The related question – Can you cast spells with a Somatic component if you're holding a two-handed weapon? – says that you can cast a spell if you're holding a 2H weapon. The PHB Errata says:

Two-Handed (p. 147). This property is relevant only when you attack with the weapon, not when you simply hold it.

Although, that means if you attack with the weapon, both your hands are occupied. Hence the question. Can you cast a spell you're attacking with a two-handed weapon?

An example situation

Let's say two wizards are having a squabble. Wizard 1 smacks Wizard 2 with his staff, using both hands. On his turn, Wizard 2 tries to smack Wizard 1. I assume turns happen simultaneously in D&D 5e combat. Can Wizard 1 casts Shield as a reaction, while both his hands are occupied in that very moment?

This answer implies you can cast a bonus action spell. But it is "especially swift" according to the PHB. What about a reaction spell?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ To clarify for others who were confused like me: Is the distinction here performing the somatic component while holding a 2 handed weapon vs while attacking with a 2 handed weapon (assuming combat is simultaneous)? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 14:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems the OP is looking for rules on reaction-time spells while attacking with a 2h weapon. \$\endgroup\$
    – GreySage
    Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 15:12

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can cast while holding/wielding a 2-handed weapon

The specifics of reaction and bonus actions are covered by Jeremy Crawford from Sage Advice in a few separate threads. The crux is basically that there is no action economy for releasing a hand from a 2-handed weapon. Casting and fighting is not a problem for the 2-handed weapon folk.

Using vs Carried

Yeah, I would allow it too. A two-handed weapon needs two hands to be used, but not necessarily two to be carried.

Reaction Castings

Paraphrasing: He's basically saying that switching between 1 or 2 hands is a non-action.


There are no simultaneous actions in DnD 5e. The system is not made to handle such a thing. Thus you cannot both be attacking and casting a reaction spell. Because of this the answer is the same as for the question about holding a two-handed weapon, which is yes, you can cast it.


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