As a Warlock in D&D 5e, you want to make every spell count. You have a limited amount of spells that you can learn and there are just so many awesome options!
So what should you pick?
Well, today we’re going to take a look at the best Warlock spells in D&D 5e!
This is meant to be a type of general overview based on the options available to Warlocks. Depending on your specific build, party composition, or type of campaign, your picks might differ.
But, rest assured, you can’t go wrong with these!
Let’s dive in!
Eldritch Blast is the definitive Warlock spell. It’s very powerful and force damage is wonderfully reliable! This is especially true when paired with the Agonizing Blast invocation. (I cover Eldritch Invocations in more depth here!)
Speaking of reliable cantrips, Mind Sliver is another fantastic cantrip for Warlocks. There aren’t many enemies who have good Intelligence saves and/or resist psychic damage!
Furthermore, the secondary effect of reducing their next saving throw by 1d4 means you can use this to set up for an easier casting of bigger spells that would require them to make a saving throw!
With some creativity, Minor Illusion can be incredibly helpful in a pinch.
It can distract guards, give you opportunities to hide, or pretty much anything else you could want in a situation that relies on deception and trickery!
While not for all Warlocks, Green Flame Blade and Booming Blade are both exceptional cantrips if you’re playing a Hexblade. They’re both great ways of adding extra damage output to your melee attacks.
For a Hexblade (or any Pact of the Blade Warlock), I’d recommend making sure that you’ve got at least one of these cantrips (GFB or BB) plus Eldritch Blast.
Level 1 Spells
Armor of Agathys should be a go-to for any Warlock. Not only is it a great defensive spell, but it also hurts enemies who hit you!
Plus, Armor of Agathys scales very well by adding an extra 5 temporary hit points per spell level. As a spell that’s exclusive to Warlocks, this just delivers in every way!
Just make sure to brush up on how temporary hit points work since you’ll be using this a lot!
But speaking of spells that are exclusive to Warlocks, you just know that Hex had to make this list!
Yet another iconic spell for Warlocks, Hex gives you a handy bonus to your damage output.
An extra 1d6 necrotic damage for every time you hit it is great. Especially when you’re firing off more rays of Eldritch Blast and making more attacks per turn, this has a very powerful exponential effect!
Though its other effect of giving the target disadvantage on ability checks that rely on the ability of your choice is great too! Whether used in or out of combat, it’s handy!
The only downside to Hex that you should be aware of is its concentration requirement. But that’s a small price to pay for a spell this great if you can maintain your concentration!
Level 2 Spells
I’m almost hesitant to include Misty Step here because the spell doesn’t scale with your spell levels. But as a quick way to reposition as a bonus action, it’s just too good to not have it as a “just in case” spell!
Even better, Misty Step only requires verbal components. That means you can easily get out of situations where you’re grappled or otherwise can’t use your hands!
Warlocks require high Charisma, which means Suggestion plays very well into your (likely) role as a “face” for the party. As with most charms, there are countless situations where this can be used creatively to major effect!
Darkness requires some strategic thinking to use well but can be incredibly powerful when used right!
Keep in mind that even creatures with Darkvision can’t see through magical darkness. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about this hurting your own vision if you take the Devil’s Sight invocation!
While this can obviously be great for situations that require you to be sneaky, it’s also a quick way to gain the upper hand in combat!
While your enemies are confused and attempting to feel their way out of the darkness, you’ll have advantage on your attacks against them (if you’re able to see through the magical darkness, that is.)
But even if you can’t see through the magical darkness, this can completely shut down ranged enemies like archers and casters. That lets you and your allies take care of any melee enemies before focusing down the ranged ones!
Level 3 Spells
Regular readers will know that I have a major love for enchantment spells. Enemies Abound is certainly no exception!
Once again, few enemies will do well with Intelligence saving throws which means the odds are in your favor here. It’s especially rare that the “big brute” types will have proficiency in these saves. As it just so happens, that’s your ideal target!
Enchanting the heaviest hitter among your enemies, you can make them start attacking their own allies!
Every party should have at least one person who can cast these. Taking both might be a bit much in the case of the Warlock, but adding one to your list of spells known as a “just in case” isn’t a bad idea by any stretch!
Finally, Vampiric Touch gives you a way to leech life from your enemies.
This deals reasonable damage and heals you for half of the damage you deal. Even better, one casting of this lasts for a full minute which means you can make several attacks with this using only a single spell slot.
While this is probably best for Hexblades or other Warlocks who prefer melee combat, it’s at least worth considering for all Warlocks!
Level 4 Spells
We’re kicking off the best level 4 Warlock spells with another Warlock exclusive: Shadow of Moil!
Defensively, being “heavily obscured” with this spell means you’ll have advantage on your attacks against enemies and they’ll have disadvantage against you (if they can even detect you)!
If an enemy does manage to hit you, they’ll still be taking 2d8 necrotic damage as punishment.
Especially when combined with Armor of Agathys (mentioned earlier), this is just an incredible spell.
Considering that, as level 4 spells, an enemy will take 2d8 necrotic (from SoM) AND 20 cold damage (from AoA), most reasonably intelligent enemies will quickly realize that you’re not to be messed with!
But moving on, next we’ve got the Banishment spell!
Used against extraplanar creatures (like fiends, for example), you can permanently send them back to their home plane if you can maintain concentration for a minute.
But even if they’re not from a different plane, this is a way to completely remove an enemy (or 2 when you can cast level 5 spells) from the combat.
One minute might not seem like a long time, but it’s more than enough time to deal with the banished enemy’s allies and then focus them down when they come back!
We haven’t had an AoE spell just yet, but Sickening Radiance fixes that!
As long as you make sure not to catch your own party members in this spell, it’s disgusting how much this does!
If you can maintain concentration, this lasts for 10 minutes. During that time, creatures in the light are having to make Constitution saves or take 4d10 radiant damage at the start of their turn, emit light (which means they can’t benefit from being invisible), and gain a level of exhaustion.
4d10 damage per round is certainly nothing to ignore, but the exhaustion levels are what make this spell so crushing.
With each level of exhaustion, they’re going to have a harder time getting out of the spell’s effect and dealing with you and your party!
Level 5 Spells
Synaptic Static has to make this list. It’s got a decent 20-foot-radius area of effect and deals a solid 8d6 psychic damage. But the save against it is an Intelligence save which, as we covered earlier in this article, tends to be a weak spot for most enemies.
Though where Synaptic Static really shines is that it adds a penalty to affected enemies’ rolls! Subtracting a d6 from attack rolls, ability checks, and Constitution saves for maintaining concentration can be HUGE!
Another great option is Hold Monster. If the enemy struggles with Wisdom saves, it’s very powerful!
While a creature is paralyzed, they can’t move/speak, automatically fail Strength and Dexterity saving throws, and attacks against them are made with advantage.
Even better, if the attacker is within 5 feet of the held creature, any attacks that hit count as a critical hit!
Finally, Far Step is a solid choice that lets you teleport up to 60 feet per round for a minute! Personally, I love having the ability to keep repositioning every round.
Just be aware that Far Step does use your concentration, so you won’t be able to have Hex or other concentration spells up at the same time.
But if you’re looking to teleport around the battlefield launching Eldritch Blasts from every angle, this is a must-pick!
Related: The Ultimate Warlock Class Guide
Level 6 Spells
Beyond level 5, spells you gain are gained with the Warlock’s Mystic Arcanum feature.
You need to be much pickier with what spells you choose from here on out. Spells chosen with your Mystic Arcanum can only be cast once per day!
Mental Prison is my favorite of the level 6 spells available to Warlocks. Its effect is similar to Hold Monster and I like it for all the same reasons.
Failing an Intelligence saving throw, the creature’s mind is trapped in a world of illusions. They take psychic damage and are considered to be restrained.
Unlike Hold Monster, the creature doesn’t get a save each turn. This means you can lock down the biggest threat, take out its allies, and then focus it down with minimal risk!
If you’re looking for a good higher-level control spell, Eyebite is a great option. Because it’s got three different effects, you also get some variety in how you use it.
Generally, the “Asleep” option is the most reliable as long you make sure the creature doesn’t take damage or get woken up by its allies.
Circle of Death is iffy, but I’ll include it here anyway. It’s got a large area of effect (triple the size of Fireball) and deals a solid 8d6 damage.
The only reason that I’m waffling back and forth on this one is that many enemies tend to be good at Constitution saves and necrotic resistance/immunity isn’t exactly uncommon.
But in situations where one or both of those don’t apply, it’s incredible!
Honorable mention to Investiture of Ice for melee Warlocks who want to make it harder for enemies to get away. Also, it’s nice if you’re up against enemies who favor cold and/or fire damage.
Level 7 Spells
Hands down, Forcecage is my favorite level 7 spell for Warlocks. There’s no save or anything as you just trap whoever is in the space in an invisible box.
If a creature tries to escape with magic (like Misty Step or some other teleportation spell), they must make a Charisma saving throw or waste their spell. Enemies that don’t have such abilities are just hopelessly trapped!
If you want to be truly diabolical, trap them inside with a spell like Sickening Radiance or Hunger of Hadar!
Crown of Stars is a fun way to use your bonus action to do more damage.
After the turn you use to cast this, you can use your action to unleash your Eldritch Blasts. Then use your bonus action to throw one of the motes from your Crown and pepper on an extra 4d12 radiant damage.
Since this lasts an hour, you can totally cast it well before going into combat so it’s all ready. Plus, it doesn’t require concentration!
Of course, we can’t forget Plane Shift.
Used for travel purposes, this can be a quick and reliable way of helping your party leap around the multiverse.
But you can also use this offensively!
You’ll need to make a melee spell attack against an enemy who will then get a Charisma saving throw to resist the spell’s effect. But if the attack hits and they fail their saving throw, you can permanently send them to any plane you have a tuning fork for.
Just be sure to send them somewhere they’ll have a hard time escaping from!
Level 8 Spells
Taking control of an enemy with Dominate Monster is just endlessly fun.
Gaining perfect control over them, you can force them to turn on their former allies while also burning up precious resources (like spell slots) in the process!
Just be aware that the creature gets a saving throw when they take damage, so you’ll still want to play smart if you want to keep your new minion under your control!
Maddening Darkness is another great option available to Warlocks.
First things first, this spell’s imagery is absolutely terrifying.
Even your own allies might nervously look at each other as you spawn magical darkness full of shrieks, gibbering, and mad laughter to consume the party’s enemies.
A 60-foot radius is nothing to roll your eyes at, though you’ll probably want the Devil’s Sight invocation if you plan on taking this one. That way you can still launch Eldritch Blasts at them while they’re taking psychic damage from the darkness.
If you’re operating as the party’s face with any regularity, you might like Glibness.
You effectively can’t roll below a 15 on a Charisma check while this spell is active. Considering that you should have a Charisma score of 20 by the time you get this, you won’t be able to get less than 20 + your proficiency bonus.
If you know you’ve got an important social encounter coming up, this is handy.
But if you’re about to go into combat against a spellcaster and expect to need your Counterspell, this is amazing. (Remember: Counterspell and Dispel Magic use your Charisma as a Warlock!)
Level 9 Spells
But it’s okay, I promise! There are other incredible level 9 spells to consider as well!
Foresight is a ridiculously strong buff.
You or whoever you cast this on spends the next 8 hours with advantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Plus, the target can’t be surprised and attacks against them are made at disadvantage!
Everything about this spell is epic!
If you favor damage and control, Psychic Scream is a great choice as well.
Once again, many enemies will have a hard time with Intelligence saving throws which makes this a safer bet.
Forcing 10 creatures within 90 feet of you to take 14d6 psychic damage is strong, but it’s the fact that they’re stunned that makes this so good.
Since there’s no duration on the stun effect, you’ve got nothing to worry about (as long as they keep failing their saves) while your party can make mincemeat out of them!
Last but not least, we’ve got True Polymorph!
Turn enemies into harmless creatures or objects! Heck, you can even turn objects into friendly creatures if you’re so inclined!
Want to be a dragon or some other powerful creature? Use this on yourself!
To make the change permanent, just keep the spell up for an hour!
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Conclusion – Best Warlock Spells in D&D 5e
Well, that wraps it up for my picks for the best Warlock spells in D&D 5e!
Honestly, it’s a little tricky trying to make this list. Warlocks are incredibly varied simply because of the different combinations of Patrons, Pacts, and Eldritch Invocations available to them.
Do you have any spells that you would add to this list? Let’s chat in the comments below!
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