D&D: Best Warlock spells for every level

DnD: Best Warlock spells
Warlock sharing the fires of Hell with her enemies

What Are The Best Warlock Spells in D&D?

Warlocks are Dungeons & Dragons answer to the sugar baby. Exceptionally powerful sugar-daddies known as patrons give a small portion of their power to Warlocks which enables them to cast spells and perform other fun tricks, such as communicating telepathically. By reading my list you will gain a solid understanding of some of the best spells that Warlocks have access to.

Best Warlock cantrip: Eldritch Blast

As a Warlock you will be doing this a lot. Get used to it. 

Eldritch Blast is a cantrip which deals 1d10 force damage and has a range of 120 feet. This cantrip can be enhanced in various ways as you level up, really turning it into the cantrip you want it to be. 

Eldritch Blast is the best cantrip in the game. No debate. It does solid damage, has great range to begin with, and does a type of damage few, if any, creatures are resistant to. This is a Warlock exclusive cantrip and it is what sets them apart from the weak and forgettable. You’ll use this cantrip a lot, and your party members will make fun of you for how often you say it; but the truth is they wish they could use this cantrip too. 

Best times to use Eldritch Blast:

  • Due to the solid damage it deals Eldritch Blast will be your go-to damage cantrip.
  • As you level up you will be able to increase the damage it deals as well as have it debuff enemies in various ways, such as lowering their movement speed. The options are there to turn this into the cantrip you want it to be.

Best 1st-level Warlock spell: Unseen Servant

The best kind of imaginary best friend. 

Unseen Servant is a 1st-level conjuration spell which creates an invisible entity which follows your orders as best as it can for one hour. The entity can perform simple tasks such as opening doors, lighting fires, pulling levers, or anything your DM will allow. This spell can be cast using an action or as a ritual, which takes ten minutes of in-game time, but it will not use up a spell slot. 

Remember having an imaginary friend? Now imagine if they weren’t so imaginary! This is a powerful spell because it gives you and your party an extra ally for when the chips are down and all may seem lost. As a Warlock you have Eldritch Blast, the best cantrip in the game. So your limited uses of spells will be best used for situations that may fall outside of combat. 

Some of the best uses of Unseen Servant include:

  • If you’re in a dungeon and you think a door may be trapped, stand back (and behind cover if possible) and have your Unseen Servant open it instead of taking that risk yourself.
  • When your tank goes down, instead of jumping into the heat of battle yourself you can have your Unseen Servant force that sweet, tasty healing potion down their throat.
  • You can impress in social situations by having your Unseen Servant serve your guests.

Best 2nd-level Warlock Spell: Misty Step

Be a slippery little bastard with this spell

What does Misty Step do? For a 2nd-level conjuration spell it is quite simple. It wraps the caster in a misty aura and teleports them up to 30 feet from where they are to an empty space that they can see using just a bonus action.

What makes Misty Step powerful is that it acts like a limited-range teleport spell. You can increase the distance between you and your enemies using this spell, or you could access areas that were out of reach before. Another massive benefit is that you can use this without using your action or movement during your turn. This makes Misty Step one of the most versatile and powerful spells in all of Dungeons and Dragons. 

Misty Step could be most useful in situations such as:

  • If you become surrounded by melee attackers during combat you can use Misty Step to get away from them without provoking opportunity attacks. 
  • If someone is trying to run away you can use Misty Step to cut off their escape. 
  • When the area you are trying to stealth into is well guarded you can use Misty Step to move past the guards without being noticed. 

Best 3rd-level Warlock Spell: Counterspell

Deny everything from Fireball to Teleport

A 3rd-level abjuration spell, Counterspell is done by using your reaction you can cancel a spell that someone is attempting to cast as long as it is a 3rd-level spell of lower. If the spell is above 3rd-level then you must make an ability check of 10 + the level of the spell being cast. If you pass the check, the spell fails. 

Being able to nullify any spell being cast is an incredibly powerful ability. This works for spell attacks, spell effects; anything that requires being cast is affected by Counterspell. And if the level of the spell slot being used is high enough, there is nothing the other person can do. No ability checks, no saving throws, nothing. Spell fails. Try again next turn. 

When is Counterspell most useful? These are some examples of good Counterspell uses:

  • By using a high enough spell slot you can Counterspell someone trying to cast Teleport. This makes it so that nobody will ever be able to run away from you.
  • As soon as you get Counterspell you can completely shut down Fireball and Lightning Bolt. Two spells that can absolutely result in TPKs (Total Party Kills) at low enough levels. 
  • If someone does not have access to Teleport, but they can cast Fly, you can cast Counterspell and keep them grounded. With this spell, nobody will ever be able to use magic to run away from you.

Best 4th-level Warlock Spell: Summon Greater Demon

Friends in low places are just as good to have.

How do you summon a greater demon? By casting this 4th-level conjuration spell of course! All you need for material components for this fun little spell is a vial of blood from a humanoid that's been killed in the last 24 hours. You do not need to be the one who killed them either. By uttering foul Abyssal words and phrases you summon a demon from the Abyss that has a challenge rating of 5 or lower which follows your commands (commanding them takes no actions on your part). The challenge rating can increase if you use higher spell slots too. The spell will only end if the demon is reduced to 0 hit points, or after one hour. Be careful using this spell, if the demon succeeds on a charisma saving throw at the end of their turn they will break free from your control and behave however they want. They’ll usually try to kill you.

This spell is not only super powerful, but it is also super fun! Summoning a demon from the Abyss is shaking things up dramatically in any given location. Demons are chaotic forces of destruction and fury. Summoning one can turn the tide in battle, or provide a much needed distraction. Sure, illusions can be distracting too but it is much easier to ignore a series of flashing lights than a rampaging demon! 

Useful scenarios that could benefit from some demon summoning include:

  • If you need to distract people, or cause a scene dramatically, try summoning a greater demon. I promise you that will cause a distraction.
  • If you need a powerful ally for a particularly dangerous fight. By casting Summon Greater Demon you can acquire the extra firepower you may need. Just hope that they don’t break free from your control.
  • If you need to learn more about demons, or the Abyss in general, by casting Summon Greater Demon you can come face to face with someone who may have the information you need. Whether or not they decide to share may require some extra effort however. 

Best 5th-level Warlock Spell: Hold Monster

This is worse than any sleep paralysis you've ever had. Trust me. 

Hold Monster is a 5th-level enchantment spell where you choose a monster within 90 feet of you and force it to make a wisdom saving throw or be paralyzed for one minute. If you choose to expend higher level spell slots for this spell you can target one additional creature for every spell level above 5th. The targets must be within 30 feet of each other. Also, this spell has no effect on the undead. 

Why is this spell better than the likes of Scrying and Infernal Calling? Because paralysis is such a powerful status effect to inflict on a creature. While paralyzed the target cannot move, attack, or do anything. Also, attacks on that target have advantage and crit on every hit. They also fail any and all strength and dexterity saving throws. Paralysis is the best status effect to inflict on any creature. This spell is also better than Hold Person because it can affect so much more than just humanoids. 

Optimal times to cast Hold Monster:

  • By casting Hold Monster on someone trying to escape a battle that is not going their way you can prevent them from getting away, and could possibly get more information out of them when you properly subdue them. 
  • If you are ever fighting more than one monster, and one is clearly the ringleader, by casting Hold Monster you can take them out of the game and focus on their smaller and weaker allies. Then once their pawns are dealt with they will prove to be a much weaker enemy. 
  • If you ever need to stop one of your own teammates from acting a fool you can cast Hold Monster on them. Use discretion when doing this however! If your party member is cool and understands that it is all just a game, then this can lead to amazing role-play scenarios. However, if they are not cool they may just end up killing the session. So be careful when doing this. 

Best 6th-level Warlock Spell: True Seeing

A special spell for your special eyes.

True Seeing is a 6th-level Divination spell which grants you Truesight for one hour. Truesight means that you can see in natural and magical darkness, see invisible creatures and objects, automatically know when something is an illusion and succeed on any saving throws that have to do with knowing if something is an illusion or not, see the true form of shapeshifters or creatures transformed by magic, and you can see into the Ethereal Plane. Truesight is truly an incredibly powerful ability. 

So why is True Seeing and Truesight that powerful and important? Because by casting this spell you can ensure that magic will never fool you again. This is more useful for exploration, and dungeon delving, but the uses for combat are there as well. True Seeing can do a lot for you and your party.

When would be the ideal time to use True Seeing? Consider these scenarios:

  • If you are exploring a dungeon that a powerful spellcaster has been using for a base, they will most assuredly have things hidden by magic. Either invisible or behind hidden doors. True Seeing will make it so that you never miss out on loot again. 
  • If you are ever on the hunt for a shapeshifter this spell is a must. They will never be able to hide from you. 
  • If an enemy teleports away, they may be hiding in the Ethereal Plane. By having Truesight they will never be able to hide from you. The uses of this spell are nearly limitless. 

Best 7th-level Warlock Spell: Finger of Death

That was my nickname in college. 

It took quite a few spells, but I have finally included another spell that is meant to cause direct damage to someone! Finger of Death is a 7th-level necromancy spell which causes 7d8 damage in addition to the 30 it causes automatically. The target will take half damage on a successful Constitution saving throw. One important effect of this spell however is that if it successfully kills someone, they will be raised as a zombie that is permanently under your command.

The damage alone makes this an absurdly powerful spell, but the effect of raising a zombie is what makes this a truly fantastic spell. Plus you can slowly create an army of loyal zombie followers if you use this spell frequently enough. Who wouldn’t want a zombie army?

The optimal situations to use Finger of Death would be:

  • If you want to deliver the final blow, Finger of Death is a great option because bad rolls cannot take away the flat 30 damage the spell deals in addition to the 7d8 dice rolls. 
  • Another thing that this spell excels at is creating followers. The zombies can be used to spring traps, open doors that may be trapped, or feed a potion to a fallen ally. There is no downside to having more allies. Even if some will try to kill them on sight just for being undead. 

Best 8th-level Warlock Spell: Power Word Stun

You can't even scream. You won't know what happens until it is too late. 

Power Word Stun is an 8th-level Enchantment spell. By casting Power Word Stun you can stun a creature immediately, so long as they have 150 hit points or fewer. When you cast the spell there is no saving throw to avoid being stunned. The only way a target and end the condition is if they make a successful constitution saving throw at the end of their turn. 

What makes this spell so strong is that the target will be stunned for at least one round. That can absolutely turn the tide in battle. Being stunned is a debilitating condition. The target cannot move or take any actions. If your target fails enough time, they are effectively out of the game, giving you the perfect opportunity to escape, restrain them, or kill them. 

When is the best time to use Power Word Stun? These are some good examples:

  • If you are in combat and one enemy is significantly more dangerous than the others Power Word Stun can remove them from play for one turn at the very least, giving you ample opportunity to gain critical momentum. 
  • Power Word Stun can also be used in social situations. If you want to silence someone momentarily you can do so and then take whatever actions you must in order to ensure that the situation does not turn against you. 

Best 9th-level Warlock Spell: Psychic Scream

Mindblowing potential.

We have reached the end of our list. My choice for the best 9th-level Warlock spell is Psychic Scream, an Enchantment spell. This spell requires ten creatures you select to make intelligence saving throws and take 14d6 damage, or half as much on a successful save. The targets are also stunned unless they succeed on the intelligence saving throws. Finally, if the spell kills the target, their head literally explodes. 

Psychic Scream is powerful, 14d6 is an insane amount of damage. Psychic Scream is useful, stunning up to ten targets in one round! But that is not enough. Damage is nice, utility is better, but the cool factor is what puts this spell at the top of my list. Imagine getting ready to fight. You’re surrounded. Ten people have their blades drawn and are getting ready to kill you, but on your turn you cast one spell and all of their heads pop like balloons. Try telling me you don’t wish you could do that!

The best times to use Psychic Scream are the following:

  • If you are outnumbered and need to do as much damage or crowd-control as possible, Psychic Scream can do both with one spell. 
  • If you successfully make some enemies heads explode, that intimidation check you try to get the rest of them to surrender will probably be much more successful. 


And those my fellow adventurers are my picks for the best Warlock spells for every level! If you didn’t think I put enough damage dealing spells I want to remind you that Warlocks are the only class to have access to Eldritch Blast, the best cantrip in the game. And that cantrip can be enhanced as you level up through Eldritch Invocations. Also, remember that this is just my opinion. If you have found success with other spells I am thrilled to hear it! As many other people say, there is no right way to play D&D, but if you need a little help this is a great guide to get you started! 

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The desert-dwelling orc known as Shawn hails from Southern California, where he splits his time between his elven wife, and their feline companion; obsessing over RoboCop; and wearing Hawaiian shirts.
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