Aha! I bet you thought we were going to talk about Hunter’s Mark for Ranger week huh? Think again! Have you ever met a ranger that didn’t pick up Hunter’s Mark as one of their spells? It’s basically the Eldritch Blast equivalent to rangers. Which is why today we’re going to be talking about a different Ranger-only spell…
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (60-foot cone)
Components: V, S, M (one piece of ammunition or a thrown weapon)
You throw a nonmagical weapon or fire a piece of nonmagical ammunition into the air to create a cone of identical weapons that shoot forward and then disappear. Each creature in a 60-foot cone must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 3d8 damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The damage type is the same as that of the weapon or ammunition used as a component.
Alright! So casting this spell will cost us a 3rd level spellslot which is actually quite a bit of an investment for a half-caster. By the time we reach level 9 and unlock 3rd level spells 3d8 might not sound like a lot, but we have to keep in mind that this attack will affect everything in a 60ft cone, even if some of the enemies do make the save. Speaking of 60ft range, while this distance pales in comparison to the usual longbow range, notice that the spell only asks for non-magical weapons, which means we could turn our measly dagger range into something wonderful. Since we’re on the topic of daggers though, do keep in mind that this spell affects everything in a 60ft cone…that definitely includes your allies!
Last but not least, it’s also a good idea to remember that DEX saves are one of the most common types of saves in the games and a such many monsters have pretty decent dexterity scores.
Tips and Tricks
…which is exactly why you should consider having the wizard slow your enemies before you cast this. You know, if the stars align for it. At the very least you should keep an eye out for meaty creatures that look like they might have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, these will be your safest bet to hit. On the other hand, you’d do well to avoid using this spell against dexterous creatures, but even then, depending on the number of targets it might still totally be a worthy investment.
Now let’s backtrack a little, you know that bit that doesn’t specify the kind of weapon you can use for this as long as it isn’t magical? That bit? How would you feel about making it rain…. chairs. All you gotta do is take the Tavern Brawler feat and you’ll be able to use just about any mundane item for this spell since they will all technically be considered weapons for you.
The beauty of this spell is that you don’t even need to go out of your way to reflavor it since you can technically use any weapon for it, especially if you do go with Tavern Brawler. This opens up untold possibilities of customization for all flavors of rangers. You want to make it rain shurikens? Easy. But even if you choose to lean more towards the magic aspect of the spell it could still be reflavored as just about any type of damage that can take the shape of a cone (with your DMs approval of course). If on the other hand you’re playing a more tech-savvy character, this spell is early reflavored as some sort of special projectile that splits into multiples.