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My medium-sized character has a flying speed. I would like to attack a Halfling Beast Master with my shortsword. My reach is 5 feet, because I’m not a bugbear or have other crazy features that would allow for longer melee range. The Halfling uses his Animal Companion, a wolf, as a mount.

Can I fly directly above the halfling, allowing me to be in melee range with him, but not with his wolf friend? I don’t want to get hit by the Coordinated Attack. Or could the wolf just jump (either as an action on its turn or as a reaction), in order to bite me?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking if you would be in range for just that attack? Or are you asking if you can hit the rider with an attack without being afraid of the wolf attacking you on its turn (including by using its movement)? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 5 at 18:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose: Well, I hoped to get an answer to both of those questions. But I didn't want to split them in two, because they are really similar and might have exactly the same answer. \$\endgroup\$ – hohenheim Feb 7 at 8:18
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If you are in melee range of the rider, you are also in range of the wolf

I don't see anything RAW that specifically defines the space economy of mounted combat, but pg 198 of the PHB states,

If the mount provokes an opportunity attack while you're on it, the attacker can target you or the mount.

I would interpret this as stating that the mount and rider are occupying the same space during combat, which would make 5 ft from the halfling the same as 5 ft from the wolf.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! This is a different answer so it is fine, no need to apologize for it, really! Also, this does look like much better support for this reasoning. \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Feb 5 at 19:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Fwiw: Crawford disagrees here and here \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 5 at 19:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ FYI, my table seems to go against JC and just have the mount replace the rider and we haven't seen any issues come up. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 5 at 19:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem here is that the RAW really assume a 2-dimensional battlefield, regardless of flying creatures. They don't appear to have been written with 3-dimensional combat in mind, so the mounted combat rules quoted should probably be read with this in mind. \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ Feb 6 at 8:44

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