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Warlock 5e Subclasses

The Warlock is an interesting character class. It almost has 2 separate subclasses to use. The first is, of course, the patron. The type of patron the Warlock chooses is going to greatly affect their abilities. The second is the Pact Boon that Warlocks receive at 3rd level. 

Read our guide to Warlock 5e Subclasses in DnD 5th Edition. Also, check out our Warlock 5e Class Guide and our Warlock Spells guide.

Warlock Patrons

There are a variety of reasons that a patron would want to make a deal with a Warlock. These are all creatures of immense power. They’re not necessarily gods, but the average commoner would have a very hard time telling the difference.

Some patrons may begrudgingly choose a single Warlock to support, and some may be gathering up hundreds to gain strength in some cosmic game. 

Here is our ranked list of the Warlock Subclasses in 5e DnD:

  • #9 – Undying
  • #8 – Fathomless
  • #7 – Undead
  • #6 – Great Old One
  • #5 – Celestial
  • #4 – Archfey
  • #3 – Hexblade
  • #2 – Genie
  • #1 – Fiend

#9. Undying

The Undying Pact can be found in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide supplement. 

There are many ways to cheat death in the DnD world and not all of them are pleasant. The Undying has made a pact with some form of immortal creature. Whether it’s a lich or some other being that’s cheated death, the Undying Warlock typically makes a pact to help themselves cheat death. 

The Undying Warlock Patron is typically a creature that defies death. It could be an immortal vampire, lich, or some other creature with an unnatural life span. These creatures have all discovered a way to ignore death and have granted a piece of their immortality to the Warlock. 

Undying Patron Subclass Feature

The Undying Patron attempts to make the Warlock more durable. They gain several abilities that make them more resilient and give minimal healing abilities. There are also some odd abilities that physically change the Warlock. They’ll no longer have to breathe after a certain point and can simply regrow limbs.

Pros of the Undying Patron

The Undying has some interesting abilities like regrowing limbs and they do get some healing spells that can be useful and fun for RP purposes.  

Cons of the Undying Patron

The Undying can do some minimal healing, but they’re not nearly as efficient at healing as the celestial. 

Expanded Spell List

The Undying Warlock adds additional spells to their list. These are all considered Warlock spells to the Undying.

  • 1st False Life, Ray of Sickness
  • 2nd Blindness/Deafness, Silence
  • 3rd Feign Death, Speak with Dead
  • 4th Aura of Life, Death Ward
  • 5th Contagion, Legend Lore

Among the Dead
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 2

The Undying learns the Spare the Dying cantrip as a Warlock spell and has advantage on saving throws against any disease. 

Also when an undead creature attacks the Undying they’ll need to make a Wisdom Save against the Warlock’s Spell DC. If the enemy fails then they must change targets or forfeit the attack. 

The Undying’s familiarity with the Undead makes them particularly strong against other undead. They can easily wade into a battlefield filled with the walking dead. 

Defy Death
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 2

The Undying can regain 1d8 + Constitution Modifier worth of health points. This can be done when succeeding in a death-saving throw or when stabilizing another character. 

This can be done once per long rest. 

This is an ability that you won’t always use, but it’s one that you’ll be thankful for when you do need to use it. You just have to remember it’s there. 

Undying Nature
Level 10
GameCows Ranking: 3

The Undying Warlock no longer needs to breathe, eat, drink, or sleep. They’ll still need to rest to restore their exhaustion and gain the benefits of short and long rests. 

The Undying also ages unnaturally slowly. For every 10 years that they’re alive, they age only 1 year and are immune to magical aging effects. 

This is a cool ability for roleplaying purposes, but not super useful for stats or combat. 

Indestructible Life
Level 14
GameCows Ranking: 1

As a bonus action, the Undying can regain hit points equal to 1d8 + Warlock level.

If a body part has been severed the Warlock can press it back together when using this ability and it re-attaches. 

This can be used once per long or short rest. 

The healing is a nice ability,  and the ability to simply put an arm back on is pretty neat.

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12/01/2022 10:34 am GMT

#8. Fathomless

Out to sea, there’s nothing but the ocean and the depths. Underneath the waves is a completely alien world. The Fathomless Warlocks somehow have found themselves at the mercy of the creatures from the deep.

Maybe they were shipwrecked and made a pact to save their lives. The Warlock may have struggled in open water, surviving far longer than any mere mortal, and winning the respect of a powerful undersea creature. They could have even gone willingly as part of a cult dedicated to the depths. 

However they gain their powers, the Fathomless are connected to the hidden powers beneath the waves. 

The Fathomless subclass can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

The Fathomless Patron has some connection to great oceans. It could be an ancient creature of the sea, a legendary sea captain that refuses to die, or even a demi-god. There are quite a few different ways to play the Fathomless, but all of their abilities revolve around water and the power of the oceans. 

Fathomless Patron Subclass Feature

The Fathomless abilities all revolve around the magic of the sea. They are able to swim and traverse water easily and they can summon massive tentacles out of the ground to attack and defend their allies. 

Pros of the Fathomless Patron

In a water-based campaign, Fathomless are going to be extremely useful. Their abilities all revolve around their affinity with water. Their abilities are highly thematic and perfect for any water or swamp-themed campaign. 

Cons of the Fathomless Patron

Outside of the water, the Fathomless Warlock is… for lack of a better term fish out of water. Their abilities are highly specialized and when they’re not near the water their best ability is Eldritch Blast. There’s not much else that’s good about the Fathomless Patron. If the Fathomless find themselves away from water their abilities aren’t great. 

Expanded Spell List

The Fathomless adds a host of new spells to the Warlock’s spell list. All the spells on the list below are considered Warlock Spells to the Fathomless Warlock. 

  • 1st Create or Destroy Water, Thunderwave
  • 2nd Gust of Wind, Silence
  • 3rd Lightning Bolt, Sleet Storm
  • 4th Control Water, Summon Elemental
  • 5th Bigby’s Hand (appears as a tentacle), Cone of Cold

Tentacle of the Deep
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 1

As a bonus action, the Fathomless can summons a 10ft long tentacle within 60ft where they can see. This lasts for 1 minute or until another tentacle is summoned. 

Upon creation, the tentacle makes a melee spell attack on an enemy within 10ft of the tentacle. It deals 1d8 cold damage and slows the target to 10ft base speed until the next turn. 

As a bonus action, the Fathomless can resummon the tentacle 30ft away from its original position and repeat the attack. This ability can be used x times equal to the Fathomless’ proficiency bonus, and charges reset after a long rest. 

Level 10

Tentacle damage is increased to 2d8

This is extremely useful for dealing damage, and it only gets stronger as the Fathomless Warlock levels up. Combine this with the Eldritch Blast Cantrip and the Warlock can help control the battlefield while dishing out some serious damage. 

Gift of the Sea
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 3

The Fathomless can swim at a base speed of 40ft and can breathe underwater. 

This may not seem all that exciting, but for a high seas adventure or water temple scenario, this is going to be incredibly useful. 

It’s useful, but only as long as the DM gives you the opportunity. Especially with the Fathomless class, you’ll want to coordinate with the DM so the entire campaign isn’t set in a desert. 

Oceanic Soul
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 3

The Fathomless gains resistance to cold damage. When fully submerged underwater any creature also underwater with the Fathomless can understand each other’s speech.

This is kind of a weird ability. The Cold resistance is always going to be useful. The underwater speech aspect sounds cool but really has very limited use. 

Guardian Coil
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 1

The Tentacle of the Deep ability gets an upgrade at level 6. 

When the Fathomless or one of their allies takes damage within 10ft of the tentacle, the Fathomless can use their reaction to reduce damage by 1d8. 

This is incredibly useful and basically pops up a mobile shield on the battlefield.

Level 10

Damage reduction increases to 2d8.

Grasping Tentacles
Level 10
GameCows Ranking: 1

The Fathomless learns Evard’s Black Tentacles. It counts as a Warlock spell and taking damage while casting it does not break concentration. Once per long rest the Fathomless Warlock can cast it without using a spell slot. 

The Fathomless Warlock also gains temporary hit points equal to the Warlock level when cast. 

Fathomless Plunge
Level 14
GameCows Ranking: 1

This is the Fathomless’ version of Dimension Door. The Fathomless can teleport up to 5 willing creatures within 30ft. Tentacles appear and teleport each of them up to 1 mile away into a body of water that the Fathomless has seen. 

This can be used once per long or short rest. 

Again it’s incredibly useful, but only if the campaign setting actually has water features. The Fathomless class is going to struggle if there’s no water around.

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12/01/2022 06:53 am GMT

#7. Undead 

The Undead Patron can be found in Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft.

The Warlock has made a pack with a powerful Undead creature. These aren’t newly undead creatures. These are ancient beings who have seen empires rise and fall. These could be ancient pharaohs, draco-lichs, or even a demi-lich. These creatures go far beyond the average undead.  

Similar to the Undying Patron, a creature of unnatural long life has granted the Warlock a fraction of their power. The Undead Patron has a tendency to lean more toward necromancy, though. These patrons are typically vampire lords, lich, or other undead lords. 

Undead Patron Subclass Feature

The Undead has some powerful spells at their disposal and they can separate their spirit from their body. This grants them several powerful abilities that are both useful in combat and for utility. 

Pros of the Undead Patron

The Undead Patron can deal necrotic damage and they are excellent at focusing on spellcasting. They can make excellent damage dealers to the party and they have a few different ways to boost their health through unnatural means. 

Cons of the Undead Patron

The Undead has some cool abilities, but they’re really only mildly useful in most situations. It’s a bit of a mixed bag. I like their abilities and thematically they’re fun, but they’re just not as good when you compare them to the other patrons.

Expanded Spell List

The Undead Warlock gets access to an expanded list of spells. These spells count as Warlock spells to the Undead Warlock. 

  • 1st Bane, False Life
  • 2nd Blindness/Deafness, Phantasmal Force
  • 3rd Phantom Steed, Speak with Dead
  • 4th Death Ward, Greater Invisibility
  • 5th Antilife Shell, Cloudkill

Form of Dread
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 1

As a bonus action, the Undead Warlock can transform using their patron’s power. The transformation lasts for 1 minute. 

The Undead Warlock:

  • Gains 1d10 + Warlock Level in temporary hit points. 
  • Once per turn when an enemy is hit they make a Wisdom Save. If failed they are frightened until the end of the Warlock’s Nex turn.  
  • The Warlock is immune to being frightened.

The Warlock can transform times equal to their proficiency bonus. All charges are regained after a long rest. 

The Appearance of the transformation depends on the patron. Darkness, shadowy forms, flapping robes, or ancient glyphs can appear depending upon what the Warlock’s patron is. 

This is the Undead Warlock’s signature ability. It grows in power as they level up and is one of the abilities you’ll use time and time again. 

Grave Touched
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 2

The Warlock no longer needs to eat, drink, or breathe. 

Once per turn when rolling for damage the Undead Warlock can replace the damage type with necrotic damage. If transformed using Form of Dread the Warlock can roll an additional damage die for necrotic damage. 

The ability to swap out regular damage for necrotic is an incredibly useful skill. The other aspects of Grave Touched are interesting, but limited use. 

Necrotic Husk
Level 10
GameCows Ranking: 1

The Undead Warlock is now resistant to necrotic damage, and if they’re transformed they are immune to it. 

When knocked down to 0 hitpoints they can use their reaction to retain 1 hit point. Each enemy within 30ft takes 2d10 + Warlock level necrotic damage. Afterward, they gain 1 level of exhaustion. 

This can not be done again until 1d4 long rests. 

This is an interesting ability. The necrotic resistance is useful, but the deus ex machina revive is the star of this ability. It’s especially useful if the Undead Warlock knows they’re going down and runs into a massive group of enemies before losing their final hit points. The huge wave of necrotic damage that comes afterward is fantastic. 

Spirit Projection
Level 14
GameCows Ranking: 3

 The Undead Warlock can now perform a type of astral projection. Their spirit leaves their body and the body remains.

As a spirit, the Undead Warlock:

  • Gains bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing resistance
  • When casting a Conjuration or Necromancy spell it doesn’t require verbal, somatic, or material components. 
  • Gains a flying speed equal to their base speed. They can fly through objects and people, but if the Spirit Projection ends with the Warlock inside another object they take 1d10 force damage. 

This ability can be done once per long rest.

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11/30/2022 09:30 pm GMT

#6. Great Old One

The final Warlock pact that can be found in the Player’s Handbook is the Great Old One. The Great Old Ones are basically Cthulhu-esque elder gods. If you’re a fan of anything Lovecraft, this is going to be the choice for you. The Warlock somehow gets the attention of an elder god and by accident or design is bound to it. 

Elder gods are horrifying otherwordly creatures indescribable horrors that if I even begin to describe would send your brain screaming into a pit of madness to even know about their form. 

Or so I’ve read.

These Warlocks gain their power from ancient alien entities. These creatures are heavily inspired by Lovecraft’s writings and Cthulhu-like entities. They cause madness to those without the mental fortitude to witness them. 

Great Old One Patron Subclass Feature

The Great Old Ones gain mild mind-reading abilities, but they also can create thralls to do their bidding. 

Pros of the Great Old One Patron

The Great Old One feels like a standard Warlock patron. They have some potent abilities, but they’re straightforward enough to be excellent for new players, but there’s enough complexity to make them fun for veteran players. 

Cons of the Great Old One Patron

This is an excellent standard subclass. It does a little bit of everything and is fantastic for RP purposes. They fit right in with the Warlock aesthetic, but they also don’t particularly excel at any one role. 

Expanded Spell List

The Great Old One gives the Warlock access to a list of extra spells that count as Warlock spells for the Great Old One Warlock. 

  • 1st Dissonant Whispers, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
  • 2nd Detect Thoughts, Phantasmal Force
  • 3rd Clairvoyance, Sending
  • 4th Dominate Beast, Evard’s Black Tentacles
  • 5th Dominate Person, Telekinesis

Awakened Mind
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 2

The Warlock can touch other creatures’ minds to communicate with them. Any creature the Warlock can see within 30ft can receive your message telepathically. They don’t need to understand the same language as the Great Old One’s powers are beyond speech. They’ll be able to fully understand your message. 

The range is only 30ft but it’s still better than T-Mobile. It’s useful and a smart player will be able to use this to their advantage to coordinate attacks. 

Entropic Ward
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 2

You can magically ward yourself against attacks and use their powers against them. When being attacked the Warlock as a reaction can impose Disadvantage on the attack roll. If the attack misses the next attack roll against that creature is done with Advantage. 

This can be used once per long or short rest. 

It’s the old switcheroo. It’s extremely useful, but unfortunately, you can only use it once per rest period. 

Thought Shield
Level 10
GameCows Ranking: 1

The Old One Warlocks become psychic voids due to their madness-inducing patrons. They cannot be read telepathically unless they wish to do so, and they have resistance to psychic damage. 

If they do manage to take psychic damage whatever caused it also takes the same amount of damage. 

It’s hard to deal psychic attacks to something that has a giant space squid floating in their head. If you can make a deal with a Cthulhu-like creature there’s probably something wrong with your brain anyway. 

Create Thrall
Level 14
GameCows Ranking: 1

The Warlock can now infect others with their patron’s mind-altering powers. As an action the warlock can touch an incapacitated humanoid and is charmed until a Remove Curse spell is cast upon them or until the Warlock uses it again. 

The Warlock can communicate telepathically with the thrall as long as they are on the same plane of existence. 

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12/02/2022 01:30 pm GMT

#5. Celestial

The Celestial Pact can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. The Warlock makes a pact with a celestial being. These could be angelic or divine creatures. Typically, the Warlock class has a tendency to be viewed as making unnatural deals with otherworldly creatures, they can also make pacts with divine and lawfully-good-aligned creatures as well. 

The Celestial Warlock has entered into a pact with a creature from the celestial plane. These are typically angels or other celestials. The Warlock is typically associated with demonic or evil beings, but the Celestial Patron is one of the few Warlocks who are usually lawful good. 

Celestial Patron Subclass Feature

The Celestial Patron has some potent magic and excellent healing abilities. They’re able to heal themselves and their allies as well as deal excellent radiant damage. 

Pros of the Celestial Patron

Celestial Warlocks are the best healing subclasses. They’re able to do both healing and damage. 

Cons of the Celestial Patron

The only real downside I would point to would really be for RP purposes. If you want to be an edgy grimdark warlock making a pact with an angel is probably not going to be the best choice.

Expanded Spell List

The Celestial Warlock gets access to new spells granted by their patron. These spells are considered Warlock spells to the Celestial Warlock. 

Bonus Cantrips

At 1st level, you learn the Light and Sacred Flame cantrips. They count as Warlock cantrips for you, but they don’t count against your number of cantrips known.

Healing Light
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 1

The Warlock’s celestial patron gives them the ability to heal wounds. The Warlock gets a number of d6s (1+ Warlock level) that are used for their Healing Light. 

As a bonus action, the Warlock can use their Healing Light dice to heal any creature within 60ft of them equal to the d6 dice rolls. . They can use dice equal to 1+ Warlock level at a time. 

All dice refresh after a long rest. 

This is an incredibly useful ability and adds another potential healer into the mix. 

Radiant Soul
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 3

The Warlock is resistant to Radiant damage and when the Warlock casts a spell that deals radiant or fire damage they can add their charisma modifier to one of the damage rolls against one target. 

You won’t be able to add it to every creature in a cone of fire, but a little extra crispy enemy is never a bad thing. 

Celestial Resistance
Level 10
GameCows Ranking: 2

When finishing a long or short rest the Warlock gains temporary hit points equal to the Warlock level + Charisma Modifier. As a bonus up to 5 creatures, the Warlock can see while finishing the rest also gain the same temporary hit points. 

It’s a nice bonus, but again I’d expect something a little more intense for achieving level 10. 

Searing Vengeance
Level 14
GameCows Ranking: 1

It pays to be in good graces with the gods or more specifically, your god. When making a death saving throw, instead the Celestial Warlock simply revives itself. They regain, half of their maximum hit points. If knocked prone they can stand up. 

Any enemies within 30ft of the Celestial Warlock also take 2d8 + Charisma Modifier Radiant damage and blinds them. This does not affect your allies, so if there’s a big cluster of enemies and allies together it will only hurt the bad guys. This can only be used once per long rest. 

This is an incredible last-ditch effort to get back up and do some damage. The only thing it’s missing is a heal spell thrown in.

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12/01/2022 08:18 am GMT

#4. Archfey

The Archfey can be found in the Player’s Handbook. When a Warlock makes a pact with an Archfey they’re making a pact with one of the magical creatures. These typically are powerful faerie creatures. The Archfey could make the pact on a whim or as part of a political game among the fey.

Whatever their reasons, the Warlock will have access to incredible fey powers and can shift between the real world and the unseen world of the fey that’s always just out of eyesight for mortals. 

This Warlock has spent time within the Fey Wilds and has pact a pact with a greater fey. The Warlock could enter the pact willingly or could be a victim of a trick amongst the fey. 

Archfey Patron Subclass Feature

The Archfey Warlocks have some excellent spells that are associated with the Fey. They can use their magic to deceive those around them through charms spells or simple invisibility. 

Pros of the Archfey Patron

The Archfey Warlock is excellent both in and out of combat. They can use their spells to control and manipulate their opponents. When things get too dangerous they can simply disappear and run away just like their fey counterparts. 

Cons of the Archfey Patron

The Archfey is a fantastic all-around character, but they aren’t strictly as strong as some of the other Patrons in terms of damage. 

Expanded Spell List

The Archfey expanded spell list adds a few new spells that the Warlock can choose from and for rules purposes, these are all considered Warlock spells for the Archfey Warlock. 

  • 1st Faerie Fire, Sleep
  • 2nd Calm Emotions, Phantasmal Force
  • 3rd Blink, Plant Growth
  • 4th Dominate Beast, Greater Invisibility
  • 5th Dominate Person, Seeming

Fey Presence
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 3

The Warlock channels their fey magic and uses what amounts to glamour magic. The Warlock can change their appearance to something either alluring or horrifying as the fey are wont to do. 

Using an action any creature in a 10ft cube that can see you have to make a Wisdom saving throw against the Warlock’s save DC. If they fail the creature is either charmed or frightened (Warlock’s choice) until the end of the Warlock’s next turn. 

This can be used once per long or short rest. 

Misty Escape
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 1

When hit with any kind of damage the Warlock can simply disappear in a puff of smoke or mist. The Warlock turns invisible and teleports up to 60ft away into an unoccupied space. They remain invisible until the start of their next turn. 

This can be used once per long or short rest. 

This is one of the coolest abilities the Archfey grants. How horrifying would it be to land a hit on an enemy only to have them disappear and attack you from behind? On the other hand, it’s also useful for escape. If the Warlock bites off more than they can chew they can simply take the hit, disappear, and never be seen again. 

Beguiling Defenses
Level 10
GameCows Ranking: 3

The Warlock becomes immune to being charmed. When targeted with a charm spell or ability, the Warlock can use their reaction to instead deflect it back at the user. 

Thematically this is pretty cool, but I can’t imagine too many situations where it means life or death to avoid being charmed. There’s definitely room for some surprise reversals though. 

Dark Delirium
Level 14
GameCows Ranking: 2

This is another charm-type spell the Warlock has, but it’s much more intense. The Warlock can choose a player within 60ft that they can see. The target must make a Wisdom save against the Warlock’s Spell Save DC. If they fail they are charmed for 1 minute. The creature thinks they’re in an illusory misty realm of the fey. They cannot hear or see anyone else around them and basically are hallucinating that they’re in another dimension that is controlled by the Warlock. 

It ends if the Warlock ends it early or if the creature takes any damage, and can be used after a long or short rest.

This is really cool for RP and has some fun combat properties. It’s pretty horrifying if you think about the fact that the Warlock controls what the target sees. 

Maybe they simply rearrange the landscape and make them think they’re walking towards an ally, but they’re walking straight off a cliff. 

The Warlock can also send them somewhere creepy and Tim Burton-esque or whatever weird things they can think of. It may not seem too powerful to simply charm someone but completely manipulating what they hear and see allows a great deal of manipulation against a target.

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#3. Hexblade

The Hexblade is one of the Warlock’s most popular pacts. It also can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. The Hexblade gets their abilities from some creature or being connected to Shadowfell, a dark and dangerous domain. 

The Hexblade mixes arcane magicks with martial skills and is one of the more combat-oriented Warlock subclasses. 

In the plane of Shadowfell, dark creatures and entities exist and can manifest themselves in the real world in the form of sentient weapons and items. The Hexblade Warlock has found one of these sentient weapons and together they have formed a bond.

Hexblade Patron Subclass Feature

Hexblade Warlocks are the melee variant of the class. They have access to more proficiencies and are better fighters overall when compared to other Warlock subclasses. Their main ability lets them curse or hex their enemies for better damage. 

Pros of the Hexblade Patron

Hexblades are incredibly fun to play and one of the more popular subclasses. They have excellent damage potential and are fun to play when combining their spellcasting with their Hex abilities. 

Cons of the Hexblade Patron

They do rely on spell slots for damage so for extended fights they may have trouble with longevity in combat.

Expanded Spell List

The Hexblade adds a host of new spells to the Warlock’s spell list. All the spells on the list below are considered Warlock Spells to the Hexblade Warlock. 

  • 1st Shield, Wrathful Smite
  • 2nd Blur, Branding Smite
  • 3rd Blink, Elemental Weapon
  • 4th Phantasmal Killer, Staggering Smite
  • 5th Banishing Smite, Cone of Cold

Hexblade’s Curse
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 1

The Hexblade can curse an opponent they see within 30ft for 1 minute. It ends if they die, the Hexblade dies, or if the Hexblade is incapacitated.

While cursed:

  • The Hexblade adds their proficiency bonus to their damage rolls against the cursed. 
  • The Hexblade scores a critical hit on 19 or 20 against the cursed. 
  • If the cursed target dies, the Hexblade gains hitpoints equal to Warlock level + Charisma modifier. 

This can be used once per long or short rest. 

For a level-one ability, this is outstanding. The Hexblade will be able to dish out a ton of extra damage to a single target, hopefully, a boss fight, and when the fight is over they can regain some of their health. The only downside is that it can really only be used once. 

Hex Warrior
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 2

This gives the Warlock some much-needed proficiencies. The Hexblade is designed to be a fighter, so they must have the proper training. 

The Hexbade Warlock gains proficiency with medium armor, shields, and martial weapons.

While taking a long rest the Hexblade can also touch one of their weapons (no two-handed property weapons) that they are proficient in, and use their Charisma modifier instead of their Strength or Dexterity.

If the Hexblade takes the Pact of the Blade feature, then this can be done with every pact blade weapon without any limitations on the type. 

This is a necessity for martial classes to at least have proficiency in some form of weapons and armor

Accursed Specter
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 1

When the Hexblade kills a humanoid they can summon their spirit as a specter. The Specter gains temporary hit points equal to half the Warlock’s level. The Specter then rolls initiative, has its own turns, and obeys the verbal commands of the Hexblade Warlock. It uses the Warlock’s Charisma modifier when rolling for its attack rolls. The specter remains until the next long rest and can only be used once per long rest period. 

This ability is actually pretty horrifying if you think about it too much. The Hexblade kills someone binds their soul to help them kill their former friends and then forces them to stick around until the Hexblade takes a nap. That’s really messed up. 

Armor of Hexes
Level 10
GameCows Ranking: 1

At 10th level, your hex grows more powerful. If the target cursed by your Hexblade’s Curse hits you with an attack roll, you can use your reaction to roll a d6. On a 4 or higher, the attack instead misses you, regardless of the roll.

This is another great ability the Hexblade. Since they still only have a d8 for hit dice, the ability to completely ignore an attack is a huge boon. 

Master of Hexes
Level 14
GameCows Ranking: 1

The Hexblade Curse ability from level one just got better. I said that the only downside is that it can only be used once, but at level 14 that’s no longer true. 

When the cursed target dies, the Hexblade can shift the curse to another opponent that’s within 30ft, as long as the Hexblade isn’t incapacitated. When bouncing the curse to another enemy, the Hexblade doesn’t get the extra health points after the initial curse. That would just be way too powerful.

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12/01/2022 08:18 am GMT

#8. Fathomless

Out to sea, there’s nothing but the ocean and the depths. Underneath the waves is a completely alien world. The Fathomless Warlocks somehow have found themselves at the mercy of the creatures from the deep.

Maybe they were shipwrecked and made a pact to save their lives. The Warlock may have struggled in open water, surviving far longer than any mere mortal, and winning the respect of a powerful undersea creature. They could have even gone willingly as part of a cult dedicated to the depths. 

However they gain their powers, the Fathomless are connected to the hidden powers beneath the waves. 

The Fathomless subclass can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

Expanded Spell List
The Fathomless adds a host of new spells to the Warlock’s spell list. All the spells on the list below are considered Warlock Spells to the Fathomless Warlock. 

  • 1st Create or Destroy Water, Thunderwave
  • 2nd Gust of Wind, Silence
  • 3rd Lightning Bolt, Sleet Storm
  • 4th Control Water, Summon Elemental
  • 5th Bigby’s Hand (appears as a tentacle), Cone of Cold

Tentacle of the Deep
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 1

As a bonus action, the Fathomless can summons a 10ft long tentacle within 60ft where they can see. This lasts for 1 minute or until another tentacle is summoned. 

Upon creation, the tentacle makes a melee spell attack on an enemy within 10ft of the tentacle. It deals 1d8 cold damage and slows the target to 10ft base speed until the next turn. 

As a bonus action, the Fathomless can resummon the tentacle 30ft away from its original position and repeat the attack. This ability can be used times equal to the Fathomless’ proficiency bonus, and charges reset after a long rest. 

Level 10

Tentacle damage is increased to 2d8

This is extremely useful for dealing damage, and it only gets stronger as the Fathomless Warlock levels up. Combine this with the Eldritch Blast Cantrip and the Warlock can help control the battlefield while dishing out some serious damage. 

Gift of the Sea
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 3

The Fathomless can swim at a base speed of 40ft and can breathe underwater. 

This may not seem all that exciting, but for a high seas adventure or water temple scenario, this is going to be incredibly useful. 

It’s useful, but only as long as the DM gives you the opportunity. Especially with the Fathomless class, you’ll want to coordinate with the DM so the entire campaign isn’t set in a desert. 

Oceanic Soul
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 3

The Fathomless gains resistance to cold damage. When fully submerged underwater any creature also underwater with the Fathomless can understand each other’s speech.

This is kind of a weird ability. The Cold resistance is always going to be useful. The underwater speech aspect sounds cool but really has very limited use. 

Guardian Coil
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 1

The Tentacle of the Deep ability gets an upgrade at level 6. 

When the Fathomless or one of their allies takes damage within 10ft of the tentacle, the Fathomless can use their reaction to reduce damage by 1d8. 

This is incredibly useful and basically pops up a mobile shield on the battlefield.

Level 10

Damage reduction increases to 2d8.

Grasping Tentacles
Level 10
GameCows Ranking: 1

The Fathomless learns Evard’s Black Tentacles. It counts as a Warlock spell and taking damage while casting it does not break concentration. Once per long rest the Fathomless Warlock can cast it without using a spell slot. 

The Fathomless Warlock also gains temporary hit points equal to the Warlock level when cast. 

Fathomless Plunge
Level 14
GameCows Ranking: 1

This is the Fathomless’ version of Dimension Door. The Fathomless can teleport up to 5 willing creatures within 30ft. Tentacles appear and teleport each of them up to 1 mile away into a body of water that the Fathomless has seen. 

This can be used once per long or short rest. 

Again it’s incredibly useful, but only if the campaign setting actually has water features. The Fathomless class is going to struggle if there’s no water around.

#2. Genie

The Genie Pact can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

As you might imagine, the Warlock has allied themselves with a Genie. This could be a wish gone wrong, or a genie could be looking for an agent to do their bidding. Either way, the Warlock will have a powerful patron. 

The Genie Patron may grant you 3 wishes, but you’ll have to bind your fate to them in exchange. The Genie patron is exactly what it sounds like. The Warlock has found a genie and tied its soul someway to the creature in exchange for power. 

Genie Patron Subclass Feature

There are several different options for the Genie Patron.  Players on choosing the genie pact have to choose which elemental genie they’re making a pact with and each of the four elemental types gives different bonuses and spells. This makes it one of the more customizable subclasses. 

When choosing the Genie Pact, there’s always the question of what type of Genie the Warlock makes the pact with. The player can choose randomly, have the DM choose for them, or choose it themselves. 

  • Dao Earth
  • Djinni Air
  • Efreeti Fire
  • Marid Water

Each one has different natural abilities and spells. 

Pros of the Genie Patron

Genie Patron Warlocks have access to amazing spell lists and abilities. They’re one of the best spellcasting options for the Warlock and can do a bit of everything. 

Cons of the Genie Patron

Because of all the options, the Genie Patron has at their disposal it can get pretty overwhelming for new players. Veterans will have an amazing time playing as the Genie Patron, and they can come up with creative ways to use their spells. 

Expanded Spell List

The Genie adds a host of new spells to the Warlock’s spell list. All the spells on the list below are considered Warlock Spells to the Genie Warlock. The type of Genie also determines which spells the Warlock will have access to. 

Dao Earth

  • 1st Detect Evil and Good, Sanctuary
  • 2nd Phantasmal Force, Spike Growth
  • 3rd Create Food and Water, Meld into Stone
  • 4th Phantasmal Killer, Stone Shape
  • 5th Creation, Wall of Stone
  • 9th Wish

Djinni Air

  • 1st Detect Evil and Good, Thunderwave
  • 2nd Phantasmal Force, Gust of Wind
  • 3rd Create Food and Water, Wind Wall
  • 4th Phantasmal Killer, Greater Invisibility
  • 5th Creation, Seeming
  • 9th Wish

Efreeti Fire

  • 1st Detect Evil and Good, Burning Hands
  • 2nd Phantasmal Force, Scorching Ray
  • 3rd Create Food and Water, Fireball
  • 4th Phantasmal Killer, Fire Shield
  • 5th Creation, Flame Strike
  • 9th Wish

Marid Water

  • 1st Detect Evil and Good, Fog Cloud
  • 2nd Phantasmal Force, Blur
  • 3rd Create Food and Water, Sleet Storm
  • 4th Phantasmal Killer, Control Water
  • 5th Creation, Cone of Cold
  • 9th Wish

Genie’s Vessel
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 1

What’s a genie without a lamp? 

When choosing the Genie subclass the Genie Warlock has to decide on the shape of the vessel for your genie. It can be any tiny object that has a hollowed space for the genie, and it counts as a spell focus to the Warlock. 

The Genie’s vessel can take many different shapes. You can roll a d6 and determine which form it takes, choose your own, or have the DM choose one. 

  • Oil lamp
  • Urn
  • Ring with a compartment
  • Stoppered bottle
  • Hollow statuette
  • Ornate lantern

While touching the vessel there are several things the Warlock can do. 

Bottled Respite: As an action, the Warlock can enter their Genie’s vessel. It acts like a Tardis and is bigger on the inside. They can store items and gear inside, but if the vessel is destroyed it reappears on the ground. 

Genie’s Wrath: The Genie Warlock can add their proficiency bonus to their attack damage once per turn. 

If the Warlock’s vessel is destroyed then they can get a new one by asking their patron for a new one in a ceremony. This can be done during a long or short rest. 

It’s an interesting RP device and it’s basically a bag of holding that the player can safely go into. 

Elemental Gift
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 2

The Warlock takes on characteristics of their genie patron by gaining damage resistance based on the type of genie. 

  • bludgeoning (dao)
  • thunder (djinni)
  • fire (efreeti)
  • cold (marid)

The Warlock also gains flying speed of 30ft for 10 minutes. This can be activated as a bonus action and can be used equal to the Warlock’s proficiency bonus. This is recharged after a long rest. 

Sanctuary Vessel
Level 10
Game Cows Ranking: 3

The Genie Warlock can now bring up to 5 willing creatures into their vessel. If the Warlock leaves everyone is ejected as well. The Warlock can also eject guests at will. 

Any members inside the vessel after 10 minutes are considered to have taken a short rest, and can add the Warlock’s proficiency bonus to the number of hit points they regain. 

Limited Wish
Level 14
GameCows Ranking: 1

As an action, the Genie Warlock can ask for a small wish from their patron. Speaking into their vessel they can ask their patron to grant a wish in the form of a level 6 spell or lower. It takes a full action to cast the spell and can be from any class. 

After the Warlock uses this ability they won’t be able to use it again until 1d4 long rests.

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12/01/2022 06:53 am GMT

#1. Fiend

With the Pact of the Fiend, the Warlock literally makes a deal with the devil…or “a” devil anyway. This is the 2nd pact that can be found in the Player’s Handbook.

The Warlock usually makes a pact with a fiend out of desperation, accident, or vengeance. It’s hard to stay as a strictly good character when you literally have a devil whispering in your ear, but the perks are pretty good. 

Just be careful. When a Fiend Warlock says “Go to Hell” they might actually mean it. 

The Fiend is the quintessential patron. The Warlock literally makes a deal with the devil in exchange for power. Well, maybe not The Devil, but a devil all the same. The Warlock’s pact is with some kind of demon or devil and they’re infused with demonic energies and spells. 

Fiend Patron Subclass Feature

The Fiend has some excellent damage-dealing abilities including literally throwing your enemies through hell to deal psychic damage. They also can gain temporary hit points and add a d10 to some of their checks. All of their abilities are useful and all of them are just plain cool. 

Pros of the Fiend Patron

The Fiend is my favorite Warlock patron and is one of the best in the game. Their abilities are fantastic and thematically everything fits. There’s not a single ability that’s throwaway or useless. 

Cons of the Fiend Patron

Nothing that I can really think of. I absolutely love the Subclass. 

Expanded Spell List

Just like the other Subclasses, the Fiend grants several new spells to add to their lists. These are all considered Warlock spells to the Fiend Warlock. 

  • 1st Burning Hands, Command
  • 2nd Blindness/Deafness, Scorching Ray
  • 3rd Fireball, Stinking Cloud
  • 4th Fire Shield, Wall of Fire
  • 5th Flame Strike, Hallow

Dark One’s Blessing
Level 1
GameCows Ranking: 1

Whenever the Warlock brings an enemy to 0 hit points they gain temporary hit points equal to their Charisma Modifier + Warlock Level.

This is so simple but so cool both thematically and in-game. The Warlock gains more strength as it kills more creatures. That’s just plain dark and I love it. 

Dark One’s Own Luck
Level 6
GameCows Ranking: 1

The Warlock can ask their fiendish patron to intervene on their behalf. The Warlock can add 1d10 to any ability check or saving throw. This can happen after the initial roll but must be declared before the DM tells the Warlock the results. 

This can be used once per long or short rest. 

Chances are the Warlock got into this mess by asking a demon for a favor. What’s one more right? It’s a nice ability to have in your back pocket when you absolutely need to pass a check. 

Fiendish Resilience
Level 10
GameCows Ranking: 3

After taking a long or short rest the Warlock can choose a type of damage and gain resistance to it until they change it after a long or short rest.

This is an incredibly useful ability. If you know what kind of damage you’ll be getting hit with you’ll find yourself a lot less injured after encounters. The downside is that magical or silvered weapons ignore the resistance. 

It’s a nice ability that’s always useful, but for a level 10 ability, I would want something a little cooler. 

Hurl Through Hell
Level 14
GameCows Ranking: 1

This is the Fiend Warlock’s coolest ability by far. They literally throw an enemy into hell momentarily. The target is flung through an alternate plane that is for all intents and purposes hell. 

The damage that does to a sentient creature is huge. They reappear at the end of the Warlock’s next turn and are dealt 10d10 psychic damage. If used on a fiend however they just disappear and reappear at the end of their next turn. Fiend’s don’t take the damage. It’s their home after all. 

The Warlock can do this once per long rest. 

There are a lot of cool abilities and spells in DnD 5e, but literally throwing someone through hell as an attack is top-tier for sure.

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12/02/2022 01:30 pm GMT

We hope you enjoyed this guide to Warlock 5e Subclasses, why not check out Monk Weapons 5e or Summon Greater Demon Spell?

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12/02/2022 01:30 pm GMT