The Best Warlock Cantrips in DnD 5e Ranked

Warlock Cantrips 5E

We have officially ranked all of the cantrips available to a budding Warlock in the fifth edition of Dungeon and Dragons! A cantrip is a spell that can be cast at will, does not take up an available spell slot, and it does not need to be prepared in advance. Popular with classes like a bard, this is a spell that your character has perfected over time, which is why its performance sounds so simple – it is like you are doing it from muscle memory.  Cantrips can offer you a lot of utility throughout the game, so it is important to pick the right cantrips for your character. That is exactly why came up with these warlock cantrips 5e rankings.

The Best Warlock Cantrips 5E ranked

But first, how many cantrips can a Warlock learn? At level one, your Warlock will have two cantrips. Your character will learn another cantrip at level four, and your final cantrip will be learned at level ten. You will have exactly four cantrips available to your Warlock throughout the entirety of the game! That is why you need to be vigilant in regards to your selection. The last thing you want is to waste a free spell slot on an ability that you will never use during the campaign.

So without further ado, here is our Official Ranking of all of the Warlock’s Cantrips in Dungeon and Dragon’s fifth edition.

7. Prestidigitation

  • School: Transmutation
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: Ten feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: Up to one hour

At number seven of our Warlock Cantrips 5E list is Prestidigitation – the parlor trick of spells in the Dungeon and Dragon’s universe. This is one of the first spells a novice spellcaster learns so they can practice their craft without causing any long-term damage. When you are casting this minor magical trick, you will create one of the following effects:

  • Create an instantaneous, harmless sensory effect such as a spark, a low gust of wind, a faint musical note, or an odd but not terribly off-putting odor.
  • Instantly light or put out a candle, torch, or a small campfire.
  • Instantly clean or dirty up an object that is at most 1 cubic foot.
  • Chill, warm-up, or flavor up a nonliving piece of material that is up to one cubic foot long for an hour.
  • Make a small mark or a symbol appears on an object’s surface for one hour.
  • You create a non-magical trinket or an illusion that fits in the palm of your hand until the start of your next turn.

You can have four effects going at once. While it would be cool to see all of these effects going on at the same time, I personally cannot see a reason to cast Prestidigitation, even if you wanted to use this spell as a source of income. You can use multiple other spells that have a practical use to create all of these similar effects. For example, you can use Minor Illusion to create the same illusion in your hand, while also being able to create an illusion up to thirty feet away from you. Any small fire spell can be used to light a candle or start a campfire. With enough creativity, you can use any lower-level spell as if it were Prestidigitation.

6. True Strike

  • School: Divination
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: Thirty feet
  • Components: Somatic
  • Duration: Concentration, up to one round

With the point of a finger, the True Strike spell will allow you to see the weakness of one enemy. On your next round of combat, you will have an advantage over that enemy as long as this spell is still active. Having an advantage means that you get to roll two dice when you are attacking instead of just one. After the roll, you select the higher of the two and that will be the roll you make for the attack.

Several wise men have said that knowledge is power, but this spell will put you in a precarious situation just to try to obtain a small semblance of an advantage. Firstly, this spell requires concentration. That means all any enemy has to do is interrupt your train of thought and the spell will end. Secondly, you could be spending this turn doing something more productive… like attacking. You have to use a whole turn during heated combat to use True Strike; using two turns to land one attack. True Strike can be cast from thirty feet away, but it will not stop an enemy from coming in and bashing your face if all of your other comrades are busy smashing the other foes. And because there is no parrying ability outside of a skill, you are better off just swinging for the fences and taking two attacks.

This is a very close second to Prestidigitation for being one of the most worthless cantrips in the game. You are better off selecting one of the other five options on this list.

5. Poison Spray

  • School: Conjuration
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: Ten Feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: Instantaneous

Poison Spray allows your character to shoot a puff of noxious gas from the palm of their hand and in the direction of an enemy. The enemy will need to make a successful Constitution throw, or they will take 1d12 of poison damage. The amount of damage you deal will increase at fifth level (2d12), eleventh (3d12), and seventeenth (4d12). To make a Constitution throw, your opponent has to beat your DC, which is eight plus your proficiency modifier plus the appropriate ability modifier, with 1d20 plus their Constitution modifier.

Poison Spray has the highest damage ceiling out of all of the cantrips on this list. Unlike the rest of the cantrips on this list, Poison Spray can be negated with a saving throw. Your opponent can only make a saving throw if the spell specifically says they can in the manual. Unfortunately for Poison Spray, your opponent can prevent the damage. I still rank it higher than the previous cantrips because it has the potential to deal a lot of damage. Twelve damage at level one for a magic casting class is nothing to sneeze at, as this is something most magic castors cannot do. You just need to be okay with missing once in a while.

4. Chill Touch

  • School: Necromancy
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: 120 feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: One round

The fourth entry on our Warlock Cantrips 5E rankings, Chill Touch releases a ghostly skeletal hand that reaches out to touch your target. If the hand is successful, you deal 1d8 necrotic damage, AND the target cannot regain hit points until the start of your next turn. The amount of damage you deal will increase at fifth level (2d8), eleventh (3d8), and seventeenth (4d8). While the damage is low, the main reason you would cast Chill Touch is to prevent your target from healing. Every heal activation you prevent will make it easier for your team to defeat your enemies. That means you will need to use fewer items and spells to heal yourself after the battle, you will not have to rest as much to recover strength… The list of benefits is massive.

3. Minor Illusion

  • School: Illusion
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: Thirty Feet
  • Components: Somatic, Material (small amount of fleece)
  • Duration: One Minute

While most of my focus in this article has been on dealing damage, Minor Illusion has an effect on a different aspect of Dungeon and Dragons – role -playing! And in the realm of role-playing, you can do almost anything with Minor Illusion. As written, this spell will let you create a sound or an imaginary object that is at least thirty feet away from you. You cannot do both at the same time though.

If you create a sound, you can alter its volume to be as loud or as soft as you need it to be. The sound will go on continuously for the duration of the spell’s effect. If you create an image, the item must not be longer than a five-foot cube. Beyond being an item, the image will not affect any of the other senses. Any physical interaction with the image will reveal that the item is an illusion.

If someone goes to examine the sound or image, they will need to make a successful Intelligence check against your Spell Save DC. If they are successful, the illusion becomes faint to the character that made the successful check.

I know there are a lot of rules to follow with Minor Illusion, but an experienced or a highly imaginative player will be able to use this cantrip to get out of several situations. That is why I have Minor Illusion listed at number three of our Warlock Cantrip list.

2. Mage Hand

  • School: Conjuration
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: Thirty Feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: One Minute

Much like Minor Illusion, Mage Hand’s primary function has nothing to do with combat. But unlike Minor Illusion, Mage Hand can physically affect your surroundings. When you cast Mage Hand, you create a spectral, floating hand that can do the following actions:

  • Manipulate an object
  • Open an unlocked door or container
  • Store or retrieve an item from an open container
  • Pour the contents out of a vial

The hand can only interact with items that are within thirty feet of your physical character. The hand’s carrying capacity is less than ten pounds, and it cannot activate magical items. And because I feel that this is important to stress; you cannot use Mage Hand to perform an attack.

Despite these restrictions, I can see Mage Hand being a very important spell to get your team out of a precarious situation like being imprisoned, tied up, or needing to sneak something into your possession. Just wait until all attention is focused somewhere else, cast Mage Hand, and then you will be on your way to accomplishing whatever task you will need to complete.

1. Eldritch Blast

  • School: Evocation
  • Casting Time: One Action
  • Range: 120 Feet
  • Components: Verbal, Somatic
  • Duration: Instantaneous

And ranked number one on our Warlock Cantrips 5E list is Eldritch Blast. At level one, Eldritch Blast shots a single beam of energy that deals 1d10 of force damage to a single target. At level five, you shoot two beams. Eleventh gives you three beams, and the seventeenth gives you four. Each beam is considered a separate attack, so you will need to roll a separate d10 for each. That fact is also the reason that Eldritch Blast is the best cantrip in the game; you can fire each beam at a separate target! For one action, it is possible to make four attacks! That is why Eldritch Blast is the best cantrip a Warlock can obtain in fifth edition Dungeon and Dragons, and one of our favorite 5E cantrips overall.

Nerds and Scoundrels

And that wraps up our Warlock Cantrips 5E Rankings. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comment section below. If you’re hungry for more 5E content, check out our guide to the best Druid Cantrips in 5E.

Travis Scoundrel

A life long gamer, Travis spends his time writing about and playing games when he's not suing people or hanging out with his family.

Travis Scoundrel
About Travis Scoundrel 363 Articles
A life long gamer, Travis spends his time writing about and playing games when he's not suing people or hanging out with his family.