|DND Mind Spike Categories||DND Mind Spike Stats|
|Casting Time||1 Action|
|Components||Somatic (hand movements)|
|Duration||Up to 1 hour with concentration|
|Damage (Failed Wisdom Saving Throw)||3d8 psychic damage|
|Damage (Successful Wisdom Saving Throw)||Half of 3d8 psychic damage|
|Higher Levels (3rd level or higher)||add 1d8 for each spell slot level above 2nd|
|Spell List||Wizard, Warlock, Sorceror|
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the DND Mind Spike 5e spell.
What Is Mind Spike in DND 5e?
Mind Spike is a second-level psychic attack spell in DND for magical characters.
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything describes Mind Spike this way:
You reach into the mind of one creature you can see within range. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw, taking 3d8 psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. On a failed save, you also always know the target’s location until the spell ends, but only while the two of you are on the same plane of existence. While you have this knowledge, the target can’t become hidden from you, and if it’s invisible, it gains no benefit from that condition against you.
Like most spells, it must be learned and cast in combat with somatic components.
Somatic refers to hand motions or gestures.
Mind Spike works at a range of 60 feet (as long as the other being is on the same plane) and requires a magical character’s concentration.
How Does the DND Mind Spike 5e Work?
You use Mind Spike much like you use any spell in DND.
Here are the steps for using Mind Spike in Dungeons and Dragons:
- Your character must have access to the Mind Spike Spell.
- You select Mind Spike for one of your spell slots.
- During an encounter, your magical character uses an action to cast Mind Spike.
- Your target makes a Wisdom Saving Throw by rolling DND dice.
- If your target enemy does not succeed (i.e, fails the saving throw), then they suffer 3d8 of psychic damage. If you use a spell slot at or higher than 3rd level, your damage increases. You add 1d8 per slot level above 2nd to the damage roll.
- If your target succeeds on their Wisdom Saving Throw, they still take half the damage.
One of my favorite aspects of Mind Spike is that the psychic attack inflicts damage on a targeted being whether they make a successful Wisdom saving throw or not.
As a bonus, when your target fails their saving throw, you also know their location.
Your mental connection is like a magical GPS beacon.
This benefit of Mind Spike works even if your enemy is invisible—as long as they are within 60 feet and on the same plane of existence.
Here is a good video about the DND Mind Spike 5e spell:
Who Can Use the DND Mind Spike?
Wizards, Warlocks, and Sorcerors can all use Mind Spike. Any character who multi-classes with one of these magical classes can also use Mind Spike.
For example, you could build:
- Mind Spike Wizard
- Mind Spike Diviner
- Mind Spike Bard
- Mind Spike Cleric
- Mind Spike Rouge
You get the picture.
Any class, race, and character with magical capabilities can use Mind Spike starting at no less than the second level.
A character might also be able to channel Mind Spike through a magic weapon.
When Should You Use the DND Mind Spike Spell?
The most important time you should use Mind Spike is when your enemy is hiding, invisible, or might turn invisible.
It’s also a great spell to use against other spellcasters since it’ll break their concentration, deal damage, and identify their location.
If you’re up against an opponent who is constantly trying to hide or become invisible, using Mind Spike can be a great way to take them down.
Even if they do manage to disappear, you can track them during combat.
You should also use Mind Spike if your magical character is silenced.
The spell does not require verbal components, only physical gestures. If your spellcaster finds themselves unable to utter spells, you can still hurt your enemy.
Finally, you should only use this spell if your target is within the required 60-foot radius.
There’s no reason to waste a spell slot.
How Often Can You Use DND Mind Spike?
You can use Mind Spike the number of times that equal your available second-level spell slots.
For example, if you have three second-level spell slots, you can cast Mind Spike three times.
You can also use the spell again if you regain your spell slots.
Typically, you refresh your spell slots after a long rest of at least 8 hours. If your character is an elf, you can meditate for 4 hours.
Each time you cast the spell, the effect lasts up to one hour of game-time.
That means, as long as you remain concentrated on the spell, you don’t need to recast it against the same target within this one-hour timeframe.
Once the hour is up or your concentration is broken, you will need to use another spell slot to re-cast the spell.
Is Mind Spike a Good Spell? (Mind Spike Pros and Cons)
Let’s look at the biggest pros and cons of the Mind Spike divination spell.
Mind Spike Pros
Mind Spike is the only Divination spell that inflicts damage.
That’s a major plus.
Mind Spike also causes damage 100% of the time, even if the target makes a successful saving throw.
At higher levels, the damage of the spell scales nicely, making it super powerful.
Mind Spike is a second-level spell, so your character can pick it up early in their adventuring life.
As you gain levels in DND, Mind Spike deals more damage.
You can cast the spell multiple times using multiple spell slots. That gets to be very nice the higher you go in DND.
Not to mention that you always know the location of your enemy.
You can use that knowledge to attack them with other spells or direct other characters in your group. For locating enemies alone, Mind Spike is worth considering.
Mind Spike Cons
There are a few disadvantages of using Mind Spike in DND.
One con is that the spell requires concentration. That means you will not be able to perform any other type of magic that also requires concentration.
Mind Spike also requires somatic hand gestures.
Therefore, your use of your hands is also limited. Not to mention that the damage inflicted by this spell is one-time damage.
In other words, the damage is not continual.
Like most others spells, Mind Spike will take one of your spell slots for the day.
Mind Spike Pros and Cons Chart
To make it easy to see at a glance, here is a chart of the Mind Spike pros and cons:
|Mind Spike Pros||Mind Spike Cons|
|2nd Level Spell||Requires concentration|
|Hits every time||One time damage|
|Tracks target||Takes a spell slot|
|Psychic damage||60-foot range limit|
|Somatic component only||Other spells do more average damage|
DND Mind Spike 5e Errata
In the originally published version of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, the Mind Spike spell included an error.
The original version said, “When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 2nd” (bold emphasis mine).
Players quickly questioned the damage increase.
It doesn’t make sense for the spell to deal 3d8 damage at baseline then scale up with +1d6.
When asked this question on Twitter, D&D Rules Designer, Jeremy Crawford acknowledged the mistake.
Crawford replied, “Mind spike has a typo in its ‘At Higher Levels’ section. It should be ‘d8,’ not ‘d6.’ That will get corrected.”
Therefore, the correct higher level damage is 1d8.
Scaling the DND Mind Spike
At level 6, a Divining Wizard gets Expert Divination.
Expert Divination alters the Mind Spike spell, allowing it to scale into an even more powerful option.
The D&D Player’s Handbook offers the following details about Expert Divination:
Beginning at 6th level, casting divination spells comes so easily to you that it expends only a fraction of your spellcasting efforts. When you cast a divination spell of 2nd level or higher using a spell slot, you regain one expended spell slot. The slot you regain must be of a level lower than the spell you cast and can’t be higher than 5th level.
Regaining spell slots and dealing extra damage are two great benefits of scaled Mind Spike.
However, that doesn’t mean it is the best option in combat every time.
Unless your enemy is invisible, you can deal a higher average amount of damage with other 6th-level magical abilities, such as the Fire Bolt cantrip.
One fun way to use the Divination feature is to upcast Mind Spike to regain a 5th level spell.
Check out this Mind Spike scaling chart:
|Character Spell Slot Level||Mind Spike Damage|
|1st Level||Not applicable|
DND Mind Spike vs. Tasha’s Mind Whip in DND
Tasha’s Mind Whip spell is almost always better than Mind Spike.
Mind Spike is better than Tasha’s Mind Whip only in very niche situations when it’s helpful to identify an opponent’s location.
Tasha’s Mind Whip spell is better overall because it doesn’t require concentration.
Therefore, you can focus on other spells or actions even while using the spell. That is huge!
Mind Whip can also scale to target up to 8 enemies.
Another way that I’ve seen Mind Whip used is as a precursor to a strategic retreat.
One of the biggest reasons that Mind Whip is superior to Mind Spike is that the spell requires an intelligence saving throw.
Most of your enemies will lack high intelligence.
Of course, this means that your spell will land most of the time. Once it lands, the target can not use a reaction until the end of the next round. Also, in the next round, the target is limited to choosing either an action, move, or bonus action.
All of these advantages taken together mean Mind Whip is the better spell.
DND Mind Spike FAQS
In this FAQS section, we will be discussing the questions that are commonly asked about the DND Mind Spike spell.
In What Official Book Can I Find DND Mind Spike?
You can find the Mind Spike spell in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Get this DND book on Amazon, D&D Beyond, Steam, Roll20, or DM’s Guild.
Does Casting Mind Spike Break All Concentration?
Yes, casting Mind Spike breaks all concentration.
Mind Spike, itself, requires full concentration to cast the spell. Therefore, you can not cast any other spell that requires concentration at the same time that you use Mind Spike.
Can I Use Mind Spike on the Undead?
You can use Mind Spike on any undead except for those who are immune to psychic attacks/damage.
For example, zombies, skeletons, and ghosts are immune to some damage types.
However, none of them mention an immunity to psychic damage.
Few monsters in DND are immune to it.
What Is the Wand of Mind Spike?
A wand of Mind Spike is a magical item that allows the user to cast Mind Spike once per day against a single enemy.
Any magical character can use the wand.
Essentially, the wand gives spellcasters an extra spell slot during an adventure.
Final Thoughts: DND Mind Spike 5e
DND Mind Spike is a useful spell with some creative applications.
Even though I prefer other 2nd level spells most of the time, I’ve seen Mind Spike save the day more than once.
It comes in handy as a “pocket” spell to buff your character in a tight spot.
Read these posts next:
- Which Official D&D Books Contain Spells? (Answered)
- How Do Clerics Learn Spells in DND? (Ultimate Guide)
- Can Spells Do Critical Damage in DND? (Solved)