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This question already has an answer here:

Other domains give damage types that are not commonly resisted. Stat blocks list fire, cold, and other resistances separately from the "bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons/attacks" that many powerful creatures have. That caveat is also never used for non-weapon types of damage (b/p/s), to my knowledge.

This means that even with a mundane weapon, a cleric with divine strike usually has a way to deal consistent, unresisted damage. They deal a different damage type, that might not be resisted. But war clerics deal the same damage as their weapon attack, and that should make it bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing from a nonmagical weapon.

Now, the flavor text says " you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with divine energy." But unlike, say, monk's ki-empowered strikes, it never says "[this attack] counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage" under divine strike, so it should still count as mundane damage.

That makes it sound like war clerics' divine strike ends up being a little rough compared to some of the others (though trickery domain probably has it worse). Have I interpreted this correctly?

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marked as duplicate by Blake Steel, GcL, Xirema, Rubiksmoose dnd-5e Apr 16 at 19:41

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the stack! I've edited the title to make it clearer what you're asking, feel free to roll back or edit further if you think I've misunderstood your intent. \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Apr 16 at 19:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think I accidentally rolled it back when I tried to dismiss a notification about possible duplicates, apologies. Should be similar to what you changed it to. \$\endgroup\$ – PurelyHypothetical Apr 16 at 19:23
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You have interpreted Divine Strike correctly: it's not magical

It might seem surprising coming from a feature that often deals radiant damage, and that gives you "the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with divine energy" (PHB, p. 63), but a cleric's Divine Strike is not inherently magical.

As has been stated in sage advice:

Determining whether a game feature is magical is straightforward. Ask yourself these questions about the feature:

  • Is it a magic item?
  • Is it a spell? Or does it let you create the effects of a spell that’s mentioned in its description?
  • Is it a spell attack?
  • Is it fueled by the use of spell slots?
  • Does its description say it’s magical?

If your answer to any of those questions is yes, the feature is magical.

None of the above bullet points apply to the Cleric's Divine Strike. The line about "divine energy" comes close, but while all clerical magic is divine, not all divine things are magical.

Thus, a War Cleric would not deal damage to something with immunity to "bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons/attacks" if they attacked with a bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing weapon (that had no other damage type) and used Divine Strike.

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It's not magical by the guidelines in the Sage Advice Compendium

This sort of question comes up a lot, and as a result there's a significant section of the Sage Advice Compendium devoted to the question of whether or not a game effect is capital M Magical. The criteria it gives for determining if a particular effect is magical are:

  • Is it a magic item?
  • Is it a spell? Or does it let you create the effects of a spell that’s mentioned in its description?
  • Is it a spell attack?
  • Is it fueled by the use of spell slots?
  • Does its description say it’s magical?

Compared to the description of the War Cleric's Divine Strike:

At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with divine energy. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 damage of the same type dealt by the weapon to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

This effect is not a magic item; it's not a spell nor does it replicate the effects of a spell; it doesn't use a spell attack; it's not fuelled by the use of spell slots; and the description nowhere mentions it is magical. Therefore, it is not a magical effect, and does not make the affected attack magical. Though it's clearly supernatural, the SAC draws a distinction between what it terms the "background magic" of the universe and the "concentrated magical energy" that produces spells and magical items; the latter is what counts as magic for the purposes of game mechanics.

For the reasons you've observed this is, ironically for the War Cleric, usually less advantageous than other domain Divine Strike features, since it does not provide any way to bypass the common resistance/immunity to nonmagical physical damage that other clerics might get.

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