Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Art of Binding: Warlock Vestiges

Of all the classes in 4E, the Warlock is probably among the best supported ones (second only to the Fighter, in my opinion). With a new class build in a campaign setting (the Dark Warlock from Forgotten Realms Player's Guide) and an impressive selection of Dragon articles, both in quantity and quality, it would be easy for any new material to fall in repetition and familiar ideas. Thankfully, this is not the case with "The Art of Binding", an awesome piece featured in this month's Dragon magazine.

Signed by Russell Jones and Jeramy Pappas, two debuting authors I'd really like to read again, this short article expands on Arcane Power's Vestige Pact by adding seven build-specific daily powers and two paragon paths. I think the result is a complete success, both from a mechanical and a flavor standpoint. There are many fresh and interesting ideas in power concepts, as well as game effects.

To name a few, there's the vestige of a Water Archon that can drown enemies, leaving them unconscious (save ends) after failing a saving throw. This is just a level 5 daily, and I can bet it will become a favourite of many Warlock players, even those without access to the vestige pact. The same can be said of the medusa queen vestige, which petrifies (save ends) enemies within a blast. I didn't even know you could do that! Again, at level 9, this is a complete bargain, vestige or no.

The great options for controlling warlocks don't end there, though. The vestige of the Unknown Arcanist vanishes foes, and one from a volcano god turns your pact boon into a area damage machine. There are a few leader powers, too, perhaps less impressive, but definitely solid.

As for the new paragon paths, they are extremely well-rounded packages. Lacking continuous bonus to damage, they will probably not be at the top of an optimizer's list, but every single power and feature is useful, and a few are really tempting. The path of the Umbral Cabalist tells the story of a group of demon binders, allowing you to restrain with action points (!), stun with an encounter attack, and gain a demons's variable resistance, among other nifty things. The Astral Ascendant is slightly less flashy, but it has a remarkable amount of healing effects, and lets you turn into a flying angel once a day!

A must read, and a boon to any Warlock character with a good Constitution score.

1 comment:

  1. I was just creating a vestige warlock and haven't read that article... I will right now ;) Thanks for the advvice, and great blog. Congrats!!!