Every adventurer loves a good magic item, but which ones are the best? Following our picks for the top 10 best uncommon magic items in D&D 5e, we’re stepping things up a bit with a list for top 20 best rare magic items in the Dungeon Master’s Guide and 5e basic rules!
The Best Rare Magic Items in D&D 5e
1. Sun Blade
It’s hard to find any rare magic item that beats a +2 weapon. A sun blade does just that by being a +2 weapon that also deals additional damage against undead and summons forth a blade of pure radiance that also emits light. If you get a sun blade, count yourself lucky!
2. Cloak of Displacement
Imposing disadvantage on hits against you is extremely powerful for almost anyone – and insanely strong if you already have a decent AC.
Even though the effect of cloak of displacement stops until your next turn when you’re hit by an attack, that may not be much of an issue if you’re already at 20 AC as that first hit will be pretty hard to land in the first place!
3. Belt of the Dwarvenkind
This item is great. A flat + 2 to your constitution modifier, advantage on Charisma (persuasion) checks to interact with dwarves plus darkvision and resistance against poison if you’re not a dwarf (who already have those features).
I mean, what’s not to like? Well, there is the slight caveat that wearing this belt comes with a 50 percent chance of growing a full beard each day at dawn if you’re capable of doing so. Whether you’d see this as an added benefit or a curse depends, I guess.
4. Helm of Teleportation
Being able to cast teleport without expending a spell slot three times a day is a great ability to possess for any group of adventurers!
As a DM I would tread carefully before handing this item over to my PC’s as it will make drastic changes to how traveling is conducted in your campaign and render long travels a thing of the past. If you’re a player character, be happy that you got this – and watch out for those mishaps!
5. Necklace of Prayer Beads
This necklace is just crazy. While it can only be attuned to by a paladin, a cleric, and a druid, it grants the ability to cast a wobbling 1d4+2 different spells each day without expending a spell slot, depending on how many beads are on the necklace.
These spells can be anything from planar ally to a less powerful but still awesome cure wounds using a 2nd level spell slot. For a paladin who likes to use its spell slots on to divine smite their foes this is already insane. What makes a necklace of prayer beads even better is that any of the spells cast from its beads are cast as a bonus action! I mean what the hell? For reference, a planar ally spell usually takes 10 minutes to cast, so being able to do that in the midst of a fight is a whole other ball game – and even being able to cast other spells like bless and greater restoration as a bonus action is extremely powerful!
6. Brass Horn of Valhalla
A horn of Valhalla comes in four different versions, two of them being rare – and the strongest of those two being the brass horn of Valhalla.
This beautiful horn allows you to summon 3d4 + 3 berserkers to fight for you. It’s only usable once every seven days but summoning up more than 10 berserkers – a decent Challenge Rating 2 creature – is one of those power moves that can easily turn the tide in combat, even at higher levels. It doesn’t even require attunement to use! Watch out if you’re not proficient with simple weapons though – if that’s the case, the berserkers won’t respect you and will instantly turn on you!
7. Bracers of Unarmored Defense
For most classes, this is quite useless, but for those who are unarmored – I’m looking at you monks! – bracers of unarmored defense is a great item!
The benefit works for barbarians too, but (because of how bounded accuracy works in 5e) getting a +2 bonus to AC is much stronger if your AC is high, which doesn’t tend to be the case for the classic strength-based barbarians who spend every round giving their opponents advantage on hits against them as they recklessly swing around with their greataxe! Of course, a +2 armor would be similarly powerful for other classes, but if you don’t use armor, there just aren’t many ways to increase your AC.
8. +2 weapon
There isn’t much to say here. +2 to attack and damage rolls on weapon attacks – depending on the weapon type, of course – is extremely useful. What makes these plain +x items even more powerful – and in truth deserving of the top spot on this list – is that they don’t require attunement!
9. Rod of the Pact Keeper
If you’re a warlock, you can’t get a better rare magic item than a rod of the pact keeper +2. Unlike many other magic items that grant a bonus to spell attacks, this rod also increases the saving throw DC of your warlock spells. As if that wasn’t enough, the rod also allows its wielder to regain a warlock spell slot level once per day!
10. Instruments of the Bards
Instrument of the bards come in different rarities and varieties, and all of them are great! They grant amazing spells, which, for a bard, can’t be underestimated, and as icing on the cake, anyone you target with a charm spell cast with the instrument has disadvantage on their roll! It’s no coincidence that I placed the two uncommon versions of the item at the very top of our 10 picks for the best uncommon magic items in D&D 5e!
11. Belt of Hill Giant Strength
This strength-granting bad boy comes in five variants with belt of hill giant strength being the by far weakest of the lot.
Still, 21 strength beats the normal maximum cap, and this item does trump a pair of uncommon gauntlets of strength. It could be better, but it’s still great for a character looking for a quick route to bump their strength to giant-levels.
12. Staff of Healing
The staff comes with ten charges you can spend on cure wounds (1 charge), lesser restoration (2 charges), and mass cure wounds (5 charges). If your party is lacking a dedicated healer, this can be an enormous help! It requires attunement by a bard, cleric, or druid (who’re probably already able to heal the party), and it doesn’t have any other cool benefits like a necklace of prayer beads or an instrument of the bards, but it’s still a great item in the earlier stages of the game!
13. Staff of the Woodlands
Besides being a +2 weapon, staff of the woodlands is in a similar category as staff of healing. It grants you the ability to cast pass without trace at no cost (nice!) as well as an array of other spells that you can cast by spending its charges – wall of thorns and awaken being the two strongest on the list.
Again, the main “issue” is with the staff is that it requires attunement by a druid (who’d be able to cast these spells anyway), but extra spell slots are always great– especially at lower levels – and a +2 weapon can make even a druid a decent melee combatant. For some reason, you can also transform the staff into a tree that does nothing besides looking like a tree.
14. Wings of Flying
It’s funny that I should place wings of flying on a top tier list for rare magic items when it is barely (if at all) better than the two uncommon items broom of flying and winged boots. However, being able to fly at 60 feet without using up your concentration for 1 hour every sixth hour or so is extremely good! This item is definitely a top tier rare magic item.
15. Ring of Free Action
I may be overestimating this one but immunity to becoming paralyzed and restrained and to having your as well as having your movement speed reduced by magic and difficult terrain can be a life saver!
16. Ring of Spell Storing
Having a few spells stored is nice a spellcaster, but what really makes this magic ring great is that any class can attune to it and cast the spells stored in it. As it can be refilled with spells by any creature, this could, for example, allow a fighter or a barbarian to run around with a few shield spells, a misty step, and a counterspell using the DC of the original caster. That’s awesome!
18. Cape of the Mountebank
Being able to escape or to quickly reach an enemy – potentially taking an ally with you along the way! – often comes in handy, so if you don’t already have a similar ability, getting dimension door once a day is solid! It’s one of those items that you’ll probably be changing for something else as you reach higher levels and have more magic items than you have attunement slots.
19. Portable Hole
Adventurers want to be able to carry the treasure they find, and I feel like a portable hole is an overlooked alternative to the more common bag of holding. Is it better than the bag? Not really. More badass? Hell yea!
20. Rod of Rulership
This rod allows you to cast an improved version of the mass suggestion spell once a day (depending on how the DM interprets that a creature “regards you as its trusted leader” but won’t do anything “contrary to its nature”). The DC is set at 15 which makes its use in combat even more limited than it already is, but if you want to take over a kingdom or need to convince a large group of people of something, this item might be your ticket!
Honorable Mention: Envisioner’s Compass
In a world with scrying, hotlines to your deity’s representative, and planar travel, there are surprisingly few ways to track a creature or find an object – unless, of course, you happen to be a measly 1,000 feet away from your goal, which is the limit of locate creature and locate object.
Well, an envisioner’s compass changes that! The compass basically lets you set a compass course to a location, object, or creature for 24 hours without any limitations, except for being on the same plane of existence! If you’ve always been jealous of Jack Sparrow’s compass, this is the magic item for you.
The envisioner’s compass is featured as one of the 120 new magic items in our own sourcebook Wanderer’s Guide to Merchants & Magic alongside ready-to-play magic shops, price lists for magic items, and everything else you need to make magic items a fun and easy part of your 5E adventure!
That’s our top 20 picks for the best rare magic items in the Dungeon Master’s Guide and basic rules of D&D 5e! I should emphasize that this list is subjective – what’s the “best” item depends on a character’s playstyle, the goal of the campaign setting, and what ressources your group already has.
Anyway, let us know in the comment sections if you think we’ve missed any rare magic items on our list – and share your own top picks!
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And, since this article is about magic items in D&D 5e, check out our sourcebook Wanderer’s Guide to Merchants & Magic which is packed with everything you need to easily make magic items a fun part of your game in D&D 5e!
S. K. Valeur