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The Oath of Redemption Paladin that I DM for has asked me for clarification on disarming rules. I've decided to use the optional rules from page 271 of the DMG, which state:

Disarm
A creature can use a weapon attack to knock a weapon or another item from a target's grasp. The attacker makes an attack roll contested by the target's Athletics or Acrobatics check. If the attacker wins the contest the attack causes no damage or other ill effect, but the defender drops the item.

However, I am wondering if he would be able to activate his Divine Smite on that disarm.

Divine Smite
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.

Technically the Paladin has hit the target with a melee weapon attack which leads me to want to rule yes. The disarm rules do state that the attack causes no damage or other ill effects, but the Divine Smite wouldn't be strictly part of that attack. I feel like I am leaning towards allowing Divine Smite to work after a successful Disarm, but wanted to see if there is any precedent for something like this as I have found no specific rulings to this question anywhere.

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No, you can't use Divine Smite with the Disarm attack

The Disarm rules says:

A creature can use a weapon attack to knock a weapon or another item from a target's grasp. The attacker makes an attack roll contested by the target's Athletics or Acrobatics check. If the attacker wins the contest the attack causes no damage or other ill effect ...

It does involve a weapon attack; however, Divine Smite says:

When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack

Since with a Disarm attack, you aren't actually landing a "hit", you are making a contested check that simply uses a weapon attack, this means that the trigger for Divine Smite never occurs.

Furthermore, even if you could call the Disarm contest a "hit", you are hitting the weapon ("... to knock a weapon or another item from a target's grasp ..."), whereas Divine Smite says:

When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack

so it still wouldn't work as you aren't hitting a creature.

I think that's what the Disarm description is trying to say with "the attack causes no damage or other ill effect"...

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    \$\begingroup\$ Even without the other criteria you mentioned, since the disarm "attack causes no damage or other ill effect" I think that would overrule the Divine Smite damage, as those damage dice are still "in addition to the weapon damage" (plus, if Divine Smite damage is considered part of the attack damage for critical rolls as has been established in other posts, then it should also be considered part of the attack for a Disarm - hence get ignored!) \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ Aug 18 at 11:08

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