If you later gain the Pact of the Blade feature, this benefit [using Charisma instead of Strength or Dexterity for attack and damage rolls] extends to every pact weapon you conjure with that feature, no matter the weapon's type.
(Xanathar’s Guide to Everything description of the Hex Warrior feature, p. 55)
I’ve often heard it said that Hexblade is a bit overpowered, but Pact of the Blade is a bit underpowered. It therefore occurs to me that we might be able to smooth things out a bit:
Would it improve matters to remove this feature from Hex Warrior, and add it to Pact of the Blade? Specifically, imagine Hex Warrior and Pact of the Blade are changed to read as follows:
[...] The influence of your patron also allows you to mystically channel your will through a particular weapon. Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch one weapon that you are proficient with and that lacks the two-handed property. When you attack with that weapon, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls. This benefit lasts until you finish a long rest.
If you later gain the Pact of the Blade feature, this benefit extends to every pact weapon you conjure with that feature, no matter the weapon's type.
(Xanathar’s Guide to Everything with removed sentence
Pact of the Blade
You can use your action to create a pact weapon [...] You are proficient with it while you wield it, and you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls with this weapon. This weapon counts as magical for [...]
(Player’s Handbook description of Pact of the Blade with my addition in bold)
Answers to this question should consider this question from two angles:
Does this make Hexblade more balanced with other patron options for Pact of the Blade warlocks? The goal is that Hexblade be less quasi-mandatory, and more of an equally-powerful option.
Does this make Pact of the Blade more balanced with other Pact Boon options? The goal is that Pact of the Blade be on more-equal footing than it was before.
In both cases, answers should address both whether the change is moving in the correct direction, and whether the change overcompensates and goes too far (e.g. that Hexblade becomes an underpowered option, or Pact of the Blade becomes an overpowered one).
- Note that Hex Warrior retains the ability to use Charisma on attack and damage with the chosen weapon. Note that the chosen weapon is not a pact weapon, and that gaining Charisma to attack and damage with pact weapons is a separate ability—one I am moving to Pact of the Blade. Note that this means that warlocks with the Hexblade patron but not the Pact of the Blade feature see no change from this.