[Mod 19] Charisma’s Warlock Compendium
Last Updated: October 25, 2020
Note: This guide will no longer be updated here! You will find new updates, better formatting, and more information on it’s website!
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.
Okay, now that the introductions are out of the way, click the tabs above to get into the build!
Every race can play any class, but some races do certain classes much better than others! Races get racial bonuses that can be very impactful, but I understand aesthetics matter to lots of people (me included). For this reason I’ll include some alternatives to the standard Best option.
Dragonborn (Metallic Ancestry if you have it) The lizards are the Best option for almost all DPS classes because of their 3% damage bonus. Metallic Ancestry isn’t a huge upgrade for warlocks, but the extra 3% health is very helpful for getting your HP up to Zariel and ToMM standards. The additional 3% incoming healing is also great and shouldn’t be undervalued in harder content.
Tieflings are a great alternative to dragonborn if you aren’t into the look of the stinky lizards. Their ability scores don’t really line up, but you can still get the important +Int bonus. Their racial bonus of up to 5% extra damage as a target’s health diminishes synergizes really well with Killing Flames and is a solid option for those who want to do more single target damage.
Half Orc is the best alternative for those who aren’t into scales or tails and although, like the Tiefling their ability scores don’t entirely line up you can get very good use out of Half Orc’s 5% bonus to Crit Severity. The 10% bonus to movement speed is negligible and mostly ignored.
Sun Elf is easily the worst out of these three alternatives, but it is the best looking in my humble opinion. That being said, their ability score bonuses line up very well. Unfortunately, their racial abilities are mostly useless. The extra 2% AP generation and 10% control resistance is nice, but you will never notice either of these realistically. Such is the price of vanity.
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.
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 – 40,000 Defense, Deflection, Critical Strike, Critical Resist, and Combat Advantage, and a base 68,000 – 90,000 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. Numbers below are calculated for Zariel’s Challenge unless stated otherwise.
Critical Strike caps at 90k (85k for TIC, 80k for ToMM)
Armor Pen caps at 90k (85k for TIC, 80k for ToMM)
Accuracy caps at 90k (85k for TIC, 80k for ToMM)
Combat Advantage caps at 140k (135k for TIC, 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
Armor Penetration is the most important stat to get and keep at cap when talking about total outgoing damage. Accuracy is also important. Negating damage reduction is something that is super important for DPS classes and making sure you’re at or above cap for these stats above is the most important thing you can do for your DPS.
I made a video talking about individual stats and how they are calculated that you can check out by clicking here.
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.
Radiant Enchantments are typically used in every slot possible. Defense and Offense slots alike. You will want a single Tenebrous enchantment rank 15, and Dark enchantments in your Utility slots for the extra companion influence. If you need help hitting the stat caps listed above, swap out Radiants to hit those caps.
The Xuna Question: Can you deal more outgoing dps by abusing companions like Xuna or the Abyssal Chicken? Currently yes, but that yes comes with a huge but. In order to actually deal more outgoing damage, you will have to build around the companion entirely. Swapping out Empowered Runestones in your companion equipment for Indomitable Runestones and stacking Armor Pen. This is already a massive shift for players that already have an Augment setup, but it’s crazy expensive on top of the price of the Xuna or Abyssal Chicken companion. This is further complicated by Cryptic recently stating that they want to equalize the damage output between attacker companions. This to me stats that a nerf to Xuna and the Chicken are coming, and I would strongly ADVISE AGAINST swapping to a Xuna or Chicken build now seeing as it’s a huge risk to your AD investment.
This does NOT mean that you cannot deal great damage using a good old Augment. Augments are still amazing companions and it’s what I would wager are still going to be best for a while. IF I am wrong about the changes to attacker companions, I will update this section as soon as I can.
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 Raptor’s Instincts. These are from the Batiri, Baby Deep Crow, and the Tamed Velociraptor.
For Utility slots, I currently have the Compy’s Instincts from the Alpha Compy.
For Defense, I am using the Minstrel’s Discipline from the minstrel.
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%.
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.
High level companion equipment can be found as a random drop from Master Expeditions or ME’s for short, from a random drop out of the box from the NPC Zox, from Warden Expeditions in the Stardock, and from the regular version of Zariel’s Challenge. It’s totally random and you can (like me) get very unlucky and it can take a long time for you to get your companion equipment. Keep this in mind as you grind, and keep at it.
I recommend using these Companion equipments:
The Silver Icon of the Companion, the Prestine Belt of the Companion, and the Gold Leafed Grimoire of the Companion
As far as Runestones to enchant said gear goes, generally you will use full Radiant enchantments but keep in mind that Runestones are a great tool for min/maxing as their stats are multiplied by your bondings. If you’re low on a stat, consider swapping an empowered runestone out for a runestone that gives you that stat, but remember you’re trading a lot of power when doing so.
Currently, I am running:
This setup is makes stacking Soul Investiture insanely easy and I cannot understate how important keeping your stacks at 5 is.
With all that said, let me tell you a short bit about my choices:
Power of the Nine Hells: This feat is a must have. It makes Hellfire Ring stack your Soul Investiture crazy fast.
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.
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:
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. You can alternatively slot Dust to Dust if you can curse a majority of AoE targets with Hellfire Ring.
Encounter powers are easy. Hellish Rebuke is a must with either Dark Spiral Aura
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.
Dailies are important, 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.
Swap All Consuming Curse for Dust to Dust if you’re not already using it.
Remember to only use Tyrannical Curse on bosses.
-This part of the guide is still Outdated-
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.
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.
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.
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 Sustain: Another 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.
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.
This guide will no longer be updated here! You will find new updates, better formatting, and more information on it’s website!
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.
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 your max health and adding an additional hit on Crits. The stats offered by the set as a whole are mediocre, since they are still the old itemlevel. 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. I would recommend buying them from the Zen Store or off the Auction house since they were recently added to the Zen Store for a limited time.
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.
Additional Alternatives include the Book of Vile Darkness and the Sword of Zariel.
For your Artifact Weapon Set the current BiS option is the Celestial Lancet of Honor and the Celestial Words of Hope. These are the weapons from Zariel’s Challenge (Master)
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.
Your gear selection may 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.
Protege’s Charmed Hat -This is best in slot for anything that is technically in Undermountain. This includes LoMM and ToMM. For other content use the Helm of the Skyblazer.
Scavenger’s Robes: double the power of the Ebonized chest piece, which is very strong.
Lion’s Guard Raid Wristguards – The effect on these is nuts and gives an insane amount of power.
Rusted Iron Leggings – Increases damage dealt by 5%, but reduces incoming healing by 25%. This is a good trade-off.
Guiding Ring of the Sharp Shooter – Ranged powers do 3% more damage, 2 Offense slots
Ebonized Raid Ring – Ranged powers do 3% more damage, 2 Offensive slots
Shirt of the Hell’s Interrogator: Most power from a shirt.
Lower Pact Brands of the Blaze-bond: Best stats with the Critical Charge bonus.
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 and for AoE, while Bilethorn is doing more damage in longer fights.
Armor Enchantments are important for Zariel’s Challenge and ToMM, and the best one is Barkshield. Soulforged can be an okay alternative if you cannot afford a barkshield, but barkshield is much better.
NOTE: I am still missing some boons from Avernus and I will update this section as I get them.
Mount bonuses are the least impactful they have been in a long time. The important part is to make sure you have at least one Gladiator’s Guile mount bonus (most people stack 2), and a Barbarian’s Revelry bonus for sustain. Make sure you have full Brutality insignia’s or Dominance insignia’s if you’re over capped on Armor Penetration. For Zariel’s Challenge you can swap some out for Fortitude Insignia’s if you need more HP.
Combat Power and Equip Power:
Tunnel Vision is insane. 3,000 Magnitude on a single attack on a 60s cooldown is nuts, especially when you can combo that with Tyrannical Curse and your Artifact. I regularly see crits for over 3.5 million damage Crits when I am solo’ing and much, much more in content like ToMM or Zariel. If you aren’t the main DPS or want to focus on buffing other’s damage instead of dealing it yourself, Combat powers like Swarm or the King of Spines effects are very useful to have to be able to swap too if no one else in your ToMM or Zariel group has one.
For your Equip Power any of the Dominant Force mounts are a must have for anything that isn’t ToMM or Zariel. When running ToMM or Zariel in order to survive most of the mechanics you will NEED to swap to an HP bonus mount. This mount bonus is listed as Fortitude and it’s commonly found on the Legendary Triceratops mount.
Buy the Armored Bear from the Zen Store.
The Armored bear has the same HP bonus as the legendary Triceratops mount and Tunnel Vision. This means that you can max out both your Tunnel Vision combat power and your Fortitude equip power at the same time, saving mount upgrade tokens for new players.
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.