As a visual person I frequently like to have the battlefield fully represent what is going on during a battle. I have used a variety of markers during my many years of playing Dungeons & Dragons. With WizKids releasing the Spell Effects I feel I can better represent the magical effects at my own table. Below is the list of all the great things that come in this prepainted non-blind purchase pack. This way you know exactly what you are getting.
If you want to get a set of your own and help out Nerdarchy at the same time you can pick up your own copy on Amazon here. There are 17 items broken down into 11 different categories.
- 1 x Arcane Gate
- 1 x Tenser’s Floating Disk
- 1 x Bigby’s Clenched Fist
- 1 x Bigby’s Forceful Hand
- 1 x Bigby’s Grasping Hand
- 1 x Cloud of Daggers
- 1 x Mage Hand
- 1 x Dancing Lights
- 1 x Elemental Weapon — Acid
- 1 x Elemental Weapon — Cold
- 1 x Elemental Weapon — Fire
- 1 x Elemental Weapon — Lightning
- 1 x Unseen Servant
- 1 x Grasping Vine
- 1 x Phantom Steed
- 1 x Spiritual Weapon — Mace
- 1 x Spiritual Weapon — Warhammer
First up is the Arcane Gate. The gate has a nice swirl to it so it could look like you are gazing into another place but it is great for any effect where things are being summoned. You could have an enemy wizard or sorcerer that opens a portal and until he is defeated more enemies come through it each round. I would operate it as a lair effect.
Next up in number order is Tenser’s floating disc. There is not much to this mini visually, but I do like the swirling force from the base up to the disc. This is an ideal choice if you want someone floating or hovering off the ground. It could be cool to act as its own little flying carpet. It easily holds up a Medium-sized mini for use on the battle field. Just be careful not to shake the table as the mini might fall off.
Bigby’s hand is such a great spell in 5E D&D. In previous editions the different effects were separate spells and had to be learned and prepared individually. Not so with 5E D&D. In this set by WizKids we get all four versions of the spell represented by three different minis. The clenched fist is ready to punch and is painted an aggressive orange. It is a nice sculpt and the fist is basically the same size as an average torso of a Medium-sized mini so it fully represents the damage the spell can do. The grasping hand is painted blue and is slightly bigger than the clenched fist. I can easily place a small mini in its open hand, so you can stage certain things if you plan it correctly. Lastly the forceful/interposing hand is painted a deep red and is clearly meant to be a message of “stop.” Having the visuals of this spell on the battlefield make me realize what a caster could do with these and makes me rethink all those battles against evil wizards.
Cloud of daggers is another great spell in D&D. I do think the mini for this needs a little bit of work. It has a 5 foot square tornado full of little blades. The clear plastic has a blue swirl in it and I think the blades should get some love with some silver or metal color on each blade. Doing so will take some time but I think the end product will be worth it. I recommend using a 3 or 4 zero brush, as the blades are tiny, if you are going to try it. The mini is clearly what it is and is fully usable but making each blade pop will make this stand out so much better.
The spell in the set is mage hand. This is quite tiny in comparison to Bigby’s, which I find hysterical. There are many times this spell can be useful in combat so again having the hand there you can use is just great. The sculpt as I said is tiny and just a bit bigger than a hand would be for a Medium-sized caster. I am certain this one will get plenty of use at my table.
Dancing lights is another low level spell that can make or break combat. Not because it in itself is powerful but because not being able to see causes disadvantage. The spell creates four floating orbs so this what this mini represents. As the Dungeon Master, put in darkness and make those casters use these floating balls of light or make them swing with disadvantage.
Elemental weapons –ho does not like spells that cause extra types of damage? I see two issues here. One: these look like summoned weapons similar to a spiritual weapon, but the spell causes a nonmagical weapon to be imbued with magic. It still needs to be wielded, so I’m not sure it requires such a mini. The second issue is the spell can imbue 1 of 5 different energy sources and we only get four minis. How to fix the problem? Why not have a caster create weapons of energy that act like a spiritual weapon. Either make the spell be limited to bad guys or make it part of the treasure. It is fun to make up new spells. The minis are a sword of fire, an axe of cold, a lightning hammer, and lastly a bow and arrow with acid.
Unseen servant is a spell that is supposed to not be seen, but if it is doing something useful it is important to track its movements. So if you are going to track it why not have an awesomely sculpted magical being for it? In recent years WizKids has been doing more and more with the clear plastic sculpts and I find them quite fun and enjoyable. But I have to say this one is one of my favorites.
We are almost done with these and as we get deeper into the list we have a couple that hardly look like magical effects but could be other things. Grasping vine is a sweet druid spell and I am glad they included it. With all the other spells so far there were elements or all entirely were clear. With this one that is not the case. This is a large vine flinging itself out of the ground. Even the base is brown so this one stands out among the rest.
The second mini that is not mostly clear or see thru is phantom steed. Having used this spell quite a bit ,it is a happy thing to have a mini for it. The sculpt is seriously worth noting. The ankle and below, the mane and tail are flowing with magical energy in swirls of a variety of blues. The horse comes complete with saddle and reins. Part of me wishes the saddle were not there as I would make this mini into some kind of magic animal as well as a use for this spell.
Lastly we have that previously mentioned spiritual weapon. Having played many clerics over the years, I have cast this spell more times than I care to count. Here is another one with multiple options. There is a mace and a hammer. Combine that with the elemental weapons previously mentioned and we have 6 different summon-able weapon types. I think the detail is nicer on the hammer than on the mace, but I tell you at some point I am going to have a caster unleash a spell and have all 5 of these hit the table at once.
Thanks for reading and again if you want to get your own set you can use the affiliate link here.
If you like these and want some more options there is also Spell Effects Wall of Fire and Wall of Ice.
Until next time stay nerdy!
The nerd is strong in this one. I received my bachelors degree in communication with a specialization in Radio/TV/Film. I have been a table op role player for about 20 years 17 of which with the current group. I have played several itterations of D&D, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd editions, Star wars RPG, Shadowrun and World of Darkness. I am an avid fan of books and follow a few authors reading all they write. Favorite author is Jim Butcher I have been an on/off larper for around 15 years even doing a stretch of running my own for a while. I have played a number of Miniature games including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Heroscape, Mage Knight, Dreamblade and D&D Miniatures. I have practiced with the art of the German long sword with an ARMA group for over 7 years studying the German long sword, sword and buckler, dagger, axe and polearm. By no strecth of the imagination am I an expert but good enough to last longer than the average person if the Zombie apocalypse ever happens. I am an avid fan of board games and dice games with my current favorite being Quarrios.