Counterspell DnD 5e: Mechanics and Guide to Use

Casting Time

1 reaction

Casting Time





60 feet


Sorcerer, Wizard, Warlock









Spell Description:

You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell of 3rd level or lower, its spell fails and has no effect.

If it is casting a spell of 4th level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s spell fails and has no effect.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the interrupted spell has no effect if its level is less than or equal to the level of the spell slot you used.

3rd level, Abjuration, Control

Level: Sorcerer (5), Warlock (5), Wizard (5), Bard (10, Magical Secrets), Eldritch Knight (13), Arcane Trickster (13)

Materials Required: None

Number of Targets: 1 magical effect

Die Type: None

Number of Dice: None

Damage Type: None

Save: None

Damage On Successful Save: N/A

Statuses Inflicted: Spell cast is interrupted

Status Duration: Instantaneous

Affected By Cover: No

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: None

What is Counterspell?

Counterspell is a 3rd level Abjuration spell. The caster attempts to interrupt the casting of a spell. If the spell level is lower than the spell slot level of the slot used to cast the spell, the caster will automatically interrupt the casting.

If the spell slot is higher, the caster must make an ability check with their spellcasting ability. The check’s DC is equal to 10 + the level of the spell being cast.

Who can cast Counterspell?

Counterspell can be cast by Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Wizards starting at the 5th level. Bards can cast this spell when they get Magical Secrets (10th level for all, 6th for Lore Bards).

Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters can take the spell once they get their first 3rd level spell slots at the 13th class level.

When and Where should I cast Counterspell?

Counterspell should be used to stop the casting of powerful spells in battle. You will have to counter the spell before you see the full breadth of its effect, so one should be judicious when casting the spell.

Why should I take Counterspell?

Anyone who can take Counterspell should. Being able to say “no” to a spell is always going to be helpful.

Alternatives to Counterspell

Common Questions About Counterspell

Can you Counterspell a Counterspell?

Yes. Counterspell’s reaction is triggered by a creature casting a spell, and Counterspell is a spell.

Can you Counterspell a cantrip?

Yes. Counterspell will counter a cantrip by default.

Can you Counterspell yourself?

Yes. It would be possible to react to your own spellcasting action by countering it.

Can you Counterspell Power Word Kill?

Yes. Power Word Kill is a spell, and therefore can be countered.