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What's the difference between the find steed and find greater steed spells?

I found the find steed and find greater steed spells while playing 5e. By the rules as written, they seem almost identical except for the spell level and what they have listed as an example for the creature summoned. Is that the only difference, or is there something I'm missing?

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Find Greater Steed generally provides more powerful creatures

Below is a table showcasing the creatures that can be summoned by each spell.

\begin{array}{|l|l|l|l|l|l|} \hline \textit{Find Steed} \\ \hline \textbf{Name} & \textbf{CR} & \textbf{HP} & \textbf{Speed} & \textbf{Attack(s)} & \textbf{Special} \\ \hline \text{Warhorse} & 1/2 & \text{19 (11AC)} & \text{60ft.} & \text{+6: 2d6+4} & \text{Trampling Charge} \\ \hline \text{Pony} & 1/8 & \text{11 (10AC)} & \text{40ft.} & \text{+4: 2d4+2} & \\ \hline \text{Camel} & 1/8 & \text{15 (9AC)} & \text{50ft.} & \text{+5: 1d4} & \\ \hline \text{Elk} & 1/4 & \text{13 (10AC)} & \text{50ft.} & \text{+5: 1d6+3} & \text{Charge} \\ \hline \text{Mastiff} & 1/8 & \text{5 (12AC)} & \text{40ft.} & \text{+3: 1d6+1} & \text{Hearing & Smell†} \\ \hline \\ \hline \textit{Find Greater Steed} \\ \hline \textbf{Name} & \textbf{CR} & \textbf{HP} & \textbf{Speed} & \textbf{Attack(s)} & \textbf{Special} \\ \hline \text{Griffon} & 2 & \text{59 (12AC)} & \text{80ft.*} & \text{2x(+6: 2d6+4)} & \text{Keen Sight} \\ \hline \text{Pegasus} & 2 & \text{59 (12AC)} & \text{90ft.*} & \text{+6: 2d6+4} & \\ \hline \text{Peryton} & 2 & \text{33 (13AC)} & \text{60ft.*} & \text{2x(+5: 1d8+3)} & \text{Flyby; Dive Attack} \\ \hline \text{Dire Wolf} & 1 & \text{37 (14AC)} & \text{50ft.} & \text{+5: 2d6+3} & \text{Pack Tactics} \\ \hline \text{Rhinoceros} & 2 & \text{45 (11AC)} & \text{40ft.} & \text{+7: 2d8+5} & \text{Charge} \\ \hline \text{Saber-Toothed Tiger} & 2 & \text{52 (12AC)} & \text{40ft.} & \text{+6: 2d6+5} & \text{Pounce} \\ \hline \end{array}

*Flying Speed
†Full name: Keen Hearing and Smell

Although these stats don't tell the full story, it's pretty clear that the Find Greater Steed creatures are not just more powerful, but substantially more powerful. Their stats are a lot better, their features are a lot better, their movement speeds are higher, and many of them can fly, providing powerful mobility advantages.

So the difference between the spells isn't incidental: the Find Greater Steed creatures are simply stronger in nearly every way, hence the increased Spell Level.

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You may have read an earlier version of the spell's text. In August 2017, the errata document for the Player's Handbook included a change to the find steed spell.

Originally its wording sounded more open ended:

Appearing in an unoccupied space within range, the steed takes on a form that you choose, such as a warhorse, a pony, a camel, an elk, or a mastiff.

Post-errata, the phrase 'such as' was removed, making those five creatures the only possible choices. (Barring DM permission, as the spell mentions.)

Appearing in an unoccupied space within range, the steed takes on a form that you choose: a warhorse, a pony, a camel, an elk, or a mastiff.

That errata came out just 3 months before the find greater steed spell was published in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, which had the same strict phrasing as the post-errata version of find steed.

Appearing in an unoccupied space within range, the spirit takes on a form you choose: a griffon, a pegasus, a peryton, a dire wolf, a rhinoceros, or a saber-toothed tiger.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you answering the original question or providing commentary to Xirema's answer? \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Jul 1 at 16:25

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