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.
This spell’s damage increases when you reach certain 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).
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (5-foot radius)
Components: S, M (a melee weapon worth at least 1 sp)
School: Evocation cantrip
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, pg. 106
Booming Blade 5e
Booming Blade has been the talk of the town since its initial release in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. While it was eventually tweaked to be slightly less powerful for its final form in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, it’s still a wonderful choice with all sorts of fun applications.
It’s also the source of much player and DM misunderstanding, so let’s try to clear that up while also covering just what makes Booming Blade such an enticing cantrip for some characters.
Who Can Cast Booming Blade in 5e?
The following classes have Booming Blade on their spell list:
No subclasses get Booming Blade for free.
What Does Booming Blade Do in 5e?
Booming Blade is a spell that requires the caster to make a normal melee attack that functions just like a normal melee attack at first. But if the caster lands their hit, the target is “sheathed in booming energy” (totally easy to conceptualize, right?) which causes them to take 1d8 (4.5 average) thunder damage if they voluntarily move before the caster’s next turn.
At levels 4 and under, the target only takes normal melee attack damage from whatever weapon the caster used (resolving the attack as normal) and only suffers thunder damage if it decides to move. At levels 5 and above, Booming Blade also deals instantaneous thunder damage if the attack lands.
Now let’s turn to the many, many misunderstandings about how Booming Blade works.
What Are the Rules for Booming Blade in 5e?
The rules for Booming Blade in DnD 5e are as follows:
Booming Blade works with the War Caster feat. This Sage Advice thread confirms that the War Caster feat’s third bullet (using spells as opportunity attacks) works with Booming Blade. So if an opponent triggers an opportunity attack, you can smack them with Booming Blade and force them to decide whether to continue moving (and taking Booming Blade’s damage) or stop moving (more on this in the rules later).
Standing from prone does not trigger Booming Blade damage. While standing up from being prone costs half of a creature’s movement (PHB 190), the creature doesn’t actually move anywhere. Thus, it doesn’t trigger Booming Blade — here’s Sage Advice confirmation.
Booming Blade cannot be used with Reach weapons to attack targets more than 5 feet away. Because Booming Blade’s range is limited to 5 feet, it cannot work with reach weapons like a whip or polearm to attack from 10 feet away. Here’s Sage Advice confirmation.
Booming Blade cannot be used with the Spell Sniper feat. Since the spell description of Booming Blade clearly indicates that the target creature must be “within 5 feet of you,” it is not eligible for the Spell Sniper feat, which doubles the range of spells with attack rolls (PHB 170).
A creature must move voluntarily to take Booming Blade’s secondary damage. So spells like Thunderwave or even Dissonant Whispers that force movement won’t trigger Booming Blade.
You can use a two-handed weapon with Booming Blade. The material component section of the rules reads that “a spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell’s material components — or to hold a spellcasting focus — but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.” (PHB 203).
Since Booming Blade’s somatic element is the weapon itself, you’re fine to use it with a two-handed weapon — no free hand necessary.
You can’t take an Extra Attack after casting Booming Blade. The Sage Advice Compendium confirmed that because Booming Blade is a “Cast a Spell action, not the Attack action” (SAC 18).(Video) Bladesinger Wizards are Super Fun in Dnd 5e! - Advanced guide to Bladesinging
You can’t use two-weapon fighting’s bonus action attack with Booming Blade. Two-weapon fighting requires that you “take the Attack action and attack with a light weapon,” but since Booming Blade isn’t the Attack action, casting it does not make a creature eligible to use two-weapon fighting’s bonus attack action with their “off-hand” weapon.
You use your normal weapon attack and damage modifiers for Booming Blade, not spellcasting modifiers. So you’ll use Strength or Dexterity, since it’s a normal melee attack, not a melee spell attack. This was confirmed in the Sage Advice Compendium (SAC 18).
Booming Blade doesn’t make any extra noise. Spells only do what they say — while spells like Thunderwave clearly indicate that they’re audible from a distance, Booming Blade has no such descriptor.
Therefore, casting Booming Blade is just as loud as a normal melee attack.
Pact of the Blade does work with Booming Blade. This Sage Advice thread confirms that the weapon conjured by Warlock’s Pact of the Blade feature “has the value in chapter 5 of the Player’s Handbook,” thus making it eligible for Booming Blade.
Shadow Blade don’t work with Booming Blade. Because it doesn’t have a cost, and Jeremy Crawford confirms that it “weaves together gloom” and Booming Blade’s somatic component specifies that the weapon must cost at least 1 sp. This also rules out most improvised weapons.
You can’t stack multiple Booming Blade spells on the same creature. Because “the effects of the same spell cast multiple times don’t combine (PHB 205).
Booming Blade can trigger Rogues’ Sneak Attack attack. As long as the Rogue fulfills normal Sneak Attack requirements (they’re using a finesse or ranged weapon and have advantage on the attack roll or have an un-incapacitated ally within 5 feet of the enemy) (PHB 96). This was confirmed in the Sage Advice Compendium (SAC 18).
You cannot use the Twinned Spell metamagic with Booming Blade. Twinned Spell specifies “doesn’t have a range of self,” which Booming Blade does (PHB 102).
A creature targeted by an opportunity attack Booming Blade can stop moving. This Sage Advice thread confirms that a creature can decide to stop moving after being targeted by an opportunity attack. So using the War Caster feat in conjunction with Booming Blade doesn’t guarantee that its movement-based damage will land.
Booming Blade only deals magical damage on the initial strike if the weapon used for the attack is magical. Sage Advice confirmation.
There is no rule guiding whether creatures affected by Booming Blade “know” they are affected by Booming Blade. This is up to DM discretion. Of course, players will know when they’re targeted by Booming Blade so long as the DM tells them or they understand the way the effect is described.(Video) Arcane Trickster Spell Guide for D&D 5e
How Do I Use Booming Blade in 5e?
Here are a few ways to make the most of the Booming Blade cantrip:
Get the Mobile feat. The Mobile feat’s third bullet point allows a player to move away from a creature they’ve attacked this turn without provoking opportunity attacks (PHB 168). If you use Booming Blade and run away from an enemy, they’ll have to decide whether to chase you and take damage or stay put and do nothing with their turn (if they’re melee-only).
Additionally, the Swashbuckler Rogue has the Fancy Footwork feature, which essentially grants the important part of the Mobile feat (SCAG 135).
Pair with spells that cause hazardous areas. Spells like Spirit Guardians work really well with Booming Blade for the same reason as the Mobile feat — an enemy has to decide whether to move and take Booming Blade damage or stay put and take damage from another source.
This sort of “rock-and-a-hard-place” utility is where Booming Blade really shines.
Pair with martial classes. A great thing about Booming Blade is that it doesn’t rely on any spellcasting modifiers at all, making it a great candidate for a martial class. Picking it up as a multiclass dip, via Eldritch Knight/Arcane Trickster Rogue spells, or from the Magic Initiate feat are all common options.
It’s not always better than using an Extra Attack (more on that later), but for Rogue’s especially, this is a powerful cantrip to pick up.
Pair with a Rogue’s Cunning Action to disengage. Continuing from the last point, Booming Blade really shines on Rogues. The Disengage bonus action they get through their Cunning Action class feature is perfectly suited for getting in, using Booming Blade, and getting out scot-free.See AlsoD&D 5E Booming Blade Guide - The Arcade ManBooming Blade sneak attack | Extra 5e FAQ 2021 » Webnews21Shadow Blade 5e [6 Ways To Use The DnD Spell, DM Tips, Rules] - DnD Lounge
This, again, forces the enemy into a hard choice of pursuing and taking damage or staying put.
Use Booming Blade to lock ranged/spellcaster enemies down. Booming Blade is also good for tanks since it can be used to force enemies to stick close to you (or take damage otherwise — from both Booming Blade and your opportunity attack).
Beyond that, it’s good on any melee character who is trying to get enemies to stick near them.(Video) CANTRIP #2 | Blade Ward: Mechanics, Description, Alternative Uses, Potential Combos (DnD 5E Spell)
Stop someone following you. As a full-caster, this is Booming Blade’s best utility in most cases. Sure, you might take a smack from an opportunity attack on your way out, but at least they’re less likely to follow you.
Be a Bladesinging Wizard. Since Bladesinging Wizards can cast a cantrip as one of their Extra Attacks, Booming Blade is a perfect choice for them (TCoE 77). One potential weakness of Booming Blade is that it can be worse than just using Extra Attack — Bladesining Wizards say “why not both?” to this issue.
Who Can I Target With Booming Blade 5e?
You can target one creature within 5 feet (melee range) with Booming Blade. While the range of the spell is listed as Self (5-foot radius), this was mainly done to prevent it from working with the Spell Sniper feat and reach weapons and other, more edge-case rules.
Is Booming Blade 5e a Good Spell?
Yes, Booming Blade is a good spell for the right character build. For Rogue’s and anyone with the Mobile feat, the ability to force a melee enemy to make a tough decision is incredibly powerful. It almost works like a soft crowd control.
At higher levels, Booming Blade’s initial damage makes it even more attractive. An additional 1d8 thunder damage keeps it competitive with Extra Attack for most character builds. Speaking of which…
Booming Blade 5e Compared to Extra Attack
Many players argue whether it’s better to use Booming Blade or just use an Extra Attack. Luckily, RPGBOT did some great analysis (so I don’t have to :))
What he found is that Booming Blade is better than a single Extra Attack (so not for higher-level Fighters), as long as you get the secondary effects (the target moves on their turn and takes bonus damage).
I recommend reading it for a more thorough rundown of the situations where each option wins out.
Booming Blade 5e DM Tips
First and foremost, I’d like to give my opinion that the ruling that “Shadow Blade does not work with Booming Blade” is silly and should be ignored. The combo does nothing game-breaking and is super cool to use/build a character around, so why prevent it?
We left DMs with another unresolved rule question: Does the creature know it’s “sheathed in booming energy”? My feeling is that, since players likely know when they’re affected by Booming Blade, other creatures should too.
But you can have more of a gray area — maybe some stupid and/or non-magic savvy creatures wouldn’t know enough to be afraid of a little extra static electricity after being hit with a weapon. On the other hand, a knowledgeable spellcasting foe ought to know what’s going on after being smacked with thunderous magical energy.
Ultimately, it’s up to you and whatever makes for satisfying gameplay. A lot of Booming Blade’s power comes from the fact that it forces a difficult decision anyway. So even if you do rule that creatures know they’ll take damage if they move, it doesn’t necessarily make Booming Blade any less tactically useful.
Simple Booming Blade 5e Spell Text
Booming Blade: (Evocation cantrip, Self (5-foot radius), S/M (a melee weapon worth at least 1 sp) Make a melee attack one creature in range with the weapon you use to cast this spell. On hit, target takes 1d8 additional thunder damage if it willingly moves before your next turn. | 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. +1d8 to both damage rolls at 11th and 17th level.
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Does booming blade use your spell modifier? ›
It is a melee weapon attack. It uses whatever ability modifier you would use for a melee weapon attack. It does not use your spell attack modifier because it isn't a spell attack.Is Green Flame Blade better than booming Blade Artificer? ›
Green-Flame Blade can no do as much damage as Booming Blade, but it falls into the same narrow lead that Booming Blade had over straight weapon attacks.Is booming Blade a good spell? ›
How to use Booming Blade. Booming Blade is a pretty good spell to dissuade someone moving normally around the battlefield. If a melee character sticks to a target, this spell can be an added annoyance for the targets to deal with. The way I'd use it is on targets that keep trying to attack the backline of the party.Can I Twin spell booming blade? ›
Yes, Booming Blade can be twinned, because a range of Self is not the same thing as a range of Self (5-foot radius) When a spell has a range of "Self", it definitionally targets the caster themselves, and no one else.What happens if you crit with booming blade? ›
It will double the weapon dice and thunder damage of the initial hit. Damage from moving will be normal. Crits basically only double the very next roll after the crit. Not damage that happens later, after a save, or from some other source (triggered by the attack).Does booming Blade work with Echo Knight? ›
Echo Knight Races
You might be tempted to take High Elf and try to Booming Blade with your Echo, but sadly the Echo can only be the origin of your attacks if you're actually using the Attack action.
Booming Blade and Green-flame Blade work with War Caster but Green-flame Blade can be used with War Caster to make an Attack of Opportunity only if you do not hit a second target with its “jump”'effect.Does spell sniper affect booming Blade? ›
The new wording does not lean on the range of the spell, but explicitly states that the target must be within 5 feet. Green-Flame Blade no longer works with Spell Sniper. Booming Blade no longer works with Spell Sniper.Can you smite off of booming blade? ›
If your sorcerer-paladin has Booming Blade (or Green-Flame Blade) you can smite with it, as a melee weapon attack is part of the spell.Does sneak attack work on booming blade? ›
So both of them can be used when you cast Booming Blade or Green Flame Blade, and Sneak Attack also works with these spells. That is, you can stack them. Note, not all Maneuvers do this - Commander's Strike for example says when you take the Attack action, so it can not apply when you cast either of these spells.
Can you booming blade an unarmed strike? ›
The booming blade and green-flame blade spells specify that they are used with a weapon, so an unarmed strike isn't eligible.Does arcane firearm apply to booming blade? ›
Booming Blade Doesn't work with the arcane Firearm. Because the Arcane Firearm is not a weapon. It's a magical focus.Does booming blade deal damage on hit? ›
The description for booming blade goes as follows: 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.Does booming blade work with teleporting? ›
Unless you have a teleport movement speed, and used it, teleporting shouldn't trigger booming blade.Does quickened spell work on booming blade? ›
Yes, you can quicken booming blade and cast it at a bonus action. (You can also twin it with twinned spell and attack two targets that are in range.)Can you stack green flame Blade and booming blade? ›
Looking forward to 6th level, the bladesinger gets two attacks, one of which can be a cantrip. The question is - can I cast Booming Blade or Green Flame Blade twice with my attack action? No. You can replace one of your attacks from the Attack action with a cantrip.Does booming Blade and Shadow Blade stack? ›
Booming Blade has a range of Self so it cannot be twinned any more than Shadow Blade can. Booming Blade requires a melee weapon worth at least 1sp but the Shadow Blade is a spell effect and has no inherent monetary value. You cannot both quicken and twin a single spell.Can you counter spell booming blade? ›
The rest of a spell entry describes the spell's effect.
Therefore, if booming blade is counterspelled, it has no effect, meaning everything in the spell description does not happen, since the spell description is that effect.
No. Multiple castings of an effect don't stack, the new one replaces the old. Something that gives temporary HP, the newest or strongest (DM discretion, I rule the newest) applies. Booming blade is a hard spell to make useful.What moves guarantee a crit? ›
The moves Storm Throw, Frost Breath, Zippy Zap, Surging Strikes, Wicked Blow, and Flower Trick, along with any move used by a Pokémon that is under the effect of Laser Focus, will always result in a critical hit (unless prevented by one of the above effects).
Does booming blade work with dissonant whispers? ›
Does Dissonant Whispers trigger Booming Blade in 5e? Sadly, it does not. Booming Blade only triggers when a target willingly moves.Does dueling apply to booming blade? ›
Booming Blade: as Booming Blade requires an attack with a weapon as part of the spell, Duelling applies if the other qualifiers are met- ie that the weapon is one handed and that no weapon is being held in the other hand.Do Thunder gauntlets work with booming Blade? ›
Properties of the base armor transfer over - Therefore your Thunder Gauntlets will have an associated cost related to your base armor and be able to use the cantrips Booming Blade and Green Flame Blade.Does booming Blade work with mobile feat? ›
Booming Blade specifies that you make a melee attack with a weapon as part of casting the spell. RAW: Can you booming blade and avoid opportunity attacks if you have the Mobile feat? I'd say yes.Does booming Blade trigger on standing up? ›
According to the implications of the Jeremy Crawford ruling below, standing up from prone does not trigger booming blade. This is because the trigger requires the target creature to move, but even though standing up costs the target movement it does not actually move the target anywhere.Can I take Eldritch blast with spell sniper? ›
There are several great feats that can pair quite well with Eldritch Blast, allowing the cantrip to provide even more value. Once such Feat is Spell Sniper, a feat based around ranged spells.
Yes, With feats: Magic Initiate, choose Warlock for picking 2 cantrips (Eldritch Blast and another) and one spell. Spell Sniper, you can choose a ranged attack cantrip (Eldritch Blast) to learn.Is booming blade worth it for a paladin? ›
Before taking sorcerer levels? No. Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade are not on the paladin spell list, and if you have Extra Attack, before getting Quicken Spell, you won't be wanting to use either. You can get them with the Sorcerer levels, it's simply not worth spending resources to get them otherwise.Can you use natural weapons with booming blade? ›
To interpret rules as written you shouldn't have to go beyond the simplest, understood definition of a word, especially when something very clearly is not rules as intended; booming blade and green-flame blade were specifically altered to prevent their use with natural and summoned weapons.Can booming blade be used with fists? ›
The booming blade and green-flame blade spells specify that they are used with a weapon, so an unarmed strike isn't eligible.
Can you booming blade as an opportunity? ›
An attack of opportunity works because Dissonant Whispers forces the target to use its reaction to move out of range which is a valid AOO trigger. This is covered in the DMG. Warcaster allows you to cast booming blade as an AOO reaction because booming blade is a spell with a casting time of one action.Can you cast booming blade on a pact weapon? ›
Can you use Booming Blade on your conjured pact weapon received as your pact boon? The material component for Booming Blade is a weapon that's worth at least 1 sp. RAW: Yes.Can you throw a dagger with booming blade? ›
If you cast booming blade, are you allowed to make a thrown weapon attack but not add the extra damage/effects? No, it specifically says you must make a melee attack with a weapon.Is booming blade affected by spell sniper? ›
The new wording does not lean on the range of the spell, but explicitly states that the target must be within 5 feet. Green-Flame Blade no longer works with Spell Sniper. Booming Blade no longer works with Spell Sniper.Can you get booming blade with spell sniper? ›
Combining Warcaster, Polearm Master, and Spell Sniper would allow you to use Booming Blade at 10 foot range as a creature enters your reach. Note that even though Booming Blade's range is increased to 10 feet, since it requires a melee attack, your weapon must still reach that far to use it at this range.Does Shadow blade Add your modifier? ›
Shadow blade specifically says you make a weapon attack with it, and the rules for weapon attacks is that you add the modifier you used for the attack to the damage as well.Can you use quickened spell on booming blade? ›
Yes, you can quicken booming blade and cast it at a bonus action. (You can also twin it with twinned spell and attack two targets that are in range.)Does teleporting activate booming blade? ›
Unless you have a teleport movement speed, and used it, teleporting shouldn't trigger booming blade.Does teleporting count for booming blade? ›
No, teleportation doesn't trigger the secondary damage
On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed.
Echo Knight Races
You might be tempted to take High Elf and try to Booming Blade with your Echo, but sadly the Echo can only be the origin of your attacks if you're actually using the Attack action.
Do you need Warcaster for booming blade? ›
Booming Blade and Green-flame Blade work with War Caster but Green-flame Blade can be used with War Caster to make an Attack of Opportunity only if you do not hit a second target with its “jump”'effect.Does booming blade work with maneuvers? ›
So both of them can be used when you cast Booming Blade or Green Flame Blade, and Sneak Attack also works with these spells. That is, you can stack them. Note, not all Maneuvers do this - Commander's Strike for example says when you take the Attack action, so it can not apply when you cast either of these spells.Can I Twin spell shadow blade? ›
Can I Twin spell shadow blade?Does dueling work with Shadow Blade? ›
Does dueling work with Shadow Blade?Can you dual wield Shadow Blade 5e? ›
Can you dual wield Shadow Blade 5e?Can you cast two cantrips in one turn? ›
You cannot cast two cantrips during one action. That's why many cantrips scale as you level. To further explain what you read, if you cast a spell as a bonus action, you can only use your action to cast a cantrip. For example, there's a monster next to you.