Dispel Magic 5e | Complete Guide – 2023

dispel magic 5e the complete guide

Dungeons and Dragons let you do many cool things that other tabletop games do not venture into. From roleplaying as a Bard, a Monk, a Fighter, a Wizard, or much of anything else, to dispensing magical abilities and cantrips, you will never feel like your ordinary human self while in the middle of a great campaign- even if you play as the variant Human. 

In this article, we will talk about 5E Dispel Magic. What is it, who can use it, when, where, and how? We will talk about all that and some more in this DnD Dispel Magic guide:

D&D 5e Dispel Magic Explained 

The best way to understand Dispel Magic is to see what the game says about it. Here is how Dispel Magic 5E is described in DnD:

“Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a successful check, the spell ends.”

At higher levels, when you cast dispel magic spell with a level 4 or higher spell slot, you get to end its effects on the target automatically, given the spell level is either lower or equal to the level of the spell slot used.

  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: 120 feet
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • School: Abjuration
  • Level: 3
  • Class: Artificer, Cleric, Bard, Druid, Sorcerer, Paladin, Warlock, and Wizard
  • Damage/ Effect: Control
  • Attack/ Save: Caster’s spellcasting ability
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic

Dispel Magic is essentially a 3rd-level Abjuration spell that lets the caster target a magical effect and terminates said effect. If the spell slot employed to cast the 5E Dispel Magic is equal to or higher than the spell effect being targeted, the spell promptly ends.

If not, a saving throw must be made with their spellcasting ability to terminate the effect. Note that the saving throw’s DC is equal to 10 + the spell level. Dispel spell is considered as one of the best 5e spells for the artificer. It is preferred many classes as we discussed about it down in our post.

Who Can Use Dispel 5E? 

A darling of Arcana magic, 5E Dispel Magic is present on almost every spellcaster’s spell list. As for who can wield dispel 5e power, Bards (tiefling bard), Druids, Clerics, Warlocks, Sorcerers ( divine & aasimar) , and Wizards hold this specific ability beginning at level 5 once they get their first level 3 slots.

As for Paladins and Artificers, they will have to wait it out till level 9. Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters must wait until level 14 before they have a spell slot level that is high enough to take 5E Dispel Magic.

When, Where & How to Use Dispel Magic? 

You can use 5E Dispel Magic to terminate the effects of dangerous spells both in and out of combat. It can also be used on concentration spells such as Call Lightning and Black Tentacles. What about Ceremony and Invisibility? You can use Dispel Magic here too.

As for how you must use D&D 5E Dispel Magic, there are different things to take note of for players and DMs. Take a look.

For Players:

players using dispel magic 5e

You can use 5E Dispel Magic on a large number of spells, as long as there is a spell to target. Many magical effects exist, but those produced by Wild Shape and other such innate abilities will not be impacted.

We recommend using Dispel Magic to halt immediately harmful spells such as Call Lightning, Black Tentacles, Blade Barrier, Ice Storm, and Delayed Blast Fireball

Outside of combat, enchanted doors, objects, and even people can be affected by 5E Dispel Magic. Shapechangers might not be affected, but NPCs using spells like Alter and Disguise Self can be returned to their initial state if you use Dispel Magic on them, letting players confirm their identities.

Note that this power does not impact Antimagnetic Fields at all, and if used- even at higher spell slots- the spell will fizzle out, doing nothing.

For Dungeon Masters:

If you are a DM, you would want to ensure there are ways for your players to interact with the DnD world using 5E Dispel Magic. Replace a spell or two here and there from a pre-generated monster’s spell list with a concentration spell, and you will allow your players to have a satisfying cancellation during combat.

Outside of combat, having an invisible wall or a hidden message behind a magical script can let your players flex their magical muscles with the help of Dispel Magic 5E.

If you want to amp up the creativity, create a magical labyrinth that is traversable once by dispelling the magical effect on the hallway. Having a powerful mage offer the party a chance to dispel their Magic and gain information or passage is also a great idea!


There are numerous options and ways to play around with Dispel Magic 5E, as long as you know which kind of campaign appeals to you. If you are a player, use this power judiciously and smartly. If you are a DM, make an effort to offer a fun and adventurous game for your players where they get to flex their 5E Dispel Magic ability. Happy questing!


No, 5E Dispel Magic only stops the effect of a spell without interrupting the casting of a spell.

No, since Wild Shape is not a spell, as per the rules, Dispel Magic 5E does not affect it.

Yes, you can. In fact, using Dispel Magic 5E on a Simulacrum will make the Simulacrum immediately turn back into the material that was used to create it.

Dispel Magic targets magical effects instead of creatures, so as long as you can perceive the magical effect behind the invisibility (like Detect Magic), you can target the effect.

The text of Dispel Magic states that it ends a spell on a target, and since the spell effect isn’t on the caster, the spell that the caster is concentrating on will not end. Similarly, concentration spells will not end if the target happens to move out of range.

Bestow Curse isn’t an instantaneous effect. Instead, it requires concentration so the spell can be dispelled with Dispel Magic or similar means.

The only way to dispel Divine Shield is through the Priest’s Mass Dispel or the Warrior’s Shattering Throw.

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