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The description of hail of thorns (1 minute duration, 1 bonus action casting time) says:

The next time you hit a creature with a ranged weapon attack before the spell ends, this spell creates a rain of thorns that sprouts from your ranged weapon or ammunition. In addition to the normal effect of the attack, the target of the attack and each creature within 5 feet of it must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 1d10 piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

The description of conjure volley (instantaneous duration, 1 action casting time) says:

You fire a piece of nonmagical ammunition from a ranged weapon or throw a nonmagical weapon into the air and choose a point within range. Hundreds of duplicates of the ammunition or weapon fall in a volley from above and then disappear. Each creature in a 40-foot-radius. 20-foot-high cylinder centered on that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 8d8 damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The damage type is the same as that of the ammunition or weapon.

Is it possible to have a combo with conjure volley and hail of thorns, even if it takes two turns to set it up?

For instance, I spend my first turn to cast hail of thorns, then use my action to stealth or something. Then, on my next turn, I cast conjure volley, which duplicates the arrow I cast hail of thorns on. The arrow isn't magical, so this should apply. I fire at a group of creatures. This should cause a hit even if the creature makes a successful saving throw.

Would this combo work?

Would I be able to combine conjure volley and ensnaring strike in a similar way?

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No, this would not work; conjure volley isn't an attack

Hail of thorns specifies that its effects apply

The next time you hit a creature with a ranged weapon attack

However, conjure volley does not involve a ranged weapon attack. As part of the spell, you do "fire a piece of nonmagical ammunition from a ranged weapon", but that is simply part of what triggers the spell; you are not making a ranged weapon attack against any target. Instead, conjure volley is a spell that forces those in the cylindrical area of effect to make a Dexterity saving throw.

Ensnaring strike wouldn't work with conjure volley for the same reason: conjure volley isn't a weapon attack (or an attack at all).


For a definition of what constitutes an "attack" (and why a spell that only involves the targets making saving throws isn't one), see the "Making an Attack" section of the basic rules:

If there's ever any question whether something you're doing counts as an attack, the rule is simple: if you're making an attack roll, you're making an attack.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks buddy. this clarifies it quite a bit. Thanks everyone! \$\endgroup\$ – Nightreign Jul 29 '18 at 21:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nightreign: Glad to help! If you found my answer helpful, you might want to accept it - though you might want to wait a day or so to see if anyone else leaves any better answers. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 29 '18 at 21:58
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This combo results in no special effect.

In order for the hail of thorns spell to activate, you have to hit with a ranged weapon attack.

The next time you hit a creature with a ranged weapon attack before the spell ends,...

When you use conjure volley, you are not making a ranged weapon attack. Instead you are creating a spell effect that forces a saving throw.

Each creature in a 40-foot-radius, 20-foot-high cylinder centered on the point must make a Dexterity save. A creature takes 8d8 damage on a failed save, or half damage on a success

For it to be a ranged weapon attack, it would have to say so. See the booming blade spell for an example of how this would be worded:

As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon

What happens?

Conjure volley takes effect as normal duplicating your piece of ammunition. As long as you keep concentrating on hail of thorns, your next ranged weapon attack during the duration will trigger the spell effect.

Hail of thorns targets Self not the ammunition so using the ammunition for conjure volley doesn't impact the hail of thorns spell at all.

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