Magic Initiate 5e
Published on March 12, 2022, Last modified on September 28th, 2023
Magic Initiate is an excellent way to stretch the versatility of any build. Whether you need healing, utility, or damage spells, Magic Initiate can help.
Manuel Castañón - Wizards of the Coast - Lorehold Apprentice
What Is Magic Initiate 5e?
Spellcasting is not restricted to only a select few of classes in Dungeons & Dragons. Every class has access to spellcasting in one way or another, though some may need to work harder to get there. One of the most powerful feats in 5e is Magic Initiate, allowing any character to fulfill their fledgling spellcaster dreams.
How Does Magic Initiate Work?
Regardless of whether or not your character can cast spells, once you pick this feat, you gain:
- Two cantrips of any of the following classes: bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard. You also gain one 1st-level spell from that same class’ spell list. You can only cast this spell at 1st-level, and you must take a long rest before casting it again.
- Your spellcasting modifier for any spells cast from this feat corresponds to the spellcasting modifier for the class you chose (e.g., if you picked the cleric spell list, your modifier is Wisdom).
This feat is incredibly versatile, and there is a reasonable case that can be made for most builds to think about picking it up. Getting two cantrips that you can cast an unlimited number of times is really good, and a free cast of a 1st-level spell isn’t bad either. The cantrips allow for more utility for all characters and alleviate some of the stress from your other casters.
Is Magic Initiate Good?
In our 5e Feats Tier List, Magic Initiate was given an A Tier rating, making it an excellent pickup for specific classes.
Magic Initiate is a very solid choice for a wide variety of builds. Being able to choose 2 cantrips and a 1st-level spell from the full caster classes is a surprisingly beneficial ability.
Some of the most popular combinations are:
- Wizard: Booming Blade, Green Flame Blade, Find Familiar
- Warlock: Eldritch Blast, (literally anything else), Hex
- Bard: Vicious Mockery, (literally anything else), Dissonant Whispers
Magic Initiate 5e Interactions
Of course, there are tons of interactions that come with this feat, such as:
- You can still cast the spell you learn from this feat at a higher level than 1st-level, but you’ll need the appropriate spell slots to cast it; this feat doesn’t provide them. You must also be the same class as the class you chose for the feat.
- Gaining this feat does not give you any properties of the class you chose. If an item or mechanic requires a specific class, your character is still the class you were before this feat. You will need to multiclass if you want to benefit from another class in this way.
- This feat does not allow you to cast the spell gained as a ritual unless you already had ritual casting.
- Sorcerer Metamagic can be used on any spell a sorcerer casts. However, Wild Magic Surge will only work for sorcerer spells cast.
Magic Initiate 5e FAQs
Does Magic Initiate use a spell slot?
Casting the spell you gain from this feat does not use a spell slot. It is only cast as a first-level spell.
Can you cast magic initiate spells with spell slots
Classes who already have access to the same spell slots as the class they choose for the feat will be able to cast the spell they learned with spell slots if they choose.
Can a paladin smite with their magic initiate slot?
Since this feat doesn’t grant any additional spell slots, it does not allow paladins to smite instead.
Can a warlock cast magic initiate spells at a higher level?
Yes, and no. If you choose to use the feat version of the spell, you only get it once per short rest at its lowest level, as the feat describes. However, if it is a warlock spell that you gained from this feat, you can choose to use a spell slot to cast that spell with your Pact Magic ability, and it will be cast at the highest level.
There’s no other way to describe this feat, it’s truly amazing, and most parties will probably have one or two characters with it. It is immensely flexible and almost always has a good use case.
How do you feel about Magic Initiate? Do you have any questions we missed about this feat? Let us know in the comments below!