A creature of your choice that you can see within range regains hit points equal to 1d4 + your spellcasting ability modifier. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the healing increases by 1d4 for each slot level above 1st.
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: 60 feet
School: 1st-level evocation
Player’s Handbook, pg. 250
Healing Word 5e
Long-ranged and incredibly efficient, Healing Word is an excellent support spell in the early game that continues to be useful in any healer’s toolkit. Simple and straightforward, the hardest thing you’ll have to do when casting this spell is think of exactly what Word you’d like to be your Healing Word.
Who Can Cast Healing Word in 5e?
The following classes have Healing Word on their spell list:
The following subclasses get Healing Word for free:
Artificer (Alchemist) (TCoE 14)
What Does Healing Word 5e Do?
Healing Word instantly heals an ally within 60 feet for 1d4 + your spellcasting modifier. Clerics and Druids use their Wisdom modifier, Bards use Charisma, and Artificers use Intelligence.
The power of Healing Word comes from its casting time. Because it only costs one bonus action, you can perform other actions, including cast a cantrip, on the same turn.
When upcast, Healing Word heals an additional 1d4 for each slot level above the first.
What Are the Rules for Healing Word 5e?
The rules for Healing Word in DnD 5e are as follows:
It’s a bonus action. Many new players (and DMs) miss that Healing Word only costs a bonus action. You can only take one bonus action per turn. You cannot cast another spell after casting Healing Word, unless it is a cantrip.
It does’t affect undead or contructs. Although I can’t imagine many situations where you’d want to heal such things anyway…
You can cast it on yourself. Like almost every spell that targets a creature of your choice, you can choose yourself when casting Healing Word (PHB 204).
That’s about it — Healing Word is a straightforward healing spell. As long as you can see your target, have a clear path to it, and are within 60 feet, you’re good to go. Roll one or more d4 and add your spellcasting modifier and then carry on with another action.
How Do I Use Healing Word in 5e?
To use Healing Word to maximum effect:
Take advantage of the range. One of the benefits of Healing Word over Cure Wounds is you can cast it from 60 feet away. Take advantage of that fact. Coupled with the bonus action casting time, you can conceivably get an attack in, run to safety, and then cast Healing Word.
Take advantage of the bonus action. Being able to swiftly cast Healing Word really helps out with your action economy. It’s a big part of why Healing Word stays relevant into the mid and late game.
Cheesing death. When an ally reaches 0 hit points, all they need is a small heal to get back on their feet and avoid those death saves. Enter Healing Word, the bonus action, long-range, small heal — literally built for just this scenario.
Is Healing Word 5e a Good Spell?
Yes, Healing Word is an excellent spell that any dedicated healer should have in their arsenal. At first level, an average spellcasting modifier is +2 or +3. Added to an average d4 roll of 2.5, you can expect Healing Word to restore an average of 4.5 or 5.5 hit points when cast. For low level players, that represents a significant percentage of a health pool.
Because you’re only adding 2.5 healing for each level slot above the first, the upcast potential for big heals scales off in the middle levels. However, the range, bonus action, and efficient death-reversing potential of Healing Word keep it relevant and good until all the way to level 20.
Healing Word 5e Compared to Cure Wounds
Cure Wounds requires the caster to touch the target, but it heals for 1d8 + spellcasting modifier instead of 1d4. It also costs 1 full action, not a bonus action.
While Cure Wounds can provide bigger heals, the short-range and inferior action economy makes it a worse spell all around. Cure Wounds does scale better by adding 1d8 per slot level above the first, and it’s a better end-of-day cast when you’re about to recuperate spell slots anyway.
But if it’s a choice between preparing Healing Word or Cure Wounds, Healing Word is the better option.
Healing Word 5e DM Tips
Healing Word is an easy spell to officiate, but there’s also some real roleplay potential there. What word do your players speak when they cast Healing Word?
Do they invoke the name of their deity in a solemn tone, shout a silly catchphrase, or enter a trance and speak in tongues? Encourage your players to consider their word and make it their own.
Once it’s a known word, a player can simply speak that word, look at the person they’d like to heal, and gesture in some way. Now that’s what I call more satisfying than “I cast Healing Word.”
Simple Healing Word 5e Spell Text
Healing Word: (1st-level evocation, 1 bonus action, 60 feet, V) Restore 1d4 + spellcasting modifier hit points to taget. +1d4 for each spell slot above 1st.