D&D Best Cantrips for Every Class

D&D Best Cantrips for Every class
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Cantrips for every caster, only the best of the best

Cantrips are spells that are immediately usable at level 1. While some overlap classes, specific classes are able to cast certain cantrips. They’re free magic; they don’t require or use up any spell slots, and you can use learned cantrips multiple times, usually whenever you want.

Not every class can cast spells, including cantrips. Spellcaster classes can use cantrips right away, while only two other classes can use spells at all, and they can’t even do that until later levels. Even then, they canonly use spells if they follow specific paths. The Eldritch Knight for Fighters and the Arcane Trickster for Rogues are the only ways non-Spellcasters can use cantrips or other leveled spells.

1. Artificer 

A construct crafting build, Artificers are masters at finding magic anywhere, even in ordinary objects. They excel in decoding and controlling magic, including plenty of cantrips to fill an adventure with fun.

Their cantrips are: Acid Splash, Create Bonfire, Dancing Lights, Fire Bolt, Frostbite, Guidance, Light, Mage Hand, Magic Stone, Mending, Message, Poison Spray, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Resistance, Shocking Grasp, Spare the Dying, Thorn Whip, and Thunderclap.

Best Cantrip: Thunderclap

Why Thunderclap Is The Best:

  • Can be heard a great distance
  • Decent Damage that increases with level 
  • Plenty of non-standard uses, for example it could be used to cause avalanches or collapse caves with its soundwaves 

2. Bard

A musically inclined class, the Bard is a natural performer and effective combatant. Whether using song or playing an instrument, they can buff a party or decimate an enemy in the most beautiful of ways. 

Their cantrips are: Blade Ward, Dancing Lights, Friends, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation, Thunderclap, True Strike, and Vicious Mockery.

Best Cantrip: Blade Ward

Why Blade Ward Is The Best:

  • Lasts only 1 round but can be recast every round for endless warding
  • Resists bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage dealt by weapon attacks

3. Cleric

Typically the healers and support of a party, Clerics have a bucket full of goodies to pick from. They work with their Deities to cast spells, drawing on a holy power to give support and deal damage.

Their cantrips are: Guidance, Word of Radiance, Light, Mending, Resistance, Sacred Flame, Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy, Toll the Dead, and Virtue

Best Cantrip: Spare the Dying

Why Spare the Dying Is The Best:

  • Stabilized any living creature with 0 HP, excluding undead or constructs 
  • Effects on touch

4. Druid

Using aspects straight from nature, Druids can manipulate elemental forces or take animal forms. They don't claim to own or be masters of nature, but rather see themselves as one with nature, an extension and element of natural power. 

Their cantrips are: Control Flames, Create Bonfire, Druidcraf, Frostbite, Guidance, Gust, Infestation, Magic Stone, Mending, Mold Earth, Poison Spray, Primal Savagery, Produce Flame, Resistance, Shape Water, Shillelagh, Thorn Whip, and Thunderclap.

Best Cantrip: Primal Savagery

Why Primal Savagery Is The Best:

  • Makes teeth or nails sharpen and grow corrosive for the duration 
  • Deals 1d10 acid damage, which grows up to 4d10 by level 17

5. Eldritch Knight (Fighter*)

A path available to Fighters, an Eldritch Knight learns how to use magic, specifically more wizard themed magic use. While only able to learn a small number of spells, the knights memorize them rather than having to use a spellbook.

Their cantrips are: Acid Splash, Blade Ward, Booming Blade, Chill Touch, Control Flames, Create Bonfire, Dancing Lights, Fire Bolt, Friends, Frostbite, Green Flame Blade, Gust, Infestation, Light, Lightning Lure, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Minor Illusion, Mold Earth, Poison Spray, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Shape Water, Shocking Grasp, Sword Burst, Thunderclap, Toll the Dead, and True Strike.

Best Cantrip: Poison Spray

Why Poison Spray Is The Best:

  • Sends a cloud of noxious gas that, on a failed Con saving throw, does 1d12 poison damage 
  • Damage increases to 4d12 by level 17

6. Arcane Trickster (Rogue*)

As with the Fighter’s Eldritch Knight, the Rogue can choose the path of Arcane Trickster and gain spellcasting abilities. It likewise uses the Wizard’s set of spells, and can use its magical abilities to help with combat, assist with stealthy activities, or just for silly shenanigans. 

Their cantrips are: Acid Splash, Blade Ward, Booming Blade, Chill Touch, Control Flames, Create Bonfire, Dancing Lights, Fire Bolt, Friends, Frostbite, Green Flame Blade, Gust, Infestation, Light, Lightning Lure, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Minor Illusion, Mold Earth, Poison Spray, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Shape Water, Shocking Grasp, Sword Burst, Thunderclap, Toll the Dead, and True Strike.

Best Cantrip: Mage Hand

Why Mage Hand Is The Best:

  • Can move up to 30 feet from the caster 
  • Can perform simple tasks other than activating magical items, attaking, or carrying more than 10 pounds
  • As part of the Arcane Trickster path, Mage Hand can also: Move items in and out of containers as well as pockets even if a creature is actively wearing what the pocket is attached to, use thieves' tools to pick locks and disarm traps from a distance, and can perform tasks without a creature noticing if the caster succeeds on a Dex check versus the creature's Wis check.

7. Sorcerer 

A spell-slinging, arcane expert; Sorcerers are one of, if not the, best casters of the classes. What they lack in quantity, as they have less spell slots than most classes, they make up for in speed and ability.

Their cantrips are: Acid Splash, Blade Ward, Booming Blade, Chill Touch, Control Flames, Create Bonfire, Dancing Lights, Fire Bolt, Friends, Frostbite, Green Flame Blade, Gust, Infestation, Light, Lightning Lure, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Mind Sliver, Minor Illusion, Mold Earth, Poison Spray, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Shape Water, Shocking Grasp, Sword Burst, Thunderclap, and True Strike.

Best Cantrip: Chill Touch

Why Chill Touch Is The Best:

  • On a hit ranged spell attack, target creature takes 1d8 necrotic damage, damage reaches 4d8 by level 17 
  • Target can't regain HP until start of your next turn 
  • If target is undead, it also has disadvantage on attack rolls against you until the end of your next turn

8. Warlock

Seekers of knowledge, Warlocks work with mysterious and often dark supernatural powers to unlock as many magical abilities as they can get their hands on.

Their cantrips are: Blade Ward, Booming Blade, Chill Touch, Create Bonfire, Eldritch Blast, Friends, Frostbite, Green Flame Blade, Infestation, Lightning Lure, Mage Hand, Mind Sliver, Magic Stone, Minor Illusion, Poison Spray, Prestidigitation, Sword Burst, Thunderclap, Toll the Dead, and True Strike.

Best Cantrip: Eldritch Blast

Why Eldritch Blast Is The Best:

  • Makes a ranged attack beam of 1d10 force damage 
  • Can gain up to 4 separate beams by level 17 which can go to one target or different ones

9. Wizard

Often thought of as the supreme magic-user of the classes, Wizards have a knack for spells and keep a hardy book full to the brim of different ones.

Their cantrips are: Acid Splash, Blade Ward, Booming Blade, Chill Touch, Control Flames, Create Bonfire, Dancing Lights, Encode Thoughts, Fire Bolt, Friends, Frostbite, Green Flame Blade, Gust, Infestation, Light, Lightning Lure, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Mind Sliver, Minor Illusion, Mold Earth, Poison Spray, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Sapping Sting, Shape Water, Shocking Grasp, Sword Burst, Thunderclap, Toll the Dead, and True Strike

Best Cantrip: Toll the Dead

Why Toll the Dead Is The Best:

  • Plays a melody of bells before the target must succeed on a Wis saving throw, otherwise they take 1d8 necrotic damage, damage reaches 4d8 by level 17
  • If the target has any HP missing they take 1d12 damage instead, 4d12 by level 17

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Alongside playing Goddess and creator for countless adventurers, Stevie has taken up the pen over the sword for a quest of sharing about video games and other fantasy worlds she enjoys.
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