Many thanks to Wesley Hall for the idea for this article, as well as the article art! By the way, here is what happened last time Wes and I teamed up. Also, you should follow him on Twitter. Hilarity will ensue.
Artwork by Wesley Hall (click for big)
In the classic Disney movie “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” Mickey plays an aspiring wizard who, after being left unattended with the master’s spellbook, wreaks havoc when he tries to cast a spell he is not practiced at. Without looking too far for deeper meaning, this is a great example of what might happen in a D&D setting if a wizard were to cast a spell higher than their level. After all, we might assume that, especially if a character went to “Wizarding School,” they know about higher level spells, even if they’re not sure exactly how to cast them. Continue reading
Recently I went with some friends down to a Living Forgotten Realms battle interactive, where I knew we would be facing some challenging combats. My warlock had just leveled to 18, so I had the opportunity to do some retraining. Here were my goals for reworking the warlock:
- I wanted to feel like a real striker doing real striker damage. Warlocks are known for being more “controllery”, so I considered focusing on those kinds of powers. But then I decided that if you’re looking to impose status effects, “dead” is the best one…
- Since the last time I played my warlock, Wizards updated the class by making it so that you can apply curse damage once per turn, rather than once per round (this is analogous to the change to rogues). I tried looking for as many out-of-turn attacks as I could, but the Con warlock doesn’t have many. Charisma has a few nice dailies that have the potential to give you out-of-turn attacks for the whole encounter, but I chose to stick with Con.
- The only out-of-turn attack I ended up with was Killing Flames, which is an encounter Immediate Reaction triggered when an enemy within 10 becomes bloodied, and you attack it for 3d8+Con damage. Add another 3d8 from curse dice, and that’s a pretty good hit.
- We also had a warlord at the table, and since I had a melee basic attack (Eldritch Strike), I got some free attacks from that as well.
All in all, I was pretty impressed with the damage output. I went Academy Master for my paragon path, which gives you +3 damage on at-wills, and gives you an encounter power to use an at-will and gain 2 extra damage dice. Since I am sorcerer-king pact, that means that on the first turn I can use my encounter power to attack a target for 7d8+30 (+35 if I have prime shot). I crit with that once… it was awesome.
How to get awesome damage (mostly from feats):
- Blood Pact of Cania (+2/3/4 damage with Con powers)
- Dual Implement Spellcaster (adds your off-hand implement bonus to damage rolls)
- Called Shot (+5 damage with prime shot)
- Killing Curse (d8’s for curse dice)
- Implement Focus (+1/2/3 damage)
- Mindbite Scorn (extra die of curse dice)
- Siberys Shard of the Mage (+3 damage when using a weapon as an implement)
- Staff of Ruin (always awesome)
- Gauntlets of Blood (+4 damage vs. bloodied targets)
So with all of this, I used a +4 Staff of Ruin with +4 off-hand Wrist Razors to get +27 damage on most powers:
+7 (constitution) +4 (enhancement) +4 (staff of ruin) +4 (dual implement) +3 (siberys shard) +3 (blood pact of cania) +2 (implement focus)
This goes up to +30 with an at-will (from Academy Master), and can get up to +39 with an at-will when I have Prime Shot vs. a bloodied target. Even better, I have +2 to hit bloodied targets with Prime Shot since I’m a tiefling. So I didn’t miss much, and if I did, I have a couple of daily rerolls, and the U12 from Academy Master keeps me from expending an encounter power if I miss all targets with it.
Do you have any other tips or suggestions for doing lots of damage with warlocks? Leave them in the comments below!