Neverwinter Companions Guide For Module 13

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As part of our basic gear guides for new players, we are looking into companions in this article. Please note that this is not meant to be an in-depth guide of the best companions for certain builds, classes, or situations. We’ll just look at the general options that players have in obtaining and upgrading companions, as well as pros and cons. In contrast to similar gear guides, this one is structured a little differently. Since companions can drop virtually everywhere and can be bought from all sorts of vendors, going through a list of available types and sources does not make too much sense. Instead, we’d like to generally discuss what you should be looking for when picking your active and passive pets.

Introduction

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First of all let’s get through some basics of companions. You can have five so-called “Active Companions” that grant their “Active Bonus” to characters. On top of that, one of those is a “Summoned Companion” that is physically present, attacks mobs, and usually transfers additional stats to its owner. All pets level while being summoned, from white “common” quality up a “legendary” rank 40. The exception are VIPs, which additionally spread a bit of their gained XP to all active companions. The higher the level, the more stats, HP, and powers the companion has access to.

Leveling and Upgrading Companions

Leveling the companions is fairly easy. You can just summon them and watch them grow pretty fast, but usually experience tomes like Greater Companion Experience Treatise are also super cheap. You only need a few to get any companion to max rank in terms of XP. So I personally wouldn’t bother leveling them the hard way. Just buy the tomes you need and you should be good to go. If you open lockboxes or have an alt army you should have enough XP boosters for companions anyway.

The hard part is upgrading the companions’ quality. Going from common to legendary requires 1.8M ADs. Since it can be beneficial to max out all five active slots, that’s up to 9M ADs. The good news however is that you should only aim to get your summoned companion to legendary at first, and that there are Companion Upgrade Tokens to help you. The tokens can be acquired on the ZEN market or in lockboxes, and can be used instead of ADs to upgrade companions. If you’re a VIP, which we highly recommend, you should be able to gradually build up enough tokens to upgrade your companions every once in a while. Also beware that the Companion Upgrade Token Packs sometimes are not your best option.

What to Look for in Your Summoned Companion?

Now that you know how to level and upgrade companions, what summoned companion should you aim for? Well, as mentioned, their main purpose is to transfer stats to its owner. So first and foremost the type of slots are relevant. Defensive runeslots offer defensive stats, and are hence more viable on tanks and support characters. Offensive slots in the meantime serve DPS better.

In terms of gear slots, rings are always a superior option to anything else. Illusionist’s Gambit offers a wide range of gear for all slots, but since you can also equip most rings for characters, companions with ring slots are that much easier to gear. As rule of the thumb, you should choose the runeslots based on the type of your build and then also aim for as many ring slots as possible.

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Augment vs. Bonding

There are two ways of how companions transfer stats to their owners. Augment companions always transfer 100% of their stats, and Eldritch Runestones can add to that total. All other companions transfer stats based on the added percentage of their Bonding Runestones.

Augment companions are considered the casual and value option. Sufficiently geared they already can contribute quite a lot of stats, but get severely outperformed in endgame territory by companions with Bonding Runestones. Augments however are able to fully transfer Hit Points from gear, Bonding Runestones are not. The choice between both types is exclusive by the way. Bonding Runestones have no additional effect on Augment Companions, and Eldritch Runestones don’t work on regular Striker/Defender/Leader/Controller pets. The only other runestone that really makes sense is Empowered in case you want max HP on Augments. In all other cases the added stats from Bonding or Eldritch Runestones is worth more than any replacement.

I would definitely advise you to aim for a Bonding Companion on your main. For alts, or very specialized builds, Augments can make sense though, and you can play around with our Ratings Simulator to min/max your characters. It fully supports both Augments and Bonding Runestones. A detailed description on Augments vs. Bondings can also be found in this article that covered the last major changes to the stat transfer functionality.

Summoned Pet Powers

Since your summoned pet also actively combats mobs, its powers can matter. In the current meta, most players look for a summoned companion that adds some sort of debuff with its attacks. The Chultan Tiger is such an example. If you can’t get your hand on a companion with a debuff, it should at least feature something more than just damage. The DPS of pets is completely irrelevant and if your summoned companion does not contribute anything beyond, you should pick a different one. Please note however that the companion needs to attack mobs to proc Bonding Runestones and certain Insignia Bonuses. This makes purely defensive pets non-viable.

To sum up what you want out of your summoned pet:

  • Needs to attack at all
  • Prioritize offensive / defensive rune slots based on build
  • as many ring slots as possible
  • some powers that add debuffs; at least something of value other than DPS alone

Active Bonuses

For the remaining four “Active Companions” all that matters are their active bonuses. As general approach, purely stats based bonuses are less efficient than percentage based. +300 Power from a purple Sellsword is worse than +5% damage from the Siege Master. Examples of good companions:

There are more, but this is just to give you a general idea of what active bonuses to look out for. Active companions do not have to be geared at all. They do not transfer any stats unless they are of legendary rank, in which they add to a legendary companion bonus:

  • The first active/summoned legendary companion gives 16% stat bonus.
  • Each additional active/summoned legendary companion gives a stat bonus half the size of the previous one.
    • Two active/summoned legendary companions: 16 + 8 = 24%
    • Five active/summoned legendary companions (Max): 16 + 8 + 4 + 2 + 1 = 31%

The legendary bonus is also fully supported in our Ratings Simulator.


That’s our guide to companions. I hope it’ll help you to crawl through the available companions and pick the ones that serve you the most. Have any questions or additions? Share them on our social channels, in the comments below, or the corresponding thread on our message board!

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j0Shi

j0Shi

j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

17 thoughts on “Neverwinter Companions Guide For Module 13

  • May 3, 2018 at 8:41 am
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    Overall good. I think it’s worth mentioning the archon trio (fire/air/earth) because of how sexy they are together.
    Siege master is +4% I think, rather than +5%. DPS should generally do the archon trio + siege/alpha/erinyes + summoned tiger/sword trio.

    The difference between 3 legendary (28%) and 5 legendary (31%) is equivalent to adding racing stripes to your car.

    I like that you listed control bonus companions (cranky mage), but I would actually say control resistance is more relevant for support characters. Will o’ Wisp and especially Sylph can make a noticeable difference.

    Finally, it’s worth noting that many companions drop a dime a dozen, but you can get a handful of ~useful ones (Erinyes, Sylph, arguably War Boar) from the Zen class booster packs, which are reclaimable per character. Those can offer decent value for people with many alts.

    Reply
  • May 3, 2018 at 8:59 am
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    “Eldritch Runestones don’t work on regular Striker/Defender/Leader/Controller pets.”

    Really? So a summoned, combat capable companion with 2 OFF and 1 DEF slot, it’s not worth having 2 Bonding and 1 Eldritch? I thought that was the whole point of some of the changes?

    I’d rather have the +1200 ArPen from my Offensive Eldritch Rank 11s on my Alt’s Ioun Stones.

    Reply
  • May 3, 2018 at 9:44 am
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    So does this mean that, in most cases, any rune stone other than Bonding and Eldritch are just refining points now?

    Reply
      • May 3, 2018 at 3:29 pm
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        DOH! All those years I spent getting Arcane, Profane and Empowered to rank 10 and 11!

        And I STILL wish my Eldritch 11s gave me +3600 ArPen on the Ioun of Radiance for my OPs and GFs.

        Reply
        • May 4, 2018 at 1:00 am
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          You may very well hold on to your normal runestones. I cannot share my excel sheet here, but to my calculations, having one or two eldritch stones beats having none or three – they are relatively close in values and runestones like profane just let you specialise more in one direction, whereas eldritch gives all stats your augment has.

          Simplified: (don’ jump on me for those numbers)
          – Your augment transfers 100% of stats
          – it has 3 equipment slots worth items with 1000 stats each (=3000)
          – all equipment is double slotted with R14 (=6000)
          – Your augment has some stats on its own (=1000)

          So a fully equipped Augment without runestones adds 10000 stats to yours.
          – an eldritch R14 adds 26%
          – any other R14 runestone adds 2000

          This leads us to stats in depence of eldritch runestons:
          0 -> 16000
          1 -> 17640 (14000*1,26)
          2 -> 18240 (12000*1,52)
          3 -> 17800 (10000*1,78)

          You can play around with these numbers, depending on what gear your augment has, but I have found, that the ratio stays in this range and if you plot it as curves they tend to line up well. Due to my augment having a beltslot it is best for me to use 2 profane runestones – I need to specialise in crit.

          During Rocktober I suggested to add another Runestone with ArPen / Lifesteal as those stats are gone now, because the Eldritch alwys gives a % Bonus (offensive and defensive). I cannot agree to Eldritch stones not working on strikers / defenders etc. though, they work just as well, but are a waste as you will get mor % out of a bonding runestone (even a R7 has mor % than a R14 eldritch stone).

          Reply
          • May 4, 2018 at 9:05 am
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            The idea that we don’t choose Eldritch on non-augments because we choose bondings makes sense. You either want three bondings or you want to use Augment companions. Maybe it was the wording throwing me off.

          • May 4, 2018 at 9:08 am
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            @Kleiner-Yoda
            Wisdom much have you, Kleiner-Yoda!

            Thank you SO much for all that info, many, many thanks! I never quite got the hang of Eldritch vs Bonding. I thought that an Eldritch in DEF on a Striker or Controller (EG Sylph that has OFF, OFF, DEF) would be better for dps. But this article seems to say they do not work at all. I thought they worked constantly to make a non-Augment an Augment, but just with a low-ish percentage, like 18% at Rank 11.

            I stacked Eldritch in 3 OFF slots on an Ioun on some Alts just for the ArPen. Some TRs I stacked Arcane for Recovery etc.

            I completely agree that Eldritch should be ArPen/Lifesteal, as the basic runes would match the basic enchants. And many rank 9 and very, very many rank 8 have dropped from VIP lock boxes, although many runes are from way back in the day that I upgraded from Rank 5!

            I don’t know why they did not do this and just let Bondings proc on Augments and non-attacking Defenders once the player enters combat.

            Does companion attack speed still affect bonding procs? EG the Zhentarhim Warlock has no cool down on his main At Will attack, others have 1 sec, 1.2 sec, 2 or 3 sec etc. Does that still affect Bondings at all?

            With various promos and sales, all my new characters get five companions:

            Green Ioun of Radiance
            OFF, OFF, OFF, Ring, Waist, Ring
            Ring of Dod
            Bold Ring of the Companion +4
            Bold Belt of the Companion +4

            The gear is account-bound and so can be shared, which is fine up to Mod 9. The runes depend on class and build.

            They also get:
            Green Storm Rider
            Green Renegade Illusionist
            Blue Erinyes of Belial
            Epic Sylph

            Some have a blue Wererat Thief.

            But as I am resurrecting my old Main AC and DO, and have a bunch of Bondings chain-refined from before the new refining system, I was looking at what summoned companion to have. I have some old Loyal Avenger gear from the Gateway on them and some other companions like Sprites for APG bonus etc, and they have more Epics and a Legendary each.

            Sadly, the Legendary is the Ioun of Radiance!

            Yeah, what did I know, back in Mod 2 to 7 when I mained only DC?

            Cheers!

            🙂

          • j0Shi
            May 5, 2018 at 4:22 am
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            Thanks for the info. It’s true that in some cases min/maxing Eldritch and another Runestone that gives stats you need makes more sense. This guide however is aimed at beginners, so I purposely didn’t inclue too much theorycrafting. You can always use our Ratings Simulator for these type of calculations and compare different scenarios and layouts for your characters.

            I didn’t try to give any specific build or class advises, as mentioned in the first paragraph. It’s just a very basic guide what to look for in terms of companions.

  • May 4, 2018 at 9:02 am
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    I am also confused by the statement on Eldritch runesones. I thought the advice on this site when the recent enchant changes came out was to equip one Eldritch and two of whatever stat you need. Was that wrong?

    Reply
      • May 4, 2018 at 9:20 am
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        @alphastream
        Yes, I am also confused.

        I had the impression that a Sylph (Controller) with OFF, OFF, DEF should have Bonding, Bonding, Eldritch (unless you want the Defence from the 3rd Bonding). If all were rank 14, you’d get a constant 25.5% of the Sylph’s stats (except for Max hp) as if the Sylph was an Augment, and when the Bondings proc you get whatever two Bondings give you on top.

        This article seems to say that Eldritch do not work at all on Strikers, Controllers etc.

        I’ve not run the maths yet, so to study Yoda’s post I am going. Consider the matter will I, and tests will I run.

        But it looks fairly obvious that 3 Bondings proccing might be better than 2 plus a constant 25.5%. More mercurial, but a higher buff when it fires off.

        🙂

        Reply
        • j0Shi
          May 5, 2018 at 4:32 am
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          It is indeed my understanding that Eldritch doesn’t work on non-Augment pets and Bondings *only* on non-Augments. Otherwise Augment pets would instantly become “bis”, because 100% stat share + three Bondings would be more than Strikers etc. could provide. On the other hand, even if Eldritch worked on non-Augments, they are always the worse option vs. Bondings.

          Reply
          • May 5, 2018 at 5:58 am
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            Cheers, j0Shi.

            I get that Bondings don’t work on Augments. I was just surprised to hear that Eldritch don’t work on Strikers etc. I was sure that was the forum talk way back when Bondings were last nerfed, OFF, OFF, DEF = Bonding, Bonding, Eldritch. Maybe things changed or I misunderstood.

            I think a better thing would have been to make Eldritch have ArPen/Lifesteal, and then ALL runes having the buff bonus. As it is, I cannot boost ArPen anymore and the max buff from 3 rank 14 Eldritch would be +76.5%, plus the normal 100% from the Augment.

            This is less than a Triple Bonding Proc of +195%. Even if it lasts only 30 seconds, how many Boss fights take longer than that?
            Plus, Attacking Companions may have attack powers that shred defence etc, greatly increasing effectiveness.
            Plus, they do a little bit of damage while they attack.
            And some Active Bonuses are vastly better than others.
            Most Augment active bonuses are crap, apart from maybe the Owl Bear or Polar Bear Cub on a support character.

            I think they could have worked it so runes on Augments could have the stats as well as the buff and balance them better with Strikers, Controllers etc.

            🙁

  • May 4, 2018 at 9:18 am
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    The guide is awesome, by the way. Thanks for the continued great posts on this site. Two other things that might help.

    One, you had some great information when the enchant changes came out regarding the choice between Augment and Non-Augment based on the return from Bonding runestones. Assuming that’s still correct, mentioning that cutoff here (at what point do you get a better return from a non-Augment with Bonding) would be helpful.

    Two, when stats are provided via a companion, those are (I understand) not considered to be core stats. Builds that care about power sharing therefore won’t be sharing the power they get via their companion, because that portion of stats isn’t considered base. Explaining that would be very helpful, I think. Thanks!

    Reply
    • j0Shi
      May 5, 2018 at 4:46 am
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      This is very valid info, but might be a little too much theorycrafting for a beginner’s guide like this. I don’t expect new payers to instantly get into these things and just giving them some basic rules (augment = value/casual; bondings = endgame) is enough. But good hint about the article we had on the bonding changes. Will definitely cross-link this.

      Reply
  • May 7, 2018 at 2:56 am
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    Hi,

    1) The Siege Master referenced gives 3% not 5%, even at max quality the bonus is 4%.
    2) The fact that the legedary bonus is transfered to the summoned companion should be added in bold (a lot of ppl upgrade their summoned companion, often a temporary choice, instead of an active slot no-brainer like air archon).
    3) Missing a lot of details for summoned. Melee to receive buffs (legendary), attack speed to proc friendship

    Reply

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