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Guiding Bolt 5E Spell Explained [Illuminate Your Targets In DnD]

Guiding Bolt 5E Spell Explained
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 10/30/2023
Est. Reading: 11 minutes

For those of you who are diving into the diverse world of Dungeons & Dragons, the Guiding Bolt 5E is one spell that’s sure to pique your interest.

It’s a power-packed spell, practically a must-have for any serious adventurer looking to maximize their effectiveness in combat situations and beyond.

The rules and mechanics can seem overwhelming at first glance but don’t worry. This blog aims to unpack all you need to know about this brilliant spell.

So whether you’re an experienced player fine-tuning your strategy or a newbie getting your bearings in this vast game universe, understanding the ins and outs of Guiding Bolt can boost your gameplay significantly.

Laid out in clear and straightforward terms, this blog will break down all the critical pieces of this fascinating and potent spell, ensuring you can master it with ease by the end.

Guiding Bolt 5E Spell Attributes

Casting Time1 Action
Range/Area120 ft
ComponentsV, S
Duration1 Round

What is Guiding Bolt 5E?

Guiding Bolt 5E is a powerful offensive spell in Dungeons & Dragons. But what makes it unique? Well, your character (the spellcaster) unleashes a flash of light that targets and damages an opponent of your choice that you can see within the spell’s range.

What is Guiding Bolt 5E?

Once hit, the target not only takes heavy damage but also becomes an easier target for ensuing attacks. Any attack roll made against this glowing individual before your next turn gets an advantage- pretty neat, right?

And as you level up, it only gets better. So, Guiding Bolt definitely becomes a crucial tool in your arsenal both for damaging foes and strategically assisting fellow players during battles.

Absolutely, Guiding Bolt 5E is an exceptional spell to have in your repertoire. One of its many advantages is its versatility.

With this spell, you’re not only dealing significant damage but also setting up easy targets for your group’s follow-up attacks- hitting two birds with one stone.

It’s a first-level spell that deals an impressive 4d6 radiant damage, which is scalable by casting at higher levels. Remember, because the damage type is radiant, this comes in exceptionally handy against those pesky creatures vulnerable to radiant damage.

Is a shadowy fiend or an undead lurking around? You bet Guiding Bolt will do some serious harm. Plus, the 120 feet range isn’t too shabby either.

If you’re looking to optimize your gameplay, adding Guiding Bolt to your character’s arsenal would be a smart move.

Spellcasting can be tricky business; timing and situation context are everything when it comes to deciding what spells to cast and when! So don’t forget to factor these in while using Guiding Bolt or any other spells.

Also Read: Moonbeam 5E In D&D [Effects, Utilization, & Added Advantage]

How can you get a Guiding Bolt 5E spell?

Tailoring your character to your play style will certainly improve your Dungeons & Dragons experience.

How can you get a Guiding Bolt 5E spell?

When it comes to Guiding Bolt 5E, the way you acquire this spell can significantly enhance your game and how you confront challenges in the fantasy world.

The following sections will delve into how practicing as a Cleric, a Divine Soul Sorcerer, joining the Circle of the Stars Druid Circle, or swearing the Oath of Glory Paladin Oath allows you to wield Guiding Bolt 5E.


Becoming a Cleric is one of the more straightforward methods to add the Guiding Bolt 5E spell to your set of skills. As Clerics draw their powers from divine beings like gods and goddesses, manipulating radiant light is right within their area of expertise.

Guiding Bolt, being categorized under ‘1st level Evocation’, can be added to a Cleric’s spells list upon reaching the 1st level itself.

A cleric prepares spells, including Guiding Bolt, from personal prayer; hence, it does not just grant them offensive burst capability but also expands their supportive role during combats.

Divine Soul

Being born with an innate connection to divine magic bestows some privileges, one being access to spells like Guiding Bolt 5E. If you are playing as a Divine Soul Sorcerer in D&D, you have traces of celestial power running through your veins.

You automatically get an expanded list of spells courtesy of your divine affinity, where you can choose either sorcerer or cleric spells every time you learn new ones.

Yes, that essentially means by choosing ‘Guiding Bolt’ from this list, Divine Souls gets an impressive blend of damaging firepower and tactical battlefield control early on.

Circle of Stars

Druids who become part of the Circle of The Stars follow cosmic signs and omens that guide them on their path. This subclass has an interesting relationship with the guiding bolt since they gain access to unique spells at each level, including some cleric spells.

Though Guiding Bolt is not explicitly part of their expanded spell list, as a Circle Of The Stars druid, you can consult your Star Map feature to cast guiding Bolt without expending a spell slot once per long rest.

So, you can invoke this potent spell in a critical pinch without draining your resources.

Oath of Glory

The path of a Paladin bestowed with the Oath Of Glory aligns perfectly with the ability to utilize Guiding Bolt 5E intensely.

This oath emphasizes physical perfection and heroic deeds, and its tenets compel one to strive for excellence and encourage others to do the same.

As an Oath of Glory Paladin in D&D 5E, despite having no inherent access to cleric spells when they level up and gain more spell slots, they have an edge called ‘Expanded Spell List.’

Herein lies your chance to add Guiding Bolt by selecting it as one of your additional oaths spells at higher levels – marking enemies for teammates or decisively vanquishing foes single-handedly.


If you’re stepping into the shoes of a Warlock, remember your choice of patron significantly influences your powers, including gaining access to spells like Guiding Bolt 5E.

Opting for a Celestial patron grants you special gifts that radiate sacred power. You have access to an expanded list of spells that includes Claw of Acamar, Healing Light, and, yes – Guiding Bolt.

By harnessing the celestial energy endowed upon you by your cosmic patron, leverage this potent spell’s light flash when in combat. Alternatively, defer it strategically to gain an advantage in attacks made by allies.

Magical Secrets

Building one’s skill set through handy loopholes is truly Bardic behavior! As a Bard, the ‘Magical Secrets’ feature at levels 10, 14, and 18 allows you to cherry-pick spells from any class, yes, any class.

So even though Bards aren’t inherently aligned with divine domains like Clerics or Paladins are, this allows Bards to sneak in and add Guiding Bolt 5E to their repertoire, too.

This tactical flexibility lets Bards support their party with this spell’s luminous beacon, even though radiant energy isn’t usually their forte.

Magic Initiate

Magic Initiate is a fascinating option because it allows virtually any character class to learn spells they wouldn’t usually have access to, including Guiding Bolt.

Choosing Magic Initiate as a Feat gives you an enthralling chance of choosing spells from Cleric’s spell list. Opt for this heavenly cantrip during your adventures. Use it as an ace up your sleeve or as a magical trick enhancing your combat dynamics.

Also Read: Magic Initiate 5E Feat [Add More Spells To Your Arsenal In DnD]

Divinely Favored

Playing as characters with divine lineages opens up appealing elements of storyline and gameplay, for instance, having access to Guiding Bolt through ‘Divinely Favored’ feat if you’re embodying an Aasimar or other Divine-touched races.

Tying your heritage to divine forces, you harness unique radiant energy that solidifies your place in the celestial realm both narratively and mechanically by granting you specific spells like our fabulous Guiding Bolt.

Strixhaven Initiate

Zendikar Rising’s Strixhaven University setting offers a thrilling route to acquiring magic spells in Dungeons & Dragons. As an Initiate of this magical institution (Strixhaven Initiate), you’re permitted to cast certain spells from the illustrious mage schools housed within it.

Picking cleric spells effectively brings Guiding Bolt 5E into play, enabling you to channel high-damage radiant energy to enemies or orchestrate strategic moves that benefit your team.

5E: Who Possesses the Ability to Cast Guiding Bolt?

As we venture deeper into the arcane intricacies of Dungeons & Dragons, we see that not every class can wield the powerful force that is Guiding Bolt 5E.

In your journey through the fantasy world, there are specific classes who are blessed with the ability to cast this spell, primarily Cleric and Paladin. But how does it work? Let’s delve further into these classes to understand their specific powers.


In D&D, Clerics are known as versatile figures; they’re healers and warriors and have access to divine magic. As a Cleric, you already have unique abilities at your fingertips thanks to your close relationship with a deity. The ability to cast Guiding Bolt offers befits your role as both a support and an attack class.

At its core, Guiding Bolt is a damaging spell that’s perfect for leading a charge – hence its name. Its potency lies not only in dealing with damage but also in providing tactical advantages to other players.

When a Cleric successfully casts Guiding Bolt on an enemy, it makes it easier for subsequent strikes from themselves or their allies due to the aura the spell leaves on its victim.

As you level up as a Cleric and gain more slots of higher levels (2nd level or higher), casting Guiding Bolt to deal greater damage becomes possible. It gives you versatility as you can alternately use it as a targeted strike or potent supporting tool, depending on your tactical needs.


Paladins stand tall as holy warriors flavored by divinity in D&D. They’re sworn protectors who uphold justice and righteousness, and they rely heavily on melee attacks bolstered by divine magic spells.

The ability to harness Guiding Bolt adds another layer of strategic potential as you fight your battles. Casting this spell damages foes up-front while also leaving them vulnerable to subsequent hits from your party.

Imagine the scenario of a Paladin engaged in close-quarters battle, hamstringing their enemy with a well-placed Guiding Bolt, then swooping in to deliver the hammering blow. It’s a visual that’s not only cinematic but devastatingly effective.

Also Read: Paladin 5E Class Guide DnD [Abilities, Roles, & Strategies]

Rules of Guiding Bolt 5E in D&D

Underneath the thrilling role-play and engaging storylines, Dungeons & Dragons is governed by a myriad of rules.

Rules Of Guiding Bolt 5E In DD

These guidelines act as the scaffold supporting your gaming experience, granting structure and consistency to your epic adventures.

We’re focusing on the rules surrounding the Guiding Bolt 5E spell. Let’s delve into the nitty-gritty details that will help you maximize this spell’s potential.

Guiding Bolt Can Be Cast Blindly Without Seeing the Target

A standout feature of Guiding Bolt is that accurate visibility of your target isn’t an absolute necessity for casting this spell, unlike many others.

Even if you can’t fully see your target, whether due to darkness or another obscuring factor, you can still launch this potent bolt, you only need a rough idea of where they are positioned.

While this may feel like shooting in the dark, it opens an avenue for strategic blind-casting against hidden foes. Just remember: these attacks are made at a disadvantage because guessing might not always turn out correctly.

Disadvantage Applies to Targeting Invisible Units with Guiding Bolt

While we’ve established that you can cast Guiding Bolt without clear visibility, launching it at an entirely invisible character introduces its challenges; these are established by aiming at a disadvantage: rolling two dice and using the lesser value as your score.

This portrays how invisibility camouflages and protects creatures from direct hits effectively. But don’t let this dissuade you! With enough practice and skillful play, landing such a heavy-hitting blow on invisible enemies can prove immensely satisfying.

Hitting an Invisible Target with Guiding Bolt Nullifies Advantage/Disadvantage

D&D’s combat system boasts complex dynamics that make each encounter unique — such as dealing with advantages and disadvantages during battles.

Now, let’s throw in one more twist: when Guiding Bolt successfully hits an invisible adversary, it ‘lights’ them up, effectively nullifying all active advantage or disadvantage statuses tied to their invisibility.

This flicker of illumination not only marks the previously cloaked character’s location but also levels the playing field, removing any earlier-mentioned hindrance.

Critical Damage Possible with Guiding Bolt on Natural 20

The thrill of rolling a natural 20 is a moment every D&D player cherishes. With Guiding Bolt, this exhilaration reaches new heights due to a thing called “critical damage.”

Here’s how it works: if you roll a ‘natural’ 20 when attacking with Guiding Bolt (a dice roll that lands on 20 without modifiers), you score a “critical hit.” Critical hits mean double-dice damage for your attack.

So, instead of your standard 4d6 radiant damage, you deal a whopping 8d6 radiant damage to the unlucky recipient. Bask in these moments when they occur; such massive damage spikes are key game-changers in your adventures.

Guiding Bolt Deals 4d6 Damage at First Level

Now, this is where things get seriously interesting. One of the major advantages of Guiding Bolt comes into play at the very onset of its usage – it deals a whopping 4d6 radiant damage right from the first level.

That’s right! This evocation spell starts strong, giving you an upper hand during confrontations at the early stages of your game.

As a first-level spell, dealing this amount of damage is impressive and can significantly impact the outcome of your battles. However, remember that power comes with responsibility. So use this high-damage spell judiciously.

Anyone Can Exploit Guiding Bolt’s Advantage for the Next Attack

Here’s another cool thing about Guiding Bolt – it’s not just beneficial for you as an individual player but also holds significant strategic value for your entire team during gameplay.

Once Guiding Bolt has hit an opponent, they are marked and made an easy target for following attacks until your next turn. This means any member of your team who attacks that glowing target gets to do so with an ‘advantage.’

Being able to highlight a common enemy and boost your comrades’ attack chances can quickly turn the tide in tough encounters.

Self-Generated Advantage on Next Attack with Guiding Bolt

Another tactical benefit of using the Guiding Bolt spell lies in its smart design, allowing you to plan strategic hits yourself by setting up an ‘advantage’ on your next attack against a marked opponent.

Having successfully landed a hit on someone with Guiding Bolt, you’ve now flagged them as everyone’s favorite target until your next turn starts.

If you time this well, you can be sure to follow up with another attack (from either yourself or another teammate) that would gain an ‘advantage’ due to this spell’s bright marking.

Darkness Spell Counters Guiding Bolt’s Advantage Effect

But every shining advantage has a polar opposite, and darkness is a radiant light. Likewise, in D&D, the Darkness Spell can put a cloud of blackness over your Guiding Bolt’s glow.

When cast on an opponent marked by Guiding Bolt, the Darkness spell completely obscures the target. The fact that one cannot see through magical darkness means that your marked target becomes invisible to you or any of your team members looking to score an ‘advantage.’

So, while Guiding Bolt is definitely a power-packed spell in your arsenal, being aware of its counterplays can keep you mindful and prepared in D&D’s demanding combat scenarios.

Explore More: Schools Of Magic 5E [Power, Principles, & Unique Abilities]

FAQs about Guiding Bolt 5E

What makes Guiding Bolt a popular choice among D&D players?

Guiding Bolt is favored because of its high damage output, especially at the first level, and the ability to grant advantage to subsequent attacks.

Can Guiding Bolt hit opponents without pointedly seeing them?

Yes, as long as you have a rough idea of where they’re standing, shooting blindly is possible, though it’s at a disadvantage.

How does casting the Darkness Spell affect an opponent marked by Guiding Bolt?

It negates the advantage effect of Guiding Bolt by obscuring the target completely within magical darkness.

Can other players exploit the advantage created by Guiding Bolt?

Definitely! The advantage applies to anyone who attacks the marked target until your next turn.

What happens when you roll a natural 20 using Guiding Bolt?

You strike what’s called a ‘critical hit,’ doubling your dice damage from 4d6 to 8d6.


  • 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!