- Ability Scores
- Multiclassing Level Progression
- Spells And Smites
- Ranged Or Melee
The hexblade paladin is one of the most beloved builds in all of due to its potency as well as the fact that it is a class literally dripping with flavor. Paladins swear an oath to a god or other powerful being while warlocks make a pact with other more questionable formidable entities. The juxtaposition of hexblade paladins attempting to hold to their oath while also appeasing their patron makes for an incredibly juicy story.
Beyond that, paladins are regarded by some as the best class in the game and multiclassing them with warlock skyrockets their power level to astronomical heights. All that being said, this is one of the most difficult D&D builds to execute properly. Let's take a look.
The usual Species frontrunners apply here with both Variant Human and Tasha's Custom Lineage being amazing options since they provide you with a feat at level 1.
Players who love spellcasting might consider Shadow Touched or Fey Touched, while those interested in a more damage-oriented melee build should pick up Great Weapon Master.
Alternatively, any species that provides a +2 Charisma bonus is a fine choice as Charisma will be our primary ability score. Great generic options include Elves,Tieflings, Aasimar, and Yuan-Ti Purebloods.
Both Dragonborn and Triton are niche options that are incredible in the right setting. Speak with your dungeon master about the game setting when building your character to arrive at the most optimal Species choice.
A white Dragonborn with resistance to cold damage might be the best Species option in an arctic campaign setting, while a Triton with an innate swim speed could make for a superior choice in any sea-based campaign.
The Hexblade Paladin is a strange case when it comes to ability scores as it appears to be MAD (Multiple Ability score Dependent) at first glance but becomes SAD (Single Ability score Dependent) as you gain levels.
Interestingly enough, this class wants to start with a Strength score of 15 to enable decent melee attacks at early levels and unlock plate armor at later ones.
However, you will abandon increasing this score as you level thanks to Pact of the Blade allowing us to use Charisma for our attacks instead of Strength.
Below is a table that shows what your starting ability scores should look like. If you're using Standard Array or rolling ability scores instead of point buy, try to get as close to this iteration as possible.
Due to the power of Paladin auras, maximizing your Charisma score is your number one goal. Obtaining a Strength score of 15 is your secondary goal in order to unlock wearing plate armor.
If at all possible, you should start with 15 Strength in order to prevent this from becoming an issue later and provide you with better melee attacks at low levels.
Multiclassing Level Progression
The level progression of the Hexblade Paladin is without a doubt the most hotly debated topic. There are multiple ways to level your hexblade paladin based on whether you're going for utmost damage or party protection.
If you're interested in doling out as much damage as you possibly can, focus on Warlock levels, but if you want to take advantage of the defensive benefits the Paladin class offers, focus on Paladin.
Either way, you want to start with your first level in Paladin in order to gain access to heavy armor and weapon proficiencies. This will somewhat insulate your character from death which is a more common occurence at low levels.
elow is a table that explains the remainder of your level progression based on whether you want to play a damage-oriented Hexblade or a more defensive one.
12 - 20
Something that makes a huge difference in the level progression here is the way that Hex Warrior works in tandem with Pact of the Blade.
While a defensive Paladin using a sword and shield needs only one level in Hexblade Warlock to unlock using Charisma for their attacks, the offensive Paladin must wait until Hexblade Warlock level 3 (level 5 total) when they get Pact of the Blade to give the same benefit to a two-handed weapon.
Spells And Smites
While your spell slots might not be as high level as some other classes, you still gain access to a generous assortment of spellcasting goodies thanks to your multiclassing. The best and most commonly used spells you'll have, especially at low levels, are Bless and Shield.
Bless provides you and your party with a powerful boon that increases your chances of success by a d4 on nearly every roll in combat while Shield supplies an emergency panic button in case you find yourself in a bad situation.
Bless is particularly important for Great Weapon Master Hexblade builds who wish to use the feat at low levels.
You want to reserve your low level Paladin spell slots for casting these two spells. Meanwhile, your higher level Warlock spell slots should be used to unleash powerful smites on your foes.
One of the big benefits of the Hexblade Paladin multiclass is that you can use these Warlock spell slots to divine smite for tons of damage and then get them back by taking a short rest.
Alternatively, you can use your higher level Warlock spell slots to cast more powerful Paladin spells like Aid, Lesser Restoration, and Find Steed.
Ranged Or Melee
While many players interested in this build are looking to play a melee-based character, the Hexblade Paladin also comes with great ranged attack options thanks to eldritch blast and Warlock invocations.
If you wish to make your Hexblade Paladin more useful at range than in melee, this is totally doable by taking invocations such as Agonizing Blast and Repelling Blast to increase the potency of your eldritch blasts.
Alternatively, invocations like Thirsting Blade and Lifedrinker will turn your Hexblade Paladin into a melee powerhouse whose damage output is difficult to match.
There's also the option for Hexblades to pick up the Devil's Sight invocation alongside the Darkness spell.
This combo will allow you to make attacks against enemies at advantage while they can only attack you with disadvantage.
Ultimately, it's up to you how you want to build your Paladin, but it's worth noting that one path may be better than another based on who your party members are.
Due to your auras only having a limited range, you want to stay nearby your party members at all times so that they can enjoy your aura benefits.
A Hexblade in a mostly ranged party would likely do better to focus on ranged attacks, while a Hexblade in a mostly melee party will see greater aura uptime by leaning towards melee.
Whatever you decide to focus on, your Hexblade Paladin will have good offensive options for both ranged and melee combat scenarios. Depending on the situation, you may even want to switch from one method of attack to another.
The final consideration when building your Hexblade Paladin is your choice of subclasses. Of course, your Warlock subclass will undoubtedly be Hexblade, but your Paladin subclass choice is totally up to you.
Some of the most synergistic options available include Oath of Vengeance, Oath of Conquest, and Oath of the Watchers.
Vengeance and Conquest are great options for damage-oriented Hexblades while Watchers is unmatched as far as what it brings to the table defensively.
Defensive Paladin builds who pick up Sorcerer levels later in the game will get the most mileage out of the Divine Soul Sorcerer subclass but the Clockwork Soul and Abberant Mind subclasses are close seconds.
Your Paladin subclass choice is the decision that provides your character with the exact flavor you're looking for.
Don't be afraid to look into Oaths that might better fulfill your specific fantasy.
The Half-Elf is one of the best races in the Player's Handbook, and they are practically tailor-made to be Paladins.What is the best fighting style for a Paladin Warlock? ›
The answer to this question will determine your Fighting Style. The three best options for Paladin are Defense, Dueling, and Great Weapon Fighting. Defense: Add 1 to your AC. Good if you want crazy high AC or do not have a shield due to your two-handed weapon.How to make a good Paladin character? ›
A Paladin PC who considers the consequences of their actions, doesn't recklessly sacrifice themself and does everything they can to protect both innocents and their party members winds up being far more interesting than a Paladin with a recklessly rigid sense of justice.What is a Hexblade Paladin? ›
The hexblade paladin is one of the most beloved builds in all of Dungeons & Dragons due to its potency as well as the fact that it is a class literally dripping with flavor. Paladins swear an oath to a god or other powerful being while warlocks make a pact with other more questionable formidable entities.What warlock race has the highest DPS? ›
Horde. With the heavy focus on nether portal cooldowns with trinkets, Troll is the current best dps race in 10.1. Orc, with its 1% pet damage and 2 minute on use intellect buff is a close second.Is Paladin Warlock a good multiclass? ›
Paladin/warlock is a pretty strong combo, so it can certainly work. Usually, mechanically, people go hexblade early in their career, so they can use cha as their attack stat and make the class be lass MAD, but even still, you'll get some extra spell slots that refresh on a short rest, so more smites.Who is the strongest character in paladins? ›
- 8 Drogoz.
- 7 Octavia.
- 6 Bomb King.
- 5 Saati.
- 4 Tiberius.
- 3 Tyra.
- 2 Lian.
- 1 Cassie.
- 8 Maraad.
- 7 Alexandros Morgraine.
- 6 Bolvar Fordragon.
- 5 Arthas Menethil.
- 4 Yrel.
- 3 Uther the Lightbringer.
- 2 Tirion Fordring.
- 1 Turalyon.
- Crossbow, Hand: The go-to for Crossbow Expert builds.
- Crossbow, Heavy: A good ranged option until you get Crossbow Expert and/or Extra Attack.
- Glaive / Halberd: Great for two-handed melee builds, it has reach, and it works with Polearm Master.
✅ Aasimar, Half-Elves, and Satyrs are all excellent races for Hexblade Warlock, combining a Charisma bonus with either a Dexterity or Constitution increase to help you stay alive. Some other choices which give you powerful defensive bonuses include Eladrin, Verdan, Warforged, and Yuan-Ti Pureblood.
A Hexblade does not *have* to be a weapon.What is the best weapon to use as a paladin? ›
- 8 Defender.
- 7 Sun Blade.
- 6 Oathsunder.
- 5 Mace Of Disruption.
- 4 The Vorpal Sword.
- 3 Holy Avenger.
- 2 Conquering Maul.
- 1 Sword Of Zariel.
A paladin must be of Lawful Good alignment in 3rd edition or earlier. A Paladin may never willfully commit an evil act.Which spec is best for paladin? ›
Best Leveling Spec for Paladin in Dragonflight
Both Retribution and Protection are viable leveling specs. As Holy will lack damage, you will want to stay away from it. Protection will allow you to be nearly invincible when pulling enemies.
Best leveling spec for Warlocks in Dragonflight
Depending on the style of leveling and pulling mobs and the number of players in the party Demonology or Affliction offer the quickest and safest leveling experience. Affliction being the most versatile, especially in group play, makes it the preferred choice.
1. Voidwalker (Void 3.0) With all of its buffs, debuffs, and ad clear potential, Voidwalker is one of the most well-rounded subclasses in the entire game.What is the most played Warlock spec? ›
The best spec to level up is the Demonology Warlock: This specialization is the best for solo Warlock gameplay because of tanky demons that always can protect you and a decent amount of self-healing.What paladin subclass does the most damage? ›
The Oath of Vengeance excels at the paladin's strongest suit: dealing big damage against a single target. It comes with a stellar spell list and has great options from the very beginning.What is the difference between a paladin and a paladin Warlock? ›
Paladins get their powers from swearing and following a sacred oath. They uphold certain ideals rather than directly furthering the interests of a specific deity. Warlocks study obscure arcane lore and make deals with all sorts of powerful extraplanar beings that usually aren't gods.What are paladin weaknesses? ›
Oath of Ancients is a reasonably easy subclass to play, and isn't so devoted to smiting fiends as Oath of Devotion, so it may be a better go-to option for new players than many other paladin subclasses.How important is strength for a paladin? ›
In the end, the advantages of one really don't outweigh the other, so it really comes down to personal preference. If you imagine your Paladin being a prototypical sword-and-board heavy hitter (or two-handed weapon damage dealer), you'll want to go with Strength.Who is the god of Paladins? ›
Paladins often do not worship a single deity, but rather abide by a strict personal code or organizational doctrine. Paladins who do venerate a single god, however, most commonly follow Iomedae, the goddess of justice.What is higher than a Paladin? ›
After many years of service and experience, the best knights are promoted to paladins, the pinnacle of the Brotherhood military. The next rank is senior knight, and finally, the leader of the order is the head knight.
The fact that paladins are a mix of martial and divine power means that they can easily adapt to fill any role within a party. They get healing from level one, and continue to gain access to support spells throughout their career. This versatility means a paladin will always find a use in a D&D party.What is the best paladin class race? ›
- Blood Elf.
- Zandalari Troll.
For a classic paladin feel, consider the Half-Elf, which meets you ability score needs and gives you two extra skills even if you're using the classic PHB version. For a durable build, consider the Dwarf, the Goliath, or the Warforged. For an aggressive build, consider the Eladrin, the Orc, or the Shadar-Kai.Can you dual wield as Hexblade? ›
Hexblade allows you to use Charisma for attacks with one weapon you choose, plus with any pact weapon you have. So you can have two separate weapons: your pact weapon, plus your Hexblade-chosen weapon.What is a good background for a Hexblade? ›
Re: Background for a Hexblade
Stealth, acrobatics, deception, and persuasion would be my first choices. It sounds like either hermit or criminal background would be a suitable choice for the character. Criminal will give you some of the skills that I think you should take, so that would be my choice.
So the official Hexblade write up says the Hexblade is a pact with something in the Shadowfell, sometimes presumed to always be the Raven Queen, but that's not definitive in the lore (though the Shadowfell origin is).
The Hexblade is the title of the warlock's patron—just like the Archfey, the Fiend, and the Great Old One. #DnD twitter.com/markmcmarkers/… Weird that, when people didn't like the Raven Queen patron, the Hexblade became the Raven Queen.How does a Hexblade work? ›
Starting at 1st level, you gain the ability to place a baleful curse on someone. As a bonus action, choose one creature you can see within 30 feet of you. The target is cursed for 1 minute. The curse ends early if the target dies, you die, or you are incapacitated.
Hexblade Warlocks will want to prioritize CHA, get their +2 DEX to max AC, and boost CON to max their HP. If you would like to boost INT or WIS for outside-of-combat checks like Perception, or Arcana then that is also an option.Can a Hexblade use a Maul? ›
It's important for Weapons, of course! But, thanks to Hex Warrior, the Warlock can use the pure power of their personality to maul their opponents. That's fantastic! You could theoretically do both Eldritch Blast and Melee Combat simultaneously, without needing to put anything into Strength or Dexterity!Can Hexblade use a gun? ›
A Hexblade can choose a ranged weapon, but that doesn't make it a pact weapon.Does a Hexblade have to be evil? ›
Re: Hexblade Patron Alignments
Blackrazor is Chaotic Neutral. Therefore no, Hexblade patrons do not have to be evil.
Yuanti are actually one of the strongest racial choices, because of how well it can synergize with both the basic paladin, and especially with Oath of the Ancients. Imagine +4 or +5 to all your saves, advantage on any save for spells, and then you also automatically take half damage from all spells.What race goes best with Paladin? ›
- Dragonborn: ...
- Dwarf: Dwarves are a great choice for all paladin builds. ...
- Elf: You're likely not going to play an Elf as a Paladin. ...
- Gnome: INT is useless for a paladin.
- Half-Elf: Half-Elves get a buff to CHA and get two free Ability Score Increases (ASIs).
- Blood Elf.
- Zandalari Troll.
Humans. Before Draenei and lore retcon, Paladins were created by Alonsus Faol to combat The Orchish Horde and secure humanities safety. And a majority of the most famous Paladins in lore are Humans.
Out of the available archetypes, paladins who take oaths of vengeance or of the ancients are the best of the best. Vengeance paladins are perfect as strikers in the party; they shouldn't be relied on to hold off a horde, but by targeting a single enemy they'll shine.What is the best race for a Hexblade? ›
✅ Aasimar, Half-Elves, and Satyrs are all excellent races for Hexblade Warlock, combining a Charisma bonus with either a Dexterity or Constitution increase to help you stay alive. Some other choices which give you powerful defensive bonuses include Eladrin, Verdan, Warforged, and Yuan-Ti Pureblood.What race is best for paladin healer? ›
- Dark Iron Dwarf.
Half Orc/Goliath/Minotaur/Earth Genasi are all good choices for the more martially-minded STR Paladin. Half Orc and Goliath both increase mobility while Minotaur gives some crowd control options and Earth Genasi can move through difficult terrain with ease and help the party stealth.What is the strongest Paladin? ›
- 8 Maraad.
- 7 Alexandros Morgraine.
- 6 Bolvar Fordragon.
- 5 Arthas Menethil.
- 4 Yrel.
- 3 Uther the Lightbringer.
- 2 Tirion Fordring.
- 1 Turalyon.
Proficiencies: All armor, all weapons, and two skills from a decent skill list which the Paladin actually has the ability scores to use effectively. Divine Sense: Certainly better than relying on Insight. Lay On Hands: This is among the most efficient healing options in the game.What stats are important for a Paladin? ›
Constitution and Strength are pretty important for a Paladin since they are typically frontline melee fighters. Dexterity can be good if you want to make a ranged combatant Paladin, but most spells for Paladins focus on melee combat.What race is Paladin in wrath? ›
Races For Paladins
In Wrath of the Lich King, Paladins can be Draenei, Dwarf, or Human if you are playing Alliance. Blood Elf is the only race for Paladin if you are Horde. Paladins are masters of all things holy and one of only two classes in the WoW Wrath of the Lich King expansion that can tank, heal, and DPS.