Spell Archive: Evard’s Black Tentacles

Hello all! Join us as we venture into some questionable territory with Evard’s Black Tentacles! I’m a huge fan of this spell so I’m excited to share it with all of you!

Hey all, new week, new entry into the Spell Archive. Today we’re gonna be looking at a spell that I’ve used quite often, Evard’s Black Tentacles. Though only available to the Wizard, I’m still excited to tell you all about this awesome spell


Evard’s Black Tentacles

4th Level Conjuration

Casting Time: 1 Action

Range: 90 Feet

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 Minute

Squirming, ebony tentacles fill a 20-foot square on ground that you can see within range. For the duration, these tentacles turn the ground in the area into difficult terrain.

When a creature enters the affected area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, the creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 bludgeoning damage and be restrained by the tentacles until the spell ends. A creature that starts its turn in the area and is already restrained by the tentacles takes 3d6 bludgeoning damage.

A creature restrained by the tentacles can use its action to make a Strength or Dexterity check (its choice) against your spell save DC. On a success, it frees itself.

Spell Talk

So as you can see, this spell creates quite the deadly zone of control. A 20 ft square of difficult terrain in and of itself is quite potent, making sure that most landlocked enemies will have to dash to get through the area. However, once they enter they’ll have to make a Dex save or take damage and be restrained. That means advantage on all attack rolls against them and their attacks have disadvantage. To escape, they’ll have to make another Dexterity or Strength saving throw as their action. Fortunately, being restrained gives them disadvantage on those Dexterity saving throws!

Tips and Tricks

Now, this is where things get fun. This spell combos great with other spells that displace enemies or slow them down. If you find yourself using ray of frost often, your enemies will never be able to get to you. If you want to use thunderwave to push enemies into the area, that’s also an incredible way to get more use out of this spell. But what if there were a way to slow enemies and push them away every turn? Well, have I got the class for you…

See, I mentioned earlier that this spell is only available to Wizards. That’s a lie, because the Great Old One Warlock is also able to gain access to this spell. Now, if Warlocks are known for one thing, it’s Eldritch Blast. Eldritch Blast has many invocations you can use with it, two of them being Repelling Blast and Lance of Lethargy. The former pushes enemies 10 feet away when you hit them, the latter slows them by 10 feet. If you’re able to get into a 20 ft. square choke point, no enemy will ever come near you. I personally used this combo to great effect in an Out of the Abyss game, where most of the encounters took place in narrow tunnels. Enemies coming from the back? Put your teammates there, nothing at all will make it through your wall of tentacles.

Reflavors

Okay, for once I picked a spell that can be reskinned quite heavily. The general gist of the spell is a large zone where creatures get restrained and take damage. Perhaps if you’re playing a cosmic type of caster, you can create a mini asteroid belt, with enemies being restrained by an intense gravitational pull and getting battered by mini asteroids. Perhaps you’re a hemomancer, and it’s a massive pool of blood that springs up and latches onto enemies.

I figure that the classic representation of Evard’s Black Tentacles fits the Great Old One moreso than the Wizard, so feel free to get creative! Perhaps it could change based off your School of Wizardry. Maybe an Abjuration Wizard summons a slowing field with glyphs that lock down and punish enemies. An Illusion Wizard creates… well literally anything that’ll fool the senses of their enemies! The possibilities are endless, just get creative with it!


Thanks all for having a read! I’m going to start trying to keep these articles a bit on the shorter side so they’ll be a quick read rather than an investment, but let me know how you’d like the articles! Let us know on our social media! Thank you all very much for reading and we’ll see you next week with a new addition in the Spell Archive 🙂

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