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Spell usefulness

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Since there are usually many more spells per level than a character has spell slots, a common question for people new to caster classes is what spells to pick. This article assumes the caster is being played as a caster (i.e., the player is reasonably maximizing their Difficulty Class for their spells) and attempts to rank spells as Important, Situational, or Scroll (the spell's benefit is almost entirely the same via scroll or potion as cast from the SP pool), with some commentary where the benefit is not obvious. Note that it's possible for the Important spells to be more numerous than the maximum spell slots available, at which point the player must decide which to slot.

The goal is not to rank every spell in every spellbook, as that would be too verbose (there are many ways to deal elemental damage, and the spell selections will vary for different sorcerer savants).

Artificer[edit]

Important[edit]

  1. Blast Rod (to combine with Blast Rod SLA if you need to kill stuff quickly), Flame Turret
  2. Lightning Motes (particularly if you're not taking the SLA from T5 Arcanotechnician tree)
  3. Prismatic Strike
  4. Tactical Detonation, Blade Barrier

Situational[edit]

  1. various curative admixtures and/or various repair spells

Scroll[edit]

  1. Stoneskin
  2. Protection from Elements
  3. Reconstruct (if repair heals your character, grab this also as a spell)

Bard[edit]

Important[edit]

  1. Sonic Blast, Charm Person (Later Suggestion is available as an SLA and can replace Charm Person)
  2. Soundburst, Blur
  3. CSW, Displacement, Haste
  4. Dimension Door, Freedom of Movement, Otto's Sphere of Dancing, CCW
  5. Suggestion, Mass
  6. Greater Shout, Charm Monster, Mass, Otto's Irresistible Dance

Situational[edit]

  1. Hypnotism for debuffing
  2. Rage
  3. Crushing Despair for debuffing, Good Hope (if you don't want to sing but want to buff party members)
  4. Mind Fog for debuffing, Cure Light Wounds, Mass
  5. Cure Moderate Wounds, Mass

Scroll[edit]

  1. Detect Secret Doors CL10 clicky
  2. CL5 or CL10 Blur wand if you cannot fit in the spell, Invisibility
  3. CCW wand
  4. Greater Heroism
  5. Heroes' Feast

Cleric/Favored Soul[edit]

Note that not all cure spells are listed as "important." In general, it is a good idea to have two single-target spells and two mass spells if possible, in case of emergencies during cooldowns. In low-level content, Cure Serious Wounds potions likely heal better than innate divine spells.

Important[edit]

  1. Nightshield, Obscuring Mist
  2. Resist Energy, Soundburst
  3. Cure Serious Wounds, Magic Circle Against Evil
  4. Cure Critical Wounds, Freedom of Movement
  5. Cure Light Wounds, Mass, Divine Punishment, Greater Command, Slay Living
  6. Blade Barrier, Cometfall, Cure Moderate Wounds, Mass, Heal, Undeath to Death
    • Blade Barrier works against nonevasion melees even if the player is not built for casting
  7. Cure Serious Wounds, Mass, Destruction, Resurrection, Symbol of Stunning
  8. Cure Critical Wounds, Mass, Death Ward, Mass, Symbol of Death
  9. Energy Drain, Heal, Mass, Implosion

Situational[edit]

  1. Divine Favor
  2. Hold Person, Seek Eternal Rest, Spawn Screen
  3. Prayer
  4. Dismissal, Divine Power, Recitation
  5. Flame Strike
  6. Banishment, Symbol of Fear, Symbol of Persuasion
    • Harm to heal Pale Master allies
  7. N/A
  8. Death Pact, Fire Storm
  9. True Resurrection

Scroll[edit]

  1. Lesser Restoration
  2. Stat buffs such as Bull's Strength and Bear's Endurance; mainly useful for protect the NPC quests such as Hold for Reinforcements or Hound of Xoriat. Player characters should have stat items or pots that don't stack with these.
  3. Aid, Mass, Protection from Energy, Remove Blindness, Remove Curse, Remove Disease, Water Breathing
  4. Neutralize Poison, Restoration
  5. Break Enchantment, Protection from Elements, Raise Dead, True Seeing
  6. Bear's Endurance, Mass etc., Greater Dispel Magic for helping to disable Spell Ward traps
  7. Protection from Elements, Mass, Greater Restoration, Resurrection
  8. N/A
  9. N/A

Sorcerer/Wizard[edit]

In addition to the spells listed below, both Sorcerers and Wizards should have a varied selection of spells dealing different types of elemental damage, in case monsters are immune or resistant to certain elements.

Important[edit]

  1. Jump, Shield or Nightshield, Sleep, Obscuring Mist
    • Hypnotism (unheightened) for temporary Will save debuff
    • Expeditious retreat for faster running until you have striding equal or better than the spell buff. Does not stack with striding.
  2. Knock, Resist Energy, Web
  3. Displacement, Haste, Magic Circle Against Evil
    • Fireball for DPS or to break down doors requiring a Strength check (can be scrolled for this purpose)
  4. Acid Rain, Dimension Door, Enervation, Ice Storm, Solid Fog (debuff enemy Reflex, concealment), Wall of Fire
    • Crushing Despair for temporary save debuff. Can be scrolled if enemy has no Spell Resistance.
  5. Eladar's Electric Surge, Niac's Biting Cold
  6. Circle of Death, Disintegrate, Necrotic Ray, Undeath to Death
  7. Finger of Death, Otto's Sphere of Dancing, Prismatic Spray, Waves of Exhaustion to slow and debuff enemy Reflex (can be scrolled if no SR)
  8. Black Dragon Bolt, Otto's Irresistible Dance, Polar Ray, Symbol of Death
  9. Energy Drain, Hold Monster, Mass, Power Word: Kill, Wail of the Banshee

Situational[edit]

  1. Sonic Blast is a cheap way to break many clustered breakables for Ransack XP. It can also be scrolled or cast from Cacophonic Verge.
  2. Blur, Ooze Puppet (Enter the Kobold), Spawn Screen
  3. Chain Missiles (Shiradi), Deep Slumber, Halt Undead, Stinking Cloud, Suggestion, Slow
  4. Death Aura, Negative Energy Burst if Pale Master
  5. Cloudkill, Dismissal, Mind Fog
  6. Globe of Invulnerability can remove enemy buffs such as Death Ward or enemy attacks such as Bees of Xoriat, Reconstruct if Warforged/Bladeforged, Suggestion, Mass, Symbol of Persuasion, Symbol of Fear
    • Create Undead's mummy has a fear aura that can immobilize enemies
  7. Banishment, Symbol of Stunning
  8. Charm Monster, Mass, Greater Shout, Sunburst, Trap the Soul
  9. Meteor Swarm

Scroll[edit]

  1. N/A
  2. Invisibility
  3. Protection from Energy, Heroism, Water Breathing
  4. Fire Shield
  5. Break Enchantment, Protection from Elements, Teleport
  6. Bear's Endurance, Mass etc., Greater Dispel Magic for helping to disable Spell Ward traps, Greater Heroism (also available in pots from Verisgante), Shadow Walk, Stone to Flesh, Tenser's Transformation, True Seeing
  7. Greater Teleport, Invisibility, Mass, Protection from Elements, Mass
  8. N/A
  9. N/A

Druid[edit]

Important[edit]

  1. Lesser Vigor The Vigor series is your primary source of healing. Please note the Regeneration series stacks with the Vigor Series, however Vigor spells will not stack with each other. Only the highest/longest values apply. Since Vigor/Regeneration applies over time, a druid has to anticipate the battlefield more than a cleric might. Produce Flame This fire spell scales fairly well and has a very low cooldown of 1 second. Its not uncommon for a caster Druid to simply use this one spell continuously against a foe even in Epic Levels. Entangle At low levels this is your "earthquake" spell until you get the real deal. Shillelagh The ideal spell for any low level druid. Just grab a staff, cast this spell and start melee attacking regardless of your build. Takedown Great for any wolf fighter build.
  2. Creeping Cold Stacks with Greater Creeping Cold. Both are damage over time spells that increase towards the end. Unlikely some damage over time spells, these should be allowed to expire before recasting. Bug: These spells have been known to suppress the Arcane Spell Niac's Biting Cold. Also multiple Druids will reset each other's Creeping Cold Spells[Unverified"Bug: These spells have been known to suppress the Arcane Spell Niac's Biting Cold. Also multiple Druids will reset each other's Creeping Cold Spells" has not been verified in-game. Please verify it!] Its likely you will only use the SLA version of this spell due to its resetting properties.
  3. Call Lightning Very strong single target damage spell. You will use SLA and Spell version even at level cap. Sleet Storm Extremely effective vs foes. Buff party members with Freedom of Movement (which is on your spell list) and cast at will. If a party member runs away before you can buff them, use this spell regardless. When you see party members moving slowly cast FoM on them. This spell is effective verses Reapers. Salt Ray Single Target Stun effect. You are more likely to depend upon your earthquake. Can be heightened for good DCs.
  4. Freedom of Movement You should make sure every party member has FoM (Freedom of Movement) & DW (Deathward). Ice Storm Slows foes. This is great spell to combine with Sleet Storm, Earthquake, etc... Consider using this spell with Metamagics for extra damage. Flame Strike A great spell to toss atop foes stuck in your Earthquakes as they cannot run away.
  5. Greater Vigor Update your Vigor spells to whatever version is the best. Wall of Fire Ice Storm (a popular choice for Druids) will put out a Wall of Fire, however you can carefully place both or choose to use Fire over Ice. Reincarnate your only Raise Dead type Spell which takes 15 seconds to cast (7.5 seconds with quicken) recommend you also keep Resurrection Scrolls.
  6. In order of importance: Greater Creeping Cold Use this spell even when in Fire Form. Its good, see Creeping Cold comments above. Word of Balance Does strong damage versus foes with dual alignments, however this spell requires a spell penetration check. Use both the SLA and Spell Version. Will not work verses most animal or elemental foes dues to neutral alignment. Fire Shield Since Druids have very poor reflex saves, your main defense will be elemental absorption. Please note that one cannot cast more than one version of this spell on self at a time (including any versions of Draconic's Energy Sheath). Fire Seeds Three seeds will all possibly trigger Shiradi/etc procures.
  7. In order of importance: Regeneration Heals damage including stat damage and level dragon over time. Please not that this spell can be cast on a target that already has a Vigor Spell and that the two healing spells will stack with each other. This spell becomes replaced by Mass Regeneration as the Regeneration series does not stack with itself. Body of the Sun this spell can only be used while in Fire Form. It can be extended, which will allow even more efficient damage (this and fire shield are the only druid spells that would benefit from extend). Its main disadvantage is the bright orange circle around your character which cases eyestrain and makes it hard to see your environment. Some players compound their grief by summoning fire elementals which will actually block the parties line of sight because the orange glows combine blocking vision. A pair of orange computer reading glasses will greatly help in playing a druid due to spells such as Body of the Sun/Sunburst/Firestorm/Flamestrike/ect... Firestorm Although this spell has a certain amount of targeting issues, its still quite worth tossing on top of your earthquakes as foes tend to linger there. You should have plently of fire spellpower to use this spell. Sunbeam A very nice light spell and like Firestorm this spell does not a maximum caster level, which is a pretty good reason not to multiclass as a druid. Creeping Doom This spell is a very long term damage over time spell that deal poison damage. As such it is often overlooked, yet it is effective verses foes that fear poison.
  8. In order of importance: Earthquake With even a modest commitment to DC, Earthquake can be a great way to CC groups of enemies. Even strong enemies like Hobgoblins and Ogres will wind up prone and helpless, allowing you to pick them off at leisure. Earthquake works verses reflex which is often the easiest to attack. Magistar provide several twists that will help your evocation DCs including a debuff. Shiradi procures will apply to Earthquakes as they continue over time, including Nerve Venom. Since Ice Storm and Sleet Storm slow foes, its quite common for a druid to cast either one of those on top of their earthquakes. It takes a second for this spell to start knocking down foes, so think ahead. Heal An ideal positive energy spell that ought to be on your hotbar at all times. Sunburst this is an evocation spell that blinds foes so its ideal to build on a crowd control theme, you get a SLA and normal version of this spell. Finger of Death is often overlooked by druids who need to focus primarily on evocation, but this spell and the Mass Frog feat are only instant kill spells that druids receive. Ice Flowers is a low cooldown quick casting Ice/Piercing spell that can only be used while in Water Form. This is nice because Water Form tends toward crowd control while Fire Form tends towards mass destruction.
  9. In order of importance: Mass Regenerate (primary heal over time spell that removes stat & level drain), Storm of Vengeance (powerful cloud that can be combined with your other clouds), Mantle of the Icy Soul (slows foes down and debuffs ref saves), Snowslide (great for knockdown, jumping and fast movement) All the level nine spells can be memorized and have usefulness. Note that none of these spells require spell components therefore one never needs to buy level 9 druid spell components.

Situational[edit]

  1. Summon Nature's Ally I Druids automatically get summoning spells, and these spell can be useful. Beware of Air Elementals that cast Gust of Wind and Blow out your earthquakes. Also beware of Fire Elementals blocking your vision while in Fire Form. Jump A good spell to have memorized as jumping is important in DDO. Even after your jump skill exceeds 40, you should carry it to buff others. Merfolk's Blessing Since swim affects your flying/floating speeds, this spell could help with jumping as well as swimming. Faerie Fire A druid's version of Glitterdust but not quite as strong. Longstrider Increase yourself/summons/hire run speed.
  2. Resist Energy Good to keep memorized as needed against elemental traps and spellcasters. Fog Cloud Grants some protection for party members. Gust of Wind Good at low level for knocking down foes. Note that all wind spells (Gust of Wind, Cyclonic Blast, Tsunami, etc) will remove cloud spells such as earthquake, icestorm, disco ball, ect. Pack Presence If you are using wolf/summons/hire. Note that this spell is reputed to grant a wolf tremendous intimidation or bluff depending upon the version cast.
  3. Quench Use against Fire Elemental Types to damage. Spike Growth This spell is difficulty for party members to see thru, but it might annoy foes as well.
  4. Call Lightning Storm This spell does not seem to go off very often, hence its more useful when you have Shiradi/Salt/Freeze/etc procures that happen along with it. Needs investigating: This spell seems to have an unusual effect when cast while under the effects of the Primal Epic Destiny Stormrage buff. Once triggered, it seems to go off every few seconds.[Unverified"Needs investigating: This spell seems to have an unusual effect when cast while under the effects of the Primal Epic Destiny Stormrage buff. Once triggered, it seems to go off every few seconds." has not been verified in-game. Please verify it!] {Bug: This spell is an effect on self and therefore should have extend applied to it, but does not.} Pack Aptitude If you are using wolf/summons hire.
  5. Tenacious Pack If you are using wolf/summons/hire

Scroll[edit]

  1. Scrolls and Items do not trigger Shirdai or other procures nor do they use spellpower bonuses. Nightshield this protects against magic missiles and is not on the druid spell list. Find a Wand version or obtain a Robe of Shadow (Level 12) or higher.
  2. Grease combines well with Sleet Storm/Earthquake/Ice Storm since you can cast Freedom of Movement on party members Glitterdust another cloud effect you can add to the battlefield. Invisibility to avoid heavy archer fire right before casting clouds in reaper
  3. Displacement scroll or worth making a few Heroic Greensteel Quarterstaff Clickies (Quarterstaffs use your Druid levels for caster level 20 instead of 16)
  4. Solid Fog worth making a few Heroic Greensteel Quarterstaff Clickies as this is not available from scroll vendors.
  5. Raise Dead Highly desirable due to the extremely long casting times of Reincarnation.
  6. Bull's Strength, Mass Good for buffing your summons/wolf/hirelings along with all the other versions of this spell group. Globe of Invulnerability blocks a certain amount of harmful spell, and works well with Druid style of creating Cloud Zones Shadow Walk good for setting up next earthquake while in high reaper dungeons.
  7. True Seeing An important melee buff spell. Sadly its the same level as so many better spells such as Body of the Sun/Freezing Spray, Creeping Death, Greater Vigor Mass, Firestorm, Sunbeam, etc... So its recommended to scroll this one which happens to be available at the Portal Hole (arcane level 6). Resurrection This spell is the main reason for a Druid to study the skill Use Magic Device.
  8. Epic Wolf Whistle seems desirable for a Druid as it will Summon a Epic Thaarak Hound. However this Hound can cast Cyclonic Blast which will blow away your Earthquakes.

Paladin[edit]

Paladins are never offensive casters, the spell selection below reflects some common paladin picks.

Important[edit]

  1. Divine Favor, Protection from Evil, CLW
  2. Angelskin, Resist Energy
  3. Magic Circle Against Evil, Cure Moderate Wounds
  4. Holy Sword, Zeal, Cure Serious Wounds

Add Raise Dead, Resurrection, and/or True Resurrection if taking the fourth Sacred Defender core.

Situational[edit]

  1. Lionheart, Virtue
  2. Prayer
  3. Death Ward, Restoration, Stalwart Pact

Scroll[edit]

Paladins can cast Raise Dead, Resurrection, and True Resurrection without UMD requirement.

  1. Restoration

Ranger[edit]

Important[edit]

  1. Ram's Might, Jump, Resist Energy, Longstrider
  2. Barkskin, Cure Light Wounds
  3. Cure Moderate Wounds
  4. Freedom of Movement, Cure Serious Wounds

Situational[edit]

Scroll[edit]

Warlock[edit]

Important[edit]

  1. Master's Touch, Enchants the items currently equipped in the target's right and left hands to grant their wielder proficiency if the items are simple or martial weapons or shields, and lasts until the target rests. Scrolls will only work on weapons/shields that you can equip in your offhand as you must place the scroll in your mainhand to activate it. Thus the scrolls aren't useful for any 2H weaponry unless you have another player around to cast them on you. Dwarves are granted Dwarven Waraxe proficiency. Shield can improve survival chances early on, though it can also be obtained as a permanent variant from the Enlightened Spirit tree and is less helpful in later content where Warlocks' relatively low AC is insufficient to defend reliably, though it will still absorb Magic Missile.
  2. Evard's Black Tentacles offers solid crowd control and damage over time. Saves are against strength, so even a non-DC warlock can benefit from its crowd control. It does consume a 30 SP (more with metamagics) and has a long cooldown (20 seconds), but can ensnare enemies for longer than the duration. 1d4 damage per caster level scales with force, which should already be high for eldritch blasts.

Situational[edit]

  1. Wands and scrolls can be very useful for warlocks who put skill points into Use Magic Device because of their Deceive Item feat (+5 UMD skill). Warlocks can easily get 100% activation rate on wands and scrolls of appropriate levels allowing for cheap and reliable healing, buffs, and offensive spells. Low level warlocks may appreciate endless wands to heal minor damage, cause alternate damage types, or supplement an Enlightened Spirit's aura attacks. Enlightened Spirit warlocks may be less interested after getting reliable sources of temporary HP.
  2. Blur is extremely useful for melee fighting warlocks until Displacement enters the scene. This is especially useful for Tainted Scholar builds with Feigned Health, though a first level spell is cheaper and Feather Fall from the first core enhancement is an area of effect buff which can apply Feigned Health to multiple allies. Blur is more useful, though, as it offers a lasting defensive benefit to allies which is unlikely to be found on gear at low levels. Great Old One pact warlocks get Knock for free, and if soloing without a rogue/rogue levels, it can grant access to otherwise inaccessible areas and chests.
  3. Dimension Door is very handy, and not available via scrolls. Displacement is also helpful when being attacked by melee or ranged enemies.
  4. Shadow Walk is useful to escape dangerous situations, since it grants a significant movement speed buff and 50% concealment, which does not stack with Displacement.
  5. Trap the Soul can be very useful to Warlocks with high save DCs and spell penetration, as it can force even undead or constructs to make a save or "die". Since warlocks use only their standard level 6 spell materials, it is less prohibitive for them than for other casters. Since it uses a will save, it works particularly well in conjunction with Crushing Despair (obtainable from Fey pact) and Mind Fog.

Scroll[edit]

  1. Raise Dead scrolls are available starting at character level 7. When playing in a party or with hirelings, it can make sense to grab a scroll (or hundred) just in case the normal healer or raiser is incapacitated or separated. Restoration is also a useful scroll for Warlocks at this level.
  2. Heal can be helpful in Reaper, especially since self healing is mitigated so party members (and hirelings) may need outside healing. Since Warlock has high UMD, this can be a very helpful given its UMD check of 40. Wands of cure wounds may be used for similar purposes, though they will heal less quickly and will not do the restoration effects of Heal, making them obsolete when Heal can be used reliably.