You lose Invisibility when you attack or cast a spell.

Case 1. If someone who is Invisible (not Greater Invisibility), but not Hidden (I know they are there) casts a spell, would they lose Invisibility as they are casting, thus allowing me to see them and use my reaction to cast Counterspell?

If yes, then:

Case 2. Same as in Case 1, but the enemy is Hidden from me (they beat my Perception with a Stealth check), and we are in the 5th round of combat (I am not Surprised). Can I still Counterspell?


2 Answers 2


No, you can't

Counterspell may only be cast "when you see a creature within 60 feet of you casting a spell" and invisibility "ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell".

Clearly for Counterspell to be effective at all you need to see a creature which is currently in the process of casting a spell. You cannot retro-actively Counterspell a spell that has already been cast by the time you see it.

Now both of these effects refer to the same action, that of casting a spell, but they have different wording. In Counterspell's rules text casting a spell starts applying as soon as the casting process begins while in Invisibility's rules text it is made clear that it is only lost after a creature casts a spell.

I believe this is intended to be interpreted to say that invisibility only ends after the spell was successfully cast. At this point it is too late to interrupt the casting. This interpretation is based on Jeremy Crawford's ruling.

Note that invisibility also ends for creatures that are casting a spell with a duration longer than 1 action, as a result of their inability to concentrate on Invisibility and their new spell simultaneously.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Possibly relevant is this other Q&A; it seems like if you were the one concentrating on invisibility, and the new spell you're casting requires concentration, you would be visible during the casting of the spell and vulnerable to counterspell. If the new spell isn't a concentration spell, or if someone else is the source of the invisibility on you, invisibility would break only once the spell completes and you would be safe from counterspell. \$\endgroup\$
    – CTWind
    May 16, 2018 at 6:26
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ "while in Invisibility's rules text it is made clear that it is only lost after a creature casts a spell." (Emphasis mine). Source? Invisibility makes no clarification about being "after". It says "The spell ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell." \$\endgroup\$
    – Luke
    May 16, 2018 at 6:52
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Luke Until the spell has been cast you haven't cast a spell. So 'casts a spell' must mean 'completes a spell casting and manifests a magical effect' not 'starts waving hands around'. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    May 16, 2018 at 8:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Actually @Luke is making be believe that RAW Invisibility breaks the moment you start casting a spell. Consider this other problem: What if a creature with True Sight tries to counterspell a caster who is under invisibility? With my interpretation if they get counterspelled their spell was never cast so they won't break invisibility even though they started casting a spell. This is too convoluted. I believe we are in a situation where RAI contradicts itself and some book errata might be warranted to preserve it. I'll try to edit later. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yannick MG
    May 16, 2018 at 14:30
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri For reference, Concentration breaks when you cast another spell that requires concentration. And that is confirmed to happen at the beginning of the cast. \$\endgroup\$
    – Luke
    May 16, 2018 at 23:18

Yes, you can.

The text for ending Invisibility due to concentration is based on the rules for concentration.

Casting another spell that requires concentration. You lose concentration on a spell if you cast another spell that requires concentration. You can't concentrate on two spells at once.

Which has been confirmed by JC to be at the beginning of the cast, making you visible for the duration.

The text for losing Invisibility due to casting a spell uses similar language.

The spell ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell.

So, without any evidence to the contrary, the effect would remain the same.

"If you cast another spell.." and "ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell".

Case 2

If a target is hidden, you can't see them. Invisibility may have helped them become hidden, but it doesn't change the fact that they are hidden. And casting a spell doesn't end being hidden (oddly enough)

  • \$\begingroup\$ The condition for losing invisibility is a very different circumstance than redirecting concentration, though. You wouldn't lose invisibility just for drawing and aiming a bow. Only when you actually attack. It makes sense that a spell would work the same way. FWIW, there's a JC tweet supporting this interpretation: "The invisibility spell is meant to end right after you make an attack or cast a spell. It doesn't predict what you're about to do!" \$\endgroup\$
    – pyrocrasty
    Jul 6, 2023 at 22:05

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