D&D 5e: What are the deadliest spells of a lich?
Knowing Your Enemy applies as much in Dungeons & Dragons as it does anywhere else, and when it comes to the Lich, players are better off knowing their spells.
Going into a blind battle is never a good idea, and Dungeons & Dragons As any game proves it. Among its multitude of iconic and mythical monsters, the Lich stands out as one of the most gruesome and mysterious threats that high-level players can face. If they hope to get out of the encounter alive, they know better what they are up against before the battle begins.
A key part of defeating any Lich is bypassing the spells that make up the bulk of their arsenal. Once you know a Lich’s spells, defeating them might not seem like the monumental task it could be.
Before we really get into the spells a lich can cast, it’s important to understand the abilities that make its magic so much more deadly than that of a typical opponent. One of the actions of a Lich’s lair is to regenerate a spell slot required to cast it by a d8 at the start of each turn, which means familiarity with its spells is very useful as almost all of them have a chance. to repeat itself throughout the fight. Liches also have a saving DC for spells of 20 and get +12 to their spell attacks, so the spells they’ve prepared will be in tip-top shape when cast against the group brave enough to face them.
The only spell a lich can’t regenerate the location for mid-combat is its most powerful, but although it only has one spell, it’s dangerous enough that vigilance is key. The ninth level Power Word Kill spell is so intimidating because there is no attack roll or saving throw. He simply kills his target, undisputed, as long as it has 100 or less health. The HP requirement means players can expect the Lich not to open with the attack and must try to heal themselves throughout the fight. Once they drop below 100 points, they’d better stay out of the 60ft range of the spell, or have an ally with Revivify on hand.
However, liches are far from single-ride ponies. Power Word Stun works much like its ninth-level counterpart, but against creatures with up to 150 health. Dominating Monster is in many ways worse, allowing the Lich to not only remove a party member from combat, but turn them against the rest of the party. Both spells require the same 60-foot range, which means cover and caution are key to avoiding the Lich’s more powerful spells. Yet when it comes to Liches, even their weakest spells can be just as terrifying.
Finger of Death is a terrifying spell that deals an enormous amount of necrotic damage and elevates those it kills into a zombie to fight alongside the Lich. Animate Dead can win over undead allies Lich as well, and Shield and Globe of Invulnerability can offer him valuable protection in a lair where he’s probably not the only fighter against the group. Options like Cloudkill and Fireball also give the Lich some area-of-effect offensive options, and since she can cast minor spells as a legendary action, her frost radius is likely to reduce the health and speed of the Lich. group at each turn.
Fortunately, there is a general trend in combating these spells that adventurers do well to notice. Most of the Lich’s deadliest options require a 60 foot range. This goes as much for his Power Word spells as Ray of Frost and Finger of Death. The more distance the party can fight from the Lich, the more they can force the monster to burn their spell slots on other options, and Counterspell can be a great way to fend off the Lich’s worst spells at critical times. Since he has Cloudkill and Fireball, party members would also do well to stay away from each other, although they will want to stay close enough to aid fallen allies if necessary.
The Liches are extremely dangerous opponents, but they are not impossible to beat. Knowing how their spells work is essential to fighting them. The real thing is to hope that they stay defeated once the fight is won. Most Liches have a phylactery that can regenerate their bodies even after they are destroyed, so be sure to find it and destroy it or prepare to go through all the ruse again to face its killing spells again.
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