Instant and Sorcery spells of Zendikar in D&D

Something new for this blog, homebrew spells! I thought I’d start with Zendikar, as I’ve been working with that setting a lot.

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Chain Reaction
4th-level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 10 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
A bolt of lightning blasts from your palms, arcing between enemies and allies alike. Choose one target. All creatures within 5 feet of that target are affected. Every creature affected by this spell must make a dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 1d4 lightning damage for each affected creature, or half as much on a successful save. The caster is not affected by this spell.

At higher levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the range increases by 5 feet for each spell slot level above 4th.

I focused on the mechanic of this spell being higher damage for higher number of creatures affected, but added the clause of the dexterity saving throw, as is standard with many spells, and dexterity is used for other lightning based spells like call lightning and lightning arrow. Limiting the radius seemed appropriate as it could reach pretty ridiculous amounts of damage in mass combat. It does retain the capability to do said ridiculous damage in mass combat, but only for higher level characters.

This spell is suggested for: Druid, Sorcerer, and Wizard

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Momentous Fall
4th-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you can take when a creature dies within 60 feet of you.
Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
You draw the dwindling life force of a dying creature into your allies, healing them. Up to six characters within 60 feet of the creature as it dies regain hitpoints equal to 2d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier.
At higher levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the healing increases by 1d8 for each spell level above 4th.

The healing effect I based on cure wounds, in that the core part of this card that can be translated to D&D is the healing, which, combined with the death of a creature, can be an interesting way to make a “natural” healing spell.

This spell is suggested for: Druid and Ranger


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Overwhelming Denial
4th-level abjuration – You may cast this spell as a 2nd-level abjuration if another friendly creature already cast a spell this turn.
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you can take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you cast a spell.
Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell is of 3rd level or lower, its spell fails and it has no effect. If it is of 4th level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s spell fails and has no effect. Reactions cannot be made against casting Overwhelming Denial.

I thought surge would be interesting to use in D&D as it provides some advantage to coming later in initiative order: If you’re going after another spellcaster in your party, neat! You get a slightly better spell! If you’re going before them, you’re early in initiative order, and that’s normally the place you want to be anyway. And if a character with this spell is up against a powerful mage and really want to be ready to cast Overwhelming Denial? Well, they can still hold their action! The extra clause of stopping reactions means that creatures cannot counter it with “spells or abilities.”

This spell is suggested for Sorcerer and Wizard

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Spell Pierce
1st-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you can take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you cast a spell.
Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell is of 3rd level or lower, its spell fails and it has no effect, unless it expends an additional spell slot of first level or higher. If it is of 4th level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s spell fails and has no effect.

Another counterspell! I thought it’d be interesting to translate lower-costed conditional counterspells into D&D, and since there’s one in Zendikar this is my first attempt at that. I decided to set the conditional cost at 1st level and not 2nd to make it more appropriately balanced with a 1st level spell, when counterspell is normally 3rd level.

This spell is suggested for Sorcerer and Wizard


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Vines of Vastwood
1st-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you can take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you become targeted by a spell.

Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
Target creature gains advantage on spell saving throws and resistance to spell damage until the end of the round.
At higher levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the target also gains +4 on their attack rolls and +4 to their AC until the end of the round. 

Translating spells with kicker to D&D is great because they essentially have an “At higher levels” part built in to work from. I gave this spell the effect of vastly lowering the effectiveness of spells instead of outright stopping a character being targeted, as that almost acts like a counterspell, and it seemed more flavourful to be a reaction to a character being targeted. The kicker ability I wanted to make as close to what +4/+4 does in magic, so i gave it an effect to boost the likelihood of a successful attack, and boost resilience.

This spell is suggested for Druid, Ranger, and Nature Domain Clerics 


So that’s it for my first attempt at spells! I’m nearing the last Zendikar equipment post, so I’ve started working on some mundane and magic items from other planes, as well as having some more Zendikar subclasses ready for posting.

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