Wall of Thorns is powerful spell that is neatly tucked away in the Druid’s spell list.
Few things can help or hinder a party more than a well-placed wall. This is especially true when we’re talking about a wall of dangerous thorns ready to rip those who get too close into shreds!
This is one of those spells that seem to get overlooked quite a bit, which is honestly quite a shame…
But today we’re giving this spell the credit and overview that it deserves!
Put on some thick gardening gloves and mind your step. This is our guide to the Wall of Thorns spell in D&D 5e!
What is Wall of Thorns in D&D 5e
Wall of Thorns is a level 6 spell from the School of Conjuration that is exclusively found on the Druid spell list.
Used cleverly, it can cause utter havoc on the battlefield. The thorns put out respectable damage while the wall itself makes for an interesting element of control to trap, slow, or ward off enemies.
Note that the terrain doesn’t prevent you from being able to summon this wall. You could be in a deep catacomb of worked stone and still be able to summon the wall.
As always, we’ll provide the official spell description below from the 5e Player’s Handbook for reference and clarity.
Wall of Thorns – Spell Description
Spell Level: 6
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S, M (A handful of thorns)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes
Attack/Save: Dexterity Save
Damage/Effect: Piercing/Slashing damage
You create a wall of tough, pliable, tangled brush bristling with needle-sharp thorns. The wall appears within range on a solid surface and lasts for the duration. You choose to make the wall up to 60 feet long, 10 feet high, and 5 feet thick or a circle that has a 20-foot diameter and is up to 20 feet high and 5 feet thick. The wall blocks line of sight.
When the wall appears, each creature within its area must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 7d8 piercing damage, or half as much damage on a successful save.
A creature can move through the wall, albeit slowly and painfully. For every 1 foot a creature moves through the wall, it must spend 4 feet of movement. Furthermore, the first time a creature enters the wall on a turn or ends its turn there, the creature must make a Dexterity saving throw. It takes 7d8 slashing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 7th level or higher, both types of damage increase by 1d8 for each slot level above 6th.
Who Can Cast Wall of Thorns in D&D 5e?
The Wall of Thorns spell is exclusive to Druids in D&D 5e.
That’s right! The secrets that go into being able to cast this spell are closely guarded and not even available to Wizards or other spellcasters!
In fact, it’s such an iconic Druid spell that it comes built-in with the popular Druid item, the Staff of the Woodlands!
Though, I suppose a Bard could get curious and choose to learn this spell with their Magical Secrets feature.
Can Wall of Thorns Be Damaged or Destroyed?
Many players and DMs alike are often left wondering if Wall of Thorns can be damaged or destroyed.
This is actually a very interesting question that warrants having its own section in this article instead of just being in the FAQ section.
The problem is that the thorny vines and brush that are summoned aren’t particularly explained further in the description as it appears in D&D 5e.
But rather than just leaving it to the DM to make a judgment call, let’s instead turn the clock back a little bit!
Advice From the Old Days
Back in the days of 3.5, Wall of Thorns worked differently but had the same general concept. However, it did specifically make mention of a few important details.
- A creature must either push through the thorns to escape or wait until the spell ends.
- Creatures with the ability to pass through overgrown areas normally can pass through at a normal speed and without taking damage.
- Edged weapons can chop through the wall at a rate of 1 foot deep for every 10 minutes spent chopping or slashing.
- Normal fire cannot harm the wall, but magical fire burns it away in 10 minutes.
- Wall of Thorns is not actually a living plant and therefore is not affected by spells/effects that target plants.
Okay, so it’s still ultimately a judgment call for the DM, but this gives us some reasoning to make that call.
Because Wall of Thorns in D&D 5e lasts for 10 minutes, that removes the options for magically burning or bushwhacking sections of it away. (At least using the logic from 3.5 where the spell used to last for 10 minutes per Druid level.)
Regular fire and spells/effects (like the Blight spell) that would affect plants do not affect Wall of Thorns.
It might be interesting to allow certain creatures to safely navigate Wall of Thorns, though I would recommend against it. As a level 6 spell, it is (and absolutely should be) powerful and not easily dealt with.
However, a Wall of Thorns can still be removed by casting Dispel Magic if it’s already in effect or Counterspell while it’s being cast.
Of course, you can also always attempt to make the caster lose concentration as well!
Tips For Using Wall of Thorns in D&D 5e
In combat, look at the battlefield and your foes’ positions to see how Wall of Thorns can be the most effective.
You can summon the Wall of Thorns as either a 60ft straight line or a 20-foot diameter circle.
Naturally, you’ll want to catch as many foes as possible in the thorns immediately upon casting this spell.
But don’t ignore the ability of Wall of Thorns to cut off other foes’ line of sight, offer extra protection for your party, or present other control utility on the battlefield!
Using Wall of Thorns as a hazard on the battlefield, forcing enemies to push their way through the Wall of Thorns can be diabolical.
It’s especially potent if you can keep pulling enemies into the thorns. Spells like Grasping Vine or features/effects that can push or pull enemies into the wall become DEADLY when used strategically!
Feel free to channel your inner Jigsaw from the Saw movies as you force your foes to navigate the thorns and vines.
Is Wall of Thorns a Good Spell?
I’m not going to sugarcoat it; Wall of Thorns gets a ton of unfair hate.
Sure, looking strictly at the damage, 7d8 might feel a bit underwhelming for a level 6 spell.
But using your Wall of Thorns to isolate foes, cut off line of sight, and introduce a new hazard onto the battlefield comes with plenty of creative applications.
Druids have no shortage of ways to completely take control of the battlefield and terrain in D&D 5e.
Wall of Thorns plays wonderfully to those who wish to bring out this aspect of the powerful (though tragically underrated) Druid spell list.
Just be mindful that you’ll need to maintain concentration!
FAQs – Wall of Thorns in D&D 5e
As we wind down this guide to the Wall of Thorns spell in D&D 5e, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions.
Of course, feel free to reach out in the comments if you still have any questions. I’m always happy to help!
Is Wall of Thorns Magical Damage?
Pardon the pun, but it’s possible to get really in the weeds about whether or not the damage dealt by Wall of Thorns is magical.
Those who insist that the damage is not magical typically say that the spell creates the wall of thorns but isn’t actually doing the damage. Though this creates a certain “chicken and the egg” problem.
But how silly would it be to say “Fireball isn’t magical damage because the damage was dealt by the effect of the explosion and not the spell itself”?
Personally, because it’s created by casting a spell and using a spell slot, I rule that it is magical damage. This thinking is echoed on page 20 of this Sage Advice compendium.
So, for example, if an enemy is resistant to nonmagical damage, they would still take full damage from Wall of Thorns.
Can Wall of Thorns Be Lit on Fire?
Falling back on the logic from the old version of Wall of Thorns, I would say that it can’t be lit on fire. Certainly not enough to burn a hole through it.
You might flavor this as the magic vines and brush simply not igniting. On the other hand, you might say that the wall is growing and writhing at such a rate that the fire is immediately snuffed out.
Does Wall of Thorns Block Line of Sight?
Yes, Wall of Thorns does block the line of sight.
This means the spell can be especially useful for trapping foes that like to teleport or are receiving healing from their allies.
It also adds some defensive utility to what it’s capable of doing depending on how you use it.
How Does Blight Interact with Wall of Thorns?
Because the plants conjured to make Wall of Thorns are not real plants, they wouldn’t suffer the extra effects of the Blight spell.
Additionally, other spells that specifically affect plants would not work either.
Conclusion – Wall of Thorns in D&D 5e
I hope you’ve found this guide to the Wall of Thorns spell in D&D 5e helpful!
As always, feel free to leave a comment if you still have questions about this spell or if you have a fun story about how it’s been used in your own games!