Recently, when fighting wizards and spell casters, I've taken to a little trick of using my Action to Hold Action. With this Held Action I have readied a Dispel Magic with a trigger of a spell being cast. Basically a poor man's counter spell.

As far as I can see, that's within the remit of holding an action. Great!

It got me thinking though, that if a wizard casts Counterspell as their reaction, but I have a Dispel Magic ready on a trigger of "if I see a Counterspell" does one trump the other?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You do know that every round you use your action to ready Dispel Magic, you're consuming that spell slot at the point the action is readied? That's regardless of whether of not the readied action is ever actually triggered, and the spell cast. If it gets back to your turn again without the action going off you can't just carry on holding that spell indefinitely, the spell fizzles and the slots been lost. This could be a quick way to burn through a lot of slots for limited benefit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiggerous
    Mar 20 '20 at 7:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @kviiri fixed!! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 20 '20 at 7:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tiggerous are you sure? the action is readied but the spell is not cast if the opponent does not do the ''appropriate trigger'' you lose your action sure, but your spell slot? I'd like a source/quote on that, I'm not familiar with 5e, so I might be wrong. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 20 '20 at 7:53
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @MaximeCuillerier I'm certain. Does a Readied spell immediately use a spell slot? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiggerous
    Mar 20 '20 at 7:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tiggerous many thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 20 '20 at 7:57

No according to this answer wich states:

The March 2016 Sage Advice Column covers Dispel Magic as well. It reiterates that Dispel magic cannot end magical effects that are not the result of a spell, such as a vampire's Charm effect. It also reiterates the rule about Dispel Magic not working on the results of a spell with an instantaneous effect. It adds that a readied Dispel Magic cannot be used in place of a Counterspell, though in some limited circumstances, it may be almost as good.

Here's the info:

Can you ready dispel magic to stop another spell from taking effect? The easiest way to stop a spell is to cast counterspell on its caster while it's being cast. If successful, counterspell interrupts the other spell's casting, and that spell fails to take effect. Counterspell works against any spell, regardless of a spell's casting time or duration.

With the Ready action, dispel magic can be cast in response to another spell being cast, yet dispel magic can't substitute for counterspell . The main reason is that dispel magic removes a spell that is already on a target, whether that target is a creature, an object, or some other phenomenon. Dispel magic can't pre-dispel something. If a spell isn't already present on a target, dispel magic does nothing to that target. The best that a readied dispel magic can do is dispel a spell immediately after it's been cast to prevent it from having any effect after the action used to cast it. For example, on your turn you could say something like this: “I ready dispel magic , and if the high priest casts a spell on anyone, I cast dispel magic on the target if the spell takes hold.” If the high priest then cast hold person on your companion who fails the save against it, you could unleash your readied dispel magic and end hold person.

The thread: Counterspelling a counterspell might help you.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .