Druids present themselves as one with nature while also being its protectors. To best protect nature, druids use a variety of methods, including magic, wild shaping, and weapons. Spells and wild shaping are easy to use for offense, but as a class that lacks physical offense, choosing a weapon should be done carefully.
Since its conceptualization, the druid class has had a taboo against using armor made of metal and would rather remain vulnerable, so the choice of weapon should take that into account. In this article, the best non-magical and magical weapon choices are listed from worst to best.
Clubs are simple weapons that use strength as their modifier. Generally, clubs are not great for non-strength-based classes, such as the druid.
However, since the druid has access to the Shillelagh cantrip, which changes a weapon’s damage to 1d8 and changes the modifier to the spellcasting one, clubs have the potential to deal a lot of damage.
They are light weapons, which allows them to be dual-wielded and deal slightly more damage. While dual-wielding the clubs, you can cast Shillelagh on one of them to increase the potential damage to 1d4+1d8+Strength modifier+Spellcasting modifier if done right. Clubs are quite restrictive to many druids but under the right circumstances and stats, they can be great weapons.
Many players take the anti-metal taboo too far and decide that daggers are also not permitted to the druid, even though the class description specifies that the dagger is a choice. Daggers deal the least damage out of any weapons but they offer many benefits that can prove useful to the druid.
They are finesse weapons, which means they use your dexterity modifier instead of your strength, which is more optimal for druids. Additionally, daggers have the thrown property and are very light, which means you can use them as ranged weapons and carry more than one of them without weighing yourself down too much.
While Shillelagh cannot be used on the daggers, they can still be useful for melee combat since they can be dual-wielded to potentially deal more damage than any weapon with Shillelagh could (2d4 > 1d8). The fact that daggers use metal in their construction does not remove them from the druid’s arsenal. They are one of the better melee weapon options available to the druid.
The sling is a very underrated weapon in Dungeons and Dragons. Many look at its weak damage and think that it is useless. In most cases, the sling is not the best option, but it is still a valid one.
First off, slings are weapons that druids would use. They are often not even made but rather consist of a branch that was cut, reducing the damage to nature, and their ammo can be found practically anywhere. Slings might be classified as weapons, but they are more like tools used to deliver objects from one place to another, about 120 feet away.
If the object being delivered happens to hold some weight and hit a target, then it deals damage. The ammo for the sling can be anything that fits in its pouch that has some weight behind it, such as stones, metal balls, and even smaller tools. This is what makes the sling great to have—the fact that it almost always has ammo.
Druids have access to a simple cantrip that can turn any decent piece of wood into a viable weapon. The cantrip Shillelagh turns a staff or club into a magical weapon that deals 1d8 damage and can use your spellcasting modifier instead of the normal modifier. The quarterstaff is a versatile weapon, which means that it can use either your Strength or Dexterity modifiers for attack and damage rolls.
Often, druids have higher Dexterity than Strength scores, so a weapon that can be used with Dexterity is already a bonus. When the quarterstaff feels weak, you can cast Shillelagh on it and increase its damage a decent amount. This combination of ability scores and the Shillelagh cantrip can turn an already good weapon into a force to be reckoned with.
One thing many people do not consider is that quarterstaffs can be used for utility. A long, hard wooden stick can offer a decent amount of leverage to lift objects (a callback to Pirates of the Caribbean) or can be used to reach places that you normally wouldn’t be able to. Even without access to Shillelagh, the quarterstaff is a good weapon for the druid, with its use of Dexterity and its utility.
Darts are finesse weapons that are primarily thrown to deal damage. Being finesse weapons, they can be used with Dexterity instead of Strength for attack and damage bonuses, which is good for druids who often have better Dexterity scores than Strength scores.
Another benefit that often goes ignored is how easily darts can be made and modified; they can be made with simple materials, and some DMs even decide that tools are not needed for making them. Much like the sling, darts have easy and practically weightless ammo that is easily made, which allows them to remain useful in most situations.
The darts can also be laced with poisons to paralyze or poison targets if hit. Generally, that should be the primary use of darts, to transfer conditions to targets for practically free over long distances.
The Moon Sickle is a magical weapon from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything specifically designed for druids and rangers. It is a sickle with the crescent shape of the moon, made from gleaming silver, and grants a bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it.
Additionally, it provides a bonus to spell attack rolls and the saving throw DCs of druid spells. This is a solid benefit for druids, whose spells often require saving throws. Furthermore, the weapon can be used as a spell-casting focus, further enhancing the bonus granted by the weapon. The bonuses granted by the Moon Sickle are not limited to spells aimed at enemies, but also healing spells.
When casting a healing spell with the Moon Sickle, an additional 1d4 can be added to the hit points regained by the target. Overall, the benefits of the Moon Sickle are universally good among all druids, including those who prefer to fight in wild shape form since they will eventually have to fight without it.
Staff of Woodlands
The Staff of Woodlands is a +2 weapon made specifically for druids.
Weapon Description and Features
It appears like a plain stick with a few leaves and small branches at its head, but its strength is much more impressive than its looks. Attack and damage rolls with the weapon gain a +2 bonus, and this bonus is not limited to melee attacks but also spells.
Spells Available with the Staff
In addition, it comes with 10 charges that can be used to cast a variety of spells, including Animal Friendship, Awaken, Barkskin, Locate Animals or Plants, Speak with Animals, Speak with Plants, and Wall of Thorns. None of these spells cost more than 3 charges to cast.
Advantages of Using the Staff
Since all of these spells are within the druid’s spell list, wielding the staff should be done carefully. However, the spells you choose to learn can be chosen much less stressfully knowing that the staff can act as a backup for some of your spells. Furthermore, the staff can act as a new arsenal of spells, allowing you to choose spells that are not provided by the staff and thus expanding your available spells by up to 8 spells.
The Versatility of the Staff
The Staff of Woodlands also has the ability to be turned into a full-grown tree with a mere action, which is much more versatile than it may seem. This ability can be used in combat to disrupt opponents or give your party some much-needed cover. Outside of combat, it can be used to hide in a forest or to reach higher, difficult places.
The Staff of Woodlands covers almost every part of a druid and does not fall off at higher levels, making it a fun and versatile druidic instrument with possibilities restricted only by the user’s imagination.
Summary and conclusion on best weapons for druids in 5e
Druids in Dungeons and Dragons are special because they love nature and protect it. To do that, they can use magic, turn into animals, or weapons. Some people think druids should not use metal stuff, but they can still use daggers and quarterstaffs. Quarterstaffs are great because they can be used in many ways. Darts and slings are also good options because they are easy to use. The Moon Sickle is a magical weapon made for druids and rangers, and it’s super powerful. The best weapon for a druid depends on different things like their skills, how they like to play, and what’s happening in the game.
- Druids love nature and protect it
- They can use magic, turn into animals, or weapons
- Daggers, quarterstaffs, darts, and slings are good weapons for druids
- The best weapon for a druid depends on their skills, playstyle, and the game situation
|Club||Simple weapon that uses strength modifier||Can deal high damage with Shillelagh cantrip||Not optimal for non-strength-based classes|
|Dagger||Finesse weapon that uses dexterity modifier||Can be thrown, can dual-wield for more damage||Deals the least damage out of any weapons|
|Sling||Lightweight weapon that can use almost anything as ammo||Almost always has ammo, versatile use||Weak damage, requires skill to aim properly|
|Quarterstaff||Versatile weapon that can use strength or dexterity modifier||Can use Shillelagh cantrip for high damage, good for utility||None|
|Dart||Finesse weapon that is easy to make and modify||Can be thrown, can use poisons||Relatively weak damage compared to other weapons|
|Moon Sickle||Magical weapon designed for druids and rangers||Deals magical damage, has extra abilities||Requires attunement, not available to all players|