Is your mouth bound or you can no longer speak? Then spells without verbal components in 5e might be just what you need. In this list, I am going to give a brief overview of spells that do not require you to speak or make noise.
These will be subjectively ranked by yours truly, and I will give some extra info and a short summary, so you can quickly pick the right spell for your situation.
For some of these spells in DnD 5e I have written in-depth guides that will tell you all you need to know about the magic both as a DM and a player. Here is where you can find the guides I have written so far about Dungeons and Dragons and the magic, creatures and gameplay of the game!
What components are there for spells?
If you are a complete DnD noobie, and you want to know more about components needed to cast magic, here is what you need to know.
There are three components that you are going to take into account when casting your spells. 1. The somatic (S) 2. The Verbal (V) and 3. The material (M) component. This is what they are and why it is important to understand these when you are picking a spell you want to add to your arsenal!
The somatic component
The somatic component is abbreviated as an (S). This is a fancy word for movements. A movement refers to hand movements. You need to be able to move your hands free and do a couple of magical hand signs and your PC has to be able to point at the target. So if a wizard or cleric has his hands bound, or is stuck in a very tight space, he or she won’t be able to cast the spell. A great example of a spell that only uses somatic components, and no verbal or material, is Beast Sense.
There is a ton of magic that requires movements to cast them, so making sure a wizard can not move is a great way to make them much less effective.
The material component
The abbreviation for the material component is (m). As you might of guessed, you will need to have an item to make this spell work. What item you need to use depends on the magic you are going to cast.
These materials are often linked to the effect of magic. For example, if you cast Incite Greed you are going to need a gem to make it work. Another good example is the spell Catnap. To use this one, you will need to have a pinch of sand.
If you do not have the material, you are not going to be able to cast that magic. If you are interested in spells that do not need a material component, check out my guide on exactly that!
The verbal component
This is what this guide is all about spells without verbal components. In other words, avoiding magic that uses a verbal component! This component is also indicated with a (V). You can cast a spell that requires this component if you are gagged, silenced and are not able to produce an audible and clear noise.
So murmuring or whispering won’t count. A good example of the magic that requires this component is Power Word Kill and Cloudkill. If you do not want to use this component, well you are at the perfect place to learn how to avoid speaking in DnD campaigns.
Of course, these are not all the requirements you need to cast magic in Dungeons and Dragons. You need to have the appropriate class, a spell slot or Cantrip slot open and the level to use it. I am not going to discuss this in this guide.
All the spells that do not use a verbal component in 5e
This is a great cantrip to have. Since it is a cantrip you can use it right away if you are in the right class for it. It is a somatic only spell, which means you do not need a verbal and material component to use it. There are a couple of classes that can use this spell: The Sorcerer, wizard and the druid.
Another cantrip that is somatic only is the primal Savagery starter spell. The only thing you need to be able to do is be able to move. The big drawback of this cantrip is that only one class can use it: the druid. If you are a druid, it is a cantrip that is definitely worth considering.
Yes, another cantrip on this list! You are getting the pattern, I suppose. All of these spells are pretty weak and are intended for beginners. Since they are all cantrips, the good thing is you do not need to sacrifice a spell slot. To use Shape water you only need a somatic component, and you need to be a Druid, Sorcerer or Wizard.
Another cantrip for you won’t need the verbal component is Friends. You do need a somatic and material component to cast it. There are a ton of classes that are able to use this cantrip. If you are a Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock or Wizard you can pick this spell. I am not a fan of this spell, and I don’t think it is very strong.
No surprises here, but Control Flames is also a cantrip in 5e DnD. This is a bit more useful than Friends in a campaign, in my opinion. This is mainly due to the fact that the only components required is being able to move, in other words, the somatic (S) component. The classes that are able to pick this cantrip are Druids, sorcerers and the wizard!
Thunderclap is another Cantrip that is Somatic only and thus does not require a verbal component in DnD. It is a pretty useful spell if you know how to use it. Almost every single ‘magical’ class is able to use Thunderclap in 5th edition DnD. So whether you are a Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard or Druid, you will have access to this spell right away!
This is one of my favorite cantrips in Dungeons and Dragons. It is one of those spells that is extremely powerful if you know how to be creative and find ways to use it to its true potential. There are four classes that have access to it as a cantrip: The Bard, Sorcerer Warlock and the Wizard.
The final cantrip on this list is True Strike. This is a Somatic only spell that does not require you to be able to have a material or speak. The spell is pretty fun to use in a lot of situations, and has great utility. There are four classes that have access to True Strike at the beginning of the game: Bard, Wizard, Warlock and the Sorcerer.
The first non-cantrip is the level 1 spell Absorb Elements. This is a somatic only spell and thus does not need noise or a material. That is always useful, the less you need the better in this game! The classes that have access to this spell are the Wizard, Druid and the Ranger. It is one of the most popular spells without verbal components judging from what my players pick as their first spell.
This is a pretty niche 1st level spell. It needs a somatic (S) component and a material (M) to work. The material you need is gold. You can not use focus to cast it. I am not really a fan of this spell, since it is so niche.
So knowing this blog, I will probably write a 3000-word guide on it. The classes that have access to this spell are the Bard, Warlock and the Wizard.
Ice knife is another 1st level spell that is pretty cool to use. You need to have a somatic and a material component. The spell can be used by three classes: The Druid, the Sorcerer and of course, the Wizard.
Ps: If you like ice-related settings, magic and monsters, check out my Ice Elemental guide!
Catapult is another Somatic only spell. You can use this magic at the first level. It has a couple of interesting niche uses, but I am not sure if it is worth a spell slot. There are only two classes that are able to use Catapult in 5e DnD: The Wizard and the Sorcerer.
Here is another niche spell that is amongst the UA starter spells. Puppet requires a level one slot. Those are pretty valuable in DnD so think hard before picking this one. It only needs (S) – or you being able to move and point – to use. The Bard, Wizard and Warlock can use the Puppet spell.
This is a spell that only two classes can use: The Druid and the Ranger. These are two classes linked to nature so no surprise there. You only need to have the somatic component for Beast sense, so that is quite a big plus. This is a level 2 spell.
This one of the classic D&D spells. It is also one of my favorite cards in Magic the Gathering. You need a level 3 slot for this one. Unlike what most people think, you do not need a verbal component for this spell, just a somatic! The Sorcerer, Warlock and the Wizard are the classes you can use.
Hyponotic Pattern is also level 3 spell without verbal components. So you will need a level 3 slot or higher open for this one. You need to use a (S) and (M) component to use it. Surprisingly, four classes have access to Hypnotic Pattern. The Bard, Warlock Sorcerer and the Bard.
Mislead is a pretty underused spell that you don’t see a lot in D&D campaigns. If you are creative, it is a nice addition to your arsenal of non-damaging magic. You will need to have a level 5 spell slot for this. Your player character needs to be a Bard and Wizard class.
Finally, we have Demiplane! This is a 8th level spell without verbal components that has a lot of cool uses. Unfortunately, it is locked behind quite some levels. Demiplane is the highest level magic that you can use without needing to have a verbal component (V). The only two classes with access to Demiplane is Warlock and Wizard.
Here is a useful overview table for all the spells that do not require a verbal component in 5e. All credit goes to Shiningmidnight on Reddit for this image! The table does not include spells without verbal components that are Homebrew!
My top 3 spells without verbal components in D&D 5e
Those aren’t a lot of spells! However, it is still hard to pick the best ones if you are new to the game or aren’t aware of how to optimize your character. Here is my personal top 3. I would suggest you pick at least one spell that does not use a verbal component if you are making a wizard, warlock, sorcerer druid, or bard. This can get you out of a massive amount of trouble if you are no longer able to make an audible noise or if you try to be extra sneaky!
If you are a wizard, this is definitely one of the best spells to use that don’t require you to speak. Counterspell is a classic. It is strong, versatile and there are tonnes of uses for it. I haven’t had a single campaign where Counterspell would not have been useful. By far my favorite spell of them all and a must-have to have in the arsenal of your adventuring party.
2. Mold Earth
Mold Earth is my favorite cantrip on this list of spells without verbal components. I do think that Minor Illusion is a bit better in general, but I have so much more fun with Mold Earth that I had to pick this one. The cantrip is also a bit underused in my opinion. As said, you only need a somatic component, and no material or verbal one. That means it can come in handy in a massive amount of situations.
3. Minor illusion
Another cantrip that I really love, but is much more popular than Mold Earth is Minor Illusion. This is one of these cantrips that really tests your creativity. You do need two components, (S) and (M) which adds a bit of a difficulty if you aren’t good at inventory management. There are four classes that can use it, so you will see Minor Illusion being used quite a lot in 5th edition DnD.
Final thoughts about wizards who can’t talk
The main takeaway from this article about spells without verbal components, for both players and Dungeon Masters, is that making a magic caster incapacitated and unable to speak is by far the easiest way to deal with them in a lot of scenarios. The only real way to counter is if they have access to the subtle Spell or have picked some very good spells that they can use without needing a verbal component!
If you are looking for another interesting gameplay guide, check out my in-depth article on how to heal undead in 5e! This will definitely come in handy if you are a Dungeon master who has an evil necromancer or lich as a villain!