I am wondering if this chart showing the types of attacks in 5e-dnd and what things they can count towards is correct:


The chart works by listing on the y-axis different ways of making an attack and then along the x-axis it lists different phrases features throughout the books use. If something on the y-axis satisfies that condition on the x-axis their box is green, if not, the box is red. Several have descriptions explaining their content as I felt it might be necessary/helpful. The two Yellow boxes are yellow because the answer is conditional (not simply yes or no).

I have chosen to avoid talking about spells in this chart mostly because they would take up quite a few columns/rows, and also because they do not seem to cause people nearly as much confusion as the other types of attacks.

For the purposes of this I would like three things to be assumed. This is so I can know if the main part of the chart is correct and not the sections that have been put up to debate previously on this Stack:

  1. That using a weapon to make an improvised attack removes all of its properties including melee/ranged. Thus throwing a bow at somebody would not be considered an attack with a ranged weapon, because the bow has lost that property, similarly throwing a mace at somebody would not be considered an attack with a melee weapon.

  2. From the same question as above, that improvised attacks transform whatever is being used to make them into weapons for the purpose of that attack. Thus using a table-leg or shield in an improvised attack would momentarily make each of them count as a weapon.

  3. That you cannot use a weapon for a shove or grapple so they do not qualify as attacks with weapons. (A question where the answer was iffy)

1 - Note that the source may change after this posting as it is a Google Doc. For the sake of this question, use the image I have embedded here.


1 Answer 1



This table appears to be correct, although the presence of rows 8 and 9 are not necessary since the data is covered by the previous rows.

For your third assumption, I would like to clarify that you wouldn't have to drop your weapon to make a shove attack. You could still use the weapon to push someone for example, but it would not qualify as a "weapon attack" at all - e.g. the Great Weapon Master feat would not apply. This is because grapple specifically states that you must have at least one free hand, whereas the shove action says nothing on the matter.

Using at least one free hand, you try to seize the target by making a grapple check instead of an attack roll [...]

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you support the claim that you can use a weapon to push someone? To my understanding, shoves and and grapples don't involve a weapon. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 6:10
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I meant that, while they don't qualify for any weapon attack, there is nothing in the rules to say you must have a hand free, so this is mainly for flavour purposes and not having to pick up your weapon next turn. \$\endgroup\$
    – Timi
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 17:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @timi The main reason I included rows 8/9 was to show that a "melee weapon attack" is a "melee [weapon attack]" and not a "[melee weapon] attack" because this is a common point of confusion and is ambiguous/unintuitable to me \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 11:13

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