Jeremy Crawford responded to a question here on Twitter about whether spells that deal physical damage types are considered magical:

Do spells that deal physical damage count as magical for the purposes of resistances? E.g. Cloud of Daggers vs Deva.

Regardless of damage type, the direct damage of a spell is magical.

In light of this, would the arrows from the Swift Quiver spell bypass resistance to nonmagical damage types (for instance, werewolf-style resistance)?


2 Answers 2


No, they don't.

Swift Quiver specifically states:

You transmute your quiver so it produces an endless supply of nonmagical ammunition.

So the arrows aren't magical to begin with. And whilst Jeremy Crawford may say:

Regardless of damage type, the direct damage of a spell is magical.

Swift Quiver is a spell that doesn't deal any direct damage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How does this differ from a spell such as catapult then? In both cases you're using magic to use a non-magical item in order to deal damage, and catapult simply sends something flying in a direction. How did you determine that arrows aren't a direct source of damage? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 31, 2019 at 12:53
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli the difference, as far as I can tell, is that catapult directly does damage because it lists the damage in the description "what it strikes each take 3d8 bludgeoning damage." Whereas swift quiver has nothing in it that says it does damage, only that it produces normal arrows. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 31, 2019 at 14:23

There is no such thing as resistance/immunity to non-magical weapons anymore

The MM errata changed this:

Damage Resistances/Immunities. Throughout the book, instances of “nonmagical weapons” in Damage Resistances/Immunities entries have been replaced with “nonmagical attacks.”

This includes your example of a werewolf which says:

Damage Immunities: Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks that aren't Silvered.

So, going forward in this answer, I will ascertain how swift quiver applies to this new wording.

Swift quiver alone doesn't bypass resistance to nonmagical attacks

The reason is simple: swift quiver does not deliver a magical attack.

The same MM errata explainings what magical attacks actually are:

Particular creatures are even resistant or immune to damage from nonmagical attacks (a magical attack is an attack delivered by a spell, a magic item, or another magical source). (MM, p. 8 post errata)

Swift quiver says:

You transmute your quiver so it produces an endless supply of nonmagical ammunition.

This explicitly says that the ammo is nonmagical and thus won't count as a magical source for the attack.

You might point to this as a counterpoint:

On each of your turns until the spell ends, you can use a bonus action to make two attacks with a weapon that uses ammunition from the quiver.

However, this is an attack granted by a magical source (a spell), but it is not actually delivered by the spell — it is delivered by your bow. If the bow is nonmagical then it won't count as a magical attack.

Crawford's ruling doesn't apply here

Regardless of damage type, the direct damage of a spell is magical.

Swift quiver does two things: give you infinite nonmagical ammo, and gives you a bonus action you can make extra attacks with. Neither effect does direct damage (nowhere in the spell does it say it does XdY damage) so there is no contradiction in rulings here.

However, arrows would bypass resistance if fired from a magical weapon

Ammunition fired from a magical weapon is considered magical:

If a magic weapon has the ammunition property, ammunition fired from it is considered magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to non-magical attacks and damage. (DMG 140)

Thus, if you fire any arrows from swift quiver with a magical weapon, those arrows are considered magical and the attack is considered to be delivered by a magical source. Thus, with a magic weapon, the swift quiver would allow you to bypass resistances/immunities to non-magical attacks.


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