Vicious Mockery 5e: Mechanics and Guide to Using the Spell

Casting Time

1 action






60 feet











Spell Description:

You unleash a string of insults laced with subtle enchantments at a creature you can see within range.

If the target can hear you (though it need not understand you), it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or take 1d4 psychic damage and have disadvantage on the next attack roll it makes before the end of its next turn.

This spell’s damage increases by 1d4 when you reach 5th level (2d4), 11th level (3d4), and 17th level (4d4).

1st level5th level11th level17th level
Damage Dice1d42d43d44d4
Minimum Damage1234
Average Damage2.
Maximum Damage481216

Cantrip, Enchantment, Damage, Psychic, Debuff

Level: Bard (1)

Materials Required: None

Number of Targets: 1

Die Type: d4

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

Damage Type: Psychic

Save: Wisdom

Damage On Successful Save: None

Statuses Inflicted: Disadvantage on next attack roll

Status Duration: Until the end of the end next turn

Affected By Cover: No

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: On target’s next attack roll made before the end of next its turn

What is Vicious Mockery?

Vicious Mockery inflicts Psychic damage to the target using a string of insults. The target need not understand your insults to take the damage, and on a failed Wisdom save will also suffer disadvantage on their next attack roll.

In short, you make a creature that you can see so sad that it dies.

Who can cast Vicious Mockery?

Vicious Mockery is the Bard spell and is present only on the Bard spell list. Anyone else seeking to use Vicious Mockery will need to employ the Magic Initiate feat and choose Bard as the class.

When and Where should I cast Vicious Mockery?

Vicious Mockery’s combination of damage and disadvantage status infliction makes it a powerful choice for the Bard. They can use it to not only deal damage but protect themselves and allies from enemies’ attacks.

Why should I take Vicious Mockery?

Vicious Mockery is an excellent damage spell for early level Bards with the unique status infliction effect of causing the target’s next attack roll to be rolled with disadvantage.

The disadvantage status compensates well for its lowered damage making it a solid choice for Bards.

Common Questions About Vicious Mockery