Do you often find yourself at ground zero of a magic item incident gone wrong? Do you wish your experiments with black powder and crafting explosives could be slightly less hazardous? Have you already sacrificed a few fingers to the cause and aren’t eager to lose anymore? Mage Hand may be right for you!
As the name implies, Mage Hand gives you a hand in times when your standard number just isn’t enough for the task. Let’s check it out below.
What is Mage Hand Spell?
Mage Hand is a cantrip, which means it can be cast as many times per day as you want without using up any of your spell slots. It takes an action to cast and requires verbal and somatic components. You won’t be very stealthy about it, but you can move the Hand in a 30-foot radius around you for the 1 minute it lasts. It isn’t a concentration spell, so you can have another spell going simultaneously if you want.
It’s also one of the only spells in DnD that lets you high-five yourself and still look pretty cool.
Mage Hand 5e Stats
|Casting Time||1 action|
|Class||Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard & Artificer|
How Does Mage Hand Work?
The spell’s text from the Player’s Handbook reads: “A spectral, floating Hand appears at a point you choose within range. The Hand lasts for the duration or until you dismiss it as an action. The Hand vanishes if it is ever more than 30 feet away from you or if you cast this spell again.”
You can use your action to control the Hand. You can use the Hand to manipulate an object, open an unlocked door or container, stow or retrieve an item from an open container, or pour the contents out of a vial. You can move the Hand up to 30 feet each time you use it.
The Hand can’t attack, activate magic items, or carry more than 10 pounds.
It’s worth noting that since Mage Hand is a cantrip, you can keep casting it for as long as you need. Your DM will likely allow you to keep moving or lifting the object without pausing to put it down each time you need to renew the spell to successfully transfer something over a considerable distance.
The Mage Hand is also not quite as agile as your normal hands are, so it’s up to your DM whether or not the Hand can write, draw, paint, sculpt, or perform delicate maneuvers.
Is Mage Hand a Good Spell?
Mage Hand is an excellent spell, and we recommend that almost everyone who can take it does so. For a creative player, the uses are nearly infinite.
Need to carefully inspect a magic item that could be cursed? Use your Mage Hand.
Worried about setting off a delicate explosive? Use your Mage Hand.
Want to annoy your friend and distract them during a friendly competition? Mage Hand has got you covered.
Mage Hand is an extremely valuable utility spell that might even be handy (pun intended) for situations not explicitly covered in the rules. For example, it notes that you can use it to open an unlocked door, so your DM may allow you to use it to check and open windows if you’re looking for a stealthy entrance or exit from a building.
Just remember that having verbal and somatic components means that people can see you cast the spell, and your Mage Hand is visible to anyone paying attention, so you likely won’t be that stealthy.
In addition to Mage Hand’s general usefulness, there is a feat called Telekinetic, which modifies your Mage Hand spell to become even stronger. The Mage Hand becomes invisible and can move in a 60-foot radius around you with the feat (plus some other nifty features).
Which Classes Can Use Mage Hand?
Mage Hand is on the spell lists for Bards, Sorcerers, Warlocks, Wizards, and Artificers. However, other classes and specific builds may have access to the spell or features that replicate the spell.
For example, the Arcane Trickster subclass for Rogues gives the character Mage Hand at 3rd level. It gives them extra features for their Mage Hand, like picking locks, disarming traps, planting evidence on others, or stealing from other characters.
Alexa spends the majority of her days explaining the ins and outs of DnD to her two cats, much to their dismay.