Synaptic Static 5e: This Spell is REALLY Good! Here’s Why

Casting Time

1 action






120ft (20ft sphere)


Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard








Verbal, Somatic

Spell Description:

You choose a point within range and cause psychic energy to explode there. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make an Intelligence saving throw.

A creature with an Intelligence score of 2 or lower can’t be affected by this spell. A target takes 8d6 psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

After a failed save, a target has muddled thoughts for 1 minute. During that time, it rolls a d6 and subtracts the number rolled from all its attack rolls and ability checks, as well as its Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration.

The target can make an Intelligence saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

5th level, Enchantment, Damage, Psychic

Level: Bard (9), Sorcerer (9), Warlock (9), Wizard (9)

Materials Required: None

Concentration: No

Ritual: No

Number of Targets: Any within a 20-foot sphere

Die Type: d6

Number of Dice: 8

Damage Type: Psychic

Save: Intelligence

Damage On Successful Save: Half

Statuses Inflicted: Affected target rolls a d6 and subtracts from their attack rolls, ability checks, and Concentration checks

Status Duration: Until a successful save is made or 1 minute

Affected By Cover: No

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: None

Why Is Synaptic Static So Good?

There are several components to this spell that really make it stand out:

  • Intelligence Save:  This is typically more difficult to make.
  • Area of Effect:  This spell has a 20-foot radius, which is quite large.
  • Psychic Damage: This damage type is not often resisted.
  • Debuff:  On top of the damage, you inflict a penalty on attack, ability, and concentration rolls.  

It’s a great combination to have at your disposal.  

Who Can Cast Synaptic Static?

Synaptic Static is on the Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard spell lists. Players of those classes will be able to cast the spell starting at the 9th level. There is no other way to get the Synaptic Static spell.

What Is Synaptic Static?

Synaptic Static is a 5th level Enchantment spell. The spell conjures psychic energy in a 20-foot-diameter sphere that deals damage to all of the creatures inside the sphere. 

Affected creatures make an Intelligence Save to resist the effects of the spell. Those who succeed on the saving throw take half damage. On a failed save, the target takes the full damage amount and is rendered confused for up to 1 minute. 

0While confused, the affected target rolls a d6 and subtracts the value from all attack rolls, ability checks, and Concentration checks. The target can repeat the Intelligence saving throw at the end of each turn to end the effect early.

When and Where Should I Cast Synaptic Static?

Synaptic Static is an excellent way for players to clear out groups of monsters. Whether the monsters are additional monsters in a boss fight or a horde of monsters, Synaptic Static represents a damage check that most smaller monsters won’t be able to pass.

Low intelligence is common amongst smaller monsters that are seen throughout the Forgotten Realms. So Synaptic Static is an excellent spell for players to use in horde battles and boss battles.

Why Should I Take Synaptic Static?

Even half the damage of Synaptic Static is high enough to take down a lot of smaller mobs which makes Synaptic Static an excellent way for players to dispatch smaller additional monsters in boss fights efficiently.

Synaptic Static also has a potent debuff that subtracts 1d6 from all attack rolls, ability checks, and Concentration checks.  The debuff can last up to 1 minute, and its true power is in its lack of necessitating concentration for the caster.

Once the debuff lands, the caster can go on their merry way and do whatever, and the affected creatures will have to contend with the debuff until it ends.

Synaptic Static is an excellent pick-up for anyone who can take it. It represents a perfect blend of damage output and utility that can’t be beaten. 

Alternatives to Synaptic Static

  • Mind Sliver
  • Tasha’s Mind Whip

Common Questions About Synaptic Static

Can You Dispel Synaptic Static?

No. Synaptic Static’s duration is Instantaneous. By the time someone would be casting Dispel Magic, the magic itself has already faded, and all that remains is the confused enemy.

The confusion suffered is more like the confusion one suffers after being struck on the head. It’s not magical.

Does Synaptic Static Affect Saving Throws?

Synaptic Static does not affect Saving Throws. It affects Ability Checks, Attack Rolls, and Concentration Checks, but not Saving Throws.

Can Lesser Restoration Cleanse Synaptic Static?

No. Lesser Restoration cannot cleanse Synaptic Static’s debuff.

Can Greater Restoration Cleanse Synaptic Static?

Greater Restoration cannot cleanse Synaptic Static’s debuff either.