The Most Important Thing to Remember…
After major changes to stats in last December, every stat is hard capped equal to your item level. Stats scale proportionally to how close they are to this cap, up to a maximum of a +50% modifier to whatever that stat does. For example, if you have 50,000 Item Level and 45,000 Critical Strike, you will have 45% Critical Strike chance from you stats. Anything above your total item level is a wasted stat. So does this mean that we can only get a maximum of +50% to any of our modifiers? NO. Gear that adds Critical Strike chance like the Bone Devil’s Ribcage or the Goristro’s Horns from Avernus hunts for example don’t count towards that +50%. Stats do however have a total hard cap of +90% from all sources, meaning we are shooting to get as close to that magical 90% for as many of our major stats as possible.
Important Note: For returning players, all enemies now have the same stat caps, gone are the days of needing more Armor Pen for Zariel, now everything is based off those magical 50% and 90% caps.
I go into more detail about how stats are calculated and weighted in the stats section if you’re interested in learning more, and I plan to release a video also explaining it in more detail.
Wait is that a Lostmauth set? And what’s this about Mirage weapons?
As of the new combat changes we are no longer capped at a painful 50% critical strike chance. With the removal of this cap, high Crit builds are back! Meaning we get a lot more benefit from the Lostmauth set with it averaging out to about 6-7% of my total outgoing damage at any time and this damage will increase as I get closer to 90% Crit. This is a couple percent higher than the average 5% that the popular Star Set gives total.
Mirage weapons are very strong for many classes and the same is true for Warlocks, at least in Single Target. We might theoretically lose some total outgoing AoE DPS (I’m talking ~1%) but we gain 2-3% Damage in Single Target vs other popular sets like Lionheart.
Note: Its technically possible to get similar Single Target DPS using Lionheart but it requires you to never drop below 100% stamina which just isn’t realistic for harder content.
For Artifact Modifications prioritize Enhanced Hellish Rebuke and Combat Advantage.
Goristro’s Horns give that ever important Critical Strike Percentage, 10% at full stacks to be exact. This is super helpful getting us as close as we can get to that 90% cap. While it does mean that we sacrifice Power when compared to Lion’s Guard, Power now having a cap makes it much less valuable and with new gear and swapping some stats around Power is still relatively easy to cap.
How to obtain:
Drops from the Whitehorn Hunt in Avernus, kill Maveolent Narzugon to get his Lure.
Alternatives: Redcap’s Cap or Lion’s Guard Raid Cowl if you’re not capped on Power
Bone Devil’s Ribcage:
Bone Devil’s Ribcage is one of the harder pieces of gear to get in the game, but it is well worth it. Contributing percentage bonuses to both high priority stats (Critical Strike, and Critical Severity) it’s a must have for our high crit build. Unfortunately this means you will need to spend a long time in Avernus.
How to Obtain:
Bone Devil’s Ribcage drops from the Tier 3 Hunt in Avernus, this means you have to either work your way up through Tier 1 and 2 hunts first before you even get a shot at it, buy the Tier 3 Lure, or have a REALLY nice guild.
Alternatives: Midnight Cuirass from new Sharandar
Wristguards of Precipitation:
The Wristguards of Precipitation work to help keep us at or above Power Cap since we aren’t prioritizing it from our Helm or Chest choices. These gloves give a hefty 7,500 power when at full stacks which isn’t hard to achieve on Warlock.
How to Obtain:
The new Sharandar Campaign.
Alternatives: Blessed Divine Restoration Bracers from Avernus, Lion’s Guard Raid Wristguards from TIC
Rusted Iron Leggings:
The Rusted Iron Leggings are a bit of a high risk, high reward item. While the 25% healing reduction sounds like a lot (and it is), the extra 5% damage bonus is well worth it. This Damage bonus is applied regardless of our stat caps, so we get this bonus even if we are at our +90% Damage bonus from Power, and we get this damage bonus at all times.
Note: Combat Advantage is a notoriously hard stat for Warlocks to cap, and by using Rusted Iron Leggings we are passing on the opportunity to use Wasteland Wanderers for the extra 5% CA. While I think you’re pretty safe doing this unless you’re really low on CA, use your own judgement.
IMPORTANT: Rusted Iron Leggings appear to be broken right now and don’t seem to be applying their damage bonus, so I am using Wasteland Wanderers all the time until the issue is fixed.
How to Obtain: Random drop from Juma bags in the Vallenhas zone.
Alternatives: Wasteland Wanderers from Sharandar if you want more CA, Divine Raid Shoes from Avernus, Infernal Forged Shoes from the seal vendor
Band of Air:
While not technically the most raw stats that we can get from a ring, I’ll list those in the alternatives section, the Band of Air‘s Equip bonus does some incredible damage and more than makes up for the missing stats when compared to other rings. This ring is Best in Slot.
How to Obtain: Hardcore VoS
Alternatives: Gold-Plated Ring for raw stats (rumored to be nerfed soon), Bypass Ring for the stats (also rumored to be nerfed soon), Guiding Ring of the Sharpshooter from the AH, Guiding Ring of the Spy from the AH
The Red Eye’s Blind:
Sniper’s Perk, huge accuracy bump which we desperately need, and 1200 Combined Rating this ring was made to fill this slot. Until it is nerfed, Bypass Ring might fill this slot better but getting your hands on a Bypass Ring right now is very expensive, especially if they get nerfed soon.
How to Obtain: Hardcore VoS
Alternatives: Bypass Ring, Nickel-plated Ring from the Auction House, Silver Ring of the Herald from Avernus
Shirt of the Green Storm +5:
This shirt buffs up our Combat Advantage, a stat that’s hard to cap for Warlocks and gives us a solid chunk of Combined Ratings on top of the bonus Encounter Cooldown Reduction, which allows us to spam our powerful encounters (like Killing Flames) more often.
Note: at the time of writing +5 versions don’t seem to be dropping, so using a +4 version is good enough until +5s are fixed.
How to Obtain: Sharandar
Alternatives: Upper Pact Brands of the Inferno from t3 hunts in Avernus, Infernal Forged Shirt from the seal vendor
Pants of the Green Storm +5
Pants of the Green Storm or any of the Pants from Sharandar will be Best here. What I mean is, all of the pants give a different defense stat and you can pick whichever one you think you need the most. I picked the Critical Avoidance to help stop 1 shots in harder content.
Note: Just like the Shirt, the +5 versions of these don’t seem to be dropping. Using a +4 is good enough until +5s drop.
How to Obtain: Sharandar
Alternatives: Lower Pact Brands of the Blaze-bond from the 3 star hunt in Avernus, Infernal Forged Trousers from the seal vendor in PE
Artifact Equipment Set: Lostmauth
The Artifact equipment set you choose to use is based on your Critical Strike Chance. Anything above ~55% Critical Strike Chance and the Lostmauth set’s additional hit on Critical hit will outperform pretty much everything else and this gap gets wider with more Crit Chance, but if for some reason you don’t have the Crit a good second choice would be the Star set.
Lostmauth’s Hoard Necklace:
Golden Belt of Puissance:
Lostmauth’s Horn of Blasting:
The Storyteller’s Journal Set:
This is one of the only sets we can get from purely Artifacts, and not one Artifact and the necklace/belt combo. This alone makes it extremely valuable, but the set is also pretty good on it’s own. It’s set bonus does good damage, gives us extra maximum HP to help us hit the minimum for Zariel and ToMM, and it’s active artifact does even more damage. All this makes this set Best in Slot.
Unfortunately the only way to get this set is through specific events, so if you don’t have them already getting your hands on them now will be a challenge. They were sold as a box through the Zen store for a limited time, so it’s possible there are still some of those boxes floating around but they will be expensive.
Alternatives will be listed below.
These Tooltips are so long they don’t fit on the screen
Envenomed Storyteller’s Journal:
Frozen Storyteller’s Journal:
Flayed Storyteller’s Journal:
Artifact Alternative Setup:
Wyvern-Venom Coated Knives – +12% Damage taken on enemies hit by this Artifact, + A minor dot. Good as a party wide 12% damage buff to any enemies hit, and it’s good to have one at mythic even if you’re not using this setup.
Refulgent Diamond Pin: +338 Power, +338 Critical Avoidance, +675 Combat Advantage, +360 Combined Rating. A total of 1,035 Combat Advantage from this artifact and combat advantage is very valuable as it’s hard to cap.
Arcturia’s Music Box: +338 Power, +338 Critical Severity, +675 Combat Advantage, +360 Combined Rating. Another 1,035 Combat Advantage with some good other stats on top.
And your Artifact Set Artifact. So if you’re using the Lostmauth’s set use Lostmauth’s Horn of Blasting.
Weapon Enchantment: Bilethorn
For Weapon Enchantments we want to be using Bilethorn. Vorpal used to be a good alternative to Bilethorn but now that Critical Severity is much more common and with how easily we can stack Critical Strike running a Vorpal just seems like a waste of money and an enchantment slot. Bilethorn does great damage all around, but a decent alternative would be Lightning if you would like to prioritize AoE damage over Single Target.
Armor Enchantment: Barkshield
As for armor there’s only really one choice that makes sense. Barkshield is currently the only realistic choice seeing as most Warlocks will need the extra shield to survive mechanics in harder content. Soulforged isn’t as valuable since we still get the revive debuff when Soulforged picks us up, meaning we should prioritize not dying over an instant pick up. We don’t have enough health to really get any use out of Negation either.
Everything Else: Mix 3 Stat Enchantments Based on Need
Offense and Defense enchantment priority has changed drastically now that Power is a capped stat. It’s usually a good idea to use 3 or at least 2 stat enchantments, meaning enchantments like Black Ice which give you Power, Critical Strike, and Accuracy, plus a little combined rating as a bonus. These enchantments will give you the most raw stats per enchantment slot, and using multiple of these 3 stat enchantment maximizes the amount of stats you get for your slots, vs using Single stat versions.
That being said, you will need to adjust your enchantments based on what stats you need to hit your stat caps. Personally I recommend a mix of Gigantic Enchantments, Black Ice Enchantments, and Assassin’s Enchantments for your offense slots based on what stats you’re low on.
Remember Assassin’s Enchantments give Combat Advantage where the other two do not.
Other Gear Tips:
- Remember Armor Kits! Accuracy/Power Armor Kits for your gear and Combat Advantage Jewels for your Jewelry (Necklace, Belt, and Rings) can all be made through professions or bought on the Auction House. They aren’t expensive and provide a pretty large bump in stats.
- Juma Bags in Vallenhaus are an awesome way to gear alts or to get gear for your first character. Farm the big heroic encounters in the zone and insurgencies when you unlock them to buy bags quickly.