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The Hex spell increases the damage when you hit with an attack and Eldritch Blast is a spell which causes you to make a spell attack roll. Does any attack roll trigger the extra damage of Hex, or only attacks generated by the attack action?

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On page 193 the PHB states:

Making an Attack

Whether you're striking with a melee weapon, firing a weapon at range, or making an attack roll as part of a spell, an attack has a simple structure.

And on page 194 it states:

If there's ever any question about whether something you're doing counts as an attack, the rule is simple: if you're making an attack roll, you're making an attack.

So Hex would definitely be applied to each of the the beams created by Eldritch Blast or Scorching Ray, since each individual beam has an attack roll.

In the case of Magic Missile the book seems pretty clear that if you're not rolling you're not attacking, and I'd say Hex doesn't apply.

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Wording of Hex (PHB251): "You deal an extra 1d6 necrotic damage to the target whenever you hit it with an attack"

Given that Hex merely refers to 'attack' and not: melee weapon attack, or, ranged attack, and how explicit the PHB is when requiring said attack types, I'm inclined to say that Eldritch Blast triggers the Hex damage.

Side note, it also might be important to point out that Hex does NOT say: "whenever you damage the target". If it did, Hexing a target then hitting it with Magic Missile (one attack, but three damaging darts) would be a cheap way to deal damage.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That should probably be clarified. The way I read the rules, you add nothing in the case of Magic Missile because Magic Missile does not involve an attack roll. On the other hand, the spell says you "hit" the target and it's certainly an attack in a conceptual sense. \$\endgroup\$ – Gregory Avery-Weir Oct 22 '14 at 17:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ I also read it that way. Attack is a game term that refers to a d20 roll against the target's AC. Spells and abilities that do not roll against AC do not benefit from Hex. Rather that's Magic Missile, Armor of Agathys (automatic), or Arms of Hadar (saving throw). \$\endgroup\$ – Eric Oct 22 '14 at 18:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know anyone who reads it that way. At the least, it would apply once per 'attack', which Magic Missile is certainly an attack. It doesn't say an 'Attack Action', it says attack. Then it also says each hit, which there are three hits per Magic Missile attack. It would seem clear to me that it is applied each time. This is how I've seen it interpreted the most. \$\endgroup\$ – Logan Apr 27 '15 at 1:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, that's the way it is officially read and interpreted. It's not an attack in the game terminology sense. This is stated in many question sand answers here, and born out in official tweets. The specific definition of an attack is spelled out in the answer above. However, I couldn't find a question here in which this is the central issue. It would make a great question, since many magic missile answers could refer to it. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jun 19 '16 at 19:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ I find the side note detracts from the answer, as it just acts as noise. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Jun 19 '16 at 23:19

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