10 Worst Warlock Spells in D&D

Warlocks in Dungeons & Dragons are unique spellcasters, forming pacts with powerful otherworldly beings to gain their magic. Unlike other spellcasting classes, Warlocks have limited spell slots but cast those spells at the highest level available to their character level. Selecting the right spells is crucial, as they rely heavily on their limited magical arsenal. Warlocks must choose spells that maximize their unique abilities and fulfill their roles as casters and wielders of eldritch power.

1 Blade Ward

While a decent defensive option, particularly as characters advance in levels, most bards excel at ranged combat. Additionally, casting Blade Ward requires a full action, only lasts for a single round, and may seem redundant compared to taking the Dodge action.

2 Poison Spray

Poison Spray’s limited range restricts its practicality to close-quarters combat, where Warlocks may be less effective. Furthermore, its efficacy is diminished by the prevalence of poison resistance and immunity among adversaries, along with most opponents’ typically high Constitution scores.

3 Thunderclap

This spell is nearly identical to Sword Burst, another Warlock cantrip, without the pesky side effect of notifying everything within 100 feet that you’ve cast a spell. It also requires a Constitution saving throw from the target, one of most enemies’ typical top abilities.

4 True Strike

In most situations, it’s more advantageous for characters to make two attacks during their turn rather than spending one turn on True Strike and another on a single attack. This trade-off often reduces damage output and hinders the character’s overall combat effectiveness.

5 Expeditious Retreat

Despite its intriguing name, Expeditious Retreat proves to be situational in its usefulness. It excels in chases and scenarios involving long-distance running, which are infrequent in many adventures. Moreover, this transmutation spell requires concentration, making it less appealing than other buff spells in most circumstances.

6 Illusory Script

Potentially valuable in campaigns centered around deception and intrigue, Illusory Script is a highly situational spell that may see limited use in standard adventures. As a low-level spell, it may not remain concealed from clever or competent magic users, as truesight easily pierces the illusion.

7 Witch Bolt

This spell can be a great way to target a specific enemy and continuously deal damage every turn. However, it only lasts one minute and can end when the creature leaves the spell’s range or the caster chooses a new action. A better option would be to combine Hex, an hour-long curse with additional damage and disadvantage benefits, with the scaling power of the cantrip, Eldritch Blast.

8 Earthbind

Earthbind allows its caster to pull flying enemies back to the ground. This spell can provide a significant advantage, though creatures without the ability to fly far outnumber those that can. Earthbind also feels redundant to a Warlock’s Eldritch Invocations like Lance of Lethargy and Grasp of Hadar that can chip away at a creature’s movement speed and distance, or Eldritch Smite that can knock flying creatures prone, causing them to fall.

9 Ray of Enfeeblement

The concept of this spell is excellent, but not all enemies will be heavy-hitting masses of muscle. And, even when they are, such powerful creatures often have high Constitution modifiers, making their success rate on a saving throw exceptionally high. It may be a suitable spell to consider at lower levels, but its situational dependency makes it a poor choice overall.

10 Shadow Blade

Shadow Blade is a worthy spell but an unfortunate pairing with a Warlock. For a class that depends on a high Charisma score to empower their spellcasting, relying on a spell that benefits most from high Dexterity feels like a poor decision. It may work in specific builds, but better options may generally exist.

Warlocks in Dungeons & Dragons have a unique pact-based spellcasting system emphasizing their otherworldly powers. Choosing spells that align with their strengths and cater to their specific roles as wielders of eldritch energy is vital. When creating a Warlock character, careful consideration of spell selection is crucial to ensure they harness their eldritch abilities to the fullest and adapt to their challenges in their adventures.

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