So I'm level 2 now and as a fighter, I'm close to getting my martial archetype. I am without a doubt picking Eldritch Knight but want to know how he could get at least one spell that is 9th level. How would one go about that?


4 Answers 4


It is possible at 20th level if you multiclass.

Only a handful of classes get access to 9th level spells: Wizards, clerics, druids, bards, sorcerer, and warlocks. And the earliest point they get these spells is when they hit 17th level.

The problem is, in order to get a fighter's martial archetype, you would need at least 3 levels in the fighter class.

This means you would need 3 levels in fighter + 17 levels in another class. Wizard would be the best choice, because it is Intelligence-based, like your Eldritch Knight.

In total, that's 3 + 17 = 20 levels! And getting there (from your current level of 2) may take a very long time.

Note: It is true that if you multiclass in two spellcasting classes, D&D 5E lets you combine parts of both class's spellcasting abilities. However, even if you get access to a 9th level spell slot, multiclassing won't necessarily give you access to a 9th level spell.

If you have more than one spellcasting class, this table might give you Spell Slots of a level that is higher than the Spells you know or can prepare. You can use those slots, but only to cast your lower-level Spells. If a lower-level spell that you cast, like Burning Hands, has an enhanced effect when cast using a higher-level slot, you can use the enhanced effect, even though you don’t have any Spells of that higher level.

For example: Multiclassing Fighter (Eldritch Knight) 3 / Wizard 16 would result in the equivalent of a 17th level spellcaster. They would have a 9th level spell slot, but they don't have any 9th level spells to use until they gain another level and use it to reach Wizard 17.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You could use retraining to get those spells at level 19, couldn't you? \$\endgroup\$
    – kviiri
    May 2, 2018 at 9:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @kviiri: What do you mean by retraining? (Note that Maaark edited the last line of the answer to fix an apparent error.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 2, 2018 at 9:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Trading known spells to others on level up. The only requirement is that the spell you take in exchange has to be of a level one can cast and of the class's spell list. \$\endgroup\$
    – kviiri
    May 2, 2018 at 12:18
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You can only learn spells in a class if your level in that class would grant you the ability to cast those spells without multiclassing. Multiclass casters often end up with spell slots higher than their highest level spell (so they just use them to boost spell levels). \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick Brown
    May 2, 2018 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ What Nick said. An Eldritch Knight would only learn 9th-level wizard spells (or another full caster class) once he reached level 17 in that class. He'd have 9th-level spell slots a level earlier, but couldn't actually learn 9th-level spells until that level. If he starts with 3 levels of Fighter (Eldritch Knight), then that wouldn't be until character level 20. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 2, 2018 at 18:21

Eldritch Knights only have spell slots up to a maximum of 4th level at Fighter level 19-20. They (along with Arcane Tricksters) are "one-third casters", meaning they gain higher-level spell slots at one-third the rate of a "full caster" such as a wizard.

The only way an Eldritch Knight would gain 9th-level spell slots is by multiclassing into a full caster class (wizard, druid, cleric, bard, sorcerer).

Single-class full casters gain 9th-level slots at class level 17.

Per the multiclassing rules, a 3rd-level Eldritch Knight would contribute one level towards the spell progression of a multiclass spellcaster, so multiclassing into a full caster (and taking only levels in full caster classes) would let you gain one 9th-level spell slot once you hit level 16 in that class. However, since those rules specify that "You determine what spells you know and can prepare for each class individually, as if you were a single-classed member of that class", you would not actually learn a 9th-level spell until you hit level 17 in the full caster class.


Spell Scrolls can partially replicate high level spell-casting for an EK

An Eldritch Knight can cast spells from scrolls which are higher level than he can cast normally, according to Jeremy Crawford (official D&D rules guru) (https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/537374983576498176).

Please be aware that there is a very high chance of spell failure when trying to over-cast from spell scrolls, since you need to pass an ability check with a DC of 19 (10 + spell level), using your spell-casting modifier. A Headband of Intellect and some method of getting advantage on Intelligence checks (such as the Enhance Ability spell) are recommended.

9th level spell scrolls are also of legendary magic item rarity, which means they will be very hard to find, depending on your DM and style of game.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! While you're correct about the fact that an Eldritch Knight can cast higher level spells using spell scrolls, OP's question is "How could an Eldritch Knight (EK) Learn a 9th level spell?", and learning a spell is different from one-time-casting it with a scroll. I suggest you emphasize that difference in your answer to prevent misunderstandings with future, rule-wise inexperienced readers. \$\endgroup\$ May 2, 2018 at 9:26

The eldritch knight does not receive any level 9 spells himself, but if that's your goal, multiclassing would be the easiest way to go about it.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ While the answer is correct, it lacks details explaining why the EK can't get it and what multiclasses would let him do it - as well as why multiclassing would even let him do it, backed up by the rules and where you can find them. Check the other two answers to understand the RPG.SE standards. \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    May 2, 2018 at 6:03

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