A warlock fighting a monster in D&D's Elder Evils
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All D&D 5E Warlock Class Changes (2024)

The Warlock class in Dungeons & Dragons finally has spell slots to call their own!

The Warlock is the newest Dungeons & Dragons class in the 5E Player’s Handbook, having originally been introduced halfway through the lifespan of 3E. As such, the Warlock hasn’t had much of a chance to integrate itself into the lore of D&D, but that’s going to change, as they’ve received a massive boost in power, thanks to playtesting material in the latest Unearthed Arcana article, so more players might be tempted to start contacting Asmodeus and asking for a job.

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The D&D Warlock’s New Class Features

Witherbloom mage from D&D and Magic: The Gathering
Image Via Wizards of the Coast

The Warlock update in D&D’s new Unearthed Arcana article on D&D Beyond has mainly involved changes to their existing abilities, but the class has been given a few new tricks. Most importantly, Warlock can now send drunken late-night texts to their Patron, asking why they don’t call them anymore, but they also gain some cool new powers, like these: 

  • Medium Armor Proficiency at level 1, making it a bit easier for the melee-focused Warlocks to stand a chance in battle.
  • Contract Patron at level 11, allowing them to communicate with the source of their Pact directly. This was added due to player feedback, as many D&D campaigns integrated the Patron of the Warlock characters into the narrative in some fashion.
  • Hex Master is received at level 18, allowing the Warlock to cast hex without expending spell slots.
  • Epic Boon is the Warlock’s new level 20 class feature, allowing them to select an Epic Boon Feat.

How D&D Changed The Warlock’s Existing Class Features

Oriq Blood Mage from D&D Magic: The Gathering
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The Warlock has undergone several changes in One D&D, with almost every feature being tweaked to better fit with the new version of the class. Most importantly, Warlocks don’t need to horde their spell slots like they used to, as they have more options now.

  • Warlocks can choose Charisma, Intelligence, or Wisdom for their Spellcasting Ability. This will open the door for different skill builds, as the Player’s Handbook Warlock was restricted to Charisma. This also means that any class feature tied to Spellcasting Ability will use one of these three stats.
  • Warlocks have spell slots and spells progression similar to the Paladin and Ranger classes.
  • Pact Boon is now received at level 1 instead of level 3, and it grants spells instead of abilities.
  • Warlocks now choose their subclass at level 3 instead of level 1.
  • Warlocks now add Patron Spells to their lists rather than having the option of taking them.
  • A Patron Spell the Warlock knows can be cast without spending a spell slot, which can be done once per long rest.
  • Pact Boon gives eldritch blast and hex for free, which makes sense, as that particular combo was picked by pretty much every player due to how powerful it is in combat.
  • Pact of the Blade is now the pact weapon Cantrip. The main difference is that the caster adds their Spellcasting Ability modifier to hit and damage rolls; they can conjure Martial weapons and fight as if they have proficiency with them; any thrown weapons gain the Returning trait; and at level 5, the Warlock gains the Extra Attack feature with that weapon.
  • Pact of the Chain is now the pact familiar Cantrip, a unique variant of the find familiar spell that conjures a creature that grows in strength alongside the Warlock.
  • Pact of the Tome is now the book of shadows Cantrip. Book of shadows conjures a book that acts as a Spellcasting Focus and provides two Cantrips and two level 1 Ritual spells from Arcane, Divine, or Primal spell lists. When the Warlock reaches level 5, the book lets them add their Spellcasting Ability modifier to damage caused by Cantrips.
  • Warlocks get one more Invocation throughout their progression, capping at 9 when they hit level 17.
  • Mystic Arcanum is no longer a class feature, as it’s now an Invocation, and it can be selected as early as level 5.
  • Eldritch Master has been replaced with Hex Master.

How D&D Changed The Warlock’s Invocations

Several Warlock Invocations have also been changed in One D&D, mainly to ensure they gel with the other changes made to the class, especially the ones related to the new versions of the Pact Boons.

  • Lessons Of The First Ones has replaced Beguiling Influence, and it gives the Skilled Feat.
  • Bewitching Whispers, Chains of Carceri, Dreadful Word, Minions of Chaos, Mire of the Mind, Sculptor of the Flesh, Sign of Ill Omen, and Thieves of Five Fate are gone, as Mystic Arcanum has replaced them.
  • Eyes of the Rune Keeper doesn’t work on codes.
  • Gaze of Two Minds can’t be taken until level 5, but it only uses a Bonus Action to cast; the Warlock is still aware of their surroundings, and they can cast spells from the creature’s space.
  • Lifedrinker can now be taken at level 9, it deals 1d6 Necrotic damage, and the user is healed by that damage once during their turn.
  • Repelling Blast now works on Large creatures.
  • Book of Ancient Secrets and Voice of the Chain Master have been absorbed into their respective Pact Cantrips.

How One D&D Changed The Warlock’s Fiend Subclass

D&D's Book of Vile Darkness cover art
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The most common Warlock concept involves someone making a deal with a demon or a devil in exchange for magical powers. This takes the form of the Fiend Patron, the only Warlock subclass listed in Unearthed Arcana.

  • The Fiend Patron’s spell list has new spells. This means that blindness/deafness has been replaced with suggestion, fireball has been replaced with fear, fire shield has been replaced with blight, and hallow has been replaced with insect plague.
  • Dark One’s Blessing is now received at level 3, and it activates whenever a creature dies within 5ft of the Warlock, regardless of who killed it.
  • Dark One’s Own Luck can be used a number of times equal to the Spellcasting Ability modifier and is no longer tied to resting.
  • Fiendish Resilience can no longer resist Force damage, but the Warlock can change their selection when taking a short or long rest. Magical and silvered weapons also no longer bypass the resistance.
  • Hurl Through Hell now gives the target a Wisdom saving throw, but it can be used again if the Warlock is willing to spend a spell slot of level 4 or higher.

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The Warlock has been practically overhauled and might be the most changed class in the new Unearthed Arcana. The fact that they have so many more spells and better options for melee builds means that even more players will be looking to cut a deal with the dark side in the future, as the Warlock is just so much more exciting to play.

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Scott Baird
Scott has been writing for Gamepur since 2023, having been a former contributor to websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, Screen Rant, The Gamer, and TopTenz. A graduate of Edge Hill University in the UK, Scott started as a film student before moving into journalism. Scott covers Dungeons & Dragons, Final Fantasy, Pokémon, and MTG. He can be contacted on LinkedIn.