Yes, magic is a lot of fun to fight your enemies with. However, getting hit by a powerful spell is a lot less fun. To avoid getting burned to a crisp or turned into a frog, you can use the Antimagic Field spell!
In this guide, we will go in-depth and tell you all there is to know about this underrated spell. We are basing this Antimagic Field 5e advice on our own campaigns, experience as DMs, and the input of our community.
Antimagic field requirements and stats
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: Self (10-foot-radius sphere)
- Target: Self (10-foot-radius sphere)
- Components: V S M (A pinch of powdered iron or iron fillings)
- Duration: Up to 1 hour
- Classes: Cleric, Wizard
When you cast this level 8 aberration spell, a 10-foot radius of antimagic will surround you. In that 10-foot radius, some items will disappear, and spells will no longer work. Magical items will have the same effects and stats as their mundane counterparts.
In short, only spells that are created by an artifact or a deity will have an effect. Target spells, area of effect magic, active spells, magical effects, and magic items will all be suppressed inside the field. Magical travel and teleportation also stop working inside the sphere.
Whenever you move, your antimagic field will simply follow you. You are always the center of the 10-foot radius.
Pros and cons
Nullifying such a wide array of magic is powerful and has a lot of pros, but there are also a lot of significant drawbacks. Make sure you know these before you cast the spell, as you might be caught surprised by one of them.
- Neutralizes Spellcasters: If your DM enjoys sending out unbalanced hordes with many or only spellcasters towards your party, well, this spell is going to put a swift end to that. If your enemy relies on long-range spells, you can go to the front of the party and just have those spells nullified. Have your tank stand next to or just in front of you for thrown weapon attacks, and you are set.
- Great against magical traps and wards: If you don’t want to take the time or risk to dispel a magical trap, you can just cast antimagic field and walk over it. The trap or ward will automatically be dispelled. However, a smart DM will often place a regular trap too.
- Great for ambushes: If you are setting an ambush and you have a high stealth, you can easily neutralize the wizards of the party. You should pair this with a distraction so the tank and front line of the party are distracted and do not notice that their backline is being ambushed. Minor illusion is great for that.
- Helps you detect magic: If you do not have access to detect magic for some reason, then the antimagic field spell in 5e might be an okay alternative. You will be able to figure out if some items or areas are imbued with magic pretty easily too.
- Disrupts your allies’ spells: If your allies’ spells fly through your 10 feet radius, or if you are the target of one of them, they will be dispelled. So make sure you do not need healing or buffs.
- No more magic items for you: If you have magical items that you rely on, bad luck. These no longer work. So, your beads of fireballs will just be regular beads. Make sure that you are not targeted by melee and regular ranged attacks if you rely on magic like mage armor.
- Short range: 10 feet is not much. While the center of the spell is always going to be you, this radius is often not enough to protect all your allies adequately. Even more so when you are trying to escape and multiple party members have different movement speeds.
- Magical creatures are unaffected: You aren’t going to disintegrate a magical creature that steps into your antimagic field. So if you are battling one that relies on melee attacks, you are in for a world of hurt if your backup isn’t anywhere near you.
Best Antimagic field uses
1. Protect Yourself and Others Against Mind Control
Mind control through charm and suggestion can have a significant impact, not just on you or your allies, but also on nobles and even kings. A great way to get rid of pesky adventurers is to control the mind of a high-ranking official and make up charges to arrest them.
In battles with mind flayers and powerful vampires, having an antimagic field to prevent mind control is extremely useful as well.
2. Interrupt Magical Attacks
By far, the most common use for this spell is to interrupt a magical attack. If your party huddles up around you in the 10-foot radius, almost every spell targeted towards them will be dispelled. If you are fighting enemy spellcasters and your allies are using ranged weapons, this can make a hard battle trivial.
3. Have a Shield Against AOE Attacks
You never know when you and your allies are in a blast radius. While most AOE spells don’t deal very high individual damage, if you are at a higher level, not all your allies and minions can tank those hits well. If you have an antimagic field, you can easily protect yourself, weaklings, and small objects against fireballs and similar spells.
4. Secure a Person of Interest
Do you hate escort missions? Me too. However, quite a few DMs just love to hand them out. Of course, most DMs also make these NPCs you need to escort as feeble as possible. A single well-pointed magic arrow could take them out. So, in addition to a dedicated tank who protects them from projectiles, having an antimagic field is also a pretty good idea.
5. Prevent Teleportation and Planar Travel
Are you dealing with an enemy who likes to teleport away at the last moment? Do you not want to deal with a summoned Planar ally? Well, just use your antimagic field to prevent it. The big downside to this use, however, is the 10-foot range. You need to be pretty close to the spot where the summoning or teleportation is taking place. That means you will be in harm’s way if there is a melee user nearby.
6. Investigate Magical Items and Traps
If you want to check out a trap or a magical item and you aren’t sure if it is safe to investigate, just use the spell! The trap won’t go off, and the magical effect of the weapon won’t trigger if you are near it.
As mentioned, do look out for sneaky DMs. If you have been using your antimagic field a lot, your DM might set up a regular trap too to mess with you. My favorite way to go about this is to set up a convoluted magic trap and just place a trap hole in front of it. Your confident wizard will just stroll through but fall into the regular old school trap.
7. Halt Divination Magic
Scrying can become quite a problem if you are dealing with a sneaky enemy that has the ability to put together ambushes or can escape quickly. Your antimagic field will stop divination magic from listening in on conversations and locating you. Make sure your allies are also in the radius of effect to make sure this strategy works at its best.
If you are looking for a great defensive spell to protect yourself from spellcasters, dark wizards, liches, and any other magic aficionados, look no further. Antimagic field offers one of the best protections against spells you will find.
However, there are also quite a few downsides. The most significant of these is the very short range of the spell, the fact that your allies’ spells no longer work on you, and that your magical items are now equivalent to their mundane counterparts.
If you plan well, however, these drawbacks are easily avoided and mitigated by smart playing and preparation.
How can you dispel the antimagic field in 5e?
There are a few ways to dispel the antimagic field spell in 5e. The best one is to cast a counterspell that is of a higher level than the field. There is also the theory that if you cast a second antimagic field, it will cancel out the first one. Then there is also the Globe of Invulnerability spell. This can negate the field if it is of a higher level. Special abilities like the Death Tyrant´s antimagic cone can also nullify the spell.
How can you bypass the antimagic field?
There are a few ways to bypass the antimagic field. Firstly, nonmagical abilities still work normally, so a regular sword will still be just as sharp inside the area of effect. Secondly, legendary actions by some powerful creatures like the dragon’s wing attack still work. Thirdly, creatures with magic immunity, such as golems can still go inside the field. Fourthly, items with non-magical effects still work. For example, the bag of holding’s effect is not considered magical. Fifthly, some special abilities can also help bypass the antimagic field. A good example is a spellcaster that shape-changes to transform into a creature with non-magical attacks.