Wizards Love Arcane Recovery 5e


Check out the Wizard feature Arcane Recovery, how it works, what its limitations are, and which magical items can interact with it.

arcane recovery

During the peace and quiet of a short rest amidst the chaos of the day, the Wizard sits silently, studying with Arcane Recovery to regain some of her spent spell slots. As a 10th-level Wizard, she has quite a few options. She could regain a 5th-level spell slot, a 3rd, and 2nd-level spell slot, or some combination of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-level slots. As long as they equal 5 or less, she can balance her needs based on her predictions for the rest of the adventuring day.

What Is Arcane Recovery?

The text from the Basic Rules reads: You have learned to regain some of your magical energy by studying your spellbook. Once per day, when you finish a short rest, you can choose expended spell slots to recover. The spell slots can have a combined level that is equal to or less than half your wizard level (rounded up), and none of the slots can be 6th level or higher.

For example, if you’re a 4th-level Wizard, you can recover up to two levels worth of spell slots. You can recover either a 2nd-level spell slot or two 1st-level spell slots. It’s not as nice as the Warlock’s ability to recover all of their Pact Magic slots every time they take a short rest, but unlike Warlocks, you should have access to ritual spells that don’t consume spell slots to cast.

Interestingly, School of Divination Wizards don’t have to worry as much about Arcane Recovery as other Wizard subclasses. One of their features, Expert Divination, comes online at level 6, and it allows the caster to regain a spell slot whenever they cast a divination spell of 2nd-level or higher. The spell slot they recover has to be of a lower level than the one they just cast, but it’s a pretty sweet deal.

When Does It Come Online?

Arcane Recovery is available beginning at level 1. However, the number of spell slots you can recover and the level you can regain depend on your Wizard level. Remember, this won’t scale if you multiclass even though your character level still increases.

Are There Any Limitations?

The main limitation on Arcane Recovery is that you cannot regain spell slots of 6th-level or higher, even if you have the right number of Wizard levels. 12th-level Wizard? Doesn’t matter; you still can’t regain anything higher than a 5th-level spell slot. All your increased levels mean is that you can regain a 5th and 1st-level spell slot at the same time.

Similar Items

Although they don’t do exactly the same thing, there are a few magical items that either interact with your Arcane Recovery feature or do something similar.

Arcane Grimoire

Originating from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the text reads: While you are holding this leather-bound book, you can use it as a spellcasting focus for your Wizard spells, and you gain a bonus to spell attack rolls, and to the saving throw DCs of your Wizard spells. The bonus is determined by the book’s rarity. You can use this book as a spellbook. In addition, when you use your Arcane Recovery feature, you can increase the number of spell slot levels you regain by 1.

The last sentence here is key. If you’re a 4th-level Wizard, you can normally regain a 2nd-level spell slot or two 1st-level spell slots. When you’re attuned to the arcane grimoire, you could regain a 3rd-level spell slot, three 1st-level spell slots, or a 1st and 2nd-level spell slot. Only Wizards can attune to this item because of its interaction with their features.

The increase to your Arcane Recovery is limited to 1, regardless of the item’s rarity. That means an uncommon version (+1 bonus) and a very rare version (+3 bonus) would both only increase your number of spell slots recovered by 1, not by the number of the bonus.

Grimoire Infinitus (Exalted)

This is a legendary item, so don’t expect to find this lying around your local library. When you attune to an exalted version of the Grimoire Infinitus, you get, among other things, the ability to use your Arcane Recovery feature twice between long rests rather than once. That is pretty huge, considering you’re likely at least level 16 by the time you get your hands on an item like this. Depending on your party’s adventuring style, you might find yourself siding with the Monk, Warlock, and Fighter begging for short rests after every fight.

Of course, you might find that the extra Arcane Recovery is just cake compared to the wide number of spells known in the book, the fact that you can prepare extra spells each day, gaining advantage on saving throws against spells and magical effects.

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