Top 10 D&D 5e 3rd Level Spells | Nerd Immersion

Top 10 D&D 5e 3rd Level Spells | Nerd Immersion

32 541 views | 7 Apr. 2020

Heading back to the world of spells, this time we're looking at 3rd level spells. This was really tricky as there are a ton of really good, useful and powerful 3rd level spells. So I picked my top 10 (and gave a few honorable mentions), which are your top 10 level 3 spells?

My Top 10 Level 3 Spells:

10. Pulse Wave 00:45

9. Sending 2:21

8. Galder's Tower 3:54

7. Catnap 6:15

6. Crusader's Mantle 7:56

5. Fireball 10:01

4. Haste 11:09

3. Counterspell 13:37

2. Mass Healing Word 17:25

1. Spirit Guardians 19:20

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Ahmed Yassin

If you cast a spell as an action you can counter spell the counter spell.
if you cast the spell as a bonus action you cant counter spell the counter spell.
... does this sound stupid ? Ues but its the Raw of the rule. .... "You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn. You can't cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action."
Also LETTRILAY RAW !!! this indicate you can cast a spell of level 1 or higher AND THEN cast a spell as a bonus action .... they should really erreta this section ....

Vinx .909

sending is almost always cast by clerics because they are way more free in what spells they get. they can pick any spell, so when the need for sending arrives they'll just prepare it after a long rest. a wizards has to spend ether one of 2 spells on a level up or have a DM that gives out spells and spend 150 gp AND 6 hours to get it in his spellbook.
and yes, i dislike that wizards are so much more inept at magic then clerics and druids who don't need to do shit for it.

Night Bloom

So I play a grave cleric serving the Raven Queen and I started out lawful evil, mostly due to a rough upbringing where I didn't really know how to be nice. So my DM had a fight where the party was fighting mirror versions of ourselves. I had been with the party for a while and they had seen my guardians become evil little ravens that fly around me. So the mirror me used it and the DM deemed that they would be little cupids for the nice me. My party pauses mid fight and all look at me. I could not help but say, "so I am evil, is that gonna be a problem. If so let me know now so I don't waste my healing on your asses." My DM than concluded that since my ravens were evil they couldn't hurt the evil images of my friends and since the cupids were good they couldn't hurt my other party members. So I faced off against myself with us each getting hit by the others guardians.

captian bacon

i belive 3rd lvl spells are the best spells overall. and when i go warlock i go 5 lvls to have the 2 3rd lvl slots on short rest. then i go the other 15 bard soccer or pali


Short rest in 4e was 5 minutes ... in 5e is now an hour ... why the nerf?

konstantinos adamopoulos

cool vid!!!

Cloud Seeker

I think you are wrong about Catnap. Monks do not regain their Ki using this spell. Monks have to meditate for 30 minutes during the rest to regain the Ki. I do not count being unconscious for 10 minutes as meditating.

Alex Sheppard

I assume it's 25 words because there's that 5% chance of fail for interplanar. It was a wizard study and they realized the margin of error grows exponentially e.g 30 words had a 50% chance of fail.


leomund's hut + catnap = full party perfect short rest

Thurismund Botheric

What's wrong with Oath of the Crown?


Top ten of the Schools of magic would be neat.
Top 10 necromancy spells

Joseph Dunn

That bladesinger shout out!

Adrian Jones

If your DM allows GGtR material you can take the Azorius Functionary background to gain access to Counterspell as a Bard.


I think Davvy Chapy said it best, if you’ve got the 10 minutes for Catnap, then you’ve got the hour for a short rest.

Kevin Shaw

Spirit Guardians is bae. I'm a pretty tanky Life Cleric and 1st round Spirit Guardians followed by Dodge on subsequent rounds has been great for getting aggro and dealing damage. Totally agree with your #1 choice.


RAW Conjure Animals may work the DMing telling you what happens, but in terms of player agency and fun let them decide. If keeping track of all those creatures is too burdensome, just say that have to summon fewer creatures at max CR


15 feet from the caster is a 20 ft radius circle. Not 15 ft radius. Cast ads 5 ft square.

Leyton West

No, one of the best 3rd level spells in magic circle


Ah yes, Spirit Guardians, aka, “the reason I play a divine soul Sorcerer instead of a Wizard”.

Evan Allen

So catnap actually doesn't give back ki points as far as I can see (if someone can find something that makes it work please let me know I would love to be wrong here) because monks get their ki back from meditating for 30 minutes, not a short rest. The bright side, if you start meditating at the beginning of a short rest and get ambushed after 30 minutes you'd have your ki back... I really want to be wrong here.


Also would love a top 10 for every level. I didn’t even know about that aura spell you mentioned this video


Why does no one ever talk about Bestow Curse? It's a great 3rd level spell.


Tiny Servant should have at least had an honorable mention. It's an insanely useful utility spell, especially for recon, and at higher levels you can upcast it and essentially have a small army of animated objects you can sic on enemies.


Monks don't get Ki Points back from a short rest alone. They must meditate for at least 30 minutes of the short rest to restore their Ki Points.


These are really hot takes but I'm glad you're calling attention spells I've never heard of rather than just talking about popular spells.

eric peterson

and that whole counterspelling the counterspell loop you talked about reminded me of the scene from Mark Wahlberg's "the big hit" where the kidnappers use a "trace-buster" and the father (who owns the actual company that made the device) uses a "trace-buster-buster" to get the phone number. LOL.


You could fit 12 of those tiny 100 sq ft towers in 1 fireball


"Fireball is fireball, I don't really need to explain it."

BigDickWizard69 liked that

Gus visser

what if Leomund from Leomund's tiny hut was a gnome or something? and it was actually "Leomunds Large hut" ?

Alister Dyer

Catnap? No sir!

Owen Keenan

when it comes to counterspelling a counterspell, I say that if player 1 casts fireball, baddie casts counterspell, player 2 can counterspell the counterspell, but player 1 can't


Hell yes top 10 spells of each level! Let’s go


Galder's Tower is pretty cool. Considering in some rule sets of D&D a 8 story tower would cost 100's of thousands of gold and a significant time to erect before using it and then the cost of outfitting. This thing is up and running on day one. It could use some more detail and options.
Magical stables? Summoning chamber? windows? battlements on the roof? Barracks with armory? Once permanent can it be modified like a normal structure?

Galder's Tower in Icewind Dale would be a total endrun cheat around the dangers of north, at a level 3 spell slot.

Danimal Galloway

Really liking your Videos!

Brian Pickel

Per your sending spell question in your video, I suspect the 25 word limit, is a generous allotment of words one can say in the 6 second (one action) casting time. But one can argue that the cantrip message doesn't have a similar restriction spelled out, but I use the 25 word limit for message as well based in sending.

Paige McCauley

I don't think Catnap would give Monk their Ki points back, considering that in the description of Ki, it specifically states that you need to be spend 30 minutes of a short rest meditating to regain them, rather than just regaining them as a part of your Short Rest.


Catnap is in your top 10, but Leomund's Tiny Hut is not? No Hypnotic Pattern, no Revivify or Animate Dead? I don't know man...

Zain Rafiq

I knew spirit guardians would be 1. My player is a forge cleric with that, mass healing word, guidance and spiritual weapon


you got too many ads.

Sozin Tallus

Why didn't they just make dispel magic and counterspell the same spell like enlarge/reduce

Sam Bro

Haste rules as written would allow another leveled spell sorry guys but it’s true

Aden Ven

Nice list. Would you cast Crusader's Mantle or Spirit Guardians should you have the choice? What would be the decision factors or reasoning? Cool video!

Remy B

Spirit Guardians doesn't create Difficult Terrain. It halves movement speed. They are two different effects that have similar results, but not the same thing.

youtube email

Hi NI, I love your top ten posts and would feel remise not to comment on level 3 spells... By far one of the best level 3 spells in 5e is glyoh of Warding... Read it and maybe reread it because it is awesome... by far the MOST POWERFUL LEVEL 3 SPELL and maybe in the top 10 MOST POWERFUL SPELLS IN 5e 9core at least)... Why do I say this?! Think contignent spell... think enspelling your OWN ITEMS YOU CARRY TO TRIGGER WHEN YOU WANT WITH A SPELL OF YOUR CHOICE 9given certain steep restrictions, I believe it has to be spell that targets (at least or only?) one creature or have an area (Range: Personal spells dont TARGET anything I believe and as such personal spells dont count , but dont hold me to that)... .This CANNOT be counterspelled and indeed can trigger if you are counterspelled it is... This sopell is more useful as a utility spell than one may think (the 3.5e edition maybe soured people to the spell because as i remeber 3.5e glyph was underwhelming at best)...DURATION: Until dispelled or triggered.. read it it is good and SHOULD BE ON THIS LIST... but THANK YOU NI and hope to see more..

Glyph of Warding

3 Abjuration
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Touch
Components: V S M (Incense and powdered diamond worth at least 200 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Until dispelled or triggered
Classes: Bard, Cleric, Wizard
When you cast this
spell, you inscribe a glyph that harms other creatures, either upon a
surface (such as a table or a section of floor or wall) or within an
object that can be closed (such as a book, a scroll, or a treasure
chest) to conceal the glyph. If you choose a surface, the glyph can
cover an area of the surface no larger than 10 feet in diameter. If you
choose an object, that object must remain in its place; if the object is
moved more than 10 feet from where you cast this spell, the glyph is
broken, and the spell ends without being triggered. The glyph is nearly
invisible and requires a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check
against your spell save DC to be found. You decide what triggers the
glyph when you cast the spell. For glyphs inscribed on a surface, the
most typical triggers include touching or standing on the glyph,
removing another object covering the glyph, approaching within a certain
distance of the glyph, or manipulating the object on which the glyph is
inscribed. For glyphs inscribed within an object, the most common
triggers include opening that object, approaching within a certain
distance of the object, or seeing or reading the glyph. Once a glyph is
triggered, this spell ends. You can further refine the trigger so the
spell activates only under certain circumstances or according to
physical characteristics (such as height or weight), creature kind (for
example, the ward could be set to affect aberrations or drow), or
alignment. You can also set conditions for creatures that don’t trigger
the glyph, such as those who say a certain password. When you inscribe
the glyph, choose explosive runes or a spell glyph. Explosive Runes.
When triggered, the glyph erupts with magical energy in a 20-foot-radius
sphere centered on the glyph. The sphere spreads around corners. Each
creature in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature
takes 5d8 acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage on a failed
saving throw (your choice when you create the glyph), or half as much
damage on a successful one. Spell Glyph. You can store a prepared spell
of 3rd level or lower in the glyph by casting it as part of creating the
glyph. The spell must target a single creature or an area. The spell
being stored has no immediate effect when cast in this way. When the
glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast. If the spell has a target,
it targets the creature that triggered the glyph. If the spell affects
an area, the area is centered on that creature. If the spell summons
hostile creatures or creates harmful objects or traps, they appear as
close as possible to the intruder and attack it. If the spell requires
concentration, it lasts until the end of its full duration.
At Higher Levels: When you cast this
spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage of an
explosive runes glyph increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 3rd. If
you create a spell glyph, you can store any spell of up to the same
level as the slot you use for the glyph of warding.


10- Ok seems cool, but limited by class and class type.
9- Sending is great!
8- huh??????
7- no.... if tweaked for long rest or a long rest version. Then maybe.... Maybe a casting ofa higher slot or multiple.
6- Never use it.
5- Friends use it.... Don't care if I'm getting hurt.....
4- Yeet Force!!
3- Reverse Uno Card.
2- hmmmm..... I say lower to 3-4 creatures, and make it 2d4 + Spell mod, per level above 3rd + 1d4 or 1d6.
1- God Slice

Eddie Ramirez

Clerics probably cast sending more often than wizards since they don't have to write it down in a spellbook first.


Sidenote in relations to ki regain using catnap. Monks only regain ki points if they spend 15 minutes of the short rest meditating. Probably not super relevant, but i felt like mentioning it.

El Duchesne

I just get the 6th Level with my Wizard / Conjurer.
So far I had access to a lot of 3rd level spell (we kill a Necromancer with a very thick spellbook)

So far I have in my spellbook:

Gaseous Form
Hypnotic Pattern
Leomund's Tiny Hut
Lightning Bolt
Phantom Steed
Remove Curse
Thunder Step
Vampiric Touch
Water Breathing

So I kind of have most of the great 3rd level spell.

I was thinking to consider Sleet Storm (Conjuration)

but for my second one I don't know what to choose.

Any suggestions I should consider?


The spell level/cantrip limitation is specifically in the "Bonus Action" section of the spellcasting chapter, so you can cast any reaction spell, assuming you cast a leveled spell as an action, and not as a bonus action. This is also how Action Surge allows casting two action spells that are level 1 or higher.

Lord Elantri

I feel like clerics use sending more than wizards because they can swap their spells around while wizards must a choose it on lv up or hope the dm provide it in shops or loot

Sounds of Mass Production

I believe you are misinterpreting the Catnap spell. You are unconscious for 10 minutes and when you wake you gain the BENEFITS of a short rest. You haven't actually had a short rest. So I believe there are certain things that you won't be able to do with it. Attuning to an item - no, arcane recovery - no, spending hit dice - yes.

Shirou Tokisada Amakusa Kotomine

I hate only Wizard can have the Tower.
We are currently on a Airship controlled by Enemies and just got to Level 5, aka, we now have Level 3 Spells.
Now just imagine suddenly a giant Tower appearing on the Deck... it would be glorious


On the spell limitations, I believe it only applies when one of the spells in question is a Bonus Action. Since Counterspell is a reaction, the limit doesn't apply (unless they were counterspelling your Bonus Action spell? not sure how that works)

thatoneguykaz L

Life transference overlooked again

Aye Bee

In my mind sending has a word limit for two reasons. It limits the amount of words that can be conveyed to enforce thinking about the message or secondly its a nod to telegrams.

David Pirkola

To each his own, but I can't see passing over Leomund's Tiny Hut (ritual) for a spell slot that still takes as much time to cast as the ritual. ^^

Timothée Letourneux

As a level 5th lvl cleric (grave) who just unlocked 3rd lvl spells im a little hesitant to take mass healing word just yet.
For now it feels like I should wait my friends to fall unconscious and then get max heal with a simple cure wounds. ( lvl 3 would be ~28hp)

That way i have a couple turns where i can focus on doing damage ( cantrips mainly) and potentially use my channel divinity.

Will for sure take spirit guardian though :)

top 10 ideas ;
- Top 10 multiclass
- Top 10 cleric domains


Eh I don’t like that ruling about counter spell. It doesn’t make world sense to me cause if you are in the middle of casting a spell and someone goes to counter it being able to stop the first casting to counter the counter and then just resuming the casting of the first spell. Just doesn’t seem feasible with all the motions and speech one has to perform for both counter and whatever other spell you are doing would be different and so being able to continue after stopping one spell means the spell is lost since to properly cast a spell it shouldn’t be interrupted. Also I think why Bards don’t automatically have access to counter is cause their Jack of All Trades makes them to good at countering at lower levels


When running AL I allow counterspell a counterspell, I don't do it. In my home game, I don't. I feel that you have to stop speaking your spell to say the counterspell it is somatic therefore if the spell you were casting had a somatic component you lost that spell to say the counterspell.

Jonathan Ackroyd

While it's not particularly interesting or fun, purely from a mechanical viewpoint Revivify has to be one of, if not the, best 3rd level. The first spell that can bring someone back from death and the only way to do so as an action in combat aside from a Wish. Your party should never be without it prepared if possible

Little Kitty Phantom MADness

6:15 I think tabaxi should get this spell naturally three times per day or use a spell slot to upcast it.


Catnap is a spell I feel is only useful if you are in a hardcore campaign where short rests are costly and the dm wont let you take them easily. If you can hand wave 10 minutes you can hand wave an hour in most cases. Plus they are asleep so there has to be 1 person awake at all times to keep watch for those 10 minutes. It only affect 3 people when parties tend to be 4-6. Some are missing out on healing or getting stuff back inevitably unless you up cast. Leomands tiny hut is ritual spell that lasts 8 hours and completely protects 10 medium or smaller creatures and is the same level.

Kian Barberi


Connor Chambers

Did anyone notice that large machine in the background of his face cam? What is that!


Bard 3rd level spell list sucks so much... I just wanted counterspell

Thomas DeVisscher

I hate the counterspell the counter spell thing. Unless someone is silly enough to counterspell a cantrip.. the other guy should not be able to counterspell. Idk. But then again, a wizard could still use their reaction to cast shield even if they cast a spell on their turn. Did I just counter my counter? F me.

thatoneguykaz L

Life transference overlooked again


There is nothing in the rules that prevents you from a) using your reaction during your own turn or b) casting a spell as a reaction on your turn after already having cast a spell as an action.

The only limitation on spellcasting (in terms of action economy) is that if you cast any spell (cantrip or otherwise) as a bonus action, you can then only cast cantrips* with your action(s).


Regarding counterspell, this is what my dm ruled- anyone can counterspell a counterspell as long as they are not the one who casted the initial spell. BUT- as you only need somatic components for counterspell you can you can counterspell a counterspell while casting the initial spell as long as you have 2 free hands, one for each of the spells' somatic component

Lyle Tito


Shin Majin

In the three campaigns I've played in, enemy casters were pretty rare. Thus, Counterspell was pretty useless.

Audio Clayton

Pulse Wave.. "Almighty PUSH!"

Chris Jayroe

Is that a ghostbuster's backpack leaning against the couch? lol

captian bacon

bards need counterspell

Hope Crew

Keep in mind Ned, Bard has magical secrets and because Counterspell is an ability check Bards get to add their Jack of All Trades feature to the check (making them the best counterspellers in the game already).

Conjure Animals is really good. However, you are correct in that the DM chooses what appears. Not only that but the player who casts the spell only gets to choose which option the options read "Up to 8 beasts of CR 1/8" meaning that the DM could give you a single CR 1/8 creature if they so desired as the spell states clearly that you only recieve "UP TO" X number of creatures of X CR.

That said, Crusaders Mantle works insanely well with Conjure Animals if you get a ton of animals. Same when stacked with Animate Objects.


Sam Riegal from Critical Role in season 1 made me believe any creation can be absolutely clutch if used right. Bards should have counter spell !

Роман Дудин

I don't believe it should be posible to counterspell if you was already casting something with somatic component, but you can of course to counterspell counterspell which targets someone else.


My bard took spirit guardians and spiritual weapon for his first magical secrets (lore bard) dont regret a thing

King Hoenn

For Pulse Wave, if your a bard you can just steal the spell lol


I've got to admit, I'm quite surprised that Bestow Curse wasn't mentioned. Though lets be honest, while it's officially a level three spell, no one in their right mind cast it at lower than level five.

Егор Фомин

Correct me if I am wrong, but it doesn't say anywhere that you have to SEE a creature casting a spell to use COUNTERSPELL against it. I believe it was made a point in CR, when Caleb (Liam) stopped a control water spell through an opaque wall of fire.


I'm surprised no one has mentioned Revivify. As the only resurrection spell available for characters level 5-8, it can be incredibly valuable. It can be the difference between rolling up a new character and fighting another day, and even at higher levels, it's the cheapest, most spell slot efficient way to bring someone back after a battle.

Remy B

Counterspell requires a Somatic component only. It is a Reaction to cast.
"Spellcasting gestures might include a forceful gesticulation or an intricate set of gestures. If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures."
Counterspelling a counterspell while mid-cast an original spell simply requires that you have the free use of a hand, maybe a 2nd hand if the original spell also is using Somatic components, and the use of your reaction still.
So if you are carrying something in one hand and the original spell required Somatic components, then no, you couldn't do it. But if bot hands are free or whatever, you should be just fine.


Wait, your Bladesinger example with Haste... Extra Attack just lets you attack twice with the Attack action, it doesn't let you cast a spell then attack...does it...?


Hypnotic Pattern?


I know you said you had lots of video ideas already but here goes a few that came to mind:

1) Top 10 spells for bards magical secrets.
2) Top 10 spells for wizards spell mastery.
3) Top 10 spells for wizards signature spells.

eric peterson

actually, it makes sense that bards don't get counterspell. the bard spell list is primarily illusions and enchantments, with a few druid spells mixed in. counterspell would mean that bards have trained in magic so much, they can interfere with a spell being cast. none of the bard subclasses are THIS focused on magic, with the exception of lore bards. the rest are casuals in the study of magic. i think it is extremely useful for bards to have the spell, but only using one of their magical secrets. (bards don't have the offensive series of spells that a wizard or sorcerer have access to, SO they can focus more slots to counterspelling) I am currently playing an arcana cleric and was disappointed that counterspell wasn't a domain spell, only the lesser spell-nullifying dispel magic. which makes sense since a cleric doesn't study how his spells work, just asks for them from their deity.

Gabriel Gama

A lot of people say Catnap isn't that good, meanwhile my insomniac ass is looking at it as if it were the Wish spell.

Bayley Farrell

Catnap is legit quite good, your guess is completely correct. DM'd for a group consisting of a Wizard, Monk, Warlock, and Bard. The Wizard would Ritual cast Alarm and keep watch while giving the other three the benefits of the spell to recharge their short rest abilities. It was pretty solid.

Timothy Hanna

great job Ted. Keep up the awesome work. I know you have a ton of ideas but any suggestions on city development. My pcs have just entered a major city in my world and i have realized i totally underestimated the amount of development i needed to add.

Remy B

Pulse Wave should be a Str save, not Con. Conceptually, are you too strong, or too healthy, to get pushed by a wave of pressure? Too strong to get pushed. IDK why they keep getting this wrong.


I have an issue with counterspell countering counterspell. The description says "you attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell". So you're casting it before the original spell completes. For the original caster to counter that counterspell, they'd also need to do so before their original spell completes, interrupting its casting.

Marcos Guzman

For those want to know Counterspell work on your Turn. Here is Time 16:40 .

Thank you Nerd Immersion, now next I fighting Evil Wizard, I going Counterspell his Counterspell when I am Casting Maximilian's Earth Gasp!


Top 10 Conjuration Spells? (Summons)

Piotr Szulim

Monks don't get their Ki points back through Catnap, though. It's stated in the PHB that in order to get them back they need to spend at least 30 minutes of the short rest meditating.


Powerful level 3 spells which deserve a mention: Fly, Hypnotic Pattern, Protection from Energy, Revivify.

Brandon B

I think the sheer versatility of Animate Dead should earn an honorable mention. Sure you're limited to necromancer wizards or clerics, but being able to add skeleton archers for extra ranged dps, zombies for meat shields to soak up enemy damage and/or grapple enemies pinning them in place (which also combos quite nicely with Cloudkill or other aoe poison attacks as they're immune) can't be overstated. Add to that the ability to upcast it and get 2 extra undead per level slot over 3rd, not to mention the bonus undead, bonus HP, and damage bonus granted by wizard necro's Undead Thralls ability, and you've got your very own personal army that's incredibly useful in and out of combat. Need to haul back all that loot, no problem. Need to dig out that collapsed tunnel, done. Want to build a bridge, yeah ok I got it. Nearly unlimited mindless manpower at your fingertips.

Andrew Hazlewood


Dak n Mat: Gaming Incorporated

I'm surprised Hunger of Hadar didn't show up or get honorable mention. That spell's busted. Lots of damage output, the area is difficult terrain, it's magical darkness so the enemy could potentially get stuck in there for the entire duration, it's great.
Also personally would've put Counterspell just above Mass Healing Word, since MHW is just a measly d4, which, sure, it can help in a pinch and targets 6 people, but it's also a 3rd level spell, so I'd expect it to heal slightly more. No doubt useful, but should do more imo at it's level.


If someone counterspells your spell, you're not able to counterspell their counterspell due to the limit of casting one spell per round. Your initial spell is the one. You'd be limited to a cantrip. Another party-member could in theory see the counterspell and choose to counter it, but one spell per round prevents a single caster from countering a counter.