Meteor Swarm… for when you absolutely positively must destroy everything in sight.
That might seem a bit over dramatic but we assure you it is not.
Meteor Swarm is why you make a Wizard or Sorcerer, it’s an epic nuclear option that takes out everything in its “path”. I mean who doesn’t get excited rolling forty dice at once?!
Meteor Swarm is one of many iconic spells that has been around since 1st edition AD&D and is definitely a fan favorite that has stood the test of time.
So today we’re taking a closer look at the ultimate destructive spell in D&D 5e: Meteor Swarm!
What is Meteor Swarm?
Meteor Swarm is an ultra-powerful and highly effective spell that metes out meteor loads of damage.
We’ve provided the official spell description from the 5e Player’s Handbook below for reference purposes and clarity.
CASTING TIME: 1 Action
RANGE/AREA: 1 mile
COMPONENTS: V, S
ATTACK/SAVE: DEX Save
DAMAGE/EFFECT: Fire and Bludgeoning
Blazing orbs of fire plummet to the ground at four different points you can see within range. Each creature in a 40-foot-radius sphere centered on each point you choose must make a Dexterity saving throw. The sphere spreads around corners. A creature takes 20d6 fire damage and 20d6 bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A creature in the area of more than one fiery burst is affected only once.
The spell damages objects in the area and ignites flammable objects that aren’t being worn or carried.
WHAT DOES METEOR SWARM DO IN 5E?
Meteor Swarm is a 9th level ranged Area of Effect spell from the School of Evocation.
Meteor Swarm has a range of 1 mile and four separate area of effect “zones” (four meteors). Each of these four different points produces a 40-foot radius sphere centered on each point.
Meteor Swarm in D&D 5e deals two types of potential damage, 20d6 fire damage and 20d6 bludgeoning damage. A successful Dexterity saving means the PC only takes takes half as much damage. Ouch!!!
If that’s not enough, keep in mind that you can’t just take cover to avoid its effects as it spreads around corners.
In good news, if you are the victim of a Meteor Swarm you can only be affected by one of the blazing orbs of fire no matter how many of the four spheres you are in the range of.
So let’s end this section with something optimistic and move on to the next section.
WHO CAN CAST METEOR SWARM IN 5E?
Meteor Swarm is a 9th level spell accessible by wizards and sorcerers.
Both Sorcerers and Wizards can begin to use the spell at 17th level and it is well worth the wait.
TIPS FOR PLAYERS USING METEOR SWARM IN 5E?
Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when using Meteor Swarm in your 5e game:
Be Wary of Counterspell
One note to spellcasters looking to cast Meteor Swarm is to make sure you are not in range of any spellcasters that have access to Counterspell. With a range of 1 mile this should not be a problem.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use it on Enemies with Fire Immunity
As many more experienced players are aware resistance and immunity to fire are the most common forms of damage reduction or negation when it comes to Dungeons and Dragons adversaries in 5e.
Do NOT let this discourage you from using this spell as it also deals bludgeoning damage, and let’s be honest damage resistance to fire is so minimal it won’t make any real difference.
Though, of course, getting around resistances (such as with the Elemental Adept feat) is also an option!
Be Aware of Your Adventuring Companions
This should go without saying but we’ll say it anyway, make sure none of your companions are in the range of this nuclear blast. It will probably annihilate them as well as your relationship with other players in your campaign!
METEOR SWARM 5E DM TIPS
One aspect of Meteor Swarm DMs need to be aware of is “can this spell be cast indoors”? You’ll find both yes and no answers if you do some research.
Personally, I tend to say yes as there is no text in the description that says otherwise. However, this is your call BUT be sure to discuss this with PCs who are hoping to use this spell ahead of time.
Another thing you want to keep in mind as a DM is whether or not any adversaries have the ability to cast Counterspell and are within 60 feet of the caster. If so, this is the time to USE IT!
Lastly, if any creatures with survival instincts do survive the “instantaneous blazing orbs of doom” that just rocked their entire world, seriously consider having them run off to fight another day. Meteor Swarm should be a morale killer for enemies and a major morale booster for adventuring parties.
IS METEOR SWARM 5E A GOOD SPELL?
YES! You won’t get any mixed reactions on this spell it’s one of the best spells in Dungeons and Dragons by a longshot.
Meteor Swarm is the undisputed heavyweight of damage-based spells by a wide margin. 40d6 damage, independent of save, kills everything with 70 or fewer hit points and often wipes out creatures with up to 140 hit points.
Simply put, there is no other spell that does as much direct damage in such a wide area as this. With a range of 1 mile and four areas of effect (all 40 feet in radius), it covers a lot of ground. LITERALLY.
Meteor Swarm makes spells like Power Word Kill seem underwhelming by comparison. This 9th level spell is right up there with Time Stop and Wish as perhaps the best spell available to Wizards and Sorcerers.
One thing is for sure, it’s the least complicated of the three spells.
But what about Fireball cast at 9th level? It makes Fireball and many other lower-level spells that are cast using a 9th level spell slot seem like paper cuts by comparison.
METEOR SWARM FAQS
Can a creature be affected by more than one 40-foot sphere?
No. As the description states, a creature can only be affected by one fiery burst per casting.
Does the spell Reverse Gravity have any effect on Meteor Swarm?
No. Reverse Gravity only works on creatures and objects and a spell is neither.
Conclusion – Meteor Swarm for D&D 5e
Meteor Swarm is a classic Dungeons and Dragons spell, and for good reason! if you like to roll several handfuls of dice when it comes to dealing damage, that’s a good enough reason.
We’d love to hear your epic tales dealing with this spell in the comments section below, and we’d also love to hear how your table handles the question of whether or not this spell works indoors.
Once again we’d like to wrap up this spell guide by thanking you all for reading and supporting the Tabletop Joab website.
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