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The Mislead spell has two effects: It creates an illusory copy of the caster that lasts for the duration (concentration, up to 1 hour), and it makes the caster invisible (same conditions as the Invisibility spell). Now, it should be possible to make the illusory double go away by successfully casting Dispel Magic at it. My question is: Does such a Dispel also end the invisibility on the caster, if it's still active?

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The invisibility will end with the Mislead spell

Dispel Magic says:

Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends.

Dispel Magic does not dispel the spell effect, it ends the spell. All effects caused by the spell end with the spell. If you target and dispel the illusion that is created on Misleads target, you dispel the Mislead spell, and with that the invisibility.

Mislead is a single target spell, targeting only the caster. The illusionary double is an effect created "on" that caster, even while it is independent of the invisibility. This is different from a situation where a spell like bless has multiple targets: in those cases, the spell only would end for one of the targets — which is not evident from Dispel Magic's text, but has been stated in Sage Advice Compendium.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This line of thinking would contradict Sage Advice's ruling on targeting one summoned creature... where it states that only that target is ended not the entire spell, would it not? \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Aug 6, 2023 at 2:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth My perspective is that because Mislead has a single target, the the illusion is an effect created "on" that target, not a separate, independent thing. Maybe I did not express that clearly enough. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 6, 2023 at 3:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ The target dispel magic refers to is the target of dispel magic, not the target of the original spell. In this case the magical effect is the illusory double, not the caster of mislead \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Aug 6, 2023 at 5:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also in a lot of other magic dispelling areas of effect, the entire magic ends even if only a portion of the spell's aoe overlaps with the spell-ending aoe. (e.g., Darkness) \$\endgroup\$
    – justhalf
    Aug 6, 2023 at 12:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ I expand my previous comment because I am surprised about the consensus of this answer. The text of Dispel Magic says "Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends." The caster is targeting the illusory double, hence the magical effect and not the creature that have cast Mislead: the target is the double, not the caster of Mislead. The spells ends for the target of Dispel Magic, not of Mislead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Aug 7, 2023 at 12:36
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No; the result depends on what the caster targets

Mislead is a spell with a single target - you (its range is 'Self'). However, once cast, it produces two separate and distinct magical effects:

You become invisible at the same time that an illusory double of you appears where you are standing.

The first effect is that you become invisible, while the second is that an illusory double of you appears.

The caster of Dispel Magic has as their choice a number of different targets:

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends.

The caster of Dispel Magic could choose as their target you (one creature), or the invisibility on you (one magical effect), or the illusory duplicate of you (another magical effect).

If they choose you, then they may:

end the effects of a spell on the target

If the spell ends on you, the target of Mislead, then all of its effects on you end - both the invisibility and the duplicate.

However, they might choose as the target of their dispel magic one of the magical effects of Mislead. In this case they will dispel only the one magical effect chosen, but not both and not the entire spell. In this case dispel magic doesn't end the Mislead spell itself. Rather, it ends all effects of the spell on the target chosen. If the target is you, then all effects of the spell is indeed the spell itself. But if the target of dispel magic is just one of the magical effects of mislead, then only the effects of the mislead spell on that one target (the magical effect) are ended.

This is not obvious from the text of the dispel magic spell itself ("the spell ends"). However, it was clarified in the June 2016 Rules Answers article, later included on page 14 of the 2016 Sage Advice Compendium, and can also be found on D&D Beyond:

If dispel magic targets the magical effect from bless cast by a cleric, does it remove the effect on all the targets?
Dispel magic ends a spell on one target. It doesn’t end the same spell on other targets.

In other words, if three creatures are all under the effects of the same bless spell, and I cast dispel magic on one of them, it ends only the effects of the bless on one of them - it doesn't actually end the 'source spell' that is affecting all of them. Similarly, casting dispel magic on just the illusory copy of you will end all effects of mislead on that illusory copy, but it won't end the original mislead spell itself or other effects of the spell on other targets, like the invisibility on you.

Targeting Strategy

If I am being bothered by something I suspect of being a misleading duplicate of you, what should I choose as my target? That depends on whether I know where you are. Note that I don't have to see you to choose you (a creature) as my target - you just have to be in range and not behind total cover. Also note that even if you are invisible, I still know where you are unless you are Hidden. If I am confident that I can successfully choose you as a target for dispel magic, doing so will end both your invisibility and the existence of the duplicate (even if it is not in range).

If, however, I can see only the duplicate, and I am not sure of where you are - or even whether you are actually within range - then it is safer for me to cast dispel magic on the duplicate. Doing so won't end your invisibility, but it is better than casting my spell and having it fail due to having an illegitimate target.

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No, the spell treats the invisibility and the double as separate magical effects.

The spell notes that if the invisibility portion of it is broken, the double is unaffected.

The double lasts for the duration, but the invisibility ends if you attack or cast a spell.

This suggests that the double and the invisibility are separate magical effects.

Dispel Magic targets

one creature, object, or magical effect within range

So you can target the double, but that casting of Dispel Magic only targets that magical effect (the illusory double), not the creature that cast the spell. It would dispel that spell on that target (and any others that are on the illusory double as well)

You could also target the invisible caster of the spell, but again that only influences the caster so that the invisibility portion would be dispelled, as well as any spells on the caster, but the illusory double would remain unaffected.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You're probably right about targeting the illusion, but wouldn't targeting the caster target the whole spell, and as such, end the whole thing? Is it possible to target just the invisibility on the caster, instead of the creature that is the caster, and does that make a difference? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jorn
    Aug 10, 2023 at 8:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ For the only targetting the invisibility, not the caster. I guess so, and that would only dispel the invisibility and not other magical effects on the caster (like for example if someone cast death ward on the caster). But this is probably a different question altogether. \$\endgroup\$
    – Deeps
    Aug 10, 2023 at 9:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the other part of the question is well addressed in Kirt's answer. As Sage Advice Compendium says dispelling the same spell on one target doesn't automatically dispel it on all other targets affected by that spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – Deeps
    Aug 10, 2023 at 9:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you target the invisible caster of the spell and your Dispel Magic succeeds, then the spell on the target ends, meaning that the duration expires and the double disappears, by the very description of the spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Aug 12, 2023 at 7:42

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