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When casting Magic Missile, can I choose to have the missiles target each of the three illusions from a Creature concentrating on Mirror Image, thus destroying them?

Or do I have to target the caster of Mirror Image, who then decides which missiles are redirected onto the illusions?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For future reference, the "dungeons and dragons" tag is used for questions about D&D across editions while questions about a specific edition should use the specific tag. I've taken the liberty to do this small fix :) \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Jun 5 '18 at 13:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Very related: Does Mirror Image affect spells that have no attack roll? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jun 5 '18 at 14:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had to join just to post this comment: in videogame implementations of D&D (such as Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights), each missile destroys one illusion from that spell. I believe the developers talked this through with the people at WotC. \$\endgroup\$ – Renan Jun 5 '18 at 22:40
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You create three magic darts. Each dart hits a visible creature of your choice.

So there is no "trying" to target the caster, you simply target the caster and automatically hit them, as that is the creature you are targetting. (Illusions are not creatures.)

After that, Mirror Image actually does nothing, as per Does Mirror Image affect spells that have no attack roll?

So no, you can't use Magic Missile to get rid of Mirror Image duplicates.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Therefore making a whole class of illusions completely vulnerable to a common first level spell. I'd use a bit of discretion and say that the illusion is, as far as the caster knows, a 'visible creature'. I'd also let a magic missile target a wax dummy replica of a creature, if it fooled the caster. \$\endgroup\$ – Ask About Monica Jun 5 '18 at 19:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is basically what Magic Missile is for. Hitting hard to hit or hard to see targets. This is exactly why a Wizard would prepare it. \$\endgroup\$ – Mooing Duck Jun 6 '18 at 0:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @kbelder I would say destroying the 3 illusions is a worse consequence for the mirror image than the caster being hit by magic missile, so your reading makes it more vulnerable to a common first level spell - it means the 1st level spell completely negates the 2nd level spell all at once. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 6 '18 at 3:47
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Magic missile hits the caster

This has been discussed here, but the net reason is that magic missile isn't an attack (there is no roll.) Without an attack roll, there is no D20 to determine what you hit - you simply hit the target.

This is also supported by Jeremy Crawford:

The mirror image spell has no effect on magic missile, which doesn't involve an attack.

Can you even target an illusion?

Magic missile requires (emphasis mine):

Each dart hits a creature of your choice

The question of targeting an Illusion is generally handled here, but Xanathar's Guide to Everything goes further into providing some guidance (not rules, but guidance.)

The following is from Xanathar's Chapter 2 under Spellcasting:

If you cast a spell on someone or something that can’t be affected by the spell, nothing happens to that target, but if you used a spell slot to cast the spell, the slot is still expended. If the spell normally has no effect on a target that succeeds on a saving throw, the invalid target appears to have succeeded on its saving throw, even though it didn’t attempt one (giving no hint that the creature is in fact an invalid target). Otherwise, you perceive that the spell did nothing to the target.

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