Secrets to Maximizing Your Cleric’s Spiritual Weapon

Wielding divine power on the battlefield can mean the difference between glorious victory and crushing defeat. For clerics in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, the spiritual weapon spell allows them to summon a magical weapon to smite their foes. However, this versatile spell has nuances that, if mastered, can elevate a cleric to new heights of strength.

What is Spiritual Weapon in D&D 5e

Spiritual weapon is a 2nd-level evocation spell available to clerics. When cast as a bonus action, it summons a floating spectral weapon that strikes at your enemies each turn as a bonus action for 1 minute. This allows clerics to make both a weapon attack and cast a cantrip or take another action on the same turn.

The spiritual weapon takes the form of a melee weapon that makes a melee spell attack against a creature within 5 feet of it. On a hit, the weapon deals 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier in force damage. As a bonus action on later turns, you can move the weapon up to 20 feet and repeat the attack against a creature within 5 feet of it.

Key Attributes

Here are some key attributes of the spiritual weapon spell:

  • Requires verbal and somatic components, but no material components
  • Has a range of 60 feet when summoned
  • Lasts 1 minute without requiring concentration
  • Occupies its space but doesn’t provide cover or prevent creature movement
  • Uses your spell attack modifier for attack rolls
  • Deals force damage so few creatures resist it
  • Upcasting increases damage by 1d8 per spell slot above 2nd level

Tactical Advantages

A few advantages spiritual weapon provides in battle:

  • Consistent bonus action damage each turn without concentration
  • Ideal for clerics who want to cast other spells during combat
  • Force clerics into melee range to disrupt spellcasting
  • Threaten multiple enemies with its ability to move
  • Remains effective when caster is incapacitated

Spiritual Weapon Spell Details and Mechanics

Now that you understand the basics of spiritual weapon, let’s dive deeper into the intricate workings of the spell so we can maximize its potential.

Duration, Range, and Area of Effect

An often overlooked aspect is the duration – spiritual weapon lasts a full minute without requiring concentration. This persistence combined with its 60-foot range means you can harass enemies across a battlefield or entire combat encounter.

It occupies its space but doesn’t provide cover against attacks and other creatures can freely move through it. Use this insubstantial nature to block chokepoints, providing cover for allies to retreat.

Attack Rolls, Damage Type, and Resistance

Spiritual weapon uses your own spell attack bonus for its melee attack rolls. This key difference from similar spells means its accuracy scales with you, remaining a threat to high AC enemies.

It deals force damage which very few monsters resist compared to fire, cold, lightning, etc. This makes spiritual weapon reliable against nearly any foe.

Action Economy Benefits

Casting spiritual weapon only requires a bonus action, leaving your action free to cast offensive spells, heal allies, or Command allies. It also doesn’t require concentration, freeing you to concentrate on Bless, Spirit Guardians, or other potent spells.

Every turn after summoning it you can use your bonus action to direct the weapon to attack, activating consistently without requiring spell slots or actions.

Upcasting and Scaling

You can expend higher-level spell slots to increase the weapon’s damage by 1d8 per slot level above 2nd. This keeps spiritual weapon relevant even into higher tiers of play. Few spells scale this well with spell slot investment.

Maximizing Spiritual Weapon Damage Output

Spiritual weapon contributes respectable damage each round all on its own. However, we can optimize your build to wring out every point of damage from the spell.

Prioritize Wisdom for Attack and Damage

Spiritual weapon relies on your spellcasting attack modifier, which keys off your Wisdom. Prioritize boosting Wisdom at every opportunity, followed by Constitution to concentrate when needed.

Your Wisdom also determines the damage, so increasing it amplifies your spiritual weapon’s pain infliction capabilities. Magic weapons and tomes to heighten Wisdom should be at the top of your wish list.

Choose Potent Cantrips

The action efficiency of spiritual weapon means you’ll often cast cantrips alongside it. Carefully select damage-dealing cantrips like Sacred Flame and Toll the Dead to maximize the pain you inflict across actions.

Even non-damaging cantrips like Guidance and Resistance can tilt a battle’s fate when combined with your holy armament striking foes.

Upcast for Greater Impact

When facing truly terrifying foes, amplify your spiritual weapon by expending higher-level spell slots. This boosts the weapon’s damage significantly, ensuring it can injure even formidable monsters and villains.

The increased damage benefits every subsequent bonus action attack, rapidly multiplying your spell slot investment. Don’t hesitate to tap into higher mysteries of the divine for righteousness!

Using Spiritual Weapon Tactically in Battle

Understanding spiritual weapon’s tactical versatility is key to leveraging its capabilities. Here are some advanced combat maneuvers to gain an edge with your manifested armament.

Threaten Spellcasters

Many potent spellcasters lack melee options, so manifest your spiritual weapon in their face. Staying within 5 feet imposes disadvantage on their attack rolls and forces concentration checks when damaged.

Punish their audacity for slinging spells in your divine presence by commanding your celestial weapon to attack mercilessly with bonus actions!

Account for Movement

Clever opponents may attempt to flee from the floating holy weapon. Use your bonus action to direct the spiritual weapon up to 20 feet before attacking, keeping pressure on mobile foes.

You can also preemptively position the weapon to intercept creatures attempting to reach your backline allies or block escape routes.

Divide Enemy Attention

The spiritual weapon appears as an allied melee combatant to enemies. You can capitalize on this by manifesting it in an exposed flank then attacking from a different angle.

While opponents turn to face the new threat, you’re free to cast potent spells, heal allies, or make your own weapon strikes.

Cleric Builds and Feats to Boost Spiritual Weapon

Certain cleric domains and feats can enhance spiritual weapon to extraordinary effect. Here are top options to amplify your sacred armament capabilities.

War Domain Clerics

War domain grants divine strike, adding +1d8 damage against one target when you hit at level 8. This extra radiant damage stacks with spiritual weapon’s strikes.

You also gain bonus action weapon attacks equal to your Wisdom modifier a few times per day. Use this action alongside spiritual weapon for truly devastating turns.

Spell Sniper Feat

The Spell Sniper feat doubles spiritual weapon’s range to 120 feet and negates cover penalties. You can bombard enemies with spectral weapon strikes from ridiculous distances.

It also allows you to learn a new cantrip like Chill Touch to afflict weakness on a struck foe’s attacks.

Telekinetic Feat

Telekinetic grants invisible Mage Hand use to shove creatures 5 feet as a bonus action. Push enemies into your spiritual weapon’s hovering presence to guarantee its melee attack hits!

You also gain +1 Wisdom, boosting spell attack and damage. Its secondary effects combo perfectly with spiritual weapon.

From extra damage to battlefield control, spiritual weapon enables clerics to wield true holy power against wicked enemies. Internalize these maximization secrets to elevate your spell to its full world-shaking potential!