Eldritch invocations are what define the warlock from other caster class options. These magical secrets that your patron bestows upon your mind can grant a slew of different benefits. Some invocations modify your attacks, others grant you access to powerful spells. Others still provide unique skills that you won’t find anywhere else in all of Dungeons & Dragons.
That being said, there are some invocations that are just too good to pass up. If you’re looking to make your warlock as strong as the rules allow, you’ve come to the right place. Here are eldritch invocations you should take into consideration before your next level up.
Updated December 29th, 2020 by Kristy Ambrose: Before the 3rd edition, a Warlock was actually a variant of a Wizard that was only used in situations that required communing with evil or malevolent spirits. In the D&D 3.5 supplement, Complete Arcane from 2004, they appeared as a standalone class, separate from Wizards. By the fourth edition, they were finally listed among the other characters as a distinct spellcasting class. The most recent edition of the player’s handbook, the 5th edition, has even more eldritch invocations for your Warlock to enjoy.
15 Eldritch Sight
Eldritch Sight allows you to cast Detect Magic without expending a spell slot. Detect Magic is a seemingly unremarkable spell, but one that, when applicable, provides a tremendous amount of help. Not only does it let you know of the presence of magic, it also highlights whatever is putting off this magical essence, allowing your character to know for certain what the magic thing in question is. Best of all, it also identifies the magic’s exact school.
This is invaluable knowledge, as the school of magic reveals what the magic is likely to do when activated. If you aren’t already, we highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the seven schools of magic so that you can put this invocation to its best use.
14 Maddening Hex
This bonus action has a few quirks, but the unique AoE damage is worth the trouble. A Warlock has to be at least 5th level to cast it, plus they have to have an ability that curses, like Sign of Ill Omen. When they cast the Hex spell, the target of the spell suffers from psychic damage along with any creatures you choose within five feet. The level of damage is tied to your Charisma modifier, and the character must be within 30 feet of the target to be within range.
13 Book of Ancient Secrets
Sure, Clerics and Paladins may be able to cast rituals as part of their class kits. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking the Book of Ancient Secrets. Before you do, however, take note that you’ll need the Pact of the Tome feature. The Book of Shadows allows you to learn two 1st level spells from any classes spell list. You can cast these spells as rituals. You may also cast any warlock spell with the ritual tag as a ritual.
Casting spells as rituals is great because it doesn’t require a spell slot to do so. Instead, you need only take 10 minutes longer than the normal casting time. You can also add other ritual spells you find on your adventures to your book.
12 Fiendish Vigor
Fiendish Vigor is essentially the Warlock version of False Life, a spell used by Artificers, Wizards, and Sorcerers. The biggest difference, and what makes it so convenient, is that the Warlock doesn’t even need regents or materials to cast it. It’s a handy and simple way for a squishy caster to stay on their feet and requires no reagents nor Concentration. It won’t even take up a spell slot, yet another bonus.
11 Mask of Many Faces
What are infinite uses of Detect Magic compared to infinite uses of Disguise Self? The Mask of Many Faces provides a plethora of opportunities for roleplay. One second, you can be talking to a posted guard about a man that’s just robbed you. The very next, you can become said man and have the guard running after you, leaving whatever he was posted to guard for exploration by the rest of your party.
This is just one example of the mask’s many uses. You could even make it a central theme of your character, always having a mask up over whatever you *really* look like.
10 Whispers of the Grave
While Mask of Many Faces is a great tool for roleplaying, Whisper of the Grave is a bit more practically focused. Whispers gives your character the ability to cast Speak with Dead without expending a spell slot, which is pretty powerful considering Speak with Dead is a 3rd level spell.
Accordingly, it has a prerequisite of being at least 9th level. Speak with Dead brings the spirit of a passed humanoid back to its body for a short time, during which you can ask it five questions. While the corpse can answer these questions in whatever manner it desires, even to the extent of lying, there are ways to still get what you want out of the conversation. Lies are exactly what insight checks are for, after all.
Lifedrinker requires the Pact of the Blade class feature, not that you would want this invocation unless you already had it anyways. You also need at least 12 levels of Warlock. Lifedrinker makes your weapon deal extra damage on every hit equal to your Charisma modifier.
This damage is added on top of your Dexterity modifier, which comes to a lot of damage before even rolling any dice. If your Dexterity and Charisma are maxed out, that’s +10 damage before dice hit the table. An amount equivalent to the bonus Great Weapon Master provides, which, for perspective, is thought to be one of the most broken bonuses in the game.
8 Voice Of The Chain Master
Only Warlocks with the Pact of the Chain feature can use this spell, which is its only real drawback. It’s obvious that it’s safer and smarter to use a familiar to scout dangerous or unknown areas, but that’s not the only thing this spell can do.
Warlocks using this spell can also telepathically communicate with their familiar and even use it to speak in their voice. All of this is contingent on your Warlock and their familiar being on the same plane of reality, which might be more than a minor detail depending on the situation.
7 Thirsting Blade
Lifedrinker is a great invocation on its own but coupled with Thirsting Blade its on a whole other level. Thirsting Blade requires the Pact of the Blade feature as well as 5 levels of Warlock. Whenever you take the Attack action on your turn, it allows you to attack twice with your pact weapon instead of once. Any aspiring melee warlock would be remiss to not select this invocation, as extra attack is a key feature that all other melee classes receive.
Furthermore, it gives you a second opportunity to proc your Hex spell on the enemy, leading to even more damage. Take into account Lifedrinker at later levels, and you can see why these two invocations are surefire picks for any Pact of the Blade character.
6 Trickster’s Escape
No matter what kind of warlock you’re playing, melee blade pact or ranged eldritch blaster, you’ll find Trickster’s Escape a welcome addition to your kit. Requiring 7 levels of warlock, this invocation allows you to cast the 4th level spell Freedom of Movement once per long rest without expending a spell slot.
Freedom of Movement is a non-concentration spell that lasts 1 hour. Its benefits include immunity to magical speed reductions, difficult terrain, and the paralyzed and restrained conditions. If you are physically grappled or put in manacles, you can spend 5 feet of movement to escape. Lastly, you ignore the penalties of underwater combat. This spell protects you from a wide range of commonly used effects. If you don’t take it, we promise you’ll regret it sooner or later.
5 Aspect Of The Moon
Even the most dedicated D&D player gets annoyed with the need to take frequent rests, especially spellcasters, who often have to sleep to memorize spells. Imagine how useful it would be to never need to sleep, nor could you be forced to sleep. Aspect of the Moon requires the Pact of the Tome feature and granted it’s a situational ability, but in this game being able to go without sleep can be worth it. You can still gain the same benefits of rest by doing menial chores or reading a book.
4 Devil’s Sight
Perhaps the invocation with the most opportunity for abuse, Devil’s Sight grants you vision up to 120 feet in darkness both non-magical and magical. The key distinction here is sight in magical darkness. If you learn the Darkness spell, you can cast it on your weapon or clothing blinding every enemy around you. They will suffer disadvantage on their attacks while you are granted advantage on yours.
When used in combination with Darkness, Devil’s Sight can easily become the stuff of a dungeon master’s nightmares. Before deploying this amazing strategy, it may be a good idea to bring it up with your dungeon master to make sure you’re not hurting anyone’s feelings. That probably sounded like a joke, but Devil’s Sight + Darkness is really that good.
3 Agonizing Blast
This invocation here is the reason Eldritch Blast and warlocks are so synonymous. Agonizing Blast adds your Charisma modifier to your damage rolls made with Eldritch Blast. Every spell and cantrip in the game doesn’t add character modifiers to damage. That’s the only reason melee classes are able to compete with magical ones. They get to add their modifiers to damage, while casters do not.
Apparently, someone decided this rule shouldn’t apply to warlocks. As a result, Eldritch Blast is tremendously powerful. While sad to acknowledge, as fun as melee warlock builds are, they truly don’t measure up to a properly built Eldritch Blast warlock.
2 Sculptor Of Flesh
Sculptor of Flesh is the Warlock’s Polymorph, and the caster has to be at least level 7 in order to cast it. The spell’s uses are myriad, and the ability can be used to turn dangerous enemies into something harmless as well as a means of disguise for the caster. It’s useful, effective, and powerful, but has some caveats. You need to use a spell slot to cast it and it requires a long rest before the Warlock can cast it again.
1 Repelling Blast
As if Eldritch Blast wasn’t good enough. Requiring only that you take the Eldritch Blast cantrip, Repelling Blast makes it so that each time a creature is hit by your Eldritch Blast you can push them 10 feet away from you in a straight line. And for those of you smart enough to wonder if this applies to separate bolts from the same cast, yes, it does. Yes, that’s ridiculous.
By 5th level, a warlock with Repelling Blast can move a creature up to 20 feet away from him/her in a single turn while still dealing tons of damage. Aside from pushing enemies off of cliffs, the repulsion makes it so that melee combatants have to waste their action dashing. Did you still want to argue that melee warlocks can compete with Eldritch Blasters? More than repelling enemies in a game of DnD, Repelling Blast rebuts any argument against it.
NEXT: Dungeons and Dragons: 10 Best Melee Feats, Ranked
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Chris Stomberg is an avid gamer of all kinds. Board games, card games, tabletop games, video games: if its a game, it will pique his interest. Chris has written anchor stories for news broadcasts, modules for his D&D group, and is currently working on his first novel. His hobbies outside of gaming include yoga, reading, bar hopping, and spending time with friends old and new.
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