When casting a spell as a bonus action, you can't cast another spell on the same turn except a 1-action cantrip - can the order be "reversed"? Can you cast a cantrip first as a bonus action, then any other spell? If not, would it be broken to allow it?

I'm thinking a Sorcerer casting a Quickened true strike, then casting a leveled spell requiring a touch attack. Seems like a great use of the cantrip + Metamagic feature, but it seems like it is not allowed.


No, the order doesn't matter

You cannot cast another spell if you've cast a bonus action spell, and you can't cast a bonus action spell if you've already cast a spell with your action.

"You can't cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of one action" (PHB 202)

That precludes both before or after the action spell.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, just realised this Sorc 'trick' wouldn't work, because True Strike states that you gain the effect during your next turn. Bummer--clearly they did not want this to happen. \$\endgroup\$ – Khashir Sep 7 '14 at 19:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had a small follow-up--if you cast a L>1 spell with your action, can you then cast a cantrip with Quickened Spell as a bonus action? \$\endgroup\$ – Khashir Oct 3 '14 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Khashir No. You'd have to be able to cast a spell as a bonus action, and you can't do that if you've already cast one as an action. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Oct 3 '14 at 17:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. So, Quickened Hold Monster, then Shocking Grasp is OK, but not the other way around? To be honest, I don't remember why this came up... Long week, I guess. \$\endgroup\$ – Khashir Oct 3 '14 at 23:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Could you address these bits about order in the answer? The comments seem to contradict the answer, so I think crafting it into a coherent whole would improve clarity. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 8 '15 at 22:32

The restriction applies regardless of the order

The rule on bonus-action spells states:

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.

No matter when the bonus action spell is cast, you cannot have cast another spell except for a cantrip with a casting time of one action for the entire turn. This turn-based stipulation does indeed mean the restriction applies retroactively. It doesn't matter what order - as long as the two spells are cast (or attempted to be cast) on the same turn, the restriction applies.

Jeremy Crawford has also clarified and agrees with this:

Q: How do bonus action spell rules go when a noncantrip is cast as a single action then a bonus action spell?

JC: If you cast a spell of 1st-level or higher with 1 action, you can't then cast a bonus action spell.

Note that things can get confusing when applying this rule and this question has a nice table showing all the legal and illegal combinations.


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