I was reading the UA Raven Queen warlock and saw that the sentinel raven gives you advantage to the killer of your raven for 24 hours.

I was wondering if there is a way for the raven to take a hit for me, to die, and then to give me advantage on this enemy.

Maybe something with readied actions? "I ready the raven's action to fly in between me and my attacker when they attack me."

Is this a legitimate move or are we going into house rule territory?

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ I feel like if you force a raven to fly into an attack in order to die for a bonus, the killer of said raven is probably you :P \$\endgroup\$
    – Lunin
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 5:29

6 Answers 6


An Oath of Redemption Paladin's Aura of the Guardian allows them to take hits for another creature.

In Xanathar's Guide to Everything, the Oath of Redemption Paladin gets this ability:

Aura of the Guardian

Starting at 7th level, you can shield your allies from harm at the cost of your own health. When a creature within 10 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to magically take that damage, instead of that creature taking it. This feature doesn't transfer any other effects that might accompany the damage, and this damage can't be reduced in any way.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

This is a class ability exclusive to the Oath of Redemption, and they don't get it until level 7. Allowing this to another character as a free option would give them a significant advantage that may effect the balance of your game.

  • \$\begingroup\$ you may want to add that this does not apply to the raven, but only for a paladin \$\endgroup\$
    – Vylix
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 14:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Vylix that assumes the raven cannot be a paladin. That's a bit bigoted, no? ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 16:12

A Goblin Boss (MM, p. 166) has the Redirect Attack reaction:

Redirect Attack. When a creature the goblin can see targets it with an attack, the goblin chooses another goblin within 5 feet of it. The two goblins swap places, and the chosen goblin becomes the target instead.

According to this question, if the new target was originally out of the attacker's reach then it provokes an opportunity attack.

As an aside, I'd probably rule that if you were to actively push the raven in the way in such a manner then the one who killed the raven is you and not your attacker. At the very least, you'd be directly responsible for its death.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Great find on the Goblin Boss and excellent point that you put your raven in harms way and thus you'd be responsible. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 16:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch, this raises the obvious question: are there any situations where it's useful to have advantage against yourself? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 22:30

Sanctuary is pretty close

It's not guaranteed, but the spell sanctuary has a pretty close mechanic for this:

You ward a creature within range against attack. Until the spell ends, any creature who targets the warded creature with an attack or a harmful spell must first make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature must choose a new target or lose the attack or spell.

Bad news is that it's limited to Clerics and a couple of Paladin oaths, and, of course, the ever awesome Bard who can use Magical Secrets to get it.

And granting the Raven the ability to cast this spell and cast it on you is kinda problematic.

The Ready action also wouldn't be helpful

The mechanic that you suggested has some problems:

Maybe something with readied actions? "I ready the raven's action to fly in between me and my attacker when they attack me."

Unfortunately, ravens aren't very big. And moving in between you and the attacker wouldn't change the target. Additionally, because the raven is unlikely to cover half your body, it's movement in between also wouldn't give you a +2 AC bonus that cover generally provides.

Not only that, but typically the Ready action triggers occurs after the trigger event. You'd already have been attacked (thanks gandalfmeansme!)

No general method for any creature to do this

While sanctuary is close to fitting the bill, and the Redemption Paladin's 7th level feature Oath of the Guardian provide mechanics that get close - neither are available for any creature. And neither are options for the Raven.

Unless you houserule something (and given the workaround you're trying to create to get advantage), it'll be up to your DM to decide if they want to carve out a mechanic allowing you to do this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ We are here to serve the greater good ... :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 17:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nice answer. It might be worth noting that the Ready action would also run into difficulty (as written) because in the absence of other timing explicitly spelled out by rules, Reactions happen after their trigger finishes. So if your trigger was "when they attack me" the raven could only fly in between the two of you after the attack had finished. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gandalfmeansme Ah - good point. added. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 19:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sanctuary is exactly what you want. You can cast it on yourself. Take Magic Initiate and you dont even have to multiclass \$\endgroup\$
    – Nacht
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 3:43

Have your Raven take the Help action every turn.

You can send your Raven to fly into melee with an enemy and bother it repeatedly by taking the Help Action:

You can lend your aid to another creature in the completion of a task. When you take the Help action, the creature you aid gains advantage on the next ability check it makes to perform the task you are helping with, provided that it makes the check before the start of your next turn.

Alternatively, you can aid a friendly creature in attacking a creature within 5 feet of you. You feint, distract the target, or in some other way team up to make your ally’s attack more effective. If your ally attacks the target before your next turn, the first attack roll is made with advantage.

Emphasis mine.

This forces your enemy into a lose-lose situation. Your Raven gives you advantage on the first attack you make each turn when it takes the Help action. From the enemy's perspective, they're being made vulnerable by a small, weak, easy-to-kill bird. They may think the bird is a familiar, but they have no way of knowing that killing the Raven gives you a special benefit. It would make perfect sense for them to attack the Raven and kill it to stop it from Helping you, unwittingly granting you advantage on all attacks against it for 24 hours.

If your enemy is somehow aware that you get a bonus on your Raven's death and decides not to kill it, at least you're getting advantage on the first attack you make each turn through your Raven's Help action.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Love this idea, but the problem is that if the Raven is on the warlock's shoulder to provide them with all the benefits, then it can't be targeted or damaged. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 20:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ You're trying to get the Raven killed anyway, right? You're going to lose the shoulder perch benefits one way or another. \$\endgroup\$
    – user48255
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 20:39


The protection fighting style is to allow a melee character to interpose their shield between the enemy and another target within 5 ft, and this grants disadvantage on the attack.

For this the melee character has to pay a price, which is roughly +2 to hit or +1 AC PERMANENTLY, which is the opportunity cost of not taking a different fighting style.

It isn't quite what you are talking about, and there may be other similar mechanics, but I certainly would not recommend allowing this as a free option for anyone, or you are stepping on the toes of specific mechanics that should be opted into if that is what a character wishes to do.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Assessing the opportunity cost of protection over any of the other options isn't that simple, either. What about GWF or TWF? I'm not sure a comparison like that is helpful, SeriousBri. That, and the general problem of a Raven wearing a shield (or casting, or being a paladin, etc) \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 14:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast actually I was thinking archery, which I think is to hit, otherwise I did my ranger wrong lol. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 15:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch it was more to point out that other options of protecting people have a cost, so having a free one is unbalanced. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, giving the Raven a free fighting style is unbalanced enough without comparing it against the other styles and how it might be 'rated' :) \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, since Protection needs a shield, I had "sword and board" in my head when I asked that. Comment removed. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 17:50

This probably doesn't help you with your raven, but to answer the question in the title, the Mounted Combatant feat in the Player's Handbook (p. 168) lets you redirect an attack. Here's the relevant part of the text:

While you are mounted and aren't incapacitated, you gain the following benefits: [...]

  • You can force an attack targeted at your mount to target you instead.

In the very unlikely event you could get your GM to allow you to give this feat to your raven, it might actually do what you want. The idea is that the raven could be "mounted" on your warlock, and then could take hits intended for you until it dies (it would also give you, as its mount, more effective Dex saves). But I'm not actually sure how well that would mesh with the mechanics in the UA Warlock rules, which specify that the raven when perched upon you can't be targeted or take damage.


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