How does Counterspell interact with the Detect Magic spell?

  1. If a character casts Counterspell against Detect Magic as it is being cast, will the caster of Detect Magic know this, or will they think there is no magic present for the duration of the spell? Does the caster of Detect Magic know it’s been counterspelled?

  2. RAW I assume the answer is no, but if Detect Magic is already cast and active, does Counterspell have any effect?

Can a caster use a readied spell to counterspell a lower (less potent) version of the same spell?

I have a scenario that will likely never happen, but I am curious in how it would work.

First, the preliminary, Combining Magical Effects:

The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don’t combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect — such as the highest bonus — from those castings applies while their durations overlap, or the most recent effect applies if the castings are equally potent and their durations overlap.

Now the setup:

Bob the 3nd-level Generic Wizard and Doug the 3rd-level Earth Wizard face off. Bob knows Doug’s favorite tactic and readies a spell. Doug casts Earth Tremor under Bob. The spell say, "You cause a tremor in the ground within range. Each creature other than you in that area must make a Dexterity saving throw."

But Bob was ready and casts Earth Tremor as a 2nd-level spell for his reaction making it more potent (more damage) in the same area.

So what happens?

Doug’s casting means Doug is not targeted by the tremor. But as a reaction Bob casts a more powerful version where Bob is not targeted by the spell. So does that overpower Doug’s spell? And if so, does that mean Bob no longer has to make a Dexterity save and Doug does?

There may be other spells that do this but Earth Tremor was the first I found with wording stating that regardless of the target point, the caster is not affected.

Does counterspell require seeing the casting or the caster?


Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you casting a spell

What does "you see" refer to, the creature or the casting of a spell? In other words, can you Counterspell for example, if you hear a creature within 60 feet of you casting a spell, and see the creature?

Example: You are behind someone with full-face helmet, and they cast a verbal-only spell at someone else in front of them. Can you Counterspell?

Is there a work around for Counterspell and Identifying a spell both using a reaction?

In order to Identify a spell being cast (XGtE p85)

a character can use their reaction to identify a spell as it’s being cast,

This is a problem because Counterspell (PH p228) also requires a reaction.

So if my intent is to identify the spell being cast and then counter it, I am unable to do both at the same time.

The only work around I have thought about is having a familiar attempt to identify the spell for me, and then telepathically relay the information so I can then counter it… But hes not terribly smart..

Any other options or solutions?

Ways to prevent Counterspell from being cast?

What ways can a character (PC or Monster) prevent an enemy from casting counterspell?

What I can think of so far:

  • Surprise the enemy and win initiative
  • Cause the enemy to be incapacitated (or stunned/paralyzed/unconscious)
  • Provoke the enemy into using a reaction earlier in the round (readied action, opportunity attack, previous spell)
  • Avoid using perceivable spell components
    • Sorcerer subtle spell metamagic
    • Level 20 Druid Archdruid feature
    • Casting a spell with only material components (eg. Minor Illusion)
  • Prevent somatic components
    • The enemy is holding objects in both hands
  • Block line of sight (often interferes with targeting)
    • Spells such as Fog Cloud, Darkness, etc.
    • Physical barriers such as walls or large creatures

Are there any other options available that I am missing?

Should the DM describe NPC spellcasting so that players can use Counterspell?

Going into battle, standing in front of a medusa and 2 nagas. I have line of sight on all 3. The DM says to make wisdom saving throw, without describing why.

After failing the saving throw, I’m mind controlled by a naga. When I question why, the DM tells me the naga cast a spell (but wouldn’t tell me what one, I assume dominate person, or charm person). To which, I respond, “okay I would use counterspell when I see the naga casting a spell in front of me though.”

The DM claimed I should have used counterspell earlier.

Considering that I could see the creature, am I correct in assuming there should have been a description of “you see the naga wave it’s arms” or “you see the naga begin to chant” before being asked to make a wisdom saving throw? Something to indicate this was a spell and not a effect of the room or something I couldn’t avoid?

P.S. He knows I have counterspell in a ring of spell storing ready.

Can I Hold a Dispel Magic spell to counter Counterspell? [duplicate]

Recently, when fighting wizards and spell casters, I’ve taken to a little trick of using my Action to Hold Action. With this Held Action I have readied a Dispel Magic with a trigger of a spell being cast. Basically a poor man’s counter spell.

As far as I can see, that’s within the remit of holding an action. Great!

It got me thinking though, that if a wizard casts Counterspell as their reaction, but I have a Dispel Magic ready on a trigger of “if I see a Counterspell” does one trump the other?

Chronomancer Wizard’s Rewind vs Counterspell

The Chronomancer archetype gains the ability to reclaim ineffective spells, Rewind.

As an immediate action after losing a spell due to a failed concentration check or after casting a spell that had no effect (such as due to successful saving throws, a failed caster level check to overcome spell resistance, or other immunities), the chronomancer can expend a number of points from his temporal pool equal to half the spell’s level (minimum 1) to immediately prepare the spell again, as if it had not been cast. Any material components expended in the original casting remain expended, as are actions used to cast the original spell.

Usually, this is pretty easy to judge… Failed your check vs. SR? Works. Enemy Saved on a negates spell? Works. Hit your ally who it did affect? Doesn’t work.

However, is it valid to use this ability if an enemy counterspells your attempted spell?