Wall of Fire DnD 5e: Spell Mechanics & User Guide

Casting Time

1 action

School

Evocation

Damage/Effect

Fire

Range

120 feet

Class

Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard

Attack/Save

Dex Save, 5d8

Duration

1 minute ©

Level

4

Components

V, S, M

Spell Description

You create a wall of fire on a solid surface within range. You can make the wall up to 60 feet long, 20 feet high, and 1 foot thick, or a ringed wall up to 20 feet in diameter, 20 feet high, and 1 foot thick. The wall is opaque and lasts for the duration.

When the wall appears, each creature within its area must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 5d8 fire damage, or half as much damage on a successful save.

One side of the wall, selected by you when you cast this spell, deals 5d8 fire damage to each creature that ends its turn within 10 feet of that side or inside the wall. A creature takes the same damage when it enters the wall for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there. The other side of the wall deals no damage.

Damage Table

Concentration: Yes

Ritual: No

Materials Required: A small piece of phosphorus

Number of Targets: No specified targets. Deals damage to creatures within range when it appears and on following turns.

Die Type: d8

Number of Dice: 5 (+1 for each level spell slot used above 4th)

Damage Type: Fire

Save: Dex

Damage on Successful Save: Half

Statuses Inflicted: None

Status Duration: None

Affected By Cover: No

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: None

What is Wall of Fire?

Wall of Fire is a powerful battlefield control spell, one of the many “wall” spells available in 5e. The spell allows you to make either a straight wall, or a ring, of fire that deals damage to creatures as it is created, whenever they enter its area of effect, or whenever they end their turn in its area of effect.

A common misconception of this spell, and spells in general, is that it follows the description for similar spells. This is so very untrue. Where certain other wall spells, like Wall of Force, allow you to orient the wall in any configuration of a set of panels, this wall gives you two options for the formation of your spell. 

Often, players may try to make the wall into a series of zig-zags to gain the most tactical advantage, but this is simply not how the spell works. As Jeremy Crawford would say, if the spell was meant to do that, it would say so in the description.

Still, the range of options is pretty extensive, since you can make the wall up to 60 feet in length, 20 feet high, and 1 foot thick, or into a ring up to 20 feet in diameter, 20 feet high, and 1 foot thick. The math works out pretty nicely here, since the circumference of a ring with a 20 foot diameter is in fact 62 feet.

What Isn’t Wall of Fire?

This spell does not stop any spells, creatures, or objects from passing through it.

This spell does not catch anything on fire, since magical fire does not combust anything unless it specifies it in the spell.

This spell can not be made in the air in any orientation you desire. It must be cast onto a solid surface. If you want to make a circus ring for some shenanigans you’re going to have to at least construct the physical ring itself first.

Who Can Cast Wall of Fire?

Wall of fire is a spell available on the druid, sorcerer, and wizard spell lists. It’s also available to clerics of the light and forge domains, warlocks of the Celestial or Fiend patrons, and the artillerist artificer subclass.

If you take the Prismari Student strixhaven background as a class with spellcasting or pact magic, this spell is one of the ten on your school’s spell list.

This is also available through the River of Hungry Fire elemental discipline, a subclass option for a 17th-level monk of the Way of the Four Elements subclass. In order to cast this spell in this way, you must spend 5 ki points.

When and Where Should I Cast Wall of Fire?

  • As a defensive barrier
  • To dish out a lot of damage
  • Not against most fiends

This is one of the simpler wall spells, and at the end of the day it just creates a barrier of damage. Any creatures willing to suffer that damage will do so easily by passing through the barrier.

Still, setting this up is going to be extremely helpful if there are a lot of creatures that you can put a line between.

As far as defensive barriers go, this is admittedly weak. Realistically, this is an offensive barrier, since it does very little to stop any opponents. Other wall spells may block ranged attacks, spells, or even creatures from passing through, while this just dishes out damage. It very much fits the saying “the best defense is a good offense.”

All that being said, 5d8 fire damage is nothing to scoff at. Casting this spell at it’s full range can allow you to create a barrier of fire damage that is essentially 600 square feet, or 24 squares on the battlefield. That’s a lot of damage as it appears, and more if any creatures decide to interact with it. 

This spell gives you the opportunity to be very strategic, especially if you understand a bit of geometry. Let’s look at a battle occurring in a long tunnel or passageway that is 20 feet wide and 15 feet high.

This reflects a pretty standard design for some classic dungeon delving. There are a few ways you can make this spell work for you if you get ambushed and thrown into combat.

The first simple solution is to create the barrier directly in front of you and your party, creating a nice little barrier of fire and deterring your attackers. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really let you use the full power of the spell, since you’re only creating a 20 ft by 15 ft barrier. That’s like a quarter of your full ability. 

Instead of having the barrier being cast perpendicular to the passageway, cast it going straight down the entire passageway. This creates a large area of effect that creatures will have to pass through to get to you, rather than just walking through 10 feet.

Your wall of fire now creates two options, either walk through the incredibly long area of fire damage or go through the safe passageway that’s only 10 feet wide. This is excellent funneling, and if you can manage to do anything like this you’ll be set. 

Of course, you can also do a bit of diagonal action, bisecting the tunnel, room, or whatever area you’re in to create the best situation for you and your allies.

Long story short, don’t just go for the simple solution when you choose where to cast this spell, use it to the full extent of its ability in the situation you’re in. Put some thought into how casting it will deal the most amount of damage.

I also specified to avoid casting this around fiends. This goes for any creatures with fire resistance or immunity. If you have any knowledge of your foes’ damage resistances, be smart about which spells you’re casting, that’s just a general rule.

Since Wall of Fire has no additional effects, casting around creatures that won’t take much damage is a pretty sad choice to make.

Why Should I Take Wall of Fire?

You should take Wall of Fire if you’re a caster focusing on control-based spells or elemental-based spells. There are many other more impressive 4th-level concentration spells out there, so this is really just a good choice to add to spell lists and builds that can complement it.

There is a large variety of control spells that fit with this well. If you can inflict any sort of status, like stunned, frightened, or restrained, that impacts a creature’s movement, you’ve got an excellent pairing here. Anything that can force a creature to spend more turns in the impacted area of Wall of Fire is a sure hit.

You can also work with another caster on your team if you want to break out two concentration spells at once. Pairing this with Hold Monster allows you and your ally to put a creature in a situation where they are just going to take a lot of damage for several turns, especially if you can manage to let off some ranged shots.

Of course, it’s also a powerful fire damage spell, so builds making use of the elements, especially ones that have the Elemental Adept feat, are going to make this spell feel much stronger whenever you do break it out.

Other Options Similar to Wall of Fire

There are quite a few similar spells to this since there are many spells that allow you to create walls. All of these spells have slightly different abilities while fitting the same general archetype of spell. 

Some wall spells create hazardous terrain, some block spells, and some can even be used for much more impressive tactical maneuvers, since they allow you to create a series of panels rather than one straight line.

Wind Wall, 3rd-Level

Deals bludgeoning damage on creation. Stops small or smaller flying creatures and projectiles from passing through.

Wall of Water, 3rd-Level

Ranged spells passing through have disadvantage. Fire spells that pass through are halved. Cold spells that pass through freeze a section of the wall, creating a solid barrier of ice.

Wall of Sand, 3rd-Level

Blocks line of sight and blinds creatures in the affected area. Movement through the affected area also costs 3 feet for every 1 foot traveled.

Wall of Force, 5th-Level

Blocks all travel, even ethereal, through the wall. Can be composed of several sections to create a wide variety of “walls”. You can even use this to create a cube around a creature and trap them.

Wall of Stone, 5th-Level

Creates a stone barrier of several panels that becomes permanent if you hold concentration for the spell’s duration. Great for creating mazes.

Wall of Ice, 5th-Level

Deals cold damage on creation and then creates a solid barrier. If a piece of the barrier is destroyed creatures can pass through, but they will take cold damage.

Wall of Light, 5th-Level

Deals radiant damage and blinds as it is created. It also allows you to shoot beams of light (radiant damage) as ranged spell attacks on following turns.

Wall of Thorns, 6th-Level

Deals piercing damage on creation. Passing through the affected area is difficult terrain, and creatures take slashing damage as they move through the space. 

Prismatic Wall, 9th-Level

An incredibly strong wall that creates seven different colored layers, with each layer causing a different effect.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can you bend or curve the Wall of Fire?

You can only create a straight line or a ring as the spell states.

Can you walk through Wall of Fire?

Yes. Creatures do take damage for entering the wall of fire or ending their turn in the space.