Dark and Darker – Ultimate Platelock Build Guide

Guide to Platelock

Basics

Current/relevant changes to Platelock

Somehow Ironmace actually managed to nerf both Blood Pact (demon form) and Torture Mastery (magic healing) Warlock without actually nerfing Platelock, which is literally the best possible outcome. Hopefully this means less magic healing caster Warlocks, as those are a pain to deal with as Platelock

Also the overall buff to Dark Reflection and Life Drain (since it was 50% originally) is a general buff to Platelock.

What is Platelock?

Platelock is an extremely versatile ‘subclass’ of Warlock that utilizes high physical damage reduction (PDR) while still retaining the ranged spellcasting options of the Warlock class, turning it into an extremely powerful melee/spellcaster hybrid. This can only be enabled through the use of the Demon Armor perk, otherwise plate armor cannot be equipped.

Why choose Platelock?

  • Even with Fighter’s new ‘buffed’ Sprint, the Platelock build makes you an infinitely better PDR Fighter since you have range with spells, extremely high armor, and access to incredible perks that make both melee and magic matchups easier (more on that later).
  • The Demon Armor perk grants Warlock access to EVERY piece of plate armor in the game regardless of class requirement, allowing for extremely efficient and unique armor pairings.
  • Being a rare pick, not many people know how to best play against it which leads to them making mistakes.
  • Gear is much more affordable.
  • Is extremely flexible and can be tailored to your playstyle, be it magic healing, Blood Pact, Ray of Darkness, etc.

Same agility stat, except chapel gives magic resist + lower ms penalty = better choice than viking.

Perks

Perks continued

  • Antimagic: Platelock’s best defense against other Warlocks and Wizards. Because plate typically reduces magic resist, this is a MUST have, just be careful of clerics.
  • Shadow Touch: Personal favorite of mine, amazing for the extra true melee damage and the healing REALLY adds up, especially with a Kris dagger.
  • Dark Reflection: You’re pretty much guaranteed to get hit when in melee range, so this perk combined with your PDR will likely hurt them more than they hurt you, especially with the scaling buff it just received.
  • Vampirism: Handy if you want a bit of extra healing with your shadow touch and Hydrain combo.
  • Soul Collector: Good with the Blood Pact skill, otherwise don’t use.
  • Malice: Really only good if you’re building a TON of Will, otherwise not too worth.
  • Torture Mastery: Its extremely risky since it TRIPLES the HP cost on spells which can really add up during a fight, not to mention you’ll need extremely specific gear to be effective. Wouldn’t recommend at the moment.
  • Dark Enhancement: The damage bonus it gives is way too low for only being applicable on like, 3 spells.
  • Curse Mastery: 30% longer MAY seem like a lot, but in reality it’ll only be like 2-3 seconds more. Not worth.
  • Immortal Lament + Infernal Pledge: Just useless. Never use these please.

Activatable Skills

  • Always take spell memory: As mentioned before, having access to Warlock’s incredible healing and ranged spells is what makes Platelock better than your standard PDR fighter, so just use them
  • Phantomize: My personal preference, as it’s extremely versatile. Need to close the distance between a ranger? Pop phantomize and use the move speed to catch up while being invulnerable to their arrows. In a tight spot? Phantomize right on out. Jumpscared by a rogue? Use it to get your bearings and prepare for a fight.
  • Blow of Corruption: A great option for incredible burst damage that’s also very effective vs magic healing warlocks/clerics, just less versatile than phantomize.
  • Blood Pact: Even with the very deserved nerf, this skill might be okay since you can use weapons. Just make sure to prioritize movespeed, as the best counter to demon form is just kiting while your health drains itself.
  • Dark Offering: Garbage. Not ever worth using and likely never will.

Spells

Required: Hydra, Lifedrain, Curse of Pain

Curse of pain is the bread and butter of your kit, as having that ‘infinite’ (no need to reload like a crossbow nor recharge like a wizard spell) ranged option is what makes Warlock, and by extension Platelock so powerful.

Hydra + Lifedrain (Hydrain) combo is your main source of healing, giving unmatched sustain.

Flame Walker (especially paired with Phantomize) and Bolt of Darkness can also work very well, but otherwise I wouldn’t bother much with the other spells

Power of Sacrifice (PoS) + Eldritch Shield (ES)

Many players who have asked me about my Platelock build had no idea about this combo, but I heavily recommend if you want a melee focus with your build.

PoS immediately gives 30 hp and 15 strength upon self cast, but at the downside of losing a very costly 36hp over the 12 seconds its active. Casting ES BLOCKS 25 of that 36 self inflicted damage, giving you all the aforementioned stats for a comparatively low HP penalty. This makes you almost unkillable in melee, especially when paired with all your PDR. ES alone is also very effective vs other magic casters, as it blocks a lot of damage and has only a 4hp cost.

Low gear level stat preference

Platelock is a build that, while it’s more effective with better gear, is still very powerful if you know how to build correctly. With LOWER levels of gear (greens/blues), the main stats I look for are:

  • Armor: try for 45-50% PDR
  • Vigor/max hp: More dependant, but around ~130hp is nice.
  • Knowledge: at LEAST get enough to access all your spells, but preferably try to get around ~15% cast speed, as it makes healing with hydrain much faster and spamming curse of pains easier in fights.

18/18 – The amount of spell memory my spell setup specifically needs.

High gear level stat preference

The true potential of Platelock really shows with better gear. With HIGHER levels of gear (purples/golds), the main stats I look for are:

  • Armor: try for 50-60% PDR.
  • Vigor/max hp: Similarly dependant, but I like around 150-160 max hp.
  • Knowledge: I shoot for around 25-30% cast speed (see the note below), though that does require about 30 knowledge to reach.
  • Agility: Since agility is increasingly important among higher gear level lobbies, I try to get around 285-290 move speed .
  • True/additional physical OR magical damage: A more optional though still very nice stat to have; only look for this if you have a ton of gold to burn or if you find a piece that fits well with the above stats.

Note: with the buff to lifedrain scaling, you might not need as much knowledge for an effective hydrain heal. Still the higher spellcasting is nice for fights.

The Gear

I have been playing almost exclusively Platelock ever since the Demon Armor perk came out for Warlock, and have since been able to figure what I believe to be the BEST set of gear for Platelock, with a few variations of course. In the next few slides, I’ll outline what is best for each slot, and the stats you’re looking for on them.

As a general rule of thumb, chest, legs, and necklaces are going to be your best source of max HP and armor, as they have the highest cap per slot.

Head

Stats to look for: Armor rating, PDR, Max HP, Knowledge, True/Add Magical Damage, Agility

Chapel De Fer

While it gives less armor, the low move speed penalty and agility are incredible. Better at higher quality levels for more Armor and Agility.

Hounskull

Best option for high survivability with its Vigor and high armor. Has a heavy move speed penalty, so be careful not to make yourself too slow.

Chest

Stats to look for: Armor rating, PDR, Max HP, Knowledge, Agility.

Fine Cuirass

The best option by far. Gives the most armor in the game, strength, and vigor, but has a extremely high move speed penalty. For the armor alone it’s very worth

Champion Armor

Has similar stats to the cuirass, but just less armor, less of a move speed penalty, and a bit of magic resist. Good if you really need that move speed, otherwise just take the cuirass

Warden Outfit

Nowhere near as viable as the other two, but fun if you really want the movespeed. Just make sure you get plenty of armor and hp to make up for what you’re missing out on.

Legs

Stats to look for: Armor rating, PDR, Max HP, Knowledge, Agility.

Plate Pants

Similar to the Fine Cuirass, the pure stats these give through armor, vigor, and strength is unmatched, but once again at the cost of a sizeable move speed penalty

Wolf Hunter Leggings

These give absolutely amazing base stats too, but in the past have always been extremely expensive if you try to get good additional stats on it. Better than lower quality of plate pants, but higher quality ones simply outscale Wolf Hunter Leggings.

Hands

Stats to look for: Armor rating, PDR, Max HP, Knowledge, Agility, True/add physical damage

Light Gauntlets

Probably my go-to gloves, as the base strength and agility are amazing stats to have. Great armor rating compared to other gloves (other than the heavy gauntlets), so these are just a very solid all around choice.

Heavy Gauntlets

Take these if you really need the HP and extra armor, though the dexterity isn’t super needed. It’s a nice stat, but it’s not a focus. I ALWAYS try to find a pair with an agility stat on it, helps make up the difference of light gauntlets by just a bit.

Feet

Stats to look for: Additional Movement Speed, Movement speed bonus (see a note below). I usually try to get double movespeed stats, like on these:

Laced Turnshoe

The best option for pure move speed, and better than Lightfoots because they give WAY more armor.

Occultist Boots

While they give considerably less move speed, the knowledge and will are really nice to have for spell casting.

Note: If you didn’t know, movement speed bonus increases your movement speed by 1 for every .3:

  • .6 = 2 ms
  • 1.5 = 5 ms
  • .8 = 3 ms
  • 1.0 = 4 ms

Cloak and Jewelry

Stats to look for: Max hp and armor (ESPECIALLY on necklace), PDR, True/Add Magic or Physical damage

Radiant Cloak: Really your best option for cloaks. None of the gear I’ve listed has knowledge as a base stat, so I typically get my big knowledge boost from my cloak and jewelry.

  • Ring of Wisdom: My first choice for rings. Typically I use two wisdom rings for that Knowledge boost
  • Ring of Quickness: These are usually pretty expensive, but I get them if I’m REALLY lacking on move speed.
  • Ring of Vitality: Similar to quickness rings, I only get these if I really need the HP.
  • Necklace of Peace: Best necklace you have available. HP becomes infinitely more valuable with high PDR, and this gives a ton of max HP.
  • Wind Locket: Only get this in legendary quality! Up until that, Wind lockets give terrible armor rating for being in such an important slot, but it’s not a bad option if you really need the armor.

The Weapons

While this definitely comes down to personal preference, I think the absolute best combo Platelock has is Kris Dagger + Crystal Ball for the following reasons:

  • Since Kris is a dagger, it has a near INSTANT pull out and holster time, meaning you can kite easier due to not always needing to have it out.
  • Kris works really well with Shadow Touch and any true physical damage you build.
  • With your casting weapon tied to your dagger, it too has that instant pullout; similarly you don’t have to keep swapping slots just to cast or attack.
  • Crystal Ball gives a good bit of additional weapon damage to the Kris.

Your choice for secondary weapon is entirely up to you, but I absolutely love the Bardiche, especially for clearing monsters. Longsword works well too.

Below 25 gearscore lobbies build

For general reference of how I go about getting base stats, here’s my standard build for normal lobbies. All gear is common quality, EXCEPT the bardiche which is Poor quality.

  • Great Helm
  • Fine Cuirass
  • Rawhide Gloves
  • Plate Pants
  • Occultist Boots
  • Kris Dagger + Crystal Ball
  • Poor Bardiche
  • Blue Necklace/ring of whatever you want, likely with Additional Spell Memory Capacity to access all your spells.

High end HR build

For further reference on how I orient builds, here is the exact gear I was using at the time of writing this. Not everything is perfect, but this is pretty close to what the highest end of a Platelock build will get you.

Counters and Weaknesses

If you’re not a Platelock player, don’t look at this slide

Like literally every class/build in this game, it has weaknesses, but honestly enough it’s not overwhelming. That being said, your biggest threats are going to be:

  • True magic damage clerics (antimagic doesn’t protect vs divine magic).
  • True magic damage Wizards.
  • True magic damage Torture Mastery caster Warlocks (not gonna be as many of these around anymore).
  • True phys damage Rangers/Bards with Survival bows.

Notice a common theme?

Regardless, while magic is definitely a counter, don’t forget about eldritch shield! That is your best defense against magic damage for a very low hp cost. Similar with Phantomize being a great counter and gap closer to rangers. Platelock has a lot of tools at its disposal, and if you use them right you can beat any class pretty easily.

Other Tips and Tricks

  • It’s important to take shield potions, but do NOT drink one while your eldritch shield spell is active, as it will replace the effect.
  • If you’re considering using Phantomize to chase someone down, put your weapons away for max movespeed, and make sure they don’t have any doors nearby to shut in your face.
  • Bardiche can 2-tap a lot of common monsters like goblins or skeletons with headshots, making it super efficient for clearing.
  • As extremely important as armor is, HP is often more valuable; your armor won’t do much vs magic users, but your HP will certainly give the padding you need.
  • Limit test! You’ll be amazed at how effective this build is, and how far you can push it.
  • For skins, both the Nightmare Skeleton or the Frost Walker work, but don’t stress if you don’t have either.
Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7106 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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