In 5th Edition D&D there are many damage spells and many utility spells, but sometimes you get that rare spell, or in this case a cantrip, that does a little bit of both. The 5E lightning lure cantrip that first appeared in Tasha’s and provides an interesting pick for a cantrip that can do some very interesting things for the team in terms of creating control over the battlefield and making an enemy NPC’s day even worse.
The Lightning Lure guide is for close combat use, and allows not only the dealing of lightning damage but also the possibility of forcibly pulling an enemy right towards you. This has some very interesting potential use in your D&D game depending on party make up and can even help to determine how your player characters want to line up for battle based on their skills and abilities.
Let’s dive into the awesome world of the Lightning Lure spell in 5E D&D!
The 5E Lightning Lure Spell Explained
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: Self (15-foot radius)
- Components: Verbal
- Duration: Instantaneous
You create a lash of lightning energy that strikes at one creature of your choice that you can see within 15 feet of you. The target must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pulled up to 10 feet in a straight line toward you and then take 1d8 lightning damage if it is within 5 feet of you.
At higher levels. The spell’s damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).
Spell Lists: Artificer, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
This is a very useful cantrip that scales in a good way, and lightning damage isn’t a type of damage that a lot of enemies have immunity to. This already puts it on good ground, but the ability to pull an enemy towards you makes it even more interesting. Depending on the build, my gut feeling is that certain builds of Artificers or Warlocks are going to like that part better than your average sorcerer or wizard…though there are some Blade Singers and War Magic Wizards that I’m sure would disagree.
While you can’t forcibly move an enemy to invoke an attack of opportunity, what you can do is move them into an area that has some very negative side effects for them such as one that might be overlapping with another party member who casted:
- Evard’s Black Tentacles
- Spike Growth
- Spirit Guardians
- Into range of a melee character with the polearm master-sentinel feat combination
If more than one of those is overlapping, the enemy is going to feel all kinds of bad having to roll all the saving throws the beginning of their next turn.
This type of utility can add that little extra “Oomph!” that pushes the 5E lightning lure cantrip a little bit above and beyond its peers. When you have the ability to use this to make your Cleric’s or Warlock’s or Ranger’s or Druid’s effects even better since you can force enemies into those effect areas while taking lightning damage – that’s just fantastic.
This is where that extra little utility boost to lightning lure can be a big boon – but if you’re a squishy caster finding yourself 1 on 1…that can be a problem since the pull comes directly towards you and must do so in order to take the lightning damage with rules as written.
Who Should Use the Lightning Lure Cantrip in DnD?
I first found about this spell while writing my 5E Lightning Spells Guide, as it was one that hadn’t come across from any character I had played up to that point. There are a lot of great spells in both Xanathar’s and Tasha’s that have managed to fly under the radar of many players, and I feel like lightning lure is one of them.
The combination of damage and utility makes this a very interesting spell and moves it from a simple attack to a spell that can also be used to bring team tactics into the mix.
My first time using it was with a Warlock-Cleric multiclass, and it has been wonderfully effective. Having another Warlock and another Cleric in the party means when an enemy fails that strength test against my maxed out casting stat – they get dragged right into an overlapping area of Evard’s Tentacles and Spirit Guardians.
Once the enemies are in that “Bad Time Zone” as my group likes to call it, I’ll even sometimes join in with an AOE of my own.
While not every spellcaster build will have much use for this cantrip, if you have a build that offers plenty of cantrips then I think most melee-based wizards, warlocks, and artificers will find plenty of amazing uses for this versatile cantrip.
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.