Skip to Content

Pact of the Blade 5e

Pact of the Blade 5e

Weave a weapon out of thin air

“I disarmed the heathen, stripped him of his garments, and tossed him in the cell. He began muttering to his filthy Warlock god, and as I turned to strike down his insolence…a mighty blade manifested in his hand, as if from on high.”

-Watchman’s report

What is Pact of the Blade 5e?

Pact of the Blade 5e lets you summon a weapon from another dimension, based on a pact made with one of nine types of “otherworldly patron”: an Archfey, a Celestial, a Great Old One, a Fiend, a Fathomless, a Genie, a Hexblade, an Undead, or an Undying. The type of otherworldly patron chosen changes Pact of the Blade’s benefits.

You form a pact with your otherworldly patron at 1st level. Then, at 3rd level, “your otherworldly patron bestows a gift upon you for your loyal service,” called a Pact Boon. There are four official Pact Boons in DnD 5e: Pact of the Blade, Pact of the Chain, Pact of the Talisman, and Pact of the Tome. 

Pact of the Blade lets you:

  • Create a melee pact weapon in your empty hand as an Action.
  • Choose the form that this melee pact weapon takes
  • Be proficient with the melee pact weapon while you wield it.
  • Give your pact weapon to someone else.
  • Create a bond with a magical weapon to make it into your pact weapon, through a one-hour ritual. This includes ranged weapons. This overrides the normal pact weapon, until you break the bond by bonding with another magical weapon, doing a bond-breaking ritual, or dying.

Pact of the Blade’s weapon:

  • Is magical, which means it overcomes enemy resistance and immunity to non-magical attacks and damage.
  • Disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more, if you summon another weapon, if you dismiss the weapon, or if you die.

Improved Pact of the Blade is an Eldritch Invocation introduced in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, along with the Hexblade class.

Improved Pact of the Blade 5e lets you:

  • Use your pact weapon as a spellcasting focus for your Warlock spells.
  • Add +1 bonus to the pact weapon’s attack and damage rolls, unless it’s a magic weapon that already has roll bonuses.
  • Summon a shortbow, longbow, light crossbow, or heavy crossbow.

How does Pact of the Blade work in 5e?

The Warlock’s Pact of the Blade summons a weapon into your empty hand with an Action. This lets you summon a weapon in otherwise weaponless areas, for a particular situation, or to give to an ally. The weapon works the same mechanically as it does normally. If you give your pact weapon to an ally, they need to stay within 5 feet.

Unless you bond with a magical weapon or take Improved Pact of the Blade as an Eldritch Invocation, the weapon you summon can only be a melee weapon. Bonding with a magical weapon, such as an Oathbow, takes a special ritual that is an important roleplaying moment. You are “shunting a weapon into extradimensional space” to be summoned thereafter. 

Along with Improved Pact Weapon, these Eldritch Invocations power up Pact of the Blade:

Eldritch Smite (level 5). Once per turn when you hit a creature with your pact weapon, you can expend a warlock spell slot to deal an extra 1d8 force damage to the target, plus another 1d8 per level of the spell slot, and you can knock the target prone if it is Huge or smaller.

Thirsting Blade (level 5). You can attack with your pact weapon twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Lifedrinker (level 12). When you hit a creature with your pact weapon, the creature takes extra necrotic damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

These Eldritch invocations let your Warlock really pack a wallop!

The particular entity you form your Pact of the Blade with is up to you. For example, if you choose to be an Undead Warlock, your patron can be the powerful lich Acererak or the vampire Count Strahd from The Curse of Strahd. You can even pick a patron from other brands like Lord of the Rings, Stranger Things, or Disney films. The visual of your weapon is up to you as well, so get creative!

Pact of the Blade can be fun with any patron and subclass, but it really shines as a Hexblade Warlock.

Why is Pact of the Blade good for Hexblade?

Hexblade’s “Hex Warrior” (level 1) synergizes with Pact of the Blade. Hex Warrior lets you “mystically channel your will through a particular weapon” you are proficient with to add your Charisma modifier to it instead of Strength or Dexterity. This includes Pact of the Blade weapons. Warlocks are usually low Strength, but high Charisma, so this perk adds excellent flexibility.

Hex Warrior also gives you proficiency with medium armor, shields, and martial weapons. The Hexblade patron and subclass were introduced in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything to complement the Warlock’s Pact of the Blade and make characters with a mix of melee and magic more viable. You can be hardy and heave spells without worrying about hurting your party’s chances.

Along with Hex Warrior, these Hexblade perks also perform well with Pact of the Blade.

Hexblade’s Curse (Level 1). A powerful ability that lets you curse a target. With Hexblade’s Curse, you get a bonus to damage rolls equal to your proficiency bonus, critical rolls on 19 and 20, and get back hit points equal to your level + Charisma modifier if your opponent dies. Curse your foe and wail away! 

Relentless Hex (Level 7). Mixed with Hexblade’s curse, you can be a meleeing menace. As a bonus action, you create a “temporary bond” with a cursed foe. Magically teleport yourself up to within 5 feet of a target you cursed, up to 30 feet away, as long as you can see them. No rest for the wicked!

If you want to be extra cursed (and a living tongue twister), be a Hexblood Hexblade!

What is the Pact of the Blade used for?

DnD 5e’s Pact of the Blade is useful for:

  • Having a weapon into a place you shouldn’t have a weapon
  • Attacking magical creatures who have resistance or immunity to physical weapons, which is great at early levels
  • Getting a specific weapon for annoying creatures
  • Having spellcasting focus anywhere (with Improved Pact Weapon)
  • Giving a buddy a weapon in a pinch
  • Using with Eldritch Invocations Eldritch Smite, Thirsting Blade, and Lifedrinker
  • Using with a Hexblade’s features like Hex Warrior and Hexblade’s Curse

Gamecows Tip: Try scamming shopkeepers by selling your magical pact weapon…without actually selling it. After 1 minute away from your pact weapon, it shoots off into space again. But get ready for the pitchforks if you do this too often!

Xanathar's Guide to Everything
$49.95 $26.15

Buy on Amazon Buy at Noble Knight
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/23/2023 01:00 pm GMT

Pact of the Blade 5e FAQ

Is Pact of the Blade useful?

Pact of the Blade is most useful as a Hexblade, but can be useful for any Warlock subclass. With Hexblade you can become a magic/melee hybrid warrior, while with other subclasses you can have a weapon handy for any situation.

What are the benefits of Pact of the Blade?

The main benefits of Pact of the Blade are: Summon a weapon anywhere, for any battle situation, or for an ally. With Improved pact of the Blade, you also get +1 to attack and damage rolls and can summon a spellcasting focuser anywhere. With the Hexblade subclass, you can use Charisma as an attack modifier with Pact of the Blade.

How does Warlock Pact of the Blade work?

With Pact of the Blade, you can summon a melee weapon with an Action. You can summon a ranged weapon if it’s a magical weapon that you bonded with through a ritual. The pact weapon comes down from extradimensional space when you summon it and disappears when the bond breaks through distance, death, or re-summoning.

Does a pact weapon have to be melee?

A pact weapon is normally melee, but you can bond with a magical ranged weapon through a one-hour ritual to turn it into a pact weapon. You can also get Improved Pact of the Blade at level 3 to summon a normal shortbow, longbow, light crossbow, or heavy crossbow as your pact weapon.

What race is best for a Pact of the Blade Warlock?

Half-Elf is good for a Hexblade with Pact of the Blade, as its racial bonuses can give you very high Charisma to use as a modifier with Hex Warrior. Aasimar also get +2 Charisma boost and have a strong roleplaying link with an otherworldly patron. If you want to use Strength as your Warlock’s modifier, Dragonborn get a Strength boost.

Do you use Charisma for Pact of the Blade?

You use Charisma for Pact of the Blade only if you take the Hexblade subclass, which offers the Hex Warrior ability. Hex Warrior lets you touch a weapon you are proficient in to use your Charisma modifier with it.

Can you dual-wield Pact of the Blade?

Yes, you can summon a pact weapon in your empty hand while already wielding a normal weapon in your offhand. But unless you have two-weapon fighting, you can’t add your ability modifier to the offhand attack. 

How many times can you use Pact of the Blade?

You can use Pact of the Blade to summon different weapons, as long as you have an Action. You can only have one pact weapon at a time, however. Your pact weapon stays with you as long as you are within 5 feet of it for at least a minute.

Can a pact weapon be an unarmed strike?

No, though unarmed strikes are considered melee weapon attacks in DnD 5e, they still don’t involve a weapon. Pact of the Blade summons a weapon into your hand, so can’t summon an unarmed strike.

Now that you’ve mastered Pact of the Blade, master other goodies like Necromancer 5e, Hexblood 5e, and Duergar 5e.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything
$49.95 $26.15

Buy on Amazon Buy at Noble Knight
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/23/2023 01:00 pm GMT