Last Updated on November 2, 2023
The artificer is an amazing class that provides a perfect balance of spellcasting, martial proficiency, and unique abilities.
One of the best ways to really conserve your resources is to use cantrips more often than leveled spells.
If you’re newer to spellcasting, you can view cantrips as Level 0 spells; they are spells that you can cast virtually unlimited times a day without expending any spell slots or other resources.
In this article, we’re going to go through the cantrips available to artificers, highlighting the best options and giving you an idea of which cantrips are appropriate for different builds.
Artificer Cantrips List: All Available
Artificers learn two cantrips at 1st level, gain a third at 10th level, and their fourth and final cantrip at 14th level.
Additionally, whenever you gain a level in the artificer class, you can replace a cantrip you know with another from the artificer spell list.
Below, we’re listing all of the cantrips that artificers have available to them.
- Acid Splash: Offensive – You can choose up to two creatures within 5 feet of each other to make a DEX save or take 1d6 acid damage.
- Booming Blade: Offensive – You make a melee weapon attack against a creature. If the target chooses to move 5 feet or more before the start of your next turn, they take an additional 1d8 thunder damage.
- Create Bonfire: Versatile – This concentration spell creates a magical bonfire that fills a 5-foot cube. Creatures entering or starting their turn in this space take 1d8 fire damage on a failed DEX save.
- Dancing Lights: Utility – You create four floating lights that shed 10 feet of dim light.
- Fire Bolt: Offensive – This spell dishes out 1d10 fire damage to a target that you hit with a ranged-spell attack. It also ignites any flammable objects not being worn or carried.
- Frostbite: Offensive – Your target takes 1d6 cold damage and has disadvantage on the next attack roll they make before the start of your next turn if they fail a CON save.
- Green-Flame Blade: Offensive – This spell allows you to make an attack with a melee weapon and deal fire damage equal to your spellcasting modifier to a second target within 5 feet of the first target.
- Guidance: Utility – This concentration spell lets the creature of your choice add a d4 to an ability check they make.
- Light: Utility – You touch an object and cause it to shed bright light for 20 feet and dim light for an additional 20 feet.
- Lightning Lure: Offensive – This spell pulls a creature 10 feet toward you if they fail a STR save and then deals 1d8 lightning damage to them if they are within 5 feet of you.
- Mage Hand: Utility – You create a spectral hand that you can use to interact with objects within 30 feet of you.
- Magic Stone: Offensive- You touch three pebbles that become magical weapons that deal 1d6 bludgeoning damage when thrown or shot from a sling.
- Mending: Utility – This spell allows you to magically repair a tear or break in an object.
- Message: Utility- This spell allows you to whisper a message to a target within 120 feet of you that only they can hear. It also allows the target to respond in the same way.
- Poison Spray: Offensive – Your target takes 1d12 poison damage if they fail a CON save.
- Prestidigitation: Utility – This spell allows you to create a small harmless magical effect.
- Ray of Frost: Offensive – This ranged spell attack deals 1d8 cold damage and reduces your target’s speed by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.
- Resistance: Utility – This concentration spell lets the creature of your choice add a d4 to a saving throw they make.
- Shocking Grasp: Offensive – This touch spell has you make a melee attack against a target. On a hit, you deal 1d8 lightning damage and stop them from taking reactions until the beginning of their next turn
- Spare the Dying: Defensive – This spell allows you to immediately stabilize a creature with 0 hit points.
- Sword Burst: Offensive – This attack dishes out 1d6 damage to every creature within 5 feet of you that fails their DEX save.
- Thorn Whip: Offensive – This spell has you make a melee attack (30-foot range) against a target. On a hit, you deal 1d6 piercing damage to them and pull them 10 feet closer to you.
- Thunderclap: Offensive – This spell creates a booming noise that deals 1d6 thunder damage to every creature in a 100-foot radius that fails a CON save.
Top 4 Artificer Cantrips – Our Best Choices
While there aren’t a lot of cantrips that are bad for an artificer, there are certainly some that work better with the class’s strengths.
We’ve selected a few spells from the list above to go a bit more in depth so that we can better explain how an artificer uses their cantrips efficiently and effectively.
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).
There are a few things that make this one of the best artificer cantrips out there. The first thing that comes to mind for me is how well it fits into the theme of this class.
Advantage is a huge bonus for a spell to include, and there are going to be a lot of creatures you encounter that wear metal armor.
If that weren’t enough, this also stops the target from taking reactions until the start of its next turn.
Reactions can be used for a lot, but most often you and your allies will take advantage of this by avoiding a potential opportunity attack from the creature.
You extend your hand toward a creature you can see within range and project a puff of noxious gas from your palm. The creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take 1d12 poison damage.
At Higher Levels. This spell’s damage increases by 1d12 when you reach 5th level (2d12), 11th level (3d12), and 17th level (4d12).
This is a very straightforward spell, but you’ll quickly notice that it has the highest damage die of any spell in the list above, giving it an easy spot as one of our highlights.
The one thing to be aware of with this spell is that poison damage is the most resisted damage type in 5e.
While this is a very real concern, you’ll quickly get a hang for which creatures to avoid with this spell. You can also easily switch it out when you gain a level if you find it being resisted too often.
You create a long, vine-like whip covered in thorns that lashes out at your command toward a creature in range. Make a melee spell attack against the target.
If the attack hits, the creature takes 1d6 piercing damage, and if the creature is Large or smaller, you pull the creature up to 10 feet closer to you.
At Higher Levels. This spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).
Thorn whip is one of my favorite spells out there. While relatively simple, it has so many uses when put in the hands of a creative player.
Pulling them into a standing AOE effect, such as that of Grease or even Create Bonfire, means that you’re getting a lot out of this little cantrip.
The more obvious benefit of this spell is that you can bring a creature closer so that you can start laying into them with your melee-weapon attacks.
Of course, you can also use this to pull them away from one of your allies.
Essentially, this spell allows you to control a creature’s movement. The more planning you do and the more creative you are with the application of this spell, the better the effects will be of what would otherwise be a weak cantrip.
You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you.
On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects and then becomes sheathed in booming energy until the start of your next turn.
If the target willingly moves 5 feet or more before then, the target takes 1d8 thunder damage, and the spell ends.
At Higher Levels. At 5th level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d8 thunder damage to the target on a hit, and the damage the target takes for moving increases to 2d8.
Both damage rolls increase by 1d8 at 11th level (2d8 and 3d8) and again at 17th level (3d8 and 4d8).
Booming blade is great if you want to single in on a single target at a time, quickly taking them down and punishing them for trying to get away from you.
Booming blade’s secondary effect occurring isn’t really up to you since they have to willingly move.
Again though, if we look at this spell as a way to goad a creature into single combat with you, they’ll quickly learn that moving after you attack them is a bad idea.
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As a kid, I was often told to get my head out of the clouds and to stop living in a fantasy world. That never really jived with me, so I decided to make a living out of games, stories, and all sorts of fantastical works. Now, as an adult, I aspire to remind people that sometimes a little bit of fantasy is all you need when life gets to be too much.