Armor of Agathys 5e: Mechanics and Guide to Using the Spell

Casting Time

1 action




Cold, Temporary HP








1 hour




Verbal, Somatic, Material

Spell Description:

A protective magical force surrounds you, manifesting as a spectral frost that covers you and your gear. You gain 5 temporary hit points for the duration. If a creature hits you with a melee attack while you have these hit points, the creature takes 5 cold damage.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, both the temporary hit points and the cold damage increase by 5 for each slot.

1st level, Abjuration, Warding, Buff, Damage

Level: Warlock (1), Bard (10, Magical Secrets)

Materials Required: A cup of water

Number of Targets: 1

Die Type: None

Number of Dice: None

Damage Type: Cold

Save: None

 Damage On Successful Save: N/A

Statuses Inflicted: Temporary HP to caster

Status Duration: Up to 1 hour

Affected By Cover: No

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: None

What Is Armor of Agathys?

Armor of Agathys grants the player a pool of temporary hit points based on level. Any time the player takes damage from a melee attack, the spell will automatically deal Cold damage equal to the maximum temporary HP value gained from the spell.

Who Can Cast Armor of Agathys?

Armor of Agathys is a Warlock spell; Warlocks can take the spell starting at 1st level. The only other class to be able to take the spell is Bards, who can take the spell with their Magical Secrets feature, available to all Bards by 10th level. Any others who wish to cast the spell will need to take the Magic Initiate feat.

When and Where Should I Cast Armor of Agathys?

Armor of Agathys is a powerful choice for the Pact of the Blade Warlocks, who will often be in the melee range of the enemy. It grants both resistances and automatic damage that make you a real threat, especially to smaller enemies who cannot easily break through the temporary HP. 

Why Should I Take Armor of Agathys?

Armor of Agathys provides both resistances in the form of temporary HP and damage that can be pretty high when used with a high-level spell slot, making the caster a severe threat to creatures with low damage and small hit-point pools.

Common Questions About Armor of Agathys