Time to rinse the world of evil. Today we are checking out Holy Weapon in 5e Dungeons and Dragons. This buff to your damage output is powerful, easy to use, and fun to fight with as a Paladin or Cleric.
In this article, we are going to go in-depth on how to use Holy Weapon to its full potential and answer some questions you might have about using it in a campaign. First, of course, we look at both DnD players and DMs.
Holy Weapon 5e
- Casting time: 1 bonus action
- Level: 5th level evocation
- Range: Touch
- Target: A weapon
- Components: Verbal and Somatic
- Duration: Concentration for up to one hour
- Classes: Cleric and Paladin
Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, the official DnD source by Wizards of the Coast.
The spell has two massive advantages. First of all, Holy Weapon can be cast as a bonus action, so you can still attack the same turn. Second of all, this spell does not require a material component. You just need a weapon, so Holy Weapon is free to use and can be used as long as you can make audible noises and move your hands to fulfill the V and S requirements.
The disadvantage of Holy Weapon 5e is that you have to concentrate, or it will be dispelled.
Touch a weapon you want to imbue with holy power. For the duration, the imbued weapon can emit a bright light of 30 feet and an additional 30 feet a dim light. In addition, the imbued weapon deals a 2d8 radiant damage extra when you hit. If you are using a non-magical weapon, the imbued weapon becomes magical.
In your turn, as a bonus action, you can stop the effect of the holy weapon and fire a burst of radiance. When you do this, target as many creatures as you want within a range of 30 feet. These creatures must make a Con Saving throw.
- Creature fails the saving throw: the creature takes 4d8 radiant damage and is blinded. A blinded creature can do a CON saving throw on its turns to stop the blinding effect.
- Creature succeeds in the saving throw: if the creature has a successful save, it only takes half the damage and is not blinded.
Best uses for Holy Weapon 5e
1. Buff your allies
The odds are pretty high that you have a couple of allies that are using weapons. If you cast Holy Weapon as a bonus action on their weapon, they will get a 2d8 extra radiant damage every time they attack. This buff can be mighty when the player you are buffing can make multiple attacks per turn.
As a DM, you can also buff your minions. Imagine a hoard of Helmed Horrors with magical weapons imbued with this powerful magic.
2. Make a Swords Bard or a Valor Bard
A sword or Valor bard is another great class that can use Holy Weapon due to the fact they have an extra attack. Combine your Sword and Valor beard with the Crossbow expert feat, so you get three attacks per turn.
To get Holy Weapon on a bard, you must pick it as a magical secret at level 10. That way, you can use it to buff your three attacks with 2d8 radiant damage each. However, Destructive Wave on a Bard might be just as valuable, if not even more powerful.
3. Power up your long-range capabilities
A lot of players underestimate the power of an excellent long-range sneak attack. If you have a party member in your band of adventurers with a long-range attack, you can help him snip a bit with this spell. All you need to do is expend your bonus action, and you will add an average of 8 radiant damage to every attack.
You might like Magic Stone 5e, an underrated long-range menace.
4. Vanquish evil with your Cleric and Paladin
Your Cleric and Paladin can benefit quite a bit from having this spell if you have multiple attacks or need to deal extra damage. Since Holy Weapon 5e only uses a bonus action, you can still use your primary attack after casting this enchantment.
5. A powerful torch of beacon of light
Similar to Beacon of Hope 5e, the effects of the Holy weapon include radiating a light. You can use the weapon as a kind of landmark or as a way to illuminate a room. The 30 feet radius of bright light and additional 30 feet of dim light should not be underestimated. Fiendish Quasits and stealthy Crag Cats will have a more challenging time sneaking up on you!
Holy Weapon FAQ
Can you twin holy weapon?
No, it is not possible to twin holy weapons. But, of course, your DM can make an exception, or you can use Wish to make it possible anyway.
Do monk’s fists count for the holy weapon?
No, monk’s fists are a notable exception to the definition of weapon. Since the monk’s fists are not classified as one, casting holy weapon 5e on the fists of a monk has no effect.
Can you cast a holy weapon on a ranged weapon?
You can cast Holy Weapon 5e on every weapon in Dungeons and Dragons. That includes weapons like spears, arrows, crossbow bolts, or even stones. This extra buff of damage can add up if you have additional attacks per turn due to the crossbow expert feat and if the monster you are attacking is slow and far away.
Advice and final thoughts
There are quite a few uses for the Holy Weapon spell in 5e DnD. As a DnD veteran, I am inclined to say that it is worth picking if you are not going for an optimal build for a Cleric or Paladin. However, the fact that it costs a level 5 spell slot and is a concentration spell are both pretty significant disadvantages.
However, you do not need any materials to cast it, and when you cast it, it only costs a bonus action. Thanks to those two facts, the magic is cheap and convenient to use whenever you want.
|Imbued Weapon||Touch a weapon to imbue it with holy power, emitting a 30-ft bright light and dealing an extra 2d8 radiant damage. Non-magical weapons become magical.|
|Burst of Radiance||Bonus action to stop the holy weapon effect and unleash a burst of radiance. Targets in a 30-ft range make a Con saving throw.|
|Failure on Saving||Failed saving throw results in 4d8 radiant damage and blindness. Blinded creatures can save on their turns to end the effect.|
|Success on Saving||Successful saving throw halves damage and avoids blindness.|
|Best Uses||1. Buff allies with extra radiant damage. 2. Swords/Valor Bard: enhance extra attacks. 3. Boost long-range attacks. 4. Aid Clerics/Paladins. 5. Illuminate areas.|
|Additional Notes||– Helmed Horrors with imbued weapons become formidable. – Acquired as Bard’s Magical Secret. – Complements other spells. – Benefits long-range and melee users.|
I think that Holy weapon is best used as either a buff for your allies’ weapons if they have multiple turns to attack. Another fantastic scenario where this enchantment is when you want to deal long-range chip damage to a strong enemy or group of weaker foes.