Last Updated on January 22, 2023
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (5-foot radius)
Components: S, M (a melee weapon worth at least 1 sp)
Duration: 1 round
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).
Spell Lists. Artificer, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
Sources: The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
Table of Contents
What Is Booming Blade?
Booming Blade is a strategically powerful cantrip that deals thunder damage at close range. This spell is available to Wizards, Sorcerers, and Warlocks. In the right hands, this cantrip can be quite potent, offering players the chance to deal extra damage in melee combat.
How Does Booming Blade Work?
To cast Booming Blade, a character must make a melee attack. On a successful hit, the creature is engulfed by energy until the start of its next turn. If the affected creature moves more than 5 feet, it is struck by 1d8 thunder damage.
Booming Blade has several uses. Players who enjoy strategic combat will find this cantrip versatile, capable of both dealing damage and limiting the enemy’s choices.
However, because a character has to be in melee range to use Booming Blade, it can be difficult to see the value in this cantrip. After all, the spell only deals damage if the enemy moves more than 5 feet. Why would an enemy move away from you if it’s already in melee range?
It turns out there are a lot of reasons why that might happen. And DnD players have found plenty of ways to exploit this knowledge. By combining certain feats and class archetypes with Booming Blade, it’s possible to routinely deal extra damage.
How To Use Booming Blade
A character could choose to run away after casting Booming Blade, forcing an opponent to chase them. But running from melee combat will provoke an attack of opportunity.
How can Booming Blade be used successfully? Is there a way for players to reliably deal extra damage with this evocation cantrip?
Because the cantrip requires its caster to make a successful melee strike, Booming Blade has a lot of interesting functions. Not only is this an effective cantrip for Wizards, Sorcerers, and Warlocks, but Rogues and Fighters can also benefit from this spell.
At low levels, Booming Blade deals 1d8 worth of thunder damage. This damage increases at levels 5, 11, and 17, making Booming Blade an effective spell even at high levels.
Before Booming Blade can deal damage, however, the target must move at least 5 feet. It’s not easy to force opponents to move, especially when they’re in melee range. After all, if the opponent can strike the player, why risk moving?
There are several ways to use Booming Blade. How players choose to make use of this cantrip will depend on several factors, however, including the character’s class and fighting style.
Most players use Booming Blade to accomplish the following goals:
- Controlling the enemy’s movement
- Discouraging the enemy from attacking the caster
- Dealing extra damage
Cantrips are hard to come by. Finding one that is useful at both low levels and high levels isn’t easy. Booming Blade is versatile and available in the early game.
Players will find many enemies prefer to stay out of melee range. Wizards and Rogues, for example, are notorious for keeping a distance between themselves and their foes.
Booming Blade is a good way to deal with enemies that like to keep their distance, forcing them to take damage if they choose to flee melee combat. A Wizard hit with Booming Blade will think twice before running away.
This cantrip also works well with the Mobile feat. Characters with the Mobile feat won’t provoke an attack of opportunity after making a melee strike. Using this technique allows a character to cast the Booming Blade cantrip and then disengage from combat without penalty.
DMs should consider which NPCs might use Booming Blade. If used correctly, these opponents can turn the tables on the party. Use this cantrip to deal some extra damage to the party’s spellcasters, or to put pressure on the party’s heavy hitters.
A group of Eldritch Knights with Booming Blade could prove quite formidable. These knights can use Booming Blade to limit the party’s mobility. DMs could use this tactic to great effect by having a nearby objective the party must reach. Or perhaps the Knights are covering for the villain as he makes an escape.
A gang of dangerous Arcane Tricksters could do even more damage. Using their Cunning Action ability, these Rogues could torment the party with Booming Blade, attacking and disengaging each turn, bringing pain and thunder with every rapier strike. Combining this cantrip with Sneak Attack is even nastier.
If the players are wielding Booming Blade, it might be a good idea to have enemies that are equipped with ranged attacks. It’s often a good idea to provide a mix of troops for the party to contend with. Not only does it give the DM more options in a fight, but the inclusion of different creatures usually makes the game more fun.
How Good Is Booming Blade?
If used with precision, Booming Blade can be very effective in combat. The cantrip’s versatility means that both Wizards and Fighters can make use of it, but before players can access Booming Blade’s full potential, they’ll need to do a little homework.
Booming Blade is best used to augment the capabilities of certain class archetypes. It’s important to keep in mind that Booming Blade uses a Spell Action instead of an Attack Action. As such, it has no synergy with abilities that require the use of the Attack Action, such as Extra Attack.
The Best Character Builds for Booming Blade
Because the Rogue’s Cunning Action ability pairs well with Booming Blade, many of the Roguish Archetypes are good candidates for this cantrip. Eldritch Knights and Bladesingers are also able to use Booming Blade to their advantage.
Booming Blade is a rather versatile and tactical spell. As a result, there are many classes that can make use of the cantrip. While we’ve highlighted a few fan favorites in this post, players are always encouraged to think of their own unique character builds.
The Arcane Trickster
Rogues may choose to practice the Arcane arts, enhancing their abilities through sorcery and illusion. At level 3, Rogues can take the Arcane Trickster archetype. These Rogues learn three cantrips from the Wizard spell list.
An Arcane Trickster using Booming Blade can make use of the Rogue’s Cunning Action ability. This ability, learned at level 2, enables the Rogue to Dash, Disengage, or Hide from an enemy with a bonus action.
Arcane Tricksters can cast Booming Blade in melee range to deal normal weapon damage before using a bonus action to Disengage and escape. If the enemy moves, they explode. Rinse and repeat.
The Bladesinger Wizard
Some Wizards believe there’s a spell for everything. Others find nothing that can replace the security of a good blade. Wizards of the latter variety may choose to follow the Arcane Tradition of Bladesinging. Booming Blade can be a good choice for these spellcasters.
These Elven Wizards know blades as well as they know magic, and they aren’t afraid to go head-to-head with ferocious monsters. Unlike their sometimes squeamish peers, Bladesinger Wizards aren’t afraid to take a punch.
Because Wizards prioritize Intelligence, they often struggle to deal heavy melee damage. Booming Blade gives Bladesingers the opportunity to increase their melee damage, a crucial ability, especially in the early game.
The Eldritch Knight
Some Fighters study magic to gain an edge in battle. These Eldritch Knights learn a few select spells and wield them tactically to overcome their enemies.
At 3rd level, Fighters may choose the path of the Eldritch Knight. Unlike Wizards, the Eldritch Knight keeps no spellbook, preferring to memorize the few spells he or she knows.
Eldritch Knights can choose spells from the evocation and abjuration schools of magic. Because Booming Blade is an evocation spell, Eldritch Knights can learn this cantrip. For these Fighters, Booming Blade can be used to excerpt additional control over the battlefield.
While Eldritch Knights know a few spells, don’t expect to see them in the back ranks of a fight. These Knights can use Booming Blade to force their enemies into difficult decisions.
Most enemies prefer to go after more vulnerable members of the party. Hitting an enemy with Booming Blade encourages it to stay where it is. This helps protect the other members of the party.
The Booming Swashbuckler
Swashbucklers excel at swordplay. For these Rogues, combat is an art form. At level 3, these Rogues learn Fancy Footwork, an ability that teaches them how to strike a foe and slip away without provoking a counterattack.
By taking the Magic Initiate feat, any character can learn cantrips from the Wizard’s spell list, including Booming Blade. Combining Fancy Footwork with Booming Blade allows a Swashbuckler to hit the enemy and then move out of melee range.
After being struck by a Booming rapier, an enemy can either wait around to get attacked or face the thunder.
Booming Blade Tactics
Characters can use Booming Blade to restrict an opponent’s options in combat. Hitting a creature with Booming Blade sheaths it in light. If the creature tries to run, it goes boom. If it moves to attack another character, it goes boom. If it stays still, the light disappears, but then you can hit it again.
Booming Blade is also a good way to cover an escape. Not all fights are worth the trouble. Try hitting the enemy with Booming Blade before running for the hills. Escaping is easier with magic on your side. As you can imagine, chasing someone is hard enough when thunder damage isn’t involved.
Not all enemies in DnD are keen to fight at close-range. Some creatures prefer to fight from a distance. Rogues, for example, are experts at slipping into the shadows, escaping blades and justice alike. Players can use Booming Blade to keep enemies from fleeing. With this cantrip, any fleet-footed cowards will have their heads’ rattled.
How Often Can You Use Booming Blade?
Because Booming Blade is a cantrip, there’s no limit to how many times a character can use it. Cantrips are tiny spells perfected by training in the magical arts. These spells become so familiar that casting them is almost second nature.
Is Booming Blade a Bonus Action?
Booming Blade uses 1 Spell Attack action. As a result, characters cannot usually use a bonus action to cast this cantrip. The only exception is the Sorcerer.
Using their Metamagic abilities, the Sorcerer is able to cast certain spells as a bonus action. By spending two of her sorcery points, Sorcerers can Quicken Booming Blade and cast it as a bonus action.
Best Feats for Booming Blade
Booming Blade can be used in combination with many spells and abilities to enhance the spell’s power. For instance, characters with Booming Blade can take the Spell Sniper feat and cast the cantrip from farther away.
Spell Sniper will double the range of a spell that features an attack roll. With Spell Sniper, characters can cast Booming Blade from 10 feet instead of 5. This sinister combination is very effective against enemies lacking ranged attacks.
Of course, Spell Sniper isn’t the only feat that works well with Booming Blade. One benefit of the War Caster feat is the ability to cast a spell when an enemy provokes an attack of opportunity.
Imagine a goblin attempting to run away from a Wizard with War Caster. The goblin provokes an attack as it turns its back to run. The clever Wizard casts Booming Blade on the goblin, hitting the creature with her staff. As the goblin runs, the thunder comes. Lights out, mister goblin.
The Booming Blade cantrip is a great choice for a variety of characters. Wizards, Sorcerers, Rogues, Fighters, and more can all use this spell to deliver some extra damage.
Booming Blade is also a great tactical spell, providing characters with a form of map control. However players choose to use this cantrip, the results are guaranteed to be explosive.
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I played the game a lot as a kid, back in first edition. Over the past few years since 5e was released, I’ve really started getting back into it. Currently, I run a campaign online for some friends and my brothers, and we also play a side-sesh just to mix things up.
How does booming blade work? ›
Booming Blade increases the damage of opportunity attacks by using the Warcaster feat. If an enemy provokes an opportunity attack, you can use your reaction to make one melee attack against that enemy. Note that you don't take the Attack action, so Extra Attack does not apply to an opportunity attack.Does forced movement activate booming blade? ›
no, in the sense that forced movement from Dissonant Whispers is not "willingly moves" as required by Booming Blade for bonus damage.Can you use booming blade with a two handed weapon? ›
Booming Blade (2h+): Damage dealt by Booming Blade with a two-handed weapon if the target moves and triggers the secondary damage. Green-Flame Blade (2h): Damage dealt by Green-Flame Blade while using a two-handed weapon like a greatsword.Does standing up count as movement for booming blade? ›
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.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).What triggers booming blade? ›
The creature has to move willingly to trigger the booming blade effects. If you have the Crusher feat from Tashas you can push the opponent back 5ft, and the Mobile feat lets you move away w/o provoking. The creature has to move willingly to trigger the booming blade effects.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.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.What stat do you use for booming blade? ›
Moreover, in the previous edition, Booming Blade and Green Flame Blade explicitly use Intelligence to make the attack.Does booming blade let you attack twice? ›
"Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
Can you use booming blade with unarmed attack? ›
The booming blade and green-flame blade spells specify that they are used with a weapon, so an unarmed strike isn't eligible. How does the new unarmed fighting style work with two weapon fighting? Can you make an offhand unarmed strike as a bonus action if you take the two weapon feat?Is booming Blade good for rogues? ›
They either want to make more than one attack and don't have tools to force or encourage enemies to move otherwise that justify the cast. If you're a rogue, give Booming Blade a try. You other martial/caster hybrids out there are better off using different actions.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.Can I Twin 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.Can you stand up with 0 movement? ›
The usual interpretation is that if your speed is reduced to zero - you can't move. Since standing up requires you to move, but a zero speed prevents movement. You can't stand up.Does Fancy Footwork work with booming blade? ›
Yes, Fancy Footwork applies in these instances
So both Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade do trigger Fancy footwork.
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.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 booming blade work with a whip? ›
@JeremyECrawford Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade can't be used with whip at 10 feet reach...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 cast booming blade as a bonus action? ›
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 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.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.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.Can you cast booming blade as a reaction? ›
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 use booming blade with haste? ›
Booming blade and Green-flame blade are not "one weapon attack only". You write: But haste has in parenthesis (one weapon attack only), but you can satisfy this by making one weapon attack as part of the cantrip, as Green-flame Blade or Booming Blade specifically have you make a weapon attack.Can you cast booming blade and attack on the same turn? ›
First of all, at level 7 you do get the ability to cast a cantrip (like Booming Blade) and to make an extra attack as part of the same action. So, you might not be able to do it at level 5 when you get your second attack, but you'll be able to do something close to it at level 7.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 you use booming blade with Sentinel? ›
So if you use that, you have not made an opportunity attack (regardless of whether the spell deals any damage or has any other effect on the creature or what kind of rolls the spell requires you or the target to make) and so it does not activate Sentinel. This would include spells like Booming Blade.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.
What weapon should a Rogue use? ›
Melee Weapon (Simple, Dagger)
True to the theme of the Rogue, a Dagger of Venom is a great starting weapon they could invest in. Given its simple nature, a Dagger of Venom is easily craftable in most cities and even given as rewards after carefully-curated quests.
I do think that Booming Blade is solid for control, and for Cleric and Rogue it's a very solid damage bump. However, I've seen damage calculations that assume the extra damage will trigger 50% of the time or even all the time, when in reality it's more like 5-10% of the time without some kind of support.Do rogues need wisdom or intelligence? ›
Rogue Ability Scores
Dexterity is key for any Rogue, and Intelligence is important for Arcane Tricksters, but your need for Wisdom and Charisma depend largely on your choice of skills and role in the party.
The bonus action attack from Polearm Master is triggered by taking the Attack action. Casting Green Flame Blade is the Cast a Spell action so it unfortunately does not trigger that second attack.Does booming blade count as magical damage? ›
The booming blade spell isn't intended to make the required weapon attack magical. So the weapon attack you make as part of the spell is not magical on its own.How many times can you use booming blade? ›
"Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. Moreover, you can cast one of your cantrips in place of one of those attacks."Can a creature be affected by booming blade twice? ›
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.Can I Twin 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.Can you stack booming blades? ›
It won't stack. This is from the PHB. The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don't combine, however.Does booming blade and Greenflame Blade stack? ›
Green-Flame Blade can no longer be twinned. Booming Blade can no longer be twinned.
Can I use Smite on 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.Can you use battle maneuvers with 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.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 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.Does spell sniper increase booming blade range? ›
Spell Sniper extends the range of Green Flame Blade but it doesn't increase your weapon's reach. However, it does let you use Green Flame Blade with a reach weapon like a whip or halberd from 10 feet away.