It’s more than worth taking a moment to take a broad look at the schools of magic in Dungeons & Dragons. In a world with wizards, sorcerers, bards and more that are capable of casting of powerful and reality-altering spells, it’s wise for any adventurer (magically-inclined or otherwise) to have at least a general understanding of the different schools of magic and what they are used for!

Magic in Dungeons & Dragons 5e

While it’s certainly important for spellcasters to know the schools of magic in D&D, there is still benefit for other characters to learn a little bit about each school.

Perhaps the party is tracking a dangerous Necromancer or seeking the counsel of a notoriously reclusive Diviner. They may have been told to be extra careful in the dungeon that they are adventuring into as the place is littered with dangerous Evocation traps.

Taking a moment to learn about the schools of magic in Dungeons & Dragons may be the difference between death and living to adventure another day.

What Is Abjuration Magic?

First up we have the magic from the School of Abjuration.

Abjuration magic is based on spells that are defensive in nature. These spells may function by increasing a character’s Armor Class, negating some other magical effect, or preventing access to something (such as a chest or room).

As spellcasters (particularly wizards) are notoriously squishy, very few would not include at least one or two Abjuration spells in their repertoire. It’s not paranoia! It’s preparation!

Some great examples of Abjuration magic are Shield, Counterspell, and Lesser Restoration.

What is Conjuration Magic?

Next up is the School of Conjuration.

Conjuration magic produces things (objects and even creatures!) out of thin air. If you want to make a “summoner” type character, Conjuration is your go-to school. Plus, as your spellcaster levels up, Conjuration also allows for incredibly convenient travel with the use of spells like Teleportation Circle or Planar Shift.

Examples of Conjuration magic in action include Create Food and Water, Conjure Woodland Beings, and Web.

What is Divination Magic?

Fans of Divination magic know above everything else that knowledge really is power. Using Divination magic, casters are able to spy on others, communicate with powerful beings, read others’ thoughts, and uncover secrets in the world around them. With Divination spells’ ability to dig deep beneath the surface of the story to potentially alter the future, many Dungeon Masters are just as excited as players when Divination magic is being used.

Practitioners of Divination magic often carry special tools to aid them in their casting. Crystal balls, Tarokka cards, and powerful runes are all common within Divination circles.

Examples of Divination magic include Identify, Comprehend Languages, Commune, and Scrying.

What is Enchantment Magic?

Prefer to control your enemies rather than blow them to bits? The School of Enchantment may be for you!

Enchantment magic realizes that it’s often better to make a new friend than to simply slay an enemy. With the ability to affect others’ minds with spell effects ranging from changing their mood, applying game-changing buffs and debuffs, or just outright bending them to your will, the uses of Enchantment magic are limitless.

A few standout Enchantment spells are Bless, Dominate Person, and Suggestion.

What is Evocation Magic?

There’s nothing wrong with a classic! The School of Evocation magic is likely what most players envision when they think of Wizards and Sorcerers.

Evocation magic harnesses the sheer power of the elements to create massively damaging spells. Not surprisingly, Evocation spells find the most application as artillery for military forces. While there are a few exceptions (such as Cure Wounds or Light), this school is mostly famous for classic spells like Fireball, Lightning Bolt, and Magic Missile.

What is Illusion Magic?

Illusion spells, much like those found in the School of Enchantment, excel in their ability to confuse enemies and subtly control the battlefield. If the thought of making yourself invisible, causing confusion amongst your enemies, and (let’s be honest here…) endless practical jokes is appealing to you, you may find yourself drawn to the School of Illusion.

This school is particularly associated with gnome wizards who combine their gift for arcane studies and love of practical jokes together to maddening effect. With spells that give you the ability to change your appearance and play all sorts of mind games with those around you, the school of Illusion allows for some particularly interesting roleplaying opportunities.

Examples of Illusion spells include Invisibility, Mirror Image, and Disguise Self.

What is Necromancy Magic?

We now arrive at the black sheep amongst the schools of magic: Necromancy.

Countless debates have been had, both in-game and out, about the morality of Necromancy. As the school that concerns itself with studies about life, death, and strange hybrids of the two, it’s nothing short of controversial.

Opponents of Necromancy view it as inherently evil and a type of perversion of the natural order of things. Meanwhile, many supporters of the school of Necromancy view themselves as pragmatists and misunderstood pioneers. After all, “waste not want not”, right?

Either way, students of the School of Necromancy walk a gray line in their arcane pursuits and flaunting these spells is likely to disturb many NPCs.

Necromancy spells come in a wide variety of flavors. Some are used to preserve bodies and restore life. Others are capable of dealing massive amounts of damage. Of course, it’s the spells that allow the caster to raise and animate corpses that are what the school is most (in)famous for.

Some common Necromancy spells include Animate Dead, Revivify, and Inflict Wounds.

What is Transmutation Magic?

Concluding the list of the Schools of Magic that are presented in the Dungeons & Dragons 5e Players’ Handbook, we come to a personal favorite: the School of Transmutation.

The School of Transmutation acknowledges that change is one of the only guaranteed things in the world. With spells that allow the caster to change the physical world around them to suit their needs, Transmutation spells focus heavily on utility to overcome challenges and control the battlefield.

But don’t be fooled! Spells like Disintegrate and Erupting Earth prove that this school isn’t scared to roll damage dice too.

Examples of Transmutation spells include Polymorph, Haste, Fly, and Telekinesis.

Which school of magic in Dungeons & Dragons 5e is your favorite? Would you like to see a deep dive article into one of these schools? Let us know in the comments below!