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not sure how that's all that threatening actually--by the time level 5 spells roll around i'd be surprised if the fighter didnt have at or close to AC25 before dex/dodge bonuses.
seems like he could force through it in a single round with only 5 damage or so, unless you stack it very densely in a narrow passage or something.
of course it does tie him up quite nicely while you rain spells on him and/or the rest of the party
It's not the damage that's important. It's the fact it's more or less full lockdown. It's a shapeable spell which you can drop onto people, and curl it around if you want. You can happily box someone inside of it, and you're right, the wall offers you no protection at all (no cover, no concealment, nada).
It's a wicked spell indeed. It can end entire encounters very easily, and greatly tip the scales in most others.
The simple fact is the Fighter just doesn't do anything during the fight. It's a full-round action to TRY to force your way through it, which is a Strength-check against a very difficult DC) to move through it a tiny bit, but the spell covers an absolutely massive amount of area.
Though this is just a wicked spell all around. I've seen it used to wreck flying creatures, aquatic creatures, land creatures, and pretty much anything that has no problems teleporting through it or ignoring it via incorporeality or something.
I suppose something like resilient sphere would work just as well for a Fighter though, since the Fighter has the worst saving throws of all the core martials, which translates to: "Make a bad save against a good DC or sit out the portion of the game that is the only place you might contribute something meaningful from your class".