Last Updated on November 6, 2023
You learn two cantrips of your choice from the Druid spell list. They count as ranger spells for you, and Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for them. Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of these cantrips with another cantrip from the Druid spell list.
Your choice of fighting style can have a significant impact on your character build in D&D 5e.
If you choose the Druidic Warrior fighting style at 2nd level, you can further improve your spellcasting with cantrips chosen from the druid spell list.
Who Can Take the Druidic Fighting Style?
The Druidic Fighting Style is only available to rangers, not fighters or paladins. This also means that the Fighting Initiate feat doesn’t grant access.
Why Choose the Druidic Fighting Style?
While the Ranger class certainly emphasizes martial prowess and exploration over spellcasting, if you want your character to have a greater connection to the magic of the natural world (and more spellcasting-centric utility to boot) then the Druidic Warrior fighting style could be a good choice for you.
Rangers lack access to cantrips and cannot draw from a large pool of spell slots, even at higher levels. Therefore, access to always-on spellcasting can increase your versatility and effectiveness in combat.
18 Cantrips Available To Druidic Warriors
There are eighteen cantrips available to the druid, and you get to add two of them to your ranger’s spell list when you choose the Druidic Warrior fighting style.
Let’s go through your choices:
Expand, extinguish, brighten, dim, or create simple shapes in a 5 ft cube of nearby fire. The lack of ability to create fire or deal damage seriously limits the effectiveness of this cantrip, especially as there are several other fire-manipulating cantrips on the druid list.
Still, the ability to double or halve the area of bright (and dim) light a fire sheds is great if you need to give yourself a better field of view in the dark—if you’re defending a campfire from bandit attack, for example—or quickly shrink the glow from a fire to stay hidden.
You fill a 5ft cube with fire, which ignites flammable objects, and potentially deals 1d8 fire damage.
You can pair this cantrip with something that restricts movement for continued damage, but it requires concentration, and the Ranger usually needs their concentration free for Hunter’s Mark.
Create a number of effects, including predicting the weather, lighting (or extinguishing) a small fire, and small illusions.
This is the druid’s version of Thaumaturgy or Prestidigitation, and has a lot of utility if you like to get creative with your spellcasting.
Numb a target with intense cold, potentially causing 1d6 cold damage and imposing disadvantage on its next attack. If this spell didn’t rely on enemies failing a Constitution saving throw (the most common save for monsters to make) this would be a great option.
Unfortunately, imposing disadvantage on an enemy’s weapon attack is only really worth the decreased damage (compared to a better cantrip or a weapon attack of your own) if you can do it to powerful foes, and any reasonably sizable monster will probably just shrug this cantrip off.
Touch a friendly creature (this can include yourself) and they add 1d4 to their next ability check before the spell ends (1 minute, concentration).
Averaging a +2 bonus for every use, this is a great cantrip to your party that lacks supportive abilities. However, you’re better off reserving your Concentration for Hunter’s Mark.
Manipulate a gust of air to knock an enemy creature 5tf backwards, move an object, or just rustle some leaves.
A whole cantrip to replicate the effects of walking your movement and taking a shove action really isn’t worth the price of admission.
Momentarily surround a target with itching, biting bugs. They must make a Constitution saving throw or take 1d6 poison damage and involuntarily move 5ft in a random direction.
This is by no means the most optimal cantrip in the game, but it’s super thematic and the one time you involuntarily move the BBEG off a 1,000ft cliff it’ll all feel worth it.
Imbue 1-3 ordinary pebbles with magic powers, turning them into projectile weapons. You or your allies can then throw a pebble (or shoot it from a sling) for 1d6 + your spellcasting modifier damage.
This is one of the best sources of cantrip damage at lower levels, but drops off like a stone (geddit?) after 5th level. Still, since you can swap a cantrip every level with Druidic Warrior, this is a solid 1st level grab.
Repair a single break or tear in an object you touch. While this is undeniably useful for roleplaying, dealing with the aftermath of a rust monster encounter, or earning some pocket money in the nearest village, this cantrip will never be anything but situational.
Excavate earth, turn earth weird colors, and make 5ft of ground at a time into difficult terrain. If you’ve only got two cantrips in total, one of them probably shouldn’t be replicable with a pot of paint and a shovel.
Project a puff of poisonous gas at your enemies, forcing a Constitution saving throw to avoid 1d12 poison damage. Great damage, but Constitution saving throws are, once again, very easy to make successfully.
Sprout elongated, poisonous fingernails that let you make a 1d10 poison damage melee spell attack. This is great damage, and scales better than weapon attacks at higher levels.
However, the attacks aren’t magical, and a lot of monsters start getting access to poison resistance and immunity later on.
Create and carry around a ball of flame you can throw at enemies for 1d8 fire damage. A solid damage cantrip and light source in one.
No more paying for torches and, after 5th level, Produce Flame will deal better damage than a bow. However, your Hunter’s Mark requires you to make a weapon attack, which this isn’t.
A friendly creature that you touch (including yourself) adds 1d4 to its next saving throw before the spell ends (1 minute, concentration). This is less useful and more difficult to successfully pull off than Guidance, and is also a concentration hog.
Manipulate a 5ft cube of water in one of several ways. Move or change the flow of the water as, up to 5ft in any direction, form the water into simple shapes (animating it if you wish), change its color or opacity, or freeze it solid (assuming there are no creatures in it).
Shape Water is one of the game’s most underrated cantrips, with tons of applications—whether you need to make a bridge, block a doorway, create impromptu cover, smash a lock by filling it with water and freezing it, making a patch of ice to trip up enemies, and so on.
Infuse a club or quarterstaff with magical power, allowing you to use your spellcasting modifier, rather than Strength, to make attacks with this weapon, which also becomes magical. The weapon’s damage die becomes a d8.
This cantrip allows you to double down on your Wisdom stat at the expense of your Strength, which is great.
Lash out with a 30ft long vine-like whip that deals 1d6 piercing damage and can drag a creature 10 ft closer to you. A great form of battlefield control, especially if you want to protect your squishier allies.
Force all enemies within 5ft to make a Constitution saving throw or take 1d6 thunder damage. Even with its small AoE, this can be a great way to raise your damage output against multiple enemies.
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I played my first tabletop RPG (Pathfinder 1e, specifically) in college. I rocked up late to the first session with an unread rulebook and a human bard called Nick Jugger. It was a rocky start but I had a blast and now, the better part of a decade later, I play, write, and write about tabletop RPGs (mostly 5e, but also PBtA, Forged in the Dark and OSR) games for a living, which is wild.