Wizards and Combat Advantage

A question came up in our game that my DM and I wanted to confirm regarding wizards and combat advantage.

The party's fighter, an enemy Wraith, and my wizard were lined up diagonally so as to grant combat advantage to us. I used Thunderwave to hit only the Wraith, hit without CA, and then made an off-hand comment about having CA. The question came up... should I have gotten the bonus for CA with Thunderwave?

We flipped through the rules, and CA applied for melee and close attacks. There's no stpiulation about it requiring a weapon. Technically it seems like I should have CA with Thunderwave. This was odd to us as 2E/3E vets, and we wanted confirmation.

My questions:

1) Can close spells grant CA?

2) Given that the target square for the burst was not centered on the Wraith, but the square next to it and myself (again, so as not to hit the wizard), should I have CA against the Wraith?
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
We flipped through the rules, and CA applied for melee and close attacks.
Flanking grants combat advantage; combat advantage applies to attack rolls. If you are flanking, you'll get the bonus with any attack roll- melee, close, ranged, or area.

The cautionary note is that if you're flanking, you'll likely provoke an OA with any ranged or area attack.

It doesn't matter where you place the blast - if it results in you making an attack roll against someone you are flanking, you have CA.

-Hyp.
 
The rules for flanking are on p285 of the PHB. There's nothing that would preclude you from getting a CA flanking bonus on the target of a Thunderwave, as long as you follow the rules for proper flanking.
 
As stated above and to clarify;
The melee requirement is for the ability to make opportunity attacks (threaten) which anyone with a free leg can kick. It is not a requirement for the standard action attack. So ranged attack would gain flanking, but would draw normal opportunity attack and not benefiit from prone etc... as normal. Drawing the opportunity attack might be desired depending on marks.
 

gizmo33

Visitor
1) Can close spells grant CA?
Very strictly speaking, no, it's not the spell that grants you combat advantage. It's the flanking. So the first question to ask is if you're flanking. Opposite sides: check. Able to attack: check. So it sounds like you're flanking. And the rules for flanking say "you have combat advantage against an enemy you flank."

Now your wizard attacks with a close burst spell. The fact that he has combat advantage means that any "attack" he makes against the target gets +2 to hit. I think it's reasonable to think that a close spell affecting a target is an attack. Therefore you get the +2.

2) Given that the target square for the burst was not centered on the Wraith, but the square next to it and myself (again, so as not to hit the wizard), should I have CA against the Wraith?
Again, you first establish whether or not your character is flanking. Secondly you establish whether or not you're roll against the target is considered an attack (and I can't think of a case where you're rolling against a targets defense and it's not an attack).

In that case a strict reading of the rules says to me that *regardless* of the origin of the attack, if it's considered an attack of the flanking character then it gets the +2 that the character is entitled to. In other words it's the character who needs to flank, not the attack. A pair of wizards who are flanking an enemy can have their attacks orginate from the same square and both get the +2, according to the way I read it. (Of course they both are subject to OA if they are area spells because the flankers must be adjacent to the target.)
 
Thanks everyone! :)

That's what my DM and I thought; we had assumed you could not, but upon reading the rules there was nothing that said I couldn't get CA while flanking with a spell. I guess it's one of those 4E things I'll have to get used to. Weird.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
Thanks everyone! :)

That's what my DM and I thought; we had assumed you could not, but upon reading the rules there was nothing that said I couldn't get CA while flanking with a spell. I guess it's one of those 4E things I'll have to get used to. Weird.
Yeah, in 4e you can even flank iwth a ranged attack (such as a bow or spell) if you are adjacent to the target. You still provoke as normal, but if you are flanking with the party fighter and they have the target marked, it's just an opportunity for more damage.
 

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