D&D (2024) 4/26 Playtest: The Warlock

Stalker0

Legend
So obviously everyone has a hot take on the new warlock. I've never been a big warlock player, so I'll just note a few things:

  • The fiend patrons hurl through hell got a major upgrade, as you can now cast it twice, 3 times, all the way up to 6 times at the highest levels. Considering its an automatic banish for one round (not to mention the decent damage), its going to see a lot more use and its a solid use of a spell slot to me.
  • The thing that has always bothered me about mystic arcanum type spells is...I actually don't add them to my spell list. Its a pure 1/day spell, and for an invocation that's a very steep price.
  • The ability to change your spellcasting stat is a big deal, and will create a lot more flexibility among warlocks.
  • Personally moving from per short rest to daily resources is fine to me, I think most classes are going that way getting off the short rest train, and I have no issue with the warlock doing the same. If I miss anything, its the automatic spells at your highest level power, that was a unique thing about the warlock and it would be nice to bring it back in some form or fashion, perhaps as a short rest ability (1/short rest when you cast a spell it uses the lowest level slot but is treated as the highest level spell you can cast, etc etc).
  • I wish there were more invocations. To me, THAT is what the warlock is about, the only class that can do real at-will magic, that is their special sauce. and while some of the invocations are really cool, some of them just feel too weak for an invocation (at will mage armor doesn't feel as hot with more spell slots and better armor as an example). Also a lot of invocations require a 9th level warlock or higher, which puts them out of the vast majority of dnd play.
  • I think adding in the contact other plane spell ability is a very nice touch. If anything, I think the warlock needs more of these "interact with the patron" type abilities, maybe even an augury 1/day power or something. Its a real nice flavor touch to have those little interactions. Level up did a thing where an item could "appear" next to you after you slept, a gift from the patron kind of thing.
  • It seems that finally the pact blade warlock is getting some love right out of the gate, and hopefully is competent enough.

I think the absolute biggest change to the warlock for many will be the hex 1/round. And I get why, they are trying to reduce the Eldritch Blast + Hex combo that everyone and their mother was using for the warlock (one of the reasons no one ever used the rest of the spellcasting). But its a big nerf, effectively a 1d6 less damage from level 5+, that's a big sting. While the warlock has a lot of new options, there is nothign to replace that raw offense, so your blaster type warlocks are going to feel gimped.
 
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So obviously everyone has a hot take on the new warlock. I've never been a big warlock player, so I'll just note a few things:

  • The fiend patrons hurl through hell got a major upgrade, as you can now cast it twice, 3 times, all the way up to 6 times at the highest levels. Considering its an automatic banish for one round (not to mention the decent damage), its going to see a lot more use and its a solid use of a spell slot to me.
Agreed. The key thing is it's no save, and is effectively a Smite, only triggered if it works.
  • The thing that has always bothered me about mystic arcanum type spells is...I actually don't add them to my spell list. Its a pure 1/day spell, and for an invocation that's a very steep price.
Yeah. None of the single use cast invocations were worth it before. They're only worth it now because really high level spells can be very good.
  • Personally moving from per short rest to daily resources is fine to me,... If I miss anything, its the automatic spells at your highest level power, that was a unique thing about the warlock
No one's complaining about the short rests. But we are complaining about the loss of the unique casting mechanics. Including not having to faff with low level spell slots. And Invocations handle what other classes do with low level slots. Invocations and Eldritch Blast.
  • I wish there were more invocations.
Seconded. (And of the two defensive invocations one's Mage Armour and almost entirely useless, and the other is False Life at will and those 5 temp hp are great at level 2 and not so much at high level).
  • It seems that finally the pact blade warlock is getting some love right out of the gate, and hopefully is competent enough.
To be blunt, no it isn't; try comparing to a Paladin (who has just as much casting). One handed weapons only - so against a Paladin offensively it's Fighting Style, and combat feats that add to Strength plus using their spell slots to smite vs the concentration spell Hex, while defensively it's heavy armour and shield + more HP and self healing vs one useless defensive invocation and one that doesn't scale, and the Shield spell. It used to be that with regular high level spell slots it didn't matter your baseline was lower, and with combat feats being stat-independent the gap was lower.
I think the absolute biggest change to the warlock for many will be the hex 1/round. And I get why, they are trying to reduce the Eldritch Blast + Hex combo that everyone and their mother was using for the warlock (one of the reasons no one ever used the rest of the spellcasting). But its a big nerf, effectively a 1d6 less damage from level 5+, that's a big sting. While the warlock has a lot of new options, there is nothign to replace that raw offense, so your blaster type warlocks are going to feel gimped.
If they wanted to reduce the use of Hex they shouldn't have given it for free to everyone. My warlocks used to almost never cast hex because there were other concentration spells (starting with Silent Image At Will) I liked. And when they wanted to bring down a big spell they could do so.
 

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