We will take an examination of the cantrip of eldritch blast it is the only one in the warlock spell list and is widely recognized as being among the top and most effective, if not the greatest damage cantrips in D&D currently.
As usual, I’ll break it down to the basic rules for the cantrip and then delve into possible optimizations that will help you get the maximum benefit from this spell.
If we review the Standard Reference Document, we find that the rules for the eldritch blast areas in the following order:
Eldritch Blast 5e
Time to Cast: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S
A ray of energy that crackles travels towards an object within distance. Create a ranged spell attack on the person you are targeting. If it is successful the target is hit with 1d10 damage from the force.
The spell generates multiple beams when you attain higher levels five beams at the 5th level, three beams at the 11th level, and four beams at the 17th level.
The beams can be directed towards the same target, or even at different targets. Create an attack roll that is distinct on each beam.
If we look to understand the basic rules of this spell is a good example of the commonalities between the majority of damage cantrips.
It requires an Action to make, and it only requires verbal (V) or the Somatic (S) components. It is instantaneous in duration and is in the form of an attack roll.
Rolls of attack for spells are calculated as the sum of your ability to cast spells (which is most likely, but it may not always, be Charisma since this is a Warlock cantrip) plus the ability bonus.
The Reasons Eldritch Blast is Unique
This spell is unique in its scale in relation to levels. Damage cantrips are scaled to the 5th, 11th, and 17th levels.
However, it usually comes in as an additional damage dice. For instance, until the 5th level, the eldritch blast is identical to the firebolt in that it follows the same rules.
The only difference is the fact that the firebolt is a fire-based weapon in lieu of damage from force and also sets things that are flammable burning.
Yet, the eldritch blast is distinct in that instead of adding a die, the caster is instead able to an additional strike roll.
Although this may not appear to be a significant difference, given that it does the same damage that an attack that is a single one if each attack is made against the same target.
The true difference is that it has the ability to strike several targets and the fact that since the caster can make multiple spells that they stand a greater chance of landing an important strike and boosting the damage.
If you want to gain access to this cantrip you have several choices, with one of which is to multiclass or play that Warlock class.
It is possible to use the magic initiate as well as the Spell Sniper feats can also enable any class to gain access to this ability, however, due to the restrictions on spell lists of these feats. Charisma is always the spellcasting modifier that you need to choose when casting.
How to Optimize Eldritch Blast
Because this ability triplets the caster makes more spells It actually scales similarly to a Fighter’s extra Attack attribute, finally giving four attacks when you reach 17 levels that are 3 levels earlier than the Fighter is granted it.
It also comes with the second-best damage die that has the highest damage die, a d10, and is an objectively best type of damage in the game force damage due to it being the type of damage against which the most creatures are unable to resist or immunity to.
However, it’s only marginally superior to other options for damage, like a lightning bolt and toll dead.
This cantrip becomes extremely powerful when it’s taken by a Warlock and is combined along with Agonizing Blast Eldritch Invocation (available starting at Level 2 of Warlock), which allows the user to include their Charisma adjustment to the damage that the spell inflicts upon a hit.
If you assume that you have a max Charisma of 20 this means that you’ll add five force damage for each beam that is hit and cause a maximum of +20 damage, assuming that you hit and cast with the four beams.
Eldritch Options for Invocation
The additional damage isn’t the only thing that Eldritch Invocations provide, however, as there are other options that could also increase your utility of Eldritch blast:
Repelling Blast: Repelling Blast If you hit the target, you can move it as far as 10 feet from you in straight lines.
There’s no limit to this, either in terms of how big the beast is or the many times you can utilize the ability per turn, and neither does the target receive any kind of saving throw to counter the effects.
It is fun to sling anything up as high as the size of an Ancient Dragon 40 feet per turn.
Lance of Lentility: Lethargy & Hyperbole Every turn, you can cut the speed of the creature you strike by 10-feet.
This isn’t quite as insane as Repelling Blast, but this does not have a save in the event that both are stacked together and that the creature you hit has a speed that is less than 40 the creature will not be able to reach the melee. Nasty!
Grapple of Hadar: The Grasp of Hadar Every round, you can move the creature about 10 yards closer to straight lines. Similar to Repelling Blast, but pulls closer, but just once every turn. If you’re determined to fight from afar (why else would you use the eldritch blast? ).
This is an alternative that’s more specific to you since you’ll probably like enemies farther than you are, not nearer and also considering that it’s restricted to only one turn per turn.
However, if you love moving your opponents around the board, like chess pieces it could be an ideal choice.
Eldritch Spear: The area of the eldritch blast is expanded by 300 feet. More than doubling the original range of 120 feet.
this can be useful when your target is very far in distance or when you’re flying over them at a significant height.
Incredibly, if you use this Invocation immediately following you have completed the Spell Sniper feat you can slash your foes from 600 feet!
This cantrip is able to be optimized further, but this will be awaited in the article about the Hex spell and, finally, inside the Sorlock (Sorcerer + Warlock) multiclass build guide.