Mage Armor [Abjuration]

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Mage Armor is one of those spells that often gets overlooked but can be a lifesaver in the right circumstances. In Dungeons and Dragons 5e, where a single attack can spell doom, a robust Armor Class (AC) is crucial. This guide, brought to you by ATLAS, aims to delve deep into the mechanics, uses, and effectiveness of Mage Armor. We’ll also compare it to other armor options and provide tips and strategies for utilizing this spell in gameplay.

How Mage Armor Works: Mechanics and Rules

Mage Armor is a 1st-level abjuration spell available to Wizards, Sorcerers, and through Eldritch Invocations, to Warlocks. The spell requires a piece of cured leather as a material component and lasts 8 hours. To cast Mage Armor, the target must be a willing creature and not already wearing armor. Once cast, the spell sets the target’s base AC to 13 + its Dexterity modifier.

Requirements and Limitations

The spell has a few requirements and limitations:

  • The target must be willing.
  • The target cannot be wearing armor.
  • The spell ends if the target dons armor or if dismissed by the caster.

Duration and Non-Concentration

One of the best features of Mage Armor is its long duration of 8 hours and the fact that it doesn’t require concentration. This allows the caster to maintain the spell for the majority of an adventuring day.

Comparing Mage Armor to Regular Armor

Mage Armor offers an AC comparable to medium armor without the drawbacks like reduced speed or disadvantage on stealth checks. It’s particularly useful for classes that lack armor proficiency, providing them with a viable defensive option.

Advantages Over Light and Medium Armor

Mage Armor can be even more effective than some types of medium armor, especially if the target has a high Dexterity score. Unlike medium armor, which often limits the Dexterity bonus to AC, Mage Armor allows the full Dexterity modifier to be added.


While Mage Armor provides a decent AC, it doesn’t offer additional benefits like resistance to specific types of damage, which some magical armors provide.

Classes and Subclasses that Can Cast Mage Armor

Wizards and Sorcerers are the primary classes that can cast Mage Armor. Warlocks can also gain access to this spell through the Eldritch Invocation known as “Armor of Shadows,” allowing them to cast it at will without expending a spell slot.


For Wizards, Mage Armor is almost a must-have, especially for those who focus on schools of magic other than Abjuration.


Sorcerers can also benefit significantly from Mage Armor due to their limited hit points and lack of armor proficiency.


Warlocks can cast Mage Armor at will with the “Armor of Shadows” Eldritch Invocation, making it an excellent choice for those who wish to focus on defense.

Maximizing the Effectiveness of Mage Armor

Mage Armor can be maximized in several ways, including using additional spells and magic items. Spells like “Shield” can be used in conjunction to provide a temporary AC boost during combat. You can also decide to use magic items like “Bracers of Defense” can also be used to increase AC further.

In Combat

In combat scenarios, Mage Armor should be complemented with spells like “Mirror Image” to make you less likely to be hit.

In Exploration

During exploration, the long duration of Mage Armor allows you to traverse dangerous terrains without constantly worrying about recasting it.

Rare DnD Magic Items to Enhance Mage Armor

Magic items like the “Ring of Protection” and “Cloak of Displacement” can further enhance the effectiveness of Mage Armor. These items add to your AC and saving throws or make attacks against you have disadvantage.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here is a group of questions regarding Mage Armor in DnD 5e, if you have some further doubt about this spell, you will find an answer here:

Is Mage Armor a Concentration Spell?

No, Mage Armor is not a concentration spell, which is one of its significant advantages.

Can Mage Armor be Cast on Someone Else?

Yes, the spell can be cast on any willing creature that is not wearing armor.

Does Mage Armor Stack with Other AC-Boosting Effects?

Mage Armor sets your base AC, so it won’t stack with other effects that also set a base AC. However, it will stack with effects that provide an AC bonus, like a shield.

Can Counterspell dispel Mage Armor?

Mage Armor can be dispelled if targeted by a “Dispel Magic” spell but not by “Counterspell,” which interrupts spells as they are being cast.

What is Mage Armor’s AC?

As mentioned before , the Mage Armor sets the target’s base AC to 13, and then you add the target’s Dexterity modifier. So, if a character with a Dexterity modifier of +3 is under the effect of Mage Armor, their AC would be 16 (13 base + 3 from Dexterity).

What Do You Need to Cast Mage Armor?

To cast Mage Armor, you need a piece of cured leather as a material component. The spell also requires one action to cast and lasts for 8 hours.

Can Mage Armor Be Cast as a Ritual?

No, Mage Armor is not a ritual spell. It requires the use of a spell slot for Wizards and Sorcerers, although Warlocks with the “Armor of Shadows” Eldritch Invocation can cast it at will.

Does Mage Armor Need Concentration?

No, Mage Armor does not require concentration, that is one of its significant advantages. This allows you to maintain other concentration spells while benefiting from the increased AC.

Is Mage Armor Good for Monks?

Mage Armor can be useful for Monks, especially those with a high Dexterity modifier. However, Monks also have their own ways of increasing AC, such as their “Unarmored Defense” feature, which may provide a higher AC depending on the Monk’s Wisdom and Dexterity modifiers.

Is Mage Armor Good for Barbarians?

Generally, Mage Armor is not recommended for Barbarians. Barbarians have their own “Unarmored Defense” feature, which often provides a higher AC when combined with their Constitution and Dexterity modifiers.

Can You Have Mage Armor and a Shield?

Yes, Mage Armor and shields do stack. Mage Armor sets your base AC, and a shield provides an additional AC bonus. So, if you have Mage Armor active and are also using a shield, you would add the shield’s AC bonus to your total AC.

Is Mage Armor Visible?

Mage Armor is generally not visible. The spell description does not specify that it creates a visible effect, so it’s up to the Dungeon Master’s discretion.

Is Mage Armor Worth It?

Absolutely, especially for classes that lack armor proficiency or have limited options for increasing their AC. The spell’s long duration and non-concentration requirement make it a valuable asset for any adventuring party.


Mage Armor is more than just a basic protective spell; it’s a versatile tool that can significantly impact your survivability in the perilous realms of Dungeons and Dragons 5e. Understanding its mechanics, limitations, and synergies can turn a vulnerable spellcaster into a resilient force on the battlefield. As we at ATLAS continue to explore the endless possibilities of magic across various realms, we find spells like Mage Armor to be quintessential in understanding the complex tapestry of arcane and divine energies that shape these worlds. So the next time you find yourself in a tight spot, remember: a well-timed Mage Armor spell could be the difference between life and death.

Discover more:

  1. Here are further informations regarding the Armor Class
  2. Discover on how does Cone Spells in the world’s most played TTRPG with our article
  3. Learn more about Proficiency Bonus (PB)


Mage Armor is one of the most used helpful spells in DnD 5e, Here are the sources we used to create this guide on how to use it:

  1. Here are informations about Mage Armor

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