I am writing this guide because I'm tired of seeing questions about "why does my warlock's damage suck?" and "what can I do to put out good damage as a warlock?" The fact that most warlock builds put out less damage than many non-strikers doesn't mean that warlocks can't be good strikers. Warlocks can be good strikers, but they need specialized builds to become good strikers. Because warlocks need specialized builds to do good damage, general guides don't serve the warlock class as well as they do for other strikers. This is where the current guide comes into play. If you are interested in more of the control aspects of the warlock, I highly recommend Malkonnen's excellent general guide to warlocks
This guide is going to first lay out the problem, then lay out the reasons for it, and then it will lay out solutions for the problem.
This Handbook will use the following system for ratings:
Red: A very weak choice, or one completely overshadowed by another.
Purple:A sub-par, situationally useful, or heavily build-specific choice.
Black: A middle of the road choice. Not bad, but not great either.
Blue: A very good choice.
Sky Blue: The optimal choice.
All ratings are based on damage. Other guides, such as Malkonnen's excellent guide, should be used if you want a more well-rounded treatment of the warlock class. I am very open to discussion, and am glad to add or reconsidering anything you guys find that I have overlooked.
This Handbook covers the following sources:
AP - Arcane Power
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV2 - Adventurer's Vault 2 (in progress)
DP - Divine Power
D### - Dragon Magazine, issue ###
DMG - Dungeon Master's Guide
DMG2 - Dungeon Master's Guide 2
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
MM - Monster Manual
MM2 - Monster Manual 2
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHH# - Player's Handbook Heroes - Series # (the cards in with the new miniatures line)
Cha'lock - A Warlock who focuses on Charisma for a primary stat including Fey Pact Warlocks, Dark Pact Warlocks, and some Star Pact Warlocks.
Con'lock - A Warlock who focuses on Constitution for a primary stat including Infernal Pact Warlocks, Vestige Pact Warlocks, and some Star Pact Warlocks.
Dark'lock - A Dark Pact Warlock.
DPR - Damage Per Round refers to the average damage you will do factoring chance to hit, average damage on a hit, miss and critical hit. The measuring stick for Strikers.
Star'lock - A Star Pact Warlock.
Fey'lock - A Fey Pact Warlock.
Hell'lock - An Infernal Pact Warlock.
Vestige'lock - A Vestige Pact Warlock.
DIS - An acronym for Dual Implement Spellcaster, a feat that will get referenced a lot.
AIP - An acronym for Arcane Implement Proficiency, a feat that will get referenced a lot.
THP- An acronym for temporary hit points, which are your friends.
I've seen this question asked many times, and the answer is complicated. If built and played like other classes, warlocks put out poor damage. Most classes by mid paragon play something like this: rounds 1 to 5 spend all four encounter powers, and maybe spend 1 daily. Rounds 5+ use at-wills. This means that for most classes, their damage is coming primarily from encounter powers, with at-wills and dailies supplementing their encounter powers. Let's compare a warlock to another single-target striker class whose damage is obvious: the barbarian. For this analysis, I'm going to exclude all magical items, all feats, and leave stats at optimized level 1 values.
The most damaging level 1 barbarian encounter power is Avalanche Strike, which does 3W+str+con (for Ragebloods). As barbarians use big 1d12 or 2d6 weapons and there are str and con races (like goliaths), this is typically 3d12+4+4= 27.5 damage.
Warlocks have no encounter power that can even match this damage until level 17, with Your Delectable Pain doing 4d8+ 2d6 (curse) +4 (charisma)= 29 damage. Yes, you read that right: the base damage of the most damaging warlock encounter powers doesn't even match the base damage of the most damaging level 1 barbarian encounter power UNTIL LEVEL 17.
In short, a warlock, if designed and played like other strikers, will be at least whole tier behind in damage.
Why does my warlock's damage suck?
There are three reasons why warlocks typically do less damage than other strikers
First, warlocks were designed with a large focus on control. So although they get the striker label, most builds are at least half controller. This focus on control, in part, accounts for the relatively poor damage output of warlock encounters and dailies.
Second, warlocks are primarily designed to be lurkers, unlike all other striker classes, which are all artillery (e.g., sorcerers), skirmishers (e.g., rogues) or brutes (e.g., barbarians). Lurkers are hard to kill because they're evasive. Lurkers also don't do as much damage as other strikers, making lurker fights long, drawn out affairs. This is of course, fine and dandy for monsters, but players are in a party, which might not be able to compensate for the long drawn out style that warlocks, as lurkers, were designed to use.
Lastly, warlock damage can suck because designing and playing a damaging warlock is much more complicated than with any other striker. Previous guides unfortunately haven't really helped a whole lot in this regard because they focused on optimizing the class in a straightforward way, like you would any other class. This approach, although sensible, puts a good deal of controller into a build, and doesn't adequately address the class-specific methods for making the warlock into a good striker.
The warlock class is subtle, complex, but very flexible. You can effectively use virtually every method that any other class gets to do good damage. However, before we get into the warlock features and specific strategies for making a damaging warlock, we need to address the four maxims that should be always in your mind when designing a warlock as a striker. These maxims highlight the overall differences that make good warlock damage effective.
Maxim 1: Warlock damage is in the at-wills
A warlock's damage doesn't rest in its encounter or daily powers like it does with most other classes. A warlock's damage rests in its at-will powers. Warlocks have a couple of very nice at-will powers, which will be discussed in great detail later. In contrast to other striker classes, warlock encounter and dailies are control-focused and do not put out very good damage. Therefore, warlock encounter and dailies are only situationally useful, and should be used to supplement a warlock's at-wills.
Maxim 2: Warlock damage is focused on one target
The warlock's main damage feature is the warlock curse, which adds 1d6 per tier the first time per turn a warlock hits a single cursed enemy. In addition, all of the warlock's at-wills only hit one target. Warlocks therefore have trouble doing significant damage to large groups of enemies, unlike their arcane striker cousin, the sorcerer.
Maxim 3: Pick one or more strategies for good damage and stick with it
Warlocks are highly flexible. However, unless you pick one or more specific strategies for good damage, you will become the typical low damage, some control warlock. These strategies will be detailed shortly. In addition, the strategies for good damage are different enough from each other that relatively few feats and items are good for all warlocks.
Maxim 4: Consider a hybrid class
Hybrid warlocks give up 3 class features (the pact boon, shadow walk, and point blank shot), and at least half their powers. However, you get a better skill list and can cherry pick your powers off out of both your classes. In addition, you can pick up t 1 of these 3 features back at level 1 through the hybrid talent feat, and you can pick up a pact boon (and another at will) at paragon tier through the two-fold pact feat. In short, you lose very little through a warlock hybrid that you can't pick back up through feats. In return you gain more damaging, more useful, and more flexible powers.
Warlock Baseline Mechanics
HP, Surges, and Proficiencies
Hit Points - 12 + Con score at 1st level; 5 at each level thereafter. Standard faire for strikers, but Con'locks will find that their Con focus makes them Blue as you get about the same benefit as the Toughness feat for free.
Healing Surges - 6 + Con modifier. Again standard faire for strikers, although Con focus counts even more here than for HPs, making them Sky Blueas they get the equivalent of the Durable feat several times over.
Proficiencies - You don't get anything fancy for weapons, but you don't need to swing a weapon to be a good striker. If you are swinging a weapon, you probably want a superior weapon anyway. As for armor, Leather may not seem particularly impressive, but talk to your arcane striker cousin, the Sorcerer, and he'll be glad to tell you how lucky you are to have it.
Defense Bonuses +1 Ref and Will is pretty standard.
Eldritch Blast - Kind of sad that having one of your at-wills chosen for you is a 'feature' per WotC, but at least it's a decent power considering that Basic Attacks are pretty easy to buff and you work well with Warlords or anyone else who gives out free basic attacks. Hybrids happily can lose this 'feature.'
Pact Boons - Sadly this is a flavorful, but mechanically weak feature. You get stronger as your cursed enemies fall (regardless of who deals the death blow!), but that means that the smaller the encounter the less benefit you gain to the point where with very few exceptions you get ZERO benefit from this in Solo fights. For the specific ratings of Pact Boons see below.
Prime Shot - This is your striker accuracy booster. It probably more effective for you than for an archery ranger since Shadow Walk encourages you to be mobile so you can afford to dash in for a quick shot every once in a while.
Shadow Walk - This may not look very impressive (since the errata'ed Stealth rules prevent you from using it to hide for the most part), but you have to remember that concealment is like a free +2 to all defenses all for the bargain basement price of moving at least 3 squares a turn. Shadow Walk also enables you to maintain the hidden state and also is required for some of the best warlock items.
Warlock's Curse - Unfortunately warlocks have a very run of the mill (if very flavorful) Striker damage booster ability. It works just like Hunter's Quarry but you aren't limited to just 1 active curse at a time. However for some reason WotC has denied you the d6 to d8 upgrade that Rangers and Rogues enjoy (barring a specific Rod enhancement).
Eldritch pacts are based on either constitution (which are for Con'Locks) or charisma (which are for Cha'locks).
Constitution-Based Eldritch Pacts
Con'lock overview:Con'Lock pacts allow you the use of the most damaging at-wills. Con'locks are among the toughest strikers and are definitely the toughest warlocks. This gives Con'locks a definite edge over Cha'locks in the striker game as Con'locks will draw more enemy attacks (due to superior at-wills) and can best handle the melee and close artillery builds.
Infernal Pact - Constitution based, pretty striker focused, unfortunately you tend towards targeting fortitude (the highest defense on average) and tend towards easy-to-resist fire damage
At-Will spell:Hellish Rebuke - This is the most strikerish at-will warlocks get and is one of the most damaging at-wills in the game against a single target. It also can serve as a defensive spell as it can discourage enemies from attacking you. Once you learn to trigger the secondary damage roll, Hellish Rebuke is a double hitting power that even adds your primary stat both times and the second attack automatically hits if the first does.
Pact Boon: Dark One's Blessing - Extra temporary hit points! This is a great pact boon for the infernal pact, as you need to take damage to trigger Hellish Rebuke. This would be better if it was actual healing rather than THPs, but it is a very strong pact boon for the pact where is pays to get pummeled. Make sure to curse a minion early in the fight if you want some THP before the end of the fight.
Star Pact - Unique in that this is both Constitution and Charisma based so you have to decide to either sacrifice your Intelligence (and thus AC, Reflex, and many rider effects) or sacrifice the diversity of your power selection. The star pact at-will is con-based, and most of the other powers are charisma based. This pact does however boast one of the best pact-based paragon paths: Student of Caiphon.
At-Will spell:Dire Radiance - A very similar power to Hellish Rebuke, with several things in its favor. It's radiant damage so it's great against undead. It's potentially a multiple damage power. However, it targets Fort and its trigger is very situational. It might make for a good combat opener, as that is when it is most likely you can force the target to trigger the extra damage. But be careful about who you target as the melee only foes often have high Fort defenses, and ranged foes are already within range when you attack. Like Hellish Rebuke above, this power is constitution based.
Pact Boon: Fate of the Void - This is many player's favorite pact boon, as it is very versatile and can add to your damage. Cumulative bonuses to an attack roll or saving throw are incredibly powerful, and for those unusual circumstances you can even use it for a skill/ability check. The only down side is that it is only usable on your next turn, so you can't use it right away, and you better hope you can next turn.
Vestige Pact - Another fully Con based Pact. This is a slightly unusual path with its variable pact boons and the At-Will buff from Dailies. Oddly enough, it gives the warlock a secondary in leader. It also is the only pact that gives a hybrid without the pact boon class feature potential benefits.
At-Will spell:Eyes of the Vestige - This is one of the most useful single-damage, ranged spells a warlock gets. Getting everyone cursed ASAP is one of your primary motivations as a Warlock as your power increases as every cursed foe dies, so being able to curse an extra target (who doesn't have to be the closest enemy to you!) is very potent. And being able to damage an already-cursed target allows you to kill a minor without wasting a valuable actions (as does the Rod of Reaving). In addition, you get to target Will and deal psychic damage, and get a variable upgrade on top of that! The default free save to an ally is pretty crappy since it requires that ally to hit that same target in order to trigger it (so it effectively requires 2 successful attack rolls to trigger). But the default automatic Prime Shot is pretty good, unfortunately as written it doesn't apply to your current attack only subsequent ones (though it does work well with Action Points!). The only down side here is the low actual damage. A very good choice a second or third at-will if Con based.
Pact Boon: King Elidyr/Zutwa - Once again the Leader-like effect is unimpressive for your role, but the boost of an extra +2 from Prime Shot is nice. Combine with the Eyes of the Vestige rider for extra fun! Not as potent or versatile as Fate of the Void, but your pact-specific daily spells upgrade this. Sadly, most of these daily spells are not spectacular.
Charisma based pacts
Cha'Lock Overview: The cha'lock pacts are by and large control focused. You can make some effective striker cha'locks, but they require a lot more work than con'locks to be effective as strikers. If you want to be an excellent striker, I would highly recommend con'lock over a cha'lock.
Dark Pact - Charisma based, boasts the 'best DPR' powers of the Cha'locks, but tends towards the very easy-to-resist damage types of poison and necrotic so you need someway of dealing with that limitation (such as through the Assassin feat Venom Hand Master).
At-Will spell:Spiteful Glamor - the power wouldn't be that bad if it weren't for the fact that you have to take Eldritch Blast with it. The good news is it does at least target will and deal psychic damage opening it up to the Psychic Lock feat upgrade and making it rarely subject to resistance.
Pact Boon: Darkspiral Aura - Here's the best part about being Dark Pact, you get an ability where you can punish enemies for attacking you. At low levels it's kind of weak and DMs frequently go out of their way not to trigger the Darkspiral Aura. It also is an immediate action the Darkspiral Aura, so you can't use it on your own turn or with White Lotus Master Riposte.
Fey Pact- Charisma based, very control focused even to the point of being hard to call a striker, fortunately you heavily tend towards targeting will (the lowest defense on average) and tend towards hard-to-resist and easy-to-buff psychic damage. This is a good control pact, but the worst pact for strikers. Gnomes can make the fey pact work at strikers levels however, but they really need to work at it.
At-Will spell:Eyebite - it is the weakest damage wise of all of the at-wills. It is however a good defensive spell against a single target. However, if you're trying to eyebite something to death, I'm fairly sure you're not the biggest threat to the monster.
Pact Boon: Misty Step - Free teleports are a lot of fun and can be very powerful, but unfortunately you really don't get to control when you use this so it's hard to rate very high.
Strength - A common dumpstat. Redundant with Con for Fort, and HP/surges are a lot more valuable than a melee basic attack. The main thing going for it are armor/shield proficiency and a few other feats that require a small Str investment. (Recommended Starting Score: 8-13, before racial adjustments)
Constitution - Primary for Hell'locks, Vestige'locks, and half of Star'lock powers, but useful for everyone. Adds HP, healing surges, and boosts some of your Utilities so it's much better than Strength for Charisma based Warlocks. But remember you need both if you want the armor upgrades. (Recommended Starting Score: 12-18, before racial adjustments)
Dexterity - Redundant with Int for Reflex/AC, but it does add to Initiative and some good skills, but probably the most important thing these days is the 13 Dex requirement for Dual Implement Spellcaster. (Recommended Starting Score: 10-13, before racial adjustments)
Intelligence - Your 'Secondary stat' regardless of your pact. However, intelligence riders are largely controller focused. Feel free to dump Int in favor of heavy armor and/or dex if you're going pure striker, dual stat starlock, or have a specific multiclass/hybrid build in mind (Recommended Starting Score: 10-16, before racial adjustments)
Wisdom - A very common dumpstat. Redundant with Charisma for Will defense, and your probably not going to be counted on for any Wis based skills. The only thing it really has going for it is that some feats require a little of it. (Recommended Starting Score: 8-13, before racial adjustments)
Charisma - Primaryfor Cha'locks and a potential dump stat for Con'locks. Boosts several of your skills, and boosts enough of your Utilities that even Con based locks will likely prefer this over Wisdom. (Recommended Starting Score: 10-18, before racial adjustments)
Dire Radiance (PHB) -A very similar power to Hellish Rebuke, with several things in its favor. It's radiant damage so it's great against undead. It's potentially a multiple damage power. However, it targets Fort and its trigger is very situational. It might make for a good combat opener, as that is when it is most likely you can force the target to trigger the extra damage. But be careful about who you target as the melee only foes often have high Fort defenses, and ranged foes are already within 10 squares when you attack (so move afterwards!). Like Hellish Rebuke above, this power is constitution based. Sadly WotC didn't think to give you the choice of basing this on Charisma instead of Constitution, so for star'locks who opted to ditch Con in favor of a Cha, this power is dead weight.
Eyes of the Vestige(AP) - A useful utility spell. Getting everyone cursed ASAP is one of your primary motivations as a Warlock as your power increases as every cursed foe dies, so being able to curse an extra target (who doesn't have to be the closest enemy to you!) is very potent. And being able to damage an already-cursed target allows you to kill minions quickly and get a nice pact boon early in the encounter. In addition, you get to target Will and deal psychic damage, and get a variable upgrade on top of that. The main down side is the low actual damage.
Hellish Rebuke (PHB) - This is one of the most damaging at-wills in the game against a single target. It also can serve as a defensive spell as it can discourage enemies from attacking you. Once you learn to trigger the secondary damage roll, Hellish Rebuke is a double hitting power that even adds your primary stat both times and the second attack automatically hits if the first does.
Eyebite(PHB) - a great defensive spell, but it puts out pathetic damage for a striker. Unless you're a gnome, an eladrin or want bards to make fun of you, pick something else.
Spiteful Glamor (FRPG) - the power wouldn't be that bad if it weren't for the fact that you have to take Eldritch Blast with it. The bad news is a conditional upgrade from d10 to d12 over Eldritch Blast is almost worthless. The good news is it does at least target will and deal psychic damage opening it up to the Psychic Lock feat upgrade and making it rarely subject to resistance.
Constitution or Charisma based-
Eldritch Blast (PHB) - Not that you get any choice with this one, but at least it isn't a terrible power to be stuck with. 1d10 damage is ok. Untyped damage means you don't have to worry about resistance, unless you admixture it. And counting as a Ranged Basic Attack means you work well with Warlords and can buff the hell out of this power with certain items and feats.
Eldritch Strike (PHH 1) - This is hot way to make a nice melee warlock, and there is a reason why this is the most poached warlock at-will by non-warlocks. 1W+con or cha +curse damage and a slide 1 makes this as damaging as the much loved Howling Strike, but with more control and utility. If you could swap Eldritch Blast for this it would be better. However, by RAW the only way to take this power is as a human, a hybrid, or as a Half-elf of a different class. Just make sure to pick up a pact weapon, take Arcane Implement Proficiency, or hybrid carefully (e.g., swordmage) to get an implement that can be used as a weapon.
There are eight basic strategies for making a damaging warlock, which are pretty much the same eight strategies that all strikers can use to do good damage.
Warlocks are one of the few classes that have even one at-will with multiple damage rolls. Warlocks actually have two at-wills with multiple damage rolls: Dire Radiance and Hellish Rebuke. Both of these powers have a trigger for the second damage roll. In addition, both of these powers are con-based, making multiple-damage rolls a con'lock strategy. As the at-wills are where a warlock's damage lies, con'locks have a consistent damage advantage over cha'locks by using this strategy. The trick with both Dire Radiance and Hellish Rebuke is getting them to trigger their secondary damage rolls consistently. Once you can consistently trigger a warlock's multi-damage powers, you simply need to pick feats, items, paragon paths, and an epic destiny that adds to damage rolls.
Dire Radiance's trigger relies completely on the enemy's actions, so your DM could deny it to you consistently. This makes Dire Radiance situationally useful at best.
Hellish Rebuke's trigger requires any sort of damage before the end of your next turn. So your enemy could trigger it, or you could trigger it. So you could use your temporary hit points from your pact boon to get beat on, and kill your enemies twice as fast.
Nice, certain RAW triggers for hellish rebuke
Bloodclaw weapons- Level 2+: especially good for warlocks with eldritch strike or hybrids
Soulfangs-Level 2+: can be useful, but do significant damage to yourself
Standing in a fire
Falling small distances
Sacrifice to Caiphon: Damage yourself when you miss with an encounter power using a dump stat
Bloodmage: Bolstering Blood Hurting yourself to hurt the enemy twice!
Student of Caiphon: Steps of the Purple Stair
Boots of Caiphan- Level 24: Useful, minor action power that can deal low damage to yourself.
Warlocks can be designed, like rogues, to rarely miss. This increases DPR because you're doing consistent, although not necessarily spectacular damage. You need to pick feats, items, paragon paths, and an epic destiny that adds to attack rolls. Starting with a natural 18 in your primary stat (preferably constitution) is a good start down this path. Conditional benefits such as Prime Shot and combat advantage also are important. Dragonborn, Gnomes, Humans, Half-Elves, and Tieflings have racial feat support that increases their accuracy. Revenants also can be from any of these races, so are similarly awesome.
Exploit Enemy Vulnerabilities
Warlocks can be designed to use vulnerabilities of enemies because warlocks can use a variety of elemental attacks. Every time you damage a foe with an element to which they're vulnerable, they take extra damage equal to that vulnerability. Therefore multi-damage powers combine very well with exploiting vulnerabilities.
Undead are typically vulnerable to radiant damage, and you have many radiant powers including the at-will Dire Radiance. In addition, the feat Lasting Frost can be used to create a vulnerability to cold. Due to awesome feat and item support,
In general, the more elements your at-will of choice can do the better, because this makes it more likely to hit a vulnerability. Dragonborn (and Revenant Dragonborn) have good feat (the breath feats) and item support (Rod of the Dragonborn), so they are the masters of this approach.
Avoid Enemy Resistances
Warlocks use many elemental attacks. Some enemies are resistant or immune to certain elements. For example, many undead are immune to poison.
One of the easiest method of avoiding resistances is to use powers with multiple energy types, preferably radiant or psychic. The enemy therefore needs resistance or immunity to all the elements to resist any of the damage. Just like with vulnerabilities, Dragonborn (and Revenant Dragonborn) have good feat (the breath feats) and item support (Rod of the Dragonborn), so they are the masters of this approach.
Another easy method of avoiding resistances is to look for feats that negate or counter resistances, such as Surging Flame and Venom Hand Master.
Resistances are multiplied in importance with multi-damage powers, as the enemy resists damage from each separate damage roll.
Critical hits are an important part of DPR. There are two aspects that could be optimized: 1) critical hit probability, and 2) critical hit damage. The most important aspect of these aspects is critical hit probability, because critical hit damage isn't important if you don't get criticals frequently.
The easiest and best way to increase critical hit probability is to take either the Student of Caiphon or the Daggermaster paragon paths, which give you the largest 18-20 consistent critical hit range. Another powerful way to increase melee critical hit probability is multiclassing into Avenger, which is useful only for melee warlocks. Using a multi-attack power, like twin strike, is also a great way of increasing the critical hit per turn probability.
Many different items, and some feats can increase critical hit damage. One of the best ways to increase critical hit damage is to use one of the many feats (e.g., Two Weapon Opening) or features (e.g., Punisher of the Gods) that grant additional attacks on a critical.
Using multiple attack powers is a method of increasing DPR that is typically used by rangers (against a single target) and sorcerers (against multiple targets). Warlocks have some area attacks in their encounter and daily powers. These attacks typically do not do much damage to each target, but spread a great deal of damage among several targets.
Several feats (e.g., Two Weapon Opening), items (e.g., Rending weapons) or features (e.g., Punisher of the Gods) grant additional attacks on a critical and are usable by at least some warlocks.
Hybrids can also be made to use encounters and/or daily powers in the same turn you are using warlock powers. This can be done by picking attack powers that require a minor action, a free action, or an immediate action. Rogues and rangers both are good hybrids that can utilize this approach to multi-attacking. This is a good strategy for a striker because warlock encounter powers produce little DPR, and these powers may allow you to get multiple striker features (e.g., curse, sneak attack, quarry) functioning in the same round.
Some melee warlocks may also poach Twin Strike (e.g., by the half-elf dilettante power), and then use the Bard feat Combat Virtuoso to attack with Charisma instead of strength or dexterity. Warlock can then deck themselves out like a ranger and be very respectable strikers.
Eldritch Strike is one of the most damaging at-wills usable on a charge in the game. For example, Eldritch Strike, with curse damage, puts out identical DPR to Howling Strike, which is a much touted barbarian at-will.
Another charging option for a non-hybrid warlocks is a normal basic attack. If you are a non-hybrid warlock with a good strength or have taken the feat Melee Training, a basic attack puts out as much damage as Eldritch Strike. This is because, as a normal warlock, you can apply curse damage on any hit you make. In contrast, hybrid warlocks don't have this luxury as they must use a warlock power to apply thier curse damage.
There are a ton of feats and items that increase charging damage, virtually all of which are usable by warlocks. In addition, warlocks have access to an at-will teleport at level 10, meaning they can easily charge each and every turn. In short, you can make Shaka's San Diego Supercharger into a warlock with little to no difficulty.
Many players like to borrow defender strategies to create lose-lose situations for enemies that increase DPR. Ideally the enemy is forced to do something not advantageous. For example, combining a paladin's Divine Challenge (through the MC feat or a paladin hybrid) and White Lotus Riposte or the Dark pact boon means that the enemy will take damage from you regardless of what it does. This increases your DPR.
Another use of the lose-lose situation is using the various riposte effects to encourage the enemy to attack someone else who isn't as big of threat (like most defenders). This also decreases the liklihood of getting nasty status effects, like stunned or dead, that would decrease your DPR.
Dragonborn - This race has such good features, feat support and item support that this race is awesome for any type of striker warlock, especially those who wish to put out solid DPR by exploiting enemy vulnerabilities and not ever missing. +2 Charisma is gold for Cha'locks, and potentially useful for Con'locks. +2 Strength is useful for armor and multi-class feats. Dragonbreath and the the bloodied attack bonus are both great on a Striker, especially for Con'locks. The bonus to surges is also tasty. The Draconic Spellcaster feat, Breath Admixture, Radiant Breath and the Rod of the Dragonborn makes Dragonborn warlocks a sight to behold.
Dwarf - The +2 Wisdom is a waste, but the +2 Con is gold for Chalocks, and all of the other features make you one tough-ass striker. Dwarves might want to get some heavy armor.
Eladrin- +2 Dex isn't bad as it helps your initiative and helps you easily qualify for Dual Implement Spellcaster. +2 Int is good for your rider effects, which help your control but not damage. The extra class skill is great (I recommend Stealth!), and the teleport is handy, but as a Warlock you have access to more teleporting powers than any other class so the racial is a waste. Not terrribly good strikers, except for feycharging hybrid warlock builds andthey make passablecharm specialists.
Elf- The stats are in the wrong places and the reroll can only go so far.
Half-Elf - Stat bonuses in the right place, and AWESOME feat support. Just remember to consider implements when selecting your Dilettante power!
Halfling - An ok Cha'lock race. +2 Dex isn't bad as it helps your initiative and helps you easily qualify for Dual Implement Spellcaster. The racial powers will make you a very difficult target, but Gnomes are better.
Human - Simply awesome. Humans can pick 1 extra warlock at will, and are the only race to have access to Eldritch Strike without being a hybrid. And they get +1 to all defenses, a bonus skill, and a bonus feat! They also have great racial feats.
Tiefling - Ironically they are more optimal as Cha'locks than Con'locks, but they can do well in any pact. The racial features are all strikerish and they have some great feats. Remember to grab the Hellfire Blood feat!
Races - PHB 2
Deva - The Wis is mostly useless, the +2 Int is great for riders, and you have Memory of a 1000 Life Times to make up for the lack of a Primary stat boost. Passable.
Gnome- Like Tieflings they have the perfect stats for Charisma based pacts and fluff-wise they are obvious picks for the Fey Pact. This makes them excellent controller warlocks. I highly recommend picking a background that lets you take Stealth as a class skill to get the most out of your racials though. Feyborn Charm is also very nice, but it's hard to compare with Dragonborn Cha'locks in the striker game.
Goliath - Better than Dwarves in a few ways as the Strength is probably more useful than Wisdom (armor and MCing).
Half-Orc- If you're interested in half-orc's, you want to be a half-elf with twin stike or a human with eldritch strike.
Shifter, Longtooth - Cool, but lacking.
Shifter, Razorclaw - Cool, but lacking.
Races - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
Drow (FRPG) - Good stats for Cha'locks and their features and feats are all Striker focused. Plus, the Dark Pact is made from drow.
Genasi (FRPG) - +2 Str can help with armor proficiencies, and +2 Int is great for the riders as always, but it's the feats and racial powers (especially Promise of Storm) that can make them not suck.
Races - Eberron Player's Guide
Changeling - Apparently the 'official' Doppelganger stats (since they have disappeared from the Compendium...), these guys get an extra +1 to Will, and a combat application of their shapeshifting and can choose to gain +2 Dex instead of Int, but of course you're gonna want Int. Sadly they are the least supported official race, with only two feats at the moment, keeping them as only passable striker warlocks.
Kalashtar - You get +2 to Cha, which is great for Cha'locks. The floating skill bonus is nice, telepathy means language isn't a barrier, and between Dual Soul and Bastion of Mental Clarity you are damn hard to hit with the worst status effects (except stun for some reason). If you plan on intimidating things, Kalashtar are the bomb.
Warforged - Yet another Str/Con race. Faster than dwarves, and can be just as tough.
Races - Dragon Magazine
Gnoll (D 367) - Good stats for a Con'lock, and the 7 speed can't hurt. They get a nice bonus to damage rolls when bloodied and are excellent for melee/charging hybrid builds.
Minotaur (D 369) - They'd be better if all of their feats and features weren't so heavily melee/charge focused, but they make good melee hybrids. Note: it looks like these guys are going to get a full write up in the upcoming PHB 3, which could really make them a contender.
Revenant (D376) - Simply an awesome race. Perfect flavor, and perfect stats for a Con'lock since the dex will help qualify for DIS and help out Initiative. Plus the ability to use another race's feats (e.g, dragonborn) can lead to some great combinations.
Shadar-Kai (D 372) - Due to good feat support, you can make some cool Shadar-Kai warlocks. But without a primary stat boost or anything boosting their accuracy, they're still only passable striker warlocks.
Githzerai (PHB3) - Cool, but not very well suited for Warlocks.
Races - Other
Bladeling (MOTP) - Like elves but with worse feat selection.
Bugbear (MM) - Decent melee hyrbids, but with no feat support.
Bullywug (MM2) - The stats are good for a Con'lock, but the only power they have is their aura which penalizes enemies for spending a healing surge--how often have you noticed a monster spend a surge? Yeah...
Doppelganger (MM) - Apparently they have been replaced by Changeling as of the EPG release, so see above.
Duergar (MM2) - Same stats as Dwarves but they trade their goodies for high damage, but very inaccurate racial power, darkvision, and an extra language (and extra speed but they lose the heavy armor affinity). Personally I'd stick with the Dwarf unless they give the racial power an extra +2 to hit like Minotaur's or change it to target Reflex.
Githyanki (MM) - The only Con and Int race. Great race for Con'locks, but a lack of feats hurts. Awesome warlock|swordmage hybrids
Goblin (MM) - Passable Cha'locks.
Hobgoblin (MM) - Passable
Kenku (MM2) - Good stats for a Cha'lock. Pick up some Razordark Bracers and go to town.
Kobold (MM) - They just cry out for the Mark of Passage. Good Con'locks. Expect them to jump to Sky Blue if/when Dragon gets to them.
Orc(MM) - Yet another Str/Con race, and this one has no racial feats and the racial power is Strength based.