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If you have the spell sniper feat (doubles range of spells), and you use a weapon with reach, can you cast booming blade and hit a creature at 10ft?

Can you also combine this with the feats Polearm Master and War Caster to make a booming blade opportunity attack when a creature enters your reach (of 10ft)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Quick note: War Caster doesn't let you cast a spell as an opportunity attack, it lets you cast a spell instead of making an opportunity attack (when an enemy provokes an OA). Crawford confirms this here. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 13 '18 at 4:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's worth noting that Booming Blade and similar spells were changed late last year to have a range of Self, which may change the question. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 30 at 15:45
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Not any more.

As of Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, booming blade now has a range of Self. This means Spell Sniper won't have any effect on it (you can't double a range of Self) and War Caster won't let you use it in place of an opportunity attack (War Caster requires the spell to target the creature).

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    \$\begingroup\$ But booming blade does not have a range of self. It has a range of Self (5-foot radius). In fact it might not even target the caster in the first place \$\endgroup\$ Sep 22 at 10:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since it has a range of Self and not 5ft, can it now just work with a reach weapon? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Sep 22 at 13:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor The text of the spell now specifies that you make an attack against a creature within five feet of you; since it's part of the text rather than the range, no effect I know of can change it, sadly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Draconis
    Sep 22 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 True, but Distant Spell doesn't affect areas like "self (5-foot radius)" and Spell Sniper uses the same wording. I agree it's somewhat odd for booming blade to use an area of effect and then require an attack roll against one creature within that area—but given that we've seen it changed to that from the much more intuitive 5-foot range, I suspect this change was made specifically to prevent it from combining with range-altering effects. \$\endgroup\$
    – Draconis
    Sep 22 at 16:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Draconis But they don't have the same wording. Distant Spell explicitly only applies to "a spell that has a range of 5 feet or greater" whereas Spell Sniper applies to "a spell that requires you to make an attack roll". It is not clear to me where a spell with a range of "Self (5-foot radius)" falls. This answer should support its claims. Furthermore, if we're looking at the intent and suspecting why the change was made, we actually know that the intent is for War Caster to work with booming blade \$\endgroup\$ Sep 22 at 16:40
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Note that this answer is for the versions of Booming Blade before what was published in Tasha's.

I will leave the body of this answer as is, as not everyone owns Tasha's.

Yes the range is doubled

Note the range on Booming Blade is 5 feet, so following Spell Sniper it should be doubled to 10 feet.

Jeremy Crawford has tweeted on this topic, about a similar spell Green Flame Blade.

Q: What if he had the Spell Sniper feat? The spell requires an attack roll, would its range thus be 10ft, allowing the whip?
A: Spell Sniper does work green-flame blade.

No you cannot make an opportunity attack with a spell...

Booming Blade requires the Cast a Spell action, and only has an attack as one of the components. Opportunity attacks must be attacks, not spells.

To make the opportunity attack, you use your reaction to make one melee attack against the provoking creature.

... Unless you have the Warcaster feat

From the feat:

When a hostile creature's movement provokes an opportunity attack from you, you can use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature, rather than making an opportunity attack. The spell must have a casting time of 1 action and must target only that creature.

Since Booming Blade is a spell with a cast time of one action, and only targets one creature, you could cast the spell as your Opportunity Attack with the Warcaster feat.

Polearm Master adds additional chances to Opportunity Attack

While you are wielding a glaive, halberd, pike, or quarterstaff, other creatures provoke an opportunity attack from you when they enter your reach.

Combining Warcaster, Polearm Master, and Spell Sniper would allow you to use Booming Blade at 10 foot range as a creature enters your reach.

Note that even though Booming Blade's range is increased to 10 feet, since it requires a melee attack, your weapon must still reach that far to use it at this range.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What about the pole arm mastery part? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 25 '18 at 0:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LightningColin since Polearm Mastery adds new chances to make Opportunity attacks, it would work with Warcaster + Spell Sniper \$\endgroup\$
    – Randomorph
    Jan 25 '18 at 0:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Quick note: War Caster doesn't let you cast a spell as an opportunity attack, it lets you cast a spell instead of making an opportunity attack (when an enemy provokes an OA). Crawford confirms this here. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 13 '18 at 4:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical I think it's valuable to have an answer about how it used to work, before the errata; the new answer explains how it works (or rather doesn't work) post-errata but this has good references and explanations. \$\endgroup\$
    – Draconis
    Sep 17 at 21:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical I've updated the answer to reflect that it is pre-Tashas, but will leave the content as is. There are people who do not own Tasha's, myself included, or people who may still want the old version for use with Warcaster in particular. \$\endgroup\$
    – Randomorph
    Sep 17 at 22:15
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You can double the range of booming blade with Spell Sniper

The booming blade spell has a range of Self (5-foot radius), and I can see no reason why this can't be doubled to Self (10-foot radius) like any other spell.

However, even if we can double the range, the doubling is ultimately useless as the spell explicitly states:

[...] make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you. [...]

Thus, increasing the range won't actually help us to target creatures that are farther away. This is similar to the case with the counterspell spell.


Booming Blade is intended to work with War Caster

A spell cast using War Caster must target only the provoking creature so if booming blade targets the caster, it can't be used with War Caster.

To borrow from an answer to a similar question and the intention for these sort of spells (a tweet from Lead Game Designer Jeremy Crawford):

  • "Self": means that the spell targets the caster
  • "Self (XYZ)": means that the spell is an area-of-effect spell, whose point of origin must be the caster

A note about D&D spells with a range of "Self (XYZ)": the parenthetical—which says "5-foot radius," "15-foot cone," or something else—means you are the spell's point of origin, but you aren't necessarily its target. You're creating an effect that originates in your space.

So such a spell, at least according to this answer and Crawford, does not target the caster and thus can be used with War Caster. Crawford has even explicitly explained the interactions between War Caster and booming blade:

Booming blade works with War Caster.

So the intent here is clear, and looking into the actual rules we do find the following:

Spells that create cones or lines of effect that originate from you also have a range of self, indicating that the origin point of the spell's effect must be you.

So Self (XYZ) indicates the point of origin and not the target of such spells and we're done, yay.

Unfortunately, this rule doesn't explicitly address spheres and a different rule states that "a sphere's point of origin is included in the sphere's area of effect". Because of this, it is unclear to me how this combination should work if we stick to reading the actual rules. There are countless questions about spell targets and AOEs across this site with people arguing every which way with plenty of upvotes held by everyone. This is an incredibly messy part of the rules.

At the end of the day, a GM is free to rule however they want. At my own tables, booming blade does not target the caster, its range can be extended by Spell Sniper, and it can be used with War Caster.

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