Disintegrate: D&D 5e Spell Guide

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Easily one of the best single-target spells in the game, the raw power of Disintegrate is great at destroying almost anything in its path.

Let’s take a look at how it can be used and what it offers players.


Disintegrate Spell Details

Type: 6th-Level Transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V S M (A lodestone and a pinch of dust)
Duration: Instantaneous

You fire a green ray at a target, whether it be a creature, object, or a creation of magical force(like Wall of Force, for example). If the target is a creature, it must make a dexterity save, or take 10d6 plus 40 force damage.

If the creature’s hit points drop to zero, it and everything it has barring magic items are reduced to ash. The only way to restore a creature killed in this manner is either true resurrection or a wish.

Any large or smaller non-magical object, or any type of magical force construct(like wall of force) is automatically disintegrated by this spell. While any non-magical object huge or larger has a 10 foot cube portion of it disintegrated.

This spell does not affect magic items.

Also, for each spell level you upcast this above 6th, you gain an additional 3d6 damage. So a 7th level cast would be 13d6 plus 40 force damage, and so on.


Who Gets It?

Sorcerers and Wizards both gain access to this powerful spell, and both classes gain a sixth level spell slot at level 11.

There are some subclasses that also gain access to Disintegrate.

Arcana Clerics have the option to take it at Level 17. Heck, even Arcane Trickster Rogues and Eldritch Knight Fighters can cast this spell if they have a spell scroll.

Granted, it won’t work every time for those two. But it’s still an option nonetheless.

Some monsters also gain access to Disintegrate: the Lich, Illithilic, and the Alhoon, all of which are quite powerful, with the Alhoon having the lowest challenge rating at CR10.

 

Disintegrate Build Ideas

Transmutation Wizard

Being the closest class to anything resembling Ed from Fullmetal Alchemist, the Transmutation Wizard studies spells that modify energy and matter.

That said, only the second level ability(transmutation savant) really helps Disintegrate. As 6th level spells can be expensive and time-consuming to scribe in your spell book.

Thematically, I’d say Disintegrate also fits very well into this class. Look at Roy Mustang’s Fire, or every alchemist’s ability to break down material. Disintegrate fits this theme nicely.

And at the 11th level, your wizard hopefully has an intelligence of 20. Making your spellcasting modifier a +5 and your proficiency a +4.

That means you have a spell save DC of 19. This works great for Disintegrate, since with no bonuses, a creature has a 10% chance of making the throw. And even if it has a save bonus of +5, it still only has a 30% chance of making the save.

So that means your average output of 75 damage per attack can one-shot most weaker enemies, and finish off stronger enemies that your party members have wailed on.

 

Sorcerer

So there isn’t one sorcerer subclass that really fits thematically with Disintegrate.

But fret not, because it works well with all of them.

Disintegrate targets a single enemy, which means… you can use twinned spell on it.

So you get way more bang for your buck, being able to target two separate enemies with this super powerful spell. This makes good use of potentially your only (or one of your two) spell slots for 6th level spot.

Not to mention, this is the only 6th-level sorcerer spell that can be twinned.

So you can output an average of 150 force damage on a single turn if both attacks hit.

At level 11, your sorcerer should have a Charisma of 20. And with the +4 proficiency you have a spell save DC of 19.

Like mentioned above, this alleviates the save or suck nature of this spell and allows it to hit way more consistently.

Stack this with either a bane, heightened spell, or bestow curse, and you can lower the enemy dice roll too.

Shadow Magic Sorcerer’s Hound of Ill Omen can also help a ton, since it has the same effect.

 

Other Class Ideas

There are three other classes that potentially gain access to this spell, but there isn’t really much of a thematic tie besides “these classes gain access to wizard spells or can use scrolls”.

Granted, seeing an Arcana Cleric disintegrate an enemy would be pretty badass. And Arcane Trickster’s Magical Ambush gives the same effect as some of the things listed above.

Plus an Eldritch Knight pulling off a disintegrate is terrifying to all enemies.

But the main problem is that access to this spell is either restricted to high-tier play (Arcana Cleric) or dependent on finding a specific spell scroll, acquiring it, and then leaving it to lady luck to decide if you can use it (Arcane Trickster and Eldritch Knight).

Now I will say it fits really well with the enemies mentioned above, that magically prolonged their life in the pursuit of knowledge and power.

An Alhoon is trying to become an illithilic, which is basically a mind flayer lich.

 

Final Thoughts

One of the most satisfying spells to use on a kill, and one of the most terrifying spells to be on the receiving end of, Disintegrate is one of the best spells in the game.

If you’re working with a class that could fit with this type of damage then I say go for it.

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