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This is written for patch 2.6.0 balance, which will probably be the final update for the pre-Retribution game.

Overview[]

The Warlock is the Eldar "fighter" hero, used more to get in the enemy's face and punch it instead of buffing friendly units or jumping around like the other heroes. Ironically, the unupgraded Warlock does pitiful melee damage and gets focused down by ranged fire extremely fast (although his speed helps a little). Still, he can take more than Eldar T1 squads, so he will close in and tie up or disrupt enemy ranged units so that Guardians and Banshees can do their thing without dying on approach.

Destructor[]

The Warlock's starting ability, the Destructor is as simple as it gets. Point and click for grenade-type damage in a small radius. The ability is devastating on low-health units, especially Heretics which are tightly grouped and often absorb every blast. The effect is less dramatic on heavy infantry units, so you may want to wait for a sweeter target. There is a slight delay when using the ability, so hitting moving squads requires a little experience.

Wraithsight[]

The Warlock is one of the Eldar units with Wraitsight, making nearby Wraithguard move faster even when the squad has no Warlock of its own.

Energy aura[]

An overlooked passive ability, the Warlock's unique aura increases the energy regeneration of nearby allied units significantly. This means, for example, more Energy Shields and Plasma Grenades from your Guardians.

Wargear[]

Immolator[]

A simple weapon upgrade that makes the Warlock do respectable damage in melee and grants an easy-to-use ability to burn an area. The ability works as a garrison counter, and it's pretty effective against low-health infantry (especially Heretics). It's (as most flame weapons/abilities) extremely effective against turrets and other structures. Immolator isn't really effective against heavy infantry based armies, however, and the ability is avoidable by good players. The power cost of Dow2 pow 1630 slows down the Eldar T2 quite a bit as well. 

Merciless Witchblade[]

Probably one of the best weapons in the game, the MWB is expensive at Dow2 pow 1635 but incredibly useful. It does fairly high damage, and the 360 degree special attack is just devastating. It will also burn off energy from the target (quite handy against heroes and energy-dependent units like Assault Marines or Bloodletters). Merciless Witchblade doesn't grant a new ability and hence uses no energy, making it a good weapon to use with Champion's Robe.

A very annoying feature of the MWB is the ranged attack, which does weapon knockback on each hit. Using the Warlock in ranged stance with this weapon can completely neutralize heroes with no option for knockback immunity.

You should note that the crazy special attack will do friendly fire and knock down your own units, which can be problematic when using the Warlock together with Banshees.

Witchblade of Kurnous[]

This T2 weapon costs as much as the Merciless Witchblade and does comparable damage. Kurnous is the only power melee weapon available to the Warlock, and does extra damage to heavy infantry, but the base damage is lower than the MWB's so in the end there is no difference. The MWB does better damage to light infantry, but on the other hand Witchblade of Kurnous has the excellent Ethereal Slash ability which can completely wipe a light melee squad.

Note that Ethereal Slash costs Dow2 energy 1680 to use, so this weapon is hard to use effectively with Champion's Robe or other energy-dependent wargear.

Champion's Robe[]

A simple energy shield that absorbs damage and gives a permanent health boost. Severely limits usage of other abilities, so this wargear goes best with Merciless Witchblade for a full-melee build. Heart of Darkness is probably the best accessory with this build, as it effectively adds another 400 hp to the shield when activated.

Cloak of Shadows[]

An interesting and underused armor, the Cloak grants an ability that has two effects. First, it infiltrates units around the Warlock, although he will remain visible himself. This allows you to sneak in anything up to an Avatar in what starts looking like a harmless flank and ends in OH SH—, assuming the opponent has no detection of course.

The second effect is that the ability gives the Warlock 50% ranged damage resistance and the units around him get 30% as well. This is actually quite significant, and combined with Distort Field it makes the Warlock completely immune to ranged fire.

Overall, the Cloak gets a bit overshadowed between Champion's Robe, which is easier to use and available in T1, and Providence, which is a massively powerful end-game armor.

Providence[]

This is one of the T3 "super" armors, very expensive and very powerful. The ability it grants is charged by taking damage so you need to fight before using it, but when you do, things go down. It makes the Warlock completely immune to any damage (although he can be suppressed and knocked down). Now this is pretty powerful in itself, but Providence also drops all ability cooldowns to 10% of normal and boosts energy regeneration so much that you can spam abilities (typically Warp Throw and Ethereal Slash) as much as you want. This will probably wreck an entire infantry based army if they don't stay away.

Note that if you have abilities on cooldown when you hit Providence, you have to wait the normal duration before they can be used. So try to have everything ready when you use it.

Channeling Runes[]

This is a healing accessory that you could in theory use to pump health to your Banshees while they wtfpwn everything. In reality, it has several problems:

  • It costs Dow2 pow 1630 which is a lot especially in T1
  • it takes up a slot you want for Warp Throw or Heart come T2
  • The healing effect is very lackluster
  • The Warlock must stand still, meaning he's not tying up a ranged unit, which in turn is shooting at your Banshees, which end up taking MORE damage than they would if you stopped healing and just fought with the hero

So in conclusion, this is a pretty worthless wargear.

Warp Throw[]

One of the best accessories in the game. The ability will cause weapon knockback in a small radius from a good range into any direction you want. It allows you to:

  • Counter ranged units and suppression (throw them toward you, preferably into Banshees)
  • Counter melee units (throw them away from you)
  • Set up devastating combos (throw enemy units into grenades, Singularities, nukes or other AoE stuff)

Using Warp Throw effectively requires learning the casting delay and the throw distance, but in the end it is really good and almost always useful. It requires energy to cast, so it's not the best if you have a Champion's Robe build with a chronically empty energy bar, however. Combine it with Providence for ridiculous Warp Throw spam in late-game.

Heart of Darkness[]

This accessory grants an ability that becomes available after taking 250 points of damage and instantly restores Dow2 energy 1680 when used. Works best with Champion's Robe.

Globals[]

Webway Gate[]

The Warlock's Webway Gates are not deployed as infiltrated like the Farseer's, and lack the buff ability as well, so they are rarely worth the red to deploy. You can use them for a large flanking maneuver, but they are so easy to find you can probably only use the gate once and you need to build two – Dow2 global 16250 total – so getting your value back seems unlikely.

Swift Movement[]

An excellent and cheap global that is best known for helping Banshees get retreat kills. Also speeds up all your allies, which is very useful in team games (either for retreat killing or just relocating large amounts of units quickly).

Distort Field[]

Another good and cheap global that grants 50% ranged damage protection for a short time. Typically used on Banshees to allow them to close in or stay in the fight for longer, but can also help your Wraithguard or Warp Spiders to finish that kill before falling back.

An amusing (or infuriating) quirk of this global is that it will push the ranged damage resistance of retreating units from 80% to 130%, actually making them gain health from ranged attacks. This means guaranteed survival if there is no melee on the retreat path, and sometimes the ranged fire heals the unit enough to survive the melee hits anyway. Insert trollface.

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