Elves have a certain mystique about them in the fantasy adventure world whether it’s literature, D&D, or just from general mystique. Considering they are a race that lives many centuries beyond even the longest living others and it’s safe to assume those extra years of training and discipline would pay off in warriors and spellcasters of true renown. The 5E Wood Elf Magic feat plays off this mystique and lineage
The Wood Elf Magic feat is an excellent 5E racial feat for Wood Elves looking for additional spells that add Pass Without a Trace and Longstrider (both with one free cast) spells, as well as a Druid cantrip of the player’s choice.
Let’s do a deep dive into the Wood Elf Magic racial feat to see the pros, the cons, and the best (and some creative) builds that can take advantage of this excellent lineage boon.
Breaking Down the Wood Elf Magic Racial Feat
The first step is to look at the exact wording of the feat from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Directly from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything:
Prerequisite: Elf (Wood)
You learn the magic of the primeval woods, which are revered and protected by your people. You learn one Druid cantrip of your choice. You also learn the longstrider and pass without a trace spells, each of which you can cast once without expending a spell slot. You regain the ability to cast these two spells in this way when you finish a long rest. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for all three spells.
Let’s break down each of these benefits in detail.
Benefit #1: Learn one Druid cantrip of your choice.
Excellent benefit, especially for spellcasters looking for more options. While Druids have fewer cantrips than most classes, as a whole it’s a pretty killer list of spells. Guidance, Poison Spray, Resistance, and Shillelagh have all seen frequent use at our campaign tables while Thorn Whip and Produce Flame have also come up at various times.
These cantrips can offer magical weapon attacks, strong utility, or even support to other party members. In other words, you have a versatile array of cantrips to choose from so if you’re a Warlock, Sorcerer, or Half Casting Class looking to pad the spell list, going with a Druid cantrip is not a bad option at all.
List of Druid Cantrips:
- Poison Spray
- Produce Flame
- Thorn Whip
Benefit #2: Learn Pass Without a Trace and you can cast for free once per long rest without expending a spell slot.
Known widely as “The Stealth Spell” and one of two spells that every single Ranger build is going to take, this is an outstanding spell that not only makes you much stealthier, but allows you to make the party stealthier, a well. This is a fantastic benefit, and learning it alone means this would be a C-level feat even if there was little else.
It’s one of those spells that is that powerful, and it’s a great flavor spell that fits in perfectly with the Wood Elf background and the general nature of this racial boon.
Benefit #3: Learn Longstrider and you can cast for free once per long rest without expending a spell slot.
Interesting spell that increases movement and mobility by 10 feet for an hour. Better for mobile based classes like monk or for scouts like rangers and rogues. It’s an additional spell that has limited use, but is interesting and it’s another spell to add to the spell list.
How Good Is Wood Elf Magic?
Wood Elf Magic is a solid feat. It’s not overpowering, but it’s strong enough to warrant strong consideration, especially for an oddly-balanced or smaller party that doesn’t have the full number of players (and thus roles) that you would be used to.
The Druid list of Cantrips is excellent, Pass Without a Trace can be game-changing as a spell, and longstrider is the “loser” of the feat benefits but even that isn’t bad.
This is a feat meant for Wood Elf casters or half casters, though it’s worth pointing out that the Wood Elf Magic feat could be stunningly effective for a Wood Elf monk build.
A very good feat, although incredibly narrow in who can take it – even by racial feat standards as this is for Wood Elves only and unavailable to Drow, Eladrin, and other sub-races of Elf (unless your DM Home Rules otherwise).
- Pass without a Trace is an outstanding spell and very powerful in boosting an entire party
- The Druid Cantrip list is excellent and versatile, meaning any cantrip you pick is likely to fit the build you want
- Longstrider spell is interesting with niche applications
- The feat is on-point flavor-wise and is a great demonstration of pulling a feat from lineage
- For the right builds holds up to conventional full feats
- Very limited to Wood Elfs only
- Not going to be especially useful to most Druid or Ranger builds
- Not overpowering the way some feats are
Who Should Take The Wood Elf Magic Feat?
- Wood Elf Sorcerers and Wizards looking for more spells
- Wood Elf Warlocks
- Situationally, Wood Elf half-casters and monks
Final Thoughts for 5E Wood Elf Magic Racial Feat
While only available for very niche character builds, and only available during a limited number of campaigns but when you’re playing a Wood Elf it would be a mistake to dismiss this feat out of hand. It’s an excellent overall feat that adds two spells (one incredibly strong) and a versatile cantrip of your choice.
Add in the two free casts per long rest and there’s a lot of value to be had here. For the right build, it’s going to be a great pickup, and is intriguing for some unconventional builds, as well.
This is a feat that can do some serious work and is one of the racial feats from Xanathar’s that is seriously worth taking a look at whenever you have a level up that calls for an ability score improvement/feat.
Other DnD Articles You Might Enjoy
- When Do I Get Feats in 5E DnD?
- Racial Feat Guide 5E
- 5E Feat Guide
- Best 5E Feats for Sorcerers
- Best 5E Feats for Wizards
- Best 5E Feats for Warlocks
- Best 5E Feats for Monks
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.