Magic Stone 5e
If you cast this spell again, the spell ends early on any pebbles still affected by it.
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 minute
School: Transutation cantrip
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, pg. 160
Magic Stone 5e
Magic Stone is a funny ol’ cantrip — many players find it severely underwhelming, while others have limitless fun building characters who excel at hurling magical pebbles at baddies.
The truth lies somewhere in between. If you look at Magic Stone as a pure damaging cantrip, then yea, it’s pretty “meh.” But viewed as a utility spell and paired with creative thinking, it can be much more satisfying to use.
We’ll go over some of those applications, as well as nagging rules questions that come up all the time.
Who Can Cast Magic Stone in 5e?
The following classes have Magic Stone on their spell list:
No subclasses get Magic Stone for free.
What Does Magic Stone Do in 5e?
Magic Stone turns 1-3 pebbles you touch into magic stones (hence the name). Anyone can make a ranged spell attack with these stones by throwing them (maximum 60-foot range) or hurling it from a sling (30-foot range accurately, or up to 120-foot range with disadvantage).
Hurling the stone from a sling counts as using a ranged weapon, but not as making a weapon attack (that’ll be important for a few things in the rules section below).
Regardless of who attacks with the pebble and how they throw it, the attack roll uses the spellcaster’s spellcasting ability modifier (as opposed to the attacker’s spellcasting ability mod or regular attack mod) and the thrower’s proficiency bonus (since all characters are proficient at throwing and using slings).
If the attack lands, it deals (“magical”) bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + the spellcaster’s spellcasting ability modifier.
Regardless of whether the attack lands, the magic stone ceases to be a magic stone once its used in an attack. The spell also ends on stones if the caster casts Magic Stone again.
What Are the Rules for Magic Stone in 5e?
The rules for Magic Stone in DnD 5e are as follows:
Magic Stone is a spell attack that can be made with a ranged weapon. Here’s Sage Advice confirmation that Magic Stone works with effects that require the use of a ranged weapon (when using a sling rather than throwing), but not with effects that require a ranged weapon attack.
This means, when hurled with a sling, Magic Stone works with things like:
Sneak Attack (explicit Sage Advice confirmation)
The third bullet of the Sharpshooter feat (optional -5 attack roll, +10 damage when attacking with a ranged weapon)
Kensei Monk’s Kensei’s Shot feature
But not with things like:
The Archery Fighting Style
The first two bullets of the Sharpshooter feat (ignoring disadvantage on long-ranged weapon attacks and ignoring cover with ranged weapon attacks)
Just read the fine print and remember Jeremy Crawford’s tip: “Magic Stone works with a feature that benefits attacks in general or ranged attacks, but not weapon attacks.” If something says “ranged weapon attack,” Magic Stone doesn’t work.
And, of course, if you throw the Magic Stone rather than hurl it from a sling, you do not benefit from any features that require a ranged weapon or a ranged weapon attack.
When hurled with a sling, use the sling’s range. Sage Advice confirmation that this is how Magic Stone is supposed to work. A sling’s range is 30/120, meaning you can attack up to 30 feet normally or up to 120 feet with disadvantage (PHB 147).
Magic Stone costs 1 bonus action to imbue the stones; throwing the stones costs 1 action. Here’s Sage Advice confirmation that imbuing the stones is a bonus action, while throwing the stones is a separate, regular action.
Magic Stone works with Extra Attack. The Extra Attack feature only requires that you “take the Attack action” (which the Magic Stone attack counts as). This is the reason why Magic Stone doesn’t scale up in damage with upcasting — to account for characters with Extra Attack getting multiplicative damage gains from said scaling.
Magic Stone does not deal additional sling damage when hurled from a sling. It only deals the spell’s stated damage (1d6 + caster’s spellcasting modifier). Unless the sling is magical…
Magical slings do benefit Magic Stone. If you have, say, a +2 sling then you’ll have +2 on your attack and damage rolls with Magic Stone. That’s because magic weapons read “you gain +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.”
Since this wording doesn’t specify a weapon attack (which Magic Stone is not), that means it’s eligible to benefit Magic Stone.
Magic Stones count as “magical” bludgeoning damage. Technically, Dungeons and Dragons doesn’t have a “magical” damage type. But some monsters are resistant/immune to damage from bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from “nonmagical weapons.”
For the sake of overcoming these resistances/immunities, Magic Stone is considered a magic weapon.
Familiars cannot attack with Magic Stone. Unless they’re a special Pact of the Chain Warlock’s familiar. Magic Stone doesn’t give creatures that cannot attack the ability to attack; it just makes pebbles into magic weapons.
Magic Stone always works with Spell Sniper. Unlike Sharpshooter, Magic Stone works with the entirety of the Spell Sniper feat (double range and ignoring cover) (PHB 170).
You add your proficiency bonus to the attack roll. This is a ranged spell attack, so you’re calculating your spell attack modifier as proficiency bonus + spellcasting ability modifier.
The only thing that’s different about Magic Stone is that you’re using the caster’s spellcasting ability modifier instead of your own, but you still use your own proficiency bonus as usual.
How Do I Use Magic Stone in 5e?
Here are a few interesting ways to use Magic Stone:
Providing magic weapons to players/NPCs who don’t have magic weapons. Overcoming resistances and immunities to nonmagical weapons is a real challenge at early levels. Most DMs don’t throw around magic weapons in the first tier of play, so many martial classes are left feeling useless when these enemies first pop up.
Magic Stone is the perfect solution for these situations. It’s also great for equipping NPCs you’re escorting/fighting alongside with a magic weapon, if they don’t have one.
Providing weapons to players/NPCs who don’t have any weapons. In a situation where your party’s been completely disarmed or you’ve willingly handed over your weapons to gain entry somewhere, Magic Stone ensures you’ve always got an ace up your sleeve.
Pair with Extra Attack to keep up in damage scaling. Players’ biggest complaint about Magic Stone is that its damage doesn’t scale like other cantrips. Well if you’ve got Extra Attack, then Magic Stone keeps up to least 11th level.
Be a Rogue. The fact that Magic Stone works with Sneak Attack (when using a sling) makes it much more useful on a Rogue than most other classes. Arcane Trickster is the optimal choice here (because it allows you to go Intelligence SAD), but picking Magic Stone up via the Magic Initiate feat is also an option.
Give Magic Stones to a Pact of the Chain Warlock’s familiar. Chances are that Magic Stone does more damage than whatever attacks they have, and certainly at a greater range.
Cast Magic Stones via any familiar. Magic Stone’s range of Touch means that you can administer Magic Stones from a distance via your Find Familiar. This can be especially handy for arming NPCs/allies with magical weapons even if you’re far away from them.
Consider your range. Between 5-30 feet and from 60+ feet, a sling is best (or necessary in the latter case) for any effects that require the use of a ranged weapon (Sneak Attack, Sharpshooter’s third bullet, etc.)
But from 31+ feet, you’ll have disadvantage with a sling, meaning that, in some cases, you’re better off just throwing the Magic Stone if your enemy is between 31-60 feet away.
Switch it out at 5th level. If you don’t plan on getting Extra Attack in some way or you just don’t like how Magic Stone feels past level 5, you can always swap it out. Artificers have a class feature that allows for it (TCoE 11), and Druids get Cantrip Versatility at 4th-level (TCoE 36), and Warlocks get Eldritch Versatility at 4th-level (TCoE 60).
Is Magic Stone 5e a Good Spell?
No, Magic Stone is not a good spell in 5e, all things considered. The fact that there’s no in-built damage scaling without Extra Attack (besides your ability modifier’s modest increase) means that Magic Stone almost always falls off in the mid-game.
That being said, building your character with Magic Stone is certainly possible, and simply having Extra Attack ensures that Magic Stone keeps up in damage with other cantrips all the way to 11th level.
Additionally, when you look at Magic Stone as a utility spell (always having ranged, shareable magic weapons on hand) it stands out as fairly special. Sure, Magic Weapon can do something similar, but it’s 2nd-level, only affects one weapon, requires concentration, and it requires actually having a weapon on hand to begin with.
Simple Magic Stone 5e Spell Text
Magic Stone: (Transmutation cantrip, 1 bonus action, touch, 1 minute, V/S) 1-3 pebbles become magic. Anyone can make a ranged spell attack with a pebble by throwing it or hurling it with a sling. If thrown, it has a 60-foot range. The attacker adds your spellcasting ability modifier to the attack roll. On a hit, target takes 1d6 + your spellcasting modifier bludgeoning damage.
Hit or miss, the spell ends on the stone. If cast again, spell ends early on any pebbles still affected by it.