Warlocks have a reputation for being dark, brooding, and maybe just a little crazy for dealing with the beings that they do.
The Celestial Warlock, on the other hand, proves that not all of these pacts need to be of the morally-gray variety.
With the power of their Celestial Patron on their side, these Warlocks illuminate the battlefield with holy light. Their allies will find themselves rejuvenated and shielded against the evils of the world while their enemies will feel the Upper Planes themselves turn against them.
For those who have made a pact to stand against the evils of their world, this is the full guide to the Celestial Warlock in D&D 5e.
What is the Celestial Warlock Patron in D&D 5e?
The nature of the Celestial Warlock subclass blurs the line between the Warlock and Cleric classes in a way that’s very interesting.
Mechanically, you can’t cast as many spells as a Cleric, but you are able to cast them more often.
As far as roleplaying goes, you’re still trying to walk the “straight and narrow,” but that might not be quite as “straight and narrow” as what is expected from a Cleric.
While Clerics are getting their power directly from their deity, the Celestial Warlock hasn’t necessarily made their pact with a God or Goddess. Instead, these Warlocks have made a pact with a Celestial being.
Celestials who might be interested in being a Celestial Warlock’s patron include empyreans, unicorns, deva, or ki-rin. These are powerful beings from the Upper Planes who would be able to share some of their power with a Warlock.
Of course, this is still a deal that’s being made! There has to be some give and take for any Warlock!
We’ll look at what kind of deal a Celestial Warlock might have made and how to connect that to the story later in this guide.
The Celestial Warlock is a Warlock subclass released in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Role in the Party
Where most Warlocks tend to focus on blasting enemies with all manner of eldritch powers, the Celestial instead focuses their attention on keeping their allies in the fight.
Celestial Warlocks are great at healing and supporting their party. They’re certainly an unconventional healer, but they’re far from being useless!
Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that these characters are pushovers though! The Celestial Warlock can still put out some respectable damage!
When they go on the offensive, it’s a truly impressive light show! Radiant and fire damage form the backbone of the Celestial Warlock’s offensive arsenal.
Any who stand in the way of the Celestial Warlock can and will be cleansed in a holy fire!
Of course, when all else fails you’ve still got the ever-dependable favorite cantrip of Warlocks everywhere: Eldritch Blast.
Celestial Warlock Features in D&D 5e
As we covered, this is a subclass that forms an interesting overlap between the Warlock and Cleric classes.
You’re going to be focusing on your role as a spellcaster who keeps the party healed up while reducing enemies to little piles of ash.
So let’s dive into the Celestial Warlock’s abilities and see what goodies your new patron has given you!
Expanded Spell List
As with the other Warlock Patrons, you’ll be gaining an expanded spell list. In the case of the Celestial Warlock, this expanded spell list has a lot of Cleric flavor to it!
|1||Cure Wounds, Guiding Bolt|
|2||Flaming Sphere, Lesser Restoration|
|4||Guardian of Faith, Wall of Fire|
|5||Flame Strike, Greater Restoration|
We kick things off with some solid level 1 spells.
Cure Wounds and Guiding Bolt are both as dependable as they are iconic for first level spells. Cure Wounds is great for restoring hit points to your allies while Guiding Bolt deals great damage and gives advantage on the next attack roll against the creature. Best of all: these both scale wonderfully as you level up!
Your level 2 expanded spell options are Flaming Sphere and Lesser Restoration.
Flaming Sphere can be incredibly dangerous given the right circumstances and positioning. Lesser Restoration is excellent for taking care of some of the most frustrating conditions in the early levels, but you really don’t have the spell slots to keep too many “just in case” spells. If possible, see if your Druid or other caster can take it.
Your level 3 spells are interesting.
Revivify is always a great spell that can quickly turn a combat around if it’s going south. Daylight, however, is an incredibly situational spell. Situations where it’s handy don’t fully justify dedicating the space on your spell list to it.
For your level 4 spells, Wall of Fire gives you a great AoE option with a lot of applications and solid damage. Guardian of Faith sounds awesome, but it doesn’t quite deliver the value you might expect. You’ve got plenty of other damage options that will take you much further than Guardian of Faith.
Finally, Greater Restoration and Flame Strike are the level 5 spells your patron grants you.
Much like its lesser version, Greater Restoration can overcome some of the most dangerous effects in D&D. However, it’s probably best in the hands of someone with more spell slots like your Cleric or Druid.
Finally, Flame Strike can be an absolute nuke against enemies that like to bunch together. Not only can it also help take care of pesky flying enemies, but the mix of fire and radiant damage also makes it useful for getting around certain resistances/immunities.
Bonus Cantrips (Level 1)
In addition to your expanded spell list, you also gain two extra cantrips at level 1: Light and Sacred Flame.
You never know when you’ll need the Light spell. In a pinch, it can be a lifesaver!
Sacred Flame is good to have against creatures with a vulnerability to radiant damage or a high Armor Class. Additionally, it gives you an option for zapping enemies who are trying to hide behind cover!
If we’re strictly talking damage, it’s no Eldritch Blast. However, there’s some extra utility to Sacred Flame that justifies keeping it in your back pocket!
Healing Light (Level 1)
Now that we’ve covered all of the bonus spells your Celestial patron gives you, let’s get on to the other features!
First up, you’ve got a very solid way of offering some burst healing to your allies.
You gain a pool of d6s equal to your Warlock level + 1. These let you channel healing to your allies.
As a bonus action, you can heal one creature you can see within 60 feet of you, spending dice from the pool. The maximum number of dice you can spend at once equals your Charisma modifier (minimum of one.)
Roll the dice you spend, add them together, and restore a number of hit points equal to the total.
Being able to throw some extra healing out as a bonus action is wonderful! It lets you use your action for whatever you’d like while still restoring an ally’s hit points.
This ability is actually very similar to that of the Circle of Dreams Druid, which I thought was interesting.
Whether you’re bolstering your party’s frontline or picking up an ally who dropped to 0 hit points, being able to do so as a bonus action without needing spell slots is great!
Just make sure that you’re keeping track of this resource. Unlike your spell slots, you’ll need a long rest to regain all expended uses of your Healing Light!
Radiant Soul (Level 6)
At level 6, you gain the Radiant Soul feature. This toughens you up against the admittedly-rare radiant damage while also giving an extra boost to your damage output.
You have resistance to radiant damage.
When you cast a spell that deals radiant or fire damage, you can add your Charisma modifier to one radiant or fire damage roll of that spell against one of its targets.
The damage boost from Radiant Soul works best with your heavy hitters like Wall of Fire or Flame Strike.
Just don’t sleep on Guiding Bolt! Not only will that get the extra damage from Radiant Soul but it opens up an opportunity for one of your allies to follow up with even more punishment!
Your general go-to for damage will almost certainly be Eldritch Blast, but this gives your Sacred Flame some extra bite in situations where you need to use that instead.
As a quick technical note to be aware of, Radiant Soul’s damage boost applies to ONE target.
So if Wall of Fire or Flame Strike, for example, is hitting multiple enemies, the extra damage is only applied to one of them. In the case of Flame Strike, you get to choose whether the radiant or fire damage gets the boost.
Celestial Resilience (Level 10)
Your level 10 is a nifty passive buff for both you and your party.
You gain temporary hit points whenever you finish a short or long rest. These temporary hit points equal your Warlock level + your Charisma modifier.
Additionally, choose up to five creatures you can see at the end of the rest. Those creatures gain temporary hit points equal to HALF of your Warlock level + your Charisma modifier.
This may not seem like much, but remember that you recover your spells on a short rest! Not only will you get those back, but you’ll also keep your party in fighting form with some temporary hit points.
You’ll want to check out my article explaining temporary hit points for all the ins-and-outs of how those work. (They can get a little confusing!)
When you get this feature, this gives you 15 temporary hit points (if you’ve maxxed out your Charisma score for the +5 modifier) and 10 to your allies.
You and your party are probably pretty used to taking a fair amount of short rests by this point. Now there’s some extra incentive to give you a chance to recover your spell slots!
This may sound like a “meh” ability on the surface. It may not be spectacularly flashy, but it guarantees that almost any fight your party goes into will have the odds stacked in your favor!
Searing Vengeance (Level 14)
For any party, it’s very bad news when the healer goes down. From there, it’s a domino effect as the remaining members drop one by one unless they can gain the upper hand.
These are the moments where everyone is staring at the table and trying to act calm. Some might even be already brainstorming their next character…
That’s where the Celestial Warlock’s capstone feature, Searing Vengeance, comes into play.
When you have to make a death saving throw at the start of your turn, you can instead spring back to your feet with a burst of radiant energy.
You regain hit points equal to half your hit point maximum and stand up if you so choose.
Each creature of your choice that is within 30 feet of you takes radiant damage equal to 2d8 + your Charisma modifier and is blinded until the end of the current turn.
This takes the proverb of “physician, heal thyself” to a whole new extreme!
A Closer Look at Searing Vengeance
Let’s break it down!
You’ve found yourself knocked down to zero hit points and are getting ready to start making death saving throws.
At the start of your turn, you instead leap back up to your feet with a burst of light. You’re back up to 50% of your maximum HP.
Every single enemy within 30 feet takes radiant damage. No saves or anything!
Furthermore, they’re blinded until the end of your turn. This means you can make your attack rolls against them with advantage. An Eldritch Blast or powered-up Guiding Bolt can be devastating here!
Not to cheapen the experience, you’re also able to freely reposition yourself without worrying about provoking attacks of opportunity. If you went down because you got dogpiled and surrounded, this is even better.
Oh and it costs you nothing to activate Searing Vengeance. You’ll need to take a long rest to regain this feature, but that’s totally fair.
You hopefully won’t need to use this feature much. However, it’s an incredible way to cheat death and serve up some divine wrath to your enemies!
Pact Boons for Celestial Warlocks 5e
At level 3 you’ll be choosing a Pact Boon. This further etches out how your Warlock plays and what kinds of Eldritch Invocations are available to them.
It’s not a choice to take lightly! You can check out my article that fully covers Pact Boons here.
For now, we’re going to focus on each of the Pact Boon options and how they relate to Celestial Warlocks.
Pact of the Blade
If you’re looking to play a frontline melee combatant with divine powers, I’d recommend playing a Cleric or Paladin.
Simply put: this isn’t it.
As a healer and blaster, it would take way too much effort to make the Pact of the Blade work for you. You’ll be spending your ASI’s every 4 levels on feats instead of boosting your abilities and probably having to do some multiclassing to make a viable character.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re doing all that then it’s possible to make the Pact of the Blade a better fit. However, for someone going purely Celestial Warlock (which I’d recommend) it just isn’t a good fit.
Pact of the Chain
Familiars (especially those offered by the Pact of the Chain) are always useful.
In the early levels, it gives you some extra survivability thanks to your faithful familiar’s ability to scout ahead and help out in combat.
The Pact of the Chain isn’t a bad option. I happen to be more partial towards the Pact of the Tome, but the utility that having a familiar gives you is certainly a plus!
Not only can your little friend work as a scout, but you also have the ability to deliver spells like Cure Wounds through your familiar without losing your own positioning.
All things considered, I’d say the Pact of the Chain is my second pick for Celestial Warlocks.
Pact of the Talisman
The Pact of the Talisman gives you some extra ways to support your allies which pairs well with the Celestial Warlock’s theme and role in theory.
However there’s just not a great deal of synergy between the Celestial Warlock’s features and the invocations that the Pact of the Talisman offers.
Your allies will appreciate the boost to their rolls if they’re wearing your talisman, but there’s just more offered by the Pacts of the Chain and Tome.
Pact of the Tome
The Pact of the Tome is my top recommendation for Celestial Warlocks.
Gaining extra cantrips (especially utility ones!) and cherry-picking spells from other classes does a lot to widen what your capable of. It might not even be a bad idea to grab Fire Bolt for some synergy with your Radiant Soul feature.
While many Warlocks can go multiple ways in how you build them, the Celestial is pretty firmly in the spellcaster category. The Pact of the Tome will help you double down on that to a fantastic effect!
When it comes to the Gods/Goddesses and the Clerics and Paladins that serve them, there are certain rules that have to be followed.
However, the Celestial Warlock isn’t necessary bound by these rules in the same way that those other classes might be.
Making a deal with a powerful Celestial naturally lends itself towards goals and methods that are “good,” but you get a little bit of slack in how you achieve those goals.
It’s fully possible that your Patron is able to bend certain rules by having you take care of business that others might not be able to without breaking those certain rules.
Perhaps your Patron has taken an interest in some or all of the party members for some reason. Because of this, they have arranged for you to join the party as a protector.
The party might yet have a larger part to play in the grand scheme of things and your patron wants you to make sure that they are alive to play that part.
I don’t see Celestial Warlocks fitting the stereotype that many Clerics and Paladins do. That is, you’re probably not particularly preachy and/or judgmental of others.
Due to your deal with your Patron, you’re fine being the vessel through which they exercise their will. How pious you are isn’t exactly a term of the deal (though it probably doesn’t hurt!)
Sure, you’ll use your abilities to heal those who need it, but you’re also a weapon that is meant to root out and destroy evil.
What evils has your patron commanded you to stand against? What prompted you to make this deal in the first place?
Is the Celestial Warlock Good?
The Celestial Warlock is definitely an unconventional take on the Warlock class, but it’s a solid pick!
It’s a little difficult to do an “apples to apples” comparison with the other Warlock classes considering that the Celestial is a healer before all else.
Healing Light is fantastic as a way to heal and pick up your allies without needing spell slots or your action. Furthermore, Celestial Resilience makes sure that you and your allies are always able to take a few extra hits. It’s kind of like getting free uses of Healing Word and the Inspiring Leader feat!
Radiant Soul doesn’t have quite the punch that I would hope, though.
Eldritch Blast (especially when paired with the Hex spell) is going to be your go-to spell when it’s time to start blasting. Unfortunately, the damage boost from Radiant Soul doesn’t apply!
It’s not enough to make me dislike the Celestial Warlock, but it does hold it back from being as awesome as I wish it were.
If you’re looking to try something different and play a healer that’s not a Cleric, the Celestial Warlock is a great pick!
You can see how the Celestial Warlock compares with other Patrons in my ranking of every Warlock subclass in 5e!
Conclusion – Guide to the Celestial Warlock in D&D 5e
I hope you’ve found this guide helpful!
Personally, I tend to be pretty fond of the “oddball” subclasses that remix how a class is “supposed” to play.
From the Celestial Warlock’s role in the party to the overall theme of the subclass, it’s definitely an oddball! But, honestly, I think that’s a good thing.
Still deciding what patron you want to make a deal with? Check out my Ultimate Guide to the Warlock Patrons in D&D 5e!
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