Star Pact Binders?

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I've always liked the concept of the Star Pact.  And I really like the Controller role.

How are Star Pact Binders in the Controller role?  From what I've read on thier powers ... they've very Zone controlling.  A few psychic keyword powers, and a few cold keyword powers as well.  

Shadow Walk seems good, their pact boon is ok.   

Anyone else have any input?

Thanks.

~Qs 
Technically, they are a striker first, then a mildly good controller. If you are looking at making a star pact warlock into a controller first and foremost, I would consider making your warlock just a little less warlock and more wizard. A hybrid Warlock/Wizard with the hybrid talent feat for Warlock Pact Boon can control and curse enemies. As they start dieing, you can start applying the bonus to those pesky hard to kill enemies. Another feat that makes this incredible is Improved Fate of the Void from the PHB. +2 for every killed cursed enemy is fantastic. Going Con/Int also allows you to not have to split your character's stats among Con and Cha with a third ability in Int.

I hope you are willing to give this a go.

Enjoy Life

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Binders of any sort are the bottom of the controller pile.  At the start of 4th edition, there was a lot of talk about how some classes like the warlock or paladin were "broken" when they were eminently playable, just not best at the role by a bowshot like, say, ranger.

Binders and vampires are probably the first classes in the 50-odd that have been produced that can be clearly said to have absolutely no intrinsic worth whatsoever; they are abysmal abortions of game mechanics.

While the binder's fluff screams cool, the mechanics are bottom-barrel, completely shameful and unplayable.

Steer clear, or better yet agitate WOTC for some sort of system QC so that stuff like this doesn't pass the filter, it's embarrassing for the hobby.
Unfortunately i agree with friendlyfish, but i have at least the hope that after hybrid rules, Swordmage|Binder will become the most durable defender, since Binders have extraordinary defensive abilities.

Chauntea/Lathander/Torm Cleric since 1995 My husband married a DM - καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός

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Binder basically fails of providing any more control then the O-Warlock and Hexblade counterparts.  Considering its loosing the damage features the other two Warlock-subtypes have, thats a major fault.

Daily Power control?  Hexblades reign supreme, providing the same benefit as any other Warlock sub-class with added damage to any damage roll by default.  O-Warlocks with feats win in the end by amplifying various control measures on said Dailies and some Encounter powers, even if a few trades some of their Curse damage for extra control.  Binder has nothing but vanilla.

Encounter Power control?  O-Warlock wins, followed by a Gloom Pact Hexblade.  Many O-Warlock powers have considerable control to begin with, and being able to choose freely really keeps things going.  While O-Warlock misses out on the auto-riders that Binders get, most are not noticable or controlling.  The only one I noticable miss is Star's Shadow Tentacles zone of difficult terrain, but that has to compete against Chains of Levistus, Arms of Hadar, Grasp of the Iron Tower, Witchfire(Fey), and Cursebite in control of various types.  Gloom Hexblade just starts with Daze UEoNT encounter power vs. 1 or 2 creatures, enough said.

At-Will Power control?  This is the only spot that Binders truly compete against the other Warlock-types.  Binder(Gloom) has that Echoing Dirge, which can turn into something very nice and is the only that stands out (Two targets and C.Blast to ignore Concealment!).  Binder(Star)'s Mind Shadow is ... Conditional.  Against artillery, its great in defending your allies...but not yourself.  If your allies get into melee though, its worth disappears as a control.  Shadow Claws, looks decent at first, and IS decent with Lasting Frost.  Still, this is forced to compete with Hexblade and O-Warlocks.


  • Eldritch Strike?  Slide 1 thats boostable by a Staggering Weapon.  Let me just say, this is notable amount of slide by Paragon.

  • Flesh Rend(Gloom Hexblade)?  Eldritch Strike upgraded.  All that needs to be said.

  • Dire Radiance?  Comparable to Shadow Claws in control.  Trading auto-effect and any move for much more painful off-turn damage and boostable by Master's Wand of Dire Radiance.

  • Eye of Vestige?  Literally depends on what Pact you have going, but some of those contain quite a chunk of control.

  • Eyebite?  Reverse Mind Shadow, protecting yourself rather then allies.

  • Hand of Blight?  Feats for usually 1/Encounter boost for a control effect, on top of CA.


Only Binder(Gloom)'s Echoing Dirge really stood out apart from this crowd, with its 2 targets being a C.Blast to ignore certain disadvantages ranged/melee powers get.  Mind Shadows is really effective though, if you are in a party of pure ranged characters, facing a Solo, and with an ally who applies Slow/Immobilize at range.  Yes I know, too restrictive.

Class Features?  Its a Warlock.  Plus Pact Lore(Level 4).  Minus Warlock's Curse.  Swapping for Alternative Prime Shot, lacking compatability for Called Shot in Paragon.  Worse, Shadow Twist (Prime Shot alternative) has no possibility of kicking in when your melee allies are engaging your target.  Pact Lore itself doesn't add any control, just a touch of resistance and a little extra.  Dark Vision on Gloom is nice, but +2 arcana and religion for Star Pacts is...eh, unless you are trying to max out Arcana for a specific reason.

Pact Boon?  The Worst Trigger For A Controller.  You can only reasonably get your Pact Boon if you wipe out a minion, usually by a burst/blast...but you only get that on some of your SET encounter powers.  Gloom Pact at least gets to possibly hit 2 creatures at-will, but its not something to expect to go off.  I doubt a controller is really supposed to finish off a normal monster, or be in MELEE.  Strikers tend to finish/kill things, if not the Defender.  Controller usually should be targetting a new monster by then, to stagger/control it before the allies get to it, in my opinion.

THAT is just comparisons of control of Binders to other Warlock-subtypes.  Its even harsher when one compares a Binder to another Controller class.
Edit:  Even my Gloom Pact Build.  Taking the same ruling, one can go Mage with Int/Wis/Dex stats and end up doing the same thing but to every enemy in a C.Blast 5 rather then just 2 creatures.  All it trades is the damage.
While I feel this is by no means a total fix,  I think it handles a great deal of the inherent issues with Binder.  I gave the Binder in a group I just started on Saturday the Warlock's Curse feature from PHB1 unaltered. This, coupled with the notion that he still has access to every Warlock power available past the first level gives me confidence hewon't feel entirely nerfed. 
He's also wielding a sickle and plans to multi-class into Swordmage, picking up the feat to allow INT mod for melee rolls and use the sickle as a second implement, lacerating targets adjacent to him to trigger his Star Pact Boon as often as possible. 

I mean um. I uh... HOPE this solves these problems. 
I still can't believe the devs managed to take a class that was already easy to build as a half-striker/half-controller and make the controller version be one-third-controller/nothing else.  So glad I flipped through that in the store, it convinced me immediately I didn't need HoS.

Vampire I can sort of excuse because it's basically a template rather than a class, just a simple progression to use if you really feel the need to play that kind of vampire.  I'll never use it, and I don't think any of my friends will, but I'm sure there are some 4e players out there who are interested. *shrug.*

But seriously, Binders?  I realized they were awful, but WOLead's direct comparison to other Warlocks made me realize just HOW awful. 
Binder basically fails of providing any more control then the O-Warlock and Hexblade counterparts.  Considering its loosing the damage features the other two Warlock-subtypes have, thats a major fault.

Daily Power control?  Hexblades reign supreme, providing the same benefit as any other Warlock sub-class with added damage to any damage roll by default.  O-Warlocks with feats win in the end by amplifying various control measures on said Dailies and some Encounter powers, even if a few trades some of their Curse damage for extra control.  Binder has nothing but vanilla.

Encounter Power control?  O-Warlock wins, followed by a Gloom Pact Hexblade.  Many O-Warlock powers have considerable control to begin with, and being able to choose freely really keeps things going.  While O-Warlock misses out on the auto-riders that Binders get, most are not noticable or controlling.  The only one I noticable miss is Star's Shadow Tentacles zone of difficult terrain, but that has to compete against Chains of Levistus, Arms of Hadar, Grasp of the Iron Tower, Witchfire(Fey), and Cursebite in control of various types.  Gloom Hexblade just starts with Daze UEoNT encounter power vs. 1 or 2 creatures, enough said.

At-Will Power control?  This is the only spot that Binders truly compete against the other Warlock-types.  Binder(Gloom) has that Echoing Dirge, which can turn into something very nice and is the only that stands out (Two targets and C.Blast to ignore Concealment!).  Binder(Star)'s Mind Shadow is ... Conditional.  Against artillery, its great in defending your allies...but not yourself.  If your allies get into melee though, its worth disappears as a control.  Shadow Claws, looks decent at first, and IS decent with Lasting Frost.  Still, this is forced to compete with Hexblade and O-Warlocks.


  • Eldritch Strike?  Slide 1 thats boostable by a Staggering Weapon.  Let me just say, this is notable amount of slide by Paragon.

  • Flesh Rend(Gloom Hexblade)?  Eldritch Strike upgraded.  All that needs to be said.

  • Dire Radiance?  Comparable to Shadow Claws in control.  Trading auto-effect and any move for much more painful off-turn damage and boostable by Master's Wand of Dire Radiance.

  • Eye of Vestige?  Literally depends on what Pact you have going, but some of those contain quite a chunk of control.

  • Eyebite?  Reverse Mind Shadow, protecting yourself rather then allies.

  • Hand of Blight?  Feats for usually 1/Encounter boost for a control effect, on top of CA.


Only Binder(Gloom)'s Echoing Dirge really stood out apart from this crowd, with its 2 targets being a C.Blast to ignore certain disadvantages ranged/melee powers get.  Mind Shadows is really effective though, if you are in a party of pure ranged characters, facing a Solo, and with an ally who applies Slow/Immobilize at range.  Yes I know, too restrictive.

Class Features?  Its a Warlock.  Plus Pact Lore(Level 4).  Minus Warlock's Curse.  Swapping for Alternative Prime Shot, lacking compatability for Called Shot in Paragon.  Worse, Shadow Twist (Prime Shot alternative) has no possibility of kicking in when your melee allies are engaging your target.  Pact Lore itself doesn't add any control, just a touch of resistance and a little extra.  Dark Vision on Gloom is nice, but +2 arcana and religion for Star Pacts is...eh, unless you are trying to max out Arcana for a specific reason.

Pact Boon?  The Worst Trigger For A Controller.  You can only reasonably get your Pact Boon if you wipe out a minion, usually by a burst/blast...but you only get that on some of your SET encounter powers.  Gloom Pact at least gets to possibly hit 2 creatures at-will, but its not something to expect to go off.  I doubt a controller is really supposed to finish off a normal monster, or be in MELEE.  Strikers tend to finish/kill things, if not the Defender.  Controller usually should be targetting a new monster by then, to stagger/control it before the allies get to it, in my opinion.

THAT is just comparisons of control of Binders to other Warlock-subtypes.  Its even harsher when one compares a Binder to another Controller class.
Edit:  Even my Gloom Pact Build.  Taking the same ruling, one can go Mage with Int/Wis/Dex stats and end up doing the same thing but to every enemy in a C.Blast 5 rather then just 2 creatures.  All it trades is the damage.

I want to thank you for putting this together, it really helped when trying to help one of my PCs build a class that brought some power to the table. I've given him an additional feature that I've called Binder's Bane that is regarded as a Warlock's Curse feature that I am confident makes his sub-class entirely viable.
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