Several effects from the Wild Magic sorcerer's Wild Magic Surge table (PHB, p. 104) tell you, the sorcerer, to cast a spell as the result, for example:

You cast fireball as a 3rd-level spell centered on yourself.

The fireball spell has verbal, somatic, and material components.

Does this mean I need to perform the verbal and somatic component and have access to the material component/arcane focus to cast fireball?

What if I don't want to? Is it automatic? Can I remove my component pouch/arcane focus (and only cast material-less spells) to avoid the possibility of accidentally casting fireball on myself?

If possible, please elaborate on your answer to clarify the consequences of it requiring or not requiring components.


1 Answer 1


RAW: Yes, it requires components

The rules create exceptions when there are meant to be exceptions. If there is no mention of a specific exception to a general rule, then the general rule applies. In the case of a Wild Magic Surge, you are the caster of the spell, so you must do so with all the components the spell requires.

This question asks if you can counterspell your own Wild Magic Surge, and the answers there state that you can. In addition, Jeremy Crawford said in a tweet that he would allow a Sorcerer to counterspell their own Wild Magic Surge, so the RAI seems to be that a fireball cast this way can be counterspelled.

However, a spell with no components cannot be the target of counterspell because you cannot perceive the casting. This means, if as the RAI suggests, and that no RAW says otherwise, if you can counterspell your own Wild Magic Surge, then it must involve components of some kind.

In the fiction, you can fluff this as you being compelled to cast fireball on yourself, rather than a spontaneous explosion happening out of nowhere.

As a result, it does mean that if you are inside an area of silence, as by the silence spell, you cannot possibly cast fireball on yourself. It also means if you do not have an arcane focus or spell pouch, you cannot cast fireball on yourself.

Rule of Common Sense: No

This is my personal opinion now, but I will back it up somewhat. The 2018 PHB Errata on Wild Magic Surge says:

If you roll a 1, roll on the Wild Magic Surge table to create a magical effect. If that effect is a spell, it is too wild to be affected by your Metamagic, and if it normally requires concentration, it doesn’t require concentration in this case; the spell lasts for its full duration.

This is a clear signal that the RAI is that a Wild Magic Surge does not have its usual requirements. It is so wild that you cannot even shape it with your Metamagic class feature. If it had the usual V, S, M components, then it would be much less wild than it seems it's meant to be.

The name of the feature itself is Wild Magic Surge - the image of someone frantically possessed trying to fireball themselves is not what comes to mind, but rather an unstable chain reaction happening in the Weave that happens to detonate around the source of that disruption - you.

Therefore, if you want a ruling instead of the RAW, you can say that spells you cast as a result of a Wild Magic Surge does not require any components at all.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I would argue that you can perceive yourself casting a spell regardless of its requirements. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 23, 2020 at 18:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Feathercrown While that is sensible, if we're going with the RAW, then no, you can't. But even if we grant that counterspelling yourself is a gimme, it seems to me that the RAW allows other people to be able to counterspell your Wild Magic Surge, too. In addition, it's a wild surge of magic - how can you perceive that before it happens, anyway? \$\endgroup\$
    – user62688
    Mar 24, 2020 at 1:01

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