D&D 5E Mage Slayer feat, order of actions and concentration.

ECMO3

Hero
Mage slayer Feat:

When a creature within 5 feet of you casts a spell, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature.

When you damage a creature that is concentrating on a spell, that creature has disadvantage on the saving throw it makes to maintain its concentration.

You have advantage on saving throws against spells cast by creatures within 5 feet of you.


So if a creature casts a spell and you attack it, what are the order the spell, attack and concentration take place. Specific examples:

1. Mage casts Misty step, do you get your attack before he is gone?

2. Mage casts hold person on you. Do you attack before you roll the save? If you attack after the save does that mean you can't attack if you fail the save? If you attack before you save does the Mage roll concentration if you hit?
 

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DND_Reborn

Legend
So if a creature casts a spell and you attack it, what are the order the spell, attack and concentration take place. Specific examples:

1. Mage casts Misty step, do you get your attack before he is gone?

2. Mage casts hold person on you. Do you attack before you roll the save? If you attack after the save does that mean you can't attack if you fail the save? If you attack before you save does the Mage roll concentration if you hit?
Reactions interrupt other actions, so I would say the reaction happens before spells are even completed.

If you hit the caster, they must make the Concentration check or their spell is ruined.
 


DND_Reborn

Legend



Against misty step, dimension door, or teleport, sure. But that's, what, 3 spells out of how many that could potentially be cast? The feat is not even close to being nearly worthless.
It also makes it very weak against all sorts of CC spells, wall spells, forced movement spells and so on.

And you're mistaken. The Feat was already close to worthless. That interpretation just pushes it over the edge into actively being there imho.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Against misty step, dimension door, or teleport, sure. But that's, what, 3 spells out of how many that could potentially be cast? The feat is not even close to being nearly worthless.
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#1, the spell is cast. You can't try to stop it RAW. Unless it is concentration (less than half the spells, FWIW) and the caster sucks at CON saves--worthless.
#2, so, again if the spell is concentration (once more, less than half the spells), okay--otherwise worthless.
#3, if the caster is melee-oriented or DUMB enough to actually cast a SAVING THROW spell while within 5 feet of you, such it is nice. Otherwise--worthless.

I've only ever seen one player actually take this feat, and that was after we house-ruled it so you can use the reaction to attempt to stop the spell before it is cast.

So, yes, IMO, it is VERY close to being worthless RAW. YMMV, of course. :)

Now, improvements would be:

#1 allow the reaction to happen BEFORE the spell is completed. Now, it can affect every spell.
#3 make it advantage on saves AND disadvantage on the caster's attack roll. Now, it helps your defense in all cases.

Yeah though it's worth noting that interpretation is imho dumb as hell because it makes Mage Slayer almost completely worthless, and it's already and weak and very situational.
Nice to see I am not alone in realizing this. :)
 




The irony of it is that it is a way better feat for casters to take.

Target spellcaster with a damaging AoE.

If they don't save, they get to eat spike damage that is typically more than a single attack can inflict and save at disadvantage

If they do save, they still take half damage and still get to make a concentration check with disadvantage.

Did I mention spellcasters can hold concentration on spells that can potentially do damage every round, sometimes multiple times a turn (hello Spike Growth).

The melee martial use case and reaction is the sexy sounding part of it, but it's mostly inconsequential (as usual).
 

The Myopic Sniper

Adventurer
I will also add that for a feat called "Mage Slayer", something like:

If you interrupt the caster's spell, the caster takes psychic damage equal to the spell's level.

would be cool.
I like....

"If you interrupt the caster's spell, the caster must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn."

Probably overpowered, but fun.
 


#3 make it advantage on saves AND disadvantage on the caster's attack roll. Now, it helps your defense in all cases.
I think the caster would still have disadvantage on a ranged spell attack roll due to being within 5ft. Making it disadvantage on all spell attack rolls within 5ft would still be nice against vampiric touch, shocking grasp, inflict wounds, etc. How that rule would interact with a spell like Bigby's Hand gets a little weird though.
 



DND_Reborn

Legend
That's incorrect. Unless a reaction specifically states that it interrupts the trigger, such as shield, it resolves after the trigger.
I know, I meant it was just how we rule the feat works. Actually how we rule MOST reactions work.... as IMO reactions, due to their very nature and how they work in 5E, should INTERRUPT the action.

For example, shield bumps your AC.
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But it is in response to being "HIT", so you've already been hit by a successful attack and yet the bump to AC can turn it into a miss after the fact? That really doesn't make sense.

Many other reactions in 5E don't make sense if the reaction "action" occurs AFTER the trigger, they really are interrupting it, like shield, by changing the narrative.

It is a failure of the devs in 5E to say reactions don't interrupt the other action. 🤷‍♂️
 

the Jester

Legend
I know, I meant it was just how we rule the feat works. Actually how we rule MOST reactions work.... as IMO reactions, due to their very nature and how they work in 5E, should INTERRUPT the action.
I feel like shield is one of the few examples where it should be labeled an interrupt. For the most part, it hasn't seemed to hurt anything that the trigger resolves first. It does mean that you can't just decide to interrupt anything with a readied action, but I like that.
 

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