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Warlock 5E Class Guide DnD [Abilities, Playing Styles, & Tactics]

Warlock 5E Class Guide DnD
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 10/26/2023
Est. Reading: 11 minutes

If you’re a fan of the ever-evolving world of Dungeons and Dragons, chances are you have explored the spellbinding realm of Warlock 5E.

What sets this class apart is not just its bewitching powers but the unique potential it offers to shape your role-playing journey.

With Warlock 5E, your gaming experience steps out of the typical catapults and ramparts into a fascinating world of arcane pacts and fiendish familiars.

The enchantment that Warlock 5E casts on its players is hardly about wild rolling dice on the table; it’s more than that. This class pulls you into a surreal or sometimes terrifying universe where mastery over ancient, unknown forces becomes your bread and butter.

Whether you are looking to harness otherworldly energy or conduct shadowy rituals, Warlock 5E enables you with choices that can alter spell casting in peculiar yet profound ways.

What are the levels of Warlock 5E?

The Warlock is a unique class that harnesses arcane powers through pacts with otherworldly entities. Here’s a breakdown of the progression and features of a Warlock from level 1 to 20:

Level 1: A Warlock begins their journey with a Proficiency Bonus of +2. They form an Otherworldly Patron bond and gain access to Pact Magic. At this level, they know 2 cantrips and have 2 known spells. Their spell-casting ability is limited to 1 spell slot of 1st level.

Level 2: The Warlock’s proficiency bonus remains at +2. They gain the ability to use Eldritch Invocations. Their known cantrips remain 2, but spells known increase to 3. They now have 2 spell slots, still at 1st level, and know 2 invocations.

Level 3: Still with a +2 proficiency bonus, the Warlock is granted a Pact Boon. They know 2 cantrips and 4 spells, and their spell slots increase to 2nd level but remain at a total of 2 slots. Invocations known remain at 2.

Level 4: The proficiency bonus is consistently +2. The Warlock experiences an Ability Score Improvement and may also opt for Eldritch Versatility. They know 3 cantrips and 5 spells, with their spell slots at 2nd level.

Levels 5 to 7: The proficiency bonus increases to +3. At level 5, there aren’t any additional class features, but by level 6, they gain another Otherworldly Patron feature—cantrips known to grow to 3, while spells are known to expand from 6 to 8. By level 7, spell slots reach the 4th level.

Levels 8 and 9: The Warlock maintains a +3 proficiency bonus. At level 8, another Ability Score Improvement is gained, and the option for Eldritch Versatility appears again. The number of known cantrips remains at 3, while spells are known to grow from 9 to 10—spell slots peak at the 5th level by level 9.

Levels 10 to 12: With a proficiency bonus of +4, the Warlock receives another Otherworldly Patron feature at level 10. At level 11, they acquire the Mystic Arcanum, which gives them access to a 6th-level spell. By level 12, another Ability Score Improvement is granted, paired again with the optional Eldritch Versatility. During these levels, cantrips known increase to 4, and spells known cap at 11. They also possess 3 spell slots of the 5th level.

Levels 13 to 16: The Warlock’s proficiency bonus jumps to +5. They continue to unlock Mystic Arcanum for 7th and 8th-level spells at levels 13 and 15, respectively. Level 14 brings another Otherworldly Patron feature. By level 16, another Ability Score Improvement and optional Eldritch Versatility are available. Throughout these levels, cantrips known stay at 4, while spells known incrementally rise to 13. The Warlock also retains 3 spell slots at the 5th level.

Levels 17 to 19: The proficiency bonus enhances to +6. At level 17, the Warlock gains the Mystic Arcanum for 9th-level spells. Level 19 introduces another Ability Score Improvement and the option for Eldritch Versatility. Cantrips known remain constant at 4 but spells known rise to 15. Additionally, they possess 4 spell slots at the 5th level.

Level 20: With a proficiency bonus of +6, the Warlock reaches the pinnacle of their power, becoming an Eldritch Master. Their known cantrips remain at 4, and they have 15 known spells. Their spell slots are still at the 5th level, with a total of 4 slots available.

This detailed progression showcases the growth and power of a Warlock, making it one of the most intriguing classes in D&D 5E.

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Hit Points of Warlock 5E

Let’s delve a wee bit deeper into the mysterious world of Warlock 5E. First up, and very crucial to your gameplay: Hit Points. If you’re not familiar with this term yet, hit points are basically your lifeline, a numerical estimation of your character’s vitality.

Hit Points of Warlock 5E

As a warlock, it’s crucial to understand how these numbers work to optimize your strategy during the game.

Hit Dice

In Warlock 5E (1d8 per warlock level) is the system followed when we talk about Hit Dice. This means for every new level you achieve as a warlock, you get one additional eight-sided die (1d8) rolled for calculating hit points.

The rolling dice mechanic brings an element of chance to your game strategy as it decides how long you can survive in battles and resist fatigue or injuries.

Hit Points at 1st Level

Now, let’s consider the 1st level. At the onset, (8 + your Constitution modifier) is implemented. Well, you start with 8 hit points at the first level plus your Constitution modifier, which’s derived from one of the six main ability scores indicating how robust and healthy your character is.

This forms your base stamina that signs off how much damage you can take before dropping in combat.

Hit Points at Higher Levels

And now, onto subsequent levels. For higher levels in Warlock 5E: (1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per warlock level after 1st) is applied.

This basically suggests that for each level beyond the first, hit points are calculated using either one throw of an eight-sided die (1d8) or by taking a fixed average result (in this case – standard number: 5).

From thereon, add calculated results and combine them with your character’s Constitution modifier for each level.

Such dynamics allow you to strategize how dexterously your warlock can resist attacks and how quickly they may recover from injuries during gameplay.

Stamina management has an essential role in determining your Warlock class’s survivability, rendering a practical advantage in intense battles and prolonged situations.

One gentle reminder for our hopeful Warlocks: While it might be tempting to dive headlong into the fantastical world of arcane arts and spells, don’t brush off your character’s health.

Even the most powerful spell-caster needs a well-managed pool of hit points to rise from a rookie spell-slinger to a seasoned practitioner of arcane arts.

With firm standing and number-crunching around your hit points, you can now delve deeper into the mysterious lore of Warlock 5E, armed with better survival strategies.

Here’s wishing you an exciting journey filled with captivating narratives, strategic battles, and thrilling encounters in the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

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Understand the Features of Warlock 5E class

Dungeons & Dragons, the iconic role-playing game, offers a plethora of classes for players to choose from, and the Warlock is one of the most intriguing.

Understand the Features of Warlock 5E class

This class derives its power from making pacts with otherworldly entities, gaining unique features as a result. Let’s delve into the distinctive abilities and traits of the 5th edition Warlock.

Pact Magic

Pact Magic is the foundational magic system for Warlocks. Unlike traditional spellcasters who have spell slots that regenerate on long rests, Warlocks have fewer slots that recharge on a short or long rest. This allows them flexibility in using their more potent spells multiple times during the day. The spells they cast are always at their highest available level, making each spell pack a punch. Additionally, Warlocks gain access to spells known as “cantrips,” which can be cast without expending a spell slot.

Eldritch Invocations

Warlocks have a unique way of customizing their abilities and spells through Eldritch Invocations. These are special boons or modifications granted by their patron, and they can range from passive abilities, such as seeing in the dark, to modified spell uses that don’t consume spell slots. As Warlocks level up, they can choose from an ever-expanding list of invocations, allowing them to tailor their abilities to fit their desired playstyle.

Pact Boon

At 3rd level, a Warlock’s connection with their patron deepens, granting them a Pact Boon. This boon is a tangible gift from the patron, providing the Warlock with tools or enhancements that augment their abilities.

The specific type of boon chosen — Chain, Blade, Tome, or Talisman — determines the features and benefits the Warlock gains.

Pact of the Chain

This pact boon allows Warlocks to summon and bond with a familiar creature that serves them. This isn’t an ordinary familiar, though.

Pact of the Chain grants access to more powerful entities such as imps, pseudodragons, and quasits. These familiars can scout, deliver touch spells, and even engage in combat, making them invaluable allies.

Pact of the Blade

Warlocks who choose the Pact of the Blade can summon a weapon with a mere thought. This pact boon allows the Warlock to create a melee weapon out of thin air or bond with an existing one.

The bonded weapon can be used as a spellcasting focus and can be summoned to the Warlock’s hand instantaneously, even if it’s in another dimension.

Pact of the Tome

This pact grants a Warlock a Book of Shadows, a magical tome containing rituals and cantrips. The book allows them to inscribe and use additional cantrips from any class, expanding their repertoire of spells.

The tome also serves as a conduit for rituals, providing versatility to the Warlock’s arcane practices.

Pact of the Talisman

With the Pact of the Talisman, a Warlock receives a protective amulet that they can wear or bestow upon others. When the wearer of the talisman makes an ability check with a skill in which they lack proficiency, they can add a d4 to the roll, enhancing their chances of success. It’s a boon of guidance and safeguarding.

Mystic Arcanum

As Warlocks approach higher levels, they unlock the Mystic Arcanum feature. This provides them with access to powerful spells from the 6th level and above.

These spells, while potent, don’t use traditional spell slots. Instead, each Arcanum spell can be cast once per long rest, granting Warlocks a taste of high-level magic without the constraints of typical spellcasting.

Eldritch Master

When a Warlock reaches the pinnacle of their power, they attain the status of an Eldritch Master. This feature allows them to spend a minute in meditation or prayer, beseeching their patron for aid.

They can regain all expended spell slots from their Pact Magic feature. It’s a testament to the deep bond between the Warlock and their otherworldly patron, showcasing the culmination of their pact-forged journey.

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Proficiencies of Warlock 5E

In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, each class comes with a set of proficiencies that determine what kind of equipment, tools, and abilities they are naturally adept at using.

Proficiencies of Warlock 5E

These proficiencies provide a foundational understanding of the class’s strengths and playstyle. The Warlock, with its otherworldly connections, has a unique set of proficiencies that distinguish it from other spellcasters and warriors.


Warlocks have proficiency with light armor. This allows them to wear armor like padded, leather, or studded leather. While they don’t have the natural protection afforded by heavier armor, Warlocks rely on their arcane abilities and pacts to defend themselves.

Their light armor proficiency ensures they have some basic protection while maintaining the mobility to perform their spells and rituals effectively.


Warlocks are proficient with simple weapons, a category that includes a range of weaponry like daggers, quarterstaffs, light crossbows, and maces. This gives them a versatile selection of arms to defend themselves in close combat or ranged situations.

While their primary strength lies in their arcane abilities, having proficiency in these weapons ensures they are not defenseless should they find themselves out of spell slots or in situations where magic might not be the best option.


Unlike many other classes, Warlocks do not have a default proficiency with any specific tools. However, their background or race might provide them with tool proficiencies.

Specific Eldritch Invocations or pact choices may grant them unique tools or items to work with, reflecting their connection to otherworldly entities and the specialized nature of their powers.

Saving Throws

Warlocks have proficiency in Wisdom and Charisma saving throws. Wisdom saving throws help protect them from effects that seek to cloud their judgment, charm, or frighten them. Charisma saving throws, on the other hand, reflect their strong force of personality and their resistance against effects that try to subdue their willpower or individuality.

Given their pact connections, this makes sense, as these saving throw proficiencies help shield them from potential external influences or breaches of their pact.


Upon character creation, Warlocks can choose two skills from a list that includes Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Nature, and Religion.

This selection allows them to be versatile in both social situations and knowledge-based checks. Whether they’re trying to decipher ancient texts, intimidate foes, or uncover hidden truths, their skill proficiencies reflect their deep-rooted connection to the arcane and the unknown.

The Fiend

The Fiend is one of the patron options available to you when role-playing as a Warlock in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (5E). When you choose The Fiend as your otherworldly patron at the 1st level, you get entangled with some of the most evil entities residing in the lower planes. Sure, it’s a gamble – dealing with a demon for power – but then again, which pact isn’t?

Also Read: Summon Greater Demon 5E 2023 [DnD Spell Explained]

Spell List

The Fiend’s list brings on destructive and controlling spells. Some unique ones within your reach are:

  • Burning Hands: A fiery fan engulfs anything within its 15-foot range.
  • Command: A single-word command forces a creature into taking a specific action.
  • Blindness/Deafness: Either rob your enemy of sight or hearing, your choice.
  • Stinking Cloud: Engulfs foes in a nauseating gas, potentially incapacitating them.
  • Hurl Through Hell (14th level): Conduct your enemy on an express trip straight to perdition.

All these abilities can provide you with some significant offensive potential.

Just remember that while wielding such destructive potential can be thrilling, maintaining control over it requires wisdom and decisiveness. It’s a ride teeming with excitement and fraught with risk – perfect for those who relish high stakes!

Always keep this piece of advice close: “Not all knowledge is dark,” even if your understanding comes from the murky depths where The Fiend resides!

Hurl Through Hell

At a mighty 14th level, you earn the power to thrust your foe into the deepest abyss with “Hurl Through Hell”. As the name suggests, it allows you to target a creature and surround it in nightmarish visions of an infernal journey.

If the creature is foolish enough to provoke your wrath, you get to send them on a one-way journey through pandemonium, dealing massive psychic damage. The void only lasts for the blink of an eye, but for your enemy, it can feel like an eternity.

Fiendish Resilience

Your deal with The Fiend rewards you with something more than offensive spells; it provides protection. Enter “Fiendish Resilience”.

Starting at the 10th level, this feature allows you to pick one damage type to gain resistance against during a short or long rest. It’s like having body armor against the preferred weapons of your enemies.

Dark One’s Own Luck

At 6th level arrives the “Dark One’s Own Luck”, which could well turn out to be your saving grace in sticky situations. When facing a saving throw or ability check, you can call on your patron’s power, adding an extra d10 advantage roll just once before completing a long rest again. You shouldn’t depend on it constantly as luck isn’t always reliable, but its occasional help can’t be understated.

Dark One’s Blessing

Finally, let’s talk about the “Dark One’s Blessing”. Available upon reaching 1st Level – every time you drop a foe till its last hit point, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier plus your warlock level.

It’s like devouring your enemy’s vitality and absorbing their vigor – quite fiendish indeed! Think of it as celebrating each successful battle by revitalizing yourself.

Also Read: Why Are DnD Backgrounds Important? [16 Best Backgrounds of DnD]

FAQs about Warlock 5E

What distinguishes Warlocks from other spellcasting classes in D&D 5E?

Warlocks form pacts with powerful entities, gaining unique spellcasting abilities and Eldritch Invocations as a result.

How often can Warlocks cast their Mystic Arcanum spells?

Warlocks can cast each of their Mystic Arcanum spells once per long rest.

Do Warlocks need a focus or material components for their spells?

Yes, unless an Eldritch Invocation specifies otherwise, but a Warlock with the Pact of the Blade can use their summoned weapon as a focus.

Can Warlocks change their chosen patron or pact boon at higher levels?

Typically, Warlocks cannot change their patron or pact boon, but DM discretion may allow alterations based on in-game events.

How does the Warlock’s Hexblade subclass differ from others?

The Hexblade is tied to a sentient weapon, blending martial combat with Warlock spellcasting, and allowing them to use Charisma for attack and damage rolls with their chosen weapon.


  • Ashish Arya

    I'm a tech enthusiast and lifelong gamer, hailing from the beautiful city of Chandigarh. My passions range from immersing myself in worlds like GTA V, COD, SIMS, Roblox and Minecraft to exploring the latest innovations in laptops and technology. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Application, I love sharing my insights through writing and engaging with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on my journey through the ever-evolving realms of gaming and tech!