Let's say Bob the Wizard is afraid of meteor swarms, and uses contingency to set up a banishment spell with the following trigger: "If someone casts a meteor swarm in an area that includes me, cast banishment on myself."

I know that contingencied Concentration spells do still require your concentration. So, he would shortly lose his concentration on banishment, as that spell makes you incapacitated when you’re banished.

But would Bob still avoid the meteor swarm damage by that strategy (or in other words, lose his concentration and reappear AFTER the meteor swarm is finished)?


1 Answer 1


Contingency takes place after its trigger, so the trigger you suggested wouldn't prevent damage from meteor swarm

From the description of the contingency spell:

The contingent spell takes effect immediately after the circumstance is met for the first time, whether or not you want it to, and then contingency ends.

As you can see, contingency occurs after the triggering circumstance (the same way readied actions do). As a result, if you declare the triggering circumstance as "when someone casts a meteor swarm in an area that includes me", the contingent banishment spell will only take effect after meteor swarm finishes being cast.

Since the duration of meteor swarm is instantaneous, there's no extra step between the spell being successfully cast and the meteors being brought down (and doing damage). Thus, the spell would only trigger after you'd already been hit by the spell.

It doesn't matter since the timing doesn't work, but even if you found a way to cast banishment on yourself before the meteor swarm hit you, it wouldn't help; since you would be incapacitated the moment you finished casting the spell, the spell would instantly end and you'd immediately be un-banished, as Jeremy Crawford confirms here. (...Assuming you're on your native plane, of course.)

So even if you managed to find a way to banish yourself before the meteor swarm went off, you'd find yourself back where you were before anything else happened.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Duration instantaneous doesn't always mean that the after effect ends immediately. For example Animate Dead. A DM might rule that the Meteor Swarm doesn't hit you instantaneously, especially since it allows a DEX saving throw. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vylix
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 1:50
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Vylix: Sure, a DM could rule otherwise, but that's beyond the scope of what the spell says. Animate dead occurs instantaneously. The creatures it summons are not kept animated by the spell; they stay animated, because the spell says so. Meteor swarm says meteors strike the specified areas when you cast the spell, not some time later. By the rules, there's no extra step between getting done casting the spell and the spell taking effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 2:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might also want to note that banishment only incapacitates the target if they are native to the plane you're on. Banishing yourself (as a human) while on the Plane of Fire would not incapacitate you. You'd still have to pick a better trigger to avoid the meteor swarm, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Red Orca
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 18:01

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