Welcome to the Eldritch Blast spell breakdown! Now that you have an idea as to how we feel about each spell, we can now delve into the fun part – playing the game! If your dungeon master is anything like me, they will reward creativity that fits into the reality of the world that you are playing in. Each article will be broken into five sections – The spell attributes, pros, cons, when you can use it, and when you should be thinking about a better option. Eldritch blast is powerful, so much so it made our list of best Warlock spells. So let’s put our spellcasting cap on, and Blast this breakdown out of the park.
Eldritch Blast 5E Guide
Eldritch Blast is easily the best damage dealing cantrip in the game. It sends a beam of crackling energy at your targets (yes, that is an -s at the end of the word target) that will deal 1d10 of force damage with no chance to make a save. This is one reason we have ranked Eldritch Blast as one of the best warlock cantrips and best cantrips in 5E in general. You can shoot an additional beam at the fifth level, eleventh level, and seventeenth level. Each beam will require its own 1d10 roll.
Please note that each individual beam will require its own target to be selected when you cast the spell. If your target dies in the middle of resolution, you do not get the chance to select a new target for those remaining beams.
And that is it! Eldritch Blast has one purpose, and that is to deal damage.
Just like all cantrips, you do not have to prepare Eldritch Blast before using it. You also do not need any materials and you do not need to concentrate to resolve the spell. It simply fires however many beams you are capable of blasting and it deals its damage. Your opponent does not get a chance to make a saving throw, which is another gigantic positive. Eldritch Blast is the most versatile damage dealing spell in the game, and it is the reason you play a Warlock.
Eldritch Blast deals force damage, which there are very few enemies that are resistant to that type of damage. So the range of targets you can affect is almost limitless. The damage die Eldritch Blast uses is the second-highest hitting die in the game, so the odds of you taking a chunk out of an enemy’s hit points is pretty high.
And lastly, Eldritch Blast can hit a target that is 120 feet away… Without requiring a save throw! That is incredibly efficient!
There is one gigantic negative to Eldritch Blast, and hopefully your Dungeon Master is not the kind of person that will exploit a major weakness. Because Eldritch Blast deals force damage, it will never penetrate the armor of a Helmed Horror.
A Helmed Horror is a Medium Construct creature designed with the purpose to protect wherever it is assigned to. Most often, you can find a Helmed Horror protecting a tomb or the entrance to a king’s lair. They are resistant to force, necrotic, and poison damage and they cannot be blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, or stunned – all of this because they are technically not a living creature; Helmed Horrors are an enchanted creature. Being enchanted also means that the creator can assign three spell immunities to the Helmed Horror. They will also have an advantage when making saving throws against spells and other magical effects. All of this defense comes in a sturdy body that is capable of making two gigantic swings with its Longsword when the Helmed Horror is taking its action.
This is very important to remember because almost all large weapons in the game rely on dealing force damage. Facing a Helmed Horror will force your crew to find a creative way to attack or simply be destroyed… Luckily, a good Dungeon Master will make sure you are prepared for this type of enemy before they toss a Helmed Horror into the fray. And forcing the team to find a creative solution will be good for everyone involved in the long run.
When Should You Use Eldritch Blast
Obviously the best time to use it is during combat. How often you should use Eldritch Blast should be determined by your level and your other abilities.
Very early, I want to say before level ten, you should be using Elritch Blast as your primary source of damage. There will not be a lot of options for a Warlock that will use a d10 to inflict damage, and you will always want to dish out as much pain as quickly as you possibly can. As you climb up the level chart, you should not be relying on Eldritch Blast as much because there will be bigger spells that can deal a lot more damage. Sure, those spells will require materials and concentration, but the damage reward will be worth it in the end. Eldritch Blast can be used to clean up the remnants from your gigantic spell.
When Better Options Are Available
As your Warlock starts to level up, you will find plenty of other spells that can deal a lot more damage than what you can deal with Eldritch Blast. That does not mean Eldritch Blast will be outclassed. You still do not have to collect components or concentrate when you cast it. But when you are able to learn the heavier damage spells, the enemies you face should be significantly tougher to defeat. Thus, Eldritch Blast will be relegated to clean up duty.