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The warlock in my party is planning to learn Shadow blade and Mind spike spells (both require concentration). As far I know, you lose your concentration in a given spell if you cast another spell that requires concentration.

Let's say the Warlock cast Shadow blade and the following round he cast Mind spike. He is interested in the direct damage (3d8). Could he opt to no concentrate in the Mind Spike and keep concentrating in the Shadow Blade?

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You cannot cast Mind Spike if you want to keep concentrating on something else.

The language on the topic is quite strict; quoting from "Casting a spell" in the Player's Handbook, with some emphasis by me:

If a spell must be maintained with concentration, that fact appears in its Duration entry, and the spell specifies how long you can concentrate on it. You can end concentration at any time (no action required).

Casting another spell that requires concentration. You lose concentration on a spell if you cast another spell that requires concentration.

You need Concentration to cast the spell; and doing so breaks the concentration on the other spell.

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The rule says:

The following factors can break concentration:

Casting another spell that requires concentration. You lose concentration on a spell if you cast another spell that requires concentration. You can’t concentrate on two spells at once.

Thus casting mind spike requires concentration and stops the previously called Shadow Blade

I guess the confusion comes from the phrase:

Some spells require you to maintain concentration in order to keep their magic active. If you lose concentration, such a spell ends.

which gives the impression, that it's not the casting, that requires concentration, but 'just' the maintaining.

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