The Shield Master feat includes the following benefit:

lf you aren't incapacitated, you can add your shield's AC bonus to any Dexterity saving throw you make against a spell or other harmful effect that targets only you.

This sounds great, until you realise that spells like Fireball (the vast majority of spells that trigger a Dexterity saving throw) target a point, not a creature.

For a spell like fireball, the target is the point in space where the ball of fire erupts.

So what spells are there (WotC published 5e material only) that target a single creature and require that creature to make a Dexterity saving throw?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The benefit should also help versus trap effects with dex saving throws. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5, 2016 at 23:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NeilSlater Yep, but those are much harder to find, since they're mostly scattered through adventures. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Feb 5, 2016 at 23:09

1 Answer 1


The spells from the Player's Handbook that target a single creature and trigger a Dexterity saving throw are:

  • Acid Splash, as long as the caster doesn't choose to target 2 creatures.
  • Chain Lightning, if there are no other targets within 30 feet of you.
  • Disintegrate
  • Hellish Rebuke
  • Otiluke's Resilient Sphere
  • Sacred Flame

And from the Elemental Evil Player's Companion:

  • Immolation

None of the new spells from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide meet the required conditions.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you are the sole target of a lightning bolt, that ought to meet the criteria \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5, 2016 at 13:41
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ PHB, page 202: For a spell like fireball, the target is the point in space where the ball of fire erupts. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Feb 5, 2016 at 13:53
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ AoE spells unfortunately don't qualify. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Feb 5, 2016 at 13:54
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ For an alternative and more broadly applicable reference, there's also PHB page 204: A spell's description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area of effect \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Feb 5, 2016 at 14:09
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ I think the bonus action ramming effect of a Flaming Sphere would qualify, but not the proximity burn effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – CrusaderJ
    Feb 6, 2016 at 3:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .