The spell description for Bigby's hand on PHB p. 218 (listed as arcane hand in the SRD) states:

The hand is an object that has AC 20 and hit points equal to your hit point maximum. If it drops to 0 hit points, the spell ends. It has a Strength of 26 (+8) and a Dexterity of 10 (+0). The hand doesn't fill its space.

PHB p. 185 and the basic rules state the following regarding interacting with objects:

Objects are immune to poison and psychic damage, but otherwise can be affected by physical and magical attacks much like creatures can. [...] Objects always fail Strength and Dexterity saving throws, and they are immune to effects that require other saves.

DMG p. 247 and the DM's basic rules state the following regarding objects:

Objects are immune to poison and psychic damage.

(There is no mention of auto-failing Strength and Dexterity saves in this section.)

As written, Bigby's hand appears to deviate from other types of objects as it has both a Strength and Dexterity score, which seems to suggest it can attempt and succeed at those associated saves, though this would contradict the PHB's statement regarding objects.

As an object, can Bigby's hand attempt and succeed at Strength and Dexterity saving throws?

  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch The litany of damage dealing evocation spells do not exempt objects from suffering damage, just indicates whether they catch fire or not. As Bigby's hand has defined hit points, it can be targeted and much more rapidly whittled down using those spells if it gets no save. That said, Faerie Fire, Fire Storm expressly indicate damaging objects, but I could see most DMs permitting the use of fireball against non-flammable objects within range (perhaps try to roast a bunch of a goblins and blow out the glass window behind them while escaping). \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2018 at 14:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, various traps may require a save for things passing through them. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2018 at 14:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Reread firestorm, "The fire damages objects in the area and ignites flammable objects..." \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2018 at 14:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ You are correct sir, mea culpa. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Oct 24, 2018 at 14:27

1 Answer 1


Bigby's hand always fails Str and Dex saving throws

Objects always fail.

Assigning stats does not specify that an object can make saving throws. It is not a more specific statement that would then follow the specific beats general pattern.

Objects always fail Strength and Dexterity saving throws, and they are immune to effects that require other saves.

Narrating Saving Throw Mechanic

Bigby's hand and other objects with stats could be narrated as not having the situational awareness nor independence of movement required to attempt to dodge, duck, dive, dip, or dodge.

Animate objects as a counter-example

An example of a spell that creates objects with saving throws, is animate objects. It not only assigns stats, but also explicitly states that the animated objects are creatures.

Each target animates and becomes a creature under your control until the spell ends or until reduced to 0 hit points. [...] An animated object is a construct with AC, hit points, attacks, Strength, and Dexterity determined by its size.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2018 at 14:37

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