Major Image DnD 5E Spell

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Today we’re going to be taking a look at major image spell 5e which is one of my long standing favorite spells however its mileage may vary depending on the group you’re in, in your current play style. So before i hype it up too much bear in mind, this isn’t really meant to do damage and there’s a strong argument i’ve seen made for phantasmal force being a better option in the long run. However you know what i really do love this spell and at higher levels man there are some really really cool things you can do with this and i’ll get into that in a little bit here.

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But without further ado a major image is used by the bard, sorcerer, warlock and the wizard. As so far as to say it is found on their spell lists. And it is found in the good old players handook old reliable as it were. Now let’s take a look at its mechanics here.


The effect at a glance is as followed: Create a multi sensory illusion, physical interactions, or a successful investigation check reveal it as an illusion.

  • Level: 3rd
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: 120 ft (20 ft Cube)
  • Components: V, S, M *
  • Duration: 10 Minutes (Concentration)
  • School: Illusion
  • Attack/Save: None
  • Damage/Effect: Control

The cast time is one action, the range is 120 feet and it occupies a 20 foot cube. The duration is 10 minutes and it is concentration but at higher levels and this is one of the coolest things…using a spell slot of 6th level: the spell lasts until dispelled. That’s right…it’s essentially permanent.

The components are the holy trinity of material, somatic and verbal and if you’re curious about the material component it is a bit of fleece. However there is no monetory value attached to it, so it’s not super consequential to anything.

Now before we get into the description here i do want to point out the one of the incredible things about this spell that no one really talks about and that is its impressive range. 120 feet is very excellent in terms of this spell and you can cause it to interact and do cool things as long as you’re within that range. So it’s very nice, it’s very nice. I like it a lot if you can’t tell. Now let’s move on to its full description here.


You create the image of an object, a creature, or some other visible phenomenon that is no larger than a 20-foot cube. The image appears at a spot that you can see within range and lasts for the duration. It seems completely real, including sounds, smells, and temperature appropriate to the thing depicted. You can’t create sufficient heat or cold to cause damage, a sound loud enough to deal thunder damage or deafen a creature, or a smell that might sicken a creature (like a troglodyte’s stench).

As long as you are within range of the illusion, you can use your action to cause the image to move to any other spot within range. As the image changes location, you can alter its appearance so that its movements appear natural for the image. For example, if you create an image of a creature and move it, you can alter the image so that it appears to be walking. Similarly, you can cause the illusion to make different sounds at different times, even making it carry on a conversation, for example.

Physical interaction with the image reveals it to be an illusion, because things can pass through it. A creature that uses its action to examine the image can determine that it is an illusion with a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC. If a creature discerns the illusion for what it is, the creature can see through the image, and its other sensory qualities become faint to the creature.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the spell lasts until dispelled, without requiring your concentration. * – (a bit of fleece)

mirror image 5eVery cool stuff! So there are a couple things i want to quickly go over as it relates to the description. So during the smell that might stick in a creature. I believe the reasoning behind why it specifies like a troglodyte stinch it troglodytes actually have a trait that would sicken a creature. However i think there’s a much stronger argument to be made that you could sicken creatures with particular weaknesses to certain sense.

By this what i mean is if you were to encounter a certain NPC that for whatever reason just was made ill by the smell of i don’t know certain type of flower let’s say! And let’s say it was related to previous memories and experiences with regards to said flower then i believe this spell would be enough to sicken or maybe impose the frightened condition on that creature. It’s rather interesting.

However i have heard arguments made in the past and this will get a little weird i’ve played with some weird groups but i have heard arguments made in the past that if you could replicate the smell of a toxin. Then would i have the same effect as that toxin you know, to that i say no, it would you would have to find a very lenient DM to make that happen. Reason being is the toxic effects of things like smelling slats would be an interesting example.

The one he was using was chloroform if you haven’t figured it out and i’m like no not of course not. Because it’s not the smell of the thing that does it outright it’s the chemicals themselves and this is just an illusion. Right, so it wouldn’t really have the same effect as far as i can tell, so by raw i’m gonna deem that a solid no! I’ve heard the argument made in the past no dice i won’t allow it.

Another i do want to point out is this is an illusion and that means you can’t perceive through it right! It’s not as though it works like you’re familiar does where you can spend an action and look through its eyes doesn’t work that way. If you can’t see it….odds are it’s not going to be doing anything unless you command it to do otherwise. And even then you’ll be doing so blind and if your illusion accidentally walks through a wall or something then it’ll be interesting for sure.

But not to say….there’s not a ton of cool ways to use this i’ll get into that in a little bit but just bear in mind. There are some things that are that you’re able to push and some things you’re not. So always consult your dm before you feel like you’re going to be crossing a line into a gray area and always listen to them when they give you feedback on how to use this spell.

Illusionary spells are very strong they consistently have been  through a dungeon and dragons and  maybe even the fantasy genre as a whole as it relates to magic but they do have specific limitations for reasons. In any case let’s move on here to some alternative uses.

Major Image 5E Uses

Major image 5e uses

So as with most illusion spells or most spells that affect perceptions in general. This list is as long as you want it to be. I’m gonna give you some that are really interesting but for the most part it’s upto your own imagination. So the first one is using this to create a compelling doppelganger or gather information in some form or fashion.

To do this you actually need to center the spell on yourself and then you can essentially change your appearance i think the race that benefits most from this is warforged actually because they can make it as though they’re by most metrics human unless someone physically inspects them which is really cool!

Right i’ll give them a heartbeat…it’ll give them the appearance of giving off body heat it’ll give them all this cool stuff! And along that same vein of thought i suppose you could use it to trick. Various creatures into thinking that you’re something else.

The issue with this and the thing i still see debated in some remote forums is that what if you make yourself smell like something different! As so far as to say the illusion produces an oder. Does that mean your oder would be null and void or would it be both of them. By raw it’s both of them right!

Because this spell does an actually affect. Anything in the physical world that’s not a transmutation spell by nature it’s an illusion spell. So it is an interesting thing and i’m not 100% certain about my understanding of aromas and how they work but i don’t think it’s like frequencies where two opposing aromas can cancel each other out. I might be wrong on that if you’ve done research on that, let me know down beneath but it is an interesting way to do it.

Another interesting use is to use this to impersonate royalty. This is for DMs more so than individual players although i suppose players can reap the reward from it if they’re of a evil persuasion or maybe it’s circumstantial but it would be very cool, if the main quest giver to the party turned out to be nothing more than an illusion perpetrated by the BBEG right!

I think that would be a very interesting plot twist and with this spell you know it’s certainly doable, certainly doable. Along the same vein of thought if a party were to kill a bandit leader and then create an illusion to assume his place and have said illusion give a rousing speech that persuades the bandits to move elsewhere in the province or country that would be interesting as well.

Another great way to use this is to use it to create monsters or creatures this is especially good if you’re in a hairy situation and your enemies don’t have a particularly high intelligence. I mean if they do, it might not mke sense given the circumstances but if they are on the stupider end of things, then they’re likely to believe it and especially since it has a sensory effects to back up its claim, it’ll be really interesting.

You can also take this to a rather a logical conclusion and this is something i’d only recommend doing if you’re in a campaign that maybe has a stretch of time where you’re not doing a lot of combat or maybe you’re just a strictly utilitarian caster. You can use this spell to make an army right like a literal army that just follows you around.

If you have a necromancer friend you can, you can disguise a lot of his or even anyone that conjures a lot of animals like druids for example you can really use this effectively to disguise a lot of those creatures or skeletons as more threatening creatures, it would be an interesting usage of it for sure. There have been some interesting posts involving people using the spell to create whole town.

I think that’s more of a dm thing than a player thing but who knows given enough time, if you have a long stretch of period where the party members are seperate pursuing their own training then that would make a lot of sense in that regard i suppose but for the most part it’s something i don’t see come up into too many games, a lot of people i find often under use this spell as with most illusion spells.

I think the catch is they require a lot of foresight, even though it’s only an action to cast. The more research you do into a given area or a given creature  or given circumstances. The more likely you are to gain significant benefit from this. However illusion spells as much as it sucks to say there’s a weird almost adversarial relationship between a lot of them and certain martial classes.

Reason being is a lot of these spells are aimed at ignoring combat altogether. Where a lot of classes specify or focus in rather exclusively on combat, so it really is interesting. However i suppose you can use both…right like if you have i’ve been noticing a lot of posts recently about rogues hiding in the middle of a room and how it doesn’t make feasible sense. Don’t miss our article on minor illusion 5e.

With something like major illusion or major image rather you can feasibly do that right, create like a barrel if it’s just a random barrel in an empty room it might be suspicious but you essentially replicate something else in the room of sizable or of a decent enough size where you can hide within it.

It stands to reason that because you’re aware it’s an illusion, it’ll be kind of transparent to you and you’ll be able to get in there and just go ham if you have the skulker feat then you’ll really be able to reap a lot of rewards out of that. Kind of it’s a little bit reminiscent of my skyrim style of play to be honest the stealth archer but it is really cool, i like it.

In terms of classes that benefit from this arcane trickster for sure and then warlock would really benefit from this as well, wizard really anyone with access to it would benefit with through it but i feel like the arcane trickster in particular very very good choice for them when they get access to it. Also read this silent image 5e.


In any case that’s really about all i have to say about what is the mirror image spell in d&d? i could go on and on in regards to it just through its mere nature but i’ll hand it over to you guys, let me know what you think of it. Be sure to include thoughts, question, comments, concerns, alternative uses of your own and any cool stories you have involving it. That being said, i hope you all have a wodnerful day and as always happy casting everyone.

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