A Monk following the Way of the Four Elements can use Elemental Disciplines. Some of them are actually spells:

Some elemental disciplines allow you to cast spells (PHB 80)

However they are not spellcasters, as evident from the multiclassing section, not even like Eldritch Knights or Arcane Tricksters.

The Monk does not have to have material components, but what about somatic components? If I multiclass into Druid, can I cast these spells while in Wild Shape?


From PHB pg 67

Bullet point number 3 of 'Wild Shape'

"...You can't cast spells, ..."

While in Wild Shape form, you may use any Discipline that does not involve casting a spell using Ki such as 'Fangs of the Fire Snake' , or 'Fist of Unbroken Air', provided you have the proper anatomy to do so; but you may NOT cast any spells, no matter how you gain the ability to do so, as with 'Fist of Four Thunders' or 'Flames of the Phoenix' .

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1, even though they may be monk abilities fueled by KI they are still considered the casting of spells, which much to my chagrin isn't very fair that the monk is NOT classified as a spellcaster where the rules require the spellcaster feature. \$\endgroup\$ – Escoce Mar 29 '16 at 15:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Escoce I agree, but only partially. A few other classes has the potential for using 'Spell like abilities' without being a spell caster, but the monk seems to be the most efficient at it. The part where I disagree is that there ARE a few non spell abilities that don't count as spells, which CAN be used during wild shape. \$\endgroup\$ – Airatome Mar 30 '16 at 2:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ do you mean all the extra attacks, and stunning strike, walk on walls and water type stuff? \$\endgroup\$ – Escoce Mar 30 '16 at 12:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Escoce I meant in the Way of Four Elements path in and of itself; roughly half of the list involves casting spells, and the other half actually creates Spell-like Abilities that aren't spells, and thus can be used while in Wild Shape form. Like 'Fangs of the Fire Snake' , for example. Any Ki ability (or otherwise from other classes) that creates an effect, even if it's spell like, without having to cast a spell is legal through Wild Shape. \$\endgroup\$ – Airatome Mar 30 '16 at 14:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that 18th lvl druids can cast spells while wild shaped (limited to no material components). But that rules out Monk 3 for taking the Four Elements tradition, because that would be 21 levels total. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jun 4 '20 at 19:27


It states on page 80 of the PHB:

Some elemental disciplines allow you to cast spells. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting.

I would say that you have to obey the general rules of spellcasting, which include components.

Another quote from page 80 of the PHB:

To cast one of these spells, you use its casting time and other rules, but you don't need to provide material components for it.

If you didn't need verbal nor somatic components, it would have included these in the exclusion list above.


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