You create a floating, spectral weapon within range that lasts for the duration or until you cast this spell again. When you cast the spell, you can make a melee spell attack against a creature within 5 feet of the weapon. On a hit, the target takes force damage equal to 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier.
As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the weapon up to 20 feet and repeat the attack against a creature within 5 feet of it.
The weapon can take whatever form you choose. Clerics of deities who are associated with a particular weapon (as St. Cuthbert is known for his mace and Thor for his hammer) make this spell’s effect resemble that weapon.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for every two slot levels above 2nd.
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 minute
School: 2nd-level evocation
Who can cast Spiritual Weapon? Clerics have Spiritual Weapons on their class spell list. Life Domain Clerics, War Domain Clerics, and Oath of Conquest Paladins always have Spiritual Weapon prepared. Divine Soul Sorcerers also have access to Spiritual Weapon.
Spiritual Weapon 5e
Who doesn’t love the idea of a floating warhammer smashing a confused orc? Or a spectral great ax smashing into a zombie’s face from across the room? Spiritual Weapon isn’t just solid, efficient damage — it’s an opportunity for some memorable role-playing experiences.
This guide will cover how Spiritual Weapon works, how to use it effectively, and the many questions about how its rules work.
How Does Spiritual Weapon Work in 5e?
Spiritual Weapon summons a weapon of your choice within 60 feet. You can immediately make a melee spell attack with the weapon, as the spell’s casting time is only a bonus action. On a hit, the Spiritual Weapon deals 1d8 + spellcasting modifier (Wisdom for Clerics, Charisma for Paladins) damage to one creature within 5 feet of the weapon.
Spiritual Weapon lasts for 1 minute, which is 10 rounds of combat. On each of the rounds after casting Spiritual Weapon, you can use a bonus action to move it up to 20 feet and/or attack with it again.
Clerics and Paladins who pick this spell up likely have a +2 or +3 spellcasting modifier, making the average damage of Spiritual Weapon 6.5 or 7.5.
How to Use Spiritual Weapon in 5e
To make the most out of Spiritual Weapon, keep these tips in mind:
Cast it early. Spiritual Weapon’s greatest strengths include a bonus action casting time and no concentration requirement. If you think you’ll need the extra damage in the fight, summon your Spiritual Weapon from the get-go.
A typical player using 1st-level Spiritual Weapon will deal around 70 damage over the course of a fight, assuming the fight lasts at least 10 rounds.
Summon it in the thick of things. Enemies won’t be able to attack your Spiritual Weapon, so there’s no harm in putting it in an enemy-packed position. In fact, it makes your life easier, because you’ll be partially negating the 20-foot movement limit on Spiritual Weapon. On follow-up turns, you’ll have a much easier time getting your weapon in range.
Causing chaos. Summoning a Spiritual Weapon in an enemy encampment while you’re hidden can be the perfect way to create a diversion. The thing can’t be attacked, so it’s reasonable that some enemies would panic at the sight of such a phenomenon. Of course, they’ll also look for the source of the spell.
What Are the Rules for Spiritual Weapon in 5e?
The rules for Spiritual Weapon in DnD 5e are as follows:
On the turn you summon Spiritual Weapon, you cannot move it. Some players also have the misapprehension that they can attack with Spiritual Weapon twice on the turn when it is summoned, but that is not the case.
A player only has one bonus action each turn. Summoning it requires one, and moving it requires one, so you cannot do both.
However, a player can attack, cast Spiritual Weapon, and then make Spiritual Weapon’s attack (or take their regular attack after Spiritual Weapon).
You cannot cast another spell on the same turn as Spiritual Weapon. However, because Spiritual Weapon is a bonus action, you can cast a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action on the same turn (PHB 202).
Spiritual Weapon lasts for 10 rounds of combat That’s what one minute works out to. The spell also doesn’t require concentration to maintain.
While the weapon hangs around for the duration if the Cleric is knocked out, it doesn’t do anything. It relies on the caster’s bonus action to do anything, so the Cleric can’t make attacks with it while unconscious.
For all intents and purposes, the caster is considered the attacker, not the Spiritual Weapon itself. Jeremy Crawford confirmed this.
Your Spiritual Weapon cannot make opportunity attacks. You can only attack with it on your turn, using your bonus action.
Spectral doesn’t mean your Spiritual Weapon can go through walls. Confirmed on Sage Advice, “having a spectral appearance…has no special rules associated with it.”
You don’t need to see your target to attack it with Spiritual Weapon. However, you do follow the same rules as usual for attacking a target you can’t see. That means you’ll have disadvantage on the attack roll (PHB 195).
Spiritual Weapon does not work with Sneak Attack. Spiritual Weapon doesn’t count as an ally of the Rogue, so it doesn’t allow for Sneak Attack to be used. It also doesn’t provide the Pack Tactics bonus.
Spiritual Weapon does not allow for the optional flanking bonus. Flanking rules (DMG 251) require “a creature and at least one of its allies” to be adjacent to the enemy; Spiritual Weapon is not a creature or ally; it’s just a floating spectral weapon.
— Jeremy Crawford (@JeremyECrawford) April 20, 2016
Having a spectral appearance in D&D has no special rules associated with it. If something can pass through walls, for example, the description of that thing says it can pass through walls. #DnD https://t.co/ATHcc7aeQZ
— Jeremy Crawford (@JeremyECrawford) January 29, 2018
— Jeremy Crawford (@JeremyECrawford) August 2, 2016
Who Can I Target With Spiritual Weapon 5e?
You can summon your Spiritual Weapon anywhere within 60 feet that you have a clear path to. You do not need to see the location.
Spiritual Weapon remains active for its duration, even if it leaves the initial 60-foot range of the spell.
Is Spiritual Weapon 5e a Good Spell?
Yes, Spiritual Weapon is a very good spell. Because it only costs a bonus action, it is essentially free damage on every round of combat. Even on the turn you cast it you’re able to also cast a 1st-level cantrip or make a regular attack.
Spiritual Weapon is insanely efficient, consistent damage. On top of that, Spiritual Weapon doesn’t require concentration to maintain, so you’ll be completely free to cast all of your other spells and put yourself in more dangerous situations where you might take a hit.
Spiritual Weapon also does an additional 4.5 damage for each level that it’s upcast past 2nd level.
For example, a 7th-level Cleric summoning a 4th-level Spiritual Weapon can expect to deal about 17 damage* with Spiritual Weapon, as a bonus action. And with 10 rounds of attacks and no concentration requirement, Spiritual Weapon is undoubtedly a spell that provides good value.
*(3d8 = 13.5 average roll + 3 or 4 Wisdom modifier)
Spiritual Weapon 5e DM Tips
Spiritual Weapon requires a bonus action to cast and use on subsequent turns; that’s the main rule DMs need to keep in mind. Players cannot take bonus actions if they are incapacitated (which includes paralyzed, petrified, stunned, and unconscious conditions).
Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to be the bearer of bad news when a Cleric wants his Spectral Greathammer to dramatically save him from the Orc standing astride his unconscious body.
Simple Spiritual Weapon 5e Spell Text
Spiritual Weapon: (60 feet; 1 minute; bonus action) Create a weapon. Make a melee spell attack against a creature within 5 feet of the weapon. On hit, deal 1d8 + spellcasting ability modifier. On subsequent turns, as a bonus action, you can move the weapon up to 20 feet and attack a creature within 5 feet of it. When upcast, increase damage by 1d8 for every two slot levels above 2nd.
DnD 5e Spiritual Weapon FAQ
Spiritual Weapon DnD 5e FAQ:
How long does spiritual weapon last? Spiritual weapon lasts for 1 minute, with no concentration requirement.
Does spiritual weapon go away when you fall unconscious? No, spiritual weapon does not go away when you fall unconscious. Spiritual weapon does not require your concentration to maintain, so becoming incapacitated in any way (including falling unconscious) does not end the spell. However, you are only able to move it and attack with it using your bonus action, which you cannot do when you are unconscious, even though the weapon does remain active.
How can you empower spiritual weapon? You can empower spiritual weapon by increasing your spellcasting ability modifier (wisdom for clerics) or casting the spell using a 4th-level or higher spell slot (+1d8 damage for every two slot levels above 2nd).
What is the size classification of spiritual weapon? Spiritual weapon does not have a size classification like creatures and objects. For all intents and purposes, it doesn’t occupy space.
— Jeremy Crawford (@JeremyECrawford) January 29, 2018