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I'm having a hard time understanding how the Magic Initiate feat works; does it require spell slots?

The feat doesn't say the spell cast is free; it only says you can cast it at its lowest level once per long rest. -when you cast it can't cast again - and casting spells normally requires spell slots.

The Way of the Four Elements monk (PHB, p. 80-81) is an exception because it doesn't say you "can cast" the spell, but rather that you spend ki points "to cast" the spell:

You can spend 5 ki points to cast stoneskin, targeting yourself.

You pay ki instead of spell slots.

And rituals are another exception. For instance, the Path of the Totem Warrior barbarian's Spirit Seeker and Spirit Walker features (PHB, p. 50) let them cast those spells regardless, because rituals don't expend spell slots but need to pay with 10 min of casting.

The description of spell slots says (PHB, p. 201):

When a character casts a spell, he or she expends a slot of that spell’s level or higher, effectively “filling” a slot with the spell

The description of the Magic Initiate feat says (PHB, p. 168):

Choose a class: bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard. You learn two cantrips of your choice from that class’s spell list. In addition, choose one 1st-level spell from that same list. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level.

Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before you can cast it again. Your spellcasting ability for these spells depends on the class you chose: Charisma for bard, sorcerer, or warlock; Wisdom for cleric or druid: or Intelligence for wizard.

Spell slot can cast (PHB, p. 164):

Class Features>Spellcasting>Spell Slots.

You can use the spell slots of those levels to cast the spells you do know

if i'm correct you need to know spell,(to prepare, if you need it), to spend slots to cast, so if you Learn you know or can have prepared?

considering on the 2018 PHB errata, you can't spend spell slots to cast spells from another class.

For instance, the sorcerer errata.

Spell Slots (p. 101). In the first sentence, “your spells” is now “your sorcerer spells.”

but you can cast rituals and spells from your own class, The feat doesn't say the spell cast is free; it only says you can cast it at its lowest level once per long rest.

so i can't spend spell slots to cast spells from another class but can chose it, i can cast rituals because dosen't need spend slots and spells from your own class (if they have) because i can spend it slots, but if i choose nonritual spell from another class i can cast it, but can't spend spell slots and if i can't spend spell slots, virtualy i can't cast it, The feat doesn't say the spell cast is free - requires spell slots.; it only says you can cast it at its lowest level once per long rest. - when you cast it can't cast again

but this statement seems contradictory, observing the fact exists a ritual caster feat, i think miss something.

Does the 1st-level spell you can cast using the Magic Initiate feat need spell slots? Or can you cast it for "free"? What in the text indicates the answer to this question?

Please cite only the rules and those rules only of the PHB to support your answer.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not quite sure what you're asking, even with your self-answer. Are you asking if you need to have spell slots to cast your Magic Initiate spell (or to even get the feat?) Also, asking the same question again to get around a duplicate is NOT the proper method here. You can try and clarify your original question, but please don't re-ask. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    May 6 '20 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related (not a duplicate, since it already assumes spell slots aren't required to begin with): Can you cast a spell learned from the Magic Initiate feat using spell slots? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 8 '20 at 22:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is your "know or have prepared" quote an incomplete quote from the Pact Magic section of the multiclass spellcasting rules? What makes you think it's relevant to this question? Also, I don't understand what your question of "If you Learn you know or can have prepared?" is asking, or what it has to do with your overall question about Magic Initiate. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 8 '20 at 23:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ The question makes it sound like you've already reached a conclusion about how the feat works and want to confirm your understanding. If that's accurate, I suggest rephrasing the question to reflect that, perhaps opening it with Is the following assessment of how the feat Magical Initiate works accurate? Alternatively, if you're interested in the community's unvarnished take on the feat, I suggest editing the question to omit everything but the first and last sentences and making the middle into its own answer. \$\endgroup\$ May 9 '20 at 13:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sure. I suggest changing the question to just this: "I'm having a hard time understanding how the Magic Initiate feat works. Does it require spell slots? Please support your answer with the rules." That way, you can see other people's research in their answers, and you can make your own research your answer. \$\endgroup\$ May 9 '20 at 14:07
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The keywords here are:

  • "Once per day"
  • "You must finish a long rest before you can cast it again"

These abilities/feats are available to anyone because you don't need spell slots to use them. It just means that because you aren't a class that has spent years studying magic, you are limited to how many times you can cast it.

So, this means that these spells, gained through racial traits and feats are handled separately form other spells you might have, because they do not use spell slots. And if they did require spell slots, it would state that instead, as well as being restricted to classes that have spell slots already.

As the general rules on Feats state (PHB, p. 165):

You must meet any prerequisite specified in a feat to take that feat.

For instead, the prerequisite of the Elemental Adept feat is listed as (PHB, p. 166):

Prerequisite: The ability to cast at least one spell

The Magic Initiate feat (PHB p.168) does not list any prerequisites; therefore, it does not have any.

From the "Spell Slots" section of the Spellcasting rules (PHB, p. 201):

Some characters and monsters have special abilities that let them cast spells without using spell slots. For example, a monk who follows the Way of the Four Elements, a warlock who chooses certain eldritch invocations, and a pit fiend from the Nine Hells can all cast spells in such a way.

The Magic Initiate feat is a "special abilit[y] that let[s] [you] cast spells without using spell slots."

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  • \$\begingroup\$ your answer is based on affirmation of the sentence "You must finish a long rest before you can cast it again" it's equal to cast as free and based in the fact feats are available to anyone, but feats are available to anyone isn't a rule law, its confirmation bias and the first sentence doesn't say the spell cast is free; it only says you can cast it at its lowest level once per long rest. when you cast it can't cast (explained in 2 and 20 paragraph) and cite only the rules in the PHB (explained at last paragraph) not cite confirmation bias \$\endgroup\$ May 9 '20 at 12:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ben I've added [or will have added, once approved!] some page references from the PHB as requested by the OP, hope that's okay! :) \$\endgroup\$ May 9 '20 at 14:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Since the suggested edit was approved (by other users), I've cleaned up some of the comments. Ben can accept or revert the edit, but either way it's in the edit history now so it doesn't need to be in the comments too :) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 9 '20 at 22:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DM_with_secrets thanks for the addition. I should have added those references to begin with, it's my bad for not doing so. Thanks for the edit! \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    May 10 '20 at 6:08
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The question is based on a misconception.

The feat doesn't say the spell cast is free; it only says you can cast it at its lowest level once per long rest. -when you cast it can't cast again - and casting spells normally requires spell slots.

Casting spells doesn't normally require spell slots. The Spellcasting and Pact Magic class features give you rules for casting spells using spell slots, but there are plenty of other ways to cast spells (Class features (several Warlock invocations for instance), Race features, Feats, magic items...). The rule doesn't need to spell out anything like "the casting is free", because there's no implicit cost. The feat says you can cast it once, so you can.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to reference the "Spell Slots" section of the Spellcasting rules. It does say, "When a character casts a spell, he or she expends a slot of that spell's level or higher, effectively "filling" a slot with the spell." However, the last paragraph of that section mentions exceptions to this: "Some characters and monsters have special abilities that let them cast spells without using spell slots." \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 9 '20 at 22:34

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