Reading PHB p. 242 about Flaming Sphere (second paragraph) it begins “As a bonus action, you can...”. Does this mean that when it is cast that a wizard gets to use a bonus action and move the sphere? And if so, does this mean that on each of this wizard’s turns (within 1 minute duration), he gets to use a bonus action to move the sphere?


Does a wizard have to have a bonus action (in his back pocket so to speak) to make use of this feature of the spell (being able to move it).

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't understand what you are asking. It seems like you are asking whether a wizard needs to use a bonus action to move the sphere, or whether a wizards needs to use a bonus action to move the sphere. What is the difference between the 2 interpretations? \$\endgroup\$
    – GreySage
    Mar 8 '19 at 22:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry for confusion. I’m wondering if the spell enables a bonus action. I other words, spells don’t necessarily come with an ability to use a bonus action. Is it the case that when a wizard has this, they also are able to use a bonus action that comes with it ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Greg0141
    Mar 8 '19 at 22:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh. I think you are you asking if the caster can move the sphere (as a bonus action) in the same turn that it is first cast (as an action). Could you rephrase your question to better clarify if that is indeed what you are questioning? \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Mar 8 '19 at 22:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't need to be closed as unclear. The querent's confusion about the nature of bonus actions is, itself, the fundamental problem to be solved. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 '19 at 22:43

You can use a bonus action on your turn, if you have a feature available that says you can use one.

On your turn you normally have movement and an action. But everyone potentially has one bonus action on their turn as well. The rules for this are here.

As it says in the rule linked above, you only get to use your bonus action if you actually have some kind of special ability, spell or something that says something like "you can do X as a bonus action".

The Flaming Sphere is exactly that kind of thing. As it says:

As a bonus action, you can move the sphere up to 30 feet. If you ram the sphere into a creature, that creature must make the saving throw against the sphere's damage, and the sphere stops moving this turn.

So, yes, you can use your action to cast the spell. Once cast and the flaming sphere is around, you now have a bonus action on your turn that you can use to move the sphere (and bump enemies with it).


Two things:

One, no one starts with a "bonus action"

Per the PHB:

"Various class features, spells, and other abilities let you take an additional action on your turn called a bonus action."

There no "back pocket" in which to store bonus actions. Things grant bonus actions for use within a round.

Two, yes you can move the sphere as a bonus action

As you stated, the spell grants the caster a possible bonus action of moving the sphere. So you can on a single head cast the spell and then as a bonus action move it to ram into a creature.

This is important because as written, the spell does not damage a creature unless they END their turn next to the sphere. So the casting doesn't hurt anyone, and on the creatures turn all they have to do is walk away from the sphere and the sphere does nothing. So the preferred method for using the spell is to cast it near a target, then as a bonus action ram them to cause damage. And hopefully situate it so that the target is either pinned or will incur some other penalty if they leave that square.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your first section is incorrect. Every character has a bonus action, but not every character has the ability to use it. \$\endgroup\$
    – GreySage
    Mar 8 '19 at 22:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GreySage, I disagree. per the PHB, page 189, under "Your Turn", "Various class features, spells, and other abilities let you take an additional action on your turn called a bonus action. You can take a bonus action only when a special ability, spell, or other feature of the game states that you can do something as a bonus action. You otherwise don't have a bonus action to take." I read that to mean that you only have a Bonus Action if something grants it. Not that it exists, but unusable. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Mar 8 '19 at 23:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GreySage Respectfully disagree. There is the potential for a bonus action on each turn, but as Miva notes, you don't have one unless you have a special ability, spell, or other feature that offers one. Example: my first level life cleric with a mace in one hand and a shield in the other, who has already used his spell slots (thus no bonus action healing word) has no bonus action available to him during a round. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9 '19 at 13:47

Judging by your comments, you seem to have issues understanding the action economy in 5e.

Every creature in 5e can move up to their speed, take 1 action on their turn, and potentially take a bonus action or a reaction. Some features can change this so that you can move further, or take additional actions. Haste would be an excellent example since it increases your movement, and allows you to take an additional (albeit more limited than normal) action.

Either way, you can only ever take 1 bonus action during your turn, but to do so, you need to have access to a feature that allows you to take a bonus action. Pretty logical if you think about it - if there's nothing you can do with a bonus action, then obviously, you can't "spend" it on anything (duh).

Flaming Sphere is one such option, a rogue's Cunning Action or the Heat Metal spell are others. You can also use your bonus action for two-weapon fighting, see PHB p. 195 for details.

Now, Flaming Sphere allows you to take a bonus action to move the sphere, and potentially deal damage. For the duration of the spell - including on the same turn that you cast it, since nothing says otherwise - you can use this bonus action, provided that you haven't used your bonus action for something else on that turn already.


The Wizard can use their bonus action to move the sphere

Everyone has one Bonus Action. If you have a feature in the game that says you can do something as a bonus action, then you can do it - you only get one Bonus Action per turn, so choose wisely what you use it for.

PHB 189:

You can take only one bonus action on your turn, so you must choose which bonus action to use when you have more than one available.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your opening sentence is technically incorrect. in some instances, due to a lack of a class feature, ability, feat, or spell, the character does not have a bonus action for that turn or round. I'd suggest rephrasing that first sentence a bit, as it will confuse people new to the 5e action economy. (See MivaScott's answer for what I am getting at). \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9 '19 at 13:44

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