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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Ultimate Summoner? Mini-guide to Lyrandar (Mark of Storms) warlocks and padlocks

    I don't really believe in "guides" because I think they care too much about rating things, but since I'm going to vent my excitement about some nice synergies I suppose in a way it's a mini-guide and I will tag it as such.

    Why are Lyrandar Warlocks interesting?

    Many dragonmarked races wind up with pretty crummy and un-synergistic ASIs for the classes that really want their spells, e.g. Jorasco (Mark of Healing) halflings have no Int bonus and also have a speed penalty, both of which are bad for wizards, who really want Jorasco healing spells. They get a Wisdom bonus, but clerics and druids already have most Mark of Healing spells. Another example: Mark of Shadow gives a +2 Dex bonus, which Eldritch Knights would like, but Eldritch Knights already have most of the Mark of Shadow spells on their spell list (with the notable exception of Pass Without Trace, which conveniently is an abjuration spell). It can be worth it anyway but it's an distressing dilemma (therefore good game design).

    However, House Lyrandar half-elves get the normal +2 Cha bonus, making them good warlocks and paladins, and a +1 Dex bonus on top, and it turns out that warlocks really benefit from getting to spam Conjure Minor Elementals and Conjure Elemental!

    Here's the Lyrandar spell list, with non-warlock entries bolded:

    1st Level - Feather Fall, Fog Cloud
    2nd Level - Gust of Wind, Levitate
    3rd Level - Sleet Storm, Wind Wall
    4th Level - Conjure Minor Elementals, Control Water
    5th Level - Conjure Elemental

    That's right, all of these spells are bold! They're all completely new to warlocks and paladins! Some of them are better than others but the overall package is rather exciting, especially for a warlock or paladin/warlock. Generally speaking, I'd judge the 1st-3rd spells as more interesting to Paladins because they can swap prepared spells out freely (so there's less opportunity cost) and the 4th and 5th level ones as more interesting to warlocks because they are spammable (highly effective uses of a highish-level slot, ideal for warlocks).

    Spell breakdown:

    I'll give these guys ratings even though I despise ratings, to make it clear whether something excites me a lot, moderately, or a little/situationally. But something which is only a little exciting in a vacuum can still be very exciting in the right party or situation. Anything that doesn't excite me much at all won't be mentioned in detail.

    Fog Cloud is interesting to paladins if you play with Tasha's (I do not) because paladins have access to Fighting Style: Blindfighting. It's cheap and available early, like getting Greater Invisibility as a 1st level spell. Otherwise it's only exciting if your party has lots of blindsight already (e.g. Moon Druids, Tiny Servant, conjured snakes, animated objects) and/or Alert PCs, or you want protection from beholders/spellcasters relying on sight.

    Feather Fall can save your life if you're spelunking in deep caves or riding on a flying mount like a Find Greater Steed Pegasus, so it's nice for a paladin to have the option to prepare it when it may be needed. It's less interesting to warlocks but if you play a lot with Fly it could be worth learning for when you lose concentration. It also combines nicely with Dimension Door (Warlock spell) if you want a "Dimension Door straight up" panic button that protects you without costing concentration, although a single-classed warlock using PHB spell slots instead of DMG spell points would probably not want to burn two high-level slots on the combo, so again, best for paladins or multiclassed paladin/warlocks.

    The best thing about Gust of Wind is that you can control it with only a bonus action, and the second-best thing is that it pushes enemies at range. You could potentially use it to push enemies off cliffs/off flying mounts/into hazards, or just to keep them away from you so you can Eldritch Blast them longer, or to push them away before you blast so you can avoid having disadvantage on your ranged (EB) attacks. More exciting for paladins than warlocks overall because less opportunity cost to learn it and because warlocks have other ways to move enemies around.

    Levitate is a versatile spell which functions as either a single-target disable (up to 500 lb.) without repeated saves, unlike most other disabling spells, or as a self-protection spell for a ranged combatant like a warlock. Worth dedicating a warlock pick to as early as 3rd level.

    Sleet Storm is for two things: breaking enemy concentration, and slowing down enemies so you can hammer them with ranged attacks and/or defeat them in detail. (It also does the regular heavy obscurement stuff like preventing opportunity attacks.) The prone effect would be nice except that it's cancelled out by heavy obscurement all around--but note that it's a concentration spell so you can drop the spell at any time, including right before one of your allies Action Surges a bunch of GWM attacks. The difficult terrain has a nice synergy with Mobile feat, and of course there's a synergy with Repelling Blast as well--if anyone gets out you can Repelling Blast them back into the difficult terrain.

    Wind Wall prevents ranged weapon attacks. Eldritch Blast isn't a weapon attack! If you want to win an archery duel with a platoon of hobgoblins, Wind Wall + Agonizing Repelling Blast is a good bet. It also does some minor damage in a largish AoE when you initially cast the spell.

    Conjure Minor Elementals can supply you with 160+ HP of meat shields in a single spell, plus 8x reusable special abilities (smoke mephits, Dex DC 10 15' cone blinding) or restraining effects (mud mephits, Dex DC 11 restraining Medium size or smaller) and/or 8d6+8 (36) of attacks and potentially 8d6+8 more of opportunity attacks every round. They're also usable as flying scouts, and you get to spam them twice an hour!

    Conjure Elemental has a bunch of options, of which the most straightforward is the Earth Elemental: 127 nonmagical-weapon-resistant HP of tank, with tremorsense and Earth Glide for recon and strafing. +8 to hit for 4d8+10 (28) damage per round may not sound like a lot, compared to a Crossbow Expert Sharpshooter EK shooting his Hand Crossbow (+1 from Magic Weapon) three times at +7 for 3d6+48 (58.5), rising to +7 for 4d6+64 (78) by level 11... but when you add that Earth Elemental's damage output to the warlock's own +9 to hit for 2d10+10 (21), rising to 3d10+15 (31.5) at level 11, at least the Warlock is staying in the same ballpark as well as providing the party with hundreds of tanky HP on par with a raging Barbarian, for himself and the hypothetical Sharpshooter to hide behind. And because the warlock can do this 2 or more times per short rest, the casting time on Conjure Elemental is not as much of a problem as it is for a wizard--if a warlock casts Conjure Elemental, suspecting trouble, but it turns out the area is peaceful and all is quiet, the warlock can just spend that hour resting (guarded by his Earth Elemental) and get the spell slot back, unlike a wizard. Does summoning 72 elementals a day during a dungeon delve excite you? It excites me.

    Anyway, that's basically what I came here to say: "Lyrandar warlocks are awesome because they get to spam elementals." Obviously all warlocks can spam demons, and sometimes demons are better than elementals (higher DPR for one thing, or special abilities like Chasme Drone), and I'm certainly not saying you shouldn't ever spam demons, but when you want something to last for multiple fights in a row or something to pre-cast when you're expecting trouble, it's nice to have elementals as an option that won't stab you in the back as soon as the nearest non-demons are dead. (Especially if you were already fighting demons in the first place before you cast the spell!)

    Bonus section, my current two favorite Paladin builds sketches that are RP-compliant:

    Lyrandar Juggernaut: Lyrandar half-elf, Paladin 1 => Paladin 1/Hexblade 9 => Crown Paladin 6/Hexblade 9 => Crown Paladin 9/Hexblade 9 => Crown Paladin 9/Hexblade 11. All the goodness of elemental spam, etc., while still having heavy armor proficiency and the Shield spell and multiple Auras of Vitality per hour for healing, and 6th level spells like Mass Suggestion for no-concentration crowd control. Also a bonus specter and a nova capability via Hexblade's Curse. Unlike Paladin of Devotion, I can actually see a Crown Paladin teaming up with the Grim Reaper or something like it especially to serve the realm, because Crown Paladins are all about obedience and duty and oath-keeping, not so much about compassion and wisdom per se. Arguably, Szeth son-son-Vallano (as of Rhythm of War) would be modelled well as a Crown Paladin/Hexblade.

    Lyrandar Paladin: Lyrandar half-elf, Paladin 1 => Paladin 1/Divine Soul 1 => Paladin 1/Divine Soul 1/Celestialock 9 => Devotion Paladin 9/Divine Soul 1/Celestialock 9 => Devotion Paladin 9/Divine Soul 1/Celestialock 9/Life Cleric 1. Even Tankier than the Juggernaut vs. magical effects due to Divine Soul's saving throw bonus per-short-rest, but with fewer elementals and demons per hour and no Mass Suggestion capability. Life Cleric capstone means the eventual healing output per hour is even higher than the Lyrandar Juggernaut's, which is mostly important to me for emotional reasons so I don't feel like the build inefficiently "wastes" its final level on something unexciting like Aura of Courage or another Sorcerer spell, but for the majority of play your main "healing" contribution is all of the phantom HP provided for the party by your various summons (although the healing you get for free as a Celestialock doesn't hurt). The main difference between these two is less about the mechanical tradeoffs and more about which kind of warlock or paladin you can see yourself being willing to play.

    In both cases I favor Agonizing Repelling Eldritch Spear of Lethary for invocations #1-4, and I like Voice of the Chain Master (Chainlock) for invocation #5 so you can reconnoiter remotely and so you can have your Sprite familiar guide your conjured air or earth elemental to a remote target.

    Fill out the details of the sketches with feats/etc. that are important at your table, e.g. Spell Sniper if cover and range are a big thing for you, Inspiring Leader if you want more temp HP for the party, or Lucky if you want to win initiative and not fail critical Stealth rolls or saves vs. beholder disintegration rays, etc.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2021-03-03 at 09:49 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    Default Re: Ultimate Summoner? Mini-guide to Lyrandar (Mark of Storms) warlocks and padlocks

    Found this from your signature and wanted to sign off my agreement. I also wanted note the Fathomless Warlock makes a very good choice for flavor purposes if you specifically wanted to play a member of House Lyrandar and are underwhelmed by the Storm Sorcerer options. Your "Patron" is your Dragonmark. Flavor your Eldritch Blasts as fancy lightning bolts and you're there.

    There's also an argument to make that the Warlock's numerous enemy-positioning tools have synergy with the Air and Water Elementals - in theory you could set up a tightly packed group of enemies for the elemental to walk over and use its special ability to affect as many as possible at once. Fathomless appears to me to be the best at battlefield arranging, between the tentacle slow and all the usual Warlock options, plus access to Bigby's later on. There's a little overlap between the bonus spells from Mark of Storm and Fathomless, but not too much; Fathomless only gets the new "Summon Elemental" which appears to me to be plainly inferior to the Conjure options.

    The only problem is arguably too many good choices - between Fathomless's super Evard's Black Tentacles, Bigby's Hand, and Conjure Elemental, you have three really good picks for your Concentration. It's a good problem to have, but you could make the argument that you aren't getting full mileage from your choices; I might counter that it gives you some powerful and varied tools to choose between as the situation demands.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Ultimate Summoner? Mini-guide to Lyrandar (Mark of Storms) warlocks and padlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    The only problem is arguably too many good choices - between Fathomless's super Evard's Black Tentacles, Bigby's Hand, and Conjure Elemental, you have three really good picks for your Concentration. It's a good problem to have, but you could make the argument that you aren't getting full mileage from your choices; I might counter that it gives you some powerful and varied tools to choose between as the situation demands.
    I do want to note that it's not necessarily a bad idea to release concentration on your elemental in the middle of combat, in order to cast another spell. The elemental becomes "hostile" to you, but if it's already fighting a bunch of monsters, it seems unlikely that it would suddenly become "friendly" to them--more likely (check with your DM and/or run an experiment) it just becomes omni-hostile, like a demon from Summon Greater Demon. If the fight is tough enough that you don't expect your elemental to survive it anyway, consider releasing your concentration on it and casting something else, like aforementioned Evard's Black Tentacles (really good spell IME as long as the smallish AoE won't be a problem for you, and as long as the enemy isn't immune to the Restrained condition).
    Purple text = personal judgment which I don't expect you necessarily to share. YMMV.

    Everything on the Internet is opinion but purple text is my way of highlighting that I am not interested in persuading you to share mine.

    This is the Most Important Video You've Never Seen About 5E Design. 5E designers Mike Mearls and Rodney Thompson tell you how game design was done, how classes were balanced against each other, etc.

    Why Mark of Storms Warlocks Are Better Tanks Than Most Fighters

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Default Re: Ultimate Summoner? Mini-guide to Lyrandar (Mark of Storms) warlocks and padlocks

    Tasha has made dragonmark build easier too.

    You mention mark of shadow, which I think make for very interesting sneaky vengeance paladins (along with elven accuracy and revenant blade)

    Good catch.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Ultimate Summoner? Mini-guide to Lyrandar (Mark of Storms) warlocks and padlocks

    All Warlocks can summon Elementals if they want the option, though.

    They have the Servant of Chaos invocation.

    Elemental-summoning Warlocks are indeed awesome, just saying it's not limited to the Lyrandar.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2021-04-12 at 02:36 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Default Re: Ultimate Summoner? Mini-guide to Lyrandar (Mark of Storms) warlocks and padlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    All Warlocks can summon Elementals if they want the option, though.

    They have the Servant of Chaos invocation.

    Elemental-summoning Warlocks are indeed awesome, just saying it's not limited to the Lyrandar.
    At the cost of an invocation to do it once a day. Not even remotely comparable.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Ultimate Summoner? Mini-guide to Lyrandar (Mark of Storms) warlocks and padlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    All Warlocks can summon Elementals if they want the option, though.

    They have the Servant of Chaos invocation.

    Elemental-summoning Warlocks are indeed awesome, just saying it's not limited to the Lyrandar.
    Edit: Ninja'ed by Bloodcloud!

    Spoiler: Original response
    Show

    Minions of Chaos (invocation)
    Prerequisite: 9th level

    You can cast conjure elemental once using a warlock spell slot. You canít do so again until you finish a long rest.

    Getting to cast Conjure Elemental once per long rest is not remotely the same as being able to spam them twice an hour. If while travelling you find a suspicious-looking cave that you believe might be dangerous, using your one Minions of Chaos to have an elemental go check that out for Purple Worms/Bholes risks wasting it on a red herring and not having it when you get in a real fight later on. Nor can you weaken a target over the course of several hours by having your invisible Sprite familiar repeatedly guide Elementals to a target, like guided missiles, while you sit there resting. (Nor do you get access to Conjure Minor Elementals BTW in case you want access to even more meatshield HP and/or blinding effects.)

    I agree that any old warlock can summon an elemental with the right invocation, but being able to spam them is transformative. It means you can pre-cast them (not having to worry about the 1 minute casting time, or winning initiative) to add a tank to your party, and can "heal" that tank just by replacing them with a different one. A Moon Druid can transform into an elemental once per short rest at 10th level, but you can summon an elemental twice per short rest potentially as early as 9th level**, and can spam Eldritch Blast/etc. on top of that for extra damage.

    ** Although I value heavy armor enough that I personally wouldn't get there until level 10, Paladin 1/Warlock 9.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2021-04-12 at 03:00 PM.
    Purple text = personal judgment which I don't expect you necessarily to share. YMMV.

    Everything on the Internet is opinion but purple text is my way of highlighting that I am not interested in persuading you to share mine.

    This is the Most Important Video You've Never Seen About 5E Design. 5E designers Mike Mearls and Rodney Thompson tell you how game design was done, how classes were balanced against each other, etc.

    Why Mark of Storms Warlocks Are Better Tanks Than Most Fighters

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Ultimate Summoner? Mini-guide to Lyrandar (Mark of Storms) warlocks and padlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Edit: Ninja'ed by BloodCloud!

    Spoiler: Original response
    Show

    Minions of Chaos (invocation)
    Prerequisite: 9th level

    You can cast conjure elemental once using a warlock spell slot. You canít do so again until you finish a long rest.

    Getting to cast Conjure Elemental once per long rest is not remotely the same as being able to spam them twice an hour. If while travelling you find a suspicious-looking cave that you believe might be dangerous, using your one Minions of Chaos to have an elemental go check that out for Purple Worms/Bholes risks wasting it on a red herring and not having it when you get in a real fight later on. Nor can you weaken a target over the course of several hours by having your invisible Sprite familiar repeatedly guide Elementals to a target, like guided missiles. (Nor do you get access to Conjure Minor Elementals BTW in case you want access to even more meatshield HP and/or blinding effects.)

    I agree that any old warlock can summon an elemental with the right invocation, but being able to spam them is transformative. It means you can pre-cast them (not having to worry about the 1 minute casting time, or winning initiative) to add a tank to your party, and can "heal" that tank just by replacing them with a different one. A Moon Druid can transform into an elemental once per short rest at 10th level, but you can summon an elemental twice per short rest potentially as early as 9th level**, and can spam Eldritch Blast/etc. on top of that for extra damage.

    ** Although I value heavy armor enough that I personally wouldn't get there until level 10, Paladin 1/Warlock 9.
    It's true that being able to use it that much is a game changer.

    Ignore my previous comment.

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