D&D 5E Eldritch Strike rules question

ECMO3

Hero
Eldritch Strike wording:
At 10th level, you learn how to make your weapon strikes undercut a creature's resistance to your spells. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, that creature has disadvantage on the next saving throw it makes against a spell you cast before the end of your next turn.
Does this work on saves against spells already in effect?

For example I cast Hold Person or Slow or Cause Fear on an enemy and they fail the first save and then I action surge and attack them and hit them. When they save again at the end of their turn do they make that with disadvantage? As long as I attack and hit them once on each of my turns do they keep making their save with disadvantage?

Also what about Wrathful Smite. I use a bonus action to cast WS, then I hit them and they make a save against WS. Is that save with disadvantage?

I think strict RAW this works. I did cast the spell "before" the end of my next turn. I cast it before I even made the attack. It doesn't say "next spell you cast before the end of your next turn" or "spell you cast between the attack and the end of your next turn."

Am I right?
 

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Clint_L

Hero
I think that's rules lawyering and I would rule against it. To me, the intent of the effect is that you are weakening the creature's resistance to your next spell, not retroactively against a spell that is already in effect. To be honest, this would be the kind of argument that would annoy me as a DM: "Technically..."
 

Stormonu

Legend
My first impression would be no in your first case. A spell already on an individual isn't being "cast", it is already in effect.

On your second case, with Wrathful Smite, it makes me pause. There's no initial save against the hit itself, but it instigates the save against fear. My inclination would be to say that in this case the save would be at a disadvantage (On the additional save each round to overcome the fear, I would rule that the Eldritch Strike would not cause disadvantage on those saves).

As always, I'd check with the DM you're playing with ahead of time on this - it will come down to their interpretation.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Eldritch Strike wording:
At 10th level, you learn how to make your weapon strikes undercut a creature's resistance to your spells. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, that creature has disadvantage on the next saving throw it makes against a spell you cast before the end of your next turn.
Does this work on saves against spells already in effect?

For example I cast Hold Person or Slow or Cause Fear on an enemy and they fail the first save and then I action surge and attack them and hit them. When they save again at the end of their turn do they make that with disadvantage? As long as I attack and hit them once on each of my turns do they keep making their save with disadvantage?

Also what about Wrathful Smite. I use a bonus action to cast WS, then I hit them and they make a save against WS. Is that save with disadvantage?

I think strict RAW this works. I did cast the spell "before" the end of my next turn. I cast it before I even made the attack. It doesn't say "next spell you cast before the end of your next turn" or "spell you cast between the attack and the end of your next turn."

Am I right?
Per the text of the ability, it pretty clearly reads that you have to cast a new spell which triggers a save. I don't think a prior spell would count, otherwise it would be worded very differently, e.g. "That creature as disadvantage on the next saving throw against a spell cast by you."

In the case of wrathful smite, I would say that if you cast it as part of the action on that turn, it would count, but I'm generally in favor of giving the player the benefit of the doubt. I don't think the rules support it.
 
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jgsugden

Legend
This depends upon whether you read it as "before the end of your next turn" modifying "a spell you cast" or "on the next saving throw it makes" or "on the next saving throw it makes against a spell you cast" collectively. It can be read either way. For example, if we replaced "a spell you cast" with a descriptor that doesn't rely upon actions, the sentence still makes sense.

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, that creature has disadvantage on the next saving throw it makes against a spell you cast a spell with material components before the end of your next turn.

To that end, as a permissive DM, I'd allow you to interpret it whichever way you want ... but we'd lock that interpretation in for future uses. That being said, I think the intent of the authors was likely that the spell must be cast following the attack.
 

ECMO3

Hero
My first impression would be no in your first case. A spell already on an individual isn't being "cast", it is already in effect.

Yes, but it was still cast before my next turn.

On your second case, with Wrathful Smite, it makes me pause. There's no initial save against the hit itself, but it instigates the save against fear. My inclination would be to say that in this case the save would be at a disadvantage (On the additional save each round to overcome the fear, I would rule that the Eldritch Strike would not cause disadvantage on those saves).

There is not a save every turn with WS. There is an initial save and then the following rounds it is an action to make a Wisdom check .... and since the creature is frightened that check is always at disadvantage (nothing to do with ES on that).

This is why WS is one of the most powerful first level spells in the game, it is extremely difficult and costly to shake - an action to TRY a Wisdom check with disadvantage. This also means that Wisdom proficiency does not count and that once it sticks, Legendary saves don't work (although they do work on the initial save).


As always, I'd check with the DM you're playing with ahead of time on this - it will come down to their interpretation.

My DM prefers that we come to him with our understanding about how it works .... his position is give me a solution to this vs ask me for a solution to this. His common saying is "It's your characters ability, why are you asking me"

The reason this matters is it determines if I multiclass out of fighter after 8 levels of fighter or 10 levels of fighter.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
In the case of wrathful smite, I would say that if you cast it as part of the action on that turn, it would count, but I'm generally in favor of giving the player the benefit of the doubt. I don't think the rules support it.

Wrathful Smite is a bonus action to cast. It is not part of the attack.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
You did cast Hold Person before the end of your next turn, yes, but you also cast it before you hit the creature with a weapon attack. Shield Master can serve as a precedent for a situation like this. Not everyone agrees with Jeremy Crawford’s ruling on the matter, but I would say if you rule that you can take the bonus action shove first and then take the attack action that allows you to make said bonus action shove, then it would be consistent to allow Eldritch Strike to apply to a the save to end a spell you cast before Eldritch Strike triggered. And conversely, if you stick to Jeremy Crawford’s interpretation that you have to perform the attack action first, then it would be consistent to say that Eldritch Strike can only apply to spells cast after you hit with it.
 


ezo

Hero
Eldritch Strike wording:
At 10th level, you learn how to make your weapon strikes undercut a creature's resistance to your spells. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, that creature has disadvantage on the next saving throw it makes against a spell you cast before the end of your next turn.
Does this work on saves against spells already in effect?

For example I cast Hold Person or Slow or Cause Fear on an enemy and they fail the first save and then I action surge and attack them and hit them. When they save again at the end of their turn do they make that with disadvantage? As long as I attack and hit them once on each of my turns do they keep making their save with disadvantage?

Also what about Wrathful Smite. I use a bonus action to cast WS, then I hit them and they make a save against WS. Is that save with disadvantage?

I think strict RAW this works. I did cast the spell "before" the end of my next turn. I cast it before I even made the attack. It doesn't say "next spell you cast before the end of your next turn" or "spell you cast between the attack and the end of your next turn."

Am I right?
Yes. I think this idea really even follows the spirit of the feature.

Even when a creature is making repeated saves against your magic, it is still resisting a spell you cast (again, your magic). Eldritch Stike undercut's that resistance, whether a new spell or one already in affect.

Also, this is a "high cost" combination really IMO. You have to be a minimum of 12th level to pull it off (Fighter 10/Paladin 2) as far as Wraithful Smite (or use a feat to gain access to the spell). Action Surge is limited as well. Other spells, such as Hold Person or Slow are higher level spells for an EK (Slow wouldn't even be accessable until 13th level EK).

Sure, it is potentially a powerful combination, but many of those exist in 5E.
 

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