The Book of Spells and Magical Effects
Bottom Line Up Front
In the game of 5e D&D, the Shatter Spell isn’t a top damage dealer but a creative caster (bard sorcerer warlock wizard) can change the course of a fight with this unique spell. This spell allows a saving throw for half damage but creatures made of materials like stone, crystal or metal will save at disadvantage.
When you cast Shatter, you deal Thunder damage that can destroy non magical, inorganic materials including such things as locks, doors and maybe even walls. Don’t even get me started on the ritual sacrifice setup by deranged cultists.
Shatter 5e – In Point Form
School: 2nd-level Evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a chip of mica)
A sudden loud ringing noise, painfully intense, erupts from a point of your choice within range.
Each creature in a 10-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Constitution saving throw.
A creature takes 3d8 thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
A creature made of inorganic material such as stone, crystal, or metal has disadvantage on this saving throw.
A nonmagical object that isn’t being worn or carried also takes the damage if it’s in the spell’s area.
When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 2nd.
Source: PHB, page 275
In 5e, the Shatter Spell is a Level 2, but second rate, damage spell only doing only 3d8 Thunder damage. Therefore, it’s not your go to spell in combat unless you’re going up against a creature make of inorganic material. Basically, constructs made of stone, crystal or metal have disadvantage on their saving throws. The increased chance of the damage hitting makes the lower overall damage worthwhile.
Outside of constructs, however, it does have a place in more creative combat tactics because of its specific impact on non magical objects. Unless you convince your DM otherwise (and it is worth a shot), the spell does not effect items that are worn or carried.
Besides constructs, there are a few other enemies that your DM might give you an advantage against. Warforged might be on the list. A stone elemental is definitely on the list but perhaps your DM will add fire, water and air as well because they are all made of inorganic materials.
If you’ve got an enemy that resists your other damage, you’ll be happy you picked up Shatter for its’ creative side because you’ll be able to push damage through.
Full damage on a failed save and half damage for a successful one. You’re always doing at least half damage which isn’t half bad. It’s a constitution saving throw so think twice before using it against tanks or front line fighters.
There’s no audible range given but count on your DM to make it as tough on you as they can. Not because they’re mean but because conflict drives the story! On the other hand, some DMs limit the sound to the affected sphere for the same reason. Now if you use Shatter to destroy a door or devastate a plate glass window, the objects will make noise on top of the spell itself. There are lots of possibilities so talk it out in advance.
At Higher Levels
There’s an extra 1d8 for each higher than 2nd level spell slot. This means that you would use a 3rd Level Spell Slot for 4d8 damage. Compared to Fireball at 8d6, it’s not a good use of your resources unless the targets are immune to your other damage spells.
Fun with Shatter 5e
Here are some fun ideas but it’s probably best to check with your DM in advance. While you’re being creative, remember that objects being worn or carried are protected from damage.
A Sudden Loud Ringing Noise, Painfully Intense
If your DM says the sound carries, it can make a great distraction or decoy especially with a 60′ range. That kind of noise can cover the approach of cavalry, much less a party of adventurers on the move.
It probably wouldn’t interrupt an enemy spell caster but it could destroy their blood scented ritual candles.
10 foot Radius Sphere Centered on the Spot of your Choice
You don’t have to see the spot so you can drop it on the other side of a door or below decks on an enemy ship.
Putting your party in the sphere is a bad idea because it affects every creature, not just the bad guys.
It impacts every object in the zone so don’t put it on fragile treasure or intel. Unless of course, you’re preventing the enemy from getting it. It’d be pretty fun to Shatter the enemy’s objective just before they grab it.
Common Questions From Google
How Loud is Shatter?
Unlike some other Thunder spells, this Spell doesn’t specify how far away it can be heard so it really is up to your DM. Plan on it being very loud and alerting the castle guards. However, some DMs will allow the sound to be limited to the 10’ radius because the spell doesn’t specify a distance so talk to your DM.
What does Shatter do?
When you cast this 5e spell, you deal Thunder damage that can destroy non magical, inorganic materials.
Overview of Shatter DnD 5E
The Shatter Spell isn’t a top damage dealer but a creative caster (bard sorcerer warlock wizard) can change the course of a fight with this unique spell. This spell allows a saving throw to avoid damage but creatures made of inorganic materials will save at disadvantage. When you cast Shatter, you deal Thunder damage that can destroy objects made of those materials.