City of Heroes Support Guide
City of Heroes Support Guide by Silas
Welcome, dear reader to my support guide. I’ve been writing guides for all the support sets I play for the Champion forums but figured they could ostensibly be helpful if presented to a wider audience.
To date I have written guides for Cold Domination, Kinetics, Thermal Radiation and Pain Domination. Guides for Radiation Emission, Dark Miasma, Trick Arrow and Sonic Resonance are forthcoming. Watch this space, etc.
So why should you care? Because other than my obvious requirement for Internet Validation, I have been known to occasionally know stuff. And stuff is good to know. But hey, don’t trust me, here are what others have to say about my prodigious skills:
“Having teamed with him once, I will make sure that I absolutely will…team with him again”
“Silas is easily the most…player I’ve met”
“Could be much improved.”
See? I am the most player they have ever met! How’s that for a glowing recommendation?
Introduction II: The Introducening
Shamelessly ripped from my first post:
So. Why play support? Well, while your scrapper is totally the stabbiest and we’re all super impressed, they’re fairly one-dimensional in what they bring to a team. For future reference, when I say support I’m referring to Corruptors, Controllers and Defenders. Also MMs I guess. But like, they generally only buff their pets. Why yes, Painbringer that Lich. Go team. Super effort.
Anyway. If you’ve only played blasters/scrappers/tankers/other totally boring things support might be something you’re interested in trying. Also, Scourge is the awesomeness and women will want to touch you. Most definitely. And by most, I mean highly, and by definitely, I mean unlikely.
I’m generally writing these from the perspective of a Corruptor/Offender, so if you want a guide on how to be the bestest empath with one attack you may want to look elsewhere. Like a vat of boiling grease. Just stick your head in and take a good look around. I’m sure you’ll find something.
A Note on the Arctic Fog, Steamy Mist and Shadowfall Slotting
I recommended people enhance the resistance over the defense, but it’s since been pointed out to me (thanks MaxLongstreet ) that you’re much better off enhancing the defense. So this is a total mea culpa, sorry people. My resistance slotting tendency is a huuuuge throwback to my first D3 where the only thing that had any kind of psionic res was Shadowfall and /DA scrappers. So for endgame stuff, slotting the resistance was important to keep the Tankers on their feet.
Nowadays, with the prevalence of IO bonuses and VEATs, you’re better off slotting for defense. I’ve since updated all the slotting sections to reflect this.
Without further ado:
Table of Contents:
I: Cold Domination
III: Pain Domination
IV: Thermal Radiation
V: Radiation Emission
VI: Dark Miasma
VII: Sonic Resonance
VIII: Trick Arrow
IX: Storm Summoning
I: Cold Domination
Let’s start with Cold Domination, because it is The Awesome and this is my guide so I do what I want, you’re not the boss of me. I’ll be providing a brief description of the powers and some tips on how to use them, no numbers because I am lazy. Go look in Mids, you bums.
Why Cold Is Awesome And You Want To Be One:
• Huge ST debuffing
• Solid defense buffs
• Lots of –res all up in yo’ bidness
• AoE stealth so you can harass pug ITFs
• Fast animations (a little on the boring side but whatevs)
|Infrigidate: slow, defense debuff and hefty fire damage debuff.|
Slotting Recommendation: Set mule if anything, really. It’s great at lower levels but that’s about it. Once you’ve got Sleet and decent accuracy slotted/set bonus accuracy it’s a waste except to debuff fire damage dealing AVs or bosses.
How to Use: At lower levels, as your opener to make sure the rest of your stuff hits. It’s a decent defense debuff. Defense debuffs aren’t really needed once you’ve got good accuracy slotted and/or set bonuses and the times when you’re having trouble hitting, Sleet will do a much better job of debuffing.
|Ice Shield: Ally +def (smash/lethal/melee) also some +res to fire/cold I guess
Slotting Recommendation: Defense IOs, as long as you’re getting about 16-17% for Corrs or 22% for Defenders You Are Doing It Right. Good place for LotG 7.5s if you gots the money.
How to Use: Keep up on teammates. Since the change to ally shield buffs, buffing an entire team is now trivially easy. No excuse to not keep everyone shielded. Regardless, keep them on people, that way you get to be the squishiest person on the team and that’s always fun. In order to make the most of the AoE buff, try and target someone in the middle of things to hit with the buffs. That way you should get most people and can just single buff someone if you miss them.
Notes: Unfortunately due to the ice shields having a resist component, they are unaffected by Power Boost unlike the FF shields. Sadface.
|Snow Storm: Targeted foe AoE –slow –rech toggle|
Slotting Recommendation: Eh, one or two end rdx and some slow. Honestly:
How to Use: Don’t. Maybe grab it when you’re low level and you need something to slow lots of dudes, but that’s generally not necessary. The AoE slow is nice, but Sleet does slow anyway and if you’re doing your job stuff should be dying fast enough that you don’t need a slow activating end hog one trick toggle to keep them in place. If you must get it because you wish to spite me, throw it on the dude most likely to live longest. Bosses, EBs, AVs.
|Glacial Shield: Ally +def(ranged, AoE, energy, negative)|
Slotting Recommendation: Same as Ice Shield
How to Use: Same as Ice Shield
|Frostwork: Ally +hp +res(toxic)|
Slotting Recommendation: It’s fine with just the base slot. It’s of relatively limited use, but the use it has it serves perfectly well with the base slot. Chuck a heal in it and call it done.
How to Use: I didn’t have this in my build when I originally wrote this guide. I’ve since picked it up. As I said above, it’s of limited use because the buff simply isn’t that overwhelming. It’s a good buff to throw on anyone with low hp, but don’t bother maintaining it. I use it very rarely, but it is handy sometimes (like the LRSF) where the few extra hundred points of hp can make the difference between someone faceplanting or staying on their feet.
|Arctic Fog: Team PBAoE Stealth, +def(ranged, AoE, melee) +res(fire, cold, energy, slow)|
Slotting Recommendation: Enhance the defense. While the resistance number is bigger, the defense applies to all types . It’ll stack a lot better with the defense from your team as well as whatever defense you get (Scorpion Shield, IO bonuses etc). The resistance is nice but not worth enhancing. This is also a good place to put Karma/Steadfast –kbs. No, this does not give the –kb to affected teammates. They need to go buy their own damn –kb IOs.
How to Use: Toggle on, do not toggle off unless a hostage/NPC needs shuffling around. Stealth is happy fun times, stacks with travel set stealth IOs/Super speed for full invis. If you are not a hateful misanthrope like me maybe try positioning yourself in the back row of squishies so they get the resistance buff and stealth.
|Benumb: Ranged –damage (all)-regen, -end, -special|
Slotting Recommendation: 2 acc, 2-3 recharge.
How to Use: Hit big baddies with this after Infrigidate to make them hit like kittens and go down like a catgirl in Pocket D. Recharge is a little on the long side so you want a fair amount of +rech to keep this as close to perma as you can. Single handedly reduce AVs to wussies and /e flex like a ******* boss.
Notes: This works primarily as a reverse Power Boost, but this isn’t too noticeable in PvE for most mobs. This should not discourage you from throwing it at every big bad you see to ruin their day. Which will be very, very brief.
Yeah so it’s a targeted location AoE rain with hell of –def and –res. It also slows and has a chance to KD stuff inside the rain.
Slotting Recommendation: 3 recharge, an Achilles proc or I will shank you, defense debuff to taste. The Achilles proc has a chance to hit every dude in the rain every 10 seconds resulting in a whole bunch of dudes with a whole bunch of shot resistances. You Want This™.
How to Use: Frequently and often and with great regularity. Should be your opening power for most spawns so the lamentations of their women come speedily. It’s easily perma-able and stacks with itself if you can summon another one while the first is doing its thing. This gets very, very nasty. This power is half of the reason you want to build for heavy +rech with a cold. You can also drop it from out of LoS, so that’s nice, if of limited utility.
|Heat Loss: Hell yes, babies. Works like Fulcrum Shift, but with +end, +rec for your mans and –res and slow for the enemy guys.|
Slotting Recommendation: As much recharge/end mod as you can get, with respect to ED. Condolences to your wife, beeteewee. I went with 6 Efficacy Adaptors.
How to Use: This power can be tricky to understand if you’ve never played with Fulcrum Shift. Basically, a recovery buff radiates from you, as well as a smaller one from every enemy affected. This means if you’re standing right next to a single foe, you’ll get 2 Heatlosses, one from yourself, one from the enemy. This means if you’re right in the middle of a huge spawn you can cap your recovery.
What’s even better is if you hit enough guys you can recover right through your nuke end crash. Your toggles will still drop (usually, unless you get lucky with a P.Shifter proc) but it doesn’t matter as you’re still recovering anywhere from 3-4 end/sec. It’s also a huge resistance debuff, all the more reason to nuke right after using it. I have so much love for Sleet->Heat Loss->Ice Storm->Blizzard. Especially on herded Cimeroran rooftops in the last ITF mission. Mmmmmmmmmm. Ticking -16s. Stuff dies in a hurry. This is the other reason you want hefty +rech on a cold. Delicious.
Notes: Make a macro for this if you feel the need to announce that you are doing your job every few minutes or if there is a kin but they are terribad. Honestly, I don’t think its necessary. Hit it on big spawns and proceed to bring the ruckus, but give the melees a chance to get in for the buff You’ll be staying at range for most of the time, so you running into melee should be enough of a hint that Good Things™ are about to happen. For most people. Who aren’t creti-okay maybe it’s not enough of a clue. Their loss.
Now for the fun part:
|How To Not Be Awful:
• Keep team shielded. No excuse not to now, really.
• Keep big baddies debuffed into the Stone Age. Seriously. Benumb will mess up an AVs day. If there’s a buff target and it’s not Benumb’d, you’re Doing It Wrong. Infrigidate is good to throw on fire damage dealing bosses or AVs but Benumb is the real gem. It does have a lengthy recharge though, so make sure to throw down Sleet first so it hits and to put it on a target worth debuffing.
• Blast, curse you, blast. If people are shielded and Sleet has been laid down, the AV is sloooowly trying to run away throw ice/radiation/fire/bullets(lol)/whatever at all the guys who will now die like stuff that dies fast. Uh, shaken babies? I don’t know.
• While you can be in melee if you want (hooray Fulcrum Shift) most of your powers are ranged so you don’t need to be. If you feel your team will otherwise eat paint and die feel free to try to attempt to herd them inside your Fog. Molestations may occur. These things happen. It’s a risk you take when you want fire/cold resistance, what can I say.
• Build for +recharge with IOs if you can. I would say aim for about 60-70%, but I’m a huge recharge junkie soooooo you could probably get away with less. You just want Heat Loss, Sleet and Benumb to be up when you need them. Which can be pretty often, depending on how not-awful your team is.
• +Ranged defense is also a good idea, which is pretty easy to softcap. (sup, Thunderstrike)
• If you’ve got it, Aim can be good to hit before Infrigidate to ensure it hits.
• Prioritize. You’re not gonna be as busy as a kin, but you’ve still got a lot of buttons and they are all super snazzy. I generally lay down my debuffs first, just Sleet and/or Heat Loss if there’s nothing particularly ugly that would warrant Infrigidate+Benumb, buff the team if they need it and then starting killing face.
• Speaking of buffing the team…I don’t wait until the shields are flashing to refresh them. I’ll refresh them every few spawns, depending on team speed. I find the team buff monitor thingie distracting so I don’t bother, it’s also a hassle to look along an omfghueg line of buffs to see if they do or do not have your shiny ice shields. If someone whines because their shields drop for a bit, apply boot directly to face. If their build is bad enough they have to have the shields up at all times to survive they’ve got worse problems than you being lax with your buffing. That said, do try to keep the shields up because they are super good and also nice.
• Fire Heat Loss off on the nastiest dude in a spawn or the guy most in the center, depending on the situation. If its an AV spawn, hit the AV as his dudes will fairly quickly anyway. If it’s a somewhat spread out spawn and you target some Immunes Surgeon way off the hell to the side so the debuff radiates just about nowhere you deserve facepunchings. Pow pow.
|What Goes Well With Cold|
There are several powersets that complement Cold well. I personally went with Ice Blast because it fit thematically, the slows stack and Blizzard is the shizzle. It’s a good option because the two-three storms absolutely shred whatever is in their area and you can drop them and go about your other business. Like killing people. The ST hold is also handy for normal PvE play.
Fire Blast is a good option for all the reasons its normally a good option, that is to say FIRE BURN DIE DIE DIE. Again, the Rain goes nicely with Sleet and if you really need me to say more to convince you that Fire is worthwhile perhaps you should have an early night with a bleach nightcap.
Dark Blast is another option for more dots more dots okay stop dots. The self heal is nice and its ranged nature works well with cold. The downside imo is a lack of Aim and I prefer a targeted AoE to a narrow as hell cone.
There aren’t really any sets that work too much –against- Cold, it’s just a question of what you find to be most synergistic and what you like most. For the most part, Cold handles itself admirably so it’s up to you to decide how you want to kill the mans you just debuffed into the Stone Age. Except maybe like, Energy Blast. Because it is generally poop and KBs dudes out of your sleet which is no fun. Although the Sleet debuff is sticky so they’ll still have it on them. But whatever.
Okay, how about this. You want a blast set that has decent synergy with Cold (like Ice or Fire) and has AoEs to make use of the mahoosive –res debuffs you’ll be laying down.
How Silas Be Doin’ It
Here’s a screenshot of how I have my UI set up for my cold.
|(NB: This section is out of date and is included only for completeness sake) Notes:|
• Accolades. Nice to have for +hp which is always nice for support characters as well as Demonic coming in handy for bumrushing AVs. Soooo…I would recommend you get them if you’re gonna be serious about the character, but I’ve only got them on my Cold. Handy to have, but you won’t suck without them.
• Recharge. I’ve got 78% which I’ve found to be plenty for teams, soloing and SFs. I’ve got a good ST attack chain and reasonable uptime on Benumb/Heat Loss as well as stacking Sleets. What the observant may notice is that I do not have Hasten on my bar. The psychic will notice that I do not have Hasten, full stop. While Hasten is awesome and I’d recommend it for almost any support build, especially one with long recharge Awesome Buttons like Cold, for aestheticcy reasons I’m not taking it on my cold till I can recolour it. If you don’t care about that kind of thing though, I would recommend you pick it up.
• Aid Self. This is another more personal choice, I just wanted the self heal for soloing. It comes in handy occasionally on teams but you’d be fine with greens.
• Some stuff about stats I chose to monitor and why:
-Recharge Bonus: this is because of how important recharge is to a cold, so I like to see where I’m sitting on this one.
-ToHit Bonus: Another Nice To Know kind of deal, I’d like to be aware of when my tohit is shot to sh*t before I waste Benumb.
-Damage Bonus/Recovery: Because when both of these babies go blue you can bet your *** I’m dropping Blizzard like a BOSS.
-Smashing defense: it was this or lethal, really. Same difference. I monitor this so I know when I’m softcapped to s/l because of eating purples/VEATs/another cold who doesn’t suck/whatever so I can trow ice with abandon.
Update the Second:
I’ve since respecced my Cold. Went for softcapped s/l defense and higher recharge. Now updated for i19.
Here’s the data chunk for anyone interested:
| Copy & Paste this data into Mids' Hero Designer to view the build | |-------------------------------------------------------------------| |MxDz;1594;751;1502;HEX;| |78DAA594594F135114C7EFB4534A4B4B5B6B6929502C8BECD34E00D7071336ADD28| |4252E516353612893D499A614236F7E005C1FC4257E0A351A082A263EF9595CBE41| |3DCBA555FBE804FEBFB967CE3DDBDC69F6DE8C4F88FBE78412982EE6373672D376B| |9BC59AAD86557365F3057845B0811AF19734B79AB60AC6A9915233705FE9544FDD1| |D4E6DA9A366D17577333F61DD3CA574CDB0A65AC75A36C5815EDF0C6BB60DB456DB| |96418AB7EBA9D330BEB15D32AF868356FE44BB008D12263DD3537CCDB66D1AC6C75| |CC96CC15AD9E2D9B8712B2508151DE8A418D93F09F7208795555F10230201C2F19C| |F09EA0EE3156157A9B9C31F5C220D01141940E19D4D1CA78903347380660EB007BE| |4E76773A23B0D0852F48680D33BC841E18A28BE2561DAE1181A6BEBF300E79DD32A| |F3BE34053F0026396109F2324CE13F6219647E6F5705E2FE7F5725E1FE7D5C1BB45| |866D99A4AD6327191384D438E304A1174AF0CB79F8691E0A580232516011D023861| |7184B84D16502C60EB19F2BA453B02369C618E1A8C64811DA92D4F5272832CC6371| |86B98D04179E6C5670BE4995E0842A221C5D8944C1D425DA6204159E44658428478| |8F12062BC35CE81DAC0AF9DFD443BFB7D06ED90AD75C4A99E4E097E270946D48D89| |786B170D0527D82DA7DAFD969C8EBD63BC61BC27243F100E149C1027EAF9CA83FEC| |6380084452F27FA027EFD74FAAAAEFE87E470FC01639BF18430F098F1885082F337| |282730C82F7F882730C41318E209C4A08D113981111E3F1E014DF6A17103296E47E| |73E74EE43E73E3EC2EEB41C44FA12A5E8546B1F9053F0F1E8E37331204F091F8F79| |F5DF0F6D41AD7D6842214BA6EEF35FD72EFC9C7168CFA217EE9641C46594ABB8BC8| |6721DE506DA6EA2DC42C9A154F77C8755044E6141A751CEA09C45890441B6D1D38D| |DF550B8A0FC58FD28A124009A28451E228AF51AA9E60EDD7A2FA1D2B50FEECFF478| |3E567DDA2285768E06317E965FEAA3F71284FE91C8CEE309E11D20D031F6EB0E80D| |968906CB7883A53EE8DFC8F73740| |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
|Ways It Could Be Improved:|
Getting more recharge and defense. It was a tough call but I settled for not being softcapped until Fog gets fixed. It gave me more build flexibility and if I really need the extra defense in the meanwhile I can eat a purple.
Arctic Fog has been fixed for some time now, so my build is fully softcapped to smashing/lethal. Feels good, man.
Almost everyone seems to have a kin, but for such a straightforward set people seem to have a lot of difficulty not being terribad with it.
Why Kinetics Is Awesome And You Want To Be One:
• Zomghueg damage buffs to cap everyone’s damage like a boss
• Nifty recharge and recovery buff
• Big dang ol’ heal
• Big dang ol’ endurance recovery power
• Hell of recharge for yourself
• AoE jump buff if that is your thing I guess
• Pretty respectable damage debuffs
• Granites will want to be around you, if you like things that are Bad
• A PBAoE KB toggle if you like things that are Bad but are maybe sometimes a little useful
• If you’re really good at it people will make little earwax statues of you and carry a lock of your hair in a locket around their neck so you’re always by them and never far away and build tiny little shrines to you in their rooms (sup Amy)
• Great unsuppressed personal mobility. Except in pvp. Haha, newpvp.
• You will get all the ladies*
*Disclaimer: You will not actually get the ladies
|Transfusion: foe –regen –end, AoE team heal|
Slotting Recommendation: Get as much heal/acc in this as you can. Recharge doesn’t need too much work as it recharges fast as is
How to Use: As well uh, a heal. Except for against AVs/GMs, spam that chit. The –regen comes in handy as well as keeping everyones health bars topped off. The way this works is, you hit a dude and he loses some endurance and gets a –regen debuff, and a pet is summoned at his location which heals everything in its area then dies. Fun Fact: On GMs and other huge things like an Empaths ego, the visual effect of Transfusion is huge, this is misleading as the radius of the heal (20 feet) does not change. You can file this particular fact under More Information Than You Require.
|Siphon Power: foe –damage team +damage|
Slotting Recommendation: Barely. An accuracy and a recharge, if anything. An accuracy in the default slot is fine.
How to Use: Once you get Fulcrum Shift the damage buff it offers is negligible, but still worth throwing out for the debuff on AVs if you’ve got a spare second or two and nothing else worth throwing out. This is not gonna happen much because Kinetics is busier than DXP AE buildings. Here’s an idea of the stuff you should prioritize over throwing out Siphon Power:
|Things You Should Be Throwing Out Before Siphon Power In No Particular Order:|
• Fulcrum Shift
• Hard hitting blasty stuff
• Siphon Speed
• Speed Boosts
If all of those thingies are recharging or not needed, go ahead and do the little damage buff/damage debuff fist grab, you stud you.
|Repel: PBAoE KB toggle|
Slotting Recommendation: Please don’t?
How to Use: Please, please don’t? The KB is radial which is the worst kind of KB, its an end hog, its totally counterproductive to your best team buff but still more useful than a Granite. Oh ho ho. Seriously though, skip this. It is bad and if you take it you should feel bad.
|Siphon Speed: Foe –rech –speed self +speed +rech|
Slotting Recommendation: 2 acc, 2 rech
How to Use: Delicious. Self 20% recharge buff, stacks with itself. Keep 2-3 of these badboys on you at all times is A Good Thing™ Punctuate your main kineticcy things (Transference/fusion, FS, blasting like a boss) with this. Also set your build to have it quadruple stacked, turn a FFB proc on and brag about your high recharge build on the forums. The speed it gives you is awesome for mobility and zooming in, dropping your payload and zooming out again before anyone notices you were there to begin with. Which is what women want, right?
|Increase Density: Ally +res (Smashing/Energy) Stun/Immob/Hold Protection and Resistance, KB protection plus it slows them but hardly|
Slotting Recommendation: I keep mine unslotted for her pleasure. A single res IO is fine, although it’s a decent spot for a Steadfast –KB IO
How to Use: It’s not a priority, but do pick it up if you can. Hit people with it if they call out a mez by saying “zzz” or something. Bear in mind it won’t break sleeps, but those generally break pretty easily by themselves in teams with AoEs flying around. Also if someone rezzes with an Awaken it’s nice to hit them with this and SB so they can get back to the fight quickly.
|Speed Boost: Ally +speed +recharge +recovery +res (Slow) +dependency on caster –cave navigation|
Slotting Recommendation: Uh, just like, an end mod. Put a few in there if you really want to, but its really fine with the base slot. It’s base recovery value for Corruptors and Controllers is more than 3 slotted Stamina so….yeah. If someone has this on them and Stamina and is still running low (without being sapped) they have serious build issues.
How to Use: Keep up on team mates. Since the buff change, this is now ridiculously easy. You’ll have so much more spare time! It’s fantastic. We are moved to tears by the beauty of the thing. Target someone roughly in the middle of everyone, hit SB, marvel as everyone in a huge radius is now SBed. The miracles of technology, what what?
|Ways In Which You Can Do It Wrong:|
• Hitting people with it at the beginning of a mission and then never again
• Not having SB to begin with because you fail at basic and fundamental things
• Playing heroside where people apparently are playing on abacuses so they don’t want the speed buff because it crashes them and ugh beads go just everywhere. I’ve never encountered this villside, so…yeah.
|Inertial Reduction: PBAoE team +jump +wheeeeeeeeeeee|
Slotting Recommendation: Eh, a single jump IO.
How to Use: Whenever you need vertical clearance? I took this on my kin because I didn’t want to take cj/sj and super jumpyness that only needs a single powerslot is a pretty good deal imo. If you have a powerslot and lack vertical movement, grab this. Other than that its skippable.
|Transference: Foe –end team +end|
Slotting Recommendation: I went with 6 efficacy adaptors. I think. Okay, I am reasonably certain I did. Anyway, you want to max out the acc/rech/end mod on this.
How to Use: Same as Transfusion basically, except its +end instead of a heal. Use it whenever you’re running low, kaboom instant full blue bar happy times. The recharge is longer (30s versus 8s) than Transfusion, but you should have decent recharge from Siphon Speed and IOs if you’re not a failbot, designed to succeed only at failing. And besides, if a full endurance bar every 20ish seconds isn’t enough you’ve got bigger issues. In AV fights you don’t need to spam this like Transfusion because it doesn’t have any kind of debuff and people proooobably won’t need their end bars topped off because of Speed Boost. Which you’re keeping on them. Right? Right. So Transference is more for you since you’ll be the only poor sumbitch on the team without SB(probably). My condolences.
|FUH FUH FUH FUUUUUUUUUULCRUM SHIIIIIIIIFT: Foe –damage ally +damage|
Slotting Recommendation: Max out accuracy and recharge.
How to Use: This power can be tricky to understand if you’ve never played with Heat Loss(heehee). Basically, you target a dude and hit it. The guy you hit and every guy in an area around him gets a damage debuff. As well as this, a damage buff radiates out from every target hit as well as from you.
The damage buff from you is greater than the one from the targets (40% vs 20%, iirc) This means you yourself will always get a minimum of one damage buff, the one radiating out from you. This also means the best way to cap your own damage as well as that of your team is to be right in the middle of the spawn, where everyone else can get in to get all the enemy radiating buffs as well as yours.
So. Run in, hit this. Go nuts. This has a fastish recharge and stacks easily. Assuming reasonable spawn to spawn speed, you should be able to keep most people at the damage cap as long as they’re in range.
Notes: The AoE on this is huge. Really, really huge. So you’ll want someone else to have pissed off the dudes before you run in with this, or eat purples, or softcap s/l defense, or melee, or hit Transfusion, or whatever. Just be aware you may catch other spawns with the edge of FS if you target a guy to the side of a given spawn. Oh, also use this a lot in AV fights, even if there are no random lil dudes to fuel it. It’s still a 60% damage buff that stacks with itself and Siphon Power and –damage is always nice on AVs who can hit cheatyface hard sometimes (sup States)
Now for the fun part:
|How To Not Be Awful:|
• Prioritize. Kinetics is very fast (assuming you’re doing it right) and you’ll always have a lot to do. People will expect you to keep SB on them as well as keep their damage buffed to all hell. So sometimes you have a bunch of buttons to press and expectations and oh god its so difficult why am I playing a kin oh god. And then you break down and cry. DO NOT DO THIS. It is important that you not cry because the tears of your sorrow will blur your vision.
For your convenience, I have edited a flowchart for you.
Gaze Upon Its Majesty:
How To Not Be Awful Continued:
• As the chart so clearly indicates, keep people SBed. I said it a bunch in the stuff for the power itself so if it hasn’t sunk in by now you are probably a lost cause. I am sorry.
• While ID can break stuns, immobilizations and holds, it will not break sleeps. While as I mentioned this isn’t a big deal as not much uses sleeps and it will usually get broken by damage anyway, if someone is slept and there’s an enemy dude right next to them, hit Transfusion off the dude. Why yes, heals do break sleeps. Isn’t that fun? This is by no means a priority, but y’know, Nice To Know.
• Try and not get held/stunned/*****’d yourself. Siphon Speed gives you mobility, I recommend putting a stealth proc in your travel power of choice as well as investing in +hp or defense from IOs. You can break other people free from mezzes but not yourself so try to keep yourself out of trouble. This is not to say hang back, because that would make you a total wuss. You don’t want to be a wuss, do you? So just, exercise an iota of discretion. While for average PvE you can go ahead and rush headfirst into spawns with an insp or two and an epic shield, a spawn full of Chief Mentalists and Soldiers miiiight warrant that you wait for someone a mite stompier to get in there first. Dead kins are not helpful kins.
• You’re not a healbot. While Transfusion is a pretty burly heal, its nature of radiating from an enemy can make it fiddly to heal random blasters trying to not become vengbait. Target through whoever is getting whomped, hit Transfusion and hope they had their aggressor targeted and close by. In my opinion, there’s not much more you can reasonably do to help them beyond killing whatever it was harassing them. If you want to babysit and chase down dying people play a therm/emp/pain, not a kin. As far as I’m concerned, if someone is getting Rick James’d they can either eat insp, rely on the therm/pain/emp or stand right next to something and hope you’re not awful at kinning.
• Fulcrum Shift should almost always be your opening power. Especially if people already have a FS on them once they move onto the next spawn. You want them to get the biggest buff possible before the mobs are wiped off the face of the planet in two shots because everyone is rocking along at the damage cap. Work on your timing so you can zoom into a spawn right behind the brute/tank/scrapper so you see the mobs turn around and fire off their alpha volley. You should already be in the spawn once they’re attacking the brutankpper with their melee. Ideally, you’re far enough behind that very few (if any) of the spawn chooses to shoot their guns/lazers/fireballs/what have you but you’re close enough to be mid spawn for the FS before they all die. Keeping a few Siphon Speeds on you for mobility helps this.
• Being a kin, you don’t have any hard mezzes as such, but you do have pretty reasonable end drain. On small teams it can be worth hitting the bosses with Transference even if everyone is full on blue just to bring the incoming damage down a bit.
• Nuking. You can self-cap your damage and recover your endurance bar entirely with two clicks. There is no reason you should not be nuking a lot. Carry a lot of small blues to eat right after you nuke so you can hit Transference and be right back in the action. Use your discretion, obviously, if stuff is already dying in the first few seconds because you’ve got ballsy fire blasters who have caught onto this FS business and are blowing stuff up in two hits it’s probably not worth it as you won’t have anything alive to ‘ference off of.
• Blastblastblastblast. You’re gonna have buffed recharge and damage. Use it. I like to punctuate my kinning with blowing dudes heads off with Cosmic Burst. Use your AoEs. Just, you know, kill stuff. With FS you’ll even have decent damage as a Defender. Yes, really! So blast.
• Copy paste aaaaand: Fire Heat Lo-wait no Fulcrum Shift off on the nastiest dude in a spawn or the guy most in the center, depending on the situation. If its an AV spawn, hit the AV as his dudes will fairly quickly anyway. If it’s a somewhat spread out spawn and you target some Immunes Surgeon way off the hell to the side so the debuff radiates just about nowhere you deserve facepunchings. Pow pow.
|What Goes Well With Kinetics:|
Generally, stuff that can put out a lot of AoE damage. Fire and Radiation are good for this, although Radiations TAoE is slooooooow.
I went with Radiation for the second AoE and aesthetics. Cosmic Burst is also a fantastic power, if less damaging than say Blaze. Irradiate also works pretty nicely right after a Fulcrum Shift, especially if you’ve got an Achilles Proc in it for more damage multiplying goodness.
It seems a little wasteful to go with a set that lacks in significant AoE, but I’ve seen Ice/Kins do good things so they can work too.
How Silas Be Doin’ It
|Notes on old Setup
• Only 40ish% rech? Gasp! But friends, bear in mind the 20% from Siphon Speed. I can generally get 2-3 of these stacked, bringing me to 80-100% not counting Hasten. I find this is more than enough.
• I’ve circled Cosmic Burst, Siphon Speed and my 2 AoEs as my attack chainy things. This is true, except for Neutron Bomb. I only get to use that on slow teams. But when I’m not doing main kinetics stuff, it’s those three that I’ll be throwing out.
• I monitor damage bonus because despite not strictly being a main damage dealer, monitoring my own gives me a rough idea of whether or not other people will be capped. Also makes me want to nuke >.>
• I don’t monitor any kind of defense/res numbers because if I want to be durable I’ll eat a few purples. If I had gone the IO melee or s/l softcap route I would be monitoring that.
|New Setup Notes
• Much more global recharge. The recharge I used to have was enough for what I wanted to do with the build at the time, I’ve since changed my mind about what I want. I still think 40-50% is plenty for a kin, I just wanted EVEN MOAR. more speed more speed go go go
• Dropped IR. If I had room I’d have taken it, but I didn’t, so I didn’t. Hurdle + CJ is plenty of vertical clearance, with occasional use of jetpack/jump pack.
• Decided to go for softcap smashing/lethal defense. Eating purples when needed was fine for my old build but now I like to push it a lot more so I need that kind of defense without inspirations. With softcap s/l defense I can more or less zoom around wherever I want, especially handy for melee. High damage mitigation regardless of insp/team makeup = win.
• Have since accoladed the character. Much more hp, Demonic for shenanigans. Result? Happy Fun Kinny Times.
Build Chunk Updated for i19:
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|How It Can Be Improved:|
Putting Panaceas in place of Doctored Wounds for more recharge, +hp and +recovery at all levels. A Glad Def IO for more defense leeway.
So there’s that. I hope this has been of some use.
III: Pain Domination
Pain is not villain Empathy. Yes, I know the devs said that’s what it’s supposed to be. Tough. It’s not. Unless you think Empathy is about the leet heals and having a rez, in which case Congratulations! You are Doing It Wrong™.
If anything, I think Pain is best described as a lower maintenance Thermal with different buffs (that are either worse or better, depending on team makeup/situation).
What everyone seems to have forgotten with the release of Pain is just how much people shat on Thermal for not being as good as Empathy. Resistance buffs? Har, nowhere near as handy as defense buffs. No Adrenaline Boost? lol. No Regen/Recov Auras? Haha, the devs hate villains. Oh man and the rez KBs enemies, hilarious.
But now people seem to understand Thermal better and judge it on its own merits for what it is, a hybrid support set which sacrifices a lot of the defensive capabilities of Empathy for offensive capabilities. Pain is not villain empathy, its Pain and should be judged according to its own virtues, just like Thermal is.
What Pain Is:
• Not Empathy.
• Can’t stress this enough.
• An alternative to Thermal in the following ways:
- o Team resistance buffing
- o AoE debuffing
- o Heals/rezzing/keeping people unmezzed
• A support set with a much more interesting playstyle than Emp or Therm, imo.
Why Pain Is Awesome And You Want To Be One:
• Easily perma-able team +res +tohit that also effects you
• AoE –def –res debuff
• The boring stuff (PBAoE Heal, ally heal, rez, CM) from Emp and Therm with an interesting new slant
• Awesome single Ally +regen +recov +damage buff. I want to say more about this, but will save it for the section of the power itself.
• Aesthetics. Not gonna lie, Pain looks awesome as hell.
• A whole slew of self +damage buffs to reward you for doing half your job with the ability to do the other half of your job better.
• Similar capabilities to Thermal but being much lower maintenance. (More on this later)
|Nullify Pain: PBAoE team +heal|
Slotting Recommendation: 5 Doctored Wounds. Skip the recharge, it recharges plenty fast on its own. You do want to max out the healing and end rdx though, and the DW set is good because it offers recharge and healing bonuses.
How to Use: Well uh basically as an AoE heal. Not as strong as Twilight Grasp or Transfusion but respectable nonetheless. Use to heal yourself if you get smacked, use in the middle of several allies who need their health topped off. Put on Auto if you’ve got all these teeth in your mouth, right, and you just really want them kicked in.
|Soothe: Ally heal|
Slotting Recommendation: Same as Nullify, tbh. For much the same reasons.
How to Use: As well, an ally heal. At base heals for just under twice as much as Nullify (21% vs 11%, bear in mind these values are of the Corruptors base hp, not of the target healed which would be kind of nice but there you go) This is your all-purpose heal because Share Pain is more complicated in its use (more on this later, hee). Use if someone needs more healing than Nullify will provide (>1/4 of a squishies health, roughly)
|Share Pain: Ally Strong heal, self Moderate damage +special, +damage. The heal is base 44% of your base hp, the +special is a 15 second -100% (-4.47hp/sec) regen debuff and 100% ResEffect (heal) for 15 seconds. The self moderate damage is about 83 points at 50. The damage buff is 25%. So you hit this, they get a huge heal, you take a minor hp hit, get a damage buff, regen debuff and can’t be healed for 15 seconds.|
Slotting Recommendation: I went with 4 Numinas, mainly to get buff healing values, decent recharge as well as the hit points and heal bonus set bonuses.
How to Use: This is where things get fun. While I did not pick this up till 49, I get good use out of it. If you want to be hurf durf teh healer just use this if you need a big heal. And I mean big. Mine heals for over a thousand This means it will generally be overkill on squishies unless they’ve got a lot of +hp and are getting hammered like a [Insert Tasteless Analogy Here] Generally you’ll get better use out of the heal on this on brutes, tankers, WP/Invuln Scrappers, Serum-buffed Crabs and other people who are disgusting blobs of hp.
How to Use Not Like A Crap Empath: Well, I still use it as a huge heal, but its more interesting if you use it tactically as a self damage buff. I like to live dangerously, so I use this a fair amount to buff my own damage. Bear in mind its only a 25% buff and that’s to your base damage, so its hardly going to make you hit like Tyson, but you can stack it twice for an Aim like damage buff. Nothing overwhelming, but nice regardless. Nicer still stacked with the rez buff. You do have to be careful with this though. 15 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time, but it’s a lifetime when you’ve just pissed off a Chief Soldier.
|Ways to Avoid Getting Splattered While Under the Debuff:• Invest in some form of stealth. Superspeed is good, superspeed with a Celerity proc is better. If you’re a flier or superjumper putting stealth procs in these is still worthwhile.
• As tempting as it is, try and refrain from lobbing a fireball into a spawn before anyone else has gotten near it if you’re planning on using Share Pain anytime soon.
• While your regen is nixed and you can’t be healed, your defenses and resistances are still in full working order. So if you want to go a little crazy with Share Pain, eat some purples or make VEAT friends.
• Learn that sometimes discretion is the better part of valour Sometimes you’ll get unwanted aggro. **** happens. Know when to back off for little while. You’re no help to the team dead. I know it can be addictive, but do exercise a little restraint with Share Pain. You’ve gotta judge whether you’re on the kind of team where you can get away with it or not.
|Conduit of Pain: Ally Rez, self +damage +recharge +recovery +tohit +special.Slotting Recommendation: Base slot is fine with and end rdx or recharge. I went with one of each because I had a slot to spare.
How to Use: You know how Share Pain buffs you some and its kindof cool? This is that, but on crack. Oh and I guess it rezzes dead people or something? No, seriously though. Rezzes a dead ally, gives you zomgawesome buffs for 60 seconds. To the order of a 30% damage buff, 175% (2.92end/sec) recovery, 75% recharge and 20% tohit. For 60 seconds. Yes, awesome. Yes, you do get a 30% damage debuff and 20% tohit debuff for 30 seconds afterward, but that’s negligible in my experience. You’ll always be happy getting to use this. I mean, tempting as it is, but try to not let people die on purpose just so you have an excuse. Unless they’re giving you sass somethin’ fierce.
|Enforced Morale: Ally +res Stun/Immob/Hold/Sleep/Fear/Confuse +perception +recharge +speed. The protection and movement boosts stack with additional applications, the +recharge and +perception do not. This isn’t a big deal as the recharge buff is 5% which is pathetic and should be ignored and made to feel bad.Slotting Recommendation: One end rdx, one range enh.
How to Use: Keep on squishies depending on what you’re fighting. Duration is 90 seconds, it’s got a 4 second base recharge, it’s easy (if irritating) to keep on a whole team. Learn what mobs do and do not mez. Depending on what mobs you’re fighting, how much defense the team has, the presence of a ff/sonic dude who doesn’t suck and thusly has taken their mez prot bubble and how good the melee (if there is one/several) are at keeping stuff mad at them are, you can slack a little on keeping this up.
|Soothing Aura(Corrs)/Suppress Pain(MMs): Toggle PBAoE +pathetically small heal for Corrs, +regen for MMsSlotting Recommendation: Skip if you’re a corruptor, it’s pathetic. Fully slotted it’s an 80 point heal every few seconds. You yourself as a corruptor have 1070 hit points base at 50. Its like pissing into the ocean. Sure, it looks kinda cool and will keep you topped off from random shots that stray in your direction, but really, Nullify does this much better. Do pick it up if you’re a MM because it’s a 200% regen buff which while not huge is still pretty nice, almost 400% when slotted.
How to Use: As a Corruptor, don’t. If you must, it better be for set bonuses or aesthetics. As a Mastermind, do. Stand in the middle of the backliners/squishies so they get the regen buff. Think of yourself as a portable Triage Beacon/Regen Aura. Don’t stand in the middle of your pets (unless they’re thugs/bots/mercs and are backliners by virtue of their ranged nature) because their hitpoints are so low as to make the regen buff hardly worth it.
|World of Pain: PBAoE team +res (all and placate) +tohitSlotting Recommendation: Max out the recharge and resistance. I went with 3 res/rech IOs and a res/end/rech.
How to Use: Whenever it’s up, position yourself in the middle of as many team mates as you can and hit it. The resistance slotted up is about 17% which might not seem like a lot and well, it’s not. The way I see it, you’re getting about 5% less res than the thermal shields, but you’re getting +tohit and it’s a one-shot buff rather than needing to buff the entire team. Much less effort, slightly less reward is a trade I am totally okay with. The upside is it also buffs you, so with your patron shield you can get some pretty respectable smashing/lethal resistances.
|Anguishing Cry: PBAoE foe –res (all) –def (all)Slotting Recommendation: An Achilles –res proc, decent accuracy and defense debuff, maxed recharge.
How to Use: Run into the middle of a spawn, hit this, run out again (or stay in if there’s Fulcrums a-comin’) It’s a PBAoE Melt Armor with lower recharge and duration, basically. Use this as soon as it’s up on a nice big spawn to keep the team rolling. One thing to note is that it isPBAoE not ranged, so you are at a little risk of getting smooshed when using this. So again, exercise a teeny bit of judgment.
|Painbringah: Ally +regen +recov +damSlotting Recommendation: Max out heal and recharge. I went with Doctored Wounds, skipping the Heal/End for the Recharge.
How to Use: Now, before anyone gets all up in my grill about this, no, I don’t think it’s better than Adrenaline Boost. Yes, I think it having a +dam component instead of +recharge is a crock. Regardless. It’s still a great buff and should be appreciated for its own merits.
So. Who to use it on? The regen/recovery is often best used on brutes because of their high hp and frequent high endurance consumption, but the damage buff portion is wasted on them because of their low base damage and Fury. Good choices due to high base damage would be Dominators, Blasters, Stalkers and Scrappers. However, many of these don’t make the best use out of the regen buff. So it depends on the makeup of the team. Look at how much damage people are doing, how much damage they’re taking, how much end they’re using and act accordingly.
This is not to say you should always choose one person and keep it on them exclusively. Depending on the team makeup/situation I switch it up a lot. By the way, if you never use this unless someone has crashed their end bar because of a nuke or whatever, well then, we need to have a chat Seriously. Even worse with Adrenaline Boost. You’ve got what is without question the best ST buff in the game, and you use it as a glorified blue inspiration. Roar.
|How To Not Be Awful:• Recognize that you are not an Empath, let alone a “healer”, you are a hybrid support character and act accordingly. You can heal, buff resistance, buff your own damage, turn one person on the team into an unstoppable killing machine and kill stuff. You should be doing all of these things.
• Get the balance right between buffing your own damage with the Share Pain (Conduit too but less so because rezzing people is almost always A Good Thing™) and supporting the team. I’ll generally only focus on buffing my damage up and blasting like crazy when we’re really steamrolling so I only need to use Soothe occasionally.
• Speaking of Soothe, I have it bound to q so its right by my movement keys. What’s also handy is binding a key to follow for the times you can’t immediately see someone is. So if someone is getting pummeled you can target them, queue up Soothe and hit the follow bind and zoom off you go. Granted, sometimes you’ll go flying at a wall, but you now know the direction they’re in and can get to them.
• Keep World of Pain up. Don’t try and make everyone sit still or gather on you, no matter how adorable your “give me cuddles giggle giggle” macro is. Just get in the middle of as many people as you can and fire it off. It’s a nice enough buff that you want to get as many people as you can with it, but not so amazing the entire team needs to grind to a halt for your prima donna ***.
• While hilarious, try to not hit ASing stalkers or people sniping with Enforced Morale. It will interrupt them unless they’re already damaged.
• For fights with stuff that mezzes a lot or has a particularly strong mez (like Romulus rezzing) it is worth keeping an EM on people who have mez protection already so they can keep fighting. For squishies, you can stack it enough to keep them unmezzed but it takes too much time which would be better dedicated to your other powers.
• Keep moving. Pain suffers from a similar fate to thermal and cold in that often times you’ll be the squishiest person on the team because everyone else can get Soothe/Share Pain. While you’ll have decent resists with WoP and your APP shield, you’re never going to be the best choice to take alphas. Don’t stand in the middle of spawns, don’t try to melee bosses, generally don’t do things that immensely stupid and Nullify Pain will be all you need to keep you alive.
• Get good at kiting with Anguishing Cry. If you time it right (assuming you’ve got ss/sj/hurdle/cj/sb/whatever buffing your travel speed) you can get into the middle of a spawn, hit Anguishing Cry and jump out a split second later so you do most of the animation in the air. The debuff will still have radiated out from where you were, but now you’re out of harms way.
• Sometimes you’re not on a good team. Sometimes you’re relegated to mostly being a healbot. **** happens. For these times, learn which heals should be used when. If a squishy is at half health and has stuff mad at them, running up to them and hitting Nullify Pain won’t do much good. Conversely, if their health is barely dented you’re wasting (admittedly little) time hitting them with Soothe. Save Share Pain for when its really needed, like for healing an ally with a lot of hp back up from half hp or less. If a squishy is really getting hammered Share Pain can also be good, because most of the heal can go towards negating the incoming damage while leaving enough to top them back up. The average brute is going to have anywhere from 1.5k to 2k health. So, if Share Pain is healing for 900-1k, its still a waste and unnecessary risk if they’ve only taken ¼ damage.
• If someone is really getting hammered kiting can be put to good use. Run at them with Soothe queued and jump as you’re getting to them so you can be right next to them to fire off Nullify right afterwards.
• By virtue of not having to shield an entire team, you’ve got a lot of endurance to spare. Use it. Blast. A bunch. Kill stuff. Dead stuff is stuff not making you have to heal your teammates.
• If you’re going for IOs, you want about 50-70% recharge, this in conjunction with Hasten will give you perma WoP, almost perma Anguishing Cry and very high uptime on Painbringer. Which are all awesome things that you want. So do it, mmkay? Oh and heal bonuses are also nice to make your heals even more end efficient and powerful.
|What Goes Well With Pain:Aspirin. Oh ho ho. No but 4 srs, you want a blast set with good damage to complement your own damage buffing. Good choices are Fire, Sonic and Ice. Radiation would work as Irradiate and Anguishing Cry both with Achilles procs would work as a nice combo, but the rest of Rad is a little lack luster with the exception of Cosmic Burst.
I personally went with Sonic because its great single target damage, stupidly end-efficient and means my blasting makes the rest of the team kill even faster. Great vs AVs because you can reliably keep another -30% res stacked with Anguishing Cry just from your tier 1 and 2 blasts. Good times. A set with Aim is also handy so you can ensure Anguishing Cry hits all the dudes you want it to hit. Which is like, all of them. So yeah.
The last thing you want to be wary of when choosing a blast set is that you don’t choose one with overly long animations. You want to be able to rush off to hit someone with Soothe/Share Pain on very short notice. While Full Auto is totally cool and yay bullets being stuck in a long animation while someone on your team gets beat the hell down = lose.
How Silas Be Doin’ It
|• Recall Friend, nuke and combat jumping (not on tray). Gonna respec out of these and pick up Leadership. Maneuvers for team defense, Assault for dmg buff stacking and Vengeance for awesomeness.
• I open most fights by hitting Aim then Anguishing Cry, then cycling my blasts unless someone needs a heal. So I keep that stuff close at hand.
• Nullify Pain and Enforced Morale on 3 and 4. Again, powers used a lot. Nullify is there so I^ve got quick access to it. As for Enforced Morale, when EMing a team up it’s a hassle to click this, so I just click my way down the team and hit 4.
Hope this has helped. First person to say pain sucks empathy is better gets punched in the jeans.
IV: Thermal Radiation
Chances are, dear reader, you may already have a Thermal Radiation Corruptor/Mastermind/Controller, or therm as they are known on tha streetz. But Therming can be hard! You’ve got to keep shields up and heals and debuffs and oh god its overwhelming oh god oh god i can’t breathe help please oh godohgodohgoddddd.
IT IS OKAY. TAKE DEEP BREATHS. I will help you. Unlike your emotionally distant father who would just disdainfully gaze over a corner of his newspaper, slowly shake his head and sigh, Silas is here for you. Unless you read this entire guide, take it all in and then continue to suck and be awful at therming. In which case your father and I will both sigh, then go have a beer, watch the game and talk about how we wished things had turned out differently. SOMETIMES THAT IS JUST HOW IT GOES. Don’t worry though, you have plenty of prospects
That said, your father and I do hope this guide is helpful for you.
Why Thermal Is Awesome And You Want To Be One:
• Setting people on fire without subsequent incarceration.
• That’s definitely a big one.
• Great resist shields.
• No but seriously being in jail is pretty bad you guys
• Awesome ranged AoE –res –def debuff
• Fast cycling anti-mez and tohit/dmg buffs
• ST –regen –recov –dam –end
• Hell of flashy rez which will annoy all melee when used (yaaaaay)
• Heals to keep you and teammates on their feet
• The ability to turn teams from wiping every other spawn into steamrollers
|Warmth: PBAoE team heal|
Slotting Recommendation: 5 Doctored Wounds, everything but the straight recharge, it recharges decently fast as is.
How to Use: As a heal for yourself, or as a small top-up heal for several allies. This does not root you, so if you’re getting whacked you can backpedal while hitting this. Ain’t no way no b*tthole no how that a dead therm gonna be of use to the team, son.
|Fire Shield: Ally +resist (smashing, lethal, fire, cold)|
Slotting Recommendation: Max out the resist, these should be giving about 22-23ish% resistance when slotted. I went with Titanium Coatings for the hp bonus. You also might want to put an end red in here unless you’re already getting good values, because shielding an entire team can be heavy on the blue bar.
How to Use: Keep on allies. All of them. At all times. Seriously. Not hard to do, dogg. This and Plasma Shield will cut down incoming damage to almost all damage types, givin’ you more time for the Cauterizin’. Apostrophizin’. Ugh, vomit. Moving swiftly onwards: Unlike Cold or FF shields which can lose some of their usefulness if the team is already softcapped because of VEATs or whatever, the chances of your team all being resist capped are minimal. So keep these up. Bind them so you don’t have to be all clicky clicky clicky. Since the buff change you can buff entire teams (plus wacky tagalongs like MM and Control Pets!) with 2 clicks. There is literally no excuse for not keeping people buffed. Unless you don’t have the shields. In which case you’re worse than a Warshade. And Warshades are just terrible.
|Cauterize: Ally +heal|
Slotting Recommendation: Same as Warmth. Recharges fast as it is, but needs decent healing/end slotting and heal/rech bonuses are totally the sexiest. Okay, fine, maybe not THE sexiest, but pretty sexy.
How to Use: As an ally heal, interestingly enough. Heals for twice as much as Warmth and is ranged, so generally easier to use as an ally heal.
|Plasma Shield: ally +resist (energy, negative, fire)|
Slotting Recommendation: Again, like Fire Shield. Max out the resists.
How to Use: Same as Fire Shield. These powers make writing these guides so easy. Hooray!
|Power of the Phoenix: Ally rez, +special|
Slotting Recommendation: Barely. A single recharge or end red IO is fine. If you want set bonuses Doctored Wounds can work.
How to Use: As an ally rez. Someone dies, use this. Things to note however: the +special is a pet summon at the location of the ally who got beatdown. It does Knockback, a little damage and a stun. So anything around the dead ally is thrown back and stunned, which can be cool, but can be annoying depending on the situation. It’s also important to note that unlike some other rezzes, it makes them Untouchable for 15 seconds, so right after you rez them you can’t heal them (not that they would need it anyway) or shield them (more annoying).
|Thaw: Ally +res (stun, sleep, hold, immobilize, confuse, fear, cold, slow)|
Slotting Recommendation: I went with an end rdx and a range. This is so you can hit people with it from further away and Thawing a lot of people can be rough on endurance.
How to Use: Two ways. Either you’re fighting stuff that mezzes a lot like Malta because lazy design is lazy so you keep it up as a preventative measure, or as a fixer for when people occasionally get mezzed. If you’re fighting stuff that only mezzes occasionally, just keep it up on the squishies or when people say something like zzzz or whatever.
|Forge: Ally +tohit +damage|
Slotting Recommendation: I went with 5 Adjusted Targettings. The +damage is unenhanceable which is fine because you want to be enhancing the +tohit anyway. You want to max out the recharge on this as well. With the Adj Targettings, I went with the whole set minus the straight ToHit IO.
How to Use: ALWAYS ON THE BRUTE/TANK BECAUSE THEY SHOULD ALWAYS GET ALL BUFFS EVER. Haha, no. You can keep this on several people easily, but be mindful of how damage buffs work. They work on base damage, so ATs with high base damage (blasters, scrappers, stalkers, doms) will get more use out of it than ATs with low base damage like brutes. That said, if you’re fighting stuff that has a lot of defense or tohit debuffs, keep it on people who need their stuff to hit.
|Heat Exhaustion: ranged foe –end –recovery –regen –damage. Bam.|
Slotting Recommendation: 2 accuracies, 2 recharges. You want this to hit and you want it back up ASAP because it will straight up ruin a dudes day.
How to Use: This is one of two powers that separate you from being a pure buff/healbot. Underwhelming animation, overwhelming effect. Hold out your hand, the littlest whoompf. Oh, was that it? Oh, wait, your regen, recovery and damage are all totally boned. Man, it sure sucks to be you. Find a boss/AV/other thing you want to hit as like a Peacebringer and die almost as fast.
|Melt Armor: Click. FWOOOMPF. AoE –res –def|
Slotting Recommendation: Definitely an Achilles Heel –res proc, other than that this can get tricky. You’ll probably want to frankenslot a few sets and HOs because you want to get good values for accuracy and defense debuff while maxing out the recharge.
How to Use: Target either the biggest badguy in a spawn like the AV or whoever is in the middle of a spawn and click. Bam. Everything in its fairly big radius will have shot resistances and defense, allowing you and the rest of your team to shred them. So hit this whenever its up on nice big spawns and enjoy the show
|How To Not Be Awful:|
• Blabla, keep shields up or [Insert Creative Threat]. Seriously though, it’s a lot easier to get defense buffs than resist buffs since no one plays Sonic because it’s BOOOORING so your shields will almost always be worthwhile. They also give you more time to heal people as the damage reduction is more reliable than defense.
• Bind follow to a key so if someone is getting kicked around you can target them, hit your follow key and queue up Cauterize. You may hit a wall depending on where they are, but it still quickly and efficiently sets you on the path to where they are so you can get to them in time.
• Speaking of Cauterize and getting to people in time, putting a range IO into this can be handy so you can hit people from further away which can be helpful if they’re an idiot and run away from you instead of towards you when they’re catching hell. This happens a lot, fyi. Get used to it.
• Unless you’re going to be therming a lot in PvP, don’t make frigging macros announcing your powers. If people aren’t sure you’re doing your job they can check their buff bars and for huge fireballs hitting the enemies. Unless of course, you’re not doing your job. In which case, scorn.
• Get good at judging hp bars for healing whack-a-mole. If a brute is at 75% health, Warmth isn’t the right power to go for, if a squishie is at 75% health, Cauterize isn’t the right power to go for. Roughly speaking, when enhanced and assuming some +hp from accolades/IOs/Frostwork/whatever, Cauterize will heal aboooout 1/3 of a squishies health. For Scrappers/brutes/tanks, it’ll heal about 1/4ish.
• That said, also bear in mind the nature of Cauterize and Warmth. If they’re not fully needing the full heal of Cauterize but are far away you’re better off hitting them with Caut than wasting the time running all the way over to them for Warmth.
• What you can also do (and will sometimes need to do) if someone is taking a lot of damage is run towards them hitting Cauterize and hit Warmth as you get close to them. Practice jousting with Warmth so you can run past people and hit them with it.
• Mobility is key. If you’re using SS, get Hurdle with Fitness and have 1-2 jump IOs in it. If you’re using SJ, get Swift and put 1-2 run IOs in it. Ideally run both SS and SJ for maximum movement. You’re often going to be the least protected person on the team because you can’t shield yourself and can only heal yourself with Warmth.
• Stealth is also key. Buy a stealth IO and put it in your travel power, SS being ideal for this. Thermals who can quickly get to where the buffing/debuffing/healing is needed without getting splattered are good thermals.
• Build for +hp, +rech and +rec if you’re going for IOs. You’ll want about 40-50% rech, more is overkill unless you’re a controller because it’ll make minimal difference to your long-recharging powers (Melt Armor and Heat Exhaustion). Shielding, Forging and Thawing a team as well as blasting and throwing out the debuffs can leave you sucking more wind than a fart fetishist. Which is totally gross, so don’t be that. You’ll want about 20ish% rec on top of Stamina to keep you going, less if you’ve got Conserve Power from Mu Mastery. This is important because unlike a Cold, you don’t have any way to recover end from your secondary so you’re relying on IO bonuses or PPPs for it. The +hp is more or less to taste, but you’ll want a decent chunk to keep you alive.
• Learn to judge enemy groups and team makeups for how often you need to use Thaw. If you’re fighting a group that has a lot of mez like Malta or Rikti you’ll want to keep it up on all the squishies, unless there’s an assload of defense that will stop those mezzes from hitting in the first place. Keep a row or 2 of Break Frees for yourself. Waiting for a hold to wear off while someone gets smooshed by a Chief Soldier is hell of uncool, brah.
• While you’ll always have a lot to do with shielding, buffing, healing and debuffing, do remember to blast. As a corruptor you can bring significant damage to a team, especially with Scourge kicking in on debuffed enemies. However, don’t go overboard with the offense. You want to be able to respond to a dropping healthbar quickly and being movement-suppressed with a load of aggro is a bad way to go about doing this.
• Part of the whole offense thing is making sure you at least have one or 2 attacks and one AoE. A lot of full teams will have a lot of buffing/debuffing going on making your heals pretty superfluous. This is totally fine. Don’t get in a big huff because people aren’t clamoring for your totally leet healz. Kill stuff. If you’ve got no blasts and everyone is shielded, you’re keeping Forge/Thaw up, debuffs are out and no one is needing heals, you’re gonna get bored in a hurry.
This is something which I totally forgot to add to the guide first but is quite possibly one of the most important skills for a good thermal. Or empath. Or pain. Or any support character, really. Battlefield awareness. See which way the battle is flowing, know where people are. Icons for attacks will appear shortly before the damage does (depending on animation times) so if you see a whole bunch of attacks stacking up on someone who isn’t necessarily very equipped to take them, start moving towards them so you can get to them in time.
Often times playing a thermal 100% reactively to drops in the health bars will not be enough to keep people from dying. So watch the buff bar, keep an eye on mobs to see who they’re going after, as you’re moving around get in the habit of panning your camera around so you’ve got full 360 degree awareness of whats going on. This is also comes back to your offense. If you see stray mobs going after a blaster or fellow corr or whatever, help them out with attacks too. If you’re at full health and the blaster is at 10%, that aggro is better on you than on them. NB: this does not mean put grabbing aggro higher on your priorities list than healing them. I just mean, for example, in the above scenario, I would go after them with Cauterize queued up and once it fires off and is recharging I’ll quickly throw out a Ball Lightning or Lightning Bolt.
As easy as it is to get healing tunnel vision on one person who is getting hammered, don’t forget the rest of the team. Learn to judge when someone can handle themselves. While you can feel awfully good about yourself for keeping that Blaster on their feet with 3 Chief Soldiers trying to slice them up, if half the team is neglected as a result you have Done It Wrong.
|What Goes Well With Thermal:|
I think some kind of blast set that has some kind of utility to it. I personally went with Elec to stack with Heat Exhaustions –end –rec because drained dudes are dudes hitting my dudes less so I have to heal my dudes less. Savvy? I’d recommend Sonic too, because it’s got phenomenally good DPE and –res to stack on hard targets with Melt Armor.
Rad is also an option for mad proccage, but I would advise caution with Irradiate as it’s a PBAoE and melee is generally not somewhere you want to be as a therm. While Fire Blast works thematically, I personally saved it for secondaries which allowed me more leeway in blasting so I could really make the most of its raw damage.
How Silas Be Doin’ It
• *: Usurper. I didn’t mention this in my other guides, but if you’ve got the time I would recommend you go ahead and get this on any corruptors you have. I say this because relatively few people have this, and if you’re a support junkie like me you want to be able to bring whatever the team needs and be able to start the RSF.
• 45% rech. With Hasten I find this is plenty for me in terms of getting good uptime on Heat Exhaustion, Melt Armor, Forge and Conserve Power as well as bringing my AoEs back up quickly when I can use them.
• I monitor my tohit so I can know if debuffs have shot it to sh*t before I blow Heat Exhaustion or Melt Armor.
UPDATE: I actually have long since rerolled my Elec/Therm into a Rad/Therm. I wasn’t getting the kind of damage I wanted out of Elec because Elec is bad. Rad gives me Irradiate which is soooo gooood plus a nice tier 3 blast. Since Therming is busy as hell, its nice to actually have good attacks to use when I have time. Therm therm therm, blow somethings head off with Cosmic Burst, therm therm therm, give a whole bunch of dudes cancer with Irradiate, repeat.
I went with the Spiritual Alpha, for more recharge and to buff my heals a little more. I did consider Cardiac for the +resist buffs for my shields, but it really wasn’t worth it since even at the highest tier it only brings them from 23% to 25%. I’d rather have more recharge which benefits all my powers and some more healing power.
Here’s the data chunk:
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Just Oz. For helping me a tonne with my therm build and teaching me damn near everything I know about therming. Thanks, broham. A better thermal there is not.
V: Radiation Emission
So. Radiation. Did you know that the following is absolutely true?
If someone approaches you and says hey, radiation emission is awesome and you should play one, they are 100% correct!
How wild is that? Truth is stranger than fiction, folks. This is all the information you require. But what if you want more information? What if you want more detail and nuance than will ever be necessary? What if you not only want detail and nuance, you want to delve tirelessly into the deepest trenches of detail and soar through the loftiest clouds of nuance of the set and learn more information than anyone will ever care to know? What if you just don’t have anything to do to distract yourself from the crushing, crushing loneliness and the booze cabinet is empty?
THEN YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE.
Why Rad is Rad and You want to be Rad too: (okay I swear that is the last time I use rad like that in this guide)
• Great self and team +rec +rech +dam (and +mez resistance if you care) buff
• Two very powerful debuff toggles to make stuff die faster and harder. Uhn tiss uhn tiss.
• Self heal because having to eat green inspirations means there are less inspirations being converted into purples for SHENANIGANS
• Generally a rad (ahaha I lied) strong all-round support set. Good buffs, good debuffs with a nice dash of general team utility.
• Fantastic at facilitating the destruction of AVs and GMs.
• Fairly low maintenance, no targeted ally buffs if you can’t stand that kind of thing BECAUSE YOU’RE A SCRAPPER GO ON GET OUT OF HERE WHO LET YOU IN
• God, those guys. I swear.
• I wrapped some attack chain calculations around a brick and threw it into a river, that should keep them away for a while.
• Radiation gets its core powers very early on so you’re a force to be reckoned with from, you know, early on. Unless you don’t take the toggles until 40+ because well, your mother fed you paint chips or something, god, I don’t know, what am I, psychic?
|Radiant Aura: PBAoE ally +heal|
Slotting Recommendation: There are several good options for this depending on how you’re building your character. If you want recharge Doctored Wounds are a good choice, if you want +hp/+regen/+rec Numinas or Miracles are a good choice. If you’re building for ranged defense 6 slots gives a nice bonus but bear in mind unless you’re hitting it once every 2 mins you’re not getting the bonus from the Numina +/+. There are also better places to get +ranged def. So I went with Doctored Wounds. And so should you. Or uh, a few heals and end reducers if you are POOR
How to Use: Self heal, mostly. It doesn’t really pack enough oompf for you to be relying on it to keep a team on their feet. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly helps especially if you can top off a few people at once with it, but generally there are more important things you should be doing to keep the team going. Bear in mind the radius is reasonably large so if you want to heal several people at once you can. Some people feel the need to put this on auto. This makes me sad. I do not know why they would think that this is a good thing to do.
|Radiation Infection: Enemy based AoE toggle, foe –def- tohit|
Slotting Recommendation: Decent endurance reduction, as while this doesn’t guzzle as much as Enervating Field it still uses .52 end/sec base which is tones bozillions. As for whether to enhance the –def or –tohit, I would say its personal preference. At lower levels I would say the –def is more important, as teams don’t have a lot of +tohit or accuracy slotted yet, but at higher levels the –tohit stacks with all the +def most teams have flying around. I went with 4 Dark Watchers because yay +recharge. I would have put in an Achilles proc if I had the slot.
How to Use: Find a big nasty dude. Chuck it on the big nasty dude. Rejoice. That’s the basic gist of it, but I’m gonna go into more detail in a separate section for Radiation Infection/Enervating Field.
|Accelerate Metabolism: PBAoE ally +speed, +rech, +recovery, +damage, +res (Sleep, Hold, Disorient, Immobilize, End Drain)|
Slotting Recommendation: Maximise the recharge. You want 90-99% recharge in this. Beyond that, endurance mod slotting is also worthwhile since at base it gives more recovery than Stamina but recharge is more important if you’re hurting for slots. Best of both worlds is frankenslotting end mod sets.
How to Use: Get in the middle of as many people as you can and fire it off. Really, it’s that simple. Please, please don’t make some lame-*** bind or macro that demands the team grind to a halt and gather around you. Especially if you make some joke about hugs or snuggles. **** is tedious. The radius is the same as Radiant Aura so if you want to get a feel for how big it is [Obvious Joke] you can practice with that.
|Enervating Field: Enemy based AoE toggle, -damage, -resistance (all)|
Slotting Recommendation: 2 endurance reductions. 3 if you can, really. This power eats a ton of endurance and you’ll be running it all the time. You can’t enhance the –damage or –resistance so yeah.
How to Use: Similar to Radiation Infection. Find a baddy and throw this on him. Proceed to bring the ruckus until it has been done brought. Much faster animation though, I generally lead with this.
|Mutation: Ally +special (+200% rec, +100% rech, 40% damage buff (to all) +30% tohit) for 90 seconds, +special (-40% damage (all) -30% tohit) for 45 seconds after 90 seconds|
Slotting Recommendation: A recharge and/or endurance reduction.
How to Use: If someone dies, you can rez them with this. IT IS REALLY THAT SIMPLE, DEAR READERS! You might want to pick up Vengeance and Fallout to go with this, so you pee your pants a little with glee every time someone dies.
|Lingering Radiation: Targeted AoE –regen –recharge -speed|
Slotting Recommendation: 2 accuracy, 2 recharge. Bruv, it is most imperative that this hits and recharges fast, innit.
How to Use: I don’t bother unless I’m fighting an AV/GM/whatever that has bunches of regen. This will basically flatline the regen of whatever it hits, which is totally good times for AVs and GMs and other stuff that would otherwise regen thousands of hp a tic. If you’re fighting one of the aforementioned things use this as soon as it recharges. Preface with Aim if you’ve got it, because this missing (especially if you’re the only person with –regen on the team) is >:C Its not really worth it to use on anything weaker than an EB unless you need something to do because you don’t know how to blast or do controllery things because you’re an IDIOT*.
*Addendum: Since I’ve rerolled my Sonic/Rad into a Fire/Rad, I get a lot more use out of LR against normal spawns. The slow component stacks really nicely with RoF to keep stuff melting in there. If you’ve got powers that cause scatter and/or other slows to stack it with (basically Ice or Fire blast) using it in conjunction with them can be very good.
|Choking Cloud: PBAoE Foe Hold|
Slotting Recommendation: If you don’t have a bunch of slots for this, don’t even bother picking it up. It’s a great power, but it needs a lot of slots to make the most of it. Running a power that eats as much endurance as this one and having it miss all the time and not hold anything for very long = fail harder, failbot. Get good values for acc/hold/end reduction because this has crappy base accuracy, short duration and eats endurance like whoah. Hold procs are also good times.
How to Use: Turn on, be in melee range. More in the How To Not Be Awful Section.
|Fallout: Target dead ally, boom. Stuff dies. But it’s also a very respectable debuff, to the order of 30% -dam -30% tohit, -30% defense and -50% res. Yes, those numbers are correct. Unless City of Data and Mids are wrong >.>|
Slotting Recommendation: The numbers are pretty good, so if you really wanted to slot it out I’d go 5 posi blasts and an Achilles Heel –res proc. You’ll get nice values for the damage aspect of the power and the proc will ensure that 20% of the mobs hit by it will have their resistances dropped by 70%. Boosh. That said, it’s a –highly- situational power. I would say if you’ve got the slots for it go nuts, but it’s a very low priority and if you’re only gonna have 1-2 slots in it you might as well not bother.
How to Use:Well, target a dead ally, hit this and like, kaboom, dude. While looking at the numbers it looks like a fantastic power, the reality is that unless you’re porting a corpse round, you’re not gonna get much use out of it. If you do decide you want to make the most of it, (which is fairly understandable), I would say go whole hog with it. Pick up recall friend and Vengeance. Make everyone squee with delight whenever that one blaster dies. Maybe the emp/therm/pain on the team gets a little careless. Accidents happen, right?
|EE EMM PEEEE: PBAoE HUUUUGE radius foe hold, -end, -regen, damage vs bots, self -recovery|
Slotting Recommendation: Get good values for hold and accuracy, max the recharge.
How to Use: As both a panic button as well as a general hold. Unless you’ve got Conserve Power or a bunch of blue insp just use it as a panic button. The AoE is stupid ******* huge so while it is PBAoE you don’t need to worry too much about being right in the middle of the spawn. The special damage vs robots is nice, but nothing to write home about. Stick to how you’re doing at school, momma ain’t care about damaging robots, especially since the damage is fairly small (about the same as most blast tier 2s). Unless you slot it for damage, in which case there will be consequences.
|How To Not Be Awful:|
• Get comfortable with the range on AM. While the team shouldn’t grind to a halt for you to use it, consistently hitting only 2-3 people with it is fail. Unless the team is really all over the place you should be able to consistently get 4-6 people with it. The only time where I’d make sure to hit the whole team would be on a really low level team where people don’t have Stamina and stuff yet, so the +rec comes in very handy.
• Learn who to use Radiation Infection and Enervating Field on. While you want them to be on something tough enough to warrant the debuffs, on a team with several stalkers or scrappers a lieut might live longer. On fast moving/high level teams don’t bother with Radiation Infection unless it’s a boss or EB. Depending on the situation I’ll often also will throw the toggles on different mobs (unless its an AV fight ofc) so that 1: the debuffs are spread around and 2: they won’t both get shut down if the target dies.
• Toggle pulling. Get good at it. What I mean by this is throwing either of the toggles (RI preferably) on a spawn to pull them. You can do this to bring a spawn to where the team is currently killing, to make better use of whatever AoE debuffs have been dropped. If you block Line of Sight you can also herd the enemies into nice little bundles to be AoEd. Radiation Infection is a better choice for this because the -tohit will make them miss you more so you don’t get splattered trying this.
• Bear in mind that Radiant Aura is not a huge heal, so if you wait until you’re at half health and dropping it might not be enough to keep you on your feet. I generally start using it at 70%-80% because then you’ll only need to use it once or twice to top yourself off.
• Fallout for Fun and Profit: Radiation is in a great position to take advantage of team mates who die a bunch because you can make them go kablooie and then get them back up on their feet. Vengeance + Fallout + Mutation = everyone on the team is happy when someone dies. Fallout is great to clear out the spawn hovering over someone to ensure they don’t get cut right the **** back down when you Mutation them. This is good. However, if there’s only one or two mobs around I wouldn’t bother with Fallout, The animation is long enough to warrant discretion in its use. Unless you like seeing your team mates explode then crumple to the floor again. Which, of course, is pretty awesome. Especially if you then don’t rez them. Serves you right for dying, chump. Take that to the bank and smoke it, buddy. Wait, what?
• lern2manage the EMP crash. It’s not as severe as the damage nukes or a godmode crash, but can be nasty if you don’t have a way to mitigate it. No recovery sucks when you’re burning 1end/sec running your toggles. Keep a supply of blues on hand if you don’t have something like Converve Power. If you don’t have stuff to make the crash manageable its not –too- bad to be very reserved with your EMP use. It is a great power, but not so great that you’ll suck for not using it. Not using EMP all the time because of endurance = okay, not using fireball all the time because of endurance = scorned by colleagues, unloved by women, frowned on by YHWH.
|What Goes Well With Radiation:|
Radiation lends itself well to either a ST or AoE focus. I personally went with sonic for hella –res spammings because I wanted to solo big cranky stuff. The –res stacks nicely with the rad debuffs as well as being very endurance efficient which is great because rad can be very end hungry.
For general play, I’d recommend something like fire blast. Great ST damage and AoEs, Lingering Rad to keep them in range of Enervating Field and Rain of Fire. Mmm, delicious. Unless you’re a defender so you can’t have fire blast, haha, sucks to be you. Make a corruptor. Amy.
How Silas Be Doin’ It
• 65% recharge is enough to have Hasten/AM just about perma. About a second downtime, pretty good times though.
• With decent recharge Shout actually causes a loss in DPS, so I only use that when its guaranteed to Scourge. My usual attack chain is Screech, Scream and the stun to stack the –res.
• No Fallout or Choking Cloud. Both of these are very situational at best and I wanted a softcap range build so I didn’t have room for either of these. I decided of the three (mutation, fallout and choking) Mutation would be the most useful.
• In the absence of any shields to speak of, I’ve got AM bound to G and Radiant Aura bound to Q.
• I monitor endurance consumption because Enervating Field and Radiation Infection (as well as travel power/patron shield) can put a big dent in your endurance. This number doesn’t factor in your end/sec use from attacks, but I find it pretty handy to monitor for Conserve Power use.
• Enervating Field and Radiation Infection placement. You want these close enough at hand so that you can hit them easily, but not so close that you’ll hit them by accident detoggling them. If you want to bind them, that works too.
I rerolled my Sonic/Rad into a Fire/Rad a few weeks back and am enjoying him a lot more. While Sonic is a stupidly good blast set, I just find spamming Shriek/Scream and having no AoE boring. Plus zomggggggggggggg RoF makes me a special kind of happy
Build has more recharge than the last one and more defense too. Went for s/l instead of ranged. Build is basically better in every way I care about.
feels good, man
Here’s the new Fire/Rad character, Castle Bravo.
Here’s the chunk:
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Updated build for i19. Ended up going with the Cardiac alpha so I can spam my AoEs with wild abandon. Hooray!
VI: Dark Miasma
Yes yes I know it’s Magic Missile, god, shutupshutupshutup. Yes so okay. It’s interesting that I’m doing this guide so late, as I’ve been playing Dark Miasma for basically forever.
How long? Long enough that daddy doesn’t want to talk about what it was like back then, don’t drive daddy back to the liquor, stop asking questions baby please. FORTUNATELY, somewhere along the line I discovered corruptors (I am the Columbus of Archetypes, you see) and I realised just how much more awesome Dark Miasma really could be. Protip: SO AWESOME.
See, here’s the thing. My raving, frothing-at-the-mouth distaste for Defenders aside, this set really does shine on Corruptors because they have the offense to take advantage of all the defence that DM brings. But if you –really- want to play it on a Defender that is okay. I guess. Maybe. But don’t expect me to like it.
Without further ado:
Why Dark Miasma Rocks The ******* House:
• Massive –tohit debuffs
• Lots of control through fear, stun and hold
• Delicious –slow –res AoE patch
• A pet which does bunches of stuff for you so you can slack and no one will notice
• Brings a lot of support to a team by just doing your thing, no clicky clicky buffs to maintain on the team
• Defensive powerhouse, allowing you to focus on blastyness
• Represents the eternal darkness of your tortured soul because you received insufficient quantities of Hug as a child.
• Maybe you were an ugly baby? I don’t know.
|Twilight Grasp: foe -dmg (all) -tohit -regen PBAoE ally heal|
Slotting Recommendation: You want good healing and accuracy values for this. This is because it has to hit when you need it to and the animation is slow enough that you want it to count when it goes off. Touch of the Nictus is a great set for this because you can frankenslot it with other heal sets and get great values.
How To Use:
Offensively: While it is primarily a heal, the debuff is great. Spamming it on an AV will debuff their regen a little but its more about the -damage. It’s also worthwhile to chuck on a rampant boss to debuff their damage and tohit. If the boss already has Darkest Night on them, hitting them with TG is just cruel. And by cruel, I mean hell of awesome and also great. But still a little cruel. Just because no one needs healing doesn’t mean you should neglect TG.
Defensively: To keep yourself and your team mates alive. TG does have a tohit check -and- the animation is kindof slow, but the upside of this is that it heals like uh, a..heal…train? I don’t know, whatever. At 50 it will heal for about as much as Cauterize but in AoE. Delightful. Hitting a boss once or twice with this, especially if they’re already under DN means you can bust out the RDLV Seizure right in front of their faces and there is nothing they can do about it. That’ll learn ‘em.
|Tar Patch: targeted AoE –speed -fly -res (all)|
Slotting Recommendation: Max out the recharge. If you want to enhance the slow you only need 1 or 2 enhancies to do so, so that’s nice. I personally didn’t bother because stuff dies fast enough that things skedaddling off the patch like they’re Benny Hill isn’t much of an issue. Unless they’re War Wolves. In which case there is nothing you can do but sigh and reach for your Petrifying Gaze button. Mmmmmmrooooooownnnn. Scary.
How to Use:
Offensively: Drop under a spawn so they melt faster. And my, how they will melt. A spawn with Tar Patch under it will burn at all ends, they will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–It gives a HELLISH LIGHT
Wait, where was I?
Defensively: Dropping it under a spawn not only means they go tubby-bye-byes in a hurry but also that anything trying to get into melee to smash face will do so at a glacial pace so you may dismantle them at your leisure. That’s leh-sure, by the way, not lee-sure. Thank you please come again. (That is not what she said)
|Darkest Night: foe based toggle, AoE -tohit -damage (all)|
Slotting Recommendation: Get good values for -tohit debuff and endurance reduction. While DN doesn’t eat as much endurance as say, the Radiation toggles, it does add up. I went with a set of Dark Watcher’s Despair because it gives good values and bonuses for few slots. Das pas waarde voor je geld, man.
How to Use:
Offensively: Ev ev ev every day I’m DN-pullin’, every day I’m DN-pullin’. Chuck it on a dude, back off and warm up your larynx for the maniacal cackling as they all run towards you where they will bunch up to be annihilated. Yaaaaay. The (sadly unenhanceable) damage debuff is also sizeable, so if I’m not using this to pull pretties into my web of destruction I’ll probably chuck it on a boss to make them hit less hard and often.
Defensively: To make a spawn hit like kittens and make them go down like… wait, what, no. Okay, let’s start again. If slotted DN is on a spawn, their hit rate will go down the toilet and whatever hits do get through won’t hit hard at all. The biggest baddie in a given spawn is generally the best choice to put DN on because a) they probably hit the hardest so yay damage debuff and 2: they’re likely to live longest so the debuff gets the most use.
|Howling Twilight: targeted AoE foe stun, slow, –rech, minor damage (negative) -regen, ally rez|
Slotting Recommendation: While the stun duration (relative to the recharge of the power) is nothing to write home about, this power is a great set mule with the added bonus of being deserving of the enhancing it gets from the sets. I went with Absolute Amazements in mine because it makes the stun last MUCH longer, gives great recharge values and the -tohit proc is actually not garbage in Howling Twilight! INCREDIBLE!
How to Use:
Offensively: To stun a spawn. Unlike most rezzes which are only useful when, y’know, someone needs rezzing, Howling Twilight is almost always awesome. The stun will instantly neutralize a spawn for more than enough time to burn them down. It also has a sizeable -regen debuff attached, same amount as Benumb, Lingering Radiation and Heat Exhaustion. The downside is it has a longer recharge than those powers, but still be sure to use it against AVs for the debuff. Twilight Grasp also has -regen but 1/10 of the strength of HT.
Defensively: As a stun. Har. Okay, okay, maybe a little as a rez sometimes I guess. Seriously about the stun though, if another spawn is aggroed Howling is a great panic button to deal with it. Neuter the first spawn with Fearsome Stare, emasculate the second with Howling Twilight. Feels good, man. Well, not for them. But they’re AI so who cares what they think. At least, until the Robot Revolt turns violent, but we’ve got some time before then.
|Shadowfall: PBAoE +def (all) +res (energy, negative energy, psy) +stealth|
Slotting Recommendation: Enhance for defense and end rdx first and foremost. The defense applies to all types and will stack with whatever other defense is floating around for you and/or your team. The Psy resist shouldn’t be ignored though, since only a few armour sets provide psy res and there are some fights (Psionic CWK) where it’s very useful.
How to Use:
Offensively: Not really.
Defensively: Run in conjunction with another stealth for full invis so you can get the drop on spawns as well as positioning yourself well for your cones/AoEs. I generally run this all the time even if not fighting heavy psy/neg/nrg damage dealing enemies just because stealth is really handy. If you are fighting primarily psy/negative dealing enemies whatever lolmelee is attempting to take point will probably appreciate the added resistances. Especially against something like Numina/Sister Psyche/the Clockwork King. Oh, also make sure to run it when freeing Sister Solaris. Don’t turn it off, ESPECIALLY when she is freed. Trust me, people will love you for it*
|Fearsome Stare: Cone fear -tohit|
Slotting Recommendation: The fear duration/recharge/tohit debuff on this are already pretty decent at base, so imo it comes down to set bonuses. I went with 4 Cloud Senses with the proc for the recharge bonus and a tohit/end/rech from Siphon Insight. Why go with tohit debuff sets rather than say, Glimpse of the Abyss? Because while Fear is yummy, the base duration on FS is fine, fear gets broken fast and the –tohit on Fearsome Stare is huge. 15% huge (which, dear reader, is the same as Darkest Night and 3x as much as Twilight Grasp). Enhancing the –tohit will do much more for your survivability than the fear.
How to use:
The way Fearsome Stare works there’s a lot of overlap when using it offensively vs defensively so I’m not gonna break it down. Hit a spawn with it when you’re jumping in to minimize any alpha-strike sass when you unload Fireball/Rain of Fire. Which you have, because you’re fire/dm, right? Yeah, that’s right. I thought so. Using Fearsome Stare proactively like this will drastically lower the incoming damage and is less fiddly than Darkest Night if you’re on a fast moving team. Since it recharges faster and has a large AoE than Howling Twilight, this should be your first panic button. If a second spawn is aggroed, FS, bam, threat neutralised. Unless someone goes and attacks them. Which should totally be you, fyi. Get stuck in with your AoEs. Rawr. Even if there is so much damage flying around the fear will never stick for more than a second or two, still throw this out for the tohit debuff.
One important thing to note is that the cone is rather large. And when I say rather large, I mean absolutely hufuckingmongous. Even moreso if you’ve got it enhanced for range from set IOs. This means if you’re too close to the spawn you’re using it on, you may catch one or two dudes from the next spawn over. Not a big deal as whatever it tags will be feared and debuffed, but worth being mindful of.
|Petrifying Gaze: foe hold|
Slotting Recommendation: The hold/rech values on this are pretty poopy at base so if you plan on making any serious use of it be sure to enhance them well (as well as Accuracy). I went with a set of Unbreakable Constraints mostly for the set bonuses but justified by the fact that when I do use PG, I want it to be good.
How to use: Similar deal as FS, not breaking this one down. If this bothers you feel free to copy and paste this segment into a Word document, arbitrarily divide it and then continue to read. The animation on this is not glacial, but its slow enough that I rarely use it, especially given the huge amount of mitigation in the rest of DM. I mostly use it to hold a troublesome mob like a lt, sapper or wolf that insists on zooming around like a turbocharged Audi r32.
If a mob is dangerous enough that you don’t want to just debuff its tohit and take your chances, use PG: It can also come in handy to make your DN anchor sit still.
|Black Hole: AoE foe intangible|
Slotting Recommendation: Don’t. If you don’t take this, you can’t slot it and then everyone wins.
How to use: Don’t. See above. Enemy phases are of limited utility to begin with, but this one being AoE makes it much more so plus a bunch. Unlike a Sonic or FFer, you can’t just phase one troublesome target without phasing all his buddies too. Any time you would need Black Hole, Fearsome Stare or Howling Twilight would be better and still let you kill the enemies. Please, don’t take Black Hole.
|Dark Servant: summon Dark Servant pet|
Unlike say, a Fire Imp, the Dark Servant has a bunch of powers that do a bunch of things so I’ll list them below.
|• Tenebrous Tentacles: Cone immobilize -tohit minor negative DoT|
• Chill of the Night: PBAoE -tohit minor negative damage
• Twilight Grasp: Same as yours.
• Darkest Night: Same as yours, funnily enough.
• Petrifying Gaze: OH MY GOD WHAT IS GOING ON HERE**
Slotting Recommendation: The Dark Servant can take a whole slew of sets, I went with Dark Watcher’s Despair because it affects all of his powers and the bonuses are nice. If you’ve got a spare slot, the Clouded Senses proc can be quite nice, but bear in mind it will only check on the Servant’s -tohit powers that have an accuracy check (TT, TG, CotN) In addition you want high accuracy in the pet, because DM has no -def and there’s no point having a pet who can do a bunch of stuff if it misses everything all the time. Unless you like to watch hopeless, pointless struggles. In which case go read a thread about building a tanker for damage. Ho ho ho.
How to Use:
Offensively: Given that the Servant has no melee or PBAoE powers except for its toggle, as you’re running around it will always be at range. Despite this, you can still use it offensively by summoning it into the middle of spawns. Its damage aura will debuff them, damage them and it will take the aggro for you so you can go nuts. Don’t worry about it dying, the Servant is surprisingly resilient with its -tohit coupled with your own.
Defensively: Just summon it and go about your business. It’ll spam its powers leaving you more time to blast away. Its Twilight Grasp spam can keep you topped off if you stand next to it, but don’t rely on it to heal you when you need it. The Servant is about as intelligent as a Scrapper, with the upside of at least having powers that help the team. Oh man, I’ve been dogging on the melees hard recently. Good times.
|How to Not Be Awful:|
• DN pulls DN pulls DN pulls. Dark Miasma profits so, so much from good pulls with Darkest Night. The hefty tohit debuff means a lot of the fire that will come your way will miss, and the damage debuff means whatever does get through won’t hit too hard. Unless you use it to pull like, a spawn full of 54 Praefectus. In which case, you have balls. I like your balls. Pull stuff to a corner with DN, lay down Tar Patch, hit them with Fearsome to ensure minimal sass then proceed to show them what time it is. (Hint: IT IS THE INFAMOUS GO TIME)
• Twilight Grasp used to have a suuuuuper slow animation, but it’s still on the slow side. If you wait until you’re at really low health to hit it you’re probably still gonna get smooshed. I generally hit it when I’m at 1/2-3/4 health to stay topped off. Same for healing team mates with it.
• Speaking of Twilight Grasp, I sometimes use it even if I don’t need the heal, because of its tohit/damage debuff. Very nice on bosses. Spam on AVs for the -regen. Rejoice in a power that does all kinds of stuff and does it well. Laugh at powers that do only one thing and do it badly. Haha, Repel.
• If you only ever use Howling Twilight as a rez you’re wasting it 90% of the time. Even if it is super ******* epic when you rez like 3 or more people at once. (So epic). It’s great big honking stun. So unless people are dying left and right and you’re likely to need it as a rez, use it as an AoE stun. Use it as a panic button when another spawn is aggroed. It will instantly take a whole bunch of dudes for its duration, which is pretty respectable if slotted for stun (good set mule to put Stupefys or Absolute Amazements) giving you more than enough time to take them apart.
• When things are getting nasty, stand by the Servant. Its power spam (especially Twilight Grasp) makes it very resilient and you standing by it means you can heal it too. As long as it has enough accuracy to hit reliably the two of you will be very hard to take out. Conversely, if you’re always standing outside of its range you’ll be much squishier.
• Against AVs your –tohit will be scaled down to near-uselessness, but the –damage components in Twilight Grasp and Darkest Night will not. Keeping DN up and spamming TG (which you should be doing anyway for the –regen) will make the do defender level damage. Haha.
• While I mentioned it in the power, it bears repeating. The range on Fearsome Stare is huge. 70” huge, aka 10” less than a standard blast. If its within attacking range, its within Fearsome Stare range. If you’re right next to a spawn you might want to back up before hitting Fearsome to make sure you 1: tag the whole spawn 2: avoid tagging the spawn behind them.
• Tar Patch is fairly easy to perma but still has a longer recharge than Sleet/Freezing Rain so exercise judgement in throwing it down. If a spawn lasts long enough for it to recharge while you’re still fighting, if there’s only a few dudes left its probably best to hold off on it so you can drop it under the next spawn.
• Petrifying Gaze use. Yes, not a phenomenal hold, but still worth having. 2 hold and 2 rech IOs will be enough for you to keep a particularly nasty boss held. Or instantly taking a troublesome mob out of the fight.
|What Goes Well With Dark Miasma|
Well uh, not to be belabourin’ the point but I’m o’ the opinion that Fire Blast is the best for blastin’ with Dark Miasma. This is because o’ the large amount o’ defense that Dark is bringin’ to the table so all the offense that fire is workin’ in goes great. With Dark you’ll generally be wantin’ a blast set that brings a lot of firepower to the table. Ice is also worth considerin’ because *GASP* oh god I can’t do it anymore
Okay, so where was I? Right, Ice. Less AoE damage than Fire, but brings good control with it. I personally don’t think you really need the extra control given how Dark is, but PG and Freeze Ray is not a bad combo. The Ice Storm slow would also stack with Tar Patch for maek happy fun shredded enemies tiem.
The other blast set I’d recommend is Radiation. This is for several reasons. First of all, the –def goes great with Dark as Dark doesn’t have any and it’ll help your and the Servant’s stuff to hit. Also respectable AoE damage and Cosmic Burst will stack with Howling Twilight to stun a boss.
While it fits thematically I would not recommend Dark Blast. The damage is butts and it brings utility you don’t need because basically everything it can do Dark Miasma does better.
I’ve also gotta give a nod to Sonic here, not because of any particular synergy with Dark Miasma, but just because its all-round very solid blast set. Very cheap on endurance, fast cast times on the Tier 1 and 2 blasts and the -res will stack with Tar Patch. I would however note that if you really want to make the most of Dark, pair it with a set that has boss AoE. So uh, Fire, Rad and uh, AR (I guess >.>)
How Silas Be Doin’ It
• Recharge. More recharge = more Tar Patch, more Fearsome Stare, more Howling Twilight. You want a lot of recharge. Not striiiiclty as much as I have since I wanted tonnes bozillions, I would say aim for 50% or so for a noticeable difference.
• Accolades. More hp/end means you’ve got more breathing room for Twilight Grasp and increases your endurance recovery. Both great for dark, especially with an end heavy primary like Fire.
• Since I use Howling Twilight as much more than a rez (and you should too, dood) I didn’t put it way off to the side. Keep it visible, use it often. So p. much do the opposite of what you do with your junk.
• Power binds. Since Dark doesn’t have any shields, all I’ve got bound is Twilight Grasp bound to Q so its easy to hit.
This is my current, i19 updated build.
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Went for recharge, recovery and as much hp as I could get. Dark Mastery is beyond awesome for Fire/Darks, especially with high recharge. Soul Drain is pretty much perma and should I die, bam, Soul Transfer and I’m back in the fight.
* : Incorrect.
** : Dude I do not even know hold me I’m scared
VII: Sonic Resonance
Okay so you guys know how FF is hugely effective but also super boring and lame? Yeah, totally. Okay so Sonic is like FF, except with resistance instead of defense and awesome instead of lame. Why yes, that is the raddest thing. That’s very astute of you, I’m impressed.
But Silas, I hear you cry, you are a guy who is known for saying all kinds of stuff all kinds of times, how do we know this is a time when you’re not saying stuff that is totally wrong?
WELL I NEVER. I speak 100% truth, all the time, every time. To suggest otherwise is as offensive as well, most of the other stuff I say. But I will indulge you, dear reader. Behold!
Why Sonic Resonance is Awesome and Anyone Who Says Otherwise Is A Butt:
• That’s right, a butt. I don’t take any guff from these swine, man.
• Defense buffs are ridiculously easy to come by but resistance ones are not, this makes sonic especially valuable because…
• Sonic buffs resistance bunches. Assuming you don’t fail at shielding (a …generous assumption but let us continue for the sake of argument) you can be giving the melee (gross!) types about 23% resistance and the squishies 40%. This is hella good and also sweet.
• As well as buffing team resistance a bunch, you also debuff the enemies resistances a bunch.
• Mez protection and resistance for you and your closest friends. Awwwww :3
• Powerful large AoE debuff/control power. More on this later. (oooh, suspense!)
• A single target (therefore not terrible by default!) enemy phase power for instantly nullifying large threats. Also harassing blasters in RV.
• Low maintenance team resistance buffing set
|Sonic Siphon: foe -res (all)|
Slotting Recommendation: 2 accuracy, 2 recharges. You want this to hit and you want it to recharge fast. An end rdx if you want.
How to Use: To debuff resistance, dood. Use at the start of your attack chain, spam on tough targets. Bear in mind that while the duration is much longer than the recharge it does not self-stack, so once you’ve already hit one target with it hit another when it recharges. Don’t only use it once a fight on your target then go about your business. The more you spread this around the more stuff dies and lo did the people rejoice. There’s generally a lot of AoE -res flying around on teams, and some even from you as a sonic, but single target -res debuffs are relatively rare. The short recharge gives you a versatility that isn’t present with the AoE -res debuffs.
|Sonic Barrier: ally +res(smashing, lethal, toxic)|
Slotting Recommendation: Max out the resistance values and get a reasonable amount of endurance reduction. You want the shields to mitigate as much damage as they can, but buffing an entire team every 3-4 minutes can put a real hurting on your blue bar so getting good end rdx values are a must. In terms of sets Titanium Coatings and Impervium Armours are good because both +hp and +recovery are very handy for a sonic.
How to Use: Target ally, buff ally, everyone around ally gets buffed too, go about your business. This and Haven mitigate a lot of damage so keep them up. They animate fast and recharge faster so there’s no excuse. NO EXCUSE
|Sonic Haven: ally +res(fire, cold, energy, negative energy)|
Slotting Recommendation: Same as Barrier. You can’t really skimp on the resistance values of either of these because Barrier protects against one of the most common damage types (smashing) and Haven protects against the other (energy). Plus Haven has all the exotic damage types. Invulns will love you.
How to Use: Same as Barrier. Man, this kind of thing makes my job so easy. Not needing to think++
|Sonic Cage: awww man what I have to explain a bunch of stuff for this one, my past extravances have caught up with me at last :C|
Okay, okay. Fine. Its an enemy phase. You know how Hibernate and Phase Shift make it so the bad men can’t touch you any more? It does that to a single enemy. But Silas, what the hell I mean really what that is terrible why would I want to do that when with an enemy it is ME who is the bad man. Well, I say, shut your face and keep reading.
Slotting Recommendation: This only takes acc/end/rech/range and of those only accuracy is really important. This is because at base the duration matches the recharge so once you’ve got global recharge and/or Hasten in the picture its not an issue because you’re not generally going to want to have more than 1 thing Caged to begin with. What is interesting to note is that acc/mez HOs will enhance the mag of the phase. I’m not sure what Mag you need to phase a +3 or +4 AV, I was able to do it with 2 lvl 50 HOs so about mag 8/9. I’ve since upgraded them because well why not and more accuracy is good times.
How to Use: Sonic Cage is a tricky one. While hitting something with it does instantly take it out commission for 30 seconds which can be a lifesaver, you also can’t affect the target in any way. So unless you don’t need to smash the target for at least 30 seconds, don’t Cage it. Though something being Caged when you want to kick it in the head is a minor inconvenience at most, its fairly irritating. That in conjunction with Cage only really being useful in a few fringe cases means if you’re not sure, don’t use it.
|Caging Stuff For Fun and Profit: The fringe cases. The RSF (maybe STF too?) and ITF. Both have AV-level baddies that are worth taking out of the fight for 30 seconds without hampering the progress of the team.|
Caging Romulus’ Nicti on an ITF can be very useful. Here’s a diagram to show which fluffy bundle of love does what. Teams with a fair amount of buffing/debuffing or not a lot of damage, I cage the Healing Nictus so Romulus dies faster. On teams without a lot of buffing/debuffing where people are taking a lot of damage, I cage the Mire Nictus. I never bother with the Summoning Nictus because it’s not a big threat and more targets = bigger Heat Losses, Fulcrum Shifts, Soul Drains and other delicious things.
On RSFs, it can come in handy because there are several times when you’re fighting a bunch of Heroes at once and being able to take one out of the equation is great. Cage whoever is a)not the current target and not going to be the next target and b)would otherwise be a threat. As in, caging Manticore is generally a waste of time. If you’re doing a speed run, (especially with nukes/shivans), keeping Valkyrie caged to ensure she dies last can be very helpful.
In the final fight, Statesman. He hits ludicrously hard and usually can’t be taken out until Unstoppable drops. Bam, Cage, no more States smashing people to bits. BaBs and Citadel are also good targets to Cage because they hit pretty hard too. Most importantly, make sure whoever you’re Caging isn’t going to be the target for the next 30 seconds.
|Disruption Field: ally PBAoE –res|
Slotting Recommendation: 2-3 end redux. This thing eats a tonne of endurance.
How to Use: chuck on an ally. Everything around them gets resistance debuffed. What’s rad is that aggroed by this gets cranky at whoever the toggle is on, not you. What’s not rad is that this is an offensive toggle and so gets turned off if you go out of range (about 100yds). So due to the way maps in this game are built, every time you or the ally go into an elevator Disruption shuts off. It can be pretty irritating on maps with a lot of elevators but it is worth it.
|Sonic Dispersion: PBAoE +res(all) +protection (hold, immobilise, stun)|
Slotting Recommendation: Similar to Haven and Barrier, but more important to get good endurance reduction since you’ll be running this all the time. Make sure the resistance is maxed out because this in conjunction with whatever APP/PPP shield you get can give you pretty respectable resistances.
How to Use: Turn on, profit. Pretty straight-forward. Everything around you gets resistances and mez protection. This is great because you can hang back in the backlines and make the squishies tougher and mez-protected. Which is awesome. Don’t worry too much about keeping all the squishies in its range because of Clarity, just try to position yourself sorta-centrally to the team.
|Sonic Repulsion: ally PBAoE foe KB|
Slotting Recommendation: man do not even
How to Use: Don’t. It’s a turd. It uses a lot of endurance to do a thing no one wants done. Its totally counterproductive to Disruption Field. Skip it, don’t look back.
|Clarity: ally +resistance (hold, sleep, stun, immobilise, fear, confuse) +perception|
Slotting Recommendation: Just an endurance reduction, really. It’s fine with a single slot.
How to Use: Since Sonic Dispersion already provides protection against holds/stuns/immobs the usefulness of Clarity is diminished. However, if the team is running around a lot so they’re not going to be in range, Clarity is worth throwing out. While Fear and Confuse are fairly rare Clarity does come in handy for those times.
|Liquefy: location AoE -tohit, -defense, foe hold, minor DoT, knockdown|
Slotting Recommendation: This is a tricky one. Liquefy does a bunch of cool stuff which you want to enhance, but it also takes like 20 years to recharge so you want to max that out too. The hold and damage components are really pretty negligible so you can ignore them, it’s the -tohit and -def debuffs that are secksi. Personally I think it comes down to personal preference/build which you choose to go for. I went with Dark Watchers and an Achilles -res proc. Hami-Os are also a good option for this power, uhhhh, Lysosomes I think. Gotta emphasize maxing out the recharge again though, this badboy takes an eternity to recharge because of retarded power balance formulas, yay.
How to Use: Throw it under nasty stuff. It’ll mitigate a fair amount of damage as well as making the stuff hit by it die faster (especially if you’ve got the Achilles proc in there, which you should do. Don’t make me come over there.) The recharge is long enough that you don’t want to throw it out on stuff that’s about to die because it’ll be a waste, but it’s an all-round handy enough power that you want to throw it out as much as you can. Search your soul and find the middle ground between these two paths. Godspeed, man.
|How to Not Be Awful:|
• Keep shields up. Not hard, make team strong like mountain. Silas not want hear excuses. I’ve got them bound to G and H which is clearly the absolute best thing to do, because I did it that way.
• If you’re fighting stuff like Rikti (mainly just Rikti, tee bee aych) that has Sleeps aplenty, throw out Clarity on the squishies in your buffing cycle because Dispersion doesn’t protect against it. If you get slept well then haha sucks to be you. Or hit a break free. Equally viable tactics.
• Sonic is all about resistance, either buffing or debuffing. You want to be on the ball about both. As such, don’t neglect throwing out Siphon because you’re chasing teammates all over the map to shield them, just throw out the shields on people as you have time. What I usually do is buff between spawns, while my AoEs/Liquefy/Siphon are recharging.
• Do something about endurance consumption. Sonic sucky sucky your endurance long time. Especially if you pair it with an endurance intensive primary (like most controller primaries or Fire Blast). Options: Conserve Power, Power Sink, +recovery bonuses (about 20+% should do the trick along with decent end reduction), latching onto a kin and nevernevernever letting go, there are a lot of things you can do. Just, you know, do something otherwise it’ll be agony. I personally got CP and +recovery bonuses (in addition to accolades to boost endurance so the recovery bonuses work off a higher base)
• Funhouse by Pink is a godawful song and if you like it I hate you so, so much. Especially if you like it enough to buy it therefore making radio people think it’s a great song to play and goddddd this is the 3rd time it is playing today make it stoppppp ; _ ;
• Okay so I know sonic is all about resistance but I’ve gotta stress that you also do your fair share of stuff-deadening. Not much point throwing out a tonne of -res if you never take advantage of it yourself too. Especially since you can (and should) take it upon yourself to Siphon big nasties and kill them. Pchew pchew.
• Practice situational awareness for Siphon. While it recharges fast so throwing it on the wrong dude is not a big deal, it is worth prioritizing what needs to go splat first.
• Protip: if you take Sonic Cage at 41 or below, hilarity ensues if you go into Warburg with a friend, drop team, Cage them and run away giggling. :3
• Live on time, emit no evil. Well, okay, maybe a little evil is okay.
How Silas Be Doing It:
• Accolades. Awesome in general but especially so on squishies and especially especially on sonic because the increased end helps with the end costs and the hp layers well on top of the resistance you get from Dispersion/APP/PPP shields to make you less likely to get splattered.
• I do have Power Sink and Conserve Power, but tbh if I ever think of something I want instead of PS I’m dropping it. I never use it, my recovery and CP are more than enough to keep me going.
|What Goes Well With Sonic:|
I personally went with fire because fwoomf stuff dies awesome. The high ST and AoE damage works well with your -res, so you bring a lot of offence and defence to a team. Buuuut very end heavy.
Sonic Blast is a good option, since its very light on endurance and all the -res stacks. Your res debuffs from Siphon/your blasts will also help out with keeping the team from getting mauled if there is someone with damage debuffs on the team because of how -dam and -res work. Damage debuffs are more effective if a target has its resistances debuffed.
Another good option would be rad, since you can put Achilles procs in the AoEs so you’re bringing a lot of -res and -def to the team. Its also fairly light on endurance.
Endurance consumption is something to bear in mind when picking a primary because of how end-heavy Sonic is (even moreso if you can’t/won’t get your grubby mitts on a Numina +/+ or a Miracle +rec)
Here’s my current i19 updated build. Went for more recharge and softcapped smashing/lethal defenses.
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|Ways It Could Be Improved:|
Endurance use, mainly. You can burn through your blue pretty fast running Disruption Field and spamming your AoEs. I’ve solved this with the Cardiac Alpha, but its something to bear in mind.
So there it is. Sonic stuff.
Go forth and shout at dudes
VIII: Trick Arrow
Trick Arrows, dood. Another one of those hardcore offensive debuffy sets where you keep the team from getting smooshed by debuffing and blowing the would-be smoosher to bits. Awesome as hell.
Fair warning though, TA is very nuanced and tricky (hardeeharhar) and generally people won’t be super aware of what you’re doing so if you love feeling sorry for yourself and making passive aggressive comments in team chat then AWESOME! You won’t find much praise for your efforts running a Trick Arrows, but you’re not doing this for praise, are you? You should be doing this because Trick Arrows rocks the goddamned house and destroys stuff real good. If you want praise for your efforts, go moderate an in-game channel.
Bwahahaha. Oh man, awesome.
Seriously though. Without further ado:
Why Trick Arrows is Great and You Want to Sleep With One:
• Um okay dude first of all I do not know what your deal is but I wouldn’t recommend you do that, these things explode and stuff. Unwise.
• If you just want to play a Trick Arrows, then I can help you. Check this out, my droogs:
o Awesome AoE debuffs to neuter spawns and make them real tender for the killings
o High AoE damage and debuff power which is totally awesome, even if it doesn’t work 100% of the time. It still works almost always you guys, discouraged is not a thing you should be.
o Fast recharging AoE -res and -def debuffs
o Lots of control (most notably in the form of a HUGE AoE hold and -regen)
o Great thematic pairing with Archery (which happens to rock butts)
o The sticks are so pointy.
o Unlike Dark or Rad where stuff isn’t debuffed as soon as they run out of the DN/RI/EF radius, almost all of the TA debuffs are persistent due to their click nature. Hit something with a TA debuff, bam, its debuffed for the duration. End of story. This provides an immense amount of versatility.
o Lots of delicious proc oppertunities.
|Entangling Arrow: foe immobilize -fly -slow|
Slotting Recommendation: the values on this are pretty good at base so it doesn’t need a huuuge amount of attention and is perfectly content to play by itself alone in the sandbox. BUT! Don’t let it do that because it’s a very handy power. Make sure you get decent values for accuracy and immobilize duration.
How to Use: For all kinds of things. For keeping a boss out of melee where he would punch your head, for stopping runners, for keeping stuff in your debuffs, for stopping AVs from running all over the place (which they like to do once you’ve hit them with all your debuffyness). Early on this is reasonably effective control but later on you’ve got more reliable options. If you want something to stay put somewhere for whatever reason (which is quite often the case with a heavily location based set like TA) use this.
|Flash Arrow: targeted foe -perception -tohit|
Slotting Recommendation: I personally went with 4 Dark Watchers for the bonuses and because imo Flash Arrow doesn’t need too much enhancing. The -tohit is nice to stack on top of whatever defense you/the team has but the -perception is unenhanceable.
How to Use: to cause epileptic fits. This causes (oddly enough) a huge flash. Its not too distracting but some people (we call them weenies) are bothered by it. The -tohit is, as I mentioned, relatively minor but worth throwing out to stack with defenses and -perc is great, especially on cramped maps to stop other spawns getting cranky as you melt their buddies.
|Glue Arrow: targeted AoE -slow -recharge|
Slotting Recommendation: Max out the recharge. The slow debuff on this is pretty hefty at base and paired with Oil Slick Arrow will bring most baddies to the slow cap. If you’ve got a spare slot its not a bad idea to put a slow enh in just to make sure (for higher level mobs or stuff that resists slows) but not strictly necessary.
How to Use: This is one of your two major keep-stuff-where-it-is powers. Since TA is very heavily location based, you’ll be getting a lot of use out of this. While everything about this power makes you think it would be a location AoE, its not. It’s targeted, so use it on the dude in the middle of a spawn. The debuff will stay on mobs for a while even after they’ve left the patch, so don’t hesitate to use it.
|Ice Arrow: foe hold -recharge -speed|
Slotting Recommendation: The values on this at base are reasonable. I personally skipped it but only because I took Stunning Shot from Archery. If you don’t have a different ST mez from somewhere else, I would frankenslot this to get good acc/rech/hold values.
How to Use: Anytime you need to take a single target out of the fight, pew. Fairly easy to stack on a boss. Pretty straightforward power, really.
|Poison Gas Arrow: ranged AoE, -dmg, sleep|
Slotting Recommendation: I went with 5 Fortunata Hypnoses. The placate proc is pretty awesome in this and while the sleep is nothing to write home about, the set bonuses are pretty great, it’s a cheap set and gives good enhancement values. The -dmg is sadly unenhanceable, but will be made more effective by your -res powers so yay.
How to Use: Solo, it works pretty well as a sleep. On teams it’ll get broken almost instantly and you have better options to take a spawn out of the equation. Use it as a -dmg debuff. Throw it out early in your attack cycle, even if you know the sleep will be broken early. The damage debuff is pretty respectable so Good Times™.
|Acid Arrow: ranged AoE -res (all), -def, minor DoT|
Slotting Recommendation: Max out the accuracy, recharge and get good values for the defense debuff. You want this to hit and you want it to recharge fast. The AoE is sadly fairly small (unlike Sleet/Tar Patch/Freezing Rain) so you’ve gotta throw it around a lot. Lysosomes, frankenslotting, global recharge, Achilles -res proc. Get in on this action, son.
How to Use: Again, the AoE is small (about as big as the radius on a damage aura, if that means anything to you) so make sure to target a dude fairly central in a spawn to maximise its effect. I almost always open with this and use it as soon as it’s back up again. It’s a fantastic power and just wants to share its flesh-melting acidic love with the world, so won’t you let it?
|Disruption Arrow: location AoE -res|
Slotting Recommendation: This one is fairly cut and dried. This is autohit so you only need to bother with the recharge. While the debuff on this isn’t persistent its still worth throwing out to stack with Acid Arrow and to debuff enemy resistance even more. 2-3 recharges, this badboy recharges pretty quickly to begin with but the more the merrier. Unless you’re a mob who just had their resistance shot to poop in which case I guess it is pickles on parade for you and your buddies.
How to Use: Chuck it out into the middle of a spawn to make ‘em die faster. Simple, effective. Bear in mind that since the debuff isn’t sticky you should always use it in conjunction with something to keep the mobs in it (y helo thar Glue Arrow)
|Oil Slick Arrow: location AoE -speed, Knockdown, DoT (fire) -defense|
Slotting Recommendation: This is the pinnacle of your debuffing/controllery/killy goodness. Max out the recharge on this, or bring eternal shame to your family. You play a superhero MMO, don’t you think they’re ashamed enough of you? The answer is yes, max out the recharge on this, it has a looooong recharge and is very worth it. The other thing you want to enhance is the damage. I frankenslotted dam/recharges from the targeted AoE sets as well as a recharge IO and an Achilles -res proc. This gives great damage values, maxed out recharge and the -res is delicious, especially since it’s a large AoE. The slow and -def are high at base and you’ve got other powers which do them better, so don’t bother.
How to Use: Always and often and all the time, god, its gooooooooood. Just…a lot, okay?
First of all, as a location control/debuff. Throw it under a spawn to make them slip and slide and get hit more easily and be slowed and die faster if you put an Achilles proc in it. This alone is pretty great. But then…
The slick can be targeted and defeated. If defeated by fire or energy damage (easy since it is about as tough as an Elec Armour Stalker) the slick ignites. And by ignites, I mean IGNITES. This is where the fire damage comes in. Its like Burn, but massive and keeps stuff in the area itself. It’s fantastic. This causes you to laugh maniacally and the team to wonder where the hell that spawn went.
Disclaimer: sometimes the spawn doesn’t light. It used to be much worse and has mostly been resolved, but you will still encounter issues lighting it. In my experience, 9/10 times it will ignite successfully, but that 1/10 times still makes me >:C Another thing to bear in mind is that it will cause pets to run around like headless chickens because well, if intern programmers didn’t break things then devs wouldn’t have anything to fix. C’est la vie.
|EMP Arrow: Targeted AoE -hold -regen self -rec special damage vs robots|
Slotting Recommendation: Max out the recharge, fair amount of hold duration. It lasts pretty long at base, but since this is an emergency spawn-shut-down power you want it to shut things down for as long as possible. The damage is unenhanceable which is good because if you could enhance it some people would and then I’d have more people to scorn and scorn doesn’t grow on trees, you know.
How to Use: troublesome spawn giving you the pip, guv’nah? Hit them with this. Huge AoE mez. Bam. It’s an awesome hold. The other EMPs in the game are all PBAoE whereas this is ranged so you can fire it from safety to disable a spawn. Bear in mind that this does debuff your recovery but it’s not a big deal since TA is fairly light on endurance. Since this and OSA are both on long recharge timers and serve more or less the same purpose (totally disabling a spawn) its good to alternate them on teams.
|How to Not Be Awful:¨|
• Bear in mind which powers summon stuff that sticks around. These being: Glue and OSA. Stuff debuffed by Glue will stay debuffed for the its duration even if they leave the patch. Only stuff hit by the initial cast of PGA/Acid will be debuffed, and mobs will only be debuffed by Disruption Arrow while in its area. What this means is that you need to use your powers in conjunction with each other. Glue and OSA to keep stuff together for Disruption/Acid/etc. It’s like, synergy or something, dood. Wild.
• Because OSA works in a kindof screwy way (it summons a pet in a place which does stuff which summons another pet which does other stuff) you can get creative with it. Specifically, (and props to Luminara for this little gem) even if you light the slick shortly before it disappears, the Burning patch will still be summoned for the full duration. So while its mostly best to ignite the patch ASAP so stuff is slowed while they melt, its something to bear in mind.
• While Trick Arrow has debuffs, controls and debuffs like whoah, you might want to invest either in defense bonuses or Aid Self because you have relatively little to mitigate incoming damage.
• Since the Oil Slick can only be lit by energy or fire damage, if you don’t have access to either of those types from your primary you should either go tech or magic origin, since either of those origin powers will do the trick and relying on teammates to light it is fail.
• Because of the weird way Glue Arrow is placed, be mindful of who to target for it. If the mobs like to melee, firing it at a dude in the front of the spawn is a good idea because then it’ll slow them all as they run towards you.
• OSA and Disruption Arrow are location targeted which means you can be a tricksy little cheatyface with them. What I mean by this is that unlike Acid/Glue/Flash/PGA/EMP, you do not need Line of Sight to drop them. Feel free to drop them from behind walls. Dropping OSA and Disruption under a spawn from behind a wall, popping out to throw out Acid and to light the slick then popping back into cover to fire off Rain of Arrows (which is also location based) is delightful.
• While you can use EMP as your -regen debuff (and it is a strong debuff) it’s a little unwieldy because of the recharge. What I do for AV/GM fights is to open up with EMP so that their regen is debuffed from the start and stuff around them is held. Usually by the time it wears off you’ve got the rest of your debuffs out and the stuff around the AV/GM is dead so the teams damage is focused so the lack of -regen isn’t a big deal. Then just make sure you keep Acid/Disruption up to keep their resistance shot.
• Use Acid Arrow all the damn time. I know I stressed this before, but it’s a phenomenal power but the small debuff means you’ve got to use it a lot to spread it around. This is especially worth it if you’ve got the Achilles proc in there. While you can’t necessarily see if the proc went off because Acid causes the -res SFX arrows by itself, you’ll notice the difference in damage.
• Edit: new point Luminara made: the Oil Slick cannot be lit by anything other than fire or energy damage, but more importantly it is immune to all other forms of damage. This means you can use it as an anchor of sorts for powers like Transfusion, Twilight Grasp, Howling Twilight, Doms can build Domination off it, Siphon Life, etc. This can be pretty handy.
How Silas Be Doing It:
|What Goes Well With Trick Arrows:|
Most obviously, Archery. The two sets using the same weapon is awesome, it fits thematically and Archery rocks the house so it’s all good times. Rain of Arrows is obscene when dropped onto a spawn you’ve debuffed, especially as a corruptor because it SCOURGES. Corruptors rule, you guys. Defenders are boring and lame, make a corruptor today! Blazing Arrow is also a backup to light the Oil Slick if your origin power misses (emphasis on backup because you’ll normally want to use Blazing on something that warrants its damage).
The only other set I’d recommend to go with TA is fire. You’ll have absolutely monstrous damage output, and igniting the Slick will be a cinch. I’ve seen Rain of Fire dropped on a debuffed spawn with Oil Slick under them and man, it is brutal. The downside to this is you have 0 mitigation from your primary, so you’ll have to be more careful. Also redraw. While mechanically not an issue, as a principle it does bother some people.
What’s important in picking a primary (or secondary if you’re BORING) is that you’ve got high damage (especially AoE). It’s a huge shame to not have lots of damage and AoEs to take advantage of all the debuffed spawns.
This section isn’t called my build for a reason, namely because my current Arch/TA build is bad and out of date. If I redid it, it’d look something like this:
| Copy & Paste this data into Mids' Hero Designer to view the build | |-------------------------------------------------------------------| |MxDz;1393;697;1394;HEX;| |78DA9D94CB4F135114C6CF745A4A5FB4588AA5BCE46529C840A3A2E8C22082A2D40| |0054130364D194A23699B695150A32C7487893BDF8FBD0B176A34BAF22F1BCFE3D2| |EAD649FAFDE6DEFBDD73BFB933B7A9DD4B7E80FD0BA005A7B6B3954A66AA64593BE| |56AC972A5B2F9420EDC0010AD756616B3C5BCB9614C5AB92DD3DA8BD5072EEE6C6E| |1A4B56217727336959A57BCDB3457498C5AA7178E39D2F95B68D74D93437FC7C3B5| |3A816CD4A25A01AF9AD6AA19897A139335BC646FB74B99033EA8BA4B23913A552C5| |B5A3182C81BF47015097ED84578838F4BC66F4BF14BC61C45F30AA7FDB971D0049E| |85F608C2C091619C934E331DA3565D7BE0175B57E157C6144BF0B7E30EEA25D17BB| |AEBFC7899DE0FC28F8C06878CBD8479F4B7C2E579257F28E0946184D0623342AE8E| |1EABDF832DC32CBE11EE6AEC67FD080A31E8E6B83C7C60B34ECF1A940BE05442FF8| |17054B8CA634A30F7DB233360478E62E3683EAC983EB1CE3C89A6085D1B22AB8C97| |0638166595A6BBEA15157C7558D76BC1147C232E2081FB039F68CD1F19CB1872B45| |54C6C86FEC0A437C025B4E1D860E29CF47C16C1DEBB5895D6B3BCADB198B32EE63A| |17635D22E338664E79C38A75332E89D114ED7D5220809C28CA758A15BBD97EED39C| |EED829C119C14946CFB840AA3F08D0164AF55EF948FA3E0B3E09C675C243F40DA82| |D1D98E50AC7AF08A605338CF8654619270DAAD083123A21A113123A21A177B0ECB0| |2A3BDCC82B9DF0087C022F63C4CD78827643D98DEBBCD2E835C19C202527E02AA31| |5B76E4CBDD8314991ECE2A7EA70D68E920EF26D39E4DB72CC331AE4DB9AABFB805F| |21CC3B6BA70A34EE99AD7B6C4FA87638FEF7FA897F6AB28267C18B776914582659A| |1E62AC91AC93AF5DD22B94D9221B17FF90FC304CF52AE09927324E74922980F0EC8| |E9A6A3E523F19304489A488224219230498CE41D89FD073D35F6A9| |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
Softcapped smashing/lethal defense, lots of recharge and recovery, good times.
So yeah. Make a TA today, doods.
Acknowledgements: Luminara, for writing an incredibly comprehensive, excellent guide for TA and Archery and their infectious TA enthusiasm. I would recommend anyone interested in TA read Luminara’s Trick Arrow Enchiridion.
IX: Storm Summoning
Storm Summoning, my droogs. Much maligned because melee hates KB which Storm has in droves. As someone who hates melee, I enjoy Storm because I can passive aggressively drive them off my teams. Take that, scrapper fiends! Nah, seriously though, Storm does have a lot of KB but it’s very possible to minimize it and if you do use it, to use it to good effect.
KB stuff away from melee = MELEE HAZ A SAD
KB stuff towards melee = MELEE GIVE HUGZ
Now I can already hear you cry, but Silas, there are only two people who can play Storm well and they both died in the 1800s! YES, AND WE GREATLY MOURN THEIR PASSING.
But this is the time for change! It is totally possible to play Storm without being an awful, awful Fehlgeburt. Come, take my hand and let us prance through the fields of Storm. Don’t mind the lashing rain and gale force winds.
So you can play Storm in such a way as to be not terrible. Cool, not being awful is nice, but is that it?
I SAY NAY, SIRRAH:
Why Storm is Awesome and You Want to Be One:
• Very high damage/control support set
• No team buffs to worry about maintaining, just do yo’ thang
• Great mob positioning tools to both cause and control chaos.
• A fairly decent ally heal if you want to maintain the façade of not loathing your team mates and wanting them to die.
• Freezing Rain is like Sleet which is GREAT except unlike Sleet you don’t have to wait till like level one million to get it. So yay!
• Very powerful AoE debuffs
• Immense, (and I mean immense), abilities for team griefing :3
|Gale: Cone high KB, minor damage (smashing)|
Slotting Recommendation: Ehm, depends. As positioning tools go, this is pretty crude and you’ve got much better options in the rest of the set. I have it 6 slotted for Kinetic Crash set bonuses and on the rare occasions I use it, I want it to do its thing well. That said, I use it very rarely and unless your loathing for your fellow man is larger than mine (hah! Unlikely.) you probably won’t either so there’s not much point giving it slots. I would say slot it if you want set bonuses, otherwise don’t bother. Please, please don’t slot for damage. If your team wanted huge amounts of KB for anemic damage, they would have invited an energy blaster. Zing!
How to Use: To send stuff in a huge cone in front of you a-flying. It can come in handy very occasionally, but with all the energy and finesse you put into a good Gale you could have used Hurricane to put them there faster, less messily and debuffed them to boot. To that end, Hurricane is for fine positioning, Gale is if you just want something out of your face right that instant and you don’t care too much where it lands.
|O2 Boost: ally +heal +protection (Stun, End Drain) +perception|
Slotting Recommendation: Well, it’s a decent heal but healing really shouldn’t be your priority as a Stormy. I put 5 Doctored Wounds in it for set bonuses and while it’s far from a priority power, you might as well make the most of it if you can spare the slots.
How to Use: Well uh, most obviously for healing. Someone’s green bar gets dented, bubblegurglebubble O2 Boost them back up to healthy. The stun and end drain protection should not be ignored, however. While I wouldn’t take the time to keep all the squishies on a team O2 boosted fighting stuff with a lot of stuns, if you see someone stunned or someone calls it out, hit em with O2 to break them out of it. If you’re fighting stuff with a lot of end drains (Mu, Malta) it’s also pretty nice to keep a couple O2s on whoever is leading into the spawns to stop their blue bar going cough splutter poot. Also, unfortunately no matter how many O2s you stack on them, you can’t nullify the end drain of a nuke. I’ve tried :C It also gives +perception which is pretty nice if you’re fighting Arachnos with their frigging Smoke Nades.
|Snow Storm: toggle enemy PBAoE slow -rech -fly|
Slotting Recommendation: I went with 2 end rdx and 2 slows. It uses a tonne of endurance and the rest of Storm is pretty end-heavy as is, you really want to minimize how much this uses. 2 slows ensure brings the slow to -90% which is the slow cap. Slow resistant stuff (GOD I HATE WARWOLVES) will still ignore it (GOD I HATE THEM SO MUCH) the difference is very noticeable against anything else.
How to Use: Sadly unlike other delicious enemy toggles, you can’t really pull with this. Well, you can, but it’ll be like watching paint dry. Or playing a Defender. Use this on a central dude in a spawn to keep them where they are for Freezing Rain and stuff. Just be aware that the animation is a tad on the slow side so if stuff is dying fast or there’s a controller/dom locking stuff down you don’t need to bother. Only use Snow Storm if stuff is running all over the place and you need them to stop so you can deliver FACE PUNCHES.
|Steamy Mist: awww yeah steamy bow chicka okay FINE, god, you spoil all my fun. PBAoE ally +stealth +def(all) +res(fire/cold/energy) +confuse protection|
Slotting Recommendation: Defense and end rdx first. The defense is against all types whereas the resistance isn’t. The defense also stacks a lot more easily with whatever defense the team has. Since you’ll be running this almost all the time, make sure you get good endurance reduction too. Good place for Karma/Steadfast -KB IOs. It also gives confuse protection which is pretty handy against Succubi and the like.
How to Use: Toggle on, don’t turn off unless you’re leading an NPC somewhere. While the resistances aren’t always needed, the stealth is always great. Both will help you and other squishies not get splattered. This in conjunction with a stealth proc or Super Speed gives you full invis which is very handy for positioning.
|Freezing Rain: location AoE -def -res (all) slow, -rech, minor KD, minor DoT (lethal)|
Slotting Recommendation: Priority is to get maximum recharge and an Achilles -res proc. Getting good values for defense debuff and endurance reduction is also important.
How to Use: Open fights with it. Drop on spawns. Make them go dead faster. You want to use this all the time, its fantastic. This is a cornerstone power in Storm, and the other powers in the set (most notably Hurricane) allow you to make the best use of it.
|Hurricane: PBAoE repel, KB, -tohit|
Slotting Recommendation: For -tohit and endurance reduction. This is a very hefty tohit debuffer but uses a lot of endurance. Slot accordingly. Godspeed. ALSO: recharge.
Recharge in a toggle? Yes. Because this isn’t an Always Power(tm). It’s a power you turn on and off when needed, so you want it recharging sharpish like. I wouldn’t put recharge SO or IOs in it, but if you’re using a set (I went for 4 Dark Watchers) get the ones with some recharge if you can. Global recharge as well is also usually enough. As long as you’ve got it recharging in 4-6ish seconds it’s good.
How to Use: Well. This is something I could dedicate an entire How to Not Be Awful section to. But basically, the golden rule is this: be gentle, lover. Unless it’s incredibly KB/repel resistant (like an AV) you should pretty much never have something in the middle of your Hurricane. It’s possible to debuff stuff with the very edge of the ‘cane without shoving it around. If you do want to shove stuff around (which is also a very valuable use of the power) you still only need to graze them with the edge of it. Stuff will occasionally get randomly KBed, but if you’re gentle with it they’ll generally go flying to where you wanted them to go to begin with. It also debuffs range by a sizeable amount (60%), so stuff you nick with it will have a much harder time hitting as well as needing to be closer to do so. Stacks nicely with Taunts -range. Good times.
It’s a very fiddly power, but an incredible useful and powerful tool. Practice with it until you get a good feel for its nuances. Probably best to do this solo.
Here’s a picture to show you the ranges on the power. The blue circle is the range on the visual sfx, about 15 feet. The red circle is the actual range of the power, about 25 feet. Anything in between the red and blue lines can and will be repelled and sporadically KBed. In order to gently nudge stuff around, you want them to be riiiight on the edge of the red line. Unfortunately one of those things you’ve gotta get a feel for. Like a big ol’ bag of sand. Crunch crunch.
In fact, I’ve decided to give Hurricane its own HTNBA section. Exciting!
|How to Not Be Awful With Hurricane:|
• As above, be gentle. If you’re running right at stuff and getting them right into the middle of it and hurling them everywhere YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. There is almost never a time when you want stuff radially KBed.
• For positioning. For stuff that’s wandered outside of the main spawn or has been KBed out by your Lightning Storm or whatever, gently nudge them back into the AoE killzone with this. A good Stormy means there are fewer random stragglers to chase down, not more.
• When not using it for positioning, it’s still a great power to have running just to keep stuff out of melee from you/other squishies. Fighting stuff with big bifurcating melee weapons it can be a lifesaver to run this for a safezone for the squishies because anything trying to melee you or them will be pushed back and debuffed. Just you know, don’t make the squishy safezone right in melee where it’ll be obnoxious for stuff like Fulcrum/Heat Loss/lolmelee/etc.
• For debuffing. As I said above, you don’t have to get stuff within the repel radius to debuff it. If you’re careful about it, you can debuff stuff in a spawn without pushing them around. Since the -tohit on Hurricane is pretty huge, this is a skill you want to hone.
• Don’t be lazy about Hurricane. Don’t either never use it or never turn it off. The animation is sluggish so you don’t want to be flicking it on and off all the time, but leaving it running all the time is a pretty good way to piss off a team.
• Positional awareness. Running Hurricane you’ve gotta keep an eye on how close you are to stuff so you don’t accidentally push/aggro stuff as you’re running around. As a huge slacker I resent being made to expend any kind of effort, however I’m a big boy and with regular therapy I manage. So can you.
• While you can stand right next to an AV without KBing them with Hurricane, its generally better to only touch them with the edge of the debuff instead. This means they’ll get the debuff without you throwing all of their minions and stuff away who would otherwise be delicious, delicious Fulcrum/Heat Loss/Soul Drain fodder.
• Mobility. If you’re running Hurricane to move stuff around you want to have as much freedom of movement as possible. Hurdle and CJ are great for this, but if you’ve gotta do a lot of positioning with ‘cane you might want to hold off on attacks just so you don’t get suppressed. Attacks like Freezing Rain/Ice Storm/Rain of Fire are great for this because you can drop them and not be suppressed, then focus on pushing stragglers back into the storm. Good times.
• Practice makes perfect. Boring, cliché advice but very true. While it is totally the worst that you have to like, pay attention and ****, Hurricane in the right hands is a fantastic tool.
|Thunderclap: PBAoE stun|
Slotting Recommendation: Weeeeell…as stuns go its pretty butt, to be honest. Animation is glacial, accuracy is low, duration is short, recharge is long. It’s also PBAoE, meaning it doesn’t play nice with Hurricane. I went with 5 Stupefys because the set bonuses are delicious and when I want to use Thunderclap I want it to count. If you’re not going to dedicate a fair few slots to it, don’t bother. It’s certainly not a key power, so don’t worry. It does have more use for controllers, who can stack it with a stun from their primary and who can have an AoE immobilise to mitigate the stun stagger.
How to Use: If you want to stun a spawn, hop right in the middle (perhaps best to turn ‘cane off first :3 ) and shhhhRRRRAAAKOOOOOOOMMMM they’re stunned. Well, minions and lts are. They will now kindly refrain from shooting you in your face, but they will drunkenly stagger around, sometimes at high velocity. Minimize this with an AoE immob if you have one or Snow Storm to slow their stagger to a crawl. If they get really unruly you can always nudge them back into place with Hurricane.
|Tornado: pet with PBAoE KB, -def, stun, high DoT (smashing)|
Slotting Recommendation: Of the various aspects of this power (KB, defense debuff, stun, damage) only the damage is worth slotting for. It throw stuff around enough without being slotted for KB, the -def is nice but the damage is nicer and the stun is a minor side effect at best. The damage is actually pretty impressive, the only problem is you’ll only get the benefit of it if you can lock stuff down.
How to Use: if you just throw this around you’ll create havoc. Great if that’s what you want to do, but generally you’ll want the havoc to be controlled. Due to this, be circumspect in your use of Tornado or not at all. If you’ve got an AoE immobilise with -kb then go nuts, otherwise only drop it as a panic button to give you some breathing room and you’ve exhausted all other options or on a KB resistant target like an AV.
|Lightning Storm: pet with high damage (energy) KB, -end -recovery|
Slotting Recommendation: This is a tricky power to slot. You want as much damage and recharge as you can get, but it uses a truckload of endurance so you want good end rdx too, as well as being able to slot some nice procs. I recommend frankenslotting from the ranged damage sets (Thunderstrike is great for this, appropriately enough) to get good dam/rech/end values. Accuracy can’t hurt, but it’s far from necessary with its high base accuracy and Freezing Rain.
How to Use: Throw it up and it’ll fire lightning bolts at stuff. It does fantastic damage, especially combined with Freezing Rain. The downside is that each bolt does KB, so if you’re not careful about where you place it, it’ll send stuff flying. While you can easily correct this with Hurricane, its best to minimize it in the first place. You can do this by dropping Lightning Storm in the air directly above a spawn, so that they’re knocked back straight down, so it’s effectively KD.
|How to Not Be Awful:|
• When using Gale, less is more. Much, much more. Rare is the time when you absolutely have to throw everything in a huge cone back. Sometimes stuff bounces and flies back further, sometimes they don’t. Its unreliable distance, unwieldy cone and much better positioning tools means Gale is almost never worth it. Keep on your bar only if you enjoy tormenting Scrappers.
• If you’re going to torment Scrappers, go whole hog. Turn on Hurricane, put Gale on auto, set yourself on Follow to the scrapper and target through them. :3 They’ll rage so hard they’ll give themselves an aneurysm.
• Okay 4 srs though don’t do that, its not a nice thing to do. Or what you can do is be more subtle in your tormenting, always be excellent in your storming so that the scrapper will extol the virtues of Storm and their peers will think them delusional and scorn them as a pariah. Muahaha.
• Storm can be trickier to use in open maps, but for this it shines in indoor maps. Especially office/warehouse maps with lots of delicious corners to herd stuff into with Hurricane and then obliterate with AoEs.
• That said, try to judge when its best to push stuff into corners and when to just tackle the spawn where they were. If the team is moving fast and is plenty safe, it’ll generally be more of a hindrance to insist on rounding things up into a corner. When this is the case, circle around it to push the spawn together into itself, rather than towards somewhere else.
• When dropping Tornado as a panic button because the team is getting mauled, bear its duration in mind. If you think you need the full 30 seconds to regroup, go ahead and chuck it out. If you only need 5-10 seconds go with another option because otherwise you’ll have the Tornado following you around making a mess of things when you don’t want it around.
• Speaking of Tornado, while it does do a lot of damage to KB resistant targets (especially AVs), it will throw everything else around the AV all over the place and there’s no guarantee it’ll focus on the AV rather than chasing some poor minion it just threw across the room. If you’ve got someone on the team who benefits from big spawns (kinetics, cold, dark melee, willpower, invuln, shield defense) hold off on Tornado. If you really want to drop it on an AV wait until the spawn around it is dead.
• Jump-cancelling (video here) can be very tricky to master, but if you can get the hang of it for the Snow Storm/Freezing Rain/Lightning Storm animation, it’ll be tremendously useful for your mobility, especially for Hurricane. Even moreso if you’ve got something else which shares the same animation (Ice Storm/Blizzard/Rain of Fire).
• Don’t underestimate soft controls. Freezing Rain and Snow Storm is a devastating combination because the mobs will try to run out of the patch but are slowed to hell and back, giving you and the team plenty of time to take them apart.
• Storm Summoning is end heavy. I find this to be the case even with heavy endurance reduction slotting. Invest in +recovery from sets and/or other endurance management tools. As someone who loves Blizzard SO MUCH I took both CP and Power Sink.
|What Goes Well With Storm Summoning:|
Ehm, I’d say there are several good options for Storm. Fire is of course, as with almost any Corr secondary, balls-acheingly great. Rain of Fire + Freezing Rain = win. Fire just does absurd amounts of damage which goes well with the debuffs and damage of Storm, but you will be pretty squishy and end-heavy.
Sonic is a great primary for teaming and is very endurance light. The drawbacks of Sonic, (namely, crap AoE and lowish on damage in general), are covered by Storm.
I went with Ice for all the rain synergy, all the stacking AoE slows are great. Freeze Ray is great for marking the Snow Storm anchor and Ice isn’t too end heavy.
How Silas Does It:
So uh. Hope this has been helpful. Sorry for the delays and all that, if it helps, I blame the Warshade.
Now go forth and trow stormz!
Traps. Like Trick Arrow, a high damage/debuff support set, with the only buffing of teammates in a placed +regen beacon and a dispersion bubble. Traps is much-maligned as being gimp and bad and sucky and that it causes impotence (Spoiler: NOT ACTUALLY TRUE! I tested it and now I have to pay child support :C )
Why Trapping Is Awesome and You Want To Do It:
I’m going to divide this bit into two sections, one dealing with the merits of Traps in and of itself and the second for Traps with IOs for shenanigans.
• Mez protection on a squishy is great and defense stacks with all kinds of stuff for getting punched in the face with less frequency. Which, if you ask me, is a pretty desirable outcome. I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of use out of my face for eating and it’s where I talk from (mostly) so I like it to be relatively punch-free.
• Several very effective ways to mitigate alpha attacks via mez, debuffs or diverted aggro.
• Powerful -regen debuff and AoE hold (plus puke animation is hilarious)
• -res -def debuff pet that can be aggroed
• Trip mines. They go boom. Hard.
• An absolute beast against AVs and GMs because PGT is by far the most powerful –regen debuff in the game.
• Easily softcapped defense with the FFG
o Which means you can get much more use out of the otherwise easily interrupted Trip Mines
• High recharge means you can have several of the Mortars out for huge debuffing
• Lots of awesome proc oppertunities (more on this in individual power sections)
• Due to the summoned/placed nature of the set (vs toggles) the set benefits immensely from high recharge bonuses because a single trapper with good recharge can essentially be 2-3 trappers.
• An absolute beast at soloing AVs and GMs because of aforementioned softcapped defense, high debuffs and flatlining their regen. Short of Hami, there is almost nothing in the game that is more than a speedbump to a well built trapper.
|Web Grenade: foe immobilize -fly -recharge|
Slotting Recommendation: In my build I didn’t have any slots for this. Fortunately its pretty potent at what it does right out of the box. In my old build, I largely ignored this in favour of the AoE immob from the Mace pool. I’ve since respecced into a more AV/GM soloing friendly build, so I slotted this instead.
How to Use: anything you want to stay put, chuck this at it. Simple, effective power. For all of the complexity and nuance in Traps, this is a nice straightforward power. Also nice to keep melee-happy bosses out of your face which they might otherwise cleave in twain.
|Caltrops: location AoE minor DoT (lethal) -speed|
Slotting Recommendation: I didn’t take this because I didn’t have the power slot, but its still a handy power. I’d say it depends how you want to use it. The damage is decentish over time and the slow and recharge stats are decent at base. If you want it for a damage power (more on this below), slot a set of Posis. If you want it as a slow power, one or two recharges and an end/slow would do the trick.
Proc Shenanigans: While it doesn’t take as many sets as the MM version (don’t ask me why) you can still put several procs in it which can be quite effective.
How to Use: As a slow: Area denial. Anything that is on top of the caltrops or runs onto them will immediately want to run off. They will do so sloooooowly. This means for the duration of them slooooowly running off, they’re not trying to impregnate your face with bullets. This is Yay.
As a damage power: well, caveat first, it does its damage over the entirety of its duration. So if you slot damages in it, see that it does more damage than Rain of Fire, don’t get too excited. Rain of Fires damage is done in 1/3 the time and over a much larger area, not to mention the SuperScourge. But, unlike RoF you can easily have 2-3 Caltropseseseses out at once. So for AV/GM fights, it can add a surprising amount of damage. It’s uh, of very limited damage use for anything short of AVs/GMs though.
|Triage Beacon: placed PBAoE +regen buff|
Old Build: I went with 5 Doctored Wounds for the set bonuses and to max out the healing/recharge. The regen buff from this isn’t incredible and is definitely hindered by the fact that the Beacon doesn’t move so its only good while you’re fighting by it, but it’s a nice bonus during AV/GM fights.
New Build: Much tighter on slots, had to go with just 2 heal/recharges for this. Still decent heal and recharge values, with my global recharge I can have two of them out reliably. Suits my purposes just fine.
How to Use: Since a)its +regen not a heal and b)its not a huge regen buff if you only drop it when you’re low on health you’re probably still going to get smooshed. If you/the team is moving fast generally don’t bother, but if you’re about to go into a tough/likely to be longer than 20-30 seconds fight drop it down before you engage. It’s by no means dramatic but is definitely nice, especially if you’ve got high defense so not a lot of damage is coming through to begin with. Even more if you’ve got 2 of them out.
|Acid Mortar: placed pet ranged AoE -def -res (all) minor DoT (toxic)|
Slotting Recommendation: This is one of the gems in Traps, even moreso with IOs. What’s important is to max out the recharge as well as to get decent values for accuracy and defense debuff. Once it hits it’ll easily keep hitting, but it has to hit in the first place so for higher level stuff and AVs with +def godmodes make sure you’ve got good accuracy in there.
Proc Shenanigans: This badboy takes a whole slew of procs. If I could, I’d 12 slot it. Unfortunately, you’ve got to strike a balance between delicious, delicious procs and getting good enhancement values on it. Because the shots the Mortar fires are AoEs, the Achilles -res proc is very effective in it. The most cheatyface option however, is a Devastation proc. For some reason, despite being AoE the Mortar takes ranged damage sets. The Mortar (especially with 2 or more out) can hold a lot of a spawn as it just poots out its rounds. Its awesome. Try it. The negative damage proc from the Lady Grey set is also quite nice, but I didn’t have room for it sadly.
How to Use: Drop at the start of every fight. These will debuff the mobs significantly, so dooo eeeet. The thing to note is, they’re summoned pets. This is awesome because you can get several of them out at once and they draw aggro to themselves giving you more room to breathe. This is not awesome because: they can be dumb. They may choose to shoot at that single dude shooting at it rather than the rampant Chief Soldier or the clustered minions waiting to be debuffed for obliteration. This is unfortunate. I’ve not noticed much difference in their targeting preference based on being dropped in the middle vs. outside of a spawn, so don’t worry too much about it. As long as they’re in range its fine.
|Force Field Generator: summoned pet +def +protection (hold, immobilize, stun)|
Slotting Recommendation: Max out the defense value. This thing provides a huge chunk of defense, downside being it can be destroyed and is a tad on the slow side so the protection it provides can be spotty if you move fast. It recharges very fast at base (15 seconds) so you can always resummon it if its way behind you. It does cost 13 end which is a tad on the costly side if you need to resummon it a lot so if you’re going for sets get some end reduction in there.
|Proc Shenanigans: None. Don’t be fatuous, Jeffrey.|
Poison Gas Trap: PBAoE foe hold, vomit, -regen -recharge
Slotting Recommendation: This is another gem. While not as awesome as it was (and oh my god it was so awesome, so, so awesome. And by awesome, I mean fanfuckingtastically broken-awesome). You want to max out the recharge on this because it makes up a significant portion of your damage mitigation so you want to be able to drop these as often as possible. I went with 5 Unbreakable Constraints because extravagance turns me on and the set bonuses/enh values are boss. Also a Lockdown proc.
Proc Shenanigans: Not quite as uh, effective as before the fix. (And I say fix, not nerf because if you saw any trapper with a clue use it it was very, very evident how broken it was. Delightfully so, but still). Its not really worth it to put damage procs in anymore, but the Lockdown chance for +2 Mag hold in it is really, really great.
|Seeker Drones: summoned pets, disorient, -dmg, -tohit, -perc, low damage (energy)|
Slotting Recommendation: These puppies are quite nice. While they do all kinds of spiffy debuff stuff and stun, imo the real benefit of the Seekers is for aggro. Summon them in the middle of or in front of a spawn and they will lazily float into stuff allowing the mob to waste their alpha on them before going poom and debuffing stuff. At which point you have laid down the Mortar and go pew pew. So uh, to that end, you want to max out the recharge on them. (Seeing a pattern here?) The -tohit is reasonable but nothing huge. I myself went for 4 Dark Watchers Despairs for the bonuses. While you can put a Devastation hold proc in there to stack with Mortar and PGT, its much less reliable and while I did like it, I couldn’t justify it in my final build. If you’ve got a slot I would though.
Proc Shenanigans: As mentioned above. The damage procs aren’t really worth it.
How to Use: As above, in front of or in the middle of a spawn to draw aggro and go poom for debuffings make benefit glorious trapper. This is really the only way to use them, since if you summon them next to you and then run in half the time they won’t get there in time. When I said they float lazily, I mean they float laaaazily. Slower than a Tanker but at least they do some damage, zing!
|Trip Mine: placed PBAoE high damage (fire/lethal) knockback|
Slotting Recommendation: These do pretty good damage but are slowish to recharge so like, enhance the damage and recharge. If you could enhance to reduce the interruptible portion that’d be great, but you can’t because well, you just can’t.
Proc Shenanigans: Ehm, damage procs in them will have a chance to go off on every foe hit by the blast when it goes boom. Standard proccage affair.
How to Use: If you’ve not got a lot of AoE in your primary, Trip Mines are great. You’ve got Seekers, PGT and FFG to help you drop them without getting interrupted every second, so drop em and enjoy. Toemine away.
If you do have decent AoE in your primary, (everyone but Sonic/, really), you’ve got better AoE options.
You can stack a whole bunch down and make an awesome EB-instagibbing Trap of Doom, but it’s largely a party trick.
|Time Bomb: location crappy power, teasingly high fire/smashing damage and probably knockback, who cares|
Slotting Recommendation: DO NOT
How to Use: DO NOT
Seriously, it’s awful. 8 second interruptible bomb placement, goes off after 15 seconds. Maybe 20? I don’t know, nor do I care. Neither should you. The damage is tonnes bozillions but it’s not worth how stupid and fiddly the power is. You’re better off using Trip Mine or your primary when you want to blow legs off.
In making Time Bomb such total pure ***, the devs have given you a gift. You may take any other power from your primary or secondary at 38 instead. Go on, you can even take something from a pool. I won’t tell.
|How to Not Be Time Bomb-wait I mean Awful|
Yeah so okay:
• Since the core powers of /Traps all take a few seconds to animate, it can seem like you’re gonna be the guy who spends a fight dilligently laying Triage Beacon and looks up to see the rest of the team already balls-deep in the next spawn. Gauge the speed of the team and which power will be the most useful. Acid Mortar is almost always useful, unless the team is moving so fast it won’t get more than a shot or two off. Second on the priority list is Seekers and PGT. With decent recharge, you can easily alternate these two to absorb alphas and win the hearts of ladies. Or men? Whatever works for you, dood.
• Be fast. Being one of the fastest people in your team helps a lot in dropping your traps for a fight. If you consistently arrive last to a spawn and faff about a bit ineffectually while the team rushes on to the next spawn you might as well make a Granite tank and be done with it. So run run run. If you’re outpacing your FFG and need to resummon it fairly often, you’re doing it right.
• Positioning your traps in long fights. If you’ve got a sack of hp big enough that you have the luxury time so you can to litter your screen with all kinds of neat trappy gadgets, you have a second problem. You actually have to like, think about where to put them! Scary, I know. Here, breathe slowly and deeply while I stroke your hair. Shhhh, it’s okay.
• Whatever, man, let’s move past it.
• Fine. So in that kind of fight (AVs, GMs, etc) put a little thought into where you’re dropping your traps. If it’s a big footstompy GM, dropping the Mortar at its feet is dumb because it’s going to get 2 shots off before the big angry thing steps on your toy and breaks it. For Triage Beacons, if the team has to kite a lot, try and place them centrally to where the team is to make the most of the radius. If the team can just sit there and mash buttons, drop them all in the same spot for great justice.
• Try and position yourself in the middle of the mid-backline of a team so as many people get the defense buff from FFG. It’s all well and good to give yourself a great big chunk of defense and get to cackle as you blast away but if all your teammates are getting mezzed and facepunched, you’re bad. Since FFG moves slowly, for the most part you’ve got to position yourself proactively, not reactively.
• Yes, snipe-pulling stuff into your minefield is totally awesome. But asking a team to sit around and wait as you do it each spawn because oh my god you guys check it out it is the coolest thing sucks. Compromise. What’s really important in this relationship is that badguys get blown to bits, right? Right. Pulling to a minefield is very, very rarely appropriate for teams. Toemining is win for teams.
• Speaking of which, on teams there will generally be a lot of damage flying around. So, you might not need to use Trip Mine. In which case, focus on Seekers/PGT for mitigating alphas and Mortar for speeding up the dying of the stuff. And y’know, blowing stuff to bits with your primary.
• When you’re kiting yourself if you go too far you can easily get out of the FFG drones range. Instantly cutting a huge chunk out of your defenses and losing mez protection = HAHA STATESMAN IS GOING TO EAT YOU. The range on the FFG bubble is big enough that you can kite around inside it, or just about at its limit. If you’re just about on the outside edge of the bubble but still have a mini bubble on you, you’re fine. The FFG moving along with you also helps, just bear in mind you don’t need to hurl yourself into orbit to stay out of melee. Not moving too far away also means your teammates can get the benefit of FFG.
• Teleport Foe. Seems really cool, isn’t that useful in practice. Anything strong enough to warrant TPing instead of pulling with a blast isn’t going to get shifted by TP Foe so it’s a party trick at most.
|AV and/or GM Soloing Stuff:|
Traps is the best AV/GM soloing buff/debuff set by a significant margin. This is due to several factors, most notably PGT being twice as powerful as any other regen debuff out there.
While I personally feel soloing AVs and GMs is boring as sin, I still built my Trapper to be able to since it required very little sacrifice for normal PvE performance.
If you do want to solo AVs and/or GMs, there are a few factors to note.
• Web Grenade is much more useful. On my old PvE build, I neglected it in favour of Web Envelope because the AoE immob was more useful for keeping whole spawns in RoF. For soloing AVs, Grenade is much better because it’s more spammable and it’ll keep them from running all over the ******* place (which they will want to do). The –speed/-recharge won’t matter, it’s more for the fast activating immobilize. You’re never going to stack close to enough MAG to immob a GM, so don’t bother trying. Just kite, hop around them if you want to stay out of melee.
• Build for softcapped defences. Smashing/lethal is good, smashing/lethal/energy/ranged is better. Scorpion Shield is win. If you’re a Defender, you can now also enjoy the love of Scorpion Shield. Corruptors are still way better. Seek solace in Sonic Blasts –res values.
• You don’t really need it for AVs, but if you want to solo GMs, get Provoke. You may be all, lol wat Provoke is bad why would you want it on a squishy. You need Provoke to solo GMs realistically because otherwise they’ll run away and/or Stomp your pets into the dirt.
• The advantage of PGT being such an incredible regen debuff is that it gives you a lot of freedom to learn how to best fight a GM. It’s easily made permanent and will flatline the regen of pretty much anything in the game. This means as long as you can damage it, killing it is just a question of time.
• If you’re soloing anything with significant AoE (i.e most AVs or GMs) don’t stand right next to your Mortars. Said this above, bears repeating.
• GMs can hit really, really hard. Drop Seekers as much as you can. –damage is made more effective by –res which your Mortars deal in spades. Less damage taken from GM = less damage needed to regen back with Triage.
• Speaking of…while Aid Self is stupid awesome combined with high levels of defences, I prefer Triage, both for normal PvE and big game hunting. With Provoke you control where the fight is. With dropping Traps you’ve got a significant amount of animation dead time, (as in, time not spent doing damage), so while Aid Self isn’t the DPS killer that it is for non-debuffy ATs, I vastly prefer Triage. 1-2 Triage Beacons always out is more than enough regen to keep you on your feet during a GM fight, barring an unlucky series of hits. Plus, it also helps with whatever accidental damage your Mortars and FFG take, which is a nice plus.
How Silas Be Doin’ It:
Bars look a little cluttered because of how I play this character. I’ll move stuff around depending. Right now it’s set up for general PvE. If I’m fighting an AV or GM, I’ll swap the positions of Flares -> Fireball and Fire Breath -> Provoke.
Seekers and FFG might look awfully despondent up there with the toggles but I’ve got FFG bound to Q and Seekers bound to E. That way I can easily drop them whenever I need to.
Mein Build Updated for i19:
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I went ahead and dropped Provoke. While soloing GMs is neat, its more a gimmick than anything else and I wanted other powers. Could still drop Maneuvers and pick it up, if I was so inclined. Got permaHasten level recharge and softcapped s/l defense without the FFG. Still have the FFG, of course, but for speed TFs and stuff its nice to be softcapped without being reliant on it.
Stuff that Could be Improved:
Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. That isn’t to say the build is perfect, far from it, just the stuff that I’d conceivably change is mostly personal preference stuff. As I said above, dropping Maneuvers for Provoke to solo GMs for example. As it stands, Maneuvers is just a LotG mule which I’ll only run on big teams.
Fortunatas, doods. They’re great. And given you can now make VEATs at level 20, you should.
You may wonder why I would write a Fortunata guide when Forts isn’t Corrs but they totally are! In spirit, at least >.> They’ve got buffs and they kill stuff with blasts. And if that’s not good enough for you well, I hate you and wish misfortune upon you and those you love.
You may also wonder, “I mostly play melee, Silas says mean things about me and buffing people is boring, what do I care?“
You are in luck, my friend. Just this once, Silas will cater to your needs. Except for that one. I will not wear the mask. We have been over this, honey. It’s degrading.
Why Fortunatas Totally Rock and You Want One:
• High damage, fast animating, rarely resisted ranged blasty goodness. While everyone else on the team is complaining about the AV going Unstoppable, cackle and keep blasting away for full damage.
• Lots of +def for you to softcap yourself and grant significant defense to a team.
• All of your team buffs require zero effort beyond toggling them on when you log in. The one that requires maintenance buffs you too.
• Mez protection. It’s awesome.
• One of your best blasts is also a hold. A good hold too, not like a Petrifying Gaze hold!
But, more crucially, Fortunatas are awesome for people who don’t normally play support. If you’re (ugh) someone who usually plays melee, Fortunatas are a great character to play.
If you mostly play Scrappers or Brutes because you like being tough and killing stuff real good: You’ll be very sturdy because of the SR-level defenses, you’l have mez protection and all your team buffs require only that you be there. No clicking on allies, no buffing down the list, nothing. Fortunatas have all the tools to be both ferociously independent but an invaluable asset to a team.
If you mostly play Tankers because you like being stupidly tough and holding aggro: YOU ARE A LOST CAUSE PLEASE LEAVE AND DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING ON YOUR WAY OUT
GET OUT, I’M SERIOUS
PUT DOMINATE DOWN, YOU CAN’T HAVE IT
For the purposes of this guide, I’ll be writing it for the way I built my Fortunata. That is to say, for ranged mostly ST damage, team/self buffing with leadership stuff and defense. While you can make a melee Fort, you can make an AoE Fort, you can make a controller Fort, I don’t think it’s the most effective way to build one.
I will be saying why I skipped the powers that I did, but only briefly. I won’t be discussing Night Widow stuff and me making a Night Widow guide is unlikely because I don’t play one. While Night Widows have the advantages of higher ST DPS and a more easily perma-able Mind Link, I prefer Fortunatas for the ranged damage, the crashless nuke and less resisted damage. As a general rule, Night Widows are better for soloing, Fortunatas are better for teaming.
Onwards to the power stuff:
Honestly, I skipped everything here. It’s almost all melee attacks which are better suited to a Night Widow build. The only thing which is even vaguely tempting is Poison Dart or Dart Burst, for the -regen. I still wouldn’t though, because the -regen is really tiny (half of Twilight Grasps debuff) and it causes redraw. Follow Up would be nice for the damage and tohit buff, but requires you to be in melee and again, redraw. Move on.
|Mental Blast: ranged moderate psy damage, -recharge|
You’ve gotta take either this or Telekinetic Blast at level 1. They’re both pretty lousy and you’ve got much better ST attacks later on. These powers are basically only for when you malefactor down or a set mule.
Slotting Recommendation: An acc/dam from a set or acc/dam HO. I wouldn’t bother giving it anything else.
How to Use: To shoot things with mind bullets when you’re malefactored down to an obnoxiously low level. If you’re not at an obnoxiously low level, take it off your bar and bask in Subdue, Dominate and Gloom.
|Telekinetic Blast: ranged moderate smashing/psy, knockback|
Slotting Recommendation: I stuck 6 Kinetic Crashes in this for the set bonuses. If you don’t have 5 slots to give this for the bonuses, go with Mental Blast instead.
How to Use: Same as Mental Blast.
|Subdue: ranged high damage, foe immobilize.|
Slotting Recommendation: This is more like it. Subdue is one of your bread and butter attacks. Slot it as a key attack, ignore the immobilize. I went with 5 Apocalypses and an end rdx (Forts is end heavy, yo), a cheaper option would be Thunderstrikes or Decimations.
How to Use: For killing dudes. The immobilize is a nice bonus, but Dominate does a better job of stopping stuff moving.
|[b]Aim: self +damage +tohit|
Slotting Recommendation: Get high recharge on this. This stacked with your Leadership Assaults can give you a sizeable damage buff. The tohit will help to punch through defense. Get it, love it.
How to Use: Starting a fight? Hit Aim. About to nuke? Hit Aim. Fighting an AV/GM? Hit Aim. In the middle of a fight? Hit Aim. It recharges fast, especially with global recharge. Basically the only time you don’t want to hit Aim is if the fight is almost done, so the buff will be wasted.
|Psychic Scream: cone moderate psy damage, -recharge|
Slotting Recommendation: Skip it. If you really want it because you enjoy being rooted for mediocre damage, I guess go with 5 Posi Blasts so you’re at least getting good bonuses.
How to Use: Seriously, skip it. Sloooow animation, less damage than TK or Mental Blast and you’ve got better AoE options elsewhere.
|Dominate: ranged high psy damage, foe hold|
Slotting Recommendation: While it has the same name as the Mind Control ST hold, you shouldn’t think of it as a hold that also has some damage, think of it as a blast that has a hold. The hold is an awesome bonus, but the main attraction is the damage. I went with 5 Decimations and an end rdx. Anything worth holding will either be held by the first or second application of this, and since it’s one of your main attacks you’ll be spamming it.
How to Use: Like Subdue. For killing faces until they are dead. Unlike Subdue, however, the secondary effect is more useful, so if you see something running rampant that isn’t your main target, do throw out a quick Dominate to stop it in its tracks. Another awesome fact is that Dominate is typed only as Psy damage. Ranged defense does nothing against it. AV Elude, Nemesis Vengeance, anything not explicitly psionic defense Dominate will cut right through.
|Psionic Tornado: ranged AoE moderate psionic DoT, foe knockup|
Slotting Recommendation: Don’t, see below.
How to Use: Don’t. Skip it. While this and Scream aren’t neccessarily awful powers per se, they’re just slow enough to not be worth it. A key strength of a Fortunata is how fast and agile they are. Your main blasts are all about a second, this and Scream are almost three seconds. Not worth it.
Update: With Inherent Fitness I have sinced picked this up for a little more AoE damage. My gripes about it remain the same, but I’ve gained a little more AoE damage. If you’re looking for more AoE, I’d pick this up over Scream since they’re both slow but Scream is a cone and thus requires positioning. The advantage of Psi Nado is that you can throw it from wherever you are.
|Scramble Thoughts: foe disorient, minor psy damage|
Slotting Recommendation: I skipped it and recommend you do the same. Since it’s a stun, there are some very good set bonuses available (Stupefys, Absolute Amazements) but I’d still not bother.
How to Use: Don’t, skip it. Looking at it, it looks pretty good. It’s mag 4, so it’ll instantly hold a boss. At base values, its got a 13 sec duration and 16 second recharge which is pretty phenomenal. However, it falls down on two facts: firstly, the animation time. I know I keep dumping on the longer animation powers but compared to your other powers, this is really slow. Not a big deal if it was a really useful power, but it’s not. That brings us to the second fact. Utility. It’s a mez power. You’ve already got Dominate which recharges faster, activates faster, does great damage, has a more desireable mez effect AND is part of your attack chain. Sorry Scramble Thoughts, better luck next time.
|Total Domination: AoE foe hold|
Slotting Recommendation: Don’t. Leave the AoE mezzing to Dominators and Controllers, you’ve got faces to meld using your freakin’ mind, man. It can come in handy but I didn’t have room for it. If you do take it, I’d recommend Basilisks or Unbreakables.
How to Use: It’s an AoE mez, which you would normally use for dealing with a big crowd. But you’ve got a much better option for that later on. Which brings us to the glorious…
|Psychic Wail: PBAoE extreme psy damage, foe disorient, -recharge|
Slotting Recommendation: 5 Obliterations or 5 Armageddons. This baby is awesome and you want to maximise its awesome. Max out the damage and recharge.
How to Use: As soon as it recharges and there’s a decently sized spawn to use it on. It’s a ******* crashless nuke. The only penalty for using it is that you can’t again until it’s recharged. It’s a phenomenal power. Anything that survives is going to be stunned for a bit, so you can finish them off at your leisure.
|Combat Training: Defensive: auto +defense (melee)|
Slotting Recommendation: Good place to put Kismet accuracy proc or LotG +recharge. You should be way over softcap for melee with this, Foresight, double Maneuvers and Mind Link. Don’t worry too much about enhancing the defense on this.
How to Use: Um, take at level 1 because you have to then…nothing. It’s an auto power. You just have to like, be, man.
|Combat Training: Offensive: auto +acc|
Slotting Recommendation: Don’t. It’s not worth a power selection, let alone slots. You’ll have plenty of accuracy from set bonuses, enhancements and +tohit to boot from Mind Link and Aim. Skip it.
How to Use: See above
|Tactical Training: Maneuvers: team +def (all)|
Slotting Recommendation: Max out the defense, get high endurance reduction. I went with 5 Red Fortunes and a LotG 7.5
How to Use: Toggle on, profit. It’s a fantastic power and in conjunction with Maneuvers from the Leadership pool and Mind Link you’re granting yourself and the team a significant chunk of defense.
|Indomitable Will: self +protection (disorient, hold, immobilize, sleep, fear, confuse, repel, KB) +res (psy)|
Slotting Recommendation: 2 end rdx and a Steadfast +3% def IO.
How to Use: toggle on, forget that mezzes exist. It’s fantastic. The psy resist is nice too, especially in conjunction with Foresight and Mind Link (comes in at about 50% unenhanced iirc).
|Tactical Training: Assault: team +damage|
Slotting Recommendation: 2 end rdx
How to Use: Same as TT:M, toggle on, profit. Running the double-Assaults is not as amazing as double-Maneuvers, but it will add a lot to your damage. The fact that your team benefits is gravy :3
|Tactical Training: Leadership: team +tohit, res (confuse, fear) +perception|
Slotting Recommendation: Ehm, I skipped it but if you do take it, get good endurance reduction.
How to Use: Same as the stuff above, but I skipped it. The +tohit isn’t worth it given set bonuses, enhancement values and Aim. The confuse/fear res is nice but you’ve got that in Foresight and occurs rarely enough that it’s not a big deal.
|Foresight: auto +protection (hold, immobilize, sleep, fear, confuse, special*) +def (all)|
*This is scaling damage resistance as your health drops.
Slotting Recommendation: Enhance the defense. The psy res isn’t worth enhancing and the scaling resists cannot be enhanced.
How to Use: Pick it up, go about your business. It’ll help you get to the softcap as well as provide even more mez protection.
|Mask Presence: toggle self +stealth, +def (melee, ranged, AoE)|
Slotting Recommendation: I just used this as a LotG mule. The defense is nice but will partially suppress in combat. You’ve also got plenty of other, better ways to reach the softcap.
How to Use: For stealth. Running Superspeed + Mask = full invis. I personally have a Celerity stealth proc in Sprint so running Spring+SS I have full invis, making the stealth from this more or less meaningless outside of pvp. If you don’t want to run Superspeed, this becomes a lot more useful. Stick a stealth proc in your travel power of choice and run this for full invis. If you’re fighting heavy defense debuffing stuff you might want to toggle it on for a little more breathing room, otherwise I wouldn’t bother.
|Mind Link: PBAoE team +def (all) +res (psy) +tohit|
Slotting Recommendation: You want to max out the defense and recharge on this. While you can’t put generic recharge IOs or SOs in it, any recharge from multi-aspect set IOs or HOs will enhance it’s recharge. Depending on your budget, you can go several ways with this. Cheapest option is frankenslotting def/recharges and def/end/recharges. A great option is Membrane Exposure Hamis, which are basically perfect for ML, buffing the defense, recharge and tohit. I went with 5 Red Fortunes and a LotG 7.5
You want this to be perma. It’s trickier for a Fort than for a Night Widow because the recharge is longer and you don’t get Mental Training, but it’s still very doable.
How to Use: Hit when it recharges. Try and catch as many people with it as possible. It’s got a huge radius and is a fantastic buff, so do make the tiny bit of extra effort to buff people with it. One thing to note is that the defense is applied late in the animation and it doesn’t stack with itself, (outside of zoning), so if you’re not softcapped without it your defences will drop for a split second when casting it. It’s a very small window, small enough to not be an issue, but worth noting.
|Confuse: foe confuse|
Slotting Recommendation: Set mule, yay! I went with 6 Coercive Confusions, excellent bonuses, cheap set, great enhancement values.
How to Use: To confuse something, interestingly enough :3 srsly though, I get very little use out of this. It really is mostly a set mule. That said, the rare times when it is useful it’s great. It doesn’t aggro enemies unless you’re an idiot and put a damage proc in it, so it’s a good way to take care of something you can’t either hold or kill fast. Plus confuses are fun.
|Tactical Training: Vengeance: AoE team +WIN (+dmg, +tohit, +def (all) +res (taunt, placate, fear, stun, sleep, immobilise, hold, confuse) +protection (repel, KB, fear) +heal)|
Slotting Recommendation: I used it as a LotG 7.5 mule. The defense and tohit it gives are godly at base and you can’t enhance it directly for recharge. People generally won’t be dying enough to warrant more recharge with your team buffs anyway. If memory serves, my TT:Veng is pretty much perma anyhoo from set bonuses and stuff.
How to Use: With LIGHTNING FAST REFLEXES. As soon as you see someone die, POW, Vengeance. Don’t give them time to hit an awaken or get rezzed :3 This is a stupidly powerful buff, don’t get it go to waste.
|Aura of Confusion: click PBAoE foe confuse|
Slotting Recommendation: Don’t. It’s a crowd control button but Wail is much better. It’s a set mule at most, but you’ve got Confuse which is much more useful. And Confuse is not all that useful, so look where that leaves this.
How to Use: In the middle of a spawn you want to confuse, if you take it. Which you shouldn’t, because it’s bad. You are granted turds like this in sets so that you may skip them and take more awesome things in their place. Do not squander this gift, my son. Do not squander this turd, bequeathed unto you by the devs. This turd is an oppertunity.
Now, this is where I’d normally drop some How to Not be Awful knowledge bombs, but building them can be tricky so I thought I’d provide some build general information before I get into the specific stuff.
You want high global recharge. Enough recharge to make Mind Link perma is the baseline goal, then ADD MOAR RECH just to bring Wail and your other attacks up faster. You want Hasten. I don’t know if it’s even possible to have perma Mind Link without it, and I don’t want to know. Hasten is great. Get it.
Softcapped defenses. Very easily obtainable running double Maneuvers and Mind Link. Softcapping your defenses makes you a team buffing psy/SR Blaster with full mez protection. You Want This™. Melee is laughably easy with CT: D, ranged and AoE are the ones you want to look for bonuses for. A full set of Coercives in Confuse is a big help, giving you 5% ranged defense.
You want a lot of endurance reduction. Fortunatas are very end heavy and stacking +recovery can only do so much. It’s important to get good end rdx in your toggles, but the attacks are the main culprits. Not much good to get your end/sec consumption way down and your recovery way up if your attacks are biting big chunks out every time. Even with boatloads of +recovery from sets and Conditioning you can very easily find yourself bottoming out running your attack chain and toggles. You attack very fast on a Fort, which is great, but it also means you burn through end very fast. Avoid it.
Power pools. Fitness for Stamina and mobility, Speed for Superspeed and Hasten, Leaping for Combat Jumping for more more mobility and defense, Leadership for Assault and Maneuvers to stack with your Secondary ones. For PPPs, I recommend Soul Mastery. Gloom is fan-frigging-tastic and Dark Obliteration is a much better AoE than Scream or Tornado.
|How to Not Be Awful:|
• Try and position yourself so you’re buffing as much as the team as possible. Your attacks are all ranged so it’s not like you’ve gotta be right in the mobs faces and the team gets buffed from you just being there. Quite literally, the only thing you have to do is stand vaguely central to the team. A Fort running off and playing Scrapper while the team gets their heads punched in is a Failfort. Plus if you’re by the team and someone dies, ker-Vengeance :3
• Psychic Wail kiting. While being softcapped generally means you don’t have too much to fear in melee range, don’t forget that Forts are still on the squishy side. No non-psy resists to speak of unless you’re already half dead and low hp (hp cap is delightfully high, but base hp is the same as a Corr). Wail checks for targets at its activation. Run in, click Wail at the same time as you hop back. You’ll hit the whole spawn and out of melee-retaliation range, plus back with the team.
• Vengeance stacking. Yes, normally Vengeance cannot stack, either with another Widows Veng or power pool Veng but there is a tiny window wherein you can stack it. While I did say hit it as soon as someone dies, if you’re on a team with someone else who has Veng and you’re both on voicechat it’s worth calling it so you both fire it off at the same time. Not really for the defense part, as the team will be softcapped with just Veng and your normal defense stuff, but more for the +tohit and +damage. +70% tohit and +damage for a whole team (minus the dead guy, haha, sucks to be you) is naaaasty.
• When engaging a spawn, you generally want to be targetting the nastiest thing in there. Your high ST damage and the hold from Dominate means it won’t be a threat for long because it’ll either die or be held.
• Stay mobile. One of the greatest strengths of a Fort is that everything they do, they do quickly, so they’re never rooted for long. Subdue, Dominate, Gloom all animate fast. Mind Link animates fast and your toggles once turned on provide animation-free benefit all the time. Dark Obliteration and Psychic Wail animate fast. Being able to move fast means you can react fast to the flow of combat. This is why you want to avoid Psychic Scream and Tornado.
• While Dominate is a cornerstone in your ST damage chain, it lasts a while and you can still kill something plenty fast with Subdue and Gloom. So if you see a team mate about to get cut in half by something, toss out Dominate and hold it.
• Which brings me to: Be aggressive. While you are a squishy, you’re softcapped to all positions which puts you in a much better position (har!) than most squishies who will be softcapped to one position or type at most. Open fights with Dark Obliteration. Get a bunch of aggro. You’re much more able to handle it with your defenses and how laughably easy it is to kite with a Fort thanks to the fast animations.
• So: kite kite kite. It’s a good habit to get into anyway for squishies. Stay mobile. Enemies usually have much weaker ranged attacks than melee. This is especially true for stuff like the Freedom Phalanx in the RSF. Aggro them all, stand still. See how long you last. If you kite even a little, it dramatically lengthens how long you can stay alive. Attack, jump, attack, jump. Attack while jumping if you’re good at jump cancelling. AVs like them can kill you more than quickly enough without you helping, keep moving
• Inspiration use. Since you’ve got mez protection, softcapped defenses, high damage and should very rarely die, you basically only need to carry orange and green inspirations. I generally go with 3 lines of greens and 2 of oranges. While orange inspirations do totally suck compared to purples, once you’re at the softcap only oranges provide any benefit.
• I’ve never really noticed the scaling resistances that much myself, but I’ll eat greens as soon as my health drops significantly. I’d recommend you do the same. If your health is low it doesn’t matter that much if you’ve got high resists, because a high damage hit won’t have to hit that hard to defeat you.
• When Confuse is worth using: on mobs that buff or summon stuff (Rikti Guardians, Comm Officers, Sky Raider Engineers, Cimeroran Surgeons, several Longbow Wardens). Confuse them, aggro the spawn, enjoy the buffs/summoned help. For normal stuff, it’s rarely worth it since you can just kill/hold the threat.
How Silas Be Doin’ It:
• Accolades. Get them. Both for +hp because Forts have low hp and because the +end helps a lot combined with Conditioning and +recovery. Demonic unfortunately doesn’t grant positional defences but is still worth getting for the resists so you can bumrush the Freedom Phalanx.
• Looking at my bars you can see how straightforward a Fort is to play. I log in, toggle up the stuff on bar 3 and then off I go, then just using the attacks on bar 1, maintaining ML and then Aim/Wail whenever I can.
• Stuff I monitor: current hp, regen and recovery as standard, my positional defences and tohit so I know if/when I get debuffed.
Update for i19:
I’ve revamped my Fort for Inherent Fitness and the Alpha slot. I picked up Psychic Tornado (see updated power section) Darkest Night and Soul Tentacles. Soul Tentacles I basically never use, its a slot mule for more recovery. Darkest Night has some use for toggle pulling and more defensive leeway. Honestly, it was tough to decide on my last couple powers. I was looking at several options and they would all provide relatively little benefit. The other things I looked at were going the Aid Self route, picking up the Tactics powers or some of the AoE mezzes. I decided to go with DN because it has more utility, my tohit was fine and I could get more recharge and recovery.
I also went ahead and upgraded some of the sets from my old build for even more recharge. Posi Blasts -> Ragnaroks, Obliterations-> Armageddons.
Anyway, here’s the updated build. I went with the Musculature Alpha slot.
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Kahlan. For making me want to respec and l2p my Fort, helping me to do so and continuing to inspire through excellence. Cheers to you, my droog