Conjuration is the arcane art of making something out of nothing or, more accurately, making something from somewhere else appear, transporting it in an instant from one place to another.
In practical terms, spells from the school of conjuration allow spell casters to summon powerful creatures and spirits to serve them, wield elemental energy, and transport themselves over vast distances.
In this guide, we’re going to take a deep dive into the school of magic that’s home to iconic spells like Mage Hand, Teleport, and Wish.
We’re also going to give you a quick rundown on how the wizard’s conjuration-centric subclass makes the most of spells from this school and give you some tips on making a character who focuses on doing what conjuration magic does best: summoning.
What Is Conjuration Magic in DnD 5e?
Conjuration is one of eight schools of magic and deals with spells that create matter from nothing, control energy, and teleport both creatures and objects over great distances — or even between different planes of reality.
It’s all about pulling things from thin air or from another dimension. A powerful conjurer can create magical storms of lightning or drag a demon out of hell to serve their will.
Conjuration magic can also move things and people from one place to another; creating gates and portals to other places, planes, and dimensions falls within the school of Conjuration.
Spellcasters who lean into the school of conjuration make great problem solvers and powerful war mages, and they can summon whole armies of spirits and creatures to do their bidding.
The only thing that a conjuration wizard ruins harder than their enemies is the action economy.
How Important Are Schools of Magic?
Most of the time, schools of magic aren’t something you need to worry about. Wizards of any subclass can learn and cast spells from any school, and almost every class’s spell list is full of spells from multiple schools.
You’re only going to need to think about which school of magic a spell belongs to if…
- You’re playing a wizard, which means you’ll be able to cast spells from your chosen school more effectively, and you’ll need to spend less money copying them into your spell book.
- You’re playing an arcane trickster rogue, an eldritch knight fighter, or one of the other subclasses that are limited to certain schools of magic when picking spells.
Still, a spell’s school of magic can be helpful when it comes to understanding what it does and describing it when you cast it.
The Best Conjuration Spells: From Acid Splash to Wish
Spells from the conjuration school include Summon Greater Demon, Mage Hand, and Wish — three very different spells on the face of it but all within the wheelhouse of a conjurer.
There are currently 101 conjurations spells in D&D 5e. While that’s not the biggest list (evocation has it beat by seven entries), it’s definitely the most diverse in terms of what you can accomplish.
In fact, if I needed to take a spellcaster from 1st to 20th level using spells from just one school of magic (otherwise known as being a hardcore wizard), this is the school I’d choose to do it.
Let’s take a look at some of the most powerful, versatile, and all-round iconic options from the conjuration spell list.
An often underestimated cantrip that lets you sling bubbles of caustic acid at enemies up to 60 feet away and has the potential to dish out 2d6 acid damage per turn against multiple targets.
Easily one of the highest situational damage cantrips out there, although not the best against single targets.
Possibly the single greatest utility cantrip in the game, mage hand summons a spectral floating appendage that can open doors, uncork a bottle, manipulate objects, and generally extend your reach up to 30 feet.
It’s perfect for setting off traps from a distance, creating a distraction, or stealing a guard’s keys.
Encircle yourself with spectral blades that deal force damage to all enemies around you who fail a Dexterity saving throw.
After an hour of ritual casting, you bind a spirit in service to you, which takes the form of an animal: a bat, cat, crab, frog, toad, hawk, lizard, octopus, owl, poisonous snake, fish, rat, raven, sea horse, spider, or weasel.
Your familiar obeys your commands, and although it can’t attack, it can still be a valuable ally in combat and obeys your telepathic commands.
There are all sorts of things you can accomplish with a familiar, from scouting to creating distractions or stirring up trouble. They’re an amazing entry point into the wonderful world of summoned creatures.
Tenser’s Floating Disk
A silvery disk that floats along beside you and carries all your treasure home.
Named after the wizard player character who belonged to Gary Gygax’s son, Ernest (an anagram of Tenser, much like Vecna is an anagram of Vance), this is a pretty situational utility spell, but you’ll be so very glad you prepared it when you need to haul a 1,500-pound marble statue out of the dungeon and back to town.
In case you need to evade pursuit (assuming the thing chasing you can’t fly), Grease turns a 10-foot square of ground into difficult terrain and threatens to knock people who finish their turn in the pool of goo prone.
It’s perfect for sowing chaos and confusion on the battlefield as well.
A multi-stage spell attack/saving throw spell summons an exploding shard of ice from nothing and hurls it at your enemies, stabbing them and then detonating to shower them with freezing shards.
Fire this into a tightly packed group of enemies (a total of nine 5 foot squares), and you could potentially deal as much as 18d6 + 1d10 damage in total, making this easily one of the most powerful 1st-level spells — even outstripping thunderwave in terms of max potential damage.
Summon an invisible, mindless, shapeless force that performs simple tasks that a human servant could do, such as fetching things, cleaning, mending, folding clothes, lighting fires, serving food, and pouring wine.
Conjure forth the spirit of a loyal steed that takes the form of a warhorse, pony, camel, elk, or mastiff.
Summon a 5-foot-diameter orb of raging fire that you can use to chase your foes around the battlefield, ramming them and setting them on fire.
A fantastic short-range teleportation spell that causes you to leap somewhere you can see within 30 feet. The perfect way to bypass a physical barrier, start a fight with surprise, or escape when things are getting dire.
Summon forth a roiling thunderstorm that rains down lighting bolts on anyone trapped inside, dealing an impressive amount of damage for a 3rd-level spell but only if you can ensure your enemies stay inside a particular area.
Perfect for defending a choke point or on a battlefield where you’re firing into massed ranks of enemy troops.
You summon up to eight fey spirits in the form of beasts that obey your commands and fight beside you. You can summon…
- One beast of challenge rating 2 or lower
- Two beasts of challenge rating 1 or lower
- Four beasts of challenge rating 1/2 or lower
- Eight beasts of challenge rating 1/4 or lower
Hunger of Hadar
An iconic warlock spell that tears a hole in the fabric of reality between the material plane and a distant, ice-cold dimension teeming with extraplanar horrors.
Dark tentacles surge through the gap and drag hapless enemies away. A great crowd-control spell with a respectable amount of damage tacked on.
Call upon a fey spirit with one of three moods — fuming, mirthful, or tricksy — each of which confers different powers upon the spirit, making it more powerful in combat, capable of charming enemies or cloaking the area around it in magical darkness.
Summon a 30-foot wall of water to crush and sweep away your enemies.
A medium-range personal teleportation spell that can teleport the caster (and an object or one willing creature) up to 500 feet in any direction, either to a point they can see within range or in accordance with an instruction like “200 feet down.”
Just be careful: if you accidentally try to teleport yourself inside a wall, you take 4d6 force damage and don’t teleport.
Guardian of Faith
You summon a large spectral guardian who deals damage to any and all enemies who enter its radius and disappears after dealing a total of 60 radiant damage.
Steel Wind Strike
A massively powerful offensive spell that lets you teleport rapidly between five different enemies, potentially dealing 6d10 force damage to each one.
Conjure a table completely laden with rich, delicious food that — if consumed over the course of an hour — will cure up to 12 creatures of all poison and disease, makes them immune to being frightened, and grants advantage on all Wisdom saving throws for the next 24 hours, in addition to increasing their hit point maximums by 2d10.
The perfect way to prepare for a boss fight.
Conjure an entire extradimensional dwelling filled with a banquet hall, bedrooms, and a staff of 100 near-transparent servants. I
f you’ve ever wanted to feel like a real Jack Vance kind of wizard, this is the sort of bonkers magic that’ll get you there.
Imprison a creature inside an extra dimensional maze in a nearby demiplane until it can solve the maze with a DC 20 Intelligence check. Perfect for trapping anything with a negative intelligence modifier.
Not only can this spell let you travel just about anywhere in the multiverse, but it can also summon to you any creature or entity whose name you know.
Perfect for summoning a bit of extraplanar assistance in your hour of need or getting across all of creation in the blink of an eye.
Probably the most notoriously powerful spell in the game, a wish spell lets you rework the fabric of reality as you see fit — restoring the dead to life, rewinding time, erasing people or places from existence, and just about anything else you could imagine.
Wizard: School of Conjuration
Any wizard can cast conjuration spells, but if you’re hoping to specialize in this school of magic and make teleportation, summoning, and creation into a central focus of your character’s magical abilities, you might want to consider the School of Conjuration wizard subclass.
There are several major benefits wizards of the School of Conjuration experience that express their mastery of conjuration magic.
Conjuration Savant (2nd Level)
You become an expert at decoding the mysteries of conjuration magic, halving the time and gold cost (in components and rare inks) to copy new conjuration spells into your spellbook.
Minor Conjuration (2nd Level)
You gain the ability to create small, mundane objects from nothing using an action. The objects appear in your hand to the exact specifications of a nonmagical object you have seen before.
The object is visibly magical and radiates dim light for up to 5 feet. It can’t be longer than 3 feet on any side, and it may weigh no more than 10 pounds.
The object disappears after 1 hour when you use this feature again or if it takes or deals any damage.
This might be my favorite ability in all of D&D 5e because, more than just about anything else, its effectiveness is more or less only limited by your imagination.
Need a perfect replica of the guard’s keys to bust out of your cell? No problem.
How about an expensive component for a high-level spell? You’re actually creating the diamonds, not an illusion, so they should work just fine.
Benign Transposition (6th Level)
Making short-hop portals is basically second nature to you now. Using your action, you can teleport to an unoccupied space that you can see within 30 feet.
Alternately, you can instead choose a willing, friendly creature of size small or medium within range and exchange places with them.
Once you’ve used this feature, you cannot use it again until you’ve either taken a short or long rest or cast a conjuration spell of 1st level or higher.
There are plenty of classes, subclasses, races, and feats out there that give you access to the Misty Step spell. There are none that give access to short-range teleportation FOR FREE every time you cast a leveled spell.
Focused Conjuration (10th Level)
Your concentration can no longer be broken when you take damage as long as the spell you are casting is a conjuration spell. This basically ensures you’ll never lose control of/banish your summoned entities.
Durable Summons (14th Level)
Any creature you summon with a conjuration spell gains an additional 30 temporary hit points.
Thoughts on Playing a Summoner
If you want to overwhelm your enemies in a tide of sharp claws and biting death or strike deals with devils and fey, then playing a character who focuses on summoning can be a lot of fun.
The conjuration wizard is a strong contender for the best summoner, although the Circle of the Shepherd Druid is another great choice thanks to the way it can buff up its summoned allies’ damage.
Warlocks and eloquence bards are also respectable choices.
It can be helpful to cultivate relationships with certain spirits that you want to summon repeatedly, especially if you want to summon fiends or archfey — both of which can be tricky.
Having the true name (or a demonic talisman linked to a particular fiend) on hand can make it harder for these entities to resist your will.
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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.