The 4th level Polymorph spell enables an opponent to be turned into a beast.

There are a variety of largely harmless beasts into which an opponent can be transformed such as a sea horse (CR 0 with 1 hit point). Damage done to such a form spills over to the original shape according to the spell.

The challenge is that if one struck the sea horse - now you are back to fighting the opponent again.

Is there any advantage that Polymorph affords for subsequently dispatching an opponent? If so, how?

Presumably the party could chain all their attacks as reactions so they all hit at one time. Possibly the sea horse could be flown to a great height and dropped using levitation or fly. Is there some way to restrain a sea horse to ensure all hits are at advantage? Is there some way to ensure all hits are critical hits?

To narrow this question:

  1. We are looking at a standard party of four players of 7th level (i.e. they just achieved this spell.)
  2. No magic items - just raw abilities from leveling, in any combination, with or without spells.
  3. We are not looking for unusual environments. At its core - the question is looking for unique opportunities that polymorph opens up for dispatching opponents (as opposed to the alternative which would be one hits the "sea horse" and now you are back to fighting the opponent again.)
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    \$\begingroup\$ As an optimization question I feel this may be a bit too broad as it stands. If I'm reading this correctly you mean a 7th level party. A number of questions arise though. How many party members are there? Are all books allowed? Magic items? What about unearthed arcana? Do you have any specific opponent in mind? The opponent's abilities may also need to be taken into account. \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Feb 21 '18 at 11:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is actually a really simple way that most overlook and it is in the PHB as a standard option. Everyone thinks Polymorph and Wild Shape are so cool but one simple combat option can remove that advantage rather quickly. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Feb 21 '18 at 14:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth I'm all ripe for a spoiler, here... What is it? What is it? ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Meta4ic Feb 22 '18 at 23:14

A few ways come to mind (not all of them expedient as such...);

  • Cast levitate/flying on someone and have that person go up to 200 ft carrying the sea horse, and then drop it, causing 20d6 damage.

  • Throw sea horse into environmental hazard such as lava, acid, or over the edge of a cliff.

  • Cast sleep on the target and ready actions to attack it at the same time. Only the first attacker would get an automatic critical hit, but the rest should get advantage from the target being prone.

  • Transform into something with low constitution and no water breathing, attach heavy weights and throw into the ocean. After ~30 seconds it should drop to 0 hit points and start dying. I'm not sure how this would interact with the end condition of polymorph - the exact wording of suffocation is "at the start of its next turn, it drops to O hit points and is dying", but regardless the creature should probably still be out of breath when it returns to its original form.

  • If higher level spells are available you could use disintegrate or flesh to stone (not dead, but you might get a nice BBEG statue).

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