Faerie Fire: D&D 5e Spell Guide, Rules & Uses

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Not every spell needs to be a fireball or prestidigitation to be great.

Faerie Fire knows its niche, and excels greatly at it.


Faerie Fire

School: Evocation
Level: 1st
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 60 Feet
Components: Verbal
Duration: Up to 1 minute

Basically, whatever objects (or creatures) are nearby end up in a 20-foot cube emanating from a point in range of the spell. All are highlighted in a blue, green, or purple light. You choose this color.

Any creature affected by this has to make a dexterity saving throw.

If they fail, they shed dim light in a 10 foot radius. Any attack against these creatures can be made with an advantage if the person making the attack can see them.

And invisible creatures or objects can’t benefit from being invisible.


Who Gets It?

For most 5e players, the main classes that get this spell are Bard and Druid.

However, Artificers also has access to this spell. As do the Drow subrace and Half-Elves with Drow heritage.

The Light Cleric and Archfey Warlock gain access to this spell as well.

Faerie Fire Uses

Fighting enemies in total darkness?

Fighting an invisible foe? Or how about that bulky enemy with a low dex but a high armor class?

Faerie Fire has proven time and again how useful it is.

It’s amazing at turning the tide in a bad situation.

Maybe nobody has darkvision? It can help negate the disadvantage, and if you have darkvision, you get an advantage when fighting in dim light or total darkness.

Not only that, it only has one initial save. No saves over time: once you fail, you’re marked for the minute.

It also grants everyone advantage against those targets, so you can potentially draw aggro on your tank (since if a DM is running smarter enemies, they’d jump at the chance to hit more).

Or more importantly, maybe give everyone advantage. Your rogue will love you. A lot. Especially since this allows them to reliably get sneak attack off for potentially ten whole rounds of combat.

Invisible enemies like the Invisible Stalker can be sniffed out with this spell, which is one of its main purposes. It’s the only option at lower levels, and for a first-level spell, it scales extremely well into the later game.

Example: let’s take an Iron Golem, which has an AC of 20 but a Dex of only 9. Faerie Fire can make the difference allowing you two chances at hitting at least a soft 20 with your bonuses.

So if you have a bonus of +7 when you come up against an Iron Golem, your average damage roll is a 17.5. That means you miss it over 50% of the time. In fact, you only have a 35% chance of hitting.

So might as well double your chances, since two attempts at rolling a 20(or more) is better than one!

Basically, Faerie Fire benefits everyone. Use that to your advantage.

Plus, it’s one of the lowest level spells that can consistently grant advantage. Absolutely take this spell.

Build Ideas

You might use this spell differently depending on your character build, subclass, or some other factors.

Let’s dive into a few ideas here.

Drows

Faerie Fire is such an important spell for Drow, as it can negate the disadvantage gained from Sunlight Sensitivity.

With a range of 60 feet, we can get a Drow Gloomstalker Ranger, Drow Scout Rogue, Drow Warlock and similar ideas… all that aren’t crippled by the feature.

It at least gives Drow the chance to pull out Faerie Fire once a day.

Archfey Warlocks

I mean, Fey is right in the name.

This is the most thematic fit out of almost everything that gains access to Faerie Fire. A powerful Lord or Lady Fey learning a spell with “Faerie” in the name… I mean, it just fits.

And for Warlocks that enjoy spell sniping with their cantrips (or act like blasters), having this up as a concentration spell can give more chances to hit.

It can work optimally, giving a useful buff to too. And fits beautifully. Have I mentioned that yet?

For warlocks, this might be a better fit since you’re casting it. And you get to take advantage of it.

Bards and Druids use this spell in a more utilitarian way, while Warlocks can use it to increase damage output.

Druids

Similar to Archfey Warlocks, Druids are tied to nature and to the Fey.

So this works very well thematically. In fact, it works so well you might gain some abilities linked to the Fey, since your magic is drawn from nature.

This combo can work great with things like a Land Druid, who are more casting focused.

But even subclasses like Circle of the Moon can benefit here, since the Word of God (also known as Jeremy Crawford) confirmed that concentration spells cast before using Wild Shape can be maintained. So might as well take a chance at gaining advantage.

This is one of your signature spells, use it liberally.

Honestly, it’s worth a first-level spell slot due to its versatility. It is so good at its niche.

Bards

This is a weird one to explain thematically with the class.

But as the jack of all trades, the utility master, and a support class tried and true, the Bard is optimized to gain one of the best low-level utility spells.

It’s a great debuff against enemies which also grants the party a buff too.

Not many other spells in its level class can do that.

Bards mainly draw from music and art for their magic. So it isn’t too much of a stretch to tie that in with the Fey, and both have a tendency to be tricksters.

Now there isn’t a college that really fits “best” thematically. Maybe Eloquence due to the reliance on Charisma abilities, tying into some of your trickery.

Artificers

An even stranger class (thematically) than a Bard.

In most fiction, Fey or Faeries tend to be anti-machinery. Especially frowning on using metal things.

Look at the Druid, it just works.

Alchemists can kind of make sense, due to potions being made of natural things. But other than that stretch, it makes zero sense.

However, as a support class, at least it makes sense to give Artificers a support spell.

But again, not the prime build here. It’s always funny to see some spells that a class has that have no thematic connection.

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