If a warlock attacks with a weapon as their action, can they use Eldritch blast as a bonus action in the same round?

  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ Do not forget that eldritch blast has a casting time of 1 action. You need some way to cast it as a bonus action (such as the quicken spell metamagic). \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Mar 1 '18 at 14:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A lot of parts of this question don't Jive. What's the situation that came up? What level is this character? How are you getting Edlritch Blast? \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Mar 1 '18 at 14:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SethR.Feldman: You should write this as an answer. Comments are for correcting and clarifying the question only. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 1 '18 at 14:43
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity, are they a sorcerer as well for metamagic? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 1 '18 at 14:55
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you explain how this character can cast EB as a bonus action? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 1 '18 at 15:25

Bonus actions can be taken at any time unless their timing is specified

The player gets to choose what order their actions are taken in unless the timing of those actions is specified. Bonus actions are no exception to this.

The rule you cite applies only to casting multiple spells on a turn. Since a weapon attack is an Attack action, this situation is not relevant to it.

From the Player's Handbook:

You choose when to take a bonus action during your turn unless the bonus action's timing is specified.

Also supported by Jeremy Crawford:

If a bonus action's rule tells you when you can take the action, that's when you can take it. If the rule doesn't tell you when you can take it, you choose when you take it on your turn. See the "Bonus Actions" section (PH, 189) for more information. #DnD

Do note that eldritch blast has a casting time of 1 action. You will need some way to modify that casting time (such as the quicken spell metamagic) to cast it as a bonus action. As a further note, also remember that you cannot take a bonus action unless some feature or ability allows you to.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to explain that this is true, but they need a way to allow EB to be cast as a bonus action in order to do it. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 1 '18 at 14:32

Because of the attack action already taken, you can cast eldritch blast as a bonus action ONLY if you have a way to make eldritch blast's casting time a bonus action. It's normal casting time is one action.

Though we don't have more details on your character, and could use them, what you're quoting is the rules on bonus action spells. If you cast a spell with a bonus action as its casting time, then you can't cast another spell during the same turn except for cantrips.

Since you attacked with a weapon first, you need a way to make eldritch blast have a casting time of a bonus action - for example with the quicken metamagic if your character has levels in the sorcerer class.

Since you attacked with a weapon, you're limited to spells with a casting time of a bonus action, which "right out of the box" eldritch blast isn't.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So for future reference what are some of the details that would help out people who are answering questions \$\endgroup\$ – thisdude9000 Mar 1 '18 at 14:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Class and level are always a good idea. They let someone know if you have access to something that might allow a combo/action/etc. Race can be helpful. Your quote was from a very different section of the PHB and out of context to your question, given that you've attacked with a weapon. Always good to quote the entire area and the heading, if you think something helps you. A single line of text can be out of context. \$\endgroup\$ – Seth R. Feldman Mar 1 '18 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just did a quick edit for clarification, but I like the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 1 '18 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Korvin! Is that the standard RPG Stack rules - italics for spells? \$\endgroup\$ – Seth R. Feldman Mar 1 '18 at 20:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SethR.Feldman No, but it's a common convention in the text of the books, so I often italicize in my own posts, and in edits when I do them, so that the spell name is never confused with the mundane use of a word (like confusion ). It's not always obvious in context, though if often is. (Heh, and I didn't do it in the last instance of the cantrip ... but that meaning is clear. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 1 '18 at 22:55

Possibly, assuming your weapon attack specifically grants you the ability to cast Eldritch Blast as a bonus action.

A weapon attack is taking the Attack action, not the Casting a Spell action. Since you have not already cast a spell in the same turn, you may use a cantrip with a casting time of one bonus action.

You can usually take your action and bonus action in any order, but if your ability to cast Eldritch Blast as a bonus action is predicated on having used a weapon attack, the weapon attack must come first.

If you do not have a feature that gives you the specifically granted ability to cast an Eldritch Blast as a bonus action, then no. Bonus actions and Actions are not interchangeable.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think your statement about the order is not true. I remember that JC has confirmed that you can take the bonus action from the shield master feat before the attack and that has similar wording. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Mar 1 '18 at 14:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ That would need a cite. It makes no logical sense. If you were to use a feature granted by an action first, and then got killed by an opportunity attack before you got to use the granting action, then the granting action would never have occurred. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Mar 1 '18 at 14:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You definitely can use a bonus action before the action. All bonus actions so far, you can choose the timing. sageadvice.eu/2015/01/29/shield-master-feat \$\endgroup\$ – Seth R. Feldman Mar 1 '18 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ We will need a clarification from the OP about what ability is granting the bonus action. I suspect that this is actually a case of "Can I take a bonus action for free"? \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Mar 1 '18 at 14:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SethR.Feldman Unless the timing is specified. Please re-read my answer. It may have been edited while you were typing. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Mar 1 '18 at 14:40

Yes. If you have a cantrip which you can cast as a bonus action, you may cast it after attacking.

There are only a few cantrips which have a casting time of a bonus action.

  • Shillelagh - turns a club or quarterstaff into a magic weapon
  • Magic Stone - creates 1 to 3 pebbles, but you make ranged attacks with them with the Attack action
  • Spare the Dying (Cleric - Grave Domain) - stabilize dying creature
  • Sorcerers can also spend 2 sorcery points to quicken a cantrip so that it may be cast as a bonus action (if they know the Quickened Spell metamagic).

The only attack option of these is for Sorcerers. So a Sorcerer who knows how to cast Eldritch Blast can cast it as a bonus action by spending 2 sorcery points. They can do this before or after they use their Action to attack. The other 3 spells above can also be cast before or after the Action since they do not depend on the Action. Sometimes a class feature requires a certain kind of action to be taken prior to granting you the ability to do something as a bonus action (see below).

What you are probably actually curious about is this question:

Q: How can I attack and cast a spell as an attack on the same turn?

A: Valor Bard and Eldritch Knight can do this

Valor Bard

  • At level 14, a Valor Bard may make a single weapon attack with their bonus action after they cast a Bard spell (as an action).

So the Valor Bard can attack and cast Eldritch Blast if Eldritch Blast is on their class list. I don't know how this is possible, but if you can find a way to not just learn it, but learn it as a Bard spell, then it would work. Otherwise, you'll have to settle for a different attack cantrip.

Eldritch Knight

  • At level 7, an Eldritch Knight may make a single weapon attack with their bonus action after they cast a cantrip (as an action).
  • At level 18, an Eldritch Knight may make a single weapon attack with their bonus action after they cast a spell (as an action).

This is your best bet, since the Eldritch Knight's ability is not restricted to their cantrips from the Wizard spell list. You can pick up Eldritch Blast or other cantrips through multiclassing or a feat such as Magic Initiate or Spell Sniper. Neither of these feats put the spell on your class list though, so you'll want to have a high ability modifier that matches the class you get the cantrip from. Also look up the Wizard cantrips in SCAG if you are an EK, since they are very nice in melee.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.