I know conjure barrage and conjure volley are ranger spells, but bards have magical secrets so it still matters.

Spellcasting foci can replace the material components of a spell as long as there is no cost listed. Neither spell lists a cost, but makes specific mention to the material components. Can a spellcasting focus be used in place of the material components in this case?

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is also relevant for the Cordon of Arrows spell \$\endgroup\$ – John Grabanski Jul 26 '17 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also it might be relevant to state that Rangers do not get Spellcasting Focus per their Spellcasting description in the PHB (or at lease the version I have, I don't know where to find the eratta's ) Related \$\endgroup\$ – John Grabanski Jul 26 '17 at 12:56

You need the components

And you need for them a couple of reasons - the components are consumed (they disappear and the ammunition is actually used in the attack) and the action requirement is also stated in the spell description.

Material Components in Spellcasting (PHB, 203)

A character can use a component pouch or a spellcasting focus [rangers do not have access to a focus] (found in chapter 5) in place of the components specified for a spell.

If a spell states that a material component is consumed by the spell, the caster must provide this component...

Conjure Volley (PHB, 226)

You fire a piece of nonmagical ammunition from a ranged weapon into the air...in a volley from above and this disappear.

Conjure Barrage (PHB 225)

You throw a nonmagical weapon or fire a piece of nonmagical ammunition into the air to create a cone of identical weapons that shoot forward and then disappear.

Both of these descriptions first require that you DO something with the ammunition (not just have it) AND that the ammunition/weapon disappears (and is used and possibly not recovered) after along with it's counterparts.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ But the original weapon doesn't disappear. Only the copies. \$\endgroup\$ – Johnathan Gross Jul 25 '17 at 21:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Possibly, but even if it doesn't disappear, the spell text requires you to utilize component in a specific way and then that component leaves your person. It isn't just for casting, it's an active and required part of the spell. Think booming blade for ranged attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 25 '17 at 22:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would consider adding the entire Material (M) block from page 203 to be more clear about the relevance of a component pouch or spellcasting focus for the quoted text. Also stating that Rangers do not get a focus, but instead can use a component pouch is also relevant. \$\endgroup\$ – John Grabanski Jul 26 '17 at 13:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch thanks, at first reading I wasn't aware without looking at it that it was referencing the pouch/focus in any way. This makes it much clearer. \$\endgroup\$ – John Grabanski Jul 26 '17 at 13:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is also answered in this SAC - media.wizards.com/2015/downloads/dnd/SA_Compendium.pdf - "If a spell’s material components are consumed, can a spellcasting focus still be used in place of the consumed component? Nope." \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 9 '18 at 20:27

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