Selling thy soul for the promise of power: A Warlocks handy guide

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Selling thy soul for the promise of power: A Warlocks handy guide

Hi guys, I'm pretty new here (lurking for some time), so a hello to you all, I'm eharper256, sometimes known elsewhere as 'The Social Knight'.

Anyhow, introductions aside, I saw that whilst there is a Warlocks guide already up on the site, it is not yet complete, and in any case, I feel that the more opinions the merrier. So here's my shot. I've played a couple of Warlocks (well, Witches, to be precise) and tried out most of the stuff up and including 7th level, and then again in a Paragon campaign, from 11th to 14th. Those campaigns have ended now, so the rest is technically theoretical.

So, lets get cracking!

For references sake, I'll highlight:
Infernal Stuff in Red
Fey Stuff in Green
Star Stuff in Blue
Dark Stuff in Purple
Vestige Stuff in Burnt Sienna

Table of Contents

Who is this Warlock character, really? (Introduction)
Choosing thy pact. What's your soul worth? (General Considerations, pacts)
Race to the finish! Who wins? (Picking a Race)

Power to the people, Level 1
Power to the people, Level 2-5
Power to the people, Level 6-10
Power to the people, Level 11-20
Power to the people, Level 21+

Build Concepts
Paragon or Pentagon(Paragon Paths)
Multiclassing, Feats, Skills and other considerations

W00t, the contents Should be Fixed Now!

Updated 16th June 2009. General Considerations and Recommended Stats bits were actually added.
Updated 10th June 2009. PHB Heroes stuff added, and stuff from Dragon 375.
Updated 25th April to some time in June 2009. Arcane Power updates are steadily being added over this period.
Updated 23-24th April 2009 with PHB II stuff. More to come.
Updated 20th April 2009 with stuff from Dragon 372. Will add add PHBII and Arcane Power stuff when my books arrive.
Updated 16th December 2008 with new stuff for DarkPact and Dragon 366.
Just Who is this Warlock/Witch character, really?

The warlock is the bearer of pacts, the controller of lives, fates and dimensions. Most magic in D&D is differenciated by how you tap into it. Clerics & Pallies pray, Wizards Study. You, on the other hand, summon up some powerful archon of a force, and make a pact with it.

Of course, the stereotypical Warlock or Witch is one who deals with the devils; and this is what the Infernal Pact offers you. However, you're not bound by such traditional thought, since you also have the choice of liasing with those crazy fey creatures, or, if you're brave, you can even form a pact with the old ones and other such abberrants that sound like they were pulled straight from a H.P Lovecraft book. Its never really said (at least in the books) what you give up in exchange for your powers; but we can assume its something traditional, yet strangely important, like one's eternal soul. Ultimate power usually doesn't come cheap.

In game mechanics terms, Wizards of the Coast designates the Warlock as a Striker. Whilst I can see their reasoning in requiring some kind of non-martial striker class, frankly the Warlock doesn't really match up to the Rogue and Ranger at all. They really can't pump out damage in the same way as their blade and bow weilding compatriots, even if the Curse gives additional damage.

Also, they are typically more durable, elusive and accurate than casters are typically should be. This, combined with their status effects, makes them surprisingly hard to kill if they are played correctly. Hence, they also don't share the 'Glass Cannon' syndrome of the other Strikers or squishy wizards.

And whilst it is possible to create sheer damage dealing Warlock builds (see my own Pyromaniac for such an example), personally I feel that they lend themselves to a Controller much more, at least most of the time. In fact, some builds can out-control many Wizards (mainly wand and staff blast wizards; but the Orb-izards still have you beat).

Now, what Warlocks ~really~ excel at is throwing status effects around. From plain but brutal ongoing damage effects, to stacks of stuns, immobilizations, and pushes. They are really made for technical, smart play.

So, if you prefer simply spanging things over the head and protecting your allies, this class is not for you. If you prefer causing giant explosions that hit lots of targets, this class is not for you. You are focused, adroit, and single minded. You are also a bit of loner, in that you don't have many things that directly support others (though others can benefit nicely from your status effects) This focus on singles is probably the only real thing they actually share with other strikers.

Anyway, still here? Read on...and find the pros and cons of: Selling thy soul for the promise of power!
Choosing thy pact. What's your soul worth?

About the Pacts:
Infernal Warlock, ala. the Inferlock
First up is the obvious option. The infernal pact choice is perhaps the most stereotypical Warlock. You also benefit from the fact that the largest selection of powers that are infernal (25 of them– 10 [+9 in Arcane Power] of which specifically benefit those with Infernal pacts). Infernal locks are mini-blast wizards, in essence, with their several reasonable area effect spells (starting at level 3). They are much tougher than most other casters, however, since they get bucket-loads of temporary hit points from dropping cursed foes; and they are liable to have huge Constitution scores to aid their spellcasting. To put it lightly, you have to be tough to deal with the devil. But the benefit of this is that you can more acceptably attempt to engage in melee and use close attacks with fewer risks.

Recommended Stats?
  • They're regular swimmers (in lava?!?) and their compulsion with hellish deals means they're especially good at at pouring over ambigiously worded contracts and dealing with excessive bureaucracy. (16-20 CON, Raise it every time)
  • Most locks had a degree of schooling somewhere before it all went horribly wrong. Nevertheless, you'd be surprised just how helpful that Maths course can be when figuring out which of the innumerate planes of the Abyss you're supposed to summon today. (13-15 INT, Probably your secondary stat)
  • Some Inferlocks, unlike their breathren, actually do some pushups in the morning and can get by in the gym without flying headfirst off the stair machine. (10-14 STR; depends on if you want to melee)
  • Muscle pumping usually comes first for you. But maybe you can show off and do a handspring or two. (10-12 DEX)
  • Inferlocks routinely have bad hair days and probably smell of brimstone a bit. Demonic parties don't judge based on looks, see. Nevertheless, to progress in the underworld, it doesn't hurt to have a little devilish charm... (8-14 CHA)
  • Obviously, since you made a deal with the devil, you probably don't have a ~tremendous~ amount of common sense. (8-10 WIS)

What Can I do with this?
Aka. Themes & Paths of Development
  • Become a Tank through a constant gain of Temporary Hitpoints. You can do this straight from level 1 with Vampiric Embrace, not to mention your Pact Boon. Though few other powers support this until Paragon (assuming you become a Life-Stealer), it is still a good theme.
  • Control enemies movement. You can also do this from level 1 with the Diabolic Grasp. Starting from level 7, alot of CON based powers support this theme, from Infernal Moon Curse, Howl of Doom, Iron Spike of Dis, etc. By fixing foes in place, or moving them where you need them, you can help keep the squishy members of the party safe, and allow the pummelers to pummel.
  • Cause big fiery explosions. You're not as good as the wizard at this role, but starting at level 3, you can deal with minions pretty well, and deal a fair bit of nasty damage types.

Fey Warlock, ala. the Feylock
So you picked the odd option. The fey pact creates a much sneakier, prettier Warlock. Though you technically have the smallest repertoire (21 spells, of which 8 [+9 in Arcane Power] specifically benefit you) you are still pretty versatile. Fey locks specialize in charm and teleportation, with minors in invisibility and the manipulation of weird energies. However, I’d argue that Fey locks have dubious damaging ability, and can no longer be called Strikers. They instead leap into the supposedly wizard only realm of control, but with extra mobility. That said, they can hardly be called weak. The fact that Will is typically the weakest save among creatures, and the fact that you can waste monsters actions, flash step around like a loon, and turn the entire party into disappearing ninjas cannot be underestimated. Unlike other kinds of warlocks, you have no need for Constitution; but you must be pretty; a high Charisma is essential.

Recommended Stats?
  • Damn you sexy nymphet, you! Feylocks carry around a mirror and preen themselves whenever they can. Looking the part is very important: first impressions are everything. Especially when it comes to mind control and illusion. (16-20 CHA, Raise it every time)
  • Most locks had a degree of schooling somewhere before it all went horribly wrong. Nevertheless, you'd be surprised just how helpful that Fey Biology class can be when it comes to knowing things like a Brownies favourite colour (no, it isn't brown, jackass!) or a Grigs desired type of ice-cream (13-15 INT, Probably your secondary stat)
  • Like the fey they emulate, Feylocks are spritely creatures and usually benefit from a degree of manual dexterity (10-14 DEX)
  • You can pass a routine physical. I mean, you look good, but good looks rarely go hand in hand with staggering endurance. Then again, maybe you can keep going? You know, just so you don't dissapoint the ladies... (10-14 CON)
  • On the other hand, you're never seen on the centrefold of the glamour-mags pumping iron. Its just so uncouth. (8-10 STR)
  • Obviously, since you went and had unprotected sexual relations with a nymph, you probably don't have a ~tremendous~ amount of common sense. Or maybe your lust just dramatically outpaces it... (8-10 WIS)

What Can I do with this?
Aka. Themes & Paths of Development
  • Teleport around like a Vorpal Rabbit on Acid. Feylocks love to teleport even more than other Warlocks, as its built into their pact boon. This allows you to have a character of highly adaptable tactics, as no soon as you drop one foe, you can be straight into the next fray, helping out there too. Mobility is very important in 4e, and this Pact takes full advantage of that.
  • Control minds and hearts with impuignity. Starting at level 5, mind control in its menagerie of forms becomes a core aspect of the Feylock. It is something that is especially espoused in their Paragon Path. They truly start getting good at it around level 10-15, but controlling foes actions, though it doesn't directly cause damage, shouldn't be underestimated.
  • Slap debuffs on foes. Not your speciality, (its the Starlocks, actually)* but there are enough powers here to make it a possible theme. They start right away with Witchfire at level 1. Even your At-Will, Eyebite, blinds foes. It only gets better by level 7 and Mire the Mind comes out the woodwork.

* = That said, you can usually yoink a good chunk of the Starlocks control and debuff powers off them if you like them, since they may well run off Charisma.

Star Warlock, ala. the Starlock
Then you have the brave option. The star pact is the most MAD Warlock build, as your required abilities variably switch between Constitution and Charisma. You have the middle sized selection of abilities**, but the least that actually benefit you for picking the Star Pact. (22 spells, but only 7 [+7 in Arcane Power] gain extra boons from the Star Pact). That out of the way, you have (arguably) the most desirable pact boon. Since to hit bonuses are remarkably hard to get hold of in 4th edition, the fact you can rack up absurd bonuses from your curse is very nice (admittedly, it loses its effectiveness against singular bosses, like all the pacts). In addition, its versatile, since you can add it to any roll (adding to saves is also useful). As another interesting benefit, your powers deal a nice variety of damage types, from radiant to necrotic. The entry requirements might be steep (Cthulu only accepts pretty ~and~ tough people!) but the inevitable rewards are probably worth it.

Recommended Stats?
  • When wrapped in a cloak of stars and bathed in moonlight, you really get to show off your pearly, luminescent skin. Its obvious you inherited the looks of the family. Some people just don't appreciate your subtle beauty, though, and it goes un-noticed... (EITHER~ 16-20 CHA, Raise it every time OR 10-14, as a secondary stat)*
  • You like spending lonely nights contemplating the world on chilly plains and clifftops. You have a degree of personal endurance that usually goes beyond the normal, and shrug off colds with ease. (EITHER~ 16-20 CON, Raise it every time OR 10-14, as a secondary stat)*
  • Most locks had a degree of schooling somewhere before it all went horribly wrong. Nevertheless, you'd be surprised just how helpful that Astrophysics class can be when trying to determine the correct trajectory to bring your falling meteors in on for maximum impact. (12-14 INT, Probably your tertiary or maybe secondary stat)
  • With all the gibbering ancient tomes they have to decode; Starlocks rarely get any degree of physical aptitude. (10-12 DEX, 8-10 STR)
  • Obviously, since you decided that tentacles are actually a bold fashion statement rather than a gibbering mess, you probably don't have a ~tremendous~ amount of common sense. (8-10 WIS)

What Can I do with this?
Aka. Themes & Paths of Development
  • Enjoy mastery over all fate, luck and destiny. Your pact allows you to quite literally bend luck in your favour, and add +1 bonuses to any roll of your choice. Considering how its fairly hard to obtain boosts to Attack rolls and Saving throws in the game, this power is rather cool. It also extends to several of your later powers, such as Sign of Ill Omen and Strand of Fate, allowing you to totally screw over the luck of others (, luck of the GM).
  • Control the four dimensions in your favour. The Warlock specialises in attacks that disable the foe and cause status, usually to the benefit of the rest of the party. From Immobilization to granting Combat Advantage, it all ends up helping.
  • Smash foes with the power of the cosmos. Finally, the Starlock likes to cause alot of varied forms of damage, from Radiant and Cold to Fire and Psychic. Its all there. In practice, this is very useful, since there's often a good way for you to take advantage of weaknesses (or at least override resistances).

*= Make sure you pick either CON or CHA to focus on for a Starlock. Have one at 16-20, and the other at 14-16. If you don't your other stats will be very weak.

**= If you include the supplement from Dragon 366, the number of powers for a Starlock drastically increases, though...

Dark Warlock, ala. the Boomlock
And then, as a result of the Forgotten Realms Players Handbook, theres now a fourth option, the Dark Warlock. I call this the Boomlock, simply because it (usually) forgoes the warlocks usual funky effects for BIG damage in its powers. The Darkspiral Aura pact boon literally gives you a charge up laser. As you drop foes, you can then punish those that try to attack you in reciprication. You can also weaken foes with this effect, which again increases your survivability. Your damage focus is mostly on Necrotic and Psychic, but Poison, Force and Acid occasionally show up. Sadly, Necrotic is the least desirable damage type due to its inefficiency vs. the Undead. Finally, since you focus on Charisma, you can still yoink some stuff from Feylocks and Starlocks (and they can nick your stuff too). Basically, a Boomlock is the most 'striker' like of all the Locks.

Recommended Stats?
  • The lure of the dark is oh-so-delicious. Your shadow seems to somehow accent your beauty, rather than detract from it. And with that smile, that...sardonic...delightful...almost disturbing smile, the will to resist just crumbles away. (16-20 CHA, Raise it every time)
  • Most locks had a degree of schooling somewhere before it all went horribly wrong. Nevertheless, you'd be surprised just how helpful that Physics course can be when it comes to figuring out angles of incidence and the right degrees of the electromagnetic spectrum to invoke. (13-15 INT, Probably your secondary stat)
  • Like the darkness that inspires them, Boomlooks can sometimes seem to agilely be in ten places at once... (10-14 DEX)
  • You can pass a routine physical. Not that you'd ever actually concede to letting a doctor touching you... (10-14 CON)
  • All that black clothing is actually just to disguise your pale gaunt and lack of muscle, though, right? (8-10 STR)
  • Obviously, since you embrace that which nearly all people innately fear, you probably don't have a ~tremendous~ amount of common sense. Or maybe your lust just dramatically outpaces it... (8-10 WIS)

What Can I do with this?
Aka. Themes & Paths of Development
  • Deal crushing amounts of damage to single foes. Make no mistake, the Darklock is about killing things with extreme prejudice. They deal alot of Psychic meltdown and Necrotic lifesapping damage, and their pact feature only supports this fact with its charge up cannon effect. Especially fabulous at this job is the twin pair of 'Your Delicious Weakness' and 'Your Delectable Pain', which change their types on the fly to cause extra damage.
  • Deal ongoing damage. If the first attack doesn't kill it, the slowly seeping poison surely will. Alot of Dark Pact powers deal Ongoing damage.
  • Prevent the foe from hurting you. Several Dark pact powers, starting with Upsetting Onslaught at level 3, impose effects or conditions which punish the foe for trying to attack you. Your pact feature can also weaken foes if it is sufficiently charged up. The Darkwalker Paragon path also supports this concept through its use of the Insubstatial status effect.

Vestige Warlock, ala. the Binderlock
Arcane Power brings back the Vestiges. These originally came about in a late supplement for 3.5, the Tome of Magic. Personally, I picked it up because of the Truenamer stuff, but this part was fine too, and it also had Shadow Magic. I actually went on to create a bizarre custom fusion class from the Pact and Vestige stuff that I called the Pact Binder. It had some similarity to Sheena from Tales of Symphonia, invoking true names to command a spirits loyalty.

Anyway, my waffling aside, I call them Binderlocks for this reason. In any case, it makes some sense, as you're binding the service of a vestige spirit with this pact. Your pact boon here is completely mutable and versatile. It changes whenever you switch Vestige. You can really choose what kind of effect you want to happen, and change it if you expend your Dailies. From the default options, King Elidyrs boon gives you a leader-ish feel by granting AC, and Zutwas boon increases your accuracy if you're in the middle of the fray. Additionally, you're the second type of Warlock to prefer Constitution (Inferlocks being the first). Arcane Power introduces you, and boy does it love you too, as it offers a shocking 28 spells which have effects specifically benefitting you (I include the Vestige spells in this number).

Recommended Stats?
  • You've trekked all over the world and poured over thousands of tomes in your life long quest for knowledge in your art of psuedo-summoning and pact binding. Holding the souls of so many departed heroes and villians inside of you also requires a certain degree of prenatural toughness (16-20 CON, Raise it every time)
  • Most locks had a degree of schooling somewhere before it all went horribly wrong. Nevertheless, you'd be surprised just how helpful those History and Geography courses were in remembering odd legends that might have just maybe been turned in vestiges. (13-15 INT, Probably your secondary stat)
  • Binderlocks interested in learning from the mistakes of the past to become better leaders might actually persue personal bodily enhancement. (10-14 STR and 10-13 DEX)
  • Binderlocks can also vary a bit on the looks front. They rarely take great heed on their apperance, but sometimes they have a rough, almost roguish charm to them. (10-13 CHA)
  • Seeking ancient lore at expense of all other pursuits is rarely what one could call an intelligent hobby, since it can easily corrupt. But some binderlocks might just have a modicum of sense about them, especially those with leader-ish or psuedo religious tendancies (8-13 WIS)

What Can I do with this?
Aka. Themes & Paths of Development
  • Be a Warlock of Many Talents! The various alterations to your Pact-Boon and initial attack, not to mention the unique attacks the Vestige Pact sports all allow you to step away from the Warlocks (already admittedly dubious) association with being a Striker. This is hence rather opposite to the Dark Pact. What's most unique is your ability to buff and heal allies from time to time, which is otherwise unheard of in Warlocks.
  • Deal a large range of damage types. The Vestige Warlock summons the aid of a large menagerie of spirits. Almost each level, you'll come across a new damage type in Vestige Pact powers. Many of their attacks also cause typeless damage, which is quite a rare phenomenon for Arcane Casters.
  • Hit the foe with annoying restrictions. Many Vestige powers do stuff to foes that isn't covered by the usual status effects (which Starlocks are superior with, in any case), like preventing healing, destroying concealment, and being easier to hit with.

Lock-a-low-down: General Considerations
  • Warlocks don't actually get to choose their At-Will powers, unlike other classes. Their pact decides it for them. So be sure to read the At-Wills section as well before you pick a Pact.
  • Prime Shot is gained by all Warlocks, but frankly, for you, its not so hot. Melee Rangers get a great boon from the same feature, but in general, it is healthier for a Warlock to stay at the middle distance of 5-10 squares and snipe at things, since they are fairly squishy characters. Hence, you'll rarely get to call on this bonus, except for those few Close Burst and Blast attacks you have. Inferlocks, with their stack of Temp. HP and wider range of close attacks, can use it slightly more effectively, though.
  • Warlocks Curse is obviously a fairly important part of the class. Its basically an Arcane Version of Hunters Quarry, though. True enough, it helps with your DPR a little bit, but even with this boost, you can't really expect to approach the true-striker-ness of Rogues and Rangers. Then again, as I've argued before, I don't feel this is point of a proper Warlock (except maybe certain Boomlocks and Inferlocks focused on explosions)
  • Shadow Walk means you blur as you dash around the battlefield. By moving at least 3 squares a turn, you can hide yourself with Stealth checks. Of course, you can't actually take stealth as class skill, though (sigh...) so if you actually want to properly take advantage of this, you'll need to burn a feat for a Skill Training or Multiclass Feat.
  • You use Rods, Wands, or Pact Blades as Implements.
    • Rods are more useful for specific Warlock bonuses, and if you are single-classing, should probably be your implement of choice.
    • If you want to multiclass, you can avoid Multi-Implement Dependancy by being a Wand Wizard or by using a Pact Blade that is also a Dagger for a Dagger Sorcerer.
    • There's technically nothing stopping you from having a Pact Rapier, if you want, and Pact Hammers are fun choices for Multiclass Fighters/Paladins (especially those with the CON to use Inferlock/Binderlock stuff AND get Hammer Rhythm!).

  • You can wear Leather Armour. And you should. Wizards like to blow a feat to get it, so its nice you get to wear it for free. A +2 AC always helps.
  • If you feel like sinking 13 into STR, which is otherwise pretty useless for a Warlock, picking up Light Shield Proficiency is also a good move. Though personally, I feel its a waste. CON-locks doing this fare slightly better, though, since they'll also be able to get Hide Armour Proficiency from sinking those stat points.
  • You get slightly more HP than a Wizard. You're still squishy though.
  • You can use Simple weapons, if you want. Most of the time, its better to just use your At-Will powers though. Its not like in 3.5 where low-level casters basically lived off their crossbows when they depleted their two magic missiles for the day. You can now go unarmed besides implement (which all of the Warlocks I've played so far have done).
  • Though, of course, you get to attack at a longer range with a Crossbow than you would with most powers since alot of your stuff is 10 range. Make sure you have at least 14 DEX if you're planning this, however.
  • Unlike most Arcanists, you bizarrely DON'T have to pick Arcana as a class skill. You probably will have the INT for it though, so you'll probably get it anyway. Its hilarious that Sorcerers have to pick it, but will still be crap at it, since they don't actually study...LOL...
  • You can dabble in Rogue-ish activities with your other skills. Its for this reason I say 10-14 DEX is ok for all Pact types. Intimidate, Bluff and Thievery are probably good choices for your other skills. More scholarly Warlocks may prefer Arcana, History and Religion. Unless in a predominantly urban campaign, Streetwise is fairly useless and you probably don't have the WIS to use Insight.

As for arrays:
  • 18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 8: Powergamers array of choice. Works well for any single type Warlock, though your DEX will suck (get Improved Initiative!) Typically CHA/CON then INT. Only dual-type Starlocks should ignore it entirely.
  • 16, 16, 12, 12, 10, 8: Best for Dual Type Starlocks. Especially Half-Elf ones. Pretty nicely balanced and allows minor INT/DEX bonus. Also fine for locks looking to get big buffs from rider effects.
  • 18, 13, 13, 10, 10, 8: For those who need a tertiary stat, but still want an 18 starter. A decent alternative for those who want DEX and INT as well as their prime stat, though neither will ever be fabulous.
  • 17, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8: Underrated, in my opinion. Certainly not optimal, but it does allow for a much better secondary spread of stats in exchange for a arguably manageable loss in the main-stat. You will admittedly be 3 levels behind an 18 user, meaning the bookend levels (1-3 and 28-30) will suffer. But, in general, you'll be alright.
Race to the finish! Who wins?
Ala. what races work best?

I know I've taken some flak for not rating Tieflings as uber Feylocks. So sue me. I stand firm on the issue.

For each race, I’ll give a rating for each type of warlock. The format is:
Infernal (in red)/Fey (in green)/Star (in blue) /Dark (in purple)/Vestige (in Burnt Sienna)
for ease of recognition, and the rating is out of 10

The Charisma bonus can really help out the Feylock or Boomlock; not to mention the Dragonsbreath can slightly plug the hole that Feylocks can often have in minion crushing ability. That said, they’re unlikely to have much Con, so the damage won’t be awesome (not that this is terribly important).
Similarly, Starlocks can also benefit from the Charisma, and are likely to have a more potent breath since they’ll actually have Con.
On the other hand, Inferlocks and Binderlocks get very little from being draconic. Charisma is likely to be their dumpstat, and with their huge wad of temporary hitpoints, they’re never likely to make full use of the boosted healing surges and fury when bloodied. The only reason they get a 2 is because they dragonbreath might actually be a nice weapon with the uber-Con you’re likely to have.

Pros: Breath good for minion crushing (something locks are typically bad at), CHA bonus can help, better surge is nice for Starlock/Inferlock/Boomlock.
Cons: STR is probably useless, you shouldn't be getting hit enough to take advantage of being bloody.

With the Con bonus, Dwarves can work as Inferlocks. The fact that you can use Second Wind as a minor action and have a shed full of temp. hitpoints means that you’re unlikely to have health problems in the foreseeable future. Binderlocks are probably also okay here.
Starlocks get much less from the deal. Although they can use the Con, theres nothing else of benefit for them.
Feylocks are still technically worse here, mind you. They’re about charisma and mobility, and dwarves have neither. Don’t make your feylock (or Boomlock) a Dwarf.
In general, Dwarves are really, really meant to wear heavy armour to take advantage of their Encumbered speed. If you do want a Dwarf Inferlock or Binderlock, I’d highly recommend dumping Dex and immediately taking Chainmail proficiency. As armoured warlocks, you might increase their rating by 1 or 2.

Pros: Can make for walking founts of Hitpoints as Inferlocks, Fast Surge, CON bonus for Inferlocks & Binderlocks, not likely to be pushed around.
Cons: Needs armour really, far too slow for Feylocks, not pretty enough for Boomlocks.

For feylocks, Eladrin might be okay (heck, they are fey, right?). Though you get no Charisma boost, you do have a natural teleport to go with your class teleport, hence making you absurdly mobile (though it might be overkill).
But, in general, Eladrin are not an awesome choice for Warlocks. They don’t need the Will bonus, they shouldn’t really be using longswords, and so on. Starlocks especially need to keep away; boosts to two stats you don’t need! The only real boon to Eladrin is that you can pick Stealth as your extra skill, and maybe abuse Shadow walk to stay invisible, if your GM allows it, otherwise, leave them to be Wizards or Swordmages.
As for Boomlocks, Eladrin might be okay, since, again, the teleport helps, and the boost to INT helps with some of their powers. Its also not overkill in the teleports like a Feylock. Weird, huh?

Pros: Racial Teleport complements feylock abilities, can nab Stealth or Perception as an extra skill.
Cons: Really not made to be warlocks in general, as DEX/INT are only secondary.

Again, Elves are not ideal for any type of Warlock. Neither stat bonus is terribly helpful, and whatever your build, you typically don’t shift (you teleport). That said, they still get an average score for Inferlocks, Binderlocks, Boomlocks and Feylocks because of their high mobility and the desirable Elven Accuracy power. Starlocks will still want to stay away because of their MADness.

Pros: Elven Accuracy, Fast
Cons: Really not made to be warlocks in general.

Whew, Half-Elves are great news for warlocks, and especially so for Starlocks, since both of their stat requirements are covered. Feylocks and Starlocks also benefit from being party leaders with their high Charisma. And heck, having Dilettante is always fun to help cover your weaknesses. Most warlocks can benefit from taking the Wizards Scorching Burst or Thunderwave to make up for their initial lack of AOE attacks. Feylocks and Starlocks ~could~ also benefit from a paladin attack (Bolstering Strike, most likely, since it doesn’t require a mark). Finally, you can take advantage of those nice Human feats, and actually get a decent deal out of Paragon multiclassing if you really want. A great choice, regardless of the circumstances.

Pros: Starlock can 18 his two prime stats without nerfing others, Can take human feats, Dillantette allows you to pick up a mob control power.
Cons: None really

I’d argue that Halflings make for superb Feylocks. They get the Charisma bonus that they need, more Dex is always nice, and their other abilities promote both mobility and avoiding attacks, which is key for the Feylock. Same with the Boomlocks. They also make for superb users of the Otherwind Stride because of these boons (run into a pack of enemies, set off the bomb, teleport away!).
Similarly, Starlocks can also benefit from these attributes, if not as well, since they also need the Con.
Inferlocks, on the other hand, have no real place here, since Charisma and mobility are fairly unimportant to them.

Pros: Hard to kill, Warlocks don't need melee weapons so size is irrelevant, CHA for feylocks and boomlocks, Nimble reaction good for some powers
Cons: Wrong bonuses for other Lock types, though Starlocks are serviceable.

Being the most versatile race, Humans are good news for nearly all classes. Extra skills, feats and saves are always nice; not to mention the human feats are great. But, Feylocks and Starlocks get the most benefit, since they can pick each others power (Eyebite or Dire Radiance, respectively) and then have an at-will attack that can target every defence besides AC. Additionally, Spiteful Glamour is handy for Starlocks interested in damage, and Eye of the Vestige is just generally a handy backup attack, even for Inferlocks. Good times.

Pros: Can hit every defence at 1st level, more feats is always good, Defences are cool, can never go wrong with ability choice, human feats too
Cons: Ability scores only get a +2 rather than a +4, but such is the price of versatility

You’d think that Tieflings would automatically make awesome Inferlocks given their daemonic heritage, but by default, this is not so, since they don’t require Cha, and Int is a secondary stat. However, there is some ~serious~ merit in them ~if~ they take the racial feat of Hellfire Blood and ignore the level 1 Infernal Encounter powers, since lots and lots of the other infernal attacks are fire and fear based, and having as many to hit bonuses as possible is always good. If you take advantage of this combo (and you should), you can increase their rating to 8.
Starlocks might also want to look here for the same reasons as the Inferlock although they’ll almost exclusively be looking at the fear benefits. In fact, they might be better off since they also get to hit one of their needed stats, Charisma.
Feylocks also benefit from the Charisma, though they get no significant benefits from Hellfire blood, and they shouldn’t be getting hit in order to call upon their Infernal wrath. Not a bad choice for the Feylock though. As some have pointed out, INT is also a secondary stat for Feylocks, so yeah, its all good.
They're pretty nice as Boomlocks too, since the Charisma and Intelligence boosts, are, like the Feylock, pretty useful.
In general, Tieflings ~are~ above average as Warlocks of all types, but are often just a little removed from being superior.

Pros: Bloodhunt is a nice feature for killing stuff off, CHA for feylocks, Hellfire Blood feat was so made for warlocks
Cons: Shouldn't be getting bloody to use that power, bizarrely sub-optimal for Inferlocks

Forgotten Realms Extra Races

Well, in my opinion, Drow have become a bit broken in 4e since they lost the +2 level adjustment. Personally, I rule you pick either Cloud of Darkness OR Darkfire at 1st level; and that you only get Low-Light vision since Darkvision has become more prestigious. But whatever. They are indeed quite mighty for Charisma based Warlocks. The fact that you can instantly conceal yourself or freely gain combat advantage once an encounter is a very nice set of powers; and the fact that you gain a DEX boost in addition to CHA, like a Halfling, means that you're well set up for a reasonable intiative and good potency.

Pros: Powers are very strong and versatile, Good for CHAlocks.
Cons: You ~might~ not use the Intimidate/Stealth Bonuses, like a Rogue would.

I'll consider each of the Genesi seperately, since Elemental Manifestation does change them quite a bit.

Earth Genasi
I can see them becoming reasonable Inferlocks, especially the kind that likes to charge into the fray (kinda like a Dwarflock). They can get themselves out of trouble easier by using Earthshock, and a saving throw boost is always handy. Hardly top-tier, though.

Pros: Earthshock gets you out of trouble, Saving throw boost
Cons: Like all Genasi, STR is useless to a Warlock, and INT is only okay.

Fire Genasi
I suppose, again, they might be okay as Pyromaniacs, since they can bomb themselves with Fire area effect spells and not care about the consequences as much (like Tieflings). But still, not alot to see here for the Warlock.

Pros: Decent lunatic pyromancer?
Cons: Like all Genasi, STR is useless to a Warlock, and INT is only okay.

Thunder Genasi
As far as I'm aware, Warlocks don't usually get to use Thunder and Lightning powers much. So nope, I see nothing here for you. Be a wizard instead.

Pros: None, really
Cons: Like all Genasi, STR is useless to a Warlock, and INT is only okay. No thunder powers to take advantage of.

Water Genasi
Now Water Genasi I've always a soft spot for, and this is no exception. The ability to breath underwater is underrated, and Swiftcurrent is basically a VERY nice 6 space teleport. That you're also protected vs. Ongoing damage is an extra boon. Though the stats are still not ideal for a Warlock, the Water Genasi is still worth considering due to the other benefits (except for Starlocks, who REALLY need the stats)

Pros: Very mobile (probably moreso than Eladrin), nice abilities.
Cons: Like all Genasi, STR is useless to a Warlock, and INT is only okay.

Air Genasi
The fact that Air Genasi get access to flight at 1st level is tremendously amusing. Wizards don't get to play that game until 16th level (!) making it a very desirable ability. Admittedly, you can't sustain yours. But hell, its damn nice. Again, the stats don't match up too well, but like a Water Genasi, its worth considering for the nice ability.

Pros: Very useful power
Cons: Like all Genasi, STR is useless to a Warlock, and INT is only okay.

PHB II Extra Races

Sorry, they'll always be Aasimars to me, not Deva's. Other than the name-change, though, I'm quite pleased on how they turned out.

Of course, they don't easily lend themselves to CHA based arcanists like Warlocks. But INT is a secondary stat, and WIS helps with Perception & stuff. More importantly, extra languages are handy if you're the party face. And, on top of that, Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes is a nice power that theoretically stacks with the Star-Pacts Fate of the Void to make you twiddle incesessantly with rolls. They're not ideal, but they're not a bad choice for locks either.

Pros: When alot relies on hitting stuff, the memory of 1000 lifetimes power can be really handy & it stacks with Star Pact too.
Cons: Statboost only applies to your secondary abilities.

I find it a little weird that Gnomes have turned into Chibi-Elves, rather than the stumpy little things they were before...but whatever. They're more like what I would invision Brownies or Redcaps or big fairies now, rather than Gnomes.

Nevertheless, much like their halfling cousins, they're perfectly suited to CHA-locks, especially Feylocks (wouldn't you know, them bein' Fey and all). Though they have a low speed, a stack of teleports and long range attacks and suitable stats mean it doesn't affect them as much as their Dwarf compatriots who also choose Warlock-dom. Their abilites do emphasise the sneaking around part of being a Feylock, rather than the dominion aspect, though, so keep that in mind. Boomlocks also benefit. Starlocks also okay. Not so hot for Inferlocks or Binderlocks, mind you.

Pros: Very good for CHA-locks. Sneaky and effective.
Cons: Low Speed

Half-giants, anyone? They're all about Endurance. Which, convieniently, puts them ideally into the Inferlocks and Binderlocks camp. The CON-boosts, the damage resistance, the reasonable speed. Its all there for the Tank style Inferlock, though they can't throw on the armour like the armoured Dwarflock. But you'll have stack loads of hitpoints and the firepower to go with them, which is pretty cool. Sadly, the STR bonus goes to waste entirely here, but nevermind.

Pros: Great Inferlocks/Binderlocks with CON boost & Stone's Endurance
Cons: STR is useless to a Warlock.

Half-orcs are PRETTY now!?! What is the world coming too...

As might be expected, Half-Orcs are pretty much at odds with the whole pact and promise deal. You've got nothing here...really...move along...

Pros: Furious Assault could give small damage boost.
Cons: Basically everything else.

Shifters (both varieties)
Demi-Lycanthropes, huh?

In the same vein as Half-Orcs, the Shifter really doesn't lend themselves to holding any sort of Arcane prowess. The stats aren't there, and being bloodied for a bonus is typically a bad idea for a Warlock. Keep on moving...

Pros: Nothing really.
Cons: Basically everything else.
Power to the people
A look at each power
Part 1 (Level 1, initial choices)

Now I’ll take a delve into each power.
The colour of each ones title indicates which pact it technically belongs to.
After the title, I’ll have the five ratings in the same way as the races, showing value in the power for each type of warlock.
I’ll also underline the score if I feel that this best power for that pact to take this level.

Of course, these values are just my opinion, and they assume you’re playing the build in the standard way. If you’ve got a funky hybrid, the values ~might~ be irrelevant.

Now, naturally, you can take one pact and yet never take any of its actual powers (besides the at-will), but that’s a bit counterproductive. That said, if you want variety, go for it.

Just remember, picking an Inferlock power when you’re a Feylock is probably a bad idea if your Con sucks. Starlocks, with their MAD stats, probably have more choice, since they’ll be reasonable in both; but even they should probably pick a favourite and stick with it.

Boomlocks follow Feylocks in their constriction to Charisma powers, and Binderlocks will typically follow Inferlocks in their constriction to Constitution powers. The ratings take this account. If that power doesn't correlate with your pact's ideal stat, its not likely to score above 4 because, hey, you'll never hit with it.

At the start of each levels powers, I'll also put a quick choice summary, which is preluded with a: . After this symbol, there will be a short list detailing what I think is the best power for each Pact to take this level, in the format of Infernal/Fey/Star/Dark/Vestige. This is you're doing a build in a hurry and want to see what is best in a pinch.

Finally, if the power is from a Supplement, like Dragon Magazine, I'll mark it with a symbol as well.
is the Starlock upgrade article from Dragon 366
is the Necromancy stuff article from Dragon 372
is the PH Heroes: Series 1 thinguamy.
is the Celestian Order stuff article from Dragon 375

1st Level At wills
Technically you only get to choose At-Wills if you’re either:
A) A human
B) Doing Paragon Multiclassing

Since otherwise your two at-will powers given are technically class features, and you can’t ever retrain them. So pick that pact carefully! Because of this, I’ll only give the at-wills a general rating.

Dire Radiance– 8
Technically better than Hellish Rebuke, because the bonus damage isn’t nowhere near as conditional. Its also very nice to deal Radiant damage if you don’t happen to have a Cleric or a Pally in the party (since you’ll automatically be the best at dealing with the undead in that case). The only issue is that Fort is probably the worst defence to hit.

Eldritch Blast– 7
Well, if you’re a Warlock, you have it, so don’t complain. If you’re sniping and the enemies aren’t at all interested in you, then this is your best attack to use because of the higher damage. Obviously, pick your best stat as the attacking one. Hitting Reflex is also okay, and the fact that it counts as a basic ranged attack will make the Warlords in your party more useful.

Eyebite– 8
Arguably the best for the mobile kind of Warlock. Which, conveniently, Feylocks are. One might argue that staying invisible is a far better deterrent against a raging monster than intimidating it with the promise of damage. However, you can’t get combat advantage from this power unless you spend an action point, so considering its low damage, it can’t be considered the ultimate power. Does have the extra boon of targeting will, though.

Hellish Rebuke– 6
Previously, the Inferlock gets the worst deal with the at-will powers, but I reckon the Boomlock beats them at that now. This power is handy if someone does attack you, as the foe that you targetted with the Rebuke gets an additional flame up the butt, but this effect is more conditional than Dire Radiance. Human Inferlocks should make sure they pick up Dire Radiance, since its also CON based and generally superior. (Thanks to Lokathor for correcting me on this~ previously thought it granted a thorns effect.)

Spiteful Glamour– 5
Whew, dust off your D12 and give him a reason to live. Technically, the Boomlock gets a nice deal on the damage front for early levels. If its a new foe, the possibility is there you could do an extra 4 damage to it. But...thats it. In other circumstances, its still better to use your Eldritch Blast. And there are no other effects to this attack, meaning that the Boomlock doesn't get to do anything interesting at all. So yeah, its the lowest tier, since 4 damage soon becomes quite negliable. A human Starlock interested in damaging Will and not wanting the coolness of eyebite could pick this up though.

Eye of the Vestige- 9.5
Wow, I think we have a new winner for the best At-Will Warlock power here. This power is remarkable. Why? Well, alot of a Warlock's Technique is helped along by his Curse for extra damage and his Pact Boon (which, convieniently, happens from Cursed targets). So when an at-will allows you place additional curses, its a natural benefit. I espose getting Twinfold curse at Paragon, but this power, if you have it, may render that more obsolete. The target of the new curse does have to be within 3 squares, but if theres no target, you can choose to apply your curse damage to any of the cursed foes within that vicinity, hence adding a degree of multi-target capability in the worst case.

What's more, though, this power also gets buffed EVEN more in the hands of the Binderlock, as their Vestige adds a conditional bonus. Elidyr continues his leader like abilities by granting a save to an ally. Zutwa lets you use Prime Shot even if you're not closest. Later vestiges can even do crazy stuff like adding the Weakened condition, ongoing damage and stuff like that. Oh, and it targets Will. Of course, it is a CON based attack. Nevertheless, Human Inferlocks and Starlocks should really consider picking this up as their second power for the ability to spread curses arounds

Eldritch Strike– 8
Well, this is bizarre, a melee attack for the Warlock. Of course, considering that only humans can actually pick this up, one wonders why they'd pick it up over another pacts at-will. It would really be better in the hands of an Eladrin or Dwarf, seeing as how their weapon training will actually allow them to use a decent weapon in conjuction with it. I guess its fine if you've also picked Superior Weapon Proficiency for some reason and want to go around with a Pact Rapier.

I suppose its most interesting feature is being able to push the target. Its hardly spectacular, but it is useful if you're going for a Dollmaster/Blood Mage build (as I detail below).

Level 1 Encounters

:Vampiric Embrace/Sprites War Call/Arms of Hadaar/Dark Worms Feast/Clarion Call.

[u]Diabolic Grasp[/u]
Though sliding is okay, the fact that this doesn’t work at all on really big stuff or anyone with a reasonable fortitude makes this the inferior Infernal choice of this level, unless you also happen to have absurd Intelligence. However, though it is dubious as a start power, it does combo quite nicely with the Hunger of Hadar if you get that at 5th level. Your call. This has also become a little less effective with the introduction of the Arms of Hadar.

[u]Dreadful Word[/u]
Hmm, where I once would have advocated this power, there are now better choices. Still, the fact that it hits will and deals reasonable damage means its an alright attack for the Starlock.

[u]Vampiric Embrace[/u]
Definitely the better of the two Infernals this level, since it reinforces the Inferlocks primary abilities. It can grab you a nice bunch of temporary hitpoints. Also a good choice for Starlocks (probably more so than their actual power). Though Binderlocks have better options and Feylocks/Boomlocks don’t have the Con.

Was previously the best choice for Starlocks, since it has a similar sort of effect to Dire Radiance (keeping foes away) whereas the Feylock might seem a bit off on this power, since its much better for them to turn invisible and leap away than give a debuff and still risk taking a hit. Inferlocks are better staying with what they know, except in the case of tieflings and their Hellfire blood again, since this is a fire power (the only one this level, and its not infernal, figure that one out!).

This power is unique among first levels in that it becomes more potent as the combat rolls on and also gets a buff when you hit Paragon and grab two-fold curse. Its also interesting that it hits a close burst (not much warlock stuff does that). However, it is pretty conditional and will NOT serve you tremendously well at early levels, even as a Boomlock. Also, it loses some potency since it hits Fortitude. In the hands of a Human Starlock who also has Eye of the Vestige, this can ramp up in potency with their ability to throw around extra curses (if that applies to you, use bracketed version). Ironically, Binderlocks probably can't benefit as much as they'll probably have less CHA.

[u]Flickering Venom[/u]
Definately the Boomlocks best choice this level. Though Cursebite increases in potency as you level, this is solid and remains solid from the start. The fact that it deals Force and Poison damage is unique. And if you happen to also be a Rogue, you can do more.
However, in the hands of other locks, this power loses out a chunk, because without the +5 range boost, it becomes dangerous to use it.

[u]Glow of Ulbaan[/u]
Delicious for a Starlock: It hits Will, deals a good chunk of Radiant damage, and screws over a foes saving throws for a turn. All of this together is ~just~ about worth that dangerous 5 range limitation.
To everyone else, though, this is a fairly generic short ranger, and probably isn't worth your time unless you feel the need to be packing radiant damage (missing a cleric, are you?)

[u]Arms of Hadaar[/u]
Basically this is the Star Pact's take on the Diabolic Grasp. But, it manages to do it better! Well, you do lose the range and half of the potency. But in return, it becomes a Close Burst 2, which is almost unheard of for a Level 1 power. That's alot of targets you can hit! What's more, it targets Reflex rather than Fortitude, which is better. What's more, it also acts as a superb "get the frack away from me!" spell. So, overall, pretty good if you've got the CON to use, and hence also a nice pick for Inferlocks and Binderlocks.

[u]Chains of Levistus[/u]
A pretty nice lockdown/control spell, which is pretty unusual for an Inferlock. It has a good potential to deal 4d6 damage and give a hit bonus for them. Just be sure to target something that looks like its a melee combatant (preferably a lurker), since a ranged foe can ignore the restriction (which is a bit of a waste of the spells potential). However, it does hit FORT, and the things that you're liable to want to target with this spell are likely the fighter-ry things that have a good Fort, potentially screwing over this spell.

[u]Clarion Call[/u]
Has alot of potential for a Binderlock, since its a Close Blast 3. That has a good potential to hit a fair few targets, and in their hands, it can grant a stack of Temporary HP (up to 27, in fact!). It also deafens, but that doesn't help you much (it might aid the Rogue's sneaking, I guess). Damage is fairly generic and does hit FORT, however... Hence, in non-binderlock hands, its not as great unless you feel the need for an anti-minion munition at 1st level (and Arms of Hadar can also fit that description better with a wider area of effect). But, whilst other locks have better choices, the Binderlock has a tough call between this and Life Bind here. Personally, I'd give the edge to Life Bind, but I can certainly see the advantage of the Temp HP and good area of this.

[u]Dark Worm's Feast[/u]
Ah, so that's the magic of the Makiri and Matou, right there (you'll only get that obscure reference if you've played Fate/Stay Night). Not a bad choice for very evil Boomlocks, Starlocks and Feylocks looking to infest their foes with suckerworms. Though marginally less potent and a less advantageous type when compared to Flickering Venom, it does target Will, which is always a boon. Additionally, it slows the foe and Boomlocks can make up for the damage loss with a good static modifier (probably dealing more damage than FV in the process!). Not bad at all.

[u]Life Bind[/u]
Wow, this is cool spell. It deals reasonable damage and hits Reflex, which is only okay. However, it really shines with that effect. Prevent all HP gain, Temp HP gain and give a -2 to saves for a turn? THAT IS NASTY! Really Nasty. I don't think many powers have such an effect, in fact. True, its only versus a single target and it deals Necrotic, making it less effective vs. Undead. However, against a big, single foe, this is a fine power. Its lockdown and striking power in a nice package. Binderlocks get to do slightly more damage too. A good choice for any CON-lock interested in a cool spell.

[u]Sprite's War Call[/u]
Ah, finally a fey spell that actually sounds like a fey spell at level 1. Witchfire always sounded hellish to me. It also invokes an amusing image of your character blowing a whistle and a bunch of fairies swarming the target to me. They also apparently use sleeping darts! Though the damage is a bit dubious, slowing and granting combat advantage is a rather nice effect if you can then follow up with a sneak attack. Keep in mind that they only grant CA to YOU, not allies, here. Still, a fun control spell.

Level 1 Dailies

:Tyranny of Flame/Curse of the Dark Dreams/Prophecy of Zhudan/Decree of Khirad/Pact with Khaeleth.

Armour of Agathys
This is quite dubious for all warlocks, since they shouldn’t be next to targets or taking hits. The Temp HP boost is also pretty crappy given that it’s a daily power. Like Hellish Rebuke, it might sound better if you’re surrounded, but, really, you shouldn’t be (even the armoured Dwarflock).

Curse of the Dark Dreams
Ah yes, this is control on a stick, and is the first feylock power to do so. Still remains useful in later levels, since the damage is good and because your wizard will love you. Also a good choice for Starlocks, if they don’t want to immobilize things (or if they want to combo this with Hunger of Hadar).

Dread Star
Previously the obvious choice for Starlocks, and still a nifty power. Being able to totally immobilize something, even for a turn, will be a great boon to the ranged attackers of your party. Also a good choice for Feylocks, because of the –2 to Will. Only average damage though.

[u]Flames of Phlegethos[/u]
This is actually your Warlock throwing a Molotov cocktail at the foe, lol. A nice damage dealer, and plain nasty against fire weak creatures, but that’s all one can really say about this. Not bad for the Inferlock this level, because it deals such a staggering amount of damage, though Tyranny of Flame is strictly better on the hit and effect front. A Binderlock or Starlock probably has better things to pick this level, but if they really want to firebomb people, its okay for them too.

Eww, exploding pus! A reasonable choice for sadistic warlocks because of its ability to spread, meaning it works surprisingly well at crowd control, something the Warlock is usually not specialised in.
However, this power relies on your GM's unluckiness, and is therefore a bit hit and miss. This isn't really a good thing for a power; as its reliability is reduced. Also, it hits Fortitude and deals poison, which isn't a tremendous combination. Still, a fun power, though Dark Worm's Feast is generally a superior Dark power.

[u]Your Glorious Sacrifice[/u]
No, just no. Go sit in the corner and think about what you've done.
So, fine, it deals decent damage, and inflicts (maybe) some ongoing. But your ally is not going to appreciate taking 4 damage for you to buff your strike. Especially when said buff isn't even a reliable one (since its ongoing, save ends malarky)
Even if you've got a beefy CON fighter to slurp HP from, reducing party resources is not a good thing. So stay away, unless you love the flavour of the power and insist on it.

Prophecy of Zhudan
Basically, this is Dreadful Word mark II. Only, this one is much more horrifying in return for being a Daily. The damage is fairly lackluster, but the effect this attack provides is quite mighty. Assuming the foe cannot make their save, they are screwed royally, since they can only make one action, and this action isn't going to be good at attacking with that debuff. Also hits Will, making this a nice disabling power for all CHA-locks.

Crown of Stars
Oooh, now this I like. It gives you a halo of deadly flashes to fling at people. The initial damage is reasonable, and you can continue to pelt things for 3-4 damage for the rest of the fight. Of course, you also use it back to front nearer the end of the fight to blind something that you've already bloodied. Its not spectacular, true, but its certainly a highly respectable power.

Star Shackles (White Lotus)
This is interesting. Its a hardcore control spell. In fact, it highly resembles my old favourite, Otherwind Stride, except that it drops the teleport and some damage for double the range and the ability to sustain the immobilization (and also snatch new targets). It also becomes a daily, but given the boosts, this seems an okay tradeoff. Obviously, the damage is totally laughable, especially for a daily, but the value of being able to shout "HOLD IT!!" like Phoenix Wright to a swath of enemies is invaluable, since your group can use to opening to retreat or set up positions. Its a nice spell if you're not looking to cause damage, and is uniquely placed to deal with lots of minions, something a Warlock is not normally qualified in.

Decree of Lelouch Khiraad
Wow, this is the little brother of the Lvl 20 Daily power, 'Whispers of the Fey' from the Feytouched Paragon Path. Only its actually a Star Pact attack (at least thematically). And yes, this is hence another version of Lelouch's Geass in that you're commanding enemies to kill themselves. This version naturally doesn't daze on a miss, and the attacks have to be melee ones. But, you do get to slide them around a bit beforehand, placing them into optimal positions to slap themselves. Among a pack of brutes and minions, this is a disturbingly nasty thing to happen, especially as you can get them to attack themselves if there aren't any better targets. Even though they must be considerably clustered since this is only a Close Blast 3; its still a fantastic power for CHA-locks interested in a nice domination spell.

[u]Fortune's Reversal[/u]
Unique in the fact that its a reactionary spell, something typically possessed by Swordmages or Rangers, rather than Warlocks. It basically punishes your GM if they get lucky (poor GM). Whilst that sounds cool on paper, I have to point out that the damage is awful (possibly worse than At-Wills!), the condition is stringient (depends on GM luck, you may not activate it often!), and you must also remember you're giving up an actual daily attack power for this.

So generally, its a pretty bad choice. Its slightly better for Feylocks since they also get to add an attack debuff, but still, I'd be wary. The boomlock boost is fairly minimal, though.

[u]Tyranny of Flame[/u]
Get down be-atch! Lick my feet! Or so the fluff suggests. Seems a bit strange getting a huge monster to do that, so I prefer to think it kneecaps the foes with a flaming steel baseball bat. Anyway, whilst this is nowhere near as damaging as the Flames of Phlegethos, it has a very strong effect attached to it instead. Prone is normally a fairly mediocre status because its easy to fix, but if they can't stand up until they save, it becomes effectively like Immobilization. What's more, you grant melee striking allies CA and give the foe -2 to attacks. Though hitting it again can be an issue, since you also give +2 to all defences against ranged attacks.

Nevertheless, its a great CON based power that I personally feel is the superior choice for Inferlocks now, especially seeing as how they also give -2 to the save.

Level 1 Vestiges
Just a quick notice: I won't even bother rating Vestiges for Feylocks and Boomlocks. Obviously, they're generally inferior picks (barring some exceptions) for non-binderlocks since they never get to benefit from the actual Vestige (it basically becomes a one shot spirit slash in a Inferlock or Starlocks hands), but that compounded with the fact that Constitution is required means that if I were to rate them for Feylocks and Boomlocks, as the rating would pretty much always be 1.

ALSO:I'll put the default Vestiges, King Elidyr and Zutwa here to.

Finally:Yes, I'll shut up in a minute. But finally, each Vestige steers your Warlock into a totally new aspect. Basically, they'll make you more Leader-like and ally supportive, focus your Controller aspect, increase your Striker power, or even make you slightly more Defensive. Its from this that Binderlocks get their versatility. Hence, I'll assign a class-type to each Vestige as well, showing its focus.

"King Elidyr"
Type: Leader
Elidyr is your first generic leader package. However, strictly speaking, I feel he's not as useful as Zutwa. While its a very strong effect, his Pact Boon ~could~ turn out to be useless quite often, since you have to be standing next to ally when it goes off. His Eye of the Vestige effect is also similarily conditional, granting a save to an ally that hits before the end of your next turn. Of course, you do have a decent CON so being in the fray is marginally less dangerous than it is for CHA-locks. Hence, with the right style of gameplay, you could gain some significant benefit from Elidyr. Don't ignore him!

Type: Striker
So why is Zutwa more useful, I hear you ask? Well, quite simply, he turns an otherwise fairly awful class feature of yours into something far better. Prime Shot is a great static bonus in the hands of a Melee Ranger, but Warlocks are typically into sniping their targets at least 50% of the time, which prevents the bonus from applying. However, you need to chain combo with Zutwa to truly feel the benefits. Being able to apply +3 to hit any target is awesome. BUT, it requires that you first Kill something then hit it with Eye of the Vestige. So, like Elidyr, its not a walk in the park to set up either. I guess, at the end of the day, its up to you, however.

Type: Leader
The attack on Khaeleth is interesting. At first it appears terribly weak, and it is. But, as an opening spell when the entire party is clustered together (you did take Improved Initiative to go quicker, right?), you may find yourself adding a huge stack of static modifiers.

Because, the damage formula is actually: 1d8 + CON + (INT x Party Members standing next to you). This could be up to 14 or so in static extra damage; which will improve as you level (and will be better if your INT is high). Hence, probably less effective for Starlocks who've not focused, but interesting (if not spectacular) for Inferlocks.

The augments combine throwing out Temp HP to people and reducing damage they take. So a general increase in survivability in a 5-square radius. Not bad.

"Mount Vaelis"
Type: Striker

The attack is generic (effectively a less potent version of Dread Star/Tyranny of Flame, as the immobilization doesn't affect flying or floating stuff) so non-binderlocks get nothing here.

The augments are also fairly average unless you love Thunder. Whilst it is nice to deal 2d6 with eye of the vestige, its hardly great unless you're desperate to pump out damage.
...Levels 2-5 inclusive...

Level 2 Utilities

:For utilities, specific 'bests' for pacts are not really applicable. For this level, I say Ethereal Stride > All others, but you may disagree. Be sure to read up on what you want.

Beguiling Tongue
For skill checks, this might be useful, especially if your Warlock is the party face (as in, they’re a Feylock, Boomlock or Starlock). But, that said, +5 is not a huge bonus and there are generally better choices this level.

Ethereal Stride
You really can’t go wrong with this, its awesome. Can even help a Inferlock or Binderlock get out of a sticky situation. If it was just a teleport, then it would be dubious, but that +2 to all defences is sheer gold.

Fiendish Resilience
Trash. It’s a daily, only on par with Vampiric Embrace in terms of Temp HP, AND it doesn’t do any damage. Even Inferlocks should pass.

Shadow Veil
Like beguiling tongue, only even more situational. Again +5 isn’t a huge bonus and you really should leave the sneaking to the rogue and the ranger. Possibly slightly more valuable for a Boomlock since it can be combo'ed with Flickering Venom to a small degree.

Spidery Scuttle
Wow, this COMPLETELY obsoletes the level 6 Infernal Spider Climb; it's superior in every way. Why?
A) It can apply to multiple move actions since it lasts effectively two turns.
B) It helps when you're prone.
C) Its level 2, rather than 6
Pretty damn nice actually. I like it. If you ~really~ don't give a damn about teleporting with Ethereal Stride, this is now the obvious second choice.

Fevered Certainty of Caiphon
Wow, thats gob-full. It basically grabs the effects of beguilling tongue and shadow veil and makes them more versatile (covering any skill) at the cost of it becoming a daily. Not bad if you're worried about Skill checks, but personally I'd still leave those to the Rogue or the Bard.

Caiphon's Leap
Its not bad, but its a bit subjective. Its useless to CON-Locks, since it requires CHA. However, it does work off an immediate reaction, so if you're the careless sort that likes to run into trouble, it might help you more to have immediate damage reduction attached to your teleport instead of a static defensive bonus. If so, add +2 to the rating.

Devil's Trade
Its okay, I guess. It might save your behind if you're not confident about making a saving throw and have one of those moments when you really WANT to be confident about it. But...what the heck is your Leader doing!?!? They should've helped you! Its better to rely on friends rather than devils.

Eyes of the Spider Queen
I suppose getting Darkvision is quite a boon to Normal vision characters. However, this drastically loses potency in the hands of a character who already has Low Light vision (-2 to the rating). Or worse still...if you're a Drow, reduce the rating to 1. The invisibility detection routine is also rubbish due to its total lack of range. And then, on top of that, its a daily power. In most cases, you should let the spider queen keep her eyes...and use a torch!

Fey Bargain
Typical. Fairies give you a better deal than devils. Well, if only for the coveted accuracy boost, this power is okay. Of course, don't forget to say hi to your next status condition. It'll be around for at least 2 turns, after all... Possibly a worthy tradeoff, but can also screw you over royally.

Level 3 Encounters

:Fiery Bolt/Otherwind Stride/Hands of Ibhar/Your Delicious Weakness/Fortune Binding.

Eldritch Rain
Bleh, its literally two Eldritch Blasts, which is so -not- worth an Encounter power. The Int bonus is negligible, the condition stringent, and you can’t even hit one creature twice. Its only real positive quality is the fact that the damage is untyped. Don’t know how you can call two shots a rain, either.

Fiery Bolt
Aha, at last the Inferlock gets his first proper ‘kill it with fire’ encounter power. This is fabulous at cleaning out swarms of minions (though a wizard still does it better in most circumstances). Against a mob, this can do some nice damage. But it has to be tactically placed to be effective. Still probably the best power for the Inferlock this level, though they may wish to consider something from the Binderlocks new arsenal.

Frigid Darkness
A very subjective power. If you have a rogue, (s)he’ll absolutely love you to take this power, and even moreso if you’re a Starlock. If you have a rogue, improve the ratings to the ones in brackets. If not, its slightly more mediocre, but can still benefit your melee fighters against a boss, especially for the Starlock.

Otherwind Stride
Yeah, I adore this power. A close burst AND immobilization AND I get to teleport away? Yes please! Though the damage is average, the potential of this power is frankly absurd. The only issue is the fact you have to get close to use it. But, oh look, you have Ethereal Stride, right? Teleport in, set off the vortex, teleport out. No attacks of opportunity, and you’ve paralysed an entire mob in a turn. Your party will love you. Still effective against bosses because of the immobilization, too. I contend this is the best power for all Feylocks (and maybe Starlocks not interested in Tentacle ****) this level, though inferlocks and binderlocks don’t have the charisma.

Crimson Lancer also points out that, if you're level 5 and also know Hunger of Hadar, you can use this as a brutal combo opener. Set this off; burn an Action Point, drop the Hunger into the place you were. Your foes are immobilized there, so end up starting at least two of their turns in that black cloud of death unless they have access to teleportation or something. That's at least 4d10 damage! Which is on par with 15th level stuff. Pretty awesome!

Upsetting Onslaught
Pretty nice for damage. On a first read, it sounds poor, but its not so bad, since its quite unlikely the foe will not take the extra damage unless the GM has a cunning plan. Still, the Boomlock benefit is pretty laughable: why the heck would you want to do that? I ~almost~ felt like docking some points from that silliness.

Your Delicious Weakness
Delicious weakness is delicious!! Loli haet pizza! Ahem, 4chan memes aside, this is a ~very~ nice attack. Certainly the Boomlocks choice this level too. The ability to always hit a foes vulnerability can help tremendously in the versatility stakes. I wouldn't say it usurps, say, Otherwind Stride in handiness, but its not half bad...

Hands of Ibhar
Can you say it? TENTACLE RAEP!! Yes-siree, you too can indulge in Cthulu-esqe activities! Its mightily powerful, it hits Will, and it even slows the target. Not to mention said tentacles obviously remove the foes clothing and hence reduce their Cold Resistance in the hands of a Starlock. Chilling! Damn nice for any sadistic warlock, and now quite possibly the Starlocks choice power for this level.

[u]Cloud of Flies[/u]
This is actually a less damaging version of Frigid Darkness. No really. Except that it deals Acid instead of Cold. I suppose they all splat against the target like, uh, flies on a windshield. I guess it always grants some kind of CA to the Inferlock or Binderlock, but giving yourself CA is far less useful than giving it to your allies. So a strictly 'meh' power.

Delbaans Deadly Attention
Despite the powers name making Mr. Delbaan sound like a disgruntled school teacher with a board eraser, this is actually a reasonable counterattack power for Starlocks, since they can backlash with 3d8, which is pretty nasty. Not quite as effective without the Starlock rider, though, and it also deals Necrotic damage, sadly.

Fortune Binding
Well, this is pretty darn amazing, if I may say so myself. The fact that it combines a decent amount of damage with a automatic-save is already quality material. But then applying that effect to the foe on top? Thats some serious comedy gold, there. Sadly, you can't transfer stuff like Stunned or Dying status effects since you can't actually take an action, but Dazed or Blinded are fair game. Binderlocks also get to chuck a tiny bit of extra damage in there. If only it didn't target Fortitude, this would be perfect, but even so, its still a very mighty power. Give it a look if you're a CON-lock.

Pipes of Winter
Hmm, can't say I'm at all moved by this power, mainly because its inferior to Otherwind Stride in basically every way. It has a short range, targets and immobilizes only one foe (Feylocks get to slow others, but still), and the damage is only slightly better. It also still targets Fort, and loses out on the cool teleport. Give it a miss.

Shared Agony
Not half bad, this. Deals a pretty exceptional amount of damage for this level and variety of power (2D12!!). Only Your Delicious Weakness might cause a comparable amount. What's more, its also psuedo-reliable. Well, assuming you've got HP to burn, at least. Darklocks even increase the usefulness of the reliable attribute by possibly reducing the damage it causes to you. What's more, it targets Will to round off the package. A good power worth considering for CHA-locks.

Vestige's Calamity
Probably overshadowed by the awesomeness of Fortune Binding, but this is nevertheless not too bad either, since its guaranteed to deal at least some damage with its pentelemental strike and typeless damage. Reliability in a box. Also has a tiny AOE (of sorts) in the hands of a Binderlock.

Level 5 Dailies

:Tyrannical Threat/Crackling Fire/Tyrannical Threat/Crackling Fire/Pact with Xandor.
Wow, that's a boring selection. I guess it shows just how good those powers are, though...

Avernian Eruption
Well, you’ve had molotov cocktails already, but you’re obviously moving up in the world because this is napalm. Combines the effects of Fiery Bolt and Flames of Phlegethos into one attack, which is cool. Watch that mob scream ‘it burns, it burns, Ah!’. A reasonable choice for inferlocks this level, though Tyrannical Threat vastly outclasses it in all fields; possibly even in raw damage.

Crown of Madness
Your Feylocks first domination type power. However, unlike the later ones, this is only okay since the initial damage is mediocre and the sustain is a bit conditional. I’d say skip this one.

Curse of the Bloody Fangs
A reasonable choice for the feylock this level, even against mobs, since it is nowhere near as conditional, does a better initial attack, and can effectively cause 10 ongoing damage too! The sore point is that it targets AC, meaning that you should probably target the weakest member of the mob and hope they hurt the others. It is kinda rendered obsolete by the awesomeness of Crackling Flame.

Hunger of Hadar
Wow, a cloud of death! I’ve been a fan of clouds (bad pun I know) since 3.5, and this is no exception. It deals damage when they enter AND if they’re in it during your turn AND if they’re in at the start of your turn. If you happened to pick up diabolic grasp at 1st level, you finally get to combo it with something now. Also works if your party can push enemies around (warlords, fighters, etc.) But, if you have no such abilities within the party, you might want reduce the ratings slightly, since you have no way to move it around unlike some similar cloud like things or the clerics faith soldiers. Feylocks/Boomlocks probably don't have the CON.

You can also combo this with Otherwind Stride if you're a CHA-Lock or Starlock; as noted in that powers description. This means even CHA-locks can get great mileage out of this power, so I've improved their ratings. Though Tyrannical Threat is very tempting this level, this is a totally awesome alternative.

Forceful Assault
Forceful Assault sounds like raep again to me, but then I have a perverse, anime-infected mind, so please ignore me. Anyway, this power is fairly generic, with average damage and save-able dazed effect. Hence, I really don't have much to say about it. Its somewhat interesting for Boomlocks to have a 15 range power here, but since its a daily its somewhat of a m00t-point since you won't use it enough.

Twilight of the Soul
Hmm, this one removes the foes colour palette by the sounds of the description. You lose the will to live when surrounded by the greyness! (sounds like Pleasantville to me). The damage is fairly mediocre and it inflicts the boomlocks oh so favourite ongoing damage. However, in this case, things are quite considerably better for the boomlock, since they also get to impose a -2 to the saves. Which increases the effectiveness of this power by 10% over other similar attacks. Its still not great and others will see a pretty generic attack and should probably stay away.

Fury of Gibbeth
Huh? Did this fall here from the wizards spellbook? It basically a furious whiplash that for some reason uses INT to attack. Admittedly, you get a +2, but still... Ironically, this power is probably much better in the hands of a Feylock or Boomlock, since they're less MAD than Starlocks and are hence more likely to have a better INT score to use this. It does deliver good damage, and is also a good choice for the Inferlock that doesn't like Avernian Eruption.

Well of Death
Hmm...its another one of those 'you know you want to take damage for me' powers. However, in this case, the cost isn't too horrible, presuming you choose to hit somebody with alot of surges, like your parties defender. Because of the way it works, you'll want to probably use this power early on after your rest when everyone is fresh. Holding onto it for when everyone is weak is a bad idea. However, if you DO pay the cost, 4D8 is a pretty reasonable amount of damage. Not a great power, but give it a look.

[u]Crackling Fire[/u]
Wow, this has the potential to be a REALLY damaging Blast, dealing 2d8 to up to 9 enemies. What's more, its both Lightning and Fire at the same time, which is great for overriding resistances, and even if they were somehow resisting that, they would have it cancelled out afterwards since this proceeds to impose vulnerabilities. Your Wizards and Sorcerers will love you to set this one up. A damn fine choice (assuning you don't nuke your allies with it...).

Lure of Gibbeth
Go fishing with Gibbeth! This is basically a slightly enhanced version of the level 7 Encounter Power 'Wrath of Acamar', since it offers a grappling hook type effect. The main boon is that this version can continue to reel the target in, if you want. However, it doesn't have the potential 20 range of that power, so it is possibly less desirable (though it does target Will!). Not bad.

Tyrannical Threat
Wowzers, a burst 3 that CURSES everything inside of it!? Thats just amazing! No really. I'm staggered by the awesome of this power. True, the damage is somewhat lacking, but what do you expect with such a huge burst? Imagine this going off inside a formation of minions...and the resulting amount of discharged pact boons...urgggh...thats just disgusting. Even Starlocks should REALLY think about it if they have the CON. Even though Binderlocks do have Xandor this level...they too should think about it. Seriously, if you're a CON-lock, take this damn power. You won't regret it.

[u]Venomous Webs[/u]
Strictly average damage, but you're really interested in the debilitating, pinning effect of this attack. It grants CA as a given, which as usual your sneakier party members will appreciate. But, if it moves, it also poisons itself. Admittedly, the poison effect isn't too great (probably ongoing 2-4 damage), and the attack also hits Fortitude. These things prevent the attack from achieving real greatness, but its a reasonable control choice if you really can't see yourself using Crackling Fire.

Level 5 Vestiges

Type: Controller

Creates a zone not too dissimilar to Hungar of Hadaar. It deals less damage but its bigger, and deals some initial damage. Fire and Necrotic are both resisted types. So its a bit up in the air, really, especially for non-binderlocks. It becomes a superior zone for Binderlocks because they can move it around. The eyes of the vestige buff is very situational.

Though Ugar is okay, he's somewhat overshadowed by Xandor, I believe.

Type: Controller and Striker

A quite entirely superb Vestige. Who doesn't like letting mad sorcerors into their skull? Xandors attack is quite delicious, as though it deals mediocre damage, it targets Will and imposes a nice restriction. Naturally, in most circumstances the target will not choose to be Dazed over a little bit of damage, of course.

What's really interesting about the attack is that it (hilariously) provides a better effect on a miss, since it guarantees dazing the target rather than giving it a choice in exchange for a shortened duration. It also deals exactly the same damage, hit or miss. Funny, huh? Mad, definately!

Binderlocks also pick up some great augmentations from selecting him. He gives extra saves (or temp. hp if he can't give a save!), and makes Eye of the Vestige deal (1d6 + 1d8 + CON), which is brutal for an at-will power.

Though Tyrannical Threat should be very tempting to you, I believe Xandor is also a fabulous choice for the Binderlock this level.
...Levels 6-10 inclusive...

Level 6 Utilities

:As usual for utilities, pick your favourite. Personally I like the re-roll granted by Dark One's own luck, but several other choices are very worthy too.

Dark One’s own luck
Even if it is daily, you just can’t argue with a reroll, especially one this versatile, since you can turn a botch into a critical. A great choice for all Warlocks.

Fey Switch
Not as good as it sounds, though it could combo nicely with a close attack like Otherwind Stride if you switch places with the fighter, or could save a wizards life if you happen to be an inferlock with lots of HP. Not bad, but in the shadow of the Dark one and his luckiness…

Shroud of Black Steel
Somewhat subjective. I can just about see an Inferlock being a tank with it,
but otherwise losing 2 speed just isn’t worth it. If its an armour effect, and hence is included in the dwarves speed loss immunity, then it’s a great deal for them, but that depends on you having a kind GM, since its probably counted as a supernatural effect and takes place anyway otherwise.

Spider Climb
Spiderman is demonic now, apparently. Ahem, well, having a free climb speed is nice if you GM like to put lots of sheer cliffs in your dungeons. But, technically, it lasts only a single move action, so its at best a dubious ability. Its now also completely made obsolete by Spidery Scuttle. There's absolutely NO reason to take this any more.

Otherwise known as "Dangerous! Run away!", it can seriously help you get out of a tight spot if your Charisma is up to par. (which it won't be for Inferlocks) Its also probably overkill again for Feylocks, but its fairly strong for Starlocks and Boomlocks interested in mobility, especially if you want to dive in to use a dangerous 5 range power and have a chance to escape again.

Red Leeches of Nihal
Again, somewhat useful for all warlocks who got into a pinch, since gaining a 1/4 of your HP as temporary hitpoints. Its somewhat subjective, but it shouldn't be too hard to meet that condition in battle. Even better for Inferlocks. Its only downer is that its a daily power...

Rending Fear of Khirad
Otherwise known as "Talk you worthless piece of trash!". The value of this power is entirely dependant on how much the GM feels like giving away from the hostages. Personally, I'd leave this job to your parties Intimidation experts, but the fact that yours doesn't require a roll is fairly nice. And of course, YOU may the parties Intimidation expert if everyone else is lacking CHA.

[u]Life Siphon[/u]
Despite what the fluff suggests, this doesn't hurt your allies any more. Rather, you 'harvest' their pain. Lovely. Nevertheless, this is a pretty nice utility. Grabbing extra To-Hit bonuses is always desirable, especially when its an encounter power granting them. The power becomes a great choice for Inferlocks and Darklocks because they also get HP or Temp. HP from the deal, which is fantastic. For them, possibly the new best power this level, and not a bad choice for others either.

Mercurial Form
You turn into Stretch Armstrong, apparently. A squeezing bonus and automatic escape from grabs are fairly conditional bonuses, but being immune to marks for the encounter is real meat of this power, since a Warlock could do without OA's and penalties to hit. If only it were an encounter power... Still, if you feel a re-roll isn't your thing and you can't take advantage of Life Siphon, this is a reasonable alternative.

Racing Fire of Ulbaan
Your version of the Wizards Expeditious Retreat. Except you turn into comet. Yeah, baby. For an encounter power, this can vastly upgrade your positioning speed, especially if you discharge it at the start of a combat. Unfortunately, this is very much an opening power. It can't be used as adeptly for retreats, since you don't shift, just move. Nevertheless, its a good choice if you like movement boosting utilities (and you should!).

Spider Queen's Caress
Getting intimate with Lolth, are you now? How disturbing...especially given that kind of sacrifice only grants you this fairly minor set of bonuses as a daily, and personally, I don't think its worth it. Shadow Veil is better if you want to sneak. Dark one's own luck (or just being a starlock) is better if need to suceed a save. And the Dark Pact bonus is pretty pathetic, though I guess it means you can gain concealment even if you're slowed. But still...

Level 7 Encounters

:Infernal Moon Curse/Mire the Mind/Far Realm Phantasm/Shadow Strangler/Heroes Arrow.

Howl of Doom
This is very dubious. Technically, its your version of the Wizards Thunderwave, but considering it’s a Lvl7 Enc, and not a Lvl1 At-Will, its far, far worse. If you really want an effect like this, pick up the Arcane Initiate feat and steal its younger brother from the Wizard. (unless you’re an Inferlock with shed loads of Intelligence)

Infernal Moon Curse
An awesome power for the Inferlock, and definitely the better infernal power that’s around this level. There’s something quite comical about paralyzing a boss five feet in the air and killing it with poison. Good damage and immobilization and a new damage type for the inferlock = win.

Mire the Mind
Now HERES an illusion type effect I can get my teeth into. Remember what I said about the Feylock being able to turn the party into Ninjas? This is the effect I was talking about! Its funny to confound the boss with invisibility, assuming your GM doesn’t meta-game. Subpar damage, though. But the Feylock should probably get it anyway.

Sign of Ill Omens
Though the damage is meh, forcing a reroll and an acceptance of the lower result upon a foe is pure comedy gold. A pretty decent choice for Starlocks. Because of the low damage, a Starlock interested in causing destruction should probably grab Infernal Moon Curse instead, however. I’d say it’s a toss up between the two for Starlocks personally, since whilst this is much funnier to play with, the former is more reliable.

For sheer damage dealing potential, this power has the new dibs this level, especially in the hands of the Boomlock, who makes it more versatile. Basically, you benefit from dominoes effect in using this, making it possible to do 3d8. It also gets a bonus +2 to attack, which is mighty handy. On the other hand, it deals necrotic. Still, its not too bad. Roughly equivalent to Shadow Strangler in usefulness.

Death's Commands
Rebuke undead, anybody? This is basically the Boomlock playing dress-up as a Cleric. However, rather than Radiant, it deals Necrotic, so against most undead it'll actually do no significant damage, just daze them and hold them back. This means its rather lackluster at its designated role, and not tremendous when measured up to the others either. Meh.

Far Realm Phantasm
Accosts the foes with illusionary butterflies or something. (I've been watching too much Fringe) Deals sheer pathetic damage (possibly less than your at-wills!), but nevertheless has the mind-numbingly useful effect of wasting the foes next action, something which is usually Feylock related. In fact, this is effectively a baby cousin of the Custard Curse, which is fantastic considering you don't get that until level 15. The Starlocks using it only sweeten the deal with an additional debuff. A great choice for many, and a fabulous opening attack, assuming you care little for damage.

Influence of Acamar
Otherwise known as 'Oi, come here!'. You shoot a black grappling hook at the foe and reel them in. Its also the most damaging power available this level, which is nice. Its especially useful in the hands of a Starlock, as many of their powers are range 10, and reeling them in 4-5 squares from 11+ range might just be what you need. It is, however, useless if you happen to be in the fray, as you have to target the closest foe. Its a toss up between this and Far Realm Phantasm for Starlocks this level. I prefer the latter, but if you need damage, this is the way to go.

Acrid Decay
Hmm...a slightly better Eldritch Rain. It loses the horrible targeting restriction at least, and it is both Acid and Necrotic. But still, its a fairly generic attack and it hits Fortitude. Slightly better in the hands of Binderlocks since they also make it impose an attack penalty, but they should probably be interested in Heroes Arrow this level.

All the Sand, All the Stars
Basically, a more concentrated version of Colour Spray. Thats a good thing, by the way, since you have the potential to Daze a stack of foes. The smaller area means double the damage. Also hits Will, of course, making this a very acceptable attack. Starlocks even get to grab a small damage boost.

Heroes Arrow
Expounding the pseudo leader-ish qualities of the Binderlock, this is a fairly unique attack in that its splash damage effect heals your allies. Deals decent damage as well. In the hands of non-bindlocks, however, the heal effect becomes much less effective, so its probably only interesting to them.

Mordant Rains of Dis
Acid rain, huh? You know you're gonna annoy Captain Planet if you use this, don'tcha? LOL. Anyway, hmm, this deals very poor damage. Quite possibly less than your At-Wills. Of course, the so called clincher here is the fact that you're guaranteed to blind the target. Which is pretty useful. Inferlocks also get to add a tiny bit of Splash damage. I'd still say Infernal Moon Curse is better, however.

Nypacian Serpents
A rather bizarre spell for the Feylocks arsenal, since its purely and utterly focused on dealing damage. I really can't say alot about it, because there's not alot to say. I guess it can add x3 in static modifiers. This of course means it goes up in potency as you level, but I doubt its really worth its salt at epic. I say ignore it.

Shadow Strangler
Crush his trachea! Go all Seaside Strangler on your foes with this little assasination number. Unusual in the fact that it offers a neat form of control for Boomlocks. Reducing hit chances and punishing them for attacking is pretty damn cool. I like it, as I feel that the typeless damage and nice effect puts it marginally above Deathboon.

Level 9 Dailies
:Iron Spike of Dis/Curse of the Black Frost/Thief of Five Fates/Curse of the Black Frost/Pact with Shax.
There’s a lot of nice powers this level. Inferlocks should almost invariably take the Iron Spike or Feast of Souls, but Feylocks have two good choices, and Starlocks three! Take your favourite.

As for Boomlocks, they should probably choose someone elses power.

Curse of the Black Frost
More control on a stick for the Feylock, but also hideously useful for the Starlock and Boomlock (not so much for the Inferlock). Combo this with a some mad sliding attacks for some silly damage. Nice for the paladin in your group too. Also, if you also happen to have a Blood Mage Wizard around (or multiclass it yourself) when you hit 11th then...well, ouch...

Iron Spike of Dis
In essence, a more powerful version of Dread Star, so if you didn’t pick that up before, it might be good to get this now. Immobilization is always good. I can’t help thinking this is the Lance of Longinus from Evangelion given the fluff description. That alone makes it massive win.

Summons of Khirad
6/3/6 (8)/4/6
I somewhat question the usage of this. Generally, the last thing you need is an enemy within 3 squares, and if they’re already closer there are better ways to make them go away again. Though the damage is decent, I can only really see this as a means to set up a combo, at least for a warlock. However, if you’re a hitty smacky paladin who happened to mosy on by with your adept power swap feat, this might be good for you to get that reluctant caster enemy into melee. In that case use the 8 in brackets.

Thief of Five Fates
When you first read this, you think ‘awesome, I get to basically counter everything the foe does!’. And actually, it does work rather well, especially if you’ve having a lucky spree on your rolls and have the Charisma to maintain it (which Inferlocks probably don’t). Definitely throw this one on at the start of a big fight. If you’re lucky, half (or more) of those attacks might not even get through, drastically increasing the parties survivability. Ideally, burn an action point and combine it with something that inflicts a bad status effect to really screw that foe over.

Death's Fond Caress
Noooo, death, don't touch me there!
Well, considering the other awesomeness available this level, this power just seems rather generic. It is, bizarrely, Reliable, which is interesting, but for anyone besides Boomlocks, theres not much reason to take this. That Boomlocks can ignore resistances to Necrotic is kinda cool. But still, there are better choices.

Ring of Pain
Urk, more ongoing psychic damage. Boring. This is basically a slightly better version of Contagion. As in, it actually has initial damage and targets Will. But its still a bit unreliable...especially at this level.

Brood of Hadar
Uh, Chain lightning of Bats, anyone? It hits Fort, which is a shame, but has the potential to deal 5d10, which is pretty nasty. If your Starlock or Inferlock feels the need to take such a damaging power, I can't fault it. But the condition of activation for the secondary damage is a bit iffy since you can't guarantee the foes death nor that a secondary target will be in 3 squares. Still, its okay.

Consuming Ray
Very Generic, and strictly worse than both of the other Boomlock powers this level. Ring of Pain is definately better for causing ongoing (and has no condition), whereas Death's Fond Caress deals more initial and bypasses the Necrotic resistance. I guess this is trying to combine the two, but fails on both counts. Personally I'd ignore it...

Feast of Souls
The initial attack on this is pretty pants considering that you can pretty achieve the same effect with 'All the Sand, All the Stars'. Also, the created zone is distinctly inferior to the one created by Hunger of Hadaar, which doesn’t need to hit to cause more damage than this power can offer. However, the created zone is difficult terrain, meaning that it can serve as a very effective blocking device. Of course, most sensible monsters aren’t going to run into a zone anyway, but some may brave it if it means breaking through and causing havoc. Here, on the other hand, breaking through becomes twice as hard due to movement cost. That, combined with a daze, could be seriously nasty. Not an amazing spell because of the awful damage, but pretty high on the control front.

[u]Horrifying Hatching[/u]
What’s interesting about this power is that the Ongoing Poison effect is caused regardless of whether or not you actually hit. This means the fact it hits Fortitude is largely irrelevant since there’s only D8 damage involved. It also tries to add some control, since the poison also makes the foe stumble around. However, to me, the Fey Pact boon seems quite tame (and conditional) compared to Dark’s ability to make the spider explode from their chest and deal some decent damage. Of course, deciding when to make that happen could be tough, and it depends on how much you want to rely on the GM making awful saves. Since it largely depends on luck, I can’t really give this a great rating.

Kiss of the Storm Countess
Well, this is a pretty mediocre power. It has a fun description, but basically, you’ll immobilize a foe and eventually deal 1d10 to it as it falls. For a Daily, this is pretty awful. Infernal Moon Curse can have a sort of similar effect and deal more damage in the process. Admittedly, it’s slightly better for Feylocks, as the Fey pact boon should basically say: ‘deals an extra 1d10 damage’. Chances are most Feylocks at this point will have 14-17 INT, after all. If you’re lucky enough to have 18 INT by now, you get to add yet another additional 1d10, which is nice. I guess this is a power which scales up with your INT as a result (if you’re a Feylock). Of course, I have to wonder just what happens if you can’t thrust an enemy 30 Feet into the air? Do they take impact damage against the ceiling? It doesn’t really make that clear…

Ooze Incarnate
Lol, you get to mimic the abberants you serve. By turning into a gelatinous cube! YAY! This power sort of mimics a similar Sorcerer power where you turn briefly into lightning, but its great fun to be able to play with it yourself. Naturally, its one to engage at the start of a fight against a bunch of tightly arranged foes. Run at them and see them recoil in horror as you turn to ooze just before slamming into them. If you do it right, you can technically hit 5 targets with this (possibly 6, if you're an elf or have another means of speed boost). It deals great damage for a multihitting power and you can also slide the stuff you hit. Obviously loses potency vs. singles, though. Still, its a great mob control power for CONlocks this level.

Level 9 Vestiges
Both Vestiges this level are not really worth it for non-Binderlocks, by and the by.

Type: Defender/Controller

Illmeth is the first sort of 'Defensive' Vestige. Mainly because it imposes soft control and strongely encourages the foe not to hit you since they take damage. But also because you make Eye of the Vestige into a rattling power and impose a hit penalty. You can also swap places with an ally whom is feeling some concern or trouble. Or plop your defender into the mess you made. Of course, you can combo your pact boon amusingly with this (Hello, close burst!) by teleporting into the middle of some trouble and exploding. Though I feel Shax is stronger for general usual, this is an interestingly versatile Vestige, so give it a thought.

Type: Leader/Controller

Shana!? Is that you!? Shax!
Ahem...please excuse my anime infected mind. Shax is a Vestige that REALLY loves forced movement. The initial attack imposes it, and it makes Eye of the Vestige into a crazy airgun boxing glove power as well. Pushing things away with basic attacks is really fantastic if you like Sniping (and as a Ranged Attacker, you should!). You can also use the effect to throw enemies into zones, off cliffs, and stuff like that. What's more, your pact boon is immensely useful. Being able to end all of the most nasty, evil, status effects in the game WITHOUT MAKING A SAVE is something that is priceless. Admittedly, it IS certainly a conditional bonus, but when it does come up, you will love it, and so will your allies. Because of this, I'm in love with Shax, and I hope you are too. :P

Level 10 Utilities
: There's actually a bunch of nice utilities here. It all depends on your style of play as to what you'll pick. Defensive, offensive...its all there.

Ambassador Imp
Technically a faster and more efficient version of the Animal Messenger ritual. Could be a godsend if you’re co-ordinating efforts between parties in different parts of the world. But hell, when does that ever happen?

Shadow Form
Getting a fly speed & insubstantial = awesome. However, losing your standard actions each turn is not so awesome. A most excellently reliable retreat spell, but its not like you can mimic the wizard and levitate over the battlefield while bombarding it. So, marginally better for Feylocks, but still distinctly average.

Shielding Shades
You might not be better than the wizard or sorcerer at flying, but this beats the crap out of their basic shield spell. Because of its general usefulness, I can recommend it to all Warlocks. Destiny Inversion also offers a different shiedling effect as well this level. I'd say both are pretty useful. This one is more reliable, the other more frequent.

Warlocks Leap
Though it has double the range of the Ethereal Stride, this is strictly worse, since it’s a daily instead of an encounter. That said, you never have to worry about being imprisoned again, and more teleportation is always handy if you really don’t want the shield. Might be overkill for Feylocks though, since they have plenty of teleports already.

Darkest Mirror
Weird this. Its actually a very desirable effect in 4e, since Blind-Fight is now epic level, and with this you might be the only one able to take that sucker down easily. However, you'll have to concentrate your efforts on the invisibles first before de-activating it and proceeding to attack the visibles. Also, don't run head first into a party member (LOL). Considering Shielding Shades isn't as good as I thought it was, this is a fairly nice alternative.

Troublesome Aid of Caiphon
Two healing surges for the price of one? Bargain! However, the loss of a death save could screw you over, so do be careful.
Also, the wording is bizarre on this. What I think it means is that whenever a Cleric or Warlord uses their powers to grant you a surge, you activate this. If it just means you steal a healing surge from a willing ally, its just weird.

Corpse Explosion Accursed Souls
Obviously ripped straight from Diablo 2. Seems strange to designate it an Infernal power, but I suppose it represents a devils wickedness too. I guess its pretty good, especially given that you're almost at the point where it becomes easier to throw additional curses around. Also, since it doesn't actually require a dice roll, its equally good for all Warlocks who don't actually want any utility, just more dakka. More impressively, you can combo it with the stuff from the Dragon 373 Nightmare Weaver class features too.

Bond of Brotherhood
Well, its free health, and that's always appreciated. What is especially nice about this power is that you gain an amount equal to their amount, they don't lose anything in the process, and you don't have to spend a surge. If you have a beefy fighter or paladin to stand next to, you can quite possibly restore more health than your usual surge value with this. Of course, it is a daily, and is probably much less effective in the hands of the CON-locks, since their surge is already going to be pretty good. They should ignore this power, but its a pretty good choice for the CHA-locks.

Curse of Nessus
Somewhat debateable. It could be nice if you're in a party where other players also like to lay down status effects, because it means that your attack can act as a stepping stone for them to make theirs more effective (if most of your party loves to hand out status, perhaps increase the rating by 2). However, whilst compensating for your misses is fine and good, I still believe its better to actually hit...right?

Destiny Inversion
Well, this is a bizarre and unique shielding power, one that I have to say I quite like. Its kind of a damage delay, rather than a damage prevention spell. Basically, its good because it can give you an extra turn without being taken out. Its also possible that you'll take just 1/2 of a nasty attacks damage if you save immediately next turn. It may even end up as nothing if you can force a save before your next turn and succeed.

What's more, if you're a CON-lock with Fortune Binding, you can use this spell as ammunition to shoot with that spell (!) which is pretty hilarious. The fact that all this potential is combined into an Encounter power puts this above Shielding Shades now, at least for CON-locks. Though Shielding Shades is techincally more reliable, so its your call, I guess.

Transcendant Dance
Hum, ho, hum. Actually, this is power is mightily peculiar for a Warlock. Because it keys off DEX for some reason, which you're not likely to have much of. So, whilst anything that grants a double whammy speed + saves bonus is an amazing idea, chances are you'll at most get +2 from this, so, considering its also a level 10 daily, I can't really rate it supremely high. On the other hand, if you're a high-dexterity class who decided to stop by and say hello (Rogue/Bow-Ranger/Wild Sorcerer etc.), then this power might be an amazing one for you to pick up with Power swap and worth getting a +4 rating for you.

Ethereal Sidestep
7/7 (9)/7/7/7 (+2)
An At-Will teleport, you say? How amusing!

Of course, the fact that its only 1 square for a entire move action means that simply doing a 1 square shift is identical in most situations. However, it does allow:
- You can still move a square if Restrained/Immobilized
- You can teleport into a square of difficult terrain. You can't normally shift into such a square unless you're an Elf.
- You can also, uh, teleport diagonally across a corner. I'm not certain, but I don't think a Shift allows this, as it is still technically a movement.
- You can also choose to hop up or down 5 Ft. Why you'd do that, I don't know, but the option is there.
- Also, as pointed out by BigFluffyLemon, if you're about to take the Feytouched Paragon Path next level, this also turns into an extra at-will attack for you thanks to Slashing Wake. If this is your intent as a Feylock, give it that 9 in the brackets.

And this power gets even better if you can find ways of buffing your teleport potential via magic items and abilities. I know several Eladrin items can do this AND stack with one another. If you do find these items, increase the score by +2, as you can basically replace your normal locomotion with teleportation. Which despite being obviously munchkin, is invariably cool.
Level 13 Encounters

:Harrowstorm/The Dark Reach of Xevut/The Dark Reach of Xevut/Cursegrind/Coldfire Vortex.
Binderlocks have a distinctly un-interesting level here. I'd say go with the Coldfire Vortex since you like Versatile stuff, but Harrowstorm might work too.

Bewitching Whispers
Finally, a proper domination spell for your Feylock. Slap it on the one creature in the back row that has reach for exceptional fun. That said, it’s a rather conditional power, and if you’ve taken the Feytouched Paragon path, Will of the Feywild is MUCH better for general use. However, this is the only Charisma attack (in the base material) available this level, so you might be stuck with it, unless you fancy picking up a different lower level power. Frankly, as a Feylock, I’d say replace your level 1 with Sign of Ill Omen to go with Mire the Mind (or pick up Dark Reach of Xevut), but its your call.

Coldfire Vortex
This attack is, in fact, only marginally more powerful to the prime target than Fiery bolt. But it ~is~ much nastier to the secondary targets, and the fact that it deals both cold and radiant damage is very nice and versatile. Because of this, its actually a great replacement for Fiery Bolt for the Inferlock. Starlocks might also probably want to pick it up, probably in lieu of their level 1 power, although the Dark Reach of Xevut is also very tempting for them.

This is a bazooka firing a boxing glove! Though the damage is only okay, the backblast for a Inferlock will likely be an absurd 7 squares, or maybe more. Talk about a ‘get the hell away from me’ spell. Its an ideal replacement for Diabolic Grasp, if you took and enjoyed that spell, since this also lifts the restrictions. I realise it targets Fortitude, but its such a nice spell, I think its probably worthwhile in this case. Starlocks who don’t care about AOE might also be interested.

Soul Flaying
Dubious, this, since it’s a bit subjective. The weakening might save your parties life if a creature has an absurdly damaging melee attack or something, but its only one round of reprieve, so generally, Harrowstorm is the superior infernal spell this level. On the other hand, this does target Will.

The big daddy version of Cursebite. If you took that and found it to be useful (and it is useful if you have a way of spreading your curse around), then this is an obvious swap for it. Additionally, if you didn't pick it up before, its an even better choice now, because you almost invariably have Twofold Curse by level 13, which vastly increases its potency (quite possibly beyond Coldfire Vortex, though with a worse damage type). A pretty nice choice for all CHA based locks this level.

All Must Sacrifice
Urk, not again. Sit in the corner and think about what you've done!!!
Amazingly, this is an EVEN WORSE version of the Daily, Glorious Sacrifice. This one deals less damage, slaps your allies with D8 for the possibility of you buffing the attack with D10. That could easily be a net loss. (if it was do D4 to your allies for D10 to enemies, it might be better). So it has 20 range, big deal. So does Cursegrind (and that hits multiple targets, usually). If you're sane, give this a complete miss. It is absolute FAIL.

Blaze of Ulbaan
Level 13? You sure? Looks more like a Level 3 power to me. It is, shockingly, only a marginally better version of the Level 1 Glow of Ulbaan. Same damage, though with a less risky range and a tiny slide effect thrown in. Whilst its predecessor was good for its level, this is now horribly obsolete, and totally NOT worth it this level, even if you liked Glow of Ulbaan.
If you really need radiant damage, just pick up Coldfire Vortex. It does the job much better. The only thing this has going for it is the ability to target Will.

The Dark Reach of Xevut
Arcane Power seems to like introducing the occassional reactionary attack, and this is one of them. A damn good one, at that. In another episode of 'lets punish the GM' this attack makes things explode when they succeed at their saves. And, on top of that, it grabs the condition that was just killed, shocks it back into existence, and force-feeds it to another enemy to keep causing havoc. This could be positively disgusting if you can pass horrible status effects like Stunned and Blinded around. Starlocks with Balanced stats can also combo this quite naturally with Fortune Binding.

Of course, the condition IS somewhat stringient, since the foes have to be within 3 squares of one another to be affected. Nevertheless, as far as counterattacks go, this is highly recommended for CHA-locks. Starlocks even get to score a reasonable saving throw bonus from the affair!

Killing Flames
KILL IT WITH FIRE!! Yet another interruption spell. One distinctly lacking in mercy, LOL. Its a fairly generic BIG explosion that goes off whenever a foe is looking ragged. However, besides that, its fairly generic. Though it does deal the most damage of any power this level at max (possibly 6 more than Harrowstorm or Coldfire Vortex) the fact that this doesn't do anything else interesting means I can't really recommend it just on that. I guess, for the Pyromancer Maniac, it might be useful in the fact that an Inferlock using it ignores Fire Resist (+2 if you only have Fire powers). But meh...

Korred's Tune
Again, its another bizarre Fey spell that really wants to deal alot of damage, meshed with some very light control. Which generally isn't the point of the Feypact, at least in my view. If the condition is met, then the damage is equivalent to Killing Flames, above. Being a Feylock makes the condition easier to meet. Not bad if you feel the need to be packing psychic firepower, I guess, but its pretty generic.

Skirmishers Volley
Oh ye gads, Eldritch Rain is back again. Only now its attached with a treble shot barrel, loses the awful targeting restriction, uses CON instead, and also allows a moderate shift if you're a Binderlock. Going with the trend of 3d8 damage spells from Arcane Power this level, here's another. I guess this version is better than its predecessors because it at least keeps up with the damage curve nicely, though you still can't shoot a singular target multiple times, so its not vastly versatile.

Wraith's Shadow
Hmm, well, it weakens and deals reasonable damage. However, taking the usual Dark Pact trend, its all so very annoyingly resisted Necrotic damage, and the attack hits Fortitude. The Dark Pact benefit is also someone flaccid, since Immobilized and Weakened are overlapping conditions (as in, they both help prevent that melee foe from damaging you, and hence, imposing both is possibly not that worthwhile. You should probably give this attack a miss.

Level 15 dailies

:Fireswarm/Curse of the Golden Mist/Tentacles of Thubaan/Dark Rain/Pact with Solis.
There's actually a fair few CON choices this level. CHA-locks have less to do.

Curse of the Golden Mist
I call this the Custard Curse (don’t ask). This is the domination spell you’ve ~really~ been waiting for. Its CONTROL. Yes, in capitals. As long as your Charisma continues to strike true, you can basically completely shut down a foe whilst the rest of party batter it to death without much fear. Ideally, you should blow an action point and immobilize it as well. Then let your wizard set up his walls and laugh. True, you do waste your standard action then each turn sustaining it, but that’s fair enough because it would be mind boggling broken if it was a minor action. Feylocks should dump their level 1 (probably) for this. Starlocks might also take a look; though they have the awesome tendrils this level to keep their attention. Inferlocks have got better things to do with their time.

No, no, no, not fiery scorpions! This is so obviously a vicious artillery barrage! Well, okay so the poison damage makes no sense then, but whatever. What really makes this attack shine is the area effect that happens on the sustain; that could be a lot of damage if it’s a mob of nasty creatures. Its just a shame you can’t change the initial target for the sustains. A pretty good attack for the Inferlock this level (though they can also use the Tendrils). A Starlock not interested in the tendrils might also think about it.

Tentacles of Thubaan
Yes! This is what being a Starlock is all about! (playing with Cthulu-like tentacles, that is). This attack is sheer brutality and control in equal measure. Lots of damage, and immobilizes everything near it, and you can sustain it as a minor. Put it in a 3 square wide corridor for comedy gold. By and the by, your tentacles is far more brutal than the Wizards ‘Evards Black Tentacles’ on the initial hit, and you get it earlier, though it is admittedly a smaller burst. Even the Inferlock might want to consider this (though Fireswarm outdamages it).

Thirsting Maw
With the other awesomeness that’s around this level, Thirsting Maw really gets the short end of the stick. Its really short ranged and has less damage potential than the others. That said, if you’re an Inferlock tank, this spell can really make you into a regenerating menace since you can combo it with other spells that give temp hitpoints and still sustain this as a minor.

Kimmeriels Smile
For some reason, when I first read this, I thought it was pretty good. Then I realised it was a Level 15 daily and basically a 'better' version of the level 5 Forceful Assault, with targeting Will and 5 extra range for Boomlocks. But otherwise, its no real improvement over its predecessor. And considering all of the other awesomeness thats around this level, it really joins Thirsting Maw on the pile of mediocrity. Still strictly better than Dark Ladies Gift as well, which is a bit sad...

Dark Ladies Gift
And this is Ring of Pain, mark II. No, wait, this is the prototype for Ring of Pain. HUH?!? Well, okay, theoretically it affects more targets if they happen to tightly clustered, and its effect ~might~ go off more than once. But in return, its by far the lowest damaging spell this level and the ongoing effect is less potent than its predeccessor, despite being 6 levels higher!! Oh dear, this is really not worth your time...even for Boomlocks

Visage of Zhudaan
On first look, I thought this was an inferior version of the Tentacles of Thubaan. It deals less damage and doesn't immobilize (and immobilizing them is great, since it means they stay in zone and keep getting attacked by the power). However, the key with this is that it works more like a Wizards Wall of Fire. As in, you don't actually have to make an attack roll for the initial effect. It just deals 3d10, no questions asked, if someone starts in the zone or stumbles into it. You then get to attack Will as part of the sustain. Furthermore, it blocks line of sight. This can be good or bad, depending on your party composition.
So, overall, I'd say its pretty much equal, and a very nice power. Obviously, Inferlocks will still take the Fireswarm or Tentacles, but this is a solid alternative for Starlocks to take this level. (and other CHAlocks)

Far Realm Glimpse
Wow, a dazed effect that actually (partially) dodges the save. This becomes even more mighty in the hands of the Doomsayer. It also offers a +2 to hit and okay damage if the foe doesn't run. Hence it ~sort of~ achieves an effect similar to Wrath of Acamar. As in, getting things outta your hair or at least punishing them. Though it lacks the multi-target potential of the Visage or the Tentacles, its a pretty nice little power (especially for the Doomsayer).

Hellfire Soul
WHAT? A domination power (sort of) for the Inferlock? How peculiar! This is a very nice choice, actually, if you're not interested in the tendrils or the fireswarm. It provides dual typed damage, which is always fun, and of course, if you kill something, you auto ressurect it with 1 hit point under your control. Whats more, its a CON based attack that targets Will, which is a (nice) rarity. I'd go as far as saying this is possibly better than the artillery barrage of Fireswarm (assuming you want effects over damage, of course...)

Dispaters Caution
Dispater gets his parking tickets out and slaps them on the foes forehead. What an easy way to relegate your fines! Joking aside, this is an interesting attack, because it applies some ongoing damage which cannot be saved against, so long as everyone ignores that foe. Technically, the damage potential is much weaker than Fireswarm or the Tentacles, and its not an effective attack against singular boss monsters since your allies will cancel the ongoing. Hence, its a little conditional, since you'll mainly want to slap it on a foe that's dangerous but that the party hasn't got time for at the moment. Its better for the Inferlock, since they can continue to pick on that target without cancelling the effect whilst their allies mop up the remainder. A bizarre power, though it might get ignored as there's some other seriously good CON based stuff around already this level.

Dark Rain
I'm not adding the excessively long subtitle. Its just Dark Rain. Okay? Anyway, its good this came along, since it actually offers a solid choice for Boomlocks this level, at last! The damage is not too spectacular, but it is a huge burst with a long range that can seriously cripple a big group of foes. Its somewhat hampered, true, in hitting Fortitude, but the aftereffect of the zone, blinding everyone, is pretty horrible, and goes off regardless of whether you deal damage. Keep in mind that its also horrible to your allies, so firing the Dark Rain into a melee will get the party to hate you (though there is the comedy factor of blinding everyone in the combat and laughing as they stumble over one another). A very decent CHA attack, but as noted, be sure its the first shot you fire.

Plague of Frogs
How bizarre. A zone of carnivorous frogs. Yeah... Anyway, this is rather similar to Dark Rain, above. It is, I suppose, better for damage. The actual initial hit is worse, but the zone continually hits with the power of that initial hit, which is actually a pretty rare phenomenon. In such a big zone against a swarm of tough creatures, these little vicious amphibians could seriously ruin someone's day. You can also move it a tiny distance as part of the sustain. Sadly, the frogs still bite your allies and hit FORT, leading me to believe that the Dark Rain is probably better unless damage is most important to you (and the Tentacles are better for that, though of course, Feylocks and Boomlocks can't really take it with their low CON).

Level 15 Vestiges

Type: Controller
Leraje provides us with a fairly generic attack that hardly seems worthy of a level 15 daily. 5 ongoing poison and 2d10? Her pact boon is also dubious since it cannot stack with itself, and doesn't help you against melee, though it might save you against a ranged hit. However, her saving grace is her Eye of the Vestige augmentation. Adding Immobilize to an At-Will power is frankly insane, and vastly increases your lockdown potential. Of course, with the disgusting awesomeness of Solis sitting right next to her, she gets overshadowed, though.

Type: Controller, Defender and Striker
Whew, Flaming Thunder Hammer, you say? Solis is one of those few Vestiges that is actually worth considering for Starlocks and Inferlocks because of how nice his inital attack is. Its not very damaging at all. But, the primary target does take some ongoing. More importantly, the secondary attack might well be able to Daze and Deafen everything in a 3x3 square, which is pretty damn mean. Remember that this second attack also includes the primary target!

But, for Binderlocks, it gets even better! Whenever your Pact Boon goes off, you whip your guitar and amplifier and explode in a cacophony of sound. And you're such a bad player that enemies near you are deafened and forced to grant CA. Which is brutal. The rogue (and the rest of the party) will love it! You also tag on some light defender-y aspects with your Eye of the Vestige, since you slap foes that ignore you with about 5-8 damage.

Level 16 Utilities

:The usual, pick what you like. Though I seriously recommend Hero's Defence.

Cloak of Shadows
Takes the evasiveness of Shadow Form and mixes it with the dubiousness of Spider Climb. Again, applying this to just a single move action is of questionable value in a fight, especially since you become useless to the rest of the party for a turn. However, if you did take and enjoy Shadow Form as an evasive kind of spell, this ~is~ a probably a better version (though not as effective for scouting with the limited duration). Could also be helpful in an area of difficult terrain I suppose, but surely, that’s what the teleports are for?

Eye of the Warlock
Haha, I’m hiding around the corner and casting all of my spells through the fighters eyes. That alone is worth the entry price. Actually, the description seems to imply that you’re supposed to do this through a monster (since a save ends the effect) so I wonder whether you can use this in a willing target. If not, then reduce the rating slightly. I see this being handy for the Feylock most of all, but the others (who don’t want the elusiveness) also might apply.

Infuriating Elusiveness
Oh yay, more teleportation. Only, this one continues in the fine tradition of Ethereal Stride in upping your defensive qualities at the same time. In this case, this a true Ninja smokebomb effect. If you feel you’ve got enough teleports already, then pick something else (or get this and retrain Ethereal Stride) but I’m of the thought that you can never have enough.

Ruinous Resistance
Bletch. Another one of those "Screw over your allies, thats a fine idea in a team game!!" powers. Seriously, nerfing your allies defences for your benefit won't be appreciated, especially given that you really shouldn't be the one taking hits in most cases. The only concievable use for this is slurping someones natural resistance to give yourself some (like nicking 5 points off a Tieflings Fire Resist). If you really want to do that, give this +2.

Caiphons Disquieting Liberty
Another mouthful. However, this power is awesome. Once per encounter, you can totally destroy a movement restriction for the paltry cost of 5 HP and a Minor Action. If the GM likes to immobilize you at 11 range, you can now laugh back with this. A very worthwhile choice if you're not interested in more teleports, or the eye of the warlock, though heroes defence should perk your attention.

Amaan's Continuance
I get knocked down, but I get up again, you ain't never gonna keep me down... This is a very cliche action hero thing, staying up when you should pass out. It almost seem out of place for a Warlock, but whatever. Basically, it gives you an extra turn to stay on your feet before you get KO'ed. Nevertheless, though that sounds good, it doesn't prevent you from dying or anything. So, considering its a daily, its use is rather subjective. Pick it if you get knocked out often or like to be dramatic, but I can't say its tremendously helpful.

Hero's Defence
Holy cow. NOW THAT's what I call a Defensive spell!! Its the Wizard's shield in disguise with its usual +4. But also Re-Routes the attack so that it hits your best defence!! That is sheer amazing, since you will invariably have one defence that is better than the others (most likely Fortitude for CON-locks, or Will for CHA-locks). And its also an Encounter Power. Not only that, but the spell actually still has utility if it fails, since if the attack still hits you despite the Defensive buff, its damage is halved AS WELL! This means you can also use it to take the edge off a nasty critical. Highly, highly recommended, and my new favourite spell this level.

Painful/Delightful Transference
10/5/6 (10)/5/10
What's up with Boomlocks and their 'screw the allies' powers this level? I guess one can possibly justify this one, since you could end something nasty like Stunned for the small price of taking some damage. However, the power is bizarre in that it gets LESS effective the more Charisma you have.

Idiotically, this means that Inferlocks and Binderlocks with 9-11 CHA actually get a totally awesome 'get out of jail free' card by taking this power. Depending on how stupidly you want to rule it, you might even heal 1 hitpoint from them if you're ugly and have a -1 CHA modifier (it becomes Delightful Transference!). Therefore, despite the fact that this is a Dark Pact power, I highly recommend that they stay away from it (along with Feylocks, and Starlocks with CHA), but its great for Inferlocks, pure CON Starlocks (bracketed) and Binderlocks.

Warp Space
Teleporting madness. You and two allies leap to different places in a fairly big burst. This could be useful for setting up a flanking or pincer manuveur, or simply correcting a formation gone horribly wrong. Like usual, teleports are always tactically sound choices. Although this level has alot of other stuff vying for your attention.

Level 17 Encounters

:Life Force Reclaimed/Claws of the Magpie/Strand of Fate/Your Delectable Pain/Sea Tyrant's Fury.

Strand of Fate
Well, the damage might be complete trash, but this is obviously an awesome chain starter spell. All of your allies will love this if its correctly timed against a boss, because vulnerability 10 (all) is amazing, unless the target also has resist 10 (all). You can also blow an action point to immediately take advantage of it yourself. Highly recommended for Feylocks and Starlocks this level. Especially Starlocks, since they’ll probably squeeze an extra couple of vulnerability points from it. Dump your level 1/3/7 for it. Though if you prefer damage, pick up Your Delectable Pain instead.

Thirsting Tendrils
Actually not a terrible spell, since a healing surge scales up with your level, but it seems bizarre that it’s a Fey spell, not an infernal. The damage is only okay though. If your Feylock really needs a healing type spell, then take it, but I’d seriously consider the Strand of Fate/Claws of the Magpie for more overall effectiveness, or choosing Your Delectable Pain for damage.

Warlocks Bargain
I assume this has been errata’ed, because if not, its an awful choice for inferlocks, since the wording implies you take extra damage for hitting your target. I assume what its supposed to mean is that you effectively ‘heal’ back your intelligence modifier if you manage to hit. That’s still not very good, but I guess it at least makes the spell usable, raising it to the 6 in the brackets for inferlocks. I still can’t rate it higher than that, because though the damage is fairly nice, hurting yourself for any reason is bad, and the range is atrocious.

Unholy Glee
Ironically, this continues the trend of poor upgrades for Boomlock powers. This time, its the turn of Upsetting Onslaught. Which somehow manages to get worse in the process. This is because taking ongoing damage is less painful than being Dazed, generally, so the GM is much less likely to pay the cost to get rid of it when he's probably going to save at the end of turn. And again, its got that comically useless boon for the Boomlock. Move along, people, move along...

Your Delectable Pain
Aha! At last, a upgraded power that breaks the trend of somehow getting worse. Your Delicious Weakness was already a good power, and this actually makes it even more superior. This is possibly the most damaging power available this level, and the fact that it adjusts its type based on the foes vulnerabilities is even more superb, for the versatility factor. Finally, it also gets a +10 range upgrade as well! This makes it a very nice choice for all Charisma Warlocks this level. Highly Recommended.

Delbaan's Eye
Awwww, lookitt tha wittle baby ion cannon, isn't it ~cute~ OW!
Yup, this is indeed the precursor to the epic thirtieth level Doom of Delbaan, everyones favourite Ion Cannon spell. And it really lives up to its daddy! It deals good damage, and is unique in that its a warlock power that marks a foe. And strips it of any concealment. And Starlocks even get a damage boost to their next power since they evidently have innate laser targeting.
I also personally like the idea that this is actually a tracer beam for you to then unleash the Doom of Delbaan next turn (when you get it). Another fabulous choice this level for Charisma Warlocks (especially Starlocks).

Claws of the Magpie
What do you get if you mix Hitchcocks Birds with Mordenkanen's Disjunction? This spell, apparently. The damage is just average, but disabling the non-at-will powers and aura's of a big bad for a turn has a great utility effect, since you can prevent alot of firepower heading towards the party. The Fey Pact boon on top is fairly generic, but some Temp HP are never unwanted, I guess. A pretty good choice.

Despair of Zhudun
Decent pseudo control nonsense. Though be careful if the foe has a way of overriding the condition. Its also rattling for Starlocks. Not alot else I can really say.

Devouring Death
Should be more appropriately called 'Eating Acid', since that's actually what it is, surely. I'm afraid it cannot be recommended, though. Why? Its basically an inferior version of Strand of Fate. That gives Vulnerable 10 all, whereas this just applies to acid and necrotic. This also hits Fort rather than Reflex. These downsides are not really worth the extra 1d8 damage. Its one amusing use is that Boomlocks can force Undead to gain a Necrotic Weakness, which doesn't make any sense, but oh well...

Life Force Reclaimed
Basically, this is Vampiric Embrace Mark II. It deals decent damage, and gives you a big stack of temporary HP to play with (even moreso if you're a Binderlock). However, for some reason it now targets Fort rather than Will. Nevertheless, its a good choice for Inferlocks and Binderlocks this level, especially those looking for a Vampiric Embrace replacement.

Sea Tyrant's Fury
Warlock uses Surf! Its Super Effective! Monster Feinted! Ahem, pokemon references aside, this is a great spell. A close blast 5 that blows stuff away makes it a new version of Howl of Doom from level 7. Its also possibly as good as Spiteful Darts from 23rd level for non-inferlocks. Binderlocks also get a bizarre leader-like bonus from the affair by buffing everyone's saves if they're close by. The spell with the most damage potential this level. (if you can hit many clustered targets, that is. Delectable Pain is still the best Single-Target attack)

Level 19 Dailies

:Minions of Malbolge/Delusions of Loyalty/Dark Side of the Moon/Maelstrom of Despair/Pact with Amaan.
Boomlocks actually have a good level for a nice change.

Delusions of Loyalty
Hmm, this basically combines a ~slightly~ better version of the custard curse with a ~slightly~ better version of the Level 5 Crown of Madness. A general improvement from before, then. What really gives this power is the ability to sustain it as a minor, not a standard. This makes it rather effective against a single foe, much like its predecessor, allowing your party to batter down a foe whilst it can do very little to reciprocate.

Minions of Malbolge
Ah, minions! I have minions! Oddly enough, this is excellent for all Warlocks, since there are no strings attached and you don’t actually have to make an attack roll. If something comes near you, it just takes fire damage and gets swept away. In a fight where the foes have only non-reach melee attacks, this technically makes you invulnerable since nothing can melee you until the minions go down (unless the foe can have an action point to get another move, since the minions can only attack each foe once per turn). If you seem to regularly get into fights where nothing has ranged attacks, this is recommended. Otherwise, you might want to reduce the rating slightly. Still good though.

Wrath of Acamar
Sort of like the Hunger of Hadar, except unavoidable, but only for a single foe. The damage is pretty good, and the banishment effect interesting. It can get an annoying foe out of your hair and give you some breather space. Not as much use against the undead, mind, since this is necrotic damage. Works very nice as a link on from the Thief of Five Fates. A good choice for Feylocks and Starlocks interested in damage, but it has (in my opinion) been slightly obsoleted by Dark Side of the Moon.

Explosive Contagion
It really seems like they ran out of ideas for the boomlock, considering all of the 'upgraded' powers they threw in. This is ANOTHER very dubious upgrade. Contagion was fun back in level 1, but by this end of paragon, you really don't want to deal with its unreliability. Whilst this does offer some initial damage this time, its not that respectable. Give this a miss.

Passionate Betrayal
Ah, now here's something I get my teeth into! This is an absolutely fantastic domination spell. It might even be superior to Delusions of Loyalty, since its impossible to break out of whilst there are still 5+ enemies on the field. You basically yoink one of the foes from the other side and use him to bash the enemy. Great if you can yoink a foes brute and send it stomping into their artillery line.
However, it does require the foe to bloodied before you can target them, so they won't join your side fresh and ready. They'll also eventually turn on you after they realise how dumb they've been (assuming their old allies haven't ripped them apart already.) So its not quite as good for lockdown purposes. But still pretty damn good.

Dark Side of the Moon
Whew, lockdown is popular this level, huh? This is, in effect, a slightly less damaging version of Wrath of Acamar, above. However, personally, I feel this is better, since its MUCH more reliable. Why?
A) No saves. It is just slowed and locked to basic attacks for a turn. Nice.
B) Gets a +2 to hit, and targets Will over Reflex.
C) Its a fear power, so it triggers more stuff. And deals Psychic, which is better than Necrotic.
So another great choice for Charisma Warlocks this level. Check it out.

Force of Nature
Nature's Shotgun, anyone? I can almost hear the 'Boom! Cha-click!' in the description. This does a pretty ludicrous amount of damage (6D10!) and blows the foe backwards like a ragdoll. It resembles a daily version of Harrowstorm, in that its a prime 'get the hell away from me' type power. As usual for these things, it does hit Fort, though for unparrelled destructive power vs. single targets this level I don't believe it has much equal.

Maelstrom of Despair
Very nice, I like it. Good initial damage, but more importantly, it punishes foes for trying to make saves, which makes it a great opening shot for the Warlock who likes to impose a catalogue full of status effects. It also gives you a free, fairly minor ongoing damage effect to use in conjunction with it. Boomlocks especially benefit, since they'll probably manage 8-12 damage. That, combined with their means of imposing alot of ongoing effects, can be pretty brutal. Feylocks get a minor buff to their own saves from this. Its also good for them, since it implies foes have to try really hard and strain themselves to break from your domination. Its most effective vs. a big boss; since using your minor action as a sustain means you can't as easily re-target your Warlocks Curse (though by 19th you may have a means to get around that...)

Void Star
Wow, this is pretty nasty too. Again, it has decent damage (partly thanks to the 10 ongoing) but also imposes a leech seed type of effect, which is pretty horrible. The foe just used a surge? Thanks, I'll be having that! Also pretty hilarious against a Regenerating creature (big trolls, anyone?) since you basically reverse their ability on them and benefit in the process. Its a fun choice for all CON-locks this level.

Dread Briars
Trying to mimic tentacles with vines are we, Mr. Feylock? If you like them that much, just become a Starlock! This is not a tremendous power for 19th level, with all the other awesomeness thats lying around; especially as Void Star, above, is a basically better version of this power in every way, except that it doesn't immobilize, (but instead has that awesome health slurp ability) though if you like additional means of immobilization and poison, then by all means, go ahead. The damage is nothing to write home about, though Feylocks get to use it on the undead and ignore Necrotic resistance if they like.

Level 19 Vestiges

Type: Controller
The initial attack with Amaan seems suspiciously like Strand of Fate. The only difference is that it uses CON and deals 2d8 extra damage as a daily. So, really not worth it for non-binderlocks...

The Binderlock, however, benefits from a career change into a professional puppeteer by casting this spell, whipping chains of force all over the place and completely re-organising the battlefield as he sees fit! By this point, each time you shoot Eyes of the Vestige or drop a target, you'll be able to push/pull something at least 3 squares, I should imagine, quite possibly double that. Battlefield control at its finest!

"Burned Emperors"
Type: Leader
As the name may suggest, this is a very leadership related pact which is ideal as a second spell after all your allies have surrounded the big bad, since a generic 5 man party could add an extra 12-20 damage to this attack. Though that assumes all the others are melee'ists. Much like some of the Warlord's repitoire, the usefulness of this initial attack is dependant on how many other melee'ists you can upon the assistance of. Hence, it could get +2 in an ideal situation, but is otherwise generic.

The Binderlock naturally becomes part Warlord, since the pact boons espouse increase ally mobility. They aren't great, but if you're lacking a leader, they could be handy. Personally, for control, Amaan sounds better though.
[u]Level 22 Utilities[/u]

:As always, it utilities, so it all depends on you. There's some mighty fine stuff around.

Entropic Ward
You know the Thief of Five Fates? Well, this is its barrier version. And because it affects every attack that comes your way, and is an encounter power, it helps dramatically increase your survivability. Highly recommended, though all three powers this level are good.

Raven's Glamour
And this would be the culmination of the Shadow Form/Cloak of Shadows tree in terms of evasive spells. This one switches out the flight for a huge teleport, and adds both invisibility and a substitute to the package. A very nice get away spell.

Wings of the Fiend
6/6/6/6/6 (10)
And finally, six levels after the Wizard, you actually get a proper fly spell. However, the value of this is subjective since the Wizard actually gets Mass Fly this level; which gives everyone in the party Fly 8, making this a bit redundant since both are daily spells. If you don't have a Wizard, or he was insane enough to not take Mass Fly this level, increase the rating to the bracketed one (much better!).

Expedient Sacrifice
Bletch. I'm sorry, this is awful. Considering that you can gain Fly 8 this level, or a superb escape spell, are you ~really~ gonna choose something that Slows your ally just for the sake of 4 speed? Thought not. Team game, people, team game!

Ulbaan's Shining Cloak
Well, this is intreguing. Its basically a protective spell like Shielding Shades and the Wizards Shield spell (more functionally like the latter, but protecting only against ranged). However, you can add your Intellect to any Defence (rather than just AC) which makes this pretty versatile. Then, amusingly, if it misses as a result of this bonus (which is obviously will, else you wouldn't activate it), then the projectile instead flies back at the attacker.
Unfortunately, its not an entirely done deal as they then have to roll to hit themselves. However, this does bear the advantage of allowing you to laugh when the GM criticals himself. (ROFL)
Its definately a comedy spell. But a pretty darn good one. Add it to the pile of cool stuff you can grab this level.

Ascension of the Elder
Lul wut? You pull of a Hancock-esq tarmac pulping uber-jump directly upwards, and then do a Batman and sprout a powered glider. Definately got alot of cool factor right there. Interestingly, this power could theoretically have an infinite effect as long as you continue to sustain it (I think). If it does, that gives it a nice advantage over Wings of the Fiend.

Of course, teleporting 100 Feet upwards in the midst of the dungeon will cause your GM to have 3d geometry headaches as he tries to figure out where the heck you end up. Talk about an Elevator Spell (though its useless in a fight underground except as a handy retreat spell).

Walk of the Kantakaran
In a way, this is an alternate version of Time Stop. Though of course, you don't actually get extra actions. Rather, you 'fade out' of the combat temporarily. That said, unlike other classes, you don't really have many things you can do whilst under this powers influence since most of your utilities are defensive or mobility related. The wizard can throw up his walls and zones with Time Stop, but you can't use ANY attack spells with this.

I actually can't rate this easily, as its use really depends on how well you can figure out things to combo with it.

My main idea lies in the fact that I don't believe this power prevents you from sustaining. If so, this makes it a rather ideal way to use big sustain blasts (Hello, Doom of Delbaan!) while the enemy can't lift a finger against you. If this is the case, it may warrant an 8 or 9.

If not, I see this being most useful to Leader-ish characters who can use it as a Sanctuary effect whilst they throw buffs.

Wakeman's Invocation
Another bizarre daily defensive spell. It warps space around you, giving you a generic Mage Armour like boost against ranged and teleporting melee attackers away from you. Stupidly, however, teleporting a melee attacker that much sets them up to charge you again. Which is daft. Considering this is a daily, it doesn't seem up to par with all the other amazingness around this level. Actually, I had misinterpreted the wording on this spell. For some reason, I thought you teleported stuff away when it damaged you. Actually, its just when something lands a hit. That makes the value of this spell go up dramatically. DRAMATICALLY. It makes you literally untouchable with melee strikes for the rest of the encounter, which puts it on par with Entropic Ward. Give it thought! (Thanks to TheChunOne and MeNsInSaNa for pointing out my error)

Wall of Inky Night
Well, thats fun. You rarely ever get to play with Walls. Yours gives you a mighty cloak of darkness. One which is so unnatural that you can blind stuff with it (i.e. Darkvision doesn't work). More interestingly, you can snap re-arrange the dark wall, moving it 10 squares. Since this effect happens rarely, I have to wonder whether the wall moves like a snake or you move the entire wall as a whole, like a tetris block.

[u]Level 23 Encounters[/u]

:Spiteful Darts/Swarm of Fangs/Maddening Whispers/Dreadtheft/Arrow of Arcane Light.

Dark Transport
Aha, finally a replacement of sorts for my favourite Otherwind Stride! Which is good, since the damage on that by this point is sheet patheticness. Its a shame one loses the burst effect; and the power does lose some potency in the hands of anyone besides a Starlock, but still, its not bad. A feylock should probably combine this with one of their menagerie of teleports to make up for not having the pact boon.

Spiteful Darts
Weirdly, the description of this seems to suggest a ranged attack, not a close blast, but whatever. This is a better version of the dubious Howl of Doom. Whilst its okay, I'd still contend that Harrowstorm is a better 'get the hell away from me' power because of the better push value. That said, it is quite a big blast, so it has its merits if you happened to be surrounded, but there are still better ways to deal with that kind of situation, especially at epic level. Nevertheless, despite my whining, its probably the best power for Inferlocks not wanting Arrows of Arcane Light.

Thorns of Venom
This continues the tradition of upgrade spells. This one is a better version of Infernal Moon Curse. I have to say I actually quite like this, but then I liked its predecessor. It adds an extra d8 and a nice debuff to an already reasonable immobilization effect, and no longer has the funny (but not terribly useful for melee characters) effect of holding the target up in the air. So a good choice, I'd say, especially for the Feylock.

Ah, at last, something new and interesting for the Boomlocks this level (don't get used to it...) This is a pretty good power. It offers a Hit bonus, 20 range, 3D8 to two targets and even a chance to not be expended! The Boomlock using it even has a chance to snatch a resistance out of the deal. A nice choice for the CHAlocks this level. Though, its only downer is that it provides Necrotic damage. Still, how much epic undead are you planning on facing?

Blades of Vanquished Armies
Huh, whats this? The Boomlock has a Defensive spell? LIES!!
In a way, this is like an inferior Minions of Malbolge. However, this is an Encounter power. It surrounds you with blades of darkness, which slash at those around you in a Close Burst. If you can hit them, you'll weaken the fools that are trying to melee you, and also punish them with a little bit of damage if they try it.
Of course, the question remains as to why you're in the melee.
That said, I can see this power working like Otherwind Stride, as in, you charge into the fray, unleash this, then teleport out again (with an action point is neccessary.) Doing so could help the melee fighters on your team. Hence, I reckon this power is now best for the Feylock (tied with thorns of venom). Assuming you don't mind the fairly poor damage, that is...

Starless Void
Its an upgraded Frigid Darkness, from way back in level 3. As before, if find granting Combat Advantage to others is useful (i.e. you have Rogues and such like), this power should get +2 to all its scores. What's more, the slice off AC granted by the Starlock boon is also convienient. However, recently, the arrival of Maddening Whispers, also this level, gives a different alternative. This deals more damage; that grants better control. Up to you really; as I like both.

Arrow of Arcane Light
At initial look, this seems to be ANOTHER Harrowstorm made specifically for Binderlocks, with slightly superior damage. That aside though, its true advantage lies in its good accuracy, keen critical range, and its ability to cause Radiant damage, which is always handy to be packing. It may not be too interesting, but it is pretty effective.

Awaken the Dragon
Another generic copy of Strand of Fate, it seems. Its 5 levels higher for treble the damage and is otherwise not too different. However, it might still be worth it for Binderlocks and Inferlocks interested in that kind of effect, since in this case, it uses CON. Binderlocks also benefit from a paltry amount of Temp. HP. Arrow of Arcane light is probably the better Vestige spell this level, though.

Maddening Whispers
That's a funky cocktail! This power combines the effects of The Curse of the Dark Dream, Iron Spike of Dis and Frigid Darkness into one rather fanciful package. Its next in the line of liquid distilled madness powers that started with Dreadful Word way back in level 1. Obviously, however, to benefit from these advantages, you lose out on damage. Starlocks get to play puppeteer again. Good times.

Swarm of Fangs
Ever see that scary tooth-fairy film? This is that. For a non-Feylock, this is a very generic and frankly poor spell. But their unique effect is just NASTY, since you'll be dealing 14-18 damage to everything in a Burst 2 around the target, regardless of whether you actually hit initially (at least, thats what the wording assumes). Therefore, for the Feylock, this is perhaps the best mob control spell you'll ever see and it really doesn't matter that it hits Fort. Give it some serious consideration as a Feylock. Others should just leave it though.

[u]Level 25 Dailies[/u]

:13 Baleful Stars/Prince's Horde/13 Baleful Stars/Instruction in Darkness/Pact with Queen of Namhar/Land's Soul.

Curse of the Twin Princes
Bizarrely enough, I'd think this one would be a better attack for the Inferlock to use, since it would be double benefit for them (lose their temp HP...which they don't care about, and force damage onto a foe simulataneously). However, sadly, they don't have the Charisma (probably...maybe you're a demigod who buffed CHA by now). The effect is also quite irritating if you happen to melee'ing the target (why you'd be, I know not, but hey). In any case, whilst this is possibly good for redirecting attrition damage you might take from the other artillery, you're still not supposed to be taking hits, so that makes this an average power. Feylocks are still generally better served by the Prince's Horde or Instruction in Darkness.

Tartarean Tomb
A slightly different, infernal version of the Wrath of Acamar. Since the creature cannot be effectively targeted whilst entombed by anyone else, its basically the same effect as the banishment that previous power provided. However, what does make it slightly better is the fact that it still has an effect on a miss; and its immobilization in that case too, which is cool. However, I contend that 13 baleful stars is the better CON based attack this level.

Thirteen Baleful Stars
Scary floating stars? Really? Well, that weirdness aside, this power is fantastic. Its got great initial damage, its versus Will, and it stuns the target, which is obviously the nastiest status effect (besides unconcious, of course). The fact it still does half damage and dazes on a miss makes it even better. I'd say its a fab choice for Starlocks and Inferlocks this level.

Invisible Death
Hmmm, this is not that great since the damage is fairly lackluster for this level and the ongoing effect has a bizarre condition for a Warlock power.
It does have long range, I suppose, but overrall not that great.

Ring of Torment
Oh look, another upgrade. Yawn. This is Ring of Pain II. And yet, following the maddenening ideas that the Dark Pact has about most upgrades, this manages to be fairly poor. Sure, it hits more targets and deals slightly better damage; but its still chock full of conditionals and quite poor for the level. Pass.

Gibbeths Embrace
Huh? Another refugee from the wizards camp? This is another bizarre thing that attacks using INT. Ironically, this is actually a much better version of Invisible Death, above. Well, okay, so it loses the range benefit, but wouldn't you like the potential for 18 more damage?
Still, Thirteen Baleful stars still does this damage AND also Stuns. Making this a bit m00t unless you're desperate to deal Force damage.

Infernal Chains
The ~really~ big brother of the Chains of Levistus from Level 1. Kind of unusual in the fact that allows you to grab a target at significant distance (rather than requiring you to be adjacent). This basically means the foe is immobilzed, but it can't just make a save to escape (it has to spend a move action and also beat your Fortitude with a -4 penalty). This is probably better for you, since by this level your Fort will be pretty impressive. You can also continue to deal minor damage and swing it around by yanking the chain, which is nice for controlling it. Though 13 Baleful Stars should have your attention as a CONlock this level, this is a nice alternative.

Instruction in Darkness
A rather fantastic description, this has. Nevertheless, its basically a Charisma version of Tartarean Tomb, above. Its loses nearly half the initial damage potential in exchange for an explosion of darkness that blinds everything in a burst 2 when the creature makes its save. Which is a decent effect. Probably the best actual Dark Pact choice this level now; and actually gives a decent choice of attack power for the CHAlocks this level. (Though 'The Prince's Horde', below, is probably slightly better for damage potential)

Prince's Horde
Gah! More swarms of Fairies! This is, quite oddly, a Fey spell that focuses on raw firepower. Because the swarming cloud of fairies causes havoc all around, it basically continually deals ongoing damage in a burst 1. This also goes off as an effect, so the spell is still reasonably useful on a miss if its fired into a big mob. The central target is also so inunduated that they have to break through the net of fairies to attack anything, hence treating anything they attack as if it had concealment. Which is a decent lockdown effect to have on top.

[u]Level 25 Vestiges[/u]

"Land's Soul"
Type: Defender and Leader
Another one of those fairly rare Vestiges that is possibly worth considering to non-Binderlocks. The initial attack is very decent, and moreover, it slows the foe and gives you Regeneration 10, which is a fabulous free healing card that allows you to leave your surges at home. It is especially good if you can hinder a foe from saving against the Slowed condition.

Binderlocks get to benefit further from health buffing goodness, as their Pact Boon basically turns into a vampiric corpse explosion. This effect is only effective if you're in the midst of the fray, but this shouldn't be an issue since this power will be granting you alot of healing to compensate. What's more, Eye of the Vestige becomes a Combo setup power nearly as good as Strand of Fate. You will almost certainly impose a Vulnerable 8-12 with the hit; and the Sorcerer of the Party will love it if you pick their favoured energy (though the choices aren't really great for you, except maybe Fire).

Both this and the Queen of Namhar are fabulous choices this level. Its a very tough pick. Just go with your preferred theme (Striker/Controller or Defender/Leader).

"Queen of Namhar"
Type: Controller and Striker
H-H-HOW MANY STATUS EFFECTS?!? FIVE!? The Warlock's idea of Horrid Wilting is plainly, simply, brutal.

Again, this is possibly worth considering for Non-Binderlocks. Good initial damage + some ongoing + weakening them as an aftereffect makes for a decent attack indeed. It also has a miss effect nearly as good as the hit.

Of course, it is massively superior, as usual, for the Binderlock. Whenever your Pact Boon goes off, you get to Daze the nearest cursed target. By this kind of level, you should have a good means to spread many curses around, so this is rather nasty. But more importantly, Eye of the Vestige also weakens as part of its effect. Making your At-Will Attack weaken stuff is pretty nice.

Both this and Lands Soul are fabulous choices this level. Its a very tough pick. Just go with your preferred theme (Striker/Controller or Defender/Leader).

[u]Level 27 Encounters[/u]

:Shattering Sword/Curse of the Fey King*/Shattering Sword*/Inevitable Undercut*/Shattering Sword.

*CHA-locks are a bit boned this level. There's nothing 'wow' for them to take. So feel free to take nothing here.

Banish to the Void
Okay, so its madness in a tin. Which is fun, but unfortunately, by the time that you're level 27, I suspect you're gonna be fighting a greater proportion of solo's, so the fact it attacks the nearest target on its return might actually be a moot point. But, if you do happen to be fighting a good proportion of powerful mobs this level, then increase the rating by 2 for each.

Curses of the Fey King
Well, thats weird. Nicking a dice roll, if it happens to be a good one, could be nice. Similarily, however, if the GM rolls a 1, the secondary effect of this power is somewhat wasted. Because of this subjectivity, I seriously wonder about you picking this power, since its also a bit mediocre on the damage front. Again, however, Feylocks might be stuck with it.

Hellfire Curse
Wow, were they running out of ideas here, or something? Its a basic single target level 27!? Though the fluff is black flames, which is fun. However, 5d10 is a decent amount of damage for an encounter power, and hilariously, this also does more damage than the Wizards Black flames (though that hits a big burst...sigh). Its just a shame it doesn't do anything interesting. Still, if you feel a pocket tactical nuclear device is just what you need, go ahead.

Inevitable Undercut
Level 27 is a fairly boring one for warlocks, and this does nothing to break the tradition. Its alright, simply because there's a good chance there to grab a +2 hit bonus (or +4 for a Boomlock). The damage is okay too, and its long ranged. However, its nothing spectacular. Grab it if you want accuracy.

Envoy of Nihal
Huh, a torrent of leeches? If you say so. Though its still not spectacular, this is probably the best power now available this level. 4D10 and the chance to spend a healing surge shouldn't be sniffed at for providing in battle healing. The Starlock gets to heal a smidgen extra, probably about 5-9 extra points, depending on how much CHA they have, but its not hugely significant.

Manipulating Thunderbolt
If...y-you'reeee happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you're happy and... Ahem. Actually, despite the whole 'you clap and a thunderbolt hits somebody' amusement of this power, its actually really not that great for this level. Admittedly, for Inferlocks ONLY, it sort of combines Harrowstorm with an Iron Spike of Dis, so its an alright choice for them (though they should REALLY consider Shattering Sword!). But its pretty poor for the others.

Shattering Sword
Holy Cranoodles. It stuns. Need I really say more? Well, this is quite literally a little version of everyones favourite 13 Baleful Stars, which, as a CON-lock, you probably picked up or considered picking up at 25th. The Binderlock gets to squeeze another 5-7 damage or so out of it too. Totally a great pick.

Soul of the Treant
You give the enemy a seizure, and they slap all their mates? At this kind of level, mob-destruction gets slightly less useful, really, and then the poor damage of this attack really begins to rear its ugly face. Although there is the benefit of isolating a target, frankly the ensnaring swordmage does that alot better. Despite everything, CHA-locks are still boned this level. There's really nothing worth their time.

Zutwa's Incandescence
Sounds suspiciously like a Cleric power to me. Blinding everything around you is certainly a tempting prospect, and this can probably hit more targets than Soul of the Treant, above, if positioned correctly. More interestingly, it hits Will and Binderlocks get to impose a save penalty, meaning this is a reasonable opening attack for them especially. If you really feel blinding a mob will give you more mileage than stunning a solo, go crazy.

[u]Level 29 Dailies[/u]
Curse of the Dark Delerium
And this would be the very pinnacle of the domination tree that started way back in level 5 with Crown of Madness. The GM basically cedes control of the foe targeted with this to you, but you lose its power list and it can't do anything suicidal. Again, whilst controlling Orcus or an Ancient Red Dragon sounds like fun, you have wonder whether there's anyone else in the room for them to batter. Still, combat practicalities aside, you ~can~ make the foe do a ballet dance across the room. That comedy value is worth the entry price alone, I guess. :D

Ion Cannon Doom of Delbaan
The famous. Or infamous. This is the warlocks take on a GDI Ion Cannon. Only, yours isn't a single shot super weapon. Nah, it can BE SUSTAINED. Not to mention it can dance between targets, ripping the ground up into deep canyons as it burns the landscape with frozen, terrifying death. Yes, that was melodramatic, but hell, this power is just that awesome. It also gets more powerful EACH turn you sustain it. Of course, the catch is that a laser of this magnitude needs a power source. Sadly, this power source happens to be you. But, you can take 2d10 damage a turn, right? If not, it gives your cleric something to do. The only other possible issue is that Fort is the worst defence to target. But you still have Dark one's own luck, right? :D

Hurl through Hell
The top line of the banishment powers; this one sends the target off to get tentacle raped in hell. You can also sustain the banishment (but not giving it extra damage in the process), and it technically does more initial damage than the Doom of Delbaan, so if you really feel your Starlock or Inferlock doesn't need a giant ion cannon, this is a totally solid and great alternative. It also stuns and targets Will, which in the eyes of some, is arguably better all around. Sadly, I just can't ~quite~ put it in front myself, because of the Doom's awesome sustain. But it certainly deserves a grand, epic, hello. Because of this, I've underlined both this and the doom as being the best for Starlocks and Feylocks this level.

One Final Sacrifice
How do you manage to screw up the most epic of epic powers? Look to the Dark Pact for inspiration, of course! Just NO. HOW DID THEY MANAGE TO MAKE THIS WORSE!? So, you guarantee 10 damage to all your allies for the chance to deal D12 extra! Thats like a 90% chance of net loss! And this assumes you're a Boomlock. Everyone else uses D8. Dear lord. Not only that, but the base damage is awful. This is the only power I'm giving zero's out for. It should not exist. Scribble over it in your book, you won't ever want it.

Spread the Corrosion
Just when I was about to give up all hope for the Dark Pact, however, this comes along in a last ditch attempt to restore its modesty. And...its alright, offering a respectable solution for killing tough mobs. It again requires you to run into the fray, but as per normal, this is nothing a teleport can't handle. But still, I do wonder how many mobs you'll be fighting at the pinnacle of epic; so I'd still only recommend this for Boomlocks not interested in the Curse of the Dark Delerium.

Vile Elevator Music Caiphons Abominable Melody
4/8/9/8/4 (10)
Did Orcus pack his "La-la-la, I'm not listening!" brand earplugs today? If not, this might give him a nasty surprise. This is a pretty damn nice power. Its not quite at the powerlevel of the Ion Cannon, true, but ye gads, the imposed conditions are enough to ruin someones day. Blinded, deafened, and slowed, each with seperate saves is pretty reasonable. And you know what? If you're a Doomsayer, this is a fear effect too! Hehe...
Its a bit unfortunate that the echoes also hurt your allies, and that it still hits Fortitude (though with a +2). So I can't quite rate it on the same level as the Ion Cannon and Hurl through hell. But its still an excellent choice, especially for the Doomsayer.

But this might be a m00t point. As pointed out by Jordain_Vizier (somehow I missed it), this power also throws up an disgustingly broken shield, as part of its effect. This effectively prevents 55% of all damage coming your way, just through the use of this power. Until the end of the encounter!
Now, personally, as a GM, I'd ban that part of effect for being a bit too ludicrous (along with all these other stupid immortality clauses that Martial Power has) but if your GM allows it, then this power rises to the score in brackets; and this power becomes possibly the only one you'd want to take.

This Arcane Power stuff is under construction! Please Wait!

Arrangement of Disorder

Eyes of the Victim

Forbiddence of the Ninth

"Hidden Flame Master"
Type: Striker

Type: Striker
Putting it together. Builds and stuff.
This section will detail some of the build concepts I've come up with. Feel free to use and modify them as you see fit.

NEW! Oracle of the Endless Void
Oh grand and magnificent Akaboshi-sama! Lord of space! Lord of darkness! I am but your lowly servant!

This one is a new idea of mine, an Oracle Miko or Kan'nushi who pays no heed to the real gods, but instead pours their loyalty into grand magnificence of Space, and the bright and magnificent stars, and the dark curtain that seperates them. It works well with the idea of a barbarian wise-woman or man. If you were wondering, Akaboshi-sama is japanese for Red-Star-Lord. Its a term used by the Gaelic Pagan Oracle Rhiannon in the game (and recently, anime adaptation) of Tears to Tiara.

This character concept is somewhat based upon her character (though with less crazy proposals and snake oven mitts). It focuses entirely upon the idea that the character develops exceptional foresight. To the point where nothing misses because the character has seen all eventualities and has accounted for them. Mechanically speaking, this means: RE-ROLLS! Every power picked here attacks Will and abuses CHA/WIS. When you get the level 16 feature of the Divine Oracle, you'll be rolling two dice for EVERY attack. Talk about an exponential increase in hit-rate!

Best Pact: Dark
My lord is the darkness, the curtain which protects our world at night.
You could also choose Star, I guess, but I'm interested in the fact that Spiteful Glamour hits Will
Best Races: Human, Aasimar, Gnome, Elf
Stats wanted: 18-20 CHA, 14-16 WIS
Having WIS is very important here, since we'll be taking Cleric Multiclass...

Level 1 Powers: Spiteful Glamour, (Eyebite if Human), Glow of Ulbaan, Prophecy of Zhudaan
Yup, all of them hit Will. Jolly good. (well, except your Eldritch Blast...but meh...)
Level 2 Utility: Shadow Veil or Ethereal Stride
Want a ghostly cloak or a teleport? Your call.
Level 3 Power: Upsetting Onslaught
Pretty Nasty here, mainly because of the Dazed imposition.
Level 5 Power: Twilight of the Soul
You need to have picked up Initiate of the Faith by level 6. This means you can heal people on the side too!
Level 6 Utility: Dark ones own luck or the Rending Fear of Khirad
Level 7 Power: Sign of Ill Omen
Optional at 8) Depending on how much you like Sign of Ill Omen, you could choose to replace it here by picking up Novice Power Swap and having the Cleric's Break the Spirit. Break the Spirit is pretty horrible in your hands, since it'll probably impose a -5 penalty to attack rolls, which is as effective as Sign of Ill Omen and marginally more damaging. Your call though...
Level 9 Power: Thief of Five Fates
Go Dice-Fiddling! What's more, the sustain on this can be affected by Terrifying Insight later on too!
Level 10 Utility: Get the Feat Adept Power Swap: To obtain Mass Cure Light Wounds here.
Well, you don't have to, but I'm sure the party will appreciate it...

Obviously, you're having Divine Oracle as your PP. Your prophetic powers begin to really spike here!
(Prophecy of Doom, Foresight, Prophetic Action at 11, then Good Omens at 12)
Level 13 Power: Slightly problematic. Either be boring and do Glow of Ulbaan => Blaze of Ulbaan (but that’s not much of an upgrade) or choose the optional below.
Optional at 13) Novice Power Swap: Get Plague of Doom. If you had it, Break the Spirit Reverts back to => Sign of Ill Omen.
Level 15 Power: Prophecy of Zhudaan => Kimmerials Smile
Level 16 Utility: Caiphons Disquieting Liberty
w00t, you finally got the best class feature! Enjoy your double dice madness!
Level 17 Power: Probably no changes
Level 19 Power: Twilight of the Soul => Passionate Betrayal or Dark side of the moon
Lord of the Stars, Lady of the Dark! Hear my call and shower your embrace of darkness on these infidels!

The Doll Master
Push it, baby! The idea of this build is constantly throw your opponents around the battlefield with your attacks, as if you were controlling them on strings. At the same time, you're putting up effects that punish foes for moving, and also adding as many debuffs onto them as you can. Of course, this is best taken advantage of combined with multiclassing to grab the Blood Mage paragon. This is very much a Control Warlock, rather than a Striker.
Best Pact: Star
The hit bonuses are good, but you'll also want to use both CHA and CON attacks.
Stats wanted: 16-18 CON, 14-16 INT, 14-16 CHA

Feats wanted: Improved Fate of the Void, Arcane Initiate (taking Thunderwave), Improved Initiative.
Level 1 Powers: Witchfire, Curse of the Dark Dream
In the early stages, its best to stick with minor control, like this.
Level 2 Utility: Ethereal Stride
Level 3 Power: Frigid Darkness
If you don't have a Rogue, pick Otherwind Stride instead here.
Level 5 Power: Hunger of Hadaar, Retrain Witchfire -> Diabolic Grasp
Now you've got your first proper push combo. Make a cloud behind the enemy, push them in with D. Grasp.
Level 6 Utility: Dark one's own luck
Level 7 Power: Sign of Ill Omen
You could get Howl of Doom here if you want more pushiness, but the sign helps with the control/debuff.
Level 9 Power: Curse of the Black Frost
This one is probably gonna be your favourite daily.
Level 10 Utility: Shielding Shades

Feats wanted: Twofold Curse, Fleet Footed?
You need to have taken Arcane initiate by now. Pick Blood Mage as your Paragon Path. Now you've got Blood Pulse and Curse of the Black Frost that punish foes for moving around. Abuse your pushy powers to do so.
Level 13 Power: Harrowstorm Replaces Diabolic Grasp
More pushiness~ my favourite of its type. Blow an action point, slap the foe with a blood pulse, then this. Congrats, you just did 7d6 + 2d10 damage (!).
Level 15 Power: Tentacles of Thubaan replaces something
Level 16 Utility: Eye of the Warlock
Level 17 Power: Strand of Fate replaces Frigid Darkness/Otherwind Stride
Level 19 Power: Minions of Malbolge
Whew, wouldn't wanna see you as my playground bully. When you push people around, they ~explode~!

Astral Seductress
Obviously meant with a female character in mind. Also dabbles in wizardry, and specialises a bit in control. However, this build doesn't care about pushing, just screwing foes up...badly. This build also deliberately ignores flashy, destructive powers in favour of pure psychic meltdown. A seductress doesn't play with fire...nope, she plays with your mind, after all. It goes masterfully with the image of sultry and arrogant, yet sexy Witch character. And yes, I'm playing this build (but I have a custom paragon).

Best Pact: Star or Fey
Its built with becoming a Doomsayer in mind, but there's no reason you can't substitute it for Fey pact and Feytouched (just becomes a Nymph Charisma is most important after all.
Stats wanted: 16-20 CHA, 14-16 INT, 12-14 CON

Feats wanted: Improved Fate of the Void, Dark Fury, Arcane Initiate (taking Ray of Frost or Scorching Burst), Improved Initiative.
Level 1 Powers: Witchfire, Dread Star
Some debuff, some immobilization. A good start.
Level 2 Utility: Ethereal Stride
Level 3 Power: Otherwind Stride
A bit too flashy maybe for us, but that immobilization is too good to pass up.
Level 5 Power: Curse of the Bloody Fangs
Invisible doggies? Well, okay...
Level 6 Utility: Dark one's own luck
Level 7 Power: Mire the Mind
Level 9 Power: Thief of Five Fates
Level 10 Utility: Warlocks Leap. Also take Adept power swap as your feat this level Switching Dread Star => Sleep.
"Its time for your nap, dearies..."

Feats wanted: Twofold Curse, Psychic Lock
Doomsayer is your Paragon. Technically, I'd just refluff it to 'Lover of Darkness' or something. Still fits. If you're feytouched instead, you've just become a nymph, congrats, lol.
Level 13 Power: Retrain a Feat you don't need to Novice Power swap this level, and pick up Mesmerizing Hold, replacing Witchfire. It totally suits the character concept, though I hope you've been buffing INT as well as CHA.
Level 15 Power: Custard Curse... erm, sorry, "Curse of the Golden Mist", replacing Curse of the Bloody Fangs. Hey, swapping a curse for a curse, LoL.
Level 16 Utility: Infuriating Elusiveness
Level 17 Power: Strand of Fate replaces Otherwind Stride
Level 19 Power: Delusions of Loyalty
Whew, you've got a lot of ways of controlling a foes fate and mind by now, you sexy beast, you.

Dwarven Infernal Crusader
Yeah, I've talked about an armoured Dwarflock a couple of times above, so I'll present an idea for that here too. He focuses on Lots of Temporary hitpoints. Even early on, he's a Defender, rather than a striker. But as he becomes part Paladin, and takes the Justicar Paragon Path, it only accents his role. This is, unlike the previous couple, quite a strict build, but unfortunately, it has to be since getting a Warlock Pally combo is pretty MAD. Chances are you're gonna want a Pact Blade in one hand, and a stronger melee weapon in the other. It also works with a Half-Elf, and I've provided an alternate Stat-Line for them (they can also pick up Bolstering Strike from the Pally straight away).

Race: Dwarf
Best Pact: Infernal
Stats wanted: 14 STR, 8 DEX, 18 CON (+2 Racial), 12 INT, 13 WIS (+2 Racial), 14 CHA

Alternate (Half Elf Blood Champion)
Race: Half-Elf
Best Pact: Infernal
Stats wanted: 14 STR, 8 DEX, 18 CON (+2 Racial), 14 INT, 12 WIS, 13 CHA (+2 Racial)

Your aim in both cases is to take Chainmail Proficiency immediately, Soldier of the Faith at 2nd, and possibly Novice Power Swap at 4th

Feats wanted: Chainmail Proficiency, Soldier of the Faith, Novice Power Swap, Improved Initiative, Astral Fire, Scale Proficiency (eventually)
Level 1 Powers: Vampiric Embrace, Flames of Phlegethos/Armour of Agyths
Health Slurping and Firepower to begin with. You might consider Armour of Agyths here too. Its about the only build I would possibly think about having it, since chances are it might be useful if you're often in melee.
Level 2 Utility: Ethereal Stride
Level 3 Power: Fiery Bolt or Otherwind Stride
Boom or zip? Your choice. If you're following this exactly, you'll only have this for 1 level anyhow.
Level 4 Power: Take Novice power swap, Swapping your level 3 for the Paladins level 3 Righteous Smite (More Temporary Hitpoints!) Make either your WIS or CHA (whichever was at 13) into a 14 this level, then buff CON.
Level 5 Power: Avernian Eruption
Get your firepower upgrade here.
Level 6 Utility: Fey Switch
Again, I wouldn't normally recommend Fey Switch, but here it could be critically useful, since you're probably okay with being in melee. Dark one's own luck is still okay too.
Level 7 Power: Infernal Moon Curse
Level 9 Power: Iron Spike of Dis
Level 10 Utility: Shielding Shades

Feats wanted: Fleet-Footed, Dwarven Durability, Scale Specialization, Durable
Take the Justicar Paragon. You're already a fairly mighty tank by this point, eh? Only, you can also spit fire and poison at people.
Level 13 Power: Coldfire Vortex replaces Infernal Moon Curse or Vampiric Embrace
Level 15 Power: Thirsting Maw replaces Flames of Phlegethos
Level 16 Utility: Eye of the Warlock
Level 17 Power: Retrain your Novice Power Swap this level to get Hand of the Gods in place your old Righteous Smite
Level 19 Power: Minions of Malbolge
There you go. You're a veritable font of hitpoints!

The Pyromaniac
Yup, this build has one focus. Namely: Killing it with fire. And if that doesn't work, try: Killing it with fire. Subtle? No. Effective? Probably. Well, until you meet the fire resistant creatures. But hey, it ~occassionally~ deals other damage types. :D
Best Pact: Infernal
For obvious reasons. But heck, someone who plays with fire likes being healthy, right?
Stats wanted: 16-20 CON, 16-18 INT, 8-10 CHA (LOL)

Feats wanted: Astral Fire, Arcane Initiate (taking Scorching Burst), Improved Initiative, Hellfire Blood (if tiefling), Action Surge (if human).
Level 1 Powers: Vampiric Embrace, Flames of Phlegethos
Yeah, there aren't any Encounter powers we can use that have fire. If you happened to have CHA for some reason, you can use Witchfire if you want.
Level 2 Utility: Ethereal Stride
Level 3 Power:Fiery Bolt
W00t, your first AOE! That is, assuming you didn't already get Arcane Initiate...
Level 5 Power: Avenian Eruption
Squee, Napalm!
Level 6 Utility: Dark one's own luck, Pick up Novice Power Swap this level to swap Vampiric Embrace for Burning Hands (you can do this earlier if you want)
Level 7 Power:Infernal Moon Curse
Its poison, not fire, but it has 'infernal' in the title so thats okay.
Level 9 Power:Iron Spike of Dis
Level 10 Utility: Warlocks Leap, Pick up Adept Power Swap this level to swap Iron Spike of Dis for Wall of Fire

Feats wanted: Bloodthirst, Combat Anticipation, Evasion, Fiery Rebuke (if tiefling)
You need to have taken Arcane initiate by now. Pick Battle Mage as your Paragon Path. Mainly, you're interested in the Battle Mage Action for the great accuracy boost, but the fact that your hands bristle with fire is always fun. And of course, you can lace the Closing Spell as being a fire based thermonuclear explosion.
Level 13 Power: Coldfire Vortex Replaces Burning Hands, Retrain Novice Power Swap to switch Infernal Moon Curse -> Fire Burst
Technically it doesn't do fire damage, but heck, close enough...
Level 15 Power: Fireswarm replaces Fiery Bolt
Level 16 Utility: Infuriating Elusiveness
Level 17 Power: Retrain Novice Power Swap again to switch Fire Burst -> Combust
Level 19 Power: Minions of Malbolge
Goodness gracious great balls of fire!

The Dimension Shifter
Yup, this one is a fairly basic Feylock build, whos mad on teleportation and strange types of damage. However, he also minors on some status effects; most notably, immobilization and debuff effects (stealing some CHA stuff from the Star Pact).
Best Pact: Fey
You liek teleports, you say?
Stats wanted: 16-18 INT, 16-20 CHA

Feats wanted: Improved Misty Step, Defensive Mobility, Alertness, Improved Initiative
Level 1 Powers: Witchfire, Dread Star
With your high INT, Witchfire might give a pretty nasty debuff. (-5 anyone?). Dread Star supports our secondary theme.
Level 2 Utility: Ethereal Stride
Level 3 Power:Otherwind Stride
Both themes at once!
Level 5 Power: Curse of the Bloody Fangs
Level 6 Utility: Fey Switch
Normally I don't recommend it...but this is teleport city...
Level 7 Power:Sign of Ill Omen
Though being a ninja with Mire the Mind is tempting, thats not the idea of this build. That awesome debuff, however...
Level 9 Power:Thief of Five Fates
Level 10 Utility: Warlocks Leap

Feats wanted: Psychic Lock, Twofold curse, Fleet Footed, Feywild Protection (if Eladrin), Danger Sense
You'll be taking Feytouched as your PP. Though it does espouse a bit of mental domination (which isn't our theme) having a little won't hurt, and it does encourage teleports and debuffs too, so thats okay.
Level 13 Power: Actually, I wouldn't take anything this level.
Level 15 Power: Curse of the Golden Mist replaces Curse of the Bloody Fangs
I'd really like to say grab the Tentacles of Thubaan this level, but you probably don't have the CON.
Level 16 Utility: Infuriating Elusiveness
Level 17 Power: Strand of Fate replaces something
Level 19 Power: Wrath of Acamar replaces Dread Star
Hmm, paragon can be a bit tough for this build. Oh well...

The Fey King/Queen
And this one, unlike the above, focuses on sheer strength of personality; grabbing every domination and control power that they can come across, with a slight minor in crushing the unworthy subjects. They're not a brutal psychic damage build (see the Astral Seductress for that) but instead look at fun effects. But of course, the path of kings is a lonely one; you don't have a alot which helps the party. Like most feylocks, this is a control build.
Best Pact: Fey
The king needs to be in so many places at once
Stats wanted: 14-16 DEX, 12-14 INT, 18-20 CHA

Feats wanted: Improved Initiative, Toughness, Alertness, Dark Fury
Level 1 Powers: Dreadful Word, Curse of the Dark Dreams
The Dreadful word deals more damage for you, and that -1 to will can help.
Level 2 Utility: Beguiling Tongue
A lord must have a silver tongue
Level 3 Power: Otherwind Stride
Well, teleports aren't our thing, but this is still a handy power, and its very fey, so thats okay.
Level 5 Power: Crown of Madness
Normally I'd be dubious of taking this, but we're big on domination.
Level 6 Utility: Dark one's own luck
Level 7 Power: Sign of Ill Omen
Thou dare'st attack thine king? Not if this can help it!
Level 9 Power: Curse of the Black Frost
I say peasant, staying still is in your own best interest.
Level 10 Utility: Ambassador Imp
Heck, we need servants, right? Have Shielding Shades if you prefer.

Feats wanted: Psychic Lock, Iron Will, Great Fortitude, Fleet Footed
You'll be taking Feytouched as your PP. You're mainly looking at the two awesome domination powers it gives to you, but the action point hit bonus is fine too.
Level 13 Power: Bewitching Whispers replaces Dreadful Word
Level 15 Power: Curse of the Golden Mist replaces Curse of the Dark Dreams
Level 16 Utility: Eye of the Warlock
Level 17 Power: Strand of Fate replaces Otherwind Stride
Level 19 Power: Delusions of Loyalty replaces Crown of Madness
Can you say it? C-C-C-CONTROL ON A STICK!

The Ghost Whisperer
~Can you hear the voices?~ ~They fortell the anticipation of~ ~Your Death~
~Ha~ ~You cannot break me~ ~For I am already Broken~

One of my concepts for a Dark Pact Warlock revolves around the theme of ghostliness, as suggested by the Darkwalker Paragon path. The focus of becoming spiritual is that, if you are dead already, you shouldn't be able to get killed easily. Hence, this build operates defensive and offensives in equal regard. It pulls off the defensive aspects with Insubstatial, various debuffs, and making the foe fail from their own weakness. At the same time, you stick to powers that sound like whispers from the beyond or are associated with the dark side.

Best Pact: Dark
You cannot know the darkness if you do not engulf yourself in it.
Best Races: Half-Elf, Human, Drow
Stats wanted: 16-18 INT, 18-20 CHA

Level 1 Powers: Witchfire, Prophecy of Zhudan (Half-Elf => Illusionary Ambush/ Human => Eyebite)
Witchfire is the best option here. It will be replaced soon.
Level 2 Utility: Shadow Veil or Ethereal Stride
Want a ghostly cloak or a teleport? Your call.
Level 3 Power: Your Delicious Weakness
Possibly one of the best Dark powers. I can just hear you whispering it in someones ear.
You need to have picked up Arcane Initiate by level 4. Pick Illusionary Ambush for the free power, since it matches the theme very nicely.
Level 5 Power: Twilight of the Soul
At level 6 (or earlier), pick up Novice Power Swap, switching Witchfire => Ray of Enfeeblement
Level 6 Utility: Dark ones own luck or the Rending Fear of Khirad
Level 7 Power: Sign of Ill Omen or the Far Realm Phantasm
Spiritual attacks or vile prophecies are both fine.
Level 9 Power: Death's Fond Caress
Not bad for a Darkpacter.
Level 10 Utility: Troublesome Aid of Caiphon

You'll be taking Dark-Walker as your PP. You're mainly looking at insubstatial, but others are fine too.
Level 13 Power: Mesmeric Hold replaces Enfeebling Ray (retrain N. Power Swap)
Level 15 Power: Far Realm Glimpse replaces Twilight of the Soul
Level 16 Utility: Infuriating Elusiveness or Cloak of Shadow
Level 17 Power: Your Delectable Pain replaces Your Delicious Weakness
Level 19 Power: Passionate Betrayal replaces Deaths Fond Caress
~And so~ ~It came to pass~ ~That thine whisper~ ~Caused thine apocalypse~

Konjiki Yami (ala. Golden Darkness)
Konjiki Yami is Japanese for 'Golden Darkness'. You are the treader of borders, the brilliance of the night-sky, the manipulation of the blinding radiance and the stifling darkness. The killer who flashes in divine beauty only to slip back into the shadows.

This is my favourite Dark Pact build. Its for creating a speedy magical assassin. One which focuses on high speed and mobility combined with effects that provide blindness, invisibility, and other disabling effects, whilst at the same time smashing the foe with a unique combination of Radiant, Psychic and Necrotic damages.

Best Pact: Dark
Tread the dark. Do not let it engulf you. You are firefly, the beacon in the night.
Best Races: Elf, Human, Half-Elf
Stats wanted: 12-14 DEX, 16-18 CHA, 16-18 WIS, 10-12 INT
Elves have a more appropriate stat spread, but the other two get a useful bonus power.

Level 1 Powers: Flickering Venom, Crown of Stars (Half-Elf => Bolstering Strike or Sacred Flame/ Human => Dire Radiance)
Alot of damn fine stuff to start with here. Enjoy your Heroic ride, it'll be fun!
Level 2 Utility: Ethereal Stride or Shadow Veil
The Teleport should be picked, but if you want to focus on the stealthy assassin part, Shadow Veil is fine too.
Level 3 Power: Your Delicious Weakness or Otherwind Stride
A tough choice. Either is quite fine.
You need to have picked up Initiate of the Faith by level 4.
Level 5 Power: Forceful Assault
Level 6 Utility: Spidery Scuttle or Dark one's own luck
Level 7 Power: Retrain a feat you don't need for Novice Power Swap, and pick up Searing Light here.
Already, you have an interesting balance of light and darkness.
Level 9 Power: Death's Fond Caress
Sounds very assassination like.
Level 10 Utility: Darkest Mirror
A useful tool for one such as you. You can see both worlds.

You'll be taking Evermeet Warlock as your PP. If offers some mighty fine benefits for your mobility and it helps you blind stuff too!
Level 13 Power: Mantle of Glory replaces Searing Light (retrain N. Power Swap, then lvl 7 reverts to Deathboon)
Level 15 Power: Kimmerials Smile replaces Forceful Assault
A plain upgrade, but thats fine.
Level 16 Utility: Infuriating Elusiveness or Cloak of Shadow or Caiphons Disquieting Liberty
Level 17 Power: Your Delectable Pain replaces Your Delicious Weakness
Level 19 Power: Wrath of Acamar replaces Deaths Fond Caress
Walk with me, young apprentice, and I shall tell you the tale of the Black Gold Assassin, the Konjiki Yami.
Paragon or Pentagon? The skilled path through life...

Unlike your compatriots in other classes, your Warlock only ever has one potential Paragon Path (assuming no multiclassing) so technically, this section is just an evaluation of the potential of each path. Actual multiclassing will be discussed in the following section.

You don a billboard saying 'The end is nigh' when you take this path. Or if you don't think thats trendy, then instead you become a mad prophet with a constant bad hair day. Or maybe you just mess with the forces of darkness, wear black leather, and put curses of death upon people. All legit intepretations, if you ask me. :D

In my opinion, the Star pact is probably the best pact, and since the Dragon 366 featurette, this Paragon path has also had its one useless class feature fixed.

The Doomsayer benefits the most from Twofold Curse. You should almost certainly pick that up immediately at Paragon.

Doomsayers Action- 9
It can be very nice in a couple of circumstances. Namely, if you curse foes that you're not actually attacking, then use an action point to take down the current target, you've just done a nice spread of damage across the board. Do remember that your curse damage has gone up this level to 2d6, which makes this feature pretty damn nice if you took twofold curse, since you'll deal 4d6 damage just from spending an action point. (possibly LOTS more, if you've cursed alot of targets and its later in the combat~ since unlike marks, your curses always last the entire encounter).

Doomsayers Proclaimation- 8 (2)
And this has the potential to be the iron turkey of the path. It sounds absolutely devastating when you first read it, and not unlike the Divine Oracles awesome re-rolls. Re-roll all saves against fear effects and force a foe to take the lowest? Sounds awesome!

In the case of the base book, however, if you were to actually read through a Warlocks power list, you would find...precisely...ONE power that this actually applies to. And that's Dread Star from way back in level 1. See, most fear based effects don't actually allow a save at all. They just last a turn or suchlike. So, this feature becomes somewhat wasted.

However, if you add the Dragon 366 powers to the mix, things suddenly look up for this class feature, as there are now five additional powers to which it applies. These are:
(L1) Prophecy of Zhudaan (save vs. Dazed),
(L5) Fury of Gibbeth (save vs. Prone),
(L15) Far Realm Glimpse (save vs. Dazed),
(L25) Gibbeths Embrace (save vs. Ongoing Force DMG.),
and the (L29) Abominable Elevator Music Melody of Caiphon (three saves vs. Blinded, Deafened and Slowed).
All of them are daily powers, true, however, forcing two saves against a dazed condition is especially quite mean. For those powers, in your hands, you may wish to up the ratings I gave them by 2 points.

If you don't have dragon, this class feature gets the (2) in brackets, rather than the 8.

Doomsayers Oath- 8
This, however, is not too bad. Its a massive +2 to attack rolls with fear powers. Considering how hard it is to grab hit bonuses in 4th edition, this is awesome. Again, it does sound better than it is, however, since you have to be bloodied, which is risky for a low health warlock to be wondering around with and obtaining it requires that you get beaten up. If you happen to be a Starlock with a great CON score (rather than CHA), then this power becomes even better, however, since your better surge value and HP will help you both utilize this and get out of troublesome spots with more ease.

And another thing; this makes for a nice combo with everyone's favourite Ion Cannon Doom of Delbaan when you finally get to level 29. As the power drains you of life, it not only gets more powerful, BUT ALSO more accurate! How cool is that!

Fate's Entwined- 7
Its another power that seems to encourage the Doomsayer to go and get themselves beaten up. It seems to be a greater version of the Inferlocks Hellish Rebuke. The wording of 'when you take damage' rather than 'if you take damage', implies that ~this~ actually gives you a thorns type effect until the end of your next turn.

So I guess the idea is to throw this at the boss and then leap headlong into his crowd of minions, and watch as they help you tear the big guy apart. Sadly, this does have a mighty short range. Oh well...on a side note, I'd like to be entwined with Fate, if you know what I mean (only Anime nutcases like me will understand that...meh). Darn, now I'm thinking of Warlock using a sentient staff like in Nanoha...jeez...

Accursed Shroud- 9
Now this I like. Its a more debilitating version of the Sign of Ill Omen. Though it is a daily and it deals no initial damage at all, this is possibly a moot point considering that there's no chance for a save from this. The target simply always re-rolls a successful attack. Not only that, but this also dishes out an additional curse. With the Twofold curse, that means you've cursed 3 foes in one turn! Now spend an action point! (see why I recommended getting twofold curse ASAP for the Starlock? :D) Again, this has an atrocious range. Hopefully you have some teleports. And yes, there is the slight chance with this one that the foe could re-roll and critical you. But such is the whimsy of fate.

The Long fall into darkness- 8
Well, it has an epic name! It also sounds cool, opening an illusionary pit of darkness at the foes feet. Warrants a Wile E Coyote moment. But that aside, its a very nice power too. It deals reasonable damage, and combines Stun and Prone together, which is pretty nasty. It also hits Will, and still dazes on a miss (unlike the Wrath of Acamar). So a very solid package. Do make use of it. (and the rogue will love it).
Also, I should note this is the only Warlock attack power that has a 20 Range. If you've not been picking stuff up from the wizards arsenal, then this is a very nice feature to have.

For all you budding nymphlets and satyrlovers out there, this Paragon sends you down the road of beauty, madness, and probably extreme colours. To me that sounds like your trippin' on dubious substances (put that essence of bugbear down!). But I suppose the fey association could just mean you've just turned into a loon, or maybe just got even more beautiful and serene. Or perhaps, to take a cue from the old 3e Book of Exalted Deeds, maybe you've taken a Nymph/Dryad as your lover. Take your pick.

This is quite a mighty path, especially if you're following the feylock cliches of teleportation and mind control. In fact, it offers up the first ~really~ good domination power.

Feytouched Action- 10
Hell, its a to-hit bonus with Action Points. Those are always immensely awesome. If you also happen to be a human (with Action Surge), then you'll get +7 on your attacks when you spend an action point, which is absurd. Considering that most Feylock attacks also hit Will...they're usually not gonna have too much issue with connecting.

Slashing Wake- 6
This, on the other hand, is a bit meh. Its not going to cause a huge amount of damage. However, that said, as a proper Feylock who teleports loads, you can leap around the battlefield destroying minions by simply flicking them with this as you leave their presence. Which is fun.

Patron's Favour- 6
This is, uh, weird... It sort of gives your curse effect more versatility, in that killing something can possibly make you faster or stronger, or even aid you against a debilitating effect. Sadly, since it relies on chance, its no good relying on it for much. Its also only gonna occur if you drop stuff; and you possibly give up your teleport in order to appreciate the random effect. Certainly a barmy class feature (hence amusing); but I can't neccessarily say its optimal due to the chance and stringient conditons attached.

Will of the Feywild- 10
Now THAT's what I call a domination spell. It is, in essence, a much, ~much~ better version of the Level 5 Crown of Madness. Only, that was a daily, and this is an encounter. It deals mediocre damage, but the fact that you then teleport it 5, force it to attack its friend, and THEN daze it is a freaking brutal set of falling dominoes. Its a 'get the frack away from me' spell, a mind control spell, a damage spell, and a debuff (sort of), all in one convient encounter shaped package. I'd even say this is better than the Lvl 13 domination spell (Bewitching Whispers), though the Custard Curse (sorry, Curse of the Golden Mist) is still cool.

Twilight Teleport- 8
Haha, did your fighter just drop the minion you cursed? Great! Now use this and teleport the artillery creature right in front of him to splatter. Definately the best use for this power. But if you feel the need to step into the fray (perhaps to teleport away again, taking advantage of slashing wake, or perhaps the next power you get) then this can let you do that as well. Its a shame its a daily, but heck, its still useful. And it has 20 range, one of only two warlock powers that does.

Lelouchs Geass Whispers of the Fey- 10
I'm sorry? Did you just say a Close Burst 5 that forces everyone in it to kill themselves? Holy Cranoodles, you did! This is the D&D version of Lelouch's Geass. Of course, its less effective without mecha and firearms, and it can actually be resisted. But heck, this is a bit of dirty power, especially if the ones you affect have powerful basic attacks (brute creatures). Not only that, but you still deal a small amount of damage to those who can't attack, and then, yet again, manage to daze everyone (even on a miss). Sheesh.

And finally, we have the path of the demonic rag-man, collector of souls, and practioner of necromancy superior. The life stealer conjures up an image of the immaculately dressed devil in mortal form; a messenger for the higher powers, one whom, having willingly sold their soul, now roams the land collecting owed immortal debts. Seems almost unusual for a Player character, but perhaps you are relatively benign...

The Life Stealer is easily the most dubious paragon path. There are some nice novelties here, more strategy, and the powers have a reasonably good raw damage output. But compared to the good stuff that the Doomsayer and Feytouched get, this really gets the short end of the stick.

Basically, the Life-Stealer masters their essence thievery. They no longer content themselves with merely basic lifeforce (temp HP), but actually draw the full spirit from those claimed by their Curse. Twofold curse is also very useful for you (maybe not quite as essential as it is for the Doomsayer, mind.

Infernal Action- 4
Possibly the least useful of the action point bonuses for warlocks. The wording implies that, if you hit with the attack granted by your action point, you can also add 5 ongoing fire damage. Seems a bit off, fluff wise (more destructive and such, but whatever). Since you might not be using your action to attack, and you might not hit with your extra action, it really doesn't have the oomph of the feylocks hit bonus or starlocks automatic damage. So yeah, a bit meh.

Collect Life Spark- 9
This, however, is much better. As you kill cursed stuff, you can slurp out their souls with a straw and use them to benefit you as a minor action. This adds nicely to the Inferlock theme of steadily getting stronger as a battle wears on. What is best about this feature, though, is that it gives you access to a nice bundle of effects you otherwise wouldn't see much as a CON focused Inferlock. You can, for example, daze stuff for a round (yes its been errata'ed) or become invisible like a Feylock can. Or you can pump up damage. Or even use a soul to heal yourself. The latter is pretty nice, since you become even more self sufficient.

All this adds a whole new tactical layer to inferlocks. Unlike other warlocks, they actually benefit more from cursing the foe they're actually attacking, so keep that in mind. The only downers are that the souls cannot be stored long term, and that you require an extra layer of book-keeping.

Sustain Life Spark- 4
Again, this ~sort of~ adds to your self-sufficiency. But this is ~much~ more limited, since its a rather stringient condition. Chances are, that since you're an inferlock with a cack load of CON, you'll have at least 11 surges a day by paragon, and possibly as many as 13. Now, what exactly are the chances of you picking up 12+ cursed kills in a single fight? Pretty damn low, I should imagine. It is true that as the day wears on, and your surge total goes down, the chance of actually activating this do go up, but still. Twofold curse can also help, but don't count on this feature.

Soul Scorch- 7
To start with the good stuff, it deals good damage (and is more damaging than the other paragon path powers), deals two different types of damage simultaneously, and also targets Will. However, you almost invariably don't want to use this as your opening attack, since you'd be nerfing its effectiveness. Also, there are generally better ways to use your accumilated souls than as booster ammunition for this (except if your stock of souls are elementals, which gives a worse effect than this grants, so go crazy). Its alright, but not remarkable.

Life Spark Summons- 7
Overwhelmed with foes? Why not add an extra member to your party! Yup, this is basically a summon minion power. Though of course, your summon folds like paper if it happens to get hit, since 10HP is chump change at Paragon. The other problem lies with the fact that you actually have to kill something that would be good to revive, and thats been cursed already first. So there's a chunk of prerequsities again. Also, the candidates for a good summon might be limited since the revivified creature can also only move and make basic attacks. Summoning back a wizardy creature will be almost totally useless. A soldier or a fast lurker that can deal good damage, however, will work alright. Because of all these things, I can only rate this as above average.

Soultheft- 5
Again, somewhat dubious. Though it offers a relatively powerful triple shot, the range on it is pretty atrocious, it targets Fortitude, and it deals only necrotic damage (not effective vs. undead). But, if you can actually find a bunch of things it WILL effect, then you could end up with three extra souls from the deal. Its questionable if you'll actually then have anything to spend these on, since three creatures might be a good portion of an encounter. It does, however, dramatically increase the odds of triggering your level 16 feature this encounter. But in general, its quite lackluster for a daily power.

Forgotten Realms Paragon Paths

Dark Walker
Here we have the canon Paragon choice for the Boomlock. With this, one becomes an envoy of darkness, a mortal somewhat torn between the tactile and the illusionary, a master of spirits and shadows, and something of a ghostly medium.

This is an interesting paragon path simply because it makes the Dark Pact a bit more flavourful (and to be honest, more useful, since I feel its the weakest pact unless you're interested in raw damage, which a Warlock should not be). It also has the intreguing side effect of making you into a Part-Time tank, a bit like the Inferlock. Why? Because if you're Insubstantial, you take 1/2 damage from basically everything. And since this path offers 4 ways for this to happen (Action Points & 3 Powers), you should be able to benefit from that damage reduction a fair bit. If you can also find ways to weaken foes, you can laugh all the way to the bank.

Though, I will say that sometimes its hard to tell just what the focus of the Dark Pact is. It often seems to veer towards damage dealing strikeryness for the most part, but then they go and throw this defensive shishkebab in the mix, throwing off the assumptions.

Deadly Absence- 5
Well, its supportive of the path's main ideals, (that is, dealing damage and being insubstantial) but this is a fairly low-ish amount of boost. You'll probably only tack on 2-5 damage here. I suppose it could make a difference, but its hardly game breaking.

Darkwalker Action- 5
Well, this is the main theme of the path, and this is one of ways with which you can accomplish it. However, considering that all of your powers also offer the means to become insubstantial, I don't really think its worth losing an action point for. Unless you can do it as an interrupt to someone damaging you to halve that damage, but I wouldn't count on it.

Ghostken- 8
This is quite a nice feature. Being ghostly yourself, you deal full damage against others whom are insubstantial. This makes spirits and things you fight somewhat less annoying, so thats cool.

Ghostly Bane- 8
Well, a fairly generic purple bolt affair again. Its got good range and reasonable damage, but deals necrotic and targets Fortitutde.
Still, its probably your main means to become Insubstantial too, so it scores bonus points for that.

Fading Spiral- 8
Well, its a little bonus to your charge up laser. Its especially good if you can also activate the weakening effect from your Darkspiral Aura, and then laugh as a foe deals 1/4 the usual attack damage vs. you. A pretty good feature.

Wraithform Blast- 10
Ah, now thats what I'm talkin' about! This the real reason you took this path, no? Whilst not quite up the amazingness of some of the other 20th level Pact features, this is still pretty darn neat. It deals great damage and is a mixed type attack that targets will. But the real benefit is that you gain insubstantial and PHASING until the end of the encounter (or you become bloodied). The fact you get to engage the 'No Clipping cheat' and can hence walk through walls gives you a huge tactical advantage.
Theres basically no reason to not fire this off at the start of the encounter if things look dire, since you'll double your survivability.

Evermeet Warlock
FLASH!! AHHHH!!! Champion of the Universe!! Dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, ratatatata.... Ahem... anyway...welcome, Warlock of flashing lights! Can you find meaning in the flashlight, the glow of lightning, the sparkle of dryads and fairies, the incessant blinking of the LED? Err...maybe not the last one...

Interestingly enough, the prerequsite for this Paragon Path is simply being a Warlock. The Fluff seems to suggest you should be Eladrin or at least Fey associated...but whatever...

It espouses the mobility aspect of the Warlock, which is cool, because, at least in my opinion, this is one of the lock's greatest strengths over other classes because of its potential tactical implications. You're also so damn flash that you blind people left, right and centre, which is always fun, since blind is a pretty nice status condition.

In my opinion, it also meshes quite interestingly with the Dark Pact, creating a fusion of Light and Darkness (see my Konjiki Yami build) to create both interesting status effects and high damage, which in turn removes some of the generic-ness of the Dark-Pact.

Feywild Wake- 7
Obviously, this feature becomes better the more teleports you have, but even if you've only got one or two, it works great as a panic switch, since you can teleport away to safety and they can't even persue. You can also use it to set up Combat Advantage and Sneak Attacks (theoretically).

Mercurial Action- 10
SPEEEEEEEEED! This is two actions for the price of one! And hence, an awesome bargain. Not to mention you get +1 speed. This means you can use an action point to move up to 9 squares and then attack! (well, only elves with fleet footed feat manage that, but hey, its all good, right?)

Mastery of Passage- 10
Yeah, its very subjective, but there are times when making the fighter come along for the trip is very handy. For those times, this is gold. You can also technically ferry people over otherwise impassable features in a bad imitation of a river crossing puzzle and really fish off your GM.

Blinding Beacon- 8
Otherwise known as 'public nudity solves everything!'. Has pretty pathetic damage and single target. But, it is long ranged, and it does blind for a turn however, which as we all know is a pretty nasty status effect. The Rogue will especially enjoy it, since they grant CA and can't strike back for zitt. The light effect on top is simply a 'Lul wut?' bonus, but whatever...

Feylights- 4]
Hmm, pretty subjective. If your GM loves to ambush you with magical darkness and invisible creatures, this becomes an excellent spell (improve its rating by 4). However, its a daily, and you could achieve the same sort of thing by taking Darkest Mirror at level 10. Of course, this does benefit the rest of the party as well. Though, the fact it requires a standard action sustain to NOT shrink in size is a pain in the behind.

Moonflower Inspiration- 7.5
This scores points simply for being a Burst 2 in 20, something that Warlocks basically never get to play with. Its otherwise just a remote control spell. Chances are you'll want to target Will, since its typically the weakest defence and Dazed is the best condition of the three. You also grant a paltry amount of healing (probably 2-5 HP). Though its an awful amount, I'm sure the party will still appreciate any help you can offer in a tough scrap. Just a shame it does no damage at all.

Technically okay for Warlocks. Coming soon... please wait...

Dragon Magazine Paragon Paths

Student of Caiphon
Welcome dreamer of dreams, lover of stars, worshipper of the great and mighty Akiboshi-sama, the greatest lord of the sky, whose inky cape encloses our worthless sphere of a night and protects us from the horrors that lurk beyond its rift. Take up your telescope friend, and join me in the darkness.

This is a path offered with CHA-based Cthulu worshippers in mind. Of course, its a little bit famous for being yoinked by other divine/arcane classes wanting to powerbuild, since it offers the often highly sought after critical boost at Paragon, and whats more, does so with an even better condition than the Radiant Servant. Its a pretty nice path, and its a solid choice for anyone who uses Charisma to shoot lasers and inflict fear.

Star Bright- 4 (7 if you're not a Starlock)
Blackest Night, Star Bright, Give us all a lantern to see by. Its a fairly generic boost, making your action point attacks marginally better with 5 ongoing radiant. However, the real key in this feature is the fact that in adding the above (paltry) bonus also transforms that spell into a Radiant one. Which in turn qualifies it for other features in this path. Basically useless for actual Starlocks that follow this path, but anyone who multiclassed here will love it.

Caiphons Guidance- 10
Critical boost for Fear and Radiant powers. Though its only a 5% increase, I guess this does add up over time. In any case, its why you're here, probably, so I don't have an awful lot to say about it.

Caiphons Intercession- 6 (0 for non-starlocks)
What are you, Warlord or Warlock? Personally, I don't see myself giving up the versatility of the Fate of the Void just to duplicate a level 1 Warlord at-will. Its not like you even give a To-Hit bonus. Of course, it could work as a finisher, if something really has to die this turn. But just as well, you could boost your own attack with the Fate of the Void bonus and use an action point. So meh. People who multiclassed here don't even have Fate of the Void, so its totally useless for you. Ha, serves you right!

Trust in the Guide Star- 9
Otherwise known as 'Heat-Seeker', 'Tomahawk Arrow' etc. Its a reasonable attack with 2d10, and ignoring all defence boosts the foe might get is pretty fun too. Also hits will and qualifies for the crit-boost, so its all good. Generic, but good.

Steps on the Purple Stair- 10
I'm sorry, WHAT!? You gain Invisibility AND Flying for a turn!?!? At level 12!? That's pretty frackin' awesome. Pull out all the stops and set up a good attack whilst you're on those stairs, mmm, kay?

Okay, sure, it punishes you afterwards. But oh, maybe this would be a good time to use Fate of the Void to buff your own saving throw? :D Even if you don't, I'm sure you can take 3 ongoing damage at level 11. Even with the penalty, this beats the crap out of the wizards level 16 Greater Invisibility and combines the Air Genasi's flight (sort of) into the package. Oh, and its AN ENCOUNTER POWER TOO!!

Caiphon's Hungry Mercy- 9.5
Well, power recharge is never a bad thing. Providing it to the entire party is just extra chocolate for your party-love cake. Yes, it slurps a surge off everyone and the use of a daily power. But, as the amusing description implies, this is quite a reasonable trade-off, especially if at least 1 person rolls a six. But even if not, an extra round of Encounter Powers never hurt anyone...except the NPC's. A pretty nice power.

Nightmare Weaver
The deadly assassin warlock from Dragon 373. Coming soon... please wait...
Multiclassing, Feats, Skills and other considerations

The Lock of all trades: Multiclassing considerations

Holy Warlocks and Mad Prophets
ala. the Warlock/Cleric
Reserved....and Coming soon... please wait...

Warlocks that like to stab things
ala. the Warlock/Fighter
Reserved....and Coming soon... please wait...

Warlocks that fight for Justice and stuff
ala. the Warlock/Paladin
Reserved....and Coming soon... please wait...

Warlocks with bows, beasts and blades
ala. the Warlock/Ranger
Reserved....and Coming soon... please wait...

Sneaky Warlocks stole my wallet
ala. the Warlock/Rogue
Reserved....and Coming soon... please wait...

Leadership for the Lonely Warlock
ala. the Warlock/Warlord
Reserved....and Coming soon... please wait...

Warlocks who actually study on the side
ala. the Warlock/Wizard
Reserved....and Coming soon... please wait...

This is no time to put your Feat up: Feats

Feats are rated using the old classic system of decending colours that seems to be popular around here. From best to worse, this is:
'Royal' Blue, Dark Blue, Green, Purple, Red

Heroic Tier

The 'Improved' curse power for your pact (Dark ones, Fate of Void, Misty Step)
A good choice. Your curse is pretty key to your abilities. Inferlocks get more HP, Feylocks teleport absurd distances, and Starlocks gain even better D20 bonuses. Remember that if you're a Feylock, you need INT 13 for your improved curse.

Implement Expertise
Well, duh. This is obviously gold for all Implement users. Naturally, in your case, you choose Rods or Pact Blades.

Improved Initiative
Always good. Acting faster than the monsters is terribly important for Spellcasters like Warlocks and Wizards, since they can then rain down debiliating effects before the foe gets a chance to move a finger. You should especially prioritize this if your DEX is less than 14. (and it probably is)

Hellfire Blood
As I've already mentioned, if you're a Tiefling Inferlock/Starlock, you should really prioritize getting this. Extra attack AND damage is awesome.

Jack of All Trades
You're not trained in ~that~ many skills. But you DO probably have the requisite 13 INT. This makes this a very valuable choice. Give it a thought.

[u]Timely Respite[/u]
Its usefulness directly correlates with how many people in your party can grant Saves. If its 1 or 0, this is a fantastic choice. If its 2+, this becomes a Blue, but is still useful.

For Feylocks with low Constitution, this is certainly Blue and a good choice, since they'll have less HP. But reduce it to Green for Starlocks and Purple for Inferlocks.

This is actually a pretty damn good choice for Warlocks, since WIS is a ~very~ common choice for their dumpstat after strength. And the last thing you need is being sneak attacked because you weren't on the ball today.

Action Surge
If you're human or half-elf, this can really help you pull off combos successfully, so take advantage of it.

Human Perserverance
As above, if you can get it, give it some thought. More defences are always handy.

Defensive Mobility
Not high on your priority list, but still a good choice, since Warlocks do typically attack at a closer range than wizards, and occassionally have manuver around foes to place their attacks. But it becomes less useful in direct correlation to the amount of teleports you have. Feylocks probably only see this as a Purple.

Distant Advantage
Note that you personally don't contribute to this effect. Your allies must already be flanking the target. Nevertheless, it helps at the end of the day, assuming your party has at least some tactical prowess (which, I guess you could provide if your a pushy type Warlock.)

Skill Training
Usually for buffing Perception. Though picking up a relevant multiclass feat is more efficient (assuming you're not looking for a specific multiclass, of course...)

Astral Fire
Blue for Starlocks and Inferlocks, but Red for Feylocks, since they have considerably fewer fire/radiant powers. In all instances, though, you should take this as a later feat, since it gets even better in paragon tier.

Dark Fury
Blue for Starlocks and Feylocks, but Green for Inferlocks, since there are fewer psychic powers for them. Like Astral Fire and all similar feats, take this later, rather than earlier.

Again, its not high on your list of must haves, but if you do find yourself constantly battered and bloody, this can really help. Durable is actually counterproductive for those taking the Life-Stealer Paragon Path, mind you...they consider it a Red.

Quick Draw
Well, actually, you'd mainly pick this up for the initiative bonus since you're not likely bothered with weapon drawing. But because it doesn't stack with Imp. Initiative, you should take that instead. Still okay though, especially if you happen to have a whole cape full of rods and wands with different effects (lol). Also okay for potions.

Co-ordinated Explosion
This is mainly meant for Blasts or Bursts which hit only enemies. Not too useful for you, really, since you'll really tick your allies off, smacking them round the face to get bonuses.

Melee Training
Well, you probably dumped STR, so if you're desperate to stab things, this might be a good choice. Naturally, you should pick Charisma or Constitution to replace Strength. Of course, one wonders why, as a Warlock, you're trying to stab things, but whatever.

Fast Runner
"Oh thats it! Run away, why don't you! You yellow-bellied coward! Come back 'ere, I'll bite ya bloody legs off!"
Black knight references aside, why exactly are you running? You certainly shouldn't be charging into melee.

Echoes of Thunder and Oncoming Storm
Great for Sorcerers and Invokers. Not so much for you, since you don't really have much in the way of Thunder powers.

[u]Expert Ritualist[/u]
Well, you don't have rituals by default. But, if you have Ritual Caster, and are the parties only source of this stuff, its a good choice.

Burning Blizzard, Raging Storm
Much less useful than the other two, since there are so few of these types of attacks in the Warlocks repitoire. Starlocks ~might~ possibly raise Burning Blizzard to a Purple, but its still a dubious choice.

Blade Oppertunist, Combat Reflexes
You shouldn't be making oppertunity attacks. Leave that to the fighter. If you're some melee hybrid build, though, you might want to raise this to Green.

Power Attack
I'm sorry? A Spellcaster using a two handed weapon? What is this, Oblivion?

More to come here...
I think you seriously underestimate the power of a tiefling faylock, the bonus is to their primary and secondary stats, by focusing on the cha to will powers they have a better bang for their buck, than an infernal lock, granted that you perhaps don't get to apply Hellfire Blood, but if you look at a lot of the powers available a lot have the fear keyword, I'd rate it higher than the star lock and infernal lock - but I'm happy to discuss my views.

Oh and well done on the mini guide, is looking good

You know, I hadn't actually thought of that.

But aren't most of the Fey powers actually 'Charm', 'Illusion', and 'Psychic'? If you're a feylock mostly grabbing Star/Infernal powers, then fair enough, but then you're not strictly a feylock!

My ratings assume you're taking the spells from your pact as a general rule of thumb.

But yeah, its certainly worth a mention, I guess...

Urk, I have a split guide now. Oh well... I guess its my own fault for being a slow formatter.

EDIT: Anyhow, go ahead and post if you like now guys.

I've got more on my PC but its late (for me) and formatting this stuff for the PHB board is knackering! The rest will be added tommorow, I assure you!
I'll edit my post to the bar minimum now... so as not to disrupt the flow...
you should change the thing on the Tiefling description. Infernal Wrath is used when you hit the last target, not when the target hits you. And it adds +1 to hit said target and adds your CHA damage to the attack.

For example, if i hit last turn with eye-bite, this turn I can minor an Infernal Wrath, get +1 to hit, and do my normal 1d6+(1d6 curse) +CHA but then do CHA again. so its 2d6+CHAx2. This is an encounter power. This along with a +2 bluff +2 stealth makes them great feylocks imo.
I'll edit my post to the bar minimum now... so as not to disrupt the flow...

Don't worry about it too much, like I say I should've reserved everything before actually starting the formatting. But if it bothers you, go ahead. Thanks for your comment anyway.

you should change the thing on the Tiefling description. Infernal Wrath is used when you hit the last target, not when the target hits you. And it adds +1 to hit said target and adds your CHA damage to the attack.

For example, if i hit last turn with eye-bite, this turn I can minor an Infernal Wrath, get +1 to hit, and do my normal 1d6+(1d6 curse) +CHA but then do CHA again. so its 2d6+CHAx2. This is an encounter power. This along with a +2 bluff +2 stealth makes them great feylocks imo.

Erm, nope, I'm quite sure that you can't do that.

To quote Infernal Wrath:
Infernal Wrath
Minor Action - Personal
Effect: You can channel your fury to gain a +1 power bonus to your next attack roll against an enemy that hit you since your last turn. If you attack hits and deals damage, add your Charisma modifier as extra damage

Relevant part in BOLD.

They have to hit you. Then you can get mad to get even. Or something.

Anyhow, I've corrected the errors I saw and done a ~dodgy~ table of contents. Don't know if it works properly. Will finish the rest tommorow.
Added the rest of the Paragon tier (Lvl 11-19) powers. Epic and other stuff coming soon.
Shielding Shades
You might not be better than the wizard at flying, but this beats the crap out of their basic shield spell. Because of its general usefulness, I can recommend it to all Warlocks.
More importantly, you make a hilarious combo with this and Strike Me Instead, if you happen to be a 12th+ Level Feylock/Starlock who multiclassed into Paladin and took the Justicar Paragon Path. Congratulations, you just hoovered up a giant burst attack and saved the party!

Sadly can't combine these. They're both immediate actions (Immediate Inturrupt and Immdiate Reaction) and you can only take one immediate action per round (page 268).
Sadly can't combine these. They're both immediate actions (Immediate Inturrupt and Immdiate Reaction) and you can only take one immediate action per round (page 268).

Urk... yep you're right. Good catch.

For some reason I thought Strike Me Instead was a Free Action. My bad. Oh well, it was a kinda ludicrous combo anyway... I'll edit that bit out. Its still a terribly useful spell though, so it doesn't change the rating.

Thanks for the comment.
I'd be interested in your take on ability scores. The Inferlock and Feylock can easily have an 18 in their prime stat (and 20 isn't THAT difficult), but in order to have any survivability the Starlock will likely have a 16 (after racial modifiers) in one of Con or Cha. Even for a half-elf to have an 18 in both would leave, at best two 12s to spread elsewhere, meaning a terrible armor class and not enough strength to get heavy armor.

You may want to revisit some of the power ratings and give greater weight to the main stat. An Inferlock (is it bad that I prefer Hell-lock?) will likely not have a very good Cha, and a Feylock's Con probably won't be particularly high. Thus, powers that don't use the main stat will be even less effective. I really would not rank anything that uses the other stat as higher than a 4. After all, if someone's going to give themselves a good Con AND Cha, then they should be a Starlock.

And yes, 17th level is terrible for the Inferlock. They only get one power (since the other two use Cha), and they take damage if they use it. I agree with using a lower-level power, but make note that, for multiclassing characters, they may want to swap out a power for a 17th level power from another class, and so may have no choice but to take it. (Even if only until 18th level, when they grab the swap feat).
excellent guide, Ian.
I'd be interested in your take on ability scores. The Inferlock and Feylock can easily have an 18 in their prime stat (and 20 isn't THAT difficult), but in order to have any survivability the Starlock will likely have a 16 (after racial modifiers) in one of Con or Cha. Even for a half-elf to have an 18 in both would leave, at best two 12s to spread elsewhere, meaning a terrible armor class and not enough strength to get heavy armor.

Actually, my character in the current game, the witch I mentioned earlier, is a Starlock, so I can talk about this. She's a human, and I took the +2 in Charisma for an 18. I then placed two 14's into Constitution and Intelligence, a 12 in Dexterity, and 10's in Strength and Wisdom. I was told by the GM that we couldn't start with an 8 for our points buy (it was all tens and 2 less points to spend), or else I would've had a proper dumpstat.

So yeah, the Charisma type attacks are favoured, but the Con is sufficient to work with those spells as well. That's how I'd recommend it, focusing on one or the other. Having two 18's is a little too MAD, and will leave you fundamentally weak in other areas. With the above build, I have defences of 15 AC/14 FORT/15 REF/17 WILL at Lvl 3. I picked up Improved Initiative to help with the average Dex, along with Improved Fate of the Void for the Human feat.

I realise thats not a truly optimized build anyway, but the backstory and personality were more important in that game.

You may want to revisit some of the power ratings and give greater weight to the main stat. An Inferlock (is it bad that I prefer Hell-lock?) will likely not have a very good Cha, and a Feylock's Con probably won't be particularly high. Thus, powers that don't use the main stat will be even less effective. I really would not rank anything that uses the other stat as higher than a 4. After all, if someone's going to give themselves a good Con AND Cha, then they should be a Starlock.

I think for the most part I've done this. Some 5's and 6's might have sneaked through, but if that's the case, its generally because I feel the abilities of the move justify the lower to hit and damge. Its also considering only the choices of that level. Taking 17th as the example, I realise I gave away a couple of 6's for CHA based powers for the Inferlock. That's because their only CON based power is atrocious. So, its still only an average choice, but its a better one that the attack that gets a 1.

And yes, 17th level is terrible for the Inferlock. They only get one power (since the other two use Cha), and they take damage if they use it. I agree with using a lower-level power, but make note that, for multiclassing characters, they may want to swap out a power for a 17th level power from another class, and so may have no choice but to take it. (Even if only until 18th level, when they grab the swap feat).

Though, in that case it might be worth retraining one of their feats that level to get the power switch straight away (and picking up the feat you lost to retraining again at 18th). Chances are, at 17th, one of your heroic tier feats might not serving you quite so well anymore anyhow.

excellent guide, Ian.

Race to the finish! Who wins?

The Charisma bonus can really help out the Feylock; not to mention the Dragonsbreath can slightly plug the hole that Feylocks have in minion crushing ability. That said, they’re unlikely to have much Con, so the damage won’t be awesome (not that this is terribly important).
Similarly, Starlocks can also benefit from the Charisma, and are likely to have a more potent breath since they’ll actually have Con.
On the other hand, Inferlocks get very little from being draconic. Charisma is likely to be their dumpstat, and with their huge wad of temporary hitpoints, they’re never likely to make full use of the boosted healing surges and fury when bloodied. The only reason they get a 2 is because they dragonbreath might actually be a nice weapon with the uber-Con you’re likely to have.

I actually have to disagree with your Infernal Pact rating for DB. At the very LEAST it should get a 6. (and basically only giving them a 2, is like a slap in the face saying "since they breath fire, 'I guess they can get some rating'".) The Charisma bonus can help here as well, for example, my current DB Infernal Warlock uses the Eldritch Pact spell/power that all pacts use. You have the choice of using CON or CHA vs Reflex, and with the CHA bonus that can be a potentially sweet roll. And then you also get to use 1d10+CHA modif for damage. That to me is a very sweet bonus to achieve from a RACIAL aspect.

After that, everything else is up to chance from your stats you took or rolled in the beginning like every other race/class.
I actually have to disagree with your Infernal Pact rating for DB. At the very LEAST it should get a 6. (and basically only giving them a 2, is like a slap in the face saying "since they breath fire, 'I guess they can get some rating'".) The Charisma bonus can help here as well, for example, my current DB Infernal Warlock uses the Eldritch Pact spell/power that all pacts use. You have the choice of using CON or CHA vs Reflex, and with the CHA bonus that can be a potentially sweet roll. And then you also get to use 1d10+CHA modif for damage. That to me is a very sweet bonus to achieve from a RACIAL aspect.

After that, everything else is up to chance from your stats you took or rolled in the beginning like every other race/class.

Except that, for it to make sense to select Cha over Con for Eldritch Blast, your Charisma modifier should be higher than your Con modifier. Since virtually ALL the Infernal Pact powers use Con, you're hurting yourself. Sure, you COULD take all Charisma based powers, but 1) Infernal Pact requires you to take Hellish Rebuke, which is Con based, and 2) the Infernal paragon path's powers are Con based.

The only reason I can see for being a dragonborn infernal pact warlock with a higher charisma than con is for paladin multiclassing, where the temp hp will be of benefit in combat.
EDIT: Looks like Shular beat me to it!

I actually have to disagree with your Infernal Pact rating for DB. At the very LEAST it should get a 6. (and basically only giving them a 2, is like a slap in the face saying "since they breath fire, 'I guess they can get some rating'".) The Charisma bonus can help here as well, for example, my current DB Infernal Warlock uses the Eldritch Pact spell/power that all pacts use. You have the choice of using CON or CHA vs Reflex, and with the CHA bonus that can be a potentially sweet roll. And then you also get to use 1d10+CHA modif for damage. That to me is a very sweet bonus to achieve from a RACIAL aspect.

Er, yes, you can choose to use Charisma for Eldritch Blast, fine. But thats not their Infernal Pact attack, Hellish Rebuke is. That's a CON based attack, like all of the other infernal powers.

Your character might work well if he sticks to the Charisma based attacks; but that way you never get the various Infernal power bonuses, and my guides ratings all assume that, in general, you stick to your pacts own powers, since you're assumed to be better at them.

But the point is, if you're an Inferlock, you really shouldn't need Charisma for your actual pact attacks; you need Constitution. Charisma should be your dumpstat for an inferlock, hence the bonus to it that the Dragonborn get is wasted.

I'm not saying Dragonborn make for bad Warlocks. Quite the contrary, they make for fine Feylocks and have some potential for Starlocks, hence the rating. But this ~is~ an optimization guide: I'm telling you the ways to squeeze the absolute most out of the system.

After that, everything else is up to chance from your stats you took or rolled in the beginning like every other race/class.

Quite the contrary: part of the reason that optimization guides exist is because it is really NOT up to chance, but player choice. This is especially so in 4th ed now that the standard array, not the 4d6, is the standard stat generation method.

The only significant chance inherent in the new system is mainly in that when you make a character or level up; you can't tell what your GM is actually going to throw at you. (and hence whether your powers will be useful in they way that should be)
Except that, for it to make sense to select Cha over Con for Eldritch Blast, your Charisma modifier should be higher than your Con modifier. Since virtually ALL the Infernal Pact powers use Con, you're hurting yourself. Sure, you COULD take all Charisma based powers, but 1) Infernal Pact requires you to take Hellish Rebuke, which is Con based, and 2) the Infernal paragon path's powers are Con based.

The only reason I can see for being a dragonborn infernal pact warlock with a higher charisma than con is for paladin multiclassing, where the temp hp will be of benefit in combat.

STR 14 (12 +2 racial mod), CON 16, DEX 10, INT 13, WIS 11, and CHA 16 (14+2 racial mod) then your MOD scores are respectively: S-2, C-3, D-0, I-1, W-0, and CH-3......... which would give you the exact SAME modifier for CHA and CON thus making it a more rounded and decent character and making no difference if you used CHA for Eldritch Blast and not affecting the rest of your CON based powers later on. and since those are generic/standard stats, everyone can make a character in this capacity and not only best suited for a paladin multiclass...
EDIT: Looks like Shular beat me to it!

But the point is, if you're an Inferlock, you really shouldn't need Charisma for your actual pact attacks; you need Constitution. Charisma should be your dumpstat for an inferlock, hence the bonus to it that the Dragonborn get is wasted.

I'm not saying Dragonborn make for bad Warlocks. Quite the contrary, they make for fine Feylocks and have some potential for Starlocks, hence the rating. But this ~is~ an optimization guide: I'm telling you the ways to squeeze the absolute most out of the system.

I understand this is an optimization guide... and if you place the stats appropriately, you are still standard and optimized. you lose nothing and still get the +3 mod to your CON from the placing of the 16 roll there. Are you saying that a +3 CON mod is not good enough for a Infernal Pact Warlock? even using the Hellish Rebuke, you are in good shape. your enemy still would get a 1d6+3 damage (leading to a potential 9 EXTRA damage points) if you took any hits. and for example... say you take the Flames of Phlegethos (as I have) with is a CON vs. Reflex save and deals 3d10+3 damage on first hit and 5 thereafter until save ends. decent damage for an INFERNAL Pact spell, would you not agree?

Quite the contrary: part of the reason that optimization guides exist is because it is really NOT up to chance, but player choice. This is especially so in 4th ed now that the standard array, not the 4d6, is the standard stat generation method.

The only significant chance inherent in the new system is mainly in that when you make a character or level up; you can't tell what your GM is actually going to throw at you. (and hence whether your powers will be useful in they way that should be)

Noted, see above argument. I honestly forgot for a moment that I myself used Standard Array stats on this char.
The point is, you said previously that "You have the choice of using CON or CHA vs Reflex, and with the CHA bonus that can be a potentially sweet roll. And then you also get to use 1d10+CHA modif for damage. That to me is a very sweet bonus to achieve from a RACIAL aspect." How does using Charisma make this any better than if you were to use Con. The numbers are exactly the same, and so you are getting ZERO benefit from the racial bonus to Cha (since you could have just used Con).

I can see an argument for the Drgonborn getting better than a rating of two for Infernal (they're not really any worse than other races that don't get a Con bonus), but I don't think the bonus to Charisma is a factor (aside from the fact that several warlock skills are cha based).
Noted, see above argument. I honestly forgot for a moment that I myself used Standard Array stats on this char.

You mean...this character...

Vagorith (prefers "Vago")
Medium Immortal Humanoid (Dragonborn)
LEVEL 1 Warlock

INIT +0 SPD 6 (-1 for armor)
Senses: Perception 10
ATTACKS: Bastard Sword +2 vs AC: 1d10+2

AC 18
REF 12

Str 14 (+2) Con 16 (+3) Dex 10 (+0) Int 13 (+1) Wis 11 (+0) Cha 16 (+3)
Possessions: bastard sword, plate armor, adventurer’s kit

Sorry, but this character was TOTALLY NOT made from an Array. With two 16's the best other stats you could have would be 12, 10, 10, 10.

You've managed to get 16, 16, 14, 13, 11, your GM was rolling stats, that would have been ok...
Actually, I'm wrong here, my bad. (I must be tired or something)

but then I noticed:

You also have at least 4 feats first level. In order to just use that equipment.


Not that's there's any reason why you can't eventually have a Warlock using Plate Armour and a Bastard sword. But it can't be done at 1st. Maybe by 4th for a Human who focuses on nothing else. But 6th for a Dragonborn.

EDIT: And also, you don't meet the requirements for Plate Armour need STR 15 to qualify.

EDIT2: Again, actually, I'm sprouting flowers from my nose. Or something. I could've sworn you couldn't wear armour or use a bastard sword without proficiency. But Shular smited me back into place with his superior rules knowledge. Thanks. Still personally doesn't make ~much~ sense to me to be able weild a 5.5 Ft blade one handed without any training in it, but as has been noted multiple times, sense sometimes doesn't apply to rules, and rules are rules.
Actually, the 14, 16, 10, 13, 11, 16
comes from 12, 16, 10, 13, 11, 14

which is a 22 (2+9+2+3+1+5) point buy. Personally, I would have made the 13 and 11 both 12's, but that's just me.

Edit: Also note that he only has a +2 to hit with the bastard sword, indicating he doesn't have proficiency. The plate mail, though, he needs to include the -2 to attack rolls and reflex rolls for wearing armor he's not proficient in.
Actually, the 14, 16, 10, 13, 11, 16
comes from 12, 16, 10, 13, 11, 14

which is a 22 (2+9+2+3+1+5) point buy. Personally, I would have made the 13 and 11 both 12's, but that's just me.

Edit: Also note that he only has a +2 to hit with the bastard sword, indicating he doesn't have proficiency. The plate mail, though, he needs to include the -2 to attack rolls and reflex rolls for wearing armor he's not proficient in.

Okay, I miscalculated on the stat front. My bad.

I was always under the assumption one couldn't benefit from wearing something one wasn't proficient with (i.e. No AC for non-proficient). But, you're right, the PHB does says so, maybe that was always a house ruling I was used to...

As you say, however, there are the -2 penalties, giving you a +0 with the Bastard Sword (STR of 2 - Armour penalty) and a Reflex defence of 9 (1 from INT and -2 from Armour penalty).

But this is kind of going randomly off other news, the Epic powers got a small update...enjoy...

Anyhow, I'll shut up now.
[SIZE="4"]Spiteful Darts
Weirdly, the description of this seems to suggest a ranged attack, not a close blast, but whatever. This is a better version of the dubious Howl of Doom. Whilst its okay, I'd still contend that Harrowstorm is a better 'get the hell away from me' power because of the better push value. Again, it has its merits if you happened to be surrounded, but there are still better ways to deal with that kind of situation, especially at epic level.

Just want to point out a few things. First, while Harrowstorm is single target, this covers a good sized area. Second, this targets reflex instead of the usually higher fort. Third, the damage is untyped, and so cannot be resited. Finally, don't underestimate the effectiveness of being able to push a bunch of creatures around. The warlock has a few nice zones he can maintain, and if you have a wizard in the party (Wall of Fire, the massive Evard's Black Tentacles, etc), there's no limit to the fun you can have. ;)

(It goes without saying that this and Howl of Doom should be staples for the Hexhammer, but oops, I said it anyway.)

Edit: BTW, I'm not trying to make things difficult for you. I'm quite liking your breakdown here, and agree with the majority of what you're saying. In fact, it's only when I either don't agree or think you might just be missing something, that I speak up. Just think of it from the perspective that, if I wasn't interested I wouldn't say anything.
Just want to point out a few things. First, while Harrowstorm is single target, this covers a good sized area. Second, this targets reflex instead of the usually higher fort. Third, the damage is untyped, and so cannot be resited. Finally, don't underestimate the effectiveness of being able to push a bunch of creatures around. The warlock has a few nice zones he can maintain, and if you have a wizard in the party (Wall of Fire, the massive Evard's Black Tentacles, etc), there's no limit to the fun you can have. ;)

(It goes without saying that this and Howl of Doom should be staples for the Hexhammer, but oops, I said it anyway.)

Yep, all good points again.

Although, it is close blast and thunder isn't a terribly common resist, and I'd typically leave the pushing things into zones job to Warlord and Fighter, myself.

I'm also assuming that if you'd like this effect as a generic warlock, you'd take Thunderwave to get it, from the wizard (like I said in the Howl of Doom description). My general thoughts, as I stated, don't include funky builds like the Hexhammer. As time goes on, I'll probably update various facets of the guide to account for this, and other builds mind.

Anyhow, since you keep shooting me down, (true I do seem to deserve it, mind) I'll take the hint and succumb to my tiredness for now...its late again and I'm yawning.

EDIT: Don't worry about it! I appreciate you finding the hiccups in my workings.
Star Warlock, ala. the Starlock
Then you have the brave option. The star pact is the most MAD Warlock build, as your required abilities variably switch between Constitution and Charisma. You have the middle sized selection of abilities, but the least that actually benefit you for picking the Star Pact. (22 spells, but only 7 gain extra boons from the Star Pact). That out of the way, you have (arguably) the most desirable pact boon. Since to hit bonuses are remarkably hard to get hold of in 4th edition, the fact you can rack up absurd bonuses from your curse is very nice (admittedly, it loses its effectiveness against singular bosses, like all the pacts). In addition, its versatile, since you can add it to any roll (adding to saves is also useful). As another interesting benefit, your powers deal a nice variety of damage types, from radiant to necrotic. The entry requirements might be steep (Cthulu only accepts pretty ~and~ tough people!) but the inevitable rewards are probably worth it.

IMO A starlock is better off picking between Charisma and Con, and then making Intelligence their secondary attribute. The stat that is not chosen as primary can be made tertiary or even dumped. Charisma seems like the best focus for a starlock, but they loose out on an at will power. (But it's an at will that's usually worse than eldrich blast anyway.)
A reasonable option, I suppose, since you theoretically get more boons from the pacts optional extras. However, the loss of versatility somewhat counteracts this. Personally, I'd still stick with making 1 stat primary, and the other, as well as INT, as secondary.

I mean, its not like your Starlock needs either STR or WIS at all, so these can be dumpstats. DEX should probably be tertiary, if only for the initiative bonus (though that can be dumped too if you take Improved Initiative)

EDIT: Some stuff about feats added.
EDIT: Some stuff about feats added.

Aargh! My eyes! Lose the Cyan (try light blue), pleeease! :D
I disagree with some of your race ratings.

First of all, Tieflings make great Starlocks and even better feylocks.
  • Bonus to stealth is great for all warlocks especially for fey!.
  • Infernal Wrath is great for both of them.
  • Both builds make great use of the intelligence bonus.
  • +1 bonus vs bloodied foes matters!
  • Hellfire Blood is serious business for starlocks. Feylocks can skip it though but still feylocks get the most out of all other tiefling goodies that it hardly matters.

My rating would be 9/10/10.

On the other hand, you give high rating to dragonborn feylocks! :S
Was that a typo or you mean it really ? :S
The breath will miss all the time. All the feylock gets is a +2 cha from that race. trash.
A reasonable option, I suppose, since you theoretically get more boons from the pacts optional extras. However, the loss of versatility somewhat counteracts this. Personally, I'd still stick with making 1 stat primary, and the other, as well as INT, as secondary.

I mean, its not like your Starlock needs either STR or WIS at all, so these can be dumpstats. DEX should probably be tertiary, if only for the initiative bonus (though that can be dumped too if you take Improved Initiative)

EDIT: Some stuff about feats added.

I agree, the loss of versatility is not worth the extra points of the pact boons.

For any warlock I think Job1 has to be avoid attacking fort defense. Going through the MM, fort defense on tough monsters is just brutal. If you split your stats as a starlock you can attack both.

At the end of the game notice Hurl through Hell attacks will. I love Doom of Delban but it attacks Fort defense-hense not as useful. Same for Tendrils of Thuban. In 4E it seems if a defense gets up to about 50 you are going to miss unless you are very, very lucky. Heck, warlocks dont even have a weapon prof bonus to add onto their attack rolls.

Attacking ref and will is so much easier. Thinking about end game-it really puts a different spin on powers. A power is not much good if you miss with it all the time. Ian
Okay, I miscalculated on the stat front. My bad.

I was always under the assumption one couldn't benefit from wearing something one wasn't proficient with (i.e. No AC for non-proficient). But, you're right, the PHB does says so, maybe that was always a house ruling I was used to...

As you say, however, there are the -2 penalties, giving you a +0 with the Bastard Sword (STR of 2 - Armour penalty) and a Reflex defence of 9 (1 from INT and -2 from Armour penalty).

But this is kind of going randomly off other news, the Epic powers got a small update...enjoy...

Anyhow, I'll shut up now.

oops. My bad. I forgot to point out that I DO have the Bastard Sword Weapon Proficiency as a Feat. However, I am not sure if I calculated my armor info incorrectly, TBH. Where in the Handbook did you get the info on how armor effects you negatively? I know I got a -1 to speed from the Armor, but thats it... (I honestly only took the armor because my base character had stuff taken and enhanced in some areas from the Keep on the Shadowfell sample Dragonborn characters, and he had plate armor given to him there with no obvious penalty to him. Unless I missed it, as I am still learning all of the 4E stuff. :D
oops. My bad. I forgot to point out that I DO have the Bastard Sword Weapon Proficiency as a Feat. However, I am not sure if I calculated my armor info incorrectly, TBH. Where in the Handbook did you get the info on how armor effects you negatively? I know I got a -1 to speed from the Armor, but thats it... (I honestly only took the armor because my base character had stuff taken and enhanced in some areas from the Keep on the Shadowfell sample Dragonborn characters, and he had plate armor given to him there with no obvious penalty to him. Unless I missed it, as I am still learning all of the 4E stuff. :D

Page 212, under "Armor Types", 2nd paragraph (or 1st, if you don't conssider the first blurb a paragraph). For a warlock to wear plate without this penalty would require 3 feats (Chain, Scale, then Plate).
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