Healing Word is a 1st-level spell belonging to the Bard, Cleric, and Druid spell lists.
Healing Word is a low-level health rejuvenation spell able to heal damage from most early-game creatures effectively.
The Player’s Handbook specifics are as follows:
Healing Word 5e
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: 60 feet
Choose a target that can be seen and is within range. The target will regain hit points equal to 1d4 + the spellcasting ability modifier of the caster.
Note: Healing Word does not affect undead creatures or constructs.
At Higher Levels: Casting Healing Word while using a spell slot of the 2nd level or higher increases the healing by 1d4 for each slot level above the 1st.
Classes Able To Use Healing Word
Traditionally, Bards, Clerics, and Druids can use Healing Word.
Subclasses like the Eldritch Knight (Fighter) can learn spells like Healing Word when reaching their 8th level.
Is Healing Word Good?
Healing Word is a spell almost any supportive healing character needs in Dungeons and Dragons.
However, its actual usefulness doesn’t come from its healing but from its casting time.
Advantages of Healing Word
Healing Word Uses a Bonus Action
Bonus actions in D&D can happen before or after a standard attack action. Therefore a player can always attack with a spell, then use Healing Word.
Whether it’s cast on themselves or a party member doesn’t matter.
Note: Just be aware that players may not use a bonus action to cast another spell if any other spell besides a cantrip has already been cast.
So if you intend to make a character focused on bonus actions, ensure you have some excellent damaging Cantrips.
Healing Word is a level-one spell spellcasters can cast at the very start of a campaign. It also boasts some fantastic healing (1d4, some characters might have an HP of 6) for a spell available so early on.
When spells contain minimum components to be cast, it helps the caster know precisely when and where they can cast the spell. This knowledge allows the party to understand which conditions they must avoid.
Note: To keep being able to use Healing Word, players must avoid these conditions: Incapacitated, Paralyzed, Petrified, Stunned (depending on your DM), and Unconscious.
When leveling up in D&D, spellcasters unlock spell slots, increasing their effectiveness if put into those slots.
Healing Word is a spell that has increased healing (+1d4) for each slot level above the 1st.
The thing about Healing Word is that its healing also scales with the spellcaster’s ‘spellcasting ability modifier’.
So keep in mind what your class scales with to increase the healing.
Spellcasting ability modifier: Bards scale with Charisma, while Clerics and Druids scale with Wisdom.
Healing Word isn’t a damaging spell; however, it is still highly overpowered due to its bonus action casting time.
Therefore, considering its 60-foot range, most, if not all, of a party’s adventurers will be able to receive healing while in a battle.
Note: If the healer has long-range spells like Firebolt, they can heal players while damaging enemies.
Drawbacks of Healing Word
Weaker Early Game
Healing Word is one of those spells that is overpowered in the early game and even more overpowered in the late game.
However, to bring balance to the game, its effectiveness is brought down in earlier levels to bring balance to the game.
Players can describe Healing Word as’ weaker’ in the early game thanks to low stats (affecting spellcasting modifiers) and its lower base heal.
Newer players missing some crucial aspects could overlook spells like Healing Word.
Whether they don’t know too much about twinning, spellcasting modifiers, or spell slot scaling, as long as they are open to learning, they can stop making those mistakes rather quickly.
Note: D&D is a huge game, so not knowing many aspects of the game is typical for beginners.
Optimizing Healing Word
Optimizing spells similar to Healing Word will increase its effectiveness and broaden players’ minds regarding other spells they can also optimize.
Incorporate the Bonus Action
Each turn, a player gets four actions: one Action, one Bonus Action, one Reaction, and the move action. If a spell, item, or ability says that it requires a bonus action to be cast, then cast it!
The more damage a single player deals in their turn, the easier it will be for the entire party.
Missing an action or not taking it can turn out especially bad in the late game, where messing up might instantly kill a party member.
Actions should be linked to a player’s muscle memory, as it will help them a ton when faced with more difficult circumstances.
Twinning Healing Word
Healing Word can indeed be twinned, which is crazy when thinking about how good the spell is already.
Twinning Healing Word would make it so that the healer can heal two party members simultaneously while casting one spell.
Therefore, if used with a high spellcasting ability modifier and a high spell slot, half of your party might be healed for insane amounts.
Scale Healing Word
One of the essential optimizations players can make with Healing Word is its scaling.
If players wish to optimize the scaling, they must first look at what their spellcasting ability modifier scales with and when they unlock certain level spell slots.
If the player aims to be the healer, and solely the healer, they should choose to put most of their stats into the stat that scales with their spellcasting modifier.
When combined with the right level spell slot, this designated healer can fully heal any party member that takes damage. So please, in the name of Heireneous, scale Healing Word!
Healing Word is an enjoyable spell available to almost all supportive classes. Its bonus action enables healers to join battles while simultaneously fulfilling their duty of healing.
Just watch out that your healer doesn’t go overboard. Your party might get so much healing that he starts healing the enemies because he has nobody to heal.