Wither and Bloom: Heal Allies, Kill Enemies With One Spell (2023)

Wither and Bloom: Heal Allies, Kill Enemies With One Spell

  • Wither and Bloom: Heal Allies, Kill Enemies With One Spell (1) by Mike Bernier

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Tags Spell Spotlights author-mike-bernier

The fight is going badly, and your healer is down. What's next? All you have is a critically injured wizard, a fighter, and a monk. Who's going to expend their action trying to stabilize the dying cleric? What happens if another party member is knocked unconscious? Not to fear, wither and bloom is here!This unique spellallows typically non-healer spellcasters to help their allies regain hit points while doing some damage from a distance!

  • What does wither and bloom do?
  • Use cases for wither and bloom
  • Who can cast wither and bloom?
  • Why we love this spell
  • Wither and bloom FAQs

What Does Wither and Bloom Do?

Wither and Bloom: Heal Allies, Kill Enemies With One Spell (2)

Wither and bloom is a 2nd-level necromancy spell fromStrixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaosthat takes its name and effects from the Witherbloom College. Witherbloom College's primaryarea offocus isthe studyof growth and decay. So it stands to reason that the college's signature spell allows the caster to dish out necrotic damage while also healing their allies.

When the spell is cast, you can target as many creatures as you'd like within a 10-foot radius to make a Constitution saving throw. Any that fail the save takes 2d6 necrotic damage. Then, you can choose one creature within that initial radius that is able to roll an unspent Hit Dice (if they have one) and regain hit points equal to the result plus your spellcasting modifier.

When the spell is upcast, the necrotic damage and the number of Hit Dice that can be spent increase by one perspell slot above 2nd level. It's important to note that a creature must have at least one unspent Hit Dice to be targeted by the healing effect.

Use Cases for Wither and Bloom

While we've seen spells that combine damaging and healing effects before in vampiric touch and enervation, wither and bloom is unique because the healing doesn't exclusively target the caster. While the castercouldtarget themselves with the effect, it's at its best when used from a distance to revive an unconscious party member and damage the surrounding area's enemies. Wither and bloom is also the lowest level healing + damaging spell, with vampiric touch coming in at 3rd level and enervation at 5th level.

The effectiveness of this spell is somewhat determined by the target's Hit Dice. Obviously, targets with larger Hit Dice, like fighters and barbarians, will be able to regain more hit points on average than sorcerers or wizards, who only have a d6. That said, the amount of healing doesn't matter much when the target getsbrought back from unconsciousness and is able to take a turn they would have otherwise missed. It's also worth noting that the healing effect can be applied even if there are no enemies in the area. If your cleric is down with no enemies around, it might be worth it to spend the 2nd level spell slot to bring them back to the fight even if you won't be doing any damage.

While this may seem like a powerful, flexible spell, it hascertain downsides that limit the effectiveness of using it consistently. First, the damage is relatively poor for a 2nd level spell. 2d6 only averages out to 7 damage per creature affected. Comparatively, shatter—another 2nd level spell with a 10-foot radius—does 3d8 damage, which is 13.5 damage per creature affected. Wither and bloom's damaging effect also targets Constitution saving throws, which are known to be a regularly proficient save amongst monsters.

Another downside to the spell is that the healing recipient must be in the 10-foot radius of the spell's effectandhave an unspent Hit Dice to expend to access the healing. This is a fair amount of hoops to jump through compared to healing staples like healing word.

Who Can Cast Wither and Bloom?

The potential upsides and significant downsides to wither and bloom beg the question. Why wouldn't a caster stock a better heal spell for healing and a better damage spell for damaging?

Well, wither and bloom is the only party healing option available to most sorcerers and wizards, making it a solid contingency pick in case the party needs emergency healing. Yeah, you could always carry around healing potions, but wither and bloom allows you to heal from up to 70 feet away, which could be paramount in dangerous battle situations.

This spell can also be picked up by druids, though it's less likely to have a significant effect on the druid's utilitybecause of theireasy access to both area of effect damage and healing spells.

Why We Love This Spell

Wither and Bloom: Heal Allies, Kill Enemies With One Spell (3)

Wither and bloom is at its best as a contingency spell because it is relatively inefficient to use all the time. When you can line up the perfect circumstances where you have three enemies clumped together with a downed ally in their midst, it's going to feel really good tooutput some damageand revive your party member with a single action.

The spell's inefficiency is mitigated when you combine it with other class features and items. For example, School of Necromancy wizards are able to heal themselves for three times the spell's level if they manage to down a creature with the necromantic damage from the spell. This is an easy six hit points of recovery and canamount to more if you upcast the spell or manage to down more than one creature with a single casting.

For sorcerers that manage to get their hands on a bloodwell vial, wither and bloom will become a staple spell because it allowsyou to roll Hit Dice mid-combat. This, combined with the bloodwell vial's feature whereby you gain five sorcery pointswhen you roll Hit Dice, means that you can splurge on your Metamagic usage without worrying about running out.

Circle of Wildfire and Circle of Stars druids both have the ability to increase the efficiency of wither and bloom's healing effect. At 6th level, the Circle of Wildfire druid's Enhanced Bond allows them to add an extra d8 tothe healing roll. Similarly, the Circle of Stars druid's Chalice form enablesthem to heal another creature within 30 feet for 1d8 + their Wisdom modifier when they manage to heal a creature with the spell.

FAQ: Wither and Bloom

Can you target yourself with the healing effect?

Yes. As long as you are within the area of effect of the spell and have unspent Hit Dice, you can target yourself with the healing effect.

Can unconscious creatures roll Hit Dice using wither and bloom?

Usually, unconscious creatures can't take a short rest, which means they can't use Hit Dice to recover hit points. On the other hand, wither and bloom allows a creature to use a Hit Dice to heal at any time, which means unconscious creatures can use it.

If you upcast the spell, do you add your spell casting modifier to the healing effect multiple times?

No. You only add your spell casting modifier to the healing once, whether it's been upcasted or not.

Does wither and bloom's healing effect stack with other healing effects?

Yes. Even thoughwither and bloom'shealing effect requires a Hit Dice to be rolled, it still counts as a healing effect. This canallow you to stack additionalhealing effects like the Circle of Wildfire druid's Enhanced Bond.

Another interaction that wither and bloom has with other healing effects is the Hit Dice minimum granted bythe Durable feat. Because wither and bloom causes the target toheal using Hit Dice,the minimum they'd be able to heal ifthey have the feat would be twicetheir Constitution modifier.

If a creature doesn't have unspent Hit Dice, can they still regain hit points equal to the caster's spellcasting modifier?

No. The creature targeted for healingmustroll an unspent Hit Dice to be able to qualify for the healing effect of wither and bloom.

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Mike Bernier (@arcane_eye) is the founder ofArcane Eye, a site focused on providing useful tips and tricks to all those involved in the world of D&D. Outside of writing for Arcane Eye, Mike spends most of his time playing games, hiking with his girlfriend, and tending the veritable jungle of houseplants that have invaded his house.

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