Last Updated: July 28, 2022
You got a brand of magic never failsFriend Like Me – Aladdin
You got some power in your corner now
Heavy ammunition in your camp
You got some punch, pizazz, yahoo, and how?
All you gotta do is rub that lamp
They say Hexblade’s curse is pretty good since it’s PB scaling damage on your cursed target, but it only lasts one minute against one target once per short rest. What if instead it was once per turn, every turn, against any target? Well then it would be Genie’s Wrath, and that’s pretty neat.
The Genie Warlock has four flavors, depending on what kind of Genie you want for a patron, determining your additional spells list, your damage resistance, and the damage you deal with Genie’s Wrath. We have the Dao, Earth genies with Bludgeoning; Djinni, Air genies with Thunder; Efreeti, Fire genies with Fire; and Marid, Water genies with Cold. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each in the subclass features section.
Just don’t miss the example build down at the end of the handbook. Especially if you’ve ever been told that only Hexblade Warlocks can use weapons. If you’re tired of Eldritch Blast and just want something a little different from Warlock I’m sure you’ll find plenty of inspiration.
Table of Contents
- Genie Patron Features
- Genie Patron Ability Scores
- Genie Patron Races
- Genie Patron Feats
- Genie Patron Weapons
- Genie Patron Armor
- Genie Patron Multiclassing
- Genie Patron Invocations
- Example Genie Warlock Build – Half-Genie Accuracy
RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- : Good options. Useful often.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
We will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, in handbooks for official content because we can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. We also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and we can’t guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.
The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released, and the article will be updated accordingly as time allows.
Genie Patron Features
You also get a type of damage resistance depending on their type at 6th level, but the spell list is the big part. Every variety of genie also adds Wish as a 9th-level spell option (Mystic Arcanum), so the 1st through 5th-level spells are where each variety of genie distinguishes itself from the others.
: Unlike most warlock
subclasses, the Genie gives you a base set of additional spell options, plus
the choice of four spell lists depending on your genie patron’s specific
: You get these spells
regardless of what type of genie your patron is in addition to spells
from one of the four lists below.
- : Situational. Helpful in any party, but spending a warlock spell slot on it is hard.
- : A good option against creatures with poor Intelligence scores (which is most creatures). The effects don’t scale with spell level, but if you don’t care about the spell’s damage this remains an effective way to lock down single foes for your whole career.
- : Rations are cheap.
- : An excellent single-target damage option, and all of the damage scales with spell level rather than just the initial damage.
- : Fantastic if you’re creative enough to find a use for it, but generally not a go-to option.
: With one exception, everything on
the Dao’s spell list is excellent, and every spell is new to the
Warlock’s spell list.
- : Potentially forcing enemies to give up an attack is great. Sanctuary has a Bonus Action casting time, so you can attack or cast a cantrip in the same turn, then follow it with Sanctuary. However, since Sanctuary allows the attacker to retarget their attack, Sanctuary isn’t as effective against ranged attacks, and if you try to hurt your enemies while it’s running the spell ends early. So you may want to use this to protect yourself while you cast buffs or utility spells, if you have an ally who’s unable to attack for some reason, or if you already have an ongoing non-damaging spell running like Hold Person.
- : 2d4 damage every 5 feet, and it’s every time the creature “travels”, not every time the creature moves. So if you push or pull the creature, they take damage. Sounds like a job for Eldritch Blast!
- : Very situational.
- : One of my absolute favorite utility spells.
- : Not as precise as Stone Shape, but much easier to use in combat. Give yourself cover, separate enemies, or make yourself a nice home out of stone.
: Several good options, but the
Djinni’s spell options range wildly in effectiveness.
- : Decent short-range AOE damage, especially if you’re being swarmed or grappled and can’t teleport. This isn’t a go-to offensive option since the AOE is small and the damage isn’t great, but it can occasionally solve problems for you.
- : Useful for pushing enemies into ongoing AOE damage effects, but since it requires Concentration it’s hard to combine with things like Hunger of Hadar so any ongoing AOE damage effects would likely need to come from an ally.
- : Very situational.
- : Invisibility in 5e is really good, and running around for a full minute being almost impossible to target is a huge advantage. Sure, you already get Shadow of Moil at this level, but Greater Invisibility prevents you from being targeted rather than just making you difficult to attack.
- : Very situational, but with an 8-hour duration you can cast it early in the day and immediately take a Short Rest and recover your spell slot. Still, it might not be worth learning permanently.
: The Efreeti is a blaster,
sharing many spells with the Fiend. The biggest things that blasters
need are good AOE damage spells and lots of spell slots to fuel them.
Warlocks don’t have the spell slots to back this up. This is definitely
the simplest option for the Genie, but that doesn’t make it good.
- : Burning Hands is a decent AOE, especially at low levels, and since warlocks get armor and more hp than other arcane spellcasters like the wizard you can survive being close enough to melee to use it. However, I wouldn’t use it beyond very low levels. You’ll get more total damage out of Hex or other spell options despite Burning Hands’ scaling.
- : Like Eldritch Blast but with a worse damage type. It works great with Hex since you get an additional ray per spell level (up to 6 when you get 5th-level spells), but that’s the only thing that makes it better than Eldritch Blast once you add Agonizing Blast.
- : Fireball remains the best instantaneous AOE damage spell at every spell level until around spell level 8, and while the Warlock can’t cast Fireball past 5th level, it still remains a perfect go-to AOE blast option. However, remember that you will often get better results out of spells with ongoing effects like Hunger of Hadar, and with so few spell slots you need to squeeze as much out of them as you can.
- : You’re almost certainly not built to be in melee enough that using this makes sense. Cast Armor of Agathys.
- : Flame Strike is Fireball, but a smaller AOE and worse damage. Sure, some of the damage is radiant, but if damage resistance if a problem you should be using Eldritch Blast since nearly nothing resist Eldritch Blast.
: Almost nothing worth having.
- : An excellent way to cover your escape, but you can’t see through the fog any better than anyone else, so don’t expect to fight in this without some other advantage.
- : A great defensive option, but with a short duration and it requires Concentration. Still, it’ll help until you can get Shadow of Moil.
- : This is not good enough for a 3rd-level spell slot.
- : Too situational.
- : Cone of Cold is decent but unremarkable AOE damage, but if you need area damage you’ll have better results with Hunger of Hadar.
For more help with Wish, see my Practical Guide to Wish.
: The best spell
in the game. You get one Mystic Arcanum which can cast a 9th-level
spell, and honestly Wish is so good that there is very little
mechanical reason to select anything except Wish.
- : The best spell in the game. You get one Mystic Arcanum which can cast a 9th-level spell, and honestly Wish is so good that there is very little mechanical reason to select anything except Wish.
- : You get these spells regardless of what type of genie your patron is in addition to spells from one of the four lists below.
: Bottled Respite is mostly
for flavor, but Genie’s Wrath is a compelling reason to keep your vessel in
hand when you’re in a fight, and to work to prevent its destruction even
though you can get a replacement for free.
- : Use this to eavesdrop on people, to evade harmful effects, and to hide or store items, but the fact that you can only enter the vessel once per long rest means that you can’t just pop in and out at random. Eventually you’ll be able to stay inside long enough that you and your whole party can rest inside the vessel, conveniently removing the need for things like tents, keeping watch while resting, or spells like Rope Trick or Leomund’s Tiny Hut, but even at low levels you can still stay in the vessel long enough to take a Short Rest without risk of enemies wandering by and surprising you.
: A small, but meaningful
and scaling bonus to your damage. It only applies once per turn, but
that’s really all that you need. This applies to attack rolls of any
kind, and once again the warlock is the only class to add their
Proficiency Bonus to damage (the Hexblade does it too).
- : Things with resistance to bludgeoning damage typically resist bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non-magical attacks. You will likely deliver this with either a cantrip or a magic weapon (Pact of the Blade), so nearly nothing in the game will resist it. You can combine this with the Crusher feat for extra benefits.
- : Resistance to thunder damage is very rare.
- : Fire damage is among the most common resistances/immunities, so you’ll often find that your bonus damage is ineffective.
- : Cold damage isn’t quite as commonly-resisted as fire damage.
: Flight for 10 minutes at a
time which you can activate as a Bonus Action without Concentration. This
would be good once per Short Rest, but you can use this 3 to 6 times per day
depending on your Proficiency Bonus. Oh, you get some damage resistance too.
But honestly, the flight is so good that I forgot about the damage
- : Bludgeoning damage is one of the three types of weapon damage, but most monsters which deal damage through weapons rely primarily on teeth and claws so bludgeoning is the least common of the three weapon damage types. Of course, it’s also difficult to get permanent resistance to weapon damage types, so the rarity of this resistance adds to the value.
- : Thunder damage is uncommon.
- : Fire damage is one of the most common types of non-weapon damage, so permanent resistance is great.
- : Cold damage isn’t quite as common as fire damage, but it’s still very common.
Consider having one person who doesn’t need a Short Rest carry the vessel while the rest of your party has a ten-minute power nap. This removes the need to hide the vessel and prevents you (and potentially a subset of your party) from making the party wait around while you take a nap.
: The ability to hide
your party in something as small as a ring while taking a short rest means
that you can rest even in extremely dangerous places so long as you can hide
your vessel somewhere. The added healing benefits are minor, but they still
feel nice even when taking a 10-minute short rest in an extradimensional
space isn’t an impactful benefit at the moment.
- : You know how the Bard gets Magical Secrets? Yeah, forget that. This is so much better that it’s in its own league. You don’t even have to pay for expensive components! Sure, there’s a 1d4 Long Rests cooldown, but when the effect is this good a few days is nothing. Look for anything that has expensive material components or a permanent duration. Abuse those spells.
Genie Patron Ability Scores
We’re a Warlock, the wacky different spellcaster. That means we’re still a spellcaster.
: There are some melee setups we could do, but those are uncommon.
: We wear Light Armour, so we need some of this for AC.
: Hit Points and Concentration saves. We need some of this.
: Alright, listen: smart people do not ask Genies for stuff. We are not smart.
: However, we also have Wisdom save proficiency, and Wisdom saves against mean stuff.
: This is our zippy zappy blasty stat. Max it out. Or don’t. Maybe you’re some weird archery build. That’s totally a valid warlock build.
|Point Buy||Standard Array|
Genie Patron Races
- PHB: Elven Accuracy is a hell of a drug. We’re either going to fire off Eldritch Blast with Charisma or do some weird Archery thing. Both of these would benefit from Elven Accuracy.
- : We have a very limited number of spells known. These races can expand our list a bit, giving us a bit of extra utility and flexibility, as well as letting us cast a few more spells per day.
Look for races that have text along the lines of “You can also cast either of those spells using any spell slots you have of the appropriate level.” Those races add the granted spells to your spells known. While most races going forward that have spells, such as Fairy or the Genasi in MMotM, have that text, a handful of older published races, like Drow, do not grant the spells known at the time of writing this article. That said, even once per day, an extra casting of a spell can be very strong given our Warlock limitations.
- : This is a standard feature on the Dragonmarked races. We would still need to learn the spells with our limited number of spells known, but some racial lists have options that are not usually on the Warlock spell list.
Genie Patron Feats
The write up in the Warlock Handbook is pretty comprehensive. Not too much changes by being a Genie.
- : However, if you choose Dao, you’ll always add some Bludgeoning damage on an attack every turn. Crusher doesn’t limit the direction of the movement when this happens, so with some positional setup, we can lift a target up diagonally 5 feet towards us, changing the angle they get sent when Repelling Blast moves them away from us, leaving the target up 15 feet in the air and then causing falling damage.
This works from 10 feet away because the game handles movement in discrete 5 foot increments. According to Xanathar’s Guide, when two things happen at the same time, we as the active player decide the order, so we get to decide that they target is lifted first, then launched.
Genie Patron Weapons
Contrary to popular opinion, we can use weapons without being a Hexblade. Yes, Hexblade is a little easier because it can use Charisma for weapons, but we still like having high Dexterity and we can Fly without using Concentration.
- : Slightly less damage than a Heavy Crossbow or Eldritch Blast, but no Loading property means that if we choose it as an Improved Pact Weapon we don’t need Crossbow Expert to use Thirsting Blade.
- : It’s just like Eldritch Blast except you can use Sharpshooter for extra damage, and it requires martial weapon proficiency.
- : I would advise not closing to melee. You certainly can make it work, but it’s not the easiest setup unless you’re doing some multiclass stuff.
Genie Patron Armor
- : Yes this is an invocation but unless you find +1 Studded Leather this is your best option, and you would need to find +2 Studded Leather to beat it.
- : If you’re doing a multiclass thing, this is better than Armour of Shadows until Dexterity is 18, then they’re equal.
Genie Patron Multiclassing
- : At Genielock level ten, we gain the ability to jump into our Genie bottle and get a short rest in ten minutes. At Genielock level twenty, we gain the ability to get our Pact Spells back in 1 minute. Both of these are once per day. In narrative time, those are about the same so if we take 2-3 levels of Fighter instead of 20 in Warlock we gain a Fighting Style, Action Surge, and maybe a subclass and still get to sneak in an additional short rest of spells every day.
- : Sneak attack is once per turn, Genie’s Wrath is once per your turn, Booming Blade is one big attack. Getting one nice big swing in each turn with all of your damage is pretty nice, especially if you can get some Advantage going to increase your accuracy.
- : Six levels of Genie adds Flying to a Paladin, three Invocations, a pact boon, a pair of 3rd level short rest recharging Smite slots, some damage resistance, and PB to damage once per turn. You could argue this applies to any martial, but since they both need Charisma anyways, it’s less of a stretch to meet the multiclassing minimums just to add a little Genie to your Paladin.
Genie Patron Invocations
While the Eldritch Invocations Handbook covers most of these, we can make some special considerations.
- which is enough to knock the target prone. Consequently, we should do this on our last blast of the turn or switch targets since being prone will give us Disadvantage on hitting the target. : Having access to concentration-free flight means we can fly directly above a target and pull it ten feet into the air so it falls ten feet. If we’re a Dao with the Crusher feat, we can add another 5 feet, but 10 feet is enough to cause fall damage,
- : If we set up a dangerous area effect that does damage when a target enters the zone for the first time on a turn (Create Bonfire, etc.), we can push them in with this. If we also have Grasp of Hadar, we can pull a target out and then push back in on the same blast too.
Example Genie Warlock Build – Half-Genie Accuracy
Eldritch Blast is pretty great, and there are plenty of Invocations that support it and turn it into a great go-to option for any Warlock. This build takes none of those options. This build takes Pact of the Blade and shows off that you don’t have to be a Hexblade to be a weapon damage Warlock.
Damage vs Utility: Why Pact of the Blade?
At level twenty, a Warlock firing 4 Eldritch Blasts does this kind of damage assuming 8 on the die is a hit. We’ll be using Elven Accuracy to keep things equal:
This build will be using a longbow with Archery fighting style, the Fighter Champion subclass, and Elven Accuracy alongside various invocations that boost the Pact Weapon as well as using Eldritch Smite +6d8 on critical hits:
As you can see, when we have Advantage, we push ahead considerably, but what these numbers don’t show is the utility we give up. We don’t get to push and pull constantly with Repelling Blast and Grasp of Hadar. However, because Hex benefits us less, we can Concentrate on something else, like Shadow of Moil or even Greater Invisibility if we’re Dijinni, to gain the use of our Elven Accuracy.
Playstyle and Tactics
What this build does is use all the Warlock tricks to get Advantage like Darkness and Devil’s Sight or putting enemies inside Hunger of Hadar, but then combining Elven Accuracy with Eldritch Smite and 3 levels into Champion Fighter to fish for Smite Crits while also putting out Sharpshooter damage. Also we’re a Genie so we can fly at the same time that we’re busy Concentrating on those other spells.
We’re going to be a Drow Half-Elf for access to both the Faerie Fire and Darkness spells, but that also gives us +2/+1/+1 ability score increases to work with.
While it may seem unusual to have our Dexterity ahead of our Charisma, we’re going to be using a Longbow and we’re not a Hexblade.
We’re a Half-Elf Drow so we have access to Drow Magic on top of Darkvision and Fey Ancestry. A handful of extra useful spells to cast every day, but remember that you can’t recast them using your innate spellcasting, so if you want to cast them more than once you still need to learn them permanently.
We’re taking Urchin to get easy Sleight of Hand and Stealth proficiency.
Skills and Tools
We’re actually taking our first level as Fighter so we can have Heavy Armor and Martial Weapon Proficiency, though we’ll only really wear Medium Armour due to low Strength. More importantly, we’ll have Constitution Save Proficiency for our Concentration spells. From Fighter we learn Acrobatics and Intimidation.
Usually multiclassing involves a lot of juggling to make sure we get our ASIs and Feats on time. However, we’re going to jump right back into Warlock at second level, so we won’t be far behind everyone else.
At fifth Level (Fighter 1/Warlock 4): We take Elven Accuracy, putting a point into our odd-numbered Dexterity score, making it an 18.
At Ninth Level (Fighter 1/Warlock 8): We take Sharpshooter, allowing us to ignore anything less than full cover, fire a Longbow from 600 feet with no penalty, and subtract 5 from an attack roll to add +10 to the damage roll.
Why are we doing this instead of Eldritch Blast? Well if the average damage of 1d10+5 is 10.5, then firing Sharpshooter twice will make up the difference in damage of those two other blasts. Other factors would influence the DPR, such as if we’re Concentrating on Hex or not, but the point here is just about the damage of four naked Agonizing Blasts vs extra attack with Sharpshooter.
At fifteenth Level (Fighter 3/Warlock 12): We take an ASI in Charisma for 16->18.
At nineteenth Level (Fighter 3/Warlock 16): We take an ASI in Charisma for 18->20.
|Levels and Classes||Feats and Features||Notes and Tactics|
|1: Fighter 1||Fighting Style (Archery)|
All Armour and Shields
|We start our journey as a Fighter and we might as well wear Medium armor and pick up a Longbow.|
We take the Archery fighting style because we love to break maths, and +2 to attack rolls is a good start.
|2: Warlock 1||Genie Patron (Djinni)|
†Arms of Hadar
|We gain quite a lot at this level, as Warlock is very front-loaded.|
We gain our Genie container, granting us a little hiding spot storage space and granting us PB to damage once per our turn. We choose Djinni so our extra damage is Thunder.
We also gain Pact Magic. We’re not taking Eldritch Blast because we intend to be an Archer, but you could just take it anyways if you want a backup for losing your bow or something. Instead, Mage Hand and Prestidigitation are great cantrips with tons of utility. See their dedicated guides for more information.
For leveled spells, we’re picking up Arms of Hadar and Expeditious Retreat. Arms are great if we get surrounded, and Expeditious Retreat is for not getting surrounded in the first place by kiting hard.
|3: Warlock 2||Invocations|
‡Eyes of the Rune Keeper
|Pretty standard Invocation loadout. Eyes of the Rune Keeper can be any Invocation though because we’re not keeping it.|
For spells, we’ll pick up Hellish Rebuke. It’s respectable damage as a reaction if someone comes up and smacks us.
Our Drow Magic grants us once per long rest Faerie Fire.
|4: Warlock 3||Pact Boon|
‡Pact of the Blade
‡Eyes of the Rune Keeper -> Improved Pact Weapon
Pact Magic 2nd level
|We immediately trade out Eyes of the Rune Keeper for Improved Pact Weapon. This allows the Pact Weapon we just acquired to be a +1 Longbow which pushes us further ahead on math.|
We pick up Misty Step to have a get out of jail free card in our back pocket.
|5: Warlock 4||Feat: Elven Accuracy|
†Expeditious Retreat -> Hold Person
|We now roll 3d20 when we have Advantage and our Dexterity becomes 18.|
We gain a free use of Darkness once per day from Drow Magic, but we would like to know it for our Pact Slots too.
We drop Expeditious Retreat to learn Hold Person instead because Paralyzed is one of the most debilitating conditions we can inflict.
|6: Warlock 5||Invocation|
Pact Magic 3rd level
†Hunger of Hadar
|We gain Warlock Extra Attack. Pew pew.|
Hunger of Hadar is another way to gain Advantage because targets inside the area are Blinded.
|7: Warlock 6||Elemental Gift (Djinni)|
-Bonus Action Flight
|We gain Thunder resistance from our Djinni patron, and we gain the ability to fly for 10 minutes PB times per long rest.|
However, that only lets us fly. The Fly spell will allow us to make an ally fly.
|8: Warlock 7||Invocation|
Pact Magic 4th level
|We take the Eldritch Smite Invocation, allowing us to trade in a Spell Slot for extra damage on a Pact Weapon Attack. Typically the way to use this is when landing a critical hit on an enemy because the extra smite damage is multiplied.|
To assist with fishing for those critical hits in situations where we can’t use Darkness or Hunger of Hadar, we take Greater Invisibility.
|9: Warlock 8||Feat: Sharpshooter|
|Sharpshooter pumps up our damage, especially if we have Advantage. Our Improved Pact Weapon’s +1 bonus offsets not being able to improve Dexterity at this level, and our Archery Style +2 further offsets some of the penalty from using Sharpshooter.|
Sickening Radiance causes Exhaustion. Six stacks of Exhaustion is instant death. This is pretty good.
|10: Fighter 2||Action Surge||It’s like getting two turns. We could use this to set up Advantage with a spell and then take advantage of the Advantage right away.|
|11: Fighter 3||Champion Archetype|
|With Elven Accuracy and all the ways we can gain Advantage, being able to crit on 19s more often for Eldritch Smites is such a good option.|
Sure would be weird if we could only do this for a minute to one guy once per short rest.
|12: Warlock 9||Invocation|
Pact Magic 5th level
†Wall of Stone
|We take Eldritch Mind for Advantage on Concentration checks.|
For our 5th-level spell, we take Wall of Stone because it’s just a great way to split a battlefield.
|13: Warlock 10||Sanctuary Vessel|
|Sanctuary Vessel lets us sneak in a Short Rest in only ten minutes, with some small bonuses for doing so. Consider having one person who doesn’t need a Short Rest carry the vessel while the rest of your party has a ten-minute power nap.|
We learn our fourth cantrip and grab Minor Illusion for additional utility.
|14: Warlock 11||Pact Magic|
Mystic Arcanum 6
|Creation is a good utility spell.|
Mental Prison targets Intelligence and Restrains the target with no recurring saves, giving our team Advantage for up to a minute.
|15: Warlock 12||ASI: Charisma +2 (16->18)|
|We can finally start increasing our Charisma just in time for Lifedrinker to add Charisma to damage with our Pact Weapon on top of Dexterity.|
|16: Warlock 13||Pact Magic|
Mystic Arcanum 7
|Synaptic Static is a Psychic Fireball with an Intelligence Save that applies a penalty to attack rolls for a full minute.|
Forcecage is a box with no saving throw. We know Sickening Radiance and we have Action Surge. We can put things in a blender of Exhaustion.
|17: Warlock 14||Limited Wish||Just read this guide to Magical Secrets and you’ll find spells that are good to cast with Limited Wish. Just keep in mind that you are limited to spells with a casting time of one action or less.|
|18: Warlock 15||Invocation|
‡Shroud of Shadows
Mystic Arcanum 8
|Invisibility at will.|
Maddening Darkness is Hunger of Hadar’s big brother.
We choose Banishment because we’re running out of must-have spells and we can start looking into “nice to have if we need it” spells.
|19: Warlock 16||ASI: Charisma +2 (18->20)||20 Charisma. Better late than never.|
|20: Warlock 17||Pact Magic|
Mystic Arcanum 9
|Teleportation Circle is good for traveling.|
Wish. It’s Wish.