In 5e D&D, do Land Circle Druids use spell slots for their Land Circle spells? For example, a second level Druid gets 2 cantrips – no spell slots needed – and 3 1st level spell slots. So, he can basically cast 3 spells at 1st level and his cantrips. If that druid chooses to go Land Circle, such as Swamp Circle, he adds 2 new Land Circle spells, always prepared, to his collection – Darkness, and Acid Arrow, both not cantrips.
My issue is, if he's required to use spell slots to cast those Land Circle spells, then they aren't that great. He could do as well with plain old Druid spells, things like Fog Cloud, Ice Knife, and Earth Tremor. So if he has to use spell slots for Circle Spells, why not choose a different circle? He does get a couple other things as, for example, Swamp Circle, like Land Stride, but that's only useful in a very, very, very small percentage of situations. So I'm wondering if I'm reading Land Circle Druids incorrectly. It says their Land Circle spells are always prepared, but that's not a big deal for a Druid, is it?
Do they have to use their limited spell slots to cast their Land Circle spells?