Enhance Ability 5e: Spell Block and Best Uses

Enhance Ability

  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: Touch
  • Duration: 1 hour (concentration)
  • School: Transmutation
  • Class: Artificer, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Ranger, Sorcerer, Wizard
  • Level: 2nd level
  • Damage/Effect: Buff
  • Attack/Save:
  • Components: V, S, M (fur or a feather from a beast)

Spell Description:

You touch a creature and bestow upon it a magical enhancement. Choose one of the following effects; the target gains the effect until the spell ends.

  • Bear’s Endurance. The target has advantage on Constitution checks. It also gains 2d6 temporary hit points, which are lost when the spell ends.
  • Bull’s Strength. The target has advantage on Strength checks, and their carrying capacity doubles.
  • Cat’s Grace. The target has advantage on Dexterity checks. It also doesn’t take damage from falling 20 feet or less if it isn’t incapacitated.
  • Eagle’s Splendor. The target has advantage on Charisma checks.
  • Fox’s Cunning. The target has advantage on Intelligence checks.
  • Owl’s Wisdom. The target has advantage on Wisdom checks.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 2nd.

Using the Enhance Ability Spell Effectively

This spell is mostly useful outside of combat since it affects ability checks rather than attack rolls and saving throws, but it can realistically have a great impact in any type of 5e play.

I’ve listed common times that you might need to cast this spell, based on the abilities it can buff.

Constitution – These checks aren’t made often, especially since there are no skills attached to this. Survival situations (breathing underwater, fasting, going without sleep) might call for a con check, but it could just as likely result in a saving throw. 

Instead, use the Constitution buff when you’re looking for temporary hit points.

Strength – Athletics is the only real strength skill, but this can also be used to boost grapple checks. This can be impactful if you need to carry great weights or if your brawler plans on climbing or messing someone up.

Dexterity – You’ll probably use this most often for stealth missions, whether it’s benefiting actual stealth, sleight of hand, or even acrobatics. 

Intelligence – If you’re trying to garner knowledge, advantage on int checks might be useful. Perhaps a mission into an old dungeon with a lot of history might be the best time to use this.

Wisdom – Perception is the biggest wisdom skill that comes to mind. Obviously, you can use this to benefit consistent insight, survival, or medicine checks, but more than likely, you’ll use this when you want to boost your perception. 

Remember, advantage on active perception checks translates to a +5 boost to passive perception, which is an incredible bonus if you’re suspecting an ambush.

All of these bonuses can be incredibly useful but only if you plan on them. The other thing is that you don’t necessarily get to decide when you make a check. You can decide your actions, but your DM will determine when and how you roll for them. 

Essentially, this is a good spell for support casters with spell slots to spare, although it might be useful in more specific niche builds.

Spells Similar to Enhance Ability

Enhance ability isn’t the only buffing spell out there. Here are a few other spells that can improve a creature’s ability checks.

Guidance, Cantrip

This 1-minute concentration cantrip can allow a creature to add a d4 to an ability check of their choice. This is a much smaller bonus, but it doesn’t require us to burn a spell slot or to commit to a full hour of holding concentration.

Find Familiar, 1st Level (Ritual)

While this isn’t directly a buff spell, it does create a creature that can use the Help action on you or your allies. Cast as a ritual, this familiar can stick around until it dies or until you get rid of it. That means no spell slots for a virtually unlimited amount of Help or advantage on ability checks.

Pass Without Trace, 2nd Level

This concentration spell lasts for the same time, but it only impacts dexterity. Specifically, it provides a group of creatures a +10 bonus to Stealth checks along with a few other magical stealth bonuses. We trade the broad application of Enhance Ability for a hyper-focused, powerful spell that will see a whole lot of use.

This is a useful spell, but it isn’t quite as evergreen as other buff spells that provide AC bonuses or damage resistances. Instead, this is a spell for players who find themselves orchestrating complex plans that will require more than a few skill checks to be successful.

I hope this guide has helped you decide whether or not this spell will be useful to you. As always, happy adventuring.