I have a Reborn character, so I don’t need to breathe (thanks to the Deathless Nature trait).

Could I use the mold earth cantrip to bury myself if I need to to avoid attacks?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Related question: Why is burying yourself not such a great plan? (A lot of those answers assume the player needs to breathe, but not all of them.) \$\endgroup\$
    – MJ713
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 23:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fwiw, a much more useful version of this effect is meld with stone (which of course requires a 3rd level spell slot and a stone surface which are not easy to come by) \$\endgroup\$
    – Cubic
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ it is worth mentioning 5ft of dirt is enough to crush a human being to death, so they have escaped combat bot have a whole new problem. they now are being crushed by around 9000lbs or material. \$\endgroup\$
    – John
    Commented May 7, 2023 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


You can move earth to "excavate" a hole, and presumably a second casting can pull the dirt back into the hole, so this seems like a valid use of the spell, albeit one that requires two turns (or a way to cast the spell twice in a turn) to use.

You'll need to work with your DM to determine the details of this, though. For example, it's up to the DM to decide when the local earth is 'loose' enough to be excavated, and your DM may make an unfortunate ruling that makes getting out of your instant grave somewhat tricky. For example, whether you can use somatic components while buried in loose soil (which could be overcome by the Subtle Spell metamagic) and whether having a face full of soil, even with darkvision, can be construed as making the whole 5-foot cube "a portion of dirt that you can see". ("You can excavate two square inches of dirt around each eye" isn't useful for getting out of the ground!)

Given the time requirements, I'm not sure how often this would be useful in combat, though it might be a good way to hide, or just a really weird sleeping habit. A sorcerer with the Quickened Spell metamagic could probably use it more effectively (though 2 sorcery points seems like a high cost for it).

If this is something you really want to do, it might be better to work with your DM to come up with a custom low-level spell that does exactly what you want -- perhaps a 1st level spell that lets you sink into loose earth, creating an impromptu grave, and then pushes you back out when the spell ends.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A quickened metamagic sorcerer could do it! But not as a reaction. I may also be miffed if my buddy just went and stuck his head in the sand. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 21:11
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch A head in the sand is worth two in the bush. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 4, 2023 at 21:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ A wizard in my current group does precisely this, combined with air bubble. However, I am not sure whether our DM realizes that mold earth has a somatic opponent. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 23:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Yeah, sure, exactly -- but on the other hand if the sorcerer is sitting there with 2 HP it might be the best tactical choice for him to just strategically withdraw from the fight. (It's not that much different from Dimension Dooring back to the previous room or casting Invisibility and finding a nice quiet corner to cower in, just more thematically interesting.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2023 at 14:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt air bubble wont help with 9000lbs of crushing force preventing you from expanding your lungs, \$\endgroup\$
    – John
    Commented May 7, 2023 at 12:41

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