Mind Sliver is a term often used in role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons 5e to refer to a type of psychic attack that causes a small amount of damage to a target’s mind and potentially weakens their mental defenses.
Mind Sliver can be an important tool in combat scenarios as it can weaken an opponent’s mental defenses and potentially make them more vulnerable to other psychic attacks.
One can also use Mind Sliver as a distraction or a means to disrupt an opponent’s concentration, making it harder for them to cast spells or perform other actions. Understanding how Mind Sliver works and how to defend against it can be crucial for players who want to succeed in battle.
How to Use Mind Sliver in D&d 5e
Mind Sliver is a cantrip spell available to characters with the ability to cast spells, such as sorcerers and wizards. Here’s how to use it:
- Cast the spell: To use Mind Sliver, you first need to cast the spell. You can do this as an action during your turn in combat.
- Target the enemy: Choose an enemy that you want to affect with the spell. The enemy must be within range, which is 60 feet for Mind Sliver.
- Roll the damage: Mind Sliver deals 1d6 psychic damage to the target, assuming they fail a Wisdom saving throw. This damage may not seem like much, but it can add up over time.
- Affect the target’s next save: Additionally, Mind Sliver can affect the target’s next saving throw. The spell causes the target to subtract 1d4 from their next saving throw, but only if it is made before the end of their next turn. This can be especially useful if you’re trying to cast another psychic spell, as it can make it harder for the enemy to resist.
Mind Sliver’s Mechanics
Range: Mind Sliver has a range of 60 feet, which means you can target enemies within that range.
Damage: Mind Sliver deals 1d6 psychic damage to the target, assuming they fail a Wisdom saving throw. This damage may seem low, but it can add up over time.
Effects: In addition to the damage, Mind Sliver can affect the target’s next saving throw. The target must subtract 1d4 from their next saving throw, provided it is made before the end of their next turn.
This can be especially useful if you’re trying to cast another psychic spell, as it can make it harder for the enemy to resist.
Casting Time: Mind Sliver has a casting time of 1 action. This means that you can cast the spell as an action during your turn in combat.
School: Mind Sliver is a spell from the Enchantment school. Enchantment spells are designed to manipulate the minds of creatures and often involve affecting their emotions, thoughts, or memories.
Components: Mind Sliver has only verbal components, which means that you need to speak a specific incantation to cast the spell. There are no material or somatic components required.
Duration: Mind Sliver has an instantaneous duration, which means that the spell’s effects occur immediately upon casting. The target takes damage and has their next saving throw affected, but the spell’s effects do not persist beyond that turn.
Using Mind Sliver with Other Spells and Abilities
Mind Sliver can be used in conjunction with other spells and abilities to create powerful combinations. Here are a few examples:
- Mind Sliver + Psychic Scream: Psychic Scream is a higher-level spell that deals significant psychic damage and causes enemies to become stunned. By using Mind Sliver first to weaken the enemy’s mental defenses, you can increase the chances of Psychic Scream being successful.
- Mind Sliver + Hold Person: Hold Person is a spell that immobilizes a target for a short period of time. By using Mind Sliver first, you can make it harder for the target to resist the effects of Hold Person.
- Mind Sliver + Eldritch Blast: Eldritch Blast is a cantrip that deals with force damage. By using Mind Sliver first to weaken the enemy’s mental defenses, you can increase the chances of Eldritch Blast hitting its target.
- Mind Sliver + Detect Thoughts: Detect Thoughts is a spell that allows you to read a target’s surface-level thoughts. By using Mind Sliver first, you can make it easier to read the target’s thoughts, as they will have weaker mental defenses.
Overall, Mind Sliver is a versatile spell that can be used in a variety of ways. Its ability to weaken mental defenses and affect saving throws can make it a powerful tool in combat, especially when used in conjunction with other spells and abilities.
Who can Cast Mind Sliver in D&D 5e?
Mind Sliver is a cantrip, which means that it is a low-level spell that can be cast at will by certain classes of characters. In D&D 5e, the classes that are able to cast Mind Sliver are:
Sorcerer: Sorcerers are natural spellcasters who draw their power from their bloodline or innate magical talent. They are able to cast Mind Sliver as a cantrip at the first level and can continue to cast it as they level up.
Warlock: Warlocks are characters who have made a pact with a powerful otherworldly entity in exchange for magical power. They are able to cast Mind Sliver as a cantrip at the first level and can continue to cast it as they level up.
Wizard: Wizards are scholars and researchers who have learned to harness the power of magic through study and practice. They are able to learn and cast Mind Sliver as a cantrip by selecting it as one of their known spells.
Bard: Bards are charismatic characters who use their music and performance skills to cast spells. They are able to learn and cast Mind Sliver as a cantrip by selecting it as one of their known spells.
It’s important to note that not all characters within these classes may have access to Mind Sliver. For example, a sorcerer may choose to learn other cantrips instead of Mind Sliver.
Additionally, multiclass characters may have access to Mind Sliver if it is on their spell list for one of their classes.
Races That Can Cast Mind Sliver in D&d 5e
In D&D 5e, there are no specific races that can cast the Mind Sliver cantrip. However, any race that has access to a spellcasting class that can learn Mind Sliver can take it as one of their cantrips.
Here are some examples of races that commonly take spellcasting classes:
- High Elves: High Elves have a natural inclination towards magic, making them a popular choice for spellcasting classes like Sorcerer, Wizard, or Bard. As such, they can easily take the Mind Sliver cantrip as one of their cantrips.
- Half-Elves: Like their elven cousins, Half-Elves also have a natural talent for magic. Additionally, they have access to the versatile “Dilettante” trait, which allows them to gain proficiency in any two skills of their choice, making them well-suited to the versatile role of a Bard.
- Tieflings: Tieflings’ natural affinity for magic comes from their descent from fiends As such, they make great Warlocks or Sorcerers, which gives them access to the Mind Sliver cantrip.
- Gnomes: Gnomes have a natural affinity for magic and often have a mischievous streak, making them well-suited to the Sorcerer or Wizard classes. Additionally, the Gnome subrace “Deep Gnomes” have a unique racial trait that allows them to cast the Nondetection spell once per day, which can be useful for stealthy characters.
- Aasimar: Aasimar is descended from celestial beings, which gives them a natural affinity for magic. They make great Clerics or Paladins, which gives them access to spells like Mind Sliver.
Overall, while no race has inherent access to Mind Sliver, there are several races that are well-suited to taking spellcasting classes that can learn the spell.
When choosing a race for your character, consider how their innate abilities and traits can complement their chosen class and make them an effective caster of spells like Mind Sliver.
Maximizing the Power of Mind Sliver
I can provide you with some tips on how to maximize the power of Mind Sliver in D&D 5e. Here are some ways to get the most out of this cantrip:
Pair with Spells That Require Saving Throws
One of the most useful aspects of Mind Sliver is its ability to lower a target’s saving throw. You can maximize this effect by pairing Mind Sliver with spells that require saving throws.
For example, casting Mind Sliver on an enemy and then following up with a powerful psychic spell-like Mind Spike can make it much harder for the enemy to resist the spell’s effects.
Use Against Enemies with Low Wisdom Saves
Mind Sliver requires a Wisdom saving throw, so it is most effective against enemies with low Wisdom scores. This means that you should target enemies that are not proficient in Wisdom saves or have a low Wisdom stat.
This will increase your chances of successfully lowering their saving throw.
Combine with Other Debuffs
You can combine Mind Sliver’s -1d4 penalty to saving throws with other debuffs that lower an enemy’s abilities. Spells like Bane or Bestow Curse can also reduce an enemy’s saving throw, making it even harder for them to resist your spells.
Coordinate with Allies
Mind Sliver can be especially effective when coordinated with allies. For example, if you have a party member who is able to cast spells that also require saving throws, you can coordinate your attacks to maximize the effect of the debuff.
This can be especially useful against powerful enemies with high saving throw bonuses.
Use Creatively Outside of Combat
You can also creatively use Mind Sliver outside of combat. For instance, you can use it to distract or confuse NPCs, or to gain an advantage in social encounters where Wisdom checks are required.
Subclasses That Can Cast Mind Sliver in D&d 5e
- The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer: The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer subclass, which specializes in psionic magic, was introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. At 1st level, they gain access to the Mind Sliver cantrip, along with other psionic spells.
- The Great Old One Warlock: The Great Old One Warlock is a subclass that gains its powers from powerful entities from beyond the universe. At 1st level, they gain access to the Mind Sliver cantrip, which is thematically appropriate given their patron’s eldritch nature.
- The Psionic Soul Sorcerer: The Psionic Soul Sorcerer is a subclass introduced in Unearthed Arcana that focuses on psionic magic. At 1st level, they gain access to the Mind Sliver cantrip, along with other psionic spells.
- The Clockwork Soul Sorcerer: The Clockwork Soul Sorcerer is a subclass introduced in Unearthed Arcana that focuses on time magic. At 1st level, the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer gains access to the Mind Sliver cantrip, which is thematically appropriate given its ability to slow down an enemy’s thought process.
- The Psi Knight Fighter: The Psi Knight Fighter is a subclass introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything that specializes in psionic magic. At 3rd level, they gain access to the Mind Sliver cantrip, along with other psionic spells.
In addition to these subclasses, any character can gain access to the Mind Sliver cantrip by taking the Magic Initiate feat. This feat allows a character to choose two cantrips from a spellcasting class, along with a 1st-level spell that can be cast once per day.
A character who chooses a spellcasting class that has access to Mind Sliver can choose it as one of their cantrips.
Creative and Useful Ways to Use Mind Sliver in D&D 5e
Mind Sliver is a versatile cantrip that can be used in a variety of creative and useful ways in D&D 5e. Here are some ideas:
Softening up Tough Enemies
When facing a powerful enemy with a high Intelligence score, using Mind Sliver can reduce their saving throw by 1d4, making them more vulnerable to spells and abilities that target their mind.
This can be especially useful when fighting enemies with high spell resistance or legendary resistance.
Enhancing Teammates’ Abilities
When cast on a teammate who is about to make an Intelligence-based ability check, such as a Wizard’s Arcana check or a Rogue’s Investigation check, Mind Sliver can give them a slight edge by reducing their target’s saving throw.
This can be especially useful when the team needs to solve a puzzle or find hidden traps.
Interrupting Enemy Spellcasting
By casting Mind Sliver on an enemy spellcaster while they are in the process of casting a spell, you can potentially disrupt their concentration and force them to lose the spell.
This can be especially useful when fighting against enemies who rely heavily on spell castings, such as Sorcerers or Warlocks.
Combining with Other Spells
Using Mind Sliver in conjunction with other spells that target Intelligence saves, such as Hold Person or Confusion, can increase the chance of success. This can be a powerful combination when facing enemies with high Intelligence scores.
Roleplay and Social Encounters
You can also creatively use Mind Sliver in non-combat situations. For example, when negotiating with an intelligent NPC, casting Mind Sliver can make them slightly more susceptible to persuasion or intimidation, giving the party an edge in the negotiation.
Optimizing the Bane Spell Using Mind Sliver in D&D 5e
Bane is a first-level spell in D&D 5e that imposes a penalty on the saving throws and attack rolls of targeted creatures. When combined with Mind Sliver, Bane can become even more potent. Here’s how to optimize the Bane spell using Mind Sliver:
Cast Mind Sliver First
By casting Mind Sliver on a creature before casting Bane, you can reduce their saving throw by 1d4, making them more likely to fail their save against Bane.
Target Multiple Creatures
Bane can affect up to three creatures within range, so targeting multiple enemies with the spell can greatly increase its effectiveness.
By using Mind Sliver on each of the targets before casting Bane, you can potentially lower their saving throws and make them all more vulnerable to the spell.
Use it in Conjunction with Other Spells
Combining Bane with other spells that target the same saving throw, such as Hold Person or Crown of Madness, can create a powerful combination that can disable or weaken enemies.
By using Mind Sliver before casting these spells, you can increase your chances of success.
Coordinate with Teammates
If you have teammates who can also cast spells that target the same saving throw as Bane, coordinate with them to maximize the effectiveness of the combination.
For example, a Warlock’s Hex spell can impose a disadvantage on ability checks made with the affected ability score, further increasing the chances of success.
If you are a Sorcerer, using the Heightened Spell Metamagic can increase the DC of the saving throw against Bane, making it even more difficult for enemies to resist.
Example Scenario for Using Mind Sliver in D&D 5e
Here is an example scenario for using Mind Sliver in D&D 5e:
The party is exploring a dungeon and encounters a group of goblin archers in a narrow corridor. The goblins are firing arrows at the party from a distance, making it difficult for the melee-focused characters to engage in combat.
The party’s Wizard decides to use Mind Sliver to weaken the goblins’ attacks and increase the chances of success for the party. The Wizard approaches the edge of the corridor and targets the goblin archers with Mind Sliver, one at a time, reducing their saving throws by 1d4.
The party’s Cleric weakens the goblins and then casts Bane on the same goblin archers, reducing their attack rolls and saving throws by 1d4 as well. The goblins’ attacks are now significantly less accurate, giving the party an advantage in combat.
Meanwhile, the party’s Fighter and Paladin are able to close in on the goblins and engage them in melee combat, taking advantage of the weakened goblins to dispatch them quickly.
In this scenario, the user weakened the enemy using Mind Sliver before applying Bane, which made the combination of spells much more effective. The party was able to gain an advantage in combat and overcome the goblins, thanks to the careful use of spells and tactics.