Dungeons & Dragons: 7 Best Cold Damage Spells
In Dungeons & Dragons, magic is everything. At the very least it's a pillar of the game, — from the arcane expert Wizards to the devout worshipper Clerics, sooner or later a spell is going to be cast at your table. It should be no surprise that there are also tons of damaging spells out there, but players tend to overlook the cold damage spells.
There aren't a bunch of exclusively cold damage spells in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, but there are certainly enough to differentiate the good from the bad — and that's what we're here to do. So, for all the spellcasters out there who want to send a shiver down your enemies' spines, here are the best cold damage type spells.
7/7 Ray Of Frost
Ray of Frost is a cantrip spell that does a decent amount of damage. It's a ranged spell attack, dealing 1d8 cold damage on a hit and slowing an enemy by ten feet until the start of your next turn. Like other cantrips, it also scales with damage depending on your level, reaching 2d8 at fifth level, 3d8 at 11th, and 4d8 at 17th.
This is one of the earliest spells any spellcaster can get, so its accessibility helps it a lot. As well as this, slowing an enemy is a very useful ability to have at lower levels, especially for a spellcaster who doesn't want any enemies coming up close. However, aside from the damage, the effect doesn't really help out as you level up, making this spell great, but certainly not the best.
6/7 Ice Knife
Ice Knife is a first-level spell, meaning much like Ray of Frost it's accessible to even the lowest-level spellcasters. However, what it really improves upon is its damage. The spell is a ranged attack, which does 1d10 damage against a target but each other target within five feet must make a Dexterity saving throw or suffer 2d6 cold damage.
Though the damage is low, the spell also has accessibility in its favour, with greater damage than Ray of Frost. It also has really great area of effect potential — being able to damage multiple enemies with just a simple spell means this is definitely something to keep an eye out for.
5/7 Armor Of Agathys
Armor of Agathys is a powerful first-level spell that is rarely only available to Warlocks. The spell lasts an hour and conjures a magical force of frost, granting you five temporary hit points. While you have these hit points, anyone who hits you with a melee attack suffers five points of cold damage. It gets even better though, as the spell can be cast at a higher level, meaning it will grant five more temporary hit points and damage.
This is another spell that can protect vulnerable spellcasters, providing a boost to both defense and offense. This would only be better if it was more accessible to the other classes. However, for those who are Hexblade Warlocks, this spell is so good that it's a necessity.
4/7 Ice Storm
Ice Storm is a fourth-level spell that turns a large 20-foot radius area into an icy storm that can do 2d6 bludgeoning damage and 4d6 cold damage against a Dexterity saving throw. As well as this, the area becomes difficult terrain until the end of your next turn.
This spell is especially great for large battles where you need to deal with multiple enemies. As well as this, dealing two different types of damage can cause enemies with spells up to make two concentration checks, as well as slowing enemies down with difficult terrain in an area.
3/7 Investiture Of Ice
Investiture of Ice is a sixth-level spell that has a multitude of powerful effects. It allows you to move across difficult terrain caused by snow or ice, creates a ten-foot radius of ice that makes the ground difficult terrain for others, and gives you resistance to fire damage and immunity to cold damage. As well as this, you can spend an action to create a 15-foot cone of ice that can do a total of 4d6 cold damage, depending on whether the targets make their Constitution saving throw or not.
The only issue with the spell is that compared to Investiture of Fire, it is lacking. This is in particular because it causes difficult terrain around you, which is more likely to hinder allies than enemies. However, the damage resistance and immunity make it a worthwhile spell to have in battle, especially against enemies that do cold damage.
2/7 Cone Of Cold
Cone of Cold is a fifth-level spell and is a great evocation spell. The caster conjures a 60-foot cone of cold air which does 8d8 cold damage, or half as much depending on whether the target(s) succeeds on a Consitution saving throw. The only downside of the spell is that for such a high level, the damage equivalent isn't all that worth it.
However, the area-of-effect being a 60-foot cone will tear up a chunk of enemies, which is great due to the massive area it manages to cover, even if they are so spread out. It's a spell that will still deal some decent damage and could have utility outside of combat — such as being used to put out a great fire.
1/7 Rime's Binding Ice
Rime's Binding Ice is a second-level spell that lets you emit a 30-foot cone of ice. Anyone caught in the cone is forced to perform a Constitution saving throw. If they fail, they take a whopping 3d8 cold damage and have their speed reduced to zero — unless they spend an action to break out of the ice.
This is a fantastic spell control spell. The utility and damage for the spell level make it not only one of the best cold damage spells, but definitely a spell every caster should have in their arsenal.
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