Illustration courtesy of Anastasia Shestak

How to Play Warlock in D&D 5e

Even though she knew it was a dream, as the cold steel chain shot out and wrapped itself tight around the Warlock’s arms, she gasped in fear. “I asked for results,” said a raspy voice in her head. “I made it clear mistakes were not an option. Remember, I made you. I can unmake you.”

Table of Contents

Hey you! Yes, you with the soul. Are you using that?

How would you feel about trading that soul for magic powers? Just ask our satisfied customers: the ability to blast your enemies with cantrips and a barrage of high-level spells is an unforgettable feeling!

And if that’s not enough, we’ll even throw in some incredibly customizable class features. No two Warlocks are alike! You can choose from options like summoning a minor insect plague, melting away into the shadows, or creating magic jewelry!

So if you feel like casting spells but want to actually survive combat, or if you’re just looking for a familiar to keep you company, come check out the Warlock class today!

(side effects may include endless servitude to extraplanar beings, dirty looks in every tavern you’ll ever walk into, and lingering madness possibly resulting in death)

Using This Guide

Everything in this guide has an emoji, ranking how useful a given ability or feature is to playing this class effectively.

✅ — An absolutely crucial feature. Often forms the backbone of a class’ look and feel. Will provide some bonus that can’t be found through other means.

🆗 — A solid feature that does its job well. Not game-breaking, and certainly replaceable, but a strong choice that shores up some weakness.

⚠️ — A debatable choice. Could work for a specific build, but otherwise is either a wasted opportunity or is just weaker than other alternatives.

⛔ — Outright bad and detrimental. This weighs down the class and just takes up space on the character sheet. A weakness you will have to accommodate for.

These rankings are meant to help you create an optimized class build, but remember DnD isn’t a game where you need to win to have fun. Weaker but flavorful builds also have their place and can make for fulfilling characters.

The Basics

Hit Dice

With a d8 hit dice, Warlock is a little beefier than Sorcerer or Wizard. It’s not enough to make you a front-line fighter, but it helps ease the constant anxiety that you’re one sword-slash away from death.

Saving Throws

You are proficient in Wisdom and Charisma saves. Wisdom is excellent, since many negative effects are countered by a successful Wisdom save, but Charisma saves rarely come up in gameplay.

Proficiencies

Light armor! Another step up above Sorcerers and Wizards that adds to Warlock’s survivability. You are also proficient with simple weapons, which paired with light armor means Warlock can make do with weapon combat in a pinch.

Skills

Deception and Intimidation play well into your already high Charisma and can take you down the path of becoming the party’s face. Your other options are all Intelligence skills, so if you haven’t used it as a dump stat, they could come in handy.

Ability Scores

Strength

Dump stat.

⚠️ Dexterity

A decent choice for extra AC and better Dexterity saves, which are fairly common.

🆗 Constitution

Spellcasters are squishy, even Warlocks. More health is always useful, and a good save for Concentration checks is nice, though situational.

Intelligence

Dump stat.

Wisdom

Dump stat. Wisdom saves are common, but you already have proficiency with them, so that should be enough of a bonus.

Charisma

The superstar! Almost anything you do as a Warlock wants you to have high Charisma, first and foremost being your magic. You can also get abilities that add your Charisma to damage rolls. With your magic pushing you toward Charisma, you’ll likely end up doing a lot of the talking for your party, which is another reason to continue funneling points into Charisma.

Player Tip

Which Invocations Are Best?

While this varies between characters, a few Invocations are useful for any Warlock. Eldritch Mind makes all spellcasting easier, Agonizing Blast is a straightforward damage upgrade on your most common attack, and Sculptor of Flesh is ridiculously versatile. Additionally, look for Invocations that require a certain Pact Boon, as they tend to be pretty powerful. Finally an invisibility effect will never hurt, like One With Shadows or Shroud of Shadow.

Races

Since Charisma is Warlock’s only crucial stat, any race without Charisma bonuses is a hard sell. If you choose well, it’s easy to get a Charisma bonus plus a suite of other useful features. Some of the best races for Warlock include Aasimar, Half-Elves, Satyrs, Tieflings, and Verdan. Here are our thoughts on how well every race works for Warlock.

⚠️ Aarakocra

Flying and extra Dexterity keep you alive, but no Charisma bonus.

Aasimar

  • 🆗 Fallen
    • Good Charisma bonus, resistances, and flying. You can even frighten enemies, which plays to Warlock’s strength as a controller.
  • ✅ Protector
    • You get a lot here. A big Charisma bonus, two great resistances, a flying speed, and some healing utility. All great features for Warlock.
  • ⚠️ Scourge
    • Good Charisma bonus, but your Aasimar ability will kill you before it kills any enemies.

🆗 Changeling

A good Charisma bonus, plus some good skill proficiencies. The big winner is “Change Appearance” which kicks butt for social encounters. Everything about this race leans into Warlock’s role as party face.

Dragonborn

  • 🆗 Standard
    • A small Charisma bonus, one damage resistance, and your breath weapon are all nice. Too bad you’ll never use the Strength bonus.
  • 🆗 Draconblood
    • Advantage on a social roll once per day helps if you’re the party’s face, but the Intelligence bonus won’t do much.
  • ⛔ Ravenite
    • No Charisma bonus.

Elf

  • 🆗 Drow
    • Small Charisma bonus! Plus your innate spellcasting uses Charisma, so it won’t suck. Sadly, you get disadvantage in sunlight, which stings.
  • ✅ Eladrin
    • A small Charisma bonus, and you get a funky teleport ability which evolves later on to give you a useful spell effect when activated.
  • ⚠️ High Elf
    • No Charisma bonus, but a Wizard cantrip is decent.
  • ⛔ Palid Elf
    • No Charisma bonus.
  • ⛔ Sea Elf
    • No Charisma bonus.
  • ⛔ Shadar-Kai
    • No Charisma bonus.
  • ⛔ Wood Elf
    • No Charisma bonus.

Half-Elf

  • ✅ Standard
    • Great ability bonus and skill proficiencies that let you customize your character, and can compensate for your weaknesses.
  • ⚠️ Aquatic Half-Elf
    • Good Charisma bonus, nothing else of use.
  • ✅ Drow Half-Elf
    • Your Charisma bonus plus some utility spells leaves you perfectly prepped for magic shenanigans.
  • 🆗 High Half-Elf
    • Good Charisma bonus, and the cantrips make for good utility. It’s too bad they use Intelligence.
  • ⚠️ Wood Half-Elf
    • Good Charisma bonus, nothing else of use.

Halfling

  • ⛔ Ghostwise
    • No Charisma bonus. You can get the telepathy from a subclass if you’re that desperate.
  • 🆗 Lightfoot
    • A small Charisma bonus plus Dexterity for AC are okay on their own, but it’s the ever-powerful “Lucky” feature that makes this a solid choice.
  • ⛔ Lotusden
    • No Charisma bonus.
  • ⛔ Stout
    • No Charisma bonus.

Human

  • ⚠️ Standard
    • Small Charisma bonus, but literally no useful features.
  • 🆗 Variant
    • Taking a small Charisma bonus and a well-chosen feat creates a strong foundation for a Warlock, though not as powerful as some other options.

⚠️ Kalashtar

Small Charisma bonus, a nice telepathy ability, and advantage on Wisdom saves. All good, but nothing much better than “okay” means it’s often better to pick a more useful race.

✅ Satyr

The Charisma and Dexterity bonuses are most welcome, as is magic resistance and proficiency with persuasion. Perfect for a trickster Warlock.

Shifter

  • ⛔ Beasthide
    • No Charisma bonus.
  • ⛔ Longtooth
    • No Charisma bonus.
  • ⚠️ Swiftstride
    • A small Charisma bonus plus the ability to slide away from enemies that get too close. Still, it’s not exactly Christmas.
  • ⛔ Wildhunt
    • No Charisma bonus.

🆗 Simic Hybrid

You can get a small Charisma bonus, and most Warlocks will take the better AC a few levels in. There’s not much else here, but whatever features you choose will be at least situationally useful.

🆗 Tabaxi

Dexterity and some Charisma pair well, and you get good maneuverability. A weapon Warlock will likely benefit most from the racial abilities.

Tiefling

  • ✅ Standard
    • The classic Warlock. You get a Charisma bonus, extra Charisma-based spells, and fire resistance, which is as close to an ideal start for Warlock as you’ll find.
  • Infernal Origins
    • ✅ Asmodeus
      • Same as Standard.
    • ✅ Baalzebul
      • Good Charisma and some flexible spells.
    • ✅ Dispater
      • Good Charisma, Dexterity for AC, and spells that are great for social encounters.
    • ✅ Fierna
      • Good Charisma and useful spells for social encounters.
    • ✅ Glasya
      • Good Charisma, Dexterity for AC, and spells that help you sneak around and be tricksy.
    • ✅ Levistus
      • Good Charisma and a nice set of combat spells.
    • 🆗 Mammon
      • Good Charisma, but you probably won’t use these spells much.
    • 🆗 Mephistopheles
      • Good Charisma, though aside from burning hands the spells aren’t that useful.
    • 🆗 Zariel
      • Good Charisma, but sadly the spells only work if you have slots to burn and you’re making melee attacks, which is not what Warlock does.
  • Variant
    • 🆗 Devil’s Tongue
      • Good Charisma, and the spells are all great for social encounters as the party’s face.
    • ⛔ Feral
      • No Charisma bonus.
    • 🆗 Hellfire
      • Good Charisma and a fantastic offensive option.
    • ✅ Winged
      • Oh yes. Charisma and flying together with the basic Tiefling features make you into a demigod on the battlefield.

🆗 Triton

You only get a small Charisma bonus, but the cold resistance and the extra Charisma-based spells complement Warlock well.

✅ Verdan

Everything the Warlock is already doing, from passing their saving throws to using their high Charisma in roleplay, the Verdan helps them do better. The Charisma bonus is great and better hit dice help keep you alive.

✅ Warforged

Extra AC is incredible for a spellcaster, and since you can get a small Charisma bonus, it’s very worthwhile. You also choose a skill proficiency and get poison resistance which round out your toolkit nicely.

✅ Yuan-Ti Pureblood

Your extra spells aren’t great, but at least they use Charisma, which you get a big bonus to. The poison and magic resistances are stupidly good at keeping you alive.

⛔ Races Without Any Charisma Bonus

These races are Bugbear, Centaur, Dwarf, Firbolg, Genasi, Gith, Gnome, Goblin, Goliath, Half-Orc, Hobgoblin, Kenku, Kobold, Leonin, Lizardfolk, Locathah, Loxodon, Minotaur, Orc, Tortle, and Vedalken.

For Warlock, even a measly +1 to Charisma is the bare minimum for a race. None of these races offer that.

If you want a comprehensive list of all the player character races, you can find one from D&DBeyond here.

Class Features

Otherworldly Patron

Warlocks aren’t naturally magical: they swear to serve some otherworldly being in exchange for magical powers. That’s your patron, and Warlock subclasses are based on who you’ve promised your eternal soul to.

Your choice of Patron will determine what extra spells you gain as you level up, as well as what extra abilities you unlock. These range from wielding sentient weapons to damage resistances to mind-controlling enemies.

Check out the “Subclasses” section for more info on what features your patron grants you, and the “Patrons” section will give you some ideas from DnD lore for who to pick as a patron. 

🆗 Pact Magic

Warlock is weird, and this is why. Rather than getting a boatload of spell slots like other spellcasting classes, you get a measly handful. The trade off is that all your spell slots are the maximum level you have access to, and your slots recharge on a short rest.

For this reason, you end up very reliant on your cantrips and can’t afford to waste too many spell slots for utility. Every levelled spell you cast needs to have a big effect, and many of Warlock’s spells do just that. Their spell list contains lots of debuffs and control effects.

Your typical Warlock will spend most of their turns casting a cantrip, then occasionally dropping a massive spell to establish control over the battlefield or to turn a roleplay encounter on its head.

Check out the “Spells” section for a list of indispensable Warlock spells.

✅ Eldritch Invocations

Which Invocations you take will come to define your Warlock. They carry a lot of weight for the class, being one of the reasons Warlock is incredibly adaptable. By mixing and matching Invocations, you can create almost any kind of build imaginable. Many of them also grant extra spells (some cost a spell slot, others don’t, some are at-will, others are once a day) which compensates well for Warlock’s lack of spell slots.

Check out the “Invocations” section for a list of a few essential Invocations.

🆗 Pact Boon

Each of these grants a fun effect, but all are relatively weak until upgraded with Eldritch Invocations. Pick a Pact that supplements the part of your character you feel you’re lacking most in to create a wonderfully well-rounded and adaptable Warlock. 

Check out the “Pact Boons” section for a detailed breakdown.

✅ Mystic Arcanum

Choose these spells wisely, because you only get to cast each one once per long rest. Still, Warlock will never turn down more spells, and this allows you to stay relevant in the late game with big flashy magic effects.

⚠️ Eldritch Master

Warlock already gains its spell slots back on a short rest, so unless you are getting into two encounters between short rests, you won’t use this ability much. It does allow you to cut loose and burn through all your spell slots, safe in the knowledge you can get them back after just one minute.

Player Tip: What happens if a Warlock breaks their pact?

Your class features are on-loan from your patron, so if you break your pact, there’s a good chance you’ll end up magic-less. Talk with your DM about how to roleplay such a situation: maybe you can find a new, more understanding patron to take over your pact!

Subclasses

The main differences between Warlocks often come down to their subclasses. Each offers a different flavor of gameplay and some unique roleplay opportunities. You can check out our in-depth guides to Warlock subclasses here.

🆗 The Archfey

All of your abilities have to do with charming, frightening, or mind-controlling baddies, which helps you disable troublesome enemies. You also gain some teleportation spells and abilities to keep you out of danger.

🆗 The Celestial

A Lay On Hands effect, radiant resistance, and free temporary hit points for the party? Warlock is the new Paladin. However, while the support abilities are good, they don’t synergize much with your other abilities.

⚠️ The Fathomless

Getting a spiritual weapon from a class ability is cool, especially when it reduces damage to you. Still, unless your campaign is underwater, a few good offensive options can’t compensate for the lack of power here.

✅ The Fiend

Some offensive spells and abilities paired with your choice of resistance after a rest makes this subclass very combat capable. Gaining area-of-effect damage spells is great for Warlock.

✅ The Genie

Your bonus spells are almost all excellent, as is flying and a damage resistance. The wishing ability is equivalent to an extra spell a few times a week, which Warlock benefits greatly from.

🆗 The Great Old One

A little more utility than your average Warlock, especially when roleplaying social encounters, plus nice control effects. You also get psychic damage spells, which almost nothing resists.

✅ The Hexblade

The most viable subclass in the game for combining melee combat with magic. You can focus down individual enemies to kill anything scary, or just hold the line as a better Eldritch Knight.

⛔ The Undying

None of the abilities meant to keep you from dying are any better than a good set of armor and someone watching your back. Even for roleplay you’ll struggle to use any of your subclass abilities.

Player Tip: Which subclass is best?

That depends how you want to play! If you want to burn your enemies to cinders, The Fiend and The Genie are great. If you enjoy wading into battle, The Hexblade is your best option. For mind-melting shenanigans, try The Archfey or The Great Old One.

Patrons

The patron you choose to serve will be an integral part of your Warlock’s story. Your patron might call in a favor under pain of death, or send you off on unique quests. Consider how your Warlock found out about their patron and was able to strike a bargain.

Here are a few common patrons from DnD lore that would work well for your Warlock.

Asmodeus

Lord of the Nine Hells and the King of Devils. Asmodeus delights in convincing mortals (such as Warlocks) to sign away their souls in devilish contracts, leaving them in endless servitude. He is constantly scheming and looking for ways to expand his influence in the hope of bringing the entire multiverse under his rule.

Felarathael

One of the solars (DnD’s resident archangels) who serves the gods. Felarathael is a being of pure reason and always keeps a cool head, logically planning out a path to victory. He has spent countless years crusading for the good of elvenkind and would likely direct his Warlocks to do the same.

Player Tip: What patrons exist in your game world?

Ask your DM about the game world before choosing your patron. They might be using a customized pantheon of otherworldly beings, or might recommend some new homebrewed patrons.

Hadar

In the night sky, one star drifts endlessly through the void. That’s Hadar, an elder evil that manifests as a putrid star shining down dim red light. Hadar is obsessed with averting its inevitable death, and sends out Warlocks to investigate ancient secrets that could prolong Hadar’s life.

Hadar has some Warlock-exclusive spells named after him! You can view them here and here.

The Raven Queen

A sentient embodiment of death who rules the Shadowfell, a realm of pure darkness. The Raven Queen’s only motivation is to archive all memory in the multiverse, especially those powerful memories related to death and tragedy. Her Warlocks act as sentinels, guarding the boundary between life and death.

Player Tip: Can a Warlock have a good patron?

Absolutely! While most patrons seem evil by default, your patron could be the exception. A Warlock sworn to a Fiend might have landed themselves with the one good devil in the multiverse. However, having a conflict of interest between you and your patron can make for fun roleplay.

Spells

Due to Warlock’s spell slot situation, you will only get to cast a handful of levelled spells a day. Concentration spells are susceptible to being broken, leaving you with the tough choice of whether to expend another precious slot recasting it. For these reasons, spells with a single game-changing effect are where Warlock’s strength lies.

This list covers a few of the best Warlock spells. These are spells any Warlock should consider learning. You can check out our complete breakdown of the best Warlock spells here.

Cantrips

  • ✅ Eldritch Blast
    • There’s a reason this has become so iconic for Warlock. Eldritch blast is already one of the higher damage cantrips, but at the upper levels it turns into a magical homing missile, able to hit several targets. It also has great range (120 feet). The best thing is how customizable Eldritch Invocations makes this cantrip. Many Invocations upgrade or otherwise modify eldritch blast, turning it into your go-to spell even at higher levels.
  • ✅  Green-Flame Blade
    • Only take this if you’re a Pact of the Blade and/or Hexblade Warlock, but by adding your Charisma modifier to damage this puts your melee attacks on par with combat classes.

1st Level

  • ✅ Armor of Agathys
    • An incredible defensive boost that makes you able to withstand a crowd of enemies. Even works well at higher levels.
  • ✅ Hex
    • This is what Warlock was born to do: weaken one target and attack until it drops. You even get to reuse it when you make the kill.

2nd Level

  • 🆗 Hold Person
    • This will never not be good. Contains an enemy and prevents it from causing any trouble. Also works well when cast at a higher level.
  • 🆗 Invisibility
    • Extremely versatile and always nice to have in your back pocket.
  • 🆗 Misty Step
    • Either a lifesaver or just incredibly useful for maneuvering.

3rd Level

  • ⚠️ Counterspell
    • Gamebreaking if used properly, but only waste spell slots on it if you’re the only spellcaster in your party.
  • ⚠️ Fly
    • Important utility, but let someone else cast it if possible.
  • 🆗 Hypnotic Pattern
    • A great answer to take out big crowds of enemies.

4th Level

  • ✅ Banishment
    • A staple of the save-or-suck category. Simply point at an enemy and remove it from the fight.
  • ✅ Shadow of Moil
    • The offensive version of armor of agathys, and the obscuring effects often give attackers difficulty hitting you (depends on your table’s rules, ask your DM).

5th Level

  • 🆗 Hold Monster
    • Better version of hold person.

It’s worth noting that Warlock spell slots cap out at 5th level. You only gain access to higher level spells through your Mystic Arcanum class feature.

6th Level

  • 🆗 Circle of Death
    • Great area-of-effect damage for the upper levels.
  • 🆗 Eyebite
    • With enough time, you can debilitate an entire room of enemies.
  • ✅ Mass Suggestion
    • Fun in and out of combat, this is a wonderful crowd control spell that can turn the tables on an encounter.
  • ✅ Mental Prison
    • Either a solid single-target damage spell, or a hard-hitting control spell that removes an enemy from the fight.

7th Level

  • ✅ Finger of Death
    • Makes stuff dead. Enough said.
  • ✅ Forcecage
    • This has NO save. And can trap multiple enemies. Crazy good.
  • ✅ Plane Shift
    • The ultimate tactical retreat, or a way to permanently remove someone from the game.

8th Level

  • ✅ Dominate Monster
    • Fantastic way to turn a scary opponent into a good thing.
  • 🆗 Feeblemind
    • Decimates enemy spellcasters and hits everything else hard.
  • 🆗 Maddening Darkness
    • A huge area-of-effect that also blocks line-of-sight to provide cover.

9th Level

  • ✅ Foresight
    • Advantage on everything and giving all incoming attacks disadvantage makes the target an unstoppable machine.
  • 🆗 Power Work Kill
    • There is no save against this. Perfect at ending combat with a snap of the fingers.
  • ✅ True Polymorph
    • Just be a dragon. Everyone wants to be a dragon. For non-dragon situations, it’s still absurdly adaptable and can do just about anything you can imagine.

For a complete reference to all the spells in the game, check out D&DBeyond and its spell list here.

Invocations

Here are some of the strongest and most versatile Eldritch Invocations for Warlock. You can check out our complete breakdown of every Eldritch Invocation here.

✅ Agonizing Blast

More damage on your eldritch blast. Mic drop.

🆗 Book of Ancient Secrets

Getting ritual spells means you can contribute some utility without burning through spell slots, and your choices are all pretty useful.

✅ Eldritch Mind

Better concentration checks prevent you from wasting spell slots recasting a broken spell.

🆗 Eldritch Spear

This is just fun. You can imagine how good it feels to eldritch blast someone from across the battlefield.

✅ Investment of the Chain Master

Warlock’s version of animal companion. A necessity for Pact of the Chain to make your familiar capable of contributing during combat.

✅ Lifedrinker

Gives extra damage on weapon attacks, which puts Pact of the Blade Warlocks on par with dedicated combat classes.

🆗 Maddening Hex

Some generous rules about what you can target plus lovely recurring damage makes this an easy pick if you like killing things.

✅ Mask of Many Faces

Magical plastic surgery. Perfect for roleplay, especially since you have high Charisma already.

🆗 Protection of the Talisman

Essentially resistance on a string. Getting bonus dice for saving throws can save your butt in a pinch, or the butt of whoever wears your talisman.

✅ Sculptor of Flesh

It’s polymorph. Absolutely worth the spell slot it costs to cast. Most problems in the game can be addressed through creative use of this spell.

✅ Thirsting Blade

Ensures your Pact of the Blade Warlock doesn’t lag behind in damage-per-turn. An extra attack is a no-brainer.

🆗 Whispers of the Grave

Beating a dead horse is suddenly a viable option! You can squeeze out a lot of info through roleplaying a conversation with a corpse.

Pact Boons

A Pact grants one of these fairly simple abilities, which you can then customize and power-up through Invocations. You can check out our in-depth guides to Warlock pacts here.

🆗 Pact of the Blade

Ah, the infamous weapon Warlock. With this Pact, you can summon a magical weapon of your choice, or bind yourself to an existing weapon and conjure it at-will. The tricky bit is balancing your ability scores so that you can actually hit with your weapon.

The best pairing for this Pact is the Hexblade Warlock, which has similar weapon-based features. Hexblades get to use Charisma as their weapon ability. As it stands, the basic Pact of the Blade gives you no advantages like extra attacks or extra damage, so if you’re not a Hexblade your weapon attacks will still be pretty weak.

Taking the right Invocations can turn this Pact into a juggernaut. You can start adding bonuses to hit and for damage, you can get another attack, and the weapon can deal magical damage. Weapon Warlock works great with this Pact, but you have to be mindful of how you use it. Don’t expect to be a front-line fighter the second you pick up this Pact.

⚠️Pact of the Chain

This Pact gives you the find familiar spell, along with a few flavorful beasties to choose from in addition to the base options for familiars. The best of them have a fly speed, which makes them great for reconnaissance. The Pact also lets you command your familiar to attack, but it consumes one of your own attacks to do so, which isn’t a very good trade.

It’s not that difficult for Warlock to learn find familiar outside of this Pact, and you barely gain any advantages for taking Pact of the Chain. The upside is you can improve your familiar with Invocations, which can make it a little closer to Ranger’s animal companion.

Without any Invocations to improve it, Pact of the Chain is laughably bad. With those improvements, you get a handy little friend to scout ahead for you and occasionally make attacks. However, it will never be better at either than a PC is, so it’s best to let someone else do your dirty work and pick a different Pact.

🆗 Pact of the Talisman

On its own, this Pact grants a pretty reliable if unremarkable bonus. The best perks are that anyone wearing the talisman gets the effects (so you can give it to a friend), and the fact that your bonus d4 only triggers when a check is failed, so you never waste it on a check you might have otherwise passed without the bonus.

Unfortunately, anyone who has ever taken the guidance cantrip can tell you that failed ability checks are the most salvageable of the possible checks you can make. This could be big if it applied to attack rolls, and it only applies to saving throws with a certain Invocation. In its basic form, the talisman simply isn’t that powerful.

Pact of the Talisman is very reliant on being upgraded by Invocations. The Invocations encourage you to pass the talisman around your party to whoever could use a buff. It’s a very straightforward Pact, well-suited to new Warlocks who already have enough mechanical complexity on their plate and would prefer a simple bonus.

✅ Pact of the Tome

Probably the default Pact for most Warlocks. The big draw of this Pact is gaining a whole bunch more cantrips, expanding your arsenal as soon as you take the Pact. These cantrips can be from any class, so you could slide into a support role with Bard, Cleric, or Druid cantrips, or a utility role with Sorcerer and Wizard cantrips. Or just take all damage-dealing cantrips and get blasting.

One of the nice things about Pact of the Tome is that most cantrips scale with your level, so they remain relevant. If you start taking Invocations to upgrade this Pact, you can essentially gain the ritual caster feat to give yourself more spells and become your party’s Swiss-army-knife.

This Pact is useful even without upgrades, so many Warlocks will take it. Most of the Pact of the Tome Invocations are pretty weak, so you will probably end up just using the Pact to stockpile spells. But for a class with few spell slots, that’s all you need.

Player Tip: What patron is best?

All patrons work differently, and some fit better with some Pacts than others. Think about what kind of gameplay you like most. A Pact can be a good starting point because they offer straightforward effects, then you can match up whatever patron plays well with it, or whatever patron creates an interesting character backstory.

Feats

If you feel like taking a feat is more worthwhile than boosting an ability, here are the best feats for Warlock.

✅ Eldritch Adept

Another Eldritch Invocation, plain and simple.

🆗 Fey Touched

You get an ability boost (put it into Charisma if you can) and a free spell, but misty step steals the show. It’s one of the best spells for maneuverability and only costs a bonus action. Useful for almost anyone, but especially for a squishy class like Warlock.

🆗 Moderately Armored

Improve Warlock’s survivability with even stronger armor. Best if you haven’t bothered putting points into Dexterity.

✅ War Caster

Losing concentration as Warlock stings, as one of your precious spell slots has just been wasted. This feat protects against that, and also allows you to use good old eldritch blast to blow enemies away as an opportunity attack.

Take a look at all the possible feats and see if you qualify for any niche racial feats. AideDD has a feat list available here.

If you enjoyed this article, share it with your friends! Drop a comment below and tell us about your Warlock character. We love hearing about the weird builds you’ve played. Starting a new character can be confusing, so we hope this guide has helped you see what makes Warlock special.

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