Last Updated on January 22, 2023
The Warlock channeled their energies into their dagger. Lunging forward, he nicked the Kobold with his blade, promptly turned around, and walked away. The creature was already dead, it just didn’t know it yet.
The Kobold, seeing its target turn its back, lunged at the Warlock. The second the Kobold moved, the world exploded around it in a burst of energy.
What is Booming Blade Spell?
Booming Blade is a cantrip rather than a full-blown spell, but in the right hands, it can be pretty potent, giving the character the ability to deal extra damage in melee combat.
The downfall is that the affected target only receives the total thunderous damage if they move out of 5ft away from combat after being targeted. Not always an easy thing to make happen. After all, why would they move away if they were happy enough to go boot to boot with their foe, knocking lumps off them and generally ruining their day?
Booming Blade 5e Stats
|Casting Time||1 action|
|Class||Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard & Artificer|
Booming Blade Spell Description
“As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range. Otherwise, the spell fails. On a hit, the target suffers the attack’s normal effects and is sheathed in booming energy until the start of your next turn. If the target willingly moves before then, it immediately takes 1d8 thunder damage, and the spell ends.
At Higher Level
At 5th level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d8 thunder damage to the target, and the damage the target takes for moving increases to 2d8. Both damage rolls increase by 1d8 at 11th level and 17th level.”
Page: 143 from Sword Coast Adventure’s Guide
Booming Blade FAQ
Should I Choose Booming Blade?
Yes, especially when your character is still working through the lower levels. But even though more powerful spells are available as you reach the higher ones, Booming Blade increases in power with you. It should undoubtedly be considered even when you have potent spells at your command.
Is Booming Blade a Good Spell?
The downfall of Booming Blade seems to center around the fact that once the cantrip is cast, the target will only receive the full damage effects if they then move out of combat.
It will never be easy to force an opponent to move against their will, especially when they’re in melee range and going about their business. After all, as mentioned above, if the opponent can strike their target, why would they risk moving at all?
There are several ways to use Booming Blade, and how players choose this cantrip will depend on several factors, especially their character’s class, and fighting style.
It is helpful to keep an enemy where you want them. After all, a wizard or lower hit point creature will think twice about feeling the combat line if they have a Blooming Blade cast.
Who Can Use Booming Blade?
The Booming Blade cantrip is available to many classes and appears on many spell lists. It would help if you considered how it fits in with the other traits and the nature of your character class to see how useful it will be for you.
The Rogue subclass of Arcane Trickster can combine this cantrip with their Dash ability so that they can attack and then flee combat, their opponent unable to follow straight away through fear of thunderous damage. Swashbucklers can similarly use it to fix their enemy to one position and then employ their fancy footwork to dance away from the duel.
Bladesinger Wizards can use this as a valuable way of dealing extra damage, especially when they are weaker, lower-level adventurers. Eldritch Knights, certainly no slouch when entering a melee, can use this more aggressively to force their opponent into difficult decisions.
Using Booming Blade in Adventures
It is perhaps best to think of the Blooming Blade cantrip as a controlling spell rather than an attacking spell. If you can cast it and then manipulate the target to move away, thus triggering the 1d8 thunder damage, that’s great.
But perhaps it is the threat of that happening that keeps your opponent just where you need them, so maybe you can have a second attack on them before they can flee combat; that is its real power.
This cantrip, for most characters, is more about planning your escape or preventing your opponents rather than anything more offensive.