From the PHB entry for shillelagh:

Components: V, S, M (mistletoe, a shamrock leaf, and a club or quarterstaff)

The wood of a club or quarterstaff you are holding is imbued with nature's power. For the duration, you can use your spellcasting ability instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of melee attacks using that weapon, and the weapon's damage die becomes a d8. The weapon also becomes magical, if it isn't already. The spell ends if you cast it again or if you let go of the weapon.

It specifically mentions the wooden part, but mechanically makes no mention if it requires it to work. I can see it going either way. Does the weapon need to have a wooden component on it or can it be, for example, 100% glass and metal?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If the weapon is glass or metal then wouldn't that be a mace, not a club? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 3:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GreenstoneWalker sounds like a great question on its own. But for reference I believe I asked this question in regards to a glass staff from one of the beginner campaigns from WOTC \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 16:05

4 Answers 4


Yes, wood is required.

While individual DMs may houserule differently, the requirement for a wooden weapon is part of the spell (and also fits with its nature theme, as a spell exclusive to the druid spell list).

The wood of a club or quarterstaff you are holding is imbued with nature’s power.

This is similar to the Heat Metal spell's inability to affect anything other than metal.

Choose a manufactured metal object, [...] that you can see within range. You cause the object to glow red-hot.

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    \$\begingroup\$ For context, "Shillelagh" isn't just a made-up spell in a book. It is a real-world cultural object that combines a walking stick with a cudgel, hence its specific reference to a club or quarterstaff, rather than to any wood weapon. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shillelagh_(club) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 15:31

The wood of a club or quarterstaff

It has to be a club or a quarterstaff (no other weapons) and it has to be made of wood. A metal club or a glass quarterstaff does not work.

Having a wooden handle to a metal club doesn't make sense, since you want the 'imbued' part of the club/quarterstaff to hit. If you are in a pickle, you can find a stick in the forest, or a break a chair and take a leg from that. This would be a wooden improvised weapon in the form of a club (1d4). At the DM’s discretion, a character proficient with a weapon can use a similar object as if it were that weapon and use his or her Proficiency Bonus. With Shillelagh it becomes 1d8 + prof/no prof.

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    – V2Blast
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 3:53

Yes, a wooden weapon is required

Shillelagh is very explicit as to its requirements:

The wood of a club or quarterstaff you are holding is imbued with nature's power.

All the text in 5e spells is considered to be mechanical (there is no flavor text). Thus, this statement about wood is, in fact, a mechanical requirement. There is simply no other way to read it. If a club or quaterstaff you are holding has no wood on it, then there is nothing on it to imbue with power and the spell has no effect on it.

It is worth noting that this fits the druidic nature of the spell as well as the meaning of the word "shillelagh" (which is an actual historical thing that exists in the real world):

a thick stick of blackthorn or oak used in Ireland, typically as a weapon.


i think that the target is: "the wood of a club or staff you are holding" basically it is a requirement but also i think that this means that as long as a part of the hitting end is made of wood you can use this even if the core of the staff is made of wood it should count imo


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