What are DnD 5E spell cards & which decks should you get

Your DM has called for initiative and the situation is dire; a band of highwaymen has ambushed the caravan you were hired to protect and are making an escape with the precious medicinal elixir a small village is relying on. The d20s have fallen and the Dice Gods have decided your plucky Warlock has the first turn, the chance to stop said bandits and save an entire village. You feel the top of the order jitters start to set in as you describe to the DM how your Warlock begins to bend the Weave to his will, exploiting the eldritch secrets you sold your very soul for, to cast… What was that spell again? Which of the spells you know can even travel that far? Seconds tick away and, under the gaze of your fellow players, you resign yourself to another Eldritch Blast and hope it’s enough.

We’ve all been there, maybe it’s been a week or two since you last played, or you’re still new to the character but for the life of you, you can’t remember what your spells and abilities are or quite how they work. 7 years into Dungeon and Dragons 5th Edition, the number of options available to us players is simply staggering, especially when it comes to spells and the various details you need to remember to make them work. You could make notes on your character sheet or a notebook, but what if you’re a prepared caster like a Druid or a Paladin? Will you just write down your entire spell list?

This is where DnD 5E spell cards come in: decks of cards that have all the information about the spells in 5th edition written on them for easy reference at the table. Suddenly bending the laws of physics becomes as simple as reading a study flashcard. The dilemma of prepared casters is now easily solved, as you simply separate out from the deck the spells you have prepared for that day. This allows you to easily keep track without needing to carefully erase all those little pencil marks you made on your notes each time you long rest.

Pretty great, huh? Let’s take a look at the different kinds of decks you can get, so you can decide which to buy (until you eventually get them all, that is!).

Arcane Spell Cards Deck

This deck is on the larger size and understandably so! This one deck contains all of the spells (from cantrips, all the way to 9th level) for the Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard — and if you’re unsure which of the hundreds of available spells you should take as a Wizards, here are the best ones. There are 257 cards in total, covering the entire core spells from the Player’s Handbook, so this is a great starting deck to cover multiple characters.

Bard Spell Cards Deck

Lutes, flutes, backflips, and knife juggling–no it’s not a list of my failed hobbies, but a sampling of the diversity you can find in the Bard class. You can choose to play a full caster-type support role, try your hand at some martial action, or hand out more temporary hit points than your DM can shake a goblin at. If you love the various performers you can make with this diverse class, then this deck is for you. It boasts 128 cards chock-full of what you need to heal, change how people feel, and make your enemies kneel!*

*witty insults not included

Cleric Spell Cards Deck

How many d6s are in a Guiding Bolt? How long does Guidance last? If you find yourself praying to your chosen deity for these answers, and are drawn to playing one-off DnD’s warrior-priests, then the Cleric deck is for you. From Light to True Resurrection, this set of 153 cards has you covered when it comes to Cleric spells.

Druid Spell Cards Deck

What spells can you concentrate on as a bear again? How far does Thornwhip pull enemies? Exactly how many puppies can you summon for cuddle time your next encounter? It sounds like you need this deck full of 131 Druid spells!

Elemental Spell Cards Deck

Looking to play a mage that focuses on one particular element, but finding the selection a little lacking? This deck contains all 43 spells added with the Elemental Evil player’s companion (a free downloadable supplement to the Prince’s of the Apocalypse adventure) and is a great addition to any spell card collection to bring you up to date.

Paladin Spell Cards Deck

You’ve been chosen, taken the oath, and readied your divine smite to strike evil down, but as you ready your pack for your next journey, you begin to wonder, ‘where did I park?,’ which soon after becomes, ‘what did I park?’. And now you can’t remember what kind of noble beasts you can choose for Find Steed. Then you finally get to work and want to double smite that arrogant Demon Lord but can’t remember which smite spell would be the best attitude adjustment? Then you should pick up this deck, with 69 Paladin spells to help you on your neverending fight to uphold your oath.

Ranger Spell Cards Deck

As your group journeys through the dangerous lands, they count on your keen skills to lead the way safely. Easy task, provided you remember all you’re able to do. Is that orc too far away for you to Hunter’s Mark? How much damage would Hail of Thorns do to that group of Mephits? Track down this deck of 46 cards to help your enclave!

Xanathar’s Guide Spell Cards Deck

Saved up your pocket money from babysitting Sylgar and bought yourself Xanathar’s Guide to Everything? You’ll be needing this spell booster deck! It contains everything. Well, no, but it does have all 95 spells from the book, letting you top up your spell lists no matter what your choice of caster is.

Martial Powers & Races Cards Deck

Because sometimes brawn is better, you might prefer a Fighter to a Wizard. Maybe all that time meditating provides no help in recalling all those juicy Monk abilities. Or perhaps you just like to play races that get to do cool things, then this deck is for you! This deck contains 61 cards to help you remember everything from Battle Master maneuvers to spell-like racial abilities (like an Aasimar’s Light, or a drow’s Faerie Fire). Next time you’re testing your mettle against their metal, you’ll be more than ready with this deck.

Now you’re armed with the knowledge to put down that highwaymen group and hopefully shed enough wallet weight to get over that pit trap, but wait! Disaster has struck, you mindlessly reach for your deck of choice after the session’s snacks have been broken out; the mixture of pizza grease, Cheetos dust and Mountain Dew fizz thick on your hands. Fear not brave adventurers! Each and every one of these useful cards are laminated and easily wiped clean of the horrors of tabletop-based battle, phew!