Dragon’s Breath: D&D 5e Spell Guide

Transform your breath into the ability to exhale elemental destruction and channel the power of ancient dragons to your advantage.

This thematic (and entertaining) spell is difficult to use correctly but is worthy of the spell choice for those who are a bit adventurous.

Dragon’s Breath Spell Information

Sorcerer/Wizard has access to:

The School of Magic: Transmutation

The Level of Spelling: 2nd Level

Duration of Casting: 1 Bonus Action

Zone: Touch

Time: 1 minute (concentration).

Components: verbal, somatic, material (a hot pepper)

Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, page 154

You may choose one creature to release a 15-foot cone of damage out of its mouth.

When you touch the creature, you can choose the type of attack you want to take, such as cold, acid lightning, poison, or acid as the damage type to get breathing effects.

Creatures within the spell effect area are able to make a Dexterity saving roll that results in 3d6 damage on a failure, and then take half the damage on a success.

What does this mean?

Dragon’s Breath is a small-area-effect spell that can deal decent damage at the level at which it’s As part of a spell of concentration, the exhalation of destructive force could be repeated for each round of the fight (up to 10-rounds).

It is a 15-foot cone, which is equivalent to three medium-sized targets in the event that they were located close to each other. 

One of the most significant aspects of this magic spell is the fact that it’s able to be cast upon any interesting creature with the ability to speak – a feature that is essential to make it an effective spell.

Who’s on the Case?

This spell is part of the list of spells for wizards and sorcerers, which means it could also be taken through Arcane Trickster Rogues and Eldritch Knight Fighters as a non-specific school spell at the level of 8. This is a great decision, as discussed below.

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Dragon’s Breath: The Pros

The first is that being able to select the type of damage is a huge benefit for being able to work over immunities or damage resistances the opponent may have. If, for instance, you encounter an entire group of Yuan-Ti intent on sacrificing your NPC friend, you’d be careful not to pour poison on their breath because it will not have any impact.

Then you can make them ash using traditional fire breath. Another advantage of this magic is the fact that it requires only an extra step to be cast. When casting the spell on another animal, it is then possible to exhale the spell’s effect, make an enchantment, or attack using a weapon.

Dragon’s Breath: Cons & Downsides

The primary problem with this spell lies in the fact that it’s a spell of concentration, which puts it up against a variety of powerful spells. particularly when you acquire higher-level spell slots.

Even as a second-level ability, its nature and the fact that it requires concentration can require a player to decide between directing the battlefield with web spells or focusing on any person who is injured, such as Maximillian’s grasp of the earth.

As an area effect, shatter has the potential to do more damage to a larger number of creatures in a single shot. In addition, while using the spell, additional action is required to exhale the negative effect, which requires an action every turn.

At lower levels, the damage produced by this is good and is worth the price of the action economy. People who are good at fighting and casting spells have better options after level 5.

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The spell isn’t well-suited to the metamagic effects that are common. It is cast on a person who uses the action to exhale energy. Therefore, the effect of the spell isn’t in the same place as the casting. It’s not even able to be twinned, as the principal rules designer at WoTC explained.

Roleplay Ideas

One of my favorite aspects of this spell is that the primary ingredient is hot pepper.

The image of someone gnawing down on a chili before exhaling smoke is a fantastic picture… and handing out jalapenos as you cast your spell on other people.

This spell’s draconic nature makes it an excellent choice for those who want to connect with some of the most powerful creatures in the world of D&D (looking at you, Draconic sorcerers).

Dragon’s Breath is a useful tool

In lower levels, this can be a fantastic option for casting on a character with martial abilities that haven’t got access to magical damage as of yet.

Particularly when you’re confronting an opponent with incompatibilities or resistance to the typical slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning injuries (such as Lycanthropes).

The best part is that when an ally is able to create invisibility for the same person, the unique features of the dragon’s breath will allow them to remain hidden even as they exhale destruction (although the flames could reveal their location).

The Dragon Death Drone

The best way to utilize the dragon’s breath is to cast it onto an old friend (best obtained by completing either the ritual casting or the magical initiator feat, or multiclassing one level into a wizard, or three levels into warlock to secure this chain).

The benefit of this technique is that a friend meets the prerequisites of the spell; it’s willing, has a mouth, and most importantly, since exhaling the energy is not an attack or casting an actual spell, a familiar is able to do it.

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This has already been verified by the WoTC principal rules designer. Be aware that this tactic can turn you into a huge target on the familiar. Any DM using the monsters they have created with a bit of wit can end up killing your companion with 1 HP fairly quickly unless they are able to keep them out of danger.

Due to this, the owl is an excellent choice for your favorite’s body since its flying feature allows it to stay far from the reach of other creatures without provoking attacks of chance. A multi-class warlock could include an imp or sprite familiar, which may be invisibly used when using dragon’s breath, making them difficult to locate and harder to hit.

Dragon’s Breath Strengthens

This spell is an ideal option for the Eldritch Knight. To a lesser degree, an arcane trickster. When you reach the third level, and a rogue or fighter chooses any of the subclasses, then the known spell is an absolute must. 

As a result, why not use the limited and low-level spell slot options on a spell slot that maximizes the fantastic familiar? It’s also essential to consider having a high constitution score or the warcaster feat. It is important to ensure that you’re able to focus on the spell every time you suffer damage.

Final Report

Dragon’s Breath is a powerful spell that can be used by people who have a lot of spell slots at a lower level. It can cause a tactical attack on the area of effect.

But it is likely to be beaten by more powerful high-level spells that require your focus. It’s a great part of your plan, but not a full-time strategy all by itself.

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