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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
  2. Knock, Resist Energy, Web
  3. Displacement, Haste, Magic Circle Against Evil, Rage
    • 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. 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.
  2. Regenerate. The vigor chain of spells heals you for smaller chunks of HP than the cure/heal spells, but lasts longer and heals, over time, more damage than the one-shot curative spells. Useful for sustaining oneself in a group of mobs, or aiding other players in a tight spot.

Situational[edit]

Scroll[edit]

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.
  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. 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.

Scroll[edit]

  1. Raise Dead and other similar 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.


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