Eldritch Invocation Guide: The Best Way To Use Agonizing Blast in DnD 5e

Eldritch Invocations are one of the ways that Warlock players in Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition can customize their character. Each new book adds more options for Eldritch Invocations to the errata. Players can mix and match options to allow them the greatest possible customization of their character.

Agonizing Blast is one of the better offensive options in the Warlock kit. Players who take Agonizing Blast as one of their Eldritch Invocations will be able to use Eldritch Blast to cripple their opponents further. Let’s look at the errata regarding Agonizing Blast and how this Eldritch Invocation can help your character reach their highest potential!

Eldritch Blast: What Is It? How Do I Use It?

Eldritch Blast is a Warlock-exclusive cantrip. The spell is essentially “Fire Bolt for Warlocks,” and it has a similar damage curve to Fire Bolt. However, Eldritch Blast has some notable differences from Fire Bolt.

Let’s start by looking at the errata text for Eldritch Blast.

Eldritch Blast
Evocation cantrip

  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: 120 feet
  • Components: V, S
  • Duration: Instantaneous

A beam of crackling energy streaks toward a creature within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 1d10 force damage.

At Higher Levels. The spell creates more than one beam when you reach higher levels: two beams at 5th level, three beams at 11th level, and four beams at 17th level. You can direct the beams at the same target or at different ones. Make a separate attack roll for each beam.

Spell Lists. Warlock

Source: Player’s Handbook

Eldritch Blast is an excellent spell that makes Warlocks a force to be reckoned with. Its versatility is an essential feature of the spell. In terms of spellcasters, Warlocks have many more limitations than their other primary spellcaster counterparts. 

Since Warlocks can only cast spells at the highest level they can—up to the fifth level for most spells—they have fewer functional spell slots than their counterparts. Thus, a versatile cantrip is something that Warlocks need to be competitive in combat.

Eldritch Blast’s most significant difference from the traditional Fire Bolt is that the caster can choose different targets for each bolt of Eldritch Blast. Unlike Fire Bolt, which scales a single bolt up in damage, Eldritch Blast scales its damage up by producing additional bolts that deal damage individually. 

So, the overall damage output is the same as Fire Bolt (4d10 at the 17th level), but it’s spread out over multiple hits. Additionally, the different bolts can be used to target other creatures, allowing the Warlock to effectively deal with smaller mobs that sometimes accompany a larger boss creature.

Agonizing Blast: What Is It? How Do I Use It?

Agonizing Blast is an Eldritch Invocation that Warlocks can take to improve their Eldritch Blast cantrip. Agonizing Blast allows players to add their Charisma modifier to the damage roll for Eldritch Blast, increasing its damage.

Let’s first take a look at the errata for Agonizing Blast.

Agonizing Blast

Prerequisite: Eldritch Blast cantrip

When you cast eldritch blast, add your Charisma modifier to the damage it deals on a hit.

Source: Player’s Handbook

Agonizing Blast is the first Eldritch Invocation players typically take when building a Warlock whose damage is primarily based on Eldritch Blast. There are several other Eldritch Invocations that you’ll want to take if you want to play an Eldritch Blast Warlock.

There are eight Eldritch Invocations that you can take to improve your Eldritch Blast. These primarily influence the damage and hindrance effects of Eldritch Blast. Agonizing Blast is the primary damage Eldritch Invocation for building an Eldritch Blast Warlock.

It’s important to remember that, as per the errata’s written text, Eldritch Blast hits up to four times, meaning that the Charisma modifier will be added up to four times, one for each hit of Eldritch Blast. So, if Eldritch Blast hits four times on one creature, they’ll take an additional 20 damage if you have a +5 Charisma modifier.

This also means that if you use the beams of Eldritch Blast on multiple creatures, you’ll apply your Charisma modifier for each hit, allowing you to spread massive damage over large groups of enemies.

Eldritch Blast Warlock Build: How To Play an Eldritch Blast Warlock

For starters, you’ll need to take Eldritch Blast to play an Eldritch Blast Warlock. While it may seem basic, we’ve previously forgotten critical skills on our character sheets when building new characters. 

Next, you’ll need to start deciding on your Warlock’s Eldritch Invocations. Agonizing Blast is a must-have for Warlocks, who primarily intend to deal damage using the Eldritch Blast spell. Taking Agonizing Blast at the first level will give you a lot of much-needed versatility and allow you to deal maximum damage without using valuable spell slots.

Eldritch Invocations don’t have a level requirement to take them, so you can take them in any order. However, some Invocations require a player to have prerequisite skills or Invocations before they can take them. Additionally, a small subset of Eldritch Invocations requires the player already to have their Pact Boon, a level-3 feature. Thus, they’re artificially locked to the 3rd level as the earliest time to take them.

Let’s take a look at some of the other Eldritch Invocations you might look at if you’re building an Eldritch Blast Warlock.

Eldritch Spear

  • Source: Player’s Handbook
  • Prerequisite: Eldritch Blast cantrip

When you cast Eldritch Blast, its range is 300 feet.

Eldritch Spear is another crucial Invocation for Eldritch Blast Warlocks. More than doubling the range of Eldritch Blast allows for more versatile use of Eldritch Blast since players won’t have to get as close to their enemies to hurl the spell.

Eldritch Spear allows Eldritch Blast users to outrange even many ranged-capable enemies continually. This means that the Warlock will be safely out of range of anything that could cause them to become a monster’s next meal.

Kiss of Mephistopheles

  • Source: Unearthed Arcana 40 – Revised Class Options
  • Prerequisite: Eldritch Blast cantrip

When you hit a creature with your eldritch blast, you can cast Fireball as a bonus action using a Warlock spell slot. The spell must be centered on the creature you hit with Eldritch Blast.

Kiss of Mephistopheles is an excellent—even necessary—Eldritch Invocation for Warlocks whose primary damage-dealing skill is Eldritch Blast. It allows the caster to cast Fireball as a bonus action when creatures get hit with their Eldritch Blast spell, effectively turning Eldritch Blast into a two-for-one damage spell.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to choose your target for Fireball carefully. Since the Fireball spell must be centered on the creature you chose as your target, your allies will likely be in the range of fire for many of the casts, primarily melee DPS and tank characters.

You’ll do best not to get your friends caught in your Fireball if you can help it. However, for taking out large groups of additional monsters or trash mobs that you have to fight through to get to the final boss, there’s no better option than a free fireball.

Lance of Lethargy

  • Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
  • Prerequisite: Eldritch Blast cantrip

Once on each of your turns, when you hit a creature with your Eldritch Blast, you can reduce that creature’s speed by 10 feet until the end of your next turn.

Lance of Lethargy is another excellent choice for Eldritch Blast Warlocks. This is a hindrance ability that allows the Warlock to reduce the speed of one creature hit by Eldritch Blast by 10 feet. Anything that reduces a creature’s speed and another movement will be a good option for players playing squishier classes like Warlocks. 

Additionally, Lance of Lethargy offers much-needed utility to the Warlock that they can use to slow approaching enemies and keep enemies at bay. You can even use Eldritch Blast—empowered by Lance of Lethargy—to keep enemies away from your teammates. This can be an excellent choice for parties with less utility-based skills.

Repelling Blast

  • Source: Player’s Handbook
  • Prerequisite: Eldritch Blast cantrip

When you hit a creature with Eldritch Blast, you can push the creature up to 10 feet away from you in a straight line.

Repelling Blast is another excellent choice for Warlocks who need a little more utility. Since Repelling Blast pushes a creature away from the Warlock, it’s possible to use this ability to push creatures away from yourself and your allies, offering much-needed protection to your squishier teammates.

Repelling Blast is also great for keeping enemies in range of a continuous effect by controlling their movement and positioning. It can be used in conjunction with Grasp of Hadar, but Repelling Blast typically has many more uses than Grasp of Hadar.

Other Eldritch Blast Invocations: Are They Good? Should I Take Them?

Raven Queen’s Blessing

  • Source: Unearthed Arcana 29 – Warlock & Wizard
  • Prerequisite: Raven Queen patron, Eldritch Blast cantrip

When you score a critical hit with your Eldritch Blast cantrip, pick yourself or an ally you can see within 30 feet of you. The chosen creature can immediately expend a Hit Die to regain hit points equal to the roll + the creature’s Constitution modifier (minimum of 1 hit point).

The Raven Queen’s Blessing Invocation is an exciting option that isn’t typically necessary. However, it offers some crucial healing to a class that doesn’t usually have natural healing capabilities.

This is an excellent way to get the most use out of your whole party’s hit dice. While Short Rests use hit dice as well—and you will be taking them since your party has a Warlock—Short Rests are much less common for parties to bring in 5e than in previous editions of the game. So, you can get some much-needed use out of your hit dice if you use the Raven Queen’s Blessing, but it’s not necessary for an Eldritch Blast build.

Grasp of Hadar

  • Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
  • Prerequisite: Eldritch Blast cantrip

Once on each of your turns, when you hit a creature with your Eldritch Blast, you can move that creature in a straight line 10 feet closer to yourself.

Grasp of Hadar is another good Invocation, but it doesn’t see as much use as Repelling Blast. Warlocks don’t typically want to be in the melee range of their enemies. Only the Pact of the Blade Warlocks tend to have the durability necessary to get up-close and personal with enemies.

However, the Grasp of Hadar can be used to keep enemies in range of continuous spells like Hunger of Hadar or move enemies around to keep them away from allies. Still, it’s not typically advisable for Warlocks to pull enemies close to them. So, use this ability judiciously if you take it.

Final Thoughts

Eldritch Invocations are one of the most fun parts of playing a Warlock in Dungeons & Dragons. The amount of customization available from just the Eldritch Invocations is unbelievable. It really allows you to make a unique character with their own identity rather than a cookie-cutter character.

As always, an essential thing in every game is that you and your party are having fun. Suppose your party wants to use Unearthed Arcana or other sourcebooks or even make up their Invocations. In that case, you should consider what they want to help improve the whole group’s overall experience. With a bit of re-tooling, it’s possible to include many player ideas without making them game-breaking!