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When using the new UA Eldritch Invocation, Chain Master's Fury (from the UA Class Feature Variants, p. 10):

Chain Master's Fury

Prerequisite: 9th level, Pact of the Chain feature

As a bonus action, you can command your familiar to make one attack.

When does a Chain Familiar’s attack occur?

  1. The familiar attacks immediately using the Warlock’s bonus action.
  2. The familiar attacks immediately, using the familiar’s reaction.
  3. The familiar attacks, on the familiar's turn, using the familiar’s reaction.
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Immediately during your bonus action.

The Pact of the Chain Pact Boon (PHB, page 107) states,

Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to use its reaction to make one attack of its own.

This means that the familiar will immediately use its reaction and make an attack, replacing one of the attacks during the Warlock's attack action. However, the Chain Master's Fury invocation makes no such statement that it requires any action on the familiar's part. In other words, it is a free action for the familiar.

Immediately, as part of your bonus action, the familiar makes an additional attack. This leaves your warlock open to use his action for something else like Eldritch Blast, or to make two attacks if you have the Thirsting Blade Pact of the Blade Warlock Invocation or Extra Attack feature from another class.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "if you have the Extra Attack feature." - Or perhaps more likely, Thirsting Blade... It's a Pact of the Blade invocation, after all :P \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 12 '19 at 2:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Good point! I was thinking about potential multiclass options, but forgot to mention the invocation that kind of acts as the warlock's version of "extra attack." I'll edit the answer and add that. \$\endgroup\$ – Akira_Kurusu Dec 12 '19 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's fair, perhaps just mention it can replace any of the Attack action's attacks? But if not that's perfectly alright, you've already got my +1, earlier comments removed \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Dec 12 '19 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 That's a good edit! I'll change the wording to "the familiar will immediately use its reaction and make an attack, replacing one of the attacks during the Warlock's attack action." \$\endgroup\$ – Akira_Kurusu Dec 12 '19 at 21:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is kinda hard to use Chain Master's Fury together with Thirsting Blade, as they require different Pacts. \$\endgroup\$ – Revolver_Ocelot Dec 14 '19 at 13:22
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The familiar attacks immediately, consuming your bonus action.

The text for this Boon says simply:

As a bonus action, you can command your familiar to make one attack.

There is no mention of a delay, nor an additonal cost to the familiar, therefore there isn't one.

For comparison see the Ranger Revised's beast companion (also Unearthed Arcana):

The 5th level ability Coordinated Attack states:

When you use the Attack action on your turn, if your companion can see you, it can use its reaction to make a melee attack.

In contrast to the Warlock's familiar, the beast companion has to use its reaction to make the attack, and so that is clearly spelt out.


As an aside, if you're worried about balance, if anything, the Ranger's is the more powerful action - it's likely that your PC's bonus-action (the cost the warlock pays) will be more valuable to you than your beast companion's reaction (the cost the Ranger pays). However the Ranger does also have to pay the opportunity cost of needing to take the attack action themselves - whereas the Warlock doesn't need to do anything to trigger this use of their bonus action.

That said, both of these optons are unearthed arcana, and thus playtest material, and so may well be unbalanced when compared to official published game materials.

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