[RPG] What’s the optimal way to play this Hexblade warlock (Pact of the Blade) in combat?

dnd-5eoptimizationwarlock

I'm about to play my third ever session of D&D. I've been watching live-play for a while but haven't played much. I've made a Levistus tiefling warlock with the Pact of the Blade and a Hexblade patron starting at level 15.

Eldritch Invocations

  1. Agonizing Blast
  2. Lifedrinker
  3. Thirsting Blade
  4. Devil’s Sight
  5. Shroud of Shadow
  6. Visions of Distant Realms
  7. Mask of Many Faces

Spells (Pact Magic)

  • Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Mage Hand, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost
  • 1st Level: Charm Person, Hex, Armor of Agathys (1/long rest), Disguise Self (At Will), Arms of Hadar
  • 2nd Level: Hold Person, Crown of madness, Darkness (1/long rest), Invisibility (At Will)
  • 3rd Level: Hypnotic Pattern, Thunder Step
  • 4th Level: Banishment, Summon Greater Demon, Arcane Eye (At Will)
  • 5th Level: Hold Monster, Cone of Cold, Far Step, Synaptic Static

Mystic Arcanum

  • 6th Level: Circle of Death
  • 7th Level: Forcecage
  • 8th Level: Dominate Monster

The main idea is that I'm really loving the idea and roleplay of being a warlock/cursed deal being the faceless charismatic type of character and being tied to a weapon as in what the Pact of the Blade offers.

I prefer a ranged combat character, but I don't want to be useless in melee. How can I optimally play this build?

Best Answer

If you want to keep your weapon attacks competitive with Eldritch Blast at high levels, you're going to need Feats. Since you already have Eldritch Blast to attack at range, I would recommend taking Polearm Master and War Caster, and using a Glaive as your main weapon. Not only does this give you strong damage from your weapon (You can attack three times on your turn with a +10 bonus to damage on each hit), but whenever an enemy enters your (10-foot) reach, you get an opportunity attack, and War Caster allows you to cast Eldritch Blast with that opportunity attack, then you can use the Repelling Blast invocation to push the enemy back out of range, and Lance of Lethargy to slow their movement, effectively locking them down. When you face a group of enemies, you can use Synaptic Static to damage and debuff them all, and when you fight a single strong enemy, consider using Eldritch Smite.

In terms of spells: Drop Ray of Frost, it's almost strictly worse than Eldritch Blast with Lance of Lethargy, instead take Booming Blade, which is a great cantrip for weapon users.

Drop Crown of Madness, it's very poor and doesn't do anything when upcasted. Replace it with Shadow of Moil, which is a great spell to cast in anticipation of a fight.

Circle of Death doesn't do enough damage to justify a 6th level slot, and the large area makes it hard to avoid friendly fire. Take Mass Suggestion instead, it's a much stronger effect.

This build wants Repelling Blast, Eldritch Smite, and Lance of Lethargy, so you should drop Mask of Many Faces, Shroud of Shadow, and Visions of Distant Realms

You only have three Ability Score Increases by this level, so you should get your Charisma to 18 and then take the two feats, Polearm Master and War Caster. Next level you'll get another increase, and at that point you should get your Charisma to 20.