While I was reading the Players Handbook, I had a definite idea with reloading magic ammunition (given that this ammunition is one). It's not like from view of optimization, more like game-mechanic opportunity. I considered this from the point of the Pact of the Blade, but at the same time I was searching answers for Weapon Bond.

I know in advance that PotB allows you to use any magic weapon as a pact weapon, including ranged.

However, later on I came across Jeremy Crawford's answer about using arrows with Weapon Bond. I wondered where I was wrong when I read the book, and I noticed one thing that caused misunderstanding.

I considered only magic ammo. In Xanathar's Guide and Dungeon Masters Guide when writing the type of magic item for ammunition, sourcebook directly write the type "Weapon (Arrow)". Perhaps:

Arrow of Slaying

Weapon (arrow), very rare


Once an arrow of slaying deals its extra damage to a creature, it becomes a nonmagical arrow.

Other types of magic ammunition of this kind exist, such as bolts of slaying meant for a crossbow, though arrows are most common.

Whereas common ammunition in PHB is classified as a just item (hence non-weapon) in the Adventure Gear list.

Is it right to conclude that, in this case, magic ammunition is legal for PotB and Weapon Bond like pact/bond-weapon, but that non-magic ammunition is not legal for PotB and Weapon Bond like pact/bond-weapon in RAW?

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1 Answer 1


Probably, but it gets weird.

The rules-as-written seems unintuitive at first, but a closer examination gives an outcome not far off from a natural intuition.

First, you make some important observations:

  • Common ammunition isn't classified as a weapon
  • Magical ammunition is clearly classified as a weapon.

It is this second bullet that seems odd, but, at least from a RAW perspective, it seems indisputable:

An arrow of slaying is a magic weapon.

Additionally, the magic item descriptions for all magical ammunition says "Weapon ([item])".

These are the assumptions we will take moving forward.

It appears that you can use one as your Pact Weapon/Weapon Bond.

Pact of the Blade says:

You can transform one magic weapon into your pact weapon by performing a special ritual while you hold the weapon.

Weapon Bond says:

At 3rd level, you learn a ritual that creates a magical bond between yourself and one weapon. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. The weapon must be within your reach throughout the ritual, at the conclusion of which you touch the weapon and forge the bond.

Since Magical Ammunition is a weapon, this works. This seems to be the rules-as-written ruling.

Some arrows only get one hit.

Consider the Arrow of Slaying as mentioned in the question:

Once an arrow of slaying deals its extra damage to a creature, it becomes a nonmagical arrow.

Once you deal the extra damage with this arrow, it becomes ineligible for being a Pact Weapon or Bonded Weapon as it is no longer a weapon. We have a similar problem for +X ammunition:

Once it hits a target, the ammunition is no longer magical.

Unbreakable and Walloping Ammunition are weird, because you must consider ammunition recovery.

Unbreakable and Walloping ammunition do not lose their magic when you hit something. This means we must consider the ammunition recovery rules when using these as a Pact Weapon:

At the end of the battle, you can recover half your expended ammunition by taking a minute to search the battlefield.

This is all we have for ammunition recovery, but loss and breakage seem to be baked into this. The trouble is, Pact of the Blade seems to negate this problem of losing ammunition:

Your pact weapon disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more. It also disappears if you use this feature again, if you dismiss the weapon (no action required), or if you die.

You can transform one magic weapon into your pact weapon by performing a special ritual while you hold the weapon. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. You can then dismiss the weapon, shunting it into an extradimensional space, and it appears whenever you create your pact weapon thereafter.

Similarly, Weapon Bond states:

If it is on the same plane of existence, you can summon that weapon as a bonus action on your turn, causing it to teleport instantly to your hand.

An arrow that is lost, but not broken will be readily summoned back through the Pact of the Blade or Weapon Bond features. Trouble is, ammunition recovery does not handle the difference between lost and broken ammo, so it is entirely up to the DM to work out how this works.

That said, Unbreakable Arrows seem to work around this entirely. An Unbreakable Arrow cannot break. The only thing that can happen to it for the purposes of ammunition recovery is that it gets lost. So the Pact of the Blade feature seems to guarantee recovery of an Unbreakable Arrow used as a pact weapon.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's a pretty good 'weird thing I can technically do', but would there be any particular benefit to bonding an Unbreakable Arrow? Having an effectively infinite ammo supply seems cool, but you'd have to spend a bonus action each turn to recover it, so I don't think that's a very good use of the action economy as compared to just buying a few arrows from time to time... \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5, 2021 at 16:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Oh, I also came to a more extensive interpretation of the conclusion at the end. There are many extremely entertaining situations. For example, using a magic arrow as improvised weapon for attack will still count as a melee attack with weapon (although not melee, and not ranged). \$\endgroup\$
    – Carpetman
    Feb 5, 2021 at 20:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ In addition, if look deeper, you can come to the conclusion that both a bow and arrow (as weapons) can be imbued with spell. I would think this is a funny comment because arrow don't have damage dice, but judging by the text of Arrow of Slaying, hitting damage with a bow counts the extra damage taken from hitting arrow. Then you can get a bonus from several sources for one attack. Perhaps? \$\endgroup\$
    – Carpetman
    Feb 5, 2021 at 20:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov There was something else, but it flew out of my head. I'm interested in the RAW wording of ammunition recovery. From the text by contradiction. If we mean that state of arrow (lost, broken, another) defines by DM's interpretations, then DM is obliged to break exactly half of the arrows, to know their sequence and number in advance. This destroy sense in the interpretation. If we mean that state of the arrow is undefined during the battle, but they reserved, can we teleport it back in this case? I think in this case arrow just dissapear from game until recovery ammo. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carpetman
    Feb 5, 2021 at 21:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that loss and breaking is implied post factum at the time of recovery ammunition. But the arrows themselves exist until the moment of the search, like any other items. This is the most straightforward way of reading without any terms. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carpetman
    Feb 5, 2021 at 21:35

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