The new Magic Missile (p203 in Heroes of the Fallen Lands) introduces a new (I think) mechanic.

It is an Attack that does damage without an Attack line, only an Effect line. IE, you don't have to roll to hit.

Does this count as a Hit for any rider that triggers off of a hit? (Example - Mark of Storms)


2 Answers 2


Magic Missile does not hit the target, and so does not trigger on hit effects

Rules Compendium p214 defines attacks and tells us to "Compare the attack's roll to the target's defense. ... If the result is equal to the specified defense or higher, the attack hits the target", and on p215 notes that some powers do not require attack roles. "Such powers automatically deal damage, impose conditions, or harm enemies in some other way."

Rules Compendium p222 defines damage, and tells us two things: "Each attack specifies how much damage it deals, if any, and under what circumstances: on a hit, on a miss, or automatically.

Rules Compendium p311 defines effect (and unfortunately there is no definition that I can find of "hit"), where it tells us: "In an attack power, the effects of such an entry [the effect line] are not contingent on a hit or a miss.

Magic Missile deals damage as via the effect line of the power, and never requires the caster make an attack roll, meaning that the p214 conditions for a hit are never met. The wording on p215 could use the word hit, but does not, indicating to me that the power damages without hitting. The wording on p222 and p311 both allow for an attack damaging without hitting, and thus do not introduce contradictions.

In summary, it would appear to me that Magic Missile does not hit the target, and so does not trigger on hit effects. Likewise it does not miss the target, and so does not trigger on miss effects either.


With the rules as written, no, the new Magic Missile wouldn't trigger "on hit" effects. Note, the new Magic Missile also doesn't have a damage roll, so effects that add to damage rolls, etc. can't be applied to it, either.

Unfortunately, WotC seems to have made the change without considering exactly how various other effects would interact with Magic Missile. Numerous combos no longer work, making Magic Missile a much less desirable spell.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you cite any sources for this answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 20:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Only that "hit" is a clearly defined term, in that a hit is a type of entry in most attack power descriptions. It is what occurs on a successful attack roll. Effects are a entirely separate entity, and occur regardless of whether or not you hit or miss. So, if you're applying an effect, it has nothing to do with hitting. The new Magic Missile has no hit line, and therefore does not hit. See pages 57-59 in the PHB. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 21:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another Vote for this answer, the PHB 274 says in relation to attack, 'to determine whether an attack succeeds, you make an attack roll' having none of the laden language of the RC apparently. Considering its flat damage and the fact it can't benefit from the critical dice of your impliment (and various other feats and powers that rely on attack and damage rolls). I see no reason why the hit would be different. \$\endgroup\$
    – Logos7
    Commented Sep 30, 2010 at 4:29

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