Until the spell ends, whenever you or a creature you can see moves into the spirit’s space for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, you can cause the spirit to restore 1d6 hit points to that creature (no action required). The spirit can’t heal constructs or undead. The spirit can heal a number of times equal to 1 + your spellcasting ability modifier (minimum of twice). After healing that number of times, the spirit disappears.
As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the Spirit up to 30 feet to a space you can see.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the healing increases 1d6 for each slot level above 2nd.
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
School: 2nd-level conjuration
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, pg. 157
Healing Spirit 5e
Healing Spirit was a spell that went from a brokenly overpowered spell to a still pretty decent one with the errata changes in April 2020. We’ll briefly touch on what the problem was and how the spell evolved.
But more importantly, we’ll cover the best ways to use the modified version of the spell, as well as clear up some misunderstandings around how the modern-day version of Healing Spirit works.
Who Can Cast Healing Spirit in 5e?
The following classes have Healing Spirit on their spell list:
No subclasses get Healing Spirit for free.
What Does Healing Spirit Do in 5e?
Healing Spirit conjures a transparent beast or fey that occupies one tile — when a creature you can see moves into the same space or starts its turn there, you can heal it for 1d6 (average 3.5) hit points (no action required). You can perform this heal up to (1 + your spellcasting modifier) times before the spell ends.
On your turn, you move the Healing Spirit up to 30 feet to a space you can see with a bonus action. The spirit cannot heal undead or constructs.
Upcasting Healing Spirit increases the healing by 1d6 per slot level above 2nd.
What Changed About Healing Spirit 5e?
Up until April 2020, Xanathar’s printed Healing Spirit without the following text:
The game’s developers appended this text to the spell with later printings and made a note of it in the XGtE Errata.
Before this change, Healing Spirit could heal for incredible amounts when used out of combat. By conjuring a Healing Spirit and allowing your party to walk through it in a “conga line” could achieve a total party heal of 300+ hit points — on a second-level spell.
Oh, and that multiplied with upscaling, making it a better healing spell (by raw hit points returned) than the 9th-level Mass Heal.
Given the obvious mathematical brokenness of all that, most players welcomed the “nerf” to Healing Spirit. Some players feel that the 1 + spellcasting ability modifier limit was overkill, as it set a hard cap of 6 heals. But everyone agrees it’s better than the alternative.
Although, in fairness, most players recognized how stupid the spell was before the official change and so didn’t abuse it. Or else DMs house-ruled it to remove temptation. Heck, before the errata came out, Jeremy Crawford even suggested his own house rule to players.
What Are the Rules for Healing Spirit in 5e?
We’ve pretty much covered the important rule changes for Healing Spirit already, but here are the rules for Healing Spirit in DnD 5e:
Healing Spirit can heal a total of 1 + your spellcasting modifier times before disappearing. Druids and Rangers both use Wisdom as a spellcasting modifier, so if you have a +3 Wisdom modifier, Healing Spirit can heal four total times before the spell ends.
Healing Spirit only requires 1 bonus action. For both the initial casting of the spell and moving it on later turns, you only need to expend a bonus action.
This means that you can still cast a cantrip or perform other actions on the turn you cast it, and you can perform any action you like on following turns. You will, however, have to maintain concentration on Healing Spirit, so other concentration spells are out.
Healing Spirit heals at the start of a creature’s turn or when it enters their for the first time on a turn. Interestingly, this means it has a lot in common with spells like Moonbeam and Cloud of Daggers.
As the Sage Advice Compendium points out, these spells can trigger once per turn (as opposed to once per round). So in theory, if a player could find a way to get pushed and pulled into/out of Healing Spirit multiple times in one round of combat, they could theoretically heal themselves multiple times.
But the main thing to remember is that players aren’t immediately healed the second you summon the Healing Spirit on their tile. In fact, if an enemy shoves them off that space before their turn starts, they won’t be healed at all.
How Do I Use Healing Spirit in 5e?
Here are a few ways to use Healing Spirit in DnD 5e:
Place it on an ally who’s continuously getting downed. One powerful aspect of Healing Spirit is that its healing occurs at the start of a player’s turn. That means that an ally with 0 hit points will be brought back in time to smack a foe or get themselves to safety.
If they decide to stay put, they don’t need to worry about getting downed again unless your concentration gets broken — they’ll just be healed up again at the start of their next turn!
This sort of acts like a persistent Healing Word spell — the fact that the heal is small doesn’t matter, as you only need to be brought from 0 to 1 hit point in DnD 5e in order to be brought back to full fighting form.
Get big out of combat heals. While this used to be the broken part of the spell, it’s still quite effective. For example, let’s assume you have a +3 spellcasting modifier.
You’ll be getting 4d6 of healing off (average 14) smokes compared to a Cure Wounds upcast to 2nd level, which heals 2d8 + spellcasting modifier hit points (average 12). Not to mention that you can spread that healing between multiple party members.
Take advantage of the ability to move the spirit. Being able to move the Healing Spirit 30 feet for a bonus action is a great benefit of this spell. Most Druid and Ranger builds have a bonus action to spare, but this can be an annoying thing for dual-wielding or Beast Master Rangers.
Protect your concentration. While Healing Spirit eventually wins out on overall hit points restored, it only does so if you’re able to maintain concentration long enough to heal allies multiple times.
Savvy DMs will come after players who are concentrating on impactful spells, so be smart about your positioning before conjuring up your little healing buddy.
Who Can I Target With Healing Spirit 5e?
You can target a tile within 60 feet with Healing Spirit. It will restore hit points to a creature that starts their turn or enters the tile for the first time on a turn, if you choose to do so (no action required).
Is Healing Spirit 5e a Good Spell?
Yes, Healing Spirit is a good spell in 5e, even after the changes to the spell. In terms of raw healing numbers, it beats out the other healing spells available at that level. While some players think that the nerf went too far, I think it’s still a great support spell with a definite niche in the healer’s toolkit.
That said, having to maintain concentration to get off some heals is a pretty big bummer, especially with so many other powerful utility spells vying for your concentration.
Overall, if you like the idea of having the biggest party heal available among 2nd-level spells and are willing to put up with a concentration required to get “AoE heals-over-time” in combat situations, you’re going to have a good time with Healing Spirit.
Healing Spirit 5e Compared to Other Healing Spells
We already kind of touched on te math, but to reiterate, Healing Spirit is the biggest healing spell available among 2nd-level options for Druids and Rangers. Assuming a spellcasting ability modifier of +3:
A 2nd-level Cure Wounds heals for an average of 12
Goodberry heals for 10
Healing Word heals for 5.5
Healing Spirit heals for 14
Note that the Cleric-exclusive Prayer of Healing does smoke the competition, with a potential to heal for an average of 72 hit points if six creatures are in range.
Of course, raw numbers aren’t everything. Healing Spirit does provide great utility in the ability to bring up a fallen ally multiple times in one bout of combat, kind of like a persistent Healing Word.
Healing Spirit 5e DM Tips
The major DM tip is to make sure that you have an updated copy of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything! Otherwise, you may see some Healing Spirit conga line action go down at your table.
Beyond that, we’ve failed to touch on the great flavor that Healing Spirit offers: conjuring a transparent beast or fey. This opens up a great opportunity for a Ranger or Druid to enrich their character and their character’s connection with magic and nature.
Do they call on fairies to fill up their hearts, like our good pal Link? Or do they summon a stag like James and Harry Potter conjuring up Patroni? And what exactly does the healing look like — do players see a flash of bright light, or does simply entering the misty form of the spirit bring instant restoration?
Overall, there’s a reason you’ll find this on the Druid and Ranger class spell lists, but not Clerics. Make the most of your nature-flavored heals while Clerics are out there rolling a million dice for Prayer of Healing.
Simple Healing Spirit 5e Spell Text
Healing Spirit: (2nd-level conjuration, 1 bonus action, 60 feet, Concentration, up to 1 minute, V/S) Conjure a spirit that occupies a 5-foot cube you can see. When a creature moves into the spirit’s space for the first time or starts its turn there, you can heal it for 1d6 hit points (no action required. Can’t heal constructs or undead.
The spirit can heal (1 + your spellcasting ability modifier) times (minimum of twice). After healing that number of times, the spirit disappears. As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the Spirit up to 30 feet to a space you can see. | +1d6 hit points per slot level above 2nd.