What ways can a character (PC or Monster) prevent an enemy from casting counterspell?

What I can think of so far:

  • Surprise the enemy and win initiative
  • Cause the enemy to be incapacitated (or stunned/paralyzed/unconscious)
  • Provoke the enemy into using a reaction earlier in the round (readied action, opportunity attack, previous spell)
  • Avoid using perceivable spell components
    • Sorcerer subtle spell metamagic
    • Level 20 Druid Archdruid feature
  • Prevent somatic components
    • The enemy is holding objects in both hands
  • Block line of sight while casting the spell (As Medix2 linked the spell can be readied behind cover)
    • Spells, Items, or Abilities such as Fog Cloud, Darkness, etc. that create areas of Heavy Obscurement
    • Use a spell or item that grants invisibility or heavy obscurement to a creature (Shadow of Moil, Invisibility)
    • Physical barriers such as walls or large creatures

Are there any other options available that I am missing? I would be interested both in a generic option that is missing and in any specific strategies that are not equivalent to something on my list.

I am asking because there are so many ways to prevent Counterspell that my initial list was unlikely to be comprehensive. Among the answers so far "using a spell that prevents reactions", "breaking line of sight", and "cast outside the range of 60 ft" are all options I hadn't considered and have helped to answer my question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: "Can I deny a counterspell by readying my spell behind full cover?" \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 1:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 readying the spell behind full cover was an option I hadn't considered with regards to my initial list. Would it be alright if I amended my question to include it? \$\endgroup\$
    – user60913
    Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 1:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Since there aren't any answer, that should be alright to do (plus it's covered somewhere else already). That said, I'm worried that this question might not fit too well since what counts as a distinct way of preventing counterspell is rather iffy. Does being invisible count as "avoiding using perceivable components"? Does antimagic field count as "preventing somatic components"? Does simply just being out of the range of counterspell work? Though perhaps this question is a bounded list of sorts. If it is closed, I'd be happy to brainstorm things in chat \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 1:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ What sort of answer(s) are you looking for? The community wiki answer below lists things like using a "spell that makes the enemy unable to use reactions" and then also lists the specific spells that do that. Are you looking for things as specific as those exact spells or just the more general idea of "prevent the enemy from taking reactions" without a listing of class features, spells, magic items, and so forth that accomplish this? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 12:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Minor Illusion has a Somatic as well as Material component. I don't see why that couldn't be noticed and counterspelled. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 4:08

4 Answers 4


As usual in questions that lead to considerably large lists (e.g. What are the official, WotC-published classes and subclasses in 5e?), I will post this as a community wiki answer and we can, as a community, update it with all possibilities.

Spells / Abilities

Make the enemy unable to use reactions

Force the enemy to use its reaction

Allow the enemy to use its reaction

Make the enemy unable to cast spells

Stopping their counterspell

Prevent enemy from seeing you

Prevent enemy from targeting or affecting you

Other means

Make the enemy unable to use reactions

Cast when the enemy is temporarily unable to use reactions

Prevent conditions of counterspell from being met

  • Cast the spell outside the range (more than 60 ft.)

1 to equip them with armor they are not proficient in, if you accept "Would forcing armour on a wizard using an illusion spell and Illusory Reality 'harm' them?"

2 It depends whether you believe the invisibility spell ends when a creature finishes casting a spell or starts casting a spell. This is explored more in the question "Can you Counterspell a caster who is under Invisibility?"

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    \$\begingroup\$ Interestingly, the question "What are all the possible ways of taking away the reaction from an enemy" is included in this one. \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 2:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't things that prevent somatic components work as well (Tying up the spellcaster and similar)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Anagkai
    Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 13:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Anagkai Feel free to add whatever you can think of or find, though I'm unsure exactly how specific of an answer the OP wants, so I've asked for clarification on that front \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 13:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Anagkai that works. You can edit it freely, it is a community wiki post, which means nobody "owns" it and nobody gets rep or whatever for it. \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 16:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm thinking some sort of "force the enemy to be non-present" (Banishment, Hurl Through Hell) might be appropriate as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 21:20

This isn't a complete answer as I'm sure other's will come up with more inventive options but your list misses some spells that are effective:


An affected target's speed is halved, it takes a -2 penalty to AC and Dexterity Saving Throws, and it can't use Reactions.


Similar to Slow, it removes an affected creature's ability to take reactions.


You can counterspell a counterspell to prevent it from affecting the original spell. It can also be prevented by simply being out of range of counterspell (60ft or 120ft with a sorcerer's distant spell).

You could also deny the enemy a reaction through multiple different effects such as Stun or slow.

All of your options seem pretty viable. If the person doesn't see the spell, they can't counterspell it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A small point: Distant Spell technically doesn't work with counterspell because the spell description includes a distance, not just its range \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 1:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ "effecting" should be "affecting" (1 character edits aren't allowed or I'd suggest it that way) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 21:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is that better? \$\endgroup\$
    – ADDO
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 3:25

Similar to counterspelling counterspell, the spell temporal shunt (Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, pg. 189) will also get the job done if the target fails its save:

You target the triggering creature, which must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or vanish, being thrown to another point in time and causing the attack to miss or the spell to be wasted.

It has a casting time of 1 reaction “taken when a creature you can see makes an attack roll or starts to cast a spell”.

This spell also has some powerful tactical uses. The target disappears until the start of its next turn, and upcasting it allows you to target additional creatures.


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