The Best Sorcerer Cantrips in DnD 5E | Sorcerer Cantrips 5E Rankings

sorcerer cantrips 5e

We’ve got a full list of Sorcerer cantrips in 5e! Cantrips don’t take up spell slots, so it’s crucial to have perfect choices for your casting needs. Cantrips fill utility and damage roles, so we picked the utility and damage that you’re most likely to need consistently. That’s why we’ve chosen our sorcerer cantrip 5e rankings like we did!

Our Sorcerer Cantrips 5E Rankings

But first, how many cantrips can a Sorcerer learn? At level one, your Sorcerer will have four cantrips. Your character will learn another cantrip at level four, and your final cantrip will be learned at level ten. The Sorcerer will have a total of six cantrips throughout the duration of the campaign, and because of that, the Sorcerer has a larger array of cantrips to pick from. Fourteen to be exact. So you will need to be extra diligent, as the last thing you want to do is to waste a free spell slot on an ability that you will never use.

So without further ado, here is our Official Ranking of all of the Sorcerer’s Cantrips in Dungeon and Dragon’s fifth edition.

14. Prestidigitation

  • School: Transmutation
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: Ten feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: Up to one hour

At number fourteen of our Sorcerer’s Cantrip list is Prestidigitation – the parlor trick of spells in the Dungeon and Dragon’s universe. This is one of the first spells a novice spellcaster learns so they can practice their craft without causing any long-term damage. When you are casting this minor magical trick, you will create one of the following effects:

  • Create an instantaneous, harmless sensory effect such as a spark, a low gust of wind, a faint musical note, or an odd but not terribly off-putting odor.
  • Instantly light or put out a candle, torch, or a small campfire.
  • Instantly clean or dirty up an object that is at most 1 cubic foot.
  • Chill, warm-up, or flavor up a nonliving piece of material that is up to one cubic foot long for an hour.
  • Make a small mark or a symbol appears on an object’s surface for one hour.
  • You create a non-magical trinket or an illusion that fits in the palm of your hand until the start of your next turn.

You can do four of these simultaneously. It’s a really cool parlor trick, but the Sorcerer can only know 6 cantrips; can you really spend one on basic tricks? Maybe! And there’s great uses of Prestidigitation. Just… make sure your GM supports such a creative endeavor.

13. Mending

  • School: Transmutation
  • Casting Time: One Minute
  • Range: Touch
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic, Material (two lodestones)
  • Duration: Instantaneous

At number thirteen is Mending, a spell that requires a minute of waiting to do something that a crafter could do in ten. You fix a small break (no more than a foot long) that doesn’t restore magic to the item. Check with your party’s comp before even thinking about picking this up; you might not need this at all.

12. True Strike

  • School: Divination
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: Thirty feet
  • Components: Somatic
  • Duration: Concentration, up to one round

You basically take aim at an enemy, allowing you to gain advantage on the next attack roll you make against that enemy. Advantage means you roll twice and take the best result. This can be useful if you want to ensure a higher level spell slot attack roll lands, but there’s a problem…

This is one of the few cantrips that take Concentration… and it’s designed for combat! That’ll step on the toes of your other really good Concentration spells, and all for advantage on one attack. You’re better off attacking from Invisibility at level 3, or hiding. Honestly, you’re better off getting Prestidigitation or Mending – two spells with zero combat power – than spending a turn on True Strike.

11. Acid Splash

  • School: Conjuration
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: 60 feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: Instantaneous

Acid Splash deal 1d6 of Acid Damage that can be dodged with a successful dexterity saving throw (1d20 plus the target’s dexterity bonus). This damage increase to 2d6 at level five, 3d6 at level eleven, and 4d6 at level seventeen. You can hit one target up to sixty feet away, or two targets that are five feet away. With a spell like Poison Spray that can potentially deal more damage with the same chance to be dodged, I will respectfully pass on splashing some acid. Even if the range is slightly better.

10. Dancing Light

  • School: Evocation
  • Casting Time: One action
  • Range: 120 feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic, Material (phosphorus, wychwood, or a glowworm)
  • Duration: Concentration, up to one minute

You create four small torch lights, or you create one medium-sized humanoid form, both of which will shed a light across a ten-foot radius. You can move the light, but any piece that you move cannot be more than twenty-feet away from the rest of the pieces. If you take it too far, the spell will flicker out. Much to the same fate as Acid Splash, there is a MUCH better spell on this list that is available for the Sorcerer, and it will last longer. This will be one dance that this Sorcerer will not attend.

9. Ray of Frost

  • School: Evocation
  • Casting Time: One action
  • Range: Sixty feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: Instantaneous

A frigid blue-white beam of light strikes towards your opponent to deal 1d8 of ranged cold damage. That damage increases to 2d8 at level five, 3d8 at level eleven, and 4d8 at level seventeen. On a hit, the spell will also decrease your enemies’ speed by ten feet until the start of your next turn. It is a solid attack that might be worth investing in, especially if you know your foes are going to be weak to cold damage. It’s also not the worst defensive spell in the world!

8. Poison Spray

  • School: Conjuration
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: Ten Feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: Instantaneous

Poison Spray shoots out a short-ranged cone of poison, dealing great damage (1d12) that allows a Constitution save. This scales quite well; 2d12 at 5th, 3d12 at 11th, and 4d12 at 17th. Constitution saves are fairly high in 5e, so don’t be sad if this misses a lot!

This ranks higher than Acid Splash or Ray of Frost mostly because of the damage; 1d12 is huge! Just be careful about wading this close to enemies. Being at-range might trump this in some situations, since you’re getting in a bit of danger with this cantrip.

7. Fire Bolt

  • School: Evocation
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: 120 feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: Instantaneous

Your character hurls fire at an opponent to deal 1d10 of fire damage. That damage increases to 2d10 at level five, 3d10 at level eleven, and 4d10 at level seventeen. This only takes a Ranged Attack Roll, and its great range makes it an excellent pick. And you’re not even losing that much damage compared to Poison Spray.

6. Minor Illusion

  • School: Illusion
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: Thirty Feet
  • Components: Somatic, Material (small amount of fleece)
  • Duration: One Minute

Minor Illusion lets you create either a spell or sound 30 feet away from you. Sounds can be as loud or soft as you’d like. Images can’t be larger than a 5 foot cube, and they can’t be touched at all.

Examining the sound or image is an Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell DC. On a success, they disbelieve the illusion.

With enough creativity, Minor Illusion allows for fun moments, nail-biting rolls, and the mind to be the best weapon; exactly what you want to see in a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Just be sure to swap to heftier Illusion magic if you want to really trick people with impressive saving throws or good Investigation.

See Also: The Best Sorcerer Spells in 5E

5. Light

  • School: Evocation
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: Touch
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: One hour

You touch an object that’s 10 feet long or less. That object now glows whatever color you’d like it to. Enemies that are touched can make a Dexterity save to avoid becoming Christmas colors.

Light has superb flavor, and creative usage of it can even effect combat, something pretty rare for a utility cantrip. Really effective, depending on your GM! It will also leave your combat class’s hands open, since they no longer need to carry a torch around for your party can see. A must-have choice if your group doesn’t have good Darkvision coverage.

4. Shocking Grasp

  • School: Evocation
  • Casting Time: One action
  • Range: Touch
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: Instantaneous

Lightning springs from your fingertips as you touch your enemy, sending a jolt down their body. On a successful melee spell attack, you deal 1d8 lightning damage, and the target cannot take reactions until the start of their next turn. A reaction is the equivalent to an attack of opportunity. That damage increases to 2d8 at level five, 3d8 at level eleven, and 4d8 at level seventeen. You have an advantage on that enemy if they are wearing metal armor. Taking away an opponent’s attack of opportunity is a huge effect to inflict, but it is only the second-highest damage dealing cantrip on this list because Chill Touch can do a little bit more.

3. Chill Touch

  • School: Necromancy
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: 120 feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: One round

An excellent entry on our sorcerer cantrips 5e list, Chill Touch releases a ghostly skeletal hand that reaches out to touch your target. If the hand is successful, you deal 1d8 necrotic damage, AND the target cannot regain hit points until the start of your next turn. The amount of damage you deal will increase at fifth level (2d8), eleventh (3d8), and seventeenth (4d8). While the damage is low, the main reason you would cast Chill Touch is to prevent your target from healing. Every heal activation you prevent will make it easier for your team to defeat your enemies. That means you will need to use fewer items and spells to heal yourself after the battle, you will not have to rest as much to recover strength… The list of benefits is massive.

2. Mage Hand

  • School: Conjuration
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: Thirty Feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: One Minute

Much like Minor Illusion, Mage Hand’s primary function has nothing to do with combat. But unlike Minor Illusion, Mage Hand can physically affect your surroundings. When you cast Mage Hand, you create a spectral, floating hand that can do the following actions:

  • Manipulate an object
  • Open an unlocked door or container
  • Store or retrieve an item from an open container
  • Pour the contents out of a vial

The hand can only interact with items that are within thirty feet of your physical character. The hand’s carrying capacity is less than ten pounds, and it cannot activate magical items. And because I feel that this is important to stress; you cannot use Mage Hand to perform an attack.

Despite these restrictions, I can see Mage Hand being a very important spell to get your team out of a precarious situation like being imprisoned, tied up, or needing to sneak something into your possession. Just wait until all attention is focused somewhere else, cast Mage Hand, and then you will be on your way to accomplishing whatever task you will need to complete.

1. Message

  • School: Transmutation
  • Casting Time: One action
  • Range: 120 feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic, Material (short piece of copper wire)
  • Duration: One round

And number one on our Sorcerer cantrip list is Message. This cantrip is not just our favorite of the class, but our top cantrip on our List of Best 5E Cantrips. With a point of a finger, someone hears a message that no one else does. Great for combat situations to generate a plan, great for social situations to pass information, great for stealth to ensure safety. One of the best utility spells ever made, thanks to it not costing a spell slot.

Nerds and Scoundrels

And that concludes our Sorcerer Cantrips 5e Rankings. Did we get them all right in your eyes? Let us know in the comment section below. Need more DnD content? Try our Best Warlock Cantrips Rankings.

 

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