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The spell blade ward (PHB, p. 219) has the following effect:

Until the end of your next turn, you have resistance against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage dealt by weapon attacks.

Is there a cantrip or spell similar to this that works against natural attacks or non-weapon damage such as claw, bite, tail, or slam attacks?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what you're asking. Do you want to know if there's a cantrip in the 5e published rule set that gives resistance to damage from natural weapons, (such as claw, bite, tail or slam attacks) similar to how Blade Ward functions? \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Reefman Jul 30 '18 at 7:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related. \$\endgroup\$ – Kamil Drakari Jul 30 '18 at 15:35
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Blade ward already works for natural attacks

It may not seem obvious, but Blade Ward already does this. A claw or bite attack (etc) are classed as Melee Weapon Attacks.

This can be seen if you look at any monster description, where under Actions it will typically say something like:

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft, one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) piercing damage

Blade Ward will not protect you against other forms of damage such as that caused by spells or by falling (which is bludgeoning damage but not weapon damage).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What about unarmed attacks? \$\endgroup\$ – Doktor J Jul 30 '18 at 16:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DoktorJ, I think that should fall under the same category as weapons as well. As clarified by PJRZ Claw is described as a melee weapon attack, then unarmed should be the same dealing bludgeoning damage. \$\endgroup\$ – Jhyarelle Silver Jul 30 '18 at 16:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ All attacks are either spell attacks or weapon attacks. Source: sageadvice.eu/2018/01/28/… \$\endgroup\$ – Elia Jul 30 '18 at 17:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DoktorJ: Roll20 isn't really a reliable rules source. Unarmed strikes were removed from the weapons list in a PHB errata and the basic rules were correspondingly updated, but the basic rules do state: "Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike: a punch, kick, head-butt, or similar forceful blow (none of which count as weapons)." \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 30 '18 at 19:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ And Crawford has clarified that "An unarmed strike is a nonweapon [you can't silver a fist] that can make a melee weapon attack." \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 30 '18 at 19:59

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