Welcome to the wonderful world of warlords! As a warlord, you will heal your allies and enhance their ability to lay waste to your foes, while standing on the front lines and engaging in the thick of things yourself. All warlords share leader as their primary role—you have plenty of powers that heal your allies and enhance their attacks. Compared to other leaders, warlords focus less on pure healing capacity and more on tactical movement and opportunity. Warlords are one of few classes who interact with action points in a profound way: all warlords improve their allies' action points from level 1. In addition, most warlord powers are melee attacks, and require you to put yourself in harms way to have any effect. For these reasons, a warlord can be a tricky class to play, especially compared to the “laser cleric.” In exchange for racking your brain, however, you will occasionally be able to turn normal fights into complete routs.
There are four warlord builds: tactical warlords (taclords), inspirational warlords (inspirelords), bravura warlords (bravelords), and resourceful warlords (resourcelords). These four builds each have a "____ presence" class feature, which gives extra effects on some of your powers and determines in what way you enhance your allies' action points.
Strength is the primary ability score for virtually all warlords. Intelligence is a secondary ability score for tactical and resourceful warlords, while Charisma is a secondary ability score for inspirational, bravura, and resourceful warlords (yes, resourceful warlords want both). Below is a general breakdown of the importance of the six ability scores to warlords, along with a recommended starting ability score (which is given before racial modifiers).
Strength: The primary ability score for all warlords, a warlord should never let his Strength fall below 16 and should increase it at every available opportunity. Incidentally, warlords have an unusually high number of effects that don't require their hits to land, and so this score is not as important to a warlord as many classes' primary ability scores are to them. Recommended: ≥16.
Constitution: While no warlord powers require Constitution to function, every warlord wants to be on the front line of battle and therefore wants the hit points and healing surges that Constitution provides. Unfortunately, your Strength and either your Intelligence or Charisma will demand your attention, so you will be unlikely to afford a high Constitution unless you're a bravelord. Recommended: 12–14.
Dexterity: What with requiring two ability scores as well as Constitution, most warlords will be unable to devote much attention to Dexterity and many will end up using it as a dump stat. However, many warlords like heavy blades, and heavy blades require Dexterity, so some warlords (almost exclusively those with a racial bonus to Dexterity) will find it worth investing in. Recommended: 8–12.
Intelligence: The secondary ability score for taclords and resourcelords. Because of their fondness for commander's strike and their ability to grant bonuses without landing hits, many taclords (especially eladrin) value this score more highly than their Strength. In addition, wizard makes for a nifty multiclass option. Charisma-based warlords have absolutely no use for it, however. Recommended: 10 or 16, depending on build.
Wisdom: Like Dexterity, Wisdom is a dump stat for most warlords—but is required for polearms, a common weapon choice. Therefore, some builds will find it useful, especially those without an already high Charisma (to aid in the Will defense). Recommended: 8–12.
Charisma: The secondary ability score for every kind of warlord except taclords. Unlike Intelligence for inspirelords, even taclords have a use for Charisma because many of the warlord's healing powers use Charisma to determine their extra effects. Recommended: 10–12 or 16, depending on build.
- ↑ However, there is one particular bravelord build that needs neither Intelligence nor Charisma.