Welcome to the Green Flame Blade breakdown! In this article, we will burn through the pros, cons, and optimum situations that you can cast this cantrip in. If you are not careful, you can easily burn the wrong person. So let’s ignite those ideas and jump right into our Green Flame Blade 5E Guide! PLEASE NOTE: Booming Blade is available in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide.
Green Flame Blade 5E Guide
- School: Evocation
- Level: Cantrip
- Casting Time: 1 Action
- Range: 5 Feet
- Components: Verbal, Somatic
- Duration: Instantaneous
- Class: Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
When you are in the process of casting Green Flame Blade, your character must make a successful melee attack with their weapon. If you are not making a melee attack, this spell will fail. If you are successful in your attack, your character will deal the typical damage their attack will do along with another fire attack on another target that is at most five feet away from your first target. The second target will take fire damage equal to your spellcasting ability modifier, and the second target cannot be the same character you hit with the melee attack.
Green Flame Blade’s damage will increase at several levels. At the fifth level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d8 fire damage. The second target will also take an additional 1d8 plus your spellcasting ability modifier. On the eleventh level, the melee attack will deal an additional 2d8 of fire damage, and the second target will take 2d8 plus your spellcasting ability modifier. At level seventeen, the melee attack deals an additional 3d8 fire damage, and the second target takes an additional 3d8 plus your spellcasting ability modifier. To determine your spellcasting modifier, consult the following chart:
Class Spellcasting Modifier
In the hopefully rare occurrence that your spellcaster gets forced into some melee combat with multiple enemies, you can lean on Green Flame Blade to get your character out of the situation. Being able to hit multiple targets with one spell should decrease the necessary amount of hits from the rest of the party. The damage is also scalable. This means it will never be outclassed by the larger spells you can learn as you level up.
Even though you are performing a melee attack, Green Flame Blade is still considered a spell, which is important because the character’s that are casting this spell does not put a lot of stock into Strength. A Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard are more likely to do more with their spellcasting stat as opposed to their Strength stat. When you are creating your character, you are more likely to place your strongest rolls into the stats that you are most likely to use. The same is true for placing your lowest rolls into the stats that you are most likely to not use. Strength will most likely get your lowest roll.
This is to not say that those classes will never use Strength because you will use this stat to determine how much weight you can carry. But let us be honest – you cast spells. If you cast spells, you will want a spell or two that can deal damage. Because you are casting spells to deal damage, you will also do not have to carry that heavy sword around… Which might be too heavy for you to carry anyway.
As a cantrip, you never have to use a spell slot to cast Green Flame Blade. This spell also does not require you to use materials to cast. This means you can use it for as long as you have two targets.
Green Flame Blade requires you to make a melee attack as part of the casting of this spell. This presents two gigantic issues – you need to get close to an enemy, and you need to use your Strength ability modifier.
As outlined above, the odds are you placing your lowest roll into the Strength ability is pretty high because most spellcasters rarely use their Strength. In order to resolve this spell, your first target will be taking combat damage with your incredibly low Strength ability modifier. On top of that, because of your class, you will also be hitting them with a lower hit die. A Warlock uses a d8, while both the Sorcerer and the Wizard uses a d6.
Another big issue is you need to get close to your enemy in order to make that successful melee attack. Because of your lower Strength, you cannot wear heavier equipment. So while a Barbarian can walk into combat with a chain mail, you are walking in with a flimsy piece of leather. That chain mail will absorb a lot more damage than your leather armor will, so your character should be more cautious when they are approaching melee.
And lastly, you cannot use Green Flame Blase unless you have two targets that you can hit. The fire damage needs to go somewhere. The last place you want it to go is in the face of an ally.
When Should You Use Green Flame Blade
You should use this cantrip when your character is forced into a melee situation with multiple enemies.
When Better Options Are Available
Early on, the best option is to find space to step back so you can cast a spell at a greater distance. Relying on your melee weapon when you have a much more superior spell for the situation sounds like bad asset management, which could result in you figuratively getting burned in the end.
Do you like our Fifth Edition coverage? Check out more content with our Booming Blade 5E Guide.
You can also attack with dexterity, especially as a Bladesinger with a rapier or shortsword.
Even a dagger is fine.
I’ve become fond of Shocking Grasp to avoid having to use a weapon at all.