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The Swashbuckler rogue's Fancy Footwork feature says (SCAG, p. 135; XGtE, p. 47):

During your turn, if you make a melee attack against a creature, that creature can't make opportunity attacks against you for the rest of your turn.

It doesn't specify whether the attack has to hit; it just requires that you "make" the attack.

Yet other similar abilities, such as the third benefit of the Mobile feat, specifically say "whether you hit or not" (PHB, p. 168; emphasis mine):

You are exceptionally speedy and agile. You gain the following benefits:
[...]

  • When you make a melee attack against a creature, you don’t provoke opportunity attacks from that creature for the rest of the turn, whether you hit or not.

If the Swashbuckler's attack misses a creature, does Fancy Footwork still prevent the creature from making an opportunity attack at the Swashbuckler?

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The targeted enemy can't make opportunity attacks

As you've quoted, the relevant part of the Swashbuckler rogue's Fancy Footwork feature description says (SCAG, p. 135; XGtE, p. 47):

During your turn, if you make a melee attack against a creature, that creature can’t make opportunity attacks against you for the rest of your turn.

The only requirement for the feature is that you "make a melee attack" against a creature on your turn; it doesn't specify that the attack has to hit (or miss), so it doesn't. Therefore, if you make a melee attack against a creature on your turn, then that creature can't make opportunity attacks against you for the rest of that turn. That's all there is to it.

Rules designer Jeremy Crawford reiterated this fact in an unofficial tweet from May 2016:

does the Fancy Footwork feature of the Swashbuckler rogue require the melee attack to be successful?

Fancy Footwork works whether or not your attack hits.

This tweet just repeats what's already self-evident from the feature description: you just have to make the attack - you don't have to hit.


As a sidenote, Fancy Footwork doesn't even require an attack roll, since it doesn't mention hitting or missing; it just says you need to make a melee attack against a creature. This means that even trying to grapple or shove a creature is enough to qualify for the benefit of Fancy Footwork, since both shoves and grapples are described as "special melee attacks".

This fact is also reinforced in a Q&A about the interaction of the third benefit of the Mobile feat, which works similarly (as you note): Does a Grapple or Shove count as an attack for the third benefit of the Mobile feat?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A more rule-focused answer may be beneficial here. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 3 at 17:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov: I've updated my answer, and added some information about grapples/shoves. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Aug 4 at 5:23

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