I have a warlock who has chosen Pact of the Chain. This gives me the find familiar spell, which states:
You gain the service of a familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form you choose: bat, cat, crab, frog (toad), hawk, lizard, octopus, owl, poisonous snake, fish (quipper), rat, raven, sea horse, spider, or weasel. Appearing in an unoccupied space within range, the familiar has the statistics of the chosen form, though it is a celestial, fey, or fiend (your choice) instead of a beast.
Pact of the Chain allows a few extra forms for my familiar to take, as per the following:
When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following special forms: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite.
The part I’m interested in is where Pact of the Chain says:
Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own with its reaction.
Given how much damage a warlock can output with eldritch blast or similar, it seems fairly suboptimal to have your familiar attack instead of you (if we assume no multiclassing to give access to Extra Attack, and of course as a Pact of the Chain warlock I don’t have access to Thirsting Blade).
I’m not sure why a warlock would choose to have their familiar attack instead of just casting eldritch blast or similar. I’ve listed all of the various forms the familiar can take above in case there’s a specific form that has an advantage that another form would not, but nothing is jumping out at me. I’m not asking about the various other ways that familiars can be helpful besides attacking, this is just about having it attack instead of you.
The only reasons I can think of/have found, all of which seem pretty situational:
- Taking advantage of the Sprite’s ability to put someone to sleep with its bow attack;
- Remaining invisible whilst your familiar attacks (see Can my Warlock attack with their familiar and remain invisible?)
- Remaining in a Gaseous Form whilst your familiar attacks (although that apparently doesn’t work, see Can a Pact of the Chain Warlock in Gaseous Form have their familiar attack?)
My question is not "what is every scenario in which it would be useful for your familiar to attack instead of you" (I mean, originally, it kinda was at first, but then half way through writing this out I realised that that’s probably an unbounded list or something, and would attract answers along the lines of "What about this scenario…", which the stack doesn’t do so well with).
Instead, my question is are my assumptions correct about having your familiar attacking instead of you generally the worse option (ignoring situational cases like my bullet list above), or am I overlooking something that makes this more useful than I suspect (even if that’s simply because there are a lot of situational cases that I’m overlooking, which doesn’t require an answer to iterate them all)?