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DnD Hexblade Warlock 5E subclass guide

The DnD Hexblade Warlock is a 5E subclass that takes your spellcaster to the frontlines of TTRPG combat – where they’ll proceed to kick butt

DnD Hexblade Warlock 5e casting fire magic (art by Wizards of the Coast)

The DnD Hexblade Warlock is for players who want the best of both worlds in TTRPG combat. Tired of playing squishy little spellcasters but don’t want the plain sword-and-board of the martial classes? Time to make a pact with a shadowy fiend and pick up the Hexblade Warlock 5E subclass.

Below you’ll find all the key details about a Hexblade Warlock. This is subclass info only though, so you might want to check our Warlock 5e and wider DnD classes guides for a broader overview of the Warlock. Our guides to DnD races and DnD character builds also offer more ideas for crafting your next character.

Here’s your complete Hexblade Warlock guide:

DnD Hexblade Warlock 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a dwarf casting shadow magic on a fortress

Hexblade patron

As a Hexblade Warlock, your patron is a dark force found in the DnD plane of Shadowfell. This entity is particularly known for crafting magic weaponry using its shadowy powers.

The DnD book Xanathar’s Guide to Everything cites the Raven Queen as the forger of the first of these dark weapons. However, it’s implied that the power used to create them is a greater force, separate from the Raven Queen. It could also be that others in Shadowfell harness this dark power. Essentially, this gives you plenty of creativity to create your own Hexblade patron rather than rely on a particular bit of Forgotten Realms canon.

DnD hexblade Warlock 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a dwarf in dark armour and a horned helmet

Hexblade spells

As well as your standard Warlock 5E spells, the Hexblade gets an expanded spell list:

Spell level Spells
1 Shield 5E, Wrathful Smite
2 Blur, Branding Smite
3 Blink, Elemental Weapon
4 Phantasmal Killer, Staggering Smite
5 Banishing Smite, Cone of Cold

While there are some big hitters in here, several of the Hexblade spells don’t scale well with the Warlock’s unique spell slot rules. Plus, many of the spells rely on concentration – so be sure to pick your favourites carefully, and don’t forget to spam an Agonising or Eldritch Blast 5E or two while your Warlock is focused.

DnD Hexblade Warlock 5e casting a spell with a staff (art by Wizards of the Coast)

Hexblade’s Curse

Level: One

While Hex is a spell all on its own, playing a Hexblade means you also get to use the Hexblade’s Curse on your opponents. This allows you to curse a creature within 30 feet for one minute as a bonus action.

Three things happen when you curse your D&D monster (or character) of choice. Firstly, you get a bonus on damage rolls against them, equal to your proficiency bonus. Rolling a 19 now also counts as a critical hit along with the iconic 20. And lastly, you regain hit points equal to your Warlock level and Charisma modifier when the cursed creature dies.

The Hexblade’s Curse can be refreshed with a short or long rest, and it ends early if you or your target die. Becoming incapacitated will also cut your curse short.

DnD Hexblade Warlock 5E - Wizards of the Coast art of a group of adventurers fighting monsters

Hex Warrior

Level: One

Time to put the ‘blade’ in Hexblade. Hex Warrior is a trait that grants you proficiency in medium DnD armor, shields, and martial DnD weapons. You’re still a magic sword-fighter though, so your Warlock patron has thrown in some extra spice to boot.

Once per long rest, you can touch any weapon you’re proficient in (provided it isn’t two-handed). Doing so imbues that weapon with a bit of Warlock magic, meaning you can roll attacks and damage with your Charisma modifier instead of the standard Strength or Dexterity.

According to Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Hex Warrior complements the Pact of the Blade feature nicely. Any weapon you summon with that feature benefits from Hex Warrior’s effects, whatever kind of weapon it may be.

DnD Hexblade Warlock - Wizards of the Coast art of a spectre holding a mace

Accursed Specter

Level: Six

D&D heard you like curses, so Accursed Specter gives you even more of that malevolent good stuff. This feature curses a humanoid enemy’s soul after you kill them, forcing them to obey your will as a spectre until your next long rest.

Your new ghostly buddy has the same DnD stats as a typical spectre, and it starts out with temporary hit points equal to half your Warlock level. It’ll obey your commands, and its attack rolls get a bonus that equals your Charisma modifier.

DnD Hexblaed Warlock 5E (art by Wizards of the Coast)

Armour of Hexes

Level: Ten

Armour of Hexes adds a new, shiny feature to your Hexblade’s Curse. Any time a cursed creature lands an attack, you can roll 1d6 in response. As long as you roll a four or higher, that attack misses you instead. A frontline spellcaster has never looked so good.

Master of Hexes

Level: 14

As a Master of Hexes, your Warlock can now expand the use of the Hexblade’s Curse. Any time a cursed creature dies (and you aren’t incapacitated), you can immediately inflict the same curse on another creature you can see within 30 feet. It’s a great way to keep reaping the rewards of the curse, but the trade-off is you don’t regain hit points from a cursed creature dying if you keep the curse chain going.