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Unearthed Arcana: Wizards & Warlocks -- Hexblades, Raven Queens, and Lore Mastery!

This week's Unearthed Arcana from WotC's Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford hits both the Warlock and the Wizard! The Warlock gets two new otherworldly patron features -- the Hexblade (a sentient magic weapon), and the Raven Queen (who rules the Shadowfell from an icy palace). The Wizard gets a new arcane tradition called Lore Mastery. There's also some expansion to the Warlock's eldritch invocations feature.


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Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Master of Hexes
Starting at 14th level, you can use your
Hexblade’s Curse again without resting, but
when you apply it to a new target, the curse
immediately ends on the previous target.


Does this mean you can cast it one more time, or over and over again? And does the 1 minute duration reset upon a new target, or does it continue from the previous target?
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Meh.

Don't care about the Wizard.

I was really looking forward to the Warlock, but I was disappointed. They needed some new pacts boons, not patrons.

I have mixed emotions about the invocations; yes, it's great to see some new ones. Some look really good. Trouble is- the gatekeeping on them. I don't mind gatekeeping by level, or even a prerequisite of another invocation, but almost all of these are done by patron (or patron/pact). Which is ... of limited utility.

If they are going that route, then they might consider making invocations akin to a "spell list" by patron.

Underwhelmed.
 

Raunalyn

Explorer
Anyone else think that the Armor of Hexes ability is a bit overpowered? Basically a 50% chance to be missed by your hexed target? Why not give them disadvantage instead?
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
Meh.

Don't care about the Wizard.

I was really looking forward to the Warlock, but I was disappointed. They needed some new pacts boons, not patrons.

I have mixed emotions about the invocations; yes, it's great to see some new ones. Some look really good. Trouble is- the gatekeeping on them. I don't mind gatekeeping by level, or even a prerequisite of another invocation, but almost all of these are done by patron (or patron/pact). Which is ... of limited utility.

If they are going that route, then they might consider making invocations akin to a "spell list" by patron.

Underwhelmed.
Well, it fills a gap from the PHB, where the invocations were more general in nature; an experiment with more narrative specific options is interesting.

Having a powerful magic weapon for a patron is a pretty good idea, I like it; Raven Queen is an interesting choice, I wonder if some of the necrotic options for other classes they have been doing indicate that the Raven Queen will play a big part in the Big Book of Crunch..

Everyone wanted a Generalist Wizard; and this one is pretty amazing, actually: maybe OP, even.

Sent from my BLU LIFE XL using EN World mobile app
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I love the hexblade, but I feel it might step a little on the boon of blade's toes, even with the addition of special invocations for the Blade.
The Raven queen feels ''meh'', I dont think we needed yet another necrotic warlock. Does someone knows if the Raven Queen was something before the 4e?
I absolutely love the school of Lore for the Wizard, it reminds me of the old Scholar of Candlekeep prestige class I played in Neverwinter Nights 2. Still, I think that 1) Alchemical Secret is really a bad name that doesnt make sense with the description of the feature 2) some sorcerer's players will feel cheated by this feature.
 
I was not expecting that. So I guess you can be a tomelock with Hexblade patron and get the best of both worlds. New invocations are nice.

Is the lore mastery wizard the generalist wizard or the sorcerer wizard (or both)?

Have to digest this for a bit.....

Mystic next week?
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
I have some nits to pick, but otherwise all I can say is "BRAVO". This is the creative, impactful material I've been wanting to see. Cha on attacks without the annoying shillelagh/tome pick. The ability to change damage types on the fly. Polymorphing into a raven at-will. Invocations that build on patron and pact type. Love it!
 

QuietBrowser

Villager
Meh.

Don't care about the Wizard.

I was really looking forward to the Warlock, but I was disappointed. They needed some new pacts boons, not patrons.

I have mixed emotions about the invocations; yes, it's great to see some new ones. Some look really good. Trouble is- the gatekeeping on them. I don't mind gatekeeping by level, or even a prerequisite of another invocation, but almost all of these are done by patron (or patron/pact). Which is ... of limited utility.

If they are going that route, then they might consider making invocations akin to a "spell list" by patron.

Underwhelmed.
Let's get serious here: who honestly thought that there would be new Pact Boons? Like it or not, Patrons are the defining subclass mechanic for Warlocks and there's really not much, if any, cognitive grounds for new Pact Boons to incorporate. We've got a magical weapon, a spellbook, and a familiar. Like I keep asking, what's left? Much as I adored the Deadlands Hexslinger (don't judge me), really, it's a Pact of the Blade Warlock with a Gun as its Pact Weapon.

As for the gatekeeping on the new Invocations, honestly, I think it looks great; we've plenty of generic invocations in the corebook, but these really go a long way towards helping different warlocks with the same Pact or Patron feel unique. Thumbs up.

Mixed feelings on the new Patrons. The Hexblade is actually pretty awesome, as it expertly compliments the Blade Pact, but the Raven Queen is a little bit too... I don't know, specific.

The Loremaster is actually a lot better than I was anticipating; this actually feels like a pretty solid "generalist" tradition for mages, which we kind of gave up after the corebook release.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
I was not expecting that. So I guess you can be a tomelock with Hexblade patron and get the best of both worlds. New invocations are nice.

Is the lore mastery wizard the generalist wizard or the sorcerer wizard (or both)?

Have to digest this for a bit.....

Mystic next week?
It is both: metamagicish abilities fulfill the generalist archetype. Also, more mechanical multiclassing via subclasses on display...

We may see Mystic next week: but we don't really know for sure the shape of their plans, in terms of what they have queued up for the Big Book of Crunch: we may see more DM centered rules, we may see Mystic, we may see races...

Sent from my BLU LIFE XL using EN World mobile app
 

Thurmas

Villager
This may not all be entirely balanced, but I think it is the most creative UA they have done yet. This might be my favorite they have released so far, plus it might the most expansive in terms of new options. The Wizard might encroach a bit on the Sorcerer, but I think of all the Wizard schools so far released, this is my favorite.

The Hexblade also makes me want to play a Pact of Blade Warlock for the first time.
 

OB1

Registered User
Not sure I like using Cha as a hit/dmg modifier, seems to lead down the path of subclasses that tailor everything to a specific ability stat, and to me is the worst kind of power creep. That said, I'm willing to have an open mind if someone can show me how being charming leads to hitting harder in combat.

Everything else I love. I do hope that WoC has structured these UA releases to hide some surprises for us. Sorcerer could really use something similar to the new Wizard tradition, so perhaps we could see a version of that in the same way there is a Fighter and Rouge Scout.
 

Hathorym

Explorer
Lore Master with the Elemental Adept feat? Brutal
1. Choose a elemental damage spell with the dimensions you like
2. Change it to your favorite element.
3. Change the saving throw to Intelligence
4. Spend a 3rd level slot to increase the DC by 2
5. Cast it.
6. Profit.

I think I'm in love.
 

Ganymede81

Villager
I would absolutely take the Claw of Acamar on my Warlock, if only it didn't have to manifest as a stupid flail.

Why not simply allow any pact weapon you create to gain the special property of this and similar invocations without locking the warlock into a specific weapon choice?
 

Xeviat

Explorer
Definitely a fan. I'll look at them more in depth later. I just did a read on my phone. But I'm happy. More invocations makes me wish for more Battlemaster maneuvers.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
This may not all be entirely balanced, but I think it is the most creative UA they have done yet. This might be my favorite they have released so far, plus it might the most expansive in terms of new options. The Wizard might encroach a bit on the Sorcerer, but I think of all the Wizard schools so far released, this is my favorite.

The Hexblade also makes me want to play a Pact of Blade Warlock for the first time.
It's funny, but the Hexblade is a fantastic patron for an Eldritch Blast focused warlock. At 6th level with 18 Cha, they could be doing 1d10+7 twice to a cursed target, 19-20 crit, and ignore everything but total cover thanks to the shadow hound. That's not even factoring in the hex spell or using bonus actions for Chilling/Burning Hex invocations.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Not sure I like using Cha as a hit/dmg modifier, seems to lead down the path of subclasses that tailor everything to a specific ability stat, and to me is the worst kind of power creep. That said, I'm willing to have an open mind if someone can show me how being charming leads to hitting harder in combat.
Let's try this: As an hexblade, you're bound to a sentient weapon with its own will and desires. The blade is capable of hitting per itself, but your own conviction/presence/charm may convince the blade to strike when YOU will it.
 

Sir Brennen

Villager
Alchemical Casting - hate the name; it's "alchemy" in a very abstract sense, not one most players are going to associate with the word.

And while I don't hate the actual mechanics of the feature, the properties seem more fitting of a war mage type subclass, not a bookish Lore Master. I mean, fireballs and lightning bolts with a range of a mile? Sounds like fantasy artillery to me. Just send in the Rogue Scouts as forward observers.
 

Thurmas

Villager
It's funny, but the Hexblade is a fantastic patron for an Eldritch Blast focused warlock. At 6th level with 18 Cha, they could be doing 1d10+7 twice to a cursed target, 19-20 crit, and ignore everything but total cover thanks to the shadow hound. That's not even factoring in the hex spell or using bonus actions for Chilling/Burning Hex invocations.
That's true. I completely glossed over the fact that none of the class features require you to hit it with a melee attack. An eldritch blast based Hexblade would be insane.
 

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