Warding Bond 5e: mechanics, best uses, and player tips

Remember those annoying quests in RPGs where you have to protect an NPC during your journey and make sure he survives the trip? Warding Bond 5e is the spell you always wished you had on those adventures. 

In this guide, we will take a closer look at how Warding Bond works in 5e and how you can make the best use of this level 2 spell. We will also discuss if it is worth picking over other options and why you should (not) pick it. 

Warding bond 5e: mechanics, pros and cons

Level Casting timeRangeComponents
2nd 1 actionTouchV, S, M*
DurationAttack or SaveSchoolEffect
1 hourNoneAberrationBuff

Material needed: a pair of platinum rings worth at least 50 gp each, which you and the target must wear for the duration.


This spell wards a willing creature you touch and creates a mystic connection between you and the target until the spell ends. While the target is within 60 feet of you, it gains a +1 bonus to AC and saving throws and has resistance to all damage. Also, you take the same amount of damage each time it takes damage.

The spell ends if you drop to 0 hit points or if you and the target become separated by more than 60 feet. It also ends if the spell is cast again on either of the connected creatures. You can also dismiss the spell as an action.

5e warding bond


Long duration: The fact that the spell lasts an hour is a massive plus in my book. Often you see buff spells only have a 10-minute (or less) duration, making them not optimal for longer travels. 

Often useful: Warding Bond can be used in almost every combat situation and a good amount of role-playing situations too. While the spell does not deal damage and does not have a battle-changing effect, you can use the spell almost every playing session. 

No concentration: a lot of buffs are concentration spells. This one is not! That means you can use Warding Bond and add another buff onto it that is a concentration spell making your target a whole lot stronger quite easily. 


Needs materials: yeah, I know many people do not see this as a con, but I think this requirement is quite the drawback. The materials needed for Warding Bond 5e are not cheap either. 

Touch: I am not a big fan of the fact that the range of the spell is touch. The fact that the spell works up to 60 feet, but you need to touch the target to start it, is kind of weird. 

Cleric only: unfortunately, only the Cleric class can use the spell. So if you are a wizard or a sorcerer that is focussing on buffing your party, you will need to find another way to get Warding Bond on your character as it is not on the standard list. 

Best uses for Warding Bond 5e

Help your front liners and tanks out

Are your frontliners struggling to keep up with the damage they are taking? Is your tank complaining about running out of HP way too fast? Warding Bond is great to give them the edge by directly boosting their AC for the entire battle without any real drawbacks. 

Even if your tank is already doing great, giving him the buff that Warding Bond provides almost always is a great idea. If your Paladin has 20+ AC already and you add this effect to further buff their AC, they will be near unkillable. 

Help out allies on escort missions

As alluded to in the introduction of this guide, escort missions are a pain. Quite a few DMs have escort missions in their campaigns, or there are pets, allies, and NPCs you want to keep safe in a dangerous zone.

By having access to a spell-like Warding Bond that lasts for up to an hour, you are prepared for an ambush or a surprise fight you did not see coming. You can just cast this spell before you go on your travels and have some peace of mind that the target has a better chance of surviving.

Combine with concentration spells

There are a lot of concentration spells that you can use to apply a buff. As you know, you can not use two concentration spells at the same time in 5e. However, since Warding Bond is not a concentration spell, you can have two good buffs up at the same time. A good option – if you have a life domain cleric – is to combine this spell with another spell that buffs the AC of the target.

My favorite choice is adding Shield of Fate to Warding Bond to make your frontline tank as good as undefeatable. 

warding bond 5e dnd

Final words and thoughts

If you are looking at a spell that will is going to be your go-to buff in every playing session, then Warding Bond is one of the top picks for your second spell slot. Your Cleric does not need to use concentration, the spell lasts up to an hour, and the range is okay. While you do need platinum rings and touch the target, it is well worth it.

Make sure you combine the Warding Bond spell with other interesting buffs like Shield of Fate to keep your party members safe during a difficult battle. In my opinion, picking this one is well worth it! 

Warding Bond FAQ

Can you cast a warding bond on yourself?

If you read the rules, it is not possible to target yourself with Warding Bond. The caster can not target himself as he needs a willing target to form a bond with. Some DMs do allow you to cast it on yourself, but in my opinion, this goes against both the letter and the spirit of the spell rules. 

Is Warding Bond a good spell in 5e?

If you have a cleric that hangs back and is focused on supporting the party, then Warding Bond is a great spell. You will be able to use it in almost every combat situation, and due to the long duration, it is a set-and-forget action that you can use long before the fight begins. 

Are the rings spent when using Warding Bond?

No, the rings are not spent when you use Warding Bond. The only thing that is required is that you keep wearing them. The spell will end when you take them off or when they are destroyed. However, when using the spell, the rings won’t be consumed. 

Is warding bond 5e a concentration spell? 

No, Warding Bond 5e does not require concentration.