Selling thy soul for the promise of power: A Warlocks handy guide
Hi guys, I'm pretty new here (lurking for some time), so a hello to you all, I'm eharper256, sometimes known elsewhere as 'The Social Knight'.
Anyhow, introductions aside, I saw that whilst there is a Warlocks guide already up on the site, it is not yet complete, and in any case, I feel that the more opinions the merrier. So here's my shot. I've played a couple of Warlocks (well, Witches, to be precise) and tried out most of the stuff up and including 7th level, and then again in a Paragon campaign, from 11th to 14th. Those campaigns have ended now, so the rest is technically theoretical.
So, lets get cracking!
For references sake, I'll highlight: Infernal Stuff in Red Fey Stuff in Green Star Stuff in Blue Dark Stuff in Purple Vestige Stuff in Burnt Sienna
Updated 16th June 2009. General Considerations and Recommended Stats bits were actually added. Updated 10th June 2009. PHB Heroes stuff added, and stuff from Dragon 375. Updated 25th April to some time in June 2009. Arcane Power updates are steadily being added over this period. Updated 23-24th April 2009 with PHB II stuff. More to come. Updated 20th April 2009 with stuff from Dragon 372. Will add add PHBII and Arcane Power stuff when my books arrive. Updated 16th December 2008 with new stuff for DarkPact and Dragon 366.
The warlock is the bearer of pacts, the controller of lives, fates and dimensions. Most magic in D&D is differenciated by how you tap into it. Clerics & Pallies pray, Wizards Study. You, on the other hand, summon up some powerful archon of a force, and make a pact with it.
Of course, the stereotypical Warlock or Witch is one who deals with the devils; and this is what the Infernal Pact offers you. However, you're not bound by such traditional thought, since you also have the choice of liasing with those crazy fey creatures, or, if you're brave, you can even form a pact with the old ones and other such abberrants that sound like they were pulled straight from a H.P Lovecraft book. Its never really said (at least in the books) what you give up in exchange for your powers; but we can assume its something traditional, yet strangely important, like one's eternal soul. Ultimate power usually doesn't come cheap.
In game mechanics terms, Wizards of the Coast designates the Warlock as a Striker. Whilst I can see their reasoning in requiring some kind of non-martial striker class, frankly the Warlock doesn't really match up to the Rogue and Ranger at all. They really can't pump out damage in the same way as their blade and bow weilding compatriots, even if the Curse gives additional damage.
Also, they are typically more durable, elusive and accurate than casters are typically should be. This, combined with their status effects, makes them surprisingly hard to kill if they are played correctly. Hence, they also don't share the 'Glass Cannon' syndrome of the other Strikers or squishy wizards.
And whilst it is possible to create sheer damage dealing Warlock builds (see my own Pyromaniac for such an example), personally I feel that they lend themselves to a Controller much more, at least most of the time. In fact, some builds can out-control many Wizards (mainly wand and staff blast wizards; but the Orb-izards still have you beat).
Now, what Warlocks ~really~ excel at is throwing status effects around. From plain but brutal ongoing damage effects, to stacks of stuns, immobilizations, and pushes. They are really made for technical, smart play.
So, if you prefer simply spanging things over the head and protecting your allies, this class is not for you. If you prefer causing giant explosions that hit lots of targets, this class is not for you. You are focused, adroit, and single minded. You are also a bit of loner, in that you don't have many things that directly support others (though others can benefit nicely from your status effects) This focus on singles is probably the only real thing they actually share with other strikers.
Anyway, still here? Read on...and find the pros and cons of: Selling thy soul for the promise of power!
About the Pacts: Infernal Warlock, ala. the Inferlock First up is the obvious option. The infernal pact choice is perhaps the most stereotypical Warlock. You also benefit from the fact that the largest selection of powers that are infernal (25 of them– 10 [+9 in Arcane Power] of which specifically benefit those with Infernal pacts). Infernal locks are mini-blast wizards, in essence, with their several reasonable area effect spells (starting at level 3). They are much tougher than most other casters, however, since they get bucket-loads of temporary hit points from dropping cursed foes; and they are liable to have huge Constitution scores to aid their spellcasting. To put it lightly, you have to be tough to deal with the devil. But the benefit of this is that you can more acceptably attempt to engage in melee and use close attacks with fewer risks.
They're regular swimmers (in lava?!?) and their compulsion with hellish deals means they're especially good at at pouring over ambigiously worded contracts and dealing with excessive bureaucracy. (16-20 CON, Raise it every time)
Most locks had a degree of schooling somewhere before it all went horribly wrong. Nevertheless, you'd be surprised just how helpful that Maths course can be when figuring out which of the innumerate planes of the Abyss you're supposed to summon today. (13-15 INT, Probably your secondary stat)
Some Inferlocks, unlike their breathren, actually do some pushups in the morning and can get by in the gym without flying headfirst off the stair machine. (10-14 STR; depends on if you want to melee)
Muscle pumping usually comes first for you. But maybe you can show off and do a handspring or two. (10-12 DEX)
Inferlocks routinely have bad hair days and probably smell of brimstone a bit. Demonic parties don't judge based on looks, see. Nevertheless, to progress in the underworld, it doesn't hurt to have a little devilish charm... (8-14 CHA)
Obviously, since you made a deal with the devil, you probably don't have a ~tremendous~ amount of common sense. (8-10 WIS)
What Can I do with this? Aka. Themes & Paths of Development
Become a Tank through a constant gain of Temporary Hitpoints. You can do this straight from level 1 with Vampiric Embrace, not to mention your Pact Boon. Though few other powers support this until Paragon (assuming you become a Life-Stealer), it is still a good theme.
Control enemies movement. You can also do this from level 1 with the Diabolic Grasp. Starting from level 7, alot of CON based powers support this theme, from Infernal Moon Curse, Howl of Doom, Iron Spike of Dis, etc. By fixing foes in place, or moving them where you need them, you can help keep the squishy members of the party safe, and allow the pummelers to pummel.
Cause big fiery explosions. You're not as good as the wizard at this role, but starting at level 3, you can deal with minions pretty well, and deal a fair bit of nasty damage types.
Fey Warlock, ala. the Feylock So you picked the odd option. The fey pact creates a much sneakier, prettier Warlock. Though you technically have the smallest repertoire (21 spells, of which 8 [+9 in Arcane Power] specifically benefit you) you are still pretty versatile. Fey locks specialize in charm and teleportation, with minors in invisibility and the manipulation of weird energies. However, I’d argue that Fey locks have dubious damaging ability, and can no longer be called Strikers. They instead leap into the supposedly wizard only realm of control, but with extra mobility. That said, they can hardly be called weak. The fact that Will is typically the weakest save among creatures, and the fact that you can waste monsters actions, flash step around like a loon, and turn the entire party into disappearing ninjas cannot be underestimated. Unlike other kinds of warlocks, you have no need for Constitution; but you must be pretty; a high Charisma is essential.
Damn you sexy nymphet, you! Feylocks carry around a mirror and preen themselves whenever they can. Looking the part is very important: first impressions are everything. Especially when it comes to mind control and illusion. (16-20 CHA, Raise it every time)
Most locks had a degree of schooling somewhere before it all went horribly wrong. Nevertheless, you'd be surprised just how helpful that Fey Biology class can be when it comes to knowing things like a Brownies favourite colour (no, it isn't brown, jackass!) or a Grigs desired type of ice-cream (13-15 INT, Probably your secondary stat)
Like the fey they emulate, Feylocks are spritely creatures and usually benefit from a degree of manual dexterity (10-14 DEX)
You can pass a routine physical. I mean, you look good, but good looks rarely go hand in hand with staggering endurance. Then again, maybe you can keep going? You know, just so you don't dissapoint the ladies... (10-14 CON)
On the other hand, you're never seen on the centrefold of the glamour-mags pumping iron. Its just so uncouth. (8-10 STR)
Obviously, since you went and had unprotected sexual relations with a nymph, you probably don't have a ~tremendous~ amount of common sense. Or maybe your lust just dramatically outpaces it... (8-10 WIS)
What Can I do with this? Aka. Themes & Paths of Development
Teleport around like a Vorpal Rabbit on Acid. Feylocks love to teleport even more than other Warlocks, as its built into their pact boon. This allows you to have a character of highly adaptable tactics, as no soon as you drop one foe, you can be straight into the next fray, helping out there too. Mobility is very important in 4e, and this Pact takes full advantage of that.
Control minds and hearts with impuignity. Starting at level 5, mind control in its menagerie of forms becomes a core aspect of the Feylock. It is something that is especially espoused in their Paragon Path. They truly start getting good at it around level 10-15, but controlling foes actions, though it doesn't directly cause damage, shouldn't be underestimated.
Slap debuffs on foes. Not your speciality, (its the Starlocks, actually)* but there are enough powers here to make it a possible theme. They start right away with Witchfire at level 1. Even your At-Will, Eyebite, blinds foes. It only gets better by level 7 and Mire the Mind comes out the woodwork.
* = That said, you can usually yoink a good chunk of the Starlocks control and debuff powers off them if you like them, since they may well run off Charisma.
Star Warlock, ala. the Starlock Then you have the brave option. The star pact is the most MAD Warlock build, as your required abilities variably switch between Constitution and Charisma. You have the middle sized selection of abilities**, but the least that actually benefit you for picking the Star Pact. (22 spells, but only 7 [+7 in Arcane Power] gain extra boons from the Star Pact). That out of the way, you have (arguably) the most desirable pact boon. Since to hit bonuses are remarkably hard to get hold of in 4th edition, the fact you can rack up absurd bonuses from your curse is very nice (admittedly, it loses its effectiveness against singular bosses, like all the pacts). In addition, its versatile, since you can add it to any roll (adding to saves is also useful). As another interesting benefit, your powers deal a nice variety of damage types, from radiant to necrotic. The entry requirements might be steep (Cthulu only accepts pretty ~and~ tough people!) but the inevitable rewards are probably worth it.
When wrapped in a cloak of stars and bathed in moonlight, you really get to show off your pearly, luminescent skin. Its obvious you inherited the looks of the family. Some people just don't appreciate your subtle beauty, though, and it goes un-noticed... (EITHER~ 16-20 CHA, Raise it every time OR 10-14, as a secondary stat)*
You like spending lonely nights contemplating the world on chilly plains and clifftops. You have a degree of personal endurance that usually goes beyond the normal, and shrug off colds with ease. (EITHER~ 16-20 CON, Raise it every time OR 10-14, as a secondary stat)*
Most locks had a degree of schooling somewhere before it all went horribly wrong. Nevertheless, you'd be surprised just how helpful that Astrophysics class can be when trying to determine the correct trajectory to bring your falling meteors in on for maximum impact. (12-14 INT, Probably your tertiary or maybe secondary stat)
With all the gibbering ancient tomes they have to decode; Starlocks rarely get any degree of physical aptitude. (10-12 DEX, 8-10 STR)
Obviously, since you decided that tentacles are actually a bold fashion statement rather than a gibbering mess, you probably don't have a ~tremendous~ amount of common sense. (8-10 WIS)
What Can I do with this? Aka. Themes & Paths of Development
Enjoy mastery over all fate, luck and destiny. Your pact allows you to quite literally bend luck in your favour, and add +1 bonuses to any roll of your choice. Considering how its fairly hard to obtain boosts to Attack rolls and Saving throws in the game, this power is rather cool. It also extends to several of your later powers, such as Sign of Ill Omen and Strand of Fate, allowing you to totally screw over the luck of others (, luck of the GM).
Control the four dimensions in your favour. The Warlock specialises in attacks that disable the foe and cause status, usually to the benefit of the rest of the party. From Immobilization to granting Combat Advantage, it all ends up helping.
Smash foes with the power of the cosmos. Finally, the Starlock likes to cause alot of varied forms of damage, from Radiant and Cold to Fire and Psychic. Its all there. In practice, this is very useful, since there's often a good way for you to take advantage of weaknesses (or at least override resistances).
*= Make sure you pick either CON or CHA to focus on for a Starlock. Have one at 16-20, and the other at 14-16. If you don't your other stats will be very weak.
**= If you include the supplement from Dragon 366, the number of powers for a Starlock drastically increases, though...
Dark Warlock, ala. the Boomlock And then, as a result of the Forgotten Realms Players Handbook, theres now a fourth option, the Dark Warlock. I call this the Boomlock, simply because it (usually) forgoes the warlocks usual funky effects for BIG damage in its powers. The Darkspiral Aura pact boon literally gives you a charge up laser. As you drop foes, you can then punish those that try to attack you in reciprication. You can also weaken foes with this effect, which again increases your survivability. Your damage focus is mostly on Necrotic and Psychic, but Poison, Force and Acid occasionally show up. Sadly, Necrotic is the least desirable damage type due to its inefficiency vs. the Undead. Finally, since you focus on Charisma, you can still yoink some stuff from Feylocks and Starlocks (and they can nick your stuff too). Basically, a Boomlock is the most 'striker' like of all the Locks.
The lure of the dark is oh-so-delicious. Your shadow seems to somehow accent your beauty, rather than detract from it. And with that smile, that...sardonic...delightful...almost disturbing smile, the will to resist just crumbles away. (16-20 CHA, Raise it every time)
Most locks had a degree of schooling somewhere before it all went horribly wrong. Nevertheless, you'd be surprised just how helpful that Physics course can be when it comes to figuring out angles of incidence and the right degrees of the electromagnetic spectrum to invoke. (13-15 INT, Probably your secondary stat)
Like the darkness that inspires them, Boomlooks can sometimes seem to agilely be in ten places at once... (10-14 DEX)
You can pass a routine physical. Not that you'd ever actually concede to letting a doctor touching you... (10-14 CON)
All that black clothing is actually just to disguise your pale gaunt and lack of muscle, though, right? (8-10 STR)
Obviously, since you embrace that which nearly all people innately fear, you probably don't have a ~tremendous~ amount of common sense. Or maybe your lust just dramatically outpaces it... (8-10 WIS)
What Can I do with this? Aka. Themes & Paths of Development
Deal crushing amounts of damage to single foes. Make no mistake, the Darklock is about killing things with extreme prejudice. They deal alot of Psychic meltdown and Necrotic lifesapping damage, and their pact feature only supports this fact with its charge up cannon effect. Especially fabulous at this job is the twin pair of 'Your Delicious Weakness' and 'Your Delectable Pain', which change their types on the fly to cause extra damage.
Deal ongoing damage. If the first attack doesn't kill it, the slowly seeping poison surely will. Alot of Dark Pact powers deal Ongoing damage.
Prevent the foe from hurting you. Several Dark pact powers, starting with Upsetting Onslaught at level 3, impose effects or conditions which punish the foe for trying to attack you. Your pact feature can also weaken foes if it is sufficiently charged up. The Darkwalker Paragon path also supports this concept through its use of the Insubstatial status effect.
Vestige Warlock, ala. the Binderlock Arcane Power brings back the Vestiges. These originally came about in a late supplement for 3.5, the Tome of Magic. Personally, I picked it up because of the Truenamer stuff, but this part was fine too, and it also had Shadow Magic. I actually went on to create a bizarre custom fusion class from the Pact and Vestige stuff that I called the Pact Binder. It had some similarity to Sheena from Tales of Symphonia, invoking true names to command a spirits loyalty.
Anyway, my waffling aside, I call them Binderlocks for this reason. In any case, it makes some sense, as you're binding the service of a vestige spirit with this pact. Your pact boon here is completely mutable and versatile. It changes whenever you switch Vestige. You can really choose what kind of effect you want to happen, and change it if you expend your Dailies. From the default options, King Elidyrs boon gives you a leader-ish feel by granting AC, and Zutwas boon increases your accuracy if you're in the middle of the fray. Additionally, you're the second type of Warlock to prefer Constitution (Inferlocks being the first). Arcane Power introduces you, and boy does it love you too, as it offers a shocking 28 spells which have effects specifically benefitting you (I include the Vestige spells in this number).
You've trekked all over the world and poured over thousands of tomes in your life long quest for knowledge in your art of psuedo-summoning and pact binding. Holding the souls of so many departed heroes and villians inside of you also requires a certain degree of prenatural toughness (16-20 CON, Raise it every time)
Most locks had a degree of schooling somewhere before it all went horribly wrong. Nevertheless, you'd be surprised just how helpful those History and Geography courses were in remembering odd legends that might have just maybe been turned in vestiges. (13-15 INT, Probably your secondary stat)
Binderlocks interested in learning from the mistakes of the past to become better leaders might actually persue personal bodily enhancement. (10-14 STR and 10-13 DEX)
Binderlocks can also vary a bit on the looks front. They rarely take great heed on their apperance, but sometimes they have a rough, almost roguish charm to them. (10-13 CHA)
Seeking ancient lore at expense of all other pursuits is rarely what one could call an intelligent hobby, since it can easily corrupt. But some binderlocks might just have a modicum of sense about them, especially those with leader-ish or psuedo religious tendancies (8-13 WIS)
What Can I do with this? Aka. Themes & Paths of Development
Be a Warlock of Many Talents! The various alterations to your Pact-Boon and initial attack, not to mention the unique attacks the Vestige Pact sports all allow you to step away from the Warlocks (already admittedly dubious) association with being a Striker. This is hence rather opposite to the Dark Pact. What's most unique is your ability to buff and heal allies from time to time, which is otherwise unheard of in Warlocks.
Deal a large range of damage types. The Vestige Warlock summons the aid of a large menagerie of spirits. Almost each level, you'll come across a new damage type in Vestige Pact powers. Many of their attacks also cause typeless damage, which is quite a rare phenomenon for Arcane Casters.
Hit the foe with annoying restrictions. Many Vestige powers do stuff to foes that isn't covered by the usual status effects (which Starlocks are superior with, in any case), like preventing healing, destroying concealment, and being easier to hit with.
Lock-a-low-down: General Considerations
Warlocks don't actually get to choose their At-Will powers, unlike other classes. Their pact decides it for them. So be sure to read the At-Wills section as well before you pick a Pact.
Prime Shot is gained by all Warlocks, but frankly, for you, its not so hot. Melee Rangers get a great boon from the same feature, but in general, it is healthier for a Warlock to stay at the middle distance of 5-10 squares and snipe at things, since they are fairly squishy characters. Hence, you'll rarely get to call on this bonus, except for those few Close Burst and Blast attacks you have. Inferlocks, with their stack of Temp. HP and wider range of close attacks, can use it slightly more effectively, though.
Warlocks Curse is obviously a fairly important part of the class. Its basically an Arcane Version of Hunters Quarry, though. True enough, it helps with your DPR a little bit, but even with this boost, you can't really expect to approach the true-striker-ness of Rogues and Rangers. Then again, as I've argued before, I don't feel this is point of a proper Warlock (except maybe certain Boomlocks and Inferlocks focused on explosions)
Shadow Walk means you blur as you dash around the battlefield. By moving at least 3 squares a turn, you can hide yourself with Stealth checks. Of course, you can't actually take stealth as class skill, though (sigh...) so if you actually want to properly take advantage of this, you'll need to burn a feat for a Skill Training or Multiclass Feat.
You use Rods, Wands, or Pact Blades as Implements.
Rods are more useful for specific Warlock bonuses, and if you are single-classing, should probably be your implement of choice.
If you want to multiclass, you can avoidMulti-Implement Dependancy by being a WandWizard or by using a Pact Blade that is also a Dagger for a Dagger Sorcerer.
There's technically nothing stopping you from having a Pact Rapier, if you want, and Pact Hammers are fun choices for Multiclass Fighters/Paladins (especially those with the CON to use Inferlock/Binderlock stuff AND get Hammer Rhythm!).
You can wear Leather Armour. And you should. Wizards like to blow a feat to get it, so its nice you get to wear it for free. A +2 AC always helps.
If you feel like sinking 13 into STR, which is otherwise pretty useless for a Warlock, picking up Light Shield Proficiency is also a good move. Though personally, I feel its a waste. CON-locks doing this fare slightly better, though, since they'll also be able to get Hide Armour Proficiency from sinking those stat points.
You get slightly more HP than a Wizard. You're still squishy though.
You can use Simple weapons, if you want. Most of the time, its better to just use your At-Will powers though. Its not like in 3.5 where low-level casters basically lived off their crossbows when they depleted their two magic missiles for the day. You can now go unarmed besides implement (which all of the Warlocks I've played so far have done).
Though, of course, you get to attack at a longer range with a Crossbow than you would with most powers since alot of your stuff is 10 range. Make sure you have at least 14 DEX if you're planning this, however.
Unlike most Arcanists, you bizarrely DON'T have to pick Arcana as a class skill. You probably will have the INT for it though, so you'll probably get it anyway. Its hilarious that Sorcerers have to pick it, but will still be crap at it, since they don't actually study...LOL...
You can dabble in Rogue-ish activities with your other skills. Its for this reason I say 10-14 DEX is ok for all Pact types. Intimidate, Bluff and Thievery are probably good choices for your other skills. More scholarly Warlocks may prefer Arcana, History and Religion. Unless in a predominantly urban campaign, Streetwise is fairly useless and you probably don't have the WIS to use Insight.
As for arrays:
18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 8: Powergamers array of choice. Works well for any single type Warlock, though your DEX will suck (get Improved Initiative!) Typically CHA/CON then INT. Only dual-type Starlocks should ignore it entirely.
16, 16, 12, 12, 10, 8: Best for Dual Type Starlocks. Especially Half-Elf ones. Pretty nicely balanced and allows minor INT/DEX bonus. Also fine for locks looking to get big buffs from rider effects.
18, 13, 13, 10, 10, 8: For those who need a tertiary stat, but still want an 18 starter. A decent alternative for those who want DEX and INT as well as their prime stat, though neither will ever be fabulous.
17, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8: Underrated, in my opinion. Certainly not optimal, but it does allow for a much better secondary spread of stats in exchange for a arguably manageable loss in the main-stat. You will admittedly be 3 levels behind an 18 user, meaning the bookend levels (1-3 and 28-30) will suffer. But, in general, you'll be alright.
Race to the finish! Who wins? Ala. what races work best?
I know I've taken some flak for not rating Tieflings as uber Feylocks. So sue me. I stand firm on the issue.
For each race, I’ll give a rating for each type of warlock. The format is: Infernal (in red)/Fey (in green)/Star (in blue) /Dark (in purple)/Vestige (in Burnt Sienna) for ease of recognition, and the rating is out of 10
Dragonborn 2/6.5/6.5/6.5/2 The Charisma bonus can really help out the Feylock or Boomlock; not to mention the Dragonsbreath can slightly plug the hole that Feylocks can often have in minion crushing ability. That said, they’re unlikely to have much Con, so the damage won’t be awesome (not that this is terribly important). Similarly, Starlocks can also benefit from the Charisma, and are likely to have a more potent breath since they’ll actually have Con. On the other hand, Inferlocks and Binderlocks get very little from being draconic. Charisma is likely to be their dumpstat, and with their huge wad of temporary hitpoints, they’re never likely to make full use of the boosted healing surges and fury when bloodied. The only reason they get a 2 is because they dragonbreath might actually be a nice weapon with the uber-Con you’re likely to have.
Pros: Breath good for minion crushing (something locks are typically bad at), CHA bonus can help, better surge is nice for Starlock/Inferlock/Boomlock. Cons: STR is probably useless, you shouldn't be getting hit enough to take advantage of being bloody.
Dwarf 7/1/3/1/7 With the Con bonus, Dwarves can work as Inferlocks. The fact that you can use Second Wind as a minor action and have a shed full of temp. hitpoints means that you’re unlikely to have health problems in the foreseeable future. Binderlocks are probably also okay here. Starlocks get much less from the deal. Although they can use the Con, theres nothing else of benefit for them. Feylocks are still technically worse here, mind you. They’re about charisma and mobility, and dwarves have neither. Don’t make your feylock (or Boomlock) a Dwarf. In general, Dwarves are really, really meant to wear heavy armour to take advantage of their Encumbered speed. If you do want a Dwarf Inferlock or Binderlock, I’d highly recommend dumping Dex and immediately taking Chainmail proficiency. As armoured warlocks, you might increase their rating by 1 or 2.
Pros: Can make for walking founts of Hitpoints as Inferlocks, Fast Surge, CON bonus for Inferlocks & Binderlocks, not likely to be pushed around. Cons: Needs armour really, far too slow for Feylocks, not pretty enough for Boomlocks.
Eladrin 3/5/1/3/3 For feylocks, Eladrin might be okay (heck, they are fey, right?). Though you get no Charisma boost, you do have a natural teleport to go with your class teleport, hence making you absurdly mobile (though it might be overkill). But, in general, Eladrin are not an awesome choice for Warlocks. They don’t need the Will bonus, they shouldn’t really be using longswords, and so on. Starlocks especially need to keep away; boosts to two stats you don’t need! The only real boon to Eladrin is that you can pick Stealth as your extra skill, and maybe abuse Shadow walk to stay invisible, if your GM allows it, otherwise, leave them to be Wizards or Swordmages. As for Boomlocks, Eladrin might be okay, since, again, the teleport helps, and the boost to INT helps with some of their powers. Its also not overkill in the teleports like a Feylock. Weird, huh?
Pros: Racial Teleport complements feylock abilities, can nab Stealth or Perception as an extra skill. Cons: Really not made to be warlocks in general, as DEX/INT are only secondary.
Elves 5/5/2/5/5 Again, Elves are not ideal for any type of Warlock. Neither stat bonus is terribly helpful, and whatever your build, you typically don’t shift (you teleport). That said, they still get an average score for Inferlocks, Binderlocks, Boomlocks and Feylocks because of their high mobility and the desirable Elven Accuracy power. Starlocks will still want to stay away because of their MADness.
Pros: Elven Accuracy, Fast Cons: Really not made to be warlocks in general.
Half-Elves 8/9/10/9/8 Whew, Half-Elves are great news for warlocks, and especially so for Starlocks, since both of their stat requirements are covered. Feylocks and Starlocks also benefit from being party leaders with their high Charisma. And heck, having Dilettante is always fun to help cover your weaknesses. Most warlocks can benefit from taking the Wizards Scorching Burst or Thunderwave to make up for their initial lack of AOE attacks. Feylocks and Starlocks ~could~ also benefit from a paladin attack (Bolstering Strike, most likely, since it doesn’t require a mark). Finally, you can take advantage of those nice Human feats, and actually get a decent deal out of Paragon multiclassing if you really want. A great choice, regardless of the circumstances.
Pros: Starlock can 18 his two prime stats without nerfing others, Can take human feats, Dillantette allows you to pick up a mob control power. Cons: None really
Halfings 2/10/5/8/2 I’d argue that Halflings make for superb Feylocks. They get the Charisma bonus that they need, more Dex is always nice, and their other abilities promote both mobility and avoiding attacks, which is key for the Feylock. Same with the Boomlocks. They also make for superb users of the Otherwind Stride because of these boons (run into a pack of enemies, set off the bomb, teleport away!). Similarly, Starlocks can also benefit from these attributes, if not as well, since they also need the Con. Inferlocks, on the other hand, have no real place here, since Charisma and mobility are fairly unimportant to them.
Pros: Hard to kill, Warlocks don't need melee weapons so size is irrelevant, CHA for feylocks and boomlocks, Nimble reaction good for some powers Cons: Wrong bonuses for other Lock types, though Starlocks are serviceable.
Humans 9/9/9/9/9 Being the most versatile race, Humans are good news for nearly all classes. Extra skills, feats and saves are always nice; not to mention the human feats are great. But, Feylocks and Starlocks get the most benefit, since they can pick each others power (Eyebite or Dire Radiance, respectively) and then have an at-will attack that can target every defence besides AC. Additionally, Spiteful Glamour is handy for Starlocks interested in damage, and Eye of the Vestige is just generally a handy backup attack, even for Inferlocks. Good times.
Pros: Can hit every defence at 1st level, more feats is always good, Defences are cool, can never go wrong with ability choice, human feats too Cons: Ability scores only get a +2 rather than a +4, but such is the price of versatility
Tiefling 6/8/7/9/5 You’d think that Tieflings would automatically make awesome Inferlocks given their daemonic heritage, but by default, this is not so, since they don’t require Cha, and Int is a secondary stat. However, there is some ~serious~ merit in them ~if~ they take the racial feat of Hellfire Blood and ignore the level 1 Infernal Encounter powers, since lots and lots of the other infernal attacks are fire and fear based, and having as many to hit bonuses as possible is always good. If you take advantage of this combo (and you should), you can increase their rating to 8. Starlocks might also want to look here for the same reasons as the Inferlock although they’ll almost exclusively be looking at the fear benefits. In fact, they might be better off since they also get to hit one of their needed stats, Charisma. Feylocks also benefit from the Charisma, though they get no significant benefits from Hellfire blood, and they shouldn’t be getting hit in order to call upon their Infernal wrath. Not a bad choice for the Feylock though. As some have pointed out, INT is also a secondary stat for Feylocks, so yeah, its all good. They're pretty nice as Boomlocks too, since the Charisma and Intelligence boosts, are, like the Feylock, pretty useful. In general, Tieflings ~are~ above average as Warlocks of all types, but are often just a little removed from being superior.
Pros: Bloodhunt is a nice feature for killing stuff off, CHA for feylocks, Hellfire Blood feat was so made for warlocks Cons: Shouldn't be getting bloody to use that power, bizarrely sub-optimal for Inferlocks
Forgotten Realms Extra Races
Drow 2/9.5/8/9.5/2 Well, in my opinion, Drow have become a bit broken in 4e since they lost the +2 level adjustment. Personally, I rule you pick either Cloud of Darkness OR Darkfire at 1st level; and that you only get Low-Light vision since Darkvision has become more prestigious. But whatever. They are indeed quite mighty for Charisma based Warlocks. The fact that you can instantly conceal yourself or freely gain combat advantage once an encounter is a very nice set of powers; and the fact that you gain a DEX boost in addition to CHA, like a Halfling, means that you're well set up for a reasonable intiative and good potency.
Pros: Powers are very strong and versatile, Good for CHAlocks. Cons: You ~might~ not use the Intimidate/Stealth Bonuses, like a Rogue would.
Genasi I'll consider each of the Genesi seperately, since Elemental Manifestation does change them quite a bit. GenasiShow
Earth Genasi 5/3/1/3/5 I can see them becoming reasonable Inferlocks, especially the kind that likes to charge into the fray (kinda like a Dwarflock). They can get themselves out of trouble easier by using Earthshock, and a saving throw boost is always handy. Hardly top-tier, though.
Pros: Earthshock gets you out of trouble, Saving throw boost Cons: Like all Genasi, STR is useless to a Warlock, and INT is only okay.
Fire Genasi 3/1/1/1/2 I suppose, again, they might be okay as Pyromaniacs, since they can bomb themselves with Fire area effect spells and not care about the consequences as much (like Tieflings). But still, not alot to see here for the Warlock.
Pros: Decent lunatic pyromancer? Cons: Like all Genasi, STR is useless to a Warlock, and INT is only okay.
Thunder Genasi 1/1/1/1/1 As far as I'm aware, Warlocks don't usually get to use Thunder and Lightning powers much. So nope, I see nothing here for you. Be a wizard instead.
Pros: None, really Cons: Like all Genasi, STR is useless to a Warlock, and INT is only okay. No thunder powers to take advantage of.
Water Genasi 5/5/3/5/5 Now Water Genasi I've always a soft spot for, and this is no exception. The ability to breath underwater is underrated, and Swiftcurrent is basically a VERY nice 6 space teleport. That you're also protected vs. Ongoing damage is an extra boon. Though the stats are still not ideal for a Warlock, the Water Genasi is still worth considering due to the other benefits (except for Starlocks, who REALLY need the stats)
Pros: Very mobile (probably moreso than Eladrin), nice abilities. Cons: Like all Genasi, STR is useless to a Warlock, and INT is only okay.
Air Genasi 5/5/3/5/5 The fact that Air Genasi get access to flight at 1st level is tremendously amusing. Wizards don't get to play that game until 16th level (!) making it a very desirable ability. Admittedly, you can't sustain yours. But hell, its damn nice. Again, the stats don't match up too well, but like a Water Genasi, its worth considering for the nice ability.
Pros: Very useful power Cons: Like all Genasi, STR is useless to a Warlock, and INT is only okay.
PHB II Extra Races
Aasimars(Deva) 6/6/7/6/6 Sorry, they'll always be Aasimars to me, not Deva's. Other than the name-change, though, I'm quite pleased on how they turned out.
Of course, they don't easily lend themselves to CHA based arcanists like Warlocks. But INT is a secondary stat, and WIS helps with Perception & stuff. More importantly, extra languages are handy if you're the party face. And, on top of that, Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes is a nice power that theoretically stacks with the Star-Pacts Fate of the Void to make you twiddle incesessantly with rolls. They're not ideal, but they're not a bad choice for locks either.
Pros: When alot relies on hitting stuff, the memory of 1000 lifetimes power can be really handy & it stacks with Star Pact too. Cons: Statboost only applies to your secondary abilities.
Gnomes 2/10/7.5/9/2 I find it a little weird that Gnomes have turned into Chibi-Elves, rather than the stumpy little things they were before...but whatever. They're more like what I would invision Brownies or Redcaps or big fairies now, rather than Gnomes.
Nevertheless, much like their halfling cousins, they're perfectly suited to CHA-locks, especially Feylocks (wouldn't you know, them bein' Fey and all). Though they have a low speed, a stack of teleports and long range attacks and suitable stats mean it doesn't affect them as much as their Dwarf compatriots who also choose Warlock-dom. Their abilites do emphasise the sneaking around part of being a Feylock, rather than the dominion aspect, though, so keep that in mind. Boomlocks also benefit. Starlocks also okay. Not so hot for Inferlocks or Binderlocks, mind you.
Pros: Very good for CHA-locks. Sneaky and effective. Cons: Low Speed
Goliath 9/2/1/2/9 Half-giants, anyone? They're all about Endurance. Which, convieniently, puts them ideally into the Inferlocks and Binderlocks camp. The CON-boosts, the damage resistance, the reasonable speed. Its all there for the Tank style Inferlock, though they can't throw on the armour like the armoured Dwarflock. But you'll have stack loads of hitpoints and the firepower to go with them, which is pretty cool. Sadly, the STR bonus goes to waste entirely here, but nevermind.
Pros: Great Inferlocks/Binderlocks with CON boost & Stone's Endurance Cons: STR is useless to a Warlock.
Half-Orc 1/1/1/1/1 Half-orcs are PRETTY now!?! What is the world coming too...
As might be expected, Half-Orcs are pretty much at odds with the whole pact and promise deal. You've got nothing here...really...move along...
Pros: Furious Assault could give small damage boost. Cons: Basically everything else.
In the same vein as Half-Orcs, the Shifter really doesn't lend themselves to holding any sort of Arcane prowess. The stats aren't there, and being bloodied for a bonus is typically a bad idea for a Warlock. Keep on moving...
Power to the people A look at each power Part 1 (Level 1, initial choices)
Now I’ll take a delve into each power. The colour of each ones title indicates which pact it technically belongs to. After the title, I’ll have the five ratings in the same way as the races, showing value in the power for each type of warlock. I’ll also underline the score if I feel that this best power for that pact to take this level.
Of course, these values are just my opinion, and they assume you’re playing the build in the standard way. If you’ve got a funky hybrid, the values ~might~ be irrelevant.
Now, naturally, you can take one pact and yet never take any of its actual powers (besides the at-will), but that’s a bit counterproductive. That said, if you want variety, go for it.
Just remember, picking an Inferlock power when you’re a Feylock is probably a bad idea if your Con sucks. Starlocks, with their MAD stats, probably have more choice, since they’ll be reasonable in both; but even they should probably pick a favourite and stick with it.
Boomlocks follow Feylocks in their constriction to Charisma powers, and Binderlocks will typically follow Inferlocks in their constriction to Constitution powers. The ratings take this account. If that power doesn't correlate with your pact's ideal stat, its not likely to score above 4 because, hey, you'll never hit with it.
At the start of each levels powers, I'll also put a quick choice summary, which is preluded with a: . After this symbol, there will be a short list detailing what I think is the best power for each Pact to take this level, in the format of Infernal/Fey/Star/Dark/Vestige. This is you're doing a build in a hurry and want to see what is best in a pinch.
Finally, if the power is from a Supplement, like Dragon Magazine, I'll mark it with a symbol as well. is the Starlock upgrade article from Dragon 366 is the Necromancy stuff article from Dragon 372 : is the PH Heroes: Series 1 thinguamy. is the Celestian Order stuff article from Dragon 375
1st Level At wills Technically you only get to choose At-Wills if you’re either: A) A human B) Doing Paragon Multiclassing
Since otherwise your two at-will powers given are technically class features, and you can’t ever retrain them. So pick that pact carefully! Because of this, I’ll only give the at-wills a general rating.
Dire Radiance– 8 Technically better than Hellish Rebuke, because the bonus damage isn’t nowhere near as conditional. Its also very nice to deal Radiant damage if you don’t happen to have a Cleric or a Pally in the party (since you’ll automatically be the best at dealing with the undead in that case). The only issue is that Fort is probably the worst defence to hit.
Eldritch Blast– 7 Well, if you’re a Warlock, you have it, so don’t complain. If you’re sniping and the enemies aren’t at all interested in you, then this is your best attack to use because of the higher damage. Obviously, pick your best stat as the attacking one. Hitting Reflex is also okay, and the fact that it counts as a basic ranged attack will make the Warlords in your party more useful.
Eyebite– 8 Arguably the best for the mobile kind of Warlock. Which, conveniently, Feylocks are. One might argue that staying invisible is a far better deterrent against a raging monster than intimidating it with the promise of damage. However, you can’t get combat advantage from this power unless you spend an action point, so considering its low damage, it can’t be considered the ultimate power. Does have the extra boon of targeting will, though.
Hellish Rebuke– 6 Previously, the Inferlock gets the worst deal with the at-will powers, but I reckon the Boomlock beats them at that now. This power is handy if someone does attack you, as the foe that you targetted with the Rebuke gets an additional flame up the butt, but this effect is more conditional than Dire Radiance. Human Inferlocks should make sure they pick up Dire Radiance, since its also CON based and generally superior. (Thanks to Lokathor for correcting me on this~ previously thought it granted a thorns effect.)
Spiteful Glamour– 5 Whew, dust off your D12 and give him a reason to live. Technically, the Boomlock gets a nice deal on the damage front for early levels. If its a new foe, the possibility is there you could do an extra 4 damage to it. But...thats it. In other circumstances, its still better to use your Eldritch Blast. And there are no other effects to this attack, meaning that the Boomlock doesn't get to do anything interesting at all. So yeah, its the lowest tier, since 4 damage soon becomes quite negliable. A human Starlock interested in damaging Will and not wanting the coolness of eyebite could pick this up though.
Eye of the Vestige- 9.5 Wow, I think we have a new winner for the best At-Will Warlock power here. This power is remarkable. Why? Well, alot of a Warlock's Technique is helped along by his Curse for extra damage and his Pact Boon (which, convieniently, happens from Cursed targets). So when an at-will allows you place additional curses, its a natural benefit. I espose getting Twinfold curse at Paragon, but this power, if you have it, may render that more obsolete. The target of the new curse does have to be within 3 squares, but if theres no target, you can choose to apply your curse damage to any of the cursed foes within that vicinity, hence adding a degree of multi-target capability in the worst case.
What's more, though, this power also gets buffed EVEN more in the hands of the Binderlock, as their Vestige adds a conditional bonus. Elidyr continues his leader like abilities by granting a save to an ally. Zutwa lets you use Prime Shot even if you're not closest. Later vestiges can even do crazy stuff like adding the Weakened condition, ongoing damage and stuff like that. Oh, and it targets Will. Of course, it is a CON based attack. Nevertheless, Human Inferlocks and Starlocks should really consider picking this up as their second power for the ability to spread curses arounds
Eldritch Strike– 8 : Well, this is bizarre, a melee attack for the Warlock. Of course, considering that only humans can actually pick this up, one wonders why they'd pick it up over another pacts at-will. It would really be better in the hands of an Eladrin or Dwarf, seeing as how their weapon training will actually allow them to use a decent weapon in conjuction with it. I guess its fine if you've also picked Superior Weapon Proficiency for some reason and want to go around with a Pact Rapier.
I suppose its most interesting feature is being able to push the target. Its hardly spectacular, but it is useful if you're going for a Dollmaster/Blood Mage build (as I detail below).
Level 1 Encounters
:Vampiric Embrace/Sprites War Call/Arms of Hadaar/Dark Worms Feast/Clarion Call.
Diabolic Grasp 7/3/5/3/6 Though sliding is okay, the fact that this doesn’t work at all on really big stuff or anyone with a reasonable fortitude makes this the inferior Infernal choice of this level, unless you also happen to have absurd Intelligence. However, though it is dubious as a start power, it does combo quite nicely with the Hunger of Hadar if you get that at 5th level. Your call. This has also become a little less effective with the introduction of the Arms of Hadar.
Dreadful Word 2(4)/6/7/7/2 Hmm, where I once would have advocated this power, there are now better choices. Still, the fact that it hits will and deals reasonable damage means its an alright attack for the Starlock.
Vampiric Embrace 9/4/8/3/6 Definitely the better of the two Infernals this level, since it reinforces the Inferlocks primary abilities. It can grab you a nice bunch of temporary hitpoints. Also a good choice for Starlocks (probably more so than their actual power). Though Binderlocks have better options and Feylocks/Boomlocks don’t have the Con.
Witchfire 4(7)/6/9/6/3 Was previously the best choice for Starlocks, since it has a similar sort of effect to Dire Radiance (keeping foes away) whereas the Feylock might seem a bit off on this power, since its much better for them to turn invisible and leap away than give a debuff and still risk taking a hit. Inferlocks are better staying with what they know, except in the case of tieflings and their Hellfire blood again, since this is a fire power (the only one this level, and its not infernal, figure that one out!).
Cursebite 4/7/7(9)/7.5/4 This power is unique among first levels in that it becomes more potent as the combat rolls on and also gets a buff when you hit Paragon and grab two-fold curse. Its also interesting that it hits a close burst (not much warlock stuff does that). However, it is pretty conditional and will NOT serve you tremendously well at early levels, even as a Boomlock. Also, it loses some potency since it hits Fortitude. In the hands of a Human Starlock who also has Eye of the Vestige, this can ramp up in potency with their ability to throw around extra curses (if that applies to you, use bracketed version). Ironically, Binderlocks probably can't benefit as much as they'll probably have less CHA.
Flickering Venom 2/6/6/10/3 Definately the Boomlocks best choice this level. Though Cursebite increases in potency as you level, this is solid and remains solid from the start. The fact that it deals Force and Poison damage is unique. And if you happen to also be a Rogue, you can do more. However, in the hands of other locks, this power loses out a chunk, because without the +5 range boost, it becomes dangerous to use it.
Glow of Ulbaan 2/6/9/5/2 Delicious for a Starlock: It hits Will, deals a good chunk of Radiant damage, and screws over a foes saving throws for a turn. All of this together is ~just~ about worth that dangerous 5 range limitation. To everyone else, though, this is a fairly generic short ranger, and probably isn't worth your time unless you feel the need to be packing radiant damage (missing a cleric, are you?)
Arms of Hadaar 8.5/2/9/2/8.5 Basically this is the Star Pact's take on the Diabolic Grasp. But, it manages to do it better! Well, you do lose the range and half of the potency. But in return, it becomes a Close Burst 2, which is almost unheard of for a Level 1 power. That's alot of targets you can hit! What's more, it targets Reflex rather than Fortitude, which is better. What's more, it also acts as a superb "get the frack away from me!" spell. So, overall, pretty good if you've got the CON to use, and hence also a nice pick for Inferlocks and Binderlocks.
Chains of Levistus 8/1/5/1/5 A pretty nice lockdown/control spell, which is pretty unusual for an Inferlock. It has a good potential to deal 4d6 damage and give a hit bonus for them. Just be sure to target something that looks like its a melee combatant (preferably a lurker), since a ranged foe can ignore the restriction (which is a bit of a waste of the spells potential). However, it does hit FORT, and the things that you're liable to want to target with this spell are likely the fighter-ry things that have a good Fort, potentially screwing over this spell.
Clarion Call 6/2/5/2/10 Has alot of potential for a Binderlock, since its a Close Blast 3. That has a good potential to hit a fair few targets, and in their hands, it can grant a stack of Temporary HP (up to 27, in fact!). It also deafens, but that doesn't help you much (it might aid the Rogue's sneaking, I guess). Damage is fairly generic and does hit FORT, however... Hence, in non-binderlock hands, its not as great unless you feel the need for an anti-minion munition at 1st level (and Arms of Hadar can also fit that description better with a wider area of effect). But, whilst other locks have better choices, the Binderlock has a tough call between this and Life Bind here. Personally, I'd give the edge to Life Bind, but I can certainly see the advantage of the Temp HP and good area of this.
Dark Worm's Feast 2/8/8/10/2 Ah, so that's the magic of the Makiri and Matou, right there (you'll only get that obscure reference if you've played Fate/Stay Night). Not a bad choice for very evil Boomlocks, Starlocks and Feylocks looking to infest their foes with suckerworms. Though marginally less potent and a less advantageous type when compared to Flickering Venom, it does target Will, which is always a boon. Additionally, it slows the foe and Boomlocks can make up for the damage loss with a good static modifier (probably dealing more damage than FV in the process!). Not bad at all.
Life Bind 9/4/9/4/10 Wow, this is cool spell. It deals reasonable damage and hits Reflex, which is only okay. However, it really shines with that effect. Prevent all HP gain, Temp HP gain and give a -2 to saves for a turn? THAT IS NASTY! Really Nasty. I don't think many powers have such an effect, in fact. True, its only versus a single target and it deals Necrotic, making it less effective vs. Undead. However, against a big, single foe, this is a fine power. Its lockdown and striking power in a nice package. Binderlocks get to do slightly more damage too. A good choice for any CON-lock interested in a cool spell.
Sprite's War Call 1/8/5/8/1 Ah, finally a fey spell that actually sounds like a fey spell at level 1. Witchfire always sounded hellish to me. It also invokes an amusing image of your character blowing a whistle and a bunch of fairies swarming the target to me. They also apparently use sleeping darts! Though the damage is a bit dubious, slowing and granting combat advantage is a rather nice effect if you can then follow up with a sneak attack. Keep in mind that they only grant CA to YOU, not allies, here. Still, a fun control spell.
Level 1 Dailies
:Tyranny of Flame/Curse of the Dark Dreams/Prophecy of Zhudan/Decree of Khirad/Pact with Khaeleth.
Armour of Agathys 4/3/3/3/2 This is quite dubious for all warlocks, since they shouldn’t be next to targets or taking hits. The Temp HP boost is also pretty crappy given that it’s a daily power. Like Hellish Rebuke, it might sound better if you’re surrounded, but, really, you shouldn’t be (even the armoured Dwarflock).
Curse of the Dark Dreams 4/9/8/7/4 Ah yes, this is control on a stick, and is the first feylock power to do so. Still remains useful in later levels, since the damage is good and because your wizard will love you. Also a good choice for Starlocks, if they don’t want to immobilize things (or if they want to combo this with Hunger of Hadar).
Dread Star 4/8/9/7/4 Previously the obvious choice for Starlocks, and still a nifty power. Being able to totally immobilize something, even for a turn, will be a great boon to the ranged attackers of your party. Also a good choice for Feylocks, because of the –2 to Will. Only average damage though.
Flames of Phlegethos 7.5/3/6/3/6 This is actually your Warlock throwing a Molotov cocktail at the foe, lol. A nice damage dealer, and plain nasty against fire weak creatures, but that’s all one can really say about this. Not bad for the Inferlock this level, because it deals such a staggering amount of damage, though Tyranny of Flame is strictly better on the hit and effect front. A Binderlock or Starlock probably has better things to pick this level, but if they really want to firebomb people, its okay for them too.
Contagion 2/6/6/7/2 Eww, exploding pus! A reasonable choice for sadistic warlocks because of its ability to spread, meaning it works surprisingly well at crowd control, something the Warlock is usually not specialised in. However, this power relies on your GM's unluckiness, and is therefore a bit hit and miss. This isn't really a good thing for a power; as its reliability is reduced. Also, it hits Fortitude and deals poison, which isn't a tremendous combination. Still, a fun power, though Dark Worm's Feast is generally a superior Dark power.
Your Glorious Sacrifice 1/2/2/4/1 No, just no. Go sit in the corner and think about what you've done. So, fine, it deals decent damage, and inflicts (maybe) some ongoing. But your ally is not going to appreciate taking 4 damage for you to buff your strike. Especially when said buff isn't even a reliable one (since its ongoing, save ends malarky) Even if you've got a beefy CON fighter to slurp HP from, reducing party resources is not a good thing. So stay away, unless you love the flavour of the power and insist on it.
Prophecy of Zhudan 3/8/9/8/3 Basically, this is Dreadful Word mark II. Only, this one is much more horrifying in return for being a Daily. The damage is fairly lackluster, but the effect this attack provides is quite mighty. Assuming the foe cannot make their save, they are screwed royally, since they can only make one action, and this action isn't going to be good at attacking with that debuff. Also hits Will, making this a nice disabling power for all CHA-locks.
Crown of Stars 4/8/8/8/4 Oooh, now this I like. It gives you a halo of deadly flashes to fling at people. The initial damage is reasonable, and you can continue to pelt things for 3-4 damage for the rest of the fight. Of course, you also use it back to front nearer the end of the fight to blind something that you've already bloodied. Its not spectacular, true, but its certainly a highly respectable power.
Star Shackles(White Lotus) 1/8/7/8/1 This is interesting. Its a hardcore control spell. In fact, it highly resembles my old favourite, Otherwind Stride, except that it drops the teleport and some damage for double the range and the ability to sustain the immobilization (and also snatch new targets). It also becomes a daily, but given the boosts, this seems an okay tradeoff. Obviously, the damage is totally laughable, especially for a daily, but the value of being able to shout "HOLD IT!!" like Phoenix Wright to a swath of enemies is invaluable, since your group can use to opening to retreat or set up positions. Its a nice spell if you're not looking to cause damage, and is uniquely placed to deal with lots of minions, something a Warlock is not normally qualified in.
Decree of [s]Lelouch Khiraad 2/9/9/9/2 Wow, this is the little brother of the Lvl 20 Daily power, 'Whispers of the Fey' from the Feytouched Paragon Path. Only its actually a Star Pact attack (at least thematically). And yes, this is hence another version of Lelouch's Geass in that you're commanding enemies to kill themselves. This version naturally doesn't daze on a miss, and the attacks have to be melee ones. But, you do get to slide them around a bit beforehand, placing them into optimal positions to slap themselves. Among a pack of brutes and minions, this is a disturbingly nasty thing to happen, especially as you can get them to attack themselves if there aren't any better targets. Even though they must be considerably clustered since this is only a Close Blast 3; its still a fantastic power for CHA-locks interested in a nice domination spell.
Fortune's Reversal 1/5/2/4/1 Unique in the fact that its a reactionary spell, something typically possessed by Swordmages or Rangers, rather than Warlocks. It basically punishes your GM if they get lucky (poor GM). Whilst that sounds cool on paper, I have to point out that the damage is awful (possibly worse than At-Wills!), the condition is stringient (depends on GM luck, you may not activate it often!), and you must also remember you're giving up an actual daily attack power for this.
So generally, its a pretty bad choice. Its slightly better for Feylocks since they also get to add an attack debuff, but still, I'd be wary. The boomlock boost is fairly minimal, though.
Tyranny of Flame 10/1/7.5/1/8 Get down be-atch! Lick my feet! Or so the fluff suggests. Seems a bit strange getting a huge monster to do that, so I prefer to think it kneecaps the foes with a flaming steel baseball bat. Anyway, whilst this is nowhere near as damaging as the Flames of Phlegethos, it has a very strong effect attached to it instead. Prone is normally a fairly mediocre status because its easy to fix, but if they can't stand up until they save, it becomes effectively like Immobilization. What's more, you grant melee striking allies CA and give the foe -2 to attacks. Though hitting it again can be an issue, since you also give +2 to all defences against ranged attacks.
Nevertheless, its a great CON based power that I personally feel is the superior choice for Inferlocks now, especially seeing as how they also give -2 to the save.
Level 1 Vestiges Just a quick notice: I won't even bother rating Vestiges for Feylocks and Boomlocks. Obviously, they're generally inferior picks (barring some exceptions) for non-binderlocks since they never get to benefit from the actual Vestige (it basically becomes a one shot spirit slash in a Inferlock or Starlocks hands), but that compounded with the fact that Constitution is required means that if I were to rate them for Feylocks and Boomlocks, as the rating would pretty much always be 1.
ALSO:I'll put the default Vestiges, King Elidyr and Zutwa here to.
Finally:Yes, I'll shut up in a minute. But finally, each Vestige steers your Warlock into a totally new aspect. Basically, they'll make you more Leader-like and ally supportive, focus your Controller aspect, increase your Striker power, or even make you slightly more Defensive. Its from this that Binderlocks get their versatility. Hence, I'll assign a class-type to each Vestige as well, showing its focus.
"King Elidyr" N/A/N/A/8 Type: Leader Elidyr is your first generic leader package. However, strictly speaking, I feel he's not as useful as Zutwa. While its a very strong effect, his Pact Boon ~could~ turn out to be useless quite often, since you have to be standing next to ally when it goes off. His Eye of the Vestige effect is also similarily conditional, granting a save to an ally that hits before the end of your next turn. Of course, you do have a decent CON so being in the fray is marginally less dangerous than it is for CHA-locks. Hence, with the right style of gameplay, you could gain some significant benefit from Elidyr. Don't ignore him!
"Zutwa" N/A/N/A/8 Type: Striker So why is Zutwa more useful, I hear you ask? Well, quite simply, he turns an otherwise fairly awful class feature of yours into something far better. Prime Shot is a great static bonus in the hands of a Melee Ranger, but Warlocks are typically into sniping their targets at least 50% of the time, which prevents the bonus from applying. However, you need to chain combo with Zutwa to truly feel the benefits. Being able to apply +3 to hit any target is awesome. BUT, it requires that you first Kill something then hit it with Eye of the Vestige. So, like Elidyr, its not a walk in the park to set up either. I guess, at the end of the day, its up to you, however.
"Khaeleth" 7/5/9 Type: Leader The attack on Khaeleth is interesting. At first it appears terribly weak, and it is. But, as an opening spell when the entire party is clustered together (you did take Improved Initiative to go quicker, right?), you may find yourself adding a huge stack of static modifiers.
Because, the damage formula is actually: 1d8 + CON + (INT x Party Members standing next to you). This could be up to 14 or so in static extra damage; which will improve as you level (and will be better if your INT is high). Hence, probably less effective for Starlocks who've not focused, but interesting (if not spectacular) for Inferlocks.
The augments combine throwing out Temp HP to people and reducing damage they take. So a general increase in survivability in a 5-square radius. Not bad.
"Mount Vaelis" 4/3/6 Type: Striker
The attack is generic (effectively a less potent version of Dread Star/Tyranny of Flame, as the immobilization doesn't affect flying or floating stuff) so non-binderlocks get nothing here.
The augments are also fairly average unless you love Thunder. Whilst it is nice to deal 2d6 with eye of the vestige, its hardly great unless you're desperate to pump out damage.
:For utilities, specific 'bests' for pacts are not really applicable. For this level, I say Ethereal Stride > All others, but you may disagree. Be sure to read up on what you want.
Beguiling Tongue 2/6/5/6/2 For skill checks, this might be useful, especially if your Warlock is the party face (as in, they’re a Feylock, Boomlock or Starlock). But, that said, +5 is not a huge bonus and there are generally better choices this level.
Ethereal Stride 10/10/10/10/10 You really can’t go wrong with this, its awesome. Can even help a Inferlock or Binderlock get out of a sticky situation. If it was just a teleport, then it would be dubious, but that +2 to all defences is sheer gold.
Fiendish Resilience 1/1/1/1/1 Trash. It’s a daily, only on par with Vampiric Embrace in terms of Temp HP, AND it doesn’t do any damage. Even Inferlocks should pass.
Shadow Veil 3/3/3/5/3 Like beguiling tongue, only even more situational. Again +5 isn’t a huge bonus and you really should leave the sneaking to the rogue and the ranger. Possibly slightly more valuable for a Boomlock since it can be combo'ed with Flickering Venom to a small degree.
Spidery Scuttle 9/9/9/9/9 Wow, this COMPLETELY obsoletes the level 6 Infernal Spider Climb; it's superior in every way. Why? A) It can apply to multiple move actions since it lasts effectively two turns. B) It helps when you're prone. C) Its level 2, rather than 6 Pretty damn nice actually. I like it. If you ~really~ don't give a damn about teleporting with Ethereal Stride, this is now the obvious second choice.
Fevered Certainty of Caiphon 7/7/7/7/7 Wow, thats gob-full. It basically grabs the effects of beguilling tongue and shadow veil and makes them more versatile (covering any skill) at the cost of it becoming a daily. Not bad if you're worried about Skill checks, but personally I'd still leave those to the Rogue or the Bard.
Caiphon's Leap 2/7/7/7/2 Its not bad, but its a bit subjective. Its useless to CON-Locks, since it requires CHA. However, it does work off an immediate reaction, so if you're the careless sort that likes to run into trouble, it might help you more to have immediate damage reduction attached to your teleport instead of a static defensive bonus. If so, add +2 to the rating.
Devil's Trade 4/4/4/4/4 Its okay, I guess. It might save your behind if you're not confident about making a saving throw and have one of those moments when you really WANT to be confident about it. But...what the heck is your Leader doing!?!? They should've helped you! Its better to rely on friends rather than devils.
Eyes of the Spider Queen 6/6/6/67/6 I suppose getting Darkvision is quite a boon to Normal vision characters. However, this drastically loses potency in the hands of a character who already has Low Light vision (-2 to the rating). Or worse still...if you're a Drow, reduce the rating to 1. The invisibility detection routine is also rubbish due to its total lack of range. And then, on top of that, its a daily power. In most cases, you should let the spider queen keep her eyes...and use a torch!
Fey Bargain 7/7/7/7/7 Typical. Fairies give you a better deal than devils. Well, if only for the coveted accuracy boost, this power is okay. Of course, don't forget to say hi to your next status condition. It'll be around for at least 2 turns, after all... Possibly a worthy tradeoff, but can also screw you over royally.
Level 3 Encounters
:Fiery Bolt/Otherwind Stride/Hands of Ibhar/Your Delicious Weakness/Fortune Binding.
Eldritch Rain 1/2/1/2/1 Bleh, its literally two Eldritch Blasts, which is so -not- worth an Encounter power. The Int bonus is negligible, the condition stringent, and you can’t even hit one creature twice. Its only real positive quality is the fact that the damage is untyped. Don’t know how you can call two shots a rain, either.
Fiery Bolt 8.5/4/7/4/7 Aha, at last the Inferlock gets his first proper ‘kill it with fire’ encounter power. This is fabulous at cleaning out swarms of minions (though a wizard still does it better in most circumstances). Against a mob, this can do some nice damage. But it has to be tactically placed to be effective. Still probably the best power for the Inferlock this level, though they may wish to consider something from the Binderlocks new arsenal.
Frigid Darkness 5(7)/3/7(9)/2/5(7) A very subjective power. If you have a rogue, (s)he’ll absolutely love you to take this power, and even moreso if you’re a Starlock. If you have a rogue, improve the ratings to the ones in brackets. If not, its slightly more mediocre, but can still benefit your melee fighters against a boss, especially for the Starlock.
Otherwind Stride 3/10/9.5/9.5/3 Yeah, I adore this power. A close burst AND immobilization AND I get to teleport away? Yes please! Though the damage is average, the potential of this power is frankly absurd. The only issue is the fact you have to get close to use it. But, oh look, you have Ethereal Stride, right? Teleport in, set off the vortex, teleport out. No attacks of opportunity, and you’ve paralysed an entire mob in a turn. Your party will love you. Still effective against bosses because of the immobilization, too. I contend this is the best power for all Feylocks (and maybe Starlocks not interested in Tentacle Rape) this level, though inferlocks and binderlocks don’t have the charisma.
Crimson Lancer also points out that, if you're level 5 and also know Hunger of Hadar, you can use this as a brutal combo opener. Set this off; burn an Action Point, drop the Hunger into the place you were. Your foes are immobilized there, so end up starting at least two of their turns in that black cloud of death unless they have access to teleportation or something. That's at least 4d10 damage! Which is on par with 15th level stuff. Pretty awesome!
Upsetting Onslaught 3/7/7/7/3 Pretty nice for damage. On a first read, it sounds poor, but its not so bad, since its quite unlikely the foe will not take the extra damage unless the GM has a cunning plan. Still, the Boomlock benefit is pretty laughable: why the heck would you want to do that? I ~almost~ felt like docking some points from that silliness.
Your Delicious Weakness 3/7.5/7.5/10/3 Delicious weakness is delicious!! Loli haet pizza! Ahem, 4chan memes aside, this is a ~very~ nice attack. Certainly the Boomlocks choice this level too. The ability to always hit a foes vulnerability can help tremendously in the versatility stakes. I wouldn't say it usurps, say, Otherwind Stride in handiness, but its not half bad...
Hands of Ibhar 4/8/10/8/4 Can you say it? TENTACLE RAEP!! Yes-siree, you too can indulge in Cthulu-esqe activities! Its mightily powerful, it hits Will, and it even slows the target. Not to mention said tentacles obviously remove the foes clothing and hence reduce their Cold Resistance in the hands of a Starlock. Chilling! Damn nice for any sadistic warlock, and now quite possibly the Starlocks choice power for this level.
Cloud ofFlies 5/1/4/1/5 This is actually a less damaging version of Frigid Darkness. No really. Except that it deals Acid instead of Cold. I suppose they all splat against the target like, uh, flies on a windshield. I guess it always grants some kind of CA to the Inferlock or Binderlock, but giving yourself CA is far less useful than giving it to your allies. So a strictly 'meh' power.
Delbaans Deadly Attention 2/5/7.5/5/2 Despite the powers name making Mr. Delbaan sound like a disgruntled school teacher with a board eraser, this is actually a reasonable counterattack power for Starlocks, since they can backlash with 3d8, which is pretty nasty. Not quite as effective without the Starlock rider, though, and it also deals Necrotic damage, sadly.
Fortune Binding 9/4/9/4/10 Well, this is pretty darn amazing, if I may say so myself. The fact that it combines a decent amount of damage with a automatic-save is already quality material. But then applying that effect to the foe on top? Thats some serious comedy gold, there. Sadly, you can't transfer stuff like Stunned or Dying status effects since you can't actually take an action, but Dazed or Blinded are fair game. Binderlocks also get to chuck a tiny bit of extra damage in there. If only it didn't target Fortitude, this would be perfect, but even so, its still a very mighty power. Give it a look if you're a CON-lock.
Pipes of Winter 1/5/3/3/1 Hmm, can't say I'm at all moved by this power, mainly because its inferior to Otherwind Stride in basically every way. It has a short range, targets and immobilizes only one foe (Feylocks get to slow others, but still), and the damage is only slightly better. It also still targets Fort, and loses out on the cool teleport. Give it a miss.
Shared Agony 3/8/8/9/3 Not half bad, this. Deals a pretty exceptional amount of damage for this level and variety of power (2D12!!). Only Your Delicious Weakness might cause a comparable amount. What's more, its also psuedo-reliable. Well, assuming you've got HP to burn, at least. Darklocks even increase the usefulness of the reliable attribute by possibly reducing the damage it causes to you. What's more, it targets Will to round off the package. A good power worth considering for CHA-locks.
Vestige's Calamity 7/2/7/2/8 Probably overshadowed by the awesomeness of Fortune Binding, but this is nevertheless not too bad either, since its guaranteed to deal at least some damage with its pentelemental strike and typeless damage. Reliability in a box. Also has a tiny AOE (of sorts) in the hands of a Binderlock.
Level 5 Dailies
:Tyrannical Threat/Crackling Fire/Tyrannical Threat/Crackling Fire/Pact with Xandor. Wow, that's a boring selection. I guess it shows just how good those powers are, though...
Avernian Eruption 9/3/7/3/7 Well, you’ve had molotov cocktails already, but you’re obviously moving up in the world because this is napalm. Combines the effects of Fiery Bolt and Flames of Phlegethos into one attack, which is cool. Watch that mob scream ‘it burns, it burns, Ah!’. A reasonable choice for inferlocks this level, though Tyrannical Threat vastly outclasses it in all fields; possibly even in raw damage.
Crown of Madness 2/7/6/6/2 Your Feylocks first domination type power. However, unlike the later ones, this is only okay since the initial damage is mediocre and the sustain is a bit conditional. I’d say skip this one.
Curse of the Bloody Fangs 2/8/7/7.5/2 A reasonable choice for the feylock this level, even against mobs, since it is nowhere near as conditional, does a better initial attack, and can effectively cause 10 ongoing damage too! The sore point is that it targets AC, meaning that you should probably target the weakest member of the mob and hope they hurt the others. It is kinda rendered obsolete by the awesomeness of Crackling Flame.
Hunger of Hadar 8/8/10/8/8 Wow, a cloud of death! I’ve been a fan of clouds (bad pun I know) since 3.5, and this is no exception. It deals damage when they enter AND if they’re in it during your turn AND if they’re in at the start of your turn. If you happened to pick up diabolic grasp at 1st level, you finally get to combo it with something now. Also works if your party can push enemies around (warlords, fighters, etc.) But, if you have no such abilities within the party, you might want reduce the ratings slightly, since you have no way to move it around unlike some similar cloud like things or the clerics faith soldiers. Feylocks/Boomlocks probably don't have the CON.
You can also combo this with Otherwind Stride if you're a CHA-Lock or Starlock; as noted in that powers description. This means even CHA-locks can get great mileage out of this power, so I've improved their ratings. Though Tyrannical Threat is very tempting this level, this is a totally awesome alternative.
Forceful Assault 3/7/7/7.5/3 Forceful Assault sounds like raep again to me, but then I have a perverse, anime-infected mind, so please ignore me. Anyway, this power is fairly generic, with average damage and save-able dazed effect. Hence, I really don't have much to say about it. Its somewhat interesting for Boomlocks to have a 15 range power here, but since its a daily its somewhat of a m00t-point since you won't use it enough.
Twilight of the Soul 2/5/5/8/2 Hmm, this one removes the foes colour palette by the sounds of the description. You lose the will to live when surrounded by the greyness! (sounds like Pleasantville to me). The damage is fairly mediocre and it inflicts the boomlocks oh so favourite ongoing damage. However, in this case, things are quite considerably better for the boomlock, since they also get to impose a -2 to the saves. Which increases the effectiveness of this power by 10% over other similar attacks. Its still not great and others will see a pretty generic attack and should probably stay away.
Fury of Gibbeth 7/8/6/8/7 Huh? Did this fall here from the wizards spellbook? It basically a furious whiplash that for some reason uses INT to attack. Admittedly, you get a +2, but still... Ironically, this power is probably much better in the hands of a Feylock or Boomlock, since they're less MAD than Starlocks and are hence more likely to have a better INT score to use this. It does deliver good damage, and is also a good choice for the Inferlock that doesn't like Avernian Eruption.
Well of Death 1/6/6/7/1 Hmm...its another one of those 'you know you want to take damage for me' powers. However, in this case, the cost isn't too horrible, presuming you choose to hit somebody with alot of surges, like your parties defender. Because of the way it works, you'll want to probably use this power early on after your rest when everyone is fresh. Holding onto it for when everyone is weak is a bad idea. However, if you DO pay the cost, 4D8 is a pretty reasonable amount of damage. Not a great power, but give it a look.
Crackling Fire 4/10/8/10/4 Wow, this has the potential to be a REALLY damaging Blast, dealing 2d8 to up to 9 enemies. What's more, its both Lightning and Fire at the same time, which is great for overriding resistances, and even if they were somehow resisting that, they would have it cancelled out afterwards since this proceeds to impose vulnerabilities. Your Wizards and Sorcerers will love you to set this one up. A damn fine choice (assuning you don't nuke your allies with it...).
Lure of Gibbeth 2/8/8/8/2 Go fishing with Gibbeth! This is basically a slightly enhanced version of the level 7 Encounter Power 'Wrath of Acamar', since it offers a grappling hook type effect. The main boon is that this version can continue to reel the target in, if you want. However, it doesn't have the potential 20 range of that power, so it is possibly less desirable (though it does target Will!). Not bad.
Tyrannical Threat 10/4/10/4/10 Wowzers, a burst 3 that CURSES everything inside of it!? Thats just amazing! No really. I'm staggered by the awesome of this power. True, the damage is somewhat lacking, but what do you expect with such a huge burst? Imagine this going off inside a formation of minions...and the resulting amount of discharged pact boons...urgggh...thats just disgusting. Even Starlocks should REALLY think about it if they have the CON. Even though Binderlocks do have Xandor this level...they too should think about it. Seriously, if you're a CON-lock, take this damn power. You won't regret it.
VenomousWebs 2/8/7/8/2 Strictly average damage, but you're really interested in the debilitating, pinning effect of this attack. It grants CA as a given, which as usual your sneakier party members will appreciate. But, if it moves, it also poisons itself. Admittedly, the poison effect isn't too great (probably ongoing 2-4 damage), and the attack also hits Fortitude. These things prevent the attack from achieving real greatness, but its a reasonable control choice if you really can't see yourself using Crackling Fire.
Level 5 Vestiges
"Ugar" 4/3/6 Type: Controller
Creates a zone not too dissimilar to Hungar of Hadaar. It deals less damage but its bigger, and deals some initial damage. Fire and Necrotic are both resisted types. So its a bit up in the air, really, especially for non-binderlocks. It becomes a superior zone for Binderlocks because they can move it around. The eyes of the vestige buff is very situational.
Though Ugar is okay, he's somewhat overshadowed by Xandor, I believe.
"Xandor" 8/8/10 Type: Controller and Striker
A quite entirely superb Vestige. Who doesn't like letting mad sorcerors into their skull? Xandors attack is quite delicious, as though it deals mediocre damage, it targets Will and imposes a nice restriction. Naturally, in most circumstances the target will not choose to be Dazed over a little bit of damage, of course.
What's really interesting about the attack is that it (hilariously) provides a better effect on a miss, since it guarantees dazing the target rather than giving it a choice in exchange for a shortened duration. It also deals exactly the same damage, hit or miss. Funny, huh? Mad, definately!
Binderlocks also pick up some great augmentations from selecting him. He gives extra saves (or temp. hp if he can't give a save!), and makes Eye of the Vestige deal (1d6 + 1d8 + CON), which is brutal for an at-will power.
Though Tyrannical Threat should be very tempting to you, I believe Xandor is also a fabulous choice for the Binderlock this level.
:As usual for utilities, pick your favourite. Personally I like the re-roll granted by Dark One's own luck, but several other choices are very worthy too.
Dark One’s own luck 9/9/9/9/9 Even if it is daily, you just can’t argue with a reroll, especially one this versatile, since you can turn a botch into a critical. A great choice for all Warlocks.
Fey Switch 5/5/5/5/5 Not as good as it sounds, though it could combo nicely with a close attack like Otherwind Stride if you switch places with the fighter, or could save a wizards life if you happen to be an inferlock with lots of HP. Not bad, but in the shadow of the Dark one and his luckiness…
Shroud of Black Steel 4/1/2/1/2 Somewhat subjective. I can just about see an Inferlock being a tank with it, but otherwise losing 2 speed just isn’t worth it. If its an armour effect, and hence is included in the dwarves speed loss immunity, then it’s a great deal for them, but that depends on you having a kind GM, since its probably counted as a supernatural effect and takes place anyway otherwise.
Spider Climb 1/1/1/1/1 Spiderman is demonic now, apparently. Ahem, well, having a free climb speed is nice if you GM like to put lots of sheer cliffs in your dungeons. [s]But, technically, it lasts only a single move action, so its at best a dubious ability. Its now also completely made obsolete by Spidery Scuttle. There's absolutely NO reason to take this any more.
Shadowslip 3/5/8/8/3 Otherwise known as "Dangerous! Run away!", it can seriously help you get out of a tight spot if your Charisma is up to par. (which it won't be for Inferlocks) Its also probably overkill again for Feylocks, but its fairly strong for Starlocks and Boomlocks interested in mobility, especially if you want to dive in to use a dangerous 5 range power and have a chance to escape again.
Red Leeches of Nihal 9/8/8/8/8 Again, somewhat useful for all warlocks who got into a pinch, since gaining a 1/4 of your HP as temporary hitpoints. Its somewhat subjective, but it shouldn't be too hard to meet that condition in battle. Even better for Inferlocks. Its only downer is that its a daily power...
Rending Fear of Khirad 5/7/7/7/5 Otherwise known as "Talk you worthless piece of trash!". The value of this power is entirely dependant on how much the GM feels like giving away from the hostages. Personally, I'd leave this job to your parties Intimidation experts, but the fact that yours doesn't require a roll is fairly nice. And of course, YOU may the parties Intimidation expert if everyone else is lacking CHA.
Life Siphon 9/7/7/9/7 Despite what the fluff suggests, this doesn't hurt your allies any more. Rather, you 'harvest' their pain. Lovely. Nevertheless, this is a pretty nice utility. Grabbing extra To-Hit bonuses is always desirable, especially when its an encounter power granting them. The power becomes a great choice for Inferlocks and Darklocks because they also get HP or Temp. HP from the deal, which is fantastic. For them, possibly the new best power this level, and not a bad choice for others either.
Mercurial Form 8/8/8/8/8 You turn into Stretch Armstrong, apparently. A squeezing bonus and automatic escape from grabs are fairly conditional bonuses, but being immune to marks for the encounter is real meat of this power, since a Warlock could do without OA's and penalties to hit. If only it were an encounter power... Still, if you feel a re-roll isn't your thing and you can't take advantage of Life Siphon, this is a reasonable alternative.
Racing Fire of Ulbaan 8/8/8/8/8 Your version of the Wizards Expeditious Retreat. Except you turn into comet. Yeah, baby. For an encounter power, this can vastly upgrade your positioning speed, especially if you discharge it at the start of a combat. Unfortunately, this is very much an opening power. It can't be used as adeptly for retreats, since you don't shift, just move. Nevertheless, its a good choice if you like movement boosting utilities (and you should!).
Spider Queen's Caress 3/3/3/4/3 Getting intimate with Lolth, are you now? How disturbing...especially given that kind of sacrifice only grants you this fairly minor set of bonuses as a daily, and personally, I don't think its worth it. Shadow Veil is better if you want to sneak. Dark one's own luck (or just being a starlock) is better if need to suceed a save. And the Dark Pact bonus is pretty pathetic, though I guess it means you can gain concealment even if you're slowed. But still...
Level 7 Encounters
:Infernal Moon Curse/Mire the Mind/Far Realm Phantasm/Shadow Strangler/Heroes Arrow.
Howl of Doom 4/1/2/1/4 This is very dubious. Technically, its your version of the Wizards Thunderwave, but considering it’s a Lvl7 Enc, and not a Lvl1 At-Will, its far, far worse. If you really want an effect like this, pick up the Arcane Initiate feat and steal its younger brother from the Wizard. (unless you’re an Inferlock with shed loads of Intelligence)
Infernal Moon Curse 10/4/8/4/8 An awesome power for the Inferlock, and definitely the better infernal power that’s around this level. There’s something quite comical about paralyzing a boss five feet in the air and killing it with poison. Good damage and immobilization and a new damage type for the inferlock = win.
Mire the Mind 3/9/7/8/3 Now HERES an illusion type effect I can get my teeth into. Remember what I said about the Feylock being able to turn the party into Ninjas? This is the effect I was talking about! Its funny to confound the boss with invisibility, assuming your GM doesn’t meta-game. Subpar damage, though. But the Feylock should probably get it anyway.
Sign of Ill Omens 4/8/8/8/4 Though the damage is meh, forcing a reroll and an acceptance of the lower result upon a foe is pure comedy gold. A pretty decent choice for Starlocks. Because of the low damage, a Starlock interested in causing destruction should probably grab Infernal Moon Curse instead, however. I’d say it’s a toss up between the two for Starlocks personally, since whilst this is much funnier to play with, the former is more reliable.
Deathboon 4/6/6/8.5/4 For sheer damage dealing potential, this power has the new dibs this level, especially in the hands of the Boomlock, who makes it more versatile. Basically, you benefit from dominoes effect in using this, making it possible to do 3d8. It also gets a bonus +2 to attack, which is mighty handy. On the other hand, it deals necrotic. Still, its not too bad. Roughly equivalent to Shadow Strangler in usefulness.
Death's Commands 1/4/4/7/1 Rebuke undead, anybody? This is basically the Boomlock playing dress-up as a Cleric. However, rather than Radiant, it deals Necrotic, so against most undead it'll actually do no significant damage, just daze them and hold them back. This means its rather lackluster at its designated role, and not tremendous when measured up to the others either. Meh.
Far Realm Phantasm 4/8/9/7/4 Accosts the foes with illusionary butterflies or something. (I've been watching too much Fringe) Deals sheer pathetic damage (possibly less than your at-wills!), but nevertheless has the mind-numbingly useful effect of wasting the foes next action, something which is usually Feylock related. In fact, this is effectively a baby cousin of the Custard Curse, which is fantastic considering you don't get that until level 15. The Starlocks using it only sweeten the deal with an additional debuff. A great choice for many, and a fabulous opening attack, assuming you care little for damage.
Influence of Acamar 5/7/9/7/5 Otherwise known as 'Oi, come here!'. You shoot a black grappling hook at the foe and reel them in. Its also the most damaging power available this level, which is nice. Its especially useful in the hands of a Starlock, as many of their powers are range 10, and reeling them in 4-5 squares from 11+ range might just be what you need. It is, however, useless if you happen to be in the fray, as you have to target the closest foe. Its a toss up between this and Far Realm Phantasm for Starlocks this level. I prefer the latter, but if you need damage, this is the way to go.
Acrid Decay 6/2/2/1/7 Hmm...a slightly better Eldritch Rain. It loses the horrible targeting restriction at least, and it is both Acid and Necrotic. But still, its a fairly generic attack and it hits Fortitude. Slightly better in the hands of Binderlocks since they also make it impose an attack penalty, but they should probably be interested in Heroes Arrow this level.
All the Sand, All the Stars 2/8/9/8/2 Basically, a more concentrated version of Colour Spray. Thats a good thing, by the way, since you have the potential to Daze a stack of foes. The smaller area means double the damage. Also hits Will, of course, making this a very acceptable attack. Starlocks even get to grab a small damage boost.
Heroes Arrow 6/2/2/1/9 Expounding the pseudo leader-ish qualities of the Binderlock, this is a fairly unique attack in that its splash damage effect heals your allies. Deals decent damage as well. In the hands of non-bindlocks, however, the heal effect becomes much less effective, so its probably only interesting to them.
Mordant Rains of Dis 7/1/5/1/5 Acid rain, huh? You know you're gonna annoy Captain Planet if you use this, don'tcha? LOL. Anyway, hmm, this deals very poor damage. Quite possibly less than your At-Wills. Of course, the so called clincher here is the fact that you're guaranteed to blind the target. Which is pretty useful. Inferlocks also get to add a tiny bit of Splash damage. I'd still say Infernal Moon Curse is better, however.
Nypacian Serpents 2/7/5/5/2 A rather bizarre spell for the Feylocks arsenal, since its purely and utterly focused on dealing damage. I really can't say alot about it, because there's not alot to say. I guess it can add x3 in static modifiers. This of course means it goes up in potency as you level, but I doubt its really worth its salt at epic. I say ignore it.
Shadow Strangler 2/7/7/9/2 Crush his trachea! Go all Seaside Strangler on your foes with this little assasination number. Unusual in the fact that it offers a neat form of control for Boomlocks. Reducing hit chances and punishing them for attacking is pretty damn cool. I like it, as I feel that the typeless damage and nice effect puts it marginally above Deathboon.
Level 9 Dailies :Iron Spike of Dis/Curse of the Black Frost/Thief of Five Fates/Curse of the Black Frost/Pact with Shax. There’s a lot of nice powers this level. Inferlocks should almost invariably take the Iron Spike or Feast of Souls, but Feylocks have two good choices, and Starlocks three! Take your favourite.
As for Boomlocks, they should probably choose someone elses power.
Curse of the Black Frost 4/9/9/8/4 More control on a stick for the Feylock, but also hideously useful for the Starlock and Boomlock (not so much for the Inferlock). Combo this with a some mad sliding attacks for some silly damage. Nice for the paladin in your group too. Also, if you also happen to have a Blood Mage Wizard around (or multiclass it yourself) when you hit 11th then...well, ouch...
Iron Spike of Dis 9/5/9/5/8 In essence, a more powerful version of Dread Star, so if you didn’t pick that up before, it might be good to get this now. Immobilization is always good. I can’t help thinking this is the Lance of Longinus from Evangelion given the fluff description. That alone makes it massive win.
Summons of Khirad 6/3/6 (8)/4/6 I somewhat question the usage of this. Generally, the last thing you need is an enemy within 3 squares, and if they’re already closer there are better ways to make them go away again. Though the damage is decent, I can only really see this as a means to set up a combo, at least for a warlock. However, if you’re a hitty smacky paladin who happened to mosy on by with your adept power swap feat, this might be good for you to get that reluctant caster enemy into melee. In that case use the 8 in brackets.
Thief of Five Fates 3/9/9.5/8/3 When you first read this, you think ‘awesome, I get to basically counter everything the foe does!’. And actually, it does work rather well, especially if you’ve having a lucky spree on your rolls and have the Charisma to maintain it (which Inferlocks probably don’t). Definitely throw this one on at the start of a big fight. If you’re lucky, half (or more) of those attacks might not even get through, drastically increasing the parties survivability. Ideally, burn an action point and combine it with something that inflicts a bad status effect to really screw that foe over.
Death's Fond Caress 3/5/5/7/3 Noooo, death, don't touch me there! Well, considering the other awesomeness available this level, this power just seems rather generic. It is, bizarrely, Reliable, which is interesting, but for anyone besides Boomlocks, theres not much reason to take this. That Boomlocks can ignore resistances to Necrotic is kinda cool. But still, there are better choices.
Ring of Pain 2/5/5/7/2 Urk, more ongoing psychic damage. Boring. This is basically a slightly better version of Contagion. As in, it actually has initial damage and targets Will. But its still a bit unreliable...especially at this level.
Brood of Hadar 7.5/2/7/2/7.5 Uh, Chain lightning of Bats, anyone? It hits Fort, which is a shame, but has the potential to deal 5d10, which is pretty nasty. If your Starlock or Inferlock feels the need to take such a damaging power, I can't fault it. But the condition of activation for the secondary damage is a bit iffy since you can't guarantee the foes death nor that a secondary target will be in 3 squares. Still, its okay.
Consuming Ray 1/4/4/4/1 Very Generic, and strictly worse than both of the other Boomlock powers this level. Ring of Pain is definately better for causing ongoing (and has no condition), whereas Death's Fond Caress deals more initial and bypasses the Necrotic resistance. I guess this is trying to combine the two, but fails on both counts. Personally I'd ignore it...
Feast of Souls 9/4/7/4/8 The initial attack on this is pretty pants considering that you can pretty achieve the same effect with 'All the Sand, All the Stars'. Also, the created zone is distinctly inferior to the one created by Hunger of Hadaar, which doesn’t need to hit to cause more damage than this power can offer. However, the created zone is difficult terrain, meaning that it can serve as a very effective blocking device. Of course, most sensible monsters aren’t going to run into a zone anyway, but some may brave it if it means breaking through and causing havoc. Here, on the other hand, breaking through becomes twice as hard due to movement cost. That, combined with a daze, could be seriously nasty. Not an amazing spell because of the awful damage, but pretty high on the control front.
Horrifying Hatching 1/6/4/7/1 What’s interesting about this power is that the Ongoing Poison effect is caused regardless of whether or not you actually hit. This means the fact it hits Fortitude is largely irrelevant since there’s only D8 damage involved. It also tries to add some control, since the poison also makes the foe stumble around. However, to me, the Fey Pact boon seems quite tame (and conditional) compared to Dark’s ability to make the spider explode from their chest and deal some decent damage. Of course, deciding when to make that happen could be tough, and it depends on how much you want to rely on the GM making awful saves. Since it largely depends on luck, I can’t really give this a great rating.
Kiss of the Storm Countess 1/7.5/5/5/1 Well, this is a pretty mediocre power. It has a fun description, but basically, you’ll immobilize a foe and eventually deal 1d10 to it as it falls. For a Daily, this is pretty awful. Infernal Moon Curse can have a sort of similar effect and deal more damage in the process. Admittedly, it’s slightly better for Feylocks, as the Fey pact boon should basically say: ‘deals an extra 1d10 damage’. Chances are most Feylocks at this point will have 14-17 INT, after all. If you’re lucky enough to have 18 INT by now, you get to add yet another additional 1d10, which is nice. I guess this is a power which scales up with your INT as a result (if you’re a Feylock). Of course, I have to wonder just what happens if you can’t thrust an enemy 30 Feet into the air? Do they take impact damage against the ceiling? It doesn’t really make that clear…
Ooze Incarnate 8.5/2/9/2/8.5 Lol, you get to mimic the abberants you serve. By turning into a gelatinous cube! YAY! This power sort of mimics a similar Sorcerer power where you turn briefly into lightning, but its great fun to be able to play with it yourself. Naturally, its one to engage at the start of a fight against a bunch of tightly arranged foes. Run at them and see them recoil in horror as you turn to ooze just before slamming into them. If you do it right, you can technically hit 5 targets with this (possibly 6, if you're an elf or have another means of speed boost). It deals great damage for a multihitting power and you can also slide the stuff you hit. Obviously loses potency vs. singles, though. Still, its a great mob control power for CONlocks this level.
Level 9 Vestiges Both Vestiges this level are not really worth it for non-Binderlocks, by and the by.
"Illmeth" 3/3/8 Type: Defender/Controller
Illmeth is the first sort of 'Defensive' Vestige. Mainly because it imposes soft control and strongely encourages the foe not to hit you since they take damage. But also because you make Eye of the Vestige into a rattling power and impose a hit penalty. You can also swap places with an ally whom is feeling some concern or trouble. Or plop your defender into the mess you made. Of course, you can combo your pact boon amusingly with this (Hello, close burst!) by teleporting into the middle of some trouble and exploding. Though I feel Shax is stronger for general usual, this is an interestingly versatile Vestige, so give it a thought.
"Shax" 3/3/10 Type: Leader/Controller
Shana!? Is that you!? Shax! Ahem...please excuse my anime infected mind. Shax is a Vestige that REALLY loves forced movement. The initial attack imposes it, and it makes Eye of the Vestige into a crazy airgun boxing glove power as well. Pushing things away with basic attacks is really fantastic if you like Sniping (and as a Ranged Attacker, you should!). You can also use the effect to throw enemies into zones, off cliffs, and stuff like that. What's more, your pact boon is immensely useful. Being able to end all of the most nasty, evil, status effects in the game WITHOUT MAKING A SAVE is something that is priceless. Admittedly, it IS certainly a conditional bonus, but when it does come up, you will love it, and so will your allies. Because of this, I'm in love with Shax, and I hope you are too. :P
Level 10 Utilities : There's actually a bunch of nice utilities here. It all depends on your style of play as to what you'll pick. Defensive, offensive...its all there.
Ambassador Imp 3/3/3/3/3 Technically a faster and more efficient version of the Animal Messenger ritual. Could be a godsend if you’re co-ordinating efforts between parties in different parts of the world. But hell, when does that ever happen?
Shadow Form 5/6/5/5/5 Getting a fly speed & insubstantial = awesome. However, losing your standard actions each turn is not so awesome. A most excellently reliable retreat spell, but its not like you can mimic the wizard and levitate over the battlefield while bombarding it. So, marginally better for Feylocks, but still distinctly average.
Shielding Shades 8/8/8/8/8 You might not be better than the wizard or sorcerer at flying, but this beats the crap out of their basic shield spell. Because of its general usefulness, I can recommend it to all Warlocks. Destiny Inversion also offers a different shiedling effect as well this level. I'd say both are pretty useful. This one is more reliable, the other more frequent.
Warlocks Leap 7/5/7/7/7 Though it has double the range of the Ethereal Stride, this is strictly worse, since it’s a daily instead of an encounter. That said, you never have to worry about being imprisoned again, and more teleportation is always handy if you really don’t want the shield. Might be overkill for Feylocks though, since they have plenty of teleports already.
Darkest Mirror 8/8/8/8/8 Weird this. Its actually a very desirable effect in 4e, since Blind-Fight is now epic level, and with this you might be the only one able to take that sucker down easily. However, you'll have to concentrate your efforts on the invisibles first before de-activating it and proceeding to attack the visibles. Also, don't run head first into a party member (LOL). Considering Shielding Shades isn't as good as I thought it was, this is a fairly nice alternative.
Troublesome Aid of Caiphon 7/7/7/7/7 Two healing surges for the price of one? Bargain! However, the loss of a death save could screw you over, so do be careful. Also, the wording is bizarre on this. What I think it means is that whenever a Cleric or Warlord uses their powers to grant you a surge, you activate this. If it just means you steal a healing surge from a willing ally, its just weird.
[s]Corpse Explosion Accursed Souls 8/8/8/8/8 Obviously ripped straight from Diablo 2. Seems strange to designate it an Infernal power, but I suppose it represents a devils wickedness too. I guess its pretty good, especially given that you're almost at the point where it becomes easier to throw additional curses around. Also, since it doesn't actually require a dice roll, its equally good for all Warlocks who don't actually want any utility, just more dakka. More impressively, you can combo it with the stuff from the Dragon 373 Nightmare Weaver class features too.
Bond of Brotherhood 5/8/7/8/5 Well, its free health, and that's always appreciated. What is especially nice about this power is that you gain an amount equal to their amount, they don't lose anything in the process, and you don't have to spend a surge. If you have a beefy fighter or paladin to stand next to, you can quite possibly restore more health than your usual surge value with this. Of course, it is a daily, and is probably much less effective in the hands of the CON-locks, since their surge is already going to be pretty good. They should ignore this power, but its a pretty good choice for the CHA-locks.
Curse of Nessus 6.5/6.5/6.5/6.5/6.5 Somewhat debateable. It could be nice if you're in a party where other players also like to lay down status effects, because it means that your attack can act as a stepping stone for them to make theirs more effective (if most of your party loves to hand out status, perhaps increase the rating by 2). However, whilst compensating for your misses is fine and good, I still believe its better to actually hit...right?
Destiny Inversion 9/8/9/8/9 Well, this is a bizarre and unique shielding power, one that I have to say I quite like. Its kind of a damage delay, rather than a damage prevention spell. Basically, its good because it can give you an extra turn without being taken out. Its also possible that you'll take just 1/2 of a nasty attacks damage if you save immediately next turn. It may even end up as nothing if you can force a save before your next turn and succeed.
What's more, if you're a CON-lock with Fortune Binding, you can use this spell as ammunition to shoot with that spell (!) which is pretty hilarious. The fact that all this potential is combined into an Encounter power puts this above Shielding Shades now, at least for CON-locks. Though Shielding Shades is techincally more reliable, so its your call, I guess.
Transcendant Dance 5/5/5/5/5 Hum, ho, hum. Actually, this is power is mightily peculiar for a Warlock. Because it keys off DEX for some reason, which you're not likely to have much of. So, whilst anything that grants a double whammy speed + saves bonus is an amazing idea, chances are you'll at most get +2 from this, so, considering its also a level 10 daily, I can't really rate it supremely high. On the other hand, if you're a high-dexterity class who decided to stop by and say hello (Rogue/Bow-Ranger/Wild Sorcerer etc.), then this power might be an amazing one for you to pick up with Power swap and worth getting a +4 rating for you.
Ethereal Sidestep: 7/7 (9)/7/7/7 (+2) An At-Will teleport, you say? How amusing!
Of course, the fact that its only 1 square for a entire move action means that simply doing a 1 square shift is identical in most situations. However, it does allow: - You can still move a square if Restrained/Immobilized - You can teleport into a square of difficult terrain. You can't normally shift into such a square unless you're an Elf. - You can also, uh, teleport diagonally across a corner. I'm not certain, but I don't think a Shift allows this, as it is still technically a movement. - You can also choose to hop up or down 5 Ft. Why you'd do that, I don't know, but the option is there. - Also, as pointed out by BigFluffyLemon, if you're about to take the Feytouched Paragon Path next level, this also turns into an extra at-will attack for you thanks to Slashing Wake. If this is your intent as a Feylock, give it that 9 in the brackets.
And this power gets even better if you can find ways of buffing your teleport potential via magic items and abilities. I know several Eladrin items can do this AND stack with one another. If you do find these items, increase the score by +2, as you can basically replace your normal locomotion with teleportation. Which despite being obviously munchkin, is invariably cool.
:Harrowstorm/The Dark Reach of Xevut/The Dark Reach of Xevut/Cursegrind/Coldfire Vortex. Binderlocks have a distinctly un-interesting level here. I'd say go with the Coldfire Vortex since you like Versatile stuff, but Harrowstorm might work too.
Bewitching Whispers 3/7/5/5/3 Finally, a proper domination spell for your Feylock. Slap it on the one creature in the back row that has reach for exceptional fun. That said, it’s a rather conditional power, and if you’ve taken the Feytouched Paragon path, Will of the Feywild is MUCH better for general use. However, this is the only Charisma attack (in the base material) available this level, so you might be stuck with it, unless you fancy picking up a different lower level power. Frankly, as a Feylock, I’d say replace your level 1 with Sign of Ill Omen to go with Mire the Mind (or pick up Dark Reach of Xevut), but its your call.
Coldfire Vortex 8/4/8.5/4/8 This attack is, in fact, only marginally more powerful to the prime target than Fiery bolt. But it ~is~ much nastier to the secondary targets, and the fact that it deals both cold and radiant damage is very nice and versatile. Because of this, its actually a great replacement for Fiery Bolt for the Inferlock. Starlocks might also probably want to pick it up, probably in lieu of their level 1 power, although the Dark Reach of Xevut is also very tempting for them.
Harrowstorm 8/2/7/3/7 This is a bazooka firing a boxing glove! Though the damage is only okay, the backblast for a Inferlock will likely be an absurd 7 squares, or maybe more. Talk about a ‘get the hell away from me’ spell. Its an ideal replacement for Diabolic Grasp, if you took and enjoyed that spell, since this also lifts the restrictions. I realise it targets Fortitude, but its such a nice spell, I think its probably worthwhile in this case. Starlocks who don’t care about AOE might also be interested.
Soul Flaying 6/1/3/1/6 Dubious, this, since it’s a bit subjective. The weakening might save your parties life if a creature has an absurdly damaging melee attack or something, but its only one round of reprieve, so generally, Harrowstorm is the superior infernal spell this level. On the other hand, this does target Will.
Cursegrind 3/8/8/9/3 The big daddy version of Cursebite. If you took that and found it to be useful (and it is useful if you have a way of spreading your curse around), then this is an obvious swap for it. Additionally, if you didn't pick it up before, its an even better choice now, because you almost invariably have Twofold Curse by level 13, which vastly increases its potency (quite possibly beyond Coldfire Vortex, though with a worse damage type). A pretty nice choice for all CHA based locks this level.
All Must Sacrifice 1/1/1/2/1 Urk, not again. Sit in the corner and think about what you've done!!! Amazingly, this is an EVEN WORSE version of the Daily, Glorious Sacrifice. This one deals less damage, slaps your allies with D8 for the possibility of you buffing the attack with D10. That could easily be a net loss. (if it was do D4 to your allies for D10 to enemies, it might be better). So it has 20 range, big deal. So does Cursegrind (and that hits multiple targets, usually). If you're sane, give this a complete miss. It is absolute FAIL.
Blaze of Ulbaan 2/4/6/4/2 Level 13? You sure? Looks more like a Level 3 power to me. It is, shockingly, only a marginally better version of the Level 1 Glow of Ulbaan. Same damage, though with a less risky range and a tiny slide effect thrown in. Whilst its predecessor was good for its level, this is now horribly obsolete, and totally NOT worth it this level, even if you liked Glow of Ulbaan. If you really need radiant damage, just pick up Coldfire Vortex. It does the job much better. The only thing this has going for it is the ability to target Will.
The Dark Reach of Xevut 4/9/10/9/4 Arcane Power seems to like introducing the occassional reactionary attack, and this is one of them. A damn good one, at that. In another episode of 'lets punish the GM' this attack makes things explode when they succeed at their saves. And, on top of that, it grabs the condition that was just killed, shocks it back into existence, and force-feeds it to another enemy to keep causing havoc. This could be positively disgusting if you can pass horrible status effects like Stunned and Blinded around. Starlocks with Balanced stats can also combo this quite naturally with Fortune Binding.
Of course, the condition IS somewhat stringient, since the foes have to be within 3 squares of one another to be affected. Nevertheless, as far as counterattacks go, this is highly recommended for CHA-locks. Starlocks even get to score a reasonable saving throw bonus from the affair!
Killing Flames 7/3/5/3/5 KILL IT WITH FIRE!! Yet another interruption spell. One distinctly lacking in mercy, LOL. Its a fairly generic BIG explosion that goes off whenever a foe is looking ragged. However, besides that, its fairly generic. Though it does deal the most damage of any power this level at max (possibly 6 more than Harrowstorm or Coldfire Vortex) the fact that this doesn't do anything else interesting means I can't really recommend it just on that. I guess, for the Pyromancer Maniac, it might be useful in the fact that an Inferlock using it ignores Fire Resist (+2 if you only have Fire powers). But meh...
Korred's Tune 2/7.5/6/6/2 Again, its another bizarre Fey spell that really wants to deal alot of damage, meshed with some very light control. Which generally isn't the point of the Feypact, at least in my view. If the condition is met, then the damage is equivalent to Killing Flames, above. Being a Feylock makes the condition easier to meet. Not bad if you feel the need to be packing psychic firepower, I guess, but its pretty generic.
Skirmishers Volley 5/2/4/2/7 Oh ye gads, Eldritch Rain is back again. Only now its attached with a treble shot barrel, loses the awful targeting restriction, uses CON instead, and also allows a moderate shift if you're a Binderlock. Going with the trend of 3d8 damage spells from Arcane Power this level, here's another. I guess this version is better than its predecessors because it at least keeps up with the damage curve nicely, though you still can't shoot a singular target multiple times, so its not vastly versatile.
Wraith's Shadow 1/5/5/6/1 Hmm, well, it weakens and deals reasonable damage. However, taking the usual Dark Pact trend, its all so very annoyingly resisted Necrotic damage, and the attack hits Fortitude. The Dark Pact benefit is also someone flaccid, since Immobilized and Weakened are overlapping conditions (as in, they both help prevent that melee foe from damaging you, and hence, imposing both is possibly not that worthwhile. You should probably give this attack a miss.
Level 15 dailies
:Fireswarm/Curse of the Golden Mist/Tentacles of Thubaan/Dark Rain/Pact with Solis. There's actually a fair few CON choices this level. CHA-locks have less to do.
Curse of the Golden Mist 3/10/8/8/3 I call this the Custard Curse (don’t ask). This is the domination spell you’ve ~really~ been waiting for. Its CONTROL. Yes, in capitals. As long as your Charisma continues to strike true, you can basically completely shut down a foe whilst the rest of party batter it to death without much fear. Ideally, you should blow an action point and immobilize it as well. Then let your wizard set up his walls and laugh. True, you do waste your standard action then each turn sustaining it, but that’s fair enough because it would be mind boggling broken if it was a minor action. Feylocks should dump their level 1 (probably) for this. Starlocks might also take a look; though they have the awesome tendrils this level to keep their attention. Inferlocks have got better things to do with their time.
Fireswarm 9/2/8/3/9 No, no, no, not fiery scorpions! This is so obviously a vicious artillery barrage! Well, okay so the poison damage makes no sense then, but whatever. What really makes this attack shine is the area effect that happens on the sustain; that could be a lot of damage if it’s a mob of nasty creatures. Its just a shame you can’t change the initial target for the sustains. A pretty good attack for the Inferlock this level (though they can also use the Tendrils). A Starlock not interested in the tendrils might also think about it.
Tentacles of Thubaan 9/4/10/3/9 Yes! This is what being a Starlock is all about! (playing with Cthulu-like tentacles, that is). This attack is sheer brutality and control in equal measure. Lots of damage, and immobilizes everything near it, and you can sustain it as a minor. Put it in a 3 square wide corridor for comedy gold. By and the by, your tentacles is far more brutal than the Wizards ‘Evards Black Tentacles’ on the initial hit, and you get it earlier, though it is admittedly a smaller burst. Even the Inferlock might want to consider this (though Fireswarm outdamages it).
Thirsting Maw 6/2/4/2/6 With the other awesomeness that’s around this level, Thirsting Maw really gets the short end of the stick. Its really short ranged and has less damage potential than the others. That said, if you’re an Inferlock tank, this spell can really make you into a regenerating menace since you can combo it with other spells that give temp hitpoints and still sustain this as a minor.
Kimmeriels Smile 2/4/4/6/2 For some reason, when I first read this, I thought it was pretty good. Then I realised it was a Level 15 daily and basically a 'better' version of the level 5 Forceful Assault, with targeting Will and 5 extra range for Boomlocks. But otherwise, its no real improvement over its predecessor. And considering all of the other awesomeness thats around this level, it really joins Thirsting Maw on the pile of mediocrity. Still strictly better than Dark Ladies Gift as well, which is a bit sad...
Dark Ladies Gift 1/3/3/4.5/1 And this is Ring of Pain, [s]mark II. No, wait, this is the prototype for Ring of Pain. HUH?!? Well, okay, theoretically it affects more targets if they happen to tightly clustered, and its effect ~might~ go off more than once. But in return, its by far the lowest damaging spell this level and the ongoing effect is less potent than its predeccessor, despite being 6 levels higher!! Oh dear, this is really not worth your time...even for Boomlocks
Visage of Zhudaan 6/8/10/10/6 On first look, I thought this was an inferior version of the Tentacles of Thubaan. It deals less damage and doesn't immobilize (and immobilizing them is great, since it means they stay in zone and keep getting attacked by the power). However, the key with this is that it works more like a Wizards Wall of Fire. As in, you don't actually have to make an attack roll for the initial effect. It just deals 3d10, no questions asked, if someone starts in the zone or stumbles into it. You then get to attack Will as part of the sustain. Furthermore, it blocks line of sight. This can be good or bad, depending on your party composition. So, overall, I'd say its pretty much equal, and a very nice power. Obviously, Inferlocks will still take the Fireswarm or Tentacles, but this is a solid alternative for Starlocks to take this level. (and other CHAlocks)
Far Realm Glimpse 4/7/9/7/4 Wow, a dazed effect that actually (partially) dodges the save. This becomes even more mighty in the hands of the Doomsayer. It also offers a +2 to hit and okay damage if the foe doesn't run. Hence it ~sort of~ achieves an effect similar to Wrath of Acamar. As in, getting things outta your hair or at least punishing them. Though it lacks the multi-target potential of the Visage or the Tentacles, its a pretty nice little power (especially for the Doomsayer).
Hellfire Soul 10/2/8/2/9 WHAT? A domination power (sort of) for the Inferlock? How peculiar! This is a very nice choice, actually, if you're not interested in the tendrils or the fireswarm. It provides dual typed damage, which is always fun, and of course, if you kill something, you auto ressurect it with 1 hit point under your control. Whats more, its a CON based attack that targets Will, which is a (nice) rarity. I'd go as far as saying this is possibly better than the artillery barrage of Fireswarm (assuming you want effects over damage, of course...)
Dispaters Caution 8/2/6/2/6 Dispater gets his parking tickets out and slaps them on the foes forehead. What an easy way to relegate your fines! Joking aside, this is an interesting attack, because it applies some ongoing damage which cannot be saved against, so long as everyone ignores that foe. Technically, the damage potential is much weaker than Fireswarm or the Tentacles, and its not an effective attack against singular boss monsters since your allies will cancel the ongoing. Hence, its a little conditional, since you'll mainly want to slap it on a foe that's dangerous but that the party hasn't got time for at the moment. Its better for the Inferlock, since they can continue to pick on that target without cancelling the effect whilst their allies mop up the remainder. A bizarre power, though it might get ignored as there's some other seriously good CON based stuff around already this level.
Dark Rain 2/8/8/9/2 I'm not adding the excessively long subtitle. Its just Dark Rain. Okay? Anyway, its good this came along, since it actually offers a solid choice for Boomlocks this level, at last! The damage is not too spectacular, but it is a huge burst with a long range that can seriously cripple a big group of foes. Its somewhat hampered, true, in hitting Fortitude, but the aftereffect of the zone, blinding everyone, is pretty horrible, and goes off regardless of whether you deal damage. Keep in mind that its also horrible to your allies, so firing the Dark Rain into a melee will get the party to hate you (though there is the comedy factor of blinding everyone in the combat and laughing as they stumble over one another). A very decent CHA attack, but as noted, be sure its the first shot you fire.
Plague of Frogs 1/8/7/8/1 How bizarre. A zone of carnivorous frogs. Yeah... Anyway, this is rather similar to Dark Rain, above. It is, I suppose, better for damage. The actual initial hit is worse, but the zone continually hits with the power of that initial hit, which is actually a pretty rare phenomenon. In such a big zone against a swarm of tough creatures, these little vicious amphibians could seriously ruin someone's day. You can also move it a tiny distance as part of the sustain. Sadly, the frogs still bite your allies and hit FORT, leading me to believe that the Dark Rain is probably better unless damage is most important to you (and the Tentacles are better for that, though of course, Feylocks and Boomlocks can't really take it with their low CON).
Level 15 Vestiges
"Leraje" 2/2/8 Type: Controller Leraje provides us with a fairly generic attack that hardly seems worthy of a level 15 daily. 5 ongoing poison and 2d10? Her pact boon is also dubious since it cannot stack with itself, and doesn't help you against melee, though it might save you against a ranged hit. However, her saving grace is her Eye of the Vestige augmentation. Adding Immobilize to an At-Will power is frankly insane, and vastly increases your lockdown potential. Of course, with the disgusting awesomeness of Solis sitting right next to her, she gets overshadowed, though.
"Solis" 6/6/10 Type: Controller, Defender and Striker Whew, Flaming Thunder Hammer, you say? Solis is one of those few Vestiges that is actually worth considering for Starlocks and Inferlocks because of how nice his inital attack is. Its not very damaging at all. But, the primary target does take some ongoing. More importantly, the secondary attack might well be able to Daze and Deafen everything in a 3x3 square, which is pretty damn mean. Remember that this second attack also includes the primary target!
But, for Binderlocks, it gets even better! Whenever your Pact Boon goes off, you whip your guitar and amplifier and explode in a cacophony of sound. And you're such a bad player that enemies near you are deafened and forced to grant CA. Which is brutal. The rogue (and the rest of the party) will love it! You also tag on some light defender-y aspects with your Eye of the Vestige, since you slap foes that ignore you with about 5-8 damage.
Level 16 Utilities
:The usual, pick what you like. Though I seriously recommend Hero's Defence.
Cloak of Shadows 4/4/4/4/4 Takes the evasiveness of Shadow Form and mixes it with the dubiousness of Spider Climb. Again, applying this to just a single move action is of questionable value in a fight, especially since you become useless to the rest of the party for a turn. However, if you did take and enjoy Shadow Form as an evasive kind of spell, this ~is~ a probably a better version (though not as effective for scouting with the limited duration). Could also be helpful in an area of difficult terrain I suppose, but surely, that’s what the teleports are for?
Eye of the Warlock 7/8/8/7/7 Haha, I’m hiding around the corner and casting all of my spells through the fighters eyes. That alone is worth the entry price. Actually, the description seems to imply that you’re supposed to do this through a monster (since a save ends the effect) so I wonder whether you can use this in a willing target. If not, then reduce the rating slightly. I see this being handy for the Feylock most of all, but the others (who don’t want the elusiveness) also might apply.
Infuriating Elusiveness 8/8/8/8/8 Oh yay, more teleportation. Only, this one continues in the fine tradition of Ethereal Stride in upping your defensive qualities at the same time. In this case, this a true Ninja smokebomb effect. If you feel you’ve got enough teleports already, then pick something else (or get this and retrain Ethereal Stride) but I’m of the thought that you can never have enough.
Ruinous Resistance 4/4/4/4/4 Bletch. Another one of those "Screw over your allies, thats a fine idea in a team game!!" powers. Seriously, nerfing your allies defences for your benefit won't be appreciated, especially given that you really shouldn't be the one taking hits in most cases. The only concievable use for this is slurping someones natural resistance to give yourself some (like nicking 5 points off a Tieflings Fire Resist). If you really want to do that, give this +2.
Caiphons Disquieting Liberty 8/8/8/8/8 Another mouthful. However, this power is awesome. Once per encounter, you can totally destroy a movement restriction for the paltry cost of 5 HP and a Minor Action. If the GM likes to immobilize you at 11 range, you can now laugh back with this. A very worthwhile choice if you're not interested in more teleports, or the eye of the warlock, though heroes defence should perk your attention.
Amaan's Continuance 5/5/5/5/5 I get knocked down, but I get up again, you ain't never gonna keep me down... This is a very cliche action hero thing, staying up when you should pass out. It almost seem out of place for a Warlock, but whatever. Basically, it gives you an extra turn to stay on your feet before you get KO'ed. Nevertheless, though that sounds good, it doesn't prevent you from dying or anything. So, considering its a daily, its use is rather subjective. Pick it if you get knocked out often or like to be dramatic, but I can't say its tremendously helpful.
Hero's Defence 10/10/10/10/10 Holy cow. NOW THAT's what I call a Defensive spell!! Its the Wizard's shield in disguise with its usual +4. But then...it also Re-Routes the attack so that it hits your best defence!! That is sheer amazing, since you will invariably have one defence that is better than the others (most likely Fortitude for CON-locks, or Will for CHA-locks). And its also an Encounter Power. Not only that, but the spell actually still has utility if it fails, since if the attack still hits you despite the Defensive buff, its damage is halved AS WELL! This means you can also use it to take the edge off a nasty critical. Highly, highly recommended, and my new favourite spell this level.
Painful/Delightful Transference 10/5/6 (10)/5/10 What's up with Boomlocks and their 'screw the allies' powers this level? I guess one can possibly justify this one, since you could end something nasty like Stunned for the small price of taking some damage. However, the power is bizarre in that it gets LESS effective the more Charisma you have.
Idiotically, this means that Inferlocks and Binderlocks with 9-11 CHA actually get a totally awesome 'get out of jail free' card by taking this power. Depending on how stupidly you want to rule it, you might even heal 1 hitpoint from them if you're ugly and have a -1 CHA modifier (it becomes Delightful Transference!). Therefore, despite the fact that this is a Dark Pact power, I highly recommend that they stay away from it (along with Feylocks, and Starlocks with CHA), but its great for Inferlocks, pure CON Starlocks (bracketed) and Binderlocks.
Warp Space 8/8/8/8/8 Teleporting madness. You and two allies leap to different places in a fairly big burst. This could be useful for setting up a flanking or pincer manuveur, or simply correcting a formation gone horribly wrong. Like usual, teleports are always tactically sound choices. Although this level has alot of other stuff vying for your attention.
Level 17 Encounters
:Life Force Reclaimed/Claws of the Magpie/Strand of Fate/Your Delectable Pain/Sea Tyrant's Fury.
Strand of Fate 4/9/10/9/4 Well, the damage might be complete trash, but this is obviously an awesome chain starter spell. All of your allies will love this if its correctly timed against a boss, because vulnerability 10 (all) is amazing, unless the target also has resist 10 (all). You can also blow an action point to immediately take advantage of it yourself. Highly recommended for Feylocks and Starlocks this level. Especially Starlocks, since they’ll probably squeeze an extra couple of vulnerability points from it. Dump your level 1/3/7 for it. Though if you prefer damage, pick up Your Delectable Pain instead.
Thirsting Tendrils 6/7/6/7/6 Actually not a terrible spell, since a healing surge scales up with your level, but it seems bizarre that it’s a Fey spell, not an infernal. The damage is only okay though. If your Feylock really needs a healing type spell, then take it, but I’d seriously consider the Strand of Fate/Claws of the Magpie for more overall effectiveness, or choosing Your Delectable Pain for damage.
Warlocks Bargain 1(6)/2/6/2/1 I assume this has been errata’ed, because if not, its an awful choice for inferlocks, since the wording implies you take extra damage for hitting your target. I assume what its supposed to mean is that you effectively ‘heal’ back your intelligence modifier if you manage to hit. That’s still not very good, but I guess it at least makes the spell usable, raising it to the 6 in the brackets for inferlocks. I still can’t rate it higher than that, because though the damage is fairly nice, hurting yourself for any reason is bad, and the range is atrocious.
Unholy Glee 1/3/3/3/1 Ironically, this continues the trend of poor upgrades for Boomlock powers. This time, its the turn of Upsetting Onslaught. Which somehow manages to get worse in the process. This is because taking ongoing damage is less painful than being Dazed, generally, so the GM is much less likely to pay the cost to get rid of it when he's probably going to save at the end of turn. And again, its got that comically useless boon for the Boomlock. Move along, people, move along...
Your Delectable Pain 4/9/9/10/4 Aha! At last, a upgraded power that breaks the trend of somehow getting worse. Your Delicious Weakness was already a good power, and this actually makes it even more superior. This is possibly the most damaging power available this level, and the fact that it adjusts its type based on the foes vulnerabilities is even more superb, for the versatility factor. Finally, it also gets a +10 range upgrade as well! This makes it a very nice choice for all Charisma Warlocks this level. Highly Recommended.
Delbaan's Eye 4/8/10/8/4 Awwww, lookitt tha wittle baby ion cannon, isn't it ~cute~ OW! Yup, this is indeed the precursor to the epic thirtieth level Doom of Delbaan, everyones favourite Ion Cannon spell. And it really lives up to its daddy! It deals good damage, and is unique in that its a warlock power that marks a foe. And strips it of any concealment. And Starlocks even get a damage boost to their next power since they evidently have innate laser targeting. I also personally like the idea that this is actually a tracer beam for you to then unleash the Doom of Delbaan next turn (when you get it). Another fabulous choice this level for Charisma Warlocks (especially Starlocks).
Claws of the Magpie 4/9/7/8/4 What do you get if you mix Hitchcocks Birds with Mordenkanen's Disjunction? This spell, apparently. The damage is just average, but disabling the non-at-will powers and aura's of a big bad for a turn has a great utility effect, since you can prevent alot of firepower heading towards the party. The Fey Pact boon on top is fairly generic, but some Temp HP are never unwanted, I guess. A pretty good choice.
Despair of Zhudun 6/2/7/2/6 Decent pseudo control nonsense. Though be careful if the foe has a way of overriding the condition. Its also rattling for Starlocks. Not alot else I can really say.
Devouring Death 2/6/6/7/2 Should be more appropriately called 'Eating Acid', since that's actually what it is, surely. I'm afraid it cannot be recommended, though. Why? Its basically an inferior version of Strand of Fate. That gives Vulnerable 10 all, whereas this just applies to acid and necrotic. This also hits Fort rather than Reflex. These downsides are not really worth the extra 1d8 damage. Its one amusing use is that Boomlocks can force Undead to gain a Necrotic Weakness, which doesn't make any sense, but oh well...
Life Force Reclaimed 9/5/8.5/5/9.5 Basically, this is Vampiric Embrace Mark II. It deals decent damage, and gives you a big stack of temporary HP to play with (even moreso if you're a Binderlock). However, for some reason it now targets Fort rather than Will. Nevertheless, its a good choice for Inferlocks and Binderlocks this level, especially those looking for a Vampiric Embrace replacement.
Sea Tyrant's Fury 8/4/8/4/9.5 Warlock uses Surf! Its Super Effective! Monster Feinted! Ahem, pokemon references aside, this is a great spell. A close blast 5 that blows stuff away makes it a new version of Howl of Doom from level 7. Its also possibly as good as Spiteful Darts from 23rd level for non-inferlocks. Binderlocks also get a bizarre leader-like bonus from the affair by buffing everyone's saves if they're close by. The spell with the most damage potential this level. (if you can hit many clustered targets, that is. Delectable Pain is still the best Single-Target attack)
Level 19 Dailies
:Minions of Malbolge/Delusions of Loyalty/Dark Side of the Moon/Maelstrom of Despair/Pact with Amaan. Boomlocks actually have a good level for a nice change.
Delusions of Loyalty 2/9/7/9/2 Hmm, this basically combines a ~slightly~ better version of the custard curse with a ~slightly~ better version of the Level 5 Crown of Madness. A general improvement from before, then. What really gives this power is the ability to sustain it as a minor, not a standard. This makes it rather effective against a single foe, much like its predecessor, allowing your party to batter down a foe whilst it can do very little to reciprocate.
Minions of Malbolge 9/8/8/8/9 Ah, minions! I have minions! Oddly enough, this is excellent for all Warlocks, since there are no strings attached and you don’t actually have to make an attack roll. If something comes near you, it just takes fire damage and gets swept away. In a fight where the foes have only non-reach melee attacks, this technically makes you invulnerable since nothing can melee you until the minions go down (unless the foe can have an action point to get another move, since the minions can only attack each foe once per turn). If you seem to regularly get into fights where nothing has ranged attacks, this is recommended. Otherwise, you might want to reduce the rating slightly. Still good though.
Wrath of Acamar 2/7/8/7/2 Sort of like the Hunger of Hadar, except unavoidable, but only for a single foe. The damage is pretty good, and the banishment effect interesting. It can get an annoying foe out of your hair and give you some breather space. Not as much use against the undead, mind, since this is necrotic damage. Works very nice as a link on from the Thief of Five Fates. A good choice for Feylocks and Starlocks interested in damage, but it has (in my opinion) been slightly obsoleted by Dark Side of the Moon.
Explosive Contagion 1/4/4/5/1 It really seems like they ran out of ideas for the boomlock, considering all of the 'upgraded' powers they threw in. This is ANOTHER very dubious upgrade. Contagion was fun back in level 1, but by this end of paragon, you really don't want to deal with its unreliability. Whilst this does offer some initial damage this time, its not that respectable. Give this a miss.
Passionate Betrayal 5/9/9/10/5 Ah, now here's something I get my teeth into! This is an absolutely fantastic domination spell. It might even be superior to Delusions of Loyalty, since its impossible to break out of whilst there are still 5+ enemies on the field. You basically yoink one of the foes from the other side and use him to bash the enemy. Great if you can yoink a foes brute and send it stomping into their artillery line. However, it does require the foe to bloodied before you can target them, so they won't join your side fresh and ready. They'll also eventually turn on you after they realise how dumb they've been (assuming their old allies haven't ripped them apart already.) So its not quite as good for lockdown purposes. But still pretty damn good.
Dark Side of the Moon 4/8/10/8/4 Whew, lockdown is popular this level, huh? This is, in effect, a slightly less damaging version of Wrath of Acamar, above. However, personally, I feel this is better, since its MUCH more reliable. Why? A) No saves. It is just slowed and locked to basic attacks for a turn. Nice. B) Gets a +2 to hit, and targets Will over Reflex. C) Its a fear power, so it triggers more stuff. And deals Psychic, which is better than Necrotic. So another great choice for Charisma Warlocks this level. Check it out.
Force of Nature 4/9/8/9/4 Nature's Shotgun, anyone? I can almost hear the 'Boom! Cha-click!' in the description. This does a pretty ludicrous amount of damage (6D10!) and blows the foe backwards like a ragdoll. It resembles a daily version of Harrowstorm, in that its a prime 'get the hell away from me' type power. As usual for these things, it does hit Fort, though for unparrelled destructive power vs. single targets this level I don't believe it has much equal.
Maelstrom o[COLOR="Green"]f Despair[/COLOR] 3/9/8/10/3 Very nice, I like it. Good initial damage, but more importantly, it punishes foes for trying to make saves, which makes it a great opening shot for the Warlock who likes to impose a catalogue full of status effects. It also gives you a free, fairly minor ongoing damage effect to use in conjunction with it. Boomlocks especially benefit, since they'll probably manage 8-12 damage. That, combined with their means of imposing alot of ongoing effects, can be pretty brutal. Feylocks get a minor buff to their own saves from this. Its also good for them, since it implies foes have to try really hard and strain themselves to break from your domination. Its most effective vs. a big boss; since using your minor action as a sustain means you can't as easily re-target your Warlocks Curse (though by 19th you may have a means to get around that...)
Void Star 9/3/9.5/3/8 Wow, this is pretty nasty too. Again, it has decent damage (partly thanks to the 10 ongoing) but also imposes a leech seed type of effect, which is pretty horrible. The foe just used a surge? Thanks, I'll be having that! Also pretty hilarious against a Regenerating creature (big trolls, anyone?) since you basically reverse their ability on them and benefit in the process. Its a fun choice for all CON-locks this level.
Dread Briars 1/7.5/6/7/1 Trying to mimic tentacles with vines are we, Mr. Feylock? If you like them that much, just become a Starlock! This is not a tremendous power for 19th level, with all the other awesomeness thats lying around; especially as Void Star, above, is a basically better version of this power in every way, except that it doesn't immobilize, (but instead has that awesome health slurp ability) though if you like additional means of immobilization and poison, then by all means, go ahead. The damage is nothing to write home about, though Feylocks get to use it on the undead and ignore Necrotic resistance if they like.
Level 19 Vestiges
"Amaan" 2/2/10 Type: Controller The initial attack with Amaan seems suspiciously like Strand of Fate. The only difference is that it uses CON and deals 2d8 extra damage as a daily. So, really not worth it for non-binderlocks...
The Binderlock, however, benefits from a career change into a professional puppeteer by casting this spell, whipping chains of force all over the place and completely re-organising the battlefield as he sees fit! By this point, each time you shoot Eyes of the Vestige or drop a target, you'll be able to push/pull something at least 3 squares, I should imagine, quite possibly double that. Battlefield control at its finest!
"Burned Emperors" 5/5/8 Type: Leader As the name may suggest, this is a very leadership related pact which is ideal as a second spell after all your allies have surrounded the big bad, since a generic 5 man party could add an extra 12-20 damage to this attack. Though that assumes all the others are melee'ists. Much like some of the Warlord's repitoire, the usefulness of this initial attack is dependant on how many other melee'ists you can upon the assistance of. Hence, it could get +2 in an ideal situation, but is otherwise generic.
The Binderlock naturally becomes part Warlord, since the pact boons espouse increase ally mobility. They aren't great, but if you're lacking a leader, they could be handy. Personally, for control, Amaan sounds better though.
:As always, it utilities, so it all depends on you. There's some mighty fine stuff around.
Entropic Ward 9/9/9/9/9 You know the Thief of Five Fates? Well, this is its barrier version. And because it affects every attack that comes your way, and is an encounter power, it helps dramatically increase your survivability. Highly recommended, though all three powers this level are good.
Raven's Glamour 7/9/8/9/7 And this would be the culmination of the Shadow Form/Cloak of Shadows tree in terms of evasive spells. This one switches out the flight for a huge teleport, and adds both invisibility and a substitute to the package. A very nice get away spell.
Wings of the Fiend 6/6/6/6/6 (10) And finally, six levels after the Wizard, you actually get a proper fly spell. However, the value of this is subjective since the Wizard actually gets Mass Fly this level; which gives everyone in the party Fly 8, making this a bit redundant since both are daily spells. If you don't have a Wizard, or he was insane enough to not take Mass Fly this level, increase the rating to the bracketed one (much better!).
Expedient Sacrifice 1/1/1/1/1 Bletch. I'm sorry, this is awful. Considering that you can gain Fly 8 this level, or a superb escape spell, are you ~really~ gonna choose something that Slows your ally just for the sake of 4 speed? Thought not. Team game, people, team game!
Ulbaan's Shining Cloak 8/9/8/9/8 Well, this is intreguing. Its basically a protective spell like Shielding Shades and the Wizards Shield spell (more functionally like the latter, but protecting only against ranged). However, you can add your Intellect to any Defence (rather than just AC) which makes this pretty versatile. Then, amusingly, if it misses as a result of this bonus (which is obviously will, else you wouldn't activate it), then the projectile instead flies back at the attacker. Unfortunately, its not an entirely done deal as they then have to roll to hit themselves. However, this does bear the advantage of allowing you to laugh when the GM criticals himself. (ROFL) Its definately a comedy spell. But a pretty darn good one. Add it to the pile of cool stuff you can grab this level.
Ascension of the Elder 9/9/9/9/9 Lul wut? You pull of a Hancock-esq tarmac pulping uber-jump directly upwards, and then do a Batman and sprout a powered glider. Definately got alot of cool factor right there. Interestingly, this power could theoretically have an infinite effect as long as you continue to sustain it (I think). If it does, that gives it a nice advantage over Wings of the Fiend.
Of course, teleporting 100 Feet upwards in the midst of the dungeon will cause your GM to have 3d geometry headaches as he tries to figure out where the heck you end up. Talk about an Elevator Spell (though its useless in a fight underground except as a handy retreat spell).
Walk of the Kantakaran ?/?/?/?/? In a way, this is an alternate version of Time Stop. Though of course, you don't actually get extra actions. Rather, you 'fade out' of the combat temporarily. That said, unlike other classes, you don't really have many things you can do whilst under this powers influence since most of your utilities are defensive or mobility related. The wizard can throw up his walls and zones with Time Stop, but you can't use ANY attack spells with this.
I actually can't rate this easily, as its use really depends on how well you can figure out things to combo with it.
My main idea lies in the fact that I don't believe this power prevents you from sustaining. If so, this makes it a rather ideal way to use big sustain blasts (Hello, Doom of Delbaan!) while the enemy can't lift a finger against you. If this is the case, it may warrant an 8 or 9.
If not, I see this being most useful to Leader-ish characters who can use it as a Sanctuary effect whilst they throw buffs.
Wakeman's Invocation 9/9/9/9/9 Another bizarre daily defensive spell. It warps space around you, giving you a generic Mage Armour like boost against ranged and teleporting melee attackers away from you. [s]Stupidly, however, teleporting a melee attacker that much sets them up to charge you again. Which is daft. Considering this is a daily, it doesn't seem up to par with all the other amazingness around this level. Actually, I had misinterpreted the wording on this spell. For some reason, I thought you teleported stuff away when it damaged you. Actually, its just when something lands a hit. That makes the value of this spell go up dramatically. DRAMATICALLY. It makes you literally untouchable with melee strikes for the rest of the encounter, which puts it on par with Entropic Ward. Give it thought! (Thanks to TheChunOne and MeNsInSaNa for pointing out my error)
Wall of Inky Night 8/8/8/8/8 Well, thats fun. You rarely ever get to play with Walls. Yours gives you a mighty cloak of darkness. One which is so unnatural that you can blind stuff with it (i.e. Darkvision doesn't work). More interestingly, you can snap re-arrange the dark wall, moving it 10 squares. Since this effect happens rarely, I have to wonder whether the wall moves like a snake or you move the entire wall as a whole, like a tetris block.
Level 23 Encounters
:Spiteful Darts/Swarm of Fangs/Maddening Whispers/Dreadtheft/Arrow of Arcane Light.
Dark Transport 3/7/8.5/7/3 Aha, finally a replacement of sorts for my favourite Otherwind Stride! Which is good, since the damage on that by this point is sheet patheticness. Its a shame one loses the burst effect; and the power does lose some potency in the hands of anyone besides a Starlock, but still, its not bad. A feylock should probably combine this with one of their menagerie of teleports to make up for not having the pact boon.
Spiteful Darts 9/1/5/1/9 Weirdly, the description of this seems to suggest a ranged attack, not a close blast, but whatever. This is a better version of the dubious Howl of Doom. Whilst its okay, I'd still contend that Harrowstorm is a better 'get the hell away from me' power because of the better push value. That said, it is quite a big blast, so it has its merits if you happened to be surrounded, but there are still better ways to deal with that kind of situation, especially at epic level. Nevertheless, despite my whining, its probably the best power for Inferlocks not wanting Arrows of Arcane Light.
Thorns of Venom 2/9/8/7/2 This continues the tradition of upgrade spells. This one is a better version of Infernal Moon Curse. I have to say I actually quite like this, but then I liked its predecessor. It adds an extra d8 and a nice debuff to an already reasonable immobilization effect, and no longer has the funny (but not terribly useful for melee characters) effect of holding the target up in the air. So a good choice, I'd say, especially for the Feylock.
Dreadtheft 4/9/9/10/3 Ah, at last, something new and interesting for the Boomlocks this level (don't get used to it...) This is a pretty good power. It offers a Hit bonus, 20 range, 3D8 to two targets and even a chance to not be expended! The Boomlock using it even has a chance to snatch a resistance out of the deal. A nice choice for the CHAlocks this level. Though, its only downer is that it provides Necrotic damage. Still, how much epic undead are you planning on facing?
Blades of Vanquished Armies 4/9/7/7/3 Huh, whats this? The Boomlock has a Defensive spell? LIES!! In a way, this is like an inferior Minions of Malbolge. However, this is an Encounter power. It surrounds you with blades of darkness, which slash at those around you in a Close Burst. If you can hit them, you'll weaken the fools that are trying to melee you, and also punish them with a little bit of damage if they try it. Of course, the question remains as to why you're in the melee. That said, I can see this power working like Otherwind Stride, as in, you charge into the fray, unleash this, then teleport out again (with an action point is neccessary.) Doing so could help the melee fighters on your team. Hence, I reckon this power is now best for the Feylock (tied with thorns of venom). Assuming you don't mind the fairly poor damage, that is...
Starless Void 7/2/9.5/2/7 Its an upgraded Frigid Darkness, from way back in level 3. As before, if find granting Combat Advantage to others is useful (i.e. you have Rogues and such like), this power should get +2 to all its scores. What's more, the slice off AC granted by the Starlock boon is also convienient. However, recently, the arrival of Maddening Whispers, also this level, gives a different alternative. This deals more damage; that grants better control. Up to you really; as I like both.
Arrow of Arcane Light 8.5/3/4/3/9 At initial look, this seems to be ANOTHER Harrowstorm made specifically for Binderlocks, with slightly superior damage. That aside though, its true advantage lies in its good accuracy, keen critical range, and its ability to cause Radiant damage, which is always handy to be packing. It may not be too interesting, but it is pretty effective.
Awaken the Dragon 7/2/5/2/8 Another generic copy of Strand of Fate, it seems. Its 5 levels higher for treble the damage and is otherwise not too different. However, it might still be worth it for Binderlocks and Inferlocks interested in that kind of effect, since in this case, it uses CON. Binderlocks also benefit from a paltry amount of Temp. HP. Arrow of Arcane light is probably the better Vestige spell this level, though.
Maddening Whispers 4/8/10/8/4 That's a funky cocktail! This power combines the effects of The Curse of the Dark Dream, Iron Spike of Dis and Frigid Darkness into one rather fanciful package. Its next in the line of liquid distilled madness powers that started with Dreadful Word way back in level 1. Obviously, however, to benefit from these advantages, you lose out on damage. Starlocks get to play puppeteer again. Good times.
Swarm of Fangs 1/9/3/4/1 Ever see that scary tooth-fairy film? This is that. For a non-Feylock, this is a very generic and frankly poor spell. But their unique effect is just NASTY, since you'll be dealing 14-18 damage to everything in a Burst 2 around the target, regardless of whether you actually hit initially (at least, thats what the wording assumes). Therefore, for the Feylock, this is perhaps the best mob control spell you'll ever see and it really doesn't matter that it hits Fort. Give it some serious consideration as a Feylock. Others should just leave it though.
Level 25 Dailies
:13 Baleful Stars/Prince's Horde/13 Baleful Stars/Instruction in Darkness/Pact with Queen of Namhar/Land's Soul.
Curse of the Twin Princes 5/7/5/5/5 Bizarrely enough, I'd think this one would be a better attack for the Inferlock to use, since it would be double benefit for them (lose their temp HP...which they don't care about, and force damage onto a foe simulataneously). However, sadly, they don't have the Charisma (probably...maybe you're a demigod who buffed CHA by now). The effect is also quite irritating if you happen to melee'ing the target (why you'd be, I know not, but hey). In any case, whilst this is possibly good for redirecting attrition damage you might take from the other artillery, you're still not supposed to be taking hits, so that makes this an average power. Feylocks are still generally better served by the Prince's Horde or Instruction in Darkness.
Tartarean Tomb 7/2/6/1/7 A slightly different, infernal version of the Wrath of Acamar. Since the creature cannot be effectively targeted whilst entombed by anyone else, its basically the same effect as the banishment that previous power provided. However, what does make it slightly better is the fact that it still has an effect on a miss; and its immobilization in that case too, which is cool. However, I contend that 13 baleful stars is the better CON based attack this level.
Thirteen Baleful Stars 10/2/10/2/8 Scary floating stars? Really? Well, that weirdness aside, this power is fantastic. Its got great initial damage, its versus Will, and it stuns the target, which is obviously the nastiest status effect (besides unconcious, of course). The fact it still does half damage and dazes on a miss makes it even better. I'd say its a fab choice for Starlocks and Inferlocks this level.
Invisible Death 1/4/4/5/1 Hmmm, this is not that great since the damage is fairly lackluster for this level and the ongoing effect has a bizarre condition for a Warlock power. It does have long range, I suppose, but overrall not that great.
Ring of Torment 1/4/4/4/1 Oh look, another upgrade. Yawn. This is Ring of Pain II. And yet, following the maddenening ideas that the Dark Pact has about most upgrades, this manages to be fairly poor. Sure, it hits more targets and deals slightly better damage; but its still chock full of conditionals and quite poor for the level. Pass.
Gibbeths Embrace 6/6/6/6/6 Huh? Another refugee from the wizards camp? This is another bizarre thing that attacks using INT. Ironically, this is actually a much better version of Invisible Death, above. Well, okay, so it loses the range benefit, but wouldn't you like the potential for 18 more damage? Still, Thirteen Baleful stars still does this damage AND also Stuns. Making this a bit m00t unless you're desperate to deal Force damage.
Infernal Chains 9/2/8/2/9 The ~really~ big brother of the Chains of Levistus from Level 1. Kind of unusual in the fact that allows you to grab a target at significant distance (rather than requiring you to be adjacent). This basically means the foe is immobilzed, but it can't just make a save to escape (it has to spend a move action and also beat your Fortitude with a -4 penalty). This is probably better for you, since by this level your Fort will be pretty impressive. You can also continue to deal minor damage and swing it around by yanking the chain, which is nice for controlling it. Though 13 Baleful Stars should have your attention as a CONlock this level, this is a nice alternative.
Instruction in Darkness 2/8/8/9/2 A rather fantastic description, this has. Nevertheless, its basically a Charisma version of Tartarean Tomb, above. Its loses nearly half the initial damage potential in exchange for an explosion of darkness that blinds everything in a burst 2 when the creature makes its save. Which is a decent effect. Probably the best actual Dark Pact choice this level now; and actually gives a decent choice of attack power for the CHAlocks this level. (Though 'The Prince's Horde', below, is probably slightly better for damage potential)
Prince's Horde 1/9/7/8/2 Gah! More swarms of Fairies! This is, quite oddly, a Fey spell that focuses on raw firepower. Because the swarming cloud of fairies causes havoc all around, it basically continually deals ongoing damage in a burst 1. This also goes off as an effect, so the spell is still reasonably useful on a miss if its fired into a big mob. The central target is also so inunduated that they have to break through the net of fairies to attack anything, hence treating anything they attack as if it had concealment. Which is a decent lockdown effect to have on top.
Level 25 Vestiges
"Land's Soul" 8/8/10 Type: Defender and Leader Another one of those fairly rare Vestiges that is possibly worth considering to non-Binderlocks. The initial attack is very decent, and moreover, it slows the foe and gives you Regeneration 10, which is a fabulous free healing card that allows you to leave your surges at home. It is especially good if you can hinder a foe from saving against the Slowed condition.
Binderlocks get to benefit further from health buffing goodness, as their Pact Boon basically turns into a vampiric corpse explosion. This effect is only effective if you're in the midst of the fray, but this shouldn't be an issue since this power will be granting you alot of healing to compensate. What's more, Eye of the Vestige becomes a Combo setup power nearly as good as Strand of Fate. You will almost certainly impose a Vulnerable 8-12 with the hit; and the Sorcerer of the Party will love it if you pick their favoured energy (though the choices aren't really great for you, except maybe Fire).
Both this and the Queen of Namhar are fabulous choices this level. Its a very tough pick. Just go with your preferred theme (Striker/Controller or Defender/Leader).
"Queen of Namhar" 8/8/10 Type: Controller and Striker H-H-HOW MANY STATUS EFFECTS?!? FIVE!? The Warlock's idea of Horrid Wilting is plainly, simply, brutal.
Again, this is possibly worth considering for Non-Binderlocks. Good initial damage + some ongoing + weakening them as an aftereffect makes for a decent attack indeed. It also has a miss effect nearly as good as the hit.
Of course, it is massively superior, as usual, for the Binderlock. Whenever your Pact Boon goes off, you get to Daze the nearest cursed target. By this kind of level, you should have a good means to spread many curses around, so this is rather nasty. But more importantly, Eye of the Vestige also weakens as part of its effect. Making your At-Will Attack weaken stuff is pretty nice.
Both this and Lands Soul are fabulous choices this level. Its a very tough pick. Just go with your preferred theme (Striker/Controller or Defender/Leader).
Level 27 Encounters
:Shattering Sword/Curse of the Fey King*/Shattering Sword*/Inevitable Undercut*/Shattering Sword.
*CHA-locks are a bit boned this level. There's nothing 'wow' for them to take. So feel free to take nothing here.
Banish to the Void 5/3/7/2/5 Okay, so its madness in a tin. Which is fun, but unfortunately, by the time that you're level 27, I suspect you're gonna be fighting a greater proportion of solo's, so the fact it attacks the nearest target on its return might actually be a moot point. But, if you do happen to be fighting a good proportion of powerful mobs this level, then increase the rating by 2 for each.
Curses of the Fey King 1/7/4/5/1 Well, thats weird. Nicking a dice roll, if it happens to be a good one, could be nice. Similarily, however, if the GM rolls a 1, the secondary effect of this power is somewhat wasted. Because of this subjectivity, I seriously wonder about you picking this power, since its also a bit mediocre on the damage front. Again, however, Feylocks might be stuck with it.
Hellfire Curse 7/1/7/1/7 Wow, were they running out of ideas here, or something? Its a basic single target fireball...at level 27!? Though the fluff is black flames, which is fun. However, 5d10 is a decent amount of damage for an encounter power, and hilariously, this also does more damage than the Wizards Black flames (though that hits a big burst...sigh). Its just a shame it doesn't do anything interesting. Still, if you feel a pocket tactical nuclear device is just what you need, go ahead.
Inevitable Undercut 1/4/4/4/2 Level 27 is a fairly boring one for warlocks, and this does nothing to break the tradition. Its alright, simply because there's a good chance there to grab a +2 hit bonus (or +4 for a Boomlock). The damage is okay too, and its long ranged. However, its nothing spectacular. Grab it if you want accuracy.
Envoy of Nihal 3/7/7/7/3 Huh, a torrent of leeches? If you say so. Though its still not spectacular, this is probably the best power now available this level. 4D10 and the chance to spend a healing surge shouldn't be sniffed at for providing in battle healing. The Starlock gets to heal a smidgen extra, probably about 5-9 extra points, depending on how much CHA they have, but its not hugely significant.
Manipulating Thunderbolt 8/1/5/1/6 If...y-you'reeee happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you're happy and... Ahem. Actually, despite the whole 'you clap and a thunderbolt hits somebody' amusement of this power, its actually really not that great for this level. Admittedly, for Inferlocks ONLY, it sort of combines Harrowstorm with an Iron Spike of Dis, so its an alright choice for them (though they should REALLY consider Shattering Sword!). But its pretty poor for the others.
Shattering Sword 9.5/4/9.5/4/10 Holy Cranoodles. It stuns. Need I really say more? Well, this is quite literally a little version of everyones favourite 13 Baleful Stars, which, as a CON-lock, you probably picked up or considered picking up at 25th. The Binderlock gets to squeeze another 5-7 damage or so out of it too. Totally a great pick.
Soul of the Treant 2/7.5/6/6/2 You give the enemy a seizure, and they slap all their mates? At this kind of level, mob-destruction gets slightly less useful, really, and then the poor damage of this attack really begins to rear its ugly face. Although there is the benefit of isolating a target, frankly the ensnaring swordmage does that alot better. Despite everything, CHA-locks are still boned this level. There's really nothing worth their time.
Zutwa's Incandescence 8/2/7.5/2/8.5 Sounds suspiciously like a Cleric power to me. Blinding everything around you is certainly a tempting prospect, and this can probably hit more targets than Soul of the Treant, above, if positioned correctly. More interestingly, it hits Will and Binderlocks get to impose a save penalty, meaning this is a reasonable opening attack for them especially. If you really feel blinding a mob will give you more mileage than stunning a solo, go crazy.
Level 29 Dailies Curse of the Dark Delerium 2/10/7/8/2 And this would be the very pinnacle of the domination tree that started way back in level 5 with Crown of Madness. The GM basically cedes control of the foe targeted with this to you, but you lose its power list and it can't do anything suicidal. Again, whilst controlling Orcus or an Ancient Red Dragon sounds like fun, you have wonder whether there's anyone else in the room for them to batter. Still, combat practicalities aside, you ~can~ make the foe do a ballet dance across the room. That comedy value is worth the entry price alone, I guess. :D
[s]Ion Cannon Doom of Delbaan 10/3/10/3/10 The famous. Or infamous. This is the warlocks take on a GDI Ion Cannon. Only, yours isn't a single shot super weapon. Nah, it can BE SUSTAINED. Not to mention it can dance between targets, ripping the ground up into deep canyons as it burns the landscape with frozen, terrifying death. Yes, that was melodramatic, but hell, this power is just that awesome. It also gets more powerful EACH turn you sustain it. Of course, the catch is that a laser of this magnitude needs a power source. Sadly, this power source happens to be you. But, you can take 2d10 damage a turn, right? If not, it gives your cleric something to do. The only other possible issue is that Fort is the worst defence to target. But you still have Dark one's own luck, right? :D
Hurl through Hell 9.5/4/9.5/4/9 The top line of the banishment powers; this one sends the target off to [s]get tentacle raped in hell. You can also sustain the banishment (but not giving it extra damage in the process), and it technically does more initial damage than the Doom of Delbaan, so if you really feel your Starlock or Inferlock doesn't need a giant ion cannon, this is a totally solid and great alternative. It also stuns and targets Will, which in the eyes of some, is arguably better all around. Sadly, I just can't ~quite~ put it in front myself, because of the Doom's awesome sustain. But it certainly deserves a grand, epic, hello. Because of this, I've underlined both this and the doom as being the best for Starlocks and Feylocks this level.
One Final Sacrifice 0/0/0/0/0 How do you manage to screw up the most epic of epic powers? Look to the Dark Pact for inspiration, of course! Just NO. HOW DID THEY MANAGE TO MAKE THIS WORSE!? So, you guarantee 10 damage to all your allies for the chance to deal D12 extra! Thats like a 90% chance of net loss! And this assumes you're a Boomlock. Everyone else uses D8. Dear lord. Not only that, but the base damage is awful. This is the only power I'm giving zero's out for. It should not exist. Scribble over it in your book, you won't ever want it.
Spread the Corrosion 4/7/6/8/4 Just when I was about to give up all hope for the Dark Pact, however, this comes along in a last ditch attempt to restore its modesty. And...its alright, offering a respectable solution for killing tough mobs. It again requires you to run into the fray, but as per normal, this is nothing a teleport can't handle. But still, I do wonder how many mobs you'll be fighting at the pinnacle of epic; so I'd still only recommend this for Boomlocks not interested in the Curse of the Dark Delerium.
[s]Vile Elevator Music Caiphons Abominable Melody 4/8/9/8/4 (10) Did Orcus pack his "La-la-la, I'm not listening!" brand earplugs today? If not, this might give him a nasty surprise. This is a pretty damn nice power. Its not quite at the powerlevel of the Ion Cannon, true, but ye gads, the imposed conditions are enough to ruin someones day. Blinded, deafened, and slowed, each with seperate saves is pretty reasonable. And you know what? If you're a Doomsayer, this is a fear effect too! Hehe... Its a bit unfortunate that the echoes also hurt your allies, and that it still hits Fortitude (though with a +2). So I can't quite rate it on the same level as the Ion Cannon and Hurl through hell. But its still an excellent choice, especially for the Doomsayer.
But this might be a m00t point. As pointed out by Jordain_Vizier (somehow I missed it), this power also throws up an disgustingly broken shield, as part of its effect. This effectively prevents 55% of all damage coming your way, just through the use of this power. Until the end of the encounter! Now, personally, as a GM, I'd ban that part of effect for being a bit too ludicrous (along with all these other stupid immortality clauses that Martial Power has) but if your GM allows it, then this power rises to the score in brackets; and this power becomes possibly the only one you'd want to take.
This Arcane Power stuff is under construction! Please Wait!