Many people play Dungeons & Dragons because of the stuff you cannot do in real life; it is like an escape from the real world. In this fantasy world, you can go on epic adventures to slay beastly dragons, conquer kingdoms, explore the mysterious depths, and more. However, the most critical part is the magic; magic in the real world is simply misdirection. Here, a floating hand can scratch your butt.
Magic lets you do the impossible, from throwing a gigantic fireball at your enemies to changing the world with a single wish. Yet as incredible magic is, it has a fair bit of hiccups and farts. What would your immediate reaction be if someone asked you what the worst spell is in D&D 5e? A general consensus among D&D players is that the cantrip featured in this Mending 5e guide is the bottom of the barrel of spells in this magical world.
The perfect summary for this spell would be, “Mending is like magic duct tape.” With it, you can fix the tears or breaks of objects like fabric, steel, and more. Many people hate it because it does not have much practical use. Even as a utility spell, it does not do much. However, with some imagination and leeway from the rules, you can make Mending a beneficial spell, and this guide will show you how.
Bottom Line Up Front: What is Mending in D&D 5e?
Mending is a transmutation cantrip you can find in the Player’s Handbook on page 259. This cantrip is a mending spell similar to Telekinesis and Fly because it changes the state of being of two separated objects by unifying them. Below are the crucial details about the Mending cantrip.
- Transmutation cantrip
- Casting Time: one minute
- Range: Touch
- Components: V, S, M (two lodestones)
- Duration: Instantaneous
How to use Mending in D&D 5e
Before you can fix broken things using your magical duct tape, you must first find out if you fulfill the requirements to cast the Mending cantrip. Typically, I would link another one of my guides because I have explained the details already. However, I have not written an article yet quite like Mending, so I will explain it in this guide. Thus, prepare your pencils and write this checklist:
- You do NOT need spell slots because Mending is a cantrip; you can cast this spell whenever you want.
- You need to touch your targeted objects because this spell has a range of “touch.”
- You need to expend a minute for Mending to complete its effects. Casting while in battle would take ten rounds.
- You need to fulfill the spell’s component requirements, which are the following:
- Verbal: You need to speak while casting this spell, so your mouth must be capable of audible speech.
- Somatic: You need to move your hands while casting this spell, so your arms and hands must be free of movement.
- Material: You need to have two lodestones to cast this spell, but if you have an arcane focus like a staff, you can use it instead.
If everything in the checklist is possible, then you are good to go to cast the Mending spell. When you do,
- You need to touch an object’s break or tear no longer than a foot. If the crack or tear is longer than the mentioned measurement, the Mending spell will not work. Good examples of such damages are two broken pieces of rope or chains, two halves of handheld items like keys or bottles, torn fabric, and more.
The moment the cantrip’s effects take place, the magic will do its work. Head over to the next section, where I will explain what happens upon casting Mending.
How does Mending work in D&D 5e?
Magic envelops the tear or breaks that you are touching, and the following effects instantly take place:
- The tear or break mends together as if nothing happened to it, leaving no trace of damage.
- If the object is a magical item or a construct, its tear or break mends together, but the spell does not restore its magical properties.
It’s straightforward compared to the spells I usually make guides about. It being a cantrip also saves time because I do not have to explain how spell slots work. It also has a single effect, which is to restore something back to its original state. If you somehow got confused by the explanation, do not worry. As usual, I have written down an example scenario below to precisely apply the cantrip.
Example scenario for using Mending in D&D 5e
Arthur’s Lab is back to help you understand the practical uses of spells. However, I do not need to show you the participants’ positions in this demonstration this time. It does not even need other participants other than Marshal the Half-elf Wizard because Mending is not practical in battle (I recommend not using it in battle because ten turns just to cast Mending sounds like a nightmare).
Instead, the Lab will give Marshal some situations where Mending can help a lot. Think of it like an episode of “Legends of the Hidden Temple” where Marshal has to go through puzzling rooms. If you have not heard of this show yet, I feel sad for you because this show was essentially part of my childhood.
First challenge: broken key
Marshal stumbles into the first room of this demonstration and notices a locked door that leads to the next room. He looks for the key and finds it secretly hidden underneath a rug. However, the key is split apart into two pieces, making it unusable. So, Marshal casts Mending on the two pieces and restores the key to its original state. Now that the key is usable, he unlocks the door and proceeds to the next room.
Second challenge: ladder in a cage
In the second room, Marshal finds three things: a broken ladder, a cage with the ladder’s other half inside, and a large yet broken control lever connected to the cell. Half of the room is elevated, and the door to the next room is too high up to climb. Indeed, Marshal needs the ladder to climb up toward the door.
First, he casts Mending on the control lever with its broken piece. He sticks the pieces together, granting him the ability to pull them with ease. After doing so, the cage opens. Next, he casts Mending on the halved ladders. He casts Mending on both broken side rails and uses the now functional ladder to reach the door to the next room.
Third challenge: the broken iron chains
Marshal enters the third room and spots two dangling iron chains. They are differently colored; one has red paint while the other is yellow. Attached to these chains are two iron gates which are also red and yellow. The red iron gate leads to a door key, while the yellow iron gate leads to a locked door. In the middle of the room is a table with two things: an iron ball with a chain attached and a large bolt cutter.
Marshal attaches the iron ball’s chain first to the red chain using the Mending cantrip. Thanks to the heavy weight of the ball, the gate opens up, allowing Marshal to get the key. Next, Marshal cuts the chain of the iron ball using the bolt cutter. Finally, he attaches the ball’s chain to the yellow chain using the Mending cantrip again, unlocking the gate to the locked door. He uses the key to move forward.
Fourth challenge: the broken stone tablet
Marshal enters the final room of this game and finds a large stone door that leads him to the exit. In the middle of the room is a rectangular stone structure standing upright with an irregularly-shaped hole. On the floor are four differently-shaped stone pieces. By the looks of it, these pieces belong to each other to form the hole’s shape. By putting the complete stone tablet in, the large stone door will open.
Marshal first tries to put the pieces one by one. However, the hole spits out the pieces, with a voice claiming that the stone tablet is incomplete. So, Marshal tries to assemble the pieces to resemble the hole’s shape. If you have heard of a tangram before, this puzzle is similar to that puzzle. After an hour of putting together the pieces using Mending, Marshal successfully replicates the hole’s shape.
He puts it in the hole, and the large stone door opens up. Marshal slowly moves his way toward it, smiling as he tastes freedom from the challenges. These scenarios are only examples of what you can do with Mending. I hope this demonstration fills you with the ingenuity to creatively apply this cantrip as a solution to your problems.
Who can cast Mending in D&D 5e?
Six classes (Artificer, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, and Wizard), five subclasses (Arcana Cleric, Arcane Trickster Rogue, Divine Soul Sorcerer, Eldritch Knight Fighter, and Nature Cleric), and three races (High Elf, Half-elf with the Moon or Sun Elf Descent variant, and Human with the Mark of Making) have access to the Mending cantrip. Surprisingly, Mending is one of the most highly accessible spells I have covered.
Classes that can cast Mending in D&D 5e
Artificers, Bards, Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and Wizards have access to magical duct tape using the Mending cantrip. All these classes can get the cantrip as early as level one. However, be careful of picking Mending because you cannot swap or change cantrips; they stick with you forever (unless your DM is forgiving)! Below are the class sources so that you can read more about them.
- Artificer: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 9
- Bard: Player’s Handbook, page 51
- Cleric: Player’s Handbook, page 56
- Druid: Player’s Handbook, page 64
- Sorcerer: Player’s Handbook, page 99
- Wizard: Player’s Handbook, page 112
Subclasses that can cast Mending in D&D 5e
Five subclasses have access to the Mending cantrip, and below are some crucial facts about them, specifically their subclass sources, originating class, and class source.
|Subclasses that can cast Mending||Originating Class||Subclass Source||Class Source|
|Arcana Domain||Cleric||Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, page 125||Player’s Handbook, page 56|
|Arcane Trickster||Rogue||Player’s Handbook, page 97||Player’s Handbook, page 94|
|Divine Soul||Sorcerer||Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, page 50||Player’s Handbook, page 99|
|Eldritch Knight||Fighter||Player’s Handbook, page 74||Player’s Handbook, page 70|
|Nature Domain||Cleric||Player’s Handbook, page 61||Player’s Handbook, page 56|
All of these subclasses can access the Mending cantrip as early as level one, except for the Arcane Trickster Rogue and Eldritch Knight Fighter; these two exceptions can have cantrips thanks to their Spellcasting subclass feature, which allows them to pick spells from the Wizard spell list. The Arcane Trickster Rogue can have three cantrips at level three, while the Eldritch Knight can have two.
Clerics who belong in the Arcana Domain gain access to this cantrip thanks to their Arcane Initiate subclass feature, which allows them to add two cantrips from the Wizard spell list. Similarly, Clerics who belong to the Nature Domain gain access to Mending thanks to their Acolyte of Nature subclass feature, which allows them to add two cantrips from the Druid spell list.
Finally, Sorcerers with the Divine Soul sorcerous origin gain access to Mending thanks to their Divine Magic subclass feature. It allows them to pick a spell or cantrip from either the Sorcerer or Cleric spell list. Note that even though the Clerics and Sorcerers already have Mending in their spell list, their subclass features let them gain access to another spell list that also has Mending.
Races that can cast Mending in D&D 5e
Three races can have the Mending cantrip, namely the High Elf, Half-elf with the Moon or Sun Elf Descent variant, and Human with the Mark of Making. The High Elf can have Mending thanks to the Cantrip race feature, wherein they know one cantrip from the Wizard spell list. The Half-elf variant also can also get Mending, but they must choose the Cantrip race feature as the Variant Feature.
Finally, the Human with the Mark of Making gets the Mending cantrip automatically, thanks to their Spellsmith race feature. Note that this race belongs to the Eberron setting. Unless your campaign takes place in this setting, picking this race would not make any sense. However, if you like what the race has to offer, you can ask your DM about it. Below are some crucial details about these races, like the source.
|Races that can cast Mending||Source||Race Feature|
|High Elf||Player’s Handbook, page 23||Cantrip|
|Half-Elf (Moon or Sun Elf Descent variant)||Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, page 116||Cantrip (Variant Feature)|
|Human (Mark of Making variant)||Eberron: Rising from the Last War, page 45||Spellsmith|
Creative and useful ways to use Mending in D&D 5e
So far, what are your thoughts about the Mending cantrip? If you thought that this cantrip is ridiculously too weak and useless, then you have the same thinking as most D&D players. However, many people have thought of ways to make Mending a helpful spell, and with a little bit of innovation, we can think of such methods. Below is a list of some creative and practical ways to use the Mending cantrip in D&D 5e.
- Having large portable objects.
- Making an improvised reach extender.
- Filling up holes.
- Covering up tracks of damage.
- Securing vehicles from theft.
Remember that Mending takes a minute to cast, so some of these ideas would probably take a little bit of time. Thus, I would not advise doing these ideas if you have limited time and are in a hurry. However, if your DM is chill and forgiving, they might let you bypass this flaw. Do not forget to always ask your DM.
Having large portable objects using Mending in D&D 5e
Typically, you can’t take big things with you when you are out on an adventure unless you have an appropriate vehicle like a wagon or a ship. Yes, ladders are convenient in many situations where great heights are standard. However, who brings a ladder to a dungeon? The space is too limited to carry something that long.
With Mending, you can carry large furniture in a small space. How? You can break large furniture or tools so that they can fit in a small bag. For example, you can cut a 20-ft. tall ladder by the side rails into five pieces (making them four-ft. tall each) so that it can fit in a four-foot-tall bag.
When the time comes when you need the ladder, you can pull out the pieces and mend it once more. Plus, you can even adjust its height due; if you only need a 12-ft. tall ladder, then you can stitch together three pieces. It is like having furniture from IKEA where you can assemble and disassemble it anytime. Of course, you would need a tool to break them again like a saw.
Making an improvised reach extender using Mending in D&D 5e
For this magic trick, you would need a method to cast Mending without personally touching the targeted object. The best way would be having a flying familiar like a bird since familiars can carry out touch spells for you. Sorcerers can also cast touch spells at a maximum range of 30 ft. via the “Distant Spell” metamagic. Clerics in the Trickery Domain can cast touch spells through their duplicates.
Next, you need to have a long lasso (the rope’s length and its noose’s width depend on you). Then, you need to cut one side of the snare so that it opens up. Congratulations! You now have a reach extender. This method works best with a familiar that can fly.
To use your reach extender, you can throw it in a place where you need the lasso to latch on to. Then, you can cast Mending on the split noose to close it via the familiar. Now that the loop is secured to the object, you can pull the rope to draw it toward you. If you are using the lasso to cross gaps like a grappling hook, this method also works by attaching the noose to a sturdy material.
If you think that you can throw the lasso to grab things without the need for Mending, you are correct. However, lassos cannot normally grab things that are above or below you. Try wrapping a stone at the bottom of a pit through a limp lasso’s noose; it is impossible. Through this method, you can securely fasten something to the noose!
If you want something more secure, you can turn the lasso’s noose into something like a claw machine. Essentially, you have a lot of loops at the end of your rope. You then break them apart, and when you throw it to something you need to grab, you can let your familiar mend the broken loops to get the object inside, like a cage made of rope.
Filling up holes using Mending in D&D 5e
You are in a dungeon and get inside a relatively peaceful room. It seems bare until you notice the walls; they have holes in them. Something in your brain clicks as you investigate the room a little closer; you realize that the room is booby-trapped! There might be trip wires or pressure plates on the floor that, when triggered, cause arrows to fly through the holes. How do you get past this problem?
With Mending, you can fill up the holes on the wall. First, you need to have rubble of the same material as the wall to fill the holes. For example, if the wall is made of stone, then you need to fill the hole with stone too. Next, you cast Mending on the holes full of stone, and voila! There are no more holes. Of course, you need to go near the holes for this strategy to work. Still, it is a creative solution.
Covering up tracks of damage using Mending in D&D 5e
A wealthy politician hires you and your party to do a mission: sneakily steal a valuable book within another politician’s mansion. You sneak past the guards and arrive at the treasure room’s door. You cut the lock to get inside. However, the politician secured the book within a chest with chains attached to a padlock. You break the chains and retrieve the book. However, you need to cover up your tracks.
With Mending, you can restore everything as if nothing happened. You can reattach broken padlocks or chains. That way, anyone looking at the closed containers would think that the valuable object is still inside them. Of course, you have to remember that the tear or break must be within a foot long, or else the Mending cantrip would not work.
Securing vehicles from theft using Mending in D&D 5e
This time, the wealthy politician orders you to escort the valuable book to a far kingdom via a wagon. You drive the wagon, but you need to stop during the night to set a camp and rest. You can have your party members do schedules for guarding the stuff. However, what if your friend messes up, and a sneaky goblin manages to grab hold of the wagon’s reigns? They can simply drive away with your loot!
A great yet quirky solution to this problem would be to break a vehicle component so that it would not run away quickly. One way to do this trick would be to break the wheels off the wagon so that bandits cannot steal it by driving it away.
Then, when you need to use it for the day, you can mend the wheel back by casting Mending on it! If you are stopping a ship yet you are afraid of pirates going onboard and steering your ship away, then you can break the steering wheel and mend it when you need to use it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Can you use Mending on corpses in D&D 5e?
Answer: Technically, you can use Mending on corpses in D&D 5e as long as the tears measure a foot or less since corpses are objects. However, it gets a bit weird in terms of how effective the cantrip would be. Some DMs would rule out that you need to have medical experience to stitch together body parts, while other DMs would allow it to happen because it is magic. Ask your DM to be sure.
Question: Can Mending heal in D&D 5e?
Answer: No, Mending cannot restore HP in D&D 5e. It may reattach limbs on corpses (depending on your DM), but it cannot restore HP at all since it is not the spell’s intended use. Warforged are also creatures, so casting Mending on them would not work. As for constructs, the cantrip can repair them, but it cannot heal them nor restore their magical properties.
Question: Can Mending fix armor and weapons in D&D 5e?
Answer: Yes, Mending can fix armor and weapons in D&D 5e as long as the tear or break is one ft. or less. For example, if your sword got cut into two pieces because of an intense fight, then Mending can put those pieces back together. However, if your sword was magical and the magic in it disappeared after the damage, then the cantrip cannot restore its magical properties.
Question: What can Mending fix in D&D 5e?
Answer: Mending can fix an object with a tear or a break measuring a foot or less. If the object becomes separated into two pieces, you can cast the Mending cantrip to put them back together. However, Mending cannot fix or restore magical properties within objects. You cannot use the cantrip on creatures since they are not objects (D&D is a progressive game).
Conclusion: Is Mending a good cantrip in D&D 5e?
Despite everyone thinking that the Mending cantrip is absolutely useless, I think that Mending is a good cantrip when used in clever ways. As a DM, I reward a player’s creativity, and I can sense that Mending is a spell that encourages creativity. Plus, if you are a DM and your player wants to have the Mending cantrip, I would advise giving them scenarios where the cantrip would be lifesaving.
You can set up a situation wherein the players cannot progress to the next phase of their adventure unless they fix two broken pieces together. For example, your player can use the Mending cantrip to put together an essential key to access the evil boss’ lair. The cantrip can be incredibly useful in puzzles, so if you are a DM, I encourage creating puzzles with Mending in mind.
Still, I somewhat agree that Mending is one of the most bottom-of-the-barrel cantrips out there. You can have more helpful cantrips like Mage Hand, but instead, you picked Mending. I believe that the game engineers for D&D thought of it with flavor text in mind. If you want to pick Mending, then go ahead. I respect players who focus on the roleplaying aspect of D&D instead of min-maxing their characters.