Specifically I'm looking at the power Wind Blast from the Wind subdomain of the Air domain. The ability reads as follows:

Wind Blast (Su): As a standard action, you can unleash a blast of air in a 30-foot line. Make a combat maneuver check against each creature in the line, using your caster level as your base attack bonus and your Wisdom modifier in place of your Strength modifier. Treat the results as a bull rush attempt. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

With this and similar abilities, do any bonuses or effects from class abilities, feats, or traits such as Greater Bull Rush apply to the roll or result?


1 Answer 1



You are treating the results as a Bull Rush attempt (in terms of if/where to move the target), but you are not actually attempting to Bull Rush the opponent yourself. Feats such as Greater Bull Rush only impact an actual attempt to Bull Rush...

Greater Bull Rush:

You receive a +2 bonus on checks made to bull rush a foe. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by Improved Bull Rush. Whenever you bull rush an opponent, his movement provokes attacks of opportunity from all of your allies (but not you).

Improved Bull Rush:

You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a bull rush combat maneuver. In addition, you receive a +2 bonus on checks made to bull rush a foe. You also receive a +2 bonus to your Combat Maneuver Defense whenever an opponent tries to bull rush you.

Emphasis added to both quotes--These feats clearly only apply to actual Bull Rush attempts. Using Wind Blast isn't Bull Rushing, it is using Wind Blast, which happens to use the Bull Rush rules to determine results. The same would apply to any other ability that is not a Bull Rush but emulates the results of Bull Rush.

Logically, this makes sense. The feats mean you have a greater ability to actually Bull Rush someone. This implies strength, reflexes, knowing how to get proper leverage and drive with your legs, etc. Using a magical (or other) ability that also can push an opponent back one or more squares requires magical ability, not any of these physical skills.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I would only add that the spell seems to imply this is correct as well... "Perform a combat maneuver [...] use the result" is different than "Perform a bull rush". There may be spells that are "Perform a bull rush combat maneuver [...] use your caster level" or similar that Bull Rush would apply to \$\endgroup\$ Jan 2, 2021 at 3:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point, Ifusaso. \$\endgroup\$
    – ruffdove
    Jan 2, 2021 at 20:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like your answer doesn't tackle the explicit instructions of "Treat the results as a bull rush attempt." though. If I were treating the results as a Bull Rush attempt, why would it not apply benefits that I would normally get were I attempting a bull rush? I understand that I am not performing a Bull Rush attempt in this example but this ability says that I treat it as if I had. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mr Tumnus
    Jan 10, 2021 at 1:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Treat[ing] the results as a bull rush attempt" can only be done after the attempt is made and there are results to be treated as something. You're treating the results of the attempt--not the attempt itself--as a bull rush. \$\endgroup\$
    – ruffdove
    Jan 10, 2021 at 6:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think I get what you're saying, the action is only treated as a bull rush after the ability is completed and those bonuses/abilities apply to it while/during it's execution? If that's the case then after the fact effects should still apply correct? Say Crushing Impact for example? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mr Tumnus
    Jan 12, 2021 at 12:55

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