Stand tall and invincible as a spellcaster against the hand that wields a mighty sword or bow. Every bard, sorcerer, warlock, and wizard who has this spell at their disposal can seek protection and resistance through this whenever they may face their enemies. Learn more to reach its full potential.
What is Blade Ward 5e: mechanics and requirements
- Casting time: 1 Action
- Level: Abjuration cantrip
- Range: Self
- Target: Self
- Components: V, S
- Duration: 1 round
- Classes: Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
Blade Ward 5e description
You extend your hand and trace a sigil of warding in the air. Until the end of your next turn, you have resistance against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage dealt by weapon attacks.
Advantages and drawbacks of Blade ward
- Resistances: Until the end of your next turn, the Blade Ward spell protects you by offering damage resistance against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage dealt with by weapon attacks. With this, the type takes half the damage from that specific damage type.
- Cantrip: The Blade Ward spell is a cantrip. As a cantrip, the spellcaster can cast this at will without needing to prepare it or even using a spell slot. What’s more, as a cantrip, the user doesn’t need to wait for the next level to obtain it unless their cantrip slots are full.
- Common resistances: In the world of Dungeons of Dragons, many creatures wield weapons to defend themselves. Utilizing the feature of the Blade Ward cantrip can be quite useful when you want to reduce damage and stand a better chance on the battlefield. By casting the Blade Ward cantrip, a spellcaster can protect themself from those who strike with their weaponry.
- Doesn’t need materials: The Blade Ward cantrip doesn’t require any materials for it to be cast by the spellcaster. You can cast this spell if you can speak and move. This also saves you space in your inventory and money on materials you can spend elsewhere.
- Available to many: The Blade Ward cantrip is open to be used by many spellcasting classes, which include bards, wizards, warlocks, and sorcerers. This can be useful if the build focuses on being a vanguard or on the frontlines during combat.
- No upcast: The Blade Ward cantrip does not feature an upcast, which means one would be unable to use higher-level spell slots to do anything additional with this spell.
- Limited target: Unfortunately, this spell can’t be used among allies and fellow party members. This only gives protection to the spellcaster themself.
- Limited resistance: Though the spellcaster has resistance against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, this is only limited to attacks done by weapon attacks.
- Needs components: Despite not needing materials, it requires verbal and somatic competence using the spellcaster’s voice and movement. So, if you are tied up or muffled by your opponents, you will not be able to cast this spell.
- A Free Hand: With the somatic component needed to move one hand to trace a sigil in the air, the user must ensure that at least one hand is free to use this. Therefore, if their hands are full with a weapon and shield, they must drop one of them.
- Short duration: The Blade Ward cantrip, when used in battle, only lasts till the end of the spellcaster’s next turn. It’s important to note that a round lasts only about six seconds in Dungeons and Dragons. With this in mind, using it on your turns costs you much-valued action. So if you want it to be in continuous effect, you’d have to cast this at every turn.
Best uses for Blade Ward 5e
Creating Character Builds
The Blade Ward cantrip has plenty of room to create a number of builds with different classes. With the Blade Ward spell, you can work on strategizing and combining it with class features, spells, and even items to make it work at its optimum. Here are some potential builds that can be further explored with the Blade Ward cantrip in application:
- An Eldritch Knight can potentially use this spell as an action while still having a bonus action to make attacks.
- An Arcane Trickster can use this cantrip alongside uncanny dodge, which in combination halves the damage received twice. That way, the rogue has a greater chance of lasting during combat.
- As a 6th-level Bladesinger and Bladelocks, you have an extra attack feature that grants the ability to attack twice. Thus, you can use one of the attack actions for the Blade Ward cantrip.
- By mid-level, a sorcerer with the Quickened spell metamagic option can cast the Blade Ward cantrip as a bonus, costing them two sorcery points.
Through this, you can make the most out of the Blade Ward cantrip at your next Dungeons and Dragons session. Show off to your fellow party members and Dungeon Master what you’re made of!
When you find yourself in a tight spot, and you find yourself a glimmer of hope to escape, the Blade Ward cantrip comes in handy! As you are escaping from enemies who are after you, this spell can help you come out with a little bit of a scratch. For example, let’s say you are alone and cornered by a giant constrictor snake in the woods.
Instead of disengaging or dodging, you can use the Blade Ward cantrip as your action. Though this may trigger an attack of opportunity from the snake, you’d be only taking half of the damage if it hits. You can then run away. If the snake go ahead after you and continue to attack their turn, you’re still protected by the Blade Ward cantrip.
Stuck in a Pinch
Are you stuck in between palace guards wielding their longswords? Or even surrounded by swashbucklers amid the high seas? The Blade Ward cantrip is a great abjuration spell to protect you from harm’s way.
Especially if you are taking attacks from medium to high-damaging enemies, this is useful to reduce the blow by the end of your next turn. Even if you are in a situation with a horde of mobs, this can help you save some of your health if you are being targeted and taking all of the punches.
The Perfect Carnival Act
Have you ever dreamed of joining the circus but never had the talent to make it? Or are you in a position where you must take down an evil ringmaster’s plans? Well, worry no more because this simple cantrip can help you get in!
The Blade Ward cantrip makes you the perfect candidate for the knife-throwing act. Whether the most dexterous party member or a professional knife thrower is taking the lead in this performance, you can be the perfect candidate to have knives thrown at.
This is where the Blade Ward cantrip comes in handy. If any mishaps come along with the performance, using this cantrip can lessen the blow by half, so you can at least come out of it with enough strength to give a final bow!
Advice and final thoughts
The Blade Ward cantrip is a spell with much room to work. Unfortunately, it’s much underappreciated for its simplicity and applications. Before choosing this cantrip, you have to consider the possible implications since it takes up action and lasts only until your next turn. But this is a spell you shouldn’t shy away from.
Given the ideal situation, it makes for a great defense spell on the battlefield. So many enemies in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, from bandits to beasts, use weapons that deal with bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage; the Blade Ward spell can protect you from many encounters.
What’s more, with the right build in mind when making your character, the Blade Ward cantrip can be a great addition when you’ve thought about it well and through. So take a chance and try out to use the Blade Ward cantrip; you never know how handy it can be when the time comes.
Blade Ward FAQ
Does the Blade Ward cantrip work against traps?
According to Jeremy Crawford, lead rules designer of Dungeons & Dragons, “every attack is either a weapon attack or a spell attack.” Thus, if the trap is nonmagical and deals with bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, it can then be counted as a weapon attack that can work with the Blade Ward cantrip.
Should I choose Blade Ward or Shocking Grasp for my next cantrip?
The Blade Ward cantrip and the Shocking Grasp cantrip are quite different spells that are good in their respect. The Blade Ward cantrip is excellent in your repository if you need a defense spell that guarantees protection against the most common damage types.
However, if you want an attack spell that possesses some handy features during combat, the Shocking Grasp spell is great to have on hand.
What are considered weapons for the Blade Ward cantrip?
Any weapon, whether it may be natural, magical, melee, etc., as long as it deals with bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, is considered unless the Dungeon Master says otherwise.