DnD One Magic Initiate Feat Guide

The Magic Initiate feat has long been a popular feat among D&D players because it allowed spell casters to gain access to versatile low-level spells and cantrips that they otherwise would never be able to learn. With certain classes, this can create some versatile and interesting caster or partial caster builds

The Magic Initiate feat in DnD One allows a player to learn 2 cantrips and 1 first-level spell from the spell list of their choice. The first-level spell can be cast once for free per long rest, and can be cast again using actual spell slots. This is also one of the few feats that can be taken more than once, though a different Spell list must be chosen each time.

Let’s dive in!

cauldron in magic clearing
Magic Initiates: We’ve all got to start somewhere.

Magic Initiate Feat DnD One Review

The best way to break down a feat is to check out the exact wording. So here is the exact wording of how the Magic Initiate feat is going to work with DnD One.

From Unearthed Arcana:

1st-Level Feat

Prerequisite: None

Repeatable: Yes, but you must choose a different spell list each time

You have learned the basics of a particular magical tradition. Choose one Spell list: Arcane, Divine, or Primal. You gain the following benefits related to that choice:

Two Cantrips. You learn two cantrips of your choice from the Spell list.

1st-Level Spell. Choose one 1st-level spell from the Spell list. You always have that Spell prepared. You can cast it once without a Spell Slot, and you regain the ability to cast it in that way when you finish a Long Rest. You can also cast the Spell using any Spell Slots you have.

Unearthed Arcana, Character Origins PDF

Let’s break down these benefits in more detail to see just how good this popular feat is.

Benefit #1: You learn two cantrips from the Spell list of your choice.

This is the classic benefit of Magic Initiate and it’s a really good one. Because of the way that Spell Lists are grouped together in DnD One as opposed to by class in 5E, this makes the feat stronger as more cantrips are available in each Spell List. Anyone who has grabbed Eldritch Blast as a non-warlock, or seen what the Bard can do with specialized cantrips understands how powerful a couple of good cantrips can be (Important Note: The point remains but as of now Eldritch Blast is, interestingly, no longer a listed cantrip in DnD One).

Benefit #2: Choose one 1st-Level spell from the spell list of your choice, that spell is always prepared and can be cast once for free without using a spell slot between long rests. This spell can also be cast using available spell slots.

While first level spells don’t generally strike the fear of the gods into your opponents, there are many versatile, useful, and powerful options that can help to get the job done.

Benefit #3: This feat is repeatable so you can dip your toes in all the Spell Lists, if you so wish.

This definitely counts as a benefit because it offers a level of versatility that otherwise might not be there. While not many builds are going to want to dip toes into two different Spell Lists, assumingly in addition to the one you have since this is usually a feat grabbed by spell casters of some type.

However, full casters using this twice can choose spells that scale well and fill out any weaknesses (or provide additional strengths) that can really fill out what a player character can do.

How Does The Magic Initiate Feat Measure Up?

The magic initiate feat has always been on the short list of feats that spellcasters in D&D should look at picking up, and the DnD One version is even more upgraded than the 5th Edition version was

Nothing was lost, and the addition of 2 cantrips + 1 1st-Level spell from any spell list is strong enough, but the fact there’s even a free cast to go with it makes this a strong feat.

The player also has the ability to change out the spells they learn/know whenever they level up (though they must be from the same Spell List) which increases the versatility of the Magic Initiate feat in DnD One.

Since you choose your casting stat, this also means those learned spells should be just as effective as any others on the spell list. The versatility of it makes this an exceptional choice for any caster or partial caster build.

Arcane Spell Cantrips for Magic Initiate Feat

  • Acid Splash
  • Blade Ward
  • Chill Touch
  • Dancing Lights
  • Fire bolt
  • Friends
  • Light
  • Mage Hand
  • Mending
  • Message
  • Minor Illusion
  • Poison Spray
  • Prestidigitation
  • Ray of Frost
  • Shocking Grasp
  • True Strike
  • Vicious Mockery

Notable 1st-Level Arcane Spells for Magic Initiate Feat (there are many more!)

  • Alarm
  • Armor of Agathys
  • Charm Person
  • Comprehend Languages
  • Dissonant Whispers
  • Feather Fall
  • Hellish Rebuke
  • Hex
  • Identify
  • Mage Armor
  • Magic Missile
  • Protection from Evil and Good
  • Shield
  • Sleep
  • Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
  • Tenser’s Floating Disk
  • Thunderwave

Divine Spell Cantrips for Magic Initiate Feat

  • Guidance
  • Light
  • Resistance
  • Sacred Flame
  • Spare the Dying
  • Thaumaturgy

Notable 1st-Level Divine Spells for Magic Initiate Feat

Primal Spell Cantrips for Magic Initiate Feat

  • Druidcraft
  • Guidance
  • Mending
  • Message
  • Poison Spray
  • Produce Flame
  • Resistance
  • Shillelagh
  • Spare the Dying
  • Thorn Whip

Notable 1st-Level Primal Spells for Magic Initiate Feat

  • Animal Friendship
  • Cure Wounds
  • Ensnaring Strike
  • Faerie Fire
  • Hail of Thorns
  • Healing Word
  • Hunter’s Mark
  • Speak with Animals

Magic Initiate Feat: DnD One Vs 5E

Magic Initiate is one of the big feat winners when looking at changes from Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition to Dungeons & Dragons One (which among gamers is rapidly being dubbed “6E” whether WOTC like it or not). The reason is that an already strong feat has been buffed in several ways while not losing any of the benefits that players are used to from 5E.

Related Article: 5E Magic Initiate Feat Guide

In addition to having everything from 5E there are three major new changes that players should know about for the new Magic Initiate Feat:

  1. This is now a repeatable feat allowing you access to more spells than ever
  2. You can change cantrips/spells when you level up (within the same Spell List)
  3. You can choose the ability score that dictates your casting ability

That third one in particular is huge. This stops the problem of a Wisdom based character trying to use charisma or an Intelligence based character for certain spells.

Since the player gets to choose the ability score that the learned spells are cast with, they can always use their ideal casting stat.

In addition to this, the change to choosing from 3 Spell Lists based on Spell type (Arcane, Divine, Primal) means there are more cantrips and spells available to players taking this feat than when you had to choose the class you were copying from and use their casting stat.

This means not only is this already popular casting feat get stronger because of buffs they’ve added, but changes in the system itself from 5E to DnD One have resulted in additional buffing to this already strong feat.

Who Should Take the Magic Initiate Feat in DnD One?

Half Casters like Rangers and Paladins can make good use of the Magic Initiate feat while for Third Casters like Arcane Trickster Rogues and Eldritch Knight Fighters, this feat can be mandatory to get the most out of those classes.

Any casting class will get strong use from this feat and it’s worth a look from anyone who wants some additional versatility with their caster whether in branching out to support or a touch of healing, or giving them a cantrip that scales damage when other options run out.

This is an outstanding feat that has only become stronger with the DnD One additions.

DnD One Magic Initiate Feat Final Grade

This is an S-Tier first level feat and one that is going to rightfully get a lot of picks, especially at tables where the DM has done their duty and banned the Lucky Feat. It’s a great choice for buffing up your spellcaster character build and should be on the shortlist the next time you play a caster in a DnD One playtest or campaign.

Other Articles of Interest