In D&D 5e, if a Rogue playing the Unearthed Arcana The Revived subclass does a melee attack (without using sneak attack), and then uses Cunning Action to Disengage and get away to trigger Bolts from the Grave, is the ranged spell attack made at disadvantage?

The wording on Bolts from the Grave is:

Immediately after you use your Cunning Action, you can make a ranged spell attack against a creature within 30 feet of you...

Because it says "immediately", does this mean the attack from Bolts from the Grave should be at disadvantage because it's a ranged spell attack being shot from within 5 feet of the creature?

Or does "immediately" mean Bolts from the Grave occurs after he finishes the Disengage and movement?

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    – V2Blast
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 20:48

2 Answers 2


Ranged attack within 5' is at disadvantage.

TL;DR Your interpretation is correct. The attack is at disadvantage.

Ranged attack in close combat at disadvantage

The Revived Rogue published as Unearthed Arcana gets a ranged attack inflicting necrotic damage, which is going to be an issue for shooting while opponents are immediately next to a character.

Order of events here: cunning action occurs before moving

The order of the character's turn as you describe is:

  1. Use Action to Attack an adjacent opponent.
  2. Use Bonus Action for cunning action.
  3. Move away.

The bolts from the grave class feature triggers immediately after 2, which is before they get a chance to move.
Cunning action isn't part of moving, so the simultaneous effects guidance of Xanathar's Guide to Everything can't be invoked to re-order things favorably.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What “move action” would that be? There’s no such thing in 5e. There’s movement but no move action. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 20:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM I'm referring to: "On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed. You can use as much or as little of your speed as you like on your turn, following the rules here." Splitting hairs between "your move" and "your movement" seems like a minor thing, but you could edit it in with a link to the pertinent rule if you think it improves the clarity of the answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 20:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GcL The objection is that you capitalized it and refer to it like it's an action in the same way Attack or Cast a Spell are actions. Dale M fixed it for you. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 20:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. I'm pretty certain I don't capitalize move, but I'm pretty please with how everyone has jumped in and polished the answer. It's like one of those nice pieces of brass that get shiny from everyone touching it. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 20:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're right... @KorvinStarmast did the capitalization. Naughty, naughty. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 20:48

YES, the ranged spell attack is made with disadvantage, but...

As mentioned already, because the effect Bolts from the Grave ability is triggered immediately after using Cunning Action; so, if you Disengage from combat, it will likely mean that you are 5 ft from the creature and therefore you will make the ranged spell attack with disadvantage.

There are a couple of interesting exceptions:

One, if the creature you are getting away from is 10 feet from you and it has a melee reach of 10 feet - you will be more than 5 feet away so therefore your Bolts from the Grave will be a normal ranged spell attack.

The other, more interestingly, is that if you take the feat Crossbow Expert you will be able to maximise on your Bolts from the Grave while disengaging and not have disadvantage. The description is: "Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn't impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls." This includes ranged weapon as well as spell attacks.


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