The weary adventurers trudged back to town, battered and bruised from their latest quest. As they passed through the gates, the cleric Lagella breathed a sigh of relief – she could finally let her guard down and recover from the day's trials. That relief quickly turned to dread as she noticed the bloody gashes and limping gaits of her companions. Her healing magic had been entirely depleted in the massive battle against the wicked lich and his undead horde. With barely a spell left to cast, how could Lagella tend to the grievous wounds of her friends? Then she remembered – she had prepared Mass Cure Wounds that morning! With a few arcane words and gestures, radiant light washed over the party, mending torn flesh and restoring vigor. The bleeding stopped, bones mended, and hope shone in their eyes. Thanks to her foresight, the stalwart heroes would live to fight again!
Just like in Lagella's story, Mass Cure Wounds can turn the tide of battle and save adventurers from the brink of death in D&D 5e. This potent spell immediately heals several creatures at once, buying time and breathing hope into desperate situations. As one of the strongest area of effect (AoE) healing spells in the game, players love its dramatic rescue potential.
But how does it actually work? When should you use it? And what are some creative ways to maximize its impact? This comprehensive guide will explore everything you need to know about casting Mass Cure Wounds in 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons.
What is Mass Cure Wounds?
Mass Cure Wounds is a 5th level evocation spell available to clerics, druids, and bards. The spell has the following properties:
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Duration: Instantaneous
- Components: Verbal, somatic
- Range: 60 feet
- Targets: Up to 6 creatures in a 30-foot radius sphere within range
When you cast Mass Cure Wounds, a wave of radiant healing energy erupts from a point you designate within 60 feet, washing over injured creatures and rapidly knitting flesh back together. Each creature in the 30-foot radius sphere centered on that point is healed for 3d8 plus your spellcasting ability modifier.
So if you have 18 Wisdom as a druid and cast it using a 5th level slot, each creature would be healed for an average of 13.5 hit points, assuming each d8 roll averages 4.5. Healing 6 creatures would restore about 81 hit points total – not bad for a single action!
The healing increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 5th used to cast the spell. So using a 7th level slot would heal each target for 5d8 instead. Unfortunately, undead and constructs are unaffected by its curative properties.
Why Use Mass Cure Wounds?
Mass Cure Wounds brings two major benefits to the table:
- Strong AoE healing. The 3d8 returned per target is one of the best amounts for an instant AoE heal. While not as efficient as certain heal over time effects, it rapidly patches wounds.
- Large number of targets. Up to 6 creatures makes this one of very few spells that can heal most or all of a whole party at higher levels. Only mass heal and mass healing word compete.
Between these two advantages, Mass Cure Wounds fills an important niche – when multiple hurt allies need immediate, copious healing. Landing this after devastating dragon's breath or slaying a necromancer's undead horde can quickly get the party back on their feet.
Downsides of Mass Cure Wounds
Unfortunately, Mass Cure Wounds also comes with some notable downsides:
- 5th level requirement delays access for many classes
- Doesn't work on undead and constructs
- Verbal and somatic components prevent subtle casting
- Upcasting only adds an extra 1d8 per slot level
The 1d8 scaling is underwhelming compared to spells like cure wounds that add 1d8 per slot level. And requiring speech and gestures means silence, paralyzation, or missing verbal components shuts it down. Lastly, while some subclasses get access at 5th level, most classes don't unlock 5th level slots until 9th character level.
Creative Uses for Mass Cure Wounds
While an excellent panic button after big damage, there are also some clever ways to bolster Mass Cure Wounds' already impressive healing:
- Empowered Spell metamagic for sorcerers maximizes each die roll
- Disciple of Life adds 2 + spell level extra healing for clerics
- Unicorn Spirit totem boosts each target by druid's Wisdom mod
- Cast it as a bonus action using metamagic quickened spell
- Follow it up by using preserved Channel Divinity: Preserve Life
Using those combos, you can dramatically increase the healing potential. Sorcerers and clerics especially can pump up each casting to heal over 100 hp across the party with the right setup.
When Should You Cast Mass Cure Wounds?
Knowing when to drop a leveled spell is a key skill in D&D 5e. For Mass Cure Wounds, keep an eye out for the following situations:
- Multiple players are bloodied or seriously hurt
- The party is surrounded or clumped together
- A boss used a devastating AoE attack last turn
- Healing multiple downed allies to quickly revive them
- Following up after an AoE damage spell like fireball
In general, anytime multiple injured targets can be caught in its 30 foot emanation is ideal. When allies are low or dying nearby, it can rapidly rescue them from death's door. Because action economy is limited, you want to ensure multiple party members benefit.
Classes that Get Mass Cure Wounds
Mass Cure Wounds is exclusive to just three classes in 5th edition D&D:
- Cleric: Access at 5th level
- Druid: Access at 9th level
- Bard: Access at 10th level via Magical Secrets
Since it's not a cleric or paladin exclusive, druids and bards can learn it too. Subclasses like the Circle of Dreams druid and College of Lore bard gain access the fastest at 5th and 6th level respectively.
Multiclassing is another option to pick up Mass Cure Wounds early. A 2 level cleric dip gets access at character level 7 if you start as a full caster. Magic Initiate is also an option, but you can only cast it at its base level without expending your own spell slots.
Among the classes that get Mass Cure Wounds, clerics tend to benefit the most from its perks. Metamagic gives sorcerers unique ways to amplify it, while druids commonly swap it situationally to fill specific needs. Bards meanwhile often skip it until 10th level Magical Secrets since they have limited spells known and lower slot progression.
Mass Cure Wounds in Action
To see Mass Cure Wounds in action, let's break down an example. Our level 9 grave cleric Vasgor is battling a necromancer and their skeletal minions. After slaying the first wave, an unlucky fireball catches Vasgor and his three allies in its blast. All are injured, with the wizard knocked unconscious!
Looking over the groaning party, Vasgor knows just the spell. He speaks arcane words and gestures toward a central point. Radiant light bursts from the ground beneath the party's feet. Warm healing energy washes over them, sealing burns and revitalizing their spirits. The wizard's eyes flutter open just as a second wave of skeletons emerges. Thanks to Vasgor's spell, the party stands ready to face the next threat.
In this situation, the 30-foot radius easily covered the grouped up party. Since Vasgor cast it using a 5th level slot, each of the 4 targets healed for 3d8+4 or about 13 hit points, assuming a +3 Wisdom modifier. That's 52 total hit points restoring most of their lost HP! The wizard was even raised from 0 to a decent amount, letting him rejoin the fray.
FAQs about Mass Cure Wounds
Let's answer some frequent questions players have about this healing spell:
Can I target myself with mass cure wounds?
Yes! The spell just specifies “up to 6 creatures” so you can choose yourself as a target. As long as you are in the area of effect, you can heal yourself.
Does it require line of sight to each target?
Nope! You pick a point within 60 feet to center the effect on. As long as your allies are in the 30 foot radius area, they are healed whether you see them directly or not.
What's the maximum number of targets?
Strictly 6 creatures is the limit. Even using higher level slots doesn't let you exceed 6 targets. For more, you need another spell like mass healing word.
Is it better than healing spirit?
Situationally. Healing spirit heals more over its 1 minute duration. But Mass Cure Wounds delivers healing immediately, which can be critical in combat. Different tools for different needs.
Should My Bard Take Mass Cure Wounds?
For bards, Mass Cure Wounds competes directly with options like revivify, aura of vitality, and summon fey for your 10th level Magical Secrets picks.
Since bards only learn spells instead of preparing them, it's generally too niche to be worth one of your coveted late game magical secrets. Revivify's ability to quickly raise allies or aura of vitality's healing over time tend to edge it out.
Mass Cure Wounds shines most when dropped in the middle of the entire party clumped together in combat. Bards generally prefer mobility and spreading out, making it harder to maximize Mass Cure Wounds' effects. Keep it prepared situationally if you expect a bruising boss fight ahead.
Is Mass Cure Wounds Worth It? Final Verdict
Overall, Mass Cure Wounds is an excellent area of effect healing spell in the right circumstances. When multiple wounded allies are pinned down in combat, it can rapidly restore their health and turn near-death back into hope. Outside of specific cleric builds, its single target healing competes well with lower-level options.
The high slot requirement does limit its casting frequency, as do the components preventing subtle use. Savvy foes may even try to maneuver apart to minimize impacted targets. But in the right situation, it provides a dramatic burst of instant healing. Landing it after a devastating dragon's breath or fireball can single-handedly resuscitate a doomed party and let them keep fighting.
Due to action economy and 5e's focus on damage prevention, don't expect to cast it in every fight. When multiple players are bloodied and surrounded though, Mass Cure Wounds can pull victory from the jaws of defeat in a way few other spells replicate. It should be a staple preparation for most clerics and druids heading into expected trouble. Just time it wisely, center it well, and watch your friends bounce back from disaster thanks to well placed radiant salvation!