The Trickery Domain Cleric gains the 2nd level Channel Divinity: Invoke Duplicity which grants that(PHB, 63)

For the duration, you can cast spells as though you were in the illusion’s space, but you must use your own senses.

You are casting as though you are in the illusion's space, but also using your own senses.

If a counterspell is attempted, is the correct target the illusion or the Cleric if only one is in range?


1 Answer 1


The Cleric, needs to be in range for the spell to work, but you can cast counterspell if you see either of them casting a spell:

Counterspell has a casting time of:

1 reaction, which you take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you Casting a Spell

So you would think that you would need to be able to see a real creature casting a spell to have this work. However, Jeremy Crawford, 5e lead rules designer, responded on twitter to two questions about this topic on twitter.

Q1: Hi!! Quick q: Trickery cleric uses Invoke Duplicity to cast spells from. The illusory image that ID [sic] creates is then counterspelled in the process of casting a spell; does the counterspell stop the spell cast, or fail as it's an illusion?

A1: Invoke Duplicity doesn't protect a cleric from being counterspelled if the person casting counterspell can see the cleric/illusion and the cleric is within 60 feet of the caster.



Q2: Does seeing the illusion from Invoke Duplicity count as “seeing” the actual Cleric?

A2: Seeing the illusion created by Invoke Duplicity isn't the same as seeing >the cleric. However, seeing the illusion is sufficient for some things in the >game, like counterspell, that are triggered by seeing processes (seeing the >cleric casting a spell, for example).


Based on this ruling, if you can see either the illusion or the cleric themself in the process of casting a spell, you have a valid trigger for counterspell. This is even though the illusion isn't a creature. With that being said, Invoke Duplicity allows you to cast the spell as if you were in the illusion's space, but the Cleric is still the one casting the spell. Even if you react to the illusion appearing like it's casting a spell, the cleric needs to be in that 60 foot range for the counterspell to be successful, since they are the one who is going to be counterspelled.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically, the spell doesn't target a creature as described in its entry. This is one of those spells where I think they didn't consider this interaction and is poorly worded. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth I had that same thought at first, but we hashed it out for a while in chat and eventually found this sage advice where Jeremy Crawford confirms that counterspell targets a creature that is casting a spell. I'll fold that reference into my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 18:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Be that as it may I still think that this is an interaction that was not considered and goes against RAI for this edge case. I agree that your answer supports a strict RAW interpretation, however this seems to be an issue with illusions as a whole with regards to targeting rules, which has its own issues. I am unable to find a direct question in this specific regard to the developers anywhere yet though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 18:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth The only way I could see this going against RAI is if you could target illusions as creatures, even though they don't really exist. And even in the case that they are targetable as creatures, the illusion isn't casting a spell. The spell is cast as if it were in the space of the illusion, but the Cleric is performing the casting, so you would still need to target the Cleric for that reason. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth It's not that Counterspell is poorly worded, it's that "target" isn't a rigorously-defined parameter/statistic for spells (i.e. there's no "Target:" header under every spell). The spell doesn't have to call something out as a target for it to be a target. If the spell directly affects someone or something, it's a target of the spell. (Consider Burning Hands, which doesn't mention the word "target" anywhere.) Jeremy talks about this in the Sage Advice segment of Dragon Talk. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doval
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 20:53

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