[RPG] Am I correctly understanding how the Smite spells work


As I understand the smite spells (searing smite, for example), they are pretty bad (at least at level 1-2).

You have to use your action to cast them (so no attack this turn if you are not a fighter), keep your concentration until your next turn, and wait until you touch an enemy with your attack roll to deal a not really good amount of damage (but ok, sometimes it has another effect). And then you don't have the smite any more.

So for me it's a "true strike but you have more than 1 round to use it, and sometimes it's just slightly better than that" level of power (which is pretty bad).

Am I correctly understanding how the smite spells work? Or did I miss something?

Best Answer

You missed a few things about Searing Smite.

All Smite spells only cost you a bonus action, not an action and have a duration of up to 1 minute (concentration), so they can be used pre-combat without costing you any action economy.

When you use Searing Smite during combat it has the potential to continuously deal damage or to cost one of the enemies an action.

At the start of each of its turns until the spell ends,[...] On a failed save, it takes 1d6 fire damage. On a successful save, the spells ends. If the target or a creature within 5 feet of it uses an action to put out the flames, or if some other effect douses the flames [...] the spell ends.

It does not automatically end after one turn. Fire damage is also a different damage type which is relevant depending on the creature that you attack.

The other level 1 smites are Thunderous Smite that can deal 2d6 thunder damage as a burst and push your target away and knock it prone if it doesn't make a save, and Wrathful Smite can impose the frightened condition if it doesn't make a save, the level 2 smite Branding Smite deals 2d6 radiant damage and prevents invisibility.

So no, they aren't bad. Quite the opposite: they have serious impact at little resource cost.

True Strike gives you advantage on an attack roll, it doesn't directly deal additonal damage. It also cost you an action, not a bonus action.