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I'd like to make an Eldritch Invocation for warlocks that allows you to make a weapon attack and cast eldritch blast at that same target:

Eldritch Strike

Prerequisites: 5th level, eldritch blast cantrip

Once per turn, when you make an attack with a one-handed melee weapon, you can cast eldritch blast as a bonus action. You must make a separate attack roll for eldritch blast, and it must target the same creature you attacked with your melee attack. You can only use this if your melee attack hit.

Balance Assessment

I think this is balanced because you must have one hand open to cast, it takes your bonus action, it's not a guaranteed hit for the Blast, and you can only use it on the creature you targeted. It's not able to be used to hit a different creature, and your original attack had to hit.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you looked at whether or not YOU think this is balanced? Please provide your reasoning and comparison to other Invocations as evidence as to why which will help us to review. Please see Meta discussions here and here. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 23 '18 at 20:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, I used that on the other post (Which, in retrospect, I probably should have linked). Link: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/127983/… \$\endgroup\$ – Luke Sommers Jul 23 '18 at 20:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you've got an interesting idea here, but you should probably workshop it either on another forum or in our Role-playing Games Chat before posting your balance review. Please don't take these comments in a negative way, we're just trying to help guide you :) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 23 '18 at 20:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LukeSommers they are asking for you to include in your post a summary on why you think it is balanced. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Jul 23 '18 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LukeSommers To put it another way... you're the original querent. You shouldn't be commenting on your own question, you should be improving the question. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jul 23 '18 at 20:54
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Eldritch Strike is unbalanced

In an nutshell, Eldritch Strike allows a properly built warlock to benefit simultaneously from the invocations that improve weapon attacks and invocations that improve Eldritch Blast.
Moreover, it lets the warlock harness more damage from Hex and Hexblade's Curse.
This all adds up to a significant boost in power.

Eldritch Strike comes with problems, some of which you mentioned in your balance assessment, but these problems are either minor, avoidable, or both:

  • Eldritch Strike requires a free hand, so no shields.
    • This problem is generally true for most melee warlocks anyway.
    • Melee warlocks often get War Caster which basically solves this problem.
  • Eldritch Strike requires the attack to hit, so it can't be used when no attacks hit.
    • This invocation is mostly of interest for Pact of the Blade warlocks who get a second attack via Thirsting Blade, which greatly mitigates this problem.
  • Eldritch Strike does not function with two handed weapons.
    • This problem can't be worked around, but most of the warlock's damage comes from other bonuses, so the size of the weapon die is not a big deal.
  • In most scenarios Eldritch Blast will be at a disadvantage if the warlock does not want to move back and trigger an opportunity attack.
    • Enemies with a 10 foot (or more) reach do not cause this problem as the warlock has some leeway to move back without provoking opportunity attacks.
    • The Crossbow Expert feat directly solves the problem.
    • The Mobile feat solves this problem indirectly by letting the warlock move back without provoking opportunity attacks.
    • Spells like Darkness or Shadow of Moil similarly solve this problem indirectly because unseen creatures do not provoke opportunity attacks.
    • One handed melee weapons with the thrown or reach property, such as daggers or whips also mitigate this problem because the warlock can occasionally make an attack from 10 or more feet away. (Note: "attack with a melee weapon" is not the same as a "melee weapon attack")
    • The Repelling Blast invocation also mitigates this problem at later levels, because if any of the beams hit, the enemy is pushed and the rest of the beams are no longer at disadvantage.

For a rough comparison, consider the Bonus actions granted by Two Weapon Fighting, Polearm Master, or Maddening Hex. Eldritch Blast becomes way stronger than any of those Bonus Actions once it gets multiple beams and Agonizing Blast.
Another rough comparison is Sorlocks as they can also cast Eldritch Blast as a bonus action. However, they must spend 2 sorcery points to do so, whereas Eldritch Strike is at will.

If I were to build a warlock to make the most out of Eldritch Strike I would create a Pact of the Blade Hexblade with Mobile, Agonizing Blast, Eldritch Strike, Lifedrinker, and Thirsting Blade.
In the endgame this warlock deals (1d8 + cha*2)*2 + (1d10 + cha)*4 = 71 at will damage per turn, but the warlock can deal another 6*6 from Hexblade's Curse and 6d6 from Hex for a total of 128 damage.
Roughly 1 in 5 turns the warlock can't cast Eldritch Blast due to missing both melee attacks, so the adjusted damage is 64 at will and 112 with resources.

Just for reference, a typical melee Pact of the Blade Hexblade with a glaive, Polarm Master, and the relevant invocations deals (1d10 + cha*2)*2 + (1d4 + cha*2) = 43.5 at will damage per turn or 72 with resources.
The warlock might occasionally get some extra reaction damage from the Polearm Master feat, but it won't make up the difference.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It would be useful to also include a comparison between someone optimizing this Eldritch Strike, and someone optimizing regular eldritch blast. I’m a newbie to 5e, but it’s my impression that eldritch blast tends to be better than Pact of the Blade attacks, even with Hexblade. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 24 '18 at 4:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ You added in an adjusted damage assuming missing on both melee attacks, but you didn't do any adjustments for missing eldrich blasts. Any reason why this is? \$\endgroup\$ – Blake Steel Jul 25 '18 at 15:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BlakeSteel I didn't want to bloat the last two paragraphs with plenty of similar calculations. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruse Jul 25 '18 at 17:02
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No, it's fairly poor

This is actually a fairly weak invocation for several reasons.

Melee warlocks generally don't invest in Eldritch Blast. Warlocks who invest in Eldritch Blast don't get close enough to an enemy to use a melee weapon, so it's hard to invest in this thoroughly.

In addition, don't forget that ranged attacks made when an enemy is within 5 feet of you have disadvantage. So you'd be shooting at this guy with stormtrooper levels of accuracy.

The only way I could see this work well is with a whip, which is a pretty poor choice of weapon. Even if you were a hexblade with a whip and enhancing it with Hex Warrior, it'd add about 1d4+CHA damage (about 7 damage) to a 10ft range Eldritch Blast.

Or I could Hex and add CHA (via the Agonizing Blast invocation) to each Eldritch Blast hit (that's +7 damage PER HIT) and do a ton more damage at ridiculous ranges.

A better version would be to cast->attack as bonus action, since you could weaken the target and follow through into melee combat, or pull them into you (via the Grasp of Hadar invocation), but as it is, it could use some work.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Of note: A two-handed weapon only requires two hands when you attack with it. You can remove a hand to cast spells if you aren't actively swinging the weapon. A Hexblade could use this with a polearm, or a lance if mounted. That makes it quite a bit more powerful. If you invest in the Extra attack invocation as well, a Halberd could let you attack at 10' away, then blast them with EB. At max level, that's 6 attacks per turn (2 from the Attack + Extra, 4 from EB) \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Jul 23 '18 at 21:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ A halberd does about 5.5 damage per hit, +CHA would make that about 9 damage per hit (18 total), + 4 hits for EB. At max level, with just Hex and Agonizing Blast, it'd be +7 damage per EB shot (28 total). You can combine both invocations, but you wouldn't be gaining much out of it. Hex would be harder to maintain at melee ranges, and once an enemy steps into adjacency, the homebrew invocation becomes useless. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Jul 23 '18 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Which is why I didn't disagree with your assessment to the point of writing a separate answer. Just thought it should be pointed out. Could also combo nicely with Repelling Blast...land two melee hits, then blow the enemy away from you so they can't counter. Also...Crossbow Expert solves the melee-range problem. \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Jul 23 '18 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought the same thing about that with the Crossbow feat, but then you're adding a ranged weapon feat to an invocation that requires a melee weapon and uses eldritch blast. It starts to get pretty costly just to work around the drawbacks. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Jul 23 '18 at 21:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @guildsbounty The OP's wording specifically requires the attack to be made with a one-handed weapon. \$\endgroup\$ – kviiri Jul 24 '18 at 4:49

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