Can a paladin use the 1st level spell from the Magic Initiate feat, or the spells gained from a race (like Tiefling, or Eladrin) to smite?


The Paladin requires spell slots to smite. As referenced from the PHB Errata:

"Divine Smite (p. 85). You can expend any spell slot, not just a paladin spell slot."

This means that things like Warlock spell slots do work for Smite (even though they recharge after a short rest), whereas abilities that let you cast spells without slots (e.g. most racial abilities and Magic Initiate) do not.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Another good example are cases where you are able to increase your spell slots somehow, such as spending Sorcerer Points. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wilerson
    Apr 13 '17 at 12:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I consider spell slots created via sorcery points to be just as valid as spell slots created/recharged via resting. Why wouldn't it count just because only sorcerers can create them this way? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick Brown
    Aug 2 '17 at 20:57

Really it depends on your dungeon master. I would probably allow it, since usually those spells are more helpful or chosen for specific reasons than even class spells. For example, a tiefling expending a hellish rebuke for a smite looses the ability to punish melee attackers for decent fire damage, so yes, I would allow it, but only as a base level smite, in other words, regardless of the spell's actual level it counts as a first level slot for smiting. However, according to firm rules, no, you cannot, as stated above. An alternative for a DM would be to allow you to expend, say, Hellish Rebuke to smite, but the smite would be fire based not radiant, a reflection of your Tiefling heritage. But without consulting with your DM I would not count on it for build purposes.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Kevin. Welcome to the site! Make sure you have taken the tour. As an aside, I think the reason you're getting downvotes on this answer is that your answer is based mostly on possible DM (house) rulings. Every DM has a different set of house-rules, and most rules questions could theoretically be answered using house rules. That said, unless the asker is explicitly looking for a (tested) house rule, or a house rule seems to be the only way to solve the problem, we tend to prefer answers by the book. If you do cite house rules, make sure they are tested, as we don't like pure speculation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ladifas
    Jun 18 '17 at 21:14

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