Cunning Action gives a rogue a bonus Dash, Disengage, or Hide, but if the rogue uses a bow to attack and the Cunning Action to Dash, how could a melee enemy ever reach them?

Most enemies have speed of 30 feet, so if they use Dash to reach the rogue they will run for 60. So the rogue can do the same, but can attack too!

How overpowered is this? Or am I getting something wrong here?


2 Answers 2


This is a powerful tactic, but it does have limitations. There are a number of counters to it.

  • To begin with, it breaks down in environments where sight lines are limited, and enemies don't need to chase the rogue down. If the rogue needs to get past the monsters, and the monsters have cover available, the tactic fails.

  • While the rogue can kite effectively, other members of the party may not be able to. Opponents can focus their attacks on less agile opponents. If they can drop one, they force the rogue to approach, or allow their comrade to bleed out.

  • Stealth and other means of closing the starting encounter distance will counter this tactic. Once in melee, a foe can use the dash action to stay next to the rogue and opportunity attack when the rogue moves away.

  • There are a number of spells that root or slow down opponents.

  • While many antagonists have a move of 30, there are plenty that move faster. Dragons are notorious for this.

  • While it is possible for a rogue with a long range attack to use this tactic against other ranged attackers, it requires a much greater encounter distance, and makes the counters above easier to execute.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Great answer, but you missed one important detail: a Rogue attacking in this way isn't Sneak Attack-ing and therefore loses most of their damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 0:07

There are several ways to defeat this tactic that are commonly available.

  1. Melee type runs up, and waits for the rogue to try again, taking the opportunity attack when they withdraw. There are several options open to the rogue at that point.
    1. The Rogue can disengage and withdraw 60' but not attack
    2. The Rogue can Disengage and withdraw 30' and attack.
    3. The Rogue can withdraw 60' and attack, if they survive the opportunity attack.
    4. The Rogue can stay and melee.
  2. Fighter who hasn't action surged can do so to cover 60' and still attack.
  3. Shapeshift. This can be either by Polymorph spell or by Druid's Wild Shape. By polymorphing an ally into a faster form, such as a Panther, the panther's double move is 100', allowing catching up. A druid Wild-Shaping can get within spell-casting range...
  4. Spells on it
    1. Save or go prone spells (eg: Command, Grease, Tasha's Hideous Laughter, Thunderous Smite). Getting up from prone requires half your base move. This means the run is only 45'.
    2. Difficult Ground spells (EG: Earthquake, Blade Barrier, Grease, Entangle). They make the movement cost double.
    3. Restraining spells (EG: Entangle, Everard's Black Tentacles) - if the save fails, the target is restrained, and is speed 0. It's attack or break free, not both, so... (And Everard's also does damage!)
    4. Compulsory Movement Spells (EG: Command)
    5. Spells that reduce speed (EG: Ray of Frost, Slow)
  5. Spells on allies
    1. Haste - double's speed. So hasting the fighter with 30' means they can go just as fast.
    2. Longstrider - only a 10' gain, but this means that a slower fighter (eg: a dwarf) can now use the tactic in point 1 to run-up.

Note, in the case a rogue disengages, moves 30', and attacks, the Rogue's opponents close 30' and attack, and once again threaten an opportunity attack.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .