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As a case study, consider the Celestial Warlock Class Feature, Healing Light:

At first level, you gain the ability to channel celestial energy to heal wounds. You have a pool of d6s that you spend to fuel this healing. The number of dice in the pool equals 1 + your warlock level.

As a bonus action, you can heal one creature you can see within 60 feet of you, spending dice from the pool. The maximum number of dice you can spend at once equals your Charisma modifier (minimum of one die). Roll the dice you spend, add them together, and restore a number of hit points equal to the total.

Your pool regains all expended dice when you finish a long rest.

RAW, this doesn't specify any kind of action or phrase the warlock must perform in other to activate the ability, which would mean that it could be cast without the Warlock having to do anything other than turn their head. But from the context of what the spell actually does, it's pretty clear that this is very mechanically similar to the Healing Word spell that clerics have access to, which itself does have a Verbal component. They have the same casting time (1 bonus action), same range (60 feet), same effect (heal a creature), and the only major difference is the potency of the effect (Healing Word is xd4 + Spell-mod, Healing Light is [Spell-mod]d6).

Is it accurate to say that Healing Light has no verbal component? Or is its verbal component inferred by virtue of it being a Class Feature, or by its similarity to an actual spell that has a verbal component?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Healing Word requires a word. What does healing Light require? ;P \$\endgroup\$ – Justin Time 2 Reinstate Monica May 18 '18 at 4:11
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Only spells have components

A spell's components are the physical requirements you must meet in order to cast it.

Material, verbal, and somatic components are mechanics that are used for spells. They are defined in the section on spellcasting and all the references are to spells in those definitions. Nowhere, in the rules or anywhere else, are those terms ever applied to anything other than spells.

Class features say if they have any requirements to use them

If a class feature required a certain phrase to be uttered or movement to be made, that would be outlined in the class feature description.

Looking at Celestial Healing, no such wording is present. Sure, it is very arguably somewhat similar to healing word, but it is not healing word, nor is it a spell: it is a class feature. Nothing more or less.

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    \$\begingroup\$ As an example of a Class Feature that specifies its requirements, the Cleric's Channel Divinity: Turn Undead feature requires the use of a Holy Symbol despite not being a spell with a 0 cost Material component. \$\endgroup\$ – Kamil Drakari May 18 '18 at 13:21
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No, it doesn't have any components.

Features do what they say they do. Even if the class feature resembles a spell or another feature, the relevant information about how the class feature works is provided in the class feature. As such, Healing Light doesn't have any components; it doesn't specify any physical actions your character needs to take other than to see the target.

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