The description of the monk's Deflect Missiles feature says

you can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack.

For example, say there's a wall that a goblin is hiding behind. It's my ranged ally's turn and they can see me but can't see the goblin because it's behind the wall. Could my ally shoot an arrow or any weapon projectile at me so I could use Deflect Missiles to deflect it at the enemy?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Is there anything in particular about the feature (or anything else) that makes you think this wouldn't work? Also, I assume your specific intent is to use Deflect Missiles to redirect the projectile at the enemy; I've edited the question to state this goal explicitly, but please check to make sure I've maintained your intent and feel free to edit it to clarify if that's not the case. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 3, 2020 at 1:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just like in "The Swan Princess"! \$\endgroup\$ Dec 3, 2020 at 14:09

3 Answers 3


Yep, that is allowed

Nothing in the rules for the monk's Deflect Missiles feature prevents this sequence of events from working as you describe:

Starting at 3rd level, you can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack. When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier + your monk level.

If you reduce the damage to 0, you can catch the missile if it is small enough for you to hold in one hand and you have at least one hand free. If you catch a missile in this way, you can spend 1 ki point to make a ranged attack with the weapon or piece of ammunition you just caught, as part of the same reaction. You make this attack with proficiency, regardless of your weapon proficiencies, and the missile counts as a monk weapon for the attack, which has a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet.

It can be used exactly as you described. Any incoming missile, as long as it is from a ranged weapon attack and hits you, can be deflected. Bonus points for creativity :)

It is kinda expensive though; it expends an attack for your ally, and a reaction and a ki point for you to achieve. It also comes with the risk of simply getting shot if the ranged ally rolls well on the damage roll and you roll badly on the damage reduction from Deflect Missiles.

Just remember that it doesn't work with ranged spell attacks, before you get the party wizard to chuck magic stones at you.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Definitely a high risk move since there are two extra potential points of failure -- in addition to the player having to hit you, you then have to roll well enough to reduce the damage to 0, then you have to roll well enough to succeed on an attack against the intended target. Failing the first one results in a wasted attack and reaction and taking damage. Failing the second one results in a wasted attack, reaction, and Ki point. However, if you succeed, the only cost is the reaction and Ki point, and you get a lot of coolness points. ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Herohtar
    Dec 2, 2020 at 22:53

Your intentions other than "being shot" aren't clear from the question, but assuming you're doing this in order to use the feature to redirect the missile...

Yes, but there are a lot of variables at work

There is nothing in the Deflect Missiles feature saying that the missile cannot be from friendly fire. However, there are a lot of potential downsides to this...

  • Your friend needs to hit you. You might be able to convince some DMs that since all your AC (from Unarmored Defense) is based off of reflexes, as opposed to shields and armor, you can just stand still to reduce your AC to something easily hittable. But by the same token, that hit could end up being a critical hit.
  • You need to reduce the damage to 0. So based on how hard you were hit and how well you rolled on the 1d10, the missile might still hit for 1 or more damage, meaning you can't redirect the missile and took damage for the effort.
  • Now you need to make an attack roll to see if the missile hits your goblin target.
  • You use a ki point for the effort.
  • You're using up your reaction, which might be better spent elsewhere, such as to intercept a missile attack from the goblins.

So, yes, it's a Hail Mary your friend is trying, but there are a lot of factors working against it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What does deflect an arrow mean? It only say reduce to 0 damage to catch. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 3, 2020 at 0:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ "...If you catch a missile in this way, you can spend 1 ki point to make a ranged attack with the weapon or piece of ammunition you just caught, as part of the same reaction. ..." Presumably, that's the deflection \$\endgroup\$ Dec 3, 2020 at 0:53

To add to Steve's and MivaScott's answers: Maybe there's a way to minimize the chance of your buddy actually hurting you.

If instead of shooting an arrow, your buddy pulls one from his quiver and throws it weakly at you. Your GM might rule that such an attack would do only minimum damage, or at least cannot critical.

  • \$\begingroup\$ used that way it becomes an improvised thrown projectile with a range of 20 feet, no longer a missile weapon attack, but yes it could work if you are close enough and can hit the monk. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 8, 2020 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ The description of Deflect Missile seems to say that it doesn't matter what the attack was against the monk; when he deflects it, he's making a ranged attack with a regular weapon or ammo. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 8, 2020 at 20:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ When the monks defelct it, he becomes proficient in whatever he is deflecting. but the ally throwing it will not. So the ally needs to be very close and very lucky for that to work as the ally is not proficient in improvised weapon ANDrange for an improvised thrown weapon is 20 feet...Throwing an arrow makes the arrow becomes an improvised weapon for the ally. you need to shoot it with a bow. and you cannot 'pull your puch' using a bow. you fire it with full stregnht or you don't fire it at all \$\endgroup\$ Dec 9, 2020 at 21:18

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