[RPG] Can an Echo Knight fighter’s echo ever fail a saving throw


In an unsurprising turn of events, the wording of the Echo Knight's features continues to cause confusion.

The description of the Echo Knight fighter's Manifest Echo feature states, in part (EGtW, p. 183):

If [your echo] has to make a saving throw, it uses your saving throw bonus for the roll.

The overwhelming consensus is that the echo is not a creature, as it is simply "an image" (per the first paragraph of the Manifest Echo feature description).

Every spell or ability that requires a saving throw, as far as I know, targets creatures. Take for example, the spell fireball; its description states, in part:

[…] Each creature in a 20-foot radius sphere centered on that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

The echo is not a creature; therefore, it can never take damage from fireball.

After reviewing the wording on several monster abilities and spells, I'm left scratching my head as to whether a character set on destroying an echo really has any options besides simply hitting it via the Attack action.

Are there any saving throws that the Echo can actually fail?

Best Answer

Overall, Rules as written and intended along with balance considerations suggests it should NOT be a creature.

It can, of course, fail saving throws because it has saving throw included in its stat block. However, it cannot be targeted by many saving throws such as Fireball since it is not a creature but a magical object.

1. Clarified by the designer, it does not suffer from fireball, as it is not a creature.

An unofficial ruling by Jeremy Crawford and repeated here answering a different question indicates that it is not a creature intentionally:

The fireball spell in D&D forces creatures to make a saving throw. The Echo Knight's echo is intentionally not a creature, so it doesn't make the save.

The shatter spell affects creatures and nonmagical objects. The echo is intentionally neither of those things. - Jeremy Crawford

2. Rules as written, it should not be assumed to be a creature.

It does not specifically say it is or is not a creature, which leaves room for debate.
For a more in-depth breakdown of what a "creature" actually is, refer to this Q&A: Is the Echo of a Echo Knight actually a creature?

However, even though a 'creature' is not clearly defined in 5e the absence of the wording "creature" is very uncommon. In order to argue RAW we must look at precedent for entities which do not explicitly state "creature" (which is actually very few) and we must look at similar magical objects such as Mirror Image.

Overall, I think there is substantial argument RAW for Echo being a magical object (whether it is immune to fire damage is likely up to your DM).

3. This creatureless status is important to the balance of the Echo.

This 'creatureless' status also brings downsides including it cannot flank or perform other interactions creatures can and it cannot be targeted for many buffing spells.

I would argue that many broken interactions would be possible if it were considered a 'creature'. The most important of them is probably casting Polymorph on your Echo. But endless other issues exist and it is much better balanced as an object as the designer intended.