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Banishment: How This 4th-Level D&D Spell Works

Are you looking for a 4th-level spell that can effectively remove any enemy from the battlefield? A spell that every caster should have in their toolbox? Let me introduce you to Banishment.

How Does It Work?

Banishment is a spell that can be learned by paladins, clerics, sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards, takes a single reaction to cast, and requires verbal, somatic, and material components (an item distasteful to the target). When cast, banishment attempts to banish one creature that you can see within 60 ft to another plane of existence. The target must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or be banished.

If the target is native to the caster’s current plane, they are banished to a harmless demiplane for one minute (or until the caster’s concentration is broken). If they are not native to the current plane, they are banished to their plane of origin; if concentration on banishment is maintained for one minute, the target will be permanently banished to their home plane. Otherwise, the target reappears in its previous location after one minute has passed, or once the caster loses concentration on the spell- whichever comes first.

At higher levels, banishment can target additional creatures. For each spell slot above 5th, banishment can target one other creature.

What’s So Great About It?

This spell provides powerful battlefield control, allowing a caster to eliminate up to 6 creatures from the battlefield at a time. Because it requires a Charisma throw to resist the effect, it is effective against many monsters, especially tanks, that have low Charisma. After removing these mooks from the battle, it is easy to focus and defeat the remaining enemy spellcasters and more intelligent targets.

Banishment also allows characters to set up the most optimal battlefield conditions. After banishing an enemy, characters can move into strategic positions around where the enemy will reappear. Characters can ready a round of attacks for when the creature returns to their plane of existence, allowing them to have an extra round of attacks, potentially crippling if not outright killing an enemy.

What Can Neutralize the Spell?

Counterspell can interrupt and prevent the casting of banishment. Dispel magic can also dispel the effect of banishment after it has been cast.

Because banishment requires the caster to maintain concentration on the spell, any damage or other effects, such as paralysis or incapacitation, that causes the caster to lose concentration, will interrupt the spell.

Other Uses

Banishment is primarily used as a combat spell, but could also be used in non-combat situations. For instance, banishment could be utilized in infiltration or stealth situations, to banish any guards that notice the party before they can raise the alarm.

Banishment can also be used to protect vulnerable ally targets. For instance, if characters are tasked with protecting a royal family, and the family is under attack or being carried away by enemy combatants, banishment can be used on the royal family to keep them safely out of combat until the enemies can be dealt with.

Banishment can be especially potent when fighting creatures from other planes. If there are a few other-planar entities, a single spellcaster that successfully banishes those creatures can “defeat” the monsters with only a single spell slot. This saves the party time and valuable resources.

Banishment also has some powerful synergies with sorcerer metamagic which should be mentioned. Once sorcerous metamagic, called Distant Spell, allows the caster to double the range of a spell cast as long as the spell’s range is 5 ft or greater. This is especially powerful with banishment because you can sit outside of the range of an enemy’s potential counterspell ability and banish enemy targets. Because they are unable to counterspell you when you are over 60 feet away, you can successfully banish them without fear of retribution.

Overall, Banishment is a powerful spell that can counteract any spell being cast by an enemy. Plus, as a 4th level spell, it is something that a mid-level spellcaster can learn and use to easily turn the tide of battle in favor of your party throughout your entire campaign.

How have you used Banishment to defeat your enemies and ensure victory for your party? Tell us in the comments below!


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