For this scenario, assume a level 11 Monk with the Mounted Combatant feat (and riding a mount).

If a creatures attacks the Monk, and the attacker fails his/her save, the next eligible target (assuming no other enemies within 5ft) would be the Monk's mount. If the Monk decides to use Mounted Combatant to force the attack to target himself instead of the mount what happens?

Does the situation change if the Mount is targeted first, then the Monk's Sanctuary takes effect after?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This opens a new question. Does the monk must make a saving throw after targetting himself instead of the mount? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trolleitor
    Mar 27, 2017 at 0:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Escroteitor - By the wording of sanctuary, very probably yes. It says "...any creature who targets...", meaning the Monk is targeting himself as you pointed out. So the Monk would have to pass their own saving throw to make him/herself a viable target for the enemy. It's important to note that it specifies targeting, and with mounted combatant, the monk is the one doing the targeting. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28, 2017 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli - "Until the spell ends, any creature who targets the warded creature with an attack or a harmful spell must first make a Wisdom saving throw." Using Mounted Combatant is not making an attack or harmful spell against yourself, so no, you don't have to make a saving throw. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28, 2017 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @THiebert - Read the second bullet of Mounted Combatant. The person using the feat is the one doing the targeting. It specifically states that you force the creature to target you instead. It's like the shield of missile snaring, except you can elect to do it. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28, 2017 at 16:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli - "force the creature to target you". "any creature who targets the warded creature". They're still doing the targeting, not you. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28, 2017 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


The attack is wasted if there are no other creatures nearby, assuming the saving throw against sanctuary is failed.

If you're attacked first, then sanctuary activates. Assume the creature fails its save, because if it passes, the question is moot. The only available target is your mount, which it then chooses to attack. Mounted Combatant can then be used to force the attack to target you again. If the creature fails again, the attack is wasted, as the attack is forced to target you instead of your mount.

If your mount is attacked first, you can use Mounted Combatant to force the attack to target you instead. Sanctuary then activates, and the creature fails. It's unable to attack the mount again, because you've forced it to target you instead, but it's also unable to target you, so it's attack is wasted.

In both cases, after you've used Mounted Combatant, the mount is not a valid target, because the feat "force[s] an attack [...] to target you instead". Since this is the same attack, and it's been forced to not attack the mount because of this feat, it cannot be re-targeted, even after sanctuary applies.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli see my edit \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28, 2017 at 15:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Interesting. Except the feat doesn't say you can't target the mount. It says it forces you to target the rider instead. This doesn't make the mount an invalid target, it just makes you a valid one again. If this was specific trumps general, sure. But it's specfic vs specific on trigger effects that endlessly continue until the sanctuary save passes or the monk stops redirecting the attack. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28, 2017 at 16:51

This will make an endless loop

If you force the creature to target the monk, he will trigger the condition for sanctuary again, so the creature will make another saving throw. Just like if it made another attack against the monk with multiattack.

Nothing on sanctuary prevents a creature to target the monk after a failing saving throw in the same turn, the only trigger condition is "targets the warded creature with an attack or harmful spell" Also the creature can't lose the attack, because the creature chosed a new a target.

The spell will follow this sequence Triggered by the attack > Roll saving throw (failed) > Choose new target or lose attack (choose the mount). At this point, sanctuary ends for that creature, the attack continues unaffected, and a new trigger happens (an attack targetted my mount) with the sequence Triggered by the attack > Target the monk instead ... And repeat.

Because there is no limitation on how many times sanctuary or mounted combatant can be used on a turn, the order is also irrelevant.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It could be worth pointing out that the only possible outcomes of this loop are either a) the opponent succeeds on their saving throw, and is allowed to attack the Monk, or b) the Monk elects not to invoke Mounted Combatant, and the opponent is allowed to attack the horse. Therefore, effectively, the Monk should just choose to use Mounted Combatant or not. (Unless it's impossible for the opponent to make their saving throw, in which case it really can be an inifinite loop.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Mar 27, 2017 at 1:04

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