The Great Old One warlock patron's Create Thrall feature (PHB, page 110) says:

At 14th level, you gain the ability to infect a humanoid’s mind with the alien magic of your patron. You can use your action to touch an incapacitated humanoid. That creature is then charmed by you until a remove curse spell is cast on it, the charmed condition is removed from it, or you use this feature again.

You can communicate telepathically with the charmed creature as long as the two of you are on the same plane of existence.

  1. Can someone please provide an exhaustive list of all the ways in the Player's Handbook to counter this class feature using strictly RAW?

    Excellent answers should keep methods of prevention (example, the Oath of Devotion paladin's Aura of Devotion class feature) separate from methods of curing (example, Remove Curse spell or the Monk's Stillness of Mind class feature).

  2. Since Create Thrall does not explicitly mention a saving throw, am I correct in assuming that the target cannot benefit from any ability or feature (racial or otherwise) that grants advantage on saving throws against being charmed, such as Fey Ancestry?

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    \$\begingroup\$ 1) is a list request and we don't work well with lists. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Sep 9, 2014 at 22:06
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel that's utterly ridiculous. If that were so, then answers wouldn't need markup elements for expressing both ordered and unordered lists. Additionally, there are many valid questions where the most efficient and useful answers are in the form of lists. Examples: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/46882/… rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/46326/… \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9, 2014 at 22:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ In general, list-based questions are hard on Stack Exchange. However, if they're relatively constrained, I think they can be okay. Right now, with very little 5e material, it's pretty easy to do as a list — but if (when, probably) a lot more material is published, my answer probably should be revised to generalities. I did the list, though, because it's mostly proving a negative — there aren't many ways to counter this, so it's kind of scary. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 10, 2014 at 0:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would ask for things such as "which are the methods for dealing with this that work in your experience?" that can be answered with a list. Asking "which are all the methods ..." is asking too much for me. Like, go search all the books (now it's a few chapters, but in the future?) \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Sep 10, 2014 at 8:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ His list request was constrained to only the PHB, so I would say it is well restricted and valid as a request. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aviose
    May 12, 2015 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


I think you're right by RAW; elves' Fey Ancestry and bards' Countercharm only grant advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and therefore can't prevent something inevitable like this. There are a number of spells in the same boat, such as Aura of Purity.

Of course, there's a flip answer of "don't become incapacitated" and "don't let the warlock touch you". The rules are full of ways to do that, although some of them are complicated and most of them are fallible in one way or another. But, let's say that those things are unavoidable...



  • Protection from Evil and Good (1st level cleric, paladin, warlock, and wizard spell) possibly could work, although it only prevents being charmed by aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead.
  • Magic Circle (3rd level cleric, warlock, and wizard spell) is the same, but curiously leaves out aberrations.
  • Hallow (5th level cleric spell) Has the same caveat. This has a 24-hour casting time and consumes 1000gp, but has a duration of "until dispelled", so if you know you're going to be fighting a thrall-creating warlock outsider, this might be a way to prepare.
  • Contingency (6th level wizard spell) plus one of the cure spells of 5th level or lower (presumably Remove Curse, since that's the one available to wizards). This isn't quite prevention, since it can't keep the effect from taking hold for an instant before being removed, but I'm going to count it as such, because while it probably feels unpleasant, being charmed isn't that bad when no one has any time for actions.
  • Antimagic Field (8th level, cleric and wizard spell) prevents magical charms from affecting targets in the sphere; presumably the "alien magic of your patron" is also temporarily suppressed when thralls are in the field, unless the patron counts as an "artifact or deity".
  • Mind Blank (8th level bard and wizard spell) This is probably the winner. Lasts 24 hours (not concentration; whew!) and grants immunity to the charmed condition. It's 8th level, though, so the Create Thrall ability becomes available to players one level earlier.
  • Wish (9th level sorcerer and wizard spell) One of the standard effects is immunity to a specific magical effect for 8 hours for up to 10 creatures; you could chose this one. But using Wish in this way risks adverse effects including possibly being unable to ever cast Wish again. If you just need to protect one creature and have access to Wish but not Mind Blank, using Wish to replicate the effect of that spell would be a better option.


Don't be humanoid. The effect specifically targets humanoids. As I read the rules for effects like Wild Shape and similar, it appears that these make you no longer humanoid, but it also does not seem to be spelled out exactly in the rules we have now. The effects do tend to say "the target's game statistics [...] are replaced by the statistics of the chosen [form]" — but it's kind of nebulous to me whether "creature type" is a game statistic in 5e, or whether affected creatures are "humanoids in beast form" for the purposes of this spell, or truly "beasts". In any case, the 8th-level spell Animal Shapes specifically says that it "turns others into beasts"; if making a DM judgment call, one might separate out the spells that preserve mental ability scores from those like Polymorph, which do not.

Be a high-level berserker. At 6th level, the Path of the Berserker barbarian gets Mindless Rage, which prevents being charmed while raging. A rage ends if the barbarian doesn't keep attacking (or taking damage), which is likely to happen if you're incapacitated. But the 15th level Persistent Rage removes that limitation, so as long as you stay conscious, you're safe — at least, until the 1 minute limit.


  • Monk's Stillness of Mind, which can end a charm effect as an action
  • Remove Curse (3rd level cleric, paladin, warlock, and wizard spell) by the ability's own description, of course.
  • Dispel Evil and Good (5th level cleric and paladin spell) can end charms with a touch
  • Greater Restoration (5th level bard, cleric and druid spell) ditto
  • Hallow can also end the charm effect, with the same "outsider" caveat under "Prevention"
  • Power Word Heal (9th level bard spell)
  • Wish (by emulating Remove Curse)
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does Contigency really help? What's to keep the Warlock from just using the ability again, since you're still incapacitated and all? (Unless there's some extra restrictions not copied not the Question, of course) \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Mar 23, 2015 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik Contingency basically buys you a round, in which hopefully the rest of your party can do something. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    May 12, 2015 at 23:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Contingency works even better if you can set it to trigger for being both charmed and functional. Being charmed and incapacitated isn't that much different from being not-charmed and incapacitated, and if you become not-incapacitated and the trigger fires, suddenly you're not a valid target for the ability anymore. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Apr 28, 2017 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to be a bit more precise about "Not being a humanoid" : The creature type is a statistic and is therefore changed by Wildshape or Polymorph. Also, if your creature type change to an invalid one for the spell, it seems like you're no longer affected so a charmed Druid using Wildshape would be free (the effect isn't active anymore but it's not clear if the spell ends or is just without effect for a while) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 1, 2019 at 9:02

Be a warlock yourself

The Archfey warlock patron's level 10 feature, Beguiling Defenses (PHB, p. 109), says:

You are immune to being charmed, [...]


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