There are many supplements and here we have a rated Xanathar’s Guide to Everything Spells List – Updated.
There are nine Levels.
Actually a pretty useful cantrip. The one that expands bright and dim light range should be your main use, targeting the party torches.
This is a weak cantrip because it requires concentration, making it useless after some levels.
The damage is obviously really bad, but giving a disadvantage on attacks is great! The problem is: con save.
Initially, I rated this Spell as weak since I didn’t realize it wasn’t a substitute for your standard attack cantrip. Its real power comes when you give it to weak NPCs and other minions. Easy to do (bonus action) and can increase their power level by a good amount.
This Spell is Useful for creating tunnels and pits.
Most druids will either have better offensive options or will prefer to stay at a certain distance. Either way, this is better than Shillelagh after level 5.
Mostly flavor, but the icing effect can have some cool uses (break locks, for example).
Bad damage and area.
TOLL THE DEAD
Great damage if your opponent is not full, target wisdom saving throw (so a good option against High AC opponents), ignores cover, damage type necrotic and good range. Great cantrip.
WORD OF RADIANCE
Bad damage and area.
Level 1 – Updated Spells
Not a flexible spell, but very good when the situation arises (dragon breaths). Speaking as the main wizard player, most likely wouldn’t be a part of my standard preparations, but a must-have on the book.
I can think of three main reasons to use this Xanathar’s Guide to Everything Spells. One is the scouting value (which is low since the creature must maintain a line of sight), the second is as a companion buff (and a weak one to say the least). The snag here is that you could potentially use this as a way to gather allies for battle, but this one is very DM dependant. Rating situational because I don’t feel so certain this is plain bad.
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Awesome effect, so-so impact. With proper preparation (flasks containing powerful poison?) could be potentially nice. As it is, 3d8 bludgeoning to one target is at least acceptable.
Comparing this spell to Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, it is easy to see that most of the time you’ll be preferring the latter. The main advantage here is that you CAN hit your target, so I’ll be rating this acceptable.
This is a spell with great roleplaying uses and the buffs are not bad at all. Should only be prepared when you know one of the rites will be needed.
The damage is below average and 12.5% chance of getting a new target just doesn’t make the cut.
Lackluster damage, around self, is usually bad for casters. Rating this situational because it could be useful as a way to give party members an advantage on attacks for one round.
Easy to position, good range, and OK damage.
Like alarm, a safety measure for a peaceful rest. Unlike an alarm, not a ritual.
It provides great mobility and a little bit of damage. The downside is that it costs concentration.
Level 2 Xanathar’s Guide to Everything Spells
Fire resistance is very common, line area of effects tend to be weak, needs great positioning since you’re the point of origin and the damage is not stellar. 0/10 Burning Hands is stronger.
To me, it seems like a very good spell on early levels. The flexibility of choosing both the target of the buff and the element of the breath makes this very exciting. 3d6 15ft cone every turn is really good. If you know you’re going to fight an enemy with a specific elemental weakness or you have a way to maximize action economy (like targeting a flying familiar and having it rain down fire from the sky) this becomes Must Have. Gets weaker on later levels since it is concentration, but continues to be useful provided you can exploit elemental weaknesses.
The damage is not only lackluster but also pretty hard to land. Rating this over red for the movable fog effect. Could go up in rating after playtesting.
Sometimes all you need is to get a flying opponent down so you can strike it. In those situations, this spell fits right in. That said, it’s very specific and a lot of those opponents have high Str.
The way it is worded means everybody on the party gets 10d6 heal outside of combat. Obviously, that’s not what the designers intended. Assuming the effect takes place only once every turn:
Even though it is cool to position the spirit nicely and have one of your buddies get 1d6 every turn, the real snag here is to use it as a recurring healing word or as 10d6 heal outside of combat. Druids might have better things to concentrate on, but this is a real gift for rangers.
MAXIMILIAN’S EARTHEN GRASP
This spell has four issues. The concentration required allows for strength saving throw, lackluster damage and potentially consumes 2 actions to reuse. On the other hand, restraining creatures at the lower levels is potent, and if your opponent is weak can be a real pain, since it requires it’s action to try and leave. Rating green for the potential to kill casters and ranged attackers.
The damage is low as it is a single target but seems good to chase fleeing enemies. I wouldn’t prepare it as I don’t expect my enemies to flee. Goes up in rating for wizards of the divination tradition.
Nice flexible spell. Both a blind effect and fog in one preparation. Needs a movable source of fire in order for it to be great (previous versions of the spell could combo with Flaming Sphere, now something like a mage hand or a familiar could do the trick). Rating this green because of the needed setup.
The weapon deals with good PSYCHIC damage and the advantage to attack dark/dim light makes it very good. Concentration is the only downside here. A good option for combat wizards/warlocks. Arcane Tricksters should find this a Must Have, and this is good for Eldrich Knights as well.
This is mostly flavor with some utility.
SNILLOC’S SNOWBALL SWARM
Low damage, small area, no additional effects.
Not really worth preparing, usually. Weak effects requiring concentration. The best use of this spell is when you have to cross an area with toxic gases or mysterious and potentially dangerous vapors.
Level 3 – List of Spells Chapter 3:
If your DM is very tight about taking short rests, this might have some use. Otherwise, it’s a wasted preparation.
Intelligence saving throw is, alongside charisma, the worst for monsters. Target bosses for maximum value, since it’s minions probably won’t attack it back, making it a sticky debuff.
Bad damage, bad area, bad effect. This spell sucks. The only reason I rated this over Bad is because it scales nicely, even though I would never spend a 4th or 5th level spell slot on this.
Potentially 12d6 damage for a third level spell and concentration. Obviously druids would never consider this, but even rangers, a class with a terrible spell list, have a level one spell that is better than this (hunter’s mark).
Healing is suboptimal, and dealing yourself damage while doing so seems even less optimal. That said, if you’re not taking damage and need to heal a good amount quickly, this is an option. Gets better for life clerics.
MELF’S MINUTE METEORS
So you consume 1 action, 3 bonus actions and concentration to deal 12d6 scattered across tiny areas. Why not just use fireball? The big deal here is the concentration bit, so if you have no other options to concentrate on (which I doubt) this is fine.
SUMMON LESSER DEMONS
I can’t really see the point of this spell.
If Misty Step didn’t exist, this would be Must Have. Anyway, this one has a nice damage attached to it, and the flexibility of bringing a friend is also welcome. Looks like a good spell.
The area and range are cool, but the damage and effect are not enough to justify it’s use.
This spell can be compared to Animate Dead in many ways. It lasts less time but at the same time, it is easier to cast (and to roleplay, if you know what I mean). Since the minion’s stats are somewhat comparable, it breaks the action economy just as much.
WALL OF SAND
It does not restrict movement effectively, basically hindering sight. Most of the time fog cloud will do the trick.
WALL OF WATER
The only thing this has going for it is the halved fire damage, and I don’t think that deserves preparation just for that.
I believe this one is a must. No concentration, single saving throw charm effect for ONE HOUR. Amazing applications and the advantage part can be dodged if you can land it before the fight begins. Higher levels give additional targets, which is great. Kinda DM dependant, as you don’t have direct control over its actions. Combine it with portent for ultimate cheese.
Whenever your party members are able to spam multiple attacks of the same element or for some reason you need to overcome specific resistances, this is acceptable. Most of the time it sucks.
FIND GREATER STEED
Flying mount with 59 HP, that hits for 19 every turn and has an advantage on perception checks (sight)? Sign me in (yes, griffon).
GUARDIAN OF NATURE
This Xanathar’s guide to everything spells pdf is a bless to rangers, that got a really good spell this time. Very good combat buff for a class that really needs it. Moon Druids can also use this to great effect, even though their concentration is more disputed.
SHADOW OF MOIL
This does 5 main things. People can’t target you with spells, attacks on you have a disadvantage, your attacks have an advantage, if anyone hits you they take 2d8 necrotic and you have resistance to radiant damage. It seems like a great buff for combat warlocks.
Requires some setup to work (enemies must be forced to stay inside or move through it) and allows the constitution saves, which reduces its effectiveness. Nevertheless, even though the damage is medíocre, applying exhaustion levels is a sure way to win quickly.
The damage is not great, and the control isn’t also.
SUMMON GREATER DEMON
This is a good spell. A Bulgaria will serve as an excellent minion on combat and has -1 on charisma saving throws, meaning that on your level 7 it has a 75% chance to fail. The odds turn even greater in your favor if you know it’s a true name (not hard to get with proper preparation).
Nice damage, range, and area. Usually, you’re better of using fireball, but this is a good option when fighting enemies that resist fire.
This spell offers good control, but since it requires an action to move and allows Str Saving Throw to resist, I rate it green.
Level 5 Spells Chapter 3rd:
Not that good as a battlefield control. Usually, you’re better just putting up a wall. The main advantage here it that it allows targeting by the party (even though ranged attacks are not effective, If your opponents are counting on it and you have saving throw based cantrips this can be good).
Much harder to setup than animate objects, and weaker as well. If you’re a necromancer wizard this becomes Good, as you also add your wizard level in HP to the creatures and your proficiency bonus to the damage.
The fact that creatures only take damage when they end their turns inside the cylinder reduces its value, but since the area is quite big, it can be good on a small battlefield. Since it IS sunlight, it absolutely destroys vampires.
By this level, there are better uses for concentration than this, as it also has a lot of conditions to work (you need to dedicate all your actions, it must lose on the first save). That said, once it lands the damage is good.
Concentration really kills this spell. Do you really want to use a 5th level spell and concentration to quick around for a bit? It is not even good for escaping, as by this level you already have dimension door. If for some reason your caster can work without concentration AND you need recurring mobility, this could work.
Paladins needed a good offensive buff, and this delivers in style. You might feel tempted to use this as a Cleric, but usually, you have better things to concentrate on.
I’m sure a PC casting this looks very cool, but it just isn’t effective.
This spell is expensive and as situational as it can get. If you have a very high social skill or the devil’s talisman AND time to set it up (can’t be done middle combat, since it takes 1 min) this can be effective. A lot of ifs.
Good area, good control, good damage. This could be a Must Have, but flying creatures escape easily and strength save is usually high on monsters.
NEGATIVE ENERGY FLOOD
Low damage, single target, constitution save, the zombie does not obey you.
If you’re already using enhance the ability and need another boost, this seems useful. Situational.
STEEL WIND STRIKE
6d10 to 5 targets plus a teleport? Sign me in. Must-Have for rangers.
Good damage, good area, good range, awesome debuff, intelligence saving throw, no concentration.
The first mode can be good as a no concentration battlefield control effect. The second mode requires preparation and probably won’t be used.
WALL OF LIGHT
It allows a con save to resist blindness and creatures can pass through it no problem. The 4d8 radiant damage consumes your action while also requiring concentration. Not impressed.
WRATH OF NATURE
Amazing battlefield control, with lots of good effects and a great area. The only thing keeping this from Must-Have is the need for a forest environment for it to work.
Level 6 Spells:
BONES OF THE EARTH
Inside a dungeon, it tends to be average as a battlefield control for when your concentration is already in use. Chip damage also welcome. This is the kind of spell I would potentially change the rating up or down after some play testing.
It is nice having a service that could potentially last forever. Sure it costs a lot, but you don’t need to give it any Hit Die, and it’s 10 intelligence (while knowing everything the caster knows and sharing a telepathic bond) means it can help in many ways.
If you need to protect an area this is the right spell for it. Not much use outside of that situation.
Investiture of Flame/Ice/Stone/Wind
Don’t really like any of those spells. The first two could be good when you know for certain you’re going to fight a certain type of enemy. The stone one really bugs me, as the only good effect is the defensive one (might be cool on druids, using the animal form for attacking). The Wind one seems flexible, giving flying, “resistance” to ranged attacks and some sort of offensive power, but still, I don’t wanna use my 6th level slot AND concentration for any of those. Could go up in rating after some feedback.
Once again, int save makes for the win. Very likely it means 15d10 psychic damage, which is nothing to laugh at. Even though it requires concentration, it is not likely to last given the nature of the spell.
Protection from energy?
This seems like a good spell when combined with proper battlefield control. The range is not great and it does very little on its own, so green it is.
Nice spell, multiple uses and easy condition to fulfill. The 6th level slot is expensive, but the utility is there.
This is such a weird spell to rate. After casting this, your two hits (that have an advantage) will deal with an average of 45 damage (assuming a rapier, dex +5 and both hitting), 50 TEMP HP, 20 AC (13 +5 +Shield), and two ST proficiencies (Con & Str). It is pretty hard to define the rating before seeing how it plays out, but I’m certain wizards of the War Magic tradition will love trying this.
CROWN OF STARS
Well provided you have nothing to do with your bonus actions. For the maximum action economy, activate this pre-combat.
POWER WORD PAIN
The problem here is the 100HP clause. Outside of that, it is pretty good since it does not allow for an initial saving throw. If you can chain attacks and saving throw on the opponent after the casting, it will probably end up dead before it’s next turn.
TEMPLE OF THE GODS
Like Druid Grove and Mighty Fortress, a good flavorful spell that performs greatly in certain situations.
Good battlefield control and damage, but allows way too many saving throws and consumes your action to be effective.
AEI-DALZIM’S HORRID WILTING
Creatures in a 30ft cube take an average of 54 necrotic damage (Con Save for half). Pretty bad for an 8th level spell.
7d6 elemental damage (int save!) for 10 turns consuming only bonus actions is great. Yes, it uses concentration, but add in the fear effect and the impact of having a dragon on the battlefield and you have an excellent spell.
Lackluster battlefield control overall, but when you have obstacles and enemies are not very mobile, this could do some work. The 8d8 damage every turn seems like it will hit for some turn, in that case, so I’m rating this green. Might be overrated though.
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Seems very good on situations such as a war. Very cool for RP, nice for dungeons masters use also. Niche spell, obviously, but a cool one. Who would pass the opportunity to summon a fortress?
When you’re casting 9th level spells damage is usually the least of your concerns.
You can only transform a target into a T-Rex if it has a level of 16. Usually, a PC with 16 levels is actually quite strong and resourceful, much more than a T-Rex. Therefore, for PCs, it is not really buff, but a meatshield. Since you can simultaneously transform willing targets and unwilling ones, this is basically “incapacitate some opponents while giving some of your party members a secondary HP at the cost of hindering their abilities”.
This ends combats, son. 10 targets, int save, 14d6 damage, stunned, good range, no concentration to maintain. It just does not get better than this.