Flame blade says that "You evoke a fiery blade in your free hand". For practical purposes, lets call your free hand "Left" and your cast hand "Right" (if indeed you receive the blade in the hand you didn't cast with)

After casting, would you be able to equip a shield in your right hand while still maintaining concentration of the spell? ie Cast with right hand, blade appears in left hand, equip shield into right hand.

You can use your action to make a melee spell attack with the fiery blade. On a hit, the target takes 3d6 fire damage.

Does using your action for the spell (to make the melee spell attack) require a free hand? Would it be restricted by using a shield?

  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems like I might have 2 questions going on here (concentration with no free hand and using a spell with no free hand). Let me know if they ought to be separated \$\endgroup\$ May 25, 2016 at 21:03

3 Answers 3


Yes, you can cast Flame Blade while holding a shield. In general, you need one free hand to cast a spell. Any material and somatic components required can be performed jointly with that one hand. There's nothing in the description of flame blade that requires a second free hand, so this rule is not superseded. Thus, you can hold a shield in your left hand, cast flame blade with your right hand, receive the blade in your right hand, and happily immolate your foes as you please.

As for concentration, unless something specifically says otherwise, it is only broken by the caster's conscious decision, by taking damage, or by casting another concentration spell.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The question doesn't ask whether you can cast Flame Blade while holding a shield, presumably because the OP already knows you can't. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    May 25, 2016 at 23:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman That'd be correct. The question is specifically about using spell-specific actions with no free hands, not casting the spells themselves, as well as concentration rules \$\endgroup\$ May 25, 2016 at 23:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I would personally, whether this person is asking for a free hand to cast or not, just say yes- you can use the enchanted sword and as well the shield. A sword can be one handed as well some shields equipped upon the forearm, there really shouldn't be debate in my opinion. Nor shaming that this is a bad question. \$\endgroup\$
    – FLLNK1NG
    May 26, 2016 at 0:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Read the spell description carefully. It has material components, which occupy one hand. The "blade" appears in your free hand, which your casting hand isn't. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    May 26, 2016 at 1:57

You need a free hand for the Flame Blade to appear in, and the other to perform the casting (S,M).
After that, the casting is finished - you can use your "casting" hand for whatever you like.

Concentration spells don't require you to "keep casting" to maintain them, just to concentrate. You don't lose the use of one hand while maintaining Invisibility, for example.


You have a shield. You can cast a spell using your free hand. The magical weapon appears in your off hand, the one you didn't use to cast. Congrats, you now have a weapon in your hand, the one you didn't use to cast the spell! Oh, and you can in some instances cast a spell using your hand on your shielded arm


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