The Explorer’s Guide to Wildemont has added a lot of flashy spells for their cast of Dunamancers. The only spell available for both Chronurgists and Graviturgists is Sapping Sting, a cantrip. Any new cantrips are worth looking into, so let’s see how this pans out compared to other Wizard Cantrips! This cantrip is only accessible to Wizards with the Chronurgy and Graviturgy Tradition. Talk to your GM if you want to add it to any other spellbook. You don’t need to check with your DM to see our Sapping Sting 5E Guide though!
Sapping Sting 5E Guide
You sap someone’s strength. They make a Constitution save or take 1d4 damage, falling prone. This scales at 5th, 11th, and 17th level by an additional 1d4.
Pretty standard scaling! Let’s talk about it.
Falling prone is an absolutely massive source of advantage for your melee party members. Having a constant ability that can cause someone to trip is massive; that leaves your frontliners open to dealing as much damage as they want.
At the very least, you remove someone’s option to use their Move action to run away. That’s pretty big! And this happens to be one of the most hardcore debuffs that the Wizard’s cantrip list has. It puts Ray of Frost’s movement speed debuff to shame!
Targeting Constitution is a blessing and a curse. This is better on casters than martials, which is good; you want to keep casters pinned down. However, a lot of creatures grab Constitution Save proficiency, so… Yeah. Both good and bad.
1d4 damage is rather… Awful. It’s the lowest possible damage for a cantrip. So you’re not getting this cantrip to blow up your targets.
The range is, similarly, rather pitiful. You tend to want about a 60 ft range for a good cantrip, and this has half of that. You’ll have to be rather close to the conflict if you want to Sapping Sting, and that’s just a little bit dangerous.
Finally, while Prone is fantastic for your frontliners, you need to coordinate with anyone who uses Ranged attacks. Prone gives disadvantage to ranged options… So they might choose to target someone else instead. Including you.
When Should You Use Sapping Sting?
Sapping Sting is good for when your melee allies are already next to them and ready for battle. This gives them such a huge advantage on attacks, that it might be worth your ranged allies changing targets or swapping to DC-based spells for a round.
You’ll also want to use it to prevent targets from running away. If you’re fighting a character that can’t use movement options with their Action or Bonus Action, then this completely negates their movement.
When Better Options are Available
In terms of cantrips, you do have much, much better options for damage. Fire Bolt, Shocking Grasp, Toll the Dead, Chill Touch… All of these will give you really good numbers and some still have decent debuffs on them. This might be the best debuffing cantrip on the Wizard list, but the best debuff in the game is “Dying”!
Of course, if you’re fighting someone majorly important, spend spell slots. Hold Person is so much better crowd control. Earth Tremor is a defensive spell, but can knock a large number of creatures prone simultaneously. These cost resources, but they tend to be more effective. Use them against threats, especially at the start of a fight!
And that’s it for our Sapping Sting 5E Guide!