Mind Spike 5e DnD: why you probably are using it wrong

Welcome Wizards, Warlocks and Sorcerers who are looking for some original spells to add to their repertoire. Mind Spike 5e is a fantastic magic attack. You can’t find it in the standard Dungeons and Dragons player handbook, but in the supplementary Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. 

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about using Mind Spike in the 5th Edition of D&D. We discuss FAQs, attributes and of course the best and original ways to use this magic. 

You might also enjoy the articles about Guardian of Faith 5e and Life Domain Clerics.

Mind Spike: what and how it works


  • Casting time: 1 action
  • Level: 2nd level divination
  • Range: 60 feet
  • Target: Creature you can see within range
  • Components: Somatic
  • Duration: Concentration, up to one hour
  • Classes: Wizard, Warlock and Sorcerer

As you see, the spell only needs a somatic component. So you will have to be able to move your hands to use this spell, but you don’t need materials or be able to say something. Also, keep in mind that the spell has not a set range. In the dark, the range of mind spike 5e will be much shorter than in the daylight. 

5e mind spike

Upcast: You can also upcast the spell by putting it in a higher spell slot. For every slot above the second, you can add 1d8 of damage. 

Spell description

When you cast Mind Spike 5e, you reach into the mind of a creature you can see within range. This creature must make a Wisdom saving throw. 

  • Fails saving throw: When the creature fails that saving throw it will take 3d8 of psychic damage. You will also know where the target is located for as long as the spell is active. However, you need to be on the same plane of existence. That means the creature can not hide from you, even if it is invisible. 
  • Succeeds saving throw: When the target succeeds the saving throw, it will only take half of 3d8 psychic damage. You will not know where the target is located when it hides. 

Mind Spike advantages and drawbacks


  • Psychic damage: not many creatures have resistance or immunity to psychic damage. So having at least one spell that can deal this type of damage is extremely useful.
  • Wisdom saving throw: Not many creatures have a high enough WIS stat to make the saving throw. Evermore so when you are fighting brutes and melee fighters. 
  • Cool extra effect: Knowing where the target is, can be very useful if you are creative.


  • Not the best: There are better spells at the second level that you might want to prioritize. 
  • Weak upcast: the spell is pretty bad for upcasting, it does not scale high enough.
Mind Spike 5e

Best uses for Mind Spike 5e

1. Have a fantastic damage option

Having a spell that casts a rarer type of damage is very useful. For example, fire is the most common resistance in 5e. So, if you are relying on spells that use fire (like Flame strike or Fireball) for everything, that might come back to bite you. Psychic damage is a rare damage type. 

There aren’t many NPCs that have a high wisdom stat to make saving throws. If you are fighting a strong melee opponent, then Mind Spike 5e is a great option to use. You will almost always have the full damage if they have a low WIS.

If they fail their saving throw but manage to escape, you can still find out where they are. Knowing this allows you to set up a surprise attack and take them down for real. 

2. Tracking minions to their base

Besides dealing a decent amount of damage to your target, if they survive, and fail the saving throw, you know where they are exactly. The duration that you know the targets’ location is quite long. This is for the duration of the spell, which is a concentration spell that has a duration of up to 1 hour. 

Knowing exactly where your target is, can be extremely useful. You can figure out where exactly they are in this location. This includes them being underground or under the cover of invisibility.

This way, you can figure out the secret base of an enemy much more easily. Just make sure one of the targets is still alive after the battle and let him guide you to the spot where your enemies are. Knowing where the camp is, is perfect if you want to do a surprise attack. 

3. Find treasure and hidden stacks

If the pirate or bandit leader you have just hit with mind spike 5e survives it and manages to get away, odds are he is going to run in order to make sure he doesn’t run into your party again. 

Most of the time, if they intent to return, they will bury their treasure and belongings in a secret location. Since even peasants did this, having a secret spot to bury valuables is a pretty logical thing to have for a bandit or pirate.

If he is in a hurry and visits that spot within in the hour, you are in luck, as you can just dig up what ever he has hidden as soon as you know where it is. 

4. Play private detective

Mind spike in 5e DnD is powerful, but at higher levels the damage becomes trivial. So your targets will often easily survive this magical attack if this is the only thing you are throwing at them. 

Just hit the target with the spell once, and hope they brush it off. Know exactly where they go for an hour and figure out their routine. You might find something to blackmail the highest-ranking knight or the arc cleric of the kingdom. 

Make sure you don’t start to murder hobo or just mindlessly using this spell to attack whomever whenever. There are better spells to track your targets down, but this is a pretty decent option when you have only Mind Spike at your disposal. 

Dnd mind spike 5e

Advice and final thoughts

If you are looking for a powerful spell that is fantastic to skirt around immunities your foes might have, then Mind Spike is a great pick for lower-level characters. You can get a lot of interesting utility out of it. Not just is psychic a damage type that not many monsters have resistance against, but the secondary effect is also powerful. 

You can do a lot of interesting stuff knowing exactly where your enemy is. You can figure out his hidden valuables, where the lair of the villain is or find out if there are ways to blackmail an NPC. 

Spell NameMind Spike 5e
CastingReach into the mind of a visible creature within range and make a Wisdom saving throw
Fails Saving ThrowTarget takes 3d8 psychic damage; caster knows target’s location as long as the spell is active on the same plane of existence
Succeeds Saving ThrowTarget takes half of 3d8 psychic damage; caster does not know target’s location when it hides
Pros1. Deals psychic damage that is rare to resist or immune to; 2. Most creatures have low Wisdom stat for the saving throw; 3. Provides knowledge of target’s location
Cons1. There are better spells at the second level; 2. Poor scaling when upcast
Best Uses1. Deals rare type of damage; 2. Effective against melee opponents with low Wisdom stat; 3. Helps track targets for surprise attacks; 4. Useful for finding hidden bases and treasures; 5. Can be used for investigative purposes
Additional Information1. Damage becomes trivial at higher levels; 2. Should be used strategically and not mindlessly; 3. Other spells are better for tracking targets

You might like our guide on Chain Lightning and ensnaring strike too if you are building a new powerful character in DnD 5e.

Mind Spike FAQ

Is Mind Spike a good spell in 5e DnD?

Yes, at the beginning levels mind spike is quite a good spell. Not only do you deal quite a lot of damage using mind spike, it also has a very good secondary effect. Psychic damage is a great damage type in 5e D&D as not many NPCs have resistance against it. At the later levels, the spell is still useful, but the damage is not really up to par anymore. 

Can you upcast Mind Spike 5e?

Yes, you can upcast Mind Spike by putting it in a higher spell slot. For every slot above the second, you can add a 1d8 of psychic damage. The duration does not change if you upcast Mind Spike.

Is Mind Spike a concentration spell?

Yes, mind spike is a concentration spell.  The duration of the spell is one hour or until you break concentration. The fact that it is a concentration spell is quite the downside if you want to track the target for the full duration.