Lightning Lick is the ultimate cantrip for any party trying to get rid of pesky numb and paralyzed targets. With this in your aggro locking arsenal, you won’t find yourself so easily kited out by any group with a necromancer. The ability to provide constant round-the-clock immunity to the effects of Exhaustion will also keep you from having to make those hard decisions when it’s time for rest, like “does anyone need less sleep?” or “can we afford that long rest before entering this dungeon?” If your Bard isn’t one of your primary healers, Lightning Lick can still be useful as a utility spell if nothing else.
I use misty step a lot to get around a battlefield when I’m playing as the caster, especially when I don’t want to reveal my location or movements. It’s also good when you’re trapped and need an escape route. You can also use the Misty Step spell as described in D&D 5e to teleport at will up to 10 feet per level.
Locate object is extremely useful for rogue-like characters, but it requires concentration for one minute of uninterrupted study so that may be hard for some people with ADHD like me who easily get bored with monotonous tasks, so just make it take three hours or something! Gaseous form is a great way of evading melee enemies by going cloud, and it’s a great way to get through small gaps. Bard cantrips are mostly useless though but I use them anyway because I don’t like the idea of not using all my options!
Locate Object – This cantrip has a LOT of usefulness for people who are often misplacing things. It’s also helpful if someone is borrowing an item that you’re hoping to get back in the same condition they received it in.
Lingering Illogic – A really good incapacitating cantrip, since most spells and effects only last one round, this cantrip can be really potent when paired with other offensive spells.
Mislead – Great for deception, scaring your friends and family or even being used as a prank if timed right (like the words “pants” written on the toilet).
Minor Illusion – More effective than I expected when laying out useful trigger images for some self-casted illusions like projecting my perception onto an object to make it seem like I’m in a different location or to give someone else the visual of their idea. It has some good uses, but it’s a little limited in its purpose.
Mage Hand – This is the one cantrip that has been in every edition of DnD so far. Although, in previous editions it could be used to launch projectiles or pick up items from a distance using the “Lift” option, it’s much more limited in 5e. But, this can be used to pick up an unattended item or bring you something that has fallen out of reach if you’re not able to get to it otherwise.
The most use I’ve found out of the Bard cantrips is Friends. Granting a creature temporary hit points, adding a +2 to saving throws they take, or even halting health conditions don’t get old quickly either.
Friends is an excellent utility for bolstering one’s own party and stirring up the battlefield in some way by granting temporary HP, augmenting Will saves, or frightening opponents into failure on their attack rolls (if there’s anyone who can still hear you), withdrawing from the fight entirely by summoning animals to do your fighting for you… This spell is a must-have for any class that specializes in allies.
The first cantrip that I found most useful in D&D 5e was Minor Illusion – the ability to create a very simple visual simulation of something that isn’t real.
The usefulness of Minor Illusion comes down to two primary functionality: First, it can be used as a distraction to shift focus away from you or your allies – even when its not perfect, an illusion is often good enough for the purpose; second, it can be used in order to simulate some part of a camp site where you are resting for the night. Doing this will allow you and your party members a bit more durability against things like cold weather penalties or camping hazards, assuming there may be those kind of changes.
Light or Glimpse for fifth level spells. Blindness/Deafness, Chaos Bolt, Friends, Mage Hand and Command can all be useful as well. It also depends if you have a fighter-type that would benefit from Light more so than… say a wizard.
I personally enjoy the 5th level Magic Missiles spell the most because I’ve found it to give myself and others the edge while fighting certain adversaries on foot or in close quarters with melee weapons. Land’s Stride is usually my go-to 7th level spell when I don’t already know what I’ll need to do and want to get some versatility in there too. Locate Object is another favorite 8th leveled spell of mine because there are so many items, people and places I want to look out for.
My favourite cantrip is armor of agathys.
It’s a strong debuff that can be used both offensively and defensively, but only against enemy creatures so it’s less useful against players in the game. It reduces moves by 10 (enough to keep someone still) and halves their speed for 5 turns, which is incredibly powerful depending on the situation. While difficult, it does allow them to take two actions instead of one, so they don’t get slowed down as much as other people might have been–so long as they don’t make more than one attack or cast another spell since that would break the effect.