Cure Wounds: 5e Mechanics and Guide to Using the Spell

Casting Time

1 action

School

Evocation

Damage/Effect

Healing

Range

Touch

Class

Artificer, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger

Attack/Save

N/A

Duration

Instantaneous

Level

1

Components

Verbal, Somatic

Spell Description:

A creature you touch regains a number of hit points equal to 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

1st Level5th Level7th Level9th Level
Healing Dice1d8 + X5d8 + X7d8 + X9d8 + X
Minimum Healing1579
Average Healing4.5 + X20.5 + X28.5 + X36.5 + X
Maximum Healing8 + X40 + X56 + X72 + X

At Higher Levels:

When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the healing increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 1st.

1st level, Evocation, Healing

Level: Artificer (1), Bard (1), Cleric (1), Druid (1), Paladin (1), Ranger (2), Divine Soul (1), The Celestial (1)

Materials Required: None

Number of Targets: 1 that you can touch

Die Type: d8

Number of Dice: 1 (increased by 1 for every spell slot level above 1st)

Save: None

Damage on Successful Save: None

Statuses Inflicted: None

Status Duration: None

Affected By Cover: No

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: None

Who can cast Cure Wounds?

Cure Wounds is a staple healing spell for all healers and, as such, is a feature of all main healing class spell lists.

The spell can be obtained by Artificers, Bards, Clerics, Druids, and Paladins at level 1. Rangers can take the spell at level 2 when they gain access to the Spellcasting feature. 

Divine Soul Sorcerers and Celestial Warlocks also gain access to Cure Wounds. Divine Soul grants access to the entire Cleric spell list, including Cure Wounds.

Taking the Celestial patron as a Warlock grants the player access to Cure Wounds, among other spells, on the Celestial’s expanded Warlock spell list.

What is Cure Wounds?

Cure Wounds is a highly straightforward healing spell and represents the basis of the healer’s toolkit, along with Healing Word.

Touching an ally will heal their wounds; utilizing higher-level spell slots will increase the spell’s power and allow you to heal more significant wounds, thus healing for a higher HP value.

Notably, Cure Wounds will not regenerate or reattach lost limbs and cannot revive a dead player, though it can revitalize an unconscious player. 

Cure Wounds can be pretty dangerous for healers who have chosen a squishier class like Sorcerer, Bard, or Warlock as a touch range spell.

Getting close enough to touch the Fighter or Barbarian who needs your healing might be unsafe for a Bard or a Druid since that may put their limited HP pool in the line of fire from enemies.

When and Where should I cast Cure wounds?

When it comes to healing, it’s better to think more in terms of ‘when not to do it’ rather than ‘when to do it’. The situation in which healing an ally is bad is a much more specific question.

There are many great times to heal allies, and listing them would take far too long, but explaining when not to heal your allies is of far greater value.

Combat healing in D&D 5e is notoriously inefficient. A healing spell’s healing value rarely out-damages a damaging spell’s killing value; a dead enemy can’t harm your allies.

Healing in combat is inefficient both numbers-wise and tricky when it comes to positioning. Primary healers tend to be either squishy casters or tanks, which also take damage and need to protect themselves.

As a general rule, if your allies aren’t on the ground unconscious — or dangerously close to it — healing them may not be worth more than outright killing a nearby enemy.

If the whole party can pick off several enemies at once, the players may see a better return doing that and drastically reducing the enemy’s damage per round.

Additionally, Paladins will see the majority of their healing coming from Lay On Hands. Their pool of spell slots is extremely limited, and they need to be saving as many spell slots as possible to unleash Divine Smite for damage to keep their threat levels high in fights.

As such, taking Cure Wounds at all is not recommended for Paladins.

Why should I take Cure Wounds?

Taking Cure Wounds is a relatively simple “why” question. Dead allies do you no good, and when your HP reaches 0, you die.

Healing up your allies after fights, resuscitating unconscious allies, and saving allies from certain death are all excellent reasons to be casting Cure Wounds.

Common Questions About Cure Wounds