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Mold Earth 5e D&D Guide

Mold Earth 5e D&D Guide

Mold Earth allows you to shape and manipulate the soil beneath your feet. By merely whispering an incantation, you raise earth mounds, create fissures, or smooth out rough terrain to suit your needs.

Spellcasters close to nature, such as Druids, relate strongly to this spell. Their very essence shaped by the earth others tread upon.

The Supplement, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, states:

Mold Earth 5e

Transmutation Cantrip

Casting Time: 1 Action

Range: 30 feet

Components: S

Duration: Instantaneous or 1 hour

You pick a chunk of rock or soil that fits inside a 5-foot cube and that you can see within range.

You can manipulate it in one of the following ways:

  • You can instantly excavate loose earth, transport it along the ground, and move it up to 5 feet away if you target a specific part of it. There isn’t enough force in this motion to harm anything.
  • On the earth or stone, you apply shapes, colors, or both, spelling out words, producing images, or forming patterns. The modifications last for an hour.
  • You make the terrain difficult if the dirt or stone you’re aiming for is on the ground. Alternatively, if the terrain is already difficult, you can make it normal. This alteration lasts for an hour.

You can only have two of this spell’s non-instantaneous effects active at once if you cast it several times, and you can choose to dismiss one as an action.

Spell Type – Control

Which Classes Can Pick Mold Earth 5e?

Traditional classes like the Druid, Sorcerer, and Wizard can freely unlock Mold Earth.

All three traditional classes can unlock and use Mold Earth at level 1.

No subclasses can freely unlock and use Mold Earth.

Is Mold Earth Good in 5e?

Mold Earth isn’t a bad spell, but it also isn’t a bad spell; it’s a versatile spell. Many players think it’s overrated or useless, but I disagree.

The spell has very precise areas where it can be useful. All you need to do as a player is find those areas and then use Mold Earth. Improper timing will create the illusion of a faulty instrument!

Advantages – Mold Earth

Cantrip Spell

Mold Earth being a Cantrip, is a massive advantage to its play style. It acts as a mini digger loader, so you’ll want to use it more than once every few minutes.

The benefits are listed below:

  • Unlimited Use – Cantrips don’t expend a spell slot, meaning you can shape and manipulate the ground as often as you need to (just be aware of the actions used).
  • Low Level – You can unlock Mold Earth at level one, starting your architect career early.
  • Versatility – Mold Earth has three ways to manipulate the soil so that you can choose the best fit for your situation.


Mold Earth has a long duration (1 hour) and doesn’t require the caster to hold their Concentration.

You’ll have an extended period to experiment with the spell and mimic near-permanent effects for some time.

Note: Excavating soil moves it indefinitely, so you can use Mold Earth to change the soil permanently.

One Component

Having only a Somatic component is great, as it means you won’t be affected by silences, and it increases its ease of use. You’ll also be able to conceal your casting in some ways.

Note: In most cases, you’ll need at least one hand free to cast a Somatic spell, so keep that in mind. You should also avoid being restrained.

Disadvantages – Mold Earth

Uses an Action

Actions are impactful in D&D. They are almost as valuable as spell slots, as many powerful spells can’t function without them.

Saving your actions for when you need them to cast a beneficial spell is a good call. Be sure you won’t be attacked using Mold Earth, as that’ll be a disaster.

Small Area

Mold Earth has an effective area of a 5-foot cube. This area isn’t that small, but if you want to use this spell for a large project, it’ll take some time. So be prepared to excavate with all your might.

Spells Similar to Mold Earth 5e

Similar spells to Mold Earth are Move Earth, Transmute Rock, Stone Shape, Spike Growth, and Earthquake.

When or How Should I Use Mold Earth 5e?

Setting up Camp

In areas where you don’t want to be discovered easily, Mold Earth can give you a lowered hideout.

Simply remove large portions of the soil or stones and ensure the walls won’t collapse. You can make a fire away from the hole, merely sleeping in it to ensure you aren’t spotted.

Distracting Enemies

Even though it’ll take some creativity, players can distract enemies or slightly slow their movement.

By putting piles of soil and stones on a path, enemies won’t be able to move over the terrain effectively. Coloring rocks could turn enemies’ heads, distracting them for long enough to fall into the holes you dug to obtain the piles of soil!

Getting Through Treacherous Terrain

Players can choose the area they want to dig through (made from soil or stone) and start removing quantities of the terrain to form a tunnel.

If you want to get over an obstacle, simply do the opposite. Stack soil or stones on one another, creating a makeshift ladder.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mold Earth Permanent?

Not all the effects of Mold Earth are permanent. Only the first option is permanent when you choose to move loose earth.

The other two terrain manipulations will only last 1 hour.

Is Mold Earth or Shape Water Better?

Choosing between these two spells is entirely campaign dependent.

If you’re in a campaign with a lot of soil and stone, then take Mold Earth. However, if your map is mostly water, Shape Water will be superior.

Final Thoughts

Mold Earth gives players versatility that opens up a world of possibilities, allowing quick adaptation to any terrain they may encounter on their journeys.

Being a Cantrip, it’s easy to cast and a good way for spellcasters to hone their abilities.

With this comes their increased creativity, which will come in handy as they unlock higher-level spells!

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