We look at the top spells from a druid’s list that are essential to prepare, even though they don’t do damage!
Druids in D&D are such a flexible class. They can transform into animals or elementals. They can focus on devastating damage, restorative healing, or environment manipulation. Whatever way you choose to play your druid character is valid and fantastic for the type of story you are telling. But for this article, we are going to take a look at our picks for the top non-combat (and non-healing) druid spells that are great to prepare each game!
Heat Metal (2nd)
Heat metal is one of those spells that you don’t think about it until you need it. And then it is essential. You are able to transmit fire damage to an object for one minute, but its utility goes beyond that. You can use it to destroy locks, open doors, bend prison bars, and damage equipment. This makes it extremely useful for non-combat explorative and intrigue situations. And since it is only a second level spell, you can cast it at higher levels for really dense metal that you need to destroy.
Conjure Animals (3rd)
Sure, it is useful to have animal helpers in combat, by why limit this spell just for that? Do you need to transport a group a long distance? Summon eight giant owls. Do you need to search for something missing? Summon some hounds. These conjured animals can be used to dig tunnels, cause distractions, or fetch items. And if another D&D player has Speak With Animals or Beast Sense prepared, these animals can be used for reconnaissance, as well.
Speak With Plants (3rd)
This D&D spell is excellent for information-gathering. Sure, the intelligence of plants is rather low. But if your questions are phrased simply enough, there is no end to the type of intel you can learn about the location, who passed by, or what events could be going on. While this spell comes to mind the most in the wilderness, don’t forget the house garden of a villainous character can be just as helpful!
Commune With Nature (5th)
This spell has so many great applications. Where it really shines is helping a D&D party uncover secrets in unfamiliar territory. Are you searching for a hidden pond? Looking for a secret city? Trying to find a tunnel through a mountain? Or searching for an interplanar monster? Commune With Nature can help with all of these! The best thing about this spell is that it is a ritual, so you don’t have to worry about using up valuable 5th-level spell slots.
Transport Via Plants (6th)
When it comes to getting around quickly in the world, Transport Via Plants is a must. When your party gets to upper levels, the game typically shifts focus away from the every day dangers of traveling and more to the quest at hand, usually on a “world saving” scope. And to help your character focus on their next challenge, and getting quickly to a destination, this spell is fantastic. Since the druid still has to be familiar with a location, it keeps a challenge present and makes the spell not an easy fix for every situation.
Wind Walk (6th)
Despite competing for a spell slot with Transport Via Plants, we still want to name Wind Walk as a top non-combat spell. It is great for quick travel in locations with no trees, or for places the druid is unfamiliar with. It also makes sneaking through large locations more viable. If done correctly, this is not game-breaking. The D&D party still has to be physical to interact with anything, and this transformation takes a full minute. At the level that 6th-level spells become available, the party should not be really encountering dungeons that have no value other than getting from point A to point B, anyway. But if your party is trying to find a hidden chamber in a city of enemies, this spell makes for more dynamic exploration.
Animal Shapes (8th)
This spell is great to overcome a variety of challenges. Does your party need to fly somewhere? Swim deep into the ocean? Burrow underground? Blend in with the local farm animals? This spell is as useful as it is fun, bringing a levity to the often stressful situations parties at level 15+ can encounter.