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A tree is between me and the enemy. It provides half cover to an enemy.

If I cast Spiritual Weapon adjacent to him, does Spiritual Weapon ignore the cover provided by the tree? Or, because my line of sight is half-blocked by the tree, does the half-cover bonus stay?

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Spiritual Weapon ignores Cover (but not Visibility) between the Caster and Target

The Cover rules state:

A target can benefit from cover only when an attack or other effect originates on the opposite side of the cover

Spiritual Weapon indicates that the weapon itself is attacking the Target, so only Cover between the Weapon and the Target matters.

However: Visibility is still determined based on the Caster to Target. This is supported by Jeremy Crawford's statements:

The spell doesn't require you to see its target. It follows the normal rules for attacking a target you can't see.

Questioner: caster could leave the room and leave a spiritual weapon floating in the doorway for a minute w/ disadv to hit?

Crawford: Yes, assuming there's actually something there to hit.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Ah, that was the precise bit of description on the nature of cover I was looking for. To go further, your adjudication about visibility/obscuration is supported by tweets from Crawford - he rules that spiritual weapons can attack targets you can't see, though they do so at disadvantage, because the rules for attacking unseen targets apply. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Apr 10 '18 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Excellent reference! Added. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Vincent Apr 10 '18 at 21:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should put quotes from your sources in block text (use ">" before each line of the quote) in case of link rot and to improve readability \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 10 '18 at 22:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might link the 2017 SageAdvice. Also, the Podcast from Feb 12, 2017 he explicitly goes into detail about this spell and its interaction with cover. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Apr 10 '18 at 23:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth do you have a link for the more recent sage advice reference? My search-fu is poor. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Apr 11 '18 at 16:40

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