The third benefit of the Sentinel feat says (PHB, p. 169-170; emphasis mine):

  • When a creature within 5 feet of you makes an attack against a target other than you (and that target doesn't have this feat), you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against the attacking creature.

Both shoving and grappling are described in the rules as "special melee attacks".

Thus, do shove and grapple attempts meet the requirement of a creature "making an attack"?
If so, does the shove or grapple attempt need to be successful in order to meet that condition from the quoted benefit of the Sentinel feat?

I suspect that the answer to the first part of my question is yes, given the answer to this similar question about the third benefit of the Mobile feat (PHB, p. 168), but I'm less sure about the second part of my question.

(I know that the reaction attack from Sentinel would only occur after the triggering attack by the enemy is resolved – though I know it could occur after the first attack by the enemy that meets this condition, so you don't have to wait for all of the enemy's attacks to finish, just one.)


1 Answer 1


Yes, shove and grapple attempts qualify; no, they don't need to be successful

As you already said and linked with a related question, shoving and grappling are attacks, so I won't go into detail about that part.

Does the shove or grapple attempt need to be successful? No! The Sentinel feat doesn't specify whether the attack has to hit. Other features like Sneak Attack are triggered by a hit, not just an attack (emphasis mine):

Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll.

Since Sentinel doesn't have that requirement, the reaction is triggered when someone makes the attack, whether the attack hits or not (in case of whether the grapple/shove succeeds or not).

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ There is also the issue that a shove/grapple cannot hit (just succeed) if I remember well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 10:18
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Szega: Correct - see the question: Does grappling count as a hit? They're ostensibly attacks, but don't hit/miss because a hit is defined as an attack roll whose total exceeds the target's AC. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 12:13
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Szega They're also a bit exceptional in that they don't involve an attack roll, despite being attacks which matters every once in a while \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 13:17

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