Divine Smite is a supernatural ability, but at the same time it consumes spell slots on use.

Is Divine Smite considered a spell?

If it is considered a supernatural ability then silence/antimagic fields do not affect it. On the other hand, if it is considered a spell, a paladin cannot use misty step and Divine Smite at the same time.


1 Answer 1



Mechanically speaking, a Divine Smite is a Paladin class ability. Meanwhile, a spell is anything listed in PHB pages 207-211, which shows the spell list for all classes. So even though Divine Smites use spell slots, they are not spells.

Not all spells consume spell slots

From PHB 201:

Some characters and monsters have special abilities that let them cast spells without using spell slots.

Therefore, spells and spell slots do not have to be tied together, though they usually are. Spells can be cast without spell slots. Just because something consumes a spell slot doesn't mean it has to be a spell.

Antimagic Field does affect it

While a Divine Smite is not a spell, it is magical. "Magical things" is a larger set that contains all spells.

Antimagic Field specifies:

Spells and other magical effects, except those created by an artifact or a deity, are suppressed in the sphere and can’t protrude into it.

It specifically states:

Targeted Effects. Spells and other magical effects, such as magic missile and charm person, that target a creature or an object in the sphere have no effect on that target.

As Divine Smite is a magical effect, it is nullified in an Antimagic Field.

It does work in an area of silence

Divine Smite is not a spell and requires no verbal spell components. All it requires is you hit with a weapon and you expend a spell slot.

Starting at 2nd level, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one paladin spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target

  • 12
    \$\begingroup\$ RAW, there's nothing in the rules that identifies Divine Smite as magical. Sage Advice addresses the topic of what's magical and what isn't (see "Is the breath weapon of a dragon magical?") and Divine Smite doesn't fit any of the criteria. It's probably intended to be magical since it uses spell slots, but it'd be good to edit the answer to be less definitive about that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doval
    Jul 30, 2017 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ In addition, Divine Smite cannot be counterspelled. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2017 at 1:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ It does radiant damage, FWIW. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2017 at 2:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @markovchain Doval has a strong argument here (probably should be an answer), but are you willing to adjust yours or are you firmly rooted in Magical Ability? See also this answer and this one. If you feel you don't want to change, please let me know and I'll submit a new answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jul 31, 2017 at 12:27
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Crawford revisited some Sage Advice answers, and the one I quoted earlier has been updated to include features fueled by spell slots, so Divine Smite is officially magical now. Note, however, that Improved Divine Smite is not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doval
    Sep 6, 2017 at 2:53

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