BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

D&D: Xanathar’s Guide – Wizard Spells, Monster Slayers, and Whispering Bards

3 Minute Read
Oct 12 2017

Rangers get the Monster Slayer subclass, Bards get Sneaky, and Wizards get a preview of their all-new spell list. There are a lot, so check ’em out.

Three more pieces of news today–Monster Slayer Rangers, Whispering Bards, and a sweet sweet spell list. That updates our list of 25 subclasses (which we’ve done learned will really be 27), bringing us to 13 confirmed, 6 likely, which leaves us 8 surprises. More on that in a moment. Today we also have the complete spell list for Wizards in Xanathar’s Guide, though it’s spell names only.

Also, this piece of Wizard art is rad. Without further ado, though, here’s the subclasses.

via Wizards of the Coast

First up, we’ve got the Monster Slayer for the Ranger. They were another subclass that appeared in the revised playtest packets from Unearthed Arcana, alongside the Oath of Redemption for Paladins, and the Way of the Drunken Master for Monks. Seriously holding out hope for that subclass as an official one.

I love the Monster Slayer though. This is a ranger I’m excited to play. Originally teased as a fighter option, the Monster Slayer was reimagined as a ranger subclass, and there it fit quite nicely. With access to some helpful spells like Banishment or Magic Circle these rangers can pack am unexpected punch. Doubly so because they’re the epitome of that Hammer Horror intellectual monster hunting type–you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a Monster Slayer was also a professor in her time off. With the Monster Slayer’s ability to instantly learn a monster’s resistances, immunities, and vulnerabilities, they’ll always know what tool to use for the job.


And at higher levels, they gain the ability to prevent monsters from escaping via magic if they’re near enough, or to interrupt a saving-throw-causing attack with an attack of their own. All in all, this is a solid class, and definitely my favorite ranger variant this edition.

The Bard’s College of Whispers is all about manipulations and secrets. Described as the Dark Sun bard, these guys are steeped with dark power–spies and assassins, these bards can magically imbue their blades with poison, steal the shadows of those they slay, enabling them to adopt the form and surface thoughts of their victim for an hour, or enthrall someone with their greatest fear.

It has the potential to sow chaos in a campaign in the best way. You can hear the excitement in Mike Mearls’ voice when he talks about it, and with good reason–these kinds of characters can really change the shape of a game. It’s exciting.

So as a refresher, here’s what we know (our at least suspect) so far. We know there’s one more unknown out there, but not where yet, so keep your eyes peeled.

In the meantime, though, check out this list of Wizard Spells. Over at D&D’s Extra Life page, they’ve already raised over $25k, which is not only an astounding example of the kind of good gamers can do when they put their minds to it, but also means we get more Xanathar’s Guide previews.

You can read the entire spell list here. But to briefly sum up: there areally plenty of new spells, plus many of the elemental evil player’s companion spells reprinted. We won’t know what these do for a whIle yet, but I’m excited to see what the Conjure Demons spells let you get up to, specifically.


The rest of the subclasses are in the Eye of the Beholder.

  • D&D: You Ain't Never Had A Fiend Like Me