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D&D 5E Can a hasted bladesinger cast a cantrip with the haste extra action

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This is also consistent with the errata that lets unarmed strikes exceptionally be "melee weapon attacks" but says nothing about whether they are "weapon attacks". If it were true that all attacks were either weapon attacks or spell attacks, then arguably this errata would have been unnecessary.
It's actually directly inconsistent with that errata. The errata exist specifically to make it clear that "attack with a (melee) weapon" does not include unarmed strikes, but "melee weapon attack" does.

Interpreting "weapon attack" to reference "attack with a weapon" rather than "melee weapon attack or ranged weapon attack" simply does not work with the rest of the rules text.
 

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Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
It's actually directly inconsistent with that errata. The errata exist specifically to make it clear that "attack with a (melee) weapon" does not include unarmed strikes, but "melee weapon attack" does.

Interpreting "weapon attack" to reference "attack with a weapon" rather than "melee weapon attack or ranged weapon attack" simply does not work with the rest of the rules text.
I tend to agree with your conclusion, I'm just describing both sides of the debate.

Note, however, that if all attacks are weapon attacks or spell attacks, then the errata would be superfluous--unarmed strikes would be (melee) weapon attacks simply by virtue of not being spell attacks, and thus wouldn't require specific rules allowing them to be melee weapon attacks. If one treats the errata as functional rather than superfluous, then all attacks are either melee weapon attacks, ranged weapon attacks, melee spell attacks, or ranged spell attacks, and "weapon attack" refers to the subsets of melee weapon attacks and ranged weapon attacks that happen to be made with weapons. This interpretation is internally consistent, even though I agree with you that it's the inferior interpretation.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I tend to agree with your conclusion, I'm just describing both sides of the debate.

Note, however, that if all attacks are weapon attacks or spell attacks, then the errata would be superfluous--unarmed strikes would be (melee) weapon attacks simply by virtue of not being spell attacks, and thus wouldn't require specific rules allowing them to be melee weapon attacks. If one treats the errata as functional rather than superfluous, then all attacks are either melee weapon attacks, ranged weapon attacks, melee spell attacks, or ranged spell attacks, and "weapon attack" refers to the subsets of melee weapon attacks and ranged weapon attacks that happen to be made with weapons. This interpretation is internally consistent, even though I agree with you that it's the inferior interpretation.
Unarmed strikes aren't weapons, and this was very unclear before the errata. So while all attacks are one of those, some features specify a weapon, or an "attack with a weapon", and those features do not work with unarmed strikes. That is why the errata was needed.

Of course, in my game I also ignore that distinction and allow Smiting with unarmed strikes, magic weapon spell works on unarmed strikes, etc.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
Unarmed strikes aren't weapons, and this was very unclear before the errata. So while all attacks are one of those, some features specify a weapon, or an "attack with a weapon", and those features do not work with unarmed strikes. That is why the errata was needed.

Of course, in my game I also ignore that distinction and allow Smiting with unarmed strikes, magic weapon spell works on unarmed strikes, etc.
I entirely agree that the errata is a useful clarification, whether or not it's functionally superfluous. Everything related to weapons and types of attacks would have benefited from being written much more clearly.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Unarmed strikes aren't weapons, and this was very unclear before the errata. So while all attacks are one of those, some features specify a weapon, or an "attack with a weapon", and those features do not work with unarmed strikes. That is why the errata was needed.

Of course, in my game I also ignore that distinction and allow Smiting with unarmed strikes, magic weapon spell works on unarmed strikes, etc.
I allow the smiting, but not the magic weapon. I can see the spell requiring an actual weapon, where smiting is something that should be doable with a fist. It wouldn't bother me in the least, though, if I was in a game where magic weapon worked on fists. I can see the logic there.
 

ArcZero

Villager
Great conversation here. I think that a subclass is a much more specific ability than spells and general combat rules. Repelling Blast modifies Eldritch Blast, not the other way around. So clearly spells are not the final chain of specific rules. And a bladesinger's ability is the definition of specific, as only that character has it, while any character could potentially use haste or extra attack.

Second, this isn't MTG, this isn't Cloudshift. The first part of an ability and second part are not dependant upon each other unless specified. The moreover wording is dubious, but just look at the rules for shoving and grappling. Whenever you attack, you can replace one of your attacks if you have multiple. Those descriptions do not assume you have multiple attacks as they are general rules. BS extra attack on the other hand explicitly knows that you have two attacks, thus the "one of those attacks" wording.

Cearly the cantrip replacement works if you have action surge. And if you were level 11 fighter, 6 BS, it would be silly to say that because you now have three attacks, you can't replace with a cantrip. It is most likely that haste refers to a restriction of single attack, not some kind of non-attack action attack action. Anything that checks for you using an attack action works on the haste action, other than multiple attacks.

Also, there are a few examples of abilities that preclude using your class features. Wild shape is very explicit about what it does and does not allow. Polymorph is very explicit about what you can't do or utilize. They both specifically mention access to class features and are paragraph long abilities. BS extra attack and haste are short and don't mention class features.

This is definitely up to the DM but all the cards lean towards the BS being able to do it. Also, a fighter or EK can use 2-hand weapons and gwm. That's serious damage compared to a rapier, whip, etc. I think it makes tons of sense that BS are really good with cantrips but only get one extra attack.
 

Arial Black

Adventurer
PHB p192: Actions In Combat: Attack:- With this action, you can make ONE melee or ranged attack. See the "Making an Attack" section for the rules which govern attacks. Certain features, such as the Extra Attack feature of the fighter, allow you to make more than one attack with this action.

PHB p193: Making an Attack:- I won't type the whole section here-you can check it yourself-but there are separate sub-sections for ranged attacks and melee attacks. It also allows attacks to be weapon attacks or spell attacks. This results in a grid with melee/ranged down the side and weapon/spell across the top, leaving four possibilities:-

  • melee weapon attack
  • melee spell attack
  • ranged weapon attack
  • ranged spell attack

It also makes clear that an unarmed strike-despite not being a weapon-uses 'melee weapon attack' out of those four choices.

It also mentions that claws, horns, teeth, tentacles, or other body part use the 'melee weapon attack' category out of those four, despite none of them being actual weapons.

Although the Attack Action allows you to make ANY of the four types of attack, you still require the MEANS to execute that attack! For a weapon attack, this is usually not difficult because you can pick up just about any object and attack with it even if that object is not an actual weapon, using the Improvised Weapon rules. Or you can choose a body part (or just Unarmed Strike).

Although rare, you can indeed use the Attack Action to make ranged spell attacks without using the Cast a Spell Action; the Sun Soul Monk's Radiant Sun Bolt being one of them. If you have this and Extra Attack, you can replace either or both with grapple/shove or anything that can replace an attack. Even melee spell attacks are useable with the Attack Action (without needing the Cast a Spell action) IF you have the means! The specter (MM p279) has Life Drain as a melee spell attack, and it takes the Attack Action, not the Cast a Spell Action, to do so.

THESE ARE THE "GENERAL" RULES FOR ATTACK ACTIONS AND THE ATTACKS MADE USING THAT ACTION!!!

Haste (PHB p250):- "...it gains an additional action on each of its turns. That action can be used only to to take the Attack (one weapon attack only), Dash, Disengage, Hide, or Use an Object Action."

This part of the spell modifies the general rules regarding Attack Actions and the attacks allowed by taking this action. In this sense, the haste spell is the 'specific' which overrides that particular general rule.

It does this in two ways:-

1) it only allows ONE attack, just like the Attack Action itself. However, where the Attack Action can grant more than one attack IF you have something that allows you to (Extra Attack feature, Thirsting Blade invocation), those features do NOT allow you to take more than one attack when using the Attack Action granted by this spell!
2) that attack can only be a weapon attack (melee or ranged), NOT a spell attack (melee or ranged). So Sun Soul Monks and Specters are S out of L.

Now to specific rules:-

* You can use the Attack Action to Grapple (or Shove)(PHB p195), even though neither is an Attack (no Attack Roll). If you are able to take multiple attacks with the Attack Action, this attack replaces ONE of them

This means that, as long as you are doing this as part of an Attack Action, you can freely substitute melee weapon attacks, melee spell attacks, ranged weapon attacks, and ranged spell attacks, with Grapples and/or Shoves.

Note that although 'specific beats general', there is no rule that says 'specific beats specific'! There doesn't (usually) need to be, because by definition 'specific' rules are limited to certain circumstances.

Here's the crux: while the specific rule of the haste spell beats the general rule of the Attack Action, AND the specific rule of Grapple/Shove beats the general rule of the Attack Action....

....the specific rule of the haste spell DOES NOT beat the other specific rule of Grapple/Shove!

Therefore, you can indeed swap haste's "one weapon attack only" with a Grapple or a Shove.

We know it must work that way, because if it didn't work that way-that Grapple/Shove can substitute for the ONE (or maybe more) attacks allowed by taking the Attack Action-then we could never Grapple or Shove at all!

The extra Attack Action granted by haste limits the number of attacks (one, not more, even if you have a feature that would allow more attacks during your Attack Action), and it limits the type of attack (melee weapon attacks and ranged weapon attacks, but not melee spell attacks or ranged spell attacks). It can do this because the types of attacks and the Attack Action are general rules while the haste spell is a specific rule that creates an exception, but only in the ways it says it does! You cannot add extra things that the spell doesn't say, and it says nothing about disallowing any other specific rule, like Grapple or Shove....

....or the Bladesinger's subclass feature which allows you to "...cast one of your cantrips in place of one (of the attacks granted by taking the Attack Action)".

This feature allows the Bladesinger to replace ONE attack with a cantrip every single time he takes the Attack Action.

Even the extra Attack Action granted by haste, even the Attack Action granted by Action Surge.

On one turn a Ftr 2/Bladesinger 6 could, while hasted, take three Attack Actions on his turn (normal, haste, Action Surge) and replace one attack in each of those three Attack Actions with a cantrip.
 

ECMO3

Explorer
No dex no AC worth a hoot. No int and the bulk of the reason to take wizard in the first place isn't that great, also the initiative bonus and con save bonus during bladesong is bad with low int.

Unless we're talking intlock, a bladesinger/hexblade is very MAD with four attributes that matter for combat.
Dex, intelligence and Charisma are all 16 at the start with a half elf. Constitution is 10 but anything higher is not really needed IMO. Dump wisdom and strength. Dumping wisdom does not hurt much because you are proficient in wisdom saves.

24AC in bladesong with shield is really good. Maybe not as good as a single class bladesinger after level 4 but a lot better than most other characters and certainly better than any other single class wizard can manage while holding a weapon.

Bladesingers do not get an initiative bonus as far as I know, and a +3 to con save during bladesong means he is saving as well as a normal caster with a 16 constitution .... while getting hit less.

The wizard class affords the following which is unavailable to a hexblade without this multiclass:
1. The ability to cast EB-AB and attack with the same attack action. This is massive at will damage, 3d10+1d8+20 at level 11, with NO -5 to the attack roll. This is significantly more damage than a straight blaster will do and better than most GWM builds will do when you consider the attack penalty. This is also without running hex. Hex would give another 4d6 per round and 12 DPR more than a blaster using hex.
2. This does not drag waiting for extra attack because blasting scales with total level. Meaning you are doing 2 EB-AB at level 2/3 and keeping up with blaster warlocks and close to martials until you get to 2/6 when you pass them.
3. The AC you get with bladesinger. A regular hexblade can't match that unless he gets half plate and a shield ... and even then he has to get warcaster and can't pump up charisma, getting even more behind on damage.
4. FAR more spells both known and prepared, more to choose from and rituals from the entire spellbook. A major weakness is a straight hexblade knows very few spells and there are so many required 1st and 2nd level spells to make GISH work well (PGE, hex, shield, blur, MI) that there is little room left for other things until high level. A 8th-level hexblade knows 9 spells total. A 2/6 hexsinger knows 3 1st level warlock, has another 9 prepared and 7 more in his book.
5. Access to haste and absorb elements.
6. Recharge 2 warlock slots every short rest so you don't get eaten up with shield castings.
 
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NotAYakk

Legend
Haste (PHB p250):- "...it gains an additional action on each of its turns. That action can be used only to to take the Attack (one weapon attack only), Dash, Disengage, Hide, or Use an Object Action."

This part of the spell modifies the general rules regarding Attack Actions and the attacks allowed by taking this action. In this sense, the haste spell is the 'specific' which overrides that particular general rule.

It does this in two ways:-

1) it only allows ONE attack, just like the Attack Action itself. However, where the Attack Action can grant more than one attack IF you have something that allows you to (Extra Attack feature, Thirsting Blade invocation), those features do NOT allow you to take more than one attack when using the Attack Action granted by this spell!
2) that attack can only be a weapon attack (melee or ranged), NOT a spell attack (melee or ranged). So Sun Soul Monks and Specters are S out of L.
See, that is one possible reading of that rule.

That it is "one attack only" and "that attack must be a weapon attack".

Another perfectly reasonable English reading is "of any attacks you do, only one may be a weapon attack".

As an example of this use in English outside of D&D, the sentence "Coed doubles tennis rules: one man only." is not "the team must only consist of one man", but rather it limits the "man" subset of the team to be "one".

This reading lets a hasted BS 6/Hex 2/Sorc 3 make 9 EBs and two weapon attacks (!).

Finding a reading of a rule in D&D isn't all that interesting. Claiming it is the reading is wrong, even if it is a reading.

Your post finds a reading, and then because you found it, treats it as if it is the only reading of the rules. The right reading? Depends on your table.

That isn't the only way to read it! It could also be read as "Take the attack action, but in that attack action, the only thing you can do is one weapon attack." This reading bans grapple, divine smite, BS substitution, and maybe even sneak attack.

Another way is "of the things you can do in the attack action rules when doing the attack action, the only thing allowed is making one weapon attack". This bans grapple and BS substitution.

Your reading is fine. It results in a working game. It isn't the only reading.
 

Arial Black

Adventurer
That isn't the only way to read it! It could also be read as "Take the attack action, but in that attack action, the only thing you can do is one weapon attack." This reading bans grapple, divine smite, BS substitution, and maybe even sneak attack.
The trouble is that if the rules were to be read that way, since the Attack Action itself only allows one attack (it does), then 'grapple, divine smite, BS substitution, and maybe even sneak attack' can never be used ever!

But the general rule is beaten by the specific rules for grapple, divine smite, BS substitution, and maybe even sneak attack, so we know they DO work.

The specific haste restrictions to the Attack Action only restrict what they say they restrict: only weapon attacks not spell attacks, and only one attack even if you would normally get more.

Haste does NOT have other restrictions you make up, even with a sideways squint. While it DOES restrict the two things it says it does, it does NOT prevent other specific rules from applying, such as grapple, divine smite, BS substitution or sneak attacks. There is simply no justification given by haste to restrict anything other than those two specific things.

In short, there is no rules justification for adding further restrictions, no matter how you read it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The trouble is that if the rules were to be read that way, since the Attack Action itself only allows one attack (it does), then 'grapple, divine smite, BS substitution, and maybe even sneak attack' can never be used ever!

But the general rule is beaten by the specific rules for grapple, divine smite, BS substitution, and maybe even sneak attack, so we know they DO work.

The specific haste restrictions to the Attack Action only restrict what they say they restrict: only weapon attacks not spell attacks, and only one attack even if you would normally get more.

Haste does NOT have other restrictions you make up, even with a sideways squint. While it DOES restrict the two things it says it does, it does NOT prevent other specific rules from applying, such as grapple, divine smite, BS substitution or sneak attacks. There is simply no justification given by haste to restrict anything other than those two specific things.

In short, there is no rules justification for adding further restrictions, no matter how you read it.
The issue is with the Bladesinger ability. Reading it in straight English, it can be interpreted as allowing the substitution when you have more than one attack. You get to replace one of those attacks, plural. I would personally allow the substitution, but I can see where someone else might not.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
The trouble is that if the rules were to be read that way, since the Attack Action itself only allows one attack (it does), then 'grapple, divine smite, BS substitution, and maybe even sneak attack' can never be used ever!
No, the attack action states:

With this action, you make one melee or ranged Attack. See the “Making an Attack” section for the rules that govern attacks.
and then it notes
Certain features, such as the Extra Attack feature of the Fighter, allow you to make more than one Attack with this action.

The word "only" is not there. It simply does not grant the ability to do anything else. There is a difference between "banning something else" and "permitting something that does not include something else" in English.


The specific haste restrictions to the Attack Action only restrict what they say they restrict: only weapon attacks not spell attacks, and only one attack even if you would normally get more.
You added "only" to the rules of the attack action then removed it from the haste spell.

The Attack action permits you to make one attack. It notes you can make additional attacks with other features.

Rules then talk about substituting that one attack for other things.

The haste action states you can make an attack action consisting of "only one weapon attack".

You can read this as "use the attack action rules, but you are not allowed to use extra attack, and the attack must be with weapon". That is one reading of what it says.

Another reading is "during the attack action, you can do no more than one weapon attack". Another reading is "
Haste does NOT have other restrictions you make up, even with a sideways squint.
It says one weapon attack only. Your reading of that is only one possible reading.

Go into the store. You can buy one chocolate bar only.

This could mean (a) you can buy whatever you want, but no more than one of it can be a chocolate bar, (b) you can buy nothing but a chocolate bar, (c) you can do nothing in the store besides buy one chocolate bar.

The English language doesn't actually distinguish between those 3 meanings.

Whichever meaning the sentence "One weapon attack only" is (and there is more than one) is the restriction on the attack action you are allowed to take. If you fail to meet that restriction, you are not permitted to do that in that attack action. What that restriction is depends on how you define the meaning of the phrase "One weapon attack only".

I get your model. It is a reasonable model of how to adjudicate what haste does. Congraduations. It is by far not the only reasonable model of what those rules mean.

If you disagree, repeating your interpretation doesn't really help. You have to prove not that your reading is reasonable, but that all other readings are unreasonable, and you aren't doing that.

---

Suppose it said:
1. "You can do anything in that attack action, so long as you make no more than one weapon attack".
2. "This attack action can consist of doing a single weapon attack and nothing else at all."
3. "The attack action cannot benefit from any extra attack feature to get any additional attacks, and the only attacks you can do are weapon attacks."
All of them are reasonable readings of the phrase "One weapon attack only"; I can produce English sentences where "One X only" clearly has any of the above 3 meanings. And if you replace "One weapon attack only" with any of the above 3 phases, only one of them results in your reading of how the rules work.
 

ECMO3

Explorer
This reading lets a hasted BS 6/Hex 2/Sorc 3 make 9 EBs and two weapon attacks (!).
To be fair the rules clearly and unequivocally allow a BS6/Hex2/Sorc3 to make 6EBs and a weapon attack using twin spell without being hasted or casting a single non-cantrip spell at all. He can do that every turn until he runs out of SPs for twin spell. Further if he had cast hex instead of haste the turn before the combat started he can tack 7d6 on to that damage every single turn. That is clearly within the rules.

Considering that I don't think 3EB attack is that much more. 7d6 is 25DPR more than the 6EB/longsword base, 3EB on the haste attack is 32 more DPR. So that is more than hex would offer, but it is a 3rd level spell supporting 32 extra DPR for a minute instead of a 1st level spell supporting 25 extra DPR for an hour.

If you take the opposite ruling and let the same character only do 1 extra longsword attack per turn, then haste does 10 extra DPR which is a LOT less extra DPR than the same character could do with hex. This would hardly seem balanced for a 3rd level casting.
 
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