CW Mechanics Guide: (Mod 14)

Author:

Sharpedge@thefabricant

Contents:

Contents:

Credits:

Preface:

How to contact me:

A Note on Republishing:

Those who have asked:

Intended Outcomes (Must Read):

Recommended Reading:

What is the CW Class:

Section 1: Class Mechanics.

Mechanics:

Arcane Stacks:

Chill Stacks:

Smoulder:

Target Caps:

Cooldowns and Action Point Gain:

CW Ability Coefficients:

Damage Buffs:

Damage Debuffs:

DR Debuffs:

Behavior of Procs:

AoE Radius and Range:

Control Duration:

Control Bonus:

Control Resistance:

Animation Length:

Other Heroic Feats:

Other Oppressor Feats:

Other Renegade Feats:

At Will Single Target Comparison:

Daily Comparison:

Useful CW Trivia:

CW Loadouts:

Bugs and Exceptions:

Section 2: Gear Comparisons.

Artifact Weapon Set:

Offhand Bonuses:

3 Piece Set:

Weapon Enchantment:

Pet Active Bonuses:

Summoned Pet:

Mount Equip Bonus:

Mount Insignia Bonus:

Mount Combat Power:

Active Artifact:

Hunts Gear:

Armour of Quick Recovery:

Enduring Boots:

Eyestalk Wrappers:

Fearbringers:

Fured Kiuno of the Bear:

Jawrippers

Ring of the Gravestriker:

Ring of Offensive Action:

Ring of the Shadowstalker:

Ring of the X Slayer:

Upper Primal Paints:

Terrored Grips:

Statistics Optimisation:

Consumables:

Aura of Courage:

Conclusion:

Credits:

@agatagdr Told me about Maelstrom of Chaos being useable under control effects. Also proofread the original version of the mod 8 version of this guide.

@dairyzeus reminded me the Rubellite set exists.

@darthtzarr for acting as my target dummy in PVP when testing Control Resistance and for helping me to check Feytouched.

@d66723225: Simplified the formulae and added illustrations for each equation in the weapon enchant comparison.

@falkon84: Provided his own simplified version in addition to some tools in the weapon enchant comparison.

@gildriador for pointing out I had forgotten Chilling Control.

@greyjay1: pointed out the formula had been simplified too far and was excluding Vorpal+Dread in the weapon enchant comparison. Also helped to proofread the current edition of this guide.

@micky1p00 provided the formula for basic damage calculations. Also proofread and provided some criticism of the weapon enchant comparison.

@rjc9000 for taking the time to proof read my guide, give me snarky criticism and suggest some improvements.

@rsdag proofread this edition and provided criticism of some of my explanations. Also helped testing damage scaling and added to my explanations of AP gain. He also tested the Wheel of Elements, helped me test Aura of Courage and read over and improved my At Will and Daily Power comparisons. He also helped me test ability ranges.

@theosymphony for setting the standards for guide writing high in the early stages of Neverwinter. This community misses you.

@theraxin#5169 for telling me about the Ice Knife+Lightning+Combustive Action bug.

@xyrella for proofreading and looking for mistakes.

@zeusom Created a picture listing consumables.

Anyone reading this, for making the time and effort that was put into compiling this guide worth something.

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.

How to contact me:

For anyone wanting to get in touch to ask me questions, you can either find me on discord by the username Sharpedge#4765 or they can find me in the NW:UN discord, which, if you are playing neverwinter, is your best source of information and can be found here. I do not endorse the official forums or the official subreddit and do not recommend going to either of those as they are ran by some of the most incompetent people in Neverwinter (A certain forum mod in particular) who has done so much damage to the flow of information within this game. For anyone wanting to learn anything about this game, those are some of the worst places you can go to.

A Note on Republishing:

If you intend to publish this on your website, please ask me. How to contact me can be found in the section above. 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/

http://ordobscuridomini.forumfree.it/

Tyr’s Palladium (The Guild on PC)

Intended Outcomes (Must Read):

First off, if you are only interested in a copy/paste build inside this guide, just close the tab now, or open this. 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://jannenw.info/pages/about

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

What is the CW Class:

This is a new section I am including as of mod 14, which is intended to address the question of, what role does the CW have in the current meta. I am addressing this as I see a lot of unhappy wizards, both on the forums and in game. Is the class a DpS, is it a support, or is it something else? The answer is a little bit complicated, but the class is neither and is somewhere in between.

For someone who is looking to roll a CW in mod 14, if you expect to be a pure DpS, this is not the class for you and the same is true if you solely expecting to be a support. The class is a hybrid, you won’t deal as much DpS as a pure DpS and you won’t buff as much as a pure support, but you will buff more than a DpS and do more DpS than a support. If you have a selfish, “me first” mentality then I don’t recommend the class for you. If you expect to be first on paingiver all the time, then I don’t recommend this class to you. If you are willing to contribute to the overall success of the team, without necessarily being the number 1 DpS or support in the team, but by having done some of both, then maybe the class is for you.

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

0

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:

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.

Chilling Control

5 to all targets within 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 entity encounters, not just on the initial cast, but DoTs like RoE apply it only on the first tick.

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:

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:

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.

As of mod 13, Smoulder benefits from Chilling Presence. There is a bug with Critical Conflagration that causes Rimefire to not tick when you refresh Rimefire with chill.

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

1

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:

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:

To clarify better:  

or simplifying the definition of Final CD:

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

5.2*****

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

3.2*****

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 has a 10% variance built into them innately.

****** 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:

 

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:

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:

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)*(0.33*3+0.34)

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:

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:

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 doubled on mastery where it becomes a 35% debuff.

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:

Some of 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. It is however out of date and so additional explanation will be given here.  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. Debuffs have diminishing returns, which are given by the following function:

Where x = the pre diminished debuffs. What this means is that debuffs asymptotically approach 300% (which is 400% effectiveness) and that the more of them you have, the less effective adding more of them becomes. All CW Debuffs are additive with each other, I cannot claim the same is true for all other debuffs, as some may be buggy on other classes, but the intended mechanic is for them to add. A more in depth explanation can be found here.

DR Debuff:

Value:

Duration:

Combustive Action*

24%

6 seconds.

Ray of Enfeeblement**

17.5%

5 seconds.

Swath of Destruction***

20%

4 seconds.

Bitter Cold

5%

6 seconds.

Frigid Winds****

10%

10 seconds.

*6 second Base Duration, Oppressive Force refreshes it 5 times which adds 5 seconds to the duration, the feat for it also adds 2.5 seconds to the duration.

**Ray of Enfeeblement is 35% on mastery. Arcane Stacks increase the duration to 8 seconds.

***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 (except the Storm Spell offhand bonus) 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 and now in mod 13 and onwards, Storm Spell. The first category behaves as if it was part of the skill that procs it, whereas the second category behaves as an independent 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

Conditional

Storm Fury

Not Applicable

Arcane Power Field

Independant Proc

Weapon Enchantments

Inherited Proc

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:

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. Chilling Control shares its shape.

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:

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:

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

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 (before the cc resist changes) and the formula there appeared to be the following:

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. After the changes to control resist in PVP, that formula is no longer accurate.

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:

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:

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:

Magic Missiles.png

Hits per second: 146/64=2.28125.

DpS: 1624.59.

Theoretical damage coefficient per second:

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:

Ray of Frost:

Ray of Frost.png

Hits per second: 382/217=1.76036866359.

DpS: 942.51.

Theoretical damage coefficient per second:

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:

Chilling Cloud.png

Hits per second: 139/98=1.41836734694.

DpS: 1330.72.

Theoretical damage coefficient per second:

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:

Storm Pillar (uncharged).pngStorm Pillar (Fully Charged).png

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):

Theoretical damage coefficient per second (charged):

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%.

Scorching Burst:

Scorching Burst (uncharged).pngScorching Burst (Charged).png

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):

Theoretical damage coefficient per second (charged):

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.

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 200k 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).

Ice Storm:

Ability Coefficient: 4.

Target Cap: 5.

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.

(Arcane sing doesn’t proc AoC)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

CW Loadouts:

Whilst I will not be providing copy paste builds for CW, I will give an overview of when different loadouts are applicable.

The biggest strength of Renegade is the ability to generate Combat Advantage quite easily. As a result of this, if you are soloing. Renegade is also good for playing an undergeared CW that is lacking in Critical Strike chance, as the path has a lot of free crit which can help cover your stat deficit.

Thaumaturge excels on trash in groups were you have CA from another source and you are well geared, thus no have stat issues. The best feats in Thaum however are the early feats, up to Spell Twisting and Elementral Reinforcement. The biggest advantage of going Thaum is the ability to take 3 good tier 3 feats, while Rene and Oppressor only have access to 2 of them.

Oppressor excels in boss fights or against control immune enemies, where it can consistently proc Shatter Strike. Whilst Shatter Strike can be procced on trash, the trash version of the proc scales differently and is unreliable. Another big advantage of Oppressor is you have access to Controlled Momentum, which is an instance wide 10% damage buff, which stacks from multiple CWs. Unlike Fury, from Renegade, Controlled Momentum can be triggered whenever you like, which makes it a reliable buff that can be provided. In order to truly benefit from playing an Oppressor however, you would need to build enough recovery to be able to use Elemental Reinforcement instead of Spell Twisting.

Due to the functionality of Focused Wizardry, by default a CW should have multiple loadouts for AoE and single target, where Single Target loadouts have the feat and AoE loadouts do not. Wizard’s Wrath should not be switched out however as it is better than any alternatives.

I will not be covering SS vs MoF due to the Storm Spell and Smoulder changes, this is something which will have to remain up in the air so to speak until I have had more time to evaluate them. On paper I think the reasoning behind the change is as follows:

If you assume Storm Spell procs once every second, that is a base value of 0.9*1.3 = 1.17 per second.

If you assume Smoulder procs once every second and that Swath of Destruction is slotted, it deals 0.5625*1.6= 0.9 per second.

This is the same base value (before the storm spell rank bonus is applied) but in addition, there is also a 20% party wide debuff and there is no randomness involved. I think the devs used the following logic to in theory make the 2 paths "equal" however in practise I think the net result of this is just an overall nerf to CW damage, going from mod 12.5-13.

CW is the class with access to the most loadouts and is the most versatile out of all classes. If you were to include PVP loadouts, you could have well over 10 loadouts with every single loadout having a valid, well justified purpose and not just exist to switch 1 item around.

Bugs and Exceptions:

Mod 13 removed quite a few bugs from the CW class (and added some new ones). This list should detail those that still exist.

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 5 sets with equal weapon damage, which have the highest value. Out of those 5, there are 2 good choices for CW.

If you are a new CW starting out, I would get the free weapons provided in Barovia.

Offhand Bonuses:

3 Piece Set:

For CW, there is 1 good option. The Orcus set. The way it works is the following:

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

Shard of Endless Avalanche is buffed twice on the shard explosion.

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. 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. Previously, it did not work on some of CWs stronger powers (Icy Terrain and Conduit of Ice) and so I did not recommend it, now however, it is undoubtedly BiS.

Weapon Enchantment:

Due to how much maths is involved in rewriting this section every time they introduce a new Weapon Enchantment or make a change to existing ones, I will stop updating the main document for it and instead just insert a table, showing the results of the calculation given a set of criteria, as computers can do number substitution much faster than I can. The explanation of the maths can be found in the link below, even if the substitutions into the formula are incorrect:

  1. Weapon Enchantment Comparison Write Up.

Class

Type:

Ability Name:

Best Enchantment

CW

At Will

Chilling Cloud

Fey

CW

At Will

Chilling Cloud (2nd Hit)

Fey

CW

At Will

Chilling Cloud (3rd Hit)

Fey

CW

At Will

Magic Missile

Fey

CW

At Will

Magic Missile (2nd Cast)

Fey

CW

At Will

Magic Missile (3rd Cast)

Fey

CW

At Will

Ray of Frost

Fey

CW

At Will

Scorching Burst (Charged)

Fey

CW

At Will

Scorching Burst (Uncharged)

Fey

CW

At Will

Storm Pillar (Dot)

Fey

CW

At Will

Storm Pillar (Fully Charged)

Fey

CW

At Will

Storm Pillar (Uncharged)

Fey

CW

Class Feature

Arcane Power Field

Fey

CW

Class Feature

Storm Fury

Fey

CW

Class Feature

Storm Spell

Fey

CW

Daily Power

Arcane Singularity

Fey

CW

Daily Power

Furious Immolation (1st Hit)

Fey

CW

Daily Power

Furious Immolation (2nd Hit)

Fey

CW

Daily Power

Ice Knife

Fey

CW

Daily Power

Ice Storm

Fey

CW

Daily Power

Maelstrom of Chaos

Fey

CW

Daily Power

Maelstrom of Chaos (Cancelled)

Fey

CW

Daily Power

Oppressive Force (DoT)

Fey

CW

Daily Power

Oppressive Force (Final Hit)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Chill Strike

Fey

CW

Encounter

Conduit of Ice

Fey

CW

Encounter

Disintegrate

Dread

CW

Encounter

Entangling Force

Fey

CW

Encounter

Fanning the Flame (DoT)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Fanning the Flame (Fanned Flame)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Fanning the Flame (Gathering the Flame)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Fanning the Flame (Initial Hit)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Fanning the Flame (Splash Hit)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Icy Rays (1 Target)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Icy Rays (2 Targets)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Icy Terrain (DoT)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Imprisonment

Fey

CW

Encounter

Ray of Enfeeblement

Fey

CW

Encounter

Repel

Fey

CW

Encounter

Shard of Endless Avalanche

Fey

CW

Encounter

Shard of Endless Avalanche (Shardplosion)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Shield Pulse

Fey

CW

Encounter

Steal Time

Fey

CW

Encounter

Sudden Storm (Normal Arc)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Sudden Storm (Normal DoT)

Fey

CW

Encounter

Sudden Storm (Normal)

Dread

CW

Paragon Mechanic

Smoulder

Fey

The conditions for this was as follows:

As you can see from this spreadsheet printout, Fey is the clear winner for a DPS CW.

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

In mod 14, Dread, is in my opinion the BiS support option. For DpS, although prominence was tried out, it still fell short of the Feytouched Enchantment for CW.

Pet Active Bonuses:

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

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 (Except Razorwood) 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, 4 good choices for DpS, listed in my order of preference:

  1. Chultan Tiger.
  2. Sellsword/Rebel Mercenary/Con Artist.

The Chultan Tiger is the undeniable BiS from mod 13 onwards, as it has a 10% debuff, like the Sellsword, Con Artist and Rebel Merc and it also has a useful active bonus. 5% increased damage for 25 seconds is longer than most fights and the timer resets at the end of combat, which means in most cases it has 100% uptime. The debuff does stack, like the sword trio, however, in order for it to be applied the tiger needs to have Combat Advantage. This does mean that, if you are in a group without an HR, GF or SW, you will need to run a renegade spec if you want to gain the bonus.

The other 3 pets are listed due to the debuff they possess, they are like a less good tiger as they do not have a good active bonus. If you are a new player starting out I would recommend the Con Artist as it is the easiest of the 4 pets to obtain and gear.

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.

The sword trio and Chultan Tiger are 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:

Mount Combat Power:

There are 2 good combat powers for CW. The lion combat power and the Bat Swarm. The lion combat power is good as it provides 100% of your hp as 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. The Bat Swarm is the undeniable BiS for DpS as a 5% damage buff cannot be argued with.

Active Artifact:

For CW, there are 4 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):

The Soul Sight Crystal is BiS for single target burst. It is a 50% damage multiplier for 10 seconds against a single enemy and beats out any other artifacts in short fights. A list of what skills are buffed by it can be found here (credits RJC9000). 

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 final choice, the Heart of the Black Dragon, is good for support builds. It has a 15% 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.

Hunts Gear:

This section serves to explain how the various different hunts gear pieces behave on the CW class. Note, that as I do not own all of them, I do not have information on all of them and thus this section is “work in progress” and this section’s progress depends entirely on my ability to acquire it.

Armour of Quick Recovery:

Despite the claims that the armour does not work, it does in fact function. What it does is when it procs it reduces the your cooldowns by:

Meaning that recovery decreases the amount it reduces your cooldowns by. It does not proc very frequently however, making it hard to test.

Enduring Boots:

So long as your Stamina is full, these boots function as a 3% damage multiplier for every single CW power, with only 1 exception. That 1 exception is Shard of Endless Avalanche, which receives the buff from these boots twice and for Shard it is a 1.03^2 damage buff.

Eyestalk Wrappers:

These multiply the damage of, “ranged” powers by 1.03. For CW, this means the following:

Powers not modified:

All other powers benefit and procs follow the normal proc rules.

Fearbringers:

These either multiply the outgoing damage of a power by 0.7 or 1.03, depending on whether or not the damage is tagged as “daily” or “at will and encounter.” From my testing, the following is true:

These abilities are reduced by 30%:

These abilities are not modified at all:

All other powers are buffed by the gloves. With the exception of Arcane Singularity, the normal proc rules apply.

Fured Kiuno of the Bear:

Either the bonus on this chest is bugged, or CW has no melee powers. I would hazard a guess that the 2nd is true.

Jawrippers

Increases your encounter damage by 3%. It functions on all encounters and any procs off of encounters, but does not work on your daily powers or at wills.

Ring of the Gravestriker:

This ring stacks at different ranks however not at the same rank. It also provides the stats to your pet if stuck on your pet, although it does not update on your pets character sheet. If you track the bonding transfer however you will note the additional power from the ring bonus. You may have a ring of rank x on your toon and a ring of the same rank x on your pet and it will provide the bonus to both, even though you may not have 2 rings of the same rank on your character or 2 rings of the same rank on your pet.

Ring of Offensive Action:

Not tested as of yet however it is in my possession, it is on my to do list. SoonTM.

Ring of the Shadowstalker:

The bonus from this ring stacks at different ranks however not at the same ranks, It multiplies your damage by 1.02 on everything at rank 4, there are no powers that are left out.

Ring of the X Slayer:

Do not own and as a result, not tested yet. In theory if they function as a damage multiplier and stack at the same or different ranks and function on all the important CW powers (a lot of ifs) they are BiS against whichever specific mob type you are fighting, however, as I have no interest in farming for them and testing (especially since I have no intention of using gear BiS against only a specific monster) I cannot give a definitive answer here.

Upper Primal Paints:

Not tested as of yet however it is in my possession, it is on my to do list. SoonTM.

Terrored Grips:

This is a strong alternative to the Jawrippers, with the same functionality, however with the downside of -2500 recovery.

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 85% DR and so no more than 85% RI is required. 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 14 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 85%.
  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 85%.
  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 85%.
  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. Consumables are divided into a few categories and you can only have 1 consumable from each category. The categories are as follows:

There are then 2 or 3 uncategorized consumables, of which all can be used. These are the Potions of Dragon Slayer (greater and normal) and the Potions of Redcap Slayers.

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. A guide to overloads can be found here.

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:

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:

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:

sharp ss sp.png

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.