Review of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything “New Evocation Spells”
One of the most anticipated things from XGE is the addition of a couple of hundred new spells. I cannot include them all in a single article so I will break up my reviews by magic school starting with evocation.
1st level Bard/Wizard/Druid/Sorcerer
Cause the earth to shake within 10 ft of caster. Creatures who fail a dex save receive 1d6 bludgeoning damage and are knocked prone.
This is a good crowd control spell, at level 1 you shouldn’t expect much damage but it would definitely be handy if fighting a horde of weaker creatures. I think this is probably most useful in the hands of the bard as they don’t have too many damage spells at level 1 and the other casters have some decent damage dealers at that level.
2nd level wizard
30 feet of flame 5 ft wide shoots out of the caster in a straight line dealing 3d8 fire damage.
This is a pretty typical 2nd level wizard spell, decent damage in line of sight. This would be perfect for a hallway or narrow dungeon. Nice addition to the wizard spell book and feels very natural for the class.
Snilloc’s Snowball Swarm
2nd level wizard/sorcerer
A swarm of snowballs erupt from a point of the caster’s choosing and creatures within a 5ft radius sphere must make a dex saving throw or take 3d6 cold damage, half on a successful save.
Another good addition to the wizard and sorcerer classes. Again its only level 2 so don’t expect a huge amount of damage but 3d6 in a 5ft radius is a solid AoE spell. Plus it is cold damage, which very few creatures have a resistance to and is a damage class I would like to see more from.
4th level wizard/warlock/sorcerer
The caster chooses a point within 120 ft and a 30ft radius sphere of greenish light forms on that point. Creatures who move into the sphere for the first time or starts its turn there must make a con save or suffer 4d10 radiant damage and receive one level of exhaustion. The creature also radiates green light in a 5 ft radius making it impossible for it to become invisible.
This is a pretty awesome spell. I like it when spells not only deal damage but add status effects to your targets. For a 4th level spell 4d10 radiant is pretty strong but the level of exhaustion adds disadvantage on ability rolls making them even weaker for another spell or ability that relies on those checks. The inability to go invisible is the icing on the cake. Personally I find the bane of my character’s existence has always been invis creatures so taking that away from them gives me great pleasure.
4th level wizard/sorcerer
20 ft radius sphere of twisting and swirling air is created by the caster within 150 ft. Each creature in the sphere when it appears or who ends their turn within must make a str save or take 2d6 bludgeoning damage. Until the spell ends you can create one bolt of lightning per turn that comes from the sphere and strikes a target for 4d6 lightning damage with a successful ranged spell attack. The affected area also counts as difficult terrain making it tough for the targets to make it out.
This is another great crowd control spell. For 4th level the 2d6 damage isn’t that great but the lightning bolt every turn is a real treat. The radius of the sphere is nice and covers a large area as well. You can really shut down a group of enemies with this spell provided they have a relatively low strength score.
5th level wizard/sorcerer
Target takes 8d6 fire damage, half on a passed dex save. The target is also on fire and takes an additional 4d6 fire damage at the end of their turn if they continue to fail the dex save.
Oh man do I love spells that set people on fire. 8d6 is super tasty but the extra 4d6 per turn is too good to pass up. Since this is a 5th level spell it’s fairly powerful and something you would expect from an appropriately leveled wiz or sorcerer. The roleplaying that can come from this is pretty fun to imagine as a character runs screaming out of the room while roasting. It’s a good mental picture.
5th level cleric/paladin
You imbue a weapon with radiant energy that deals an extra 2d8 radiant damage on a hit and the weapon counts as a magic weapon for the duration of the spell (1 hour). Additionally you can dismiss the spell and cause a burst of energy that deals 4d8 to any creatures of your choice take 4d8 damage on a failed con save.
This is a great spell for a paladin or for a war domain cleric. 2d8 radiant damage would save the paladin from expending a spell slot for divine smite for each hit. The only problem is that it takes forever for a paladin to earn a 5th level spell slot (level 17) and by then an extra 2d8 per hit is nice but not overpowering or anything. This is probably handier for a cleric who needs to deal some extra damage in melee combat for a short time as they will earn a 5th level slot far before a paladin will (level 9).
There are a lot more evocation spells to choose from but this is a pretty decent sampling of what XGE has to offer. A lot of fun new spells to add to your games!