The Shadow Blade is a very popular spell added to 5th Edition in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. But, how do you properly use it and which classes will greatly benefit from this spell? Check out our guide below to dig deeper into this Shadow Spell that’s ready for fun, trouble, or anything in between.
What Is Shadow Blade
The shadow blade spell works when you weave together threads of shadow to form a sword of solidified gloom in your hand. This magic sword lasts until the spell ends. Shadow blade counts as a simple melee weapon with which you are skilled in.
To start, you can attack with either Strength or Dexterity. You can throw it like a hand axe if you’d like, and it hits with a damage of 2d8 psychic plus your attack ability modifier. This damage escalates when you cast it with a higher-level slot that’s up to 5d8 for a 7th level or higher spell slot.
One of the spell’s advantages is that you get advantage of the attack when you attack something in dim light or darkness.
Who Gets Shadow Blade
Bards could acquire it as part of their Magical Secrets. Meanwhile, Arcane Trickster Rogues and Eldritch Knight Fighters obtain it from the Wizard spell list.
The rest could pick it up by partaking in multiclass and investing at least 3 levels into Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard.
What Are The Uses
This spell is useful for characters with Darkvision, wherein you forge a sword that you can use for attacks.
Let’s dig deeper per class:
Shadow blade contradicts for Warlocks because it contends with hex or darkness if you have Devil’s Sight. You can combat this if you have a Shadow Sorcerer in your party who could cast the darkness spell for you. Just remember that this can’t be used with either the Pact of the Blade or the Hexblade’s Hex Warrior feature. If you have access to eldritch blast, and the Agonizing Blast invocation, you’ll have better damage-dealing options.
2. Eldritch Knight Fighters
Eldritch Knights won’t get the spell until they reach level 8. Once you do get the spell, you can forge a blade that deals more damage than a greatsword. What’s more, when you reach level 13 and get level 3 spell slots, you can create a shadow blade that deals 3d8 damage every hit.
The downside is that you must concentrate on the spell, which risks you of losing it if you take too much damage.
3. Arcane Trickster Rogues
Shadow blade is average to use for Arcane Tricksters. It deals extra damage, but you won’t get many additional attacks. The damage output heavily depends more on your Sneak Attack. If you need a Sneak Attack bonus and are in dim light or darkness, this spell really helps.
This is not much of an advantage for Sorcerers since it’s for melee. However, it can be an additional tool. When you reach level 17, your three attacks with shadow blade and booming blade can provide 5d8 psychic and 3d8 thunder damage to the target, with an extra 4d8 thunder damage if they move.
The problem with using this strategy is that it burns your sorcery points.
5. Wizards and Bards
Wizards and Bards can use this spell, but mainly the Bladesinger wizard, the College of Swords Bard, and the College of Valor Bard since all three of these subclasses get Extra Attack. Once they use it, all of them will have high Dexterity.
The only problem is any bard who wants shadow blade has to multiclass or use one of their Magical Secrets for it. For wizards, starting at level 11, they have access to Tenser’s transformation.
Conclusion To Shadow Blade
Shadow Blade is a convenient spell that condenses the shadows to create a lightweight sword that inflicted damage upon the minds of the creatures it hit. Just be mindful of how and when to use it because it can deplete your points really quick.
Want to learn more how to cast the perfect shadow blade spell? Check out this helpful thread from Reddit to learn more. Happy playing!