Melf’s Acid Arrow 5E Spell

Hello magic casters of all shapes and sizes! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 50th episode of our second level spell series. Today we’re looking at a beloved classic of the dungeons & dragons universe. May i introduce to you melf’s acid arrow dnd 5e spells.

This spell is found exclusively on the wizard spell list and it is found in the beloved players handbook as it should. This spell has been around in d&d for, i want to say longer than i’ve been playing for sure but i think it’s been around since the first edition to be honest with you.

In any case it is beloved and cherished by all and there’s a little bit of conversation as to whether or not 5E did a great job with it and i’ll explain why in a little bit here. That being said, let’s take a look at its mechanics, so we can kind of dive into this. This does function a little weird by the way.


  • Level: 2nd
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: 90 ft
  • Components: V, S, M *
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • School: Evocation
  • Attack/Save: Ranged
  • Damage/Effect: Acid

So you deal two seperate sets of damage, so you’ll deal 4d4 for immediate damage and then 2d4 delayed damage. And you have an additional d4 to each of those per spell slot level above 2nd. So if you use a 3rd level spell slot per save it’ll be 5d4 initial and then 3d4 delayed if that makes sense.

And even if you miss you still deal half damage on the initial damage but you don’t deal any delayed damage. So it’s kind of weird the way it works right!

The cast time is one action, the range is 90 feet which is nothing to sneeze at. The duration is instantaneous, the components are the holy trinity. So verbal, material and somatic. If you’re curious about the material component it is powder to rhubarb leaf and an adders stomach which is pretty cool! I mean sounds smelly but you know whatever.

The school’s evocation and the damage type is well unsuprisingly acid. Now let’s take a look at the description because there’s a couple things you got to go over here. Also check out our another acid arrow 5e article.


A shimmering green arrow streaks toward a target within range and bursts in a spray of acid. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 4d4 acid damage immediately and 2d4 acid damage at the end of its next turn. On a miss, the arrow splashes the target with acid for half as much of the initial damage and no damage at the end of its next turn.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage (both initial and later) increases by 1d4 for each slot level above 2nd. * – (powdered rhubarb leaf and an adder’s stomach)

Very very good stuff! So tell things worth going over here, it takes its delayed damage at the end of its next turn and that’s important for a little bit later on and you can only affect creatures with this so it’s a lot like acid splash in that way, it only targets creatures. So it’s a little unfortunate but it’s kinda just the way it is. In any case let’s take a look at some alternative uses here. You can also check out this 5e spells that do acid damage.

Alternative Uses

So i really did struggle with this one. The reason being is this is actually a spell built with an intended purpose at least kind of. So it’s purpose in this case is to actually mess with casters primarily. It’s why it inflicts damage at the end of the casters turn, it’s  kind of meant to disrupt any concentration spells they’re going at that point in time.

That being said, it’s not really the best spell to use for that kind of purpose. I find even magic missile works a lot better but neither here nor there. I get another good use for this is inflicting damage on targets that are running away or both run away. That way kind of buys you an extra turn of damage dealing and you don’t have to worry about anything catching up to them and the range is pretty nice on it and even if you miss you still do damage to them, so i think that’s pretty cool as well.


That being said, if you have any alternative uses, ideas, questions, thoughts, comments, concerns please let me know down beneath in the comment section i really do appreciate it. That being said, thank you so much everyone i really do appreciate it i hope you all have a wonderful day and as always happy casting everyone.

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