Walk With Me in Hell: The Warlock's Guide

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Walk With Me in Hell: The Warlock's Guide


Since Malkonnen's guide has not been updated in a while, missing material from several Dragon magazines and, most importantly, the Essentials books, this guide is meant as a spiritual successor to The Power of the Dark Side: The Warlock's Handbook, and much credit will be given to him for its role in this guide's creation.

Credit will also be given to several others:
LordDuskblade for the handbook format that's now taken for granted here;
Zelink551 for the encouragement;
Malkonnen as mentioned above for the (excellent) original guide and the inspiration for this guide;
anyone here who posts with honest opinions. I need 'em. :p

 

 


As a Warlock, you belong in the realm of the Arcane Striker, a designation you share with your AOE-centric cousin, the Sorcerer. However, the two classes are monumentally different. You fit more along the lines of the Ranger, of which you share the same Player's Handbook: instead of focusing on AOE DPR, you go instead for single-target heavy damage, with a huge bent on Controller abilities. Indeed, you are second-to-none in this regard, acting as an excellent single-target Controller while putting down solid damage to honor your original intent.

How you work as a Striker is also rather unique. Your power grows as enemies fall to their deaths, giving you special abilities and boosts depending on the Pact you sign with. You also share the "Quarry" feature of the Ranger in the Warlock's Curse; however, the Curse is arguably much more powerful than Hunter's Quarry, as the damage bonus component can be boosted to absurd numbers, on top of several feats and items that can give you incredibly nice boosts, such as automatic combat advantage, defensive boosts in convenient equipment slots, and accuracy boosts.

Before I get into the Striker Traits, you may be seeing a lot of colors in this guide. On features, powers, feats and the like, you'll be seeing these colors, adopted and borrowed from LordDuskblade's handbooks:

Ratings
Gold (near mandatory or jaw-droppingly good)
Light Blue (very good, or at least worth serious consideration)
Blue (good, though probably not excellent)
Black (middle-of-the-road, but not bad)
Purple (mediocre, or build specific)
Red (terrible or otherwise not recommended)

Green (no rating, shows emphasis)


So, to clarify how you compare with other Strikers:

Striker Traits

  • Alpha Striking: Unfortunately, this kinda isn't your best suit. A common characteristic of 4e Strikers is multiple attacks in one round, out-of-turn attacks, or "zone abuse". While you're decent at the second and OK in the third, the first of this list is not something you really do. On top of which, your Curse only works once per turn, and your Encounters and Dailies do not do significant damage over your At-Wills, so that's regretable.

  • Damage/Round (DPR): This is an area you're quite a bit better at, especially since Arcane Power and several trains of Dragon Magazines have come out. Prime Shot really helps here, since you ride more on accuracy than straight damage rolls, and starting at level 9 or thereabouts, whenever Shadow Warlock Armor comes into play, automatic combat advantage nearly every round is quite awesome.

  • Debilitating Effects: Though again, you work more in the single-target range, what you can sling around in regards to Controller abilities is phenomenal. You run the gamut from teleportation, to daze, stun, immobilize, dominate, and even attack dissuasion - eliminating yourself from the board as a legitimate option to attack does help in several ways. Charisma-based Warlocks come close to gold in this field.

  • Survivability: As the first of only two Constitution-primary (if you so choose) classes in the game, you can choose to be one of the healthiest Strikers in the business, with a solid stockade of hitpoints and healing surges. On-demand Concealment also tends to help you a lot, on top of the propensity to stay five to ten squares away from everything you want to hit (having a Defender blocking the enemy's path to your face tends to work quite well for you). Charisma'locks are a little worse, but can still pull some strings to keep themselves out of danger. Being stuck in Leather armor could be a little bit of an issue, especially if your race doesn't get a bonus to Intelligence, but you can manage, especially as a lot of neat enchantments are contained in Leather.

  • Targeting Capacity: Another advantage of being a ranged combatant is the freedom of choice as to what you want to hit. And especially as you gain a bonus to defenses just for shimmying along in the battlefield, you can stray inwards a little bit to gain your Prime Shot bonus and ruin a monster's day. Several facets of the Warlock also rely on teleportation, which also helps a lot with mobility, but some Warlocks may not want to get too much in danger to force their Prime Shot to activate, especially with melee-focused allies.

 

The Hexblade and Binder - I'll Cast a Shadow


Luckily, handbooks already exist for the two Essentials daughter classes. They may be slightly outdated, but barring suggestion for an updated version of either, I will present these guides, written by LordVentnor and Malisteen, respectively.

Stats and Proficiencies: The Bare-Bones Bargaining Chip

 

So, what exactly makes a Warlock tick? What makes them different from the Ranger, the Rogue, the Sorcerer, the Blackguard, the... everything else?

Several little things. But first, a bit of a look at the basics.

 

Hit-Points: 12 + Constitution score.
At the standard for your role. Better than the Assassin here (then again, so is every other Striker), but worse than the Avenger and Barbarian.

Healing Surges: 6 + Constitution modifier.  
A little problematic for Charisma'locks, but Constitution'locks will jump for joy at just how much in both this field and the field above they have in terms of elbow-room. Enjoy your Defender-level hitpoints, at least for a little while.

Proficiencies: Cloth, Leather.  Simple Weapons.  Rod, Wand implements.
The armor is less of a deal than you'd think, but there's some lost potential in terms of implements, as you don't get the two implements you'd probably most want: the Staff for damage and the Orb for debuff potentia;. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of Rods built for Warlocks to swing with ease and efficiency, and you will actually want one at least in the off-hand for property's sake... but the fact of the matter is that Wands are not very impressive in the hands of a Warlock, and for the most part, nothing will compare to the Staff of Ruin when it comes to damage-buffing. This problem is very easy to fix, however - one feat, and you're good to go.

Defensive Bonuses: +1 Reflex, +1 Will.
Charisma'locks will enjoy a strong Will score, but Constitution'locks that aren't devoting themselves to Charisma as an off-score will probably not care as much. Still, two buffed defenses is nothing to sneeze at.

 

Class Features: Leafing the Pages of the Necronomicon


Eldritch Blast: Wizards of the Coast decided that Warlock at-wills must be chosen for them, one of them based on their pact... and this one. You'll certainly get chummy with your local Warlord, as this is a legitimate Ranged Basic Attack, and thus there's a lot of other ways to buff this power, but otherwise you're slinging around a Longbow with infinite ammunition.

Since PH Heroes: Series 1 however, you are allowed to take a melee weapon version of this: Eldritch Strike, which is a Constitution- or Charisma-based melee basic attack which slides the target 1 square as a hit. It's one of the most poached at-wills in the game, especially with the slide portion of the power opening itself up to so many tricks, and is a great alternative for Warlocks who either want to stay in the front lines (usually as a Con'lock), provide an escape option (Cha'lock), or go into the massive amount of charge support in the game.

Pact Boons: Every Warlock starts his or her career by choosing to sign with one of seven different Pacts: Infernal (PHB1), Star (PHB1), Fey (PHB1), Dark (FRPG), Vestige (AP), Sorcerer-King (Dark Sun), or Elemental (HoEC). From each pact, you get your second at-will power and a special effect that happens when an enemy subject to your Warlock's Curse falls to zero hitpoints, and not just because you killed them. In fights where enemies come in the dozens and your mobility is at its peak, this is a tremendously powerful addition to your repetroire; however, in solo fights this will go amiss, unless your DM likes throwing minions at you alongside and you get the first jump on them.

Prime Shot: While you're a little more fragile than the Ranger is and thus Prime Shot may not be as notable a feature for you as it is for them, it's still a great boost to accuracy that can be built around with plenty of support, and you're not exactly glass, especially Con'locks. Melee'locks especially will love this at Paragon.

Shadow Walk: On-demand Concealment is amazing, and quite a fantastic way to patch up your otherwise mediocre defenses. It's easy to trigger, too: just move 3 squares from your starting position! You gain a +2 bonus to defenses in partial concealment, which is what this feature grants; but that's not the only thing you get out of this. The aforementioned Shadow Warlock Armor gives you Combat Advantage against every Cursed enemy in sight. You also have a much easier time using your Stealth skill, as you require cover or concealment to keep any Hidden status you might obtain.

Warlock's Curse: Once per round as a minor action, you can subject the closest enemy to you that you can see to your Warlock's Curse, which lasts all encounter, and does not vanish on application on other enemies. What does this do? It allows you to deal extra dice of damage once per turn with any attack you inflict on them. There's a myriad of ways, both control-based and damage-based, to utilize this feature, the biggest of which revolves around the fact that it was changed to once per turn, so Immediate Action attacks are now worthwhile additions to your power card list.

 

 

Warlock Pacts: The Paths To Hell

 

 

As explained in the Pact Boon section, each Warlock must pick a Pact that best follows how they want to play their character and what powers they'd like to favor. Each of the seven, along with its designated at-will power, will be described below, both in regards to its At-Will power that it selects for you, as well as how well they represent the Warlock class in these specific categories:

 

  • CONTROL: Propensity for debilitating effects, forced movement
  • DAMAGE: DPR potential, whether ongoing or straight hits
  • DEFENSE: Tenacity to remain standing in combat, ability to act as a quasi-Defender
  • LEADERSHIP: Debuffs, buffs, heals
  • SUPPORT: Availability of support for the pact, through feats/items/Paragon Path

 

INFERNAL PACT (Player's Handbook 1) / Control Damage Defense Leadership Support
Constitution-based, with a smattering of (good) Charisma-based powers. Contains one of the most abused at-wills in all of 4e D&D.

The Infernal Pact
Pact Boon: Dark One's Blessing.
When an enemy cursed by you falls to zero hitpoints, you gain temporary hitpoints equal to your level. Now that's kinda spiffy: several of your powers, especially outside of PHB1, love to drain you of your hitpoints in exchange for a reroll, and this will help you with that sting. Defensive-based Warlocks will love this Boon, but keep in mind temporary hitpoints do not stack, so killing multiple enemies in one fell swoop, or killing enemies when your stock of temp hitpoints hasn't vanished yet, can make this boon wasteful. Ah well.

At-Will Powers: Hellish Rebuke, Gift to Avernus.
Hellish Rebuke (Constitution) is incredibly cool. Target takes some blasé fire damage, and if you're damaged by anything, they take even more damage! And that trigger point can be from anything - that enemy's attack, another enemy's attack, ongoing damage, a stray arrow, your own abilities, anything. There are a ton of builds centered around the abuse of this very power alone... though the rating drops if you don't really bother to get in the thick of things.

On the other hand, you're allowed to pick Gift to Avernus (Charisma). It's Eldritch Blast without the RBA addition or the Constitution-based option. Oh, but wait! If you miss with it, you can reroll it, with a very, very convenient cost: a dent to your hitpoints equal to your level.  Doesn't that sound kinda familiar? It should, as it perfectly overlaps with your pact boon. Unpenalized(ish) rerolls are incredibly nice for your DPR, and if you want to go down this path and favor Charisma, take this - you won't regret it.


STAR PACT (Player's Handbook 1) / Control Damage Defense Leadership Support
Can be effective as either a Con'lock or Cha'lock, and the riders on these powers are quite nice. You also gain access to a marvelous little Paragon Path, of which will be described later on.

The Star Pact
Pact Boon: Fate of the Void.
When an enemy cursed by you falls to zero hitpoints, you gain a cumulative +1 bonus to one attack roll, saving throw, skill check, or ability check you make - your choice to apply whenever any of these come up - until the end of your turn. Afterwards, the bonus is lost. Great on its own, but just one feat makes this fantastic.  This is one Pact that encourages Cursing enemies as fast as possible and nuking them to gain a giant bonus to an attack roll you make with, say, a Daily...

At-Will Powers: Dire Radiance.
Can be used as either a Charisma-based or Constitution-based power. The rating isn't such that the effect is weak - it's not exactly a hard trigger point - it's just that the effect is hard to trigger in the context of battle. Melee enemies will probably not move after it's locked onto your allies, and ranged enemies will probably not bother to move. The secondary damage triggers when they move closer to you, which is soft control (giving enemies a bad option and a good option); not a very positive slant. It is radiant damage, and that's open to a lot of tricks, but as it is it really needs a clever mind and a well-aligned battlefield to function.


FEY PACT (Player's Handbook 1) / Control Damage Defense Leadership Support
Fully Charisma-based. The powers are very Control-heavy, sacrificing damage for stellar effects, but you can still be a good Striker without large numbers of dice to roll.

The Fey Pact
Pact Boon: Misty Step.
When an enemy cursed by you falls to zero hitpoints, you teleport 3 squares as a free action. Done and done. Multiple enemies falling at once can give you a bonkers amount of mobility, but it's unexpected free movement, and can be incredibly tricky to take advantage of - though don't forget that this boon will refresh the duration of Shadow Walk, so that's something.

At-Will Powers: Eyebite.
The damage is stark, and the benefit is a bit limited - you'll have fantastic defenses against the enemy if you hit, decent defenses against everyone else, and... that's about it. Certainly handy, but boring.


DARK PACT (Forgotten Realms) / Control Damage Defense Leadership Support
Entirely Charisma-based. Heavy on DPR focus, with only one real facet of control without influence from other pacts; falls into the problem of emphasizing necrotic and poison damage, which is strange considering the anti-undead bent of this Pact. Still, though, a cool Pact to follow, though it has its problems.

The Dark Pact
Pact Boon: Darkspiral Aura.
Mmm-mmm, Catch-22s. When an enemy cursed by you falls to zero hitpoints, you add one point to a special little bank called your Darkspiral Aura. Whenever an enemy targets you with a melee or ranged attack, you can drop your Aura as an immediate interrupt to deal xd6/xd8/xd10 damage to the target, X being the amount of points in your Aura. Like the Star and Fey Pacts, this encourages Cursing as fast as possible, and very large encounters to give yourself a humongously strong punishment for enemies attacking you. Recognize, however, that the scaling of this is suspect (never growing above 1d12 per point at 21st level with a feat) and in fights against solo creatures with a Defender doing his job, you might as well forget this exists, even if that solo has lackeys.

At-Will Powers: Spiteful Glamor.
d12 damage if the target is at full hitpoints, and d8 otherwise. No other effects. At least it attacks Will...


VESTIGE PACT (Arcane Power) / Control Damage Defense Leadership Support
Constitution-based. Still very Strikery, but actually trades in a bit of Control for being a quasi-Leader. And to be honest, the Vestige Pact does that very well; it's honestly my favorite pact out of all of them.

(NOTE: The ratings fluctuate depending on the Vestige Pact chosen.)

The Vestige Pact
Pact Boon: Vestige of King Elidyr; Vestige of Zutwa; various.
This is much trickier: when an enemy cursed by you falls to zero hitpoints, you follow the Pact Boon of a specific ancient Vestige that you've signed your pact to. At the end of any rest, you select either of the two primary Vestiges to follow, King Elidyr or Zutwa. This determines not only your Pact Boon, but your special At-Will power's secondary effect. Whenever you use a Daily Warlock power that has Vestige in the name, you can choose to sign into that pact instead of your original one - at that point, your Boon and At-Will's secondary effect changes to incorporate the effects listed. It's book-keeping to the max, and unfortunately only the Vestige of Zutwa pact boon is of any worth by default, as on-demand Prime Shot (and the spike to the bonus as the pact boon) is going to be much more handy than the weak Leader-like abilities that King Elidyr contains.

At-Will Powers: Eyes of the Vestige.
This power is incredible; the ability to spread damage and Curses around to more important targets is fantastic, and the power would be just fine by itself, without the special Augments you get from your current Vestige. The damage you inflict is a tad low, but it's against Will, and can carry some monstrously good effects if you ally yourself with the right Vestiges. A fantastic extra At-Will for Human Con'locks.


SORCERER-KING PACT (Dark Sun) / 
Control Damage Defense Leadership Support
Every power for you guys is Constitution- or Charisma-based, with an attack range of Melee touch or Ranged 5. This is also very Leadery, and is incredibly versatile on every front, able to be slotted in to any build. A very popular candidate for Twofold Pact due to how wonderful its feats are.

The Sorcerer-King Pact
Pact Boon: Fell Scorn.
Very simple: you start your encounters with a Fell Might as a King'lock, and whenever you use a Warlock power tied to the Sorcerer-King pact, you can spend it before rolling the attack roll to get a special rider on a hit. The Pact Boon simply refreshes the use of the Fell Might. You cannot get multiple uses of the Fell Might, which is kinda disappointing.

At-Will Powers: Hand of Blight.
Huh. Melee touch or Ranged 5, Constitution or Charisma; wicked. The at-will also services to introduce you to the Fell Might feature: if you spend it on this power and hit, you deal 1d8 extra damage, which is actually an excellent bonus, and one of the best ways to spend your Fell Might. Heck, it even allows the target to grant combat advantage to everyone, which is neat. The range is rather short, but hey, it works - and there are some strategies you can exploit from having this be a Melee range option.


ELEMENTAL PACT (Essentials: HOEC) / Control Damage Defense Leadership Support
Charisma-based, but since none of your new powers have Elemental Pact riders and your At-Will is awful, you could conceivably go with Constitution as your attack score. A striking similarity to the Sorcerer with this pact, and contains some extremely unique features and bonuses.  It also helps with one of the worst parts about, oddly enough, the Dark'lock powers in being able to switch around damage types. Awesome pact... except there's a little bit of a problem.

Elemental Pact
Elemental Affinity
As the only Pact with a fully-fledged feature, this does a rather neat little thing: it gives you a fragment of the Wild Sorcerer feature, in which you roll a d10 each time you rest to determine a damage type.  The result you get (which can be either acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder) replaces all instances of the psychic, necrotic, poison, or force damage type on your Warlock powers (this includes ongoing damage, Dark'locks) with your new Affinity's type. This Affinity can change to one of your choice when you spend your Second Wind. This meshes wonderfully with the Pact Boon...

Pact Boon: Accursed Affinity.
Whenever an enemy cursed by you drops to zero hitpoints... nothing happens. At least not yet.  Whenever you next Curse an enemy, that enemy gains Vulnerable 5/10/15 (by tier) to your Affinity's damage type for the rest of the encounter. Simply glorious DPR potential here, not just for you, and sickening with Bloodied Boon

At-Will Powers: Chromatic Bolt.
Another aspect of the Sorcerer comes into play, this time reflecting the Storm Sorcerer's favorite at-will choice: you deal a decent amount of psychic damage (which can be changed with your Elemental Affinity feature), and you deal some extra minion-poppin' psychic damage on another target within 5 squares equal to your Constitution modifier. Really, there's no reason for this: Intelligence is such an important aspect of the class as a whole that having a secondary damage option based on the other primary isn't good for anything other than just popping minions. And while that sounds like a smart plan, since you can curse a minion and then pop him with the secondary on this for instant Boon, that also means you missed out on extra damage on the primary target, which past Heroic will mean something. The CHA/CON split for armor isn't horrible if you're going in Chainmail but there's few enchantments you want on that.

 

Ability Scores: The Heartwork


So, you got your Pact signed with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but... who exactly are you? Are you speedy or smart? Strong or charming? Draconic or... not?

 

The suggested scores do not count in post-racial bonuses.

STRENGTH: (8-13) Not really something to focus on. Melee-focused Warlocks and Warlocks hybridizing with a Strength-primary class, however, might want to pay a bit of attention here. 13 Strength is also the threshold to cross to gain Hide Proficiency, which is of serious consideration for some of you if you're entertaining the thought of starting with a 14 or 16 INT post-racial.

CONSTITUTION: (13-18) You pick either this or Charisma for your primary ability score, and pick the other for a tertiary to shore up either Will or Fortitude. The old strategy of going "Split'lock" (Constitution and Charisma even, Intelligence a distant second) is nowadays too risky to go for, as it forces you to wear Chainmail, and in any case, both ability scores are represented very heavily considering the wide breadth of powers available. Anyway, for Constitution'locks, this is the stat you stick a 16 or 18 in, no questions asked. It determines your Fortitude, your HP, your surges, and most importantly for half of you, your attack and damage rolls.

DEXTERITY: (10-13) Used mainly to qualify for Dual Implement Spellcaster, and for those that cherry-pick powers that don't rely on your Intelligence, you can use this to patch your AC while also giving some love to your Stealth and initiative scores. This can be used as a secondary if you wish, but no Warlock powers or feats care about your Dexterity, so it's only for very specific builds. It's not a bad ability to have a couple points in, though.

INTELLIGENCE: (14-16) Almost all of your power's riders, and your AC, relies on this very stat. This stat is incredibly important, and one you want to raise alongside your primary.

WISDOM: (8-10) There's very little reason ever for you to invest in Wisdom. Perception is out there, but good parties will have pretty much all of the abilities covered anyway, and Wisdom-based classes will have Perception, whether naturally or via backgrounds. You don't need this.

CHARISMA: (13-18) Your alternative primary score. You have a lot more powers that require Charisma than you do Constitution; meanwhile this is also the skill most associated with social skills and will also determine your Will score, so this is super important to some degree.

 

 

Race Options: Hell, an Equal Opportunity Employer


I'm actually going to be following Dedekine's format here: instead of sorting races by book, I'll be sorting races by ability score loadouts, in Primary/Secondary (CON/INT or CHA/INT), Primary only (CON or CHA), and Secondary only (INT). If a race isn't mentioned, don't even bother.

Primary and Secondary
Eladrin (INT + Cha, Dex): These guys and gals are poster-child Fey'locks, with a racial option to ferret themselves out of trouble, on top of great feat support that helps to focus on their teleportation bent. They do great as any Charisma'lock, not just Fey'locks, but flavorwise, the Fey is where they belong. And as if the Eladrin wasn't good enough, the Sun Elf option presented in Neverwinter gives them automatic proficiency with Staffs and Orbs. The implement problem solved without even spending a feat to do so puts them at the top echelon of Cha'lock races.

Genasi (INT + Str, Con): CON/INT alone makes them phenomenal, as it's a very rare trait for 4e races. It's assumed by going Genasi that you're either playing an Arcane class or a Warlord, and in that regard the spectacular racial choices and features will make you a great Con'lock. Shame the feats want you to be a Wizard...

Gnome (INT + Dex, Cha): You don't care about being small, you get the exact support you'd want from going with either the Star or Fey pacts, you have a racial encounter get-out-of-jail-free card... you're the Eladrin in miniature, and that's something to brag about.

Shardmind (INT + Cha, Wis): CHA/INT, on the other hand, is quite common, as you could probably tell. This one's no different: a propensity for skills akin to the Eladrin, automatic resistance to a decent damage type (Psychic, instead of the Tiefling's Fire), an offensive-based "Run away!" power, and good feat support. The flavor, however, might turn some people off; I myself don't really like the "weird" races such as PHB3 likes to favor, but to each his own.

Tiefling (CHA + Int, Con): Wait, so you mean the race that was born from signing a deal with archdevils and carries bonuses to the very ability scores Warlocks love... is a good race? No way! It's quite obvious that you're a natural Charisma'lock and a great Constitution'lock: your feat support is marvelous, your racial abilities are splendid (resists and accuracy!), and you can even focus on a fire theme and not come out too badly.

Hobgoblin (CON + Int, Cha): Well, look at that. We were finally graced with another CON/INT race recently, and thankfully, it's a great pick: it comes packed with an initiative bonus right off the bat, a great racial to stave off Save Ends effects, and a special little feat just for you Arcane types that, for your unfriendly Close area hexes, can allow you to eliminate a square adjacent to you as a target.

Warforged (CON + Str, Int): Chicks dig giant Warlocks. A bonus to Will, even as someone primed for the Constitution pacts, is very welcome, as well as another source of temporary hitpoints for you Infernal machines in the audience. The feat support is woesome for Warlocks, and unfortunately, now that we have a new CON/INT race in the house, the attraction just isn't as strong as it used to be. But by no means is it a bad choice; the flavor is certainly awesome.

Changeling (CHA + Dex, Int): Unfortunately, while this race is chock-full of flavor and carries a nice bonus to Will to shore up your already awesome Will score, the feat support... kinda doesn't exist. Well, it does, but it's really nothing spectacular, and doesn't boost your Warlock features or powers.

Kalashtar (CHA + Int, Wis): Fortunately, you are a bit different from the pack - your ability to shrug off certain secondary effects is second-to-none, and you possess a racial power that'll allow you to just blow off almost any Will-based attack once per encounter.

Pixie (CHA + Dex, Int): Even though it's yet another CHA/INT race, and there's absolutely no argument against them being a Fey'lock, especially considering where they come from, their racial features and powers mean little to you, and their feat options aren't spectacular either.

Kenku (CHA + Dex. Int): The Kenku rides the exact same boat as the Pixie does; it's a serviceable Cha'lock race with nothing going for it in terms of support.

Shade (CHA + Dex, Int): A CHA/INT race, a bonus to Arcana and automatic Darkvision? Neat! Horrible feat support, a loss of a healing surge, and a mediocre Standard-action racial? Nah. They technically are a decent CHA/INT race; the purple rating reflects the fact that all of the others are so much superior, however.

Primary Score Only
Dragonborn (CHA + Str, Con, Dex): I'm still astounded at the decision to give these guys a third secondary score, but it's there (though you need to be a Kapak to gain Dexterity). Your racial power is heavily supported by feats, and you gain access to a very neat Rod in the Rod of the Dragonborn. On the whole, even without INT, Dragonborn will have no problems at all being good Warlocks.

Half-Elf (CON + Wis, Cha): Oh, Dilettante. How we love you so. Should you come into the problem of grabbing a power that isn't CON or CHA based, you have ways to repair that. Even disregarding this, the fact that you can take both Human and Elf feats could be a consideration all on its own, especially for the former's list.

Mul (CON + Str, Wis): While the Minor Action Second Wind will go amiss compared to being a full Dwarf, and even though you have to pick between Dwarf and Human for your feats, both options are pretty darn good, and there's so much else about you that make you a formidable Con'lock.

Revenant (DEX + Con, Cha): DMs tend to ban Revenants even from home games, either because the flavor is rather obtruse (The Raven Queen hates the undead, but she'll create minions from those whose "time wasn't up" without objection? Uh...) or because the mechanics are absolutely bonkers crazy (essentially turning any race you want into a DEX/Con/Cha race on top of base Revenant support). This should be your primary Warlock option if your DM is up for some fun.

Deva (WIS + Int, Cha): Deva make for rather odd Warlocks in my opinion... though they make fantastic Vestige Pact Warlocks, who pretty much thrive on the idea of past lives fueling their powers. Your innate resistances are excellent, and your Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes will help that critical daily land. Where this race really shines is in Epic with the Soul of the World ED, which is pretty much the reason you pick Deva in the first place.

Drow (DEX + Cha, Wis): Flavorful Dark'locks to the end, and solid Cha'locks of any sort. Their racial power choices are awesome, though Darkfire a bit moreso than Cloud of Darkness.

Dwarf (CON + Str, Wis): The secondary stats don't quite line up with what you want, but you will appreciate the bonus to Constitution and some very interesting abilities to keep you on your feet. A proclivity for hammers could also come into use if you go down that path of optimization. Curiously enough they, along with "dead" (Revenant) Dwarves, make the best Elemental Pact Warlocks: there is no reason you can't go Constitution-based as an Ele'lock (since your At-Will kinda blows), and a Minor Action Second Wind will tame your Affinity feature much more easily than it would otherwise.

Goblin (DEX + Wis, Cha): +2 to Bluff. +2 to Stealth. +1 to Reflex. An IR shift on a missed melee attack. Feats aren't the greatest, but damn, you're given a lot at the outset anyway.


Halfling (DEX + Con, Cha): The DEX will help with qualifying for Dual Implement Spellcaster, and you will be evasive as hell, not only with your racial power but with your feat options. On top of which, you can be a Con'lock or a Cha'lock with no problems whatsoever. Neato.

Human (Any ability score): Great for pretty much every class, though slightly worse as Warlocks since you depend a lot on your secondary. Having access to great feat support, a bonus skill, and a bonus feat on a class that's very feat-starved is something to die for. In regards to the bonus At-Will: you gained two unique options in the Binder list for Cha'locks, but Con'locks are pretty much stuck deciding between Hellish Rebuke and Eyes of the Vestige (the latter admittedly being a power house).

Kobold (CON + Dex, Cha): An iconic race finally gets a proper write-up... and amazingly enough, some feat support as well. With their "introduction" in the Dungeon Survival Guide, these small critters lost Shifty but instead gained a rather interesting little feat in Eldritch Momentum that almost directly copies the Shadow Warlock Armor property. The loss of Shifty is a little disappointing, but enough was given to them to make them a sweet new choice for the class.

Satyr (CHA + Dex, Con): Like the Pixie, they make extremely flavorful (and competent) Fey'locks, but they make quite decent Con'locks as well. They have a bit of a mix of durability and mind clearance, on top of a rather interesting racial power. Shame about the feats and the uselessness of Bluff being an automatic skill for you...

Wilden (WIS + Con, Dex): A fey origin, but no Charisma or Intelligence boost? What a shame. What's not a shame is how flexible you can boost their NADs and the shenanigans you can pull with their racial powers.

Half-Orc (DEX + Str, Con): Very close to being blue, but the racial feats kinda want you to be in melee. Still, quite a unique race to be as an Arcane character, and will work just fine.

Hamadryad (WIS + Int, Cha): You are the Wilden, except not. Just like your Satyr and Pixie cousins, you will make a flavorful Fey'lock (y'all did come from the same Feywild book), but unlike the Satyr, there just isn't enough support to differentiate themselves from the pack.

Vryloka (CHA + Dex, Str): I imagine this is the class and race combination you'd want to most play if you really wanted to be a Vampire, though with all that said you're a bit fragile. Still, you have a useful encounter power and innate necrotic resistance. That can count for something.

Goliath (STR + Con, Wis): All of your feats want you to be a Warden so badly. Automatic proficiency with all two-handed weapons (except Superior weapons) with just one feat may be attractive, however.

Hengeyokai (DEX + Wis, Cha): You have no feats at all, and while the +1 Reflex can be quite handy, there's nothing here that other races can't deliver - Charisma is too common a stat boost amongst the crowd. To be fair though, if you want a furry Warlock, this is kind of your best option if your DM is strict with flavor.

Minotaur (STR + Con, Wis): A CON boost is all you're getting here, if you don't care about charging.

Secondary Score Only
Elf (DEX + Int, Wis): What sells them the most is Elven Accuracy, which actually contains some great support for Arcane classes, multi-attacker or otherwise. Other than that, they make decent Fey'locks, but Eladrin is right there...

Githzerai (WIS + Dex, Int): That Wisdom score is just not going to do anything for you, and the racial power plus many of your features and feats want you to be an evasive character or a Defender. You can actually delve into the former with surprising confidence, and even feign the latter, but it'll take a dedicated build to do so. They do come packaged with an initiative booster right from the start, which does say a lot about a class normally low in that score.

Shadar-Kai (DEX + Wis, Int): I'm actually tempted to rate these guys as Blue, due to how a lot of their racial abilities fit the missing parts of some Warlocks. You get a bonus to death saving throws, a very handy bonus to Fortitude, and your feats focus on resists, insubstantiality, and Controller-esque abilities. Give these guys a second look - you might be surprised.

 

 

Skills: Play and Work... Enjoy Your Time on Earth


The Warlock class gets four skills, the baseline for a class. Surprisingly enough, you don't get Arcana automatically - and depending on your class loadout, you may have to force yourself into that skill.

Here's what you can get:

Class Skills
Arcana (INT): A knowledge skill, and one you'll be quite good at. Take it if you can, but if you have a Wizard in the party, you can look elsewhere: he'll be better at it than you. Important for those that become a Sage of Ages.

Bluff (CHA): Social skills are very handy, especially as a Cha-primary. If you're Constitution-based, this is still not a bad option.

History (INT): Another knowledge skill, but a bit more in the realm of DM context than anything. Still, you'll be great at this.

Insight (WIS): Have other people in your party else take this and Perception. If you absolutely must, and you're attracted to the (admittedly good) skill powers, then by all means take it, but...

Intimidate (CHA): One of the most broken skills in the game; if your DM allows it, you can force bloodied opponents to surrender with a successful Intimidate vs. Will check. Another social skill, and one that's both highly flavorful and very handy. Constitution'locks won't prize it as much.

Religion (INT): Either this or Arcana is required to start slinging around Rituals. I'd rather you go for Arcana than this, but a little prayer never went amiss - and Religion skill powers tend to be very nice.

Streetwise (CHA): Eeeeh... this is way too situational to ever really recommend. Ask your DM.

Thievery (DEX): Everyone needs a trap-maestro. And if it must fall on you, your modicum of DEX (be it 11 or 13) will make it work. Jumps to Sky Blue if you use Dexterity as a secondary score instead of tertiary or quaternary.


Here's what you can't get:

Other Skills
Acrobatics (DEX): Maybe...? You'll be wearing armor that doesn't deduct from your Acrobatics score, and Dexterity is a quaternary (and a rare secondary), so you won't suck at this. But still... it's Acrobatics. Search the room for a ladder and cheat the system, or just fly.

Athletics (STR): You're a Warlock. You don't work your muscles - you teleport. Ask for a rope if you have to.

Diplomacy (CHA): Bluff and Intimidate will normally get you far in the world (though perhaps not in everyone's good graces). If you're the face of the party, though, consider buying this via a feat. Prime Eladrin racial option here, by the way.

Dungeoneering (WIS): Two problems compound this skill - every DM has a different idea of just what Dungeoneering is and what it applies to (basically, determining cardinal directions, noticing clues and hazards in an underground environment, or recognizing how deep in a structure you are). The second is on top of the first: it's Wisdom based. There's not too much to gain if you invest in this skill, so don't worry about it.

Endurance (CON): The only Constitution-based skill in the game, and if your DM likes to pit you against rats and mummies, this will be very important to make sure your awesome adventure doesn't get sidelined by random rats. Plus the skill powers are fantastic. Cha'locks need not apply, unless they absolutely must henpick the skill powers.

Heal (WIS): Nah.

Nature (WIS): Strongly advised if you want to go into the madness that is Rituals. Otherwise, bleh.

Perception (WIS): Again, let the Druid do it. However, if no one else can be bothered to pretend to care about their surroundings, then it'll have to fall on you, because the skill is used so much in 4e. Your trash Wisdom score won't like it, though.

Stealth (DEX): A very popular candidate for purchasing skills, or grabbing via backgrounds: any investment in Dexterity and common Stealth-boosting armors will make you quite masterful at this, as you have the easiest job in the world gaining concealment. Sky Blue if your race either bumps your Stealth score or gives this skill to you for free.

Heroic Tier Spells: Destination Hades


The Warlock is a "V-class": that is, they work under two possible primaries and a single secondary score. With that in mind, each power list will be split into different subsections depending on what ability score they call upon for their attack rolls. I'll also be putting the Vestige Pact rider dailies into their own sections, as they should be the first thing that Vestige'locks look at before considering any other Con'lock powers. All Con'locks are, of course, allowed to take those powers, and the initial rating of the power is as such.

 

Furthermore, each power will be given split ratings, based on how strongly they represent the Striker and Controller aspects of Warlocks, as Warlocks can be seen as strong enough to be played as a high-damage Controller with little sacrifice or hassle, and then, if the power has a Pact Rider, a modified rating based on what the Rider most closely buffs. Vestige Dailies will be judged on their own; Vestige'locks should pay most attention to the Pact Boon and EOTV Augment sections, if any, for the ratings, as it is typically those that determine how valuable the power is for them.

Level 1 At-Wills (Human Options)
(Along with the regular Pact At-Will options, these are Warlock powers with a level, so Humans have these as options as well.)

Echoing Dirge / Striker, Controller
Important note: Warlocks do not have any other AOE at-will. That fact alone gives it substantial advantages: you do not provoke opportunity attacks when using it, since it's a Close Blast 5; swarms will take full damage, even though you only target two enemies with it; and the control itself is quite solid, allowing you to push whichever enemies you hit. A lot of builds could see this work for them.

Shadow Claws / Striker, Controller
Soft control it may be, it is in the Effect line, not the Hit line, which makes it also worth consideration. Otherwise, though, it's a cold Eldritch Blast, and probably not worth wasting your extra At-Will slot on.

Level 1 Encounter Powers

Charisma
Cursebite / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Brilliant range, but the damage is a bit small considering the prep necessary, and may be wasteful in small encounters. Dark'locks get a bonus to the damage rolls, which does improve this power somewhat.

Darkworm Feast / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Not super impressed with the damage, though Slowed is a pretty nice way to start off your career. The Dark Pact rider doesn't improve it that much.

Dreadful Word / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)
Great damage, and even that small a penalty to Will can help your other Controller and Leader friends, though it probably won't be a game breaker. Unlike the Star Pact rider, which adds your Intelligence modifier to the penalty, making it a truly scary beginner's hex that'll last a long time.

Flickering Venom / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
2d8+CHA+INT is actually quite solid to start off with. Shame the extra damage is Poison-typed. Dark Pact gains a moderate range bonus that may or may not matter.

Glow of Ulban / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)
Lot of fluffy flavor text for a super-simple power. For the Star Pact, the fact that it waits until it does make a saving throw instead of ending on the next turn is a neat touch.

Grasp of the Iron Tower / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)
Fantastic damage and great control, though a bit iffy that it targets Fortitude when it would be best used against front-line chargers. The Infernal Pact rider gives you some sublime protection and gives a little more freedom as to when you can best pop this.

Hound of Dark Omen / Striker, Controller
A single target push is a pretty basic power to have, though it would be much improved if you could use the Binder rider.

Shadow Tentacles / Striker, Controller
Hey, cool, it's your first AOE power! And thankfully it's pretty nice, slowing everyone that you hit.

Sprite War Call / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Control)
Combat advantage is honestly not hard to get; it's a decent Slow overall, though. Even without this fact, Fey'locks have much better options.

Unseelie Sprites / Striker, Controller
A friendly CB2 is nice to see, and can be somewhat valuable if you tend to Skirmish. But otherwise the damage is so bad that it shouldn't be a primary choice.

Witchfire / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Control)
For Fey'locks, debuffing attack rolls by at least four if not five at first level can basically mean the enemy skips a turn. That's huge. Fire damage type is a cool detail as well but that's another story.
Constitution
Arms of Hadar / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)
An unfriendly Close Burst of that size is going to be rather hard to aim, but a push would be exactly what you're looking for from something like this. A dramatic improvement to the push for Star'locks makes it an interesting pick for them.

Chains of Levistus / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)
By the rules, "it moves" is triggered when the enemy leaves its current square, willingly or unwillingly. Being a potentially formidable Controller yourself this can become an awesome double-tap, not to speak of what your allies can do. And this says nothing of the rather solid Pact rider...

Clarion Call / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Striker)
Vestige'locks can collect a lot of health here while also dishing out an AOE that is much easier to aim than Arms of Hadar. Everyone else gets just the AOE. And while that's cool, who cares about deafen?

Diabolic Grasp / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Control)
The size limitation will not be a factor this early in your career, and the slide is excellent as a Controller side-effect. Infernal'locks can turn this into a thing of beauty, and so early as well.

Life Bind / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Striker)
This is kind of an odd power; only certain enemies are going to be affected by this power (typically undead and regenerating monsters like trolls). It's certainly not bad, but you have to really know what you're fighting before you pick this up - otherwise you're just getting a saving throw debuffer. And unfortunately it, along with the rider, only deals Necrotic damage.

Pandorym's Cry / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)
Pandorym cries for a better, more useful power if you don't care about the stars. Slow and CA on the rider is quite serviceable, and makes this surprisingly better than your Charisma slow powers for the most part.

Vampiric Embrace / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)
The damage is fine (though again, Necrotic), and the effect will be a nice replacement for your Pact Boon for a little while as an Infernal'lock. You could go worse I suppose.

Con / Cha

Cruel Bounty / Striker, Controller / Sorcerer-King Pact (+Striker)
What also can make you a good Striker is letting your cohorts bask in your glory alongside yourself. King'locks can do that quite nicely, turning an otherwise unremarkable benefit into a wondrous bonus if they spend their Fell Might here and hit.

Level 1 Daily Powers

Charisma
Armor of Winter's Grasp / Striker, Controller
Not my favorite here, but gaining bonuses to a typically weak NAD as well as AC can't go amiss, nor is an AOE Slow anything to sneeze at.

Contagion / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
As it is a Poison-keyword power, this Daily becomes completely useless against Undead, as there is no damage and thus they are immune to the entire power. In regular encounters the damage can potentially add up, but you absolutely need that Dark Pact rider and ways to exploit the condition of ongoing damage, or you have little hope of making an actual impact on the board.

Crown of Stars / Striker, Controller
Now we're talking! Unfortunately there's no clear answer as to how Warlock's Curse interacts with attacks that contain damage but no damage roll; it's rather important for the secondary attack, so ask your DM. A great initial hit is followed by a series of radiant lasers that you can shoot out once per turn on a Minor Action.

Curse of the Dark Dream / Striker, Controller
So you deal a complete whallop of a hit (against Will, and psychic damage), slide them three, then until they save, you can put little puppet strings on him while you go about your business? Utterly delicious. Even contains the Charm keyword for extra fun potential.

Decree of Khirad / Striker, Controller
Another wonderful Charm Power, and it's a friendly Blast! Every enemy inside gets slid two squares no matter what, and then if hit, are all subject to attacking whatever you want, and even punishing them with a damage roll if they dare to miss. The fact that it's against Will only makes this better, as you can mass-hypnotize Brutes to run over and utterly demolish someone in their path.

Dread Star / Striker, Controller
A pretty good snare that comes compacted with a pretty cool debuff. I must say, though, this power's got some competition...

Fortune's Reversal / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact, Fey Pact (+Control)
Immediate Reaction? That's pretty darn good - it means you potentially double-tap your Curse this round, which can be a welcome addition to your overall damage output. With the riders in mind, Dark'locks kind of get the short end of the stick, even with their propensity for ongoing damage; the Fey Pact rider is much more valuable and will be in effect for at least one turn to supplement the ongoing damage.

Hateful Shade / Striker, Controller
Pretty nice hit, especially with how uncommon Force resistance is. The effect is really bad, though - Acrobatics and Athletics will typically be deplorably low for you, making it trivial for them to beat you in the contest.

Hellfire Blast / Striker, Controller
Got marshmallows?

Malicious Shadow / Striker, Controller
Cold AND Necrotic is better, and your Shadow friend can really muck up enemies, forcing any of them near your buddy to grant Combat Advantage and, 1/round, punishing (willing) movement with decent damage and immobilization. Keep in mind that the immobilization happens on an Interrupt, which is excellent timing.

Mists of Madness / Striker, Controller

Kind of a lame version of Decree of Khirad, the only real notable aspect of it being quasi-Reliable.

Prophecy of Zhudun / Striker, Controller

It's about time we saw a daze here, and luckily it comes packed with a really cool effect. Again, this list has ample competition, but this is one of the better choices you could go with; your Rogue friends will love the auto-CA and the ability to maintain their Hidden status effortlessly.

Star Shackles / Striker, Controller

A friendly Close burst, sing your praises. It's also a grab that allows you to use your Reflex for them to "attack" to escape, which is very nice. You must, however, spend your Standard to sustain this power and then consume a Minor to repeat the attack on one enemy close by to a Shackled enemy, which presents its problems with action economy and board placement. I've seen this used on a Hexblade to much, much better benefit, so while this is a really fun power, I'd look elsewhere first.

Web of Shadows / Striker, Controller

It's a friendly ranged AOE, but bizarrely, the zone it creates doesn't want your allies entering the zone either, as it won't discriminate in the immobilize effect. That, alongside with the sole Necrotic keyword, may present problems. Still though, you take what you can get.

Yan-C-Bin's Breath / Striker, Controller

What a dumb name for an elemental. That aside, the AOE is unfriendly and while the zone can present some good autodamage, the size change element is unreliable and letting it grow out of control can present problems (provided you even want to spend Minor Actions to sustain it, meaning you basically can't move), as difficult terrain is a nuisance for allies if the acid damage doesn't eat through their HP first.

Your Glorious Sacrifice / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)

No one but Dark'locks should even bother. And ongoing damage can be nice to build around for them, but it is, again, Poison... on a Poison/Necrotic power. So know what you're getting into.


Constitution

Flames of Phlegethos / Striker, Controller

A great way to start your day off right if you like your Fire powers, as it deals solid damage and always deals ongoing damage.

The Lash's Bite / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)

So, the damage is the same, but completely nullifying immunities and resistances even for one turn can open up the floodgates. There's even an option to damage yourself on a miss to make it Reliable and super-accurate, which... yeah. Wow.


Tyranny of Flame / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (=Striker)

Automatic prone is quite nice, but making it save-ends (thus essentially immobilized and CA save-ends) is really cool... though you and your other Ranged friends are going to have problems, so have other targets in mind.

Vile Brand / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Control)

It's the awesomeness of The Lash's Bite, but instead of losing resistances, you mass debuff attack rolls for a turn. Really cool. This time the Infernal Pact could have a nice impact, because enemies close by will also be affected by the debuff. Which one you pick is up to you, but they come highly recommended for Con'locks.


Con / Cha
Armor of Agathys / Striker, Controller

Put here because there's no attack roll, though the damage roll within wants your Constitution to be good. But this power isn't all that good, to be honest - it'll shield you from some damage but you're missing out on a really good level for Warlock dailies. And to be frank it scales very badly.

Ashen Scourge / Striker, Controller
A guaranteed pull can be exploited readily (especially since King'locks have a decent stockade of melee powers), but otherwise is largely unremarkable.


Level 1 Vestige Dailies

Khaeleth / Striker, Controller
Apocalyptically low damage, no matter how many allies are surrounding you (and who plays 9-person campaigns anyway?)
Pact Boon: An ally within 5 squares of you gains your INT mod in temp hitpoints. Huh. Your Defender will appreciate the extra help.
Augment: Now that's a truly unique effect: you can actually redirect damage to yourself. Could be super useful if your target is bearing down on a fragile buddy.

Mount Vaelis / Striker, Controller
Essentially guaranteed immobilize unless the target can teleport.
Pact Boon: One cursed enemy within 5 squares of you gains Vulnerable 5 Thunder. This would normally not mean much to you, except...
Augment: ... this now inflicts 1d6 extra Thunder damage. The synergy with your Boon is amazing, and now you have a hard-hitting at-will that deals Psychic and Thunder damage and has great utility.

Thaxter / Striker, Controller
If you're caught in melee, having that large of a shift beforehand (or afterward if you need to, I guess) is cool to have, though that's all that makes this power special otherwise.
Pact Boon: A great Leader benefit, though just to one attack roll.
Augment: The chance to dissuade multiattacks can make this situationally valuable.

Level 3 Encounter Powers

Charisma
Delban's Deadly Attention / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker, +Control)
Even with it only being Necrotic, it's a really solid Interrupt power that will punish a hapless fool that wants to bop you over the head. Star'locks will make the initial damage absolutely sting, which in turn adds to the control aspect.

Ebon Claws / Striker, Controller
Take Hands of Ihbar if you actually care.

Eldritch Rain / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Striker)
Regrettably for a Fey'lock power, there's no real control here. The damage is good for a double-target power but that's all you sign up for.

Hands of Ihbar / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)
Just slowing is kind of boring, but hey, d12s are actual Striker dice. You'll use two of them here, so enjoy that. You can also enjoy... save-ends Cold resistance debuffing? How weird.

Lure of Loyalty / Striker, Controller
The target is completely forbidden to attack you, which is awesome for Controller'locks. But the big problem is that damage is still pretty important, since you can't afford to go pacifist like Wizards can. And the actual power, which can be powerful under the right circumstances (the charge it may need to do can provoke OAs) may instead just make it so that enemies attack things other than you instead... which they were probably doing anyway. I'm not totally sold, especially since it's useless in solo fights.

Lure of Minauros / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Control)
An awfully written power. There is one crucial flaw: when you hit, you give your enemy the choice to attack itself, or an adjacent creature... including an ally, if it so desires. Giving your enemies off-turn attacks is not how you play a Controller, so don't bother.

Otherwind Stride / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Control)
If you can easily position yourself amongst a crowd of enemies, putting out a carpet of immobilization once every encounter is actually really nice, especially since the power always gives you a way to escape. Fey'locks can find value in those extra squares.

Pipes of Winter / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Control)
And if you can't, this will work just fine. Immobilize is a solid rider to start using at level 3, and the Fey'lock benefit is great for delaying an initial push; those with World Serpent's Grasp can especially take advantage of it.

Shared Agony / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Good Striker dice again, but that's pretty much all it does. Miss effects on Encounter powers, especially when they reroll, is fantastic, but that's a lot of damage to take, and hopefully Dark'locks can hit with it when given two tries...

Upsetting Onslaught / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Either you have an encounter daze, or a really solid damage power, that for Dark'locks can attack either of two defenses. You know, that's a pretty good sell to me.

Void Blast / Striker, Controller
Did you ever have that feeling that you really wanted to annoy your teammates as well as your enemies? How about a blast that makes nine squares in front of you completely impregnable by sight for everyone?


Your Delicious Weakness / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Some enemies have features that're turned off if any of their Vulnerabilities are pierced. This power is designed so that it always hits those, adding a facet of extra damage (even more so if you're a Dark'lock) and the potential to shut down certain enemy behaviors is wonderful.


Constitution
Cloud of Flies / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker), Vestige Pact (+Striker)
Surely you can find it in your heart to like a power that grants +2 to attack rolls and enables certain features even on a Miss for two good Pacts.
 

Fiery Bolt / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)
While the splash is unfriendly, that's a lot of Fire damage being dealt out to a good portion of the board. Infernals can make the splash damage really count.

Fortune Binding / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Striker)
This is the kind of power you'd put in a toolbox - if and when you get hit with a save-ends effect, you can transfer it to an enemy for a turn. I like that. Vestige'locks can make it a decent Striker power as well.

Frigid Darkness / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)
Rating only applies to Star'locks. CA and a huge AC debuff means your Defenders and other Strikers can lay down some important hurt, and you get this every encounter, so... yes. Please.
 

Vestige's Calamity / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Striker)
Whole boatload of keywords on this little guy, so you're probably taking the power to take full advantage of that.

Worms / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)
You took this over Frigid Darkness because...?


Con / Cha
Sinister Extraction / Striker, Controller / Sorcerer-King Pact (-Striker)
No. You cannot really control who's going to get the extra temp hitpoints in any given encounter and the King'lock Fell Might benefit actually somehow makes it worse, since now you really can't control who gets it (and then you lost your Fell Might).


Level 5 Daily Powers

Charisma
Crackling Fire / Striker, Controller

Next up on the Fire blaster list is this lovely little Fire/Lightning AOE, which inflicts a mass Vulnerability to both damage types. It's a bit of a shame that the best power to use this with is Con-based (Hellish Rebuke), but it's a worthwhile thought.

 

Crown of Madness / Striker, Controller

Ultimately you do need the target to fail its first saving throw to really get good mileage out of this power, but this can potentially utilize an enemy on the board as a wonderful source of damage for you. Charm power.

 

Curse of the Bloody Fangs / Striker, Controller

Once more, you need to have it fail a saving throw to use the effect, but the ticking AOE damage is completely friendly and will incorporate your modifiers, making it incredibly dangerous for enemies to clump up.

 

Deathly Conduit / Striker, Controller

AOE Blind (save-ends) at level 5 is beautiful for a Striker class, and great for those that tend towards Control. The effect is even a free optional teleport... to a square inside the burst you create. If you've got a plan for what you want to do with enemies that close by, then go for it.

 

Emerald Shield / Striker, Controller

An immediate shield-typed boost to defenses (that is not a Stance), radiant auto-damage punishment 1/round if you're attacked in melee, and only needs a Minor Action to activate? Yeah, I could see someone taking this.

 

Forceful Assault / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)

A pretty generic save-ends daze. Undoubtedly good, but it's a little bland. No real bother about the Pact rider.

 

Fury of Gibbeth / Striker, Controller

Apparently eldritchian horrors cause Warlock powers to be keyed off of Intelligence. Sure. This power will reward you for putting your Charisma and Intelligence at equal values, for it'll become rather accurate and will potentially continuously prone the target until it saves or until your allies beat it up. Damage is great, but again, continuous proning gives you, the Ranged combatant, problems.

 

Lure of Gibbeth / Striker, Controller

Hit or miss, you will permanently be able to pull the target until the end of the encounter, which can be quite powerful if you or your other allies have zone effects or other ways to punish movement.

 

Nightshade Dreams / Striker, Controller

You may as well just take Forceful Assault, unless you're building around Ongoing damage. It's a lot of Ongoing damage. But it's also just Poison damage, and enough monsters are immune to Poison to where this will do almost nothing. You'll need to give this power a lot of love before you can take it home with you.

 

Roaring Storm of Cania / Striker, Controller

A gigantic mass auto-slide and mass prone on top of pretty solid Cold damage for the size of the AOE makes this a very prime pick no matter what style you trend towards.

 

Shard of Darkness / Striker, Controller

You're taking this for the fact that it's a reliable Cold power, not for the fact that it has Slowed (save ends). High Black for Strikers, but you really do have better options.

 

Tentacles of Cryonax / Striker, Controller

(Unfriendly) auras of slowing and autodamage on the board can be really neat, but the fact that it takes a Standard Action to get this started and doesn't make the attack upon creation really hurts this power. What hurts it even more is that the grab still allows your target to target what may be a very weak defense in your Fortitude to escape, but there is the potential for great damage as the encounter wears on.

 

Twilight of the Soul / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)

There's a lot of problems with this power that not even the Reliable keyword can fix. Again, you need to be super-devoted to DOTs to make this work and then somehow also find a solution to it being purely Necrotic damage throughout. Dark Pact rider is pretty decent for that strategy but still not amazing.

 

Venomous Webs / Striker, Controller

Pretty decent damage with auto-CA, and an alright dissuasion from movement. Poison is easier to fix than Necrotic, so you can maybe trip up something with this.

 

Well of Death / Striker, Controller

If you're that desperate to deal 4d8+CHA+mods that you need to borrow Healing Surges from your allies to do so, then you're really not looking that hard.

 

Well of Shadows / Striker, Controller

Provided you have a solution for the Necrotic damage and can aim the initial power outside your allies (though there is no Miss line), the fact that it creates such a severe zone that is friendly to your allies and builds on any Slows you may have inflicted within, whether by the power or otherwise, can add up over time for both Strikers and Controllers. It in particular can make sticky Defenders really love the work you put into it, and thankfully it's effortless, as there is no sustain attached. Friendly Zones are hard to find with Warlocks - this is a great one.

Constitution
Avernian Eruption / Striker, Controller

Pure damage. A guaranteed AOE DOT isn't too bad, and can be built upon, especially as it's Fire.

 

Blistering Torment / Striker, Controller

Slowing in a blast is kind of weird, and again, who cares about Deafen?

 

Hunger of Hadar / Striker, Controller

The amount of damage you can put out with a zone like this could be incredible, as it procs upon entry and at the start (so forced movement is glorious here), and will all but encourage the breakup of formations. However, the entire power is very unfriendly and the zone cannot be moved, which makes this worse than it really should be. What a shame.

 

Tyrannical Threat / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)

A completely friendly and large Close Burst that will always Curse its targets if you're an Infernal'lock is just too fantastic to ignore. Thankfully it also comes packed with a really cool psychic damage shield against those you just mass-Cursed. So cool.

Con / Cha
Flames of the Smoking Crown / Striker, Controller

A pretty rare trait for powers in 4e: an actual damage roll on the Effect line, which qualifies it for most modifiers. Besides that, a small DOT that will, on every pulse, yank the enemy around and spread the DOT portion to all of his nearby friends (and all at the start of his turn, no less) will quickly add up damage potentially faster than Avernian Eruption will. The only reason it's not as insane as it could be is that it won't let you use your Curse dice, since the Hit is what matters and you dealt no initial damage.

 

Hellsworn Blessing / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Leader?)

Giving your Twin-Blade Ranger an extra 2d8 damage every time he hits with something until the encounter is over is a little silly. Just a little bit.

 

Level 5 Vestige Dailies
Baatar / Striker, Controller

Damage is bad, but ongoing 5 damage that upgrades all the way to falling unconscious, save ends, is very good. If you can trip a failed save, this is an incredible level to start knocking enemies unconscious.

Pact Boon: Making sure Artillery can't run away if they're stuck next to your allies and turning off charges is a great trick to pull out.

Augment: As an At-Will, you can toss your enemy around any ally that hits him, which can be abused by a significant amount of zones and powers.

 

Ugar / Striker, Controller

A humongous Constitution-based zone that deals excellent Fire damage (in the context of zone powers) and cancels concealment? Awesome! Shame you can't move it around...

Pact Boon: ... and now you can!

Augment: No damage bonus, but Fire is a pretty common damage type to optimize, so you can do this if you prefer over the (admittedly slightly better) Psychic. You won't like this option in Epic, though...

 

Xandor / Striker, Controller

So, either you hit and give them a decently brutal catch-22 (though they'll most likely prefer just to be dazed), or you miss... and they're dazed anyways. The miss effect could actually be just a tad better than the Hit, since if they're resistant to Psychic damage, it just becomes soft control. Either way, solid effect.

Pact Boon: Now that's a cool Pact Boon: free saving throws. That, or you get a little bit of temporary hitpoints. Sure, why not.

Augment: Any extra dice of damage (1d8 psychic) on your prized At-Will is worth a buck fifty.

 

Level 7 Encounter Powers
Charisma
All the Sand, All the Stars / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)

All the daze, all the Charm. Woah nelly. Star'locks can make the damage pretty decent to boot.

 

Confounding Laughter / Striker, Controller

This would be a really mediocre power, but the guaranteed Slide really does save it. Actually pretty nice overall.

 

Cyst of Darkness / Striker, Controller

Why?

 

Deathboon / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)

Yeah, sure. Maybe if the DM is really forgiving and shows you the current stats of the monsters they use like a DM I had. Otherwise it's rather bad to buy powers that rely on you guessing HP values.

 

Death's Commands / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)Pact

Encounter Dazed is pretty nice, and if it's undead... wait. Necrotic. So then you turn it into an even worse Striker power to add a Control rider against undead. That's a little funky. And I thought Dark'locks wanted more damage? Why encourage attacking bad targets?

 

Far Realm Phantasm / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)

But then you get powers like this. This is an effect that is replicated on literally zero other powers in 4e and is a supplement to why I love the class so much. The effect reads that it "spends its next Standard Action making a basic attack against the empty air." So it's an attack - hi, Defenders - that targets nothing, and consumes its action to do so. I really, really love this. Star'locks make this power complete with the cool debuff.

 

Influence of Acamar / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)

Influence of a star that buffs your range on a power that can only target the closest enemy to you. What? It's a large pull, but that targeting requirement completely ruins it.

 

Lash of the Long Night / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Control)

Fey'locks take what's a serviceable but overall bad power (even if Save-Ends on encounter powers are rare) and make it truly formidable with the push. Great snare for them.

 

Mire the Mind / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Striker)

You just gave a gigantic bonus to defenses against most attacks to your entire party as an encounter power. You should feel good. Stealthy Fey'locks(?) can also appreciate the gigantic buff to their Stealth score for... the entire encounter? Jeez...

 

Nypacian Serpents / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Striker)

A surprisingly workable Poison damage power for Fey'locks, whom can make this a 2d8+CHA+2xINT+mods power rather easily, as the trigger is quite trivial. Still, Feys tend to not care about damage all that much.

 

Pain to Pleasure / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)

The damage is pretty nice, but the real reason this is great for a Striker Warlock is that it's a scarily accurate power that requires you miss four times in a row to do absolutely no damage - and all the while this power is healing you, whether you hit or miss (which is even strange for a reroll power like this). Very easy power to crit with, too. Fancy.

 

Pall of Darkness / Striker, Controller

Single-target blinds are pretty neat to have in your back pocket. Fortitude is a bit of a bad defense to use, though.

 

Shadow Strangler / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker, +Controller)

At base, it really isn't anything to yell about. -2 to attacks is alright, but this is also the level with AOE Daze, so it needs to do something to actually stand apart. And for Dark'locks, heavily punishing AOE attacks and multi-attacks against your buddies makes this a moderately good choice if you wish.

 

Sign of Ill Omen / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)

The intro blurb for Warlocks in PHB1 quotes this hex directly. And luckily it's amazing. An anti-Oath of Enmity, that then for Star'locks also inflicts a tremendous debuff to both attack rolls, essentially means it will absolutely auto-miss (and almost entirely removes the fringe chance of a critical hit occurring regardless of running debuffs). Regrettably, it only works on the first attack roll and this is in direct competition with Far Realm Phantasm, which makes the target's next Standard Action useless anyway.

 

Touch of Command / Striker, Controller

Off-turn Domination. As an Encounter power. The trigger may be a bit tricky for Cha'locks to come up with, but... that's actually a kickass tool to have. Thanks, Binders!

Constitution
Acrid Decay / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Control)

What saves this power is that it targets two creatures; otherwise, even the debuff is really weak and the dice just not impressive now.

 

Elder Constellation / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)

In fact, why not just use this power? No matter what pact you belong to, you have the chance to do a really funky trait of swapping their board positions (which can lead to some hilarious results), and CA plus Cold damage is a bit better than Acid+Necrotic.

 

Hero's Arrow / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (=Striker)

Due to the Vestige rider not saying "instead", this should mean that the ally you initially heal gets double-tapped with the heal. That could be really cool. A bit unimpressive without the rider, but the rider doesn't sacrifice damage, and healing isn't your forte anyway.

 

Howl of Doom / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Control)

Thunder-damage AOEs are going to be become better for you in a few levels, so this is a great time to start preparing if you plan on optimizing it, via Resounding Thunder and the like. Otherwise, a decent push to start, that becomes monstrous for Infernal'locks. Fortitude blast, though...

 

Infernal Moon Curse / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)

So this is an interesting question: the rules state that a monster has the chance to save if they are sent off of a cliff or off an otherwise perilous height via forced movement, at which point they fall prone in the previous space. But what happens when an enemy is stuck five feet in the air, slid to a point where they're hovering over the chasm, and then later the immobilization ends? Ask your DM.

 

Maggot Conduit / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker, +Controller)

An encounter autodamage Zone for Star'locks is definitely strong, but unfortunately Wizards finally got wise to zone shenanigans after about Dragon 400 or so; though they kind of messed it up, preferring to just add the "can only take damage once per turn" to any power they made afterwards instead of fixing the entire Zone keyword. So it didn't really do anything except make this power only mildly good instead of massively exploitable.

 

Mordant Rains of Dis / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)

The damage and the splash are practically worthless at 7th level. Encounter blinds are good, but Con'locks typically do not pick powers solely for their Control aspect, so it really depends on what your overall strategy is.

Con / Cha
Sorcerer-King's Decree / Striker, Controller / Sorcerer-King Pact(=Striker)

There's no real reason to spend your Fell Might here - the effect is garbage. The base power itself, however, is pretty spiffy, as it's a decent Lightning hex with a long AOE push.

 

Level 9 Daily Powers

Charisma
Consuming Ray / Striker, Controller

Spend a healing surge, as a Cha'lock, to do a small necrotic DOT. "Powerful attack" my ass.

 

Curse of the Black Frost / Striker, Controller

What's tricky about this power is popping the trigger during its own turns, though of course if it moves on its own volition the damage will proc; you can't necessarily guarantee that, however. And as long as it doesn't save you gain a better DOT than whatever joke Consuming Ray wanted to give you, so that's definitely something.

 

Death's Fond Caress / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)

Dark'locks gain a Reliable Necrotic hex that enemies cannot resist. Everyone else... I'm not confident this is what you really want.

 

Horrifying Hatchling / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker), Fey Pact (+Control)

The damage is just there to enable Curse dice. Otherwise, you have an actual DOT that is actually actual. And upon every tick of it, you slide the target one square (and I am a particular fan of slides that proc at the start of the victim's turn). Dark'locks can end the DOT to add a really solid punch of Poison damage and Fey'locks can end the DOT to inflict an emergency slide if need be. I like this.

 

Ring of Pain / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)

Now this is an actually good Dark'lock power; psychic damage, for one, instead of Necrotic or Poison, and both the initial DOT and the secondary DOT should be buffed by the Dark Pact rider (since it doesn't specify which DOT gets the INT mod bonus).

 

Storm Countess's Kiss / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Striker, +Control)

For Fey'locks, this is one of their best powers for damage they'll ever see until Flying enemies become more common, and it's great control before then as well. Ensure that you're accurate when you have this, but if you hit, you will send them 35 feet in the air at level 9 with baseline Intelligence (seven squares); meanwhile, they're restrained, which means they cannot move, take a -2 to any attack rolls they might even try to make, and constantly grant CA. When they finally save, falling inflicts 1d10 damage per ten feet, and in addition to this you slide and prone them. Completely bonkers, and a particular favorite of mine, though I wouldn't quite recommend it for non-Fey.

 

Thief of Five Fates / Striker, Controller Wow, those are some super awesome penalties! Better use them up while you can, because it'll all go away super fast. A lot better if your Ranger is immediately next in the initiative order, for she can spend all five uses to deal boatloads more damage.

Constitution
Feast of Souls / Striker, Controller

A movable zone! At last! Enters and starts is also a powerful combo in regards to forced movement, and thanks so much to the fact that the zone can be moved, it becomes less of a danger to your allies. Call me a fan, even with the sustain sucking up your minor actions.

 

Infectious Curse / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker, +Control)

This is a really splendid power to gain the D382 reroll mechanic with. Infernal'locks can use the slide to judicious effect, making the target a beacon of Cursing when the slide is done. The power at base is pretty good as a primer but requires good board placement; it's that slide that really sells it most.

 

Iron Spike of Dis / Striker, Controller

Pretty much the sort of power you give Warlocks that trend towards damage; you give them a very basic Control element to make them feel Arcane'y. Unimpressive, but not bad.

 

Ooze Incarnate / Striker, Controller

Gain Shadow Walk automatically without spending your Move Action, and meanwhile you just shot across the board putting out solid damage in a wall while also pushing. Monks have powers kind of like this and they really tend to like those, so why not borrow that for yourself?

 

Summons of Khirad / Striker, Controller

GET OVER HERE!

Con / Cha
Brood of Hadar / Striker, Controller

Incredibly accurate, but again, powers that require you to judge HP values are usually bad (though slightly more forgivable here considering how large the damage dice are). But for some stupid reason the secondary attack proc is based entirely on Charisma. So for most Warlocks you're looking at a single attack for decent damage with no other effect. Lame.

 

Command Insanity / Striker, Controller

Dominate (save ends) is fantastic, with an aftereffect of dazed (save ends) to make sure your enemy knew what they were messing with. Unfortunately no damage, but fortunately everyone can use this, even Con'locks!

 

Kalak's Burning Sands / Striker, Controller

So, if you're Ranged (which truthfully, not every single Warlock is - this is also a Melee touch power), you're already taking a constant -2 to attack rolls against your target, but now you're giving him cover too? One failed saving throw, though, and you get a DOT packed with Removed From Play (save ends), which is phenomenal for all styles of Warlocks to be able to throw out.

 

Level 9 Vestige Dailies
Ilmeth / Striker, Controller

A permanent punishment effect against any attacks that might come against you from the target is worthwhile enough even for non-Vestige'locks... though it doesn't do anything on a miss.

Pact Boon: Transposing the positions of yourself and an ally can potentially be a lifesaver for your buddy.

Augment: Vicious Mockery!

 

Shax / Striker, Controller

A solid AOE, with a mass push and prone that will screw up the action economy of Brutes especially.

Pact Boon: Timed right, this is incredibly handy; it's a wide array of effects you can wipe whenever an enemy cursed by you falls.

Augment: Quite a massive push you're applying there, each and every turn. Prophetic of what will come later, let's just say...

 

Onyx Queen / Striker, Controller

But let's just call a spade a spade. This is an AOE Petrify save ends ("turned to stone", unconscious, Resist 20 All, "ageless"). AOE Unconscious, even with the very large Resist All attached, is super huge, as everyone in the party gets Combat Advantage and you are allowed to enact a coup de grace. Find a way to delete that Resist All and go to Damagetown. Vestige'locks also get a wonderful side benefit of solid extra Poison damage on EotV, but for once it's not the Vestige riders that are the focus of this power.

Paragon Tier Spells: The Rising Sign


Level 13 Encounter Powers

Charisma
All Must Sacrifice / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
The biggest problem comes in how damage is dealt in 4e: all implement- and weapon-keyword damage rolls that do not have the prefix of "extra" incorporate damage modifiers. So thus all the work you've done adding damage to your powers against your enemies apply here when injuring your teammates for this power. It can, legitimately, be a great punch against one guy on the board but at this point, it requires too much on your allies' behalf. It actually punishes you for optimizing. If you absolutely must take this power, take War Wizardry with it, as the "half damage" clause doesn't necessitate an attack roll against them.

Bewitching Whispers / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (-Controller)
This can indeed potentially add up to tremendous amounts of damage. However this is the rare power whose rider actually makes it worse: it buffs the target's opportunity attack rolls, meaning now allies lose movement options just as readily as enemies do. It's also very difficult, without domination, to force enemies to take OAs against their own kind like this; remember that monsters in 4e know exactly what powers do.

Blaze of Ulban / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)
Super random Pact benefit, so not exactly a factor of this power (but if you like it, you like it). Instead you do kind of mediocre damage to one target, then slide another. Slides aren't terribly hard to find and I imagine you'd rather want a power that both does better damage and slides the target you wanted to hit. Sort of a personal judgement call I suppose.

Cursegrind / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
By Paragon you've loaded up on ways to spread your curse - maybe you're a Hexer, maybe you took Relentless or Twofold Curse, etc. - and now your upgrade to Cursebite has better dice and a Charisma modifier. Even without the rider it's just enough damage to be solid, but that Intelligence mod will make it truly hurt if you're not facing undead today.

Dark Reach of Xevut / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)
Especially for Controllers, the fact that you can continue an effect on the board, not just your own, and transfer it to someone else when it's over is a perfect toolbox option (and potentially insane if there's a Wizard or Rogue in the party), and being an Immediate Reaction means that you added a substantial amount to your damage this round. The rider is good, don't get me wrong, but not why most would land here.

Devouring Dark / Striker, Controller
It's an unfriendly zone, though it doesn't inflict autodamage, just grants combat advantage. It's also actually a very hefty AOE that can be taken purely for Strikers' sake if need be. Very impressive, actually, if your allies can stay away from the zone.

Fleeting Call / Striker, Controller
Being a Binder loaner power, the effect that would give you the bonkers movement utility necessary to actually use this power properly is lost and thus you're pulling up to two enemies next to you and then standing there. Huh. Friendly but rather weak close burst otherwise; maybe you'll find use for the pulls?

Haunting Shadow / Striker, Controller
This is sort of what I meant regarding Blaze of Ulban; it even does better damage too (though it isn't Radiant). Unfortunately, again, monsters know what powers do and it will probably wade into the fray so that it can damage your allies. 5 damage isn't exactly dangerous though. The Gloom Pact rider is meant to discourage this, but of course, Gloom Pact is a Binder pact, so phooey.

Ice Blades of Levistus / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker, +Control)
Marked and immobilized is a tremendous combination, to amount to a wonderful double-tap should the monster ignore your call. It's already taking a -2, so it's going to have trouble doing anything, but if it can't use Ranged attacks or if it can't throw a rock at you or something, it's going to take an absurd amount of damage total that bests even some of your dailies. Probably my all-time favorite power for Infernal'locks; without the rider, it's an accurate hit and debuff but loses a lot of its luster. Keep in mind too - your Defender can indeed replace the mark on this, as the trigger only cares about what the monster attacks. In fact, that can make this power even more bonkers.

Korred's Tune / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Striker, +Control)
From my understanding, for Fey'locks, since there is no "instead" clause, if the target moves less than three squares it will take both instances of the 1d6 psychic damage. Ensure that it won't move and this actually becomes a somewhat insane Striker power (5d6+CHA+3xmods). This is also a great time to start optimizing Psychic damage, to say nothing of what will come in Epic tier, so keep this power in mind.

Wraith's Shadow / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Control)
Weakened is pretty nice. Cancelling out all damage to immobilize makes it an OK Controller power against undead and a very mediocre power against everyone else... especially since you have a power that does this just fine with Ice Blazes of Levistus, and you could have been part of a better pact besides with that one.

Constitution
Coldfire Vortex / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)
A potentially strong Radiant (or Cold) AOE, undermined by the fact that you do have a superior Burst 1 on this list (if you're not optimizing Radiant damage). There are builds that will love this, especially those that're Students of Caiphon, so take what you will.

Harrowstorm / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Control)
Your Cha'lock brothers were having a hard time finding decent slides. This one is basic but works incredibly nicely if you need your enemy way the hell somewhere else right now.

Killing Flames / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)
Ever since Curses were errata'd to be once-per-turn instead of once-per-round, this became pretty much an autopick for me whenever I'd make Con'locks. This really has come onto its own, as a solid Fire punch on an Immediate Reaction to something that will always happen in a fight.

Maw of Atropus / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)
Fortitude is a welcome defense to buff, and the damage is pretty darn good. ... but it's Fortitude. That's a very weird defense to build around, and unless your allies are big on those sorts of powers then I don't necessarily see a good reason to take this over, say, Killing Flames.

Skirmisher's Volley / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Striker)
There is no excuse for even a triple-target power to deal damage this awful. Vestige'locks get their Shadow Walk without working for it but with the availability of Killing Flames there is still no excuse to take powers this bad.

Soul Flaying / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)
Weakened is a good debuff to have at this level, but it's kind of all you're getting out of it, even with the moderate boost to damage Infernal'locks get.

Con / Cha
Break the Will / Striker, Controller / Sorcerer-King Pact (+Striker)
What makes this power so good is pretty much all in the Fell Might clause for King'locks: spend it and hit, and you get an AOE Curse alongside the single-target daze. The limited range hurts this but otherwise that's a substantial amount of Minor Actions you just saved.

Level 15 Daily Powers

Charisma
Armor of Summer's Glory / Striker, Controller
You gain a minor action at-will radiant Close Burst 1. Even if it only does static damage, that is incredible. Cha'lock Students of Caiphon will utterly love this power if they so trend that path, and that's not even to say anything about the great defensive bonus or becoming a pretty nightlight.

Curse of the Golden Mist / Striker, Controller
Weirdly enough the Charm keyword kind of hurts this, as a key part of the strategy is starting to incorporate Dominate into such powers. Throwing away the option for Standard Actions is incredibly strong and essentially means that, if the enemy were to be dazed during the duration of this power, it's now basically Stunned (dazed creatures get one Standard Action to spend normally). You even sort of get this on a miss too, which is awesome. Remember what I said for now or later, though.

Dark Lady's Gift / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
While it seems like a decent upgrade to the Contagion line of dailies you're getting, unfortunately the start-up damage is rather bad and the DOTs not super strong themselves. Dark'locks only buff the range of the pulse, not the damage, so overall it won't do too much for you damage wise if you can't debuff saves or trip failures. Maybe come back to this at epic...?

Dark Rain of Mutuz-Vot / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact
A tremendous sized AOE creates a sustainable zone of blindness and light obscurity, so essentially just AOE combat advantage on your end. It can be super amazing... though not being able to move the zone hurts a lot, and it's also quite unfriendly. The Dark Pact rider... do you really want to just wander in alone? That's a very specific and odd strategy for Dark'locks...

Darkening Fetch / Striker, Controller
From ten squares away, yank an enemy all the way up to you and then immobilize him, for your allies to jump on and tear apart. The miss pull is substantial enough to where it may still work for you anyway. Fortitude this time actually saves the power, as Artillery tend to have mediocre Fortitude.

Dream of Mual-Tar / Striker, Controller
Lightning hexes are rare to find with the Warlock, and this is a huuuge Lightning/Thunder AOE that services to be one of the best Lightning options for the class. It comes with the dangerous caveat of each pulse of the ongoing damage affecting your allies if enemies become too friendly, so caution must be had. Meanwhile you create a zone that inflicts seperate vulnerabilities to both Lightning and Thunder; this will buff the DOT and the pulse damage, so enemies will especially want to scurry. For that reason the sustain roll may never come up depending on how frightened your DM is.

Far Realm Glimpse / Striker, Controller
This is so wrong. It starts off as an accurate attack that inflicts a dazed (save ends). The entire power culminates in a very important clause: should the enemy not use its one action to run away from you (at its FULL SPEED), the daze is reapplied and it's hit for more damage. The damage potential is incredibly high and you're almost guaranteed two turns of daze; if you're not, it means it probably run away, provoking opportunity attacks and thus stacking on the damage. I'm in love.

Hellfire Soul / Striker, Controller
Again, powers that require you to judge HP are bad. However, this gives you a substantial reward for guessing correctly - encounter Domination is phenomenal, though your DM may then start throwing attacks towards your pet to cut off that source of damage. Perhaps that's what you want, too?

Kimmeriel's Smile / Striker, Controller
You're going to be targetting Brutes with this. And you will love it, because dazed until they hit can mean they're going to be frustrated next to your Defender for a long, long while.

Menacing Shadow / Striker, Controller
The only reason this power isn't just intrinsically better than Kimmeriel's Smile is due to the rules on Conjurations - if you walk outside of the power's range of them they vanish. Otherwise, this is a Minor Action power, that creates a conjuration that attacks on your Minor actions, that provides all your modifiers and dazes. My goodness.

Oubliette of the Void / Striker, Controller
Truly, one of your best AOEs. The entire power is completely friendly, both the actual attack and the zone it creates; the zone can also be moved, provides incentive to stay in with the autodamage and incentive to run away with the attack penalty, and while it costs a Minor Action to sustain I can confidently say that this is just phenomenal. It has to compete with a lot, but it's up there.

Plague of Frogs / Striker, Controller
This used to be the big kahuna for Charisma AOEs until Oubliette came along. The insane Range on it does help a lot, and the fact that it's an enters-or-starts zone makes forced movement and teleports even better. You can even move it on the sustain, so back it up a bit once your allies close in. Not the insane pick it used to be, but still nice and powerful when used correctly.

Visage of Zhudun / Striker, Controller
The fact that you don't even have to roll attack rolls to deal damage with this power is incredible; and it's yet another enters-and-starts zone, and you know what that means. On the sustain, you attack everyone within the zone with a pretty cool AOE slow. Unfortunately this power is ruined somewhat by the fact that you can't move the zone, which would have made it a near auto-pick, but as it stands, you have a lot of competing zones this level.

Vortex of Fire / Striker, Controller
Another zone! It's movable this time, and it's Fire, so there'll be those out there that love it, but the punishment is really lame; there is no reprimand for leaving the zone, only ending turns within it.

Whispers of the Void / Striker, Controller
Cha'locks are treated freaking amazingly this level. As far as I know, even Artillery enemies can charge if they want, using whatever weapons they use as an improvised weapon if it's a bow or other ranged weapon. For that reason it's utterly insane if used against them (mage Controller types in particular are the absolute best for this). More dangerous against Brutes, since they have more freedom in the 3-4 clause, but otherwise... this power has legs.

Constitution
Blasphemous Utterance / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact
Your role isn't typically to prize Control (or Leadership) over damage, but this can work pretty nicely, especially as the dual debuff is an Effect in what's otherwise a pretty neat AOE. Something must be said, however, for the fact that Infernal and Vestige are very good pacts to partner up with each other with Twofold Pact, and a mass Vulnerability to Psychic helps them tremendously. The same applies with the Sorcerer-King Pact, as their At-Will and their Curse-buffing feat both are Psychic. Bump up the Striker ratings accordingly if you belong to either of those two pacts.

Caution of Dispater / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)
With this power you're going to need to tell your allies to focus fire on something else; it's going to be all too tempting to throw out a Stun or debuff or something if your target becomes too rowdy. The Infernal Pact rider helps immensely, as you can now do your job against the target while it's continuously taking damage it almost cannot avoid. There's potential for some silliness here.


Evil Expulsion / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)
A very potent punch of damage, though all it does is spread your Curse to one target. Vestige'locks can do that At-Will and thus this isn't a terribly special power.

Fireswarm / Striker, Controller
You gain a rocket launcher. Goddamn, I love this power. (Yeah, yeah, fire scorpions, whatever. Rocket launcher.) Thankfully, you can actually wait on the Effect line of this power, holding off until the enemy is in a prime position and then firing away once per round for some really splendid AOE damage until you miss with it.

Tendrils of Thuban / Striker, Controller
Wow... this is a bonkers level for Con'locks it seems, finally just pouring in all the damage for them. In this case, it's a large damage AOE that immobilizes, and for anyone that's forced to linger within, you attack all of them on a minor action. Gorgeous.

Thirsting Maw / Striker, Controller
Decent damage on a rainy day, but healing half of what you dish out in damage (which, yes, will include Curse damage if you roll it here) is a solid panic button to push, and helps shave off the hurt with certain self-harm strategies. The save ends effect will serve to top off damage you take during the following turns, which again is quite helpful for some people. Still... it's 15th level. Warlocks are treated absurdly well for dailies and so you need to judge wisely whether a power like this is the best for you.


Con / Cha
Touch of the Two Moons / Striker, Controller
The damage really does rock, but you have other 4d10 powers and the range is only Melee touch, which some builds do not want to force themselves to use (though of course, being very closely tied to Athas in its amazingly badass flavor text, King'locks tend to like Melee touch powers anyway). What you really like is the giant AOE push and save-ends CA.

Level 15 Vestige Dailies
Leraje / Striker, Controller
Unless you're consigning to the essences of ancient lives, all you're "borrowing" is bad damage.
Pact Boon: Up to you whether you need this Boon. The clause of not applying to enemies adjacent to you means you gain no benefit against Brutes (unless they have Reach, which isn't uncommon at 15th) and while it could be a prime Shared Pact option, again, that clause kind of sets it back.
Augment: This, however, contains no argument. At-Will immobilize is phenomenal Control that'll placate you for quite awhile.

Solis / Striker, Controller
This is much better for non-Vestige'locks, and is a very solid Controller power for Con'locks, due to the AOE daze and deafen (save ends), even if it requires a successful attack beforehand.
Pact Boon: Shared Pact really helps this out, as it spreads the sphere of CA to probably better places than surrounding you.
Augment: It's a very fancy way of saying that you're going to double-tap your Consitution modifier, using a combination of damage types I don't think anything really resists. It will unfortunately not add those keywords to EotV.

Unknown Arcanist / Striker, Controller
The target is removed from play. Trust me, he's really really removed from play. He's so removed from play they had to stuff seven lines into the Hit dialogue to make absolutely sure you knew he was out of action. But he's Removed From Play until he saves, which, even if the damage isn't stellar, means they're taken out of the equation and mop-up can commence early.
Pact Boon: Just toss things here, toss things there... this power is fun!.
Augment: At-Will Slow is disappointing when compared to At-Will Immobilize. You had to give up something, though.

Level 17 Encounter Powers

Charisma
Claws of the Magpie / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Striker)
This power seems like it was made specifically to counter very specific monsters, reason being that all of what happens is on the Effect line. Basically, rechargeable powers are turned off, so this is pretty much anti-Solo. Also, Fey'locks getting THP from Controller powers. wat

Delban's Eye / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)
This power wants to be Ice Blades of Levistus so hard - it marks and even does Cold damage! But there's pretty much no punishment, so I don't know why you would take this. Probably because you're a Star'lock and you just buffed everyone's damage quite nicely (though keep in mind, it's "extra damage", so your modifiers do not apply, as you are not technically the source).

Devouring Death / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Meanwhile, you could give vulnerability to... Acid and Necrotic. Everyone get on the Acid op hype train? Dark'locks actually can use this to an insane degree, as it deletes Necrotic resistance and replaces it with a very powerful Necrotic vulnerability instead of making the two just cancel out. For this reason it is actually very solid for them and will, for a turn, fix a major problem with their modus operandi. Better no matter what with Paragon Tier Avengers on board.

Devouring Tide / Striker, Controller
This is boooooring.

Dire Portents of Malbolge / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Control)
Two chances to daze the target sounds completely amazing, and for awhile you'll get some of the benefits - no OAs, no immediates, auto CA. That's really cool. But it's until the START of their next turn, which then removes what's arguably most important about daze: action denial. For this reason it's nowhere near as strong of a Control power as it could be, though Infernal'locks do have the mass slide to salvage this power somewhat. But it's very disappointing.

Greater Void Burst / Striker, Controller
Unfriendly power, unfriendly zone, blocks line of sight for everyone, blah blah blah...
 

Song of the Siren / Striker, Controller
So let me get this straight. This power requires you to hit the target in Ranged 10 to only give it a status effect, that then requires your other enemies to specifically end their turns adjacent to you for your pet to shift (not charge) to hit them with an MBA. Or you can turn around, put a handkerchief around your eyes, fire behind you and just autodaze him instead. Unsurprisingly this is a Binder power, and without their rider it's one of the worst designed powers in all of 4e.

Strand of Fate / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)
You're basically either taking this or Delban's Eye, depending on how much your party cares about Cold (though you need to be a Star'lock for Delban's) and how Vulnerabilities are exchanged throughout the party - obviously having Delban's is better when the enemy already has Vuln All on him.
 

Thirsting Tendrils / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Striker)
Again, Fey'locks getting heals - I don't quite get it. Healing surge plus twice INT isn't too bad if you do need it, but this may honestly be the one time you just give up getting a Controller power for the utter insanity that Strand of Fate is.
 

Unholy Glee / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
For optimizing DOTs, this is one of the most important powers you can ever take, as it's an Encounter DOT that also gives a catch-22 option of the enemy stabbing himself with a 4d6+mods hit to end it. Being able to attack Fortitude is definitely strong as well if you absolutely need to. Once again though, you're passing up Strand of Fate to take this and unless your party is really, really low-damage or doesn't focus-fire...
 

Your Delectable Pain / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Heeeeeey. This looks familiar. This also isn't Strands.


Constitution
Despair of Zhudun / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)
No idiot DM is going to have the enemy stand up, and you can't force enemies to stand up from prone unless you're Dominating them. From this the power does damage less than your At-Wills and prones them for two turns. Naaaaah.

Life Force Reclaimed / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Striker)
I do actually like this power a lot, even considering the Black rating - the reason being that Infernal and Vestige Pacts tend to work very well together, as the former gives the latter a bank of good Encounter powers that Vestige'locks kind of lack for the most part. Infernals want to injure themselves, and this is a great way to keep that cost at bay. Regular Vestige'locks that Twofold elsewhere may or may not need this large amount of THP, but it's serviceable if need be.

Llymic's Frigid Prison / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)
No real damage to speak of. Single-target immobilize is just OK now. Healing is nothing special.

Sea Tyrant's Fury / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Leader?)
Close blast 5s are nice to see as encounter powers and this one is an exceptional addition, with a hefty push and prones to boot.

Warlock's Bargain / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)
Unfortunately, due to how the power is worded, I believe no Curse dice is rolled. The phrases needed to be switched. Ask your DM.

Con / Cha
Obedience's Reward / Striker, Controller / Sorcerer-King Pact (+Striker)
17th level is a hard level for Con'locks. Your sexier looking brethren have a choice between two phenomenal powers and you're left with scraps from the table. So you're kind of pining for something better. In comes Dark Sun to give what may as well be an autopick for King'locks (and a convincing pick otherwise). Enabling your Barbarian to charge with a humongous bonus to attack rolls can potentially crush enemies to smithereens, and then throwing on your Curse dice on top of the 2d8 damage (no mods - no hit and no implement keyword, technically not even an attack) makes this power a dream.

Level 19 Daily Powers

Charisma
Baleful Eye of Imix / Striker, Controller
Totally not Sauron's eye. You put this eye in the back, and each turn you have access to a super brutal Burst 3 centered on the eye that also inflicts a mass pull, and due to the effect of the eye itself will then submit everyone to great ongoing Fire damage. Seems like great control too, so why is that portion rated so low? Simple: you just gave all your enemies (and your friends too) a new movement option of a Teleport 5. Woopsies.

Dark Side of the Moon / Striker, Controller
It's accurate, and that flavor text is nicely written, very vivid. But Slowed and disabling recharge powers for one turn is utterly terrible for a Cha'lock daily at this high level.

Darklands Eclipse / Striker, Controller
I've made it known my hate for heavily obscured zones; Heroes of Shadow gave too many of them to Binders and now you're sullied with them too. So why is this one any different? First of all, the damage is quite solid for how large the AOE is; secondly, the ongoing damage comes with a wonderful caveat that anyone still suffering from it can be sent straight back inside if they take damage from an attack (does that include the ongoing from this power?) and, very importantly, you ignore the obscurity, so you've set yourself up a cage of enemies to harass and annoy with almost no interference. There's still problems, but it's about time something like this was made.

Delusions of Loyalty / Striker, Controller
Charm keyword. Either the enemy continues to lose Standard Actions, or he's going to run all over the board trying to punish enemies for you and provoke OAs in the process (he can also make an RBA). Oh, and it's quasi-Reliable.

Dread Briars / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Striker)
What in the world is the rider doing benefiting Fey'locks? It's not even that good for them, or anyone else for that matter.

Explosive Contagion / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Dark'lock powers are oftentimes not creative and in many cases are just copies from older powers with extra dice added here or there. Spreading the DOT like that is actually quite formidable, and with the INT mod bonus to DOTs you're now doing solid damage all over the board. Could be cool.

Force of Nature / Striker, Controller
Bonk. A HUMONGOUS amount of damage that's supplemented by a prone and push. Unfortunately it targets Fortitude, but if you can hit a charging Brute with this it'll be heavily inconvenienced.

Maelstrom of Despair / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker), Fey Pact (+Striker)
Dark'locks can punish enemies quite severely for rolling saving throws (especially with their propensity for DOTs) and it's a great source of damage for them to play with but it needs awhile to add up to a lot of damage. The Fey'lock rider is quite a bit worse. If you're attracted to this power then I'm sure you'll have fun when you finally find a Rod of Ulban...

Memory of Blades / Striker, Controller
Oddly enough one of your worst Shield powers. You have to wade in close to proc it, and then the blast targets everyone in the blast you create that you have to shape to include your target. It is thus rather out of your control and becomes too dangerous to use, which leaves you with a +3 to AC and Reflex. That's great and all, but...

Nightshade Cloud / Striker, Controller
What is with Essentials and just throwing all sorts of obscuring zones to Binders/Warlocks? This one, however, makes up for it big time - it's a very large carpet of AOE damage, and those hit by it cannot shift and become dazed if they group up with other enemies, until they save. The zone (friendly, on an unfriendly power) even slides enemies if they end their turns in there, which means Star'locks double-tap with their At-Will incredibly easily. Of particular note is that this is a Fear power with a save-ends effect, and one of your paragon paths focuses itself purely around this concept. That and a Skull Mask will make this a power your DM will dread for awhile.

Passionate Betrayal / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Control)
Probably the best Dark'lock power; one of your best powers overall. You dominate save-ends, but there's a HUGE buff for you in the fact that they take a -2 penalty for each other one of your unbloodied, non-minion enemies in the encounter. Dark'locks add on to this monstrosity with a giant bonus to attack rolls, ensuring your pet will be yours to keep for a long while. Because of this, it's even good for Strikers; keeping a pet for this long means you're making up for dealing no damage now with multiple turns of off-turn damage.

Rain of Lead / Striker, Controller
That big a blast of Restrained (save ends) is super cool. It's also a formidable Fire blaster power. However, 20 damage is certainly not hard to come up with at 19th level for almost any class and the condition is going to fade rather fast. Undiscriminatory difficult terrain could be bothersome as well.

Shadow Mire / Striker, Controller
In a burst 2 within 20, you build yourself a prison. Said prison starts off with an AOE slow, which is actually really good considering the size; then the effect comes along where creatures inside have a 55% chance of staying within your prison, while the Necrotic damage slowly pulses. Forced movement sells this power, and can take melees out of the fight for awhile until it's time to clean up.

Star of Death's Omen / Striker, Controller
A generic save-ends daze on a good damage power, and then if you miss... you don't spend the power and in fact gain an attack roll bonus. That is really kooky, but I actually kind of like this.

Wrath of Acamar / Striker, Controller
I like this power, and yet I don't like it. It's basically a stun, but it also screws up focusing damage as you can't target it during the duration. It can be affected by things on the board, but any auras it may have will still be active as it's not a proper stun, nor does it properly remove the monster from play. It's still potentially a really large amount of damage for you, but when no one else can participate it becomes an awkward Striker power. It's also an awkward Controller power, so...

Constitution
Hellfire Eruption / Striker, Controller Wow... the damage isn't even that good, and they decided this was what should get the D382 reroll. We were on such an amazing streak here and then it had to throw us this? Yes, that's a lot of fire DOTs going around but Con'locks stopped caring about that a long time ago.

Malicious Guide Star / Striker, Controller
Especially when you have this power wandering around. No matter if you hit or miss (and hitting gives you 4d10+Con+mods radiant, which is already just out there), you can spend minor and move actions to just toss enemies around like they were ragdolls, and all the while CA is being granted on a large chunk of the board. A whopper from D403, which is certainly a rarity.

Void Star / Striker, Controller
I don't even know how you're supposed to plan for this. To be honest, with the campaigns I was in that went to Paragon, healing wasn't a terribly common trait with monsters. It almost feels unrateable to a degree, because it really is designed to stop super-specific strategies that you kind of have to know is coming up, because otherwise you just gained a bad Necrotic nuke.

Con / Cha
Minions of Malbolge / Striker, Controller
The power lasting until you have no THPs at all remaining, not just the initial 25, is a good touch for this power. It's definitely exploitable with forced movement, though apparently I didn't notice this the first time around and I now see it can only be applied to one enemy per round. That's disappointing, especially with the Standard Action startup. It's a cool source of autodamage and you can even start wading into battle and harass enemies. But when you do that I doubt your 25 THPs are going to last very long.

Voice of the Dictator / Striker, Controller
And here's the Con'lock Domination so that they don't get left out. Ticks of psychic damage that also heal your allies is rather interesting, though it probably won't amount to too, too much...

Level 19 Vestige Dailies
Amaan / Striker, Controller
Cha'locks have this as an encounter, but it's not a save-ends over there. Here, it is. Throw in immobilization (even on a miss) for added funsies, making this one of the best Vestige dailies for non-Vestige'locks. But check out what they get: Pact Boon: You can very soon retrain out of Vestige of Vistan if you were doing that before, as soon you'll probably be wanting this as a primary Vestige at Epic. Augment: The Vestige of Amaan is a pact-defining power for Vestige'locks. Pretty much akin to how incredibly powerful The Onyx Queen was, Amaan takes what was already a great power and ensures that you can unlock a gigantic facet of Control for yourself, and this is only bested by the 20th level Daily that Sea Tyrant Oracles get (and that PP is otherwise very unimpressive). Maybe if you're going with Traveller's Harlequin for your PP you can skip this, but this is one power that you should probably dedicate to your Dailies slot.

Kronata / Striker, Controller
You could have literally kept Avernian Eruption and lost almost nothing.
Pact Boon: A pretty neat double push and decent autodamage. You skipped Amaan to do this, though.
Augment: You will have to chain this power on your target to start getting the double-taps if you're doing the Hexer strategy, since the slide happens on the application of Curse dice and not after this effect comes into play. But it is a very nice source of At-Will damage that you can use for your Primary later if you care more about damage than Control.

The Burned Emperors / Striker, Controller
This entire power is kind of a weak one in the list for pretty much everyone involved. It's very Leadery for Vestige'locks, with the mass shift and the teleport to shuttle everyone around, but unfortunately this has to compete with the other Vestiges and then also Voice of the Dictator for Con'locks.

Epic Tier Spells: How the Story Ends

Level 23 Encounter Powers
Charisma
Blades of Vanquished Armies / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Even for a Close Burst 1, the damage on this power is absolutely despicable (at this point, 2d6 with no mods is worse than all of your At-Wills now). AOE Weakened is great, but it's only with those you hit around you, and then you gain a rather weak damage shield against melee attacks. Dark'locks get it on Ranged attacks too but the damage is still going to be poor.

 

Dark Transport / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)
Really solid damage, especially as it's against Will, and it swaps you and your enemy's locations while also giving Star Pacts much more freedom as to where they end up after the swap happens.

 

Dreadtheft / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Another power that wants you to guess hitpoints. However, there is a simple but incredible detail: it's a double target hex. Minions always have 1 HP and this power will happily give itself back to you if you kill a minion with that half of the hex; in that sense, for a few turns you'll have an accurate and altogether good damage At-Will. It's not a flawless power but it's definitely the best that comes from this sort of theme.

 

Inner Void / Striker, Controller
23th level is not the time to only be getting Prone on an encounter power. The damage is pretty good, but again remember that Epic is when your At-Wills are doing double-dice damage. 3d10 isn't as insane as it used to be.

 

Maddening Whispers / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)
Poor Inner Void. Instead of a prone, you sacrifice a little bit of damage (sort of - CA without prone is awesome for ranged allies, and Psychic instead of Necrotic) to actually immobilize the target, and then - most importantly - kick them away when they start their turn, potentially denying them attacks. The reason slides that occur on their turn are so good is due to the fact that allies do not have to scramble into a new set of squares in order to continue their jobs on the monster, which is all the more important due to the power granting CA.

 

Swarm of Fangs / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Striker)
What is with these single-target Prones we're getting? This is 23rd level - we should be getting the really tasty powers at this point. Fortunately Fey'locks get a decent friendly AOE out of it which will pop minions, but without dice to accompany it the damage overall will be very small.

 

Thorns of Venom / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Striker)
Hey, Fey'locks. Remember all the way back at 1st level when you had Witchfire? Remember how fun it was? Maybe you still have it now. Maybe you looked at what Con Star'locks got with Frigid Darkness and were a little jealous. Well, don't you worry about a thing. Once per encounter, every encounter, your allies autohit. It's pretty much that simple. Unfortunately the one thing that kills this power is the Poison keyword - it's an all too common immunity keyword and if you have no solution to Poison immunity then nothing really happens.

 

Umbral Radiance / Striker, Controller
Gloom Pact Binders get a giant AOE invisibility buff centered on the target. You just get a blind.

 

Unwilling Betrayal / Striker, Controller
We took Touch of Command and added an interesting caveat that especially punishes Blasts. If you're still holding steadfast to Touch of Command replace it immediately with this, since it's basically a direct upgrade.

 

Web of Lies / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker, +Control)
Blessed perfection. The target cannot move out of the cage you create, nor can he attack anything outside of it. You then present a choice: he can attack something inside the cage (which hopefully is an enemy, if you've done it right) or take another 15+INT damage. 4d10+CHA+INT+15+mods, on top of a half-stun and half-dominate, is incredible. All of this is psychic as well. The reroll is good to have, though the effect is quite a bit less powerful and one wishes you could retarget the same monster.

Constitution
Arrow of Arcane Light / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Striker)

This power is obsolete in a lot of ways. There's a rod out there that grants this crit range by itself, if you haven't claimed it with Warlock Implement Expertise. The Vestige Pact rider doesn't do anything with certain Vestiges already in play. Ignoring cover and concealment is pretty good but that's not a reason to take a power at 23rd.

 

Awaken the Dragon / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Striker)
AOE Vulnerability is definitely something to like, and Vestige'locks won't have problems spreading their Curse. It's only ever 5, though.

 

Pandorym's Prism / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Control)
At the outset, the damage is really bad, but psychic and radiant are very good keywords to build upon at Epic tier (as is Charm, though not as much for Con'locks). What makes this stand out is that the target is allowed to do an RBA, which will provoke opportunity attacks, adding a sizeable amount more damage. And of course, let's not forget the massive penalty to Will that Star'locks get, which'll make them, and their Controller buddies who couldn't get in on the opp action, very happy.

 

Spiteful Darts / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Control)
A larger AOE and larger damage dice than Awaken the Dragon, plus a gigantic mass push makes this prized for Infernal'locks.

 

Starless Void / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)
This power is fantastic. It's amazing. It's wonderful. It's also 2d8 higher than Frigid Darkness twenty levels ago and is almost no different otherwise. So you take it if nothing else interests you here, I suppose. Which is kind of odd, considering...

 

Con / Cha
Command of Execution / Striker, Controller / Sorcerer-King Pact (+Striker)
Let's just be frank here for a sec. Essentials made absolutely sure that there were classes in the game that were incredible at Melee Basic Attack damage (Slayer, Scout, Thief, Hexblade). Barbarians also exist and their charges are the stuff of legend. So put two and two together. Spend your Fell Might and fire: you'll daze the target, granting automatic CA, and then two of your cohorts can rush in, smack them silly, and you'll contribute yourself by doubling your Curse dice without actually using your Curse dice. The absolute epitome of King'lock powers in my honest opinion and one that, depending on party makeup, I would never leave home without.

 

Level 25 Daily Powers
Charisma
Curse of the Twin Princes / Striker, Controller
To my knowledge, this is the only power in the entire game with a strict percentage embedded within, so that's pretty fascinating. It's a very, very roundabout way of dissuading attacks against you, as they will ultimately mean the downfall of the monster you target. The problem manifests in the effect line: monsters know what effects do, and if the DM is mean enough they can try to fenagle it so that they keep you close, preventing your allies from doing anything for fear of hurting you. This power will probably work wonders for one session, but that effect line is too easy for them to exploit against you. Really depends on how your DM functions.

 

Instruction in Darkness / Striker, Controller
And he's gone. The kicker comes on the save, in which it drops a large, friendly, AOE save-ends blind. SUPER powerful.

 

Invisible Death / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Apparently the good part of this power is invisible too. Requiring CA for the DOT to happen is very lackluster, even with how easy CA tends to be to attain.

 

Ring of Torment / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Now that the DOT is guaranteed and now that you likely have access to the Rod of Ulban, this could potentially be quite bonkers, especially for Dark'locks. Keep in mind, all DOTs produced by this power, whether you hit with it or not, get your INT mod to it if you're a Dark'lock, and for this reason it is actually somewhat powerful.

 

The Prince's Horde / Striker, Controller
If you can keep the enemy locked up somewhere so that the autodamage doesn't tick on your allies, go for it. 1d10+CHA+mods is a pretty big amount of damage for your allies to suffer through, and while it's a formidable amount of damage per round that's being put out, at some point you're going to want to approach him to finish him off... or else he'll just wade in and thank you for the help.

Constitution
Infernal Chains / Striker, Controller
As a CON/INT class, both your Fortitude and Reflex are going to be good enough to give the grabbed enemy some trouble getting out, especially with the added benefit of -4 to escape checks. While grabbed, you can kick them around as you need to, to exploit effects or just to make sure he can't do anything next round. Super cool. Bad on a miss though.

 

Tartarean Tomb / Striker, Controller
Instruction in Darkness is definitely the superior power, as, here, the token still exists on the board. That is a darn good damage roll, though.

 

Thirteen Baleful Stars / Striker, Controller
I like Stunned. I also like Fire and Psychic as damage types at Epic. It's a darn simple power, but Stunned is a status effect that cannot be easily overlooked.

Intelligence
Gibbeth's Embrace / Striker, Controller / Elemental Pact (+Striker)

This power is Intelligence based and has no Pact Rider. In fact, not one power has "Elemental Pact" on it. Why did I rate it exclusively for them? When you have a power like this, that deals that much Force damage and has a Force DOT, then give it to a pact that both turns Force damage into elemental damage and then has a Pact Boon Vulnerability typed to said elemental damage that lasts all encounter, this seems so tailor-made to them. All the more so that Elemental'locks can pick either primary and will always want Intelligence. Unfortunately it doesn't come with a +2 to the attack roll (so races and EDs that didn't buff both primary and INT will fall short), but for pure damage, this could be something to honestly look at.

Con / Cha
Word of the Sorcerer-King / Striker, Controller
Stunned save ends in a blast 5. It will never harm your allies. Dazed on a miss. Tieflings can turn this into a power Invokers get at 29th level. Psychic damage. Everyone can use this. The sun of Athas truly shines upon you this day.

 

Level 25 Vestige Dailies

Land's Soul / Striker, Controller
The regeneration's alright, I guess. But Slowed is rather weaksauce to be doing at 25th even with that life leech attached to it.

Pact Boon: As the encounter wears on, you'll get an ever more powerful source of autodamage and healing that should patch you up if you get caught in the fray.

Augment: Equip Gloves of Eldritch Admixture and convince your other Strikers to try to go for these damage types. Make this your primary if you care about damage. Land's Soul as a primary Vestige will give you untold amounts of DPR potential and is all too easily exploited by party members. Would be Gold if it also did Cold or Radiant, but that may have been intentional... The

 

Queen of Namhar / Striker, Controller
Damage is fine, but the weakened has to wait until the DOT is over, which is a kind of odd decision.

Pact Boon: Dazed (save ends) as a Pact Boon. Has to be the closest creature, but that's interesting.

Augment: At-Will Weaken is definitely strong. However, I do have to point out that, unless your enemy throws an ungodly amount of dice or Weakened is something your other allies count on for effects, this actually gets outclassed by the very next Vestige...

 

Vykolad / Striker, Controller
Kind of weird. You literally just smash the two other Vestiges together into this one; you get an immediate Weakened (save ends) and then a large heal out of it. Odd design decision, but sure.

Pact Boon: This is one of the best Shared Pact Pact Boons available to you. When something dies, suddenly your Defender is taking half damage. Survivability goes through the roof with this if you have more ways of tripping your Boon besides straight death.

Augment: Furthermore, a penalty to damage rolls equal to around -14 to -16 is about equal to Weaken for most enemies around this level, but could potentially outright neuter damage. Take into account the insubstantiality your Boon inflicts and suddenly it's going to be very hard for any of your buddies to be taking damage. A great defensive alternative to Land's Soul for sure.

 

Level 27 Encounter Powers
Charisma
Curse of the Fey King / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Striker, +Control)
This power has about a 50% chance of working in your favor; stealing crits will certainly be hilarious and stealing a high hit can otherwise ensure that the next attack you make next turn will absolutely, positively hit. Fey'locks have a much larger margin of error, though to dip into the low mid-range means the enemy may reroll a miss into a hit, so be careful. Don't steal the roll if you absolutely don't need to.

 

Envoy of Nihal / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker)
A bit of a silly capstone power for Star'locks, in the form of a large heal. It's pretty nice, but one questions whether you really need this when Leaders can oftentimes heal for absurd amounts every encounter anyway.

 

Hellfire Fury / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Striker)
Once you hit, Infernal'locks do get the nice attack roll bonus, but if you miss you are forced to either take damage to cancel the effect, or you're forced into firing the spell everywhere until it finally connects. There is the potential for an insane damage total when all is said and done, but this is awful against solos. Ask your DM if it works with Trusted Spellcasting, because at that point it becomes a rather funky power that targets and damages everybody on the board, incorporates the bonus each time, and you can turn off at-will with the 27 self-damage. Upon hearing that he may say no, since to exploit this feature you have to be especially cheesy, but it's a good question to ask.

 

Hungry Void / Striker, Controller
Binders get a really cool rider that pulls everyone they knocked prone, which absolutely screws up Brutes without reach and many other adversaries. You get... just an unfriendly AOE prone. Not a capstone power.

 

Inevitable Undercut / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
...

 

Soul of the Treant / Striker, Controller / Fey Pact (+Control)
Abominable damage, but it is a friendly AOE with damage rolls, and the giant AOE push could really sell this for some folks on top.

 

Supplication of the Worms / Striker, Controller
What makes this power special is the fact that it's a giant friendly psychic close burst. You're probably not pulling anything towards you and the prone is only somewhat serviceable, but you still are scrounging for sources of AOE damage, and this may be the best you get. Sorry, Cha'locks.

 

Umbral Swap / Striker, Controller
Encounter Removed From Play. Yowza. These were on your dailies before, and now they're here. A pretty decent capstone.

Constitution
Banish to the Void / Striker, Controller
So we give the better Encounter Removed from Play power to Con'locks. That makes sense. Thankfully we get some really great bonuses on top of it: when it comes back, it swipes at something nearby and it then treats everyone as an enemy for OAs. A little awkward to fenagle, but this can work for you.

 

Grasp of Ragnorra / Striker, Controller / Star Pact (+Striker, +Control)
"You choose where the target reappears, choosing an unoccupied space within 20 squares of you." Well, boy howdy, it's a good thing we're allowed to choose twenty squares UPWARDS, aren't we? It can roll a save to prevent this, but Star'locks are indeed allowed to have the target appear twenty squares into the sky, and upon falling, it will take 10d10 damage if it can't hover in flight and knock itself prone. With this in mind, it essentially turns what was a pretty good Controller power into one of the best Striker powers in the game for Star'locks, and even has really good Control potential, as you have a 400 square area of influence on the ground and 8000 squares overall as to where the creature can end up when he finally pops back out.

 

Hellfire Curse / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Control)
You could tell this was a PHB1 power, because 5d10+CON+INT+mods may have been good damage back then... but with all these Removed From Play options, I dunno... it is Fire, though. Eh.

 

Manipulating Thunderbolt / Striker, Controller / Infernal Pact (+Control)
Now we're back down to Slide 1 + immobilize. Hexers could do this anyway with any immobilize power. A long distance and immobilize is undoubtedly strong, and if you don't want to make the enemy just disappear you may as well take this.

 

Shattering of the Sword / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Striker)
Especially when you can just take this. I guess if you care about Lightning/Thunder you could take Manipulating Thunderbolt, but this is a fully fledged Encounter Stun, with all the caveats that come from that.

 

Spiteful Darts / Striker, Controller / Vestige Pact (+Control)
A completely friendly radiant close burst that also adds Blind is really, really strong for those that wade in close. The fact that you get this every encounter is also formidable and ensures that you're not just stuck with Stun or Removed.

Con / Cha
Price of Defiance / Striker, Controller / Sorcerer-King Pact (+Striker)
Command of Execution was as powerful as it was because it both enabled charges and stuck in a daze beforehand to allow for bonuses to attack rolls. Your damage now comes at the behest of the actual hit and INT mod to your allies' damage rolls (not attack rolls), so you only roll Curse dice once, and you need to spend your Fell Might to enable the double attack. It's still really cool, but it's not the heartstopper that Command of Execution was.

 

Level 29 Daily Powers
Charisma
Armor of the Void / Striker, Controller
A super high bonus to AC (but no other defense) comes with a shield that forces teleportations whenever you're hit with melee attacks. At any time, you can drop the shield to bomb enemies (and only enemies) with a guaranteed AOE teleport that will also do damage to them no matter what. A solid mix of damage and control makes this pretty decent to end your career with.

 

Arrangement of Disorder / Striker, Controller
This is apparently where all the friendly AOEs ended up. The area is incredibly large, and everything you hit, and all of your allies, are rearranged exactly how you want them to be.

 

Caiphon's Abominable Melody / Striker, Controller
Accurate, high damage, three seperate save ends effects, and all of them must go away for the ticking psychic autodamage and auto-slide to stop. While all of this is going on, you're gaining a damage shield that nullifies all damage done to you 55% of the time... which combos pretty well with the punishment inherent in the Special line. Stick close by and fling him everywhere so that you're the one that's to take the psychic damage and then have some source of Psychic resistance ready, because d10+mods is a lot to take over the course of several turns. It can be done though, to culminate in a power that truly is one of the best out there for you.

 

Curse of the Dark Delirium / Striker, Controller
You are in total control of your target. You still cannot have it do rechargeable powers or turn off auras, but you can have it run all over the place to proc opportunity attacks, you can make itself drop prone if you need to, among several other advantages. And you get to do it over and over until you miss, which then adds to your DPR count while still disabling the enemy.

 

Draining Void / Striker, Controller
Bomb something with this high damage, large area and large range AOE, then spend your Move Action to move it to a better place, since the zone prevents all attacks from within. This has some potential.

 

Drawn to Darkness / Striker, Controller
Mass friendly Removed, to culminate in mass dazing. You really can't go wrong.

 

Eyes of the Victim / Striker, Controller
How powerful this power is really depends on the size of the encounter and your ability to clump up enemies. The big important bit here is that the effect spreads the actual disease, not just the state of Blinded, so if there's even one enemy left that isn't cured the status can just keep getting spread around.

 

Fury of Ogremoch / Striker, Controller
The ratings come with a massive caveat, so listen up. You start off by using this power, that contains no attack rolls to immobilize a giant part of the board. You and the party then walk away for a bit to let the power work its magic and focus on other things - immobilize will upgrade to restrained, to petrified. If and when they do save, they'll literally explode, and damage everyone around them. While they're petrified, you can fire potshots at them from across the board to autocrit. There is a lot of setup required to make this power work, since the explosions are not friendly (though it's not that much damage overall and War Wizardry will fix it up for the most part, making this power super bonkers).

 

One Final Sacrifice / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
Yes, Green. There is no clear answer as to how static modifiers work with the 1d8 and 1d12 in the power. If modifiers are multiplied as well then this is a sight to behold for everyone involved. Otherwise it's not nearly as good.

 

Spread the Corrosion / Striker, Controller / Dark Pact (+Striker)
If you can attack eight enemies by moving five squares, then by all means...

Constitution
Doom of Delban / Striker, Controller
If you can withstand the damage, welcome to pain never heard of before.

 

Forbiddance of the Ninth / Striker, Controller
And if you would rather prefer not to do that, there's this power instead. You control a Wall 3 that sits next to you in whatever configuration you desire that autodamages everyone inside and next to it (except you for the "next" clause), and blocks line of sight. You also have access to a formidable Fire AOE. What this means is that you can wade into battle with your new flamethrower and just unleash utter terror on everything close by for a good long while.

 

Hurl Through Hell / Striker, Controller
The potential to have an enemy be completely insignificant in the battle for four entire turns, to also implant a Stunned (save ends) when they finally come back, is action denial taken to absurd levels. If only the Miss line at least removed it from play...

 

Con / Cha
Dregoth's Ashen Curse / Striker, Controller
For a 29th level daily, this is really, really wretched, with a lot of mediocre to bad elements just stuffed into the power that combines to just pale in comparison to even some Encounter powers, not to mention actual Dailies several levels ago, or even in Paragon.

 

Shadow Legions / Striker, Controller
Put here because there is absolutely no ability score dependancy. Every single enemy in a 7x7 zone is subject to a buffed version of its own melee basic attack. The radius is great and you'll probably kill every minion in the area, but enemies tend to resist their own MBAs and for a capstone daily, this is too unpredictable if it will benefit you or not.

 

Level 29 Vestige Dailies
I'm going to be frank here. Pick something else. For regular Con'locks, the powers are all incredibly bad and pale to the Con'lock powers you have access to. For Vestige'locks, the only one you should even potentially consider is Earthen Maker, which is an At-Will denial of flight. Master of the Hidden Flame could maybe be something if you're really begging for Fire DOTs but otherwise you're denying yourself another tastier pick from levels past.

Utility Powers: Soul Kitchen

 


I won't be going into Skill Powers here - I'll keep mainly to the class powers. There are some that're amazing (Deliverance of Faith, level 6 Encounter from the Religion skill, is extremely good), but otherwise there are way too many to list and sort through.

Level 2 Utilities

At-Will

Shadow Blend (Essentials: HOS)
This is surprisingly much more useful than you'd imagine: if ever there's a square of dim light or darkness nearby, produced by any means, you can stand perfectly still and gain an at-will bonus to defenses that you would normally have to get by keeping mobile. This does not count as getting your Shadow Walk effect, which does matter for some feats and powers, but at level 2 it's something to keep a close eye on.

Encounter

Beguiling Tongue (PHB1)
Social utility. But goodness gracious is it marvelous: you basically gain the Shaman's Speak with Spirits class feature on three skills that Cha'locks will adore. However, Con'locks will be looking elsewhere - there are better alternatives to band-aiding your skill checks.

Caiphon's Leap (AP) Charisma
The damage reduction scales rather meekly, but the teleport is enough at its base and incredibly buffable. These kinds of utilities are very valuable to Cha'locks - worth consideration.

Devil's Trade (AP)
This really does depend on how prone you are to getting smacked with (save ends) effects. There are some better routes to follow to give you better results on your saving throws, but an auto-success with a meaningless punishment is excellent.

Ethereal Stride (PHB1)
Basically an "I NEED SHADOW WALK NOW" power, with a further boosting to your defenses. Not bad.

Fey Bargain (AP)
Not entirely sure what they thought when they designed the trade-offs for these powers. It's a bonus and a penalty that you control the timing of, and if you're not going to tank or get inflicted with debilitating effects anytime soon, enjoy the awesomeness of improved accuracy once per encounter.

Ruinous Phrase (D382)
How much HP does a one-square wooden door have?
Infernal Pact: And do you really, honestly need a 5-point boost in the threshold of destruction?

Shadow Veil (PHB1)
Hey, Rogue, mind doing this instead of having the guy with deplorable Dexterity and no ability to train in Stealth outright do it? So much better if you're actually going to bother having a Stealth score that's not zero.

Spectral Fade (Essentials: HOS)
Very important note: invisible does not make you hidden. If you move and do not make Stealth checks, enemies still know your exact location. However, you still gain a monumental bonus to defenses against OAs and future attacks, and that's at least worth an Encounter slot.

Spider Scuttle (Essentials: HOS)
Climb speed comes up very rarely in 4e, honestly, and just for one turn is not worth it. Also: crawling? Just stand up and move, lazy bones.

Wrathful Aspect (Essentials: HOTFK)
A third of Beguiling Tongue with a minor shield. Unexceptional.

Daily

Assassin's Bane (DSCS)
A giant zone of mobility and defensive denial, preventing enemies that're within 3 squares of you from shifting, teleporting, or gaining any of the benefits of invisibility or concealment. Incredibly annoying for certain enemies, and a fantastic candidate for your level 2 utility. Yes, it's a Daily, but once per day, you will rule the ground you stand on.

Charm of Hearts (D382)
If you're not being overly daredevilish, the first benefit will matter little, but +2 power bonus to all defenses that isn't a Stance is great. However, it requires your Minor Action to sustain, and Warlocks tend to hold on to all of their actions tightly (Minor: Curse; Move: Shadow Walk; Standard: blast away).

Eyes of the Spider Queen (AP)
Buy some sunrods - they're pocket change to purchase. The side benefit is too rare to plan for.

Fevered Certainty of Caiphon (D366)
I want to see the skill check that would make a reduced Will more dangerous. If you need a humongous boost to your non-CHA skills, add this to your toolbox, but if you only think you'll need it for Bluff/Intimidate/Diplomacy, Beguiling Tongue's right up there. And that's an Encounter power.

Fiendish Resilience (PHB1)
There are some strategies that want you to start stockpiling temp hitpoints, and this is a decent start to prepare for powers like Doom of Delban and the like. If you anticipate siphoning your own hitpoints for personal gain, here's a place to turn.

Shade Twin (Essentials: HOS)
If it wasn't a Sustain Minor, this would be broken as all get-out. As long as you keep rolling poorly on your d20s, you can mimic the target, go up and hug him, and either enemies will consider you as not existing, or they'll inadvertedly pummel the other target - and a key difference from Curse of the Twin Princes is that the effect is not mirrored if your own twin is attacked. The Bluff bonus is meaningless here, and not what this power is for.

Stony Roots (Essentials: HOEC)
You ignore forced movement and can make saving throws against being knocked prone. Situationally useful.

Level 6 Utilities

Encounter

Astral Eyes (Essentials: HOTFK)
Six-second darkvision is rather pointless, and a minor bonus to two skills you'll be lame at is not worth shoving a utility like this in such a valuable slot.

Fate's Frayed Thread (D382)
Being able to apply a Curse to anyone that attacks you once per encounter is the kind of benefit you see from Paragon Paths, and the side benefit is excellent for punishing them for daring to strike you down. Great!

Fey Switch (Essentials: HOTFK)
Extremely simple, and Leader-like abilities are the kinds of abilities Warlocks can minor in very well. This is perfect for those types of players.

Iron Aspect of Dispater (Essentials: HOTFK)
Both effects are quite situational, especially the latter (you almost want to be pushed or slid away as a Ranged caster), but you won't regret having this in your back pocket as an Encounter power.

Life Siphon (AP)
I find it hard to call it "unkind" when there's no negative effect placed on the ally. The benefit is excellent, and it contains the Healing keyword, which could open itself up to major shenanigans.
Dark Pact: Regain hitpoints equal to 2+CHA modifier. That'll work.
Infernal Pact: Awesome as well, but look down at the Skill Powers to see what you're missing by taking this. Still, this is a THP utility, so it's worth a look.

Mirror Darkly (Essentials: HOS)
For one turn every encounter, you can gain the Psion's Intellect Prism, but also allowing yourself a great boost to defenses and the ability to launch blasts with alarming freedom. The aftereffect is completely optional, so keep that in mind.

Racing Fire of Ulban (AP)
Move 10-14 squares. You don't shift, you don't teleport, you move. Boring and obsolete.

Shadow Ride (Essentials: HOS)
Once an encounter, you turn any enemy on the board you can approach into a taxi. Here's my question: what's the point? You only shift 2 squares, so you don't trigger Shadow Walk; you're still a legal target, as you still exist in a square (and creatures that exist in the same space are considered adjacent to each other); and at the start of your next turn, you pop out right next to the enemy, exactly where a Ranged Striker does not want to be. Use your move action to gain defensive bonuses, not to make a taxi out of enemies that tend to not want to move when they're locked into attack mode anyway. Shifting 2 is cool, but there's a Teleport 3 back at 2nd level. There are super specific uses for a power like this, and if you can find it, great, but otherwise...

Shadowslip (FRPG)
Distances based on ability modifers tend to scale incredibly well, and while this power will start out pretty good, it'll turn marvelous as the tiers fall away.

Spider Climb (PHB1)
Is this a joke?

Unspeakable Bond (D382)
Well, this sure isn't. Delegate a slightly less fragile ally as the target of damage you take, but you still adopt any effects that would have been laid upon you. What a shame... except you have a brilliant solution to this problem, from a very unexpected source: Fortune Binding, a level 3 Con'lock encounter power. Ignoring all that, giving your ally a great boost to attack rolls is always worth a little poke in the side.
Infernal Pact: And then he gains a bonus to defenses and everyone on Team Monster is sadface.

Daily
Chaos Armor (Essentials: HOEC)
Resist 10 to a damage type of your choice chosen amongst the Affinity options, and whenever an enemy hits you, smack another enemy close by dependant on your Constitution modifier. If your CON modifier is any great shakes, this is extremely worthwhile. This is also great for all Element'locks come Epic tier when their Pact Boon grows ever higher in power and the autodamage becomes merciless, but I'd actually wait until then to pick this up for them.

Dark One's Own Luck (PHB1)
Criticalities tend to happen once a day, so having this be a daily is perfectly fine. Being able to reroll four different kinds of rolls is gravy.

Mercurial Form (AP)
For the entire encounter, you cannot be marked, escaping grabs becomes elementary (and takes a free action instead of a move action), and you can fit into Tiny spaces and become a rather good scout. Fantastic.

Red Leeches of Nihal (D366)
More temp hitpoints, on a trigger that will come up every day (unless your day is excruciatingly boring). Excellent, but there is a Religion-based Encounter power that does this without the requirement of a trigger.

Rending Fear of Khirad (D366)
Completely and utterly social, and thus unable to be rated. Campaigns can vary incredibly wildly from a political conquest to dungeon-crawlers, so it really depends on what your DM's going to run with, and how often you'll take enemies prisoner.

Sand Shape (DSCS)
A Sustain Minor that you'll laugh at (as you probably will not use this to just blank out on attacks while Cursing everyone... though you could technically do that. Your defenses are patched up) for a great scouting daily. Situational, but as I like to say: if you need it, you need it.

Shroud of Black Steel (PHB1)
Bonuses to two specific defenses is not worth the huge penalty to speed. If you're slowed while you're in this quasi-Stance, you're immobilized. Yaaaaay.

Spider Queen's Caress (AP)
A decent bonus to saving throws and a decent bonus to a skill you may not be proficient in could be worth it sometimes.
Dark Pact: This benefit, however, aligns perfectly with the secondary effect of this power. You carry no penalty to Stealth checks for only moving 2 squares, and maintaining concealment after only two squares while Hidden combos so swell. Bump up to Sky Blue if you have a Stealth score worth yelling about.

Walk Through Darkness (Essentials: HOS)
Now that's more like it! Shifting 10 squares, plus phasing and insubstantiality. This is what a Move Action utility should look like, folks.

Level 10 Utilities

At-Will

Ethereal Sidestep (PH Heroes: Series 1)
Ah, such a meager little At-Will. However, many of you don't realize just how incredibly freaking important at-will teleportation is. Grabbed will almost disappear from your list of worries, the distance travelled can be buffed to monumental heights, and certain feats and Paragon Paths (Evermeet Warlock, anyone?) can turn a simple little utility like this into a monster. Take it, and you will never be disappointed.

Encounter

Bridge of Shades (Essentials: HOS)
You gain a Portal Gun that works in a limited distance. However, as long as your allies are attentive and close by, you can cross any 4-square-wide area of treacherous terrain with absolutely no problem. A side benefit of being able to make melee attacks from five squares away won't go amiss for some of your allies, either.

Brimstone Caress (D382)
Now this is a little awkward: you can only target one ally with this power, and it takes damage in order to teleport. If you want to shimmy someone across a field of death, why not grab Bridge of Shades? Repositioning to this degree can be useful, but it's that punch of fire damage that isn't.
Infernal Pact: However, this is an excellent side effect: now you won't feel guilty about shunting Defenders over yonder with improved defenses to start blocking forward monster progress.

Curse of Nessus (AP)
An enemy you miss (and you will miss sometimes. It'll happen.) suddenly takes a huge dip in the ability to shake off effects. This is hilarious if your Miss effects on a daily inflict a save-ends effect, because it'll make them so much better.

Darkest Mirror (FRPG)
Allies turning invisible means you can't target them with any friendly effects, as you can no longer see them. It's useful in some situations, but invisibility isn't usefully an encounter-wide trait.

Destiny Inversion (AP)
Normally turning damage into ongoing halved damage is either pretty decent (one tick), useless (two ticks), or extremely dangerous (three or more ticks). But once again, you have a power that loves it when you have ongoing effects inflicted upon yourself: Fortune Binding. You completely absorb someone's attack, take one tick of the damage, and then on a Hit, pass it along to someone else. This is too open to abuse.

King's Step (DSCS)
Please don't be dumb and use this in response to a melee attack, because 1) you should already have him Cursed if you're getting that close, and 2) you either won't move an inch or you'll provoke an opportunity attack from trying to go on the other side of him. Out-of-turn Cursing against Artillery and Controller types, however, is phenomenal.

Troublesome Aid of Caiphon (D366)
Wear a Cloak of the Walking Wounded or Amulet of Life please. And don't think of overhealing yourself: if you fall to the ground, you will die. Reducing the number of DTS you can survive from three to two is abominable, especially if you feel that the ability to gain the equivalent of two or three surges in HP is necessary.

Daily

Accursed Souls (D372)
A little more oomph to your Pact Boons, whereby them dying inflicts a bit of splash Necrotic damage. If you have a bunch of Cursed minions grouped together, you'll amass a terrifying combo where enemies will just knock themselves over like dominoes from the autodamage that you chain. Incredibly fun if you can fenagle it right.

Ambassador Imp (PHB1)
Social power, campaign-specific, and horribly situational. Unrateable.

Bond of Brotherhood (AP)
If you're jealous that your Cleric buddy tends to favor someone else as the target of your heals, go ahead and grab a little bit of that healing for yourself.

Duelist's Dance (Essentials: HOTFK)
Until the end of the encounter once per day, you can teleport two more squares than whatever distance you have Ethereal Sidestep set at outside of your turn once per round. And this is an Immediate Reaction to an attack, not to an attack that hits.

Murky Deep (Essentials: HOEC)
So you walk up to the back line, create a giant zone of slowing and light obscurity, then also gain a boost to your shift while in that zone. This could be great to create a roped-off point in the battlefield (since they'll be slowed immediately when they enter the zone or start their turn there), and since you'll be able to run out of the zone rather quickly, you can reposition yourself in time for you to take advantage of it without being in too much danger. Worth considering.

Shade Dance (Essentials: HOS)
Add insubstantiality to Shadow Walk. This is a good thing. This is a very good thing.

Shadow Armor (Essentials: HOS)
Bland bonus to a skill you're not good at, but a great power bonus to defenses (again, not a stance), which you can end when you get bored to teleport and become invisible until the end of your next turn or until the DM says if you hit with an attack roll you make that turn that will incorporate Combat Advantage. Awesome.

Shadow Form (PHB1)
You can fly (but can't hover)! You're insubstantial (but can't take standard actions)! This is... kinda lame.

Shielding Shades (PHB1)
You plant a giant, red X on a damage roll that you cannot foresee (as the trigger point is when you're hit, not when damage is rolled), and all effects you're inflicted with still apply. This is both stupidly lame, and (with Fortune Binding) incredibly cool. So we'll compromise and rate it Black.

Smothering Darkness (Essentials: HOTFK)
If you're confident your allies won't need to heal or buff you for a while, who needs Shadow Walk? Everyone else literally cannot see you, even if they're hovering directly over you (-5 to attack rolls). As a side benefit, you can walk alongside your Drow brethren for an extended duration. Now this is excellent.

Spined Devil's Boon (Essentials: HOTFK)
The shield is kinda meaningless for a power that grants you a fly speed, but it does give you an encounter-long Fly speed, which is quite spiffy. Useless for Pixies, for obvious reasons.

Transcendant Dance (AP)
A bonus to speed and saving throws (two things that scale fantastically with single-digit modifiers) equal to an ability score modifier for the entire encounter? Ridiculous, and actually makes Racing Fire of Ulban fantastic at Epic, as you can blast forward about 26 or so squares in one move action.

Warlock's Leap (PHB1)
Who needs a locksmith? Once per day, just walk in the door.

Level 16 Utilities

Encounter

Caiphon's Disquieting Liberty (D366)
Five damage that can be reduced or absorbed is a horrendously small price to pay for freedom of movement once per encounter. Take it if you're concerned about immobilization - you'll love it.

Cloak of Shadow (PHB1)
How many more of these "You fly but will fall, are insubstantial but can't do diddly squat" powers do we really need?

Death Shroud Aspect (Essentials: HOS)
Obsolete with Hero's Defense.

Diabolic Escape (Essentials: HOTFK)
Oh yea, being able to walk into a crowd of enemies, hit them with Vulnerability that requires no attack roll, and then being up to run far the hell away to a safe perch is just so lame, isn't it? Oh wait, no, it's not. Load up your best Fire daily and blast those suckers - this is going to hurt.

Guise of the Laughing Fool (Essentials: HOTFK)
For one glorious round after you're done with your turn, you can just walk into a field of swords and arrows and not exist. Oh yea, and you inadvertingly are immune to opportunity attacks if you do use it to start your turn. Lovely.

Heart of the Storm (Essentials: HOEC)
An unfriendly close-range AOE push, and then an eight-square flight. Not nearly as hot on this one as the other HOEC utilities, honestly. It's got its corner cases, sure, but this application isn't very favorable to most strategies.


Hero's Defense (AP)
There are some sickening strategies you can pull with this (buff up one defense incredibly high, then jack it up by four points and tell the monster to hit that instead), and even if it fails... half damage. Fantastic.

Infuriating Elusiveness (PHB1)
Mobility ahoy, plus a way to get automatic combat advantage against everything on the board, plus a great bonus to defenses, for one turn every encounter? Sure!

Offering of Blood (Essentials: HOS)
At the cost of your Infernal Pact Boon (hint hint), reroll. (Again, if applicable.) Simple and sweet.

Painful Transference (AP)
Charisma'locks might not make a lot of friends with this power, but in a major goof, they forgot to add "or your Constitution modifier, whichever is highest" to the power. Have fun with your amazingly stupid "I'm cured!" power, Con'locks!

Reaper's Vengeance (Essentials: HOS)
Fling yourself across the map to a ranged attacker that struck you, and douse him in darkness while then being able to blast him away next turn. Kinda bleh for Binders, but super good for you - though your allies may lament at the fact that your Shadow zones are messing up being able to target them again.

Daily

Amaan's Continuance (AP)
Unfortunately, this doesn't remove all the side effects of dying. However, the one major benefit is the ability to spend Standard Actions: not only do you have your Second Wind as a source of HP, but several HP-siphoning powers that allow you to heal up and might get you back on your feet. You're still dying, and if you're at 0 or below, you're still making saving throws (and fainting) after you finish your turn. Also, if you get knocked to zero by ongoing damage, that doesn't count. Fantastic to have for emergencies, but there are contingencies.

Eye of the Warlock (PHB1)
What's utterly baffling is what the point of the (save ends) effect is. It's not tied to your ability to shoot laser beams from your opponent's face, so it's a very cosmetic save-ends effect that just refreshes itself whenever you use this power. Pretty much broken as (terribly) worded, as every blast, close burst, and ranged attack you use no longer require you to even care about positioning for the rest of the encounter/day.

Fail Me Not (DSCS)
An unfortunately limiting zone that subjects allies to an awesome buff to attack and damage rolls, but in case they miss with an attack (against all of their targets), they become vulnerable to damage. It also costs a Minor Action to sustain, and again, you want to hold on to your minor actions tightly. You King'locks that like to use your powers in Melee range might like this alot, but everyone else steer clear.

Ruinous Resistance (FRPG)
If you're absolutely sure you can inflict the Vulnerability on an ally that won't be the target of a lot of attacks, go ahead and go for it. Otherwise, please don't do this to your own allies, especially since they're going to be vulnerable to a damage type that your enemies probably inflict (otherwise, why did you raise a shield in the first place?)

Soul of the Void (Essentials: HOS)
A really cool "get out of purgatory" card, but the benefit otherwise is a bit dank, especially when combined with a penalty that really clashes with a lot of your Paragon- and Epic-tier HP draining powers... and being able to be healed by what would probably have saved you from being knocked to zero hitpoints anyway.

Vile Resonance (D382)
That vulnerability is going to mean nothing in the face of two extra dice of Curse damage every round. And yes, those dice do turn to d8s (or d10s if you're a Paladin|Warlock) if you possess the right items and feats, as they adjust d6s.
Infernal Pact: I'm sure there are absolutely no ways to exploit a buffable slide at-will...
Sorcerer-King Pact: There is no King'lock rider on this power, but I want to mention something very important. At this level, you start getting powers that buff ally damage dice when you command them to attack using certain Encounter powers. That buff is equal to your Warlock's Curse dice. You should immediately know where I'm going with this.

Warp Space (AP)
Battlefield rearrangement on three targets instead of the usual two. Huh.

Level 22 Utilities

Encounter

Entropic Ward (PHB1)
Sign of Ill Omen on steroids. Plus a fragment of the Star Pact boon power. Yeeouch.

Walk of the Kantakaran (AP)
Here's a thought: Don't do this first thing on your turn. Attack with a power, fling yourself forward into the front lines with Racing Fire of Ulban, then drop this power and become a roadblock. ... but wait, then they'll just walk right past you and attack your allies (not like you could hit people with OAs, even if you wanted to). And you can still be affected by powers and features that do not require that an attack roll be declared against you. Um...

Daily

Ascension of the Elder (AP)
Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone...
You catapult yourself upwards 20 squares and gain a fly speed of 8 (that you can sustain with a move action!). There are items and Epic Destinites and other hooligan things that can replicate this, but if you don't want to spend the money on Zephyr Boots, this is a great use of your Utility slot.

Cerulean Shield (DSCS)
This is mistakingly good. You gain a humongous shield against a specific damage type that is then reflected back as minor-action sustainable autodamage to enemies around you. There is just one problem: as mentioned before, enemies tend to resist the very damage types they inflict. The shield will rock the encounter silly, but the autodamage may actually be meaningless. Oh well.

Expedient Sacrifice (FRPG)
Wow, this is a moronic benefit. A bonus to speed, but an ally is slowed until the end of the encounter? You're seriously going to drop someone's speed to 2 just so that you can be more mobile than you honestly need to be?

Master of Magic (Essentials: HOS/HOTFK)
So you can either teleport you or an ally close by twenty squares (with the Teleportation keyword, no less), heal yourself or an ally (with the Healing keyword), or grant your Healic a supreme defensive bonus. How about yes?

Raven's Glamor (PHB1)
This is a very long-winded way to say "invisible and can teleport 5 squares as a move action until you declare an attack." Also under the DM's discretion whether monsters care about the image you leave behind. Not impressed.

Ulban's Shining Cloak (D366)
Now here's something you don't see every day: a reflect shield. Should the original attack miss because of the effect (and it will, because a bonus to defenses equal to your Intelligence modifier will put you way past Plate armor) and not because of a roll that would have missed otherwise, it bounces right back to him, with a reroll. Could be an absolute joke, but will prevent damage, and might add a surprising source of your own damage.

Wakeman's Invocation (AP)
Does nothing at all against Bursts and Blasts, doesn't buff your defenses against melee attacks, and does nothing with Ranged attacks should they hit. What.

Wall of Inky Night (AP)
This is sick. An extremely long, movable wall of blindness that you can shape to your whim. Shame it takes a standard action to reposition it (and yet a minor action to apply it), but this has amazing potential.

Wings of the Fiend (PHB1)
Take Ascension of the Elder. Any polymorph attack that hits you will end this effect, plummeting you to an unexpected grave.

 

Paragon Paths: A Practical Promotion from Paimon

 

When your character reaches 11th level, he or she can pick a Paragon Path to gain build-defining features and an extra set of powers. However, this is a big opportunity cost, so tread carefully and don't pick lightly.


Infernal Pact

Hellbringer (AP) - Constitution

Strategy: Fire DPR
Overall Rating: Black. There's a very specific problem it doesn't cover, and it hinders the path greatly due to how pigeonholed the strategy is.

11th Level Feature: Flames of Empowerment
When you spend an action point to make a ranged attack and it hits, deal an extra 2d6 damage to it and all adjacent enemies. Splash damage is always nice around these parts, but it's not exactly a prime reason to spend an AP.

11th Level Feature: No Pity, No Mercy
Whenever you score a critical hit against an enemy, you gain a pair of great benefits: CA and Vulnerable 5 Fire on the target. You don't have the AOE at-wills to really kick this into high gear, but there is never anything wrong with this if you have a stockpile of Fire powers.

16th Level Feature: Prince of Hell
Your arcane powers ignore Fire resistance. Which would be amazing if it wasn't replicated by heroic tier Wizard feats, or if it had a solution to immunity...


11E: Pillar of Power
Incredibly lame. It's a silly amount of damage in a 3x3 square if this is the attack you spend an AP on, but you can do the same thing (and at arguably a better degree) with Fiery Bolt, a level 3 Encounter power.

12DU: Gates of Hell
A neat little passage-of-transit, but the punishment may actually be too low for enemies to not take advantage of the new method of travel. Don't place this behind ally front lines, or enemies (especially ones resistant to Fire) will ambush you.

20D: Unleash the Inferno
A thermonuclear bomb of friendly AOE damage: everyone in a 121-square area is going to get roasted. However, the damage is not stellar, and you only get Curse dice against one target.

Life-Stealer - Constitution

Strategy: Minor DPR, various buffs
Overall Rating: Red. Underthought and yet simultaneously a bit overly complex to come to a Paragon Path that does, ultimately, nothing beneficial.

Level 11 Feature: Infernal Action
Much less noteworthy than Hellbringer; ongoing 5 fire (save ends) to targets you hit with one attack isn't the most spectacular thing on the world, especially one you want to spend an action point on. This ramps up considerably if you're a Tiefling with Icy Clutch of Stygia, but you have a Daily that already doles out (guaranteed) ongoing fire damage.

Level 11 Feature: Collect Life Spark
Bet you didn't expect you'd have to do bookkeeping on an Infernal'lock, did you? As an addition to your Pact Boon benefits, you gain what are called Life Sparks, and the effects of which depend on what the origin was of the creature you killed. They all range from mediocre to pretty good, but it runs into the same problem as the Pact Boon itself: in small encounters, this feature is deplorable, even though you can start gaining the benefits right away. Shame they all last one turn...

Level 16 Feature: Sustain Life Spark
What kind of whacko world do you live in where, as a Constitution'lock (so I hope, since otherwise the powers are completely useless), you'll have more Life Sparks than you do healing surges? And what's the point of having a feature that saves you from spending one healing surge after the rest of the encounter is over, when as a Con'lock, you're made of healing surges?


11E: Soul Scorch
A poke of fire and necrotic damage that requires you to have killed someone else this encounter to deal an additional 10 damage.

12DU: Life Spark Summons
It's backwards Domination. But it's a daily that gives you one turn of control of a creature that cannot really do much (and might even die before it gets to that point, since it only has 10 hitpoints and acts on your next turn) and can never incorporate your Curse dice. Bleh.

20D: Soultheft
So what happens if you kill a Cursed enemy with this power? Do you get two Sparks or one? What if you instead miss and deal wretchedly stupid damage with a level 20 Daily that has a range of 5?

Star Pact

Doomsayer (PHB1) - Charisma / Constitution

Strategy: Defense, Fear keyword
Overall Rating: Blue. Every one of the features is fantastic, and the powers are decent to great on their own, but it's a huge dichotomy. It's not enough that they're fear powers - they barely spread your Curse and don't inflict save-ends penalties, and requires the Warlock to also rely on his own selection of powers to be Fear-based.

Level 11 Feature: Doomsayer's Action
Oh good gravy, no. Everyone cursed by you automatically takes your Curse dice in damage when you spend an action point? And this doesn't count as a use of Warlock's Curse damage dealing? Jeez!

Level 11 Feature: Doomsayer's Proclamation
Basically a -5 penalty to saving throws against any and all Fear effects that you and your allies dole out (it doesn't say it ignores your allies' own Fear powers). If you concentrate on Fear powers, this is horrifying.

Level 16 Feature: Doomsayer's Oath
A Bruce Banner-type feature seems a bit awkward, but it's extra buffing for all of your favorite powers when you need it most, and that's incredibly cool.


11E: Fates Entwined
Unfortunately, the powers, sans the Utility, don't really mesh with the features all that well. Hit them with pithy psychic damage with a short-range hex, but then raise yourself a shield that funnels half of all damage dealt to you to the target. Incredibly dangerous in the hands of a daredevil.

12DU: Accursed Shroud
You place your Curse on anyone within 5 squares of you, and it has a permanent Sign of Ill Omen placed on it. You'll know who to place this power on, and it'll be amusing when it happens.

20D: Long Fall Into Darkness
Stunned and prone as a level 20 daily is splendid, but this would have been the perfect time to put in (save ends)... and yet that feature's still kinda swinging around in the breeze.

Master of the Starry Night (AP) - Charisma or Constitution

Strategy: Pact Boon exploitation
Overall Rating: Blue. Makes a marvelous little utility out of your Pact Boon, and even indirectly helps the other Pacts with its amazing U12. A bit of forethought needs to go into this path before you take it - Shared Pact and Improved Fate of the Void would probably be most necessary here - but those are feats you'd like anyway.

Level 11 Feature: Starcrossed Action
By spending an action point, you get an extra action and autodaze an enemy you have Cursed. Selective dazing can be useful at times.

Level 11 Feature: Star-Blessed Wanderer
Assuming that you use your 12EU for the Star Pact benefit, you will essentially never lose the bonus until you actually hit. That's incredibly solid, though if you're using Minor Gift of Foresight to, say, pass out THP to everyone or teleport everyone or even just give the Fate of the Void bonus to people (and they won't be affected by this feature if you do) via Shared Pact, it's less useful.

Level 16 Feature: Fate of the Body
On first glance, and even on a couple of subsequent glances, this is really cool. And it's not necessarily Purple because it's bad - there will be encounters, especially solos (with Minions), where at clutch turns you really need that large bonus against Will to keep yourself safe from sweeping AOE CC powers. But upon reflection you should probably be using your giant bonus to your d20 on attack rolls.


11E: Stellar Debris
Since the July 2012 errata, this and Shooting Star use either your Constitution or Charisma for the attack and damage roll. With that in mind, giving anyone the option to grant a blanket +2 bonus to defenses to all of your allies is quite worthwhile, especially on such a large (unfriendly) blast.

12EU: Minor Gift of Foresight
Remove whatever curses are on the board now, gain Pact Boons as if every single one of them had died. This is the sort of thing you build a character around; Vestige especially can take massive advantage of this, but Star Pact as itself can really take the love as well with Improved Fate of the Void. And as an Encounter power, no less, making this a real true powerhouse utility.

20D: Shooting Star
You now add a mini-Curse to the target that does 2d6 Radiant damage. You'll do maddening damage against undead, and great damage to anyone else, provided you hit. And even if you miss (and considering the features in this path, you better not), you'll still deal great damage next turn.

Student of Caiphon (DM Annual 2009) - Constitution / Charisma

Strategy: Critical hits, Fear keyword, Radiant DPR
Overall Rating: Light Blue. Amazing set of features and a great D20 for anyone who wants to use fear and radiant attacks. Very close to Gold, and indeed it would have been, had it been what it used to be, where all radiant attacks got the expanded crit range; but hey, you can't have it all.

Level 11 Feature: Caiphon's Guidance
Fear and Radiant powers gain an unnatural crit range better than all implements and feats you'd get at Epic tier. Wooooooooow.

Level 11 Feature: Star Bright
Hellbringer, now a bit more shiny. This time, however, Radiant damage is a lot more valuable than Fire damage, and you Tieflings will love it so much.

Level 16 Feature: Caiphon's Intercession
A sort-of-but-not-really replacement for your Pact Boon: instead of gaining a huge bonus to a d20 roll, you can deal 5 damage to an ally to allow him to make an MBA, with an extra benefit of dealing ongoing Radiant damage. There is no action tied to this power, so if multiple enemies fall at once and the ally feels fit to take multiplied damage, they can become a personified blender. Quite solid.


11E: Trust in the Guide Star
Do I have to? Even disregarding concealment and invisibility is not worth doing murky damage against a target that would have no bonus or penalty to defenses if all this was disregarded. Both Cha'locks and Con'locks can happily trade this power away: the D20 requires no ability score devotion.

12EU: Steps on the Purple Stair
Invisibility and a fly speed is OK, but the fly speed ends on the start of your next turn (so you have to land on that turn). And while your attacks on the turn you drop this will have Combat Advantage, if you aren't a Shardmind it'll start raking you with a small dose of (save ends) Psychic damage. The amount of damage you're inflicted with isn't worth slinging Fortune Binding around.

20DU: Caiphon's Hungry Mercy
A massive area of power recovery once per day is grand, especially for that low a cost.

Fey Pact

Feytouched (PHB1) - Charisma

Strategy: Teleportation, quasi-Domination
Overall Rating: Blue. It's not so much what these powers do, but what these powers can do, if that makes any sense, especially when you cooperate with your Defender allies. Very close to Light Blue, honestly... just a shame the 16th level feature and the powers are a bit underwhelming.

11th Level Feature: Feytouched Action
Action Surge, the Paragon feature! Seriously, though, being able to apply this to all targets of any attack you make with this bonus, which makes AOE powers amazingly good.

11th Level Feature: Slashing Wake
Once per round, deal Intelligence-modifier friendly splash damage whenever you teleport. Say, wasn't there an incredibly handy level 10 utility power that let you teleport whenever you wanted?

16th Level Feature: Patron's Favor
The weakest part of the Path by far. The Fey Pact Boon is one of the weakest factors of the Pact, due to its uncontrollable nature, and the benefits you can get from here are no different. Even a 10-square teleport, the best part of this feature, reduces in favor when you realize that if you've buffed Ethereal Sidestep enough to make it about 3-4 squares or so, a humongous teleport such as this might just be too much, and rarely will it do something that a 5-6 square teleport wouldn't.


11E: Will of the Feywild
Deal mediocre damage, but teleport an enemy to a convenient location (next to a Defender that has him marked?) and knock another enemy senseless. Very neat, but unfortunately a shadow of its former splendor (used to provide autodazed as well).

12DU: Twilight Teleport
Situational. If an enemy died in a dangerous zone, this becomes awesome, but otherwise, both benefits are quite muted, since Fey Pact Warlocks tend to stick in the furthest of the back lines anyway, and hell, you already have a teleport as your Pact Boon.

20D: Whispers of the Fey
If you miss, absolutely nothing happens. On a hit, though, you can force Brutes to fall all over themselves with melee basic attacks and then daze themselves. You need to approach enemies to do this, though, and that's not something you always want to do.

Long Night Scion (D374) - Charisma

Strategy: Cold DPR, Power Recovery
Overall Rating: Blue. Everything it does isn't brokenly amazing, but does its job well. It's at 16th level where it suddenly jumps to Light Blue due to the fantastic upgrade the feature is over the second feature of Feytouched.

11th Level Feature: Deeper Chill
The important thing to note here is that the Cold attack you make on an AP is not tied to that extra action. Combined with the next feature below, this has the possibility of doing very good damage. Highly favored.

11th Level Feature: Frost's Favor
Arcane Admixture (Cold), the feature. But you can put it on any power you like each day, and as a side effect, gain a nice little buffer against Cold damage. Ties so well with the other 11th level feature. Neat.

16th Level Feature: Winter Winds
Interpret this as "you gain an at-will friendly splash slow". Ignore the damage. Don't ignore the possibilities (World Serpent's Grasp, Vicious Advantage).


11E: Wrath of the Pale Prince
This is the kind of hex that just wants so badly to be an AOE spell, and it would have been perfect for this strategy. Unfortunately, you can replicate this effect already with Lasting Frost, so it's kind of obsolete.

12DU: Winter's Blood
Again, combined with your level 11 features, this is way too awesome. Once per day, you now have a 2/enc power that has the cold keyword, and what that encounter power is is your choice each day.

20D: Frozen Heart
Dazed and slowed (save ends both) with a fantastic aftereffect should they fail the save. Even the miss, which I would normally cast away as meaningless (slowed save ends), is great here, because most people who'll be taking this path are going to take advantage of the Slowed condition. Love it, even if it's against Fortitude, which is kind of weird for Fey'hexes.

Storm Scourge (AP) - Charisma

Strategy: Lightning DPR
Overall Rating: Bordering on Light Blue... if you prepare for it. The features are great and the encounter power can be waved goodbye, but you do really need to make sure you can gather yourself a bevy of Lightning powers. With Heroes of Elemental Chaos on board, however, this is much easier to accomplish.

11th Level Feature: Lightning Quick
How this feature is worded is incredibly important. When you "hit or miss" with an attack after spending an Action Point, you shift 1 square. If the composition of the battlefield is right and you grab AOEs and multi-attacking powers, you can actually make quite a long shift out of this power, getting you possibly out of harm's way. Otherwise, you just kinda derp around, shuffling yourself a couple of squares meekly. This, however, creates a very odd combo in Epic Tier with Long Step, as these are stepped Shifts; they don't happen all at once.

11th Level Feature: Zebechial's Blessing
You gain Resist Lightning equal to the innate resistances of several races, and if you are a member of said races, none of them are resistant to Lightning, so it's excellent.

11th Level Feature: Eldritch Storm
Let's be frank here: this path would be horrible without this very feature. It's the sole reason this Path isn't an automatic Red: because you gain an At-Will Lightning power without the need to spend a feat to do so.

16th Level Feature: Servant of the Lord of Lightning
Pretty awesome for base Fey'locks, but with the arrival of a fantastic power in Dream of Mual-Tar just one level prior, on top of a miraculous set of features from the Elemental Pact, this feature - and thus this entire path - has earned itself full legitimacy for Elemental'locks Twofolding into the Fey Pact at 11th level. You deal AOE splash damage with all of your Lightning hexes equal to your Intelligence modifier, and this applies to every target you hit with them; having two enemies next to each other will double up the splash if you hit both with your now quite solid 11e. Brilliant!


11E: Judgment of the Storm
Awful damage... for a while. Recognize the fact that this power is tied to two ability modifiers for the damage roll: Intelligence and Charisma. This actually makes the power scale better than usual, and once you get into 16th level it becomes unexpectedly good, especially against targets adjacent to each other.

12DU: Lightning Dance
You gain a damage shield against melee attacks, but you can only teleport to a square adjacent to that enemy... which is exactly where you don't want to be. Also, the action used for the teleport is an immediate reaction, which means it A) doesn't prevent the attack, and B) can only be used once per round. Shame.

20D: Wrath of the Clouds
Even more terrible damage, and this time the CHA+INT thing just will not allow the daily to catch up, considering how next level it'll be outclassed by Eldritch Blast due to the Intelligence modifier on that power spreading itself out. The Effect is at least something to work with, as it's almost like a Vulnerability Intelligence-modifier All with a damage type, and the target must take damage from this at least once before starting to make saving throws.

Dark Pact

Dark Reckoner (AP) - Charisma

Strategy: Concealment, Necrotic DPR
Overall Rating: Purple. Really the only thing that makes this Path recognizable is the bump to Curse damage at 16th level, but the invisibility and concealment options presented in the other features really don't get into their swerve in the powers, of which are bland.

11th Level Feature: Shadow Action
This will spare you your move action to force Shadow Walk at the turn you want to spend your Action Point, while giving your allies a nice boost to defenses. It's not anything to yell about, though. At least you'll be gaining the benefit when you most want it: when the going gets tough and people are spending their Action Points to throw desperate strategies at the wall.

11th Level Feature: Shadow and Threat
Neat little defensive boost on a critical hit, but I think the timing is off for gaining Combat Advantage, since you reveal yourself when you declare a target.

16th Level Feature: Death Curse
1d6 extra Necrotic damage with your Curses, which does allow itself to be scaled up to d8/d10. The best part of this path by far.


11E: Deadly Judgment
Large-radius friendly Necrotic splash, but the original hit is minor and there isn't any semblance of control.

12EU: Shadow Slip
A huge bonus to defenses against Cursed enemies, and this time you're able to gain Combat Advantage against everyone on the turn you use it. Not too bad.

20D: Cursing Vengeance
Mediocre damage for a level 20 daily, and delayed ongoing damage. Incredibly lame.

Darkwalker (FRPG) - Charisma

Strategy: Insubstantiality, general DPR
Overall Rating: Purple. You gained a few new options in the Essentials books for getting insubstantiality to run your first feature, but it's still rare, and only the D20 gives it to you permanently. Jumps to Black at 20th level, and Blue if you add other ways to gain the property (Shade Dance in particular, a level 10 Daily Utility from Heroes of Shadow, gives you insubstantiality every time you would also trigger your Shadow Walk, and it's practically mandatory for this path).

11th Level Feature: Deadly Absence
While insubstantial, gain your INT modifier to damage rolls. The engine this entire path runs on, and can be exploited quite readily. Jumps to Light Blue at 20th level.

11th Level Feature: Darkwalker Action
This is not the way to spend your AP: by wasting it to gain insubstantiality. You will always deal more damage by hitting with any power you use on that Standard Action.

16th Level Feature: Ghostken
Hey, now this is neat: insubstantial creatures mean nothing to you, now. The occurance won't be often, but when it does, your DPR will literally double.


11E: Ghostly Bane
Boring. A shred of damage, and insubstantial, which will help your next turn's DPR... but so would a lot of Cha'lock powers.

12EU: Fading Spiral
If you deal more than 12 damage on your Darkspiral Aura, you take a quarter of the damage instead of half (the Aura runs on an Immediate Interrupt), and you gain your INT bonus to damage rolls on your next turn. Pretty decent.

20D: Wraithform Blast
Damage is OK, the ongoing damage is at least double-typed, but the Effect line is excellent, and will ramp up your DPR tremendously for the encounter, as long as you stay out of trouble... and it'll take you a while to get knocked to bloodied, since you're taking half damage. Also, you gain phasing, which is incredibly cool as an encounter-long effect.

Vestige Pact

Astral Ascendant (D383) - Constitution

Strategy: Radiant DPR, Leader tendencies
Overall Rating: Light Blue. This Path's features are glorious, and this really serves to amplify the Leader aspect of your Pact, almost making you into a quasi-Cleric with how the features help out your allies.

11th Level Feature: Preparing Action
When you spend an AP, everyone close by gains a small amount of THP and can reposition themselves a bit. Not too bad.

11th Level Feature: Radiant Curse
Radiant damage on your Curse. You could stop there and this path would be worth it, because now all of your powers deal Radiant damage. This literally solves all of your problems with Necrotic and Fire powers, since they're commonly resisted, and while perhaps the original hit won't deal much damage, now that you have two seperate types to deal damage with (one of which is the bane of Undead), you'll almost always deal excellent damage. Wonderful. Oh, but wait: once per round (not turn), if you didn't deal Curse damage that round and an ally hits an enemy Cursed by you, you can deal your Curse damage to that enemy. Be very cautious: this PP did not get errata with the change to Warlock's Curse being 1/turn, so this path still limits you to 1/round if you allow this to apply. Still, that's a non-issue: this feature is perfect.

16th Level Feature: Celestial Resistance
You, and everyone nearby, gain Resist Necrotic - them by a decent amount, you by a lot. You can basically just forget about Undead now, because they will no longer present a challenge to you... or your allies.


11E: Overwhelming Radiance
Not too bad. The power dealing Radiant damage doesn't mean that much (you already deal Radiant damage with your Curse), and the target granting CA is already done on lots of powers, but 3d10 on an Encounter power at 11th level is not unremarkable.

12DU: Angelic Aura
You. Can. Hover. Oh yea, and you have a great healing aura. But forget all that. At 12th level, you can finally hover with a flying power that isn't named "Ascension of the Elder". That's awesome.

20D: Vestige of the Ascendant Commander
I gotta say, I'm a big fan of the power's name: to underline the Leader bent of this power, some sort of commander or other sovereign should have been the Vestige you swear your allegiance to. The base effect, like Sea Tyrant Oracle's Vestige below, is solid: a friendly AOE radiant that dazes (save ends) and grants healing surges to allies, even if you miss, is cool.

The pact boon, however... is a bit weird. It suddenly makes you an off-Defender, a very breakneck role-switch for you. It's not a bad bonus, no, but... +2 to AC (+4 if bloodied)? Hrrrm. However, it's the At-Will Augment that sells it: you get to inflict Vulnerability 5 All, that 5 damage being Radiant-based. Your DM might just stop sending you Undead after you crack this daily open the first time.

God Fragment (AP) - Constitution

Strategy: General DPR, vitality
Overall Rating: Blue. The features are solid, and the Encounter power can be thrown away in place of something else. This is also where the cover art for the Guide comes from, and is one of my favorite 4e Warlock depictions.

11th Level Feature: Lifegiving Action
Spend an action point, gain a bit of revitalization, in the form of hitpoints equal to your level. Scales alright, and you'll be spending Action Points during the latter half of fights anyway, so it's not terribly situational.

11th Level Feature: Road to Reawakening
A +3 bonus to death saving throws is great as a permanent boost, and remember that you gain the ability to spend a healing surge on a 20 or higher, not just a natural 20. You will get back on your feet, no doubt about it.

16th Level Feature: Dormant Power
When you crit with a Warlock power (... wait, does this not include God Fragment powers? Woops. Oh well, no loss there), deal 2d10 extra damage. Basically adds the Empowered Crit property to all of your implements, and if you use one that has that property already, your critical hits are going to rock the world.


11E: Deific Decay
Single bad hit, no control, not even a hint of an effect - and RAW, you don't even get the critical hit benefit of Dormant Power come 16th level should you crit. This entire path is nearly ruined by an incredibly stupid 11E, and absolutely requires you use Reserve Maneuver to put life back into it.

12DU: Deific Doom
The radius of the Close burst is way too short, but it'll ensure that as a Con'lock that prefers to work in the back, whatever close-combat enemies do to you won't sting nearly as badly.

20D: Vestige of Karmath
No curse damage at all, as the damage happens as an aftereffect of the domination. Oh yea, that's right... the target is dominated (save ends), a wonderful start to your day as a Vestige'lock.

As for the pact boon and at-will augment: the Pact Boon is pretty decent, with a -2 to defenses (save ends) applied to one creature Cursed by you within sight range. But in a weird twist, it's the At-Will Augment of this power that makes it remarkable, unlike with Vestige of Kulnoghrim. You gain something that Warlocks just do not have at their disposal: an AOE at-will, in the form of splash diced Necrotic damage to each enemy within 2 squares of the target of Eyes of the Vestige at the start of their turns. Remember that this incorporates all your modifiers.

Sea Tyrant Oracle (AP) - Constitution

Strategy: Turn Efficiency, Control
Overall Rating: Black. It's a decent path - doesn't exactly disgust or offend, but the features and powers only tenuously relate to each other, and it just feels disjointed. The good news is that the trend of awesome Paragon Path vestiges continues with a Vestige Power that transcends Vestige of Amaan. However, if you're trained in Bluff and have a Multiclass feat, you don't really lose anything by going with Traveler's Harlequin, which will allow you to pick that power up as part of its 20th Level Feature - or hell, any of the other three Vestiges you have access to.

11th Level Feature: Visionary Action
If you spend an action point to make an attack, you gain a stored-up Standard Action that you can use once in the Encounter, which is incredibly powerful, especially if the triggering attack is one with a great Miss effect. However, if even one attack roll connects, this feature is useless.

11th Level Feature: Future Foreseen
A bit of an insurance policy against the first failed saving throw you make in an encounter. You have to use the second result, though, which is a bit saddening.

16th Level Feature: Future Evaded
A small shift that happens only once during an encounter (and at a specific time), takes your Immediate Action, and doesn't even refresh Shadow Walk is incredibly weak. As a Con'lock, you won't fear being approached.


11E: Doomsday Portent
No damage. Zero. Nada. Dazed and weakened without damage is not a Striker power, and Vestige'locks are Control'Strikers with a hint of Leader, not Control'Leaders.

12DU: Prepared by Fate
Whoa. +20 on a crucial initiative roll could actually really help get your first 11th level feature going, and allow you to apply your favored Vestige before the fight gets underway at all. A simple benefit given legs by how you operate.

20D: Vestige of the Sea Tyrant
Unlike the other two Vestige PPs we've discussed, its attached Vestige has a very good effect it possesses even before the Pact Boon or At-Will is discussed. A blast 5 push-prone emulates and heightens the power of a couple of really nice Infernal'lock powers. The damage is regretably low, but look at what you get:

Both the Pact Boon and the At-Will Augment grant slides. It takes what was awesome about Vestige of Amaan, and makes it complete by eliminating the directional limits (you can fling enemies around corners and obstacles, can make them zig-zag, go in circles, etc.) For that very reason, this power is the rating that it is: it gives you an unparalleled level of Control on your prized At-Will, and really delivers you the power to dominate the battlefield. It's debatable whether it's actually worth taking an otherwise unappealing path, especially since you can grab it with the Traveler's Harlequin PP as well. Up to you.

Umbral Cabalist (D383) - Constitution

Strategy: Defense, Control
Overall Rating: Light Blue. There is only one bad thing about this path, and it's tucked way down in the Daily. Even the Encounter Power is salvaged just by being a 1/enc stun. The Vestige Pact option is also brilliant.

11th Level Feature: Restricting Action
On an AP, you restrain one enemy on the board. Restrained, not immobilized. So everyone also gains Combat Advantage against it, and it takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls. Fantastic.

11th Level Feature: Cabalist's Warding
Well, this has the potential to be incredibly broken: when you become bloodied, until you're healed above bloodied value, you pick an NAD and gain a bonus to it equal to your Constitution modifier. This could make you outright immune to some of the worst effects on the board, and is incredibly nice to have in your back pocket whenever enemies start getting the upper hand.

16th Level Feature: Demonic Resilience
And the defense just keeps on coming. The first time you take typed damage in an encounter, you gain a permanent buffer against that type of damage (until the end of the encounter, anyway). Wow.


11E: Command of the Abyss
Damage at the level of your At-Will... but you stun the target, no questions asked. Now that's nice.

12EU: Clarifying Rebuke
Outright deny Domination, or a fear or charm effect. Plus, you add another target to Curse. Man, I love this path...

20D: Vestige of Kulnoghrim
Guaranteed ongoing damage is pretty nice, but the damage leaves something to be desired.

The pact boon, however, is broken (and quite possibly misworded): You allow, by its wording, "One creature within 5 squares or affected by your Warlock's Curse [to make] a basic attack against a target of your choice as a free action." The italics are my doing, but I'm of the opinion that they made a huge mistake there, and meant to say "of you and" instead of "or", due to how wonky the wording is. You can command your allies to make MBAs for this reason, since they're considered creatures. This power would be Gold, if the at-will augment wasn't lame soft control...


Sorcerer-King Pact

Praetor Legate (DSCS) - No Ability Score Devotion

(Please note that you do not actually have to be a Sorcerer-King Pactee to take this - the alternate requirement is to take the Templar theme, but belonging to the Sorcerer-King Pact waves the theme prerequisite away, which is why it goes here.)

Strategy: Heavy emphasis on off-Leadership, minor Control
Overall Rating: Blue. This gives you a very strange role in the team as an off-Leader, even more so than what your normal SK powers would give you. Don't immediately discount this as "bad" or "decent" even though it's not Light Blue - this really is a unique path, and one you will not regret taking, even if better alternatives might exist.

11th Level Feature: Praetor's Censure
You now extend your Hand of Blight power to any power you use that bloodies an enemy. The timing is a bit wonky, but your allies will take that opportunity to focus-fire on a now vulnerable enemy and work him down to zero in record time. Of course, if the power that triggered this already grants your allies combat advantage... hmm.

11th Level Feature: Praetor's Action
If the encounter you spend your AP on isn't the final encounter of the day, this could be very awesome for a lucky ally, as it gives him his milestone benefit of another AP one encounter early. A niche benefit, but potentially very powerful.

16th Level Feature: Chosen of Andropinis
Bit unfortunate on the naming choice, but what can you do. Whenever an enemy starts its turn adjacent to you, you can slide him 1 square. This is kind of a strange feature (as they can just walk up and whack you again), but if the target is melee and immobilized without reach, they can't attack you - and if they're prone, they're not going to be able to charge you, which against some enemies is a huge benefit. Be smart about how you use this feature.

(Note: If you have any way of triggering any sort of punishment when you force movement - the Swordmage at-will Booming Blade comes to mind - this ramps up considerably.)


11E: Obsidian Javelin
The focus-firing power. You deal decent damage against the target, push him a bit, and then every ally that hits it gains Resist 10 All until their turn ends. A great benefit if your allies are concentrating on one target.

12EU: Dustwalk
The secondary benefit's only useful if you need to stand still for whatever reason, but the primary benefit's pretty nice, as even though it gives you an altitude limit of 1, you can still reject difficult and dangerous terrains.

There's a slight RAW argument on this power, however: the third sentence ("You have concealment while flying or hovering.") contains no duration. One race in the game has permanent flight as part of their racial features: the Pixie. This power might (keyword might) give them permanent concealment for the encounter, every encounter. I'm probably finding clues and hints where there are none, but it's worth some contention.

20D: Dictator's Judgment
A long range immobilization save-ends power that contains the Healing keyword, and a humongous healing benefit to whichever ally smacks it next is awesome. This power needs impeccable timing to wring the most use out of it, but still... three surges for the cost of zero. Wowzers.

Elemental Pact

Herald of Vezzuvu (Essentials: HOEC) - No Ability Score Devotion

(Note that you do not need to be an Elemental Pact Warlock to take this Paragon Path. You can also take the Earthforger, Firecrafter, or Primordial adept theme; being an Element'lock waives this requirement away, however.)

Strategy: Defense, terrain advantage
Overall Rating: Red. The situationalness of this path reaches the stratosphere if you're not dancing around calderas and volcanos, and the powers are some of the worst I've ever seen.

11th Level Feature: Volcanic Action
On an action point, add half your level in fire or thunder damage to the next attack you dole out. I believe this helps qualify for Resounding Thunder on your AOEs, though I may be wrong. Still, it's extra damage, and you can't exactly say no to that.

11th Level Feature: Volcanic Resistance
You either gain Resist 10 Fire, or Resist 5 against all Fire attacks (so dual-typed attacks still get reduced a bit), whichever allows you to take less damage. Not too bad, but occurances of you taking fire damage are going to be too few and far between.  Hope you're not a Tiefling, by the way, or this feature is nearly useless to you.

16th Level Feature: Volcanic Walk
The F16 is usually when the path comes together into one glorious little pocket of awesome. Your grand prize for this path? You get to walk on lava. Oh, and you get to ignore difficult terrain related to volcanoes. Are you kidding me, here? This is all we get? And don't think the powers will salvage this path. Oh no...


11E: Lava Bomb
It's 2012. The designers should have been well aware just how inaccurate +2/+4/+6 powers were in the face of system math. Of course, because of how this power is designed, there is no implement keyword, cutting you off from some huge support. Couple that with mediocre damage and an autodamage effect that only serves to reduce the amount of favorable targets on the board for this power... this is disastrously bad.

12DU: Vezzuvu's Balm
Alright, I can work with this. On taking fire damage (outside of your turn, so don't get any funny ideas), you don't take it. Instead, you regain hitpoints equal to the amount of damage you would have taken, bypassing resistances, and gain a neat little bonus to attack rolls. A bit iffy, since it's a Daily and a one-turn benefit, on top of the fact that you still need to take a substantial amount of a specific type of damage while injured to pull this off properly, but it's not that big a waste.

20D: Volcanic Wrath
Strange little case: the daily is actually excellent for Tieflings, as it's guaranteed ongoing damage in a wide swath. However, for those of you who don't care about that, this is a Level 20 Daily with an attack roll of the following:

"Highest ability modifier + 5 vs. Reflex"

You read that right. It's +5. This may be the most inaccurate power in the entire game, all things considered, as proper dailies at this level are AbilityMod+9, not 5. So, with that said, when you DO hit, you deal decent AOE damage and a slight push, and then no matter what happened, you create a giant zone of difficult terrain, obscurity, and autodamage, none of which is friendly. Don't even bother with this path.

(Oh yea, and sidenote: most of the monsters you'd be fighting to validate the features and utility will be resistant or immune to your powers. Woops.)

 

 

 

Arcane and Other Paths


Academy Master (D374) - No Ability Score Devotion
Strategy: At-Will DPR, Power Efficiency
Overall Rating: Black. The features are quite basic, and you should probably only take this path if you are rather devoted to your At-Wills (especially if you're a Half-Elf with Dilettante'd AOEs). Otherwise, you're mostly using the features during the cleanup phase, and it won't come through completely for you until 20th level.

11th Level Feature: Educated Action
When you spend an Action Point, the first attack roll you make that fails gains a reroll. Everyone loves an insurance policy, and this time it's not done at a point of danger, unlike Future Foreseen. Nice.

11th Level Feature: Arcane Underpinning
+2 to Arcana (Hi, Sage of Ages-bound). You also gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls against targets you hit with at-will powers (Hi, Echoing Dirge Human'locks) until the end of your next turn.

16th Level Feature: Fundamental Mastery
Your At-Wills start dealing more damage than they did before: 3 now, and 5 later at 25th level. Not quite as awesome for you as it is for your Wizard and Sorcerer cousins, but since a good chunk of your damage will come from Curses and your At-Wills don't deal that much less damage than your Encounters it's pretty nice anyway. Half-Elf Warlocks that poached a Wizard or Sorcerer power, however, will fall over their feet for this, as by this point they should have taken Versatile Master and gotten an AOE Arcane At-Will to crank people over the head with.

11E: Learned Boost
1/enc, you attack with an arcane at-will of your choice, and it deals two extra dice of damage. The Reliable keyword means this doesn't go away until you connect with a power that uses this boost, so it'll never be useless.

12EU: Refined Recall
Another insurance policy: this time, if you miss every target with an Arcane Encounter power, you don't waste it. Awesome!

20D: Master's Surge
Remember this important thing: you are a Striker first, but a Controller very closely second. While this really helps with the damage (especially when you don't actually expend the power you use with this daily), there are some super neat applications you can apply to transform turn-ending effects into (save ends) effects. Requires hen-picking powers but it can potentially replicate Dailies you'd gain later.

 

Demonskin Adept (PHB2) - Charisma
(This is a class Paragon Path for the Sorcerer. You must somehow be a Sorcerer to take this path.)

 

Strategy: Nova Potential, DPR
Overall Rating: Light Blue. With the lack of static modifiers that Sorcerers get innately, you do miss some of what made this incredibly good for them. But when all is said and done, as a Charisma-based Striker, the first 11F and E11 add up, together, to make this a whopper to pull out at the table. It requires a little bit of prep to get going, but overall, it can be very, very much worth it.

11th Level Feature: Demon Fury
Even if you don't really care all that much about the rest of the path, having everyone in your party gain a +3 bonus to attack rolls is almost nothing alike what Warlocks tend to do, and it's an amazing thing to pull out in a fight when everyone's set and ready. The bonus against you is treacherous but you can largely avoid it with smart tactics.

11th Level Feature: Variable Resistance
Off the bat, you don't have a Soul of Sorcery. And you can't gain one unless you give up the chance to even take a PP in the first place.

16th Level Feature: Glimpse of the Abyss
While strong, this unfortunately will force you into Cloth or Rare armors (have fun convincing your DM you need those...) as a self-inflicted Blind will hurt Ranged attacks you make on the turn you land a critical hit. If you don't mind the sacrifice it is a pretty neat add-on.

11E: Demonsoul Bolts
Let's just ignore the rest of the path for a second. The fact of the matter is that in 4e, as the levels fall away and the night grows old, Striker dice starts to become less and less important in the face of ever-growing static modifiers. This, intrinsically, is why a potential triple-tap against one dude very quickly ranks it up high. And then you add in the multi-slide... the fact that you can buy (with Novice Power) Flame Spiral to make the slides super ludicrous... and it doesn't have to stop there if you want to. No other color but Gold. How far you can take this is up to your DM, but if it works incredibly well for Sorcerers, it doesn't take much more for you.

12DU: Demonic Wrath
Pretty much no damage modifiers will apply, so it's a marginal boost at a dangerous time.

20D: Swords of the Marilith
You'd probably want to pop this once you're done Cursing, but a minor-action autodamage that buffs your allies (if you want) is not something to sneeze at by any means.

 

Entrancing Mystic (AP) - Charisma
Strategy: Charm keyword, saving throw debuffs
Overall Rating: Black. It makes Charm powers great and worth focusing on, but the powers are a bit lackluster. That is, until 16th and 20th levels roll around, and suddenly this power jumps to Light Blue due to the shockingly good 16th level feature and great 20th level daily.

11th Level Feature: Maddening Action
Well that's... lame. Ongoing 5 psychic (save ends) to one creature within a rather short range is a weird reward for spending an action point. Why couldn't have this been added to the power you'd use on the AP? That would have meshed well with this next feature...

11th Level Feature: Mystic Rapture
Enemies take a huge penalty to saving throws if they approach you while they have (save ends) Charm effects on them, and even if they don't, they still take a moderate penalty to saving throws. Sweet, but again, why wasn't the primary penalty tied somehow to the first feature of this Path?

16th Level Feature: Mystery Given Form
Gain a +1 bonus to the very powers you love (and to each power in this PP). Also, all of your Encounter Charm powers gain the Reliable keyword. Weeeeeeeee!


11E: Hekiah's Trance
The damage doesn't exist (and it usually doesn't with Fey'locks, the Pact that would normally want these powers), but a slide + slow is incredible Control, as sending melee enemies a distance equal to your primary ability modifier (not your Intelligence score) and forcing them to only be able to move 2 squares is pretty much equal to a Stun. Of course, Ranged enemies won't care, but I hope to God you didn't think to use this on an Artillery that's sharing your turf.

12DU: Shroud of Adeptus
Wait, huh? An IR daze once per day against an enemy that misses you that doesn't work if they're far away? For a Daily utility, way too situational and anticlimatic.

20D: Ultimatum of the Third Order
A gigantic area of (uncursable) ongoing Psychic damage. And if they don't want to take it on their turn, they're stunned. It's hard to guess the behavior of monsters in reaction to this Daily: you present to them an aura of reduced saving throws. So if they want to get the hell out of there, they're going to be taking damage. However, if they can't move easily out of your range (Defender is hassling them, or they're immobilized in some fashion, etc), they'll start taking massive amounts of damage should the d20 not fall in their favor. So they'll want to stay and stave off the damage... which then means they're stunned. And the Catch-22 manifests itself. You need the exact correct set of circumstances to make this work, because I guarantee the DM is going to want to have them take the damage, and then cart themselves out of there first chance they get. They'll want to do this even more if you miss, because the miss effect is pitiful (dazed or 10 damage). So it's great Control for a reason you don't really think of at first.

Evermeet Warlock (FRPG) - Charisma
Strategy: Mobility denial and enabling, off-Leader
Overall Rating: Light Blue. While at first glance unremarkable, the fact that you just got an at-will teleport makes this entire path completely broken.

11th Level Feature: Feywild Wake
So yeah, there's this pretty good Utility power called Ethereal Sidestep. It lets you teleport 1 square at-will. This feature gives you invisibility for an entire round against everyone originally adjacent to you when you leave a square by teleporting. Put 2 and 2 together, Cha'locks.

11th Level Feature: Mercurial Action
And you can do it TWICE when you spend an Action Point! You can basically gain a monstrously stupid bonus to defenses and Combat Advantage against everybody if your teleport distance is buffed up enough and you use your new Move Action for another use of Ethereal Sidestep. Or you could just walk, I suppose...

16th Level Feature: Mastery of Passage
OK, who thought of these features? Seriously... this entire path is exploitable by one At-Will Utility power. In this case, you can bring someone else along for the ride, granting unsurpassed friendly mobility.


11E: Blinding Beacon
Bad damage, but a blind is never worthless. The fact that it's Ranged 20 actually puts it above a lot of your other hexes.

12DU: Feylights
Someone goofed. None of the penalties here - concealment, invisibility, and insubstantiality denial - discriminate against your enemies or allies. And you kind of have a Class Feature that works off of concealment. And it even denies you your very own 11th level feature benefit. Decent against enemies that this applies to, but you basically just created a 7x7 square where you aren't allowed to go. Oopsie. With that in mind, why would you even dare waste Standard actions to expand it?!

20D: Moonflower Inspiration
No damage. Instead, you get a friendly 5x5 square of various effects, all chosen by you, as long as you know what kind of defenses your opponents have (or you can just make lucky guesses). You also gain an off-kilter benefit of granting allies healing equal to your Intelligence modifier, both at the outset of the attack if they're in the radius, and then on subsequent rounds if they're standing next to enemies that haven't saved from these effects.

Hexer (AP) - Constitution / Charisma
Strategy: Curse expansion, minor Control
Overall Rating: varied. You need to belong to a Pact that cares about having a ton of enemies Cursed at once, because that's pretty much all this Paragon Path does, and you can still only apply Curse damage once per turn.

Strong for some pacts (Dark, Star, Vestige)
Pretty good for others (Fey and Infernal with Shared Boon)
Hard to judge for Sorcerer-King Pactees. Having everyone on the board cursed right away means they'll have a reliable rate of refreshing on their Fell Mights, but there's also the problem of the Path doing nothing to curb the uselessness of having multiple enemies fall in one turn.
It's also quite good for Element'locks, but you must have Bloodied Boon for this path to work and must stick close to everyone - otherwise it'll work too fast for you.

Weigh your options and pick this accordingly.

11th Level Feature: Damning Curse
A mass penalty to attack rolls just for spending an Action Point? Now that's a pretty darn nice prize, especially with your Path's modus operandi.

11th Level Feature: Greater Hex
Everyone within 5 squares counts as closest to you for the purpose of placing Curses. Considering what your 11E is with this feature, this may be only moderately useful, but losing any restrictions on placement is worthwhile enough. The mileage explodes for Element'locks.

16th Level Feature: Walking Curse
Any damage you deal with your Curse to a creature also slides it 1 square. That's pretty decent Control, and makes proning hexes much more valuable.


11E: Hexblast
So yea. You gain a blast 5 auto-Curse as an Encounter power. The damage is meaningless here: what this power does for you, especially if you belong to the three "awesome" Pacts mentioned above, is too important for you to ignore. Also, by my interpretation (since the Effect line is above the Hit line) minions are Cursed before they take damage - always nice to have Pact Boon puppets.

12EU: Vengeful Hex
One person that misses you with a ranged or AOE attack (so they can be in pretty close if they prefer using blasts) can get Cursed. Your job is to mass Curse, so that only furthers the engine, but how useful this will be is up to you, since with how much freedom you now have, everyone on the board could be cursed by the time this comes into play.

20D: Hex of Abandonment
This has to be the first attack you use in a given encounter if you want to use it, because your Cursing engine is too fast even without this daily. What this will do for you is consolidate your minor actions while you have the Big Bad Evil Head Honcho wander around the board Cursing everyone of his allies that stand next to him. You're probably going to have to prod him along, but it'll do its job if the orientation is right; and be sure to remember that the Curse happens before the damage, so minions will grant you your Pact Boon if they die by this effect.

Nightmare Weaver (D373) - Charisma
(You also need Intimidate to take this path.)

Strategy: Attack roll penalties
Overall Rating: Light Blue. Doesn't really come onto its own until 16th level, at which point the strategy's circle comes complete. This Path is almost begging you to take Psychic Lock... so please take it. You won't be sorry you did.

11th Level Feature: Nightmarish Action
This'll make the Hexer PP jealous: introduce a slide to all the debuffing you're doing when you drop an Action Point. Excellent control and debuffing, and all for free(ish).

11th Level Feature: Insidious Curse
As an addition to your Pact Boon, you can immediately Curse the nearest target as an IR. He's already cursed? No problem! Slide him for a decent distance and debuff him instead!

16th Level Feature: Shaking Displays
The keyword you're granted here is something you only see on Rogue and Fighter powers, and some of you may not be aware of what "Rattling" does. It's quite easy: as long as you're trained in Intimidate (and you can't take this Path otherwise), enemies you hit with a power that contains the Rattling keyword - in other words, Painful Delusion and all of your Warlock encounter powers - take a -2 penalty to attack rolls until the end of your next turn. Remember when I said it doesn't really come onto its own until 16th level? This is what I meant - with this feature, you now possess a reliable, multi-instance method of working your debuffs, which is something this path desperately needed.


11E: Painful Delusion
Psychic keyword. Dazed (so automatic combat advantage) and Vulnerable 5 All is amazingly cool. By the way, this has an overlooked side effect: if your allies possess Psychic Lock, the extra damage they inflict using this power's benefit allows them to debuff the target as well, even if they wouldn't originally deal psychic damage with their attack, since the bonus damage is psychic and counted as extra damage.

12EU: Dread Disappearance
Whenever the timing feels right, be considered as invisible instead of concealed to enemies Cursed by you. Dropping their attack rolls even further is something you want happening, and even if it's just towards you, once an encounter is a great usage for this little gem.

20D: Nightmare Stalker
A little complex at first glance, but it's not hard to explain: you conjure a creature next to a target's space, and that creature lasts until you fail to Sustain the power, or the target is slain. If the target (and only the target gets this penalty) stands next to the creature, he takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls. Also, when the little guy is conjured, and on subsequent rounds when the target misses with an attack (which he will, thanks to everything here), you subject him to a Charisma vs. Will attack with the Psychic word that does a polite amount of damage and dazes him. You can also give the guy Minor Actions to sustain, at which point he can move 7 squares to dog the target's footsteps. Just make sure you know the thing only works against the target and no one else, and go to town.

Speaker of Xaos (Essentials: HOEC) - No Ability Score Devotion
(You must be trained in Arcana to take this path. This is not a class specific path.)

Strategy: Mix of control and DPR
Overall Rating: Black.  Usable by anyone, and decent for "normal" Warlocks, but for Element'locks, this is a blend of excellent features and powers that work exactly in your realm of abilities, even if two of them depend on very specific types of enemies. If your campaign even pretends to care about Elementals, if you're an Element'lock, or you have an easy way to make everything the element of your choice within this field, give this a chance: it's that good.

11th Level Feature: Xaos Action
When you spend an action point to make a cold, fire, lightning, or thunder attack, you can add another target within its range if it's a Melee or Ranged power. Some of your most dangerous hexes, oftentimes containing dominates or other sort of nasty effects, attack only one creature, and being able to attack two creatures at once with it opens up hilarious possibilities - especially as your necrotic/psychic/force/poison powers qualify for this with Elemental Affinity. Oh, and you can expand bursts and blasts instead if that's the attack you use. Sweet. Not the coolest thing about this feature, however.

11th Level Feature: Xaos Lore
This is one of those features I was talking about in the summary blurb - the bonus and penalty only ever apply to Elemental creatures, so this may never come up. Still, it's there.

16th Level Feature: Power of Xaos
Welcome to the Evocation School benefit done perfectly: all of your cold, fire, thunder, lightning, and elemental-keyword powers gain the true equivalent of Brutal 1. I believe this also applies to Warlock's Curse dice rolled as a product of those types of powers, so that's another feat saved. Love it.


11E: Elemental Durance
This and the Daily relies on you hitting an enemy with cold/fire/lightning/thunder powers, so these will never go to waste. On this one, you push an enemy one square, and you inflict some pretty good soft control, punishing it for moving on its next turn.

12EU: Repel Elements
Oh, don't get me wrong, this is a great little utility to crack open if you're surrounded by angry Genasi, but otherwise, this is almost completely useless, save for the close-range defense bonus against four types of damage. Shame you can't trade it away...

20D: Elemental Chains
So, if the effect of your original cold/fire/lightning/thunder attack wasn't nervewracking enough... why not add restrained and ongoing 15 damage to every target hit by the attack? And heck, you even get an immobilization effect to targets you missed! It's excellent control - just add water - and wicked awesome for Elemental'locks.

 

 

Racial Paragon Paths

 


There are a couple of Racial Paragon Paths I'd like to draw attention to:

1) Dragonborn: Ninefold Master. Gives your Breath weapon a very important property (the ability to designate it an Arcane Power that's also considered a Warlock power), and the benefits are defensive in nature. Great for Cha'locks or high INT Con'locks.

2) Shardmind: Gatekeeper. The powers are phenomenal, even if the 11th level features aren't. The level 12 utility is probably one of the best 12Us I've ever seen, and the two attack powers run off of Immediate Reactions and provide both great control and another chance to spice up your dmage.

3) Half-Elf: Half-Elf Polymath. An enhancement to your ability to steal At-Wills from other classes is great, but what really sells this path for me is the free, no-questions-asked, training in two skills of your choice. The Warlock is famous for having skills they should have had training in not being available to them (Diplomacy, Endurance, Stealth), and this is a prime way to get them while also gaining great combat ability.

4) Tiefling: Seer of Endings. Makes an alright Utility power you gain from the Gaze of Ruin feat something to fear, and you become maniacally accurate and able to toss out Vulnerability like no tomorrow.

5) Human: Adroit Explorer. Helps with your defenses, encounter powers, action points, and basically everything anyone loves about Strikers and would like to improve. The path requires no ability score devotion, so go wild. The Dragonborn path Mithral Arm carries similar properties and is just as good for them (especially with having one of the earliest replacements for Ethereal Sidestep with its 16th level feature).

Epic Destinies: God of the Mind


(Due to, ahm, slightly unfortunate circumstances, I will not be able to go over all aspects of the Warlock. This will be the part of the guide that takes the hit, as I am not good at judging EDs, considering how many of them have come out. However, I will point you again to Malkonnen's handbook, which has updated up to the two Demigod-esque Epic Destinies introduced in HOTFK/HOTFL. Here they are, explained better than I ever could.)

 

 

Items and Equipment: Armed and Dangerous

 

Implements and Superior Implements - The Hands of the Wicked

 

Before we get too much into popular items themselves, I wanted to take a little bit of space to go over Superior Implements. You gain access to these via the Superior Implement Training feat, and they give you extra properties on your favorite implements akin to weapon properties (like High Crit, Versatile, etc.)

For both the Superior Implement section and the popular options section, I'll be going over the options for six implements Warlocks may be interested in:


  • Rods and Wands

  • Staffs and Orbs

  • Daggers

  • Ki Focuses


  •  

Keywords
  • ACCURATE: Gain a +1 bonus to implement keyword attack rolls while using this implement.
  • DEADLY: Gain a +1/+2/+3 bonus to the damage rolls of implement keyword attack powers using this implement.
  • DISTANT: Increase the range of implement powers by 2. This does not affect the radii of Bursts and Blasts (but does affect the distance of where you can place the origin square of a ranged Burst).
  • EMPOWERED CRIT: Deal an extra 1d10/2d10/3d10 damage when you score a critical hit with an implement keyword attack.
  • ENERGIZED (damage): Gain a +2/+3/+4 bonus to implement keyword damage rolls that have the (damage) keyword.
  • FORCEFUL: Gain a +1 bonus to the distance you push, pull, or slide with an implement keyword attack you use with this implement.
  • SHIELDING: Gain a +1 shield bonus to AC and Reflex for the round if you hit with an implement keyword attack using this implement.
  • UNDENIABLE: Gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls against Will with implement attacks.
  • UNERRING: Like Undeniable, but against Reflex.
  • UNSTOPPABLE: Like Undeniable, but against Fortitude.

 

Superior Implements
(A quick note: Superior Implement properties never, ever apply to attacks that do not contain the Implement keyword. Keep that in mind as you select your Superior Implement and your powers.)

Rod
Accurate Rod (Accurate): The prime choice as it usually is for most implements. Attack bonuses are always fantastic, especially for Strikers.

Ashen Rod (Energized Fire, Unerring): A bonus to Reflex is one of the better choices, as it buffs your RBA, plus some solid support for Fire powers, some of which do also tend to hit Reflex.

Deathbone Rod (Energized Necrotic, Undeniable): Another good match-up. Though the Necrotic powers oftentimes do attack Fortitude, Will is another common one, and especially with Heroes of Shadow, you did gain a lot of Necrotic power options, so this has definitely been strengthened.

Defiant Rod (Energized Radiant, Shielding): Rod Expertise already gives you a shield bonus to AC and Reflex, and Energized Radiant just isn't enough of a benefit to put it over any of the others.

Wand
Accurate Wand (Accurate): The prime choice as it usually is for most implements. Attack bonuses are always fantastic, especially for Strikers.

Cinder Wand (Empowered Crit, Energized Fire): Perhaps slightly better than the Ashen Rod, though it's moreso if you tend more towards AOE powers than single-target ones, as otherwise you won't crit often enough for the damage to rise over Accurate. Still, a popular damage type plus crits that sting is excellent.

Dragontooth Wand (Deadly, Unerring): This combination buffs Eldritch Blast in both categories (attack and damage rolls), something very unique for a Superior Implement, and doesn't prejudice in buffing your other powers' damage rolls. Worth a second look.

Rowan Wand (Distant, Energized Lightning): You have very few Lightning hexes, and your best one is a Blast, making Distant meaningless. Distant's still not bad, especially for King'locks (and it's the only way a non-Eladrin can get the Distant property without pulling other shenanigans), but they have zero lightning hexes.

Staff
Accurate Staff (Accurate): The prime choice as it usually is for most implements. Attack bonuses are always fantastic, especially for Strikers.

Guardian Staff (Energized Force, Shielding): A bit wonky. Force isn't a very popular damage type, but it shows up now and again. Shielding will patch up your defenses somewhat, but it's still not one of your better options.

Mindwarp Staff (Distant, Energized Psychic): Oooh, now here's something. Psychic damage is extremely common amongst your powers, and Distant is splendid, especially for King'locks, whom also love Psychic damage.

Quickbeam Staff (Energized Thunder, Forceful): Mark of Storm + this staff = hilarity. You still have a lot of forced-movement powers, though, so don't worry if you don't use Thunder damage all that much.

Orb
Accurate Orb (Accurate): The prime choice as it usually is for most implements. Attack bonuses are always fantastic, especially for Strikers.

Crystal Orb (Energized Psychic, Undeniable): Pretty much the perfect combination for the more Controllerish of Warlocks, whom tend to use powers that fit this bill.

Greenstone Orb (Energized Acid, Unstoppable): An oddly decent choice for Dark'locks, since they have a couple of Acid powers, and a fair few of their powers target Fortitude. Everyone else can steer clear.

Petrified Orb (Energized Force, Forceful): Again, Force damage is not very common, but Forceful combines so beautifully with the Orb Expertise side benefit.

Dagger
Accurate Dagger (Accurate): The prime choice as it usually is for most implements. Attack bonuses are always fantastic, especially for Strikers.

Incendiary Dagger (Energized Fire, Unerring): The carbon copy of the Ashen Rod.

Lancing Dagger (Empowered Crit, Energized Lightning): This is much more awesome than you'd think at first glance. Lightning is an extremely rare damage type, but you can force it otherwise, using a Lightning Weapon Dagger. On top of which, your critical hits hit hard, and this time you have implements available at Paragon Tier that will give you an unnatural crit range (Jagged Weapon, Melegaunt's Darkblade), making that property much more powerful.

Resonating Dagger (Energized Thunder, Forceful): The carbon copy of Quickbeam Staff.

Ki Focus
Accurate Ki Focus (Accurate): The prime choice as it usually is for most implements. Attack bonuses are always fantastic, especially for Strikers.

Inexorable Ki Focus (Energized Force, Unstoppable): Two of the rarest conditions manifested in one implement. Much better for the Psionic class this was built for.

Iron Ki Focus (Deadly, Forceful): A bit of bite on all of your powers, and your forced movement also grows in power. Not bad at all.

Mighty Ki Focus (Empowered Crit, Unerring): Makes your Eldritch Blast accurate and sting, and passes along that benefit to the right powers. Awesome.

Mountain Ki Focus (Forceful, Shielding): Even though Shielding is here, take Iron Ki Focus. The amount of times a not-always-on extra point in AC and Reflex will matter is few. To be quite honest, though, the reason you're using a Ki Focus in the first place is probably because you're wielding a weapon that takes up both hands, so maybe consider this?

Serene Ki Focus (Energized Psychic, Undeniable): Carbon copy of Crystal Orb, though downgraded as Ki Focuses are not typically Controller implements. Still a fantastic choice.


From here on out, I'll be listing items that're at least Black in rating (and of those, ones that deserve mention), to minimize the size of this post.

Implements

Rods
Rod of Deadly Casting (2+): Cool little quasi-Brutal 1 property on a heavy crit die (d10). Could sometimes eclipse the d12 crit die that's so common at this level of enchantment.

Rod of Office (2+): Offhand. In a pinch, excellent for King'locks to get an important rider off (especially at high levels).

Rod of Smiting (2+), Ironscar Rod (3+): Works as a mace, which is a nice option for Eldritch Strikers who still want a Shield bonus from Rod Expertise without using another implement.

Rod of the Fickle Servant (2+): Much better at Epic tier with Vestige Mastery.

Rod of Avernus (3+): Offhand. Gives you one of the better benefits of the Hexer Paragon Path, approximately 13 levels earlier.

Rod of Corruption (3+): Offhand. In case your Pact Boon is useless to you when you trigger it, you can instead turn the enemy who just died into a source of a Close burst 5 autocurse. Amazing at the beginning of the encounter, but it'll quickly become unnecessary as the encounter winds down.

Rod of Malign Conveyance (3+): Offhand, requires maintenance. Much better at Epic, and with distance improvements. You attach great control to your critical hits.

Vicious Rod (3+): Offhand. Great crit die, and saves you a feat in increasing your Curse dice.

Bloodcurse Rod (4+): Offhand. Saves a feat, and does not remove your Curse, unlike Bloodied Boon.

Darkspiral Rod (4+): A very neat little boost to damage if you're in crowded encounters, and might entice you to keep your shield up for a long time.

Rod of the Dragonborn (4+): Your Dragonbreath forces all of your powers to copy its damage type(s). With how well you can control and add damage types to Dragonbreath, especially at Paragon, this is almost mandatory for Dragon'locks.

Rod of the Pactbinder (4+): Offhand. Should still work even if you later retrain the power away. Excellent if that's the case.

Rod of Reaving (5+): Nowhere near as good as it used to be, but still pretty solid, especially after Paragon gets underway.

Rod of Brutality (9+): Offhand, requires maintenance. One of the best offhand options available: gives the Brutal 1/2/3 property to your Curse dice.

Rod of Beguiling (10+): Fantastic for skill fiends (especially for Cha'locks), and the Daily power is suprisingly good.

Rod of Devilry (10+): Interesting option for Tieflings, giving them a nice source of accuracy and damage.

Torch of Misery (10+): Fire and Radiant (moreso the former) are common damage types for Warlocks, so this benefit will come up quite often. Plus, it's an Everburning Torch!

Arkhosian Scepter (12+): Offhand, Silver Dragon Regalia set. The set benefit is something Cha'locks will love, and as mentioned, it saves you a feat in its Daily power if you don't plan on using Dragonbreath terribly often.

Rod of Baleful Geas (12+): Offhand. A tad bit of control and extra damage 1/day as a free action.

Rod of the Hidden Star (13+): Offhand. The second daily on this power is sick, and at Epic it becomes ridiculous. Even more ridiculous if you took the Master of the Starry Path Paragon Path.

Spider Rod (13+): Dark'locks will flock to this Rod, but others will probably not even bother.

Rod of Stolen Starlight (17+): As long as you're willing to spend a minor action each turn to do so, you can deal Radiant damage instead of Poison or Necrotic damage with an attack. You also gain a 1 die boost to Curse damage against Undead. Dependant on your campaign, but very strong in an an undead-heavy setting.

Rod of the Bloodthorn (22+): Overkill for Tieflings, perhaps, but still a great benefit for all.

Rod of the Star Spawn (22+): Unnatural crit range, decent crit dice, and the ability to spend a healing surge when you score a critical hit. One of the best mainhand Rods in the game.

Rod of Ulban (25+): Offhand. All enemies under your Curse gain Vulnerable 10 Psychic. If you took the Mindbite Scorn feat, prepare for the slaughter.

Wands
Lightning Wand (3+): Those hankering for Lightning spells will find this to their liking.

Master's Wand of Eldritch Blast (3+): Make this a Dragontooth Wand, and you'll do some heavy damage with your Ranged Basic Attack.

Master's Wand of Eyebite (3+): A huge improvement to Eyebite, giving it a bonus that will always apply.

Master's Wand of Hellish Rebuke (3+): Adds some solid splash damage on the Rebuke punishment. However, the trigger for this wand must be from Rebuke punishing the enemy for damaging you, and for no other reason.

Master's Wand of Scorching Burst (3+): Warlocks with decent INT will love an Encounter AOE option that singes the poor, unlucky soul at the center of the burst.

Master's Wand of Eyes of the Vestige (4+): A bit more freedom in where you can place your extra Curse, and a small bump to Curse dice damage with EOTV.

Master's Wand of Spiteful Glamor (4+): Makes this power much better as a primer, allowing you to deal an extra die of Curse damage against a target at maximum hitpoints with Spiteful Glamor.

Master's Wand of Vicious Mockery (4+): Cha'locks might actually be interested in a 1/enc double-debuff.

Precise Wand of Shock Sphere (10+): Storm Scourge PPers will love having any extra Lightning options, even as a daily, especially one with two huge benefits on top of the power.

Wand of Thunderous Anguish (24+): Warlocks who even dare to concentrate on Thunder powers will be adding a great Leader-like benefit to their ally's attacks.

Wand of Allure (29): Conduct your orchestra from twice the distance away.

Staffs
(Gain proficiency in the Staff by either taking the Arcane Implement Proficiency or White Lotus Dueling Expertise feats, or by multiclassing into Invoker, Psion, Wizard, Sorcerer, or Druid.)

Aversion Staff (2+): Offhand. Insanely cheap, and yet provides such a wonderous benefit.

Defensive Staff (2+): Offhand. Another cheap item that gives a great defensive boost, this time a permanent +1 to your NADs.

Staff of Resilience (3+): Offhand. Another source of temp hitpoints for you Infernal'locks that like to go emo with your favorite powers.

Staff of Ruin (3+): One of the most popular staffs in the game. Just attacking with it helps you deal very solid damage. The crit die is also quite remarkable.

Staff of Sleep and Charm (3+): Great now, but at Paragon and Epic, you make some of your best powers ridiculously, stupidly accurate. The fact that this hasn't been errata'd scares me.

Staff of the War Mage (3+): For those that like to concentrate a bit on AOEs, this is splendid. Works incredibly well for all Dragonborn, whether or not their Dragonbreath is Arcane.

Battle Staff (4+): For Eldritch Strikers. This needs a little bit of preparation before it can get going, and requires you have no offhand implement, but unnatural crit range this early with one of your best At-Wills is worth something special.

Hellfire Staff (4+): The option to make all of your Close burst, Close blast, and melee attacks (here's looking at you, King'locks) deal Fire damage is pretty nice, and the critical hit effect, while containing no bonus dice, is fantastic for power recovery, especially if you concentrate on either of those two powers.

Staff of Forceful Rebuking (4+): Make it a Quickbeam Staff and go to town.

Staff of the Traveler (5+): Offhand. If you don't feel you need an offhand implement otherwise, this is a wonderful replacement for Ethereal Sidestep, though it won't get you out of grabs.

Staff of the Serpent (7+): While it provides a neat benefit to Eldritch Strikers who use a Staff to do their thwacking (as it's not item-typed damage), this also buffs the damage of Sorcerer-King powers used in Melee touch range, making King'locks very happy. However, careful against using this against Undead, as it's +1d6 Poison damage, not "1d6 extra poison damage."

Earthroot Staff (8+): If you prize Control more than damage, this will give you a lethal critical and a nice benefit to all your powers that immobilize, petrify, slow, or restrain.

Staff of Portals (14+): Forced teleportation on a critical (with dice, no less), and the ability to instill a mass friendly teleportation effect 1/day when you use a power with the Teleportation power? Now you're thinking with portals.

Queen's Staff (15+): Gifts for the Queen set. Only good for those who took the Storm Scourge PP, but adding a huge bonus to attack rolls against people that you hit with Eldritch Blast (using the feature on that Path to make it a lightning power), plus a boost to Lightning and Radiant damage should you go further down this set makes it a wonderful option.

Tempest Staff (15+): Armory of the Unvanquished set. A rather weird critical dice effect (you deal damage to everyone around you instead of the target?), but that and the second benefit make you absolutely brutal in close range should you crit.

Staff of Corrosion (18+): Staff of the Serpent, but now with a much improved damage type.

Staff of the Far Wanderer (22+): Offerings of Celestian set. The staff itself is rather lame, but it's the set benefit when you wear all four items that makes it incredible.

Destiny Staff (25+): Decent crit dice, and the ability to spend a healing surge when you slay an enemy can really help you get through a tough encounter.

Orbs
(Gain proficiency in the Orb by either taking the Arcane Implement Proficiency or White Lotus Dueling Expertise feats, or by multiclassing into Psion or Wizard.)

Orb of Forceful Magic (3+): Don't you love enchantments that perfectly mesh with their host's Expertise feat? And don't you also love it when a Superior Implement version of it also adds more to this? +3 to all forced movements with two feats and an enchantment is off-the-wall crazy, and highly recommended to those who want to concentrate in that field.

Orb of Frustrated Recovery (3+): Offhand. The main purpose of Orbs is to force saving throw failures. Here's one that'll boost the effectiveness of your ongoing damage powers.

Orb of Inevitable Continuance (3+): Offhand. Force an effect you really love to last just one more turn.

Orb of Insurmountable Force (3+): Offhand. A 1/enc Push equal to the enhancement bonus is a neat upgrade to your Controller abilities.

Orb of Mental Constitution (3+): Offhand. A +5 item bonus to Endurance checks at level 3 may even convince some Cha'locks to take a look, and Con'locks, especially those trouncing around Athas, will find this very appealing.

Orb of Nimble Thoughts (3+): Offhand. Worse than it used to be... and that's saying a lot. Now instead of an Intelligence modifier boost to your initiative, instead you gain the enhancement bonus to initiative. Still a great bonus, especially for a class that struggles to have a decent initiative modifier, and the Encounter power isn't bad at all.

Orb of Impenetrable Escape (6+): Offhand. Force a failed save, but now against anything you wish. No critical dice, however, so keep it in your offhand.

Orb of Spacial Contortion (12+): Becomes exponentially more powerful in regards of territory covered as you add squares to the radii of your favorite Blast attacks (a Blast 5 becomes a Close burst 3, a Blast 6 becomes a Close burst 4, etc).

Orb of Sudden Insanity (12+): Once per day, an enemy hit by you with a power that deals Psychic damage whallops a nearby creature that you choose. Interesting.

Orb of Indefatigable Concentration (13+): What a mouthful. With Heroes of Shadow, you've gained a lot more Sustain Minor zones and effects, and 1/day you can turn them into free action sustains for 3-6 turns.

Orb of Fickle Fate (14+): Go all schizophrenic with your Leader and Controller thirds of your personality.

Orb of the Usurper (23+): Great crit dice, but what if you don't want to deal damage? That's fine - once per day, dominate the target instead.

Daggers
(Gain proficiency in the Dagger by either taking the Arcane Implement Proficiency feat, or by multiclassing into Sorcerer or Swordmage.)

Goblin Totem (2+): Small casters will find this at the level of Staff of Ruin, and Pixies will pretty much never find an enemy against which this won't buff you.

Prime Shot Weapon (2+): A little bit of an extra benefit to a condition you always want to trigger is worthwhile as an enchantment.

Quicksilver Blade (2+): A marvelous bonus to initiative, especially for a class that typically has a terrible initiative bonus, and once per day you can take an extra move action when you score a critical hit.

Vicious Weapon (2+): d12 crit dice on a cheap weapon has got to be worth a penny or two.

Frost Weapon (3+): One of the cheapest elemental weapons around, and this has been given to so many characters due to the insane synergy it has with the Wintertouched and Lasting Frost feats.

Rhythm Blade (3+): Offhand. Even if you can't use Daggers as an implement, you need to seriously consider this: a boost to your shield bonus, even if it was originally zero, is superb, and combos wonderfully with the Rod Expertise benefit to give you the benefit of a heavy shield while never weighing you down.

Vanguard Weapon (3+): Using a Dagger for a weapon is not the worst idea in the world, as it is accurate and most of your dice will come from the Warlock's Curse anyway. Being able to deal +1d8 damage with Eldritch Strike should you use it on a charge is quite nice. Cha'locks will find the daily power to be a massive boon to their entire party.

Warsoul Weapon (3+): Warforged only, but they can use it very nicely, gaining a small boost to initative, and once per day can make Eldritch Strike into an Immediate Interrupt should an adjacent enemy shift.

Intensifying Weapon (4+): The preferred implement of choice for Dark'locks.

Weapon of Defense (4+): Resist 1 All as a property could mean the difference between life and death, even considering how small the amount might seem.

Flaming Weapon (5+): Like the Frost Weapon, except for Fire damage. However, it no longer adjusts powers that deal typed damage already, reducing its strength considerably.

Lightning Weapon (5+), Thunderbolt Weapon (13+): Like the Frost Weapon, except for Lightning damage. This pretty much solves every single problem with the Storm Scourge PP, and on top of that, making this a Lancing Dagger does beautiful things to your DPR.

Weapon of Speed (5+): The benefit of Quickened Spellcasting (though pigeonholed to Eldritch Blast), 16 levels early. That's something I like to call "good".

Cunning Weapon (8+): All attacks that're channeled through this weapon force the enemy to take a -2 penalty to saving throws against those attack's effects. Quite handy for the more Controllerish of you, or if you're more prone to dealing ongoing damage (Dark'locks?)

Force Weapon (8+): Like the Frost Weapon, except for Force damage. Having a problem with insubstantiality in your games? Take this, add the Inescapable Force feat, and no one will ever bother you again.

Incisive Dagger (9+), Mithrendain Steel Weapon (13+), Rubicant Blade (18+): Each boosts your teleport distance by 1 square (or, in the case of the Incisive Dagger, a number of squares equal to its enhancement bonus). That should sound important to you.

Blackshroud Weapon (10+): Notable about this enchantment is its critical dice. It's not damage, but temporary hitpoints that you gain. More fuel for Doom of Delban, perhaps?

Jagged Weapon (12+), Melegaunt's Darkblade (12+): Both items will give you an unnatural crit range. However, their extra critical damage is much different: the Jagged's is ongoing 10 (becomes ongoing 20 at Epic tier), while the Melegaunt's Darkblade deals 1d6 extra cold damage per plus. The Melegaunt's Darkblade is also in a Dungeon magazine, which might tip your DM away from letting you snatch it up, but either way, you'll be good to go.

Thundergod Weapon (13+): 1d6 extra damage on a charge. Worse than the Vanguard Weapon at Paragon, but at Epic, a +5 or higher version will deal 2d6 extra damage, which catapults it over.

Radiant Weapon (15+): Like the Frost Weapon, but with Radiant damage. And with an outstanding side benefit as well. If you take nothing else and you have access to Daggers as an implement, pick this up immediately.

Battlemaster's Weapon (24+): Once per day, regain the use of an encounter power. So simple, but so fun.

Ki Focuses
(Gain proficiency in the Ki Focus by multiclassing into Monk, Assassin, or Vampire.)

Envenomed Ki Focus (2+): Surprisingly, a lot of your powers do deal Poison damage, and this is a pretty nice way to buff their damage. They still won't be all that spectacular, but it's something.

Blazing Arc Ki Focus (3+): Eldritch Strike and all King'lock powers used in Melee touch range are affected by this, so if you're a Tiefling King'lock, this could actually be really cool.

Cascading Strikes Ki Focus (3+): A reroll in your back pocket for both your weapon and implement powers? Sure!

Rain of Hammers Ki Focus (3+): Autodamage is never bad (though you really need to be a Melee'lock to take advantage of this), and a minor-action attack once per day is also something you can look forward to.

Abduction Ki Focus (4+): Yes, this does turn Eldritch Strike into a Slide 2 power! Doesn't do too much else, and you'll be going seventeen different directions making it work with Polearm Momentum, but still, your MBA now carries accelerated Control that works on a charge.

Bloodthirsty Ki Focus (4+): A solid bonus to damage against bloodied enemies with either weapon or implement powers is awesome if you trend down that path.

Thunderfist Ki Focus (4+): Making your Eldritch Strike and King'lock powers used in Melee touch range deal Thunder damage instead of any other type has got to combo with something. Like, oh, I don't know, Mark of Storm?

Devastating Ki Focus (5+): Not-quite-Brutal 2 is kind of a weird benefit, but this makes powers that are d4-based surprisingly good (Falchions suddenly rock as well).

Forked Lightning Ki Focus (9+): Same as the Thunderfist, but Lightning instead of Thunder. You Storm Scourge King'melee'locks (I suppose they could exist) listening closely?

Embers of Black Flame Ki Focus (10+): All of your necrotic powers are now dual-typed as fire/necrotic (and the same for Fire powers), which is a great fix to the common problem of Necrotic resistance. It's expensive, and the daily benefit is useless, but the primary benefit is still something your powers desperately need.

 

Armor and Other Items



The armor section will reflect choices within the Leather armor field; those that must stick in Cloth will be fine with the same armors that Wizards use. WOTC assumes that a Warlock is not going to move out of Leather, so pretty much all of its support is thrown there.

Armor

Repulsion Armor (2+): Once per day for an entire encounter, you can completely deny an enemy moving next to you. This is something that a Warlock will absolutely lavish, especially the more fragile ones.

Armor of Sudden Recovery (3+): Turning ongoing damage (of any type) completely on its head and applying it to yourself as Regeneration can completely end encounters.

Runic Armor (3+): A bonus to Arcana and an untyped bonus to damage rolls when you spend your Second Wind (Dwarves land here) is great for a decently cheap enchantment.

Warmage's Uniform (3+): How about a monolith Leader-like benefit to a lucky ally when you hit with an Arcane power once per day?

Armor of Dark Majesty (4+): Pretty much the perfect Heroic Tier armor for you. You gain an item bonus to Bluff and Intimidate checks (kind of your two strongest Charisma-based skills), and an item bonus to defenses against everyone that's under your Curse. Which'll soon be the entire board. And also a daily power to throw a Curse on anyone within sight range. Melee'locks want this armor so badly, because the "best" armor down the line is slightly less useful to them.

Battle Harness (4+): You gain a power bonus(?!) to initiative, which only the Warlord class feature refuses to stack with, but the first property is a little bit less useful, since you have two handsless options for implements (Holy Symbol and Ki Focus) now. Still handy for the wonkier of builds.

Flowform Armor (4+): Immediately being able to make a save against an undesirable effect 1/enc is awesome, even if you can't spend Power Points to gain the buffed effect (and if you can, hoo boy).

Parchment Armor (4+): Turns out paper ain't bad at protecting you. Nor is it bad at buffing your attack bonuses as the armor scales (and the bonus can be applied after the roll is made, not before).

Deathcut Armor (5+): Awesome resistances, and a huge punishment for Cha'locks 1/day against an enemy hitting you with a melee attack.

Gloaming Armor (5+): An item bonus to Stealth, which is fascinating, but the Encounter power is kind of lame, and there are better items, especially in the Neck slot. This is also Rare, so good luck convincing your DM that you deserve this piece.

Shadowdance Armor (5+): If you don't use Staffs, this is a prime option for you, as you'll never provoke opportunity attacks from making Ranged or Area attacks.

Shared Suffering Armor (5+): Could be hilarious if you pawn your damage off to one enemy, then turn around and throw Fortune Binding at another foe to copy the effect over again and cancel yours.

Summoned Armor (6+): Completely social, and carries no mechanical bonus over regular Magic armor, but the RP aspect of this piece is phenomenal.

Irrefutable Armor (7+): I heard a lot of your attacks targeted Will. Want an insurance policy?

Shadow Warlock Armor (10+): Mentioned so often in this guide, but barely described. The effect is simple: when you gain concealment from your Shadow Walk class feature (and from no other effect), you gain Combat Advantage against all of your enemies subject to your Warlock's Curse. It's expensive, but your accuracy just shoots through the roof, and the effect is easy as hell to get.

Shadowflow Armor (13+): One of the best alternatives to Gloaming Armor. It's Uncommon instead of Rare, the Stealth bonus is untyped, and the Power is actually kind of handy in a pinch.

Armor of Night (14+): If you're absolutely stuck somewhere, being able to get out of a large crowd with concealment intact and not having to provoke opportunity attacks is a ticket you don't want to lose.

Armor of Scintillating Colors (14+): A bonus to two Charisma-based skills, and a Daily aura that'll make attacks nearby that target you fizzle and die half of the time. Niiiiiiice.

Neck Items

Amulet of Elegy (2+): Cheap (but has to scale), and especially for Orb users, punishes everyone heavily 1/day when they're inflicted with a save-ends effect.

Sustaining Cloak (2+): The ability to drop any sustaining actions (from Minor all the way up to Standard) to a Free action once per encounter is glorious, depending on your choice of items and powers.

Badge of the Berserker (2+): If you must chargespam... here's your jewel.

Necklace of Keys (3+): If you're delegated as the trap maestro, but your Thievery isn't 100% there, try using this neck item, or at least keep it in your pockets for a night on the town.

Periapt of Health (3+): Campaign dependant, but this gives you a big buffer against diseases.

Cloak of Distortion (4+): The number of erratas this item has survived numbers in the dozens - a permanent bonus that can go all the way up to +6 against attacks that originate more than 5 squares away from you makes Ranged-focused Warlocks drool.

Cloak of the Walking Wounded (4+): Beautiful for Dwarves, excellent for anyone else.

Amulet of Life (5+): As COTWW above, but expanded to all Healing Surges, and 1/enc.

Cape of the Mountebank (5+): Won't avoid the attack, but it'll whisk you out of trouble, refresh your Shadow Walk, and give you a neat accuracy boost to exact revenge next turn.

Deep-Pocket Cloak (7+): Sling a Bag of Holding around your neck, why don't you.

Elven Cloak (7+): This combined with Shadowflow Armor will solidify your Stealth score to a point where it's basically "fixed". Then again, if it was trained and you were DEX based in the first place, do you really need this?

Steadfast Amulet (8+): Protection against some terrible status effects, and should you still fail, you don't waste the power. Fantastic!

Talisman of Terror (12+): You do tend to use a lot of Fear powers, and a debuff to saving throws attached to them is quite nice. Not on the same league as the equivalency with Charm powers, but it's still something to consider.

Fleece of Renewal (13+): Aspect of the Ram set. Just one more piece, and you'll make Eldritch Strike both rather accurate on a charge, and make it a source of temp hitpoints when you do charge with it.

Assassin's Cloak (14+): Basically a +5 bonus to Stealth rolls, plus the Daily power is very defensive and based on Charisma.

Cloak of the Shadowthief (14+): Once per encounter, you can gain the benefit of your Shadow Warlock Armor, except you can use it off of any concealment, or even cover. Magnificent.

Cloak of the Stalking Shadow (14+): The Elven Cloak, but with a Daily power that just cannot compare with many other item dailies.

Cloak of Translocation (14+): Whenever you teleport, you gain a +2 untyped bonus to AC and Reflex. You do remember this is the very class that has an At-Will teleport, right?

Timeless Locket (14+): Once per day, gain a Standard Action instead of a Minor Action. Oh, and patch up your initiative while you're at it. A hundred times yes.

Tattered Cloak (19+): A mass attack denial (save ends) is awesome, but honestly, there are better cloaks out there.

Wyrmtouched Amulet (19+): Dragonborn only. Gives you a great defensive boost (which only grows in power the more damage types you add to it), and casting your Dragonbreath when you become bloodied is a brilliant boost to your damage.

Bralani Cloak (20+): Resist 15 Psychic, and a daily teleportation that juts you a long distance and allows you to fly for a turn? Shame it's so expensive...

Eldritch Medallion (22+): Eldritch Panoply set. The Daily power contained within's pretty good, but the set benefit manifests itself even with just one more item from this set, provided you don't mind spending Minor Actions to bamf again.

Scarab of Invulnerability (30): For one round, you are completely invulnerable to all damage once a day. Perhaps not quite necessary, since you have a lot of other panic buttons, but that's still a great Daily.

Arms Slot Items

Wrist Razors (Mundane): A special case. This item is open to enchantment as a Light Blade in the Arms slot - if you use a two-handed weapon for Eldritch Strike or any other attacks and still need an implement, why not have a Pact Blade enchanted Wrist Razor? An important note: Rhythm Blade Wrist Razors provide no bonus whatsoever, as enchanting it as an Arms slot weapon does not make it an offhand weapon for the purpose of its enchantment.

Bracers of Mighty Striking (2 / 12 / 22): Super cheap upgrade to Eldritch Strike, but does nothing for anything else.

Bracers of the Perfect Shot (3 / 13 / 23): How about a nice bump to Eldritch Blast instead?

Phylactery of Action (3 / 13 / 23): These kinds of benefits just don't manifest themselves a lot on Arms items, and being able to do it up to Stunned even at level 3 makes it a very cheap second-chance item that's worth investigating.

Bracers of Archery (6 / 16 / 26): If ever you're able to use a Bow or Crossbow as an implement (not impossible - Moonbow Dedicate much?), use this item. NOW.

Iron Armbands of Power (6 / 16 / 26): Works perfectly with Eldritch Strike and your King'lock powers when used in Melee touch range.

Warlock's Bracers (11): A much better use of your hard-earned 90 platinum. A +1 bonus to all defenses against enemies affected by your Curse. This is an item bonus (sorry, Armor of Dark Majesty wearers) but the Arms slot is always an iffy spot for a Warlock, and this is probably your best option.

Bracelet of the Radiant Storm (13): Gifts for the Queen set. Decent defenses (though then again, what really attacks with Radiant powers?), and for Lightning and Radiant blasters, the set bonus manifests itself with just one more item (which will probably be the Ring of the Radiant Storm).

Trollhide Bracers (19): In a bit of a tiff? Pop these babies open and enjoy some great healing!

Boots and Feet Items

Acrobat Boots (2): One of the simplest items in the game, and yet one of my all-time favorites. Incredibly cheap, incredibly handy, and just all-around amazing for just about everyone.

Boots of Adept Charging (2): Yea, I hear you, chargelovers. You want superduper Eldritch Strike? Here's another piece of the puzzle.

Boots of Stealth (3 / 13 / 23), Sandals of Precise Stepping (6): If your Armor and Neck item are currently occupied by... well... non-Stealth armors, here's a decent way to patch it all up.

Boots of Elvenkind (7 / 17 / 27): Just like the Boots of Stealth, but contains an autohidden Daily power. Now that's pretty darn nice.

Boots of Eagerness (9): Because there's absolutely nothing stupid or broken about being able to use Ethereal Sidestep twice in one turn, is there?

Boots of Striding (9), Shadowdancer's Boots (12): Something for Dwarves and Gnomes to seriously consider, since they want to be as mobile as possible, and even one square lower than their non-Elf counterparts is something to worry about.

Avalanche Boots (10): Did we seriously have to glue on a push-enhancer to Boots of Adept Charging? Did we really have to?

Spark Slippers (16): If you're concerned about Radiant DPR than you are about Lightning powers (and honestly, who could blame you?) here's a fantastic way for a Cha'lock to get the gravy train going with the Gifts of the Queen set bonuses.

Boots of Caiphon (22): Points of the Constellation set. A +2 bonus to Reflex (to be fair, probably not your dump defense), and an At-Will Minor Action move option that damages you (yes, Hellish Rebuke users, I'm looking right in your direction), and a great set bonus all together make for a wonderful little item.

Zephyr Boots (24): Fly, little Warlock, fly!

Boots of Teleportation (28): Or you could just teleport everywhere. This completely makes Ethereal Sidestep obsolete (finally), and you can grab a new utility for once.

Gloves and Hand Items

Burglar's Gloves (1): Not the worst way to spend 360 GP. You do have the option to train in Thievery, after all.

Gauntlets of Blood (4 / 14 / 24): If you don't mind keeping track of numbers and statistics and revel in static damage modifiers, grab these and don't let go.

Resplendent Gloves
(5 / 15 / 25): Untyped damage added onto any power you use that targets Will? Hard competition with your level 8 item, but man, that's beautiful.

Gloves of Eldritch Admixture
(8 / 18 / 28): This little item gives you three wonderful ways to punch Vulnerabilities. The Encounter power is certainly powerful, but actually scales rather poorly, so just stick to the Level 8 version. You'll be fine.

Antipathy Gloves (10): A sphere of friendly difficult terrain (sort of) around you might just be enough to get enemies off of your back and onto someone else's.

Strikebacks (10): Everyone loves Immediate Reaction attacks. Everyone really loves it when they can do it with Warlock powers. Even more people love doing it with Eldritch Strike. Why not do it every encounter on a rather common trigger?

Hands of Hadar (26): Points of the Constellation set. Two extra dice of Curse damage when an enemy grants combat advantage to you (ahem). And it feeds your set bonus? It used to be kind of mediocre when Curses were limited to 1/round, but now that they're 1/turn, there is no longer any competition.

Head Slot Items

Eagle Eye Goggles (2 / 12 / 22): If you're stuck with Eldritch Blast as your basic attack, you might as well go all out and make it stupidly accurate.

Circlet of Second Chances (3): That's right. This is a level three item. If you didn't have other head items clamoring for your attention, I wouldn't recommend anything else, to be quite honest.

Casque of Tactics (4 / 14 / 24): Gain a really good bonus to initative, and if the check still sucks... borrow someone else's 1/day!

Skull Mask (5 / 15 / 25): Very easy penalty application for your Fear effects, but the scaling of the power only matters if you encounter a lot of undead in your adventures.

Horned Helm (6 / 16 / 26): +1d6/2d6/3d6 to damage on a charge. Are you happy, now?

Headband of Intellect (10 / 20 / 30): Don't bother scaling up this item. Just buy the level 10 version and enjoy complete dominance over your enemies with all of your Psychic powers.

Circlet of Arkhosia (14): Silver Dragon Regalia set. Yet another opportunity to shrug off wretched effects off your person, and this time you get another chance at the end of your turn.

Crown of the Brilliant Sun (14): Utterly, stupidly, horribly broken for your Invoker cousin. Much less useful for you, but it still feeds into Gifts of the Queen, so that's something.

Goggles of Night (14): BAM, darkvision. That simple.

Ioun Stone of Vigor (21), Ioun Stone of Allure (21): Whichever one of these apply to you, take serious consideration into snatching one up. The Charisma one is stupidly broken, but the Constitution one is still great, especially in high-Endurance environments.

Eye of Awareness (23): +5 item bonus to initiative, +2 to Will. You need this item if you have no other way to gain initiative.

Crown of Victory (29): Stockpile those Action Points, gents... because now you can spend two in one encounter.

Rings

Eladrin Ring of Passage (14): Eladrins (already a stellar Warlock race) increase the distance of any teleport they use by 2 squares. Everyone else only adds 1 square. Still a solid benefit either way, and the cornerstone of teleportation optimization.

Iron Ring of the Dwarf Lords (14): Con'locks won't care at all, but until Level 21 rolls around, Cha'locks will love any way of gaining a bit of resilience.

Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (15): Even more items to make Dragonborn awesome. Even though the bonuses to Close attacks are replicated by items you'd use as implements, it frees it up somewhat if you concentrate on Blast attacks, and the Daily power, while it applies best to Dragonborn, gives a benefit to anyone who even dares to stray in close.

War Ring (16): Add a die of damage to critical dice rolls on weapon or implement attacks when you score a critical hit. Better than Ring of Giants due to not being restricted on the type of attack used, and actually gives you a very small boost to damage if your implement normally doesn't add any damage on a crit.

Ring of the Radiant Storm (17): The best item by far out of the entire Gifts for the Queen set: you roll damage rolls for Radiant and Lightning powers twice, using either result. Students of Caiphon are already hopping like mad, but if you ever care about Lightning or Radiant DPR, here's a fantastic option for you.

Ring of Ramming (18): A bit of a buff to pushing, but the daily quickly grows obsolete.

Ring of Sorrows (18): You, and everyone around you, become much more accurate with Fear attacks. Ardents will adore you, that's for sure.

Ring of Action Reversal (20): Another source of an item bonus to initative. The Daily power on this Ring's quite splendid as well.

Ring of Dimensional Escape (20): Add yet another square of distance to any teleportation power.

Ring of Tenacious Will (21): Cha'locks take this ring as soon as they can get their grubby mitts on it, as it makes you just as durable as Con'locks, and Infernal Cha'locks will love the fact that their typical strategies will be patched up much more easily.

Ring of Traded Knowledge (21): Not a human, but want Echoing Dirge really badly? There's a ring for that. And wow, is that Daily Power awesome after a milestone.

Ring of Wizardry (21): A substantial boost to Arcana, and more power recovery for those long, dark days.

Opal Ring of Remembrance (29): If you possess any Intelligence-based At-Will whatsoever, pick up this Ring and do not let go of it. Also, more power recovery, because we needed more of that.

Ring of Free Time (29): Free time is right - after a milestone, you'll have all the freedom you want with your new Minor Action that doesn't have to be spent on Cursing targets! Also, Resist 5 All as a property.

Waist Items

Belt of Sonnlinor Righteousness (6 / 16 / 26): Normally not all that impressive, since enemies don't typically attack downed targets, but this makes Revenants stupidly overpowered.

Cincture of the Githzerai (10): If you're a Cha'lock, your Fortitude is going to be awful - so instead, have them hit your much hardier Will!

Diamond Cincture (10 / 20 / 30): Alternatively, give yourself a great boost to Fortitude while giving you 1, 2, or 3 free healing surge uses a day.

Belt of Raging Endurance (19): Just like the Iron Ring of the Dwarf Lords, this will help Cha'locks be a bit more healthy, though that advantage will go away in two short levels.

Sash of Regeneration (28): Or just give yourself Regeneration 5 permanently, at least while you're bloodied. You don't have a lot of choices as a Warlock for Waist items, so why not?

Character Feats: Savor Every Single Taste You Get

 


Finally, the feats. Again, to consolidate the post (since there's a billion and one feats available) I'll be sorting them into categories, and then only highlighting feats that're Black or higher, and notable.

Class Feats

Heroic Tier

Bloodied Boon: Gain the benefit of your Pact Boon whenever a Cursed enemy falls below bloodied value, but the curse is removed.  Honestly, the Curse being removed is not the biggest detriment in the world (and with some Rods and effects, actually makes it better), and being able to basically double the instances of your Curse without needing an item to do so is grand.

Cursed Shot: Ignore adjacent(!), disabled, and incapacitated allies when determining Prime Shot qualification. Excellent.

Killing Curse: Transform your Curse dice from d6s to d8s. Nowadays a bit outdated, since items and other feats can replicate this, and not really worth taking anyways until you start adding more dice to your Curse.

Prolonged Curse: Add the amount of Curse dice you possess to all ongoing damage you inflict with Warlock powers when you roll your Curse dice. Very important for Dark'locks, but others probably won't care.

Sacrifice to Caiphon: Requires 13 Constitution. Being able to recover powers for such a tiny cost, especially at low levels, is fantastic for you.

Starfire Womb: Requires 13 Charisma. If you deal damage with a Radiant or Fear power, immediately roll a saving throw. With the right powers, you can pretty much keep any effect at bay.

Paragon Tier

Beseech Patron: You automatically gain your Pact Boon's benefit when you use an Action Point to use an Arcane Power.  Actually quite cool, but the rating weighs on several factors - namely what Pact you follow (Vestige being the strongest with this) and if you can make the feat room for an Action Point benefit that won't always be a game-changer.

Called Shot: A great jolt to your damage if you succeed on gaining Prime Shot. Melee'locks with Prime Punisher will pretty much always get this damage.

Curse of the Blind Stars: Not exclusive to the Star Pact. You can forgo Curse dice to blind the target of an Encounter or Daily Radiant Warlock power. Could be handy if the situation calls for it and DPR is peachy otherwise.

Flitting Shadows: You can forgo Curse dice, one die at a time, to teleport the target of an Encounter or Daily power 3 squares per die sacrificed. Once you start adding dice to your Curse outside of the regular scaling, this can become Control the likes of which no other class can replicate.

Prime Punisher: You now gain your Prime Shot bonus on melee attacks (this includes King'lock powers used in Melee touch range) against an enemy that has no other allies adjacent to it. Take Cunning Stalker before this, but this is still a great fix for Melee'locks.

Protective Hex: Whether or not you want to focus on a Psychic theme and take the debuffing farther with feats like Psychic Lock, this can really screw up an enemy's ability to deal damage on the battlefield. It's noteworthy to mention that you do not have to deal Curse damage on any of your targets for this to work - they just need to be Cursed and hit by your attacks.

Relentless Curse: As soon as a Cursed enemy falls, immediately use your Warlock's Curse as a free action. If your closest enemy isn't Cursed, this'll help spread your Curse.

Shared Pact: A ton of neat tricks you can pull with this. King'locks can't do crap, but Fey'locks can reposition allies; Infernal'locks can add a buffer to their Defender; and Star'locks can pass along a substantial boost to attack rolls. Dark'locks and Element'locks technically can benefit from this, but they can only funnel their Boons to other Warlocks that share their Pact. There's a lot to be said for it being used by Vestige'locks though, as their pact boons are some of the most varied out of all of the pacts, and quite a few would be amazing in the hands of other party members (automatic cover, insubstantiality, etc).

Twofold Curse: Expedite the Cursing process at Paragon by both adding more targets to apply Curses to, and doubling the amount of Curses you apply.

Twofold Pact: Add another Pact to your repertoire. Qualify for the riders of twice as many hexes, and gain a new At-Will, a new Boon option, extra Paragon Path options if you take this right at 11th level, and so, so much more. 
NOTE: You gain nothing from Twofolding into the Elemental Pact at the time of this writing, as your Pact Boon relies on you having a feature that you don't gain, the At-Will power is subpar, and you qualify for no extra feats.

Epic Tier

Cursed Spells: Add your Intelligence modifier to Curse dice. Pretty much mandatory for you guys that even bother to go with INT as secondary... which should be 99% of you.

Warding Curse: Your defenses are now incredibly solid, and perhaps at the level of Defenders at this point.

Warlock Implement Expertise: Requires 17 Charisma, 17 Constitution. The requirements are a little bit askew, and rather require that you devote more attention than is necessary to your tertiary, but it's not exactly difficult. You'll gain an unnatural crit range with all Rods and Wands, so if you go more the traditionalist route with your tools of choice (especially if you prefer Wands), you'll want to snatch up this feat as soon as possible.

Pact-Specific

Dark Pact

Yorgrix's Brutality (Heroic): Now here's a neat little option for Dark'locks: deal extra untyped Poison damage against any target sullied by any ongoing damage. Ongoing damage is one of your prime strategies, and this will make it shine, especially combined with Prolonged Curse.

Demonweb Spiral (Paragon): Add immobilization to your Darkspiral Aura punishment, which will help it stay useful through the later tiers.

Improved Darkspiral Aura (Paragon): While the damage bonus won't be too significant, it's still necessary for you if ever you want to cross the 12 damage threshold more than once a century.

Fey Pact

Eochaid's Lure (Heroic): Add some competent control to one of the least useful Pact Boons around.

Infernal Pact

Hellfire Hex (Paragon): Extra ongoing fire damage to a target you roll Curse dice against with an Encounter or Daily power. Usually not that grand, but Dark'locks may actually be interested in this, since it's a damage type they almost never inflict (and if they do, the amount rises anyway) and ongoing damage is a prime aspect of the Pact.

Sorcerer-King Pact

Mindbite Scorn (Heroic): An extra die of Curse damage, done in Psychic damage, with absolutely no questions asked. Absolutely flawless.

King's Wrath (Paragon): So, instead of regaining your Fell Might, you can instead deal automatic Constitution or Charisma modifier psychic damage? Quite nice, but there are some instances a new Fell Might would be better. Still, it's usable if you never spent your Fell Might, so that's something.

Sorcerer-King Templar Feats: Explained in greater detail below.

Lesser Pact
(Each of these feats give you a +2 feat bonus to a certain skill, and gives you an alternative benefit to dealing extra damage with Hand of Blight when you spend your Fell Might to augment it. You may only have one of these feats.)

Balican Praetor: Being able to instill Vulnerability more than once per encounter at this magnitude works very well for your Leader off-role, even though it gets chipped away on each hit.

Draji Aspirant: A small bonus to Intimidate (!), and an amazing augment that might provoke a myriad of opportunity attacks if your allies are oriented well enough (it does have to take the safest route).

Favored of Raam: Honestly one of the weaker ones - at this point, you're just copying Eyebite and adding a die size to it. Not that thrilled about it.

Nibenese Bride: Hmm... near At-Will weaken. That's certainly not terrible.

Spirit Talker of Lalali-Puy: One of the worst for skill bonuses, but being able to airmail enemies to willing allies as pretty much a Pact Boon is cool.

Tyrian Bureaucrat: An augment that can rub shoulders with the likes of Draji Aspirant. This is excellent, multi-use Control.

Yellow Cloak of Urik: A bit more situational, but it's still immobilization with that ease of application.

Greater Pact
(These feats give you an additional benefit when you trigger your Pact Boon to regain your Fell Might, and gives you additional powers to spend your Fell Might on, giving them an additional benefit should they hit and allowing them to be Charisma-based instead of Constitution-based should it apply; they can still be Constitution-based, of course. Keep in mind: it must be you that triggers your Pact Boon, not anyone else. You may only have one of these feats.)

Champion of Raam: Requires Favored of Raam. The benefit is rather unnecessary (though it will refresh Shadow Walk), but the powers you can spend your Fell Might on mesh quite nicely with the powers associated with it. Requires a bit of a daredevil approach to make it work, but it's not bad.

Balican High Praetor: Requires Balican Praetor. A very strange, but potentially handy benefit if the encounter is still young. This becomes fantastic if the next ally in the initiative order is an AOE specialist, as each target will be subject to your curse (or take an enormous amount of extra damage). The power augmentations, and the powers associated with them, however, just don't catch my eye in terms of how they mesh.

Draji DevoteeRequires Draji Aspirant. The Pact Boon addition is incredibly flat, and may never come up. It's got its fringe benefits, but it's lackluster otherwise. Spending your Fell Might to trigger an AOE penalty to attack rolls and adding the Fear keyword is certainly a much better benefit, and improves the usage of a couple of awful powers that sneaked their way onto the list.

Nibenese Favored Wife: Requires Nibenese Bride. Brutal in Epic if you decide to use a Rod of Ulban. Insubstantiality on some very mediocre powers, however, is not something you'd want to spend your Fell Might on - though it might be worthwhile to trip your new benefit.

Spirit Master of Lalali-Puy: Requires Spirit Talker of Lalali-Puy. Helps this become one of the best combinations of Lesser and Greater Pacts. Not only do you gain a mass slide as part of regaining a Fell Might, you also force melee basic attacks with six of your encounter power options, some of which are quite nice.

Tyrian Ascendant: Requires Tyrian Bureaucrat. A massive swath of attack roll penalties are the saving grace of a rather blasé Fell Might benefit on some rather bad powers.

Golden Lion of Urik: Requires Yellow Cloak of Urik. Shame they can choose between prone and weakened - mass Weakening would have been extraordinary. I do, however, like the Fell Might option with the powers its associated with, since it's potentially multiple instances of being able to grant slightly buffed melee basic attacks to your allies.


Star Pact

Improved Fate of the Void (Heroic): Pretty much required if you belong to this pact, as it literally doubles how well your Boon affects your stats. It also makes one of your Paragon Paths into a thing of beauty.

Ulban's Flare (Heroic): Takes a rather lame at-will and makes it into something to truly fear, slapping extra damage and an attack roll debuff on top of the soft control.

Veil of Waking Dreams (Paragon): Akin to Hellfire Hex, but dazes (save ends) instead of inflicting ongoing fire damage. And should the power used already inflict a save-ends daze, add some ongoing psychic damage on top of that. Pretty nice at Paragon, but jumps up so far in Epic due to Rod of Ulban.

Vestige Pact

Vestige Adept (Heroic): If your days are demanding enough that you're dropping Dailies left and right, this is something to perhaps look up. Otherwise, don't worry about it too much.

 

Vestige of Vistan (Heroic): Requires Vistani Heritage bloodline. This guide is almost 3 1/2 years old; I've made it clear the Vestige Pact is my favorite; and yet I have never noticed this feat before. And boy, did I miss a lot: the baseline feat, open to all humanoids, gives you a pretty neat Charm-keyword Encounter power that grants you CA and dissuades enemy movement, and with this feat, you gain a new primary vestige that allows you to slide a Cursed enemy equal to your INT modifier as a Pact Boon, and adds a 1 square slide to Eye of the Vestige. The only reason it's not Gold is because it takes a feat to get this and forces you into a bloodline, which may have RP repercussions, but otherwise? What a powerhouse.


Vestige Versatility (Paragon): Rather mediocre in Paragon, since you don't have access to a feat that pretty much changes the entire scope of the pact in Vestige Mastery. Once you do, however, having two Vestiges at once is unquestionable in its power.

Vestige Mastery (Epic): As hinted, this changes everything. You can declare any of your Daily Vestiges to be your primary Vestige - basically, given to you permanently. Vestige of Amaan, Vestige of the Onyx Queen, and more (especially if you took Shared Pact) are worth putting in your primary slot, and you can finally say goodbye to King Elidyr, as he'll never show up again. Combines so beautifully with Vestige Versatility it's not even funny.


Generic Feats

Heroic Tier

Arcane Implement Proficiency: Since D402 was finalized, this is only really useful if you want to gain proficiency in Heavy Blades or Light Blades as an implement, as Staffs and Orbs have now been covered by White Lotus Dueling Expertise.

Bloodthirsty Mien: If you care at all about Intimidate, especially in combat, here's a neat little option for you - a critical hit scored gives you a +5 bonus to Intimidate for the rest of the encounter.

Cunning Stalker: The condition to gain CA with this feat is a lot more common than you'd think, and this works for all of your attacks - melee, ranged, or AOE.

Deadly Draw: If you're in a bit of a sticky situation with accuracy and you've got Eldritch Strike, this is pretty much permanent combat advantage as long as you keep hitting.

Distant Advantage: Alternatively, any enemies flanked by your allies grant combat advantage to you if you use Ranged and AOE attacks against them.

Dual Implement Spellcaster: A huge bonus to damage rolls, especially for a class that likes to use two implements for a property's sake. Don't take it until about 8th or 10th level, however.

Expertise Feats: Required as a system math fix. Since there's a bajillion choices for you here, especially since D402 came out, a quick rundown of your options:

Expertise Feats

Ki Focus Expertise: +1/+2/+3 feat bonus to implement attack rolls and weapon attack rolls that you make with a Ki Focus or a Ki Focused weapon. You also gain a bonus to damage rolls (same tiered amounts) against bloodied foes, which is a prime incentive to think about using such an implement.

Moonbow Dedicate: Requires worshipping Sehanine, Weapon Proficiency (Shortbow). Gives you proficiency in the Shortbow as an Arcane and Divine implement, and to supplement this, gain a +1/+2/+3 feat bonus to the attack and damage rolls of weapon and implement attacks made with a Shortbow.

Orb Expertise: +1/+2/+3 feat bonus to implement attack rolls with an Orb, and a one-square buff to forced movement you inflict with an attack projected through your Orb.

Rod Expertise: +1/+2/+3 feat bonus to implement attack rolls with a Rod, and a +1 shield bonus to AC and Reflex. Great patchup to your defenses, and works well with a Rhythm Blade Dagger in the offhand.

Staff Expertise: +1/+2/+3 feat bonus to implement and weapon attack rolls with a Staff, and your Staff counts as a Reach 2 weapon for melee weapon attacks. It also prevents you from being subjected to opportunity attacks when you cast a Ranged or Area attack.

Versatile Expertise: +1/+2/+3 feat bonus to the attack rolls (not limited to either weapon or implement attack rolls) of two choices amongst the weapon and implement categories. The December 2011 errata changed this to scale properly (1/11/21), which makes this much more appetizing.

Wand Expertise: +1/+2/+3 feat bonus to implement attack rolls with a Wand, and ignores all cover when attacking enemies.

War Wizard's Expertise: +1/+2/+3 feat bonus to all Arcane keyword and basic attack attack rolls made with a Heavy or Light Blade, and combined with War Wizardry in Paragon (yes, the two penalties stack) your attacks against your allies pretty much automiss.

White Lotus Dueling Expertise: +1/+2/+3 feat bonus to all Arcane keyword and basic attack attack rolls - and automatic proficiency in the Staff or Orb. Frees up your MC slot if you favor either implement, which is big for many of you.

Hidden Sniper: If you have any semblance of decent mobility, this may even free up your Armor slot. Automatic CA if you're partially concealed is marvelous for you.

Implement Focus: Pick an implement, any implement... and gain a feat bonus to damage rolls with it. Not rated Gold due to the myriad alternatives available, but otherwise, damage is what you do - so do it better.

Improved Defenses: Yet another math fix. Take it in mid-Paragon at the absolute latest.

Improved Initiative: There's no doubt in my mind you'll want this feat, but retrain it out at Epic for Superior Initiative.

Quick Draw: A bit of action economy if you ever need to switch implements or weapons, and as a side effect, gain a small feat bonus to initiative. You need every point you can get.

Ritual Caster: You can master and perform rituals of your level or lower. Considering your propensity for the Arcana and Religion skills, and the fact you actually have some nice feats to help with your Rituals (Dark Thaumaturgy, Arcane Ritualist), if no one else in your party can use Rituals, give this a shot.

Superior Fortitude: Requires 15 Strength OR 15 Constitution. +2/+3/+4 feat bonus to Fortitude, and a 3/6/9-point Resist All to ongoing damage. May not always come up, but this is one of the best ways to protect yourself against ongoing damage.

Superior Will: Requires 15 Wisdom OR 15 Charisma. +2/+3/+4 feat bonus to Will, and an automatic saving throw against any dazing or stunning effect on you when your turn starts, even if the effect wasn't a save-ends effect. Cha'locks will love this feat, but Con'locks will want to stake out this feat when their Charisma climbs to 15, because they're less likely to concentrate on being able to stave off debilitating effects such as these.

Sword of Hestavar: Requires worshipping Erathis. The deity requirement might throw you off, but if you're a Warlock who likes to partake a little bit in a Leadership role, can reliably gain combat advantage, and wants to wade in the front lines a little bit (or have more than one Ranged ally), this is a cool way to throw in some extra DPR for your friends.

Vicious Advantage, World Serpent's Grasp: You tend to slow or immobilize targets quite often, sometimes a lot at a time. Get rewarded for that.

White Lotus: A large variety of feats here for you that roll off of your at-will Arcane attacks. Especially look at the Riposte and Master Riposte (Paragon) varieties, and see which ones best collaborate with your strategies.

Wintertouched, Lasting Frost (Paragon): The two pieces of the puzzle for cold optimizers, the second being much more valuable than the latter. After Lasting Frost's nerf, the strategy of always-on Combat Advantage using it with Wintertouched is really not necessary anymore, especially due to the fact that Warlocks are pretty much second only to Rogues in terms of gaining Combat Advantage anyway; honestly, you won't be too badly off if you forget Wintertouched and just pick up Lasting Frost.

Paragon Tier

Arcane Admixture: Love your at-will, but wish it did a certain type of damage? You Storm Scourgers need to add Lightning to anything? Now you can slap on any one of five different damage types onto your favorite power!

Danger Sense: Being able to roll twice for initiative is one way to fix your problem, but you'll still need at least a little help with the modifier before then.

Luck of the Gods: If you tend to use AOEs a lot, the number of d20s you'll be rolling in an encounter will pretty much keep you clean and healthy as the day goes on.

Psychic Lock: Every Psychic-keyword power you possess also gains a rider effect of debuffing the next attack roll the target makes on its next turn by 2. Very cool, but exquisite for Nightmare Weavers, whom work with attack roll debuffs and have powers that both deal Psychic damage.

Reserve Maneuver: Absolutely necessary if your PP's 11E blows chunks (and many Warlock paths have dead 11Es).

Resounding Thunder: If you even pretend to care about Thunder damage, this is one of the best ways to support the damage type. Expanding burst and blast radii by 1 is always beautiful.

War Wizardry: The only feat in game that penalizes you and doesn't directly give you a benefit... and yet is one of your best feats. You take a massive penalty to attack rolls and damage against your allies with Arcane powers, and this will allow you much more freedom to place AOEs than before. Just be careful, though... it doesn't do anything about status effects. Combine with War Wizard's Expertise to inflict a -10 penalty on all of your attacks against your allies for even more funsies.

Epic Tier

Bow Mastery: If you have Moonbow Dedicate, here's a way to get an unnatural crit range with all your ranged attacks using your Bow, implement or otherwise, without any prerequisites other than being 21st level. Glorious.

Epic Fortitude / Reflexes / Will: Depending on your NAD status, you may need one of these feats (most likely Fortitude), and the bonus that you gain is untyped.

Explosive Spellcasting: Blow up the world, and on a crit, roll your dice against any target you wish. Really helps if you crit a minion but have other prime targets in your carpet.

Font of Radiance: A very fun rider on your Radiant powers should you crit, giving you a neat source of damage for the target of your crit and any sad sap that wanders too close to him.

Quickened Spellcasting: Considering how small the dice tend to be on your at-wills, and the fact that you can't double up on Curse dice, this isn't quite as amazing as it is for your Wizard and Sorcerer cousins, who can obliterate the scene with a 1/enc minor action AOE. Still, the availability of minor action attacks is what make Strikers tick, and once per encounter, you can channel your inner Ranger.

Rapid Regeneration: For Con'locks, this makes any source of Regeneration you possess horribly wrong, and is another source of fuel for powers like Doom of Delban.

Trusted Spellcasting: A miss option for your favorite encounter power is undeniably cool, especially ones that are large-radius AOEs (Cursegrind in particular).

Racial Feats

Dragonborn

Adaptable Breath (Heroic): This should allow you to adjust the damage types of your own powers between your old choice of your breath damage keyword and your new one, should you use a Rod of the Dragonborn; and the feat is rated as such.

Bolstering Breath (Heroic): You're touted as evil, but you can make sure you don't come off that way if your friends keep getting in your grill. Plus, let your breath provide a neat little buff in any case.

Draconic Spellcaster (Heroic): Two feats smushed into one... if you use a Rod of the Dragonborn. It also scales the "old way" (1st/15th/25th levels), so be careful about that. This is required for the Ninefold Master Paragon Path.

Enlarged Dragonbreath (Heroic), Hurl Breath (Heroic): Two neat options for strengthening your field of presence on the battlefield with your Racial power.

Powerful Breath (Heroic): Cha'locks, take this feat. You absolutely need it.

Empowered Dragonbreath (Paragon): You love your Dragonbreath, don't you? Give it the boost it deserves.

Draconic Triumph (Epic): On quite a common trigger for you (killing an enemy), get your Dragonbreath back. A multi-encounter Minor Action is something you kind of like as a Striker, and here's the best way for you to get it.

Eladrin

Fey Step (Heroic): A prime use for your Racial Power, though falls a little out of favor once you get extra teleports.


Gifted Death Dealer (Heroic): Requires Eldritch Blast. Unabashed extra damage with your RBA equal to your Intelligence modifier is fantastic, and makes the power amazing for you. Unfortunately for Eladrin Dark'locks, it'll pretty much wipe away the usefulness of Spiteful Glamor, so...

Twist the Arcane Fabric (Heroic): Gain a bit of insurance with your AOEs. War Wizardry will cover this well enough, though.

Fey Shift (Epic): Requires Fey origin. Teleport 2 as a move action option completely obsoletes Ethereal Sidestep, which is something that's very important to you. Hell, teleporting at will should be important enough.


Half-Elf

Defending Dabbler (Heroic): Add a rather backwards source of Control to your Dilettante power.

Valenar Weapon Training (Heroic): While having a Double Scimitar is rather useless, and a Scimitar isn't exactly prime implement material, a Falchion isn't a terrible way to go for a Melee'lock, and the option to give it and all attacks you use through it (whether weapon or implement) a feat bonus to damage rolls is worthwhile.

Versatile Master (Paragon): Absolutely mandatory for you. To make your Dilettante into a true At-Will is something that must be taken into account as you make your character.

Gnome

Armored Warrenguard (Heroic): If you absolutely must remain in Chain or Scale, or it's available to you somehow via Hybriding or whatnot, this is a fantastic fixer-upper to both remove the speed penalty on yourself (something that a Speed 5 creature does not need) and patch your defenses a little bit.

Magic of the Mists (Heroic): A backwards way to get combat advantage once per encounter, as well as giving you a great boost to defenses for an entire round.

Fey Shift (Epic): Requires Fey origin. Teleport 2 as a move action option completely obsoletes Ethereal Sidestep, which is something that's very important to you. Hell, teleporting at will should be important enough.

Kalashtar

Dual Mind Strength (Heroic): Hey, how about a nice boost to damage rolls on some of your favorite powers to replace the requirement of grabbing Implement Focus?

Shardmind

Distant Swarm (Heroic): Strangely enough, if you don't mind moving next to enemies this carries a much better benefit than even Fey Step - a large-distance teleport followed by mass combat advantage is something to prize.

Psychic Focus (Heroic): Hey, how about a nice boost to damage rolls on some of your favorite powers to replace the requirement of grabbing Implement Focus?

We Were Once One (Heroic): Whenever you spend a healing surge (which is more common than you'd think, especially with some of your Epic tier powers), everyone in your telepathy range (which can be extended to twenty with a couple neat tricks) can make a saving throw. A marvelous Leader'ish addition to your state of abilities.

Tiefling

Blood Pact of Cania (Heroic): Requires 13 Charisma. An untyped bonus to damage rolls with ALL Con'lock powers, with a requirement that all Con'locks should meet anyway, is outstanding.

Hellish Blast (Heroic): Requires Eldritch Blast. You can force EB to deal fire damage and gain some untyped damage bonuses on top of that. Sweet. For Con'locks, combine with Blood Pact of Cania for some hilarious damage dealing.

Vengeful Curse (Heroic): Especially for daredevils, one of the best methods to be sure that everyone is Cursed as fast as possible.

Warlock's Wrath (Heroic): Punch up your Curse dice, and for Cha'locks, replace a lackluster utility with an amazing one.

Icy Clutch of Stygia (Heroic): Extremely good for Dark'locks, punishing enemies heavily for daring to save against all of your effects; and great for everyone else.

Imperious Majesty (Heroic): The perfect way to fix your initiative woes - Charisma instead of Dexterity is benefit enough. Plus, a heavy debuff to attacks once per encounter is nice to have for the first round in an encounter.

Glasya's Charming Words (Paragon): If at any time you score a critical hit against an enemy while using a Charm power, you dominate him for the round. One of your best Paragon feats if you tread this path.

Hellfire Teleport (Epic): Interpret this as "You gain an at-will autodamage option."

Royal Command of Asmodeus (Epic): "Stunned" becomes "dominated". While "stunned" isn't a popular rider on many of your powers, you do have Encounter stuns, which will turn certain encounters into comedy routines.

Wilden

Briar Thorns (Paragon): While you will have to fight tooth and nail (figuratively) to get a decent engine of ongoing damage, it's not impossible, and there's a level 29 Vestige that'll give you At-Will ongoing damage.  Either way, upgrading ongoing damage to OGD+slow turns pure damage into competent control.

Multiclass Feats

Assassin

(Mostly taken for the Ki Focus proficiency, and the feat options you gain to deal with Poison resistance and immunity.)

Acolyte of the Veil: Requires 13 Dexterity. Gain training in either Acrobatics (meh) or Stealth (!!) and gain a 1/enc use of Shadow Step.

Practiced Killer: Actually Multiclass Executioner, but you still count as an Assassin. You gain proficiency with Ki Focuses, but not weapons as implements. Once per encounter, you can add a bit of a punch to Eldritch Strike... if you wield one-handed weapons. Not the best benefit in the world, but it doesn't require any ability scores.

Shadow Initiate: Requires 13 Dexterity. Gain proficiency in Stealth (!!!), and access to their Shroud options, which is much more valuable for the feat riders that come with having Shrouds on enemies than you do the extra damage (you can only place two shrouds per encounter, anyway, so don't spend them judiciously).

Combo Feats
Cursed Shadow: Gain the Shadow Walk class feature if you're both an Assassin and Warlock. But wait, you say, don't we already have that feature? Not if you're a hybrid!

Paladin

(Taken to gain Holy Symbols as an implement. The Paladin/Warlock pairing got massive support in D381, and makes putting a 13 into Strength very worthwhile. Regardless of what you do with it, this is probably one of the best ways to be a quasi-Defender.)

Soldier of Faith: Requires 13 Strength, 13 Charisma. Gain a 1/enc instance of the Paladin mark (lasts all encounter!), which itself is open to a ton of fantastic feats, and gobble up D381 support on top of that. A brilliant way to both be a quasi-Defender and bring some unique Control ability forward.

Combo Feats
Crimson Fire: Combining a Challenge and a Curse gives you the biggest Curse damage die possible in the game. Considering how easy it is now to add extra dice to your Curse damage, this is a beautiful feat to pick up if you go this route. Mandatory if you're Hybriding the two classes.

Crimson Legionnaire: Not all that terrific, unless you somehow picked up a Charisma-based Paladin At-Will or are going towards a Paladin Paragon Path that fits your fancy. In that case, this is untyped bonus damage for your Paladin powers, so it's worth considering.

Walker of the Dark Path: Actually Multiclass Blackguard, but you are still considered a Paladin. Some of the support from D381 is still open to you, and you gain a Daily source of free temp hitpoints.

Psion

(Taken for access to the two very implements you'd want - the Staff and Orb. There are also some decent tricks you can pull from being considered a Psionic class.)

Disciplined Talent: Requires 13 Intelligence. You gain training in one skill from the Psion list of skills, and gain an at-will from their list to use as an Encounter power. Unfortunately, there's no way to gain Power Points without extra feats, so your chosen At-Will will probably not do too much for you (although the choices you do get are decent).

Awakened Potential: Requires 15 Intelligence, trained in Arcana. This is meant as a supplement to Multiclassing into Psion, and is not a Psion Multiclass feat. It grants you a Power Point to spend on anything that requires them, and at 21st level, you get 2 instead of 1. Now powers like Dishearten become incredibly good debuffing powers, especially for Cha'locks.

(NOTE: If you have access to Dark Sun themes and gain the Noble Adept theme, bump both of these ratings up a color grade.)

Sorcerer

(Taken to gain proficiency in the Staff and Dagger as implements, two of your best choices. Being able to poach some very strong Sorcerer Encounter powers certainly can't go amiss either, especially Flame Spiral [E3]. Give it a look.)

Arcane Prodigy: Requires 13 Charisma. Honestly, you should only take this if you can't get 13 Strength - the benefit is way too small otherwise.

Soul of Sorcery: Requires 13 Strength, 13 Charisma. Now this is much better - permanent Resist towards one element of your choice is fantastic in the right setting.

 

Combo Feats
Sorcerous Vision (Paragon): Your Perception and Insight were awful before. Now they're super amazing, and you can finally be the eyes of the party like your Avenger and Druid friends. Whether you need this or not is another question (again, party makeup tends to cover this especially before Paragon even comes around), but if you don't have too big a command on your feats or you guys are starting directly at Paragon this isn't a bad idea. Phenomenal if you're a Half-Elf with an Adept Dilettante'd Sorcerer power, as then there was no real sacrifice to be made on the front-end.

Swordmage

(Taken to gain proficiency in all Light Blades and Heavy Blades as an implement for you, which includes the Dagger. Also gives access to the Malec-Keth Janissary Paragon Path, which is wonderful for elemental blasters, especially Thunder and Fire blasters.)

Blade Initiate: Requires 13 Intelligence. You gain training in Arcana, which can help you with how you prioritize where you place your first four skills. On top of which, if you single-wield a one-handed blade, you can gain a massive boost to AC once per day for the rest of the encounter.

Combo Feats

Eladrin Swordmage Advance (Heroic): Requires Eladrin race, highly suggested Eldritch Strike. Swordmage is not an uncommon Multiclass for you guys and Eldritch Strike is a pretty spiffy little power in and of itself. Now Fey Step gives you a free action MBA (with a slide!) every time you use it, and that's quite a neat little trick. If you're wielding a big ol' blade for your Warlock spells, put it to good use.

Wizard

(Taken for the incredible amount of Arcane support, as well as for some interesting Paragon Paths and amazing power swap options... not to mention proficiency in the Staff and Orb.)

Arcane Initiate: Requires 13 Intelligence. Gain training in Arcana, and gain access to one of the largest libraries of At-Wills in the entire game... all of which mesh with what you do.

Eberron Dragonmarks

(These are described in the Eberron handbook, but are available to all, subject to DM discretion. You can only have one at a time, and also give you some rituals you can perform as if you had the Ritual Caster feat... which you may want anyway, so meh. Here're a few that might interest you the most...)

Mark of Healing: I've mentioned a couple times about powers in your library of hexes that have the Healing keyword. The reason I mentioned said keyword is because of this feat: whenever you use a power with the Healing keyword to affect an ally, it can immediately make a saving throw against an effect. Really cool synergy with a couple of your powers, though you don't have a lot of Healing powers.

Mark of Passage: You don't do a lot of shifting, but you do do a lot of teleporting. Add a square to both.

Mark of Storm: Every lightning and thunder power you do incorporates a Slide 1 into the power. Also a bonus to speed while flying. You really have to build around this feat to make it work, but it's incredible control, especially when buffed.

 

I'm looking forward to this.
Good luck.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
Eldritch Strike seems conspicuously absent from the at-wills list as a great MBA for Con'locks, a nice escape tactic for Cha'locks (i.e., hit, slide away, run for the hills), forced movement to potentially trigger auto-damage from some powers, etc.

  T 
Yeah. I did just kill your BBEG with a vorpal frisbee. Problem?
I really enjoy the Warlock class and look forward to a new guide. Hexblades may just need their own post but you may want to make some notes for them when it comes to Dailies and the occasional At-Will for Humans. I would consider placing Binders in the guide and be sure to note how bad of an option they are.

A quick note about Primary/Secondary scores:
Infernal Pact: Con Primary, very few Cha Primary, and Int Secondary.
Star Pact: Con/Cha Primary, Int/Cha Secondary
Fey Pact: Cha Primary, Int Secondary
Dark Pact: Cha Primary, Int Secondary
Vestige Pact: Con Primary, Int Secondary
Sorcerer-King Pact:  Con/Cha Primary, Int Secondary

Best of luck with the guide. 
Warforged
 (CON + STR or INT): Chicks dig giant Warlocks.


This guide is already awesome.
First of all, thank you.

Second: I recognize that you have to stick to a clean, consistent organizational system or the entire purpose of a handbook becomes moot.  That said, I think it might be worth including in Part Three  a list of any Pact-exclusive skyblue+ PPs or feats in the overview of the Pact, as these are often as important to the power of a Pact as the at-will and Boon.  Discussion would of course be reserved for the appropriate later section.

Note, for example, that the only skyblue pact specific PPs listed in Power of the Dark Side are Fey, Vestige, and Star.  That's good to know in assessing the overall strength of the pact.  Likewise, in Epic, Vestige Mastery radically changes the nature of Vestige Pact. 

Just a thought to complicate the already herculean task for which you are receiving no compensation.

DDS: Given that you mentioned how much Warlocks like Staves, it's probably worth pointing out in the races section that Eladrin can now get them 100% free by taking a subrace option. (Moon Elf?)

Otherwise, good work so far, and I'm looking forward to the rest.
You should mention dexterity being useful as an alternitive to Int.

Going Con/Dex looses you some riders, but gives you stealth and inititive.  Something worth considering, especially if your not taking Int rider powers anyways.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.


Shadow Step: On-demand Concealment is utterly amazing, and a fantastic way to patch up your otherwise mediocre defenses.  It's hilariously easy to trigger, too: just move 3 squares from your starting position!  You gain a +2 bonus to defenses in partial concealment, which is what this feature grants; but that's not the only thing you get out of this.  The aforementioned Shadow Warlock Armor gives you Combat Advantage against every Cursed enemy in sight.  You also have a much easier time using your Stealth skill, as you require cover or concealment to hide.


The feature is actually called Shadow Walk. Shadow Step is the Assassin teleport at-will. Also, "you require cover or concealment to hide" is a bit off I think. IIRC, you require total concealment or superior cover to hide (that is, to become Hidden from one or more opponents), unless you have the Rogue's Cunning Sneak feature. Regular cover or concealment is enough to sustain Hidden, though, which Shadow Walk is great for.

I would probably rate Eldritch Strike dark blue or even sky blue rather than black, because a Warlock that has it is significantly more versatile as a result:


  • Having a decent MBA means you can charge and make OAs (which are devastating now that Warlock's Curse is 1/turn), as well as use the many MBA-granting effects out there.

  • The slide is fantastic with zone powers like Feast of Souls and Hunger of Hadar (or whatever zones your allies throw).

  • It targets AC (with proficiency bonus), unlike all other Warlock powers - being able to target different defenses is nice.

  • All the other at-wills already provide a ranged option, so all Eldritch Blast has going for it compared to this is the RBA thing.


Overall I think it's easily the superior option of the two, unless you happen to have a RBA-granting leader.

Thanks a bundle for your effort in creating an up-to-date guide! Good luck fleshing this out

I would probably rate Eldritch Strike dark blue or even sky blue rather than black, because a Warlock that has it is significantly more versatile as a result:


I think the section you're talking about doesn't have any ratings at all; the bolding is being used as emphasis instead of rating.  For what it's worth, in my guide I used the brick red used in the header fonts to avoid that confusion.
Not a bad start at all! Anyway, don't worry about Hexblades; I haven't abandoned my guide yet, so you can just focus on the O-Warlock (as for Binders, maybe a note saying "don't play this" would do). 

I would probably rate Eldritch Strike dark blue or even sky blue rather than black, because a Warlock that has it is significantly more versatile as a result:


I think the section you're talking about doesn't have any ratings at all; the bolding is being used as emphasis instead of rating.  For what it's worth, in my guide I used the brick red used in the header fonts to avoid that confusion.


Yea.  I'll probably be using Green for emphasis in that regard.


Thanks for the input, everyone (and yea, doesn't help when it's 6 AM and you mistake Shadow Walk for Shadow Step.  Gaddangit.).  Will incorporate as much as I can into the guide before proceeding onwards with the rest of the sections. 
Thanks in advanced for an updated Warlock guide!

My 2 cp: You rate Humans Blue because they don't have an Int bump, and so thier AC/Ref suffers... but they do get +1 to all NADS...
Thanks in advanced for an updated Warlock guide!

My 2 cp: You rate Humans Blue because they don't have an Int bump, and so thier AC/Ref suffers... but they do get +1 to all NADS...

The bonus to NADs definitely compensates, but the hit to AC can still be a problem, as Warlock defenses tend to be mired if they don't have Concealment.  Items can fix that, but a dual-booster race will have that on lockdown anyway.
+1 AC vs. +1 Fort & Will? I think that comparison (for a warlock, rather than a defender) clearly favors the human. Especially in paragon and epic.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
Nice work DDS, can't wait to see the final product!
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
Funny Forum Quotes
[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
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63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
I have a REALLY important question: If I focus heavily on fire-based Warlock powers, can I run around saying, "Fire walk with me?" (Because if I can, then the name will be Dale Cooper or maybe Bob).
Since the last guide has been updated, there have been a TON of powers i noticed that were not covered. I am assuming they are new.

Are you only going to cover powers that are black-sky blue (i doubt there are any gold) or do you plan to cover purple/red ones too?

Also, i am interested in your hybrid section (if yoh make one) since there have been updates there as well, not to mention essentials classes.

Good luck!
The bonus to NADs definitely compensates, but the hit to AC can still be a problem, as Warlock defenses tend to be mired if they don't have Concealment.  Items can fix that, but a dual-booster race will have that on lockdown anyway.



I think thats only really an issue if you decide to be a front liner during low heroic and even then Shadow Walk helps bring you up past par. Since the Warlock is more tradtionally a ranged striker the bonus to the NADs is definitly appreciated more since thats whats usually getting targeted.
One additional idea as well. Common ways for people to improve their curses/at wills should also have a section.

I am trying to "trick out" hellish rebuke, and it has taken a lot more research than merely looking at the handbook.

And curses...wow. Thats a big part of warlock damage, and there are quite a few ways to improve it. The original handbook only mentioned a few ways, and wasnt very concise.
The bonus to NADs definitely compensates, but the hit to AC can still be a problem, as Warlock defenses tend to be mired if they don't have Concealment.  Items can fix that, but a dual-booster race will have that on lockdown anyway.



I think thats only really an issue if you decide to be a front liner during low heroic and even then Shadow Walk helps bring you up past par. Since the Warlock is more tradtionally a ranged striker the bonus to the NADs is definitly appreciated more since thats whats usually getting targeted.



True, but there are also some dual-boost races with a bonus to at least one NAD. Eladrin e.g.. And since +INT is also + 1 Ref, this leaves the human with only +1 to one NAD, but worse AC and worse riders. Also the warlock specific feat support for humans isn't that great, as for some dual-boost races.

Blue is just fine for the human. A strong choice, but compared to what some dual-boost races get for support, I can not really see a good reason why it should be sky blue.

True, but there are also some dual-boost races with a bonus to at least one NAD. Eladrin e.g.. And since +INT is also + 1 Ref, this leaves the human with only +1 to one NAD, but worse AC and worse riders. Also the warlock specific feat support for humans isn't that great, as for some dual-boost races.

Blue is just fine for the human. A strong choice, but compared to what some dual-boost races get for support, I can not really see a good reason why it should be sky blue.




Oh I find blue to be fine as well, but I didn't feel it right to claim that they are so far disadvantaged as compared to the dual stat races. Though it isnt really fair to compare humans with Eladrins either considering the frankly rediculous amount of support that they have.
I have a REALLY important question: If I focus heavily on fire-based Warlock powers, can I run around saying, "Fire walk with me?" (Because if I can, then the name will be Dale Cooper or maybe Bob).

Flavor is mutable, my good friend.  If your Shadow Walk has you envelop flames or whatnot, then that's your call.

As to the "y so blue Human" question: They come very close to Sky Blue.  Believe me, they are an excellent race for the Warlock and I would never say "No" or even "Pick Eladrin instead".  It's that Intelligence is so important of a stat to a class that uses it for both protection and powers, that even two points lost in it can be a bit detrimental.
Since the last guide has been updated, there have been a TON of powers i noticed that were not covered. I am assuming they are new. Are you only going to cover powers that are black-sky blue (i doubt there are any gold) or do you plan to cover purple/red ones too? Also, i am interested in your hybrid section (if yoh make one) since there have been updates there as well, not to mention essentials classes. Good luck!

For the moment, I'm covering all powers, no matter their rating.  However, if it gets to be daunting, I'll limit it to Black+ powers.
Thanks in advanced for an updated Warlock guide!

My 2 cp: You rate Humans Blue because they don't have an Int bump, and so thier AC/Ref suffers... but they do get +1 to all NADS...

The bonus to NADs definitely compensates, but the hit to AC can still be a problem, as Warlock defenses tend to be mired if they don't have Concealment.  Items can fix that, but a dual-booster race will have that on lockdown anyway.



Just as a note, if you have concealment a human 'lock scales at exactly the same pace as a dex-primary ranger with a 16 in INT. It's really not that bad. There's also the fact that having 'OK' AC is good for you: you want enemies to attack you if you're a Hellish Rebuker. A hit to AC is worth a boost to NADs, because taking damage might sting, but getting dominated can TPK you. The options humanity offers you are absolutely priceless, as they give you a leader buff on demand for when you absolutely, positively have to hit, or the extra flexibility you can't easily get until Paragon for other characters due to the requirement on Twofold Pact.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Heroic Tier Hexes are done!  Will move on to Paragon Hexes later on tonight (maybe).
Warforged are among the best races for infernal/vestige locks now with Con/Int and a bonus to will putting them only 1 point behind humans, a encounter heal and the ability to go 18/18 on the Con/Int for AC, riders and killing curse (i think thats the epic one, adds Int mod)
Heroic Tier Hexes are done!  Will move on to Paragon Hexes later on tonight (maybe).



Please consider sorting the powers according to whether they are Con or Cha based. It makes it much easier to evaluate one's options.
Done with Paragon Hexes!

Please consider sorting the powers according to whether they are Con or Cha based. It makes it much easier to evaluate one's options.

That'll be the last thing I do before I cart myself to bed.  :D

(EDIT) Well, I would, if the forum software didn't embed stupid formatting bugs everywhere in my text.  That was nice of it.  I'll leave it for later on today, or for whenever I finish the Epic Hexes.  For now?  Sleep must be had.

Warforged are among the best races for infernal/vestige locks now with Con/Int and a bonus to will putting them only 1 point behind humans, a encounter heal and the ability to go 18/18 on the Con/Int for AC, riders and killing curse (i think thats the epic one, adds Int mod)



Cursed Spells is the +Int in Epic.  Killing Curse is the curse dice go to d8.

For the specific Twofold Infernal/Vestige Pact combo, tiefling is also pretty solid.  If you take Cha/Con as your stat boosts (to sneak Charisma up to 12 postracial) and mainly invest in Con/Int you'll be able to grab Blood Pact of Cania at Paragon, which will work on all your Vestige Powers as well. 
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