A follow-up question to As a monk, can I use Deflect Missiles to intentionally catch a projectile?

Let's say I intentionally want to catch an enemy's projectile using the Deflect Missiles feature.

The description of the monk feature says:

Deflect Missiles

... you can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon Attack

Can I use my reaction to protect not myself but my ally (providing I stay exactly at the line of attack)?

Possible ways how exactly do I do that:

  1. Doesn't announce particular actions, assuming that Deflect Missile works passively as a reaction.
  2. Announce the Ready action "If the foe attacks my ally, try to protect him by all means necessary".
  3. Announce the Ready action "If the foe fires an arrow, try to catch it".
  4. Announce the Ready action "If the foe attacks my ally, step into the line of attack".

According to the rules, what could work?

  • \$\begingroup\$ if readied action: couldn't any class make an attack on an incoming projectile ? I know this is straying from the rules but in reality anyone can attempt to catch something. \$\endgroup\$
    – RedOculus
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 20:25

4 Answers 4


Rules-As-Written, you can't catch an arrow that is aimed at another

Your quoted text is pretty explicit about it, you have to be the target and you have to get hit in order to use the feature, that means if the attacker misses, you can't use Deflect Missiles.

On the Readied Action question, it wouldn't work either. Two things:

  1. Deflect Missiles is a Reaction, you can't ready a reaction.
  2. Even if you could ready a reaction, you'd spend 2 Reactions; one to trigger the Ready, and the second to Deflect Missiles.

"Alright, daze, but I really wanna do this cool thing!"

There are ways to kind of, sort of do this:

  • Multiclass into a Fighter and get the Protection Fighting Style . Problem is, you'll need a shield to use it.
  • Get your hands on a Shield of Missile Attraction. Attune to it and get cursed. You now attract any missile being fired at any creature within 10 feet of you. Remove the shield (you can't unattune to it according to DMG 139: "Cursed Items"), removing the shield doesn't break the curse. You now have a hand free, can protect your allies from missiles, and can use Deflect Missiles! You're always going to get targeted by all missiles that are near enough and it consumes an attunement slot, but hey! you're cool!
  • 32
    \$\begingroup\$ The Shield of Missile Attraction is seriously clever. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 9:40
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Nice exploit! golf clap +1 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 14:44
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman - In fact, its clever enough that if I were going to do this, I'd make a quest out of it, including tracking down a grizzled old wise-man and getting this advice out of him. "Seek ye the shield of Balur's Bane..." \$\endgroup\$
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is cool but very dangerous if multiple missiles are aimed near you, also your unconscious body would attempt to “catch” the arrows. Lol \$\endgroup\$
    – Alk
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 1:11

RAW, no

As others wrote, you can only use it on yourself.

Homebrew, yes, for a cost

If I were your DM, I would let you sacrifice your action to include an adjacent ally in your protection.


Consider asking the DM about the "hitting cover" variant rules in the DMG:

First, determine whether the attack roll would have hit the protected target without the cover. If the attack roll falls within a range low enough to miss the target but high enough to strike the target if there had been no cover, the object used for cover is struck. If a creature is providing cover for the missed creature and the attack roll exceeds the AC of the covering creature, the covering creature is hit.

There's limited applications of this- you'd have to have lower AC than the target you're protecting- but it does open an avenue for being hit instead of the original target.



when you are hit

"you" are you - not anyone else.


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