Thaumaturge’s Time To Shine: A Complete Guide

by katamaster818 on March 2, 2016
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Thaumaturge’s Time To Shine: A Complete Guide

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Disclaimer: This build is going to be a constant work in progress. Don’t be surprised if things change, by no means is this finished. A lot of the time, I’m going off of my memory when I write this, so there may be a few small errors. Please let me know if you catch any and I will correct them as soon as I can. I’m also trying to push this guide out before I lose my motivation, so I’m going to be rather vague in some sections, hopefully, assuming I’m still motivated after posting this, I’ll finish those up and add more detail and explanation. If you specifically ask for it, I’ll probably do it. My apologies for the formatting, I posted this guide on the arcgames forums originally, and the formatting didn’t transfer very well.

Table of Contents:

  1. Race
  2. Stat Rolls
  3. Paragons and Feats
    • Heroic Feats
    • Paragon Feats
  4. Boons
  5. Powers and Rotations
  6. I Just Hit Level 70! Now what?
    • Gearing Up
  7. Endgame Gear
    • Gear
    • Rings
    • The High Vizier Set
    • Artifact Equipment
    • Artifacts
  8. Companions
    • Augment vs. Bonding
    • Filling the Other 4 Companion Slots
  9. Enchantments
    • Offensive Enchantments
    • Defensive Enchantments
    • Weapon and Armor Enchantments
  10. Earning AD
    • Generating rAD
    • Earning AD
  11. Other Resources
  12. Acknowledgements


For this build, I’d recommend either rolling a Dragonborn, Human, or Tiefling toon. Humans offer additional feat points, while Tiefling and Dragonborn allow you to really maximize your crit. This is not necessary – My CW is a half-elf, because I liked the look of it. It does not have a huge impact on the overall effectiveness of this build.


Initial Stat Rolls:

I’m going to keep this simple for now, I’ll elaborate more at a later point in time – Try to get the highest Intelligence and Charisma roll as possible. Intelligence provides damage, charisma provides crit.

Here’s a list of all possible ability score rolls: http://neverwinter.gamepedia.com/Ability_Score_Rolling

Paragons and Feats:

First, I’ll give you a screenshot of my current spec, then I’ll elaborate on why I chose each feat.

Heroic Feats:

Toughness – I chose this feat because in the grand scheme of things, I plan to be wearing the HV set full time while I play, and I’m going to need to every damn drop of HP I can get in order to survive. However, even if you aren’t using the HV set, I would advise that you take this feat anyways as 9% increase to maximum HP is pretty nice.

Weapon Mastery – CW’s are extremely dependent on crit, as Storm Spell provides such a large chunk of our damage. 3% additional crit chance, there’s no question about it, take it!

Wizard’s Wrath – Additional 3% AoE damage, far better than Battlewise, and I’m not as concerned with reducing encounter cooldowns (Fight On) thanks to spell twisting, so I’d say this is definitely the best option in it’s tier.

Fight On (3/5) – This is the second best option in its tier, and reducing cooldowns on encounter isn’t bad, so I put enough points to progress to the next tier into this one.

Blighting Power – Additional 6% damage done when using cold powers against targets that have chill applied. Since we’re going to be using 2 cold encounters, and an at-will that is a cold encounter, this feat is worth taking for sure.

Focused Wizardry – I’ll admit it, I was a doubter at first when it came to this feat, but some of my friends have since convinced me otherwise. 10% AoE damage reduction, but 30% increase in damage for single target skills. My logic is that I don’t need that extra 10% damage against trash mobs that die within seconds, but a 30% increase in single target powers, which I use against bosses – That’s going to make quite a difference.

Paragon Feats:

Tempest Magic and Malevolent Surge – Both of these feats offered increase damage, and occur/proc quite often in combat. They’re better than both the feats in the next tier, so I would recommend you take both of them.

Spell Twisting – This is one of the most important feats in this build, you’d better take it! It effectively reduces all of your encounter cooldowns by 30%.

Frozen Power Transfer OR Elemental Reinforcement – This was a tough decision for me. Both of these feats are good, and with my rota, I’d get 15% bonus damage pretty consistently from either of these. However, I found that Elemental Reinforcement performed better in short, AoE situations, whereas Frozen Power Transfer performed best in single target/boss/dragon situations. Really, this is a matter of personal preference. [Note: At the moment, it seems as though Frozen Power Transfer is bugged, and cannot stack. Elemental Reinforcement will perform better until this is fixed. Next time I respec I will be switching this feat as well]

Elemental Empowerment – You’re going to be dealing a lot of cold damage with this build, and this feat procs off of cold damage, so why not take it! It does a substantial amount of damage when it procs, I’d say it is worth it.

Assailing Force – Thaum capstone, need I explain further? According to my ACT parses, it contributes about 9% of my damage

Bitter Cold – Your target will pretty much ALWAYS have a stack of chill on it, so this feat is an extra 6% damage.

Chilling Control OR Severe Reaction – I’m not a huge fan of either of the feats available here, but these two seemed to at least offer SOMETHING positive to my build. Chilling Control is better for those who are worried about the minor repel caused by Severe Reaction. Severe Reaction can be handy for its AP gain, but it does have a minor repel effect on enemies that strike you. However, this effect is minimal because mobs have so much CC immunity in dungeons.

Icy Veins – Finally, the other most important feat in this build. Icy veins grants you an insane amount of control. Basically, whenever you use an encounter, all of the enemies around you recieve 5 stacks of chill, which is one stack short of freezing them. If used with CoI or IT, it’s basically an insta-freeze.


Powers and Rotations:

I find these three rotations to work very well in PVE content with multiple enemies. I use the first one most often.

Encounters: Icy Terrain, Steal Time, Disintegrate
Spell Mastery: Conduit of Ice
Dailies: Oppressive Force, Icy Knife
Class Feat: EotS/Chilling Presence (depends on your crit chance), Storm Spell

Encounters: Icy Terrain, Steal Time, Sudden Storm
Spell Mastery: Conduit of Ice
Dailies: Oppressive Force, Icy Knife
Class Feat: EotS/Chilling Presence (depends on your crit chance), Storm Spell

Encounters: Icy Terrain, Steal Time, Conduit of Ice
Spell Mastery: Chill Strike
Dailies: Oppressive Force, Icy Knife
Class Feat: EotS/Chilling Presence (depends on your crit chance), Storm Spell

When in single target scenarios, such as boss battles, demogorgon p2 and p3, dragon runs, tiamat head phases, I will sometimes use the following rotation. Recently, I’ve been veering away from switching rotations as I really don’t notice much change in damage, but I’ll keep this here anyways:

Encounters: Conduit of Ice, Ray of Enfeeblement, Disintegrate
Spell Mastery: Chill Strike or Icy Rays
Dailies: Oppressive Force, Icy Knife
Class Feat: EotS/Chilling Presence (depends on your crit chance), Storm Spell

When I have the High Vizier set equipped, I’ll often use this rotation to keep 3 stacks of debuff up on my enemy at all time.

Encounters: Icy Terrain, Steal Time, Disintegrate
Spell Mastery: Chill Strike
Dailies: Oppressive Force, Icy Knife
Class Feat: EotS/Chilling Presence (depends on your crit chance), Storm Spell

I just hit level 70! I’ve specced to the feats and powers above! But now what?!?

Congratulations! You’ve gotten through the most horrible 10 levels in the game! You’ve now made it through the hell the Module 6 brought upon us! (or at least the first part of it :D). Now, my objective is to get your IL over 2k, so you can run most of the content offered. Eventually, you should aim to at least break 2.5k IL so that you can run epic demogorgon. Below I’ll detail a few tips and tricks to get you to 2k, and later, 2.5k.

Gearing up:

First things first: If you don’t have all level 70 blue gear or better, open up the AH, and buy some cheap rares with good stats. Typically, I find that the “Cruel“, “Smiting“, and “Vicious” prefixes have the best stats. Look for gear with Power, Critical Strike, Armor Penetration, and if you want, Hit Points. Make sure that the gear you buy has an enchantment slot. This will give you decent enough stats to get some t1/t2/t2+ gear.

Next, as soon as possible, buy the following two pieces of gear from the auction house:

  • Golden Belt of Puissance
  • Lostmauth’s Hoard Necklace

There are multiple easy ways to get some basic IL 115+ gear (T1) once you hit level 70. If there are two options offered, the reason is most likely because one has armor penetration, and one does not – If you are not using a bonding companion and your arpen is under 6k, choose the option with armor penetration. If you are using a bonding companion, I’d say that 5k arpen is enough

  • Seals of Elements – These seals drop in all dungeons and from guild dragonflight runs. They can be used to purchase decent T1 gear from the seal vendor in the marketplace of Protectors Enclave. If you are going to take this route, here is the gear I’d recommend you buy – I selected these solely based upon their stats:
    1. Alliance Assault Cap
    2. Alliance Assault Armlets
    3. Alliance Raid Robes
    4. Alliance Raid Shoes
    5. Alliance Assault Ring
  • Stronghold T1 Gear – This is bought with guild marks, earned by donating currency, gear, AD, gold, vouchers, gems, and other resources to the guild coffer. This does require a guild with a rank 2 marketplace (rank 4 guild hall).
    1. Guild Raid/Assault Cap
    2. Guild Raid/Assault Robes
    3. Guild Raid Armlets
    4. Guild Raid/Assault Shoes
    5. Guild Assault Ring

Endgame Gear

Now that we’ve got this gear sorted out, we can proceed on to our endgame gear setup! There are a lot of options, which will seem strange to players that haven’t played this game since the launch of Module 6:Elemental Evil. Sets no longer have amazing bonuses such as High Vizier and Shadow Weaver. Now, you choose your gear purely based upon stats. That means that there are a lot of viable options – I’ll cover as many as I can here, but I’m bound to miss a few – Just because a piece of equipment isn’t listed here doesn’t mean that it won’t work with this build.

For now, I’m going to scroll through collections and list which pieces of gear that have a decent stat distribution. Some will be better than others, however, every single item in this list will not work for you. I didn’t write this guide so that everyone could copy my character with the exact same set and gear that I use. My goal is to educate my audience so that they have enough knowledge about stat distribution in regards to the CW class so that they can effectively gear their character both in this module and those to come. When listing gear, I may not list the reinforced version that is crafted with black ice shaping, in order to save space and time. In my mind, the ideal gear will have +Power, +Crit, +Arp, and +HP. However, this doesn’t exist, to my knowledge. The best combination of stats that I know of is +Power, +Crit, +Defense, +HP. Once your artifacts and artifact equipment are at a high enough rank, armor penetration shouldn’t be a huge issue.

Elemental Alliance Gear: This gear drops in T2 dungeons, and can also be crafted in black ice shaping

  1. Elemental Alliance Assault Cap (Power, Arp, Defense)
  2. Elemental Alliance Assault Armlets (Power, Arp, Defense)

Elemental Raid Gear: This gear drops in T2 dungeons, and can also be crafted in black ice shaping

  1. Elemental Alliance Raid Robes (Power, Crit, Defense)
  2. Elemental Alliance Raid Shoes (Power, Crit, Defense)
  3. Elemental Alliance Assault Ring (Power, Crit)

Elven Assault: This set is purchased with seals of the protector

  1. Elven Assault Cap (Crit, Arp, Defense)
  2. Elven Assault Robes (Crit, Arp, Defense)
  3. Elven Assault Armlets (Power, Arp, Defense)
  4. Elven Assault Shoes (Crit, Arp, Defense)

Elven Raid: This is purchased with seals of the protector

  1. Elven Raid Cap (Power, Crit, Defense)
  2. Elven Raid Armlets (Power, Crit, Defense)

Dragonflight Assault Armor: This set has a set bonus that provides +2000 HP is two pieces are worn, and an additional +500 power if three pieces are worn. It should be noted that both pieces from the Assault and Raid dragonflight sets count towards the set bonus, so you can mix and match between the two.

  1. Dragonflight Assault Cap (Crit, Arp, Defense)
  2. Dragonflight Assault Armlets (Crit, Arp, Defense)
  3. Dragonflight Assault Ring (Crit, Arp)

Dragonflight Raid Armor: This set has a set bonus that provides +2000 HP is two pieces are worn, and an additional +500 power if three pieces are worn. It should be noted that both pieces from the Assault and Raid dragonflight sets count towards the set bonus, so you can mix and match between the two.

  1. Dragonflight Raid Armlets (Power, Crit, Defense)

Drowcraft Armor: [insert set bonus]

  1. Drowcraft Shoes (Power, Arp, Defense)
  2. Elemental Drowcraft Raid Cap (Power, Crit, Defense)
  3. Elemental Drowcraft Raid Robes (Power, Crit, Defense)
  4. Elemental Drowcraft Raid Shoes (Power, Crit, Defense)
  5. Elemental Drowcraft Assault Cap (Crit, Arp, Defense)
  6. Elemental Drowcraft Assault Robes (Power, Arp, Defense)
  7. Elemental Drowcraft Assault Shoes (Crit, Arp, Defense)
  8. Drowcraft Assault Ring (Crit, Arp)

Dusk Armor: [insert set bonus]

  1. Dusk Raid Robes (Power, Crit, Defense)
  2. Dusk Raid Armlets (Power, Crit, Defense)
  3. Dusk Assault Cap (Crit, Arp, Defense)
  4. Dusk Assault Armlets (Crit, Arp, Defense)

Also worth noting are the fadeless walkers that drop from stronghold major encounters [insert picture of tooltip]

My ideal setup would be Elemental Drowcraft Raid Cap, Elemental Drowcraft Raid Shoes, Dusk Raid Robes, Dusk Raid Armlets. All four of these pieces have Power, Crit, and Defense as the three primary stats. I’m not wearing that though, as I don’t have high ranking brutal enchants, I still need a couple pieces of gear that have arpen on them. PC players, you can see my char with this link if you sign into gateway: http://gateway.playneverwinter.com/#char(Erza%[email protected])/charactersheet

(I have an additional 7k power and 4k defense in game due to stronghold boons, those don’t show up on gateway. I’m also an old-school player, and still need to replace some of my radiant enchants with azure or brutals :P).


When it comes to rings, there are a lot more options as to what you can use.

  • Personalized Adamant Ring of Piercing
  • Personalized Adamant Ring of Recovery
  • Ring of Rising Power +4 or +5
  • Ring of Rising Precision +4 or +5
  • Ring of Brutality +4 or +5
  • Band of Loathing

The High Vizier Set

The High Vizier set is a legacy set that dropped in T2 dungeons prior to the release of Module 6. It requires level 60 to equip it. What makes this set so good is not its stats, but its 4 piece set bonus. A CW that uses this set properly can debuff an enemy by 30%. This is a huge boost to damage. Obtaining this set is extremely expensive – as the set hasn’t dropped for almost an entire year, it can be extremely hard to acquire if you did not already own the completed set prior to module 6. Your best bet at finding one of these is the AH, or more likely, trading with a veteran player. If you are going to use this set, make sure that your rotation contains at least a couple of encounters that proc the set bonus. Wearing this set will make you squishy, I wouldn’t recommend wearing it without a tank or healer in the party. The most effective thing to use with this set would be the stronghold HP boon, as that would provide an additional 24k HP, practically increasing your HP by 40%.

The High Vizier Set was (unfortunately) crippled by the release of module 10.5 – They removed the set bonus of this set, along with all other legacy (pre-mod 6) sets.

Artifact Equipment

As of right now, while there is quite a variety of artifact gear sets out there, a few of them outshine the others in regards to damage for this build. Here’s the Artifact Equipment I would recommend:

  • Golden Belt of Puissance OR Belt of Valindra’s Guard
  • Lostmauth’s Hoard Necklace
  • Twisted Skulls
  • Twisted Talisman


There are a ton of good artifacts for a control wizard. A lot of it depends on your budget, what alts you have, and what your current stat distribution is. There are two artifacts I would recommend using for their in-combat powers:

  • Sigil of the Devoted Cleric: This artifact is useful because it rapidly refills your action points. Our most powerful attack in combat is generally oppressive force (OF), our daily. It deals a ton of damage, hits a whole lot of targets at once, offers a ton of chances to proc storm spell, and has a quick cast. The DC sigil lets us use this power far more often, greatly increasing our DPS.
  • Wheel of Elements: This is commonly used by many other classes, and the reason is simple. The fire bonus from this artifact greatly boosts DPS by 30% for 30 seconds, with a 60 second cooldown when fully upgraded. If you remember to use it consistently, that’s about an additional 15% damage. I believe this artifact might have a slight edge over the DC sigil, however, it’s a matter of both budget and personal preference.

Before we start choosing the rest of our artifacts, there’s one other thing we have to consider: Artifact Sets. My build utilizes the lostmauth set. I would highly recommend that you use a Lostmauth’s Horn of Blasting as another one of the 4 artifacts you can slot at level 70.  Since the nerf to the lostmauth set, it is no longer a necessary component of this build. While it is still quite viable as its stats are nice, it’s not worth ruling out, and if you wish, you can use it to complete the set anyways.

That leaves two more slots for artifacts chosen based purely on their stats. Here’s just a few of the artifacts that will work well with my build. Some of these will work well for you, some may not. Personally, I use the Lantern of Revelation and the Sigil of the Controller, as I prefer the critical strike on my artifacts. I’ll explain how to choose which artifact is best for you when we get to the section of this guide dedicating to stat distribution.: (These artifacts were listed off of the top of my head, let me know if you think I missed anything, I’ll go through the collections page to double check at some point this week)

  • Lantern of Revelation
  • Sigil of the Controller
  • Sigil of the Great Weapon
  • Heart of the Blue Dragon
  • Horn of Valhalla
  • Kessel’s Spheres of Annihilation
  • Shard of Valindra’s Crown
  • Thayan Book of The Dead
  • Tiamat’s Orb of Majesty


Companions are probably the most customizable part of this build. It all depends on your budget – you can blow 10 million AD on companions, or spend 500k. Will there be a difference between the two? Of course! However, it’s not gamebreaking, probably more like a measly 5-10% damage NOT including the augment/bonding companion I’ll be discussing first.

Augment or Bonding Companion? What’s the difference, and how do I choose?

Currently, there are two mainstream options for your summoned companion. Augment companions, and bonding companions. Augment companions add all of their stats to those of their summoner – it’s basically an extra 3 gear slots and 3 runestone slots that apply to your character. They cannot engage in combat, and cannot attract any aggro. There are quite a few different augments out there, some are cheaper than others. Bonding Companions are summoned companions with bonding runestones placed in the runestone slots. Bonding runestones offer a chance for a percent of the companions stats to be added to those of the summoner whenever the companion uses a power. The percentage of stats gained varies by the rank of the bonding runestone.

Now, both of these options have their own pros and cons. Augments companions are extremely consistent – you’ll always get the exact same amount of stats from it, and they never attract aggro. Bonding companions will cause your stats to jump around, sometimes you might not be getting any of your companions stats, and other times, you’ll be getting 285% of your companions stats. They can also attract aggro.

So that leads us to the question: Which of these options is right for you? I’d say it’s a matter of budget. In order to get better returns from the bonding companion than the augment, you need to have at least 3 greater bondings, if not perfect or better. If you cannot afford that – go with the augment, you’ll get more out of it.

Here’s a list of companions I’d recommend you use as a bonding companion. They are all very good at proccing bonding stones often, and most of them have useful active bonuses as well.

  1. Lightfoot Thief (note: Active Bonus does not currently work at all).
  2. Shadow Demon
  3. Blink Dog
  4. Zhentarim Warlock

Now, pretty much all augments are good, but generally, the best ones will have two offensive runestone slots, and one defensive slot. This will allow you to put a high ranking Eldritch slot in the defense slot, providing you with more stats overall. I’ll talk more about gear and stuff for augments when I get the rest of this guide done!

What gear do I put on my augment/bonding companion?

Companions have unique gear that can actually have better stats and more enchantment slots than some of the gear wearable by players. This gear is obtained through two main sources – Sword Coast Adventures (Gateway), and the major heroic encounters in your guilds stronghold. The gear that drops through SCA is almost always better, but some of the pieces tend to be rather expensive. Most of the time, you can find a cheaper version of the item in the auction house that has one different stat than the one I recommend here. The best companion gear for a companion is the _____ of the loyal avenger (fill the blank with necklace, ring, talisman, whatever slot you are filling). This item will provide power, crit, and arp, and has both an offense slot and a defense slot. Other than the ring and belt, they are pretty cheap on the AH, the ring and belt tend to fluctuate in price a bit more. I think the belt is cheaper than the ring.

Filling the other four companion slots:

Once again, this part is entirely dependent on your budget and your playstyle – choose what fits you best!

Here’s a few of the companions I would consider to be decent enough to equip for their active bonus. Some are better than others, some only become effective once upgraded, and others might only work for certain playstyles. This list is definitely not all-inclusive – if you have a question about any that I have not listed here, please ask – if it’s decent I’ll add it to this list! (* before companion means I have not personally tested them, or had someone I trust test it for me). [Note, I’m aware a lot of the colors are wrong, I’m gonna fix it ASAP]

  • Cambion Magus – provides additional critical severity
  • Dancing Blade – provides addition critical severity
  • Owlbear Cub – This is a very very good companion according to initial tests – Depending on your critical chance, power stat, and rotation, this can contribute anywhere from 5%-20% of your overall damage. This is companion is a must if you can afford it. (Edit: This may have changed since the release of mod 10, this companions behavior was modified, and I have not yet had time to test it in depth).
  • *Boar – provides additional crit severity for you and your summoned companion
  • Earth Archon
  • Water Archon
  • Fire Archon
  • Air Archon
  • *Death Slaad
  • *Galeb Duhr – Provides you with up to 10% bonus damage based upon how much damage you have dealt
  • Sprite – additional AP gain
  • Blink Dog – provides addition combat advantage damage
  • Wild Hunt Rider – I use this companion, it becomes extremely powerful once upgraded to epic – on encounter use, offers a chance to increase damage by 10% for 20 seconds. The reason this works so well on CW is because it has a chance to proc with each tick of our multi-tick encounters.
  • Siegemaster – increases damage by 3%. This bonus is raised to 7% on the stronghold map.


In this section, I’m going to discuss what enchantments to put in the offense/defense slots of your gear. I’ll also somewhat discuss stat caps and curves while I’m doing this, and hopefully, I’ll have enough reserved posts to elaborate upon that later on.

Offensive Enchantments:

  • Dark Enchantment – If your Armor Penetration is lower than 6k, and you do not use a bonding companion, slot dark enchantments in the offense slots until you reach 6k armor penetration. That will provide 60% arp, which is the maximum amount needed in PVE.
  • Brutal Enchantment – This is effectively the BiS enchantment for offense slots once your char is built up
  • Radiant Enchantment – Radiant enchantments increase power. You can never have too much power!
  • Azure Enchantment – Provide crit – CWs are the most crit dependent class in game, you can’t have enough of it (unless you have over 100% crit chance)
  • Black Ice Enchantment – provides arp, crit, and power
  • Vicious Enchantment – provides arp and power

Defensive Enchantments:

  • Dark Enchantment – provides lifesteal, if you can get over 10% lifesteal, it makes dungeons and content in general far easier, it’ll proc quite often given how many ticks of damage you’ll get from multiproc encounters, storm spell, and boon procs.
  • Savage Enchantment
  • Radiant Enchantment – provides HP

Weapon and Armor Enchantments:

Alright, I’m going to keep this one simple because… it is simple! Ideally, a Perfect /Pure/Transcendant Vorpal/Dread , but the best that you have will work. I do not recommend trying to switch one of these out for any other weapon enchantment – Control Wizards are extremely dependent on crit to proc storm spell, therefore we are going to have extremely high crit chance. That makes vorpal by far the best enchantment possible for our DPS. However, @thefabricant will also argue that a Trans. Feytouched enchantment will perform about 10% better on thaumaturge CW – I don’t have one to test with, so I can’t confirm this, but if you want to give something else a try, that is an option. Just keep in mind that if you have more than one T.Fey in party, it will not work properly.

Now, you have a little more freedom when it comes to armor enchantment. I personally prefer a soulforged enchantment, I’ve had one since I started playing way back when, and I’ve stuck with it – for those of you who do not know, a soulforged enchantment automatically revives you when you die, and restores a small portion of your health. It has an ICD between 60-90 seconds depending on the rank of the enchantment. Other viable options for armor enchantments would be negation enchantment, which would improve damage resistance, and elven battle enchantment, which reduces the effect of slows and immobilizes on you, and improves stamina regeneration. The only reason I suggest elven battle is for the more squishy CWs wearing high vizier gear, this enchantment will give you more dodges in each fight, giving you greater survivability.

Earning AD

There are two main types of AD

  1. Rough Astral Diamonds (rAD)
  2. Refined Astral Diamonds (AD)

The difference between these two types is that one can be spent, and one needs to be refined before you can spend it. Up to 36k rAD can be refined each day per character. I’m going to break this section up into two subsections – One focused on generating rAD, and the other one focused on farming items that can be sold for AD in the auction house.

Generating rAD

Recent changes to the game have made it very easy to generate rAD. I’ll list every source that I know of, and explain how it can be farmed in the most efficient manner possible. This subcategory will also be broken into two sections – rAD that is directly deposited in your character’s inventory, and rAD that is earned by salvaging items that are transferrable between characters.


Certain level 60 and level items have the item qualifier “Salvageable”. This property means that the item can be salvaged at a salvage anvil. Typically items with this property are found or purchased in endgame content. Here are all known sources of salvageable items:

  • T1 and T2 Dungeons – Bosses have a fair chance of dropping a blue salvageable item in T1 dungeons and a purple salvageable item in T2s. Both of these will salvage for the same amount of rAD. The chests at the end of these dungeons also provide 1 or 2 salvageable pieces of gear. These chests can be opened with a daily dungeon key or an epic dungeon key.
  • Seal Vendor – Salvageable Items can be purchased from the seal vendor located in the marketplace of PE. Seals can obtained from the following activities
  • T1 and T2 Dungeons – Seals drop from bosses and the final epic chest at the end of dungeons
  • Dragonflight – killing one or more dragons during the guild dragonflight even rewards a total of 80 seals of the elements
  • Demogorgon – Completing demogorgon successfully rewards seals.
  • Demonic Heroic Encounters – Completing any demonic heroic encounter will reward a small sum of seals
  • Campaign Vendors – Various campaigns allow you to purchase salvageable equipment using that campaigns currency.
  • Demonic Heroic Encounters – Have a fair chance at dropping a rare quality salvageable item
  • Stronghold Heroic Encounters – These heroic encounters have a somewhat low chance at dropping an epic salvageable piece of companion gear

Salvageable items can be moved around characters as they are almost always BoA. This will allow you to move salvageable items to a character that has not yet hit the daily astral diamond refining limit in order to get a faster turnaround on your AD refinement.

Other Sources of rAD

There are many other sources of rAD other than salvage. However, rAD earned this way is stuck on one character until it is refined.

  • Daily Dungeon – The first two dungeons completed each day on a character reward a small sum of rAD. Both leveling dungeons and epic dungeons qualify for this. This can be done on multiple characters each day
  • Daily Skirmish – The first two skirmishes completed each day reward a small amount of rAD. Once again, both regular and epic skirmishes qualify for this, and it can be completed on multiple characters each day
  • Daily PVP Match – The first two PVP matches completed each day reward a small sum of rAD. Can be completed on multiple characters each day.
  • Invocation – A character can invoke up to 8 times every day. Each successful invocation will reward slightly more rAD than the last. The amount of rAD received from this also scales with level. Many players have a large “army” of alts that they invoke multiple times a day for the rAD income.
  • Weekly Campaign Quests – Sharandar, Dread Ring, Tyranny of Dragons, and Icewind Dale all have a weekly campaign quest that rewards 4500 rAD when completed.

Earning AD

  • Refined AD is only earned one way: Selling items on the auction house. This is done by selling items  on the auction house to other people who made the effort of farming and refining rAD. Typically, you can earn more AD in a shorter period of time by selling these items.
  • Leadership Army – this strategy pairs with the invocation armies I mentioned above. Leadership is a profession that rewards refining stones once it is ranked up. These can be sold for large sums of Astral Diamonds on the AH, especially on 2x RP. Leadership armies are created by making several low level characters, and leveling them up until professions is unlocked. From there, you just set leadership tasks once or twice a day, and reap the benefits. The only downside to this is that it can be rather time consuming, and it takes a while to level up leadership to the point at which you are profiting from it, which is at leadership level 24.
  • Draconic Heralds – the draconic heralds in WoD appear every hour on the :45. These Heroic Encounters have a high chance of dropping a minor or lesser resonance stone. They also drop the occasional Rare/Greater resonance stone, and very rarely a BoE artifact belt. Resonance Stones sell extremely well, especially on 2x RP.
  • Stronghold Heroic Encounters – The major SH heroic encounters often drop resonance stones, from minor to greater quality
  • Dread Lairs – The dread lairs in dread ring can be farmed for Greater Marks of Stability, Union, and Power. These marks sell for anything between 10k-55k AD each. Most people do not realize that these lairs can be run more than once a day – lair keys can actually be purchased from the Dread Ring vendor for a small amount of campaign currency and 5k AD. You can make over 400k AD in one hour farming Greater Marks of Union during a 2x RP event. Just beware that marks only drop on certain days, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and the weekends.
  • Lostmauths Horn – This item sells for 400k – 600k each, due to the fact that is a key component of almost every single damage oriented crit build right now. It rarely drops from the final boss in the lair of lostmauth dungeon. It can be farmed by praying to RNG and running a LOT of eLoL.
  • Sword Coast Adventures – The neverwinter gateway webapp includes a web game that can drop BiS pieces of companion gear. I know people who have made millions by farming this webapp. However, many dislike farming this because it can be tedious, and it is nothing like the actual neverwinter game in regards to gameplay (It’s a dice rolling game).

Other useful links, builds, guides, and information written by other players:

CW Stat Optimization Spreadsheet – Does the math for you and tells you what stat you should invest in for maximum effectiveness. Made by @thefabricant: https://goo.gl/AKGczE

Sharpedge’s Guide to Almost Everything CW – This was written by one of my closest friends in-game – I hate admitting that people are better than me, but… He’s better than me. Definitely worth a read over:


The mathematical proof regarding when a Thaumaturge CW should use Chilling Presence over EotS:

Damage Coefficients for CW abilities:

Chem’s Comprehensive Mod 5 CW Guide: It may be outdated, but it’s still one of the best guides out there:

Kaelac’s Guide to stats in general.


Finally, I want to thank @thefabricant for helping me figure out the more complicated CW mechanics and isolate bugs, @jaegernl for being awesome, @micky1p00 for tolerating my complaining about stuff in-game, and @arco4tep as his guides shocked me into the realization that Neverwinter really, really, really needed more guides.

Leave a reply
    March 4, 2016 at 11:29 am

    simples mas muito legal.
    Estou aguardando a versão completa.

  • Irista
    March 5, 2016 at 2:03 am

    Thanks for putting the time into this! I just started playing NW about 2 months ago and picked a CW as my first toon. I’m in no way new to the world of MMOs but greatly appreciate any help/tips on gearing up my CW, etc.

    What I do have a question on is stats in general. You mention 6k AP and trying to reach 100% crit (or is that for crit severity?). As I’m still working on gear I don’t want to drop power by the way-side to boost the other 2 stats.. or should I? 🙂

    Can’t wait to see your next updates!

    • March 5, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      I’m going to assume by AP you mean Arp (Armor Penetration). AP is normally used to refer to action points.

      In module 6, Armor Penetration, along with all the primary stats, were changed to have linear stat curves. Armor penetration has a 100pt :1% ratio of return. Currently, that maximum DR (Damage Resistance) of endgame enemies is 60%. By stacking armor penetration to 6k, you will negate the DR of the enemies.

      Armor penetration is more important than power or crit, until you reach 6k (in PVE only). The only exception to this rule is if you use a bonding companion. My arpen is around 5k, because whenever a bonding stone procs, I get an additional 2k Arpen, and I almost always have at least one stack of companions gift up.

      • Irista
        March 6, 2016 at 5:19 pm

        Thanks for getting back to me! I really appreciate it. I also have a question on companions. Since I don’t have a mountain of AD but I do have some wiggle room.. currently I’m using the siege master with bonding stones. As he’s a tank I know it’s not the ideal for dps in PVE, but he keeps aggro and helps keep me alive – and in dungeons where mobs can run a muck, have a companion OT helps my survivability as well..

        My question is about particular aug companions you might recommend. Or am I just looking for ArP, crit, power for an aug companion and it doesn’t matter which I pick as long as those are there? The Black Dragon Ion stone is on the zen market so I’ve been eyeballing that one, but I figured there were some better options for active bonuses.

        • March 6, 2016 at 5:34 pm

          I recommend the owlbear personally, as he’s a must have whether or not you are using him summoned or just for his active. I’ve had ACT parses where it contributes 11-12% of my total damage.

          The black dragon Ioun stone is also a decent augment companion, although I’m not really sure how often you will be under 50% HP if you have a healer or paladin in your party. Even if you don’t, you should get enough lifesteal procs to keep you over 50% HP most of the time.

          The allure stone is probably more budget friendly, and has one defense slot, which means you can slot a high ranking eldritch in that slot to get slightly more stats.

          However, I personally would recommend the bonding companion, since you said you already have one, which means you don’t need to buy the stones. I’m pretty sure the blink dog is a relatively cheap bonding companion with a decent-ish active bonus.

  • rolanballz
    March 5, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    hey bro can you post your powers???

  • NovaSolid
    March 6, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Hey! at this point i am lv 54 CW. I want to follow this build. is it smart to wait untill i am lv 70 or can i respec everything now. i have the coin i believe.

  • Sean
    March 6, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Question for the companion gear, for the loyal avenger I can’t find this gear anywhere on the AH. Is this not available on Xbox or am I looking in the wrong spot?
    Also, I’m confused about the Arm Pen in relation to the companion. I sit at about 5300 now and have a Mercenary as my companion. How are you calculating the Companion Gift Proc and not needing the the 6k?

    I also have 4 artifacts at Purple and it’s a grind leveling them up…. Other than double refinement any tips on a quicker way?

    Thanks for the help!

    • March 6, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      The loyal avenger gear is not available on xbox, as it drops from Sword Coast Adventures, which is found on the pc webapp (gateway.playneverwinter.com). One other option that may be viable for Xbox players is either the two slotted rings/necks/belts from jewelcrafting rank 25, or the companion only gear found from completing major stronghold encounters.

      On my companion, I have about 1.8k armor penetration (I rounded to 2k in my guide). I use r11 and r12 bondings on my companion. Each stack of companions gift gives 95% or 80% of my companions stats to me. In other words, that’s 1.71k arpen or 1.44k arpen depending on which bonding stone procced. Just from playing a lot, I can tell you that it’s rare for me to have less than one stack up at any time, I’ve actually had 10 up at once thanks to the lightfoot multiproc and lliras bell.

      As for refinement, it is FAR harder to refine on xbox from my understanding. On PC, there are a LOT of bots farming a LOT of RP, making it cheap to buy stacks of r4s/r5s or refining stones to refine artifacts and artifact equipment with. a stack of 99x r4s is 700-1k AD on PC. Without an extensive knowledge of the xbox economy, I can’t really give you an exact breakdown of what to use when refining certain artifacts. Other than making sure you are using hoard and fey enchants in utility slots, and maybe suggesting that you run lots of Heralds in WoD, I can’t give you much advice here. Sorry D:

      • Sean
        March 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm

        Thanks for the reply! As far as the bonding stones my understanding only one will actually give you the bonus. Is this not true? I can multiple bonding runestones in to maximize stats returned?

        • March 8, 2016 at 5:15 pm

          Bonding procs stack, you should use three if you are going to use a bonding companion over an augment. On certain companions, they can actually multiproc, giving an insane amount of stats. Combined with DC/GF buffs, I’ve broken 80k power in combat.

    March 8, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Hell yeah!! finally someone smart here.
    Thank you alot for the tutorial .
    It was what i looking for .

    But i have a question, can you tell us about the limit of stats? What i want to tell is, arpen, you dont need more than 6k, right?
    And what you say about lifesteal better than defense + hit point?

    I’m realy happy man…
    You made my day.

    • March 8, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      I wouldn’t really call it a limit on stats, as primary stats no longer have a diminishing returns when stacked.

      The reason I say that you only need 6k armor penetration is that enemies in PVE content never have more than 60% damage resistance. Every 100 points of armor penetration is about equal to 1% of resistance ignored. 6k armor penetration means 60% resistance ignored, which is the maximum you will need in any PVE content atm.

      I personally believe lifesteal is better for CW unless you are wearing the high viz set. That set does not have stats for the current level 70 curves, and makes it super hard to survive. I only have 35k HP when wearing it compared to the 100K HP I have wearing my normal gear. Lifesteal enables you to be self sustaining, but that isn’t useful at all if you get one-shot every 15 seconds.

      If you are trying to decide which stat to stack, check out this spreadsheet made by @thefabricant, it does the math for you.

      Also worth a read over for stat theory is Sharpedge’s guide for CW, there’s a whole stat theory section:

      Here’s the current stat curves as well: http://www.arcgames.com/en/forums/neverwinter#/discussion/552973/level-70-stat-curves/p1

  • March 11, 2016 at 11:29 am

    TY for the acknowledgement kata 🙂

    • March 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      lol you deserve it more than anyone else :p

      • March 13, 2016 at 11:47 am

        Btw, I have no intention of posting my guide to MMOminds so if there is anything in there you want to add to your guide, feel free to move it across here 🙂 I have no issues with you doing so considering you helped a great deal with the proofreading and formatting 🙂

  • March 19, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    May i ask a question, I was just wondering did you ever try pvp with this and would it be any good? i also wanted to ask if you could maybe put up a video of you doing a dungeon and pvp if you have ever done it please and thank you very much in advance. BTW the guide looks pretty nice:)

    • March 20, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Yeah, I’m currently on vacation at Disney World, but when I get home I can upload some videos of my dungeon runs. Any specific requests?

      As for the PVP part, I’m by no means a hardcore PVPer. I have my full PVP sets, and I’ve got the first two PVP boons, but I’m by no means an expert. This is not a competitive PVP build as far as I know. However, at least for me, I can quite effectively deal with PUGs and randoms. Against a PVP premade, from a PVP guild… I don’t even have the right enchants for that, they’ll have 160k HP or more, and I’m running around with 90k. This build is more along the lines of a glass cannon build for PVE, so while you could try it for PVP, and it might be half decent, it’s not truely optimized for it.

      • March 20, 2016 at 10:59 pm

        Thanks for the reply and have fun on holidays! Just some elol or etos and maybe a game of pvp? Could you also put up your power list and what at wills you use for pve trash and boss and also what powers you use for pvp and what at wills for pvp? Thank you very much again.

        • March 21, 2016 at 12:44 am

          My rotations for PVE are already listed in guide, underneath the boons. My power list is somewhat useless as I have around 90 power points, so I have almost anything even remotely useful completely maxed 😛

          I’ll try to make a NWcalc page with what I’d use my first 70 power points in when i get home.

          For the eToS, do you want a video of me with a premade or me with pugs from LFG channel?

  • Hammerlock
    March 20, 2016 at 5:12 am

    What at-will powers do you use?

  • Nick
    March 21, 2016 at 4:20 am

    Does this build work for MoF paragon as well?

    • March 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      This build is not tailored to MoF, if you want to spec MoF Thaum, I would recommend that you spend that remaining 15 feat points in the renegade tree to unlock abyss of chaos. If used with a bilethorn, abyss and smolder interact and proc off of eachother, making it extremely effective against single targets such as dragons, perhaps even higher damage than a BiS GWF

  • Marcus
    March 27, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Can you up pelase the powers do you use?

    • April 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      I added a sample power sheet I created on nwcalc using 70 power points (I have over 90 in game, so screenshotting mine won’t help you guys much :D)

    April 1, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Hey Kata,
    what you changed in your build in mod 9?
    Do you will continue upgrade the post?

    • April 1, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      I do intend to continue upgrading, but due to vacation followed by medical procedures, I haven’t had time yet :/. It’s definitely going to be coming as soon as I have time. I don’t post builds without testing all of the options first, so it may be a couple of weeks. Most of the insignia bonuses don’t work as described in the tooltips (no surprise there D:), so it’s going to require more testing than one would expect.

      • mELTEDbRAIN
        April 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm

        Question for you.
        I think you know the developers will nerf the lostmouth set…
        Do you think the next top set (necks waist and artefac)t is valindars set?

        • April 4, 2016 at 1:49 pm

          Honestly, I’m not sure yet. I haven’t had time to test it fully, and most likely won’t until it hits live. I wouldn’t switch any gear until the changes hit live because there is a fair chance that more adjustments will be made first. This nerf will definetly hit cw hard, and reveal a lot of the class balance issues that lostmauth has been covering up. We’re at the bare minimum going to lose 20% damage, most likely more.

          As of right now, I’d still reccomend the lostmauth set, because it is still an additional 1-4% damage, not to mention it has a great stat distribution for cw. But don’t hold me to it, it could definetly change.

          I’m not a doomsayer, and although many are saying this is the “death” of the cw, I disagree. Cw has been nerfed before, and we found ways to work with it. I don’t expect us to be able to fill the role of striker as well as other dps classes, but I think that if played right, cw will remain viable, just not a competitive player for top paingiver.

          • April 4, 2016 at 1:55 pm

            I do however suspect that a cw that wants to focus on damage may want to spec Thaum with abyss instead of Thaum with icy veins, abyss will end up being an additional 10% damage, if not a little more, and that’s using a vorpal. Maybe lightning will be worth looking at as it procs abyss. I’ve been trying out Thaum with abyss currently on live, and abyss contributes an additional 7% damage with the lostmauth set equipped pre nerf. After the nerf, if you remove the 20% from lostmauth, abyss will be a larger portion of it because the overall damage is lower.

            Once again, all this is theoretical, once I do some testing I’ll let you all know.

  • iLag
    April 5, 2016 at 11:24 am

    What about main/off hand artifact power and stat increase? Those were never mentioned in your guide.

      April 5, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Look better…

      Artifact Equipment

      As of right now, while there is quite a variety of artifact gear sets out there, a few of them outshine the others in regards to damage for this build. Here’s the Artifact Equipment I would recommend:

      Golden Belt of Puissance
      Lostmauth’s Hoard Necklace
      Twisted Skulls
      Twisted Talisman

    • April 5, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      Combat Advantage for the stat increase, and Storm Spell boost for the offhand power (If you unlock chilling presence first, and don’t want to buy more cubes, you can use that instead, it’s not a major difference). For the mainhand, I use the chilling cloud power.

  • Hwyvar
    April 30, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Hi 🙂
    I want to ask you, about boons from Campaign: The Maze engine. A dont know, what I need to choose… Thanks. 🙂


  • May 26, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Hey everyone! Real life has gotten really busy! I’ve been dealing with an increased amount of schoolwork, and spending a lot of time seeing doctors and going to physical therapy for a couple of herniated discs I’ve been unfortunate enough to be ailed by (I’m too young for this :P). I really do intend to update this build when time permits, but until then, I defer you all to my friend Sharpedge’s build. He’s an amazing CW, and probably knows more about it than I do. Please use his guide for updated information regarding new boons, gear, and insignia bonuses until I find the time to bring this guide up to date.

    Here’s a link to his compendium. It is an extensive base of knowledge, and is extremely accurate:

  • kjouda
    November 19, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    What do you think about the cat ?
    Bonding is too expensive for me right now.
    We dont have owl bear cub on ps4 yet.

    Which augment is best for CW ? Im following ur build mostly so thats ur measuring tool.
    I have air, fire archons, blink dog, wild hunt rider
    1 more slot currently has some crap but I’m saving it for owlbear cub

    Thinking about switching blink dog out for an augment so what do u think ?

    • November 19, 2016 at 11:51 pm

      Well, the owl bear cub is an augment itself, so that might be a good choice for you. The one thing that I would need to check is how the changes to the owlbear in the most recent mod have affected it’s damage output, and whether it is still worth the ad. It’s definetely viable as an augment regardless, but it may not be the best companion for damage anymore. When I have time, I’m hoping to test it out. If I recall correctly, I think the black dragon ioun stone had a somewhat decent active bonus (10% bonus dmg when under 50% health or something of the sort). The cats active bonus was never amazing, or even remotely useful, but neither are the bonuses from most of the original augments. When I get home tomorrow I’ll try to take a look at the list of augments, and I’ll give the viable ones a whirl on preview server.

      I haven’t really had a ton of time since the release of mod 8 to update for new companions and insignia bonuses. The core mechanics of CW however, have not changed, except for the HV set bonus being removed and the lostmauth set nerf (which I think I updated the guide for). My rota and build haven’t changed since then, nor have my boon choices. I haven’t fully gotten through the new campaigns to unlock all the boobs yet, but I can let you know which ones to take, the better choices are pretty obvious to me, and I can check with a couple buddies that I trust if you need to know.

      • November 26, 2016 at 8:23 pm

        The huge changes are the new weapons. The new weapons at green (Uncommon) are better than Twisted at orange (Legendary).
        ALL CW’s should strive to get these weapons.
        ALSO the Elemental Evil weapons (Drowned Orb, Burning Orb, etc.) can be crafted by Lvl 25 Artificing, and these have IDENTICAL stats to Twsited, they just have different set bonuses. So there is no longer ANY reason to do Epic Demo. Work on getting to 2.8kIL and 28% Everfrost resist so you can do the new Assault on Svardborg and get the new Marks needed to upgrade the new weapons.

  • kjouda
    December 9, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Why do u use ice strike in mastery for bosses when it only makes it shatter on other enemies ? It doesnt add anything. Bosses are immune to stun so even stun will not work

    What is the best encounter to use on mastery for bosses ? I just leave it at conduit of. Ice cause nothing has a useful effect there

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