DND Witch Bolt: Stats, Mechanics, and Ultimate Guide (2023)

If you like shocking your enemies, get ready for a zapping good time. In this guide, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty details of the DND Witch Bolt spell.

DND Witch Bolt Stats

Let’s start with the cold, hard facts (well, as cold and hard as magical lightning can be).

Here’s a snazzy table with all the important stats on DND Witch Bolt:

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CategoriesStat Details
Casting Time1 action (pretty swift, right?)
Range30 feet (not too shabby, not too far)
ComponentsVerbal, Somatic, Material (a twig from a tree struck by lightning)
DurationUp to 1 minute with concentration (stay focused)
School of MagicSchool of Evocation (big boom school, mate!)
Spellcaster Level1st (just a baby spell, but packs a punch)
Who Can Use It?Sorcerers, Warlocks, Wizards (the big three)
Chart: DND Witch Bolt StatsSource: DND Player’s Handbook

DND Witch Bolt Description

Digital image of a wizard in a tree casting a lightning bolt - DND Witch Bolt
I made this image – DND Witch Bolt

Imagine pointing your finger, and ZAP! A jolt of lightning zips out, shocking the daylights outta someone.

That’s Witch Bolt.

But it doesn’t stop there. The spell bonds the caster and target together with a tether of lightning until the caster takes another action.

For instance, a grumpy Dwarf called Thorgar humping through a dungeon.

A sneaky goblin’s just out of his melee range. Instead of running up and giving him a one-two punch, Thorgar, being the fancy Warlock he is, just points and ZAP!

The Goblin’s toast (or, at least, mightily surprised).

How Does D&D Witch Bolt Work?

Once you’ve got that lightning locked onto someone, it stays there, no fuss.

Every turn, without having to whip up another spell, you can use your turn to dish out some hurt.

Auto-hit! No rolling, no missing, just pure shocking fun.

But if you (the caster) or if the target scoots too far away or hides behind something that completely blocks them from view, or if you lose concentration (like getting smacked in the noggin), it’s game over for the spell.

Still, it’s pretty powerful.

Who Can Use the D&D Witch Bolt?

Not everyone’s cut out for the Witch Bolt lifestyle. It’s for the chosen few.

Here’s the lowdown on who can get in on the action:

  • Sorcerers: You know, the folks who were born with magic in their blood. They’ve got that natural talent, like they’ve been zapping foes since they were in diapers.
  • Warlocks: These guys and gals have made deals with some big-time magical patrons. They didn’t get their powers for free, but man, do they know how to sling a Witch Bolt.
  • Wizards: The bookworms of the magical world. They’ve studied their butts off, learning the ins and outs of spells. When they cast Witch Bolt, you know they’ve done their homework.

Pros and Cons of the Witch Bolt Spell?

Alright, let’s break it down:


  • Consistent damage (who doesn’t love a little zap-zap every round?)
  • No need to recast (lazy caster’s dream)
  • Great for focusing down one target (like that big, mean orc chief)


  • Uses up concentration (so no other fancy concentration spells for you)
  • Limited range (don’t go running too far now)
  • If it misses initially, that’s a wasted spell slot (a real bummer)

I’ve laid out the pros and cons for you, but let’s dig a bit deeper.

Those pros, for instance.

Who wouldn’t want to deal damage every round without having to cast the spell again? I mean, it’s like a two-for-one deal at the magic shop.

And the fact that you only need to hit once?

That’s like getting a free pass to the damage fair!

But don’t get too excited, because there are some cons, too. That concentration requirement means you can’t be running around casting other cool concentration spells.

And the range?

Well, it’s not exactly sniper territory. You’ve required to stay close, like you’re tethered to the target.

Lastly, if you miss that first shot, it’s like buying a ticket to the greatest show on Earth and then realizing it’s been canceled.

You’ve lost your spell slot, and you’ve got nothing to show for it.

It’s a high risk, high reward spell.

Is Witch Bolt Good?

If you’re after a spell that can dish out some damage over time and you’re alright with keeping your concentration on it, then DND Witch Bolt might just be the spell for you.

It’s like a magical tug of war.

You’re pulling that damage every round, but you’ve got to keep your focus, or you’ll lose the rope.

But, and this is a big but, Witch Bolt does have its downsides.

So, is Witch Bolt good?

It’s like a tool in your toolbox. Sometimes, it’s just what you need. Other times, you might be better off with a different spell.

But when it hits, it sure can be a shocking fun time.

Here is a good, quick video about the DND Witch Bolt:

YouTube Video by Chance’s D&D Spellbook – Witch Bolt

10 Creative Ways for Players to Use Witch Bolt

Check out some creative ways your players can use the spell during D&D:

  1. Interrogation: Got a captive? A little zap might make ’em talk.
  2. Light show: At a tavern, puttin’ on a performance? Witch Bolt can be your pyrotechnics.
  3. Fishin’: Over a pond? Witch Bolt can shock ’em to the surface. Fresh dinner!
  4. Starting a fire: Zap some dry wood. Instant campfire.
  5. Clearing a path: Zap through thickets and bushes in your way.
  6. Message relay: Have a buddy signal when to stop the bolt as a far-off message system.
  7. Training: Teach newbies about evocation magic by demonstrating (safely, of course).
  8. Distraction: Need a diversion? A giant lightning bolt usually grabs attention.
  9. Protection: Scare off potential threats by showing off your bolt.
  10. Magic duel: Challenge another caster to a friendly Witch Bolt standoff.

DND Ideas for Witch Bolt

Players don’t get all the fun.

Here are ways for Dungeon Masters to fit the spell into gameplay:

  1. Haunted Forest: Trees that zap intruders with Witch Bolt.
  2. Guardian Statues: Stone guardians that shoot bolts at thieves.
  3. Trap Rooms: Floor tiles that, when stepped on, release Witch Bolt.
  4. Magic Circles: Step outta line and get zapped.
  5. Enchanted Beasts: A bird that shoots Witch Bolt from its beak.
  6. Maze Walls: Touch the wrong wall, and ZAP!
  7. Puzzles: Need to redirect a Witch Bolt to open a door.
  8. Magic Tutors: Old wizards who teach the spell with… enthusiasm.
  9. Duels: Wizard tournaments where Witch Bolt is the spell of choice.
  10. Weather Phenomenons: Storm clouds that shoot Witch Bolts at the ground.
  11. Boss Mechanics: Maybe the Big Bad has a shield or some other form of magical protection that needs a Witch Bolt to disable.
  12. Enchanted Items: A ring or amulet that can cast Witch Bolt, but maybe it has limited charges or some other kind of drawback.
  13. Rituals: Have your party come across a group performing a ritual where they use Witch Bolt to charge up some huge crystal or magical device.
  14. Lighting the Way: In a pitch-dark cave or tunnel, an ever-going Witch Bolt might be the only source of light.
  15. Monster Abilities: Why not have a magical beast that can shoot Witch Bolt from its eyes or mouth?
  16. Weather Control: Maybe there’s a device that needs the energy from a Witch Bolt to control the weather.
  17. Puzzles: Create a puzzle where players have to use Witch Bolt to connect electrical circuits or light up certain areas in a specific order.
  18. Treasure Protection: Have a treasure chest or door that needs a jolt from Witch Bolt to open.
  19. Negotiations: A powerful NPC might only agree to talk if the players can prove their worth by demonstrating their mastery of the Witch Bolt spell.
  20. Magic Amplification: There could be an area where magic is amplified, so Witch Bolt does crazy damage or has wild, unpredictable effects.

Witch Bolt Magic Items

The electrifying power of Witch Bolt can also be imbued into magic items to create a storm of devastating effects.

Here are some ideas for magic items that wield the might of Witch Bolt:

  1. Ring of the Lightning Slinger: This silvery ring is adorned with a sapphire gemstone that crackles with energy. When worn, it allows the wearer to cast Witch Bolt at a higher level, increasing the damage output. Use it wisely though, because the ring only has a few charges, and once it runs out, you’re back to your regular zap.
  2. Staff of the Thunderous Bolt: This ancient staff is engraved with symbols of lightning and storm clouds. It grants the wielder the ability to cast Witch Bolt without using a spell slot. The catch? You can only use it once per day, so make sure to save it for when the sparks really need to fly.
  3. Wand of the Electromancer: This sleek wand is made of conductive material and pulses with electrical energy. It not only allows the user to cast Witch Bolt, but also enhances the spell’s range, letting you strike your enemies from a greater distance.
  4. Amulet of the Witch’s Wrath: This amulet features a pendant shaped like a bolt of lightning. It gives the wearer resistance to lightning damage and the ability to cast Witch Bolt with a bonus to their spell attack roll, making it more likely to hit the target.
  5. Gloves of the Arcing Surge: These gloves have intricate patterns of lightning stitched onto them. When worn, they empower the caster’s Witch Bolt, dealing additional damage on a critical hit. Just be sure to aim well, as the surge of energy can be overwhelming.

Magic items should be used strategically and in moderation.

The power of Witch Bolt in these items is potent, but it’s essential to use them wisely and avoid relying on them too much.

After all, a true spellcaster knows that the real magic comes from within.

What Official Books Contain the Witch Bolt Spell?

As of now, Witch Bolt can be found in the Player’s Handbook (PHB) for Dungeons & Dragons.

The PHB is your go-to source for all things related to character creation and development, including spells, equipment, and more.

It’s the bread and butter of every D&D player.

Get your hands on a copy, turn to the spell section, and you’ll find the full details on this electrifying spell.

How to Homebrew Witch Bolt

Homebrewing is the wild west of D&D – where your imagination’s the limit.

When homebrewing, it’s essential to think about balance.

You don’t want to make a spell so powerful that it overshadows everything else. It’s about adding flavor, not breaking the game.

Keep an eye on the spell’s level, damage, range, and any additional effects you add.

You want to create something that’s fun to use but doesn’t steal the spotlight from other aspects of the game.

With that in mind, here are some ideas to homebrew DND Witch Bolt:

  1. Elemental Switcheroo: Change the damage type from lightning to something else like fire, cold, or acid. Each damage type could have a unique additional effect, like setting enemies on fire or slowing them down.
  2. Arcing Bolt: Allow the bolt to jump from the initial target to another enemy within range, dealing reduced damage. You can limit this effect by adding a maximum number of jumps or reducing the damage each time it arcs.
  3. Empowered Witch Bolt: Create a higher-level version of the spell that deals more damage or has additional effects, like pushing the target back or stunning them briefly.
  4. Draining Bolt: When the bolt deals damage, the caster could regain a small number of hit points or temporary hit points, representing the transfer of life force from the target to the caster.
  5. Binding Bolt: If the bolt hits, it could restrain or immobilize the target, making it harder for them to escape or attack.
  6. Bouncing Bolt: Make the bolt bounce off surfaces, allowing the caster to hit enemies hiding behind cover or around corners.
  7. Stormcaller’s Bolt: If the spell is cast outdoors during a storm, it deals additional damage or has other bonuses, harnessing the power of the storm.
  8. Chained Bolt: If the caster and their allies form a chain, they can all concentrate on the spell together, increasing its damage output or other effects.

Remember, homebrewing is all about creativity and experimentation.

You may need to playtest and adjust your homebrewed Witch Bolt a few times before getting it just right.

DND Witch Bolt FAQS

Before we end this guide, I wanted to answer some of the most common questions about the Witch Bolt spell.

Can Witch Bolt Be Twinned?

You’re darn right it can!

If you’re a crafty Sorcerer with the Twin Spell metamagic option up your sleeve, you’re in for a treat.

When you cast DND Witch Bolt, you can choose to use your Twin Spell to zap another enemy with the same spell.

It’s like a two-for-one special.

Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to maintain concentration for both bolts, so don’t go thinking you can just zap everything in sight.

It’s like juggling – you’ve got to keep your eye on the ball, or in this case, the bolts.

Does Witch Bolt Stop If the Target Dies?

Yes siree, it does.

Once your target’s toast, that bolt of yours has done its job, and it stops right then and there.

It’s like a guard dog – once it’s taken down the intruder, it ain’t gonna keep biting.

But don’t fret, you’ve still got that target down, and you can always cast Witch Bolt again if there’s another bad guy giving you the stink eye.

Can You Change Targets with Witch Bolt?

Nah, mate.

Once you’re locked in, it’s just you and them till the end. You’ve got to commit and see it through.

Think of it as a test of your magical stamina, a showdown of electrifying proportions.

You and your target, in a battle of wills, power, and volts.

Can You Move While Casting Witch Bolt?

You can move around all you like while you’re casting Witch Bolt.

But remember that leash I was talking about earlier? You’ve got to stay within 30 feet of your target, or your spell will fizzle out faster than a wet firework.

Go ahead, strut your stuff, just don’t stray too far from the dance floor.

Can You Crit with Witch Bolt?

Yes, you can crit with Witch Bolt.

When you’re casting Witch Bolt, if you roll a natural 20 on that attack roll, you’re in for some serious damage – double the dice, double the fun.

But, hold your horses, that’s just for the first hit.

The subsequent zaps, the ones that hit automatically every turn, they’re just your regular, run-of-the-mill damage.

Still, nothing to sniff at.

What Happens When Witch Bolt Misses?

You’ve got your spell all ready, you’re feeling the magic flowing through you, and then…nothing.

If DND Witch Bolt misses, that spell slot you used to cast it goes up in smoke.

No damage, no awesome lightning show, just a whole lot of nothing.

But don’t let it get you down, everyone misses once in a while. Brush yourself off, and get ready for the next round – you’ll get them next time!

Final Thoughts: DND Witch Bolt

Don’t underestimate this awesome spell.

Use it creatively, strategically, and repeatedly in your adventures and campaigns.

For more guides to the magic in DND, check out some of our other great articles listed below.

Related Posts:


DND Player’s Handbook
Personal Experience