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D&D: Five Paladin Spells You Might Not Spend On Smites

4 Minute Read
Apr 29 2019
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Paladins can turn any spell slot into an extra chunk of radiant damage. With that in mind, tou’d have to have some pretty good spells to be worth actually casting…and here are five.

Paladins are quite possibly my favorite class in all of D&D. You can build them to support your party and be a bulwark around which your team is anchored, or you can deal out divine amounts of damage, while going toe to toe with some of the game’s toughest foes. But one of the most underrated features of the class is their spellcasting ability–and a big part of that is because you’re routinely going to be smiting your enemies. It’s such a great feature, but, man, there are some useful Paladin spells. Here are five spells that might make you reconsider doling those extra d8s.

Aura of Life

Let’s start off right out of the gate with a strong contender. Though you might never get here, as this is a 4th level spell, but if you can make it to 13th level as a Paladin, you’ll get one of the best healing spells in the game. It will first off shut down one of the most threatening mechanics out there, and that’s hit point maximum reduction. Nothing like realizing you can only have 20 hit points at best when going in to face the final boss to make you rethink your life decisions. Aura of Life prevents that, but the real work it does is granting every downed ally 1 hit point at the start of its turn, meaning you’ll never lose a party member (or their actions) to being dropped. Unless they’re outright killed by damage, but by this point, that’s hard to do.

Compelled Duel

Let’s drop back down to 1st level for this one. Compelled Duel is an underrated little spell that can completely turn the course of an encounter. This is one of those spells that flies in under the radar at first–you don’t realize how bad it is until it’s too late. If a creature is effected by the spell, they are at disadvantage to attack anyone but you. Which in and of itself is pretty heinous, as it gives your party a massive edge when engaging the target, but then it also prevents them from moving more than 30 feet away from you. So you can lock down a big nasty monster, and your party can whittle it down from a safe distance, and even if it has ranged attacks, it’ll still be at a disadvantage against your allies.

Bless

Turn your party into your weapons. With this humble spell you give up to three friends (including yourself if you want) a +1d4 to hit and on saving throws, which means never having to say you failed once your Divine Auras kick in. As an added benefit, everyone will start saying how they’re hashtag blessed and that’s one joke that will never get old no matter what.

Divine Favor/Crusader’s Mantle

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Alright enough of this supporting BS. Let’s get to the real meat of it all–damage. We’ll start with one of the old standbys. Divine Favor is a pretty solid competitor for a spell that you can cast as a bonus action and just get a lot of use out of it. Every hit will do an extra d4 of damage while you have the spell up, and you can still smite. And, when you hit 3rd level spells you can give that bonus d4 to everyone in the party and see how quickly you become their best friends.

Banishing (or any) Smite

Is that still not enough for you? Well then just grab yourself a Smite Spell. Sure, these are frontloading your damage greatly–it takes a bonus action to set one up, but then you can still use Divine Smite normally. So if you cast Banishing Smite, which does the most damage, and hit, that’s a potential extra 5d10 + 5d8 damage, on top of your normal weapon damage, all of which will double up if you manage to score a critical hit. Even at 2nd level though, you have enough spell slots to pull off the old 2d6 + 2d8 + weapon damage combo with one of the Smite spells, and they’ll often all carry some extra effect that makes your hits matter. If you want to be the one finishing off your opponents, Paladins (and Smite Spells comboed with Smiting) is the way to go.

Well good luck Paladins–what are your favorite spells? Let us know in the comments!

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