Spirit Guardians is a defensive and offensive 3rd-level spell. It belongs to the Cleric spell list as well as various other subclasses.
Spirit Guardians is a perfect spell for players wishing to be overly aggressive while lacking some defensive capabilities. Also, don’t forget players’ great roleplay chances, depending on their alignment.
The Player’s Handbook description specifies:
- Spirit Guardians 5e
- Classes That Can Pick Spirit Guardians
- Is Spirit Guardians Good in 5e?
- Advantages of Spirit Guardians
- Disadvantages of Spirit Guardians
- How To Use Spirit Guardians
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Spirit Guardians 5e
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (15-foot-radius)
Components: V, S, M (a holy symbol)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes
The caster calls forth spirits that will protect him. These spirits float around the caster to a distance of 15 feet for the duration.
Spellcasters who are good or neutral will have their spirits appears as angelic or fey specters (choose between them. Evil spellcasters, on the other hand, will have their specters appear fiendish.
Offensive and Defensive Guardians
When Spirit Guardians is cast, the caster designates any number of targets they see so they are unaffected by the spell’s effects.
The targets affected by the Guardians will have their speed halved in the area, also upon their entering the area for the first time (on a turn or if they start their turn there), each affected target must make a Wisdom saving roll.
On a failed save, the creatures affected that 3d8 radiant damage (if your alignment is good or neutral) or 3d8 necrotic damage (if your alignment is evil). On a successful save, affected creatures take half as much damage.
At Higher Levels: When Spirit Guardians is cast using a 4th-level or higher spell slot, the damage will increase with 1d8 for each slot level above the 3rd.
Classes That Can Pick Spirit Guardians
The traditional class with access to Spirit Guardians is the Cleric, as they can pick it in their selection of spells.
Subclasses that don’t belong to the class mentioned above do not have Spirit Guardians on their spell list. It can only be unlocked through leveling if they can choose spells from different classes and if they have their spell list modified.
Is Spirit Guardians Good in 5e?
Spirit Guardians is one of the most effective and unique 3rd-level spells available to Clerics.
It provides exceptional defense, but it makes roleplaying easier by displaying the alignments of the caster through the summoned spirits.
Advantages of Spirit Guardians
Spirit Guardians is a 3rd-level spell, meaning Clerics can learn and use it upon reaching level 5. It isn’t as low-level as other spells. However, what it provides a player with is more than worth it.
Easily Obtainable Material
Material components can become quite costly if players aren’t aware of their location. Some materials are difficult to come across or can only be obtained in specific ways.
Luckily for Spirit Guardians, a holy symbol is known well by a zealot. Many Clerics have amulets portraying symbols of gods, statues of their likenesses, or painted pictures of the insignia.
Note: Many religious items can be used as a “holy symbol” just confirm with your DM beforehand, though.
Spirit Guardians lasts quite a long time for a defensive spell, especially if the Concentration isn’t broken.
While depending on the number of players and enemies, most rounds in D&D will often last around 6 seconds. Therefore a minute passes only after 10 rounds have already been played.
Note: A round is completed after all participants finish their turn.
Spirit Guardians will be up far longer than necessary, leaving enemies to avoid you or take unnecessary damage.
Spirit Guardians pack quite a punch (3d8 damage) whenever a creature enters the area. However, it has two main areas that allow it to shine.
Firstly, it has the Radiant or Necrotic damage types, some of the most reliable damage types in D&D. Many listed creatures are not resistant or immune to their damage.
Secondly, it has spell slot scaling, which their damage types will directly accompany. Most players will use Spirit Guardians for quite a long time, so the scaling is an added benefit.
Disadvantages of Spirit Guardians
Since Spirit Guardians is a Concentration spell, players should still be careful not to get hit by ranged attacks. They must also make sure to have other non-Concentration spells available for use.
Note: The spell flourishes against short-range melee creatures. However, it quickly gets canceled by ranged attacks.
How To Use Spirit Guardians
Players must always asses their area for ranged units or have them dealt with. However, against melee units, players should feel free to spam the spell each battle.
Before Entering Combat
Clerics should immediately cast Spirit Guardians when entering a battle, as hesitating could lead to casting it without its full effect.
Enemies are only affected by Spirit Guardians when they move in and out of its area. Therefore casting it while a creature is in the radius will not have the creature immediately take damage, wasting precious time and allowing the creature to cancel the spell.
Fighting Multiple Enemies
Having Spirit Guardians active can deal good damage when surrounded by multiple enemies since they must come into your range if they want to attack you.
The spell’s radius will also make it so the fearful enemies wouldn’t want to enter the area, which gives the rest of your party time to dispose of them quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Spirit Guardians Do Damage Immediately?
Spirit Guardians do not deal damage as soon as it is cast. It only damages an enemy within the area on that enemy’s turn, which your party can use to their advantage.
Can Spirit Guardians Go Through Walls?
Spirit Guardians cannot affect creatures through walls.
Can You Use Sanctuary With Spirit Guardians?
If you cast Spirit Guardians, then Sanctuary, it would work. Sanctuary will not end when if the guardians deal damage, as you cast it before Sanctuary.
Spirit Guardians is a spell that has great roleplay functionality while not skipping the damage department. It is an all-around great spell that Clerics should use when they get access to it!
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