Guiding Bolt spell in DnD 5E explained

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What is Guiding Bolt?

Guiding Bolt (PHB, p. 248) is a 1st level evocation spell, which is only natively available to Clerics. It requires a vocal and somatic component and takes an action to cast. When you cast it you make a ranged spell attack against a creature within 120 ft., dealing 4d6 radiant damage on a hit. In addition, the creature is dimly lit by magical light. Before the end of your next turn, the next attack against the creature has advantage.

If you cast this spell with a 2nd level or higher spell slot, the damage increases by 1d6 for every level above 1st. For example, a 3rd level casting of Guiding Bolt would deal 6d6 radiant damage.

Is Guiding Bolt a good spell?

In a nutshell, yes! Guiding Bolt offers a good amount of single-target damage, of a valuable type, for a first level spell. On top of that, advantage as a rider effect is something that will age really well as you level up, with the characters taking advantage of it hitting harder and harder as they level up themselves. However, you need to consider the risk of missing the attack, effectively wasting the spell slot. Comparing Guiding Bolt to a spell like Bless can make this decision very difficult, so it’s best to weigh up when it’s worth casting it.

To make the most out of this spell, you should consider accuracy boosts to increase the chance of landing the attack, ways of increasing the damage, or generally increasing the value of the action and spell slot you’re using on the spell. An easy way of doing this is choosing Guiding Bolt as a Divine Soul Sorcerer, this allows you to hit more often with Favored by the Gods, hit two enemies at once with Twinned Spell, or free up your action to do something else by using Quickened Spell. If you are interested in boosting the raw damage then the Celestial Warlock natively boosts every cast from 6th level onwards, or races like the goblin can add damage a limited number of times per day.

How can you get Guiding Bolt?

If the idea of lighting up monsters with burning radiance interests you, then fear not! Here is a list of how you can grab this spell:

  • Cleric – This is the only class to get Guiding Bolt on their spell list natively.
  • Divine Soul (Sorcerer Subclass) – This Sorcerer can choose spells from both their own and the Cleric spell lists, including the blasting spell in question.
  • Circle of the Stars (Druid Subclass) – If you’re a fan of Guiding Bolt then this is the Druid for you. This subclass has the spell always prepared, without counting against your prepared spells allowance, and gives you a number of free castings of it equal to your proficiency bonus per long rest!
  • Oath of Glory (Paladin Subclass) – These Paladins get Guiding Bolt from 3rd level as an Oath Spell.
  • Celestial (Warlock Subclass) – Thanks to the Expanded Spell List feature, these Warlocks can choose to spend a spell known on grabbing this blasting spell, which would upcast well with their spell slot progression.
  • Magical Secrets (Bard Class Feature) – This would be an expensive way of getting the spell, but if you really want then any Bard can gain Guiding Bolt.
  • Magic Initiate (Feat) – With this feat, you can nab one free casting of Guiding Bolt and two cantrips by choosing Cleric as the spell list. However, if you have spell slots you won’t be able to use them to cast it unless you have at least one level in Cleric.
  • Divinely Favored (Feat) – By choosing the Good alignment you can choose a 1st level spell from the Cleric list, including Guiding Bolt.
  • Strixhaven Initiate (Feat) – The Lorehold and Silverquill college options will let you grab Guiding Bolt, along with a couple of cantrips from a limited list.

How to roleplay the Guiding Bolt spell

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

  • As you extend your hand towards the enemy, a bright light emanates from your fingertips, forming into a powerful beam of radiant energy. You aim the beam at the target, and it strikes with a blinding flash of light, dealing significant damage and leaving the enemy stunned and disoriented.
  • You raise your holy symbol to the sky, and a pillar of radiant energy descends from above, striking the enemy with incredible force. The bolt pierces through the enemy’s defenses, leaving them weakened and vulnerable to further attacks from your allies.
  • You chant a prayer to your deity, and a brilliant beam of radiant energy shoots forth from your outstretched hand. The bolt of light smashes into your enemy, causing them to stagger and falter under the powerful assault.
  • You focus your mind and channel your divine power into your palm, gathering it into a concentrated burst of radiant energy. As you release the energy, it shoots towards the enemy in a blinding flash, leaving them stunned and blinded by the sheer force of the attack.
  • As you call upon the power of your deity, a brilliant bolt of radiant energy forms in your hand, crackling with divine power. You hurl the bolt towards your enemy, striking them with incredible force and leaving them reeling from the impact. The energy from the bolt continues to linger around the enemy, making them easier to hit and vulnerable to further attacks.

Hopefully, this article was informative and prepared you to bring radiant vengeance to you enemies and assists to your allies. if you’re interested in getting more bang for your buck from this spell, then check out our Sorcerer guide, or If you’re interested in researching other spells then check out our spells section, Good luck out there adventurers, until next time, go light those monsters up!

What is Guiding Bolt in DnD 5e?

Guiding Bolt is a 1st level Cleric spell, that uses an attack roll to deal 4d6 radiant damage and give advantage to the next attack against the creature.

What level spell is Guiding Bolt in DnD 5e?

Guiding Bolt is a 1st level spell.

How does Guiding Bolt compare to other spells in DnD 5e?

Guiding Bolt is a powerful first level spell that scales reasonably well when upcast, but always remains relevant when cast at its lowest level thanks to the damage type and advantage it grants.

Can Guiding Bolt be used in conjunction with other spells or abilities in DnD 5e?

Guiding Bolt works well with attack roll abilities and pairs really well with the Twinned Spell Metamagic.

Who can cast Guiding Bolt in DnD 5e?

Guiding Bolt is only on the Cleric spell list, but also available to Celestial Warlocks, Divine Soul Sorcerers, and more. See above for the full list.

Expert Editor-in-Chief