What is the allure of Ensnaring Swordmages?

I know this is bordering on off-topic for this site. However, many of the old class guides started with a section explaining why you would pick each subclass, which gave a quite good answer for these kind of questions.
Unfortunately, most of the old handbooks are lost with the WotC forums, and the ones I found for Swordmages leave this part out.

I get Assault Swordmages, they go in a more Striker-y way, increasing damage output. Shielding is also clear, damage reduction is an easy concept, even if it scales quite badly.
Ensnaring teleports the target to you after it hit one of your allies. It would make a lot of sense to yank the archer from the treetop, or the archmage from behind his henchmen to the middle of the melee, but unfortunately the Close Burst 2 distance makes it all but impossible.

So what is the value of teleporting an enemy from a near-adjacent position (Close Burst 2) to an adjacent one? (and you burn your Immediate action on it)

What happens when the target of Ensnaring Strike enters the Ethereal Plane?

Ensnaring Strike states the following (abridged for brevity):

The next time you hit a creature with a weapon attack before this spell ends, a writhing mass of thorny vines appears at the point of impact, and the target must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be restrained by the magical vines until the spell ends. If the target succeeds on the save, the vines shrivel away.

Ensnaring Strike has a duration of Concentration, up to 1 minute.

What happens if the target of Ensnaring Strike enters the Ethereal Plane? They might accomplish this through methods such as the Etherealness spell.


  • Do the effects of the spell remain while they’re in the Ethereal Plane?
  • Can they pass through the vines that are holding them while in the Ethereal Plane?
  • Are the effects of the spell restored when they return from the Ethereal Plane?

If two Ensnaring Strikes affect the same target, does it have to make two saves to be unrestrained?

Say two Rangers shot the same target with ensnaring strike and the target failed its saves on both.

The PHB says the effects of the same spell cast multiple times don’t combine such as two Clerics casting bless on the same target only provides the benefits once. (pg 205)

My understanding is there are still two spells in effect. So for my example above, if the target succeeded on its Strength save and removed one ensnaring strike, it would still be restrained and damaged by the other.

Are there examples where this is talked about per RAW?