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Thorn Whip 5e Spell

The Druid makes her stand in the forest, no more running. Her bare feet grip the cool earth, pausing only for a moment to inhale the sweet essence of the soil and feel the strength. In the next instant, she reveals herself to her pursuer. Whip-like vine encircles her attacker with a slight movement of her arm. It slices into their skin. She smiles, watching the attacker struggle. Then vine begins to pulls them toward her across the forest floor...

What is Thorn Whip Spell?

Thorn Whip is a transmutation cantrip. This spell can cause damage and also has some practical uses. If you are building a magic user with a connection to the earth, this spell might be for you.

The spell’s text from the Basic Rules reads: “You create a long, vine-like whip covered in thorns that lashes out at your command toward a creature in range. Make a melee spell attack against the target. If the attack hits, the creature takes 1d6 piercing damage, and if the creature is Large or smaller, you pull the creature up to 10 feet closer to you.

This spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach the 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).

Thorn Whip 5e Stats

LevelCantrip
Casting Time1 Action
Range/Area30 ft
ClassesDruid, Artificer
ComponentsVerbal, Somatic, Material*
Duration Instantaneous
SchoolTransmutation
Attack/SaveMelee
Damage/EffectPiercing
*(the stem of a plant with thorns)

How Does Thorn Whip Work in 5e?

Thorn Whip requires an attack to cast this spell at an opponent. After rolling a d20, the player will add the number rolled to your spell attack modifier. Druids use their Wisdom modifier, and Artificers use their intelligence modifier. On a hit, Thorn Whip does 1d6 piercing damage and gives you the option to drag your opponent 10 feet toward you.

What are the rules for Thorn Whip in 5e?

Thorn Whip gives the caster a 30-foot range. However, Thorn Whip is still a melee attack. You can use feats that benefit melee attacks.  Because it is a melee attack, the excellent dragging component of the spell does not leave the target open to attacks of opportunity. Attacks of opportunity only happen when the creature uses its movement, not when someone or something else is dragging it.  

You may not grab creatures that are above large size nor use Thorn Whip as an attack of opportunity in regular combat. If you have the War Caster feat, you can use spells as attacks of opportunity. Something to keep in mind as you choose spells for your character. 

Thorn Whip can also cause indirect damage. Pulling your target through a damaging landscape such as spike growth or a wall of fire takes some extra damage. Your target is also not affected by rugged terrain. 

You also have some freedom with how you move your ensnared target. You can temporarily drag your target into the air, or you may choose not to move your target. It is up to you.

How do I use Thorn Whip in 5e?

Thorn Whip may seem straightforward, but this cantrip has many possibilities. Using your other spells in combination can cause a lot of damage. One of the first things your character can do is create dangerous terrain. Then you can hit your target and drag them through the landscape you made. 

Not only can you pull enemies into danger, but you can also pull your allies out of trouble if your Fighter can withstand a little bit of piercing damage. Thorn Whip just might save them from a more dangerous situation, like a trap or bottomless pit.

Your player can also use Thorn Whip to protect your compatriots from attacks. You can grab a would-be attacker and pull them away from your squishier pals.

Is Thorn Whip a Good Spell?

Thorn Whip is a good spell! This spell has a great range while also having the benefits of a melee attack. It is also a cantrip, meaning your character can use it without spending a spell slot.

Thorn Whip also packs in 10 feet of involuntary movement. You can pull an enemy towards you or save a friend from danger. In both cases, Thorn Whip does not provoke an opportunity attack. It is an excellent spell to use strategically. 

Which Classes Can Use Thorn Whip?

Artificers and Druids can find this spell on their spell lists. 

Thorn Whip Compared to Shillelagh

As a Druid, you must pick which cantrip is best for your purposes. Thorn Whip is excellent for a melee player that wants to influence the fight from afar. Shillelagh is an excellent alternative to Thorn Whip if you plan on getting up close. 

Players can cast Thorn Whip up to 30 feet as a melee weapon. It then does 1d6 of piercing damage, compounding with extra damage depending on the terrain. Shillelagh allows players to enhance their quarterstaff or club with the power of nature, allowing the player to use their spellcasting ability as their attack bonus. The Shillelagh spell also changes the damage die of their weapon to 1d8. 

Though Shillelagh provides more damage than Thorn Whip, the range of Thorn Whip is the appeal. Thorn Whip also has more practical uses outside of battle. Thorn Whip is the best choice if your player is more interested in supporting from a far distance and casting spells for utility. 

Thorn Whip 5e DM Tips 

Some players may try to use Thorn Whip in different ways. If a player chooses to use the spell on an ally to save them from a fall or another hazardous situation, then the 1d6 piercing damage should stand. It’s part of using the spell. As usual, the decision is in the hands of the DM. It’s good to leave the damage game mechanic as a simple challenge for your players to overcome. 

For Druids and Artificers, Thorn Whip can be really useful. I like the idea of the players connecting to the elements to accomplish their goals. The mechanics of this spell are versatile enough that the DM can ensure the spell is balanced. Overall this is a decent spell to add to your character’s spell list.

Thorn Whip Spell 5e DnD

SHARING IS CARING

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12/09/2022 10:00 am GMT