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On my turn, can I avoid a melee attack by using misty step when the enemy has readied an action to react to my movement?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, and welcome to RPG Stack Exchange! I think your question needs clarification. Are you trying to avoid an attack of opportunity on your turn when moving ? If so, you could simply take the Disengage action. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yotus
    Apr 15 at 11:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ So enemy prepares with "I attack when pc is in range" you walk into range and want to know if you can misty step away before they hit you? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Apr 15 at 11:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, reacting to someone's reaction, which seems to be the question here, has already been discussed here rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/70236/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Yotus
    Apr 15 at 11:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Yotus The enemy has prepared an action for when I approach \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15 at 11:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri right, I walk into range enemy and he use his prepared action to make a melee attack against me \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15 at 11:23

2 Answers 2

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You cannot cast misty step until after the other creature’s reaction is finished.

The rules for reactions state:

If the reaction interrupts another creature’s turn, that creature can continue its turn right after the reaction.

So unless you have a reaction of your own that explicitly allows you to interrupt the other creature’s reaction, your turn resumes after they are done with their reaction. So you cannot misty step until after their attack, since misty step has a casting time of 1 Bonus Action.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for answer! \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15 at 11:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @smallsecret an example reaction you could use is the shield spell, which is in response to any attack, the timing of the attack doesn't really matter, what matters is that you have a reaction ability, and the trigger for that reaction fits in with whatever is happening. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Apr 15 at 11:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri Although shield is tricky as an example, since it is an exception to the rule of reactions occurring after their trigger has concluded. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Apr 15 at 15:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might wish to see your own answer to Can you ready a bonus action? for a highly specific case when this would be possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Apr 16 at 4:27
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Yes, if you can find a way to ready your bonus action

You are facing an opponent who has a readied action to attack you when you enter their reach and you want to walk into their reach but escape the attack. The difficulty here, on multiple levels, is that you will need to be able to react preemptively to your opponent's reaction.

Your first problem is that you need to select the trigger for your readied action. Then...

When the trigger occurs, you can either take your reaction right after the trigger finishes or ignore the trigger.

So, while you could ready your casting of a spell to trigger in response to being attacked, the attack itself would have finished by the time you got to cast your spell, which does you no good. The DMG further confirms this; your reaction comes after the trigger has completed, so specifying the attack on yourself as the trigger is not helpful.

Use this rule of thumb: follow whatever timing is specified in the reaction’s description. For example, the opportunity attack and the shield spell are clear about the fact that they can interrupt their triggers. If a reaction has no timing specified, or the timing is unclear, the reaction occurs after its trigger finishes, as in the Ready action.

Instead, you could select as your trigger something that happens just before you are attacked - such as entering the reach of your opponent. Essentially, you want to select as your trigger the same thing that your opponent has as their trigger. Thus, both of your reactions are triggering off of the same event.

Now we have a conflict of resolution, and the DM will need to decide which reaction takes place first. If they use the optional rules for Simultaneous Effects in XGtE (77), then you are in luck, because it is currently your turn:

Most effects in the game happen in succession, following an order set by the rules or the DM . In rare cases, effects can happen at the same time, especially at the start or end of a creature's turn. If two or more things happen at the same time on a character or monster's turn, the person at the game table -whether player or DM- who controls that creature decides the order in which those things happen. For example, if two effects occur at the end of a player character's turn, the player decides which of the two effects happens first.

If this optional rule is in play, then since it is your turn you can declare that your reaction resolves first, permitting you to take your readied action to cast the spell before your opponent gets to make their attack.

Now we have to face your second problem, which is that normally you cannot cast misty step as a reaction, because its casting time is one bonus action, and the rules on readied actions say:

To be readied, a spell must have a casting time of 1 action

There is a workaround though - as long as you are a Chronurgy wizard of at least 10th level. As Thomas Markov explains in his answer to Can you ready a bonus action?, the Chronurgy wizard's Arcane Abeyance feature would allow you to store your misty step as a mote, and then release it with your readied action, accomplishing exactly what you want.

But why would you want to?

So yes, you can indeed "avoid a melee attack by using misty step when the enemy has readied an action to react to [your] movement" But it comes at a pretty high cost - ten levels of a wizard subclass, your action for the round, and relying on your DM to use one particular optional rule for resolving simultaneous events.

If your goal is just to avoid being attacked, why are you walking into the melee reach of your opponent's readied attack to begin with? Since it is your turn, why not simply walk up to within six feet of your opponent, just outside their reach, cast your misty step with a normal bonus action, teleport well beyond their reach, and save your main action for something else?

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