Archfey Warlock

Published on May 9, 2024

Beguile and enchant your foes with the powers of the Archfey Warlock, allowing you to control the battlefield. Learn more in our DnD 5e guide here.

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Quick Links
Archfey Warlock Overview
Archfey Warlock Subclass Features
How to Play an Archfey Warlock
Ability Scores for Archfey Warlocks
Archfey Warlock Races
Archfey Warlock Feats
Archfey Warlock 5e Build Example

Archfey Warlock Overview

Faerie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary, and dungeons for the overbold.

—J.R.R. Tolkien

Everyone knows you should never make a deal with the fey, yet for some reason your character has… Renowned for their trickery and deceit, the fey patrons of the Archfey Warlock will grant you a taste of their powers, but at what cost? In time, you may find yourself a slave to their capricious flights of fancy and perverse desires.

As a warlock of the Archfey subclass, you have made a pact with one of the archfey rulers of the Seelie Courts, granting you powerful fey magicks. From glamorous and bewitchments, your new spells and features will allow you to manipulate those around you, using the same trickery as your new fey master or mistress.


The Archfey Warlock excels at condition disruption and subterfuge, using a variety of effects to charm or frighten opponents, while remaining elusive on the battlefield. If you want to play a character who’s difficult to pin down, this subclass will give you the tools for the job. As a face for your party, you will also excel in situations requiring negotiation or deception, although you will need to be careful your actions don’t come back to bite you…


While the Archfey Warlock is great at controlling a fight, you won’t be the character who’s pumping out damage. This subclass lacks some of the high damage spells of other subclasses, so you will be forced into a more supportive role. Your job will be to set the rest of your party up for success with tricks and creativity, rather than finishing off the Big Bad yourself.

Subclass Guide Rating Scheme

This guide is meant as a deep dive into the Archfey warlock subclass. For a full overview of the Warlock class, check out our Warlock 5e Guide.

For our class guides, we use the following color rating scheme:

  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all.
  • Orange Situationally good, but a below-average option otherwise.
  • Green is a good option.
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character.
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option, your character would not be optimized.

Archfey Warlock Spells (Pact Magic)

Your pact with your Archfey patron grants you the power of life and death over lesser beings, providing spells that apply debuffs to your enemies or protect you and your allies from death.

1st level

  • SleepSleep is a very good 1st level spell slot. It can easily end encounters at lower levels. By the time you reach 5th-level  it will be pretty useless unless you want a semi-consistent way of none lethal damage.
  • Faerie FireFaerie fire is a better spell overall than sleep for the Archfey warlock because it scales and is a great way to deal with pesky invisibility.

2nd level

  • Calm Emotions: The fact that this spell has two different use cases makes it decent, even if those events may not come up too often. Enemies often have effects that charm or frighten in an area of effect, so being able to suppress those effects also in an area of your choosing could save your whole party. When used on enemies, you can make them non-hostile for a whole minute, giving you enough time to escape. The main issue with this spell is the concentration and the relatively small radius.
  • Phantasmal Force: There are extreme situations where this could be useful, but it is simply not a good spell.

3rd level

  • Blink: 50% chance of completely avoiding any damage for a turn is more consistent over a long period than mirror image and better for builds with lower ACs than blur. Plus, it isn’t concentration.
  • Plant Growth: Slows down pesky enemies moving around a lot or trying to escape, but not particularly good at either. Also cool for story beats to restore nature that has been devastated by war.

4th level

  • Dominate Beast: Not many Beasts are going to be worth your 4th level spell to dominate. If you’re fighting a CR8 T-Rex you’ll wish you had this spell.
  • Greater Invisibility: Being able to attack or cast spells while invisible is a huge upgrade from regular invisibility. Give it to a melee party member and watch them get advantage on every attack and disadvantage on attacks against them, bonus points if it’s a paladin or rogue for extra crit + Divine Smite / Sneak Attack potential.

5th level

  • Dominate Person: Amazing spell when fighting humanoids. Taking over the mind of an enemy can completely swing the direction of the encounter. While spells like hold person can take an enemy of the fight, dominate person can make that enemy into an ally essentially creating a two for one. If you are fighting against humanoids a lot in the late game, this is a simply outstanding spell.
  • Seeming: Neat out of combat spell.

Archfey Warlock Subclass Features

The subclass features for the DnD 5e Archfey Warlock offer condition-disruption effects and strong reactions to turn the tables on powerful foes. These features will help you control the flow of the battlefield and allow your character to stay safe in most situations.

1st Level

Fey Presence

Starting at 1st level, your patron bestows upon you the ability to project the beguiling and fearsome presence of the fey. As an action, you can cause each creature in a 10-foot cube originating from you to make a Wisdom saving throw against your warlock spell save DC. The creatures that fail their saving throws are all charmed or frightened by you (your choice) until the end of your next turn.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

The basic feature of the Archfey Warlock is a small AoE fear or charm effect (your choice), which can be a very useful tool in early level encounters. Warlocks in general hate it when their enemies get on top of them, so this can be an excellent way to dispel melee attackers when you’re caught out of position.

6th Level

Misty Escape

Starting at 6th level, you can vanish in a puff of mist in response to harm. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to turn invisible and teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. You remain invisible until the start of your next turn or until you attack or cast a spell.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

A combination of Misty Step and Invisibility is a powerful utility spell to help you escape from the danger as a Warlock player. Being able to activate it as a reaction is great for action economy and the cooldown is fairly forgiving. Overall, another very strong get-out-of-danger ability for any spellcaster player to possess.

10th Level

Beguiling Defenses

Beginning at 10th level, your patron teaches you how to turn the mind-affecting magic of your enemies against them. You are immune to being charmed, and when another creature attempts to charm you, you can use your reaction to attempt to turn the charm back on that creature. The creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your warlock spell save DC or be charmed by you for 1 minute or until the creature takes any damage.

Being charmed is one of the most common condition effects in DnD, especially at higher levels, so being immune to this status is a nice passive feature. What pushes this ability from ‘just okay’ to ‘actually pretty good’ is the reaction ability to turn the effect back on your enemies. This effect can really flip the tables in an encounter from time to time, although maybe not as often as you would like.

14th Level

Dark Delirium

Starting at 14th level, you can plunge a creature into an illusory realm. As an action, choose a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you. It must make a Wisdom saving throw against your warlock spell save DC. On a failed save, it is charmed or frightened by you (your choice) for 1 minute or until your concentration is broken (as if you are concentrating on a spell). This effect ends early if the creature takes any damage.

Until this illusion ends, the creature thinks it is lost in a misty realm, the appearance of which you choose. The creature can see and hear only itself, you, and the illusion.

You must finish a short or long rest before you can use this feature again.

As an ultimate feature, Dark Delirium is a bit underwhelming, even though charm and frighten are both powerful effects. What’s limiting about this feature is that it does require concentration to maintain and ends if the creature takes damage, which makes it less effective than you’d perhaps like.

That said, this feature has quite a low cooldown and the illusory effect of the misty realm is a fun flavour touch, which can be exploited in roleplay scenarios. You might consider using this feature to trick your opponent into attacking allies or stepping over a ledge into a pit of lava. This type of usage is, of course, up to your Dungeon Master’s discretion, but there’s potential there.

How to Play Archfey Warlock

The Archfey Warlock is another Warlock subclass with a clearly-defined playstyle that you’ll want to lean into. Building on the core Warlock identity as a battlefield controller, the Archfey subclass specializes in condition disruption and that’s the best way to play it out.

Taking Enemies Out of the Fight, From a Distance

Most of the Archfey Warlock’s core spells and features rely on condition effects that can be broken with damage, but will take enemies out of the fight quite efficiently if they are left alone. Make sure you do a good job of coordinating with other players in your party so everyone is on the same page and your spells last as long as possible.

Each fight, it should be your goal to remove or neutralize a secondary threat, so your party can focus on defeating the primary foe of the encounter. This will allow you to smoothly shift focus when the main enemy is defeated. When everything goes according to gameplan, you’ll find most fights will be smooth sailing — yet unlucky rolls can thwart your schemes.

Remember that your character is vulnerable to interrupted concentration checks, so you should play things at a distance. Luckily, subclass features like Misty Escape and Beguiling Defenses empower this type of playstyle, so you’ll be able to keep yourself safe more and more effectively as you enter the late-game.

Low Damage, Supportive Playstyle

None of the expanded spells for the Archfey Warlock deal direct damage to opponents, which means that this subclass will be reliant on core spells and cantrips for killing enemies. Like many Warlocks, you will likely find yourself relying on a standard Eldritch Blast build for consistent damage.

Even more so than most Warlocks, the Archfey Warlock wants to avoid melee combat since this will make them more likely to fail Concentration checks, thereby limiting the power of their spells. And while you do have tools for escape and mobility, you don’t have any way of increasing your durability through temporary hit points or other tools. So try not to get hit!

A Beguiling Face for the Party

Any Warlock player is a great candidate as face of the party, due to their innately high Charisma stat, which makes them good at Deception, Persuasion and Intimidation checks. And here is where the Archfey Warlock can really shine!

The natural focus of the Archfey subclass is to charm or frighten opponents, which can be effective out of combat as well as in-combat. Your expanded spell list gives you access to a few useful spells like Sleep and Calm Emotions, plus you have your core Warlock spells to fall back on. All of these tools make the Archfey Warlock an adept leader if your party wants to use deceit and trickery to navigate social encounters.

Just remember to be careful — the limited time of charm effects can backfire on you, especially if your DM has a vindictive nature. Meddling with fey powers can be dangerous, but if the payoff is high then perhaps it’s worth it.

Ability Scores for Archfey Warlock

Even more than the average Warlock, the Archfey Warlock wants to dump points into Charisma for use in both spellcasting and skill checks. Dexterity and Constitution can also be useful in increasing your base durability. Wisdom is good for saving throws and social interactions.

If you’re using point buy, a recommended starting stat distribution could be:

  • Strength: 8 (-1)
  • Dexterity: 14 (+2)
  • Constitution: 14 (+2)
  • Intelligence: 8 (-1)
  • Wisdom: 12 (+1)
  • Charisma: 15 (+2)

If using another ability score generation method, just follow the color coding above.

Archfey Warlock Races

Any race that makes a good warlock will make a good Archfey Warlock. See our suggestion for warlock races here.

Archfey Warlock Feats

Any feat that works for a normal warlock will work for an Archfey Warlock. See our suggestion for warlock feats here.

The Archfey 5e Build Example

This build example is designed to give the Archfey Warlock additional tools for evasion and trickery, both on and off the battlefield.


Our racial choice will be Half-Elf to give +2 Charisma and also to get access to additional skills, since we will be aiming to serve as the face of the party with this build. Extra +1 Ability Score Improvements to two more traits is a bonus and will dictate some of our choices between feats and ASIs at later levels. If you’re interested in other options, read our guide to best Warlock races for more ideas.


For this build, we picked Guild Artisan to give access to Insight and Persuasion. Since we will be serving as the face of the party, we want access to these important skills to navigate social situations. Our racial choice above also covers Stealth, so we don’t need to be a Criminal.

Pact Boon

At the 3rd level, we’ll choose Pact of the Tome as our Warlock pact so we have access to additional spells like Minor Illusion and Vicious MockeryAs mentioned above, this build choice will give us further opportunities for trickery in our gameplay. It will also allow access to valuable Eldritch Invocations at later levels.

Eldritch Invocations

To start, we will take the two strongest Eldritch Invocations in Agonizing Blast and Eldritch Mind. The second choice is particularly important for the Archfey Warlock, since it helps us to maintain concentration on our charm effects. We’ll also pick out other stealth-oriented invocations like One with Shadows (5th Level) and Shroud of Shadows (15th Level).

By selecting Pact of the Tome, we also have access to powerful late-game Eldritch Invocations like ‘Gift of the Protectors’ (9th level). This invocation allows one or more of your allies to write their names in your tome. If they are ever reduced to 0 hit points, but not outright killed, they will automatically drop to 1 hit point instead.

For other suggestions on what Eldritch Invocations to take for this build example, you can check out the full table below.

Mystic Arcanum

For your Mystic Arcanum, the core Warlock spell list gives the Archfey subclass access to a number of spells that align with its disruptive playstyle like Mass Suggestion. We recommend checking out our Warlock Spell Guide for more explanation on the best spell choices for your Mystic Arcanum.

1st level
  • Race: Half-Elf
    • Ability Score Increase: +2 Charisma, +1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution
    • Darkvision
    • Fey Ancestry
    • Skill Versatility: Stealth, Performance
  • Class: Warlock
    • Armor Proficiency: Light
    • Weapon Proficiency: Simple
    • Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Intimidation
  • Ability Scores (Point Buy)
    • Base: STR 8 (-1) DEX 14 (+2) CON 14 (+2) INT 8 (-1) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 15 (+2)
    • With Improvements: STR 8 (-1) DEX 15 (+2) CON 15 (+2) INT 9 (-1) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 17 (+3)
  • Background: Guild Artisan
    • Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Persuasion
  • Otherworldly Patron: Archfey
    • Expanded Spell List
    • Bonus Cantrips
    • Fey Presence
2nd level
  • Eldritch Invocation
    • Agonizing Blast
    • Eldritch Mind
3rd level
  • Pact Boon - Pact of the Tome
    • Guidance
    • Minor Illusion
    • Vicious Mockery
  • Eldritch Invocation: Book of Ancient Secrets
4th level
  • ASI: +1 to Constitution 16 (+3), +1 to Dexterity 16 (+3)
5th level
  • Eldritch Invocation: One with Shadows
6th level
  • Archfey Patron Feature: Misty Escape
7th level
  • Eldritch Invocation: Sculptor of Flesh
8th level
  • Feat: Fey Touched
    • Add spells: Misty Step, Dissonant Whispers
    • +1 to Charisma 18 (+4)
9th level
  • Eldritch Invocation: Gift of the Protectors
10th level
  • Archfey Patron Feature: Beguiling Defenses
11th level
  • Mystic Arcanum (6th level): Mass Suggestion
12th level
  • ASI: +2 to Charisma 20 (+5)
  • Eldritch Invocation: None
13th level
  • Mystic Arcanum (7th level): Plane Shift
14th level
  • Archfey Patron Feature: Dark Delirium
15th level
  • Mystic Arcanum (8th level): Dominate Monster
  • Eldritch Invocation: Shroud of Shadow
16th level
  • ASI: +2 to Dexterity 18 (+4)
17th level
  • Mystic Arcanum (9th level): True Polymorph
19th level
  • ASI: +2 to Constitution 18 (+4)
20th level
  • Eldritch Master

Other Warlock Guides

Alex Hamilton

Alex is a content writer for Arcane Eye and a speculative fiction author. His short fiction has appeared in Seize the Press and Daikaijuzine. In his spare time, he enjoys board games, bouldering, and hiking. You can follow him on Twitter @WAHamiltron

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