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Absorb Elements says:

The spell captures some of the incoming energy, lessening its effct on you and storing it for your next melee attack. You have resistance to the triggering damage type until the start of your next turn. Also, the fist time you hit with a melee attack on your next turn, the target takes an extra 1d6 damage of the triggering type, and the spell ends.

Shocking Grasp says:

Lightning springs from your hand to deliver a shock to a creature you try to touch. Make a melee spell attack against the target. You have advantage on the attack roll if the target is wearing armor made of metal. On a hit, the target takes 1d8 lightning damage, and it can’t take reactions until the start of its next turn.

If I absorb fire damage with Absorb Elements would I be able to add on a D6 Fire to my next shocking grasp attack?

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Yes

The rules define melee attack to include both melee weapon and melee spell attacks:

Used in hand-to-hand combat, a melee attack allows you to attack a foe within your reach. A melee attack typically uses a handheld weapon such as a sword, a warhammer, or an axe. A typical monster makes a melee attack when it strikes with its claws, horns, teeth, tentacles, or other body part. A few spells also involve making a melee attack. (PHB 195)

Also, I found a relevant Q&A Twitter post from Jeremy Crawford (the Lead Designer and Managing Editor for DnD 5e) that sheds some light on this. Per the Sage Advice Compendium Jeremy can make official rulings on Twitter, making this an official source.

Question

Does a "melee spell attack" count as a "melee attack" for Touch of Death?

Answer

A melee spell attack is, indeed, a melee attack and can qualify for the Death cleric's Touch of Death feature.

This would naturally extend to other effects that alter or activate based on melee attacks.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I have edited into your answer a quote from the book that supports the answer. If that goes against your intent feel free to remove it, but I think it creates a better and more complete answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jun 5 '18 at 15:35
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Yes

Per the SRD, pg 95

Melee Attacks

Used in hand-to-hand combat, a melee attack allows you to attack a foe within your reach. A melee attack typically uses a handheld weapon such as a sword, a warhammer, or an axe. A typical monster makes a melee attack when it strikes with its claws, horns, teeth, tentacles, or other body part. A few spells also involve making a melee attack.

So you your Shocking Grasp counts as a melee attack with your touch.

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  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Your answer is correct, but the bit about unarmed strikes is irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Dec 22 '17 at 0:17

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