If party finds themselfs constantly beaten after each encounter - Healing Spirit can top their HP between fights. Looking further into this I was surprised at how limited AOE is at 3rd level, it's Fireball, Erupting Earth, and Tidal Wave really. I think that was poor design. This extra damage also comes with a bunch of utility spells that can solve lots of problems, and the fact that Fireball deals so much damage makes other spells of the same level become less enticing. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. Fireball is great at 5th level, but slowly loses umph every single level after 6th. Please let me know how Cloudkill does something other than damage? A Paladin with a greatsword and using both their 2nd level slots on Divine Smites will still not out damage Fireball (7+4+13. Fireball is also a pretty blunt instrument. Read aloud the following text to set the scene: Windows rattle as the roar of an explosion fills Trollskull. For everything I have seen they are standards to take for the "I would rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it" mentality. Get all the stories you need-to-know from the most powerful name in news delivered first thing every morning to your inbox. Fireball is by far the more problematic of the two spells -- it covers a very large area, it can hit targets you don't have line of effect on, and it has pretty long range (rarely relevant in dungeons, but more relevant overland; notably, it's longer than the range of counterspell). Well, at level 3 slot it might be weaker than fireball (19,5 vs 28 damage) but when I pick magic secrets I tend to look long-term more than short term. Also, when listing OP level 3 spells, don't forget Tiny Hut. Once. As for Lightning Bolt as a single target spell, I think it might be more interesting and powerful as a ranged spell attack, which could then be Twinned, increased with spell sniper, and you could crit, and there aren't that many higher level ranged spell attacks for some reason. A 5th level caster using Fireball by your math gets a possibility of 56 damage. The actual guidelines say that a 3rd level AOE should deal 6d6 damage, and I'm thinking of changing Fireball to that. Fireball is meant to feel epic. At the cost of a 3rd level spell slot you deal 4d10 damage to 4 enemies - which is still worse than Fireball, but at least it's comparable to Erupting Earth (22dmg vs 19.5dmg + difficult terrain) or Tidal Wave (22dmg vs 18dmg + knockback and prone). Delayed Blast Fireball. Why is Ice Storm 4th level? And martials only go down from there. If you nerf either or both of those spells then you are flattening out a peak for those classes that really finally need one. Lets say that you have 3 fights in a day each lasting 4 rounds at 5th level, and you get one short rest. I'd be inclined to change them to 6d6(+1d6 per level up) for Fireball, 6d8 (+1d8 per level up) for Lightning Bolt, and maybe change range to 100'. Looking further into this I was surprised at how limited AOE is at 3rd level, it's Fireball, Erupting Earth, and Tidal Wave really.