It seems that everyone has agreed that once learned, a spellcaster can not swap out/change/replace their cantrips. To allow so would have to be under some house rule.

However, while researching a new character build, I found this in Xanathar's, under Divine Soul Sorcerer:

Your link to the divine allows you to learn spells from the cleric class. When your Spellcasting feature lets you learn or replace a sorcerer cantrip or a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher, you can choose the new spell from the cleric spell list or the sorcerer spell list. You must otherwise obey all the restrictions for selecting the spell, and it becomes a sorcerer spell for you.

So there is a rule in the books specifically stating that cantrips can be replaced. As stated, this line only occurs under the Divine Soul Sorcerer, but it doesn't sound like replacing cantrips is something only they can do. Just that when replacing them, they need to follow special rules.

So I'm opening up an old question to see if we get a different answer, based on this phrase.

Can spell casters change out cantrips when they level up, just like 1st level and above spells?

And if not, how can you explain the line from Xanathar's?


1 Answer 1



The Spellcasting feature does not allow for changing of cantrips, by the same justifications as outlined in the answers to the questions linked. Briefly:

  • "retraining" spells is explained under the heading "Spells known of level 1 or higher", clearly excluding cantrips
  • The rule specifies that the new spell must be of a level the caster has slots of (which can never be true for cantrips)
  • In-universe reasoning: Cantrips are learned through long-term rote practice, "fixing them" in the caster's mind

So there is a rule in the books specifically stating that cantrips can be replaced.

The rule doesn't actually say that --- it's more along the lines of "if a cantrip could be replaced, this is what would happen". However, it should be noted that the statement refers to both cantrips and spells of level 1 or higher. The latter can be replaced as usual.


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