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Ray of Frost 5e Spell

Ray of Frost 5e Spell

A wizard twirls his fingers and a blueish beam of freezing air blasts from his hand and impacts the gelatinous cube 30 feet away. The cube writhes in pain, groaning slightly and swelling as it continues to digest the wizard’s ally trapped inside. The wizard flexes his hands, motioning to his other compatriots to take the opportunity to attack the cube, hoping to rescue their friend. 

What is Ray of Frost 5e Spell?

The spell’s text from the Basic Rules reads: “A frigid beam of blue-white light streaks toward a creature within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, it takes 1d8 cold damage, and its speed is reduced by 10 feet until the start of your next turn. The spell’s damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).”

Ray of Frost 5e Stats

Casting Time1 Action
Range/Area60 ft
ClassesSorcerer, Wizard & Artificer
ComponentsVerbal, Somatic
Duration Instantaneous

How Does Ray of Frost Work?

There isn’t much to say about Ray of Frost 5e that isn’t clarified in its text. It’s a point-and-shoot type of spell that deals cold damage. Cold damage is slightly less likely to be resisted than fire damage, but it is still quite common. The secondary effect slows an enemy down slightly but is extremely unlikely to reduce their speed to 0. 

There isn’t anything to recommend this spell over something else like Fire Bolt that does more damage, even if it doesn’t have a secondary effect. 

Is Ray of Frost a Good Spell?

Ray of Frost is not a good spell. It only deals 1d8 of damage, cold damage is frequently resisted, and its secondary effect is often completely meaningless in combat. There are very few times when it makes a real difference that an enemy is slowed by 10 feet for their next turn.

Considering that the average creature speed is 30 feet per turn, and is often much more, a 10-foot reduction hardly impacts a foe unless they are actively running away from you. 

Which Classes Can Use Ray of Frost?

Ray of Frost is on the Artificer, Sorcerer, and Wizard spell lists. Other classes can get Ray of Frost through certain feats, such as Magic Initiate or Spell Sniper, Warlocks can take it with the Pact of the Tome feature, and Bards can obtain it through their Magical Secrets features.