Last Updated on January 22, 2023
Warlocks are an exciting class that let you use otherworldly abilities and powerful magic. Of course, they work a bit differently than most casters since their magic comes from an entirely unique source.
From the intricacies of pact magic to the exciting eldritch invocations you get to choose from, there can be a lot to learn when playing this class.
In this article, we’re going to be really focusing on eldritch invocations. We’ve already produced a comprehensive guide on how they work, but now we’re bringing you a list of the best invocations out there.
This is the article for you whether you’re looking for the best invocations in general, by level, or for each subclass out there.
You know how they work, but now it’s time to use them in becoming the strongest warlock the multiverse has ever seen.
What Are Eldritch Invocations?
In case you missed it or you just need a quick refresher, eldritch invocations are pieces of forbidden knowledge you’ve uncovered as a warlock.
This knowledge gives you access to a wide range of incredible abilities, and there are a lot of great options to choose from.
When you hit 2nd level, you learn two eldritch invocations. Then, as you level up, you’ll learn more at certain levels and have the ability to replace one at each level you gain.
The breakdown is as follows: two at 2nd level, three at 5th level, four at 7th level, five at 9th level, six at 12th level, seven at 15th level, and finally, eight at 18th level.
Each invocation brings something different to the table. You might get an at-will spell, an improvement on a spell, a unique ability, or something else entirely that benefits your specific build.
Of course, there are requirements to learn many invocations. Some can only be learned if you know a certain spell, some are unlocked once you reach a certain level, and others require you to have a specific warlock ability.
While this might seem like a downside, these prerequisites are actually setting you on the path to choosing the best invocations for you. After all, what good is an improved pact weapon if you don’t have one?
For an extensive list with insight on each eldritch invocation, please do check out our full guide. Now, let’s get into the best choices for you.
What Are the Best Eldritch Invocations?
“The best” invocation can be subjective, but you get to learn a total of 26 throughout a full campaign. Surely there must be some that stand out against the rest? Of course there are.
The following invocations are good for any warlock, aside from incredibly niche builds of course.
Prerequisite: Eldritch Blast cantrip
When you cast Eldritch Blast, add your Charisma modifier to the damage it deals on a hit.
Eldritch Blast is one of, if not the, best damage-dealing cantrips in 5e.
The spell deals 1d10 of force damage on a hit, and at higher levels you cast multiple beams, which you can send at the same target or at multiple different ones.
If you’re a warlock and this isn’t a part of your spell list, you’ve made a mistake somewhere along the way, which makes the second part of this all the better.
Charisma is a warlock’s spellcasting ability, putting your modifier at least as high as +3, but that should only get better with time.
Throw this all together, and a second-level warlock is dealing an average of 9 force damage (the least-resisted damage in 5e) if they pick up this invocation.
You’re wiping out most enemies with a couple of shots of this spell. Then, when you level up, you’ll be doing that several times, once for each beam of the spell (yes, you add the damage mod to each individual blast)
Agonizing Blast is also a part of a loose series of invocations that all power up your prized cantrip. Eldritch Spear is going to boost your range up to 300 feet, more than doubling it.
Grasp of Hadar will let you pull enemies 10 feet closer to their death after you hit them, while Repelling Blast pushes them 10 feet away. Lastly, Lance of Lethargy can reduce your target’s speed by 10 feet until your next turn.
It’s safe to say that Agonizing Blast is more than enough on its own, but combine it with any of the others, and you have what will feel like a 2nd- or 3rd-level spell that you can cast every turn.
You can see normally in darkness, both magical and nonmagical, to a distance of 120 feet.
There are layers to this spell. Seeing in darkness is huge; it’s why so many races have darkvision. However, almost all of those races only have 60 feet of darkvision, giving you a huge upper hand on them.
Plus, this isn’t darkvision, this is seeing normally in darkness. Darkvision only lets you see normally in dim light and in darkness as if it were dim light.
Also, if you don’t think 120 feet is all that much, consider the fact that it means you can see over 40,000 sq. ft., or 1,800 squares on a battle grid. It’s a lot.
With a range that wide, it’s almost as if there is no darkness to really worry about.
If all that weren’t enough, this throws the ability to see in magical darkness as a bonus. That’s an incredibly rare ability and you can pick this up at 2nd level for free.
When you cast darkness, your enemies will struggle to find you as you easily take them down one by one with your Agonizing Blast or some other trick up your sleeve.
Add this in with the next invocation(s) on our list, and you become the master of the shadows.
One With Shadows / Shroud of Shadow
One With Shadows – Prerequisite: 5th level
When you are in an area of dim light or darkness, you can use your action to become invisible until you move or take an action or a reaction.
Shroud of Shadow – Prerequisite: 15th level
You can cast Invisibility at will without expending a spell slot.
I’m counting these as a two-for-one deal because you should take One With Shadows first and then eventually replace it with Shroud of Shadow. Both of these invocations let you become invisible, just to different extents.
Our starter invocation here is going to allow us to blend into the shadows. You can use this for espionage, to avoid combat, or as a way to stealthily await an enemy and get the jump on them.
That’s nowhere near a complete list if you’re creative, but those are some great options to start with.
If we think about how often adventurers end up in darkness, this only gets better.
Since this is an ability that only costs an action and not any resources, you can continue to dart around in darkness and then immediately blend back in. It’s the invocation so nice they gave it to you twice.
This brings us to Shroud of Shadow, the heightened form of invisibility for warlocks.
You are no longer forced to reside in darkness. You now take the shadows with you wherever you travel. It’s the same benefit, but now you can freely move around.
Of course, you can also cast this on an ally. While it might imply that you are shrouding yourself in shadows, the text very clearly allows you to cast the Invisibility spell as normal, minus the spell slot.
This means you can send the rogue on a stealth mission with a huge bonus or hide the wizard that’s taken too much damage and allow them to retreat from the battle.
Cast the spell as you wish, but I do have to remind you of the one thing that holds this back from being a god-tier ability.
You still cast Invisibility as normal, which means it is a concentration spell. It also means that if you cast it on yourself, you can’t cast another spell while invisible without ending the spell.
I wouldn’t go so far as calling concentration a downside; it’s a price we have to pay. It’s still an amazing invocation. They both are.
Armor of Shadows
You can cast Mage Armor on yourself at will without expending a spell slot or material components.
Now, there are some differing opinions on this invocation. Some would say that it’s not much better than the AC you’d get from light-armor proficiency, making it a less influential pick.
Strictly speaking, that’s correct, but in a game where attacks are based on chance, it’s my belief that every little bit helps.
Sure, the best light armor is going to give you an AC of 12 + your dex modifier while Mage Armor gives you an AC of 13 + your dex mod. It’s quite literally only a +1 bonus, but hear me out here.
Dexterity probably isn’t your best stat or even your second best.
Even the subclass that focuses on melee combat gets to use charisma instead of dexterity with their weapon attacks (albeit they do get medium-armor proficiency).
Your charisma is your highest score, your constitution comes next, and maybe, maybe, dexterity comes in a soft third.
Let’s say you had a really good set of stat rolls and your third best modifier is a +2. That means with light armor, you’re still rocking an AC of only 14.
We’re not out here trying to turn a warlock into the tank of the party, but the fact is that the difference between 14 and 15 is still a 5% chance that you don’t get hit.
Especially at higher levels when most creatures are boasting at least a +4 to attack, your average warlock is going to be getting hit well over half the time.
At-will Mage Armor may not be an incredible improvement on light-armor proficiency, but it just may be the difference that keeps you from rolling up a new character.
The Best Eldritch Invocations for Each Warlock Build
As my friend Harry discussed in the full invocation guide, choosing the best invocations for your build is pretty easy work.
You start by picking up the must-haves, eliminate the invocations you lack the requirement for, choose the ones that fit your pact or subclass, and then fill in the empty slots with whatever strikes your fancy.
It’s easy enough to grab the invocations that are tied to your specific pact boon. I’m just going to go a step further and suggest a few invocations for each subclass.
These are ones that I think synergize excellently with the theme most of these bring to the table.
Best Subclass Invocations
This class is all about controlling your enemies through fey magic. Whether you want to be charming or frightening is really up to you, but either way, people will act as you command.
- Dreadful Word – Cast confusion using a warlock spell slot once per long rest.
- Eldritch Mind – Gain advantage on constitution saves to maintain concentration. With a lot of enchanting and charming spells, you’ll definitely want this huge bonus on maintaining your spells.
- Witch Sight – You can see the true form of any shapechanger or creature disguised by illusion or transmutation magic within 30 feet of you. If there’s any
“cool” ability that really conjures up the idea of fey magic, it’s being able to see through the disguises of others.
Not all warlocks serve obscure and evil beings. In your pact with a celestial, you have devoted yourself to serving the holy light that illuminates the universe and spreading it throughout the dark places of your world. This subclass is essentially a cleric skin thrown onto a warlock’s power set.
- Ascendant Step – You can cast Levitate on yourself at will. Float with the grace of your celestial patron.
- Thief of Five Fates – You can cast Bane once per long rest using a warlock spell slot. Punish evil doers, and make them fail in their pursuits.
- Ghostly Gaze – See through solid objects in a range of 30 feet. I’d reskin this as “Heavenly Sight” because your patron gives you the ability to see past mortal barriers.
Let’s be honest, if you’ve made a pact with an eldritch being from the depths of the sea, there’s a good chance you’re playing in an oceanic campaign. Otherwise, all of your amazing water-based abilities really fall flat. We want invocations that make you the ultimate pirate lord or master of whatever profession you claim.
- Grasp of Hadar / Repelling Blast – Pull or push a target up to 10 feet when you hit them with your eldritch blast. Send your foes flying off of ships or into the grasps of your spectral tentacles.
- Beast Speech – Cast Speak with Animals at will. If it works for Aquaman, it can work for you. Use the creatures of the sea as your allies to garner information and maybe even take down some ships in the process.
- Conjure Elemental – Cast Conjure Elemental once per long rest using a warlock spell slot. Elementals are always helpful in a fight, and if you already have your tentacle fighting for you, you can only benefit from more creatures on your side of the fight.
A warlock with a fiendish patron is the most classic form of warlock. Blast your foes and bolster your defenses as you fight with the moral implications of selling your soul to a devil.
- Fiendish Vigor – Cast False Life at will on yourself as a 1st-level spell. The subclass already gives you temporary hit points when you kill a creature; this invocation just means you’ll always have them, no matter what’s going on.
- Tomb of Levistus – Entomb yourself in ice and gain 10 temporary hit points per warlock level as a reaction to taking damage. If you’re going to get hit hard, your temporary hit points from another source might not cut it as well as this invocation will.
You’ve devoted your service to one of the most powerful creatures from the Elemental Planes. As you gain your respective elemental powers, you’ll become as powerful as lesser djinn in no time.
- Conjure Elementals – Cast Conjure Elemental once per long rest using a warlock spell slot. I mean, obviously we have to include this one.
- Master of Myriad Forms – Cast Alter Self at will. You’ve already started to assume a form related to your patron; take the extra step and make yourself appear as a djinn, or disguise yourself to trick someone into a pact with you.
- Sculptor of Flesh – Cast Polymorph once per day using a warlock spell slot. Transform others to your will, or assume an incredible form, and decimate your foes (a la Jafar in Aladdin, my favorite Genie Patron Warlock).
Great Old One
Your connection to an otherworldly being gives you mental and magical powers beyond a mortal’s wildest imagination.Through telepathic abilities and psychic spells, you can conquer any who defy you.
- Eldritch Sight – Cast Detect Magic at will. It makes sense that connection to alien powers would grant you the ability to sniff out magic wherever it is.
- Gaze of Two Minds – Perceive through the sense of another willing humanoid. Being a passenger in someone’s mind really feels like the next step of the telepathy granted by this subclass.
- Visions of Distant Realms – Cast Arcane Eye at will. The name already connects so well, and vision into hidden places is exactly the kind of power an otherworldly being would grant you.
Use the dark and mysterious powers of the shadowfell to conjure incredible weapons or cast powerful spells. This is the most melee focused of all the warlock subclasses and one that has a pretty obvious line of invocations. Essentially, grab the invocations with a Hexblade requirement.
- Maddening Hex – Deal psychic damage to the target of your curse and creatures surrounding it. This just makes your hex all the more deadly.
- Relentless Hex – Magically teleport to the target of your hex. If they try to run, teleport to them and decimate them with your eldritch blades.
Assume the form of dread, a frightening transformation that reflects your undead patron. Gain temporary hit points, reprieve from death, and the ability to frighten all who get close enough to feel your dread.
- Master of Myriad Forms – Cast Alter Self at will. Go a step beyond the visual pieces of your patron and assume a truly terrifying form, or grow grotesque claws (like that of a boneclaw) and rip into your foes.
- Misty Visions – Cast Silent Image at will. Create illusions on a whim to frighten and distract your foes, pulling them into an outright realm of horror.
- Cloak of Flies – Is your form of dread not frightening enough? Cloak yourself in flies and terrify all those in your presence, gain advantage on intimidation checks, and even poison those who get too close to you.
Gain the powers of a truly immortal being, one who has seen kingdoms fall and worlds die before their eyes. Become a master of life as you protect yourself and others from death.
- Undying Servitude – Cast Animate Dead once per long rest without using a spell slot. If there’s anyone who should have undead creatures at their command, it’s a warlock that has mastery over death itself.
- Whispers of the Grave – Cast Speak with Dead at will without using a spell slot. You already get this spell as part of your extended spell list, but this allows you to cast it freely.
- Fiendish Vigor – Cast False Life at will on yourself as a 1st-level spell. If there’s one way to avoid death, it’s to bolster yourself with temporary hit points.
Eldritch invocations are an incredible tool that really let you dive so deep into the mysterious and occult powers of a warlock and their patron.
Play around and find the right ones for the character you’re trying to build, but these suggestions are definitely going to be your best place to start if you’re overwhelmed.
As always, happy adventuring.
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As a kid, I was often told to get my head out of the clouds and to stop living in a fantasy world. That never really jived with me, so I decided to make a living out of games, stories, and all sorts of fantastical works. Now, as an adult, I aspire to remind people that sometimes a little bit of fantasy is all you need when life gets to be too much.