Shadowfeind’s Guide to Next Level Scourge Warlocking
My name is Shadowfeind. I’m a Scourge Warlock and have been since the release of Neverwinter. I have played every class Neverwinter has to offer in depth and far and away the SW is easily the most unique and interesting class in the game. Although other classes may bring more versatility or utility, chances are if you have chosen to play a Scourge Warlock then you’re interested in one thing and one thing only. Damage…and lots of it. This is EXACTLY what the SW brings to the table. I’m here today on a mission of mercy as 80% of the SW’s in the game today, despite being well enough equipped to become a clear #1 DPS option, many fall short because they simply don’t understand how or they struggle to use the class correctly. The SW is different than other classes simply because it’s damage is not based simply on rotation(like a CW or GWF). Instead, the SW is based on synergy. As a Scourge Warlock, your encounter powers and At-Wills react differently based on the type of curse or lack there of are placed on your target. In my experience, I have found most SW do actually have the correct build( or very close too it) in order to achieve it’s max potential but just have a poor understanding on the mechanics of the class. So, all this being said this guide will focus more on the mechanics and theory-craft of the SW class in addition to providing the optimal powers, feats, boons, etc. If you’re looking for a simpler shorter version you may find it in your character selection screen under “Delete Character” as the SW is not a class for the short and simple. Let’s dive in! 🙂
Dragonborn- This is the obvious choice as it gives you a clear advantage in the DPS front. The Dragonborn race will provide you +2 to any two stats that you choose. Those stats will almost obviously be CON and CHA to maximize your DPS. Otherwise you can see below under “Ability Scores” to see more about your other options. Additionally the Dragonborn race gives you “Dragonborn Fury” which will increase your Power and Crit each by 3%.(Disclaimer: I have been told that this stat is broken and may not work as intended. Some seem to believe that it’s UP TOO 3% and does not have 100% up-time. I have been unable to confirm or deny this. Seems like hearsay but I really just don’t know for sure.) Lastly, you also get 5% increased healing from all sources. This is a nice utility option as it applies to life steal which will eventually become an important stat. (Note: If you’re like me and are lucky enough to have pulled a Metallic Dragonborn Sigil out of a lock-box, then you can also use that however it’s important to note your sacrificing 2% of the incoming healing but gaining increased HP by 3% all in all making you a little more tanky, which is great for both PVE and PVP because SW’s can get kinda squishy.)
Tiefling- This is the less-expensive choice as it does not require a ridiculous amount of real life money or AD to purchase. This class is almost as good as Dragonborn just minus a few benefits. First, Tiefling provides +2 to Charisma. You then get your choice of +2 CON or +2 INT. This is perfect because even as a Dragonborn you would ultimately be deciding between those stats anyway. You may see below under “Ability Scores” to see what choice is best for you. Secondly, you gain Bloodhunt which grants you 5% increased damage to any target below 50% health. In a perfect world that would mean you’re getting 5% damage half the time, although it doesn’t always work out that way. Lastly, you are given Infernal Wrath which is another passive that provides you an ability where anytime you are hit, there is a 10% chance that your attacker will suffer a loss of 5% of their Power for 15 seconds. As insignificant as it seems, every little bit helps in PVE and even more so in PVP.
These are the only two classes I would even consider going over when talking about Scourge Warlocks because the truth is that choosing any other class would merely come down to atheistic preference, which I usually encourage…because at the end of the day, If you don’t like your character then you won’t be good at it. Fortunately, the best race and best looking race are both the same 😉
When choosing your ability roles as a SW, you really only have 3 major stats to keep your eye on. The following stats are my priority in order. CON-CHA-INT. Simply put, if you’re looking for maximum damage potential you want to stack CON and CHA as high as you can and ignore everything else. If you want to be a little more polished I’d recommend keeping the following chart in mind.
For every point spent in: You’ll receive:
Strength 1% DoT Resist and 1% Stamina Regen
Constitution 1% Damage Bonus and 2% HP
Dexterity 1% AoE Resist and .5% Deflect
Intelligence 1% Recharge Speed and 1% Resistence Ignored
Wisdom 1% Control Bonus and 1% Control Resist
Charisma 1% Critical Chance and 1% Combat Advantage Damage
As you can see, the only point worth paying attention too is CON-CHA-INT in that order. When choosing your initial scores when creating your character or re-rolling, you max out your rolls to have 18 points in your primary stat, 13 for your two secondary stats, 10 for 2 others then 8 for your least important stat. This will give you a total of 72 total stat points. This is the ideal set up for max damage potential. However, it can also be important to note that if you even your stats out a little bit you can achieve a total of 77 total stat points but you’re going to have to sacrifice some damage potential for balance but if you ask me (or anyone in their right mind) sacrificing Damage, Crit, Recharge and Combat Advantage for Dot Resist and AoE resist hardly seems worth it. Max Damage rolls should look like either of the following:
Max DMG More Crit More Armor Pen
18 CON 17 CON 17 CON
13 CHA 14 CHA 13 CHA
13 INT 13 INT 14 INT
10 Any 10 Any 10 Any
10 Any 10 Any 10 Any
8 Any 8 Any 10 Any
When adding the points that you have gained through leveling, I strongly recommend going full CON and CHA. However, here is where you really need to decide what path to do down. If you are an established 70 and have some gear and guild boons and already have 60% Resistance Ignored, then CON/CHA is right for you. Otherwise, if your a new 70 then your first priority is to get your Resistance Ignored (Armor Penetration) to 60% before you start worrying about other stats. If you are not capped on Armor Penetration and need help reaching that 60% then you can ignore CHA for now and go for full CON and INT to help boost your RI%. Now, if you DO go INT over CHA then make sure to over cap on your RI, so you can then eventually re-roll back to full CON and CHA.
Since this guide is more about using the warlock correctly then going on and on about common information, all I’m going to do here is list the powers that I would invest in. The following powers are worth spending 3 points unless otherwise noted: (Note: No particular order of importance)
Dark Spiral Aura – At-Will
Shadow Walk – Class Feature
Dreadtheft – Encounter
Fiery Bolt – Encounter
Soul Scorch – Encounter
Borrowed Time – Class Feature
Essence Defiler – At-Will
Harrowstorm – Encounter(Optional for PVP)
Tyrannical Threat – Daily
Dust to Dust – Class Feature
Warlocks Bargain – Encounter
Immolation Spirits – Daily
Hadar’s Grasp – Encounter
All Consuming Curse – Class Feature
Now, If you’re like me then you have been playing since pre-Mod5 and probably have enough power points to put 4 points in to every power you have. If not then you need to prioritize which spells you put 4th points in too. I’ve debated this for a while and my opinion has changed several times and will probably change several times by the time you read this but here is my priority list for what you should spend 4th points into.
Dust to Dust – This may be the most important because as a Scourge Warlock, you’re damage is centered around your daily. Tyrannical Threat is a large reason you will be topping charts day in and day out and the more you cast it, the more damage you spread. For that you need AP gain.
Tyrannical Threat – You have the AP class feature to use TT and now it’s time to spend in to TT itself. As a majority of your damage output, TT is your bread and butter. This will give an extra 10% damage link.
Soul Scorch – This is what will help you reach those 18 million critical strikes. ’nuffsaid.
Borrowed Time – Obviously in order for you to be able to bank action points (or AP) off of Dust to Dust, you need to get healed from your soul sparks. This is what will help you get that done, so go ahead and throw a point here.
Dreadtheft- A huge amount of your encounter damage when building soul sparks.
Immolation Spirits- Those little buggers can be NASTY!
Anything after these, it really just comes down to preference.
Since the nerf back in Mod6 Hellbringer has gone from the top dog spec to not even close to being viable. At it stands right now, Soulbinder is the only way to go. Why? Soul Sparks! The Scourge Warlock’s damage, whether Fury or Damnation is centered around Action Points and Soul Sparks. They will provide added damage boosts and they are also used as a currency for some of your strongest abilities. This guide will be focused on the Damnation tree as a Soulbinder. In my experience, Fury is also a solid option if your looking to focus on PVP and can also be effective in PVE. In fact, Fury has more overall damage potential than Damnation. However, considering where the top players are at nowadays, if you’re a top-tier Fury Warlock in a top-tier group with other high level 70’s, it’s going to be difficult to find any mobs or bosses in this game that will survive long enough for you to be able to reach your maximum damage potential. Unlike a GWF or a TR who are excellent burst classes, the Warlock needs a little time to get the juices flowing before they can really let the damage rip. As a Fury Warlock it’s going to take considerably longer for you to reach your peak than a Damnation Warlock. Now, unless your in a group full of terrible players in the last 2 phases or Edemo or Tiamat, there’s nothing in this game that has enough health to live long enough to allow you to do so. It becomes very frustrating to be in a boss fight, doing your thing. Then all of the sudden you finally get all your Soul Sparks built up, you fill your Action Points, pop your daily, hit your wheel, wait for a DC to hit Hallowed Ground and once that’s all in order…there’s no boss left to hit! So, because of this, the most effective class is Damnation in terms of damage potential. I’m not saying Fury cannot be viable…but again, this guide is about getting the most out of your later game SW and that implies you will be running end game content with other stacked characters.
Here I will give you a build that I’m sure 99% of you already have or have already seen. This build is no government trade secret. In fact, it’s been out and viable for quite some time. Unfortunately, since this is my first guide, I haven’t yet been able to figure out how to take pictures and screenshots and upload them. So until I can figure that one out, I will just list a text wall. Look Below:
3/3 Weapon Mastery- 3% increased Critical Chance. Yes please.
4/5 Energizing Curse- At-Wills generate an extra 24% more Action Points (or more commonly known as SW nom noms) against cursed targets (Note: If you’re really squishy and are concerned about surviveability, then take 3 points from here and place in to Toughness)
3/3 Empowered Rituals- Encounter powers deal 6% more Damage. More Damage? No thanks. Syke!
5/5 Determined Casting- Encounter cooldowns are reduced by 10%. Unfortunately, short of the Recovery that you’ll get from gear you won’t really have the opportunity to go out of your way to add more so we gotta take it where we can get it. The more powers you can use in a minute, the more damage you can do. I’m really sorry if my general blanket statements insult your intelligence…I’m just trying to be thorough.
3/3 Devastating Critical- You’ve specced for critical chance. Now, throw some severity at it.
2/5 Blood Pact of Cania- From what I’ve read, this feat is broken past two points so anything more than that is a waste. Besides, it’s worth getting the extra Critical Severity from Dev Crit.
Starting in the Fury Tree
5/5 Critical Promise- Anytime you land a Crit, you will deal 10% of your weapon damage (as necrotic damage) on your next hit.
5/5 Burning Soul- Your damage is increased by .3% for each soul spark. I gotta be honest with you, at first I thought it wasn’t a big deal seeing as you only get 5 soul sparks (meaning you only get an extra 1.5% for full soul sparks), however I’ve tested this out personally and the difference is huge. I’ve notice that if you look closely that each spark has 6 little sub sections in each one that gets filled every time you hit a target. This means you need to hit a target 6 times with an At-Will in order to fill a full spark. I’m about 99% sure that it’s actually .3% X 30 rather than .3% X 5. Thus resulting in a total of 9% increased damage instead of the assumed 1.5% seeing as the difference with or without is noticeable. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t notice a 1.5% increase.
5/5 Parting Blasphemy- This is one of my favorite feats. Every time a curse is removed from a target, you deal 6% of your weapon damage to that target. Curses are only removed from your target every freakin’ second…ha! If you’re playing the class right, you’re cursing between every Encounter power.
5/5 Sparkbinder- You’re Immolation Spirits daily now lasts 5 seconds longer. This is always nice as longer duration means more damage. Those things spit pretty often and hit pretty hard. Other than that it’s just somewhere to throw 5 feats in order to unlock the next row.
5/5 Spiritfire- Foes near your soul puppet take 50% of your weapon damage every second. This is a nice little AoE for anything near your puppet. Just imagine if your puppet has a permanent harrowstorm on him.
5/5 Burning Puppets- Your puppet has a 25% change to apply lesser curse when they attack a target. So ideally 1 out of every 4 swings from your puppet will put lesser curse on an enemy. Lesser curse is simply just a Damage Over Time ability. It’s a nice little boost.
5/5 Ghastly Commander- While your Soul Puppet is active(which is always), you deal 10% more damage and you Life Steal 2% more. Damage is what we’re chasing, no?
5/5 Wrathful Souls- Your Soul Puppet now deals 100% more damage and also Life Steal 15% more, healing you. So now, between you and your puppet. You as a unit deal 110% more damage and Life Steal 17% more within the last 2 feats alone.
1/1 Soul Desecration- Perma-Puppet. That’s it. Just spawns a puppet upon dealing damage every 15 seconds as well as anytime you kill a cursed target.
When it comes to choosing your boons, your choices are pretty simple. They will rarely leave you indecisive. 99% of all times you have a choice between offense and defense, go offense. As of right now, you can almost negate the need for defensive stats by taking the offensive route allowing you to kill things before they hit you! Per an article I’ve recently read by the developers, this may change soon. According to this article the developers are looking to balance things out a little bit by making it more imperative and forcing players to think about both offense and defense. If and when that time comes I will adjust my gameplan accordingly. However, until then I will continue to choose PewPewPewYourFaceOff options.
Tier 1- Dark Fey Hunter- 400 Power – Obviously, I shouldn’t have to say but just in case I haven’t made it obvious, this is all about damage. Damage comes from Offensive stats. However, if you ARE going to choose a defensive boon, Defense is not a bad way to go.
Tier 2- Fey Precision- 400 Crit – One and done. Deflect is not a good alternative.
Tier 3- Elven Haste- 3% Action Point gain – Another tempting alternative boon in 1600 HP to make us less squishy. However, Action Points are just way to important to pass us. Considering the ability to reach the Action Point Gain cap (2000) is very difficult to do without spending an Godlike amount of AD or real life money.
Tier 4- Elven Ferocity- When striking a foe you have a chance to deal up to 20,000 Arcane damage- Pretty sweet, here. The alternative is only attractive to PVPers. Another perfect example of surviveability Vs. damage output. Damage wins.
Tier 5- Elvish Fury- When you kill a foe you gain 135 Power for 45 seconds. Stacks up to 30 times. This wont really help you in single-target boss fights. However, at the end of a dungeon or raid, a large chunk of your overall damage will come from the AoE from trash mobs. When I see this boon, I immediately think of Skeleton Hallway in Castle Never. At it’s maximum buff it provides 4,050 Power. Temporarily giving you more Power than a legendary Power mount. (Note: Do not let the utility of the other boons fool you in to passing on Elvish Fury)
Dread Ring Campaign-
Tier 1- Conjurer’s Gambit- 250 Critical Strike and 250 Movement- Awesome! something with Movement I can actually use! This is a tough choice. Anytime you have to choose between Power and Crit it’s a bittersweet event. When faced with this choice I always consider that Power is the most common stat and the easiest to stack from ALL sources. Also, keep in mind anytime you Crit, it helps you generate Soul Sparks faster which in turn lets you PEW more often 🙂
Tier 2- Evoker’s Thirst- 400 Life Steal- The alternative is 400 Regen and Regen has been broken for quite some time. Regen determines the amount of health you regenerate outside of combat. It does not work IN combat. Life Steal does. If you can help it, avoid any and all Regen forever and replace is with literally ANY other stat and you will be better off for it. Once they fix Regen, then I might reconsider.
Tier 3- Forbidden Piercing- 3% Resistance Ignored- Obviously as you first start out your number one priority in regard to your stats would be to get to the Armor Penetration cap at 60%. If you have yet to reach that, this will help. However, even if you have already met 60%, it’s still a good idea to select this one because it will allow you the ability to substitute any ArmPen you may have on your gear for other stats. (i.e If you are wearing an assault chest piece, you can not swap that out for Raid and replace the ArmPen for Crit, Power, Recovery or even any of the other stats. See “Stat Priority” for a complete list of what you’ll be looking for.)
Tier 4- Shadowtouch- When dealing damage you have a chance to deal 20,000 over a few seconds. Once this effect ends, the target takes 25% less healing from all spells for 10 seconds. This boon does have an internal cooldown of 80 seconds. Now, when it says that it deals damage over a few seconds, it means 4 seconds to be exact. Now, this is where a lot of people get confused. When the tooltip tells you that there’s a “chance”, it’s fair to wonder exactly WHAT that chance is. In this case it approximately 1%. However, it’s a 1% chance on any and all hits. We’re talking At-Will, Encounter, Weapon damage from feats, items, etc. It even has the chance to proc on EACH tick of any DoT (Damage Over Time) abilities. This is actually more beneficial for a SW then any other class because other classes, take the GWF for example have an extremely lower rate of attacks per second but each hit is monstrous…but a Scourge Warlock hits WAY more frequently for much smaller amounts. So where the GWF will hit its target 100 times a minute(Purely a guess, don’t hold me to that figure), a Warlock will hit it 200 times a minute thus making it twice as likely to proc and twice as often too.
Tier 5- Rampaging Madness- When you deal damage, you will gain a stack of “Madness”. When you reach 50 stack of “Madness”, you will receive a buff of 4000 Power, 4000 Life Steal and 4000 Regeneration. Obviously it’s the Regen we all want, right? No. Yeah, simple enough Power and Life Steal are great.
Icewind Dale Campaign-
Tier 1- Encroaching Tactics- 400 Combat Advantage Bonus- Don’t be fooled. CAD(Combat Advantage Damage) is very important to a Scourge Warlock’s endgame build. It’s not just for Melee. In fact, if you’re DPS. You need CAD and you need it bad. After Action Point gain, it’s your next most important special stat.(AP gain, CAD, Incoming healing, AoE resist, Control Bonus and resist, etc.)
Tier 2- Refreshing Chill- 400 Stamina/Guard Gain- This is the only boon that I went the utility route and the ONLY reason for that is that it works hand in hand with the Tier 4 boon where your damage is increased based on stamina missing. Before nuking a boss or a mob, I’ll generally Shadow Slip around in circles a couple times to drain all my stamina, nuke the boss and then this just helps get that stamina back in case I need to evade attacks or get somewhere quick.
Tier 3- Sleet Skills- 2% Crit Severity- This one was a tough call because the alternative is 400 recovery which despite the fact that it’s not an essential stat, I still love dearly. However, since this build is focused on mostly Critical Chance to help generate Soul Sparks, it’s important to load your Crit severity to make those Crits hurt! There’s a major difference in damage between 50% Crit Severity and 110%, you’re going to be Critting one way or another. May as well make it hurt!
Tier 4- Cool Resolve- You gain up to 2000 Power based on how much Stamina or Guard you are missing. Select this and keep it in mind when you use your cooldowns and and nuke the boss, try to do so with 0 stamina. This is why I chose Refreshing Chill in order to gain it back quicker when I’ve used it all. It’s important to rely on your Shadow Slip to get you out of sticky situations. You are very slow and practically immobile without it. Since I’m building offensively and ignoring defensive stats, Shadow Slip is what helps me survive.
Tier 5- Winter’s Bounty- Chance to gain 10% Action Points when killing a target. Another tough call because it was between that and Rousing Warmth which gives you a change to gain up to 3000 power on the next attack when healed, which does proc off of Life Steal. However, the Winter’s Bounty procs more often (I’ve tested it and it’s noticeable). I’ll just put it into simple terms Gaining 10% of your AP and being able to cast your TT and spread damage between 3 targets without having to curse in between allowing you to cast freely will ultimately net you way more damage than 3000 Power on just ONE hit. If Rousing Warmth procs and you cast an At-Will, then that’s it. Your done. Go home. But full AP gets you way more.
Tyranny of Dragons Campaign-
Tier 1- Dragon’s Claws- 400 Power- Simple. Power> HP.
Tier 2- Dragon’s Gaze- 400 Critical Strike- Over Deflect? Yuh-huh!
Tier 3- Draconic Armorbreaker- 400 Armor Penetration- Woo hoo! 3 Consecutive boons that I don’t haven’t had to go off on a tangent explaining why! Offense>Defense.
Tier 4- Dragon’s Greed- 400 Life Steal- Again, Regen broke. So yeah.
Tier 5.1/5.2/5.3- Dragon’s Thirst and Dragon’s Fury- 6.5% Crit Severity and 3% Life Steal- This is a 3 tiered boon. You get 3 total points to spend in either Life Steal, Incoming Healing, Crit Severity or Control Strength. The biggest stat here is obviously Crit Severity, that’s where my first point goes. With my second point, I went Life steal just because you get 3% for the first point here rather than a total of 1.5% for the next point in Crit Severity. With the 3rd point, that problem didn’t exist. It was a choice between equal parts Life Steal and Crit Severity with a difference of only .5% (splitting hairs at this point) and I certainly wasn’t choosing Incoming healing or Control.
Tier 1- Primordial Might- 400 Power and 1600 HP- Clear cut Offense V. Defense.
Tier 2- Primordial Focus- 400 Critical Strike and 1600 HP- Always want Life Steal but not at the cost of Crit. Soul Sparks Pl0x. Thx.
Tier 3- Drow Ambush Tactics- 10% Combat Advantage Damage Bonus- Shadowfeind, Are you SURE you don’t want 1200 Regen, instead? I hope I have made things clear enough at this point for to join me when I say, “LOLOLOLNOTHANKS!”
Tier 4- Dwarven Stamina- 5% faster Stamina Regen- I only choose this, again, to interact with my Teir 4 boon in Dread Ring. However, If you so choose the 5% shorter control effects on you, I wouldn’t blame you.
Tier 5- Abyssal Strikes- 10% increased damage against Demons- This is pretty meh for a final boon but it’s the best of the bunch. It’s great in Edemo, though.
The Maze Engine-
Tier 1- Abyssal Siphoning- 5% Life Steal Severity- Finally! I’ve been saying for a long time now that they should incorporate this in to the game and the Neverwinter God’s have smiled down upon me! Anyway, this is the way to go.
Tier 2- Demonic Influence- 400 Combat Advantage Bonus- Again, CAD is hard to come by so you gotta take it where you can get it.
Tier 3- Demonic Swiftness- 3% faster Action Point Gain- More Nom Noms.
Tier 4- Baphomet’s Might- When striking a foe, you have a chance to gain 2000 Crit for 6 seconds-If you’re curious as to how this boon works, think Ring of Sudden Precision!
GEAR ENCHANTMENTS AND STAT PRIORITIES-
When it comes to deciding which stats you want to chase, the decision is relatively easy. IMPORTANT: You’re first and foremost goal is to get your Armor Penetration to 60% Resistance Ignored in order to get the most out of your other stats (Power, Critical, Etc.). 60% seems to be the most Damage Resistance that bosses have in this game so far. I’m not kidding, you could literally have 20K Power, Crit, Recovery, Etc, but it’ll mean nothing without the 60% Resistance Ignored to back it up because you will only be doing about 40% of your total damage potential. So, Priority #1- 60% Resistance Ignored. Please note that if you are looking to be a force in PVP, then there is no cap on Armor Penetration and it’s wise to keep going. After you’ve reached the soft cap for Armor Penetration please refer to the following stat priority listing:
Critical Strike- This is obviously state #1- Most top SWs will gem up for full Azures to reach the most Critical Strike possible. This is not a bad idea by any means
Power- Obviously Power=Damage. More Power, more Damage. Personally, instead of going full Crit with my Enchantments, I decided to split it up between Crit and Power by slotting Brutals all the way around. I like to do this because even thought your getting less Crit or less Power than a single stat enchantment, you end up getting more overall stat. For Example, a Rank 12 Azure Enchantment gives you +700 Critical Strike in an offense slot and the same thing with Radiant Enchantments which give you +700 Power. If you slot a Rank 12 Brutal Enchantment it’ll net you +420 Power and +420 Critical Strike. So, if you were to add those two together, you would get a total of 840 total stat. This is only ideal if done across the board, otherwise I’d recommend single stat enchantments. Obviously this can get expensive but it’s way worth it. You want to avoid being too one sided. Having all Power or all Crit is cutting your nose to spite your face, so to speak. Unless your doing the whole Owlbear cub anti-crit build, in which case this is not the class to be doing that.
Recovery- This is going to sound odd but Recovery isn’t really that big of a deal for SWs, especially because it equates to Action Point gain. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the value of it and very much appriciate it. However, I get plenty of it through gear and never have difficulties managing my cooldowns. I mainly focus on Action Point Gain itself through Artifacts and Companions rather than focus on Recovery. Especially because most of the time it’s at the cost of Crit or Power. Get it where you can but don’t break your back for it.
Ideal offensive enchantments in order of importance:
Dark Enchantment, Rank 12(where necessary) – Brutal Enchantment, Rank 12 – Azure Enchantment, Rank 12 – Radiant Enchantment, Rank 12
Hit Points- The only reason I’m putting this first is because it’s a great idea to stack a bit of HP before going after your Defense. Once you get enough HP to be able to take a hit or two then head over to the Defense department.
Defense- This is what beefs up your Damage Resistance. You will need a ton of this considering that the Scourge Warlock is one of the most squishy classes in the game. We are, in it’s very essence, a glass cannon. Like mentioned above, I would recommend getting a bit of health before focusing on Defense just so you can afford to take a hit or two, but from then on go Defense. I would recommend doing so until about 40% Damage Resistance. In fact, what I did defensively is the exact same thing I did offensively and just went full Brutals to stack Defense AND HP at the same time to make it easier. However, this is a bit more expensive but so worth it.
Life Steal- Once you’ve stacked enough HP, gotten your DR to 40% then it becomes Life Steal or bust.
Deflection- I don’t know why I’m seeing Scourge Warlocks walking around with significant amounts of deflect on them, it just isn’t as effective as Life Steal. I understand that it returns damage but the amount of damage it creates in minimal unless you REALLY stack it and that will cut into your HP and Defense. If you’re really looking for an intricate defensive class, I suggest GF, Pali, TR. SW is pure offense.
Regeneration- HA! That’s all…
(Note: Regeneration only works outside of combat. Unfortunately, You will likley never find yourself in a situation where you URGENTLY need to regen health outside of combat unless really into PVP, even then it’s not that great. How often does a TR sneak up on you and you have enough time to get out of combat and let your HP Regen? Probably unlikely.
Ideal defensive enchantments in order of importance:
Brutal Enchantment, Rank 12 – Radiant Enchantment, Rank 12 – Azure Enchantment, Rank 12 – Dark Enchantment, Rank 12
WEAPON AND ARMOR ENCHANTMENT OPTIONS-
Transcendent Dread Enchantment- 60% Crit Severity on encounter powers. Additionally you deal 20% weapon damage as Necrotic damage to foes every second for 4 seconds. You induce terror in to your foe reducing their defense by 30%.
Transcendent Vorpal- You stike with an additional 50% Crit Severity. Additionally your Critical Strikes now reduce the targets Damage Resistance and Damage by 2%
Transcendent Feytouched- Deal an additional 18% weapon damage as Psychic damage. Your encounter powers siphon away 18% of your targets damage. This damage is converted to 18% damage for you. This effect is a 3 target AoE, lasts for 20 seconds and may only occur once every 20 seconds.
When considering what weapon enchantment is best for you, consider that even though the Crit Severity is higher on dread, it only applies to encounter powers where the Vorpal applies to any and all sources of damage. The Feytouched is ONLY worth it at Transcendent level and it is only a good option as your still developing your Crit Chance. Once you get your Crit Chance around 50% or so, then it becomes more valuable to use Dread or Vorpal. The way I see it, Dread is going to give you more DPS than Vorpal but looks terrible. Vorpal is not as good but looks AWESOME! If you’re like me, the looks are almost as important as the stats!
Transcendent Negation- When taking damage each hit stacks a 3% increase to your Damage Resistance, a 1% increase to Incoming Healing and a 1% increase to your Recovery for 9 seconds. This effect can stack 10 times.
Transcendent Elven Battle- You are 200% more resistant to slows, immobilizes, disables and stuns. Their duration is reduced. Your Stamina Regen is also increased by 30%
Transcendent Soulforged- When you fall in combat your Soulforged Armor will resurrect you and heal you for 7,020 and 1,260 every second for 3 seconds. When you are resurrected you do 3,240 damage to any foes nearby and gain 3 seconds of CC immunity. This effect can only trigger once every 75 seconds.
When considering an Armor enchantment, you just need to ask yourself
ARTIFACT SET AND OTHER ARTIFACTS-
UPDATE: Orcus set has established itself as the clear cut winner. Since the nerf, Lostmauth has lost a bit of it’s step. This is due to the efforts of the developers desire to balance it out a little bit. They do not want players to feel “forced” into choosing one set as it is the only option to do great DPS. If the Orcus set is too expensive for you then LM is still the way to go. However, Black Ice is not necessarily a terrible option either. Just keep in mind the Black Ice set only has a chance to proc on encounters where as the LM set procs upon Crit. The LM set used to deal damage that would adjust based on your buffs, resulting in MEGA damage but it does not do that anymore. However, you still Crit a lot more often than use encounter powers. Keep that in mind.
When it comes to choosing your artifacts there is little debate as to what is currently BEST IN SLOT. Obviously as it stands right now the best Artifact Set for any DPS class to get is the Lostmauth set including the Lostmauth Horn of Blasting, Golden Belt of Puissance and the Lostmauth’s Hoard Necklace. The set bonus reads as follows. “Do an additional hit of weapon damage on a critical hit. This is where Neverwinter really starts to show it’s sometimes puzzling nature. So many questions arise. When they say “weapon damage” does that include current buffs? How is this effected by Bonding companions(See “Companions”)? No one really knows 100% what exactly is involved here, to the best of my knowledge. Maybe it’s even bugged because it’s far and above the best set available right now. However, this will change shortly because Neverwinter has already announced they will be nerfing the LM set and giving players the option to swap their LM set with other sets. The goal is to balance the game out and to make it so you actually have a choice instead of DPS players feeling like they only have 1 option. After these changes take effect, my suspicion is that the Orcus set will be the best but we will have to wait to see. In short, you want the Lostmauth Set now and can always trade it in when it gets nerfed.
The other 3 artifacts that are best in slot for the Scourage Warlock is as follows
Sigil of the Devoted- Also known as the “DC Sigil”. This will be your active Artifact as it will boost your Action Point generation tremendously. At this point, my SW generates so many AP that I rarely need to use this anymore but that’s only because I have 2k AP gain, a legendary snail, the right class features, etc. If you’re already at this point then go ahead and throw your lantern in here but until then the DC sigil is the perfect active Artifact. At Mythic, the Sigil of the Devoted gives you +1000 Power, +1000 Defense and +600 Incoming Healing. The stats are good but the real value comes from the use.
Lantern of Revelation- This Artifact isn’t just pure stats although it does give three of the most important stats you can have. At Mythic, the Lantern gives you +1000 Critical Strike, +1000 Armor Penetration and +600 Combat Advantage Bonus. Don’t let the need for Action Points blind you, Combat Advantage Bonus is VERY important. Between you, party members, other allies, companion and your puppet you will almost ALWAYS have Combat Advantage. This provides an extreme boost to your DPS and the Artifact itself serves as a great alternative to the DC sigil when you no longer need the Action Points. When activated the Lantern deals 5,500 damage to nearby enemies and increases the damage they take by 16% for 6 seconds. That’s about 6 Soul Scorches. I’d almost recommend this over the DC sigil if your APs didn’t account for MORE than a 16% increase to damage. Oh, also in those 6 seconds you can see hidden targets. This could probably be paired will with a Ring of Stealth Sight in PVP for an advantage over those pesky TR’s.
Thayan Book of the Dead- This Artifact IS just pure stats. The perfect compliment to the Lantern. It too gives you +1000 Critical Strike, +1000 Armor Penetration and ZOMGZOMGZOMG +600 Action Point Gain!
If you need to conserve costs and don’t want to spend so much another good option is the Sigil of the Controller. Also known as the CW Sigil. The CW Sigil gives you +1000 Power, +100 Critical Strike and +600 Control Resist. The only reason I don’t recommend this over the others is because of the dead 3rd stat. CAD or AP Gain are both a worlds worth of value better than CR. Now, please don’t look me up and call me a hypocrite because I don’t have either the Thayan book or CW Sigil. I’m currently using the Tiamat Orb for a good balance of stats. It gives +500 to Power, Critical Strike, Recovery, Armor Penetration and +600 to Action Point Gain. The only reason I am rocking the Tiamat orb is because at the time I had like 2 in my bank leftover from Mod 5 and the TBOD was a bagillion AD and I didn’t have a CW for the Controller Sigil.
Now, this is the one area that I will fully disclose that I can’t tell you for 100% that this is the best way to go. Currently I’m rocking all Elemental Dragonflight that has been refined through Black Ice Shaping. Now, I still need to do due-diligence to find out what the optimal set up is. I know that the Dusk set gives you a bonus of +1000 Power +1000 Defense and +5000 Hit Points which is pretty enticing considering that it’s only a 2 piece set where the Dragonflight only gives you +500 Power and you need 3 pieces to get that. However, whenever I look at the Dusk gear, I’m losing way too many vital stats giving up 2 pieces in exchange for 2 piece Dusk. So, I haven’t pulled the trigger on that. Now Drowcraft is only the same level as Dragonflight as is Elemental Drowcraft to Elemental Dragonflight. As it stands right now, I have decided to go full Elemental Dragonflight and stick with it but if anyone can shed new light on this, be my guest below.
When it comes down to companions there are a LOT of choices. However, you may be inclined to choose companions that give Crit Severity or AP gain or Power and almost 90% of the time, I wouldn’t blame you. However, when trying to achieve max DPS, the “obvious choices” may not always be so obvious.
Summoned Companion: Legendary Mercenary- First off, this companion only comes from purchasing the Heirloom Pack from the Zen Market. Once you do get it, it starts off at rare quality(blue). Then you need to get it to legendary status which is a good 1.75M AD. Doing this, even though it’s expensive, is VERY worth it. First off at orange, you’ll be getting 15% of this companions stats.
3 Rank 12 Bonding Runestones- When your companion activates a power, it has a chance to proc “Companion’s Gift”, which will grant you 95% of your companion’s stats. Also each Rank 12 gives you +840 Power and +840 Defense.
2 Adorable Bites Rings- Each ring will give your companion +521 Power and +348 Critical Strike and 2 Offense slots, which you would ideally fill with 2 Rank 12 Brutal Enchantments.
The reason this is the only real option when chasing max DPS is because of the multipliers. When you factor in the 15% stats from legendary status and the Rank 12 Bondings, you’re talking about a total of 300% of your companion’s stats when all 3 Bondings proc.
Active Companions(All of them should be Epic or Purple quality)
Air Archon- 5% Increased Damage to all foes not at 100% health. This means 99% up-time.
Intellect Devourer- 5% Combat Advantage. Obviously, I don’t need to tell you why this is good. Combat Advantage is extremely easy to obtain, this will help.
Blink Dog- 5% Combat Advantage- Another CA companion? Yes. Why? Here’s where it gets juicy. Common sense would tell you that 5%+5%=10% Combat Advantage, right? WRONG! I don’t know if this is intentional or if this is bugged, but when you combine these two companions at epic level, you actually get 25% Combat Advantage, which makes a HUGE difference. I don’t think it’ll show up in your stat sheet but the increase of damage is WAY too big to pass up.
Erinyes- Critical Severity