With the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemont comes a new school of magic, known as Dunamancy. This magic is only available to a select few Wizards, dedicated to unlocking ancient secrets. These Wizards are rewarded with devastating spells, new utility, and extreme flavor. One such spell is Temporal Shunt, a spell that makes sure you’ll save a life, just in time. This spell is, as written, only available to Chronurgy Wizards. Talk with your GM if you’d want to allow its use for other Wizard subclasses. To get the whole story, check out our Temporal Shunt 5E Guide.
Temporal Shunt 5E Guide
- Spell Level: 5th
- School: Transmutation
- Casting Time: 1 Reaction; when a creature makes an attack roll or starts a spellcast.
- Range: 120 ft
- Components: V, S
- Duration: 1 Round
- Class: Wizard (Chronurgy)
Upon using the spell, the target gets a Wisdom save or is banished for 1 round. Their attack or spell is wasted, and they don’t know you cast the spell on them. The banishment lasts until the start of their next turn. As the spell gets stronger, you can banish an additional creature within 30 ft of the first.
That’s pretty fantastic scaling! Let’s talk about why this spell might matter.
As a reaction, the target makes a Will Save or their turn is completely negated. Most people would agree that that’s a pretty solid use of your reaction; a good trade-off for you. This can be useful for saving lives early on, since you can negate high-level spells, or the turn of a potentially dangerous boss.
Because it’s a reaction to negate a turn, it’s extremely difficult for other magic users to counter. Even if they have anti-banishment magic prepared and ready to go, they’ll have trouble using it; the spell already fully countered a turn. It did its job. All they’d be doing is ending the banishment effect a tiny bit early.
The fact that the target doesn’t remember you casting the spell is fantastic flavor, since they’re thrown into another point in time. Sadly, that usually doesn’t matter too much, but it might keep a Boss from targeting you, if this is the first spell you cast in the fight.
The scaling of this spell is insane. You get to use your reaction to negate up to 5 creatures’ full turns. In terms of action economy, you’re running the banks!
Let’s compare this to the spell Banishment. This takes a higher level spell slot, only lasts one round, and uses Wisdom as a save, a much more commonly high saving throw. The upsides are that it only takes a reaction and it has a larger range, but… They’re pretty equivalent, otherwise.
This suggests that this is a rather expensive spell slot for this effect. One round really isn’t too long. And during that round, they’re completely gone, meaning that you can’t even target them with effects or beat them up, like Hold Monster would let you do.
I really wish this had a slightly less restrictive Reaction trigger. It would be a cool spell to use out of combat, since they forget that you casted it on them. That’s a somewhat minor gripe, but it would be funny to briefly zap your bard out of existence before they can make a move on the Princess.
…Unless you really stretch what “casting a spell” on someone means.
When Should You Use Temporal Shunt?
Despite how expensive it might seem, this is one of the strongest reaction spells in the game. Any wizard would take “as a reaction, banish 5 people,” and this spell lets you get there. However, this can really blow through spell slots if you’re not careful.
Use this to save lives or to stop a really potent threat. Fighters and Barbarians, for example, have rather poor Wisdom saves, so they are fairly likely to lose their turn to this. Also consider using this to negate an even higher level spell slot, since “casting a spell” is a trigger. While I think this is a rather expensive usage of a spell slot, using it to counter a Meteor Swarm can literally save the encounter.
An interesting usage of this is to dismount someone. If there’s a man riding a griffon, and you zap him out of existence during a flyby attack, he might reappear in a rather disadvantageous position; i.e., not on his mount. That can be a fun way to turn a dragonrider into very much not one.
When Better Options are Available
As mentioned above, Banishment is a rather good sidegrade for this spell. With a Level 5 spell slot, you can remove 2 people from combat for a full minute… But, that takes your action. And they’ll know you cast it on them. If you know that there are major threats in a fight, and need to take them out of a fight until your party is ready, use Banishment instead.
Also mentioned above is Hold Monster. If you want to take someone out of the fight, but also beat them up, then Hold Monster does the job quite well. However, the target gets to make a save every round, making it much riskier than Banishment.
A final option is Counterspell. Obviously, Counterspell has a much stricter reaction than Temporal Shunt, so it’s a less flexible option. But, it has slightly better anti-magic capability, doesn’t let your enemy make a save, and sometimes negates spells without a roll at all. Not to mention that it’s two levels lower.