[Top 10] D&D Best Bonus Action Spells

D&D Best Bonus Action Spells
Using one of these spells works well with a Cantrip in your backpocket. Perhaps Thaumaturgy?

[Top 10] D&D Best Bonus Action Spells

Sometimes while playing a spellcaster, it’s easy to find ourselves in a situation where we need to take an action whether it’s the Dodge, Disengage, Dash, or Attack action. But with so many spells that take actions, how can a spellcaster keep doing things when they can’t use their action to cast spells? Bonus Action spells. These may not be the strongest spells ever, but they can certainly come in handy. Just remember that if you use a spell slot of 1st level or higher, you won’t be able to cast another spell unless it is a cantrip. And with that out of the way, here are 10 spells you can cast as a bonus action in D&D 5e.

10. ShillelaghA staff of wood topped with a little moss

For all intents and purposes, Shillelagh is a great spell, especially at earlier levels where magical weapons are hard to come by. As a bonus action, it is easy to bring up right before you start attacking, you can then use that improved weapon with another of these bonus action spells. Plus, it’s a cantrip so you can still cast other spells!

Shillelagh Details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/shillelagh 

9. Healing WordA dwarven cleric surrounded by divine energy

At first glance, it looks like a worse version of Cure Wounds, but a closer look reveals that it’s a ranged spell, and it’s only a bonus action. I don’t know about you, but when I play a healer, I find that the people that most often need healing are not that close to me, and I probably had some other plan in mind for my action. Pro Tip: Cast this on an ally who has been knocked unconscious. If your DM is playing with standard death rules, then you can bring them to life, and still use your action for whatever you wanted it for. 

Healing Word Details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/healing-word 

8. Hunter’s MarkA drow huntress with a wolf, presumably hunting something

Ah yes. The ranger’s bread and butter. It is totally possible to play a ranger without this to the point that it probably should be a class feature. In fact, there are Subclasses that do have something similar to this as a class feature. It’s probably the biggest reason somebody would play a ranger as it’s almost exclusive to rangers, with the exception of a few Subclasses for other classes, but we aren’t talking about those. Not only does it add extra damage to every hit, but you can also track the target more easily. Also, you can switch it for free while you maintain concentration.

Hunter’s Mark Details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/hunters-mark 

7. SanctuaryAn angel in a pillar of light surrounded by warriors

This spell is probably one of the more underrated spells in my opinion. It just gets a bad rep from breaking when you attack or cast a spell that deals damage to another creature. But where it really shines, is protecting any creature whose purpose is not to harm, but to heal, flee, or help, without concentration. Just because you can’t attack doesn’t mean you can’t take the help action to help another creature to attack. Beyond that, it’s essentially another AC your enemy has to beat before they can hit you specifically, though Fireball is still an annoyance.

Sanctuary Details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/sanctuary 

6. Shield of FaithA warrior with a shield protecting him from flaming projectiles

Any bonus to AC is a welcome one, and this one -though it may require concentration- is among one of those welcome bonuses. You may not think it’s worth taking when there are other concentration spells you could be taking. But if you stack this onto the one player with a massive AC, they don’t know pain. And if you get Sanctuary and a lot of casters with counterspell, there’s no limit to how tough your party could become.

Shield of Faith Details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/shield-of-faith 

5. Dragon’s BreathA dragon breathing fire

Not the best spell for dealing damage, but if you have a familiar, pet, or ally who feels useless with no way to hit or reliably deal damage, this is the perfect spell. Because you can apply it to said ally, and they can breathe fire. If you got really clever with magic, you could make your Dragonborn companion feel like a real dragon. And as a final bonus, you can choose what damage type to use. Goodbye Inconvenient Immunities.

Dragons Breath Details: https://www.dnd-spells.com/spell/dragons-breath 

4. Misty StepA man walking into fog

Pretty much a must for any spellcaster who finds themselves next to any enemy who can kill them in a single hit. Because it can teleport you anywhere you can see within 30 feet, you can use this to disappear and Dash. And don’t forget your hat on the way out.

Misty Step Details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/misty-step 

3. Spiritual WeaponA water genasi with an inky black scythe behind him

This is an incredible spell to pick up for any combat-oriented campaign. Not only is it a bonus action to cast, but it’s an attack you can take as a bonus action for the next minute, and doesn’t require you to be in melee range of the target and also won’t fall behind in damage either as you can cast it at higher levels to deal more damage. Think of it like a better Shillelagh that requires a spell slot. Just be careful that the damage increases by 1d8 every TWO slot levels above 2nd level, so it would probably be a good idea to only cast it with 2nd, 4th, 6th, or 8th level spell slots.

Spiritual Weapon Details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/spiritual-weapon 

2. Banishing SmiteA female Paladin with a sword that glows radiantly

This spell is crazy good. Not only does it deal a lot of damage, but if you knock them below 50 hit points, you can remove them from the battlefield until you have gotten everything under control. And if you miss the attack? Just do it again next turn.

Banishing Smite Details: https://www.dnd-spells.com/spell/banishing-smite 

1. Far StepA tiefling fleeing from vampires

This is a fun spell to troll your friends and enemies alike. Not only is it a bonus action to initially cast, but it’s also a bonus action for each subsequent teleportation afterward. If you want to pretend to have “server lag”, do one of the Infinite Door Chase Gags (Also known as Scooby-Doo Doors), or the enemies keep chasing you around the room since you are the spellcaster, this is a great spell to pick up. And, it also has a higher total distance than Dimension Door, provided you can see your destination every turn and have no 4th level spell slots to use.

Far Step Details: https://www.dnd-spells.com/spell/far-step 

And that pretty much concludes my list. Now there are some other good spells like Magical Weapon and Mass Healing Word, but I feel they are much harder to make good use of. Especially if your DM is providing Magical items when appropriate, and I feel listing all the smite spells is pretty boring. Especially when you can do so many other creative things with your bonus action. But don’t let my lists prevent you from exploring those other spells, as there are so many incredible options! As always, these lists are little more than a guide to spark those creative juices. It’s your character, so build as you see fit.

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