Welcome to the Frostbite spell breakdown! In this article, we will slip into a full review of how Frostbite works, covering the pros, cons, opportune moments, and when you should use something else. So if you a frozen in thought, give this article a read through so you can walk into your next game ready to impress. Dive into our Frostbite 5E Guide for more information.
Frostbite 5E Guide
You force one target to make a Constitution save. For them to succeed, they have to beat your Spell Save DC. To figure this out, use the following formulas.
If they fail, the target takes 1d6 of cold damage, and it has a disadvantage the next time they attempt to attack with a weapon. Having a disadvantage means the target rolls two dice and uses the lowest result to resolve the action that they are taking. The damage increases to 2d6 at the fifth level, 3d6 at the eleventh level, and 4d6 at the seventeenth level.
As a Cantrip, you do not have to use a spell slot to cast Frostbite. Even so, this was not enough to land on our list of Best Druid Cantrips. On top of that, Frostbite requires no Material components to cast, so you can continuously cast this every turn as your Action. And just like any other Cantrip, the damage this deals scales up as you level up, so Frostbite will see playtime throughout your campaign.
Giving your target a disadvantage is a huge pro! If your target rolls a twenty, they know for a fact that it will not be the final result. Most likely, your target will be a non-playable character, but you will never know what a situation might cause your characters to do.
From a pure damage point of view, there are better options at the same level. For example, Firebolt uses a d10, Ray of Frost (which also deals Cold damage) uses a d8, and Eldritch Blast (which is only available to the Warlock) uses a d10 and it can hit multiple targets when you level up. The most Frostbite can deal at the seventeenth level is 24 damage. On top of that, all three of the previously mentioned spells do not require a component in order to cast. So if you are looking at Frostbite because you need a cantrip that can deal a lot of damage, there are three options that are better for you.
Your target can also make a Constitution save, rendering your spell useless. This is a huge con because you have to use your action for the turn in order to cast this spell. While Firebolt, Ray of Frost, and Eldritch Blast require you to make a Ranged Spell Attack, it is easier for you to control the outcome of a Ranged Spell Attack roll as you can build your character to take advantage of the spells that you are casting. Simply put, you are naturally going to make your Spellcasting Ability stronger, and you are never going to know what your target’s Constitution modifier is.
And lastly, Cold resistance is the second most common resistance in the game. When a character has resistance, that means they will take half of the damage, rounded down, inflicted from that type of damage. In this case, you will deal a maximum of 12 damage at level seventeen.
Frostbite also has to be used as an action, which means you cannot respond to something by casting this spell.
When Should You Use Frostbite
Frostbite is clearly meant to be used in combat. With it being a cantrip, you can easily put on your metaphorical hard hat and hide behind a large obstruction as you cast Frostbite like a pistol.
It could also be a good idea to keep a spell like Frostbite around in case you need to cool your buddy off in a specific situation. The spell will not deal as much damage as the other cantrips, so you will not risk putting the target character below zero. It will give that character a disadvantage, which could be at your advantage if the targeted ally is doing something ridiculous like yelling at a powerful player. Sometimes, we all need a moment to chill. Frostbite could give you that time.
When Better Options Are Available
As I have mentioned above, if you are specifically looking at Frostbite for the amount of damage that it deals, you have three cantrips that have the potential to deal more damage than this one – Firebolt, Ray of Frost, and Eldritch Blast. Even then, as you advance in levels, there will be spells that you have to set that will deal a lot more damage than what a cantrip can deal.
If you are specifically looking for a cold-based damage spell as you are leveling up, you could also use the following spells as well:
|Cone of Cold||5th level||8d8 damage to multiple characters|
|Absorb Elements||1st level||1d6 reaction damage|
|Investiture of Ice||6th level||4d6 damage along with several other effects|
|Ice Storm||4th level||2d4 bludgeon and 4d6 cold damage to one target|
|Freezing Sphere||6th level||10d6 damage to multiple characters|
Nerds and Scoundrels
That wraps up our Frostbite 5E Guide. Any questions? Drop them in the comment section below. And don’t forget our other 5E spells content, like our Booming Blade 5E Guide.