Multi-Level-Magic Scheme – The Ultimate 5E Warlock Guide

Best summoning warlock

DnD 5e – The Warlock Optimisation Guide

Don’t take this Warlock guide based on what our Charismatic leader says. Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition has different play styles for everybody. Below, we’ve put together a guide considering optimal ways to play with otherworldly power.

We also link to a full list of other great character optimisation guides for D&D.


Multi-Level-Magic Scheme: The Core of the Warlock in 5th Edition

“Let’s make a deal”
– Garfield the deals warlock

The Warlock isn’t a typical spellcaster. You’ve made some kind of pact in exchange for a taste of magical power.

Warlocks only get a few spell slots to play with, and don’t have to worry about casting spells at different levels. Warlocks get the best cantrip in the game (Eldritch Blast) and have several ways to augment it.

Having less spell slots and a more restricted spell list than a Wizard means you won’t have the same kind of utility either. Smart Warlocks can fill in the role of a battlefield controller or damage dealer as needed.

As you’ll be working from a good Charisma score, you’re also a decent ‘Face’ candidate for the party.

  • Sky Blue = Top of the line choice. Warlock optimisation starts here.
  • Blue = Very strong choice for Warlock, but not amazing.
  • Black = Solid choice. There are better options, but this is more than serviceable
  • Purple = Not top tier. It may have niche use, but better options exist
  • Red = Mechanically weak. If you feel it fits your concept, go for it, but you will likely be less effective

Remember, this is a Warlock optimisation guide. We’re looking at what is strong or effective for your basic Warlock build. Where we can, there will be specific information for one sub-class over the other.

That said, if you have a fun idea for your character that isn’t based around ‘charop’, don’t be afraid to put fun ahead of numbers. You know your game better than me, after all.


  • Str: Probably dump this one. Some Blade-Pact Warlocks will argue that they need some in here.
  • Dex: If you’re going to be in melee, you may want 14 Dexterity to bump up the Armour Class. Even Hexblades use Charisma for attacks and damage.
  • Con: Loaded up with concentration spells? Then you’re going to want some points here. Plus, it helps keep you healthy and alive. Int: Leave the intelligence to the Wizards. Your magic is based on your force of will, not book learning.
  • Wis: Not really used, but there are some important Wisdom saving throws you may not want to fail.
  • Cha: The spellcasting stat. This should be your prime focus at a 16, if possible.

Best Warlock Races:

Anything with +Cha is solid Dex or Con should be the second stat, if you can. Defensive bonuses are also useful early, though some options may be less effective later.

Warlocks can get access to Devil’s Sight, which makes Darkvision on races less required.

Races [PHB] [DMG] [VOLO] [EEPC] [SCAG] [MToF]

  • Aarakocra: [+2 Dex] Fly above the battlefield and deliver a rain of Eldritch Blasts. Apart from that, it’s the wrong stats. [EEPC]
  • Aasimar: [+2 Cha] Charisma and resistance are great, but the spells are a little lacklustre. [DMG]
  • Variant Aasimar:  [+2 Cha] The Charisma, Darkvision, Resistance to Necrotic, and Radiant is great. Wisdom is fine…[VOLO]
    • Scourge: [+1 Con] A great way to tap into radiant damage if your party is lacking. Con is a decent secondary stat for any Warlock. The Radiant consumption means you’ll want to be in close range, so a Hexblade Warlock may like this even more.
    • Fallen: [+1 Str] Considerable for a Hexblade Warlock, stacking Strength usually leads to lower Dex and AC problems though. Frightened is a powerful condition and getting access to a close-range fear once per day is nice.
    • Protector: [+1 Wis ] The Wisdom is somewhat wasted, but flying for one minute and shedding bright light can come in handy.
  • Bugbear [+2 Str, +1 Wis] Wrong stats for a Warlock. Gets Darkvision, free Stealth proficiency and 2d6 extra damage when attacking from surprise, you’re not going to use that. [VOLO]
  • Dragonborn [+2 Str, +1 Cha] A little Cha but too much Str in what you’re looking for.
  • Dwarf[+2 Con]
    • Mountain Dwarf [+2 Str] Nothing super helpful here.
    • Hill Dwarf [+1 Wis] Warlocks don’t need a ton of wisdom.
    • Duergar [+1 Str] Con and Str don’t do much for you I’m afraid. [SCAG]
  • Elf [+2 Dex] Thematically, this could work with the Archfey patron, especially if you’re looking for a Dex based Hexblade.
    • Wood Elf [+1 Wis] Wrong stats, leave this for the Rangers.
    • Drow [+1 Cha] Boosted Darkvision and Faerie Fire can help in an ongoing underground campaign, the Cha isn’t a huge boost compared to other races. Sunlight sensitivity hurts if you go outside, so you may want to cast Darkness.
    • High Elf [+1 Int] A free wizard cantrip is wasted on you because you already have Eldritch Blast. The Intelligence doesn’t help either.
    • Eladrin [+1 Int] High Elf with a teleport spell. [DMG]
    • Sea Elf Nothing useful for the Warlock. [MToF]
    • Shadar-Kai Maybe thematically fun, but nothing you really need. [MToF]
  • Firbolg [+2 Wis, & +1 Str] The wisdom isn’t particularly helpful, neither is the strength. The abilities are a bit hap-hazard for a Warlock. [VOLO]
  • Genasi [+2 Con] A Con boost is nice but the sub-types don’t help you. [EEPC]
    • Air Genasi [+1 Dex] Levitate, and potentially some love for a Hexblade… [EEPC]
    • Earth Genasi [+1 Str] Pass without Trace is a powerful stealth ability, and Earth Walk helps your mobility. The strength is wasted however. [EEPC]
    • Fire Genasi [+1 Int] You don’t have much use for the Intelligence, a Dragonborn gets a lot of similar stuff. [EEPC]
    • Water Genasi [+1 Wis] In a water-based campaign this gets a small boost, though you may want to look at Triton instead. [EEPC]
  • Gith [+2 Int] Don’t make good Warlocks.
    • Githyanki [+2 Str] All this is wasted on you. [MToF]
    • Githzerai [+2 Wis] Nothing useful for the Warlock. [MToF]
  • Gnome [+2 Int] Similar to the Halfling, the INT is wasted on you.
    • Forest Gnome [+1 Dex] The Dex is nice-ish for a Dex build and illusion could help.
    • Rock Gnome [+ 1 Con] Not bringing much to the table with this subrace.
    • Deep Gnome [ +1 Dex] Superior Darkvision can be tasty if you’re underground a lot, though there are better options. Goes a little further with Hexblade Warlocks. [SCAG]
  • Goblin [+2 Dex +1 Con] A nimble Warlock with interesting disengage potential and hiding. [VOLO]
  • Goliath [+2 Str, & +1 Con] If you’re considering Goliath, maybe you should be reading our Fighter guide. [VOLO]
  • Half-Elf [+2 Cha, and +1 to ???] Here are some of those good Elf features along with a plus to Cha and one other. Many Warlocks of all pacts will want to consider this one.
    • Standard Two free skills are great, especially if you’re the party’s Face. [PHB]
    • Aquatic Only if you’re in an aquatic campaign. [SCAG]
    • Drow You get some lovely free spells that help with utility. Something you’re not great at as a Warlock. [SCAG]
    • High/Moon/Sun Wizard cantrips are great for utility, but you already have the best damage cantrips. If you’re a Pact of the Blade warlock, consider Green Flame Blade or Booming Blade to improve your damage output. [SCAG]
    • Wood Nothing useful for the Warlock. [SCAG]
  • Half-Orc [+2 Str, and +1 Con] Darkvision, deadlier crits, avoid a KO once a day and free Intimidation proficiency. Nothing here you really need, leave it to the fighters and barbarians.
  • Halfling [+2 Dex] You get the increase in Dexterity like the Elf, but you also get the Lucky Racial feature.
    •  Stout Halfling [+1 Con] Poison resistance and boost to Con doesn’t really fit what you should be looking for as a Warlock.
    • Lightfoot Halflings [+1 Cha] Charisma and stealth complement the warlock path, making this a decent choice for a highly mobile character.
    • Ghostwise Halflings [+1 Wis] Speaking telepathically can be useful, but you get this from The Great Old One if you really want it. [SCAG]
  • Human [+1 to All scores] Rather boring for a Warlock, you have a few dump-stats which make this a waste.
    • Variant Human [+1 to ??? and ??? and a feat] If Human Variant is allowed, that’s a whole different story. Get a head start on your character concept with a Feat! You’ll be getting some ASIs later, but a Feat (See Feats section) that can bring a Warlock concept online at level 1 is great.
  • Kenku [+2 Dex, and +1 Wis] An interesting roleplay choice and abilities more suited to rogues. [VOLO]
  • Kobold [-2 Str, and +2 Dex] The advantage on any attack if an ally is next to your target is good for helping Eldritch Blasts hit. With lower Charisma, you might suffer in damage and saving throw spells, though. [VOLO]
  • Lizardfolk [+2 Con, and +1 Wis] Bonus armour is tempting… however, the lack of Charisma hurts it too much. [VOLO]
  • Orc [+2 Str, and +1 Con, -2 Int] I don’t know what World of Warcraft taught you about Orc Warlocks, in D&D they’re not as viable. [VOLO]
  • Tabaxi [+2 DEX and +1 CHA] An excellent option for a blade pact warlock. Dexterity boosts your AC (and possibly your weapon attacks depending on your ability scores), and Charisma boosts your spells. [VOLO]
  • Tiefling [+2 Cha] It’s a +2 to Cha, which is ideal, the Int is wasted. This race has been making Devilish pacts forever.
    • Asmodeus [+1 Int] A perfectly fine option, but the Intelligence is wasted, and you can find better spells from other subraces. [MToF]
    • Baalzebul [+1 Int] The Intelligence is wasted, but access to Thaumaturgy could be nice. [MToF]
    • Dispater [+1 Dex] Dexterity means better AC, and the spells are great if you want to be sneaky or tricky. [MToF]
    • Fierna [+1 Wis] The Wisdom is largely wasted, but the spells are great for a Face. [MToF]
    • Glasya [+1 Dex] Dexterity means better AC, and the spells are great if you want to be sneaky or tricky. [MToF]
    • Levistus [+1 Con] Constitution means more hit points, and the spells offer a nice mix of defensive, offensive, and utility options. [MToF]
    • Mammon [+1 Int] The Intelligence is wasted, and the levelled spells are highly situational. [MToF]
    • Mephistopheles [+1 Int] Flame Blade is tempting for blade pact warlocks, but Zariel is still a better option. [MToF]
    • Zariel [+1 Str] Strength is wasted, but that doesn’t matter much. The big draw is the smite spells. [MToF]
    • Variant: Feral: Dexterity is normally fine for a melee build, but for Warlocks you’ll be using your Charisma thanks to Hexblade. SCAG
    • Variant: Devil’s Tongue: Arguably better spell options for a Warlock. SCAG
    • Variant: Hellfire: Burning Hands is about as good for the Warlock as Hellish Rebuke, but doesn’t require you to be hit to use it. SCAG
    • Variant: Winged: Flight is fantastic, especially for a class so dependent on ranged combat. SCAG
  • Tortle: [+1 to Str and +1 to Wis] Despite the lack of a Charisma increase, Tortles can be a great choice for a Pact of the Blade Warlock. 17 natural armour means that your AC is as good as a comparable warlock with 20 Dexterity, allowing you to focus on quickly raising your Charisma instead without worrying about your AC.
  • Triton [+1 to Str, Con and Cha] Two of those stat bonuses are relevant. Aside from that, swim speed, breathe water and air, talk to water creatures, and cold resistance. Also note that the three racial spells for more utility. [VOLO]
  • Yuan-Ti Pureblood: [+2 to Cha and +1 to Int] Here’s some of that +2 Cha you want. The Int doesn’t help, but a bit of innate spellcasting, Magic Resistance, and Poison Immunity is nice. [VOLO]

Eberron Races [WGtE]

  • Changeling: [+2 Cha, +1 Dex/Int] Boosts to Cha are excellent for you. The other racial features turn you into great ‘Face’ for the party. [WGtE]
  • Shifters: [+1 Dex] These shifters are more rough and ready physical races. Not much use for a Warlock. [WGtE]
    • Beasthide Shifter: The bonuses to AC, Con, and Dex don’t do much for you. [WGtE]
    • Cliffwalk Shifter: Your Dex is good, and you get the shifter temp HP, but other shifter options are simply better. [WGtE]
    • Longstride: Another pure Dex option. [WGtE]
    • Longtooth Shifter: A little Str and Dex isn’t a great combo. [WGtE]
    • Razorclaw Shifter: Pure Dex with a bonus attack. [WGtE]
    • Wildhunt Shifter: Wis is a dump stat. [WGtE]
  • Warforged [+1 Con] Change your Armour composition during a long rest, resistance to poison and immunity to disease. Envoy looks the best; you’ll have to speak with your DM to convey magic armour effects onto your construction. [WGtE]
    • Envoy [+1 ???, and +1 ???] Good potential for a Warlock with some leeway on what the tool you’re integrated with can be. [WGtE]
    • Juggernaut [+2 Str] Your typical living weapon of war. This isn’t as interesting. [WGtE]
    • Skirmisher [+2 Dex] Extra movement and some scouting utility. [WGtE]

More to consider on the best Warlock 5E Races

Now that that’s said and done, here’s the thing about racial abilities: later in the game, they won’t matter as much. At 15th level, that +1 to your stat has less impact in overall performance.

At lower levels though, the difference is much more noticeable. 5e is flat out a harder game at low level than either 3.x or 4e were. It is less forgiving, and getting dropped is really easily. Keep that in mind when looking at races.

Some races might not have the ‘oomph’ when it comes to doing to damage, but a lot of the survivability perks that they do have will come in handy during those difficult low levels.

Warlock Guide to Class Features

  • Hit Dice: 1d8 per Warlock level isn’t amazing. You’re not as soft as a Wizard but you don’t want to be in the front line.
  • Armour Proficiency: Light armor
  • Weapon Proficiency: Simple weapons — you won’t be needing weapons unless you’re going for a Pact of the Blade, in which case you’ll have a magic weapon you’re already proficient with.
  • Skills: We’ll go through this in the Skills section, but know you get to choose two skills from: Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Nature, and Religion.
  • Tools: You get no tool proficiency from your class. Fret not, there are other ways to get tool proficiency through Backgrounds, though it doesn’t often come up so don’t worry.
  • Saving Throws:Wisdom, Charisma
  • Equipment, not a bad way to start the game. Though you’ll likely stick with Eldritch Blast, which means weapons aren’t as interesting to you.
  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a component pouch or (b) an arcane focus
  • (a) a scholar’s pack or (b) a dungeoneer’s pack
  • Leather armor, any simple weapon, and two daggers
  • Otherworldly Patron (1st Level) – At 1st level, you have struck a bargain with an otherworldly being of your choice. Your choice grants you features at 1st level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.
    • Archfey
    • Celestial
    • Fiend
    • Great Old One
    • Hexblade
    • Kraken (UA)
    • Raven Queen (UA)
    • Seeker (UA)
    • Undying
  • Pact Magic (1st Level):Your arcane research and the magic bestowed on you by your patron have given you facility with spells. See Spells Rules for the general rules of spellcasting and the Spells Listing for the warlock spell list.
    • Cantrips
    • Spell Slots
    • Spells Known of 1st Level or Higher
  • Eldritch Invocations – At 2nd level, you gain two eldritch invocations of your choice. We go into Warlock invocation options in the invocations section.
  • Pact Boon (3rd Level): Here you pick what Warlock subclass to go with. We’ll go into more detail further down. The archetype you choose grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 10th, 15th, and 18th level.
    • Pact of the Blade
    • Pact of the Chain
    • Pact of the Tome
  • Ability Score Improvement (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level): These are great, the more the better and you’re getting a bunch of them. Max out your primary stats and then take some feats.
  • Mystic Arcanum (11th, 13th, 15th, 17th): At 11th level, your patron bestows upon you a magical secret called an arcanum. Choose one 6th-level spell from the warlock spell list as this arcanum. Arcanum are not spell slots. They are just a single spell that you can cast one per day. You can only choose from the ones provided. Therefore, you want one that is likely to see use every day, and not ones that are good only in a few situations.
  • Eldritch Master (20th Level): – You can spend one minute to regain all your expended spell slots. A saving of 59 minutes and you can’t even realistically do it in combat.

Otherworldly Patrons: Warlock Subclasses

The Archfey

More subtle than the other Patrons, The Archfey focuses on control through illusion, deception, and enchantment.

Archfey Warlock
The Archfey Warlock hanging out with her patron Source:
  • Expanded Spell List: You’re going to get a few utility options here and the mid-game spells in this list aren’t amazing. Extra options are always nice though, and this doesn’t limit your existing spells known list.
    • 1st-level Spells:
      • Faerie Fire Is good for stealthy allies (Rogues for advantage) and against stealthy enemies (foes that can go invisible).
      • Sleep Is great against low-level mooks. It can totally nullify a fight at early levels. Later on, even with high-level spell slots, you’re going to want to target minions or low health hordes.
    • 2nd-level Spells:
      • Calm Emotions Lets you be clever in roleplay scenarios to diffuse a fight. Using an entire action to supress an area of charm or frightened will be useful situationally because you need to also not be incapacitated by this effect.
      • Phantasmal Force I’ve seen this used to great impact at my table to isolate an enemy from the fight allowing the party to focus elsewhere. The better you are at thinking outside the box (and have a DM willing to go with it) the better this becomes.
    • 3rd-level Spells:
      • Blink Is a strong defensive spell that pulls you out of harm’s way.
      • Plant Growth Gets better if you’re spending a lot time around plants, but in most campaigns this will be situational.
    • 4th-level Spells:
      • Dominate Beast Is hard to value, because you won’t run into many high-level beasts. However, if you’re spending time in the Jungles of Chult or anywhere there are dinosaurs this is great. Fun Idea: Do a team up combo with an enemy polymorphed into a beast.
      • Greater Invisibility Better than regular invisibility… you could even say, ‘It’s gooderer’.
    • 5th-level Spells:
      • Dominate Person Follows along the Archfey Warlock theme of being able to isolate one target from a fight. Dominate Person can turn the tide of any humanoid battle.
      • Seeming Has great roleplay potential and will aid in stealth or intrigue-based campaigns greatly. Sneaking an army into an enemy fortress disguised as the defenders or just creating havoc. The spell is dependent on your ability to think outside the box.
  • Fey Presence: More of a defensive feature if enemies are crowding your style. The 10-foot cube originating from you means you’ll need to be either in Melee or Reach range.
  • Misty Escape: More defensive features. This time in the form of a reaction to turn invisible AND teleport away. Helps reduce damage from multi-attack enemies or even (with a willing DM) let’s party members hit you to teleport places.
  • Beguiling Defenses: This pairs nicely with Calm Emotions, so you’ll avoid a party-wide charm when it goes out… Doesn’t come up often, but when it does, you’ll relish the opportunity to turn the charm back on the enemy.
  • Dark Delirium: Banish foes to the illusory ‘Shadow Realm’. Another tool in the Archfey arsenal to take a single enemy out of the fight for up to one minute. There’s also some great roleplay potential here to show the target the horrors of their actions.

The Celestial

Letting the Warlock dip into some divine healing and damage. The Celestial tries to walk the path between radiant/fire damage, and healing. As with some other hybrids, this makes The Celestial a ‘Jack of many trades, master of none’.Celestial Warlock Patron

If there are no other radiant damage wielders in the party and you’re going up against undead you may enjoy this. But unless you’re set on the Warlock thing, you may like playing a Cleric instead.

  • Expanded Spell List: A mix of radiant, healing and fire spells. It’s thematic but not particularly well synergised with each other.
    • 1st-level Spells:
      • Cure Wounds Is a great spell; however, you have few spell slots and you get Healing Light. A good candidate if you’re about to short rest and have spare slots though.
      • Guiding Bolt Is nice radiant damage if you can hit, it also sets up advantage for the next attack roll against the target.
    • 2nd-level Spells:
      • Flaming Sphere Can be good damage and battlefield control, but as written it seems to only get the Charisma modifier of Radiant Soul on the damage of the initial cast.
      • Lesser Restoration A more dedicated healer might carry this, but if it’s you then you’re stuck with this job.
    • 3rd-level Spells:
      • Daylight Dispelling darkness and worrying Vampires may be helpful, but it’s situational.
      • Revivify A clutch spell when an ally has failed a 3rd Death Save.
    • 4th-level Spells:
      • Guardian of Faith A cap of 60 damage from an immobile guardian needs to be placed intelligently to be most effective.
      • Wall of Fire With your few precious spell slots this can break open a battlefield. Similar problem as to the Flaming Sphere where the Radiant Soul is only applied at cast (from my interpretation anyway).
    • 5th-level Spells:
      • Flame Strike Here you get to choose if you want extra fire or extra radiant from Radiant Soul. Neat.
      • Greater Restoration Someone in the party needs this. Or you’ll lose a member to the Medusa.
  • Bonus Cantrips:
    • Light As a cantrip is nice. More important if you don’t have Darkvision.
    • Sacred Flame Competes with arguably the best combat cantrip in the game (Eldritch Blast), but it can come in handy against high AC but low Dex monsters.
  • Healing Light: A pool of D6s to dish out some bonus action healing, similar to healing word without the spell slots. And now you’re interested in Long rests.
  • Radiant Soul: Radiant resistance is nice but not usually super useful in most campaigns. Extra fire or radiant damage raises the floor of damage for your spells and Sacred Flame. Unfortunately, Warlocks deal most of their damage with Eldritch Blasts, so unless you’re using a lot of sacred flame you may not see much use out of this.
  • Celestial Resilience: Temporary hit points help save on healing resources. Remember that temporary hit points don’t stack though so don’t bother with the Inspiring Leader feat.
  • Searing Vengeance: Spring back up from near death at the start of your turn and blind enemies around you (with no save). As written, this isn’t a spell for Radiant Soul to augment (I feel it should be). But the free heal and walk a shame while enemies are blind helps keep the healer alive.

The Fiend

Warlock Fiend TieflingFrom the Players Handbook comes the blaster warlock. For those who like deals with Demons, Devils, or just like throwing fire around. Fire resistance on enemies can potentially be a worry, so consider taking the Elemental Adept feat.

  • Expanded Spell List: The extra spells in the Fiend Warlock’s arsenal are mostly Flame based, with a focus on effecting a large area.
    • 1st-level Spells:
      • Burning Hands Is one of the best early AoE spells.
      • Command This starts as a single target control spell, best used to turn a target on their enemies with ‘Betray’, or something similar. Scales to more targets as your spell levels increase.
    • 2nd-level Spells:
      • Blindness/Deafness This opens some good options, it’s situational but can shut down a heavy hitter in battle.
      • Scorching Ray Acts like a fire Eldritch Blast. Though you’re spending slots for a bit more damage potential.
    • 3rd-level Spells:
      • Fireball The classic AoE blast, 20ft radius sphere can engulf most dungeon rooms, so take care around allies… or don’t.
      • Stinking Cloud An area of control effect that can split a group of enemies and protect well against ranged foes.
    • 4th-level Spells:
      • Fire Shield You shouldn’t be spending that much time in melee that the damage will be useful. Your slots are too limited to spend them here.
      • Wall of Fire Controls and funnels enemies on a battlefield with great impact. Placed correctly this is devastating.
    • 5th-level Spells:
      • Flame Strike Adds in some Radiant damage to diversify somewhat from the predominately Fire arsenal at your disposal.
      • Hallow Is going to depend on your campaign. More useful if you have 24 hours to prepare an area for a big battle.
  • Dark One’s Blessing: Now you have a good reason to ‘kill steal’ on the battlefield.  These temporary hit points don’t specify a duration, so they last until you take a long rest. Just remember: they don’t stack with other sources like the Inspiring Leader feat.
  • Dark One’s Own Luck: Sort of a Fiending Bardic Inspiration… Find the balance between using this for something critical like a Death Save and using it in each short rest if possible.
  • Fiendish Resilience: Resistance to one damage type that you can change during a short or long rest. If arrows are a problem, make it Piercing damage. If you’re walking into a Mind Flayer ship, make it Psychic.
  • Hurl Through Hell: Not only great damage, this can be considered a limited banish. Only works once per day but can trigger from just an Eldritch Blast.

Warlock hurl through hell

Source: Sage Advice

The Great Old One [PHB]

Warlock with tentacles

You’re the strange sort that whispers to themselves and can hear voices. The Malkavian of Warlocks lets you split your time between arguing with stop signs and covering the entire battlefield with acidic tentacles that destroy enemies.

All that to say, some options here are crazy impactful, others are situational and fun.

  • Expanded Spell List: A diverse mix of debuffs are control, and utilities.
    • 1st-level Spells:
      • Dissonant Whispers Decent damage. Goes up in value considerably when you have allies ready to take opportunity attacks as the enemy flees.
      • Hideous Laughter A great low-level lockdown on one target. Saving each turn makes it weaker but early levels this should be good.
    • 2nd-level Spells:
      • Detect Thoughts A close range sweep of invisible (or stealth) creatures, plus some great utility (even in combat) if you’re clever.
      • Phantasmal Force I’ve seen this used to great impact at my table to isolate an enemy from the fight allowing the party to focus elsewhere. The better you are at thinking outside the box (and have a DM willing to go with it) the better this becomes.
    • 3rd-level Spells:
      • Clairvoyance Can be a great scouting tool, though you may have more impact with your limited spell slots elsewhere.
      • Sending Similarly can be useful in campaign where roleplay and intrigue levels are high. Dungeons crawls not so much.
    • 4th-level Spells:
      • Dominate Beast Is situational depending on your campaign setting and the kind of things the DM is throwing at you.
      •  Black Tentacles Is not only a great control spell, it’s also thematically gross/amazing.
    • 5th-level Spells:
      • Dominate Person Is among the best single-target control/debuff spells in the game.
      • Telekinesis Is a great utility spell in the right hands.
  • Awakened Mind: Incredible utility with the ability to communicate with any creature that can understand language. Plus, the ability to speak ‘silently’ to allies to strategise while you’re the party face. As written this communication is one-way only, though many DM’s allow it to be two-way or even like a group call. This helps with roleplay to get ideas from allies during a conversation that would normally be considered ‘table talk’.

  • Entropic Ward: Not amazing, however any ability to impose disadvantage is nice.
  • Thought Shield: It’s not often DMs deploy mind reading on a player. Resistance to Psychic is okay, more important if you’re up against Mind Flayers and otherworldly beasties.
  • Create Thrall: Requires some setup to make them ‘Incapacited’. Hideous Laughter or non-lethal damage will do though.

The Hexblade [XGtE]

Warlock Hexblade

For the Warlock who likes to get into the thick of things. The Hexblade Warlock gets access to better armour, shields and weapons.

Hexblades can use their Charisma for attack and damage with your weapon, which means you don’t have to dilute your ability spread.

  • Expanded Spell List: The Hexblade gains access to Smite spells and self-buffs through their expanded spell list. The extra damage and utility they provide isn’t usually worth a spell slot, especially at later levels.
    • 1st-level Spells: These spells don’t scale as your spells level up, so consider them useful early but less impressive later.
      • Shield Can negate a hit if used smartly, potentially more if you’re under multiple attacks before the start of your next turn.
      • Wrathful Smite Can inflict the Frightened condition which reduce the combat effectiveness of an enemy.
    • 2nd-level Spells:
      • Blur Imposes disadvantage on all incoming attacks which is nice, though there are often better ways to use a spell slot.
      • Searing Smite A scaling damage buff with small utility versus foes that can go invisible. Radiant damage is nothing to sneeze at versus undead too.
    • 3rd-level Spells:
      • Blink Is another good defensive option to get out of danger. A little uncontrollable though.
      • Elemental Weapon Buffs your weapon to become magical. Keep in mind that the pact weapon granted by Pact of the Blade counts as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage resistance and immunity. It’s technically not a magic weapon unless you bind a specific magic weapon.
    • 4th-level Spells:
      • Phantasmal Killer Scales incredibly well with levels and is amazing if you have ways to reduce their ability to save against the ongoing damage.
      • Staggering Smite Is setup with a bonus action, however there’s no scaling or ongoing damage with this one.
    • 5th-level Spells:
      • Banishing Smite Takes an enemy out of the fight without a saving throw… though if it only had less than 50 hit points left, it likely isn’t much of a threat anymore.
      • Cone of cold Gives you a good option for dealing with a group of minions.
  • Hexblade’s Curse: Not only does this scale up the floor of your damage based on proficiency; you also increase your chance to critically hit the target. Save this for  your main focus in each fight as you only get this once per short rest. Works with any attack rolls.
  • Hex Warrior: Medium Armour and potentially a shield means you’re a little safer in melee. Shields can mess with somatic casting unless you have the Warcaster feat.  Allowing you to use your Charisma for attack and damage rolls in place of Strength or Dexterity is excellent for you. Not only does it make Pact of the Blade considerably easier, but it makes Paladin/Warlock multiclass builds massively more effective.
  • Accursed Specter: When you get this at 6th level, it’s quite a powerful minion. With resistances to most damage types it may even survive a few hits. At higher levels it’ll absorb one attack or if you keep it ‘alive’ there are some utility or roleplay options available.
  • Armor of Hexes: Eating your reaction to impose a 50% miss chance is amazing, especially if you can use it to avoid a critical hit.
  • Master of Hexes: Now you can open fights with your Hexblade Curse and keep it bouncing on targets.

The Lurker in the Deep (UA)


The Noble Genie (UA)


The Undying [SCAG]

The Undying Warlock aims for survivability through Necromancer style magic. While thematically this could be fun, it leaves the Undying Warlock with a few gaps in its bones so to speak.

Expanded Spell List: A few options are good, but most of the options on the Undying patron’s spell list don’t add anything important to the Warlock’s existing abilities.

    • 1st-level Spells:
      • False life Is redundant if you take the Eldritch Invocation ‘Fiendish Vigor’ to cast it without using a spell slot.
      • Ray of Sickness Provides poison damage, which may work for a while but is useless against most undead.
    • 2nd-level Spells: Two options for debilitating foes: one for martial foes and one for spellcasters.
      • Blindness/Deafness Helps against martial foes imposing disadvantage in most cases.
      • Silence Prevents spellcasters from casting spells with a verbal component, can potentially help with sneaking if the target doesn’t notice the complete absence of sound.
    • 3rd-level Spells: Pure utility and only useful in high-intrigue campaigns.
      • Feign Death Lets you pass a willing creature off as dead. Maybe some edge cases where you can convince someone to let you incapacitate them this way with Suggestion or some high deception checks.
      • Speak with Dead Is more useful in a game where there’s intrigue or murders to solve. Plus, getting info out of dead baddies can be helpful.
    • 4th-level Spells:
      • Aura of life Offers resistance to necrotic and prevents hit point maximums being reduced. So, it’s situationally good against certain undead.
      • Death Ward Could save a life sometime in the next eight hours. If you can cast this before breakfast and take a short rest before adventuring it won’t eat into your limited spell slots.
    • 5th-level Spells:
      • Contagion Gives you options which makes it useful in many situations.
      • Legend Lore Will vary on your campaign, but most DMs I know love to give all kinds of exposition so this may lead to huge advantages.
  • Among the Dead: Spare the Dying cantrip for free is nice and lets you help stabilise allies easily. The second half of this feature effectively provides Sanctuary against the undead, making this more valuable if you’re up against this common enemy.
  • Defy Death: An interesting feature that keys off your Death Saves or Spare the Dying. Save it for your first death save because you do those at the start of your turn, allowing you to heal and become conscious again.
  • Undying Nature: I don’t know many games that monitor food and water, being alert while others sleep is nice enough, this makes you like a Warforged.
  • Indestructible Life: An unimpressive capstone feature for the Undying, not much healing and some flavour about reattaching limbs.

Pacts and Boons

Best Warlock Pacts in 5e

At 3rd level, Warlocks can choose their Pact Boon. Some further improvements to your Pact Boon can also come from Invocations.

Pact of the Blade

Pact of the Blade turns the Warlock into a hybrid of a warrior and spellcaster. This pairs well with the Hexblade, which gets bonuses to weapon attacks.

While the Blade Pact doesn’t scale its damage as well as a conventional Warlock, it does allow for some interesting play with a few invocations being required to help keep it a contender versus spellcasting locks.

Pact of the Tome

Pact of the Tome leans into the spellcaster Warlock archetype and gives you three cantrips, from any class list. That means some of the most powerful at wills in the game are yours — Vicious Mockery and Guidance, to name two. Your invocation options can open up the ability for you to learn Rituals.

This gives the ‘Tome Lock’ more utility in and out of combat. You can even get a wizardly familiar, as the Find Familiar spell is a ritual! A lot of magic involved here, even for the blast heavy Fiend and domineering Old One.

Pact of the Chain

Chain Warlocks favour utility like the Tome path, however their utility comes in the form of an enhanced familiar. These familiars aren’t so much a damage source as a potential invisible scouting tool, or a way to use the Help action on their turn.

Rogues in the party may find this useful for setting up a sneak attack. Note that their invisibility only breaks when attacking or taking damage, meaning all other actions, including the help action, pickpocketing, and casting a touch spell through them (except sprite) are fair game.

  • Quasit — Inflict Fear and Poisoned status on combatants. Both strong, but almost requires the Quasit to be on its own. Invisibility and shape changing make for a good scout. Hands down the best at combat of the four options.
  • Imp — Shapechanger (Rat, Raven or Spider) and Invisibility. The Imp isn’t as combat-powerful as the quasit, but it is far more adapt at out of combat situations.
  • Psuedodragon — Getting advantage on Perception checks can be huge for avoiding traps or enemies. Adding 100ft of telepathic range (200 if it’s 100ft from you) means you can be clever with sending messages. Inflicting the poison condition and potential sleep is nice, but you’ll want ways to reduce the enemies saving throw.
  • Sprite — Heart Sight can be used to bolster (or replace) Insight checks. Invisibility and a ranged poison attack are nice.


Eldritch Invocations: You get two of these at 2nd level, then one more at 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th and 18th levels, for a total of eight invocations.DND Warlock on a Boat

You can also swap out an invocation each new level, giving you some scope to test out the feel of your invocations.


    • Agonizing Blast [PHB]: Increase the floor of your Eldritch Blast damage. The Charisma boost to your damage applies to each Ray of the Eldritch Blast, so this just gets better as you grow.
    • Armor of Shadows [PHB]: An extra +1 AC from Mage Armor (compared to studded leather) isn’t amazing. For the cost of an invocation there are likely better options.
    • Aspect of the Moon (Pact of the Tome) [XGtE]: Don’t stay up late reading under the covers, it’s not worth it. Let an Elf or Warforged keep watch.
    • Beast Speech [PHB]: Depending on your campaign this could come in handy. May be better left to Druids and/or wizards though.
    • Beguiling Influence [PHB]: You gain proficiency in the Deception and Persuasion skills. If the party is looking to you to be the Face and do most of the talking, this could be helpful.
    • Book of Ancient Secrets (Pact of the Tome) [PHB]: This is how Warlocks get Rituals. This is essentially the Ritual Caster feat. Now you’re going to start heavily inferring to your DM that you’d like to find more rituals to copy into your book. It also replaces the need for several of the invocations which give you access to ritual spells, including Beast Speech, Eyes of the Rune Keeper, etc.
    • Devil’s Sight [PHB]: Darkvision is often highly sought after, though you could just hold a lit torch. Devil’s Sight does allow you to see into magical darkness like the Darkness spell or Hunger of Hadar.
    • Eldritch Sight [PHB]: There are easier ways to use Detect Magic as a ritual, unless you think you’ll need it more often and faster.
    • Eldritch Spear [PHB]: I’ll be surprised if you’re often in encounters where 120 feet isn’t enough.
    • Eyes of the Rune Keeper [PHB]: Other ways to get this same function is to Pick up Book of Ancient Secrets (Tome) or the Ritual Caster feat.
    • Fiendish Vigor [PHB]: False Life is 1d4+4 temporary hit points for an hour. Fiendish Vigor has no limits on how often you can cast this, so keep casting until you roll a 4 to get the max out of it.
    • Gaze of Two Minds [PHB]: Very situational. Maybe lets you see through an ally’s senses as they scout ahead. But you could do similar as a Pact of the Chain with a familiar.
    • Grasp of Hadar [XGtE]: Works well to pull enemies into dangerous effects… like Hunger of Hadar.
    • Lance of Lethargy [XGtE]: A flat amount of movement reduction that could stack with a slow effect. Better if you’re using control effects like Hunger of Hadar and want to keep enemies in the bad stuff.
    • Mask of Many Faces [PHB]: In a high intrigue campaign this could have great advantages. There are some creative ways to use this in combat too, if you can break line of sight.
    • Misty Visions [PHB]: Could be helpful in a stealth campaign, but struggles to stay relevant in higher levels. Silent image can have incredible uses, especially as a 15ft cube is big. Sneak down a hallway Mission Impossible style.
    • Repelling Blast [PHB]: Pushing people away 10ft is nice to keep out of melee, especially if they’ve just emerged from an AoE spell. A bit weak until Eldritch Blast gets additional rays.
    • Thief of Five Fates [PHB]: Blowing a spell slot hurts, but this is a great debuff that can put enemies into a death spiral.
    • Gift of the Ever-living Ones (Pact of the Chain) [XGtE]: All dice healing is maximised if your Familiar is nearby? Great! This includes healing spells like Healing Word and Cure Wounds, but it also includes Hit Dice rolled while resting. If you’re often taking a beating in melee this helps keep you topped up more efficiently.
    • Improved Pact Weapon (Pact of the Blade) [XGtE]: Stronger in low-magic campaigns. Adds ranged options and you can always drop it once you do get some +1 magic items.
    • Voice of the Chain Master (Pact of the Chain) [PHB]: Adds more uses to your Familiar while taking away some limitations of the Find Familiar spell.


    • Cloak of Flies [XGtE]: Guaranteed damage can be hard to come by. So, against a difficult to hit opponent this can be handy, especially if you’re a melee warlock who doesn’t mind diving in. This remains in effect until you dismiss it, making it an excellent buff both offensively and defensively. If enemies attempt to flee, take opportunity attacks, then chase them down on the following turn.
    • Eldritch Smite (Pact of the Blade) [XGtE]: Great if you have ways to fish for crits, as like a Paladin’s smite, you only need to declare once you’ve hit. Knocking enemies’ prone can be quite good, especially if you’re in melee.
    • Gift of the Depths [XGtE]: If you’re playing on or under the water a lot, this is excellent. Otherwise it may never see use.
    • Maddening Hex [XGtE]: If you’re already using Hex then this is up to an extra 5 damage as a Bonus Action.
    • Mire the Mind [PHB]: Casting Slow once per day is nice until you see that it burns a spell slot. And doesn’t scale… you have other battlefield control spells.
    • One with Shadows [PHB]: Slightly better than just taking the ‘Hide’ action. Requires you to be setting the ambush because you can’t move. Though you could BE moved if you’re on a wagon or something.
    • Sign of Ill Omen [PHB]: Bestow Curse for a spell slot isn’t really worth it, especially when it has a short duration and only affects a single target, and doesn’t scale with spell level.
    • Thirsting Blade (Pact of the Blade) [PHB]: One way for Hexblades to keep up with the Extra Attacks other melee characters get at 5th level.
    • Tomb of Levistus [XGtE]: Essentially a panic button of 10 temporary hp per Warlock level. It’ll absorb most things that could KO you. Keep in mind that you’re incapacitated until all the temporary hp is lost. So, unless your allies or enemies break you out, for the turn after you use this, you’ll be frozen in that ice cube.


    • Bewitching Whispers [PHB]: An interesting crowd-control from Compulsion that can set up opportunity attacks from allies. Downside is that it doesn’t scale with spell slot level.
    • Dreadful Word [PHB]: Confusion can be a fun debuff, but it has a 20% chance to do nothing, and other turns it may be useless too, depending on the layout of the battle.
    • Ghostly Gaze [XGtE]: Seeing what’s behind walls and doors up to 30ft is incredible in a lot of circumstances. Some could argue being able to see into chests, trapped objects, or even through non-magical disguises.
    • Relentless Hex [XGtE]: If you’re a melee Warlock this can let you chase them down and stay sticky.
    • Sculptor of Flesh [PHB]: Polymorph once per day, great utility or even as a combat use in this spell. Turn an enemy into something harmless or an ally into a Great Ape. Remember that the target’s mental statistics change, but their personality stays intact, so do with that what you will.
    • Trickster’s Escape [XGtE]: Another mobility option in and out of combat. Being able to slip restraints or grapples may be of interest to you, especially being immune to paralysed or restrained.


    • Ascendant Step [PHB]: Levitate isn’t quite fly, you may need someone to wrap a rope around you to pull you along like a balloon. The upside is you can avoid dangerous ground and essentially slow fall.
    • Minions of Chaos [PHB]: Summon your own Elemental Pokémon. Only works once per day, but an hour should be a great way to turn the tide of battle.
    • Otherworldly Leap [PHB]: Jump is a 1st-level spell, casting it without a spell slot is tempting, but there should be other ways to travel by this level.
    • Whispers of the Grave [PHB]: Speak with Dead can open campaigns in massive ways. Information is always useful, and this lets you interrogate dead enemies, allies, murder victims… etc. Being able to cast this at no cost, all day, means the DM will not be inviting you to any murder mysteries again.


    • Lifedrinker (Pact of the Blade) [PHB]: A must for Blade Warlocks. Like the Agonizing Blast, this bonus ads your Charisma to Pact weapon hits. This raises the floor of damage you do with each strike.


    • Chains of Carceri [PHB]: Once per day you can Hold Monster on a Celestia, Fiend or Elemental. A great way to reduce the enemy combat strength for a turn or two.
    • Master of Myriad Forms [PHB]: This steps on the toes of ‘Mask of Many Faces’ a little. The natural weapons option isn’t appealing, and the Aquatic Adaptation is very situational.
    • Shroud of Shadow [XGtE]: Be invisible all the time or be the Rogue’s new best friend by making them invisible every chance you get. You or someone you know should always ideally be invisible if you have nothing else to concentrate on.
    • Visions of Distant Realms [PHB]: Arcane Eye is an incredible scouting tool. This doesn’t replace your normal senses like looking through a Familiar does. Always watch your back and every room you enter with an Arcane Eye.
    • Witch Sight [PHB]: Invisibility is a type of illusion, and locating invisible creatures is important for a class so dependent on ranged attacks. If an invisible create is within 30ft, you may be in trouble though.


The Warlock doesn’t fill the skill monkey role all that well, but they are more than capable of offering good party support in this regard.

Don’t be afraid to use your skill choices to customise your character a bit. Even mechanically weaker skills can still offer a good benefit to the party as a whole.

Warlock Class Skills:

  • Arcana (Int): An incredible skill if you’re the magic one in the party. Figure out magical items, analyse magic, etc.
  • Deception (Cha): Typically, you’ll choose Deception or Persuasion (or both) if you’re the face.
  • History (Int): Depends on the DM but is often situational.
  • Intimidation (Cha): If you like playing, ‘Good Cop, Bad Lock’ you may want this.
  • Investigation (Int): Nice to have, especially when looking through things, but you probably don’t have enough Intelligence or skill choices to justify it.
  • Nature (Int): Good to identify creatures’ weakness and such. Almost all creatures have no resistance to Eldritch Blast though… saved you some time.
  • Religion (Int): Good for communing with Gods, can often be left to the world of Wizards and Clerics though.

Non-Class Skills:

  • Athletics (Str): Convince the big dumb fighter to do your heavy lifting.
  • Acrobatics (Dex):
  • Animal Handling (Wis):
  • Insight (Wis): It can sometimes be handy to know if someone’s lying to you.
  • Medicine (Wis):
  • Performance (Cha):
  • Persuasion (Cha): You’re going to be decent at this or Deception anyway.
  • Perception (Wis): Always an important skill to see if there are traps, or enemies.
  • Sleight of Hand (Dex):
  • Stealth (Dex):
  • Survival (Wis):


Your background generally gives you two skills, maybe a language or two, maybe a tool or two, a special perk, and a small amount of goods/gold. They can help flesh out your character a bit, offer some mechanical help, and help you better define where your Warlock is coming from.

PHB backgrounds

  •   Acolyte: [insight/religion]
  • Charlatan: [deception/sleight of hand]
  • Criminal: [deception/stealth]
  • Entertainer: [acrobatics/performance]
  • Folk Hero: [animal handling/survival]
  • Guild Artisan: [insight/persuasion]
  • Hermit: [medicine/religion]
  • Noble: [history/persuasion]
  • Outlander: [athletics/survival]
  • Sage: [arcana/history]
  • Sailor: [athletics/perception]
  • Soldier: [athletics/intimidation]
  • Urchin: [stealth/sleight of hand]

Best Warlock Feats:

You’re probably best off taking a +2 Cha over a feat if you already have an even number in that stat. If the modifier you’re looking to boost is an odd number, then a feat that provides +1 can help bump it up to even and give a perk.

  • Actor [PHB]: For a social or intrigue-based game, this gives you lots of fun options. Plus, a way to even up an odd Charisma score.
  • Alert [PHB]: Going first means taking control of the battlefield before the enemy acts. Solid choice.
  • Athlete [PHB]: No thanks.
  • Charger [PHB]: You don’t need to close distance with Dash often enough. You have Eldritch Blast if you’re still out of range.
  • Crossbow Expert [PHB]: Eldritch Blast is better than most crossbows.
  • Defensive Duelist [PHB]: Could be used as a boost to AC for Blade Pact Warlocks.
  • Dual Wielder [PHB]: Pact of the Blade Warlocks only get one weapon.
  • Dungeon Delver [PHB]: Let the Ranger or Rogue go poking around in trapped hallways.
  • Durable [PHB]: The Fiendish Resilience invocation makes this less appealing.
  • Elemental Adept [PHB]: Force damage (from Eldritch Blast) doesn’t feature here. Plus, you’ll likely have a suite of magical damage options to choose from.
  • Grappler [PHB]: Grappling is for strong boys and girls who have Athletics scores.
  • Great Weapon Master [PHB]: A Hexblade has a larger Critical Hit window of 19–20 and can use two-handed weapons. There are also ways to mitigate the -5 by setting up Advantage or being smart about using it on unarmoured foes.
  • Healer [PHB]: Leave this to the Clerics and Bards.
  • Heavily Armored [PHB]: Ignore this, you don’t gain much from 1 Strength point and Heavy Armour requirements are likely out of your reach.
  • Inspiring Leader [PHB]: You certainly have the Charisma for it. Clashes with Fiendish Vigor.
  • Keen Mind [PHB]: Intelligence is wasted on you.
  • Lightly Armored: You don’t need this.
  • Linguist [PHB]: This is what magic spells and rituals are for.
  • Lucky [PHB]: Good all-round feature.
  • Mage Slayer [PHB]: Maybe for Hexblade or Blade Pact Warlocks who fight mages a lot. Too situational to recommend.
  • Magic Initiate [PHB]: Pact of the Tome opens up cantrips for you if you really want them.
  • Martial Adept [PHB]: Not useful enough with only one superiority die.
  • Medium Armor Master [PHB]: Heavy armour isn’t appealing for Hexblades because of the Strength requirements to wear it, so medium armour master can allow you to match heavy armour AC without caring about Strength. That’s nice, but it’s also only a difference of +1 AC, and you need 16 Dexterity to make it happen. That’s a lot of cost for little pay off unless you’re using Dexterity for other things like Stealth.
  • Mobile [PHB]: If you’re ducking in and out of melee this could be appealing, a Blade Pact Warlocks might enjoy this.
  • Moderately Armored [PHB]: Don’t worry about this one.
  • Mounted Combat [PHB]: You’ll know better than I do if mounted combat is coming up in your campaign.
  • Observant [PHB]: You can potentially get an invisible familiar who can just get close enough to listen.
  • Polearm Master [PHB]: Blade Warlocks or Hexblades can potentially make effective use of polearms.
  • Resilient [PHB]:  If you were going to be good at a save, your class would have given it to you. Constitution is a consideration for maintaining spell concentration though.
  • Ritual Caster [PHB]: Pact of the Tome has this for you.
  • Savage Attacker [PHB]: Doesn’t stack up in the numbers.
  • Sentinel [PHB]: Better for Fighters or Paladins preventing enemies from cutting past the front line of defence.
  • Sharpshooter [PHB]: Pass.
  • Shield Master [PHB]: It’s a long reach for a Warlock to get access to shields.
  • Skilled [PHB]: Your class skills and a background should really get you the skills you need.
  • Skulker [PHB]: Specifically works on ranged weapon attacks not spell attacks.
  • Spell Sniper [PHB]: Removes the need for Eldritch Spear, and makes Eldritch Blast (and many other spells) more reliable.
  • Tavern Brawler [PHB]: You charm people into starting brawls, you’re not in them.
  • Tough [PHB]: Extra hit points per level if you’re finding yourself going down too often.
  • War Caster [PHB]: If you’re a Hexblade with a shield you’ll want this. Advantage on Constitution saving throws is good too.
  • Weapon Master [PHB]: You have all the weapon proficiency you need and the stats aren’t worth it for you.

Warlock Multi-classing:

Here, I want to quickly look at some options, along with the concept of a ‘dip’ to grab some goodies from another class. I’m going to leave some of the finer points of multiclassing up to the individual though, especially anything that takes away from the character being majority Warlock. While there is a colour grade in this section remember that other options may fall into your character concept side of things than true optimisation.

  • Barbarian
  • Bard
  • Cleric
  • Druid
  • Fighter
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Ranger
  • Rogue
  • Sorcerer
  • Wizard




  1. Awakened Mind is one-way only – you can speak to a creature that understands a language but it cannot respond. This has been stated over and over again in places like sageadvice and Jeremy Crawford’s tweets and furthermore the recent re-printings of the PHB changes the wording to say “speak to” rather than “speak with” or “communicate with” which makes the intent clearer. I stopped reading this guide after reading your description because the rest is suspect with such a basic error.

    • Hey Anonymous, I’ve never played in a game where the DM hasn’t allowed it to be two-way. You are correct that the wording strictly states it’s one-way only. You make a good point (though questionable in tone) and I’ve added the tweet from Crawford and adjusted the paragraph to add clarity.

  2. Bestow Curse (Sign of Ill Omen) scales with spell level, most important you don‘t need to concentrate on it once reaching level 9 (5th spell level). With a familiar you can deliver the spell from 100‘ away. It‘s still not super duper, but opens up some combos and is not that bad.

  3. LOL – Confess I am one of those annoying DMs who definitely doesn’t allow it to be two-way 🙂

    Just wanted to say well done on this and the other guides you’ve written – really good breakdown of the numerous options. I think Anonymous was rather throwing out the baby with the bathwater when he stopped reading after picking up on the one-way vs two-way thing!


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