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Best 1st-Level Ranger Spells For D&D 5e (Our Top Picks)

Rangers in Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) are fierce warriors with a deep connection to nature. They act as protectors of civilization, patrolling its outskirts and eliminating threats in the vicinity. Unlike other spellcasters, Rangers gain access to their first spells at level 2. However, they have limited spell slots, making it crucial to maximize their spell usage. In this article, we will explore some interesting 1st-level Ranger spells that can enhance your gameplay.


Source: Xanathar’s Guide To Everything

Snare is a deceptively simple but potentially lifesaving spell. By using 25 feet of rope, you create a 5-foot circle on the ground. The rope disappears, rendering the snare invisible. Any small, medium, or large creature that walks into the trap must make a Dexterity saving throw or be suspended upside down for the duration of the spell. Snare is a cost-effective option that can increase your party’s chances of detecting or surviving an ambush.


Source: Player’s Handbook

Longstrider is a straightforward spell that proves useful for Rangers playing slower races. It boosts the speed of your target by 10 feet for one hour. Whether you need to pursue, retreat, or reposition, Longstrider provides a speed advantage without requiring concentration.

Fog Cloud

Source: Player’s Handbook

If you’ve ever dreamt of emulating a ninja’s smoke bomb escape, Fog Cloud is the spell for you. It creates a 20-foot sphere of fog that blinds any creature within its area of effect. Even spells like True Sight cannot penetrate this fog. While susceptible to dispersion by moderate or strong winds, Fog Cloud remains an excellent choice for dungeon delving.

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Hail of Thorns

Source: Player’s Handbook

Hail of Thorns grants Rangers an area-of-effect spell rather than the usual single-target damage. Whenever you hit a target with a ranged weapon, thorns explode from the ammunition, damaging both the target and any creature adjacent to it for 1d10 piercing damage. You can use higher-level spell slots to increase the damage, making Hail of Thorns a versatile spell that scales well. The best part? It only requires a bonus action to cast.

Zephyr Strike

Source: Xanathar’s Guide To Everything

Zephyr Strike is a spell that enhances your weapon attacks by granting advantage on rolls and an additional 1d8 force damage. The spell also allows you to move without triggering attacks of opportunity. This synergy is particularly useful if you choose the Beast Master Ranger Archetype since Zephyr Strike can also be shared with your beast companion.

Beast Bond

Source: Elemental Evil Player’s Companion

Beast Bond is a situational but valuable spell that expands your options in choosing beast companions. Similar to a beast’s Pack Tactics, Beast Bond gives your companion an advantage on attack rolls against creatures adjacent to you. Additionally, beasts affected by this spell can communicate with you telepathically using simple gestures and emotions. It allows you to emulate Pack Tactics without being restricted to beasts that travel in packs. However, keep in mind that the spell does not work on beasts with an Intelligence of 4 or higher.

Ensnaring Strike

Source: Player’s Handbook

Ensnaring Strike is an effective spell that grants Rangers control over opponents they wish to swiftly neutralize. When you hit a creature with a weapon, magical thorny vines attempt to grab the target. If the target fails a Strength saving throw, it becomes restrained. While restrained, the target takes constant 1d6 piercing damage until it breaks free with a Strength check. This spell is especially effective against creatures with low Strength and can also hinder spellcasters by disrupting spells that require Somatic components.

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Source: Player’s Handbook

Goodberry is a personal favorite among Rangers. By preparing ahead of time, you can create 10 magical berries that heal 1 hit point each when consumed. These berries also provide enough nourishment for a day. What sets this spell apart is that the berries last for 24 hours, allowing you to make an abundance of them before a long rest. Despite jokes about the possibility of exploding from excessive berry consumption, there is no limit or mention of getting full in the spell’s description. So go ahead and enjoy those Goodberries!

Absorb Elements

Source: Xanathar’s Guide To Everything

Absorb Elements is the go-to defensive spell for Rangers. When you take thunder, fire, lightning, or cold damage, you gain resistance to that damage type until the start of your next turn. Furthermore, you can use the spell as a reaction. Absorb Elements also stores a portion of the damage received, enabling you to deal an additional 1d6 of the stored damage type on your next melee attack. This spell synergizes exceptionally well with high Dexterity Rangers as the resistance stacks with a successful Dexterity saving throw. By using “Share Spell” when you reach level 15 and gain the ability to share spells with your beast companion, Absorb Elements can significantly enhance their survivability.

Hunter’s Mark

Source: Player’s Handbook

Hunter’s Mark is the quintessential spell for Rangers. It grants you an extra 1d6 damage whenever you hit your target, increasing your combat effectiveness. Furthermore, it provides advantage on Perception and Survival rolls against the marked target. This spell is perfect for embodying the “hunter stalking its prey” trope. If you manage to bring the target’s health to 0 before the one-hour duration ends, you can use your bonus action on the next turn to mark a new creature. As you level up, the duration of Hunter’s Mark increases, and using a 5th-level spell slot extends it to a whopping 24 hours. However, keep in mind that concentration is required, so you cannot use other spells that also require concentration simultaneously. Losing concentration may lead to embarrassing moments, so stay vigilant!

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In conclusion, these 1st-level Ranger spells can greatly enhance your gameplay and make your character more versatile. By leveraging spells like Snare, Longstrider, and Fog Cloud, you can gain a tactical advantage in various scenarios. Spells such as Hail of Thorns, Zephyr Strike, and Ensnaring Strike grant you additional options for dealing with enemies. Goodberry and Absorb Elements provide valuable utility and defense, while Hunter’s Mark remains a classic choice for maximizing damage output. Remember to consider the principles of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) and YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) when selecting and utilizing spells. Choose wisely, and may your Ranger journey be filled with exciting adventures!

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