The Wall Spells all have their own capabilities and abilities in regards to what they can defend from, how long they last, and most importantly, what they are made out of when the spell is cast.
This spell, the Wall of Ice spell, is pretty obvious in what it is made out of, but just how good of a Wall spell is it? We will discuss it in this article, so be sure to continue reading and enjoy.
Tip: we also have a guide on Wall of water!
What is wall of ice 5e: mechanics and requirements
- Casting time: 1 Action (6 Seconds)
- Level: 6th Level
- Range/Area: 120 Ft
- Target: A point within range
- Components: Vocal, Somatic, and a small piece of quartz
- Duration: 10 Minutes
- Classes: Wizard
You create a wall of ice on a solid surface within range. You can form it into a hemispherical dome or a Sphere with radius of up to 10 feet, or you can shape a flat surface made up of ten 10-foot-square panels. Each panel must be contiguous with another panel. In any form, the wall is 1 foot thick and lasts for the Duration.
If the wall cuts through a creature’s space when it appears, the creature within its area is pushed to one side of the wall and must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 10d6 cold damage, or half as much damage on a successful save.
The wall is an object that can be damaged and thus breached. It has AC 12 and 30 Hit Points per 10-foot section, and it is vulnerable to fire damage. Reducing a 10-foot section of wall to 0 Hit Points destroys it and leaves behind a sheet of frigid air in the space the wall occupied.
A creature moving through the sheet of frigid air for the first time on a turn must make a Constitution saving throw. The creature takes 5d6 cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 7th level or higher, the damage the wall deals when it appears increases by 2d6, and the damage from passing through the sheet of frigid air increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 6th.Official Dungeons and Dragons Player handbook
Advantages and drawbacks
- The Wall can damage beings as it is formed
When the wall is formed, any creature that is caught in the middle of the wall upon formation is pushed to one side of the other and thus takes Cold Damage after having to pass a Dexterity saving throw.
This makes the wall capable of attacking groups of enemies that line up on the wall, so long as they are within the 10 x 10 x 1-foot wall’s path when it is created. Like all the other Wall Spells, this gives the Wall of Ice a combat capability past being defensive in nature.
- The Wall does additional damage to anything attempting to go through it once it’s gone.
Even after the Wall of Ice is destroyed, the frigid air left behind can still damage anything that attempts to go through that area before the air dissipates.
If they do try going through the cold air, then they have to make a Dex save like the creatures who could have been caught in the path of the wall’s formation would have had to do if any were indeed caught.
After that, they take a lesser amount of Cold Damage in comparison to the formation’s damage when appearing, but it can still prevent creatures from powering through the wall should they fail the Dex save.
- The Wall of Ice can be upcasted to do more damage
Using a 7th Spell Slot or higher, the Wall can do more damage to any enemy caught in the path of its formation by an additional 2 dice, and an additional die of damage when a creature attempts to go through the wall after it is destroyed. With this, the Wall has a far greater combat capability in comparison to a weaker wall spell that is half the level in terms of spell slots, the 3rd Level Wind Wall spell.
- The material needed to form the Wall of Ice is at a decent price
The physical material needed to be able to cast the spell, a small piece of Quartz, can be a somewhat common item to come across in jewelry stores and general stores, selling at 50 Gold Pieces for every Gemstone.
The gemstone itself can be found rather easily, thus making the material quite decently able to be found, depending on whether either one of the listed stores has the gemstone, which is up to the Dungeon Master’s decision and discretion.
- The wall requires Concentration to be formed.
The wall, which has shown itself to be quite useful so far in this article, is not an instantaneous creation that requires constant focus.
The caster must concentrate for 10 minutes on the spell, meaning that they must keep focusing on the wall for it to remain up.
If they lose their concentration, then the wall is instantly destroyed, though the frigid air that comes from the wall’s destruction remains for the duration or not is up to the DM as to whether it remains in place until the 10-minute duration is over or it dissipates with the wall.
- The wall is susceptible to fire damage
As one would come to expect when making a wall made of Ice, the wall is susceptible to fire damage, meaning that a creature with a fire-based weapon or a fire elemental could deal more damage to it and destroy the wall quicker than other creatures could.
Although this is indeed expected with something made of ice, it does limit the amount of time the wall would remain up if there is a creature that can cast Fire-Based spells, use fire weapons, or is a Fire Elemental and make the time spent getting the wall formed to seem like a waste of time.
- Only Wizards are capable of casting this spell
For a reason that only the people at Wizards of the Coast would be able to really know, the spell can only be cast by Wizards. This limits the number of people that can actually cast Wall of Ice and take advantage of what it is capable of, and thus forces people who want to be able to take this spell to become a Wizard to be able to do so.
Best uses for Wall of Ice 5e
To trap a single enemy in the wall.
When it is being formed, the Wall can take the shape of a Dome or a Sphere, so long as the radius remains 10 feet. This means that if the party is wanting to interrogate a single surviving enemy that is attempting to flee.
The wall just so happens to be finished being formed, then the caster can have the Ice Wall encase the NPC and thus giving them the chance to be able to come up and question the NPC in whatever way they wish to do so.
As a defensive formation to stop or hinder enemy movement
As one would expect a wall to be used for in this circumstance, the Caster can use the wall to either block a doorway completely.
Another option is to form an artificial chokepoint for party members with ranged attacks to be able to aim down and attack approaching enemies. Or to even have a party member focused in melee combat (Such as a Barbarian or a Fighter) be able to hold the enemies off while the rest of the party gets themselves ready for combat.
They can, of course, break down the wall eventually, but a round or two of combat going by without the enemy force being able to really attack the party and instead having the deal with this Ice Wall could make quite the difference.
Especially if any of them get caught by the damage from the wall’s formation, or they barrel through the Frigid Air left behind after the wall’s destruction and take the lesser cold damage from that.
Advice and final thoughts
The Wall of Ice Spell, while not the best wall that can be used for defending against a large group of enemies like the Wall of Force can, or from projectiles like the Wind Wall spell is able to, this wall is able to suffice in what its main purpose is; Defense.
The ability to upcast the wall to do more damage upon formation and eventual destruction is also very useful, even if the caster doesn’t time the formation just right to be able to catch any enemies in the wall’s area when it comes up.
Overall, Wall of Ice is a good pick if someone wants to use a Wall Spell capable of defense while having slightly higher combat and damage capability than some of the other walls can do.
Wall of Ice Spell FAQ
If a caster started one end of the wall at the maximum range of the spell (120 ft), would the wall be able to extend past it?
This is definitely up to Dungeon Master’s interpretation, as with the way it is written, it seems that the entire wall would have to be within the range of the spell to be able to be properly formed. So, although this is an answer that can change from DM to DM, I will say that it cannot extend past the maximum range.
How long does the frigid air actually remain in the area where the Ice Wall was for?
The answer to this question mostly depends on when the wall is destroyed during the spell’s duration. If the Wall is destroyed 5 minutes into the duration, but concentration has not been lost, then the remaining 5 minutes of the duration would be spent keeping the Frigid Air in the place where the wall was previously.