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Suppose I, a wizard, have a Pearl of Power attuned and have not used it today, and I have just finished a battle in which I used at least one spell slot of 3rd level or higher. I could save the pearl for later, only activating it when I know I really need that spell slot. However, the risk in doing so is that activating the pearl requires an action, so whatever spell I want to cast in the moment would be delayed by one round if I fail to anticipate the need. So, it seems that the correct choice is to activate the pearl as soon as I am no longer in danger and can afford to use my action to do so. However, perhaps I am missing something. Is there ever any benefit to saving the pearl for later, or is using it now always the better choice?

(You can assume that my sleep schedule is fairly normal, so "the next dawn", when the pearl regains its daily use, roughly coincides with the end of my next long rest.)

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Yes there is (at least one) reason

You are a wizard who has not yet used Arcane Recovery. The optimal interaction between a Pearl of Power and Arcane Recovery depends on your level, the number of slots you have expanded and when you anticipate having a short rest.

For example, an 8th level wizard who has cast a 4th level spell could regain a 4th level slot with Arcane Recovery or a 3rd level slot with the Pearl. The same wizard who has cast a 3rd and 1st level spell could recover both with Arcane Recovery or just the 3rd level with the Pearl.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Good answer, but specific example of level, number of slots etc would be helpful. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Feb 11 at 8:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @molot yes, an in-depth analysis to support the claim that those variables would be helpful. Maybe just a couple examples. (i.e. For a level 13 wizard that expended N slots it is better to use the pearl earlier, but for a level 9 wizard that burned his 3rd level slots it is better to save for later) - these examples are not correct, just illustrations on how the answer could improve. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Feb 11 at 11:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Answer would be improved by explaining what is optimal rather than teasing it. \$\endgroup\$ – Bloodcinder Feb 11 at 13:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ A 3 page set of examples on the myriad of cases where they interfere wouldn't add to this answer significantly. All that matters is that there are advantages from expended spell slots; in this case, you can expend arcane recovery efficiently if you have enough expended spell slots, and pearl of power recovered ones interfears with that. If someone wants a detailed breakdown, they can ask a specific question. \$\endgroup\$ – Yakk Feb 11 at 15:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ May I humbly suggest that giving just one example and then pointing out how there are many more variations, would be a good spot to land in, on the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Valley Lad Feb 11 at 15:56
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You might regret it if something happens to make you involuntarily lose or waste the very spell slot you regained via the Pearl

For example, it would be a bummer to use the Pearl of Power early, only to have an enemy then use Suggestion or Dominate Person to get you to use up the very same spell slot.

Or similarly (looking to a popular non-WotC source) to have a Spellthief steal that spell slot.

If such an unfortunate event occurs but you nonetheless survive the experience while maintaining possession of the Pearl, then in hindsight it may have been better if you had not made early use of the Pearl.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose this mostly only matters if you've used up so many spell slots that the Pearl is your only source of a 3rd or higher level slot. Otherwise you'll just use one of the slots you have, and the Pearl won't matter. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Feb 11 at 15:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanThompson Yes, making it more of an edge case. But given that the Pearl is just an uncommon item attunable by any spellcaster, a low-level PC (including just a half-caster or Magic Initiate) could come by it -- folks for whom it's not hard to get low on slots. \$\endgroup\$ – Valley Lad Feb 11 at 15:54

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