Shocking Grasp 5e: Mechanics and Guide to Using the Spell

Casting Time

1 action

School

Evocation

Damage/Effect

Lightning

Range

Touch

Class

Artificer, Sorcerer, Wizard

Attack/Save

Melee Spell Attack

Duration

Instantaneous

Level

0

Components

Verbal, Somatic

Spell Description:

Lightning springs from your hand to deliver a shock to a creature you try to touch. Make a melee spell attack against the target. You have advantage on the attack roll if the target is wearing armor made of metal.

On a hit, the target takes 1d8 lightning damage, and it can’t take reactions until the start of its next turn.

The spell’s damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).

1st level5th level11th level17th level
Damage Dice1d82d83d84d8
Minimum Damage1234
Average Damage4.5412.516.5
Maximum Damage8162432

Cantrip, Evocation, Melee Spell Attack, Damage, Lightning

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

Materials Required: None

Number of Targets: 1

Die Type: d8

Number of Dice: 1 (increased by 1 at the 5th, 11th, and 17th levels

Damage Type: Lightning

Save: None

Damage On Successful Save: N/A

Statuses Inflicted: Cannot take reactions

Status Duration: Until the start of the target’s next turn

Affected By Cover: No

Advantage: Caster has advantage if the target is wearing armor made of metal

Disadvantage: None

Who can cast Shocking Grasp?

Artificers, Sorcerers, and Wizards can all cast Shocking Grasp starting at 1st level since the spell is on their spell list. Eldritch Knights can add the spell to their list once they take the subclass at the 3rd level, but Arcane Tricksters need to wait until the 8th level to add Evocation spells to their repertoire.

Bards can add the spell to their lists once they gain access to the Magical Secrets class feature, available to all Bards by the 10th level.

Players outside of these classes looking to add Shocking Grasp to their lists will need to take the Magic Initiate feat and choose Artificer, Sorcerer, or Wizard as their Magic Initiate class.

What is Shocking Grasp?

Shocking Grasp is a Cantrip-level Evocation spell found on the Artificer, Sorcerer, and Wizard spell lists. The caster makes a melee spell attack against a creature that they can touch.

They have advantage if the target is wearing armor made of metal, and on a hit, the spell deals Lightning damage and prevents the target from taking Reactions until the start of their next turn.

When and Where should I cast Shocking Grasp?

Shocking Grasp is a potent low-level control spell. Since the spell both deals damage and provides a control effect, its power is undeniable, especially at low levels. Being able to prevent an enemy from taking a Reaction is a potent ability at all levels.

Shocking Grasp is an effective spell to use against enemies who rely on Reactions for their power. If an enemy is using a lot of reactions, try locking them down with Shocking Grasp to help cow the enemy.

Why should I take Shocking Grasp?

Shocking Grasp is especially strong against enemies who are sporting metal armor. For Wizards who take the spell, it is also possible to use the Find Familiar spell to extend the range of your spell since Familiars can deliver touch range spells for their masters.

Sorcerers can also extend the range of their spell using Metamagic.

Alternatives to Shocking Grasp

  • Lightning Lure

Common Questions About Shocking Grasp

Can Shocking Grasp Be Used With Twinned Spell?

Yes! Shocking Grasp can be used with Twinned Spell at all levels.

Does Shocking Grasp Prevent Attacks of Opportunity?

Yes! Attacks of Opportunity are considered to be reactions. Therefore, if a creature is affected by Shocking Grasp, they would not be able to make an Attack of Opportunity.

Is Shocking Grasp an Action?

Yes. Shocking Grasp’s cast time is listed as “1 action.” So, a player must have their primary action available to cast and resolve the effect.

Can You Use Shocking Grasp on Water?

No. Shocking Grasp needs to target a creature, not an object. So it’s not possible to use Shocking Grasp on the water since “water” isn’t a creature.