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Hellish Rebuke 5e Spell

Hellish Rebuke 5e Spell

The ogre throws a javelin at the strange, robed person and lands the hit. Smirking, he turns to the next adventurer to stupidly cross his territory. However, before he can blink, a burst of flames licks up his legs, engulfing the ogre. The robed person clutches their side, grinning as their retribution takes the ogre by surprise.

Such is the nature of the Hellish Rebuke 5e spell. 

What is Hellish Rebuke Spell?

The spell’s text from the Basic Rules reads: “You point your finger, and the creature that damaged you is momentarily surrounded by hellish flames. The creature must make a Dexterity saving throw. It takes 2d10 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d10 for each slot level above 1st.”

Hellish Rebuke 5e Stats

Casting Time1 Reaction
Range/Area60 ft
ClassesWarlock, Paladin*
ComponentsVerbal, Somatic
Duration Instantaneous

How Does Hellish Rebuke Work in 5e?

Anyone who damages you is susceptible to your firey reprisal. Notably, the spell’s range is 60 feet, and it doesn’t specify that your target needs to be in melee combat with you or that it needs to have hit you with an attack roll. Hellish Rebuke can be used as a reaction to any kind of damage, even from spells or magical effects where your character made the saving throw. 

Is Hellish Rebuke a Good Spell?

At lower levels, Hellish Rebuke might be a fun way to use your reaction if you have nothing else to do with it, but there are far better choices. At higher levels, you aren’t going to want to spend your reaction on a spell that doesn’t scale very well and inflicts fire damage, the most commonly resisted type of elemental damage. 

That would already be true if Hellish Rebuke was available to Wizards or Sorcerers, but the fact that it is a Warlock spell makes it an even worse choice. Regardless of your level, Warlocks have very few Pact Magic slots and need to save them for impactful utility or social spells. The only Warlock who could justify this spell is a Hexblade since you’re frequently in melee combat. Even then, you shouldn’t keep Hellish Rebuke after 5th level. 

Which Classes Can Use Hellish Rebuke?

Hellish Rebuke is on the Warlock spell list. Oathbreaker Paladins always have it prepared.