Spiritual Weapon 5E — DnD spell explained 2024

Summon a divine armament with the Spiritual Weapon 5E. Attack foes with a weapon manifested from faith.

Spiritual Weapon 5E: Cleric from DnD holding divine weapon
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What Is Spiritual Weapon 5E?

Spiritual Weapon 5E (PHB, p. 278) is a 2nd level evocation spell on the Cleric spell list. It takes a bonus action to cast and lasts for one minute. When you cast the spell, you create a spectral weapon within 60 feet of you and can make a melee spell attack against a creature within 5ft of that weapon. On a hit, the weapon does 1d8 + your spellcasting modifier of force damage. On subsequent turns, you can use a bonus action to move the weapon up to 20 feet and repeat the attack; you do not need to move the weapon to attack if your target is still within reach.

When cast with a slot of higher level, the damage of the attack increases by 1d8 for every two levels above 2nd.

Note: while you are creating a spectral weapon, it is not a creature or an object. It does not occupy its space, so creatures can freely move through that space) and moving out of its reach does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Is Spiritual Weapon 5E a good spell?

Overwhelmingly so! Spiritual Weapon has two key strengths: it isn’t concentration-based, and it costs a bonus action to both cast and use. This allows you to use other longer-duration spells simultaneously and leaves you with your action free. For Clerics, this often means combining Spiritual Weapon with Spirit Guardians, casting something like Sacred Flame on the turn you cast Spiritual Weapon. 

On later rounds, if you need to cast a healing spell or take an action which isn’t directly controlling or offensive, such as Dodge and Dash, you are still able to contribute damage to the combat that round.

The final two feathers in this spell’s rather fancy cap are its level and damage type. As levels increase, a 2nd level spell slot becomes a relatively cheap resource for a full caster like a Cleric, allowing the spell to be used frequently throughout the adventuring day. Force is also arguably the most appropriate damage type as it is the least resisted damage type in the game, with only a few monsters being resistant to it.

How else can you get Spiritual Weapon 5E?

Spiritual Weapon is an iconic spell unique to the Cleric’s spell list, but there are some other ways to grab it:

College of Lore (Bard Subclass) – While all Bards could eventually pick up Spiritual Weapon with Magical Secrets, the Lore Bard’s additional secret choices at 6th level make it a much more viable option rather than waiting until later levels.

Divine Soul (Sorcerer Subclass) – This subclass allows you to choose from both the Sorcerer and Cleric spell lists, facilitating the acquisition of Spiritual Weapon as early as a Cleric can: level 3.

Oath of Conquest (Paladin Subclass) – You’ll have to wait two levels later than a Cleric, but this Paladin subclass will get you Spiritual weapon at 5th level.

Tip: I feel it’s also worth noting that Spiritual Weapon is a domain spell for the Life and War Cleric Domains. This means that it is always prepared for those Clerics without counting against their limited prepared spells.

How to roleplay the Spiritual Weapon 5E spell

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

  • The Bard whispered a prayer to their muse, and a brilliant whip appeared in their hand. The weapon crackled with energy as the Bard snapped it towards the bandit king, leaving a fiery welt on their cheek. With a smirk, the Bard retreated, ready for their next move.
  • The Sorcerer called upon their innate magical power and summoned a spectral javelin. The weapon hummed with raw energy as the Sorcerer hurled it toward the orc chieftain. The javelin pierced through the brute’s armor, leaving a smoking hole in its chest.
  • The Cleric closed their eyes and chanted a spell of divine wrath. A blazing mace of light appeared in front of them, imbued with the power of their deity. With a fierce cry, the Cleric charged towards the fiendish cultist, the weapon striking true with each blow.
  • The Paladin closed their eyes and called upon their deity for aid. A spectral hammer appeared behind their quarry, wreathed in golden light. With a shout of triumph, the paladin charged towards the undead, hammer swinging from their blind spot.

Hopefully, this article helped show you don’t always need to put down the prayer beads to smack evil right in the kisser. If you liked this spell, check out the best Cleric 5E spells. In the meantime, keep those holy symbols close to hand!

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