Spell Archive: Guiding Bolt

Get ready for the brightest ball of holy fury, guaranteed to make all of your allies happy.

With the power of your deity in your corner they give you the power to cast a kamehameha at your enemies with a similar sense of holy karmic justice.

Guiding Bolt

1st-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 120 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: 1 round

A flash of light streaks toward a creature of your choice within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 4d6 radiant damage, and the next attack roll made against this target before the end of your next turn has advantage, thanks to the mystical dim light glittering on the target until then.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.

I ain’t got time to heal

Spell Talk

Guiding Bolt is probably the strongest, low-level, offensive spell that a cleric can use. Clerics get the reputation of only being healers but Guiding Bolt is a must have for any cleric’s arsenal. It is a single target spell but what it lacks in crowd control it makes up for in damage and helpfulness. 4d6 for a 1st level spell is nothing to scoff at, and if you can get it to hit, it will make your enemy regret ever messing with you. But the damage alone isn’t what makes this spell so good. Aside from its ridiculous range of 120 ft., when this spell hits it causes the next attack against the enemy to be at advantage and that is where its real power comes in.

Tips & Tricks

This is a pretty simple spell, you point and shoot at something; however, not many clerics have ways of giving themselves advantage which means there is a decent chance of missing, especially early on. And ranged attacks don’t usually get advantage unless an enemy is restrained, paraylzyed, or some other means that keep an enemy both standing and frozen in place. So what is the key to using this spell effectively?

Hold your action. Oftentimes when you use Guiding Bolt the next person in initiative is almost always not the person you want to give advantage to, maybe it’s because clerics always seem to roll so low on initiative. Who knows? But remember, you don’t have to unleash that guiding bolt on your turn! You can hold your action to cast Guiding Bolt and make the trigger “before _____’s turn”, choosing the person you know will benefit the most from it if it hits. So if your Champion fighter is coming up and they crit on 19s, or if your Barbarian can’t afford to use their reckless attack again, or if your rogue needs to land one clean sneak attack and has nowhere to hide, you can unleash it right before one of their turns! There is no guarantee it will hit but it allows you to choose the person that you know has the best chance of doing the most damage.

Alternatively, you could hold your spell until just before your turn, guaranteeing you the advantage (if it hits) and allowing you follow up with another guiding bolt which will in turn give your next ally avantage anyway or allows you to cast another powerful spell at advantage like inflict wounds, which also often misses. But if you prefer to be the moral support or morale booster in your team you can do the most selfless thing possible and instead hold your action for the player who has been missing over and over again or the player that is having a bad day. Do this a few times and you will not only help them feel badass but it also builds the bonds between you the players and the characters.


When it comes to reflavors, think of your god. If you’re Patron is star based, then make it a shooting star or a comet. If you follow a fire God then make it a radiant ball of red hot fury. Guiding Bolt doesn’t just have to be a ball or beam of white light, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Gods in D&D come in so many different styles, their holy energy should match their themes and aesthetics. 

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