Moonbeam 5e: Silvery Beam of Death

Written by: Staff



Time to read 11 min

In the magical realms of Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, the Moonbeam 5e spell has long been regarded as a versatile and deadly weapon for spellcasters. But in the latest update, Moonbeam 5e takes this classic spell to a whole new level. With its silvery beam of death, it promises an even more dramatic and engaging experience for players. Moonbeam 5e introduces exciting enhancements, bringing a fresh twist to combat encounters. Players can now harness the power of the moon to unleash devastating attacks on their foes, bathed in the ethereal glow of the silvery beam. Whether you're a fan of controlling the battlefield or prefer to deal massive damage, this spell offers a multitude of strategic options that will keep even the most seasoned adventurers on their toes. But be warned, mastering Moonbeam 5e is no simple task. It requires careful timing, precise positioning, and tactical decision making. Success lies in understanding the intricacies of this powerful spell, as well as knowing when and how to utilize its full potential. Prepare to explore the realms of moonlit magic like never before with Moonbeam 5e: Silvery Beam of Death. Sharpen your skills and unleash the full might of the moon's wrath upon your enemies. Are you ready to embrace the power of the moon?

How does the Moonbeam 5e spell work?

The Moonbeam spell is a potent tool that allows spellcasters to harness the power of the moon and unleash it upon their enemies. When cast, a silvery beam of light shines down from above, creating a 5-foot radius cylinder that extends up to 40 feet high. Any creature that starts its turn in the beam or enters it for the first time on a turn takes radiant damage. This damage increases when you reach higher levels, making Moonbeam a formidable spell to wield.

The versatility of Moonbeam lies in its ability to be moved as a bonus action on subsequent turns. This allows spellcasters to strategically position the beam, ensuring maximum damage and control over the battlefield. Additionally, Moonbeam has the potential to dispel magical darkness and shape-shifters, making it a valuable tool in encounters against certain creatures.

Moonbeam (2nd-level Evocation)

  • Casting Time : 1 action
  • Range : 120 feet
  • Components : V, S, M (several seeds of any moonseed plant and a piece of opalescent feldspar)
  • Duration : Concentration, up to 1 minute


When you cast Moonbeam 5e, a silvery beam of pale light shines down in a 5-foot radius, 40-foot high cylinder centered on a point within range. Until the spell ends, you can use an action to move the beam up to 60 feet in any direction.

When a creature enters the spell's area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it is engulfed in ghostly flames that cause searing pain, and it must make a Constitution saving throw. It takes 2d10 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Shapechangers make this saving throw with disadvantage. If it fails, it also instantly reverts to its original form and can't assume a different form until it leaves the spell's light.

At Higher Levels

When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d10 for each slot level above 2nd.


Moonbeam is particularly effective against shapechangers and can also be used strategically to control the battlefield, due to its ability to move the beam each turn. It is often used in areas that restrict movement or to protect choke points.

This spell can be found in the Player's Handbook, a core resource for players and Dungeon Masters playing D&D 5e.

Spell Slot Level Damage (Radiant)
2 2d10
3 3d10
4 4d10
5 5d10
6 6d10
7 7d10
8 8d10
9 9d10

Each "d10" represents a ten-sided die, so "2d10" means you roll two ten-sided dice to determine the damage. The damage increases by one ten-sided die for each slot level above the second. This allows for significant damage potential when using higher-level spell slots.

Moonbeam spell statistics and mechanics

To fully understand the power and potential of Moonbeam, it's important to delve into its statistics and mechanics. Moonbeam is a 2nd-level concentration spell that requires verbal, somatic, and material components to cast. The material component, a bit of moonstone, symbolizes the connection to the moon's energy and serves as a conduit for the spell's power.

When casting Moonbeam, it's crucial to consider the spell's duration and concentration requirements. The spell lasts for up to 1 minute, allowing for several rounds of combat to take advantage of its effects. However, maintaining concentration is essential to sustain the spell, as any damage taken while concentrating requires a concentration check to avoid losing control over Moonbeam. This adds an element of risk and strategy to its usage.

Effectiveness Against Types : Moonbeam is particularly effective against creatures with the shapechanger subtype. These creatures take damage as usual and suffer the additional effect of reverting to their original form, unable to change form while in the beam. This makes the spell uniquely powerful against such foes, including werewolves and doppelgangers.

Damage Potential : At its base level (2nd level spell slot), Moonbeam deals an average damage of 11 (2d10). When cast using a 9th level spell slot, it deals an average of 49.5 damage (9d10), illustrating significant scaling with higher spell slots.

5e moonbeam over mountains with snow

Moonbeam 5e spellcasting tips and strategies

Mastering Moonbeam requires careful consideration of timing and positioning. To maximize its effectiveness, it's advisable to cast Moonbeam at the start of combat, ensuring that enemies will be caught in the beam at the beginning of their turns. This guarantees damage and increases the chances of interrupting enemy spellcasting or concentration.

Strategic placement of Moonbeam is also crucial. By positioning the beam in chokepoints or areas where enemies are likely to move, you can control the battlefield and force opponents to make difficult choices. Creating a zone of radiant damage can limit enemy movement and provide an advantage to your allies.

Moonbeam 5e spell variations and enhancements

Moonbeam 5e introduces exciting enhancements to the classic spell, offering players more options and customization. One such enhancement is the ability to increase the spell's damage by using higher-level spell slots. This allows for scaling damage as players level up, ensuring that Moonbeam remains a viable and powerful choice throughout their adventures.

Another variation of Moonbeam includes the ability to shape the beam's radius, offering flexibility in targeting enemies and adjusting the spell's area of effect. This customization adds depth to spellcasting and allows players to adapt their strategies to different encounters.

Moonbeam spell in combat situations

In combat, Moonbeam can be a game-changer. Its ability to deal radiant damage makes it particularly effective against creatures vulnerable to this type of damage, such as undead or fiends. By placing the beam strategically, you can force enemies into unfavorable positions or disrupt their planned actions.

Moonbeam also shines when used in combination with crowd control spells or abilities. By immobilizing or incapacitating enemies, you can ensure that they remain within the beam's area, maximizing the damage and control you have over the battlefield. This synergy creates opportunities for strategic play and encourages teamwork among party members.

moonbeam 5e being used in a forest

Moonbeam 5e spell in role-playing scenarios

Moonbeam extends beyond combat encounters and can be utilized creatively in role-playing scenarios. Its ethereal glow and connection to the moon's power make it an excellent tool for creating atmospheric and immersive moments. Whether it's illuminating a dark cave, revealing hidden clues, or enhancing the ambiance of a mystical encounter, Moonbeam adds depth and flavor to the role-playing experience.

1. Character Alignment with Nature or the Divine

Moonbeam is a spell commonly associated with natural and divine forces. If your character is a druid, cleric, or paladin, consider how their connection to nature or their deity influences their use of the spell. Perhaps they call upon the power of the moon, viewing it as a sacred symbol, or maybe they use the spell as a manifestation of divine judgment against unnatural creatures like undead and shapechangers.

2. Descriptive Casting

When casting Moonbeam, add flavor to your game by describing the spell vividly. Talk about how a silvery beam of moonlight breaks through the clouds or emerges from the heavens, illuminating the battlefield and singling out foes. Describe the changes in the air, the faint glow that lingers, or how the light seems to pulse with power.

3. Tactical Communication

Communicate with your team when you plan to move the beam or when you are targeting specific enemies. This not only helps in strategy but also allows for collaborative storytelling. You might say something like, "Guide me, moonlight, show me where darkness hides," to signal your intent to move the beam across the battlefield.

4. Ethical Considerations

Consider how your character perceives the use of such a powerful and potentially deadly spell. Do they use it reluctantly, only against certain types of enemies, or do they revel in its purity and cleansing light? How does this affect their interactions with the party and their enemies?

Cat wizard by the moon

Moonbeam spell synergies with other spells and abilities

The Moonbeam spell can synergize with a variety of other spells and abilities, amplifying its effectiveness and creating powerful combinations. For instance, pairing Moonbeam with spells that restrain or immobilize enemies, such as Entangle or Web, can ensure that enemies remain within the beam's area, maximizing damage output.

Additionally, spells that reduce enemy saving throws, such as Bane or Bestow Curse, can increase the chances of successfully damaging enemies with Moonbeam. By weakening their resistance, you enhance the spell's potency and guarantee that foes feel the full force of the silvery beam.

Moonbeam spell limitations and drawbacks

While Moonbeam 5e is a formidable spell, it does have its limitations and drawbacks.

  1. Concentration Requirement : Moonbeam 5e requires concentration to maintain, meaning the caster must avoid taking damage or engaging in activities that could break concentration. If concentration is broken, the spell ends prematurely.

  1. Limited Area of Effect : The spell affects a small area with a 5-foot radius. While it can be moved up to 60 feet each turn, the small initial area means that positioning is crucial, and not all desired targets may be affected.

  1. Duration : Moonbeam 5e lasts for up to 1 minute with concentration. This means it can potentially last for only a few rounds of combat if concentration is broken or if the combat ends quickly.

  1. Cover and Obstructions : The effectiveness of Moonbeam 5e can be reduced by cover. If a target is completely obscured or has total cover from the point of origin of the beam, they cannot be affected by the spell.

  1. Friendly Fire : Since Moonbeam 5e affects all creatures in its area, careful planning is needed to avoid hitting allies. This requires strategic placement and movement of the beam, especially in crowded or dynamic combat situations.

  1. Limited to Radiant Damage : Moonbeam 5e exclusively deals radiant damage. While this is effective against many creatures, particularly undead and shapechangers, it may be less effective against creatures resistant or immune to radiant damage.

  1. Outdoor vs. Indoor Use : While it can be used indoors, effectiveness may be perceived as less thematic or imaginative when not used under the open sky, given its flavor as a beam of moonlight.

A silvery beam of pale light shines down

Conclusion: The versatility and power of the Moonbeam spell in D&D 5e

Moonbeam 5e: Silvery Beam of Death takes the classic spell to new heights, offering players a versatile and deadly tool to wield in their adventures. With its silvery beam of death, Moonbeam 5e introduces exciting enhancements that bring a fresh twist to combat encounters and role-playing scenarios alike.

Mastering Moonbeam 5e requires skillful timing, precise positioning, and tactical decision-making. It offers a multitude of strategic options, allowing players to control the battlefield or deal massive damage. The spell's versatility and potential synergies with other spells and abilities make it a valuable asset for any spellcaster.

The power of the moon awaits those who dare to embrace it. Sharpen your skills, hone your tactics, and unleash the full might of Moonbeam upon your enemies. Are you ready to wield the silvery beam of death and leave your foes in awe? The realms of moonlit magic await your command.

What classes can cast Moonbeam?

Moonbeam 5e can be cast by Druids, Clerics (with specific domains like Nature), and Paladins (via certain Oath spells).

How does Moonbeam 5e damage enemies?

Moonbeam 5e deals radiant damage. When a creature enters the spell's area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a Constitution saving throw, taking 2d10 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Can Moonbeam 5e move during its duration?

Yes, the caster can use an action on their turn to move the beam up to 60 feet in any direction.

What happens to shapechangers hit by Moonbeam?

Shapechangers have disadvantage on the saving throw against Moonbeam 5e. If they fail the save, they revert to their original form and cannot assume a different form until they leave the spell’s light.

Can Moonbeam 5e affect creatures in total cover?

No, Moonbeam 5e cannot affect creatures that are in total cover from the beam. The spell must have a clear path to the target within its range.

How does Moonbeam 5e interact with invisibility and illusions?

Moonbeam 5e will still affect invisible creatures normally, as it does not require the caster to see the target. However, illusions that do not have a physical form or creatures that are merely illusory will not be affected by Moonbeam 5e.

Is Moonbeam 5e a good spell for crowd control?

Yes, due to its ability to target a specific area and move the beam, Moonbeam 5e is excellent for controlling the battlefield, especially in narrow corridors or choke points.

Does higher-level casting of Moonbeam 5e increase its area of effect?

No, casting Moonbeam 5e with a higher-level spell slot only increases the damage (1d10 additional damage for each slot level above 2nd), not the area of effect.

Can Moonbeam 5e be cast indoors?

Yes, Moonbeam 5e can be cast indoors as long as there is enough space to accommodate the 40-foot high cylinder. It does not require actual moonlight to function.

What kind of damage does Moonbeam 5e deal?

Moonbeam 5e deals radiant damage, which is particularly effective against undead and other creatures vulnerable to light.