Hey guys, long time no see. Drazzt here, been blowing some stuff up down here in the lab so haven’t had much of a chance to come up with an opinion on things. However, today we’ll be compla- I mean having a civil discussion about the one level dip into Hexblade Warlock. Strap into your War Machines, because this is gonna be a wild ride
For the most part, Wizards of the Coast has done a great job with DnD 5th Edition. There have been a few hiccups such as Tyranny of Dragons before its re-release, awful subclasses in SCAG such as the Purple Dragon Knight, Battlerager Barbarian, etc. However, nothing can quite compare to the release of the Hexblade Warlock. Now there’s quite a few different reasons I absolutely despise this class, both mechanically and with how it’s understood, so let’s just jump right into that.
First, the lore and idea of the Hexblade patron. For the love of Tyr, the patron is NOT JUST ANY SENTIENT TOOTHPICK YOU FOUND IN THE BACK OF THE TAVERN. The flavor text of the patron does specify that the energy and the ability to grant magical power comes from a manifestation of the Shadowfell. Just because the weapon can talk to you and tell you its feelings, doesn’t mean it can give you a 1d10 cantrip and allow you to claim to have an eldritch sugar daddy. So many times I feel like people completely throw what the patron is out of the window. You can’t make a fiend pact with Glabragool the Being of the Far End, you can’t make an archfey pact with a giant crab, and you can’t make a hexblade pact with any random sentient weapon. I know on this website we talk a ton about reflavors and reskins and we do truly love them, but I feel like Warlock pacts are sacred and such a core part of the character that you can’t really change them around that much.
Second is the mechanical part of the class. If any of you have read the recent UAs, you’d see that a lot of them are overloaded from the very first level you take into the subclass. Unfortunately, Wizards didn’t decide to really review the Hexblade before pushing it out because it is the most overloaded 1 level dip for any charisma class. At level 1 you get proficiency in medium armor, shields, and martial weapons. While this isn’t super big for say, a paladin, a sorcerer or bard will benefit IMMENSELY from this. A sorcerer can now just casually throw on half-plate because they signed a pact with a being from the Shadowfell! They can also swing a battle axe that’s twice their size just because of this pact! Why you may ask? Oh, because your charisma is now your main stat for making attacks! You don’t need strength and dexterity when you’re so GODDAM ATTRACTIVE that you can just force the sword to do whatever you will of it!!! And that’s not all! You also get Hexblade’s Curse, which literally doubles your crit chance, allows you to add proficiency damage to damage rolls, and lets you heal when you reduce the creature to zero hit points! It’s not even like the doubled crit chance only works with melee attacks, it also works with your trademarked Best Cantrip in the Game, Eldritch Blast! Feel free to take a second level to add your charisma to your eldritch blast and also let it pull or push people away! But you won’t even need that second level because you already took one level in the best dip in the game!!!!!!!
Okay look, I really don’t like this. Combining a Hexblade Warlock with any sorcerer or paladin immediately just makes you the best at everything. Because of your high charisma, you can be the party face. Because you can use that high charisma for your attacks, you can deal a crazy amount of damage on your turn. You can Quicken Booming Blade/Green Flame Blade, Twin Cast Booming Blade, all using your charisma. If you’re a paladin, you can use the extra spell slots from the warlock for smites per short rest! You can also afford to lower your strength in favor of a higher charisma. Because you have Eldritch Blast you can also just out DPS anyone else. Using Hexblade’s Curse on a target then quickening Eldritch Blast let’s you play God and decide what lives and what dies in a matter of 6 seconds. If you go Divine Soul Sorcerer or you’re a Paladin you can also heal super well. Personally I just think that having roles in a party is great! Having someone you can rely on to stay in the back and support, someone who can go in and tank a few hits and protect the backline, all of that, I think that specialization is what makes a DnD party so great. Having someone who can do it all and can do it all better than anyone else just doesn’t feel fun nor fair to the rest of the table.
Last words… I don’t want to stop complaining about this dip. I think it creates such an unfair character that is simply better at everything than everyone else. Sure it has some amazing roleplay potential, but it just makes me so sad that it creates a character that is the master of all trades. If you’re playing in an Adventurer’s League setting where people care more about the stat sheet than the character/their allies, then by all means go for it. But at a home table, take into consideration that maybe your fighter wants to be the one that’s protecting the people in the back and you doing that job better than him while also doing the sorcerer’s job isn’t super fun for them.
Thank you all for tuning in to this Opinionated Goblin’s rant. I know this is a really popular multiclass and many of you probably have opinions of your own on this. Feel free to call us a stupid goblin over on social media. This is Drazzt, and now that I’m so riled up I’m gonna go blow something up in the Lich’s Lair.