Clerics are the undisputed champions of divine magic in Dungeons and Dragons. But that doesn’t mean they’re locked into one category. On the contrary, from your classic healing spells to radiant damaging abilities to darker necromantic powers, Cleric spells run the gamut of applications.

Let’s get into the best Cleric spells for each level in DnD 5e.

Best Cleric Cantrips

  1. Toll the Dead. 1d8 necrotic damage that scales to 1d12 against an injured target, Toll the Dead is the best and most consistent source of cantrip damage for Clerics. Unless you plan on focusing on melee attacks, this is likely your bread-and-butter ability in combat.

  2. Guidance. A consistent 1d4 boost to your allies’ ability checks is seriously useful. The only downsides are the concentration requirement interfering with long-standing spells and the touch range effect.

  3. Word of Radiance. The only area-of-effect damage cantrip available to Clerics. It’s a Con save and only 1d6 radiant damage, but if you’re surrounded by enemies (especially undead), it’s the perfect spell to cast.

  4. Thaumaturgy. Right up there with Minor Illusion and Prestidigitation among the top-tier utility cantrips. It’s somewhat more limited than either spell, but the divine magic tricks really help define a Cleric’s source of power right from the early levels.

  5. Light. Removes the need to carry a torch in dark places, allowing you (and your allies) to keep your hands free for weapons, shields, arcane foci, etc. And providing a necessary source of light — even with darkvision, a creature has disadvantage on Perception checks!

Here are the other Cleric cantrips and my X/5 rating for each:

  • Sacred Flame – 4 (pick this instead of Toll the Dead if you want radiant damage on a failed Dex save instead of necrotic damage on a failed Wis save)

  • Mending – 2

  • Resistance – 1

  • Spare the Dying – 1

Best 1st-level Cleric Spells

  1. Bless. A 1d4 bonus to all attack rolls and saving throws for three allies for a full minute is very, very strong. I won’t get into the bounded accuracy, but suffice it to say that small bonuses are more impactful than you might assume at first glance. From 1st- to 20th-level, Bless is useful, especially when you can upcast it to cover the entire party.

  2. Guiding Bolt. As a 4d6 radiant damage ranged spell attack, this spell is the hardest-hitting ranged 1st-level spell in 5e. But it gets better — the next ally to attack your target has attack advantage, so you’re also increasing party-wide damage for the round when you cast it.

  3. Healing Word. Bonus action, ranged heal that only brings back 1d4 + (spellcasting modifier) hit points. But in DnD, this efficient, low-value heal is perfect for bringing back allies with 0 hit points who are making death saves.

  4. Sanctuary. Many players avoid this defensive buff spell, as it ends the moment your target takes an offensive action. But a bonus action casting time and no concentration requirement mean that this is worth casting even if it only protects an ally for a single round of combat. This becomes especially true as 1st-level spell slots become less important.

  5. Protection from Evil and Good. This spell protects an ally by giving many creature types disadvantage when attacking them. And it protects against a number of conditions from those creature types (undead, fiends, etc.) Having this up for 10 minutes is well worth your concentration if you’re up against a big horde or a boss monster that fall into a creature type covered by this spell.

Here are the other 1st-level Cleric spells and my X/5 rating for each:

Best 2nd-level Cleric Spells

  1. Aid. An increase in maximum hit points that stacks with temporary hit points and can also act as an in-combat heal. At lower levels, this can work out to a 15-20% increase in a player’s HP for a full adventuring day. This is even better and more efficient if you can cast it at the end of a long rest, right before you get your spell slots back for the day.

  2. Hold Person. A great save-or-suck spell that’ll paralyze an unfortunate target. That’s good for limiting your opponent’s actions, but it’s also great for increasing the damage potential of your party’s melee martial characters, who get to enjoy attack advantage AND an automatic critical hit on your target. Note that the value of this spell goes way down if you don’t have many humanoid enemies in your campaign.

  3. Spiritual Weapon. An incredibly efficient damage-over-time spell that only costs a bonus action. Oh, and it doesn’t require concentration, meaning you can stack its damage with spells like Spirit Guardians for monstrous persistent damage, before even using your action for the round.

  4. Enhance Ability. Advantage on ability checks of your choice and some other goodies for the physical abilities. This has too many applications to discuss here, but suffice it to say that advantage never stops being useful in a DnD campaign, keeping this spell relevant into the late game.

  5. Silence. Spellcasters are usually the biggest threat in a fight, and this spell prevents spells with verbal components (about 95% of DnD’s spells) from being cast. This is incredible, especially if you can ensure that spellcasters are stuck within the spells’ area.

Here are the other 2nd-level Cleric spells and my X/5 rating for each:

  • Augury – 4

  • Continual Flame – 4

  • Lesser Restoration – 4

  • Warding Bond – 4

  • Blindness/Deafness – 3

  • Calm Emotions – 3

  • Prayer of Healing – 3

  • Protection from Poison – 3

  • Locate Object – 2

  • Find Traps – 1

  • Gentle Repose – 1

  • Zone of Truth – 1

clerics vs. undead minis D&D 5e

Best 3rd-level Cleric Spells

  1. Spirit Guardians. One of the best damaging spells in a Cleric’s spellbook, this spell can deal incredible area-of-effect damage and battlefield control over a minute-long period. When combined with movement-forcing abilities and/or other slowing effects, this spell becomes even more godlike.

  2. Tongues. The ability to speak and understand any language is as useful in DnD as it is in real life. This isn’t something you always need to have prepared, but if you’re entering into unknown territory where conversation might help avoid a fight or learn more information, it’s a great tool to have.

  3. Aura of Vitality. While not a great in-combat heal most of the time (unless you’re yo-yo’ing an ally from death saves for multiple rounds), this spell is great as an out-of-combat quick-heal. In just one minute, you can distribute 70 hit points among your party — pretty solid if you can’t risk taking a short rest, but you’re low on HP.

  4. Dispel Magic. Dispelling a magical effect will always be useful, as enemy spells are usually the biggest threat in any given fight. Beyond that, this spell can be used for solving puzzles, ending enemy buffs, and ultimately altering the momentum of an encounter.

  5. Revivify. Your first access to resurrection, albeit with a serious time crunch. Still, once you have access to this spell and acquire the necessary components to cast it, it’s something that should always be prepared until you’re able to access a better resurrection spell.

Here are the other 3rd-level Cleric spells and my X/5 rating for each:

  • Animate Dead – 4

  • Clairvoyance – 4

  • Sending – 4

  • Bestow Curse – 3

  • Life Transference – 3

  • Mass Healing Word – 3

  • Protection from Energy – 3

  • Remove Curse – 3

  • Create Food and Water – 2

  • Daylight – 2

  • Glyph of Warding – 2

  • Magic Circle – 2

  • Speak with Dead – 2

  • Spirit Shroud – 2

  • Beacon of Hope – 1

  • Feign Death – 1

  • Meld into Stone – 1

  • Water Walk – 1

Best 4th-level Cleric Spells

  1. Death Ward. 8-hour spell that protects a target from falling to 0 hit points one time. A great spell to constantly keep up on the party’s tank.

  2. Banishment. Very powerful for completely eliminating one monster creature from the fight for a minute — or entirely, if they’re from a different plane of existence than you’re currently on.

  3. Divination. Paying 25 gp to get a quick answer to an important plot point in the near future is very powerful. And by the time you have access to 4th-level spells, being able to walk into situations slightly less blind can mean the difference between life and death.

  4. Freedom of Movement. A 1-hour, no-concentration spell that makes an ally immune to the paralyzed and restrained conditions, as well as slow effects, the effects of difficult terrain, and no movement or attack penalties while swimming. This is very, very good on allies who require movement to fight effectively (e.g., Rogues, Monks) in fights where they’ll be hindered somehow.

  5. Stone Shape. Making passageways through stone walls is the main power you gain with this spell, and it’s useful as heck for dungeon dives. It can also come in handy for shutting passageways or making stone trinkets, but breaking and entering is the real star here.

Here are the other 4th-level Cleric spells and my X/5 rating for each:

  • Aura of Purity – 3

  • Aura of Life – 2

  • Control Water – 2

  • Guardian of Faith – 2

  • Locate Creature – 2

Best 5th-level Cleric Spells

  1. Holy Weapon. A lit-up weapon, bonus radiant damage, and making a weapon magic are all great consistent perks for an hour-long duration. But my favorite part is the bonus action you can use to dismiss the spell and cause it to blow up, dealing radiant damage and blinding enemies in range.

  2. Summon Celestial. A one-hour ally that deals decent damage, provides heals, and absorbs damage — very useful to have around.

  3. Greater Restoration. For less serious situations than death. This spell is absolutely necessary for one party member to have ready at all times, especially once you reach the tier of play where it becomes available.

  4. Raise Dead. Yay, you can bring the dead back to life – not sure why Bards have this, but if you’ve got a 500 gold diamond, you don’t have to worry about death ever again — as long as your target keeps all their limbs, organs, and head.

  5. Scrying. Getting to sneakily oversee what a BBEG or their henchmen are up to can give you a huge advantage on how to approach an encounter. Or it can move the plot forward much further, much safer than you could otherwise achieve.

Here are the other 5th-level Cleric spells and my X/5 rating for each:

  • Commune – 4

  • Contagion – 3

  • Insect Plague – 3

  • Mass Cure Wounds – 3

  • Dawn – 2

  • Dispel Evil And Good – 2

  • Flame Strike – 2

  • Geas – 2

  • Hallow – 2

  • Legend Lore – 1

  • Planar Binding – 1

6th- to 9th-level Cleric Spells

6th-level Cleric Spells

  • Heal – 5

  • Heroes’ Feast – 5

  • Word Of Recall – 5

  • Blade Barrier – 4

  • Harm – 4

  • True Seeing – 4

  • Forbiddance – 3

  • Sunbeam – 3

  • Create Undead – 2

  • Find The Path – 2

  • Planar Ally – 2

7th-level Cleric Spells

  • Divine Word – 5

  • Etherealness – 4

  • Plane Shift – 4

  • Conjure Celestial – 3

  • Fire Storm – 3

  • Resurrection – 3

  • Regenerate – 2

  • Symbol – 2

  • Temple of the Gods – 1

8th-level Cleric Spells

  • Antimagic Field – 5

  • Holy Aura – 5

  • Sunburst – 4

  • Earthquake – 2

  • Control Weather – 1

9th-level Cleric Spells

  • Mass Heal – 5

  • Power Word: Heal – 5

  • Astral Projection – 3

  • Gate – 3

  • True Resurrection – 3 (expensive and not always necessary)

Cleric Spells FAQ

  • What spells do Clerics start with in 5e?

    A Cleric starts with three cantrips and all of their 1st-level spells. However, they can only prepare a number of spells equal to their Cleric level + their Wisdom modifier. So a level 1 Cleric with a +3 Wisdom modifier can prepare four 1st-level spells of their choice. These spells can be changed at the end of a long rest.

  • How many spells can a Cleric have in 5e?

    A Cleric has access to all Cleric spells for its level. For example, a 5th-level Cleric has access to all 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-level Cleric spells. From those, they can only prepare a limited number of spells each day, however.

    The number of spells a Cleric can prepare is equal to their Cleric level + their Wisdom modifier. So a 5th-level Cleric with a +4 Wisdom modifier can prepare nine total spells, choosing as they like between 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-level Cleric spells.