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Question about Combat Expertise in an intense high-level encounter:

To simplify there are 6 creatures in this fight. The enemy is a Dragon that goes third in initiative. The Dragon has the feat Combat Expertise (PHB, p. 92).

Initiative: P1, P2, Dragon, P3, P4, P5

Round 1:

  • Turn #1 and #2 occurs.
  • On turn #3, the Dragon takes a full attack action and it uses the Combat Expertise feat with the action.
  • Turn #5-6 occurs.

Round 2:

  • P1 attacks and deals damage.
  • P2 casts the Final Rebuke spell (Spell Compendium, p. 170). The Dragon succeeds on the Will Saving Throw, and P2 beats the Dragon's Spell Resistance. The Dragon is now dazed (PHB, p. 307) for 1 round but it avoided ultimate death. (Correct me if I am wrong up to this point.)
  • P3 then attacks the Dragon that used Combat Expertise.

Because the Dragon did not take an action while being dazed, does Combat Expertise still apply to the Dragon's AC during P3's attack?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A Dazed creature, which still has its Dexterity Bonus to AC, does not benefit from Feats that supplement its AC because action=turn? Granted the Dazed effect isn't a common effect but one that also specifically mentions taking actions. \$\endgroup\$ – Nomad Jan 28 at 7:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ According to the Dazed condition the creature can not take actions. It still has a turn. It \$\endgroup\$ – Nomad Jan 28 at 7:46
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Being dazed has no effect on Combat Expertise

The dragon loses the benefit from Combat Expertise (Player's Handbook 92) against player 3's attack in the second round not because the dragon possesses the condition dazed (302) but because on the dragon's turn the dragon didn't take the attack or full attack action, and those are the triggers necessary to realize the benefit of the feat.

A creature that uses the feat Combat Expertise realizes the feat's benefit beginning when it uses the feat and ending right before the creature would take its next turn. If a creature on its turn takes no actions—like, for instance, a dazed dragon—, the creature can't realize the benefit of the feat Combat Expertise as realizing the feat's benefit requires that the creature on its turn take the attack or full attack action.


Note: For more on the Combat Expertise feat's next action language see here.

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