I am playing a level 5 warlock that is pact of the genie (dao) with the Repelling Blast, Grasp of Hadar, and lance of lethargy Eldritch Invocations.

I cast spike growth centered on an enemy.

On my next turn, I sent 2 eldritch blasts at the enemy, with the first I knocked it back 10ft and with the second I pulled it forward 10ft, both reduced movement by 10 ft.

At the end of this, the creature should have taken 8d4 damage from the spike growth + the eldrich blast damage and (assuming a 30ft speed) had 10ft of movement in an area of difficult terrain.

Are all my assumptions correct or am I missing some balancing feature to this?


1 Answer 1


One mistake: Lance of Lethargy can only be applied once per turn.

You write:

both reduced movement by 10 ft

However, Lance of Lethargy states:

Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with your eldritch blast, you can reduce that creature’s speed by 10 feet until the end of your next turn.

So you can only reduce the target's speed by 10 feet once in a turn.

Notable, spike growth does not require willing movement.

Everything else works as described. Notably, spike growth does not require willing movement:

When a creature moves into or within the area, it takes 2d4 piercing damage for every 5 feet it travels.

It only requires that a creature move within the area, the method and intent of movement are not relevant.

In contrast, the rules use the concept of “willing movement” to specify when movement must be of the creature’s own volition to trigger some feature. For example, the cantrip booming blade reads:

If the target willingly moves 5 feet or more before then, the target takes 1d8 thunder damage, and the spell ends.

Shoving a creature under the effect of booming blade will not trigger this effect, since such movement is not willing movement.

Now, you ask about the balance of this combo - it is balanced by the fact that it takes two turns to set up and your enemies are (usually) not stationary. It is a strong combo if it works, but since it will (almost always) require eldritch blast to be cast on your turn after you cast spike growth, there will often be time for the target to do some maneuvering to diminish the effectiveness of the combo. I say almost always because there are some dirty fighter multiclassers out there using Action Surge to cast two action spells in a turn.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I was planning on a sorlock multiclass or metamagic adept to quicken blast for it to work on the same turn, but none of that should be relevant to the question I asked lol \$\endgroup\$
    – EMTGO
    Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 20:30
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Aydens Protip, you technically would have to quicken spike growth, a bonus action cantrip restricts your action to a cantrip. So if you quickened EB, you would not be able to cast spike growth with your action. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 20:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What kind of maneuvering do you expect from a creature in the middle of a spike growth? Unless they can fly or teleport, walking out of it would just deliver the damage earlier. They would not be subject to it on later turns, though so it might still be worth it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 21:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ "It only requires that a creature move within the area" Literally any other effect that uses movement as trigger and is written like this requires willing movement. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 12:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KogarashiKaito I'm not sure what you mean. Lots of features explicitly require that movement be willing, but spike growth does not. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 16:08

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