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The 5th level ranger spell swift quiver (PHB, pp. 279-280) says (bold italics emphasis mine):

Components: V, S, M (a quiver containing at least one piece of ammunition)

You transmute your quiver so it produces an endless supply of nonmagical ammunition...

On each of your turns until the spell ends, you can use a bonus action to make two attacks with a weapon that uses ammunition from the quiver. Each time you make such a ranged attack, your quiver magically replaces the piece of ammunition you used with a similar piece of non magical ammunition.

The way I read this, the ammunition is replaced only when you use it to make these special bonus action attacks, and will not replace ammunition that you use when you make regular attacks with your action. However, this interpretation is not necessarily clear (see this related question, which at time of writing does not have an accepted answer), so that impacts the below scenario:

So, let's say we have a ranger who has only one arrow left. They cast swift quiver (the quiver containing only one piece of ammunition satisfies the material component requirement) and now that spell is active.

If that ranger fires their last arrow with their action (i.e. a "regular" attack, not one of these arrow-replacing bonus action attacks), or (depending on the outcome of the related question) if the quiver was turned upside-down and all the arrows fell out without an attack being involved, the quiver would now be empty. Either way, we can assume that the quiver is now empty in such a way that the spell doesn't replenish the arrows.

Would the spell end because the quiver no longer contains any ammunition? Or is it that, because the material component was satisfied at time of casting, the material component doesn't need to remain valid for the duration of the spell after that point?


Just as a reminder to those wanting to answer this question, this question is about whether or not the spell ends, not whether the arrows of a regular attack are replaced as per the spell. Anyone that wants to address the latter point should post an answer on the related question instead.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Very closely related: Are the arrows from swift quiver usable for normal attacks? \$\endgroup\$ – Tiggerous Feb 25 at 14:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ To avoid repeating the issue from the linked question (whether normal attacks also get ammunition replaced),I think this question could be simplified to ask only if the spell ends when the quiver is emptied by any means. \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Feb 25 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sdjz I agree, and was about to edit this to do just that (acting on your suggestion), but I find myself thinking "this question only makes sense assuming my interpretation of the other question is true", since if any arrow is replaced, this scenario is impossible. I guess that means my reading of swift quiver is implicitly part of this question as well :( \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Feb 25 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS maybe a simple way to ask it would be to say that you turn over the quiver and pour the ammo out since it involves no attack it is much less controversial possibly to say that the quiver gets emptied (IMO). On the other hand, there's no way to ask this without at least assuming that the quiver can be emptied somehow. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 25 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose I've tried to come up with a wording that sidesteps this controversy. Hopefully this decouples this question from the linked question as much as is possible... \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Feb 25 at 15:17
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The spell is already cast, so whether or not the quiver is empty is no longer relevant

The rules for spellcasting state (emphasis mine):

A spell's components are the physical requirements you must meet in order to cast it. Each spell's description indicates whether it requires verbal (V), somatic (S), or material (M) components. If you can't provide one or more of a spell's components, you are unable to cast the spell.

The emphasized part of this quote indicates that you only need components when you cast the spell, not over the entire duration. The one-arrowed quiver is only required for casting it, so taking the arrow out will not end the spell.

If this was not true, you could also argue that for spells that consume valuable components, you need two of that component or the spell would not work.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe that discussing whether the ammunition gets replaced or not is different than this question. It has also been asked in a linked question already. This answer would likely benefit from simply not touching on that point. You already answer that the spell should not end when the quiver is empty and provided good reasoning for this. The bit about replacement in the leading title is superfluous, I think. \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Feb 25 at 14:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ I like this answer, but the "so it would replace it" part of the title seems to be a) not related to the rest of the answer (which does nicely answer my question about casting the spell, by the way), and b) seems to be more relevant to the linked question that Tiggerous found (which is about whether arrows used by "regular" attacks are replaced or not). \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Feb 25 at 14:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think that has resolved the misunderstanding, yes. I think, though, that I agree with @Sdjz in that it might be worth just refining the focus of the answer back to the spellcasting part, since a) my question was mainly about the material components of the spell, and b) since this linked question doesn't seem too sure about whether or not the arrow is replaced (the currently most upvoted answer implies that it isn't), it might be best not to tackle that as part of this answer. (PS: that's not my downvote) \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Feb 25 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS I am beginning to get really confused about everything. Feel free to edit my answer to whatever you want it to be. I think I have once again obtained the density of a neutron star. \$\endgroup\$ – Justin Feb 25 at 15:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ You haven't done anything wrong, this is largely because, when I wrote the question, I didn't realise that whether or not the arrows are magically replaced even when used via regular action attacks was up for interpretation (i.e. the linked question). Given that it is, it's best for that interpretation to be handled as part of that question rather than increasing the scope of this question (which is just about the spellcasting bit, which your answer answers nicely). I've made a suggested edit to illustrate my point, but please feel free to rollback if you don't agree with my edit. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Feb 25 at 15:13
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No, the spell does not end. There is nothing in the spell description that says the spell ends in this situation, and so it follows the normal spell rules, which say the spell lasts it's stated duration.

As to the rest of the spell and how it works:

You transmute your quiver so it produces an endless supply of nonmagical ammunition...

This states that the quiver produces an endless supply of nonmagical ammunition. This is the core rule of the spell. It then goes on to say that you get can use a bonus action to have extra attacks:

On each of your turns until the spell ends, you can use a bonus action to make two attacks with a weapon that uses ammunition from the quiver.

How the ammunition is supplied is stated in the next sentence:

Each time you make such a ranged attack, your quiver magically replaces the piece of ammunition you used with a similar piece of non magical ammunition.

The "such a ranged attack" phrase should be interpreted to mean "attacks like the ones made in the bonus action", not "only those attacks made in the bonus action", or the core rule of the spell from the first line would not make any sense.

It could have been worded better.

So in the instance of having one arrow in the quiver when you cast the spell, every time you use a piece of ammunition it is magically replaced including any ranged attacks you make that are not the bonus action attacks provided by the spell. Therefore when the spell ends you still only have one arrow in your quiver, however many arrows you shoot.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like the majority of this answer should have been an answer to the linked question, not this one. I know this question hinges on this interpretation somewhat, hence why I've tried to mention emptying the quiver by tipping it upside-down in my question in an attempt to prevent this question becoming all about that interpretation... \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Feb 26 at 10:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ But that interpretation is what informs the answer to your question, which is clearly stated and backed up at the beginning. The rest is to address the remainder of your question. You can't separate them out the way you have asked. \$\endgroup\$ – Protonflux Feb 26 at 17:58

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