Casting Time: 1 Bonus Action
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 minute (Concentration)
Ask your deity for aid and empower your weapon attacks. Until this spell ends, all of your weapon attacks deal an extra 1d4 radiant damage.
Available To: Paladins
Found In: Player’s Handbook, p. 234
Calling In A Favor
At level 2, Paladins gain access to spellcasting. At his point, you may choose a number of spells equal to your Charisma modifier + half of your Paladin level. For example, a level 2 Paladin with a Charisma of 16 will be able to prepare 5 spells. However, at this point, you only have 2 spell slots/day.
Divine Favor 5e is a fine choice at this point in the game. As a bonus action, you can cast it and every weapon attack you deal for the next 1 minute (10 rounds of combat) deals an additional 1d4 of radiant damage.
Divine Favor vs Divine Smite
This might not look like a lot when compared to the 2d8 that Divine Smite provides, but it has the ability to do more damage in the long run. At level 2, most characters will only be able to make one attack per turn, over a full minute of combat, that’s an extra 10d4 of radiant damage.
At level 5, Paladins gain Extra Attack. This means that you can deal an extra 2d4 of damage every single turn. Not as flashy as a Smite, but an amazing boost to any party. Further, radiant damage is largely not resisted by many foes and a majority of undead and fiends are weak to it.
Lastly, Smite only works for melee attacks. Divine Favor works on ALL weapon attacks, meaning that a ranged character can get the full benefit without getting into a dangerous situation.
If you need to finish off a single target quickly, then Divine Smite might be your best bet, but to consistently deal more damage against a number of enemies, Divine Favor is one of the best low-level options for a Paladin.