Craving a spell that lets you devour incoming acid, harness its power, and unleash it upon your foes? Look no further than Absorb Elements. This formidable first-level abjuration spell from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything is accessible to Druids, Rangers, Sorcerers, Wizards, and Artificers alike.
The spell captures some of the incoming energy, lessening its effect on you and storing it for your next melee attack. You have resistance to the triggering damage type until the start of your next turn. Also, the first time you hit with a melee attack on your next turn, the target takes an extra 1d6 damage of the triggering type, and the spell ends.
When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the extra damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (page 150)
When damage hurtles toward you, Absorb Elements can be cast as a reaction. Gain resistance to Acid, Cold, Fire, Thunder, or Lightning damage (whichever damage type triggered the reaction) for the remainder of your turn. On your next attack, roll an extra 1d6 and deal the same type of damage to your enemies (on top of your other damage). For a level one spell, it feels almost overpowered. Especially in late game play, a Level 1 spell that halves damage is clutch against the bigger, badder enemies you will face.
Imagine facing off against a dragon or elemental creature. What was once 100 points of Acid damage is now halved to 50, and you’re primed to retaliate with Acid-infused strikes on your next turn. It’s no wonder Absorb Elements ranks high in the pantheon of first-level spells.
For each spell slot above second level used to cast this reaction, add an extra 1d6 damage. And yes, the resistance applies to the triggering damage – even Jeremy Crawford confirms it.
The spell’s text describes absorbing incoming elemental energy; however, I prefer envisioning it as consuming a portion of the damage-inflicting spell itself. This not only grants resistance but also allows you to reshape that energy into a weapon against your adversaries.
Think of it like sampling Melf’s Acid Arrow – by taking a bite out of it, you gain partial resistance (not immunity) and turn that power against your enemies. With such broad applications and potency for a first-level spell, Absorb Elements remains a tantalizing choice for any magic wielder.
Early on, and then progressing into mid or late games, I truly believe this is a fantastic one.