Spell Sniper 5e

Published on March 20, 2023

Take a deep breath and squeeze the trigger, it’s time to snipe with spells!

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What Is Spell Sniper 5e?

Ever need to assassinate a target from a distance in D&D? Instead of reaching for that heavy crossbow, why not pick up Spell Sniper instead? This feat allows you to be a force to be reconned with, even when you’re hundreds of feet from your target. Not only does it provide the skills necessary to be deadly from a distance, it even provides the cantrip in which to do so with.

If your spellcaster is interested in never being hit in combat ever again, you’re going to want to keep reading.

How Does Spell Sniper Work?

Spell Sniper provides three benefits. But, before you take the feat, you need to be able to cast a spell.

  1. You double the range of spells that require a  spell attack.
  2. You can ignore half cover and three-quarters cover with your ranged spell attacks.
  3. You learn a cantrip that requires an attack roll from any spell list and use that class’ spellcasting modifier for the spell.

Let’s break these benefits down.

Doubling the distance of ranged spells is hard to fully comprehend in a game where combat usually doesn’t exceed more than 100 feet in any direction. Seeing as common ranged spells like fire bolt and eldritch blast already have a range of 120 feet, doubling this range can be an extremely impressive ability. Seeing as most creatures have a 30 foot move speed, they would have to dash four times to reach you if you hit them from the full range your spells allow.

The second ability will certainly be useful when blasting spells from 240 feet away. Very rarely will you be on a flat plain with no obstacles between you and your target. Now, with this ability, you won’t take a -2 for half cover and -5 for three-quarters cover on your attacks. However, if your target manages to get full cover, you still won’t be able to hit them.

Last, you get to pick up a cantrip that requires an attack. Keep in mind that the cantrip doesn’t require a ranged attack, so you could take booming blade if you want to. These spells are also cast with the spellcasting modifier of the spell list they were chosen from, which limits the choices based on the class you’re playing. We’ll explore what options are the best in each specific case below.

Which Cantrip Should I Choose?

  • Booming Blade/Green-Flame Blade: The blade cantrips can’t be used with Spell Sniper as of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. They were reprinted and now have a range of “self,” which means they won’t be affected by Spell Sniper. If you want to use the previous version that was released in Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide that can be used with Spell Sniper, talk to your DM. These older versions have a potent combo with Eldritch Knights who also take War Caster and Polearm Master to get opportunity attacks on creatures entering their 10 foot range.
  • Eldritch Blast: The best damage cantrip in the game because of it’s d10 force damage per beam and 120 foot range. If you’re a CHA caster that’s picking up Spell Sniper, this is the spell to choose. The only caveat is that this spell can’t be combined with the sorcerer’s Quickened Spell Metamagic past 5th level.
  • Fire Bolt: Another d10 damage/120 foot range option that is only held back from eldritch blast by it’s more common damage type. A solid option for INT or CHA casters as it can be picked up off of the wizard or sorcerer spell list.
  • Chill Touch: A decent option that does less damage but has a cool rider effect that prevents enemies from healing and even has a second rider effect when facing off against undead. Good option for INT or CHA casters.

Is Spell Sniper Good?

In our 5e Feats Tier List, Spell Sniper was given a B Tier rating, making it a niche feat that can improve some builds in D&D 5e.

A good feat that is somewhat limited by the fact that the cantrip you get to choose from another class’ list uses their spellcasting modifier. Every class would love to have eldritch blast, and be able to cast it from 240ft away while ignoring half and three-quarters cover, but this is only going to be viable for other CHA based casters.

Spell Sniper 5e Interactions

Spell Sniper and Melee Spell Attacks

Spell Sniper doesn’t have any effect on spells that have a range of “Touch” because no range is specified to be doubled. If you have the sorcerer’s Distant Spell option, you can give the touch spell a range of 30 feet and double it with Spell Sniper.

Which 5e Classes Make the Most of Spell Sniper?

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good the Spell Sniper 5e feat is for a specific class/subclass.

  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange Situationally good, but a below-average option otherwise
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

Spell Sniper is best for INT or CHA-based casters that are looking to blast enemies from range. Unfortunately for WIS casters, there aren’t many good WIS cantrips that require a ranged attack, which makes them have to invest in either INT or CHA for this to be particularly effective.

Artificer: Artificers have limited spell slots and are sometimes forced to use cantrips or ranged weapons. If you’re going for a cantrip build and will be using fire bolt as your main source of damage, Spell Sniper is an alright feat.

Bard: Great way to pick up eldritch blast, which can significantly improve your bard's damage output.

Barbarian: Barbarians can't cast spells.

Cleric: This can allow you to cast guiding bolt 240 feet, which is alright at the very least. Unfortunately, the only cantrips worth to pick up are produce flame and thorn whip off of the druid's spell list.

Druid: Druids already have access to the only WIS-based spells that needs a ranged attack roll (produce flame and thorn whip), and don't have access to many other spells that would benefit. These two issues make this a pass.

Fighter: Fighters can't cast spells unless they are Eldritch Knights, who usually want to avoid spells that require attack rolls or saving throws.

Monk: Most monks can't cast spells and the Way of Four Element monk doesn't have any spells that require ranged attack rolls.

Paladin: This can net your paladin eldritch blast, which makes this feat interesting at the very least. Normally, paladins aren't equipped for ranged battle and are better off in the fray.

Ranger: Can get you access to produce flame or thorn whip but rangers are usually better off with Sharpshooter.

Rogue: Rogues normally can't cast spells but Arcane Tricksters could actually see some benefit. Unfortunately, ranged spell attacks don't trigger Sneak Attack, which certainly holds this feat back for those builds.

Sorcerer: While the increased range can be replicated with the Distant Spell Metamagic, being able to pick up eldritch blast and ignore cover on spell attacks is a solid enough boon. Keep in mind that you can't use Twin Spell on eldritch blast passed 5th level, so you'll want to have fire bolt on deck for when that happens.

Warlock: Increased range and ignoring cover on spell attacks can be stellar for all of your eldritch blasting. Go for chill touchfire bolt, or ray of frost off the sorcerer spell list depending on which spell you don't already have access to.

Wizard: Increased range and ignoring cover on spell attacks can be helpful for those tricky battlefield situations. Go for chill touchfire bolt, or ray of frost depending on which spell you don't already have access to.

Spell Sniper 5e FAQs

Does magic missile benefit from spell sniper?

No, magic missile automatically hits and doesn't require a ranged spell attack roll.

Does Spell Sniper work on booming blade?

The reprinted version of booming blade doesn't work with Spell Sniper because it has a range of self. The original version does work, however.

Does Spell Sniper work on spiritual weapon?

No, spiritual weapon doesn't require an attack roll upon casting. The attack roll happens after the spell has been cast and therefore isn't impacted by Spell Sniper.

How does Spell Sniper and shocking grasp work?

Spell Sniper has no effect on shocking grasp because the spell's range is Touch.

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. He is a Adamantine best-selling author of Strixhaven: A Syllabus of Sorcery on DMs Guild and is a contributing author at D&D Beyond. Follow Mike on Twitter.

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