Imagine this: you enter through the mouth of a cave to get to the lair of the bandit leader who has been raiding a nearby village nonstop.
This was the place that your informant gave you, and so you volunteered to scout ahead of the path. Surprisingly, the cave is relatively empty.
Yet as you march on, you notice the presence of something ferocious. With attentive eyes and ears, you spot…a Winter Wolf!
They must have kept this as their guard dog, or it might have sought shelter in the cave; either way, this will go badly if you face it alone. The only option you have is to run.
However, the beast has a speed of 50 ft. and you have only 30. Even if you try to run, it will surely catch up to you and you cannot defeat the beast on your own. How will you get out of this situation?
Chases are part of the thrill in the game. Nothing gets the adrenaline rushing like a good chase sequence, where everyone must stay on their feet at all costs. But not all chases can turn in your favor.
When the enemy is too fast for you, you either get captured if you are the one running away or you cannot catch up to your target if you are the pursuer.
When it comes to chases, one certain spell might help you out: the Haste spell. In this Haste 5e Guide, we’ll see how this 3rd-level transmutation spell not only doubles a target’s speed but also grants defensive boosts to the target. When you are approaching a situation where you have to move fast, Haste is the way to go.
What is Haste?
Haste is a 3rd-level transmutation spell that can be found in the Player’s Handbook on page 250. Transmutation spells are spells capable of changing certain physical properties of creatures and things.
When a caster casts the Haste spell on you, your body would change so that you become incredibly fast. Below are the basic details that you need to know to understand Haste a bit better. The “How to use Haste” breaks down this information for clarification.
- 3rd-level transmutation
- Casting Time: 1 action (no bonus action)
- Range: 30 feet
- Components: V, S, M (a shaving of licorice root)
- Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
As you may have noticed in the Duration part, the Haste spell is a concentration spell. Concentration spells are spells that require the caster to completely focus their attention on keeping the spell working. When the focus is lost, the spell ends. Certain actions and events can break concentration, and these are listed down below.
- Concentration ends when you cast another spell that requires concentration; you cannot concentrate on two spells at once.
- When you take damage while concentrating on a spell, you must make a Constitution saving throw to maintain your focus. The DC of the saving throw is either 10 or half the damage you took, whichever is higher. If the damage is from multiple sources, separate saving throws are needed for each source.
- Concentration ends when you are either incapacitated or dead.
- When your DM thinks that you are in an environment that can make you lose focus, they can let you roll for a Constitution saving throw against a Constitution DC of 10. IF you fail, concentration ends.
Your concentration does not end if you are doing normal activities such as moving or attacking. You can cancel your concentration on a spell at any time without requiring an action to do so.
How to use Haste
Before casting the Haste spell, make sure that you complete these requirements:
- You must have this spell available in your spell list.
- You must have at least a level three spell slot available that you can use since Haste is a 3rd-level transmutation spell. Level one and level two spell slots cannot be used to cast Haste.
- You must accomplish the three components of the spell: Vocal, Somatic, and Material.
- You need to be able to speak freely in an audible voice. If your mouth is shut tight by external forces such as tape or through magic, you cannot cast this spell.
- You need to be able to move your hands freely. If your hands are tied by external forces such as ropes, or if you cannot move at all because of magic, you cannot cast this spell.
- You need either the essential material (i.e., a shaving of licorice root) or an arcane focus. Without either of them, you cannot cast this spell.
- Your target must be 30 ft. near you.
- You must be able to see your target.
- Your target must be willing to the spell.
- If cast during combat, you must cast this spell as an action.
When all of these requirements are met, you can successfully cast this spell on your target. You can concentrate on the spell for up to a minute or 10 rounds during combat. Be mindful of the rules of concentration spells as discussed in the previous section.
How does Haste 5e Spell work?
When you successfully cast this spell on your target, your target’s speed is doubled. For example, if your target’s speed is 30 ft., they can walk or run up to 60 ft. per turn. In addition, the target gains a bonus +2 to their Armor Class (or AC) as well as an advantage on Dexterity saving throws.
If you are wondering why Haste, a spell that makes one go faster, increases one’s AC, just imagine the bullet-dodging scenes in the Matrix movies; you become so incredibly fast that you would get harder to hit.
It also gains an additional action during each turn. Is it too powerful? No, because the additional action can only be used in the following ways:
- Attack (one weapon attack action only)
- Use an object
So, it seems that you cannot cast another spell through this method or deal enormous amounts of damage through multiple extra attacks.
The spell ends when either: the caster loses or ends their concentration or; the duration of the spell is reached. Once it does end, the target who was under the effects of this spell cannot move or take action (or any extra attack) until after their next turn. This is due to the exhaustion they feel after the sudden burst of speed.
Who can cast Haste?
Currently, three classes have access to this spell. These classes are listed down below along with their source.
- Artificer (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 9)
- Sorcerer (Player’s Handbook, page 99)
- Wizard (Player’s Handbook, page 112)
Sorcerers and wizards obtain two 3rd-level spell slots during their fifth level, while artificers obtain them during their ninth level. These spell slots are vital to cast the Haste spell.
Surprisingly, a lot of subclasses can cast Haste; in fact, there are even more subclasses than classes that have access to this spell, and these subclasses are listed down below.
|Subclasses that can cast Haste
|Player’s Handbook, page 97
|Player’s Handbook, page 94
|Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 68
|Player’s Handbook, page 99
|Player’s Handbook, page 74
|Player’s Handbook, page 70
|Oath of Glory
|Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 68
|Player’s Handbook, page 82
|Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, page 42
|Player’s Handbook, page 89
|Circle of the Land (Grassland)
|Player’s Handbook, page 68
|Player’s Handbook, page 64
|Oath of Vengeance
|Player’s Handbook, page 87
|Player’s Handbook, page 82
Both the Arcane Trickster rogue and the Eldritch Knight fighter gain access to the Haste spell because they gain access to the Wizard spell list as part of their spellcasting subclass feature. Clockwork Soul sorcerers can get Haste either normally or by replacing one of their clockwork spells with Haste as they level up.
Horizon Walker rangers can also cast Haste during their ninth level as part of their Horizon Walker spells. Druids in the Circle of the Land have access to the Haste spell when they choose the Grassland as their chosen connected land.
A background of a character can also grant them the ability to cast Haste. In this case, there is only one background capable of doing so, and that is the Rakdos Cultist background. However, this background is available in the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica on page 79, so it would only be legal for Adventurer’s League if the campaign is set in Ravnica.
The Rakdos Cultist background gains access to the Hast spell as part of their Rakdos Guild spells. Characters with this background can add this to their spell list. However, to cast it, the character must have either the spellcasting ability or the Pact Magic class feature in the first place.
Certain magical items can grant their user the ability to cast Haste. However, these magical items are hard to find, so it is best not to rely on finding them to gain access to the spell. They are listed down below as well as their source and their rarity. Note that the “A” column means “Attunement,” and when it is a yes, then the user needs to be attuned to the item. Otherwise, attunement is unnecessary.
|Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 216
|Potion of Speed
|Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 118
Blackrazor is a legendary weapon with many different abilities. For example, the soul of any creature killed by the Blackrazor can only be restored by the Wish spell.
Blackrazor can also cast the Haste spell once per day, although the weapon itself decides when to cast the spell (weapon attack). The weapon maintains the concentration for you, however. As for the Potion of Speed, when you drink it, you are under the influence of the Haste spell without the need for concentration.
Question: What level is the Haste spell?
Answer: The Haste spell is a level three transmutation spell, so it would need at least a level three spell slot to cast it.
Question: Does Haste stack with the dash action?
Answer: In a sense, yes. Haste doubles the target’s speed, so actions that require their speed would get the effects of the Haste spell through that. Therefore, taking the dash action while under this spell would increase the target’s speed to 120 ft., assuming their original speed is 30 ft.
Question: What is the difference between Haste and Slow?
Answer: They are identical in the sense that they change the speed of a creature. Both of them are 3rd-level transmutation spells, and many of their effects cancel each other out. For example, Haste grants +2 on AC while Slow grants -2 on AC. So, if a creature is cast under both of these spells at the same time, the AC would remain the same. However, Slow has more range (120 ft.) and can alter up to six creatures at the same time.
Question: Can you cast Haste on yourself?
Answer: Yes, you can.
Question: Does Haste stack with extra attacks?
Answer: If using extra attack during the Haste spell’s additional action is considered stacking, then no. The additional action from Haste only grants the target to take a limited list of actions to choose from: the Attack (through one weapon attack only), Dash, Disengage, Hide, and Use-an-object actions.
Haste 5e Guide: Is Haste good?
Haste is a good spell to pick up if you are planning to become more mobile and evasive than you already are. Actually, Haste can make its target insanely fast.
For example, a willing creature with a speed of 30 ft. is cast under this spell. If they use their action to dash, they can go up to 120 ft. in just one turn. Why? The spell doubles the target’s base speed. So, their speed of 30 ft. becomes 60 ft. Next, the dash action grants the character extra movement equal to their speed. So, 60 ft. becomes 120 ft.
And that is just scratching the surface; it can go even crazier than that. Many players have tried to come up with the fastest distance you can go in one turn, and Haste is always the spell that will be a part of the equation. Some calculations estimate that a character can go as fast as 5400 ft. in one turn, or around 614 miles per hour. That is extremely fast; it almost reaches the speed of sound!
Aside from the doubling of a character’s speed, the Haste spell grants the target a bonus +2 to their AC and an advantage on Dexterity saving throws. As such, Haste is a really great defensive spell to use. Many attack spells rely on Dexterity saving throws to be succeeded so that only half a damage is dealt or no damage is dealt at all. Plus, a +2 on an AC may not be big at first glance, but a +2 is actually a huge difference.
Haste also grants the target an additional action on their turn, albeit only a limited number of actions can be taken with this. Still, it is very useful when running away from enemies.
Again, let’s set an example of a creature with a speed of 30 ft. being cast under this spell. If they choose the dash action, they go up to 120 ft. Then, if they choose the dash action again as their additional action, the distance is increased to 180 ft. That is impressive.
In summary, Haste is a good spell for escaping from pursuers or pursuing other creatures. It is also a good defensive spell because of the AC increase and the advantage on Dexterity saving throws. Then again, it is a concentration spell, so casters must make sure that they can keep their focus when casting this spell to get the best from it.