Compelled Duel spell in DnD 5E explained

Gideon rose to his feet, his gaze landing on the devil stomping its way towards his companions, Gideon’s own blood still dripping from its claws. Squaring his shoulders he brought the dented shield to his chest and roared a challenge, magic lacing his words. The devil’s head whipped around as it felt the magic take hold, turning in time to see Gideon running towards it, his sword raised and glowing with golden energy.

What is Compelled Duel?

Compelled Duel is a 1st level enchantment spell exclusive to Paladins, that requires a bonus action and vocal component to cast. When you cast the spell a creature that you can see within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save the creature has disadvantage on attacks against creatures other than you, and must make a Wisdom saving throw to move more than 30 feet away from you, being able to ignore that movement restriction for one turn if it succeeds on that saving throw.

Is Compelled Duel a good spell?

Absolutely, when playing a tank character the ability to incentivize a monster to focus on you rather than your allies is invaluable, the added movement restriction is a juicy bonus. The spell being a bonus action to cast means that you can still get your normal attack routine in, potentially adding a Divine Smite or two as you see fit, whilst the duration being a minute means that it can last throughout most combats. Can, because it, unfortunately, requires concentration and you’re pointing the monster’s attacks right at your concentrating noggin. 

The concentration restriction makes this spell somewhat less appealing in earlier levels, but once a Paladin hits 6th level and acquires their Aura of Protection feature maintaining concentration becomes significantly easier, if not trivial.

How can you get Compelled Duel?

Unlike some other spells we’ve covered, the list of ways to grab Compelled Duel is exceedingly short, because of this we are including two methods (marked with *) that we would not normally include. This is because they are very setting specific options that can prove controversial with DMs:

  • Paladin – The only class with CD on their spell list makes them an easy and essential part of this list.
  • Oath of the Crown (Subclass) – This Paladin subclass has Compelled Duel as an Oath Spell, meaning that it is always prepared for you, freeing up your other spell choices. It’s also worth noting that this Paladin also has a Channel Divinity option that is similar in purpose to Compelled Duel.
  • Magical Secrets (Bard Class Feature) – This feature allows you to choose any spell you like and make it a Bard spell for you. This is a Tier 3 ability for most Bards, but the College of Lore gains additional choices at 6th level if you want earlier access.
  • Mark of the Sentinel (Human Variant)* – This race variant from Eberron: Rising from the Last War adds Compelled Duel, among other things, to your spell list if you have the Spellcasting or Pact Magic feature.
  • Gruul Anarch (Background)* – This background from Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica adds Compelled Duel to your spell list, if you have one, in the same way the above race variant does.

Hopefully, you found this article compelling and informative. if you’re interested in reading about other spells check out our spells section, or if you’re here preparing for your next Paladin then check out our Paladin guide. Good luck out there adventurers, and remember, the number of paces you walk in a duel is always one less than the other guy.