Cloud of Daggers 5e: Mechanics and Guide To Using the Spell

Casting Time

1 action






60 ft. (5-ft. cube)


Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard




1 minute




Verbal, Somatic, Material

Spell Description:

You fill the air with spinning daggers in a cube 5 feet on each side, centered on a point you choose within range. A creature takes 4d4 slashing damage when it enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there. 

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 2d4 for each slot level above 2nd.

2nd level5th level7th level9th level
Damage Dice4d410d414d418d4
Minimum Damage4101418
Average Damage8.520.528.536.5
Maximum Damage16405672

2nd Level, Conjuration, Damage, Slashing

Level: Bard (3), Sorcerer (3), Warlock (3), Wizard (3), Eldritch Knight (8), Arcane Trickster (8)

Materials Required: A sliver of glass

Number of Targets: Any number who can fit in a 5-ft. cube

Die Type: d4

Number of Dice: 4 (increased by 2 for every spell slot level used above the 2nd)

Damage Type: Slashing

Save: None

Damage On Successful Save: N/A

Statuses Inflicted: None

Status Duration: None

Affected By Cover: No

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: None

Who Can Cast Cloud of Daggers?

Cloud of Daggers is present on the Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard spell lists. Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters will need to wait until the 8th level when they get their first 2nd-level spell slots before adding this spell to their repertoires.

What Is Cloud of Daggers?

Cloud of Daggers is a 2nd-level Conjuration spell castable by Bards, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Wizards. The spell allows them to summon a literal cloud of spinning daggers in a 5-foot cube.

The cloud persists for up to 1 minute with concentration and damages any creature that enters the space for the first time or starts its turn there.

When and Where Should I Cast Cloud of Daggers?

Cloud of Daggers is a difficult spell to cast effectively because its radius of effect is so small. However, it can be used to control space. It packs considerable damage with space control. 

However, the spell can prevent your allies from traversing through the space; Cloud of Daggers does not discriminate allies from enemies. So, keep in mind where you place it to avoid putting it in a place that would inconvenience or harm your allies.

Why Should I Take Cloud of Daggers?

Warlocks will be the most likely to take Cloud of Daggers since their spell list is much shallower than their Wizard and Sorcerer counterparts. 

Bards can get some excellent use out of the spell since they have a lot of melee weapon damage potential and will be able to use Cloud of Daggers to control the space in their immediate vicinity.

Alternatives to Cloud of Daggers

  • Blade Barrier

Common Questions About Cloud of Daggers

Is Cloud of Daggers Magical Damage?

Yes. Cloud of Daggers is a spell, so the damage is considered to be magical slashing damage rather than regular weapon damage.

Does Cloud of Daggers hit on cast?

UPDATE 2-2023 No! Cloud of Daggers does damage when a creature “moves into the space for the first time,” but it has been clarified in the Sage Advice compendium that this only comes into play on the start of the creatures next turn. Thanks to eagle eye reader Sean for pointing this out to us!

Creating the area of effect on the creature or moving it onto the creature doesn’t count. If the creature is still in the area at the start of its turn, it is subjected to the area’s effect

Sage Advice Compendium

Does Cloud of Daggers hit twice?

Cloud of Daggers will hit twice on the first cast, once right when it casts and again when the creature it was cast around starts their turn.

Can You Use Twinned Spell on Cloud of Daggers? 

No! Twinned Spell must be used on a spell that targets exactly one creature.