This pointed weapon has been part of human technology for hundreds of thousands of years, and have been included in Dungeons and Dragons since the very beginning. In this article, we’ll take a look at how spears work in 5E and interesting ways to use them.
How Spears work
A spear is a simple weapon that costs 1 GP and does 1d6 piercing damage on a hit. It has the thrown property with a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet. This means that you can throw the spear to make an attack, but you will suffer disadvantage if throwing it over 20 feet and it will automatically miss if throwing it over 60 feet. It also has the versatile property, which allows you to roll a d8 for damage instead of the d6 if you wield the spear with two hands.
The spear is available from level 1 to every class, except Sorcerers and Wizards. If you would like to use a spear with either of those classes you can gain the proficiency from multiclassing, the Weapon Master feat, and the Bladesinger Wizard subclass.
More than a pointy stick
If you’re enamored with the idea of primarily, or solely, using a spear for your next PC you might be wondering what cool tricks you can do with it. Fear not, here are a couple of examples to get your creative juices flowing:
The Switch-Hitting Artificer – This build uses the Returning Weapon infusion from the Artificer class to allow you to throw your spear repeatedly, without needing to draw a new one and whilst also making it a +1 magic weapon. The simplest execution of this concept is to play the Battle Smith subclass to gain the Extra Attack feature and use your returning spear in one hand, with a shield in the other.
This allows you to use your spear as a ranged weapon most of the time, perfect for skirmishing, whilst also allowing you to seamlessly switch to melee combat as needed.
The Hail of Strikes Fighter – A build that focuses on damage without compromising on your defenses, this uses a martial class with the Fighting Style feature, preferably the Fighter for the additional ASIs. You take the Dueling style for additional damage when using your spear one-handed, and take the Polearm Master (PAM) feat. PAM allows you to make a bonus action attack with your spear, greatly increasing your resource-less damage, and gives you a more reliable way of getting opportunity attacks.
This combination is a formidable damage build and can be used with a shield for a high AC, or an empty for casting spells if you choose a class/subclass that has access to them.
We hope that this article has been helpful and gotten straight to the point of the spear. If you’re a new player learning the game, then check out our how to play section, or if you’re here because you’re considering a spear-using Fighter, then check out our Fighter guide. Until next time, may your strikes be accurate, and may your spear fly true.