I know that attacking an enemy with multiple attacks and advantage only gives the advantage to the first attack since it hits consecutively.

But, since Scorching Ray is an instantaneous spell with three spell range attacks, and if you decide to hit a single enemy you have advantage (i.e. caused by Faerie Fire) with it, should it mean that each spell range attack from Scorching Ray have advantage since you hit all range attacks instantaneously?


Let's break this down.

First we'll look at the rules for Advantage/Disadvantage:

Sometimes a special ability or spell tells you that you have advantage or disadvantage on an ability check, a saving throw, or an attack roll.

Advantage only applies to one ability check, saving throw, or attack roll.

In the case of Scorching Ray:

Make a ranged spell attack for each ray.

there are three separate attack rolls happening (one for each ray). Therefore, Advantage would only apply to one of those attack rolls for one of the rays, not all of them, regardless of whether they all hit a single creature at the same time or separate creatures.

In the case of attacking a creature within the area of Faerie Fire (as you use as an example), all three attack rolls would have Advantage solely because of the wording of Faerie Fire:

Any attack roll against an affected creature or object has advantage...

Scorching Ray's instantaneous duration has no effect on Advantage/Disadvantage though, as that only refers to the length of time the spell persists (see page 203 of the PHB).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does its instantaneous nature ever come into play at all? What does instantaneous do? Is it just flavor? \$\endgroup\$ May 30 '18 at 1:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThatGuyWhoRushesToTheFrontline that’s a really good question: ask it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    May 30 '18 at 1:53
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ The "instantaneous" tag means that the spell cannot be dispelled, for example using dispel magic. \$\endgroup\$ May 30 '18 at 2:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, "instantaneous" simply contrasts with spells that have a longer duration (e.g. 1 minute). The individual rays/beams of a multi-beam attack don't occur simultaneously unless specified otherwise; for instance, Magic Missile does strike simultaneously (though it doesn't have attack rolls so it isn't relevant to this particular case). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 30 '18 at 3:22

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