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@Copyright : Sharpedge@thefabricant

Note: Please read the original post permanently updated – the extract here in after doesn’t contain Contents nor Credit sections

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CW Mechanics Guide: (Mod 11.5)version of July 11, 2017 

Author: Sharpedge@thefabricant

Forewarning:

The following sections will be out of date as of mod 12:

  • DR Debuffs.
  • Weapon Enchantment.
  • Pet Active Bonuses.
  • Summoned Pet.
  • Mount Combat Power.
  • Active Artifact.
  • Statistics Optimisation.

 

I will try to update these sections as best as I can with the release of mod 12, but be wary investing into anything based on the information contained within these sections.

Preface:

This is a continuation of my CW guide, originally published in mod 8. Over time it has become a lot more technical and at this point it needs to be completely redone. In this edition, the theory section has been condensed, mainly into links to spreadsheets that illustrate how various abilities work, and the builds section has been removed. The theory section has always been my primary focus when it comes to my CW guide, as it is more important to understand how a class works, rather than to just copy/paste a build. This guide aims to do just that; explain how everything works at the most fundamental level, ignoring those pieces of misleading text known as the tooltips. As it takes a colossal amount of work to maintain a guide like this, updates will not be frequent. I would also like to say, like you, I am just another player. I am not the best CW, and I will never pretend to be. I simply have enough spare time and dedication to test game mechanics, and I am willing to share what I know.

 

A Note on Republishing:

 

If you intend to publish this on your website, please ask me on the page on the official forums which can be found here. I would prefer in your request if you list the site you wish to upload it to as well. The chances are, I probably don’t mind, but the least you can do is ask me. I profit in no way from sharing my work and would appreciate if, at the very least, people who post copies of it ask me first.

 

Those who have asked:

 

http://www.uscvb.net/insanes/

 

Intended Outcomes (Must Read):

 

First off, if you are only interested in a copy/paste build inside this guide, just close the tab now. There isn’t one in here. It is not intended for a wide audience, and I fully acknowledge that for the most part, not many CWs will read through this, since it doesn’t have a cookie cutter build inside. I do hope however, that those who do read it, take something useful away from it. Anyone can write a build for CW, but copying a build doesn’t make a player a good CW, and I am more interested in teaching players to make their own, informed decisions, rather than just providing a build to copy. A bad player with good gear is, after all, still a bad player. By the end of this guide, the reader is intended to have a much more thorough understanding of the CW class and be able to build their own character well, without needing to blanket copy the build of another player.

 

Recommended Reading:

 

As a primer to my guide, it is recommended that you have a thorough understanding of Neverwinter mechanics. For anyone new to Neverwinter, this guide may prove to be overwhelming, as it is not light on the mechanics side of things. Due to this, I highly recommend reading through the following tool, to make understanding the concepts in this guide easier:

 

http://janne.coreside.com/

 

In addition to Janne’s website, I also recommend reading this if you wish to begin testing game mechanics in Neverwinter on your own.

Section 1: Class Mechanics.

 

Mechanics:

 

This section deals with how Arcane Stacks, Chill Stacks, and Smoulder Function.

 

Arcane Stacks:

 

Arcane Stacks provide 3% damage per stack to Arcane Powers. They cap out at 5 stacks and have a 10 second duration. Each stack is multiplicative, so with 5 stacks, you have (1.03^5-1=0.1592740743) a ~15.93% damage increase. They are acquired from the following sources:

 

Ability Name: Off Mastery: On Mastery:
Magic Missile 1 stack on 3rd cast. NA.
Entangling Force 1 1 per target hit.
Repel 1 1 per target hit.
Oppressive Force 1 per target hit. NA.
Shield 1 on cast, 1 on burst. 1 on cast, 1 on burst.
Arcane Singularity 1 NA.
Steal Time 1 1
Ray of Enfeeblement 1 per cast. 1 per cast.
Unrestrained Chaos 5 on Maelstrom of Chaos. NA.
Disintegrate 1 0
Imprisonment 3 3
Shard of Endless Avalanche ~1 every 2 seconds from proximity. ~1 every 2 seconds from proximity.

 

At the end of combat, all Arcane Stacks fall off, unless applied by Shield Pulse, in which case they remain up until the end of their duration. Sudden Storm refreshes the duration, as well as the use of any Arcane Power.

 

The following Abilities Benefit from Arcane Stacks:

 

  • Magic Missile.
  • Storm Pillar.
  • Scorching Burst.
  • Storm Spell (If it procs off an Arcane Power).
  • Arcane Power Field.
  • Arcane Singularity.
  • Oppressive Force.
  • Maelstrom of Chaos.
  • Furious Immolation.
  • Sudden Storm (The arc on mastery does not benefit however).
  • Fanning the Flame.
  • Entangling Force.
  • Ray of Enfeeblement.
  • Steal Time.
  • Shard of Endless Avalanche.
  • Repel.
  • Shield Pulse.
  • Disintegrate.
  • Smoulder.

 

Chill Stacks:

 

Chill Stacks are 1 of CWs primary mechanics. They are part of the control category, classed as, “slows” and have a base duration of 2.8 seconds. For the purposes of Chilling Presence, Chill Stacks are applied after the ability that casts them, so the ability that applies them does not get the benefit from Chill Stacks. Here is a table listing how many Chill Stacks are applied by various abilities:

 

Ability Name: Number of Stacks:
Ray of Frost 1 per tick, feated there is a 50% chance of adding an extra stack.
Chill Strike 1 (2 on mastery to the main target, 1 to all splashed targets).
Conduit of Ice (mastery) 1 per tick.
Chilling Cloud (3rd hit) 1, the first 2 hits may also add 1 with the mainhand bonus.
Icy Terrain 1 per tick.
Ice Knife 3.
Icy Rays (1 target) 2.
Icy Rays (2 targets) 1 on each target.
Icy Veins 5 to all targets in range.

 

Chill Stacks cap at 6. Once you have 6 Chill Stacks, either Ray of Frost or Icy Terrain can apply the status effect Frozen, which is a hard CC. Frozen cannot be applied by any other CW powers. Frozen cannot be applied to bosses and has a base duration of 5 seconds. Once Frozen ends, all Chill Stacks are removed. Every time you hit with an ability that applies Chill, it will refresh the duration of current stacks. This is important because in harder content, monsters have high CC resistance, which causes stacks to fall off quickly.

 

Icy Veins is the easiest method to keep up Chill Stacks, however, it is not always necessary, especially if your rotation uses both, Conduit on Mastery and Icy Terrain, which is common for most CW builds. Icy Veins is applied on every tick of encounters, not just on the initial cast.

 

It is possible to stack the Frozen Status Ailment by applying it with 2 skills simultaneously (either multiple instances of Icy Terrain due to low CD, or Icy Terrain+Ray of Frost). This does very little practically, however, as the stacks of frozen do not increase your DpS and both tick down simultaneously, however, when they fall off, it does cause Frigid Winds to be applied twice.

Smoulder:

 

Smoulder is a single target DoT that is exclusive to the MoF paragon and ticks once every second for 4 seconds. Smoulder can be applied using the following tools:

 

  • Fanning the Flame (mastery).
  • Furious Immolation.
  • Critical Conflagration.
  • Combustive Action.
  • Scorching Burst.
  • Drifting Embers.

 

Attempting to reapply Smoulder whilst Smoulder is already present causes the duration to be refreshed. If you apply chill to a target that is currently under the influence of Smoulder, Smoulder will be converted to Rimefire, which behaves the same in all aspects except for the fact that Rimefire is also refreshed by Chill. If there are 2 CWs in a party and 1 of them is MoF and the other applies Chill to a target you have applied Smoulder to, it will add an independant Rimefire DoT for the 2nd CW. Although not intended, it is possible to stack Rimefire and Smoulder. This can be done using the following methods:

 

  • Cast Furious Immolation and then a cold spell.
  • Cast a Daily power that does not apply Chill with Combustive Action slotted, then deal damage with a non Chill power, then apply Chill.
  • Crit with Icy Terrain whilst Critical Conflagration is slotted.

 

It is important to note that if normal Smoulder falls off, it cannot be reapplied until Rimefire also falls off and to keep the Smoulder DoT up, you will have to keep reapplying Smoulder with 1 of the fire abilities listed above. This leads to a lot of micromanagement whereby you need to keep using at least 1 fire ability every 4 seconds. In a party with more than 1 wizard, it is possible to have 2*number of MoF+1*number of SS CW stacks of Smoulder, provided there is at least 1 MoF. However, the MoFs need to apply both stacks before an SS CW applies Chill otherwise the MoF will not be able to apply regular Smoulder. If you have points in Icy Veins and are within 15 feet of the enemy, Icy Veins will prevent Smoulder stacking from occurring.

 

Smoulder does not benefit from Chilling Presence, but it can crit and has its damage increased by 60% by the class feature Swath of Destruction.

Target Caps:

 

Every ability in Neverwinter has some sort of target cap. Knowing these target caps, allows you to more accurately judge which abilities to use in different situations. Here is a table, that lists all CW target caps:

 

Ability Name: Target Cap (Normal) Target Cap (Mastery)
Ray of Frost 1 NA
Magic Missiles 1 NA
Ice Storm 5 NA
Chill Strike 1 5
Conduit of Ice 6 7
Entangling Force 1 6
Arcane Singularity 8 NA
Oppressive Force Infinite NA
Repel 1 5
Chilling Cloud 3 NA
Shield Pulse 5 5
Icy Terrain Infinite Infinite
Sudden Storm Infinite Infinite
Fanning the Flame 1 8
Storm Fury NA NA
Scorching Burst 5 NA
Storm Pillar Infinite NA
Ray of Enfeeblement 1 2
Ice Knife 1 NA
Storm Spell NA NA
Icy Rays 2 2
Steal Time 6 6
Shard of Endless Avalanche 10 10
Furious Immolation 8 NA
Maelstrom of Chaos Infinite NA
Disintegrate 1 1
Imprisonment 1 1

 

From this table, it is very easy to see that in any situation with massive amounts of monsters (for example 30) Oppressive Force, Icy Terrain, and Sudden Storm will always win because they have a decent AoE radius and have the capability to hit all the monsters, rather than only some of them.

Cooldowns and Action Point Gain:

 

This section deals with the mechanics of Cooldown Reduction and Action Point Gain.

 

The way CD reduction works is as follows:

Final CD =Base CD/(1+Recharge Speed Increase Sources)

 

For example, if you have 10% Recharge Speed Increase from intelligence and 10% from Fight On and you are looking at the cooldown of disintegrate, your final CD will be:

8/(1+0.1+0.1) = 6.66666666667 seconds.

The tooltip will display this as 6.7 seconds.

 

What this means is that CD reduction does in fact have diminishing returns. A common mistake is to think that with 100% Recharge Speed Increase you will have no cooldowns, when all it means is that your cooldowns will be halved.

 

It is important to note that the Spell Twisting is NOT a source of recharge speed increase, and the way it functions is different. It works like this:

 

Final CD-Final CD*(1-0.02*Spell Twisting Rank*Number of stacks) =CD Reduction.

To clarify better: Final CD with ST=Final CD*(1-0.02*Spell Twisting Rank*Number of stacks)

or simplifying the definition of Final CD:

Final CD=Base CD*(1-0.02*Spell Twisting Rank*Number of stacks)/(1+Recharge Speed Increase Sources)

 

For example, if you are looking at the cooldown of Shield Pulse and you have 100% Recharge Speed Increase, 5 points in Spell Twisting and 3 stacks; Spell Twisting will reduce the cooldown as follows:

 

20/(1+1) = 10 = Final CD.

10-10*(1-0.02*5*3)=3 seconds.

In this situation, Spell Twisting removes 3 seconds.

 

This does mean that the relative strength of Spell Twisting is always the same, regardless of your recharge speed increase, since it scales off your final CD and not your base CD, which means it will never reduce your CD to 0 from when an ability first goes on CD.

 

Alacrity reduces the CDs of Entangling Force and Icy Terrain by 2.5 seconds when it procs. It does not appear to be influenced by Recharge Speed Increase from my testing and always reduces your CDs by the same amount.

 

CW has the following sources of Recharge Speed Increase:

 

Fight On: 2/4/6/8/10%.

Intelligence: 1% for every point over 10.

Wisdom: 1% for every point over 10.

Recovery: 1% for every 200 points invested.

Book Imp: 2% at epic.

Arcane Presence: 20% at rank 4.

 

The way Action Point Gain works is as follows:

All AP gain sources are multiplicative with each other, which means a Sprite that has 2% AP gain, will always make your AP generate 2% faster, regardless of how many other sources of AP gain you have. For example, if you have 12% AP gain from 22 Int and 1% from a Sprite, the final AP gain obtained by casting an ability is as follows:

 

Base AP Gain*(1+12%)*(1+1%)=Base AP Gain*1.12*1.01=Base AP Gain*1.1312

 

Which means for example, Chill Strike (Base AP Gain = 4,5%) will generate:

 

1.1312*4.5=5.0904% AP.

 

Sources of percentage AP gain for CW are as follows:

 

Controlling Action: 2/4/6/8/10% AP gain against controlled targets. It does not work against bosses, however, on trash, Chill stacks are considered a control effect.

Wisdom: 1% for every point over 10.

Recovery: 1% for every 400 invested.

Sprite Companions: 2% at epic.

Inner Calm (Sun Elf Racial Bonus): 2%.

Wanderlust (Moon Elf Racial Bonus): 1%.

 

Ability Name: Ability Cooldown: Ability Base AP gain:
Chill Strike 15 4.5
Conduit of Ice 13 Random*****
Entangling Force 22* 6
Repel 11 2.4***
Shield Pulse 20 4.8****
Icy Terrain 21* 5.2
Sudden Storm 14 5.6
Fanning the Flame 22 6.6****
Ray of Enfeeblement 18******* 4.8
Icy Rays 20 8
Steal Time 18 7.2
Shard of Endless Avalanche 20 8
Disintegrate 8 Random*****
Imprisonment 40** 6
Magic Missile 0 0.8
Ray of Frost 0 0.8
Chilling Cloud 0 0.48
Chilling Cloud (2nd hit) 0 0.64
Chilling Cloud (3rd hit) 0 1.2
Storm Pillar 0 0.8
Storm Pillar (Fully Charged) 0 3.2
Scorching Burst 0 2.72******

 

*Skills listed with 1 asterisk are displayed at rank 0, as the ability rank changes their CD. The CD with rank included is: (Rank 0 CD-Rank*2) For example, Rank 4 Entangling Force is (22-2*4)=14.

**The CD is halved on mastery.

***The AP gain is listed for a single target, it generates AP per target hit.

****These abilities are not modified by AP gain.

*****The AP gain of these abilities is completely random and will yield different results even when tested in controlled circumstances with nothing being modified.

****** Fully Charged.

******* The tooltip on mastery only shows the base CD, however, it is reduced by RSI.

 

Other sources of AP gain are as follows:

 

Additional AP Gain Sources
Name: Action Point Gain:
Quick Action (Legendary) 2.5% per second for 10 seconds.
Quick Action (Epic) 1.5% per second for 10 seconds.
Critical Power 5% on crit (10 second cooldown).
Combustive Action 4% on kill.
Arcane Presence Offhand 2% on damage dealt by a cold power.
Black Ice Overloads 1.25% every 0.25 seconds, for 2 seconds.
Sigil of the Devoted 6.25% every second for 16 seconds.
Potion of Power 25% on use.
AP Gain Cloak (Legendary) 4% every 3 seconds.
Fey Weapons 10% on Encounter use, once every 30 seconds.
Burning Weapons 25% on Daily Power use, once every 30 seconds.
Sunlord’s Gift Elixir 11% over 20 seconds, 1% every 2 seconds.
Lathander’s Dew 1% every 3 seconds.

 

These additional sources of AP are not modified by percentage AP gain sources (they always provide the base AP value). Critical Power and the Arcane Presence offhand will proc once on an encounter, not once per target hit, which would be questionably balanced. Also, it is worth pointing out the AP gain value on your character sheet is wrong, as it adds some things and multiplies others, instead of multiplying everything, which doesn’t match the actual behaviour of AP gain bonuses.

 

In the end, the gain of AP in a given time is obtained by adding the sum of AP, gained by the casting of abilities (which are influenced by percentage AP gain sources), to the sum of AP from all the applicable additional sources (which aren’t influenced by percentage AP gain sources)

 

CW Ability Coefficients:

 

The way damage is calculated in Neverwinter is:

(Level Based Weapon Damage+Weapon Damage)*Ability Coefficient*Multipliers

 

The Level Based Weapon Damage depends on your character level and your class. For CW, this value is 144.425. Here is a link to a full explanation of basic damage calculations in Neverwinter and this page lists all the coefficients for the CW class (as well as any other class).

 

1 of the uses of this information is, combined with the data on target caps, figure out in which situations will 1 ability do more damage than another.

 

For example, if we compare Oppressive Force to Ice Storm:

 

Ice Storm Damage per target: 4*Multipliers.

OF Damage per target: 3.43*Multipliers.

 

Ice Storm target cap: 5.

OF target cap: Infinite.

 

Max theoretical FI damage: 4*Multipliers*5=20*Multipliers

20/3.43=5.83090379009

 

So, not counting procs from other skills off Ice Storm or OF (just base skill damage), you need more than 6 targets for OF to beat Ice Storm.

 

It is important to note that the ability tooltips only note the following:

 

  • The first hit of Icy Terrain and Conduit of Ice.
  • 5 hits of Ray of Enfeeblement. It hits 5 times off mastery with no Arcane Stacks, 8 times off mastery with 5 Arcane Stacks, 6 times on mastery with no Arcane Stacks and 9 times on mastery with 5 Arcane Stacks.
  • 3 hits of Entangling Force. It hits 4 times off mastery with no Arcane Stacks, 5 times on mastery with no Arcane Stacks (but only 3 of them do damage), 5 times off mastery with 4 Arcane stacks and 6 times on mastery (but only 4 of them do damage) with 4 Arcane Stacks.
  • Sudden Storm’s tooltip lists the initial hit.
  • Icy Ray’s tooltip lists the damage for a single ray when you target 2 opponents.
  • Disintegrate lists the sum of the hit for less than X% of weapon damage as well as the normal damage dealt.
  • Shard of Endless Avalanche’s tooltip only lists the damage dealt by the initial hit.
  • The tooltip minimum for Scorching Burst is incorrect.
  • The tooltip for Furious Immolation is the sum of both hits, in actual combat, sometimes the second hit does not occur.
  • Chill Strike only lists the damage dealt to the main target, not the splash damage.
  • Fanning the Flame’s tooltip lists the sum of all hits.
  • The tooltip of Oppressive Force does not include the DoT, just the initial hit.
  • The tooltips don’t account for some buffs, so the spreadsheets provided here are more useful than reading them.

Damage Buffs:

 

In Neverwinter, all buffs are multiplicative with each other, which results in them providing the most reliable way to boost your damage. The only exceptions to this, are in some cases, if a buff is based off of the number of stacks of something you have (for example chilling presence). The damage buff from Chilling Presence based on the number of Chill Stacks is additive based on the number of Chill Stacks and not multiplicative with itself. It is however multiplicative with other buffs.

 

The general formula is:

Final Damage=Initial Damage*(1+Damage Buffs)

 

Damage buffs can be divided into 3 categories, personal buffs, party buffs and instance wide buffs. Personal buffs only modify your own damage, party buffs modify the damage of anyone within your 5 player team and instance wide buffs modify the damage of anyone within range. Here is a table listing all CW damage buffs, as well as breaking them down by category:

 

Damage Buff Values:
Buff Name: Buff Value: Buff Type:
Wizard’s Wrath 1/2/3% for AoE skills. Personal
Blighting Power 6% per rank for cold skills, ranks multiplicative. (much more than the tooltip suggests!) Personal
Arcane Enhancement 1/2/3% for arcane skills. Personal
Learned Spellcaster 1+(1/2/3/4/5*(1+(int-10)*0.01))*0.01 Personal
Focused Wizardry 10/20/30% increase for single target and 30/20/10% decrease for AoE. Personal
Controlled Momentum 10%. Instance
Tempest Magic 6% per rank against enemies below 30% hp. All ranks are multiplicative with each other. Personal
Malevolent Surge 5% increased damage on kill. Personal
Snap Freeze 10% with cold skills vs unchilled targets. Personal
Destructive Wizardry 5%. Personal
Elemental Reinforcement 5% per stack, each stack is multiplicative. Personal
Frozen Power Transfer 5% per stack, stacks are added by hitting multiple targets with the 3rd hit, reapplying the buff will overwrite the stack count and reset the CD. Personal
Transcended Master 10% for Icy Rays, 25% for Shard. Personal
Reaper’s Touch 10% for At Wills. Personal
Masterful Arcane Theft 15% for Chill Stacks, 30% for 5 Arcane Stacks. Bonuses are additive with each other and apply to Steal Time and Ray of Enfeeblement. Personal
Chaotic Fury 30%. Instance
Chilling Presence 2/4/6/8% per Chill Stack, doubled against frozen targets. Personal
Arcane Presence (1.03^number of Arcane Stacks-1)*0.34*rank Personal
Evocation 20% to AoE skills. Personal

 

Now, as nice as this table is, it doesn’t tell you what counts as AoE, what counts as single target, etc. For those curious who want an in depth comparison, do not fear, this is covered by a case test of all CW damage scaling, which the results of can be found here. (Huge thanks and credits to @rsdag for working together with me on this).

 

It is worth noting however, with feats like Transcended Master, I am only checking the buff value on the listed skills on the tooltip, as well as procs off the skills. I am not checking every single skill in the event that it is bugged and modifies other skills. I am also not checking Storm Fury as it can be extremely difficult to create controlled situations to test it and at the end of the day it isn’t particularly good.

 

Now, some buffs have a duration and are not purely passive. For timed buffs, their duration can be found in this table:

 

Damage Buff Duration:
Buff Name: Buff Duration:
Controlled Momentum 6 seconds.
Malevolent Surge 15 seconds.
Destructive Wizardry 20 seconds.
Elemental Reinforcement 10 seconds per stack.
Frozen Power Transfer 20 seconds.
Chaotic Fury 10 seconds.

 

Controlled Momentum is only applied by:

 

  • Ice Storm.
  • Entangling Force.
  • Repel.
  • Shield Pulse.
  • Icy Terrain.
  • Icy Rays.
  • Steal Time.
  • Shard of Endless Avalanche.

 

Chaos Magic is not applied by Icy Terrain, Conduit of Ice, Oppressive Force, and Sudden Storm.

Damage Debuffs:

 

The information in this section was taken from here. I strongly recommend giving that document a read over, it is a marvellous piece of work. Damage Debuffs are debuffs that reduce an enemy’s damage. As far as we are aware, they have no artificial cap (one placed by the devs) on how low they can reduce an enemy’s damage, however, it is not possible for them to reduce the opponent’s damage to 0.

 

The formula for damage debuffs is as follows:

Final Damage=Initial Damage*(1-Damage Debuffs)

 

As this is a multiplicative function, so long as none of the damage debuffs by themselves reduce 100% of an enemy’s damage, it is not possible to reduce their damage to 0.

 

CW has the following Damage Debuffs (note, they are all considered at maximum rank):

 

Damage Debuff: Value:
Chilling Cloud 15%
Ray of Enfeeblement* 17.5%
Cold Infusion 5%

 

*Ray of Enfeeblement is 17.5% per stack, on mastery it is possible to apply 2 stacks.

 

There are Damage Debuffs available to all classes, if you want a more detailed description of all of them, they can be found in the link above.

DR Debuffs:

 

The information in this section was taken from here. Once again, I highly recommend reading over that thread, as it is an excellent write up. DR Debuffs are debuffs that reduce an opponent’s damage resistance. They are measured by effectiveness, which shows how effective the damage you dealt actually was after buffs and damage debuffs are applied. They can be divided at a basic level, into 2 categories, capped and uncapped. Capped Debuffs have a hard cap, they cannot take your effectiveness over 200% and they add with each other and with base effectiveness. Uncapped Debuffs are multiplicative with Capped Debuffs, but additive with each other.

 

The (basic simplified) formula is as follows:

Final Damage = Initial Damage*[(1-DR+RI)+Capped Debuffs]*[1+Uncapped Debuffs]

 

It is important to note that (1-DR+RI) is capped at 1 in PVE and the entire first square bracket is capped at 2. CW has the following DR Debuffs available to them (note, they are all considered at maximum rank):

 

DR Debuff: Value:
Combustive Action* 24%
Ray of Enfeeblement** 17.5%
Swath of Destruction*** 20%
Bitter Cold 5%
Frigid Winds**** 10%

 

*Also applies to the CW if applied via Oppressive Force. 4 second Base Duration, Oppressive Force refreshes it 5 times which adds 5 seconds to the duration, the feat for it also adds 4 seconds to the duration.

**Ray of Enfeeblement is 17.5% per stack and can be stacked twice on spell mastery. Arcane Stacks increase the duration.

***Applied once for Rimefire and once for Smoulder, with both it is a 40% debuff.

****Can be stacked if you can refreeze the opponent fast enough. Cannot be applied to bosses.

 

There are other debuffs which are available to all classes, once again, if you want a more detailed description, read the link above.

 

Behavior of Procs:

 

In Neverwinter, a proc can be defined as an additional ability that triggers automatically based on a condition. As it is an automatic process, the player has no direct way to activate them and instead can only influence the proc rate by making the condition occur more frequently. For example, if the condition for a proc to occur is, “on critical strike,” then to make the proc occur more frequently, a player would need to increase their critical strike chance. In general, procs cannot proc other procs, as that creates the potential for infinite proc loops. In Neverwinter, this has occurred on occasion, particularly on the HR class, however, the CW class does not suffer from procs triggering procs and so this is not the case here.

 

Procs can be divided into 2 categories, the first being procs that inherit all of the modifiers of the skill that procs them and those that do not. Most Procs (regardless of category) do not crit, but are modified by Combat Advantage Bonus, the exception being weapon enchantments. The first category behaves as if it was part of the skill that procs it, whereas the second category behaves as an independant skill, which is affected by its own list of modifiers. CW has the following procs:

 

List of Procs:
Proc Name: Proc Type:
Storm Spell Inherited Proc
Smoulder Independant Proc
Creeping Frost Independant Proc
Warped Magics Independant Proc
Assailing Force Independant Proc
Abyss of Chaos Independant Proc
Shatter Strike Independant Proc
Storm Fury Not Applicable
Arcane Power Field Independant Proc
Weapon Enchantments Inherited Proc

 

  • Shatter Strike: When you freeze an enemy they are afflicted with Shatter. Every time you damage a Shattered enemy, there is a chance for them to be hit by Shatter Strike, which is a hit for 300% of weapon damage that is not modified by buffs, but does benefit from debuffs. Against control immune targets, it deals 100% of your weapon damage on every tick of every ability you use, with the exception of Ray of Enfeeblement, where it only procs once. This hit is also not modified by buffs, but is modified by debuffs. The tooltip is misleading and implies only control powers trigger this mechanism.
  • Elemental Empowerment: Creeping Frost and Warped Magics are DoTs that tick for 85% and 50% of weapon damage every 2 seconds, for 6 seconds. Increasing the rank only increases the chance to proc and does not increase the damage dealt. Creeping Frost only procs off Cold abilities and Warped Magics only procs off Arcane Abilities (including Assailing Force), they do scale with power and attribute bonus and if the ability that procs them crits, they will also crit. They do not benefit from Chilling Presence and are single target, thus do not benefit from Evocation but do benefit from Focused Wizardry.
  • Assailing Force: Assailing Force is a hit for either 15% of the enemy’s maximum HP or 800% of weapon damage (the maximum value). It does scale with power and damage buffs, but cannot crit. When you deal damage, you gain Assailing Force as a persistent buff which is then consumed when you use an encounter. If the buff is applied by an encounter like conduit of Ice, it will then be consumed immediately on 1 of the subsequent hits. If Assailing Force is procced by an AoE ability, it only procs on a single target that is hit by the AoE and not every target hit. Assailing Force does benefit from buffs like Chilling Presence and is single target, thus does not benefit from Evocation but does benefit from Focused Wizardry. Assailing Force does not benefit from debuffs.
  • Abyss of Chaos: This is a single target proc that is triggered by allies dealing damage. It benefits from power, damage buffs, debuffs and cannot crit.

AoE Radius and Range:

In Neverwinter, by default all CW skills have a range of 80 feet. CW has a feat (Far Spell) which modifies the range of some abilities. Whilst this ability is not particularly useful in PVE, here is a list of the skills modified by Far Spell:

 

  • Magic Missiles.
  • Ray of Frost.
  • Chill Strike (off mastery).
  • Entangling Force (off mastery).
  • Repel (off mastery).
  • Fanning the Flame.
  • Storm Pillar.
  • Ray of Enfeeblement.
  • Ice Knife.
  • Disintegrate.
  • Imprisonment.

 

Far Spell increases the range of these abilities by 10 feet, to a total of 90 feet. Although Icy Rays is a Single Target ability, it is not modified.

 

Here is a table listing the radius of CW AoE skills:

 

Skill Name: Radius:
Chill Strike 15
Ice Storm 40
Conduit of Ice 15
Entangling Force 20
Arcane Singularity 35
Oppressive Force 25
Shield Pulse 25
Icy Terrain 15
Fanning the Flame 15
Storm Pillar (Burst) 8
Storm Pillar (Arc) 20
Scorching Burst 1-10
Steal Time 30
Shard of Endless Avalanche (Explosion) 10
Maelstrom of Chaos 10
Furious Immolation 35
Arcane Power Field 30
Icy Veins 15

 

Sudden Storm is kind of unique and is a rectangle, it is the only CW skill of this shape. It has a length of 30 feet and a width of 10 feet. I am not sure, if any of this information has a practical application, but here it is.

 

Control Duration:

 

Control Wizard has access to a large pool of control abilities. Control is, to a large extent, an untested mechanic in Neverwinter, however, in this section I attempt to shed some light on the mechanic. Here is a table listing the base durations of some CW control effects:

 

Ability Name: Base Control Duration:
Chill 2.8 seconds.
Frozen 5 seconds.
Entangling Force 4.66 seconds.
Entangling Force (mastery) 4.85 seconds.
Entangling Force (5 stacks) 6.45 seconds.
Entangling Force (5 stacks, mastery) 6.54 seconds.
Oppressive Force 8.35 seconds.
Steal Time 4.15 seconds.
Steal Time (5 stacks) 5.6 seconds.
Imprisonment 15 seconds.
Frost Wave 4 seconds.

 

Unfortunately, due to how difficult it is to test prones, disables and knockbacks, I will not be testing the duration of the following skills, nor the distance knocked back:

 

  • Ice Storm.
  • Chill Strike.
  • Arcane Singularity.
  • Repel.
  • Shield Burst.
  • Ice Knife.
  • Icy Rays.
  • Shard of Endless Avalanche.
  • Shatter Strike stun.
  • Severe Reaction repel.
  • Twisting Immolation Daze.

 

If anyone has any suggestions on how to test these methodically, in a controlled environment, feel free to share them. Currently they fall outside of the scope of my testing.

 

Control Bonus:

 

Different sources of Control Bonus are multiplicative with the base duration of the CC. For example, if you look at Frozen and have Orb of Imposition, 10% control bonus and a rare Cantankerous Mage, against a target with no CC resist, the duration of your control will be as follows:

 

Final Control Duration=Base Control Duration*(Control Sources)

5*1.1*1.15*1.2=7.59 seconds.

 

It is important to note that out of the mechanics I tested, Chill Stacks, Frost Wave, and Imprisonment are not modified by Control Bonus.

 

The following sources of Control Bonus exist in Neverwinter for CW:

 

Name: Value: Notes:
Orb of Imposition 5/10/15/20% (25% with offhand)  
Glacial Movement 4/8/12/16/24% Is a separate bonus that multiplies when you have orb slotted. The final rank adds twice the intended value.
Cantankerous Mage (Epic) 25%  
Will o Wisp (Epic) 15% (untested, don’t have and won’t buy)  
Red Slaad 25% (untested, don’t have and won’t buy)  
Valindra Set 30% Tooltip is incorrect, it is not 15%.
Wisdom 1% per stat point over 10  
Control Bonus (Stat) See tertiary stats.  

 

The Oppressor Capstone Shatter Strike increases the duration of Chill by 7.5 seconds (not 2.5, unlike what the tooltip states).

 

If there were any dangerous monsters that could be controlled, control bonus would actually be a decent statistic, as all sources tested so far have been multiplicative and provide very high values.

Control Resistance:

 

Unfortunately, in PVE there is no way to test how much CC resistance monsters have, or determine the formula used for CC resistance, however, I have briefly tested CC resistance in PVP and the formula there appeared to be the following:

 

Mitigated CC = Base CC/2*(1-CCR Sources)*(1+CB Sources*(1-TenCCR))

NB: CCR Sources also includes TenCCR.

 

Whilst there is not much we can take away from this in PVE, maybe it has some use to somebody out there. Also, I have not checked which types of CC are mitigated in PVP and which are not, any inspiring PVP testers are welcome to do that and share their results if they so desire.

Animation Length:

 

When calculating DpS and working out your rotation, particularly when it comes to considering the relative value of recovery, it is important to know how long animations are. Here is a list of the lengths of each skill’s duration:

 

Ability Name: Animation Duration:
Arcane Singularity 2 seconds
Chill Strike 0.5 seconds
Conduit of Ice 0.85 seconds
Disintegrate 0.4 seconds
Entangling Force 0.85 seconds
Fanning the Flame 0.9 seconds
Furious Immolation 2.2 seconds
Ice Knife 1.25 seconds
Ice Storm 2 seconds
Icy Rays 0.7 seconds
Icy Terrain 1 second
Imprisonment 0.75 seconds
Maelstrom of Chaos 2.2 seconds
Oppressive Force 1.15 seconds
Ray of Enfeeblement 0.55 seconds
Repel 0.25 seconds
Shard Summon 1 second
Shard Push 1 second
Shield Summon 1.65 seconds
Shield Burst 1.15 seconds
Steal Time 2.36 seconds
Sudden Storm 0.8 seconds

 

Note, the way this is being measured is by activating an ability and then immediately pressing and holding in another ability. The length of the animation is being defined as the time from when the first ability greys in on the tray to the time the second ability greys in on the tray. This does however mean that any ability that can be cancelled via activating another encounter power, has the cancelled time listed rather than the time of the full animation. This should not be a major issue however, as if you intend to play your CW optimally, cancelling encounter powers is necessary. The encounter powers which can be cancelled via activating another encounter power are the following:

 

  • Chill Strike.
  • Conduit of Ice.
  • Entangling Force.
  • Ray of Enfeeblement.
  • Repel.

 

If you attempt to cancel Imprisonment with another encounter power, it will put imprisonment on cooldown but the ability will not activate. Icy Terrain can be cancelled, however it cannot be cancelled by another ability and is instead cancelled by jump casting it. If Icy Terrain is placed on mastery, it cannot be cancelled at all. If you attempt to dodge cancel Steal Time, it will go onto cooldown and not deal any damage.

Other Heroic Feats:

 

This section is for heroic feats that do not really fit into any other category.

 

Toughness:

The way it works is, it grants you 9% of the HP you would have with Toughness and it includes HP on gear etc. It results in it giving you 9.89% more HP at rank 3.

 

Battlewise:

Sorry to disappoint you, but I have no plans to test threat reduction and how it benefits me as a CW. I don’t know if it works as intended or not, it doesn’t modify my damage (I checked that much) and I have no clue how much threat reduction it gives. If it works according to the tooltip it is terrible, since the owl pet gives more than 4x as much and then you could take a dps feat instead and if it doesn’t work according to the tooltip but still reduces threat, it is still terrible, as we don’t need threat reduction anyhow.

 

Prestidigitation:

The way it works is as follows:

 

Users Unbuffed stats*1.01Prestidigitation Rank

 

For example, if you have 1k power and 2k crit without the feat, your stats will look as follows:

 

Stat Name: Base Stats Rank 1: Rank 2: Rank 3:
Power 1000 1010 1020.1 1030.301
Critical Strike 2000 2020 2040.2 2060.602

 

Take note, the game does round stats, so the crit at rank 3 Prestidigitation in the example above will round to 2061 Crit, instead of 2060. Also, take note this only buffs power, crit, arp, recovery, defense, deflect and movement speed. It does not buff any of the others.

 

It is also important to note that Prestidigitation does buff your companion and the companion does transfer the buffed power through bonding stones. It does not buff augments however. Bonuses from mechanics like Anointed Army or Weapons of Light are not buffed by Prestidigitation.

 

Finally, for the purposes of boosting your own DpS, Prestidigitation will never be better than Learned Spellcaster. This is because when you compare the bonus from Prestidigitation to the bonus from Learned Spellcaster, you have to compare to how much stats you had before Prestidigitation, not to base stat values. So assuming you have a toon with 80k power, 32k crit and 6k arp, the stat gains from 3 ranks of Prestidigitation to yourself would be as follows:

 

80000*1.01^3 = 82424.08 Power

32000*1.01^3=32969.632 Crit

6000*1.01^3=6181.806 Arp

 

This means you are gaining 2.4k power, 969 crit, and 100 arp. Now, this does not mean a 2.4/400 = 6% DpS boost from power, remember, you have to compare to your power without Prestidigitation, not your base power. In fact, the DpS boost from power is as follows:

(82424.08/40000+1)/3-1=1.02-1 = 2% DpS increase. So, with maxed out stats, the gains from power have increased your DpS by 2%. The absolute most you will ever get out of this feat as a DpS boost is a 3.03% personal DpS boost and to attain that you need amounts of power far outside the range of what is possible to stack. Why is this the maximum? Well, the damage boost from Prestidigitation can be simplified to 1.01^3*(x+1/1.01^3)/(X+1). As X tends to infinity, the equation simplifies to 1.01^3*1/1 = 1.01^3.

 

It is important to note that Prestidigitation buffs allies based on their stats, not yours, so your bonding pet will gain 3% of its stats and your allies will gain 3% of their base stats. It is also a party wide buff, so limited to 5 players. It has no place in end game teams since it doesn’t include the important power buffs. This leads to it being a very marginal DpS buff for the team (less than 1%). Finally, it does stack additively with other Prestidigitations.

 

Weapon Mastery:

+1/2/3% crit chance.

 

Lightning Teleport:

Restores 10% of your stamina on kill. Does not appear to have an internal cooldown.

Other Oppressor Feats:

 

This section is for uncategorized Oppressor feats:

 

Severe Reaction:

There is a 15% chance when hit by an enemy within 20 feet to restore 10% of your stamina. Only triggers off the first hit of an enemy DoT, but has a chance to trigger off every hit of entity attacks like Icy Terrain (minor note, only really relevant in PVP). I am not sure whether or not it has an ICD.

 

Brisk Teleport:

Increases your movement speed by 10% for 3 seconds after teleporting.

 

Other Renegade Feats:

 

This section is for uncategorized Renegade feats:

 

Energy Recovery:

On the third hit of Chilling Cloud you have a 25% chance to gain 5% of your max HP as temp HP. This amount of HP is not modified by anything and it is super low, considering how unlikely it is that you land the 3rd hit of chilling cloud. This feat should be completely redesigned, it is just flat out terrible.

 

Uncertain Allegiance:

Gives you and your allies a flat 5% critical strike chance when you use an encounter.

 

Phantasmal Destruction:

Works as described in the tooltip. Dealing Combat advantage damage gives you a chance to gain 15% critical severity.

 

Nightmare Wizardry:

On critical hit you have a 20% chance to grant you and your allies combat advantage against that enemy for 12 seconds. If you have no other way of gaining combat advantage, this is arguably the strongest Renegade feat. It isn’t necessary to invest 5 points here however as it is quite likely to proc, even with less than 5, due to how frequently CWs attack. 2 or 3 points are sufficient.

 

Chilling Advantage:

Grants you 10% flat critical chance while you have Chilling Presence slotted.

 

Chaos Magic:

Chaotic Nexus grants you and allies 30% crit chance and armour penetration. Chaotic Growth grants you a HoT that ticks 10 times, for 250% of your weapon damage on each tick, once every second for 10 seconds. The HoT is not modified by power but is modified by incoming healing bonus and cannot crit. Chaotic Fury grants 30% increased damage and 10% increased Lifesteal Chance.

At Will Single Target Comparison:

 

There are 2 ways we can compare At Wills, the first being to look at the ability coefficient and the rate of attack and the second is to just hop onto preview, use the fixed damage weapons and hold down left click for a while and then look at the DpS. This comparison does both.

 

Magic Missiles:

Hits per second: 146/64=2.28125.

DpS: 1624.59.

Theoretical damage coefficient per second:

(0.31625*2+0.38295*3)/5*2.28125=0.8127409375

 

The third cast adds 1 Arcane Stack and the At Will benefits from Arcane Mastery. In addition, the mainhand bonus increases the damage dealt by 8%. Accounting for all of these bonuses results in:

Final Coefficient=0.8127409375*1.035*1.08=1.0175646578

 

Ray of Frost:

Hits per second: 382/217=1.76036866359.

DpS: 942.51.

Theoretical damage coefficient per second:

0.3*1.76036866359=0.52811059907

 

Ray of Frost is overall an underwhelming At Will in PVE. It applies a Chill Stack of every tick and is 1 of the 2 methods a CW has to freeze targets.

 

Chilling Cloud:

Hits per second: 139/98=1.41836734694.

DpS: 1330.72.

Theoretical damage coefficient per second:

(0.32*2+0.88)/3*1.41836734694=0.71863945578

 

The third cast adds a stack of Chill, it also hits in an AoE. If you have the mainhand bonus, there is a chance that every hit will add a stack of Chill. There are 2 feats that benefit Chilling Cloud, the first being Frozen Power Transfer and the second being Energy Recovery. Energy Recovery is a trap feat and not worth investing in. However Frozen Power Transfer can be worth using and if you use it, you are forced into using Chilling Cloud.

 

Storm Pillar:

The first image is uncharged and the second image is fully charged.

 

Hits per second (uncharged): 123/78= 1.57692307692.

Hits per second (charged): 416/151=2.75496688742.

DpS (uncharged): 314.22.

DpS (charged): 2149.44.

Theoretical damage coefficient per second (uncharged):

0.115*1.57692307692=0.18134615384

Theoretical damage coefficient per second (charged):

(1.265+0.3*6)/7*2.75496688742=1.20628192999

 

Storm Pillar is a trap At Will, since, although it has the highest potential DpS of all at wills, it also takes very long to charge and CWs get most of their damage from encounters, not At Wills. By taking the time to fully charge to Storm Pillar, you take away from the time you could be using to cast encounters and are thus losing DpS. It does however have niche uses in places like FBI and SP, whereby you have time before the boss arrives to precast it in order to gain the benefit of the feat Destructive Wizardry. It does benefit from Arcane Mastery. Casting uncharged Storm Pillar does very little dps, but it can be useful to instantly consume stacks of spell twisting, both in and out of combat. The mainhand bonus for Storm Pillar increases the damage dealt by the arcs by 20%.

Final Coefficient=(1.265+0.3*6*1.2)/7*2.75496688742*1.035=1.56266196884

 

Scorching Burst:

The first image is uncharged and the second image is fully charged.

 

Hits per second (uncharged): 184/132= 1.39393939394.

Hits per second (charged): 60/129=0.46511627907.

DpS (uncharged): 1052.11.

DpS (charged): 784.81.

Theoretical damage coefficient per second (uncharged):

0.375*1.39393939394=0.52272727272

Theoretical damage coefficient per second (charged):

0.9375*0.46511627907=0.43604651162

 

Scorching Burst applies Smoulder in addition to dealing damage on up to 5 targets. However, like Storm Pillar, it is slow to cast but unlike Storm Pillar, it has really bad DpS. The Mainhand bonus increases its damage by 12%. Scorching Burst is very useful in niche builds on MoF where you have no other way to apply Smoulder, as you can quickly cast an uncharged Scorching Burst to apply the DoT. Scorching Burst does benefit from Arcane Stacks.

Final Coefficient (Uncharged)=0.52272727272*1.12*1.035=0.67870227621

Final Coefficient (Charged)=0.43604651162*1.12*1.035=0.56615710604

 

To conclude, for the purposes of DpS, Magic Missiles wins for single target and Chilling Cloud wins for AoE, assuming you can keep up Chill Stacks without Chilling Cloud. Storm Pillar has niche uses for proccing the buff in fights like fbi where you can precast it, it is also good for proccing Aura of Courage, since it procs AoC 11 times. On MoF, Scorching can be used to apply Smoulder in builds where you have no other application method. In PVE, Ray of Frost is the odd 1 out and is the only at will without a practical application, as it is possible to stack chill fast enough on a single target without it. In terms of mainhand bonuses, use the one that buffs the at will you are using most frequently.

Daily Comparison:

 

Due to the fact that all CW Daily Powers effectively share the same CD and you cannot really spam them the way you could spam At Wills, the cast time doesn’t really matter for comparing them and neither does your Action Point Gain. This comparison looks at the utility and DpS of each Daily Power and suggests when they can be used effectively. I am assuming an average weapon damage of 1750. (that means, (LevelBaseDamage+WeaponBaseDamage) = (1750+144.425)).For comparisons with Aura of Courage (see the dedicated section to understand the numbers), I am assuming 150k HP. For all comparisons I am assuming a critical hit with combat advantage, 75% critical severity and 15% combat advantage bonus. (in numbers, 1+0,15+0,75=1,9).

 

  • For abilities with target caps, I calculate the maximum potential before buffs, at that target cap.
  • For abilities without target caps (currently only Oppressive Force), I calculate the number of targets (X) which will be needed to match other abilities with target caps: that means, if the number of targets is bigger than X, then using the uncapped ability is better than using any of the capped ones. (In some circumstances, e.g. single target fights, this condition could well be impossible to obtain) .
  • Please remember that both Storm Spell (ability coeff.=1.2923) and Aura of Courage don’t benefit from crit, only from CA, so it’s a 1,15 multiplier for them.
  • All the abilities are considered at maximum rank (so there’s a 1.3 multiplier)

 

Ice Storm:

Ability Coefficient: 4.

Target Cap: 5.

Maximum Theoretical Damage: 4*5*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9=93584.595Maximum damage with Storm Spell: (20*1.9+1.2923*5*1.15)*(1750+144.425)*1.3=111884.631571

Maximum damage with AoC: 20*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9+150000*0.009*1.15*5=101347.095

Maximum damage with all bonuses:111884.631571+150000*0.009*1.15*5=119647.131571

 

Ice Storm does have very good up front DpS, however, it also has a very effective knockback, which is a huge drawback. It can be good against CC immune enemies, however, it does still lose out to Oppressive Force assuming you are in a group with an OP using Aura of Courage. It is also not very good in any situation where there are more targets than its target cap.

 

Arcane Singularity:

Ability Coefficient: 2.7.

Target Cap: 8.

Maximum Theoretical Damage: 2.7*8*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9=101071.3626Maximum damage with Storm Spell: (21.6*1.9+1.2923*8*1.15)*(1750+144.425)*1.3=130351.421113

Maximum damage with AoC: 21.6*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9=101071.3626(Arcane sing doesn’t proc AoC)

Maximum damage with all bonuses:130351.421113

 

Arcane Singularity is a utility daily, with the intended purpose of gathering enemies together and doing some incidental damage. Unfortunately, monsters are so resistant to CC since mod 6 that it fails at its intended purpose and is barely able to budge enemies. Due to this, it is no longer worth using.

 

Oppressive Force:

I will not be doing comparisons involving Storm Spell as I currently have no method accurate enough that I would feel comfortable to use it, sorry.

 

Ability Coefficient: 2.75+0.17*4=3.43.

Target Cap: Infinite.

Match Ice Storm:93584.595=3.43*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9*X; X=5.8309

Match Arcane Singularity:101071.3626=3.43*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9*X; X=6.29738

Match Ice Knife:28075.37855=3.43*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9*X; X=1.74927

Match Maelstrom of Chaos:26095.704375=3.43*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9*X; X=1.62593

Match Furious Immolation:123531.6654=3.43*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9*X; X=7.69679

Match Ice Storm with AoC: 101347.095=(3.43*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9+150000*0.009*1.15*6)*X;

X=3.99559

Match Arcane Sing with AoC: 101071.3626=(3.43*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9+150000*0.009*1.15*6)*X;

X=3.98472

Match Ice Knife with AoC: 29627.8785=(3.43*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9+150000*0.009*1.15*6)*X;

X=1.16807

Match MoC with AoC: 27648.204375=(3.43*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9+150000*0.009*1.15*6)*X;

X=1.09002

Match FI with AoC: 135951.6654=(3.43*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9+150000*0.009*1.15*6)*X;

X=5.35986

 

Besides doing very good damage and having no target cap, Oppressive Force is also the best way to generate Arcane Stacks and CWs best form of control. Each tick reapplies the stun, which means unlike other forms of CC available to CW, it is still effective even against highly CC resistant monsters. When using OF, the caster should be careful to place it so that they do not spread enemies apart but rather push them in 1 direction. It is especially useful for resurrecting allies in the thick of combat, due to the short casting animation and the long CC.

 

Ice Knife:

Ability Coefficient: 6.

Target Cap: 1.

Maximum Theoretical Damage:6*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9=28075.37855Maximum damage with Storm Spell: (6*1.9+1.2923*1.15)*(1750+144.425)*1.3=31735.3858141

Maximum damage with AoC: 6*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9+150000*0.009*1.15=29627.8785

Maximum damage with all bonuses:31735.3858141+150000*0.009*1.15=33287.8858141

 

Ice Knife is the Control Wizard’s hardest hitting single target ability. In addition to dealing good damage, it also prones the enemy if they are not CC immune and it applies 3 stacks of Chill. The only drawback of this skill is its long casting animation, which, if it lags, can play multiple times.

 

Maelstrom of Chaos:

As Maelstrom of Chaos and Oppressive Force both have infinite target caps,, there will only be a comparison between Oppressive and Maelstrom and then for those who desire to do further comparisons, you can simply express 1 in terms of the other.

 

Ability Coefficient: 5.

Target Cap: Infinite.

Damage for 1 target:5*1.9*1.45*(144.425+1750)=26095.704375

Damage for 1 target with Storm Spell:(5*1.9*1.45+1.2923*1.15*1.3)*(144.425+1750)=29755.7116891

Damage for 1 target with Aura of Courage:26095.704375+150000*0.009*1.15=27648.204375

Damage for 1 target with all bonuses:29755.7116891+150000*0.009*1.15=31308.2116891

 

On paper this is the hardest hitting CW AoE Daily Power, however in practise the AoE radius is too small to make it useful. During the casting animation your incoming damage is halved and you are immune to control effects. It can be cast whilst controlled to break free of CC. If you interrupt the casting, it consumes 50% of the AP. It has very limited uses, due to doing less damage than Ice Knife for single target, but being unable to hit enough enemies for it to matter in AoE.

 

Furious Immolation:

Ability Coefficient: 2.125+1.175=3.3.

Target Cap: 8.

Maximum Theoretical Damage:3.3*8*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9=123531.6654Maximum damage with Storm Spell: (26.4*1.9+1.2923*8*1.15)*(1750+144.425)*1.3=152811.723913

Maximum damage with AoC: 26.4*(1750+144.425)*1.3*1.9+150000*0.009*1.15*8=135951.6654

Maximum damage with all bonuses:152811.723913+150000*0.009*1.15*8=165231.723913

 

FI is similar to Arcane Singularity. It is meant to be used as a utility power to gather enemies and apply Smoulder, however, due to high CC resistance it isn’t very effective for the gathering of monsters. It does have limited utility, however if you do not wish to use Scorching Burst to apply Smoulder and you have no other method of Smoulder application.

 

So, there are lots of numbers and yes, it is difficult to read, which is why what is written above is explained here in a more readable manner. Keep in mind, all skills are being compared to Oppressive Force.

 

Skill Name: Damage in terms of OF: Number of targets to make OF better:
Ice Storm 117% (1.16618) 6
Ice Storm (with AoC) 80% (0.799118) 1
Arcane Singularity 79% (0.7871725) 1
Arcane Singularity (with AoC) 50% (0.49809) 1
Ice Knife 175% (1.74927) 2
Ice Knife (with AoC) 117% (1.16807) 2
Maelstrom of Chaos 163% (1.62593) Never (assuming all the targets are within the AoE)
Maelstrom of Chaos (with AoC) 109% (1.09002) Never (assuming all the targets are within the AoE)
Furious Immolation 96% (0.96209875) 1
Furious Immolation (with AoC) 67% (0.6699825) 1

 

On paper, Maelstrom of Chaos is the best daily power for DpS however in practise it is not practical due to the slow casting animation and the very small AoE radius. This comparison also does not take into account Focused Wizardry, which will skew the results. Here is a table adjusted for Focused Wizardry:

 

Skill Name: Damage in terms of OF: Number of targets to make OF better:
Ice Storm 116% (1.16618) 6
Ice Storm (with AoC) 80% (0.799118) 1
Arcane Singularity 79% (0.7871725) 1
Arcane Singularity (with AoC) 50% (0.49809) 1
Ice Knife 253% (2.52672333333) 3
Ice Knife (with AoC) 169% (1.68721222222) 2
Maelstrom of Chaos 163% (1.62593) Never (assuming all the targets are within the AoE)
Maelstrom of Chaos (with AoC) 109% (1.09002) Never (assuming all the targets are within the AoE)
Furious Immolation 96% (0.96209875) 1
Furious Immolation (with AoC) 67% (0.6699825) 1

 

Comparisons including other damage buffs like evocation will not be included and will have to be done by the reader if they are curious, the tools to do so are provided in this document anyhow.

 

Useful CW Trivia:

 

This section includes useful information that doesn’t really fit anywhere else, but is pertinent to the CW class.

 

  • Storm Spell has an internal cooldown per target of 0.5 seconds.
  • Casting RoE again while RoE is active causes the DoT to refresh.
  • Casting Icy Terrain and Conduit of Ice again while Icy Terrain and Conduit of Ice are active causes a 2nd Icy Terrain and Conduit of Ice to tick independently and does not cause the original to dissipate.
  • Maelstrom of Chaos can be cast whilst controlled to break free of control effects.
  • Icy Rays on mastery will not benefit from Spell Twisting unless you place it on a normal slot and then drag it to mastery.
  • Against higher level enemies your damage is reduced by default and there is no way to overcome this reduction. Level 73 enemies decrease your damage by 25%, level 74 enemies drop your damage by 50%, level 75 enemies penalize your damage by 75% and level 76 enemies lower it by 99%.
  • There is a misconception that if you animation cancel 1 daily power with another that they will both cast. In reality, it will play both animations but only the second daily power will deal damage.
  • The Drow racial bonus Darkfire can be multiprocced by most CW abilities. This makes it a viable race option if you wish to have more team utility. It is a 5% debuff.
  • If the first hit of a CW ability crits, every hit will crit.
  • Icy Terrain, Oppressive Force and, Conduit of Ice will update their damage on every tick to account for buffs applied/falling off, Ray of Enfeeblement and Entangling Force will not.
  • If Conduit of Ice, Icy Terrain or Oppressive Force crit, they crit on every target hit. Crits on other abilities are calculated for each target independently.

 

Bugs and Exceptions:

 

Let it be known the CW class is bug free!

 

  • Smoulder does not benefit from Chilling Presence.
  • Combustive Action also debuffs the CW by 24% if you apply it with Oppressive Force.
  • The duration of Combustive Action is increased by 5 seconds by applying it with Oppressive Force.
  • The mirage weapons can proc Abyss of Chaos, Weapon Enchantments, Storm Spell, Creeping Frost, Smoulder, Spell Twisting and Aura of Courage.
  • If procced by Icy Terrain, Shard of Endless Avalanche, Oppressive Force or Arcane Singularity, Storm Spell has no level based weapon damage.
  • If you use Sudden Storm on tab and Eye of the Storm, you can give enemies 100% critical strike chance, as the arc applies it to enemies.
  • If you use a Feytouched Enchantment and Sudden Storm on tab, the arc will be debuffed by both feytouched debuffs.
  • Arcane Singularity, Maelstrom of Chaos and Furious Immolation do not proc weapon enchantments. The arc and DoT on Sudden Storm do not proc weapon enchantments. The secondary effects on FtF do not proc weapon enchantments, with the exception of Feytouched. Shard of Endless Avalanche only procs Feytouched.
  • Chill Strike, Icy Rays, Ice Storm, and Steal time proc weapon enchantments twice, they should only proc enchantments once.
  • Ice Knife procs weapon enchantments 4 times.
  • Icy Rays procs Storm Spell in an AoE, on every target in range, rather than just the target you aimed it at.
  • Storm Spell benefits from AoE and Single target modifiers depending on what procs it. This is inconsistent with the behaviour of Smoulder and Abyss of Chaos.
  • Icy Terrain does no damage to frozen targets.
  • You cannot proc weapon enchantments (with the exception of Feytouched) against frozen targets with Ray of Frost.
  • The minimum value for Scorching Burst is incorrect.
  • The secondary mechanic of Disintegrate (auto kill target less than X% of weapon damage) deals 20% more weapon damage than intended.
  • The tooltip for Disintegrate incorrectly adds the damage of the primary and secondary attacks together, when Disintegrate either does one or the other and not both.
  • It is possible to apply both Rimefire and Smoulder. Slot Combustive Action + Swath of Destruction, cast Oppressive Force, use some non Chill power and then apply Chill. By doing this you have applied both Rimefire and Smoulder, in addition to double applying Swath. In alternative, slot Combustive Action + Swath of Destruction, cast Furious Immolation and then apply Chill before the end of the animation.
  • Icy Terrain does not damage targets or generate Action Points if cast on uneven terrain.
  • Disintegrate and Conduit of Ice do not generate a fixed amount of Action Points, the value they generate is random.
  • Fanning the Flame and Shield Pulse do not benefit from Action Point Gain.
  • Repel generates Action Points per target hit.
  • Assailant ignores damage immunity.
  • Entangling Force off tab hits 1 more time than intended.
  • Arcane Power Field does not benefit from Chilling Presence.
  • Storm Pillar counts as an entity and grants combat advantage if you stand on the opposite side of the target from it.
  • Conduit of Ice shows 0 damage ticks in addition to normal hits on crits.
  • Icy Terrain obscures red areas.
  • Icy Rays on mastery sometimes does not deal 50% increased damage to a single target, unknown cause.
  • Ice Knife can require multiple key presses to trigger.
  • Maelstrom of Chaos can be cast whilst you are controlled, to break out of control effects.
  • It is possible to stack Frigid Winds. This is very difficult to replicate and requires the caster to simultaneously apply Freeze with 2 skills, which causes it to bug and stack.
  • Controlled Momentum is a 10% party damage buff, not 5%.
  • Disintegrate does not add an Arcane Stack when used on mastery.
  • Owlbear Cub procs 11 times on Icy Terrain.
  • The DoT on Storm Pillar does not benefit from Chilling Presence.
  • When the game is lagging, the animation for Steal Time and Ice Knife can play multiple times.
  • Arcane Presence gives 34% increased damage at all ranks, not 33%.
  • The Arc on Sudden Storm does not benefit from Arcane Mastery.
  • Arcane Stacks applied by Shield and Shield Pulse do not fall off at the end of combat.
  • Evocation does not buff Maelstrom of Chaos or Arcane Singularity. Arcane Power field does not benefit from Evocation but is reduced by Focused Wizardry.
  • Wizard’s Wrath buffs the DoT on Storm Pillar but does not buff the initial hit.
  • Arcane Enhancement does not work on Maelstrom of Chaos, Arcane Singularity, or Oppressive Force.
  • Arcane Power Field does not benefit from Wizard’s Wrath when procced by Oppressive Force, Ice Storm, or Arcane Singularity but does benefit from Wizard’s Wrath when procced by Maelstrom of Chaos.
  • Blighting Power grants 6% damage per rank, each rank being multiplicative with the previous, for a total damage bonus of 19% rather than 6%.
  • The Arc on Sudden Storm slotted on mastery does not scale with Focused Wizardry. The DoT on Sudden Storm slotted on mastery is treated as a single target encounter, whilst Sudden Storm is an AoE.
  • The DoT on Storm Pillar is treated as AoE while the Initial Hit is treated as single target by Focused Wizardry.
  • Ice Storm and Ice Knife do not benefit from Snap Freeze, not like it matters.
  • Sudden Storm Arc does not scale from Destructive Wizardry.
  • The DoT on Storm Pillar is scaled more than intended by some buffs on some hits. (Destructive Wizardry, Evocation, will add more as I check).
  • Ray of Enfeeblement’s tooltip CD only shows the base CD and not the true CD with recharge speed increase.
  • Blighting Power passively boosts the damage dealt by Scorching Burst by 30%, for no apparent reason.
  • Icy Rays on mastery deals 80% more damage when targeted at a single opponent at rank 1, not 50% more. It does gain any further increase to damage against a single opponent on mastery for increasing the rank.
  • Transcended Master increases the damage of Icy Rays against a single opponent by 2/4/6/8/10%. Not 5/10/15/20/25%. Shard of Endless Avalanche is increased correctly.
  • Storm Spell does only benefits from Transcended Master when procced by the second hit of Icy Rays, the application of the glyph does not buff it.
  • It is possible to multiproc Chaos Magic.
  • Storm Pillar, grants chaos magic to enemies if cast fully charged.
  • Icy Terrain, Sudden Storm, Oppressive Force and Conduit of Ice do not proc Chaos Magic.
  • Storm Spell does not benefit from the Orcus set if procced off an ability that does not benefit from the Orcus Set.
  • Steal Time does not benefit from the Orcus Set.
  • 1 hit of Shard of Endless Avalanche (slam) does benefit from the Orcus set and 2 do not. Shardplosion does not benefit from the Orcus set.
  • Arcane Power Field does not benefit from the Orcus set.
  • Conduit of Ice does not benefit from the Orcus Set.
  • The Arcs and DoT on Sudden Storm do not benefit from the Orcus Set.
  • Furious Immolation and Smoulder do not benefit from the Orcus Set.
  • Aura of Courage when procced by a CW does not benefit from the Orcus Set.
  • Arcane Singularity does not proc the Wheel of Elements.
  • Imprisonment does not proc controlled momentum.
  • If you apply the rune for Icy Rays, then move out of range and cast Icy Rays, it deals no damage but goes on CD.
  • Icy Rays does not benefit from Far Spell despite being single target.
  • There is a visual bug whereby the size of the AoE of Scorching Burst appears to increase with the size of the enemy, however in reality it remains the same.
  • It is possible to Stack Frozen by applying it with 2 skills at once.
  • If you attempt to animation cancel Imprisonment it puts the skill on CD but does not stun the target.
  • Icy Terrain extends the cooldown of the Feytouched enchantment on each tick but does not extend the duration.
  • Shard of Endless Avalanche puts the Feytouched enchantment on cooldown and applies the debuff, but does not apply the buff.
  • Frost Wave procs on Oppressive Force, Maelstrom of Chaos and Furious Immolation as long as you have points in it, regardless of whether or not it is slotted in the tray.
  • Shatter Strike increases the duration of Chill Stacks by 7.5 seconds, not 2.5 seconds, unlike what the tooltip states.
  • Killing an opponent with Ice Knife does not trigger Malevolent Surge.
  • Tempest Magic grants 6% increased damage per rank and each rank is multiplicative with the previous.
  • Shardplosion double benefits from the Elemental Reinforcement feats.
  • Icy Terrain procs Wild Hunt Rider on enemies.
  • Evocation offhand bonus does not increase your damage by an additional 3%.
  • Arcane Power Field offhand does not increase the damage of Arcane Power Field.
  • The Storm Spell offhand bonus allows Storm Spell to proc off all hits including non crits, not just off of Storm Spell.
  • The Storm Spell offhand bonus does not gain the rank bonus from Storm Spell.
  • The Storm Spell offhand bonus when triggered off Storm Spell overwrites Storm Spell’s damage and causes it to trigger for no damage.

 

Section 2: Gear Comparisons.

 

Artifact Weapon Set:

 

When considering which set to use, your highest priority is the set with the highest weapon damage that you can acquire. Currently there are 6 sets with equal weapon damage, which have the highest value. Out of those 6, there are arguably 4 choices for CW:

 

  • Relic Weapons: These have a 10% damage buff when you activate an encounter and the overcharge bonus is available. This is arguably the best set for DpS that is currently working as intended.
  • Stronghold Weapons: If you are building more for team support, these are arguably Best in Slot for the 2% party wide damage buff. The tooltip is misleading and implies that for an ally to benefit from your set, they also need to have the set, when in reality, so long as you are using it, everyone in your party will benefit.
  • Fey Weapons: Every 30 seconds, when you use an encounter you gain 10% of your action points back. If you highly value AP as a CW this is a good choice, which is possible since CW does have excellent Daily Powers.
  • Mirage Weapons: These are currently not working as intended and are a strong contender for BiS. They multiproc Abyss of Chaos, Weapon Enchantments, Storm Spell, Creeping Frost, Smoulder, Spell Twisting, and Aura of Courage. This will probably be fixed at some stage though so be weary of investing into them.

 

I do not consider the Aboleth set a contender for 2 reasons. The first being it is a strictly worse relic set and the second being the bug involved with the set, whereby it causes enemies to perform a weird animation. That animation overrides enemies normal rotation and can cause parties to wipe due to being unable to monitor boss attacks. I actually consider this weapon set to be to the detriment of your party and strongly advise against using it.

 

Offhand Bonuses:

 

    • Critical Conflagration: Increases your Critical Strike chance by 5% on Arcane and Cold skills only.

 

  • Chilling Presence: Acts as a separate multiplier that increases your damage by 0.5% per stack of chill, so 3% increased damage with 6 stacks.
  • Arcane Presence: Regenerates 2% of Action Points when you deal damage with a cold based spell. It only procs once per ability, so if you hit 5 targets with Icy Terrain, it will proc on a single target and it will only proc once. Best way to utilize it is Ray of Frost.
  • Frost Wave: Increases your movement speed by 25%. It does not update on your character sheet however it definitely triggers, the movement speed is quite noticeable. Although Frost Wave can be triggered without being slotted into your tray, the offhand bonus cannot.
  • Combustive Action: Regenerates 1% of your maximum HP when a target dies that is afflicted by Smoulder. It is not modified by power but is modified by incoming healing bonus.
  • Evocation: Doesn’t work. It is supposed to increase the damage bonus of Evocation by an additional 3%.
  • Arcane Power Field: Doesn’t work. It is supposed to increase the damage of Arcane Power Field by 10%.
  • Storm Spell: Grants Storm Spell a 5% chance to proc off all hits, not just critical hits. Storm Spell procced by the offhand bonus is able to deal critical hits, however, it does not get the rank bonus from levelling up Storm Spell and is instead treated as a rank 1 Storm Spell. Furthermore, if it triggers off of Storm Spell, it overwrites the damage dealt by the normal Storm Spell proc and causes it to trigger for less damage. This is due to the internal cooldown on Storm Spell of 0.5 seconds. It can also proc off of itself and if the offhand triggers itself, then the proc off of itself will not crit and will do the full Storm Spell damage. If the offhand procs itself, it will ignore the Internal Cooldown of Storm Spell.
  • Storm Fury: Increases your DpS by 5% when below 30% HP.
  • Eye of the Storm: Increases your critical severity by 5%.
  • Orb of Imposition: Adds 5% control bonus to Orb of Imposition. The only additive Source of Control Bonus tested so far.
  • Swath of Destruction: Multiplies Smoulder damage by 1.1.

 

 

3 Piece Set:

 

For CW, there are 4 options worth considering. The first is the Orcus set, the second is the Company cloak with Int+Owlbear belt, the third is the Company cloak with Int+the Valindra belt and the 4th is the Rubellite set. The way the Orcus set works is the following:

 

DPS Boost = |Your HP%-Their HP%|*0.2

 

Unfortunately, the set bonus does not work on the following:

 

  • Conduit of Ice.
  • Steal Time.
  • The Arc and DoT from Sudden Storm on mastery.
  • Shard of Endless Avalanche.
  • Furious Immolation.
  • Smoulder.
  • Arcane Power Field.

 

In addition, Storm Spell will not benefit from the set bonus if it procs off any of the above skills and neither will weapon enchantments. Aura of Courage will not benefit at all. In theory, the set bonus is on average a 10% dps boost against enemies on skills that it does work on, in practise it is lower and closer to 7% due to the fact that a lot of the time you kill enemies at higher HP values. As a result of the bugs with the Orcus set, I would only recommend using it on single target, if you use it at all. As Aura of Courage plays such a major role in CW DpS as well as Conduit, this set currently has quite a major flaw. When considering the Valindra belt and the Owlbear belt, if you can cap critical strike chance without the Valindra belt, then the Owlbear belt is strictly better. If you value the AP gain on the neckpiece more than the extra damage from Int, the Rubellite set is then the best option; if you do not, then the Company Raider Cloak is the best option.

Weapon Enchantment:

 

A lot has changed with Weapon Enchantments in mod 11. The choice of Weapon Enchantment is a lot less obvious than it was before, since as of mod 11, all weapon enchantments (except Bronzewood) now scale. Now, the most important things to note when comparing weapon enchantments for DpS is the following:

 

  1. How many times the abilities you use proc weapon enchantments.
  2. What buffs scale your weapon enchantments.
  3. The ability coefficient of the abilities you are using.

 

This, as it turns out, is actually a LOT of information that is required to do an accurate comparison, however, it can be found in the following links:

 

  1. Weapon Enchantment Comparison Write Up.
  2. Number of Procs.
  3. J Values.

 

If you want a complete analysis, I recommend reading the first link, what I will provide here will be a condensed version. In short, when comparing weapon enchantments, we only need to consider Bilethorn, Lightning, Vorpal, Dread and Feytouched for DpS on CW, every other enchantment will be worse than 1 of those. If you are using Single Target abilities like Disintegrate, then Vorpal, Feytouched or Dread will undoubtedly win. If you are using AoE abilities like Icy Terrain or Conduit of Ice, Bilethorn or Lightning will win. Lightning will win if you use those AoE abilities on AoE fights and Bilethorn will win if you are using those AoE abilities on single target fights.

 

To compare vorp to Feytouched assuming 100% crit chance, we just need to solve the equation:

 

(X+0.5)/X = 1.18

 

The value for X turns out to be 25/9, or 2.77. This means that if you have 100% combat advantage uptime and 100% crit chance, if the sum of your crit severity and combat advantage bonus exceeds 177%, then Feytouched is better all the time. Take note, for this comparison we are not even considering the scaling weapon damage hit on Feytouched, or the fact that Aura of Courage cannot crit and neither can Storm Spell, so realistically, the value is even lower than that. It is also important to note that you cannot use Feytouched if you use Icy Terrain, as the cooldown is extended by Icy Terrain, but the buff duration is not, leading to permanent downtime. There is a common misconception that 2 people cannot use Fey since 1 will block the other from receiving the buff, this is not true and is easy to check.

 

Now, here are some of the basic mechanics of the scaling enchantments:

 

  • If the hit that procs an enchant crits, the enchant proc will also crit.
  • Any buffs that apply to the hit that procs the enchant will also apply to the enchant.
  • Some skills (Ray of Frost, Icy Terrain, Ice Storm, Ice Knife and Chill Strike) have an internal 1.6 multiplier on weapon enchantment procs. This is intentional as the skills are classed as, “slow” proc skills.

 

In mod 11.5, there are 2 options for support weapon enchantments. The first is the Plaguefire and the 2nd is the Frost enchantment. These are good because they are both (currently) uncapped debuffs. However, it is worth noting this will be changed in mod 12. The advantage of Frost is that it can stack, the advantage of Plaguefire is that it has a higher consistent debuff. See the links in the debuff section for more details.

 

Pet Active Bonuses:

 

When it comes down to pets, the following are all good choices:

 

  • Fire Archon (7% vs targets below 50%).
  • Air Archon (5% vs targets not on full HP).
  • Siege Master (4%).
  • Cambion Magus (10% critical severity).
  • Erinyes of Belial (10% critical severity).
  • Earth Archon (6% when on full HP).

 

Unfortunately, due to the fix to Wild Hunt Rider, it is no longer a contender.

 

Unlike other less fortunate classes, the above pets work on all CW DoTs and procs, with no notable exceptions. If you are using a Vorpal or Dread, you should likely avoid using the critical severity pets, if you are using a %weapon damage enchantment, they become something worth considering. Refer to the link to Janne’s Website, in recommended reading, if you wish to do a comparison taking into account your specific circumstances.

 

Combat Advantage pets are strictly worse than critical severity pets assuming 100% CA uptime and 100% critical strike chance, as CA and critical severity are additive with each other and Combat Advantage pets give a lower value of what is essentially the same statistic.

Summoned Pet:

 

For summoned pet, there are, in my opinion, 5 good choices for DpS, listed in my order of preference:

 

  1. Sellsword/Rebel Mercenary/Con Artist.
  2. Dread Warrior.
  3. Fire Archon.

 

The reason why Sellsword, Rebel Mercenary, and Con Artist are listed for the first position is for the 10% debuff known as, “consumed by battle,” which all 3 of them possess. This ability is a 10% uncapped debuff, which stacks with itself. If you are the only 1 in a party using 1 of these and assuming there are no other uncapped debuffs, it is a 10% increase in damage for everyone in the party. If there are 4 other people using 1 in the party and assuming there are no other uncapped debuffs, adding 1 as your companion means a  1.5/1.4-1*100=7.142857143% party DpS increase. Since this DpS increase is for everyone attacking the target in question, pets with this debuff, without a doubt in my opinion, are the number 1 choice.

 

The reason why Dread Warrior is listed for second place is because of the 10% buff he has, which has a 5 second uptime and an 8 second downtime, for a total of 5/8ths uptime. This damage buff is slightly better than the Fire Archon active bonus, which is only active when the opponent is under 50% HP, which makes this the winner between the 2.

 

Fire Archon is the third choice for the 3 offense slots and decent pet statistics, as well as decent active bonus.

 

If you are trying to solo a dungeon, then there are other options for pets. Depending on what you need these options are all good so I won’t rank them and rather list them and explain when they good.

 

  • Sellsword/Rebel Mercenary/Con Artist.
  • Ambush Drake/Blink Dog.
  • Dancing Shield.
  • Dwarven Battlerager.

 

The sword trio is good for any content where you don’t need any additional defensive statistics and as a result you can play as you normally would, just a little more carefully. The Ambush Drake and Blink Dog are good for content whereby you need something that can rapidly reapply bondings upon resurrection as well as combat advantage. For example in eCC, the presence of the fire on the ground makes every other pet fail to apply bondings due to constantly dying, but these 2 pets are capable of applying bondings. The Ambush Drake is strictly better than the Blink Dog, but it is a lot more expensive, so choose what you can afford. The Dancing Shield is good for very hard solo content (for example if you are trying to solo fbi) where you need a large amount of additional defensive statistics, as it has 3 defense slots and an uncapped debuff. Finally, the Dwarven Battlerager is good in similar situations to the Dancing Shield, due to the damage debuff, however, instead of having a defense debuff, it has a teleport ability that makes it good for granting combat advantage and good for getting back into combat quickly.

 

At this stage in the game, using augments can no longer really be justified and so they will not get a recommendation.

Mount Equip Bonus:

 

When comparing mount equip bonuses, there is only really 1 difficult consideration, that being the snail vs power or crit mount. If you are not at 100% crit, the crit mount is the best option between the stat mounts. If you are at 100% crit, the power mount is the best option between the stat mounts. In my opinion, the snail mount is BiS for CW however, as our daily powers are strong and here is my reasoning why:

 

  1. In an end game party, a DC will share with you somewhere between 80-120k power. Combined with other power buffs and your personal power stat, you should be sitting at an excess of 200k power. This means the power mount will be adding 4k above 200k, or as a relative increase: (1+204000/40000)/(1+200000/40000)-1=0.166, or a 1.67% dps increase. This is a really, really, small amount. In comparison, the Snail grants you back 25% of your total AP pool. Considering our Daily Powers make up ~15-20% of our DpS, this is a significant boost.
  2. In difficult content, where survivability matters more than DpS, the snail is definitely BiS as you can cast Oppressive Force more frequently, which gives you a higher degree of CC.

 

There is only 1 situation where I would consider a power mount being better than a snail and that is when you are in a group that melts stuff so fast that you don’t have the time to cast more than a single daily. This isn’t a very frequent occurrence.

Mount Insignia Bonus:

 

Here is a list detailing the mechanics of insignia bonuses:

 

    • Magister’s Patience/Restraint: It works off 10% of your buffed power. If you critically hit again while the DoT is active, it refreshes the DoT but does not update the damage. The HoT is not applied to the owner.
    • Warlord’s Inspiration/Encouragement: Sorry, not testing pet damage.
    • Protector’s Camaraderie/Friendship: Not all companions trigger this bonus, so make sure to check that the pet you wish to use does trigger this before deciding on a pet. It is calculated off of your base stats and does not include temporary bonuses.
    • Artificer’s Persuasion/Influence: What it does is increase your recovery, movement speed, action point gain and stamina gain by 10% of your buffed power for 15 seconds after using an artifact. It cannot be refreshed by activating another artifact within that 15 second window.
    • Shepherd’s Devotion: Grants 5% of your buffed power as defense, deflect and movement speed to allies. These stats have limited use on CW, however it can be fun to play around with in buff groups where you gain excessive amounts of movement speed from power.
    • Barbarian’s Revelry/Delight: This one sounds good in theory, in practise it has a 2 second internal cooldown and isn’t really necessary in PVE due to lifesteal.
    • Gladiator’s Guile: This one works as per the tooltip, when your stamina is above 75%, you gain 15% movement speed and when it is below 25%, you gain 15% of your buffed power as stamina gain.
    • Wanderer’s Fortune: This bonus does work, however, as it doesn’t provide any numerical information that can be easily measured, I am unsure if it has an ICD or if it stacks. What it apparently does if give you a 4% chance to have a refinement stone drop at your feet on killing an enemy, I am not sure if it really is 4%. What I do know though is that it is amazing, I strongly recommend using this. However, there is no point in investing into more than 1 mount with this bonus.
    • Cavalry’s Warning: Grants you 10% of your base stats. It does not include buffs and so isn’t that amazing in buff groups, considering you can’t really spam mount powers and it leads to a clunky rotation.
    • Assassin’s Covenant: Divides your defense, deflect and lifesteal by 1.1, but adds 10% of your defense, deflect and lifesteal to power. It calculates off base stat values.
    • Alchemist’s Invigoration: Grants you 5% of your base power on drinking a potion. It is refreshed by drinking another potion while it is active and can be kept up permanently using rejuvenation potions if you so desire.

 

  • Combatant’s Maneuver: Combatants Maneuver is a buff that adds 5% Combat Advantage Damage after using a control power. The buff lasts 10 seconds and is refreshed if you use another control power within the period that it is up. The CW powers that trigger it are: Ray of Frost, Repel, Entangling Force, Ice Knife, Imprisonment and Chill Strike. It can be triggered against CC Immune targets.

 

  • Berserker’s Rage: Gain 10% of your base armour penetration as power on full AP.

Mount Combat Power:

 

There is only 1 good combat power for CW and it is the lion combat power, which grants you 100% of your HP as a shield. It also potentially grants you 3 stacks of Radiant Weapon, which is an additional hit for 2% of your damage per stack. However, it does not proc off Storm Spell, Smoulder, Aura of Courage, Abyss of Chaos or Weapon enchantments, so as a DpS boost it is quite negligible. However, the shielded HP is so good when you need it and none of the other mount bonuses even remotely compare to it. The Tensar’s bonus works off of your base power and not your buffed power, which makes it an insignificant bonus in any party where there is a power sharer.

Active Artifact:

 

For CW, there are 5 choices for active artifact. 1 of them is good for support builds and the other 4 are good for DpS. These choices are as follows (in no particular order):

 

  • Tome of Ascendence.
  • Wheel of Elements.
  • Sigil of the Devoted.
  • Sigil of the Great Weapon Fighter.
  • Heart of the Black Dragon.

 

As it currently stands, the Tome of Ascendence is BiS for trash clearing. At Mythic, it is bugged and the Fireforged bonus misses a decimal place and grants you 15% increased damage per chained target. There is no target cap on the number of chained targets, so if you managed to pull 40 monsters, you would gain a 600% damage boost for 15 seconds. As an aside, this is 1 of the few bonuses I have tested that works on everything, it doesn’t skip any skills or procs for obscure reasons. I don’t really recommend investing in one, however, as at some stage it is liable to get fixed and it likely will not be worth using in a fixed state.

 

The Wheel of Elements causes your skills to deal an additional hit for 30% of their damage. This additional hit cannot crit, does not benefit from combat advantage and does not scale with debuffs. In content where monsters are level 73, the damage bonus is mitigated from 30% down to 22.5%. The buff lasts 28 seconds and does not proc off of Aura of Courage, Storm Spell, Assailing Force, Creeping Frost, Warped Magics, weapon enchantments or Arcane Singularity. As a result of this, the wheel is not as great as it once was in mod 11 onwards, particularly if you have an OP in your group, sometimes making up only 4% of your DpS. 1 piece of advice to anyone using this, assuming you do not run with a dc, if you teleport forward during the animation you will land on the fire. If you do run with a dc, use another artifact as the DC will ALWAYS steal the fire bonus (As someone with DC as a 2nd main, I can attest to this). This was fully tested by @rsdag, so full credits to him.

 

The Sigil of the Devoted is good on CW simply because we have good daily powers. It is always a decent choice, for both a support and a DpS build. Not much to say about it, other than it grants you AP over time and is good for spamming dailies.

 

The Sigil of the Great Weapon Fighter is good due to the damage buff. It increases your damage by 6% against a single target and then 2% for each additional target in range, capping out at 14%. The buff lasts 14 seconds. This is a solid choice if you are 1 of those above mentioned CWs always running with an OP and using a proc based weapon enchantment, who doesn’t get much benefit from the wheel, in which case this is a good choice for single target. As it currently stands though it is worse than the bugged Tome.

 

The final choice, the Heart of the Black Dragon, is good for support builds. It has a 15% uncapped debuff which is barely listed on the tooltip, which lasts 6 seconds, but benefits the entire party. If you are going this route, you should try to time casting this artifact with when all the party buffs are up, to maximise team burst. Another use for this artifact is, if you deliberately miss with it and use it in conjunction with artificer’s persuasion, you can use it to permanently keep up the insignia bonus. This is great if you like a high movement speed playstyle with non existent cooldowns, especially if you run with a power share DC.

 

Finally, the reason why the Lantern of Revelation is not considered on this list, is because it is a capped debuff and as a CW it is possible to reach the debuff cap alone, let alone in a party. This will change in mod 12.

Statistics Optimisation:

 

Distributing statistics for DpS in the current meta, is actually quite easy. So long as an enemy has DR, Resistance Ignored and as a result Armour Penetration, gives the best returns. In the current state of PVE, no enemies have more than 60% DR and so no more than 60% RI is required. It is worth noting that in mod 12 this may be changing. If you are in a party with a power sharer (either DC or OP), crit will then pretty much always give better returns than power. I am not going to list specific pieces of gear for specific builds, since depending on how much AD you have available to you, your circumstances in game and what enchants you wish you use, different pieces of gear will be optimal. Instead I will provide a general guideline for statistics based on specific circumstances.

 

If you are grouped with a power sharer, have rank 12 bondings and have Spell Twisting, or be in a group with a DC/OP using Hastening Light or Aura of Wisdom your priorities for offensive statistics are as follows:

 

  1. Resistance Ignored to 60%.
  2. Critical Strike to 100%.
  3. All other stat points into power.
  4. Ignore Recovery.

 

If you are not grouped with a power sharer, but do have Spell Twisting or access to Hastening Light or Aura of Wisdom:

 

  1. Resistance Ignored to 60%.
  2. Balance power/crit using the tools available here.
  3. Ignore Recovery.

 

If you are not grouped with a power sharer, do not have Spell Twisting and do not have access to Hastening Light or Aura of Wisdom:

 

  1. Resistance Ignored to 60%.
  2. Stack recovery until ~11000.
  3. Balance power/crit using the tools available here.

 

This covers the stacking of offensive statistics. Defensive statistics are also simple to stack and simply depend on circumstances. If you are stacking defensive statistics to boost your DpS, you do run with an OP using Aura of Courage and you are using Assassin’s Covenant, your defensive priority is as follows:

 

  1. Hitpoints as high as possible. In some cases, it is even worth sacrificing power for Hitpoints. You can do a comparison using the tools provided in the Aura of Courage section to make an informed decision here.
  2. Lifesteal/Defense/Deflect, with the order of prioritisation being Lifesteal>Defense>Deflect, but as much of all three. It is not worth sacrificing offensive statistics for any of them.

 

If you do not frequently run with an OP but do use Assassin’s Covenant, then your prioritisation of statistics should be as follows:

 

  1. Lifesteal/Defense/Deflect, with the order of prioritisation being Lifesteal>Defense>Deflect, but as much of all three. It is not worth sacrificing offensive statistics for any of them.
  2. Hitpoints.

 

If you just wish to stack defensive statistics with the intention of achieving the highest possible durability, your priorities should be:

 

  1. Lifesteal chance to 20%.
  2. Optimize other defensive stats using the tools available here.

 

In terms of utility statistics, your order of prioritization should always in all circumstances be:

 

  1. Combat Advantage Bonus.
  2. Action Point Gain.
  3. Stamina Gain.
  4. Control Bonus.
  5. All the rest.

 

You should aim to have ~1200 of any of these statistics, whilst you will still get some returns from investing more, the returns are really, really marginal. In terms of actually gearing your character, the tools available on this site can be really helpful for balancing your statistics in theoretical situations, with different gear setups. Whilst it is not entirely accurate, it is good enough for most players purposes.

 

For support CW builds, I do not recommend stacking recovery sky high and instead recommend going with the same stat distribution as a DpS build. It is still quite possible to keep up debuffs quite easily if you pay attention and it means you also have the option of going DpS. The only real major difference between a support and a DpS CW build is the weapon enchantment and active artifact, other choices will simply hurt your DpS for no real benefit.

 

Consumables:

 

It is possible to get additional statistics from consumables, here is a list of consumables you could potentially use to boost your statistics:

 

Please note, this image is not mine and was compiled by @zeusom on PC. Full credits to him. There are some consumables not listed here which can be used in PVE, in particular, the Potion of Everfrost resistance, lesser and greater potions of dragon slaying, potions of redcap slaying and the scrolls of protection from dragons. You could also use Lathander’s Dew.

 

If you are truly perform at absolute maximum, you can by all means, go to the effort of using all of these, however, these effects are temporary and it is expensive to keep constantly using these. Personally, in PVE, I very rarely go to the effort, I just cannot justify the cost.

 

In addition to these, you can also use Guild Overloads (5 or 10% increased damage against whichever type of enemy) however, it is worth noting that these are mitigated by level 73 mob mitigation and so are 75% effective against level 73 enemies.

Aura of Courage:

 

Whilst this is not a CW ability, it deserves a section of its own. This is due to the fact that as a CW, it makes up so much of your damage. What Aura of Courage does, is making you deal an additional hit for 0.9% of your hitpoints and it scales with your buffs and debuffs, it does benefit from CA but does not crit. Yes, your hitpoints. This means that, if you intend to properly take advantage of Aura of Courage on CW, you need to stack HP as a defensive stat. Now, you might be thinking, “well what about stacking defense, deflect and lifesteal for Assassin’s Covenant” and my response to this is, that due to how much power we can currently stack without Assassin’s Covenant, the DpS gain from stacking these statistics is actually quite marginal and loses out to the dps gain from AoC. Here is a table detailing the number of procs AoC does off of each skill:

 

Ability Name: Number of AoC Procs:
Conduit of Ice 6 (7 on mastery, the first hit deals 1.3 times as much damage and the remaining hits deal 0.9 times the intended damage)
Chill Strike 1
Entangling Force 1
Magic Missiles 1
Oppressive Force 6
Ray of Frost 1
Repel 1
Arcane Singularity 0
Ice Storm 1
Chilling Cloud 1
Shield Pulse 1
Fanning the Flame 1
Sudden Storm 2
Icy Terrain 12
Scorching Burst 1
Storm Pillar 11
Ray of Enfeeblement 1
Ice Knife 1
Icy Rays 2 per target hit
Steal Time 1
Shard of Endless Avalanche 1
Furious Immolation 1
Maelstrom of Chaos 1
Disintegrate 1
Imprisonment 0
Storm Spell 0
Creeping Frost 0
Warped Magics 0
Abyss of Chaos 0
Assailing Force 0
Smoulder 0
Shatter Strike 0

 

If you want to calculate the damage increase for Aura of Courage on a specific skill, you can use the following formula:

 

Aura of Courage DpS Increase = A*0.009*(1+B*C)*D/((E+F)*G*(1+H*3)*(1+I*J+B*C)*K)

 

A = Hitpoints.

B = Combat Advantage Bonus.

C = Combat Advantage Uptime.

D = Number of Aura of Courage Procs.

E = Level Based Weapon Damage (144.425 for CW).

F = Average Weapon Damage.

G = Ability Coefficient.

H = Rank Modifier.

I = Critical Severity.

J = Critical Strike Chance.

K = Number of Ability ticks.

 

Here is a graph of the general formula, which you can tailor to your own uses.

 

However, using this is, for the most part, an impractical way of working out whether or not to invest in HP or another statistic, so, for practical purposes what I do is:

 

DpS Increase from HP = (X/Y-1)*Z

 

X=New HP after HP increase.

Y = Old HP before HP Increase.

Z = Percentage of damage that is Aura of Courage (for CW, this is between 20% and 40%).

 

You could then compare the solution to the solution for investing in power and make a more informed decision.

 

An example of a CW’s damage with an OP in the group:

Conclusion:

 

Thanks to those of you who stuck through and read all of this, I know it is a lot to take in, some of it having little to no practical application, but I hope you took away at least 1 or 2 useful pieces of information from this, that you were not aware of before.

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