Hidden within the mystical pages of the Player’s Handbook lies the secrets for mortals to bind themselves to the Fey. This Patron is available to Warlocks, and thus adds the fey’s wacky and strange abilities to their repertoire. For some characters, this choice will come… Naturally. For others, it’ll be… Crazy. No matter why you’ve decided to ally your character with the Archfey, you’re now in it for the long run. So, let’s see why you might want to forge this pact with our Archfey Warlock Guide.
Dance with Chaos: The Archfey Warlock
When it comes to warlock patrons, The Archfey grants the Warlock something they desperately need; Utility. Through both abilities and spells, the Archfey offers a large suite of situationally useful skills that’ll boost up the Warlock’s usefulness outside of the battlefield. For the spells. This can be seen as good or bad. For abilities, it turns out that having permanent buffs that only apply in some cases can hurt the overall power of the subclass. That’s not to say this is a useless patron by any means… But this archetype has less obvious strength than their compatriots.
Expanded Spell List
The Archfey’s spell list is rather diverse, with quite a few options at each level. They also tend to be a little bit situational, but when the situations come up, their usefulness is overwhelmingly good.
Faerie Fire is a quite strong anti-invisibility spell, but it doesn’t scale with your spell slots well. It might be a good idea to keep around, just in case, but do be wary that you don’t have many spells known. Sleep, however, is an early-game titan. You can bypass so many hard encounters with this spell, and it even scales with high spell slots! Even so, I’d consider dropping this once you get past the early game.
Calm Emotions rarely works well, but it can be really fun in out-of-combat scenarios, and hard counters Barbarians and fear effects. Consider grabbing it if you’re worried about that kind of thing. Phantasmal Force is really fun and flavorful – Warlocks don’t have access to good illusion magic, so this one doubles as an illusion and an attack. Not a bad option, if you’re creative.
Blink is a good defensive spell, but uses your Concentration. If you think you’ll have your concentration often enough to use it, go for it! Plant Growth would only be useful in a non-combat campaign, so ignore it if you’re not trying to roleplay the Lorax.
Dominate Beast is not great; Beasts are rather low CR by base 5E rules, so you won’t be catching many high-level creatures with it. Take Dominate Person instead. Greater Invisibility is really strong, and a great use of your concentration.
Seeming is absolutely hilarious flavor, and can lead to a lot of fun antics… But maybe leave that for the Bard, Sorcerer, or Wizard in your party. Your spell slots can’t handle such a spell.
Overall… Not amazing. There are some decent utility options in here – Phantasmal Force, Blink, Calm Emotions – but nothing screams “must take.”
Onto the show! First ability is once per any type of rest.
Starting at 1st level, your patron bestows upon you the ability to project the beguiling and fearsome presence of the fey. As an action, you can cause each creature in a 10-foot cube originating from you to make a Wisdom saving throw against your warlock spell save DC. The creatures that fail their saving throws are all charmed or frightened by you (your choice) until the end of your next turn.
Alright, not bad.
For a once-per-rest ability, causing Charm or Frighten keeps you alive quite effectively. Frighten tends to be a lot better for you than Charm, since Frighten makes them unable to move closer and gives them disadvantage on attack rolls to fight your allies. Charm is better if you can’t make a Move action to run away afterwards, since that means they can’t attack you at all.
Let’s talk about that dismal range though. This is a small radius around you; 10-foot cube means that they’re one square or hex away from kicking your fey-touched butt. For most Warlocks, this is highly problematic; d8 hit dice and no medium armor don’t mix with melee too well. Thankfully, it’s defensive – more of a “don’t hurt me” than an offensive strategy – and the debuffs are nice.
And in a non-combat scenario, this ability can be quite potent! Having a quick and easy way to Charm gives massive bonuses on most Persuasion checks, and you’re guaranteed to have at least one round of that bonus without spending a spell slot… As long as they fail the DC. And if they succeed, a Warlock with high enough Deception can easily just make it a “trick of the light.”
What this ability lacks for in-combat usage, it more than makes up for in defensive ability and roleplay possibility.
Worried that you weren’t defensive enough? Well, here you go!
Starting at 6th level, you can vanish in a puff of mist in response to harm. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to turn invisible and teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. You remain invisible until the start of your next turn or until you attack or cast a spell.
This also refreshes on any type of rest.
So, there’s only one really bad part of this, and that’s the fact that you take the damage. That means that you eat the Disintegrate and then you can teleport what’s left of you far away from the problem. Another bad part is that you need to see the square, so no teleporting around corners. That’s usually not a problem, since 60 ft is rather far, but you can still get sniped by a lot of spells, if the caster can see through invisibility.
Alright, now that the pessimism is done… What a cool effect! This escapes a lot of high-damaging strategies from classes that don’t use magic. You only take the first hit from a Fighter, for example, or from a Monk. Even against Barbarians, you still take about half damage from their Attack actions. And Dragons like to use Multiattack. All of which you can easily ignore! And against creatures that can’t see through invisibility, you’ll also be effectively immune to ranged barrages or spells with multiple rays.
Since you’re invisible, you’ll be out of the way of the rest of the turns between the enemy attack and your turn. But… Try not to metagame that by maximizing your invisibility. That’s a little bit rude.
Finally, if you desperately need to teleport 60 feet to pull a lever or save your own life… You can poke your hand with a dagger. Hopefully your GM will let you just take 1 damage, and then you can teleport 60 ft to safety. That’s probably the least useful thing you can do with this, but if it saves your skin, then it’s well worth it!
I assume you guessed by the title of this ability that this class’s abilities have a theme, right?
Beginning at 10th level, your patron teaches you how to turn the mind-affecting magic of your enemies against them. You are immune to being charmed, and when another creature attempts to charm you, you can use your reaction to attempt to turn the charm back on that creature. The creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your warlock spell save DC or be charmed by you for 1 minute or until the creature takes any damage.
This is specific. Like, really, really specific.
Charmed is not that bad of a status condition. By rules, all it does is prevent you from targeting one creature. And the advantage on Persuasion doesn’t really matter, because you’re not an NPC. In some strange circumstances, being Charmed could lead to a party wipe, but… Why wouldn’t they just Dominate you instead? This is such a narrow effect that it will probably never come up.
And for the same reasons as noted above, the Charm-reflection effect is also completely meaningless. Not only does it let the creature get a save, but the charm is lost if they take any damage? That’s kind of bad…
Unless your group is really good at roleplaying the Charm effect, and your GM buffs the power of the condition beyond what the PHB entails, this is not a reason to pick this subclass.
Illusions are kind of Fey’s thing. The final ability addresses that missing flavor.
Starting at 14th level, you can plunge a creature into an illusory realm. As an action, choose a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you. It must make a Wisdom saving throw against your warlock spell save DC. On a failed save, it is charmed or frightened by you (your choice) for 1 minute or until your concentration is broken (as if you are concentrating on a spell). This effect ends early if the creature takes any damage.
During that minute, they can’t see anything except itself, you, and the shadowy realm you plunged it in. This also refreshes on any type of rest.
That’s two abilities you have that charm or frighten your opponent as an action. That’s… Actually somewhat unfortunate. Less unfortunate is that they offer different utility purposes; Fey Presence is defensive, and this… This is a Banishment effect.
Since they can only see you, the Charm effect becomes so much better. You can plan with your party members to not harm the person you’re putting into the Delirium, so you can take someone out of the fight for a full minute. They can’t interact with your allies, nor communicate with their own allies. A rather nasty bag of tricks.
Against enemies that are immune to charm and frighten, you at least gain the illusion effect. They can’t see anyone else, so they’re going to target you. The perfect time to use either Misty Escape or Greater Invisibility to give them no real options.
This takes up your Concentration, but… So does Banishment. This is essentially Banishment that doesn’t take up a spell slot. Against enemies that are immune to charm or fear effects, this is still a good isolation tool, and then you can use additional illusions to further mess with them.
And unlike Banishment, this has really interesting out-of-combat utility, letting you be alone with someone in a realm of your own creation. If you’re creative, that’s going to be one hell of an Intimidation – or even a Persuasion – bonus.
Overall, a really fun, if not incredibly strong, level 14 ability from a Patron.
Pact Boon Synergies
All Warlocks have access to three potential Pact Boons at level 3. Only one can be taken, and that one significantly changes how your character performs.
Pact of the Blade
See our Pact of the Blade Guide
The Archfey has one ability that synergizes with being in melee; Fey Presence. None of their other abilities benefit from melee combat, nor does the Archfey like sacrificing Charisma for other stats. You could make it work just fine, but the other two pacts are more inherently synergistic.
Pact of the Chain
See our Pact of the Chain Guide
If you don’t have a rogue or another dedicated scout, then Pact of the Chain has a lot of potential. The familiar is able to deliver touch spells for you, most of them can fly, and you’ll get an expendable creature to be your eyes and ears. If you don’t mind taking a hit on flavor, get the Imp; it’s by far the best one. Otherwise, the pseudodragon is a fey-like creature with some fun extra abilities. And the Sprite is an actual fey, with some fun emotion-reading abilities.
Pact of the Talisman
See our Pact of the Talisman Guide
As a support option, Pact of the Talisman works just fine with the Archfey. The initial Guidance-like effect doesn’t exactly beat Tome, but the additional reflexive damage and saving throw buffs can make it handy. There are better options for a support Warlock, however.
Pact of the Tome
See our Pact of the Tome Guide
If you’ve got a scout already, or are just looking to further become more useful on the utility front, the Pact of the Tome has you covered. The extra cantrips can give you some great utility – Guidance, Shape Water, Control Flames – and you gain access to invocations that can further improve your spellcasting abilities. Really good if you’re not planning on wading into melee, nor don’t want a tiny pet dragon… For some reason.
Best Race for The Archfey Warlocks
The Archfey is a rather interesting Warlock. Like most subclasses, the Eldritch Blast strategy is probably the best one. That means getting good Charisma, and then boosting Dexterity and Constitution to avoid the most pain possible.
If your GM lets you crack open Mordekainen’s Tome of Foes, the Eladrin is a wonderful choice for a Warlock. The flavor of the Eladrin is that they come from the Feywild, after all; you might know an Archfey personally! The Dexterity is absolutely wonderful; worth losing a tiny bit of Charisma. Fey Step gives you incredible movement ability to distance yourself from a Frightened enemy. The only problem is that you gain advantage against Charms, when you eventually get immune to them anyways… But, the level 10 ability of this subclass isn’t useful anyways.
The massive boost to Charisma makes this Volo’s Guide serpent a valuable choice. With resistance to magic, immunity to poison, and some innate spellcasting, they get some valuable defenses and utility to help the Warlock early on. The flavor is a bit of a miss, but it wouldn’t be odd for an ancient civilization to convene with the Fey.
Remember what I was talking about earlier? With the Persuasion and Intimidate strategies? If you need some help with skill slots, the Vanilla Half-Elf is here for you. If you’re considering trying out some illusions in a combat-light campaign, the combination of the Archfey’s charms and the Half-Elf’s versatile skills can be really synergetic. And Half-Elves get some Charisma to boot.
Best Feats for Archfey Warlock
The Archfey Warlock, much like any other Warlock, has issues with specific spells known that they have access to. However, slightly more important is their ability to make good use of short rests.
The Chef feat is a godsend for any character looking to round out either Constitution or Charisma. With a +1 to either stat, you can get your casting stat to an even number or get that extra health per level that you were holding out on. Then, you can really get cooking.
Chef’s Utensils aren’t exactly the worst tools to have proficiency in. They can make food easier to eat or provide the ability to make food in the first place. At least they do something very tangible, rather than how some artisan tools are far too situational for their own good.
You can also help people heal up during a short rest. This isn’t super significant, just a d8 of additional health. But, if you and your party take three short rests a day, you’re healing about 50 HP to a party of four. That’s not bad.
Then there’s the treats. Early on, these treats are pretty insignificant. But, later, they give 6 HP each, for a total of 36 health. That’s… not bad! Sure, they’re divided up into little chunks, but they last until you lose them. Chow down out of combat and it might keep you from getting knocked out.
If you are ever in a situation where you want additional spell options, you’re probably going to want to take a peek at Fey Touched. This feat provides a lot, including a +1 to Charisma (or another mental stat).
After the stat bonus, which is perfect for a Warlock, you get two spells known. The first is Misty Step, which you can cast once for free. A bonus action teleport is wonderful for a Warlock, and Misty Step is one of the best choices to keep until the endgame for a pact-bound caster.
Then, there’s the bonus 1st level spell. You’d be surprised at how strong divination and enchantment spells are at level 1. We recommend scooping up Silvery Barbs, a great defensive option that the Warlock can’t access. The ability to apply disadvantage to an attack and give advantage elsewhere is unique among magic, so getting it for free and as an option for short rests? Well worth it.
For a Warlock who cares about their friends, Inspiring Presence is an excellent choice to reward a party for taking short rests. At the end of one, you can speak for 10 additional minutes. This’ll give a barrier of temporary HP equal to your level plus your Charisma. For a Warlock, this can be 25 HP per ally in the endgame. If you take three Short Rests a day, that’s 400 total health for a four-person party. That’s… kind of massive.
This is an excellent choice for a Warlock looking to support their party in a very positive way, but don’t need to shore up stat requirements.
Resilient is a simple feat from the Player’s Handbook, but its simplicity belies a greater purpose. By taking a +1 to Constitution, you can become proficient in Constitution saving throws. Warlocks have excellent options for Concentration, mainly through Hex. Keeping Hex online in the late game is rather important, after all.
You could instead take War Caster, but that’s usually better for subclasses like the Hexblade. We might as well fortify our defenses in the meanwhile.
Telekinetic is another great way to gain a +1 to Charisma, though in a different way than before. Rather than improving our spell list or rewarding our party for resting, we get a very good Bonus Action and a strong cantrip.
The cantrip is Mage Hand, though it is completely invisible. Manipulating objects entirely unseen can lead to goofy moments, but it is also the strongest version of one of our favorite cantrips. That has to mean something!
Then, as a bonus action, you can scoot someone towards you or away from you. That might not sound very impressive at a glance. But, through this feat, you can set up casters for Area of Effects, keep enemies within range of your Barbarian, or push a party member away from danger. After you Hex, you weren’t gonna use that bonus action anyways. Might as well do something with it.
Best Multiclass Options for Archfey Warlock
The Warlock prefers classes that can make use of their stellar Charisma in unique ways. Especially if those classes have solid ways to spend spell slots! Here are the two that we recommend looking into.
If you wish to multiclass into Paladin, we suggest trying to start as a Paladin from the get-go. The Paladin offers a Warlock a wide selection of armor and weapon options for the early game. It also gets Lay on Hands, an excellent source of emergency healing that requires no spell slots.
At level 2, you can get a Fighting Style, like Defense, and a few spells. Some buffs on the Paladin list, like Shield of Faith, last for the rest of the game, so they can be worth having around. The Archfey prefers to use Eldritch Blast for damage, but a particularly good weapon could be all it takes to change your mind.
We don’t recommend going too much further than this for most Warlock builds, but for the Archfey, you could afford getting an Oath if you want. Some Paladin Oaths, like Conquest, actually synergize quite well with the Fey’s love of fear effects.
Sorcerer/Warlock is a legendary multiclass for a reason. By transferring Warlock Spells into Sorcery Points, a Sorcerer could theoretically keep casting spells and gaining temporary spells for days on end. However, even a few levels in Sorcerer can give dividends. The Sorcerer is hiding spells like Silvery Barbs and Shield that a Warlock would love to have on their list.
Then, once you get metamagic, those sorcery points can come in handy. Before you take a short rest, you should transfer any remaining Warlock spells into points. That’ll let you fuel your rested Warlock spell slots with metamagic, or produce additional Sorcerer spells.
For an Archfey, an Aberrant Mind Sorcerer might make the most sense for an immediate dip. That archetype gets insane spells known, augmenting your spell list for the better.
Best Backgrounds for Archfey Warlock
While the background of your character is best applied to your actual character’s backstory, there are a few mechanical elements that we can cling to. Mainly, strong skill or tool proficiencies and a good background feature.
The Criminal background, from the base Player’s Handbook, gives the Warlock Deception and Stealth proficiency. Warlocks have access to Deception by default, but not Stealth. Useful for a feytouched soul like yourself! You also get proficiency in thieves’ tools, which is absolutely stellar! The gaming set is kind of whatever, admittedly. But, who knows when you might need to know how to roll some bones?
Your equipment is fine, since you’re getting a high amount of gold. Always nice for a background! Your feature, if you and your DM work together, can be extremely useful and very fun. Imagine if your criminal contact was your patron, or a servant of your patron. That means you’ll always have a friend and your DM gets to pull off silly stuff. It’s a win-win!
Guild Artisan/Guild Merchant
Another Player’s Handbook background, the Guild Artisan grants the Warlock Insight and Persuasion. Those are two highly important talking skills that most Warlocks simply don’t have access to. You can grab your choice of Artisan’s Tools (we recommend Alchemist’s Supplies, Brewer’s Supplies, or Leatherworker’s Tools) as well as any language. Then, you get to immediately get that Artisan’s tools, alongside 15 gold. Pretty great equipment, compared to most backgrounds! The equipment gets even better if you’re a Guild Merchant, though you might have trouble putting that donkey somewhere.
Then, there’s your class feature. You have to pay 5 gp per month for it, but it provides you with guild access. That’s really nice. If your DM lets your Guild have good sway over several areas of the campaign, you can actually get a ton of political backing for the low price of 5 gp a month. Seriously, this is not a background to miss out on.
Urban Bounty Hunter
The Urban Bounty Hunter, from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, offers quite a few choices over the course of character building. Firstly, your skills. We recommend Insight and Persuasion, though Stealth is a good replacement for Insight if you don’t really care about what your talking partner is saying. Then, you can grab a musical instrument and thieves’ tools for proficiency. Wonderful, the ability to distract people and pick locks. A legitimate match made in heaven. Then, the archetype just plops 20 gp in your pocket. I’d take that every day of the week!
Your Feature is relatively simple, giving you some access to information across several cities. It’s very much like the Criminal background. If you get your choice of any book for your background, this one is hard to beat. Provided you want your Warlock to be the party’s chatterbox.
FAQ for the Archfey Warlock
Can an Archfey be a Patron?
An Archfey, or a servant of the Archfey, is a great patron for a Warlock. Most Archfey are looking to upgrade their own station in their Court or spread their influence outside of the Feywild. Some may be less malicious, caring more about watching a mortal excel using the Archfey’s power.
In what book is the Archfey Patron located?
The Archfey Patron is a subclass available in the Player’s Handbook. It’s on page 108 of the guide.
Does Fey Presence affect allies?
Fey Presence can affect allies that are within the 10-foot cube originating from you. However, by selecting for them to be Charmed by the effect, you do not affect their ability to fight enemies at all. Charming a fellow player character usually only means that they have disadvantage to attack you, since you can only usually use Deception against another player.
Example Archfey Warlock Build
Before we can sit down and make an Archfey build in 5E, we have to talk about what our DM’s limits are.
- No multiclassing. We’re a pure Warlock, baby.
- No lineage rules. No custom lineage and races must have their listed stat bonuses. For races that have custom stats, the DM has to agree with a specific statline.
- Can use any book for races and background. That means we could theoretically grab any race or background we like. Outside of the custom ones.
- Standard Array for ability scores. 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8. Not unreasonable.
- Standard Equipment. The Warlock doesn’t start with terrible items, but this does lock us out of tools if we want them dearly. We can get those later.
The DM locking us out of Custom Lineage is a bit annoying, since we can’t get 18 Charisma without it. They don’t want everyone in the party to be custom, it seems. That’s okay, we can still get a lot of benefit from generic races.
To start, let’s pick a Half-Elf with the Urban Bounty Hunter background. Our Half-Elf will have skill proficiency in Persuasion and Perception. Our DM tells us that we should consider Orcish for our other language, so we’ll lock that in too. With this setup, we’re going to have every social skill, Perception, and Stealth, which is a great place for our Warlock to be. We can also speak at least one language that sounds important for the campaign.
For our ability scores, we want to put the +2 into Charisma and +1s into Dexterity and Constitution. Yeah, we know, very exciting. But, this’ll put one of our defensive stats to an odd number, which prepares us down the line for feats. We’ll choose Constitution to be our odd stat.
Finally, for equipment, it really doesn’t matter. Just get a ranged option, decent armor, and either of the kits. You’ll be good to explore early game environments no matter what.
|5E Archfey Warlock Build|
Ability Scores: STR 10, DEX 14 (13 + 1), CON 15 (14 + 1), INT 8, WIS 12, CHA 17 (15 + 2)
Proficiencies: Deception, Intimidation, Perception, Persuasion, Insight, Stealth, Musical Instrument, Thieves’ Tools
Starting Equipment: Light Crossbow, 20 Bolts, Component Pouch, Dungeoneer’s Pack, Leather Armor, Devil Hunter’s Clothes, 20 gp
Languages: Common, Elven, Orcish
-Expanded Spell List
|Even though we’re just getting started, we’re still not done with choices yet.|
Cantrips. Eldritch Blast is far too juicy to pass up. It’s the best damage cantrip in the entire game, and we plan on using and abusing that fact with this build. The other cantrip we’re interested in is Prestidigitation, since it serves several roles at once. We’re quite limited on cantrip space without Pact of the Tome, so we have to keep that in mind.
Spells. Unlike some archetypes for other casters, the Warlock’s expanded spells simply add to your list of possible spells that you can learn. So it is important to keep them in mind, but not necessarily grab them if you don’t think they’ll be impactful. For our purposes, we want to grab Hex and Sleep. Sleep is from the expanded spell list and is very helpful early on. We’ll be sure to tag it out later down the line. Hex will let us keep up in the damage department, maxing out the chance for some one-shots.In terms of advice, do not use Fey Presence outside of emergencies. Don’t endanger yourself to apply Frightened. It’s a strong ability, but one to be used very carefully.
|2||-Eldritch Invocations||Oh jeez, it begins…Invocations. Unfortunately, we do have to take Agonizing Blast so we can keep up in the damage game. We know, a bit boring, but we’re trying to be realistic. For now, Armor of Shadows will keep us alive better than leather or studded leather armor. If you find magic Studded Leather, then you might wanna consider tagging out this invocation for something else.|
Spells. Protection from Evil and Good is good enough for situational elements. If you ever fight a demon or something, you’ll want that defensive element. Sleep is still keeping people down, so we’ll keep that around.
-2nd Level Pact Magic
|Once again, another fairly busy level for us.|
Pact. We aren’t super interested in Blade here, so we’re wanting to focus more on the other three. For this build, Pact of the Tome gives us more cantrip access and interesting spell choices later on. Chain works best if your party needs a scout and Talisman is great for a support-oriented Warlock. Since we’re more on the aggressive side, Tome is helpful for us.
Tome cantrips. Our three cantrips are Message, Guidance, and Thaumaturgy. They provide utility not available to the Warlock and are always going to be useful. Perfect, since they’re always gonna be around.
Spells. We’re at 2nd level options now. Neither Calm Emotions or Phantasmal Force are too enticing for us, so we’ll pick up Hold Person. We really wanna lock people down, and you often fight humanoids until endgame. Sleep is starting to whiff now, so let’s lose it for Shatter. Shatter lets us deal area of effect damage, which is fine for now.
|4||-Ability Score Improvement||Big level, again! Warlocks are quite busy early on.|
Feat. Fey Touched is both thematically appropriate and gives us two fantastic, consistent options for spells: Misty Step and Silvery Barbs.
Cantrip. Mage Hand lets us interact with our environment quite well. Let’s grab it before we get into too many situations where we regret leaving it on the table.
Spell. Darkness is a classically strong Warlock spell that locks down a region. No other spells need replacing as of yet. Even though we haven’t had too many reasons to use Protection from Good and Evil, we still want to have it in the tank.
|5||-3rd Level Pact Magic||Hope you weren’t too excited for a break.Invocation. Our invocation choices here are quite plentiful. However, since we grabbed the Tome, we should take the Book of Ancient Secrets and add Find Familiar and Identify to our list. This unlocks our ability to learn any ritual spell in the game, which is legitimately very strong. As long as people give you the time to do so, of course.|
Spells. 3rd level spells are here. Blink is legitimately enticing, but usually not worth our concentration. Neither is Plant Growth, outside of specific situations. Instead, we recommend Counterspell to help your fellow casters lock down enemy magic users. You’ll always cast it at a relatively high level, which is very nice.
|6||-Misty Escape||Okay, you finally get a break. The only thing that you get at this level is your spell, and Hunger of Hadar offers a decent area of effect option with area denial that is unique to the Warlock. As our party’s ranged damage dealer, helping out with swarm combats isn’t a bad idea, and this could deal much more damage than Hex in the right circumstance.|
|7||-4th Level Pact Magic||Alright, back into the breach we go!Invocations. Another Invocation this level. Sculptor of Flesh is a unique option that, while you can only use once per long rest, can easily nullify a combat encounter.|
Spells. 4th is a weird level for a lot of warlocks. Not really for us, though! We’re going to scoop up Greater Invisibility for our party members, and ourselves. We’ll usually use this as a support and scouting tool, but it offers great utility in many fights.
|8||-Ability Score Improvement||At this point, we want to cap out our casting stat with a +2 to Charisma. We use Charisma for everything, so it’s important that we get it to 20 early. That improves our Eldritch Blast, our spell DCs, and our ability DCs to the maximum possible value (without magical items).Let’s take a peek at our spell list again before we choose our next spell.|
Cantrips. Eldritch Blast, Prestidigitation, Mage Hand
Spells. Hex, Protection from Good and Evil, Silvery Barbs, Darkness, Hold Person, Misty Step, Shatter, Counterspell, Hunger of Hadar, Greater Invisibility
Tome cantrips. Guidance, Message, Thaumaturgy
Tome spells. Find Familiar, Identify
Unfortunately, for the purposes of this build, we can’t assume we’ve gotten specific rituals. You could have a ton of rituals at any point in the build.I like our spell list for now. We have a number of situational magics, but we have a ton of spells that I’d want to activate all of the time. Let’s keep the spell list as it is for now and add Dimension Door to the mix. High mobility actions are good for emergencies.
|9||-5th Level Pact Magic||Another day, another spell and invocation. What’re we looking at now?Invocation. We actually like Gift of the Protectors, since we can add an infinite number of people to this book and keep them alive for a bit longer. It’s like if you cast Death Ward on every single party member. But, it can stack with Death Ward!|
Spells. We’re going to swap Hold Person for Hold Monster. They mostly do the same thing, unless you need to target multiple humanoids (which is rare). Tongues is our other choice, allowing us to burst through the language barrier with ease.
|10||-Beguiling Defenses||This is the first level that we do not learn an additional spell. Finally, a chance to sit back and relax… and learn a cantrip!|
Cantrip. Our final cantrip. Blade Ward can keep us alive in deadly situations, so we’ll grab that just in case. Thanks to the Tome, we don’t really have a need for many other out-of-combat cantrips. Not to mention, the Warlock doesn’t exactly have many out-of-combat cantrip options.We’re also gonna take the time to lose Shatter. Shatter’s damage potential is quite weak, and we can easily replace it with Synaptic Static. It’s a good area-of-effect debuff that targets a rarely-used saving throw. Excellent combination that gets you a ton of results consistently.
|11||-Mystic Arcanum (6th Level)||Back on our trail.Mystic Arcanum. This spell cannot be tagged out without retraining, so it’s important that we choose very wisely. Scatter is our choice, since it allows you to quickly reposition the party – or your enemies – to specific points around a standard size battlefield. Most of our strong options here take Concentration, and we really wanna keep Hex online for our build.|
Spells. We get a total of five additional spells from the list to add to our repertoire. Let’s get Dispel Magic for situations where magic is locking down an opponent. No need to tag out spells for anything quite yet.
|12||-Ability Score Improvement||For this feat slot, you should probably just grab Inspiring Leader. As a Warlock, you’re always trying to get short rests. Now, the rest of your party is going to ask for their temporary health shield. 17 temp HP is kind of a lot, even at this point in the game. As for your Invocation, Eldritch Mind is starting to become more and more useful. As you take more damage on each hit, it’s great to have advantage on Concentration. Hex and more impactful crowd control spells need you to save on Concentration, and damage is starting to mount up quite a bit. In addition, at this point, you are almost always going to have +2 Studded Leather armor. Armor of Shadows should tag out for Far Scribe, a way to send information to others.|
|13||-Mystic Arcanum (7th Level)||Crown of Stars offers us a great use of our bonus action, which combos well with Hex. For our spell known, let’s pick up an Archfey spell with Dominate Person. Not a bad way to spend a spell slot, and we have a lot of different situational abilities covered now. Just be careful, since its very rare that someone likes being Dominated.|
|14||-Dark Delirium||This is the first level that we have nothing that we have to choose. Feel free to replace a spell if there’s a situational magic that applies more to your campaign, but otherwise just relax. Dark Delirium is fun and a good use of your action in most cases, but especially against support characters that otherwise improve a Legendary character.|
|15||-Mystic Arcanum (8th Level)||Goodness gracious, a few things at this level. Mystic Arcanum. We love Power Word Stun, since it guarantees a status effect. That’s something that can even get around Legendary Resistance! Really useful spell, even if it requires a good amount of guess work. |
Spell. Far Step is an okay Concentration spell to have in the pocket for scenarios where it is critical that you must escape.Invocation. Let’s actually take Visions of Distant Realms. Arcane Eye at will is an impressively powerful scouting ability that lets you see quite a lot in most dungeons. The best scout you can ask for, and you don’t even spend a spell slot for it.
|16||-Ability Score Improvement||Another feat, eh? Let’s go for Chef. We do have the temporary hitpoints from Inspiring Leader to consider, but now we can back them up with various treats that people can eat as a bonus action. Great for healing, great for short rests, and a great way to keep the most important resource – health – up for as long as possible. It also gives us a lot of value since it buffs our Constitution up to 16.|
|17||-Mystic Arcanum (9th Level)||Before we take our last Mystic Arcanum and second-to-last spell, let’s review our spell lists.|
Cantrips. Blade Ward, Eldritch Blast, Prestidigitation, Mage Hand
Spells. Hex, Protection from Good and Evil, Silvery Barbs, Darkness, Misty Step, Counterspell, Dispel Magic, Hunger of Hadar, Tongues, Dimension Door, Greater Invisibility, Hold Monster, Far Step, Dominate Person, Synaptic Static
Mystical Arcanum. Scatter, Crown of Stars, Power Word StunTome cantrips. Guidance, Message, Thaumaturgy
Tome spells. Find Familiar, Identify
Honestly, I’m quite a big fan. We have quite a few options on the spell list that we can use for different situations. We have few single-target damage options outside of Hex Blast, but that kinda deals a ton of damage anyways. Let’s learn some magic, then. Mystic Arcanum. We like Psychic Scream, which has the potential to stun an entire encounter if they don’t have good Intelligence Saves. Spell. Raulothim’s Psychic Lance applies the incapacitated debuff, one that very few targets have any immunities to. As the endgame looms closer, you are less likely to run into a situation where the boss can be stunned, paralyzed, or charmed. This’ll help you handle specific enemies in the endgame that would otherwise fully resist your crowd controlling magic.
|18||This is our final Invocation, and we have quite a few options here. Depending on what campaign you’re in, this choice can change quite significantly. We’ll grab Eldritch Spear, allowing us to max-range Eldritch Blasts. In the endgame, 300 ft outrange a lot of different spells.|
|19||-Ability Score Improvement||One last level of choices… Yeesh, took us a while. |
Feat. Honestly, there are a ton of very reasonable options here. I think that Resilient, +2 Constitution, or even Tough can be useful. In the end, Tough is going to be our choice. We just want our Warlock to stay alive, and even if we wanted to hurt people, very few feats do anything very long-lasting for damage.
Spells. Our final spell for the campaign will be Scrying. Our last chance to gather information, Scrying will be handy even into endgame.
|20||-Eldritch Master||No more choices. What a relief! Enjoy your ability to bring back your spell slots after a mere minute.|
Conclusion – Our Take on the Archfey Warlock
This is not a powerful archetype. This is not something to take with the idea that you’re going to be the master of combat. What you will do, however, is surprising amounts of problem-solving, gain access to a wide kit of defensive and debuff abilities, and have incredibly cool out-of-combat moments. This is one of the most stylish subclasses in 5E, so use it with that in mind. We highly recommend this actually potent – and extremely fun – patron. If you want to get the most out of this patron, get the lowdown with our comprehensive Warlock 5E Guide.