Inflict Wounds Spell Guide 5e

The evil paladin stands over the fallen hero, ready to finish them off. The Inflict Wounds spell is a dramatic choice for killing a weakened enemy. Let’s take a look at this powerful spell and see how it can help you in your Dungeons and Dragons games.

Inflict Wounds

  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: Touch
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • School: Necromancy
  • Class: Cleric, Oathbreaker
  • Level: 1st
  • Damage/Effect: Necrotic
  • Attack/Save: Melee
  • Components: V, S
  • Concentration: No

Spell Description: Make a melee spell attack against a creature you can reach. On a hit, the target takes 3d10 necrotic damage.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d10 for each slot level above 1st.

What Does Inflict Wound Do?

Inflict Wounds is a necromancy spell that deals necrotic damage to a creature. The amount of damage it deals increases with higher spell slots, up to 11d10 at ninth level. When you cast the Inflict Wounds spell, you make a melee spell attack against a creature you can touch. On a hit, the creature takes necrotic damage.

The necrotic damage dealt by Inflict Wounds often works well against strong foes as it can deal a large amount of damage. This makes the spell a good choice for Clerics who need to up their damage-inflicting abilities and Oathbreakers who want to use their necromancy spells to crush their enemies.

Inflict Wounds is also strong against monsters that are immune to other damage types. Because necrotic damage hurts the creature’s life force, it can bypass many of these immunities.

Who Can Cast Inflict Wounds?

Clerics and Oathbreakers can cast the Inflict Wounds spell. Clerics can learn this spell at level one, and Oathbreakers learn it at level three.


The Inflict Wounds spell is a useful spell for clerics because it deals necrotic damage. This type of damage is especially effective against enemies with high health and armor, which makes it a versatile spell for any situation. Clerics are an adaptable class that can fill multiple roles in a party. They have access to healing spells, which makes them good at support, but they can also deal damage with spells like Inflict Wounds. 


When a paladin forsakes their oaths, they become an Oathbreaker. These black-hearted warriors can cast necromancy spells like Inflict Wounds, which makes them deadly opponents on the battlefield. Players can read more about Oathbreaker Paladins in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (pg. 97).

Using Inflict Wounds Effectively

If you want to maximize the potential of the Inflict Wounds spell, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

The first is that the spell’s range is touch, so you’ll need to get close to your target to deal damage. This can be difficult if your target is far away or has strong armor. 

The second thing players should remember is that the spell deals necrotic damage. This type of damage is especially effective if you’re up against a monster that is otherwise invulnerable. For example, if you’re fighting a golem made of stone, the Inflict Wounds spell will still deal damage to it.

However, the spell isn’t without its drawbacks. The main one is that you need to be within melee range to use it. This can put you in danger if you’re not careful.

What Is Necrotic Damage?

If you’re unfortunate enough to have an Inflict Wounds spell cast on you, you’ll be taking necrotic damage. This type of damage is effective against living creatures; it saps their strength and vitality. Necrotic damage is perfect for finishing off wounded foes. If your enemy is low on health, an Inflict Wounds spell can deal the killing blow.

Making Melee Spell Attacks

Using a melee spell attack is similar to making an ordinary melee attack, except you’ll use your spell attack modifier (spellcasting ability + proficiency). The rules for making a melee spell attack state that you need to be within reach of the target, so you’ll need to be in melee range. You can’t cast the spell if the target is too far away.

Here are the rules for making a melee spell attack:

Most creatures have a 5-foot reach and can thus attack targets within 5 feet of them when making a melee attack. Certain creatures (typically those larger than Medium) have melee attacks with a greater reach than 5 feet, as noted in their descriptions.

Source: Player’s Handbook, pg 195

Just like with a standard melee attack, you can roll a critical hit with a melee spell attack. A critical hit means you rolled a natural 20 on the die, and your attack automatically hits and deals double damage.

Tactics and Strategies

There are things players can do to maximize the effects of the Inflict Wounds spell.

Try to target enemies who are resistant to other damage types. Necrotic damage is effective against creatures that are resistant or immune to physical damage, so this spell can be an excellent way to deal damage to those monsters.

Also, it’s a good idea to use the spell in combination with other spells or abilities. This can help increase the amount of damage you deal or help you get past an enemy’s defenses.

Hold Monster

The Hold Monster spell allows you to attempt to paralyze a creature. If the target creature fails its Wisdom saving throw, it becomes paralyzed and can’t take any actions or move. This should give you time to get in close and cast Inflict Wounds without having to worry about retaliation.

As a perk, any attack made against a paralyzed creature within 5 feet is an automatic critical attack if it hits. While the monster is paralyzed, you also have advantage against the creature. 

Boss Fights

Bosses can be tough to beat, but with the right spells, you can defeat almost any opponent. The Inflict Wounds spell can deal a lot of damage to a boss, even in the early game. Inflict Wounds can help you take down a boss quickly and without taking too much damage yourself. It’s a great spell for Clerics who want to be in the middle of a battle, getting up close and personal with opponents. 

Is Inflict Wounds a Good Spell?

The Inflict Wounds spell can be a great tool for players who know how to use it effectively. It’s a good choice for classes that have access to necromancy spells, and it can be a good way to deal damage to monsters that are hard to kill. This spell will be beneficial to Clerics who need to be more than just the party’s healer. The Inflict Wounds spell will allow them to deal large amounts of damage in combat, and it can be a lifesaver in one-on-one battles.

Common Questions About Inflict Wounds

Even though Inflict Wounds is a commonly used low-level spell, players still have questions about it. Here are some frequently asked questions players have about Inflict Wounds.

Can Inflict Sounds Be Used With a Weapon?

While you can be wielding a weapon when you cast Inflict Wounds, you won’t be using it to make the attack. Instead, you’ll be using your spellcasting ability to make the attack roll. You’ll need to be in melee range of the target to cast Inflict Wounds, but you only need to touch your enemy with your hand to deal damage.

Does Inflict Wounds Work on Constructs?

Yes, the Inflict Wounds spell works on constructs. The reason for this is that the spell deals necrotic damage, which is effective against living creatures and constructs alike. Constructs are animated by a magical force that can be injured by draining their life force away.

Can Inflict Wounds Crit?

When you cast Inflict Wounds, you’ll make a melee spell attack. This is similar to making a regular melee attack, except you’ll use your spellcasting ability modifier instead of your Strength or Dexterity. Like with a regular melee attack, you can roll a critical hit with a melee spell attack.

Does Inflict Wounds Work on the Undead?

​​Yes, the Inflict Wounds spell works on undead creatures. The study of necromancy teaches casters how to harness the power of negative energy to harm or even kill the living, but this power can also be turned against undead creatures, as the Inflict Wounds spell does.


The Inflict Wounds spell is a powerful tool that can be used in a variety of situations. The spell is effective against living creatures and is a perfect choice for Clerics who need to deal damage during challenging fights. If you’re looking for a lethal spell that can be used to take down even the most powerful foes, Inflict Wounds should definitely be at the top of your list.