Looking for a good schtick for an Invoker

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So Invoker is a class that I've never actually gotten a build to the point where I'd wanted to play it, and I'm looking for advice.  I've read the Invoker guides periodically every time I try to get started, and I end up with a resounding "meh" once I start trying to assemble a build.  I end up with things that are more a list of powers than something cohesive and cool.  Like, each time I hit the Level Up button on the builder, I go back and pick the best-looking power in the group but without any sort of longer-term planning.

I'm leaning toward Covenant of Wrath, but that's somewhat flexible.  I like the concept.  The sample build in the handbook is a thunder blaster, but sadly that's focused on Mark of Storm which I'd rather avoid to keep the idea for potential LFR games.  There's a further issue with this build specifically in that I've already played a Genasi thunder blaster wizard and I'm not entirely sure it'd be all that different this time around.  But it's a good example of the sort of thing I'm looking for - a coherent purpose for the character, and then assembling pieces of powers and feats and items to make that work. 

So, what are the things you've done with Invokers that have made you (and, even better, your party) step back and say "Damn, now that was impressive."?  What are the things Invokers do better than any other controller?  What unique chunk of awesome does the Invoker provide?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I have hardly seen any invokers in play, but I always liked their thunder tricks. 

They seem to have some of the best thunder support out there so I would focus on a forced movement + thunder/lightning vulnerability build.  Druids and wizards can do that too, but I think invokers are a little better and its probably more thematic.  Something like a wrathful Hammer of Vengence build with resounding thunder.  Unfortunately that is like what you already did, so radiant tricks is the other unique thing they are better at than other controllers.
I have a level 26 invoker in my current SoW campaign. 
So, what are the things you've done with Invokers that have made you (and, even better, your party) step back and say "Damn, now 
that was impressive."?  

The week before last, I managed to make an avatar of moradin vulnerable 50 radiant. Mine is a radiant blaster. Invoker/Morninglord/Topaz Crusader/Scholar. Radiant One would do more damage if you're wis-int.

Also next level I'll have a blast 6 (+1) dominate, a close burst 6 (+1) stun, and a closeburst 2 (+1) encounter powers. 
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
Yeah, a radiant build is definitely appealing, but one question:  how long does it take to get something like that going?  I'd hope to have the core awesome of the build at least hinted at during heroic, even if it doesn't get into full crusher mode until later.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
It only becomes a proper blaster at 16+, but the 2-target RBA and MBA is helpful if you have a morninglord. You can get staff of channeled invocations at 11.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
Invokers are the only class I know that can have a two target melee basic at will.  It takes divine bolts, power of skill(makes the attack a basic attack), and then staff of channeled invocations(changes a ranged attack into a melee1 attack).  If you took elemental initiate, used a ki focus then you could make the attack be thunder since it would be a melee attack used through the ki focus.
I like the radiant tricks more than the thunder stuff. My favorite ways to build it are either as a Morninglord (and all the exploitation involved there), or a critfisher (with Divine Oracle and all the exploitation there - 19-20 crit range + rerolls + punishing radiance + devastating invocation + huge bursts...).

Both of those come online later on, but the early Invoker powers are nuts (especially the ones with Wrath riders). I think heroic tier is dominated by individual good powers rather than a "build concept," because there are just so many fantastic powers.

And all the talk of Divine Bolts is forgetting that Hand of Radiance is an amazing power too (maybe better than DB depending on party and build).
I think everyone is bringing up divine bolts is because it can be used on an OA. 

Though would you still be able to target two targets on an OA?  For example there is one creature adjacent to you and another moves by you provoking an OA, would you only be able to hit the one provoked or would you get to hit both?.
You'd only get the one. The second target would not be a legal target, since it wasn't included in the targetting of the Opportunity Attack action.
I'm also generally opposed to cheesing out the imprecision of the basic attack definitions given that I'm wanting to actually play this character.  Rather not go into the several-page rules justification for why something that reeks of Munchkin is actually allowed.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Maximize the effects of dazed.  There is no class I have seen that can hand out dazed effects more than an invoker.  They have a lot of encounter dazed powers as well.  Take a rod, MC fighter, take dizzying mace at paragon and use a rod that counts as a mace for your implement.  Throw around con mod attack penalties to go along with your daze.  You want to actually attack the defender while dazed?  Sure, but take a -4/5/6 penalty to it based on your con.
I was about to suggest the dizzying mace build.

Another thing to look into is hybrid, particularly with shaman.  Withworldpeaker you can drop slowing bursts and blasts on top of the spirit companion.  Worldserpents grasp + Power of earth with visions of blood for instance.  Enemies will have a hard time getting away from the spirit.

There is also a lot you can do with Flame of Hope as an off leader, either as a shaman, other hybrid, or regular invoker.
Thanks for this thread. The OP sounds exactly like my attempts at an Invoker (read the guide, built them in the CB, never really got 'hooked' on the class in a meaningful way). If my current PC ever dies in my current group, I'm likely going to try to make an Invoker. I'd love to see people post up some of their ingame experiences with the class. Even some narrative descriptions of things people have done with the class that they enjoyed while in combat or tactics that they found to be especially effective.


 
Agreed, I'm following this thread with interest.  I just played a lvl 4 Invoker for the first time, but it uses Preservation.  Not sure if I want to continue down that route or not.  Fortunately, my group is flexible enough that you can re-tool your powers if you find out they suck (if you've never played that class before).
Yeah, a radiant build is definitely appealing, but one question:  how long does it take to get something like that going?  I'd hope to have the core awesome of the build at least hinted at during heroic, even if it doesn't get into full crusher mode until later.


I've attempted to list some of the options for an early heroic radiant blaster in this thread. As you can see, it gets going quite early in heroic. 
I had great fun playing a invoker at herioc levels whose hook was that he was a "old school fire and brimstone fundementalist southern baptist revival preacher". He ranted at the bad guys to repent and then blasted them with every different effect in the book. With a different made up verse talking about how evil chains them or drags them down or whatever made sense for the effect. He did everything he could to be scary and when ever a foe got bloodied he made a intimidation check to convince them of the error of there ways and to repent and come back into the fold of pelors church. Was great fun and made sense to have all sorts of different effects because you never know which one is going to be the one that causes that particular lost sheep to repent and see the light. I was able to turn a hodgepodge of good powers into a cohesive theme that was fun to play and effective. And while not the most intimidating character when you would get the occasional monster to surrender there was always great rejoicing at the gaming table as another lost soul was saved and returned to the welcoming bosom of the church.
I had as much fun with the invoker as I did with a wizard.  The dailies may not break fights as badly as a wizard, but you will still control the crap out of the map.
I found the Preservation Invoker to have an AMAZING proclivity with moving allies around, to the point where you can become a phenomenal little chessmaster - extending that ability more towards your enemies come Paragon especially.
Preservation is even better at Paragon when you can take a feat to slide two allies every time you use an encounter or daily. if you are playing with an ongoing group with two allies who take Allied Opportunist, that usually means two extra attacks every round.

Here is the build I play in my homegame (abilities scores are using a homerule). Party has an Avenger and a Berserker with Allied Opportunist.

We do alot of social skill challenges, so pushed diplomacy despite not being CHA based and Holy Speech for double success. Played from 6th to 14th, then skipped ahead to 21st. Action Points aren't used for extra attack but to throw out the Seed of War for Solo beatdown or invoke Pennant of Heaven's Armies for extra damage for all allies and save encounters and dailies to give out the extra attacks.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======


Liesl, level 23


Human, Invoker, Zealous Demagogue, Pyreen


Build: Preserving Invoker


Divine Covenant: Covenant of Preservation


Strong in Mind and Spirit: Strong in Mind and Spirit Wisdom


Strong in Mind and Spirit: Strong in Mind and Spirit Intelligence


Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power


Background: Family Tradition, Geography - Forest (+2 to Diplomacy)


 


FINAL ABILITY SCORES


Str 10, Con 16, Dex 10, Int 22, Wis 27, Cha 14.


 


STARTING ABILITY SCORES


Str 8, Con 14, Dex 8, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 12.


 


 


AC: 33 Fort: 38 Reflex: 40 Will: 47


HP: 114 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 28


 


TRAINED SKILLS


Insight +30, Religion +24, Intimidate +25, Diplomacy +30, History +24, Nature +28


 


UNTRAINED SKILLS


Acrobatics +14, Arcana +21, Bluff +17, Dungeoneering +25, Endurance +17, Heal +25, Perception +25, Stealth +14, Streetwise +17, Thievery +14, Athletics +14


 


FEATS


Invoker: Ritual Caster


Human: Student of Artifice (retrained to Spirit Talker at Level 17)


Level 1: Arcane Familiar (retrained to Linguist at Level 16) (retrained to Epic Will at Level 21)


Level 2: Holy Speech


Level 4: Skill Focus (Diplomacy)


Level 6: Jack of All Trades


Level 8: Insightful Preservation (retrained to Iron Will at Level 14)


Level 10: Skill Power


Level 11: Superior Implement Training (Accurate staff)


Level 12: Broadened Manifestation


Level 14: Great Fortitude


Level 16: Implement Focus (Staff)


Level 18: Lightning Reflexes


Level 20: Improved Initiative (retrained to Superior Initiative at Level 22)


Feat User Choice: Implement Expertise (Staff)


Level 21: Invoked Devastation


Level 22: Invoker Implement Expertise


 


POWERS


Bonus At-Will Power: Visions of Blood


Invoker at-will 1: Mantle of the Infidel (retrained to Grasping Shards at Level 20)


Invoker at-will 1: Hand of Radiance


Skill Power: Insightful Comment


Spirit Talker: World Speaker's Command


Invoker encounter 1: Blades of Astral Fire


Invoker daily 1: Crown of Retaliation


Invoker utility 2: Divine Call


Invoker encounter 3: Symbol of the Broken Sword (retrained to Astral Terror at Level 6)


Invoker daily 5: Blade of Vengeance


Invoker utility 6: Haggle (retrained to Demand Justice at Level 19)


Invoker encounter 7: Tide of the First Storm (retrained to Lightning Spike at Level 13)


Invoker daily 9: Summon Blade Angel (retrained to Twist of Fate at Level 15)


Invoker utility 10: Astral Step


Invoker encounter 13: Winds of Celestia (replaces Blades of Astral Fire)


Invoker daily 15: Three Beacons of Twilight (replaces Crown of Retaliation)


Invoker utility 16: Pennant of Heaven's Armies


Invoker encounter 17: Astral Dust (replaces Fires of Judgment)


Invoker daily 19: Forced Submission (replaces Blade of Vengeance)


Invoker utility 22: Shield of Justice


Invoker encounter 23: Storm of Celestia (replaces Winds of Celestia)


 


ITEMS


Ritual Book, Defensive Staff +1, Everburning Torch, Dagger, Potion of Healing (heroic tier) (2), Climber's Kit, Winter Clothing, Backpack (empty), Belt Pouch (empty), Silk Rope (50 ft.), Journeybread (7), Ioun's Revelation (level 18), Seed of War (paragon tier), Potion of Resistance 5, Necrotic, Potion of Resistance 5, Poison, Potion of Resistance 5, Psychic, Rebuking Crysteel Armor +4, Magic Accurate staff +5, Belt of Vim (paragon tier), Keoghtom's Ointment (paragon tier), Amulet of Elegy +5, Wavestrider Boots (heroic tier), Curse Eye Tattoo (heroic tier), Winged Bracers (paragon tier), Syllable of Life (paragon tier), Syllable of Grace (heroic tier) (2), Ring of Agile Thought (paragon tier), Ioun Stone of Insight, Feystep Lacings (paragon tier), Sunrod (6), Handy Haversack (heroic tier), Gauntlets of Blood (paragon tier), The Invulnerable Coat of Arnd Moving On, Regalia, Sorrowsworn Ring (epic tier)


RITUALS


Hand of Fate, Brew Potion, Last Sight Vision, Enchant Magic Item, Endure Elements, Create Campsite, Magic Mouth, Secret Page, Silence, Animal Messenger, Transfer Enchantment, Disenchant Magic Item, Linked Portal, Comrades' Succor, Cure Disease, Undead Ward, Comprehend Language, Phantom Steed, Call Wilderness Guide, Dowsing Rod, Hunter's Curse, Iron Vigil, Purify Water, Remove Affliction, Speak with Dead, Summon Winds, Wavestrider Enchantment, Raise Dead, Traveler's Camouflage, Travelers' Feast, Magic Circle, Object Reading, Tree Stride, Wizard's Escape, Forbiddance, Shadow Passage, Soulguard, Planar Portal, Loremaster's Bargain


====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Two invoker builds I've been working on recently were a cunning sneak/malvoker with adept of whispers. Lots of sneaky controller action. With adept of whispers penalty to bluff/diplomacy I doubled down on a dread helm for further intimidate bonus and additional diplomacy penalties. Couldn't talk his way out of a paper bag unless he was trying to scare it off. RP'd it as he wasn't able to lie due to the holy speech, and diplomacy was in the tubes due to his House MD style truth telling.

The other was a psychic specializing malvoker. With Divine oracle and something like a serene ki focus you're crazy accurate.

Both a fluffed with a heavy focus on the words of power that a malvoker uses. I also like to MC shaman for a always on, re fluffed "angel summon" spirit companion.

Picking a flavorful deity helps too. Don't grab Kord for power of storm, use Umberlee instead. That sort of thing.
I dont' recall all the details but someone a while back posted an idea for an invoker|swarm druid. Played him as an undead/pharoah/mummy who could discorporate into a swarm of scarab beetles, plague invoker powers, etc. Don't recall if he was an actual revenant or not.
I still really like the wrathful invoker. Constantly lowering enemies defenses is great fun for your striker buddies.
I dont' recall all the details but someone a while back posted an idea for an invoker|swarm druid. Played him as an undead/pharoah/mummy who could discorporate into a swarm of scarab beetles, plague invoker powers, etc. Don't recall if he was an actual revenant or not.


I play one of those in LFR (with a very different concept). I would not consider it a char-op worthy combination and it can be a challenge to play effectively. It is a lot of fun though Still as a schtick, you better be willing to sacrifice some char-oppedness.
To DME, or not to DME: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous powergaming, Or to take arms against a sea of Munchkins, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;No more;
My Wrathful Invoker is a Truenamer - he speaks the Words of Creation to get some sort of effect.  This is all fluff.  Mechanically, I'm going for thunder/lightning powers, usually in a burst.  If/when he gets above L1, I will be looking for psychic also - because L7 Invoke Obedience just sounds like too much fun: bow before me or feel my wrath, btw you can feel my displeasure regardless.

It helps to have some foreign-language poetry available to be the "words" of his power.  His Dailies will use the Forging of the One Ring quartet (Tolkein's Elvish), and the first verse of (Latin) "Dies Irae".  I'm not sure yet what he will speak for his at-will powers; it has to be something short and memorizable but not boring to hear over and over.

Best complements I have yet received

Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

{BRJN} If Bhaal approves of The Joker, does he approve of Jack Nicholson's portrayal or Heath Ledger's protrayal more?

{Stigger} That question is utterly classic, and completely on target.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the 4e thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (now lost in that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

(News bulletin: Updated thread to be posted after I review the 5e DMG)

 

My 5e characters

Active:

none yet - gotta find a group !

Character Ready-to-go:

Erevyn Meliamne, Wood elf Monk1, inspired by "Radar O'Reilley" from M*A*S*H

Concepts I'm kicking around:

Barbarian w/Tough feat, to be nearly indestructible

"Truenamer" cleric - all spells are Verbal

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC / BBEG version is going to become a beetle version of a Worm That Walks.  (See the 4e Lamia.)  Because lichdom is so cliche.

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