Hear ye, hear ye, good folk of the realm! When playing Dungeons & Dragons, there are 13 main damage types that adventurers must be aware of. From fiery dragon breath to the icy blasts of a winter storm to the acidic corrosion of a swampy mire, these damage types can make the difference between life and death.
However, not everyone was created equal when it comes to these varied types of damage. Some adventurers and creatures have resistances that make them less susceptible to damage, while others have weaknesses that make them more vulnerable to certain types of damage.
Behold! Absorb Elements is a powerful spell that allows adventurers to absorb a hit from one of the main damage types and harness that energy for their own purposes. Whether ’tis absorbing a lightning bolt to fuel their next attack or soaking up a fireball to create a shield of flames, Absorb Elements provides a versatile tool for surviving and thriving in the dangerous world of D&D. So if thou dost seek to gain the upper hand against thine enemies, read on to learn more about the power of Absorb Elements.
Absorb Elements 5e Spell Description
According to Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, the spell description is as follows:
The spell captures some of the incoming energy, lessening its effect on you and storing it for your next melee attack. You have resistance to the triggering damage type until the start of your next turn. Also, the first time you hit with a melee attack on your next turn, the target takes an extra 1d6 damage of the triggering type, and the spell ends.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the extra damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.
Absorb Elements 5e Spell Stats
- Level: 1
- Casting time: 1 Reaction* (*which you take when you take acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage)
- Range: Self
- Components: Somatic
- Duration: 1 Round
- School: Abjuration
- Attack/Save: None
- Spell Lists: Druid, Ranger, Sorcerer, Wizard, Artificer
What is Absorb Elements 5e Spell?
Absorb Elements is a powerful spell featured in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, designed to give players a unique way to handle different types of damage in D&D. This spell is available to druids, rangers, sorcerers, and wizards.
The spell’s stats in short: it is a 1st-level abjuration spell with a casting time of 1 reaction, range of self, and components of S. The duration of the spell is instantaneous, and it can be found on the spell lists of the previously mentioned classes.
When cast, Absorb Elements allows the caster to capture incoming energy of a particular type, lessening the effect of that damage type and storing that energy for a melee attack. The spell also provides resistance to the triggering damage type for the rest of the turn.
For example, if a player character is hit by a Fireball spell, they can use Absorb Elements as a reaction to gain resistance to fire damage and store that energy for the next melee attack. Additionally, the melee attack that follows deals an extra 1d6 of the triggering damage type, in this case, fire damage.
Absorb Elements provides players with an exciting way to resist and retaliate against different types of damage, making it an excellent choice for players facing enemies with a known vulnerability or immunity.
Absorb Elements is a versatile spell that has two parts — defensive and offensive. The defensive part of the spell grants the caster resistance to a chosen damage type until the start of their next turn. This resistance can be a lifesaver in certain battles, where enemies deal significant amounts of elemental damage. By gaining resistance, the caster will take half damage from the chosen damage type, making them more durable and able to withstand attacks.
To use Absorb Elements, the caster must physically absorb the incoming energy using a special motion. Once triggered by the chosen damage type, the spell kicks in and the caster takes only half the usual damage. The absorbed energy is then stored and can be used to boost their next melee attack, adding an extra punch to their strike.
One of the best things about this spell is that it can be used even if the caster is caught off guard or taken by surprise. So if an enemy attacks with a surprise Fireball, the caster can react quickly and use the spell’s movement to absorb some of the heat. However, keep in mind that the caster can only use the spell once per round, as it requires their reaction to activate.
All in all, Absorb Elements is a fantastic spell for anyone looking to toughen up and deal more damage in battle. By gaining resistance to a specific damage type and storing energy for their next melee attack, the caster can give themselves a powerful edge against their foes.
Going on the Offensive
You’ve got elemental energy throbbing throughout your body: now what? Once you’ve absorbed the energy and gained resistances, it’s time for the fun part: turnabout! Now that you’ve harnessed that elemental energy, it’s time to turn it on the enemy; you can use the energy to deal extra damage on your next melee attack!
For ranged fighters and casters, getting close enough to make a melee attack can be challenging, but the extra damage from Absorb Elements can make it worth the risk. Additionally, the extra damage dealt by Absorb Elements is 1d6 worth of the chosen elemental damage type.
It’s important to keep in mind that some monsters have resistances or even immunities to their own elemental damage type, so Absorb Elements may not always be the best option for dealing damage. However, against enemies vulnerable to the chosen elemental damage type, Absorb Elements can be a powerful tool in your arsenal.
Using Absorb Elements in Combat
Absorb Elements can be a game-changer in combat, especially when facing enemies with specific elemental attacks. Here are a few examples of how to use Absorb Elements against different enemy types:
Humanoids: Imagine that your party is facing a group of fire-wielding humanoids. As soon as you see them casting fire spells, you can use Absorb Elements to gain resistance to fire damage. On your next turn, you can use the stored energy to deal extra damage to one of the humanoids with a melee attack. Not only will you be able to withstand their fire spells, but you will also turn their power against them.
Dragons: Dragons are notorious for their elemental breath weapons. If you’re facing a dragon, try to determine what type of elemental damage it can deal. Once you know, use Absorb Elements to gain resistance to that damage type. Then, when the dragon unleashes its breath weapon, you’ll be able to withstand it and retaliate with a powerful melee attack boosted by the stored energy.
Elementals: Elementals are powerful creatures that can deal a variety of elemental damage types. Absorb Elements can help you gain resistance to whatever type of elemental damage the elemental is dealing. You can then use the stored energy to deal extra damage to the elemental with a melee attack.
Aside from these examples, Absorb Elements can be used in a variety of other situations. For instance, if you’re fighting on a battlefield with environmental hazards like acid pools or lava pits, you can use Absorb Elements to protect yourself from the hazards while also storing energy for a melee attack.
Absorb Elements can also be used in creative ways to turn the tables on your enemies. For example, imagine you’re facing a group of trolls who are immune to fire damage. You can use Absorb Elements to gain resistance to their non-fire attacks, and then use the stored energy to deal extra damage with a melee attack. In this way, you can still deal significant damage to the trolls despite their immunity to fire.
Take a minute and picture this: you and your party are deep in a dank dungeon, facing off against a fire mage and her horde of minions. The mage is absolutely blasting away at your party with fireballs – she’s already taken out your Rogue, who’s lying in a charred mess in the corner. Every time your fighter tries to close the gap, he takes another firebolt to the face…
That’s where Absorb Elements comes in! By using the spell to gain resistance to fire damage, you can charge in and attack without worrying about ending up like the unfortunate Rogue, whose ashes are even now being blown away by a draft. Plus, as an additional sweet twist, once you’re in melee range, you can bop that mage in the face with her own elements magic fueling your melee attack! Sweet justice!
But that’s not the only situation where Absorb Elements can be useful. In your mind’s eyes, picture being up against a gang of roving goblin archers and they’re using poison-tipped arrows. If you’re a spellcaster or have enough levels in a spellcasting class to gain access to Absorb Elements, you can use the spell to gain resistance to poison damage and charge forward to take out the archers, saving your party from certain doom. The extra damage from the spell might be just what you need to eliminate the goblin menace and keep your weakling non-casting party members safe!
Absorb Elements 5e Spell FAQs
How much damage does Absorb Elements take?
Half of infinity? See, resistance just halves the damage taken from target element; Absorb Elements doesn’t create a sort of “shield”. For example, gaining resistance to fire would mean you take half damage from fire.
Does Absorb Elements work in Wild Shape?
You cannot cast while in Wild Shape. However, if you trigger Absorb Elements before your turn and then use Wild Shape before you attack during your following turn, you can absolutely use the added damage to your next melee attack, you just can’t trigger the initial cast of Absorb Elements while in Wild Shape.
Do Druids get Absorb Elements?
Yes, Absorb Elements is available to Druids starting at 1st level.
Can you stack Absorb Elements?
You can’t stack the damage, because a character is only allowed 1 reaction per turn. And regardless, the effects of the same spell cast multiple times don’t combine; instead, the most potent effect from the series of casts applies while its duration lasts.
Can Absorb Elements be used for ranged attacks?
No, Absorb Elements is explicit and restricts the bonus damage to the first melee attack on the caster’s next turn.
Does Absorb Elements stack with resistance?
Resistance in Dungeons and Dragons does not stack. As with other spell mechanics, the highest effective level of spell takes priority for its duration and other, weaker spells don’t go into effect (however their duration timers still run.) However, there are times in which a spell might not explicitly use the word Resistance, instead saying the character “takes half damage from x source”. In that case, resistance would be able to stack, as the “half damage” isn’t under the resistance umbrella and is instead a stand-alone effect.
Final Thoughts & Verdict
In conclusion, Absorb Elements is a versatile spell that can provide a powerful countermeasure against elemental attacks. With its defensive and offensive components, it can not only provide temporary resistance to elemental damage but also deal extra damage to a target. Using this spell creatively can lead to some satisfying moments in combat, as enemies who once had the upper hand can be turned against themselves. It is particularly useful for spellcasters who may be vulnerable to elemental damage or who want to deal extra damage with their melee attacks.
Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to D&D, it’s worth considering Absorb Elements when choosing your spells. With its ability to absorb incoming energy and turn it against your enemies, it’s a spell that can turn the tide of a battle. So next time you face an elemental foe, remember the power of Absorb Elements and turn their energies back on themselves.
Corrie is a passionate writer who draws inspiration from his love of medieval-fantasy and epic science fiction. His obsession with D&D and epic battles shines through in his work, as does his appreciation for authors like Laura Resnick and Marion Zimmer Bradley, whose works ignited his imagination and love of books. You can find Corrie at any given time engrossed in a rewatch binge of Voyager or rolling new characters for the creative joy of it!