Can You Counterspell a Counterspell in 5E?

Counterspell is one of the most controversial spells in all of 5E. DMs hate it, as it can wreck the big, powerful spellcasting you planned on throwing at them. Players aren’t keen on being counterspelled either, as it means their big moment goes up in flames. That leaves some players wondering, “can you counterspell a counterspell?” If your party has multiple spellcasters, nullifying a counterspell could really turn the tide in a fight. The good news is that rules as written, you can counterspell a counterspell in 5E.

You Can Counterspell a Counterspell

can you counterspell a counterspell

Counterspell gives you the power to nullify a spell from another spellcaster. For obvious reasons, this is a powerful option that could upend combat with a single casting. But can a player cast counterspell when someone else is casting counterspell? The answer is yes. Let’s look at the spell description:

Counterspell 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.

The spell description says it all. if the creature is casting a spell of 34d level or lower, the spell fails and has no effect. In other words, you can counter any spell in 5E this way, including counterspell. Of course, the rules about upcasting still apply. That means if the target cast counterspell at a higher level, you will need to make a roll to determine if counterspelling a counterspell was successful.

What Happens if Counterspelled gets Counterspelled?

If the second counterspell is successful, the original spellcaster is not interrupted after all. The first spell cast goes off without a hitch, and the character or NPC that was successfully counterspelled is down a spell slot.

Can You Counterspell a Wand in 5E?

You can counterspell a spell cast through a wand in 5E. This is true if the target is using the wand as an arcane focus. It is also true if the wand is magical and includes some inherent spellcasting abilities. Again, the critical question is whether or not a spell is being cast. If a target uses a wand that has a spell-like effect but is not explicitly casting a spell, counterspell will not work.


That wraps up our guide. Counterspell remains a powerful option in 5E, even against other targets casting counterspell themselves. If you found this guide helpful, be sure to let us know in the comment section. If you are looking for more 5E content, be sure to check out our 5E Starting Gold Guide.

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