Mage Armor 5e D&D Guide: 15 Things You Need To Know

Mage armor 5e D&D Guide: 15 Things You Need To Know

If you are playing D&D, one of the things you must know is how Mage armor works. While it may seem simple at first glance, there are actually many intricacies to this spell that every player should be aware of when using or facing against it. Here’s a full guide on what you need to know about Mage armor from 5e of Dungeons and Dragons.

The Mage armor spell is one of the most popular spells of the game. It’s not hard to see why – it’s effectively a free suit of armor that lasts for hours per casting (and can be recast when needed).  But there are some essential rules you need to know about this iconic D&D spell. 

This article will cover 15 things that players need to know about Mage armor in 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, including important rules like AC bonuses, duration, and more.

What Is Mage Armor 5th Edition D&D?

Mage armor 5e D&D Guide: 15 Things You Need To Know

Mage armor 5e D&D is a type of protective spell that surrounds the person/creature with armor when cast upon by the user. It can only be cast when the user touches the creature giving it a protective layer for battle and defense. 

The duration of the spell is at most 8 hours. If the person who casts it decides to break it, it can be broken. It’s a pretty simple spell whose conditions to cast are specified by the game when you cast it. An essential thing to remember is that it gives an increase in base armor by 13 and a dexterity bonus, and you cannot cast it if you’re wearing the armor yourself.

What Does Mage Armor 5e Do?

It gives a protective shield to whoever we wish to save and gives it an opportunity to survive. It’s a level 1 spell that lasts 8 hours and has components V, S, M. 

The school of this spell is Abjuration. It is a pretty hefty defense armor that gives the player who is wearing it an ultimate defense but provides nothing when it comes to attacks of any sort.

What Does Mage Armor Look Like?

The appearance of the Mage armor entirely depends on either the DM or the player. Most of the time, players like to leave the appearance to the DM, but those who choose it themselves can discuss it with the DM. 

It is best be described by a user who said,

“I like to describe it as an armor of glowing arcane runes and lines spreading over the caster and then turning invisible. When the character is hit, a flash of arcane energy bursts out from that point, illuminating the armor and making it visible for a moment”. 

This pretty much sums it up.

Can You See Mage Armor?

The visibility of Mage armor has always been a hot debate among players, but many agree that it is not about whether you should see it or not; instead, it’s a personal choice or the DM’s ruling. You can’t exactly say that you can see it; it’s not something more than a bright glow in actuality.

But you cannot say that its shine has entirely blinded you. Mage armor is best described as a shine or a glow coming out of it that gives it an aesthetic shine, making it look superior to others.

It could be considered a warning for the opponents or maybe a chance for a new strategy to be implemented when you see your opponents wearing it.

Mage Armor 5th Edition Advantages

Mage armor 5e D&D Guide: 15 Things You Need To Know

Mage armor, like mentioned before, has always been a debatable topic among its players, but in the end, it all comes down to the player’s personal choice or style, or preference. Almost all of us agree that it gives a higher probability of survival to certain classes like Wizards, sorcerers, and those with low compatibility; thus, they get a field advantage when they put on a Mage armor.


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Mage Armor 5th Edition Disadvantages

The duration of the spell is 8 hours, but players argue that rather than having the armor on for 8 hours straight with its continuous side effects, why not give the spell an encounter time. That means whenever it is in need, only then must it protect the player. 

Most players agree that rather than having 8 hours of defense, they should’ve just lessened the time and given them an encounter time. 

Another thing that has been pointed out in the past is that the spell slots are limited that frustrates the lower level players, not giving them a fair chance of moving forward, and that results in the equal restriction on all other spells as well.

Does Mage Armor Stack With Armor 5e?

Yes, Mage armor can stack with an armor 5e. A Mage armor stacks with anything that gives it an AC bonus, but on the other hand, it absolutely cannot stack with things that provide a set AC. 

It is ultimately just a protective layer/ring but also has its perks that you need to apply to keep the game between yourself and your enemies fair and square.

What’s Better: Mage Armor Or Shield?

This has been a question for a long time, but we still haven’t entirely figured out which one is a better all-around item. If you are put in a situation where you can either have a Mage armor or a shield, then I would recommend going with the Mage armor. It’s a safer bet compared to the shield. Its longevity is better than the shield as well, and it also deflects many powerful spells and it gives it a more aesthetic appearance.

On the other hand, a shield is preferred when you need to escape a dangerous situation and need to leave as soon as possible. It has an AC (18) that is better than Mage armor’s AC (16). 

It also triggers some wild magic spells, which can turn the tide of the battle on your side, taking the opponent by surprise.

Can you cast mage armor on yourself?

Mage armor 5e D&D Guide: 15 Things You Need To Know

Logically, we can indeed use Mage armor on ourselves if we haven’t already cast it on someone else who was in need.

The basic rule of the Mage armor is that the caster will have to touch the person he/she wants to cast on, so it is only logical to say that if we touch ourselves, the Mage armor is put on us, giving us an awesome defensive power-up.

Can You Cast Mage Armor As A Ritual?

First, we need to understand what a ritual is. A ritual is an action in which we can cast a spell adhering to the game’s standard rules. As it is a ritual, it takes slightly longer to cast than regular spells. Moreover, a ritual spell doesn’t expand our spell slot and cannot be cast at a higher level.

Now, can you cast a Mage armor as a ritual, meaning without breaking your rest and continuing with it normally? Yes, you can cast a Mage armor as a ritual as long as you have a spell slot empty. You can cast Mage armor just before your rest is up so you can have all your other spells and Mage armor to continue for eight long hours. 

Activity of any sort could break your rest, so you might as well be careful, so you don’t have to start it all over again, but this feature is only available to add in an excellent feature making the rest a bit more less-boring.

Does Mage Armor Stack With Unarmored Defense?

Mage armor is an invisible defense that can be used without affecting the player, so it will not limit the player’s ability. The problem seems to be that it is mathematically (AC) impossible to stack Mage armor with unarmored defense because Mage armor leaves no room whatsoever for the unarmored defense to apply another stat. 

The Mage armor will supersede it if it offers an increment. So, the straightforward answer is NO; you can’t get Mage armor with unarmored defense.

Does Mage Armor Stack With Bladesong?

Yes, the Mage armor stacks with the Bladesong. This has been a confusing thing for players, but the ruling seems to be that only when it is written that your AC becomes X, then it means that you cannot stack, and it is an inflexible thing that unfortunately can’t be touched.

If it says that your AC increases by a certain amount, which it does when attempting to stack with Bladesong, then it means you have the power to stack it with Mage armor. This results in our AC increasing.

Is Mage Armor Worth It?

Mage armor 5e D&D Guide: 15 Things You Need To Know

Finally, we get to the big question. Everyone has their own preferences and opinions, but here is mine. If you’re a sorcerer, then it’s not worth the cost. If you’re at a lower level, then it is not worth it. The thing is that you have to move forward, and if you focus on cleaning up the defense, consequently neglecting the offense, then you’re going nowhere. 

So, it’s better to tweak the offense, leave the Mage armor for later, and use it to the full extent with a potent offense and a defense.


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Those who have been playing for a long time love Mage armor because it gives their sorcerers an extra layer of protection that majorly stabilizes their forces and plays a significant role in all action. You have more facilities, more backup, more room for mistakes, so it can be said that until you reach a little higher, try to unless you have some great strategy in mind that can obliterate the opponent.

Is Mage Armor A Bonus Action?

Mage armor is definitely a bonus action. It is an invisible field of force that gives excellent protection. Mage armor gives a 4+ AC. Mage armor is a unique type of armor that, unlike many other armors, doesn’t affect other things such as spell failures, speed drop, armor check penalty, exchange with other spells.

Can You Cast Mage Armor On Your Familiar?

Mage armor can be cast on your familiar as it is a non-concentration spell and can be cast upon touch, so yes, you can cast in on one or more than one familiar.

Can You Cast Mage Armor On More Than One Person?

You can cast Mage armor on more than one person, but that’ll require 1 level 1 spell slot each time the user cast on another creature.

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