4
\$\begingroup\$

Been enjoying the Battle Master Fighter, but have a question about use of maneuvres with the two parts of Polearm Master:

Polearm Master

You can keep your enemies at bay with reach weapons. You gain the following benefits:

  • When you take the Attack action and attack with only a glaive, halberd, or quarterstaff, you can use a bonus action to make a melee attack with the opposite end of the weapon. This attack uses the same ability modifier as the primary attack. The weapon’s damage die for this attack is a d4, and it deals bludgeoning damage.

  • While you are wielding a glaive, halberd, pike, or quarterstaff, other creatures provoke an opportunity attack from you when they enter your reach.

On the first part, can a maneuvre be used as part of the melee attack with the shaft of the weapon? You cannot (mostly) use two maneuvres on a single attack, however does this Bonus Action constitute a new attack? If so I am also assuming the main halberd attack is resolved first and then the bonus action. So I couldn't use the bonus action to attempt a trip with the shaft, then if successful attack with the halberd itself at advantage.

On the second part I can use my reaction to attack a creature that comes within my reach. Can I then apply some of the maneuvres to this attack? This is focused on the wordings being different, so for example:

Restraining Strike1

Immediately after you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack on your turn, you can expend one superiority die and use a bonus action to grapple the target (see chapter 9 in the Player’s Handbook for rules on grappling). Add the superiority die to your Strength (Athletics) check. The target is also restrained while grappled in this way.

"On your turn" clearly means that I couldn't perform this using a Reaction. However to compare:

Trip Attack

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to knock the target down. You add the superiority die to the attack's damage roll, and if the target is Large or smaller, it must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, you knock the target prone.

That makes no reference to the attack being on my turn, so if an opponent charged towards me I could use Polearm Master to initiate a Reaction. On a hit, can I use a Maneuvre that only requires a "weapon attack" as part of this Reaction?


1 Restraining Strike is from the Class Feature Variants Unearthed Arcana.

\$\endgroup\$
7
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Whilst these are clearly very closely related, I feel as though they might be better off asked separately, since you don't strictly need the context of one for the other to make sense (they're both about different aspects of Polearm Master, after all). \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Aug 17 '20 at 11:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS The question can be phrased to capture both. "Can you use combat maneuvers on attacks not made with the Attack action?" or similar. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Aug 17 '20 at 12:01
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov True, with a title like that (perhaps the title ought to include Polearm Master in there as well), that might help to group the questions together enough to count as one question... \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Aug 17 '20 at 12:03
  • 1
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think Thomas Markov is right; with the new title, it's probably alright to ask this as one question after all, especially (since writing an answer and seeing Thomas Markov's answer) how the answers would be very similar and have a lot of overlap if asked as two separate questions. So this is probably an edge case on "one post or two separate posts", but I now think it's fine as one post. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Aug 17 '20 at 12:19
6
\$\begingroup\$

Any maneuver that calls for a melee or weapon attack can be used with the polearm master bonus action attack.

Generally. There are a lot of maneuvers, so I won't get into the details of every one. As an example, Disarming Attack says:

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack

This is the only triggering condition for disarming attack, and the polearm master bonus action attack is a weapon attack.

Maneuvers can be used on opportunity attacks as well.

You correctly observe that Restraining Strike only works on your turn, but there is no such limitation on most of the other maneuvers.

One more thing to note, you cannot use any of the maneuvers that themselves grant a bonus action and also use the polearm master bonus action attack. You get one bonus action per turn.

The following maneuvers can be used with the polearm master bonus action attack and opportunity attacks (unless noted otherwise):

  • Disarming Attack: "When you hit a creature with a weapon attack"
  • Distracting Strike: "When you hit a creature with a weapon attack"
  • Goading Attack: "When you hit a creature with a weapon attack"
  • Lunging Attack: "When you make a melee weapon attack on your turn" (cannot be used on opportunity made on another creature's turn)
  • Maneuvering Attack: "When you hit a creature with a weapon attack"
  • Menacing Attack: "When you hit a creature with a weapon attack"
  • Precision Attack: "When you make a weapon attack roll against a creature"
  • Pushing Attack: "When you hit a creature with a weapon attack"
  • Restraining Strike: "Immediately after you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack on your turn" (Class Feature Variants UA, cannot be used on opportunity made on another creature's turn)
  • Sweeping Attack: "When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack"
  • Trip Attack: "When you hit a creature with a weapon attack"
\$\endgroup\$
3
\$\begingroup\$

Combat maneuvers can be used with the bonus action and reaction attacks granted by from Polearm Master

(Unless the maneuver itself says otherwise, i.e. Restraining Strike)

Firstly, you are right in stating that the bonus action granted by the Polearm Master feat must be made after taking the Attack action, since the timing is specified in the description:

When you take the Attack action and attack with only a glaive, halberd, or quarterstaff, you can use a bonus action to make a melee attack with the opposite end of the weapon.

You must have taken the Attack action first, otherwise you're just using your bonus action without having actually made an attack with the glaive, halberd, or quarterstaff.

If you do make this attack, then use your bonus action to make an attack with the butt of the weapon, this is still a melee weapon attack, so you would qualify for any combat maneunver that specifies "... hit a creature with a [melee] weapon attack ..." or similar.

As you've also noticed, Restraining Strike goes out of its way to ensure that it can only be done on your turn. Therefore, any maneuver that does not specify this can apply to attacks that are not made on your turn, such as opportunity attacks (including the "enter your reach" kind that Polearm Master allows). So yes, your plan of tripping someone as they enter you reach would work.

As a comparison, a paladin's Divine Smite can also be used on reaction attacks, as it has similar wording that does not relate to when you attack, only how you attack:

... when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon’s damage.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.