Does the War Caster feat let me cast a spell while wielding a weapon with two hands?

More specifically, could I cast a spell with a somatic component while wielding an arcane focus staff as a quarterstaff with both hands, without removing a hand from the staff?

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    – Someone_Evil
    Apr 7, 2019 at 16:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why is it important that you don't remove your hands from the staff? \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Apr 7, 2019 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can hold the staff and perform somatic components

Here is the applicable rule text from the War Caster feat (PHB, p. 170):

You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands. {Italics Mine}

Case 1:
PC has two things in two hands: weapon in one hand, shield in the other. PC can still perform somatic components.

Case 2: (your case)
PC has one thing (staff) in two hands. We see "or' twice in the rules text; the case resolves down to -

A weapon ... in both hands

The two places in that sentence where we have "or" give this latitude. Weapon in both hands fits the feat. PC can perform somatic components.

From a "realistic" view point, this makes sense

If the feat allows you to do this with a thing in each hand - both hands occupied by two things - it would make no sense for it not to work with both hands occupied by one thing.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch OK, thanks, coffee has not hit yet. :) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 7, 2019 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ My reasoning for it possibly not making sense was that holding two seperate items would still allow you to make more flexible movements with your hands, whereas holding one item in both hands would limit the amount of unique movements you could perform since they'd be connected by the object. Other thing that threw me off is that it specifically says weapons, plural, which could be interpreted to mean specifically dual-wielding. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ginger
    Apr 7, 2019 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ginger Understood, and I think the question was worth asking. If it was being specific to dual wielding, it would have said so. (I think ...) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 7, 2019 at 16:45

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