1. Very strong direct damage vs enemies with low saves, or elemental vulns. Decent direct damage otherwise.
2. Great utility spells (often overlooked).
3. Extremely hard to lag and kill successfully, if invoker does not want to stick around.
4. Great group utility due to shields
5. Excellent damage reduction
6. Not affected by physical maledictions
7. Shields hard to dispel except by enemy invokers
8. One of CF's most fun and creative classes, due to extremely huge toolkit. You're a force-multiplier and a constant and dangerous threat to enemies, whether in a group setting, ganging, or solo situation. Even worse, you're frequently the tankiest target in a group so you can't be focused.
1. Mediocre kill-sealing
2. Lagging abilities are RNG-dependent
3. No self-healing
4. If deafened or prevented from casting, quite helpless
5. Hours of spam required
6. Watch for shields timers.
Strong level ranges:
Levels 11 to 25
Levels 38 to 51. Recommend PKing constantly from 38 to 51, without trying to level, if goal is to PK. You'll get levels from explore/obs/commerce and collecting wands.
If elf, just 47-51. But don't play elf, play human/halfie.
If you're daring and skilled, try out the level 11 to 25 PK scene on a human invoker. The results may surprise you!
1. Non-villager warriors who cannot lag you well.
2. Assassins (if you can get them into a fight)
3. Druids (iceneedles, see below)
6. Rangers (if you can get them into a fight)
9. Thieves (if you can get them into a fight) 10. Transmuters (if you have svpar: your dispel works easily, theirs are not effective against shields)
1. AP (deafen, sleep)
2. Necro (sleep, forget). 47 spectres are not a problem, but mummy/lich are. 3. Conjurer (AoE not good vs devil/archon, dispel spam while minions hit you)
4. Villager scouts
5. Villager berserker warriors
6 or 7 path: 6 path does not lose much, and has an easier time spamming. My successful invoker (Volker) was a 6-path, dropped water.
- Greater Shields
All shields except slime block bash and throw, slime blocks bash often but not always. I think slime always blocks throw but I'm not sure.
1. Earth blocks bearcharge, and gives resist_blunt (maybe 20% resist). 2. Air blocks trip and assassin kicks.
3. Water blocks cranial and gives resist_pierce (~20%).
4. Fire prevents from-stealth initiations by hitting them first with flames, and also stops knockouts for the same reason (the flames hitting keeps you in combat). I've seen it burn up a snare once but don't count on it.
5. Electricity is totally underrated but amazing: deals huge passive/bursty damage when hit by metal weapons. I think blocks shield bash. Damages bearchargers but does not prevent lag.
6. Ice blocks pincer and gives resist_slash (~20%).
7. Slime blocks lots of whip skills (entwine, choke, lash). I think there are other effects but I'm not sure.
- Lesser Shields
Immunity to element where applicable. Airshield immunes assassin dusts, earthshield blocks dirt kick. 6 shields gives ~50% damage reduction, maybe a little more?
6 shields incompatible with barrier. 5 shields + barrier is OK. Since barrier and aura have diminishing interaction, I often go with perma-aura+shield and 6 shields, if I have strong hp (>1000) and a stoneskin item (orb, amulet). More than enough dam reduction!
Always take Fast Deshield: makes it trivial to keep greater shields fresh all the time.
If Fort or Trib, take Elementalist of the Golden Grimoire or Civic Elementalist respectively.
Spiked Pits is nasty against villagers who often don't fly.
Earth Push is a boost to a very powerful and underused spell.
Hurricane is nasty under the Huntress.
Arcing Lightning is nice if you often fight in places you can't pillar.
Electrical Enchanter is a nice passive boost. Passive boosts are good for invokers because all your power comes from active spells: any sudden bursts from the passive side can seal kills. See rain of stone, shield of electricity.
Combat Elementalist is useful: touch spells boost spells of same element. It might seem wasteful to change touch spells in combat, but remember that an invoker is a tank and can afford to give the opponent more rounds.
- Key Items
Orb from area explore that gives stoneskin when held.
Failing the two stoneskin items above, reliable and plentiful stoneskin preps.
Strong passive progging items. Prayer beads for goodies, belt of ethereal tendrils, stone of frost, scepter of domination, rose with black thorns, rod of corruption, etc. you get the idea.
A source of curse/wrath/damnation to prevent recall from quicksand.
Source of earthbind to drop fliers into quicksand.
Metal weapon to carry charge weapon. Try to use exotics, they parry best.
Cyclone: your level 11 killer until you master wall of fire. Use it and love it until then.
Basic touch spells: use for levelling, and remember they boost corresponding elemental spells.
Earthquake: blunt damage aoe, surprisingly good against e.g. svirf non-flying villagers.
Flare: drops AC a huge amount, deals decent damage. I always use it since invokers are so tanky, there's no hurry to pile damage on. Maybe -AC helps iceneedles, maybe not.
Grease: amazing. Randomly makes them drop weapons, fumble attempts to handle potions and other items (including when they try to quaff!), and lags when they fumble. Lovely. Tanky invoker can pile this on. At low levels greasing yourself makes you harder to bash or throw. Greasing the enemy I think also helps with this but I'm not sure..
Wall of fire: your killer for the 11 to 25 range. Blows up low levels not resistant to fire. Few lowbies have saves, remember?
Icicle: less damaging than wall of fire, but close. Use on fire giants for great fun, but don't get bashed!
Charge weapon: surprise passive damage, with minor "neuro"-style lag! What's not to love? Got me a few kills for sure. I'd take the edge too if you can afford it.
Parry: when you hit 15, try to get skill points in this, e.g. east of Arkham with zombie villagers who swarm but can't see invis, mists of barovia, or other training places. Your only melee avoidance passive, get it to 100%. Use exotics after level 33, and mace before that.
Stoneshatter: this causes trip lag when it breaks stoneskin. It's often hard to use before your dispel strips stoneskin though: since you'll often dispel early, but the trip-lag is useful late in the fight.
Wind wall: kind of overrated. Low damage, mediocre chance to blind, 2 rounds lag. Bleh.
Dispel magic: use this liberally. Many enemies (e.g. warriors) have easily-dispellable preps they rely on, e.g. detect invis against your improved invis, or protection vs good/evil, or desensitize, stoneskin, etc.
Fireball: low mana cost, decent damage. Set fire to forests to flush out camouflaged rangers or outlanders. Catch hiders for little mana cost.
Lightning bolt: similar role to wall of fire and icicle, but lightning. Use on arials.
Avalanche: 2 round lag makes this not that great. OK if you're in mountains ganging with a lagger, or under a rain of stone, hoping to get some lucky perma-lag in.
Iceshards: wrecks low svs, and fire giants. You'll still be using this at 51. Highly variable damage can seal surprise kills if you get lucky and try a lot.
Web: amazing. See grease. Can stick to their weapon, "feinting" half their attacks. Can reduce dex by a lot! Web + a few casts of iceneedles can wreck dex. Don't underrate maledicts in protracted fights, e.g. against a healer, you could eventually drop their weapon and stop them picking up items. Leave webs in rooms for enemies to walk into: also causes maledicts and weapon-stickiness, and you don't even need to be there tanking the enemy! Great for fights near the village (booby trap the area and make them walk all through it). Web can earthbind flying arials into your quicksand too.
Word of recall: get 100% ASAP. Exercise your mage privilege by wording out of unwanted combat.
Drown: too specific, must be on water. Decent if on water.
Tsunami: kind of useless but needs to be mastered for more spells.
Buffet: very strong single target damage on flying enemies. Can knock them out of the room, but this triggers infrequently enough that you should not rely on it, and if you're not relying on it, it's often counter-productive.
Earth ripple: now this is fantastic: RELIABLE pushing of non-flying enemy in a direction. You can and should rely on this to push enemies to places you want them to be in (aggro mobs, traps, traps you've set, quicksand, etc.).
Mystical armor use: I always practise this since I like passive boosts on invokers, but I can't judge how strong it is.
Gel: poor-man's quicksand on water. Use when you want quicksand on water, I guess... Nifty effect: gives a +weight maledict whenever it triggers on failed flee, or on enemy falling into it.
Controlled fireball, forked lightning: similar AoE damage spells. You might use them at 51.
Noxious cloud: free passive damage/poison. If your enemy will come to you, use it. See also conglaciation for similar reasoning.
Nova: amazing on mobs, not so great on players. Sometimes worth using if they lack svs. The 2-round lag just makes it pale in comparison to iceshards or engulf.
Cone of cold: like nova. Sometimes worth using. If you pick up Absolute Zero and are ganging with a trip-lag-haver, possibly clutch.
Vitriolic Stream: the villager scout/bloodthirst-berserker killer. If villager and not scout or bloodthirsting, use AoE. If villager and scout or bloodthirsting, stand near a weak mob, engage villager, and cast vitriolic stream AT THE MOB. Stream will default to your melee target (villager). When stream is in force, it will not be spellbaned. Happy times. Otherwise rather useless.
Iceneedles: wrecks druids, savage rangers, shapeshifters, and people who don't like wearing armor (some mages wear floofy clothing instead of manly heavy armour: punish accordingly). Malediction surprisingly potent on unarmoured enemies. Piercing Needles edge helps overcome lightly-armoured enemies too. As a tanky invoker, I tend to like maledictions. Also, I think low dex does not help with dodging rain of stone, and low str means low carry weight means no getting out of quicksand...
Shields: see above.
Iceslick: mess with villagers (they take damage when they fall). Making them walk over this, and other traps, frequently, is key to winning hard fights at pre-hero vs villagers.
Dig: falling into your pit causes damage and lag. Spiked Pits makes this nasty. Great vs villagers. When in pit, you cannot be seen on where, by people outside the pit. But assassins can still try to stalk you, so don't just sit in there on Eastern if an assassin is about.
Vortex: screws up necros and other charmie-users. Hurricane gives this a damaging effect. Put one room from your quicksand for chance to throw enemy back into sand.
Engulf: probably the best single-target damage spell in the game? Low variance in damage (even against high svs), high damage, 1 round.
Geyser: not as good as engulf vs single target. Good in AoE with a big group I guess, but competes with forked lightning, controlled fireball, nova, pillar, etc.
Conglaciation: passive-damage room effect! Passive damage is always good. Also, wakes you up from thief knockout. The damage can be huge (DEVASTATES).
Pillar: like nova but slightly more damage and lightning element. Wrecks mobs. Wrecks Primeval Spirit. Blows up necro zombies.
Improved Invis: because of this spell, play human or halfie. Enemies >5 levels below CANNOT SEE YOU, no matter what. Get a sneaking item and wreck face of poor lower-level victims.
Immolation: another amazing spell. Once it "sticks", passively deals A LOT of damage over time. Passive damage good. Destroys non-defender villagers or villagers with no head, since they can't heal heal.
Quicksand: another amazing spell. It's not super-reliable, but any flee-prevention helps. Since it's a room effect, it's.. you guessed it, passive! Passive effects are king. Dropping an enemy into quicksand (dispel fly, web wings, earth ripple..) lags them 2 rounds. Failing a flee in quicksand lags them 2 rounds.
Incendiary cloud: leave this lying around in areas you know you'll fight in. You can seal kills like a "call lightning" does, by blowing up the cloud when your opponent flees too far, if your cloud coverage is wide. You can use it in a fight to try to seal a kill when they're low, by dropping a final nova, triggering the cloud explosion.
Rain of stone: kill-sealer like shield jab is. Passive, random damage and lag. Sometimes you get lucky and they get lagged 5 rounds without you doing anything. Often times this means they're dead :-) I like to keep flare, grease, web, and maybe some iceneedles on them, while they sit under the rain.
- Passive effects
I keep emphasizing this, but passive effects are king. Lots of my kills involved a streak of shield of electricity proc + charge weapon proc + equipment proc + rain of stone proc: all those happening together can easily wreck half the opponent's health, together with your active spell. I'd say passive procs were more responsible for my deathfulness than quicksand itself was.
Quicksand isn't super-reliable these days, so don't make it your only kill-sealer.
Always set up the room so that lots of passive effects are happening to the enemy at once. Even if they're smart, sometimes they get unlucky and die.
Invoker playstyle is careful, measured, and kind of like luring enemies into a trap, with you ABS/S-ed up, AoEs blasting everywhere, rain of stone, conglaciation, clouds, shield of electricity. You can easily take on 3 or 4 enemies (often more is better, especially if wielding metal), and kill one or more of them. If taken by surprise, disengage, get ready, and "set up" your game plan for the kill. You're hard to lag and pin down, so this shouldn't be hard.