Control Flames 5E Spell

Hello spellcasters of all shapes and sizes! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the fifth episode of our cantrip series. Today we’re going to be going over dnd 5e control flames which is in my opinion at least one of the best cantrips in dnd 5e.

In general it’s probably number two on my list if i’m being honest, maybe number three depending on what class i’m playing but it’s certainly always in that upper tier and i’ll explain why a little bit later on. It’s also one of the most underappreciated, underused and really just kind of pushed aside cantrips in the game as well which is quite disheartening. You can also do check out the article about is sacred flame good 5e?

This 5e spell is usable by the druid, sorcerer and the wizard as so far as to say it is found on their spell lists. There are a ton of ways to gain access to it but it’s always going to be found on those three main spell lists. This spell is found in the elemental evil player’s companion as with a ton of our other favorite elemental based spells. In any case once do check out the d&d create bonfire too. Now with all of that out of the way let’s dive into mechanics.


  • Level: Cantrip
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: 60 ft (5ft cube)
  • Components: S
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • School: Transmutation
  • Attack/Save: None
  • Damage/Effect: Control

The effect at a glance is as followed: Manipulate a nonmagical flame: you can expand the flame by 5feet, extinguish the flame outright, double or halve the area of light. You can also change the color of it as well but we’ll get into all that a little bit later and you can create simple shapes.

There’s a lot of cool things you can do with this i know based off of this kind of effect overview. It seems kind of mundane seems like prestidigitation or one of the other utility based cantrips might be a little bit better. Trust me there’s something this can do that no other spell can and it’s worth paying attention to get.

In any case it’s cast time is one action, it’s range is actually a fairly impressive 60 feet and the area of the effect is 5 foot cube. The duration is instantaneous although that’s kind of half true i’ll get into that in a little bit. The components are just somatic which is actually really incredible.

So even if you’re in a zone of silence you can still cast this spell and there’s a pretty cool way of doing that where it might actually end the zone of silence and the school is unsurprisingly transmutation as you are transmuting a flame to do other things. Did you checkout frostbite 5e if not have a look once.

Now taking a look at this at a glance, i can understand why it doesn’t seem that good but let’s get into the full description i’ll flesh out a little bit more of the details behind how this spell functions and then we’ll get on to some pretty interesting ideas. You may also like to visit mold earth 5e. Let’s check out the description first however.


In this Control Flames 5e spell you can chose a nonmagical flame which you able to see within a specific range and it fits within a 5-foot cube. Some of the ways has been mentioned below and you actually affect it in one of them.

  • You instantaneously expand the flame 5 feet in a direction and provided that either wood or the other fuel has present in a new location.
  • Of course, you instantaneously extinguish the flames within a cube.
  • You might double or else halve the area of the bright light and the dim light would cast by the flame, change its color, or even both. That change can be last for an hour.
  • You cause simple shapes–like the vague form of the creature, an inanimate object, or a location–for being appear within the flames and even animate as you wish. Those shapes can be last for an hour.

If you cast this control flames spell for multiple times then you can have up to three of its non-instantaneous effects active simultaneously, and of course you can even dismiss such an effect as an action. Check more about danse macabre 5e spell.

Now you kind of getting why this might be a little bit better than a couple of the aforementioned prestidigitation and other utility cantrips! There’s a couple reasons firstly the effects can last up to an hour and it’s not concentration and it just takes an action to activate an action to dismiss and you can have three of them active.

There’s no real cost outside of the actual casting itself and there’s not really any limitations and it uses the word animate which provides a ton of interesting ideas very similar to how some higher level illusion spells work where you can actually change the shape of the illusion as the spell progresses. Also read shape water 5e.

You gain that same effect only you’re using physical fire as a way to do it. If that doesn’t get the creative juices flowing i don’t really know what will. Also the ability to change the color of a flame, means you can actually just change it to black so that it doesn’t give off any light. I think that’s a really interesting as well or play around with different colors and treat it almost like a black light to reveal certain things that might otherwise be unseen.

I think those are all great ways to use it on a surface level that i am yet to see anyone other than myself and a couple close friends doing an actual game. Which is quite surprising once again i just feel like this spell as a whole is quite often overlooked and taken in place of some habitual options that people just go with because they’ve always gone with. Have a quick look at gust 5e.

Another really interesting thing about this spell that i don’t see anyone really talking about is that there’s no limitation on where you can move the flame to so long as it’s within five feet. I’m talking about that first bullet point there. A lot of times what will happen is spells will have special caveats saying that if an item’s being worn or carried then you can’t affect it with a magical effect.

This spell doesn’t contain that line anywhere. As a direct result you know it might make sense that you can cause out enemy wizards wand to catch fire or something like that.

This spell also brings up the idea of potentially being able to do damage just because you’re dealing with actual fire. Al though the spell itself doesn’t give any damage dice for that so it’s not meant to be a damaging spell so speak with your dungeon master if you plan on catching people on fire.

I think a better of way doing it would be for them to move with difficult terrain or something like that as they or even use an action to extinguish the flame something like that. Like not really damaging effect but still something that requires a resource of some form or another to get rid of. I think that’d be fair. In any case let’s now move on to some alternative uses.

Alternative Uses

The first and albeit most apparent alternative use for this spell is to use it to help plans go off without a hitch. It’s kind of vague in general but it’s really kind of meant to be. You can have something like as soon as you spot an enemy guard approaching the party you’ll have his flame go out like use a held action like that or as soon as you see the diamond crown left unguarded you’ll turn the flame by it green to signal the rest of the party to move in. Something to that effect would be super super interesting and just a very creative way to use this spell.

There are more obvious examples like using it to cause, i don’t know the entire alcohol supply to just burst into flames or burn down a farmhouse or a tower or even an enemy’s munition supply, anything like that would work fine as well. But yeah i’d try to employ as much creativity as possible. Speaking of creative uses another great way to use this spell is to use it to give your performance an edge. This is especially true if you’re a bard or if you went with the entertainer background or something to its effect.

I think it’d be really cool to have you juggle flamings balls above your head as you dance around or something of that nature. Remember you can have up to three simultaneous effects active at once so long as they’re non-instantaneous variety so it can be quite cool there.

The third way of using this spell is to just use it to create panic. You don’t necessarily have to be burning buildings down to do this. You can instead have the visage of a pack of wolves emerging through the flames more of an illusion of course. But if the townsfolk happen to have a huge fear of wolves for whatever reason then it could be quite impactful maybe even leading to them being infected with the frightened condition. I think that would be fine, there are some other ways to use this spell in a more utility way though.

For example using it to cook meals with very delicate ingredients where the recipe calls for very specific temperatures or using it to help forge a weapon where the heat required is more than ordinary fire would be able to give off. I think all of that would be fine as well and well within the limitations of the spell itself. That being said, if you know of any more feel free to put them down beneath in the comments section. Now let’s get on to my personal thoughts.


I love this spell almost as much as i love shape water that’s my favorite cantrip in the game. Control flames however will always have a special place in my heart if you combine the two you’re pretty much ang from avatar which is pretty dang neat if you ask me.

But even this spell on its own is really nice especially if you have a lenient dm who plays into its cool factor. If you don’t and you happen to be the actual DM this would make an amazing spell for your bbg to make him come across as far more powerful and menacing than he is having like pseudo-dragons flying around him or always being shrouded in flames.

All that cool stuff that most bad guys would typically have just add to his badass points and take him to 11. That being said however, there are more practical uses as we discussed in this article. You might give it to a forge or blacksmith and have him use the spell to. Fine tune his smelting process or something of that nature.

Attributes Of DnD 5E Control Flames Spell

Casting Time1 action
Range60 feet
DurationInstantaneous or 1 hour
NameControl Flames
ClassesDruid, Sorcerer, Wizard

That being said, let me know what you think of control flames down beneath in the comment section. Be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments, concerns, ideas, or even stories you have involving it. That being said, I hope you all have a wonderful day and as always happy spell-casting everyone.

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