Primal Savagery: 5e Mechanics and Guide to Using the Spell

Casting Time

1 action










Melee Spell Attack







Spell Description:

You channel primal magic to cause your teeth or fingernails to sharpen, ready to deliver a corrosive attack. Make a melee spell attack against one creature within 5 feet of you.

On a hit, the target takes 1d10 acid damage. After you make the attack, your teeth or fingernails return to normal.

The spell’s damage increases by 1d10 when you reach 5th level (2d10), 11th level (3d10), and 17th level (4d10).

1st level5th level11th level17th level
Damage Dice1d102d103d104d10
Minimum Damage1234
Average Damage5.510.515.520.5
Maximum Damage10203040

Cantrip, Transmutation, Damage, Acid

Level: Druid (1), Bard (10, Magical Secrets)

Materials Required: None

Number of Targets: 1

Die Type: d10

Number of Dice: 1 (increases by 1 at 5th, 11th, and 17th level)

Damage Type: Acid

Save: None

Damage On Successful Save: N/A

Statuses Inflicted: None

Status Duration: N/A

Affected By Cover: No

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: None

Who Can Cast Primal Savagery?

As might make sense in terms of flavor, Druids are the only casters who have Primal Savagery on their spell list. Non-Druids looking to cast Primal Savagery will have to either take the Magic Initiate feat or be a Bard and take the spell at level 10 when they get access to Magical Secrets.

What Is Primal Savagery?

Primal Savagery is a cantrip-level damage-dealing spell. It transmutes the caster’s fingernails or teeth into acidic claws or fangs.

The player then makes a melee spell attack against a creature within 5 feet of them, dealing a corrosive blow with their transmuted claws or fangs.

When and Where Should I Cast Primal Savagery?

Primal Savagery is a damage-dealing spell that is only going to be used by melee-focused druids. Ranged-focused druids won’t be in range to cast Primal Savagery.

Before level 5, Shillelagh’s damage is more significant than Primal Savagery’s. After level 5, though, Primal Savagery out-scales Shillelagh and should become the primary damage dealing spell for melee druids who have it on their spell lists.

Why Should I Take Primal Savagery?

Melee-focused Druids should take Primal Savagery by 5th level since it will become their primary damage cantrip once they reach 5th level. Ranged-focused druids can skip Primal Savagery altogether.

Class Feature Interactions

Extra Attack

Primal Savagery uses the Cast Spell action, not the Attack action, and does not trigger Extra Attack.

Ritual Casting

Primal Savagery is not able to be used with Ritual Casting.



Primal Savagery cannot be used while in a Barbarian’s Rage as it would use the Cast Spell action, which cannot be used during Rage.

Brutal Critical

The Barbarian’s Brutal Critical cannot be used with Primal Savagery as it is a spell attack.


Lay On Hands

Primal Savagery’s can be healed using Lay On Hands and does not inflict any status that can be remedied using Lay On Hands.

Divine Smite

Divine Smite cannot be used after casting Primal Savagery because it is a melee spell attack, not a melee weapon attack.


Sneak Attack

Sneak Attack not only requires a weapon attack, but it also requires the weapon to either have the ranged or finesse trait, which means that Primal Savagery is not eligible for Sneak Attack damage.



Careful Spell

Primal Savagery does not require a saving throw and is therefore ineligible for Careful Spell.

Distant Spell

Primal Savagery has a range of “Self” and is therefore ineligible for Distant Spell.

Empowered Spell

Primal Savagery is a damage-dealing spell, and its damage dice can be rerolled using Empowered Spell.

Extended Spell

Primal Savagery does not have a duration of 1 minute or longer, so its duration cannot be extended with Extended Spell.

Heightened Spell

Primal Savagery does not have a saving throw, so it cannot be used with Heightened Spell.

Quickened Spell

Primal Savagery can be used with Quickened Spell, shortening its cast time to 1 bonus action. Using Quickened Spell, Primal Savagery can be cast twice in one turn, once as an action and once as a bonus action.

Subtle Spell

Primal Savagery’s somatic components can be hidden with Subtle Spell.

Twinned Spell

Primal Savagery has a range of “Self” and therefore cannot be used with Twinned Spell.


Spell Mastery

Primal Savagery cannot be used with Spell Mastery as it is a cantrip.

Other Interactions With Primal Savagery


Primal Savagery can still be cast within Silence’s sphere of influence as the spell has no verbal component.


Primal Savagery will require the player to roll a d20 to cast it; on an 11 or higher, the spell will not take effect until their next turn and will need their following action as well to complete the spell. Otherwise, the spell is wasted.

Globe of Invulnerability

Primal Savagery deals no damage to a creature affected by Globe of Invulnerability.

Primordial Ward

Primordial Ward grants Resistance to Primal Savagery’s damage and can be consumed to grant immunity to the damage.

Antimagic Field

Primal Savagery cannot be cast inside of an Antimagic Field.


Primal Savagery will deal no damage to a target affected by invulnerability.

Common Questions About Primal Savagery