[RPG] Can a Druid/ War Cleric Multiclass use War Priest to make a bonus attack


The 5e PHB states on page 63 about War Priest:

When you use the attack action, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus action.

So this rules out any beasts making a bonus attack after a multiattack, but what if an Awakened Tree for example uses his action to make a Slam Melee Weapon Attack. Can the player then make a second slam attack as a bonus attack?

I believe this would qualify and the beast's weapon attack would be considered as a valid triggering attack to create a bonus attack. The MM pp.10-11 says

The most common actions that a monster will take in combat are melee and ranged attacks. These can be spell attacks or weapon attacks where "weapon" might be a manufactured item or a natural weapon such as a claw or tail spike (emphasis mine)

What do you think? Can a Druid/ War Cleric Multiclass use the War Priest ability to make a bonus attack while wildshaped?

Best Answer

Yes, you can use War Priest but not if you use Multiattack

Taking a cue from András's answer, the attacks listed in a creature's stat block are not Actions but attack modes or melee attacks. Here's what I think you're missing:

Page 192 of the PHB defines the Attack Action:


With this action, you make one melee or ranged attack.

The PHB further defines what a melee attack is and, in page 195, it explicitly states that:

Melee Attacks

A typical monster makes a melee attack when it strikes with its claws, horns, teeth, tentacles, or other body part.

With the above reading, the PHB confirms that Claw, Gore, Bite, and Slam are melee attack options that can be chosen when a creature uses the Attack Action and therefore able to trigger War Priest.

But this is where it gets weird:

Multiattack is a distinct Action that details what attack options are used by the creature when the creature uses Multiattack (not the Attack Action!). Since it is a separate Action (like Ink Cloud and Swallow) it cannot trigger War Priest.

This means creatures using Multiattack cannot trigger War Priest; they must use the regular Attack action and then use a Bonus Action to attack with War Priest, but this obviates the need to use War Priest as the Druid/Cleric can already attack twice with Multiattack.

As pointed out by KorvinStarmast, a beast with different attack options in the Multiattack Action like the Brown Bear could potentially get a slight damage increase if the Druid chooses not to use Multiattack (Claw [2d6+4] + Bite [1d8+4]) but instead use War Priest to attack twice with Claw (4d6+8). This allows for a unique dynamic that a Druid/Cleric can use during combat, when needed.

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