class-inclusive operation here, folks.

Sunburst Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 279)
  • Spell Level/School: 8th-level evocation
  • Classes: Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard
  • Subclasses: Arcana (Cleric), Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Eldritch Knight (Fighter)
  • Find its details here.

3. Fireball

If D&D had a "Greatest Hits" album, this spell would be the first track. You know it, you love it - 8d6 of fire damage hurtling at the faces of all the enemies within a 20ft sphere. This is Fireball, the spellcaster's Chanel No. 5. 

Why Fireball is a Great Spell

All jokes aside, this is one of the most accessible spells on our list. It's only 3rd level, making it readily available to your players right off the hop. It also scales with the level of spell slot that you use to cast it - a 9th-level Fireball would do a whopping 14d6 of damage, killing all but the toughest enemies caught in its wake.

Also, a little fun fact: according to the spell description, the flames from Fireball can spread around corners. That poor goblin cowering behind the pillar has no chance.

Fireball Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 241)
  • Spell Level/School: 3rd-level evocation
  • Classes: Sorcerer, Wizard
  • Subclasses: Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Artillerist (Artificer), Eldritch Knight (Fighter), Fiend (Warlock), Four Elements (Monk), Genie (Warlock), Light (Cleric), Zeal (Cleric)
  • Find its details here.

2. Meteor Swarm

This is the ideal spell for when you're just tired of being in combat with tough enemies. You harness all of your frustration and magical energy to rain meteors from the sky in a 40ft radius. These flaming space rocks both crush your enemies and set them on fire, doing 20d6 each fire and bludgeoning damage. That's gonna leave a mark!

Why Meteor Swarm is a Great Spell

As a DM, I used to hate this spell. It does a ridiculous amount of damage, its radius is huge, and even if a creature succeeds on its Dexterity saving throw, it's still going to get pummelled. I used to stare my sorcerer down at the table whenever they would mention wanting to use it.

But as I've gotten more experience with playing D&D with players who are responsible and passionate, my ire for this spell has faded. After all, it's a fantastic spell for ambushing your enemies, getting the drop on them before they have a chance to hurt you. And it's a 9th-level spell, making it almost impossible for a player to abuse.

Meteor Swarm Details

  • Sourcebook: Basic Rules (pg. 259)
  • Spell Level/School: 9th-level evocation
  • Classes: Sorcerer, Wizard
  • Subclasses: Arcana (Cleric), Arcane Trickster (Rogue), Eldritch Knight (Fighter)
  • Find its details here.

1. Wish

We're all familiar with this one, and we all either love it or hate it. Wish is "the mightiest spell a mortal creature can cast." Essentially, you are allowed to bend reality to your will for a single action - you can use it to recreate another spell, create an object, heal up to 20 people, grant damage resistances or spell immunities, or undo a recent event. Essentially, you become a god for a single moment in time.

Why Wish is a Great Spell

I know a lot of DMs are kind of scared of this spell - after all, it's touted in the community as a spell that lets your players do anything. That's not entirely true - Wish is incredibly powerful and can definitely break a game, but you as the DM have a lot more control over the results than you think.

What I mean is that you don't just have to roll over and allow your players to do whatever they want when they cast Wish. According to the spell's description, you are fully allowed to grant the wish, but with unforeseen consequences or partial failure if you choose.

On top of that, Wish is one of the only spells in the game that has consequences after casting it (unless you're a Wild Magic Sorcerer, of course). Casting spells after casting Wish causes you to take 1d10 damage per spell level and your Strength score drops to 3 for days afterward. If that weren't enough, there's a 33% chance that you'll never be able to cast Wish again after doing it once.

I sort of wish that more spells in D&D were like this - making players weigh the consequences of their spellcasting choices makes for some really interesting roleplaying opportunities and cinematic moments.


I divide my time between playing games at unholy hours of the night and writing about them; occasionally I allot moments for sleep and refueling.
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Kholat, Prey, Graveyard Keeper, Stardew Valley
Top 3 Favorite Games:BioShock 2, Civilization IV, Plague Inc: Evolved

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