5th Edition Spells – Word of Radiance

Word of Radiance

Cleric - Cantrip Level Spell

School: Evocation
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 5 ft
Components: Verbal and Material
Duration: Instantaneous
Attack/Save: CON
Reference: XGE 171

Cleric casting word of radiance

I wasn’t able to find the original artist for this one. Please let me know if you know who it is.

You utter a divine word, and burning radiance erupts from you. Each creature of your choice that you can see within range must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take 1d6 radiant damage.

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

My Comments: At first glance, this seems kind of awesome, like being able to turn into a mini-fireball of radiant damage. Sounds great!

Except, maybe not all that great. It’s great if your cleric is already in the melee but probably not worth it to go get exposed just for this spell. Having an AoE (Area of Effect) spell as an at-will cantrip sounds great, then you realize a few downsides:

  1. it’s only 5 ft, so you’re only affecting the opponents that are all up in your face. Generally, you’ll probably only get an opponent or two that way. Sure, it could be a swarm of tiny creatures all over you and in that case, it truly is awesome. Most of the time though, your opponents will be more spread out.
  2. The saving throw is Con and no damage on success. Sadly, Con is probably the save your opponents are likely going to be best at.

The good news is that its radiant damage, so fewer opponents are going to have resistance or immunity.

All in all, I think its a decent spell to have in your bag of tricks but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. It’s like having a good panic button for when you’ve been surrounded.

I do love the image of a level 5th level cleric just plowing through a battlefield full of goblins with this triggering every turn. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll come up often enough to be one of my favorites.

There are ways to boost this spell’s range and damage but when I started this blog I decided to do the straight spells without combos or boosts. Feel free to share if you have found a great way to use this spell in your games.


[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.


  1. Aneeria (@Aneeria_rpg) on January 4, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    This spell is really similar to Sword Burst with a dex save instead of con.

  2. Dave Goff on January 15, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    Yeah, dex instead of con and radiant damage instead of force damage. I think both damage types are in the less common category for opponents have resistance or immunity. When facing creatures, I think con is probably likely to be higher but when facing NPCs or BBEG Dex has a pretty good chance of being really high, so I guess it’s really situational which one might be better.

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