Does the Master at Arms [ddi] feat work for Shields?

Benefit: You gain a +1 feat bonus to the attack rolls of weapon attacks. The bonus increases to +2 at 11th level and +3 at 21st level. Also, you can use a minor action to sheathe a weapon and then draw a weapon.

I tend to think No, as the Compendium entry about Weapons says ...

Weapon Many martial powers, as well as several divine powers, can be used only if you’re wielding a weapon. (You can use an unarmed attack as your weapon.) A weapon’s reach or range determines the reach or range of a power it’s used with.

and Shields don't have a Reach, and it takes a Standard Action to stow or equip, rather than the Minor Action for a Weapon

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey steve, if you're going to backquote game-specific nouns, the DDI compendium is not a game specific noun in context of the other nouns so indicated. Backquoting it just makes things confusing. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 7, 2012 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, looking on meta, @SteveC, could you hold to the community standard here? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 7, 2012 at 20:58

2 Answers 2


No, with one exception.

In general, shields are not weapons. Note that in PHB1, shields are listed with armor on page 214, rather than with weapons on pages 218 to 219. The Master at Arms feat only allows you to quick draw weapons, and shields are not weapons...

...Unless it's a spiked shield, which counts as both a light shield and a weapon. Sure it doesn't make much sense to strap a shield to your arm that fast, or unstrap it, but I have trouble believing someone could realistically stow a greatbow and draw a mordenkrad in a single minor action either. Master at Arms says you can do both, though.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I guess welding spikes to your shield is equivalent to painting your vehicle red? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tacroy
    Jun 7, 2012 at 19:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tacroy that whole superior-weapon thing has it's benefits \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Jun 8, 2012 at 1:06

The attack bonus applies (as it refers to the keyword of the attack, not the weapon that is being used) to weapon attacks made with shields. But the minor action sheathe + draw cannot be used with a shield.

Like you said the standard action cost for stowing/equipping a shield means it's quite different from a weapon in this matter.

A better question is whether this drawing/stowing economy is present with a spiked shield item. I still don't think it would be (it's still strapped to your arm), but it's usable as a weapon so technically this feat would apply to it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, the Spike Shield is still a shield, but it's very confusing as it can be enchanted as either a weapon or a shield item \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveC
    Jun 9, 2012 at 13:22

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