I need some clarification about this as I've had contradicting answers to this question, which has left me confused.

I am a cleric with the Shield Master feat. I want to wear my shield in battle to benefit from the +2 AC. I want to use my feat in the same turn as casting a spell, but I'm not sure I can.

The Shield Master feat (PHB, p. 170) says, in part:

You use shields not just for protection but also for offense. You gain the following benefits while you are wielding a shield:

  • If you take the Attack action on your turn, you can use a bonus action to try to shove a creature within 5 feet of you with your shield.

If I'm proficient with shields and have the Shield Master feat, would I be able to shove a creature with my shield after carrying out a spell attack?

For example, I would cast a cantrip with my action, use my bonus action to shove the creature which is 5 feet from me, and then use my movement to get away without triggering an attack of opportunity.


2 Answers 2


Not unless you use Action Surge.

The first feature of the Shield Master feat says

If you take the Attack action [...]

However, according to Actions in Combat on page 192 of the PHB, the Attack action is completely separate from the Cast a Spell action. So in your example when casting a cantrip you used the Cast a Spell action, and therefore do not qualify for the bonus action shove. Even if you were to cast booming blade or green-flame blade from SCAG, you would still technically be taking the Cast a Spell action.

So, to summarize: You can never cast a spell with your action and shove with your bonus action in the same turn, but if you take the Attack action you may shove as per usual.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, this seems helpful but can you explain further. How does an "Attack" action not relate to a spell-attack, such as Guiding Bolt for instance? Or, when it comes to combat, Attack with capital A means only melee/ranged weapons attacks, whereas a spell doesn't? Please extend your answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Jan 30, 2020 at 11:18
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ETgothome Your more general questions about what the differences between actions are would be better suited to a new question rather than expanding on this answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Jan 30, 2020 at 11:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Marq Is there already one that has been answered - otherwise it is a waste of a question. I will have a look. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Jan 30, 2020 at 11:25
  • 12
    \$\begingroup\$ @ETgothome: What does upper-case-A-Attack action vs. lower-case-a-attack mean? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jan 30, 2020 at 11:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've edited out the answer to the secondary question, since it's been edited out of this question and asked separately now: With only one free hand, can I still cast spells with somatic components? You may wish to leave your answer to that question there. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jan 31, 2020 at 11:00

Yes, by using action surge

The other answer is correct that you cannot use the option to shove as a bonus action after casting a spell. However, if you are a fighter (or multiclass at least 2 levels in it) then you can first cast a spell, then use action surge to take the Attack action, and then use your bonus action to shove an enemy with your shield.


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