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D&D: Five Best Cantrips For Beginners

3 Minute Read
Mar 12 2023

D&D cantrips are the humble spells that keep on giving. There are 46 of them now, but here are our five favorites.

Cantrips are a spellcaster’s best friend. You can cast them as often as you want. They have versatile effects from spell to spell (for the most part). And sure, some of them are traps, like True Strike, but others are solid gold. While you can cast these spells as much as you want, you’ll only ever have a limited number of them. What should you take? Well, probably one of the five best D&D Cantrips in 5th Edition. Here are our picks.

Minor Illusion

Minor illusion is one of those incredibly versatile spells that has a dozen different uses. Use minor illusions to manufacture a hiding place. Create an audio illusion of reinforcements showing up. Use it for distractions. Use it to supplement bluffs. There’s a lot you can do with this humble spell that doesn’t take up concentration. Even in combat, you can use Minor Illusion to block the line of sight for a round, keeping the Wizard from icing you out.


D&D Cantrips

This is hands down one of the best buffing spells. Guidance is an infinitely available +1d4 to any ability (skill) check they make. It lasts for a minute. You’ll use it all the time. Everyone’s making skill checks, so you can pretty much be anyone’s friend (even yourself).


D&D Cantrips

Need to see? Like Elendil, this allows you to be a light in the dark places of the world. With Light, you always have a source of light around. You can cast it on someone or something to have it follow you. Or cast it on a copper piece and throw it around to see in the distance. You can even make a flashlight with it if your DM lets you put that coin in a tube or Bullseye Lantern.

Mage Hand

D&D Cantrips

It might not be mind bullets, but it is telekinesis Kyle. Not like the spell telekinesis, but just, the ability to magically move things with magic. It’s great for moving things around, opening doors at a distance, and looking extremely magical.



The last thing any character wants is to be taken for a conjurer of cheap tricks. But if you want powers that you can use for more roleplaying purposes, to have something to do in just about any scene, these three cantrips are perfect. Whatever spell list you’re picking from, you’ll have access to at least one of these, if you have access to cantrips. They let you conjure up a number of minor magical effects that inject your scenes with flavor, sometimes literally in the case of Prestidigitation. But these spells are rich enough to use all the time, even if they have no direct benefit in combat. Of course, speaking of combat…

Bonus D&D Cantrip: Eldritch Blast

D&D Cantrips

Of course, if we’re talking about attack spells, we should mention Eldritch Blast, which is so good it’s arguably worth a feat to snag it. Depending on just how min/max-y you want to get. Though, even if you don’t, pretty much any of the attack spells will do you good. But with Eldritch Blast you just can’t go wrong. So much so that it’s on the spell list chopping block and might just become an exclusive feature to Warlocks, so grab it while you can!

Happy adventuring


Author: J.R. Zambrano
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