Assuming that you can force creatures to be willing, could a werewolf or other shapechanger be subject to Polymorph?

What I'm reading of Polymorph, RAW PHB p.266, is:

  • "an unwilling creature must make a Wisdom saving throw to avoid the effect", and
  • "a shapechanger automatically succeeds on this saving throw"

Interestingly, the wording for True Polymorph, PHB p.283, is different, being simply: "Shapechangers aren't affected by this spell." So, naturally, I simply seek clarification on whether I am interpreting this correctly:

Could a werewolf or other shapechanger be subject to Polymorph assuming it were charmed into being willing via Suggestion or similar?

(Can a willing lycanthrope be True Polymorphed? covers True Polymorph, though non-true Polymorph has different wording.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ related: can you make an unwilling creature willing \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 14:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Whoops! Sorry @Rubiksmoose - I haven't been on in a while. While I accept that new wording has come out which will affect people in future (and will accept the new answer as a result) I already put the old rules into practice during my game and would feel disingenuous repealing it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 16:13

2 Answers 2



New wording has come out for polymorph which now says:

The spell has no effect on a shapechanger or a creature with 0 hit points.

This means that a shapechanger cannot be affected by polymorph willing or not.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast: I believe posting a new answer is what is recommended you do when the old selected answer is out of date. Since my original answer said one thing, it would be disingenuous to edit it after being selected as the answer to say the opposite thing. If this was incorrect I'll be more than happy to do as you suggest. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 4:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have seen multiple answers to the same question before, when people present two different looks at the same question. It's not that common, but it has been successfully done. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 18:55

This is no longer correct. See this answer for correction after spell wording was updated.


As you pointed out, polymorph states:

an unwilling creature must make a Wisdom saving throw to avoid the effect

Only unwilling creatures need to make a saving throw.

a shapechanger automatically succeeds on this saving throw

This is reinforced by the fact that they refer to "this" saving throw in the above text. "This" meaning the saving throw that an unwilling creature would have to make

If the creature is willing, no save is needed and so the second point about shapechangers automatically succeeding becomes irrelevant.

Thus, a willing shapechanger can be polymorphed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems like a shapeshifter cannot be True Polymorphed as it could remove the ability to shapeshift if they remain in the form for the duration. The regular version of Polymorph will end with them returning to their usual shapeshifting self. \$\endgroup\$
    – Luke
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 3:24

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