Vortex Warp (Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos, p.38):

You magically twist space around another creature you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw (the target can choose to fail), or the target is teleported to an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within range. The chosen space must be on a surface or in a liquid that can support the target without the target having to squeeze.

And the Water Elemental's Water Form states (Monster Manual p.125):

The elemental can enter a hostile creature's space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.

The reason I'm not sure whether this will work is that the elemental is stated as being able to "enter another hostile creature's space and stop there." Does this also mean that a creature could forcefully be put in the elemental's space? The spell says "the target is teleported to an unoccupied space," but for the rule of 'specific beats general,' is the elemental's ability more specific or the spell?


1 Answer 1


A water elemental still occupies its space.

Vortex warp states:

the target is teleported to an unoccupied space of your choice

Nothing in the Water Form description or anything else in the water elemental's stat block says it doesn't occupy its space, so it still occupies its space, since by default all creature's occupy their space:

Creature Size

Each creature takes up a different amount of space. The Size Categories table shows how much space a creature of a particular size controls in combat. [...]

[There is a table here]


A creature's space is the area in feet that it effectively controls in combat, not an expression of its physical dimensions.

Since Water Form does not create an exception to any of these rules, the water elemental occupies its space, as described in this section. So the water elemental's space is an ineligible destination for the target of vortex warp.

Water Form is a specific exception to the following rule from the section Moving Around Other Creatures:

Whether a creature is a friend or an enemy, you can't willingly end your move in its space.

Water Form allows only the elemental to violate this rule, other creatures cannot willingly end their move in the elemental's space.


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