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In Conjure Minor Elementals it states

You summon elementals that appear in unoccupied spaces that you can see within range. You choose one the following options for what appears:

  • One elemental of challenge rating 2 or lower
  • Two elementals of challenge rating 1 or lower
  • Four elementals of challenge rating 1/2 or lower
  • Eight elementals of challenge rating 1/4 or lower.

Does this mean that if you summon the CR 2 option, there's a chance of it summoning a single elemental fo CR 1/4?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow, "one the following options" is what it says on DNDBeyond. Maybe we can find a better source (e.g. a physical book)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Laurel
    Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 17:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Laurel My physical copy of the PHB (tenth printing, based on the credits page) also says "one the following options" in the spell description for Conjure Minor Elementals on page 226. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 19:05

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It means the DM decides what you get

You can decide how many elementals you want to summon, the DM decides which elementals you will receive. Those can be of the quoted CR, or a lower CR.

This has been explictly confirmed in the Sage Advice Compendium:

The design intent for options like these is that the spellcaster chooses one of them, and then the DM decides what creatures appear that fit the chosen option.

For why you would want to use the spell under these conditions, see this Q&A.

My personal experience with the spell is that in most cases you are better off summoning eight CR 1/4 elementals anyways, even if your DM is cooperative and lets you to summon a single CR 2 elemental. This is due to the action economy advantages that eight creatures have over a smaller number. (Of course, there may be situations where a specific single creature may be better.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So this means if you wanted to summon a single 1 forth cr elemental, you'd be forced to risk summoning a cr 2 instead? Or have to summon 8? \$\endgroup\$
    – Zonia
    Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 7:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, if you only summon one elemental, the DM can decide to give you a CR 2, even if you prefer a CR 1/4. However, in that case you could just summon 8 CR 1/4, and only use one of them. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 7:36

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