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Control Water: How To Take Advantage of This D&D Spell

Are you looking for a 4th-level spell that can bring your enemies to their knees? A spell that allows you to shape any lake, river or ocean to your will? Let me introduce you to Control Water.

How Does It Work?

Control Water is a spell that can be learned by clerics, druids, and wizards takes a single action to cast and requires verbal, somatic and material components. When cast, the spell has a 300 ft range and affects all freestanding water within a 100 ft cube. The caster chooses from one of four effects (Flood, Part Water, Redirect Flow, and Whirlpool) and can change the effect as an action on each of their turns. This spell requires concentration and lasts for up to ten minutes.

What’s So Great About It?

While this spell is situational, in that it is primarily useful around large bodies of water, it is incredibly powerful and offers unrivaled utility for the spellcaster.

Flood causes the water level to rise up to twenty feet. If in a large body of water, you can instead create a twenty-foot tall wave that travels from one side of the 100-foot cube to the other, before crashing down. As it travels, the wave pushes all huge or smaller vehicles along with it, with a 25% possibility of capsizing the vessels.

Part Water causes water to part to form a trench within the 100 ft cube. The spell does not specify the width of the trench, so this could vary from a narrow passageway to opening up an enormous area.

Redirect Flow causes the flow of water to change to the direction of your choosing. The water will flow over obstacles, up walls, or in other unlikely directions as needed. Once beyond the spell’s area, the water flows in its natural course.

Whirlpool necessitates a 50-foot square body of water at least 25 feet deep, in which a whirlpool forms. The whirlpool is 5 feet wide at the base, up to 50 feet wide at the top, and 25 feet tall. Creatures within 25 feet are pulled towards it at a rate of 10 feet per round, requiring an Athletics Check (DC equal to the spellcaster’s spell save DC) to swim away from the Whirlpool.

Whirlpool also deals damage to creatures trapped within it each round: on a failed Strength saving throw, creatures take 2d8 bludgeoning damage and have disadvantage on Athletics checks made to escape the whirlpool. On a successful save, creatures take half damage.

What Can Neutralize the Spell?

There are two main magical defenses which can neutralize Control Water: Counterspell and Dispel Magic.

When casting Control Water within the range of an enemy’s Counterspell (60 ft), there is the possibility that it will be Counterspelled. Of course, you could Counterspell the enemy’s Counterspell, but if another enemy caster is present, they could Counterspell your Counterspell, and so on. Because Control Water has a 300 ft casting range, it is easy to cast from afar and avoid enemy counterspells.

Additionally, Dispel Magic can be used to target the spell effect of Control Water. This is a likely possibility, as the effects of Control Water can last for up to ten minutes.

Other Uses

Control Water is an incredibly versatile spell with many uses.

Control Water can be invaluable in seafaring battles. A series of tsunami-like waves can be used to capsize smaller ships. Redirect Flow can be used to slow down pursuing ships, and Whirlpool can trap enemy ships and slowly damage the hull, causing the vessel to sink.

In addition to combat, Control Water can be used to help others. Redirect Flow can be used to push commoners or injured people to shore during combat. Part Water can be used to create a path across a raging river, so fleeing villagers can escape monsters or an army. Redirect Flow could be used to change the course of a river temporarily, either to flood drought-ridden fields or refill a reservoir.

Even though Control Water is most effective with large bodies of water, it can be used on any water within a 100 ft cube. For instance, Flood could be used to fill all partially-filled glasses of water in a tavern or to refill a dried-up well in a village.

Overall, Control Water is a surprisingly powerful spell which can be useful in a vast number of situations. As a 4th level spell, it is something that a moderately leveled spellcaster can learn and use to turn the tide of battle in favor of your party.

How have you used Control Water to defeat your enemies and ensure victory for your party? Tell us in the comments below!


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