A clay golem has an action called Haste that is thematically similar to the spell of the same name but mechanically rather different:

Haste (Recharge 5–6). Until the end of its next turn, the golem magically gains a +2 bonus to its AC, has advantage on Dexterity saving throws, and can use its slam attack as a bonus action.

At first glance, this appears to grant the golem one additional attack (as a bonus action). However, using the ability costs the golem its action, with which it could otherwise make 2 slam attacks. Since the ability lasts until the end of the golem's next turn, it can attack with its bonus action on both the turn it uses the ability and the following turn, yielding a total of... 2 additional attacks. Thus, it seems that over the course of these 2 turns, the golem will get 4 attacks, regardless of whether it uses its Haste ability or not. The only difference is that with Haste, one of those attacks comes 1 turn later.

So, am I correct in finding that the net effect of the golem's Haste action is to delay one of its attacks by one turn in return for improved defenses for 1 round, as opposed to actually granting additional attacks? Obviously there are cases where this is unambiguously a benefit, e.g. when the golem can't get into melee on the current turn, but I suppose I find it a bit surprising that, if anything, the golem's Haste action causes it to attack more slowly.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you squint at it just right you can see it as an increase in speed. Maybe the golem just becomes faster at dodging instead of attacking. Also more dodging usually means less attacking, but the increased speed compensates even that away. That the clay golem is unable to convert its speed into more attacks is a bit disappointing, but it's a 3 int creature, can't expect too much of it. \$\endgroup\$
    – nwp
    Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


Your analysis is correct.

Turn 1 Action: Haste.
Turn 1 Bonus Action: 1 Slam attack

Turn 2 Action: 2 Slam attacks.
Turn 2 Bonus Action: 1 Slam attack

Without using Haste, the Golem would get 2 Slam attacks per action, totaling 4 Slam attacks over two turns. It seems the function of Haste is to boost AC and give advantage on dexterity saves without changing the number of attacks the Golem can make.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ It might be obvious to some, but a Clay Golem that can't reach its opponents can Haste instead, getting an extra attack when it closes on its next turn while also having improved defenses against both most ranged attacks, spells or not, and the adventurers' first turn of melee. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 27, 2021 at 0:33

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