Imagine Wizard A tries to cast fireball. Wizard B casts Counterspell as a reaction to try to nullify said fireball.

  • Can Wizard C cast counterspell as a reaction to nullify Wizard B's counterspell?
  • Can you have a group of Wizards of an indefinite population counterspelling each other ad nauseam?

1 Answer 1


You can Counterspell a Counterspell, yes. You're allowed to take reactions on your own turn, and casting Counterspell will trigger the reaction for Counterspell. This was confirmed in a Sage Advice column:

Can you also cast a reaction spell on your turn? You sure can! Here’s a common way for it to happen: Cornelius the wizard is casting fireball on his turn, and his foe casts counterspell on him. Cornelius has counterspell prepared, so he uses his reaction to cast it and break his foe’s counterspell before it can stop fireball.

There's one important restriction to mention here. If you cast a bonus action spell,

You can’t cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

So you can Counterspell the guy trying to Counterspell your Fireball, but you can't Counterspell the guy trying to Counterspell your Expedititous Retreat (for example).

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a really strange caveat about bonus actions spells, but it is on PHB (p.202). I think I might elect to house-rule ignore it unless there is some compelling reason it was put in place. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dumpcats
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 5:42
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ @Dumpcats I'm pretty sure it's mostly meant to prevent casting both a bonus action spell and a regular action spell, so houseruling it to allow reaction spells shouldn't break anything. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 5:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ just to be sure I've got my head around it, C could Counterspell B's Counterspell to A's Expeditious Retreat, right? The failure comes when it's ABA, and A's tried to use two bonus-time spells? \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 Yep, it's just A who can't cast another spell that turn. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 13:32

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