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Mage Slayer: When a creature within 5 feet of you casts a spell, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature.

If a creature within 5 feet you casts a cantrip, can the reaction attack be used?

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Yes, because cantrips are spells, per 5e SRD - Spellcasting:

Cantrips

A cantrip is a spell that can be cast at will, without using a spell slot and without being prepared in advance. Repeated practice has fixed the spell in the caster’s mind and infused the caster with the magic needed to produce the effect over and over. A cantrip’s spell level is 0.

(Emphases mine)

You only need to ask, "has the creature cast a spell?"

If you answer yes, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature.

If the wording specified a spell of level one or higher, then cantrips would not trigger the reaction.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I would add, for completion, that there are cantrips like shocking grasp that nullify your reaction, therefore, no mage slayer \$\endgroup\$ – Chepelink Jan 22 '17 at 2:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chepelink That's only if you are the target of shocking grasp. And anyway, there's an argument for Mage Slayer triggering before shocking grasp hits, as it's triggered by the casting of a spell, not being hit by a spell. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Jan 22 '17 at 4:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude That would allow the Mage Slayer character to possibly be able to kill spellcasters before they cast the spell in question, which would drastically improve the feat's power. The feat would have included text saying 'this occurs before the effects of the spell take place' if this were the case. \$\endgroup\$ – Zso Jan 22 '17 at 12:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zso I disagree, but these comments aren't the right place for that debate. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Jan 22 '17 at 15:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie That sounds very close to this question \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Jan 23 '17 at 0:31

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