13 Best Spells & Cantrips To Cast Using Your Bonus Action

Most spells in D&D take an action to cast, but some can be cast using a bonus action. These spells tend to be weaker but can have a wide range of effects from healing to teleporting to summoning, making them extremely useful in the right situation. 

Using Your Bonus Action

Spellcasters have plenty of options when choosing spells, and many can be cast with a bonus action. For example, some classes can use their bonus action to cast a cantrip, which are simple spells with a minor effect. 

Other characters can use their bonus action to cast more powerful spells. Most spells are useful if you know how to use them correctly. A well-placed healing spell can save your companion’s life, and a well-timed teleportation spell can get you out of the path of danger.

Then there are the spells that are just plain powerful. These spells can swing a battle in your favor or help you overcome a difficult challenge.

It’s hard to know which spell to take, but this list will help you narrow it down to the best of the best.

Tactical Spellcasting

As a Dungeons and Dragons player, you know that many different spells are available to you. But which ones are the best to use when you only have a bonus action? What spells will give you the biggest advantage in a particular situation?

Using spells effectively in combat often comes down to tactical choices. For example, if you’re a rogue, you might want to use your bonus action to cast a spell that lets you escape or hide from an enemy. This can be a lifesaver if you’re outnumbered or outgunned.

Or, if you’re a ranger, you might want to use your bonus action to cast a spell that gives you an extra attack, which can be a game-changer in a tough battle.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of fantastic choices when it comes to spells. It just depends on what you need at the moment.

The 13 Best Spells That Use Your Bonus Action

To help you quickly find the right spells for your character, we’ve compiled a list of the best spells that use your bonus action.

Here are the top 13 spells and cantrips to use with your bonus action along with a little about what makes them so good.

Some of these spells will keep you and your allies alive in a brutal battle, while others will help you get the upper hand on your adversaries.

1. Hunter’s Mark

  • Level: 1
  • School: Divination
  • Range: 90 feet
  • Class: Rangers
  • Duration: 1 hour

This spell allows you to mark a creature as your quarry. The next time you hit the creature with an attack, you deal an extra 1d6 damage. You can also move the mark to another creature as a bonus action.

Hunter’s Mark is a staple of rangers, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a simple spell that can have a significant impact in a battle. This spell scales with your character’s level, growing more powerful as you level up.

Rangers can have difficulty dealing as much damage as other classes, so Hunter’s Mark is a terrific way to even the playing field.

2. Hex

  • Level: 1
  • School: Enchantment
  • Range: 90 feet
  • Class: Warlocks
  • Duration: Concentration up to 1 hour

Hex is a warlock spell that allows you to place a curse on a creature. The next time you hit the creature with an attack, it’ll take an extra 1d6 necrotic damage.

Hex is a spell for warlocks who want to engage in combat. Not only will it give you a damage boost, but it will also make the target weak to one of your abilities.

Warlocks need to be careful when using this spell as it can only be used on one target at a time and you have to maintain concentration on the spell.

3. Shillelagh

  • Level: Cantrip
  • School: Transmutation
  • Range: Touch
  • Class: Druids
  • Duration: 1 minute

If you’re playing a druid, you have access to the powerful Shillelagh cantrip. This cantrip allows you to turn a wooden weapon into a magical weapon. The weapon deals extra damage and becomes magical.

Many druids prefer to use Shillelagh with a club or quarterstaff. This way, they can brawl while maintaining their connection with the natural world.

Because this spell is a cantrip, you can cast it without using a spell slot, making it an excellent choice for druids who want to conserve their magic.

4. Magic Stone

  • Level: Cantrip
  • School: Transmutation
  • Range: Touch
  • Class: Druids, Warlocks, Artificers
  • Duration: 1 minute

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but this cantrip will give you a magical weapon to fight with. This spell turns three stones into throwing weapons that deal 1d6 + your spellcasting ability modifier in damage. The stones are also magic for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical weapons.

Magic Stone is a useful spell if you’re up against creatures with a high armor class. The extra damage can help you take them down.

5. Sanctuary

  • Level: 1
  • School: Abjuration
  • Range: 30 feet
  • Class: Cleric, Artificer, Oath of Devotion, Oath of Redemption
  • Duration: Concentration up to 1 minute

Surviving in D&D isn’t always about dealing damage. Sometimes you need to be able to keep your allies alive. Sanctuary is a superb spell for doing just that.

This spell allows you to protect a creature from harm. The next time the creature is attacked, the attacker must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the attacker fails, the attacker must choose a new target.

With this spell in your repertoire, you can keep your allies safe in the heat of combat.

6. Misty Step

  • Level: 2
  • School: Conjuration
  • Range: Self
  • Class: Sorcerers, Warlocks, Wizards
  • Duration: Concentration up to 1 minute

Wizards and sorcerers usually need to avoid close combat, so this spell can be a real lifesaver. Misty Step allows you to teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. This is a terrific way to get out of a tough spot or to get behind enemy lines.

Misty Step can also help you reposition yourself for a better vantage point. Try using this spell to gain the higher ground before unleashing a fireball.

If you’re surrounded by enemies, you can teleport away and cast a spell affecting the area. Your enemies will be caught in the spell’s area of effect, but you’ll be safe.

7. Flame Blade

  • Level: 2
  • School: Evocation
  • Range: Self
  • Class: Druid
  • Duration: 10 minutes

Druids can harness the power of nature to create magical weapons. With Flame Blade, you can conjure a sword made of fire. The sword deals 3d6 fire damage on a hit and sheds light in a 10-foot radius.

Having a flaming sword at the ready can come in handy if you’re up against creatures that are resistant or immune to nonmagical weapons. The extra light can also help you in dark caverns or dungeons.

8. Divine Word

  • Level: 7
  • School: Evocation
  • Range: 30 feet
  • Class: Clerics
  • Duration: Instantaneous

When the going gets tough, sometimes you need a little help from a higher power. With Divine Word, you can call upon the power of your deity to smite your enemies.

This spell has different effects depending on the number of hit points the target has. Each creature that can hear your divine words must pass a Charisma saving throw or suffer the effects of the spell.

For instance, if you cast Divine Word on a creature with 20 hit points or fewer, it causes instant death. A creature with more hit points may be stunned or deafened for up to 1 minute.

9. Sheild of Faith

  • Level: 1
  • School: Abjuration
  • Range: 60 feet
  • Class: Clerics, Paladins
  • Duration: 10 minutes

When it comes to roleplaying, paladins and clerics are the masters of defense. With Shield of Faith, you can add a +2 bonus to one creature’s AC for the duration of the spell.

This buff is perfect for getting your allies out of a sticky spot. It can also help you survive against powerful enemies like trolls or dragons.

To get the most out of Shield of Faith, try to cast it on a character who is already good at defense, such as a fighter or cleric. This way, you can stack the bonuses and really make your allies difficult to hit.

10. Guardian of Nature

  • Level: 4
  • School: Transmutation
  • Range: Self
  • Class: Druids, Rangers
  • Duration: Concentration up to 1 minute

This spell summons a nature spirit to protect you in combat, transforming you into a powerful guardian. You can choose between two forms: the Primal Beast or the Great Tree.

Both forms are helpful, depending on the situation. Primal Beast is excellent for dealing damage, while the Great Tree is better at defending.

Nature can’t protect itself, so it’s up to you to be its guardian. With Guardian of Nature, you can help ensure that the wilderness survives.

11. Spiritual Weapon

  • Level: 2
  • School: Evocation
  • Range: 60 feet
  • Class: Clerics
  • Duration: 1 minute

Sometimes you need a little extra help. With this spell, you can summon a ghostly weapon that attacks your enemies. The spiritual weapon deals 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier in damage.

This spell is fantastic for clerics who want to bring some extra firepower to the fight. It’s also a solid choice if you’re attacked by multiple enemies as you can move the weapon around to target different foes.

12. Swift Quiver

  • Level: 5
  • School: Transmutation
  • Range: Touch
  • Class: Ranger
  • Duration: 1 minute

Rangers are stalwart warriors, but they often find themselves outnumbered and outgunned. The Swift Quiver spell helps to even the odds. With this spell, you can take down two enemies before they know what hit them.

This spell allows you to use a bonus action to make two attacks with your magical ammunition. The quiver will magically replace your ammo when you attack, but you’ll make a separate attack roll for each arrow.

13. Healing Word

  • Level: 1
  • School: Evocation
  • Range: 60 feet
  • Class: Bards, Clerics, and Druids
  • Duration: Instantaneous

There are many powerful healing spells in D&D, but Healing Word is one of the best. It’s a fantastic spell to use if you need to quickly heal someone who’s been hurt in battle.

The spell has a range of 60 feet, so you can cast it on someone even if they’re not right next to you. While it doesn’t heal a lot of hit points, it can be the difference between life and death.

Honorable Mentions

You’ll find many more spells that can be cast using your bonus action in the Dungeons & Dragons 5e Player’s Handbook and other sources. We’ve covered just a few of the best, but you may find something that works better for your character.

Here are a few more spells worth mentioning:

  • Expeditious Retreat
  • Compelled Duel
  • Dragon’s Breath
  • Spirit Shroud
  • Thunderous Smite

As any wizard worth their salt will tell you, being able to use your bonus action effectively can make or break a spellcaster. We’ve discussed some of the best spells to use with your bonus action in Dungeons & Dragons 5e

With these spells, you can turn the tide of battle or at least give yourself a much-needed advantage.