Fireball 5E — DnD spell explained 2023

Ignite the battlefield with our guide to the Fireball 5E spell in DnD. Unleash a fiery explosion that engulfs your foes.

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What is Fireball 5E?

Fireball 5E (PHB, p. 241) is a 3rd level evocation spell, which is only natively available to Sorcerers and Wizards. It requires vocal, somatic component, and material components with the latter being some sulfur and bat guano. It takes an action to cast and has a range of 150 ft., forcing every creature within a 20 ft. radius of a point you choose within that range to make a Dexterity saving throw. Any creature that fails that saving throw takes 8d6 fire damage, whilst those that succeed take half that amount.

If you cast this spell with a 4th level or higher spell slot, the damage increases by 1d6 for every level above 1st. For example, a 5th level casting of Fireball would deal 10d6 fire damage.

Is Fireball 5E a good spell?

Resoundingly, yes! Fireball is actually more powerful than a typical 3rd level spell should be, this is due to being so iconic in the history of the game. The combination of such a long distance, the massive radius of effect, and the high amount of damage cement it as an easy choice for any Sorcerer or Wizard looking for a blasting spell once they get 3rd level spell slots. However, the fire damage type can run afoul of many monsters, with fire damage being one of the most resisted/immune to by monsters in the game. It can also be hard to position such a large AoE spell without catching yourself or an ally in it from time to time. Despite the drawbacks, this is still a great spell.

If you want to get more out of this spell, then you’re in luck as there are many ways to enhance or augment this spell! Evocation Wizards can protect allies from being caught in the spell, allowing you to drop Fireball directly on top of your party without a second thought. Sorcerers have access to a variety of Metamagic options that greatly benefit this spell, such as Heightened Spell to give disadvantage on the saving throw and Transmute Spell to change the fire damage to a more effective type. Artillerists are also well suited to this spell, adding more damage to it through their Arcane Firearm feature, effectively upcasting at 4th level for free.

How can you get Fireball 5E spell?

If the idea of incinerating large numbers of enemies with cleansing fire is appealing, then fear not! Here is a list of how you can grab this spell:

  • Sorcerer and Wizard – These classes get Fireball on their spell list and can choose it from 5th level onwards.
  • Arcane Trickster (Rogue Subclass) – This Rogue can choose spells from the Wizard spell list, and can choose Fireball as one of their unrestricted spells at with 14th or 20th level.
  • Eldritch Knight (Fighter Subclass) – Similar to above, this Fighter subclass can choose spells from the Wizard list and can choose Fireball as one of their spells from 13th level onwards as it matches their evocation restriction.
  • Artillerist (Artificer Subclass) – This Artificer subclass gets access to Fireball at 9th level through their Artillerist Spells feature.
  • Light Domain (Cleric Subclass) – These Clerics gain Fireball as a Domain Spell at 5th level. 
  • Fiend (Warlock Subclass) – Warlocks that choose this patron have the option of choosing Fireball as one of their spells from 5th level onwards thanks to their Expanded Spell List feature.
  • Genie (Warlock Subclass) – Similar to the above, this Warlock subclass gets the choice of  Fireball as part of their Expanded Spells feature, however, only for those that chose the Efreeti option.
  • Way of the Four Elements (Monk Subclass) – This Avatar-esque Monk can cast Fireball from 11th level for 4 Ki points by choosing the Flames of the Phoenix Elemental Discipline.
  • Magical Secrets (Bard Class Feature) – Any Bard can choose Fireball with this feature from 10th level onwards, but Lore Bards have the option of grabbing it much earlier at 6th level.

Note: Whilst it’s not the literal Fireball spell, the Sun Soul Monk’s Searing Sunburst ability is essentially a Fireball but with radiant damage.

How to roleplay the Fireball 5E spell

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

  • As you utter the incantation and point your finger at the group of enemies, a tiny spark appears at your fingertip, rapidly growing in size until it explodes into a massive ball of flame. The searing heat washes over your opponents, engulfing them in a conflagration that leaves them writhing in pain. Some of them manage to dodge out of the way, but others are caught in the blast, their flesh blackening and their armor melting. You can hear their screams even over the roar of the flames.
  • You channel the power of fire through your body, feeling the heat rising within you until it threatens to consume you. With a fierce shout, you unleash the inferno at your foes, sending a ball of flame hurtling towards them. It explodes on impact, setting everything around it ablaze. The smell of charred flesh and smoke fills your nostrils as you watch your enemies burn. For a fleeting moment, you feel like a god of fire, commanding the destructive power of the elements.
  • You close your eyes and focus your mind, visualizing a ball of pure flame forming in your hands. You can feel the magic flowing through your body, guiding your movements as you throw the fireball towards your enemies. It explodes with a deafening roar, engulfing everything in a sea of fire. You watch in satisfaction as your opponents stagger and fall, their bodies consumed by the flames. The heat is so intense that you can feel it even from where you stand, but you are unharmed, protected by the magic that surrounds you.

Hopefully, this article was informative and prepared you to drop a roaring. if you’re interested in this spell as an aspiring Artillerist, then check out our Artificer 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, FIREBALL!