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D&D: Five of the Worst 7th-Level Spells

3 Minute Read
Jun 10 2024
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7th-level spells can have enough power to end entire encounters. But others will leave you wondering why you even have them.

When it comes to spells, 7th-level spells occupy one of the top spots. They are the first of the spells that player characters only get a single slot for. Meaning that you’ll only ever have one 7th-level spell.

But that’s typically going to be just fine because, as mentioned, 7th-level spells can deal with whole encounters. Or at least single, powerful enemies, no problem. Unless, of course, you pick one of the worst 7th-level spells.

Prismatic Spray

Prismatic Spray falls a far cry short of its higher-level cousin. Where Prismatic Wall subjects target to multiple effects on the spell, Prismatic Spray, instead, is a streaming, multicolored cone that hits targets with a single, random effect.

But the effects often leave much to be desired. Roll 1-5 on a d8, and you’ll end up dealing 10d6 damage of an energy type, save for half. Get a 6 or 7, and you’ll hit your target with “powerful effects” like restrained and blinded. So not only does the spell do about as much damage as a 3rd-level fireball, it might not even do damage in the first place. It might restrain or blind an enemy, assuming they fail their save.

But with no way of controlling who gets hit by which ray, or even by multiple rays, this spell might just fizzle out when you need it to flame on.

Symbol

Symbol is a spell that feels like it’s meant for the DM, rather than a player. This spell takes a minute to cast, but it lets you create a magical trap that ostensibly will protect a location. However, it’s awfully expensive for a spell you can effectively replicate with a much lower level Glyph of Warding and 200gp.

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Regenerate

Regenerate is a healing spell that has the misfortune of not being quite as good as the spell a level below it. While Regenerate lasts longer and can deliver more potential healing, the fact is the 6th-level spell Heal does everything you want Regenerate to do.

Unless you’re playing in a campaign where you routinely lose limbs or know someone who does, you’ll almost always be better off casting Heal. Not only does it heal more damage in a single burst, preventing you from getting instakilled by taking too much damage at once, but it also doesn’t take up your precious 7th-level spell.

Power Word Pain

Power Word Pain just doesn’t have nearly enough bang for your spell slot buck. Flavorwise, this spell is incredible, as you speak a single word and assail a creature with intense pain. Like some kind of Emperor Palpatine..

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But all it actually does is reduce a creature’s speed to 10 feet, and give them a disadvantage on saving throws, attacks, and so on. However, there are plenty of spells that do much more. Again, this feels like a DM’s spell more than anything else.

Mordenkainen’s Sword

Finally, we get to Mordenkainen’s Sword, which is a worse version of the 2nd level spell Spiritual Weapon in pretty much every metric. It does slightly more damage than the baseline average of Spiritual Weapon. And… that’s it. Mordenkainen’s Sword takes your concentration on top of it, so, again, you’re better off with a 2nd level spell than this one in particular.

What’s your pick for the worst 7th-level spell?

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Author: J.R. Zambrano
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