Sacred Flame is not the most effective cantrip spell that exists, but it’s among the most effective options for clerics who are more neutral in alignment or with better alignment. 

There are some advantages to this spell over other choices, even if damage output isn’t one of them.

Rules for Sacred Flame can be found in the Players Handbook on page 272.

Sacred Flame 5e

Evocation: Cantrip

Time for casting: 1 action

Range: 60 feet.

Components: V, S

Duration: instantaneous

A radiance of flames descends upon the creature you observe within the range. The target must make the Dexterity Saving Throw or suffer 1d8 radiation damage. The target is not able to benefit from cover on this saving throw.

The damage of the spell increases by 1d8 once you reach the 5th grade (2d8) the 11th degree (3d8) as well as 17th grade (4d8).

The rules of the Sacred Flame Cantrip identify this as an all-or-nothing spell. The target can make a dexterity-saving roll to mitigate damage. 

They also show that Sacred Flame follows other cantrips with a progressive increase in damage depending on the level of the character.

What is Sacred Flame work?

The Sacred Flame targets a creature the caster can spot within the range. An arc of glowing flame descends upon the person being targeted. 

The spell deals 1d8 damage at the base level, with a dexterity save that, negates any damage.

The rules are very specific about the benefits and drawbacks that this magic spell has. The caster must have access to the area of vision only to be able to see the target. 

Since there is no attack roll it is not possible to cover a portion of the area for the person being targeted.

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A pillar of flame descends upon the area of the target. It is important to remember that it is true that the Sacred Flame does radiant damage, not fire damage. 

This is an advantage for the spell, as radiant damage is more likely to be rejected than fire-related damage. 

But it does not mention any additional damage for undead creatures, which is different from other types of magical power.

The Sacred Flame spell is all-or-nothing when it is cast. The target takes 1d8 damage (at the base level) or performs a dexterity saving vs. that spell’s save DC of the player for zero damage. This isn’t uncommon for cantrips. 

However, it can make the spell less effective than its peers because dexterity is an upper-level stat for most creatures.

Does Sacred Flame a Ranged Attack?

The terminology and classifications can be confusing, particularly concerning specific spells. 

For instance, the Sacred Flame is a magic action but not an attack; therefore, it can’t be an attack with a range.

The most obvious sign of an attack action as compared to spell actions includes the existence of the roll to hit. 

Sometimes, there’s the roll to hit part of the spell action, such as the Booming Blade however, it’s still a spell action.

Examples:

  • Spell Action: Spell Action A Sacred Flame is a spell that, when cast, produces an effect. Then, rolls are used to deal with the effects that the spell has (dexterity save against, saving spell DC). There isn’t an attack roll that is made.
  • Ranged Spell Attack Firebolt is one of the spells that, when cast, requires a ranged attack roll. The outcomes that result from this roll (attack roll against. The AC of the target will determine the effect of the spell, whether it hits for damage or an error.
  • A Spell Action that includes an Attack A Booming Blade is an attack spell used to cast a spell that requires a melee strike to be performed during the casting of the spell. The spell can affect the person casting it, so it doesn’t depend upon the roll needed. The rolling of the melee attack is used to negate the effects of the attack and not to resolve the effects of the spell.
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The difficulty level of spells (DC) used for magic spells such as Sacred Flame is calculated in by using the following formula Base 8 + ability bonus plus spell casting modifier

How much damage can Sacred Flame do?

The Sacred Flame deals 1d8 damage at the base level and provide the possibility for the person who is targeted to make a dexterity-saving throw to prevent damage. 

It is not possible to add an ability modifier on damage when using Sacred Flame. The target is not subject to any damage when they make a successful save.

Like all attack cantrips, Sacred Flame increases in damage output according to the level of your character (not the level of the class).

At 5 levels, the damage is 2d8. When you reach level 11, the damage is 3d8. At 17, the level of the damage increases to 4d8.

The amount of damage is determined by the character’s total level. A 2nd level cleric deals 1d8 on a cast. 

A 2nd level cleric who is multi-classed as a 3rd level fighter grants 2d8 when casting. A 15-level ranger, as well as a 2nd-level cleric, deals 4d8 damage when casting.

The game has been designed so that damage cantrips rise based on character level. This means that the cantrip will not be entirely useless at higher levels. 

Damage cantrips offer some of the lowest efficiency in the game. Additionally, at higher levels, they are typically desperation castings.

Is Sacred Flame the Best Clerical Cantrip?

At first, Sacred Flame was the only attack-based cantrip available to clerics. The addition of expansion materials has fallen out of fashion. 

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The players are leaning toward spells such as toll-the-dead or Word of Radiance to replace it.

Sacred Flame is lower in damage output than Toll of the Dead, but it does radiate damage when compared to necrotic. 

Sacred Flame does more damage and has a greater reach than Word of Radiance, but it only targets one specific target.

The best method to determine the most effective option is to determine which one fits the character’s personality type.

Radiant damage is among the top three most resistant kinds of damage. Although this might not be crucial at first, when enemies have almost no resistance to any kind of damage, at higher levels, it can change drastically. 

It is a great idea to have a spell available that does complete damage to enemies, even when the damage isn’t as great.

Final Words

Sacred Flame is not the latest, most flashy spell; however, for a cleric casting spell, it’s still hard to resist. 

The damage is small and the dexterity savings to counter it is difficult, however it’s a durable kind that applies to all opponents.

The spell is weak in comparison to cantrips from other classes however, since they’re not available, it’s impossible to go wrong using Sacred Flame.