Skip to Content

Vampiric Touch 5e D&D Guide

Vampiric Touch 5e D&D Guide

Your fingertips begin to tingle with a dark, vampiric power.

With a flick of your wrist, you unleash a swirling vortex of shadowy tendrils that wrap around your target, draining their life force and replenishing your own.

You can feel the energy coursing through you, invigorating you as your victim weakens under the power of your Vampiric Touch.

The Player’s Handbook states the following:

Vampiric Touch 5e

3rd-level Necromancy

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Self

Components: V, S

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

Your shadow-covered hand can draw strength from others to soothe your wounds.

Attack a creature nearby with a melee spell attack. You gain half as many health points as the amount of necrotic damage you caused, in addition to the target taking 3d6 necrotic damage on a hit.

You can make the attack once again as an action on each of your turns until the spell expires.

At Higher Levels: When you cast Vampiric Touch using a 4th-level spell slot or higher, the damage will increase by 1d6 for each spell slot level above the 3rd.

Which Classes Can Pick Vampiric Touch 5e?

Traditional classes like the Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard can freely unlock Vampiric Touch.

All the abovementioned classes can unlock and use Vampiric Touch at level 5.

Subclasses like the Death Domain (Cleric) and Grave Domain (Cleric) can also freely unlock Vampiric Touch.

Both classes can unlock Vampiric Touch at level 5.

Is Vampiric Touch Good in 5e?

While the spell does have quite a low range (10 feet), its positives far outway its negatives.

Dealing Necrotic damage while having the ability to regain health from your attacks is exceptional.

If you understand the mechanics of D&D and are aware of the Disengage feature, then you can easily use Vampiric Touch in almost any encounter.

Note: It fits well with death-themed, life-drain, or dark-and-mysterious builds. After all, roleplay is one of the best things about D&D!

Advantages – Vampiric Touch


Unlike most spells in 5e, Vampiric Touch gives the caster decent damage and HP back for half of the damage done.

This is an exceptional feature that can have the caster survive much longer in battle.

Damage Type

Vampiric Touch uses Necrotic Damage, one of the damage types with the least resistances and immunities in the game.

In most cases, even against mighty foes, the Necrotic damage will be able to deal some serious damage.

Disadvantages – Vampiric Touch


Vampiric Touch has a range of self, fashioned into using its force as a melee attack.

Most spellcasters will be disadvantaged as they’re squishy and less close-combat-orientated (especially with melee weapons).

Concentration Spell

Concentration spells can quickly be canceled if you were to take damage or cast another Concentration spell.

So to be extra careful while using Vampiric Touch, use the Disengage feature to avoid most counter-attacks appropriately.

Spells Similar to Vampiric Touch 5e

Spells similar to Vampiric Touch are Chill Touch (Cantrip), Enervation (5th-level), Negative Energy Flood (5th-level), and Finger of Death (7th-level).

Enervation would probably be the closest to a spell that feels like Vampiric Touch, as it also has a “life drain” effect.

When or How Should You Use Vampiric Touch?

Drain Your Minions

There’s bound to be someone in your party who can raise zombies or minions with their spells; maybe even you?

If there is, you can use Vampiric Touch on these zombies to regain health. In most cases (if the zombies are low HP), you can heal yourself and still send the zombies into battle.

Note: If the spell is kept active, you can do this every turn by activating it as an action.

Life/Death Cleric Build

Vampire Touch goes well with the Life Domain and Death Domain (Cleric subclasses).

Disciple of Life

Life Domain has an interesting feature called Disciple of Life.

This feature increases the healing received from healing spells (Vampire Touch does heal you) by giving additional HP every time the spell is cast with Disciple of Life.

Disciple of Life restores hit points equal to 2 + the spell level. In this case, Vampire Touch is a 3rd-level spell, which means you’ll at least heal for 5 extra HP each time you use it with Disciple of Life.

Note: Life Domain isn’t a subclass that can freely unlock Vampiric Touch, but you can unlock it through other means, like learning it or using items (but just make sure with the DM).

Touch of Death

Death Domain isn’t as effective as Life Domain. However, it provides some bonus damage that can go well with Vampiric Touch.

Using Touch of Death, a feature in Death Domain, you can deal extra Necrotic damage when you hit creatures with a melee attack.

This can increase the healing from Vampiric Touch by adding 5 + twice your Cleric level (Touch of Death’s extra Necrotic damage).

Note: Some DMs won’t see the damage from Death Domain as damage correlating to Vampiric Touch, but if you explain it to them, they’ll most likely let you continue!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Vampiric Touch Be Twinned?

To twin a spell, that spell must only target one creature and not have a range of self. Vampiric Touch has a range of self, making it incapable of being twinned.

Can Vampiric Touch Be Used on Undead?

In the description of Vampire Touch, nowhere does it state that the targeted creature must be a specific creature type.

All it requires is for the caster to damage the target, meaning it simply has to fail its saving throw, nothing more.

That means you can use undead to regain health when using Vampiric Touch.

Final Thoughts

Vampiric Touch is must-have for life-drain enthusiasts in 5e. Its low cost and efficient damage-dealing technique make it a must-have.

Its damage type allows it to bypass many resistances and immunities, making the spell a reliable option for warlocks and sorcerers looking to sustain themselves in battle.

Be careful of close combat; even with life drain, you wouldn’t want to be hit too hard. Who knows, maybe you’ll accidentally lose your head, which won’t be easy to fix!

Top 15 Best Necromancy Spells in D&D 5e [Ranked]

Wednesday 3rd of January 2024

[…] alive amid battle isn’t easy, but with Vampiric Touch, you’ll heal […]

Top 20 Best 3rd-level Spells in D&D 5E [Ranked]

Wednesday 13th of September 2023

[…] are generally weaker in melee combat but with Vampiric Touch, both the damage and survivability of a spellcaster increase when in […]

Top 20 Best Warlock Spells in D&D 5e [Ranked]

Monday 21st of August 2023

[…] Vampiric Touch is a 3rd level necromancy spell that provides the potential for round after round healing. The melee spell attack deals 3d6 damage, and the caster heals for half of the damage. […]