Wither and Bloom 5E Guide | Strixhaven Necromancy Spell

wither and bloom 5e

We have a juicy one here from Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos! This Dungeons & Dragons 5E supplement has quite a few magical items and locations for players to explore. Unfortunately, the number of player-only choices are quite small. But, that’s not to say they aren’t crazy! This new necromancy spell from Strixhaven will make us scratch our heads about our normal Wizard spellbooks! Let’s go over Wither and Bloom 5E in this quick, analytical guide!

Vortex Warp 5E Guide

Wither and Bloom is available for Druids, Sorcerers, and Wizards.

  • Level: 2nd
  • School: Necromancy
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range: 60 feet
  • Components: V, S, M (a withered vine twisted into a loop)
  • Duration: Instantaneous

You invoke both death and life upon a 10-foot-radius sphere centered on a point within range. Each creature of your choice in that area must make a Constitution saving throw, taking 2d6 necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Nonmagical vegetation in that area withers.

In addition, one creature of your choice in that area can spend and roll one of its unspent Hit Dice and regain a number of hit points equal to the roll plus your spellcasting ability modifier.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot above the 2nd, and the number of Hit Dice that can be spent and added to the healing roll increases by one for each slot above 2nd.

Spell Breakdown

What a weird spell! This is a pseudo-support spell that Sorcerers and Wizards can have, meaning these guys finally have a consistent, early-game method to heal others.

Let’s talk about the weaknesses; It’s abysmal damage. 2d6 on a Level 2 spell slot means you’re doing about as much damage as a cantrip. You are doing it in a respectable half-Fireball of space, but it’s still not super significant. A similar spell, Shatter, deals 3d8 damage in the same radius.

So we’re relying a lot on the heal effect. The heal effect is reliant on your party members having hit dice, and so the effectiveness on the heal changes based on the party member. Your fighter heals d10, your Artificer heals d8, and your Barbarian heals d12. Depending on who you pick up, this is either a solid heal or a questionable one. It is also reliant on your party not healing too much during short rests. If they don’t have hit dice left over, you’re not getting your healing.

However, that’s where the single best part of this spell comes in; you just healed someone as a Wizard! That’s great news! If you prepare this as an emergency spell, you can heal your Cleric out of unconsciousness from up to 70 feet away. Then your Cleric can heal themselves, and the fight can continue as normal. Being able to revive people from the brink of death is incredibly useful! And if the enemy is close to the Cleric’s body, then you still get to deal 7 damage to them.

So, keep this as a level 2 spell. Its goal is to pick people up in an emergency to stave off a death. Its scaling is neat, but horrendous. A fireball deals 8d6 when this deals 3d6. Healing more hit dice is nice, but by the time this heals for 4 Hit Dice, the Heal spell is doing it for 70. So keep this as a 2nd level utility spell. Your party might be thanking you pretty soon!

Interesting side-note. Because this healing is based on Hit Dice, your party members can benefit from hit dice effects. For instance, if they choose the Durable feat, they heal a minimum amount of health from this spell. It’s not worth building around this single spell, but if your party member really likes hit dice feats for some reason, keep this spell in mind!

Conclusion

This spell isn’t amazing, but it can allow Wizards and Sorcerers a magical way to save lives. That’s worth something! There are other more generally potent spells in Strixhaven too, if you want to check those out!

About Jason Toro 424 Articles
An English-Game Design student at Northeastern University, Jason appends his love of video games by writing unfinished novels and short stories on the side.

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