Guiding Bolt grants advantage to the next attack against the same target:

the next attack roll made against this target before the end of your next turn has advantage

If one of my allies got hit with a Guiding Bolt, could I have my Str 8 (−1) Warlock punch him to use up the advantage granted to the next attack against him? Even if I hit, I believe a punch only does 1 damage, so my −1 Str would make that zero. Even a crit would only do 1 point.

I would think this would work since the description only says it has to be an attack. And a sneaky DM could do the same, by having a henchmen hit the Big Bad to use up the advantage. I mean, getting punched would be better than getting hit with a Greatsword.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why would you want to though? Another party member could use that advantage much more than a 0 damage attack. Like a rogue... \$\endgroup\$
    – Timi
    Jan 13, 2018 at 0:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ The question is proposing that an enemy has used Guiding Bolt on an ally, and the poster wants to eliminate the effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zhuge
    Jan 13, 2018 at 0:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that punching an ally takes up your Action, so you probably have better things to do than possibly preventing a little bit of damage to your fighter. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jorn
    Jan 13, 2018 at 11:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ It would definitely be a very situational thing. For instance taking away a thief's sneak attack. \$\endgroup\$
    – RonV
    Jan 13, 2018 at 19:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ The spell says "flash of light streaks towards the target" and "mystical dim light glittering on the target" so the spell has specific visual clues for the characters to tell what spell is in effect. I don't think that knowledge would be to hard to come by for adventurers, but it would be a GM call. \$\endgroup\$
    – RonV
    Jan 13, 2018 at 21:49

2 Answers 2



The text only says, "the next attack roll," and doesn't specify that it has to come from you.

In contrast, spells like Blinding Smite specify that the attack has to come from you, and has wording like this:

The next time you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack during this spell’s duration...

  • \$\begingroup\$ and besides, you are having to use up potentially your entire turn just so they don't have a disadvantage roll pending. That could be a large sacrifice if you could have done something much better with your turn. \$\endgroup\$
    – GPPK
    Jan 13, 2018 at 19:48

I would say that this would work just fine. If you think it is worth the use of your action to remove that advantage on a possibly more effective attack, I as a DM would say you may do that.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Could you clarify a point: are you saying that this is DM's discretion? The second sentence seems to by making two points (that there's an action cost to the choice, and that the DM has to agree to let it happen), but I'm not sure if the second point is intended or just an accidental implication of the way the sentence is structured. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 12, 2018 at 23:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not going to presume to speak for all other DMs. I think his tactic is valid, and would allow it. I could see another DM ruling against this, by claiming that the Warlock's punch is not a legitimate attempt to do damage, or not a real attack against a resisting target, or some such, and thus doesn't count. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 12, 2018 at 23:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I hadn't thought about the "not being a real attack" because you know it will go to zero, but after posting the question I did wonder about the cost benefit of passing up the action you could do for the ineffective punch. \$\endgroup\$
    – RonV
    Jan 13, 2018 at 3:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ultimately, it's probably not worth it unless the enemy REALLY wants to hit that attack. Basically, it's using your action to give disadvantage on one attack (cancelling out advantage=disadvantage). That's slightly worse than vicious mockery as far as economy goes, although guaranteed to work. If the fighter has a turn coming up, you get better economy by having him use dodge, since that applies to multiple attacks and dex saving throws. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ethan
    Jan 13, 2018 at 7:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I thought it was an interesting tactic, but with more consideration, very situational. On the other hand imagining the players faces when the small goblin punches the big bad to take away their advantage still makes me chuckle. \$\endgroup\$
    – RonV
    Jan 13, 2018 at 19:29

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