D&D Tiefling Warlock Explained
Tiefling warlocks are dark spell swords featuring inherently boosted magic. They’re menacing, infernal, and naturally gifted with the joys of warlock magic. A black knight equipped with a cursed weapon, tieflings can use their innate bonuses and magic to their fullest extent.
Unlike most spellcasters like asimar sorcerer , shadow sorcerer, Divine sorcerer, clerics, tieflings lean into martial combat a lot. This could be perfect for a warlock build, given they have the fewest available spell slots. This way, you can gain the fruits of melee combat while saving spells for only special events. This guide will try to view the tiefling warlock build in thorough detail. Without further ado, let’s get started.
What is a Tiefling & What are Its Traits?
The tiefling is essentially a race of plane touched humanoids. They are primarily human in ancestry, though they draw part of their bloodline from some ever-powerful evil extraplanar existence. The term “tiefling” was initially given to all humans if their ancestry included evil, extraplanar beings of the Lower Planes, be it a demon, evil deity, devil, or other unknown entities. The usage of this term is common among various planar travelers.
This term typically refers to a particular kind of planetouched humanoid who draws their descent from some infernal being or power belonging to the Nine Hells, commonly Asmodeus. It includes the descendants of Bael Turath’s former empire that gained infernal form in a pact made with Asmodeus, along with the numerous planetouched of Faerûn who were made into infernal tieflings by Asmodeus in the Spellplague.
Tieflings usually possess dark vision, letting them see in complete darkness, though much like human beings, they cannot discern color in dim light. Tieflings can innately cast numerous magical abilities, commonly hellish rebuke, thaumaturgy, and darkness.
A few of the less common bloodlines cast other spells, such as vicious mockery, enthrall, charm person, burning hands, deeper darkness, protection from good, mirror image, bane, chill touch, summon swarm, know alignment, misdirection, pyrotechnics, invisibility, detect magic, blur, vampiric touch, comprehend languages, and numerous others.
Some tieflings such as Bard tiefling, are born with the knowledge of the Infernal language without having ever heard it being spoken. They have an inherent resistance to elements. Those belonging to the blood of Asmodeus usually resist fire. Others possess the additional ability to resist cold as well as electricity. A rare known tiefling ability is their apparent immunity to the chaotic 8th layer of the Abyss, the Skin-shedder.
What is a Warlock & What are Its Traits
Warlocks use magic but are not your typical, most common magic user. They are magicians who cheated their way into power by forming a pact with some powerful entity. Each such pact invites extra character traits and abilities. Therefore, the warlock is an extremely complex and diverse character that has the potential to bring much joy and variance to your long campaigns.
With Warlocks, quite like all other characters, you have to develop a backstory first. We believe this is where it gets interesting at the beginning of the game. Write a backstory for the Warlock character before and after they made their pact. What are the pact’s terms, and why did they make it? With experience, you can pen down a thorough character with different layers leading to an interestingly developed gameplay.
Warlocks happen to be magicians who use a skill known as charisma to create warlock spells. Your character needs charisma to be a high statistic to ensure it can cast strong spells. You can also go for other abilities such as wisdom, dexterity, strength, or intelligence. You have to settle on higher or lower values for these particular stats by which pact we are talking about, and the patron decided on.
Warlocks are flexible characters and can be made up of diverse skills taken from other kinds of characters. They need little rest in between spells and can create very strong blast magic quickly. They always stand out for stronger short rest, coupled with at-will-based options, as other such casters lean more heavily on typical long rest resources.
How to Make a Tiefling Warlock Build 5E?
Want to build the ultimate tiefling warlock? Consider these elements first:
- The tiefling’s inherent abilities
- Build meant for combat
- Choosing warlock spells specific to combat build
- Utilize Eldritch invocations to boost magic further
- Attempt to secure pact of the Chain for a flying familiar
- Understanding Hexblade abilities and magic
1. Tiefling’s Inherent Abilities
The devilish appearance and the infernal knowledge of tieflings set them up for comparatively darker character roles. They receive a +2 Charisma bonus, which happens to be the most crucial score for a warlock, along with a +1 bonus to Intelligence. Since hexblade warlocks can utilize their Charisma score for damage, you won’t need to worry about Strength or Dexterity. You will only need enough Strength to put on a breastplate or chainmail.
Tieflings are equipped with Hellish Resistance, Darkvision, and Infernal Legacy. Hellish Resistance and Darkvision are straightforward abilities. Darkvision allows you to see in the dark to a range of 60 feet, and Hellish Resistance adds resistance to fire damage.
However, Infernal Legacy grants a few inherent spells, the first being thaumaturgy, one of the strangest cantrips. It gives you the ability to execute spooky paranormal acts. The list ranges from disembodied voices to violent doors slamming and candles flickering. Ripe for intimidation, right?
At level 3 comes Hellish Rebuke, which happens to be absolutely gnarly. When an enemy damages you, you can use your reaction to deal 3d10 fire damage on failed Dexterity saving throws. The spell typically does 2d10, being a 1st-level spell. You will be allowed to cast it as a 2nd level spell, and upgrading said damage an extra 1d10. Remember that you only get one per rest.
On the other side of the infernal spectrum, the 5th level gives us darkness. This spell creates a 15-foot spherical spread of pitch black across an area through which creatures with darkvision can’t see and non-magical light cannot penetrate.
2. Build for Combat
Unlike other spell casters, the tiefling warlock is uniquely built for close-quarters combat. Since you can use your Charisma as your damage modifier, you are free to crank this score up as high as possible. Your spells and melee damage will utilize the same Charisma score. Your next highest score probably should be Constitution, simply to increase your ability to eat damage. Since you will be in the fray, you must also be conscious of the defense.
You should wear heavier armor, preferably chainmail or partial plate, and carry a longsword. It is best to keep the other hand free for spellcasting. You can choose to upgrade your base sword damage simply by wielding it with both hands or destroy enemies with your free hand. The idea of surprising a target with hellish rebuke in a sword fight is quite enticing.
3. Select Warlock Spells For The Combat Build
Now that you have finally decided to take your character in a certain “black knight” direction, think of spells in that regard. This kind of build will never be the usual spell caster, for they will be much more intelligent, perhaps. As a devilish warlock equipped with a cursed sword, your spells should reflect that.
Warlocks usually receive fewer options and opportunities as compared to other spell casters, but this is where unique abilities come into play. They use a system known as pact magic to channel their corresponding otherworldly patrons.
The best cantrips for this build are an eldritch blast and true strike. The former is often deemed as a beam of crackling energy. Hence, it is like the emperor in Star Wars, except shooting out a beam dealing 1d12. You don’t need too many damage options as a cantrip. Moreover, warlocks can get unique effects on this spell and can hit ranged targets.
The true strike will offer an advantage on your attack roll. You may be limited in a movement when you decide to execute this spell, but it is worth it. Don’t forget that this is a cantrip, so you can keep giving yourself an advantage.
5. Slot Spells
Go with the armor of Agathys and the arms of Hadar in the first level. The armor of Agathys can spread a spectral frost over you, wrapping you in a ghostly sheet of armor. This will add 5 temporary hit points to your life total. When you are hit, simply buy an enemy, and they will receive 5 cold damage as a retaliation.
As for the arms of Hadar, it is a burst of black, ethereal tendrils that will slam into everything within your 10 feet distance. You can think of this spell as a tentacle. Each enemy will take 2d6 necrotic damage on failed Strength saving throws, and they will not take reactions until it is their next turn. Enemies will still take half damage on their successful saves with nothing additional.
6. Utilize Eldritch Invocations to Boost Magic
Cranking a class effect up to 11 is always enticing. Since you chose eldritch blast as a cantrip, you can effectively triple down on that spell. Eldritch Invocations are unique spell effects given to warlocks utilizing their pact magic. If any other spell caster has an advantage of options, for warlocks, it is an advantage on individual spells. With both agonizing blasts and repelling blasts, you can include some fun in your go-to eldritch blast.
The agonizing blast will add your Charisma modifier to the eldritch blast’s damage roll, and repelling blast will drive enemies flying 10 feet. The extra damage is nice; however, the repelling effect ought to have helped you from being swarmed. Blasting away in a room is always fun.
7. Try Pact of the Chain for a Flying Familiar
Fair warning, it will be hard to choose a Pact Boon when the options are Pact of the Chain, Blade, or Tome. We think they all offer helpful and great magic effects, but Pact of the Chain still stands out. It lets you find familiar, be it an imp, a pseudodragon, sprite, or quasit. A little imp buddy flying around your head does sound great, doesn’t it?
The uses for flying companions. Sure they are a pet, but one of dark magic. Plus, they can fly, and you can talk to them. This dynamic can let you add some fun to your story instead of just existing to kill. Lastly, your pet can attack in your place.
8. Understand Hexblade Abilities and Magic
If your patron is a cursed sword, choosing the hexblade path makes sense. It offers its brand of pure patron magic. The hexblade will offer several new spells: shield, blur, wrathful smite, branding smite, elemental weapon, blink, and more. Long story short, you will have an array of battle-friendly spells that can aid your slaughter.
We recommend Hexblade’s Curse because it gives you an edge. It is the ability to set a curse on any enemy and get special bonuses against them. You get bonus damage against the enemy, same as your proficiency. Next, attack rolls of 19 and 20 count as critical. Lastly, once the target dies, you regain hit points equal to your warlock level + your Charisma modifier.
Hex Warrior lets you use your Charisma modifier for cool melee attacks. Another bonus is proficiency in medium armor, martial weapons, and shields. Another fun ability rolling in at level 6 is the Accursed Specter. You can raise their ghost to act as your thrall whenever you slay an enemy. This way, the spirit hits points like half your warlock level, lasting until your next rest. Imagine the ability to raise ghosts to fight for you with your devilish imp flying around!
How to Play as a Tiefling Warlock?
Here’s what you need to know about playing as a tiefling warlock:
- Hit Dice: 1d8 every warlock level
- Hit Points at Level 1: 8 + Constitution modifier
- Hit Points at Upper Levels: 1d8 or 5 + Constitution modifier every warlock level following the 1st
- Spell save DC: 8 + proficiency bonus + Charisma modifier
- Spell attack modifier: proficiency bonus + Charisma modifier
The Warlock is known for overusing eldritch blast, but a while later, they get to learn Eldritch Invocations. That renders the need for eldritch blast quite redundant.
|Agonizing Blast||eldritch blast cantrip|
|Armor of Shadows||–|
|Mask of Many Faces||–|
|Ascendant Step||9th level|
|Master of Myriad Forms||15th level|
|Minions of Chaos||9th level|
|Mire the Mind||5th level|
|Bewitching Whispers||7th level|
|One with Shadows||5th level|
|Book of Ancient Secrets||Pact of the Tome|
|Otherworldly Leap||9th level|
|Chains of Carceri||15th level + Pact of the Chain|
|Repelling Blast||eldritch blast cantrip|
|Sculptor of Flesh||7th level|
|Dreadful Word||7th level|
|Signs Of Ill Omen||5th level|
|Eldritch Spear||eldritch blast cantrip|
|Thief of Five Fates||–|
|Eye of the Rune Keeper||–|
|Thirsting Blade||5th level + Pact of the Blade|
|Vision of Distant Realms||15th level|
|Gaze of Two Minds||–|
|Witch Sight||15th level|
|Voice of the Chain Master||Pact of the Chain|
|Lifedrinker||12th level + Pact o f the Blade|
|Whispers of the Grave||9th level|
Being a Tiefling, a plus is that you can naturally gain access to the thaumaturgy cantrip. By the 3rd level, you can cast hellish rebuke as your 2nd level spell, and by the 5th level, the same is true for darkness spells. These spells need charisma, so it fits well with a sorcerer. Though everything is gray in the darkness, you also get dark vision, so take advantage of speed and resistance to fire damage.
Tieflings can be viewed as the counterpart of half-elves, who got the shorter end of the stick. They face tons of racism and discrimination, not regarding whether they are evil or not. This has led to them being very reserved, self-reliant, and suspicious loners. They can be quite interesting with a quick temper, ample stubbornness and self-confidence, and a thing for fickleness in relationships. They will learn to reciprocate the faith given to them in due time. Once they allow themselves to open up and dedicate loyalty to someone, they will be receiving a friend for life. It can be challenging since you will not be immune to needing to take rests for attacks.
How to Roleplay as a Tiefling Warlock 5E Character?
Like most hybrids, tieflings have neither a land of their own nor a place where their kind comes together. Tieflings are quite uncommon, and with Asmodeus in the picture, they rarely try to be friendly with their own kind or even relatives. Racism and discrimination have been part of their life since they were born or created. A Tiefling baby born to 2 human parents would likely be abandoned and taken in by churches, orphanages, or crime rings.
With the rejection faced by their race, a lot of tieflings turn to a life of crime and mischief that does little but further people’s prejudiced perspectives about them. As a Warlock, you must wonder why and how you became a warlock, why the specific patron, what the price they pay/paid for this power is, and what relationship exists between themselves and their patrons. Is it symbiotic or parasitic? These do not simply add more life to your character but also give their DM more things to work with when it comes to torture you.
Although Tieflings are certainly reserved in nature, they value art and music, especially songs with dark themes. Their voices are powerful, and their cries can often be heard in battle. Artists, strike teams, bodyguards, and adventurers are some common jobs for tieflings. They can speak infernal (despite not studying ) or Abyssal, other than their Common language.
That’s all there is to know about tiefling warlocks. They are quite interesting to play as, especially on long and otherwise a little monotonous campaigns. Beat the lull of lengthy campaigns with this dark and interesting addition to D&D 5E. They can provide a fun ride if handled and created properly. Good luck, and happy questing!
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