Phantasmal Killer | D&D 5e Spell Guide


Have you ever dreamed of hurting your enemies with their literal nightmares?

Perhaps they haunt you with their worst fears and possibly cause a lot of psychological damage in the process?

Well, Phantasmal Killer is the answer. It is another spell-like Eldritch Blast

Phantasmal Killer Spell:

Type: 4th-level illusion
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V S
Duration: Concentration, Up to 1 minute

You take advantage of a creature’s nightmares to create an illusion that only manifests to them.

The target has to save a wisdom, and if it fails, it will go into a fearful state during the spell.

In addition, the target must make an additional Wisdom Coil every turn. And if they fail, they take massive 4d10 psychic damage, which is increased by an extra d10 per level above 4th.

Who gets Phantasmal Killer?

Phantasmal Killer is one of the best bard spells that are exclusive to magicians.

Wizards have access to most illusion spells, and this is one of the best.

Phantom Killer Uses:

Doing 4d10 psychological damage during a save or suck throw can be very good

Especially against enemies with little wisdom, 4d10 is an incredible amount of damage for them with the potential of ten turns.

So every time you do any damage, that’s an average of 22 psychological damage per failure.

Phantasmal Killer relies on saves. But again, he can do a lot of damage against the right enemy.

So for three consecutive failures, the average damage is 66.

For five consecutive failures, the average damage is 110.

And if the lucky lady lets you hit every time, you can deal an average of 220 damage, which is a constant output against debuffed enemies on every roll.

The fact that I am adding the fear condition really helps as it will be at a disadvantage in all skill checks. That this spell has a long life after the first.

Since it doesn’t always specify where the illusion is, it looks like you’re forcing the target to always see the illusion as it’s meant to mess with their head, and it appears to be designed that way but relies on DM Interpretation.

Psychic is one of the damage that creatures have the least resistance to, so it can hit hard.

Thematically you can really scare a creature and all.

Phantasmal Killer Building Idea

Wizards are rare with their subclasses.

But School of Illusion is a good option for this.

Chronurgy Magic lets you force enemies to replay, so it can be a great combination with this spell.

War Magic also helps you a lot with your savings, allowing you to stay focused longer.

War magic can act as if you learned to stay focused, which helps a lot with many different illusion spells.

Chronurgy Magic helps you “play with time,” which can work with illusions, allowing people to accept them.

So thematically any character who can punish other characters with their worst fears and nightmares can really work well here because it adds so much flavor.

For a DM, any creature that knows that this spell can work incredibly well for the taste. Especially if you know the background stories of your characters well.

If a character has killed a particular person who is special to him, a creature may chase him with the memory of discovering his dead body.

Or if a character has a deadly fear of owlbears, jelly cubes, heights or the like.

Phantasmal Killer has been a great spell in terms of flavour, just like most other illusion spells.

The more creative you are here, the better you will perform.

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