Mind Blank: D&D 5e Spell Guide

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Abjuration is a fun school of magic.

Between shielding spells, protective wards, and magical traps, it lets a clever spellcaster find cool ways to interact with the world around them.

Let’s take a look at one of the more powerful abjuration spells.


Mind Blank

Type: 8th Level Abjuration
Casting Time: One Action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: 24 Hours

As a touch spell, you have to make contact with a willing creature (including potentially yourself).

For the duration of the spell, a creature you cast the spell on gets the following buffs:

  • The creature is immune to psychic damage
  • The creature can’t have its emotions or thoughts read
  • Immunity to divination spells
  • Immunity to the charmed condition

On top of that, the spell also blocks all spells used to mess with a target’s mind or learn things about the target.

The spell even specifically calls out wish, one of the most powerful spells in D&D. Even wish, if used to mentally affect a creature, would be blocked by mind blank.

That leads to some interesting questions.

Such as “If we use wish to completely change the timeline, would a creature with mind blank cast on it during the change still remember the old timeline?”

There really isn’t a correct answer to something like that. Which tends to be the case with a lot of things at very high levels.

Ultimately, it’s up to the DM.


What Does This All Mean?

For the most part, mind blank is a very straightforward spell.

That said, its level of power gives it a large range of effects.

The short version is that mind blank protects your mind from everything.

You’re immune to being charmed, so any effects that rely on it are useless. Dominate person or dominate monster, geas, modify memory, vampiric charm abilities, and anything else that relies on the charmed condition fails immediately.

Mind blank also foils spells used to affect a target’s mind, so powerful spells like feeblemind, mental prison, weird, and maddening darkness no longer affect you.

Who Gets This Spell?

Mind blank is a high-level spell.

As a result, it’s a lot harder to get ahold of than many low-level spells.

It’s on both the bard and wizard spell lists, so they can choose to learn it if they’d like.

Arcana Domain clerics can pick it up through their Arcane Mastery feature, too.

Where Mind Blank Gets Tricky

In some games and some older editions of D&D, there were tags that explicitly defined if a spell affected a creature’s mind.

5th edition doesn’t have that kind of tagging system, leaving the text of the spell to carry the burden of clarifying the effects.

This comes up when dealing with spells like antipathy/sympathy. This spell was labeled as “mind-affecting” in previous editions, but the 5e version doesn’t explicitly say it affects the mind.

It can cause the frightened effect, but not the charm effect that mind blank explicitly blocks. Because antipathy repels or attracts “intelligent” creatures, however, it’s generally ruled as a mind-affecting spell in 5th edition.

That means mind blank stops it too. Probably.

Any of these corner cases are up to the DM to determine. If you’re planning on using the spell, you might want to ask ahead of time about how they would rule for spells like antipathy.

Drawbacks

Like nondetection, mind blank renders you immune to divination spells.

A DM could rule that mind blank prevents you from being seen by divination spells, but still allows you to cast divination spells on yourself (such as detect magic).

They’re just as likely to say that mind blank means you’re immune to your own divination spells, though. Making you unable to cast detect spells or helpful magic like telepathic bond.

Mind Blank: Uses, Tips & Tricks

The psychic damage immunity is sadly going to be hit-or-miss.

Depending on the campaign and the level you happen to be at, you may not be running into tons of monsters that deal psychic damage.

It can be useful against some of the daelkyr from Eberron and a few other creatures that do strong mind-affecting attacks.

The immunity to charm and mental magic definitely comes in handy against spellcasters. And being immune to the debilitating feeblemind spell is always a plus.

Timing

Mind blank has a 24-hour duration.

That means if you haven’t used your 8th or 9th level spell slot by the end of a day, you can cast mind blank on yourself before your long rest.

Minus the 8 hours of sleep, that gives you 16 hours of protection left, even after getting your spell slots back.

You can get multiple uses out of it, too. Assuming you have the time and inclination to do so.

If you have a fight tomorrow and mind blank would be useful, you could put the spell on two people with your 8th and 9th level spell slots the night before.

If absolutely necessary you could then cast the spell 2 more times the next day, allowing you to cover the whole party in psychic and charm immunity.

And if you happen to have a simulacrum lying around, you could have that do two of the mind blank spells for you. This allows you to (hopefully) keep all of your spell slots the next day for powerful offensive spells.

Evil Items

Have you ever found one of those really powerful magic items that lets you mow through your enemies?

You know, the kind that grants amazing abilities and magical powers at the low, low price of “occasionally trying to make you murder your fellow adventurers”?

Well, mind blank can help you there, too.

Some magic items demand that their wielder cause chaos or commit dark acts of murder and mayhem in order to keep using them.

If ignored, some of them can attempt to take control of their wielder. Mind blank can stop that from happening.

It won’t keep the item from pouting, or from forcing you to de-attune to it, or turning off its abilities.

But at least you won’t go on a killing spree in the middle of the night because you didn’t feed souls to your evil magic sword.

Enemy Tactics

There’s a reason the archmage in the Monster Manual starts combat with mind blank already cast.

For enemies, there are few things more unfortunate than being charmed by a crew of motley adventurers.

With more psychic damage spells added to the game by Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, immunity to psychic damage can definitely come in handy.

Shadow blade, psychic scream, and synaptic static are all psychic-dealing spells that can be very damaging (or debilitating) when players use them correctly.

If you have a caster in the party that specializes in psychic damage, mind blank can be a way to force them to change up their tactics.

It can also give them a new hurdle to start a battle. Instead of changing their prepared spells, they may choose to try and focus on dispelling the mind blank, leading to a different kind of magical conflict.

Between Bardic Inspiration, guidance, enhance ability, the bard’s Jack of All Trades ability, and other features like Bend Luck, or using dispel magic on an enemy’s defensive spell can be a challenge that involves a good deal of the party.

Peace and Quiet

When a spellcaster gets to a certain level of power, they may get all sorts of lower-levelled adventurers and spellcasters contacting them for favors or information.

If they’re a demigod or a “mysterious entity from another plane”, mind blank can be a nice way to keep curious adventurers off their back.

Since it blocks divination magic, spells like contact other plane won’t work when other spellcasters cast them to ask questions.

This is a particular corner case, but something available to some powerful creatures in the game. If a creature wouldn’t want to have questions thrown its way, mind blank can block all those calls.

The same applies to sending… maybe.

Sending explicitly sends a message to a target’s mind, and mind blank blocks spells that affect the target’s mind.

Whether or not that counts as “affecting” is up to the DM.

A DM would be well within their rights to say mind blank keeps a powerful wizard from being called at all hours of the day.

This could come in handy if a wizard is being harassed by annoying kings, universities asking for donations, or worse of all… magical sending telemarketers (in more modern settings).

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