This question is worded very specifically so think carefully about the wording before you answer. The description for booming blade goes as follows:

You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you. On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects and then becomes sheathed in booming energy until the start of your next turn. If the target willingly moves 5 feet or more before then, the target takes 1d8 thunder damage, and the spell ends.

If the damage roll made by the weapon also counts as a damage roll for the spell, then the damage roll would also be under the effects of things like the elemental adept feat since elemental adept specifies that the spell has to deal that damage and not the damage roll.

When you gain this feat, choose one of the following damage types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder. Spells you cast ignore resistance to damage of the chosen type. In addition, when you roll damage for a spell you cast that deals damage of that type, you can treat any 1 on a damage die as a 2.

Does it apply to the damage roll of the weapon or only the bonus thunder damage?


1 Answer 1


Elemental Adept applies to the damage roll of the weapon if it is of the appropriate damage type. Probably.

As written, the attack made with booming blade is a part of the spell's effect, so its damage roll counts as damage for the spell. The rules for casting a spell say:

Each spell description in Chapter 11 begins with a block of information, including the spell's name, level, school of magic, casting time, range, components, and duration. The rest of a spell entry describes the spell's effect.

Since the spell's description includes making a melee attack, the melee attack is part of the spell's effect.

But most weapons don't do acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage.

If your weapon dealt one of the damage types on a hit, such as a flame tongue's fire damage, then the damage of that type would be eligible for the Elemental Adept feat.

At least this is how I would rule.

There is an alternative ruling with merit.

Alternatively, it seems to be a valid reading of Elemental Adept to say that it can apply to the weapon damage, even if that damage is not one of the type. See this Q&A for more details: Does the Elemental Adept (fire) feat apply to the Flame Strike spell's radiant damage?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you're attributing extra text to Elemental Adept. It says "when you roll damage for a spell you cast that deals damage of that type, you can treat any 1's as 2's". It does not specify that only the elemental damage of that type can count 1's as 2's. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 20, 2020 at 21:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RevenantBacon I don’t think that’s the correct reading. If the target never moves, they won’t take the thunder damage. Booming blade isn’t a spell that deals thunder damage until it deals thunder damage. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 20, 2020 at 21:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Revebant For a question related to that we have: "Does the Elemental Adept (fire) feat apply to the Flame Strike spell's radiant damage?" \$\endgroup\$ Nov 21, 2020 at 0:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ there's a legendary item that does thunder damage, a hammer I think. Not sure if you want to add that detail to the answer. AFB at the moment. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 21, 2020 at 0:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RevenantBacon Your point is fair, I’ve mentioned the alternative ruling and linked to Medix’s question for more details. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 21, 2020 at 0:57

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