|“||That's the Elder's Warlock. All reports indicate he's nearly as dangerous as they are when it comes to psionic capabilities.||”|
–Central Officer Bradford
"You have been judged, and I am your punishment"
The Warlock is a powerful, psionic specialist warrior that uses tricks and psionic powers to manipulate the battlefield as he wishes. Although all Chosen can and will use psionics, the Warlock uses more diverse powers like doing a chain stun, teleport allies at will, mind control, teleport anywhere on the map or summon Spectral Zombies, which will run at player characters and explode. If the Warlock is unable to use psionics, then he can still fight effectively with his assault rifle.
The best way to counter the Warlock is to use Mind Shields as this will prevent the warlock from using his more offensive psionic powers against you to devastating effect. As with all chosen, strong focus-fire perks like holo-targetting, fan fire, chain shot, dual strike and rapid fire will help whittle down the Warlock. Players are encouraged to use the Warlock's adversary (Reapers, Skirmishers or Templars) against them; they will deal additional damage.
All Chosen are immune to mental impairment effects (Disoriented, Panicked, Stunned, Mind Controlled, etc). This is particularly relevant to Warlock because it's not possible to restrict his Psionic abilities by using a Flashbang Grenade.
Spectral Zombies: The Warlock, if not engaged, will use this ability to spawn 1-4 spectral zombies (Number of zombies is based on warlock's training level, and 6 to 10 HP based on difficulty) near your soldiers. If not killed on the turn they spawned, they can prime themselves to explode upon killed.
Spectral Army: Summons a number of spectral entities (Stun Lancers) - the number depending on the Warlocks training and strength - and goes into Stasis, making him invulnerable to any damage. These spectral units has the same HP as the zombies and deals as much damage as the real units. Killing all spectral entities will make him break out of Stasis.
Teleport Ally: The Warlock can teleport another enemy unit, usually to a flanking position.
Mind Scorch: Fires a wave of psionic energy at a soldier, which will chain up to 2 additional soldiers if they're all next to each other. All soldiers will be Dazed upon hit.
Mind Control: Similar to any other alien mind control. The major difference is that the Warlock can have multiple mind controlled XCOM soliders, and due to mental impairment immunity it isn't as straight forward to break. The easiest way is to use a Frost Bomb which is available early if the Alien Hunters DLC is installed. Alternative ways include a Psi Operative (Stasis or Solace) or a level 2 bondmate if applicable. Forcing him to use Spectral Army (which puts him into Stasis) is a possible, albeit unreliable, method.
Extract Knowledge: As with all other Chosen, the Warlock can extract information on the Commander from an adjacent dazed soldier on the field. This will increase the Warlocks current knowledge, and he will teleport out immediately after.
Kidnap: As with all other Chosen, the Warlock can also choose to capture an adjacent dazed soldier - and subsequently teleport out with the captured soldier in tow. The soldier will remain unavailable until the commander starts a covert operation to rescue the soldier.
While the other Chosen can be taken out fairly rapidly, the Warlock has several tools which can make him very elusive in the field. Through training, he often gains the ability to teleport after taking damage, his Mind Scorch can daze up to three soldiers, halving your fire power and his Spectral Army will place him into stasis, making you use a lot of fire power before being able to attack him.
The Warlock's personal damage output is quite low and he can almost be thought of as a support unit, inflicting daze to multiple soldiers and summoning in additional units, rather than inflicting high damage himself.
When encountered in the field, whether to take him out first or last will depend on the type of battlefield. In a close quarters environment, such as a tunnel level, it usually a good idea to take him out as soon as possible, even if you endanger soldiers to do so, as both his Mind Scorch and summoning abilities can rapidly turn an engagement against you. However, in more open environments, his spectral soldiers will find it harder to reach your troops and your troops can spread out more, limiting the threat of Mind Scorch.
Naturally, Mindshields are very useful against all of the chosen. For the Warlock however a mindshield is even more useful as it prevents the Warlock from turning your own troops against you and makes almost all of his psionic abilities completely useless.
When the Warlock uses Spectral Army if one can kill the last of his Spectral Lancers on HIS turn through Overwatches or other measures, the Chosen will break out of Stasis with no ability to act, ending the round. This can give you the best opportunity to take him down as all of your soldiers will then have all their actions back while the Chosen could potentially be left in a fatally bad spot.
When fighting the Warlock in his stronghold, the battle becomes a damage race. As enemy units will be summoned in throughout the fight, forcing the Warlock back into his sarcophagus to heal before he can summon an additional set of enemies is vital, so as not to be overwhelmed.
It is highly advised to bring mobile troops, such as rangers (preferably equipped with mobility improving armor like the Serpent Suit or Wraith Armour) as they can flush the Warlock out when he teleports away into a hard to reach position, forcing him into the firing line of sharpshooters. The Ranger's "Rapid Fire" ability will also shoot twice without allowing him to teleport, meaning that with high critical strike chance, a Ranger can remove most of the Warlock's health in a single action. In addition, movement abilities like the grappling hook and Icarus Jump can provide you with many ways to get to the Warlock in hard to reach positions.
In addition, any soldiers who can gain bonus moves, such as the Sharpshooter with "Death From Above" or "Lightning Hands" or the Grenadier with the "Salvo" ability are extremely useful, as they will be able to help deal with additional summoned enemies and then fire again against the Warlock. For this reason, Skirmishers are extremely useful against the Warlock as making multiple attacks in a turn is their speciality and the Warlock can potentially take additional damage from Skirmishers, meaning a full upgraded Skirmisher is capable of exceeding 20 damage to the Warlock with their bullpup alone.
Rewards for Killing Edit
Unlike the other two Chosen, you only receive one weapon from the Warlock when you take him out permanently.
Disruptor Rifle - Guaranteed critical hits on psionic units. Comes with four permanently attached mods: Superior Scope, Superior Stock, Superior Hair Trigger and Superior Expanded Magazine.
Easter Eggs Edit
- One of the Warlock's dialogue references the first XCOM (2012) and its expansion, stating "The true unknown enemy is within."
- Once the Warlock's Sarcophagus is destroyed, the Warlock quickly becomes paranoid, giving some foreshadowing dialogue, likely referencing the extended ending to the expansion, and following game. [Needs Reference]
- After the Hunter or the Assassin is destroyed, the Elder in the proceeding cutscene will notice the Warlock feeling arrogant, and will punish him for it.
- Interestingly, the Warlock appears to be the oldest of the Chosen, having a wrinkled face. Whether this is due to chronological age or the intense psionic power he possesses is currently unknown.
- In the book XCOM FACTIONS its stated that there is already one chosen countering the Templars, implying that the Warlock was the first chosen created.