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I have seen this spell end encounters and save the party more than once.
It has become a staple required spell, especially for the Cleric in the party.
Some examples include, The 5th level party is getting their collective heads handed to them by a 6th level Barbarian with a +3 Greataxe when the cleric suddenly casts a focused Dispel Magic on the axe and it works. This gave us the 2 rounds we needed to recover and bring him down. In the Ruby Phoenix Tournament we effectively negated an entire encounter. Dispelling a Magic Item removing the advantage of the opposition and reducing a difficult encounter to a Cakewalk.
And these are just two examples (Luck priest being able to re-roll the Dispel Check?)
Dispel magic is one of those spells that just oozes utility.