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The Repelling Blast eldritch invocation (PHB, p. 111) says:

When you hit a creature with eldritch blast, you can push a creature up to 10 feet away from you in a straight line.

The Grasp of Hadar eldritch invocation (XGtE, p. 57) says:

Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with your eldritch blast, you can move that creature in a straight line 10 feet closer to you.

Let's say I have a level 2 warlock with both of these invocations. What happens when I hit a creature with eldritch blast. Does the creature:

  1. Move 10 feet towards or away from me as I wish because I can choose which invocation to use or not?
  2. Not move at all because the invocations cancel each other out?
  3. Only ever move 10 feet towards/away from me because one of the invocations somehow takes precedence?
  4. Something else?
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Both, one, or neither

The case for using both

Using both may seem counter-intuitive and maybe even against the rules. I will address both these issues.

What's the point of moving a creature ten feet toward you and then ten feet away from you? Doesn't that just cancel out any movement? Yes and no.

There are some situations when moving a creature ten feet toward you and then ten feet away from you, or the other way around, could be very useful. For example:

  1. A goblin is standing on a trap door that is triggered when you step off the floor plate. You hit the goblin with Eldritch blast, push the goblin ten feet away, the trap door opens, and you pull the goblin ten feet towards you over the hole where the trap door just opened. Bye bye goblin.

  2. An ogre is ten feet in front of you. Your fighter companion is ten feet behind you ready to attack. You hit the ogre with eldritch blast and pull the ogre ten feet toward you and then push the ogre ten feet, the other way, so the ogre is in striking distance of your fighter companion who may proceed to smite the ghastly beast.

There is some controversy in using both actions as both Repelling Blast and Grasp of Hadar state they can be used When you hit with the eldritch blast. Does this mean at the precise moment when you hit? So you can only use one or the other at that precise moment, or does it allow for both to be used consecutively right after you hit? I would say that is up to the GM, unless there is a specific ruling I'm not aware of. As GM, I would rule you can use them consecutively immediately after you hit with Eldritch Blast.

V2Blast points out that this is in line with the optional rule on Simultaneous Effects in Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGE 77):

If two or more things happen at the same time on a character or monster's turn, the person at the game table - whether player or DM - who controls that creature decides the order in which those things happen.

The case for using either one, or neither

The other options: to choose push or to move towards you, or to use neither, are supported by the word can in the description of both features. You can push and you can move. This means you have the option to use that feature or not. There is nothing that states they must be used.

Repelling Blast (PHB 111):

When you hit a creature with eldritch blast, you can push the creature up to 10 feet away from you in a straight line.

Grasp of Hadar (XGE 57):

Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with your eldritch blast, you can move that creature in a straight line 10 feet closer to you.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Citing other examples of multiple "on hit" triggers may help bolster this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 1 at 14:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to cite the optional rule for "simultaneous effects" in Xanathar's: "In rare cases, effects can happen at the same time, especially at the start or end of a creature’s turn. If two or more things happen at the same time on a character or monster’s turn, the person at the game table — whether player or DM — who controls that creature decides the order in which those things happen. For example, if two effects occur at the end of a player character’s turn, the player decides which of the two effects happens first." Based on that, you could do one after the other. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 2 at 1:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Thx, done. \$\endgroup\$ – lightcat Mar 4 at 6:35
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You can move the creature 10 feet towards or away from you as you wish

The key word in both eldritch invocation descriptions is "can".

When you hit a creature with eldritch blast, you can push a creature up to 10 feet away from you in a straight line.

And

Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with your eldritch blast, you can move that creature in a straight line 10 feet closer to you.

Since you can choose whether to do so, you can also choose not to use one of them, so there's no reason both would have to be active, nor that one would take precedence.

This means, if you take both invocations, you can decide whether to move a creature towards you or away from you depending on the situation.


That said, Repelling Blast says "When you hit a creature" and mentions no other restrictions, whereas Grasp of Hadar says "Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature", so at higher levels (when you get more beams via eldritch blast) you can move a creature up to 40 feet away, but only ever 10 feet closer (see this question, which tackles the Repelling Blast case in more depth).


Finally, there's the possibility of the warlock wanting to use both forced movement abilities at the same time, moving the target 10 feet in one direction, then 10 feet back again. The following is taken from lightcat's answer:

V2Blast points out that this is in line with the optional rule on Simultaneous Effects in Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGE 77):

If two or more things happen at the same time on a character or monster's turn, the person at the game table - whether player or DM - who controls that creature decides the order in which those things happen.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You should address whether you can both pull and push with a single eldritch blast. This is obviously relevant when, e.g. pushing/pulling an enemy in or out of a damaging area of effect. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 28 at 16:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ There are lots of abilities that key off of "when you hit" - are you saying that you always only have to choose one or it just in this case. Also - this may be the question you're ultimately wanting to ask (If more than one ability keys off of a trigger, can you trigger them all?) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 1 at 14:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch It's more like "If more than one ability keys off of a trigger, can you trigger them one after the other, after the other has already taken effect?" That doesn't make sense to me. Sure, many abilities can key off the same trigger, but surely they must happen simultaneously if they're using the same trigger... \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Mar 1 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I think that's what I was trying to say :) That seems like a great question. Its similar to your other one, but different enough from this one (IMO) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 1 at 14:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS: It's worth noting that there is an optional rule for "simultaneous effects" in Xanathar's: "In rare cases, effects can happen at the same time, especially at the start or end of a creature’s turn. If two or more things happen at the same time on a character or monster’s turn, the person at the game table — whether player or DM — who controls that creature decides the order in which those things happen. For example, if two effects occur at the end of a player character’s turn, the player decides which of the two effects happens first." Based on that, you could do one after the other. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 2 at 1:55

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