If you’ve played even a single session of D&D, you know that combat is all about positioning. Getting where you need to be to deal that final blow, or to protect yourself, is incredibly important.
That same concept of positioning isn’t just helpful when you’re fighting a band of kobolds, we can use our movement to put us in the right position to avoid traps or to get really stealthy. Really, there’s no limit to what being in the right place at the right time can do for us.
With that, we’re going to be talking about one of the best positioning spells out there, Misty Step. This fey-inspired spell is such a staple in so many different builds, and definitely an iconic part of D&D lore. Let’s get into it!
- Casting Time: 1 bonus action
- Range: Self
- Duration: Instantaneous
- School: Conjuration
- Class: Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
- Level: 2nd-level conjuration
- Damage/Effect: None
- Attack/Save: None
- Components: V
Briefly surrounded by silvery mist, you teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see.
What Is Misty Step?
This spell is extremely straightforward. It allows you to teleport as a bonus action over the specified distance. In the case of misty step, simplicity is exactly what we want.
Tack any more rules onto this spell and we’d have something that’s difficult to cast, or at least difficult to understand.
One thing to remember is that misty step doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. Normally, leaving a space within reach of a creature would give it an opportunity attack, but the rules make it very clear that teleportation is the exception.
Who Can Take Misty Step?
The table above includes the sorcerer, warlock, and wizard classes, but those aren’t the only 5e characters that get access to this spell. There are also some races that get this ability, and a feat or two that can let you add this to your roster.
Eladrin, elves native to the feywild, gain access to this spell naturally, as a reflection of their connection to the magic of that plane of existence. What’s more is that their fey steps actually come along with some added abilities.
Eladrin Fey Step
There are four clades of eladrin elves, each hailing from a different court of the feywild. Since these courts are connected to the four seasons, we call them spring, summer, autumn, and winter eladrins.
Each type of eladrin has their own unique ability tagged onto their misty step, which they can cast once per short or long rest. These extra abilities don’t come online until 3rd level, but once they do, they can be extremely helpful.
- Autumn– Immediately after you teleport, you can charm up to two creatures if they fail a wisdom saving throw. This lasts for a minute, or until you or a companion of yours deal combat damage to them.
- Winter– Immediately after you teleport, you can frighten one creature until the end of your next turn if they fail a wisdom saving throw.
- Spring – You can touch one willing creature and teleport them instead of yourself.
- Summer – Immediately after you teleport, each creature within 5 feet of you takes fire damage equal to your charisma modifier (minimum 1).
The eladrin fey step abilities are undoubtedly cool, allowing you to get some extra value out of your already extremely valuable teleportation spell. They even allow you to teleport much earlier (1st-level) than any caster can.
If you are a caster, the combination of having this spell as a racial ability and an actual ability is amazing.
There are also the Githyanki, hailing from the astral plane, who gain access to misty step at 5th level. Since this ability is granted to them through their psionic abilities, they are able to cast the spell without using any verbal components, making them extremely stealthy teleporters.
Now, you don’t just have to be a fey touched elf or a psionic astral traveler to pick up this ability. Well actually, being fey touched in general is probably the way to go.
The Fey Touched feat, available at any time you could receive an ASI, increases one of your mental ability scores and gives you access to misty step and a 1st-level divination or enchantment spell of your choice.
This feat is such a great way to get access to this ability early on, because it’s available to anyone. If you are a caster, then this just adds the spells to your spell list and lets you cast them once for without expending a spell slot each long rest.
It’s an excellent feat, and if you pair it with a spell you wouldn’t normally have access to, you’re in good shape.
Lastly, you can pick this spell up if you’re an arcane trickster rogue or an eldritch knight fighter. It is a conjuration spell, meaning it will be one of the few spells you pick up that aren’t in your specified magic schools, but it will be well worth it.
Still, if you are playing one of these subclasses, it might be better to grab it up through a racial feature or the fey touched feat so that you gain access to it for free.
Spell Storing Ring
A spell-storing ring is an incredibly powerful magic item that can store up to 5 levels worth of spells. That’s two misty steps and some nice first-level spells if you so choose.
What makes this really special is that you can charge up a spell-storing ring with misty step and then give it to a noncaster, allowing them to use the spell when they need it.
This can give a paladin or a monk, or anybody else really, some amazing tactical advantage at virtually no cost since you can just charge up the ring on a rest day when your spell slots aren’t as valuable.
When Should You Use Misty Step?
You should use misty step when you need to get the tactical advantage and you don’t have a better option to use on your bonus action. The fact that you can move up to 30 feet isn’t something you should take lightly.
A good majority of casters like to sit back from a decent range and fire off their spells. Doing this keeps them safe from big threats, and lets them keep a tactical advantage without having to move around a lot.
For these casters, misty step isn’t much better than just moving 30 feet with your walking speed.
No, misty step is for the casters that are in the fray, even if just a little bit. Close to mid range spells, things like Burning Hands or Destructive Wave, where you’re going to need to get into the right position for the best outcome, are great spells.
Notice that with these, you could also just walk up to the right position, but doing so might cause you to provoke an opportunity attack. Since misty step doesn’t let you go any further than an average walking speed, you shouldn’t use it for positioning unless you’re avoiding opportunity attacks.
Other spells that work excellently with this are aura spells. If you create an aura around yourself that inflicts damage to enemies or heals your allies, quickly arriving at the place you need to be is a great way to make that effect trigger in the exact way you desire.
Combat isn’t the only time when misty step will be your go to spell. Exploration, another pillar of the 5e D&D experience, often includes a great deal of figuring out how to surpass obstacles.
I’m sure it’s not a surprise, but teleportation tends to get you past obstacles with great ease. A small 30 feet of teleportation is often enough to put you on the other side of a pit trap, triggered trap, or most other traps you can think of.
If you’re creative with this spell, you can do so much more. You can often look underneath a locked door to teleport into an otherwise inaccessible room.
You can teleport behind some guards if you can sneak up close enough without allowing yourself to be seen. You can save yourself from fall damage by teleporting as close to the ground as possible on your last turn of falling.
The creative uses for this spell are really only limited to the distance. If 30 feet of unseen, instant movement is going to put you in a better position, this is probably the way to go.
Who Should Take Misty Step?
The “Who Can Take Misty Step?” section and the question I’m answering in this section are very different. Just because you have access to a spell doesn’t mean it should be a part of your arsenal.
Not all characters are concerned with positioning, as we kind of discussed in the previous section.
For the most part, this is a favored spell of close to mid-range casters. People who want to zip in and deal some damage are the prime candidates for a misty step centered build.
That’s actually an interesting point, since this spell is a low enough level, you can really center a whole build around it. The abilities and spells you pick up can all be focused around the knowledge that at any point you have the ability to teleport in or out of danger with a simple bonus action.
Best Subclass: Shadow Magic
Just about any sorcerer can benefit from teleportation. Throw in the fact that you can cast it as a Subtle Spell and remove the verbal component for a very stealthy misty step and you have the start of a very sneaky sorcerer.
Because of that, my pick for the best sorcerer subclass is one already geared towards stealth a bit. The shadow magic sorcerer actually receives an ability at 14th-level to step between shadows and teleport up to 120 feet. In my opinion, that’s just far too late.
Using your ability to cast magical darkness that you get from 3rd-level, you can emulate a smaller version of your Shadow Walk ability by just misty stepping through the darkness. Slap invisibility and/or subtle spell into the mix and you are going to be almost impossible to detect.
Best Subclass: Archfey (Bonus: Pact of the Talisman) or Hexblade
Servants to dark forces, ancient gods, and various other powerful beings, warlocks have many strange abilities that allow them to be masters of the battlefield.
With proficiency in simple weapons, light armor, and a d8 hit die, they’re already a bit more likely to be close to mid range casters, and they might even focus a bit more on weapon usage then sorcerers or wizards.
Warlocks have a few eldritch invocations that are really helpful to add on to a misty step build. One of my favorites is Ghostly Gaze, which allows you to see through solid objects to a range of 30 feet.
Since misty step is based on sight, this combo allows you to jump through walls or any other obscuring obstacles.
The 12th-level pact of the talisman invocation, Bond of the Talisman, is another way to get teleportation at a bit of a wider range, meaning you’ll be jumping around like nightcrawler. Some honorable mention invocations are as follows:
- One with the Shadows – Invisible in darkness or dim light. Do this as an action immediately after teleporting into darkness.
- Relentless Hex – Teleport nearby the target of one of your hexes.
The archfey subclass gets access to a fey ability called Misty Escape, which is basically misty step as a reaction to taking damage.
Hexblades not only can grab up the relentless hex invocation, but they’re also incredibly focused on close range, using their cursed blades to deal with the majority of their foes.
As we discussed earlier, limited teleportation works excellently with this.
Best Subclasses: Bladesinging, Conjuration
Wizards are masters of the arcane. One thing that’s always going to be beneficial is the 18th-level feature Spell Mastery, which allows you to choose a 1st and 2nd-level spell to cast for free as much as you want.
With this ability, you can basically make misty step into a bonus action cantrip. It might not come for a long time, but when it does you’ll be one of the most powerful players on the battlefield.
Bladesingers are a clear choice if you want to play a gish character, focused on weapons as much as you’re focused on spells. The teleportation of misty step here is going to allow you to deal all this damage without really worrying about getting hit.
Conjuration just happens to be the school of magic misty step is associated with. It also comes with a teleportation ability at 6th-level called Benign Transportation. It functions extremely similar to misty step, but also provides you with the option to swap places with another Small or Medium target.
Similar Options to Misty Step
Fortunately, we’ve gone over a lot of the teleportation abilities provided to characters through their class and racial traits, since most of those abilities pair with misty step like fine wine.
However, there are more options if you still want more nightcrawling capabilities.
While there are plenty of other spells that give you access to teleportation, there are also some ways for other builds to get access to this powerful ability.
Dimension Door, 4th-level Conjuration
For just a spell slot of two levels higher than you need for misty step, you can teleport up to 500 feet to any location that you specify. You don’t have to see anything, you can be blinded and make this spell work.
All you need to do is specify the location in some way, often by stating distance and direction (200 ft northeast, 150 ft north at a 30° angle upward, etc.) but you can also just name the location (in front of the chapel, four floors above me, etc.).
This is a teleportation spell with insane range that you can also use to carry another creature along with you, so long as they’re your size or smaller.
Far Step, 5th-level Conjuration
Far step is a concentration spell, which at first sounds very strange for a spell that allows you to teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space. Well, once you cast it, you can use a bonus action on each of your turns to teleport again!
This means that for a minute, you just blip around the battlefield. Misty step is nice, but this is far more efficient if you want to be able to teleport throughout an entire combat encounter.
Vortex Warp, 2nd-level Conjuration
Sometimes you want to teleport someone else, well in those situations, vortex warp is the spell for you. You choose a creature to teleport up to 180 feet if they fail a Constitution saving throw. If you cast this on an ally, they can choose to fail.
This is a really cool way to give other creatures access to your teleportation abilities. Of course, you can also use it offensively in some extremely creative ways like submerging them in lava or setting them up to get Gust of Winded off a cliff. Yeah, this is a crazy spell for a 2nd-level slot.
Psychic Teleportation, 9th-level Soulknife Rogue Ability
Soulknife rogues are probably one of my favorite subclasses. One thing they have that I absolutely love is their unique teleportation ability. They can simply throw one of their psychic blades and teleport to it.
The distance is equal to ten times the number you roll on your psionic energy die, which can get pretty far, especially at higher levels when you’re working with a d10 or d12.
Distant Strike, 11th-level Horizon Walker Ranger Ability
This ability is very interesting, allowing you to teleport 10 feet to an unoccupied space before each attack you make as part of an attack action. There is no limit to how often you do this, so you can bamf in and out of combat like you’re Number Five.
Bonus: Horizon Walkers also pick up misty step at 5th level.
If you’re centering your build around teleportation there are some amazing characters in pop culture for you to reference. Since these are characters I would want to emulate if I played a teleporting adventurer, I figured I’d include a little list for you, just for fun.
- Nightcrawler, X-Men
- Number Five, Umbrella Academy
- David Rice, Jumper
- Doctor Strange, Marvel (Uses portals)
- Deatheaters or Wizards (Apparition in Harry Potter)
- Hiro Nakamura, Heroes
- Just about anyone in Dragonball Z
All of these characters have a visualization for teleportation that is unique. You can borrow elements of their teleportations like puffs of smoke, a spiraling mess like how Dobby attempts to teleport, or a fracture in space like how they teleport in Jumper.
Or, you can create your own exciting way to describe how you teleport.
No matter how you do it, you should come up with a description so that your friends can just be further immersed in the story you are all telling together.
Misty step is an iconic spell of 5e for good reason. Sure, there are other ways to teleport, but none of them are going to be as cheap or as easy to cast as this one is. The fact that you can cast it as a bonus action sets it easily as one of the most versatile teleportation spells.
As always, happy adventuring! BAMF!
Common Questions About Misty Step
Can you carry someone with Misty Step?
No. Unfortunately, Misty Step only allows you to carry objects with you, not creatures.
Can you Misty Step out of a grapple?
Yes. Misty Step will break a grapple if used while grappling.
Can you Misty Step through a wall?
No. You must be able to see the location that you are teleporting to, so you can’t Misty Step through a wall. You can Misty Step through a window, however.
Will Misty Step avoid fall damage?
Yes. If you cast Misty Step whilst falling, you will not take any fall damage where you land.
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When I’m not writing about RPGs, I’m playing Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, X-Wing miniatures, and many other lovingly-crafted tabletop games with the people I love.