Are your characters prone to losing their weapons? Well have no fear, Shillelagh is here. Turn any club, staff, chair leg, rolling pin, or peg leg into a magical beating stick.
Plus it’s all-natural and Druid-approved.
What is Shillelagh Spell?
Shillelagh is a buff spell that imbues a club or wooden staff with magical nature energy. There are three major effects of the spell. The Player’s Handbook describes it like this:
The wood of a club or quarterstaff you are holding is imbued with nature’s power. For the duration, you can use your spellcasting ability instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of melee attacks using that weapon, and the weapon’s damage die becomes a d8. The weapon also becomes magical, if it isn’t already. The spell ends if you cast it again or if you let go of the weapon.
Shillelagh 5e Stats
|Casting Time||1 Bonus Action|
|Components||Verbal, Somatic, Material*|
What is a Shillelagh?
Shillelaghs in real life are wooden clubs or walking sticks with a pronounced knob at one end. They’re typically associated with Irish heritage and used to be used to settle disputes in a gentlemanly manner. Well, as gentlemanly as you can be cracking someone in the head with a stick.
In DnD 5e, the Shillelagh spell is a Druid spell that can turn any club or stick into a deadly magical weapon. Imagine someone coming at you with a switch. Okay, now imagine it’s as thick as your wrist and humming with magical energy. Ouch.
This spell almost guarantees that a Druid will always have an effective weapon at hand, and it replaces the strength modifier with their spellcasting modifier. This is a huge boon to spellcaster specialists who struggle with martial weapons. spellcasting modifier when attacking with the weapon.
Which Classes Can Use Shillelagh?
Druids can choose Shillelagh as a cantrip. Bards will be able to also choose this spell, but not until level 10 and they will have to use their Magical Secrets feature. At level 10 they can probably find better options.
How Does Shillelagh Work in 5e?
Shillelagh can be cast as a bonus action and lasts for a minute. Because it’s a cantrip it can be cast as many times as the Druid needs. There’s really nothing stopping the player from picking up a chair, breaking a leg off, and swinging with a magical club.
Is Shillelagh a Good Spell?
Shillelagh is one of the best early damage buffs that the Druid can use. It doesn’t take up any of their more powerful early-game spell slots and it’s still useful until around level 5.
Another great bonus is that it’s reliant on the spellcasting modifier instead of strength. This way spellcaster Druids will still be able to deal melee damage without dumping ability score points into strength.
Alternatives to Shillelagh
Once Primal Savagery becomes available chances are you’ll only use Shillelagh for RP purposes. Primal Savagery is simply better all around for damage.
You may also consider Thorn Whip 5e Spell as an alternative to Shillelagh for its 30-foot ranged/melee advantages.
Shillelagh 5e FAQs
Is Shillelagh an attack spell?
Shillelagh isn’t an attack spell. It’s closer to a weapon buff.
Is Shillelagh a melee weapon attack?
No, Shillelagh is not a melee weapon attack.
Is Shillelagh a magic weapon?
Shillelagh imbues the club or staff the character is holding and gives it the magical weapon property for the duration of the spell.
Does Shillelagh get a Spell Attack bonus?
Because Shillelagh isn’t an attack it does not benefit from any spell attack bonuses.
Before starting GameCows with his wife Kendra, he used to teach English Language Arts in the US. He combined his love of gaming with education to create fun game-based learning lessons until he eventually decided to run GameCows with Kendra full-time. He’s known for pouring over rulebooks in his spare time, being the rule master during game night, and as the perma DM in his DnD group. Bryan loves board games, writing, traveling, and above all his wife and partner in crime, Kendra.