Counterspell 5e is a spell that is the bane of many a DM. It can totally halt gameplay, and it is possible to block a spell from causing an effect, but can a player block that block? Is Counterspell a Counterspell possible in RAW 5e DnD? Well, it depends.
Magic users countering each other’s Counterspells could add some intensity to the battlefield and give more fight time to squishier characters. On the other hand, this situation in DnD can devolve into Wizard’s ping pong while the Barbarian and Bard look on with increasing boredom. Ultimately it is up to the DM to decide gameplay in their campaign.
The real question is if the rules allow a player to cast Counterspell to counter a Counterspell, should they?
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You can Counterspell a Counterspell 5e in RAW
Though the Player’s Handbook does not explicitly state the rule regarding casting Counterspell on a Counterspell, Wizards of the Coast clarifies the issue in their Sage Advice Compendium. According to WOTC, a player casting Counterspelling Counterspell in 5e DnD is possible. It could even be situationally advantageous.
A player would cast Counterspell on a Counterspell as a reaction. A reaction is an instant response to a situation. The most common type of reaction is an Attack of Opportunity when a player passes near another without Disengaging.
Reactions in 5e DnD usually occur during another character’s turn. Once you use a reaction, you cannot use another until the beginning of your next turn.
Players can use certain spells as reactions, such as Feather Fall and Counterspell. The caster just needs to have their reaction spell prepared. According to WOTC, a player can use their reaction to Counterspell Counterspell, assuming they meet the criteria.
However, just because WOTC says it is possible doesn’t mean all players and DMs agree.
When should you Counterspell a Counterspell 5e?
Assuming the DM allows it, a caster can use their reaction to Counterspell Counterspell if they still have their reaction available. Players only have one reaction per turn. For example, if a player has already made an Attack of Opportunity, they must wait to cast Counterspell until the beginning of their next turn.
Without situational limitations, a spell caster can cast Counterspell in an encounter if a Wizard begins to cast Fireball. Then the opposing Wizard, who has already prepared Counterspell, uses the spell as a reaction. An instant later, the first Wizard casts Counterspell as a reaction, which negates the second Wizard’s Counterspell, and roasts the opposing Wizard with Fireball. This series of events is allowed in 5e, according to WOTC.
When asked whether a player can use Counterspell on a Counterspell, most DMs would respond, “It depends.” In a situation where the party is just watching two Wizards cast Fireball and Counterspell back and forth, the DM may intervene.
How to Respond to Counterspell a Counterspell as a DM
Running a campaign doesn’t mean everyone is limited to actions only relevant to the main story. Having the plot you’ve been spending weeks developing turned on its head is part of the beauty of DnD. Most DMs want to roleplay and combat to develop naturally and be well-rounded.
However, DMs should know how to read a situation and when and how to intervene. A DnD campaign is as much planned storytelling as it is improv. DMs need to be able to read their players’ responses. As a DM, I have “adjusted” the hp of a BBEG or thrown in a few more NPCs into a fight, depending on how it’s going.
If a player using Counterspell against a Counterspell throws everything off balance, resulting in a less enjoyable encounter, then intervene.
The point of playing DnD is for players to enjoy encounters, including the DM. Having a two-hour back-and-forth Wizard battle might only be fun when the Barbarian has had enough, Rages, and breaks one of the Wizards in half.
According to the RAW, a player can cast Counterspell to Counterspell in 5e DnD. The DM should make sure that everyone is having fun and it’s not just Wizards playing Fireball hot potato. As long as it’s well-balanced and all players enjoy themselves, Counterspell Counterspell to your heart’s content.
Counterspell a Counterspell 5e FAQs
Can You Cast More Than One Spell Per Turn In 5e DnD?
You can cast more than one spell as long as one spell is a bonus action spell and the other is a Cantrip spell that costs one Action. If a magic user has levels in Fighter and access to Action Surge, they can cast two spells per turn.
Can You Counter A Spell Twice In 5e DnD?
A magic user can only counter a single spell once. Once the caster successfully counters it, the spell loses the ability to affect gameplay.
Can You Cast Counterspell While Casting Another Spell In 5e Dnd?
Yes, players can cast Counterspell as a reaction after they cast another spell if another player recalls their original spell.
Can You Cast Counterspell On Your Own Counterspell?
No, you cannot cast Counterspell during a spell action.
Jillian started learning Dungeons & Dragons in 2014. After being encouraged by a friend to make a character, she became fully involved in character creation and later became an awesome Dungeon Master. Jillian strives to use her creativity to spread her knowledge of DnD and interpret the ruleset.