I saw this question recently and I was wondering if a magic item, such as a Longsword +1, could be dispelled with dispel magic such that it would it lose the +1?

A common item would require a formula, 100 gp in components, and a minimum of a 3rd level spell caster with a similar spell to be made so it could be treated as a lvl 3 spell.

The dispel magic spell description states:

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell's level. On a successful check, the spell ends.

So if somebody cast dispel magic on that Longsword +1 would its effects be negated, or would the caster lose a spell slot?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Is the implicit question embedded here, "Does a +1 enchantment on a longsword count as a spell?" \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 19:46

2 Answers 2


Dispel Magic does one thing... it ends spells

So you would lose a spell slot according to optional sources and Jeremy Crawford's rulings... but that is up to your DM.

Jeremy Crawford almost always opens with that in any answer about Dispel Magic.

You bolded the wrong section of the wording:

Choose one object, creature, or magic effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. If the spell is 4th level or higher, make a check using your spellcasting ability. The DC is 10 + the spell's level. On a success, the spell ends.

So you can target an object but if it has no active spells on it then you would simply cast the spell for nothing. Detect Magic helps with this as you can concentrate and identify specifics of auras and schools and whatever else your DM would allow you to find on the item.

Magical items are not spells. They may have had spells pertinent in their creation process if your DM so deemed it, but they are not spells themselves nor is a spell typically active on them to keep them magical. Unlike previous editions magical items are not suppressed if targeted with Dispel Magic.

Now if you had a normal longsword with Magic Weapon active on the item then it would end the spell making it magical.

Also, please see Sage Advice Compendium

  • \$\begingroup\$ You can link to individual question from the DND Beyond SAC, would make navigating to the specific SAC questions easier. The diespel magic questions start here \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 15:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Thanks... I tend to avoid DND Beyond but that is good to know. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 15:15

False Equivalence

Saying that it would require a 3rd level spellcaster to make the Common item does not mean it is a 3rd level spell.

It's a magic item that isn't producing a spell.

As you quoted, dispel magic removes the effects of a spell of 3rd level or lower. It ends spells and spells only.

What happens to your spell slot?

This question handles invalid spell targets, but the crux is the optional rule in Xanathar's that would suggest the loss of spell slot.


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