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My group's interpretation of hideous blow is that it always requires a standard action (since it says on the text you need to use a standard action to attack, and it's not the casting time) so even if you quickened it it would always require a standard action for the attack. I'm not sure if this is the correct one, if it's not i'd be glad to read official material on the issue.

But as it stands now, with the way we use hideous blow, we are not sure how to mix spellblast (which requires a full round action) and hideous blow (which requires that standard action to attack) or even if it's possible (in theory it should be possible since one is a shape modification and the other an essence), and if it's possible what kind of action it would require.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I figure most folks wouldn't want to do this in the first place because the spell tucked into the spellblast must have an area… hence usually also affecting the warlock who hideously blew. So that examples can be clear as to the order of operations, what spell does the warlock want to tuck into his spellblast-augmented hideous blow? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 3 at 13:42
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While hideous blow does have a casting time listed as 1 standard action, and then the description says “As a standard action,” I think you have to read this as a repeat of the casting time. Otherwise, hideous blow would require a standard action to set it up, and then you could attack as a standard action after that, i.e. on another turn unless you have one of the very-rare abilities to take multiple standard actions in a turn. Since hideous blow is utterly atrocious even without that drawback,1 reading it in there would really just make the entire thing completely pointless. Thus, if you use Quicken Spell-like Ability, it ought to affect the casting time—which the “As a standard action,” is merely repeating. So it should affect that too, allowing a swift-action hideous blow attack.

Therefore, since hideous blow just has a casting time—that gets mentioned in its description, but nonetheless—spellblast changing that casting time should be valid, allowing you to combine them. After all, hideous blow is a blast shape and spellblast is an eldritch essence, and they both explicitly mention the possibility of including the other.

Overall though, hideous blow is terrible,1 and it’s particularly terrible with spellblast since a lot of spells are going to include you in the area, so you have to somehow work around that, or limit your spell selection to those spells that either have areas you can direct away from you (e.g. cones) or whose effect naturally ignores or benefits you. Those are some serious drawbacks, on top of an already-awful blast shape.1

  1. While it’s perfectly valid to wonder and ask how hideous blow works, please know it is never worth taking. It is a terrible trade—massive loss of accuracy for the sake of just one hit of weapon damage. If your weapon damage is good, you’d be far better off with a full-attack than the eldritch blast damage or eldritch essence effect. If your weapon damage is not good, particularly if your weapon damage is poor due to low accuracy, then giving your target what amounts to a massive AC boost by attacking their armored AC instead of touch AC is not remotely worth that small damage. Finally, if you have Dragon Magic, the eldritch glaive blast shape found there is vastly superior—it is still a touch attack, it actually lets you get your iterative attacks (though not any other bonus attacks), it has reach, and it lasts the whole round so you can threaten with it. (Even if you don’t have Dragon Magic, that just means you lack any viable melee warlock options, not that hideous blow is an acceptable replacement.)
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    \$\begingroup\$ Including a headline like A spellblast hideous blow should take just a full-round action to employ may be useful. And, by the way, I reached the same conclusion about hideous blow: that it totally works with the Quicken Spell-like Ability feat, for example, despite the invocation's precision; monsters have spell-like abilities that say they take standard actions to use yet they can employ with those the feat Quicken Spell-like Ability; the warlock should be no different. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 3 at 15:05

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