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Silvery Barbs 5e Spell

Silvery Barbs 5e Spell

Silvery Barbs 5e Spell Description

Source: Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos

You magically distract the triggering creature and turn its momentary uncertainty into encouragement for another creature. The triggering creature must reroll the d20 and use the lower roll.

You can then choose a different creature you can see within range (you can choose yourself). The chosen creature has advantage on the next attack roll, ability check, or saving throw it makes within 1 minute. A creature can be empowered by only one use of this spell at a time.

Silvery Barbs 5e Stats

  • 1st-level Enchantment
  • Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when a creature you can see within 60 feet of yourself succeeds on an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw
  • Range: 60 feet
  • Components: V
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • Spell Lists: Bard, Sorcerer, Wizard

How to use Silvery Barbs effectively

The best way to think of this spell is that it is less a magical attack and more a transference of luck. When a creature that is in your line of sight succeeds in making its attack roll, saving through, or ability check, you can use a Reaction to force the creature in question to reroll the d20. They then have to use the lower roll of the two as their final result. 

But there is more. You then choose a different creature within range, either yourself or an ally, to have an advantage applied to the next attack roll, ability check, or saving throw they make within 1 minute. 

Is Silvery Barbs 5e spell good?

There is a lot of talk as to whether Silvery Barbs, one of the more recent additions to the DnD spell book, is overpowered or not. But the strength of the spell lies more in versatility than true power.

It does tip the odds in the player’s favor, but it still lies on favorable dice rolls, and so if Lady Luck is busy elsewhere that day, the spell might not even seem like the time worth taking to learn it.

And if it comes up against Legendary Resistance, you’re going to wish that you stayed at home.

Silvery Barbs vs. Shield

Before this spell came into the DnD world, Shield was considered one of the most powerful Abjuration spells, the go-to defensive reaction spell for casters. Shield grants the caster a massive +5 bonus to their AC until the start of their next turn.

This gives the more vulnerable spellcasters a whole slice of much-needed protection in the heat of battle. With the arrival of Silvery Barbs, there is a very real possibility that Shield will fall into less frequent use in favor of this new, very versatile spell.

Is Silvery Barbs Overpowered?

It is safe to say that Silvery Barbs is a powerful addition to the game, but is it really overpowered?

The effect on an enemy’s dice roll is one thing, but what makes Silvery Barbs feel overpowered to some is the ability to then give a different creature, player included, an advantage on the next attack roll, ability check, or saving throw in the following minute. As mentioned above, poor die rolls and coming up against things such as Legendary Resistance really put it in its place.

For some, the game gets a bit unbalanced with Silvery Barbs in it; for others, it just gets more exciting, wild, and unpredictable.

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09/24/2023 09:30 am GMT

Silvery Barbs 5e Spell FAQs

Does Silvery Barbs 5e spell give disadvantage on a roll?

Silvery Barbs doesn’t care about your advantage or disadvantage. If the spell succeeds, the second roll is made as is, and the lower number is used irrespective of any effect of advantage or disadvantage on the original roll.

That is, advantage is only applied to the original roll, not the one that was forced due to the effect of Silvery Barbs.

Why won’t my DM let me use this Silvery Barbs?

Some DMs consider it just a bit too powerful, especially when you consider once you have a power such as Spell Mastery and you are able to cast it for free.

But talk of banning such spells raises two interesting philosophical points regarding the way you play the game. Firstly, does everything have to be a fine balance in power? Can’t some aspects be more potent than others…just like in real life?

Secondly, a DM is always free to choose what rule mechanics their campaign is based on; just as we write homebrew rules into our games, can’t we take canon and non-canon rules out that we feel don’t work in our world?

Can I use Silvery Barbs just to give an ally advantage?

No. One of the few mechanical downsides to this spell is that it does require some creature or opponent to succeed on an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw. It can not be cast if this condition is not met.

Can I impose the negative effect on an ally to provide myself with or another ally advantage?

Yes, the spell description specifies another creature, not specifically an enemy creature. If you want to hamper one ally to give an advantage to another, you can, which might make sense in certain strategic situations.

How do I use Silvery Barbs outside of combat?

This is down to circumstances and DM’s decision, really. Any scenario where multiple sides are competing against each other could provide circumstances in which this spell could be used.

A skill contest such as a race or chase, a social encounter that relies on opponents rolling insight against you and your party, or a stealth encounter where a guard is using his perception to try and spot a sneaking party member.