12 Best Healing Spells in D&D 5e (Ranked)

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Warm light washes over your skin as the flow of blood begins to slow, and wounds slowly begin to close up. A brilliant, radiant light shining from your Cleric’s hands turns the aching in your bones into a distant memory.

Healing magic in Dungeons and Dragons is one of the pivotal ways to keep your party alive.

A normal “adventuring day” generally consists of 6-8 combat encounters (ranging from medium to hard encounters, and an occasional deadly one), which means spell slots are at a premium and taking long rests are usually out of the question.

But what constitutes a “good” healing spell?

Well the list of spells that can heal is actually very narrow. In fact, I barely had enough to make this list! But I ranked these spells with the following criteria in mind:

How much can you actually heal?

This not only includes how many hit points you get back, but also how many targets you can choose to heal with it. If two spells can heal for 1d8, but one has six targets, it’s a pretty clear winner in most cases.

How often can I cast this spell?

Spells that spend higher spell slots means that you’re generally losing out on other, bigger spells. If you can only cast one 8th level spell per day, is this healing spell worth it versus a weaker spell at a higher slot?

What extra benefits do I get?

Some healing spells grant extra bonuses, such as curing diseases, regenerating limbs, or granting temporary hit points. All of these factors matter when some spells only heal.

With that said, let’s dive in!

 

12. Healing Word

Source: Player’s Handbook p.250

Everyone’s first healing spell! As a 1st level spell, it won’t be winning any awards anytime soon.

But it does its job well.

1d4 plus your Spellcasting Modifier, adding another d4 of healing for every spell slot beyond the 1st is pretty on-par for most spells this early in the game, and it gets outclassed as your character grows into more advanced magic.

 

11. Mass Healing Word

Source: Player’s Handbook p.258

One of the first party-wide healing spells available to Clerics (and only Clerics), Mass Healing Word doesn’t offer much.

With only 1d4+ Spellcasting Modifier for up to six targets.

And as a 3rd level spell, it’s a pretty tough sell to use this over other options at this level.

 

10. Healing Spirit

Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything p. 157

A neat addition from Xanathar, Healing Spirit lets you make a small moving spirit that heals creatures that pass through it, or start their turn in the same spot as it for 1d6.

It’s a flexible spell that lasts for a full minute with concentration.

And since it’s a bonus action, you’re still able to cast a cantrip as your regular action. If you have a Druid or Ranger in your party, it doesn’t hurt to pick this spell up when available.

 

9. Cure Wounds

Source: Player’s Handbook p.230

Remember that time we dissed Healing Word?

Here’s why: Cure Wounds is a spell of the exact same level and can double the healing (1d8 vs 1d4).

Cure Wounds’ downside is that it is a Touch spell, meaning the caster can’t be very distant from his party.

This isn’t too bad of a downside, though, as this spell is available to beefier classes such as Paladins, Rangers, and Druids who are more likely to be on the front line. This lets your Bards and Clerics hang back and save their spell slots for better options.

 

8. Prayer of Healing

Source: Player’s Handbook p.267

Prayer of Healing is one of the first “big” healing spells Clerics have access to, as a second level spell.

It’s a pretty great heal (outside of combat that is) that lets you heal up to six targets for 2d8+your modifier, this spell is nothing to sneeze at.

Plus as you spend spell slots above 2nd level you get an additional d8, allowing the spells to scale pretty well into the later levels.

One of the big draws against it is the long cast time.

10 minutes makes it completely unusable in combat.

 

7. Aura of Vitality

Source: Player’s Handbook p. 216

This little number offers two of the key criteria for a good healing spell: Range, and dice.

Any target within 30 feet can get a 2d6 heal as a bonus action, which means a lot since this is a Paladin-only spell.

You might have to maintain concentration for the duration of the spell (which let’s be honest, should be pretty easy as a Paladin). But the flexibility and power of this spell is pretty great.

 

6. Hero’s Feast

Source: Player’s Handbook p. 251

Another weird spell that’s technically a healing spell, Hero’s Feast lets you summon a mukbang of delicious food for your party that takes an hour to finish (twelve people means your DM is probably crying after every session).

Once that hour passes, all participants gain 2d10 temporary hit points, and also heal that same amount.

Hero’s Feast isn’t a spell you’ll ever cast in combat (it takes ten minutes to cast it, not to mention the hour-long feast).

But it provides a nice buff for your party before some big dramatic fight.

 

5. Vampiric Touch

Source: Player’s Handbook p.285

Technically, draining life does heal you. So this spell makes the list on a technicality!

Once you connect with this, you get to deal 3d6 damage and heal for half that amount. Plus you can make this action over and over for a full minute if you can maintain concentration in melee range.

The biggest downside of the spell is the range, in fact.

As this spell is only available to Wizards and Warlocks, both squishy classes will have to really make that life drain worth it to be up close and personal with their enemies.

 

4. Power Word Heal

Source: Player’s Handbook p. 266

The absolute biggest healing spell that D&D has to offer, Power Word Heal lets you heal a target to their maximum hit points.

Not to mention it also removes charmed, frightened, paralyzed, or stunned conditions from the target as well.

However, this spell is only available to Bards who are able to cast 9th level spells. So it’s pretty rare that this spell will get used in any campaign.

 

3. Heal

Source: Player’s Handbook p. 250

Short, sweet, and to the point.

A single target gets to heal 70 hit points with no rolls required, only the 6th level spell slot spent to cast it.

As a bonus it also ends blindness, deafness, and any diseases affecting the target.

It’s hard to argue with results like these.

 

2. Mass Cure Wounds

Source: Player’s Handbook p. 258

The midfield option for healing your party, Mass Cure Wounds offers a pretty good heal (3d8+ Spellcasting Modifier) for up to six targets, with no casting time!

It’s a great spell for Bards, Clerics, and Druids who are able to cast 5th level spells.

No casting time, no expensive components, a fairly wide range, and a moderate heal make this one of the best healing spells available.

 

1. Regenerate

Source: Player’s Handbook p.271

In my opinion, the most powerful healing spell available in 5th Edition has to be this one.

Regenerate not only lets you heal for 4d8+15, but the target also regrows or re-attaches any limbs that have been severed (not counting heads, that’s an entirely different spell).

On top of the big up-front heal, the target also heals 10 hit points each minute for the hour-long duration, for an additional 60 points healed on top of the original roll.

Bards, Clerics, and Druids have access to this Seventh level spell, so almost any party should get this in time.

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Jeff Nabors

Jeff Nabors is a long-time writer, Dungeon Master, Podcaster and necromancer. He’s been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 3.5 Edition, and continues to play to this day in his own actual-play podcast.