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Monks get the Deflect Missiles feature at 5th level.

How many times can a monk use Deflect Missiles in a round?

One of my players and I got into a debate. I contend that it is for one successful attack per round, while he maintains that it is more of a reaction and can be done as often as needed. Could someone please set us straight?

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Deflect Missiles is a reaction:

Starting at 3rd level, you can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack.

You can only use one reaction per round.

From the PHB, page 190:

When you take a reaction, you can't take another one until the start of your next turn.

So he can do it once between each of his turns. Note that this also means he can't take any other reaction, such as an attack of opportunity.

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Once and only once

Deflect Missiles: Starting at 3rd level, you can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack. When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier + your monk level. - PHB p.78

PCs only have one reaction per round.

Reactions: Certain special abilities, spells, and situations allow you to take a special action called a reaction. A reaction is an instant response to a trigger of some kind, which can occur on your turn or on someone else’s. The opportunity attack, described later in this chapter, is the most common type of reaction. When you take a reaction, you can’t take another one until the start of your next turn. If the reaction interrupts another creature’s turn, that creature can continue its turn right after the reaction. - PHB p.190

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Perhaps a role playing argument might fall on deaf ears, but the monk's introduction in the player's handbook (p76)- literally the first sentence-

"Her fists a blur as they deflect an incoming hail of arrows..."

Now this seems to cast the Deflect Missiles (emphasis on the plural) feature as a more "always on" defense. Considering how the Monk's entire class is built on speed, dexterity, and zen awareness of their environment (in exchange for no armor), it seems pretty reasonable to allow them this constant defensive feature.

Perhaps, if debate is overly heated, a fair compromise would be the Monk can only attack with an intercepted missile once per round. Thus they would maintain reasonable defense while not being overpowered in attack.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It would be overpowered if unlimited. You consume your reaction as Joshua says in his answer and you have only one. Also, you can use a Ki point to send the missile back to the sender / another target. So it's not just defensive. \$\endgroup\$ – Alexis Wilke Nov 15 '16 at 3:57

protected by Bloodcinder Aug 17 '18 at 1:54

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