Last Updated: July 25, 2022
Did you know that you can stop someone from bleeding out by burning the wound shut? The Druid Circle of Wildfire turns this simple fact into a very cohesive theme for a subclass. The Wildfire Druid is set up as a healing support, with tools for positioning and bonuses to healing magic, that also has an array of fire spells not normally on the Druid list. Together with the already impressive Druid spell list, this package allows for a flexible role on the battlefield where round by round the Wildfire druid can switch from damage to support depending on which spells it casts.
One could argue that the abundance of fire resistance and immunity cause us problems in the long run. Sure, if all we ever did was fire spells that would be an issue, but we have options. And the fire damage from the Wildfire Spirit is really just an extra bonus. If all it had was a 15-foot combat teleport for allies it would still be just as useful.
If you’re looking for a little hybrid role action, halfway between blaster and healer, this subclass may be exactly what you’re looking for. Read on to find out more.
Table of Contents
- Circle of Wildfire Features
- Circle of Wildfire Ability Scores
- Circle of Wildfire Races
- Circle of Wildfire Feats
- Circle of Wildfire Multiclassing
- Circle of Wildfire Spells
- Example Build – Gamera
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.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- : Good options. Useful often.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
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Circle of Wildfire Features
: A nice balance
between healing and damage options, the spell list adds numerous fire damage
spells from the sorcerer and wizard spell lists.
- : Staple options for both damage and healing.
- : More staple damage options.
- : Both options are technically situational, but Revivify is such a crucial option that it’s essentially a tax on any class which has access to it, and since it’s only available to most druids as an Optional Class Feature, this is one of very few ways for a druid to get guaranteed access to Revivify.
- : Two situational defensive buffs.
- : You don’t get fireball, but Flame Strike is almost as good.
The Wildfire Spirit also has a short-range teleportation option which leaves a small fire damage AOE in its wake. Even though the 15-foot teleportation range is very small, it’s enough to get an ally out of a grapple and out of melee reach, as well as to get the party through many barriers like portcullises, doors, and windows which would normally block passage but you can still see past.
The Wildfire Spirit has two crucial limitations. First, and most obvious, is fire damage. Fire resistance and immunity are common, and Elemental Adept doesn’t help your Wildfire Spirit’s fire damage. Second, it can only attack targets which you can see and teleport to places that you can see. If you’re blind or just can’t make line of sight, your spirit is mostly useless.
Even with those limitations, for an hour the Druid more or less has the damage of an extra cantrip as a bonus action on every round, and that adds up.
: A powerful combat
summon to College of Creation’s Dancing Item, the Wildfire Spirit is a
flying Striker. At just 10 Strength and small size it’s not strong enough to
carry anything of significant weight, so its function is almost purely
combative. The 30 ft. fly speed allows it to remain safely out of melee
combat, which is good since it has a small pool of hit points and just 13
AC. The 1-hour duration and 2 Wild Shape uses per Short Rest will keep your
spirit around for a big chunk of the day, but if you’re on your second use
be cautious about your spirit’s hit points, and if your spirit goes down try
to get a Short Rest as quickly as possible.
The second portion of this feature allows you to originate spells from your spirit instead of from yourself. Druids are notoriously frail (medium armor, no metal, d8 hit dice), so allowing you to cast short-range spells like Burning Hands while remaining at a safe distance is a huge benefit. The spirit’s ability to fly makes this especially useful because you can target cones straight down and effectively get a circular AOE against targets on the ground.
However, remember that the spirit takes its turn immediately after yours, so positioning for this tactic can be difficult. Be aware that using the Ready action on a spell takes your Concentration so whatever else you were already Concentrating on will end if you try to Ready a spell for when the Wildfire Spirit is in position to deliver a spell.
Also do note that this is not limited to your Druid spells. A good little combo if you for example dipped a level into Cleric is to fly the spirit up to a surrounded ally, use a readied Word of Radiance excluding the ally from the AoE, then using Fiery Teleport to evacuate the ally while adding even more damage.
: The bonus to damage and
healing is fantastic on its own, applying not just to cantrips but also to
your leveled spells. 1d8 damage/healing doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s
equivalent to adding a spell level for many spells like Burning Hands, Cure
Wounds. Just remember that your spirit needs to be summoned, so if you’re
out of Wild Shape uses and your spirit is down, consider a Short Rest as
soon as possible.
Limiting this to your Reaction and proficiency bonus times per long rest prevents you and your allies from running through a series of these spectral flames in one turn to rapidly heal, and limiting the whole effect to small or larger creatures prevents shenanigans like murdering a bag of rats and rolling your party through the spectral flames to produce bottomless healing. WotC really nailed the limitations on this one, so go-to abuse cases don’t apply. However, if you walk into a room full of goblins or kobolds, it starts to look like a room full of health potions.
: 2d10+Wisdom is a
decent amount of healing or damage, especially as a Reaction. Provided that
there are multiple foes in an encounter, picking off the weak ones and
strategically applying this healing or dragging enemies through a spectral
flame to damage them can have a significant impact. However, to make that
work your party will need mechanisms to push, pull, drag, or otherwise
reposition your enemies.
- : Half hit points is enough to get you back up and fighting without going back down immediately, and sacrificing your wildfire spirit to make this happen is absolutely worth the cost since you can just resummon it, provided that you still have a Wild Shape use to do so. You only get to use this once per day, but hopefully that’s enough, and if you’re ever unsure you can always retreat and live to fight another day.
Circle of Wildfire Ability Scores
We are a Druid and we need to spend our Wildshape uses on our Flame Spirit so we’ll need some physical stats to keep ourselves safe. Conveniently, we’ll be able to stay back and fight more like a caster, but since we only need Wisdom, we can also work on our Dexterity and Constitution to keep safe.
: Even though technically there’s nothing preventing us from getting proficiency and wearing full plate, most people will argue that’s not Druidic. That whole argument is beyond the scope of this article, but in prior editions we got around this by making Full Plate from dragon hide so ask your DM and maybe they’ll be nice.
: This gives us one of the big saves and our AC. We’ll likely wear Medium so we only need 14 here.
: Hit points and the big Concentration save.
: We’re the nature skill guy. This is our 12 if we’re Standard Array.
: Our casting stat and our multiclassing stat.
: We talk to animals, which is a Wisdom skill, not people.
|Point Buy||Standard Array|
Circle of Wildfire Races
The Druid Races Breakdown covers everything about this in great detail. At the end of the day, we’re still mostly a Druid just with a little pet that can deliver spells and spit fire. That’s not a significant enough difference for the rankings to change.
Circle of Wildfire Feats
- TCoE: I know I suggest this feat a lot, but Wild Shape and Wildfire Spirit put us firmly on team Short Rest and Chef puts the whole party on team Short Rest. Also it’s a Hybrid for either Constitution or Wisdom and we like both of those.
- TCoE: We don’t anticipate wanting to wade into melee but, if Shillelagh is running we can bop some goons around if they get too close. Also this could even up an odd Constitution because it’s hybrid.
Circle of Wildfire Multiclassing
As always, don’t forget to reference the Druid Handbook Multiclassing section as well.
- : There isn’t a single druid that isn’t better with one level in Cleric. Domains are that strong. But not every domain is equal, so we’ll rank how well they benefit Wildfire druids.
- Prestidigitation, Thaumaturgy, and Druidcraft on the same character. : Wizard cantrips can be nice. Green-Flame Blade is thematically in line with our Fire based combat strategy. Also, for memes this dip would let you have
- : It’s not terrible, it’s even quite good, it’s just splitting our focus. There are four Necromancy cantrips, but the only one worth using this on is Toll the Dead.
- : +1 Armour, Heavy Armour Proficiency, Smith’s Tools. This is probably the most compelling way to make an argument for making exotic Druid-safe heavy armors out of tough monsters.
- : Circle of Mortality maximizes all dice when we cure a target at 0 hit points. This includes the bonus d8 we get to healing at sixth level. That’s synergy. Also we get a PKE meter to find ghosts.
- : Two Languages, Two Knowledge Skills, Expertise in said skills. A druid with Nature Expertise is kinda thematic.
- : Heavy Armour Proficiency. Life adds a flat amount to magical healing. This is not that impressive by itself, but that flat amount is applied to every individual goodberry from the spell. That’s 40 hit points from a 1st level spell slot, and upcasting adds 10 hit points per level. Eat these after every combat to stay topped off.
- : Light cantrip is ok. Imposing Disadvantage as a Reaction to protect yourself is nice too.
- : We’re already Druids. Just pick something else with Heavy Armour Proficiency.
- : Heavy Armour and a skill. Voice of Authority has a great interaction with Wildfire. Ready to cure an ally, send in the spirit to deliver the cure spell, ally swings, and spirit evacs the ally. Or make the ready trigger “after my spirit performs the help action” and send in an assist to grant Advantage on the reaction swing. Rogues love this trick. Also access to the Heroism spell as the 1st level domain spell.
- Tyler wrote a whole article about why this domain is bad. And by bad he meant Objectively the Best Domain. In a “it’s bad that it’s too good” way. :
- : Martial weapons and Heavy Armour. A reaction to rebuke an attacker in melee with damage. It’s ok but we really only get Proficiencies from this.
- : Advantage on Stealth but only for other people.
- : Martial Weapons and Heavy Armour. 300 foot Darkvision that can be shared with Wisdom mod total creatures for an hour. Grant a creature Advantage on initiative rolls. Access to the Sleep spell as the 1st level domain spell.
- : Martial Weapon and Heavy Armour Proficiencies. Our bonus action is spoken for so we don’t really have the opportunity to use War Priest.
Circle of Wildfire Spells
The Wildfire Druid has some interesting tricks that help us determine what kinds of spells we want to cast. Particularly, at sixth level, we roll an extra d8 whenever we either do Fire damage or recover hit points with a spell. At the same level we gain the ability to use our Wildfire Spirit as the origin point of our spells as long as the range of the spell is not self.
With all of that it would be easy to misunderstand what we are. We’re not the Fire Evocation Druid. We’re the Life Druid with some extra Fire magic and a Bonus Action for extra Fire damage. What this means is that preparing spells is pretty easy for us. All the Fire spells we want are always prepared thanks to our Circle, as well as most of the Healing magic we would need. We’re thus free to prepare whatever other damage types or utility control magic we want.
So check out the Druid Spells Breakdown, and just remember that you’ll be using your Bonus Action on the Wildfire Spirit often so don’t load up too heavily on Bonus Action spells, but don’t ignore them entirely.
Example Build – Gamera
Because I can’t assume your DM will let you have real amour on your Druid, this example build will use a Tortle to just have 17 AC. This is great because Gamera is a kaiju turtle with flame powers and fun is optimal.
That said, with Tortle we get to dump our Dexterity. We only need Wisdom and Constitution though, so where should we put the rest? Charisma? Not an awful choice, we could assist in Face duties. Intelligence? Would let us know more about Nature. Anyways we put it in Strength so we can swing weapons if we get close to melee.
|Point Buy||Racial Bonuses|
We start by maxing out Wisdom since it’s our casting stat, and then also fill out Constitution to survive better. Because Tortles’ AC is a flat 17, we can ignore Dexterity. We throw all those leftover points into Strength so we can hit things in the early levels and so we can use Athletics to not get grappled or tripped. As we level we’ll do less meleeing and we won’t be increasing our Strength anymore.
Mentioned above, we’re a Tortle. We get to have 17 AC, some claws, a skill proficiency, and the ability to hide in our shell for extra AC.
Pick whichever of the skills you like, it’s not that important.
Pick what feels right for your character, but if you’re afraid of getting grappled look to pick up Athletics since that 8 in Dexterity makes Acrobatics a poor defense choice.
Skills and Tools
We choose Perception and Survival from the Druid list. We’ll get some more from our background, but it again doesn’t matter too much as long as you get some Athletics proficiency.
Hey you know that math thing we’re always pushing? Well we’re going to be behind it for a bit but that’s okay.
Fourth Level, Druid 4: The reason we’re going to be behind is that we’re picking up Warcaster as soon as we can.
Ninth Level, Druid 8: ASI Wisdom +2 (16->18)
Thirteenth Level, Druid 12: ASI Wisdom +2 (18->20)
Seventeenth Level, Druid 16: Polearm Master
Twentieth Level, Druid 19: Tough
It might look a little strange and that’s because we’re dipping into Cleric at Fifth Level for the Arcana Domain. This allows us to take both Green-Flame Blade and Booming Blade. Green-Flame will pair nicely with the rest of our Fire abilities and Booming Blade is a useful alternative when Fire wont work and for when Warcaster allows us to Opportunity Attack with a Spell. We’ll be holding a Spear and a Shield as well, so we need Warcaster to let us cast things.
|Levels||Feats and Features||Notes and Tactics|
|1 – Druid 1||Druidic|
– Create Bonfire
– Thorn Whip
|We’re going to walk out holding a spear and a shield and no armor
This puts us at 19 AC to start. Pretty solid for first level so we can afford to wade into melee.
For cantrips we pickup Create Bonfire and Thorn Whip. Since our Strength is as high as our Wisdom, we don’t need Shillelagh for meleeing.
We’ll want to drop a Bonfire and start pulling people into it with Thorn Whip, or hitting them with a spear if they choose to stand in it.
Because we can prepare from our entire spell list each day we’ll only go over the spells from Circle of Wildfire. For the rest of your spells refer to the Druid Spell Breakdown.
|2 – Druid 2||Wild Shape|
Druidic Circle of Wildfire
– Burning Hands
– Cure Wounds
Summon Wildfire Spirit
|At this level we gain Wild Shape, but we’re going to be spending that
to use our Summon Wildfire Spirit.|
The Wildfire Spirit is going to cost most of our Bonus Actions going forward.
When the Spirit is active, we’ll want to prioritize using it to move ourselves and allies around the battlefield, but also we can use the teleportation ability as an attack even if nobody needs to reposition.
If things get a little dangerous and enemies try attacking the spirit, we can have it hang back at range and use the single-target attack.
Additionally we now always have Burning Hands and Cure Wounds prepared, but we should keep Healing Word prepared for emergencies. Giving up one spirit attack for a timely stabilization with Healing Word is worth the trade.
|3 – Druid 3||2nd-level spells|
– Flaming Sphere
– Scorching Ray
|We now always have Flaming Sphere and Scorching Ray prepared.|
Flaming Sphere is okay but we’ll have other things we want to Concentrate on and it was already a Druid spell.
Scorching Ray is a decent spell for doing fire damage that wasn’t already on the Druid list, so that’s good for us.
|4 – Druid 4||Feat: Warcaster|
Wild Shape Improvement
|We pick up the Warcaster feat, giving us the ability to cast a spell
as an opportunity attack.|
We grab Druidcraft here for all the lovely shenanigans those spells cause. In particular you can get an accurate 24 hour weather forecast and that’s great.
And even though we’re typically going to spend Wild Shape on the Wildfire Spirit, we still have basic Wildshape. At this level we can be a CR1/2 beast as long as it lacks a Fly speed.
|5 – Cleric 1||Spellcasting|
1st-level Cleric spells
– Green-Flame Blade
– Booming Blade
– Detect Magic
– Magic Missile
|Oh boy, big level here:|
We take a level in Cleric here at fifth level for a very important reason: This is the point where cantrips get their first scaling bump.
To that end, we’re taking the Arcana Domain in order to turn Green-Flame Blade and Booming Blade into Cleric cantrips so we don’t have to dip an arcane caster to get them. We can use them both as regular attacks and as part of opportunity attacks thanks to Warcaster from our previous level.
In addition, we now have access to 1st-level Cleric spells, and our Domain spells are Detect Magic and Magic Missile.
For Cleric cantrips, we pick up Light, Mending, and Thaumaturgy because they all provide good utility and we have 8 cantrips at this point so we don’t need anymore.
Alternatively, we could drop one of those and grab Word of Radiance if we want a safe AoE to use around fellow melee allies.
|6 – Druid 5||3rd-level spells|
– Plant Growth
|And we’re back to Druid for the rest of our career.At this level, we
gain Plant Growth and Revivify as always prepared.|
Plant Growth is actually really strong. It turns a 100-foot area into special terrain full of overgrown plants. Importantly, this spell is instantaneous so the terrain is permanent, but even more importantly you may have noticed I have not described this terrain as ‘difficult’ because it’s not ‘difficult terrain’. Instead it costs 4 feet of movement per 1 foot of travel.
Because it’s very specifically not difficult terrain, casting something like Spike Growth onto the same area will stack on top of the effect. This would make it cost 8 feet of movement for 1 foot of travel.
Revivify is one of those spells that has to be ready in case you need it, so we’re glad that it’s automatically prepared for us so we don’t have to think about it.
|7 – Druid 6||Enhanced Bond||More bonuses for having the Wildfire Spirit up. Now we can add 1d8 to
any fire damage or health restoration spells we cast when the spirit
In addition, the spirit can now be the origin point of our spells.
There’s some subtle nuance to using this second part. The spirit takes its turn right after ours. This means that if we want to cast a spell when the spirit reaches a certain position we have to Ready the spell.
That can be complicated. Readying a spell requires us to hold Concentration until the spell goes off. This means that if we’re already Concentrating on a spell, we lose that spell as soon as we take the Ready action.
So if we’re already Concentrating on something important we want to avoid doing it this way, but if combat just started and we want to get in a cheeky surprise such as the sky-hook maneuver, having your spirit Thorn Whip a target up 10 feet into the air to cause failing damage and subsequently causing the target to fall prone, then go for it.
|8 – Druid 7||4th-level spells|
– Aura of Life
– Fire Shield
|Aura of Life is an interesting little spell. It grants Necrotic
resistance, protects maximum hit points from being reduced, and
automatically stabilises allies assuming they can make it back to
their turn. Not bad.|
Fire Shield is a non-concentration self buff. During the spell you have either fire or cold resistance, and melee attacks take 2d8 of the opposite type (if the shield is fire resistant the enemy takes cold and vise-versa) when you get hit.
|9 – Druid 8||Wild Shape Improvement|
ASI: Wisdom +2 (16->18)
|Our basic Wildshape improves again, at this level we can be any CR1
We improve our Wisdom to 18 as we fight to catch up to the curve.
|10 – Druid 9||5th-level spells|
– Flame Strike
– Mass Cure Wounds
|We get more Wildfire spells.|
Flame Strike is interesting. Half fire, half radiant. The funny thing is that while this spell is not on the Druid list in 5e, it was on the Druid list in 3.5. Nice to have it back.
Mass Cure Wounds. Cast from its base 5th-level slot this spell is like Cure Wounds cast at 3rd level but in an AoE. Superior if you need to cure three or more people. Remember that if your Wildfire Spirit is active you add +1d8 to the healing, which is basically like it was cast as a 6th level spell for no additional cost.
|11 – Druid 10||Cauterizing Flames||Turn dead creatures into healing or fire damage.|
The ability is written very tightly to prevent abuse cases and that’s good.
When something small or larger dies within 30 feet of us it leaves behind some fire energy.We can spend a reaction up to PB times per long rest to either restore or burn a creature for 2d10+Wisdom mod when it enters the square.
|12 – Druid 11||6th-level spells||6th level spells. Heal is available now and it’s very time-efficient for combat casting. Generally if you’re going to heal someone in combat, it needs to be either because they’re at 0 hit points or because you’re hitting them with Heal to get them to full hit points.|
|13 – Druid 12||ASI: Wisdom +2 (18->20)||We’re pushing our Wisdom to 20 in order to cap our DCs and spell attacks.|
|14 – Druid 13||7th-level spells||7th-level spells. Fire Storm allows us to snake ten 10-foot cubes in whatever configuration will catch our foes and miss our allies.|
|15 – Druid 14||Blazing Revival||Once per day if we hit 0 hit points, we can sacrifice the Wildfire Spirit to recover half of our total hit points. This trade is worth it.|
|16 – Druid 15||8th-level spells|
|17 – Druid 16||Feat: Polearm Master||We’ve been holding a quarterstaff this whole time and potentially
swinging it around with Shillelagh so we pick this up for Warcaster
If something walks up to us, this allows an opportunity attack and warcaster allows a spell as an opportunity. So naturally we’ll use this to save-or-suck something as a reaction. Plane shift. Feeblemind. Hold Person. All those great single-target instant win spells.
|18 – Druid 17||9th-level spells||Druids have just four 9th-level spells on their spell list. Unless we need to bring someone back from the dead today with True Resurrection, we’re casting Foresight each morning on whichever party member becomes the most ridiculous with permanent Advantage.|
|19 – Druid 18||Timeless Body|
|We stop ageing and if we turn into animals we can still cast spells. Neat.|
|20 – Druid 19||Feat: Tough||+40 Hit Points means +20 hit points to Blazing Revival.|
At level 20, if someone tries to run up to us, we can use our Polearm Master + Warcaster to smack the target in the face with a Hold Person if it’s humanoid. If this happens, and it sticks, we’re now in melee with a Paralyzed target. We’ll Shilelagh + Green-Flame (or Booming Blade depending on resistance and immunity) for an automatic critical hit.
As long as the opponent can’t shake the Hold Person, we’ll be doing about 35 DPR on paper. Not bad for just a Druid with a stick, but our actual DPR would be the difference between our party’s DPR without automatic crits and their DPR with automatic crits.