The warlock class has unique mechanics in Fifth Edition. It's a magic-heavy class, like several others, but with key differences. Rather than the Spellcasting of a wizard, druid, and many more, it makes use of Pact Magic. The warlock gets few spell slots, but they refresh every short rest and scale to the highest available level.
This means that warlocks have to make every spell count. They have magic that can turn the tide of combat, but they have to use it in the right way. There are several standout spells that warlocks can use to help them carry their weight in the party. Using these spells in a fight can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Updated May 22nd by Isaac Williams: Warlocks are one of D&D 5e's best spellcasters as long as they get enough short rests. They have a varied spell list full of surprises for their enemies. This list has been updated to give even more information about the best warlock spells in D&D 5e.
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15 Protection From Evil And Good
Protection from Evil and Good has a slightly misleading name. Alignment doesn't play into its effects. Instead, it gives a character a game-changing defensive boost against otherworldly creatures. These include commonplace D&D threats like the undead, fiend, and aberration creature types.
Protection from Evil and Good inflicts disadvantage on these creatures' attacks. It also prevents them from inflicting fear, charm, or possession effects. Protection from Evil and Good does have a drawback of an expensive holy water component, but it remains a valuable spell throughout a D&D campaign as money becomes less important.
14 Armor Of Agathys
Warlocks, like most spellcasting classes in D&D, are fragile. They have low hit points, and their armor options are limited unless they're D&D 5e's Hexblade warlock subclass. Warlocks want to avoid harm where possible. Armor of Agathys is a great way to keep them alive when they fail at this.
Armor of Agathys lasts for an hour. It creates temporary hit points and damages any enemy who hits the warlock with a melee attack. When upcast, it improves both its protection and the damage it deals, making it one of the best spells for a D&D warlock's Pact Magic. Unlike many buffs, it doesn't require concentration.
Hex is a classic warlock spell and one of the best low-level spells in D&D 5e. A warlock can cast Hex on a creature as a bonus action to deal an extra 1d6 necrotic damage on each of their successful attacks. Additionally, the player gives the creature disadvantage on one type of ability check.
For example, the player could choose a creature's Strength score, thus giving that creature disadvantage on Athletics checks. A would find it easier to grapple the creature or shove them off a cliff. Hex is an evergreen D&D spell that strengthens the caster's attacks and encourages the rest of the party to get creative with their turns.
12 Power Word: Kill
Most spells in D&D Fifth Edition require either an attack roll or a saving throw. The target has some chance to avoid its effects. The Power Word spells stand out for averting this. They impart their effects with no saving throw involved. Power Word: Kill is the logical conclusion of this. If it affects a creature, they die.
Power Word: Kill does have its limits. The creature has to have 100 hit points or fewer. If it does, however, almost nothing can save it. Power Word: Kill can put down secondary threats in a significant encounter or deal the finishing blow to a dangerous boss. Power Word: Kill is one of the best D&D spells for warlocks who want to wipe out threats in battle.
11 Shadow Of Moil
Shadow of Moil coats the warlock in a protective area of magical darkness. Its effects heavily obscure the warlock, even against creatures who should be able to see through it. This is already a significant buff. Creatures have disadvantage on attacks against a heavily obscured creature and cannot target them with spells. The obscured D&D warlock also gets advantage on attack rolls.
Additionally, any creature that attempts to attack the caster in those 10 feet is dealt 2d8 necrotic damage from the darkness. Shadow of Moil obscures the caster from enemies and makes them deadly at close range. Shadow of Moil is the best spell for any D&D warlock looking to protect themselves or deal more damage in melee combat.
10 Mental Prison
Mental Prison is highly effective for removing from combat. If successful, the spell traps its target inside a small, illusionary space they perceive as deadly. Many D&D creatures have low Intelligence scores and are likely to fail the single saving throw the spell allows.
If the creature fails, it takes 5d10 psychic damage and is trapped in a mental prison for up to one minute. The party is free to attack the creature all they like, while it has no perception of the world beyond its mental prison. If that wasn't enough, the creature takes an additional 10d10 psychic damage if they break free.
9 Spirit Shroud
Spirit Shroud doesn't affect enemies directly when cast. It's a combat buff that significantly increases a warlock's damage. After casting Spirit Shroud, a character deals an additional 1d8 damage with every attack against foes within 10 feet. This is on top of a movement penalty to enemies.
than many other spellcasters. This is because warlocks tend to make either two weapon attacks or up to four spell attacks with Eldritch Blast on their turn. The spell's short range is its only downside. Even then, some warlocks are built as melee combatants.
8 Summon Greater Demon
Summon Greater Demon is one of the most powerful fourth-level spells in D&D, but it's also one of the least reliable. It lets the caster summon a moderately powerful demon to aid them. As a chaotic evil being from the Abyss, however, there's no guarantee the demon will remain under control for long.
At the end of each of its turns, the demon can make a Charisma save to resist the commands. If it succeeds, the demon attacks anything around it, including the party. A D&D demon can be a powerful ally in combat. However, it can tip the odds against the party if it betrays them.
Crowd control effects are valuable in any D&D battle. Few are as consistent as Banishment. The spell removes a target creature from existence for a minute, banishing them to another plane. This can be permanent if the target is from another plane of existence. If a D&D warlock casts Banishment early in the fight, they can give their party an advantage from the start.
Banishment suits a D&D warlock's playstyle well. It's a Concentration spell, which can hamper other casters. However, a warlock can use Banishment on one creature and then deal lethal damage to its fellows with Eldritch Blast. A warlock's Pact Magic slots also mean Banishment will target two creatures per casting shortly after a warlock learns it.
6 Plane Shift
Planar travel is a vital part of . The scope of the game widens when players can access other dimensions. Plane Shift is one of the most simple and reliable ways to do this. A warlock can will themselves and their party to appear on another plane as long as they have a tuning fork attuned to it.
However, Plane Shift also has a combat use that warlocks might appreciate. A character with Plane Shift can target unwilling creatures and force them into another realm of existence. Its mixture of utility and combat use makes Plane Shift one of the best choices for a warlock's Mystic Arcanum in D&D.
5 Hold Monster
Paralyzed is one of the most effective conditions in D&D 5e because it prevents a creature from acting at all. In addition, it grants advantage on attacks against the paralyzed creature and makes attacks made within five feet automatically score critical hits. A paralyzed enemy is usually dead within a turn or two.
Warlocks get access to Hold Person very early on. Although it's useful, especially with its Pact Magic scaling, there are many things it can't target. With Hold Monster, a warlock can paralyze any enemy in the game with one failed saving throw. It's one of the best warlock spells in D&D 5e for this crowd control.
4 Dominate Monster
As the party grows in level and becomes more powerful, they face more powerful opponents and monsters. Dominate Monster is an eighth-level spell that allows the caster to charm a creature and control its actions. The caster can instruct the creature to do simple tasks or use their action to take precise control of them.
Dominate Monster is better than many crowd-control spells. It turns an enemy against their allies rather than just neutralizing them. A single casting of Dominate Monster can flip a D&D combat from almost unwinnable to a walk in the park. Warlocks don't get many better options for eighth-level spells in D&D.
3 Eldritch Blast
It's easy to favor leveled spells over cantrips. However, the warlock's design of a few high-level spell slots encourages players to rely on their unlimited-use cantrips. No D&D spell is more invaluable to warlocks than Eldritch Blast.
When paired with Eldritch Invocations like Agonizing Blast, Eldritch Blast outdamages all other cantrips in D&D 5e. It helps a warlock deal at-will damage comparable to a martial class while still having access to spellcasting. It only gets better when improved with other invocations, turning it into a versatile weapon for any situation.
2 True Polymorph
At first glance, True Polymorph is a dauntingly complicated spell. This is because of how versatile it is. Its capabilities encourage players to get weird and creative. True Polymorph has many functions, but at its core, it allows a player to transform any creature or object into another creature or object of the same challenge rating or lower.
True Polymorph is mostly limited by the imagination of the caster. If the party is at a high enough level, a player could transform themselves or an ally into a dragon. The transformation becomes permanent after an hour (until the polymorphed creature loses all their hit points). With enough time, a warlock with True Polymorph can create an army of friendly dragons.
The effects of the Foresight spell are very straightforward: a player bestows themselves or another willing creature with a limited ability to see the future, thus gifting them with advantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws for eight hours. It's not a concentration spell. A D&D warlock can use it and other powerful spells simultaneously.
Additionally, other creatures will have disadvantage on attacks against the creature with these benefits. Dozens, potentially hundreds, of dice rolls are made over the course of a D&D adventuring day. Gifting someone advantage on every one of those rolls is incredibly powerful. As a result, Foresight is one of the best warlock spells in D&D.