On page 107 of the DND 5E players handbook there is a labeled area called "Spells known of first level and higher", in this section it says "when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the warlock spells you know and replace it with another spell from the warlock spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

I am starting out a new character as a warlock, and I thought well what are cantrips if not spells. I saw that on this answers forum it says in the DND Rulebook that cantrips are level 0 spells.

If they(warlock cantrips) are spells does that mean I can upgrade my 2x0 Level cantrips to, lets say 2x2nd level spells or can you not upgrade cantrips to higher spell slots?


1 Answer 1


No. Cantrips are counted separately from the spells that you learn. If you look at the table at the beginning of the chapter for warlocks you can see the number of spells know and the number of cantrips known. That's the best way to cross check what you are reading.

It's important to note that while cantrips are considered L0 spells, they are, for the purposes of advancement, treated separately from spells. You can swap your level 1+ spells as you advance as a warlock, but you cannot do that with your cantrips. You get spells every level, but you only get cantrips at very specific levels.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ To add on this answer, I'd put some more emphasis on the stated requirement that the spells being swapped be of a level for which you have spell slots : "replace it with another spell from the warlock spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots". Cantrips are spells, yes, but they are not associated with spell slots and thus cannot be swapped. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dungarth
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 3:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ So to double check, If I get the magic initiate Feat will I be able to use the spell I learnt if it is from the Warlock class and change it to a different spell of a higher grade when I level up? Example: Hex at level 4 turned into Cloud of daggers when I'm level 5 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 3:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CelestialRain - Pretty sure the rules were intended to mean that you can swap spells obtained through the warlock class, not those you learned from the magic initiate feat. Even if you could, it would only be feasible by taking warlock levels (as other classes do not allow you to re-train warlock spells), and would be limited to a first level spell (as the feat does not allow you to learn spells higher than first level). There is no way, as far as I know, to re-train a cantrip (but I could be wrong). \$\endgroup\$
    – Dungarth
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 3:28

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