Today we’re taking a look at what some might consider one of the bread and butter spells of the Wizard class. Of course I’m talking about Magic Missile. But with a spell so widely used, is there anything left for us to explore? Let’s find out!
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S
You create three glowing darts of magical force. Each dart hits a creature of your choice that you can see within range. A dart deals 1d4 + 1 force damage to its target. The darts all strike simultaneously, and you can direct them to hit one creature or several.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the spell creates one more dart for each slot level above 1st.
Magic Missile should be in every wizard’s spellbook. At first glance this spell doesn’t seem like anything too crazy, but that is only when viewed out of context. The strength of this spell comes from being able to hit anything, no rolls required. When upcasted to higher levels those d4s add up real fast, especially when targeting one creature that everyone keeps missing. Now only that, you can fire off a volley of attacks to a multitude of enemies if you so choose to. Is an ally about to die due to a powerful enemy and all you have are 6th level AOE spells? Up cast that magic missile and watch as 8d4+8 pummels that target, no saves. That is an average of 28 damage; I like those odds.
Tips & Tricks
We’ve got many useful tips, especially for beginners, when using this spell. First of which is Aerial enemies. These buggers can be very hard for some of your allies to hit, especially when paired with ground enemies that keep harrowing your barbarian and fighter. Blast those flying creatures back to whence they came. The best situation in my opinion; however, is when facing off against an enemy with high AC. Granted you can also rely on save spells against enemies with high AC, but sometimes you just have to make sure you can hit with maximum damage.
Pro tip normally I would say avoid wizards with this spell, but frankly if you have an ally caster on your team that keeps getting counter spelled? Blast that caster with a 4th or 5th level magic missile and force them to burn their reaction to shield it instead. You lose out on a higher level spell, but this opens up the opportunity for your ally to get off that 6th level fireball with no interruptions; making you a team player that looks like a chess master, tactician magician.
You have an enemy pinned to the ground, giving you disadvantage on your ranged spells? Magic missile. You’ve got an enemy behind ¾ cover? Magic Missile. You have an enemy using the cover of darkness but you can just see a portion of them? Magic Missile.
You can easily reflavor this spell to anything you can think of. Are you a starry night themed Drow? Why not make your magic missile a shower of shooting stars? Are you a slingshot wielding wizard who keeps missing their slingshot attacks? “Cast a spell on one of your ammo” to make sure the next one hits; slingshots already have similar damage to the spell so it can be an easy reflavor of a different “ammo type”. Speaking of which… Are you a gunslinger with the magic initiate feat but you want all your spells to be reflavored as ammo types? You just got yourself a triple shot (or more if upcasted), ammo type that always hits its target.
Imagine your character reflavoring a magic missile. Describe as they drop to one knee, aim their lever action rifle, then shoot and cock it multiple types in the span of a few seconds; your allies watch in awe as every single attack hits and your character blows off the smoke from the barrel before spinning it and holstering it on their back.
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