Kick, punch, it's all in the mind...
The raw damage of an eldritch blast needs an improvement to stay competitive, even when you hit more than once a round with it. Let's check a few ways to boost it.
Craven (Champions of Ruin)
: As some of you might already know, I dislike the flavour of this feat. Cowards shouldn't hit harder than brave warriors in heroic fantasy games. That said, Craven adds realiable damage if you fished at least a single die of sneak attack from a dip or Assassin's Stance. If being a coward suits your taste, go for it.
Also, remeber that anything that makes you immune to fear is negated by this feat. This means no mindblank
, no heroes' feast
, no Paladin dips.
(Tome of Battle
): Most of the damage increasing and attack adding boosts won't work with eldritch glaive. Actually, I've yet to find one that does work.
All of ToB meshes nicely with eldritch claws, though.
Martial Stance (Tome of Battle)
: Assassin's Stance for 2d6 sneak attack looks like the obvious choice, but getting the requirements might be a bit hard without a Swordsage dip, and if you dip Swordsage you probably won't need the feat.
Improved Natural Attack/Superior Unarmed Strike
: Standard methods of increasing unarmed damage. Of course they help with eldritch claw. If you have room, take both.
(Greater) Chasuble of Fell Power
(MIC): 8k for +1d6 eldritch blast damage. Pretty good. Greater version adds +2d6 for 18k. If you can get away with a scarf of fell power (it's the same slot!) instead and you have Shou Disciple levels... congrats, you just became Kamen Rider
. Rider Kick
the opposition to death.
(MIC): 5 charges/day that adds damage to eldritch blast. Since it's for your next eldritch blast, eldritch glaive and claw get the effect for a whole round. At 8k, I'd buy it. Note that the bonus on attack rolls only applies while ranged.
Divine Might (Complete Warrior)
: If you dipped Cleric, you might as well get this for an eldritch claw build.
Dragonslayer Claws (Dragon Magic)
: 3/day, as a free action, add +1d6 to damage with claws, +3d6 against a dragon. If you are not dragonblooded, you suffer a negative level. Quite cheap at 2500gp, but not very exciting.
Gauntlets of War (Complete Champion)
: For only 4000gp, you get +3 to damage rolls if you worship a deity with the War domain. Nice. Probably won't work with eldritch glaive, check with your DM. If it does, get it. If you're a clawlock, get this while you save for Beast Claws.
Beast Claws (Savage Species)
: Gauntlets of War are nice, sure. They cost 9610gp and they look like something from a bad horror movie. Why would you use this on your awesome melee warlock, you ask? Well, they are +1 spiked gauntlets
, but if you already have a claw attack it becomes a +2 weapon and adds +1d6 to claw damage. Dude, this is awesome. You can further enchant it, use weapon augment crystals on it and stuff. Get this as soon as possible.
(Dragon Magazine issue
355): This feat adds your claw damage to unarmed strike damage. This is sick damage, boys and girls. Your claw damage, from eldritch claws, is eldritch blast damage + unarmed strike damage, right? So with beast strike, your unarmed strike damage becomes unarmed strike damage TIMES TWO
plus eldritch blast damage. Oh, and you can flurry now, no questions asked. Is it Christmas already?
Greater Divine Surge
(Tome of Battle
): You deal a lot of extra damage, but you take Con damage. Hellfire warlocks are used to this; put that imp to work overtime! Devoted Spirit strike, level 8, requires two other Devoted Spirit maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Girallon Windmill Flesh Rip
(Tome of Battle
): (TC 8/3 B) This boost adds extra damage for hitting multiple times. Get this if you can, Clawlocks (Glaivelocks, go cry in the corner). Tiger Claw boost, level 8, requires 3 other Tiger Claw maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Ruby Nightmare Blade
(Tome of Battle
): You know Concentration? That skill you kept maxed just in case? Well, now you can use it to deal double damage. No kidding. Again, Glaivelocks can't use it. Diamond Mind strike, level 4, requires 2 other Diamond Mind maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Diamond Nightmare Blade
(Tome of Battle
): Ruby's big brother. Quadruple damage for your claws. Diamond Mind strike, level 8, requires three other Diamond Mind maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
(Tome of Battle
): Goodbye, damage reduction. Excellent utility and a good prerequisite pick for Devoted Spirit Maneuvers. Devoted Spirit strike, level two, no requirements.
Because standing still is for suckers
Warlocks already have a lot of mobility options within the class, with some invocations directed toward it. Those, sadly, don't allow you to move and full-attack (with the exception of Quickened Flee the Scene). In this section, we'll discuss how to make your warlock float like a butterfly. You already sting like a bee.
Boots of Agile Jumping (Magic Item Compendium)
: Very very cheap. You Jump with Dex, now. Nice if you use Sudden Leap.
Chronocharm of the Horizon Walker
(MIC): Use this before you get a
scarf of fell power. When you get it, add the power of the chronocharm to the
scarf. Helps mobility like no one's business.
Anklet of Translocation
(MIC): Hard to choose between these and Quicksilver Boots. Both increase your mobility. The anklet is cheaper and it teleports you instead of moving but the range is shorter. Try to get both in the same item.
(MIC): At around 3k, it helps mobility a lot and even adds some defense in the form of concealment. Buy it and love it.
(MIC): If you can't afford Quicksilver Boots, acrobat boots are pretty good. Since Tumble ain't normally a class skill, you'll need all the bonuses to it you can get. Increasing your speed also means it's more likely foes won't get away from you.
Sudden Leap (Tome of Battle)
: This maneuver allows you to jump as a swift action, allowing to move and full-attack at the same round. An excellent reason for a Warblade dip, especially since with Warblade you can use it every other round. Tiger Claw boost, level 1, requires one other Tiger Claw maneuver.
Leaping Flame (Tome of Battle)
: This maneuver allows you to teleport adjacent to someone who attacked you from range. Desert Wind boost, level 5, requires two other Desert Wind maneuvers, so getting this will be hard unless you're dedicated initiator. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Quicksilver Motion (Tome of Battle)
: This maneuver allows to move your speed as a swift action. While very good, this is even harder to get than Leaping Flame. Diamond Mind boost, level 7, requires 3 other Diamond Mind maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Mirrored Pursuit (Tome of Battle)
: This maneuver looks awesome, though it might be hard to get it. You follow your opponent's movements. Setting Sun boost, level 5, requires two others Setting Sun maneuvers (that's the really hard part). Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Shadow Jaunt (Tome of Battle)
: Extraordinary standard action teleport, range 50ft. Requires line of sight and line of effect. It's basically shunpo/shunshin/zanzoken
. Unfortunatelly, as a standard action, it's not that good. Shadow Hand boost, level 2, no requirements. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Shadow Strike (Tome of Battle)
: The middle child in the Shadow Jaunt line. Uses a move action. Better than Shadow Jaunt, but you can't full attack. If you're a strike-using Clawlock, get this ASAP. Shadow Hand boost, level 5, no requirements.
Shadow Blink (Tome of Battle)
: The last maneuver in the Shadow Jaunt line, this one only requires a swift action. Shadow Hand boost, level 7, no requirements. Grab this if you can, it's crazy good. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Tempo Bloodspikes (Magic of Eberron)
: Oh, I love those. Very very cheap, you can craft them yourself and it allows to move your speed as a free action once within the hour. While I wouldn't use it as my only means of mobility, this already helps a lot.
: Oriental Adventures allows you move 10 foot in a 5 foot step with a DC 40 Tumble check. Cyran Gliding Boots
allow you do this 3x/day and you also get a bonus to Tumble and Jump (useful for Sudden Leap)... they are also from Cyre, making it fun to mix with Cyran Avenger. Sparring Dummy of the Master, from Arms & Equipment Guide, also gives the ability to move 10 foot in a 5 foot step and it does not occupy a body slot, but it is from a 3.0 book (some people are real jerks about it, even though it's officially stated to be legal) and kinda expensive. If could, I would sure go for one of those options. My favourite is Cyran Gliding Boots, but that's because of my second favourite manga
: Like Darrin daringly mentioned, since an eldritch glaive attack is not a full-attack but rather a full-round action you could let a mount do the moving for you while you swing away.
Mounted Combat feat becomes a good option if you have those Ride ranks, to keep your mount alive and moving.
Knight's Move (Spell Compendium)
: Thie Cleric spell allows you to teleport as a swift action
for a flanking position to unleash major arcane butt-kicking onto the opposition. Tried and true.
We can't kill what we can't touch, after all
You probably already know that reach is a very important weapon in most melee characters' repertoire. Good reach means more attacks of opportunity and more attacks of opportunity means more damage and/or more debuffing, so it's a good thing. Melee warlocks being somewhat different from other melee characters, we'll have to see case by case how the reach increasing tricks work for us.
: You know the drill. Start as a Large race (half-ogre and half-minotaur both are popular), use spells to get bigger, etc. Large size alone brings a few disadvantages - a penalty to attack rolls, AC and Hide. However, for most melee types this is all worth it. For melee warlocks, it depends. Clawlocks and grapplelocks gain other benefits from Large size and might benefit, but they could get such advantages from a Primordial Half-Giant without the disadvantages (half-giant doesn't get reach, but they don't care that much about reach, usually, being a lot more mobile than glaivelocks).
Glaivelocks need the reach more for several reason. First, moving is a lot more difficult to them. Second, they are the only melee warlock type that gets to use essences, so they can debuff, meaning attacks of opportunity becomes even more important. Unfortunatelly, a glaivelock gains no benefit from Large size other than reach, since eldritch blast damage does not scale with size and a Strenght bonus might not be that useful (specially since you should probably finessing your eldritch glaive anyway).
Basically, I advice against it. Warlocks don't get that much from size.
Warshaper (Complete Warrior)
: Everyone loves
the Warshaper, a class that suddenly became easy to qualify via three LA+0 races - hengeyokai, changeling and shifter. At level 3, you gain +5ft reach. You can also create natural weapons, so you could create tentacles to qualify for Extended Reach, I believe. A solid class overall, I highly recommend taking it.
Deformity (tall) (Heroes of Battle)
: A two feat tax, you need Willing Deformity first. Requires you to be evil and you take -1 to AC, but you get +5ft reach out of it. Good for those going for the power hungy Warlock.
Inhuman Reach (Lords of Madness)
: A two feat tax, since it requires Aberration Blood. It also loses you some charm (no, it's serious, look up the feats). But that's +5ft reach and I wouldn't ignore the possibility. If you have the feats available, grab it. Sadly doesn't work for elans (they lack the humanoid type) but otherwise the flavour would match.
Extended Reach (Savage Species)
: A feat that grants you +5ft reach, but you need tentacle-like limbs. You could grab Deepspawn (from Lords of Madness) to get tentacles and qualify, or you could take this after Warshaper or you could be an anthropomorphic octopus/squid, but they are not that good as melee warlocks. No reason not to take it if you qualify.
Greatreach Bracers (Magic Item Compendium)
: A magic item that 3/day as a swift action adds +10ft to your reach for a round. I don't know if it should work with Extended Reach by RAI, because it says your arms
elongate and stretch. Easy for Warshapers to use, though - just say your tentacles sprout from the back of your hands or something.
Getting Extra Attacks
Just hit'em till they drop
When you are using eldritch glaive, getting an extra attack (other than an attack of opportunity) might be a pain in the neck. Haste
does not work, you can't use TWF or flurry of blows. Anything that involves a full-attack is right out.
Please note eldritch claw has no such problems. Anything that adds an extra attack on a full attack works normally with eldritch claw.
): Basically, a caster uses a spell and an action so that you'll unleash eldritch asskicking during his turn. A single attack at your highest base attack bonus. Your party's arcanist (or druid) will probably use the Mass version of this. Try to convince him to prepare this instead of haste
Alternatively, get this on a wand and give it to a familiar.
Snap Kick (Tome of Battle)
: The wording here is so ambiguous that you can even use it with eldritch glaive. The problem is that it's not an eldritch blast attack, it's just an unarmed attack. Worth it for eldritch claw users that went the Shou Disciple route, but otherwise avoid it.
Quicken Spell-like Ability
: 3/day, you make an extra full-attack. Sounds simple and clean
Some people say you can't quicken a spell-like ability that is cast as a full-round action.
Originally Posted by SRD
In addition, a spell-like ability that duplicates a spell with a casting time greater than 1 full round cannot be quickened.
Eldritch glaive does not duplicate a spell and does not even work as a spell with a 1 full round casting time (those only have effect on your next turn, while eldritch glaive works as you 'cast' it). In fact, eldritch glaive is faster than a spell with casting time of 1 full round. I'd say you can quicken it and it seems pretty clear to me you should be able to do it, but YMMV.
(Improved) Rapidstrike (Draconomicon)
: Needs BAB+10 and specific creature types (so a reason to be an elan). Gains an additional attack with your claws at -5. Improved version gives you actual iteratives with claws. It's crazy awesome, that's what this is.
Beast Strike + Flurry (Dragon Magazine 355)
: Thanks for pointing this out, Prime32. Beast Strike adds your claw damage to unarmed strikes. You can flurry with unarmed strikes. It's quite simple to figure out (Though it took me some time. Really.)
Time Stands Still (Tome of Battle)
: This awesome maneuver gives you two full-attack actions. All Beast Strikers, rejoice! Unfortunatelly, it's a level 9 maneuver. I don't think you can get both this and hellfire, but I could be wrong. Can't be used with Eldritch Glaive. Diamond Mind boost, level 9, requires four
other Diamond Mind maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Avalanche of Blades (Tome of Battle)
: Unfortunatelly, you can't use this with Eldritch Glaive, or it would be crazy good. Well, to tell you the truth, I think you could Quicken your eldritch glaive and then initiate this maneuver (since the glaive lasts until your next turn begins), but that's only really useful if you're a Clawlock who also took Eldritch Glaive. You make attacks at an increasing penalty and only stop when your oponent is at -1 or less (or you miss). Diamond Mind strike, level 7, requires three other Diamond Mind maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Pouncing Charge (Tome of Battle)
: Pounce is good for you and bad to your enemies. This can't be used with Eldritch Glaive, as usual. Ticer Claw strike, level 5, requires two other Tiger Claw maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Dancing Mongoose (Tome of Battle)
: This is a tricky maneuver. It can only be used with weapons you wield, so natural weapons should be out (and Eldritch Glaive is not a weapon
, I just thought I should say that again). You gain one extra attack per weapon you wield; even if you're a Monk or your DM rules Beast Strike as counting (since unarmed strike in in the weapon table and all), you'd only get one extra attack (since an unarmed strike is just one weapon). You could get more attacks with a shield to bash, armor spikes, braidblades or stuff like that, I believe. Better for weapon users, really. Tiger Claw boost, level 5, requires two other Tiger Claw maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Raging Mongoose (Tome of Battle)
: This is Dancing Mongoose's big brother, with more power and the same restrictions. Tiger Claw boost, level 8, requires three other Tiger Claw maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Adamantine Hurricane (Tome of Battle)
: This one is awesome. Clawlocks should always take this given the chance (you can't have this as well, Glaivelocks). As a standard action, you make two attacks against every adjacent opponent (the Target line says 'opponent you threaten', but this discussion could get ugly; would 'text trumps table' apply here?). Yes, as a standard action. Yes, you can use Snap Kick with this. Kinda hard to get, though, since Iron Heart generally doesn't offer much to Warlocks. Iron Heart strike, level 8, requires three other Iron Heart maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Flashing Sun (Tome of Batte)
: A once/encounter flurry. You make a full attack and you gain an extra attack. Flurry is better and unfortunately you can't mix both. It's useful for Clawlocks without access to Shou Disciple, though. Desert Wind strike, level 2, requires one other Desert Wind maneuver. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Wolf Fang Strike (Tome of Battle)
: One attack with a weapon in each hand. Has the same problems as Dancing Mongoose but it's a lot easier to get it; you just need to take Martial Study. Tiger Claw strike, level 1, no requirements. I just have to say it: this maneuver always reminds me of Yamcha from Dragonball. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.
Steel Wind (Tome of Battle)
: As a standard action, attack two foes you threaten. It's as awesome as it sounds. Once again, Glaivelocks were not invited to this party. Iron Heart strike, level 1, no requirements.
): The oxyrynchus touchstone has a base ability stronger than the higher order ability, for some reason. When you catch a foe flat-footed, hit him with your chosen weapon (so this means no fun for the Glaivelocks, again) an additional time at -5. Works on any round where you can perform multiple attacks (meaning it works on attacks of opportunity if you have Snap Kick). Pretty good, specially along with Snap Kick. It only requires 100gp and 8 ranks of Knowledge (the planes). Oh, and you get to make your weapon consumptive once a day for a minute. +1d6 damage, yay (I'm trying to be sarcastic here).
A Glaivelock's place in the spotlight
This is going to be mostly a glaivelock session. They may get the short end of the stick when it comes to damage or ToB tricks, but this is the thing that makes glaivelocks still viable. They make good debuffers, mainly because they can use essences with their eldritch glaive and force multiple saves a round.
While building a debuffer glaivelock, remember you need Charisma for the DCs.
Let's check out those essences, then.
Least essence, Will save or shaken for 1 minute. Sounds pretty good, but if it targets a shaken character, the character is not affected by the shaken effect. However, one interesting trick is that this only mentions the shaken condition. If you got a character frightened with other effects, you get it panicked with a frightful blast. You could, for example, use frightful blast, demoralize the target, then use frightful blast again to get him through all the states of fear. Or, if you have the Dreadful Wrath feat, you could attack (making him shaken), then attack again (triggering the Dreadful Wrath feat, since it's a full attack, making him frightened; then you trigger frightful blast to make him panicked). Basically, this essence was supposed to be useless, but it's uselessness was poorly written so you have ways around it.
Least essence, Fortitude save or be sickened. It's a debuff, yeah, but it only works on living creatures and doesn't scale. If you can't get Frightful Blast to combo, you could take this instead, but remember Fortitude saves are usually higher. If you have multiple essences, this is a good setup for something else. All things considered, trade it away as fast as you can.
Lesser essence, Fortitude save or be blinded for 1 round. The Fortitude save hurts again, but blinding is a powerful debuff. Many creatures have ways around it, though. A good substitute for Sickening Blast.
Deteriorating Blast (Dragon Magic)
: Lesser essence, Fortitude save or lose 5 points of damage reduction. I simply don't think this is worth it,as it basically amounts to +5 damage to your team mates sometimes
. Could be useful is your party sucks at bursting through DR and if it is composed primarily of weapon users.
Lesser essence, Fortitude save or take a penalty to Dexterity for 10 minutes. Doesn't stack with itself and it's a penalty, not damage. I'd pass.
Hindering Blast (Complete Mage)
: Greater essence, Will save or slowed for 1 round. You should consider this. With good reach, you could hit multiple targets and depending on your positioning, this could shut down a battlefield. Specially nasty if coupled with Stand Still. Even then, take care.
Incarnum Blast (Magic of Incarnum)
: Greater essence, living targets whose alignment is opposed to yours in at least one axis must save (Fortitude) or be dazed. I'd like to say this is situationally good, depending on the alignment of your opponents (Don't even bother if you are neutral on an axis.), because daze is a pretty nasty effect, but at this level you have better options.
Also, you can invest essentia to get more damage against the same targets, on a 1:1d6 ratio, yay! (/sarcasm). Unfortunatelly, you have to invest essentia as if it was a feat (i.e., once you invest you can't change it for 24 hours). I'd avoid it.
Greater essence, Will save or confused for 1 round. I don't understand why this is a greater invocation, confusion is an affect available a lot earlier for most classes. I'd pass, but it is a Will effect.
Penetrating Blast (Dragon Magic)
: Greater essence. The ability to weaken spell resistance would be a lot more interesting if you didn't get access to it in the same level you get the ability to ignore
spell resistance. Yes, this allows you to be a team player, but frankly spellcasters shouldn't need your help to overcome SR.
You probably noticed how I said to avoid, pass or take care regarding all other greater debuffing essences. Noxious blast is the reason why. They get a Fortitude save and if they fail, they are nauseated for a minute. This is crazy good. For one whole minute, they can't attack, cast spells or concentrate on spells, or do anything else that requires concentration. Basically, you win.
Greater essence and the only thing up able to compete with Noxious Blast for your attention for two reasons. 1) It's a Reflex. 2) It's hilarious. If they fail their saves, they are hurled 1d6x5 feet away from you... and knocked prone. You're basically a human (or hengeyokai, or elan, or whatever) pinball machine.
Bind Blast (Complete Mage)
: Dark essence, stun for 1 round. No one cares, Noxious Blast is a lot better.
Dark essence, deals negative energy damage (so it heals undead and stuff) and they get a Fortitude save or they take two negative levels. Somewhat disappointing, I think. If only it didn't require a save (most stuff that grants negative levels don't get saves) it would be good, but Noxious Blast is still looking better in my book.
Glaivelocks & Shields
A love story
Well, let's face it: a Warlock could use an Armor Class boost. Warlocks are not proficient with shields, but we could just take a feat (even if doing it sucks), multiclass or use a shield with 0 ACF and 0% spell failure chance. Glaivelocks can't use two weapon fighting and don't need two hands free to use eldritch glaive. We have a free hand and nothing to put in it!
I'd love to say the Shield Casting feat (from Races of Stone) would help you do this. I'd really love to say that - hell, it stops you from provoking! However, requirements include the bad feat Combat Casting and the casting is so specific about spells that spell-like abilities might not qualify (they even have another feat just below for psionics; what the hell happened to default transparency?). If you somehow can get shield proficiency + Combat Casting easily (say, with a 2-level Duskblade dip), getting the feat (and getting your DM to agree that it works on invocations, which I think it should but it is not intended and questionable not RAW) would solve all your troubles about Mage Slayers, readied actions and Concentration checks.
People usually say shields are subpar because two-handed weapons are simply better and AC becomes almost meaningless at high levels unless you build around it. People are right, but at lower levels, pumping your AC never hurts. Mithral light shield has ACF 0 and 0% spell failure and costs only 1007gp, masterwork githcraft (template from DMG 2) wooden light shield has ACF 0 and 0% spell failure for tha bargain price of 753gp, githcraft mithral heavy shield is a bit more expensive at 1620gp but also adds +1 to Concentration checks. Both seem like pretty good options to boost your Glaivelock's AC.
You need free hands for Eldritch Claws, so unfortunatelly you can't use a light shield with it (a buckler could work). You could use a wand of shield
, which is really cheap, but 10 rounds duration means wasting an action on the first round of combat to activate it so I'd avoid it like the plague.
Sir Gimp likes taking Hideous Blow, Shield Proficiency and Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword). They don't allow Sir Gimp to join the Melee Warlock Association. You don't want to be like Sir Gimp, after all, the MWA has the coolest parties.
If you want your hands free, you could always buy yourself an animated shield. In you are set on a flying shield, choose this one. It's the best!
If you are not brazilian or a hardcore soccer fun, you won't get the joke. It's OK. All you have to know is that Fluminense is awesome.
Let the d100 do all the work for you!
No wait, that's another kind of miss, nevermind.
Sometimes, AC is just not enough. Things keep hitting you. You need something else, something to protect you, to keep your few precious hit points (Rule number 3 of the Melee Warlock: You can never have too much hit points). Miss chance springs to rescue! Just remember: some opponents don't need to actually see
you. Miss chance does not help against blindsight.
(Minor) Cloak of Displacement (DMG)
: 20% or 50% miss chance, only costs you money. It might burn a hole in your pocket - even the minor cloak costs 24000 gold.
Smoking Weapons (Lords of Darkness)
: Supposedly very good, this is cheap, gives you 20% miss chance and extra goodies. Unfortunatelly, the one time I saw Lords of Darkness for sale (it was super cheap!) I decided on buying two third party books instead. Those third party books royally sucked. If you are not as idiot as I am and actually bought this amazing book, use smoking weapons. They rock and you could add it to your warlock scepter.
Darkness and seeing through it (a lot of books)
: With darkness at will, you could cast it on your armor, your weapon or your underwear (but then you would have to
adventure without your pants). Everyone in the area suffers a 20% miss chance! Well, even you. So you need a way to see in magical darkness - devil's sight
invocation works (but then you are using two slots on this and I don't think it's worth it), if you have darkvision At Home in the Deep (Drow of the Underdark) feat allows you to see through your
magical darkness (it's very limited and does not give you another use of the darkness racial power, so you'd still need to spend an invocation known for Darkness), devil's eye (Fiendish Codex II) spell also sees through magical darkness (it's second level so it's wandable, but it requires a standard action, which hurts), hellbred (FCII again) get this for free at level 10 (but then you can afford a cloak anyway) and tiefling incarnates also can get this.
As you see, there are plenty of choices to use darkness as a decent source of miss chance, specially at lower levels. If retraining is available, darkness is a solid choice. The only problem is that your allies will mostly stay away from you, seeing as they would also have a miss chance, but it adds to the badass lone wolf feel.
Extra Awesome Stuff from ToB
For Talionis is a jolly good fellow
Everything in this section was presented by Talionis. He made a great compilation, and the stuff here couldn't fit anywhere else. A word from Talionis himself:
Originally Posted by Talionis
Tome of Battle is my favorite book because it adds a lot to melee classes. Melee Warlocks have lots of movement problems during combat and ToB has good ways to fix that problem. ToB can also be instrumental in gaining extra attacks or helping to get one attack to hit multiple targets. But there are also useful maneuvers to gain hit points and bolster saves which can sometimes feel like some of the holes in a Warlock build.
Just remember, this is geared toward Eldritch Claw. Eldritch Glaive won't work with most of these because a) it requires a full-round action and b) it's not a weapon. Now for the goodies he collected!
Emerald Razor (DM 2/0 S) -- Touch Attack
Rapid Counter (DM 5/0 B) -- Allows you to reroll an attack if it misses.
Vanguard Strike (DS 1/0 S) -- +4 to hit for Allies till next round
Iron Heart Surge (IH 3/1 B) Allows to remove a negative status and gain +2 Morale to hit
Diamond Defense (DM 8/0 B) Add save bonus equal to your level
Moment of Perfect Mind (DM 1/0 B Will), Action Before Thought (DM 2/0 B Reflex), Mind Over Body (DM 3/0 B Fortitude) Allows you to replace your Saves with Constitution checks.
Crusader Strike (DS 1/0 S) Little bit of healing for one person including yourself if attack hits.
Revitalizing Strike (DS 3/1 S) Stronger healing of one person including yourself if it hits
Rallying Strike (DS 6/2 S) Stronger healing for allies within a 30 ft radius
Strike of Righteous Vitality (DS 9/3 S) Healing Spell for one ally including yourself when attack hits. This can remove negative levels from Hell Fire.
Iron Heart Endurance (IH 6/2 B) -- Allows you to put double your level in Hit Points
Counter Charge (SS 1/0 B) Check to counter a charge attack
Wall of Blades (IH 2/0 B) Use your attack rating to cancel an attack. Useful as prerequisite for Iron Heart Surge.
Shield Block (DS 2/0 B) Use Shield to add AC to an Ally. Ally can be you.
Burning Brand (DW 2/0 B) Allows for +5ft reach and all your damage becomes fire damage.
Disarming Strike (IH 2/0 S) Allows disarm attempt with successful hit
White Raven Tactics (WR 3/1 B) Allows for an ally to take another turn. By RAW this allows you to take another turn, but many DMs wont allow this interpretation.
One with Shadow (SH 8/3 B) Become Incorporeal for 1 round.
Flesh Ripper (TC 3/2 S) Opponent attacks and AC are -4
Fountain of Blood (TC 4/2 B) Cause Fear (shaken) when you reduce an opponent to -1 or fewer Hit Points.
Thicket of Blades (DS 3/1) Helps to get Attacks of Opportunity
Aura of Perfect Order (DS 6/2) Allows you to take 11 on rolls.
Immortal Fortitude (DS 8/3) Allows you to roll to ignore damage that would bring you below 0 and leaves you at 1 hit point.
Island of Blades (SH 1/0) Allows you to flank automatically with an Ally
Bolstering Voice (WR 1/0) Adds +2 Moral to Will Saves and +4 Moral against Fear Saves to 60ft radius
Assassins Stance (3/0) Add 2d6 Sneak Attack
Stance of Alacrity (DM 8/3) Allows you to make an extra immediate action
Pearl of Black Doubt (DM 3/1) Boosts AC every time someone misses you.
Hunters Sense (TC 1/0) Gain Scent Ability
Leaping Dragon Stance (TC 3/1) Adds 10ft bonus to jumps
Blood in the Water (TC 1/1) -- +1 to Hit and Damage
Feats from Tome of Battle
Gloom Razor Helps with Sneak Attacks
Stormguard Warrior Helps with loops of Attacks of Opportunity
Iron Heart Aura Provides everyone around you +2 AC
Extra Readied Maneuver Allows any class to add a maneuver as a Feat. Must meet prerequisites and also good to add additional feats to marital characters who want maneuvers from styles they dont have access to normally.
Extra Martial Stance Allows any class to add a stance as a Feat. Must meet prerequisites and also good to add additional feats to marital characters who want stances from styles they dont have access to normally.
Bloodclaw Master Aids in two weapon fighting and a couple levels might be nice for Eldritch Claw users.
Jade Phoenix Mage Need second level arcane spells to qualify, plus two maneuvers at least one being a strike and a stance. If you can get in, it will progress Warlock Invocations and initiator level.
Master of Nine Allows use of two stances at once and allows switching between stances at immediate speed if you use a counter.
Shadow Sun Ninja Level one allows you to turn your base unarmed strike damage + Wisdom score into Negative Energy Damage. The following round you must discharge the same amount of Positive Energy healing. This could potentially be of use to Eldritch Claw users. It becomes even more useful if you are Tomb Tainted Soul or have an undead ally or minion since you can basically infinitely heal out of combat and potentially do a ton of healing during combat.
Magic of Incarnum
The book of blue will make your enemies red with anger!
Oh, man. I swear to God I used to be good with puns.
Magic of Incarnum has the Totemist class, focused on natural attacks. So of course our Claw-locks can pick up some goodies from this book. Just go easy on the blue eyeliner or Mr. T won't accept you in the Melee Warlock Association. I must confess, I thought I'd find better stuff from this book, but Warlocks don't have a lot of synergy with incarnum in the end of the day. You could dip Incarnate or Totemist for a few melds, but I don't know if it's worth it (you do get some versatility).
My best bet to use incarnum, though, is to be an azurin and take the Shape Soulmeld feat.
: This incarnate soulmeld adds an infernal flavour to your Warlock. Well, it's not like you need
more infernal flavour, but it's kind of like dakka
. OK, so you get a +1 to melee attack rolls. For every point of essentia invested, you gain +1 morale bonus to damage. Since it's a named bonus, it won't be double dipped by Eldritch Claws or anything. The binds are sucky. Avoid it.
: +2 initiative, essentia invested added to damage. Not stellar.
: This one deserves mention. It increases spell damage, so it could
increase eldritch glaive
's damage. Ask your DM.
: A bonus to grapple checks is a good edge when you use Grappling Blast.
Gloves of the Poisoned Soul
: Initially, this sounds delicious with Beast Strike: your unarmed strikes now deal Wisdom damage! Unfortunatelly, it suckes because there is a save and it only works once per victim per 24hours.
Heart of Fire
: Adds some fire damage if you made a Totemist dip.
: Getting uncanny dodge with a feat might save your life in some campaigns.
: Your very own animal battle aura
is just a feat away. Better with an incarnate dip. I specially like the evil avatar, with +2 to damage per essentia invested.
: They kind of suck. Avoid them.
: If you can bind them to your hands chakra, they're an okay choice for Shou Disciples.
: Don't get me started on them. Just don't.
: This is only good if you can charge reliably and if you can bind a soulmeld to your feet chakra. Stunning is a good debuff though and one that shouldn't be overlooked.
Fun With Use Magic Device
Move along, Monks. We actually get it as a class skill.
At 4th level, a Warlock gets the unique ability to take 10 on Use Magic Device checks. It's such a unique ability we get to share it with Artificers!
But well, we get that skill, we can take 10 on it, and it means we could have some wonderful toys
. Below are some items that might be of use to melee warlocks via UMD.
Let's start with a few wands
we could use. I'll try not to repeat stuff I already mentioned elsewhere in the guide.
Nerveskitter (Spell Compendium)
: 1st level spell, +5 to initiative. Know it and love it. Well, more like buy it and love it.
Wings of Cover (Races of the Dragon)
: A level two spell that as a immediate action saves your ass. Very nice to have it around. Good candidate for a wandchamber in your Warlock's Scepter or Beast Claws.
Heroics (Spell Compendium)
: 2nd level spell that gets you a fighter bonus feat for it's duration. Most of the builds are feat starved, so this is bond to come in handy.
Primal Instinct (Dragon Magic)
: 2nd level, duration 24 hours, +5 to initiative. Prime candidate for an eternal wand. Heh, got it? Primal Instinct is a prime candidate... OK, I'll stop.
(Greater) Mighty Wallop (Races of the Dragon)
: Extra damage with Beast Strike. Since Beast Strike already deals a lot of damage... Wands of Greater Mighty Wallop get expensive fast because they depend on caster level, but a scroll to use as an ace in a sleeve is affordable.