This spell repairs a single break or tear in an object you touch, such as a broken chain link, two halves of a broken key, a torn cloak, or a leaking wineskin. As long as the break or tear is no larger than 1 foot in any dimension, you mend it, leaving no trace of the former damage.
This spell can physically repair a magic item or construct, but the spell can’t restore magic to such an object.
Casting Time: 1 minute
Components: V, S, M (two lodestones)
School: Transmutation cantrip
Player’s Handbook, pg. 259
Mending is a spell that everyone would love to have in their day-to-day lives. Sure, blasting fire out of your hands is cool and all, but when it comes to practical (and peaceful) spells, Mending is where it’s at.
For such a seemingly simple cantrip, people have boatloads of questions about how Mending works and sorts of tricks they can pull off with it. Let’s tear into it.
Who Can Cast Mending in 5e?
The following classes have Mending on their spell list:
No subclasses get Mending for free.
What Does Mending Do in 5e?
Mending repairs one break or tear in an object that you touch for a minute. The break or tear can’t be larger than one foot in any dimension. When you’re done mending the object, there’s no sign it was ever broken.
Magic items can be mended physically with Mending, but not they won’t get their magical properties back.
Basically, Mending is super glue that does a perfect job of repairing one instance of damage of one broken object. Paying attention to the limitations I’ve bolded will help prevent a lot of misunderstandings that we’ll cover in the rules section below.
What Are the Rules for Mending in 5e?
The rules for Mending in DnD 5e are as follows:
You can repair arrows with Mending. In the normal course of battle, half of a ranged player’s arrows/bolts will break (“at the end of battle, you can recover half your expended ammunition” (PHB 146). This Sage Advice thread confirms that you can fix one arrow per minute, provided you can find them all, with the Mending spell (DM-depending).
Mending cannot fix rust or corrosion. Because rust is not a break or tear.
You can Mend a dead body (to some extent). Since a dead body is an object, it is an eligible target for Mending. However, if you’re using this for postmortem limb reattachment, keep in mind that there are many tears (blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, skin, etc.) involved in the detachment of a body part.
Basically, it comes down to your DM how effective Mending is for this purpose.
Mending can repair armor (to some extent). As long as the damage to the armor could be fixed by supergluing two parts together, Mending works to repair armor. But big dents, scrapes, missing materials, corrosion, burns, acid, rust, what have you — Mending does nothing to repair any of that.
One cast of Mending fixes one break or tear of one object. So if you want to fix a broken bottle with Mending, you’d need to have every piece of glass, and spent (# of pieces – 1) minutes to repair the bottle. Same goes for fabric with multiple tears.
You cannot affix any two items with Mending. Because Mending fixes one object. You can break a chair and fix it, or break a desk and fix it. But you can’t break each and then make some Frankenstein creature by Mending them together.
Mending does not create matter. If you need to Mend something, you need to have all of the thing you hope to Mend. For instance, if a cloak is cut in half and left behind, you cannot Mend the cloak to magically create the half you lost earlier.
Mending does not work on the Warforged race. Because they’re creatures, not objects.
Mending cannot repair broken bones of living creatures. For the same reason as above. However, the broken bones of a dead creature are fair game.
Mending cannot close wounds. Same reason as above.
Mending cannot fix burns, corrosive damage, melted objects, etc. A single break or tear — that’s the mantra for remembering what Mending can and cannot fix.
Dispel/Detect Magic won’t detect/dispel a Mended object. Mending’s duration is Instantaneous and once you’ve finished casting it, there’s no trace of past magic for anyone to Detect or Dispel.
Mending does not consume lodestones. In fact, no cantrip spell in the game consumes a material component. Players can also use a component pouch or spellcasting/druidic focus in place of the lodestones (PHB 203).
How Do I Use Mending in 5e?
There are plenty of ways to use Mending in DnD 5e. Here are a few player favorites:
Tear up documents you want to keep secret but need to carry. Sometimes your party needs to transport sensitive information, a map you’d like to keep secret, etc. Mending is great because it allows you to rip the document(s) up and then repair them at will (time permitting, of course).
Break open seals to read secret documents without leaving evidence of your actions. Similarly, Mending is excellent for letting you pry into other people’s secrets. Whether you’re tasked with transporting said sensitive information and you’d like a peek, or you’re going out of your way to sneak some intel, Mending allows you to do so surreptitiously.
Hobble your carriage so it can’t be stolen while you’re away. If you’re worried about leaving your vehicle unattended, have no fear. With Mending, you can break an axle and leave it right there on the road. When you return, a quick Mending spell will have you back on the road in a jiffy.
Make a unbreakable handcuffs, chains, etc. Step 1: Blacksmith makes a solid chain with no locks or openings. Step 2: Break that chain in one place. Step 3: Wrap the chains/cuffs/etc. around your foe (note: DM will probably require an incapacitated creature for this part to work). Step 4: Mend the chain.
Boom, now that prisoner isn’t going anywhere without your leave.
Make secret pockets in your clothes. If you’re looking to keep secret belongings on your person (like sneak a dagger into a weapons-free meeting), Mending makes that easy. Just cut a hole on the inside of your jacket, pants, etc., slip the item in, and then Mend the tear.
Create hollowed out objects for dead drops, concealed items, etc. The ol’ spare key in the rock trick — but for DnD.
Carry a broken 10-foot pole for reassembly. 10-foot poles are awkward to carry. But three 3 1/3-foot poles? That’s no problem. And with just two minutes of Mending, you’ve got a 10-foot pole on demand.
Break into buildings without leaving evidence of your actions. This one really only works if your method of entry involves a few surgical breaks/tears. Smashing a window, busting a door into oblivion, or other violent/noisy means of entry carry their own risks, and Mending such a break may take hours rather than minutes.
But if you’re able to make a surgical entry with only a handful of breaks/tears, then Mending can help cover your tracks.
Break cumbersome loot for easier transport back to town. Let’s say you stumble upon a massive ancient vase of a lost civilization. You know a collector who’d pay big for it. But how the hell are you going to carry this thing back to her?
Easy, (carefully) break it into small pieces, bring those pieces back with you, and, presto, Mend it back together — good as new.
Repair arrows (time permitting). As mentioned in the rules section above, Mending can be used to mitigate the loss of half your ammunition per battle. You might not be able to find each and every arrow, and you may not always have time to Mend them mid-dungeon, but it’s a good option to have.
Fix nets. The special Net weapon will break fairly often if you use it, as slashing it broken is one of the easier ways to free an ally (PHB 148). But with Mending, you don’t need to worry about bringing backup nets.
Roleplay post-battle fun. Mending is just a nice flavor spell that helps a party remember that, post-battle, their adventuring gear is probably a bit worse for wear.
Make money during your downtime. Mending certainly seems to qualify as a spell that you could make an honest living on. How much you make with this magical superglue depends on where you sell your services, how rare magic is in your campaign, and your DM’s opinion.
Who Can I Target With Mending 5e?
You can only target an object with Mending, not creatures (including the Warforged race). However, you can target certain “companion” creatures/objects with Mending like the Eldritch Cannon, Steel Defender, and Homunculus (all Artificer stuff).
Mending must target a single object that was broken, so it cannot be used to attach two dissimilar items together.
Is Mending 5e a Good Spell?
Yes, Mending is a good spell — especially if your campaign is big on intrigue. You’ll notice many of the applications in the “how to use” section from above involve purposefully breaking something in order to conceal something within it (secret pockets, trick rocks, broken seals to letters, etc.)
Most of these things involve a bit of spying and/or hiding your intentions or actions. The same goes for parties that like to break and enter without letting anyone know they’ve been there. All those applications on a cantrip — kinda reminds me of Mage Hand.
It also provides more general utility, like carrying otherwise overly-burdensome objects (loot, supplies, etc.). Overall, you’ll always be happy that someone in your party has the Mending spell handy, even if it is just once a session.
Mending 5e DM Tips
Mending leaves DMs with a substantial amount of wiggle room. And by that we mean, players might hound you with a million questions about what they can or can’t do with the spell.
Besides the rules section above, here are my two cents on how DMs should handle Mending in various situations:
Allow Mending to work on more complex breaks, but with more time. It might be hard to know exactly how long it would take to Mend something (you’d essentially have to count the number of breaks). We recommend an hour for something small (like a bottle), 4-8 hours for something medium-sized (like a chair), and a full day for something large/complex (like a small boat).
Also, consider whether the player would actually have all of the broken parts or if the nature of the object’s destruction precludes Mending altogether.
Allow it to work on dead bodies. Okay, so players love the “Gentle Repose -> Mending -> Revivify” trick to fix limb loss accompanied by death at low levels. My feeling is that Mending could work to basically glue to arm back on, but that the arm would no longer function.
However, you’re also free to just let this work 100% and allow the players super-surgical abilities with Mending, repairing each capillary and nerve ending.
Don’t allow them to sell broken armor for full price. While Mending might improve the quality of broken armor a bit, it certainly won’t make it as good as new. Plus, this sort of thing usually devolves into slowed-down gameplay, as every post-combat becomes about repairing/storing armor.
Allow players to get paid Mending. Xanathar’s Guide to Everything describes the wages for work on page 134, which we think works for selling the service of a spell like Mending. A week’s work can get you anywhere from 1.4 gp-39 gp, depending on your role (using the “lifestyle” expenses from Player’s Handbook, pg. 157 and multiplying by 7 days of a week).
I recommend using whatever the player’s spellcasting modifier is for their ability check to see how much gold they make.
Simple Mending 5e Spell Text
Mending: (Transmutation cantrip, 1 minute, touch, V/S/M (two lodestones)) Repair a single break or tear in an object that is no larger than 1 foot in any dimension, leaving no trace of the former damage. Cannot restore magic to magic items or constructs.