Last Updated on August 23, 2023
There seem to be a lot more feats out there for martial combatants than there are for spellcasters, and that’s good; they need the help to be as powerful as we are. Still, it can be exciting to experience a new type of magical prowess.
Whether you’re a warlock who isn’t getting enough out of their invocations, a wizard looking to study up on some sorcerous secrets, or a bard just looking to spread the music, Metamagic Adept is a feat that can take your spells to new heights.
In this article we’re going to talk about what this feat is, who should take it, and why.
(For a list of all the Feats in D&D 5e you can refer to our Feats List)
We’ll be discussing enough of how metamagic works for you to get the understanding you need, but for more information, check out our Metamagic feature article.
What Is the Metamagic Adept Feat?
This feat lets you learn two metamagic options from the sorcerer class and grants you two sorcery points to be able to use them.
These sorcery points can only be used for metamagic, so don’t count on gaining access to the whole of a sorcerer’s class abilities with this feat.
Metamagic itself is a class feature of the sorcerer class that allows them to twist their spells to suit the needs of the moment.
By spending sorcery points while casting their spells, they can do amazing things with their spells, like targeting an extra creature, doubling the range of a spell, or even changing the damage type of a spell.
There are 10 metamagic options, but since you only gain 2 sorcery points, I’ll only be listing the options here which require you to spend 1 sorcery point.
It seems rather silly to pick this up for a once-a-day ability, and it would be actually insane to pick this up for an ability that costs more than 2 sorcery points.
The only excuse for taking a more expensive option is if you already have levels in sorcerer, in which case, read the full feature article as well.
What Are the Metamagic Options?
The metamagic options you’ll want to consider picking up with this feat are as follows:
- Careful Spell – Select a number of creatures up to your Charisma modifier to automatically save on a spell you cast that requires a saving throw.
- Distant Spell – Double the range of a spell with 5 feet or greater, or you can make a spell with the range of touch have a range of 30 feet.
- Empowered Spell – Reroll a number of damage dice up to your Charisma modifier when you roll damage for a spell; you must use the new rolls. You may use this option if you have already used another Metamagic Option on a spell.
- Extended Spell – Double the duration of a spell with a duration of 1 minute or longer to a maximum of 24 hours.
- Subtle Spell – You can cast a spell without using any verbal or somatic components.
- Transmuted Spell – When you cast a spell that deals a type of damage from the following list, you can change that damage type to one of the other listed types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, thunder.
Who Should Take Metamagic Adept?
If you meet the prerequisite for the feat, which is either the Spellcasting or Pact Magic feature, then this might be a good fit for you.
This feat is one that requires you to look at the spells you have in your arsenal and see if they can be modified. It also requires accepting that you’ll only be able to do so once or twice a day.
A warlock can look at their spell list and immediately see that quickening an Eldritch Blast and then casting another Eldritch Blast as their main action is an extremely effective turn, especially with an invocation or two granting some extra bonuses.
Bards and clerics can see benefit in using an extended spell as they attempt to buff the party. Buffs, which typically would last for an hour or longer, are the best options when using this.
Wizards can really go in any direction, but everybody loves rolling more dice, so maybe they might want the directions for empowered spells jotted in the footnotes of their spellbook.
After that, the best builds to incorporate this feat are ones with very specific goals in mind.
Unlike some other caster feats that give you access to an ability or a new spell, this feat is giving you a maximum of two uses when you pick it up as a non-sorcerer.
In some situations you might even be better off spending three levels in sorcerer to just get the whole feature along with Font of Magic and a few more subclass abilities.
Going into this feat without a very specific goal is ill advised, but what does a specific goal really mean? Well, I’ll give you some examples.
Stealth Infiltrator; Soulknife Rogue/ Great Old One Warlock
Here’s a build that combines spells and stealth to get into whatever situation they need to without getting caught. They probably have some good social spells and illusion spells up their sleeve to be able to get around any unwanted company.
One such spell is Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, part of the Great Old One’s expanded spell list.
Casting that as a get out of jail free card would be ideal, except everyone around the target would spot you casting the spell thanks to your use of verbal and somatic components.
Instead, you have a subtle spell ready to go at all times so you can secretly cast it and confuse an entire group of guards with one 1st-Level spell slot and one sorcery point.
Healer Tank; Life Domain Cleric
This domain is all about being able to heal your allies, and is aided by their subclass features in doing so.
One thing that can often be a huge draw on the abilities of the cleric is that they’re not always right next to the creature they want to heal, making a simple Cure Wounds a two or three turn process.
Instead, you have a distant spell ready to allow you to touch your allies from 30 feet away with magic.
Maybe you also have an empowered spell waiting in the wings just in case you decide to drop a huge amount of damage.
“With my freeze ray…”; Chronurgy Wizard With Cold Elemental Adept
Super specific, but here we are.
They freeze time, get it? So you want to be a time wizard but you also really wanted to be Captain Cold, and you couldn’t just steal an Order of Scribes’ awakened spellbook feature.
In comes transmuted spell, an ability you can use for those one or two specific spells in your arsenal that don’t naturally deal cold damage – maybe Fireball and Chain Lightning.
You don’t always have to change them to cold damage, but especially when you want/need to get around resistances you can just transmute away and get your Elemental Adept’s benefits.
There are a lot of examples I could give, but they would all just be examples (and hopefully inspiration). It’s near impossible to broaden these specific builds without just saying that each metamagic option is good at doing what it does.
If you made it to this article, you likely have some sort of idea for the character you’re looking to play.
The average gamer doesn’t stumble across a feat article on accident. Maybe they do; if so, welcome. Still, if you think this feat might fit into your build, then do it.
The only other “build” that I can generalize pretty well is a sorcerer that wants more options and more points.
As a sorcerer, you can only choose four of the 10 options as it is, and the maximum amount of sorcery points you get naturally is 20.
This feat, especially grabbed early on, can give any sorcerer the versatility they need to really make themselves comfortable with metamagic.
This goes doubly for new sorcerers who haven’t experienced the mechanic yet. It’s a great pick at 4th level if getting the class feature at 3rd left you with more questions than answers.
If you’re looking for other Feats, try these two:
Medium Armor Master Feat 5e
Mobile Feat 5e
Commonly Asked Questions
Can you get Metamagic Adept more than once?
No, but you can invest levels in sorcerer if you’re looking for more versatility with your spellcasting.
Can you use Metamagic on warlock invocations?
You can only use metamagic on warlock invocations that allow you to cast a spell.
Metamagic options such as Cloak of Flies or Eldritch Smite are just abilities, while Gift of the Depths allows you to cast Water Breathing, which is the casting of a spell.
Is Metamagic a bonus action?
No, metamagic is just an extra ability that happens as part of the casting of your spell. It is not an action, bonus action, or reaction, or any sort of action out there.
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As a kid, I was often told to get my head out of the clouds and to stop living in a fantasy world. That never really jived with me, so I decided to make a living out of games, stories, and all sorts of fantastical works. Now, as an adult, I aspire to remind people that sometimes a little bit of fantasy is all you need when life gets to be too much.