You are looking to make a new DnD character, aren’t you? Consider the Bladelock 5e! I have had many outstanding campaigns roleplaying as one with my friends, and I am convinced it is one of the more enjoyable ‘complex’ classes there are.
Many players and fellow DMs agree that the early levels (1 to 8) with a bladelock character are a blast and that they hold up pretty well. I agree. You deal a good amount of damage as a player, and you are always a valuable party member. If I DM, and a player of mine is playing as a bladelock, I notice they are strong but never too overpowered to make combat dull.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how you can make a fantastic Bladelock character in 5e DnD!
What is a bladelock?
The most straightforward definition would be that the Bladelock is a warlock that has chosen to prioritize weapons and melee over other combat styles. These characters want to deal a ton of damage with the weapons they wield while also casting debuffs to make the fight more favorable for them.
More so than a warlock, a Bladelock wants to be a frontliner by buffing their stats and ability to avoid and soak up damage. They are not the main tank of the party, but they are a great support to the primary damage soaker.
Just like regular warlocks, a bladelock also benefits significantly from their high Charisma stat. This high CHA allows them to use charm spells effectively and influence enemies and NPCs alike.
What are the best races for bladelocks in 5e?
There are a ton of races in DnD 5e. Unfortunately, only a few of these races make decent Bladelocks. So here is my top X for the best races for a Bladelock in 5e. If you pick another race than these, make sure you get stats around 16 STR and 14+ Charisma if you want to be effective on the battlefield.
1. Variant Human
To answer the question right away, the best race for a Bladelock in 5e DnD is the Variant Human. The reason why the variant human makes such a good Bladelock is pretty apparent.
As a variant human, you get terrific stats where they matter. First, your Charisma is 16, and second, your Strength is also 16. These are two massive advantages right outside of the gate for a Bladelock.
As you know, Variant Humans also get an extra feat at the start. So that makes it an even better pick for this Class and ensures you can start pulling your weight in battle from the early levels.
Second on our list, and almost as good of a choice as Variant humans, are the Half-elves. These creatures get +2 charisma and a +1 on two ability scores of your choosing. You should invest these points, so you get the following ability scores.
- 16 Charisma
- 16 Strength
- 13 Constitution
Another nice boost is the fact that you get two extra skills of your choice to work with as a half-elf. Access to Elven Accuracy is also a fantastic perk if you want to deal more reliable damage. Finally, if you are sick of playing as a human in DnD, then the Half-Elf is a fantastic choice to pick from an efficiency and roleplaying point of view.
Check out the wood elf 5e guide if you want to make a sneakier character build.
The Half-Drow finishes off our top three for the best race for a Bladelock in 5e. These get a +2, +1 and +1. Invest these the same way as you would for a Half-Elf. You should definitely pick Faerie Fire for your extra spells, but more on that later. Then there is also the fact you can get Elven Accuracy. The combination of those two is great if you want to make a crit fishing build.
There is not much difference between the Half-drow and Half-elf, and you could easily argue that their places on the ranking can be swapped.
The Dragonborn can easily be considered one of the best race picks for the Bladelock. The Dragonborn gets a +2 in their Strength and a +1 in Charisma. Both these stats are vital to making a potent build.
The Dragonborn is also a pretty non-conventional race to pick, so you might enjoy the Dragonborn more than the run-of-the-mill choices you might always pick. Another advantage this race has is the Breath Weapon.
These are the stats you should have:
- 15 Strength
- 13 Charisma
- 14 Constitution
Reading tip: wondering what classes and races go good together? Here are some relevant articles.
What stats to invest in?
Strength: the most important stat for a bladelock to invest in is Strength. Since you will fight with a blade – and thus melee – you will want to hit hard and accurately. Therefore, make sure you are at least 15 STR when you choose your stats.
Charisma: Just like the regular Warlock, Charisma is of vital importance to the Bladelock. While it does not have to be as high as your STR, I advise you to get at least 14 Charisma.
Constitution: Constitution is the last of the three essential stats and the least important out of those three. It would help if you aimed to have around 14 CON. This is because you will be the target of an attack pretty often as you are fighting in close combat. So you want to be able to survive those and avoid having to retreat too often.
Dexterity: you are fine keeping it average. You do not need to have a massive DEX stat to make a Bladelock work, and you should not care about investing in it.
Wisdom: if you use the default array, this should be your second to worse. Wisdom can be handy for a few saving throws, but it is not essential for a Bladelock except for a few niche situations.
Intelligence: Intelligence is the stat you don’t need on a character like this. Never invest points into this stat, or you will regret it immediately. Ignore the stat.
What feats are best for a bladelock in 5e DnD?
There are only three feats I would consider strong on a Bladelock. I will rank them from best to worst here. There is only a little difference between these three when you compare them to each other, but the difference for a Bladelock is staggering compared to other feats. I would advise you to pick out of these three to make a strong character.
Great Weapon Master
Great Weapon Master is the best feat of choice for any Bladelock that wants to be worth his weight in gold for the party. You get a good amount of extra damage and can easily slice through cannon fodder mobs. Furthermore, if you have Faerie fire and the right Pact, you make the Great Weapon Master feat even more powerful.
Make sure you combine Polearm Master with a good feat for your Bladelock to synergize and get the most out of it. A wise choice would be the Warcaster feat. The fact that you can get an opportunity attack due to polearm master combined with the Warcaster perk of you being able to fire a spell is a deadly combination. But, of course, this is a bit too sorcery-based for some people who want to make a Bladelock.
Warcaster is a feat for those who want to have a bit more Lock and a bit less Blade. You will have a massive advantage when casting spells as they are becoming almost undisruptable by your enemies. As said before, you can also add Polearm Master to this feat to optimize the potency and reliability of the feat’s combination.
The ability you should pick
No ranking for this part of the guide. To be honest, there is only one Class of abilities you should consider on a Bladelock. Make sure you also pick a fighter level as your first level. From the second level on, you will be starting to multiclass into – you guessed it – a warlock.
The Pact of the Blade is a must-pick ability, even if you have a fighter level. The reason for that is that you need to take the Bladethirst invocation later to make a potent Bladelock in 5e DnD. In addition, this Pact will give you access to multiple attacks.
What Patron to pick
The Fiend is my favorite Patron for the Bladelock. Compared to your other two choices, the Great Old One and the Archfey, the Fiend is just a lot better for this kind of character.
If you pick the Fiend as your Patron, you get a bonus of 1d8 hit dice. Next to that, you also get some temporary hit points. These are calculated by adding your Charisma modifier to your warlock level. You do need to kill a creature for this ability to be activated.
Both these perks are fantastic for a Bladelock in 5e DnD. As you will be fighting on the frontlines quite a lot, being able to deal damage and take a bit of extra damage is going to aid you quite a bit.
I would not pick this Patron. The Archfey is a decent option. However, it just isn’t as good as the Fiend. You get a couple of valuable spells, like misty step and the ability to get greater invisibility. However, I think that if we are making a Bladelock in DnD, the Fiend is the only real effective option we can use to maximize our power.
Best Bladelock Spells and Invocations
The following invocations and spells aren’t ranked from best to worst. However, they are all essential and necessary to make a strong Bladelock in 5e. If you don’t have one or two spells, that won’t be too much of a problem. However, if you start swapping out a ton of them, you will soon notice that your build is a bit underpowered or weak.
1. Improved Pact Weapon
An obvious first choice for your bladelock is the improved pact weapon Invocation. This has the following three aspects you will need to take into account.
- You can use any weapon you summon with your Pact of the Blade feature as a spellcasting focus for your warlock spells.
- The weapon gains a +1 bonus to its attack and damage rolls unless it is a magic weapon that already has a bonus to those rolls.
- The weapon you conjured can be a shortbow, longbow, light crossbow, or heavy crossbow.
2. Thirsting Blade
At the 5th level, and if you have Pact of the Blade, you can have the Thirsting Blade Evocation. The Thirsting Blade allows you to attack with your pact weapon twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
As you might have guessed, this evocation is pretty much a must-have on any Bladelock. The amount of extra DPS you gain from Thirsting Blade is impressive and can make all the difference in a close battle!
At level 12, when you pick the path of the Blade, you will be able to get the Lifedrinker evocation. This evocation for your Bladelock has the following effect: When you hit a creature with your pact weapon, the creature takes extra necrotic damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1).
This necrotic damage is pretty consequential, as it is applied every time your weapon hits.
Best Spells for bladelock 5e
Your spells will look radically different from the average warlock; Since you will be using the Blade and not fighting at a distance, you will not have spells like Moonbeam at your disposal. I would advise you to take the following spells. These are not ranked when
1. Armor of Agathys
A pretty unknown spell, but Armor of Agathys is fantastic for a Bladelock. Since you will be involved in close combat pretty often, it is crucial to be able to take hits while fighting. Therefore, the armor of agathys has the following effect.
You gain five temporary hit points for the duration of up to an hour. If a creature hits you with a melee attack while you have these hit points, the creature takes five cold damage.
Bladelocks are about taking as minor damage as possible when fighting in close combat.
Counter Spell has the following effect:
You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of Casting a Spell. If the beast is Casting a Spell of 3rd Level or lower, its spell fails and has no Effect. Therefore, the DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s attack fails and has no Effect.
Interrupting an enemy from casting an attack or a buff/debuff is fantastic. It is also a great spell to support your party members.
3. Dispel Magic
Another defensive spell on the list is the classic Dispel Magic. The effect of this abjuration is pretty straightforward:
Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends.
You don’t just get a ton of use out of the spell during combat; you can also use it to dispel traps and items outside of a fight.
Detect magic is powerful but not as good as Dispel Magic on a Bladelock. However, the two work in tandem if you are playing a campaign light on combat with many puzzles.
No escaping this spell, vanilla warlock, bladelock, or any warlock-related caster. It would be best if you had this magic attack to get the most out of your build. The Hex has the following effect:
You place a curse on a creature that you can see within range. Until the spell ends:
- You deal an extra 1d6 necrotic damage to the target whenever you hit it with an attack.
- Choose one ability when you cast the spell. The target has a disadvantage on ability checks made with the chosen ability.
Since a Bladelock can make multiple attacks in a round, Hex quickly pays off. Making this a very potent DPR build in 5e DND.
5. Misty Step
Another interesting magic ability to have on a bladelock is the Misty Step. This spell allows you to dip outside of combat quickly. For example, misty Step does the following: Briefly surrounded by silvery mist, you Teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see.
Finishing off the list of must-have spells on a Bladelock is Fly. As you guessed, this is another defensive-based spell. The ability to fly away from a battle is always helpful if working with a relatively low CON and AC.
There you have it. These six spells should make your Bladelock much more survivable. You can swap a few of these for another; however, your character won’t be as strong as you want if you do.
What is the best Bladelock build?
The best Bladelock build is a build that prioritizes doing damage with a blad by picking the evocations and patrons that give you additional damage. From a defensive perspective, you will mainly use spells for that. Some of these will buff your armor, while others will allow you to escape from a challenging situation unscathed.
What is better, the Blastlock or the bladelock?
Generally, the bladelock is a tiny bit better, in my experience. Mainly because the build has extensive defensive-based spells that allow it to escape dangerous situations. The Blastlock is a solid build but a little less intense in combat.
Are hexblade bladelocks strong in 5e DnD?
Having Hex on your bladelock is a must. It adds a nice amount of extra damage to every attack. This quickly boosts your DPR significantly, as a bladelock can often make multiple attacks in one round.
Final thoughts on this build and tips
The Bladelock is a ton of fun to play with in as good as every campaign. There is one pitfall you should look out for, however. You must follow the build – and focus on blade damage – almost to the letter. If you deviate from the optimal picks, you will have difficulty getting the most out of your character.
You do not have to follow everything in this guide, and you can swap out a few things for your bladelock. First, however, you must ensure that you have enough defensive spells at your disposal.
The most important thing is that you have fun; the build takes a couple of levels to get going and show its true potential. If you enjoy characters that are great from level 1, you might want to look further.