Last Updated: July 9, 2021
I’m still working on my ongoing updates to my DnD 5e coverage in a post-Tasha’s world. A Patreon Poll picked the Fighter as the next class to receive updated subclass coverage.
The only subclass which changed ratings was the Champion, which I reduced fromto . While the Champion hasn’t gotten worse, all of the things that make the Champion appealing are now available from several other sources. The Champion has always been a bit boring, but not they’re not even unique. I added some suggestions for changes to my subclass assessment which can make the Champion a bit more interesting, but as published they’re just not very good. They’re not so bad that you should never play a champion (which I would indicate with a rating), but they’re certainly not good.
I made some significant improvements to my coverage of other subclasses. I made small rating changes to specific features, but most of the changes are just adding more and better advice. The article now includes useful advice like how to make ranged Battle Masters and ranged Eldritch Knights work, as well as more advice on specific tactics which work well for various subclasses.
Updates are live on both versions of the site.
I love the suggestions, I’m a sucker for homebrewed balance patches. Do you have any suggestions for changes to any of the Warlock’s subclasses or features? I noticed a pass-through on the class isn’t listed on your to-do list, It’s my favorite class, and I’d like to hear your thoughts on fixing the celestial. A viable warlock healer would be a dream to me.
What do you think about moving Hex Warrior to Pact of the Blade and rebranding Hexblade as just a vexed shade, or making Eldritch Blast a class feature that scales off of Warlock level? I think there’s a lot of room for improvements in the Warlock’s kit, so I find it strange that there aren’t already suggestions listed or planned to be added.
Thank you for your work, you have a wonderful site here.
I love that you checked me to-do list! The classes still listed on my To-Do list are the ones that still need to be updated after the release of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Anything not listed has already gotten a major update. I started adding some suggested changes part-way through the process, so unfortunately I didn’t add them for the Warlock.
Fixing the celestial is a challenge and I’m not sure that I have an easy answer. Usually you can fix a subclass by fiddling with some wording or some numbers, but the Celestial is one of those subclasses that needs more imagination. The subclass tries to bring in both the Cleric’s blasting options and the Cleric’s healing, but it doesn’t leave enough room to make either of them work, and many of the spell options just don’t work well with pact magic. I think an easy start would be to reconsider the expanded spell list to pick spells that still fit the theme but work better with pact magic. For example: Lesser Restoration is a terrible option for the warlock, but Spiritual Weapon is *amazing*. It would also be really nice if Radiant Soul was meaningfully useful, because as-written it’s barely worth the text. Maybe if one of the features changed Eldritch Blast to radiant damage so that Radiant Soul applied? That might be too much, though.
For a more thorough fix, we could rework the subclass into two sub-subclasses: mercy and vengeance. Mercy gets better healing a with a little blasting, while vengeance gets a bunch of blasting with a splash of healing.
Hex Warrior is another tough one. Moving at off of level 1 means that the Hexblade can’t do their favorite trick (being good with weapons) until level 3. But tons of other subclasses have the same problem (armorer, battle smith, astral self, etc.), so maybe that’s fine. Making Hex Warrior available to non-hexblades would finally make Pact of the Blade viable for non-hexblades, which would be really exciting. I think replacing the effects of Improved Pact Weapon with the ability to attack with Charisma could work, but I’d have to really think about it to make sure that we’re not introducing more balance issues.
Checking the To-Do list is the least I could do, I wouldn’t want to ask you a question you were already planning on answering, it would be like asking for a sneak peak. I’d hate to be a bother like that. Are you considering going back and adding suggestions to earlier updated articles, or would that be too low priority compared to all the other incredible things you have planned?
This is definitely going into moderately heavy homebrew territory, but I think there’s a way to facilitate a choice between being a primary blaster or primary healbot inside a single subclass. If you could add a Celestial-specific Eldritch Evocation that required that you specifically don’t have Agonizing Blast, and stops you from getting it, I think that opens up the design space to let Warlocks be off-healer blasters or have comparable healing capabilities to Druid/Cleric. The invocation could add your Charisma modifier to your Healing Light dice, instead of taking Agonizing Blast to add it to your Eldritch Blast’s damage dice. Giving you multiplicative healing scaling instead of damage scaling. But if you don’t want to carry all of your party’s HP loss on your back, you can take Agonizing Blast as normal and play an off-healer radiant blaster Celestial like we have right now.
I do like Radiant Soul being an incentive to use different damage options sometimes, but it would be nice if it also included a small bonus to Eldritch Blast. It could do more damage the more targets the spell hits, to give people a reason to learn flamestrike. I like the idea of doing a moderate aoe, which nukes one of the targets it hits for much higher damage. Or it could shoot a single Eldritch Blast beam at the target instead of dealing a flat amount of extra damage. I think it’s RAW iteration is pretty bland, there’s a lot of room to make it interestingly involved and worth using.
It would also be nice if the healbot Invocation let you spent one Healing Light die to spend your action curing an ally beside you of a condition. With all that, the only pain point I can really see is not being able to use all your spell slots incase you need a revify or greater restoration. I think that’s an acceptable weakness.
I’m just spitballing ideas, sorry if they’re too wild to really be considered a plain balance rework. Also, this isn’t really a balance concern, but isn’t it really strange that Celestial Warlocks get optional access to Summon Fiend, Summon Fey, Summon Undead, Summon Abberation and Summon Shadowspawn, but not Summon Celestial? Personally, I only put the Summon spell on my player’s list if it corresponds to their patron. I might be a little unconventional in my use of homebrew on the table, it seems like normally players present it to their DMs but I like to lay out all the homebrew and rules I’m planning on using in the campaign in text chat before anyone makes their characters.
wait I thought I pressed the reply button
I think you have some interesting ideas there. I’ll give those some thought, and I’ll try to add proposed fixes to more of my subclass coverage as time allows.
Thank you, it’s an honor!