Wall of Fire 5e Guide

Wall of Fire 5e Guide

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In Dungeons & Dragons, you can also erect a Wall of Fire as a spell. It has a ton of benefits when you use it during a battle. It can obscure enemy vision due to its opaqueness and damage enemies. It can be 60 ft. long and 20 ft. high.

Furthermore, you can also shape it into another shape, i.e., you can make a ringed wall so that you can trap your enemies. It does a lot of damage to people near one side of the wall or people entering through the wall. You can use it to escape enemies, overwhelm them, or even confuse them. If you are wondering how to use this spell and what the best ways to use it are, this Wall of Fire 5e guide is for you.

Bottom Line Up Front: What is Wall of Fire in D&D 5e?

Wall of Fire is a level four evocation spell you can find in the Player’s Handbook on page 285. Evocation spells, like Chromatic Orb and Ray of Frost, manipulate the elements and mysterious energy to use it in different ways, most usually as a weapon. Below are the key details about the Wall of Fire spell.

  • Wall of Fire
  • 4th-level evocation
  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: 120 ft.
  • Components: V, S, M (a small piece of phosphorus)
  • Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

Like the Pass Without Trace spell, Wall of Fire needs concentration so that it can stay up for the entire duration. When the spellcaster becomes distracted, their concentration is broken, and the spell automatically ends.

To learn more about how concentration works with spells, check out the “Pass Without Trace Concentration” section in the Pass Without Trace guide.

How to use Wall of Fire in D&D 5e

Before you can cast Wall of Fire, you need to check if you pass the requirements needed; otherwise, the spell will fail. So, calm down on building that Wall of Fire and read this detailed description first about the requirements in my other article, Scorching Ray 5e Guide. In the “How to use” section, I have written down what you need before you can cast Scorching Ray. These two spells are similar to each other.

Because they are similar, they have similar requirements. The main difference is that the Wall of Fire spell is a level four spell, whereas Scorching Ray is level two. Therefore, for Wall of Fire, you would need an available level four spell slot. Also, the Wall of Fire has a material component. If you do not have a small piece of phosphorus or a spellcasting focus like a staff or holy symbol, you cannot cast Wall of Fire.

Lastly, Wall of Fire needs concentration, as I have mentioned. Other than that, these two spells are identical. After confirming that you meet Wall of Fire’s requirements, you can follow the steps below.

  1. Choose between a straight wall or a ringed wall. You can cast a Wall of Fire as either a straight wall that can reach 60 feet long, 20 feet high, and a foot thick, or a ringed wall with a diameter of 20 feet with the same height and thickness.
  2. Choose the desired dimensions of your wall. As noted in the previous step, you can conjure the wall of fire up to the maximum stated dimensions. If you do not want it to reach 60 feet, for example, then you can have it at a much shorter length.
  3. Choose an area for your wall within 120 feet of you. Wall of Fire has a 120 feet range, so the entirety of your wall must be within the specified area.
  4. Choose one side of the wall that deals damage. Wall of Fire deals 5d8 fire damage to everyone near the side that you have chosen. We will call this side the “damaging side” in this article.

With that, you have erected your Wall of Fire (as long as you can keep concentrating on it). It is incredibly easy, mostly because the hard part is how it functions after you have built your Wall of Fire. The next section explains how this fire spell works after casting it.

How does Wall of Firework in D&D 5e?

Fire comes bursting out from the ground, creating a wall that blocks vision and deals damaging heat. The following events occurred while the Wall of Fire was in effect:

  1. Everyone in the same area as the wall makes a Dexterity saving throw. This event only happens when the wall first appears. The affected creatures individually roll a d20 and add their Dexterity saving throw modifier, along with other bonuses they might have.
  2. Compare their Dexterity saving throw to your Spell Save DC. After adding everything up, their role must be equal to or greater than your Spell Save DC, or else they take up the spell’s full damage. The Spell Save DC is different among classes, but I have listed them in the sections further down.
  3. Roll 5d8 (or more) to calculate damage. If their saving throw did not reach your Spell Save DC, they get 5d8 (or more) fire damage. Otherwise, they get half as much fire damage. The damage increases by 1d8 per level when using a spell slot whose level is higher than four. For example, using a level six spell slot to cast Wall of Fire will result in 7d8 fire damage.
  4. Everyone ending their turn ten ft. near the “damaging side” gets 5d8 (or more) fire damage. The same rule of increasing damage by using a higher-level spell slot applies here.
  5. Everyone ending their turn inside the wall gets the same fire damage.
  6. Everyone entering the wall for the first time on a turn gets the same fire damage.

As long as the spellcaster can concentrate on the spell for as long as they need to, then these effects will happen. Wall of Fire has a simple turn of events, yet there are some confusing aspects to it. For example, the area which the wall occupies can be weird, especially for the ringed wall. Thus, I have given an example scenario of a Wizard using the Wall of Fire.

Example scenario for using Wall of Fire in D&D 5e

Arthur’s D&D Lab is back! This time, we are testing out Wall of Fire with your favorite Half-elf Wizard, Marshal. He has the spell on hand, and he has the appropriate spell slots for it. In the room with him are a gang of misfits that we have “asked to come” for the glory of experimentation. Below are some important facts about our participants today.

Marshal the Half-elf Wizard

  • Intelligence modifier: +3
  • Proficiency Bonus: +4
  • Spell Save DC: 15 (8 + Intelligence modifier + Proficiency Bonus)

Every bandit

  • Hit Points: 30
  • Dexterity saving throw modifier: +2

Furthermore, below is an illustration showing the positions of everyone. It is Marshal’s turn, and he casts Wall of Fire using an available level four spell slot.

He decides to make a straight wall and use the entire length of 60 feet. He puts the wall across the cyan and blue bandits and decides that the damaging side would be the side where he is not on. In the picture below, the red-bordered square indicates the area where creatures get fire damage if they end their turn there due to it being on the damaging side.

Since this turn is the first time that Marshal casts Wall of Fire, and the cyan and blue bandits are occupying the spell’s area, they each must make a Dexterity saving throw against Marshal’s Spell Save DC of 15. The cyan bandit rolled a 12 while the blue bandit rolled a 13. After adding their Dexterity saving throw modifier (+2), they get a 14 and 15, respectively.

The cyan bandit fails the saving throw and suffers the spell’s full damage. I roll 5d8 to determine the spell’s damage and get 27. The cyan bandit’s HP goes from 30 to 3. However, the blue bandit succeeds in the saving throw, so he only suffers half of that damage, which is 13 (the general rule is to round down decimals). Thus, the blue bandit’s HP goes from 30 to 17.

Marshal’s turn ends, and it is the red bandit’s turn. He decides to enter the wall and end his turn next to Marshal. He automatically receives 27 fire damage since he enters the wall. Next, the green bandit goes inside the wall, probably envious of the cyan and blue bandits, and ends his turn there.

He also receives 27 fire damage since he is inside the wall. The pink bandit is next, and he does nothing and ends his turn immediately. Because he is within the damaging side’s ten ft. area, he also receives 27 fire damage.

The cyan and blue bandits, like the pink bandit, do not do anything and end their turn immediately (not because we threatened their family or anything if they try to move). It is Marshal’s turn again, and this time, he ends his concentration on making a ringed wall of fire using a level five spell slot. Below, the red-bordered circle indicates the Wall of Fire’s borders.

Spells using circles as areas of effect can be confusing due to the square grid’s nature. The Wall of Fire indicates that everyone within its walls receives fire damage, but which area constitutes the wall among the square grids?

Page 250 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide says that if the circle covers at least half of the square, the spell affects it. However, if we follow this guideline, the affected areas are as follows:

It is fine to use this method, but there are inconsistencies with it; the blue and green bandits are not affected and can get inside the wall without taking fire damage by moving diagonally. However, there is another method available which was introduced in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything on pages 87 to 88, called the Token Method. It treats circles as squares, so the corners also become affected.

Again, you can use either of these methods. It is up to your party and your DM to which you agree. For the sake of this experiment, we will use the Token Method. Marshal chooses the outer side as the damaging side. The red, green, cyan, and blue bandits must make a Dexterity saving throw once again against Marshal’s Spell Save DC of 15.

All of them, except for the blue bandit, fail their Dexterity saving throw. Since Marshal used a level five spell slot, the Wall of Fire’s damage increased from 5d8 to 6d8. I roll 6d8 and get 31. The red, green, and cyan bandits die from the fire damage. Meanwhile, the blue bandit only gets 15 fire damage, so his HP goes from 17 to 2.

Finally, it is the pink bandit’s turn. Once again, he does not do anything and ends his turn. Since he ended his turn ten ft. outside the ring of fire, he also automatically gets 31 fire damage and dies. It is the blue bandit’s turn, and he still has the will to live. He goes inside the circle and ends his turn next to Marshal. Since he is inside the circle, which is not the damaging side, he does not receive any fire damage.

If Marshal was a masochist, he could have also made a ringed Wall of Fire and chose the damaging side to be the inside. Therefore, anyone ending their turn inside the circle becomes roasted by the flames, and everyone outside of it does not receive fire damage.

Who can cast Wall of Fire in D&D 5e?

Druids, Sorcerers, and Wizards can put up a barrier of flames using the Wall of Fire spell if they have it in their magical arsenal. All of these classes have a level four spell slot as early as level seven. Below are each of their sources and their Spell Save DC.

Classes that can cast Wall of Fire

Source

Spell Save DC

Druid Player’s Handbook, page 64 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Sorcerer Player’s Handbook, page 99 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Wizard Player’s Handbook, page 112 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Subclasses that can cast Wall of Fire in D&D 5e

A lot of D&D subclasses can cast Wall of Fire, which I have listed below along with their source and their Spell Save DC. If you want to use Unearthed Arcana, you can use the revisions of the Celestial Warlock, Forge Cleric, and Artillerist Artificer. Their Spell Save DC is the same as their official ones.

Subclasses that can cast Wall of Fire

Originating Class Subclass Source Class Source

Spell Save DC

Arcane Trickster Rogue Player’s Handbook, page 97 Player’s Handbook, page 94 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Artillerist Artificer Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 17 Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 9 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
The Celestial Warlock Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, page 54 Player’s Handbook, page 105 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Eldritch Knight Fighter Player’s Handbook, page 74 Player’s Handbook, page 70 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
The Fiend Warlock Player’s Handbook, page 109 Player’s Handbook, page 105 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Forge Domain Cleric Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, page 18 Player’s Handbook, page 56 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Way of the Four Elements Monk Player’s Handbook, page 80 Player’s Handbook, page 76 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom Modifier
Light Domain Cleric Player’s Handbook, page 60 Player’s Handbook, page 56 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

The Arcane Trickster Rogue and Eldritch Knight Fighter can get the Wall of Fire to spell thanks to their Spellcasting subclass feature, as they gain access to the Wizard spell list. The Artillerist Artificer gains access to the spell thanks to the Artillerist Spells subclass feature, provided the Artificer reaches the level required.

Both Warlock and Cleric subclasses in this list also gain access to the spell with a similar logic to the Artillerist Artificer; the spell is part of an expanded spell list they gain access to after reaching level seven. Meanwhile, the Four Elements Monk can cast Wall of Fire through the River of Hungry Flame elemental discipline, a subclass feature. Using it costs five ki points and requires being level 17.

Backgrounds that can cast Wall of Fire in D&D 5e

Boros Legionnaire
Boros Legionnaire, Image from Wiki Fandom

A couple of backgrounds can make a character have the Wall of Fire spell as long as the character can cast spells. These backgrounds are the Boros Legionnaire and Rakdos Cultist, and they are from the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica. Therefore, these backgrounds would fit well in a campaign with a Ravnica setting.

Below is a list of sources for each background, along with more important info. A character must have a spellcasting ability to get this feature. For example, a Bard with the Boros Legionnaire background can cast Wall of Fire, but an Assassin Rogue with the Rakdos Cultist background cannot. The Spell Save DC depends on the character’s class.

  • Boros Legionnaire: Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, page 40
  • Rakdos Cultist: Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, page 79

Creative and useful ways to use Wall of Fire in D&D 5e

Wall of Fire is an incredibly powerful spell, although it being a level four spell may justify its strength. Level four spell slots or higher can be hard to come by in lower levels, so you may find it difficult to tell when the appropriate situation is to cast it. Thus, listed below are some creative and useful ways to use the Wall of Fire spell in D&D 5e.

how to use wall of fire

Blocking enemy vision

Wall of Fire conjures opaque flames that reach 20 feet high, so enemies cannot see what you are doing on the other side of the wall. This property can become incredibly useful when you want to play defensively in battle. This way, creatures that can cast spells cannot target the area directly with spells that require sight, such as Fire Bolt.

Enemies that use ranged spells are also at a disadvantage since they cannot see you; thus, they cannot target you. They could wait until the spell fizzles out or for you to come out to their side, but you can prepare yourselves for the upcoming attacks. You may even try and find a way to escape since they cannot see you.

Hindering fights and chases

A horde of bloodthirsty trolls chases after you and your friends through an open field. They severely outnumber you, and everyone is almost at their lowest point. Just as they are about to reach you, you put up your Wall of Fire between the savages. Trolls, being averse to fire, stop to a sudden halt, contemplating how to get through this predicament. Meanwhile, you make your escape.

Wall of Fire can help you stop chases or even unnecessary fights. They can buy you time to escape as they hinder your enemies. If they enter through the wall, they still receive a decent amount of damage, so it is incredibly useful. Their bright light may even distract enemies, stopping them at their steps. When in narrow spaces, a ringed wall would also be sufficient. Speaking of bright lights…

Lighting dark areas

You are in a narrow hallway, and unlike your cool friends, who are elves and dwarves, you cannot see through the darkness. It seems like this hallway is incredibly long, and you have been walking for ages. You are not even sure where it ends up. Thus, you set up a Wall of Fire in a straight line throughout the hallway. You can now see the trail, and it seems that you are close to the door without any enemies.

Line of sight is incredibly important, and while the Wall of Fire obscures vision for everyone, it can also help you see through the darkness. Even in an open field, you can make a ringed wall so that it can act like a bonfire that lets you see the surrounding areas. You can simply have the damaging side on the side where you are not on, or even better, towards the side where there might be enemies.

Defeating multiple enemies

Wall of Fire is not a spell you would use in a 1v1. Instead, it can become pretty handy in instances where multiple enemies are surrounding you that far outnumber you. If you are surrounded, you can cast a ringed Wall of Fire around yourself and have the damage outside of the wall. That way, enemies receive damage if they try to approach your ring.

If a bunch of enemies is huddled up together, you can also trap them inside the ringed wall and have the damaging side on the inside. You can imagine them being in a hot microwave, desperately trying to get out of the wall. When they do try to break out, their health is reduced, and you can attack them while they are distracted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the Wall of Fire’s saving throw in D&D 5e?

Answer: Wall of Fire requires all creatures occupying the area of its walls to a Dexterity saving throw when the spellcaster first casts the spell. It indicates that these creatures must dodge the fire damage caused by the wall’s formation. However, it is the only time that a creature needs to make a saving throw. Anyone in the wall, ten ft. near its damaging side or entering the wall receives damage.

Question: Can I cast Wall of Fire in a straight line in D&D 5e?

Answer: Yes, you can cast the Wall of Fire spell in a straight line that reaches 60 ft. long, 20 ft. high, and a foot thick. Another option would be to form the wall like a ring. However, these mentioned forms are the only choices for this spell. You can decide how far the wall reaches if you do not want it to reach its full length.

Question: Can you walk or run through the Wall of Fire in D&D 5e?

Answer: Yes, you can walk or run through a Wall of Fire in D&D 5e. However, you automatically get 5d8 fire damage when you do so, regardless of how fast you go through it. Furthermore, if you stop ten ft. near its damaging side, you will also automatically get the same damage. However, sometimes it may be necessary for one to go through a Wall of Fire.

Question: Can you shape the Wall of Fire in D&D 5e?

Answer: Yes, you can shape your Wall of Fire in D&D 5e, although you can only do so in two shapes. Firstly, you can make the Wall of Fire go on a straight line that reaches 60 ft. long, 20 ft. high, and a foot thick. Secondly, you can make the Wall of Fire as a ringed wall with a 10-ft. diameter of the same height and thickness.

Conclusion: Is Wall of Fire a good spell in D&D 5e?

Wall of Fire is incredibly powerful as it deals 5d8 fire damage to creatures in the wall or ten ft. near a chosen side. It also deals the same damage when entering through the wall. 5d8 fire damage may not be a lot, but on average, it results in 22 to 23 fire damage. Furthermore, multiple creatures are vulnerable to fire damage, which means they take double the indicated damage.

It is also incredibly useful against many opponents, although it is not quite as useful when dealing with a single enemy. Wall of Fire covers a large area, so it can deal damage to a lot of enemies at the same time. It is a good spell to avoid becoming outnumbered, which is especially a helpful asset for spellcasters who are typically weak.

It has its drawbacks, however. It requires a level four spell slot, which can be hard to come by in lower levels. The earliest time you can cast this spell would be by reaching level seven. Plus, there may even be more useful spells out there. You can consider not picking this spell if you have a teammate that specializes in dealing with large numbers of enemies. Otherwise, Wall of Fire is a good choice.

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