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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Selling your Soul at a Premium
    The Warlockís Guide to Power

    Image by Tyler Jacobson

    ďOh gentle Faustus, leave this damnťd art,
    this magic that will charm thy soul to hellĒ

    -The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

    Making its first appearance in the 3.5 splatbook Complete Arcane, the Warlock makes a pact with a supernatural being in order to gain power over the magical weave. Unlike other casters who prepare spell lists each day, Warlocks gained the brand new spell Eldritch Blast and at-will invocations, offering mystic power with almost no bookkeeping. The 4e Warlock introduced a more formal Pact system and the Warlock Curse, in addition to the standard At-Will, Encounter and Daily abilities.

    In Fifth Edition, the Warlock combines the concepts of previous editions, essentially maintaining the 4e design ethos of At-Will, Encounter, and Daily powers. This makes it an easy entry class for 4e veterans, though 3.P players should still recognize familiar remnants of the original.

    But wait, EvilAnagram! Why would you make an optimization guide about Warlocks when you only need the first two levels.

    Smack

    Quiet, Optimizer Strawman, youíre hysterical. The Warlock is a short rest caster and extremely competent so long as short rests are available. Its primary means of damage, Eldritch Blast, is a cantrip, which reduces the reliance on spell slots, and Invocations reduce that reliance even further. You can easily cast two spells per short rest and still stay effective in combat.

    Remember that this is an optimization guide. It is designed to allow readers to understand the strengths and advantages inherent to playing a Warlock. That said, if you have a fun idea that isn't terribly optimized, don't be afraid to put fun ahead of numbers. It's a game, after all.

    Color Scheme
    • This is freaking amazing! It provides many options, or will do one thing extremely well.
    • This is really good, but not quite phenomenal.
    • This is good. It will regularly be useful, though it won't provide many tactical choices.
    • Bad. It will be extremely rare that it's useful at all.


    • Occasionally very useful, but limited in scope or applicability.


    With the exception of Red abilities, most abilities will find some use and can be a lot of fun. Even situational abilities can find excellent use depending on the game. They're just not going to be the workhorse on your list.

    Table of Contents:
    1. Corrupting Influences
    2. Know thy Soul
    3. Letís Make a Deal
    4. The Demon of Men
    5. Mix-and-Match Witchcraft
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2016-04-26 at 11:28 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalfOrcPirate

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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Selling your Soul at a Premium
    Corrupting Influences

    Image by Grzegorz Rutkowski

    Ability Scores
    • Strength: Usually, this is a dump stat. If you want to wield a really big weapon, this is a great stat to boost. Glaives are common for cheeselocks.
    • Dexterity: Do you like AC? I like AC. Also great for finesse Blade Pacts.
    • Constitution: If you like hit points and passing concentration saves, then boy have I got an ability for you!
    • Intelligence: This can boost your Arcana. This can also get dumped.
    • Wisdom: A very good ability for skills and saves, but do wise people sell their souls?
    • Charisma: You know how you like using your magic powers? The ones you sold your soul for? This is for that.



    Class Features
    • Hit Dice: Less than you want, but better than some.
    • Armor Proficiency: Itís better than nothing. Not, like, a lot better. But better.
    • Weapon Proficiency: There are some pretty nice simple weapons, and it includes sickles for moody Emolocks.
    • Saving Throws: WIS is a super important save, and having proficiency here means you donít have to worry about pumping your WIS, easing the MAD. CHA is pretty nice, too.
    • Skills: Intimidation and Deception can be incredibly helpful. Hell, Deception is basically a cantrip called ďAlter RealityĒ when used well. Insight is pretty useful, and knowledge skills will certainly come in handy.
    • Tools: If you had spent your time learning how to use useful tools, you probably wouldnít have had to sell your soul, now would you?
    • Pact Magic: If youíre a 3.P refugee, this feature might mess with you a bit, but 4e veterans should recognize this as At-Will and Encounter spell casting. You have awesome cantrips, and very limited spell slots that get more powerful as you level up and regenerate on both short and long rests. You wonít know as many spells as a full caster, but youíll eventually be casting fifth level slots all night long.
    • Eldritch Invocations: Were you worried that your Warlock would lack flexibility? Well donít you sweat it because Warlocks get a slew of extra abilities from no-slot spells to added damage and ritual casting.
    • Pact Boon: Weíll cover the boons in detail below. Thereís just too much going on to be succinct.
    • Mystic Arcanum: Basically high level casting, except youíre stuck at the base level of the spell and you only get one less sixth and seventh level spell compared to the full casters.
    • Eldritch Master: Ignore the chief drawback of your Pact Magic once a day.


    Pact Boons
    • Pact of the Chain: Familiars are nice, and yours is the nicest by far. You get better options, and those options can attack. The Invocations arenít bad, either.
    • Pact of the Blade: You get a magical weapon that can never be taken away from you, and you always get to be proficient with it. If you find a magic weapon, you can meditate on it and be proficient with it, too. At the cost of Invocations, you can be pretty freaking nasty in melee, but you will suffer from fairly weak defenses. At later levels, you can deal a whopping +14 damage per attack using Hex.
    • Pact of the Tome: Three extra cantrips are very nice. This provides access to Eldritch Blast, every SCAG cantrip, with room left over for Minor Illusion and Prestidigitation. More importantly itís the only path to ritual casting for the Warlock outside of a feat.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Selling your Soul at a Premium
    Know Thy Soul

    Image Copyright WotC

    Anyone can sell their soul. Theyíre super common, so youíll probably have to haggle if you want a good price for yours. Charisma is obviously the most valuable stat, followed by Constitution and Dexterity. Strength is important if you want a heavy melee weapon. Otherwise, keep your eyes open for spells that donít cost slots and other features that complement

    Player's Handbook
    • Hill Dwarf: The basic Dwarf package is solid. Wis isnít important, though.
    • Mountain Dwarf: The basic Dwarf package is solid, but the +2 to STR and CON, coupled with Medium Armor, can make quite the powerful Bladelock
    • High Elf: Dexterity is nice, as is the extra cantrip. However, Int is not terribly important. The Trance, Perception, and Fey Ancestry are extremely nice, though.
    • Wood Elf: About the same as a High Elf.
    • Drow: Stat boosts and bonus spells and perception, oh my! Grab Poison Spray or Frostbite to make up for your Sunlight Sensitivity.
    • Lightfoot Halfling: Halfling features are really nice, as is the perfect stat distribution.
    • Stout Halfling: Again, Halfling features are great, but this guy only has the secondary stat boosts.
    • Human: Plus one to every stat is pretty solid.
    • Variant Human: Everyone likes options, and this gives you the option of a feat.
    • Dragonborn: Pretty solid for a STR-based Bladelock.
    • Forest Gnome: Gnome Cunning is pretty sweet, and Dexterity is nice, as are the advantages on magic saves. Int is basically useless, though. Itís not a bad choice.
    • Rock Gnome: See above, but sub CON for DEX and add tinkering.
    • Half-Elf: Well, you get CHA. And any other two stats you want. And some skill proficiency. And darkvision. ItísÖ pretty damn sweet.
    • Half-Orc: It doesnít offer much for a Warlock, although it does make a Str-based Bladelock thatís just a bit more survivable.
    • Tiefling: Boosting your primary casting stat is great, as are the extra spells and resistance. Itís pretty fantastic. SCAG options are perfectly fine, too, except for Feral.


    Dungeon Master's Guide
    • Aasimar: The spells aren't great, but you get resistances and Charisma.
    • Eladrin: Perfectly okay. Dexterity and teleportation are nice, but INT is unnecessary.


    Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide
    • Duergar: A decent BladelockÖ indoors. If you can frequently find advantage to cancel out that Sunlight Sensitivity, it's not bad.
    • Deep Gnome: Basically like a Rock Gnome.
    • Ghostwise Halfling: A bit of a slide down from Stout.


    Volo's Guide to Monsters
    • Aasimar: A +2 boost to your primary casting stat is nice. Boosting your primary casting stat on top of a healing ability, two resistances, and the daily ability to channel the divine power of heaven to smite your enemies is really freaking good.
    • Firbolg: Leave it for the Druids.
    • Goliath: You can build a Goliath Bladelock, and it wonít be completely terrible. The defensive feature is really helpful.
    • Kenku: Kenku don't really add anything that make Warlocks better at Warlocking, but they add a lot that will make a Warlock better at other things.
    • Lizardfolk: If you want to go with a STR-based Bladelock, this isn't terrible, though you're not getting much with the stat boosts.
    • Tabaxi: CHA, DEX, and decent mobility features. There's nothing about it that's particularly noteworthy, but all the features are consistently useful.
    • Triton: This is the perfect stat block for a Bladelock, with extra control spells and cold resistance to boot. I like it.


    Volo's Monstrous Races
    • Bugbear: Like a Goliath, it's okay for a Bladelock, but it's otherwise not very good at all.
    • Goblin: Both secondaries, extra damage every day, and a bonus action disengage. This is a surprisingly good pairing.
    • Hobgoblin: The only thing this offers is Saving Face and some CON, and that's just not enough.
    • Kobold: It's not terrible, especially if you have melee allies to constantly give you advantage.
    • Orc: It's just a really poor fit, on account of how nothing it offers does anything for you.
    • Yuan-Ti Pureblood: The magic resistance and Charisma both offer a lot, and the extra spells push it into the upper tiers.


    Elemental Evil
    • Aarakocra: Thereís no Charisma boost, but the early flight isnít bad.
    • Genasi: All the Genasi options provide a CON boost and some CON spells. This is generally a pretty good thing.

    Spoiler: Genasi Subtypes
    Show
    • Air Genasi: Both secondaries, plus Levitate. Not bad.
    • Earth Genasi: Okay if you really want to have a STR weapon, but it just doesnít offer much.
    • Fire Genasi: Itís like a worse version of a Tiefling.
    • Water Genasi: The acid resistance is nice, but Dragonborn get that while still having +2 CHA.


    Plane Shift Zendikar
    Holy crap, it's a Magic/D&D crossover. A lot of the races in this supplement don't fit the races in traditional D&D settings that well, so be sure to talk to your DM before utilizing them.
    • Human: About what you'd expect.
    • Kor: Ghostwise Halfling drops psychic ribbon for a climb speed.
    • Merfolk: I have a little saying: "If it boosts your primary casting stat and gives you extra magic, it's sky-blue." All Merfolk are sky-blue.
    • Vampire: The Charisma boost is nice, but the other features are not terribly important for a Warlock.
    • Goblin: A boost to Constitution and two resistances is going to be nice for any class.
    • Elf: Tajura at least get the Charisma boost, but Juraga and Mul Daya just aren't Warlock material.


    Unearthed Arcana supplements have provided a few new options:

    Eberron
    • Changeling: CHA and DEX with some Skill action and a free Alter Self.
    • Shifters: Shifters tend to provide purely physical boosts. Some of these boosts can be helpful, and DEX is a secondary stat, but they tend to lag.

    Spoiler: Shifter Subtypes
    Show
    • Beasthide Shifter: Not terrible. You get a boost to both CON and DEX, at least.
    • Cliffwalk Shifter: No.
    • Longstride: No.
    • Longtooth Shifter: No.
    • Razorclaw Shifter: Not terrible if youíre a bladelock. Otherwise, No.
    • Wildhunt Shifter: No.

    • Warforged: You can build a pretty decent bladelock with this guy.


    Waterborne
    • Minotaur: I suppose you could make a Bladelock here, but itís not the easiest path.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2017-01-05 at 10:14 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Selling your Soul at a Premium
    Letís Make a Deal

    Image by someone, let me know if you know who

    Your Otherworldly Patron will define quite a bit about your character. Patrons provide extra spells, defensive abilities, ribbons, and more! Plus, it will cue you in to how nervous you should be around the Paladin.

    Remember that unlike other expanded lists, the Warlock feature Expanded Spell List does not automatically give you the spell. Instead, theyíre just added to the list of spells from which you can choose.

    Pact of the Archfey
    Swear fealty to the Queen of Air and Darkness. It worked out alright for Dresden. Kind of. This pact provides solid options for an illusionist controller, not to mention some solid defenses. It also provides a lot of no-ability spells and abilities that might appeal to a Bladelock.
    • Expanded Spell List: A solid spattering of support and control.
    • Fey Presence: A short rest control and charm spell that costs no slot? Well, thatís simply delightful, and a great compliment to your casting.
    • Misty Escape: A short rest Misty Step/Invisibility on a reaction? Also delightful!
    • Beguiling Defenses: Immunity to charms is lovely, though your DM might not target you with charms much after you get this, but it will occasionally be phenomenal.
    • Dark Delerium: A fairly powerful illusion on the short rest, one that could provide quite a lot of utility, not to mention battlefield control. It only targets one character, but it doesnít use up a slot.

    Spoiler: Fey Pact Expanded List
    Show
    1st Level spells
    • Faerie Fire: Advantage is awesome, and this spell provides advantage. (Concentration)
    • Sleep: Starts out awesome! You can end encounters quickly and without saves! Five levels later it's much less awesome because it doesn't scale well.

    2nd Level spells
    • Calm Emotions: You can end a battle or recover from a debuff with the same spell! Very nice. (Concentration)
    • Phantasmal Force: You're only limited by your imagination, and you can create utility effects or cause damage and distract enemies. It's a great spell, but it doesn't scale at all, and you have very good reasons to like spells that scale. (Concentration)

    3rd Level spells
    • Blink: Random teleportation is fun, and it's useful when enemies have you surrounded. That said, a 50% chance of nothing happening is not exactly great, and this uses the same slot as Misty Step.
    • Plant Growth: Battlefield control mixed with some utility.

    4th Level spells
    • Dominate Beast: The effect is really freaking awesome, but its pool of targets is tiny. That said, controlling the enemy knight's horse sounds like a lot of fun. (Concentration)
    • Greater Invisibility: Completely freaking awesome for any Warlock. (Concentration)

    5th Level spells
    • Dominate Person: It's limited to humanoids, but it's also awesome control. (Concentration)
    • Seeming: A mass disguise is pretty damn fun, and it's useful in a ton of circumstances.


    Pact of the Fiend
    When has selling your soul to Satan ever gone wrong? Not here, thatís for sure. If you want to be a blaster, this is easily the best pact to take from the original three. It's also great for Bladelocks who need to bump up their survivability.
    • Expanded Spell List: Blasty spells with a little control to boot. Very nice.
    • Dark Oneís Blessing: Scaling temp HP that any blaster caster would love!
    • Dark Oneís Own Luck: A d10 at the perfect moment is always helpful.
    • Fiendish Resilience: Pick a damage type. You resist that. Itís a solid ability, especially if you can anticipate a certain damage type popping up.
    • Hurl Through Hell: Literally hurl your enemy through hell. Unholy crap, this thing packs some crazy damage.

    Spoiler: Fiend Pact Expanded List
    Show
    1st Level spells
    • Burning Hands: Fire.
    • Command: Control.

    2nd Level spells
    • Blindness/Deafness: Control.
    • Scorching Ray: Fire!

    3rd Level spells
    • Fireball: FIRE!
    • Stinking Cloud: Control! (Concentration)

    4th Level spells
    • Fire Shield: Firey protection!
    • Wall of Fire: Firey control! (Concentration)

    5th Level spells
    • Flame Strike: Holy fire!
    • Hallow: Utility that has nothing to do with fire.


    Pact of the Great Old One
    As my mother always said, ďThe Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, they walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen.Ē Silly mom. Always babbling incoherently as blood filled her eyes. The GOO-lock provides solid control, and a ton of lovely ribbons. It's also worth noting that it is possibly less useful for those looking to take the Pact of the Blade, due to its focus on save spells.
    • Expanded Spell List: This spell list provides fantastic control, including some of my very favorite spells. Note my bias here, but this is awesome.
    • Awakened Mind: A ribbon ability that can occasionally help you out of a tough situation. Still, itís quite situational.
    • Entropic Ward: A solid defense that can become a solid offense.
    • Thought Shield: Psychic damage isnít a very common type, but itís still nice. The other feature is extremely situational.
    • Create Thrall: Itís situational, but extremely potent. If you gain access to a sleeping king, be prepared to reap rewards.

    Spoiler: Great Old One Pact Expanded List
    Show
    1st Level spells
    • Dissonant Whispers: Control with some rarely-resisted damage. Awesome.
    • Tasha's Hideous Laughter: I'm probably biased in favor of this spell, but I think it's completely awesome in combat, and there's some very fun utility to boot. (Concentration)

    2nd Level spells
    • Detect Thoughts: Awesome utility right here, though it won't always be terribly useful. (Concentration)
    • Phantasmal Force: A great illusion that can provide ongoing damage, and it takes an action to end it. Still, it doesn't scale at all. (Concentration)

    3rd Level spells
    • Clairvoyance: It provides decent spying utility. (Concentration)
    • Sending: This spell is Advanced Carrier Pigeon. It's not bad.

    4th Level spells
    • Dominate Beast: Great effect! Tiny pool of targets. (Concentration)
    • Evard's Black Tentacles: A restraining AoE that deals damage and takes an action to get out of. Very nice. (Concentration)

    5th Level spells
    • Dominate Person: You'll be dealing with a lot of humanoids, and this can help you accomplish many things. (Concentration)
    • Telekinesis: Provides some decent utility and excellent battlefield control. Unfortunately, it allows a lot of saves. (Concentration)


    Pact of the Undying
    Does selling your soul to a lich sound fun? I suppose it would to some. This pact provides survivability, the ability to keep kicking when others might not, and plenty of survivability.
    • Expanded Spell List: If you believe in the strength of the basic Warlock spell list, then boy is this the pact for you! It has okay debuffs, okay buffs, and plenty of ways to almost heal your allies. Itís not terrible, but I wouldnít call it powerful.
    • Among the Dead: Spare the Dying isnít bad, but the undead business is as situational as it gets. If you know youíre going to be facing a lot of undead, this is a great. If your campaign isnít focusing on the undead, then it might help out once or twice.
    • Defy Death: This is just a solid way to avoid dying, and it makes Spare the Dying a more attractive cantrip. Only once per long rest, though.
    • Undying Nature: Itís a ribbon. It will occasionally be quite useful, and otherwise it will quite not useful.
    • Indestructible Life: A bonus action heal of 15-28 HP (depending on your level) every short rest. Itís a damn fine ability.

    Spoiler: Undying Pact Expanded List
    Show
    1st Level spells
    • False Life: You can cast this with an Invocation. Sure, with a higher slot it's better, but it's not that much better.
    • Ray of Sickness: The damage isn't bad, and it has a minor rider.

    2nd Level spells
    • Blindness/Deafness: Solid utility for different circumstances.
    • Silence: Decent utility, combined with anti-magic. (Concentration)

    3rd Level spells
    • Feign Death: You might use this once.
    • Speak with Dead: Occasionally annoy an underprepared DM, or help a prepared DM tell the story.

    4th Level spells
    • Aura of Life: Waking the unconscious is nice, but most of the buffs are only for fighting undead. (Concentration)
    • Death Ward: A bit better than the Orc feature.

    5th Level spells
    • Contagion: A solid grouping of debuffs with vaguely written conditions for going off. The book seems to say immediately, but the developers think it's obviously only after the saves are failed.
    • Legend Lore: Give your DM some time to drop expositive rhymes.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2016-04-26 at 03:31 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Selling your Soul at a Premium
    The Demon of Men

    Image by Daarken

    Most casters just have one casting feature, but Warlocks have three. Aren't you special. Pact Magic slots regenerate every short rest, Mystic Arcanum spells are once per long rest, and Invocations do their own thing. Letís dive into it.

    EE=Elemental Evil
    SCAG=Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide

    Pact Magic
    Spoiler: Cantrips
    Show
    • Blade Ward: You know what works just as well and doesn't cost one of your cantrip slots? A defensive action. The only time this is useful is when you have Armor of Agathys up and want to get hit without taking damage.
    • Booming Blade (SCAG): A solid Bladelock ability that provides extra damage and a bit of control. The damage isn't quite as good as two attacks with the Charisma damage bonus unless the secondary goes off.
    • Chill Touch: Good damage with two solid riders for different situations. Plus, every Warlock likes upping the creepy factor.
    • Create Bonfire (EE): The only fire cantrip available without feats or multiclassing. It's a very, very tiny AoE, but it's a pretty decent one, and you can use it to block chokepoints.
    • Eldritch Blast: A really solid damaging cantrip that you can customize to your liking with invocations. It's as close to gold as anything can get.
    • Friends: It's a good way to make friends, and then quickly make enemies. It's a widely applicable utility cantrip for social situations. Completely abusable if you have Mask of Many Faces.
    • Frostbite (EE): Deal some damage on a save with a decent rider.
    • Green-Flame Blade (SCAG): Again, the secondary damage makes it about equal with your normal Bladelock damage, if a bit more spread out.
    • Lightning Lure (SCAG): It's nice if you prefer to be in melee, but less nice otherwise.
    • Mage Hand: Situational, but useful.
    • Magic Stone (EE): It's really nice to be able to prepare a ranged attack for your melee allies when necessary.
    • Minor Illusion: It's situational, but it's useful for so many situations.
    • Poison Spray: Poor range and great damage, but it's off of a save. Call me prejudiced, but I don't really like save cantrips that much.
    • Prestidigitation: It might not be useful, but it's fun.
    • Sword Burst (SCAG): A small burst with a small amount of damage. It could be useful.
    • Thunderclap (EE): A small burst that's a lot like Sword Burst, but loud.
    • True Strike: Mathematically worse than simply attacking twice.



    Spoiler: 1st Level
    Show
    • Armor of Agathys: A solid defensive ability for non-fiendlocks.
    • Arms of Hadar: It's Shocking Grasp on steroids. Creepy, tentacled steroids. Great for escaping melee while still dealing damage.
    • Charm Person: Charm spells are great, though the target learning about the spell when the effects wear off is not exactly ideal.
    • Comprehend Languages: This is occasionally an extremely useful spell.
    • Expeditious Retreat: Mobility can occasionally make a big difference, and this is certainly mobile. (Concentration)
    • Hellish Rebuke: Solid damage as a reaction. I like it better as the Tiefling's racial spell, but it's still quite good.
    • Hex: A decent damage boost to your normal attacks and cantrips, mixed with a nice little debuff. (Concentration)
    • Illusory Script: Situational spell is situational.
    • Protection from Evil and Good: A solid buff when you know you're going to be facing certain creature types. (Concentration)
    • Unseen Servant: A solid situational spell that Tomelocks can ritual cast.
    • Witch Bolt: There are some builds that might make use of this, but not many. On the bright side, you can extend the longevity of a spell slot with this. (Concentration)



    Spoiler: 2nd Level
    Show
    • Cloud of Daggers: The damage isn't that bad, and with Repelling Blast you can keep pushing the baddies back into the daggers, and if you push something into the cloud it takes the damage twice. Plus, you can still block passages with it. (Concentration)
    • Crown of Madness: The order of operations renders this spell completely useless. (Concentration)
    • Darkness: It's amazing if you have Devil's Sight, but it's still great otherwise. (Concentration)
    • Earthbind (EE): Grounding airborne enemies can be a lot of use to your allies. (Concentration)
    • Enthrall: Distract people for your stealthy allies. It's not terrible utility.
    • Hold Person: Paralyzing is a sweet effect. (Concentration)
    • Invisibility: It's a solid buff for stealth and combat alike. (Concentration)
    • Mirror Image: An excellent defensive buff that doesn't require concentration to maintain.
    • Misty Step: A simple bonus action teleport to slide out of a rough situation. You're using one of only two slots for a good deal of your existence, though.
    • Ray of Enfeeblement: Casting Darkness gets disadvantage more reliably. (Concentration)
    • Shatter: Okay AoE damage with solid okay bonus against inorganic creatures and objects.
    • Spider Climb: Solid mobility. (Concentration)
    • Suggestion: One of the more powerful charms. There's very little you can't convince someone to do with this spell. Again, weigh out the likelyhood that you will need that slot for another reason. (Concentration)



    Spoiler: 3rd Level
    Show
    • Counterspell: This is how you ruin your DM's plans on a moment-to-moment basis.
    • Dispel Magic: Ending any effect that's causing you consternation is definitely a good thing.
    • Fear: Completely change the makeup of a battlefield. (Concentration)
    • Fly: It's a fantastic way to address numerous situations, such as how can I be higher? How can I be faster? How can I stay out of that big guy's reach? How can I not fall into acid? (Concentration)
    • Gaseous Form: A decent spell that can come in handy in getting you out of many situations.
    • Hunger of Hadar: Darkness gets a bit of damage. It's a great spell, but it doesn't scale at all. Which is weird, because it's a Warlock-only spell, and all Pact Magic slots scale up as you level, so it should definitely scale.
    • Hypnotic Pattern: A great way to take several enemies out of combat without much fuss. (Concentration)
    • Magic Circle: It's a really good spell against certain types of creatures. It does nothing against others.
    • Major Image: Create a giant illusion - or an illusion of a giant. It's a pretty intense upgrade to the previous illusions, and it's only limited by what you can imagine. (Concentration)
    • Remove Curse: Usually, I would let the Cleric prepare this the day after someone gets cursed. In the absence of this option, it's a pretty good spell.
    • Tongues: It can bypass quite a few options, but it's better for ritual casters.
    • Vampiric Touch: The damage is relatively small, but healing yourself while you damage an enemy is pretty damn nice.



    Spoiler: 4th Level
    Show
    • Banishment: You know the nastiest character in the battle? Take him out of the battle for ten rounds. (Concentration)
    • Blight: It only stays slightly ahead of Eldritch Blast with Agonizing Blast unless you're targeting plants, though if you're facing a Treant it's ungodly, which is probably right up your unholy alley. Also, that is now my favorite euphemism for Warlocks.
    • Dimension Door: The best mid-distance teleport you can take, but once again it's a big cost.
    • Elemental Bane (EE): It's phenomenal if you took the Fiend Pact and have Scorching Ray, but otherwise it depends a bit on your allies' abilities. (Concentration)
    • Hallucinatory Terrain: You're really limited by little other than your imagination, and it's fantastic. Plus, no concentration!



    Spoiler: 5th Level
    Show
    • Contact Other Plane: This is definitely on the list of spells I would leave to someone else. You can contact the creature with whom you sealed your pact! ...Or you take 21 points of damage and go insane for a while. I suppose a Tomelock who's really clingy with the devil with whom he sealed a pact.
    • Dream: This is about as situational as spells get, and it's also about as awesome as spells get.
    • Hold Monster: Paralyze anything you want! Then stab it! Hurray!
    • Scrying: It's a very nice spying spell. It's probably worth dropping Clairvoyance and taking this when you can.



    Eldritch Invocations

    Spoiler: Eldritch Invocations
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    • Agonizing Blast: Eldritch Blast hits harder, and since it's on a hit, it can be up to +20 damage in a single turn.
    • Armor of Shadows: Potentially your best source of AC.
    • Ascendant Step: At-will Levitate, with no spell slot cost. You'll find that this is the first in a wonderful pattern.
    • Beast Speech: A very situational spell at with no slot cost.
    • Beguiling Influence: Personally, I love both of these skills, but they're compting against a lot of options here.
    • Book of Ancient Secrets: Ritual casting! You can cast so many spells without losing a precious slot! This is awesome! Pact of the Tome only.
    • Chains of Carceri: Hold Monster with no cost? Awesome! Only three types of creatures? Less awesome. Pact of the Chain only.
    • Devil's Sight: You don't just see through darkness, you see through Darkness. It can be extremely useful if you're willing to spend a slot on Darkness, it provides you with advantage and everyone else with disadvantage against you.
    • Dreadful Word: Cast Confusion with a Warlock spell slot. I'm not sure about this. Do you want to be able to cast a low-level spell at no cost, or do you want to be able to cast a high-level spell at normal cost? Personally, I prefer the former, especially when the spell isn't terribly consistent.
    • Eldritch Sight: At-will Detect Magic sounds great to me.
    • Eldritch Spear: I find that range is frequently a minor issue, but this certainly does give you some exceptional range.
    • Eyes of the Runekeeper: Situational utility is always nice.
    • Fiendish Vigor: Start every combat with a handful of temp HP.
    • Gaze of Two Minds: It provides decent utility for information gathering and keeping in touch with your scout. It would be nicer if it wasn't only willing creatures.
    • Lifedrinker: I would say that this is the Blademaster's favorite Invocation by far. Dealing extra damage is exactly the effect you want on your weapons. Blade Pact only.
    • Mask of Many Faces: Free Disguise Self. Very nice.
    • Master of Myriad Forms: Upgrade your Mask of Many Faces with free Alter Self. Might as well take it when you can.
    • Minions of Chaos: Cast Conjure Elementals with a Warlock spell slot. It's a very good spell, but is it worth taking up an invocation? Yes. yes, it is.
    • Mire the Mind: Cast Slow once a day, using a slot. It's a solid spell, but it might not be worth the Invocation.
    • Misty Visions: At-will Silent Image is pretty damn fun. It's excellent utility.
    • One with Shadows: Be invisible when it's dark. You can't move, but it's still quite useful when scouting.
    • Otherworldly Leap: Cast Jump for free. It's... such a disappointing spell thanks to the Sage Advice ruling that your movement limits the distance you can jump. Not bad for cities, though.
    • Repelling Blast: Add some control to your most damaging cantrip! Hells yes.
    • Sculptor of Flesh: Polymorph is pretty damn decent. It's worth the Invocation for sure.
    • Sign of Ill Omen: Bestow Curse is a pretty damned useful spell on which to spend an Invocation.
    • Thief of Five Fates: It's a bit ridiculous that a First Level spell is a once/day invocation that still uses a slot. That said, it does scale, and it's a decent debuff.
    • Thirsting Blade: You should probably take either this, or one of the Blade cantrips at some point. Pact of the Blade only.
    • Visions of Distant Realms: It's a decent spying spell you can cast at-will, and a long range scout as well.
    • Voice of the Chain Master: Potentially extremely powerful scouting and spying. Pact of the Chain only.
    • Whisperer of the Grave: At-will Speak with Dead can occasionally be quite useful, and it's creepy as hell if that's your thing.
    • Witch Sight: Basically permanent True Sight against creatures. It's a fine way to ruin your DM's carefully crafted story, plus it helps deal with invisible enemies.



    Mystic Arcanum
    Remember, you only get one per level.

    Spoiler: 6th Level
    Show
    • Arcane Gate: Are you thinking with portals? Because you're going to be asked this every time you use this spell. (Concentration)
    • Circle of Death: It's the same damage Fireball dealt at level three, and it's less damage than Fireball deals when you get access to this spell. That said, it's a nice wide radius.
    • Conjure Fey: Summon a high-CR fey creature. It's not terrible by a long shot. (Concentration)
    • Create Undead: Three ghouls can be useful, but they can easily turn on you depending on how fastidious you are about recasting the spell.
    • Eyebite: Three solid debuffs for one little spell, and since you only have one choice per level that's pretty damn sweet. (Concentration)
    • Flesh to Stone: One failure and it's restrained for at least three turns. Four failures and it's a statue. It's not a terrible effect by a long shot. (Concentration)
    • Investiture of Flame (EE): It's a wonderful spell for Mystic Arcanum because you get multiple benefits and can continuously make spell attacks. Plus, your enemies will think twice about getting close to you. (Concentration)
    • Investiture of Ice (EE): As above, but with ice and movement reduction instead of fire and fire. (Concentration)
    • Investiture of Stone (EE): It's mostly for people who want to wade into melee and stab things without taking damage. This could easily include you. If you're not melee, stay away. (Concentration)
    • Investiture of Wind (EE): You remember Fly, up in Pact Magic? Well, this is Fly's big brother, Fly Around and Kill Everyone. Again, the multiple benefits make for a solid pick for your only sixth level spell. (Concentration)
    • Mass Suggestion: If you're going to use a charm spell, it might as well be one you can use to turn a whole crowd against an annoying noble, or finish an entire encounter.
    • True Seeing: Super situational, especially for an Arcanum pick.



    Spoiler: 7th Level
    Show
    • Etherealness: It's a solid mobility spell provided that you're willing to dedicate your 1-8 hours purely to exploration.
    • Finger of Death: 60 damage and a zombie sounds great to me!
    • Forcecage: A fantastic way to lock down one or more characters.
    • Plane Shift: I mean, if you want to go to another plane, this is the spell to take. If you don't want to go to another plane, I advise against taking this.



    Spoiler: 8th Level
    Show
    • Demiplane: This is a spell for people who had a treehouse when they were little and want one now.
    • Dominate Monster: You know what's better than paralyzing a monster? Using that monster to kill other monsters. (Concentration)
    • Feeblemind: This is a disturbing debuff. Like, super disturbing. It might be less moral than making a pact with a demon in the first place.
    • Glibness: Pass every conversational check you want. More importantly, pass every counterspell and dispel magic you want.
    • Power Word Stun: It's a great way to drop something big while you deal with something small.



    Spoiler: 9th Level
    Show
    • Astral Projection: Some campaigns will absolutely need this spell at some point, and most campaigns won't.
    • Foresight: Touch something and make it a demigod for eight hours. Impressive is an understatement.
    • Imprisonment: This is the spell you use to imprison the unspeakable abomination who gives you power while you continue to siphon power off of it.
    • Power Word Kill: If you're level 17, something with less than 100 HP probably won't survive the round, but this will still work.
    • True Polymorph: Turn into anything you want. Because magic. (Concentration.

    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2016-10-28 at 12:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Selling your Soul at a Premium
    Mix and Match Witchcraft

    Image by Paul Bielaczyc

    Spoiler: Multiclassing
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    • Barbarian : You know how youíre a caster, but Barbarian rages prevent you from casting? Thatís a problem.
    • Bard: You know whatís great? Bards. They have full casting and expertise, and they share your casting ability!
    • Cleric: Itís unlikely that someone who sells their soul for power has enough Wisdom to be a Cleric, but if you do then there are enough ancillary benefits for some domains to make it worth it.
    • Druid: I wouldnít ever combine these two.
    • Fighter: Bladelocking is easier when you mix in som Fightering.
    • Monk: I like Monks. Monks donít go well with Warlocks. Grabbing monk weapons for one level might be worth it.
    • Paladin: Smite with a short rest resource!
    • Ranger: Super MAD, but it has a fighting style and the third level Hunter feature. Only good for a small dip, and only if you've rolled massive stats.
    • Rogue: As always, Sneak Attack and Expertise are awesome, and every caster wants to Disengage on a bonus action.
    • Sorcerer: Bard is for utility spells, but Sorcerer is for metamagic. Sweet, sweet metamagic. It also has some solid spells from which to choose, with minimal bookkeeping, not to mention Draconic AC to free up an Invocation.
    • Wizard: Don't cast spells with your dump stat.



    Spoiler: Feats
    Show
    • Alert: If you have something against going first, this is terrible.
    • Athlete: This is a perfectly okay feat with perfectly okay benefits.
    • Actor: Turn lying into an art.
    • Charger: I donít care if you have a magic glaive, just use a spell if the bad guy is far away.
    • Crossbow Expert: If you want your ranged spell attacks to be useful in melee, you can take this. You can also take Spell Sniper and grab Shocking Grasp. Both are reasonable, though Spell Sniper provides multiple benefits compared to the one you get from this.
    • Defensive Duelist: Bladelocks could easily make use of this.
    • Dual Wielder: Nope. You only get one pact weapon.
    • Dungeon Delver: If the party doesnít have a Rogue, and your DEX is decent, you might get use out of this.
    • Durable: Itís okay. Good for when you have a DM like me, who keeps you needing healing.
    • Elemental Adept: Yeah, thatís a pretty solid feat, especially for the Fiend Pact.
    • Grappler: I would say no. In fact, I do say no. No.
    • Great Weapon Master: I would advise a Bladelock to use a finesse weapon, but if you want to go STR then this is okay.
    • Healer: Not a bad little feat if your WIS doesnít suck.
    • Heavily Armored: It costs two feats, but itís handy if your DEX is terrible.
    • Heavy Armor Master: You should not put forth the effort into getting this.
    • Inspiring Leader: You are charismatic.
    • Keen Mind: Situational, but you can abuse it, and itís only one ability point.
    • Lightly Armored: You already have the benefit.
    • Linguist: Less important for GOOlocks, but knowing a language can save your ass.
    • Lucky: Always worth it.
    • Mage Slayer: A Bladelock might use this, but itís a better idea to improve your primary capabilities.
    • Magic Initiate: Not a terrible way to spend an ASI. Any Warlock can benefit from an extra spell every day.
    • Martial Adept: There is not a good reason to take this as a Warlock.
    • Medium Armor Master: If you are pumping your DEX enough to use this, just take Armor of Shadows.
    • Mobile: Itís a good feat for keeping yourself from getting mired in combat.
    • Moderately Armored: Itís a solid way to boost your AC, especially if you want to go STR.
    • Mounted Combatant: If youíre frequently mounted, sure.
    • Observant: Yeah, this is a solid utility feat.
    • Polearm Master: STR Bladelocks can use this. Other Warlocks stay away.
    • Resilient: There are several reasons to take this feat. Mostly, however, itís the Constitution save.
    • Ritual Caster: If you donít go Tome, this is a solid way to get Ritual Casting.
    • Savage Attacker: This is not a terrible feat for Bladelocks. Rerolling one attack isnít bad, and you can pick which result you want. Other Warlocks stay away.
    • Sentinel: Bladelocks might have fun with this. Other Warlocks stay away.
    • Sharpshooter: You donít want this. You want Spell Sniper.
    • Shield Master: Not for you.
    • Skilled: If you want skills, this is a good feat for you.
    • Skulker: This has some benefits that might possibly be useful, but you can replicate them with Invocations.
    • Spell Sniper: Solid blasting abilities are always welcome for a Warlock.
    • Tavern Brawler: This is unlikely to ever be useful for any Warlock. Some have discussed using it to weaponize your ability to summon a pact weapon, but if your DM allows this then you should really be pushing for more ridiculous things in your game than this.
    • Tough: Hit points are good.
    • War Caster: Possibly necessary for Bladelocks, but still useful for everyone else.
    • Weapon Master: If you want to fight with weapons, just go with the Pact of the Blade and have proficiency with whatever you want.



    Feel free to comment, criticize, and ridicule to your heart's delight.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2016-04-27 at 08:35 AM.

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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Have to say I like your style and layout, it's pretty easy and entertaining to read through.
    Last edited by Saggo; 2016-04-27 at 02:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saggo View Post
    Have to say I like your style and layout, it's pretty easy and entertaining to read through.
    Thank you! I feel like a lot of people forget that layout is important for getting your message across, and I try to put effort into mine. I'll stop myself from going on about editing, since this is the place for my other nerdy interests.

    And I'm glad I can at least entertain, if not inform.

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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Thank you! I feel like a lot of people forget that layout is important for getting your message across, and I try to put effort into mine. I'll stop myself from going on about editing, since this is the place for my other nerdy interests.
    I've designed websites in past jobs, so I sympathize.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    And I'm glad I can at least entertain, if not inform.
    Oh it's informative. I like how you convey usefulness without a glut of math or hyperbole.

    More on topic, I'm curious why do you rate Chain higher than Tome?

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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Just a quick thing: You have the Undying Patron labeled as the Undying Light (which is UA). Other than that, this looks great, and I always find your guides useful
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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    I think Moderately Armored should be rated higher than it is. Unless you are dipping something that already gives you those proficiencies, it will give you at least an extra +2 AC regardless if you are Str or Dex based. +2 AC is pretty huge and is at least comparable to +2 hp/level from Tough (but considering the many extra HP gained thoughout the day via temporary hit points, the Warlock is never lacking in that regard and typically has more equivalent hp than even a Barbarian - with that in mind, Tough is of very limited use in the first place).

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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    I think I would rate Crossbow Expert purple. In a small party where you can't always avoid melee range, being able to still Eldritch Blast without disadvantage can be quite handy.
    Last edited by tsotate; 2016-04-21 at 10:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Saggo View Post
    More on topic, I'm curious why do you rate Chain higher than Tome?
    I tried to rate the features based purely on the features themselves, not the invocations associated with them. I made sure to mention ritual casting was sky-blue, but the basic feature isn't quite as useful as the Chain familiar is by himself.

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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Looks good so far, can't wait for your take on the spells. I'm playing a changling fey warlock, pact of the chain 5/mastermind rogue 3 right now in an assassination game. Got any suggestions on spells/invocations? Stealth, mobility, trickery, and the like are a premium, although I do want some damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post

    But wait, EvilAnagram! Why would you make an optimization guide about Warlocks when you only need the first two levels.
    :)
    Last edited by applepi2054; 2016-04-21 at 10:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Quote Originally Posted by tsotate View Post
    I think I would rate Crossbow Expert purple. In a small party where you can't always avoid melee range, being able to still Eldritch Blast without disadvantage can be quite handy.
    If that's the concern, taking Spell Sniper or Magic Initiate and grabbing Shocking Grasp is a better bet since you'll be able to extricate yourself from melee, and you'll get other solid benefits to boot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giant2005 View Post
    I think Moderately Armored should be rated higher than it is. Unless you are dipping something that already gives you those proficiencies, it will give you at least an extra +2 AC regardless if you are Str or Dex based. +2 AC is pretty huge and is at least comparable to +2 hp/level from Tough (but considering the many extra HP gained thoughout the day via temporary hit points, the Warlock is never lacking in that regard and typically has more equivalent hp than even a Barbarian - with that in mind, Tough is of very limited use in the first place).
    Moderately Armored competes with Armor of Shadows for every Warlock but Strength based Bladelocks. A ranged caster can easily start with 15-16 AC with AoS, which is completely sufficient for a ranged caster at any level. A Bladelock who maxes Dex also has no need for Moderately Armored unless he really wants a shield, and then he'll have trouble casting. Moderately Armored is primarily for non-Mountain Dwarf Str Bladelocks and ranged Warlocks that let their Dex lag.

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoKnight View Post
    Just a quick thing: You have the Undying Patron labeled as the Undying Light (which is UA). Other than that, this looks great, and I always find your guides useful
    Fixed, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by applepi2054 View Post
    Looks good so far, can't wait for your take on the spells. I'm playing a changling fey warlock, pact of the chain 5/mastermind rogue 3 right now in an assassination game. Got any suggestions on spells/invocations? Stealth, mobility, trickery, and the like are a premium, although I do want some damage.
    Off the top of my head, pair Darkness with Devil's Sight.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2016-04-21 at 10:52 PM.

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    I love this guide. Warlocks are my favourite class, but there aren't enough good guides for them. This fixes that.
    Quote Originally Posted by applepi2054 View Post
    Looks good so far, can't wait for your take on the spells. I'm playing a changling fey warlock, pact of the chain 5/mastermind rogue 3 right now in an assassination game. Got any suggestions on spells/invocations? Stealth, mobility, trickery, and the like are a premium, although I do want some damage.
    Don't forget hex, and while you're not using it, remember to give your allies (especially other rogues) advantage on attack rolls.
    Last edited by Belac93; 2016-04-21 at 11:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Fixed, thanks!
    You're welcome Speaking of, though, are you going to include the Undying Light patron? I know it's UA, but a lot of groups (mine included) like playing using the UA - and you do have the UA races listed for optimization
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Moderately Armored competes with Armor of Shadows for every Warlock but Strength based Bladelocks. A ranged caster can easily start with 15-16 AC with AoS, which is completely sufficient for a ranged caster at any level. A Bladelock who maxes Dex also has no need for Moderately Armored unless he really wants a shield, and then he'll have trouble casting. Moderately Armored is primarily for non-Mountain Dwarf Str Bladelocks and ranged Warlocks that let their Dex lag.
    But it doesn't compete. It brings 2+ AC to the guy with Armor of Shadows too (and ranged casters have no trouble casting with a shield, due to not needing to fill the other hand with a weapon).

    People on these forums seem to have a strange habit of over-valuing DPR and under-valuing AC.
    People rave about the virtues of Agonizing Blast, yet it tends to raise your damage by a lower margin than the margin that Moderately Armored would lower your incoming damage by. Moderately Armored is objectively superior to AB, yet it would be a fortunate day for it to even receive a tenth of the credit.

    Take a simple level 5 Warlock vs a Duergar (enlarged) situation, in both scenarios, the Warlocks have Fiendish Vigor and an obsession with doing little more than spamming Eldritch Blast. In one of them, the Warlock has Agonizing Blast, Armor of Shadows (we will give him 16 AC like you proposed), and 18 Cha, in the other he has neither invocation, and only 16 Cha, but instead has Moderately Armored.

    The guy with AB will inflict 11.95 DPR, killing the Duergar in 3 rounds. The Duergar inflicts 5.4 DPR against the Warlock, inflicting a total of 16.2 over the course of 3 rounds. 8 of those points are absorbed by False Life, resulting in the Warlock taking a total of 8.2 damage.
    The guy with Moderately Armored will inflict 6.6 DPR, killing the Duergar in 4 rounds. The Duergar inflicts 3.75 DPR against the Warlock, inflicting a total of 15 over the course of 4 rounds. 8 of those points are absorbed by False Life, resulting in the Warlock taking a total of 7 damage.

    The guy with Moderately Armored walked away with 1.2 more hit points than the guy without, and managed to do so with less resources (he has 2 Invocations to choose, while the other used all of his; and he can even get away with 2 less points of Dex). Increasing your AC is very powerful, and Moderately Armored gives a significant AC bonus to any single-class warlock, whether they are Dex-based or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post


    Off the top of my head, pair Darkness with Devil's Sight.
    How to make both your DM and party to hate you
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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Might be worth noting Mountain Dwarf making a good Str based Bladelock. Medium Armor, +2 Str, and +2 Con is combo. One of the class builds that can take good advantage of both the armor proficiency and the strength bonus that M dwarves get. IMO it's probably Blue for Bladelocks.

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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Quote Originally Posted by applepi2054 View Post
    How to make both your DM and party to hate you
    I think you're forgetting that moving out of reach of an enemy creature doesn't provoke Opprotunity Attacks if the enemy can't see you (a Warlock covered in magical darkness can get out of an enemy's reach without the risk). You can attack an enemy with advantage, then use your movement to move away so that your friends don't get disadvantage. Darkness is 15 ft. radius, so it should be very possible. Combine with Polearm Master to make it even easier to back away and allow your friends to actually see the enemy.

    It makes the DM hate you even more, but at least the party wouldn't hate you anymore.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    I tried to rate the features based purely on the features themselves, not the invocations associated with them. I made sure to mention ritual casting was sky-blue, but the basic feature isn't quite as useful as the Chain familiar is by himself.
    I did notice the ritual casting sky blue. I would have rated Tome higher because of the cantrips, since you're not limited to one list and it makes them Cha based. It allows you to do cheesy things like a Shillelagh+BB/GFB combo (which I think only Cleric and Druid can pull off and they need Mage Initiate), as well as the ritual invocation potentially netting you Find Familiar (albeit the base version). Tome is ripe for customization.

    But it is comparing against Chain features, which literally no one else gets, so maybe my case isn't that strong.
    Last edited by Saggo; 2016-04-22 at 01:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    on multiclassing: monk multiclasses well with warlock. just... you want lots of monk levels and only a couple of warlock levels for a handful of spells and invocations :P also, you've got sorcerers backwards. warlock dips are helpful for blaster sorcerers. sorcerer dips are for warlocks that want metamagic (which is all of them, if they're not insane) more than they want their higher level abilities (which brings the amount rather lower than "all" with that qualifier). in any event, it can be very useful for more than just blasters; a 3-level sorcerer dip gets you a bunch more cantrips (frees you up to spend more on utility), access to some fairly handy spells (web comes to mind as being particularly appealing if you want to diversify your control a bit), a tiny bit more resources you can burn on a particularly tough fight (or you can just use them if you don't want to burn a level 5 slot on hex, also), and of course, most importantly, metamagic, aka the only reason to go sorcerer in the first place.

    but, just as with the sorcerer itself, there's more than two good options in metamagic for a warlock. you can make a case for almost any metamagic on a warlock (it is important to remember that metamagic can be used on any spell you cast, not just on spells you cast with slots, so you can combine them with invocations too - there are probably times where you can accomplish more with a subtle silent image than you could with silent image alone, for example. though twin is oddly less valuable than usual since your pact magic will eventually be impossible to use with only 3 sorcerer levels).

    on feats: gotta agree with those mentioning the value of moderately armoured. it's a half-feat, so you get +1 to an attribute (meaning you can start with only a 13 in dex, or even off an odd con attribute, or prepare it for when you take resilient con later). it isn't as good as 20 dex + mage armour, but then again, if there was a feat for +1 con or dex and and an extra invocation that also let you not have to invest in dex any more, wouldn't that be a pretty good feat? if more AC is something you would like to have (and i wouldn't say it is particularly rare to have that desire), moderately armoured is an excellent feat for a warlock

    on spells: you don't appear to be fully addressing the patron spells in the patron section, so it might be good to have a section on the patron spells in the spell section, particularly since as you mentioned they aren't automatically known so people will need to make a decision on whether they choose them or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gastronomie View Post
    I think you're forgetting that moving out of reach of an enemy creature doesn't provoke Opprotunity Attacks if the enemy can't see you (a Warlock covered in magical darkness can get out of an enemy's reach without the risk). You can attack an enemy with advantage, then use your movement to move away so that your friends don't get disadvantage. Darkness is 15 ft. radius, so it should be very possible. Combine with Polearm Master to make it even easier to back away and allow your friends to actually see the enemy.

    It makes the DM hate you even more, but at least the party wouldn't hate you anymore.
    I can vouch for the DM hate.
    I do disagree with the rest though, not because anything you said was wrong, but because there isn't really any need for it. Your friends attack with disadvantage for being blind, but they also attack with advantage for attacking a blind target. It comes out a wash with no advantage nor disadvantage applied - your friends don't really have any reason to hate you in the first place unless they would have ordinarily been attacking with advnatage. Conversely if they would have been attacking with disadvantage (or the enemies attacking with advantage), your friends would absolutely love you for the spell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoKnight View Post
    You're welcome Speaking of, though, are you going to include the Undying Light patron? I know it's UA, but a lot of groups (mine included) like playing using the UA - and you do have the UA races listed for optimization
    Yes, I will be including UA material.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Might be worth noting Mountain Dwarf making a good Str based Bladelock. Medium Armor, +2 Str, and +2 Con is combo. One of the class builds that can take good advantage of both the armor proficiency and the strength bonus that M dwarves get. IMO it's probably Blue for Bladelocks.
    Yeah, I thought the same thing, but forgot to change it before posting. It's updated now, thanks for spotting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giant2005 View Post
    snip
    Can you be a little more specific? Which armors are you using in this calculation? Is there a shield? The best I think would be available at that level is Scale Mail, and that would give a max 18 AC with a shield, which is 2 AC (not 2+) above Armor of Shadows, but without pumping Dex a bit can provide only 16 AC with the shield, which can interfere with your casting. And at higher levels, a maxed Dex can give you 18 AC with AoS, while the feat you spent on Moderately Armored can only beat it by one measly AC. For Dex-heavy characters, it has diminishing returns.

    Don't get me wrong, Moderately Armored is solid, which is why I gave it a solid rating. It is not, however, a massive improvement over your other options.

    As for undervaluing defenses, I tend to play my casters in such a way as to minimize the amount of time I spend getting attacked, which is a great way to minimize damage taken while you increase your control and damage options. It's a good idea to pump your AC, but it's not necessarily the most important thing to focus on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saggo View Post
    I did notice the ritual casting sky blue. I would have rated Tome higher because of the cantrips, since you're not limited to one list and it makes them Cha based. It allows you to do cheesy things like a Shillelagh+BB/GFB combo (which I think only Cleric and Druid can pull off and they need Mage Initiate), as well as the ritual invocation potentially netting you Find Familiar (albeit the base version). Tome is ripe for customization.

    But it is comparing against Chain features, which literally no one else gets, so maybe my case isn't that strong.
    These are some good points to think on.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    on multiclassing:
    Good points for Sorcerer. I have clarified why they are awesome. I'm not changing the Monk because I'm focusing on Warlock builds, not Warlock dips.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    on feats:
    I like Moderately Armored. I rated it as quite good. I just don't think it blows any other AC boosts out of the water.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    on spells
    I will be discussing all patron spells. I'm not sure where I'll put that, but I will absolutely be doing that.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2016-04-22 at 08:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Can you be a little more specific? Which armors are you using in this calculation? Is there a shield?
    Half Plate, 14 Dex, and a Shield.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    The best I think would be available at that level is Scale Mail, and that would give a max 18 AC with a shield, which is 2 AC (not 2+) above Armor of Shadows, but without pumping Dex a bit can provide only 16 AC with the shield, which can interfere with your casting.
    The 2+ I referred to was due to 2 being the minimum, but the difference can increase further by use of magic shields - it could eventually extend all the way to +5.
    As for the potential of a Shield interfering with casting, there is none unless you are using a weapon too. It isn't a factor.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    And at higher levels, a maxed Dex can give you 18 AC with AoS, while the feat you spent on Moderately Armored can only beat it by one measly AC. For Dex-heavy characters, it has diminishing returns.
    It beats it by 2 AC as I have said a few times already. You are treating AoS and Moderately Armored as mutually exclusive when they are not. Someone with Moderately Armored can get the same 20 Dex as someone without it. The AC limit with Moderately Armored is 13 (AoS) + 5 (Dex) + 2 (Shield) = 20, and I am using the term "limit" inappropriately due to the fact that it could reach up to 3 points higher if that shield was enchanted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saggo View Post
    Have to say I like your style and layout, it's pretty easy and entertaining to read through.
    I agree. Thematically I have no interest at all in the Warlock, but it was still a fun guide to read through. And I learned a thing or two as well.

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    using a shield and weapon doesn't even interfere with casting. you can just put it away as your free object interaction (obviously, it *does* interfere with your free object interaction, and any potential attacks you'd make after casting the spell but before next round though). then take it back out next round.

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    I'm really interested in the arcanum suggestions. It seems like such a big decision and between only being available once a day and no upcasting, I just get confused on what will be the most useful.

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    Default Re: Selling your Soul at a Premium: The Warlock's Guide to Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Giant2005 View Post
    Half Plate, 14 Dex, and a Shield.
    I don't think I've ever seen a fifth level character with half plate, nor do I think I ever will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giant2005 View Post
    The 2+ I referred to was due to 2 being the minimum, but the difference can increase further by use of magic shields - it could eventually extend all the way to +5.
    As for the potential of a Shield interfering with casting, there is none unless you are using a weapon too. It isn't a factor.
    Using an arcane implement also interferes if you want to cast spells that require no material component.


    Quote Originally Posted by Giant2005 View Post
    It beats it by 2 AC as I have said a few times already. You are treating AoS and Moderately Armored as mutually exclusive when they are not. Someone with Moderately Armored can get the same 20 Dex as someone without it. The AC limit with Moderately Armored is 13 (AoS) + 5 (Dex) + 2 (Shield) = 20, and I am using the term "limit" inappropriately due to the fact that it could reach up to 3 points higher if that shield was enchanted.
    Good point on the their not being exclusive, and magic items are definitely worth considering, but I still don't see the AC difference as tremendously important unless you are frequently on the front lines, and I doubt that +x shields are terribly common. I'll play around with some builds before I change anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    using a shield and weapon doesn't even interfere with casting. you can just put it away as your free object interaction (obviously, it *does* interfere with your free object interaction, and any potential attacks you'd make after casting the spell but before next round though). then take it back out next round.
    The primary way it interferes is with your reactions, be they spells or opportunity attacks.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2016-04-22 at 09:28 AM.

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