The Best Magical Items in DnD 5E - Tabletop Builds (2023)

The Best Magical Items in DnD 5E

  • Items in General
    • Rules Refresh
      • Identification
      • Attunement
      • Equipping and Using
      • Spells
    • Flight
    • AC Increases
    • Spell Save DC increases
    • “Build-Around” Items
  • Notable Items
    • Uncommon
    • Rare
    • Very Rare
    • Legendary
  • Conclusion

Author: Icebrick1

This guide is intended to be a much shorter version of our exhaustive magic item guide which is coming at some point in the future. This guide showcases the most powerful items of each rarity, and describes some of the general themes seen throughout magic items in general. We’ve also made a Magic Item guide for DM’s which we recommend viewing if you’re not a player.

The Best Magical Items in DnD 5E - Tabletop Builds (1)

Items in General

Magic items are one of the main rewards in the game aside from levels and gold. Unlike gold, which loses much of its value once every player has purchased half plate and plate armor, a good magic item will often be a major permanent boost to a character’s power unless attunement requires it be replaced by an even better item (more on attunement later).

Rules Refresh

We will now cover a few rules interactions pertaining to magic items.


While magic items don’t always appear different from normal items, a character who handles a magic item will immediately sense that something is special about it (Dungeon Master’s Guide p. 136). The properties of magic items can be identified using the identify spell, or by simply taking a short rest with the item (but not the same short rest as attuning to it). No short rest is required to identify potions; they can be identified with a tiny taste.


Attuning to an item over the course of a short rest is required to gain the magical benefits of some items. A creature can only attune to one copy of an item, and can only attune to a maximum of three items normally. Any knowledge required to activate an item, such as the command word(s) is intuitively learned once attunement is complete. Sometimes attunement isn’t a factor at all, but if you have a glut of powerful magic items, picking the ones from which to remove your attunement can be difficult. Attunement ends if you die, if you spend 24 hours more than 100 feet away from the item, if another creature attunes to the item, or if you spend a short rest removing attunement from an item. You can only attune or unattune from one item at a time, meaning it might take some time to swap around attunement items if necessary. For this guide we have marked if an item requires attunement. If you want to get the effects out of an item quickly, passing a non-attunement item between summons is an easy way to do so.

Equipping and Using

While some past editions clearly described how many magic items a character is capable of wearing and what “slot” they take up on the body, 5th Edition leaves it up to common sense. It is required that boots be worn on feet, rings on fingers, etc… but at the DM’s discretion a non-humanoid can potentially use an item in a different way, like a ring on a tentacle.

Similarly, it is generally assumed that a character can wear only “one pair of footwear, one pair of gloves or gauntlets, one pair of bracers, one suit of armor, one item of headwear, and one cloak.” (DMG p. 141), but that “You can make exceptions; a character might be able to wear a circlet under a helmet, for example, or be able to layer two cloaks.” (DMG p. 141). Finally, most magic items can be worn by creatures of any size or build, magically refitting themselves for the creature or otherwise being easily adjustable. This rule only applies for magic items that are meant to be worn, so magic weapons and many wondrous items won’t necessarily resize themselves to their user.

So, if you’re wondering if an owl familiar is capable of wearing a ring of spell storing on their talon or ankle, it is down to DM’s opinion. However, a Warlock’s Imp familiar definitely could use a ring of spell storing, since it has fingers.


Spells cast from a magic item don’t cost a spell slot, are cast at their possible lowest level and don’t have any components (and thus can’t be counterspelled, since nothing will be perceivable according to the rules in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything) unless otherwise stated by the item. A number of items also require the user to be a spellcaster. A character meets this requirement if they can cast any spells without using a magic item; this includes characters who can only cast spells due to a feature from their race.


Flight is extremely powerful, as many challenges can be circumvented with flight, and many monsters can be made completely harmless due to them having no flight themselves and no effective ranged attacks. Check out more information about flight in our Race and Lineage Guide.

AC Increases

AC increases are very valuable, especially for characters that already have high AC. After getting medium armor, a shield, and the shield spell, further AC increases are hard to come by without making more significant sacrifices to a character’s build. Many magic items that increase AC can be used by most builds though and can stack with each other, potentially making a character almost untouchable by weaker monsters. At very high levels, AC can become less valuable as the increase in monster attack usually far outpaces how fast AC can be increased. For a more detailed explanation of how to evaluate the usefulness of AC, see our article on The “Squishy Caster” Fallacy.

Spell Save DC increases

As explained in our article on ASI’s vs Feats, Spell Save DC isn’t everything, but it’s still quite valuable, especially for items that give huge bonuses like +3. A creature failing one saving throw rather than succeeding on certain spells like hypnotic pattern could end an encounter immediately. As your save DC scales into later levels, you can more easily reach “critical mass” against enemies that lack proficiency in the targeted save, who could even fail automatically.

“Build-Around” Items

There are a couple of items which are uniquely strong if they can be accounted for during character creation. Examples include items that set an ability score to a certain value, like gauntlets of ogre strength and headbands of intellect. Normally these items might just provide a small bonus to the Fighter’s Strength or Wizard’s Intelligence, but if the players know they will receive them, character builds that are multiple ability dependent (MAD) are more reasonable, or at least more comfortable to play. This guide omits these items, but note that even if you do build around them, they aren’t necessarily the strongest. For example, a cube of force is better than all of them. In a future article, we will discuss these items in more depth. Some of these items include (but are not limited to):Mizzium apparatus, gauntlets of ogre strength, belts of giant strength, and headbands of intellect.

Notable Items

The following is a list of the most powerful items of each rarity. They have been sorted according roughly to power, with the first items listed being the most powerful.


Wand of Web (Attunement) DMG

Web is an incredible spell and 7 extra casts of it is a lot! At low levels, this wand is more powerful than the spellcasting of most characters. Later on, an extra battery of 6 webs (you shouldn’t risk the wand by using up the last charge) is always extremely helpful. The spell save DC is good enough that it should be higher or about equal to your main spells for most of your adventuring career, and most monsters do not have outstanding Dexterity saving throws. Even if you’re a higher level spellcaster with web, this effectively gives a large number of extra spell slots.

Broom of Flying DMG

An absolutely amazing item, the broom of flying puts almost every other uncommon item to shame. It effectively provides 50 feet of fly speed with the only requirement being a fairly generous weight limit. Note that because it’s not your fly speed, you can still spend all your movement on turns that you get on or off the broom. The broom of flying is a better source of flight than almost every other item. It doesn’t even require attunement! Consider tying yourself to your broom with a rope if you have the tendency to fall off, or even as a precaution.

Weapon of Warning (Attunement) DMG

Advantage on initiative is very good, and giving the whole party immunity to surprise is great as well. This also functions as a magic weapon for martials that need one. Even when your party has more impactful items to attune to, you can let your party’s familiar or any other minion attune to it and keep the protection against surprise. This loses some value if the party already has one, but a weapon of warning is still nice to have.

Instrument of the Bards (Mac-Fuirmidh Cittern, Fochlucan Bandore, Doss Lute) (Attunement) DMG

This item allows you to cast a few helpful spells per day and gives enemies disadvantage on your charm spells. It is especially good with hypnotic pattern. The higher rarity instruments aren’t noticeably stronger than the lower rarity ones, but they never become a bad option. Note that you don’t need to be proficient with the instrument to be able to use its benefits.

Sentinel Shield DMG

Like a weapon of warning, this gives advantage on initiative, but the sentinel shield also gives advantage on (Wisdom) Perception checks (which improves your passive Perception and helps protect against getting surprised). In some cases, this can already be better than a weapon of warning, but the fact it doesn’t take attunement makes it stand out. Since the item only requires that it be held, you could even have multiple people hold it at the same time to get the benefits.

Pipes of Haunting DMG

If we have proficiency in a wind instrument, we get to frighten hostile creatures in a 30 foot radius with a DC 15 Wisdom save as an action by using one out of a maximum of three charges. Every dawn you get back 1d4 charges. This is a solid use of an action, especially after you use a big concentration spell. Since it doesn’t take attunement, pipes of haunting are also solid items to get multiple of, possibly letting you use it almost every turn.

+1 Spellcasting Focus (All Purpose Tool, Amulet of Devout, Arcane Grimoire, Bloodwell Vial, Moon Sickle, Rhythm-Maker’s Drum, Rod of the Pact Keeper) (Attunement) TCE, DMG

These items give you a bonus to spell attack rolls and your spell saving throw DCs. As discussed, increasing your spell save DC is incredibly valuable for almost all spellcasters and even a small bonus is quite significant. These items have secondary effects that can be significant as well. It’s worth noting that the amulet of the devout, unlike every other item, increases all your spell save DCs, not just your Cleric or Paladin spell save DCs so it can be stacked with another item if you multiclass.

Cloak of Protection (Attunement) DMG

This gives an AC bonus and a saving throw bonus. Both are very valuable. A solid general option if better items aren’t available and you want defense and don’t have to worry about attunement yet.

Winged Boots (Attunement) DMG

This is worse than a broom of flying, requiring your attunement and likely providing less mobility, but flight is still incredibly powerful.

+1 Shield DMG

This is a simple AC bonus that can be easily used by any spellcaster who can use medium armor and shields, which most optimized spellcasters should be able to do.

Wand of Magic Missiles DMG
This item on its own is not too spectacular, until you realize that anyone can use it. Your minions can use this item for some extra damage without sacrificing the PCs’ turns to use it, and they can even pass this item to each other for a hefty burst of damage when necessary. This item is also more potent when combined with Hexblade’s Curse or other similar class features that amplify damage rolls.

Bag of Tricks, Eversmoking Bottle, Wind Fan DMG

None of these items are particularly impressive by themselves, however they don’t take attunement and don’t take up a “slot” like shield, armor, and cloaks might, so they can be the best options for a character already overloaded on magic items. An eversmoking bottle in particular can be particularly useful as effectively a non-concentration 3rd-level fog cloud which can’t be dispelled, making it useful against a large variety of monsters.

Slumbering Dragon’s Wrath Weapon (Attunement) FTD

This is actually a rather bad magic weapon, though at the very least it can be a hand crossbow or halberd, unlike many items that have to be some kind of sword. This is a hoard item, meaning it can be upgraded by steeping it in a dragon’s hoard. When fully upgraded it is one of the most powerful magic weapons in the game.


Cube of Force (Attunement) DMG

This basically functions as an incredibly potent selectively permeable barrier. Use face 2 against scaryenemies that harm you with weapons to make them unable to cross the border without dropping their gear, use face 3 against enemies that want to get close to you but don’t carry any gear, and use face 4 against scary spellcasters while you shoot them down with your poisoned crossbow bolts. When this item doesn’t completely trivialize the encounter, it will still often make the encounter much easier, and it has a large number of charges. Quite honestly, this item is broken and leads to unfun gameplay and requires the DM to specifically design encounters around it.

Daern’s Instant Fortress DMG

Plop this down, speak the magic word as an action, and deal 10d10 bludgeoning damage or half on a successful DC 15 Dexterity saving throw to creatures in 20 by 20 by 30 feet area, forcibly moving them. On top of that, it can be a source of cover for your party in the process. If you have summons that can speak, this item can be repeatedly retrieved and thrown for a lot of damage. This item is difficult to repair, but with immunity to damage from non-siege weapons, high hit points, and 23 AC (based on the AC of adamantine objects found in the DMG on page 160) it should last for the entirety of a campaign.

Staff of the Woodlands (Attunement) DMG

You need to be a Druid to attune to this. This might be preaching to the choir, but pass without trace is incredible, and this gives it to us at will. However, the goodies don’t end there. We get to cast awaken without components, allowing us to get an army of beasts and plants, given enough time.

Instrument of the Bards (Cli Lyre, Canaith Mandolin) (Attunement) DMG

See the description of the uncommon version.

Ring of Spell-Storing (Attunement) DMG

This does what it says on the tin, it stores spells! This allows someone to give their entire party familiars, but also give martials something cool to do in combat like spirit guardians, or increase people’s defenses with shield, absorb elements, and silvery barbs. You can also let one of your minions attune to this so that you can have multiple concentration effects at the same time.

Two-Birds Sling MOT

The two-birds sling makes the humble sling quite potent, though perhaps for unintended reasons. Whenever you hit, the attack can ricochet to another target. The target of an attack is not limited to creatures. The first step of making an attack in the Player’s Handbook says “Pick a target within your attack’s range: a creature, an object, or a location.” (pg. 193). Simply hit a creature, hit the empty space or ground next to the creature, then redirect it back to the first target for “infinite” damage until you miss. With some particular builds this can deal literally infinite damage, such as by using Clockwork Soul Sorcerer’s Trance of Order feature, which can guarantee a hit against some enemies. Such a use case is quite broken and probably shouldn’t be used in most games.

Staff of Swarming Insects (Attunement) DMG

While the spells it provides are nothing too spectacular, you can spend 1 charge to create a large area of heavy obscurement that only you can see through for a whole 10 minutes, which is enough uptime to last an entire adventuring day given that it has 10 charges. You can deny many effects from enemies that require sight and protect yourself from being counterspelled while still able to use all your spells.

Cloak of Displacement (Attunement) DMG

This item simply improves your defense and makes its wearer sturdier. It also gets better the higher your Armor Class, and combines especially well with the shield spell.

Shield Guardian Amulet (Attunement) RotFM

An incredible item putting you in control of a shield guardian. A regular shield guardian amulet doesn’t take attunement, but a regular shield guardian amulet also isn’t a magic item and doesn’t have a rarity, so it was not included. This bad boy can deal some damage, but it is essentially a reservoir of hit points and defenses for the wearer of the amulet. It has 142 (15d10 + 60) hit points and regenerates 10 hit points at the start of its turn when it has 1 hit point remaining. It can take half of any damage the wearer takes while they are within 60 feet of another without requiring any action, and can add a +2 bonus to AC to the wearer as a reaction if within 5 feet when the wearer is attacked. Presumably this AC bonus is supposed to end at some point, which is why we are rating it this way, but Rules as Written it does not, so keep that in mind. Lastly, another strong part of this creature is that you can store a spell in it of fourth level or lower that it uses under predefined circumstances or when commanded to do so. Some valuable spells would be spirit guardians, sleet storm, and maybe revivify if you only have one person with the spell.

Wand of Viscid Globs (Attunement) OoTA

An on-hit restrain effect for an hour without any attached saving throw. Bonkers. Logically, you use this when there is no sunlight and have a good chance of hitting your target.

Stirring Dragon’s Wrath Weapon (Attunement) FTD

The upgraded form of the slumbering dragon’s wrath weapon, the stirring version is much better, granting a +1 bonus to attack and damage and dealing 1d6 more damage. This weapon isn’t too fancy overall, but it isn’t restricted to being a sword and would be the best rare magic weapon if not for the two-birds sling.

+2 Spellcasting Focus (All Purpose Tool, Amulet of Devout, Arcane Grimoire, Bloodwell Vial, Moon Sickle, Rhythm-Maker’s Drum, Rod of the Pact Keeper) (Attunement) TCE, DMG

See description for the uncommon version.

+2 Shield DMG

This is a simple AC bonus that can be easily used by any spellcaster who can use medium armor and shields, which almost all optimized spellcasters should be able to do.

+1 Armor DMG

This is similar to a +1 shield, but higher rarity and less universally useful, (+1 ring mail for example is generally worse than mundane plate armor).

Very Rare

Staff of Power (Attunement) DMG

This item grants a +2 bonus to Armor Class, saving throws, and spell attack rolls. If that wasn’t enough, it also grants access to a couple of spells, among which is the mighty wall of force (costing 5 charges out of 20 maximum). In desperate times, you can break the staff to unleash a massive burst of damage, but this staff is too valuable to be worth sacrificing it like that.

Illusionist Bracers (Attunement) GGR

This basically doubles a cantrip user’s damage per round, which is quite neat. This is a common pick for Warlocks, and for good reason, as eldritch blast with its Invocations is one of the best cantrips there is.

Wakened Dragon’s Wrath Weapon (Attunement) FTD

Compared to the stirring dragon’s wrath weapon, this weapon gains a further bonus to attack and damage, the additional damage is increased to 2d6, and you gain the ability to release a destructive cone with damage matching fireball. Overall, this weapon is just very good, providing much more damage than a +3 weapon or flame tongue, and it can come in hand crossbow form!

+3 Spellcasting Focus (All Purpose Tool, Amulet of Devout, Arcane Grimoire, Bloodwell Vial, Moon Sickle, Rhythm-Maker’s Drum, Rod of the Pact Keeper) (Attunement) TCE, DMG

See description for the uncommon version.

Instrument of the Bards (Anstruth Harp) (Attunement) DMG

See the description of the uncommon version.

Rod of Absorption (Attunement) DMG

This item allows the user to absorb and cast up to 50 levels of spells. The absorbing part is secondary to the extra spell slots this gives you. If you ever run low on stored levels to cast spells, you can fill the rod up by having allies (or yourself) cast spells on you then use it for 50 lifetime free castings of shield or other useful spells. It will probably be a good idea to not completely fill up the rod, since it is useful to absorb spells such as counterspell, but the amount depends on how common enemy spellcasters are in your game. This can only provide 50 extra spell slots over its lifetime, so for long campaigns it might not be worth it, but for a one shot or a typical adventure this is quite a good item.

Peregrine Mask (Attunement) GGR

Flight and advantage on initiative? Sign us up. By now it should be clear that we value both of these tremendously.

+3 Shield DMG

This is a simple AC bonus that can be easily used by any spellcaster who can use medium armor and shields, which most optimized spellcasters should be able to do.

Battle Standard of Infernal Power (Attunement) BGDIA

Facing enemies with resistance to damage from non-magical attacks is a massive blow to damage dealers that rely on summons, like (non-Shepherd) Druids. This solves that very issue.

Candle of Invocation (Attunement) DMG

Anyone in your party that matches the alignment of this item basically gets foresight while this candle is lit. You get advantage on attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks, which includes initiative! Additionally, applicable people with levels in Cleric or Druid can cast prepared spells of 1st level in the light without expending spell slots, allowing for a lot of healing through spells like healing word and goodberry. However, it is even more spectacular if you are multiclassed or otherwise have gained access to spells like shield, absorb elements and silvery barbs. This candle can be lit for a total of 4 hours before it burns out, and can be used in increments of 1 minute, which can mean around 240 combats or around 3 combat days with a Flagship Ranger in the party!

Nolzur’s Marvelous Pigments DMG

The only minor tier item included in this guide, the usefulness of Nolzur’s marvelous pigments is somewhat limited by DM opinion, but in most games it should be extremely useful. Use it to pass through walls, create pits, and peek through doors. Here is a useful off-site guide made by one of our authors on how to use this item to its maximum potential, though keep in mind that it is good even if this is impossible.

Arcane Cannon EGW

By itself, the arcane cannon has some solid options and can be used fairly often, but that wouldn’t be enough to get it on this guide. This item really shines when used by a familiar (note the arcane cannon’s shots aren’t attacks) or other minions. It allows the creature to make a quite good attack once per encounter without taking any actions away from a player character.

+2 Armor DMG

This is similar to a +2 shield, but higher rarity and less universally useful.

Horn of Valhalla, Brass DMG

This is another item that doesn’t take attunement and isn’t mutually exclusive with other items like armor and shields. Unlike the hodgepodge of uncommon rarity items suggested for this purpose though, horns of Valhalla are actually quite potent, summoning a large number of berserkers which can serve as both walls of flesh and damage dealers.


Wave (Attunement) DMG

You need to worship a god of the sea to attune to this, but most would gladly swap religion for a cube of force deluxe, which this basically is. We don’t just get the effects of a cube of force, but also a weapon of warning, among others.See our description on the cube of force for a more comprehensive explanation.

Shard Solitaire, Diamond (Attunement) KftGV

This item has a few nice abilities, you can teleport 30 feet as a bonus action with no limitation on uses, and you can even teleport 60 feet if you want to risk a bit of damage. The truly powerful ability, however, is contained within the list of spells. As an action, with no material components required, you can cast simulacrum, and the simulacrum has full hit points rather than half. Simulacrum is already an incredibly powerful spell, and this improves it greatly. Once you make a simulacrum, you can hand it off to another party member (possibly including the simulacrum themselves) and have them make a simulacrum too. This will take a few days as the item needs to recharge and it only regains 1d6 every dawn, but it is ridiculously powerful. If there happens to be a powerful humanoid or beast you encounter, you can even make an equal-strength copy mid-battle. Like the cube of force, this is likely to lead to unfun gameplay if you don’t restrict it in some way.

Ring of Three Wishes (Non-Attunement), Luck Blade (Attunement) DMG

Similar in purpose, both of these allow you to cast wish from them. The luck blade has some additional properties, but we are here for wish. Give these items to a creature you summon, or someone without the ability to ever cast wish, and make your dreams come true. For some more information on the capabilities of this spell, check out our Wish Spell Spotlight.

Iron Flask DMG

The equivalent of a Poké Ball in D&D 5e. Once you trap an enemy you can basically keep up your control forever, simply order them to stay still as you repeatedly attempt to control them again. Even with advantage on the saving throw, they will eventually fail. If your “friend” dies, or you find a stronger “potential friend”, swap who you are controlling.

Ascendant Dragon’s Wrath Weapon (Attunement) FTD

The final form of the dragon’s wrath weapon (slumbering, stirring, wakened) line of weapons, the ascendant form does not disappoint. It’s like a +3 weapon and an improved flame tongue, combined into one weapon which can be a hand crossbow. For use as an actual weapon, rather than for other benefits like Wave’s function as a cube of force, this is perhaps the most powerful weapon in the game after the two-birds sling.

Cloak of Invisibility (Attunement) DMG

This is a cloak… that makes you invisible! Unlike most other things that make you invisible, this has no clause of ending when you attack or cast a spell, making this a no action economy cost Dodge action in most scenarios. Combine this with a way to Hide as a bonus action, e.g. through Goblin, and you get to enact Battleship Invisibility.

Staff of the Magi (Attunement) DMG

This item is similar to a staff of power and rod of absorption stapled together. Compared to each, it is no longer limited by 50 lifetime charges like the rod of absorption and it gives advantage on saving throws against spells, but it does lose the armor class and saving throw bonuses that a staff of power provides. It also can’t be used to cast any spell like a rod of absorption can, but it has basically unlimited charges since it can be easily refilled using ritual spells that target only you, such as feign death, or by a spellcaster that can cast levelled spells at will, such as a wizard with Spell Mastery or various extraplanar creatures your party may have bound.

Ioun Stone, Mastery (Attunement) DMG
Improve your proficiency bonus by one! This might not sound good, but this does in fact do a lot. Many things are keyed off of your proficiency bonus, e.g. how often you can use many of your abilities, your spell saving throw DC, any skills or saving throws you are proficient in, a Bard’s initiative, an Oath of Watcher Paladin’s Aura of the Sentinel, and many more.

Armor of Invulnerability (Attunement) DMG

Simple but strong. You get resistance to nonmagical damage, the most common type of damage. Note that unlike most sources of nonmagical damage resistance or immunity, this extends to all damage types, not just bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks. For example, you’d be resistant to the breath attack of most dragons. Additionally, once per dawn you can make yourself immune to this damage for 10 minutes as an action. In many encounters, this will make you completely invincible for 10 minutes.

Icon of Ravenloft (Non-Attunement / Attunement) CoS

Unlike most items, this one, while requiring attunement for most of its benefits, gives us a great benefit without requiring attunement. You emanate an “aura of” protection from evil and good against fiends and undead in a 30 foot radius without the need for concentration! The benefits that do require attunement aren’t really worth it usually, but aren’t bad.

+3 Armor DMG

This is similar to a +3 shield, but higher rarity and less universally useful.

Instrument of the Bards (Ollamh Harp) (Attunement) DMG

See the description of the uncommon version.


And that’s everything (for today)! There are, of course, many other useful magic items, and we plan on talking about every magic item in the game at some point in the future, but this guide covers all the best options. Now you should be well prepared the next time you are given the opportunity to pick magic items of your choice.

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