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DnD Vicious Mockery 5e spell guide

Vicious Mockery 5e is a great DnD cantrip, one of the best early weapons in a Bard's arsenal - here's how to be so mean that it hurts

DnD a group of students creating ink blot monsters.

No one likes to be made fun of, but with the DnD spell Vicious Mockery 5e, you can deliver a put down so brutal it actually causes physical harm. This cantrip is a great little spell for the Bard class, known for its fantastic roleplay potential as well as the useful debuff it provides. No other Dungeons and Dragons spell provides an excuse to talk smack like Vicious Mockery does.

Sticks and stones may break their bones, but with this cantrip you’ll see that words can pack a punch as well, dealing psychic damage and putting your enemy off their next attack. As long as the target of Vicious Mockery 5e has hearing, the spell works. A monster doesn’t even have to understand your tirade – sometimes it’s all about tone of voice.

If you want to ask a monster if they’d like some ice for that burn, this is the cantrip for you. Below, barbed-tongued Bards will find everything they need to know about Vicious Mockery 5e.

Here’s everything there is to know about Vicious Mockery 5e:

Dnd dragonborn bard playing a lute

DnD Vicious Mockery 5e features

Spell Vicious Mockery
Level Cantrip
Casting time One action
Duration Instant
Range 60ft
Attack / Save Wisdom Save
Damage type Psychic
School Enchantment

When you cast Vicious Mockery 5e on a target within range who can hear, they must pass a Wisdom saving throw or take 1d4 psychic damage. If they fail to save they also get disadvantage on the first attack roll they make on their next turn.

The Vicious Mockery spell scales as you level up, dealing 2d4 damage at 5th level, 3d4 at 11th level, and 4d4 at 17th level.

DnD a tiefling bard wielding a sword and instrument

How to cast Vicious Mockery 5e

Like most cantrips, Vicious Mockery 5e is a pretty easy spell to cast – it only has Verbal components. You need to be able to speak in order to deliver your cutting remarks, but no rude gestures are required, and there’s no Material component.

Vicious Mockery is a cantrip on the Bard’s spell list. It’s an iconic spell that is to the Bard class what Eldritch Blast is to the Warlock, but there are a couple of other DnD classes that can use the spell, with a little work when character building.

For instance, a Warlock with Pact of the Tome could choose Vicious Mockery 5e as one of their extra cantrips. You could also take the Magic Initiate feat, which grants two cantrips from any spellcasting class, to get access to Vicious Mockery no matter your class.

DnD a bard singing a song to a bunch of fairies and frogs

Vicious Mockery 5e tips

Vicious Mockery 5e doesn’t do very much damage, but it’s still a spell that’s well worth taking. That’s because the Bard isn’t meant to be the party’s heaviest hitter; they’re supposed to play a controlling, utility role, hindering enemies and helping their friends.

Vicious Mockery does this job well. The debuff, granting disadvantage to the target’s next attack, might seem innocuous, but it can actually prevent a huge amount of damage during any combat. You can keep spamming mockeries on the toughest guy in a group to make them a lot less scary.