The wording of Shield of Faith suggests that it can be used to reveal a known but invisible enemy:

A shimmering field appears and surrounds a creature of your choice within range (60 feet), granting it a +2 bonus to AC for the duration.

Unlike many spells, there's no requirement for the caster to see the target.

A Jeremy Crawford citation indicates that there needs to be a clear path from the caster to the target.

A fairly common "boss fight" scenario is that the heroes enter the boss' lair, the boss delivers an ominous speech, everyone rolls initiative, and on the boss' first move they cast Invisibility (or Greater Invisibility). Would casting "Shield of Faith" on the boss be a cheap counter? (The boss getting an AC boost, of course, is just hilarious).


2 Answers 2


It should work, but may not be as much of a counter as you think

With the description of the spell as written, you should be able to cast it on a hostile, invisible target - so long as it is within range and you have a clear path, as you say.

However, keep in mind that 'spells do (only) what they say they do'. Just because the target is surrounded by a 'shimmering field' doesn't mean that their invisibility is negated. Compare the description from Shield of Faith with that from Faerie Fire. The latter spell also outlines the target with light, but explicitly says "the affected creature or object can’t benefit from being invisible." Since Shield of Faith does not say that, there is no reason to think that invisibility would be countered.

In particular, the invisible-and-now-shielded boss would certainly still receive the benefits of advantage on attacks on creatures that could not see it, and of being attacked at disadvantage because it could not be seen, as standard per the Invisible condition.

How noticeable the 'shimmering field' is would be open to DM interpretation - would it blur their edges when they were visible but be an almost unnoticeable distortion in the air when invisible during the heat of combat? Or would it amount to a glowing outline like faerie fire - obvious but not shedding light?

A generous GM might allow you to use the shimmering field when deciding 'what space to attack' when calling attacks on unseen opponents, and might adjust attempts for the shielded creature to Hide (adjusting their Stealth roll or their opponents' Perception rolls). But none of these allowances should be taken as given from the description in the spell itself, simply because it doesn't actually say that it does that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Or advantage on perception checks or disadvantage on stealth \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Dec 28, 2020 at 15:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "would it blur their edges when visible but be an almost unnoticeable distortion when invisible during the heat of combat?" I'm picturing a shimmering in the air like the shimmering of hot air, or the outline of the Predator from them movie of the same name. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Dec 28, 2020 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 I was actually thinking the same thing but didn't know if that was too dated a reference. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Dec 28, 2020 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's important, I think, that Invisible is an explicit condition. (I keep forgetting that because it's the only "good" condition...) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 28, 2020 at 19:29
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The Invisible condition says "The creature's location can be detected by any noise it makes or any tracks it leaves." I think even not-so-generous GMs should let you locate an enemy by the shimmering field that surrounds it; but this is just quibbling over strictness. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 28, 2020 at 19:39

No, it doesn't negate the effect of invisibility

Spells only do what they say they do. Shield of faith doesn't say anything about countering invisibility, unlike other spells such as faerie fire. Arguably it could show the current location of the target creature when the spell is cast. However, it doesn't say the shimmering field remains afterwards so you'd be effectively fighting blind.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Parsing the grammar of the description, it seems to me that it is the field that grants the AC bonus, and the AC bonus lasts for the duration of the spell. Thus it is at least implied that the field itself lasts for the duration of the spell, not that it appears as an effect of the casting and then goes away. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Dec 28, 2020 at 2:33

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