This blog post will discuss how to build Cloud of Daggers 5E. The Cloud of Daggers is an iconic spell in Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition.
Wizards can cast the spell by throwing daggers at their enemies, or they can summon a cloud that follows them around.
Cloud of Daggers 5E
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: 60 feet
- Components: V, S, M
- Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
- Scales: Yes
- Casters: Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
You hurl a handful of daggers at enemies within range. Each creature in a 15-foot cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 2d4 piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
The spell’s damage increases by 2d4 when you reach the 5th level (3d4), 11th level (4d4), and 17th level (5d4).
When you cast this spell as a Wizard, the daggers form into a cloud that hovers around you for the duration of the spell. This cloud moves with you and remains centered on you while you move. Each ranged attack roll made against your AC or against a creature in the cloud has a disadvantage since it is hard to target the daggers or creatures within the cloud.
How to build Cloud of Daggers 5E
This spell is a combination of the Mage Hand cantrip and the Gust of Wind spell.
The damage dealt by this spell indicates that it’s meant to be used as an area of effect offensive ability, like a Bullrush or Shove spell, rather than as a single target attack like Firebolt.
For those unfamiliar with D&D 5E spells, the spell slots are presented in order. The first slot is the highest level spell you can cast for that slot level, and so on.
The general rule of thumb with this blog is to follow the published rules as closely as possible without being overly restrictive or limiting options. This is because my intention with this project is to allow DMs and players using this spell to use it and enjoy it as much as possible.
This spell is clearly affected by Cover, which reduces the damage dealt by attacks.
The saving throw for this spell indicates that it should be a Dexterity save, like most ranged spells. It also requires concentration, like Requiem of Souls (5E) and spiritual weapon (5E).
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Mage hand cantrip and Cloud of Daggers 5E
are both area of effect spells, so the duration should be the same.
The damage for this spell is very low at higher levels, requiring you to instead use it as a support ability rather than something your character relies on. The Spellcasting focus requirement means that if you want to have Cloud of Daggers 5E prepared all the time, you will need to cast it often.
This spell clearly works in both the material and ethereal planes, so we will assume it’s a 5th level spell slot. For this reason, we’ll also increase its DC by +3.
The saving throw for Cloud of Daggers 5E is only affected by Cover, so there won’t be a separate version of the spell for creatures in Cover and not in Cover.
The Cloud is a flying mount, so we’ll also increase its movement speed to 45 feet. The cloud will deal damage whenever it passes through enemies’ spaces, so we’ll add a disadvantage on attack rolls against targets in the cloud.
Cloud of Daggers 5E’s damage is very low compared to other spells at the same level, so we’ll increase its base damage by 1d4.
The cloud uses Mage Hand’s range (15 feet) and duration (concentration) but uses Gust of Wind’s target (creatures you can see within 60 feet). The cloud stays centered on you until it disperses, so it doesn’t move when you use your movement.
It also needs to be centered on the caster when casting Cloud of Daggers 5E, because that’s when the spell takes effect. So this means that if you want to cast Cloud of Daggers 5E in mid-air, rather than having it hover around you like Mage Hand, you will need to use your movement to float in place rather than moving normally.
There are two things that Cloud of Daggers 5E does that don’t exist anywhere else:
- It uses the ranged spell attack rules (which is what allows it to pass through enemies’ spaces)
- it requires concentration, like a spell and not like a cantrip.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this silly little article! My intention is not to explain every little thing about 5E, but instead to show you how I would design each spell if my goal was to create the most fun and playable version of it possible.
This was a lot of fun! If you enjoyed this article, please let me know by sharing or commenting below. I’m always looking for feedback.