Consider the following scenario:

A level 10 Fighter with the Eldritch Knight (EK) archetype (PHB, p. 74-75) is facing a single opponent, and has hold person as a spell available.

  1. EK attacks with both attacks available. If both miss, they try again next turn. If either hits, Eldritch Strike (the level 10 archetype feature) triggers against the target, and EK will proceed to the next step.
  2. (a turn passes)
  3. On EK's next turn, they cast hold person on the person targeted previously. The target has disadvantage on the save due to Eldritch Strike. If they still pass, EK goes back to square one. Otherwise, EK does the following:
  4. EK Action Surges (Fighter level 2 ability). They use the Attack action to get two attacks with advantage against the target. If either hits, it does critical damage (thanks to the paralyzed rider on hold person), and Eldritch Strike triggers.

The wording in Eldritch Strike is as follows:

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 the target have disadvantage on the save against hold person it makes at the end of its next turn, even though hold person was cast before the triggering of the Eldritch Strike event that would impose disadvantage?


According to Jeremy Crawford, the answer is yes:

Can Eldritch Strike impose disadvantage on a saving throw for a spell you had previously cast?

Eldritch Strike imposes disadvantage on the next saving throw the target makes against a spell you cast. This benefit expires at the end of your next turn, and it works against a spell you cast at any point. The key is that the save is made before the end of your next turn.

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    \$\begingroup\$ i.e. the spell should read "the creature has disadvantage on the next saving throw it makes before the end of your next turn against any spell cast by you". \$\endgroup\$ – cpcodes Jul 27 '18 at 22:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since Crawford's tweets are no longer considered official rulings, you might want to expand this answer to explain whether/how Crawford's unofficial ruling is supported by the rules (or, if the RAW alone is ambiguous, how the guidance is a logical/reasonable interpretation of the ambiguity). \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Aug 6 '19 at 20:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like the quote is pretty good at explaining itself, honestly. It talks about the language in the ability, it brings up the "key" part (the save is made before the end of the next turn), and it's in the full context of the question as I posed it (in other words, I don't think it relies on "JC as canon", but "JC as someone who's thought about this a lot"). But if you feel like it's lacking something else specific, I'm not opposed to additional clarification. \$\endgroup\$ – A. Wilson Aug 8 '19 at 4:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree. The language, while maybe a bit tricky, really has no indication of the spell needing to be cast after Eldritch Strike. It can seem like a requirement, but there is no text stating that. Even if you interpret the "before the end of your next turn" as applying to "a spell you cast", instead of "the next saving throw it makes", Hold Person was still cast "before the end of your next turn"; in fact, it was cast before the end if the current turn. \$\endgroup\$ – Tonio Sep 17 '19 at 22:33

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