Assassin/Warlock Hybrid Questions

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Hello, all

I have an Assassin/Warlock build I'm trying to optomize, but I have so much conflict in the powers department, it's really hard to choose the powers for this particular build.

Right now, I have a Changeling Assassin/Warlock Hybrid at Level 10, but I notice a lot of really really cool abilities on the warlock side of the fence, but the reason I chose the Assassin build was to beef up the nova damage with Assassin's Strike.

The problem is, when I build this character with Assassin's Strike, I have to replace encounter powers with extra damage dice?  So at Level 7, I can pick Touch of Command (which sounds like a blast) or another D10 on my Assassin's Strike.

I can only assume since it gives me the option for extra damage in Character Builder, I don't get the damage dice listed on the power card because it's a hybrid class?  Should I dump Assassin's Strike?
for fun?  Sounds like "Absolutely".  That's not a CO question, nor a CO answer.

The CO answer is basically "whatever gets you the most attacks".  A pimped out Eldritch Strike backed by executioner bonus damage is going to be hard to pass by, when you're fiuring out what your standard action is this round.  So if the choice is between "charge for 3d8+3d6+blah" and  "blast for 2d6+blah+irrelevant kicker", then the choice is obvious.

And then once you know that every single standard action will always be "charge for stupid dice", then you need to fill out your powers with things that work with that.  Which means


  • No-action or free tack-ons that generate additional attacks (some Warlord powers go here.  Some bard powers.  I'm unaware of any Warlock or Executioner options)

  • Minor action attacks, like Sohei Flurry from a theme

  • Interrupts, like, oh say, Touch of Command

  • No-action or free tack-ons that just do moar damage, like Assassin's Strike


In about that order.  You'll note that "Touch of Command" looks like a better damage option than "Assassin's Strike", because Touch of Command gets you a free OA on the monter's turn... and that "2d8+2d6+blah" will trivially out-do 1d10.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

Warlock|Exe would be much better. Same flavor.
Okay, perhaps my question might have been completely silly. So what I really want are some pointers on this current build. Here's what I have straight from Character Builder. (FYI, I chose Changeling because it's fun to say "Form of a Drow!")

I would have chosen Half-Orc, but there's no racial bonus to Charisma, which is essential for Eldritch Strike.  Should I go with a Constitution build?  Make this build an off-tank?

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Styx, level 10
Changeling, Assassin (Executioner)/Warlock
Guild Attacks (Hybrid) Option: Red Scales (Hybrid)
Hybrid Assassin (Executioner) Option: Hybrid Executioner Will
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid) Option: Sorcerer-King Pact (Hybrid)
Eldritch Strike Option: Eldritch Strike Charisma
Hybrid Warlock Option: Hybrid Warlock Will
Becomer Option: Streetwise Bonus
Associate: Trained Young Owlbear
Grifter (+2 to Bluff)
Theme: Fey Beast Tamer
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 11, DEX 18, INT 10, WIS 8, CHA 22
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 11, DEX 14, INT 10, WIS 8, CHA 18
 
 
AC: 23 Fort: 16 Ref: 21 Will: 25
HP: 68 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 17
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +10, Bluff +21, Streetwise +18, Thievery +14
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +9, Athletics +5, Diplomacy +11, Dungeoneering +4, Endurance +5, Heal +4, History +5, Insight +6, Intimidate +12, Nature +4, Perception +4, Religion +5, Stealth +9
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Disguise
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Trick
Assassin Attack: Quick Lunge
Assassin Attack: Poisoned Dagger
Warlock's Curse  Power: Warlock's Curse
Assassin Attack: Assassin's Strike
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Strike
Warlock Attack 1: Mists of Madness
Assassin Utility 2: Smoke Bomb
Warlock Attack 3: Delban's Deadly Attention
Assassin Attack 5: Heart of Dust
Fey Beast Tamer Utility 6: Safe Banishment
Warlock Attack 7: Touch of Command
Warlock Attack 9: Command Insanity
Warlock Utility 10: Ethereal Sidestep
 
FEATS
Level 1: Sneak of Shadows
Level 2: Mindbite Scorn
Level 4: Killing Curse
Level 6: Rod Expertise
Level 8: Becomer
Level 10: Light Blade Expertise
 
ITEMS
Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier) x1
Badge of the Berserker +1 x1
Poisoner's Kit
Vanguard Rapier +2 x1
Mercurial Rod +2 x1
Leather Armor of Dark Majesty +1 x1
Camouflaged Clothing
Disguise Kit
Ten-foot pole
Traveler's Kit
Hempen Rope (50 ft.)
Vial Bandolier
Shovel
Vitality Drinking Rapier +2
Incisive Dagger Dagger +2
====== End ======

  • To save some feats you could swap Rod Expertise for Arcane Implement Proficiency. You'd lose the 1 AC/Ref shield bonus, but free up a feat slot.



  • It would probably be better still to go for the usual gouge proficiency+ spear expertise/two-handed expertise, and just accept that your implement powers are going to be subpar. Pick up a Mage's Weapon +1 coupled with a way to draw it quickly (like the lvl 2 thievery utility power Quick Fast Hands) to be able to swap out implement encounter power you don't want, and chose daily powers like Emerald Shield (no attack roll).



  • If you're multiclassing into fighter/rogue, get Surprising Charge (+1 [W] when charging with CA with spear/light blade) to throw even more dice.



  • Don't forget to pick up the Horned Helm to add to the dice pool.



  • I think changelings are unfortunately quite unsupported, so it would be recommended to go for another Cha/Dex race (and pick up the lvl 10 "Hat of Disguise" or similar if you wish to change appearance)


    • One candidate in the heroic tier would be eladrins for the Eladrin Soldier feat (+2 feat bonus + proficiency with longswords and spears, including gouge).

    • One alternative, which while possibly not the most optimal, but possibly a tiny bit more interesting (though it's still chargespamming): Go for a small race, like a halfling/goblin who use the fey beast companion as a mount who use a lance (Lances do 1 [W] extra damage while used mounted). The tricky thing is getting away to charge again after each charge (though the slide on Eldritch Strike helps a bit vs isolated enemies). One way to fix it, unless you have allies who are good at positioning you and your enemies, would be to retrain something into Student of Divine Runes (Runepriest multiclass feat, so you lose the Sneak Attack/Surprising Charge) and chose the multiclass feat Acolyte Power to get Rune of Astral Winds at lvl 10. If you go this route, you want to pick up stuff enhancing mounted combat, like Spear Expertise, Lancing gloves (hands item), Impenetrable Barding (mount slot item), Goblinoid Mount Training (feat, dr419).



Um, for expertise purposes, the best answer I've hit is to use a theme for Ki Focus proficiency, and then go that route. If you like using weapon properties though, the other option is White Lotus Dueling.  That gets you +1/2/3 on all your arcane attacks... which should be all your attacks.

Going Gouge gives up your 1/2/3d8 for 1/1/2d8, basically (1d6b1 is essentially a d8.  Average of 4 instead of 4.5).  So it's neutral, or behind in paragon...  Until you charge with surprising charge, where it's ahead.  I avoid it anyway.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

No. You can't go gouge, as Executioner's bonus dice of damage are limited to 1h weapons. Ki Focus is what you want, as it'll be the only way to cast your warlock powers without spending feats on AIP heavy/light blade or MC Swordmage, which isn't optimal for you. I'de suggest switching into a longsword or a bastard sword over the rapier however. Attack Finesse works with versitile weapons held in two hands, so you can get a bit of bonus damage out of that if you'de like. Admittedly, this changes in paragon, when you can attack reflex with a light blade, as well as all the light blade feat support. 

Any Locksecutioner is going to be melee focused by the very nature of their powers, so you're usually better off taking more levels of assassin's strike than warlock powers until you get into late paragon/ early epic. Conversly, warlock dailies are generally better than the poisons (though this is more true for con locks with stuff like Armor of Agathys)

You should dump dex in lieu of int. Executioner powers (other than the pretty-terrible guild attacks) are all based on your MBA, which is Edlritch Strike. The int-based feat support for Warlocks is outstanding (+int damage to curse, etc.) Ideally, you would be a tiefling and pick up Imperious Majesty at some point, as well as Icy Clutch of Stygia to synergise with some of your poisons (every tier you get a poison that imparts a tiny ammount of ongoing. Icy clutch makes it do bonus damage every time they save out.) 

All your melee is going to be done as your MBA, so I'de suggest getting the cheaper and lower-level Bracers of Mighty Striking over the classic IAP.

As an alternate, consider switching over to IAP/ Swordmage MC and a spiderkissed weapon. Assassins can get a mostly-up-to-par set of poison damage bonus feats. and it would be extremely flavorful for your character. Additionally, warlocks also get a number of poison powers, which would be effected by the Venom hand feat tree. 

If you are married to the changling, your current build looks alright.  


Unless you are going for a charging build, a Warlock|Executioner can make good with Eldritch Bolt (or Eldritch Blast), since those are basic attacks as well.  Just make sure the implement you use them through is a weapon that Attack Finesse works with.

You still only do the Executioner's extra damage on that attack or one of the Executioner's attacks, but it's still something.  I don't think there are any Warlock powers that are not at-will that can be used as a basic attack, are there?  
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