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I am looking at building a fighter, but the wording on Combat Challenge confuses me a little. It says "Whenever an enemy marked by you is adjacent to you and shifts or makes an attack that does not include you as a target."

My question is how is it parsed, is it

Whenever an enemy marked by you
(is adjacent to you and shifts)
or
(makes an attack that does not include you as a target)

or is it

Whenever an enemy marked by you is adjacent to you and
(shifts)
or
(makes an attack that does not include you as a target)

Since I'm trying to make a Polearm fighter and obviously the first way would be better for me to take advantage of reach, but I'm not sure.

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It's the latter.

The correct parsing is as follows:

IF enemy is (adjacent AND marked by you) AND (shifts OR makes and attack that doesn't include you as a target) THEN attack.

And yes, polearm fighters don't really get to benefit from marks like other fighters do. They have plenty of other cool toys though so keep your eyes peeled.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, that is what I assumed it was, but wasn't 100% sure. \$\endgroup\$ – diego Feb 19 '15 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is basically right, but you're missing a condition in your logic. The enemy needs to be "marked by you", not just "marked". \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon Feb 21 '15 at 2:05
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They need to be adjacent to you.

'Combat Challenge' had its text updated in UpdatePH to make it clear that the mark affecting the enemy must have been put there by you. Unfortunately, they removed a 'that' which introduced the ambiguity that you noticed.

The errata says:

Combat Challenge
Page 76: In the second paragraph, replace “a marked enemy that is adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack” with “an enemy marked by you is adjacent to you and shifts or makes an attack.”

So that the second paragraph now says (emphasis mine):

In addition, whenever an enemy marked by you is adjacent to you and shifts or makes an attack that does not include you, you can make a melee basic attack against that enemy as an immediate interrupt.

However, I think that the original text made it clearer what the subject of the sentence was, as it used to say:

In addition, whenever a marked enemy that is adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that does not include you, you can make a melee basic attack against that enemy as an immediate interrupt.

Of course, this phrasing doesn't require you to be the one that marked the enemy. What they're going for is:

In addition, whenever an enemy marked by you that is adjacent to you shifts or makes an attack that does not include you, you can make a melee basic attack against that enemy as an immediate interrupt.

Anybody can see the Official D&D Errata & Rules Updates without a DDI subscription.

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