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I read somewhere that in D&D 5e, the Saving Throw distribution for spells was biased towards DEX, CON and WIS. In other words, if you had proficiency in those attributes, you would benefit a lot more than having proficiency in other attributes.

What is the distribution of Saving Throws across attributes for spells in D&D 5e?

I'm looking for a percentage of each attribute for all the spells available (one would expect this to be uniform). Bonus points if this is also calculated for only spells that can be cast by RAW monsters (MM and VMG).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that every PC has proficiency with one of Dex, Con, and Wis and one of the remaining three, so "if you had proficiency in those attributes, you would benefit a lot more than having proficiency in other attributes" may be a redundant motivation for the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Bloodcinder Apr 14 '17 at 11:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bloodcinder I think it's intended to say that if you have proficiency in more than one of those listed you would benefit more than not having it, but then even that's a tautologism. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Apr 14 '17 at 16:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 I've opened a Meta discussion here: Is asking about the distribution of saving throws across all books too broad for this site? \$\endgroup\$ – user27327 Apr 15 '17 at 6:40
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According to D&D Beyond, the number of spells in the SRD that require saves on each attribute is:

\begin{array}{r l l} & \text{Strength} & 4 \\ \star & \text{Dexterity} & 32 \\ \star & \text{Constitution} & 24 \\ & \text{Intelligence} & 2 \\ \star & \text{Wisdom} & 34 \\ & \text{Charisma} & 12 \\ \end{array}

But saving throws are required for many things that aren't spells, including non-spell monster abilities (a medusa's Petrifying Gaze, for example), traps, poisons, and environmental hazards. So I don't think optimizing based on spells alone is ideal.

Furthermore, spells don't appear with equal frequency, so just counting the number of spells that call for a given attribute's save is probably not going to yield much useful information.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Of note, almost all of the illusion spells require an Intelligence (Investigation) check to reveal the illusion, and they aren't counted on this list (most likely because they're not an automatic save, but rather an active check.) Still, might be worth adding to your answer if you see fit. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Apr 16 '17 at 0:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli those aren't saving throws (which is what the question was about), and I was limiting my answer to information easily provided by the D&D Beyond beta spell search tool. \$\endgroup\$ – Marq Apr 16 '17 at 3:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ I understand, and I agree with your answer. That's why I added the last sentence, since it would be extra information that is tangentially connected. Like, if this was my answers, I'd simply add a sentence that says, "And in addition to the automatic saves above, there are many spells and effects which also have active checks against attributes in order to end their ongoing effects. For example: A grapple requires an active strength check, or illusion spells which usually require an active Intelligence check." - But again, add it if you see fit, it's your answer, and a good one at that. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Apr 16 '17 at 4:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Marq, you may want to update this now that Xanathar's Guide To Everything has been released: quite a few more Int save spells now. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 16 '18 at 19:19
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To use the same format as the previous answer, here's an updated count (as at 30/12/2019) of spells with saving throws from all official published sources available on D&D Beyond. The number in brackets includes the six spells with saving throws currently available as Unearthed Arcana (which are not considered official).

\begin{array}{r l l} & \text{Strength} & 17 \\ \star & \text{Dexterity} & 62 & (63) \\ \star & \text{Constitution} & 45 \\ & \text{Intelligence} & 6 & (10) \\ \star & \text{Wisdom} & 51 & (52) \\ & \text{Charisma} & 14 \\ \end{array}

These are drawn from the Player's Handbook, Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, Elemental Evil Player's Companion, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Lost Laboratory of Kwalish, Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica, Acquisitions Inc and any other source that includes spells (though I think those are the only ones with spells that aren't replicated from an existing source).

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