Absorb Elements 5E — DnD spell explained 2024

Defend with the reactive shield of Absorb Elements 5E. Turn elemental attacks to your advantage in battle.

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What is Absorb Elements 5E?

Absorb Elements 5E is a 1st level abjuration spell in Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. It requires a somatic component to cast and has a duration of 1 round. It is cast as a reaction, which is triggered when you take damage of the acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder type, and grants you resistance to the triggering damage type until the end of your next turn. Additionally, you deal an additional 1d6 damage to the first creature you hit with a melee attack on your subsequent turn.

If you cast this spell using a higher level spell slot, the extra damage increases by 1d6 for every level above 1st.

Is Absorb Elements 5E a good spell?

Absorb Elements 5E: Druid casting spell on enemy
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Absorb Elements is a very useful spell, whilst it is best utilized by characters with an incentive to make melee attacks normally, all characters can benefit from such a wide blanket of protection at such a low cost.

However, the spell does have some limitations. The reaction needed to cast the spell might be better served on a different defense, such as the Shield spell, or the goliath’s Stone’s Endurance feature. Generally speaking, you should try to avoid casting Absorb Elements against low amounts of damage, unless there’s a risk that damage might take you to zero hit points.

Overall, Absorb Elements is a solid spell that provides a valuable defensive boost for characters as everyone will eventually face elemental damage in D&D 5E.

How can you get Absorb Elements 5E?

Absorb Elements 5E: Sorcerer from DnD casting spell
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If you’re worried about getting roasted by a stray Fireball, then worry not! Here’s a list of all the ways to grab this defensive spell:

  • Artificer, Druid, Ranger, Sorcerer, and Wizard – These classes get Absorb Elements on their spell lists natively.
  • Arcane Trickster (Rogue Subclass) – This Rogue can choose spells from the Wizard spell list, and can choose Absorb Elements as one of their unrestricted spells as early as 3rd level.
  • Eldritch Knight (Fighter Subclass) – Similar to above, this Fighter subclass can choose spells from the Wizard list and can choose Absorb Elements as one of their spells as it matches their abjuration restriction.
  • Aberrant Dragonmark (Feat) – This feat will allow you to choose a cantrip and spell from the Sorcerer spell list, allowing you to cast Absorb Elements once per short or long rest without a spell slot.
  • Artificer Initiate (Feat) – In addition to choosing a 1st level spell from the Artificer list, this feat allows you to choose a cantrip and a type of artisan’s tools. Getting the spell this way will allow you to cast it with your spell slots, but also give you a free casting of it once per long rest.
  • Divinely Favored (Feat) – By choosing the Neutral alignment option you can access this spell via the Druid spell list, as well as gaining the Augury spell.
  • Magic Initiate (Feat) – You can get Absorb Elements and two cantrips from your choice of Druid, Sorcerer, or Wizard spell list. Getting the spell in this way allows you to cast it once per long rest, however, you can only cast it with spell slots if you have levels in the class you selected when you chose the feat.
  • Strixhaven Initiate (Feat) – Every college option, with the exception of Silverquill, will give you access to a spell list that has Absorb Elements. This will allow you to cast it once per long rest for free and with any spell slots you may have. In addition, you can choose two cantrips from a limited list.

How to roleplay the Absorb Elements 5E spell

Absorb Elements 5E: Druid in the forest casting spell
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Need some help roleplaying the Absorb Elements spell? Here are some examples to help you out:

  • As you see the enemy Sorcerer casting a bolt of lightning in your direction, you quickly respond by invoking a protective spell in response. You feel a surge of energy course through you as you absorb the lightning’s power, taking the energy into yourself and transforming it into a potent magical shield.
  • As the dragon’s fiery breath engulfs you, you instinctively call upon the power of nature’s love to shield yourself from the flames. You feel the heat wash over you as the spell takes in the energy of the fire, absorbing it and channeling it into your staff ready to unleash back at the dragon.
  • As the orc chieftain charges at you with his flaming axe, you steady yourself and prepare to cast the Absorb Elements spell. You focus your energy on the incoming attack, feeling the heat and flames wash over you as the spell absorbs the energy of the fire. With a burst of magical energy, you unleash the absorbed power back at the orc, sending him stumbling backward with a surprised grunt. As he recovers, you smile, knowing that you’ve gained the upper hand in this battle.

With any luck, our article has armed you with the knowledge you need to avoid getting burned by a dragon’s breath weapon. If you’re planning on creating a new Ranger character, be sure to consult our comprehensive Ranger 5E guide. And for those looking to expand their magical abilities, our spells section offers a wealth of information. Stay safe out there, adventurers, and watch out for any incoming fireballs!

Expert Editor-in-Chief