DnD Green-Flame Blade 5e spell guide

Wizards of the Coast’s tabletop RPG D&D offers flaming flavour and decent damage with the DnD Green Flame 5e spell – here are the key details

DnD Green Flame Blade 5e - wizards of the coast art of a Blood Hunter

The DnD Green-Flame Blade spell brings epic pyrotechnics to any combat scenario. If the clashing of swords isn’t enough excitement for you, simply cast this cantrip. A roaring emerald flame will leap through the air, burning an enemy to a chartreuse cinder.

This is a cantrip for spellcasters who aren’t content to stand on the sidelines once initiative is rolled. No – these arcane aggressors run head-first into the fray, burning sword held high and ready to deal some supernatural damage. The DnD Green-Flame Blade 5e spell has a lot more to offer than just cool, crackling flavour.

However, there are some things you’ll need to consider before adding Green-Flame Blade to your spell list. Below you’ll find all you need to know about the cantrip – how to cast, who can cast it, and whether it’s worth your character casting at all.

Here’s a full guide to the DnD Green-Flame Blade 5e spell:

DnD Green Flame Blade 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of an adventuring party exploring

Green-Flame Blade 5e features

Level Cantrip
Casting time One action
Duration Instantaneous
Range / Area Self (five feet)
Attack / Save Melee
School Evocation

DnD Green Flame Blade 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a gnome spellcaster in combat

How to cast Green-Flame Blade 5e

First, gather your components. A somatic component is easy enough as it just requires movement. You do need a material component for this cantrip, but it’s a melee weapon worth at least one silver piece – and that’s not hard to come by for an adventurer.

You’ll need the weapon as this spell lets you make a melee attack against a creature within five feet. Roll to attack as normal, and your target suffers your weapon’s standard damage and effects if you hit.

This is where the green flame comes in. On a successful hit, green fire roars up from your weapon, leaping to another target of your choice within five feet. The second creature then takes fire damage equal to your spellcasting ability modifier. 

DnD Green Flame Blade 5e - Wizards of the Caost art of a woman standing over enemies engulfed in flames

Who can cast Green-Flame Blade 5e

If you’re planning on playing a Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard, or Artificer, congrats! You’re on the VIP list for learning Green-Flame Blade. However, these aren’t the only classes that can get their grubby mitts on a bit of Grinch-coloured fire. The right subclasses make this cantrip available for a variety of characters.

The Eldritch Knight Fighter and Arcane Trickster Rogue can both learn Wizard cantrips from third level, so Green-Flame Blade quickly becomes an option. Next, there’s the beloved but unofficial Blood Hunter. A Hunter in the Order of the Profane Soul can also learn Green-Flame Blade from level three thanks to their access to Warlock cantrips.

And then there’s the Bard. All level ten Bards learn Magical Secrets, which means they can add two spells from any class to their known spells. College of Lore Bards can access Magical Secrets even earlier at level six. However, considering Green-Flame Blade is a lowly cantrip, you might want to consider using these opportunities to pick up some beefier 5e spells instead. 

DnD Green Flame Blade 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a halfling swinging an axe

Green-Flame Blade tips 5e

Green-Flame Blade’s damage scales as you level up. By level five, your melee attack deals an extra 1d8 fire damage to its target on a hit – and the fire damage you do to your second target gets a boost of 1d8 plus your spellcasting ability modifier. Both attacks deal another 1d8 damage at 11th and 17th level, so you’re rolling 3d8 for each attack by the time you’re level 17.

It’s pretty sweet to have a cantrip that gets more powerful as your campaign continues, but Green-Flame Blade is far from a perfect spell choice. There are plenty of other cantrips with scaling damage – Eldritch Blast 5e and Fire Bolt both do 1d10 damage at minimum, so they’re a more obvious choice for hit point hunters.

DnD Green Flame Blade 5e - wizards of the coast art of a wizard

Granted, Green-Flame Blade does let you hit multiple targets with one attack – but this is reliant on your prowess as a melee fighter. Spellcasters aren’t famously strong in this department unless you’re dipping into a bit of multiclassing. A Blood Hunter or Eldritch Knight would have far better luck with this cantrip than a Wizard, even though the spell was originally in their spell list.

Also, if you are playing a class that consistently lands melee attacks, you might already be able to attack twice in a turn by other means. For example, Fighters can straight-up attack twice from level five onwards.

Since Green-Flame Blade technically uses the ‘cast a spell’ action rather than the ‘attack’ action, the Fighter now needs to weigh up whether they want to use the spell or the attacks. Attacking twice gives them two chances to succeed rather than one, and if you’re casting Green-Flame Blade at low levels, chances are those two attacks will do more damage.