The place for charisma to shine is in the hands of a bard. Many people don’t like using bards as spellcasters for various reasons, but there are actually some very useful spells that you can obtain when you choose the bard class. Here are some of the best spells from the 5E bard list.
Vicious Mockery (Cantrip)
Bards are often unpopular due to their lack of aggressive spells, but this cantrip deals damage in a unique and funny way, with a fantastic rider effect. Using this spell you mock a target within range, if it fails a wisdom save it takes psychic damage from the unrelenting mockery you have just issued. The icing on the cake is that they’ll also have disadvantage on the first attack roll they make before the end of their next turn. You really shouldn’t talk about their mother like that, you don’t know what they’ve been through.
Mage Hand (Cantrip)
Want to touch that curious looking object the DM described but don’t want to feel the consequences? Cast the mage hand cantrip and have a spectral hand do it for you whilst you stand 30ft away, avoiding any possible onslaught of attacks. The mage hand remains for a minute and you can use one action to command it to do something. It unfortunately cannot attack for you, but it can manipulate and move objects which is actually a lot more useful than many people realise. Keep in mind the hand can only lift 10 pounds at once, so it might take a while to empty that vault.
Cure Wounds (1st Level)
I am of the firm belief that you should take healing spells where you can get them, especially if your party does not have a cleric or a paladin. Bards are a supportive class and what better way to support the party than by healing them when they are injured. Cure Wounds is a touch spell, but it is worth noting that bards can also learn Healing Word. It restores fewer hit points but can be cast from further away and as a bonus action.
Faerie Fire (1st Level)
There is a strong likelihood that at least one member in your party does not have darkvision. Whether it is you or someone else, this first level spell can greatly assist your navigation whether you are in combat or not. Faerie fire illuminates every object within its range and those objects emit 20ft of dim light. If creatures are in the range of the spell they can also be illuminated, provided they fail a dexterity save. If a creature fails their save, everyone will have advantage on attack rolls against them and they can’t benefit from being invisible.
Thunderwave (1st Level)
Once again, you can try to say bards don’t have good attack spells but remember that they have access to this 1st level bad boy. You create a 15ft cube of lightening in which every creature must make a constitution saving throw. They take damage even if they succeed, but if they fail they take the full amount of damage and are even pushed 10ft away from you, possibly allowing other party members to get a couple of opportunity attacks on the shocked victims.
Hold Person (2nd Level)
Do what a bard does best and support your team, cast this second level spell and paralyze a target so that the beefy members of your party, like the fighter and barbarian, can get their hits in. Sadly, it only affects humanoids and a target can escape this paralysis if they succeed on a wisdom saving throw, and after being paralysed they can make another saving throw on their turn to try and end the effects. The benefits are worth the limitations however, against a paralyzed creature your party will have advantage on attacks and all hits within five feet will be critical hits! There’s other benefits included with paralysis, like automatically failing Dex saves, and if there are multiple enemies then you can upcast it to affect additional targets. Who said violence was always the answer?
Heat Metal (2nd Level)
Now, if you do believe that violence is always the answer then you may want to use this spell. It may not be as flashy or as powerful as fireball, but it certainly does pack a punch. You can use this 2nd level spell to heat an object made of metal, such as an opponent’s armor or sword, causing them to take 2d8 fire damage. Once they’ve taken this damage, the target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw, or drop the burning hunk of metal if they’re able to. You can cause this damage again for up to a minute using your bonus action, did someone say barbeque?
Tiny Hut (3rd Level)
Also known as Leomund’s Tiny Hut, I wholeheartedly believe that this spell is one of the most useful spells out there. If I ever play a character with this spell, I will cast it just before having a long rest as a ritual, so no spell slot is even needed! This spell creates, as you may have guessed, a tiny hut that can fit nine medium or smaller sized creatures within its walls. Inside the dome you are shielded from the outside and it remains for 8 hours, no concentration needed. It’s perfect for allowing your group to take a long rest without worrying about finding adequate shelter.
Hypnotic Pattern (3rd Level)
The idea of this spell is beautiful and terrifying. Providing you have a 3rd level spell slot; you can use this illusion spell to make a beautiful spinning pattern of colours and shapes in a 30ft cube. Anyone who stood in this cube has to then make a wisdom saving throw and if they fail, they become charmed and incapacitated. I personally think that this spell is severely underused, especially since it can also be cast by sorcerers, wizards and warlocks.
Dimension Door (4th Level)
This 4th level spell can be used by four different spell casting classes. And that makes it pretty useful for everyone as you can instantly teleport to within 500ft of you. You can also take another willing creature with you (as long as they are the same size as you), great for if you know you’ve no chance of defeating the monster in front of you. But be very careful and specific when telling the DM where you are going. If you try to enter an occupied space the spell fails, and you take damage as a result of your mistakes.