The Power of the Dark Side: The Warlock's Handbook

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Guide "Patch" Notes


12/10/09 - started updating ratings based on November massive errata and Adventurer's Vault 2.
1/4/10 - haven't finished the errata updates, but AV2 is almost done and I added the new feats and powers from Dragon 381 & 382.
1/8/10 - Dragon 381-2 fully added. Updated for errata thru December. Adding last of equip thru AV2 & polishing guide formatting to incorporate sblocks while still maintaining easy-to-search bulleted format.
1/20/10 - Updated for January errata and added all powers from Dragon 372, 374, & 375, bringing the power list current. Also cleaned up some of the formatting and rerated some powers.
1/26/10 - Added new Vestige'lock powers and paragon paths from D383
3/11/10 - Updated for March errata.
April 2010 - Added Dragon 383-5 material, PHB3 material, reformatted most of the guide to fully use sblocks.
7/28/10 - finally reformatted the equipment section so that it makes more sense.  Added a few new items and powers from Dragon, etc.
10/6/10 - redesigned guide to make more room for all of the powers, etc. out there now
...
7/7/11 - finally finished adding the Dark Sun powers, and revised a few powers/feats.


Selling Points: Why Play a Warlock

  • You serve up good damage with a hearty side of control - You will never hit as hard as a Ranger, but with the right feats, items, and powers you aren't that far behind, and almost everyone of your spells offers some kind of control (dazing, imposing attack penalties, dealing damage if move/don't move.

  • You are the most defensive Striker - Your Shadow Walk feature makes it possible for you to have concealment all the time, which is basically +2 to all defenses. And most of your powers are ranged, putting distance between you and the monsters. And if you are Con based, you have more Hit Points than some defenders and more surges than most defenders!

  • You are extremely mobile - Shadow Walk encourages you to move every round, and you have more teleportation powers than anyone, including one that lets you teleport at-will!

  • You have great flavor - You made a deal with a mysterious master for your powers, and you're not quite sure what they get out of the bargain.  The power they granted you allows you to unleash terrible curses and grow more powerful with each soul you send on to your master.


Power Source and Role: How Your Corruption Helps Your Party

Your power source is Arcane, and your role is Striker. Arcane characters are predisposed toward controller aspects, as most arcane powers produce some kind of effect rather than just dealing damage. Strikers focus on dealing damage and imposing the most important condition in the game: dead. When you combine those two you end up with a class with a very split focus. You are nearly a hybrid from the get go, with almost all of your powers dishing out big damage as well as a status effect. Here's a breakdown on how well you do at each aspect traditionally associated with the Striker role:

Burst/Nova/Spike Damage - This is usually defined as the maximum amount of damage you can come up with on short notice by expending encounter or daily resources, and it is definitely a weak point for you. With few exceptions, your encounter and daily powers offer significant control, but only slightly increased damage over your at-wills.

Damage Per Round (DPR) - This is a classic benchmark on these boards, it means statistically the average amount of damage you deal when you attack factoring in misses and critical hits. Back when 4e was first released, you were rather far behind your colleagues, but since then new feats, powers and magic items have been released which have drastically increased your DPR. Most of your DPR numbers come from accuracy. Thanks to Prime Shot, the ability to target different defenses, and most importantly your easy access to Combat Advantage (via the Shadow Warlock Armor), you rarely miss. All told, you are about in the middle of the pack, as far as striker DPR goes.

Debilitating Effects - Another way to approach the "put down a single target" goal of the Striker is by making your target so unable to do anything it's like he's not there. You are the best Striker for this bar none. You can daze, teleport, knock down, and push around your enemies with ease. Almost everyone of your powers hinders your opponent in some way, from a minor attack penalty to dazes & stuns, to pushing, sliding, and even teleporting your foe all over the battlefield.

Survivability - One of the key aspects of a successful Striker is how well he can handle it when enemies come after him. Given that you are primarily a ranged striker, you have the simple advantage of some breathing room (and hopefully a defender) between you and melee foes. This equates to much fewer attacks even being directed at you as compared to your melee colleagues. You get Shadowwalk as a class feature which grants to concealment whenever you move 3+ squares on your turn. given that you primarily strike from range, there is very little to prevent you from moving every turn and thus effectively gaining +2 to all defenses every single round! Lastly, for Con'locks you have the advantage of your primary stat boosting your HP and surges to near Defender levels, which means you are tough as hell to actually bring down.

Targeting Capacity - The fact that you are attacking from range means that you effectively have a much greater reach, and so have a much easier time of picking alternate targets. In addition your Shadow Walk and many teleporting utilities offer tremendous mobility to get into just the right position. The only thing holding you back is that you can only curse the nearest target(s), and only get Prime Shot when no allies are closer.

Secondary Role Effectiveness

Controller - Many have described the Warlock as a single target controller, and for good reason. If you specialize in control you can hinder an enemy as well as many full fledged controllers. But the other aspect of controllers is dealing AoE, and that is harder for you, generally limited to your Daily powers.

Defender - If you're a Con'lock, you have nearly as many HP as a Defender, and likely more surges, so you can easily step into the role of 'meat shield.' However with no way of marking targets, you can't demand an enemy's attention and shelter your squishy allies in the traditional sense. But generally speaking monsters target the biggest threat to them--and thanks to your Striker damage (as well as debuffs) that's likely to be you! Now defending generally requires you to be in melee as most monsters are primarily melee, so you will have to be picky with your power, equipment and feat selections to facilitate this. Cha'locks by contrast have low HP and surges, and so should avoid defending.

Leader - When 4e was first released, your capabilities as a leader were limited to just the ally-friendly effects of your debuffs. Now Vestige'locks have a few powers and features which actually cater to this subrole.


Ratings System



  • Red: A very weak choice, or one completely overshadowed by another.

  • Purple: A sub-par, situationally useful, or heavily build-specific choice.

  • Black: A middle of the road choice. Not bad, but not great either. 

  • Blue: A very good choice. 

  • Sky Blue: The optimal choice. 

  • Gold: the choice that is so good it is essentially mandatory.


Disclaimer


All ratings are based on the general case, so power ratings assume you do not have the associated Pact, but when the additional pact rider increases the rating of the power that will be noted. (This is why so many powers are rated so low by default, since WotC seems to balance the powers with riders where it is only worth it for the associated Pact, instead of making the pact rider a bonus.) Additionally the assumption is that you are playing the class as intended (a ranged striker), so everything's default rating is based on that assumption. When specific builds (such as the Gish build) get drastically more benefit out of something I will note that in the writeup. I am very open to discussion, and am glad to add or reconsidering anything you guys find that I have overlooked.

Regarding Hexblades

If you are looking for info on the new Essentials Class, the Hexblade, then please check out Lord_Ventnor's new guide here as this guide only references the material that applies to "old school" warlocks.




General Build Advice


Warlocks have a bad reputation on the CharOp boards as the lowest damage (and thus "worst") striker.  This is not true. While Warlocks do trade damage for control with a lot of their powers, and will never match the ultimate multi-attacker, the Ranger, they are still a very damaging class... if built properly. Basically there are a lot of bad options that WotC has released for Warlocks, and you have to make sure to avoid these pitfalls or else you will find yourself very frustrated by the inadequacy of your character. I think this graph that Stoutmeister created, says it better than I can:
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Essentially, Warlocks require more optimization that any other class in order to achieve impressive results.  So please read over this guide carefully, and think twice before taking any thing that is rated red or purple. And if you disagree with a rating, don't hesitate to call me out. I am not perfect, and feedback is the best way to improve this guide for everyone.

Sources

AP - Arcane Power
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV2 - Adventurer's Vault 2 (in progress)
DP - Divine Power
D### - Dragon Magazine, issue ###
DA## - Dragon Annual, year ##
DMG - Dungeon Master's Guide
DMG2 - Dungeon Master's Guide 2
Dragonborn - Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn
DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
EPG -
Eberron Player's Guide
FRPG
- Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
MM
- Monster Manual
MM2 - Monster Manual 2
MM3 - Monster Manual 3
MOTP
- Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
MP2 - Martial Power 2
PHB
- Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHH#
- Player's Handbook Heroes - Series # 
PrP - Primal Power
PsP - Psionic Power 
Tiefling
- Player's Handbook Races: Tiefling


Glossary


  • AIP - An acronym for Arcane Implement Proficiency, a game changing feat which will get referenced a lot.

  • AP - Action Point

  • BBEG - Big bad evil guy (end boss monster)

  • Cha'lock - A Warlock who focuses on Charisma for a primary stat including Fey Pact Warlocks, Dark Pact Warlocks, and some Star Pact Warlocks.

  • Con'lock - A Warlock who focuses on Constitution for a primary stat including Infernal Pact Warlocks, Vestige Pact Warlocks, and some Star Pact Warlocks.

  • Dark'lock - A Dark Pact Warlock.

  • DIS - An acronym for Dual Implement Spellcaster, a game changing feat which will get referenced a lot.

  • DPR - Damage Per Round refers to the average damage you will do factoring chance to hit, average damage on a hit, miss and critical hit. The measuring stick for Strikers. It is calculated by multiplying your chance to miss times the average damage you deal on a miss plus the chance to hit (without critting) times the average damage you deal on a hit plus your crit chance times the average damage you deal on a crit.

  • ED - Epic Destiny

  • Fey'lock - A Fey Pact Warlock.

  • Hell'lock - An Infernal Pact Warlock.

  • HP - Hit points

  • L# - Level # (i.e. L20 means level 20)

  • MAD - Multiple Attribute Dependency which means needing 3 or more high stats to make a build work

  • MBA - Melee Basic Attack

  • NAD - Non-AC defense (fortitude, reflex and will)

  • OA - Opportunity Attack

  • PP - Paragon Path

  • RBA - Ranged Basic Attack

  • Split'lock - A (generally Star Pact) Warlock that focuses on both Constitution and Charisma for primary stats.

  • Star'lock - A Star Pact Warlock.

  • SWA - An acronym for Shadow Warlock Armor, a game changing armor enhancement, which I will reference a lot.

  • THP - temporary hit points

  • Vestige'lock - A Vestige Pact Warlock.



Important Rulings

Courtesy of the DM's hotline on 10/9/09 I got some answers to some rules questions that drastically effect some warlock powers:

  • When a power allows you to teleport an enemy, can you teleport them into midair (causing them to fall and take falling damage)?

    That's the DM's call. 


    • Follow-up: What about giving the enemy a saving throw as for being pushed off of a cliff?

      That is a great compromise! It makes you choose between a guaranteed teleport along the ground, or a gamble between teleporting up in the air for falling damage + knocking prone, or no teleport at all, although the target would fall prone in their current square 



  • UPDATE: As of 1/19/10 this is an official rule (although you do not fall prone on a successful save). 


 



  • Does Teleporting count as movement? Such as effects that trigger when you move X number of squares (like Shadow Walk), if you teleport that distance, does the effect trigger?

    This was actually a question that came up very early for us around the office, mostly due to Warlocks.  Every time we agreed that yes, teleporting does trigger movement effects.  It is because Teleportation is just a subset of movement modes.  Movement means basically any method of moving from one square to another on the board.

  • Conclusion Teleport junkies can breath a sigh of relief that you can still gain Shadow Walk when you teleport, as long as you teleport 3+ squares.  Note the double edge of this sword is that teleportation is not a way around effects like Blood Pulse which harm you if/when you move.


And from the PHB FAQ:



  • 33. If an enemy is already cursed by another warlock does my warlock get his extra damage against that enemy?

    The warlock curse class feature does not require that you be the one that cursed the target only that the target be cursed.

  • Conclusion: Now warlocks in the same party don't clash with each other, and can even save each other actions cursing for each other.


And from the PHB2 FAQ:




Yes, each time you for roll damage with an implement power you add your enhancement bonus.




  • Conclusion: Powers that deal rolled damage separately from the initial damage roll get to add static mods again!  This makes Hellish Rebuke, Dire Radiance, and many other powers by far the most damaging options you can get!


 This was brought up in this guide by Theziner and was discussed in detail in this Q&A post:



  • Can the Bloodied Boon feat trigger the Rod of Corruption? And if so, can you recurse the bloodied enemy?


  • Conclusion: No and no. Because of the specific wording of Bloodied Boon, it does not "trigger" your boon only award you with a boon, and the Rod of Corruption requires your boon to "trigger." And should your DM rule otherwise, it should still not be able to recurse the bloodied enemy because powers which include the original target in the area of effect have to specify that directly.



Acknowledgements


Lordduskblade for the gold standard of handbook formatting
EHarper256 for a great guide that got me started optimizing warlocks
Joemama1512 for doing a lot of the math and analysis that affected this guide 
you, the poster, for the feedback that let's me improve this handbook! :D

Baseline Mechanics: The Power Within


HP, Surges, and Proficiencies




Hit Points - 12 + Con score at 1st level; 5 at each level thereafter. Standard faire for strikers, but Con'locks will find that their Con focus makes them get about the same benefit as the Toughness feat for free.

Healing Surges
- 6 + Con modifier. Again standard faire for strikers, although Con focus counts even more here than for HPs, making Con'locks effectively get the equivalent of the Durable feat several times over.

Proficiencies
- You don't get anything fancy for weapons, but most of you will never need to swing a weapon anyway. As for armor, Leather may not seem particularly impressive, but talk to your arcane striker cousin, the Sorceror, and he'll be glad to tell you how lucky you are to have it.

Defense Bonuses
+1 Ref and Will is pretty good given that you'll mostly be at range and so Fort will probably be your least targetted defense. See also Shadow Walk below!




Class Features




Eldritch Blast/Strike - Kind of sad that having one of your at-wills chosen for you is a 'feature' per WotC, but at least it's a decent power considering that Basic Attacks are pretty easy to buff and you work well with Warlords or anyone else who gives out free basic attacks.

Pact Boons
- By default this is a flavorful, but mechanically weak feature. You get stronger as your cursed enemies fall (regardless of who deals the death blow!), but that means that the smaller the encounter the less benefit you gain to the point where with a few exceptions you get ZERO benefit from this in Solo fights. The good news is there are several feats and powers which can greatly improve the effectiveness of this feature.

Prime Shot
- This is your striker accuracy booster. It probably more effective for you than for an archery ranger since Shadow Walk encourages you to be mobile so you can afford to dash in for a quick shot every once in a while. However one of the best parts of this feature are the upgrades like Called Shot.

Shadow Walk
- This may not look very impressive (since the errata'ed Stealth rules prevent you from using it to hide for the most part), but you have to remember that concealment is like a free +2 to all defenses all for the bargain basement price of moving at least 3 squares a turn.  And as of the release of Adventurer's Vault 2, with the right armor, this can also get you Combat Advantage all day, everyday.

Warlock's Curse
- Like Pact Boons, by default this is a very flavorful but mechanically unimpressive feature. However, the feat and item support for this is rather good these days. You can easily gain bonuses against all curse targets including massive defense bonuses, Combat Advantage, extra slides, a pseudo-mark, as well as many ways to increase the damage output of the feature. Also the latest update has officially made it so that you can deal curse damage once per turn, rather than once per round, so Enabling leaders like the Warlord will now happily give you extra attacks since you get to deal curse damage again. Likewise your OAs and immediate action attacks are now even more powerful (which is especially potent for a GISH.)




Eldritch Pacts


Dark Pact (FRPG) - Charisma based, boasts good DPR powers, but tends towards the very easy-to-resist damage types of poison and necrotic so you need someway of dealing with that limitation.



  • At-Will spell: Spiteful Glamor - the power wouldn't be that bad if it weren't for the fact that you have to take Eldritch Blast with it. The bad news is a conditional upgrade from d10 to d12 over Eldritch Blast is almost worthless. The good news is it does at least target will and deal psychic damage opening it up to the Psychic Lock feat upgrade and making it rarely subject to resistance.

  • Pact Boon: Darkspiral Aura - Here's one of the best parts about being Dark Pact, you get an anti-marking ability where you can punish enemies for attacking you. At low levels it's kind of weak but remember it's automatic damage so in DPR terms it's roughly worth an attack that deals twice as much damage and either way it can act as immunity to minions. Also note that this is a damage roll, so it can be boosted with certain items and feats. Sadly it doesn't have the implement keyword though, so most damage bonuses are excluded. Now since this ability works very similarly to a mark (just in reverse) you have to make sure to balance the pros and cons of attacking you equally. Basically if you buff the damage on this high enough that it poses a serious threat to enemies then you need to make yourself an appealing target, otherwise the DM will just ignore you. However, you can make being ignored your goal as it allows you to forsake defensive items and feats. To get the most of out this I highly recommend acquiring some method to mark your enemies (MC Paladin, Hybrid defender, Avernian Knight PP, Dabbling Defender feat, etc.) to put them in a catch-22, or simply take the Shared Pact feat and put your Aura on the defender!


Fey Pact (PHB) - Charisma based, very control focused even to the point of being hard to call a true striker, fortunately you heavily tend towards targetting will (the lowest defense on average) and tend towards hard-to-resist and easy-to-buff psychic damage



  • At-Will spell: Eyebite - A nice defensive spell, and a heck of a lot of fun to use, but it is the weakest damage wise of all of the at-wills.

  • Pact Boon: Misty Step - Free teleports are a lot of fun and can be very powerful, but unfortunately you really don't get to control when you use this so it's hard to rate very high. Essentially you can use it as a means of escape when surrounded but if and only if you or one of your allies can kill one of your cursed targets. Basically as a player you have to force yourself not to count on it, but to try and take advantage of it when it comes up. Oh, and don't forget if it goes off during your turn the 3 square teleport triggers Shadow Walk. I like this much better when you have another boon as a back up, so you get something out of your boon when the teleport is worthless. There are also several ways to get benefits whenever you teleport including autodamage to adjacent enemies and defense bonuses, which makes this more powerful.


Infernal Pact (PHB) - As of the release of Dragon Magazine #386, this normally Con based pact has Charisma based powers as well, which while few in number so far, are powerful enough to warrant mention. Either way this pact features the some of the most DPR-oriented powers available to Warlocks, unfortunately many of those target Fortitude (the highest NAD on average) and tend towards easy-to-resist fire damage. And the pact boon makes you very tough, especially for Con'locks.



  • At-Will spells: 

    • Hellish Rebuke - Another defensive spell as it can discourage enemies from attacking you, (Warning: it only triggers with damage so status-only powers and misses don't count). But what makes this power good is that at later levels, there are several ways of forcing the trigger, effectively doubling the damage of this spell, which makes it by far the most damaging at-will Warlocks have available.

    • Gift to Avernus - This is basically a better version of Eldritch Blast. You lose out on the ability to use it as a ranged basic, but gain an extremely powerful miss effect. Getting to reroll misses drastically improves your DPR, but of course the catch is that it costs you HP each time you opt use the reroll. Fortunately the amount is conveniently equal to the amount of THP your pact boon provides, and until they errata it (and I presume they will) there isn't the usual language that says you can't prevent this damage, so if you can manage to gain resistance to all damage it gets even better. Because the only thing that Eldritch Blast has over this is the ranged basic feature, if that does you no good (i.e. you don't have a Warlord in the party), then I highly recommend taking Eldritch Strike with this.



  • Pact Boon: Dark One's Blessing - Gaining your level in THPS is a very potent defensive boon, but it is limited by the fact that THPs don't stack so gaining boons in rapid succession are wasted, and the fact that Pact Boons tend to trigger towards the end of combats and you lose THPs when you take a short rest in which case they are wasted again. Also at low levels, the amount of THP is way too low unless you take the Improved Dark One's Blessing feat. The best thing to do with these is to be more daring if you get them early--go ahead and move into flank with the fighter and use your Ranged attacks; you can afford that OA! Now for Tanks and Gishes it's different since you are much more likely to use the THPs since you are in the thick of things, though you still suffer from wasted boons if multiple boons trigger simultaneously. And for the new Cha based Hell'locks, all of your powers have miss features that cost you HP, for which the pact boon becomes a lifesaver. I really like this with another boon as a back up, so you get something out of your boon when the THP would be worthless.


Sorcerer King Pact (DSCS) - This pact is very versatile as all of its powers let you choose to use  Constitution or Charisma for attack and damage, making it an easy pact to combine with any other via Twofold Pact. It is also unique in that its powers can be used as melee touch powers or as ranged powers, making it very GISH friendly. It's powers and boon are not very good on their own, but make great backups via Twofold Pact. However, this pact does offer some excellent feats.



  • At-Will spell: Hand of Blight - A versatile power due to being melee or ranged and dealing necrotic and psychic damage. It unfortunately targets Fort, which is again, generally the highest NAD, especially for anyone likely to get into melee with you. 1d8+stat damage is pretty mediocre but being able to boost that by 1d8 when you use your Fell Might pact boon makes it quite damaging at low levels. It also makes the target grant CA for a round, which will make you and your allies happy. Although the CA for yourself is redundant by Paragon due to SWA.

  • Pact Boon: Fell Scorn - This pact boon is very different from all other pact boons in that it is really just a recharge mechanic for what is called your Fell Might. You start each encounter with Fell Might unspent and you regain its use when a pact boon triggers. You spend your Fell Might when casting a Sorcerer King pact spell (prior to rolling to hit) and if you hit you gain an extra rider effect. Unfortunately this means that you have to select the few (only 1 per spell level) Sorcerer King Pact powers in order to use your pact boon (of course you can always use it with Hand of Blight, which ironically offers one of the best upgrades).  To make matters worse, it explicitly states that you can never have more than 1 use of Fell Might "stored up" by gaining multiple pact boons. So without a back up pact boon from Twofold Pact, etc., you have to spend them ASAP and hope multiple monsters don't fall at once. These limitations are why I rate this boon so lowly. Still, it helps create a great heroic tier nova out of your at-will when combined with Mindbite Scorn + Killing Curse.


Star Pact (PHB) - This path is distinguished by having both Constitution and Charisma based powers. Fortunately WotC has finally fixed the at-will and the main paragon path to use either stat, and there are plenty of powers for each stat, so you can simply choose to either be a Con'lock or a Cha'lock. Because of these fixes, I no longer feel it is worthwhile to be both Con and Cha based (aka a Split'lock), since you gain very little (a slightly better power or two), but sacrifice a lot (AC, Reflex, most rider effects on powers, and many powerful feats. 

  • At-Will spell: Dire Radiance - A very similar power to Hellish Rebuke, with a couple things in its favor: radiant damage and the Fear keyword, but also a couple things against it: you target Fort, and most importantly the trigger is much less predictable and basically can't be forced.  At low levels it makes for a good combat opener, as that is when it is most likely you can force the target to trigger the extra damage. But be careful about who you target as the melee only foes often have high Fort defenses, and ranged foes are already within 10 squares when you attack (so move afterwards!).

  • Pact Boon: Fate of the Void - This is an interesting boon. Individually, a +1 bonus to a d20 roll is not very likely to make a difference, but since the bonuses are cumulative and you can upgrade them to +2 per boon with the Improved Fate of the Void feat, they can really add up. To get the most out of them, you will of course need to SPREAD YOUR CURSE quickly and hopefully coordinate with a AoE minion clearing controller ally to get multiple boons at a time.


Vestige Pact (AP) - This is a slightly unusual path that is distinguished by variable pact boons and the variable riders to your At-Will, which you gain access to from you Vestige pact Dailies. Oddly enough it also includes some of the most Leader-like Warlock spells.



  • At-Will spell: Eyes of the Vestige - A very useful spell! Getting everyone cursed ASAP is one of your primary motivations as a Warlock.  Your power increases as every cursed foe dies, so being able to curse an extra target (who doesn't have to be the closest enemy to you!) is very potent. And being able to damage an already-cursed target is your kill-a-minion-for-the-juicy-power-up-without-wasting-your-standard-action power (rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?). In addition, you get to target Will and deal psychic damage, and get a variable upgrade on top of that! The default free save to an ally is pretty crappy since it requires that ally to hit that same target in order to trigger it (so it effectively requires 2 successful attack rolls to trigger). But the default automatic Prime Shot is pretty good, unfortunately as written it doesn't apply to your current attack only subsequent ones (though it does work well with Action Points!). The only down side here is the low actual damage. The no-brainer choice for a third at-will if Con based.

  • Pact Boon: King Elidyr/Zutwa - Once again the Leader-like effect is unimpressive for your role, but the boost of an extra +2 from Prime Shot is solid. Combine with the Eyes of the Vestige rider for extra fun! Not as potent or versatile as Fate of the Void, but your pact-specific daily spells offer temporary upgrades which range from terrible to jaw-droppingly good.


Races: The Corruptible


Races - PHB


  • Dragonborn - +2 Charisma and Str/Con means you can go Con'lock, Cha'lock or Split'lock. Dragonbreath and the the bloodied attack bonus are both great on a Striker--but be warned that your breath weapon becomes obsolete at high levels for anyone but Con'locks.  

  • Dwarf - +2 Con and Str/Wis makes you a solid Con'lock especially for GISH builds. You've got some great feats and -1 to forced moves, getting a save vs. prone and +5 to saves vs. poison, and of course your racial power make you a shoo-in for TANK builds.

  • Eladrin - +2 Int and Cha/Dex is perfect for Cha'locks, so now Eladrin can be iconic Fey'locks! The extra skill is great (I recommend Stealth!), and the teleport is handy, if a little redundant with a lot of utility powers, but you have good enough feat and item support for teleporting that it's a net gain. 

  • Elf - +2 Dex and Int/Wis is doable, but I recommend going with a Revenant if you really want the reroll and/or feats.

  • Half-Elf - +2 Con and Wis/Cha. An ideal candidate for Split'locks, and top tier for any other pact. Definitely stick with Dilettente over Knack as there are some great combos out there. 

  • Halfling - +2 Dex and Con/Cha means you actually work well as a Con'lock or a Cha'lock since the Dex helps your initiative and helps you easily qualify for Dual Implement Spellcaster. The racial powers will make you a very difficult target.

  • Human - Always a solid choice. +1 to all defenses and the bonus feat are awesome. The extra skill helps, and you have access to great racial feats. Thanks to AP and FRPG you have some good options for the bonus at-will, but I prefer Heroic Surge instead of the extra at-will.  

  • Tiefling - +2 Cha and Con/Int. The stats are a little more optimal as Dark'locks, Fey'locks and Star'locks rather than Hell'locks, but they can do well in any pact. The features are all Striker boosters and they have some great feats.


Races - PHB2


  • Deva - +2 Wis and Int/Cha. The Wis is mostly useless, but Memory of a 1000 Life Times really helps accuracy and they have some solid defensive features.

  • Gnome - +2 Int and Dex/Cha. Perfect stats and fluff for the Fey Pact. I highly recommend picking a background that lets you take Stealth as a class skill to get the most out of your racials though.

  • Goliath - +2 Str and Con/Wis. I like them better than Dwarves in a few ways as the Strength is probably more useful than Wisdom (armor/shield proficiencies). But my favorite is their Markings of the Victor feat which grants you Avenger-like accuracy and crit rate with your first attack every fight. 

  • Half-Orc - +2 Dex hand Str/Con is solid for Con'locks and most of the features and feats are all pro-Striker. 

  • Shifter, Longtooth - Strength can help with armor feats, but the Wisdom is worthless and their great racial power just isn't enough to save the race. The only saving grace is they make great Revenants thanks to the excellent racial power and a few great feats. 

  • Shifter, Razorclaw - Trading the Str for Dex is better, but the racial is less helpful so the rating stays red.


Races - FRPG


  • Drow - They may not have "perfect" stats for Cha'locks but the Dex is no waste, and their features and feats are all Striker focused and let's face it Dark Pact was based around them! As Revenants they make great Con'locks too!

  • Genasi - +2 Int and Str/Con makes them one of the elusive Con/Int races! The feats and racial powers (especially Promise of Storm) make them even better!


Races - EPG


  • Changeling - Apparently the 'official' Doppelganger stats (since they have disappeared from the Compendium...), these guys get an extra +1 to Will, and a combat application of their shapeshifting and can choose to gain +2 Dex instead of Int, but of course you're gonna want Int. Sadly they are the least supported official race, with only two feats at the moment, keeping them from the top tier.

  • Kalashtar - You get +2 to Cha and Int/Wis, which makes them another race with perfect Ca'lock stats. The floating skill bonus is nice, telepathy means language isn't a barrier, and between Dual Soul and Bastion of Mental Clarity you are damn hard to hit with the worst status effects (except stun for some reason).

  • Warforged - +2 Con and Str/Int makes them one of the few races with perfect Con'lock stats. Their feats and features make them best suited for a GISH or TANK build.


Races - PHB3


  • Githzerai - +2 Wis and Dex/Int. +2 to Int is nice, but you're stuck with +2 Wis, which is pretty worthless. They do have a lot of very good feats though, and +2 Initiative is always nice.

  • Minotaur - +2 Str and Con/Wis. Like Gnolls, they'd be better if all of their feats and features weren't so heavily melee/charge focused, but for GISHes and TANKs they are a good choice.

  • Shardmind - +2 Int and Wis/Cha. Yet another race with perfect stats for Cha'locks. In this package you get psychic resistance, a nice teleport power that can also debuff, and lots of out of combat benefits. The feats are also quite nice.

  • Wilden - +2 Wis and Dex/Con. Decent stats for a Con'lock. Plus they get a very potent floating NAD boost, decent feats, and a choice of racial powers. (Wrath of the Destroyer is very good, but only for a GISH.)  


Races - Dark Sun Campaign Setting


  • Mul - +Con and Str/Wis means they make solid Con'locks, especially GISHes. Then gaining a free surge and access to either Dwarf or Human feats and a racial power that makes you very resistant to some of the worst status effects, and you've got a damn good TANK race. The Mul feats are rather good, too!

  • Thri-kreen - + Dex and Str/Wis manages to miss all 3 useful Warlock stats, and I am not aware of any feats, PPs or EDs to make Revenant Thri-kreens particularly attractive either.



Races - Dragon Magazine


  • Gnoll (D367) - Good stats for a Con'lock, and the 7 speed can't hurt. The racial and almost all the feats, while Striker-focused, are for melee/charging only, so they are best off as a GISH.

  • Revenant (D376) - +2 Dex and Con/Cha. Perfect flavor, and near-perfect stats for a either build since the dex will help qualify for DIS and help out Initiative. Plus the ability to using another race's feats, etc. is chock full of potential and manages to make some previously awful races work as revenants!

  • Shadar-Kai (DA09) - +2 Dex and Int/Wis. Int helps with riders, and +2 Dex helps with DIS, and they have some great feats, but without a primary stat boost or anything boosting their accuracy, they're still not enough for a blue rating in my book. They make solid revenants though.




Races - Other


  • Bladeling (MOTP) - Like elves but with worse feat selection.

  • Bugbear (MM) - Oversized does you no good, so they are basically Half-orcs without the racial feats. Pass.

  • Bullywug (MM2) - The stats are good for a Con'lock, but the only power they have is their aura which penalizes enemies for spending a healing surge--how often have you noticed a monster spend a surge? Yeah...

  • Doppelganger (MM) - Apparently they have been replaced by Changeling as of the EPG release, so see above.

  • Duergar (MM2) - Same stats as Dwarves but they trade their goodies for a high damage, but very inaccurate racial power, darkvision, and an extra language (and extra speed but they lose the heavy armor affinity). Personally I'd stick with the Dwarf unless they give the racial power an extra +2 to hit like Minotaur's or change it to target Reflex.

  • Githyanki (MM) - These guys used to have the distinction of being the only Con/Int race (i.e. perfect stats for a Con'lock) and they have great features, but without a "full" write up, they lack racial feats (and are not RPGA legal), so I can't give them the top rating. 

  • Goblin (MM) - These little guys are pretty good. A good racial and good stats. But the lack of feats, etc. really hurts.

  • Hobgoblin (MM) - Perfect Split'lock stats, a great racial and +2 Initiative makes them another race that is just a Dragon article away from being top tier.

  • Kenku (MM2) - Good stats for a Cha'lock, but that's about it since you're not gonna be flanking or aiding another much. Their power is completely up to the DM as to what you can get away with.

  • Kobold (MM) - Small Gnolls. Their racial power is certainly much more useful, but they don't have any racial feats yet. Expect them to jump to Sky Blue if/when Dragon gets to them.

  • Orc (MM) - Yet another Str/Con race, and this one has no racial feats and the racial power is Strength based. The bonus to a primary stat is the only thing keeping them from a red rating.





Ability Scores: The Traits of the Corrupt


Strength - A common dumpstat. Redundant with Con for Fort, and HP/surges are a lot more valuable than a decent MBA especially since Eldritch Strike is a far better option than using Str for your MBA. Athletics checks, however are common in many adventures. Gishes can be the exception as many GISH builds multiclass with Str-primary classes. (Recommended Starting Score: 8-13, after racial adjustments)

Constitution - Primary for Hell'locks, Vestige'locks, and half of Star'lock powers. Adds HP, healing surges, Fort defense, and boosts some of your Utilities so it's much better than Strength for Charisma based Warlocks. But remember you need both if you want the armor upgrades. (Recommended Starting Score: 16-20 after racial adjustments for Con'locks and 10-13 for Cha'locks)

Dexterity - Redundant with Int for Reflex/AC, but it does add to Initiative and some good skills, but probably the most important thing these days is the 13 Dex requirement for Dual Implement Spellcaster. (Recommended Starting Score: 11-13, after racial adjustments)

Intelligence - Your Secondary stat regardless of your pact, as such it should be your second highest stat barring niche hybrid/multiclass builds. (Recommended Starting Score: 14-18, after racial adjustments)

Wisdom - My prefered dumpstat. Redundant with Charisma for Will defense, and your probably not going to be counted on for any Wis based skills. The only thing it really has going for it Perception checks and feat qualification. (Recommended Starting Score: 8-13, after racial adjustments)

Charisma - Primary for Dark'locks, Fey'locks, and half of Star'lock powers. Boosts several of your skills, Will defense, and boosts enough of your Utilities that even Con based locks will likely prefer this over Wisdom. (Recommended Starting Score: 16-20 after adjustments for Cha'locks and 10-13 for Con'locks)


Skills: Hobbies You Can Corrupt


Class Skills


  • Arcana - Keys off your secondary and rather useful. Mandatory if you are the party's ritual caster. Some solid skill powers too.

  • Bluff - A rare skill, keyed off your primary for Cha'locks, and fits the flavor of the class perfectly, plus some great skill powers.

  • History - Keys off your secondary, and there are some great skill powers here.

  • Insight - A good skill, but your Wisdom is probably too low to be worth it. It does have some great skill powers though...

  • Intimidate - It keys off a primary stat, fits the flavor of the class perfectly, and can let you instantly defeat a bloodied opponent with a good roll. Skill powers are pretty meh.

  • Religion - Keys off your secondary, so not a bad choice especially if you end up as the party's ritual caster! Skill powers aren't very helpful to you, though.

  • Streetwise - Keys off a Primary stat but, as is, it's the weakest of the Charisma skills. The skill powers are pretty good, though.

  • Thievery - A rare skill to have in class. If you had the Dex for this it'd be a no brainer. But odds are you have a 13 at best, so this is only a maybe. Skill powers are pretty solid.





Non-Class Skills of Note


  • Diplomacy - The only Charisma skill you don't get, and it's the most versatile. Plus for those of you playing Half-elves it seems almost foolish not to pick this up. The skill powers are mostly leader focused.

  • Endurance - The only skill that keys off of Con'locks' primary and helps in skill challenges and to stave off disease. Not a bad pick up. The skill powers really boost toughness.

  • Nature - If you end up the party's ritual caster then you may want this but be warned your wisdom is not gonna be great so don't pick any rituals with tough DCs. And the skill powers are mostly useless for you.

  • Perception - the most commonly used skill, but it may be a lost cause for you depending on your dump stat. The skill powers are pretty good though.

  • Stealth - IMO it was a mistake to leave this off Warlock's class list given their sneaky flavor. With a lot of feats/powers/items you can use this to hide in combat pretty effectively, but either way it is a solid skill. It also has a couple good skill powers. Sadly you don't have any stat synergy so it misses out on the highest rating.


Implements: Tools of the Corrupt


Default Warlock Implements



Rods - There are some really strong implements here for warlocks, but the big drawback for using rods is the inability to take the Weapon Focus feat, which plays a significant role in Striker DPR.

Superior options
 
Accurate Rod (PHB3) - While a flat +1 to hit is kind of boring, it is mechanically the best benefit for most warlocks.

Ashen Rod (PHB3) - For fire specialists this is a very good choice, since 19 of the 26 warlock fire spells target Reflex (and 4 more target Will which should be pretty accurate already).

Deathbone Rod (PHB3) - This can work forfor necrotic specialized Dark'locks as there's a Cha vs. Will option at every level and one that deals necrotic damage too at every level except 13 and 27 (and sadly your at-will). As usual I have to warn that specializing in necrotic means that resistance will be a very common obstacle, so plan accordingly.

Defiant Rod (PHB3) - This rod is not a good option right now as there are too few Radiant powers available and there are no rod enhancements that allow you to convert the damage type to Radiant.



Wands - Not bad if you want to diversify and/or focus on the control side, but generally they won't help you be a better Striker. 

Superior options

Accurate Wand (PHB3) - While a flat +1 to hit is kind of boring, it is mechanically the best benefit for most warlocks.


Cinder Wand (PHB3) - An inferior option IMO to Ashen Rod above, due to the fact that an extra d10 damage per tier on a crit is not as valuable as +1 to hit with most of your attacks.

Dragontooth Wand (PHB3) - If you can specialize in vs. Reflex spells this offers +1 damage per tier with all of your spells above and beyond what a generic accurate implement can offer.

Rowan Wand (PHB3) - Range isn't usually a problem and there are almost no lightning warlock spells.




Other Implements (obtained via the Arcane Implement Proficiency feat or multiclassing)



Orbs - By default, these are not terribly attractive to Warlocks but the Crystal Orb superior version is very appealing and there are certainly some good control boosting enhancements.

Superior options

Accurate Orb (PHB3) - Like all the other accurate implements +1 to hit is awesome, but generally this is inferior to Crystal Orb for those that are actually interested in taking AIP (Orb).

Crystal Orb (PHB3) - Psychic spells almost always target will so this is a very natural combo. Fey'locks have the most of these, but all Cha'locks can do well with this implement.

Greenstone Orb (PHB3) - +1 to Fort targetting spells is nice, but acid spells are too rare for warlocks.

Petrified Orb (PHB3) - Prior to the nerf, Blood Mages would have loved this just for the +1 to forced movement, but now it is only situationally useful and buffing the few force damage powers doesn't help.



Staves - A solid option for the Staff of Ruin alone.

Superior Options

Accurate Staff (PHB3) - While a flat +1 to hit is kind of boring, it is mechanically the best benefit for most warlocks.

Guardian Staff (PHB3) - There is actually some decent synergy here for Tanks: if you take a Force staff and the Solid Sound feat this combos into a hefty defense boost plus a damage boost.

Mindwarp Staff (PHB3) - I prefer the +1 vs Will from Crystal orbs to go with the psychic damage bonus rather than +2 to range, but I prefer staves over orbs in general, so I guess this is about as good for Psychic specialists.

Quickbeam Staff (PHB3) - Again prior to the nerf this would have been a no-brainer for Blood Mages, now a bonus to forced move plus thunder damage is just too narrowly focused IMO.


Tomes - These are obnoxiously wizard only at the moment.


Light Blades - Often times this is your best bet because it combines the weaplement advantages, superior implement options (as long as you stick to a dagger), as well as some of the best enchantments for Warlocks like Shadowrift Blade for HELLISH REBUKE OPTIMIZERS and Incisive Dagger for TELEPORT optimizers.

Superior Options (daggers only!)

Accurate Dagger (D385) - While a flat +1 to hit is kind of boring, it is mechanically the best benefit for most warlocks.

Incendiary Dagger (D385) - Identical to the Ashen Rod above, this is an awesome choice for FIRE SPECIALISTS.

Lancing Dagger (D385) - There are hardly any lightning spells, but you can combine this with a Lightning dagger. I'd rather +1 to hit over +1d10/tier to crits, but it's a solid pick.

Resonating Dagger (D385) - Identical to Quickbeam Staff above.



Heavy Blades - A solid option for a GISH for the biggger [W]s this offers. WARNING: Gaining implement proficiency is not the same as gaining weapon proficiency so non-hybrids will likely have to spend a second feat on (preferably Superior) Weapon Proficiency to be able to use it as an actual weapon. Sadly there are no superior implement options at this time.

Archetypes: Corruption Templates


1. The Blaster


This build is a straight-up ranged combatant that focus fires on single targets. It uses mobility and retribution and dodge powers/features to discourage targets from firing back and avoid the few attacks directed at it.  The build uses its mobility powers/features to get the Prime Shot bonus when it can. It prefers powers with higher damage over those with more control. Charisma and Intelligence get all of the level up points. King'locks pull this off via the Mindbite Scorn + Killing Curse + Fell Might + Hand of Blight combo which shells out 4d8+stat damage as early as level 2.
Eldritch Pact: Sorcerer-King, Dark
Races: Tiefling, Gnome, Drow, Half-elf, Halfling, Dragonborn, Human, Changeling, Shardmind 
Implement Preference: Staff, Dagger, Rod
Recommended Stat Array: Str 8/10, Con 11, Dex 13, Int 16, Wis 8/10, Cha 16




2. The Steel Cannon a.k.a. The Tank


This build defies the 'glass cannon' stereotype for Strikers. It focus fires on single targets like a typical Striker, but it has no qualms with crossing the front line for a Prime Shot and taking return fire from time to time, taking advantage of high HPs, surges and THPs. It is also the most likely build to spend feats to increase its defenses, especially AC. Many builds specialize in creating lose-lose scenarios where their targets suffer retribution if they attack the Tank, as well as retribution if they don't attack the Tank. This build may double as the party's defender or "off-tank" to make use of it's durability. It prefers powers that increase defense and/or retribution. Con and Int get all of the level up points.
Eldritch Pact: Infernal, Vestige
Races: Revenant, Dwarf, Half-elf, Goliath, Githyanki, Hobgoblin, Kobold, Gnoll, Human, Wilden, Minotaur 
Implement Preference: Heavy Blades, Light Blades, Staff, Rod
Array: Str 8, Con 16, Dex 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 12




3. The Gish


This build is all about getting into the thick of things and mixing melee attacks with close powers. It takes either the Eldritch Strike at-will or the Reaper's Touch feat, and prefers close powers. Like the Tank above, this build is likely to spend feats to boost its defenses in order to survive on the front lines. Items or feats which allow Ranged powers to be used in melee without provoking OAs are highly recommended. The Con based pacts are most popular as they naturally boost survivability in melee, but Cha'locks can work as gishes as well. 
Eldritch Pact: Any
Races: Dwarf, Half-elf, Goliath, Githyanki, Revenant, Hobgoblin, Gnoll, Human, Minotaur, Warforged, Shadar-Kai, Tiefling, Drow 
Implement Preference: Heavy Blades, Light Blades, Pact Weapons, Staff, Rod
Array: Str 13, Con 16, Dex 11, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 10




4. The Puppetmaster


This build focuses on the Controller aspect of the Warlock. It focuses its fire on a single target, but with control effects rather than damage, often effectively removing them from the fight. Damage takes a backseat to control effects, but this build still easily true controllers for single target damage. As a controller, initiative matters more to this build than the others. Cha and Int get all the level up points.
Eldritch Pact: Fey, Star 
Races: Tiefling, Gnome, Drow, Half-elf, Halfling, Dragonborn, Human, Hobgoblin, Changeling, Shardmind 
Implement Preference: Wand, Rod, Orb, Light Blade 
Array: Str 8, Con 13, Dex 14, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 16




5. Mr./Ms. Versatile


This build takes the well rounded approach mixing and matching control effects with straight damage. It picks up Chain proficiency as soon as it can to save it's terrible AC, until then relies on high Con to soak attacks. It varies its powers defense targets, damage types, and control types to have an answer for everything. It prefers powers that don't have Int based riders, as its Int will never be very good, and generally prefers control powers over DPR powers as its DPR will never be that great as Dual Implement Spellcaster is likely out of reach.
Eldritch Pact: Star
Races: Half-elf, Hobgoblin, Goliath, Githyanki, Minotaur, Warforged, Dwarf, Kobold, Gnoll
Implement Preference: Rod, Wand, light blade 
Array: Str 12, Con 16, Dex 10, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 16




6. The Daredevil


Not exactly unique to Warlocks, but this is any build that plans to be bloodied most of the time to take advantage of all of the feats, powers, and items that give you big bonuses while you're bloodied. Damage reduction and dodge powers are essential in order to survive with a half-HP handicap.
Eldritch Pact: Infernal (for the THPs)
Races: Dragonborn, Longtooth Shifter, Dwarf, Goliath, Minotaur 
Implement Preference: Any
Array: Str 10, Con 16, Dex 13, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 11




7. The Bleeder


This is a build which I had previously ignored because of the limitations of relying on ongoing damage (delayed payoff and weakness against elites and solos), but two feats have turned things around completely: Icy Clutch of Stygia and Hellfire Mastery (requires Wizard multiclass). Both feats give you a large damage payout (often higher than the ongoing amounts available) whenever the target saves, making ongoing damage a lose-lose scenario! Now even if the target gets a save before his turn and prevents himself from ever taking any ongoing damage, it just means he takes the big damage from the feat(s) that much sooner!  The challenge with this build is in finding ways to deal ongoing as often as possible.
Eldritch Pact: Dark (they have the most ongoing powers)
Races: Tiefling, Revenant Tiefling (both feats are Tiefling only)
Implement Preference: Any
Array: Str 8, Con 12, Dex 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16




8. The At-Will Optimizer


I hate to have to admit it, but it is very rare for a Warlock encounter power to offer a significant DPR boost over an At-Will, especially considering all of the feat and item support available to boost the effectiveness of At-Wills.  As such, if a Warlock wants to optimize his or her DPR, then he or she should focus on an At-Will. What this does is completely change the value of encounter powers; they become situational back up powers, generally highly control focused to deal with situations where Weakening the BBEG for a turn is more important than dealing 50 damage.  The most popular and effective example of this build focuses on Hellish Rebuke and ways to guarantee the trigger for the second damage roll, but Eldritch Blast and Eldritch Strike can be boosted to extreme levels as well.
Eldritch Pact: Infernal, Any 
Races: Tiefling, Revenant Tiefling, Any
Implement Preference: Dagger, Rod 
Array: Str 8, Con 11/16, Dex 13, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16/11





Sample Builds: Corruption Showcases


Zelendri - L16 LFR build by Alphastream1 using Drow Dark'lock/Hexer


Radiant Hell'lock - L30 DPR build by Squad that uses Hellish Rebuke and Radiant tricks.


Happy Endings - L16 Tiefling Bleeder build centered around Icy Clutch of Stygia and Hellfire Master dealing damage whenever a target saves against ongoing damage.

The Pariah - L30 Vestige'lock build that uses a Spellscarred feat to gain a near permanent autodamaging aura.


Heroic Powers (1st - 3rd)

Level 1, At-Will


Non-pact specific at-wills

Eldritch Blast (PHB)vsREFLEX 1d10 damage isn't terrible but it is a pale comparison to your colleagues' striker at-wills like Twin Strike or Howling Strike. Untyped damage means you don't have to worry about resistance (but also can't buff it easily with feats). And counting as a Ranged Basic Attack means you work well with Warlords and can buff the hell out of this power with certain items and feats. Sadly this offers no control whatsoever.

Eldritch Strike (PHH1)
- vsAC As a 1[W] weapon power, the damage is as good as the weapon you wield. Regardless of weapon though, you slide the target 1 which is actually rather good CONTROL; you can slide someone away so you can flee from melee or you can slide them into flank or into a nearby hazard and much more with feat/item support. And as a Basic Attack like Eldritch Blast, this can very easily be buffed with items and feats, especially since it can be used on a charge. And since it IS a melee basic attack (as opposed to being able to be used in place of a melee basic attack there are even more buffs and perks involved with this power. So much so that there are many builds built around exploiting just this power. That said, for a typical range-focused warlock it is a solid pick as a backup power to use when forced into melee or when you get to make an OA, but for a GISH it is all but mandatory.
 WARNING: This will likely require you to take Arcane Implement Proficiency so you can use a weapliment. NOTE: Shadar-Kai have the option of taking the Reaper's Touch feat instead, which removes the reliance on a weapliment and allows them still to use Eldritch Blast at range, but they lose out on the slide this has to offer and the benefits of wielding an actual weapon.


Dark Pact

Spiteful Glamor (FRPG) - Compared to Eldritch Blast this has pros (vsWILL, deals PSYCHIC damage, and gets to deal d12 damage occasionally) and cons (lacks 'ranged basic' quality).  But the fact that it is so easily compared to Eldritch Blast shows just how redundant it is to have both of them. As such, this power can work best when combined with Eldritch Strike for a solid ranged at-will and a solid melee at-will.


Fey Pact

Eyebite (PHB) - A solid defensive spell via the SOFT CONTROL of becoming invisible to the target meaning the enemy has the choice of ignoring you or taking a -5 penalty to hit you (unless he has area or close attacks in which case the invisibility doesn't matter).  In play it can be a very fun, very appropriate fey themed spell, but at 1d6+Cha it is the weakest damage wise of all of the at-wills. Still it's vsWILL and deals PSYCHIC damage meaning resistance shouldn't be a problem and it can be buffed with Psychic Lock for a total -7 to hit you and -2 to hit anyone else. TIP: In heroic, use before an AP for CA with your big attack.


Infernal Pact

Gift to Avernus (D386) - vsREFLEX 1d10 untyped damage. This is a fabulous upgrade to Eldritch Blast, however WotC made this CHARISMA based at-will as an alternative to Hellish Rebuke not Eldritch Blast.  So this effectively creates a whole new subset of Cha'lock Hell'locks, because this is obviously a terrible option for Con'locks. The article introduced a handful of very good powers with this same theme, so it is a viable build, but don't expect a lot of versatility in your options until more articles come out!  But back to the at-will, the fact that you can reroll a miss in exchange for damaging yourself (conveniently the same amount as the THP your pact boon grants!) effectively gives you Avenger-like accuracy with your at-will. That means this has excellent DPR. However like Spiteful Glamor this makes Eldritch Blast very redundant, so I recommend combining this with Eldritch Strike.

Hellish Rebuke (PHB) - vsREFLEX 1d6 FIRE damage plus defensive SOFT CONTROL of the threat of another 1d6+mods if you take any damage for a round. So it either discourages enemies from attacking you, (WARNING: it only triggers with damage so status-only powers and misses don't count) or doubles your damage output! But what makes this power so popular is that by Late Heroic/early Paragon, there are several ways of forcing the trigger, effectively doubling the damage of this spell, giving you a Twin Strike level DPR power!


Sorcerer King Pact

Hand of Blight (DSCS) - This versatile vsFORT spell can be used as a MELEE TOUCH or RANGED10 power that deals mediocre 1d8+stat NECROTIC and PSYCHIC damage, making it very hard to resist. It doesn't offer any control, instead it has a leader-like DEBUFF of making the target grant CA (to everyone) until the end of your next turn. While your allies might love that, and you too for a while, by late heroic when SWA becomes available, the CA is redundant for you.


Star Pact

Dire Radiance (PHB) - A very similar power to Hellish Rebuke, with a couple things in its favor: RADIANT damage, FEAR keyword, and the SOFT CONTROL threat of another 1d6+mods is more commonly triggered casually by the DM, but also a couple things against it: vsFORT, and most importantly: it's much harder to force the trigger.  At low levels it makes for a good combat opener, as that is when it is most likely you can force the target to trigger the extra damage. But be careful about who you target as the melee only foes often have high Fort defenses, and ranged foes are already within 10 squares when you attack (so move afterwards!). Perhaps the worst part of this power though, is that WotC didn't think to give you the choice of basing this on Charisma instead of Constitution, so for those of you who opted to ditch Con in favor of a Cha/Int Star'lock, this power is dead weight.


Vestige Pact

Eyes of the Vestige (AP) - This vsWILL attack does only 1d6 PSYCHIC but is practically a utility power because it also lets you pick the target or a different creature within 3 of the main target and within the target's LoS and either curse them or deal the curse damage to them instead of the main target.  So this lets you place an extra curse every round (get around the closest enemy as well as LoS restrictions!) or lets you kill a minion while still doing decent damage to a regular monster. SPREADING YOUR CURSE is one of your primary motivations as a Warlock as your power increases as every cursed foe dies, so this is a big boost. But wait there's more! You also get a variable upgrade based on your current active vestige. One of the defaults, King Elidyr, offers a free save to an ally when they hit the target. This is pretty crappy since it effectively requires 2 successful attacks to trigger and the worst conditions that you would want to help an ally save against are the ones that don't let you attack (or at least severly limit your attacks). that ally to hit that same target in order to trigger it (so it effectively requires 2 successful attack rolls to trigger). But the other default, Zutwa, offers a guaranteed Prime Shot bonus against the target for a round. +1 to hit is always good and once Called Shot and other Prime Shot upgrades become available it gets even better.



Level 1, Encounter




Con Based


  • Arms of Hadar (AP) - A party UNFRIENDLY CLOSE BURST2 vR spell that deals 1d8+stat which isn't bad damage for an AoE, and pushes 2 (or 1+INT mod for Star'locks) for control. However the problem with this power is targetting; it is very hard to avoid having any allies within 2 squares of you.  But it is a solid MELEE ESCAPE power to use when forced into melee since most melee monsters have low Reflex.

  • Chains of Levistus (AP) - A great SOFT CONTROL vF spell that deals 2d6+stat COLD damage and then makes the target choose between Immobilization or an extra 2d6+mods damage. And per the PHB3 "move" clarification, if you or an ally can follow up with a forced move, you can force the extra damage! The only down side to this spell is it targets Fort which will be high on most melee-only types.

  • Clarion Call (AP)vF UNFRIENDLY CLOSE BLAST3 deals 3d4+stat THUNDER damage, which is decent for an AoE and deafens, which is pitiful control. Vestige'locks also get 3 THP per hit, which makes it at least somewhat useful.

  • Diabolic Grasp (PHB) - vF 2d8+stat is decent damage but a slide 2 is weak CONTROL. Hell'locks increase the slide distance to 1+INT mod which is much better! COMBO:Damaging zones give you a place to slide the targets in and out of to trigger the damage multiple times!

  • Life Bind (AP) - vR spell that deals solid 2d8+stat damage, but it's NECROTIC so resistance is a problem. For CONTROL it prevents healing and THP gain, and imposes -2 to saves for a round, which sadly are 3 things unlikely to come up at low levels. Vestige'locks get to add their INT mod to damage.

  • Vampiric Embrace (PHB) - vW RANGED5 spell that deals 2d8+stat damage, but it's NECROTIC so resistance is a problem. It also grants 5 THPs, which isn't bad, but isn't spectacular either, and Hell'locks who get to add their INT mod to damage, have to worry about THP overlap.


Cha based


  • Cursebite (FRPG) - vF CLOSEBURST20 deals 2d8+mods damage which is pretty good for an AoE, but it is NECROTIC so resistance is a problem. The catch is that it only targets cursed enemies (though that makes it party FRIENDLY). Basically, if you can SPREAD YOUR CURSE quickly then have fun with this! Dark'locks get to add their INT mod to damage making it a great DPR power. 

  • Darkworm Feast (AP) - vW spell deals only 2d6+stat damage and it's NECROTIC so resistance is a problem, and slows which is mediocre CONTROLDark'locks get to add their INT mod to damage (which is oddly delayed) but they should take Cursebite instead.

  • Dreadful Word (PHB) - RANGED5 vW FEAR spell deals 2d8+stat PSYCHIC is mediocre damage, and a -1 to Will is very unlikely to matter. Star'locks get to add their Int to the penalty which makes a huge difference, but I can only give a high rating if you and your party have strong vs Will attacks, for the NOVA SETUPWARNING: This is only ranged 5, which is awfully close to melee for a Cha'lock and since this targets the same defense it debuffs, it is a catch-22 for hard to hit foes. 

  • Flickering Venom (FRPG) - vR RANGED5 spell deals 2d8+stat FORCE damage, but you get to add your Int to damage as long as you wait for CA (which isn't hard at late heroic thanks to SWA). However the extra damage is POISON, which is very easy to resist, and Ranged 5 is awfully close to melee for a Cha'lock, fortunately Dark'locks get range 10.

  • Glow of Ulban (DA09) - vW RANGED5 deals 2d8+stat RADIANT damage. Star'locks also impose -2 to the target's next save this encounter, but at 1st level that might come up in 1 fight a day. At late heroic it can be worth retraining into when save penalties become more valuable.

  • Grasp of the Iron Tower (D386) - vF spell deals solid 2d10+stat damage, and prevents the target from willing moving closer is rather unimpressive CONTROL, but then we get to the fact this has a MISS EFFECT! In exchange for taking your level in damage, you can make a secondary attack against a different target for half damage, but the same control. So altogether, if you can afford the damage for the reroll, it makes for a decent power. But Hell'locks have it best since their THPs offset the reroll damage perfectly and they get resist all 2+INT mod on a hit as a bonus rider! 

  • Sprite War Call (AP)RANGED5 vR 1d8+stat is terrible damage, but slow plus granting CA for a round is solid CONTROL. The problem is that only 5 squares away slowing doesn't mean much. Fey'locks get range 10.

  • Witchfire (PHB)vR deals low 2d6+stat FIRE damage and -2 to one creature's attacks is a weak DEBUFF, but Fey'locks add their INT mod to the attack penalty which is huge.


Con or Cha


  • Cruel Bounty (DSCS) - vF TOUCH or RANGED5 deals 2d6+stat RADIANT damage and gives your allies (but not you) +1 to attack the target.  Fell Might: ups bonus to +2 to hit and damage, but still selfless, not bad. Overall this is versatile, but weak for a striker power.



Level 1, Daily




Con based


  • Armor of Agathys (PHB) - The 10+INT mod THP this grants is strong at L1 but doesn't scale well. The 1d6+stat AURA COLD damage can add up, but it lacks the Implement keyword so most static mods don't apply, making it scale poorly. It also costs a standard action for zero immediate damage. In the end, gish builds will love it for a few levels, but even they should retrain it by paragon since it scales terribly.

  • Flames of Phlegethos (PHB) - vR deals excellent 3d10+stat plus ONGOING 5 FIRE damage on a hit, but only the ongoing on a miss. Resistance can be a problem, but 1/day you should be okay. Overall you have a solid DPR power, but I highly recommend waiting for a nice accuracy (CA + prime shot ought to do it) bonus before firing this sucker.

  • The Lash's Bite (D382) - vW deals solid 3d10+stat PSYCHIC damage plus removes resistances and immunities save ends on a hit. But on a miss you have to take 5+1/2 level unavoidable damage for a 2nd chance with a +4 to hit, but not until next turn for another standard action and it has to be vs. the same target--which is a terrible deal. So this could help out your party's necrotic/poison/fire/etc. powers which is certainly nice but IMO not that valuable for the life of a level 1 Daily (1st thru 14th). Hell'locks debuff the save but only by 2 and only on the first attempt.

  • Tyranny of Flame (AP)vW deals only 3d6+stat FIRE damage on a hit, but a solid half on a miss. As an effect you knock prone, which is decent CONTROL, but on a hit you force the target to stay prone save ends, which is great as long as you have a few melee allies to capitalize on the CA and lack of shifting. Hell'locks debuff the save by 2.

  • Vestige of Khaeleth (AP) - vR deals only 1d8+stat, but you get to add your INT mod times the number of adjacent allies, which scales well and can be worth it if you have enough allies and Int, but that's too many ifs IMO. Vestige'lock's get defender-like upgrades for Tanks from a new pact boon that gives allies INT mod THPs, and an at-will upgrade that lets you soak damage for allies.

  • Vestige of Mount Vaelis (AP) - vR deals only 2d8+stat THUNDER damage (half on a miss) plus unusual CONTROL which essentially forces the target to shift for any movement (or fly, teleport, etc. but they probably won't apply at this level)--in effect it's a lot like slow.  Vestige'locks get to impose vulnerability 5 Thunder as a new pact boon and the at-will upgrade adds 1d6 thunder, so great synergy!

  • Vestige of Thaxter (D383) - vR deals only 3d6+stat damage (with half on a miss) and you get to shift INT mod squares before or after the attack, but that is it! Vestige'locks get a decent pact boon which lets them hand out +2 to hit for 1 ally, but a crappy at-will upgrade that lets you or an ally shift away when attacked by the target.

  • Vile Brand (D382) - RANGED20 vW FEAR deals solid 3d10+stat PSYCHIC damage and DEBUFFs the target and adjacent monsters but only for -2 to hit. But on a miss you have to take 5+1/2 level unavoidable damage for a 2nd chance with a +4 to hit, but not until next turn for another standard action and it has to be vs. the same target--which is a terrible deal. Hell'locks extend the debuff range to 2 squares away from the target. Ultimately this is a less impressive, but less situational version of The Lash's Bite


Cha Based


  • Contagion (FRPG)vF deals zero initial damage (so no curse damage or static mods!) plus inflicts ONGOING 10 POISON damage, which means that resistance is a big problem. Then if the target manages to fail their save (45% chance at best w/o debuffing!), you get to spread ongoing 5 to enemies within 2 (or within 2+INT mod for Dark'locks) squares. Only massive save penalties make this even worth considering.

  • Crown of Stars (DA09) - vR deals solid 2d12+stat RADIANT damage plus if the target is bloodied you get to add CONTROL in the form of Blindness, although nothing on a miss. The reason for the high rating is the SUSTAIN MINOR that lets you make a vsWILL attack for Cha mod damage for the rest of the encounter. Cha mod damage doesn't seem like much (especially since you don't get to add static mods), but you'd be surprised how much it helps your DPR since you get a second chance to apply your curse damage and it's great for taking out minions to trigger you pact boon. TIP: Use this early in the encounter, to get the most out of the minor action attacks!

  • Curse of the Dark Dream (PHB) - vW CHARM deals solid 3d8+stat PSYCHIC damage and for CONTROL slides 3 squares, but nothing on a miss.  The SUSTAIN MINOR line can be confusing to many players (enough that they've stopped writing powers this way in new books). Basically it means that the target has a save ends condition that while active lets you slide him 1 square 1/round as a sustain minor action. Unfortunately the short distance of the slides limits the usefulness.

  • Decree of Khirad (AP) - FRIENDLY CLOSE BLAST3 vW CHARM which first lets you slide the targets 2 to get them into the position you want them as an effect. On a hit you force an MBA against a target of your choice, and even if the target misses or if you miss, you deal 1d6+stat PSYCHIC damage. Basically this is an AoE dominate-like effect with a consolation prize for misses, and you also get some CONTROL out of the positioning slide, not to mention any conditions the monster MBAs might impose. The downside is that it is a close blast cha'lock power, but once a day I think you can manage the risk. Also, technically you only damage the targets on misses (yours or the enemy's) so it's possible you could miss out on your Curse damage if your DM is a RAW stickler. COMBO: Use this on targets marked by your defender to force their mark punishment!

  • Dread Star (PHB) - vsWILL FEAR deals only 3d6+stat RADIANT damage and for CONTROL it immobilizes but for only 1 round, but nothing on a miss. Then as an Effect DEBUFF it imposes a -2 to the target's Will save ends.  COMBO: With allies' vs. will powers, this can act as a NOVA SETUP

  • Fortune's Reversal (AP) - IMMEDIATE REACTION vW triggers when an enemy crits rolls a save. On a hit this deals 1d8+stat PSYCHIC plus ONGOING 5 plus a -2 save penalty (save ends). On a miss it just does ongoing 5. And thankfully the developers realized that since this triggers during a monster's turn they could save against it before it really had any effect on them, so it specifically states that they have to take the ongoing once before they can attempt a save. Dark'locks get an extra -1 to the save, and Fey'locks get an extra debuff of -2 to attacks but neither make a big enough difference to warrant a higher rating.

  • Prophecy of Zhudun (DA09) - vW FEAR deals only 2d8+stat PSYCHIC, but has impressive CONTROL of dazed save ends as well as effectively -2 to melee/ranged attacks. On a miss it deals half damage, but no debuffs. 

  • Star Shackles (D374) - FRIENDLY CLOSE BURST2 vF deals on 1d6+stat damage and grabs until escape on a hit. Then as a SUSTAIN STANDARD you can deal another 1d6+stat autodamage to anyone still grabbed, then spend a minor action on top of that to attempt to grab a new target within 2 squares of someone still grabbed. Sadly this could be a good power if it were only a Con'lock power, but Cha'locks are generally too fragile to lock themselves in melee and their Fort defense is likely rather easy to beat on an escape attempt. Also if you miss all targets on the initial attack, this does nothing!!

  • Your Glorious Sacrifice (FRPG) - vF first off this gives you the option to deal Cha mod damage to an adjacent ally for +2 to hit. On a hit you deal a solid 3d8+stat (arguably NECROTIC as the power has the keyword but the text does not label the damage) damage and if you made the sacrifice (you did, didn't you?) deals ONGOING POISON damage equal to your Cha mod.  On a miss you still do half damage but lose out on the ongoing. The downsides are poison and necrotic are very common resists/immunities so you need to pick your target carefully and/or pick up something to beat resistance. Dark'locks get to add their INT mod to the ongoing damage making this an extremely good DPR power.


Con or Cha


  • Ashen Scourge (DSCS) - vF TOUCH or RANGED5 deals 2d8+stat FIRE damage and the target grants CA and takes ONGOING 5 NECROTIC on a hit and half damage on a miss. Then as an Effect you pull the target 2 (which is useless if you used this in melee!). Overall, mediocre damage which has 2 resistances to worry about and weak control.



Level 2, Utility




Warlock Utilities

Encounter
Beguiling Tongue
(PHB) - Generally a NONCOMBAT power, but this can help INTIMIDATORS augment Intimidate for the Force a Surrender option.

Caiphon's Leap
(AP)
- A nice defensive power as it both reduces the damage of an attack by your CHA mod and helps you get away with a 2 square TELEPORT.

Devil's Trade
(AP)
- It figures that a Devil would make such a one-sided trade. Only the very worst conditions are worth giving yourself vulnerable 5 to all damage and you can't spend a minor action while affected by them!

Ethereal Stride
(PHB)
- This TELEPORT power can do it all, mobility to get away from trouble, mobility to get into the perfect spot for a close burst, and +2 to defenses to survive either situation. Caiphon's leap provides a more reactionary alternative for Cha'locks, so it depends on your play style. Becomes mostly redundant at L10 for Teleport optimizers.

Fey Bargain (AP) - Now this is a trade worth making. You can usually tell half-way through a fight what kind of status effects (if any) the enemy can throw at you, so as long as they are stuff you can deal with for an extra round this is a good trade. Most fights you won't even get affected by any save ends effects so this becomes a freebie!

Ruinous Phrase (D382) - While I'm sure a lot of fun can be had with this, from a CharOp perspective, it's hard to justify a zero damage standard action for a Striker. Perhaps with a DM that really takes to heart the "learn to say yes" philosophy.

Shadow Veil
(PHB)
- This might have been worth it before the Stealth rules errata that prevented Warlocks from running around hidden all of the time, but now it's worthless.

Spider Scuttle
(FRPG)
- A solid Mobility power. It can offer 2 full turns of serious mobility or 1 turn that you can trigger in an emergency since it is a free action.


Daily
Assassin's Bane (DSCS)
- MINOR This creates a big close burst 3 FRIENDLY ZONE that blocks enemies from gaining any concealment, shifting and even teleporting! That is crazy good CONTROL (your defender's will love you!) and ironically becomes more valuable at higher levels. And for a SUSTAIN MINOR it lasts all encounter.


Charm of Hearts
(D382) - 
+2 to all defenses and immunity to OAs for one encounter/day is very powerful for a level 2 utility! The catch is that the SUSTAIN MINOR eats up your minor action, and since you should be using your move action to trigger Shadowwalk (which itself effectively grants you +2 to all defenses), that means which you will have a hard time spreading that lovely curse of yours around while this is on. So it is best in solo fights. Gishes will love this regardless since it lets them use their ranged powers in melee with impunity.

Eyes of the Spider Queen
(AP)
- If you already have Low-light (or even Darkvision for you Drow) half of the power is kind of useless. The point blank see invisibility is the equivalent of an Epic feat, but it's a feat that I don't recommend except for gishes, and at heroic invisible enemies are very rare.

Fevered Certainty of Caiphon
(DA09)
- 2 turns per day of a moderate skill bonus? Sure this applies to all skill checks in that time but how many is that likely to be? Pass.

Fiendish Resilience (PHB) - 5+Con is a pitiful amount of THP for a Daily. And I get the impression that WotC tends to forget that THP don't stack because this is worst for a Hell'lock since this won't stack with their pact boon.




Level 3, Encounter




Con based


  • Cloud of Flies (AP) - vF deals only 2d6+stat ACID damage and grants CA. This is outshined by Frigid Darkness which offers slightly more damage and a more popular damage type. However, Hell'locks + Vestige'locks get the CA even on a miss, so they're better off with this unless they need that fear keyword or want the cold damage for frostcheeze.

  • Fiery Bolt (PHB) - vR deals 3d6+stat FIRE damage plus deals 1d6+stat splash damage to adjacent creatures for a solid DPR power. The only things keeping this from sky blue are the Hell'lock rider adding INT mod to the splash damage instead of the primary target, the fact that the splash is party unfriendly, and fire resistance concerns.

  • Fortune Binding (AP) - vF deals 2d8+stat PSYCHIC damage plus a potentially truly tide-turning effect of immediately transfering one save ends condition from yourself to the target. Unfortunately, at low levels getting hit with a save ends effect is rare (certainly not every encounter). Vestige'locks get to add their INT mod to damage, making it a solid DPR power. COMBO: With the L10 utility, Destiny Inversion, all you need is be damaged, then you trigger DI converting the damage to ongoing damage, then on your next turn you'll take the damage once (so you effectively take half damage) and then you use this power to inflict the ongoing damage on your target! Thanks to blipdroolploop for discovering this combo!

  • Frigid Darkness (PHB) - vF FEAR deals 2d8+stat COLD damage and grants CA for a round. A very similar power to Cloud of Flies, it deals slightly more damage and has the fear keyword and cold instead of acid damage. In the end I have to give it a higher default rating for the small damage edge and feat options from cold damage. Star'locks get a rider that makes it a no brainer for setting up an ally's nova.

  • Vestige's Calamity (AP) - vR Against a cursed target this deals 2d8+stat+INT mod COLD FIRE LIGHTNING and THUNDER damage, making it easy to trigger vulnerabilities and subject to a lot of upgrade feats/items. Vestige'locks, get to do the Int damage to adjacent creatures as well as their rider, but considering that it doesn't distinguish friend from foe it's a pretty crappy bonus.  



Cha based


  • Delban's Deadly Attention (AP) - IMMEDIATE INTERRUPT to being hit CLOSE BURST4 vW deals 1d8+stat NECROTIC damage plus another 1d8 or halves the damage (attacker's choice). The only thing holding this back is dealing with resistance. Star'locks get the INT mod to the extra damage making this a great DPR power.

  • Eldritch Rain (PHB) - vR deals 1d10+stat; basically a 2 target version of Eldritch Blast. Fey'locks get to add INT mod to damage, but it's still not great.

  • Hands of Ihbar (DA09) - vW deals 2d12+stat COLD damage, which is solid for DPR and even slows for some CONTROL. Star'locks get to debuff cold resistance (save ends!) which is great for frostcheeze.

  • Lure of Minauros (D386) - vW FEAR deals 1d10+stat PSYCHIC and forces the target to make an MBA (even against itself!). By default this is decent but not great DPR since it requires 2 successful attack rolls, but it does scale very well. On a miss you get to exchange your level in damage for a reroll for half damage against a different target, which is only worth the trade if you have HP to spare. Hell'locks who get a retaliation rider on a hit, and also have the THP to fuel the reroll. COMBO: Use this to force an enemy to violate a Defender's mark for a possible triple hit!

  • Otherwind Stride (PHB) - vF CLOSE BURST1 deals 1d8+stat damage and Immobilizes, which is great CONTROL for an AoE. WARNING: This can be a real trap since a Cha'lock really does not want to get themselves surrounded, and you are targetting Fort (generally the highest NAD for melee types). Still the TELEPORT escape is an Effect, so you can try to set this up with an Ethereal Stride into trouble, blast this and get the hell out. Fey'locks get to add their INT mod to the teleport distance which adds up to a VERY long teleport (enough that this can be used as a great out of combat utility!). COMBO: Follow this up with a damaging zone like Hunger of Hadar for 2 guaranteed rounds of damage. (credit to Crimson Lancer). Feytouched/Long Night Scions/Tiefling Hellfire Teleporters get auto damage on top and will likely get a crazy long teleport out of this.

  • Pipes of Winter (AP) - vF RANGED5 deals only 2d6+stat COLD plus immobilization, which is solid CONTROL. But it's another short range Cha'lock power and it targets Fort so the melee monster that you could effectively stun with this is resistant. Fey'locks get to slow adjacent enemies as well, which will occasionally come up and be useful.

  • Shared Agony (AP) - vW deals a solid 2d12+stat PSYCHIC damage. But the best part is that on a miss, you can sacrifice 10 HP for a second chance to hit, so with 2 chances to hit for solid damage, you get a great DPR power.  10 damage is a lot for most Cha'locks at 3rd level but that diminishes with time and you don't have to reroll it. Dark'locks even get to reduce the cost of the reroll.

  • Upsetting Onslaught (FRPG) - vW deals only 1d8+stat damage, but for CONTROL it dazes. Now the target can negate the daze but only by taking an extra 2d8+mods damage. So this becomes either very high DPR powers or a low damage power with good control. The Dark'lock rider is a joke for the most part though, unless you know you're targetting a low fort, high will controller.

  • Your Delicious Weakness (FRPG) - vR deals only 2d6+stat PSYCHIC, but it automatically triggers vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities are rare thing, so generally this will just be a generic 2d6 to a single target spell, which is way behind other DPR powers which aren't so situational. 
 

Con or Cha


  • Sinister Extraction (DSCS) - vW TOUCH or RANGED5 deals 1d10+stat PSYCHIC damage and the next ally to hit in melee gains INT mod THPs. Fell Might: Lets the ally trigger on any attack, which is very weak IMO. Overall, weak damage and a very weak rider that requires 2 successful attacks to trigger equals a terrible power.


Heroic Powers (continued)

Level 5, Daily




Con based


  • Avernian Eruption (PHB) - vR UNFRIENDLY AREA BURST1 deals only 2d10+stat FIRE damage, then as an Effect deals ONGOING 5. Overall it makes a decent situational DPR power that is useful when enemies are bunched up w/o allies in the area. 

  • Blistering Torrent (D382) - vF UNFRIENDLY CLOSE BLAST3 deals only 2d10+stat NECROTIC and deafens until the end of the encounter. Deafening is nigh useless, so only Hell'locks who get to slow (save ends) should even consider this.

  • Hellsworn Blessing (D382) - You spend your standard action to do zero damage in order to add 2d8 FIRE damage and +2 to hit to an ally for the rest of the encounter. That is a big buff, but unless you use this power early in an encounter, it may take a while for the DPR boost this offers to catch up to the zero DPR you did for a turn. I will say that the exception is if you happen to have a TWF Ranger ally, since with their consistent multiattacks the rate of return doubles. The Hell'lock rider is almost useless since if fire resistance helps your ally, then the extra fire damage he's dealing is probably getting resisted.

  • Tyrannical Threat (AP) - vW FRIENDLY CLOSE BURST3 deals only 1d10+stat PSYCHIC, but it also SPREADS YOUR CURSE on a hit. On a miss you just do half damage, except for Hell'locks who get to curse on a miss as well. Then as an Effect you get to retaliate INT mod damage whenever attacked. Overall, this is a solid utility spell especially for gishes and tanks.

  • Vestige of Baatar (D383) - vF deals only 2d6+stat plus ONGOING 5 damage, but if they fail their first save then they fall unconscous! On a miss it only does half damage and slows (save ends). So with an accuracy boost and a save debuff, this has a lot of potential, but that's 2 big ifs. Vestige'locks get a solid pact boon that prevents 1 target from shifting or charging, which your Defenders will love, and an at-will upgrade that effectively adds a slide 1 to all subsequent hits for a round. 

  • Vestige of Ugar (AP) - vR UNFRIENDLY AREA BURST2 deals only 1d10+stat FIRE damage, but as a Effect it creates a DAMAGING ZONE that deals another 1d10+stat whenever a creature enters or starts their turn in the zone (as well as cancel concealment!). Overall it is a good alternative to Hunger of Hadar. This does less auto damage, but actually deals a little upfront damage, it's bigger, it has a slightly better damage type, and it doesn't require you to sustain it. But probably my favorite part is this spell doesn't block line of sight meaning your party can continue to shoot at enemies stuck in the zone. Again COMBO: Any forced movement, including Flitting Shadows, can be used to force people back into the zone for more damage. But Vestige'locks have it best, as they gain the ability to move the zone 3 squares as their new pact boon and get a situational at-will upgrade that cancels concealment.

  • Vestige of Xandor (AP) - vW deals only 2d6+stat PSYCHIC plus a status effect that lets the target choose each round between ONGOING Con mod x2 damage or being dazed. Unfortunately, it will always choose whichever affects it the least, and if it does choose to be dazed you lose half of the benefits for the first turn (gaining CA, can't make OAs or use immediate actions) because it doesn't become dazed until the start of its turn. The one perk is that on a miss it deals a full 2d6+stat and dazes for a round, which is a great miss effect. Vestige'locks get to roll a save or gain Con mod THPs as their pact boon and deal an extra 1d8 psychic as their at-will upgrade are worth it almost by themselves. 


Cha based


  • Crackling Fire (AP) - This probably would have been better if it were Con based; a close blast offensive spell is dangerous for a Cha'lock since you shouldn't be moving towards melee. Low damage, no control, and requires your party to follow up with fire or lightning attacks to get anything out of it. Con'locks have quite a bit of fire spells, but Cha'locks not so much, and neither have many lightning spells!

  • Crown of Madness (PHB) - Pitiful damage for a daily plus a pseudo-dominate sustain effect is fun and flavorful but mechanically terrible. Per the RAW you can't sustain a power on the round that you cast it, so you can't make the target attack until after it attempts its first save. And on top of that you still have to hope that he is adjacent to another enemy since you don't get to move him and a smart/cruel DM will make sure his allies stay away!

  • Curse of the Bloody Fangs (PHB) - An Implement power that targets AC?? *sigh* On the upside, sustain attack should let you apply your static mods, which makes for a very damaging friendly AoE. But the fact that it is a save ends sustain, makes it extremely unreliable (and confusing!).

  • Forceful Assault (FRPG) - Now we're talking! Solid damage and nice control! And even a solid damage type for a change from this Dark Pact power. Dark'locks even get a nice range bump.

  • Lure of Gibbeth (AP) - 2d10+Cha with half on a miss is mediocre damage but a decent size pull effect and the ability to keep pulling the target for the rest of the fight is solid control. While you can't really use it to pull someone into range (since there are very few spells you can get with longer range than 10), since pulls simply have to move the target 1 square closer to you, you can still use this to pull a target into a pit or zone between the two of you even if it isn't directly between you.  Also it's useful to help out a defender with stickiness problems or to deal with a flying enemy.

  • Twilight of the Soul (FRPG) - Reliable means that you will get full effect out of the spell, but you may waste a standard action or two in the meantime (which kills your DPR). And this relies on ongoing necrotic damage to do the bulk of its damage which is hard to count on. Only worth it for Dark'locks who get to debuff the save.

  • Venomous Webs (AP) - The initial damage is weak, but acid is at least hard to resist and save ends combat advantage is a great boost to your party's offense. The effect actually provides decent control as you force them to choose between immobilization and ongoing damage, however immobilization is best used against melee foes who will have high Fort. Combine with zones for 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' fun.

  • Well of Death (D372) - 2d8 is crappy damage, but 4d8 is great damage, so this is only worth it if you get an ally to donate a surge and 95% of the time someone in the party has at least 1 surge to spare.  But be warned, this scales negatively with level as the HP in a surge increases while 2d8 stays the same. 


Works for either


  • Flames of the Smoking Crown (DSCS) - vR TOUCH or RANGED5 inflicts a save ends condition that deals ONGOING 5 FIRE and slides INT mod squares at the start of the target's turn, and then spreads the ongoing to adjacent enemies! Then as an Effect it deals 1d10+stat fire damage, which is solid DPR although strict RAW means you can't deal curse damage with this. Overall this is a very solid power, but you really want to hit for that awesome status effect, so wait for high accuracy. 

  • Fury of Gibbeth (DA09) - This is a fully Int based spell (with a +2 to hit), so those of you with decent 2ndary scores can do well with this, and those of you with Int as a 2nd primary stat will love the free accuracy boost. The control effect oddly requires an acrobatics check based on your Charisma. It seems to work out to about a 50/50 chance depending on the Dex of the monster, less if the monster happens to actually be trained in acrobatics (very rare).

  • Hunger of Hadar (PHB) - Automatic damage is very potent especially with the "enter or start their turn" language since you can potentially damage them multiple times per round, but this power sadly lacks any way of moving the zone and it blocks line of sight so you need ways to force enemies to move through the zone after the 1st round and those in the zone are invisible to you making it difficult to attack them. Basically if you are in a push-heavy party or if you have the Flitting Shadows feat, you will love this power! The sustain attack is gravy if you're Con based.


Level 6, Utility




Encounter

Fate's Frayed Thread (D382) - IMMEDIATE REACTION SPREADING YOUR CURSE as a reaction to being missed is handy for cursing that ranged artillery or leader that is hiding behind his allies, or just saving a minor action. The fact that it gives them a -2 to hit is pretty worthless unless they make multiple attacks, but gaining CA is always nice (until it becomes redundant with SWA).

Fey Switch (PHB)
- MOVE Getting to swap places with an ally within 10 via a TELEPORT can be surprisingly useful both defensively and offensively, but it is situational.

Life Siphon
(AP)
- IMMEDIATE REACTION Getting to buff yourself with +2 to hit every encounter is not as flashy as Dark One's Own Luck rerolling once after you miss with an important roll, but for long work days this will probably turn more misses into hits. Hell'locks get THPs which is a nice perk, but not great since the THPs won't stack with their pact boon. Dark'locks however get actual free healing out of the deal, which makes it a great pick.

Racing Fire of Ulban
(AP)
- Why is this level 6? It's comparable to (though still not as good as) Ethereal Stride. 

Shadowslip (FRPG) - IMMEDIATE REACTION Getting to TELEPORT CHA mod squares when missed is a great escape/mobility power.

Spider Climb
(PHB)
- see Spider Scuttle at level 2 instead.

Unspeakable Bond
(D382)
- IMMEDIATE INTERRUPT Spreading damage around is useful in an of itself. Adding a big buff of +2 to hit and +5 to damage (and +2 to Defenses if you're a Hell'lock) to the ally for a round on top of that is just awesome.


Daily

Dark One's Own Luck (PHB) - FREE Getting to reroll any d20 roll is very versatile, but sadly there is nothing ensuring that you won't fail the second roll as well.

Mercurial Form (AP) - MINOR Immunity to marks, most squeezing, and grabs for 1 encounter/day is too situational for my taste.

Red Leeches of Nihal (DA09) - IMMEDIATE INTERRUPT Getting a surge worth of THP in response to an ally or an enemy spending an AP or a surge is a great defensive power!

Rending Fear of Khirad (DA09) - STANDARD This is basically a ritual disguised as a utility power. Can be great in the right campaign, but too situational for most.

Sand Shape (DSCS) - MINOR You gain insubstantial plus pseudo-phasing as a SUSTAIN MINOR, but you can't attack so it's basically highly situational or non-combat.

Shroud of Black Steel (PHB) - MINOR -2 speed isn't that bad for Warlocks, except for gishes and tanks, who ironically would most benefit from the +2 AC and +2 Fort.

Spider Queen's Caress
(AP)
- MINOR Needing a save bonus for more than a round or two is very situational and you still don't have stealth in class! Dark'locks who've picked up the stealth skill can make it work for a ninja build.

Level 7, Encounter




Con based


  • Acrid Decay (AP) - vF deals only 1d12+stat ACID and NECROTIC which is decent for a 2-TARGET power, but double typed damage doesn't make up for a complete lack of control or significant damage. Vestige'locks add a -2 to hit penalty to both targets, but it's still weak.

  • Hero's Arrow (AP) - vR deals only 2d8+stat, but it heals an ally adjacent to your target. Healing ain't your role, but INT mod surge free HPs every encounter is nothing to scoff at. Vestige'locks can heal multiple adjacent allies, which can be great in the right party.

  • Howl of Doom (PHB) - vF FEAR UNFRIENDLY CLOSE BLAST3 deals 2d6+stat THUNDER, which is decent damage for an AoE, and pushes 2, which is decent CONTROL and a decent escape power.  COMBO: Draconic Arrogance or Iron Vanguard let you damage on a push, which makes this a solid DPR power. COMBO: Damaging zones give you somewhere nice to push everyone. Hell'locks get extra push distance, which helps especially with the zone combo.

  • Infernal Moon Curse (PHB) - vF deals only 2d8+stat POISON, but solid CONTROL of immobilizing 1 square off the ground. This won't prevent a melee target from being able to attack, but it will help your melee allies reach a flying monster (credit to Veleria)! Hell'locks get to add their INT mod to damage. Overall, I wouldn't take this power for DPR since you have to worry about resistance, but it's a handy control power that gets better at high levels when flying enemies become more common.

  • Mordant Rains of Dis (AP) - vR deals only 1d6+stat ACID damage, but it blinds the target for a round. Weaker than Cha'locks' Mire the Mind, but still a solid CONTROL power. Hell'locks get to deal INT mod splash damage to adjacent enemies, which sweetens the deal a bit.



Cha based


  • All the Sand, All the Stars (AP) - vW UNFRIENDLY CLOSE BLAST3 deals 2d6+stat PSYCHIC, which is decent for an AoE, and dazes, which is fantastic CONTROL for AoE! WARNING: this is another close Cha'lock power, meaning don't overextend yourselfand get yourself killed. Star'locks get to add their INT mod to damage.

  • Deathboon (FRPG) - vR+2 deals 2d8+stat NECROTIC, but if you can manage to kill the target with this attack you get +1d8 damage with your next attack. This is accurate, but unless you target a minion (in which case you are wasting an encounter power to kill a minion and gain a small damage bonus next time if that attack hits as well), you have to know the monster is practically dead and then you still have to hit consecutively to gain the benefit. Dark'locks can triggering the damage bonus by bloodying the monster, but that is actually harder to predict.

  • Death's Commands (FRPG) - Undead specific rider effects on a power that deals necrotic? *facepalm*

  • Far Realm Phantasm (DA09) - vW FEAR deals only 1d6+stat PSYCHIC, but then has amazing CONTROL of forcing the target to waste its next standard action, which is better control than dazing (although you lose out on the CA and no immediate actions). COMBO: Because it specifically says the target "makes an attack" against the empty air, by RAW this will trigger most defender's marks making this a solid DPR power! (credit to EFinley for discovering this) Star'locks also add a -2 debuff to their Will.

  • Influence of Acamar (DA09) - vR deals solid 3d8+stat NECROTIC and pulls Cha mod squares, which is solid CONTROL and respectable DPR. WARNING: this has a restriction that you must target the nearest enemy, so I recommend starting an encounter with this to set up your melee allies. The Star'lock get range 20, but with the targetting restriction, that will very rarely help.

  • Lash of the Long Night (D374) - vF deals only 2d6+stat COLD but has great CONTROL of slow (save ends). For Fey'locks adding a 1+INT mod push makes this practically save ends stun to a melee foe (although they are resistant since it targets Fort)!

  • Mire the Mind (PHB) - vW deals only 1d10+stat PSYCHIC, but high CONTROL as you you effectively blind the target. The Fey'lock rider of +INT mod to stealth checks is kinda build specific, but it can allow you hide from the target all encounter!

  • Nypacian Serpents (AP) - vR deals only 2d8+stat intial damage but as long you or one of your allies can damage it again by the end of your next turn you deal an extra INT mod POISON damage. The fact that the extra damage is delayed, conditional and easy to resist makes this a weak power. Fey'locks, get double their Int from the 2nd hit, which makes it worth it.

  • Pain to Pleasure (D386) - vR but lets you roll twice like an Avenger and deals 1d10+stat FIRE if 1 roll hits and 2d10+stat if both hit, plus you heal INT mod if at least 1 hits! Then you also get a 2nd CHANCE if you manage to miss both times for half damage, but still full healing. All of the conditional rolls make calculating the DPR very difficult but as best I can tell this is inferior to the L3 power, Shared Agony, but still better than other level 7 DPR powers. Hell'locks have it best since their THP offsets the reroll cost and they also get to add their Cha mod to the free healing.

  • Shadow Strangler (AP)vR deals only 2d8+stat and -2 to attack rolls is a very weak debuff especially considering Sign of Ill Omen below. But Dark'locks get to do Int damage for every attack roll they make which is awesome against Brutes, Elites, and Solos who get multiple attacks.

  • Sign of Ill Omen (PHB) - vW deals only 2d6+stat but it forces the target to roll twice and take the lower, which is a fabulous DEBUFF! Star'locks add an INT mod hit penalty on top, which all but guarantees the target will miss.


Con or Cha


  • Sorcerer-King's Decree (DSCS) - vR TOUCH or RANGED5 deals only 2d8+stat LIGHTNING plus pushes the target and adjacent enemies INT mod squares, which is great CONTROL. Fell Might: You also deal INT mod damage to the adjacent enemies.



Level 9, Daily




Con based


  • Brood of Hadar (DA09) - Another power with a built-in accuracy bonus (in this case basically just makes up for it targetting Fort), this offers mediocre necrotic damage. The rider is mostly worthless due to the hard to predict trigger and the fact that the secondary attack uses Charisma!

  • Feast of Souls (AP) - A nice zone power. The initial attack is rather low on damage, but very high on control. But then you get a nice auto DAMAGING ZONE that is also difficult terrain and doesn't hinder your attacks. But the best part is you can finally move it at-will, even if 2 squares is not far.

  • Infectious Curse (D382) - Crappy damage, vs. Fort, and a weird rider effect that either gives you the utility of spreading your curse or controls the enemy not to bunch up with his friends. I only recommend it for Hell'locks due to the long distance slide they add on. 

  • Iron Spike of Dis (PHB) - 3d10 is mediocre damage, but save ends immobilization is solid control, but be careful as you only do half damage and no immobilization on a miss.

  • Ooze Incarnate (D375) - This gives you a long shift that lets you move through enemies spaces, attacking creatures whose spaces you shift through.  The damage isn't great since it does no damage on a miss, but it's not bad considering this is essentially an unusual AoE power--and it is essentially party friendly since you choose your path. You also get to push each creature 1 square, hit or miss, so pushers (especially Iron Vanguards) will like this. The one downside is it requires you to get in close, but for a Con'lock that's not a big deal and gishes will love it.

  • Summons of Khirad (PHB) - 2d10+mods w/ no damage on a miss is terrible for this level, but a repeatable attack teleports isn't bad since you can teleport enemies up into the air and cause them to fall. However since they get to save against this it only works 45% of the time at best.  So if you are in a zone-happy party (or just like to gamble) this can be nice, otherwise I don't recommend it.

  • Vestige of Ilmeth (AP) - Crappy damage plus a decent anti-mark does not make a good power. As usual, only Vestige'locks should bother for the mediocre pact boon upgrade, and decent at-will upgrade.

  • Vestige of the Onyx Queen (D383) - vF UNFRIENDLY CLOSE BLAST3 deals only 2d8+stat POISON damage, but petrification (save ends) with immobilization (save ends) as an aftereffect is crazy good CONTROL, especially for an AoE. Vestige'locks get a pact boon which imposes a -2 Fort penalty to 1 monster, which is very conditional considering that it helps out powers that most players (rightly) avoid. They also get an at-will upgrade which boosts your DPR via +1d10 poison damage.

  • Vestige of Shax (AP) - Same damage as Ilmeth above but you get to affect a close blast 3 and knock prone as an effect. Unfortunately it is another close pushing power that targets Fort, so this is only really for pusher builds. Vestige'locks get a situational pact boon (remember you don't have to change it when you use the power), and a nice at-will upgrade especially for pusher builds.


Cha based


  • Consuming Ray (D372) - Compared to the level 5 power, Well of Death, you do 1d8 more damage, but now you have to supply the surge rather than an ally, and as a Cha'lock you may not have any to spare.

  • Curse of the Black Frost (PHB) - Because you add static mods again for each separate damage roll, this can do a lot of damage via the condition 1d8 damage as well as the sustainable 2d8 damage. However, this extra damage is contingent on the target failing his save, so if you can debuff the save, it is amazing, but otherwise it is quite possible to do zero damage with this daily.

  • Death's Fond Caress (FRPG) - 3d10 is only mediocre damage, but it is the best Cha'locks can get at this level. It is reliable so you will get full value out of it, but you may waste a standard action or two in the meantime, which kills your DPR. Dark'locks finally get to unleash necrotic damage without consequences!

  • Horrifying Hatching (AP) - Here is another power that is only worth it if you are in a party that can reliably debuff saves. The Dark'lock trade of 2d10+Int to end the ongoing 10 is a safer bet unless you can debuff the save. The Fey'lock trade is a joke unless there is a nasty zone or cliff 3 squares away.

  • Ring of Pain (FRPG) - This does decent damage up front (though nothing on a miss), targets Will, and deals hard-to-resist psychic damage.  As usual, I will warn you not to rely on the rider effect of the ongoing damage spreading since it can only happen once and has only a 45% chance of doing so unless you can debuff the save. Dark'locks get to add their Int to the ongoing damage(s).

  • Storm Countess's Kiss (AP) - This spell actually moves the target outside of melee reach for most monsters and restrains him, so great control for melee foes. The initial damage is a joke, but at least it is something so you can add your curse damage. And once the target saves you get to inflict 1d10 falling damage, knock him prone and slide him 2 squares. WARNING: the miss effect sucks and it targets Fort so the melee only foes will be the hardest to hit. Fey'locks get to move them up higher which means you can guarantee they'll be out of melee reach and the falling damage goes way up.

  • Thief of Five Fates (PHB) - This deals zero damage (so no curse damage!) with this power. And as for the debuff: when your target rolls low you will most likely outroll him, but if he rolled low he probably would have failed the roll anyway, when he rolls high you will most likely not outroll him and that's when he'll hit. 


con or cha


  • Kalak's Burning Sands (DSCS) - vW TOUCH or RANGED5 deals 2d8+stat FIRE plus knocks prone and can't stand but gains cover (save ends). If they fail their save then it upgrades to ONGOING 5 fire plus removed from play (save ends), which is great CONTROL but low damage. On a miss you just deal half damage and immobilize for a round, which is quite a drop off, so wait for high accuracy.



Level 10, Utility


Warlock Utilities

Accursed Souls (D372) - Wow this is a great upgrade to your pact boon for an encounter, and can even cause a chain reaction among cursed minions!

Ambassador Imp (PHB) - Another power which should have just been a ritual. Most wouldn't take this at 2nd level, let alone 10th.

Bond of Brotherhood (AP) - Woot! Free healing! The trigger for this is easy: odds are if you're hurt so is someone else and this lets your leader get a 2-for-1. Even better if you can manage to mimic the defender's massive surge amount.

Brimstone Caress (D382) - This is sheer utility and a lot of fun I think. Best if your allies resist fire though (since it doesn't have any language saying the damage can't be resisted). Hell'locks tack on a nice defense boost.

Curse of Nessus (AP) - A nice consolation prize! And you're finally high enough level where a save debuff could actually be used every encounter!

Darkest Mirror (FRPG) - Very situational power. Still since it's an encounter power that lasts the whole encounter but can be ended early with a minor action it's got a lot going for it. In the end it's campaign/adventure specific.

Destiny Inversion (AP) - On average save ends effects last 1.5 rounds on a PC, so barring bad luck this is definitely a net gain. But I would recommend this power for those in parties that can easily give out-of-turn saving throws, since they can possibly cheat the damage altogether. Be warned this only affects damage, you still get the full status effect of the attack. NOTE: See the Lvl 3 Con-based power, Fortune Binding, for a nasty combo these two make!

Ethereal Sidestep (PHH1) - By default this is just a shift that breaks grabs and ignores terrain, but if you can boost the teleport distance (via the Arcane Wisp familiar, Eladrin boots, Ring of Retreat, etc.) your mobility goes through the roof. Feytouched, Long Night Scions and Evermeet Warlocks swear by this power.

King's Step (DSCS) - IMMEDIATE REACTION Flying away with insubstaniality after being missed is a very weak escape power when compared to Caiphon's Leap at L2. But this also let's you curse the target so it's got its uses.

Shadowform (PHB) - Nice defense but at the cost of basically all of your offense? No thanks. 

Shielding Shades (PHB) - Very similar to Destiny Inversion above, except this guaranteedly cancels 100% of the damage from one attack, but this is usable only once a day. So if you that tend to have 3 or less combat encounters per day, then this is a better choice than DI.

Transcendant Dance (AP) - Errata to the rescue again!  Now that this is based on Int instead of Dex, it actually has some use! I'm still not impressed though, since it is rare to need that much speed and/or save bonus on a ranged striker.

Troublesome Aid of Caiphon (DA09) - A free surge every encounter is huge but if it does come with a scary trade off! You have to be bloodied to get the full effect, that means you have to be getting bloodied most encounters to be worth it, and if you are taking that much of a beating on a regular basis then you can really get screwed over by the death save headstart. So this is really only for Tanks who don't mind living a little dangerously.

Warlock's Leap (PHB) - Incredibly weak for a daily. Ignoring the LOS restriction doesn't mean much for such a short range teleport. 
 
Heroic Feats: Corruption Customizations

Heroic Tier - General


General feats and Warlock Class feats


  • Accursed Coordination (AP) - Thanks to the PHB clarification that a target doesn't have to be cursed by you, just cursed, in order to apply your curse damage, this is a total waste.

  • Allegiance to the Daughter (D382) - Infernal Pact - Creating mini Firewalls out of your victim's corpses can be a lot of fun, but most of the time 1 square is easy to avoid, and don't forget it isn't party-friendly.

  • Arcane Implement Proficiency (AP) - Not everyone needs to take this since there are certainly some good rods and wands out now, but there are certainly some tempting items made available via this feat. Consider also many multiclass feats now grant proficiency in the other class’s implements. 

  • Armor Proficiency (PHB) - Now that we have SWA, upgrading your armor is far less tempting. So this is mostly for a SPLIT’LOCK upgrading to Chain to offset their terrible Dex/Int bonuses, and for TANK builds who want all the AC they can get.

  • Beguiling Enchantment (PHB3) - For a FEY’LOCK this is a lesser version of Psychic Lock, available 10 levels earlier, and it stacks!

  • Bloodied Boon (D384) - This is a game-changing feat. This speeds up when you get boons and can potentially double the amount of boons you get in an encounter. My favorite part though, is that now you at least get 1 useful boon in Solo enounters!

  • Brutal Curse (D384) - This is half as good as Killing Curse and so completely inferior. However, it does boost your DPR a little, so this might eventually be worth a feat.

  • Cruel Whimsy (D381) - Fey Pact – Getting to shift when an enemy saves against one of your powers is very weak.

  • Curse of Displacement (D384) - This is a pretty mediocre crit benefit, but teleport buffs do get more mileage out of it.

  • Cursed Shot (D384) - This can allow you to hide behind the defender while still gaining Prime Shot, which is certainly a lot safer.

  • Dark Thaumaturgy (D382) - Ritual Caster - Wow, this non-combat feat will make your Wizard jealous.

  • Daughter's Promises (D382) - Infernal Pact - The range of the "attack" is extremely short, but I still think this is a worthy upgrade for anyone except for tanks.

  • Deadly Draw (PHB3) - For ELDRITCH STRIKE users, this is easy CA.

  • Devil's Favor (D382) - Infernal Pact - Only for Dwarves who have plenty of other healing.

  • Diminishing Spirit Curse (D381) - Vestige Pact - A -2 penalty to a single save, and it's conditional? Yuck.

  • Dooming Action (AP) – Getting to deal curse damage again on an AP would be excellent errata to the wording of Warlock's Curse, but as a feat? You can generally do better.

  • Dual Implement Spellcaster (AP) - Req Dex 13 – Only control specialists can afford to skip this major boost to DPR. Don't take it until level 6 or so since it'll likely be while before you can afford an offhand implement. You'll see it referenced a lot in this guide, so I'm abbreviating it as DIS.

  • Durable (PHB) - Cha'locks could certainly use the staying power.

  • Echoes of Thunder (PHB2) - A nice untyped bonus that just requires you to hit with a THUNDER power to trigger a bonus to all damage rolls for the next turn. It's best if you can just keep spamming thunder powers, so consider Arcane Admixture.

  • Empowering Shadows (AP) - If only this scaled with level, you can do a lot better than a conditional +1 damage.

  • Exultant Shadow Step (D384) - Another mediocre crit benefit that is a little better for teleport buffs.

  • Focused Mind (PHB3) – +4 to save vs daze/stun is a solid upgrade to Superior Will.

  • Glasya's Rebuke (D382) - Infernal Pact, Hellish Rebuke – Getting to deal 5 to another enemy (i.e. pop a minion for a boon!) is a solid upgrade for Hellish Rebuke optimizers. 

  • Great Fortitude/Lightning Reflexes/Iron Will (E:HFL) – Only +1 above Improved Defenses, which is just not worth a feat.

  • Grounding Shot (PHB3) - Normally the enemy being prone sucks for ranged characters like you, since instead of gaining CA like your melee allies, you actually get -2 to hit. This makes prone good for you too.

  • Hafted Defense (PHB3) - +1 AC & Reflex for Glaive'lock gishes.

  • Headsman's Chop (PHB3) - Req AIP (H Blades) - Combined with Grounding Shot, this makes prone enemies very vulnerable to you.

  • Hellbound Heart (D382) - Infernal Pact – Take Heat Adaptation if you want fire resist.

  • Hidden Sniper (E:HFK) – A great alternative to SWA, which is available immediately (and works on non-cursed targets), but only applies to ranged attacks.

  • Impending Victory (PHB3) - Buffing and spamming your at-wills is one of the best ways to boost Warlock DPR, so this is a worthy choice for you.

  • Implement Focus (E:HFL) – A nice, easy +1/tier damage bonus with all your attacks (except Eldritch Strike).

  • Improved Dark One's Blessing (PHB) - An absolute requirement at low levels if you want to get any use out of your pact boon, but at high levels it's hardly even noticeable.

  • Improved Defenses (E:HFL) – Not as important for you as other classes, but this math fix for NADs is something worth fitting in eventually.

  • Improved Fate of the Void (PHB) - This literally doubles the benefit of your already great pact boon!

  • Improved Initiative (PHB) – Going first is always helpful, but not mandatory.

  • Improved Misty Step (PHB) – You would be better off looking for an item (or the Mark of Passage feat) that boosts the range of all teleports.

  • Infernal Soul (D382) - Infernal Pact – Take Heat Adaptation instead.

  • Jack of All Trades (PHB) - You are one of the few classes that easily meets the Prereqs, but it's really only as useful as your DM makes it with skill challenges, etc.

  • Killing Curse (D384) - Holy crap after 2 years we finally get our equivalent of Lethal Hunter! Ironically at this point with all of the other great feats out there, I am not convinced this is worth it for everyone, but it is still a good feat. COMBO: Stacks with Mindbite Scorn for 2d8 curse damage at heroic, which is awesome.

  • Lucky Start (PHB3) - If you can manage a huge initiative bonus, one attack of avenger accuracy is pretty potent.

  • Mindbite Scorn (DSCS) - Sorcerer King Pact - Probably the best part of being a King'lock: an extra 1d6 PSYCHIC curse damage. COMBO: Stacks with Killing Curse or any other dice upgrade to curse damage. COMBO: At Epic, this lets you trigger the psychic vulnerability from the Rod of Ulban with every attack.

  • Moonbow Initiate (D386) - Must worship Sehanine - This is one hell of a combo feat. This is effectively Weapon Proficiency (Shortbow) plus Arcane (and divine!) Implement Proficiency (shortbow) plus weapon focus (shortbow)! Plus this opens op Bow Mastery for 19-20 crits w/o prereqs at epic!

  • New Sarshel Enforcer (D370) - Req Impiltur background - An alternative to Imp Initiative for those who also want to boost their Intimidate checks.

  • Nimble Blade (PHB) - Req AIP (light blades), Dex 15 - Considering how easy it is for you to get CA with SWA, this is almost a constant +1 to hit.

  • Offering to the Prisoner (D381) - Infernal Pact - Not exactly earth-shattering, but it is a much needed offensive alternative.

  • Oncoming Storm (PHB2) - Thunder powers are fairly common, lightning not so much, but combined with Arcane Admixture this can work well.

  • Patron's Guidance (D381) - Shadow Walk feature - This is an easy +2 untyped bonus to 2 skills of your choice; solid.

  • Prime Burst (PHB3) - Combined with Called Shot, this is very powerful but currently there is only 1 warlock area burst encounter power. So this really only helps dailies and multiclass powers, so it's very niche.

  • Primed Curse (D384) – An extra +1 to hit from Prime Shot is a very worthwhile upgrade (especially combined with Called Shot!)

  • Prolonged Curse (D384) - For ongoing specialists, this is a decent upgrade at Epic, but I don't think it's worth it before then.

  • Psionic Scorn (DSCS) - Sorcerer King Pact - For HYBRID psionic classes only, getting an extra power point as a boon is a big deal.

  • Radiant Soul (D371) - Cha 13 - Upgrading a single at-will against a specific enemy type is just too narrow to warrant a feat.

  • Resilient Focus (E:HFL) - +2 to all saves is a big defense boost, but only really worth it for TANKS.

  • Rod Expertise (E:HFK) – Our default expertise option gives +1 shield bonus to AC and Reflex like a light shield, which may not help you be a better striker, but it is a worthwhile bonus.

  • Sacrifice to Caiphon (DA09) - Reliabillity for all of your encounter powers for just a little of your soul. Cha'locks probably don't have the HP to use this all the time, but Con'locks do.  

  • Scornful Denial (DSCS) - Sorcerer King Pact - Getting to roll a save as a bonus to your pact boon is great for TANKs.

  • Shadow's Eclipse (DA09) – Resist radiant will almost never come up.

  • Shield Proficiency (Light/Heavy) (PHB) - Req Str 13/15 - For a TANK only as the prereqs are tough and losing out on DIS really hurts.

    • Battering Shield (PHB3) - Req Hvy Shield - A solid boost to Eldritch Strike for gish tanks.



  • Skill Power (PHB3) - While most of the skill powers are weaker than class utility powers, get an extra one for a feat is a damn good deal.

  • Spirit Poison (D381) - Dark Pact - Sadly many undead will still be a problem but this is still an improvement for those that specialize in POISON and/or NECROTIC powers. 

  • Staff Expertise (E:HFL)Fabulous option for a GISH since it covers weapon and implement attacks and cancels OAs.

  • Starfire Womb (DA09) - Req Cha 13 – Getting to roll a save whenever you damage a target with a FEAR or RADIANT powers is pretty handy for a TANK, but others shouldn’t need saves often enough to make it worth it. Also it can’t help against stun, etc.

  • Superior Fortitude (E:HFL) – Str/Con 15 - +1 Fort above Improved Defenses and DR vs. ongoing. Only worth it for TANKS or niche builds that center around ongoing.

  • Superior Reflex (E:HFL) – Dex/Int 15 - +1 Reflex above Improved Defenses and free CA for round 1. Only worth it for TANKS especially since CA is easy for warlocks.

  • Superior Will (E:HFL) – Wis/Cha 15 - +1 Will above Improved Defenses and the ability to shrug off any daze or stun at the start of your turn! Mandatory for TANKS and damn good for anyone else.

  • Superior Implement Training (PHB3) - This is worth at least +1 to hit with all of your attacks, which is a big boost. Please see the Implement Selection section in post #3 for details on the various superior implement choices.

  • Toughness (PHB) - Con'locks are already tougher than most non-Defenders, but this goes a long way towards making a CHA’LOCK less squishy.

  • Ulban's Flare (D381) - Star Pact – Gaining +2/tier damage and a -2 attack penalty whenever you have concealment (ie Shadowwalk!) is a big upgrade for DIRE RADIANCE.

  • Versatile Expertise (PHB3) – The default expertise option for a GISH since it applies to both weapon and implement attacks, sadly no extra bonus on this one.

  • Vestige Adept (AP) - A decent upgrade to make managing your vestige easier (or a no-brainer depending on your DM's interpretation of "since your last short or extended rest").

  • Vistani Heritage (D380) - A minor action ranged 10 power that gives you CA and holds enemies at bay is a hell of an encounter power to get from just a feat. But the best part are the follow up feats!

    • Eye of Paranoia (D380) - This is a big upgrade. There are a LOT of monsters out there with immediate action powers that are a huge pain. Plus this lets the party move around the target with ease, and it even prevents it from flanking!

    • Vestige of Vistan (D380) - Req Vestige Pact - This is a huge upgrade over the default vestiges. Sliding is very good control, especially that long of a distance for the pact boon!

    • Warlock's Eye (D380) - This makes the minor action encounter power effectively deal 1d6 (or d8) per tier, which is quite a nice DPR boost!



  • Wand Expertise (E:HFL)One of the weaker expertise options since ignoring cover is situational at best, but if you’re going with a wand you need this math fix.

  • Warlock's Sight (D384) - Getting to ignore cover and concealment is quite obviously situational. So if cover/concealment comes up a lot in your games, then here is your answer.

  • Weapon Focus (PHB) – This is now for a GISH only since it can’t apply to implement attacks.

  • White Lotus Defense (D374) - Kind of a defensive anti-mark, which is pretty good for a ranged striker.

  • White Lotus Enervation (D374) - Great if a lot of your attacks target the same defense, even more so if your party tends to attack that same defense.

  • White Lotus Evasion (D374) - If you really want to shift, then odds are you want to do so before casting a spell.

  • White Lotus Hindrance (D374) - Could help keep an enemy from closing, but too conditional to be worth it IMO.

  • White Lotus Riposte (D374) - This is an offensive anti-mark that is a total a win-win: either they don't attack you or they do and you increase your damage output. The downside is it is only for At-Wills. Unlike its big brother this still works even if they are marked.

  • Wintertouched (PHB) - Useless until you pick up Lasting Frost, but the combo is so infamous as to have the nickname 'Frostcheeze'.

  • World Serpent’s Grasp (E:HFK) – Getting to knock slowed or immobilized targets prone on a hit is a great CONTROL boost.

  • Yorgrix's Brutality (D381) - Dark Pact - Not bad if you specialize in ongoing damage, great if your party specializes in ongoing damage.



Dragonmark Feats


  • Aberrant Mark of Contagion (EPG) - For those who like the Dailies that deal all their damage via ongoing.

  • [color=blue]Aberrant Mark of Madness[color] (EPG) - Nice for Feylocks who have a lot of Will targetting powers.

  • Aberrant Mark of Terror (EPG) - The target(s) getting -1 against only you? Only a really big AoE would make this worth it, and you don't get any.

  • Mark of Detection (EPG) - There is a lot wrapped up in this one package, but odds are it's not for you as a Warlock.

  • Mark of Passage (EPG) - Now this is right up your alley, you have a lot of teleporting powers and even a few shifting powers that are substantially boosted by this.

  • Mark of Sentinel (EPG) - Not bad as an escape technique for most, but Gishes will really like this.

  • Mark of Shadow (EPG) - Unless you have a way of easily hiding, this is just too limited to be worth it.

  • Mark of Storm (EPG) - Adding a 1 square slide to all lightning & thunder powers is rather good, adding +1 to fly speed and the ritual access is just gravy.



Spellscar feats (Forgotten Realms characters only)

Student of the Plague (FRPG) - By default this doesn't offer much; the speed boost isn't bad especially for gishes, the reach is only useful for gishes, and the darkvision is too short range but could help. NOTE: This feat boosts all of the feats below. The upgrade with be indicated by SotP in the description of those feats. So when combined with the spellscar feats below this becomes a much more valuable feat.

Arcane Malice (D385) - Wow an encounter long +2 damage buff is a hell of an upgrade for all of your dailies! SotP adds +1 to hit as well!

Corrupting Attacks (D385) - If your whole party targets the same defense it's not bad. SotP doubles the benefit.

Flamespeed Shifting (D385) - Razorclaw Shifter - Getting to shift 2 at-will is quite nice mobility. SotP gives you +2 to damage when you shift on top of that!

Memories of Destruction (D385) - Deva - Being able to cancel stun or daze 1/encounter is an excellent insurance policy! SotP lets you deal a little damage adjacent enemies when this triggers, but it's rather insignificant.

Path of the Scarred (D385) - Human - A flat +1 damage with non-at-wills is completely inferior to Weapon Focus, but it does stack with everything, so if you are desperate for more damage this helps. SotP makes it +2, which is slightly better.

Plague of Chance (D385) - Halfling - Dealing your level in auto damage when your racial works is awesome! SotP makes the damage trigger regardless of whether the reroll hits, so now your racial is effective an attack power!

Plagued Breath (D385) - Dragonborn - Adds necrotic to your breath making it slightly less resistable, and adds +2 damage when you're bloodied, which are pretty mediocre upgrades. SotP on the other hand adds ongoing 5 necrotic, which is a substantial upgrade.

Plagued Regeneration (D385) - Longtooth Shifter - Wow! Extra regen plus an auto damage aura! The only downside is that it's not party friendly, SotP helps with that.

Plagueforged Accuracy (D385) - Elf - This makes your rerolled attack add 2 damage types and bypasses cover and concealment, which total to a nice upgrade. SotP adds 1+half your level as AoE damage on top of that!

Plaguing Bloodhunt (D385) - Tiefling - The role of strikers is to eliminate monsters from the battlefield; this guarantees that bloodied enemies have extremely short shelf lives. SotP makes the extra damage fire and necro instead of just necro, which makes it less likely to be resisted.

Planar Blurring (D385) - Eladrin - Adding a free slide before or after Fey Step is great control (or ally assistance). SotP lets you also teleport a different creature 2 squares! Teleport buffs can do nasty things with that!

Spellscarred Invigoration (D385) - By default this is useless, but Con'lock Catch-22 builds w/ SotP get a lot of free healing out of this.

Tainted Darkness (D385) - Drow - This marks your racial effectively impose vulnerability 2 to all damage, which is an awesome upgrade. SotP doesn't add much, just effectively a -2 attack penalty.

Tenacity for Living (D385) - Any Primal - By default this is useless, but the SotP makes it useful to gishes who can do ongoing fire or necrotic.

Unexpected Flourish (D385) - Any Martial - An extra at-will as an encounter power is solid for a feat. SotP let's you use your highest ability score with the new power opening your options a bit.


Heroic Tier - Racial feats

Deva


  • Auspicious Lineage (PHB2) - A very worthwhile investment.

  • Immortal Skill (D 374) - For those in RP/skill challenge heavy games, this is a big boost.

  • Potent Rebirth (PHB2) - +2 to hit and damage for the whole encounter is huge, but having to drop to 0 HP first... maybe at epic once you get your bounce back power.

  • Magic of the Ages (AP) - Strictly worse than Auspicious Lineage (unless you're worried about minimum bonuses) due to the extra restriction of arcane attacks, but if you still want more after taking Auspicious Lineage it does stack.

  • Radiant Power (PHB2) - You just don't have the accuracy to spare often enough to make this worth it.



Dragonborn


  • Enlarged Dragonbreath (PHB) - Overshadowed by Hurl Breath, at least for most warlocks.

  • Broken Shackles (FRPG) - Not bad. Early access to a lesser Iron Will, plus a save bonus to an uncommon, though generally dangerous attack type.

  • Curse of Io's Blood (AP) - If only Str were a secondary stat...

  • Draconic Spellcaster (AP) - Post 3/2/10 nerf, this is basically just a 2-for-1 expertise + focus feat for builds that can specialize in a damage type. And the damage bonuses scale up later than focus.

  • Dragonborn Frenzy (PHB) - Not bad for a Daredevil, but again get Weapon Focus and DIS first.

  • Hurl Breath (D365) - Better than Enlarged Breath 90% of the time especially as a ranged attacker.


Drow


  • Cursed Advantage (AP) – There are better options out there now.

  • Darkfire Implement (AP) - It's basically a free +2*enhancement bonus damage per encounter, which isn't bad at low levels.

  • Instinctive Darkness (D367) - A nice defensive upgrade.

  • Lolth's Meat (D367) - As a Striker you are the most likely one to score kills, so this should come up often.



Dwarf


  • Dodge Giants (PHB) - At Paragon, this might come up often enough to be worth it.

  • Mror Stalwart (EPG) - Req Mror Holds background - Useless by default, but with a pact hammer, this is actually a rather good feat.

  • Rune Scribed Soul (AP) – A nice damage bonus for using second wind. As written you can even get double the benefit via an Action Point.


Eladrin


  • Eladrin Soldier (PHB) - If you pick up AIP (Heavy Blades) then this lets you get Paragon level Weapon Focus at Heroic levels.

  • Eldritch Blade (D390) - For ELDRITCH STRIKE users this offers +1 to hit if you stick with a longsword.

  • Fey Escape (D 373) - This is a very nice upgrade.

  • Gifted Death Dealer (D390) - Sadly this got nerfed to a feat bonus, but even with the overlap from Weapon Focus, +Int mod is a solid damage boost for ELDRITCH BLAST, the go-to DPR at-will.

  • Moon Elf Resilience (FRPG) - Getting to spend a surge as a move action is solid.

  • Renewed by Blood (D390) - Being able to recharge Fey Step 1/encounter is great for FEY CHARGERS and ELADRIN SWORDMAGE ADVANCE users.

  • Winterkin Heritage (D384) - Resist 5 +1/2 level cold is solid, adding an encounter getaway power is gravy.



Elf


  • Aerenal Arcanist (EPG) - Req Aerenal Background - This essentially gives you the wizard's spellbook feature for utilities, so it is solid for those that like situational utilities.

  • Aerenal Half-Life (EPG) - Req Aerenal Background - For NECROTIC SPECIALISTS this is weapon focus plus a two turn attack buff on APs.

  • Elven Precision (PHB) - A +2 bonus to make sure you reroll does its job.

  • Wild Elf Luck (FRPG) - +1d4 is statistically better than Elven Precision, but the best part is they stack!



Genasi


  • Elemental Echo (AP) - Two turns of +1 to hit and +2/tier to damage whenever you use your racial is a big upgrade!

  • Extra Manifestation (FRPG) - Adds a bit of versatility, which probably helps most in being able to change your resistance type from encounter to encounter, but the best parts are the follow up feats.

    • Fast Manifestation (FRPG) - Lets you change elements mid-fight and even lets you double up on your racial encounter powers!



  • Earthshock/Firepulse Master (D367) - Extra damage and reliability are a solid upgrade.

  • Genasi Fire Affinity (D367) - ONGOING FIRE DAMAGE SPECIALISTS get -1 save penalty, which is too small of a bonus IMO.

  • Genasi Frost Affinity (D367) - Since a lot of slow/immobilize effects are cold based, gaining immunity to them is a solid benefit.

  • Manifest Resistance (FRPG) - An extra 5 to your racial resistance(s) is solid.

  • Primordial Surge (D367) - A good amount of THPs whenever you use your racial can save you several surges per day.

  • Versatile Resistance (FRPG) - Getting resist 5 fire, cold and thunder is a lot from a single feat, especially for Earth Genasi who don't normally get any resistances.



Githzerai


  • Dakshai's Body-Mind Union (PHB3) - Getting +2 to defenses only lets you negate an attack 10% of the time, this lets you negate a nasty side effect 80% of the time or 90% if it's one of the worst, daze, stun, or dominate, thanks to your racial bonus!



Gnome


  • [b]Shadow Skulk (PHB2)[/b] - For STEALTH SPECIALISTS, remaining hidden after a miss is a big perk.



Goliath


  • Dutiful Servant (DSCS) - If you have a lazy leader, then getting a +1 to all of the attacks they give you is huge.

  • Markings of the Blessed (PHB2) - Getting to roll twice on your first save every encounter can be great for TANK builds since they get hit a lot and thus are likely to get a save ends effect every encounter. Non-tanks should pass.

  • Markings of the Victor (PHB2) - Getting to roll twice like an avenger with your first attack every encounter is awesome for a Striker, just make sure you have a nice encounter power picked out for it.

  • Mountain Hammer Spellcasting (AP) - Getting to ignore any resistances for 2 turns ain't bad, but tying it to your defensive resist move means that you will very rarely be using both aspects to their fullest.


Halfling


  • Ghostwise Heritage (FRPG) - A massive boost to your perception check odds especially if you have someone with a very high skill.

  • Halfling Agility (PHB) - Insurance that your dodge is effective.



Half-Elf


  • Adept Dilettante (D385) - For the price of your multiclass slot you can change the stat your dilettante power uses to Con or Cha! Congratulations gishes, you can now have Twin Strike!

  • Defending Dabbler (D385) - For TANKS this gives you a at-will mark once you get Versatile Master at Paragon.

  • Group Insight (PHB) - Giving all allies a +1 to initiative is very nice. The Insight bonus is just gravy.


Half-Orc


  • Anger Unleashed (PHB2) - This is potentially better than Action Surge if you're a Daredevil.

  • Thirst for Battle (PHB2) - This a good alternative to Improved Initiative for Cha'locks.


Human


  • Action Surge (PHB) - Not as good as Implement Expertise, but this really helps land Dailies.

  • Arcane Reserves (AP) - Joemama1512 did the math on his Sorcerer page, and this offers too little DPR to be an early choice and by the time it gets to the top of the list you have too many encounter powers to use before it starts working.

  • Human Perseverance (PHB) - I have been convinced that Stubborn Survivor is better for most, though you could always take both.

  • Reckless Curse (AP) - Getting +1 to hit against all cursed targets is awesome! Giving them +1 to hit your right back is risky, but usually still a good idea if you stay at range. But this is best when combined with Warlock's Bracers and/or Warding Curseto cancel out the penalty.

  • Stubborn Survivor (FRPG) - Most Strikers use their action point in the first round or two to try and KO a monster right away (a very sound strategy!). This means that you'd only have an AP for a couple rounds every other encounter, which leaves a lot of time when you are getting +2 to saves! So unless you hoard your APs or you have something that grants you extra APs, go with this over Human Perseverance (or take both).


Kalashtar


  • Dual Mind Strength (D385) - For PSYCHIC SPECIALISTS, this is better than weapon focus!



Minotaur


  • Bloodied Ferocity (PHB3) - For DAREDEVILS and TANKS who get bloodied a lot this can be a free attack every encounter.

  • Brutal Ferocity (PHB3) - Unless you build your character around Ferocity attacks, this just won't come up enough to be worth a feat.

  • Springing Charge (PHB3) - A free charge attack as a crit benefit is huge, but the fact that it only triggers when charging makes this only useful to CHARGERS who charge a lot.



Mul


  • Bred for Battle (DSCS) - A racial (so it stacks with basically everything) bonus to initiative, and attacks and speed for the 1st round is a big boost.

  • Humanity's Heir (DSCS) - A racial (so it stacks with basically everything) bonus to a NAD and a skill is a solid feat.

  • Invigorating Toughness (DSCS) - Trading your condition cancelling racial for a few THPs is generally a bad trade, but when conditions are a non-issue THPs always help.

  • Legacy of Stone (DSCS) - For a TANK or GISH, you can get +2 to saves vs. poison and -1 to forced movement when unbloodied, which is a hell of a deal for a feat.



Revenant


  • Chill of the Grave/Draconic Reaping (D376) - If you plan on using Dark Reaping a lot, this will make it MUCH harder to resist.

  • Dark Feasting (D376) - Assuming you actually use Revenant's racial power and not your other race's power, then this is a solid amount of scaling THPs every encounter.

  • Death Curse (D376) - This is an easy way to kill a bunch of minions without wasting standard actions on them. Again Hell'locks should be careful since multiple boons going off at once is a waste.



Shadar-Kai


  • Benighted Birthright (DA09) - Resist 5 necrotic is solid, but it doesn't scale. The save bonus is mostly redundant since at heroic but helps offset the lack of scaling.

  • Blighting Power (DA09) - Making HELLISH REBUKE fire and necrotic damage helps, but both are commonly resisted. Just make sure you retrain this for Arcane Admixture at paragon as there are certainly better options.

  • Deathly Disruption (DA09) - NECROTIC SPECIALISTS can bypass necrotic resistance much like a sorcerer!

  • Devious Jaunt (DA09) - A no-brainer upgrade.

  • Life on the Edge (DA09) - Similar to Action Surge: this gives +2 instead of +3, but it applies to all rolls so it boosts damage as well as attack, and can even be used to buff a skill in pinch and helps with oddball powers that have miscellaneous other rolled effects. The fact that it requires you to be bloodied, really hurts though.

  • Reaper's Touch (DA09) - For GISHES or those worried about making OAs who prefer to spend a feat rather than an at-will and/or who don't want to bother with a melee weapon.

  • Winter Favored (DA09) - Resist 5 cold is decent, but it doesn't scale. The save bonus is mostly redundant since at heroic but helps offset the lack of scaling.



Shardmind


  • Psychic Focus (PHB3) - Warlocks have a lot of psychic powers, so it is pretty easy to specialize in PSYCHIC, or you could just use a Githyanki Silver weapon, in either case this is better then Weapon Focus.



Shifter


  • Fanged Magic (AP) - Getting to deal a few points of damage to an adjacent enemy when shifting is active, as a sort of ranged cleave is only useful for capping minions, and that is just too many layers of conditional usefulness.

  • Sturdy Shifter (EPG) - Getting scaling THPs whenever you use your racial is a great upgrade especially for Longtooth DAREDEVILS


Thri-kreen


  • Flailing Claws (DSCS) - Making your racial power reliable ain't bad.



Tiefling


  • Blood Pact of Cania (Tiefling) - A scaling untyped damage bonus to all CON'LOCK powers really helps out Tiefling Con'locks be more optimal, but for REVENANT TIEFLINGS it is a dream come true!

  • Clever Tail (Tiefling) - A solid utility feat for implement quickdrawing/swapping. Getting to make thievery checks with your tail is a fun bonus!

  • Cloying Shadow of Maladomini (Tiefling) - Not bad for GISHES who are the ones likely to be hit by melee attacks often, but even they should retrain it out as soon as SWA becomes available.

  • Diabolic Soul (D381) - A solid alternative racial power for TANKS as you get a static feature of a bonus to hit anyone who crits you and one encounter a day you can transform into a giant devil for +5 fire resistance, +2 damage, +1 to hit vs bloody enemies, and Regen 2/tier. And on top of that you get a solid one time damage bonus with attack debuff rider!

  • Furious Demand (D381) - For INTIMIDATE SPECIALISTS this offers a static intimidate bonus plus a daily big bonus with a massive debuff for a solid alternative for your L2 utility. But consider Benefit of Foresight below.

  • Gaze of Ruin (D387) - The essentially non-combat power this grants is only worth it for the followup feats.

    • Benefit of Foresight (D387) - Rolling twice is a must have for INTIMIDATE SPECIALISTS.

    • Lasting Decay (D387) - Worthless until Ruin of Flesh at Paragon applies to a creature for the whole encounter!



  • Hellfire Blood (PHB) - +1 to hit and damage with FIRE and FEAR powers that stacks with everything!

  • Hellish Blast (Tiefling) - Getting to deal fire damage (and thus use Hellfire Blood, Ashen Rods, etc.) plus getting an untyped scaling damage bonus on top of that would be a no-brainer if it weren't dwarfed by the upgrades available now for Hellish Rebuke.

  • Hellish Defiance (D381) - Infernal Wrath - Making the target of Infernal Wrath provoke OAs for attacking you is a solid upgrade, especially vs. Solos.

  • Icy Clutch of Stygia (Tiefling) - Wow. This feat completely changes the game for ONGOING DAMAGE SPECIALISTS, this lets them deal big damage whenever the target saves, making ongoing damage a true lose-lose scenario!

  • Imperious Majesty (D381) - For CHA'LOCKS, adding Cha to Initiative is a no-brainer choice over Improved Initiative, and not a bad choice with Improved Initiative if you really wanna go first.

  • Mantle of Misfortune (D383) - Bloodline - This grants an encounter power that debuffs attacks near you and allows you slide the enemies who miss because of it. Not bad.

    • Lucky Misfortune (D383) - +2 to hit a target affected by your bloodline power is pretty good.



  • Tail Slide (Tielfing) - Giving an ally a free slide whenever you shift is a big mobility boost, but combined with Agile Opportunist for your allies suddenly you are handing out attacks like a Warlord! 

  • Turathi Weapon Training (Tielfing) - This is a better version of weapon focus for a handful of weapons as well as proficiency. But for non-gishes it is usually better to stick with a dagger or staff for the Superior Implement options.

  • Vengeful Curse (AP) - Almost as good as Twofold Curse and 10 levels earlier!

  • Warlock's Wrath (D381) - This is a 2-for-1 feat. You get d8s for curse damage and you get a more proactive racial power that is beautiful for Catch-22s with a mark.

  • Wrathful Magic (AP) - Infernal Wrath - This is a great way to use Infernal Wrath for non-Tanks who hardly ever get attacked, because you usually miss at least once an encounter.


Warforged


  • Improved Warforged Resolve (EPG) - A decent upgrade to your racial power, but you need it to qualify for...

    • Immutability (EPG) - A big upgrade.




Wilden


  • Burden of Guardianship (PHB3) - For CON'LOCKS, free Con-based THPs whenever you use your racial is a nice bonus. 

  • Improved Aspect of Nature (PHB3) - A solid boost to all 3 variations.




Heroic Tier - Multiclass

Any Martial



  • Rumbling Earthshock (MP2) - Genasi - Adding Strength to Earthshock's damage is decent, but take Earthshock Master first as the damage boost is comparable but it adds reliability as well.


Any Primal



  • Longtooth Spirit Shifter (PP) - Longtooth Shifter - Since their regen is about the only reason you should be playing one, increasing it by 2 is a good feat.

  • Manifest Healing (PP) - Genasi - Can't argue with free scaling THP, especially if you took Extra Manifestation plus it stacks with Primordial Surge.

  • Primal Halfling Counterattack (PP) - Halfling - This big damage bonus makes a great upgrade to your racial power.

  • Primal Resilience (PP) - Half-orc - A decent boost for a tank, just don't look at Manifest Healing of you'll weep.

  • Reckless Charge (PP) - For CHARGERS getting an extra +1 to hit is worth the -2 AC.

  • Rites of Spirit's Blood (PP) - Tiefling - A pretty good upgrade as long as you plan on keeping Infernal Wrath.

  • Spirit's of the Primal Dragons (PP) - Dragonborn - A big damage boost but it requires you to get bloodied, so it's mostly for Tanks and Daredevils.


Any Psionic



  • Mindfire Disciple (D388) - Tiefling - For PSYCHIC SPECIALISTS this is a fabulous consolation prize for all of your save ends effects.


Other Multiclass Feats



  • Poisoner (D373) - Req Dungeoneering or Nature - If you have a lot of Poison powers (and Dark'locks in particular have a lot), this is the best way to get around all of the resistance/immunity you will face.

    • Poisoner Novice - Just adding ongoing 5 to an at-will is not worth an encounter power IMO.

    • Poisoner Expert - Now this is nice! If you bothered with this multiclass then you should have plenty of powers to trigger this encounter reroll.

    • Progressive Toxin - If you bothered with this multiclass then you probably have lots of ongoing powers, which I hope also means you have some way of debuffing saves and thus this is a great power for you.





 

Paragon Tier: Rise of Corruption

Warlock Paragon Paths


Show

  • Academy Master (D374) - If you focus on AT-WILLS for DPR (using encounters for situational control or out of turn attacks) this is perfect for you because it is all about boosting at-wills.
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - As long as you keep spamming your at-will you get +1 to hit, which is hard to top.
    L11 AP feature - Getting to reroll a miss is always nice, but the window is pretty short
    L11 power - Getting to boost the damage of an at-will by 2 dice 1/encounter is pretty good especially since this stacks with the features.
    L12 power - Floating reliablility 1/encounter is quite nice, although you don't use encounter powers much (other than the L11 power).
    L16 feature - A +3 damage boost that scales up to +5 at epic with at-wills is a welcome addition to your now uber at-wills.
    L20 power - This actually upgrades an encounter power, adding 2 dice of damage and making any effect of the power save ends! This can make a stun or a vulnerability power very potent!

  • Astral Ascendant (D383) - Req Vestige Pact - Strangely leader and RADIANT themed, but still a great Striker path.
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - Holy cow. Dealing radiant all the time can be very powerful, but letting your allies trigger your curse for you is very powerful. It makes your curse damage practically autodamage since in a 4 or 5 person party at least one person should hit at least one of your curse victims every round.
    L11 AP feature - Giving the whole party Int mod THPs and a free shift is a very warlord-like benefit, which is odd for a Warlock, but also quite powerful.
    L11 power - 3d10 is good damage, radiant is a good type, plus an accuracy bonus for your allies, but the downside is you target Fort.
    L12 power - The ability to hover is crazy good for a ranged Striker (easy Prime shot for you!). Granting pseudo-regeneration to nearby allies on top of that is just beautiful.  If you need convincing just look at Wings of the Fiend, your L22 utility! 
    L16 feature - Necrotic is the most common damage type from monsters, so this is rather likely to come up, but still not every encounter. The fact that you grant the resistance to nearby allies too, will make you very popular! WARNING: In ongoing campaigns, this will make most undead fights easy enough for your party that your DM might decide to stop using undead, which makes this worthless.  Don't be afraid to talk to your DM to keep him honest.
    L20 power - At 20th level, 3d8 is crappy damage even in party-friendly AoE, but add on daze (save ends) and potentially AoE healing and you have a truly tide-turning power. then since you have to be a Vestige'lock to have taken this power, you also get a rather unimpressive pact boon for the level (+2 AC for one round, really?), but it's not worthless.  And the at-will upgrade is a huge DPR boost for your whole party!

  • Dark Reckoner (AP) - Req Dark Pact - A NECROTIC and invisibility themed PP. The attack powers are terrible and you need to have some way of dealing with necrotic resistance for the features.
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - Gaining invisibility on a crit is nice, but weak for a PP feature IMO. At least the L16 feature guarantees that you're always dealing necrotic damage so this always applies.
    L11 AP feature - You should already have concealment from Shadow Walk, so this only helps allies which isn't bad, but it doesn't help you be a better striker. 
    L11 power - While it's not worthless, this is worse than some level 3 powers!
    L12 power - Invisiblity to all cursed enemies for 2 turns is good defense and offense (though the offense part is redundant with SWA).
    L16 feature - +1d6 necrotic to curse damage is a decent damage boost, and if you're taking this PP I trust that you have something to get around necrotic resistance.
    L20 power - All but worthless, but 4d8+one-time conditional ongoing damage is terrible for this level especially considering the timing of the ongoing means they get to save before they have to take damage even once! 

  • Darkwalker (FRPG) - Req Dark Pact - The key feature here is the +Int to damage while INSUBSTANTIAL; unfortunately there are not many ways to become insubstantial and still be able to attack, the breakdown includes a list of applicable powers.
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - Getting to add your Int to damage with all of your attacks is awesome, but only getting to do so when you are insubstantially is only as good as how many times that can come up. I've listed the powers along with their usage and duration below, and as you can see with the exception of the 3 powers you get from this path, every other one requires multiclassing. And in case you missed it this only boosts damage with your Warlock powers, so the attack powers are kind of a red herring.
    L11 AP feature - Getting to be insubstantial when you spend an AP would be great if it wasn't instead of gaining an action. Gaining your damage bonus at the expense of an extra standard action is a god-awful trade.
    L11 power - mediocre damage, and it's necrotic vs. Fort. While it does provide a way of turning insubstantial you have to hit to trigger it, or it's wasted, and it happens after the hit, so you can't boost this attack.
    L12 power - The downside with this is that you have to wait for your Dark Spiral to be triggered, which most Dark'locks will tell you does NOT happen every encounter.
    L16 feature - Completely situational. Dealing full damage to insubstantial monsters is great when they come up... 5% of the time. /sigh
    L20 power - Solid damage and type on a hit, but no damage on a miss. Thankfully you target Will so missing should be rare.  The effect is what you want though: insubstantiality for the whole encounter, as long as you don't get bloodied, but that shouldn't be hard to avoid since your taking half damage.
    methods of gaining insubstantiality while still allowing attacks

    Battle Spirit Weapon (lvl 15+ Hvy Blade, works with charges only)
    Shadow Jaunt (Shadar-Kai racial encounter, move, SoyNT)
    Shadow Jack (Assassin L7 encounter, standard, SoyNT)
    Fog Form (Sorcerer L10 encounter, Immediate Interrupt, EoyNT)
    Ghostly Bane (your L11 encounter, standard, EoyNT) - this one you get for free
    Fading Spiral (your L12 encounter, free, EoyNT) - this one you get for free
    Body, No Body (Spellscarred L16 encounter, minor, EoyT)
    Phase Shift (Wizard L16 daily, minor, EoyNT)
    Temporal Strike (Ardent L17 at-will w/ 2 pt upgrade, standard, EoyNT)
    Spectral Charge (Avenger L17 encounter, standard, EoYNT)
    Consign to Shadow (Assassin L19 daily, standard, sustain minor)
    Wraithform Blast (your L20 daily, standard, until bloodied) - this one you get for free
    Shield of Providence (Avenger L22 encounter, immediate interrupt, EoyNT)
    Donning the Mudflesh (Spellscarred L22 daily stance, minor, until bloodied)
    Doorway to the Spirit World (Shaman L22 daily, minor, encounter while in zone)
    Storm Body (Sorcerer L22 encounter, minor, SoYNT)
    Wind Shape (Sorcerer L22 encounter, minor, SoYNT)
    Ghost Walk (Swordmage L22 encounter, minor, EoyNT)
    Hungry Ghost [movement technique] (Monk L23 encounter, move, EoyNT)
    Folded Shadow (Assassin L25 daily, standard, sustain minor)
    Walk With the Spirits (Primal Avatar L26 daily, minor, encounter)
    Winter Ghost Rage (Barbarian L29 daily, standard, while bloodied)
    Mist on the Storm (Monk L29 daily, Standard/immediate interrrupt, EoyNT)
    Spirits of the Mist (Shaman L29 daily, standard, encounter while in zone)

  • Doomsayer (PHB) - Req Star Pact - The key feature with this one is the SAVE DEBUFF against FEAR powers, so you (and your party) need to pick save ends fear powers to make the path worth it. The breakdown includes a list of applicable powers.
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - Doubling the chance of failure for saves is huge (and it affects elites and solos equally!). Sadly the number of save ends fear powers is limited.
    L11 AP feature - Wow, this effectively makes your curse damage AoE and doubles it against your primary target. Oh and it auto hits!
    L11 power - Short range, low damage, but decent control and can be exploited if you're masochistic.
    L12 power - So good vs. a Solo that it is actually worth your standard action to do zero damage.
    L16 feature - Sucks that it is typed and only when bloodied, but +2 to hit is still a very solid feature and fear powers are pretty common.
    L20 power - A crying shame that this isn't save ends, but still it is a solid power.
    save ends powers with the Fear keyword
     
    Prophecy of Zhudun (warlock 1)
    Terrifying Visage (assassin 1)
    Tyrant's Rage (barbarian 1)
    Brilliant Beacon (invoker 1)
    Dread Star (warlock 1)
    Roar of Terror (druid 5)
    Fury of Gibbeth (Warlock 5)
    Predator to Prey (battlemind 5)
    Fourfold Invocation of Doom (Invoker 9)
    Malediction of Rigidity (invoker 9)
    Menacing Cry (Ranger 9)
    Face of Death (wizard 9)
    Visions of Ruin (wiz 9)
    Far Realm Glimpse (wlock 15)
    Evard's Dreadful Mist (wiz 15)
    Intellect Sunder (battlemind 15)
    Paralyzing Fear Strike (battlemind 15)
    Sacred Armistice (cleric 15)
    Courage Breaker (rogue 15)
    Lurker's Threat (rogue 15)
    Primal Lion (druid 19)
    Ferocious Roar (ranger 19)
    Howl of Wrath (warden 19)
    Baleful Gaze of the Basilisk (sorc 19)
    Astral Whirlwind (Astral Weapon, Paladin PP, 20)
    For Cormyr! (Purple Dragon Knight, Paladin PP, 20)
    Hell forged Blade (Avernian Knight, Fighter PP 20)
    Cascade of Fear (Divine Hand PP 20)
    Imperious Presence (Shiere Knight, Eladrin racial PP, 20)
    Blood Oath Fulfilled (Son of Mercy, divine PP, 20)
    Gibbeth's Embrace (wlock 25)
    Prismatic Spray (wiz 25)
    Aspect of Terror (avgr 29)
    Caiphon's Abominable Melody (wlock 29)
    Hurl Through Hell (wlock 29)

  • Dragonbane Pactmaker (D369) - All of the dragon-themed paths in Dragon 369 are fun and flavorful, but way too specialized to be playable. 

  • Entrancing Mystic (AP) - For CHARM specialists, there is a ton of synergy in these features and powers. You probably want RESERVE MANEUVER though.
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - You have to be close, but that save penalty is worth it!
    L11 AP feature - Auto hitting 1 target for ONGOING 5 PSYCHIC which works even if you aren't using the extra action to attack is great. But limitation of within 5 squares and the low damage isn't that great (especially at later levels).
    L11 Power - Short range and not enough control to justify its extremely low damage, in my opinion.
    L12 Utility - If they errata this to last until the end of its next turn, then this would be black but as is, the worst it can do is rob a monster of its remaining actions (if any) and give combat advantage, OA/immediate action immunity to any allies that go between its turn and yours. Not exactly game changing.
    L16 feature - A +1 untyped BONUS TO HIT and free reliability for all charm powers is huge!
    L20 Power - I am not a fan of powers that let the enemy choose their condition since they are always going to choose whichever hurts them the least. But this one ain't bad since it affects them immediately and thanks to Mystic Rapture, if they pick the ongoing they get -5 to their save as long as you can keep them within 3 squares. 

  • Evermeet Warlock (FRPG) - Another path for those that love to TELEPORT. Unfortunately I feel like this CONTROL-heavy, damage-light path is a little outdated now.
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - You gain invisibility from targets you are adjacent to when you teleport. Combined with Ethereal Sidestep, that means at-will invisibility. But the adjacency limitation is harsh for a ranged striker. Also invisibility isn't as impressive now that you can get CA from SWA.
    L11 AP feature - An extra move action may not sound impressive but it can really come in handy like double shifting or since it is a true move action you can use it for minor action stuff like Cursing an extra target or sustaining a power.
    L11 power - Crappy damage, but long range, good type, and blinding is great control.
    L12 power - A completely situational power. Insubstantial/invisible enemies probably won't come up every day. But the worst part is it affects allies (and some DMs might rule you) as well, so you can really tick off other players who were counting on that invisiblity.
    L16 feature - Getting to bring an ally along for the ride every time you teleport can be a huge boon in the right party, but in the wrong party it might come up once a day.
    L20 power - A party friendly big area that lets you pick the defense and the debuff for each enemy individually is great control.  The down sides are this deals zero damage (so no curse damage either), and all you get on a miss is the leader-y effect line, which grants free Int mod HP to allies in the burst, plus potentially more each round. Again, with the right party this can be a tide-turner, but in the wrong party it could be a total dud.

  • Feytouched (PHB) - Req Fey Pact - This path is best for TELEPORT builds and for PUPPETTEER builds, but it is honestly great for any Fey'lock.
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - Dealing INT mod autodamage whenever you teleport was enough to spawn an entire category of builds known as Slashers, but the nerf to 1/round has brought this back down to a fun and powerful feature that isn't game breaking.
    L11 AP feature - Boring perhaps, but one of the best AP boosts you can get. Just remember to use your AP before you spend your standard action.
    L11 Power - OMG is this good. The base damage is mediocre, but once you factor in the attack you force them to make (and potentially the effect of ignoring your defender buddy's mark!), it's rather good.  Add to that the control of teleporting 5 squares and dazing as an effect, and you have one of the best PP powers around. If you're a gambling man/woman (or just have no other enemies for the target to attack) teleport the target up in the air and make them take an extra 2d10 damage and fall prone, but be warned they get to cancel the teleport with a successful save if you try this.
    L12 Utility - Totally situational but it can really come in handy in those situations since any creature means you can move a melee ally up on that hard to reach precipice or teleport another enemy into the lava that killed the last guy.
    L16 feature - This gives you a random boost, which varies from worthless (+2 speed? shouldn't you be teleporting?) to very nice (d8s for curse damage--although this isn't as impressive now that you can get this with an always on feat). Overall, since you can choose anything lower on the list it always offers at least a situational upgrade.
    L20 Power - Big friendly AoE, situational to get the full effect though, does nothing on a miss due to the wording of the effect line, and it's unclear whether the attack happens immediately as a free action or if it costs the monster his standard action.

  • God Fragment (AP) - Req Vestige Pact - A decent path for TANKS since most things are short range and defense oriented, but weak for anyone else.
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - Yuck. If you need this bonus then something is very wrong, except for Tanks maybe.
    L11 AP feature - Free healing that scales well is never bad, but may be overkill on Con'locks, other than Tanks.
    L11 power - mediocre damage, vs. Fort, and no control? Reserve maneuver bait.
    L12 power - A daily aura power that debuffs saves and attack rolls in a 2 square aura is pretty good, but compared to Entrancing Mystics' always on feature, it loses a lot of its luster.
    L16 feature - A slightly better version of a crappy feat is a real let down for a L16 feature, but it's not worthless.
    L20 power - Save ends dominate is always great, especially when you still get to daze (save ends) on a miss and you target Will so missing will be rare. The downside is you only do a little damage, and it's delayed so no curse damage. This is definitely a power that you want to debuff the save to get the most mileage out of it. The pact boon imposes a -2 to defenses (save ends) on any other cursed target, which is solid. The at-will upgrade offers autodamage to enemies near the target which doesn't help you kill the target any quicker, but now that you get to add static mods to the damage, it is massive AoE damage.

  • Hellbringer (AP) - Req Infernal Pact - This path is for FIRE specialists, to deal with fire resistance, unfortunately it doesn't help with fire immunity and the features are unimpressive overall.
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - Getting CA from a crit is kind of worthless thanks to SWA, but vulnerable 5 fire is pretty good for a fire-themed path. However crits are rare and random enough, and the 1 round duration of the vulnerability is short enough, that this just doesn't help often enough to be worth much IMO.
    L11 AP feature - Dealing an extra 2d6 damage with AP attacks is pretty good especially when you autodamage enemies adjacent to the guy you hit. If your DM lets you overlap and thus stack this damage with AoEs, then this is crazy good.
    L11 powerUgh, this is worse than the L3 power, Fiery Bolt.
    L12 power - Creating a 2-way portal is completely situational. It can make a normally difficult encounter a breeze or it could be of no use.
    L16 feature - The key feature, ignoring the all too common fire resistance, but unfortunately it does nothing against the all too common fire immunity!
    L20 power - This would be awesome for a Sorcerer who could add their Striker damage to every target, but as a Warlock spreading out a small out amount of damage that far (w/ no control) just isn't that powerful. Just look at Cursegrind, which is an L13 encounter power. Still since you now ignore fire resistance, it's not bad, just rather lackluster for the level. 

  • Hexer (AP) - This path is all about SPREADING YOUR CURSE to the most enemies in the shortest time, which can be overkill for some Warlocks, but if your pact boon really helps you (star pact, dark pact, some vestiges) and/or if you get benefits that apply to multiple curse targets (bonus to defenses, etc.) then this is the path for you!
    Breakdown

    L11 feature Getting to ignore the 'closest enemy' restriction on your curse within 5 squares is awesome for a GISH or TANK, and solid for everyone else.
    L11 AP feature - A -2 attack penalty is not very strong, but with as many targets as you should be auto-hitting with this, I think it adds up.
    L11 power - A big party friendly blast, that does pitiful damage, but that is okay because this is essentially a utility power because the value of this power is in the effect, which is a huge mass curse.
    L12 power - Another way to spread you curse, and this one isn't very impressive compared to Vengeful Curse, a heroic feat that Tieflings can take.
    L16 feature - Adding a slide 1 to your curse damage is a decent control boost, but you need zone powers and/or a way to increase the slide distance, to really get your money's worth.
    L20 power - 3d10 against one target was good at first level, now it's sad. The effect of imposing a cursing aura on the target is probably overkill considering all of the other ways you have of cursing targets, but getting to do autodamage when cursing in this way does serve as a minion-popper. Sadly the aura doesn't do anything to those already cursed.

  • Life-Stealer (PHB) - Req Infernal Pact - I really want to give this at least a purple rating because of the flavor and the solid encounter power, but everything after 11th level is complete garbage as written.
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - A very flavorful upgrade to your pact boon. Depending on your targets origin you can get a different bonus, some are great, some are awful.
    L11 AP feature - Half as good as Bloodmage's similar feature, but still adding this to an AoE is a big bonus.
    L11 power - 3d8 on a vs. Will attack is better than what most other paths offer, but considering the fact that most encounters feature monsters with all the same origin, it is very easy to get the extra 10 damage if you wait a round or two.
    L12 power - You can basically dominate a creature that died in the encounter for 1 round or until he gets hit once--embarrassing for a daily IMO.
    L16 feature - Considering that Hell'locks have a ton of surges, and rarely use half of them due to all the THPs, this is practically useless except maybe for Tanks.
    L20 power - This doesn't even make sense. Either this lets you get the soul spark even from non-cursed targets, or it lets you gain an extra spark in addition to the one you'd normally gain.  But that only matters if this pitifully low damage power could manage to kill someone.

  • Long Night Scion (D374) - Req Fey Pact - For those who like COLD and especially TELEPORT powers, whether thematically or mechanically for the Wintercheeze feats, this is great path.
    Breakdown

    L11 featureA free Energy Admixture feat that you can reassign every day and cold resistance is great.
    L11 AP feature - Really poorly written, but I am assuming that it requires you to use a power with the Cold keyword to do anything extra otherwise you just spend the AP as normal (as opposed to preventing you from using APs for anything but cold power attacks). Since this path is all about specializing in cold powers I can't see that being a problem.
    L11 power - This would be a great power, except I am sure if you are taking this path you have the Wintercheeze feats. If not, why??
    L12 powerThe fact that this costs a standard action really hurts this. If you have an encounter power that is literally twice as good as your other powers then this is worth it.
    L16 featureAn even better version of the Feytouched feature that everyone loves; this adds slowing, and deals cold damage making it buffable via Wintercheeze!
    L20 power - Low damage, and targets Fort, but good control, which upgrades to great if you can debuff the save.

  • Master of the Starry Night (AP) - Req Star Pact - Designed for SPLIT'LOCKS, it's actually best for CHA'LOCKS with RESERVE MANEUVER, though the utility and features are strong enough for even Con'locks to consider. 
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - A huge upgrade for your pact boon. Now your bonuses are reliable!
    L11 AP feature - Autodazing one creature (even one you're not attacking) is awesome from an AP.
    L11 power - Party unfriendly, terrible damage, and even a crappy debuff.  Reserve Maneuver Bait (which is great for Cha'locks, since this is the only Con based part of this path!)
    L12 power*drool* You get to instantanously reap your pact boon benefits, which means a big attack bonus, and you can still curse everyone all over again getting the boon twice for the same enemy! Combined with your L11 feature, this dramatically boosts your accuracy.
    L16 featureMore speed is almost never useful to a ranged striker, a bonus to one defense is occasionally useful, but either way considering the L11 feature's incentive to use the bonuses on attack rolls, this is mostly useless.
    L20 power - Solid initial damage, good type, and has the perfect solo killer upgrade, however the drop off on a miss is substantial. Con'locks you are mostly SOL on this one. 

  • Nightmare Weaver (D373) - Req training in Intimidate - This path is all about layering on attack penalties and it does it well!
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - A variation on the Relentless Curse feat, which costs you an immediate reaction but lets you slide the target 2 if he's already curse which is very handy but a little lackluster for a PP feature.
    L11 AP feature - Sliding 1 square is not very powerful, and neither is a -2 attack penalty for a round, but the penalty stacks with the L16 feature and all together it adds up especially considering that this could affect quite a few targets. NOTE: As written, the attack penalty only applies if you actually slide them!
    L11 power - 1d10 is crappy damage but when you factor in that this boasts solid control (daze) and effectively grants the whole party +2 to hit (from CA) and +5 damage against the target for a round, this is the perfect NOVA SETUP spell.  Note that the damage boost is exponentially increased if you can manage to give the target psychic vulnerability as well (Rod of Ulban FTW!).
    L12 power - Not as much of an upgrade thanks to SWA, but still 2 turns of invisibility every encounter is quite nice.
    L16 feature - Adding a -2 attack penalty for a round to all of your encounter powers is huge, just ask Psychic Lock users! 
    encounter power that , an awesome utility that Warlocks play ninja like the days before the stealth nerf, and a flavorful (if a little weak) daily and you have a very solid path.
    L20 power - 2d8+mods may not seem like much damage, but getting to deal it up to twice per round (once as immediate reaction, once as minor) in addition to your normal attacks is crazy good! This is the perfect solo killer spell.

  • Planeshifter (MotP) - This is a very niche CONTROL focused path that is best for RITUAL CASTERS in campaigns where planar travel is commonplace. 
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - One free ritual and a bonus to a handful of rituals if you happen to have the Ritual Caster feat? This is complete garbage for 95% of warlocks.
    L11 AP feature - A bonus actual move action is great since it allows stand+shift or sustain+curse, etc. Having the option to teleport 10 with that action is gravy.
    L11 power - Zero damage (so no curse damage), but you get the control of a L19 daily (Wrath of Acamar): sequestering the target (save ends), which is huge for an encounter power.
    L12 power - This is beyond red. 3 surges and another surge per sustain standard for a link to a preexisting portal. Who does WotC think would want to cast this more than once a day??
    L16 power - Immunity to forced teleportation is nice when it comes up, but I would guess that would be a handful of times in the average characters entire 30 level career! As a daily utility this would be purple, as an always on class feature this is a slap in the face compared to what other paths offer.
    L20 powerIf your DM rules that you can add static mods to each d8 separately then this is very powerful, but given the way this is written, that would be generous on your DM's part. Likewise if you can manage to buff the 4 separate ONGOING damages, it can add up, but the fact that 1 save ends all 4 really limits the power.

  • Sea Tyrant Oracle (AP) - Req Vestige Pact - Other than the vestige upgrades from the daily, there is nothing here rated higher than black, meaning there is just nothing to get excited about and your Paragon Path should really get you excited. 
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - If this included attack rolls it would be much better. As is, rerolling a save or skill check 1/encounter is useful but rather underwhelming for a PP feature.
    L11 AP feature - Making the action itself reliable is quite powerful, but providing no benefit on a daily hurts.
    L11 power - Dazing and weakening is a pretty potent control combo, but I am not sure it is always worth dealing zero damage (so no curse damage).
    L12 power - Guaranteeing you go first in one encounter per day is nice, but not earth shattering.
    L16 feature - This would have been weak for a utility as a L16 feature it is a joke.
    L20 power - 3d6 in an (unfriendly!) area is low damage for a L5 daily, at L20 it is embarrassing. Adding a long push would be nice for a push build, but well that means a different PP. But the weak power is improved by the pact boon and at-will upgrade, which both let you slide one target a long distance. That's great control and can even cause damage in many encounter scenarios, but certainly if you are in a zone-happy party.

  • Storm Scourge (AP) - Req Fey Pact - For all you LIGHTNING specced Fey'locks out there... *cricket, cricket*
    Breakdown

    L11 features - The choice to do lightning with Eldritch Strike is great, but not earth shaking. Likewise lightning resistance is great when it comes up, but that won't be often. Together I think they add up to a decent feature.
    L11 AP feature - Getting to shift 1 square each time you make an attack is a lot of mobility, but only gishes would get much out of it IMO.
    L11 power - This is the L3 power Eldritch Rain except with lightning damage, and it just barely got a black rating for Fey'locks then! The only saving grace is the upgrade it gets at L16 when you can use this to overlap the damage onto adjacent targets for an extra +Int damage to each. 
    L12 power - For gishes/tanks melee retribution and mobility is great, but for everyone else it is unlikely to help much.
    L16 feature - This would be great if the L11 feature made all your powers deal lightning rather than just Eldritch Blast. Why? Because there is ONE warlock lightning spell that is Cha based. One. (Crackling Fire, lvl 5 daily) Obviously that excludes the 2 path powers, but seriously if they were going to include this path in the book you'd think WotC would have added more than 1 power to go with it...
    L20 power -  2d10+Cha+Int is pitiful damage for a L20 daily, but the effect is [Int mod]pseudo-vulnerability (save ends), which can really add up if you ready this attack for immediately after the target's initiative so you can guarantee your whole party gets to hit it before it can save. Also if you can figure out some way of giving the target actual vulnerability on top the effect doubles, but I don't know of any ways to do that.

  • Student of Caiphon (DA09) - Req Star Pact - For RADIANT and/or FEAR specialists, this is worth it for the massive crit range alone, but the whole path is solid. Cha based, but only the encounter power so it's just as good for Con'locks with RESERVE MANEUVER. Post 3/2/10 errata, this is now a nice Warlock exclusive!
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - With the right power selection (or just the right equipment) you get 18-20 crits with all of your attacks, which is pure gold for a Striker.
    L11 AP feature - Not as much ongoing as Bloodmage, but a better type and it even clearly states that it adds the radiant keyword so you definitely get 18-20 crits with the attack. Best with AoE powers since you add the ongoing to every target hit.
    L11 power - Radiant, vs Will, but low damage and no control. The ability to ignore cover, concealment and invisiblity is nice but won't come up every encounter. Con'locks w/ Reserve Maneuver aren't missing out on much.
    L12 power - Invisibility and flight for 2 rounds every encounter is very handy. And ongoing 3 is not that scary plus you can always pick up some psychic resistance.
    L16 feature - 5 damage is a cheap price to pay for this massive offensive upgrade to your pact boon. Note that it doesn't cost you or the ally an action so you can unload a bunch of attacks in succession if you have a bunch of boons trigger at once! Sadly, as written, it doesn't work with Bloodied Boon.
    L20 power - Basically another utility power rather than an attack, but this is worth it. For the cost of a surge each, everyone gets a power back and 1/6th of the time the power is a daily!

  • Umbral Cabalist (D383) - Req Vestige Pact - A mostly defensive path, so it is best for TANKS, but it is good for anyone and the pact boon from the L20 daily is a dream come true for Vestige Mastery!
    Breakdown

    L11 feature - Getting to add your primary to one NAD of your choice while you're bloodied is awesome for Daredevils, but the rest of you shouldn't be bloodied too often.
    L11 AP feature - You autorestrain one curse victim for a round, which is solid control and grants CA to everyone.
    L11 power - 1d6+mods may not be much damage, but any damage (since you get to add curse damage) plus stun on an encounter power is a winner in my book, especially when it is vsWILL. CONTROL
    L12 power - This probably won't come up every encounter (but probably more than once a day), but when it does you'll be glad you can ignore some of the worst conditions out there. SPREADING YOUR CURSE on top of that is pure gravy.
    L16 feature - Most modules/DMs "theme" their encounters, meaning that most of the time all the monsters in an encounter will use the same damage type. For Tanks, who are the most likely to be repeatedly attacked, this is awesome!
    L20 power - A 1d10 upgrade over Vestige of Kronata isn't overwhelming but it does push it above the curve and since you have to be a Vestige'lock to be able to take this power this rating includes the benefit my new favorite pact boon which lets you force one CREATURE who is either cursed by your OR within 5 squares, to make a BASIC attack vs. a target of your choice. I highlighted the word creature because this can be an enemy (potentially triggering your ally's mark in the process) or it can be one of your allies (giving your fighter another mark, or letting another Striker dish out extra damage). I highlighted basic attack because that includes ranged and melee, so you don't have to rely on a target being within reach, and while decent ranged basic attacks are uncommon for PCs, they are very good and very common on artillery and controller monsters. And lastly I highlighted the word "or" because the range is flexible enough to almost guarantee it can always work one way or another. The at-will upgrade however is worse than Kronata's since you can't force the trigger, so it is just mediocre control or mediocre damage, and it's the target's choice which. 
     


Racial Paragon Paths


Show

Changeling
Chameleon (EPG) -
This is all about mixing and matching the best powers from your ally's Paragon Paths, so this is highly dependant on what your allies choose.
Breakdown

L11 feature - This is basically an extra trained skill that you can change every day. Not bad.
L11 AP feature - Meh. Being able to spending an Action Point on an ally's turn is not very powerful.
L11 power - Completely conditional on what you have to choose from amongst your allies.
L12 power - Completely conditional on what you have to choose from amongst your allies.
L16 feature - Meh. This is basically just Reserve Maneuver as a bonus feat.
L20 power - Completely conditional on what you have to choose from amongst your allies.


Deva

Dragonborn
Honorable Blade (PHR:D) - Req Any Martial - This is a solid path for Con'locks. The key feature is that it adds (as opposed to replaces) your breath weapon's damage type to all of your attacks. The L20 power is a Str based weapon power, so it is only useful to Str/Con gishes.
Breakdown

L11 feature - Getting to add a damage type to all of your attacks is very powerful.
L11 AP feature - An extra breath weapon attack for free with APs is pretty solid by default but with all of the feats buffing breath weapons out there it can get crazy good.
L11 power - Getting a free use of your breath weapon as an immediate reaction is great, getting to add half your level to your damage is beautiful!
L12 power - Flying your speed w/o OAs is quite nice mobility.
L16 feature - Congrats, you finally get to resist your breath weapon type.
L20 power - The weak link of this path, a weak close burst Str-based weapon attack. It does at least do half damage on a miss, so it's not completely worthless. 


Ninefold Master (PHR:D) - Req Draconic Spellcaster - Ironically this arcane themed path is weaker for you than the martial themed one. But it's not bad, and the powers are Int or Cha based so they should work for almost all warlocks.
Breakdown

L11 feature - Getting to add your enhancement bonus to your breath weapon is a big boost, especially with DIS.
L11 AP feature - An extra breath weapon attack for free with APs is pretty solid by default but with all of the feats buffing breath weapons out there it can get crazy good.
L11 power - Not bad. 3d6 is okay damage for an AoE and a push 1 can help you out of a jam, unfortunately it targets Fort.
L12 power - Depending on what types of damage you can do with your breath weapon, getting to counter a close/area attack of that type(s) goes from extremely situational to just pretty situational.
L16 feature - Congrats, you finally get to resist your breath weapon type.
L20 power - 3d8 is weak for a daily, even as an AoE, and the zone would be much stronger if it had a damage roll that you could add static mods to.


Scion of Arkhosia (PHB2) - A mediocre path for Con'locks. Very breath weapon oriented, but sadly without houserules the powers don't benefit from most of the breath weapon buffs.
Breakdown

L11 feature - A variable energy admixture for your breath weapon is very potent.
L11 AP feature - 5+Con mod autodamage in a close burst 1 isn't bad, but it does limit you to spending APs when in melee, so it's best for gishes.
L11 power - This is sadly weak as it doesn't actually count as using your breath weapon so it can't benefit from the feats, etc. that buff it, leaving it as a mediocre 3d6 damage spell that you can't add most of your damage bonuses to.
L12 power - Getting to fly your speed as a move action at will helps your mobility, but since it still provokes OAs and you have to land at the end of each move, it is not as powerful as it might seem.
L16 feature - Out of combat you are very fast, but since you are almost always travelling with the rest of your party this has very limited use. It can be used in combat, for a sort of 'super-run' action, but again it is highly situational.
L20 power - Like the encounter power, the fact that it doesn't count as your breath weapon really cripples this as you just don't get to add any mods to the damage and so it is just too weak.


Storm Dragon (PHR:D) - Req Any Primal - YThis pretty much requires Reserve Maneuver, but it could work for lightning/thunder specced guys.
Breakdown

L11 feature - Thunder and Lightning are both uncommon damage types, but getting resistance to both isn't bad.
L11 AP feature - Wow. Adding a [Cha mod] long push and knocking prone to AP attacks is huge!
L11 power - This is Close burst 1 that pushes and lets you fly, but it's Wis based, so Reserve Maneuver bait for 99% of you.
L12 power - A mass fly every encounter is pretty nice, but be warned as this can easily provoke lots of OAs.
L16 feature - The lightning/thunder piercing only affects your primal powers, so it only helps hybrids and deep multiclassers. And overland flight is only situationally useful, and this is not even very fast.
L20 power - Another power limited by the fact that you can't add most damage bonuses to it. The zone does at least offer a little bit of control.


Drow

Dwarf

Eladrin

Elf

Genasi

Githzerai

Gnoll

Gnome

Goliath

Half-elf

Halfling

Half-Orc

Human
Adroit Explorer (PHB2) - While you may not have as drool worthy encounter powers as Storm of Blades or Off-Hand Diversion, this is still an extremely Striker friendly path, especially for DAREDEVILS.
Breakdown

L11 feature - A +5 power bonus to hit when bloodied is a great NOVA SETUP, but only Daredevils get bloodied every encounter.
L11 AP feature
- Gaining resist 10 (20 at epic!) against all damage for 2 turns whenever you AP is crazy good defense.
L11 power
- Cha'locks have some good L7 powers to double up on, but Con'locks not as much. At Epic, you upgrade to a L13 power which includes excellent immediate reaction powers for both sides.
L12 power - A No Action reroll of a saving throw with a +4 power bonus is awesome defense against any condition. Getting to spend a surge on top of that is pure gravy.
L16 feature - Starting each day with 2 APs is pure win for a Striker, especially given all of the AP buffs available to you as a human!
L20 power - Getting a free use of an encounter power as an immediate reaction no less, especially considering that you get +5 to hit thanks to the L11 feature!


Kalashtar

Minotaur

Revenant

Shadar-Kai

Shardmind

Shifter

Tiefling
Lost Soul (Tiefling) - A solid path, but the defensive and retributive nature of several of the features and powers make this best for a TANK build. It is also FIRE themed, so some way around resistance/immunity is needed.
Breakdown

L11 featureONGOING damage is common enough on monsters that getting to reflect the damage back as fire damage is pretty good as long as you are a TANK since you need to be hit a lot for it to come up.
L11 AP feature
- Adding your INT or CHA to the damage of all of your attacks for 2 turns is a big damage boost!
L11 power
- An IMMEDIATE ACTION ATTACK is always nice, getting to AoE in a close burst 1 and then TELEPORT away as an effect is even better. vsREFLEX, FIRE. COMBO: Hellfire Teleport boosts the damage nicely.
L12 power
- Wow. Getting to reroll a save as a No Action means it works against any condition, and the fact that you add your INT or CHA means the risk of failure (and thus a lost surge) is very low.
L16 feature
- Gaining INT or CHA THPs when you score a kill is nice, but not impressive and it conflicts with Hell'lock's boon.
L20 power
- This is a very big wall, which creates quite the obstacle as long as you can trap enemies on the other side of it, otherwise it's FIRE autodamage can hurt your side just as badly.


Seer of Endings (D387) - Gaze of Ruin racial power
- This path features a huge buff to the bloodline power it requires, has powers that are perfect for AT-WILL optimizers, and just in general hands out vulnerability like candy!
Breakdown

L11 feature - Interesting, you have perma CA vs. non-bloodied, non-minions. Obviously this is redundant with SWA, and it is only half as good, but it does open up your armor slot.
L11 AP feature
- Autohitting 1 creature with INT mod vulnerability to your attacks is a nice damage bonus.
L11 power
- A nice versatile power, this upgrades an at-will attack with either 2d10 extra damage, which is respectable (especially if your DM agrees that it would apply to both damage rolls for Hellish Rebuke or Dire Radiance!) or with Weaken, which is solid CONTROL.
L12 power
- Being able to shift, stand or move your speed as an immediate reaction when an enemy dies near you is useful but not very impressive. WARNING: The compendium/character builder detail for this power in the full path entry is wrong, but the separate power entry is correct.
L16 feature
- Combined with the Ruin of Flesh feat, this makes Gaze of Ruin debuff damage by your INT mod+2 or AC by 3 plus impose vulnerability 2xInt mod to all damage for 2 turns, which is a crazy good NOVA SETUP.
L20 power
- Continuing the trend this again buffs an at-will, this time with 3d10 damage and half damage on a miss, plus an Effect that imposes vulnerability 10 save ends!


Turathi Highborn (PHB2)
- The features are good for a Striker, but the powers suffer from accuracy problems since they aren't affected by the Expertise math fix feats. Also two of the powers work best in the hands of a GISH.
Breakdown

L11 feature This is a massive bonus to damage, but it only applies to bloodied targets (against whom you already get +1 to hit), so roughly half the time. In Forgotten Realms, combine with the Spellscarred feat Plaguing Bloodhunt for double the fun!
L11 AP feature
+2d6 fire damage to your AP attack is good but not great. It does add the fire keyword though, which is nice for fire specialists.
L11 power By default this power is pretty weak since its accuracy is very hard to boost and it requires 2 successful attacks (yours plus the forced attack) to deal any damage. But if you make sure to target a marked target, you can generate some free damage from your defender.
L12 utility This stance gives an AoE retaliation against melee attacks, so it is best for gishes and tanks who are the most likely to face multiple melee attacks. Also the damage isn't very high but the new fire specialist feats for tieflings can fix that.
L16 feature Knocking the target prone with your racial is a decent upgrade for a feat, but kinda underwhelming for a L16 PP feature.
L20 power Save ends dominate is always nice, but like the encounter power this suffers from accuracy problems; at least in this case you have a solid effect on a miss. However, it is easy to overlook the fact that this is a melee attack! So it's nice for gishes but a liability for everyone else. Once again, targetting a marked target can let you generate some extra damage.


Warforged
Warforged Juggernaut (EPG)
- For GISH CHARGERS, this is one of the best charging PPs out there, and it is amazingly synergistic with the "true MBA" nature of Eldritch Strike.
Breakdown

L11 feature Getting to add +1d6 damage (2d6 at epic), a push 1, and a shift into the square they vacated is a HUGE buff to charges. Added to Eldritch Strikes slide 1, you get a lot of control and make it easy to charge every turn.
L11 AP feature +2 speed and defenses is a great AP buff, sure it only applies if you charge with your AP, but considering it also lets you take actions after the charge and you are all about charging, why wouldn't you?
L11 power For Str/Con gishes this is a nice 2[W] charge that also dazes. But w/o Str it is reserve maneuver bait.
L12 utility The ability to ignore difficult terrain and move through enemies with +2 vs OAs for 2 turns is no at-will teleport, but it is still solid mobility.
L16 feature A permanent +2 to saves is a big buff, getting +2 to Endurance and getting to roll a save with APs is pure gravy.
L20 power Wow this is a great stance. Resist All (that can even negate conditions), -5 to forced movement, and Rain of Steel-esque aura damage?! Hell yeah!


Wilden


Multiclass Paragon Paths


Show

(see the Multiclass section in post #11)
Paragon Powers: Curses of the Adept

Level 13, Encounter


Con based


  • Coldfire Vortex (PHB) - I hate it when WotC makes a higher level version of a power (L3 Fiery Bolt) and makes it worse.

  • Harrowstorm (PHB) - vF deals only 2d10+stat yet what this spell is infamous for is sliding 5 squares (+INT mod for Hell'locks) which is mediocre CONTROL but opens up a lot of combos. COMBO: Any damaging zone since WotC confirmed that you can slide a target in and out of a damaging zone, triggering the damage multiple times (but you also have to pay any extra movement cost for the zone, e.g. Wall of Fire).

  • Killing Flames (AP)vF IMMEDIATE REACTION deals solid 3d8+stat FIRE damage, top DPR material. And the trigger should come up every fight. The only downsides are targetting Fort, and easy-to-resist fire damage--but Hell'locks can ignore the second part. WARNING: Because you can't use immediate actions on your turn, so you can't use this if you were the one who bloodied the target.

  • Skirmisher's Volley (AP) - The damage is terrible (this would be a 3rd level ranger power if it dealt 1[W] instead of 1d8), and getting a free shift afterwards doesn't save it.

  • Soul Flaying (PHB) - vW deals only 2d8+stat and it's easy-to-resist NECROTIC damage (though Hell'locks get to add their INT mod), but Weakened is a solid DEBUFF. 



Cha based


  • All Must Sacrifice (FRPG) - Unfortunately because of the clarification to when you add static mods to damage, this power has become a trap. Per RAW, your allies would take 1d8+mods while you would only add a flat 1d8 extra damage to the target. 

  • Bewitching Whispers (PHB) - Zero direct damage (i.e. no curse damage either) and it's highly situational and conditional on your DM. In 4e, targets know the consequences of their actions while under the effect of a power, but it's unclear whether monster A knows the consequences of his actions due to monster B being under the effect of a power. IMO they shouldn't, but some DMs will rule differently (or just cheat) and have the other monsters shift to avoid OAs from the target in which case this power did nothing except exert some very odd control on the adjacent monsters. 

  • Blaze of Ulban (DA09) - Terrible damage for its level and odd control. Even with the Star'lock rider I can't recommend this.

  • Cursegrind (FRPG) - vF CLOSE BURST20 deals 2d10+stat NECROTIC which is solid for such a large AoE. Compared to Cursebite at 1st level, you get to do 2 plus your Cha mod more damage on average. Not spectacular, but it's at least a clear upgrade. What makes this so much better though is simply its timing. At this level it will be much easier for you to SPREAD YOUR CURSE. Dark'locks again get to add their INT mod for more damage.

  • Dark Reach of Xevut (AP) - vW IMMEDIATE REACTION deals 2d8+stat PSYCHIC, which is great for an out of turn DPR. Wow, now this is a fun spell. You effectively cancel a successful save by transfering it to a new target. The only downsides are the short range (3) between the old victim and the new one might be hard to manage, and of course your enemies need to be making saves every encounter to even use the power, that shouldn't be too hard in a full size party at 13th. Star'locks even get a +INT mod save bonus for a round.

  • Korred's Tune (AP) - vW deals 3d6+stat initial damage, but that DPR goes way up if the target ignores the SOFT CONTROL: they have to move at least 3 or take an extra 1d6+mods PSYCHICTIP: Since the damage is likely high enough to ensure the target would choose to move, I highly recommend using this on an immobilized target or on a target that would provoke an OA! Fey'locks up the required move to 6 squares!

  • Ice Blades of Levistus (D386) - vW deals only 2d10+stat COLD, but has great CONTROL due to the mark and immobilize combo. Plus it's another of the 2nd CHANCE, this time offering half damage and half the control on the 2nd try. Hell'locks get to retaliate for another 2d10+stat if the initial mark is violated!

  • Wraith's Shadow (AP) - vF deals only 2d8+stat NECROTIC and weakens, which is a solid DEBUFF. Overall this is a weaker version of the Con'lock power, Soul Flaying above, and the Dark'lock rider is a terrible trade.



Con or Cha


  • Break the Will (DSCS) - vW TOUCH or RANGED5 deals only 2d6+stat but it dazes, which is solid CONTROL. Fell Might: lets you deal INT mod and curse adjacent enemies which is beautiful for minions!


 

Level 15, Daily


Con based


  • Blasphemous Utterance (D382) - Crappy damage, but a nasty effect. Unfortunately the nice big unfriendly area, makes this a liability to your friends unless you can somehow get in a position where you are surrounded by enemies and more than 3 away from the nearest ally--not very likely if you ask me. I consider this a trap.

  • Caution of Dispater (AP)vW CHARM PSYCHIC and a potentially multi-damaging power, but only if your party can avoid attacking it--generally a bad strategy for a single target daily. TIP: if you ready/delay this attack until right before the target's turn, you can guarantee at least 1 extra hit out of it, making it a great DPR power. Hell'locks on the other hand can freely attack the target (though his/her party still can't), which is awesome for fights with multiple tough monsters.

  • Evil Expulsion (D382) - Solid damage with a little control and some nice curse spreading utility (especially for Hell'locks). But I think that Tendrils of Thuban offers better bang for your buck thanks to the AoE and much better control. YMMV. 

  • Fireswarm (PHB) - I would probably recommend this power if you got to do half damage on a miss with the initial attack. As is, you get an all or nothing attack for good FIRE+POISON damage and then can SUSTAIN STANDARD to attack for weak damage in subsequent rounds. It works as a way to stay effective in a long fight after you've used up all your encounter powers, but it only lasts until you miss (and targetting Fort means it probably won't take long).

  • Hellfire Soul (D372) - First off, be careful that this power is erroneously Charisma based in the Character Builder/Compendium! I want to like this power, but the effect is another crit bonus style effect, where it is just too hard to count on triggering. If you had some way of knowing the enemy's exact HP total (and for the record a reasonably optimized DPR with this is only 33, so they have to be rather low on HP), with the perfect enemy (strong basic attack and regen) you could clean up with this power since there death is the only way to break the dominate. But that's a lot of ifs, and without getting anything from the effect marginally better than a level 1 daily.

  • Tendrils of Thuban (PHB)vF 4d10+stat COLD is great damage for AoE and save ends immobilize is great CONTROL but nada on a miss. Then you can SUSTAIN MINOR for another 1d10 damage vs. anyone in the ZONE but they nerfed away the immobilization on the sustain, so you need high accuracy+save debuffs and/or a PUSH PARTY to make this work.

  • Thirsting Maw (PHB) - RANGE5 vF 4d8+stat is crappy damage, but healing half that is nice. Then we have another poorly worded SUSTAIN MINOR it could mean you refresh ongoing 2d8+mods every round (again healing for half that) or it could mean that you get to inflict the damage every round until they save. Either way you should get at least 2 hits out of this, so it is solid.

  • Vestige of Leraje (AP) - Worse than Flames of Phlegethos and that got a purple rating at level 1. For Vestige'locks the pact boon grants a conditional +2 to defenses, and the at-will upgrade adds immobilization which is excellent control, but the power is bad enough that I still can't recommend this.

  • Vestige of Solis (AP) - If the secondary attack were part of the effect it would be a lot better. As is, the secondary attack requires 2 consecutive successful attacks to trigger which is terrible accuracy. And even if everything does hit 2d8 + daze + deaf + ongoing 10 is still weak for 15th level. For Vestige'locks, the pact boon is too short range except for gishes, but the at-will upgrade effectively marks the target, so except for Tanks or those who can retaliate and make this a lose-lose scenario, it sucks.

  • Vestige of the Unknown Arcanist (D383) - Low damage, but targets will and offers solid control and a solid miss effect. Vestige'locks get a solid pact boon which has a lot of potential especially for teleport buffs and those with zone-happy wizards. Their at-will upgrade is useful, but unimpressive for 15th level.



Cha based


  • Curse of the Golden Mist (PHB) - *sigh* This is a fantastic CONTROL power, however your primary role is Striker and this is another power that deals zero damage. Still powers that work like this where instead of save ends it ends when you miss, actually give you a decent chance of controlling a Solo for more than 1 round.

  • Dark Rain of Mutuz-Vot (AP) - This affects a very large area for a Striker power and the zone is pure, good control, but unfortunately the damage is low considering it deals zero on a miss. But the main reason for the low rating is that you can't move the zone and it affects your allies just as much as your enemies. Dark'locks get to ignore the zone, but their allies still don't.

  • Dark Lady's Gift (FRPG) - 2d10 is pretty crappy damage, especially with nothing on a miss. The effect of ongoing 5 damage (that deals 5 dmg in a friendly AoE whenever the target fails a save) helps, but that only puts it on par with Flames of Phlegethos or Your Glorious Sacrifice--L1 dailies!

  • Far Realm Glimpse (DA09) - This is another power with a built in accuracy bonus offsetting targetting Fort. This packs mediocre initial damage with save ends daze. On top of that it forces the target to either retreat at full speed with its one action or take almost double damage (and reset the save ends daze if the target somehow managed to save already). Unfortunately they forgot to have the power do anything on a miss (even after the Dragon Annual edit!), which makes this an all or nothing power--so take this only if you can manufacture very high accuracy.

  • Kimmeriel's Smile (FRPG) - Weak damage with interesting control. With the proper setup you can keep the target dazed for a while: either target a melee-only monster outside of charge range, or make sure to debuff its attack bonus enough that it has little to no chance to hit. Make sure you set this up though, otherwise its no better than a level 1 daily. Dark'locks get a range boost that can make it possible to keep even most ranged monsters from being able to attack back (and thus break the daze).

  • Plague of Frogs (AP) - Cha'locks rejoice, you finally get a charisma based zone power and boy is it a good one! The initial damage is weak, but the zone is big, the repeat damage is quite high and it's difficult terrain. And best of all you can easily move the zone, oddly enough getting both a free 1 square move out of the sustain and a respectable 3 squares out of a move action. Fear the hopping carnivorous frogs of DOOM!

  • Visage of Zhudun (DA09) - Another zone power for Cha'locks, and this one is obviously modeled after Hunger of Hadar. It has no initial damage, but high zone damage. The sustain attack isn't bad since it targets will, does a little extra damage and slows. But it blocks line of sight in and out, and you can't move it so it's just as much of an obstacle to your side as theirs after the first round. So, you need a push-heavy party to make this work, but personally I'd just recommend going with Plague of Frogs instead.  





Con or Cha


  • Touch of the Two Moons (DSCS) - vF TOUCH FEAR deals 4d10+stat with half on a miss. Then as an Effect, you get a secondary attack in a vW FRIENDLY CLOSE BURST5 that pushes equal to the target's speed and makes them grant CA (save ends). So the control is a little weak, but it helps. COMBO: push synergy from Polearm Momentum, Draconic Arrogance, Iron Vanguard, etc. makes the secondary attack much stronger.


 

 


Level 16, Utility


Warlock Utilities


  • Amaan's Continuance (AP) - You have several damage/attack avoidance options that can be used to deny a death blow and they actually save you the HP.

  • Caiphon's Disquieting Liberty (DA09) - Movement denial is usually not that big of a problem for Warlocks since you're primarily a ranged character, this is just for situations where a monster has you locked in melee with it and in my experience that's just not a common enough experience to be worth this high level power with a price every encounter.

  • Cloak of Shadow (PHB) - WotC was really paranoid about players abusing flight and insubstantiality. At least that's the only reason I can come up with for this terrible power.

  • Eye of the Warlock (PHB) - Not a useless power only because you can use this on your allies as well as enemies. Sadly your ally can't volunteer to fail his/her saves.

  • Fail me Not (DSCS) - MINOR SUSTAIN MINOR stationary ZONE that gives allies (and not yourself) +2 to hit and + INT mod to damage, but only with melee and ranged attacks and if they miss they get vulnerable 5 all. A selfless buff that costs you your precious minor action and comes with this big of a trade off is terrible for 16th level, unless you happen to be in a party with nothing but Rangers.

  • Hero's Defense (AP) - Wow, now this is a good defense power. Your best defense +4 will likely be hard to hit, and getting to halve the damage regardless is awesome. Having this to use every encounter will make you very very tough.

  • Infuriating Elusiveness (PHB) - The more versatile, proactive alternative to Hero's Defense. In one power you get the mobility of a 4 square teleport, the offense of combat advantage (though if you have Shadow Warlock's Armor this part is moot), and the defense of invisibilty for a round. 

  • Painful Transference (AP) - Ironically this power is weak as intended for Cha'locks, but Con'locks especially Tanks can abuse this with little to no cost at all!

  • Ruinous Resistance (FRPG) - They couldn't have at least tried to make this worth the trade off? Not only will your friends string you up if you try this, but it's a weak trade at this level anyway.

  • Warp Space (AP) - This is a leader power, why do we get it again? For a Striker, this is a waste of a standard action.  

  • Vile Resonance (D382) - Not recommended for fragile Cha'locks, but the trade off is worth it for everyone else IMO especially since you can turn it off if things go sour. Hell'locks get some nice control to go with the damage boost.



Skill Powers


  • Insightful Riposte (Insight) - a slightly weaker version of a human's Heroic surge. Very nice indeed!




Level 17, Encounter


Con based


  • Despair of Zhudun (AP) - Since monsters know the consequences of their actions in 4e, there is very little reason for them to stand up. Being prone means you grant CA to adjacent enemies, get a -2 penalty to attacks, and can't walk or run. This power makes the target grant CA (to all enemies!) if he stands up, and he's already spent a move action to stand so unless he wants to skip an attack this round to move again or wants to charge, the only thing he gains is the removal of the attack penalty. And Star'locks don't even let them cancel the attack penalty! Now that you officially get to add static mods to the 2d8 damage he takes if he stands up, it is even more of a no-brainer for the target to stay prone. A smart DM will just have the monster stay prone 99% of the time, which makes this a very low damage spell with mediocre control.

  • Life Force Reclaimed (AP) - Now this power grants a truly significant amount of THP! The damage is pretty good too. Vestige'locks get even more THP, kind of to the point of overkill. This power is best when combined with something that you know will hurt you (Doom of Delban, the Bolstering Blood Blood Mage feature, etc.) or if you are your party's back up defender.

  • Sea Tyrant's Fury (AP) - A nice control power as pushing that far plus knocking prone can easily waste a melee monsters entire next turn. And since this targets Reflex it also makes a great defensive power as you can reliably hit brutes and other melee monsters who get into melee with you. The only downside is this is not a party-friendly power, so be careful where you aim it and/or pick up War Wizardry or something to try to spare your allies. The Vestige'lock rider is odd to me, flavor-wise, but a save bonus can't hurt.

  • Warlock's Bargain (PHB) - This power does a large amount of damage, but comes at a hefty price. If the cost and the damage bonus were the same and thus scaled the same it'd be a much better power, but as is, it scales terribly becoming worse and worse as you level up. Short range, but thankfully that doesn't hurt a Con'lock as badly as a Cha'lock. Hell'locks are much better equipped for this power between the cost reduction and all their THPs.



Cha based


  • Claws of the Magpie (AP) - The damage is rather low, but the control will cripple the right target--unfortunately the "right target" won't come up every encounter so this becomes a very situational power. Fey'locks also get a few THPs as well to give them some much needed toughness.

  • Delban's Eye (DA09) - 3d10 cold is solid, but it targets Fort and marking is very weak control without any retaliation to back it up. Cancelling concealment is nice but certainly won't come up every encounter. Star'locks however grant a massive damage boost to all attacks against the target, which makes this a big DPR bump for the whole party but not as big as Strand of Fate below (and be careful that this bonus damage only applies to damage from attacks, meaning ongoing damage, zone damage, and other miscellaneous damage isn't affected).

  • Devouring Death (AP) - WotC was really short on ideas this level, this makes the 3rd power Cha-lock power this level that (effectively) grants vulnerability. This is by far the weakest since the vulnerability is only to 2 damage types (and they are even rare types for PCs to deal). Dark'locks also get to cancel resistance to the damage types, which is worthwhile at least for necrotic, enough to make it a decent pick for them.

  • Dire Portents of Malbolge (D386) - 3d10 generic is decent damage, targeting Will is nice. The control is pitiful though, because of the duration; dazed until the start of the targets turn means it provides brief CA, and briefly prevents OAs and immediate actions. That is awful. The 2nd chance on this one offers half damage, but full (though still crappy control). Hell'locks get to slide all nearby enemies [Int] squares away on the initial attack, which vastly improves the control making the power pretty good.

  • Strand of Fate (PHB) - Very similar to Delban's Eye (and Devouring Death) above, this does significantly less initial damage but grants more of a damage boost (and it's not just for Star'locks). Since the damage boost gets multiplied by the number of times your party can damage the target in a turn it more than makes up for the low initial damage. Note this combos especially well with powers that damage the target in multiple instances including ongoing damage! (thanks to Ian Demagi!) Star'locks get even more of a damage bonus, making this the ultimate nova setup spell.

  • Thirsting Tendrils (PHB) - Odd flavor-wise, but a welcome departure IMO as cha-locks are far more fragile than Con-locks and can really use a power that lets them heal themselves. The downsides are the damage is rather weak for the level and it targets Fort so accuracy could be a problem, which really hurts a power that you want to use in emergencies (try to target artillery or controller monsters to avoid this). Fey'locks get a significant amount of extra free healing.

  • Unholy Glee (FRPG) - As one of the very few encounter powers to inflict a save ends effect, this is quite powerful. 2d8+mods damage is low, but as long as they don't manage to save before their turn, 2d8+10+mods is great. If the monster is desperate enough to take the extra 4d6--all the better! Dark'locks rider is worthless unless you happen to be targetting an artillery or controller monster that you know has a lower Fort than Will.

  • Your Delectable Pain (FRPG) - As the big brother of Your Delicious Weakness, this suffers from the same limitation: vulnerabilities are just not a very common trait in monsters. Still this is a long range, high damage spell that targets reflex, so it's good even without the rider effect. If you are in a party with someone with the frostcheeze feats, or are in an adventure where undead or other monsters with vulnerabilities are common, then this gets much better.  





Con or Cha


  • Obedience's Reward (DSCS) - TOUCH or RANGED5 This lets you play Warlord and hand out a MBA or Charge to an ally with a whopping INT mod attack bonus and +2d8 damage. And if they miss your ally takes your Con or Cha mod damage, but you regain the power! Fell Might: lets your ally deal your curse damage as well!


 

 


Level 19, Daily


Con based


  • [color=purple]Hellfire Eruption (D382) - Solid damage that is better if you can debuff saves. But be warned the rider effect is unfriendly and thus can be turned against you and your allies, so this is recommended only for parties with some fire resistance!

  • Minions of Malbolge (PHB) - The big brother of Armor of Agathys has a few trade offs compared to its predecessor. The THP amount is larger but doesn't even attempt to scale. The damage is higher and it has a control effect, but it only triggers when they enter adjacency not if they start their turn adjacent. But the biggest loss is duration, since this power only lasts as long as your THP do. You can invest in THP granting powers (or hope desperately that the infernal pact boon will trigger often enough) to extend the life span, just be warned that it would still only take is a few too many hits in a row to lose it, and it still only triggers defensively or by using a slide power (so Eldritch Strike really helps).

  • Vestige of Amaan (AP) - Crappy initial damage, but immobilization isn't bad control, and save ends vulnerability 10 is a big boost to your party's offense. Tip: Have your party use readied actions to make sure that the whole party gets to go before the target can try to save. Unfortunately it targets Fort and you don't get the vulnerability on a miss, which is the best part of the power! Without any other particularly good options, Con-locks who can manufacture high accuracy should take this, otherwise they should probably look at a lower level power or a multiclass swap. Vestige'locks are the exception since they get a nice versatile pact boon and at-will upgrade both of which let you move monsters long distances.

  • Vestige of Kronata (D383) - Low initial damage, but ongoing 10 in an area, with half damage plus ongoing 5 on a miss, is solid. However you have to be very careful of fire resistance when the damage is spread out like this. Vestige'locks get a nice offensive pact boon, especially for pusher builds. Thanks to the static mods ruling, their at-will upgrade makes the target choose between weak control or 1d10+mods damage, 95% of the time smart DMs will just not approach you.  But if you can add a pull or slide to the attack or follow up the attack with one, you can force the trigger which basically doubles your damage!

  • Vestige of the Burned Emperors (AP) - The bar for pure damage at this level is set at 6d10 (avg 33), this does 2d10 (avg 11) plus adjacent allies x Int mod. So you need 22 to break even which works out to roughly 3 allies x Int 7 or 4 allies x Int 6--not very easy to count on. On the upside it scales well with level, so it might be worth retraining into once your Int mod gets to 8 or 9. Vestige'locks don't get any real help as the pact boon and at-will upgrade while not worthless, are extremely weak for the level.

  • Void Star (AP) - Sorry Con-locks, this is your last choice this level. The damage is still mediocre, and its necrotic, and the rider is highly situational. Against a regenerating monster or one with a leader ally, it will be awesome but they are few and far between, so most of the time you won't get anything out of it. So only those in an adventure that features a lot of regenerating monsters should consider this. 



Cha based


  • Dark Side of the Moon (DA09) - A very accurate power, but unfortunately it doesn't have much else going for it. The damage is mediocre, and the control is very unimpressive for a daily. If it lasted more than a round it'd be great, but as is, this is just a glorified encounter power.

  • Delusions of Loyalty (PHB) - Another power with unusual mechanics to fit some fun flavor. First off, I have to warn again that this power deals zero damage and thus will not allow you to add your Curse damage. Second, it does nothing at all on a miss. But if you can manufacture high accuracy you essentially dominate the monster for as long as you keep hitting it, which is awesome control.

  • Dread Briars (D375) - A necrotic fey'lock spell? Odd.  Compared the Tendrils of Thuban that Con'locks get, you trade 2d10 damage for 10 ongoing, trade the AoE & zone effect for 1/2 damage & 1 turn of slow on a miss, and cold damage for necrotic damage. Overall that is a bad trade, and Tendrils is only black by default. Fey'locks get to ignore necrotic resistance which helps a lot.

  • Explosive Contagion (FRPG) - This RANGE20 VS FORT power does low 2d10+Cha NECROTIC damage, but adds ONGOING POISON 10 (+INT mod for dark'locks) then if the target fails at least 1 save you get to spread ongoing 5 (again +Int for dark'locks) to enemies within 5. However on a miss you just do half damage plus ongoing 5, which can't spread. So to make sure this power works you need to be able to hit the typically highest NAD, pierce necrotic and poison resistance/immunity and you need to SAVE DEBUFF. COMBOSPersistent Poison debuffs the saves, and Icy Clutch of Stygia and Hellfire Master help offset the loss of a successful save, but you still want to debuff that first save so they can apply to the spread damage; . Ultimately there are too many hoops to jump though in my opinion especially when Maelstrom of Despair is available below.

  • Force of Nature (AP) - Wow, a real striker power. 6d10 is some of the highest damage Warlocks (sadly) ever get. Getting to push and knock prone on top of that is gravy. The only downsides are generic damage doesn't give you many upgrade options, and targetting Fort means you have to be careful with whom you target.

  • Maelstrom of Despair (AP) - This VS WILL power does mediocre 3d10+Cha PSYCHIC damage plus ONGOING 5 on a hit. But then as an Effect you get to deal INT mod damage (double for dark'locks!) every time it attempts a save regardless of what it is saving against which you can SUSTAIN MINOR. So this is a great solo-killer when you use it with the combos. COMBOSLots of save ends powers from you party are needed to ensure the effect keeps triggering especially since this power deals zero on a miss, Icy Clutch of Stygia and/or Hellfire Master help add to the lose-lose scenario for the target, and the Rod of Ulban makes the damage potential disgusting!

  • Passionate Betrayal (AP) - A very interesting power, save ends dominate is great control. Tacking on a built-in cumulative save penalty is unheard of! Of course there's a catch: attacking the target gives him free saves and bloodying the other monsters reduces his save penalty so the clock is ticking. Also I have to mention that this is another power that deals zero direct damage so no curse damage, and the miss effect is quite a drop off. Dark'locks get a much better bang for their buck out of the puppeteered attacks.

  • Wrath of Acamar (PHB) - This is a true all-or-nothing power. On a hit you do solid initial damage, sequester the target, and (thanks to the static mods ruling) effectively do 1d10+mods ongoing damage as well!  On a miss, you do nothing. Zip. Nada. So it is another power that is only good if you can manufacture high accuracy.





Con or Cha


  • Voice of the Dictator (DSCS) - vW CHARM CLOSE BURST5 (but only 1 target) deals no initial damage on a hit, but dominates save ends which is awesome CONTROL. Then each FAILED SAVE deals Con or Cha damage and gives an ally Con or Cha THP. On a miss you deal 2d12+stat PSYCHIC damage. To be worth it you really need accuracy and save penalties.


 

 


Paragon Feats

General and Warlock Class feats


  • Arcane Admixture (AP) - Ever wish that your favorite power dealt Cold damage so you could use Frostcheeze or Thunder so you could increase the burst size with Resounding Thunder? Here ya go.

  • Arcane Reach (PHB) - Dex 15 - The prereq is kind of tough until maybe epic for most but this really makes close powers a lot more flexible.

  • Arcane Ritualist (AP) - Ritual Caster - This is a great way to handle the ones based on heal.

  • Armor Specialization (PHB) - Another +1 AC and you get rid of the armor check or speed penalty, which is only worth it for a TANK.

  • Beseech Patron (D381) - A free proactive pact boon is a great AP boost.

  • Bleak Guide's Return (D381) - Vestige Pact - This is practically useless due to the layered conditional triggers. They might as well have called for the planets to align too.

  • Called Shot (D368) - A huge boost, and makes getting in close very worth it, but note that it only applies to ranged attacks not area or close attacks. 

  • Curse of the Blind Stars (D384) - By default this only applies to 9 powers, so it sucks. But if you use a radiant weapon or take Sibling to the Stars/Radiant One/Arcane Admixture, then it is a pretty nice control option.

  • Demonweb Spiral (FRPG) - Dark Pact - This only hurts enemies that retreat after attacking and that is way too situational to be worth a feat.

  • Devastating Critical (PHB) - This adds 5.5 times your crit chance in DPR, so with 19-20 crits this is +.55 DPR. For comparison, at this level Weapon Focus gives 2 times your hit chance in DPR, so with a 50/50 chance to hit that's +1 DPR--almost twice as good!

  • Dominating Gaze (D371) - Vampiric Heritage - This is a damn good 15th level daily; a minor action save ends dominate with save ends with daze as an after effect! Con'locks need a high Int to pull it off though.

  • Eochaid's Lure (D381) - Fey Pact - I guess this could work if you built around it...?

  • Evasion/Mettle (PHB) - Even for tanks damage on a miss attacks are just too rare in 4e to make these worth a feat slot.

  • Fey Revel Glamor (D384) - Fey Pact - Meh. Adding slow/upgrading to immobilization to 1 target of your dailies isn't bad, but it's not great either.

  • Fleet-Footed (PHB) - You should be plenty mobile already without this.  

  • Flitting Shadows (D382) - The control potential of this is huge especially considering the prevalence of ways to buff teleport distance. But on top of control, now that vertical teleportation is officially allowed, you can use this to teleport foes up into the air and drop them for falling damage plus knocking prone.  However due to the saving throw they get to avoid this, it is a gamble, but statistically the odds are in your favor.  A standard monsters has a 45% chance of failing their saving throw, and giving up 2d6 of your curse damage lets you teleport them 6 squares up, which equates to 3d10 falling damage.  .45 * 3 * 5.5 = 7.425 damage > 2 * .5 = 7 damage. TIP: This is an easy way to force enemies back into damaging zones, however as Eric888 pointed out you do have be able to see into the zone (unless you can drop them in from above it).

  • Grazing Shot (PHB3) - Only hybrids or niche builds have the Dex to make this worth it

  • Great Fortitude/Iron Will/Lightning Reflexes (PHB) - Very helpful defensive feats, but as an offensive character I highly recommend Paragon Defenses instead for the feat slot savings.

  • Gritty Determination (PHB3) - A good amount of Con based THP for free with every daily is pretty solid for a feat.

  • Hellfire Hex (D384) - Infernal Pact - Adding/increasing ongoing fire damage to (one target of) all your dailies is a pretty good buff, but nothing earth shattering.

  • Improved Dark Spiral Aura (FRPG) - Dark Pact - As long as your DM actually triggers your aura then this is a nice upgrade (especially for getting the 12+ damage bonus).

  • Lasting Frost (PHB) - The infamous frostcheeze, basically as long as you keep hitting with cold powers you get a big damage bonus (and CA if you took Wintertouched too).

  • Liberating Teleport (PHB3) - Even for teleport buffs, a conditional +2 feat bonus to saves is pretty weak.

  • Message of Doom Spurned (D381) - Star Pact - A decent defensive option as long as you find yourself getting large bonuses at a time (since +1 or 2 is not very likely to turn a hit into a miss). 

  • Overwhelming Critical (PHB3) - Combined with Grounding Shot and Headsmans's Chop, this is a solid crit boost.

  • Persistent Poison (D373) - For Poison spec - An absolute necessity if you want to try to use the ongoing poison spells, but even with this I think you are taking a big gamble.

  • Prime Punisher (D373) - For Gishes - this lets you gain Prime Shot bonuses (including other upgrades like Called Shot) in melee.

  • Prisoner's Resolve (D381) - Infernal Pact - You Hell'locks should have the HP/THP to spare for this, but be careful as this only grants a second chance. Meaning don't use this to try to shake off ongoing 10 thinking "well I'm gonna take 10 damage either way" because you'll actually end up taking 20 if you miss your save.

  • Protective Hex (D384) - This is basically a mark feature, so it is awesome for a TANK.

  • Psychic Lock (PHB) - There are a lot of psychic spells (especially for Fey'locks) and the penalty really adds up, but be warned that it is counterproductive on dominate and pseudo-dominate spells. 

  • Relentless Curse (AP) - A solid alternative (or addition) to Twofold Curse, as dropping one cursed enemy is exactly when you want to curse your next victim.

  • Repel Charge (PHB3) - For a TANK or GISH this will probably generate free attacks in many encounters.

  • Reserve Maneuver (PHB2) - By default this offers the versatility of having a back up move that you only use is the right circumstances (or one you can always fall back on)--probably to account for resistances/immunities. But this feat also allows you to swap out a lackluster Paragon Path power for another class power making many more PPs viable!

  • Resounding Thunder (PHB) - By default this is not applicable to many warlock powers, but if you build around it, especially for the ZONES it can be a massive boost.  

  • Shadow Born Warlock (D371) - Necrotic is the most common monster damage type, so this is quite effective as long as you aren't forsaking Int.

  • Shared Pact (AP) - I wish the range was farther, but still this is a great upgrade for basically all Pacts. Fey'locks and Hell'locks can avoid their boons being wasted, Star'locks can play Leader, and Dark'locks can give monsters a lose-lose choice by putting the Aura on the Defender!

  • Shield Mastery (PHB3) - Shield Prof - For a TANK this stacks with Great Fortitude.

  • Sickening Shadows (D382) - Shadow Walk feature - For Tanks with a good Int this is an awesome reward.

  • Twofold Curse (PHB) - This offers action advantage, but best of all the ability to curse the second closest enemy. Consider Relentless Curse as a possible alternative/addition.

  • Twofold Pact (DA09) - The feat that every single warlock should take: a free at-will, an alternative pact boon, and you qualify for twice as many pact-specific power riders! An absolute no-brainer.

  • Veil of Waking Dreams (D384) - Star Pact - Getting to add daze (save ends) or ongoing 5 psychic to (one target of) all your dailies is a great upgrade (much better than the similar fey/infernal feats IMO).

  • Vestige Versatility (AP) - Vestige Pact - Almost a necessity for Vestige'locks.

  • War Wizardry (FRPG) - If you use any AoE, especially zones, this feat is vital. (note it even helps if you ever get dominated!)

  • White Lotus Master Evasion (D374) - White Lotus Evasion - I didn't think the prereq was worth it, eating up two slots for this is even worse.

  • White Lotus Master Hindrance (D374) - White Lotus Hindrance - This adds a lot of control to your at-wills.

  • White Lotus Master Riposte (D374) - White Lotus Riposte - Post errata, this is no longer a no-brainer since you can't set up Catch-22s with marks, but it is still a major boost to at-wills if your DM throws many attacks your way.



Racial feats

Deva


  • Ascendant Lineage (PHB2) - Makes your racial power reliable, making it worth using even when you need to roll a 6.

  • Astral Renewal (PHB 2) - Radiant damage is rare, but necrotic is common, so most will find this triggering pretty often.

  • Immortal Resilience (D374) - Immortal Skill It has a subpar prereq, but it really helps with saves, and the epic feat in this chain is very nice.

  • Remembered Mother Tongue (D374) - The only combat usage is being able to Intimidate anyone with a language w/o penalty, but the RP bonuses are great: understanding a rare language, and effectively being able to speak all languages.


Dragonborn


  • Admixture Breath (D 365) - Makes your breath weapon rather hard to resist, but only Con'locks will still be able to hit with it at this level.

  • Dragonborn Zeal (D 365) - Dragonborn Frenzy, Great Fortitude, Toughness - It takes a lot of prereqs, but a bounce back power at 12th level is nice, especially with the other bonuses it comes with for Cha'locks.

  • Empowered Dragon Breath (PHB) - Again for Con'locks (or unusual builds) only since the attack is Str, Con or Dex based, but it is a nice DPR boost.


Drow


  • Eyedark Strike (D 373) - A very nice upgrade, especially when combined with Master of Fire and Darkness, since as a ranged striker it's hard to get much use out of Cloud of Darkness.

  • Merciless Killer (FRPG) - CA is practically a given at this level, so that's a large damage boost.

  • Venomous Heritage (FRPG) - Poison is a very common damage type, and definitely the most common ongoing damage type.


Dwarf


  • Dwarven Durability (PHB) - An incredibly powerful feat, but you can skip it if you never go through all your surges anyway.


Eladrin


  • Feywild Protection (PHB) - A very nice upgrade to your racial power.

  • Reactive Fey Step (D 366) - Forced moves are rare and their danger depends on your DM's penchant for firewall, pits, etc.


Genasi


  • Stormrider (FRPG) - If you have any flight powers, getting to hover is very valuable.


Githzerai


  • Shared Danger Sense (PHB3) - Granting +2 Initiative to all allies is a great deal for a feat.

  • Wind's Fortunes (PHB3) - Not bad for teleport buffs.


Gnoll


  • Swift Bite (D367) - You shouldn't have much of a Str and you can't be sure that you will be the one to bloody a foe.


Gnome


  • Surprising Disappearance (PHB2) - This is effectively +10% to the party's DPR for a round and it helps convinve people to focus fire.


Goliath


  • Unyielding Stone (PHB2) - Makes your racial power make you even tougher. Hell'locks have to worry about overlapping with their pact boon, though.


Half-Elf


  • Versatile Master (PHB2) - every single half-elf should take this.


Half-Orc


  • Strength from Pain (PHB2) - +5, maybe +10 damage per encounter and only if you get bloodied? For a Paragon feat, this is a joke.

  • Unrelenting Assault (PHB2) - Getting to deal damage even on a miss can be a real boon sometimes, and I believe that you would be able to add your static mods to this!




Kalashtar


  • Quori Backlash (EPG) - The triggers are rare, but this damage is substantial and should be enough to dissuade further attacks from that same monster.


Minotaur


  • Beast Within (D 369) - A nice boost that actually helps you as a ranged striker!

  • Brutal Ferocity (D 369) - This lets non-gishes actually get some use of out the racial feature!





Shifter


  • Beasthide Shifting (PHB2) - A very nice feat, especially for longtooths who become very hard to kill.

  • Cliffwalk Shifting (PHB2) - A climb speed is only situationally useful so I don't think this is worth a feat. 


Tiefling


  • Bael Turath Born (DA09) - This nearly doubles your fire resistance, but IMO it is overkill.

  • Blood of Levistus (Tiefling) - Resist cold is solid, and +3 feat bonus to damage with cold is great for COLD SPECIALISTS.

  • Dispater's Iron Discipline (Tiefling) - +2 feat bonus to will and +Cha/Int to saves vs. the 3 worst conditions is great defense but it doesn't stack with Robust Defenses.

  • Glasya's Charming Words (Tiefling) - Sadly the attack bonus is wasted since it doesn't stack with Expertise, but domination as a crit benefit is still definitely worth a feat for CHARM SPECIALISTS!

  • Hellfire of Mephistopheles (Tiefling) - Post nerf this is a feat which helps FIRE SPECIALISTS deal with resistance, but can't actually boost their damage (i.e. compete with Lasting Frost).

  • Ruin of Flesh (D387) - Gaze of Ruin - The only reason to take the Gaze of Ruin feat. This gives you 2 turns of [Int mod] vulnerability against 1 target!



Warforged


  • Improved Immutability (EPG) - Immutability - Instantaneous saving is awesome, and once a day should be just about as often as you need it.



Multiclass feats

Any Martial



  • Bloody Tenacity (MP) - Human - Not bad, extra defense right when things get tense.

  • Dragonbreath Warrior (MP) - Eldritch Strike - A +1[W] boost for using a minor action which is already an attack is crazy good.


Any Divine



  • Hell's Chosen (D384) - Req Infernal Pact - I really don't know why this requires divine multiclassing, but for fire specialists, this is very nice especially since turning everything to fire damage is an option, so you don't have to deal fire damage when you're up against Efreet.

  • Sibling to the Stars (D384) - Star Pact - I really don't know why this requires divine multiclassing, but getting to deal radiant damage with Eldritch Blast and your curse damage is a very nice option to have.


  

  Epic Destinies: Since The Soulless Need Immortality More Than Anyone


Warlock Epic Destinies


[sblock]



  • Archspell (AP) - Not bad, but heavily back loaded so it's better if you are starting at higher level. 
    Breakdown

    L21 the feature is rather weak as +2 once a day and only when you use a specific spell is a hell of a lot weaker than +1 to hit and damage with all of your spells, but it gets better as you get the other features.
    L24 the bounce back feature isn't bad especially if you have already used your signature spell.
    L26 as written, this lets you gain Resist All 15 for the entire encounter, every encounter, as long as you make sure to use your Archspell before you use the utility. 
    L30 lets you convert your Signature Spell to an encounter power, which vastly improves the value of the L21 feature, but can actually weaken the utillity since you probably have Epic Resurgence and/or other ways to recover your Signature Spell and you are definitely going to want to use it again.

  • Archlich (AP) - This is a very solid choice especially for those looking for some more defense. 
    Breakdown

    L21 let's see, thanks to the errata you basically get true immortality plus resistance to 2 of the most common types and +2 to Int.  That is huge!
    L24 You get a bounce back feature on top of the immortality above, which actually lets you get back in a fight but at a huge cost.
    L26 You better make sure you have a solid (preferably daily) fear or necrotic power to recycle, but assuming you do this is great!
    L30 Not as overpowered as Divine Miracle, but still awesome.

  • Champion of Prophecy (EPG) - A rather nice path that slipped past me at first. This has great features, especially for a Con'lock with very potent dailies.
    Breakdown

    L21 - For a Con'lock this is even better than Demigod, but Cha'locks are stuck boosting a physical stat instead of Int. Plus you get a bonus to hit for failing a death save. Sadly I believe this was hurt by the clarification that bonuses aren't cumulative unless specifically mentioned.
    L24 - Getting to spend a surge on a crit is only situationally useful, since it is random and unreliable.
    L26 - This is a useful self buff, but kind of weak IMO for a level 26 utility.
    L30 - A solid capstone, the right daily is totally worth giving up an extra standard action. Best with a Violet Solitaire or other way of continuing to gain APs.

  • Darklord (D372) - You don't get much upfront, but the later abilities are great and perfectly themed. 
    Breakdown

    L21 Getting to use 2 specific situational rituals w/o components once a day is an extremely situational/campaign dependent feature.
    L24 THE best bounce back feature available: a full health, complete resurrection with no side effects, and even concealment and phasing for the rest of the encounter!
    L26 A long range teleport plus invisibility which lasts til you get hit is solid, especially with high defenses and/or evasive powers to keep it up.
    L30 outrageously fun and pretty powerful: you get your very own pet minion every time you score a kill (which should be pretty often as a Striker). Even with just a single action to make basic attacks, they can really add up especially from some monsters, but you can also use them as mobile flankers and mobile walls to clog up corridors! Life Stealers will officially be jealous of you.

  • Deadly Trickster (PHB) - Cha 21, Acrobatics, Bluff, Stealth or Thievery - Not bad, but not great. Better if you won't make it to 30th since this has the absolute worst capstone IMO. 
    Breakdown

    L21 not very good compared to the other reroll options out there, the only advantage it has is being able to keep rerolling the same roll in desperate situations.
    L24 you get your key feature which lets you immediately recover encounter and daily powers with a 15% reliability; that's not bad but very unreliable. This is much better for Grave Callers, elves, or anyone else who is able to reroll a lot.
    L26 is the ultimate do over button effectively giving you an extended rest for a minor action once a day. The down side is you have to use it proactively and it's your only bounce back power so you will find yourself walking the razor's edge as to when to use it.
    L30 might sound like fun but once a day it's just a joke; cancelling a single attack or save is something you can do with many paragon level utilities which are usable once per encounter!

  • Demigod/Chosen (PHB) - Post 3/2/10 errata, this is still a great path as the capstone only matters for 1/30th of the game and it's still helpful, and everything else is great.   
    Breakdown

    L21 THE benchmark for all EDs: +2 to two stats means +1 to hit, damage, 2 NADs, rider effects, you name it!
    L24 the one thing here losing a bit of luster compared to the new stuff coming out, but still damn good.
    L26 that much regen means you are pretty much immune to damage for one encounter/day.
    L30 post, post errata this is now one of the weakest capstone abilities as it just recycles a single encounter power and you have to wait until you blow thru all 4 before it kicks in.

  • Destined Scion (HoFK) - A variant of Demigod that features a static bonus to hit and saves, which makes it more offensive, and thus generally better for a striker.
    Breakdown

    L21 Classic +2 to two stats
    L24 A permanent +1 to hit and +2 to saves is huge and its the reason why this is my new favorite ED.
    L26 This cheat death feature is delayed in that it doesn't kick in until you start your turn below 0 HP, but you get 2 free surges and can stand for free, so it is pretty solid.
    L30 If only this let you turn a miss into a crit, it would be a decent capstone daily. As is, undoing a miss once a day is nice but unimpressive.

  • Eternal Seeker (PHB) - The path for those that like to cherry pick and dabble in other classes, it's not as obviously powerful as Demigod, but with the release of every new power, this path gets just a little bit stronger.
    Breakdown

    L21 The key feature: letting you pick non-warlock powers for your epic powers. With the right choices this can be very powerful, but take heed of the warning they give in the write up that you need to acquire implement proficiency etc. by other means. I recommend checking out Litigation's Eternal Seeker's Guide for help picking your powers.
    L24 A 2-for-1 action point is awesome, it's a shame they specifically denying you AP benefits with the second action though.
    L26
    There are a lot of great L22 utilities out there, but very few are better than the L26 utilities other EDs get, so make it worth it!
    L30 There are a lot of great L24 ED features, but very few are capstone material. I personally recommend Darklord's. 

  • Feyliege (AP) - Requires Fey Pact, or have Fey origin, or be a Half-elf - Like the Paragon Path Entrancing Mystic, this is the ED for Charm Specialists, but it's good for any Fey'lock.
    Breakdown

    L21 half as good as the Demigod benchmark, but that's still pretty good.
    L24 one of the best bounce back powers in the game: instant full heal plus concealment for the entire encounter (this part is sadly mostly redundant for you). The only downside is your 'real self' does actually die so you do need to get Resurrected if you want to get this safety net back. 
    L26 Considering this only gives a bonus to AC & Reflex is a little weak for the level, but a mass dodge plus mass teleport is certainly useful.
    L30 Dominate as a crit benefit with Charm attacks?! That's good enough to make you specialize in charm powers; Gnomes with Feyborn Charm and/or Entrancing Mystics couldn't ask for a better capstone.

  • Free Soul (D376) - Req Revenant - An extremely defensive destiny, so it is great for Tanks, but most of the features are total overkill for anyone else.
    Breakdown

    L21 Forced rerolls are a pretty rare thing, so while this is a huge reversal, it's too situational to be used offensively.
    L24 Getting to make an immediate save as a free action no less, will make even Warden's jealous! But most Warlocks don't suffer that many save ends effects, so this is best for Tanks.
    L26 As if the L24 feature wasn't enough, this lets you roll twice for all saves for one encounter per day, which is total overkill for anyone except for Tanks.
    L30 Finally we get some offense! Now every passed save means you reflect the power on to your attacker. Sadly many attackers will be immune or resistant to their own attacks, but even so this is a great capstone.

  • Harbinger of Doom (PHB2) - Most of the features are defensive, so this is best for Tanks, but even for them this can't compete with Demigod.
    Breakdown

    L21 Partial immunity to natural 1s is pretty weak for this level. A 5% chance to stun anyone attacking you however is great, if you get attacked a lot, so this is good for TanksTIP: Make sure to remind your DM a lot unless he rolls out in the open! NOTE: the way the power is written the stun is automatic, the immediate reaction is only for the slide so it's a little bonus if you have the immediate action to spare.
    L24 Once per encounter, getting to roll a save or spend a surge when an enemy or an ally drops (in fact as written your DM might let you use it when YOU drop!), is very nice!
    L26 Having an aura that makes enemies grant CA, prevents teleportation, and damages enemies when they miss is nice for gishes/tanks, but not so much for a predominantly ranged Striker. 
    L30 A miss means the encounter is going to last at least 1 hit longer and thus 15 extra THPs will help, but it's really unimpressive for an ability you waited 30 levels to get.

  • Immanence (AP) - This offers zero offense, and the defense isn't even that great. Basically, compared to Archspell above which offers Resist 15 All every encounter starting at L26, this path just doesn't hold up.
    Breakdown

    L21 Variable Resist 20 is useful and all, but not enough to be the key feature of an ED.
    L24 The bounce back feature is nice, you get half your max HP as free healing and then get to be insubstantial and phasing until you get healed, and get to do 20 auto damage to adjacent enemies.
    L26 The ablity to change your variable resistance to a new type is not much of a utility, especially considering how many encounters you'll only face a single damage type and the fact that you have to proactively change it, and can't change it back.
    L30 You share resistances and immunities with adjacent allies, but how often are you adjacent to allies? And unless you have spent a lot of gold and feats on attaining resistances/immunities all you probably have to offer is your variable resistance. All in all a pitiful capstone.

  • Indomitable Champion (HoFL) - More defensive variant of Demigod, great for a TANK.
    Breakdown

    L21 Classic +2 to two stats.
    L24 +20HP and +1 untyped to all NADs is an excellent defensive boost!
    L26 A decent cheat death power, you get a free surge and +5 to defenses instead of getting dropped 1/day.
    L30 While negating an attack is nice, once per day cancelling a single attack roll is rather weak for a capstone power.

  • Keybearer (D372) - Way too specialized to be much use to a typical warlock.
    Breakdown

    L21 The ritual feats usefulness is campaign specific as is the bounce back power. On the upside you get your bounce back power much earlier than most EDs.
    L24 Gaining a free teleport is nice, but considering all the other ways you have of teleporting and the randomness of this one, I think it's a waste of a ED feature.
    L26 This is essentially an aura that deals some massive control to enemies in it, but it eats up your standard action and does zero direct damage, so it's not very striker-y.
    L30 Phasing is great for a melee fighter than needs to a lot of moving around enemies, but you should have plenty of teleportation to cover your needs.

  • Lord of Fate (AP) - Requires Unaligned - This is the path for the guy who has the Monster Manuals memorized, because all the features rely on using the monsters powers against him.
    Breakdown

    L21 Very powerful but also extremely situational. Basically, if you get a lot out of Monster Knowledge checks, (both thanks to good skill bonuses as well as a DM who tells you monster role and/or power details), then you can use this to really wreck a monster's day. But you still need a monster who throws out save ends effects (that it isn't immune to!) or it's useless.
    L24 A surge worth of free HP plus THP equal to the felling blow isn't bad, but it's kind of weak compared to other bounce back powers.
    L26 is completely dependent on the accuracy of your side vs. their side: if you can all hit on a 10, and/or you know the enemies all miss on a 10, then by all means go for it! But odds are this will both help and hurt both sides on a case by case basis, so are going to want to combine this with some kind of long lasting buff to yourside and/or debuff to the enemy's side.
    L30 Denying a monster its best power is great, but it's not worth avoiding attacking him. What a sad capstone. 

  • Lorekeeper (PHB2) - Req Int 21, trained in 2 knowledge skills - This destiny is focused mainly on rituals and out of combat stuff, but the capstone can be exploited.
    Breakdown

    L21 Rerolls for knowledge checks is useful, but unimpressive for this level. Getting +2 to damage against monsters that you have knowledge skills for helps, but again, it's weak for an epic feature.
    L24 Rerolls for rituals are nice as they can have some nasty drawbacks on failures, and this also offers a small bonus to hit as a crit benefit, but again these fall short of expectation at this level.
    L26 This would be awesome if it didn't cost a standard action, as is there is almost no situation where this is worth giving up your attack as the Striker.
    L30 With the right utility powers (i.e. encounter long buffs) this is an awesome capstone.

  • Magister (AP) - A solid path but it requires specific choices like Ritual Caster and items with daily powers.
    Breakdown

    L21 +2 to an ability score is half as good as the Demigod benchmark, but getting +4 to the defense(s) you attack whenever you use a daily or an encounter power makes up for it IMO. 
    L24 The bounce back power is pretty good, it doesn't heal as much as most similar powers (and most importantly it actually costs you a surge) but the teleport and free saves mostly make up for it. 
    L26 Personally I tend towards items with properties or encounter powers as they usually seem like the better buy, but this makes Daily powers (at least the ones with truly daily worthy powers) very attractive. 
    L30 This requires you to have the Ritual Caster feat, which usually isn't high on a Warlock's list, but with the right ritual this can be very strong, in fact I know there are some combos which are down right broken like the Fantastic Recuperation ritual (an extended rest for the whole party for just a standard action and 45,000gp!).

  • Planeshaper (D372) - I think I underestimated this ED before. The ability to reuse encounter powers prior to 30th is very valuable!
    Breakdown

    L21 Getting to double up on your favorite encounter power is practically capstone material, boosting your secondary stat on top of that is gravy. 
    L24 Adding a 1 round sequester effect to your crits is great control if you have a decent crit rate.
    L26 The ultimate second wind; you sequester the whole party for a round in which they can each spend a surge and recover an encounter power! It may cost a standard action, but since you come back at the start of your next turn, you immediately have a full turn after using it, so the only loss is whatever the monsters can do during the round while you guys are gone (and they don't have line of sight/effect to any of you for that round!).
    L30 A true capstone worthy of the title: an aura 10 with a variable effect that you can change at will for a mere minor action. It can provide control via adding/ removing difficult terrain, create blocking terrain out of thin air, and even deal auto damage. WARNING: The autodamage targets creatures, so it hurts your allies too, just make sure to talk your allies into some cold or fire resistance gear!

  • Prince of Hell (D372) - This would be just about perfect for Hell'locks if it boosted Con instead of Cha, and if it had an answer for Fire Immunity. As is, it's a very tempting pick for fire specialists.
    [sblock=Breakdown]
    L21 Cha+2 is a waste for Hell'locks who are the ones most likely drawn to this path, but it's great for Cha'locks obviously. Darkvision is helpful but most campaign/DM specific. Immortal origin is mostly fluff. And the fire resistance is solid. All together they make for a solid feature.
    L24 You get a free floating Arcane Admixture feat and you get to ignore fire resistance, which is nice but nothing spectacular especially since it does nada vs. fire immunity.
    L26 Level 21 minions are not much to brag about, even with the +2 bonus to hit they only have a 25% chance to hit 30th level monsters.
    L30 You get a teleport speed of 5 so plenty to trigger Shadow Walk and you get to do 10 damage to adjacent creatures when you leave a square by teleporting. The fact that it hurts allies though really limits the usefulness. And for a capstone I think it's weak.[sblock]

  • Prison of the Winds (D371) - Another hidden gem for Con-locks, especially gish/tank builds. 
    Breakdown

    L21 For Con'locks gaining +2 Dex +2 speed is probably worth not getting the +2 to Int that Demigod would offer, but Cha'locks are greatly shortchanged.
    L24 The bounce back may only let you spend a flat surge, but getting your Con score in free HP if you happen to be out of surges is nice at least. But the best part is getting to push everyone [Con mod] squares and knock prone in a close burst 5! So again, for Con'locks this is great, but awful for Cha'locks.
    L26 Getting to fly and hover for a full encounter is great, but getting to add a [Con mod] push or prone to all your melee attacks is crazy good for gishes.
    L30 Becoming insubstantial while bloodied is a fantastic defensive capstone, especially for Tanks and for Daredevils

  • Punisher of the Gods (DA09) - Post nerf this is the ultimate solo killer destiny, and "just" good the rest of the time. But as the key feature is crit based, it is best for Students of Caiphon, Daggermasters, Divine Oracles, and Grave Callers.
    [sblock=Breakdown]
    L21 Post nerf(s) this will only help you kill 1 monster per encounter, but that is still very potent. But as a crit benefit it's only as good as your crit rate, so good with a 19-20 or double rolls, great with 18-20, and crazy good for 19-20/18-20 and double rolls.
    L24 +5 to saves vs. your immortal curse target can be great, but it depends on your target. But getting to make a save (which gets the bonus) to cancel any deathblow from that target is a great bounce back feature. 
    L26 It sucks that this costs a standard action, but it is the ultimate 'stay away from me' power, which is great for a ranged striker like you. 
    L30 Wow. The ultimate Striker capstone; you deal max damage vs. your immortal curse target, which at this level is a huge boost to your DPR!

  • Radiant One (DA09) - Now that Dragon Annual cleaned this up a bit, (and Demigod got nerfed badly) this is the cream of the crop for most Warlocks.
    Breakdown

    L21
    You get resistance to one common and one uncommon damage type, which is solid. Plus you get to do double-typed extra damage whenever you deal damage (meaning it boosts auto damage too!) with CA, which should be all the time thanks to SWA!
    L24
    Still unclear whether this costs an immediate action, but either way this is an outrageously good bounce back power simply because auto-hitting damage equal to your surge value is VERY good.
    L26
    The Utility offers near immunity for an encounter especially if you have a high Int, the only downside is it costs a standard action.
    L30
    The capstone is like a super-action point, which is pure win for a Striker.

  • Raven Consort (D372) - Req Shadar-Kai, worship Raven Queen - Another destiny for Con'locks, which is best for Tanks as almost all of the features are completely defensive. The flavor however is awesome especially for a Warlock.
    Breakdown

    L21 +2 Con is great, but the +2 Int from Demigod is better IMO than 8 or 9 extra HP. And being immune to the death penalty rarely comes up and is not very significant. 
    L24 This is a very potent, but dangerous, bounce back power: it's not limited to once a day like all the others, but it only kicks in when you make death saves, and you still only "pop up" on an adjusted 20+. Best for Tanks
    L26 is a nice mass auto save power since it's not an action you can use it even when stunned, so it's great for tanks, but it's not as game-changing as some of the other Destiny powers around.
    L30 Similar to the Darklord's except your minions are always lich vestiges which means they do flat 10 damage, but get to weaken (save ends), but the biggest drawback is they get L26 stats which amounts to -4 to attacks and defenses. Still they add up to a lot of extra attacks and flankers for you as well as wasted actions for the enemies to kill them.

  • Raven Knight (D380) - Req must worship Raven Queen - A solid gish flavored destiny for Con'locks, but Feychargers can do wonders with this destiny.
    Breakdown

    L21 +2 Con is great as always, and +2 Dex, +2 speed, darkvision, shadow origin, and +2 to defenses against adjacent enemies' attacks is well worth the +2 Int you'd get from Demigod IMO.
    L24 For most warlocks, gaining phasing and insubstantiality for a turn whenever you charge or run is decent mobility and defense but kind of unimpressive for a 24th level feature, but for charge-happy gishes the effect is huge, especially for Darkwalkers who now get to add their Int mod to damage for all charges (or combined with Running Shot for elves, on all attacks)!
    L26 This is one hell of a buff! +2d10 damage, free surges from kills, and weaken (save ends) as an extra encounter power. Glorious win for you.
    L30 Meh. Other than Feychargers, adding a teleport 10 to action points is incredibly weak for a capstone.

  • Reborn Champion (D365) - This has a variant on the free standard action from crits that Punishers of the Gods get, and a great utility, but it is horribly back loaded, so it is only worth it for characters starting at 26th+ or at 30th.
    Breakdown

    L21 This only helps skill checks, which is quite disappointing in an epic feature.
    L24 Getting a better death save chart is rather weak as bounce pack features go.
    L26 +2 to all d20 rolls as a stance that you can even end to cancel all conditions or spend a surge (though i don't either of those trades are worth it) is very nice if a little bland.
    L30 Similar to the infamous L21 benefit that Punishers of the Gods get, this isn't limited to a single target, but is limited to attacks made during your turn, and of course you get it 9 levels later. Again as a crit benefit it's only as good as your crit rate, so good with a 19-20 or double rolls, great with 18-20, and crazy good for 19-20/18-20 and double rolls.

  • Redeemed Drow (D367) - Req Drow - A great Epic Destiny for Drow, but it is back loaded so it's best for characters starting at 24th or higher.
    Breakdown

    L21 Way too situational, only demons will be likely monsters at this level.
    L24 Getting to trade your racial (which is likely redundant with SWA at this level) is great, especially when combined with Master of Fire and Darkness!
    L26 This is less regen than Demigod's, but it buffs your allies and you get to trigger it out of turn.
    L30 This is a very nice bounce back power; Cha'locks can use the toughness.

  • Sage of Ages (AP) - I had kind of dismissed this one when I first read thru Arane Power, but this actually quite good as long as you build around it (buff the hell out of your Arcana check!). It is another back loaded destiny, so it is best for characters starting at 24th or higher.
    Breakdown

    L21 is pretty useless at first unless you happen to be the party's Ritual Caster, until you get your utility of course...
    L24 is basically a more versatile, but less exploitable version of Avenger's Oath of Emnity. You essentially pre-roll the re-roll so you can know exactly when that die roll will help the most. Most Warlock powers are single target, so that means you on attacks this (roughly) cuts your miss chance in half and double your crit chance. On saves you can pick one to definitely save against.
    L26 This is the key feature: every encounter you get a random encounter long buff. The catch is it hinges on an Arcana check so you need as high a skill bonus as possible (thankfully the L21 feature helps and you can use the L24 roll replacement), but the payoffs for high rolls are huge.
    L30 This is easily one of the best bounce back powers: instant full heal and you get to move up in the initiative order!

  • Storm Sovereign (D372) - An excellent pick for Con'locks. There are a lot of great thunder buffing feats and there are a number of good thunder powers.
    Breakdown

    L21 For Con'locks gaining resist lightning and thunder is almost as good as the +2 Int Demigod would have offered.
    L24 A fabulous bounce back power! You get your bloodied value in free HP plus encounter long insubstantiality and phasing and you have a very damaging and controlling aura!
    L26 Pure win. The best evade you can get. The attack automatically misses you and crits whoever you choose!
    L30 An excellent capstone. A permanent fly speed with hover plus an aura that makes you a true master of thunder and lightning powers.
  • Winter Sovereign (D372) - Req fey origin - The Destiny of choice for Wintercheeze fans.
    Breakdown

    L21 This makes it so Lasting Frost works even on Cold Resist foes, and makes ongoing cold damage powers VERY powerful.
    L24 This lets you make all of your daily powers deal cold damage as long as you never use more than 1 in an encounter, plus whenever you hit with any cold power (and lets face it if you took this ED they all are) you get to teleport as a minor action! 
    L26 This is the weak link as it is easily worn down and only helps against AC-targetting and melee attacks. 
    L30 This is fun and flavorful and combos well with the L21 feature--under very specific circumstances you get 1 instant kill per day.



Other Epic Destinies


Show


  • Adamantine Solder (MP) - Requires Fighter or Warlord, Heavy Armor - For a Con'lock Tank, this offers a large amount of always on damage resistance.

  • Archmage (PHB) - Requires Wizard - L21 Getting to reuse a daily is awesome for a Striker. L24 bounce back power is one of the best: an instant full heal combined with insubstantial and phasing and as long as your body wasn't disintegrated or stolen or something, then you self resurrect cancelling the death. The trade off is that you can't use Daily or Item powers (or rituals), but that shouldn't hurt too much. L26 is another way to reuse a Daily, the only downside is it costs a standard action so it's usually not worth using in combat. L30 goes the next step, letting you convert a Daily power to an Encounter power!

  • Dragonheart (MP) - Req Any Martial - A very powerful (but completely defensive) destiny for Con'lock Tanks, especially for Daredevils.

  • Glorious Spirit (PHB2) - Req any Primal class - L21 is basically an extra stackable curse which also cancels resistance and insubstantiality once per encounter (and you get to spend a surge when it dies!), which is great as a Striker. L24 isn't bad: a nice long range teleport that can be used offensively for gishes or want to use a close power or defensively to retreat next to one of your allies. L26 however is kind of redundant with the L24 feature and is only really useful for gishes since the rest of you generally want to avoid being adjacent to enemies. L30 isn't bad since you have a lot of single target spells and getting to keep the miss effects almost makes you want to keep missing with some powers. 

  • Legendary Sovereign (MP2) - Req Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, or Warlord - Wow. For Cha'locks, this is a drastic improvement over the old Mythic Sovereign ED from D367. It is crit based, so it is best for those with good crit rates. The capstone sucks though.
    L21 +2 Cha, a mass free attack once per encounter when you crit, and solid RP/fluff of having a kingdom of your own!
    L24 A great bounce back power, free bloodied value HP and condition cancelling, but it triggers off of a death save, so you lose a turn and it's possible for this to be bypassed by massive damage.
    L26 This would be pure gold if it affected you as well, but still this is a huge bonus to all allies for an entire encounter.
    L30 For hybrids and gishes only, as the only weapon power warlocks get is at-will. 

  • Perfect Assassin (MP) - Req Rogue - L21 is decent, but not great. L24 is great as long as the DM rules that you 'normally' deal 5 dice worth of Sneak Attack damage via the feat that lets you use it once per encounter--if not then your Dex is probably too low for this to be worth much. Utility has got great flavor, but not much power: it's basically just a teleport plus autosaves against certain conditions. Capstone is nice since as written it basically lets you use Sneak Attack once more per encounter plus you target the lowest defense and don't need CA. Still, for a L30 power it's not that great.

  • Primal Avatar (PHB2) - Req any Primal - L21 is nice for a ranged Striker like you. L24 is interesting in that it is practically the equivalent of +2 to a stat of your choice, but you can change it from day to day (except, at this point, which stat you attack with should be set in stone :rolleyes. Utility is pretty cool since it's a lot of buffs all rolled into 1 power. Capstone is your bounce back power and it's not terrible, but it's rather weak compared to some of the others that you have to wait til 30th for since you have to have the 2 surges and it doesn't kick in until after you die.

  • Reincarnate Champion (PP) - Req any Primal - By default this is a mediocre destiny, but it is unique in that, with proper optimization, you can break the balance of the game by combining racial feats and racial powers that were never meant to work together.
    Breakdown

    L21 You now qualify for twice as many racial feats and get an extra racial power, which is okay by default by has huge optimization potential.
    L24 You get a 3rd race (and power) and +2 to a stat of your choice. Again major potential for abusive combos.
    L26 Mechanically unique, this bounce back power not only gives you free bloodied value HP, but also lets you instantly change your race permanently! Not sure what that offers CharOp wise, but I suppose you could play the first 26 levels as one race, then swap over to a race which synergizes better for the last few levels?
    L30 Compared to the lower level features this is rather unimpressive. It offers a lot of flexibility in swapping out your racial powers on the fly, but when you already have your 3 favorites, this can only be situationally useful.

  • Star-favored Champion (MP2) - Req Any Martial - Wow. The L21 feature is broken and will likely be errata'ed. In the meantime, enjoy!
    Breakdown

    L21 By default, getting to make a basic attack as minor action as a sort of second chance after a missed encounter this pretty good. But by intentionally picking encounter powers that will never hit (cha based powers for Con'locks, etc.), you can make 2 (or 3 with the Ring of Free time) basic attacks, which does wonders for your DPR. On top of that you get +2 to Con, Athletics and Acrobatics!
    L24 Getting to spend a surge whenever you make a death save is a rather weak bounce back benefit, but for Tanks with lots of surges you will enjoy that you can do this over and over again if necessary.
    L26 For hybrids and deep multiclassers only, as just getting to spend the surge as a minor action daily is embarrasingly weak.
    L30 This is basically an improved version of Oath of Emnity, so it is awesome for DPR. Sadly it doesn't refresh, so it will only help you murder 1 monster per encounter.

  • Sublime Flame (EPG) - Req any divine, must worship The Silver Flame - A great alternative to Radiant One for radiant/fire specialized gishes/tanks.
    Breakdown

    L21 An extra use of a daily is quite nice, but it has to actually be fire/radiant, I don't think Radiant Weapon shenanigans will work here. 
    L24 The short range of the damage/healing that is triggered by this bounce back power really limits it other than for gishes/tanks, but the free HP and occasional benefit are solid enough.
    L26 A nice defensive stance (although the blindness should really last until the end of its next turn), but only tanks/gishes will get the full use out of it.
    L30 +2d6 damage all the time is awesome for a striker, and I that you can get +4d6 damage with powers that have both keywords!

  • Warmaster (MP) - Req Warlord - Very leader-oriented, but everything boosts party DPR, so I think it's a valid option. Best when combined with some way of gaining extra APs.


Epic Powers: Curses of the Master

Level 22, Utility


Warlock Utilities


  • Acension of the Elder (AP) - I don't see the point of this power. It's just like Wings of the Fiend, except the speed is preset (which could be better or worse at this level), it requires you to sustain it (definitely worse), and of course the teleport. The teleport though, is only good if you are using this spell to run away or if you have plenty of ranged 20 spells. Otherwise you will have to waste 2 move actions (and thus a whole round) to get back into range for 90% of your spells.

  • Cerulean Shield (DSCS) - IMMEDIATE INTERRUPT that grants typed resistance and a damage aura of 10 + INT mod that you can SUSTAIN MINOR. The problem with this is that most monsters and encounters are themed, so if you get hit by a typed damage attack, chances are all the enemies you could hurt with the aura are resistant to it. But once a day a TANK or GISH should be able to make it work.

  • Entropic Ward (PHB) - The fact that you have to use this proactively really kills it for me, because there's no guarantee that they'll miss or even attack you.  Tanks are the exception as they should get plenty of mileage out of this. 

  • Expedient Sacrifice (FRPG) - Another power that will make your party hate you--and for a bad trade. +4 speed without the trade off would still be a joke for a 22nd level utility.

  • Raven's Glamor (PHB) - WotC, was the 3.5 spell, Mislead, really so powerful that you had to nerf it this hard in 4e? Sorry about that, this one really bothers me. Don't even look twice at this one.

  • Ulban's Shining Cloak (DA09) - This can be very good especially if your DM tells you what he or she rolls. What holds this power back from top tier is the fact that the attacker rerolls against himself means it's probably only a 50/50 chance he hurts himself (and he is likely resistant to his own attacks), and then it is just a daily dodge spell which pales in comparison to the encounter dodge, Hero's Defense, at level 16.

  • Wakeman's Invocation (AP) - At first glance this power doesn't seem that great since +2 defenses vs. ranged attacks only, is rather weak for level 22 (just look at Blur, the level 10 wizard utility). But teleporting a melee attacker who hits you as an immediate interrupt at-will is awesome, since you negate the hit (assuming you can teleport him out of reach). This also has some offensive potential thanks to the vertical teleport errata, but unless you can debuff the save, I don't think the trade off is worth the gamble. As a defensive power a TANK gets the most out of it.  

  • Walk of the Kantakaran (AP) - Seriously? Giving up an entire round of offense in order to avoid being attacked for a round (when they can always just attack someone else in the party) is a god awful trade especially for level 22 (this is basically just a slightly upgraded version of Sanctuary, the level 2 cleric power).

  • Wall of Inky Night (AP) - Another power that is way too weak for this level. I can only hope that moving it as a standard action was just a typo, because I can't think of a single other zone/wall power that costs a standard to just move it. And regardless blocking line of sight for both friend and foe alike is very unimpressive for this level (just look at Illusory Wall, the level 10 wizard power).

  • Wings of the Fiend (PHB) - Now that they errataed the flying rules, you can use this to hover just outside of the reach of melee foes, which is awesome for a ranged striker! TIP: Against grounded melee foes fly just a few squares above them for easy Prime Shot bonuses.



Level 23, Encounter


Con based


  • Arrow of Arcane Light (AP) - The crit bonus is kind of worthless since many of you will already have an expanded crit range by this level and for the rest of you the odds of rolling a 19 with this particular attack is only 5% so it adds very, very little. Still, getting to ignore any cover or concealment is pretty likely to come up at this level, the damage is pretty good, and radiant damage is a rare treat for a Con'lock. Vestige'locks get to add a little control.

  • Awaken the Dragon (AP) - A rare area burst encounter attack! The damage is low and necrotic, but you get to target will and you impose vulnerability 5 to all damage for a turn to everyone if they are cursed! Vestige'locks also gain a some THPs.

  • Spiteful Darts (PHB) - The big brother of Howl of Doom: you lose the fear and thunder keywords, but you get to target reflex (a big deal for a close pushing power!), affect a much bigger area, and push farther. The damage is also upgraded, boasting the highest amount (tied with Starless Void below) for Con'locks this level! Hell'locks again get to drastically increase the push distance.

  • Starless Void (DA09) - The other top damage spell for Con'locks. This one targets Fort, but is ranged and deals cold damage for the frostcheeze folks. Granting combat advantage to your allies is nice too, althought it sucks that you don't get it. Star'locks in a party with several weapon wielders can easily set up a massive nova.



Cha based


  • Blades of Vanquished Armies (FRPG) - The initial damage on this is just pitiful (far weaker than your at wills at this level). And the retaliation damage from the rider doesn't come close to making up for it. Dark'locks get an offensive boost but it doesn't make any sense considering that it's only for ranged attacks and this power is one you'd use if you were surrounded, and it still doesn't make up for the pitiful damage of this power.

  • Dark Transport (PHB) - vW deals 4d10+stat, which is sadly at the top end for Warlocks. You and the target then teleport into each others spaces, which is only situationally useful CONTROL. Star'locks have a much easier time using the teleport since they get to teleport again INT mod squares after swapping.

  • Dreadtheft (FRPG) - A long range double target spell, with a free accuracy bonus is rather nice, but the damage and especially the type aren't great. Having a chance to autorefresh this power is awesome even if the trigger is hard to pull off (target 1 minion and 1 real target if you can!). Dark'locks get an odd, but certainly useful rider as monsters have a tendency to attack with the damage type that they are resistant to, so if they have one you know it will actually help you.

  • Maddening Whispers (AP) - Immobilization plus granting CA plus a (oddly delayed slide) is pretty good control against the right target, but not enough to justify the very low 3d6 damage this deals IMO. Star'locks get to slide much farther, which adds a lot of potential.

  • Swarm of Fangs (AP) - vF deals a meager 4d6+stat plus knocks prone for equally meager control. Fey'locks get to add party-friendly splash damage, but it is still pitifully weak.

  • Thorns of Venom (PHB) - Very similar to Maddening Whispers above. The pros and cons are: the initial damage is a little higher (small pro), the damage type is much worse (big con), you target Fort instead of Will (big con), you don't get to slide the target (con), and the defense penalty only applies to 2 defenses (small con since they are the most commonly targetted ones and it stacks with combat advantage). Obviously the cons vastly outnumber the pros, so you should take Maddening Whispers instead. Only Fey'locks who get to drastically increase the defense penalty making it great for nova setups should consider this.  

  • Web of Lies (D386) - Like Dark Transport above this deals good damage and targets will, but instead of a situationally useful teleport the control on this power is essentially immobilization plus a range of 1 for all its attacks, which can be nearly as good as a stun if your party cooperates! Plus this offers you a 2nd chance for half damage, but full control against a second target! Hell'locks can easily create lose-lose scenarios with this due to retaliation damage if they don't attack anyone, and of course they have the THPs to offset the reroll cost.





Con or Cha


  • Command of Execution (DSCS) - vF TOUCH or RANGED10 deals no direct damage, but it dazes which is decent CONTROL, but then you get to play Warlord again and grant an MBA or charge for 2 allies. Unfortunately unlike Obedience's Reward the granted attack(s) isn't an Effect, there is no built in attack bonus other than CA from the daze, and there is no clause that says you regain the power on a miss.  So while this has much higher potential than Obedience's Reward, 3 separate attack rolls have to hit to get the full effect, and the second 2 are completely conditional on the first. So you absolutely NEED ACCURACY as well as 2 nice charger allies. Fell Might: lets both your allies deal your curse damage with their attacks.



 


Level 25, Daily


Con based


  • Infernal Chains (AP) - Now this is how a spell that grabs needs to be written! Decent damage, and very good control. Considering that the monster needs to make an Athletics/Acrobatics check vs. your Fort+4/Reflex+4, both of which should be pretty good for you as a Con'lock, this should easily last several rounds. WARNING: Because the easiest way to break a grab is with any forced movement on either you or the target (obviously your own secondary attack is exempt) or by teleporting away, all of which are very common options to epic monsters.

  • Tartarean Tomb (PHB) - Another sequestering spell. This one does solid damage and lets you maintain line of sight to the target, but unfortunately the target isn't stunned and can still affect itself so it can potentially buff and heal itself or at least take the all out defense action making it harder for you to hit it. Since you're going to want to use this on the biggest threat in the fight odds are it will be a solo or at least an elite, so you're going to want to have some way of debuffing saves so this lasts more than a round otherwise you should go with Thirteen Baleful Stars below instead.

  • Thirteen Baleful Stars (PHB) - vW Likely the better alternative to Tartarean Tomb for Con'locks. This targets Will and has nice upgrade potential via the fear, fire and psychic keywords. But my favorite advantage is that this truly stuns meaning combat advantage and open line of effect for you and all your allies, even if it is only for 1 turn. The miss effect is solid too as you still get combat advantage and solid control.

  • Vestige of Land's Soul (AP) - vF Slightly less damage than Thirteen Baleful Stars or Tartarean Tomb, and drastically less control, but you gain Regen 10 while the slow lasts. Regen 10 is powerful and helpful, but since it occurs at the start of your turn and it ends when the target saves it's possible for you never to see any benefit and as a Con'lock you're already damn tough for a Striker. To make this work you NEED ACCURACY (since it targets Fort and you don't get the slow or the regen on a miss). Vestige'locks get a nice pact boon that deals small auto damage in an AoE that even heals you, and get to impose a massive vulnerability with their at-will upgrade, best if you can coordinate the damage type (acid, fire, lightning, or thunder) with your allies.

  • Vestige of the Queen of Namhar (AP) - This is a slightly higher damage option for Con'locks (assuming the ongoing damage triggers at least once), but you give up almost all of the control. If you have some way of debuffing saves, you can really hinder a target for a while thanks to the save ends aftereffect. Vestige'locks get to autodaze (save ends) with their pact boon, which is awesome, and get to weaken with their at-will upgrade.  

  • Vestige of Vykolad (D383) - Low damage, targets Fort, but weakened (save ends) is good control, and free HP is always helpful, especially for Tanks. Vestige'locks get to turn insubstantial with their pact boon, which is great defense. And their at-will upgrade imposes a damage penalty = twice their Con, which is flat-out huge for an at-will, but it's again all defense.  So basically this is a no-brainer for Vestige'lock Tanks



Cha based


  • Curse of the Twin Princes (PHB) - Sadly I believe this power is ruined by bad writing/editing. The rider on a hit is very good, and if it were the Effect I would probably recommend the power. But instead the Effect portion is just the weird friendly fire effect which requires you to be in melee (something a Cha'lock is not wont to do) and it hurts you and your allies exactly as much as it hurts your enemies, is therefore hardly worth anything at all! Basically it falls into the category of if you can manufacture high accuracy it's worth it, otherwise avoid it like the plague.

  • Instruction in Darkness (AP) - Pure control as you sequester the target until he saves and then you still get to save ends blind him and any enemies unfortunate enough to be within 2 squares of him when he gets back. The downsides are low damage, the fact that you have to hit with the secondary attack for the secondary effect (and you have no control over who he's near at that point), and the weakness of the miss effect.

  • Invisible Death (FRPG) - This is a completely inferior version of Ring of Torment, unless dealing force damage instead of necrotic/psychic damage is vitally important. 

  • Ring of Torment (FRPG) - Wow this is just flat-out better than Invisible Death above in every way except for dealing necrotic with the initial damage. You get to target Will, you get to add your Cha to the damage, deal the ongoing hit or miss, and you are guaranteed to affect at least 1 extra target with ongoing 5. If the extra spreading had been aftereffects rather than first failed save effects it would have been awesome. As is, you'll want to have some way of debuffing saves if you want it to spread more than once. Dark'locks increase the ongoing by their Int mod on a hit or miss, which is a big boost to damage!

  • The Prince's Horde (AP) - 4d8 is crappy initial damage considering you deal zero on a miss, but the effect deals 1d10+static mods ongoing damage to the target and anyone adjacent, making this a power with great potential, especially if you can debuff the save. The only thing holding it back is the fact that the AoE ongoing effect is just as deadly to your allies making this power dangerous to use, because it forces your (non-reach) melee allies to either not focus fire on your target, or take that hefty ongoing damage themselves, neither of which is a good use of resources.  War Wizardry can help with this.





Con or Cha


  • Word of the Sorcerer King (DSCS) - vF FRIENDLY CLOSE BLAST5 deals only 2d10+stat but it stuns save ends, which is excellent CONTROL. A miss does only half damage and dazes for a round, so NEEDS ACCURACY especially since this targets Fort.



 


Int based


  • Gibbeth's Embrace (DA09) - A very damaging spell, but be careful as this is a fully INT based spell! So if you have an Int score as high as your primary score then you can lay down some serious hurt with this.



Level 27, Encounter


Con based


  • Banish to the Void (PHB) - A terribly written power that is practically unplayable as written. It says that the target is transported to a 'starry realm' (just like Wrath of Acamar), but they left out the line stating that line of sight/effect is blocked. So by the RAW, the effect is meaningless (or at least completely up to your DM). It's probably a good thing anyway since it ends at the start of the target's next turn it would mostly have just prevented your allies from attacking the target. Then the target must make a melee basic attack against the nearest creature (and you don't have much control of who that might be) then threatens his enemies with OAs for a turn. Star'locks grant a bonus to these forced attacks, but I still can't recommend it as written.

  • Hellfire Curse (PHB) - vF RANGED10 deals a respectable 5d10+stat FIRE damage, but no control. With higher damage than most of the daily powers, this is the perfect candidate for the Trusted Spellcaster feat. Hell'locks get to add their INT mod to damage.

  • Manipulating Thunderbolt (AP) - A new slide power! This one gets to target reflex and has good damage types (though weak actual damage) and you immobilize after the slide. Unfortunately the slide is pitifully short. So this could effectively stun a melee-only monster, but at this level you should be actually stunning.  Hell'locks get to increase the slide distance as usual, but it's still shorter than even the level 1 power, Diabolic Grasp.

  • Shattering of the Sword (AP) - vR RANGED10 deals only 2d10+stat, but it Stuns, which is awesome CONTROL. This is the best overall option this level, but it is sad how it compares to the level 13 fighter power, Anvil of Doom. Vestige'locks get to add their INT mod to make the damage a bit more respectable.

  • Zutwa's Incandescence (AP) - vW FRIENDLY CLOSE BURST2 deals on 2d8+stat RADIANT, but blinds in an AoE which is excellent CONTROL. The damage and especially the control are worse than Shattering above, but it is AoE, is a nice damage type, and close bursts are nice for a TANK or GISH. Vestige'locks get to add a small save debuff.



Cha based


  • Curse of the Fey King (PHB) - 3d10 is rather weak damage for a striker power of this level, but at least it's vs Will. The rider is a gamble especially if your DM won't tell you what the roll is since you could actually end up helping the target and hurting yourself. Fey'locks shift the odds heavily in their favor, pretty much guaranteeing that even if you can't make them miss at least you'll definitely hit.

  • Envoy of Nihal (DA09) - 4d10 vs Reflex is decent, but not great damage. The fear keyword is nice for Tieflings. The rider is a nice self heal, but be warned that a RAW stickler DM could deny you the heal if you hit a highly resistant monster. Star'locks get double their Cha in bonus healing.

  • Hellfire Fury (D386) - The top end of the new line of Cha based Hell'lock powers, and it is indeed quite nice. 4d10 vs Reflex is just as good as Envoy of Nihal, but this offers longer range, and most important of all: second chances! I ran some DPR calcs, and as long as you have 2 or more viable targets (and don't mind which one you hit) this puts out very impressive DPR, and this one doesn't even cost you HP unless you manage to miss all of the enemies and want to avoid targetting allies. Hell'locks get a big bonus to hit next turn against whomever they end up hitting this time.

  • Inevitable Undercut (FRPG) - This power features a +2 attack bonus, which is conditional on the target having more HP than you. At this level, even artillery monsters start with more HP than you, so just use this early in the fight it's guaranteed. Even so, the variable nature of Fort defenses makes this power situational.  Against most artillery & controllers,  this is a solid spell, but against brutes & most soldiers this is a very bad spell when compared to the Reflex targetting Envoy or Hellfire above. When you consider that no matter what this deals 4 less average damage, the gamble doesn't seem worth it. Only Dark'locks should consider this for the increased attack bonus.

  • Soul of the Treant (AP) - Less damage than Eldritch Blast, but it does target will and it has party friendly AoE damage and control. Even so, how is this worthy of a 27th level encounter power slot??  This is comparable to Thunder Ram Assault (Warden 1) and Splinter the Formation (Avenger 7)! And only Fey'locks get to impose any control on the actual target. 





Con or Cha


  • Price of Defiance (DSCS) - vF TOUCH or RANGED10 deals only 3d8+stat but it Immobilizes and slides 5 adjacent to an ally, which adds decent CONTROL, but then your ally gets to make an MBA with +your INT mod to damage. By default this is arguably worse than Command of Execution, since you lose 1 ally attack, lose the charge option for allies, and trade daze for immobilization + slide, and just gain a damage roll on your attack. And it still doesn't have the accuracy or reliability of Obedience's Reward. Fell Might: saves the power by adding a 2nd slide and a 2nd ally attack, again with +INT to damage.



 


Level 29, Daily


Con based


  • Doom of Delban (PHB) - Sadly this spell is one of those hurt by the ruling that you get to add static mods to secondary damage, because that drastically increases the cost to spam this power. Still, this is the ultimate capstone power as you get to do massive damage which keeps increasing for potentially the entire encounter; the only limits are running out of HP or getting stunned. Paired with Divine Regeneration from Demigod or something similar, this is an 'I win' button.

  • Forbiddance of the Ninth (AP) - More of a flamethrower than a wall IMO, as it has to remain adjacent to you, this a steady stream of damage for the entire encounter and it still leaves you your standard action every round to continue firing away with the rest of your arsenal. The only downside is the short range as you will find that enemies will get the hell away from you after a round or two, so this works best in smaller rooms (but be careful because it hurts allies too!).

  • Hurl through Hell (PHB) - This power combines very high initial damage with very good control. You sequester the target for 1-4 rounds, completely decided by you via minor action sustains, then you drop him back on the map, prone and stunned (save ends). This basically means you can remove the biggest threat for a fight long enough to deal with the mooks, then bring him back and you still have a round or more to unload on him before he can fight back. Sadly the downside of this spell is that all you get is half the damage and none of the control on a miss, so you need to have some way of manufacturing accuracy to avoid feeling really depressed when you miss.

  • Vestige of the Earthen Maker (D383) - Getting to ignore resistance/immunity on a generic damage spell is practically useless, and 3d10+ongoing 10 is a slight improvement over 5d10 assuming you target a normal monster and/or you can debuff the save but there are better options in those cases. Vestige'locks get resist all that can stack as a pact boon, but I think Vykolad's boon at 25th is more impressive defense at this level. The at-will upgrade however is excellent control considering how common flight is at this level.

  • Vestige of the Master of the Hidden Flame (AP) - An absolute joke for non-vestige'locks considering Doom of Delban and Hurl through Hell. Vestige'locks get to do AoE ongoing 5 fire as a pact boon as well as an at-will upgrade but the fact they can't stack, fire resistance 5+ is really common at epic, and conditional range on the boon hold this back from a good rating.

  • Vestige of Zuriel (AP) - WotC was not very creative with the baseline spells for Vestige'locks as this is identical (except for damage type) to Vestige of the Master of the Hidden Flame above. So again the only thing to look at are the pact boon and at-will upgrade and wow are they awful! They might have been good 10 levels ago, but at 29th level they are a joke.



Cha based


  • Arrangement of Disorder (AP) - Now that the ruling on teleporting up into the air is final, this power becomes a total gamble.  Potentially you can do 3d8+2d10+mods +slide+knock prone, which is good damage for that big of an area, but the +2d10+knock prone+slide part of that is completely negated on a save, so 55% of the time by default. And you don't get to do anything to the enemies you miss, so you need to have some way of manufacturing high accuracy AND debuff the save to get the odds in your favor.

  • Caiphon's Abominable Melody (DA09) - This is a true all or nothing power, but wow is the "all" a lot. So make sure you have some way of manufacturing very high accuracy, so you can really wreck someone's day. You layer 3 different conditions on the target each requiring their own save; 2 of them are very weak for the level but it doesn't matter because as long as the target has at least one of them still going you get to do pseudo-ongoing damage of 1d6+mods and slide him [cha mod] squares. If that wasn't enough you also get to make saving throws against damage! That's right you have a flat 55% chance of negating any damage for the rest of the encounter. This has so much going for it, it's just sick but you get none of it on a miss, so make a deal with your local Taclord or invest in a bunch of potions of clarity!

  • Curse of the Dark Delirium (PHB) - This pure control power deals no damage so you lose out on curse damage. But you get to truly play puppeteer as you get to dictate all 3 of the target's actions. Unfortunately your choices with those actions are very limited since the power specifies no powers and no suicidal actions. Still that's enough to move him around while smacking/blasting his friends. And the power lasts as long as you keep repeating the attack and hitting, so it's fully effective on solos (assuming they are other enemies for them to smack). The only downside is he's not actually dominated so you don't get combat advantage, and the miss effect is a huge drop off (although as written you can sustain it if you miss with the initial attack, so you get a second chance!).

  • Eyes of the Victim (AP) - This is how the earlier 'contagion' line of spells should have been written! Very low necrotic damage, but in the right situation (enemies packed closely together and the target's initiative after the other enemies) you can really wreck your DMs day. Paired with long lasting save debuffs, this becomes an 'I win' button.

  • One Final Sacrifice (FRPG) - This is one spell that is debatably helped by the adding static mods ruling. I say debatably because the writing is not as clear as most spells of this type as to whether the extra dice increase the base damage or are separate damage rolls unto themselves, and DMs can easily rule either way. So if your DM lets you add static mods each additional die of damage from damaging allies, congratulations you have a power to rival Blade Cascade! If your DM lets you add static mods once to the additional dice of damage congratulations you have a double hitting power like rangers! If your DM doesn't let you add static mods to the additional damage, then this is a terrible trade. Dark'locks get to upgrade the bonus damage die size, but the increase it adds to damage is mostly insignificant either way.

  • Spread the Corrosion (FRPG) - If it only did half damage on a miss it would be an okay power (and a no-brainer if it let you multi-attack the same target). As is, it's low damage (considering the chance to miss) to 3 closely bunched targets plus a free move: just not capstone material. I wouldn't even recommend trying the whole 'manufacture high accuracy' bit with this one as the payoff just isn't worth it. Dark'locks can attack more targets but the odds of finding more than 3 targets along a 5 square path is really low, so it's hardly an upgrade at all.





Con or Cha


  • Dregoth's Ashen Curse (DSCS) - vR TOUCH or RANGED10 deals only 3d8+stat FIRE damage plus 15 ONGOING FIRE and slows save ends both, then has an Aftereffect of 15 ONGOING NECROTIC and slowed and weakened save ends all. On a miss you just do half damage and 10 ongoing necrotic. All told this is a pitiful capstone. Slow is laughable control at this level, weaken is decent but doesn't kick in until the aftereffect, and even with the double layered ongoing the damage is still pitiful for a single target especially when you consider just how easy it is to resist fire and necrotic damage separately! Unless they errata this to a big AoE and boost the damage and control, stay the hell away from this.



 


Epic Feats

General and Class feats


  • Bludgeon Mastery (PHB) - Str, Con 19 - If you can manage to qualify this nets you EXPANDED CRIT RANGE for Staffs.

  • Contagious Curse (D384) - The adjacency restriction limits this big time. It might help curse 1 target per encounter on average. That is too situational for an epic feat IMO.

  • Critical Curse (D384) - At first I read this as you can deal your curse damage when you crit even if you already dealt it to someone else. Sadly that was a misinterpretation. This just lets you deal curse damage on a crit against someone you haven't cursed yet. But at this level, why the hell are you attacking a non-cursed target??

  • Curse of Doom Ensured (AP) - embarrassingly weak for an epic feat.

  • Cursed Spells (D384) - Unless you are a Splitlock, adding your Int to curse damage is a no brainer.

  • Ephemeral Stride (AP) - This is a nice mobility boost letting you escape easily even from being completely surrounded, or let you slip past the front lines to get your Curse & Prime Shot against the artillery in the back, but at this point your Utility powers likely make this feat redundant.

  • Epic Fortitude/Reflex/Will (PHB2) - Another feat tax, this one to account for the fact that NADs just don't keep up at high levels. Odds are you will want at least one of these, if not more.

  • Epic Resurgence (PHB) - If you have an EXPANDED CRIT RATE refreshing an encounter power is one of the best crit perks out there--unless you are an at-will optimizer in which case your encounter powers aren't worth as much to you. 

  • Explosive Spellcasting (AP) - Basically a way to AoE and still focus fire, but barring heavy multiclassing you don't have enough AoE to make this worth a feat.

  • Font of Radiance (PHB) - For RADIANT SPECIALISTS, this an excellent crit benefit as it creates a damaging zone centered on the target that you can debatedly add static mods to! (Anything that adds to all damage rolls works, but it is debatable whether the weapon/implement keyword would apply to this effect.)

  • Heavy/Light Blade Mastery (PHB) - Str 21/17, Dex 17/21 - If you can manage to qualify this nets you EXPANDED CRIT RANGE for Heavy or Light Blades.

  • Inevitable Doom (D384) - The key to evaluating this feat was comparing it to Hammer Rhythm and other constant miss benefit feats. This effectively deals 3.5 damage on a miss, with the note that the damages is delayed until you manage to hit later. By comparison Hammer Rhythm is doing 7-9 damage per miss at this level, without any delay. I know weapon wielders tend to get better stuff, but this is just sad.

  • Irresistable Flame (PHB) - Getting to reduce a target's fire resistance by 20 is a saving grace for FIRE SPECIALISTS as fire resistance is very common at epic. Sadly it does no good against immunity.

  • Mind-Numbing Curse (D384) - I am not sure why this is higher level than Curse of the Blind Stars as blinded is generally a stronger condition than dazed. Still for PSYCHIC SPECIALISTS this is a very nice control option.

  • Persistent Eye (D380) - Vistani Bloodline - Upgrading the duration to save ends is very nice, especially if you also took Eye of Paranoia. 

  • Quickened Spellcasting (AP) - A nice nova DPR boost, plus this can set up nice combos like Hellish Rebuke + Warlock's Bargain, or turn Eyes of the Vestige into a upgraded curse placement.

  • Rapid Regeneration (PHB3) - For Con'locks with a couple regen powers, adding your Con to the regen rate is a big buff.

  • Robust Defenses (PHB2) - Another feat tax to keep your NADs up, this is probably the best bang for your buck if you aren't that worried about defense, but I would take Warding Curse first since it is untyped and adds to AC too.

  • Student of the Athanaeum (DA09) - Int 15 - A free recycle of a Daily power!

  • Superior Initiative (PHB3) - A free upgrade to +8 for improved initiative, which makes it even more likely to guarantee you go before the enemy and thus deny them a turn or more.

  • Triumphant Attack (PHB) - For GISHES with a HIGH CRIT RATE imposing a -2 to hit and defenses that lasts all encounter is one hell of a crit perk. The rest of you won't crit in melee often enough to make this worthy of a feat slot. 

  • Trusted Spellcasting (AP) - Getting to deal half damage on a miss with your biggest encounter power is pure win for you.

  • Vestige Mastery (AP) - Vestige Pact - The vestiges you have available to you by this level are so much better than the default vestiges, you would be a fool not to take this huge upgrade.

  • Vistani Foresight (D380) - Vistani Bloodline - Seriously wow. An extra AP per day is incredible especially for a feat! Adding +2 (untyped!) to initiative on top of that is pure gravy.

  • Warding Curse (AP) - Congratulations you are now one of the hardest to hit Strikers! 

  • Warlock Implement Expertise (AP) - Con, Cha 17 - Well Split'locks are fine, but the rest of you are gonna have a hard time with the prereqs for EXPANDED CRIT RANGE for Rods and Wands (and Pact weapons).



Racial feats

Deva


  • Immortal Prowess (D374) - Immortal Resilience - A minimum bonus to your attack rolls is huge. Makes the prereqs worth it.

  • Transcendent Lineage (PHB2) - Not as potent as Immortal Prowess, but no prereqs either.



Dragonborn


  • Concussive Breath (Dborn) - Thundering Breath - Adding daze and a push to your breath weapon is quite an upgrade.

  • Conflagration Breath (DBorn) - Burning Breath - Adding an autodamage zone is a big upgrade but it is not party friendly.

  • Debilitating Breath (DBorn) - Toxic Breath - Weakening with your breath is very powerful.

  • Dissolving Breath (DBorn) - Corrosive Breath - Debuffing defenses by 3 is a solid upgrade to your breath.

  • Draconic Restoration (DBorn) - Recovering your breath is a great second wind upgrade, especially when combined with other upgrades.

  • Draconic Triumph (DBorn) - Recovering your breath on a kill is great.

  • Freezing Breath (DBorn) - Frost Breath - Immobilizing is the weakest of the epic breath upgrades IMO.



Genasi


  • Double Manifestation (FRPG) - Extra Manifestation - One of the best epic feats out there; you get a 2nd racial power and a 2nd resistance.



Githzerai


  • Adamantine Mind (PHB3) - Getting an extra +2 out of your racial power makes it twice as likely to save you from a hit.

  • Peerless Reaction (PHB3) - With all of the buffs available for Second Wind, getting to use it as an interrupt is really good.





Goliath


  • Ancient Stone (PHB2) - I actually like Unyielding Stone better than this (except for Hell'locks) since at this level Unyielding Stone grants 17+ THP, which means that it takes two hits on your Resist All 10 in that 1 extra turn that it lasts to come out ahead.





Revenant


  • Ghostly Vitality (D376) - This gives you a full turn when below 0HP as well as insubstantiality allowing Tank builds to be nearly unkillable.




Shadar-Kai


  • Deathless Warrior (DA09) - Con 13 - For specialized Tank builds that exploit hovering near 0 HP only, this gives you stackable damage resistance.



Tiefling


  • Hell's Burning Mark (Tiefling) - Making marked foes vulnerable 5 to fire is great as long as you have a way to frequently mark foes (a must have for Avernian Knights!).

  • Hellfire Teleport (Tiefling) - Wow. 5+Cha/Int autodamage with every teleport is stronger than the Feytouched/Long Night Scion's PP features and they spawned a whole category of builds here on CharOp! Even nerfed to 1/round this is still a fabulous feat.

  • Renewed Wrath (Tiefling) - Your racial isn't a potent as other races, so getting to recharge it with Second Winds and APs is nice, but not awe inspiring.

  • Royal Command of Asmodeus (Tiefling) - Upgrading stuns to dominates is a big upgrade, so if you have enough powers to apply this to, it's awesome.






Wilden


  • Champion of Nature (PHB3) - If one of the other racial powers is useful to you then this is a solid pickup.

  • Secret of Enduring Nature (PHB3) - Getting to spend a surge as an interrupt 1/day is a solid bounce back ability, which is especially useful if your ED doesn't provide one (or makes you wait til 26th or 30th for it).




Multiclass feats

Any Martial



  • Elemental Warrior (MP) - Genasi - As written this works if you use a melee weapon as an implement, like heavy/light blades, etc. Some DMs might disagree (and RAI is on their side) so ask before you pick this one up.

  • Hawkeye Warrior (MP) - Elf, Wis 17 - +1 to hit aginst 1 target/encounter is awesome if you manage to qualify for this.

  • Martial Mastery (MP) - If you have a martial encounter power this is an easy way to recycle it.

  • Martial Resolve (MP) - Wis 15, Endurance - If you can qualify for this, this is very nice for staying in the game.

  • Stoneheart Warrior (MP) - Dwarf - Considering all of the buffs out there for Second Wind, getting them as a free action (not even restricted to during your turn!!) is golden.

  • Timely Revival (MP) - Human - Getting to roll your death save at the start of your turn makes you very self reliant, especially when combined with other death save boosting stuff.


Any Primal



  • Primal Resurgence (PHB2) - If you've found a good Primal Daily, this is a nice, easy way to recycle it.

  • Second Skin (PrP) - Con 17 - For Tanks this is a better version of Armor Spec (Hide).



 

Magical Items: Corruption Enhancements



Primary Equipment




Armor

  • 02+ Armor of Resistance (AV) - Any - With a good choice like Poison, Fire or Necrotic, this is a great value. In themed campaigns where you know fire enemies, etc. are going to common it's down right awesome.

  • 02+ Dwarven Armor (PHB) - any heavy - Bonus to a useful skill (that you can't train in by default) and a surge free heal, that you can use out of turn? no brainer.

  • 02+ Mithral Plating (EPG) - Warforged, Plate - Plate without all of the penalties!

  • 02+ Screaming Armor (AV) - Hide, Scale, Plate - A bonus to a useful class skill and a solid Encounter power.

  • 02+ Veteran's Armor (AV) - any - After the errata, this only grants benefits on an AP and it doesn't scale, so it loses it's value at higher levels.

  • 02+ Replusion Armor (AV) - Cloth, Leather - This bargain armor gives you breathing room for that one encounter per day when the DM sticks you in close quarters with melee monsters.

  • 03+ Curseforged (PHB) - Chain, Scale - Sadly the aftereffect doesn't scale, but this is still a very effective daily debuff especially vs. a solo.

  • 03+ Delver's (PHB) - Any - Another one that becomes less impressive at high levels.

  • 03+ Eladrin (PHB) - Chain - No speed or check penalties and +1 to all teleports as properties!? And it's cheap, too!

  • 03+ Meliorating Armor (AV) - For LONG WORK DAYS, this gets really good. Great for delves, where the last fight is always the toughest!

  • 03+ Runic (AV2) - A damage bonus when you use your SECOND WIND; so very potent for a DWARF.

  • 03+ Sylvan Armor (PHB) - Any light - Bonuses to 2 useful out of class skills ain't bad. I'd recommend Shadowflow at Epic though.

  • 03+ Skald's (PHB2) - Leather, Chain - A bonus to 2 useful skills and a really potent dodge ability.

  • 04+ Armor of Durability (AV) - Hide, Chain, Scale, Plate - +[enhance] to SURGE VALUE.

  • 04+ Battle Harness (D368) - Any Light - This boasts a POWER BONUS TO INITIATVE, which stacks with Item bonuses such as from the Casque of Tactics or Helm of Battle, but does not stack with the Warlord class feature. And it gives a much improved version of QUICKDRAW letting you swap around implements, etc. at will, which can be abused to gain the properties of multiple weapons/implements as needed. 

  • 04+ Bold Victory (PHB2) - Leather, Chain - A nice encounter AC buff, that you know will trigger every encounter even if sometimes you have to be selfless with it. Doesn't scale though.

  • 04+ Dark Majesty (D386) - Leather, Hide - Getting to add the enhancement bonus to Bluff and Intimidate is solid, adding a daily power that lets you SPREAD YOUR CURSE anyone in sight makes it good, adding +2 to all defenses vs. cursed targets makes it crazy good especially for a TANK!

  • 04+ Eldritch Serpent Armor (D366) - Scale - No speed penalty and a pretty good daily for an arcane striker.

  • 04+ Frozen (AV) - Scale, Plate - Resistance to a common type plus a daily retaliation against a melee attack. solid.

  • 04+ Reinforcing (AV) - Scale, Plate - getting a bonus to all defenses every time you get hit in melee is awesome, but it's an item bonus so it won't stack with Warlock's Bracers, etc.

  • 04+ Time Link (AV2) - Chain - This offers a better INITIATIVE BONUS than the Casque of Tactics at higher levels, though a slightly worse power IMO. Sadly it is chain only.

  • 05+ Deathcut (PHB) - Leather, Hide - After the nerf, this is a solid pick for the two common resists and once a day backlash at heroic, but it scales terribly, and it has to compete with Shadow Warlock Leather.

  • 05+ Tactician's (AV) - any heavy - Perfect for SPLIT'LOCKS who need to compensate for their low Int.

  • 06+ Summoned Armor (AV) - Any - A totally free upgrade, with a potent RP and skill challenge power to equip/unequip your armor as a minor action. 

  • 07+ Irrefutable (AV) - Any - A conditional reroll with a bonus is a great bargain.

  • 07+ Marauder's (AV2) - Leather, Hide - A scaling untyped AC bonus whenever you CHARGE.

  • 08+ Snakefang (AV) - Leather, Hide - Resistance to a very common type, and a decent melee retaliation power.

  • 09+ Demonscale (AV2) - Scale - Resistance to 1 of 4 common to uncommon damage types as needed.

  • 09+ Laughing Death (AV) - Any light - Resistance to the most common type plus a daily retaliation against a melee attack with a fort debuff as a bonus. 

  • 09+ Inner Warmth (PHB2) - Hide - Resistance to 2 common types plus the ability to share them for 1 encounter/day. solid.

  • 10+ Counterstrike armor (AV2) - Cloth, Leather, Hide - A pretty good retaliation power every encounter, but it's no match for Shadow Warlock armor.

  • 10+ Lifeblood Armor (PHB 2) - Hide - This will really help you conserve your surges, but consider picking up the Eager Hero Tattoo instead so you can take Shadow Warlock armor.

  • 10+ Shadow Warlock (AV2) - Leather - The king of armors for warlocks! As long as you can manage to move at least 3 squares every other round (since Shadow Walk lasts until the end of your next turn), you get COMBAT ADVANTAGE all day long!

  • 12+ Rimewrought (D365) - Scale, Plate - A free situational upgrade for Cold Resist armor--great if it applies for you.

  • 12+ Feytouched Armor (MotP) - Leather, Hide - + [enhance] item INITIATIVE BONUS which is always nice. And it even has an encounter power for INVISIBILITY until the end of your next turn (sadly for a standard action). 

  • 13+ Essence Inviolate (AV2) - Deva - A nice upgrade to your racial power.

  • 14+ Displacer (AV) - Statistically, this is the equivalent of +2 to +5 to all defenses for an entire encounter depending on how close to a 50/50 chance they have to hit you normally. (if they hit you 90% of the time, it only drops to 81%, and likewise if they hit you 20%, they'll still hit you 4% of the time.)

  • 14+ Chaos Weave (AV) - Any - Variable resistance for 1 encounter per day, not bad. Epic Plate wearer's should upgrade to Demonwrought. 

  • 14+ Feymind Armor (AV) - Cloth, Leather - An immediate interrupt that stuns (save ends) is very good.

  • 15+ Trollskin Armor (PHB) - Regen (especially when not limited to only while bloodied) is great to have, but this takes a standard action and competes with Shadow Warlock armor.

  • 19+ Soulforged Armor (PHB) - Plate - For tanks only, but they can do a lot in one turn.

  • 20+ Dawn Warrior (E1 module) - Any - Resistance to 4 common damage types and a nice damage shield against melee attacks for a round.

  • 20+ Robe of the Archfiend (AV) - Cloth - So good it's actually worth wearing cloth armor: sustain minor Dominate as a immediate reaction!

  • 23+ Demonwrought (MotP) - Plate - Variable resistance 15 vs 2 elements for 1 encounter per day, hell yeah! The ongoing fire immunity is just gravy. 

  • 23+ Shadowflow (PHB) - Cloth, Leather - A bonus to stealth is nice, but INVISIBILITY as a minor action once per encounter is awesome.

  • 23+ Tinkersuit (AV2) - I don't know why this is epic only, as it is very meh to me.




Weap-lements

  • 02+ Vicious (PHB) - d12 crits are rather potent, so this is a good deal if you have something boosting your crit rate.

  • 02+ Goblin Totem (FRPG) - For SMALL RACES, this is cheaper than the Staff of Ruin.

  • 02+ Mage's (AV) - Blades - A free weapon upgrade for a GISH or for those who want a parrying dagger for defense, with a nice power for martial multiclassers.

  • 02+ Pact Hammer - Hammer, Dwarf - Post nerf, this is just a solid GISH weapon.

  • 02+ Pact Sword - Longsword, Eladrin - A solid GISH weapon with a decent daily. 

  • 02+ Prime Shot - Any Ranged - A small, though untyped, damage boost for PRIME SHOT.

  • 02+ Quicksilver (AV2) - LBlade - A nice cheap initiative boost plus a decent power.

  • 02+ Staggering (AV) - HBlade - A huge boost for ELDRITCH STRIKE, but little else.

  • 03+ Blood Fury (AV2) - Axe, HBlade - The encounter power on this lets you exploit BLOODIED effects for 2 rounds, so it makes for a cheap utility item.

  • 03+ Frost (PHB) - The cheapest, easiest way to get frostcheeze with all of your powers.

  • 03+ Inescapable (AV) - An accuracy boost whenever you find yourself struggling to hit. Solid.

  • 03+ Pact Blade (PHB) - LBlade - A little overshadowed now, but it's got a nice always on retaliation feature (minion immunity).

  • 03+ Point Blank (AV) - Dagger - Helpful for those that find themselves provoking OAs a lot.

  • 03+ Rhythm Blade (AV2) - LBlade - A great defensive option for your OFFHAND implement.

  • 03+ Subtle (AV) - Post nerf, with SWA this works as a light blade version of the Staff of Ruin.

  • 03+ Vanguard (AV) - +1d8 for a CHARGE GISH.

  • 04+ Battlecrazed (AV) - HBlade - +1d6/tier for a DAREDEVIL.

  • 05+ Flaming (PHB) - Makes all of your powers deal FIRE damage. Sadly it is very pricey.

  • 05+ Lightning (PHB) - Makes all of your powers deal LIGHTNING damage. Sadly it is very pricey.

  • 05+ Runic (AV2) - A steady stream of THPs just for hitting. Not for Hell'locks due to THP overlap.

  • 05+ Vengeful (AV) - melee - A big buff for a GISH with a common trigger, every encounter. 

  • 08+ Cunning (AV) - melee - Even post nerf, this still offers a SAVE PENALTY at-will, which is huge for control builds.

  • 08+ Dread (AV) - This is essentially +10-30% to your party's DPR on crits and on command once per day. 

  • 08+ Mithrendain Steel (D366) - Blade - +1 TELEPORT. OFFHAND with a daily to teleport a target you hit.

  • 08+ Rubicant (D385) - 1 handed - +1 TELEPORT. OFFHAND with a daily mass teleport.

  • 08+ Controlling (AV) - Glaive - For a GISH who wants more control.

  • 09+ Githyanki Silver (MotP) - Makes all of your powers deal PSYCHIC damage. Nice due to the very low occurrence of resistance, and the psychic lock feat. Nasty when combined with the Rod of Ulban in your off-hand.

  • 09+ Incisive (AV2) - Dagger - +enhance bonus to TELEPORT. OFFHAND

  • 10+ of Evil Undone (AV2) - DIVINE IMPLEMENT. Plus for a DEVA you get double the benefit of your racial power.

  • 12+ Jagged (AV) - HBlade, LBlade - The easiest way to get an IMPROVED CRIT RATE with all of your powers, and it's even dirt cheap!

  • 12+ Shadowrift (AV2) - LBlade - If you can afford to damage yourself a lot (or benefit from it like HELLISH REBUKE optimizers!), with Shadow Warlock armor this can let you teleport almost every round as a free action effectively letting you use your move action for other things like sustains. And it even works in your OFFHAND!

  • 13+ Bloodiron (AV) - You essentially get 2d10 crits, which is rather potent especially if you have a improved crit rate.

  • 13+ Bloodthristy (AV) - melee - Basically this is like the Staff of Ruin with a +1 item bonus to hit--but only vs. bloodied targets, so roughly half the time.

  • 14+ Soul Drinker (AV2) - melee - If you have the HP to spare for this gamble it is a significant amount of bonus damage every encounter.

  • 15+ Battle Spirit (AV2) - HBlade - Gain INSUBSTANTIAL when you CHARGE. Perfect for a DARKWALKER GISH.

  • 15+ Eldritch Knight (AV2) - HBlade - Free reach 5 for a GISH.

  • 15+ Radiant (AV) - Makes all of your powers deal RADIANT damage and with an ITEM DAMAGE BONUS. Great due to the very low occurrence of resistance and very high occurrence of vulnerability. The fact that this comes with a damage bonus on top is insane. Pure gold for a STUDENT OF CAIPHON.

  • 17+ Avandra's Whisper (AV) - LBlade - DIVINE IMPLEMENT. Plus a daily reroll at a cheaper price than the Luckblade!

  • 19+ Tenacious (AV) - Have some of the Avenger's fun for 1 attack every encounter. 




Holy Symbol

  • 08+ Star of Corellon (AV) - For heavy multiclassers, this works as an implement for any arcane power.




Orbs

  • 04+ Fickle Fate (AV) - An awesome double-whammy 1/day considering that the SAVE PENALTY makes it harder to get rid of itself!

  • 06+ Mental Dominion (AV) - Daily SAVE PENALTY; this is dirt cheap but you give up crit dice.

  • 08+ Crystaline Terror (AV) - A decent debuff 1/day.

  • 12+ Augmented Stasis (AV) - A major upgrade for an Immobilization power 1/day.

  • 13+ Drastic Resolutions (PHB) - Solid control.

  • 14+ Crimson Commitment (AV) - For Con'locks with surges to spare.

  • 18+ Unintended Solitude (AV) - A nice upgrade to a push power 1/day, plus d8 crits.

  • 20+ Invasive Fortune (PHB) - A very nice reversal 1/day, plus d8 crits.

  • 23+ of the Usurper (AV) - nice crits and 1/day you can dominate instead.




Rods

  • 02+ Quickcurse (AV) - Post nerf, you have hit with the weapon to trigger the free curse, so it is still nice but you actually have to upgrade this and use it as a weapon rather than just use it like a wondrous item. 

  • 03+ Avernus (D386) - An ideal OFFHAND implement due to the property of adding a mass slide to your pact boons! It also has a daily that gives you a damaging aura for one encounter per day!

  • 03+ Corruption (PHB) - The ideal OFFHAND implement for most of you.

  • 03+ Vicious Rod (AV) - A decent DPR boost. Can combo with Brutality in the off-hand.

  • 04+ Bloodcurse (AV) - Take the bloodied boon feat instead.

  • 04+ Darkspiral (AV2) - For DARK'LOCKS this is a nice way to make sure your pact boon helps your DPR one way or the other.  However at Paragon and Epic this drops off in value since the property doesn't scale and you can do much better with the Staff of Ruin, etc.

  • 04+ Pactbinder (AV2) - For VESTIGE'LOCKS who want to use an uber Vestige upgrade for an extra encounter.

  • 05+ Reaving (PHB) - Post nerf, this can't kill minions which is a shame. But with BLOODIED BOON and a way to rapidly curse enemies this can add up to a lot of autodamage.

  • 07+ Stolen Starlight (AV2) - Makes POISON OR NECROTIC attacks deal RADIANT instead, but costs a minor action each time. Best in an undead heavy campaign and/or for Dark'locks.

  • 08+ the Infernal (AV) - HELL'LOCK TANKS can use this to boost the THPs they get from boons.

  • 08+ the Feywild (AV) - For Fey'locks who love to teleport only.

  • 09+ Brutality (AV) - A solid OFFHAND implement that buffs your curse damage, but it's expensive and only worth it at Paragon or Epic.

  • 10+ Devilry (AV2) - This gives TIEFLINGS big bonuses vs. bloodied targets but its very expensive.

  • 13+ Spider (AV2) - +[enhance] to ONGOING NECROTIC/POISON.

  • 14+ Harvest (PHB) - This can really help those of you with highly situational boons (Fey, Infernal, some Vestige).

  • 14+ the Dragonborn (AV) - Easy ELEMENT SPECIALIZATION for DRAGONBORN. Considering that Frost weapons are cheaper this is really only for those who can't afford the AIP feat and/or can get multiple damage types on their breath.

  • 15+ Silver Rain (AV2) - If you can spread your curse to a lot of foes quickly, this is a lot of auto damage for a minor action.

  • 17+ the Bloodthorn (AV) - +1 untyped bonus to hit if you/target is bloodied, so best for DAREDEVILS.

  • 18+ Battle-Pact (AV2) - Decent crits and its property which lets you use Weapon Focus are nice, but to really make this worth it you have to be a TANK for the impressive Daily mark power.

  • 18+ Fey/Hell/Star rods (AV) - A trap. If you have enough powers that the buff is worth it, then 1/Encounter is not enough.

  • 22+ the Star Spawn (AV) - Why we have to wait 10 levels after the weapon wielders for IMPROVED CRIT RATE I don't know, but this is better than Jagged once it opens up since ongoing from multiple crits can't stack.

  • 25+ Ulban (AV2) - Finally a great high end Rod that even works in the OFFHAND!  Getting constant PSYCHIC VULNERABILITY out of your curse is huge for your DPR. Combos well with other Psychic dealing party members and the Githyanki Silver Weapon.




Staffs


02+ Aversion (AV) - Debatedly works in the OFFHAND to give you +2 ITEM BONUS TO DEFENSES vs. cursed targets as they are "subject to effects (Curse) caused by you."

02+ Defensive (AV)
- A great cheap boost that is perfect for the OFFHAND. Careful though since it is an item bonus and so won't stack with Warlock's Bracers, etc.

03+ Ruin (AV)
- Post nerf, this is still the ultimate DPR implement: +[enhance] ITEM BONUS TO DAMAGE.

04+ Hellfire (PHBRT) -  
For a TIEFLING optimizing the HELLFIRE BLOOD feat this trades crit dice for the effect of the Epic Resurgence feat! In addition, it can convert melee and close attacks to deal fire damage.

04+ Unparalleled Vision (AV)
- +[enhance] to range. Debatedly works in the OFFHAND.

05+ Architect's (AV)
- +[enhance] squares to ZONE SIZE is huge for zone lovers.

05+ Traveller (PHB3) -
An alternative to the Ethereal Sidestep power for at-will TELEPORT.

08+ Sleep and Charm (AV2) -
+1 ITEM BONUS TO HIT with CHARM/SLEEP. As written it works in the OFFHAND.


15+ Queen's (AV2) - SET ITEM. A LIGHTNING SPECIALIST gets +2 to hit after each lightning hit.




Wands

  • 03+ [Encounter Power] - An encounter power once a day is worth it for only a few powers, so choose wisely.

  • 03+ Flame/Force/Hellfire/Thunder/Psychic Ravaging (AV) - Now that the Staff of Ruin is available, these just don't make the grade.

  • 03+ Master's Eyebite (AV) - A worthwhile upgrade, but of course the power is a waste.

  • 03+ Scorching Burst (AV) - This is worth it for the power alone; the upgrade is just gravy.

  • 14+ Assured Frostburn (AV) - A no-brainer at 14th, but it drops off in value.




Neck

  • 02+ Berserker (AV2) - For charge-happy gishes only.

  • 02+ Double Fortune (AV2) - At first I thought this wasn't bad for a cheap item, but then I realized the worst conditions are the ones that prevent you from attacking/hitting anything and thus triggering this power!

  • 02+ Elegy (AV2) - A nice AoE save debuff for such a cheap item.

  • 02+ Resolution (AV) - Nothing fancy, but a 2nd chance can save your life.

  • 02+ Resistance (PHB) - Decent emergency defense.

  • 03+ Health (PHB) - Resistance to one of the most common types.

  • 03+ Altertness (AV) - Your perception could use a boost.

  • 04+ Lucky Charm (AV2) - I don't think getting to use the Deva's racial power once a day should be this expensive.

  • 04+ Proof Against Poison (AV2) - I don't think the daily power makes this worth the +1 increase over the Amulet of Health let alone Armor of Resistance.

  • 04+ Recovery (AV) - IMO the Amulet of Vigor has made this obsolete (other than at 4th level when Vigor isn't available yet).

  • 04+ the Walking Wounded (AV) - For Dwarves or anyone who uses their second wind regularly.

  • 04+ Distortion (AV) - Post errata, this is really only worth it at Paragon and Epic. Just remember it is an item bonus now.

  • 07+ Deep Pocket (AV2) - Solid utility for this cheap item.

  • 07+ Elven (PHB) - Shadowflow or Sylvan Armor are a better value.

  • 07+ Terror (AV2) - Great for Doomsayers, but that's about it.

  • 08+ Courtier's (AV2) - IME Charm and fear effects I think are just common enough to make this a decent choice.

  • 08+ Eloquence (AV) - For the party face only.

  • 08+ Steadfast (AV) - The reliability is what makes this great.

  • 09+ Survival (PHB) - A bonus to a handy skill and resistance to 2 common types, solid.

  • 09+ Translocation (AV2) - An untyped +2 to AC and Reflex whenever you teleport, plus a daily refresh of an encounter power is crazy good for Teleport Buffs.

  • 09+ Vigor (AV2) - Compared to the Collar of Recovery (and Armor of Durability), this actually boosts your surge value which makes a difference with many powers, but the key is the potent daily power this offers.

  • 13+ Seashimmer (AV2) - Campaign dependent, but at least the power is solid.

  • 14+ Assassin's (AV2) - Great for Stealth Specialists.

  • 14+ Chaos (AV2) - Elemental creatures are common enough for this to be nice, and the power is nice if hard to count on.

  • 14+ Demon (AV2) - Wow so much worse than Demonscale and similar items.

  • 14+ Timeless (AV2) - Better initiative is great but post errata, the power lost a lot of use for you. Now you could use it to second wind as a minor or throw down a zone that doesn't make an immediate attack...

  • 14+ Elusive Prey (AV) - Only 1 square more movement than Shadow Walk requires, nice. Careful it's an item bonus.

  • 15+ Stormwalker's (AV) - Resist to 2 uncommon types and a single round of retaliation you have to use proactively?  Just not worth the price.

  • 15+ ">Aranea (AV) - For Poison Specialists only.

  • 15+ Burgeoning Shadow (AV2) - If you can manage to coordinate movements with your allies this can be quite a boon, but good luck trying to get your party to do a synconized swimming routine. :P

  • 15+ ">Vitality (AV) - For Daredevils and Tanks only.

  • 15+ Displacement (AV) - If it wasn't an item bonus it might be worth it.

  • 15+ Fireballs (AV) - Wow an item with just a daily power that's actually worth it!

  • 15+ Power Preservation (AV) - As a striker, this is perfect for you to recycle that one badass encounter power you love.

  • 19+ Wyrmtouched (AV) - Dragonborn - Not bad if you breathe fire or cold.

  • 23+ Invisibility (PHB) - This is a huge bonus for one combat per day, but half the bonus is the free CA and Shadow Warlock armor should have that covered for you...

  • 30 Phoenix (AV) - One hell of a reversal but be careful because this is gonna be your last fight of the day one way or the other.




Secondary Equipment




Arms

  • Bracers 
    • 02 ">Enforced Regret (AV2) - Ranged Strikers don't get marked much, but gishes can get a lot of mileage out of this cheap item.

    • 02+ - Mighty Striking (PHB) - Very nice for Eldritch Strike users, but it doesn't help your implement attacks and its an item bonus.

    • 03 - Action (RPGA Village of Hommlet) - Crazy good defense for the price!

    • 03+ - Perfect Shot (PHB) A nice cheap upgrade to Eldritch Blast, but it doesn't stack with the Staff of Ruin/Subtle Dagger/Radiant Weapon/etc.

    • 06+ - ">Iron Armbands of Power (AV) - For hybrid or heavily multiclassed gishes only, since Mighty Striking covers the only warlock power this affects.

    • 07 - Skull (AV) - Incredibly weak compared to what your melee colleagues get, but it's still the best of your general offensive options until Ankhmon's, the upgrades are a bigger joke yet. 

    • 08 - Rejuvenation (AV) -  For Con'locks looking for something to do with their extra surges.

    • 09+ - Diamond (AV) Resistance on demand for 1 encounter/day.

    • 09 - Zeal (AV2) - The heroic version is awesome for Hell'lock gishes. 

    • 11 - Warlock's (AV) - With all the ways to spread your curse this is practially +1 to defenses, always on.  But whether you need the extra defense is another story.

    • 11 - Razordark (AV2) - Not bad for gishes who want to use their ranged powers in melee, or for those that want to get Prime Shot (and thus Called Shot) all the time.

    • 12 - Vigilance Eternal (AV2) - Once a day, you can make an immediate save vs. stun or daze, not bad. 

    • 13 - ">Bloodhound (AV2) - Not bad for an ongoing specialist, but SWA makes this mostly obsolete. 

    • 13 - Radiant Storm (AV2) - Resist 5 to two uncommon types? meh. Only to get the set bonus.

    • 19 - Ankhmon's (AV2) - *cry* Post nerf, this have gone from crazy good to weaksauce. So much for competing with Iron Armbands/Bracers of Archery... Still, every little bit of extra damage helps and the free healing will add up.

    • 19 - Trollhide (AV) - The unrestricted regen these offer one encounter a day is excellent defense, but it offers zero offense.


  • Shields (for Tanks by default since these require shield proficiency)
    • 02 Darkleaf (AV) - Light - Not bad for such a cheap price.

    • 06+ - Flamedrinker (AV) - A common resistance and you can play defender/leader once a day.

    • 08 - Hammer (AV2) - If you use a Pact Hammer, this is awesome.

    • 08+ - Storm (AV2) - 2 uncommon resistances and a very nice retaliation power.

    • 09 - Recoil (AV) - Knocking prone as an immediate reaction encounter power is very nice. 

    • 12 - Deflection (AV2) - The paragon version is great for Iron Cannons, not bad for gishes and melee tanks.

    • 15 - Deathward (AV2) - A common resist, plus you can play martyr for your allies if you want.

    • 16 - Flameward (AV2) - Common resist plus resist for your friends once a day, very nice.

    • 16 - Stormward (AV2) - Exactly like Flameward above except Lightning is a much less common damage type, and it offers less resistance for your friends! Unless you know you will face a lot of lightning wielding foes, this is just a bad value.

    • 16 - Winterward (AV2) - Again like Flameward above, but slightly weaker, though it is much better than Stormward. WotC, why does fire get all the love?





Feet

  • 02 - Acrobat (PHB) - Can't beat the price and the power is helpful at all levels.

  • 02 - Adept Charging (AV) - For charge-happy gishes only, helps with defense and can make charging every round possible without OAs.

  • 03+ - Stealth (AV) - Not bad for ninja builds.

  • 06 - Goblin Stompers (AV) - A very handy power for a bargain price, but IMO it is outshined by Fencing Master which is only 800gp more.

  • 06 - Precise Stepping (AV) - Bonuses to 3 helpful skills, unfortunately it scales terribly.

  • 07 - Rushing Cleats (AV) - Awesome for Eldritch Strike users.

  • 07 - Fencing Master (AV) - Awesome mobility and defense for an incredible price.

  • 07 - Surging Speed (AV) - For dwarves this offers a 2-square shift as a minor action once per encounter.

  • 08+ - Quickness (AV) - Helpful for keeping your 2nd most targetted defense up.

  • 09 - Striding (PHB) - Speed is less useful for a ranged striker than most, but gishes can definitely use speed.

  • 09 - Eagerness (AV) - As a true move action, this has a lot of uses: double shift, move zones, stand + move, etc.

  • 09 - Furious Speed (AV) - A big cheap speed boost for daredevils.

  • 10 - Sand and Sea (AV) - For only an extra 800gp over Striding, this is a decent upgrade.

  • 11 - Dancing (AV) - A lot of bang for your buck.

  • 12 - Battlestrider (PHB) - Tanks can probably use the speed.

  • 12 - Dragonborn (AV) - Awesome for daredevils.

  • 14 - Oceanstrider (AV) - Not much more expensive than battlestrider, and who knows if this might come in handy.

  • 16 - Eladrin (PHB) - Incredible for teleport buffs.

  • 16 - Survivor's (AV2) - Not bad for daredevils.

  • 16 - Spark (AV2) - As long as you have a decent Charisma, this is near immunity to minions and dissuades other melee attackers.

  • 17+ - Earthreaver (AV) - Maybe gishes will like these, but even my melee-only characters never take think they are worth the price.

  • 18 - Planestrider (MOTP) - Getting an encounter teleport 10 is solid for everyone. Getting to split your teleports is nice for teleport buffs.

  • 22 - Speed (AV) - Compared to Eagerness, this is way overpriced.

  • 24 - Fey Warrior's (AV2) - Great defense, especially for teleport buffs.

  • 24 - Caiphon (AV2) - A bonus to reflex and at-will mobility is nice for everyone, but Hell'locks will love this for the cheap, reliable method of triggering the double-hit for Hellish Rebuke. 

  • 24 - Zephyr (AV2) - Always on flight is crazy good for a ranged striker.

  • 25 - Avandra (AV) - Outrageously good mobiliy, but do you need it?

  • 28 - Teleportation (AV) - Just boost Ethereal Step instead and save all of this money.

 


Hands

01/12/16/23 - Burglar/Rogue's/Dimensional Grasp/Guildmaster (PHB) - These can really help if you are your party's trapsmith.

02 - Piercing (PHB) - Almost essential for Poison specialists, for Necrotic specialists and for anyone else who specializes in a damage type.


04+ - Blood (AV2) - This untyped damage bonus is the perfect striker enhancement, but from experience I highly recommend some kind of reminder to yourself as this bonus is easy to forget!


04 - Blackleaf (AV2) - A pretty handy boost once an encounter. Fey'locks can even double teleport which is awesome for teleporting around corners or very long distances (per RAW teleport buffs should be added twice!).


06+ - Burning (AV) - For fire specialists only.


08 - Ram (PHB) - A decent upgrade for anyone with push powers.


08 - Eldritch Admixture (AV) - Damage type versatility is incredibly handy, but it scales terribly so I don't recommend the paragon or epic versions.


09 - Greenthumbs (AV) - Very handy control, but it doesn't scale.


10 - Antipathy (AV) - Prevents shifting next to you and sometimes even moving, but the power is practically useless by the time you should afford this.


10 - Strikebacks (AV) - A bonus encounter power for gishes.


11+ - Ice (AV2) - For wintercheeze users this is one of the things that makes you so good.


13 - Missile Deflection (AV) - meh, not bad.


14 - Dimensional Repulsion (AV) - For those with teleport attacks or with the Flitting Shadows feat, this is a big boost.

15+ - Resplendent (AV2) - As long as you have a few vs. Will powers this is a nice bonus that stacks with everything. If you specialize in vs. Will powers then this is a no-brainer.


17 - Hero's (AV2) - This AP buffer is not bad.


20 - Many fingered (AV2) - When you desperately need a third ring slot, but altogether this amounts to a lot of cash.


26 - Hadar (AV2) - Combined with Shadow Warlock Armor, this is essentially an always on boost to curse damage, but since you can only deal curse damage 1/round I am not convinced it is worth the price tag.




Head

  • 01 - Cannith (D365) - Now that they are updating Dragon stuff, I expect this to be nerfed, but until then this is the ultimate bargain.

  • 02+ - Colloquy (AV) - Basically useless in combat, but awesome out of combat utility.

  • 02+ - Eagle Eye (AV) - A great upgrade to Eldritch Blast, but I'm not convinced the upgrades are worth the price.

  • 03 - Second Chances (AV) - A solid defensive option, but for the exact same price the arm slot item Phylactery of Action works every encounter instead!

  • 04+ - Tactics (AV) - This is a great bargain item at low levels, but it's initiative bonus doesn't scale as well as similar items.

  • 05+ - Skull Mask (AV) - Again at low levels, this is an incredible bargain, but it scales strangely.

  • 06 - Cat's Eye (AV2) - Solid utility.

  • 06+ - Horned (PHB) - The staple of charger builds everywhere.

  • 07+ - Phrenic (AV) - Post nerf, this is still worth it if you focus on Will targetting save ends spells.

  • 08+ - Indomitability (AV) - Very helpful for keeping up your Will defense.

  • 08+ - Mindiron (AV) - The paragon version is the best value partially just because paragon tier is when daze and stun effects become common.

  • 08 - Deception (AV) - A bonus to decent skills, and a bonus to saves against two fairly common keywords adds up to a pretty solid package.

  • 08 - Fey-blessed (AV2) - For Cha'locks this a great way to increase your toughness! But consider the Eager Hero Tattoo as an alternative.

  • 08 - Gadgeteer's (AV2) - For trapsmiths this is a godsend.

  • 10 - Intellect (AV) - For psychic specialists, this is pure gold.

  • 10 - Laurel (AV) - For charm specialists, this is pure gold.

  • 11 - Mental Onslaught (AV) - Not for Con'locks, but great for the rest of you.

  • 11 - Perception (AV) - The paragon version, this isn't a bad deal.

  • 12 - Charger's (AV2) - For charge-happy gishes, I prefer this over the more expensive Horned Helms.

  • 14 - Able Defense (AV2) - This will only matter 10% of the time, but the fact that it lasts until you are hit, is untyped, and affects all defenses makes it worth it in my book.

  • 15 - Psychic Schism (AV) - A no-brainer trade off for almost everyone. Only tanks might want one of the alternatives that is useable every encounter.

  • 15 - Nature's Rebellion (AV) - Necrotic is common enough for this to be a solid choice.

  • 21 - Essence of the Wisp (AV2) - Getting to pull at will as an immediate reaction is awesome, but likely only for gishes.

  • 22 - Ghostly Defense (PHB) - Resistance to a very common type and 1/2 damage from at least 1 attack per encounter add up to a very good defensive item.

  • 23 - Luminary (AV2) - Truesight is very potent when it comes up, and I think this item does enough other things to make it worth the cost.

  • 27 - Iron of Spite (PHB) - A big bonus to 2 handy skills and always on retaliation is very tempting, but at this price it is only worth it for Tanks.




Rings

13 - Giants (D378) - This is basically a nice cheap crit booster, which scales so it gets great at high levels.

14 - Dwarvish Lords (PHB) - Cha'locks can use the extra surge, and negating a forced move can save your life.

14 - Eladrin Ring of Passage (P1module) - The cheapest ring for teleport buffs and it has a nice no-LOS daily teleport.

15 - Dragonborn Emperor (AV) - The perfect power for a striker, if you have many close powers the damage bonus is gravy.

15 - Premonition (AV) - 3 very helpful effects in one cheap ring.

15 - Sympathy (AV2) - Good for a party without a leader or otherwise has a hard time granting saves.

16 - Death Spiral (AV2) - good resist (though only 5 is low), plus a decent power.

16 - War (AV) - Only worth it for d12 crit implements/weapons of which you have access to very few.

17 - Protection (PHB) - the save bonus alone is worth it, the daily dodge is just gravy.

17 - Radiant Storm (AV2) - This nerf-bait is worth basing your character around. The set bonus is nice too.

17 - Retreat (AV) -  for Teleport Buffs.

17 - Stone (AV2) -  A daily sustainable resist all 5 is solid defense, but best in the hands of a Tank, who also happen to be the only ones likely to get much from the resistance to crits, it is excellent.

17 - Stormcatcher (AV2) - lightning and thunder attacks are too rarely encountered to be worth it IMO.

18 - Bone (AV) - Necrotic is common enough that this is a solid defensive choice.

18 - Draconic Zeal (D365) - A daily free action attack is pretty nice for a striker.

18 - Fallen (AV2) - This adds Con to second winds and short rest surges, which is great for Con'locks without a leader and crazy good for Dwarf Tanks. And the Daily will really help out your allies after a tough fight.

18 - Ramming (AV) - For pushers only.

18 - Shadow Guard (AV) - 2 solid resists plus a nice aura daily power.

18 - Sorrows (AV2) - For fear specialists (Doomsayers) only since the power sucks.

19 - Preservation (AV) - A solid resist plus a daily counter for the worst attacks in the game.

19 - Shadowfell Signet (AV2) - Not bad by default, but crazy good if you are in an undead heavy campaign.

20 - Action Reversal (AV2) - +4 initiative is nice, but the ability to regain an encounter power after a miss is the real draw. Just don't ever waste this potent power before a milestone.

20 - Dimensional Escape (MotP) - The most expensive teleport buff IIRC, and the daily escape power doesn't actually get you back into the fight, which it should at this level.

20 - Enduring Earth (AV2) - A decent skill bonus, Fort defense that increases as your day gets harder, but it starts at +0, and a daily power to ignore common triggers make for a solid package.

21 - Tenacious Will (AV) - For Cha'locks, this instantly makes you just as durable as Con'locks, plus a bounce back power as a bonus.

21 - Wizardry (PHB) - +3 Arcana and a daily (post milestone) power to regain an encounter power ain't bad.

23 - Greater Invisibility (AV2) - This crazy good ring actually has little use for you thanks to Shadowwalk giving you concealment already and SWA giving you CA.

24 - Golden Ring of Teros (AV2) - For Tanks a +2 item bonus to AC & Fort when not bloodied is awesome. A daily that gives you resistance and a bonus to hit is pure gravy.

24 - Regeneration (PHB) - +3 to surge value and a (post milestone) daily to regain a surge AND gain regen 10 for the encounter is a lot of healing in one package!

25 - Sorrowsworn (AV) - Darkvision,  a bonus to intimidate, and a solid daily cheat death power make this a good pick.

26 - Kartan's Void (AV2) - This gives you a free AoE attack for a little damage and a little healing with every kill. The only thing holding this back is that the attack bonus doesn't scale and it's pricey.

27 - Phoenix (AV) - 15 fire resist plus the ultimate bounce back power: a teleport, a free surge, and a heavy hitting close burst attack.

29 - Free Time (AV2) - For Tanks and/or those that desperately need an extra minor action, this is definitely worth a primary slot. For the rest of you, it still might.

29 - Opal Remembrance (AV) - Worth the primary slot for heavy Int multiclassers.

30 - Nullifying (AV) - This is really powerful, but it'll cost you a primary slot.



Waist

02 - Vigor (PHB) - Another awesome level 2 item, but the upgrades scale terribly.

04 - Viper (AV) - A hell of a bargain considering how common poison is.

08 - Centering (AV) - Probably better then Vim except for Tanks considering the frequency of vs Fort attacks against you as a ranged striker.

08+ - Vim (AV) - Very helpful to keep your Fort up, especially for Cha'locks.


10 - Blood (AV) - For Tanks only.


10+ - Diamond (AV2) - For a little more than Vim, you can have the option of emergency healing.


10 - Shielding (AV) - Nice emergency defense.


11+ - Healer's Sash (AV) - Post errata, this is still a solid backup healing and party surge management. Plus now you selfish bastards can use it to heal yourself.


13 - Grappler (AV2) - A -2 to hit is basically -10% to DPR, so this is only worth it if you deal less than 50 damage per hit on average, or if you have solid miss effects or get to roll twice to hit (like Gravecallers).


15 - Umber Hulk (AV) - The ability to burrow for 1 encounter per day is surprisingly handy and so I recommend this upgrade to the belt of vim.


16 - Time (AV2) - could work for Divine Oracles/those with Danger Sense, but it's a hefty price for a gamble.


18 - Phoenix (AV2) - You effectively trade the 2nd plus from Vim for a solid bounce back power.


18 - Witch King - Nerf bait. For the same price as Vim+2 you get roughly a surge worth of free HP.


19 - Breaching (AV2) - Not bad, but great if you have 1 more item from the Eldritch Panoply Set.


21 - Valor (AV) - Not bad, but they are item bonuses so they may conflict with your other items.


23 - Vitality (AV) - +2 Fort bonus and a very nice bounce back power? Wow.


28 - Regeneration (AV2) - Very potent but ultimately just too expensive for a secondary item.


[sblock=Tattoo]
03+ - Demonskin (AV2) - Variable resitance for an AP? what a bargain!

Multiclassing: Dabbling in other classes


Ardent




Feats
under construction

Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

under contruction

Hybrid

under construction



 




 




 




Artificer





Attack Powers

Int based, so uses your secondary stat, which is doable as long as you fully invest in it. They focus on healing, buffing and control, so they don't appeal to the striker in you, but can appeal to your controller side.







 




 




 




Assassin




Feats

The best candidates here help out poison and/or necrotic specialists.

Attack Powers

Dex based, so you have to abandon Int in order to take these, but they do have Con as a secondary stat option. 







 




 




 




Avenger




Feats

under construction

Attack Powers

Wisdom based melee weapon powers, so only a very odd gish build would have any use for these.

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Barbarian




Feats

under construction

Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Bard




Feats

Entry



 




Bardic Dilettante (PHB2) - Cha 13 - A free big heal, a skill from a diverse list and you can even use songblades if you want. Bardic Ritualist (AP) - Int, Cha 13 - Not bad if you want to be a ritualist.

Heroic




 


  •  
    • Feyborn Charm (PHB2) - Gnome or Eladrin - Post nerf, this is just a 2-for-1 expertise-plus-focus feat, which is only worth it if the vast majority of your powers are Charm, which is doable, but not for everyone.

    • Infernal Clamor (AP) - Tiefling - Giving the whole party a +1 bonus to hit is like giving the whole party a +5% DPR boost.


Paragon

Epic




 


  • Bard Implement Mastery (AP) - Cha 21, Con 15, Int 15 - Probably the easiest prereqs for Cha'locks, but it only covers Wands and Songblades...

  • Multiclass Mastery (AP) - A 2-for-1 feat slot is really nice.


Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

Grave Caller - A excellent PP for a single target ranged striker like you. The key feature is you get a limited ranged version of Avenger's famous Oath of Enmity which does wonders for your DPR.
 - L11 feature - This lets you do a massive amount of damage on misses against 1 monster per encounter. NOTE: Since this is a damage roll, many static modifiers can be added!
 - L11 AP feature - Only +4 to damage rolls when you AP is weaker than similar AP features which add half-your level, but this isn't limited to standard action attacks and lasts a full 2 turns.
 - L11 power - 2d10 is mediocre damage, but targetting Will and dealing psychic are a plus, and granting +2 to attacks for an ally is a nice bonus.
 - L12 power - Invisibility to your deathmarked target for 2 turns isn't bad, but not great either since getting CA is easy at this level.
 - L16 feature - Here we go! Now your dailies and encounters miss half as often and crit twice as often just like an Avenger! Your DPR will go thru the roof.
 - L20 power - This does 3d10 plus ongoing damage that comes with a penalty and a half strength aftereffect. NOTE: Your deathmark will usually die quickly enough thanks your boosted damage output, so only use this on solos or at least elites.


 




Voice of Thunder - All of the Warlock Thunder powers are Con-based, but this path's powers are Cha-based, so it's best for Cha'locks with lots of Energy Admixture or a Con'lock with Reserve Maneuver. 
 - L11 feature - Granting a death save bonus is extremely situational and not your role.
 - L11 AP feature - Increasing the size of your close powers is a nice AP benefit, if you have plenty of close attacks.
 - L11 power - This close burst 1 only does 2d6 damage and pushes, but you get to use it again at the start of your turn. So if you can get the enemies to hang around, you can do great damage with this.
 - L12 power - A daily recover of an encounter power is always nice to have.
 - L16 feature - Half as good as the Kensei bonus, but that is still very good for a Striker.
 - L20 power - This requires some setup with your allies, but the extra damage from the echoes can add up in the AoE.


Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Cleric




Feats

under construction

Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

Divine Oracle (PHB) - This path is all about getting to roll twice like an Avenger whenever you target Will (which is already the easiest defense to hit on average!). So if most of your powers target Will (Fey'locks and Dark'locks the most likely), this is the path for you!
 - L11 feature - Rolling twice for initiative is great as going first helps both your controller and your striker sides. And party-wide immunity to surprise can really save your ass.
 - L11 AP feature - Gaining an extra move action is very useful for you considering that you want to move every turn to maintain shadowwalk as well as curse and some of your best powers are sustainable.
 - L11 power - Spending a standard action to do zero damage is usually a bad idea as a Striker, but turning a hit into a crit easily makes up for the damage loss. Have your party let loose with the biggest [W]/dice power you can (and make sure someone takes a Bloodiron weapon!).
 - L12 power - This is a less appealing zero damage standard action for you, but once a day getting +5 to every d20 in the whole party will be worth it, I'm sure.
 - L16 feature - Glorious! With the right power selection you cut your miss chance in half and double your crit chance, which does wonders for your DPR. Best of all, as a ranged Striker being dazed isn't even that painful for you, when you do actually manage to miss.
 - L20 power - Normally have a Wis based power would suck, but thanks to the miss effect eliminating the opportunity cost (and the fact that you get to roll twice with this), eventually this big damage power will land for you.

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Druid




Feats

under construction

Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Fighter




Feats

Heroic


 


  • Battle Awareness (MP) - Str, Wis 13 - For Gishes - An extra out-of-turn attack is always nice for a Striker.

  • Student of the Sword (PHB) - Str 13 - +1 to attacks per encounter ain't bad, and skill options aren't preset.
    • Master of the Rumbling Earth (MP) - a solid upgrade.

    • Offensive Resilience (MP) - Dex 13, Wis 13 - For most this is meh, but it's rather good for dwarves!

    • Thunder Hammer (MP) - Con 15 - If you have a Pact Hammer this is an easy -2 to saves.


Paragon




 


  • Avenging Spirit (MP) - Human - As written you are still restricted to the one action point per encounter limit which limits the odds of it triggering and you being able to actually use it.

  • Adroit Explorer's get around this for the most part.

  • Draconic Arrogance (MP) - There are definitely several push powers, but only a very odd build would have enough Str to make this worth it.

  • Grit (MP) - +Con mod THP with every surge is very good, sadly Hell'locks have to worry about their pact boon overlapping.

Epic




 


  • Mobile Warrior (MP) - Dex 17 - For those that qualify this feat offers a lot of free mobility.



Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

Avernian Knight (MP2) - Req Infernal Pact - This thoroughly gish/tank focused path is awesome for those builds. It is heavily fire based, so some method of dealing with fire resistance is highly recommended.
Breakdown

L11 feature -
The perfect feature for a gish; you get to use any melee weapon as an implement and ignore OAs from making ranged attacks in melee. Sadly you don't gain any weapon proficiencies from this feature, so non-hybrids will have to get that elsewhere.
L11 AP feature -
For con'locks this is a big damage buff for a full turn that can even apply to minor action attacks.
L11 power - A weapon attack vs Will, so accurate, but 2[w] is low damage. A -2 attack debuff is very weak control, but +2d6 damage with all weapon attacks for a round is a great buff! Combine this with your AP for serious nova power!
L12 powerA medium range teleport plus a multi mark is great for a gish/tank, especially at level 16+ and get to retaliate with each of those marks!
L16 feature - The perfect feature for a Tank; you get a very paladin divine sanction-esque retaliation of static auto damage which occurs after the attack is resolved. NOTE: this is worded as "whenever" rather than "the first time" like divine sanction, meaning that multi attacking enemies are in for some serious pain. And it doesn't cost an action, so fighter hybrids can use their Combat Challenge attack on top of this!
L20 power - While maybe not as drool-worthy as the other powers, a close burst 1 that deals 3[w] plus ongoing plus -2 defenses plus marks (save ends), is a beautiful thing.


Inner Dragon (MP) - Req Dragonborn - Con-lock gishes can make this work since they have a Con high enough for the encounter power to hit occasionally (not a lot though since you can't add expertise feats, etc.). The key feature is the extra +1 to attacks when bloodied and the utility that makes it easy to get the bonus for a whole encounter. Sadly this isn't as big of a deal thanks to the expertise feats and similar feats that offer attack bonuses, so this has become a subpar choice.

Iron Vanguard (PHB)
- Getting to add your primary stat mod twice is a big draw, so Con-locks can do well here as they get quite a few pushing powers (and no longer have Blood Mage to play with). You do however need to take the Reserve Maneuver feat unless you are a gish build with a high strength.

Kensei
(PHB)
- Ah, the Striker standby. This is all about the static +1 to hit and +4 to damage which is just as good for you as any other striker. Sadly the powers are pretty worthless, unless you're a high strength gish in which case this becomes a no brainer. And be careful, taking this PP means that you have to use the same type of implement in each hand (assuming you have Dual Implement Spellcaster). Still, the benefits are worth it for most.

Pit Fighter
(PHB)
- I have a hard time envisioning how you could have the Wisdom for this, but getting to add an extra stat to all damage is always worth mentioning. Dwarf Con-lock gish maybe? Suggestions welcome!

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Invoker




Feats

under construction

Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Monk




Feats

under construction

Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Paladin




Feats

Entry 
  • Soldier of the Faith (PHB) - Str 13, Cha 13 - A skill of your choice plus you can divine challenge 1 target/encounter which can be a huge boon when combined with White Lotus Riposte/Dark Spiral Aura/Hellish Rebuke or other lose-lose scenarios.

  • Soldier of Virtue (DP) - Wis 15 - Again you get skill of your choice, but the prereq is much harder for most and cancelling one condition per day is a lot less impressive than Divine Challenge IMO.

Heroic


  • Crimson Legionnaire (D381) - For Hybrids or those with a lot of power swaps only.

  • Crimson Fire (D381) - Divine Challenge power - This is huge boost for those of you who like to use Divine Challenge to create lose-lose scenarios. 

  • Wrath of the Crimson Legion (D381) - Tiefling - A 2-for-1 feat, Melee Training (Cha) plus a replacement racial power that is a HUGE close burst 5 mass sanction! 

Paragon

Epic


Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Psion




Feats

under construction

Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Ranger




Feats

under construction

Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Rogue




Feats

Entry

Heroic

Paragon


 




Epic


Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

Daggermaster (PHB) - This is all about the crit chance boost and it's much easier to pull off now that the Arcane Implement Proficiency feat lets you use any kind of dagger you want rather than having to rely on Pact Daggers. With the Versatile Expertise feat and Dex as a tertiary stat you might be able to hit occasionally with the powers, but I wouldn't count on it.


 




Tharos Impostor (D370)[/color] - Req Infernal Pact - Getting to feint as a minor action combined with a free reroll means you can get combat advantage pretty easily--but that's what SWA is for. Unfortunately this path is for Hell'locks, so that's not very likely considering you also need at least a 13 Dex. The upgrade to Hellish Rebuke is nice, but the attack powers both require light blades and are weapon powers meaning they will likely be dealing d4s or d6s--so pretty crappy damage. The utility power is nice, if highly conditional. Fire wielding enemies are common, but there are still going to be days where you don't see a single one which make this is a very expensive teleport power.


Epic Destinies

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Seeker




Feats

under construction

Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 





Shaman




Feats

under construction

Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

under construction




 




 




 




Sorcerer




Feats



 


  • Soul of Sorcery (AP) - Str, Cha 13 - Getting resist 5 to a damage type of your choice is damn good for a feat, sadly you don't get a free skill training.

  • Arcane Prodigy (PHB2) - Cha 13 - Training in Arcana, which effectively means you get to train in 1 extra Warlock skill. The damage bonus you get is pitifully low, but what makes this worthwhile however is the free Implement Proficiency with Staves and Daggers.
    • Sorcerous Assassin (AP) - Drow - By itself it's not great but combined with Frostcheese and/or Cursed Advantage, this is a big damage boost.



Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

Arcane Wellspring (PHB2) - Unfortunately you don't get anything out of the level 11 feature unless you are a hybrid, and the level 16 feature is rather underwhelming for you, but the AP feature is outrageously good. The powers are all great (even if you can't use the upgraded version of the encounter power), but make sure you ask your DM what he is going to do about the damage type since you don't have the class features that they depend on. Most DMs will probably just give you generic damage unless you took the Soul of Sorcery feat in which case they'd probably give you the damage type you chose for it.


 




Blizzard Mage (AP) - The features are not terribly "strikery," with the AP feature adding some nice control, L11 granting slight resistance to 2 common status effects, and L16 giving you a very small control boost from crits. Note that the L16 crit feature specifies "creature" which means you can use it either on an enemy or on an ally, and the Encounter power slides all allies 2 squares--these both mean that in a party where several members have the Agile Opportunist feat you can get a major offensive boost. The utility offers great attack discouragement for an encounter, but the Daily is the crown jewel--free auto damage in a huge area for the rest of the encounter that deals decent damage (especially if you get to add mods) and even pushes. Wintercheeze folks love this path.




 




Demon Skin Adept (PHB2) - This path has a lot of things going for it, but just as many things going against it. The AP feature is great as long as you have someway to protect yourself, the L11 feature is again unusable, and the L16 feature is terrible! You have zero control over when you crit and thus when the blindness triggers meaning you could be in the middle of a multi-attacking power and thus all but forfeited the remaining attacks. If this was at least an optional effect on a crit, it would still be weak but at least it'd be a net gain; as is, it's a net loss IMO. Then we have a VERY good encounter power--guaranteed triple attacking powers are unheard of for implement wielders. The utility is rather mediocre (similar utilities give larger damage boosts without bloody restrictions, e.g. Wrath of the Gods). Finally the Daily does weak initial damage, but has a very potent zone effect that you get to change round to round. Unfortunately there is no way to move the zone, so you need a push heavy party to keep them in the zone.




 




Essence Mage (AP) - This path offers 3 features you can actually fully use, unfortunately they just aren't very powerful, but the powers are great. L11 is the key ability: adding 1d6 damage whenever you deal 2+ damage types. Unfortunately very few Warlock powers deal more than one type, which means that you almost have to take Arcane Admixture to get much use out of this, but the worst part is that 1d6 is not that great (just look at Kensei). The AP feature is great, if boring. L16 is rather underwhelming, but at least it doesn't care where you get the resistance, so with the right equipment selection you could almost get Resist 9-14 against almost everything. The Encounter power is great, you get to pick 2 damage types every time you cast it so it'll be very easy to avoid resists and even trigger vulnerabilities from time to time, and of course you automatically get the extra d6 damage; on top of that you are guaranteed CA next round! The utility is very solid defense combining insubstantial for 1/2 damage with at least 2 chances to gain a good amount of THPs--every encounter! This is very helpful for Cha-locks who have durability issues. The Daily is a fantastic power to use in those close quarters fights where staying out of melee range just isn't an option. You deal solid, party-friendly AoE damage and get Resist All of 8 or 9 (thanks to your L16 feature!) for the entire encounter, plus autodamage to any enemy foolish enough to stand next to you. That is what I call a tide turning power!
  • Umbriri (FRPG) - This path is on here for 1 simple reason: the L16 feature means you could get CA every single round as long as you can move at least 3 squares (Shadow Walk). Unfortunately there isn't much else here for you. Necrotic resistance is nice, the AP feature ain't bad, but the powers are terrible. The encounter power you can at least swap out with Reserve Maneuver or, if you're a gish, even get some use out of. But the utility is a pure leader power, e.g. a waste of a standard action for a striker. And the daily is sorely missing a sustain line or something (one round of single target dominate with restrictions and that's it??).

  • Malec-Keth Janissary (MotP) - The L11 features are unusable for one, and non-combat for the other. The AP action is decent. But the key feature is at L16: +1d4 damage of a variable damage type that is always on! The encounter power is Reserve Maneuver bait unless your're a gish. But the utility is useful even if it is a leader/defender power since it doesn't cost you anything more than an immediate action. And the Daily is solid party-friendly damage in a BIG area, with a minor leader effect tagged on. Just be careful to buff your attack bonus because it doesn't do any damage on a miss.



Epic Destinies

under construction


Swordmage




Feats



 


  • Blade Initiate (FRPG) - Int 13 - You get training in Arcana, which means you get to train in 1 extra Warlock skill. One encounter per day you get +1 AC (or +3 if you're not using DIS for some reason). Some DMs might even let you qualify for feats or Paragon Paths that require the Swordmage Warding class feature since you technically have it for that one encounter a day.

  • Heart of the Blade (AP) - Con, Int 13 - This actually grants new skill options, but the Swordbond feature is basically useless.
    • Eladrin Swordmage Advance (AP) - Eladrin - With Eldritch Strike this opens up a brokenly good combo.



Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

Umbriri (FRPG) - This path is on here for 1 simple reason: the L16 feature means you could get CA every single round as long as you can move at least 3 squares (Shadow Walk). Unfortunately there isn't much else here for you. Necrotic resistance is nice, the AP feature ain't bad, but the powers are terrible. The encounter power you can at least swap out with Reserve Maneuver or, if you're a gish, even get some use out of. But the utility is a pure leader power, e.g. a waste of a standard action for a striker. And the daily is sorely missing a sustain line or something (one round of single target dominate with restrictions and that's it??).


 




Malec-Keth Janissary (MotP) - The L11 features are unusable for one, and non-combat for the other. The AP action is decent. But the key feature is at L16: +1d4 damage of a variable damage type that is always on! The encounter power is Reserve Maneuver bait unless your're a gish. But the utility is useful even if it is a leader/defender power since it doesn't cost you anything more than an immediate action. And the Daily is solid party-friendly damage in a BIG area, with a minor leader effect tagged on. Just be careful to buff your attack bonus because it doesn't do any damage on a miss.




 





Epic Destinies

under construction

 


 




Warden




Feats

under construction

Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

under construction

Epic Destinies

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Warlord




Feats

Heroic


 


  • Inspiring Leader (MP) - Str, Cha 13 - Giving 1 ally per encounter a handful of THP with an action point is a poor trade for inspiring word 1/day.

  • Student of Battle (PHB) - Str 13 - A big minor action heal and a skill from a decent list, not bad.

  • Tactical Leader (MP) - Str, Int 13 - Giving 1 ally per encounter a +1 to hit on an action point is better than a few THP, but still probably not as useful as inspiring word since it only makes a difference 5% of the time.
    • Unbalancing Wrath (MP) - Tiefling - Giving the whole party CA is like a +10% DPR boost for the whole party.


Paragon




 


  • Avenging Spirit (MP) - Human - As written you are still restricted to the one action point per encounter limit which limits the odds of it triggering and you being able to actually use it.

  • Adroit Explorer's get around this for the most part.


Attack Powers

under construction

Utility Powers

under construction

Paragon Paths

Shadow Captain (MotP) - The features are pretty mediocre for a striker (a little better if you're a gish), and the encounter power would be underwhelming even if you did have the Strength to hit with it, but the other powers have potential and there's always Reserve Maneuver. For Cha-locks who have a high Int for their secondary score, the utility offers a LOT of mobile cover and auto-hitting control that last for the entire encounter (there's no way I know of for the enemy to destroy them either!). And the Daily is very fun, flavorful and even powerful if you can manage to land the initial Str attack--it's reliable so you can take all the chances you want, but every miss is a wasted standard action. Fortunately once you do hit, you get a free flanker to move around the map who has a free standard action every round, and all it takes to resurrect him when he gets killed is for you to hit the initial target again and now any attack counts!


 




Battlelord of Kord (MP) - Thanks to the new playtest rules from the PHB3, if you Hybrid Multiclass Warlord, you can kick a lot of ass with this path. You get a self buff that lets you spend a surge, and get +2 att and +Cha mod to damage; once a day is poor, but once an encounter thanks to Hybrid is awesome. The AP feature is very 'leadery', but technically it does boost the offensive output of the party as a whole, so it's not bad from that perspective. And the L16 feature is actually very useful to you as a Striker. The encounter power is total Reserve Maneuver bait unless you're a gish with a high Str (even then it's very weak 95% of the time). The utility is another thing that is terrible unless you are Hybrid Multiclassing, in which case it can be very good. Finally if you have Eldritch Strike or Reaper's Touch, the Daily is crazy good: at epic you could be looking at 9 attacks for 2[W]/2d10+mods each!


Epic Destinies

under construction

  


Wizard




Feats

Entry
  • Arcane Initiate (PHB) - Int 13 - A free encounter power ain't bad as long as you have a high enough Int to hit (I recommend Winged Horde, Storm Pillar, Illusury Assault, or Thunderwave if you have a Wis of 12+)

  • Learned Spellcaster (AP) - Int 13, Wis 13 - Not bad if you want to be a ritual caster.

Heroic


  • Destructive Wizardry (AP) - Dex 13 - As long as you can manage enough multi-targetting powers, the damage bonus is substantial and stacks with everything.

  • Enlarge Spell (AP) - Wis 13 - Only worth it for powers with hefty status effects and/or potent zones, but often VERY worth it for those spells.

  • Gnome Phantasmist (AP) - Gnome - Post nerf, this is just a 2-for-1 expertise and focus feat that only applies to Illusion spells. As such it is only worth it for a fully specialized ILLUSION SPECIALIST.

  • Hellfire Arcanist (D381) - Tiefling - A better version of weapon focus for FIRE SPECIALISTS and a boost forced movement for FEAR SPECIALISTS! A very worthwhile choice for a Hell'lock!

  • Hellfire Master (D381) - Tiefling - This makes ongoing fire spells deal 5+Cha damage no matter what, which is glorious for ONGOING FIRE SPECIALISTS.

  • Hellfire Terror Lord (D381) - Tiefling - Knocking prone on a successful save vs. a fear effect is a nice perk.

  • Phantom Echoes (AP) - Sadly there are only 2 warlock attack powers with the Illusion keyword, so without heavy multiclassing this isn't really worth it.

Paragon





  • Spell Focus (PHB) - If you can take enough save ends wizard powers (via Eternal Seeker or Paragon Multiclassing) this is a great feat.

Epic




Paragon Paths

Battle Mage (PHB) - Now that Blood Mage has been nerfed to hell, this is an actual viable alternative.
 - L11 feature After several errata attempts, this is now usable, but dealing 1d8+Int of a variable element type with OAs is still not very impressive.
 - L11 AP feature Getting +4 to hit for a whole turn is very good (if boring).
 - L11 power 3d8+mods plus push plus prone is a great emergency power, sadly it targets Fort.
 - L12 power is kind of weak for a bounce back power, but it is still rather effective as its surge free healing.
 - L16 feature Getting to use an at-will as an immediate reaction to being bloodied is nice, but most Warlocks don't get bloodied very often, so it's best for Daredevils.  
 - L20 powerThe famous Daily spell; as long as you can wait and use up your other Dailies first this is the biggest baddest spell around 8d10+mods (1/2 on a miss) damage of a variable type in an 11x11 square that only targets enemies!


Blood Mage (PHB) - What once offered the perfect synergy for all of the Hell'lock long distance slides and pushes may have lost all that synergy, what is left is still a great path for Con'locks with plenty of control and plenty of damage.
 - L11 feature - This would be perfect for Con'locks if it weren't for the restriction to wizard and bloodmage powers. Still getting to sacrifice your surplus of THPs and HP to do +2d10 damage with Blood Pulse and Winged Horde (you did take that with Arcane Initiate, didn't you?) is quite nice.
 - L11 AP feature - Adding ongoing 10 to your AP attack isn't bad if it's single target, but for a big AoE (*cough* Blood Pulse *cough*) it is awesome!
 - L11 power - The once super DPR power is now a very big, solid control power that deals respectable damage to those who'd rather not stand still.
 - L12 power - Getting to reuse your favorite encounter power once a day is totally worth a surge IMO.
 - L16 feature - This odd second wind boosting feature is of course best for dwarves, but getting to deal auto [Con mod] damage when you second wind makes it much more appealing to a Striker. Adding Int and ongoing 5 to anyone you have controlled is pure gravy.
 - L20 Power - Considered by many to be the best Daily spell in the game, this affects a huge party friendly area with big damage, ongoing damage, and save ends stun, but best of all it stuns for a round even on a miss! Truly an "I win!" daily power.  

Simbarch of Algarond (FRPG) - The features aren't offensive at all, but Cha-locks at least could definitely use the extra toughness. The encounter power is the reason it made the list though; Int+8 vs. Reflex means even if you have a crappy Int you can still hit with this, and while the initial damage is low the encounter long damage buff is huge! Fire this off early against a Solo, and then just smile when you tell the DM how much damage you deal with each subsequent attack.




[b]Spellguard Wizard (FRPG) - If you are a gish with a high Int this is a very tempting path, mostly because of the potential in the L11 feature. There are quite a few Area burst powers in your repertoire, and getting to turn them into Close Blasts (with a +1 to hit) when desired is very nice indeed. Sadly the AP feature is pretty weak considering that your Dex mod is probably +2 at best considering that you need a high Int and of course high Con/Cha. L16 offers extra surges which may actually be overkill for those of you who would be drawn to this path. The encounter power is kind of weak, but as an out of turn attack it's great for burst damage and since you get to decide to use it at just about any distance with luck you can knock him prone next to your melee buddy. The utility and Daily powers are a little redundant with each other, but against the right enemies can be real life savers (few enemies are more frustrating than those that keep healing themselves or others). 




[b]Spellstorm Mage (PHB) - [/b] This has real potential. The AP feature is great for burst damage (combine with AoE or multi-attack powers whenever possible), but the L11 feature is key. It seems like it has to be a typo, but as written even with Wisdom as a dump stat, thanks to getting to add 1/2 character level to ability checks, this is pretty much a free reuse of a power per day. At first you'll probably just get an encounter utility out of it, but as you gain levels it gets more and more likely that you can refresh a daily attack power. The L16 feature is great for a Striker again even if your Wisdom isn't the greatest especially if there are any cursed minions still around. The encounter power offers great damage potential since every square except the origin square is adjacent to one of the outer squares, and thus you get to do 10 auto damage no matter what. Against melee monsters it's great control too. The utility is unfortunately rather weak since it hinders your side just as much as theirs without perfect placement. The Daily is nice as it is a huge party friendly area with decent damage and control, but if your DM allows vertical teleporting then it gets sick. A 10 square falls means 5d10 extra damage plus they fall prone; you just can't beat that.




[b]Unseen Mage (AP) - [/b] Warlocks have a lot of invisibility powers, which makes this an attractive option. However, I suggest you ask your DM how he rules the L11 feature first. If your DM lets you continue to roll the 'save' to keep the invisibilty active after you've already extended it with a 'save' then this is awesome. Even though statistically it only increases the extension by an average of half a round/attack a lucky streak could keep you invisible for quite a while. The L16 feature then gives you a nice damage boost whenever you are invisible (or when the target is blind). And the AP feature and powers all offer more ways to turn invisible to capitalize on it and some even let your allies enjoy the fun! Make sure you grab Blur via power swap for awesome synergy. 




Wizard of the Spiral Tower (PHB) - Req proficiency in longsword - The original gish path isn't as unique as it once was, but is still a very solid path. 
 - L11 feature - The Arcane Proficiency feat is better since it lets you choose any heavy blade, but still saving a feat is nice these days.
 - L11 AP feature - Only useful if you took Novice Power, and even then the encounter power has to be really good to be worth giving up a standard action.
 - L11 power - This is famous for being spammable with high accuracy. 
 - L12 power - This is hands down the best evade power I know of.
 - L16 feature - A decent retaliation feature for Cha'locks, but most gishes are Con-locks.
 - L20 power 3d8 isn't a lot of damage, but for a Close burst 1 with +4 to hit and +3 from the proficiency bonus vs. Will, it is extremely accurate, and a mass sequester is very good control.


Epic Destinies

under construction

 


 

I have one request,just don't make it look like the Paladin Handbook.
The Hexhammer was one of the earliest gish builds of 4E, and has seen some interesting permutations since then -- it would be nice if you could include the aspect of a meleelock when rating powers and feats.
For the guide. Can you add power cards from DD minis?
I have one request,just don't make it look like the Paladin Handbook.

You mean Litigation's guide? Really? I love his guide. But if you're referring his clever use of language, then don't worry I'm not clever enough to come up with an appropriate equivalent for Warlocks.

The Hexhammer was one of the earliest gish builds of 4E, and has seen some interesting permutations since then -- it would be nice if you could include the aspect of a meleelock when rating powers and feats.

The primary ratings will be based on the most straight forward builds, but I can add parenthetical ratings for specific, common builds. I thought that Hexhammers were basically killed by the errata nerfing Pact Hammers though?

For the guide. Can you add power cards from DD minis?

Yes I will be including everything I have access to via my DDI subscription so all Dragon magazine and DD mini power cards will be included as well as all WotC released books.
# Pact Boon: Misty Step - Free teleports are a lot of fun and can be very powerful, but unfortunately you really don't get to control when you use this so it's hard to rate very high. Essentially you can use it as a means of escape when surrounded but if and only if you or one of your allies can kill one of your cursed targets. Basically as a player you have to force yourself not to count on it, but to try and take advantage of it when it comes up. Oh, and don't forget if it goes off during your turn the 3 square teleport triggers Shadow Walk.

Two things:

1. It's probably worth carrying around a rod of the harvest +1 in your off-hand so you can store your teleport and use it at just the right time (especially if you go fey-touched and have slashing wake).

2. Arcane Power introduced the paragon feat, "shared pact boon." This is extremely nice with misty step since it will allow for some good strategic positioning (teleport your defender next to a squishy ranged enemy) and timely escapes (teleport your bloodied striker to safety). Your warlord will be envious.
The primary ratings will be based on the most straight forward builds, but I can add parenthetical ratings for specific, common builds. I thought that Hexhammers were basically killed by the errata nerfing Pact Hammers though?

They took a hit, but weren't killed outright. If anything, Eldritch Strike and Arcane Implement Mastery make them interesting again -- Nifft's original thread is still very much alive with ideas and builds even after all this time. (And I'm at least partially to blame for that. :D )
Coupla quick points:

Don't have the book to hand, but doesn't prime shot only apply to ranged powers? You imply using it with close burst/blast powers.

Wisdom may not be a complete dump stat for Fey/Star/Dark locks, as Wis 13 is required if you want to pick up Dark Fury. I wouldn't recommend a 13 at creation for a number of reasons, but certain builds may want to consider 11 or 12 so they can pick it up later on, when they have lots of psychic or necrotic powers to use with it.
Two things:

1. It's probably worth carrying around a rod of the harvest +1 in your off-hand so you can store your teleport and use it at just the right time (especially if you go fey-touched and have slashing wake).

2. Arcane Power introduced the paragon feat, "shared pact boon." This is extremely nice with misty step since it will allow for some good strategic positioning (teleport your defender next to a squishy ranged enemy) and timely escapes (teleport your bloodied striker to safety). Your warlord will be envious.

I plan on having an equipment section that will cover play-changing items like the Rod of Harvest and the Rod of Corruption. My ratings for features and powers assume just a baseline as far as equipment, etc. goes. The same goes for feats. Still I may start adding parenthetical statements referencing popular item/feat enhancements like I did with Infernal's Pact Boon essentially requiring the Improved feat to function at low levels.

They took a hit, but weren't killed outright. If anything, Eldritch Strike and Arcane Implement Mastery make them interesting again -- Nifft's original thread is still very much alive with ideas and builds even after all this time. (And I'm at least partially to blame for that. )

I will have to check out the thread again, in fact I am going to have to add a handy links section at some point...

Coupla quick points:

Don't have the book to hand, but doesn't prime shot only apply to ranged powers? You imply using it with close burst/blast powers.

Wisdom may not be a complete dump stat for Fey/Star/Dark locks, as Wis 13 is required if you want to pick up Dark Fury. I wouldn't recommend a 13 at creation for a number of reasons, but certain builds may want to consider 11 or 12 so they can pick it up later on, when they have lots of psychic or necrotic powers to use with it.

Wow, my group has been playing Prime Shot wrong this whole time. It all goes back to misreading it back when we were first learning the 4e rules; we read it as basically any non-melee attack 'cuz we applied it to Area attacks as well.

Ah, that's my prejudice against those feats showing through. I personally rate those heroic elemental damage boosting feats as purple partially because they require you to waste stat points on otherwise useless stats, and because even with AP out it's hard to have it apply to more than half your powers. Still I admit that it is my preference so I will make a note in the write up.


Thanks guys, keep the feedback coming!
A new Handbook has appeared! And looking good as far as what I've read! :D

Couple of quick points:

Bigfluffylemon already pointed out the whole Prime Shot bit. It's not that big a deal, but it's good to fix that.

You need a pic, too. Here's one that I sketched up, see if you like it:

Could you maybe add a sentence evaluating Eldritch Strike under the assumption that a DM will allow you to use it to replace Eldritch Blast?

Cause seriously, I can't imagine a DM allowing Eldritch Strike in his game, but only for humans/multiclasses. I've never had one so literal-minded.
Could you maybe add a sentence evaluating Eldritch Strike under the assumption that a DM will allow you to use it to replace Eldritch Blast?

Cause seriously, I can't imagine a DM allowing Eldritch Strike in his game, but only for humans/multiclasses. I've never had one so literal-minded.

Well despite the fact that as a DM I am a house-rule junky I want to keep things based on the RAW. And my first sentence refers to the fact that it'd be nice if you could swap Eldritch Blast for it.

But if you want a rating on that hypothetical I can't go above black and it's probably still purple. Basically, IMO, you're still better off with Eldritch Blast + Reaper's Touch. AC is generally 2 points above Reflex, so Eldritch Blast + Reaper's Touch is the same accuracy and damage as Eldritch Strike + a battleaxe/warhammer/broadsword/etc. The only advantage Eldritch Strike offers is opening up Superior Weapons, a damage-for-accuracy trade off with light/heavy blades and opens up weapon-specific feats. But considering the fact that Eldritch Stike is the only Warlock Power to have this feature it would not be optimal to build around it with those feats. So in the end, it could be useful for a Human or someone multiclassing into Warlock who wanted a melee attack based on Con or Cha, or for a novelty build. But that's about it IMO; a single power that does double-duty as a ranged and melee basic attack is better than one that is just a melee basic attack, slides 1 square, and uses contrary mechanics to every other Warlock power. If they come out with a new build with a full suite of powers like the Bow Bard, it could work, but for now I can't in good conscience recommend it. Sorry, man.

A new Handbook has appeared! And looking good as far as what I've read! :D

Couple of quick points:

Bigfluffylemon already pointed out the whole Prime Shot bit. It's not that big a deal, but it's good to fix that.

You need a pic, too. Here's one that I sketched up, see if you like it:


D'oh! I updated my wisdom write up, but forgot about Prime shot. -fixed!

I was hoping you guys might submit a pic or two for the thread! Wow, LDB, I had no idea you were an artist. I used to sketch all the time, but I never take the time anymore.

Well I've finished the At-Wills and level 1 encounter powers. This takes a heck of a lot longer than I thought. I had hoped to get a page done per day, but there's no way I'm gonna finish all of the heroic powers today.
Don't worry; it starts out hard because of all the analysis and crunching you have to do, but it gets easier once you've established it.

Glad you liked the pic; I made that about 2-3 years ago, but it's amateur stuff, no big deal.
But if you want a rating on that hypothetical I can't go above black and it's probably still purple. Basically, IMO, you're still better off with Eldritch Blast + Reaper's Touch. AC is generally 2 points above Reflex, so Eldritch Blast + Reaper's Touch is the same accuracy and damage as Eldritch Strike + a battleaxe/warhammer/broadsword/etc. The only advantage Eldritch Strike offers is opening up Superior Weapons, a damage-for-accuracy trade off with light/heavy blades and opens up weapon-specific feats. But considering the fact that Eldritch Stike is the only Warlock Power to have this feature it would not be optimal to build around it with those feats. So in the end, it could be useful for a Human or someone multiclassing into Warlock who wanted a melee attack based on Con or Cha, or for a novelty build. But that's about it IMO; a single power that does double-duty as a ranged and melee basic attack is better than one that is just a melee basic attack, slides 1 square, and uses contrary mechanics to every other Warlock power. If they come out with a new build with a full suite of powers like the Bow Bard, it could work, but for now I can't in good conscience recommend it. Sorry, man.

Eldritch Strike is uniquely powerful. It is the only weapon at-will that slides without sliding to a specific spot. Furthermore, it is a melee basic attack. If you combine it with Polearm Momentum and a Staggering Glaive, at very low levels you just destroy opponents. For example, at level 1 a dwarf warlock|fighter with str13 con 16(18) dex15 int 10 wis13(15) cha 8 [credit to Song&Silence] with a Staggering Glaive just totally owns heroic opponents (for melee, prone them 1 square away, for ranged prone them next to you). A smaller benefit of Eldritch Strike is that you can get weapon enhancements, which tend to be better for increasing damage than rod enhancements.

What's more interesting is how you rate an ability like this that is only fit for one specific very strong warlock gish build.

Scorpion Knight: High Armor, High Damage in Heroic Safe Haven: Stay near me and never get hit Eldritch Avenger: Crit Fishing at level 12, LFR friendly

Looks like a great start -- I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops.
Eldritch Strike is uniquely powerful.

What's more interesting is how you rate an ability like this that is only fit for one specific very strong warlock gish build.

See Epiphony, Human Vestige GlaiveLock

Also of note - Arcane Impliment Proficency opens up both heavy and light blades which hasn't been mentioned in the op section
Eldritch Strike is uniquely powerful. It is the only weapon at-will that slides without sliding to a specific spot. Furthermore, it is a melee basic attack. If you combine it with Polearm Momentum and a Staggering Glaive, at very low levels you just destroy opponents. For example, at level 1 a dwarf warlock|fighter with str13 con 16(18) dex15 int 10 wis13(15) cha 8 [credit to Song&Silence] with a Staggering Glaive just totally owns heroic opponents (for melee, prone them 1 square away, for ranged prone them next to you). A smaller benefit of Eldritch Strike is that you can get weapon enhancements, which tend to be better for increasing damage than rod enhancements.

What's more interesting is how you rate an ability like this that is only fit for one specific very strong warlock gish build.

I guess what it comes down to is I consider purple to mean that by default it is sub-par, but it does still have some potential for redemption. The glaive-lock gish build is one such example of turning a generally crappy power into gold. But that still doesn't mean that your typical player should consider picking up the power.

See Epiphony, Human Vestige GlaiveLock

Also of note - Arcane Impliment Proficency opens up both heavy and light blades which hasn't been mentioned in the op section

I totally forgot about heavy and light blades from Swordmages. I will add them now!

And once I get around to the helpful links section, Epiphany will go in there.
Just playing around with character builder on my Vestige / Star pact warlock. Came across something interesting.

In a previous guide, it stated that twofold pact would not qualify you for a paragon path based on your second pact. However, if you take twofold pact at 11th level, thats exactly what you can do.

Apparently you can choose the order you get your feat / stat / PP. I thought that was neat.

Apologies if this was already known.

prototype00

P.s. Great guide! Really looking foward to updates.
Thanks for another great guide!

I'll start a campaign tomorrow with a vestige lock and I look forward to it.

Apparently, in the character builder you can take another pact at 11e level with twofold pact and take the paragon path of your new pact. Not really official, but close.
As a variation on my original build above in combination with

The Build of Blighting

Black Dragon Hexer

Black Dragon Hexer

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&DI Character Builder ======
Dragon, level 16
Dragonborn, Warlock, Hexer
Build: Scourge Warlock
Eldritch Blast: Eldritch Blast Constitution
Eldritch Pact: Vestige Pact
Arcane Implement Proficiency: Arcane Implement Proficiency (heavy blade group)
Twofold Pact: Star Pact
Gritty Sergeant: Weapon Proficiency (Broadsword)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 15, Con 20, Dex 11, Int 20, Wis 9, Cha 15.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 16, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 12.


AC: 30 Fort: 26 Reflex: 27 Will: 23
HP: 107 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 31

TRAINED SKILLS
Thievery +12, Insight +12, Religion +18, Arcana +18

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +7, Bluff +10, Diplomacy +10, Dungeoneering +7, Endurance +12, Heal +7, History +15, Intimidate +12, Nature +7, Perception +7, Stealth +7, Streetwise +10, Athletics +9

FEATS
Level 1: Reaper's Touch
Level 2: Hurl Breath
Level 4: Arcane Implement Proficiency
Level 6: Implement Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Level 8: Armor Proficiency (Hide)
Level 10: Shield Proficiency (Light)
Level 11: Called Shot
Level 12: Persistent Poison
Level 14: Draconic Spellcaster
Level 16: Twofold Pact

POWERS
Warlock encounter 1: Clarion Call
Warlock daily 1: Armor of Agathys
Warlock utility 2: Ethereal Stride
Warlock encounter 3: Fortune Binding
Warlock daily 5: Vestige of Xandor
Warlock utility 6: Red Leeches of Nihal
Warlock encounter 7: Hero's Arrow
Warlock daily 9: Vestige of Shax
Warlock utility 10: Etheral Sidestep
Warlock encounter 13: Coldfire Vortex (replaces Hero's Arrow)
Warlock daily 15: Tendrils of Thuban (replaces Vestige of Shax)
Warlock utility 16: Hero's Defense

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Mordant Broadsword +3, Bracers of Mighty Striking (paragon tier), Phrenic Crown (heroic tier), Periapt of Cascading Health +2, Light Shield, Rod of Feythorns +4, Lifeblood Earthhide Armor +3, Eladrin Boots (paragon tier)
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&DI Character Builder ======



Differences:
  • The CharBuilder doesn't have the Master of the Starry Night, so instead I chose Hexer, due to its greater ability to warlocks curse
  • Used gritty Sergent to pick up broadsword
  • Used Arcane Implement Proficiency to get Heavy Blades
  • Used a Mordant Broadsword to give all powers Acid & Poison keywords
  • Hide Armour and Shield Proficiencies to capitalize on my high Int
  • As the original build use Rod of Feythorns +4, to give all Cursed Enemies Poison Vulnerability 10 and to remove any Poison Immunity.
  • Lifeblood Earthhide Armor gives you 10 temp hit points after a rest just for extra durability
  • No cheesy reliance on free action abuse
  • Persistent Poison -2 saves to end poison effects
  • Called Shot to add +5 damage on all prime shot candidates
  • Melee Basic Attack (Eldritch Blast) gains +4 damage from Bracers of Mighty Striking (paragon)
  • Teleport 3sq @will as a move action



thoughts?
I think you may be underestimating the appeal of the paladin multiclass. The Feyknight is one of the more effective gishes, since it's able to synergistically use divine challenge and Eyebite to cripple an opponent. He can't see you to attack, but he takes radiant damage if he attacks someone else. It may be a tricky build, but it can be quite effective.
.
First off, one quick note that the Heroic powers are finally finished!


Just playing around with character builder on my Vestige / Star pact warlock. Came across something interesting.

In a previous guide, it stated that twofold pact would not qualify you for a paragon path based on your second pact. However, if you take twofold pact at 11th level, thats exactly what you can do.

Apparently you can choose the order you get your feat / stat / PP. I thought that was neat.

Apologies if this was already known.

prototype00

P.s. Great guide! Really looking foward to updates.

This is most likely a glitch with the character builder as the PHB spells out the order of leveling up, which shouldn't allow you to choose a feat before picking your PP. If your DM allows it, then go for it! It certainly helps out those who like a particular pact but really want the PP from a different pact and actually have to play through heroic levels.

8w_Gremlin, I will add your build to the list once i get to that step. In the meantime, at first glance it looks like a solid gish build. I can already tell that I may have to revise my rating of Ethereal Sidestep since I had forgotten about the ways to boost teleport distance. BTW, the reason that Master of the Starry Night wasn't in the Character Builder was because you didn't have the Star Pact until 16th level. :P

I think you may be underestimating the appeal of the paladin multiclass. The Feyknight is one of the more effective gishes, since it's able to synergistically use divine challenge and Eyebite to cripple an opponent. He can't see you to attack, but he takes radiant damage if he attacks someone else. It may be a tricky build, but it can be quite effective.

Again a purple rating doesn't mean it can't be done it just means that it takes a specific build to make it work. Personally I've never been that impressed with the Divine Challenge + Eyebite combo. I'll have to take another look at the Feyknight, but Divine Challenge damage is just not that great, and neither is eyebite so together they do good damage, but not enough to neglect encounter/daily powers and it doesn't help against AoE attacks since they ignore the total concealment penalty.

-Malk
A very good guide, or maybe I'm biased since I agree with the general assessment of the Warlock class (that most of it is less than great) even if I really enjoy the idea of the class a lot. I'm very curious as to what you'll give for Paragon Paths considering nearly all the intended pure Warlock ones are so very, very bad.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Armor of Agathys is not an inferior power. It is an ally friendly ability that deals automatic 1d6+con cold damage to adjacent enemies at the start of their round. The temp hp does not scale, so at paragon levels it would be reasonable to retrain, but at heroic levels, the power is very effective, for an entire encounter...
For utility 10 powers, I'd recommend having Wizard as a multiclass and use the feat multiclass to gain Blur...
Paragon powers are up.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Armor of Agathys is not an inferior power. It is an ally friendly ability that deals automatic 1d6+con cold damage to adjacent enemies at the start of their round. The temp hp does not scale, so at paragon levels it would be reasonable to retrain, but at heroic levels, the power is very effective, for an entire encounter...

To add to this, the standard action can be a bit misleading. You can always power it up the round before you kick in the door. Five minutes or the end of the encounter. When you kick in the door to the temple of elemental evil or charge the bandit's hideout, you can be pretty sure you'll be seeing a combat in the next five minutes. Heck, if you don't end up having the opportunity for (or taking) a short rest, it may last you through two (or even three) encounters.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Armor of Agathys is not an inferior power. It is an ally friendly ability that deals automatic 1d6+con cold damage to adjacent enemies at the start of their round. The temp hp does not scale, so at paragon levels it would be reasonable to retrain, but at heroic levels, the power is very effective, for an entire encounter...

...For utility 10 powers, I'd recommend having Wizard as a multiclass and use the feat multiclass to gain Blur...

I understand that you guys really like the power, and I do see the value, but my point is that the typical Warlock, who is a ranged striker, Armor of Agathys is a poor choice. Non-standard builds and combos will get parenthetical mentions where applicable.

Don't worry I will have a section for recommended power swaps and Blur will definitely be on the list.

To add to this, the standard action can be a bit misleading. You can always power it up the round before you kick in the door. Five minutes or the end of the encounter. When you kick in the door to the temple of elemental evil or charge the bandit's hideout, you can be pretty sure you'll be seeing a combat in the next five minutes. Heck, if you don't end up having the opportunity for (or taking) a short rest, it may last you through two (or even three) encounters.

Well I know some DMs can be picky about prebuffing. And skipping short rests in order to maintain it for more than 1 encounter only works if you can talk the whole party into doing the same, and not refreshing anyone's encounter powers is a huge trade off. Again I'm not saying it can't work, but most characters/parties won't be built for it.

-Malk
Man, you've got more red in this guide than any others. I'd like to think you are being perhaps a bit too harsh but unfortunately from what I've seen of warlocks you are just being honest - which you should be commended for.

Damn shame, warlock was easily the most intriguing and most flavorful 3.5 creation (although a bit weak after 9th level or so...WOTC's conservatism really irritates me sometimes).
I agree!
Warlock powers at paragon are very poor in the damage compartment.
I don't think somebody at WOTC has actually played a game as a paragon warlock.
It gets even worse in AP. Even the paragon path powers are abysmal from a damage perspective, certainly for CON-locks.
I would have preferred more dice of damage or additional attacks (like killing flames) than some strange situational low damage power (like taking extra damage if you stand up)
Remember WOTC, this is a striker class!
Man, you've got more red in this guide than any others. I'd like to think you are being perhaps a bit too harsh but unfortunately from what I've seen of warlocks you are just being honest - which you should be commended for.

Damn shame, warlock was easily the most intriguing and most flavorful 3.5 creation (although a bit weak after 9th level or so...WOTC's conservatism really irritates me sometimes).

I agree!
Warlock powers at paragon are very poor in the damage compartment.
I don't think somebody at WOTC has actually played a game as a paragon warlock.
It gets even worse in AP. Even the paragon path powers are abysmal from a damage perspective, certainly for CON-locks.
I would have preferred more dice of damage or additional attacks (like killing flames) than some strange situational low damage power (like taking extra damage if you stand up)
Remember WOTC, this is a striker class!

Thanks for the support guys! My goals is to be completely frank with this guide so that players can actually make a decent Warlock by avoiding the pitfalls. I am trying as hard as I can to give the ratings based on comparisons with other classes powers, etc. rather than just the other options at that level, which is why often the highest rating at a level is only black.

Warlocks really are an incredibly flavorful class, even more so in 4e than in 3.5, but sadly it's true that are the worst Striker when it comes to being a Striker. Yet I still think that now that they got some more feat and power support from Arcane Power (sadly no multi attacking powers), I think that you can make a damn good, fun striker you just have to be a hell of a lot pickier with your feat and power choices, etc.