Currently have a character who has the Sanctuary spell and a wand of magic missile (also other damaging magic items)

If a character uses a item e.g. wand of magic missile to damage a enemy does this constitute a "Attack" causing the Sanctuary spell to drop? (WoMM a bit different because no attack is performed just damage)

If the warded creature makes an Attack or casts a spell that affects an enemy creature, this spell ends.

Simplified does using magic items that don't use the "attack" term or cast spells through themselves drop sanctuary?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that the Sanctuary spell has been revised in an erratum. The revised version of the sentence you quoted above now reads "If the warded creature makes an attack, casts a spell that affects an enemy, or deals damage to another creature, this spell ends." \$\endgroup\$ May 31, 2021 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


Description of Wand of Magic Missiles states:

This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast the magic missile spell from it.

Emphasis mine.

Description is pretty clear that "you" casts spell from the wand, so while you are right it does not count as an attack, Sanctuary ends because character using this wand casts a spell.

On the other end o the spectrum is Ring of Shooting Stars. It's first use allows user to cast a spell. Second one, though:

Ball Lightning. You can expend 2 charges as an action to create one to four 3-foot-diameter spheres of lightning. The more spheres you create, the less powerful each sphere is individually.


When a creature other than you comes within 5 feet of a sphere, the sphere discharges lightning at that creature and disappears.

Here it is pretty clear that user is not attacking, not casting a spell, and it is the sphere that hurts the opponent, not the ring bearer. Thus, Sanctuary continues.

Bottom line: There is no fast and easy answer that applies to all items and all uses of the same item. You'll have to read the item's description.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the fast reply just checking does the character cast the spell or does he use the magic missile wand that casts the spell? \$\endgroup\$
    – Troommate
    May 31, 2021 at 9:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Troommate description is pretty clear that "you" casts spell from the wand. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    May 31, 2021 at 9:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Great thanks for help was still trying to get my head around it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Troommate
    May 31, 2021 at 9:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Guess English is not your first language? I had similar issues at first. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    May 31, 2021 at 9:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ While this answers the question for a Wand of Magic Missiles specifically, I believe there are other magic items that can deal damage or cause other negative effects without casting a spell or making an attack, such as a Ring of Shooting Stars. It would be good to cover that case as well in your answer. \$\endgroup\$ May 31, 2021 at 15:36

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