I'm not sure what to roll to hit with Flame Blade; is it just a straight d20?

The description says:

You can use your action to make a melee spell attack with the fiery blade. On a hit, the target takes 3d6 fire damage.

What do I do when I want to attack with Flame Blade?


You "make a spell attack" as described on PHB p.205: you roll a d20 and add your proficiency bonus and spellcasting modifier. (Given that you're probably a druid, that'll be d20+PROF+WIS.)

Damage is then 3d6 + nothing, or more if you cast above 2nd-level.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Very curious, how would you know that he is a druid? They don't have the spell on their spell list. \$\endgroup\$ – findusl Mar 2 '20 at 11:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @findusl According to p.208 of the PHB, druids do have access to Flame Blade. Even more so, they are the only class to have it in their spell list at all (not counting additions by subclasses or features). \$\endgroup\$ – SpaceCoon Mar 2 '20 at 12:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SpaceCoon Oh I'm so sorry I was under the impression it was about the green-flame blade cantrip. My bad. \$\endgroup\$ – findusl Mar 2 '20 at 12:32

Here is the rule p205 Player's Handbook, for easy reference.

Attack Rolls

Some spells require the caster to make an attack roll to determine whether the spell effect hits the intended target. Your attack bonus with a spell attack equals your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Most spells that require attack rolls involve ranged attacks. Remember that you have disadvantage on a ranged attack roll if you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature that can see you and that isn't incapacitated.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Though since flame blade says "melee spell attack", it is not ranged. The target must be in the weapon's reach, and the disadvantage for ranged attacks does not apply. \$\endgroup\$ – aschepler Mar 1 '20 at 17:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ It literally says that, not sure why you are repeating it. \$\endgroup\$ – Sam Lacrumb Mar 1 '20 at 19:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Didn't really understand why you put the part about ranged spell attacks, since the question is about one specific spell which is melee. \$\endgroup\$ – aschepler Mar 1 '20 at 22:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I posted the entire quote from the book, however if you think the last part is only about ranged attacks, you are misreading it. It is about the difference between melee and ranged attacks. Which is relevant. \$\endgroup\$ – Sam Lacrumb Mar 1 '20 at 22:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SamLacrumb might want to mark the quoted text as a quote (add > at the start of the lines that are quoted) to make it clear what comes from where. I'd edit it, but it's not enough characters \$\endgroup\$ – Leliel Mar 2 '20 at 3:24

Use your spell attack modifier

Since the attack is a melee spell attack, you would add your spell attack modifier to the roll. If you can't cast spells, then you wouldn't add a spell attack modifier. Also depending on your class and proficiencies, you may be able to add your proficiency bonus.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Serious question: is there any way to cast a spell attack without adding your proficiency bonus? "Proficiency in spellcasting" isn't a thing that comes from class: the rules of spells say, without reference to class, that your "attack bonus with a spell attack equals your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus." (There's no check to see if you're proficient in anything.) Magic items, too, after discussing which ability modifier (if any) apply say "your proficiency bonus does apply." (Emphasis mine.) But I'm wondering if there's some squirrely edge-case I can't think of? \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Mar 1 '20 at 3:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 Mostly future-proofing for when they add an improvised spell attack Unearthed Arcana, I bet. \$\endgroup\$ – Axoren Mar 1 '20 at 4:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, it turns out that spell scrolls, the Wand of Winter, and maybe some other magic items specify a static attack bonus, rather than using your imputed one. Feel free to add that if you like, or I'll delete these comments, having satisfied my curiosity =) \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Mar 1 '20 at 16:49

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