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5E Warcaster

Arial Black

Explorer
The Warcaster feat allows you to cast a cantrip (instead of making a melee attack) as an opportunity attack, as long as the cantrip only targets one creature.

Can you choose to cast eldritch blast (when you have more than one beam) as long as you target the same creature with all the beams?

Simply put, does 'only targets one creature' mean 'is only able to only target one creature' or 'the spell is able to target one or more creatures, but you choose to target only one'?
 

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AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
The official stance on this is that "only targets one creature" means "cannot choose to target more than one creature", but as [MENTION=6801270]bid[/MENTION] says, ask your DM as they may not agree with the official stance.
 

Kreinas

First Post
Sage Advice has stated that effects that COULD target other characters without an outside effect (like twinned spell) do not qualify for warcaster.

As a DM, however, I would allow it.
 


Maybe not RAW or RAI but for me, I'd allow it - the basis that an opportunity attack is an attack that one creature triggers against themselves as they move through/out of your reach. The OA if delivered in melee form has to be targeted against that creature, you can't hit his mate. Same with the spell.

So as long as you don't use an AOE spell, or use the OA to target other creatures too, I'd allow it - all firepower has to be aimed at the creature triggering the OA, so all your beams have to be at Kobold Sebastian, you can't take out Giles, Arabella and Malcolm* too.


*kobolds can be upper class too, you know
 

The problem with that is that blasting a critter with three beams of eldritch blast as an opportunity attack is far, far more potent than making a single melee attack.

If I were to house rule Warcaster to allow such things, I'd only allow a single beam/missile/ray/whatever to be used, even if the caster is normally entitled to more--just as even a high-level fighter, who can make three or four attacks a round, only gets one on an OA.
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
Was the feat changed? I don't recall anything about only cantrips. It just says you can cast a spell. I use Inflict Wounds for that on my tempest cleric.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
The problem with that is that blasting a critter with three beams of eldritch blast as an opportunity attack is far, far more potent than making a single melee attack.

If I were to house rule Warcaster to allow such things, I'd only allow a single beam/missile/ray/whatever to be used, even if the caster is normally entitled to more--just as even a high-level fighter, who can make three or four attacks a round, only gets one on an OA.

Casting Shocking Grasp or one of the SCAG cantrips is almost as effective as casting Eldritch Blast. At higher levels, Warcaster will give you an OA that makes the melee types envious, and that seems to be intentional IMO. Also, Eldritch Blast isn't a great option unless you have some way of canceling the disadvantage for casting a ranged spell in melee. A bladelock with Booming Blade is a better choice for an OA, IMO.
 

The official stance on this is that "only targets one creature" means "cannot choose to target more than one creature", but as [MENTION=6801270]bid[/MENTION] says, ask your DM as they may not agree with the official stance.
Link to the Sage Advice in question? I remember a similar ruling for Twin Spell but not Warcaster.

As others have observed, Booming Blade is a better OA than Eldritch Blast-at-disadvantage anyway, so in some sense this is a moot point, but I'm curious.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Casting Shocking Grasp or one of the SCAG cantrips is almost as effective as casting Eldritch Blast. At higher levels, Warcaster will give you an OA that makes the melee types envious, and that seems to be intentional IMO. Also, Eldritch Blast isn't a great option unless you have some way of canceling the disadvantage for casting a ranged spell in melee. A bladelock with Booming Blade is a better choice for an OA, IMO.

Polearm master feat, cast at 10'. This came up a while ago on the WotC forums as the abuse with EB was spotted very early on. RAI Polearm master should not be allowed and IIRC EB can only be used via warcaster at levels 1-4. Once you get the 2nd beam it doesn't work.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
Polearm master feat, cast at 10'. This came up a while ago on the WotC forums as the abuse with EB was spotted very early on. RAI Polearm master should not be allowed and IIRC EB can only be used via warcaster at levels 1-4. Once you get the 2nd beam it doesn't work.

Using Polearm Master to justify a 10' OA with a cantrip is the worst kind of rules lawyering, IMO.

On the other hand, using EB with Warcaster is not a big deal, as long as all beams are directed at your OA target. Granted, I'd also be fine if my DM ruled that you can't use it that way. In fairness though, I wouldn't even try to use EB in conjunction with Warcaster. The disadvantage isn't worth it. Better to use a melee cantrip for a few points less damage than miss entirely.
 

Arial Black

Explorer
The problem with that is that blasting a critter with three beams of eldritch blast as an opportunity attack is far, far more potent than making a single melee attack.

But, crucially, not more potent than other cantrips!

Cantrips start at d10 damage at range, then get increased to d12 if there is a drawback (like the mere 10ft range of poison spray) or decreased if the cantrip gives other benefits (like the move penalty for ray of frost).

Considering fire bolt, d10 damage with no real benefits or drawbacks beyond pure damage, it does the same damage as eldritch blast and scales in exactly the same way to a single target. If I'm 5th level, if I cast fire bolt as my OA, the target takes 2d10 damage if it hits.

Just like eldritch blast if both bolts hit.

So there is no case to be made that eldritch blast is too powerful to allow while other cantrips are not.
 

Al2O3

Explorer
But, crucially, not more potent than other cantrips!

Cantrips start at d10 damage at range, then get increased to d12 if there is a drawback (like the mere 10ft range of poison spray) or decreased if the cantrip gives other benefits (like the move penalty for ray of frost).

Considering fire bolt, d10 damage with no real benefits or drawbacks beyond pure damage, it does the same damage as eldritch blast and scales in exactly the same way to a single target. If I'm 5th level, if I cast fire bolt as my OA, the target takes 2d10 damage if it hits.

Just like eldritch blast if both bolts hit.

So there is no case to be made that eldritch blast is too powerful to allow while other cantrips are not.
For Eldritch blast I think it can be assumed that Agonizing blast is in use, so both rays would probably be 2d10+6 rather than 2d10 at level 5.

I haven't decided if I think allowing multiple rays of EB in warcaster is too powerful as a ruling, but would in any case probably allow using one ray (and would allow holding back one or more rays in any case where a fighter would be able to hold back an attack).
 
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Fanaelialae

Legend
For Eldritch blast I think it can be assumed that Agonizing blast is in use, so both rays would probably be 2d10+6 rather than 2d10 at level 5.

I haven't decided if I think allowing multiple rays of EB in warcaster is too powerful as a ruling, but would in any case probably allow using one ray (and would allow holding back one or more rays in any case where a fighter would be able to hold back an attack).

Think about it this way (I'm going to assume 20s in all relevant stats, since I'm not assuming a particular method of character generation).

At 1st level the Agony Lock deals 1d10+5 (10.5) with disadvantage vs the Bladelock who casts Booming Blade and deals 1d8+5 (9.5) with an additional 1d8 (14) unless he immediately stops moving. Obviously, the Bladelock would also get any magical weapon modifiers to his damage, but we can't say what those might be so I won't count them here.

At 5th level, it's 2d10+10 (21) vs 1d8+5+1d8 (14) and 2d8 (23).

At 12th level (so that the Bladelock can have Lifedrinker), it's 3d10+15 (31.5) vs 1d8+10+2d8 (23.5) and 3d8 (37).

At 17th level, it's 4d10+20 (42) vs 1d8+10+3d8 (28) and 4d8 (46).

As you can see, the Bladelock remains competitive with the Agony Lock throughout the game, which is why I don't think it's outright unbalanced. Admittedly, if you don't allow the SCAG cantrips in your game, you may not want to allow this, since it blows Shocking Grasp out of the water at higher levels.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The simple truth is that the ruling is justified.

You get to use Firebolt but not Eldritch Blast.

Not because EB is noticeably better in its basic form.

But because EB can be enhanced in ways that make it too powerful for an OA. Or too flexible. Or, simply, that a simple wording of the rule means EB has to stay outside the fence.

You're free to rule otherwise in your personal campaign of course, but don't pretend as if the official rule is baseless or ill conceived.
 

Arial Black

Explorer
The simple truth is that the ruling is justified.

You get to use Firebolt but not Eldritch Blast.

Not because EB is noticeably better in its basic form.

But because EB can be enhanced in ways that make it too powerful for an OA. Or too flexible. Or, simply, that a simple wording of the rule means EB has to stay outside the fence.

You're free to rule otherwise in your personal campaign of course, but don't pretend as if the official rule is baseless or ill conceived.

You make it sound like the 'official rule' is that EB is not allowed, and that anyone allowing it is 'houseruling'.

But there is no official Warcaster ruling denying EB.

Is there?
 

Arial Black

Explorer
For Eldritch blast I think it can be assumed that Agonizing blast is in use, so both rays would probably be 2d10+6 rather than 2d10 at level 5.

I haven't decided if I think allowing multiple rays of EB in warcaster is too powerful as a ruling, but would in any case probably allow using one ray (and would allow holding back one or more rays in any case where a fighter would be able to hold back an attack).

Agonising Blast is not a spell, and it is not eldritch blast. Any rule about which spells are allowed with Warcaster cannot take other abilities into account. If you think Agonising Blast is too powerful, you are not criticising a spell, but an invocation. That's a separate argument.
 

You're free to rule otherwise in your personal campaign of course, but don't pretend as if the official rule is baseless or ill conceived.

I don't think there is any such official rule. I have yet to see one, anyway. The closest I've seen is this tweet for Twin Spell:

http://www.sageadvice.eu/2014/10/13/twin-magic-missile/

JeremyECrawford said:
The Twinned Spell feature is intended to work on spells that can normally target only one creature.

I find no such tweet for Warcaster. Furthermore, the plain reading of Warcaster does not support such a restriction:

The spell must have a casting time of 1 action and must target only that creature.

Unlike Twinned Spell, there's no requirement that it can only target one creature, only that it does target only one creature.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
You make it sound like the 'official rule' is that EB is not allowed, and that anyone allowing it is 'houseruling'.

But there is no official Warcaster ruling denying EB.

Is there?
Sorry if confusion.

I was talking about the ruling against spells with more than one potential target.

Specifically, my reply was aimed towards those saying "not allowing EB for no good reason is stupid".

There IS a reason. Feel free to houserule otherwise, but not because the reason isn't valid.
 

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