Why Hexblade Dips are the Worst Thing in 5e

Hey guys, it’s Drazzt here. Today we’re gonna talk about the seemingly number 1 goblin killer, a class with a single dip into hexblade. Let’s talk about that, shall we?

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.

Easily the most attractive option, assuming you’re not using your battleaxe that you charmed into letting you use charisma.

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.

While it probably is the closest DnD5e will get to a true Spellsword, it’s just so much more powerful than all the other classes

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.

10 thoughts on “Why Hexblade Dips are the Worst Thing in 5e

  1. What’s really strange about this is how almost creepily good they are about balance and making sure almost no options are too good not to take. But it sounds like this is a no-brainer for anyone with Charisma, especially without the old restrictions on spellcasting in armor.

  2. My biggest issue is that they are complete and utter losers. They’ve not only sold their soul, but they sold it not to a near godlike power but to a talking sword. Bonus loser points if you were a damned Sorcerer, a born prodigy who otherwise owed nothing to anything other than your own innate talent, but now you take orders from an inanimate object.

    So, thank god there is a solution to the mechanical imbalance, and that is mercilessly teasing any character who goes over to the Hexblade side.

    1. And again, someone who not even took the time to read the entry about the Hexblade, or – if you did – didn‘t understand it. No, the patron is not „a talking sword“
      Quote: „You have made your pact WITH A MYSTERIOUS ENTITY FROM THE SHADOWFELL – a force that manifests in sentient magic weapons carved from the stuff of shadow………THE SHADOWY FORCE BEHIND THESE WEAPONS can offer power to warlocks who form pacts with it……
      Because THE RAVEN QUEEN is known to have forged the first of these weapons, many sages speculate that she and the force are one and that the weapons, along with hexblade warlocks, are tools she uses to manipulate events on the Material Plane to her inscrutable ends.
      So, no, Hexblades do not „take orders from an inanimate object“ and if they are „losers“ then I guess the same goes for clerics, druids and paladins who get their powers from an outward souce just the same.

    2. Actually you don’t make a pact with the sword, and you would know that if any of you would actually read the book. The pact is with the maker, who can be of near godlike power and give you a d10 cantrip. So read the book before calling them losers because they talk to a sword because they don’t necessarily talk to swords.

  3. So you really took the time to write all of this but couldn’t even be bothered to read the class description: Like someone else already mentioned, you made a pact with an entity from the Shadowfell, likely the Raven Queen. NOT a talking sword. That Sword, Access to Eldritch Energy etc. are your Reward for that Pact. What is your part in this, that is up to you.

    Second, whether or not you use this to create a munchkin is up to the personality of the player. And you don’t need hexblade to do that. 6/14 Sorcadin for example is just as OP. I personally like Hexblade Dips because then “Combat is handled” and for the Rest of my build i don’t need to worry about beeing effective in combat anymore and can instead focus on things that i find cool or that have great Utility outside of combat.

  4. Hexblades are just a mess. The Hex Warrior features should be standard for the Pact of the Blade. And don’t get me started on the lore: you made a pact with a sentient weapon! Who is also a dark entity from the Shadowfell? And was also created by the Raven Queen? Or maybe not? And it lets you summon ghosts for some reason?

  5. I’m about to play a sorcerer that dips two levels into hexblade warlock. I wanted to make a melee sorcerer, originally looked at the UA stone sorcerer plus a lvl 2 dip into fighter. However, I could not pass up the chance to be a shadow sorcerer with a pact from something from the shadowfell. That combo alone is could make for an incredible backstory, not to mention I’ll be a half-drow too.

    My point is that there is potential to tie a flavorful backstory with any class. And, I am a min-maxer. I enjoy being a super-powerful character. That is where I have fun. This dip lets me focus on a more role-play heavy spell list. Every class has insane potential, and I would not want to hold my character back from being the best he could be for the sake of my party. Instead, I will help my whole party be the best they could be. Anyone can be amazing with any character.

  6. The hexblade is a terrible design in both flavour and mechanics. The first level is totally OP as the author describes. The patron itself is…odd.

    It looks to me like it was an attempt to fix the otherwise lackluster Pact of the Blade. But WOTC seems to hate fixing their errors and instead patches them with additional archetypes. Hex Warrior is what Blade pact should have been, and in the games I run that’s what I do. And then the Hexblade patron doesn’t need to exist at all.

  7. The og lore of the subclass is objectively dumb so reskins are the only way. You can flavour it as so many things and that’s fine. Reskins are fine no matter what the class. Perhaps it’s a splinter of bone from a great old one or has the soul of a powerful being inside or is an extension of your pact with the real patron. Also stupid dips like this are easily avoided by saying no multiclassing without a good in game reason.

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