To be more specific, the character in question is a Ranger using the 'ranger without spells' from the UA article on variant class designs, but the same thing can be done by a fighter-3 (battlemaster)/ranger (hunter)-3. And we also have Rogue (Assassin)-6.

Our ranger and our rogue are both adjacent to a troll and no other enemy is adjacent to the troll. The ranger attacks, dealing damage, then declares the use of Horde Breaker because the rogue is "a different creature that is within 5 feet of the target and within range of your weapon". (Horde Breaker)

Then our ranger proceeds to "forgo one of your attacks and use a bonus action to direct one of your companions to strike," (Commander's Strike) and has the rogue assassinate the troll, again.

So, Can you use Horde Breaker to gain an additional attack (against an ally) and then give up that attack for commander's strike so your ally gains an attack?

  • \$\begingroup\$ A note, this isn't completely overpowered because the Rogue could get their 'extra' sneak attack on any attack made as a Reaction; that could be opportunity attacks, or a number of other ways... this is just one of the more reliable ways of allowing an Assassin rogue to use their namesake feature twice in a combat (although even then it relies on both characters beating the target's initiative, and the rogue beating the fighter/ranger assuming you don't homebrew in Delaying) \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Mar 30, 2021 at 23:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ It would also be important for the GM of such a party to be familiar with the Surprise rules, though (most obviously that winning initiative does not guarantee Surprise) \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Mar 30, 2021 at 23:32

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can forgo the additional attack from Horde Breaker and use Commander's Strike.

Horde Breaker says:

Once on each of your turns when you make a weapon attack, you can make another attack with the same weapon against a different creature that is within 5 feet of the original target and within range of your weapon.

and Commander's Strike says:

When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks and use a bonus action ...

You take the Attack action meeting the first criteria of Commander's Strike. You make the attack while another creature is within reach of your weapon and 5 feet of the target meeting the criteria for Horde Breaker. You gain an additional attack which is not a bonus action so must still be under the umbrella of the Attack action (not that this is a requirement). You forgo that attack meeting the second criteria of Commander's Strike and use your bonus action meeting the third.

Well spotted.


No, you can't forgo the attack from Horde Breaker in order to use Commander's Strike.

Commander's strike (PHB, p.74).

Commander’s Strike. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks and use a bonus action ...

The fighter/ranger needs to opt to forego one of their attacks when they take the action (and, at 3rd/3rd level, that's their only attack). Note that it's when you take the Attack action, not while you are taking it. Horde Breaker's attack isn't triggered until an attack is made, so it's not "available" to forego when the Attack action is taken.

That's the RAW answer; as a DM I'd disallow it regardless.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ How do you reconcile this ruling with the fact that attacks from the attack action can be broken up over the duration of a turn? Move a bit, make one attack, move some more, make another two attacks, move again and so on. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 30, 2021 at 19:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BaconyRevanant I don't see how it needs to be reconciled. At some point in your turn, you decide that Attack is your action for the turn. That's "When you take the Attack action". At that moment, you can decide to forego one of those actions and activate Commander's Strike. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Mar 31, 2021 at 9:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure, but you don't immediately have to decide to forgo the attack, just the same as you don't immediately have do decide where each one of your attacks is going. You can decide to forgo one of your attacks at any time on your turn, the same as you can decide when on your turn you're making an attack. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31, 2021 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BaconyRevanant Do you have any rules support for this? I'm going by the strict reading of the wording of Commander's Strike, which is of the form "When you do X, you can do Y", not "If you have done X, you can do Y later in your turn". (Ultimately I think this isn't really clearly spelled out, so it falls to the DM to adjudicate this interaction, and for me personally I wouldn't allow it) \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Apr 1, 2021 at 14:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ This isn't like 3.5e, where you take all of your attacks at the same time. In 5e, your attack action doesn't end until you have made (or forgone) all of your attacks. Further, you can do things in between attacks, such as spending some or all of your movement, using bonus actions, or using your 1 free item interaction. So as long as you have attacks remaining, you haven't completed your attack action. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2021 at 17:45

You must log in to answer this question.

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