Mage Armor 5E — DnD spell explained 2023

Shield yourself with our guide to the Mage Armor 5E spell in DnD. Conjure protective energy to ward against attacks.

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What is Mage Armor 5E?

Mage Armor 5E is a 1st level abjuration spell, which is natively available to Sorcerers and Wizards. It requires a vocal, somatic, and material component, with the latter being some cured leather. It takes an action to cast, allowing the caster to touch one creature who isn’t wearing any armor and set their AC to 13 + Dex modifier. The spell lasts for 8 hours and ends early if the spellcaster uses an action to dismiss it or the target dons armor.

Is Mage Armor 5E a good spell?

Mage Armor is an okay spell that fills an important niche, as both the Wizard and Sorcerer lack armor proficiencies because they have access to this spell, and Shield, to compensate. In terms of sheer power, it’s equivalent to any other source of AC that gives you a flat number in addition to Dexterity, such as a Dragon Sorcerer’s Draconic Resilience. It has the benefit of not needing a second stat, besides Dexterity, for your AC like a Monk and Barbarian’s Unarmored Defense features do. However, it also has a much lower ceiling than those features. This spell can really shine when you cast it on others, such as giving the Roge the equivalent of +1 studded leather or making a summoned creature like familiars or a Find Steed summon more durable.

How can you get Mage Armor 5E spell?

If you need a way to toughen up that soft body, then don’t worry! These are the ways you can grab this spell:

  • Sorcerers and Wizards – These classes get Mage Armor on their spell lists natively.
  • Arcane Trickster (Rogue Subclass) – This Rogue can choose spells from the Wizard spell list, and can choose Mage Armor as one of their spells as early as 8th level as it doesn’t match their restrictions.
  • Eldritch Knight (Fighter Subclass) – Similar to above, this Fighter subclass can choose spells from the Wizard list and can choose Mage Armor as it matches their abjuration restriction.
  • Armor of Shadows (Eldritch Invocation) – This invocation lets a Warlock cast Mage Armor at will.
  • Mark of Warding Dwarf (Race Variant) – These dwarves can cast Mage Armor once per long rest for free, along with other spells, as part of their Wards and Seals feature.
  • Magic Initiate (Feat) – By choosing Sorcerer, or Wizard as the class spell list, you can choose Mage Armor as the spell you can cast once per day, along with two cantrips from the chosen list.
  • Aberrant Dragonmark (Feat) – This half-feat allows you to bump your Constitution by +1, grab Mage Armor, and a cantrip of your choice from the Sorcerer spell list. Just be careful casting Mage Armor in case you accidentally hurt your allies if you choose to empower it with a Hit Die.
  • Strixhaven Initiate (Feat) – You can get a free casting of Mage Armor with this feat by choosing any college besides Silverquill, as long as you choose the relevant spell list. In addition, you’ll also get two cantrips, the specifics depending on your choice of college.

How to roleplay the Mage Armor 5E spell

Need some help roleplaying the Mage Armor spell? Here are some examples to help you out:

  • The party moves cautiously through the dark, narrow corridors of the ancient dungeon. Lurking threats could be around any corner, and the Sorcerer is well aware of the need for protection. He mutters the incantation of the Mage Armor spell, causing a rippling, ethereal field to envelop his body. The magical armor glistens like starlight, giving him great comfort that there is now more between him and death than just his shirt.
  • In the midst of a fierce battle against a pack of werewolves, Ophira the tiefling warlock calls upon the power of her eldritch patron. She feels the dark energies coursing through her veins as she casts Mage Armor, an invisible, magical force wrapping itself around her like a second skin. The werewolves’ razor-sharp claws scrape and screech against her magical barrier, leaving her unscathed and defiant in the face of their relentless onslaught.
  • Entering the throne room of the enemy stronghold, the Arcane Trickster senses the impending danger. He quickly casts a protective spell, its arcane energy coalescing into an almost invisible, shimmering cloak around him. As the enemy guards rush towards him, their weapons raised and ready to strike, the Rogue’s newfound protection deflects their blows, allowing him to focus on outsmarting his foes and securing a path to victory for his comrades.

Hopefully, this article was informative and helped protect your vital organs from a variety of sharp objects they might encounter as an adventurer. If you’re interested in getting more bang for your buck from this spell, then check out our Sorcerer 5E guide, or If you’re interested in researching other spells then check out our 5E spells section, Good luck out there adventurers, until next time, remember to cast it before the fight starts!

Expert Editor-in-Chief