Assume a level 9 warlock has following damage dice:

-5d6 from base EB

-2d6 from Mortalbane (Feat, does not require CL)

-2d6 from Greater Chasuble of Fell Power (Item - Caster level 9th)

-2d6 from gloves of eldritch admixture (Item - Caster Level: 3rd)

Maximize spell like ability feat mentions:

The spell-like ability you wish to maximize can be chosen only from those abilities that duplicate a spell of a level less than or equal to 1/2 your caster level (round down), minus 2.

If this warlock wanted to maximize their attack using all of the dice above, would he have to re-calculate the Maximize Spell Level according to formula [(CL/2) - 2]? If that is the case, would you take the item that requires the highest CL or add up all the spells that requires CL (1 for EB + 9 for Chasuble + 3 for the gloves)


If you use an item, that item's caster level has no effect on the caster level for maximize spell-like ability with regard to your eldritch blast. The only things taken into account are:

  1. Eldritch Blast (1 -- the minimum)
  2. The higher of any eldritch essence or blast shape invocations applied to your eldritch blast, if used

If you are casting a simple "Eldritch Blast" with no essence or blast shape, then you can maximize it starting at caster level 6. As a level 9 warlock, you would have no trouble. A level 9 warlock could apply maximize spell-like ability to an eldritch blast that had up to a level 2-equivalent eldritch essence or blast shape invocation. For example, if the warlock knows eldritch spear, which is a least blast shape invocation with equivalent level 2, that could be applied and a level 9 caster could still maximize the eldritch blast. However, hellrime blast, which is a lesser invocation with equivalent level 4 could not be used with maximize spell-like ability since a caster level of at least 12 would be required (12/2 - 2 = 4).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks this clears up alot! However, I am curious to know as what you've meant by "maximize up to a level 2 equivalent EB"? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '20 at 4:54
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @UniQuadrion I've edited the answer to help clear things up. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '20 at 5:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sweet! This definitely clears things up. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '20 at 17:12

An item’s caster level affects how vulnerable it is to being temporarily suppressed by dispel magic and the like.

And unless the item is duplicating a spell effect (e.g. spell-completion, spell-trigger), that’s it.

It isn’t a minimum requirement on crafting the item, it doesn’t affect the power of the item’s effect, it doesn’t interact with feats. It interacts with dispel magic and similar, and pretty much nothing else.

If an item is going to affect eldritch blast’s caster level, it will say that, and it won’t have any relation to the item’s own caster level. For instance, an orange ioun stone grants a +1 bonus to caster level, including eldritch blast’s, but the ioun stone’s own caster level is 12th, regardless of what the warlock’s caster level was without the stone or is with it.

Finally, Maximize Spell-like Ability basically pits your caster level with a given spell-like ability against that spell’s spell level—and the caster level is the one you need to have more of. So, for instance, that orange ioun stone could make it easier to use Maximize Spell-like Ability, since your caster level needs to be a certain amount higher than the spell level.

In most cases, spell level never changes—it just is what it is. Eldritch blast is a nearly-unique exception where spell level does change, but it doesn’t change based on the damage that eldritch blast deals. A 20th-level warlock’s eldritch blast is still “like” a 1st-level spell.1 The only way the spell level of eldritch blast changes is if you use a blast shape or eldritch essence invocation on it—then it takes on the highest spell level among eldritch blast’s default 1st, the spell level of the blast shape if any, and the spell level of the eldritch essence if any.

All of which is to say that, normally, any regular casting of eldritch blast with a caster level of 6th or higher is eligible for Maximize Spell-like Ability. The only things that can make this no longer true are a blast shape or eldritch essence invocation applied to the eldritch blast. Feats, items, and so on have no effect on eldritch blast’s spell level, and therefore have no effect on its eligibility for Maximize Spell-like Ability.

  1. Note that originally, as published in Complete Arcane, this was not true: eldritch blast increased in spell level based on the caster’s warlock level. This was changed in errata, literally in order to make feats like Maximize Spell-like Ability functional with eldritch blast. Even in the original version, though, bonuses to eldritch blast’s damage from sources other than warlock levels would still have no effect on its spell level—only warlock levels increased that.

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