Content of the article: "The True Power of Flash of Genius"
I hardly see it talked about when people discuss their kit, but the Artificer's 5th level ability, Flash of Genius, is straight-up one of the best abilities in the game.
Flash of Genius
Starting at 7th level, you gain the ability to come up with solutions under pressure. When you or another creature you can see within 30 feet of you makes an ability check or a saving throw, you can use your reaction to add your Intelligence modifier to the roll.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Breathe it in.
First of all, let's talk about how universally lauded Guidance is. It adds 1d4 to an ability check. It doesn't help saving throws. Also, it needs cast ahead of time and requires concentration. Still a fantastic ability.
Now, Flash of Genius: You don't roll, you just add your modifier. At 7th level, that's likely +4 or +5, and by 8th level it's probably just +5.
What kinds of checks/saving throws can it help?
Well, here's two real examples that actually happened in the campaign I'm playing.
1) Some very bad people were trying to summon the demon lord Orcus through a portal. We wanted to stop this from happening for several reasons, mainly self-preservation. So our Druid attempts to cast dispel magic on the summoning circle. Our DM hadn't anticipated this, so he allowed it and made up a DC of 18. Our intrepid Druid only rolled a 14… but wait! Our heroic artificer (that's me!) is able to decipher part of the runic language on the summoning circle and helps the druid during his casting (at least that's how we flavored flash of genius boosting his ability check during the casting of Dispel Magic). Crisis averted. Go the heck home, Orcus.
2) Got a spell you really want countered? Say, a Power Word Kill? Our BBEG shows up and tosses one of those bad boys out, but thankfully our Psionic Soul sorcerer is always ready to crush a spell… however a DC 19 ability check is going to be hard to hit, and even with Tasha's Magical Guidance he only manages a 15. However, that happens to be high enough I can put him over the top and turn that Power Word Kill into a burned 9th level spell slot. Crisis averted. Our fighter lives to die another day. Yay.
Those are just two ability checks. You can use it to boost your initiative if you want (that's a Dexterity check). You can use it to pad any saving throw. You can use it to pick a lock or convince some NPC to trust you when they know they shouldn't. The possibilities are endless, and I can't wait to see how this wonderful feature saves our ass next time.
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