In 5e D&D, all the life giving spells (be they Clone, Reincarnate, Raise Dead, [True] Resurrection & even Revivify) all require so-called 'expensive' components. This mechanic allows some DM relative control over the otherwise infinite creature life/lives (be they (N)PC or monster). Even with vast fiscal resources, the DM can easily rule that the specific components cannot be found. Example Raise-Resurrect spell-casting situation: "You cannot find the necessary-specific diamond for the spell - they all got used up by previous [royal/powerful/influential] casters down through ages past." Or with Reincarnate: "The exact plants, roots mosses, fungi and resultant unguents required are simply out of season. Sorry." Without these component limitations, low-level spells such as Gentle Repose can effectively ruin all game risk.

In the Monster Manual there are two kinds of casting, be that from 'innate' or 'spell listed' spells. It appears that both systems of monster-magic spells require any &/or all components (?).

A monster not requiring spell components changes the game. Example: should a trio of (otherwise trivial, yet quasi-immortal/'ageless' fae) sea hags gain unlimited access to 'Reincarnate' they would keep increasingly powerful contract-holders down through thousands of years/deaths. If such hags require 'expensive' components, their desperate attempts to generate hundreds of thousands of gold worth of oils & unguents would effectively keeps them in check.

In short: Are there any casters (devas, Ki-rin, nagas, ogre-mage, etc.) with the ability to cast life-giving spells/magic(s) without 'expensive' component cost?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This isn't exactly what was asked but I would like to point out that it can be dependent on the target. For example, a level 3 Zealot Barbarian can be brought back to life without any material components. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 0:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would object to saying Gentle Repose "ruin[s] all game risk." First off, you need to have the spell prepared and ready to cast (i.e. spell slots) which is always a trade-off, and it is also touch range, which potentially limits access. But to address the actual concern of risk-mitigation you refer to, there are a multitude of spells and creatures that explicitly cause immediate death, or prevent resurrection. Certain curses, poisons, and diseases can also indirectly prevent resurrection unless dealt with beforehand. All these things can be used as you say cost/ availability can. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you need an example look to the Intellect Devourer (MM pg. 191). Pretty hard to resurrect someone without a brain, and they're only CR 2! Shadows (MM pg. 269) are even CR 1/2 and can easily kill low strength characters via strength drain! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 16:18

3 Answers 3


Dragons and Angels

Dragon spellcasters (see the sidebar on p. 86 of the Monster Manual) can cast spells of level equal to one third of their CR (rounded down) without any spellcomponents. What spells the dragon can know has no restriction (DM is free to choose) so can include life giving spells. Notably an ancient gold dragon is CR 24, so a spellcasting one can have any 8th level spell or lower. Also, a CR 9 dragon can have 3rd level spells, so a young silver spellcaster dragon can have revivify and cast it once per day without material components.

Also, as thematically appropriate, a number of angels have innate spellcasting which includes resurrection spells:

  • \$\begingroup\$ Recent discovery: becoming a Shadow dragon seems to add about +3 Challenge Rating, putting ancient Red & Gold dragons at CR 27 / giving them access to 3rd level spells. Their 'slots' are allotted by charisma bonus, not by level - by RAW it seems dragons could then choose all ninth lvl spells - and even 'Wish' for multiple castings a day. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 2:46

Yes, there are at least some creatures who are able to cast spells without using costly material components

Deva (MM16)

The deva can innately cast the following spells, requiring only verbal components:

At will: detect evil and good

1/day each: commune, raise dead

Planetar (MM17)

The planetar can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: detect evil and good, invisibility (self only)

3/day each: blade barrier, dispel evil and good, flame strike, raise dead

Solar (MM18)

It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: detect evil and good, invisibility (self only)

3/day each: blade barrier, dispel evil and good, resurrection

Androsphinx (MM281)

It casts cleric spells up to 6th level without using material components. As per rules for monster spellcasting, you can swap prepared spells. So you can make him prepare revivify and raise dead. Gynosphinx is can cast spells up to 5th level, but casts wizard spells instead.

Autumm Eladrin (MToF195)

It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: calm emotions, sleep

3/day each: cure wounds (as a 5th-level spell), lesser restoration

l/day each: greater restoration, heal, raise dead


This list should include anything that can cast "Wish", e.g.:

  • Efreeti
  • Noble Djinn / Vizier
  • Zodar (1/life)
  • Solar
  • Pit Fiends (1/year)
  • Glabrezu (1/month)
  • Pazuzu

Presumably many other creatures that have 9th level casting.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Most casting requires these 'expensive components'. Does it say that these monsters are entirely exempt from these? If anyone has a 9th level wizard slot that was 'swappable', they could indeed cast Reincarnate and Resurrect-style spells for free without the risk of the 1/3rd chance of permanent loss. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 17:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TimofTime From Wish "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." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 19:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .