Antimagic field is the pinnacle of abjuration spells. Like all abjuration, it has to do with the casting of spells in a very meta, general sense.
An abjurer doesn’t just cast spells; they cast spells that mess with the rules of magic in general.
Think of it like this: Most anyone can drive a car. A mechanic, however, can drive a car and understand what’s actually happening and then maximize the car’s ability to perform.
Abjurers are like that for magic, and when magic starts to get too threatening, they can simply cast an antimagic field and turn it off.
This spell nullifies any magical effect within a 10-foot sphere surrounding you; this makes it one of the most powerful spells in the game.
Antimagic Field Stats
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: 10 ft. from self
- Duration: 1 hour
- School: Abjuration
- Class: Wizard, Cleric
- Level: 8
- Damage/Effect: control
- Attack/Save: None
- Components: V, S, M (iron fillings)
- Ritual/Concentration: Concentration
Spell Description: Antimagic Field
A 10-foot-radius invisible sphere of antimagic surrounds you. This area is divorced from the magical energy that suffuses the multiverse. Within the sphere, spells can’t be cast, summoned creatures disappear, and even magic items become mundane. Until the spell ends, the sphere moves with you, centered on you.
Spells and other magical effects, except those created by an artifact or a deity, are suppressed in the sphere and can’t protrude into it. A slot expended to cast a suppressed spell is consumed. While an effect is suppressed, it doesn’t function, but the time it spends suppressed counts against its duration.
Areas of Magic. The area of another spell or magical effect, such as fireball, can’t extend into the sphere. If the sphere overlaps an area of magic, the part of the area that is covered by the sphere is suppressed. For example, the flames created by a wall of fire are suppressed within the sphere, creating a gap in the wall if the overlap is large enough.
Spells. Any active spell or other magical effect on a creature or an object in the sphere is suppressed while the creature or object is in it.
Magic Items. The properties and powers of magic items are suppressed in the sphere. For example, a longsword, +1 in the sphere functions as a nonmagical longsword.
A magic weapon’s properties and powers are suppressed if it is used against a target in the sphere or wielded by an attacker in the sphere. If a magic weapon or a piece of magic ammunition fully leaves the sphere (for example, if you fire a magic arrow or throw a magic spear at a target outside the sphere), the magic of the item ceases to be suppressed as soon as it exits.
Magical Travel. Teleportation and planar travel fail to work in the sphere, whether the sphere is the destination or the departure point for such magical travel. A portal to another location, world, or plane of existence as well as an opening to an extradimensional space such as that created by the rope trick spell temporarily closes while in the sphere.
Creatures and Objects. A creature or object summoned or created by magic temporarily winks out of existence in the sphere. Such a creature instantly reappears once the space the creature occupied is no longer within the sphere.
Dispel Magic. Spells and magical effects such as dispel magic have no effect on the sphere. Likewise, the spheres created by different antimagic field spells don’t nullify each other.
Who Can Cast Antimagic Field?
Clerics and Wizards can both cast antimagic field.
For Clerics, this adds to their divine flavor. The idea here is that their holy power or their divine sponsorship is not from this world and is therefore not subject to the same rules of reality.
For wizards, this adds to their flavor as experts in magical studies. They know both how to use magic and how to turn it off.
Sadly, artificers, bards, sorcerers, druids, and warlocks do not know this spell. Personally, I’ve found this a bit arbitrary and frustrating, but them’s the rules. There is nothing against your DM allowing you to cast this spell, however. (To make it work on DnD Beyond, simply create a homebrew copy of the spell and then add it to your class’s spell list.)
It is reasonable to find flavor for any spellcasting class to have access to this spell. That being said, in the RAW, only the most basic of spellcasters can cast antimagic field.
Is Antimagic Field a Good Spell To Know?
This depends on what type of caster you consider yourself.
Do you like to drop nukes on the bad guys, or do you prefer to change the paradigm of the battlefield environment? If you said yes to the second, then you need an antimagic field.
If you are a support caster who enjoys supporting the other PCs to meet their full potential, that is another reason to take antimagic field.
As the party’s primary magical expert, it is up to you to counter enemy magic. This spell obviously works to that end.
Considering the other 8th-level spells on the wizard and cleric lists, then yes, Antimagic field is one of the better ones.
It does compete with spells like clone, control weather, and demiplane for general awesomeness; however, no other spell can duplicate what antimagic field can do with any reasonable effectiveness.
Basically, if you are a spellcaster who has friends and likes them, you should take this spell.
When Should You Cast Antimagic Field?
Whenever the enemy spellcaster starts thinking they’re better than you, cast this spell. Show them just how powerful they are when they enter your space.
Simply put, they aren’t.
When you notice a magical trap is coming your way, cast this spell. It will nullify the trap and leave you and your closest friends (physically closest, anyway) in your safe space.
If you notice the enemy spellcaster is about to cast their own antimagic field, you could counter it with your own casting of this spell to show them that they can’t shut you out, either.
Basically, like all abjuration spells, antimagic field proves you are the better magic user, even if you aren’t the most flashy or the most powerful.
Common Questions About Antimagic Field
Does This Spell Destroy Undead?
This is a sticky question. If the undead are summoned, they are un-summoned for as long as the antimagic field remains in the space they occupied.
If the undead are animated via the animate dead spell, they are un-animated for as along as the antimagic field remains in the space they occupied.
If they are simply wild undead who are powered by their own will, such as liches or ghosts, then they are not affected.
If they are animated by a magical zone that creates or sustains undead, they wink out of existence during the antimagic field’s duration.
Does a Bag of Holding Work Within an Antimagic Field?
No. The bag becomes a normal bag of its size, and its contents are inaccessible, locked into their extradimensional space until it leaves the antimagic field.
Do Artificer Infusions or Arcane Armor Work in an Antimagic Field?
Yes. While this armor is called arcane armor, the weapons count as simple melee and ranged weapons. Furthermore, the armor is not counted as magical, though it does become an arcane focus for you.
So, you can’t cast spells, but you can use the other features of the armor.
Can You Maintain Concentration on a Spell While in the Antimagic Field if the Spell Is active Outside the Field?
This is a clever attempt at a loophole, but no. It won’t work. While within the antimagic field, all active spells cease, and your connection to all magic stops. No magic may happen within the sphere.
For the DMs
There are few spells that lend themselves to DMs like antimagic field. With this spell, you have the precedent to create entire antimagic environments in your adventures as a means to alter the terrain.
While you could make an entire room an antimagic field, it would be best for your players if you could somehow attach each antimagic field to a feature within the environment.
For example, if a room has several columns holding up the ceiling, place an antimagic field surrounding each column. This way, magic still works, but your spell casters will have to do some mental gymnastics to work out their lines and areas of effect.
Another fun feature would be to have a roving antimagic field that moves either randomly or along a predetermined path at a predictable speed. This feature will give your players another aspect of the battlefield to consider, exploit, or avoid to make the encounter memorable.
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I played the game a lot as a kid, back in first edition. Over the past few years since 5e was released, I’ve really started getting back into it. Currently, I run a campaign online for some friends and my brothers, and we also play a side-sesh just to mix things up.