The conjure minor elemental spell states:
You summon elementals that appear in unoccupied spaces that you can see within range. You choose one the following options for what appears:
- One elemental of challenge rating 2 or lower
- Two elementals of challenge rating 1 or lower
- Four elementals of challenge rating 1/2 or lower
- Eight elementals of challenge rating 1/4 or lower.
It seems like the only two things a player can select are the maximum CR of the elemental conjured, and, arguably, the location its summoned in. I am confused as to why you would want to use this spell given that its results are so unpredictable.
Why would a wizard cast a spell that's essentially an open invitation to whatever elemental from a list decides to show up? You can't strategize around the spell very much because, as written, you don't choose what gets summoned, and you can easily end up with something you weren't counting on.
It won't be useless, but why would you cast a spell that has such an unpredictable result? It's like the difference between the chromatic orb and chaotic bolt - if the chaotic bolt didnt have the chance to bounce. You'd never pick a random damage type over a damage type of choice. Why would you choose a spell that might do something you want over something that does exactly what you intend it to do?
What are the situations in which you would use this spell that wouldn't be better solved by a spell of equal or lower level that has more predictable results?