There are hundreds of amazing spells in D&D 5e that make you feel like a powerful spellcaster and Toll the Dead is definitely one of them. If you are planning to play a powerful spellcaster in your next campaign, Toll the Dead is definitely a cantrip that you want to include in your spell book. Yes, you read that right. Toll the Dead is a cantrip! Not a spell.
Toll the Dead is one of the best cantrips available in D&D 5e. The cantrip can requires one spell slot and it can be used by Clerics, Warlocks, and Wizards. The cantrip uses one action to cast and it has a range of 60-feet. Players can use Toll the Dead to deal 1d8 necrotic damage. If the target is missing some of its HP (hit points), Toll the Dead will do 1d12 necrotic damage. This is quite powerful for a cantrip, and it’s a must-have for powerful Warlocks who want to do serious damage.
The tricky part about D&D is that learning what the spells do can take lots of time and research. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that. Today I will answer all the questions you have about Toll the Dead in 5e.
What Does Toll the Dead Do 5e?
Toll the Dead is a powerful Necromancy cantrip that was introduced with “Xanathar’s Guide to Everything”. The cantrip uses one action (during a player’s turn) to deal 1d8 necrotic damage. If this isn’t impressive enough, you should know that Toll the Dead deals 1d12 necrotic damage to targets that are already missing hit points.
Here is a brief description of how the spell works:
“You point at one creature you can see within range, and the sound of a dolorous bell fills the air around it for a moment. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or take 1d8 necrotic damage. If the target is missing any of its hit points, it instead takes 1d12 necrotic damage.”
Toll the Dead 5e Stats
Cast Time: 1 action;
Range: 60 feet;
Components V, S;
Damage: 1d8 or 1d12 if the target is already missing HP;
At higher levels: The damage increases by one die when the player reaches 5th level, 11th level, and 17th level.
Who Gets Toll the Dead 5e?
Toll the Dead can be used by Clerics, Warlocks, and Wizards. The spell does Necrotic damage and therefore, most people think that Warlocks are the ones who should use the spell the most. Doing Necrotic damage is a skill that almost all Warlocks possess.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that you can’t create a Cleric who uses Toll the Dead to defeat his/her foes. It’s worth mentioning that Wizards can have a specialization in Necrotic damage and this makes them work great with Toll the Dead.
Toll the Dead vs Sacred Flame – Which One is Better?
While Toll the Dead might be one of the most popular cantrips available for Clerics, Warlocks, and Wizards, it’s definitely not the most popular one. Almost all character building guides suggest players to get Sacred Flame as their main damage dealing cantrip, and there is a good reason for that. Sacred Flame deals 1d8 radiant damage (the damage goes higher at 5th, 11th, and 17th levels).
In terms of stats, Toll the Dead and Sacred Flame are almost equal. Toll the Dead benefits from a major bonus that changes the damage from 1d8 to 1d12 if the target is already missing HP. If you are min-maxing the character and don’t mind having a Cleric or Wizard doing Necrotic damage, Toll the Dead is the way to go. On the other hand, Sacred Flame is more suitable for Clerics in terms of lore and roleplay.