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10 Best Bard Cantrips In D&D [Make Your Character Sing With Magic]

  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 01/02/2024
Est. Reading: 6 minutes

Navigating the vast landscape of magic in Dungeons & Dragons can be a daunting task, particularly when you’re playing as the jack-of-all-trades Bard class.

Cantrips, those nifty little spells that Bards have on hand at all times, are an essential part of your repertoire. So, let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about the best bard cantrips to give your character that magical edge.

Choosing the right cantrips can significantly elevate your game-play experience and success in D&D 5e.

They may seem minimal at first glance, but these at-will spells pack quite a punch and provide you with a broad range of utility both in combat and out. We’re going to highlight the top ten Bard cantrips to make your journey easier and more spell-binding.

10 best Bard Cantrips in D&D 5E

Bards, the quintessential performers and storytellers in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, wield a unique blend of magic known as bardic cantrips.

10 best Bard Cantrips in D&D 5E

These spells, requiring no spell slots and available for limitless use, are the bread and butter of any bard’s repertoire, allowing for a wide range of creative and practical effects.

Whether weaving insults with a mystical edge, manipulating objects from afar, or performing minor magical tricks, bards use these cantrips to control the battlefield, entertain, or make life a little more whimsical.

Here are three of the best cantrips that Bard in D&D 5e can utilize to turn the tides in their favor, dazzle audiences, or get out of a tight spot.

Vicious Mockery

Vicious Mockery is a bard’s sharp-tongued spell that targets the psyche of an opponent. By unleashing a string of insults imbued with enchantment, the bard not only deals psychic damage but also gives the recipient a disadvantage on the next attack roll, representing the distracting and disorienting effect of the harsh words.

Vicious Mockery

This cantrip is as much about psychological warfare as it is about actual harm, making it perfect for bards who prefer their battles to be as much about it as force.

Vicious Mockery doesn’t just injure; it humiliates, making it a favored choice for bards who wish to demoralize their foes while aiding allies in combat.

Mage Hand

Mage Hand is the spectral appendage that bards summon to manipulate the world around them from a distance.

This cantrip creates a ghostly, floating hand that can carry objects, open unlocked doors, or provide a variety of other functions that normally require physical interaction.

While it cannot attack or activate magic items, the utility of Mage Hand is unparalleled, offering creative solutions to numerous problems.

Bards use this spell to retrieve or manipulate distant objects, perform harmless pranks, or even communicate silently by mimicking hand gestures.

It’s a testament to a bard’s cunning and resourcefulness, showcasing their ability to bend the arcane to their whimsical needs.

Also Read: Bardic Inspiration 5E [Inspire Your Party With Music In DnD]

Prestidigitation

Prestidigitation is the quintessential trick up every bard’s sleeve, a spell that offers a plethora of minor magical tricks that create temporary and harmless sensory effects.

Prestidigitation

From lighting a small fire, cleaning or soiling objects, or chilling, warming, or flavoring up to one cubic foot of nonliving material, the spell’s versatility is nearly limitless.

Bards use it to enhance their performances, make a grand entrance, or add flair to their daily activities.

Prestidigitation is about making the mundane magical and the ordinary extraordinary, reflecting the bard’s role as a weaver of magic and a master of the art of entertainment.

Dancing Lights

Dancing Lights is the spell of choice for bards seeking to dazzle and illuminate. This cantrip creates up to four floating lights that can appear as torches, lanterns, or glowing orbs.

They can also combine into one vaguely humanoid form, providing a mobile, radiant display. The versatility of Dancing Lights makes it invaluable for exploration, creating distractions, or enhancing a performance with a spectacular light show.

Bards can maneuver these orbs to investigate dark corners, signal allies, or add dramatic flair to their storytelling.

The spell is not just a tool for vision; it’s a medium for artistry, allowing bards to sculpt light and shadow into a dance that captivates all who see it, demonstrating the bard’s ability to blend utility with spectacle seamlessly.

Light

The Light cantrip is a fundamental spell for bards who wish to shed light in the darkness. By touching an object, the bard can make it glow, radiating bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet.

Light

This spell is essential in dungeons, during night travels, or in any situation where visibility is key. Unlike some other light-producing spells, Light is versatile, allowing bards to cast it on a small object that can be carried or attached to something else, effectively making it a portable lantern.

The ability to bestow light upon any object also means bards can use this spell creatively, whether marking a path, signaling allies, or enhancing the ambiance of a performance.

Light is a testament to the bard’s role as a beacon in the dark, guiding and uplifting spirits with their presence.

Mending

Mending is a cantrip that resonates with the bard’s role as a keeper of things whole and functioning. This spell repairs a single break or tear in an object you touch, such as a broken chain link, two halves of a broken key, a torn cloak, or a leaking wineskin.

As long as the break or tear is no larger than 1 foot in any dimension, the bard can mend it, leaving no trace of the former damage.

This utility makes Mending incredibly valuable for maintaining equipment, preserving valuable items, or simply ensuring that the appearance and function of personal and important items are kept intact.

Bards who use Mending understand that their magic is not just for show or combat; it’s for caring for the world around them, weaving together the frayed edges of material and perhaps even symbolic constructs, embodying the vital nature of their art.

Explore More: Homebrew Backgrounds 5E [Adding Personal Touch to DnD Characters]

Message

The Message cantrip is a bard’s discreet line of communication, allowing them to whisper a message that only the intended recipient can hear, even over considerable distances and through barriers.

Message

This spell is invaluable for coordinating with allies, conveying warnings or information stealthily, or simply having private conversations in public spaces.

The recipient can whisper a reply that only the caster hears, making it perfect for silent communication in situations where secrecy or silence is paramount.

Bards find it especially useful during performances, negotiations, or espionage activities, allowing them to stay in contact without alerting anyone to their covert exchanges.

With Message, bards ensure that even when they are not speaking aloud, their words carry the weight and impact they desire, embodying their role as masters of both information and influence.

Minor Illusion

Minor Illusion allows bards to create a static image or sound that lasts for a minute, providing a versatile tool for deception, distraction, or entertainment.

This cantrip enables the creation of an imaginary sound or visual phenomenon, such as a roar in the distance or a chair that isn’t really there.

The illusion is static and ends if the bard dismisses it or casts it again. While the applications are as varied as the bard’s imagination, it’s often used to create distractions, hide objects or individuals, or enhance a performance with illusory visuals.

Bards can craft intricate scenes or simple sounds, making it an essential cantrip for those who value creativity and deception as part of their arsenal.

Minor Illusion reflects the bard’s flair for the dramatic and their ability to captivate or mislead audiences and foes alike.

Tasha’s Hideous Laughter

Tasha’s Hideous Laughter is a spell that forces a creature to perceive everything as hilariously funny, falling into fits of laughter if they fail to resist the spell’s effects.

Tasha's Hideous Laughter

The target becomes incapacitated and unable to stand for the duration, making it a powerful tool for incapacitating a foe through sheer mirth.

While under the spell’s effect, the victim can attempt to regain control after each time it takes damage or at the end of its turns, highlighting the temporary but potentially battle-turning nature of this enchantment.

Bards use this spell to neutralize threats non-lethally, disrupt enemy formations, or provide a moment of comic relief in tense situations.

Tasha’s Hideous Laughter embodies the bard’s whimsical and unpredictable nature, showing that even in the midst of danger, laughter can be a powerful ally.

Also Read: Mastermind Rogue 5E Subclass [Outsmart Your Opponents In DnD]

FAQs About Bard Cantrips In D&D

What is a Bard Cantrip in D&D?

Bard Cantrips are simple yet potent spells that Bards can cast at will without needing to expend a spell slot in Dungeons & Dragons. They provide utility in combat and a variety of role-play situations.

Are all Bard Cantrips offensive?

No, not all Bard Cantrips are used for attack. Many cantrips offer utility and support, from casting illusions to mending broken items or conveying secret messages.

How often can I use a Bard Cantrip?

Once learned, cantrips can be used as often as desired. Unlike other spells, which require spell slots and rest, cantrips are at-will abilities that can be utilized unlimited times throughout the day.

Is Vicious Mockery a good Bard Cantrip?

Yes, Vicious Mockery is an excellent choice for attack. Not only does it deal psychic damage to your opponent, but it also imposes a disadvantage on their next attack roll.

Where do I learn new Bard Cantirps?

As a bard levels up in D&D, they get to choose additional cantrips from the bard spell list. In story terms, learning new spells might involve researching ancient lore or seeking out magical tutors.

Author

  • Ashish Arya

    I'm a tech enthusiast and lifelong gamer, hailing from the beautiful city of Chandigarh. My passions range from immersing myself in worlds like GTA V, COD, SIMS, Roblox and Minecraft to exploring the latest innovations in laptops and technology. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Application, I love sharing my insights through writing and engaging with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on my journey through the ever-evolving realms of gaming and tech!

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