As you prepare to strike your enemy, a sudden gust of wind surrounds you, carrying you forward with incredible speed and grace.
Your senses sharpen, and your weapon strikes true as if guided by a divine hand.
This is the power of Zephyr Strike, the spell granting Rangers unparalleled combat speed and precision.
The Supplement, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, states the following:
Zephyr Strike 5e
Casting Time: 1 Bonus Action
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
You move like the wind. For the duration, your movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks.
You have one opportunity to gain advantage on a weapon attack roll before the spell expires. On a hit, that attack inflicts an additional 1d8 force damage.
Your walking speed will increase by 30 feet until the end of that turn, whether you succeed or fail.
Spell Type – Buff/Damage
Which Classes Can Pick Zephyr Strike 5e?
The only traditional class that can freely unlock Zephyr Strike is the Ranger.
Rangers can unlock and use Zephyr Strike at level 2.
No subclasses can freely unlock Zephyr Strike.
Is Zephyr Strike Good in 5e?
At first, Zephyr Strike might sound incredible, it has a speed boost, advantage on a weapon attack, and extra damage, but it’s not that good.
Advantages – Zephyr Strike
A great benefit Zephyr Strike has is only needing a bonus action to be cast. It’s intended to be used before your normal action, as it will provide bonuses.
Zephyr Strike works specifically on weapon attacks, unlike many spells that focus on adding damage on top of other damage dealt.
This makes the spell less useful, but the fact that it isn’t a normal action makes it bearable.
Zephyr Strike only uses a Verbal component to be cast. Players must ensure they can produce a few words clearly and concisely to cast the spell.
That’s it; you don’t need to hassle in search of materials or try using your hands to cast the spell. You only need your voice.
Note: Just be careful of Silence spells; spellcasters may periodically use them to reduce the number of spells a party can effectively cast.
Zephyr Strike is a 1st-level spell that can be unlocked at level 2 by the Ranger. Reaching level 2 doesn’t take long, so players will have much time to learn its mechanics.
This also means players have access to its bonuses at an earlier level, making fights much easier than they would’ve been without it.
Disadvantages – Zephyr Strike
Many spells in 5e use Concentration to keep them active. Zephyr Strike is one of them, but Concentration has some inherent disadvantages.
You could cancel Concentration if you were to take damage or try casting another Concentration spell.
That means if you were to take unnecessary damage, you would most certainly have your spell canceled.
Note: You’ll be limited to having one Concentration spell active at a time, and there are many better Concentration spells than Zephyr Strike, so choose wisely.
Rangers can freely unlock Zephyr Strike. No other class has it in their spell lists, so they have to use class-specific features if they want it.
This also means you won’t find players using it. Even if you have a Ranger, they might opt for a different spell, so the chances of having someone in your party with Zephyr Strike are extremely low.
Spells Similar to Zephyr Strike 5e
Spells similar to Zephyr Strike are Haste (3rd-level), Longstrider (1st-level), Swift Quiver (5th-level), and Expeditious Retreat (1st-level).
When or How Should You Use Zephyr Strike?
Combine With Sneak Attack
Rangers multiclassing into Rogues is one of the most common uses for the multiclass feature.
You can use the Sneak Attack feature to deliver an additional 1d6 damage to one creature when you attack with an advantage.
Zephyr Strike gives you advantage (on one weapon attack), meaning you get a bonus of 1d8 + 1d6 damage along with the weapon’s damage.
Use as a Martial Ranger
Zephyr Strike makes enemies unable to make opportunity attacks against your movement. With the increased speed, you can constantly poke an enemy in melee range.
You can then simply disengage and deal an insane amount of damage (more if you use Sneak Attack) while keeping your Concentration active.
Getting Out of Sticky Situations
Using the attack given the advantage by Zephyr Strike will always give you an increased walking speed (30 feet increase), even if you miss.
So a good strategy would be to make the attack and use the speed to get out of a sticky situation, regrouping with your allies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Zephyr Strike Better Than Hunter’s Mark?
Hunter’s Mark is very similar to Zephyr Strike, but it is undoubtedly better, especially in longer fights. The main difference is that it has fewer bonuses but is more consistent.
It has a longer range (90 feet), longer duration (1 hour), and an upcasting feature. You can also recast the spell if the target drops to 0 hit points, meaning you get more value.
Can Zephyr Strike Be Changed?
They might do it if a player asks the DM to change Zephyr Strike. Just understand that DM won’t make the spell overpowered; they’ll simply substitute some of its features with others.
They might even change what the spell does to balance it even more. So don’t be surprised when one of its effects is taken away; they’ll rather have an underpowered spell than an overpowered one.
Zephyr Strike provides Rangers with a significant tactical advantage in combat, enhancing their speed, accuracy, and damage.
The only problem is that it gets outclassed. So if you take this spell, be sure you’ll stumble upon a better one.
Be mindful of falling into traps that other adventurers set for you, make your own choices, and see if Zephyr Strike fits your character. After all, it does have some great features for Rangers!