Given the character has all their prerequisites

  • 5th level Alchemist Artificer with the spells Absorb Elements, Shocking Grasp
  • 3rd level Sorcerer (any) with Transmuted Spell metamagic

The description for Alchemist Savant says:

Whenever you cast a spell using your alchemist’s supplies as the spellcasting focus, you gain a bonus to one roll of the spell. That roll must restore hit points or be a damage roll that deals acid, fire, necrotic, or poison damage, and the bonus equals your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1).

And per this question, all Alchemist spells use the alchemist's supplies as material components. Therefore, both spells mentioned would use material components even though they both normally would not.

So here is the scenario:

An Artificer gets hit by a Fireball and casts Absorb Elements to reduce the damage and store the fire for their next melee attack. On their turn, they cast Shocking Grasp, a melee spell attack, which should be lightning damage, but they spend 1 sorcery point to Transmuted Spell it into fire.

My question is: Since this is two different spells being cast, Absorb Elements and Shocking Grasp, during the attack, do they both take advantage of the Savant feature (an Int bonus to both spells)?

There shouldn't be any doubt about the Shocking Grasp now that the damage type has been turned to fire.

I guess it boils down to; would Absorb Elements also benefit from the bonus damage? It is a spell that is cast and the roll would be damage of type fire. None of the features mention any time frame or even a "per turn"/"per round".


4 Answers 4


Alchemical Savant applies once per eligible spell

Each time you cast a spell that satisfies the requirements of Alchemical Savant, you get to add the damage bonus. In your example, the transmuted Shocking Grasp definitely satisfies these requirements, so you certainly add the bonus once. If your DM rules that Absorb Elements is also eligible for the ability, then you would also add the bonus when you roll the additional damage for this spell as well, with the final result that you roll for the normal damage of Shocking Grasp plus the normal damage of Absorb Elements plus 2 times your intelligence modifier.

However, the question of whether Absorb Elements is eligible for the damage bonus from Alchemical Savant is a surprisingly tricky one.

When does the damage bonus from Alchemical Savant apply?

One valid reading of "whenever you cast a spell" is that the damage bonus only applies to damage rolls that happen at the time of casting. If this is your DM's ruling, then Absorb Elements doesn't satisfy this requirement. On the other hand, it's an equally valid reading that the bonus you gain when casting the spell is something you hold onto and then use on the damage roll of your choice at any time during the spell's duration. This would be similar to an Illusionist wizard's Malleable Illusions, which applies "when you cast an illusion spell" but is unambiguously used during the spell's duration.

I would argue in favor of the latter, more permissive reading for Alchemical Savant. Two spells on the Alchemist Spells table, Flaming Sphere and Cloudkill, deal damage of an eligible type, but not at the time of casting. If you (or your DM) believe that these alchemist spells are supposed to get the damage bonus from Alchemical Savant, then the exact timing of the damage roll doesn't matter as long as it happens during the spell's duration. (Indeed, I've been adding the bonus to my castings of Flaming Sphere in actual play, and my DM hasn't batted an eye.)

Does Absorb Elements even have a damage roll?

You could also argue that Absorb Elements doesn't even have its own damage roll, but rather it adds additional damage to an attack. The spell says:

[...] Also, the first time you hit with a melee attack on your next turn, the target takes an extra 1d6 damage of the triggering type, and the spell ends.

This wording closely matches that used in Flame Arrows:

When a target is hit by a ranged weapon attack using a piece of ammunition drawn from the quiver, the target takes an extra 1d6 fire damage.

as well as some magic items, such as the Frost Brand:

When you hit with an attack using this magic sword, the target takes an extra 1d6 cold damage.

So it seems that this wording indicates that the damage is not a separate source of damage, but is added to the attack's damage. (This matters, for example, when determining whether the target must make one or two saving throws to maintain concentration.) If this is your DM's interpretation, then they might say that Absorb Elements is not eligible for Alchemical Savant because it doesn't deal its own damage, but rather modifies the damage of something else.

On the other hand, your DM might be perfectly satisfied with the straightforward logic that the if the text of Absorb Elements says to roll for fire damage, then the spell is the source of the fire damage, and hence the Alchemical Savant bonus applies. It's certainly a ruling that doesn't require cross-referencing multiple spells and magic items to compare their wordings.

In summary, there is ample room for a DM to rule either way on whether the additional attack damage from Absorb Elements gets the damage bonus from Alchemical Savant.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "to one roll of the spell" does not define when that roll has to happen, this should support your agrument of the feature applying to Absorb Elements. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 11:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you can clearly resolve this by defining when does the feature apply? "Whenever you cast a spell" and what does it do? "you gain a bonus to one roll of the spell" this is consistent with your primary reasoning of "Alchemical Savant applies once per eligible spell" so I think if you modify your answer accordingly that would be better than me posting yet another answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 12:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 from a glance at the related links all of the related links include spells with different phrasing that doesn't apply to this case at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 12:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu How is this? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 12:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanC.Thompson looking good, upvoted, \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 12:15

Alchemist Savant doesn't apply to Absorb Elements.

As you quoted, Alchemist Savant says the following:

Whenever you cast a spell ...

As a result, Alchemist Savant only applies to healing rolls or damage rolls that occur when you cast the spell. As a result, it has no effect on spells like Absorb Elements or Elemental Weapon that influence damage rolls that occur after you've cast the spell.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So are you saying Delayed Fireball Blast also would not work because the damage doesn't happen when you cast the spell? (Yes, not an Artificer spell. Just making a point) \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 5:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott Yes, unless you immediately ended your concentration so that yhe damage occurred as part of casting the spell - not that it matters, since its a 7th-level spell so Artificers can't cast it. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 5:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ As pointed out in my question, the feature makes no mention of time frame; just "cast a spell" and "you gain a bonus to one roll of the spell". \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 5:18
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott Nick is saying that "Whenever you cast a spell" is a precise timing, it is specifically when you cast it and not well after you cast it. Similar to this answer about Clerics and goodberry \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 5:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ "to one roll of the spell" does not define when that roll has to happen, here whenever defines only that it modifies a roll of the spell, unless you can point to conclusive reasoning. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 12:00

That's going to be entirely up to the DM. It's not spelled out clearly.

I think it's clear that the Shocking Grasp would get the bonus.

The question is regarding the stored energy of the Absorb Elements. Some DMs would say that, since you are not making the damage roll at the time you are casting that spell, the bonus does not apply, as it occurs when you cast the spell. Other DMs would say that even though it comes later, the damage roll from the stored energy is still a roll of that spell, and the bonus should apply.

I would be in the second group, and apply the bonus twice, and let it be a big ol' lump o' damage. Check with your DM; YMMV



Different game features can affect a target at the same time. But when two or more game features have the same name, only the effects of one of them—the most potent one—apply while the durations of the effects overlap

A creature subjected to two Alchamest Savant effects simultaneously is only affected by one of them.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The target isn't "subjected to" the feature, it is subjected to damage, which is cumulative. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 4:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanC.Thompson So, when a creature is hit by, say, a Fireball, they aren’t subjected to a Fireball but only the damage of the Fireball? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 5:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Alchemical Savant isn't a spell, an attack, or an ability that deals damage. It's an ability that modifies the damage (or healing) of spells. If an Alchemist artificer hits you with a Fire Bolt and adds their Alchemical Savant damage bonus, you're taking damage from Fire Bolt. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 10:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ This would be akin to saying that if two characters attacked someone at the same time (one readied their action to coordinate) with longswords. Because they are both using longswords, and the attacks overlap, only the effect of one attack will take effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 0:36

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