5th Edition Spells – Blade Ward

Blade Ward

Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard - Cantrip Level Spell

School: Abjuration
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Self
Components: Verbal and Somatic
Duration: 1 Round
Attack/Save: None
Reference: PHB 218

You extend your hand and trace a sigil of warding in the air. Until the end of your next turn, you have resistance against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage dealt by weapon attacks.

My Comments: Sure, it’s a cantrip so you can’t expect much, but still, I can’t say I’m impressed. Basically, you give up an action in one turn to reduce the damage you’re going to take for ONE round.

Personally, I think you’re probably better off using your action to do some damage.

The saddest part is that the spell sounds so cool and just isn’t.

Dave Goff

Writing and creating in my spare time to avoid going crazy in this mad, mad, world. Check out some of my materials on DMsGuild and let me know what you think! subscribe to keep up with new posts and leave comments to keep the conversation going.


  1. ravean on April 21, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    I agree. Maybe if you could cast it on another target it would be worth using.

    • Daveg on April 21, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      Or if it would at least last until the next time you get hit within a minute…

      I mean, it’s got such a cool name, it seems like it should be more useful. 🙂

  2. Jeremiah Davis on February 1, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Most criticism I see is ‘you might as well dodge’, except blade ward lasts until the end of your next turn. So really you could stack dodge and blade ward together, or attack while blade ward is still active…but like you said it’s probably better to just do some damage both rounds if possible.

    If you’re in the situation where you can’t do anything, but you know some action is coming your way, and arrow, or you are a warcaster…it might come in handy. I think I want it to be more useful than it actually is…if I just think hard enough, but i can’t. 🙂

    • Jeremiah Davis on February 1, 2017 at 9:15 pm

      or if you were attacking something really strong you could take the cost of every other turn (you still have bonus actions and opportunity attacks?) in order to take half damage even vs. magic weapons…but you only get half your turns…i’m still thinking 😛

      • DaveGoff on February 2, 2017 at 1:20 pm

        Ha! Well, I’m impressed you put so much effort into it. 🙂

  3. Frederick Coen on March 21, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    We ended up leaving “Bladeward as an Action” unchanged, for its situational full-round benefits. But we added “OR, as a Bonus Action, you benefit from Bladeward against the single next triggering attack, and then the effect is removed.” So the EK 5 can attack, attack, bladeward, and take half damage from a single attack. Great when he was battling the single remorhaz, but sucked when surrounded by the flock of 12 werepenguins (don’t ask)…

    • Dave Goff on March 21, 2023 at 9:01 pm

      I … I am so happy to have the opportunity to imagine a party surrounded by werepenguins. That’s really all the matters in this post now.
      And I like your homebrewing of it. Seems reasonable to me.

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