The Warlord (soldier, oathkeeper) is quite a versatile class, with several quite different endgame options, e.g. retaliation, spinner or shield (see Build Compendium X (Forgotten Gods)). There is currently already one levelling guide / budget build for this specific class in the compedium (Blitz Krieg - A SSF, HC-Viable, New-Player-Friendly Warlord).
The warlord build presented here also uses a soldier skill (Forcewave) as main damage skill. Oathkeeper is here only as support class. There are levelling guides for other class combinations which either also strongly focus on the soldier side, e.g. Witchblade (Blade Arc, [220.127.116.11] Beginner's Physical Two-Hand melee Blade Arc Witchblade, suitable for first character) or Death Knight (levelling with Forcewave, end build uses Blade Arc, [18.104.22.168] Beginner's Apex Death Knight), or provide information for levelling with Forcewave (RektbyProtoss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWuJ1zz6egU). So you cannot really expect new information in this guide.
This is also only my second Warlord levelled to level 100, and the first one using one of the two often stated soldier levelling skills (Forcewave, Blade Arc). The character starts as soldier, quickly takes Forcewave and uses Forcewave as main damage skill through the entire game. Oathkeeper is taken only much later as support class, used for resist reduction (RR) and bonuses. And as quick summary: Using Forcewave was a much more enjoyable experience. A rather unusual decision here is not to use the devotion Kraken, one of the usual mandatory devotions for two hand weapon builds. The main reasons behind this decision was to be able to take Azrakaa, Oleron and Dire Bear - and using the new 22.214.171.124 Maul from the latter. It the end, the plan did not survived and Blind Fury (Oleron) instead of of Maul is used. This would allow to drop Dire Bear and take Kraken, but as the levelling was already done without Kraken, this version is posted.
Only self-found equipment and self-found crafting materials were used while levelling. Also, no mandates were transferred, writs were bought as soon as possible. However, all necessary blueprints were already found with earlier characters. Blueprints for high level relics might be problematic, so use the best one you currently have at hand (here: it should have +1 to all skills in soldier). The character was played solely in 126.96.36.199.
The attribute bonuses provided by the gear and skills allow to make almost a full cunning dump (investing all attribute points into cunning), only one point is needed to reach the necessary Spirit level. To equip the amulett an “equip item” (other gear slot - e.g. medal, with high Spirit bonus - only used to equip the gear) is worn. A possible alternative devotion setup with Kraken instead of Dire Bear could look like: Kraken version of the build (Grimtools). This version has around 5% more damage per second (dps), the sheet damage increases to 172k.
The necessary resistance can be reached without specific pre- or suffixes. Here is a skeleton guy using only pre- and suffix free monster infrequents - with already overcapped resistances (Skeleton Grimtools). Note: Some skill points are distributed differently in the final build above because of skill bonuses provided by gear.
The full campaign with both expansions was finished in all three difficulties (Veteran, Elite, Ultimate). Monster totems were activated on sight - after cleaning the surrounding area. The build becomes later rather tanky. The lack of physical resist however makes internal trauma damage a bit problematic.
All challenge dungeons were finished in ulitmate. Against Morgoneth one Aether Cluster was used. Shard 15 was reached in the Shattered Realm in ultimate for the additional skill points. The following nemesis were slain in ultimate: Grava’Thul, Kubacabra, Moosilauke and Valdaran (the only ones encountered so far). A kill of Lokarr is possible (in 188.8.131.52).
Levelling / Skills
The character starts as soldier (first mastery) and stays strong on the soldier side for the entire game. Forcewave (the main damage skill of the character) is taken with the first available skill points, and most of the skill points gained in the first 10 levels are put into Forcewave. The ideal time to take Tremor (Forcewave transmuter that allows to spam Forcewave) depends on the available weapon. An acceptable early two hand weapon allows to quickly take it, in my cases, at level 10, non was found so far and a shield based character had the highest dps. Therefore, Forcewave with cooldown and blitz as support were still used. At level 20 (rather late), a good two hand weapon was available and Forcewave with Tremor could finally be used. Max all Forcewave nodes as quick as possible, but also invest in the mastery bar (e.g. 2 points into Forcewave + nodes, 1 point into the mastery bar).
After all Forcewave nodes are maxed, invest all skill points in the soldier mastery bar until level 50 (max level) is reached. Than, start to invest in Oleron’s Rage, Field Command and Squad Tactics. After all three are maxed, take oathkeeper as second mastery (in my case at level 46). Beginn to invest in War Cry and Terrify (3 skill points for 18 RR) and put one point into Military Conditioning, Decorated Soldier, Scars of Battle, Menhir’s Will and Fighting Spirit. When 12/12 War Cry is reached, start to max the oathkeeper mastery bar. Try to farm Mogara’s Fangs (amulett) for the +1 to all skills in soldier, craft a good Devil’s Cord/Waistguard (belt, faction blueprint) for another +1 to all skills in soldier and a relic with +1 to all skills in soldier (here: Juggernaut). After having +3 to all skills in soldier, the three points invested in Terrify can be moved to Break Moral.
At around level 70, the oathkeeper mastery bar should be maxed. Invest one point in Guardian of Empyrion and than max Celestial Presence, followed by maxing Break Moral. After having as much RR as possible from skills, invest in Presence of Virtue and its node (I went for 12/5/5), put also one point in Resilence. The remaining skill points can more or less be distributed freely, I invested them in Military Conditioning, Decorated Soldier and Rebuke. An alternative valuable target could be to max War Cry for the additional range and damage reduction.
Faction-wise, I sided with Kymon’s Chosen and stayed friendly with Barrowholm (imperative). It is important to increase the reputation with key factions for the core gear as fast as possible. Revered was reached for the important factions at the end of Elite with the help of writs and a bit of reputation farming.
level 10: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/p25m69P2
level 20: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/JVlmMgMZ
level 30: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/dVbm1642
level 40: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/4VxQbnMZ
level 50: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/L2J1mj0N
level 60: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/gZwlMdkN
level 70: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/D2p93GjV
level 80: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/aZqxmDAV
level 90: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/mN4mKbY2
level 100: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/4NO1QMOV (reaching level 100)
level 100: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/mN4mKB52 (current status)
current status savegame: _Arefa.zip (1.4 MB)
Assassin’s Blade (RR)
remove Crossroad yellow
Toad (life leech)
Panther (offense, yellow affinity -> scales)
Lion (yellow affinity)
Scales of Ulcama (energy regeneration, life leech)
remove Crossroad yellow
Hammer (purple affinity)
Lizard (blue affinity)
Eel (blue affinity)
Solemn Watcher (defense)
Owl (purple affinity, reflected damage reduction)
Azrakaa (physical damage, casting speed)
Dire Bear (physical damage, defense)
Empty Throne (purple affinity, resistances)
Oleron (phyiscal damage, internal trauma)
The last devotion point can be used for one of the Procs by either Azrakaa, Dire Bear or Oleron (here: Blind Fury)
Obsidian War Cleaver: Forcewave
Fleshwarped Casque: War Cry
Mogara’s Fang: +1 to all Skills in soldier
Mark of Harvoul: War Cry and Break Moral
Solael-Sect Legguard: life leech
Elite Wendigo Tempered Cuirass: physical damage and Internal Trauma (Forcewave node)
Elite Dreeg Combatant Spaulders: physical damage and Forcewave
Wendigo Warder Girdle: +1 to all skills in soldier
Coven Storm Seals: physical damage, defense ability and Field Command / Presence of Virtue
Elite Rhowari Handguards: casting speed
Elite Rhowari Greaves: resistences
Doom: +1 to all skills in soldier and granted skill
Seal of Might: physical damage, resistances
Mark of Illusion: defense ability, sprit and energy regeneration
Dread Skull: total speed
Restless Remains: casting speed and life leech
Mark of the Traveler: Slow resistance
Eldritch Mirrow: casting speed
Titan Plating: reflected damage reduction
Potent Bysmiel’s Cunning: physical damage and internal trauma damage
Arcanum Dust: defense ability, energy regeneration, increased damage
Dreeg’s Veilward: Aether resistance
Note: The Obsidian War Cleaver in the final build was power shopped at the vendor in the Bastion of Chaos “Roguelike” dungeon. The sortiment of the vendor renews every time after returning from another level of the dungeon. However, enemies rather often drop Superior Obsidian War Cleaver of Ruin.
What Else / What Now
Go Farming: The character is able to farm totems, challenge dungeons, nemesis and low shards in the Shattered Realm in ultimate. The current list of endgame builds can be found in the Build Compendium X (Forgotten Gods).