Green-Flame Blade: 5e Mechanics and Guide to Using the Spell

Casting Time

1 action

School

Evocation

Damage/Effect

Weapon, Fire

Range

Self

Class

Artificer, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Attack/Save

Weapon ATK Mod

Duration

Instantaneous

Level

0

Components

Somatic, Material

Spell Description:

You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you.

On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects, and you can cause green fire to leap from the target to a different creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of it. The second creature takes fire damage equal to your spellcasting ability modifier.

At Higher Levels. At 5th level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d8 fire damage to the target on a hit, and the fire damage to the second creature increases to 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier.

Both damage rolls increase by 1d8 at 11th level (2d8 and 2d8) and 17th level (3d8 and 3d8).

1st Level5th Level11th Level17th Level
Damage Dice(dZ + Y) + (X)(dZ + Y + 1d8) + (1d8 + X)(dZ + Y + 2d8) + (2d8 + X)(dZ + Y + 3d8) + (3d8 + X)
Minimum Damage0000
Average Damage(Z/2+0.5) + Y + X((Z/2+0.5) + Y + 4.5) + (4.5 +X)((Z/2+0.5) + Y + 8.5 ) + (8.5 + X)((Z/2+0.5) + Y + 12.5) + (12.5 + X)
Maximum DamageZ + Y + XZ + Y + 8 + 8 + XZ + Y + 16 + 16 + XZ + Y + 24 + 24 + X

Green-Flame Blade’s damage calculation is rather complicated.

Its damage relies on three separate different variable factors. In this table, Z is the number of die sides determined by the weapon being wielded, Y is the caster’s Strength or Dexterity modifier, and X is the caster’s Spellcasting Ability Modifier.

The reason level 1 Green-Flame Blade can deal 0 damage is because if the caster rolls a 1 on the weapon’s damage roll and has at least -1 Strength or Dexterity (if the weapon is finesse weapon) and the caster also has a Spellcasting Ability Modifier of 0 or less, the spell will do 0 damage over both targets.

While this is, of course, a very niche situation, a combined -7 modifier between Spellcasting and Strength/Dex will cancel out the minimum damage at all levels. 0 is the minimum possible damage for Green-Flame Blade, mathematically.

Cantrip, Evocation, Damage, Fire, Melee, Weapon Attack

Level: Artificer (1), Sorcerer (1), Warlock (1), Wizard (1) Eldritch Knight (3), Arcane Trickster (8), Bard (10, Magical Secrets)

Materials Required: A weapon worth at least 1 sp

Number of Targets: 2

Die Type: dX* (Dependent on the weapon used to cast), d8 

Number of Dice: 1 (weapon attack), 1 (Fire damage to both targets. Gained at 5th level. Increased by 1 at 11th and 17th level.) 

Damage Type: Fire, Melee Weapon Damage (Dependent On Weapon Used to Cast)

Save: None

Damage On Successful Save: N/A

Statuses Inflicted: None

Status Duration: None

Affected By Cover: None

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: None

Who can cast Green-Flame Blade?

Artificers, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Wizards can all take Green-Flame Blade at 1st level. Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters can take the spell when they get access to spellcasting at 3rd level. Bards can pick it up when they get Magical Secrets at the 10th level.

What is Green-Flame Blade?

Green-Flame Blade is a melee weapon attack modifier. That is to say that it modifies a single melee weapon attack made by the caster. The melee weapon attack is made as usual, not with the caster’s spellcasting ability.

Upon hit deals fire damage equal to the caster’s spellcasting ability modifier to 1 other creature within 5 feet of the first target.

Upon reaching the 5th level, the fire damage increases to 1d8 to both targets (plus spellcasting modifier on the second target) and increases by 1d8 again at the 11th and 17th levels up to 3d8 fire damage on both hits.

When and Where should I cast Green-Flame Blade?

Green-Flame Blade is an excellent tool for picking off groups of low-level mobs early game or when they show up as additional enemies in boss fights.

Why should I take Green-Flame Blade?

Green-Flame Blade is a phenomenal multi-target damage cantrip with significant damage potential (max of 6d8 fire + weapon damage over two enemies). It’s great for clearing tightly packed groups of low-level enemies who will drop quickly to 3d8 damage.

Common Questions About Green-Flame Blade