Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition is no stranger to devastatingly powerful actions. Enemies gain powerful legendary actions that add to their turns and are based on the domains they inhabit. Classes that like to fight up close tend to get more than one action per turn, especially for Fighters and Monks. Mages on the other hand gain access to powerful spells that can grant godlike abilities or rain terror upon foes.
The higher level a spellcasting class gets, the stronger their spells get due to gaining higher level spell slots. At the 6th Level, spells become strong enough to make or break encounters for either your party or the Dungeon Master’s monsters. By the 9th Level, spells border along breaking the rules with their godlike strength and high potential for success.
If you are looking for a guide on which high-level spells to pick, then this article is for you. We will explore some of the best high-level spells in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, ranging from reality-bending abilities to cataclysmic devastation.
1. Meteor Swarm (9th Level)
Meteor Swarm reigns as one of the pinnacle spells in a spellcaster’s arsenal. Casting this spell invokes the cosmos themselves, raining forth four blazing meteors that scorch all in their path. Each meteor deals devastating fire and bludgeoning damage, obliterating enemies and leaving naught but scorched earth in their wake.
The sheer scale of destruction makes Meteor Swarm an unparalleled choice for those who revel in overwhelming power. Keep in mind the range and space requirements when utilizing this spell, as while the damage is great so is the area of effect.
Friends and foes can both be caught in the attack, potentially downing the wrong targets if the attack is misplaced. Work with your Dungeon Master during combat to ensure the spell will have the effect you intend before actually casting it.
2. Time Stop (9th Level)
The art of time manipulation reaches its zenith with Time Stop. This spell suspends the flow of time for the caster, granting them precious moments to take actions while the world around them remains frozen.
The tactical advantage of Time Stop is immeasurable; spellcasters can strategically position themselves, cast spells, and set the stage for a cascade of effects, all within 2 to 6 turns. This spell is excellent for the Sorcerers and Wizards that want to continue to utilize their lower-level spells without upcasting in higher-level encounters, as the player can stack effects and disorient their opponents once time resumes for them.
The only downside that needs to be watched for is the exhaustion that may come from using this spell to its fullest since it costs your 9th Level spell slot as well as any additional spell slots or ammunitions you choose to use.
3. Wish (9th Level)
Wish is perhaps the strongest spell in the game. Limited only by the caster’s imagination and the Dungeon Master’s discretion, Wish can achieve nearly anything worth wishing for. Dead allies can be brought back to life, enemies can be erased from existence, money can become no object, your familiar can get a cozy little home for itself- anything you can think of can be granted with the Wish spell.
There is a large sum that must be paid when casting the spell, and unlike some spells where a component just needs to be within reach, Wish expends its components, making casting it a rarity.
Due to its powerful nature, work with your Dungeon Master to establish what wishes can be granted and what- if any- the drawbacks might be for casting Wish multiple times in a campaign.
4. Power Word Kill (9th Level)
In a single word, Power Word Kill can end the life of even the mightiest foes. As long as the target’s current health is at or below the 100 health threshold, the creature instantly dies. Otherwise, the spell has no effect.
It is easy to understand why this spell is ranked among the very best in the game, but it should be noted that the spell also does not have any additional materials needed to cast. Just be wary of the enemy using Counterspell or even their own Power Word Kill against you or your party members, as the ability to cast powerful spells is equal for both you and your enemies.
5. True Polymorph (9th Level)
True Polymorph grants spellcasters dominion over form and essence. This spell transforms creatures or objects into any other form, whether animate or inanimate. Its potential is as limitless as one’s imagination; adventurers can reshape the battlefield by creating powerful allies or turning adversaries into innocuous objects.
6. Shapechange (9th Level)
Shapechange allows spellcasters to transcend their mortal shells and assume the forms of other creatures. This spell epitomizes versatility, offering access to an extensive array of abilities and capabilities. Whether becoming a dragon to rain down devastation or adopting the strengths of a celestial being, Shapechange unlocks the potential for adaptability in the most dire situations.
7. Chain Lightning (6th Level)
Among the high-level spells, Chain Lightning stands as an exemplar of efficient devastation. This spell conjures a bolt of lightning that forks and arcs, striking multiple targets in a chain reaction. Its escalating damage potential makes it an invaluable tool for clearing hordes of adversaries and sowing chaos among enemy ranks.
8. Disintegrate (6th Level)
Disintegrate embodies arcane obliteration, reducing its target to nothing but fine powder. Bypassing many defenses and immunities, this spell offers a swift resolution to foes of any resilience if they fail their saving throw. Its ability to bypass conventional protections cements Disintegrate as a staple in a spellcaster’s repertoire.
However, keep in mind that disintegrated creatures are gone completely, leaving only a pile of ash where they once stood. If hoping to speak with the target after incapacitating them, then try not to use this spell in combat. Additionally, only magical items are spared from the spell’s effect, meaning any mundane loot the target is carrying is also disintegrated.
Lastly, like Power World Kill, Disintegrate will negate death-saving throws for player characters, meaning True Resurrection or Wish are the only means of bringing a disintegrated ally back from the dead.
9. Sunburst (8th Level)
Sunburst radiates the fury of a miniature sun, illuminating and immolating all in its vicinity. The spell inflicts radiant damage and blinds creatures caught within its brilliant burst. Its potency against undead and creatures vulnerable to radiant damage ensures its place as a radiant beacon of destruction.
10. Reverse Gravity (7th Level)
Reverse Gravity inverts the fundamental forces that bind creatures to the ground, sending them hurtling skyward. This versatile spell can disorient and incapacitate enemies by negating their mobility and control. Strategic use of Reverse Gravity can lead to devastating consequences for adversaries caught in its gravitational upheaval.
11. Antimagic Field (8th Level)
Antimagic Field envelopes the caster in an aura that strips magic of its power, neutralizing spells and magical effects within its radius. The tactical utility of this spell is profound; it can nullify enemy spellcasters, suppress enchantments, and create sanctuaries against magical assaults.
12. Divine Word (7th Level)
Divine Word grants spellcasters the ability to utter divine commands that resonate with celestial, fiendish, or otherworldly entities. These commands can compel creatures to their will, incapacitating or banishing them outright. The spell’s versatility and potential to neutralize formidable opponents make it an asset to spellcasters of unwavering conviction.
13. Prismatic Spray (7th Level)
Prismatic Spray releases a dazzling array of multicolored rays, each representing a different energy type. From blinding light to disintegration, the spell’s chaotic randomness can unleash a torrent of unpredictable effects. Its versatility and potential for both offense and defense make it a formidable choice for spellcasters who thrive in uncertainty.
14. Delayed Blast Fireball (7th Level)
Delayed Blast Fireball embodies calculated destruction. This spell conjures a fireball that hovers, its explosive power growing more potent by the second. The caster can choose the precise moment for detonation, engulfing enemies in a cataclysmic blaze. Its versatility in timing and ability to dictate battlefield conditions contribute to its status as a spell of strategic brilliance.
15. Foresight (9th Level)
Foresight bestows an unparalleled insight into the flow of events, granting the caster preternatural awareness. This heightened perception offers advantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws, while denying enemies advantage on attacks against the caster. The spell’s mastery over fate and fortune ensures that its beneficiary remains a step ahead in the grand tapestry of battle.
Conclusion on best high level 5e spells
High-level spells illuminate the pinnacle of spellcasting mastery in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. These arcane wonders unravel the fabric of reality, reshaping battles and carving legacies in the annals of history.
Whether wielding the cataclysmic force of Meteor Swarm or unraveling time itself with Time Stop, these spells grant adventurers the means to stand against the most formidable of challenges and etch their names as true masters of the arcane. Take the spells that best fit your character’s playstyle as well as their role in your party and use them to your advantage in the plains of the D&D multiverse.