[Mod 18] Charisma’s Warlock Compendium

by Charisma on February 8, 2020
Warlock
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[Mod 18] Charisma’s Warlock Compendium

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Last Updated: February 8th, 2020

Please remember everything in this guide is evolving.

Before we get started I would like to thank all the individuals in the “Thanks!” Tab for their contributions.  This guide wouldn’t have been possible with you.

Hello everyone!

My name is Charisma and I’ve been playing Neverwinter since the end of Mod 4.  I have played a Warlock for a long, long time and I’ve seen the game change a lot over the years.  This guide is a culmination of information gathered and tested by many individuals (including myself) over a long period of time.  We have put a lot of work into testing new and old gear, crunching numbers, and theory crafting, and I believe we still have room for improvement.  That being said, this build is very complete, with only some minor adjustments being possible in the future.

IMPORTANT:  This is just a starting point.  I will tell you do’s and don’ts and tell you why, but if you don’t use the information or if you care to experiment with your own ideas please feel free to.  This is the setup that I’ve found to give the most effective output, but this is in no way the only build SW’s can run!

 

Please keep in mind my gear in this picture is not Best in Slot, and won’t be for some time.  I talk about gear and what you should be using in the ‘Gear’ tab.

If you have any questions about my build you can always message me in game, my username is [email protected] or you can leave a comment on this guide and I’ll reply ASAP.

If you would like to see walk-throughs and explanations of end game content from a warlock’s perspective, you can check out my YouTube channel by clicking here.

I livestream on occasion, if you’re interested in watching you can by clicking here.

Okay, now that the introductions are out of the way, click the tabs above to get into the build!

Race:

Your race choice is very important in Neverwinter.  Every race can play any class, but some races do certain classes much better than others!

Dragonborn (Metallic Ancestry if you have it) are at the top because of their additional 3% power and critical strike.  This works really well for obvious reasons as a dps.  Also, you get to choose what ability score bonuses you want, which means no wasted bonuses!

Sun Elf The Extra AP isn’t great, and most of the times it’s hard to notice.  The Ability Score Bonuses line up, which is awesome, so no wasted bonuses.

Tiefling are still okay.  The extra % damage buff when targets are below 50% synergies extremely well but with the speed at which things die you probably won’t notice this outside of boss fights.  Plus the ability score bonuses don’t line up perfectly.  CHA isn’t useless, it contributes to recharge speed, but the amount you get from +2 CHA won’t be noticed.

Moon Elf is tied for last on the list, hard to tell if it’s better or worse than Tiefling.  Moon Elf is just a worse version of the Sun Elf for us.  The only real difference is the AP gain, as a Moon Elf you trade 1% AP gain for 1% Stamina Gain.  Honestly, when we are talking about bonuses this small, it doesn’t matter.  I would pick for aesthetics, unless you really care about that 1%.

Ability Score Bonuses should always be (if possible) DEX and INT.  INT is your main attribute, contributing to a +% magic damage bonus, and DEX increases Crit Severity.

All Ability Score points should be put into Intelligence and Dexterity.

Intelligence gives us bonus magic damage, and Dexterity increases our critical hit severity.

Stats:

The most important thing that you can learn from this guide is that hitting stat caps is the key to success.  If, when using all the gear I recommend, you’re over-cap on accuracy for example, try swapping your gear around to lower accuracy and put those stats somewhere useful.  Stats for the most part are calculated using the formula below:

((Your Crit) – (Their Crit Avoidance)) / 1000 = Your Critical Hit %

Enemies have a base stat value of 18,000 – 35,000 Defense, Deflection, Critical Strike, Critical Resist, and Combat Advantage, and a base 68,000 – 85,000 Accuracy,  Armor Penetration, and Awareness depending on what content you’re running.  These numbers are super important when thinking about our stat caps because in order to be maxed out in a stat we must factor in enemies rolls.

Critical Strike caps at 85k (For the new IC dungeon, 80k for ToMM)

Armor Pen caps at 85k (80k for ToMM)

Accuracy caps at 85k (80k for ToMM)

Combat Advantage caps at 135k (130k for ToMM)

Power has no cap.

Stat priority or what you should cap first is as follows:

Armor Pen > Accuracy > Crit Chance > Combat Advantage > Power

Accuracy is the most noticeable if you’re below cap, and that’s why it’s first on the list.  If an enemy deflects an attack it will negate a massive amount of damage.  You want to minimize the chances of that happening ASAP.  Armor Pen does the same thing, only to Defense.  Minimizing the damage reduction from your foe’s defense is super important.

Enchantments:

Enchantments should be used to push you to the stat caps listed above.  The best Warlocks use a combination of multiple types of Enchantments to minimize wasted states and maximize stats at cap.  This means that there’s no cookie cutter setup for you to run.  With that said there are a few things to note about enchantments.

Be sure to use Three Stat Enchantments like the Draconic Enchantment, or the Black Ice Enchantment if you are not capped on stats.  These give you more bulk stats total.  If you are capped on one stat, focus on stats you aren’t capped on by slotting enchantments to boost stats you’re short on. If you’re capped on all stats, slot some Radiants. Remember, Power has no cap.

Companions:

Companions can be a complex topic and the easiest way to cover them is to simply state the facts.  Right now, the best option for stats are augment companions.  VERY few non-augment companions are worth using right now (to be honest I can only think of one off the top of my head).  This is because augments give you an additional portion of their stats on top of any Bonding Runestones you may have.  This means you can get a massive amount of additional stats from your companion.

The companion I recommend using, and would argue is best in slot, is the Bulette Pup.  This companion is an Augment that gives additional Power, Combat Advantage, and even increases our Maximum Hit points, all on top of Bondings and it’s Augmentation Bonus.  This means we can get a massive amount of power out of this little guy, and since power is king, the Bulette Pup is very good.

A good alternative to the Bulette Pup is the Rat Pup, which also gives a bonus to Power and some other stats.

As far as Companion Powers go, the best Offense Slots I’ve found are the Batiri’s Wisdom, the Baby Deepcrow’s Presence, and the Barbarian Shaman’s Wisdom.

For Utility slots, I currently have the Compy’s Instincts.

For Defense, I am using the Minstrel’s Discipline.

Upgrading these companions will increase the effectiveness of their bonuses!  It is very important to upgrade them to legendary ASAP!

Here are some other companions with worth-while bonuses:

Ghost – +4,000 Power, + 2,000 Critical Strike
Assassin Drake – +4,000 Armor Penetration, +2,000 Accuracy 
Cambian Magus – +4% Critical Hit Severity, +2,000 Accuracy
Red Slaad – +2,000 Armor Penetration, +4,000 Accuracy
Cantankerous Mage +2,000 Defense, +4,000 Accuracy
Fawn of Shiallia – +2,000 Power, +4,000 Critical Strike
Flame Sprite – +2,000 Critical Strike, +4,000 Accuracy
Razorwood – +4% Critical Severity, +2,000 Accuracy

Another thing to keep in mind, there are 5 different companion types, Fighters, Creatures, Invokers, Mystical, and Beasts.  Your summoned companion is granted a bonus to attack power based on how many companions you have of a specific type, and their rarity, with a cap at 15%.

Uncommon: +1.5%

Rare: +2%

Epic: +2.5%

Legendary: +3%

This is another reason why using an Augment is very strong.  Augments give you their stats, on top of Bonding Runestones, meaning that this bonus goes straight to you.  Its very important that this bonus is as close to 15% as possible ASAP.

Companion Equipment:

High level companion equipment can be found as a random drop from Master Expeditions or ME’s for short, and from a random drop out of the box from the NPC Zox.  It’s totally random and you only get 6 chances per character, per day, so I would recommend running as many characters through ME’s as possible until you get the drops you need.

As far as Runestones to enchant said gear goes, remember that it’s all completely reliant on stats that you need to hit your caps.  Some stronger and more generally used Runestones are the Empowered and the Recondite Runestones.

Hellbringer

Feats:

Feats have been hugely simplified, in an effort to cut out all the decisions that were mostly pointless.  Cryptic has tried to make each feat impactful, and for the most part they succeeded, some are just slightly better than others.

Currently, I am running:

Double Scorch, Warlock’s Curse, Risky Investment, Creeping Death, and Soul Spark Recovery.

From my testing, these are the feats that give the highest damage output the highest percentage of the time.

With all that said, let me tell you a short bit about my choices:

Double Scorch: With the removal of recovery and the nerfs to Artifacts, we don’t cast anywhere near as many dailies as we used to.  Because of this, and how easy it is to generate Soul Sparks just by using Hellish Rebuke, Increasing Soul Scorch’s damage is more effective.

Warlock’s Curse: Warlocks curse almost everything they are in combat with, so this is the obvious choice.

Risky Investment:  Very strong in Boss Fights since we can stack it easily with Hadar’s Grasp.  Keep in mind though that this feat is pretty useless in AoE situations since with the rotation I am currently running there is no easy way to stack it.

Creeping Death: Very powerful DoT

Soul Spark Recovery: Since we gain Soul Sparks from crits, you get more CDR from SSR than from WR.

Abilities:

Your rotation is extremely important when it comes to maximizing your damage output, especially in single target situations.  I’ll get into what powers you should be using and when now:

AoE/Generally:

For Encounters I suggest using Blades of Vanquished Armies, Killing Flames, and Hellfire Ring.

To start, Catch as much as you can inside Hellfire Ring to apply Lesser Curse.  Pop BoVA and run into the middle of everything.  Killing Flames something that is ~50% HP if possible, if not just whatever will do.  Use Soul Scorch for Cooldown Recovery and for some additional AoE Damage over Time on the target with the most health and repeat.

For Class Features I recommend using All Consuming Curse and No Pity No Mercy.

All Consuming Curse is useful to get everything Cursed.  You can alternatively slot Flames of Empowerment here if you don’t see the need to have ACC, but the difference this makes is minimal.

Encounter powers are easy.  Hellish Rebuke is a must with either Dark Spiral Aura or Eldritch Blast (purely preference).

Hellish Rebuke should be your main damage dealer.  I like using Dark Spiral Aura since it’s a very passive skill with a quick animation that I can cast whenever it’s fully stacked for some extra damage, but Eldritch Blast is an okay alternative.

Dailies are important, even if we can’t cast them as often as we used to.  I recommend using Accursed Souls and Tyrannical Curse.

If you are fighting a small group, or if there aren’t any elites in the group you’re fighting, Accursed Souls is very good.  It will do a nice chunk of damage and drop Lesser Curse on everything.  If there’s an elite in the party, drop Tyrannical Curse on it and focus the hell out of it.  All the little enemies nearby will melt.

Single Target/Boss Fights:

Swap BoVA for Hadar’s Grasp.

The Idea here is to keep Soul Investiture stacked at the maximum 5 stacks as much as possible.  This will net us an additional 25% encounter damage for as long as we can keep these stacks going.  Your rotation here should be as follows, to ensure you’re stacking efficiently:  Hellfire Ring for Lesser Curse and the Dot, Hadar’s Grasp (be sure you have Lesser Curse before using HG, if your target for some reason doesn’t have Lesser Curse, wait to use HG until the end), Killing Flames (this will also add Lesser Curse).  Remember to use Soul Scorch when you have 18 stacks for a 3 second Cooldown Reduction, and repeat.

Also swap from Accursed Souls to Brood of Hadar.

-This part of the guide is still Outdated-

Soulweaver

Soulweaver is our new healing paragon and as far as healers go, I believe we are the weakest.  That doesn’t mean we are bad, but it does mean Warlock players will have to try significantly harder to heal everyone then a Cleric, or a Paladin.

Ability Scores:

For Healing we must change our ability score bonuses.  Wisdom gives a bonus to outgoing healing and that’s a must.  Charisma increases cooldown reduction and companion influence.  Constitution gives Maximum Health and AP Gain.  These are both good choices.  Personally, if you have under 240k Maximum HP (which should be most of us) I would recommend using Constitution for the additional Health.  Constitution will help you survive large AoE attacks in LoTMM and other various dungeons.

Feats:

Lots of Soulweaver Feats come down to preference.  I recommend using this feat setup, but you can feel free to make adjustments as you see fit.

Essence of Power, Transfusion Tactics, Lingering Sustain, From the Brink, Spark Energy

Here’s the part where I tell you a little bit about each choice and why I picked them. Feats that are this color are feats that are essentially down to personal preference.

Essence of Power: I prefer using Essence of Power over Essence of Time since I find that I waste a LOT of time holding Tab to generate Soul Sparks.  This does however, lock you into making sure that you get enough healing out of the 15 Soul Sparks since it’s cooldown is pretty long and not effected by cooldown reduction.

Transfusion Tactics: Obvious choice here, since Dark Revelry is fairly useless.

Lingering SustainAnother Obvious choice here.  Additional healing.  The other choice here seems powerful, but very risky since we use a lot of skills that also cost health.

From the Brink: This is what I believe to be the better choice, however if you are not using Essence of Power, you might find some use from Thief of Life.

Spark Energy: If you are for some reason using Curse Bite, you can set up a really fun build with Consuming Action HOWEVER, fun doesn’t mean good.  Unfortunately from what I’ve seen Consuming Action doesn’t give enough AP to really make a difference, even when you are using it as effectively as possible and neglecting healing all together.  Because of that, Spark Energy is the better choice, giving us a sizable increase in AP generation.

Abilities:

   

For Encounters I recommend using Pillar of Power and Shatter Spark at all times.  These two are your bread and butter as a Soul Weaver.  Pillar of Power increases both your outgoing healing and allies’ outgoing damage.  Shatter Spark is a very large team-wide heal with little to no cool down and a short animation.  Warlock’s Bargain is another team-wide heal, although the heal itself isn’t worth the HP 20% HP it costs you to use it.  However it also cleanses debuffs, which is very important.  Harrowstorm is a relatively weak heal, but you can stack it on top of each-other and it also does damage to enemies.  You’ll want to swap between Harrowstorm and Warlock’s Bargain depending on the situation.

For Class Feats I recommend using Warding Curse and All Consuming curse.  These paired together make it easy to apply lesser curse to targets and Lower their damage output by 5% (which is 5% less damage you have to heal :D)

For at wills I recommend using Essence Defiler and Dark Spiral Aura.  Dark Spiral will generate Soul Sparks, which makes it very useful!

**You can replace Dark Spiral Aura with Soul Reconstruction if you’d like. Soul Reconstruction is a very weak heal however, and it gets canceled often, so keep that in mind.**

For dailies, Tyrannical Curse and Soul Pact are the obvious choices.  Soul Pact is a large heal and a large damage resistance buff, but at the cost of 2% of your maximum HP a second.  That’s not a lot of damage in reality, and it’s very easy to heal this damage without even trying.  Tyrannical Curse is Tyrannical Curse.  The extra damage is nice, but I almost always use Soul Pact instead.

Important!

Min/Max-ing stats is something that each player will have to do for themselves since every individual’s stats vary on a case by case basis, and should always be kept in mind when picking gear.  As long as you keep these general guide-lines in mind, you shouldn’t have any trouble.  Newer players shouldn’t worry too much about their stats until they have most if not all of the gear recommended in this guide.  Artifacts and artifact weapons included.

Artifacts:

Best-in-Slot:

The Storyteller’s Set is currently BiS due to massive amounts of damage the Envenomed Storyteller’s Journal gives, plus the Set Bonus being very good increasing.  The stats offered by the set as a whole are also very good.  This being said, the full set is very hard to obtain.  You have to participate in all of the Tales of Old events which are only active at certain parts of the year.  On top of that, they require lots of farming during the event, making this easily one of the hardest sets to get your hands on period.

 

Alternatives:

If you don’t currently have the Storyteller Set, your primary Artifact should probably be either the Wyvern-Venom Coated Knives, or the Staff of Flowers.  For secondary artifacts prioritize Artifacts that give you the stats you need to hit your stat caps.


Wyvern-Venom Coated Knives: This artifact gives good Offensive stats and an amazing Damage Reduction debuff to all enemies hit, as well as applying a DoT.  A very good supporting artifact that I would argue is a contender for BiS Primary Artifact for Soulweaver or other support focused builds.

Staff of Flowers: Another artifact with good Offensive stats and a good supporting effect when used.  I would recommend this as another contender for BiS as a Primary Artifact for Soulweavers.

Arcturia’s Music Box: The music box is the only Artifact here that I wouldn’t recommend using as a Primary in some cases.  It has a lot of Offensive stats, which makes it a good alternative for a Secondary Artifact.

Artifact Equipment:

For your Artifact Weapon Set the current BiS option is the Lionheart Pact Blade and Grimoire.  This Artifact’s set bonus gives you a 10% bonus to outgoing damage when your stamina is full.  This bonus decreases as stamina decreases.  This set synergizes really well with our Neck and Belt set which we will get into next.

 

For your Necklace and Belt set use the Mad Mage Necklace and Belt and the Halaster’s Blast Scepter Artifact.  This set not only gives you very respectable bonuses to important stats, but it’s bonus 5% damage when standing still is a very good bonus.  The key to utilizing this set efficiently is positioning yourself in an area that you won’t have to move from often, and minimizing your use of stamina during fights.

Gear:

Your gear selection will vary depending on what content you are running most often.  Keep in mind that different content has different stat caps, and therefor different stat values are required.  I personally recommend having a build for IC + everything else and one for ToMM.  Because of this recommendation, I will split the gear section into two builds, one for ToMM and one for everything else.

IC + Everything Else:

Head:
Protege’s Charmed Hat – ToMM is still technically Undermountain so you still get that +5% damage from this.

Chest:
Ebony Stained Robes – 10% every time you deal more than 10% of your max HP in a single blow gain 1% bonus power.  This stacks up to 10 times.  This is a huge power bonus.

Hands:
Vivified Primal Raid Shabas – Similar effect to the Ebony Stained Robes, but it’s 15% for 1% bonus power.  This effect is separate to the Robes, so both apply.  This stacks up to 5 times.

Feet:
Rusted Iron Leggings – Increases damage dealt by 5%, but reduces incoming healing by 25%.  This is a good trade-off.

Rings:
Guiding Ring of the Spy – Ranged powers do 3% more damage, 2 Offense slots
Nickel-plated Ring – Your Encounter powers deal an additional 3% extra damage.

Shirt:
Infernal Forged Assault Shirt – Action point gain when you deal more than 15% of you max HP in a single blow.  Good offensive stats and some very good extra AP gain.

Pants:
Velvet Trousers +1 – One of the only pants that gives Offensive stats.  The bonus AP gain is good, but since it has an Internal Cooldown we don’t actually get much use out of it.

Tower of the Mad Mage (ToMM):

The main change between IC and ToMM are going to be your rings.  For ToMM swap in a Shadowstalker +5 instead of the Nickel-plated.  In ToMM we can get a lot of use out of a Shadowstalker, and since the Nickel-plated is only Encounter powers the Shadowstalker is better.  Also, your stat caps change for ToMM.  Here’s an example of stats that are well optimized for ToMM.

Remember that for ToMM, the caps are reduced to 80k from 85k.

Weapon/Armor Enchantments:

Bilethorn weapon enchantments are currently doing a massive amount of damage in Single Target, contending with Vorpal for that best in slot spot.  Right now, it’s looking like Vorpal is better for burst damage, while Bilethorn is doing more damage in longer fights.

             

Armor Enchantments are 100% personal choice.  I like Negation, Soulforged, and Elven Battle, but whichever you choose is up to you.

Thank you for reading!

Thanks to everyone for the constructive feedback and ideas.  Without all the helpful and creative input from members in the community this guide wouldn’t be anywhere near as complete.  Special thanks to:
Enyo@Yopuko – for their help with resources

Malebot@xavior44 – For their extensive assistance in both theory crafting and testing practically everything.

Xune [email protected] – For their help with general testing

If this guide helped you, please rate it at the top of the page, it really helps me out!

If you’re looking for more information, check out my YouTube channel by clicking here.

Thanks Again!

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  • Uirá Henriques
    February 15, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Great guide, finally a written one!!!! Simple, fast easy to follow. Will you add companion/companion skills for healer instead of dps? And the items for healer?

    • Nick
      February 25, 2020 at 6:12 am

      Look for companions that give outgoing healing and gear that gives critical strike, Defense or Crit avoidance

  • Steve
    February 16, 2020 at 10:56 am

    Hello charisma may I ask about the mounts section please? Haven’t seen any yet so just a recommendation of which mounts would be best to use and which insignias to focus on would be great thanks.

  • xFuurocious
    March 8, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Have you chosen creeping death over executioner after he new changes? the 10 magnitude version now

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