Last Updated on January 22, 2023
Paladins are excellent strikers and defenders, but their spellcasting ability should not be underestimated. While most Paladins will not emphasize spellcasting for reasons we’ll discuss later, spells provide a limited amount of utility as well as massive bonus damage to your attacks. Furthermore, Paladins do not need to worry about spending spell slots on healing because they have Lay on Hands, which does not use spell slots.
Another reason many Paladins avoid spells is that there is only one subclass with a mechanic that lets you use your Charisma score for attack and damage rolls with your weapon. As a result, Paladins prefer to emphasize Strength or Dexterity for weapon use and Constitution for melee defense. Unless you multiclass into Warlock for Hexblade, Charisma can easily fall by the wayside.
Numerous spells can enhance your attacks, protect your frailer friends, and help you focus on conquering in combat for Paladins who want to prioritize spellcasting, such as characters who follow the Oath of Devotion.
Spell Slot Progression
Paladins are classified as half-casters. Half-casters can eventually learn spells up to 5th level as their adventures progress. When multiclassing, add your level divided by two to your other full casting class to determine how many spell slots and levels you have access to.
Prepared Vs. Learned Spells
Paladins are prepared casters, so you can feel free to take situational spells if you think they will benefit your party’s current situation.
As we mentioned in the introduction, many Paladins don’t value their spells as much as other classes do because they have another use for spell slots: Divine Smite. Divine Smite is not a spell, but it allows you to increase your damage by fueling your attacks with spell slots.
It’s an excellent way to deal with fiends and undead creatures, especially if you get a critical hit and can choose to smite after learning how you rolled. However, your spells can stack with Divine Smite, causing you to deal insane damage.
You gain access to 1st level spells at level 2.
It should go without saying that smite spells stack with your Divine Smite. Aside from the increased damage, you can also knock your opponent prone, giving you an advantage in future melee attacks. It’s best to use this on your first attack, even if you don’t crit, to benefit from it on your second attack. Read the full Thunderous Smite 5e spell.
Wrathful Smite is an excellent way to debuff your opponents because it requires a Wisdom saving throw and then forces them to waste an action to remove the effects. Unless you’re fighting a dragon, Druid, or Cleric, it should take several turns. It should go without saying that smite spells stack with your Divine Smite.
You gain access to 2nd level spells at level 5.
This spell is only available to Paladins, enhancing the idea of the white knight riding to save the people from the evil bad guy. Unlike ordinary horses, even warhorses, your magical steed in Dungeons & Dragons is tough enough to survive multiple encounters.
You can also target them with spells that only affect you, such as Shield of Faith, or have Cure Wounds heal the steed when an ally uses it on you. Choose the warhorse as it’s your best option.
You gain access to 3rd level spells at level 9.
If you’re in a typical party of three allies, Crusader’s Mantle is already a good spell. It becomes a great spell in larger groups, especially if there are other people in melee with you. The 30-foot radius does not help spellcasters who should be farther away from combat, but it is a good way to increase everyone’s damage in tight quarters or when teamed up with other tanks. Simply instruct your Monk to use a weapon, as this only applies to weapon attacks.
You gain access to 4th level spells at level 13.
Find Greater Steed
If you’ve been doing well with Find Steed, you might not want to upgrade, but you can access some truly spectacular options among the greater steeds.
- The Griffin is likely your best choice for exploring caves and other dark areas. The Griffin grants you a flying speed of 80 feet, darkvision, and the ability to launch two attacks. At your level, the damage isn’t significant, but it’s better than nothing.
- The Pegasus gives you a flying speed of 90 feet, a walking speed of 60 feet, and is decently perceptive.
- Because it has Flyby, does extra damage when diving, has good perception, resistance to three main damage types, and a higher AC than the other flying options, the Peryton is probably your best choice for using your steed in combat. The peryton is a medium creature, and unless you are a small creature, you should not be able to ride it, despite the fact that it is classified as a mount you can ride.
- The Dire Wolf has a cool appearance but lacks flying speed, darkvision, and hit points. Pack Tactics is useful for Rogues and flanking, but other features are practical only if your opponent has a low Strength score.
- The Rhinoceros is slower than the dire wolf, lacks Pack Tactics, and requires Charge to do any decent damage. The Charge has a higher knock-down DC than the Dire Wolf, but it must be used in a large arena.
- The Saber-Toothed Tiger is similar to the Dire Wolf, albeit slightly stealthier. This is probably the best non-flying steed if you’re going into tunnels and can’t fly. Pounce, like the Rhino’s Charge, requires some space, and the knock-down DC is only 14. However, if the Tiger knocks the opponent down, it can perform a nice bonus action Bite attack.
You gain access to 5th level spells at level 17.
Holy Weapon is an iconic Paladin spell because it adds radiant damage to all of your strikes, which scales with Divine Smite and causes your weapon to shed light in a massive radius. This spell is an outstanding way to overcome non-magical weapon resistance or to heap on the damage. You can end the spell and cause more damage, as well as potential blindness, but you shouldn’t do so unless you absolutely need to do something else with your Concentration.
Paladin Spells 5e Complete List
Here is a complete list of Paladin 5e Spells in 5th Edition DnD including Spells from Unearthed Arcana (UA), which are not officially part of DnD. While you’re here, be sure to check out Paladin Subclasses & Oaths too!
1st Level Paladin Spells
- Compelled Duel
- Cure Wounds
- Detect Evil and Good
- Detect Magic
- Detect Poison and Disease
- Divine Favor
- Protection from Evil and Good
- Purify Food and Drink
- Searing Smite
- Shield of Faith
- Thunderous Smite
- Wrathful Smite
2nd Level Paladin Spells
- Branding Smite
- Find Steed
- Find Vehicle (UA)
- Gentle Repose
- Lesser Restoration
- Locate Object
- Magic Weapon
- Prayer of Healing
- Protection from Poison
- Warding Bond
- Zone of Truth
3rd Level Paladin Spells
- Aura of Vitality
- Blinding Smite
- Create Food and Water
- Crusader’s Mantle
- Dispel Magic
- Elemental Weapon
- Magic Circle
- Remove Curse
- Spirit Shroud
4th Level Paladin Spells
- Aura of Life
- Aura of Purity
- Death Ward
- Find Greater Steed
- Locate Creature
- Staggering Smite
5th Level of Paladin Spells
- Banishing Smite
- Circle of Power
- Destructive Wave
- Dispel Evil and Good
- Holy Weapon
- Raise Dead
- Summon Celestial