Say a level 3 monk is wielding a dagger in each hand, without the Two-Weapon Fighting fighting style or Dual Wielder feat. He makes a melee attack, then, as a bonus action, makes a ranged attack by throwing a dagger straight in the air above him. His turn ends before it falls, and if it hits him, he uses his reaction to catch and throw it.

Is this a valid use of Deflect Missiles according to RAW?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What's the point of this? If he can throw a dagger at himself as a ranged attack, can't he throw it where he wants it to go? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 17:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Partly for the added damage, partly because it’s cool. \$\endgroup\$
    – user60821
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's no need to have your turn end while the throw is resolving. You can use your reaction on your own turn. Often that means you're reacting to reacting to another creature's reaction, but sometimes you can react to the consequences of your own actions, like casting feather fall after jumping off a cliff. \$\endgroup\$
    – Blckknght
    Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 1:02
  • 1
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    – V2Blast
    Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 4:32

1 Answer 1



Part of the rules for combat are for making an attack. The items on that list are:

  1. Choose a target. Pick a target within your attack’s range: a creature, an object, or a location.
  2. Determine modifiers. The DM determines whether the target has cover and whether you have advantage or disadvantage against the target. In addition, spells, special abilities, and other effects can apply penalties or bonuses to your attack roll.
  3. Resolve the attack. You make the attack roll. On a hit, you roll damage, unless the particular attack has rules that specify otherwise. Some attacks cause special effects in addition to or instead of damage.

Pay close attention to points 1 and 3. It's arguable whether you are really choosing an opponent by simply tossing the dagger straight in the air. You aren't, however, making an attack roll when you do so. If you aren't doing that, then what you are doing is not an attack. Since Deflect Missiles can only be triggered when a ranged weapon attack against you will hit, you can't make use of it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ But couldn't throwing it straight up count as attacking oneself? It would still happen in one round so the answer would still be "no", but can you evaluate this line of reasoning too, please? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot It can't be considered attacking oneself because you aren't directly targeting yourself. You are just tossing it up in the air and letting blind chance decide where it lands. If you aren't making an attack roll then your aren't making an attack. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 21:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could perhaps link to questions that discuss the damage of a falling object (or just state that a falling object isn't being directed at anything, and so isn't an attack). At the very best, the Monk could attack a point in space, but certainly not themself \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 21:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Throwing the dagger straight up is a valid means of attacking yourself, insofar as throwing it at anyone requires estimating a trajectory that will hit them. The bigger problem is that the rules don't really support attacking yourself. They don't say you can't, but it breaks the usual assumptions about combat, such as that your dexterity makes you harder to hit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 16:38

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