We’re here to give you some quick insight to what we think are ideal spells to choose. These are based on our experiences and will definitely vary from game to game, so we’re going to assume that you’re playing in the traditional D&D high fantasy setting with a mix of role play and combat.
Be sure to check comments too, because while we’re only picking a few to highlight, there are many good choices and the D&D community is fantastic for giving arguments for how one spell may be better than others
Primal Savagery – Growing claws to do acid damage in melee, this cantrip is a great go-to damage dealer.
Control Flames/Gust/Mold Earth/Shape Water – Four cantrips to control the elements, allowing you to move and alter the element of your choice.
Druidcraft – A catch-all of various minor nature like utility effects, often overlooked, so we’ve made a list of uses here: https://mymswell.com/2020/04/10/clever-cantrip-uses-druidcraft/
Guidance – This cantrip adds 1d4 to your next ability check or attack roll, and you can always add it. It’s an easy pick to always have that bonus, which you can give to allies too.
Ice Knife – Summon an icicle to throw 60ft at a target, dealing 1d10 piercing damage, which shatters and deals 2d6 cold damage to any creatures within 5ft of the target, unless they succeed a dexterity saving throw against your DC. A pretty decent ranged spell attack with great area of effect (AOE).
Absorb Elements – The only reaction spell that druids can get, this spell gives you resistance to an incoming attack of an elemental type. You then add 1d6 damage on your next attack. Although this spell may not fit all characters, it is the only reaction spell on the entire list, which may be worth it on it’s own.
Entangle – Summon roots from the ground to hold a target within place. This is a great way to take someone out of combat, given they fail a strength saving throw, and has a 90ft range.
Healing Word – Speak a word to heal someone for 1d4+spellcasting modifier. There are many healing spells to choose from, making this a hard choice, but Healing Word being a bonus action allows you to keep your action for something else too. Very comparable to Goodberry and Cure Wounds, depending on how much you want to heal.
Flame Blade – Summon a fire blade which can deal 3d10 fire damage, shines light in 10ft, and can scale up in damage if you cast at higher levels. Level 2 doesn’t have a lot of damage dealing spells, but if you want one, this is a great choice.
Pass Without A Trace – You and any number of creatures you wish within 30ft cannot be tracked by non-magical means, gain a +10 to Stealth checks, and leave no tracks behind.
Wither and Bloom – Target a 10ft radius and deal 2d6 necrotic damage unless they make a constitution saving throw, where they would take half the damage. You then target another creature and they can heal a hit dice + your spellcasting modifier. Being able to deal damage and heal, this spell is a great catch all spell choice for level 2.
Call Lightning – Summon a storm cloud which takes up a 60ft radius for 10 minutes of your concentration. During that time, you can target an area and call down a lightning bolt, dealing 3d10 lightning damage to everything within 5ft, or half damage if they succeed a dexterity saving throw. This is a staple of the druid calls for dealing damage, and also deals 1d10 more damage if the weather is on your side.
Revivify *(Included in optional spell table) – Requires a 300gp diamond, which you can use to revive a creature that’s been dead for 1 minute. This is the first spell you can choose that can defy death itself, though the gem may more difficult to get, depending on your campaign.
Water Breathing – For 24 hours, you and ten creatures of your choice can breathe underwater. While breathing underwater may be easy for you to use your wild shape ability to do, this spell helps your allies do so as well, and saves your precious few times that you can wild shape.
Ice Storm – Summon a 20ft radius ice storm, dealing 2d8 bludgeoning and and 4d6 cold damage to everyone within it unless they make a dexterity saving throw, taking half damage. The area is then frozen and considered difficult terrain. This is a massive amount of damage in a large area of effect, and you can target and area up to 300ft away.
Guardian of Nature – Transform yourself into a beast or tree form which grants various benefits. Beast form gives you +10ft of movement, darkvision for 120ft, advantage on Strength attack rolls, and weapon attacks get an extra 1d6 force damage. Tree form gives 10 temporary hit points, advantage on constitution savings throws (namely for concentration checks), dexterity and wisdom attack rolls have advantage, and 15ft difficult terrain for enemies nearby you.
Conjure Woodland Beings – Summon 1 to 8 creatures, depending on the challenge rating you choose, which can follow your directions on their own initiative. If summons is what you’re after, being able to summon 8 blink dogs or a sea hag can be a tremendous benefit.
Maelstrom – Summon a swirling mass of destruction, covering a 30ft radius, dealing 6d6 bludgeoning damage and pulling creatures 10ft towards the center, unless they success a strength saving throw. Being able to pull creatures deeper within this range is what is most devastating, as creatures will be forced to dash, meaning they won’t be able to attack.
Mass Cure Wounds – Heal up to six creatures within a 30ft radius for 3d8+your spellcasting modifier. This is an easy go-to pick for healing many at once, which is a great choice even if you aren’t a healing focused character.
Scrying – For 10 minutes you can spy on another creature located anywhere in the same plane as existence as you, unless they success on a wisdom saving throw. The saving throw varies depending on how well you know them. This spell can give an immense amount of information, such as being used on your antagonist or missing companions. It’s like Find My Phone, but for people.
Heroes Feast – You summon a massive feast which 12 creatures can join in on, taking 1 hour to enjoy. This feast gives various benefits such as curing all diseases and poisons, granting immunity to poison and being frightened, granting advantage on Wisdom saving throws, and giving 2d10 temporary hit points. This does require a 1000gp bowl to use the spell, and the benefits last an entire day.
Sunbeam – You fire a 5ft wide beam of light in a 60ft line. For one minute, creatures in the line make Constitution saving throws or take 6d8 radiant damage and are blinded until your next turn. At level 6, this is a massive amount of damage that can affect so many creatures at once. Blinding opponents also renders them ineffective as a threat, so this spell can single handedly end an entire encounter.
Mirage Arcane – You change the entire terrain of a 1 mile square block. This can change swamps to hills, crevasses to open fields, and more. This lasts for 10 days, giving you the ability to affect many places at once.
Symbol *(Included in optional spell table) – Have you ever wanted to leave magical marks that act as traps? This spell allows you to leave glyphs with specific triggers that last until dispelled or triggered. Their affects vary but can be significantly dire. This is a great spell for DMs to use to decorate dungeons with, and for PCs to use on their homes.
Tsunami – Call forth a massive 300ft long and 300ft high wall of water, cascading it into an area. Creatures must make a strength saving throw, taking 6d10 bludgeoning damage on a failure, and you can push any creatures within it up to 50ft away. This lasts for 6 rounds, with the damage reducing by 1d10 each round. Tsunami is a way to single-handedly deal with an entire region or army. Many of the druids elemental spells are massive AOE spells, and Tsunami is a great choice for crowd control and damage.
Foresight – All the spells at level 9 are fantastic choices, and Foresight only stands out by a breath because it lasts 8 hours, giving you a glimpse into the future, giving advantage on attack, ability, and saving throw rolls. Other creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls against you. This is a universal choice that could benefit anyone, but you really cannot pick wrong at level 9.