Can you draw a weapon as part of the Opportunity Attack?

The section about "Interacting with Objects around you" in the PHB p.190 says you can do things like "draw or sheathe a sword" as part of your movement and action

Does this include the reaction used for an Opportunity Attack?


Drawing a weapon as part of an attack is something that happens on your turn, specifically during your move or our action (not your reaction).

Player's Basic Rules v0.3, page 70. Player's Handbook, page 190.

Other Activity on Your Turn

You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action. For example, you could open a door during your move as you stride toward a foe, or you could draw your weapon as part of the same action you use to attack.

Opportunity attacks happen on someone else's turn (usually), so you can't draw a weapon. If you don't have a weapon in hand then you can't use it to make an attack of opportunity.

Even if the attack of opportunity happens on your turn (e.g. dissonant whispers, hat-tip Meta4ic), it would use your reaction, and the free object interaction does not apply to your reaction.

Player's Basic Rules v0.3, page 73. Player's Handbook, page 195.

Opportunity Attacks

To make the opportunity attack, you use your reaction to make one melee attack against the provoking creature.

As an aside, this is why the War Caster feat is useful - you can cast a spell without having to drop or stow your weapon, so the weapon is still in hand for opportunity attacks.

Player's Handbook, page 170.

War Caster

• You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.

| improve this answer | |
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you could write some lines to the war caster feat and how it would not exist if anyone could use free actions on their reaction this answer would be perfect :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Falco Apr 15 '16 at 9:00

RAW, it is a "free" part of action and movement; so it wouldn't be part of a bonus action or reaction. Attacks of Opportunities use reactions, and thus don't allow a free draw of the sword.

You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action.

A DM may allow you to still do it (I think Mearls would).

Related, but different: Drawing and sheathing a weapon in 5e, and the actions required

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Opportunity attacks do not grant you an action, nor do they grant you a turn, so you cannot take even a free action as a part. See Yinzanat's answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Ladifas Apr 14 '16 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, if you don't already have a threatening weapon already out, you wouldn't get the attack of opportunity at all in the first place. So, I can't imagine the use for this, even if it worked, other than you've got 1 sword out but for some reason you want to hit them with a different sword? \$\endgroup\$ – Shufflepants Apr 15 '16 at 13:45
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Shufflepants Wrong. By RAW, not having a weapon out doesn't deny an OA. One could use his bare hands (unarmed strike) or cast a spell (Warcaster feat) to land an OA. \$\endgroup\$ – Meta4ic Apr 15 '16 at 13:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Meta4ic That's why I said "threatening weapon". If you have the right feats, your fists or something else might count. But your average person just standing there without a weapon out won't get an AoO. \$\endgroup\$ – Shufflepants Apr 15 '16 at 14:24
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ "You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach. To make the opportunity attack, you use your reaction to make one melee attack against the provoking creature. The attack interrupts the provoking creature’s movement, occurring right before the creature leaves your reach." 'threatening weapon' is added by you, not RAW. I can throw a punch without needing a feat or feature (though it won't be very effective). In theory a Paladin can even Smite with a punch. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Apr 15 '16 at 14:37


Opportunity attack allows you to use your reaction to make a melee attack against a foe leaving your reach(PHB pg 195).

It does not grant you an action.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Your answer is right, but the justification a little less. The 1st interactions with the environment (such as drawing or sheathing a weapon ) has to be a part of either your movement or your action, but isn't an actual action and, thus, doesn't have to be granted. \$\endgroup\$ – Meta4ic Apr 14 '16 at 19:57

No, you can't.

The true question here is to determine whether or not a free interaction can occur right before an Opportunity attack.

An Opportunity attack is a type of reaction (probably the most current one), and a reaction must immediatly follow it's trigger :

REACTIONS Certain 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. (Player's Handbook, p. 190, emphasis mine)

Whether the reaction takes place on another creature's turn or on the PC's turn is irrelevant, as even in the latter (which happens), the PC wouldn't have the time to interract with an object between the time the trigger went and the instant response to that trigger.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.