The description of the wish spell reads:

The basic use of this spell is to duplicate any other spell of 8th level or lower. You don't need to meet any requirements in that spell, including costly Components. The spell simply takes effect.

(There are other specific uses listed as well, but they aren’t relative to my question.)

So if I’m reading this right, the basic use of wish is to give you another spell slot of level 1–8? That isn’t as powerful as I expected. Or does it maybe have extra benefits when using it to duplicate one of these spells (e.g. the effects of the spell are permanent for certain spells, such as darkvision or enlarge/reduce)?


5 Answers 5


There are some other benefits that aren't as obvious.

First of all, you gain access to many spells that are either not known/prepared or appear on other class spell lists.

Possibly more potent, however, is the removal of expensive material components and long casting times. Some spell like resurrection, simulacrum, or temple of the gods have much more powerful effects without their material components and casting times. You simply have to speak their effect into existence.


The basic use of Wish is flexibility: It can duplicate any spell of 8th level or lower.

You don't need to have it prepared and it doesn't even need to be in your class's spell list!

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ And you don't need any somatic or material components, either, regardless of the cost of the material components. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 19, 2018 at 8:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're a Sorcerer you don't even need the verbal component of Wish. LOL. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2020 at 3:47

In a way, it gives you most spells

Wish can grant you the immediate use of any 8th level or lower spell. Rather than giving you a fixed slot, it gives you most spells from most spell lists, able to being cast without the material or preparation costs, a huge boon for more expensive spells.


No, a wish spell does not just give you another spell slot but it can

As quoted, the part of the wish spell that duplicates spells reads (emphasis mine):

The basic use of this spell is to duplicate any other spell of 8th level or lower. You don't need to meet any requirements in that spell, including costly components. The spell simply takes effect.

This means that the wish spell has some useful advantages:

  • You can use any spell, so also spells you don't know, haven't prepared, are not on your spell list, etc.
  • You do not have to meet time requirements, meaning ritual spells can be done in an action.
  • You do not have a range limit.
  • You do not have to have costly material components, especially ones that would normally be consumed. Heroes' feast for free, anyone?

But there is a way to get extra spell slots from wish as the rest of the text is:

Alternatively, you can create one of the following effects of your choice:

  • [list of nice relatively simple effects]

You might be able to achieve something beyond the scope of the above examples. State your wish to the GM as precisely as possible. The GM has great latitude in ruling what occurs in such an instance; the greater the wish, the greater the likelihood that something goes wrong. This spell might simply fail, the effect you desire might only be partly achieved, or you might suffer some unforeseen consequence as a result of how you worded the wish. For example, wishing that a villain were dead might propel you forward in time to a period when that villain is no longer alive, effectively removing you from the game. Similarly, wishing for a legendary magic item or artifact might instantly transport you to the presence of the item's current owner.

This means you can wish to get a number of extra permanent spell slots. You DM will probably limit that number/lvl but you can ask.

You will also suffer some side effects for any wish that doesn't just duplicate a lower-level spell:

The stress of casting this spell to produce any effect other than duplicating another spell weakens you. After enduring that stress,

  • each time you cast a spell until you finish a long rest, you take 1d10 necrotic damage per level of that spell. This damage can't be reduced or prevented in any way.

  • In addition, your Strength drops to 3, if it isn't 3 or lower already, for 2d4 days. For each of those days that you spend resting and doing nothing more than light activity, your remaining recovery time decreases by 2 days.

  • Finally, there is a 33 percent chance that you are unable to cast wish ever again if you suffer this stress.

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    \$\begingroup\$ My rule of thumb for Wish's power is: "Remember, it's only a 9th level spell". Wouldn't having the ability to cast, say, two extra 8th level spells be considered more powerful than a 9th level spell? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 16, 2018 at 17:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ You wish your enemy were dead? OK! they are now a lich. \$\endgroup\$
    – Luke
    Oct 16, 2018 at 20:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ You are misunderstanding what OP means. They aren't asking if Wish can be used to grant additional spell slots. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 16, 2018 at 21:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ The question is whether that's all the spell actually does in practice. It's pretty clearly not about wanting to do that. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Oct 17, 2018 at 8:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ OP is asking if the basic casting of Wish does nothing more than allow an additional casting of a spell of level 1-8. The benefits OP is missing are no additional components, no additional casting time, and the ability to cast spells the caster otherwise wouldn't have access to. The rest of your answer is about the extended use of Wish, which is not relevant to the question. Also, where are you getting the lack of range limit? \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeus
    Oct 17, 2018 at 15:16

No Material Components or Casting Times

Wish allows you to cast any spell without a material component or casting time. Many lower leveled spells are balanced around their casting times.

Some examples of how this is incredibly potent:

  1. Use Wish to cast Planar Binding at level 9 as an action without a material component. Any celestial, fiend, fey, or elemental that fails their save is bound to your will for a year. Better yet - use Feeblemind or Portent to guarantee a failed save, even against a demon prince (provided you burn their legendary resists).
  2. Cast Simulacrum as an action without a costly material component. Copy all of that creature's spells and abilities (including legendary actions and legendary resists) for free. No save, no to-hit roll.
  3. Up against an undead/fiend/fey/celestial army? Cast Forbiddance as a L9 spell to target 40,000 square feet of space (that's 8,000 squares, or basically a whole battle map). Chosen creatures take 5d10 radiant damage per round (no save), and can't teleport into the area. Lasts 1 day, no concentration.
  4. Facing a Demon Lord or other nasty without access to Dispel Magic or teleportation? Hit them with an instant-cast Magic Circle for a free, concentration-less prison lasting 7 hours. No save.
  5. About to die? Cast Magic Jar as an action to save yourself and get a new, less dead body. (And then use Wish to cast Resurrection to raise your own corpse).
  6. Use an action to cast a free Resurrection.
  7. Are you an illusionist? Use Wish to cast Mirage Arcane.You can literally tell your DM to change battle maps to anything you want as an action because you don't like this one. Does a "mountain" count as an "object" for the purpose of illusory reality? How about 1 mile high, 1 mile wide adamantium wall or an appropriately sized adamantium cage or pit?
  8. Use Creation to create any "object" you want and make it real. Can you Wish to cast Creation as an action to make a 25*25*25 cube of adamantine, or dynamite, or caesium? RAW (and presumably, RAI), the answer is yes. Yes you can. And there is no restriction on using Creation offensively in this manner. Creation has a range of 30 feet, and can be cast "above" a target. A 25*25*25 cube of 24K gold (that's 15625 cubic feet) weighs 18,808,374 pounds. Whatever you hit with that is not getting back up.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why stop with a cube of caesium? Wish for Creation to make a 25 foot cube of uranium, compressed into a 2 foot sphere, and located at the main base / lair / hideout / etc. of some Really Big Bad that you don't like. (Modulo the limits of Creation). \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2020 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CodeswithHammer Well, Creation specifically allows you to create "a nonliving object of vegetable matter" or "mineral objects" and must be of "a form and material that you have seen before. Any mineral, metal, or plant/fossil derivative in any state should do, so long as it's an "object" and so long as you have seen it before. As I understand it though, Cesium is more reactive than Uranium (not a chemist). Also, your average DnD wizard won't know how to weaponize Uranium (which is also why I didn't say to create a 25x25x25 block of solid jet fuel or Francium). \$\endgroup\$
    – James
    Feb 12, 2020 at 19:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ With that in the rules, so much the worse for my metagaming. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2020 at 20:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hmm, the rules say somthing about ... The basic use of this spell is to duplicate any other spell of 8th level or lower. You don’t need to meet any requirements in that spell, including costly components I seem to recall being ablt to upcast with wish, though ... we are sure to have a Q/A for that. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2020 at 20:32

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