Creative and smart uses of cantrips: Mold Earth 5e DnD

One of those cantrips that always reminds me of vintage fantasy games is Mold Earth. Not only Avatar and earth wizards can get plenty of use out of this cantrip, but your character will certainly do too.

In this blog, we are taking a closer look at some creative and great uses of Mold Earth in DnD. We found these uses by asking our community how they use the spell, checked our notes from previous campaigns, and put our years of DMing experience to work. We are sure you will find some applications useful for your campaign!

What is Mold Earth 5e

When you cast the cantrip on earth, you can:

  1. Instantly excavate loose earth
  2. Move the earth
  3. Deposit it up to 5 feet away. 

You can also make shapes and colors appear on dirt or stone for up to an hour. Additionally, you can change normal terrain into difficult terrain by targeting dirt or stone on the ground. This effect lasts for an hour before reverting to its original state.

P.S. For a comprehensive write-up on this cantrip, we have written the ultimate Mold Earth 5e guide for all you dirt-obsessed wizards out there.

uses mold earth 5e

Some great Mold Earth uses in dnd

1. Make trenches

One of the best uses of Mold Earth in 5e is making defensive trenches. These trenches are great for placing around your camp or a fort, as they provide natural defense against melee-based enemies and slow them down considerably. You can also use the trench to protect yourself more effectively from thrown weapon attacks.

Trenches are pretty useful for irrigation and moats too, so you might be able to make a bit of gold offering your excavation services!

2. Make traps

I love a good trap, but making them takes quite a while, just ask Jessie and James. However, thanks to Mold Earth, making a trap hole or a pit is almost effortless. Just cover the pit with branches, leaves, and a thin layer of dirt, and tada, you have your fully functional trap.

If you want to make the trap more dangerous, just put some simple weapons in there and you will be dealing quite a bit of damage to your foes or prey.

3. More effective farming

Another very interesting way to make this cantrip work for you is by utilizing it for farming. Farming is essential in a society like that of DnD. Increasing crops or taking away some of the hardest labor is bound to be worth something.

You can offer your Mold Earth cantrip services for a bit of gold. Simply make trenches to improve irrigation or change the field to be more suitable for growing crops, and you will be handsomely rewarded.

4. Help in a siege

Is a lord trying to conquer a small village or town? Both offensively and defensively, you can aid quite a bit by using Mold Earth.

You can create a ramp to give ballistae and catapults a better spot to fire from, you can use the soil to create cover, you can raise the earth to scale walls, and so on. You can also dig and make a tunnel to infiltrate a town underground.

If you are defending, you can make multiple trenches to slow down attackers. Bonus points if you fill them with murky water and spears to deal damage to overconfident assailants.

mold earth top uses in dnd

5. Conceal stuff or yourself

Are there no good hiding spots? Well, just use Mold Earth and you can cover your items – or even yourself – in the dirt. You can hide pretty large items in a very short amount of time. In just a few seconds, you can cover up weapons and shields with barely any time lost.

Now, there is a small disadvantage here. It is pretty obvious that the earth was disturbed. So the first place to look for whatever they are searching for will be the weird-looking soil. You can use a cantrip like Druidcraft to grow plants over the soil.

6. Mine more effectively

If you are looking for ore, then this cantrip might save you a good amount of time. While it won’t refine what you find, it does help you cut down a ton of manual labor. It is possible to help make tunnels and shafts much easier than with a pickax. You might even be able to offer your mining services if you are in need of some quick coin.

Do keep in mind that you will need support structures for your tunnels. If you do not have these, the tunnels you make could collapse.

7. Create quick emergency shelter

Shelter is pretty important. Not just for you, but even more so if you have animal companions you want to keep healthy. A creative use for Mold Earth would be to make 5 feet high walls on a raised platform. This design protects you against the elements, and you won’t be sleeping in the mud.

8. Change the terrain

If you have a bit of time and your enemies are mainly melee-based, then I strongly recommend you change the terrain to decrease their movement speed. That way you can deal with some pretty significant chip damage before the enemy reaches you.

If you want to make sure you have a good chance to escape stronger enemies, you can make the terrain behind your normal terrain, so you can quickly leave the battle when things get too tough.

9. Excavating ruins

If you are planning to explore a large ruin or tomb, then Mold Earth might come in quite handy. When you cast this spell, you can clear rubble quickly and get rid of dust and plants with little effort.

If you use the Mold Earth cantrip from a distance, you might be able to trigger traps without getting hit by them.

Some other interesting uses

  • Making a secret lair is pretty easy if you have this spell. In a day or so, you can excavate the side of a hill. Is your village under attack and are there cracks or holes in a wall? Fill them with this cantrip.
  • Create a platform to stand on if you want to give a speech. Create a trench for water or lava and become a hero during an eruption or a flood. Quickly bury evidence from a crime, like blood, by covering it with dirt.
  • Build a dam and redirect a creek or river to flood a plain. Cover your tracks in a second and make it harder to track you down. You can also use the cantrip for artistic expression, as you can make temporary earthworks and writings in the dirt.

Final thoughts

Here we´ve just discussed several great uses for Mold Earth in 5e D&D. While you won’t be able to use the spell for every single encounter, there are a ton of options both inside and outside of combat that make it more than worth considering.

If you have an elemental wizard build, then you absolutely need to pick this cantrip. While you aren’t going to deal massive amounts of damage directly, there is a lot of utility that creative players are sure to enjoy.