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This question is in respect to the Champion's increased critical hit range.

On a roll of 18 or 19 (when this class feature becomes available), is the attack automatically a hit as it would be with a 20?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would've sworn blind that someone had already asked this question, but I can't find it at all. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 31 '16 at 5:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman Probably some other edition. We have had a D&D 3.5e question about "will a small child with a stick really hit a knight in Legendary +999 AC Armor of Legends 5% of the time?" \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 31 '16 at 6:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman I know it's been discussed in comments of 5e questions before, but I have no idea if it's had its own question entirely. \$\endgroup\$ – CTWind May 31 '16 at 8:49
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Yes for the Champion's instance of an expanded critical range.

Improved Critical specifically says you score a critical hit on a 19 or 20. A critical hit is a type of hit; by scoring one, you've also scored a hit. If the word 'critical' wasn't there, the ability would certainly read as if you couldn't miss on a 19 or 20.

This is in contrast to if the ability said something along the lines of 'a hit with a roll of 19 on the d20 is a critical hit'.

This is the RAI for Improved Critical as clarified by Jeremy Crawford, official rules guy for WOTC, in twitter conversations here and here. Note the first tweet:

Only a roll of 20 is an automatic hit, unless a feature says otherwise

is followed up by this amendment, and the clarification of the second tweet sequence:

I had a brain glitch and was thinking of a theoretical crit. range increase. Specifics: Improved Critical does score a hit on a 19.


If a feature says you scored a critical hit, you hit.


In #dnd5e, a critical HIT is a hit. The fighter's Improved Critical doesn't say you CAN score one. It says you SCORE it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It would have been nice for the rules to have been clear about that from the outset, the tweets certainly help one to understand that feature (and it makes the Champion a bit better of a fighter choice from my PoV than before). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 31 '16 at 12:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Exactly how often does a 19 on an attack by a Champion otherwise score a miss? That is some ridiculous AC. \$\endgroup\$ – Yakk May 31 '16 at 13:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Yakk Maybe when he's going against a high AC creature, has Cutting Words used against him, and maybe some Bend Luck and Bane, too? I know, that's stacking the deck a lot, but you did ask :) Crits hit regardless of modifiers, he could have been given a seriously penalty on his attack roll. \$\endgroup\$ – user27327 May 31 '16 at 13:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @markovchain I said "how often", which you seem to confirm as "never in most characters entire period of leveling from 1 to 20". My point is that "it makes the Champion a bit better of a fighter choice" seems highly questionable: auto-hitting 'on a 19' is not going to change a single attack into a hit in most fighter's entire careers in 5e. \$\endgroup\$ – Yakk May 31 '16 at 13:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Yakk Agreed. I think I made a similar point in a discussion / comment on this a while back (or maybe at GitP forums, can't remember). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 31 '16 at 16:52

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