Top 10 D&D Most Damaging Spells That Obliterate Foes

Most powerful spells, D&D best spells, Most damaging D&D spells
The immense power of spells are able to eliminate even the toughest monsters.

Dungeons & Dragons has a humungous library of decimating spells for its spellcasters to use in tense situations. If the goal is to inflict the most harm to an enemy possible, a wide range of spells are available to choose from many types of magic like pyromancy, necromancy, transmutation etc. This top 10 is going to cover the ones that could potentially deal the most damage to its target/s and leave them dead for good.

10. Blight

Rotting away isn't really the best way to go.

Rotting away isn't really the best way to go.

Necromancy

  • Level: 4 
  • Casting time: 1 Action 
  • Range: 30 feet 
  • Components: V, S 
  • Duration: Instantaneous

A true necromantic spell. Blight covers the targeted creature with evil energy which drains the moisture and life out from its body.

The target must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save the target takes 8d8 necrotic damage, and half of that on a successful one. The spell doesn’t affect undead or construct creatures.

If this spell is casted using a 5th level spell slot or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 4th.

This spell is most effective against plant creatures and plants itself. Plant creatures make their saving throw with disadvantage and take the maximum damage from the spell. Non-magical plants instantly wither and die by the spell.

9. Inflict Wounds

Just this easy! Suffer wounds! You really gotta fear spellcasters.

Necromancy

  • Level: 1 
  • Casting time: 1 Action 
  • Range: Touch 
  • Components: V, S 
  • Duration: Instantaneous 

The most basic necromancy spell of all, but if used as an experienced spellcaster, it could also be one of the deadliest. The caster has to make a melee spell attack against a creature within reach. On hit, the target takes 3d10 necrotic damage.

If the spell is casted using a 2nd level spells slot or higher, the damage increases by 1d10 for each slot above 1st.

Frankly, this spell can be useful in any situation when some serious damage is needed. (Or when the party’s fighter goes down and somebody needs to take over ;))

8. Finger of Death

Who knows where that finger has been!?

Necromancy

  • Level: 7 
  • Casting time: 1 Action 
  • Range: 60 feet 
  • Components: V, S 
  • Duration: Instantaneous 

Another necromantic spell. Death magic is truly powerful in D&D. Finger of Death sends negative energy at a target creature causing it searing, unbearable pain. It must make a Constitution saving throw. If the save fails, it takes 7d8+30 necrotic damage and half as much if the save is successful.

Humans a particularly vulnerable to this spell as if they get killed by it, at the spellcasters’ next turn, the spell rises them as a zombie servant permanently under the caster's command.

7. Vitriolic Sphere

Not the ball you wanna kick around with your friends.

Evocation

  • Level: 4 
  • Casting time: 1 Action 
  • Range: 150 feet 
  • Components: V, S, M (a drop of giant slug bile) 
  • Duration: Instantaneous

With the Vitriolic Sphere spell, you can point at a location within range and make a ball of emerald acid streak there and explode, damaging everyone in the area (20-foot-radius sphere). Each creature must make a Dexterity saving throw. If failed, the creature takes 10d4 acid damage and another 5d4 at the end of its next turn. On success, they take half of the initial damage and no additional at the end of its next turn.

If this spell is casted using a 5th level spell slot or higher, the initial damage increases by 2d4 for each slot level above 4th.

This spell can be very useful against enemies with weakness to acid damage.

6. Cordon of Arrows

Need to prepare a great ambush? Fear not! Help has arrived.

Transmutation

  • Level: 2 
  • Casting time: 1 Action 
  • Range: 5 feet 
  • Components: V, S, M (four or more arrows or bolts) 
  • Duration: 8 hours 

A spell exclusive to the Ranger class. The spell acts like a trap: The Ranger plants 4 non-magical ammunition (e.g. arrows) in the ground and casts magic on them to protect an area. Until its duration, whenever a creature comes within 30 feet of the ammunition for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there, a piece of ammunition will try to strike it. The creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw, else, it takes 1d6 piercing damage. The piece of ammunition is then destroyed. The Ranger can ‘whitelist’ creatures from the spell’s effect.

If this spell is casted using a 3rd level spell slot or higher, the number of ammunition effected increases by 2 for each slot level above 2nd.

An excellent addition to preparing ambushes, or to secure an important position in a fight.

5. Scorching Ray

Blasted And melted away. You better prepare for dodging!

Evocation

  • Level: 2 
  • Casting time: 1 Action 
  • Range: 120 feet 
  • Components: V, S 
  • Duration: Instantaneous 

Basically, these are the more powerful versions of magic missile (which inflict fire damage instead of force). It creates 3 rays of fire which can be targeted at a single creature or multiple. A ranged spell attack must be made. On hit the target takes 2d6 fire damage per ray.

If this spell is casted using a 3rd level spell slot or higher, one additional ray is created for each slot level above 2nd.

Another great spell if big amounts of damage is required in a short time.

4. Lightning Arrow

Beware the bolts of Zeus ;)

Transmutation

  • Level: 3 
  • Casting time: 1 Bonus Action 
  • Range: Self 
  • Components: V, S 
  • Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute 

Another Ranger exclusive spell. Next time a ranged weapon attack is made during the spell’s duration, the weapon’s ammo or the weapon itself turns into a bolt of lightning. On a hit, the target takes 4d8 lightning damage, on a success, half as much instead of the weapon’s normal damage.

But whether the arrow hits or misses, each creature within 10 feet of the target must make a Dexterity saving throw. Each of them takes 2d8 lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

If this spell is casted using a 4th level spell slot or higher, the damage for both effects of the spell increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 3rd.

If some buff is needed for the ranged combat during a fight, this spell can be very beneficial.

3. Delayed Blast Fireball

Tik-tok-tik-tok-tik-tok

Evocation

  • Level: 7 
  • Casting time: 1 Action 
  • Range: 150 feet 
  • Components: V, S, M (a tiny ball of bat guano and sulfur) 
  • Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute 

A small yellow light starts to flicker and linger at a chosen point within range and slowly transforms into a glowing bead for its duration.

When the spell ends, either because concentration is broken or because the caster decides to end it, the bead gently turns into an explosion of flame covering a big area. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes fire damage equal to the total collected damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

The spell normally deals 12d6 damage. If at the end of the caster’s turn the bead has not yet exploded, the damage increases by 1d6.

If the glowing bead is touched by a creature it must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the spell ends immediately, causing the bead to detonate. On a successful saving throw, the creature can throw the bead up to 40 feet. When it hits a creature or a solid object, the spell ends, and the bead explodes.

The fire damages objects in the area and ignites flammable objects that aren’t being worn or carried, so if things get heated, why not throw in some more?

If this spell is casted using an 8th level spell slot or higher, the base damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 7th.

2. Disintegrate

Your life won't have enough time to flash before your eyes.

Transmutation

  • Level: 6 
  • Casting time: 1 Action 
  • Range: 60 feet 
  • Components: V, S, M (a lodestone and a pinch of dust) 
  • Duration: Instantaneous 

One of the most horrifying spells to be a witness of. The target could be a creature, an object, or a creation of magical force. A creature targeted by it must make a Dexterity saving throw. If it fails, it takes 10d6+40 force damage. If this brings the target to 0 hit points, it becomes disintegrated. With an exception to magical items, everything the creature was wearing or carrying turns into grey dust along with him. The effect can only be undone by a True Resurrection or a Wish spell.

If this spell is casted using a 7th level spell slot or higher, the damage increases by 3d6 for each slot level above 6th.

Disintegration. When you don’t even want to see the remaining’s of your enemies

1. Meteor Swarm

Apocalypse awaits...

Evocation

  • Level: 9 
  • Casting time: 1 Action 
  • Range: 1 mile 
  • Components: V, S 
  • Duration: Instantaneous 

The most obliterating spell of them all. A literal rain of fiery meteors. 4 huge orbs hit the ground at the points the caster chooses within range. The creatures within a 40-foot-radius sphere centered on each point must make a Dexterity saving throw. The creature that fails the saving throw takes 20d6 fire and 20d6 bludgeoning damage. The ones that succeed take half of this. If a creature is in the area of more than 2 meteors, it is only affected by the damage once.

The spell damages objects in the area and ignites flammable objects that aren’t being worn or carried.

When is a great time to use this spell? Well, when is NOT a good time?

+1 Worthy to mention:

Chain of Lightning

Piiiiikaaaaaachuuuuu!

Evocation

  • Level: 6 
  • Casting time: 1 Action 
  • Range: 150 feet 
  • Components: V, S, M (a bit of fur; a piece of amber, glass, or a crystal rod; and three silver pins) 
  • Duration: Instantaneous 

The caster can create a bolt of lightning that shoots towards a target of choice that can be seen within range. Then, 3 bolts burst out of the first target hitting another 3 which must be 30 within 30 feet. A target can be a creature or an object and can only be targeted by one bolt.

On a failed Dexterity saving throw the target takes 10d8 lightning damage, and half of it on a successful one.

If this spell is casted using a 7th level spell slot or higher, one additional bolt leaps from the first target to another one for each slot level above 6th.

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