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Sunbeam 5e D&D Guide

Sunbeam 5e D&D Guide

As you reach towards the heavens, a beam of radiant sunlight bursts forth from your fingertips, illuminating the darkness with blazing radiance.

The searing light strikes its targets, leaving them scorched and blinded, unable to resist the overwhelming power of the sun.

The Player’s Handbook states the following:

Sunbeam 5e

6th-level Evocation

Casting Time: 1 Action

Range: Self (60-foot line)

Components: V, S, M (a magnifying glass)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

Your hand shoots forth a dazzling beam of light in a 60-foot-long, 5-foot-wide line. A Constitution saving throw must be made by each creature in the line.

A creature that fails its save suffers 6d8 radiant damage and goes blind until your next turn. It receives half as much damage and isn’t blinded by this spell if the save is successful.

Note: Undead and oozes have a disadvantage on this saving throw.

Until the spell expires, you can use your action on any round to start a new line of brilliance.

A speck of dazzling illumination sparkles in your hand for the duration. It emits strong light for 30 feet in a circle and dull light for another 30 feet. The light is identified as sunlight.

Spell Type: Damage/Debuff

Which Classes Can Pick Sunbeam 5e?

Traditional classes, like the Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, and Wizard, can freely unlock Sunbeam.

All the classes above can freely unlock and use Sunbeam at level 11.

No subclasses can freely unlock Sunbeam.

Is Sunbeam Good in 5e?

Sunbeam is a powerful, damaging spell but isn’t considerably above average compared to other spells. It has moments of glory but can be summed up as a ‘reliable damage spell.’

Note: One of its best additions is the light it produces is true sunlight.

Advantages – Sunbeam

Class Availability

Sunbeam can be chosen by two of the most popular classes, the Cleric and the Wizard class.

Many players immediately opt for these classes, meaning there is a higher chance of having a player with Sunbeam in your party.

Many players also roleplay or choose to play a more ‘radiant’ Cleric build, as they want to be pure and bring good. Sunbeam is a damage spell that resonates with this way of roleplay.

Damage Type

Sunbeam deals Radiant Damage, which is in the top three least resisted and immune-to damage types in 5e.

Very few creatures are resistant to Radiant damage, let alone immune to it. Making it a great option to use in almost any battle you find yourself in.

Debuff and Damage Combination

Sunbeam is one of the few spells in 5e that combine its damage-dealing capabilities with an adverse effect.

While Sunbeam deals 6d8 Radiant damage, it will also blind the target upon a failed save.

Being blind is devastating, especially when you require your eyesight to fight, so using it against those enemies will render them useless (or provide them with disadvantage when attacking).

Disadvantages – Sunbeam

Concentration Spell

Sunbeam uses Concentration to stay active after it has been cast.

The caster must hold this Concentration for up to 1 minute, where any damage or attempt to cast another Concentration spell will cancel their current one.

You’ll be limited to having one Concentration spell active, so before mindlessly casting a spell like this, see if it will benefit you the most compared to your other similar spells.

Material Component

To cast Sunbeam, you’ll need a magnifying glass. In addition, you’ll need both a Verbal and Somatic component (but that isn’t too much of a worry).

Magnifying glasses will most definitely only be found in towns and cities. Losing or having to find a magnifying glass in the wilderness will leave most players unable to cast Sunbeam.

Note: Before leaving a town or city to go out on a quest, ensure every spell components you need for your current spells are in your rucksack. Nothing is worse than being unable to use your spells.

Spells Similar to Sunbeam 5e

Spells similar to Sunbeam are Dawn (5th-level), Guiding Bolt (1st-level), Moonbeam (2nd-level), and Sunburst (8th-level).

When or How Should You Use Sunbeam?

Against Undead/Oozes

Undead and Oozes have disadvantage on their saving roll when you cast Sunbeam. So to get the highest chance of a hit, use it against these types of enemies.

For example – Undead creatures like Vampires, Lich, or Death Knight are pretty common. Oozes like Oblex, Gelatinous Cube, and Slithering Tracker are common.


As discussed, the radiance Sunbeam releases is identified as true sunlight. So to make sure you get the most out of Sunbeam, try using it against vampires.

Note: If a vampire takes Radiant damage before their next turn, they can’t use their Regeneration feature a the start of their turn.

Crowd Control

Sunbeam can target 60 feet long and 5 feet wide, which can be used as a crowd control spell.

Unlike some spells, it affects all the creatures in a line, so the more creatures in the line, the more efficient the spell is.

Note: Using this spell against a single target isn’t efficient. So try and use it when enemies bundle up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Moonbeam Better Than Sunbeam?

If Moonbeam is cast using a 6th-level spell slot, it can be considered equal if not better than Sunbeam.

Moonbeam has a longer range (120 feet), greater damage 6d10, and an upcasting choice.

Does Sunbeam Give Disadvantage Against Vampires?

Sunbeam releases a radiance of light that is considered to be true sunlight. True sunlight can affect vampires, as it is the same rays that affect them during the day.

If a vampire starts their turn in sunlight, it will take 20 Radiant damage and have disadvantage on both ability checks and attack rolls. Since Sunbeam lasts for 1 minute, if the Concentration holds, it can be held until a vampire ends their turn.

Final Thoughts

Even though it doesn’t sound like it, Sunbeam is a potent spell that combines damage and debuffs to strike enemies. It is highly versatile and can come in handy when facing pesky vampires.

Spellcasters not wanting only to provide utility should consider taking Sunbeam. Its combination will make any spellcaster feel even more helpful than their class already makes them!

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