Lightning Arrow DnD 5E Spell

Hello magic casters of all shapes and sizes! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 34th episode of our 3rd level spell series. So in case if you’re unfamiliar with the ranger class they get like these pseudo smites and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. In this case it’s called lightning arrow 5e.

But there are quite a few of them i have personal gripes with these spells. I’ll explain why in a little bit, however there are some upside to them i suppose i’m not a huge fan of the ranger in general i know the gloom stalker can be really good, i know there’s a lot of times where multi-classing with them is beneficial but i mean i don’t know i think you’ll be hard pressed to find a arranger build in the meta, i think you’ll be very hard-pressed to find that.

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Especially with the arcane archer being the thing and especially with just the rogue in general. I don’t know it’s almost a meme at this point to be completely honest, it’s like what’s better than a ranger with a bow every other class with a bow and i know that’s not technically the truest statement but i feels like it sometimes god doesn’t ever feel like it.

I don’t know hopefully they’ll get better future subclasses coming out but i mean who knows i think they’re just fundamentally kind of meh. Although i am open to having my mind changed but that’s not what this article is about. This article is about dnd 5e lightning arrow which is a spell exclusively found on the ranger spell list and it is found in the good old players handbook, so accessibility to it should not be an issue in the faintest. Now let’s dive right into its mechanics here.


The effect at a glance is as followed: Your next ranged weapon attack deals 4d8 lightning damage on a hit, or half as much damage on a miss. Hit or miss, each creature within 10 feet of the target must make a dexterity saving throw. Each of these creatures that takes 2d8 lightning damage on a fail or half as much damage on a success. Both effects of the spell increases by 1d8 for each slot levle above 3rd. In any case don’t miss this fire arrow dnd 5e.

  • Level: 3rd
  • Casting Time: 1 Bonus Action
  • Range/Area: Self
  • Components: V, S
  • Duration: 1 Minute (Concentration)
  • School: Transmutation
  • Attack/Save: DEX Save
  • Damage/Effect: Lightning (…)

The cast time is one bonus action, the range is self, the duration is one minute and it is a concentration. The components are somatic and verbal. The school is transmutation and the damage type is lightning.

Overall the person you target can take up to six d8 lightning damage which is pretty dang impressive. It’s AOE which is also really nice, at least some extent and whether or not you hit or miss on that initial attack. It still does damage so you’re never gonna really find this spell as a waste.

However if you haven’t saw it already mu biggest complaint is that this is a concentration spell. If you removed the concentration component from it and from all of the pseudo smite abilities of the ranger. There’s a good chance that you could stack this with something like hunter’s mark or if you multi-class you could stack it with hex or some other ability or spell that requires concentration.

I just think it’s kind of a waste to drop whatever you’re already concentrating on just for a single weapon attack essentially. I think wizards of the coast did this kind of almost out of habit right because in the paladin’s case it makes a little bit more sense just because the paladins smites they’re not just used by the paladin, a lot of subclasses offer them up the cleric is an obvious example of that right. You can also check out this lightning bolt 5e.

So if a cleric was able to concentrate on a heavier damage dealing spell and at the same time be able to smite then it could be really cheesy but i don’t really know if that’s the case with the ranger in all fairness but you know whatever you might disagree if you do let me know down beneath however that is the biggest deterrent i feel for this spell. Remedy if you’re a DM at your discretion if you’re a player and you want a remedy bring it up to your dungeon master however by raw it is the way it is. Now let’s move on to its full description here.


The next time you make a ranged weapon attack during the spell’s duration, the weapon’s ammunition, or the weapon itself if it’s a thrown weapon, transforms into a bolt of lightning. Make the attack roll as normal. The target takes 4d8 lightning damage on a hit, or half as much damage on a miss, instead of the weapon’s normal damage.

Whether you hit or miss, each creature within 10 feet of the target must make a Dexterity saving throw. Each of these creatures takes 2d8 lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The piece of ammunition or weapon then returns to its normal form.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage for both effects of the spell increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 3rd.

Very cool! It’s very much like a usual smite would be added damage plus an additional effect. Pretty, pretty standard. The most common thing i’ve been asked about these ranger pseudo smites is whether or not you can combine it with conjure barrage this spell essentially duplicates a piece of ammunition when you fire it and creates kind of a huge swath of them and it deals damage in a cone.

Sadly! these don’t stack with however conjure barrage mentions that it can’t be magical, right and this would by definition make it magical, so sadly not. I do think it’s an interesting way to try and kind of game the system but by raw you’d run into more hurdles than it’s worth.

However i mean you know what…if you’re a DM and you feel like this is underpowered, that might be a way to kind of remedy it. Although you have to be really careful when it comes to this one in particular just because each arrow does aoe. So it might be a little rough however seeing as how it’s a third level spell slot and seeing as though something like fireball deals more damage and with a larger area mind you. I don’t know i’ll leave that up to all of your discretion i’m just saying it’s something that gets asked a lot by raw the answer is no but rule of cool you know! In any case though let’s move on to some alternative uses.

Alternative Uses

This is a really hard one for me to do…just because it just damage, that’s all. There’s not really any flavor text to play off of, there’s not there’s some potentially interesting combos i suppose but no more or less than any other damaging spell right.

The only thing i can suggest is just using it to take down a group of enemies. It’s not really an alternative use just because it’s kind of what it’s meant to do. However it’s still something that shouldn’t be understated right! Taking down area of effect damage in general is fantastic. The fact that it’s elemental based means there are feats and abilities you can take that will potentially boost the damage or certainly remove the minimum stuff like elemental adept right.

In addition to that there are subclasses that focus on particular elements, the barbarian has a couple, sorcerer has a couple stuff like that so if you’re multi-classing that might be something you want to look into. However you know, it is what it is there it’s it follows the same template as a couple other spells you’ve already talked about so i’m not gonna pretend that it’s something super amazing but if it fits with your character go for it….i 100% support that.


That being said though, let me know what you think down beneath in the comment section. If you have any thoughts, questions, comments, concerns, ideas or stories of your own and if you disagree with me let me have it down beneath i’m always interested in talking with you guys and seeing what you guys have to think.

And if you don’t know already we’re doing a couple different series so stay posted throughout the day about them. And with all of that out of the way, i hope you all have a wonderful day and of course happy adventuring everyone.

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