Top 12 Best Artificer Spells For D&D 5eThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Artificers play the role of half casters.
They manipulate the weave using their tools, so an Artificer needs to have tools in hand to cast spells. By default, an Artificer uses Thieves’ Tools as they get proficiency with those right off the bat. But they may also use any other tools that they could be proficient with, such as Brewer’s Tools, Artisan’s Tools, or Alchemist’s Tools.
Being Magical Tinkerers, Artificers harness the weave to create or empower mundane items.
They’re the epitome of magical item creation, and despite falling short on the spell casting, they provide so much utility to the party.
While an Artificer’s spell list is lackluster, there are quite a few key spells that Artificers need, or at the very least some spells they can use to their advantage.
Type: 1st-level Transmutation
Catapult isn’t exactly a damage spell on its own.
But combine it with alchemist’s fire or a flask of acid and Artificers can get decent damage out of this spell in the early to middle levels.
A creature hit with Catapult must make a Dexterity saving throw to avoid it, or take 3d8 damage. Pair Catapult with acid or alchemist’s fire and the damage will start adding up real quick.
This spell also has a good amount of utility.
With a range of 60ft and a flinging distance of 90ft, you could potentially use the surroundings like light rubble or broken furniture legs, as long as they don’t weigh more than 5lbs.
11. False Life
Type: 1st-level Necromancy
False Life is pretty straightforward.
The caster gains some temporary hit points for an hour, without the need for any concentration. The temporary hit points may be dismissible, and up-casting it may not be worth the trouble.
But it is good considering the alternatives available to an Artificer.
And it may not be flashy, plus it could be problematic if someone in a party is against using Necromancy. But it gets the job done if more survivability is needed.
10. Absorb Elements
Type: 1st-level Abjuration
Absorb Elements is such a good spell since it can be cast as a reaction. And taking less damage is always a positive.
Parties will almost always encounter elemental damage types throughout an adventure.
So the ability to mitigate a hefty amount of that will prove valuable.
The caster can then turn around and do extra damage with the absorbed damage type, which is the cherry on top of an already great spell.
9. Detect Magic
Type: 1st-level Divination
I can’t stress how important Detect Magic is.
This importance is amplified for Artificers, as it’s the first step in the process of knowing whether an item is magic.
Considering that’s the Artificer’s forte, it would make little sense if an Artificer isn’t able to tell if something is magic… I mean, they’re supposed to be magical tinkerers.
Type: 1st-level Divination
Identify is the next step to understanding a magical item.
Because once an Artificer knows something is magical, they’ll need to find out what magical properties are involved.
If an Artificer is to know how to make magical items, they certainly have to know how to identify them.
Sure, it can be done mundanely. But using a long rest to identify an item will often take too long, especially if the items can be useful for a session right away.
7. Disguise Self
Type: 1st-level Illusion
Adventurers tend to forget they tend to stick out like a sore thumb in certain towns or cities.
If it’s beneficial for an adventurer to move in and through a city undetected, Disguise Self will be the spell to grab for the cautious Artificer.
It could also be used to adopt a race to investigate an Orc tribe or a Goblin’s den, as these are common encounters in many D&D campaigns.
Type: Transmutation Cantrip
Mending as an important spell. It may sound silly, as it’s about fixing things like torn clothes or a broken chain.
But its importance is brought to another level with Artificers because of Eldritch Canon and Steel Defender, as Mending can be used to repair or “heal” them.
This is in addition to the fact that Mending is a Cantrip. Easy to pick up and useful for many scenarios.
5. Magic Weapon
Type: 2nd-level Transmutation
Now this spell lets an Artificer have a magical property in their battle battle.
A mundane weapon can be turned into a +1 magical weapon with Magic Weapon pretty easily.
Magic Weapon is a great spell to prepare your party for an upcoming boss fight, since quite a few bosses resist non-magical weapon damage. It can still be cast mid-combat too, as it only takes an action to cast in case a party was caught off guard with non-magic weapon damage resistance.
Battle Smiths benefit from this as well, as they get bonus damage to their magical weapon attacks from their Intelligence.
Just be cautious, as Magic Weapon requires concentration.
4. Elemental Weapon
Type: 3rd-level Transmutation
Elemental Weapon is very similar to Magic Weapon in that it allows the caster to imbue a non-magic weapon with elemental properties.
Another great pick to mix and match for an Artificer build.
Thematically, Elemental Weapon and Magic Weapon are iconic to Artificers. These spells can at least be cast in combat by using an action. Either one is likely to help your character grow.
3. Dispel Magic
Type: 3rd-level Abjuration
Dispel Magic is another utility spell that automatically removes spells of 3rd level or lower when cast at the base spell level.
Higher level spells can be dispelled by either up-casting or making a roll against the spell’s DC.
Thematically, having Dispel Magic on an Artificer really shows off their mastery of the arcane arts.
And practically it’s useful in plenty of scenarios, no doubt.
Type: 4th-level Transmutation
Artificers have a lot of items.
They have spell storing items, infusions for items, or self-made magic items.
Fabricate lets an Artificer create objects from raw materials in nature.
Normally, you wouldn’t be able to do super detailed items unless you had the proficiency in an artisan tool that could do that object. Like jewelry for example: you want to make a nice fancy ring?
You couldn’t make the ring very detailed unless you were proficient in Jeweler’s tools. But since you’re an Artificer, you’re more likely to be proficient in all the different Artificer tools or Artisan tools.
That’s where this spell comes in.
Fabricate could even be used to imitate, recreate, or change out an items that a party needs to steal, and where you’d need something to be in its place to buy some time.
1. Bigby’s Hand
Type: 5th-level Evocation
Imagine Mage Hand cranked up to 11 and you get Bigby’s Hand.
This 5th level spell creates a large hand which lasts for a minute.
The hand can now be manipulated as a bonus action to do something like punch, push, grapple, or block a creature. Lots of options here.
Yet Bigby’s Hand is nothing like its weaker cousin that can only lift about 10lbs. No this spell has a Strength score of 26, AC of 20, and the same Hit Points as the caster.