Cordon of Arrows 5e: Mechanics and Guide to Using the Spell

Casting Time

1 action






5 feet






8 hours




Verbal, Somatic, Material

Spell Description:

You plant four pieces of nonmagical ammunition – arrows or crossbow bolts – in the ground within range and lay magic upon them to protect an area.

Until the spell ends, whenever a creature other than you comes within 30 feet of the ammunition for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there, one piece of ammunition flies up to strike it.

The creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 piercing damage. The piece of ammunition is then destroyed. The spell ends when no ammunition remains.

When you cast this spell, you can designate any creatures you choose, and the spell ignores them. 

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the amount of ammunition that can be affected increases by two for each slot level above 2nd.

2nd level5th level7th level9th level
Damage Dice1d6XXX
Minimum Damage1XXX
Average Damage3.5XXX
Maximum Damage6XXX

2nd level, Transmutation, Damage, Piercing

Level: Ranger (5), Bard (10, Magical Secrets)

Materials Required: 4 pieces of non-magical ammunition (increased by 2 for every slot level above 2nd)

Number of Targets: Any up to the number of pieces of ammunition

Die Type: d6

Number of Dice: 1

Damage Type: Piercing

Save: Dexterity

Damage On Successful Save: None

Statuses Inflicted: None

Status Duration: None

Affected By Cover: Yes

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: None

What is Cordon of Arrows?

Cordon of Arrows allows the caster to set an arrow trap of up to 18 arrows. The arrows will automatically attack any creature that comes within 30 feet of them, forcing them to make a Dexterity save or take 1d6 piercing damage.

Who can cast Cordon of Arrows?

Rangers are the only ones who have Cordon of Arrows on their spell list; they get their first 2nd level spells at 5th level, but Bards can take Cordon of Arrows using their Magical Secrets feature at level 10.

When and Where should I cast Cordon of Arrows?

Cordon of Arrows has some niche uses in combat but is best used to keep the party safe while they take a long rest since the traps will last for 8 hours if not tripped.

Why should I take Cordon of Arrows?

Cordon of Arrows has substantial uses within the realm of controlling space. The arrows control a large 30-foot zone that forces enemies to choose the extra damage or to play the game that the party has in mind.

Common Questions About Cordon of Arrows