When every spell slot counts, you’ll want to avoid the trap of taking the worst Druid spells.
Some of these may find some very situational uses, but all in all, you’re better off passing on them. Hey, they can’t all be winners, you know?
As with our previous article covering the Best Druid Spells by Level, we’ve chosen a single winner (or, in this case, loser) for each spell level.
Depending on how you build your Druid some of these spells may be more useful, but we’re looking at the Druid in general for this list.
Worst Druid Cantrip – Mending
Something has to take last place! For Druids, that is the Mending cantrip.
There are some situations in which Mending is useful to have, but they are very few and far between.
Situations like having a barrel of water develop a leak as you are trekking through the desert are great for having a purpose to use this cantrip.
But the question has to be asked, is this happening so often that it justifies taking up one of the Druid’s limited known cantrips?
Level 1 – Beast Bond
Beast Bond is an interesting spell, but it’s very difficult to get value out of this.
Druids don’t get a beast companion that would allow them to regularly get use out of this.
I’ve heard it suggested that you could get some value if you use this in combination with Conjure Animals to buff one of your summons. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t work because both of these spells require you to maintain concentration.
I suppose you could have an ally Ranger cast Conjure Animals, but that’s some heavy resource usage for something that’s just kind of “meh.”
Level 2 – Find Traps
One day I will find something good to say about the Find Traps spell, but today will not be that day.
This is a level 2 spell that only lets you know if there are traps within your line of sight and what their general nature is.
It won’t tell you where the trap is and it won’t point out things that are effectively traps but weren’t designed as such (like a sinkhole or an unstable ceiling that is about to collapse.)
I almost forced myself to choose a different level 2 spell for this list because I’m reasonably sure that this will also pop up in similar articles for Clerics and Rangers in the future.
But I can’t bring myself to ignore the plain and simple truth that the greatest trap of all is this spell.
Druid, take heed and just invest in your Investigation skill if you’re wanting to focus on trap-finding.
Level 3 – Flame Arrows
Gaining access to level 3 spells is always somewhat of a milestone. After all, it’s where most classes get some of their most powerful and signature spells!
Flame Arrows looks and sounds cool, I’ll give you that. Giving this to your party’s ranged attacker is a buff that can throw down 12d6 extra fire damage against the enemy. That’s more damage than Fireball!
But there are some questionable assumptions being made by taking this spell.
First, you have to touch the quiver containing the arrows or bolts that you wish to affect. If your party’s ranged combatant has already scurried off to the backline thanks to their high Dexterity on Initiative, you’ll have to catch up. Otherwise, you would need to know to cast this before combat starts.
Secondly, this spell requires concentration. Since most of the Druid’s big spells require concentration, you will either have to fight without using those or shift your concentration and effectively waste the 3rd level slot that you used to cast this.
Thirdly, that total 12d6 damage assumes that every one of the attacker’s shots hit. As cool as it would be for all 12 attacks to hit, it’s unlikely. Of course, that’s also assuming that you don’t lose concentration…
These assumptions are what rank Flame Arrows among the worst Druid spells.
Level 4 – Confusion
Most of the level 4 spells available to Druids are actually pretty solid with no clear “worst option.”
That said, I have to settle on picking Confusion as the worst level 4 Druid spell.
There are so many variables with this spell that it’s difficult to really plan for getting specific use out of it.
It’s an AoE spell which can definitely hurt a group of enemies who fail their Wisdom saving throws.
If affected by the Confusion spell, there is an 80% chance that they won’t still get to act and move normally. More often than not, the affected creature won’t get to move or take actions on their turn, but they may run off in a different direction or attack whoever is closest to them as a result of rolling on the Confusion table. (Page 225 of the PHB)
A Confused creature repeats its Wisdom saving throw at the end of each of its turns.
With so many solid level 4 spell options for Druids, I’m not a fan of having so many variables in the spell. Will they fail their initial save? Will they attack each other? Will they run off? Will it last for more than 1 round?
Confusion isn’t necessarily an awful spell, but there are many better options at this level.
Level 5 – Wrath of Nature
So… Wrath of Nature is an incredibly powerful spell with a ton of interesting flavor. However, it has one setback: you need to be in the proper area to use it…
If you aren’t in a forested area with plenty of trees, grass, rocks, and roots for this spell to work, it’s just taking up a spell slot that would be better used for something like Greater Restoration or Maelstrom.
Because the types of areas where this spell is most effective are just a small part of the larger world, you probably won’t get to use this much or at all. This is the sole reason that Wrath of Nature finds itself among the worst Druid spells.
If you know, however, that you are going to be in an area with plenty of forest or jungle environment to interact with, this spell goes towards the top of the list. But taken in general, this isn’t one of your better options.
Level 6 – Move Earth
Much like with the Druid’s level 4 spell options, there really aren’t any clear “losers” on the level 6 spell list. Every spell has clear uses (though some are more situational or flavor-based than others) with plenty of options for control and utility.
But something has to be at the bottom of the list and that something is Move Earth.
This spell allows you to completely reform an area’s terrain, which can be very nice. You might raise the area’s elevation to stop the floods that plague the town or create trenches to help irrigate the farmers’ crops.
You might use it offensively to shift the land beneath an enemy base in such a way that portions of it may collapse.
While changes caused by this spell happen slowly and will rarely result in trapping or injuring creatures, there is plenty of room to be creative.
This spell finds itself at the bottom of the level 6 spell barrel simply because of how good so many of the other options are!
The others have very clear benefits to their usage while Move Earth largely dwells in benefitting roleplay (such as helping the townspeople) or in creative problem-solving (such as weakening the structure of an enemy base.)
While I wouldn’t say Move Earth is useless, it’s just a lot less likely to be of service to you when you are actively adventuring.
Level 7 – Regenerate
It’s not just out of sheer audacity that I’m putting the Regenerate spell at the bottom of the level 7 spell list. Honestly!
It offers some decent healing at 4d8+15 in addition to an extra 10 hit points every minute (1hp at the start of each of the target’s turns) for its entire hour duration.
Honestly, this healing spell can basically guarantee that whoever it is cast on will only die in the most extreme situations like taking overwhelming damage, being on the wrong end of a disintegrate spell, or getting dogpiled between dropping to 0 hp and the start of their next turn.
That’s pretty awesome!
So why is it at the bottom of the list?
The biggest draw to this spell is assuming a rule that I have very rarely seen done at tables: the potential for lingering injuries and losing limbs.
If your game uses this rule, it’s almost certain that your Druid will spend their first week as a level 13 Druid using this spell to regenerate their allies’ lost limbs and bits. This late in the game, there’s bound to be quite a few!
But I don’t commonly see this rule used in games and don’t particularly care to use it in my own. Because the ability to regrow limbs is half of this spell’s effect, the healing factor only becomes situationally useful.
Level 8 – Control Weather
Let’s talk about Control Weather…
This spell lets you change the precipitation, wind, and temperature within a 5 mile radius.
There are certainly situations where this would be very useful. I imagine a Druid using this to change the direction of the wind as enemies are trying to lay siege to their group’s base. Changing the wind to help support a fire attack is a huge play that can likely completely turn the tides of the battle.
But there’s another situation that I quickly imagine when reading this spell…
The Druid, having spent the last 15 levels of their character being a protector and ally of nature suddenly becomes a type of Chaos Gremlin.
They immediately begin harnessing the power of nature to cause pouring rain that leads to disastrous flooding.
They raise the temperature of frozen areas to unbearable heat and likely destroy entire ecosystems in the process.
With little gain and a power that can potentially result in the end of a campaign (or a remarkably frustrated DM), Control Weather is at the bottom of the level 8 spell options.
Everything else at this level has some purpose other than causing complete and total chaos.
To be honest, I may be missing something with Control Weather. Whatever the case, I have a hard time looking past this worse-case scenario! It could make for some good RP in the group’s downtime, I guess?
Of the options available to Druids looking to cast some 9th level spells, I was initially worried that I wouldn’t really one to pick.
I mean, there were a couple throughout this list that I had to really think about, but Level 9 are the heavy-hitters!
Foresight is the single best buff in the entire game.
Shapechange is possibly the most fun spell I’ve ever used (because who wouldn’t want to play as a Beholder or a Purple Worm?!).
True Resurrection is obviously incredibly useful despite being expensive.
Then there’s also Storm of Vengeance!
Oh… that one…
All of my deliberation about this has inspired me to write an entire article about Storm of Vengeance that I will publish here soon.
In the meantime, all I have to say is sentence to make it clear why this spell most certainly deserves its place at the bottom of the Level 9 barrel:
“The effects don’t stack.”
Storm of Vengeance stands at the same spell level as Foresight, Shapechange, and True Resurrection, but the effects don’t stack?
When I think of Level 9 spells, I’m looking for god-tier abilities that fundamentally shape reality as we know it.
I’m not looking for one minute of “meh” damage with some actual effects somewhere in the middle of it.
If the effects of Storm of Vengeance stacked, I honestly don’t know what I would put here. It would be an incredible spell that would, at worst, possibly be too powerful for even the level 9 tier.
But when the rules designer for the game says that they don’t…
As always, it’s your game and your DM can make of this what they please. But if we’re going Rules-as-Written, this is an absolute hard pass!
Conclusion – Worst Druid Spells By Level
There really aren’t many bad spells on the Druid’s spell list. Most are very useful in their specific situations which requires some planning for the Druid.
However, the ones that are duds are pretty severely underwhelming.
Do you agree with this list? Are there any Druid spells that you absolutely avoid like the plague?
Let me know in the comments below and let’s talk about it!
Also, don’t forget to check out our Complete Druid Guide for D&D 5e! It covers everything you need to fully channel the power of nature on your adventures!