How to Heal Undead in DnD 5E

Recently updated on December 27th, 2022 at 05:35 pm

So you’ve found yourself wondering how to heal undead in DnD 5E, huh? You’re in good company. Many have asked and been stumped (no pun intended).

There are three ways to heal Undead in DnD 5E:

  1. Use spells like Life Transference
  2. Allow the Undead to Rest
  3. Bring them back with Animate Dead

Here’s our full list of options when it comes to healing Undead:

There are essentially two qualifications here: Undead minions can receive temporary HP and can also earn HP back while resting. There are also spells that can bring them back.

Click the links above to jump down to the section below that gives more detail on each of the ways you can potentially heal an Undead in D&D.

Healing Undead in DnD with Spells

Although it may seem counterintuitive, it actually is possible to heal under in DnD 5E using spells. We’ve listed below the various options that are available.

Healing Undead in DnD with the Regenerate Spell

Most healing spells specifically mention not working on Undead or Constructs. However, interestingly, the Regenerate spell does not say that it won’t work on Undead or Constructs.

The only thing the spell mentions is that you touch a creature and stimulate its natural healing ability, whatever that is. It also mentions the target’s severed body parts, if applicable, would be restored after 2 minutes. But if you have any severed parts, and place them where they should go, they will instantly heal. This makes for some very interesting roleplaying moments.

While some may argue that an Undead or Construct isn’t natural, the fact that this spell doesn’t mention not working against either of those is a good indicator that this could work in a campaign.

Healing Undead in DnD with the Heroes’ Feast Spell

Similar to Regenerate, Heroes’ Feast is a spell where your character, as the name implies, creates a massive feast that includes food and drink. The feast takes an hour to consume and disappears thereafter. The effects of the spell kick in after the hour is over.

What’s interesting about Heroes’ Feast is that it says a creature that partakes of the feast gains several benefits. Again, there’s no specificity here in type of creature. Because of that, we’re assuming that Undead and could benefit. Constructs would probably not be able to partake since they don’t eat.

What’s exciting here is that Heroes’ Feast wouldn’t just heal the Undead (in fact, it’d increase the hit point maximum by 2d10 and gain the same number of hit points), but it would also cure the creature from any disease or poison, make it immune to poison and being frightened, and even give it advantage on all wisdom saving throws. All of these effects will last for 24 hours.

Healing Undead in DnD with the Life Transference Spell

Life Transference is a Necromancy spell that sacrifices some of your health to mend another creature. You take 4d8 necrotic damage and 1 creature of your choice within range regains a number of HP that equals double the amount of the necrotic damage you took. Again, there’s no mention here of Undead or Constructs being left out.

Healing Undead in DnD with the Heroism Spell

The Heroism spell is unique in that it imbues the willing creature with bravery. While up, the creature:

  • Is immune to being frightened
  • Gains temporary hit points equal to your spellcasting ability modifier – this happens at the start of their turns until the spell is over
  • When the spell drops, the target loses the temporary hit points

While this is, not to be too on the nose, a temporary healing solution, it’s still something to keep in mind!

Allowing Undead to Heal in DnD by Resting

The assumption we’re making here is that Undead creatures act somewhat similarly to others in the fact that they recuperate while resting. At D&D Sage Advice, Jeremy Crawford mentions that, by default, every creature in D&D (including Undead) can use their HD during a short rest.

So that’s that! By taking a short (and we’re assuming long) rest, Undead should be able to recover some hit points.

Using Animate Dead to Bring Undead Back

While this isn’t technically healing an Undead creature, the effect is essentially the same. If an Undead creature is ever destroyed in battle, you can always use the Animate Dead spell to bring them back! Now, the assumption of the Undead creature being the same one and not a different creature is up to your discretion. Seems like a gray area and we’d be happy with it working out. It’d make for an interesting story!

Other Options to Consider When Attempting to Heal Undead in DnD

Aside from what we’ve mentioned above, there are several other options we think would be interesting to consider if you’re hoping to heal an Undead creature in a DnD campaign. Here are some spells to consider:

  • Goodberry
  • Aura of Vitality
  • Wish

Frequently Asked Questions

In DnD does healing hurt undead?

Not from what we can tell. Most descriptions of healing spells, Cure Wounds for example, simply mention it wouldn’t have an effect.

Are there official DnD 5E Undead rules around healing?

Take a look at what we mentioned above! After dissecting all of what has been said in the community, that’s the resounding agreed-upon answer.

Will the Cure Wounds 5E spell heal Undead?

Unfortunately, spells like Cure Wounds would not work on Undead in DnD. In the description of the spell, it specifically says is “has no effect on undead or constructs.” The good thing here is that, at the very least, the spell won’t do any damage to the Undead.

What if I tried using a healing potion Undead 5E

The official description for a potion of healing in DnD says you “regain hit points when you drink this potion. The number of hit points depends on the potion’s rarity, as shown in the Potions of Healing table. Whatever its potency, the potion’s red liquid glimmers when agitated.” Based on that, it would lead us to believe this could work!

Additional D&D Guides to Consider:

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