City of Heroes Dominator Powers Guide
City of Heroes Dominator Powers Guide by Liliaceae
3. Primary Powers
3.1. Shared Primary Powers
3.2. Earth Control
3.3. Electric Control
3.4. Fire Control
3.5. Gravity Control
3.6. Ice Control
3.7. Mind Control
3.8. Plant Control
4. Secondary Powers
4.1. Shared Secondary Powers
4.2. Earth Assault
4.3. Electricity Assault
4.4. Energy Assault
4.5. Fiery Assault
4.6. Icy Assault
4.7. Psionic Assault
4.8. Thorny Assault
5. Epic Powers
5.1. Shared Epic Powers
5.2. Fire Mastery
5.3. Ice Mastery
5.4. Primal Forces Mastery
5.5. Psychic Mastery
5.6. Leviathan Mastery
5.7. Mace Mastery
5.8. Mu Mastery
5.9. Soul Mastery
6. Pool Powers
Welcome to the Dominator Powers Guide, a comprehensive guide to powers and power sets available to Dominators. Individual powers, as well as power sets, are discussed, compared and critiqued. Some power-specific strategies are also included. This guide is based primarily on my personal experience playing Dominators, and secondarily on discussions from the forums. Basic knowledge of the game and Dominators is assumed, although some terms are described in the glossary. I have tried to make it comprehensible for new player, and hope that many years of experience haven’t prevented this.
For each primary and secondary power set I provide a list of essential and a list of disappointing powers. Essential powers are the most effective ones in the set, skipping them significantly reduces effectiveness. Disappointing powers are ones that are either useful only in rare circumstances, have limited effect, or are weaker than other available powers.
For each power I recommend characteristics for slotting, along with percentages for those characteristics. I do not address specific IO sets or set bonuses, since that is a much more individual decision. Currently, going for sets with global recharge bonuses is popular, because this increases the availability of Domination, and in sufficient quantity can allow Domination to recharge before it expires, achieving “permadom”.
This guide is exclusively for the PvE game. In PvP the control durations and damage of each power is very different, as well as the playstyle required to fight players, so most of the conclusions drawn here do not apply to the PvP game. For these reasons, Dominator PvP really requires its own separate guide.
There are many other useful Dominator resources, including Waybreaker’s Guide to Domination, detailed power data available in-game, and the Guide to Perma-Domination. There are also many guides that cover specific power set combinations, or even specific powers like Power Boost.
Domination is the inherent, a click power which significantly increases effectiveness for a short period, and defines the overall feeling of an archetype with bursts of power. Domination can’t be activated until the Dominator has filled the Domination bar by attacking. When activated, Domination refills the endurance bar and for 90 seconds grants status effect protection and significantly increases the effects of the Dominator’s control powers.
Attacks and targeted control powers all fill the Domination bar, at 3% per attack plus 0.5% for each nearby teammate and 5% more if the attack hits an enemy player. When the bar is 90% full Domination can be activated if it’s recharged. The Domination bar empties slowly over time, and empties completely when Domination ends or if the Dominator is defeated. While Domination is active, the bar stays full. During Domination, control powers apply an additional layered status effect of longer duration, meaning they can affect harder targets more easily, notably most bosses are controlled in one hit, and will affect weaker targets for longer.
The biggest challenge of playing a Dominator is deciding when to use Domination. It needs to be available when things get really tough, but saving it too long reduces the Dominator’s effectiveness overall. There’s nothing more frustrating than encountering the final mission encounter with multiple bosses just as Domination drops. The Dominator must learn to predict upcoming fights, look ahead, determine if Domination will be needed soon, and if not, activate it immediately. Being familiar with the maps is very useful, knowing which rooms are particularly nasty and likely to result in multiple spawn aggros, and which ones are likely to hold a larger end-of-mission encounter. Leaving some enemies undefeated in empty rooms or dead-ends makes it possible to go back and build Domination if necessary. A Stalker or someone stealthy can also help by removing the guesswork of where the tough encounters are.
Even with Domination active the Dominator is still dependant on control for survival, and is still fragile in the face of uncontrolled enemies. For this reason, Domination must be activated pre-emptively in the face of a potentially bad situation. It’s not an uncommon misfortune for a Dominator to fail to anticipate a problem, activate Domination too late, and be defeated shortly thereafter.
Domination’s recharge is affected by global recharge buffs such as Hasten, Speed Boost, and Invention Origin enhancement set bonuses, making these buffs doubly desirable for Dominators. Furthermore, with sufficient global recharge, Domination can be made to recharge before its effect expires, and can be activated again, creating a state of “permadom”. Because the Domination bar is kept full while Domination is active, it’s not even necessary to attack to preserve the permadom state.
There are a few tricks to speed filling the Domination bar, which may be useful on occasion. The first is a long-standing bug which makes Mastermind henchmen count as teammates for bonus Domination building, and will speed the process if they are close by. The second may be considered a minor exploit, the sniper attacks add Domination when initially activated, but if the Dominator interrupts them by moving, they don’t fire, won’t aggro the target, and may be activated again immediately for another boost, but at a sizeable endurance cost. The third is simply activating the PBAoE attacks and getting a Domination boost without the necessity of nearby enemies.
3. Primary Powers
All of the primary power sets are effective, with different strengths and weaknesses. By the mid 20s they can all be used to solo very effectively, with varying effectiveness in the earlier levels. After level 32 they can all contribute effectively to teams, although some struggle before this.
Earth Control and Mind Control provide the most AoE control. Earth Control has the greater number of AoE powers, including Earthquake which doesn’t lose effectiveness against higher level enemies, while Mind Control has an AoE confuse, all of its AoEs are boosted by Domination, and both Mass Confusion and Mass Hypnosis do not cause aggro. Plant Control and Ice Control both provide decent AoE control from early levels, thanks primarily to Seeds of Confusion and Ice Slick respectively, with some support from other AoE powers. Electric Control provides decent AoE control, spread across all its power, hence improving progressively to level 32. Fire Control and Gravity Control provide poor AoE control and are only acceptable in the late 20s when powers can have proper slotting and Gravity gets Wormhole.
Mind Control provides the best single target control through all 50 levels, Gravity Control is second best, and the remaining sets are all about equal. However, Dominators are disadvantaged against the hardest targets, including most Archvillains, Heroes and Giant Monsters, who typically have very strong status protection. In these fights, Ice Control’s slow effects, Electric Control’s endurance drain effects and Earth Control’s defense debuff effects become more useful. However, an exceptionally well slotted permadom can overcome this protection and even defeat such enemies alone. Mind Control and Fire Control are the best placed for such attempts because of their fast activating STH, although others can achieve it when paired with Earth Assault by using Seismic Smash and Power Boost.
Fire Control provides the most damage thanks to Fire Imps and Hot Feet, while Seeds of Confusion gives Plant Control a significant amount of indirect damage through its confuse effect. Electric Control can be quite damaging after level 26 if Synaptic Overload is used regularly, otherwise it’s equivalent to Earth Control and Ice Control which have pets doing decent damage. Mind Control gets some indirect damage through confuse powers, but otherwise its damage is not notable, while Gravity Control’s pet does more control than damage, and the set doesn’t have any notable damage sources. In all cases the damage from the primary pales in comparison to the damage from the secondary set.
3.1 Shared Primary Powers
- Stone Prison, Electric Fence, Ring of Fire, Crush, Chilblain, and Entangle are single target immobilize powers. They are mag 4, which means that they can immobilize a boss or AV in one hit. They have an accuracy bonus, high endurance cost, and low damage over time. They are acceptable powers in some circumstances, but most other powers are superior. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots, with 33 – 80% accuracy, 0 – 40% endurance reduction.They can be useful in the low levels for a solo Dominator, when enemies are much less dangerous at range, and it’s difficult to hold bosses outside of Domination. Additionally, they can also be used in combination with terrain to stop enemies from attacking by keeping them out of sight, although the AoE immobilizes are better at this. Their fast recharge makes them tempting for building Domination, but in practice this is problematic due to high endurance consumption. At the higher levels they are primarily useful to immobilize AVs, giving the team greater control over how to engage the enemy, and also against some bosses who are still weak at range, such as Freakshow tanks. Another good application is in missions where an enemy must be prevented from escaping.In many ways applying immobilize powers makes enemies more dangerous: as control powers they draw aggro; the target is unable to move and will spend more time attacking; they are protected from effects which causing fleeing; they are protected from sleep effects due to the damage over time; and finally all of them, except Crush, have the unfortunate effect of protecting the target from knockback, knockup and knockdown, which are common forms of damage mitigation. Later in the Dominator’s career, when more powers are available, immobilizing a single target is not nearly as useful, especially since the targets you really want to immobilize like Warwolves, CoT ghosts and Synapse tend to be protected from immobilize anyway. They are not viable as sources of damage, primarily because of endurance cost.
- Fossilize, Tesla Cage, Char, Gravity Distortion, Block of Ice, Dominate, and Strangler are single target hold (STH) powers, which provide the foundation for a Dominator’s control. They have a long duration hold effect, fast recharge, an accuracy bonus, high endurance cost, and low damage. They are indispensable, and should be taken as soon as available (either at level 1 or 2). Suggested slotting is 4 – 5 additional slots, with 33 – 70% accuracy, 70 – 95% hold duration, 33 – 80% recharge, 0 – 40% endurance reduction.The STHs are useful throughout the Dominator’s career, and in almost every situation. In the low levels and against smaller numbers of enemies they provide mostly enough damage mitigation to keep the Dominator alive, while in higher levels and on teams they are ideal for pre-emptively removing problematic enemies from a fight. Their fast recharge and long duration means they can be cast repeatedly on the same target, allowing them to be used to hold tougher targets through multiple applications, most commonly useful against Bosses out of Domination, or some Elite Bosses during Domination. Some of the STHs have additional debuff effects which makes them useful even if the target is not held. Their damage is best treated as a nice bonus, rather than a primary damage source, because the secondary provides more damage for less endurance, and their hold duration is so important to survivability.The activation times of the STHs are not all the same, and this affects the Dominator in a couple of ways. Most importantly, since the STH is used so regularly, a long activation time takes time away from other things, like actually dealing damage. Secondarily, since powers don’t start recharging until they have finished activating, a long activation time increases the overall cast cycle, which increases the time it takes to stack effects on a target and reduces the total number of holds which can be stacked on a single target. Practically speaking, STHs with a shorter activation time can be used to hold Bosses and Elite Bosses faster, and are better suited to attempts to hold AVs and Monsters. Char and Dominate have markedly shorter activation times than the other STHs.
- Stone Cages, Chain Fences, Fire Cages, Crushing Field, Frostbite, and Roots are targeted AoE immobilize powers. They have high endurance cost, low accuracy, decent immobilize duration, and low damage over time. They are marginal powers, and are not a foundation for good control despite the fact that they are available early. Suggested slotting is 1 – 2 additional slots, with 60 – 80% accuracy, 0 – 40% endurance reduction.They can be used for effective damage mitigation in conjunction with terrain because they can immobilize enemies near the target even if they are out of line of sight from the caster. Enemies immobilized out of line of sight cannot attack, and sometimes may not even attack other targets which are visible. To use this tactic, arrange yourself so that most of a group of enemies are out of line of sight, but at least one is visible, target that one and activate the immobilize. These powers can be useful against certain types of enemies who tend to scatter, (eg. Air Thorn Casters), but are unfortunately ineffective against some mobile enemies (eg. War Wolves, CoT ghosts). However, the most potent uses for the AoE immobilizes are in conjuction with other players’ powers, for example, keeping enemies in AoE debuffs or attacks (eg. Mastermind Assault Bot’s Ignite), or preventing annoying knockback (eg. Mastermind Bruiser Handclap).The AoE immobilizes can be a source of problems for Dominators, especially in the early levels, since they can make enemies more dangerous, as discussed above in the Single Target Immobilize section. This is compounded by them having such a large radius and target cap, meaning they will draw more aggro than typical AoE powers. They can be fatal, particularly in the early levels, if used too early in a fight, or if teammates are not competing for aggro through aggro control powers or AoEs. Their utility doesn’t really come to pass until later in the game when they can be enhanced properly, and teammates have more powers which work together with them.
- Salt Crystals, Flash Freeze, Mass Hypnosis, and Spore Burst are the AoE sleeps, which prevent affected targets from moving or attacking for a short time, or until they are damaged or healed. They are marginal powers, which are primarily useful solo or on poorly performing teams. They have average accuracy, medium durations and medium recharges. All of them except Salt Crystals are ranged AoE which make them handy for crisis situations. Suggested slotting is 2 – 4 additional slots, with 70 – 90% accuracy, 35 – 95% duration.Sleeps are useful when a team has aggroed more enemy groups than they can practically deal with, by shutting down one group, so the team can focus on others. This can happen when enemies are too close together, ambushes arrive, or teammates are just to careless. Additionally, if a group of enemies is a little too tough, a sleep at the beginning of the fight can just take the edge off. A solo Dominator who prefers single target damage can also use sleeps to very good effect. AVs have no special protection from sleep effects, which allows these powers to be used to very good effect in a handful of end-game content scenarios which involve multiple AV class enemies. While Domination is active they are able to put AVs to sleep in one hit, allowing groups of AVs to be put to sleep and giving the team the option to fight them one at a time.The majority of the time AoE sleeps are not terribly useful because teammates have a tendency to use AoE attacks which will wake the sleeping enemies up, and because the other controls are usually enough for a well-performing team.
- Cinders, Paralyzing Blast, Gravity Distortion Field, Glacier, Total Domination, and Vines are the AoE holds. They have long recharges, poor accuracy, and short durations. Unslotted they are poor powers, and with many slots they are passable and can be useful in bad situations. Due to short durations at lower levels, and lack of slots and good enhancements, it’s not recommended to take the AoE holds before the mid-20s. Suggested slotting is 4 – 5 additional slots, with 70 – 90% accuracy, 35 – 95% duration, 35 – 95% recharge.One popular use for AoE holds is combining them with the STH to hold a boss quickly when Domination isn’t available. In a rough situation, they can definitely turn the tide by locking down an enemy for a number of seconds. At high levels and with Domination and Power Boost they can achieve a remarkably long hold. When slotted with multi facet enhancements, they can reach 90% enhancement for recharge, accuracy, and duration, at which point they become respectable.Their long recharge means they will not be available for every spawn, relegating them to more of an emergency type of power. Their short duration and poor accuracy mean that they must be heavily slotted to actually be useful in emergencies.
Animate Stone, Gremlins, Fire Imps, Singularity, Jack Frost, and Fly Trap are the pet powers. These powers summon pets which follow their summoner, attack any nearby enemies and can be attacked themselves. The pets remain until they are killed, the summoner dies, dismisses them, or recasts the summon power. Their damage is treated as coming from their summoner, and if they die their aggro will be transferred to the summoner. The pets have average accuracy, and can contribute nicely to damage (except Singularity) and survivability, although they do have a few AI problems. Suggested slotting is 3 – 4 additional slots, with 35 – 70% accuracy, and 95% damage except for Singularity, for whom hold duration slotting is suggested.
The pets will move towards their summoner if they are more than 20ft away normally, or 100ft if the pet is engaged in combat. Pets will attack any enemy they perceive, normally within 40ft, although this can be increased with powers such as Tactics. They will perceive and attack invisible enemies within their perception radius. When an enemy becomes aware of a pet, they become aware of the summoner as well, so an errant pet is very capable of bringing unwanted aggro onto their summoner.
The pets noticeably increase the Dominator’s effectiveness, particularly when solo, and these powers are highly recommended. They all increase damage output, but by different amounts, and they all improve survivability, because they are capable of occupying one or more enemies. A stealthy Dominator can have their pet take the alpha strike, by running past a spawn, allowing the pet to be sighted first, although this can significantly reduce the life span of a pet.
The pets are all aggressive, and prevent stealth type behaviour or quick travel when summoned. They all have behaviour quirks which reduce their effectiveness.
3.2 Earth Control
Earth Control has more AoE control powers than the other primaries, but most of them do not benefit from Domination. As a result it provides the most consistent play experience, providing the most AoE control while Domination is off, with no significant boost when Domination is active. Earth Control heavily uses placed patch powers for control, which make it excellent for fortification-style play. Its secondary defense debuff effect is useful both while solo and teamed, particularly in the low levels.
Essential powers: Fossilize, Stalagmites
Disappointing powers: Salt Crystals
Earth’s large number of control powers give flexibility to choose a preferred control style. Stalagmites provides complete damage mitigation against weaker enemies for shorter periods of time, Earthquake provides partial damage mitigation for longer and is effective against bosses and high level enemies, Volcanic Gasses has a long duration and works against all enemies, but is not available as regularly, Quicksand provides some partial mitigation as well, because enemies spend more time moving, and less time fighting. Alternatively, taking them all allows for overcontrol even when things get out of hand in a large team environment. However, Stalagmites is essential as the most important AoE power which is boosted by Domination.
Earth’s defense debuffs make it possible to be effective without slotting accuracy at all, even against enemies a couple of levels higher. This allows the Dominator to slot more damage in attacks, which is highly beneficial at lower levels when there are never enough slots. The key to doing this is to use Quicksand all the time for it’s autohit def debuff. The base debuffs are quite sizeable, which is why none of the powers (except Earthquake) accept defense debuff enhancements.
All of the drop powers (Quicksand, Earthquake, Volcanic Gasses) have an interesting property that if the caster is out of line of sight, and not too close, they will not cause aggro. This means that they can be placed in any preferred order, usually Quicksand first, without concern of retaliation or scatter.
- Stone Prison is a typical single target immobilize, see the Shared Powers section. It has a good defense debuff which can be useful against hard to hit enemies.
- Fossilize is a typical STH, see the Shared Powers section. It’s activation time is long, but it’s visual effect is obvious and it has a strong defense debuff.
- Stone Cages is a typical AoE immob, see the Shared Powers section. It is even more marginal for Earth Control than the other primaries, because there are so many other AoEs available, it prevents Earthquake and Quicksand from preventing attacks, and the visual effects are very large and obtrusive. Furthermore, it’s prime benefit of preventing enemy scatter can be emulated by Quicksand slotted for slow. The defense debuff is nice but provided equally by Earth’s other AoE powers.
- Quicksand is a placed power which slows enemies’ movement and debuffs their defense in a medium sized area, and without requiring an accuracy check. It has a good slow effect, high defense debuff, good duration and fast recharge, it is recharged well before it expires. Suggested slotting is 0 – 3 additional slots, with 30 – 95% slow, 0 – 40% recharge, and damage procs.
Quicksand is very effective from the beginning of any fight, many enemies will immediately try to engage in melee, but will be significantly slowed in their approach, and thus unable to attack for a while. The defense debuff is the largest of any of the Earth Control powers and requires no accuracy check, making enemies significantly easier to hit for the whole team.
Some enemies will attempt to flee the Quicksand, and gather at the edges, causing a bit of scatter, particularly if it has not been enhanced with slows. This can be mitigated by placing it slightly to one side to encourage enemies to gather on the other.
- Salt Crystals is a typical AoE sleep, see the Shared Powers section. Its major drawback compared with the other sleeps is that it is PBAoE and not ranged. The defense debuff not only is duplicated with the other powers, but does not provide any benefit if you aren’t attacking the targets because you want them to continue sleeping.
- Stalagmites is a targeted AoE disorient. It has a large area of effect, poor accuracy, medium recharge, short disorient effect, and minor damage. Suggested slotting is 3 – 5 additional slots, with 60 – 80% accuracy, 40 – 95% disorient duration, and 0 – 80% recharge.
Stalagmites is Earth Control’s reliable AoE power, and doesn’t give affected enemies small opportunities to fight back like the other AoEs. Since it’s also boosted by Domination, it is the most important of the AoE control powers. It can be combined with Stone Cages to prevent affected enemies from slowly scattering, although this is not essential.
Its short duration means it underperforms in the lower levels, when mez durations are shorter and enhancements are weaker. Its recharge feels a bit too long, meaning it may not be ready for the beginning of every fight.
- Earthquake is a static patch on the ground which significantly reduces incoming attacks by knocking down all enemies on, above, and below it. It is auto-hit, has medium duration, doesn’t require line of sight to place, has a large area of effect, and a medium recharge. Suggested slotting is 1 – 2 additional slots with 35 – 95% recharge.
Because Earthquake’s duration is unenhancable and unaffected by level scaling, it is very effective immediately and doesn’t require many slots like most other control powers. Because it uses knockdown, Earthquake is also effective against bosses, making it more useful on the largest teams. Also, Earthquake may be placed out of line of sight, so it can be cast in safety from around a corner, thus neutralizing the enemies’ alpha strike. Unlike the other Earth Control powers, Earthquake accepts defense debuff enhancements, which opens the possibility for slotting various procs.
Care must be taken when starting a fight with Earthquake, because enemies have a chance to attack before they are affected by the knockdown. Also there is some terrain, notably underwater, where the quake is not visible, which can slightly hinder its utility. Even when Earthquake is active, enemies will attack occasionally, and if they escape or are pushed away, they will be able to attack again immediately.
- Volcanic Gasses is a static patch on the ground containing several pets which apply short holds to enemies in the area, that provides almost total lockdown. It has a medium recharge, a medium duration, good accuracy, and a large area of effect. Recommended slotting is 2 – 4 additional slots with 0 – 40% accuracy, 0 – 40% hold duration, 60 – 95% recharge.
Volcanic Gasses is better than the AoE holds available to the other primaries because its base duration is the same as the maximum enhanced duration of the others, and with some duration enhancement it is able to hold normal bosses on its own. It may be able to hold more protected bosses (eg Arachnos Spider and Fortunata bosses, some Longbow Wardens, Cimeroran Traitors) and Elite Bosses, but certainly not reliably. Also, even if it fails to hit an enemy the first time, it will try to hold them again soon. While inside the Volcanic Gassess, enemies seem unwilling or unable to move.
Volcanic Gasses accepts hold duration enhancements but their effect is deceiving, they only increase the overall duration minimally, by a few seconds at the most, but they do increase its ability to hold harder enemies such as bosses. Volcanic Gasses’ long recharge means that it is not an every fight power, just like the AoE holds from the other sets.
Animate Stone is a typical pet power, see the Shared Powers section. He has three attacks, a ranged Hurl Boulder which can cause knockback, a melee Seismic Smash which applies a hold, and Stone Fist which has a small chance for a weak stun. All of his attacks have an additional taunt effect. He has very high resistance to damage, and protection from most mez effects.
Stoney brings additional benefit to his caster by taking some aggro and some additional damage. He prefers to fight in melee, and will quickly run up to engage the enemy.
Electricity Control has a medium level of control compared to the other Dominator primaries. Its effectiveness is spread across several powers, instead of being concentrated in a simple AoE power like the other sets. It provides average to high damage, with a notable portion coming from its confuse effect.
Essential Powers: Tesla Cage, Synaptic Overload
Disappointing Powers: Paralyzing Blast
Electricity Control is a versatile set with a variety of control options, and can contribute well when more refined tactics are required. It has low endurance usage because all of the powers have a chance to return endurance to the caster, in addition to providing confuse effects, and having activation times on the longish side. Its most notable unique effect is strong endurance drain, an excellent backup for when other control methods aren’t working, which raises it above other control sets in some circumstances.
Electricity Control does not provide raw blunt power, it requires patience and finesse to work well. Other sets permit faster soloing because they have instant AoE mitigation powers, while Electricity Control needs to wait for Synaptic Overload or Conductive Aura to take effect to guarantee safety against larger spawns. Before level 26 it is particularly hampered with having to balance endurance drain, knockdown and sleep to assure safety. Electricity Control also benefits very little from Domination, the only mitigation powers that are boosted by Domination are the two holds, and only the first target of Synaptic Overload.
Two of its powers, Jolting Chain and Synaptic Overload use a chain mechanic which works like this: the power is activated on a single target, and if it hits, it will start to chain to other targets. If the power misses the first target, it will have no effect at all. Once a target is hit, there is a brief delay and then if there’s another target nearby which hasn’t been chained to already, the chain effect will jump to that target, with an increased chance to hit. A miss in the middle of the chain does not break it, it will still try to chain to more targets. The chain stops after 16 targets, or when there’s no unaffected target in range.
- Electric Fence is a typical single target immobilize, see the Shared Powers section. It provides minor endurance drain which will help when using endurance drain tactics against single tough foes like AVs.
- Tesla Cage is a typical STH, see the Shared Powers section. It’s activation time is long, but it has a very obvious visual effect.
- Chain Fences is a typical AoE immob, see the Shared Powers section. It does not prevent knockdown or knockback so it is still useful in conjuction with Jolting Chain, or knockdown powers used by other teammates.
- Jolting Chain is a chain knockdown power. It has almost no chain delay, long activation time, short recharge, and minor damage. There is a small endurance drain which applies only to the first target. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy and 0 – 35% recharge.
Jolting Chain is a very important part of Electricity’s low level effectiveness, particularly in a team environment where sleep isn’t always appropriate. It is fairly compatible with Static Field because targets will usually be put back to sleep before they manage to stand up again.
In the higher levels it is less important, when there are better things to do with the 2 seconds it takes to activate.
- Conductive Aura is a PBAoE toggle which causes endurance drain in its targets, and buffs the regeneration and recovery of the caster, according to the number of enemies in its radius. The endurance drain effect is strong, and the radius is large, while the recovery and regeneration buffs are minor. It costs no endurance to run. Suggested slotting is 2 – 3 additional slots with 35 – 60% accuracy and 35 – 80% endurance modification.
Conductive Aura is the most important part of Electricity’s endurance drain tactics, probably contributing more endurance drain than the rest of the powers combined. When slotted for endurance modification it is able to drain all of a boss’s endurance within a few seconds. Since it costs no endurance to run, the only reason to turn the power off is to prevent unwanted aggro.
Conductive Aura has a slightly long recharge time, which is unfortunate if it gets detoggled through being mezzed. It has little effect when enemies are mezzed in other ways, or if endurance drain is not a primary tactic. It does not provide significant healing, because the regeneration buff only applies when enemies are within its radius.
- Static Field creates a patch on the ground which slows enemies and applies a sleep effect to them. It is not a typical sleep power because the sleep effect is continuously reapplied, but the Shared Powers section about sleeps may still be of interest. Additionally it grants teammates within the patch area endurance for each enemy in the patch area. It has average accuracy, a long sleep duration, a medium recharge, a large area of effect, and minor endurance drain and endurance buffing. Recommended slotting is 0 – 5 additional slots with 35 – 80% Accuracy, 0 – 95% Recharge and 0 – 95% Sleep Duration.
Static Field has a very big advantage over other sleep powers, because it will reapply the sleep effect if an enemy wakes up and stays within the field. This is particularly important because the Gremlins wake up enemies with Jolting Chain, and Static Field is able to put them back to sleep before they can attack.
Static Field takes a bit longer to affect enemies than the other sleeps, because there’s the extra step of summoning the pet before the sleep effect is applied, which reduces its effectiveness in emergency situations.
- Paralyzing Blast is a typical AoE hold, see the Shared Powers section. It uses a different visual effect from Tesla Cage, one which is a lot less obvious.
Paralyzing Blast is the only AoE in the set that prevents enemies from attacking and which is boosted by Domination. For this reason it is more important than the AoE holds of the other sets.
- Synaptic Overload is a chain confuse power which doesn’t alert its target. The power has a noticeable chain delay, an average activation time, medium recharge, average accuracy and a long confuse duration. Additionally it does a minor endurance drain on the first target. Suggested slotting is 2 – 5 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, 35 – 80% recharge, 0 – 80% confuse duration.
Synaptic Overload is Electricity Control’s most powerful AoE control power, and can be used to trivialize most encounters. It is a natural opener for each fight, because it doesn’t alert targets, and the confuse effect causes the affected enemies to bunch up tightly for AoE attacks. The long duration and fact that the targets will damage each other means the Dominator should be able to finish the fight off before the confuse effect wears off. Following it up with Chain Fences is a good tactic, to keep the enemies grouped and fighting with each other.
Synaptic Overload requires patience, because it takes a few seconds to chain across targets, but moreso because a miss when initially cast prevents it from affecting anything. It also fails quite badly against enemies who are very spread out, because its maximum jump distance is not very long.
- Gremlins is a typical pet power, see the Shared Powers section. Two Gremlins are summoned, at one level below the caster. They have a melee attack, Jolting Chain, and a small damage aura. They favour melee combat, have average damage, and are fairly fragile.
Their Jolting Chain provides a nice extra bit of control, and combined with their damage aura makes them capable at holding a bit of aggro.
They are not terribly compatible with Static Field because they tend to wake things up with their damage aura and Jolting Chain.
3.4 Fire Control
Fire has weak control and high damage compared to the other Dominator primaries. A significant part of Fire’s control is caused by chaotic movement and distraction: fleeing from Hot Feet, burning kneecaps from Fire Imps, knockback from Bonfire.
Essential powers: Char, Flashfire, Fire Imps
Disappointing powers: Smoke, Cinders
Fire Control is an endurance-intensive set, partially due to the ridiculous endurance cost of Hot Feet, and partially due its tendency to scatter mobs, and consequently reduce the effectiveness of AoEs. However, Fire Imps will help the endurance situation significantly, their damage is typically sufficient for the solo Dominator, who can focus more on control, or just sit back and relax.
Fire Control is slightly disadvantaged against flying enemies, because Flashfire can only target grounded mobs and Fire Imps have no ranged attack. For this reason the Fire Control Dominator will need a plan for dealing with flying enemies. Possible approaches are: use Ring of Fire or Fire Cages to ground enemies; jump or fly and ground enemies with Air Superiority or Hot Feet. Taking the fight to the sky with Group Fly may seem like another alternative, but the to-hit debuff on Group Fly hinders the plan.
- Ring of Fire is a typical single target immobilize, see the Shared Powers section. It does provide somewhat more utility for Fire Control because it can ground fliers so they can be subject to other powers such as Flashfire and Fire Imps. Embrace of Fire from the Fiery Assault secondary might make it a bit more tempting as a damage power too.
- Char is a typical STH, see the Shared Powers section. It activates quickly, but its visual effect is very subtle and does not always occur correctly.
- Fire Cages is a typical AoE immob, see the Shared Powers section. Much like Ring of Fire it may be more useful for Fire Control because of the needed ability to ground fliers. It can effectively magnify Fire Control’s high damage/low control profile, by increasing the damage from Hot Feet and eliminating its damage mitigation, as well as reducing the scatter from Flashfire. It’s damage is slightly more attractive, although still marginal, when combined with Embrace of Fire from Fiery Assault.
- Smoke is a targeted AoE accuracy and perception debuff which doesn’t cause aggro. It has a very low accuracy debuff, fast recharge and long effect duration. Affected enemies’ perception is greatly reduced, but not to zero. It is autohit in PvE but requires an accuracy check in PvP. Once fighting has commenced it has very little effect, because aggroed mobs ignore perception. Suggested slotting is 0 additional slots with 30 – 40% recharge.
Smoke can be used as a stealth power, allowing travel past enemies, or easier manouvering for initiating combat. Since it doesn’t cause aggro, it can also be used as a way to build Domination without alerting the enemy. On a well orchestrated team, it can be used when multiple groups of enemies are too close together, to keep one group out of combat while the other is engaged. Smoke is also very compatible with stealth powers, and can be used to achieve essentially full invisibility.
Smoke does not help in splitting up a single spawn of enemies, in fact it may even make this more difficult, and it also tends to draw aggro to the caster when combat starts.
- Hot Feet is a PBAoE toggle which causes enemies to take damage, flee and move more slowly. It has an extreme endurance cost, low damage, average accuracy and a large radius. The flee and slow effects are auto-hit, so the accuracy enhancements only help with damage. Its low damage increases significantly when enemies stay within its area of effect. Suggested slotting is 2 – 5 additional slots, with 80 – 95% endurance reduction, 0 – 50% accuracy, 0 – 95% damage, and 0 – 70% slow.
Hot Feet is an effective control power, and provides decent damage mitigation through the combination of its flee effect and slow. It can be transformed into a good damage power by keeping enemies within its area of effect with Fire Cages or similar, at the cost of its control effects.
Hot Feet’s extreme endurance cost makes it difficult run permanently, which is unfortunate because of its annoyingly long recharge and activation times. Endurance recovery powers such as Stamina, Consume, Drain Psyche, Conserve Power and Power Sink are recommened to support it.
- Flashfire is a targeted AoE disorient, which can only target grounded enemies. It has a large area of effect, poor accuracy, medium recharge, short disorient effect, and minor damage. It is Fire Control’s best fast recharging AoE power, making it the basis of AoE control. Suggested slotting is 5 additional slots, with 70 – 80% accuracy, 70 – 95% disorient duration, and 35 – 80% recharge.
Flashfire is the most important of Fire’s AoE controls, because it fully prevents retaliation for its duration. It can be combined with Fire Cages to prevent affected enemies from slowly scattering, although this is not essential.
The short duration of Flashfire makes it quite frustrating until higher levels when mez duration scales up and enhancements are stronger. The fact that it cannot target flying enemies can be a serious problem on occasion, and means another power should be chosen to deal with the scenario, possiblities are Ring of Fire, Fire Cages, Hot Feet, Air Superiority. Its recharge is unfortunately just a bit too long, meaning it may not be ready for the beginning of every fight, especially on fast moving teams.
- Cinders is a typical AoE hold, see the Shared Powers section. However, it’s a PBAoE power, not a ranged one, and has the same terrible visual effect as Char. With Fire’s weak control Cinders is more useful than some of the other AoE holds.
- Bonfire is a placed power which causes strong knockback. It has low damage, a decent duration, and fast recharge, which means it is recharged before it expires, even without enhacement. Suggested slotting is 0 additional slots, with 30 – 40% recharge.
Bonfire is very effective in a small number of situations, and provides some utility in others. Popular uses are to create a safe location for ranged characters to avoid melee, to pin enemies against walls, to block narrow places like doorways, or trap ambushes as they come through a doorway. It can be placed on buff eminators, such as those used by the Devouring Earth, as well as Triage Beacon and Spirit Tree. It can pin enemies against a wall in a state of permanent knockback. It can be combined with Fire Cages, which prevents knockback, to do some damage.
Bonfire is extremely easy to misuse. Knockback can significantly reduce the effectiveness of a teams AoEs, and frustrate melee based characters. In easy fights, or on effective teams, it isn’t very useful.
Fire Imps is a typical pet power, see the Shared Powers section.
The Fire Imps do excellent damage, making Fire Control the highest damaging control set. Their desire to engage unmezzed foes means that they also do an excellent job of distributing aggro and protecting their summoner. Their excessive aggresiveness takes some getting used to, but with practice they are quite manageable.
Since they only have melee attacks, the Fire Imps are quick to run to enemies, which can be problematic in some circumstances, and may require the Dominator to stay at range. Unfortunately this limits the usefulness of Hot Feet, Cinders, and melee attacks in the assault sets. Favouring unmezzed foes also encourages them to aggro additional spawns when the current one gets hit by Flashfire.
Gravity has weak AoE control for a Dominator primary, and slightly above average single target control, but still less than Mind Control. Although it contains a high damage attack power, Propel, Gravity does not have superior damage to the other control sets, because it is a weaker attack than those from the assault sets. A lot of Gravity’s control comes from its pet, Singularity, and its single target controls.
Essential powers: Gravity Distortion, Singularity
Disappointing powers: Propel, Dimension Shift
Gravity’s main problem is the lack of a fast-recharging AoE which incapacitates the enemy but leaves them open to attack. Wormhole almost provides this, but at level 26 it comes too late in the set, its radius is small, it’s fiddly to use and allows retaliation before taking effect. In place of the useful AoE Gravity Control has two single target attacks: Propel and Lift, and an AoE intangibility power, Dimension Shift. The attacks are weak compared to those in the assault secondaries, and are only there because the set was inherited from Controllers. The consequence is that a Gravity Dominator does not bring much damage mitigation to a team before level 26.
From a solo perspective, Gravity Control can be very effective very early. The four single target powers (Crush, Lift, Gravity Distortion, and Propel) allow the Gravity Control Dominator to effectively solo +2 enemies even as low as level 12. However, 3 enemies is the limit of this build’s control, meaning that it brings very little support to a team.
- Crush is a single target immobilize, see the Shared Powers section. Unlike the other immobilizes, it doesn’t protect against knock*, so is less likely to interfere with teammates’ powers. Additionally it includes a strong movement slow, which makes it quite useful for PvP, and against enemies with immobilize protection. For these reasons and because of Gravity’s lack of AoE control, Crush can be quite useful.
- Lift is a single target attack with guaranteed knockup. It has medium damage, standard accuracy, and average recharge. It is useful for short term control against most enemies including bosses. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots with 35 – 70% accuracy, 0 – 35% endurance reduction, 0 – 35% recharge.
Lift is useful for controlling bosses, and other enemies who may be resistant to hold. It is especially useful in early levels where hold durations are low, when there are too many enemies to hold, or holds cannot be stacked on bosses. It can also be useful for getting enemies out of high places. Lift can be used effectively with Crush, since it doesn’t provide knockup protection.
Unfortunately for Lift, Gravity Distortion grants knockup protection, which means that Lift cannot be used to control a boss in between applications of Gravity Distortion. Lift is similar to Levitate from Mind Control, except that it has a longer activation time.
- Gravity Distortion is a typical STH, see the Shared Powers section. Its visual effect can be difficult to identify, mostly because it does not always appear. Unlike the other STHs, Gravity Distortion grants knock* protection, meaning it’s a lot easier to keep your target held and next to you for melee attacks. However the knock* protection can be problematic against harder to hold foes like bosses since a single application will not hold them, but will protect them from other control powers such as Lift. Gravity Distortion also has an effective movement slow, which is useful in PvP and against hard to hold foes.
- Propel is a single target attack with guaranteed knockback. It has good damage, standard accuracy, and a very long activation time. It is ok for short single target control. Suggested slotting is 0 – 4 additional slots with 35 – 70% accuracy, 0 – 95% damage, 0 – 40% endurance reduction.
Propel has the best attack animation in the game, a random object appears in the air and flies at the target, falling to the ground after it hits (or misses), and remains for a long period of time. Combined with the other single target controls, Propel can make for an effective control chain against a small number of targets.
Propel’s incredibly long activation time makes it one of the poorest Dominator attacks for damage, as well as suffering from the other problems of long activation, that the caster is unable to react to other events, and that the target may be defeated by other attacks before the damage is applied. If it is being used as a control power, there may be other more favourable options available, such as Air Superiority, Telekinetic Thrust, or Power Push.
- Crushing Field is a typical AoE immobilize, see the Shared Powers section. It has the same benefits as Crush, a movement slow and lack of knock* protection. Desparation for AoE control can cause the Gravity Dominator to use this power more liberally than appropriate.
- Dimension Shift is a targeted AoE phase and immobilize power, meaning affected targets cannot attack and cannot be attacked. It has a 30 second duration, average accuracy, and a short recharge. Unlike other control powers, it cannot be enhanced for duration, but can be enhanced for magnitude, and with very little enhancement (9.6% is enough) will affect bosses with a single application. It is not improved by Domination. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots with 0 – 70% accuracy and 0 – 35% intangibility.
Dimension Shift is a very effective emergency power, because it can completely shut down a spawn, even without Domination being active, and it recharges quickly, so it can always be available. It is also unique in that its termination can be accurately predicted due to a sound effect that plays exactly 13 pulses throughout its duration. An additional use of Dimension Shift is thinning out spawns, with low accuracy a portion of the spawn can be phased out, making things easier for the team.
Dimension Shift is the most maligned control power because its misuse can seriously hinder the team: teammates are liable to waste attacks on phased enemies since they can still be targetted; phased enemies glow brightly thereby inviting attack and obscuring unphased enemies; and the duration of the phase effect is fairly long and may require the team to wait for enemies to unphase. Enemies that are protected from immobilize, such as CoT ghosts and Council Warwolves will be able to move around while shifted, and can cause some confusion.
- Gravity Distortion Field is a typical AoE hold, see the Shared Powers section. It suffers from the same visual effect issues as Gravity Distortion, and also grants knock* protection. While it also provides movement slows like Gravity Distortion, it is not nearly as useful, because large groups of hard to hold foes are very rarely encountered. The AoE hold is more highly recommended for Gravity Control than other primaries, due solely to the fact that it has no practical alternative. Of course it still won’t be usable in every fight because of its long recharge time.
- Wormhole is a targeted AoE enemy teleport power with an additional stun effect and knockback. It has a smallish area of effect, medium range, average accuracy, medium recharge, a short disorient effect, and a large knockback. It is Gravity’s best candidate for a staple every-fight damage mitigation power. The caster chooses a target, clicks the power, and then chooses an output location, at which point the power activates and teleports whichever enemies it hits to the chosen location, and knocks them back. Suggested slotting is 5 additional slots with 70 – 80% accuracy, 35 – 95% disorient duration, 35 – 80% recarge, 20 – 60% range.
Wormhole can be very effective on large teams when combined with other effects, notably AoE attacks, because it can place many enemies in a small area. It is a versatile power, with many useful applications and can greatly increase the safety of a team. For instance, it can be used to bring stragglers into the main area of combat, where more tunnel-visioned team members can deal with them. Line of sight is not required, which means it can be used in great safety, and with minimal additional aggro effect. It is best directed into a corner, or directly downwards if flying, in order to minimize the scatter caused by knockback. The short disorient duration usually isn’t a significant problem, because enemies do not tend to last long after they are dumped in a corner. Many people like to combine it with Crushing Field, to prevent mob scatter, although this is certainly not essential. The output location and targetted mobs need not both be in range simultaneously, if the power is activated and the location chosen while the enemy is out of range, then when the Dominator runs into range of the enemy, the chosen output location will still be used, even if it is very far away.
Wormhole’s biggest failing is it’s small area of effect, which very often results in spawns being split into two separate groups. It is also a very difficult power to use, because it requires good positioning of the caster, the target, and the output location. When the power activates, any enemies within the area of effect who can see the caster get a free attack before the power takes effect, regardless of whether or not the power successfully hits them, which is why breaking line of sight is recommended. The small area of effect can be extremely frustrating, because it makes it very difficult to hit every member of a spawn. For this reason, positioning and line of sight are very important, which means the power is slow to use. Range is also a factor, but there is no indication if the targets are within range until the drop point is selected, possibly necessitating repositioning, which is why range enhancement is suggested. If Power Boost or Aim is being used to buff Wormhole, being out of range can be very frustrating, because it can cause the buff to be lost. Some enemies at higher levels, such as Longbow Nullifiers and Malta Gunslingers at level 40 and above, are protected from teleport, which means that Wormhole may stun them, but won’t teleport them, resulting in unfortunate scatter and a split spawn. Once combat has been initiated it’s often inadvisable to use Wormhole, to prevent confusing teammates.
Singularity is a typical pet power, see the Shared Powers section. Singularity is the least damage-oriented of all of the pets, and has exclusively control powers. It is extremly tough, with high damage resistance and mez protection. Its powers are Crush, Lift, and Gravity Distortion, as well as Repel, a knockback aura. It is also the only pet which flies. Suggested slotting is 1 – 5 additional slots, with 35 – 70% accuracy, damage, hold and immob to taste.
Singularity significantly improves the Gravity Dominator’s survivability because of the added control, and its ability to attract aggro, particularly with Repel. It can be used to great effect to take alpha strikes and generally tank, through a number of means, using stealth powers so that it is seen first, Recall Friend or summon it into the enemies, or team teleport in together. It will block any doorways it occupies, since the Repel field will knockback any enemies.
Its low damage means that Singularity is not a dramatic increase to the Gravity Dominator’s speed, only their safety.
Ice has good control, particularly with its secondary slow effects, and is very effective against bosses even without Domination. It needs less slots than some of the other control sets, because several powers (notably Ice Slick) work well unenhanced. Unlike some of the other control sets, Ice does not provide total lockdown, but it can provide significant reduction of incoming attacks due to slows and knockdown.
Essential powers: Block of Ice, Ice Slick
Disappointing powers: Flash Freeze, Glacier
Ice Control has a unique advantage against high level foes, because neither Ice Slick nor Arctic Air require accuracy checks.
Ice Control benefits less from Domination than most of the other control sets, because its most important controls are slows and knockdown which aren’t boosted by Domination.
- Chilblain is a typical single target immobilize, see the Shared Powers section. It has a benefit over the other single target immobilizes in that it also includes a slow and recharge debuff. Its biggest weakness is that it protects enemies from the Ice Slick.
- Block of Ice is a typical STH, see the Shared Powers section. Its advantages over the other STHs are its obvious visual effect, a good secondary slow and recharge debuff, and no restrictions against flying enemies. Its biggest drawback is a long activation time, the second longest after Strangler from Plant Control, and less importantly the fact that it grants knock* protection, thus negating the effect of Ice Slick if a foe isn’t held on the first application.
- Frostbite is a typical AoE immob, see the Shared Powers section. Like Chilblain, it has a nice secondary slow and recharge debuff, but it’s biggest draw back is that it negates the knockdown effects of Ice Slick.
- Arctic Air is an auto-hit PBAoE toggle which causes enemies to flee, confuses them occasionally and debuffs their movement and recharge speeds. It has an extreme endurance cost, good slow, and a large radius. Suggested slotting is 2 – 5 additional slots, with 80 – 95% endurance reduction, 40 – 95% confuse duration, 0 – 40% slow. (It’s unclear if Fear enhancements do anything.)
Arctic Air is very effective at keeping enemies moving slowly and reducing incoming attacks. Being PBAoE is a big advantage, because it can move with the fight, or even chase problematic enemies. The large area and slow means that with a bit of fancy footwork an enemy can be kept debuffed, and out of melee. The confuse is a nice effect, but not dependable.
Arctic Air’s extreme endurance cost makes it hard to use permanently, however deciding when to turn it on and off can be difficult because it also has a longish recharge time. Being mezzed will turn it off, which can also be a source of frustration.
- Shiver is a cone slow and recharge debuff power. It recharges quickly, covers a large area, and has a strong debuff, although it does require an accuracy check. Suggested slotting is 1 – 2 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, and 0 – 40% slow.
Shiver is good for keeping your enemies moving slowly to make things easier for teammates to deal with. Unlike most other control effects it doesn’t seem to attract much aggro, making it a good choice on large teams. It is often used as a backup control power, when Ice Slick isn’t effective, such as against flying enemies.
Against enemies who have many attacks, or very damaging and mezzing attacks, Shiver falls short, because they will still get each ranged attack once, which can be enough to lay a Dominator flat.
- Ice Slick is the signature power of Ice Control. It is a patch on the ground which significantly reduces incoming attacks by inflicting knock down, slow and -Jump on all enemies on, above and below it. It is auto-hit, has medium duration, doesn’t require line of sight to place, has a large area of effect, and a medium recharge which makes it available for every fight. Suggested slotting is 1 – 2 additional slots with 35 – 95% recharge.
Because Ice Slick’s duration is unenhancable and is not affected by level scaling it is very effective immediately, and doesn’t require many slots like most other control powers. Because it uses knockdown, Ice Slick is also effective against bosses, making it more useful on the largest teams. Finally, Ice Slick doesn’t require line of sight to cast, so it can be done in safety from around a corner, fully preventing an alpha strike.
Care must be taken when starting a fight with Ice Slick, because enemies have a chance to attack before they are affected by the knockdown. Also there is some terrain, notably underwater, where the Ice Slick is not visible, which can slightly hinder its utility.
- Flash Freeze is a typical AoE sleep power, see the Shared Powers section. Its recharge time is much greater than the other AoE sleeps.
Its graphics are much more obvious than the other sleeps, which can be useful on a team, although they may be confused with Ice’s holds.
Flash Freeze inflicts damage as well, which prevents it from being stacked on top of other sleeps to deal with multiple stronger enemies. Furthermore it can only be used on grounded enemies, which is again frustrating because the -Fly immobs also have DoT which will wake the sleepers up.
- Glacier is a typical AoE hold, see the Shared Powers section. Like Block of Ice, it has the most obvious graphic, which is very handy on teams.
Because of Ice Control’s lack of powers which work well with Domination, Glacier may be the only option for extreme crisis situations.
Glacier cannot be used while flying, somewhat limiting its effectiveness, and is also a PBAoE which makes it more dangerous to use.
Jack Frost is a typical pet power, see the Shared Powers section. He has a weak ranged attack, a melee hold and high damage melee attacks.
His Ice Sword deals good damage, and he can significantly increases his summoner’s damage.
Jack Frost is very aggressive, and has a tendency to get himself in serious danger. He prefers to attack uncontrolled enemies, which means he tends to aggro one with his hold and then move on to aggro the next. Against a single target he performs badly, running into melee and the getting stuck just using his Ice Sword and not his other attacks.
Mind Control has plenty of AoE control powers, although unlike other sets, none which are both fast recharing and prevent attacked targets from retaliating. It still provides very good AoE control, even on large teams, and gains effectiveness from the raw number of control powers. Additionally, it has by the far the best single target control available, which makes soloing easy, and can make a big effect even on large teams. It is the only control set without a pet power, although its single target confuse has a similar effect.
Essential powers: Dominate
Disappointing powers: Total Domination
Mind Control is a very endurance light set, in large part due to Confuse, which dramatically improves soloing efficiency. Telekinesis is the one endurance intensive power, but is rarely used for extended periods of time.
Its large selection of control types (sleep, knockup, hold, confuse, repel, fear), makes Mind Control the most versatile control set, and the most likely to be able to exploit weakness in the enemies.
Mind Control’s powers have a unique advantage in PvP because they are not typed positionally, only as Psionic, and ignore certain defense sets such as Super Reflexes and Force Fields.
- Mesmerize is a single target sleep with an accuracy bonus, small damage, a very long duration, and long activation. Its magnitude is high enough to sleep most bosses and AVs with a single application. Suggested slotting is 0 – 1 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy.
Mesmerize is very handy for taking single enemies out of the fight for a long period of time. It is especially effective on outlying enemies, since they are less likely to get woken up by AoEs. One of my favourite uses for Mesmerize is to open the fight by using it on the boss of a spawn, which typically results in pulling the entire spawn except the boss. A boss can be slept while a more practical mez type, like hold or confuse, is applied. It also can prove extremely useful in some very tough encounters, by keeping AVs out of the fight until the team is ready to tackle them.
Mesmerize cannot be stacked on top of other sleeps against tougher foes, because the damage component breaks previous sleeps. When applied on a sleeping enemy, the damage in Mesmerize will briefly wake them up, allowing a small movement or an attack, so standing behind the enemy is a good tactic, they will use their brief action to turn around. The damage from Mesmerize is not reported until very late, which can be annoying because it is a nice confirmation that it hit.
- Levitate is a single target knockup with good damage and -Fly. Suggested slotting is either attack slotting, or 0 – 1 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy.
As a knockup attack, Levitate temporarily incapacitates bosses, which makes it very useful for stacking holds if Domination is not available, or if they are hold-resistant. It is also quite handy for dropping flying or perching enemies to the ground where they can be dealt with more easily. Finally, it applies smashing damage, which may be useful to a Mind/Psi Dominator when facing enemies with Psi resistance.
Due to the way knockup interacts with powers activation, Levitate may not always actually result in a period of incapacity.
- Dominate is a standard STH, see the Shared Powers section. It has a very short activation time, but its visual effect on enemies is very subtle and easily obscured by other effects. As a Psionic attack it also hit enemies with defense more easily than other holds.
- Confuse is a single target confuse with a long duration and medium activation, and which does not cause aggro. It is highly recommended due to great versatility. Suggested slotting 3 – 5 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, 35 – 95% confuse duration, 35 – 80% recharge.
Confuse is a great fight starter, since it doesn’t generate aggro it can be used to prevent problematic enemies such as Sappers or Demolitionists from ever causing any harm. The long duration means that it can stack applications very effectively. Also, since confused enemies damage each other, Confuse makes fights shorter, and reduces endurance needs.
See confuse in the glossary for a brief discussion of confuse and xp gain.
- Mass Hypnosis is an AoE sleep power, see the Shared Powers section. The big difference from the other sleeps is that it doesn’t generate any aggro.
Since it doesn’t cause any aggro, Mass Hypnosis can be very effective for starting a fight and take the edge off the alpha strike. Since it doesn’t deal damage it can also be stacked on other sleep powers to sleep more protected enemies.
- Telekinesis is a toggle which holds and repels its target and nearby enemies away from the caster. It has an extreme endurance cost, and a longish recharge. Repel protection is rare, so it will affect most enemies, although outside Domination bosses and others with hold protection will still be able to attack while being repelled. Suggested slotting is 1 – 2 additional slots with 80 – 95% endurance reduction.
Telekinesis can be very effective in the right circumstances, pinning enemies in corners for teammates to deal with, and doesn’t require line of sight, so can be used to keep difficult enemies out of the way, even if they can’t be held. Since it’s also a hold, it can be useful for quickly stacking hold mag onto bosses, and then dropped once the boss is held. If necessary it can also be used to group up multiple tough targets, and then combined with Dominate to keep them permanently held, although for a high endurance cost.
Telekinesis is arguably the most difficult power to use in the game. The repel is fast, which makes mobility of the caster very important if the victims are to be kept in the right place. Without a sharp corner to pin them in, it is tricky to keep the repel from pushing them in unwanted directions. Its extreme endurance cost also limits its utility.
- Total Domination is a typical AoE hold, see the Shared Powers section. It suffers from the same visual effect problems as Dominate.
In some circumstances Total Domination can be a very welcome power because it is total lockdown, and not easily broken or difficult to maintain like Mind’s other AoE controls.
Mind Control benefits less from Total Domination than the other sets from their AoE holds, because it has so many other effective AoE powers.
- Terrify is a cone terrorize power with decent damage. It has a slight accuracy penalty, a high endurance cost, a large cone area, a medium recharge, medium damage, and a decent duration terrorize effect. Suggested slotting is 2 – 5 additional slots with 70 – 80% accuracy, 35 – 95% fear duration, 35 – 95% recharge reduction, 0 – 40% endurance reduction, 0 – 95% damage. The cone is large enough that range is not necessary.
Terrify is Mind Control’s staple AoE control power, since it can be used in every fight, has a large area, and is more robust than a sleep. It is good for keeping a spawn contained, because it tends to prevent running, and prevents retaliation from enemies who are not being attacked.
The biggest drawback to Terrify is that it allows an attack before taking effect, which makes it a terrible power for starting a fight.
Mass Confusion is a ranged AoE confuse which does not cause aggro. It has a decent base duration, a very long recharge time, a good sized area of effect, and poor accuracy. Suggested slotting is 3 – 5 additional slots with 70 – 80% accuracy, 0 – 95% duration, 35 – 95% recharge, 0 – 40% endurance reduction.
Mass Confusion is the perfect power for destroying an entire spawn without any risk to the team. Even with base duration, it lasts long enough for a high level spawn to mostly destroy itself. Of all the Dominator powers this one has the most profound effect on a battle.
Mass Confusion’s biggest drawback is its long recharge time, but the reasoning is clear, because with a shorter recharge it would be overpowered.
Mass Confusion is often compared to Seeds of Confusion, against which it compares quite favourably. Its big disadvantages are that it comes at level 32 instead of level 8, and its extremely long recharge time. Its advantages over Seeds of Confusion are that it is much safer to apply since it causes no aggro and is a targeted AoE not a cone, and that it covers a greater area. Additionally, it can be stacked with Confuse to confuse bosses without causing aggro. The final, and most important, consideration is that for Mind Control it is a bonus on top of an already effective set, while for Plant Control Seeds of Confusion is the core power of the set.
Plant Control provides average overall AoE and single target control. Its effective damage is above average due to Seeds of Confusion. Its visual appearance is much more fun than the other control sets.
Essential powers: Strangler, Seeds of Confusion
Disappointing powers: Spirit Tree, Vines
Plant Control is the most effective team accelerating power set, specifically due to Seeds of Confusion and the way it causes enemies to bunch up and damage each other, making it very easy for the team to dispatch an entire spawn.
Plant Control is a very unbalanced set, because the majority of its effectiveness comes from Seeds of Confusion, with additional support from Carrion Creepers, Strangler, and to a lesser extent Vines. The rest of its powers do not bring a significant amount of effectiveness. This gives it an advantage over the other sets, because with fewer power choices it can achieve equivalent performance. Of course, this concentration of control does have some drawbacks, notably enemies who are resistant to confuse, such as Nemesis and certain Longbow officers, can be quite a problem.
- Entangle is a typical single target immobilize, see the Shared Powers section. Unfortunately it is unable to target flying enemies, and confusingly has a -Fly effect.
- Strangler is a typical STH, see the Shared Powers section. It has one of the better effect animations, because it is quite visible, but is the worst of the STHs because it has no secondary effect and has the longest activation (tied with Fossilize).
- Roots is a typical AoE immob, see the Shared Powers section. It is useful to follow Seeds of Confusion to prevent the scatter that confuse can cause. Additionally, it does double the damage of any of the other AoE immobs.
Roots is Plant Control’s source of -Fly, but has the mysterious property of not being able to target flying enemies. This can be worked around because only the target needs to be grounded, and Roots will still affect enemies near the target, even if they’re flying.
- Spore Burst is a typical AoE sleep, see the Shared Powers section. It has the least visible visual effect of all the sleeps, consisting of only of a subtle brown cloud around the affected enemies’ heads.
- Seeds of Confusion is a cone confuse. It has a short recharge for an AoE control power, a medium sized cone, and a long duration. Suggested slotting is 3 – 5 additional slots with 70 – 80% accuracy, 35 – 95% duration, 35 – 80% recharge reduction and 0 – 25% range increase.
Seeds of Confusion is the defining power of the Plant Control set, and the most effective AoE control power available to Dominators. It has a fast recharge, so it can be used in almost every single fight, and a long duration so that it can recharge before it runs out. As if that weren’t enough, confuse is also one of the top two control effects, since it not only prevents enemy attacks, it also causes enemies to damage each other, to bunch together for AoEs, and can steal their buffs and debuffs.
The one weakness of Seeds of Confusion is that it is necessary to be at close range to gain the most effect. This means it can be difficult for opening fights, particularly on large teams where bosses are often present. However, combining it with a stealth power can mitigate some of this difficulty. Additionally, while not available every fight, Carrion Creepers or Fly Trap can be used to absorb the initial strike and allow Seeds of Confusion to be used safely.
- Spirit Tree is a immovable pet with a +Regeneration (healing) aura. It has a long cast time, long duration, medium area of effect, and a low regeneration effect. The pet itself is large and can obstruct movement. Suggested slotting is 0-5 additional slots, with 0 – 95% healing, 0 – 95% recharge reduction.
Spirit Tree can prove useful in situations where control is not an effective mitigator, although not to the same extent as most control powers. It can be used to block doorways and narrow passages to keep enemies at bay.
Spirit Tree’s long cast time make it a dangerous power to use once a fight has started. Its long recharge time means that it won’t be available every fight. Its large size can prove a hindrance for a team by obstructing vision and movement. Because it increases regeneration, rather than healing, it is not terribly effective for saving a battle that is going badly, but must instead be used prior to any problems occuring. Its immobile nature further reduces its utility, because it can’t follow the battle if it moves.
- Vines is a typical AoE hold, see the Shared Powers section. Vine’s biggest use is when Seeds of Confusion is not recharged, or against foes who resist confuse.
- Carrion Creepers is a special ranged pet summon. It summons an invisible, untargetable pet which follows its caster, slows enemies and prevents them from jumping or flying, and uses accuracy checking creeper summoning and immobilizing attacks. Its creeper pets inflict knockdown, attract aggro and cause damage. None of the pets can be unsummoned, they last for the full duration. It has a long duration, long recharge, average accuracy, large area of effect, medium damage, and average slow. Suggested slotting is 5 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, 35 – 95% recharge reduction, 0 – 95% damage, 0 – 80% slow.
Carrion Creepers is one of the best looking powers in the game, and is pretty effective as well. Its primary use is to absorb the initial attack of enemies, allowing other powers, such as Seeds of Confusion, to be used in relative safety. The creepers can deal an appreciable amount of damage if they survive. It does provide a good amount of damage mitigation through knockdown, but not nearly as much as Ice Slick. The pet will follow the caster from one fight to the next, summoning new creeper pets, for the full duration of the power.
The biggest problem for Carrion Creepers is all the sources of immobilize in Plant Control which protect against the creepers knockdown effects: Entangle and Roots, as well as the Fly Trap’s Entangle power, and finally the Entangle power generated by Carrion Creepers itself. While the creepers are able to attract the attention of enemies when they first appear, they do not deal enough damage to hold their attention for long. If not enough creepers are summoned initially because the targets were hard to hit, then some enemies will immediately attack the caster. Because the pet is invisible and can’t be unsummoned, it’s important to wait a while for it to expire before attempting any stealthy manouevres.
Fly Trap is a typical pet power, see the Shared Powers section. Her attacks are a small area targeted AoE immobilize, a cone attack with defence debuff, a single target ranged attack with defence debuff and a high damage melee bite attack. She has good damage resistance making her quite survivable.
Venus brings additional benefit to her caster by taking some aggro and some additional damage. Sometimes she will choose to go into melee range, which significantly increases her damage output.
On occasion Venus will just stand back from combat not doing anything. While her AoE attacks are useful, they also mean she has a tendency to wake sleeping, and her immobilize AoE has all the drawbacks of other immobilizes, most importantly preventing the knockdown of Carrion Creepers.
Dominator assault sets provide good damage, allowing the Dominator to solo quickly and contribute well to a team. They provide a variety of single target ranged and melee attacks, as well as some AoE attacks. The sets are slow to mature, and don’t feel complete before level 28 or 38 depending on the set.
There are distinct differences in the performance of the sets at single target and AoE damage, analyzed below under the assumption that all powers are taken, and nothing is slotted for recharge. However, the innate differences between the sets is a lesser factor than slotting and power choices, playstyle and enemy profiles. For example, a well built and played Energy Assault Dominator can do more AoE damage than a poorly built Fiery Assault Dominator. Global recharge bonuses and recharge enhancements do not change the relative performance of the sets.
The leaders for single target damage potential are Energy, Fiery and Electricity Assault, with Fiery and Electricity slightly ahead thanks to Embrace of Fire and Build Up. In the early game, the lead goes to Electricity and Energy whose first four powers are single target attacks. The remaining sets all deal very similar single target damage, with Psionic Assault having a slight edge in the early game due to having more single target attacks.
Maximising the AoE damage of the assault sets can be difficult because the AoE attacks are all dependent on position, and Dominators must typically be very mobile in combat. Furthermore, Fiery, Icy, Psionic and Thorny Assault all have a PBAoE and cone attack which work optimally from different combat locations.
Thorny and Fiery Assault are the leaders in AoE damage. Thorny is ahead in raw damage due to Fling Thorns’ wide cone and the extra AoE potential of Thorntrops and Ripper, while Fiery’s advantage is that fewer enemies resist fire damage. Icy and Psionic Assault come next, each having two good AoE attacks, with Psionic ahead against the largest spawns due to the higher target cap of Psychic Shockwave. Energy and Electricity trail with only one AoE attack each. Earth Assault is unusual because it has 3 AoE attacks, 2 with a small radius, meaning its AoE damage is high, but only against closely packed enemies.
Endurance efficiency generally follows damage, so if the set is doing high damage, then it will also have good endurance efficiency. For single target damage, Electricity Assault has notably better endurance efficiency, particularly in the low levels, while Icy’s is consistently the worst.
Earth, Energy and Electricty Assault provide the best damage mitigation of all the secondaries because holds, stuns, knockbacks and sleeps are a good complement for controls from the primary. Icy Assault and Psionic Assault both provide decent damage mitigation against uncontrolled enemies with recharge debuffs, which can be an important factor when fighting AVs. Thorny Assault provides some damage mitigation from Thorntrops and two attacks with knockback. Fiery Assault provides no damage mitigation beyond defeating the enemy faster with bonus damage.
4.1 Shared Secondary Powers
The majority of the assault powers are attacks, with suggested slotting of 4 – 5 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, depending on the level of enemies typically faced, 95% damage, 0 – 40% endurance reduction, depending on endurance performance of the particular character, and 0 – 40% recharge depending on availability of slots.
- Stone Spears, Charged Bolts, Power Bolt, Flares, Ice Bolt, Psionic Dart, and Thorny Darts are the first blasts, and are all low damage, medium range blasts. They are quite useful in the early levels, but become less useful as more assault powers become available. On smaller teams and solo they are useful for building Domination. Suggested slotting is 0 – 1 additional slots (slots are better used in other attacks) with accuracy. With their fast recharge, these are often a good choice for slotting IO Procs.
- Stone Mallet, Charged Brawl, Bonesmasher, Incinerate, Ice Sword, Mind Probe, and Skewer are the first melee attacks. They all do decent damage, and are highly recommended, since they provide a significant boost to damage output, especially in the lower levels. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
- Hurl Boulder, Lightning Bolt, Power Blast, Fire Blast, Ice Blast, Mental Blast, and Impale are the second blasts, and are all decent ranged attacks. While not necessary to be effective, they do make a Dominator’s life easier, especially on large teams where it can be difficult to enter melee. Taking an AoE attack instead is a viable choice for a team oriented Dominator. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
- Power Boost is available to Earth Assault, Energy Assault and Icy Assault. It is a 15 second self buff which greatly increases most power effects, notably mez durations, debuffs, buffs, and healing. Important exceptions are knock*, accuracy, damage, and pet/drop power duration. It is of primary use to Dominators to extend the duration of control effects, typically doubling the duration, making it very popular for boosting the initial AoE control. Unfortunately for Earth Control and Ice Control it does not boost drop powers such as Ice Slick and Earthquake in any way. Other popular powers to combine it with are: Power Sink to boost its endurance drain; Aid Self for a bigger heal, especially in PvP; Tactics for a bigger ToHit buff, also good on the initial strike; and Vengeance for certain high-level content.
- Static Discharge, Fire Breath, Frost Breath, Psychic Scream and Fling Thorns are the cone attacks. They all deal reasonable damage in a decent sized cone, with ranges of typically 40ft. They are able to hit a good number of targets when used from outside of melee range, and are the best choice for AoE damage for a Dominator who wishes to stay out of melee range. A good techinique for combining them with the PBAoE attacks is for the Dominator to jump when it’s time to use them, and activate them from above the enemies, although the area covered can be fairly small for the narrow cones. Another trick is to target a farther away enemy when activating them, in order to orient the cone better, and be more certain of the range and how many enemies will be hit. Standard attack slotting is suggested, with the additional note that range enhancement can be useful.
- Tremor, Whirling Hands, Combustion, Ice Sword Circle, Psychic Shockwave, and Thorn Burst are the PBAoE attacks. They all deal reasonable damage in a 15 foot radius, and have a longish recharge, typically close to 20 seconds. They are quite capable of hitting a good number of targets when fighting at close range, and are an important part of the Dominator’s AoE damage. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
- Zapp, Sniper Blast, Blazing Bolt, and Psionic Lance are the sniper attacks. They are long range, high damage blasts with an accuracy bonus, long recharge and long activation time. With their long activation and recharge times, they won’t be used repeatedly throughout combat, so unlike other attacks, endurance and recharge slotting is not particularly useful. Suggested slotting is 3 – 4 extra slots with 20 – 60% accuracy, 95% damage, 0 – 50% interrupt reduction.
They work well for pulling enemies to the team due to their long range. Additionally, their high damage means that when enhanced they deal damage close to a minion’s total hit points, and may be able to eliminate difficult minions in a single hit. They have one more popular use, which may be considered a minor exploit: if they are interrupted by moving before firing they add Domination but don’t activate and aggro the enemy; allowing Domination to be built with a substantial endurance cost but without actual combat.
The sniper attacks are not powers that are part of regular combat, due to their long activation and possibility of interruption. Staying still for the entire activation time can be risky, particularly in a team situation, and there are a large variety of effects which can interrupt the power. While they are useful for pulling, this is typically not a necessary tactic for most teams at level 35 when all of them but Zapp become available.
Power Burst, Blaze, Bitter Ice Blast, and Thorn Barrage are the final blasts, and are all high damage medium range single target blasts. They fill a gap in the Dominator’s attack chain, and provide a significant increase in the Dominator’s damage output. They are highly recommended powers. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
Earth Assault is a close combat assault set with a slow and powerful feeling to it. In melee it does good AoE damage and average single target damage, while at range it does poor single target damage and no AoE damage whatsoever. Its single target melee attacks are light on endurance, while its AoEs are expensive on endurance. Earth Assault provides some useful secondary control effects, most importantly a reliable hold in Seismic Smash, but also chance for knockdown, knockback or stun in several other powers including the AoEs. All its powers do exclusively smashing damage except Stone Spears which does lethal damage and Mud Pots which does fire damage.
Essential Powers:Stone Mallet, Heavy Mallet, Seismic Smash
Disappointing Power:Stone Spears, Hurl Boulder, Fissure
Before level 20 Earth Assault feels slow and its damage feels weak because of the slow activation times of the ranged attacks. At level 28 the set feels complete, and the final two powers add the extra ability of decent close range AoE damage. The secondary control effects can be quite effective if the primary fails to deliver, and can even provide sufficient mitigation themselves against a small number of foes.
Earth Assault’s AoE damage is much easier to use than that of the other assault sets, because it doesn’t require movement across the battle to use effectively. Its two PBAoEs and short range targeted AoE can all be activated from the same location in the fight.
Several of the Earth Assault powers require the caster to be touching the ground, which reduces the mobility of Earth Assault Dominators.
With Power Boost and an additional hold power in Seismic Smash, Earth Assault is the best secondary for a Dominator trying to maximize the hold magnitude on an enemy.
- Stone Spears is a typical first blast, see the Shared Powers section. Its 80% chance for knockup makes it a very handy source of damage mitigation, particularly in the low levels, and against bosses. However, its long activation time and requirement for the caster to be touching the ground make it the worst of the first tier blasts. Finally, it currently suffers from a bug where it doesn’t damage targets in the air, which can be a source of frustration on occasion.
- Stone Mallet is a typical first melee attack, see the Shared Powers section. Its 50% chance for knockdown is somewhat useful, but unfortunately not reliable enough to be trusted with survival, especially in melee range.
- Tremor is a typical PBAoE attack. It has a 50% chance of knocking down enemies, which provides noticeable damage mitigation in the early levels. With the longest activation time of the PBAoE attacks, and its low damage relative to them, this is the worst of them all.
- Hurl Boulder is a typical second blast, see the Shared Powers section. It also has a -Fly effect and a 50% chance to knockback its target. With its long activation time, requirement to be on the ground, and because 50% chance for knockback is more of an annoyance than a benefit, this is the worst of the second blasts.
- Power Boost is a short self-buff, see the Shared Powers section.
- Heavy Mallet is a good single target melee attack. With a fast activation and good damage, it is an important part of Earth Assault’s damage output. It’s 50% chance for knockdown is more entertaining than dependable.
- Seismic Smash is an extreme damage melee attack with a guaranteed hold, and a fast activation time. It is a very important part of Earth Assault’s damage and is highly recommended. Typical attack slotting is suggested.
- Mud Pots is a small radius damage aura with an autohit slow and immobilize effect. It has a high endurance cost and deals moderate damage. Suggested slotting is 35 – 80% accuracy, 70 – 95% damage, 35 – 80% endurance reduction.
The damage is noticeable over the long term, against enemies who survive long enough.
The small radius is difficult for a Dominator to use effectively, because enemies should be controlled before the Dominator enters melee, and it can be difficult to ensure they are close together when this happens. Confuse powers and slows can be useful for clumping enemies up together.
- Fissure is a very short range targeted AoE, with a very small AoE radius. It does damage similar to Tremor and has a 50% chance to disorient. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
When enemies are closely packed, Fissure is a good source of AoE damage, and being a targeted AoE is practical to use in conjunction with Tremor and Mud Pots. The disorient effect provides a small amount of additional damage mitigation.
Fissure’s small radius means it’s very wasteful of endurance against enemies who aren’t closely packed, and generally not useful in such circumstances. The small range requires the Dominator to be close to the enemy, which is typical for an Earth Assault Dominator anyway.
Electricity Assault is a fast and primarily single target assault set with good melee attacks. It has excellent single target damage in melee range, and at range performs similarly to the other assault sets in both single target and AoE damage. It has average endurance usage and its secondary control effects are not terribly useful. Its single target attack chain matures very early, and is mostly full by level 10, in exchange for not having an AoE attacks until level 28. Its attacks all deal smashing and energy damage.
Essential Powers: Charged Brawl
Disappointing Powers: Zapp, Thunder Strike
Electricity Assault really performs well against single targets at melee range, and using Build Up can deal a lot of damage very quickly. The fast activation of these attacks means it can fit them all into the time of a single Build Up buff, and gives the set a lot of manoeuverability.
Electricity Assault never excels at AoE damage because Static Discharge is its only real AoE attack, Thunder Strike’s AoE splash damage is incredibly small and Voltaic Sentinel is rather slow at dealing damage to multiple targets. Its fast activation times mean it can use up endurance quickly, although the fight should typically be over by then, this is somewhat mitigated by the powers having a chance to return endurance to the caster, but not completely alleviated.
The most common secondary effect is endurance drain and recovery debuff, which unfortunately comes in such small amounts to be irrelevant without other sources of endurance drain, particularly since most enemies will be controlled in other ways and won’t need that endurance. While its endurance drain and recovery debuff effects do support Electric Control, its not crucial support, and its knockback effects work against Electric Control. The next most noticeable effect is the knockback from Thunderstrike and Havoc Punch, which proves to be more of an irritation for such a melee focussed set. A very observant player may be able to take advantage of the chance for sleep effects in Charged Brawl and Havoc Punch to provide additional damage mitigation in the low levels, by quickly switching targets. Finally, Thunder Strike’s chance for stun may be useful if control is failing in other ways, although it is a dangerous choice since it requires entering melee range.
- Charged Bolts is a typical first blast, see the Shared Powers section.
- Charged Brawl is a typical first melee attack, see the Shared Powers section. It has a lightning fast activation time making it the best of the first melee attacks and a must-have power for Electricty Assault.
- Lightning Bolt is a typical second blast, see the Shared Powers section. It is unique in that it is available at level 4, but is typical in other ways.
- Havoc Punch is a single target melee attack with good damage and a fast activation. It is highly recommended for increasing single target damage. It secondary effects of sleep and knockback are not particularly reliable or dependable. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
- Build Up is a short self-buff to damage and to-hit. Its best use is as a damage boost for initial spike damage. While it can boost the accuracy of AoE controls allowing them to slot more duration and less accuracy, this isn’t a recommended tactic because it creates a dependency where the control cannot be used alone and in practice greatly reduces the utility of both powers. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots with recharge.
- Zapp is a typical sniper attack, see the Shared Powers section. It is more useful than the other snipes, solely because it is available much earlier when the Dominator is not yet fully mature. However it is still not a regular attack. When well slotted and combined with Build Up, Zapp may able to defeat a minion with one hit which can be useful on occasion. However, it’s not the best power to use after Build Up, because of its long activation time, the fast activating attacks should be used first, and then followed by Zapp.
- Static Discharge is a typical cone attack, see the Shared Powers section. It is a wider cone than the others, so is much easier to hit a large number of targets, particularly from melee range, and the jumping technique for activation is much more effective. Being Electricity Assault’s only real AoE attack it is recommended for Dominators who will play on a team.
- Thunder Strike is a high damage single target attack, with a very powerful feeling animation, a small amount of AoE splash damage, and AoE knockback. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
Thunder Strike’s best use is the entertainment of watching the animation.
With damage not much greater than Havoc Punch, a very long activation time and considering the fast recharge of the other attacks there is usually a better power available. Additionally, in a team setting the AoE knockback can be very inconvenient, and there is a fairly high chance that the target will be defeated before Thunder Strike’s damage is even applied.
- Voltaic Sentinel summons a short-lived non-targettable pet with a single high accuracy weak lightning attack. It has a high endurance cost, and good damage over its full duration. The sentinel may not be unsummoned, but the caster may have only one at a time, summoning a new one kills off the old one. Suggested slotting is 2 – 5 additional slots with 0 – 40% accuracy, 95% damage, 0 – 80% endurance reduction.
In battles which last its full life time, the Voltaic Sentinel can contribute quite a bit of damage. Against tougher enemies, this may be possible often, in which case it can noticeably improve a Dominator’s efficiency. To get the most from Voltaic Sentinel, it’s recommended to always summon it at the start of a fight, not when the previous one expires.
The short duration means that Voltaic Sentinel must be regularly resummoned, which can feel like a frustrating burden, especially considering the endurance cost Since it’s untargettable, any aggro generated is immediately passed on to the caster, which may be troublesome since it can’t be unsummoned. If summoned at the end of fights, a lot of its damage potential can be wasted travelling between spawns.
Energy Assault is a primarily single target assault set, with good ranged attacks. It deals good single target damage both from range and in melee, while its AoE damage is non-existent from range and poor in melee. It has above average endurance usage and somewhat useful secondary control effects. Its single target attack chain is full very early, with four attacks available at level 10. Its attacks all deal smashing and energy damage.
Essential Powers: Power Push, Power Burst
Disappointing powers: Sniper Blast
Energy Assault performs well against single targets with its wealth of ranged and melee single target attacks. The secondary control effects can be useful against a small number of enemies, particularly because Power Push gives a guaranteed knockback and Total Focus gives a guaranteed stun.
With only a single AoE attack, Whirling Hands, Energy Assault does not do good AoE damage. The chance for knockback effects from its three blasts can also be a source of difficulty because often its preferable for an enemy to stay put. Bone Smasher and Whirling Hands both have a chance to stun, but these are not dependable and typically will be worthless because Dominators usually only melee with already controlled enemies.
- Power Bolt is a typical first blast, see the Shared Powers section. Its secondary effect is a chance to knockback.
- Bone Smasher is a typical first melee attack, see the Shared Powers section. Its secondary effect is a decent chance to disorient.
- Power Push is a high damage, high accuracy ranged knockback attack with a fast activation time. Standard attack slotting is suggested, with less accuracy required.
With high damage and accuracy and guaranteed control that works against bosses, Power Push is a very useful and versatile power. It can incapacitate bosses so they can be held, or just fit in to the regular attack chain with fast good damage. Its high accuracy makes it particularly useful in the low levels where it can be enhanced just for damage.
Sometimes knockback is not desirable, and if there’s no knockback protection granted from the primary set, it can be a problem.
- Power Blast is a typical second blast, see the Shared Powers section. Its secondary effect is a chance to knockback.
- Power Boost is a short self-buff, see the Shared Powers section.
- Whirling Hands is a typical PBAoE attack, see the Shared Powers section. As Energy Assault’s only AoE attack it’s a good choice for a Dominator who teams.
- Total Focus is an extreme damage melee attack with a guaranteed stun and a long activation time. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
The Total Focus animation is fun, and has a very powerful feeling.
Total Focus’s long activation means that it can be a dangerous power to use, preventing the caster from reacting for several seconds. It also can be wasted on a team because a teammate may defeat the target before the damage is applied.
- Sniper Blast is a typical sniper attack, see the Shared Powers section.
- Power Burst is a typical final blast, see the Shared Powers section.
4.5 Fiery Assault
Fiery Assault is the overall highest damaging of the Dominator secondaries, with high damage ranged and melee attacks. It also has excellent AoE damage potential, with the significant practical barrier or optimizing the use of both its cone and PBAoE attacks. It has good endurance usage due to high damage output, and the very useful secondary effect of more damage. Its damage is all fire damage.
Essential powers: Blaze
Disappointing powers: Blazing Bolt, Consume
Its high damage makes Fiery Assault a very aggressive set, and a good contributor even on an effective team. Many of its powers do additional DoT, lasting up to 7 seconds for Combustion, and with no upfront damage for Incinerate. In order to not waste DoT effects, it’s a good idea to use the longest DoT powers first in combat.
Fiery Assault is the most dangerous of the secondaries for several reasons, the higher damage means it generates more aggro, the damage over time effects interfere with sleep and terrorize effects from the primary, and it provides no extra mitigating secondary effects like the other secondaries. Fire resistant foes can be problematic because no alternative damage type is available.
- Flares is a typical first blast, see the Shared Powers section. It does less damage and has a faster recharge than the other first blasts, which makes it good for building Domination, but slightly less important for damage.
- Incinerate is a typical first melee attack, see the Shared Powers section. Its damage is better than the other first melee attacks, but is spread over several seconds, so it’s best to use as an opening attack, and not a finisher.
- Fire Breath is a typical cone attack, see the Shared Powers section. It has a longish activation time, an accuracy bonus, and is one of the narrower cones. Its narrow arc can make it difficult to use effectively, particularly from close quarters.
- Fire Blast is a typical second blast, see the Shared Powers section. It has a nice short activation time, and good damage for its recharge.
- Embrace of Fire is an excellent self damage buff with a long recharge. It increases the damage of all attacks for 10 seconds, and the damage of all fire attacks by even more for 30 seconds. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots with 35 – 95% recharge reduction.
It makes a dramatic difference when active, although its long recharge time means it’s often not available.
- Combustion is a typical PBAoE attack, see the Shared Powers section. Most of its damage is DoT, which means that it appears less effective than it actually is.
- Consume is an endurance recovery power with additional minor PBAoE damage. It has a negligible endurance cost, minor damage, long recharge, and recovers a medium amount of endurance for each target hit. Suggested slotting 3 – 5 additional slots with 40 – 80% accuracy, 35 – 95% endurance recovery, and 0 – 80% recharge reduction.
Its negligible endurance cost makes it very useful in situations where endurance has been fully drained. When surrounded by many targets it can easily refill the endurance bar completely.
It is only recommended to characters suffering from endurance problems who have already explored other avenues for endurance management because it is rather difficult to use, and requires the investment of slots to ensure it works even when there are only a few available targets.
- Blazing Bolt is a typical sniper attack, see the Shared Powers section. It deals the most damage of all the sniper attacks, making it more attractive.
Blaze is a typical final blast, see the Shared Powers section. It has a short activation, high damage, and a fast recharge, making it the best of the final blasts, and the most important power of the set.
Icy Assault is the average assault set. It does typical single target and AoE damage, both at range and in melee. Its one stand-out feature are its fast activating ranged attacks, and accompanying high endurance usage. Its secondary effects are all recharge and movement slows and are noticeable, but not remarkable, providing some benefit against hard targets. Its attack chain develops at a reasonable pace, not being complete until level 38.
Essential powers: Bitter Ice Blast
Disappointing powers: Chilling Embrace
Icy Assault’s fast activation times are very useful because they enable high combat mobility which is critical for a Dominator. Its secondary slow effects stack, even from the same power and when combined have some benefit against single hard targets, but are not overwhelming.
Its biggest drawback is high endurance usage, meaning it can quickly deplete endurance reserves while doing less damage than some of the other Assault sets. This is primarily because of the fast activation times on its blasts.
- Ice Bolt is a typical first blast, see the Shared Powers section.
- Ice Sword is a typical first melee attack, see the Shared Powers section.
- Ice Sword Circle is a typical PBAoE attack, see the Shared Powers section.
- Ice Blast is a typical second blast, see the Shared Powers section. It has the shortest activation time of all the second blasts.
- Power Boost is a short self-buff, see the Shared Powers section. It has the nice bonus of boosting all of the secondary slow effects.
- Frost Breath is a typical cone attack, see the Shared Powers section. It has a longish activation time, an accuracy bonus, and is one of the narrower cones. Its narrow arc can make it difficult to use effectively, particularly from close quarters.
- Chilling Embrace is a toggled PBAoE slow effect, with a small radius, reaching slightly beyond melee, and a low endurance cost. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots with 0 – 40% endurance reduction and 0 – 80% slow enhancement.
Chilling Embrace can provide a big slow and recharge debuff against uncontrolled enemies in melee range, reducing their damage output over time.
The biggest drawback of Chilling Embrace is that to have an effect the Dominator must be in melee range with an uncontrolled enemy, which is very dangerous. Unlike the Blaster and Tanker versions of the power, it doesn’t include a damage debuff effect, so the enemy remains very dangerous. Finally, it doesn’t work well with Hot Feet and Arctic Air, the toggle effects from the primaries, since they cause enemies to flee and rarely enter melee range.
- Ice Slash is a decent single target melee attack. It is 20% greater than Ice Sword in all aspects, including a 20% accuracy bonus. Graphically it is much larger than the regular Ice Sword, to the point of absurdity. Standard attack slotting is suggested, with a little less need for accuracy.
- Bitter Ice Blast is a typical final blast, see the Shared Powers section. It has a very fast activation time for a final blast, and an additional to-hit debuff secondary effect. It is highly recommended to increase Icy Assault’s damage output.
Psionic Assault deals average single target and AoE damage. Its ranged and cone attacks have much greater range than other sets, but also has significant melee damage. It has typical endurance usage. Many of its powers have a recharge debuff secondary effect, and additionally Telekinetic Thrust provies a knockback effect and Subdue a chance for Immobilize. Psionic Assault’s single target damage matures at level 28, earlier than many of the other sets, while its AoE damage doesn’t mature until level 38. All of its attacks all deal psionic damage except Telekinetic Thrust which deals smashing as well.
Essential powers: Drain Psyche
Disappointing powers: Psionic Lance
Psionic Assault’s damage is quite typical, and doesn’t present any special benefit except against enemies that are weak to Psionic damage such as Clockwork and ghosts. Its most notable special benefit is Drain Psyche which provides additional survivability, endurance management for the Dominator, and gives a very useful debuff against tough enemies like AVs. The additional range of the attacks is a nice benefit for pulling enemies or dealing with any runners. Its recharge debuff secondary effect is strongest in its AoE attacks and can be of considerable benefit, particularly in the low levels.
Psionic Assault’s biggest weakness is against psionic resistant foes such as Carnies, robots, and vault doors. These enemies typically have very high resistance meaning it takes a lot more damage to defeat them.
- Psionic Dart is a typical first blast, see the Shared Powers section. It has a short recharge time and lower damage amongst the first tier blasts, making it good for building Domination. Its long range, slow moving projectile and short root time make it an excellent tool for pulling.
- Mind Probe is a typical first melee attack, see the Shared Powers section.
- Telekinetic Thrust is a melee attack with smashing damage and guaranteed knockback. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
With its guaranteed knockback Telekinetic Thrust fills a dual role of control and damage, particularly useful against bosses who are weak to knockback. Additionally, as Psionic Assault’s only source of smashing damage it’s highly recommended for psi resistant enemies.
Sometimes knockback is not desirable, and if there’s no knockback protection granted from the primary set, it can be a problem.
- Mental Blast is a typical second blast, see the Shared Powers section.
- Psychic Scream is a typical cone attack, see the Shared Powers section. It has a higher recharge debuff than the single target attacks.
- Drain Psyche is a melee range click PBAoE which debuffs enemies’ regeneration and recovery and increases the caster’s regeneration and recovery for each foe affected. Suggested slotting is 5 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, 35 – 95% recharge, 0 – 95% healing and 0 – 40% endurance modification.
It is a useful power when solo to help with endurance problems, and on teams to improve survivability. Its regeneration debuff is very useful against AVs, and its recovery debuff works nicely with Electric Control’s endurance drain.
Because of its small radius it can be difficult to hit a large number of targets, and can encourage the Dominator into dangerous places with lots of enemies. Because it’s a regeneration debuff rather than a heal, it doesn’t work particularly well against sudden damage spikes or if the Dominator’s health is already low.
- Subdue is a good ranged attack with a chance to immobilize. It has the same stats as Mental Blast, except that it has a high chance to immobilize insted of a recharge debuff. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
- Psionic Lance is a typical sniper attack, see the Shared Powers section. Its range is slightly greater than the sniper attacks from the other sets.
- Psychic Shockwave is a typical PBAoE attack, see the shared powers section. Its secondary effects are a strong recharge debuff, and a 25% chance to stun.
It has a higher target cap of 16 targets, making it the best AoE damage against large clustered spawns.
Thorny Assault is a high damage assault set, both for AoE and single target damage, with a heavy focus on melee damage. Its AoE damage is easier to use than Fiery Assault because the cone attack has a much wider radius, and Thorntrops works well for close range AoE damage. It has good endurance usage due to its high damage and long activation times. Most of its powers have a defence debuff secondary effect, and bonus toxic damage which complements its primarily lethal damage.
Essential powers: Skewer, Fling Thorns
Thorny Assault is the most practical set for AoE damage, with four AoE powers that work well at melee range. Fling Thorns is its cone power which has a very wide arc, and is able to hit many targets close by, Thorn Burst is a PBAoE, Thorntrops is a short range drop damage power, and Ripper is a targeted melee AoE. The defence debuff secondary effect is useful on teams, particularly in the low levels when accuracy is not always well slotted.
Thorny Assault’s powers mostly have long activation times, which can be frustrating and dangerous for Dominators who need combat mobility. The most notable is Impale with a very long activation time for a ranged attack. Dealing primarily lethal damage can be problematic because many enemies have some lethal resistance.
Thorny Assault uses a thorny visual effect on the Dominator, which has several different options available in power customization. This effect can look bad with some costumes particularly on small or large characters, but can also fit in very nicely with others. The visual effect appears and persists for a while when a power from the secondary is activated, and disappers when any other power is activated, including those from the primary. While the redraw of the thorny effect doesn’t negatively effect activation times for the secondary powers, it can causes movement glitches and some players find it very irritating.
- Thorny Darts is a typical first blast, see the Shared Powers section. It has a fast recharge, which makes it good for building Domination. It does good damage for its recharge compared to the other first blasts, but has a slightly longer activation time.
- Skewer is a typical first melee attack, see the Shared Powers section. Its activation is one of the longest for the first melee attacks, but it has the best damage, and a good defence debuff.
- Fling Thorns is a typical cone attack, see the Shared Powers section. It has a much wider cone and shorter range than the other cone attacks, making it very practical for use when in melee range. It has a good defence debuff.
- Impale is a typical second blast, see the Shared Powers section. It deals high damage compared with the other second blasts, but has an uncomfortably long activation time. It has the usual defence debuff and toxic damage secondary effects, as well as additional immobilize and slow effects.
- Aim is a short self-buff to to-hit and damage. Its best use is as a damage boost for initial spike damage. While it can boost the accuracy of AoE controls allowing them to slot more duration and less accuracy, this isn’t a recommended tactic because it creates a dependency where the control cannot be used alone and in practice greatly reduces the utility of both powers. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots with recharge.
- Thorn Burst is a typical PBAoE attack, see the Shared Powers section. Its secondary effects are toxic damage over time, and a good defence debuff.
- Thorntrops is a 45 second drop power with a 15ft radius which is auto-hit, deals decent damage, slows run speed, and causes enemies to flee. It works as either a damage power or a control power. Suggested slotting is 0 – 4 additional slots with 0 – 80% recharge, 0 – 95% damage, 0 – 80% slow.
Thorntrops does a significant amount of damage against enemies who remain in the area, which can easily be achieved using immobilize or hold powers. It also provides a nice control effect of area denial and damage mitigation through the flee effect, particularly if slotted with slow enhancements.
Thorntrops’s tendency to cause scatter reduces the effectiveness of other AoE powers. Its slowness in dealing damage makes it often appear that it’s not really doing much.
- Ripper is a high damage, melee range cone attack with a chance to knockdown and a long spin in the air animation. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
- Thorn Barrage is a typical final blast, see the Shared Powers section. It has reliable knockback effect, which can be a useful control tool.
5. Epic Powers
The epic power pools become available at level 41 and give the high level Dominator additional versatility, providing abilities not available in other places. They consist of four ancillary power pools (Fire, Ice, Primal Forces and Psychic Mastery) which are available to every Dominator upon reaching level 41, and four patron power pools (Leviathan, Mace, Mu, and Soul Mastery) which can be unlocked by villains or rogues by doing a level 40 or higher story arc for one of the Arachnos patrons.
At level 41 the Dominator may choose any one of the available epic power pools, and the first two powers are available, at level 44 the second two become available if one of the first was taken, and at level 47 the final power becomes available if two earlier ones were taken. Because of this structure it’s not possible to heavily slot more than two of the top three powers from the set, and the early powers are much more convenient to slot. The Dominator may change the choice of epic power pool during a respec.
The ancillary power pools have a lot more variety than the patron power pools. Historically the choice of patron pool could not be changed, and so they were originally created with very similar effects so that players would not regret their decision.
All of the epic pools provide additional damage, typically a targeted AoE attack, along with personal survivability in the form of a smashing and lethal armour toggle. The patron pools all have an Arachnos themed pet. The remaining powers are varied. Selecting an epic pool has more to do with desired function than raw stats comparison.
5.1 Shared Epic Powers
- Fire Shield, Frozen Armor, Temp Invulnerability, Mind Over Body, Dark Embrace, Scorpion Shield, Shark Skin, and Charged Armor are the epic shields. They all have a low endurance cost, and provide a high level of resistance or defence to smashing and lethal damage, and often an additional damage type as well. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots with 20 – 55% resistance or defence and 0 – 40% endurance reduction.
They are recommended powers since they provide quite a bit of survivability for a fairly low endurance cost. When facing mezzing enemies, defence shields are often better than resistance, because they can prevent some mezzing attacks from ever landing.
- Fire Ball, Explosive Blast, Psionic Tornado, Dark Obliteration, Disruptor Blast and Ball Lightning are the epic targetted AoE attacks. They do similar damage to the AoEs in the assault sets, but have much longer recharge times, and can hit 16 targets instead of 10. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
Their biggest advantage is that they work well both in melee and at range, and are convenient to use along with either AoE attack from the assault sets. They can be taken in addition to the AoE attacks from the secondary to provide even more AoE damage, or along with either a cone or PBAoE attack to fit with a preferred combat style. The higher target cap is another important factor which can be noticeable in large team environments. The problem of the long recharge can be mostly addressed by the use of recharge buffs.
- Summon Coralax, Summon Tarantula, Summon Guardian, and Summon Seer are the patron pets. They have a long recharge and summon pets with a four minute duration with abilities that are useful but not impressive. The pets are primarily damage dealers, able to take a small amount of aggro, although the Mu Guardian will also heal its summoner. Standard attack slotting is suggested, with a strong preference for recharge.
The patron pets are useful in tough fights for an extra bit of damage and aggro management, and can also speed up general mission battles. They tend to be somewhat fragile, so the Dominator will need to pay attention to their survival.
With a base duration of four minutes out of every fifteen, they can be a frustrating power to use. Saving them for the perfect moment means they only contribute very little overall, while using them regularly means they may not be available when you want them most.
Fire Mastery is a very aggressive ancillary pool, with 2 AoE attacks, an AoE debuff, a basic shield, and a self-rez power for when extra damage wasn’t enough. As a result, it provides significant AoE damage potential, but very little mitigation.
Essential Powers: Fire Ball, Rain of Fire
Disappointing Powers: Melt Armor
Choosing Fire Mastery means choosing more AoE damage, because that’s what it delivers best, and because the first two powers are AoE attacks. Fire Ball is really the poster child of AoE in the game, making it essential.
- Rain of Fire is a 15 second drop power with a 25ft radius which deals high damage, slows run speed and causes enemies to flee. It has a high endurance cost and a medium recharge. It works primarily as a damage power, but can also serve as control through fleeing and area denial. Suggested slotting is 3 – 5 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, 95% damage, 35 – 80% endurance reduction and 35 – 80% recharge reduction.
Rain of Fire can do a significant amount of damage if enemies are forced to remain within its area of effect, such as with an AoE immobilize, almost double what a regular AoE delivers. With the majority of Dominators having AoE immobilizes at their disposal, combining them with Rain of Fire is fundamental. It has a very fun graphical effect as well.
The high endurance cost means that it should be used judiciously, when there are enough enemies to make it worthwhile, and it’s certain that they will stay in its area of effect. If used on uncontrolled enemies it will attract significant aggro for the caster, and is very likely to be followed by defeat.
- Fire Ball is a typical targeted AoE epic attack, see the Shared Powers section. It deals the most damage of all the targeted AoEs.
- Fire Shield is a typical epic shield, see the Shared Powers section. In addition to good smashing and lethal resistance, it provides basic fire resistance, and some cold resistance.
- Rise of the Phoenix is a self-rez power which damages, stuns and knocks back any nearby enemies, including most bosses. It deals a high amount of damage, provides a good duration stun, and heals the caster about half way, as well as half filling their endurance. Suggested slotting is 0 – 5 extra slots with 35 – 80% heal, 0 – 40% endurance modification, 0 – 80% disorient duration, 0 – 95% damage.
Dominators fall, it’s almost inevitable, so having a self-rez can be really useful, especially one that incapacitates the enemies dancing on your lifeless body.
Of course, having a power to prevent defeat in the first place like Personal Force Field or Hibernate might be nice, but Rise of the Phoenix has a great feeling to it.
- Melt Armor is a targeted AoE debuff which reduces its targets defence and damage resistance. It has a small debuff effect, a long recharge, a high endurance cost and a small area of effect. Suggested slotting is 0 – 4 extra slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, 0 – 80% recharge, 0 – 40% endurance reduction.
Melt Armor can provide a nice little debuff against tough enemies to make them fall faster, and has its best use when fighting AVs.
While having a debuff power is a very good idea, Melt Armor falls completely flat. Its small radius means you can’t hit a full spawn, and instead have to focus on a single target, but then its short duration relative to recharge means you can only expect it to be active half the time on that target at best. But the real problem is the low resistance debuff, at 11.25%, unenhanceable, it doesn’t feel like it does much at all. Defence debuff is nice, but hitting is not usually a problem for most teams. Poisonous Ray from Mace Mastery is a vastly superior power with 60% more resistance debuff, and permanent coverage of a single target, with other benefits besides.
Ice Mastery is a strong ancillary pool, balanced between offence and defence. It has two rain powers, one for damage, and one for debuff, along with three personal defence powers.
Essential Powers: Sleet, Ice Storm
Ice Storm and Sleet provide very good offense, while Frozen Armor and Hoarfrost provide very good defence, making Ice Mastery possibly the strongest epic pool. Sleet and Ice Storm are essential powers because the vast majority of Dominators have AoE immobilizes available to them, and using them together is a very effective strategy.
- Sleet is a 30 second drop power with a 20ft radius which significantly reduces affected enemies’ defence and damage resistance, slows them, causes knockdown as well as dealing some damage. Enemies will attempt to flee the area, but will have trouble. Suggested slotting is 0 – 4 extra slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, 0 – 95% recharge, and 0 – 40% endurance reduction.
Sleet is an excellent AoE debuff power, and is something that can contribute in every fight.
The endurance cost of Sleet is high, but reasonable for its effects.
- Hibernate is a self-preservation power with a fast activation which protects the Dominator from all harm and quickly heals them, but prevents any movement. The effect can be ended at any time, and automatically ends after 30 seconds. Suggested slotting is 0 – 1 extra slots with 0 – 80% recharge and 0 – 80% heal.
Hibernate can be a real life-saver in a nasty situation, giving the Dominator some time to wait for a situation to be sorted out. With its fast activation, Hibernate may provide some tricks to absorb initial aggro, such as that generated by slow control powers.
Its biggest limitation is that it prevents the caster from moving and escaping to somewhere safe. If there are no allies around to get a situation in order, then things are likely to be more dangerous when the effect ends, because control effects may have ended and enemies will have been able to get into melee range. For this reason it doesn’t real suit a solo Dominator, and is more appropriate in a team situation.
- Frozen Armor is a typical epic shield, see the Shared Powers section. In addition to good smashing and lethal defence, it provides good cold resistance and some fire resistance. It has a very prominent visual effect on its user, and may not work well with some costumes.
- Hoarfrost is a self heal power which also increases hit points. It has a medium sized heal, close to a third of the Dominator’s hit points, and a similar size hit point buff. It has a high endurance cost, a very long recharge time and grants some toxic resistance. Suggested slotting is 1 – 5 extra slots with 35 – 95% recharge, 35 – 95% heal and 0 – 40% endurance reduction.
Hoarfrost provides a very effective increase to the Dominator’s survivability.
Hoarfrost’s biggest issue is its very long recharge, which prevents it from becoming a permanent increase to hit points, at least without extreme levels of recharge.
- Ice Storm is a 15 second drop power with a 25ft radius which deals high damage, slows run speed and recharge and causes enemies to flee. It has a high endurance cost and a long recharge. It works primarily as a damage power, but can also serve as control through fleeing and area denial. Suggested slotting is 3 – 5 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, 95% damage, 35 – 80% endurance reduction and 35 – 80% recharge reduction.
Ice Storm can do a significant amount of damage if enemies are forced to remain within its area of effect, such as with an AoE immobilize, almost double what a regular AoE delivers. With the majority of Dominators having AoE immobilizes at their disposal, combining them with Ice Storm is fundamental. It has a very fun graphical effect as well.
The high endurance cost means that it should be used judiciously, when there are enough enemies to make it worthwhile, and it’s certain that they will stay in its area of effect. If used on uncontrolled enemies it will earn significant amounts of aggro for the caster, and is very likely to be followed by defeat.
5.4 Primal Forces Mastery
Primal Forces Mastery is a primarily aggressive ancillary pool, providing 3 attacks, 1 defence power and an endurance management power. It adds to the Dominators damage potential, either in melee range or AoE damage.
Essential Powers: Energy Torrent
Disappointing Powers: Conserve Power
Energy Mastery’s unique quality is having two targeted AoE attacks. Energy Torrent is its best AoE attack, since it includes control through knockdown, while Explosive Blast is much like the targeted AoEs in the other sets.
- Energy Transfer is a single target melee attack that deals extreme damage as well as damaging the caster. It has a small accuracy bonus, long activation time, typical endurance cost, long recharge, and high accuracy. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
Energy Transfer really gives a big melee damage punch and can be an excellent tool for finishing things off. It’s also got a fun activation and strong feeling to it.
Of course, sacrificing your own hit points to do damage is a risky prospect for a Dominator, and in tougher situations Energy Transfer will not see much use because the risk is too high. The long activation time is of course a serious problem as well, since Dominators are so dependent on combat mobility.
- Conserve Power is a self buff which significantly reduces endurance needs for 90 seconds. It has a noticeable endurance cost, medium activation time, and a very long recharge. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 slots with 35 – 95% recharge reduction and 0 – 35% endurance reduction.
Conserve Power provides a very nice endurance buff for Dominators having trouble with endurance management, and who are presented with a drawn-out battle. Combined with various other endurance management powers, such as Domination, Stamina, Consume, or Drain Psyche it may prove to be very useful on a rare occasion, for when other options have failed.
Its long recharge makes it difficult to use for regular endurance management. Considering that Domination grants endurance back, the benefits of Conserver Power are marginalized.
- Temp Invulnerability is a typical epic shield, see the Shared Powers section. It provides higher smashing and lethal resistance than the other shields.
- Energy Torrent is a cone attack with a good chance of knockdown. It has a fast activation, average damage, and a wide and short cone. Standard attack slotting is suggested.
With its high chance of knockdown and fast activation, Energy Torrent is a very useful AoE attack combining damage and damage mitigation. Its wide and short cone means its appropriate for use at close range.
As for all epic powers, its recharge is a little long.
Explosive Blast is a typical epic targeted AoE attack, see the Shared Powers section. It has a 50% chance of knockback, which can be problematic, especially since protecting the enemies from knockback also prevents Energy Torrent from helping with damage mitigation.
Psionic Mastery is a very defensive ancillary pool, with 3 team and personal defense powers, along with 1 attack and World of Confusion which provides a combination of defence and offence.
Essential Powers: Link Minds
Psionic Mastery is chosen for its defensive capabilities, which support the caster as well as the team. Link Minds is an essential power because it is such a good team buff.
The three defence powers together provide a significant amount of protection from psionic enemies.
- Link Minds is a team buff power which grants all nearby teammates defence against all attacks, psionic resistance and a to-hit buff. It has a long recharge, a high endurance cost, and a long activation time. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 extra slots with 20 – 55% defence buff, because recharge reduction and endurance reduction enhancements are not slottable.
Link Minds works very well with any defence buffing powers from teammates, which are fairly common, meaning it’s often a very useful asset.
Multi aspect enhancements such as invention origin enhancements may affect its recharge, in which case slotting for recharge reduction is also recommended.
- Indomitable Will is a self buff which provides status effect protection and high psionic defence for 90 seconds. It has a high endurance cost, a long recharge, and a fast activation time. Suggested slotting is 0 – 4 extra slots with 0 – 60% defence, 0 – 95% recharge and 0 – 80% endurance reduction.
Indomitable Will is very useful for filling the gaps in a Dominators mez protection when Domination is not available, perhaps most importantly after a defeat, when Domination has not yet been built. Additionally it provides very high psionic defence and is the basis for making a Dominator which is very well protected from psionic enemies.
Its recharge is a bit on the long side, and it seems overall somewhat redundant for any Dominator who has Domination available regularly.
- Mind Over Body is a typical epic shield, see the Shared Powers section. In addition to good smashing and lethal resistance, it provides basic psionic resistance.
- World of Confusion is a toggle power with a melee range damage aura and confuse effect. It has a short confuse duration, a low endurance cost, low damage and a medium recharge time. Suggested slotting is 0 – 5 extra slots with 0 – 95% damage, 0 – 95% confuse duration.
World of Confusion provides some extra damage and protection for a Dominator who regularly enters melee range and an interesting visual effect. The low endurance cost means that it’s not a burden to keep active, even if it’s not affecting any enemies.
The small radius means most of the time it will have little to no effect, and the weak confuse effect and low damage are not terribly noticeable.
- Psionic Tornado is a typical targeted AoE epic attack, see the Shared Powers section. It inclues a chance for knockup and a strong recharge debuff which is useful for a little extra mitigation.
5.6 Leviathan Mastery
Leviathan Mastery is a balanced patron power pool, providing offence and defence powers.
- Water Spout summons a short-lived, unkillable, very aggresive pet which knocks enemies up, disorients them, causes them to flee, reduces their defence and deals high damage. Suggested slotting is 0 – 5 additional slots with 35 – 95% recharge reduction, 0 – 95% damage, 0 – 95% disorient duration.
It is useful for dealing with situations that have got out of hand, initiating difficult fights, and dealing damage to tough foes.
- Bile Spray is a cone attack, dealing similar damage to those from the secondary. It has a long recharge, average damage, long activation, long range, narrow angle and high target cap. Typical attack slotting is recommended.
Bile Spray’s most important advantage over the cone attacks in the secondary is having a higher target cap. Typically it would be paired with Fire Breath, Frost Breath or Psychic Scream to have two cones of similar shape for ease of use.
The fact that it’s a weaker attack than those from the secondary is very disappointing, but it still can make a nice addition.
- Hibernate is a self-preservation power with a fast activation which protects the Dominator from all harm and quickly heals them, but prevents any movement. The effect can be ended at any time, and automatically ends after 30 seconds. Suggested slotting is 0 – 1 extra slots with 0 – 80% recharge and 0 – 80% heal.
Hibernate can be a real life-saver in a nasty situation, giving the Dominator some time to wait for a situation to be sorted out. With its fast activation, Hibernate may provide some tricks to absorb initial aggro, such as that generated by slow control powers.
Its biggest limitation is that it prevents the caster from moving and escaping to somewhere safe. If there are no allies around to get a situation in order, then things are likely to be more dangerous when the effect ends, because control effects may have ended and enemies will have been able to get into melee range. For this reason it doesn’t real suit a solo Dominator, and is more appropriate in a team situation.
- Shark Skin is a typical epic shield, see the Shared Powers section. In addition to good smashing and lethal resistance, it provides good cold resistance.
Summon Coralax summons a typical patron pet, see the Shared Powers section. The summoned Blue Coralax Hybrid has melee and cone attacks.
Mace Mastery is a balanced patron power pool, giving a mix of defence and offence, with single target and AoE powers.
- Poisonous Ray is a single target debuff with a good resistance and defence debuff, as well as some damage. It has a medium endurance cost, activation time and recharge time, a slight accuracy bonus, and some noticeable damage over time. Activating the power causes the caster to draw an Arachnos mace. Suggested slotting is 0 – 3 extra slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, 0 – 95% damage.
It is useful in the toughest fights such as against EBs, AVs and Heroes, and can speed up some boss fights. This is a real benefit for Dominators who typically have trouble against AVs.
The Arachnos mace animation won’t suit all character costumes.
- Scorpion Shield is a typical epic shield, see the Shared Powers section. It has good defence against smashing and lethal attacks, basic defence against energy attacks, and basic resistance against toxic damage.
- Disruptor Blast is a typical epic targeted AoE attack, see the Shared Powers section. It has a 20% chance of knockback, which can be an irritation.
- Personal Force Field is a self-preservation power with a slow activation time, which grants the caster very high defence, high damage resistance, but prevents them from affecting anyone else. Suggested slotting is 0 extra slots with 0 – 40% recharge reduction and 0 – 40% defence buff.
Personal Force Field is a very handy power for escaping nasty situations. Once activated, very few PvE enemies will be able to hit through it, and the user can run and escape the danger. It also has a nice bubble visual effect.
Personal Force Field’s long activation time leaves enough time for defeat, so it’s best to use it a bit early just to be safe.
- Summon Tarantula summons a typical patron pet, see the Shared Powers section. The summoned Toxic Tarantula has melee and ranged attacks, along with a single target immobilize.
Mu Mastery is a defensive patron pool, with a healing pet, two personal shields, an endurance management power and a single attack. It has a secondary effect of endurance reduction which is useful when mixed with endurance drain from other Dominator sets like Electric Control.
- Power Sink is a PBAoE endurance drain and recovery power on a medium recharge. It is auto-hit, has a long activation time, a small radius, but a high endurance cost. It is a decent, if unwieldy, power. Suggested slotting is 0 – 5 additional slots with 0 – 95% endurance modification, 35 – 80% endurance reduction, 0 – 80% recharge.
Since it’s auto-hit, it is very dependable for refilling endurance in combat, but its high endurance cost reduces its utility against endurance draining enemies who tend to fully drain endurance.
- Charged Armor is a typical epic shield, see the Shared Powers section. In addition to good smashing and lethal resistance, it provides good energy resistance.
- Ball Lightning is a typical targeted AoE epic attack, see the Shared Powers section. It has a small endurance drain.
- Surge of Power is a self-preservation power which grants the user high resistance to all damage types except psionic, and greatly increases their recovery rate. It has a medium activation time, very low endurance cost, a very long recharge, and an endurance crash when it ends. It has an electricity visual effect which suppresses the caster’s normal costume. Suggested slotting is 2 – 5 extra slots with 35 – 95% recharge reduction and 40 – 60% resistance.
Surge of power is a dramatic increase to survivability, allowing a Dominator to survive a nasty situation and attack at the same time.
Since it doesn’t grant status protection, it is best combined with Domination or some other form of status protection. The weakness to psionic damage means that it’s worthless against psionic enemies.
- Summon Guardian summons a typical patron pet, see the Shared Powers section. The summoned Mu Guardian has a single target heal, ranged attacks and summons its own Voltaic Sentinel pet.
5.9 Soul Mastery
Soul Mastery is a very aggressive AoE oriented patron power pool, which includes a strong self damage buff.
- Dark Consumption is a PBAoE endurance recovery which causes a damage to affected enemies. It has a very low endurance cost, a very small radius, a very long six minute recharge time, good damage and good endurance recovery. Suggested slotting is 1 – 5 additional slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, 35 – 95% endurance recovery, 0 – 95% damage, and 0 – 95% recharge.
Its low endurance cost means it can work even after being sapped by an enemy, and its small amount of damage is nice.
However, Dark Consumption’s small radius and long recharge time make it a very marginal power.
- Dark Embrace is a typical epic shield, see the Shared Powers section. It has good resistance against smashing and lethal attacks, and basic resitance against toxic and negative energy damage.
- Dark Obliteration is a typical epic targeted AoE attack, see the Shared Powers section. It has a minor to-hit debuff.
- Soul Drain is a PBAoE attack which provides a large self damage buff for each enemy hit. It has a decent radius, a good damage and to-hit buff, a high endurance cost, a long activation time, and a long recharge. Suggested slotting is 3 – 5 extra slots with 35 – 80% accuracy, 35 – 95% recharge, 0 – 35% endurance reduction, 0 – 95% damage.
Soul Drain can provide a very large damage buff when there are a large number of enemies within range. It is a very useful power against large groups, when combined with AoE attacks.
Soul Drain’s longish activation and recharge times make it somewhat unwieldy to use.
Summon Seer summons a typical patron pet, see the Shared Powers section. It has mostly ranged attacks, as well as an ally perception and confuse resistance buff.
Power pools should be chosen based on player preference, there is no must-have pool, although some are extremely beneficial. The most important pool powers, which all Dominators should consider, in order: Hasten from Speed, because it boosts the recharge of Domination; Stamina from the Fitness pool, to help with endurance problems; Acrobatics from Leaping, because knockback can kill; and Aid Self from Medicine so you don’t have to stop. The power pools which offer the least beneficial powers are Fighting, because the values are so low, and Presence, because Dominators get much better control powers in their primaries.
In the late game, especially after level 40, enemies with status effects become very common. AoE mez attacks generate a lot of aggro, which means that Dominators are likely to experience a lot of these status effects. Being mezzed or knocked back can be deadly for a Dominator because rapid response often makes the difference between defeat and victory. For these reasons, many Dominators look to the power pools for additional status protection, because Domination isn’t always available. Chief amongst the status protection powers is Acrobatics, which protects from knock* and hold. Hover provides a more limited form of knock* protection, turning it into a falling over effect, without the movement. Aid Self provides an unwieldy stun protection, Health provides sleep resistance, and Tactics provides fear resistance.
Concealment is primarily a matter of preference for Dominators. Stealth is a useful power for opening fights with a well placed AoE control, notably Plant Control’s Seeds of Confusion, or convincing a pet to engage the enemy and take the alpha strike, and it combines with Super Speed from the speed pool to give complete invisibility against most enemies. Grant Invisibility, Invisiblity and Phase Shift have no benefit specific to Dominators.
Fighting is a poor choice for Dominators. Boxing and Kick do not provide significant benefit compared to attacks already available in the secondary. Tough and Weave provide low resistance and defence values which make little difference because Dominators have no other defence powers to stack them with until level 41 when patron shields become available. Additional control powers from the primary are usually a better choice for enhancing survivability.
Many Dominators will want to take the Fitness pool for Stamina, since endurance is often the limiting factor in performance. Dominators with confuse powers, high damage pets (Fire Imps), or high damage secondaries may find that it’s not necessary, while those with Icy Assault will almost certainly want it. Any two of Hurdle, Swift and Health can be taken as prerequistes depending on preference.
Air Superiority is a melee attack which provides guaranteed knockdown, making it very useful in early levels to fill in gaps in control, and in later levels against bosses specifically. Standard attack slotting is suggested. Hover is useful for its limited knockback protection, to keep dangerous enemies out of melee, and to improve Wormhole by directing it straight down thus reducing its knockback problem. Suggested slotting is 1 – 2 additional slots with 80 – 95% flight speed. Fly is a slow, but practical travel power. Group Fly‘s to-hit debuff makes it undesirable in combat, although it is entertaining when used with Fire Imps. Suggested slotting is 3 – 4 additional slots with 35 – 80% endurance reduction, and 35 – 95% flight speed.
While Dominators don’t receive the best bonuses for the Leadership powers, they are quite acceptable and can be useful on larger teams. The biggest drawback to leadership is the notable endurance cost. Assault provides an appreciable bonus for its endurance cost on large teams, but is less beneficial with fewer allies to buff. Suggested slotting is no additional slots with 35 – 40% endurance reduction. Maneuvers‘s defence bonus is very small, making it not particularly worthwhile since Dominators have very few other defence powers to stack it with, although it is useful alongside defence buffs from teammates. Suggested slotting is 0 – 3 additional slots with 35 – 40% endurance reduction and 0 – 95% defence. Tactics is a nice substitute for additional accuracy enhancements, and its perception bonus is useful in some circumstances. Suggested slotting is 0 – 3 additional slots with 35 – 40% endurance reduction and 0 – 95% to-hit buff. Vengeance can be a very useful power on occasion for a teaming Dominator, especially if it’s used with Power Boost which significantly improves it. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots with 35 – 95% defence buff.
Combat Jumping provides nice mobility and protection from immobilize for a low endurance cost. Suggested slotting is 0 additional slots. Jump Kick is a poor attack with a long activation time, and knockback which isn’t guaranteed. Super Jump is a popular travel power with a nice tradeoff between speed and vertical movement. Acrobatics is an excellent protection power, with a moderately high endurance cost, and can greatly increase survivability at later levels. Suggested slotting is 0 – 1 additional slots with endurance reduction.
Aid Other provides some utility for a Dominator with pets, and can be appreciated on teams. Suggested slotting is heal, recharge, and interrupt reduction to taste. Stimulant provides a lot less utility, because mez is usually harder to identify, and only a problem in combat when the risk of the power being interrupted is high. Aid Self is often useful, depending on play style, and may improve efficiency when solo. It is also significantly improved by Power Boost. Suggested slotting is 3 – 5 additional slots with 0 – 80% recharge reduction, 0 – 80% interrupt reduction, and 35 – 95% healing. Resuscitate is a very mediocre rez power, largely due to it’s extremely long activation and recharge times, and a Dominator would be better served by a power to prevent the defeat in the first place.
Challenge and Intimidate are very poor powers for Dominators who typically attract enough aggro, and cannot survive it well. Intimidate is a weak single target fear power, with a long recharge, which is not even guaranteed to always affect lieutenants. Invoke Panic is PBAoE with a long recharge, and only affects lieutenants who are weak to fear. Both Intimidate and Invoke Panic are boosted by Domination, at which point they will affect bosses and are quite usable control powers. Considering their limited usefulness outside of Domination, that fear is one of the weaker forms of control, and that a taunt power is required to open the pool, these powers are not a particularly good choice for Dominators.
Flurry is a slow and weak attack, with a long recharge time, and a small chance for disorient. Hasten is an excellent power, providing noticeably increased effectiveness when it is active. Hasten is of particular importance to Dominators because it makes Domination recharge more quickly. It is also an important component in attempts to achieve permadom. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots with recharge enhancements. Super Speed is a travel power with good stealth as well, which can be useful in the same ways as Stealth from the Concealment Pool, and the two work well together. However, it can be a very frustrating travel power in vertical terrain. Suggested slotting is endurance reduction. Whirlwind is a useful power on occasion, when extra control is needed, as well as being quite entertaining. It can be used to push enemies into the area of effect of drop powers, although at the cost of doing much else. Suggested slotting is 0 – 2 additional slots with endurance reduction.
Recall Friend can be of use to Dominators with pets, to get them into melee, save them from bad situations, or position them near enemies to start the fight. Teleport Foe is occasionally useful to break up closely grouped enemies, although a ranged attack is almost always sufficient for such a task. Teleport is a somewhat difficult travel power with nothing special for Dominators. Team Teleport can be used to great effect with Singularity, because when teleporting directly into the middle of a group of enemies it will take the majority of the aggro.
- Aggro is the attention an enemy gives its target. To have aggro means to have an enemy attacking you, and to draw aggro is to cause enemies to start targetting you.
- AV is an Arch Villain class enemy, sometimes also identified as Hero. Confusingly some mobs identified as Hero are really more equivalent to bosses.
- Confuse is an effect which causes a mob to attack friends instead of foes. Although damage from confused enemies does reduce xp received, it is not directly proportional to the amount of damage, and instead favours the player. Furthermore since it reduces the amount of time spent in each fight it actually increases overall xp gain by time.
- Disorient is an effect which prevents power activation, drops some toggles, and reduces movement to a very slow pace. It is also known as stun.
- DoT is an abbreviation for Damage over Time, and refers to damage that some powers do for several seconds after they first hit.
- Hold is an effect which prevents movement, prevents power activation, and also drops some toggles.
- Immobilize is an effect which prevents movement.
- Knock* means all three of knockback, knockdown, and knockup. It’s also important to note that knockdown and knockback are the same effect which causes knockdown if its magnitude is less than 1, and knockback otherwise. This means that knockdown powers which are slotted with knockback enhancement will start to cause knockback instead.
- Fear usually means Terrorize, but can also mean Flee.
- Flee is an effect which causes mobs to attempt to leave an area of effect. This does not affect players.
- -Fly is a debuff effect which prevents flight.
- Magnitude or Mag is the measure of strength of a status effect. When a status effect is applied it increases the magnitude of that effect on its target, and when the magnitude exceeds the target’s protection to that status effect, the effect acts on them. For example, bosses typically have mag 3 hold protection, and a standard hold has a mag 3 effect. With a single hold on them, their protection is not exceeded, so there’s no hold effect, but with two holds there is mag 6 of held being applied to them, exceeding their innate mag 3 protection, and they are subsequently held, unable to move and unable to activate powers.
- Mob is a mobile object, including friend and foe.
- Permadom is when Domination recharges before it expires, allowing the Dominator to activate it again and permanently receive the Domination buff.
- Sleep is an effect which prevents movement, prevents power activation and drops some toggles, but which is ended by healing, damage and many status effects. A new sleep effect won’t end an old one, allowing it to be stacked, except for sleep powers that cause damage.
- Status Effect is a general word for hold, disorient, knockback, knockup, immobilize, confuse, terrorize and sleep.
- STH is an abbreviation for Single Target Hold.
- Stun is another word for disorient.
- Terrorize is an effect which prevents movement and prevents power activation, but whose effects are temporarily suspended when attacked.
- PBAoE is an abbreviation for Point-Blank Area of Effect, meaning it covers an area centered on the caster.