Assume I'm a fighter, Sword and Board.

If the shield is in main hand as an improvised weapon, doing 1d4+STR, and my longsword is in off hand doing 1d8+STR. I have Two-Weapon Fighting and Dual Wielding.

Would this allow me to shield bash with my shield twice with extra attack (e.g. shove or do 1d4 damage), and make an off hand full attack with the longsword as my bonus action, and meet the requirements for the +1 AC from Dual Wielder:

Dual Wielder

  • You master fighting with two weapons, gaining the following benefits: You gain a +1 bonus to AC while you are wielding a separate melee weapon in each hand.

  • You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one handed melee weapons you are wielding aren’t light.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There is no main-hand/off-hand distinction in 5e. You are simply holding each weapon in different hands. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 6, 2018 at 23:13

1 Answer 1


First benefit, no. Second benefit, yes.

An object only counts as an improvised weapon when you attack with it.

Jeremy Crawford, lead designer, has clarified this fact in a tweet

An improvised weapon is, indeed, a weapon, but only the moment it’s used as such. A chair/shield/etc isn’t a weapon otherwise

As such, you would not get the first benefit of Dual Wielder.

The second benefit though, only hinges on the Two-weapon Fighting rules which say (removed the word light per the benefit of the feat):

When you take the Attack action and attack with a ... melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different ... melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. 

As long as you attack with the shield first (during the Attack action) the second benefit will work, but you could not make a bonus action attack with the shield.

One of your attacks for the Attack action must be with the shield as an improvised weapon and not just 2 shoves for the effect to work. The shove special attack does not use a weapon.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If it becomes a weapon when used, would the +1 AC not kick in on use? Maybe for that turn? I guess it's an RAI if the aim is that you're more defensive as a result of being able to protect yourself better by holding two things? \$\endgroup\$
    – Hessenuk
    Apr 6, 2018 at 23:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Hessenuk it would kick in for that attack, but nothing let's a creature attack during yours. If your GM houserules that it is a weapon for the whole turn you would lose the +2 AC shield bonus. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 6, 2018 at 23:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair point on the losing shield AC. Would escaping an AoO be a creature attack on my turn though? \$\endgroup\$
    – Hessenuk
    Apr 6, 2018 at 23:13
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Hessenuk It would be on your turn, but not during the attack. Without the GM changing something, the shield is not a weapon after the attack (it immediately reverts to being a shield) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 6, 2018 at 23:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Much obliged kind sir! \$\endgroup\$
    – Hessenuk
    Apr 6, 2018 at 23:31

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