[RPG] When the Shocking Grasp cantrip hits, can it trigger the Tempest cleric’s Wrath of the Storm reaction


The Tempest Domain cleric's Wrath of the Storm feature description says (PHB, p. 62):

When a creature within 5 feet of you that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to cause the creature to make a Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 2d8 lightning or thunder damage

The Shocking Grasp cantrip's description says (emphasis mine):

On a hit,the target takes 1d8 lightning damage, and it can’t take reactions until the start of its next turn.

Can Wrath of the Storm be a reaction on Shocking Grasp itself? In what order spells effects are supposed to work?

  1. Shocking Grasp hits
  2. Wrath of the Storm triggers on hit
  3. Shocking Grasp deals damage
  4. Shocking Grasp sets a condition "can’t take reactions"


  1. Shocking Grasp hits
  2. Shocking Grasp deals damage
  3. Shocking Grasp sets a condition "can’t take reactions"
  4. Wrath of the Storm doesn't do anything because it's a reaction

Best Answer

It comes down to a DM ruling

Unfortunately, the rules aren't 100% clear on the issue of when exactly a reaction occurs, and Jeremy Crawford/Mike Mearls both seem to leave it to DM ruling for other reactions. (note that Crawford says "I have it happen after" as opposed to speaking in a rules-authoritative voice). The PHB errata also does not clear up this issue.

However, one reaction that occurs on being hit with an attack and that could potentially negate the attack is the Shield spell. Notably, it specifies that the +5 AC added can negate the triggering attack, and functions against other attacks until the start of your next turn.

Given that shield specifically calls this out, and other reactions-to-hit like Wrath of the Storm don't, you might infer that the hit generally takes place unless some specific rule negates it, and there is no specification in Wrath of the Storm. Other effects that can negate attacks like the Protection fighting style use the word "attack" instead of "hit". So in this case, you still get hit by the attack and suffer any consequences of the attack. Those consequences include taking damage and not being able to take reactions. Then the Wrath of the Storm reaction trigger occurs (being hit with an attack), but you can't use it. This effectively eliminates a corner case where, otherwise, you would get hit, but Wrath of the Storm kills the target before you take damage/suffer effects of the attack.

However, a DM may still rule otherwise, and it would be difficult to make a RAW argument opposing it (provided your DM was interested in hearing such an argument in the first place).