I was rereading the Player’s Handbook section on partial cover and I came to this statement:

A target with half cover has a +2 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws.

If the PC/NPC has half cover and is required to make a dexterity save against a spell, against which spells that require him to make a dexterity save will he gain a bonus of +2 to his save? Some spells, like fireball, do not give the target a Dexterity Save bonus. So some spells might require a dexterity save but not give the bonus. Which Dexterity saves spells are made more easier by cover?


closed as too broad by V2Blast, Miniman, Jason_c_o, Sdjz, Theik Jul 6 '18 at 9:41

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not clear what you're asking here. Are you asking for a list of every single spell that requires a Dex save and doesn't ignore cover? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 6 '18 at 8:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ But it's not an infinite list that makes a PC/NPC roll a dex save with a bonus. I do not know which spells/situations this applies to but the list can't be that big if limited to the phb and RAW. I'm asking because I want to know if these benefits even occur in the game and I can't think of any where they do. \$\endgroup\$ – user28536 Jul 7 '18 at 5:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's obviously a lot of confusion about what you're after here. Based on the current question title of "Which spells from the Players Handbook are subject to the “half cover” bonus to Dexterity saves?", what gives you reason to suspect the answer might not be 'all of them'? The answer to that would make your goal much clearer. \$\endgroup\$ – SirTechSpec Jul 7 '18 at 22:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was confused by this: "Some spells, like fireball, do not give the target a Dexterity Save bonus. So some spells might require a dexterity save but not give the bonus." Are you talking about cover, as A Very Large Bear describes in his answer? Or if not, can you give an example of what you're asking about? \$\endgroup\$ – sevenbrokenbricks Jul 9 '18 at 0:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding the Shield Master question, it looks like there are two main differences. First, "spells that ask for Dex saves and target only you" needed another question to clarify what "target only you" meant, so it's even more nuanced and confusing. Second, the linked question is asked from the perspective of "this combination of requirements makes it seem like almost nothing would trigger the benefit, but that can't be right?" and in fact includes only seven spells. That's much more workable than "every spell that asks for a Dex save". \$\endgroup\$ – sevenbrokenbricks Jul 9 '18 at 0:56


First of all, half cover does not grant advantage on Dexterity saving throws. It grants a +2 bonus to the roll.

A target with half cover has a +2 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws.

The creature in half cover will get a +2 bonus to their Dexterity saving throw against all spells that require a Dexterity saving throw and do not ignore cover.

A creature is in half cover when:

A target has half cover if an obstacle blocks at least half of its body. The obstacle might be a low wall, a large piece of furniture, a narrow tree trunk, or a creature, whether that creature is an enemy or a friend.

Note that they only receive the benefits of cover when the cover is directly between them and the creature/spell they want cover from.

A target can benefit from cover only when an attack or other effect originates on the opposite side of the cover.

This means that yes, the second creature in your fireball lineup will have half cover, provided the first creature obscures half of the second creature.


Fireball does not explicitly ignore cover. However, according to Jeremy Crawford, it can ignore cover.

Your cover is foiled if an effect spreads around it and reaches you.

-- Sage Advice

Because fireball does reach around corners, it can ignore cover. However because it does not explicitly ignore cover as below does, it is up to the DM to determine if a specific fireball ignores cover.

For an example of the wording on a spell that does explicitly ignore cover, see Sacred Flame:

Flame-like radiance descends on a creature that you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d8 radiant damage. The target gains no benefit from cover for this saving throw.


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