CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook

CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook

by elmoradin, Feb 10,2011
Guides: [[Dnd:CharOp/Index_of_Class_Guides|Index]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Defenders|Defenders]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Leaders|Leaders]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Strikers|Strikers]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers|Controllers]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Hybrids|Hybrids]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Race_Guides|Races]]
Controllers: [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Druid|Druid]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Invoker|Invoker]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Psion|Psion]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Seeker|Seeker]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Wizard|Wizard]]
Handbook: Intro | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook/Basics|Basics]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook/Races|Races]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook/Abilities|Abilities]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook/Skills |Skills]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook/Faiths|Faiths]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook/Powers|Powers]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook/Feats|Feats]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook/Paragon_Paths|Paragon Paths]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook/Epic_Destinies|Epic Destinies]] | [[Dnd:CharOp/Controllers/Invoker/Handbook/Items|Items]]

The Whole Duty of Man - The Invoker Handbook


Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. - Ecclesiastes 12:13



Gandalf and the Balrog II, by John Howe


Invokers are a divine ranged controller class introduced in Player's Handbook 2. They do three things well: they toss out large AOEs, they stunlock, and they help enable nova turns. Most builds will concentrate on some subset of these, but most invoker builds can do more than one at once. The only downside to this versatility is that these specialties are not immediately apparent. It's easy to flounder around taking random abilities and not actually making a build... or worse, you could fall into one of the trap "strategies" built into the class, like trying to make a build focusing on the class's defensive and healing abilities.


Invokers are the AOE kings. It's easily possible to make an invoker who is always attacking two or more targets as long as there are two or more targets to be attacked. Every level of dailies and encounters has at least two AOE powers you'd actually want to use, invokers have more multitarget at-will powers than single-target at-wills, and many invoker AOEs (particularly at Paragon and Epic levels) are ally-friendly. While they don't get arcane AOE support like Enlarge Spell or Destructive Wizardry, all three divine covenants do get a special ability that benefits AOE encounter and daily powers. The invoker's profusion of multitarget abilities also lends itself well to stacking rider effects, like Mark of Storm's profusion of slides and the Morninglord paragon path's Burning Radiance radiant vulnerability.


Invokers can stunlock passably, if not as well as wizards. Stunlock invokers have suffered from the various nerfs of items like Phrenic Crown and Earthroot Staff, and they never could use any of the arcane save penalty tools like Spell Focus or the illusion support. However, invokers do frequently get inherent save penalties in their powers starting around paragon, and they get some unique save penalty tools like the Sea/Tyranny domains and the Hammer of Vengeance and Adept of Whispers paragon paths. Invokers can make use of these save penalties to remove multiple dangerous foes, as each level of dailies tends to have at least one AOE save-ends effect that completely removes affected enemies from the fight (stun, blindness, etc.)


Invokers also mix a bit of leader into their controller. Invokers powers often come with large boosts to party members, either by applying defensive penalties (like reduced AC or added damage vulnerability) to enemies or simply by applying buffs to allies. Covenant of Wrath invokers, in particular, get a number of abilities that have con-based ally-buffing kickers. In fact, until Rain of Blood was errataed they were infamous for doing so. While any wrathvoker can do this decently simply by picking the right powers, a whole party built around radiant damage can accomplish amazing nova turns, as invokers can make use of many different sources of radiant vulnerability (particularly Morninglord from FRPG and Solar Enemy and Power of the Sun from Divine Power). A ranger will happily offhand a Sunblade or Radiant weapon (both from AV) if you tell him that you're going to give him +20 damage on every hit for a turn every fight.


Invokers also get a little bit of the other half of the healer role: defensive and healer mojo, particularly in the form of group-benefiting zones. (Many Covenant of Preservation kickers focus on this subspecialty.) You can also pinch a defender-ish schtick: conditional abilities that punish enemies for taking certain sorts of actions, typically for attacking a party member. Feel free to sink some utility powers into group-buffing or temporary-HP-generating zones, but don't get carried away. Not only does a full leader or full defender do either job more effectively than an invoker ever will, but it's easy to spend actions and resources on defensive abilities, dragging out the fight. By playing to your strengths, fights are shorter, less risky, and more exciting.


Invokers don't do some typical controller things well. In particular, you're playing a bit more reactively than other controllers, since you can't fill up the battlefield the way a wizard or druid can. Your conjurations and zones are often weak, hard-to-use, immobile, or several of those at once. To make up for this, many invokers take advantage of "chessmaster" repositioning abilities to get that big disabling AOE effect off without blasting the party into oblivion, or ally-friendly effects, to simply curtain the ongoing battle with damage and buffs/debuffs.


Invokers get big effects that wreck enemies and enable the rest of the party to wreck enemies. Just don't expect to be doing wizard-class damage on your own, or to be able to mix it up the way a druid can. Focus on always hitting some guys instead of one guy and everyone instead of some guys, and try not to blast the ranger too often. It's not his fault he was standing there... after all, you did tempt him with +20 damage per hit.


Right, first things first. We've all seen one of lordduskblade's guides, or one of the many guides that poached his format. This is another one of the latter. I don't go in for quite as many rating levels, and note that I won't be rating anything that isn't an actual choice. You don't need me to tell you that Rebuke Undead is really useful for harming undead. I also don't go in for gold ratings; other than a few feat tax feats, controller options tend to be situational and build-reliant.


Ratings:
Red: You probably don't want this. This option is either uncommonly weak or actively harmful to most builds, and generally you will be best off avoiding these choices. Choices with zero synergy whatsoever with invokers will typically be omitted entirely.
Black: This is a situationally useful choice. Perhaps it's power-neutral, perhaps it's situationally useful but comes at an opportunity cost, perhaps it's just boring.
Blue: A solid choice. This will almost always make you appreciably better.
Sky Blue: These are choices which fit into nearly any build. Some of them are so strong that you'll want to structure the entire build around them.
Gold: This is reserved for feat taxes (i.e. feats that directly compensate for leveling monster stats).

Sources "mbSBlockBtn" id"sBlockBtn1"> Show
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
DDM - Power cards packed in with Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures packs
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
HotFK - Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
HotFL - Heroes of the Fallen Lands
MM - Monster Manual
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
MP2 - Martial Power 2
AP - Arcane Power
DP - Divine Power
PP - Primal Power
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHR - Player's Handbook Races


Terminology "mbSBlockBtn" id"sBlockBtn2"> Show
Dumpster-diving - The process of digging through many books (or articles or issues of Dragon or whatever) to look for the One True Feat/Power/Paragon Path/item/whatever that will make your character work. Basically, the work involved in writing these guides. Frostcheese - The combination of Frost weapons, the Wintertouched feat, and the Lasting Frost feat, all from PHB. This effect turns all of your attacks into cold-typed attacks, gives any enemy you hit vulnerability 5 to cold, and gives you combat advantage against any enemy vulnerable to cold. Generally, this is not a tactic that invokers will use as their main strategy.
Kicker - An extra ability or effect attached to some other ability or power. An extra effect based on a intelligence would be an "int-based kicker", whereas a Covenant of Preservation-only extra would be a "presevoker kicker." Murder Pinball - The tactic of creating damaging zones, then moving enemies in and out of them to deal damage many times. Zones which deal damage when they are entered and/or left can be used for murder pinball, but zones which deal damage at other times (such as at the start or end of the creator's or target's turn) cannot.
Radiant Mafia - A party built around conditional radiant powers, particularly the Morninglord (FRPG) paragon path's ability to inflict vulnerability 10 to radiant damage on enemies. Characters use Radiant weapons (PHB) and radiant-typed powers to make the most of this.
Stunlock - The tactic of debuffing enemies such that they cannot take any useful actions. In particular, the tactic of applying a condition like stunned or immobilized, then stacking save penalties so that enemies never lose that condition.


Contributors