I'm designing a monk/warlock character and have noticed a potential synergy.

Cloak of the Shadows says:

When you are in an area of dim light or darkness, you can use your action to become invisible. You remain invisible until you make an attack, cast a spell, or are in an area of bright light. 

Is the action to deal damage with witch bolt (after the initial casting) considered an attack? Do any other rules limit the usage of this synergy to remain invisible while continually dealing damage?


2 Answers 2


Action Economy will prevent this combination.

Witch bolt states:

...you can use your action deal 1d12 lightning damage to the target automatically. The spell ends if you use your action to do anything else.

Emphasis is mine, to point out the problem- if you go invisible first, casting the spell ends your invisibility. If you go invisible after the initial casting of witch bolt, using your action to do so, you end the spell.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You could take 2 levels of fighter and action surge... It doesn't appear the cloak of shaddows requires an action every turn. If you remain hidden, you do not need to use your action again. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shem
    Apr 24, 2018 at 23:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem isn't the number of actions, it's that the spell ends if you do anything with your action besides maintain it, and the Cloak of the Shadows ends if you cast a spell. The two are mutually exclusive in terms of starting, not maintaining them. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24, 2018 at 23:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TheVagrantDog you can start the spell, then use Action Surge to become invisible \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Apr 25, 2018 at 6:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Quoting the whole spell would help here. The spell specifies that it is a sustained arc of lightning, which means a clearly visible and enduring line of light between you and the target (which would make invisibility useless). Using any action other than sustaining the arc ends the spell. This is a separate sentence than "on each of your turns" and should be considered a separate stipulation \$\endgroup\$
    – Baergren
    Apr 25, 2018 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Baergren there's no mechanical difference to having your location advertised by an arc of lightning while invisible and not having an arc of lightning. Unless you hide, they still know your location (but have disadvantage on attacks). Hiding takes an action. Of course, you could ALSO take 2 levels in rogue to subsequently hide as a bonus action. Then it would be up to the DM if the arc of lightning prevents you from hiding. \$\endgroup\$
    – Luke
    Apr 26, 2018 at 7:45


But you have to have a way of getting 2 actions on your turn or of casting Witch Bolt with a bonus action.

You need to cast the spell first and then you need to use your action each turn to maintain it. Generally that means you don’t have an action to hide.

However, if you use the Sorcerer’s Quicken meta magic to make it a bonus spell you still have your action free to hide. Alternatively, if you can get 2 actions on that or a latter turn such as with the Fighter’s Action Surge or by being Hasted, that works too.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You haven't explained why @TheVagrantDog is wrong in his assertion (most clearly expressed in his explanatory comment) that using an action for anything other than Witch Bolt will end the spell. All you've shown are two ways that someone could get extra actions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiggerous
    Apr 25, 2018 at 9:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tiggerous Because these two answers are not mutualy exclusive. Action Economy will, indeed, prevent this combination unless one can get another action/substitute action for bonus action in casting a spell. Dale M describes how to do that. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25, 2018 at 9:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AntiDrondert Extra actions don't help if any Action used for anything other than Witch Bolt ends the spell, they just let you end it even sooner. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiggerous
    Apr 25, 2018 at 9:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Tiggerous ..on each of your turns for the duration, you can use your action.. the way I read it, you must spend an action only on subsequent turns. On your first turn you cast Witch Bolt with an action/bonus action, use your additional action/original action to use Cloak of Shadows. On subsequent turns you use Actions to prolong Witch Bolt. Prolonging Witch Bolt is not attack or cast a spell action, so it doesn't break invisibility. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25, 2018 at 9:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AntiDrondert If that's Dale M's reasoning, he should include it in his answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiggerous
    Apr 25, 2018 at 9:53

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