Multiclassing is a popular way for D&D players to customize their characters and provide counterbalances for their characters’ in-game weaknesses.
Warlocks are a popular class for people who like to multiclass, but not every class jives well with the Warlock multiclass. Let’s take a look at the most effective Warlock multiclass builds.
What Is Multiclassing?
Multiclassing is when your character takes levels in two separate classes. This is separate from your character level in that your character level is the summation of your class levels, to a maximum of 20.
So if you have 14 levels in Bard and 6 in Sorcerer, you’re a level 20 character and can no longer gain EXP or levels as you’re maxed out.
Multiclassing in Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition has prerequisites that the character must reach before they can take a level in a second class.
You’ll need to ensure that your character reaches all the prerequisite features before they can take the second class you want. So if you’re planning to multiclass, you’ll want to do your research on the class you want to take.
After all, Wizard requires at least 13 in Intelligence before a character can take it as their second class, and an Orc Barbarian with 9 points in Intelligence will have quite a ways to go before they’re able to take their second class.
Multiclassing Spellcasters: Do I Get More Spells and Spell Slots?
In short, yes, you get spell slots and spells known from each class individually as if you were single-classed.
Now, this can be a little bit hard to understand since there’s a little bit of obfuscation when it comes to the rules; they’re intentionally made vague so they can be easily extrapolated and applied to new situations in future and independent publications.
To explain the rules in the most detailed and clear way possible, players with more than one spellcasting class get spell slots from each class independently based on class level.
So if you have three levels in Sorcerer and five levels in Warlock, you’ll have the following:
- 4 Sorcerer Cantrips
- 4 Sorcerer Spells
- 3 Warlock Cantrips
- 6 Warlock Spells
You get these bonuses independent of each other, and you can use your multiclass’s spell slots for the spells you know from both classes.
As far as spell slots go, multiclassed spellcaster get their spell slots independently from their class levels using the following table.
Warlocks will continue to gain Pact Magic slots and can use those for any of their spellcasting class’s spells. Similarly, Warlocks can use their multiclass slots to cast Pact Magic spells.
What Makes Warlocks Strong in Dungeons & Dragons 5e?
Warlocks in D&D 5e are so strong because of their versatility, and this versatility also makes them exceptionally good at multiclassing.
Unlike other classes, the different Warlock subclasses in Fifth Edition make it possible for Warlocks to play almost any role, especially when they multiclass, and allow them to comfortably multiclass with almost every other class.
Their versatility comes from the depth and variation of the Warlock Patrons.
Fifth Edition Warlock Patrons have an immense amount of versatility since they all offer different things and allow the Warlock to slot into roles other than the ranged caster.
For starters, each Patron grants the Warlock a unique expanded spell list. Each Patron also comes with specific features that are only available to Warlocks of this particular patron.
For instance, a Celestial Warlock is a healing Warlock, while a Hexblade Warlock is a melee Warlock. This kind of variation isn’t seen in a lot of other classes that are usually more streamlined into a single role.
Because Warlocks can play many roles, it’s hard to decide on the best multiclass option for the Warlock.
The best option for your Warlock will be decided largely by the role you intend to play within your party, and the Patron you have chosen.
Let’s start by taking a look at the different Warlock Patrons and what they offer. Soon, you’ll be able to picture in your head what kind of character you want to build and what classes will jive best with that character.
Warlock Multiclass: What Should I Multiclass With?
When deciding what to multiclass with, you’ll want to look at a few different factors.
First is, obviously, what role you’re intending to fill in your team.
Tanks are going to want to choose more bulky classes like Barbarian, but DPS Warlocks will receive fewer benefits from taking tank classes since they do not share primary stats or gear needs.
Best Multiclass: Sorcerer
The Sorcerer class is usually regarded as the best multiclass option for Warlocks. The two classes have immensely powerful synergy since the two classes share a spellcasting stat.
Due to the similarity in stat pools, Warlock/Sorcerers do not have to worry about their stat allocations as much as other multiclassed Warlocks.
Additionally, Warlocks will generally start the game with at least 13 points in Charisma, which automatically qualifies them to multiclass into Sorcerer.
This also gives them access to the Sorcerer’s proficiencies in light armor and simple weapons, something the Warlock does not naturally have.
Further, Sorcerers have magic in their bloodlines, while Warlocks draw upon the power of ancient beings like Fey nobles, Hags, or even Aliens.
The Sorcerer multiclass can really be used with just about any Warlock subclass because the synergy of the two classes is just that strong.
If you really want to multiclass and you can’t decide on a class, Sorcerer is a great pickup for Warlock players to give them a healthy boost to their firepower and defenses.
Runner Up: Bard
Bard is another great pickup for the Warlock, and yet another easy-to-pull-off multiclass since the two classes share a primary stat.
Bards have a similar versatility to the Warlock, which makes them an excellent choice for multiclassing.
However, since Bards are a half-melee, half-spellcaster, jack-of-all-trades class, you’ll want to consider more than just the primary stat when trying to multiclass into Bard.
Warlocks who want to multiclass into Bard will do best if they choose concurrent subclasses.
Hexblade Warlocks will synergize well with College of Swords Bards better than they will with College of Lore or College of Glamour.
However, pretty much any Bard subclass will provide extra bonuses for the Warlock since Bards have proficiencies that Warlocks don’t get access to, and the Bard class will increase the raw power of the Warlock class by default.
Honourable Mention: Barbarian
Barbarian is a great pickup for any Warlocks who want to play tank. Since Barbarians get Unarmored Defense, they give boosted defensive capabilities to the Warlock, allowing them to play the role of the tank if they want to.
Since the Barbarian’s Unarmored Defense is, as the name implies, without armour, the Warlock doesn’t suffer any issues with spellcasting as they would if they spec’d into Paladin.
This makes Barbarian an ideal pickup class for the tanky, melee Warlock, perhaps one of the Hexblade Patron.
Honourable Mention: Fighter
Fighter is great for DPS Hexblade Warlocks. Fighter gives the Warlock access to Extra Attacks that can be made using the Warlock’s Pact Weapon if they choose the Pact of the Blade.
This gives the Warlock more melee versatility than the standard Warlock class.
Fighter Warlocks may want to consider taking the War Caster Feat to allow them to carry weapons or a shield while continuing to cast. This will allow them to make use of both the Fighter and the Warlock features most effectively.
Should I Multiclass My Warlock?
Fifth Edition classes are much more suited to being standalone choices. In 3.5, multiclassing was the default.
For instance, Sorcerers would effectively max out at class level 2. So, it didn’t make sense to take more than a few levels in Sorcerer.
Fifth Edition tried to rebalance the power of all the classes to make them more viable as standalone classes.
The goal was not to remove multiclassing but to rebalance the game so that multiclassing was no longer necessary to achieve the most effective base power.
However, multiclassing on Warlocks in 5e is fantastic, especially if you only dip one or two levels into Warlock rather than making a primary Warlock with one or two levels in another class.
Warlock has some of the best early-level bonuses that a player can get.
Warlock is also an amazing primary class. Really, Warlocks represent an excellent class whether it is your primary or secondary class.
Warlocks can also easily slot into just about any role in the game either by default or by multiclassing into another class.
Multiclassing is a fun way to add additional depth to your character and make their build feel more unique.
We’ve given some good ideas for multiclass options based on the metagame and the internal mechanics of the game.
However, you can always choose your favorite class or a class that is more representative of your character’s roleplay.
The most important part of any game is that you have fun. While adhering to the metagame and making decisions based on the mechanics is a valid way to play, so is doing what feels good and fun.
As a DM, I always make a big effort to accommodate the players’ desires and storylines, and I encourage all DMs to be flexible and work with their players to provide them with the best experience they can muster.