Searing Smite is a 1st-level spell belonging to the Paladin and Ranger spell lists.
Players using melee weapons and lacking effective elemental damage while in close range will find this spell very useful.
The Player’s Handbook specifics are as follows:
Searing Smite 5e
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
The next time you hit your target with a melee attack during the spell’s duration, your weapon will burn with white-hot intensity.
All melee attacks deal an extra 1d6 fire damage to the struck target, causing it to burst into flames.
At the beginning of each of the target’s turns, until the spell ends, it must make a Constitution saving roll.
On a successful save, the spell ends. If the save fails, the target takes 1d6 fire damage.
If a target within 5 feet uses an action to douse the flames or another effect to extinguish the flames (such as the target being immersed in water), the spell will end.
At Higher Levels: When you cast searing smite using a spell slot of the 2nd level or higher, the spell’s extra damage from the attack increases with 1d6 damage for each spell slot level.
What Is Searing Smite 5e?
Searing Smite is a self-buff affecting melee attacks. The effect lasts around one minute and requires the caster to stay concentrated for the spell’s duration.
Its base damage is 1d6, which does additional fire element damage when hit.
The target struck while the spell is active will be set ablaze and be forced to make a Constitution saving roll at the start of each turn.
Note: Water sources can douse the fire. Some creatures might jump into the nearest lake if they had the chance.
How Does Searing Smite Work?
When used, the caster needs only recite Verbal components while being concentrated.
Searing Smite is classified as a ‘bonus action,’ players can attack with it after using their primary action.
Searing Smite will work best to deal more damage or answer a challenging target’s damage.
It doesn’t work as well as a reaction; however, for classes like Rangers, it can be beneficial to set an enemy ablaze after they try to attack you.
Note: The spell still requires players to be concentrated to cast it. So be weary of taking damage, as you will be forced to make a Constitution-saving roll.
Is Searing Smite Good 5e?
When looking at the whole spell, Searing Smite has some potential.
Players must understand that Searing Smite is more valuable if cast using higher-level spell slots.
Advantages of Searing Smite
Excellent scaling: It states that for every spell slot level 2nd or higher, the damage increases by 1d6. Players will deal a whopping 5d6 damage at the fifth spell slot, making it especially good against targets vulnerable to fire.
Bonus action: Searing Smite can deal extra damage after players use their primary action. It is terrific for melee characters who want to get their last bit of damage to slay an opponent.
Constitution saving roll: When the spell hits, Searing Smite will force targets to make one saving roll on every turn (until the spell ends). (Many creatures have a low base Constitution, making it even better.) If failed, the target will once again take 1d6 fire damage.
Drawbacks of Searing Smite
Fire damage: Fire damage is known as one of the most resisted damage types in the D&D. Making it less reliable to frequently use as only a small group of enemies are vulnerable to it.
Low early-game damage: When looking not only at the fire damage but its weak 1d6 early-game damage, this spell isn’t a great option until players can use at least a third-level spell slot.
Justifying spell slots: Spell slots are crucial D&D components that can turn a character into a literal god. However, this means players must choose which spells they want to use where—leaving out many spells like Searing Smite that could be better.
When Should You Use Searing Smite?
Players should aim to use Searing Smite in specific situations due to its limited early damage and unreliable fire element.
Targeting enemies that might be a problem and forcing them to make a Constitution saving roll can provide a party some support.
Remember, the bonus action enables players to deal extra damage, so use it.
Enemies vulnerable to fire will feel Searing Smite’s damage. If players are familiar with enemy vulnerabilities, use the fire against them.
Low HP enemies can be killed by the 1d6 fire damage each turn (if the spell stays active and they fail the CON-saving roll).
This essentially puts them out of the battle.
Who Can Use Searing Smite?
The Paladin class used to be the only class able to use Searing Smite; however, as Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything was introduced, it became part of the Ranger’s spell list.
Can Searing Smite Be Twinned?
One of the conditions for a spell to be twinned is that it cannot have its range as ‘self’. All smite spells in D&D have their range as ‘self’. Therefore, along with Searing Smite, no smites can be twinned.
Can You Stack Divine Smite and Searing Smite?
As confirmed by Jeremy Crawford, players can use both spells on the same attack.
However, you will be using up all your spell slots for the day when doing so at that level.
Players must ask themselves if that is worth it since so many other lower-level spells can do similar damage but not use all your spell slots.
Note: Fireball deals a massive 8d6 fire damage, try and get a party member to cast that instead before wasting your spell slots.
Unfortunately, Searing Smite isn’t as great as people want to believe. Its small window of usefulness is quickly overshadowed by much better spells being unlocked not only by your party members but for your class.
Paladins, you should give it a try. On the other hand, don’t let me see Rangers swapping out Zephyer Strike for Searing Smite; I will notify your DM immediately!