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Top 15 Best Transmutation Spells in D&D 5e [Ranked]

Top 15 Best Transmutation Spells in D&D 5e [Ranked]

The School of Transmutation is well known for its powerful ability to shape the ground beneath our feet.

Whether you’re falling from the sky, stuck behind a stone wall, in need of flight, or wanting to change physical form, Transmutation has it all.

You’ll be surprised that when you can access Transmutation, not even the physical realm will be able to keep you from your ambitions!

Best Transmutation Spells 5e

15. Thaumaturgy (Cantrip)

Thaumaturgy 5e D&d

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 30 feet

Components: V

Duration: Up to 1 minute

Kicking off the spells, we have Thaumaturgy, which gives players a vast array of supernatural power to choose from.

When cast, you choose between 6 different magical effects, some more useful than the others.

Each effect lasts around 1 minute, but recasting the spell lets you have up to 3 of these 1-minute effects active at one time.

14. Shape Water (Cantrip)

Shape Water 5e D&d

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 30 feet

Components: S

Duration: Instantaneous or 1 hour

If you’ve ever watched Avatar, you’ll understand Shape Water to be exceedingly close to water bending, just on a smaller scale.

If cast, you can choose from 4 different water manipulations, not exceeding a 5-foot cube. Some merely change the color, while others move water or even change its state.

You’ll be able to have no more than 2 of these effects active at the same time.

13. Feather Fall (1st-level)

Casting Time: 1 reaction, you take when you or a creature within 60 feet falls)

Range: 60 feet

Components: V, M (a piece of down or small feather)

Duration: 1 minute

Dying from fall damage is unnecessary and very embarrassing, so have at least one of your companions unlock it.

You can choose up to 5 falling creatures and slow their descent to 60 feet every round. Creatures can land on your feet while the duration is up, taking no fall damage.

Note: Even though it seems unnecessary, there’s nothing worse than accidentally dying because you misstepped.

12. Spider Climb (2nd-level)

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Touch

Components: V, S, M (one drop of bitumen and a spider)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

Flying is great, but sometimes it’s too risky to fly in enclosed areas, and that’s where Spider Climb comes in.

Touching a creature gives it the ability to move up, down, and across most vertical surfaces. It can even move on ceilings.

Note: While active, you’ll gain a climbing speed equal to your walking speed.

11. Prestidigitation (Cantrip)

Prestidigitation 5e D&d

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 10 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Up to 1 hour

Prestidigitation is very similar to Thaumaturgy, but its features are more useful than those of Thaumaturgy.

When cast, you can choose from 6 magical effects, some cleaning soil while others can even light campfires.

Note: Casting this spell multiple times allows you to have up to 3 magical effects active at once.

10. Goodberry (1st-level)

Goodberry 5e D&d

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Touch

Components: V, S, M (one sprig of mistletoe)

Duration: Instantaneous

If you’re ever in the wild or in need of some extra HP, you’ll wish you had a Goodberry.

Casting the spell puts up to 10 berries in your hand, infused with magic. Using an action allows you to eat one berry, restoring 1 HP and leaving you with enough nourishment to last 24 hours.

Note: The berries will lose potency within 24 hours, so make sure you use them to their fullest before the time runs out.

9. Stone Shape (4th-level)

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Touch

Components: V, S, M (soft clay, worked roughly into the desired shape of the stone object)

Duration: Instantaneous

Stone Shape is one of my favorite spells because it allows you to cause an insane amount of mischief with a simple spell.

Touching stone of Medium size, no more than 5 feet in any dimension, forming it into any shape you want. You can create a weapon, an idol, or even a passageway.

Note: Given enough time, you can collapse a massive castle due to the many tunnels you’ve dug through its walls.

8. Swift Quiver (5th-level)

Casting Time: 1 bonus action

Range: Touch

Components: V, S, M (a single quiver containing at least one piece of ammunition)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

Swift Quiver is unique to the Ranger, and is one of if not its strongest spell.

Touching your quiver transmutes it, giving you an endless nonmagical arrow supply. Using a bonus action lets you make two weapon attacks using the quiver’s ammunition.

Using Swift Quiver will give you enough firepower to turn your enemies into living pincushions.

7. Gaseous Form (3rd-level)

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Touch

Components: V, S, M (a wisp of smoke and a bit of gauze)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

Gaseous Form is one of the easiest ways to fly, even though you’ll periodically lose your body.

Touching a willing creature turns them and everything they’re wearing or carrying into a mist cloud. Their movement turns into a flying speed of 10 feet; it also gains the ability to move freely through various small spaces.

Even though Gaseous Form isn’t very sustainable, it’s a good alternative to more costly flying spells.

6. Enhance Ability (2nd-level)

Enhance Ability 5e D&d

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Touch

Components: V, S, M (a feather or fur from a beast)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

Not all characters are built equally; all have their weaknesses and strengths regarding attributes, but with Enhance Ability, you can make up for that.

Touching a creature imbues them with one of 6 effects for the duration. Each effect has perks, giving advantage on ability checks or even doubling a character’s carrying capacity.

As a supportive player, upcasting this spell can be extremely powerful, allowing you to target an additional creature.

5. Reincarnate (5th-level)

Reincarnate 5e D&d

Casting Time: 1 hour

Range: Touch

Components: V, S, M (unguents and rare oils that are worth at least 1,000 GP, which the spell will consume)

Duration: Instantaneous

With so many resurrection spells in D&D, choosing one is difficult, but I assure you Reincarnate is definitely on my list for the top.

Touching merely a piece of a dead humanoid, if it hasn’t been dead for longer than 10 days, the spell creates a new, fully grown body for the target and calls its soul closer.

Note: The body will most likely not be the same race, and there is a large table showing all the possible races that can be chosen by the DM or rolled for with a d100.

An incredible perk of Reincarnate is that it can resurrect creatures from a lonesome hair, something no other spells before its level can do.

4. Investiture of Wind (6th-level)

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Self

Components: V, S

Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

Flight is sought after in D&D, and for a good reason; who wouldn’t want to soar high into an endless sky?

You cast the spell on yourself, gaining three benefits, including flight. Ranged weapon attacks will also be made with disadvantage against you, and you can perform a 15-foot cube swirling wind attack.

Flight is already a massive advantage, but having other benefits just makes the spell even better.

3. Mass Polymorph (9th-level)

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 120 feet

Components: V, S, M (one caterpillar cocoon)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

Why polymorph one target when you can Mass Polymorph a whole group?

Casting the spell transforms up to 10 creatures. Creatures that are unwilling must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw to resist transformation, and the shapechanger will automatically have success on the save.

2. True Polymorph (9th-level)

True Polymorph 5e D&d

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 30 feet

Components: V, S, M (a wisp of smoke, a drop of mercury, and a dollop of gum arabic)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

If you wish to transform a single creature, True Polymorph is the spell for you.

Choosing one creature or nonmagical object allows you to transform it into a different creature or nonmagical object.

Note: Shapechangers cannot be affected by True Polymorph.

1. Shapechange (9th-level)

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Self

Components: V, S, M (one jade circlet worth at least 1,500 GP, placed on your head before casting)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

Changing the shape of a creature is very similar to polymorphing, yet it has more benefits as shapechanging is mainly used to benefit the caster.

You cast the spell on yourself and change into a different creature with a challenge rating equal to or lower than your level. You’ll then gain the statistics of the chosen creature.

For most, having the dream of becoming a vampire or werewolf can be made a reality by shapechanging their character into one!

Final Thoughts

While the School of Transmutation isn’t all too interesting, it holds incredible power that can be used in many ways.

Transmutation is probably one of the few schools seen as doing too much. It gives players so much freedom that it’s basically the embodiment of D&D in the form of magic.

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