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Shield of Faith 5e D&D Guide

Shield of Faith 5e D&D Guide

Shield of Faith is an early-game defensive or supportive spell, being of the 1st-level. It belongs to the Cleric and Paladin spell lists and various other subclasses.

Shield of Faith is but a taste of the potent faithful magic holy spellcasters are granted by their deities.

The Player’s Handbook description is found below:

Shield of Faith 5e

1st-level Abjuration

Casting Time: 1 bonus action

Range: 60 feet

Components: V, S, M (a small parchment containing some holy text written on it)

Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

When cast, a shimmering field appears, surrounding the targeted creature chosen that is within range. It gains a +2 bonus to AC for the duration, losing the bonus upon the spells cancellation.

Classes That Can Pick Shield of Faith

Traditional classes, such as the Cleric and Paladin, can pick Shield of Faith in their free selection of spells.

No subclass can obtain Shielf of Faith freely. They must either be able to pick spells from different classes (as their subclass levels up) or have their spell list adjusted.

Is Shield of Faith Good in 5e?

In short, yes. Shield of Faith is helpful throughout the whole early game and even mid-game. Merely becoming weak as other protection spells unlocked at higher levels become available.

However, players must still be careful of Concentration’s inconveniences when trying to maintain Shield of Faith.

Advantages of Shield of Faith

AC Bonus

AC bonuses are ridiculously overpowered in D&D due to its Bounded Accuracy system. Meaning a slight bonus, such as provided by Shield of Faith, is valued by players up to the end-game.

Bonus Action

Bonus actions are used separately from standard actions, meaning players can cast two spells in one turn depending on the action used to cast the spell.

Choosing to attack or support a party member and casting Shield of Faith gives an extreme amount of value early in a campaign.

Great Range (For Defense)

Defensive spells, especially low-level ones, are accustomed to having a range of touch.

For the most part, it is rare to see them being anywhere above the range of 30 feet, making Shield of Faith rather unique.

Its range provides players caught between enemies a chance to be saved by the AC bonus while other party members continue their battle.

This genuinely makes Shield of Faith a perfect pick for supporting characters.

Low Level

One stage players will always have is the starting stage, where everyone is low-level and at equal chances of dying.

Luckily Shield of Faith becomes available at around levels 1 or 2 for all traditional classes (who have them in their spell lists).

Players can reap its fruits in their first-ever battle if they choose to.

Disadvantages of Shield of Faith

Concentration Spell

Concentration spells are difficult to manage and maintain consistently, especially when the battlefield is filled with enemies.

Not only does it lessen the spells you can cast by 46%, but it also makes it difficult for supportive players to assist other party members effectively.

Note: Casting another concentration spell or taking damage while Shield of Faith is active will cancel it.

Material Component

Collecting a parchment with holy text might not be the most challenging material to acquire; however, it becomes tricky when forgotten.

The chances of your Cleric or Paladin quickly being able to whip up some holy text while in imminent danger is slim (mostly because many DMs will make your life hell).

Therefore, players who hate prepping should seek spells containing no materials or ask their prepping party member to remember it for them.

Traditional Class Availability

Spells with easy availability usually enable a party to use the same spell more than once between its players.

This will give not only the most value but the most damage depending on the spell.

A simple example would be a party opting to use Poison Spray against a group of enemies. Its high-class availability, ease of use, and decent damage can have some good outcomes.

Optimizing Shield of Faith

Guard Your Concentration

Before even casting Shield of Faith, be sure to consider your positioning carefully.

Being in the middle of danger where taking damage is imminent will stop the spell, leaving the party member affected with less AC. It also leaves you with one less material component and a wasted bonus action.

Targets Are Based on Value

If you know Shield of Faith is helpful in a particular situation, cast it on the party member with the most value or who will charge into battle.

Therefore if enemies choose to attack a valuable spellcaster, then their attacks have a higher chance of missing. It also leaves the party with their primary damage dealer still alive.

On the other hand, members in close combat will be attacked mercilessly, giving the one affected a better chance of escaping or fighting without taking damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Shield of Faith Stack With a Shield?

Their effects stack since Shield of Faith creates a field around a target granting a deflection bonus (not an ordinary shield bonus).

Is Shield of Faith Used as a Bonus Action?

Shield of Faith and Rogue’s Cunning are examples of bonus actions players can take after depleting their standard action.

Can Shield of Faith and Mage Armor Stack?

These spells do stack when looking at specifics. Since Mage Armor merely sets the affected player’s AC, Shield of Faith increases it.

In other words, casting two spells that set base AC would not stack, but done with spells like these; players can finish it successfully.

Can Shield of Faith and Haste Stack?

Generally, bonuses to AC stack unless stated otherwise by lingering effects or limitations.

Final Thoughts

Shield of Faith, similar to other AC-increasing spells, plays a crucial role in a campaign. It gives players hope, higher odds, and more enjoyable gameplay.

Not only that, but it can make for some epic moments. Who wouldn’t be excited if their Rogue with Shield of Faith cast on him narrowly escaped from a death blow to then kill his attacker?

In those moments, players understand just how valuable spells like Shield of Faith are!

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