ToV Warlock Guide


Warlocks draw magic power from a pact with a powerful otherworldly being, such as a powerful fey creature, a celestial, and elder deity, or a fiend. Warlocks are primarily a Blaster, Face, and Striker, relying on their spellcasting and their Eldritch Blast in combat and relying on their Charisma outside of combat..

While the Warlock is primarily a spellcaster, they don’t get full spellcasting like the Cleric or the Wizard. Their spellcasting progresses much slower, but you get Pact Boon, Pact Magic, and Eldritch Invocations to make up the capability gap.

Pact Boon lets you pick a playstyle, choosing from weapons, a pet, or additional focus on spellcasting. Pact Magic allows the Warlock to cast spells from their subclass list a few times without spending a spell slot and recharges on a Short Rest, giving them an easily-renewable source of spells. Eldritch Invocations work like a small Talents, offering a great degree of additional customization.

Table of Contents


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.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: 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.

Changes from 5e

  • Hex does not exist in ToV. This isn’t a change to the class itself, but it certainly impacts how the class is played.
  • Eldritch Blast: Now a class feature instead of a spell. 4th ray at level 14 instead of level 17.
  • Pact Boon: Moved from level 3 to level 1.
    • Pact of the Blade: Use CHA mod for attack/damage with your pact weapon.
    • Pact of the Chain: Add Blink Dog as a possible familiar, and your familiar takes its turn immediately after yours instead of rolling its own initiative
  • Eldritch Invocations: Now learn up to 10 instead of 8
    • Invocations tied to specific Pact Boons have mostly gone away. Warlocks get things like Thirsting Blade automatically. Chains of Carceri and Lifedrinker are notable exceptions, though they no longer require specific pacts.
  • Spellcasting: Warlocks are now half casters. No more 2014 Pact Magic (though their new Pact Magic feature is pretty great). Warlocks cast spells from the Wyrd spell list, and are the only core class to do so. They also don’t get spellcasting until level 2 like the Paladin and the Ranger.
  • Pact Magic: Cast any of your subclass spells at your highest warlock spell circle without spending a spell slot 2 times per short rest, scaling up to 4 per short rest at level 17.
  • Enhanced Boon: No more invocation tax to upgrade your pact boon!
    • Blade: Multiattack.
    • Chain: Your familiar gets temporary hp when you rest and can grant you Advantage on attacks as a Reaction, though the timing of your familiar’s turn will make this difficult to use safely.
    • Tome: Gain the ability to cast rituals and add rituals that you find to your tome.
  • Heroic Boon: Choose a 1st-Circle or 2nd-Circle spell from any spell and gain the ability to cast them either with spell slots or with Pact Magic or add exploding dice to your Eldritch Blast.
  • Mystic Arcanum: Gone.
  • Patron’s Favor: New. Use Pact Magic to cast any spell you know of 5th-circle or lower. It specifies that it can be from any use, which has weird implications for multiclassing or if you can learn spells from other sources like Talents.
  • Epic Boon: Once per long rest, recharge all of your Pact Magic uses if you start a turn without any. This means a total of 16 total uses in a day with two short rests, and every one of those is a 5th-Circle Spell.

Warlock Class Features

Hit Points: d8 is pretty good for a dedicated spellcaster.

Saves: Wisdom and Charisma saves are great for resisting things like mind control and paralysis which might subdue you, but Warlocks will have lots of issues with effects that affect their bodies.

Proficiencies: Medium armor, shields, and simple weapons are decent. If you want better weapons, Pact of the Blade solves that issue. You get two skills and access to a couple of Face skills, but most of your non-Face skills are Intelligence-based.

1: Eldritch Blast: The Warlock’s go-to attack option. It scales nicely and you can further improve it with Eldritch Invocations.

1: Pact Boon: Where your subclass defines where you get your powers and much of your character’s theme, Pact Boon defines a big part of your play style. A bladelock and a tomelock are very different characters, each special and powerful for very different reasons.

2: Eldritch Invocations: A major decision point in your build, Eldritch Invocations offer a lot of very powerful options, including signature Warlock options like Agonizing Blast, which is primary responsible for why everyone likes Eldritch Blast so much. You get a total of 10 invocations over the course of 20 Warlock levels.

See our Warlock Invocations Breakdown for help selecting invocations.

2: Spellcasting: Warlocks are half casters, gaining the ability to cast spells of up to 5th level similar to the Paladin and the Ranger. Warlocks know their spells permanently, so you have a limited list of options on any one Warlock. Warlocks select spells from the Wyrd spell list.

Subclass: Warlock subclasses are briefly summarized below. See our Warlock Subclasses Breakdown for help selecting your subclass.

  • Fiend: Make a pact with a powerful fiend and gain access to fire spells and a few utility options to protect you and to improve your checks.

3: Pact Magic: Snuck into the Subclass feature, Pact Magic gives you some extra spell slots that recharge on a Short Rest rather than on a Long Rest. These spells are limited to your subclass’s spell list, making your subclass’s spell options very impactful. Since you always cast Pact Magic spells at the same Circle as your highest-Circle Warlock spells, these spells can be very powerful.

6: Enhanced Boon: Excellent mechanical improvements to your chosen Pact Boon.

10: Heroic Boon:

  • Echoes of Knowledge: Access to a ton of fantastic buffs, defenses, and utility options. Every time a new spell is published, this gets a little stronger.
  • Echoes of Power: Not a significant boost in damage output. It feels nice, and the lack of complexity is great for newer players, but this objectively can’t compete with Echoes of Knowledge. Adding 1d10 damage on 1 in 10 of your rays adds and average of 0.55 damage per day.

20: Epic Boon:

  • Eldritch Master: Great if you’re in an intense fight and need to stretch your resources.

Warlock Ability Scores

As a spellcaster, nearly everything that you care about is defined by your primary ability score. Starting with 18 will set you up for success, but dropping that to 17 or 16 to support your skills can be valuable for your party if you need to cover more than Charisma-based skills.

STR: Dump.

DEX: In medium armor you want 14 DEX. You almost certainly don’t need more. If you plan to use weapons, Pact of the Blade lets you do that with CHA.

CON: HP and concentration are crucial.

INT: Only useful for skills. Usually a dump stat.

WIS: Perception and common saves.

CHA: Spells, class features, and all of your favorite skills.

Point BuyStandard Array

Warlock Lineages

Beastkin (PG): An extra skill proficiency, and Avian can get you a fly speed. You’ll be limited to light armor, but being unreachable by melee opponents is easily worth the loss of AC.

Dwarf (PG): Extra hp and poison resistance are both great if you plan to get into melee at all.

Human (PG): One skill and one talent. Literally always great.

Smallfolk (): Simple and reliable. Gnome gets you a free cantrip and Halfling gets you Advantage on some common saves.

Warlock Heritages

Slayer (PG): Proficiency in Intimidation and you can use it on Beasts more effectively.

Supplicant (PG): Proficiency in Persuasion is excellent, and Scurry lets you easily escape melee.

Warlock Backgrounds

Look for Charisma-based skills and talents that complement your playstyle. Pact of the Blade builds will benefit from many Martial Talents, especially if they improve your durability.

Scholar (PG): The skills aren’t great since they’re all Intelligence-based, but the Talent options are good.

Warlock Skills

  • Arcana (Int): One of the most important knowledge skills in the game.
  • Deception (Cha): Important for any Face.
  • History (Int): Situational, and frequently useless in many campaigns.
  • Intimidation (Cha): Important for any Face.
  • Investigation (Int): Helpful, but you probably don’t have enough Intelligence or skill choices to justify it.
  • Nature (Int): One of the more important knowledge skills in the game, but the creatures which you can identify with Nature diminish greatly in number as you gain levels.
  • Religion (Int): One of the most important knowledge skills in the game.

Warlock Talents

The Warlock has access to Magic Talents.

Arcanist (PG): Double PB with Arcana will make up for low INT, and an extra cantrip never hurts.

Combat Casting (PG): Good for any spellcaster, but absolutely amazing for Pact of the Blade builds.

Elemental Savant (PG): Warlocks don’t get enough spell slots to rely on elemental damage of a specific type.

Martial and Technical Talents

1st-level talents from the other lists may be available from your Lineage, your Heritage, your Background, or your Subclass. Keep in mind that these Talents may not be better for your build than the Talents which you can access normally.

Armor Training (PG): Upgrading to heavy armor is a significant AC boost, and the speed penalty for havint too little STR is only minimally impactful unless you plan to fight in melee.~

Aware (PG): Always helpful for initiative rolls, but otherwise not consistently impactful.

Combat Conditioning (PG): Always helpful, especially if you’re building around Pact of the Blade and planning to fight in melee.

Furious Charge (PG): Fine for melee bladelocks, but without a movement speed boost you can’t abuse it as much as many other martial classes.

Physical Fortitude (PG): An excellent physical defense, especially on a class with poor physical saves.

Polyglot (PG): With high CHA and suitable skills, Warlocks are typically their party’s Face. However, they don’t get access to Comprehend Languages or Tongues, so language barriers can be a problem. Polyglot helps. You also get a nice bonus on CHA checks often enough that the feat will be consistently useful.

Warlock Weapons

The Warlock is proficient in simple weapons, but most warlocks have very little reason to use them. If you start with 16 DEX at level 1, a crossbow is better DPR than cantrips or Eldritch Blast until you get Agonizing Blast at level 2. But with medium armor, there’s little incentive to have more than 14 DEX.

Pact of the Blade Weapons

Pact of the Blade makes the Warlock good at using weapons, but you do have some unusual considerations compared to martial classes like the Fighter or the Paladin.

Since Weapon Option saves are based on either your STR or DEX modifier, that affects your choice of weaponry in ways that most characters don’t need to worry about. Bash, Hamstring, and Ricochet Shot don’t allow saves, so weapons with those Weapon Options are more likely to be effective for you. Many martial melee weapons will have two Weapon Options, and in almost every case one of them will allow a save. If you’re unsure, a longsword or a warhammer is an easy choice.

For ranged builds, use a heavy crossbow until you hit level 6, then switch to a Longbow so that you can attack twice. Unfortunately, you don’t have a better choice.

Warlock Armor

The Warlock is proficient in light armor, medium armor, and shields.

  • Breastplate (CRB): Less AC than half plate, but no Disadvantage on Stealth checks.
  • Half Plate (CRB): There is nearly no reason to wear anything lighter than half plate.
  • Shield (CRB): You need one hand for either your focus or your Pact of the Blade weapon. The other should have a shield.

Warlock Multiclassing

This section briefly details some obvious and enticing multiclass options, but doesn’t fully explore the broad range of multiclassing combinations. For more on multiclassing, see our Practical Guide to Multiclassing.

  • Bard: More Charisma-based spellcasting. A level dip for low-level features and cantrips can be very effective, though there are no specific mechanical interactions to speak of.
  • Paladin: Starting with a level of paladin gets you heavy armor. 2 levels gets you Divine Smite and access to 1st-level smite spells, both of which are fantastic for Pact of the Blade builds.
  • Sorcerer: More Charisma-based spellcasting. A level dip for low-level features and cantrips can be very effective, though there are no specific mechanical interactions to speak of.

Warlock Magic Items

Common Magic Items

  • Anklets of Alacrity (CRB): +PB to initiative, no attunement, won’t conflict with other magic items that you care about, and costs as little as a greatsword at just 50gp. Stellar on literally any character.

Uncommon Magic Items

Rare Magic Items

  • Amulet of Health (PF): Most warlocks will have 14 CON. Upgrading to 19 is a significant improvement to your durability.
  • Armor, +1 (PG): Consistently effective with no Attunement.
  • Ring of Protection (CRB): More expensive than a Cloak of Protection with the same effect, but you can only wear one cloak, so a ring may be easier if you have a cool magic cloak. The two also stack, providing a ton of protection.
  • Ring of Spell Storing (PG): Great for storing low-Circle spells which you cast frequenly.
  • Wand of the War Mage, +2 (PG): Essential for Eldritch Blast.

Very Rare Magic Items

Legendary Magic Items

Warlock Example Build – Zalbikar “Zal” Andrialix, Valiant Six Fiend Warlock

The Valiant Six are six official characters representing some of the playable classes in Tales of the Valiant. This build starts from the options selected for the official pregen character, and takes the build from 1 to 20.

The official pregen build for Zal gives us his Lineage, Heritage, Background, starting Talents, and some of his class choices, including some of his spells known. However, it doesn’t specify how his Improvements were spent, so we’re left to reverse-engineer her Ability Scores, and it doesn’t tell us most of the spells that Zal should know at level 4.

This build will be a fairly straightforward Eldritch Blast build. It’s simple yet satisfying to play, making it a great choice for players new to the game.

Ability Scores

The Valiant Six apparently use the Standard Array rather than point buy.

We don’t typically include ability scores at every Improvement in the table below, but in since this build is based on a level 4 pregen, we’re making an exception.

Level 1Level 4Level 20


Kobold with Natural Adaptation: Truescale. We get Darkvision, 13 + Dex modifier AC, resistance to fire, and +1d8 on ability checks with tools.


Supplicant. Scurry gives us an easy way to get out of melee, we get an extra skill proficiency, and get a boost whenever enemies use Doom.


Courtier. We’ll take Polyglot as our Talent. We do get two skills, but it’s hard to pick out which two come from our Background.

Skills and Tools

Between our Background, Lineage, and our 2 class skills, we are proficient in Arcana, Deception, History, Insight, and Persuasion. We’re well equipped to serve as our party’s Face and we have some good knowledge skills.

Improvements and Talents

At level 1 we’ll take Polyglot.

At level 4 we’ll take +2 CHA.

At level 8 we’ll take +1 CHA and

At level 12 we’ll take +1 CHA and

At level 16 we’ll take +1

At level 19 we’ll take +1


LevelTalents and FeaturesNotes and Tactics
1Talent: Polyglot
Eldritch Blast
Pact Boon: Pact of the Chain
For starting equipment, take a light crossbow, a wyrd focus or component pouch, either pack, leather armor, 2 daggers, and whatever other simple weapon you want. Sell most of the weapons.

At this level we have our familiar, we have Eldritch Blast, and we have skills. We’re very simple.

Zal picks a pseudodragon as his familiar, and at low levels it’s a great choice. The Pseudodragon’s 12 hp will beat most 1st-level player characters, and its Sting attack does good damage and might poison your targets.

Unfortunately, without a way to pad your familiar’s hit points and boost its attack bonus, it will stop being a useful combat pet after a few levels.
2Eldritch Invocations:
– Agonizing Blast
– Eldritch Spear
Cantrips Known:
– Grave Touch
– Guidance
Spells Known:
– Disguise Self
– Hellish Rebuke
Agonizing Blast and Eldritch Spear add extra damage and extra range to Eldritch Blast.

Grave Touch won’t see much use. The rider effect against undead is neat, but not especially effective. Guidance will see constant use. It’s awesome.
3Subclass: Fiend
Dark One’s Blessing
Fiend Pact Spells
Pact Magic (2/rest)
New Spell Known:
– Faerie Fire
3rd level brings our subclass. Dark One’s Blessing encourages us to last-hit enemies to get temporary hp, which is a great excuse to spend our time dealing lots of damage.

Our subclass spells give us Burning Hands and Command.

Pact Magic isn’t listed in the class progression table, but we do get Pact Magic at this level, letting us cast a subclass spell without spending a spell slot twice per rest.

We already know all of the spells listed on Ral’s pregen character sheet, which I believe is a weird omission in the character sheet. But that does mean that we get to pick more of our own spells, which is nice.

We’ll add Faerie Fire to our spells known. It’s a fantastic support spell and a reliable counter to invisibile enemies.
– CHA 16 -> 18
New Cantrip Known:
– Message
Ral takes a +2 CHA increase at level 4.

Message is Ral’s last cantrip listed on the pregen character sheet.
5Eldritch Blast (2 Beams)
New Eldritch Invocation:
– Beyond Sight
New Spell Known:
– Darkness
5th level brings a second beam for Eldritch Blast as well as 2nd-Circle spells. Pact Magic now casts spells at 2nd Circle, and our subclass spells add Scorching Ray and Suggestion.

Beyond Sight lets us see in magical darkness, which is super convenient because we can now cast Darkness. This allows us to make attacks at Advantage because enemies can’t see us, and if enemies manage to target us, they attack us at Disadvantage.
6Enhanced BoonOour pseudodragon now gets some temporary hit points, which keeps it alive a bit better. It’s still frail, especially with 13 AC, so don’t expect it to survive multiple attacks.

By now your pseudodragon’s +4 to hit is unreliable to the point that attacking is rarely worthwhile. This means that your familiar’s best combat option is now to move into melee, Help you to give you Advantage on an attack, then use its Reaction with Enhanced Boon to give you Advantage on a second attack.

You can cast Darkness now, which also gives you Advantage, but you do have a limited number of spell slots. When you do use Darkness, your pseudodragon has Keensense, allowing it to attack effectively in magical darkness, so you might walk your Darkness spell onto enemies to support your familiar’s attacks.
7Dark One’s Own Luck
New Eldritch Invocation:
– Repelling Blast
New Spell Known:
– Hold
Dark One’s Own Luck lets you save a bad ability check or save. I almost always save effects like these for saves.

Repelling Blast makes our Eldritch Blast even better.

We’ll add Hold as a great save-or-suck option.
– CHA 18 -> 19
– Talent:
9Eldritch Blast (3 Beams)
New Eldritch Invocation:
– Patron’s Anchor
New Spell Known:
– Fear
9th level brings a third beam for Eldritch Blast as well as 3rd-Circle spells. Pact Magic now casts spells at 3rd Circle, and our subclass spells add Fireball and Stinking Cloud.

Patron’s Anchor makes it much easier to concentrate on our spells, allowing us to maintain Darkness even if we get hit with area damage by enemies frustrated by our nonsense.

Fear is really good crowd control. If we’re caught by surprise without Darkness running or if we’re facing a big group of enemies, it’s a great way to thin the herd.
10Heroic Boon: Echoes of Power
New Cantrip Known:
Minor Illusion
Echoes of Power provides a small boost to our Eldritch Blast damage.

Minor Illusion adds a fantastic utility option.
11Fiendish Resilience
New Eldritch Invocation:
– Mystic Arcanum (Eyebite)
New Spell Known:
– Revivify
Fiendish Resilience is great. You’ll want to pick a common damage type which you don’t otherwise have resistance to. Poison, Slashing, and Fire are my personal favorites, but if you know what enemies you’ll be facing in any given day, adjust your resistance to match.

11th level gets us access to Mystic Arcanum for the first time, which lets us access spells above 5th Circle. This feels odd since our regular spellcasting is only up to 3rd-Circle spells, but try to ignore that.

We’ll grab Eyebite. It puts us into save-or-suck mode for a full minute for a single spell slot, making it a fantastically effective option for our whole career.

Revivify is a great addition to any party, so we’ll add that to our regular spellcasting.
– CHA 19 -> 20
– Talent:
13Pact Magic (3/Rest)
New Eldritch Invocation:
– Mystic Arcanum (Plane Shift)
New Spell Known:
– Banishment
13th level brings 4th-Circle spells. Pact Magic now casts spells at 4th Circle, and our subclass spells add Blight and Wall of Fire.

We’ll grab both Banishment and Plane Shift at this level. If a creature is from a different plane, banish them. If they’re from the plane that you’re on, Plane Shift them somewhere inhospitable.
14Eldritch Blast (4 Beams)More damage!
15Hurl Through Hell
New Eldritch Invocation:
– Visions of Distant Realms
New Spell Known:
Hurl Through Hell lets us ruin someone’s day when we hit them with Eldritch Blast.

Arcane Eye is among the best scouting options in the game. Getting to cast it at will without spending a spell slot is absolutely amazing. This does mean picking Visions of Distant Realms in place of Mystic Arcanum, but you might retrain a different Invocation to also select Mystic Arcanum and get an 8th-Circle spell.

– Talent:
17Pact Magic (4/Rest)
New Eldritch Invocation:
– Mystic Arcanum (Wish)
New Spell Known:
– Telekinesis

17th level brings 5th-Circle spells. Pact Magic now casts spells at 5th Circle, and our subclass spells add Dominate and Flame Strike.

If you can learn to cast Wish, you learn to cast Wish. It’s too good to overlook. So we’ll grab it with Mystic Arcanum.

It feels absurb to learn a 5th-level spell and a 9th-level spell at the same time, but here we are.
18Patron’s FavorA massive improvement to our spellcasting, we can now cast any of our spells (excluding Mystic Arcanum) at 5th Circle.

– Talent:
New Eldritch Invocation:
– Any
New Spell Known:
– Wall of Force
20Epic Boon: Eldritch MasterRecover all of your Pact Magic slots once per rest.