Can anyone tell my why someone would cast Conjure Minor Elementals? [duplicate]

This question is an exact duplicate of:

  • Rephrased Question- Why is nearly all of the Conjure Minor Elemental Spell decided by the DM? [on hold]

If I understand this right – you don’t pick the CR of the elementals, you pick their maximum CR. You don’t pick where it actually appears, it just appears somewhere within 90 feet of you. You don’t even pick the element of what you are summoning.

To summarize, you can cast Conjure Minor Elementals at 8th level in an underwater fight, select the option to 3 elementals of CR 2 or lower, and receive 3 CR 1/2 Magma Mephits that are 90 feet away from the fight? In character I would know I am not picking any part of the what I am summoning, I’m basically just yelling help into the void. Why would I waste a 4th level spell to summon a completely random something instead of using something like Polymorph, which just gives you the creature you want and does so by giving something a massive bonus health pool?

Is there any use for this spell besides the tiny benefit of just a couple extra bodies with at most like 40 health – which you can get 5 of with animate objects?

Does an air elemental’s whirlwind throw creatures horizontally, or vertically as well?

The air elemental has the Whirlwind action, which allows it to try to throw every character in the same space as it.

The description reads:

Each creature in the elemental’s space must make a DC 13 Strength saving throw. On a failure, a target takes 15 (3d8 + 2) bludgeoning damage and is flung up 20 feet away from the elemental in a random direction and knocked prone. If a thrown target strikes an object, such as a wall or floor, the target takes 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it was thrown. If the target is thrown at another creature, that creature must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take the same damage and be knocked prone.

If the saving throw is successful, the target takes half the bludgeoning damage and isn’t flung away or knocked prone.

Are the affected targets thrown along the ground or up in the air? (That is, are they being hurled along the ground up to 20 feet, or are they being hurled up in the air and landing up to 20 feet away?)

The main reason I’m asking is because a throw along the ground might only go 5 feet before they hit another character, in which case the other character has to make a Dexterity save, but neither character takes damage as the required 10 feet of movement hasn’t occurred.

Which Elementals can a Conjuration (summoning) spell summon?

Based on the note to Hey I Can Chan’s answer here.

Both Summon Monster and Summon Nature’s Ally list Elemental(small) in their level 2 versions (and larger elementals for higher spell levels).

Are the Elementals available to these spells limited to ‘base’ Elementals (fire, air, earth, water) or are newer alternates (aether, magma, etc) included in these spells? What about named Elementals, such as a Belker (Large, so spell level 5+) or Crysmal (a Small creature so potentially spell level 2 that is CR 3)?