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Sickening Radiance 5e D&D Guide

Sickening Radiance 5e D&D Guide

As you begin to chant the ancient incantation, a green light radiates from your hand and spreads outwards, enveloping the area in a dim haze. The air becomes heavy and exhaustive.

Any creature caught within the Sickening Radiance feels their strength drain away as their body is wracked with painful sickness.

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

Sickening Radiance 5e

4th-level Evocation

Casting Time: 1 Action

Range: 120 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

A 30-foot-radius sphere of dim, greenish light with a spot in the center that you select anywhere within range is illuminated. The light extends around corners as long as the spell is in effect.

A creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw when entering the spell’s area for the first time during a turn or when it begins its turn there.

Failing to do so causes the creature to receive 4d10 radiant damage, gain one level of exhaustion, and radiate a dull, greenish light in a 5-foot radius.

The creature cannot gain anything from being invisible in this light. The spell finishes when the light and any levels of exhaustion it produced disappear.

Spell Type – Damage/Control

Which Classes Can Pick Sickening Radiance 5e?

Traditional classes such as the Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard can freely unlock Sickening Radiance.

All three traditional classes can freely unlock and use Sickening Radiance at level 7.

No subclasses can freely unlock and use Sickening Radiance.

Is Sickening Radiance Good in 5e?

Sickening Radiance is considered a good area of effect spell, as it affects creatures in a radius after it is cast. It is a solid debuff spell that also deals decent damage.

While better spells are available, choosing Sickening Radiance won’t negatively affect your character. It just won’t scale as well since it has no upscaling option.

Advantages – Sickening Radiance


Sickening Radiance has a range of 120 feet, with its radius effect being a 30-foot sphere.

For a spell providing an area of effect, damage, exhaustion, and light against invisible creatures, its range is absolutely insane!

No Material Component

Sickening Radiance uses no Material component. That means players won’t have to buy unnecessary items that cost them GP.

They also won’t have to worry about losing any items or forgetting to purchase them before going on a quest.

Most materials are impossible to find in the wild, so once you leave, you better hope a merchant comes your way!

Damage Type

Sickening Radiance uses the Radiant damage type. Radiant damage is a type that most creatures in 5e aren’t resistant or immune to.

In most cases, if the damage lands, you won’t have to worry about resistances.

Disadvantages – Sickening Radiance


Spells kept active by Concentration can easily be canceled if the caster is damaged or chooses to cast another Concentration spell.

Note: Be extra careful at close range, as you’ll probably be targeted for being a spellcaster!

Class Availability

Even though Sickening Radiance is available to the Wizard (one of the most commonly chosen classes), its other two classes (Sorcerer and Warlock) aren’t chosen so often.

That makes its class availability relatively low and decreases the possibility of the spell being chosen.

Spells Similar to Sickening Radiance 5e

Spells similar to Sickening Radiance are Hunger of Hadar, Cloudkill, Stinking Cloud, Insect Plague, and Evard’s Black Tentacles.

When or How Should You Use Sickening Radiance?

Crowd Control

As you know, Sickening Radiance has an AoE radius of 30 feet and can also spread around corners.

There isn’t a limit to how many creatures can be affected within the radius. So if there’s a group of enemies, always try to hit a point that will reach most of them.

If the creatures start their turn there or enter the area, they’ll have to pass a Constitution saving throw.

If they don’t, they’ll take 4d10 Radiant damage and suffer from one level of exhaustion, which counts for every enemy affected.

Note: Targeting as many enemies as possible will increase your chances of actually affecting a creature.

Creature Vulnerabilities

Not many creatures have vulnerabilities to Radiant damage.

However, the lack of resistance and immunities, combined with the high damage output for most Radiant spells, puts vulnerable creatures in a bad spot.

Therefore, if you know a creature is vulnerable to Radiant damage, don’t hesitate to use a spell like Sickening Radiance to get the most out of your damage.

Tagging Enemies

Enemies affected by Sickening Radiance will emit the same dim greenish light of the spell. The light will also make it impossible for creatures to benefit from invisibility.

So, if you want to keep track of enemies in the dark or make their invisibility useless, try Sickening Radiance.

Exhaust Enemies

Whenever a creature is affected by Sickening Radiance, it will gain one level of exhaustion. There are 6 levels of exhaustion, and reaching the last level will kill the affected creature.

While this isn’t common, having the ability to kill by only using exhaustion is better than not having the ability to kill at all!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Sickening Radiance Require Line of Sight?

The description of the spell mentions that the light will spread around corners if it must.

It mentions this light will spread from the point you chose. Therefore, it doesn’t necessarily require any line of sight to be cast. Just make sure you cast it near enemies, though!

Is Sickening Radiance Affected By Darkness?

The light produced by Sickening Radiance is dim from a 4th-level spell, while Darkness is a 2nd-level spell.

Even with dim light, you should still be able to see it when darkness is cast.

Note: The final ruling, however, depends entirely on the DM, as they might argue differently.

Final Thoughts

Sickening Radiance is a powerful spell that can turn the tide of battle. With its ability to sicken and weaken enemies, it is a favorite for players who seek to sow chaos and destruction on the battlefield.

Sickening Radiance can be an extremely powerful addition to a caster’s arsenal, especially if they think out of the box.

Just be wary of the spell’s noxious effects; you don’t want to be caught up in its light yourself!

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