The rogueish archetype Thief gets the feature Fast Hands:

Starting at 3rd level, you can use the bonus action granted by your Cunning Action to make a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check, use your thieves’ tools to disarm a trap or open a lock, or take the Use an Object action.

It has been established that the fiery blade from Flame Blade is not a weapon. Assuming the Thief has some means of casting Flame Blade, could the Thief use his Fast Hands feature to use the Use an Object action (as a bonus action) to attack with the fiery blade?

Since the fiery blade isn't a weapon, but it is a thing, I figure it should be close to an object (looking at the answers to this question certainly imply it is). The spell also has very similar wording in how the fiery blade is used as many objects. Compare the description of the fiery blade:

You can use your action to make a melee spell attack with the fiery blade...

to the description of Acid:

As an action, you can splash the contents of this vial... make a ranged attack...

or Hunting Trap:

When you use your action to set it...

Does the fiery blade count as an object, and therefore can it be used with Fast Hands, or is it something distinct?

Related: Can I use the Fast Hands bonus action to control Mage Hand?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately, I do not have the source on me, but there was explanation from Crawford that uses of Acid and Alchemist's Fire are treated as an Improvised Weapon attack, just with a special effect if it hits. They aren't eligible for the Fast Hands trait. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23, 2018 at 21:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DanielZastoupil There is a lot of controversy around it, but check out this Reddit thread, which has a compilation of tweets. I'm pretty sure the action is still Use an Object, although it is hard to tell with Crawford. \$\endgroup\$
    – GreySage
    Aug 23, 2018 at 21:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This particular one was in a discussions page of some sort. Not sure why you are getting so many downvotes. I think it's a valid question. It's not your fault the Use an Object action is so undefined. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23, 2018 at 21:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DanielZastoupil I agree. +1 for interesting and useful question, and also for countering odd downvotes (though mostly for the former. Not sure that I'd encourage the latter if it was the only reason.) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2018 at 1:46
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I would encourage people who are down-voting this question to explain why. A question is not bad just because the answer is "no" or because you think the answer is obvious. This is a well-written question. If you've down-voted, it would be helpful to offer a suggestion for improvement. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2018 at 11:53

3 Answers 3


No. Just because it’s not a weapon item doesn’t mean it’s an object. It’s neither. It’s a magical effect of a spell, with its own magical rules.

To use a flame blade you follow the spell. The magic allows itself to be used with a specific spell-defined action, so that’s the only way to use the spell. A bonus action can’t be used to use the magic.



The Thief Rogue's Fast Hands allow the use of the Use an Object action as a bonus action, but attacking with the fiery blade isn't the Use an Object action: it's a special action granted by the effect of the flame blade spell.

If the fiery blade were a weapon or an object, the spell would say so. Since it does not, it counts as neither. It is simply an effect of the spell. Contrast this with a spell like shadow blade that explicitly creates a weapon, or animate object that explicitly benefits objects. Since it is neither a weapon nor an object, it can only be used with the special action granted by the spell.



Flame Blade states:

You can use your action to make a melee spell Attack (sic) with the fiery blade. On a hit, the target takes 3d6 fire damage. (roll20 Compendium)

Note: roll20 here uses "Attack" when the correct form is "attack".

Flame Blade is not covered by Fast Hands, because you are using an action to make a melee spell attack instead of using an object.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ IMO this is the clearest answer so far. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2018 at 1:45
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ So, I like your answer, but I think it is subtly, but fatally, incorrect. There is no such action as "Melee Spell Attack" Action. There is the Attack action. However, you are not taking any kind of Attack action here (melee spell or otherwise). Instead you are using a special spell action to make a (melee spell) attack. Thus, your last line actually does not hold up. This is important because if your last line were true, this spell would work with features that tie-in to the Attack action. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2018 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ravery you seem to be confusing attacks with the actions that generate them. You can make an attack under many conditions. For example, you can take the Attack action or you could attack as part of an opportunity attack which is not using an Attack action. The same thing is true here. The spell says you use an action to make a melee spell attack. That means this is not an Attack action ( or a Melee Spell Attack action which does not exist). The spell is telling you the cost (an action) and the effect (an attack). \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2018 at 0:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose -- ok, let me see if I can restate the conclusion to conform with a strict RAW terminology. \$\endgroup\$
    – ravery
    Aug 25, 2018 at 0:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .