5th Edition Spells – Sword Burst

Sword Burst

Artificer, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard - Cantrip Level Spell

School: Conjuration
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 5 ft
Components: Verbal
Duration: Instantaneous
Attack/Save: DEX
Reference: SCAG 143

You create a momentary circle of spectral blades that sweep around you.
Each creature within range, other than you, must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 force damage.

This spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).

5th edition cantrip- Sword Burst image by Operion on Deviant Art

This great image is owned by the artist Operion on Deviant Art, click the image for more info.

My Comments: See, this is what I was expecting when I saw the name of the Blade Ward cantrip. Instead, Blade Ward is kind of lame, so I feel like this spell was added to the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide by someone who had the same idea. I mean, with Blade Ward having a whirlwind of blades flying around, you would think those blades might actually hurt someone but no… And why is that? Well, the difference between these two spells is in the magic school- Blade Ward is Abjuration which is all about protective spells (to abjure is to “solemnly renounce”, as in deny for these purposes) whereas Sword Burst is Conjuration, which means you are literally conjuring a burst of blades around you.

Okay, so I’m not here to talk about Blade Ward, but rather Sword Burst. First thing that has to be noticed and remembered is that contrary to the name the damage is not slashing, it’s force damage. It’s almost like you’re bursting out short range Magic Missiles. This is good news.

There are still very few creatures with immunity or resistance to force damage, making it a great option when fighting unknowns.

Also, only verbal components is pretty nice. Being interrogated and can’t move your hands but they made the mistake of leaving the gag off? Sword Burst.

I like this spell thematically and technically. It would be a lot of fun to build a character around it.


[pssst… want to draw a card from The Deck of Many Things?]

[P.S. Check out the Wacky Dungeon game just above the footer!]

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.

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