Warlock 5e – DnD Class Guide

Learn all about the pact-making warlock class of D&D

Warlocks are magic users that have made a pact with a powerful, magical being. The warlock draws their power from their patron bringing them great power, but at the cost of binding themselves to their patron. Often, these patrons have sinister desires for their warlock servants meaning warlocks can often end up conflicting with the more lawfully good members of a party.

How to play as a warlock

Wizard casting spell on mind flayer

Warlocks have much less spell slots than other full casters, but with the caveat that these spells are usually more powerful than those of other spellcasters, being able to use them in their most powerful form every time. To compensate for this, warlocks have access to some great cantrips that can be used like ranged weapon attacks. Like most spellcasters, Warlocks are best used at range and as far as possible from danger, though some warlocks, like the hexblade, are built for melee combat. Warlocks use Charisma as their spellcasting ability so it’s best to pump lots of points into this ability.

Warlock Strengths

Warlocks can take advantage of a great bunch of cantrips for regular, decent damage output. They also get to use all spells in their highest possible form meaning when they use spells, they tend to do more damage than other spellcasters. They’re a little tougher than sorcerors and wizards with a higher HP.

Warlock Weaknesses

Action economy is a major challenge for warlocks as they have very few spell slots. This does mean that they can quickly run out of effective things to do in combat. This is particularly problematic as unless you’re a hexblade, you’ll have very few combat focused abilities. They do have decent cantrips to keep them going though so it’s not such a major issue.

Warlock class features

Party RoleUtility, Spell Damage Dealer, Control
Main AbilityCharisma
Saving ThrowsWisdom, Charisma
Hit Dice1d8 + Consitution modifier per level
HP at 1st Level8 + Constitution Modifier
Spell Casting AbilityCharisma
Armour ProficiencyLight armour
Weapon ProficiencySimple weapons

Warlock Abilities

LevelProficiency BonusFeaturesCantrips KnownSpells KnownSpell SlotsSlot LevelInvocations Known
1st+2Otherworldly Patron, Pact Magic3211st
2nd+2Eldritch Invocations3321st2
3rd+2Pact Boon3422nd2
4th+2Ability Score Improvement4522nd2
6th+3Otherworldly Patron Feature4723rd3
8th+3Ability Score Improvement4924th4
10th+4Otherworldly Patron Feature51025th5
11th+4Mystic Arcanum (6th Level)51135th5
12th+4Ability Score Improvement51135th6
13th+5Mystic Arcanum (7th Level)51235th6
14th+5Otherworldly Patron Feature51235th6
15th+5Mystic Arcanum (8th Level)51335th7
16th+5Ability Score Improvement51335th7
17th+6Mystic Arcanum (9th level)51445th7
19th+6Ability Score Improvement51545th8
20th+6Eldritch Master51545th8

Warlock subclasses in D&D 5e

Warlock Otherworldly PatronsSubclass AbilitiesSource BookDescription
The ArchfeyExpanded Spell List, Fey Presence, Misty Escape, Beguiling Defenses, Dark DeliriumPlayer’s HandbookWarlocks whose magic comes from a pact with a powerful fey creature.
The FiendExpanded Spell List, Dark One’s Blessing, Dark One’s Own Luck, Fiendish Resilience, Hurl Through hellPlayer’s HandbookWarlocks whose magic comes from a pact with a powerful fiend.
The Great Old OneExpanded Spell List, Awakened Mind, Entropic Ward, Thought Shield, Create ThrallPlayer’s HandbookWarlocks whose magic comes from a pact with a powerful unknown creature from beyond the known universe.
The UndyingExpanded Spell List, Among the Dead, Deft Death, Undying Nature, Indestructible LifeSword Coast Adventurer’s GuideWarlocks whose magic comes from a pact with a powerful undead creature.
The CelestialExpanded Spell List, Bonus Cantrips, Healing Light, Radiant Soul, Celestial Resistance, Searing VengeanceXanathar’s Guide to EverythingWarlocks whose magic comes from a pact with a powerful celestial creature.
The HexbladeExpanded Spell List, Hexblade’s Curse, Hex Warrior, Accursed Specter, Armor of Hexes, Master of HexesXanathar’s Guide to EverythingWarlocks whose magic comes from a pact with a powerful weapon or who have been gifted a weapon.
The FathomlessExpanded Spell List, Tentacle of the Deep, Gift of the Sea, Oceanic Soul, Guardian Coil, Grasping Tentacles, Fathomless PurgeTasha’s Cauldron of EverythingWarlocks whose magic comes from a pact with a powerful creature from the depths of the ocean.
The GenieExpanded Spell List, Genie’s Vessel, Elemental Gift, Sanctuary Vessel, Limited WishTasha’s Cauldron of EverythingWarlocks whose magic comes from a pact with a powerful genie.
The UndeadExpanded Spell List, Form of Dread, Grave Touched, Necrotic Husk, Spirit ProjectionVan Richten’s Guide to RavenloftWarlocks that have made a pact with an undead being.

Published by DM Ben

Ben is an experienced dungeon master and player who's been immersed in the D&D universe since he was a teenager over 20 years ago. When he's not writing for Dungeon Mister, Ben loves creating fiendish puzzles and devious dungeons for his players. He's an especially big fan of the Ravenloft and Dragonlance settings.

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