I've read that a monk's fists are considered monk weapons. Does that enable a paladin to cast Holy Weapon on a friendly monk?

For clarification, I am not asking if an unarmed attack is a weapon attack; it is. What I am asking is if the hands are weapons, so that way they can be infused with spells like Holy Weapon, which only targets weapons.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't agree with it being a duplicate since the purpose of that post is to ascertain wether or not them being weapons would be overpowered, since that is a statement that seems to be somewhat controversial. Unarmed strikes ARE weapon attacks, but I want to know if the hands themselves count as weapons. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 18:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ As OP has clarified; none of these related questions are duplicates; please note that the OP is interested in whether the unarmed strike counts as a weapon, not whether it is a melee weapon attack (even the related question I found, which is about unarmed strike being a weapon, is worded on the assumption that they were, which is still somewhat different to asking if they are). \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 19:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Other related questions linked earlier (which are not duplicates): What is the fallout of unarmed strikes no longer being weapons?, Is an Unarmed Strike considered a Weapon attack?, Are using unarmed strikes and monk weapons the same thing? (this one's closed for being unclear) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 12, 2019 at 6:24

2 Answers 2


No, a monk's fists are not considered weapons.

Monk's Martial Arts states

Your practice of martial arts gives you mastery of combat styles that use unarmed strikes and monk weapons, which are shortswords and any simple melee weapons that don't have the two-handed or heavy property.

which means that even for the monk, unarmed strikes are not weapons, and thus not valid targets for spells and effects which target weapons.

This is reinforced by the rules on melee attacks (Player's Handbook - Chapter 9 - Making an Attack - Melee Attacks - page 195)

Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike: a punch, kick, head-butt, or similar forceful blow (none of which count as weapons).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Though they might count as Improvised Weapons, should they be removed from the monk. \$\endgroup\$
    – Larkeith
    Commented Oct 12, 2019 at 18:54


YES, unarmed attacks are weapons attacks. Jeremy Crawford says "Unarmed strikes have ALWAYS been weapon attacks. Here's where the confusion comes in: your unarmed strike (fist, elbow, knee, butt, etc.) is not considered by the rules to be a weapon the way a longsword is a weapon. But the rules let you make unarmed weapon attacks anyway."

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    \$\begingroup\$ But the question is whether they are weapons, which the (non-authoritative) quote agrees with the text they are not (even if the attacks made are weapon attacks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 1:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour as an into to how the site works if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 1:19

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