Do you get advantage on Steel Wind Strike’s attacks because you “vanish”?

The spell steel wind strike says that you

vanish to strike like the wind.

(Emphasis added)

At first glance you might read this as an inconsequential part of the description. But strictly speaking there is no flavour text in spell descriptions. Vanishing implies being unseen, which (if we carry on the logic) grants advantage on attacks due to being unseen.

I’ve seen this argument appear in a couple of answers recently and thought it deserved a question of its own.

However, steel wind strike looks like a pretty strong spell without advantage, and granting advantage on all the attacks seems like something too important to leave to a bit of rules lawyering, which makes be doubt this interpretation.

Do you intrinsically gain advantage on all of steel wind strike‘s attacks?

Can a creature with multiple attacks per Attack action make all their attacks if they are incapacitated between two of those attacks?

The Player’s Handbook states (emphasis mine):

An incapacitated creature can’t take actions or reactions.

Suppose I am fighting a creature that has a multiattack, and I have an ability that can incapacitate a creature as a reaction. If the creature has completed the first attack in its multiattack, could I prevent the remainder of its attacks with my ability? Or is it too late, since the remaining attacks aren’t actions?

Do I use my druid’s own proficiency bonus for the attacks of their wildshape?

Let’s consider this example: A lvl 12 Druid has a +4 proficiency bonus. They proceed to wild shape into an ape, whose attacks have a +5 bonus to attack rolls, easily calculated to be +3 from its Strength and a +2 proficiency modifier. Does the wildshaped druid attack at +5, or at +7? I’ve seen the first interpretation to be more common but I’d like to know the reasoning for such.

5e Can Specters move into the ground to avoid Attacks of Opportunity?

In 5e, Specters have Incorporeal Movement which says

The specter can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5(1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.

Therefore, I assume Specters can move through ground as if it were difficult terrain.

Could a specter attack a creature, move into its space and then move straight down into the ground to avoid an Attack of Opportunity? Regardless if it would be intelligent enough to do so, would the AoO happen before it is fully submerged below ground or would the ground protect the Specter?

My guess would be the ground would protect it because once it leaves the 5ft reach of its target, it would be mostly submerged.

Does an unconscious creature still use its dexterity to avoid attacks?

Related – How does one dispatch a helpless opponent?

Here’s the unconscious condition description:

Unconscious

An unconscious creature is Incapacitated, can’t move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings The creature drops whatever it’s holding and falls Prone. The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage. Any attack that hits the creature is a critical hit if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature.

So attacks against the creature have advantage, and any attack that hits is a critical – but you still can miss because of the creature’s AC. Armor Class includes dexterity bonus. The description doesn’t say the creature’s AC changes somehow.

Does it mean the creature still benefits from its dexterity, both in terms of mechanics and in-game world?

An example situation

A low-level party of Barbarian and Bard fights a sneaky thief, who has AC of 15 due to his +4 dexterity bonus. The Barbarian attacks, so does the Bard, but their results are 12 and 13. DM described that the thief was twisty enough to dodge both attacks.

Next round, the Bard puts the thief to sleep (hence, unconscious) with the Sleep spell. The barbarian makes a melee attack with advantage, but his best result is 14. It is still a miss, isn’t it? As a DM, how can I plausibly describe such an outcome?

Mage slayer gives disadvantage on concetration on all attacks or just on the reactive one?

Mage Slayer:

When a creature within 5 ft. of you casts a spell, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature, and when you damage a creature that is concentrating on a spell, that creature has disadvantage on the saving throw it makes to maintain its concentration. You also have advantage on saving throws against spells cast by creatures within 5 ft. of you.

Does that mean that when this PJ hits a mage concentrating on a spell with the Attack action on their turn, they also have disadvantage? Or does it just happen when the attack occurs upon being triggered by a spell being cast on mele range?

How advantageous is it to (BA) when using spell attacks

If you have access to the hide action as a Bonus Action (BA) (either as a goblin or through rogues cunning action), how viable or advantageous is it use it often to get advantage on spell attack rolls?

I’d imagine it depens on among other:

  • Other possible BA uses, especially spells
  • Importance of hitting the specific spell attack vs action economy efficiency
  • Avoiding enemy focus
  • Chance of hiding successfully, distribution of limited ability score points and so on.

Do the Tunnel Fighter UA fighting style and the Polearm Master feat combine to grant indefinite opportunity attacks?


Here’s the scenario:

The character in question has both the Tunnel Fighter fighting style from Unearthed Arcana: Light, Dark, Underdark!, which says:

You excel at defending narrow passages, doorways, and other tight spaces. As a bonus action, you can enter a defensive stance that lasts until the start of your next turn. While in your defensive stance, you can make opportunity attacks without using your reaction, and you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against a creature that moves more than 5ft while within your reach.

As well as the Polearm Master feat (PHB, p. 168), the second bullet point of which says:

While you are wielding a glaive, halberd, pike, or quarterstaff, other creatures provoke an opportunity attack from you when they enter your reach.

Assuming you hit every target that enters your reach (10 feet, unless you’re using a quarterstaff), could you essentially take out a stampede of kobolds who have no ranged weapons? (Or some other instance of lots of easy-to-hit targets rushing at the player.)

Am I correct in assuming this means all approaching targets are attacked once as they enter my reach? Am I missing something that says otherwise in this scenario?

This combination seems really good to protect the rest of the group from a swarm of enemies and to abuse choke points. It’s almost too good against weaker enemies.

Can absorb elements be triggered on attacks that require a saving throw or be paralyzed, incapacitated… and elemental damage on a failed save?

Say an enemy is casting a spell or using an ability that forces the player to make a saving throw or be "conditioned and take X elemental damage".

Does absorb elements go off if the save is failed? Or because of the condition effect, does that mean the reaction can’t be used if you fail the save, take damage, and conditioned? Or even can it be cast before the save (and wasted if the save passes)?

If someone attacks a swarm with a single-target spell while it’s in a character’s space, is that character also affected by the spell?

My players have walked into a Spider Lair and fought their first group of Spiderlings, or effectively a Swarm of Spiders from the MM. I didn’t realize until after the encounter that they have a reach of 0 for their attack and that they can move through and stay on a space taken up by another creature (which occurred to me is the only way it can actually make its attack.) The party’s going to fight more next session.

What happens when a swarm is in a character’s space attacking them, and someone casts a single-target spell against that swarm such as Hellish Rebuke or Fire Bolt?
Since the swarm is invading that character’s space (we assume because they are swarming around them or over them), is the character also potentially affected by the spell?