Can an artificer with the artillerist subclass' Arcane Cannon (tiny hand sized variation) be used with Sneak attack?

Granted common sense should say a cannon of any sort short of books/films is a ranged weapon. But it's not clearly stated in TCoE what weapon classification it is. Is the tiny variant of the Arcane Cannon a firearm which suggests that it should be useable with Sneak Attack?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Tech a siege weapon? I don't understand that line. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Nov 6 '21 at 20:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean the Eldritch Cannon? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Nov 7 '21 at 18:07


It isn't the size of the cannon that counts... it is how you use it.

The cannon has 3 types of activation and the one you are probably thinking of is Force Ballista, which says:

Make a ranged spell attack ...

A ranged spell attack does not qualify for sneak attack.

The other types of activation are even more obviously disqualified from sneak attack.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Ranged Spell Attacks do qualify for sneak attack when they're made with a weapon. See magic stone, when flung from a sling. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Nov 7 '21 at 0:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 actually, no. A spell attack, inherently, is not a weapon attack thanks to its spell attack typing. Even in the case of the magic stone spell, since it is used to make a spell attack, it is not being used as a weapon, and thus does not count as one and instead as an attack using a spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – Smart_TJ
    Nov 8 '21 at 0:53
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a question on here about magic stone and sneak attack? This doesn't seem like the place for the disagreement \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Nov 8 '21 at 8:56
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Related question on sneak attack and magic stone \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Nov 8 '21 at 13:39
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ For what it's worth, I brought up magic stone and sneak attack as a way of pointing out that you had the right answer (sneak attack doesn't work) for the wrong reason (sneak attack doesn't require weapon attacks). \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Nov 9 '21 at 1:23

An Artillerist Cannon is not a weapon, hence it does not qualify for Sneak Attack.

The rules for Sneak Attack says (emphasis mine):

Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe’s distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon.

But the Cannon is an object, not a weapon:

[… ]The cannon is a magical object. […]

Hence, the requirements for a Sneak Attack are not met.

Anyway, as observed in this answer:

Since an Eldritch Cannon acts as a weapon, it is used as a weapon, it does damage as a weapon and has the name of a weapon, a DM may reasonably consider it as a weapon.


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