Currently making a 5E Warlock for an upcoming session, and I'm wondering how this particular interaction works:

I, as a Warlock, start with leather armor. I'm considering having Armor of Shadows as one of my two Invocations, for at-will self-Mage Armor (DM is starting us off at 3rd level). However, the description of Mage Armor stipulates that "You touch a willing creature who isn’t wearing armor, and a protective magical force surrounds it until the spell ends.", and also that the spell ends if the target dons armor or the spell is dismissed.

So I'm wondering: If I wear leather armor (since I get it starting as a Warlock), can I still use the at-will Mage Armor to have a 13+Dex modifier AC instead of leather armor's 11+Dex modifier AC?


2 Answers 2


No, sorry.

You can wear leather armor (AC=11+DEX); if you do you cannot cast mage armor on yourself per its description.

Or you can cast mage armor on yourself (AC=13+DEX) and not wear the leather. Naively, this is an unambiguously-superior choice. Two more AC points and, since the invocation gives you mage armor at will, there's no cost in spell slots.

Note, though, that it has cost you: an invocation. That may be a reasonable opportunity cost for your character, but just realize that it's not no cost.


No, the rules for both AC and Mage Armor do not allow it

Player's Handbook, Part 1, Chapter 1, Page 14 says:

Some spells and class features give you a different way to calculate your AC. If you have multiple features that give you different ways to calculate your AC, you choose which one to use.

Theoretically a player can have multiple ACs at one time- but you have to specifically choose which one to use. Additionally, the spell Mage Armor itself doesn't allow you to wear armor (Player's Handbook, Part 3, Chapter 11, Page 256):

You touch a willing creature who isn't wearing armor, and a protective magical force surrounds it until the spell ends [...]

So, even if you wanted to have both leather armor and Mage Armor, you cannot cast the spell on someone wearing armor. Now, Mage Armor could be cast on a monk or barbarian with Unarmored Defense- but you could still only benefit from one AC at a time.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the edit V2Blast! I'm not super knowledgeable on the site or proper formatting, so thanks for the help! \$\endgroup\$
    – zanman60
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 17:25

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