Is the Warlock the Best Class?

dnd4vr

Adventurer
It amazes me how people love the classes I dislike LOL!

People rave about bards and now warlocks--two of the classes I think are very meh. I've never see either of these classes played in a manner that makes me think "Wow! Was I wrong!" I'm not saying it won't happen, I haven't even been playing 5E for a year.

So, are Warlocks the best class? Certainly not IMO, but then again whenever someone asks such a question, there is no correct answer--it is all a matter of opinion. If you want to know which class is best, I would just do a poll. "Best" means whatever those who choose to participate in the poll want it to mean: most damage, best utility, most fun, etc.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
It's a great class IF you're hitting at least 4 encounters a day and get a chance at a short rest or 2. (6-8 encounters a day, to me, seems like a crazy amount outside of a dedicated dungeon crawl). Ideally, for me, warlocks would have 3-4 spells per LONG rest, and then invocations would have been created to allow for some short rest refresh or deeper spell casting if so desired.

But yea, warlock is still hella fun. The lack of spell depth makes for a lot of fun tactical decisions.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
It amazes me how people love the classes I dislike LOL!

People rave about bards and now warlocks--two of the classes I think are very meh. I've never see either of these classes played in a manner that makes me think "Wow! Was I wrong!" I'm not saying it won't happen, I haven't even been playing 5E for a year.

So, are Warlocks the best class? Certainly not IMO, but then again whenever someone asks such a question, there is no correct answer--it is all a matter of opinion. If you want to know which class is best, I would just do a poll. "Best" means whatever those who choose to participate in the poll want it to mean: most damage, best utility, most fun, etc.
Sure. I mean, heck, a lot of times people have diametrically opposed opinions on what makes a class enjoyable in the first place.

Look at the sorcerer. What I find really enjoyable about the sorcerer (the careful rationing of spell choices due to the lack of spells known) is exactly what makes a lot of people dislike it and prefer the wizard.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
I think that the Warlock is one of the best classes, but not overpowered. A quick explanation:

1. Start with the counterargument. Yes, Warlocks can be insane. Sorry, insanely boring. It is fairly easy to build a EB-spamming PEW PEW PEW Warlock. If you have a PEW PEW PEW Warlock, and you ignore everything about the Patron (whatever, man, that's just another name for Tequila) then the Warlock can be a boring class, indeed. It's basically just blast, repeat, with no flavor, combined with ...

2. The Warlock is short-rest based. If your table doesn't use or understand short rests, then the Warlock will seem weirdly underpowered.

3. Finally, the Warlock has a number of confusing design options. It is both the "easiest" class to build (PEW PEW PEW) and the "hardest" in the sense that making awesome, non-PEW PEW PEW Warlocks takes a little thought and consideration, what with the Pact, the Patron, the limited spells, invocations, and the numerous ways that these can interact with each other.

Okay, so that's why the Warlock isn't great. Now, why is it awesome?

A. It is one of those classes that has deep thematic lore baked into it. This isn't for everyone, and your table can ignore it, but the whole "patron" concept allows for rich roleplaying.

B. It is wildly different than almost any other class. Along with the Monk (another personal favorite of mine in 5e), they really managed to get disparate mechanics right in this class.

C. Building on (B) and (3), a lot of people complain about traps, but the intersection of numerous choice points makes for an intoxicating number of possibilities with the Warlock!

D. And if you don't want a bespoke Warlock, you can always build a PEW PEW PEW and then have a little extra customization without much thought. So, there's that.


We will always have the Wizard and the Fighter, but for my money, the Monk (Martial) and Warlock (Magic) show how classes can occupy a much wider design space in 5e than just "let's give classes some spells."

Pity more classes aren't like that.
 
It amazes me how people love the classes I dislike LOL!

People rave about bards and now warlocks--two of the classes I think are very meh. I've never see either of these classes played in a manner that makes me think "Wow! Was I wrong!" I'm not saying it won't happen, I haven't even been playing 5E for a year.

So, are Warlocks the best class? Certainly not IMO, but then again whenever someone asks such a question, there is no correct answer--it is all a matter of opinion. If you want to know which class is best, I would just do a poll. "Best" means whatever those who choose to participate in the poll want it to mean: most damage, best utility, most fun, etc.
I don't like playing bards - but I can tell just how powerful they are, especially Lore. The thing with bards is if they are played well you barely notice they are there - they act as power multipliers for other classes.

I would rather play a character that hits things or blows stuff up, but I'm well aware that that is probably not the most effective tactics.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
No. Obviously paladins are the best class.

Or whatever other class happens to fit my character concept.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Warlocks can be one of the best classes, or one of the worst. It depends almost entirely on whether you get the expected number of short rests or not. No other class is so dependent on the short rest mechanic, although monks come close.

If you get at least 2 short rests per long rest, warlocks are both powerful and fun. If you don't, they are both underpowered and dull.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
It's easily the best designed class. More player build choices than any other class, lots of customization, great thematic feel...yeah. I wish the design team had been this creative with some other classes.
The playtest sorcerer was of similar quality IMO, but it didn’t do well in the surveys because it was too different from what people expected out of a sorcerer. I remember the general consensus on the WotC forum was that it was really cool, but would be better as its own thing to be released in a later book, rather than the core sorcerer.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I don't know, I wasn't involved in the games referred to. "nothing but blasting" was said I think.

I can think of a couple of warlock characters who seem interesting to me, but I haven't had opportunity to play them yet.
This is a pretty common grievance with the Warlock, but honestly, if you find the Eldritch Blast spam boring, then don’t build an Eldritch Blast warlock. There are so many other viable ways to play a warlock, if you think the class is nothing but blasting, you’re not looking hard enough. Also, if Eldritch Blast spam warlock is boring, what does that say about Fighters?
 

gyor

Adventurer
That depends on how you define best. For a mix of power and versitility I'd say Bard and Druid. Next up Wizards. Then Warlocks.

Sorcerers Origins are almost seperate classes with couple of shared mechanics, so what it's best at depends on origin.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
This is a pretty common grievance with the Warlock, but honestly, if you find the Eldritch Blast spam boring, then don’t build an Eldritch Blast warlock. There are so many other viable ways to play a warlock, if you think the class is nothing but blasting, you’re not looking hard enough. Also, if Eldritch Blast spam warlock is boring, what does that say about Fighters?
And realistically, if you want to do Eldritch Blast spam, just take 2 levels of warlock and then build out the rest with bard or sorcerer. You'll have EB spam plus a stronger chassis.

Don't go full warlock unless you're going to take advantage of the auto-scaling spells or have several invocations you want to use heavily.
 

gyor

Adventurer
Warlocks can be one of the best classes, or one of the worst. It depends almost entirely on whether you get the expected number of short rests or not. No other class is so dependent on the short rest mechanic, although monks come close.

If you get at least 2 short rests per long rest, warlocks are both powerful and fun. If you don't, they are both underpowered and dull.
Warlocks are the single most swingy in effectiveness, the more short rests the better the get.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
And realistically, if you want to do Eldritch Blast spam, just take 2 levels of warlock and then build out the rest with bard or sorcerer. You'll have EB spam plus a stronger chassis.

Don't go full warlock unless you're going to take advantage of the auto-scaling spells or have several invocations you want to use heavily.
This was exactly the path I was going for one of my next two characters in our next campaign. Two levels of warlock and then sorcerer for the rest of it... with maybe a dip into rogue for a level or two...
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Warlocks are the single most swingy in effectiveness, the more short rests the better the get.
It’s worry talking to the DM about. The warlock is balanced around the assumption of the 6-encounter, two short rest adventuring day, which means they should be able to use about one non-cantrip spell per encounter (until higher levels). If you’re thinking of playing a Warlock and you know your DM doesn’t design their adventures that way, ask if you can change it to one spell slot that recovers with a 10-minute ritual, or 6 spell slots per day.

EDIT: And really, this goes for any class abilities that you get two of and recover on a short rest. Arcane Archer’s shots are another good example. If you know your DM doesn’t give many opportunities for short rests, talk to them about it and see if you can make it a single-use that recovers with a 10-minute ritual or 6 per day. Or 3 per day for 1/short rest abilities.
 
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Rhianni32

Explorer
Based upon the reactions warlocks get when they interact with people in town and they discover the warlocks are devil worshippers, have evil talking weapons or speak to great old ones in their head... not even close. ;)
Must be an interesting campaign setting that everyone automatically hates the fey and celestial warlocks.
 

Dausuul

Legend
It’s worry talking to the DM about. The warlock is balanced around the assumption of the 6-encounter, two short rest adventuring day, which means they should be able to use about one non-cantrip spell per encounter (until higher levels). If you’re thinking of playing a Warlock and you know your DM doesn’t design their adventures that way, ask if you can change it to one spell slot that recovers with a 10-minute ritual, or 6 spell slots per day.
Another option is to switch to having short rests take 5 minutes, but you're only allowed two per long rest. That's what I do in my campaigns these days, and it works very nicely.
 

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