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If there is a wizard that, by some means, has acquired proficiency in the use of shields, can said wizard use his shield in one hand and his arcane focus quarterstaff in the other and still cast somatic component spells?

Since the quarterstaff has been crafted to also be an arcane focus, and the Sage Advice Compendium states that you can provide the somatic components of spells with the same hand wielding the arcane focus, in this case an arcane focus quarterstaff, could that wizard still be able to perform somatic component spells while using a shield in the other?

I understand War Caster is the feat that allows you to cast somatic component spells even while using a shield and weapon or two weapons in each hand, but is this a simple way around those rules seeing as this "weapon" is your arcane focus? I would like to believe it is not, but I'm not fully fluent in the ways of spellcasting.

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The rules on somatic and material components say:

If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures.

[...]

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components--or to hold a spellcasting focus--but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.

So yes, the hand holding your focus can also perform the somatic components. It doesn't matter what the other hand is doing.

But, this only works if the spell has Material components. If it has Somatic but not Material, you will need a free hand to cast it (unless you have the Warcaster feat).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Does your last paragraph really follow from the rules? It seems a little weird that you can't cast a spell with less stringent requirements (vis. no materials needed) while holding the focus. \$\endgroup\$ – Chowlett Aug 16 '17 at 8:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ The rules says "Every time you use your free hand to perform somatic components, you can use the same hand to access a spellcasting focus". That is not the same as "Every time your hand is occupied with a focus, you can use this hand to perform somatic components". The classic example is the holy focus, engraved on the shield - rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/46201 \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Aug 16 '17 at 12:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ But the rules don't say "Every time you use your free hand to perform somatic components, you can use the same hand to access a spellcasting focus". They say "A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components--or to hold a spellcasting focus--but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components." It doesn't say you have to be holding the focus for the purpose of avoiding materials. And I can't see anything relevant in the linked question. I might ask this as a new question. \$\endgroup\$ – Chowlett Aug 16 '17 at 15:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ The description of Somatic components says you need a free hand. The description of Material components says that the Material components can use the same hand as Somatic components. It wouldn't be game-breaking to allow it, but by a strict reading, you don't refer to the Material components paragraph unless the spell has Material components. \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Aug 17 '17 at 1:35

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