If a monk catches an arrow, does the attack still hit?

The monk's feature Deflect Missiles says:

you can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack ... reduced [the damage] by 1d10 + ... If you reduce the damage to 0, you can catch the missile if it is small enough for you to hold in one hand and you have at least one hand free.

In the latter case, is the attack still considered a hit?

This is pertinent for effects such as a Battle Master's Combat Superiority maneuvers. As such, it would seem like it must still be a hit since the damage from the attack (that which you are reducing) is changed by some of these effects.


1 Answer 1


Yes, the attack is still a hit

The Deflect Missiles feature, as you have quoted, says (emphasis mine):

you can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack

Additionally, the rules for damage state:

With a penalty, it is possible to deal 0 damage, but never negative damage.

Therefore, even though the attack results in 0 damage, it is still considered a hit. As a result, any effects that apply when a target is hit by that weapon attack are still applied.

However, the attack didn't do any damage

JC also clarified that:

Taking 0 damage is the same as taking no damage


So, game effects which rely on taking or dealing damage may not be applied. For example, injury based poisons (which rely on dealing certain kinds of damage to be delivered) would not be applied on the monk, since the attack that was delivering them dealt no damage.

  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ It is a good thing to always keep in mind when analysing 5e rules: This DnD version was entirely written by the same guys (company) that made M:tG - So dealing damage has phases and interrupts. "When an attack hits" cannot negate the attack unless specifically written so. "When damage is dealt" cannot negate the damage unless specifically written so. Even the famed Specific Beats General is a derivative of The rules on the [M:tG] card overrule the booklet rules. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin Is that same thought process valid for 3e, 3.5e, and 4e? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 23:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast not to the same extent. I don't know zit about the 4e but 3e was some kind of transition, i guess the TSR remnants were not as deeply absorbed as by the time they published 5e. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 2:39

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