Unleashing 5E Sickening Radiance: A Comprehensive Guide

Dungeons & Dragons has a multitude of spells that can turn the tide of any encounter, and Sickening Radiance is no exception. As a 5th-level Evocation spell in the 5th Edition of the game, Sickening Radiance can quickly become a favorite for players who enjoy tactics, crowd control, and damage over time. In this guide, we will delve into the mechanics, uses, and strategies to unleash the full potential of Sickening Radiance on the battlefield.

What is Sickening Radiance?

Sickening Radiance is a potent evocation spell that creates an eerie, greenish light in a 30-foot radius sphere. The area becomes difficult terrain for the duration, which is concentration, up to 10 minutes. Any creature that starts its turn in the affected area must make a Constitution saving throw or take 4d10 radiant damage and gain a level of exhaustion. Creatures must also make the saving throw when they enter the spell's area for the first time on a turn or end their turn there.

Uses of Sickening Radiance

1. Crowd Control

Sickening Radiance is fantastic for controlling the battlefield, especially when facing a horde of enemies. Those affected by the spell will find themselves taking damage and becoming exhausted, weakening their ability to fight effectively.

2. Damage Over Time

The 4d10 radiant damage may not seem like much at first, but when compounded over multiple turns, it can wear down even the toughest foes. Combined with other area of effect spells or effects, Sickening Radiance can quickly turn the tide of battle.

3. Exhaustion Stack

One of the most powerful aspects of the spell is the exhaustion it inflicts. As creatures accumulate levels of exhaustion, they suffer from penalties that can severely cripple them in combat. This can be particularly effective against bosses or powerful enemies.

Strategies for Maximizing Sickening Radiance

1. Positioning is Key

Placing Sickening Radiance in a chokepoint or in the midst of a group of enemies can ensure that you get the most out of the spell. Consider using spells or abilities to restrain enemies in the area for maximum effect.

2. Combination with Other Spells

Pairing Sickening Radiance with spells like Wall of Fire, Cloudkill, or Spirit Guardians can create devastating combos that can quickly decimate enemy ranks. Coordinate with your party to set up synergistic effects.

3. Sustain Concentration

Given the concentration requirement of Sickening Radiance, ensure that your character has ways to maintain concentration, such as the War Caster feat or items that grant advantage on concentration checks. Losing concentration can significantly reduce the spell's effectiveness.

4. Know Your Foes

Understand the vulnerabilities and resistances of your enemies. Some creatures may be immune to radiant damage or have abilities that allow them to easily pass Constitution saving throws. Adjust your tactics accordingly to maximize the spell's impact.

5. Utilize Environmental Factors

Take advantage of the terrain and environmental hazards in the area to force enemies into the affected zone. Push, pull, or manipulate the battlefield to ensure that foes are caught in the Sickening Radiance's grasp.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can creatures attempt the Constitution saving throw more than once if they remain in the area of Sickening Radiance?

A1: Yes, creatures must make the saving throw each time they start their turn in the area or when they enter it for the first time on a turn.

Q2: Can Sickening Radiance affect creatures that have blindsight or tremorsense?

A2: Yes, as long as the creatures rely on sight to navigate, they will be affected by the spell regardless of any other sensory abilities.

Q3: Can the spell affect creatures that are flying above the area of effect?

A3: Yes, creatures flying above the area of effect can still be affected if they enter the sphere or when they start their turn within it.

Q4: Can creatures with immunity to radiant damage still be affected by the other effects of Sickening Radiance?

A4: Yes, even if a creature is immune to radiant damage, they are still subject to the exhaustion and other effects of the spell if they fail their saving throw.

Q5: Can multiple castings of Sickening Radiance stack their effects on the same creature?

A5: No, the level of exhaustion inflicted by the spell does not stack. The target creature will only suffer one level of exhaustion per turn, regardless of how many times they fail the saving throw.


Sickening Radiance is a powerful spell that can turn the tide of any encounter when utilized strategically and tactically. By understanding its mechanics and incorporating it into your character's repertoire, you can become a formidable force on the battlefield. Experiment with different combinations, positioning, and tactics to maximize the spell's potential and dominate your foes with the sickening glow of radiant energy.