I know the spellcasting rules must be followed when using a Magic Item that allows you to cast a spell. For example, with the Wand of Fireballs, we typically see statements like, emphasis mine:

you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast the [...] spell from it

Therefore, I totally agree with this question Can you use a wand to cast a spell after casting a spell as a bonus action? and the answer: no.

However, according to the answer provided here When readying an action to cast a spell from a magic item, do you have to maintain concentration as though you were readying the Cast a Spell action?, using a magic item with Ready does not follow the spell rule in Ready.

So, is it possible to cast a bonus action spell and then taking the Ready action to activate a Magic Item to cast a leveled spell using your reaction on a different turn?


2 Answers 2


Yes, in most cases

You have an action and a bonus action on each of your turns. You can use the bonus action to cast a spell. That normally means you cannot cast another full spell that turn, only cantrips, due to a special rule for that (PHB, p. 203):

A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven’t already taken a bonus action this turn. You can’t cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

But you still have your action, and you can use it to either activate a magic item or to Ready an action to activate a magic item. Normally, you are not already casting the spell when you ready activating the magic item, as most of these items that cast spells say (for example here from wand of fireballs)

you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast the fireball spell

That is, the action that you ready is to expend a charge of the wand. Once you expend the charge, you cast the spell, but not before.1

Casting a spell from a magic item is still casting a spell. That means if the activation of the magic item is for casting a spell from that item, you cannot do that if the trigger of that Ready action happens during your turn, as you cannot cast another spell on your turn. If the trigger however happens on another turn, not yours, you are not limited by the special bonus action spellcasting rule, and then can cast the spell from the item.

1 There are however exceptions. For example, cape of the mountebank works differently, it says:

While wearing it, you can use it to cast the dimension door spell as an action.

Here you do not Ready expending a charge, here you directly Ready casting the spell when you activate it. And as spells are being cast when you start casting them, in this special case one can argue it would not work because here Activate a Magic item is the same as Cast a Spell. Check with your DM how they handle it in such cases.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This related question seems to disagree with both this answers and the other linked questions, stating, that reading a spell from a Magic Item is effectively the same as just readying a spell by on its own. rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/157196/… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 15 at 16:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TreeSpawned Interesting, I think the answer that ThomasMarkov accepted on his concentration question is the right one. Namely due to this: these items do not say that you take the Cast a Spell action they say (e.g. here for wand of fireball) "you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges", and that is the action you Ready. That action then allows you to cast a spell when it happens. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 15 at 16:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TreeSpawned I think the difference is in the wording of these items. The cape says you directly use the action to cast the spell, so reading activation is equal to readying casting the spell. For most items, you ready spending a charge, and only then cast a spell ... I did update the answer, thanks for the helpful feedback. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 15 at 16:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, very interesting indeed, that might actually be the difference here and correct interpration. Though I think my answer is useful as well, so I will keep it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 15 at 16:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1, and I know this has been accepted, but one thing I think you're missing is a player looking to exploit this might do well to mention ahead of time to the DM. I think you've interpreted the RAW correctly, but it still has a loophole-ish feel, and worth a heads-up to the DM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Jun 16 at 14:29

It depends on what action casting a spell from an item counts as

There are two standard actions that might apply when casting a spell from a magic item. When you use your Wand of Fireballs you might be using the 'use magic item' action, but at the same time the item tells you can "cast the fireball spell [...] from it" which would be the 'cast a spell' action, a totally different action. We have two related questions here who each have a (currently) accepted answer that seem to contradict each other, stating one and the other. This one says you are just using an item, while this one claims you are casting a spell.

Why is this distinction relevant? Because of the rules for readying a spell. If you were just using an item, you could do what you want without issue, however when readying to cast fireball from your wand were to count as casting a spell, then these rules on p. 193 of the PHB would apply emphasis mine:

When you ready a spell, you cast it as normal but hold its energy

This would mean that you actually cast the spell from the magic item on your turn (and then hold it). But as you cannot cast leveled spells on your turn if your have already cast a bonus action spell, you would not be able to ready a spell from a magic item.

This means that in the end this is going to be a weird edge case were the rules could be interpreted either way and your DM will be the final arbiter of how to handle this, depending on which standard action he interprets casting a spell from a magic item as.

I am curious to see how this will be handled in the new PHB scheduled to come out in September of this year, because in the playtest material both of these actions have been combined into the 'Magic action' which reads:

When you take the Magic action, you magic something by casting a spell that has a casting time of an action or by using a feature or Magic Item that requires a Magic action to be activated.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for some worthwhile points . . . however, the question you link to, "How does readying an effect or spell granted by a magic item work?" references the Cape of the Montebank, which uses different wording than many other magic items. I'm not sure that question is relevant to magic items as a whole. Interesting thought about the September update. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Jun 16 at 14:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jack. Thanks. The question is using the cape as an example but its mainly worded in a neutral way for all magic items. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 16 at 14:47

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