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Can you use the dispel magic spell to take out undead that have been created using the animate dead spell?

As I understand it, counterspell is used to stop spells during their casting and dispel magic is for stopping active spells.

I know the animated dead doesn't need concentration or their caster to be alive after they have been animated, so the animate dead spell might just turn a corpse into a undead type creature that no longer needs magic to be active. (I don't think the animate spells duration is relevant to this question.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Somewhat related on Does dispel magic affect skeletons and other undead? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 27 '18 at 14:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @delfiler please do not answer in the comments. See here for our policy. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Aug 27 '18 at 14:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Actually, with the edits this is very close if not a duplicate of your linked question, imho. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Aug 27 '18 at 14:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth Identical answer, but not identical question. That question is about standard MM skeletons/undead while this one is specifically about creatures created by a spell. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 27 '18 at 14:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ If the answer below satisfies your question adequately, consider hitting the 'accept' button. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Oct 3 '18 at 13:01
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No.

As indicated by the Sage Advice Compendium (2017):

Can you use dispel magic on the creations of a spell like animate dead or affect those creations with antimagic field?

Whenever you wonder whether a spell’s effects can be dispelled or suspended, you need to answer one question: is the spell’s duration instantaneous? If the answer is yes, there is nothing to dispel or suspend.

So, yes, duration is entirely relevant.

The entry goes on to detail why it functions this way, to paraphrase though: the effect that animates the dead is instantaneously brought into being by magic, but is not continuously sustained by magic afterwards. Therefore, skeletons can enter an antimagic field at their leisure and hack you to bits.

Of note: Danse macabre has a duration on the spell and therefore you could dispel one of the animated creatures.

Just for fun, if dispel magic worked in this way it would be the most powerful spell in the game and here is why:

Anyone that has ever been the target of a cure wounds (or for that matter revivify, raise dead, reincarnation, resurrection, etc.) spell could potentially die outright if targeted by dispel magic since it would erase all previous curative effects in an instant.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While this answer is most certainly correct, it strikes me as odd to say that an animated corpse isn't sustained by magic. What is it sustained by, if not magic? An infinite supply of negative energy feels pretty magical to me. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael W. Aug 27 '18 at 17:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelW. It may well be magic but what they refer to as "magic of the environment" like a Dragon's Breath. The "background" magic that infuses the "physics and physiology" of the world and its denizans are unaffected by such spells. p17 of the compendium goes into some detail on that. Under the question: Is the breath weapon of a dragon magical? \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Aug 27 '18 at 17:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelW. Or to simplify, "dispell magic" dispells spells, not everything in the setting that isn't real-life based. Spells are qualitatively different kind of "magic". \$\endgroup\$ – Yakk Aug 27 '18 at 17:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Yakk So, dispel magic is actually just de-spell, huh? \$\endgroup\$ – Michael W. Aug 27 '18 at 18:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelW. Or, rather, in this fantasy world, only spells are "magical". Everything else is just this strange world's physics. Including dragons breathing fire. \$\endgroup\$ – Yakk Aug 27 '18 at 18:10

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