You are a guard for a wealthy aristocrat’s huge mansion. You have heard rumors about how your boss got his wealth through murder and deception, but you do not care about such frivolous things. As long as you are getting paid well, you can guard anything. Suddenly, in the distance, you see a group of people going towards you. One of them waves his hands around, and you can hear him faintly talking.
Suddenly, he disappears. That would be impossible, right? How can someone just disappear in plain air? And then, for a split second, you notice him behind you. However, it is too late, as he stabs you in the back. As you bleed to death on the ground, you can see him disappear once more, possibly appearing once again inside. For the minions, that is horrifying, but for the players, that is an awesome spell.
Adventurers, what you just witnessed is the Blink spell, a third-level spell that can let you disappear from an enemy’s sight and reappear somewhere they would not expect you to be. It may sound powerful – and it is – there are some downsides to it that you need to know. If you are considering this spell to add to your arsenal, this Blink 5e guide can teach you its ups and downs, as well as how to use it correctly.
What is Blink in D&D 5e?
Blink is a level three transmutation spell you can find in the Player’s Handbook on page 219. Transmutation spells are all about changing something from one state of being to another through magic. Below are key details about the Blink spell.
- 3rd-level transmutation
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: Self
- Components: V, S
- Duration: 1 minute
To learn how to use the spell correctly and the way it works, read on further to find out.
How to use Blink in D&D 5e
To cast the Blink spell, you must meet all the prerequisites required, such as the Components, the casting time, and more. For a detailed description, you can refer to the “How to use” section of my Scorching Ray guide.
The only difference between this spell and Scorching Ray is that Blink is a third-level spell, so you must prepare at least a level three spell slot. Also, Blink lasts for one minute, whereas Scorching Ray is an instantaneous effect. In combat, one minute is equivalent to ten turns.
Once you meet all of these prerequisites, you can finally cast the Blink spell. When you cast Blink, there is a 50% chance that you will enter the Ethereal Plane, making you invisible to the common eye. To do so, follow these simple steps:
- Roll a 20-sided die at the end of your turn.
- If the resulting roll is 11 or higher, you transfer from your current plane of existence to the Ethereal Plane, i.e., you vanish from where you were.
- If the resulting roll is ten or lower, you remain in your current plane of existence, i.e., nothing happens to you.
- At the start of your next turn, or if the spell ends while you are in the Ethereal Plane, you must choose an empty space visible within ten ft. from the point where you vanished to return to.
- If you return to your original plane and there are no available empty spaces within ten ft., you return to the nearest empty space chosen at random.
- If you want, you can spend an action during your turn to end the spell.
If you are confused by what I just said, don’t worry; I will talk about how the Blink spell works in the game as you use it. If you are still confused by then, you do not have to worry still, because I will be providing you with an example scenario going through each step.
How does Blink work in D&D 5e?
After you cast the spell, the die will determine your fate; when you roll an 11 or higher, you transfer to the Ethereal Plane, which is described as a dimension with a place for every location in the Inner Planes. If you are still confused, think of it as a mirror dimension, in simpler terms. On the other hand, rolling a ten or lower would not do anything at all.
While you are in the Ethereal Plane, you can see and hear everything from the point where you vanished. Your vision is all gray, though, and you cannot see anything farther than 60 ft., no matter how sharp your vision is. Normally, the creatures from your original plane cannot hurt you because you are in another plane of existence. Other creatures within the Ethereal Plane can interact with you, though.
Some creatures have the ability to see through the Ethereal Plane or go into it. Imagine you cast Blink to escape from the clutches of a spider; you succeeded in going into the Ethereal Plane, and you begin to think that you are safe. However, you realize you are actually facing a phase spider, a creature that can enter the Ethereal Plane. You look in horror as it crawls towards you even though you have vanished. Fun, right?!
At the start of your turn, if you are in the Ethereal Plane, you can choose an empty space visible within ten ft. from where you vanished, much like teleportation. If the spell is not over, though, you have to roll again at the end of your turn and begin the whole ordeal of going to the Ethereal Plane once more. Also, take note that Blink does not have any additional effects if cast using a spell slot of a higher level than three.
Example scenario for using Blink in D&D 5e
I am playing as a half-elf wizard named Marshal with the Blink spell in my spell list, and I am facing off against a common guard. As Marshal, I think that I can use Blink to mess with this guy, so I cast a spell on my first turn in combat.
Since Blink has a casting cost of one action, I can now only move to a different location or use a bonus action (or both). I do neither and end my turn.
Since I have ended my turn, I roll a d20 (20-sided die). Thankfully, I rolled a 15, so I slipped into the Ethereal Plane. From the guard’s perspective, I have vanished into thin air.
From my perspective, I can see his confused stare in gray vision. It is the guard’s turn, and he chooses to go near where I vanished to investigate the location.
He cannot see me, and it is my turn now. I am in the Ethereal Plane right now, and since it is the start of my turn, I return to an empty space I can see within ten feet of me. Thus, I choose to return to the empty space behind him.
I still have action this turn, so I choose to attack the guard in front of me. My attack hits thanks to the advantage of him not seeing me right away.
It is the end of my turn now, so I must roll a d20 again. Unluckily, I roll a nine, so I do not slip into the Ethereal Plane. It is his turn now, and he felt that hit. He sees me from behind him and attacks me.
Since I, as Marshal, am allergic to pain, I decide to end the spell during my turn. Since it costs an action to end the spell voluntarily, I cannot do anything but move to a different location.
That is the general example of the Blink spell. Of course, there are more nuanced situations when it comes to this spell. What if a ghost decides to enter the ethereal plane to chase you down?
Well, that is up to you on how to deal with the sudden chase. Also, remember that you can end the spell voluntarily, but it will cost you an action. If the spell ends on its own, you just simply return without using an action.
Who can cast Blink in D&D 5e?
In summary, Blink is accessible to Artificers, Sorcerers, Wizards, Arcane Trickster Rogues, Archfey Warlocks, Clockwork Soul Sorcerers, Eldritch Knight Fighters, Hexblade Warlocks, Trickery Clerics, and Humans with the Mark of Passage.
Classes that can cast Blink in D&D 5e
The Blink spell is not so easily-mastered since only three classes can utilize it without the need for a subclass. However, I can understand why it is so scarce among the practitioners of magic; it involves going into the Ethereal Plane, which is an advanced technique for magic users. Below are the three main classes that can access the spell.
- Artificer (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 9)
- Sorcerer (Player’s Handbook, page 99)
- Wizard (Player’s Handbook, page 112)
Sorcerers and Wizards can start using the Blink spell as early as level five since reaching that level gains them two level-three spell slots. Meanwhile, Artificers can start using the Blink spell at level nine because that is the level at that artificers gain their first two level-three spell slots.
Subclasses that can cast Blink in D&D 5e
Six subclasses can use the Blink spell and add it to their arsenal, which is pretty powerful. I have listed below these six subclasses in a table along with necessary details for easy comprehension.
|Subclasses that can cast Blink||Originating Class||Subclass Source||Class Source|
|Arcane Trickster||Rogue||Player’s Handbook, page 97||Player’s Handbook, page 94|
|The Archfey||Warlock||Player’s Handbook, page 108||Player’s Handbook, page 105|
|Clockwork Soul||Sorcerer||Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 68||Player’s Handbook, page 99|
|Eldritch Knight||Fighter||Player’s Handbook, page 74||Player’s Handbook, page 70|
|The Hexblade||Warlock||Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, page 55||Player’s Handbook, page 105|
|Trickery Domain||Cleric||Player’s Handbook, page 62||Player’s Handbook, page 56|
The Arcane Trickster Rogue and the Eldritch Knight Fighter gain two level-three spell slots at level 13, so they can use the Blink spell at that level. Both of them have a fixed number of known spells per level, but they can change one to another from the Wizard’s spell list after leveling up.
Meanwhile, the Cleric in the Trickery Domain, the Archfey Warlocks, and the Hexblade Warlocks can utilize the spell as early as level five. The Cleric adds the Blink spell to their prepared spells at level five, and they always have it prepared. It also does not count towards the prepared spells list per day.
Both Warlocks of different subclasses have the Blink spell as part of their extended spell list. Since Warlocks only have a fixed number of known spells per level, it is not always certain that one can cast it at any point. However, they can change an existing spell to that of the Blink spell after they level up. Warlocks gain two level-three spell slots at level five.
Finally, the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer can use the Blink spell as early as level five. What’s fascinating about this subclass is that while they can take the Blink spell from the Sorcerer spell list, they can also just change an existing spell to the Blink spell when they level up. Clockwork Soul Sorcerers can change it to any transmutation spell from a Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard spell list.
Races that cast Blink in D&D 5e
Humans with the Mark of Passage can add the Blink spell to their list of spells if their class has a Spellcasting ability (Sorcerers, Wizards, Bards, etc.) or a Pact Magic (Warlocks). If the human with the Mark of Passage belongs to a class that cannot cast spells (i.e., Barbarians, Fighters, etc.), then they cannot cast Blink.
You can find the details about the human with the Mark of Passage race in Eberron: Rising from the Last War on page 46.
Creative and useful ways to use Blink in D&D 5e
You are probably reading all the details about the Blink spell and thought to yourself, “yeah, that sounds cool and all, but how is this useful to me?”
Would this spell be worth adding to the arsenal? Do not worry because I have come up with creative, fun, and useful ways to use the Blink spell. You can expect these methods in this wacky list:
- Escaping a prison cell.
- Evading a powerful attack.
- Hitting foes in advantageous angles.
- Serving as a decoy.
- Reaching past dangers.
- Protecting yourself while concentrating.
Let’s get into the details!
Escaping a prison cell using Blink in D&D 5e
So, you are in a prison cell with all of your party members because the barbarian went to full-on murder hobo mode. That’s fine; it happens from time to time. The rogue cannot lockpick his way out of this situation because the guards confiscated all your items. Well, they cannot confiscate your wits because you can get your way out of here if you have the Blink spell.
If this prison has your hands in handcuffs or tied up with rope, or they gagged your mouth with a piece of cloth that you cannot speak, then you will have to find another way to get out of there because you cannot cast the spell. Otherwise, do your magic, Mr. Magic Man! The Blink spell will help you get to pass through iron bars, glass panels, or any other barrier that you can see through the other side.
You can escape using Blink by choosing to reallocate yourself outside the barrier. However, there can be many risks. If you are extremely unlucky that you rolled below 11 in all of the ten chances with Blink to get you to the Ethereal Plane, Lady Luck probably does not want you to get out of there. Plus, even after you get to the other side of the prison bars, you would probably still need the keys to the prison doors.
Unless the prison bar you and your party are in unlocks by pulling a lever or pressing a button on the other side, you would have to stealthily get the keys to let your friends escape. Or, you can stealthily make your way to your items and get the rogue’s lockpicking tools. The possibilities are endless depending on the situation, so you need to adapt to the circumstances.
In summary, Blink can let you go to the Ethereal Plane and move to the other side of the prison as long as it is ten feet from where you vanished, and you can see the other side.
Evading a powerful attack using Blink in D&D 5e
Blink can let you travel to the Ethereal Plane, and while you are there, only creatures within the Ethereal Plane can interact with you. Therefore, it is one of the best ways to escape an extremely powerful attack that would have led to your death. For example, you can see a large fireball coming toward you, and you cannot escape it in time. Or arrows come raining down the battlefield, and you have no means of cover.
Blink can sort you out there. As long as you are lucky enough to roll an 11 or higher, you can escape certain death and cheat through powerful attacks. In those moments where a rain of arrows or a fireball comes falling towards you, you will literally vanish in a blink. Once the attack lands and settles down, you can come back safe and sound.
Again, the risk of this would be to have a lucky roll. Sure, it may be a 50% chance, but if fortune is not on your side, then death may greet you at the start of your next turn.
Attacking foes by surprise using Blink in D&D 5e
You can attack foes at advantageous angles by using Blink to move through the Ethereal Plane, as I demonstrated in the example scenario on how to use it. By using Blink, you can move behind them or in areas where they are not looking. By attacking them by surprise, you can get an advantage on the attack roll. Plus, if you are lucky, you can vanish again to the Ethereal Plane before they can hit you back.
When you use Blink this way, you can think of yourself as a land mine that strikes your opponents without them knowing and getting an opportunity to fight back. However, if your enemy is smart, they can ready themselves for your presence, so when you appear, they can retaliate easily.
So, I would suggest picking the right opponents to try this strategy on. This would probably work great against monsters and creatures with low intelligence like goblins and hobgoblins.
Serving as a decoy using Blink in D&D 5e
Blink can serve as a great distraction for enemies to allow your other party members to move into places they couldn’t normally go. For example, a mighty skeleton guards the door leading to your party’s destination, and everyone is low on health. If you have Blink and you think your other spells cannot help you in the situation, then this spell can bait the enemy towards you.
If combat is not an option, you can let your presence be known immediately. This interaction would alert the skeleton towards you. As you cast Blink and succeed in vanishing to the Ethereal Plane, it would make him look for you. Appearing and disappearing is a great way to bait enemies to your presence while at the same time staying safe by avoiding direct conflict.
Again, this method might not work for anyone. I would suggest using it on stupid people instead of the smart ones, although sometimes smart people can easily be fooled as well.
Reaching past dangers using Blink in D&D 5e
Your DM just saw Indiana Jones last night and decided to “become inspired” by what he watched, as all great DMs do. So, he set up booby traps in the dungeon you are about to enter. A swinging ax trap suddenly emerges when you try to enter a doorway. A narrow path opens up a bottomless pit in the middle. A tripwire awaits the touch of a careless fool who dare enter this trap den.
So many traps and so much freedom to solve everything. Yet when worse comes to worst, and your only chance is the magic of a Wizard who knows Blink, then he can be the savior of the day. Using the Blink spell, you can move through the Ethereal Plane to reach past the dangerous traps.
Is a swinging ax trap blocking the path? Move to the safety of the opposite side. Can you not cross the narrow path with a bottomless pit? Again, Blink your way through the Ethereal Plane, past the pit, and make your way to safety. Tripwires? Why trip when you can just teleport your way out of there. If the way to disengage the traps is beyond them, then Blink comes in handy.
Hiding while concentrating using Blink in D&D 5e
Many powerful spells in the compendium require the caster’s full concentration. When the caster cannot concentrate, the spell may fail abruptly, and your team might fail in the task at hand. Let’s say your only chance of escaping the clutches of a dangerous beast is by transforming it into a chicken using the Polymorph spell. However, its crazy followers are set on destroying your concentration of the spell.
Thankfully, Blink can help you hide from the crowd. It can help you concentrate on the spell at hand because Blink does not require concentration at all. Because you are in the Ethereal Plane, you cannot be harmed, and therefore, your concentration cannot be broken. If the die fails you, though, you may have to endure until the start of your next turn to try again.
Overall, Blink is helpful for concentration spells. It helps you focus by making you invincible and invisible to enemies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Can 5e Blink pass through walls?
Answer: No, you cannot choose to pass through solid walls using Blink per the raw rules according to the Player’s Handbook. Unless you can see through the walls like glass panels, you cannot go to an empty space that you cannot see from the point where you vanished. The only way for someone to pass through walls using Blink would be to have all nearby empty spaces occupied.
Question: Does 5e Blink need concentration?
Answer: No, Blink in D&D 5e does not need concentration. You only need to cast it one time during battle, and the effects can last up to one minute (or ten turns in combat) without the need to concentrate. Thus, you can use an action in the middle of the spell’s effect, like cast another spell. At the end of your turn, the die will then decide if you would get transferred to the Ethereal Plane.
Question: Can Warlocks use Blink in D&D 5e?
Answer: Only Warlocks whose chosen patrons are the Archfey and the Hexblade can use the Blink spell in D&D 5e. When the Warlock with such subclasses achieves level-three spell slots, they can choose to have Blink as one of their spells.
Conclusion: Is Blink a good spell in D&D 5e?
Blink is an extremely good defensive spell for spellcasters, especially for those who have little HP. It can help you hide from enemies who can beat you up to a pulp with just one punch from their fists. A common stereotype for Wizards and Sorcerers is that they are incredibly powerful yet incredibly soft, like a glass cannon. With Blink, imagine that glass cannon disappearing after hitting its enemy.
The negatives of using Blink would be that the other party members become more susceptible to attacks from enemies. When the Wizard disappears after ending his turn, the enemy can focus on the Rogue or the Cleric. While this may be a good idea to set up tanks that can absorb all the damage, it can become dangerous when things go haywire.
I think that Blink’s ultimate utility is that you can concentrate on another spell even when you are in the Ethereal Plane. That way, you can still support your team even though you just eliminated one potential sandbag for the enemy. It is also helpful in reaching places that are hard to reach or escape inescapable circumstances.