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D&D: Hunting Monsters? Pack One of the Five Best Magic Ammos

4 Minute Read
May 14 2024
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Whether you’re shooting arrows, crossbow bolts, or actual bullets, D&D is  full of amazing items hidden away under “ammunition.”

One of the more underrated tools of the trade in D&D is its plethora of magical ammunition. This can take many forms. From arrows of slaying to crossbow bolts that explode with energy like a grenade launcher when you fire them. In D&D, magic ammo is everywhere, if only you know where to look.

And unlike most other magic items, it’s surprisingly easy to use these. They can even be your opener. Because while you might be wondering, “should I attack or drink this healing potion” there always comes a time when you’ll want to attack. And firing off these magic ammo items can make a big difference at a very minor resource cost.

Because even once you’ve used them, you still have the ranged weapon you shot with, so you can keep making attacks (assuming you have more ammo/a magic weapon that doesn’t require it). So with that in mind, here are five great magical pieces of ammunition in D&D. Of course, the

Cataclysm Bolts

Love the name, love the effect. These are magical crossbow bolts introduced in Tal’Dorei Campagin Setting Reborn. A cataclysm bolt is a normal magical crossbow bolt (weird phrasing, but hey that’s D&D 5E for you), but in addition to dealing its normal damage, cataclysm bolts have 4 different effects, determined at random.

One bolt might explode, dealing 3d8 extra fire damage to the target and everyone within 5 feet of it. Another might freeze the air around the target into jagged ice, dealing 1d10 cold damage and possibly restraining the creature and everyone near it. Still another might deal necrotic damage and stun the enemy, or it might burst into shrapnel, giving you six extra attacks against the target.

Good times, unless you’re the one getting hit by one of these.

Arrow/Crossbow bolt of Slaying

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These are some of the most iconic magic arrows in all of D&D. Inspired by Bard’s black arrow out of The Hobbit, an arrow of slaying is a magical arrow forged to slay a particular kind of creature. The most famous are arrows of dragon slaying. But, you can find (or make) an arrow to slay just about anything. Including very broad things like creature type (so you could have arrows of aberration slaying as well as arrows of mind flayer slaying).

These arrows deal 6d10 extra piercing damage, though the target can make a DC 17 Constitution save for half. Crossbow bolts of slaying are the same thing but with crossbow bolts

Bloodseeker Ammo

The first one to be available in all the different ammo types, including arrows, bolts, bullets, and blowgun needles, Bloodseeker Ammunition out of the Book of Many Things grants you advantage against any creature that doesn’t have all of its hit points.

Easy choice, any time.

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The Humble +1/+2/+3 Arrow

It’s generic as all get out. But magical arrows add their bonus to your attack and damage rolls. Not exciting until you consider that it stacks with the bonuses you get from magical ranged weapons. Meaning if you have a +3 Longbow and fire a +3 arrow, you get a +6 to hit AND damage. And that’s per magical arrow that you have.

Adding +6 per attack is why ranged weapons are among the most powerful weapons in D&D. Even a humble Fighter with Sharpshooter can suddenly, reliably, deal 1d8 +16 + Dexterity Modifier per attack. At higher levels when you have potentially three or four attacks per attack action (and action surge lets you do multiple) that can easily hit the 200s of damage on average. In a single turn.

Unbreakable Arrow

My personal favorite. This arrow cannot be broken, except within an Antimagic Field. Which opens up endless possibilities. Need to get in somewhere? Unbreakable arrows can provide you a step ladder.

Pin someone’s clothes to the wall with an unbreakable arrow, and they’ll have a hard time getting away. Even if your DM won’t let you do something like that, there’s still plenty of hijinks you can get up to with an arrow that can’t be broken no matter what.

What are your picks for best magical ammunition?

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Author: J.R. Zambrano
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