The monk's Deflect Missiles feature description says:

Starting at 3rd level, you can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack. When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier + your monk level.

If you reduce the damage to 0, you can catch the missile if it is small enough for you to hold in one hand and you have at least one hand free. [...]

The description of the Gloves of Missile Snaring says:

These gloves seem to almost meld into your hands when you don them. When a ranged weapon attack hits you while you're wearing them, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier, provided that you have a free hand. If you reduce the damage to 0, you can catch the missile if it is small enough for you to hold in that hand.

Does a monk's Deflect Missiles ability work "in addition" with the Gloves of Missile Snaring, or must you use one or the other?


3 Answers 3


According to the description of reactions (PHB 190):

When you take a reaction, you can't take another one until the start of your next turn.

Both use your reaction. As you only have 1 reaction per round, you must choose which of the two you would like to activate.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The action economy is very important and almost always ignored. You can't use more than one bonus action. You cannot use more than one reaction. Most of the issues of making combos out of special abilities are made null by this. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 1:40

The reaction would be to deflect or catch a missile with your free hand. The reaction is just one: to deflect or catch a missile. If you do not have the natural ability, then you use the magical effect from the gloves to attain a certain level of proficiency for that reaction. This ability of the monk to Deflect Missiles is not a Ki-based ability: it is based on training. Deflecting or catching a missile is training based (think about the '70 series Kun-Fu) it does not require the expense of Ki points (but, throwing it after you caught it does require the use of Ki: "If you catch a missile in this way, you can spend 1 ki point to make a ranged attack with the weapon or piece of ammunition you just caught, as part of the same reaction.").

If you have the ability, meaning you are proficient with deflecting and catching missiles due to training like the monk, then the question is if the gloves enhance that proficiency that you already have. The use of the amount of damage to determine if you catch it or not is a mechanism to measure your proficiency to do so. And that proficiency can increase as the monk ability does each level (one point of damage per level). So, this ability to catch missiles can be increased. If you do not have the proficiency to deflect or catch the missiles, then the gloves give you the stated proficiency: 1d10 + Dex. If you have the proficiency, it would enhance it, meaning that mechanically, you add that damage roll to your original damage roll, since it is just one reaction that you are taking and you have the natural proficiency and the magical bonus (this would be same as using a magical weapon with a bonus, you add the magical bonus to your existing proficiency). They are not two different reactions, just one reaction with a magical bonus. That would be my take.

So, the answer to the question would be no, it is the other way, the Gloves of Missile Snaring work in addition to the monk's Deflect Missiles ability as a magical modifier.

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    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 6:23

Gloves add another d10 damage +dex modifier reduction

The Monk ability is class feature, not a spell

A single reaction is used to deflect or catch a missile. Not two missiles, one missile. The following is a rules-as-written approach, which includes the DMG errata. It is also informed by a magical item amplifying a Monk's ability to long jump using a class feature: Step of the Wind.

If the PC does not have the Monk class feature, then using the magical effect from the gloves will allow them to use a reaction to catch / deflect a ranged attack but (1) does not get the monk's level bonus, and (2) there is no option to throw it back.

All Monks gain this class feature (not spell) at level 3. The only magical effect from this ability, the only ki powered effect, is that "throw it back as an attack" which costs one ki point. The Monk's base deflect missiles ability is not subject to the "no combined magical effects" rule.

Combining Magical Effects

The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don’t combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect—such as the highest bonus—from those castings applies while their durations overlap. Or the most recent effect applies if the castings are equally potent and their durations overlap. For example, if two clerics cast bless on the same target, that character gains the spell’s benefit only once; he or she doesn’t get to roll two bonus dice. (Basic Rules, p. 85)

In the special case of the Monk - specific beats general - the gloves enhance the base class feature just as the ring of jumping enhances the Monk's ability to jump farther when used in conjunction with class feature Step of the Wind. The gloves cannot add the monk's class level to damage reduction since that is not a feature of the glove's magical effect, though the dexterity modifier can be doubled. The two cases where I find ability modifiers being doubled are paladin and sorcerer: the 7th aura for the paladin being based on Charisma (and thus "doubling up" on any charisma saving throws), and the Sorcerer's charisma bonus that adds on top of a bonus to the cantrip green flame blade's damage.

The Monk's ability to deflect / catch a missiles can be improved by a magical item just as the ability to make a saving throw is enhanced by the ring of protection: you are already making a saving throw: the RoP is a magic item that enhances what the PC is already doing.

Mechanically, this means that the monk combines the damage reduction roll (+ level modifier +dexterity) and the damage reduction from the gloves (with no level modifier + dexterity) for the single ranged attack that this applies to. It can only apply to one such attack per reaction.

Bottom line

The monk adds the damage reduction (d10 + dex mod) from the gloves to the damage reduction of that Monk class feature.

Addressing Objections

The DMG errata Combining Game Effects (p. 252).

Different game features can affect a target at the same time. But when two or more game features have the same name, only the effects of one of them—the most potent one—apply while the durations of the effects overlap. For example, if a target is ignited by a fire elemental’s Fire Form trait, the ongoing fire damage doesn’t increase if the burning target is subjected to that trait again. Game features include spells, class features, feats, racial traits, monster abilities, and magic items. See the related rule in the “Combining Magical Effects” section of chapter 10 in the Player’s Handbook.

  1. The game features are not the same. One has a level based bonus, the other does not. There is no "duration" listed for either one (neither one is a spell). Reaction is when it takes place during a round of combat (typically, another creature's turn); it is not a duration.

  2. The two methods do not have the same name. Missile Snaring is not the same name as Deflect Missiles.

Should this stack?

Maybe yes, maybe no. Based on the rules as written, nothing prevents this magic item improving on the monk's ability. It's up to the DM to rule on that. Some DM's will take the approach outlined above, and others will feel that the effect is similar enough to be the same, thus the ought to be treated as the same so that the two should not combine.

Choose the approach that fits your table best, if you are the DM. If you are the player, discuss this with your DM, with the points above presented for consideration. Accept the ruling, and play on.

Remember: this item is costing the Monk an attunement slot. The sum total damage reduction for one ranged attack that is added is an additional 1d10 + dex mod (5.5 + dex mod) points average damage. As the monk's level goes up, and 1 point per level is added to this, the influence of the monks level tends to dominate.

Rules as Fun

Boosting avoided damage from a single missile attack that the monk can already boost damage reduction on is not game breaking. It's "Monk does cool Monk stuff a little bit better." See also Great Weapon Master and Barbarians using two handed weapons. Barbarian does cool Barbarian stuff better. :) If the Monk is going to use up one of three limited attunement slots for this, then good for the Monk. These gloves do nothing about melee attacks, spell attacks, breath weapons, and a whole host of other hazards.

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    – Blits
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 0:01
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    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 7, 2019 at 0:41

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