Next to Trickster Rogues, the Scourge Warlock class was the other one that received some major tweaks to all sorts of feats and power in Module 13. Most of the changes where made to the Temptation feat tree in an attempt “to make Temptation viable once more in the endgame environment”. So it’s time to evaluate how that worked out and what else changed for Scourges!
In terms of DPS, Scourges needed some help since Module 12. The best damage build was a high Power, low Critical Strike one that utilized the Owlbear Cub‘s active bonus and the fact that Pillar of Power could proc it rapidly. The devs however changed the functionality and left Scourges without a competitive DPS setup. It’s kind of the same situation Control Wizards are in right now as they saw their only viable build taken away with the tweaks to how often powers proc Weapon Enchantments.
Albeit a lot of changes, Module 13 didn’t really drastically alter the scenery for our devilish casters. DPS got a little better, but not as good to really challenge other classes and builds. As of right now, in terms of the meta depth chart, damage Warlocks are no longer a thing. That being said however, and I can’t stress that enough, the difference in your everyday runs is marginal. Using a Warlock and main DPS vs. a GWF does not make or break a run, it just means you’ll be a couple minutes slower. That might hurt groups going for world records, but if you can live with 20-25 minute TONG runs, a SW will do just fine. It simply doesn’t matter what DPS you take with you if your buff setup is solid.
What the changes did do however was bringing the Hellbringer Temptation builds to live in the support bracket. You are currently seeing much more requests for “buff SWs”. They are frequently used as fourth class next to the usual OP/DC/DC setup and occasionally even replace one of the clerics. The reason ist that the Temptation tree now features a wide range of buffs, which pushed MoF CWs even further down the depth chart. Pretty much any feat at tier 3 or higher now features some sort of ally buff or enemy debuff with the strongest ones being Soul Bonding (20%), Eldritch Momentum (CA), Aura of Despair (5%), and Dark Revelry (20% Power share). Additionally allies get +18% damage from staying inside Pillar of Power.
Temptation builds could have always been able to challenge DCs in the healing category, but that isn’t something that most groups need in endgame content. But now that Scourges can also be buff/debuff machines, they offer an intriguing package.
I’m sure players argue whether the changes to Scourge Warlocks really improved the class’ overall state. While DPS builds are still nowhere near the top, Temptation Warlocks are very viable now and enhance groups in more than one area. So even if you don’t like to play your toon this way, you at least have a way to get into endgame content fairly easy. While that’s a plus, the devs still have to find ways to utilize the class in more than one way. Since Pillar of Power is essential to most builds, the Soulbinder Paragon only has situational use (single target DPS for example, maybe PVP?). And the Damnation feat tree is searching for a purpose as well. That’s not optimal, but something not exclusive to SWs.
Overall I’d say the class is moving into the right direction, but definitely needs a few more tweaks going forward.
What’s your take on the current state of the Scourge Warlock class? Share your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or the corresponding thread on our message board!
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