Is new magic missile an attack?

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The new magic missile is an level 1 attack power, it is a ranged attack, and it has a target.  But it doesn't have an attack line or a hit line. 

Should it count as an attack for, say, popping greater invisibility?  What about for imposing penalties via the rattling keyword (which you can add via the Righteous Fury feat)?  Or triggering a paladin's Divine Challenge damage?

Edit: ---------------

Summary of the thread, as of post #311.  Thanks wrecan!



Thesis: Magic Missile (MM) is not an attack

Target Defense Argument: The Monster Manual states that "An attack targets AC, Fortitude, Reflex, or Will."  MM does not attack any defense.  Therefore, it is not an attack.
  • Counter: See all counters to the Combat Section Argument, except the D&E Counter and the "Basic" Counter, and all associated Rebuttals and Replies.

Attack Line Argument: PHB, page 57, states, "The “Attack” entry specifies the kind of attack you make and which of the target’s defenses you check against."   Since MM doesn't have an Attack line, it is not an attack.
  • Nonexclusive Counter:  This only means there are multiple kinds of attacks which exist as attacks independent of any attack line.                   
    • Rebuttal: Since the attack line tells you the kind of attack you make, a lack of an attack line means there is no type of attack to make.  I.e., it's not an attack.     
      • Reply: That only means that all powers with attack lines are attacks, not that all attacks have attack lines.



Combat Section Argument: The Combat Section in the Players Handbook (PHB) lists the elements of "the basic process" that "All attacks follow".  These elements are: 1) Attack type, 2) targets, 3) range, 4) an attack roll, 5) target defense, and 6) damage and other effects.  Since MM no longer requires an attack roll, it is not an attack.     
  • MM3 Counter: Many monster powers inflict automatic damage.  They have a "Hit" entry, but no attack roll.  The Monster Manual 3 definition of "Hit" states "This entry describes what happens to each target that a monster hits with a power's attack."  Since these monster powers have a hit entry, even though no attack roll, they are attacks.  Thus, powers without an attack roll can be attacks, notwithstanding the "basic process".  The "basic process" therefore should not be used as a definition of "attack".
    • Rebuttal: The preceding paragraph states "A monster power that has an attack roll is an attack power", not an attack.               
      • Reply: That it is an attack power does not preclude it from being an attack.  That sentence does not exclude it from being an attack.  The next sentence (quoted in Counter) states it is an attack.  So it is both an attack and an attack power.  (Technically, automatic damage powers with a Hit line are attacks, but not attack powers.)



  • D&E Counter: The sixth element requires one to "deal damage and apply other effects (page 276)".  Taken literally, this would mean that powers that have an attack type and attack roll, choose a target, target a defense, and impose an effect, but not damage (for example, Sleep), would not be an attack.  In addition, an attack that imposes only damage and no other effects (like a melee basic attack (MBA)) would not be an attack.  But we know they are attacks.  Ergo, the "basic process" cannot be used as a definition of attack.     
    • Rebuttal: Page 276 specifies that the power can deal damage, have a special effect, or both.


  • "Hit" Counter: On PHB, page 273, the PHB clarifies that "make an attack roll" is only necessary to determine if the power hits.  But MM automatically hits, so it (and all automatic damage powers) is an exception to this rule.     
    • Rebuttal: PHB, page 273 only states why you make an attack roll.  It does not state that automatic damage powers that don't make attack rolls are still attacks.


  • "Most" Counter: PHB p.57 states that "Most Attack Powers that require you to make an attack roll."  This overrules the more general definition of an attack.     
    • Rebuttal: "Attack powers" and "Attacks" are different.


  • "Basic" Counter: Because it is a "basic" process, not all attacks need follow it.                                   
    • Rebuttal: This merely references the fact that "specific beats general".  A specific exception would need to be made for MM.  The cited rule explicitly states that "all attacks" use the basic process.  And "All" is pretty clear.


  • FoB Counter: This interpretation means Flurry of Blows (FoB) is not an attack and that seems silly.                                   
    • Rebuttal: Silly as it may seem, FoB is not an attack, based on the definition above.


  • WoF Counter: Wall of Force (WoF) states that it can be attacked, but it lacks any defense.  Since a target defense is an element of an attack under this theory, you have a paradox.  The only way to resolve the paradox is that the "basic process" is not intended to be a definition of "attack".     
    • Rebuttal: WoF has a defense -- it uses its creator's defenses.

    • Rebuttal: If the power you employ to attack has a target defense, it's an attack, even if your target lacks that defense.

    • Rebuttal: To the extent that the WoF is illustative of any exception to the basic process for combat, it is a specific exception that does not reference MM, and thus does not change MM's status as being or not being an attack.


General Counters Applicable to All Arguments
  • CS Counter: Customer Service (CS) has stated it is an attack.                                     
    • Rebuttal: CS is often deemed unreliable.  In fact they then said that Wall of Fire is not an attack power because it has no attack roll.  Neither does MM!
      • Reply: Regardless, for the RPGA, this will suffice.



  • Developer Counter: Developer Greg Bilsand tweeted that it is an attack.                                     
    • Rebuttal: Until he puts it in an errata it doesn't count.

    • Rebuttal: His explanation -- equating attacks and attack powers -- makes no sense.  His tweet was likely hastily written, as tweets often are.


  • FAQ Counter: The PHB FAQ, for Magic Missile (ironically), states,"The initial use of any attack power that has a target line, an attack  line, or both counts as making an attack."  MM still has a target line, and is thus a power.
    • Rebuttal: No substantive rebuttal has yet been offered.


  • Attack Power Counter: MM is an attack by virtue of being an Attack Power, which has attack right in the name. 
    • Rebuttal: All the Arguments above use specific language defining "attack".  No specific language states that an attack power is an attack.  Given that other mechanics with "attack" in the name (like "attack line" and "attack roll") are not necessarily attacks, this seems like a big assumption.

    • Rebuttal: On PHB, p.57 it says not all attack powers have attack rolls and PHB, p.269, 276 say that an attack roll is needed to attack. Therefore, not all attack powers are attacks.

    • Rebuttal: Many attack powers, such as stances, walls, etc., would not operate if it were an attack because they would trigger marks and other effects that they are clearly not intended to trigger.


  • PHB p.270 Counter: PHB p. 270 specifically states "Shooting a bow or casting a magic missile is a ranged attack."                                     
    • Rebuttal: Ranged Attack" is an attack type.  PHB pg 56 states that having an "attack type" does not make something an attack.

    • Rebuttal: PHB p.270 goes on to explain that a ranged attack is an attack because it has "an attack roll".  The text on p.270 was written when MM did have an attack roll.  Now MM has been errataed so it has no attack roll.  Many powers are errataed without the errata also changing every other reference to the power.  This is no different.P.270 is thus errataed.

    • Rebuttal: That is an "explanation", not an "exception".                                     
      • Reply: Nothing in the rules indicates a distinction between the two.  And the "basic process" could just as easily be termed an "explanation" rather than an "exception".



  • RBA Counter: MM explicitly states is can be used as a ranged basic attack (RBA).                                     
    • Rebuttal: "used as an RBA" is not "is an RBA." RBA is a specific power.  That's why the Barbarian powers were changed.
      • Reply: That is not why the barbarian powers were changed.


    • Rebuttal: MM might be considered an attack only when used as an RBA.                                     
      • Reply: If you are using it as a standard action in melee, you are using it as an RBA.  Thus, it will always be a RBA, and always an attack.




It is an attack, yet it has no attack roll.  Things that trigger with attacks would trigger.  Things that trigger on "successful attacks," "hits," or "misses" would not. 

So for the specifics:

Greater Invisibility would end.

Rattling would work (it even works if you have a Rattling Power that deals damage on a miss).

Divine Challenge (and any other mark punishment that relies on an attack rather than a hit) would trigger.
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I think you're going to get a couple different perspectives.

There were a couple threads a few months ago about what is an attack. The opinion I've heard most often is if it has an Attack: line, it is an attack. If it doesn't, it is not. This means some Attack Powers are not attacks and some Utility Powers are attacks.

To date I've yet to see an easier test to use, so that's the test I use to answer the question: "Is {foo} an attack?"
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It is an attack, yet it has no attack roll.  Things that trigger with attacks would trigger.  Things that trigger on "successful attacks," "hits," or "misses" would not. 

So for the specifics:

Greater Invisibility would end.

Rattling would work (it even works if you have a Rattling Power that deals damage on a miss).

Divine Challenge (and any other mark punishment that relies on an attack rather than a hit) would trigger.



It's an attack power, but using an attack power does not mean you are making an attack. Using the new magic missile is no different than a fighter activating his rain of steel stance. There is no attack line in the power, therefore you are not making an attack when you use the power, and do not trigger anything that requires making an attack.
It's an attack power, but using an attack power does not mean you are making an attack. Using the new magic missile is no different than a fighter activating his rain of steel stance. There is no attack line in the power, therefore you are not making an attack when you use the power, and do not trigger anything that requires making an attack.

I don't see any reason to believe that activating Rain of Steel is not an attack.

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Rain of Steel doesn't have a target, that is one difference.
Should it count as an attack for, say, popping greater invisibility?

Since it also functions as a ranged basic attack, I reckon so.

not that it matters but: Magic missile popped invisibility in earlier editions too.

It's an attack power, but using an attack power does not mean you are making an attack. Using the new magic missile is no different than a fighter activating his rain of steel stance. There is no attack line in the power, therefore you are not making an attack when you use the power, and do not trigger anything that requires making an attack.

I don't see any reason to believe that activating Rain of Steel is not an attack.


You mean other than the fact that there is no attack line, attack roll, or vs.?

IMHO, an Attack Power is definitely different than making an attack.  All "Attack" does in "Attack Power" is describe the category and the power, it does not automatically define the power as an actual attack as the attack line in the stat block would do.

It's just my interpretation, right or wrong.

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Rain of Steel doesn't have a target, that is one difference.

It is a difference, yes.  It means that Rain of Steel does not attack anyone in particular, but it's still an attack and I still rule it as breaking Greater Invisibility.

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mpl, would you count Infernal Wrath as an attack?  It's kind of the opposite of MM, since it has an attack line, but isn't labeled as an attack power.

IMHO, an Attack Power is definitely different than making an attack.  All "Attack" does in "Attack Power" is describe the category and the power, it does not automatically define the power as an actual attack as the attack line in the stat block would do.

I'm in this camp as well. It just seems more intuitive, despite the admittedly contradictory reality of an attack power not involving an attack, or a non-attack power involving an attack for that matter.

Then again, I doubt this particular can of worms was on Wizards' minds when they changed Magic Missile. :p



Actually, I kind of like mvincent's take so far.  Maybe in general, an attack power doesn't have to be an attack.  But since an RBA is definitely an attack and MM can be used as an RBA, perhaps MM needs to be considered an attack nonetheless.
Here is what Customer Service says:

After the magic missile update, would using the power count as an attack for the purposes of (for instance):
- Ending the Greater Invisibility effect?
- Triggering the penalty from the rattling property (assuming you were able to add the rattling keyword to the magic missile power)?
- Triggering the damage from a paladin's Divine Challenge?

Thanks for the question. Magic Missile is an attack in all forms, save that it does not trigger any effects that require you to "hit" or "miss" with an attack, since it does not have an attack roll.

I hope this clarifies things for you!
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mpl, would you count Infernal Wrath as an attack?  It's kind of the opposite of MM, since it has an attack line, but isn't labeled as an attack power.

Infernal Wrath has an effect line, now, doesn't it?  Actually, it did before, too.

If your question was about racial powers with attack lines in general, the only one I can think of is Dragon Breath, and yes, I would consider that an attack.

I think what you're getting at is whether or not I would treat non-attack powers as attacks if they had attack lines, and I would consider anything that was an attack power and anything with an attack roll to be an attack.

Edit: Upon further consideration, this may be a hold over from previous editions, but I believe any power that harms or hinders an enemy is an attack.  It even hints to that in the beginning of the PHB in a call out box on, I think it was page 15.
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Where can this new magic missile be found? Is it in the errata?
Where can this new magic missile be found? Is it in the errata?



Just got updated in the July errata...

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mpl, would you count Infernal Wrath as an attack?  It's kind of the opposite of MM, since it has an attack line, but isn't labeled as an attack power.

Infernal Wrath has an effect line, now, doesn't it?  Actually, it did before, too.


Oh yes, I'd misremembered.

If your question was about racial powers with attack lines in general, the only one I can think of is Dragon Breath, and yes, I would consider that an attack.

I think what you're getting at is whether or not I would treat non-attack powers as attacks if they had attack lines, and I would consider anything that was an attack power and anything with an attack roll to be an attack.

Edit: Upon further consideration, this may be a hold over from previous editions, but I believe any power that harms or hinders an enemy is an attack.  It even hints to that in the beginning of the PHB in a call out box on, I think it was page 15.




That is indeed what I was getting at, thanks. 
Nope. PHB, attacks specificially require that you roll to hit. If you do not roll to hit, you are not making an attack.

Is summoning an attack? A conjuration? Nope. You can use them to attack, but just because they are attack powers does not mean the actual summuning process is an attack.
My initial reaction would be that if the power has the word attack in it anywhere, well, it's an attack power. But it seems that oversimplifies things. DM judgment call I guess? Out of interest Alcestis where is that reference in PHB?
My initial reaction would be that if the power has the word attack in it anywhere, well, it's an attack power. But it seems that oversimplifies things. DM judgment call I guess? Out of interest Alcestis where is that reference in PHB?

It is in the combat section on attacking. Sec, I've had to post this like half a dozen times now.

MAKING AN ATTACK
All attacks follow the same basic process:
1. Choose the attack you’ll use. Each attack has an
attack type.
2. Choose targets for the attack (page 272). Each target
must be within range (page 273). Check whether
you can see and target your enemies (page 273).
3. Make an attack roll (page 273).
4. Compare your attack roll to the target’s defense
(page 274) to determine whether you hit or miss.
5. Deal damage and apply other effects (page 276).

Every step of the process must be present. No attack roll = not an attack.

Same page

When you attack, you make an attack roll to determine
whether your attack hits your target.

There is some other stuff on that page. But the idea is ridiculous. Are summons an attack power? Yes. Is using a summon an attack? Nope. This isn't some brilliant new ruling. Auto-damage has never been an attack. There are dozens of powers that deal auto-damage and none of them are attacks, even though they are attack powers. Wall of Fire, Reign of Steel, Wall of Thorns, the list goes on and on and on.
Every step of the process must be present. No attack roll = not an attack.

No it doesn't.  The section on reading a power (p57 I believe) makes it clear that not all attacks have an attack roll.  For example, Commander's Strike is an attack, and it doesn't have an attack roll (by the warlord).  This was debated to death in various C'sS threads, and it was shown over and over again that an attack roll was not required to make it an attack by the warlord.

I'd go with if it has an Attack line, it's an attack.  If it doesn't, it isn't.

Edit: All sorts of stuff.
Every step of the process must be present. No attack roll = not an attack.

No it doesn't.  Commander's Strike is an attack, and it doesn't have an attack roll (by the warlord).

If it has an Attack line, it's an attack.  If it doesn't, it isn't.

CS is not an attack, because you don't roll a d20 and see if you hit. The MBA it grants is an attack, but the Warlord isn't making it.

If that were not true, benefits granted from "making an attack" would apply to the Warlord. And they don't. Does Lend Might work with CS? Nope. 
CS is not an attack


It is, and it has been long established by vigorous debate.  The warlord absolutely is making an attack when he uses the power.

I'll see if I can dredge up one of the threads so I can find the exact quote from the PHB.
CS is not an attack


It is, and it has been long established by vigorous debate.  The warlord absolutely is making an attack when he uses the power.

It has long been established that actual rules trump debate on forums. The PHB page on attacking specifically says you must roll a d20 to see if you hit for something to be "an attack." No d20 rolled = not an attack.

Now in this case a d20 is being rolled, but not  by the Warlord. So the Warlord is not making the attack, though an attack is being made.

EDIT: Poor/confusing formating of one power is also not an argument with any lasting credibility.
Apparently, given CS's response, however, both CS and MM are, indeed, attacks.  Regardless of the debate on the forums.  Admittedly, sometimes CS gets it wrong, but in this case, I would say that PHB has it wrong.  I wouldn't be surprised, in fact, to see the quoted portion (the bolded all) in the NEXT errata

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Apparently, given CS's response, however, both CS and MM are, indeed, attacks.  Regardless of the debate on the forums.  Admittedly, sometimes CS gets it wrong, but in this case, I would say that PHB has it wrong.  I wouldn't be surprised, in fact, to see the quoted portion (the bolded all) in the NEXT errata


CS doesn't trump rules text, never has. Only errata or the FAQ overrides text in the books. CS is neither.

You're also more likely to get a correct answer from flipping a coin then asking CS, so yeah. I have had them tell me, outright, some ridiculously wrong stuff.
Ah here is the rules quote.  It's either page 57 or page 59:
Most Attack Powers that require you to make an attack roll. The "Attack" entry specifies the kind of attack you make and which target's defenses you check against.

Not all attack powers require an attack roll.  But if you have an Attack entry, you are most definitely making an attack, even if there isn't an attack roll, because it specifies the kind of attack you make.

Edit: I agree that C'sS is poorly formatted.  But it isn't the basis for an Attack line defining if it is an attack or not.  The reading of a power description that tells you that the Atttack entry specifies the kind of attack you make is.  It also clearly indicates that not all powers (only most of them) have an attack roll.

Edit2: Also, I haven't checked this against the how to read a power section in the PHB2 or PHB3 recently, so it may be overriden there.
Apparently, given CS's response, however, both CS and MM are, indeed, attacks.  Regardless of the debate on the forums.  Admittedly, sometimes CS gets it wrong, but in this case, I would say that PHB has it wrong.  I wouldn't be surprised, in fact, to see the quoted portion (the bolded all) in the NEXT errata


CS doesn't trump rules text, never has. Only errata or the FAQ overrides text in the books. CS is neither.

You're also more likely to get a correct answer from flipping a coin then asking CS, so yeah. I have had them tell me, outright, some ridiculously wrong stuff.



I'm with you on this one. WotC really screwed the pooch with this new version of MM, completely missing the can of worms it opens as far as rules issues.

While I see how without a doubt the new MM is not technically an attack under the current rules, it does seem pretty clear RAI that it should be considered an attack. Not just because it is an attack power though, but moreso because it is an actively directed offensive action, unlike storm pillar or even rain of steel for instance.

I REALLY hope we don't actually have to wait until October for them to clear this mess up.
So... Magic missle is listed as an attack power, has an attack type, and deals damage.  But, it isn't really an attack, unless it's used as a ranged basic attack in which case it is an attack. 

Page 57: "Most attack powers that deal damage require you to make an attack roll. The “Attack” entry specifies the kind of attack you make and which of the target’s defenses you check against."

Page 59: "Many powers produce effects that take place regardless of whether your attack roll succeeds, and other powers have effects that occur without an attack roll being required."

Slavish adherence to the "basic process" of an attack isn't good grounds for saying something isn't an attack.  By it's own admission it is the basic process, but that doesn't mean some attacks may not adhere to a different process.  Also by their own admission, some attacks may not require an attack roll.

It's a thin argument even by RAW.

EDIT: Ninja'd
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Bear in mind that a general rule stating that all attacks have attack rolls can have exceptions in cases where a description of a specific attack states that the specific attack doesn't have an attack roll.

If the section quoted were a definition of an attack then the logic 'no attack roll => not an attack' would be good.  But the section is not formatted as a definition.  It's describing attacks in general, and, 4e being exception based, nothing in the text implies that this excludes exceptions.
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So... Magic missle is listed as an attack power, has an attack type, and deals damage.  But, it isn't really an attack, unless it's used as a ranged basic attack in which case it is an attack. 

Page 57: "Most attack powers that deal damage require you to make an attack roll. The “Attack” entry specifies the kind of attack you make and which of the target’s defenses you check against."

Page 59: "Many powers produce effects that take place regardless of whether your attack roll succeeds, and other powers have effects that occur without an attack roll being required."

Slavish adherence to the "basic process" of an attack isn't good grounds for saying something isn't an attack.  By it's own admission it is the basic process, but that doesn't mean some attacks may not adhere to a different process.  Also by their own admission, some attacks may not require an attack roll.

It's a thin argument even by RAW.

EDIT: Ninja'd



Actually it says "most attack POWERS" require an attack roll...but nowhere does it say that all attack powers are inherently attacks...all the above shows is that there are attack powers that are attacks.

I throw a storm pillar into the middle of an empty field...did I attack anything? Using an attack power does not necessarily involve making an attack, and the opposite is also true as there are some non-attack powers that have attacks in them (Dispel Magic for instance has an attack line but is a utility power). Unless someone finds a rules quote that states "all attack powers are attacks", it's going to be hard to argue that magic missile or any other power without an attack line are considered attacks.

Also, the fact that it can be used as a RBA does not make it an attack. The specific power "ranged basic attack" is an attack, but that does not mean that all things that can be used as RBAs are inherently attacks as well. Instead of attacking, you are just damaging. This part is similar to the "construct" vs. "living construct" argument. Just because their creature type contains the word "construct" does not suddenly grant living constructs all the benefits of that creature type. Similarly, just because something can be used as a ranged basic attack does not automatically imply that it is an attack.

CS doesn't trump rules text, never has. Only errata or the FAQ overrides text in the books. CS is neither.

You're also more likely to get a correct answer from flipping a coin then asking CS

Well, in this case you also have several of the rules-lawyer forum heavies agreeing with CS (and with each other... which hardly ever happens). This seemed like a no-brainer... I was pretty sure what the CS response would be, and I'm absolutely certain what the response from the writers would be (i.e. "Heck yeah, Magic missile counts as an attack for the purpose of popping invis.")... certain enough to make a cred* bet. Any takers?

* the winner chooses the losers avatar for one week.

Let me add my 2 coppers.

There is no actual definition of what constitutes an attacvk in the PHB. All we have are the description of what an attack line means, and the steps of an attack. However the steps are not an absolute, because of the 3 basic rules found on page 11 of the PHB.

This means that the only possible source for a definition is the language the rules are written in. English in this case. If it meets the english language definition of an atack, it is an attack. Why? because they did not contradict this definition, and if they want to have a word have a different meaning, then they need to re-define it in terms of the rules. elf is re-defined, Tiefling is defined, attack is not re-defined.
CS doesn't trump rules text, never has. Only errata or the FAQ overrides text in the books. CS is neither.

You're also more likely to get a correct answer from flipping a coin then asking CS

Well, in this case you also have several of the rules-lawyer forum heavies agreeing with CS (and with each other... which hardly ever happens). This seemed like a no-brainer... I was pretty sure what the CS response would be, and I'm absolutely certain what the response from the writers would be (i.e. "Heck yeah, Magic missile counts as an attack for the purpose of popping invis.")... certain enough to make a cred* bet. Any takers?

* the winner chooses the losers avatar for one week.


Um, I'm one of the most frequent posters in the rules Q&A threads. I am a rules-forum "heavy." I say it works. Are you done making stupid arguments now? Not to mention baseless, as I haven't seen any of the people I think of as rules experts chime in.

The only counter-arguement to the actual RAW text is page 57 which says not all attack powers have an attack roll. Which does diddly to prove that an attack power that does not have an attack roll makes an attack when used. The exact sequence for making an attack, also in the PHB under the section that defines what an attack is, says you need an attack roll. It even says it specifically, when you attack your roll to see if you hit. That is an ttack.

Christ.
The general rule is that attacks begin with an attack roll.  But the new MM specifically says:

"Special:  If the implement used with this power has an enhancement bonus, add that bonus to the damage.  In addition, you can use this power as a ranged basic attack."

It doesn't say that it replaces an RBA, or that you use MM instead of an RBA.  It says that you can use MM as an RBA.  So anytime I use it, I declare that I'm using it as an RBA.  It' is now an attack.
The general rule is that attacks begin with an attack roll.  But the new MM specifically says:

"Special:  If the implement used with this power has an enhancement bonus, add that bonus to the damage.  In addition, you can use this power as a ranged basic attack."

It doesn't say that it replaces an RBA, or that you use MM instead of an RBA.  It says that you can use MM as an RBA.  So anytime I use it, I declare that I'm using it as an RBA.  It' is now an attack.

Um, no. You are using it as a RBA. That doesn't make it an RBA.

Sort of like "I'm using my desk as a head rest from the pain of people not being able to read English." Is a desk a head rest? Nope.
I say it works.

Does this mean you have accepted my wager?

Actually it says "most attack POWERS" require an attack roll...but nowhere does it say that all attack powers are inherently attacks...all the above shows is that there are attack powers that are attacks.

No, but it doesn't indicate that not all attack powers require an attack roll.  That doesn't necessarily indicate that an attack power is an attack though.  However, it does say that the Attack line indicates it is an attack in the next sentance.

So ... the delineating line between what is an attack and what isn't an attack is: Does it have an Attack line?  An actual attack roll is irrelevent.

Edit: Suprisingly, for the new Magic Missile, Alcestis and I agree it isn't an attack.  Even as we disagree as to why.    Note that for both of our reasoning, Flurry of Blows isn't an attack either.
I say it works.

Does this mean you have accepted my wager?


Sure. It works. I win. We done? What the developers say after they realize their colossal screw up is of no interest to me. Errata makes it a different game and a different question.

Though who knows maybe to make it "iconic" they'll keep the rule just the way it is.
Attack: A power's attack entry specifies the ability score you use to make the attack, any special modifiers that apply to the attack roll, and which of the target's defenses you check against.

In the absence of Commander's Strike having any of those things, going to restate: Not an attack by the Warlord. It doesn't have an ability score to make an attack, has no special modifiers that apply to the attack roll, and doesn't specify which defense it is against. It is just a poorly formatted power that should not be used an example of anything.

Different argument, of course.
Sure. It works. I win.

You have the will of the warrior, therefore you win.  Rematch?  You win again. 

Different argument, of course.

Yep, and one I'm willing to let lie in this thread.  Regardless, it appears that both you and I and Jay all agree so far that Magic Missile is not an Attack.  I assume you feel that neither is Flurry of blows for the same reasons?


Edit: And the fact that it can be used as an RBA doesn't give it either an Attack line or an attack roll, so that has no bearing IMO.  (Not directed at Alcestis.)