DnD 5e Circle of the Land Druid


If you want to emphasize the Druid’s spellcasting, this is the way to do it. Circle of the Land adds almost nothing in terms of complexity to the Druid, which is great because it’s already such a complex class. However, if you can’t get by on just the Druid’s spellcasting, Circle of the Land won’t solve that problem for you because it expands on the Druid’s existing spellcasting capabilities but doesn’t add any new capabilities to the class.

Circle of the Land is arguably the most approachable full spellcaster. You don’t need to manage spells known like a sorcerer, you don’t need to manage a spellbook like a wizard, and in combat where things get messy, you can largely ignore the Druid’s other class features and focus solely on your spellcasting. This makes the Circle of the Land Druid a great option for new players to learn how to play a spellcaster.

However, that simplicity means that experienced players and players who like to engage with the mechanics may find that Circle of the Land doesn’t have enough buttons to push to hold their interest in a long-running game. With the subclass’s simple needs and low built-in complexity, you have lots of room to explore feats and other complex player options to expand your capabilities.

Table of Contents


RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

We will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, in handbooks for official content because we can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. We also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and we can’t guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.

The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released, and the article will be updated accordingly as time allows.

Circle of the Land Druid Features

  1. Bonus Cantrip: Druids get one less cantrip than other full casters, so this sets the Land Druid on even footing with other full casters.
  2. Natural Recovery: This provides a bit of sustainability that will help keep you functional throughout an adventuring day as you spend leveled spells. Without any backup options beyond cantrips, it’s crucial that you have enough spell slots to support your best options.
  3. Circle Spells: Varies by biome.
    • Arctic: Several excellent area control spells. Unfortunately, half of the options address similar needs and require Concentration, so it’s hard to use the spells in combination with one another.
      • 3rd Level: Hold Person and Spike Growth are excellent crowd control/area control options. However, both require Concentration.
      • 5th Level: Sleet Storm is mediocre, and given the choice between Sleet Storm and Spike Growth, I would pick Spike Growth every time. Slow is still good. And again, both require Concentration.
      • 7th Level: Ice Storm is bad. Freedom of Movement allows your allies to move through your area control effects more easily and to escape grapples, but it’s still only situationally useful. You already have Land’s Stride, so Freedom of Movement doesn’t help you much.
      • 9th Level: A useful divination, and a good source of instantaneous area damage not normally available to Druids.
    • Coast: Coast starts off very strong, but most of the spell options will only rarely see use.
      • 3rd Level: Mirror Image is among the best defensive options in the game, and Misty Step is a fantastically useful means of getting around. Neither are available to Druids normally.
      • 5th Level: Both are very situational.
      • 7th Level: Both are situational.
      • 9th Level: Scrying is very situational, but Conjure Elemental is pretty great. Summon a Fire Elemental and set fire to entire encounters. See my Practical Guide to Summoning Spells for help with Conjure Elemental.
    • Desert: A good mix of different options with different applications, and a couple of spells not normally available to Druids.
      • 3rd Level: Blur is a decent defensive option, and Silence is occasionally useful for stealth and for disabling spellcasters.
      • 5th Level: Most groups will ignore the consumption of food and water until you very suddenly can’t get any. Fortunately, you can typically survive a day to prepare Create Good and Water, so having it constantly prepared isn’t helpful. Protection From Energy is considerably more useful.
      • 7th Level: Both are every situational.
      • 9th Level: Both excellent area control options.
    • Forest: Nothing really spectacular.
      • 3rd Level: Barkskin is a fantastic buff, though it’s not as important since Land Druids don’t fight in Wild Shape. Spider Climb is situational, and seems a bit silly consider you can turn into a spider.
      • 5th Level: Call lightning is one of the most iconic Druid spells, but it can be hard to use. The damage per round isn’t spectacular, but the ability to repeatedly shoot lightning bolts makes it an extremely efficient use of spell slots, and once you cast it you can Wild Shape into a bird and keep activating Call Lightning. Plant Growth is complex, but potentially very effective area control.
      • 7th Level: Both options are situational, but Divination isn’t normally available to Druids.
      • 9th Level: Commune with Nature is a nice divination, though Divination is probably better, and Tree Stride is a decent way to get around, but can’t compete with real teleportation.
    • Grassland: Some excellent buffs, several of which aren’t normally available to Druids, but big parts of the spell list are situational.
      • 3rd Level: Two excellent options for stealth and infiltration. The effects remain in place when you use Wild Shape, so you can turn invisible, turn into an owl, and fly around almost undetectable, or you can use Pass Without Trace to allow your entire party to be effective at Stealth.
      • 5th Level: Daylight is situational, but Haste is one of the best buffs in the game if you have martial characters like barbarians and fighters around to make use of it.
      • 7th Level: Both options are situational, but Divination isn’t normally available to Druids.
      • 9th Level: Dream is extremely situational, but Insect Plague is good area control.
    • Mountain: Solid options all the way up the list.
      • 3rd Level: Spider Climb isn’t very useful since you can turn into a spider, but Spike Growth is one of my favorite area control spells.
      • 5th Level: Lightning bolt is a decent damage option, though somewhat difficult to bring to bear against crowds of enemies since it’s so difficult to target more than two creatures with a line effect. Meld with Stone is very situational.
      • 7th Level: Stone Shape is insanely useful, and Stoneskin is a great buff so long as you have enough gold to pay the component cost.
      • 9th Level: Passwall is extremely useful, and Wall of Stone is an excellent utility and area control spell.
    • Swamp: Starts off very strong, but the higher-level options are bad.
      • 3rd Level: Two good options, neither of which are available to Druids.
      • 5th Level: Water walk is very situational, but Stinking Cloud is fantastic area control.
      • 7th Level: Both options are only situationally useful. Freedom of movement is helpful for grapples and restraints, but it’s slightly less useful for druids because you get Land’s Stride.
      • 9th Level: Scrying is situational, but Insect Plague is good area control.
    • Underdark: Lots of fantastic options, many of which aren’t available to Druids normally.
      • 3rd Level: So I heard you like spiders. Web is good area control.
      • 5th Level: So I heard you like strange gasses. Stinking Cloud is good area control, and Gaseous Form is a great escape/infiltration form.
      • 7th Level: Greater Invisibility is fantastic, and Stone Shape is immensely useful.
      • 9th Level: Cloudkill is extremely lethal, but it’s hard to hit the same target more than once unless they’re confined to a small area. Insect Plague is good area control.
  4. Land’s Stride: Situational, but this likely allows you to walk through the area of a Plant Growth spell unaffected since the magic effect is instantaneous and the plants are natural after that point.
  5. Nature’s Ward: Excellent defenses against common and frequently problematic effects.
  6. Nature’s Sanctuary: Near-immunity to two types of creatures. By now you should have 20 Wisdom, and beasts and plants both tend to have low Wisdom saves. Unfortunately, beasts stopped being threatening a long time ago (especially if you prepare Animal Friendship) and plant creatures are rare, so this will rarely matter.

Circle of the Land Druid Ability Scores

Circle of the Land is very much the typical druid, so our ability scores match the typical druid.

Circle of the Land Druid Races

No different from the typical druid.

Circle of the Land Druid Feats

No different from the typical druid.

Circle of the Land Druid Weapons

No different from the typical druid.

Circle of the Land Druid Armor

No different from the typical druid.


No different from the typical druid.

Example Circle of the Land Druid Build – Wise Old Owl

This is a more optimized version of our Staple Druid Build. Unlike our staple builds, we look at options beyond the basic rules/SRD, which lets us build a much more powerful and interesting druid.

Druids get some of the best area control effects in the game, allowing them to control the battlefield with difficult terrain, physical barriers, herds of cattle, and crowd control effects like restraining creatures with Entangle. This build leans into the best parts of the Druid’s spell list, capitalizing on those abilities to make a big impact in combat, even if we’re not directly dealing much damage.

Outside of combat, we have the skills to be our party’s Scout, and with options like a familiar, Invisibility, and Pass Without Trace, we’re very good at it and can bring our party along with us.

We’re going to use all of the optional class features for the Druid.

Ability Scores

We’re going to start with 15 in Dex/Con/Wis, then we’ll put our +2 into Wisdom for spells and +1 into Dexterity for better AC and saves. We’ll eventually take Resilient (Con) to even out our Constitution.



Owlin. We’re stuck in light armor (or bad medium armor) anyway, so the armor restriction on flight doesn’t hurt. Darkvision and flight are both excellent, and, while we can produce those with Wild Shape, we’re going to reserve our Wild Shape uses for Wild Companion.


Whatever you like. It doesn’t really affect the build.

Skills and Tools

We get Stealth from our race, Insight and Perception from our class, and two more from our background.

We also get Herbalist’s Kit, plus whatever we get from our background.


We have no built-in use for our Bonus Action aside from a handful of spells, which means options which rely on our Bonus Action are much more appealing. Naturally, that means go-to hybrid feats like Fey Touched and Telekinetic. We’re also going to be heavily reliant on Concentration spells, which makes Resilient (Con) very appealing.

Beyond that, anything which adds to and improves our capabilities will be useful, but we’re not dependent on anything specific to meet that goal. Lucky and Metamagic Adept are good go-to options. If you’re relying a lot on summoned creatures, Fighting Initiate for Fighting Style (Protection) may be useful.


Level Feat(s) and Features Notes and Tactics
Cantrips Known:
– Guidance
– Thorn Whip
Spells Prepared:
– Entangle
– Faerie Fire
– Goodberry
– Healing Word
For your starting equipment, take the gold option. We get 2d5x10 gp, which averages to 50. Buy a shield (10gp), leather armor (10gp), an explorer’s pack (10gp), a druidic focus (1 to 10gp), a dagger for melee, and a sling. Upgrade to studded leather when you can afford it.

Darts are our go-to attack option between leveled spells. Our Dexterity modifier and Wisdom modifier are the same currently, so until we hit level 4 our attack bonus is just as good with darts as with spells, and then 1d4+3 damage (average 5.5) for darts will exceed most of our attack options. Magic Stone is slightly better, but the action economy is considerably more complex than “I draw and throw a dart”.

Thorn Whip won’t beat our dart damage until we get to level 5, but we want it for the ability to forcibly move enemies, not for the damage. Of course, you can also fly directly above an enemy, pull them 10 feet into the air, and drop them for an extra d6 of falling damage and to make them prone.

For prepared spells, grab staple druid options. Entangle for crowd control. Faerie Fire for anything too strong to restrain with Entangle. Healing Word for emergency healing. Goodberry for capitalizing on any spell slots remaining at the end of the day.
2Wild Companion
Wild Shape (CR 1/4)
Druidic Circle: Circle of the Land (Grasslands)
Bonus Cantrip:
Shape Water
Natural Recovery
New Spells Prepared:
– Absorb Elements
We get Wild Shape, but we’ll rarely use it. More likely, we’ll use those Wild Shape uses for Wild Companion to summon ourselves a temporary owl. Send it into combat to use the Help action repeatedly to boost your party’s attacks. If it dies, it’s replaceable. You can also send the familiar to scout dangerous places, and, unlike a wizard’s, it doesn’t cost 10 minutes and 10gp to replace your familiar when they step on a trap or get eaten by a grue.

Shape Water lets us do silly things like fly around with a 5-foot cube of water next to us, hover high above something, then freeze that cube of water into a multi-ton block of ice and drop it.

Natural Recovery scales slowly, but it’s great for recovering low-level spell slots. Among other options, we can use it to fuel repeated castings of Goodberry and Absorb Elements.

Cantrips scale at this level. Drop the darts and look to cantrips when you need damage.
3Circle Spells
New Spells Prepared:
– Invisibility (free)
– Pass Without Trace (free)
Summon Beast
Invisibility and Pass Without Trace make stealth much more viable both for us and for the party.

While we can’t match Circle of the Shepherd‘s summoning capabilities, Summon Beast still gives us a powerful combat pet. If you don’t need crowd control, Summon Beast remains an easy go-to use for your Concentration for your whole career. The 1-hour duration makes it a very rewarding use of our highest-level spell slots.
4Feat: Telekinetic (Wis 17 -> 18)
Wild Shape Improvement (CR 1/2)
New Cantrip:
– Produce Flame
New Spells Prepared:
– Spike Growth
Telekinetic gives us a consistent use for our Bonus Action, in addition to getting Mage Hand and raising our Wisdom modifier.

Spike Growth is fun because it enables “cheese grater” combos. Eldritch Blast+Repelling Blast+Grasp of Hadar is a popular go-to combo. But you can also do it with the Bonus Action from Telekinetic and with Thorn Whip, allowing you deal 6d4 damage to a target at no cost once Spike Growth is running.

Because we prepare spells, just drop it for Lesser Restoration anytime someone in your party needs something fixed.
5Circle Spells
New Spells Prepared:
– Daylight (free)
– Haste (free)
– Revivify
Haste is really tempting, but whoever you cast it on needs to be able to do more with that one extra attack than your summoned beast could do with one attack and a big pile of hit points all from a lower-level spell slot.

Revivify is basically a tax, but we have enough great offensive options that we’re not suffering by carrying it.
6Land’s Stride
New Spells Prepared:
– Erupting Earth
I really want Land’s Stride to be more useful, but it doesn’t make us immune or even reliably resistant to our own Entangle, and it does absolutely nothing to get us through Plant Growth. If we were good at Strength saves, Advantage would let us drop Entangle on yourselves with a reasonable chance to not be bothered, but with no proficiency and -1 Str, that’s not going to happen.

Erupting Earth is one of the Druid’s few area damage options. It’s not Fireball, but it does also drop difficult terrain. If we’re concentrating on something already and don’t want to cast Entangle, this can be a great way to control the battlefield.
7Circle Spells
New Spells Prepared:
– Divination (free)
– Freedom of Movement (free)
4th-level spells get us some cool stuff. Divination lets us get some information from the DM, while Polymorph lets us turn into a giant ape for this level, then immediately it becomes tyrannosaurus time. We can also upcast Summon Beast to get two attacks. Unfortunately, we can still only concentrate on one spell at a time, but we have a growing list of tools to solve whatever problems we meet.
8Wild Shape (CR 1)
ASI: Wis 18 -> 20
New Spells Prepared:
– Stone Shape
Wild Shape lets us fly at this level. Neat.

Stone Shape is great. A lot of things are built using stone and caves are typically made of stone.
9Circle Spells
New Spells Prepared:
– Commune with Nature (free)
– Tree Stride (free)
– Maelstrom
Maelstrom does damage very slowly, but, against enemies who aren’t massively strong, it can be a death sentence. Most creatures will need to Dash to move from the center to the edge of the effect, and you conveniently have Telekinesis and can nudge them back into the are of effect. If they still manage to escape, you can fly into the maelstrom, hit them with Thorn Whip, then fly out again. You’ll only take damage if you’re in the area at the start of your turn.

If you find that Maelstrom isn’t woking for you, consider Summon Draconic Spirit.
10Nature’s Ward
New Spells Prepared:
– Wall of Stone
Sick of enemies walking out of your Maelstrom? Put a wall around it.
11New Spells Prepared:
– Heal
The only in-combat healing you can justify in most cases.
12Feat: Resilient (Con 15 -> 16)
New Spells Prepared:
– Any
Resilient gets us proficiency in Con saves and raises our Constitution to 16 gets us a bunch of hit points.
13New Spells Prepared:
– Plane Shift
Use your disposable familiar to plane shift unwilling enemies to somewhere unpleasant for them.
14Nature’s Sanctuary
New Spells Prepared:
– Reverse Gravity
Nature’s Sanctuary isn’t especially helpful. There are very few beasts and plants which can meaningfully threaten you at this CR.

Reverse Gravity is a borderline infallible solution to melee-only enemies that can’t fly.
15New Spells Prepared:
Animal Shapes
Turn your bag of rats into giant scorpions and drop them on your problems.
16Feat: Any
New Spells Prepared:
– Sunburst
Incinerate and blind everything in a huge area.
17New Spells Prepared:
– Foresight
Foresight is the best buff in the game. Pick your favorite person to share it with.
18Beast Spells
Timeless Body
New Spells Prepared:
Shapechange is really neat, but also takes away your ability to cast awesome spells.
19Feat: Any
New Spells Prepared:
– Any
New Spells Prepared:
– Any
Infinite free familiars! Summon them and throw them into traps until you run out of traps or patience.