Review of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything “New Necromancy Spells”
What’s a little necromancy between friends? Xanathar’s Guide gives us some nifty new spells for you reanimation fanatics and even a couple for you healers.
Toll the Dead
Target must make a wis save or suffer 1d8 necrotic damage. If the target is already missing any of its HP then it instead receives 1d12 damage. Damage increases when you reach 5th, 11th, and 17th level.
I really like cantrips that deal damage and 1d8 necrotic is really nice considering some of the other options available to clerics. I especially like the increase to a d12 die for damage if the target is already hurt, it is a nice bonus to combat and it fits nicely into RP.
1st level Warlock/Wizard
Target must pass a wis save or be frightened of the caster until the spell ends. Target can test again at the end of its subsequent turns.
This is an okay spell, nothing spectacular. I have always found fear spells to be lacking something. Even if the spell is successful they will just run away for a bit and they will eventually pass their wis save to come back to bother you.
3rd level Cleric
Caster receives 4d8 necrotic damage and one creature that they can see received HP double to that number.
This is a fantastic spell and very much in line with a Life Cleric or one who follows Ilmater. Very useful for a tough, high DPS fight where the cleric can sit back and heal without worrying about their own HP. The possibility of receiving up to 64HP from a 3rd level heal is very appealing to any melee fighter.
Shadow of Moil
4th level Warlock
This spell darkens the area around the caster, turning dim light into darkness and bright light into dim. The caster is enveloped by shadowy energy and gives them resistance to radiant damage as well as causing 2d8 necrotic to any creature within 10 feet that hits the caster.
This is a good defensive spell and useful for fighting celestials or good clerics or paladins. Resistance to a certain type of damage will absolutely save your life, so be sure to memorize this if you are expecting good-aligned trouble.
5th level Sorcerer/Warlock/Wizard
Target must make a dex save, if successful they take 2d8 necrotic damage and no other effects. If they fail they receive 4d8 necrotic damage and the caster can use an action on each one of their turns to deal an additional 4d8 necrotic to the target. Whenever the target receives damage the caster is healed for half the damage amount.
This is a great spell and very fitting for a wiz/sorc/war. High damage with the initial attack and a chance to continue dealing damage over time. The addition of the heal to the caster is a nice cherry on top. This would be very useful in a boss fight or against a strong single target.
Abi-Dalzim’s horrid wilting
8th Level Sorcerer/Wizard
Creatures in a 30 ft cube within 150 ft must pass a con save or take 12d8 necrotic damage. Undead/constructs are immune and plants and water creatures have disadvantage on the roll.
High level wiz spells are the best. This is a high damage AOE nuke appropriate for the level. I think this would be a great addition to any sorcerer or wizard spell book and there is not much to criticize here. It feels very natural and could be a spell out of the PHB and not a later supplement like XGE.
Necromancy has long been a crowd favorite and is home to some pretty powerful spells and these additions from XGE are no different. This supplement adds a very nice spread of heals, nukes, DoTs, and status effects. There are more necromancy spells to be found in Xanathar’s guide be sure to check it out!