Playing a melee Circle of Spores Druid and wanting to use that 1d6 extra damage I'd get if I cast Guardian of Nature and take the Primal Beast form. Here are the relevant texts from each spells:

"...For the duration, you can use your spellcasting ability instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of melee attacks using that weapon..."

Guardian of Nature
"Primal Beast. Bestial fur covers your body, your facial features become feral, and you gain the following benefits:

  • Your walking speed increases by 10 feet.
  • You gain darkvision with a range of 120 feet.
  • You make Strength-based attack rolls with advantage.
  • Your melee weapon attacks deal an extra 1d6 force damage on a hit."

I know the Great Tree form specified Wisdom-based attack rolls, but would it be out of the question if the benefits from the Primal Beast form would apply to melee weapon attacks despite under the effect of Shillelagh?


2 Answers 2


Attacks that do not use your Strength are not Strength-based attacks

This stems from just reading the text in plain English as I do not believe "Strength-based" is a game-defined term. Therefore a Strength-based attack is an attack based on Strength, and attacks that key off your spellcasting ability do not use Strength and thus are not Strength-based attacks.

Notably, the 1d6 extra damage would still apply regardless of whether you're using Strength or not. Also note that you can choose to use your spellcasting ability; so if you wanted to, you could use Strength as normal and thus gain advantage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How would the 1d6 extra damage apply if I'm not using Strength? \$\endgroup\$
    – field158
    Nov 15, 2020 at 15:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @field158 because that benefit is not tied to your abilty score, just to melee weapon attacks (which the attacks still are). You just won't get advantage from the transformation if using Wisdom \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15, 2020 at 15:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @David Coffron oh my God I totally missed that. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – field158
    Nov 15, 2020 at 15:20

It counts as strength if you use strength.

Shillelagh says you can use your Spellcasting ability modifier. It’s optional. You can opt not to, and instead choose to use strength.


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