Bane is a sufficient early-game 1st-level supportive spell. It falls under the Bard and Cleric spell lists and many other subclasses.
Bane is an example of a low-level spell having the potential to negate affected enemies’ actions and rolls completely.
The Player’s Handbook description is as follows:
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (a single drop of blood)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
Up to three targets you chose that are visible to you and within the spell’s range must make Charisma saving rolls.
If the target fails Bane’s saving roll and makes an attack roll or a saving roll before the spell has ended, all targets chosen must roll a d4, subtracting the number rolled from the attack roll or saving roll made.
At Higher Levels: Whenever Bane is cast using a slot of the 2nd level or higher, players can target one additional creature for each spell slot level above the 1st.
Classes That Can Pick Bane
Traditional classes, Bard and Cleric, can choose Bane since it’s in their free selection of spells.
Additionally, subclasses cannot freely obtain Bane. They must either have their existing spell lists adjusted, unlock it via leveling up or be able to choose spells from different classes.
Is Bane Good in 5e?
As a 1st-level spell, yes, Bane provides some good effects which scale well with AC. The higher your party’s AC, the better Bane will feel all around the board, especially against lower-level creatures.
Advantages of Bane
Bane is a 1st-level spell, meaning all full casters can cast it at level 1. This creates a large availability to newer players or players accustomed to a buffing playstyle (Clerics, Druids, and Bards are great buffers).
Not only that, but since players can cast it with higher-level spell slots, the number of creatures it can target changes.
Unlike many other spells that require twinning to affect multiple enemies, Bane has this mechanic incorporated into it.
This allows players from an early stage to start debuffing not 1 create but up to 3 creatures attacking their party.
In the early game, affecting multiple creatures is a lavish luxury most cannot afford. However, if your party looks like it will fit well with Bane, then using it can make any fight ten times easier.
Having a high AC in D&D affects how high the numbers must be for an enemy’s role to hit you (having a higher AC gives players more “defense”).
Therefore, if a party has a lot of melee fighters or classes with high AC potential (Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, and Warlock), Bane will perform even better.
Disadvantages of Bane
Spells using Concentration have the potential to be canceled more often than regular spells.
The worst drawback is that less than half of all spells will now be unavailable to you.
Less than half of the spells in D&D use Concentration, so unless you wish to cancel your current spell (losing any materials used), I suggest you cast it with good reason.
When comparing the components used to cast Bane and what produces the caster, players might hesitate to use this spell in every encounter (which will be less effective in squishy parties).
In the early game, gathering materials could become quite daunting. Luckily gathering a drop of blood is quite simple, just hope the DM doesn’t ask you to roll for it while in a fight.
Since Bane is a Concentration spell, players should avoid casting it too close to hostile creatures for fear of them being damaged or debuffed.
Not only does this counteract the spell, but it makes it extremely difficult for the player to make decisions effectively regarding the casting of Bane.
When To Use Bane
When reading Bane’s description for the first time, many new players might get confused about what it accomplishes. The answer is debuffing.
It has no complex mechanics and only relies on the player casting the spell and which spell slot they use (just remember it works better with a higher AC).
The Beginning of Combat
Most combats won’t last 10 rounds or one minute. They’ll mainly consist of lower rounds that seem to last forever.
However, as those rounds go on, you will want to have enemies affected by Bane, decreasing their hit rates.
Players shouldn’t look to cast Bane at the right moment. They should try and keep Bane up for the whole duration of a battle, as this will have the highest overall effectiveness.
Don’t simply wait for an opportunity to arise.
Are There Better Spells Available?
Unlike other spells, Bane doesn’t have much complexity to it. Players use it because there isn’t a better option at that moment, or they had lousy judgment when choosing their spells.
These spells function similarly to Bane yet are more useful in various aspects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Bane Be Twinned?
Since Bane can already target up to 3 targets (even though it doesn’t have a range of self), it doesn’t meet the requirements to be twinned.
Does Bane Negate a Crit 5e?
Similar to Bless not being able to turn an attack into a crit, Bane cannot undo a crit or negate a crit from happening.
The d4 rolled is simply the modifier to the base roll; the 20 used by the base roll determines the crit.
Does Bane Stack?
Spells providing bonuses or penalties on attack rolls do not stack with themselves, and since Bane falls under that category, it cannot stack.
Bane seems rather wordy or complex when it isn’t given much thought. However, the more a player learns about D&D, the more they learn that spells which affect or work with AC are incredibly powerful.
Be sure to take advantage of this; many enemies won’t see this coming and will wonder why their attacks aren’t hurting your frontline.
Then, you can stare and smile while your raging Barbarian reduces their numbers!