Say a Champion fighter has the "Two-Weapon Fighting" fighting style and the "Dual Wielder" feat. At 10th level, they pick up "Dueling" (+2 to damage rolls when wielding a single one-handed melee weapon) for their 2nd fighting style. Since they're 10th-level, their Extra Attack feature lets them make 2 attacks as part of the Attack action.

Can they have one weapon drawn for their first attack, to benefit from Dueling - and only then draw another weapon for their second attack in the Attack action, in order to meet the requirement for Two-Weapon Fighting (and thus deliver another attack with their bonus action)?


No, you can't combine them in this way.

The key point is in the description of the Two-Weapon Fighting rule (PHB, p. 195):

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand.

The relevant issue is this: when you take the Attack action, is there a weapon in your other hand? If there is, you can't get the benefit of Dueling. If there is not, you can't make an off-hand attack using Two-Weapon Fighting.

(Note the present tense "that you're holding in the other hand", not "that you will be holding later in the turn" or "that you were holding earlier".)

  • \$\begingroup\$ But for the first attack, there is only one weapon the champion's hand. It's only prior to the 2nd extra attack, the 2nd weapon is drawn on the other hand, thus fulfilling TWF's requirement to trigger a bonus action to strike. So it's like this: 1st attack (dueling +2 to damage roll), 2nd attack (draws 2nd weapon on other hand, damages without a +2), attack on bonus action (TWF style) \$\endgroup\$ – Clement Kure Ong Jul 10 '17 at 7:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Clement: Taking the Attack Action is not the same as attacking. You Take the action and then Attack twice (with extra attack) \$\endgroup\$ – Patta Jul 10 '17 at 7:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Patta thanks for clarifying, I think i understand what Paul is trying to drive at now. \$\endgroup\$ – Clement Kure Ong Jul 10 '17 at 8:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, the key thing is that the option to make a bonus action attack is granted when taking an Attack action with a light weapon in the other hand. If the other hand is empty when the Attack action is made, there is no option to take a bonus action to make another attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Hutton Jul 10 '17 at 8:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Patta: The claim in your comment is incorrect. As Jeremy Crawford unofficially clarified in a March 2019 tweet: "In D&D, the way you take an action in combat is to actually take the action. There is no action-declaration phase. [...] the Attack action [...] means the action itself, not a declaration that you will take the action." (How that affects this particular interaction may be a matter of interpretation.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Oct 5 '20 at 8:41

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