This question is related to the highly related question: What is the lowest-level spell combo to give disadvantage to an enemy's specific save, without running into follow-up concentration issues?.

This is fine except that all spell suggestions on that question are either non-warlock spells or require a specific subclass (contagion - undying).

I'm (mostly) not interested in how to get these spells via multiclassing, subclassing, specific pact features or feats (although they may be interesting additional notes), but pure warlock spells or invocations.

What is the lowest level spell combo I can use, except that it has to be castable by a single-class warlock.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I assume you are only interested in official, published spells? (So nothing homebrew or Unearthed Arcana) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9, 2020 at 12:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 anything but pure homebrew is fine (which I had presumed was the default). \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9, 2020 at 13:07

1 Answer 1


You are incredibly limited in options

We don't have access no non-Warlock spells, including glyph of warding which would help us get around concentration requirements. In fact, we have very very few options available at all. Almost nothing causes disadvantage on saving throws, though the Paralyzed, Petrified, Stunned, and Unconscious conditions all cause automatic failure of Strength and Dexterity saving throws, which is probably better than disadvantage:

  • The 6th level Unearthed Arcana psychic crush spell (Strength & Dexterity):

    This comes from the "Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard" Unearthed Arcana (pdf link):

    [...] The target must make an Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 12d6 psychic damage and is stunned for 1 minute [...]

  • The 7th level power word pain spell (Strength & Dexterity & Intelligence & Wisdom & Charisma):

    This gives a target disadvantage on all saving throws except for Constitution saving throws; however, it only works on targets that have 100 hit points or less and that are not immune to being charmed.

  • The 8th level power word stun spell (Strength & Dexterity):

    [...] If the target has 150 hit points or fewer, it is stunned. [...]

    This has the same effect as psychic crush but it is not an Unearthed Arcana spell, though it also only effects those with 150 hit points or less.

And that's it, there are (currently) no other non-concentration Warlock spells that impose disadvantage on saving throws. Even the various potentially useful spells from Eldritch Invocations (hold monster, bane, bestow curse, and slow) would all require concentration and so cannot be used.

Honorable Mentions:

  • The 8th level feeblemind spell (Intelligence & Charisma):

    [...] On a failed save, the creature's Intelligence and Charisma scores become 1. [...]

    This does not technically give disadvantage on Intelligence and Charisma saves but it can have a stronger (or weaker) effect on them than disadvantage would.

  • The 5th level synaptic static spell (Constitution (Concentration only)):

    This spell causes a creature's Constitution saves to maintain concentration suffer 1d6 as a penalty. This is very slightly better than disadvantage though it does not apply to Constitution saving throws in general.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is slow also worth the honourable mention? Available through Mire the Mind, it requires concentration and only gives a -2 to dex saves on failing Wis saves. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Jun 9, 2020 at 14:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil It requires concentration and so cannot be mentioned, similar to hold monster, bane, and bestow curse, which are also available through Invocations \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9, 2020 at 14:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow, options are limited. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9, 2020 at 16:48

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