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Radiation Emission/Sonic Attack Guide Guide by TwilightPhoenix
Version: 1.1 | Updated: 12/21/2010
City of Heroes Radiation Emission/Sonic Attack Guide (I19) by TwilightPhoenix -------------------------------- Table of Contents -------------------------------- 1. The Purpose of the Guide 2. General Overview of the Power Sets 3. Radiation Emission's Powers 4. Sonic Attack's Powers 5. Ancillary/Patrol Power Pools 6. Generic Power Pools ...Plus Fitness 7. Incarnate Abilities 8. Alignment Abilities 9. Anchor Debuff Mechanics 10. Rad/Sonic Variants 11. PvP 12. FAQ 13. Credits 14. Contact Info 15. Copyrights 16. Version History -------------------------------------------- The Purpose of the Guide -------------------------------------------- The Radiation Emission/Sonic Attack Defender, hereafter referred to as Rad/Sonic since I am lazy and most people use that for the shorthand anyway, is one of the more popular Defender combinations as it is a powerful solo combination and team combination. If you want a Defender for just about any situation, Rad/Sonic is one of the best choices for it. Having played a Rad/Sonic to 50, originally choosing the power combo to be different from all the Empathy/Electric Blast Defenders in the Mac Open Beta (being new, I was unaware of the popularity of Rad/Sonic, not that it matters), and playing the character extensively past that final ding, I believe I can effectively write a guide for the combination. Please note that this guide is suggestive. Your play style and experiences will vary, as will what you build it for. Consequently, while I will give some slotting ideas for the powers, I'm not going to suggest specific slotting or post any builds. After all, a build meant for soloing an AV won't be the same as one meant for murdering people in PvP. -------------------------------------------- General Overview of the Power Sets -------------------------------------------- As with any combination, you'll have things you can do very well and things you won't be so hot at. These are things you'll have to cope with. Luckily, CoH offers plenty of ways to make up for your weaknesses while playing to your strengths, especially with the generic power pools (which will be covered later). Rad/Sonic is an early blooming set, with many of its essential powers being available by level 10. Everything else is sweet icing on the cake. And oh, do we love icing! And, as an early bloomer, not do you only start strong, but you stay strong the whole way. Rad/Sonic does not lag at any point in the journey to 50, so it is a very beginner friendly set. Prior to I16's new difficulty settings, it could solo an invincible mission by level 8, albeit very, very slowly. Once you start getting Single Origin Enhancements (SOs) or comparable strength Invention Origin Enhancements (IOs), it just gets better. Mixing and matching set IOs will also help a great deal, but can be expensive. Remember, slotting up all of your powers is much more helpful than dumping all your cash into a single, rare and powerful IO, such as a Miracle +Recovery. If you want the big shinies, be patient and wait until you can get them without gimping yourself, because despite being an early bloomer, this set can still gimp itself hard without enhancements. Anyway, lets look at the two sets apart from each other. Radiation Emission is generally regarded as a debuffing set. And, yes based on pure power count, it is, as five powers have significant debuffs in them. However, Rad Emission is far more than that. It has a decent heal, a good resurrection, an aura that holds enemies in it, a powerful AoE buff, a control nuke, and the Defender's most powerful attack nuke in the game. It's a set that buffs it's allies, debuffs the foes into mush, and then proceeds to lock the enemy down, patch up what damage gets through, and if an ally manages to die, punishes the enemy and brings the ally back. It blooms quickly with all the important powers available at level 12. However, it does have its weaknesses. First, it can be end heavy. Rad Emission has three toggles, two of which are essential powers. Pre-Stamina and SOs, you'll probably be gasping for breath. Post Stamina and SOs, you will still if you run all three. Second, two of its best powers require a sacrifice. Fallout, your strongest attack period, requires a dead ally to target it from. And EM Pulse, one of the best holds in the game, floors your recovery harder than a blast set's nuke. And the biggest problem is all of your toggles are offensive. Get hit by a mez, even for .1 seconds, and they will all turn off. Sonic Attack is also an early bloomer. All the important abilities are available by 20 (early for a secondary) with some icing to go with it past that. Sonic Attacks are a unique smashing/energy combo, so outside of the Rikti, it's rare for a foe to resist the attacks entirely. But, even if they do resist, it hardly matters. Sonic attacks have a -resistance component, which will stack with each subsequent attack. Being a Defender, your -res component is higher than any other AT, allowing you to really sink a target's resistance. The set carries a trio of standard single target attacks, a cone knockback, a cone sleep, a normal cone attack, a stun, it's version of Aim, and a standard nuke. It does have some weaknesses though. First, no sniper attack. Second, AoE output is a bit lackluster, as Siren's Song and Shockwave are rather puny damage-wise. Third, standard nuke. This wouldn't be a disadvantage, but with Rain of Arrows, Full Auto, Blizzard, and, to a much lesser extent, Thunderous Blast running about, standard nukes aren't so special. Overall, your weaknesses will be endurance issues, detoggling, lack of high long range, and a large number of situation powers. Luckily, with the right picks and slotting, much of this can be overcome. The rest can be handled with manipulating the situation to avoid detoggling or making those situational powers awesome. Your strengths are your strong debuffing abilities, fair number of controls, and very high Defender damage. If you build right, you can easily approach Blaster level damage by level 47 for brief moments. Early levels will be harder for you due to an overwhelming number of must have powers (travel, fitness, and a lot of essential 20- powers from BOTH sets) and endurance issues. Both of these will be overcome in the 20s with everything from there just making you better. Where you go from there will really depend on what you want. Support focused? High damage? Control heavy? You have those options, plus more that I haven't thought of. Rad/Sonic is a very versatile combination, thus perfect for a Defender and able to fit many platstyles within itself. Oh, I almost forgot. Your inherent, Vigilance? Prior to I17, I called this Negligence, since all it did was reward you with an endurance discount for letting your teammates get beaten up and die. Now, however, if you're on smaller teams or solo, you'll get a damage buff directly related to the number of empty spots on your team, up to 20% buff while solo. Very handy! The endurance discount part still sucks though and, unless something goes really wrong or you don't do your job, you'll never get it. -------------------------------------------- Radiation Emission's Powers -------------------------------------------- Remember, you are a Defender. Your job is to protect and support your team. Fortunately for you, you get to do it in a very active and aggressive fashion. Unlike your brother and sister Empaths, Force Fielders, and so forth, you do not sit back and heal and buff. You jump into the thick of things, turning foes to mush and making your team stronger. While Rad Emission is versatile and flexible, you're primarily a debuffer, so getting those out is your first priority. For those worried about tight builds, Radiation Emission has four skippable powers in it, though most of them are your later ones. Radiant Aura (Rad Aura, NOT RA. RA = Regen/Recov Aura from Empathy) PBAoE, Team Heal Available Level: 1 "You can use Radiant Aura to heal some of your wounds, and the wounds of your group. This power has a small radius, so your allies need to be near you if they wish to be affected." If you've ever played/teamed with an Empath, this power will seem very familiar. If you guessed that it is a clone of Healing Aura, you are right! Radiant Aura is your only heal, but is effective enough to get the job done. In the early levels you'll use it frequently due to the lack of strength in your debuffs. Later on, however, it becomes more of a safety net, used to patch up what little pierces your debuffs. Just because you have this power does not make you a healer. Rely solely on this power and You. Will. Die. And please, DO NOT SET IT ON AUTO! Auto-Radiant Aura does not a good Defender make! Heck, it doesn't even make a half-decent Defender! That also applies to Empathy and Thermal Radiation as well. Slotting ideas: I'd say three heal, and then either two recharge/one endurance or vice versa. IO procs may sound very tempting, but don't. They will not buff your team! Sad, but very true. If you want a Miracle +Recovery, save it for Health. If you mix and match IO sets, even out the recharge and endurance reductions. For the rare moments you need to spam it, you want to get the heals as strong as possible and fast as possible so you can spam less. You'll also want it up quickly if you plan to PvP. It may be possible to get this up to 300 points per use, especially with the Alpha slot. Since healing bonuses come from healing sets, it doesn't really hurt to try! Radiation Infection (RI) Toggle: Ranged (Targeted AoE), Foe -DEF(All), -To-Hit Available Level: 1 "Infects a targeted foe with deadly radiation, severely reducing their chance to hit and Defense. All foes that come near the target will also become infected. The Radiation Infection will last until you deactivate it, or until the original target is defeated." This is the more defensive of your anchor debuffs and, in my opinion, if the better, if just because of endurance cost and slotting options. Not the strongest, but the best overall. It applies an AoE debuff cloud on the target, which lasts until the target dies or the power gets shut off for one reason or another. The foe and everyone near them are easier to hit and will hit you less. Consequently, you'll want the enemies nice and packed which, for me, causes me to stay near melee range almost all the time on my Rad/Sonic. Slotted up, this toggle will protect you more than any of your other abilities as it can floor the to-hit chances of the enemies to 5%. Bear in mind, higher conning foes will resist the debuff effects more, so this isn't as awesome against a +4 as it is a +0, or an AV compared to a minion. But it's still very, very handy. Interesting note: only half the animation time will root you. During the other half, you can move freely! Second note: this and Enervating Field work with weapons from temp and vet powers, as well as Archery and Assault Rifle! Try it out! For players new to anchor debuffs, see the section on Anchor Mechanics below. Yes, way down there below Generic Pool Powers. Slotting ideas: Main priority is endurance reduction. You'll suck wind in your early days, so you'll need to cut your endurance costs. Once you have three end reducs in it, -to hit is another big one. You can go for a full three or also stick -defense in there. The higher the -defense, the less accuracy your Sonic Attacks will need to be slotted for, enemy con and debuff resistance not withstanding. Rad Infection never misses, so this isn't a bad idea. The power can also take a nice proc: Achilles' Heel: Chance for Resistance Debuff. Even lower resistance for enemies who get effected by it, a chance every 10 seconds the debuff is applied. Remember, resistance can be debuffed all the way down to -400%! If you PvP, however, slot for end redux, -to hit, and the proc. Accelerate Metabolism (AM) PBAoE, Team +DMG, +Recovery, +Recharge, +SPD, +Res(Disorient, Hold, Immobilize, Sleep) Available Level: 2 "Activating this power emits radiation that increases the running speed, attack speed, Endurance recovery, and damage potential of all nearby allies. Affected allies' metabolisms are increased so much that they become resistant to effects such as Sleep, Hold, Disorient, Immobilization and Endurance Drain." Your buff power, and boy is it good! Higher damage? Check! Higher recharge? Check! Higher recovery? Check! Faster movement? Check! Resistance to mez effects? Check! Protects against endurance draining and recovery debuffs? Check! Perma out of the box? Big X! Accelerate Metabolism, or AM for short, has the big weakness of recharge. It lasts two minutes and recharges in seven and a half! AM will help with it's own recharge, but you'll need lots of slotting and Hasten to make it permanent (aka self-stacking). And the numbers it gives aren't huge either, like Speed Boost, Fortitude, etc. But, it gives a bit of everything to everyone around you, including you! Overall, it's still a very powerful buff, albeit sometimes overlooked, that helps everyone. And did I mention you can get it at level 2? If you really feel the need, you can bind a key that calls "Gather for AM!" and allow your teammates to huddle around you like trained puppies. I personally hate doing this, since it slows things down since there's always someone going to take their sweet time. If they don't show, fire it anyway. Better yet, set your bind for "Firing AM in 5 seconds!" so if people want it, they'll run over. Or better still, if everyone is nearby anywhere, don't waste time announcing, just use it. And if you miss someone, they (usually) won't complain, especially if you never announce it. The less of a big deal you make using the ability, the less of a big deal your teammates will make missing the buff. Also, unlike Empathy's Recovery and Regeneration Aura, there's no reason to wait until after people are sucking wind to use this. The endurance recovery is nice, sure, but there's so much more it's good all the time. Well, all the time you're not standing and waiting. Slotting ideas: Recharge reduction ASAP! After that, you may consider adding endurance modifiers. And yes, Performance Shifter: Chance for +End WILL fire on allies! Whether that's useful to slot or not is up for debate, but it does work! Enervating Field (EF) Toggle: Ranged (Targeted AoE), Foe -DMG, -Res(All) Available Level: 6 "While this power is active, you irradiate a targeted foe, and all foes nearby, with a deadly dose of radiation. This radiation weakens exposed targets, decreasing the damage of their attacks. It also significantly weakens their resistance, so they will take much more damage from other attacks." Your second and final debuff toggle and is also the more offensive of the two. You'll typically add this to the same target as Radiation Infection It works the same way, but instead lowers the foe's damage and resistance. Because enemies have the same chance to hit, it isn't as safe to run alone as Radiation Infection. But, stacked together, it's a nasty, nasty combo. Even nastier when you stack that noticeable resistance debuff with Sonic Attack's resistance debuffs. Yeah, it's that cruel to the enemy. Slotting ideas: Three end redux and you're done. It takes no sets and no other enhancements of note. And trust me, you'll really want those endurance reduxes, as this power is an end hog at double the cost of Rad Infection! Mutation Close, Ally Rez, +Rechage, +Recovery, +DMG, +To-Hit Available Level: 8 "Using a concentrated burst of radiation, you can revive a fallen ally and Mutate him into a killing machine. The Mutated target has increased damage, chance to hit, Endurance recovery, and attack speed and is protected from XP Debt for 90 seconds. The entire experience is very taxing on your ally, and he will soon be severely weakened. All effects of the Mutation will eventually wear off." The first arguably skippable power of yours. I recommend taking it if you're not making a PvP build. Things do go wrong and people do die. Second, ignore the part about the debuff, it's really unnoticeable, though the buff is. Mutation will fully restore a dead ally and make them quite strong, ready for revenge. For newbies, you'll need to target the player in question. Click them or their name in your party window. Slotting ideas: I personally just stuck a single recharge in the base slot. People shouldn't die that often. However, if you want it up sooner, add more. If you want to give the newly rezzed person even better end recovery, slot for it. You can also stick endurance mod sets in here. Lingering Radiation (LR) Ranged (Targeted AoE), Foe -Regen, -Recharge, -SPD Available Level: 12 "You can emit Lingering Radiation that reduces the attack rate, movement speed, and Regeneration rate of the target, and all nearby foes" Your first click debuff. Like the toggles, it's AoE. It doesn't sound as awesome as the others, but it's quite important. The slow will help prevent enemies from dispersing from your anchor. The recharge will cut the enemy's attack rate, protecting you and your team. Finally, the -regen is VERY important for arch-villain and giant monster battles. Both have large regeneration, so a -regen debuff, even a heavily resisted one, really cuts down on the damage per second needed to bring one down. Plan to solo AVs or GMs? You'll have to have this power! Note that it has a recharge twice it's length, so you'll need some slotting. Slotting ideas: Three recharge and some accuracy, one to three on the latter. Since Radiation Infection should be on before using Lingering Radiation, you shouldn't need a ton of accuracy. You can also throw some slow sets here as well. Choking Cloud Toggle: PBAoE, Foe Hold(Special) Available Level: 18 "While active, you generate toxic radioactive gas around yourself. Any nearby foes may be overcome by the gas, leaving them choking and helpless." In my opinion, this power is for the Controllers out there. It's an expensive hold aura that applies a mere Mag 1 hold on enemies with a chance to double it. In other words, on its own, it'll hold a few things sometimes. It's really expensive too. However, it DOES stack with EM Pulse and can be slotted to make it quite effective. I personally skipped it after trying it, but slotted right it can be quite handy. Slotting ideas: End costs first, followed by hold durations. You may want to get the Lockdown: Chance for +2 Mag Hold proc which will really boost effectiveness. There's some other handy procs as well, such as damage ones. Fallout Defeated Ally (Targeted AoE), Extreme DMG(Energy), Foe -DMG, -To-Hit, -DEF(All), -Res(All) Available level: 26 "After an ally falls in battle, you can activate this power to extract the energy from their body to deal a massive amount of Energy damage to any nearby foes. All affected foes are extremely weakened by the Fallout, and their Accuracy, Defense, Damage and Damage resistance is severely reduced." Wondering where your nuclear explosions are? Here you go! Fallout very powerful, as it is one of, if not the, strongest Defender attack. It also applies a very massive debuff to the victims. And it's AoE to boot! The catch? You need a dead ally, and those aren't easy to come by. And they HAVE to be on your team. But if someone goes down, and inevitably they will, well... it's pretty much good game for the enemy. This power is great with Recall Friend for optimum positioning. Add Vengeance for a powerful team buff and MOAR DAMAGE on the following Fallout! Whatever you do, unless the person's role is to stay dead and be Fallout bait, be courteous and use Mutation on them. If you skip Mutation, then you'll probably end up skipping this power too. WARNING! Side effects may include "accidentally" letting teammates die just to use this ability and some teammates having more fun and contributing more to the team by staying dead to be your portable nuke. Fallout is not for everyone, consult your doctor before using. Slotting ideas: Recharge: I want it up quickly, especially if someone volunteers to be bait. Accuracy: I don't want an attack this rarely used to miss. Damage: I want it to HURT! It'll also accept to-hit and defense debuffs as well as their related sets. Though it can take it, don't stick an Achilles proc here. It works better in RI. EM Pulse PBAoE, Foe Hold, -End, -Regen, Special vs. Robots, Self -Recovery Available level: 32 "You can unleash a massive pulse of electromagnetic energy. The EMP can affect machines, and is even powerful enough to affect synaptic brain patterns. It will drain the Endurance and HP Regeneration of all affected targets and leave them incapacitated and Held for a long while. Additionally, most machines and robots will take moderately high damage. However, this power uses a lot of Endurance and leaves you unable to recover Endurance for a while." Take a Controller's mass hold. Make it PBAoE and give it some steroids. Say hello to EM Pulse. It can lockdown a group, sap their endurance (works great with Kinetics and Electric Blast!), and shut off their regeneration. If their electronic, usually robots or Freaks, they'll take nuke level damage too! The catch? You'll shut down your recovery briefly when you use it. If you're not slotted to handle your endurance well, this can be painful as not even stacked Adrenaline Boosts will pull you out if you hit many foes. If you are though and you started with a full end bar, you'll be fine! Depending on how well your endurance is and your style, this can either be an "OH CRAP!" power or one you use every time it's up. I do the latter, and it's fun! Or... you can skip it. Some players may not get desirable mileage out of it. Slotting ideas: Accuracy, recharge reduction, and holds. I say two of each, though sacrificing an accuracy for a hold or recharge redux isn't a bad idea since you debuff defense anyway. This power will also take end mods for increased sapping. The same procs for Choking Cloud work here too. However, DO NOT PUT PERFORMANCE SHIFTER: CHANCE FOR +END HERE! Because of how it works, it will GIVE your foes endurance! So, bad bad bad idea! -------------------------------------------- Sonic Attack's Powers -------------------------------------------- Sonic Attack is typically regarded as the highest damage power set for Defenders simply because of the stacking -resistance and Defender's high debuff values. When firing Sonic Attacks, you'll really notice the stacking -res against your target as each hit climbs in damage. Unfortunately, each blast's effects only last for a few seconds, but it's more than enough to stack several applications from multiple powers. Like Radiation Emission, Sonic Attack blooms early with everything you need available by level 20. However, with the essential Rad powers, Fitness, and a travel power also demanding power slots early on, you may find yourself with a very limited attack chain until the mid-20s when you can finally take a moment to work on your attacks more. I personally only had the first two tier blasts until after I had gotten Stamina, but they were sufficient to get by on. Eventually you'll be able to get whatever you want, it'll just take time since there's so many cool things thrown at you early. And if you pick the wrong things first? Well, nothing that a few levels won't cure... or a respec. I should point out that attack chains for Sonic Attack are a little different. With most powersets, you throw out your heavy, slow recharging hitters first so they're up after you've cycled other powers. For Sonic, you do it in reverse. You start with the small ones so that when you do use your big hitters, they do MUCH more damage. For a /Sonic Defender, this will lead to higher damage output for both you and your team. And yes, TAKE YOUR BLASTS! Especially with Sonic Attack, you'll contribute far, far, far more to the team's overall damage by shooting stuff than by plopping debuffs, running Assault from Leadership, and watching. Get your blasts and slot them. Not only will you be much more effective, you'll also have much more fun too! On the other hand, do remember you are a Defender. So be ready to break your chain to do something more beneficial for the team. Finally, remember: resistance resists resistance debuffs. In other words, if the target has 75% resistance to anything, it'll resist 75% of your resistance debuff. This can result in weird scenarios where an enemy is not resistant to your attack but is to your debuffs. Shriek Ranged, Minor DMG(Smash/Energy), Foe -Res Available Level: 1 "You let forth a quick Shriek, damaging your target and lowering his Damage Resistance." Mandatory whether you like it or not. Luckily, Shriek is a very good power. Despite being labeled as "minor damage", Shriek can put out quite a bit of hurt, especially once it starts to stack it's -resistance effects. It's the first of your three basic blast attacks and, with Sonic Attack's more unorthodox attack chains, it'll be your chain opener too. When you're not busy using your other powers, start blasting away! Slotting Ideas: The standard slotting for most attacks, using anything but set IOs, is 3 damage, 2 accuracy, 1 recharge/endurance reduction. However, as a Defender, you may not be able to afford six-slotting all of your blast attacks. This is fine. You can easily chop off an Accuracy thanks to your -Defense from Radiation Infection. You may even need to drop down to four slots, in which case you should cut a damage. For the recharge or end reducer, I personally prefer the latter. You can slack on lowbie accuracy slotting a bit as well thanks to Radiation Infection, but make sure to get in at least one as soon as you can. Missing sucks. Scream Ranged, Moderate DoT(Smash/Energy), Foe -Res Available Level: 2 "Your Scream can cause serious damage to a target, while weakening his resistance to further damage." Yes, it's a damage over time. However, it's a very fast DoT. It takes about the time you animate the attack to finish, so there's no disadvantage to using Scream. In fact, because it's a DoT, the -resistance will stack on the first tick of damage, boosting all subsequent ticks. In other words, Scream boosts its own damage. I strongly recommend picking up Scream no later than level 6, preferably 2 or 4 to facilitate faster faster soloing of the streets and quicker sewer runs. Slotting Ideas: Same as Shriek. Howl Ranged (Cone), Medium DMG(Smash/Energy), Foe -Res(All) Available Level: 4 "A short range, but powerful sonic attack." Your first cone attack and your most powerful. Sonic is lacking on the AoE department, so though while you can build for it, it's not the best. Even still, I consider Howl to be an essential power to pick up in the long run. You won't need it in the first 20 or so levels, but it's very nice. Not for damage, but for debuffing a mob's resistance. Properly lined up, you can drop a whole mob's resistance and do a bit of damage at the same time. Combine with Enervating Field and the group just got that much more vulnerable. Slotting Ideas: If you use this purely for resistance debuffing, you can skimp damage entirely and focus on accuracy, endurance, and recharge. Otherwise, you can slot up the same as you would your other attacks. Also, as this is a cone power, do not forget about range. Unlike other powers, range slotting actually increases the area a cone can hit in, which can make the difference between hitting half a spawn and all of a spawn. Shockwave Ranged (Cone), Minor DMG(Smash/Energy), Foe Knockback, -Res(All) Available Level: 10 "You can call forth a tremendous Shockwave that can knock down foes and deal some Smashing damage in a wide cone area." Your second cone attack. It's weaker than Howl, largely due to lacking the resistance debuff, but it has a knockback component for damage mitigation. Or, if executed improperly, team annoyance. Shockwave is a skill that takes practice to use effectively. When applied well, a team won't notice except that they're taking less damage or the mob is grouped up in a nice pile in a corner. It's good for controlling the mob and keeping them with your anchor, but the power is ultimately skippable. It comes down to a play style decision. Do you like knock back and can you use it effectively with the rest of your powers? With debuff anchors, I couldn't, so I skipped it. Remember though, knockback is based on the location of the user. Using it while leaping backwards or hovering above the enemy will reduce the possible scatter effect. Slotting ideas: Accuracy, endurance, recharge and/or knockback. You can slot knockback sets here, unlike the entire rest of your powers, so that opens up options otherwise denied to you. Whether you boost the magnitude of the knockback or not will depend on your needs. Also, it's a cone, so range is worth considering. Shout Ranged, Heavy DMG(Smash/Energy), Foe -Res(All) Available level: 16 "You blast your foe with a tremendous Shout, damaging him and reducing his Damage Resistance." The final attack of your single target attack chain, and the strongest. Shout can do quite a bit of damage after copious amounts of -resistance have been applied, which you'll easily stack. In fact, depending on latency and how well you can get your -resistance on there, you'll really notice the variations in its damage due to the level of stacking. For me, this is the finisher of my PvE single target chain, which is (at level 50 with AM and Hasten up, plus a few random IO sets) Shriek > Scream > Shriek > Shout > assess situation and work from there. Slotting ideas: Same as Shriek and Scream. Amplify Self +To-Hit, +DMG Available level: 20 "Greatly increases the chance to hit of your attacks for a few seconds. Slightly increases damage." Also known as Aim in most power sets. Basically, it gives you a big buff to your To-Hit and a more modest, but still very visible buff to your damage. Really not something you'll want to skip. Slotting ideas: Slot it up to three recharge. You can then stick to-hit if you feel you need more (Radiation Infection says you won't outside PvP). If you're feeling lucky, you can throw in Guasssian's Chance for Build-up, though it'll fire very rarely. But, it's really fun if it does. Siren's Song Ranged (Cone), Minor DMG(Energy), Foe Sleep Available level: 28 "You send forth a subsonic pulse which causes your foes to fall unconscious and take some minor damage. Your foes will remain unconscious for a good while, but will awaken if disturbed." Your final cone attack, but the most controlling. Siren's Song will put a very long sleep on your victims. This is very handy, as it'll keep your anchors from moving and adds a lot of safety to soloing, especially when engaging larger mobs. However, because it does damage, it is not self-stacking, but it will refresh the sleep timer. In groups, it's less handy since the sleep will be broken often, but can be thrown in for a little extra AoE damage. In PvP, it can be used as a back-up mez effect, though this isn't recommended. Slotting ideas: Accuracy and sleep mainly. I stuck a Chance to Heal proc in it for laughs. However, since it can proc off of each foe I hit, I can occasionally heal quite a good bit and I almost always got a tiny bit with each use. Also worth noting, the purple sleep set is very cheap! At least, compared to other purples. Finally, range can help you sleep more foes. Screech Ranged, Minor DMG(Smash/Energy), Foe Disorient, -Res(All) Available level: 35 "By bursting forth with this hypersonic Screech, you can Disorient a target." Well, new information can make what appears to be useless in the realm of PvE into something quite useful. In terms of damage, Screech is your weakest attack, period. However, it also carries your longest lasting AND strongest resistance debuff. Additionally, Screech is a single-target stun that, in terms of control, has little in the PvE realm. You have far superior choices for locking foes down, though you can get powers later to stack with it. For example, you can pop a boss with Screech before nuking with Dreadful Wail to make sure they won't be smacking you while your endurance is dry. In PvP, however, it really shines as a quick and dirty way to detoggle an opponent or just to annoy and disrupt them. Slotting ideas: Accuracy and stun mainly, with recharge and possibly end cost too. The purple stun set is fairly cheap last I checked, but much more expensive than the sleep. You can also stick a Chance for Knockback here for laughs. Dreadful Wail PBAoE, Extreme DMG(Smash/Energy), Foe Disorient, -Res(All), Self -Recovery Available level: 38 "Your Dreadful Wail is so strong that most foes will be defeated by being subjected to it. Dreadful Wail deals massive damage to all nearby foes, although the damage does vary. Activating this power leaves you drained of Endurance, and unable to recover Endurance for a while." Here it is, your blast's nuke power! For a nuke attack, it's fairly standard in that it's a PBAoE. So, you'll have to jump into the mob to fire it. Luckily, the nuke has very nice utility. First, it drops a very big and long resistance debuff. Second, it drops a very big and long stun. So not only did you really hurt the enemy, any survivors are dazed and severely weakened, making them easy pickings for your team. There are drawbacks. Specifically, the crash. Hitting at least one foe will cause your endurance to empty, thus shutting off all your toggles, and shut off your recovery. The endurance can be overcome with blue inspirations or a Kinetic's Transference. The recovery can be with lots of recovery buffs, particularly an Empath's Adrenaline Boost stacked with either Recovery Aura or Accelerate Metabolism. Because the toggles shut down, your team may be more vulnerable after you nuke. You can either mitigate this by using EM Pulse to lock everything down prior since your recovery is about to die anyway, or use it to finish a fight where it'll kill everything. Or, with the right picks, you could make it a fight opener like a Blaster nuke. Reaching that level of damage requires some set-up: Rad Infection > Enervating > Howl > Amplify > Soul Drain or Power Build Up (see APPs below) > Dreadful. Sounds like a lot, but the set-up is actually faster than it takes to read that. You can also throw in Shockwave, EM Pulse, and Lingering as well, so long as Dreadful Wail comes at the end. Either way, done right this can result in a mob about as cleared as a Blaster's nuke... unless said Blaster combines Build Up and Aim. Slotting ideas: Damage and recharge mainly. Accuracy too a bit, but you'll likely have RI placed and be using Amplify right before, so you're not likely to miss. -------------------------------------------- Ancillary/Patron Power Pools -------------------------------------------- Once you hit 41, you get access to new, special powers. These powers are very handy for a Defender, as they all boost your protection, throw in some melee attacks, controls, self-rezzes, and other nifty toys you would otherwise lack. Getting an APP is STRONGLY recommended, if just for a resistance toggle. Note to get Patron Pools, you'll need to become a true/full villain and run a patron arc in Grandville. Once done, you'll unlock all Patron Pools for that character, even if you become a hero again. ===Dark Mastery=== Dark Mastery's powers all work best when you're in the thick of things. So, if you've been hanging in or around melee range for forty levels, it's a perfect pick for you. It offers the best way to boost your damage for all you Offenders out there, albeit you'll have to wait for 47 to get it. Oppressive Gloom (OG) Toggle: PBAoE, Foe Disorient, Self -Max Health "The Netherworld has many mutable properties, such as the Oppressive Gloom. This power allows you to use your own Hit Points to keep enemies near you disoriented and unable to use any powers. Endurance cost for this is minimal, but the power can be dangerous to use." This is a very nice power for melee centric-Defenders or the even crazier Scrapfenders out there. Defender Oppressive Gloom has no target limit (at last check) and the biggest range. Consequently, it's great for keeping mobs around you stunned, letting you blast in near complete safety. Be warned, while it is very easy on the endurance, it does drain health. However, you shouldn't notice this much unless you're fighting lower level foes. But, you can always just heal yourself if it gets to be too much. Slotting ideas: Stun and accuracy, maybe some endurance reduction too. For kicks and giggles, add a Chance for Knockback proc in there. It's completely dumb, but funny. Dark Consumption PBAoE, Moderate DMG(Negative), Self +End "The dark power of the Netherworld allows you to tap the essence of your foe's soul and transfer it to yourself. This will drain the Hit Points of your enemy and add to your Endurance." Still having endurance woes? Dark Consumption will make you say goodbye to them all. It's a PBAoE power that saps endurance from all the foes around you. So, if you're in the thick of things and pop it, your bar is full again. It's also really great for coming back from a Dreadful Wail crash! Slotting ideas: Accuracy and recharge! Damage is ok, but can be buffed if you want. End modification isn't really needed, but buffing it makes you need less mobs to go to full. And you can stick Performance Shifter Chance for +End in it. While that will have a shot to proc on all foes, it's kind of pointless since you can go to full without it. Dark Embrace Toggle: Self +Res(Smash, Lethal, Negative, Toxic) "You tap into the energy of the Netherworld to protect yourself from damage. This Dark Embrace shrouds you and grants resistance to lethal, smashing, toxic, and negative Energy damage. You must have Oppressive Gloom or Dark Consumption before selecting this power." A very handy resistance toggle, providing rare resistance to Toxic and also to the uncommonly resisted Negative Energy. Like all the defensive APP toggles, it'll really boost your survivability. Combine with Oppressive Gloom, your debuffs, and your controls and you'll be really hard to take out. Oh, and did I mention your heal? Slotting ideas: Three resistance is mandatory if you're not doing IO sets. One to three end redux, depending on your needs, after. You can also stick a Knockback Protection IO in here, which will also be a very big help. Especially against the likes of Air Thorn Casters and their Gale spam or Nemesis with all their explosions. Soul Transfer Self Rez, Special "Should you fall in battle, you can perform a Soul Transfer, sucking the life force of all foes around you to bring yourself back from the brink of death. The more foes nearby, the more life is restored to you. Drained foes are left Disoriented. The dark effects of this Soul Transfer will actually leave you invulnerable for a brief time, and protected from XP Debt for 90 seconds. There must be at least one foe nearby to fuel the Transfer and revive yourself. You must be level 44 and have Oppressive Gloom or Dark Consumption before selecting this power." The usefulness of the I16 added Soul Transfer can best be explained like this. Imagine that something bad happens, like a lag spike, and the whole team wipes in the middle of a mob, including you. Angry, you hit Soul Transfer, sucking the life out of your foes and leaving them dazed as you arise to fight again. You quickly drops your debuffs and maybe even lock them further with EM Pulse. You notice a dead ally in the middle of the mob and grin wickedly. You immediately hit Soul Drain and Amplify, boosting your powers to very high levels and then follow-up with Fallout. Your killers are not only dazed, but now severely damaged (or dead) and weakened. You then rez that ally with Mutation, buffing him in the process. A severely weakened and dazed mob is left to face the wrath of two angry, powerfully buffed heroes (especially if you had Vengeance). And if you just rezzed someone who can also rez, things just look even more grim for those celebrating a victory over you just moments before. In other words, crap happens. Soul Transfer is perfect for when it does. Just make sure to, you know, die in the middle of the mob. Slotting ideas: Recharge, obviously. You can probably get away with just the base slot having that since it is auto-hit. However, sticking in damage, stun, healing, and end mod can help too... or using sets from any of those four. Soul Drain(!!!!!1!1!1!!one!1111!!) PBAoE, Moderate DMG(Negative), Self +DMG, +To-Hit "Using this power, you can drain the essence of all nearby foes' souls, thus increasing your own strength. Each affected foe will lose some Hit Points and add to your damage and chance to hit. You must have two other Dark Mastery Powers before selecting this power." If it isn't obvious, I have this power on one of my builds. And I love it. While Defender Soul Drain does not hold a candle to the version from Dark Melee (aka Scrapper, Tanker, Brute, and Stalker Soul Drains), it's still very, very powerful. It provides a long lasting damage and to-hit buff that gets stronger the more enemies you hit with it. It works as a PBAoE, so you'll want to be in the middle of things for best effect. However, it will let you take your damage to crazy levels, high enough with all of your -resistance stacking to make a Blaster raise an eyebrow occasionally. Sure, those Kinetics out there may be laughing and showing off Fulcrum Shift, but they don't have the debuff and survivability power of your Radiation Emission. Nor do they get a lot of use out of this awesome power. Slotting ideas: Recharge! Accuracy after that, you don't want to whiff a Soul Drain. Past those, ToHit or Damage can be stuck in here, but I'm not sure those are super beneficial. Oh, and don't bother with a Gaussian proc. It WILL NOT have a chance to proc on each foe. Very very sad, but true. ===Electricity Mastery=== Electricity is sort of a melee-centric APP with added controls instead of Dark Mastery's self-buffing powers. I hardly ever see anyone running around with it (most Defenders get Power Mastery), but it can be quite handy. It has a powerful melee attack right up front as well as a Hold and end management. Plus you can use it to stack sapping with EM Pulse. A Kin/Electric Defender will far outsap you, but in PvP it can still be downright annoying (although not the best strategy for a Rad/Sonic). Electric Fence Ranged, Moderate DoT(Energy), Foe Immobilize, -End, -Recovery "Surrounds and Immobilizes a single target in an Electric Fence. Deals some damage over time and slowly drains some Endurance. Useful for keeping villains at bay." Considering the rest of the APP, Electric Fence seems out of place. It's used to keep a foe at distance with an immobilize, but Thunder Strike and Power Sink encourage you to run into melee range. An immobilize can be handy for stopping a runner and keeping flighty AVs and GMs still with enough applications. It can also do appreciable, if inefficient, damage. Slotting ideas: Accuracy, damage, and immobilize. Recharge or end recovery are possibilities. If you slot the very expensive Gravitational Anchor proc (a purple), you can sometimes hold, which stacks with Shocking Bolt, EM Pulse, and Choking Cloud. In this power, and the rest of Electricity's, ignore the Performance Shifter proc. Thunder Strike Melee (Targeted AoE), High DMG(Smash/Energy), Foe Disorient, -Recovery, Knockback "A massive attack. You smash your foes with all the power of a lightning bolt. The pummeled victim takes tremendous damage and may be disoriented. Any nearby foes may be knocked down and take some damage from the shockwave." Despite Defender's craptastic melee modifiers, Thunder Strike is still very powerful. Hence, this power alone is a good reason for a Scrapfender to choose Electricity over Darkness (though that's still a good debate). It's an AoE melee move that can also stun and knock foes down, so it adds great mitigation. Slotting ideas: Ye olde standarde attacke slottinge, adjusting for available slots, of course. Also, knockback and stun sets, anyone? Charged Armor Toggle, Self +Res(Smash, Lethal, Energy) "When you toggle on this power, you are surrounded in a charged field that makes you highly resistant to smashing, lethal and energy damage." A mandatory APP pick that, like Dark Embrace, will really boost survivability. This one chooses to give Energy resistance as opposed to Negative Energy and Toxic, but still provides Smashing and Lethal. Slotting ideas: Same as Dark Embrace. Shocking Bolt Ranged, Minor DoT(Energy), Foe Hold, -End "Holds a distant foe by Shocking him with electricity. The seized target is left writhing in agony and is unable to defend himself. Shocking Bolt also drains a some endurance from the target over time. A portion of drained endurance may be returned to you." A single target hold that, as said above, can stack with Choking Cloud and EM Pulse. But without the large costs of either of those. Great for locking a single target, like a Sapper, and useful for control-centric Defenders. Also does a little bit of damage too. Slotting ideas: Accuracy and holds, maybe throw in some damage too. Throw in the Lockdown proc for extra mezzing fun! Power Sink PBAoE, Foe -End, -Recovery, Self +End "Power Sink leeches energy directly from the bodies of all nearby foes, draining their Endurance. Each foe you draw energy from increases your endurance. If there are no foes within range, you will not gain any endurance. You must have two other Electricity Mastery Powers before selecting this power." "Wait, why is Dark Consumption a level 41 power and Power Sink a level 47? Power Sink doesn't even do damage!" Well, my inquiring reader, Power Sink is not only a bigger sapper, but it is also AUTO-HIT! It will never miss. Ever. That, my friend, is a massive advantage, not just because you'll never miss, but also because... Slotting ideas: You can get away with merely three or less recharges! No slotting for accuracy required! And since you'll never miss, adding end mods will be pretty much a complete waste! Dark Consumption may come earlier and deal damage, but Power Sink takes less slots, and that is HUGE! ===Leviathan Mastery=== For those Defenders who are allured by the dark side, they have a chance to pick up the patron pools with Leviathan being the first of the four. Leviathan is sort of a different flavor of Electricity Mastery as it shares three powers that are near identical. But, it has a few different options that set it apart. Plus, you can throw sharks. Also, since it has Hibernate, it's a big pick for PvP, though hardly mandatory. School of Sharks Cone Damage over time (Negative Energy) Foe: Immobilize You can call forth a school of vicious Shark Spirits that will swim out in a cone formation and will encircle your foes, draining their spirit energy. The encircling Shark Spirits will immobilize most foes while they deal Negative Energy damage over time. Both you and the target must be near the ground for this power to activate Like Electricity, Leviathan has an immobilize. The big difference is the damage is lower and it's a cone, so it can be used to immobilize groups. Done properly, you can force a mob to be trapped next to your anchor. Done improperly, you can force a mob to be out of range of your anchor. It can also help set-up or ruin AoE attacks. Very handy, but use with care. Slotting ideas: Accuracy, immobilize, endurance, and range (it's a cone). Also, the same immobilize sets work here, including Gravi-Anchor to possibly hold part or, if you're ridiculously lucky, a whole group. Shark Skin Toggle Self: +Resistance(Smashing, Lethal, Cold) The power of the Leviathan Mako has shown you seems to have no end. Shark Skin improves your Damage Resistance to Lethal, Smashing and Cold damage. Another brand of resistance toggle, this one sporting Cold resistance in addition to Smashing and Lethal! Slotting ideas: Same as the others. Spirit Shark Jaws Ranged Moderate DoT (Lethal) Foe: Hold -Fly You can summon a massive Spirit Shark that will attack your foe from below. The Shark will grip your foe with its massive jaws and attempt to Hold the target while he mauls it, dealing Lethal damage over time. Flying targets will likely be pulled to the ground. You must have one other Leviathan Master power before selecting this power. A single target hold, much like Shocking Bolt. The main differences is the damage type and this one doing -Fly instead of slight sapping, which is probably more useful. Slotting ideas: Identical to Shocking Bolt. Hibernate (Hibernoob) +Regen, +Recov, Invuln, Self Hold "When you activate this power, you encase yourself in a block of solid ice, making yourself invulnerable, though you are frozen solid and cannot act. While Hibernating within this block of ice, you heal damage and Recover Endurance at an incredible rate. You can emerge at will by deactivating the power, but you cannot Hibernate for more than 30 seconds. If you activate this power while in the air, you will fall. You must be level 44 and have Shark Skin or School of Sharks before selecting this power." Hibernate is sort of a panic button combined with rest on steroids. Using it will make you invincible to all attacks, aside from Hamidon and powers activated and still enroute when you use Hibernate. For up to thirty seconds, you'll sit there, immobile but invincible while healing. You'll fully recover long before the thirty seconds are up, but you can continue hiding if the situation is bad. You can also use this to take alpha-strikes in pure safety by flying overhead and using this power. You'll drop down into the spawn and they'll ineffectually attack you. Tanks may not be pleased you can eat alphas better than them. Note that using this power will activate "No Phase" for a minute. So, you cannot immediately using any sort of Phase after Hibernate. Phase will also prevent Hibernate. So, just use one. If you plan to PvP, you'll either need Hibernate or Phase Shift. Both
have their pros and cons, which will be explained later. PvP is also where the name Hibernoob comes from. I don't know the exact origins, but it probably is from people complaining about Hibernate being a "Get out of jail free" card. I mostly hear the name used in a more joking fashion. Slotting ideas: Three recharges should be all it needs. Summon Coralax Summon Hybrid: Ranged Moderate Damage (Lethal) Captain Mako will show you how to summon a Coralax Red Hybrid to do your bidding. The Coralax are humans who have been infected with living coral. I had to look up what these (and other pets) all do on City of Data. This Coralax, like other Patron Pets, are love-it-or-hate-it and have varying levels of usefulness. They are also on a looong recharge of 15 minutes and only last 4. The Coralax himself seems like he'd be fairly handy while he's around. He resists cold and psionic attacks, has Punch and Haymarker from Super Strength (both of his do knockback), has Subdue and Scramble Thoughts from Psi Blast (immobilization and stun with some damage), and finally has "Psychic Coral Blast", which appears to be a standard psychic ranged attack. Whether you like this guy or not will largely depend on how much you like pets. Slotting ideas: Recharge, of course, you want him up more often. Boosting his damage and accuracy is always good, but you can also buff his mezzing capabilities as well. You may need to mix and match IO sets for maximum effectiveness. ===Mace Mastery=== If you want to run around with an Arachnos Mace like some of those mobs use, here's your chance! Mace Mastery carries powers, yet again, similar to Electricity Mastery, but is probably more similar to Leviathan Mastery. But, at the same time, it's powers have very different effects, largely the lack of damage in exchange for more debuff goodness. Web Envelope Ranged (Targetted Area of Effect), Foe: Immobilize -Recharge -Fly The Executioner's Mace can lob a modified Web Grenade. Upon impact, the Web Grenade expels a strong, tenuous, and very sticky substance that can Immobilize most targets in a wide area. This non-lethal device deals no damage and does not prevent targets from attacking, although their attack rate is Slowed. The Web can bring down flying entities and halts jumping. Web Grenade 2.0. Well, one branch of 2.0 anyway. Basically, it's an AoE Immobilize without damage, but instead recharge debuff (which stacks with Lingering Radiation, by the way). Similar uses as School of Sharks, but easier to aim. Slotting ideas: Like the other immobilizes, except you don't get damage options here. Scorpion Shield Toggle: Self +Defense (Smashing, Lethal, Energy) +Resistance (Toxic) Black Scorpion's technologies are impressive indeed. This energy shield grants you Defense to Lethal, Smashing and Energy attacks, as well as improves your Damage Resistance to Toxic damage. Oh look, a protective APP/PPP toggle that breaks the mold and goes the defense route! And, it can be handy. Most attacks in the game carry a Smashing or Lethal component, so this works on most attacks. If you're trying to S/L softcap, this power will give you a big boost. It also helps avoid energy attacks and also gives rare resistance to Toxic. And did I mention it more or less directly stacks with Radiation Infection? All in all, a nice power. And we haven't even discussed... Slotting Ideas: Three defense and then probably some end redux. IOs of notable mention are the Luck of the Gambler: Defense/Global Recharge which will make ALL of your powers come back faster. It can also take the Kismet unique for 6% increased to-hit, which is handier than it sounds and sort of nullifies any reason to pick up Focused Accuracy. And it doesn't lose out to resistance sets in lacking knockback protection. Look no farther than the Karma set for handling that. Purely in terms of slotting potential, Scorpion Shield pretty much wins out over every other APP/PPP protective toggle you have access to. Web Cocoon Ranged, Foe: Slow/Hold -Recharge -Fly The Bane Mace can fire a more powerful version of the common web grenade. The sinewy fibers of this grenade are strong enough to completely Hold one target. Targets able to resist the Hold are still likely to have their attack and movement speed dramatically Slowed. Web Cocoon can also bring down flying targets and prevent foes from jumping. You must have one other Mace Mastery power before selecting this power. Basically, the other type of Web Grenade version 2.0. It holds instead of immobilizes. Unlike other APP/PPP holds, this one does zero damage but instead debuffs. Keep in mind, that -Recharge does stack with Lingering Radiation, so even if you can't lock down, you can still debuff their recharge even more with this. Slotting ideas: Accuracy and hold along with the usual sets. It also takes slow sets too, so you can grab a proc from those sets too. Focused Accuracy Toggle: Self +Resistance(-To-Hit), +To-Hit, +Perception When this power is activated, the Villain focuses their senses to dramatically improve their accuracy. Additionally, Focused Accuracy increase your Perception, allowing you to better see stealthy foes. It also grants you resistance to powers that DeBuff your Accuracy. Focused Accuracy is a toggle power and must be activated and deactivated manually. Like all toggle powers, while active, Focused Accuracy drains Endurance while active. You must be level 44 and have Mace Blast or Web Envelope before selecting this power Focused Accuracy is a very expensive toggle that boosts your to-hit and your perception. It also makes you more resistance to to-hit debuffs. However, for a Rad/ Defender, it kind of sucks. Radiation Infection will handle your accuracy needs almost all the time and Tactics from Leadership provides similar benefits to the entire team for less endurance. But it's handy when an enemy pops Elude or somesuch, though those cases are pretty rare. Slotting ideas: Endurance cost needs to drop NAO! After that, making it's to-hit stronger can't hurt. The Guassian proc will give you a short damage boost on occasion, but is hardly reliable. It can also take the increased perception unique for PvP. Summon Disruptor Summon Arachnobot: Ranged, Moderate Damage (Energy) Black Scorpion will grant you an Arachnobot Disruptor to command. Arachnobots were created by Arachnos Orb Weavers to take down particularly powerful super-powered threats. Your access to this Arachnobot is very limited. You can only summon it once every 15 minutes and it will leave after 4 minutes, or if you exit a zone or mission. You must be level 47 and have two other Mace Mastery Powers before selecting this power. Arachnos Disruptors are fast pets that resist Smashing, Lethal, Energy, and Psionic Damage. They are primarily ranged-damage dealers with Energy damage attacks sporting Disruptor Bolt (end drain), Disruptor Blast (AoE), and Disruptor Tesla (low damage hold). They have Claw for melee attacks and Web Spitter for dropping immobilization with an added -fly and -recharge for bonus. If you want something to shoot stuff for you every now and then, it could be a good choice. Slotting ideas: Similar to the Coralax, though I don't recommend working on the control potential, since there's less here. ===Mu Mastery=== Mu Mastery is the "I'm not running out of endurance" PPP. It includes both an endurance refill AND an endurance discount. Counting it's pet, it's also kind of mez heavy (though the pet is unpredictable). This PPP was probably bit a better before inherent Fitness and the Alpha Slot's Cardiac Boost tree, but if you want to have unlimited endurance, this pool will help you get there. Power Sink Point Blank Area of Effect, Self +Endurance, Foe -Endurance Power Sink leeches Energy directly from the bodies of all nearby foes, draining their Endurance. Each foe you draw energy from increases your Endurance. If there are no foes within range, you will not gain Endurance. It's the same power from Electricity Mastery, except at 41 instead of 47 with no pre-reqs! This is one of the big advantages Mu Mastery has. If you've been needing that endurance drain and don't like the Darkness Mastery APP, Mu Mastery gives you a better one just as soon! Charged Armor Toggle: Self +Resistance(Smash, Lethal, Energy) When you toggle on this power, you are surrounded by a charged field that makes you highly resistant to Smashing, Lethal, and Energy damage. This resistance shield brand competes by offering Energy resistance, one of the most common damage types used by NPCs in the game. Slotting ideas: Same as all the others. Electric Shackles Ranged, Minor Damage(Energy), Foe: Hold, -Endurance Electric Shackles binds a foe's limbs, leaving the target Held and helpless. The target is drained of some Endurance and some of that Endurance may be transferred back to you. You must have one other Mu Mastery power before selecting this pow Essentially, this is Shocking Bolt except with a different name, red lightning, and a cooler Hold animation. Slotting ideas: Identical to Shocking Bolt. Conserve Power Self Endurance Discount You can focus for a moment to Conserve your endurance. After activating this power, you expend less endurance on all other powers for a while. In my opinion, Conserve Power is the inferior endurance management tool compared to Dark Consumption and Power Sink. Long recharge and it just slows your endurance usage rather than giving you more blue bar to play with. Still, if you want unlimited endurance, using this with Power Sink will get you there if you don't toss nukes around. Slotting ideas: Three recharge should be sufficient. Summon Adept Summon Mu Adept: Ranged Moderate Damage(Energy) Scirocco will show you how to call upon a mystical Mu Adept to assist you. The Mu pulse with the blood of their slaughtered ancestors in their veins, and are well practiced in the dark arts. Unfortunately, this isn't the awesome guy who heals you that Controllers and Dominators get (why the heck do they get PPP pets anyway?) This guy is pretty control heavy. Sporting Energy and Negative Energy resistance, the Mu Adept can mez with Cage of Lightning (sleep), Shocking Bolt (this, unlike Electricity Mastery's, stuns), and EM Pulse (AoE hold with a regen debuff attached, not near as strong as yours). He can also zap and sap with Lightning Bolt and Lightning Blast, both of which are single target. He can also Fly, which is handy if you like to Hover-blast with your Defender. Slotting ideas: Recharge and damage never hurt. However, slotting mez reliably is best done with Hami-Os. His mez effects are too varied for you to do it with more specific SOs/IOs. ===Power Mastery=== See that level 50 Defender over there? Chances are, they have Power Mastery. This is the most popular APP for Defenders, as you'll quickly see why... Conserve Power Self End Discount "You can focus for a moment to Conserve your endurance. After activating this power, you expend less endurance on all other powers for a while." The same as Mu's Conserve Power, only earlier. Still inferior, but if you're having endurance woes and want Power Mastery, well here you go. Slotting ideas: Three recharge should be sufficient. Power Build Up (PBU) Self +DMG, +To-Hit, +Special "Your mastery of power and energy allows you to greatly increase the damage you deal for a few seconds, as well as slightly increasing your chance to hit. Additionally, Power Build Up greatly boosts the secondary effects of your powers. Your power effects like heals, defense buffs, endurance drains, disorients, holds, immobilizes, and more, are all improved." And here's why Defenders just looooooove Power Mastery. And rightfully so, Power Build Up is awesome and very strategic. It will boost just about ever power you have in some fashion. Not only does it have a Build Up, but it also boosts heals, endurance drains, endurance buffs, recovery buffs, run speed buffs and powers, flight buffs and powers, jump buffs and powers, defense buffs, defense debuffs, to hit buffs, to hit debuffs, sleep duration, hold duration, stun duration, immobilize duration, fear duration, and confuse duration. ...yeah, do I really need to say more? Of course! Since the effects of PBU are only a few seconds and toggles update every few server ticks, buffing your anchor debuffs won't help. However, you can use it to make Conserve Power conserve more, make your heal stronger, make AM stronger, make LR stronger, make EMP Pulse debuff and control better, make Fallout pwn more, make Vengeance killer, buff Amplify's tohit component, make all your damage stronger, and make all your powers more accurate. However, the recharge is looooooooong, so you have to use it strategically. Save it for when you need MOAR HEALS NAO! Or when AM is up so you can make that buff even better. Or when you really need a burst of damage. Or... you get the idea. I say Rad/Sonic gets among the least utility from PBU as other Defender combos, since our two key powers are toggles. That opinion, however, is very much debatable and doesn't mean I ignore it. My PvP build uses PBU. Slotting ideas: Three recharges, ASAP. And maybe some to hit sets. Temporary Invulnerability Toggle: Self +Res(Smash, Lethal) "When you toggle on this power, you become highly resistant to smashing and lethal damage. You must be level 44 and have Conserve Power or Power Build Up before selecting this power." Because of the awesomeness of PBU, Power Mastery gets the worst defensive toggle. Why is it the worst? Only Smashing and Lethal resistance (ignoring PvP where all Defender resistance toggles grant resistance to everything). It's still mandatory and very useful though. Slotting ideas: Same as Dark Embrace and Charged Armor. Force of Nature Self, +Res(All DMG but Psionics), +Recovery "When you activate this power, you become highly resistant to all damage types except psionics. Your Endurance recovery is also increased. Force of Nature costs little Endurance to activate, but when it wears off you are left exhausted, and drained of almost all Endurance, and unable to Recover Endurance for a short while. You must be level 44 and have Conserve Power or Power Build Up before selecting this power." Do you watch melee ATs pop tier 9 god-modes and survive just about everything and get jealous? Is an angry mob coming after you that just wiped the rest of your team and you have nowhere to run? Force of Nature to the rescue! This power is essentially a mini-Unstoppable from Invulnerability. While it's on, you'll be highly resistant to everything other than psionic attacks (Mother Mayhem says hi) and you'll have a big boost to recovery. During this time you can do whatever is you need to save the team. But act quickly! Once it ends, you'll crash as if you used Dreadful Wail (as if we didn't have enough powers with crashes), making you an easy kill. Not really a handy PvP power unless you don't use resist toggles. Slotting ideas: Recharge, recharge, recharge. And then maybe some resistance or end mod. Total Focus Melee, Extreme DMG(Energy/Smash), Foe Disorient "Total Focus is complete mastery over Energy Melee. This is a very slow, but incredibly devastating attack that can knock out most opponents, leaving them Disoriented. Due to the exhausting nature of Total Focus, recharge time is very long. You must have two other Power Mastery Powers before selecting this power." Practically synonymous with Energy Melee, Total Focus is the most powerful melee attack you can get. And it hits hard! Especially with all your debuffs. Remember that chain I mentioned under Shout? Tack Total Focus on the end and watch it demolish, especially in PvP! And it stuns too! Slotting ideas: Standard attack slotting, yay! ===Psychic Mastery=== For all of you would-be controlling Defenders out there (Deftroller?), here's your APP. Hold? Check. Sleep? Check. Confuse? Check. With this set, you can lay the lockdown on the mob, letting you and your team tear them apart in peace. With all the varied mezzes, it's also handy in PvP too! I ought to copy my Defender to test and give it a whirl someday. Dominate Ranged, Moderate DMG(Psionic), Foe Hold "Painfully tears at the mind of a single foe. Dominate deals Psionic damage and renders a foe helpless, lost in his own mind and unable to defend himself." Better than Shocking Bolt pretty much every way. More damage, comes earlier, and still stacks with everything else you have that Holds. With enough recharge, easily done with Hasten + AM, you can stack it to stop a boss in its tracks! Slotting ideas: Same as Shocking Bolt. Mass Hypnosis Ranged (Targeted AoE), Foe Sleep "Hypnotizes a group of foes at a distance and puts them to Sleep. The targets will remain asleep for some time, but will awaken if attacked. This power deals no damage, but if done discreetly, the targets will never be aware of your presence." Hmmm... Siren's Song + Mass Hypnosis... In that order (since Siren's damage will break Mass Hypnosis), you can sleep a whole mob in one go, including the bosses. It has better range and is easier to aim than Siren's, so it works well for solo survivability, better even. Teams will still happily break the sleep though. But, and this is a very big but, Mass Hypnosis has one huge advantage over other mez effects: no aggro. See that mob sitting very close to the one you're about to engage? Use Mass Hypnosis on it with no risk to yourself and watch as they don't spill onto the team (as long as the Blaster doesn't toss a Fireball at it). Slotting ideas: Same as Siren's, sans the damage potential. Mind Over Body Toggle: Self +Res(Smash, Lethal, Psionics) "When you toggle on this power, you empower your Mind Over Body to become highly resistant to smashing, lethal and psionic damage. You must have Dominate or Mass Hypnosis before selecting this power." Neat thing about this resistance toggle? It gets Psi resistance! That type of resistance is really rare, so that makes Mind Over Body special. This power will make most Tankers jealous of you, excluding Willpower and Dark Armor. Slotting ideas: Same as the others. World of Confusion (WoC) Toggle: PBAoE, Minor DoT(Psionic), Foe Confuse "This toggle powers allows you to cause psionic damage and cause confusion within a group of foes, creating chaos. The chance of confusing an enemy is lower than then chance of damaging them, and it may take multiple hits to affect stronger opponents. All affected foes within the area will turn and attack each other, ignoring all heroes. You will not receive any Experience Points for foes defeated by Confused enemies. Recharge: Moderate" Combine with Choking Cloud for great PBAoE control (and very high endurance costs). The enemies will likely be either confused, held, or both. Great for that Deftroller. Just turn it off if you put the mob to sleep. This power will break it. Slotting ideas: Endurance reduction, especially since Psychic Mastery has zero endurance tools, unlike the other APPs. After that, Accuracy, Confuse (here's your chance to get that purple Confuse set almost nobody can use), and possibly damage to go with it. Of note, the purple "Contagious Confusion" can potentially turn all confuse attempts into AoEs. So, not only will it make this power better at confusing stuff in it, it can also start to confuse stuff outside of it! Neat, huh? Telekinesis Toggle: Ranged (Targeted AoE), Foe Hold, Repel "Lifts a foe, and any nearby foes, off the ground and repels them. The targets are helpless, unable to take action, and will continue to hover away, picking up any passing targets, as long as you keep this power active. Keeping up this level of concentration costs a lot of Endurance. You must have two other Psychic Mastery Powers before selecting this power." An anchor control power. Intriguing. And incredibly expensive as well! While it'll pretty much lockdown everything caught in it while you and your team is free to murder, your blue bar will be crying for mercy. So you better have ways to handle your endurance. With practice, you can push foes into corners so they don't float away. Also supposed to be pretty brutal in PvP. Hence, why I want to try it on test... Slotting ideas: Endurance reduction! Then slip in some recharge and possibly some range and you're good to go! ===Soul Mastery=== Soul Mastery is sort of an in between on Power and Darkness Masteries. It offers some of big reasons to go into those pools, but not at quite the same strength. Basically, if you want both Soul Drain and Power Build Up, you can have them as well as some other options. Though, there are catches, as explained below. Soul Drain Point Blank Area of Effect Moderate Damage(Negative), Self +Damage, +Accuracy Using this power, you can drain the essence of all nearby foes' souls, thus increasing your own strength. Each affected foe will lose some Hit Points and add to your Damage and Accuracy. Soul Drain at 41 instead of 47? Sounds too good to be true, right? Especially in the same set as Power Boost? If you think there's a catch, you're correct. This version of Soul Drain recharges twice as slow as Darkness Mastery's! For an Offender like myself, this isn't good. But, if you want it AND Power Boost, you can! It really comes down to preferences and the goal of your build is. Slotting ideas: The same as Darkness Mastery's, though recharge is even more important. Dark Embrace Toggle: Self +Resistance(Smash, Lethal, Negative, Toxic) The exact same power from Darkness Mastery. Slotting ideas: Identical to the Darkness Mastery (and all of the other resistance shields). Soul Storm Ranged, Moderate Damage over Time(Negative), Foe: Hold Like Ghost Widow, you will be able to summon the souls of your victims to do your bidding. Soul Storm enraptures a single target, holding them while their life-force is drained from their body. You must have one other Soul Mastery power before selecting this power Soul Storm is like Shocking Bolt and Electric Shackles except that is has a pretty cool animation. Also note, the enemy is forced to animate falling to the ground and getting up, which means the mez effect technically extends past the animation. This can result in some weirdness where the target moves or attacks between falling out of being held and the get up animation. Slotting ideas: Same as the other mentioned single-target holds. Power Boost Self +Special Greatly boosts the secondary effects of your powers. Your powers' effects like heals, defense buffs, endurance drains, disorients, holds, immobilizes, knockbacks and more, are all improved. The effects of Power Boost last a short while, and only the next couple of attacks will be boosted. This is Power Build Up, except available at level 44 and completely lacks the damage and to-hit buff Power Build Up gives you. However, it recharges twice as fast. It's a trade-off, and a fair one if you ask me. For PvE, I'd recommend Soul Mastery for Power Boost over Power Build Up if you don't need/want the rest of Power Mastery. In PvP, I'd probably stick with PBU, since the damage component is very handy. Slotting ideas: Three recharge and you're done. Summon Mistress Summon Fortunata Mistress: Ranged Moderate Damage(Psionic) Ghost Widow will assign a Fortunata Mistress for you to command. Arguably, the most powerful of the Fortunatas, these rare few have mastered numerous psychic abilities and have risen to the top of Lord Recluse's beautiful Black Widows. When you fight them, Fortunata Mistresses are high-level bosses. Like, level 50+ high. Consequently, they are awesome. All of their attacks hit pretty hard and also carry some sort of control effect. More Specifically, they have Scramble Thoughts (stun), Subdue (immobilize with -recharge), Telekinetic Blast (knockback), Will Domination (sleep), and Psychic Wail (PBAoE with -recharge and a chance to stun). They also have Mental Training, which basically gives them resistance to Psi damage and protection to Stuns, Sleeps, Immobilizes, and Holds. It also gives them defense to all three positions plus psi attacks and also boosts their hit chance. Yeah, although the recharge sucks on summoning them, Fortunata Mistresses rock and are very likely the best pet across all ATs for Soul Mastery. And only the Corruptor shares them. Slotting ideas: Recharge, you want these out as much as possible. Damage is a good possibility as are Hami-Os for boosting the effects of all of those mezzes. Ideally, you want all three, but that'll take some tricky slotting. The best way will probably be to use a Recharge Intensive Pet IO set, choosing the ones that give you the best bang for your slot, and then use a slot or two for mez-related HOs. -------------------------------------------- Generic Power Pools -------------------------------------------- You can have up to four generic Power Pools. Each one has four powers, with the first two available at level 6, the second at 14 so long as you have at least one from that pool, and the last at 20 so long as you have at least two from that pool. Four pools have travel powers and one of them is considered to be required by some players. You can get a lot of utility out of your extra power pools, but be aware any click power will cause redraw. Keep in mind, Fitness is also listed here since it used to be a Generic Pool power. However, since it is inherent, it's free and doesn't count towards your total for pool or power picks. ===Concealment=== The first of the PPs is an ok one. It's good for stealthing missions or getting Phase Shift as an OH CRAP! power, but that's about it. All of it's powers can be obtained for free easily with PvP zone patrols, except Grant Invisibility. It has some use, but I don't recommend it. Stealth Toggle: Self Stealth, +Defense (All), Self -Speed "You blend into your environment and can only be seen at very close range. Even if discovered, you are hard to see and have a bonus to defense to all attacks. If, however, you attack while using this power, you will be discovered and will lose your stealth and some of your defense bonus. While stealthy, your movement is slowed. Stealth will not work with any other form of concealment power such as Shadow Fall or Steamy Mist." Stealth is useful for reducing the aggro radius mobs will have on you, letting you sneak around easier. The defense it provides is modest, more so when you attack as it'll suppress. This power, however, can easily be replicated with a proper IO that doesn't cut speed, making it rather moot. Slotting ideas: Defense or end reduxes, if you add anything. Grant Invisibility Ranged, Teammate Stealth, +Defense (All) "Grants a targeted teammate invisibility. The invisibility lasts about two minutes. While your ally is invisible, he probably will not be detected unless he attacks a target. If he attacks, he is still hard to see and maintains some bonus to defense to all attacks. This power works with other concealment related powers." Handy for making an ally ghost a mission, but that's about it. Like Stealth, the defense suppresses when the ally is hit or attacks. But if you really need another buff power... here you go. Just make sure you can stealth too, otherwise stuff will aggro onto you when your sneaky team gets near. Slotting ideas: If you grab it, end reduxes and defense buffs are ideal. The former so you can buff everyone without draining yourself, the latter for making it a tad bit stronger. Invisibility Toggle: Self Stealth, +Defense (All) "You can bend light around yourself to become invisible. While this power is active, you are almost impossible to detect. While invisible, you cannot attack and can only use powers that affect yourself; however, you do have a defense to all attacks. You must be at least level 14 and have Stealth or Grant Invisibility before selecting Invisibility. This power will not work with other self-affecting concealment powers such as Stealth or Shadow Fall." It's essentially Stealth+. Except you can only affect yourself while using it, so no attacking. This would be really handy in PvP... except everyone who's at least half serious about it stacks perception and therefore will see you. Blame Stalkers. Slotting ideas: Same as Stealth. Phase Shift Toggle: Self Intangible "You can Phase Shift to become out of sync with normal space. Although you do not become completely invisible, you are translucent and hard to see. You are intangible, and cannot affect or be affected by those in normal space. Although this power is a toggle, you cannot remain phase shifted for more than 30 seconds, even if you still have endurance. Phase shift cannot be used with rest. You must be at least level 20 and have two other Concealment powers before selecting Phase Shift." A nice "Oh crap!" power, though you can pick Hyper Phase up from a Warburg patrol for free. You can't attack or be attacked while using it, so it's great for escapes. However, you can affect other phased targets, in PvE and PvP. The main reason to get it would be for the latter, where you can pop it, heal yourself, and reapply debuffs if needed without fear of being killed... unless they have Phase Shift too... Slotting ideas: Endurance reduction. ===Fighting=== The first half of the fighting pool is crap. The second half, however, is pretty useful. I'd argue not so handy for a Defender, but people will disagree. But, even if it's not so handy, it's... umm... still handy... Boxing Melee, Moderate Dmg(Smash), Foe Disorient "A decent punch that has a small chance to Disorient foes." It's weak and it can stun, but that's about it. You can slot it creatively as an attack (or use it in PvP where it actually can hurt), but that may not be the best idea since you're a squishy ranged-based AT. Now, if you're trying to go for a Scrapfender build... then that's a whole 'nother story. Slotting ideas: Standard attack slotting, though you can play with stun enhancements and IOs. I wouldn't slot it, however. Kick Melee, Moderate Dmg(Smash), Foe Knockback "A modest kicking attack that has a small chance to knock opponents down." It's Boxing. Except it has a longer animation and may knock a foe back instead of stunning them. Slotting ideas: Standard attack slotting, though you can play with knockback enhancements and IOs. I wouldn't slot it, however. Tough Toggle: Self +Res(Smash/Lethal) "While active, you are tough and slightly resistant to Smashing and Lethal damage. You must be at least level 14 and have Boxing or Kick before selecting Tough." A decent skill, it gives you some resistances you otherwise don't have until level forty four and is a resist all in PvP. In my opinion, this is the main reason to grab the Fighting pool on a Defender, as it'll boost your survivability a bit and will stack with the APP armors. Though, it's a tad bit costly end per second-wise compared to other defensive toggles... Slotting ideas: Same as your APP armors. Weave Toggle: Self +Def(All), Res(Immobilize) "While active, you bob and weave, increasing your Defense to all attacks, as well as your resistance to Immobilize. You must be at least level 20 and have two other Fighting Powers before selecting Weave." Provides immobilization resistance, which can be gotten easier elsewhere, and defense. The defense is smallish, but stacks with Radiation Infection. However, it is NOT worth going all the way for unless you're trying to do an expensive soft-capped range defense build. If you want Defense, Combat Jumping, Hover, and Maneuvers all take two less power slots. Slotting ideas: Similar to APP armors, but with defense instead of resistance. You can stick a Luck of the Gambler +Global Recharge in here, but there's easier places to slip one of those in. ===Fitness=== It's official, the controversy on Fitness has been solved! Was it mandatory or not? The devs said it was! So therefore, everyone gets it! For free! As an inherent only a few levels in! That's three new power picks for everyone! No new slots though. If you have old pool Fitness, simply do a respec to get it as an inherent. Swift Auto: Self +Speed "You can naturally run slightly faster than normal. This ability is always on and does not cost any endurance." Increases your run speed. Use with Sprint and AM for a ghetto travel power. Slotting ideas: All it takes is run and flight speed. Don't add more slots unless you just have to go as fast as possible. Hurdle Auto: Self +Jump Increase jump height. Faster than Swift, actually. Use it with Combat Jumping for a ghetto travel power. Slotting ideas: Same as Swift, except for jumping. Health Auto: Self +Regeneration, Resistance (Sleep) "You heal slightly faster than a normal person. Your improved health also grants you resistance to sleep. This ability is always on and does not cost any endurance. You must be at least level 14 and have Swift or Hurdle before selecting Health." A very useful power, as it makes you heal faster. Health is the first good power of of the set. However, where it really shines is at... Slotting ideas: Three healing enhancements. Or, if you really want some fun, Health can take three unique IOs: Miracle +Recovery, Regenerative Flesh +Regeneration, and Numina's Convalesce +Regeneration/Recovery. If you get all three, your performance will most certainly have a noticeable increase. However, be prepared to shell out lots of influence and/or merits. If you're going for those sets, go ahead and try to slot enough for the heal bonus. Never hurts to indirectly make your heal stronger. Stamina Auto: Self +Recovery "You recover endurance slightly more quickly than normal. This ability is always on and does not cost any endurance. You must be at least level 20 and have two other Fitness Powers before selecting Stamina." Stamina these days works just as well, but now just takes a bit of the edge off of leveling a Rad/Sonic. No longer do you need to wait for level twenty to get your endurance to an easier to handle level. However, even slotted, Stamina isn't a cure all. Slotting ideas: Three endurance modification enhancements. Remember that Performance Shifter: Chance for +Endurance? Yeah, here's finally a good place to put that enhancement... a really good place. ===Flight=== The most common, and arguably the most fun, travel pool. With flight, you can go anywhere that doesn't have collision detection. With Hover and/or Fly, you can kite mobs from the air (though most of them can shoot back). Hover Toggle: Self Fly, +DEF(All) "For hovering and aerial combat. This power is much slower than Fly, but provides some Defense to all attacks, offers good air control, costs little Endurance, and has none of the penalties associated with Fly. Switch to this mode when fighting other flying foes. Hover also grants pseudo knockback protection; instead of getting knocked down and jumping back up, you just flip over in the air." Hover is a bit slow, though now can be slotted to tolerable speeds. It gives some defense that stacks indirectly stacks with Radiation Infection. But if you use this for more defense, be prepared to drop some slots here. Slotting ideas: Increasing the fly speed and the defense is the way to go. To do that, you may need to invest up to six slots, however. Oh, and that LoTG Recharge IO? Easier and better place to put it (if you have the cash). Air Superiority Melee, Moderate Damage(Smash), Foe -Fly "This two-handed overhead melee attack can knock a flying target to the ground." Some people swear by this power. I don't, especially since the damage is anemic compared to your primary attacks. It does, however, knock people out of the air and has guaranteed knock-up. No, not THAT kind of knock-up! Trust me, you can use this against Carnies without having to pay child support later. Typically, the Scrapfender's primary attack of choice. Slotting ideas: Standard attack slotting should be sufficient. Fly Toggle: Self Fly "Fly allows you to travel long distances quickly. If you attack a target while this power is on, your Flight speed will be temporarily reduced to Hover speed. Your top Flight speed increases with your Level. You must be at least level 14 and have Hover or Air Superiority before selecting Fly." Weeee, I'm as free as a bird! One of the more fun travel powers in the game, and also one of the slowest... and laziest. Fly is very fun, but it IS just a travel power. Hence, not much to say on it. Well, you can kite, but Hover is cheaper and safer to do it with. Just don't try to PvP with Fly, there's way too much -Fly flying about. Pun intended. Slotting ideas: If you slot it, fly speed and, if you use it in combat, endurance reductions. Group Fly Toggle: Team Fly, -ACC "You can endow your nearby teammates with Flight. Be mindful! Your friends will fall if you run out of Endurance or if they travel too far away from you. Group Fly travel speed is slower than Fly. Flying allies suffer from reduced Accuracy. You must be at least Level 20 and have two other Flight Powers before selecting Group Fly." Group Fly... Group Fly... Group Fly... As fun and awesome of a power as this is, the most use you'd probably get out of it is griefing your team, outside of a few specific instances. Even still, I've picked it up on one character (at 49) for concept and roleplaying reasons. And no, before you ask, that was not my Rad/Sonic. It was my Gravity Control/Trick Arrow Controller. Slotting ideas: Endurance reduction, maybe fly speed. ===Leadership=== Leadership is a Defender's PP. Why? They get the highest mods on the powers, which vary quite a bit! All Defenders can make use of the Leadership powers, it's just a matter of working them in. Though, you by no means are a n00b or anything if you don't take them. Many Defenders run without them for various reasons such as end issues, no room, concept, etc. Though I19 makes getting them easier. Even my Offender carries them and is absolutely loving Vengeance added to the line-up. Maneuvers Toggle PBAoE Team +DEF(All) "A good leader knows how to protect his team. While active, this power increases the Defense of yourself and all nearby teammates to all attacks." Maneuvers will provide a modest boost to both your and your team's defense. This, again, indirectly stacks with RI's -to hit, but not significantly. It's not a bad choice persay, but your other option is better. Slotting ideas: Defense, no more than three slots worth. And maybe an endurance reduction. Assault Toggle PBAoE Team +DMG Res(Taunt, Placate) "While this power is active, you and your nearby teammates deal more damage and are resistant to Taunt and Placate." A modest boost to your and your allies' damage. Not very significant on it's own (and by far not enough to make up for you not blasting), but it makes a difference, especially combined with all of your resistance debuffs. The Taunt and Placate resistance are really more PvP tools, and they are somewhat handy. Slotting ideas: Damage, no more than three slots worth. And maybe an endurance reduction. Tactics Toggle PBAoE Team +ACC Res(Confuse, Fear) +Perception "While this power is active, your Accuracy and that of all your nearby teammates is increased. Your advanced Tactics also protect you and your team from Confuse and Fear effects, as well as your Perception so you can detect Stealthy foes." A useful power in that it makes you and your teammates hit more, though that's something good slotting can take care of. The mez resistances are, again, rare in PvE but may prove handy in PvP. The perception bonus in PvE isn't a big deal, but virtually essential in PvP as it'll help you see the ever-present Stalkers as well as anyone running a stealth IO. Slotting ideas: Accuracy and endurance reducers. The +Perception IO can be placed here for you PvP players. Vengeance Click Targeted AoE Team +DMG +ACC +DEF(All) Res(Effects) "The loss of a comrade enrages the team. When a teammate is defeated in combat, activate this power to grant you and your teammates a bonus to Accuracy, Damage and Defense to all attacks. A Vengeful team has no fear, and Vengeance protects you and your Teammates from Fear effects. It also gives you and your team great resistance to Sleep, Hold, Disorient, Immobilize, Confuse, Taunt, Placate and Knockback. This power does not stack with multiple castings." For a Rad/Sonic, Vengeance is really, really nice. Someone dies? Power Build Up* + Vengeance + Amplify + Soul Drain* + Fallout + Mutation. The result is a soon to be very dead mob, if not already, and a powerfully buffed team. Remember: Vengeance does not stack. So, if multiple people have it, take turns if people die or bait enough. *Applicable only if you have that power. And, obviously, not both since you can't have both. Note that, unlike other Leadership powers, Vengeance uses self-buff mods and not team buff mods. So, oddly enough, it's the Scrappers who have the best Vengeance. Slotting ideas: Recharge reductions and maybe some healing. ===Leaping=== The jumping travel powerset, Leaping is one of the more useful travel sets due to a couple of powers. The travel power also is pretty nice. The other last power is a bit lackluster, at least for you. If you want some mez protection, however, drop into Leaping. Jump Kick Melee, Moderate Dmg(Smash), Foe Knockback "A good jumping kick attack that may knock foes back. Good if you are looking for another attack power." More like flip kick. It has a long animation and short recharge, making it almost permanent out of the box. It, however, inflicts anemic damage. Strongly recommend not taking this power outside of you crazy Scrapfenders. Slotting ideas: Standard attack slotting should be sufficient if you actually do take this and slot it. Combat Jumping Toggle: Self +Jump, +Def(All), Res(Immobilization) "While active, Combat Jumping increases your Defense to all attacks, and adds resistance to Immobilization. Moderately increases your jump height and distance while providing good air control." The alternative to Jump Kick is made of win. Perhaps the cheapest toggle in the game, it will boost your defense, make you highly resistance to immobilizes (like Weave, except cheaper in every way), and will increase air control when jumping or flying. Additionally, it can be combined with Hurdle for a decent ghetto travel power. This is a good power to take and the one I recommend if you go into Leaping. Slotting ideas: The defense is tiny, but can be slotted. Uniques work nicely here, however. Super Jump Toggle: Self Long Jump "While this power is active, you can leap great distances and heights, easily jumping over buildings and from rooftop to rooftop! If you attack a target while this power is on, you will temporarily be reduced to a normal jump height. You must be at least level 14 and have Jump Kick or Combat Jumping before selecting Super Jump." A nifty travel power, but tedious if you hate holding a key to do it. However, because it suppresses, you're better using Combat Jumping for fighting in PvE and using this to get around. In PvP though, it's strongly recommended for moving about the arena/zone as well as hitting fliers. Slotting ideas: Jump speed and, for combat, endurance reductions. I generally don't slot my travel powers beyond the default slot, but it's not always a bad idea. Acrobatics Toggle: Self +Res(Knockback, Hold) "While this power is active, you are very nimble and Acrobatic. You can avoid most Knockback effects and are resistant to Hold effects. You must be at least level 20 and have two other Leaping Powers before selecting Acrobatics." This power will give you some protection against knockbacks and holds. Outside of IOs and other players, it is the only way to get any sort of hold resistance. It works great, but takes some effort to get. Slotting ideas: Endurance reductions. Doesn't take anything else of value. ===Medicine=== The healing pool, it's more of a healing set than Empathy and Pain Domination proportionally. This pool should almost entirely be skipped. Only one power doesn't replicate what you can already do. Aid Other Close, Ally Heal "Heals a single targeted ally. This power is interruptible." Radiant Aura > Aid Other. Sure, the latter heals for more, but is single target, interruptible, and slower recharge. In other words, do not take! Slotting ideas: Well, if you want to spite my advice and get it anyway... healing and interruption, with maybe some recharge. Or if you have to have a 300-heal Radiant Aura without an Alpha ability, set muling a heal set here would help... Stimulant Close, Ally +Res(mez) "Frees an ally from any Immobilization, Sleep, Disorient, Hold, Fear or Confuse effects and leaves them resistant to such effects for a brief time. Protection will improve with multiple applications and as you advance in level. This power is interruptible." Does everything you want it to do without any slotting. It's essentially an interruptible version of Clear Mind, but not as good, of course. This gives you a lesser version of what a few other Defender sets can do, which isn't that bad of an idea if you have a power slot you have no clue on what to use. But, this is the only reason to get the Medicine pool. Slotting ideas: Don't need anything but the base slot. End redux or interrupt reduction to taste. Aid Self Self Heal, Res(Disorient) "Allows you to heal yourself, you will also be wide awake and resistant to Disorient. This power is interruptible. You must be at least level 14 and have Aid Other or Stimulant before selecting Aid Self." Remember what I said about Aid Self? Apply it to here. Slotting ideas: Here too. Resuscitate Close, Ally Rez "Revives a fallen ally, leaving him with full Hit Points, but no Endurance. The Resuscitated target will be protected from XP Debt for 15 seconds. This power is interruptible. You must be at least level 20 and have two other Medicine Powers before selecting Resuscitate." Mutation is far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, superior. Slotting ideas: Recharge and interrupt reductions are all you need if you absolutely, positively have to have two rez skills. ===Presence=== In my opinion, this is the most useless pool in the game. Not to say it is useless, but it's not something I'd use. It has two taunts and two fears. You might could get some use, especially if you want to be a dedicated tanking Defender (possible, but I'm not sure Rad/Sonic is the best for it ...and Danker? Defanker?) or a Deftroller. Challenge Ranged, Targeted Taunt "Challenges a foe to attack you. Use this to pull a foe off of an ally in trouble or away from a mob of foes. Not as effective as a typical Scrapper Confront and Challenge powers. An Accuracy check is required to successfully Challenge a target." If you want to tank, get Provoke. If you just want a pre-requisite for the fear powers, well be my guest. Slotting ideas: If you absolutely must take and slot it, accuracy and taunts are probably the way to go. Provoke Ranged (Targeted Area of Effect), Foe Taunt "This power attracts the attention of a foe and all those around him. Use this to pull several enemies off of an ally in trouble. Not as effective as a typical Tanker Taunt powers. An Accuracy check is required to successfully Challenge a target." If you dip into this pool to tank, get this power over Challenge. It gives you a more Tanker style taunt, which is handy if you want to be a dedicated Defanker. Slotting ideas: Accuracy first and foremost. After that, perhaps taunt enhancements. Intimidate Ranged, Foe Fear "You can threaten a single foe and cause him to helplessly tremble in Fear for a brief while. You must be at least level 14 and have Challenge or Provoke before selecting Intimidate." For those who want to be all controllery... or are jealous of Fearsome Stare from our Dark Miasma brothers and sisters. Fear is, in my opinion, a lousy mez since it doesn't detoggle and the enemy can fight back if damaged. On the other hand, it is very rarely resisted. But, if you want Fear powers, then you'll want the next. Slotting ideas: Accuracies and fears are the way to go. And, on the bright side, Fear sets are stupid cheap. Invoke Panic Point Blank Area of Effect, Foe Fear "This power causes sheer terror in all foes around you, causing them to tremble in Fear uncontrollably. You must be at least level 20 and have two other Presence Powers before selecting Invoke Panic." Since you can be in the thick of things as a Rad/Sonic, with some slotting this could provide decent mitigation, so long as AoEs aren't being tossed around, which they will be. I really don't recommend going for it outside of a Deftroller of sorts. But, if you're this deep in, might as well. Slotting ideas: Same as Intimidate. ===Speed=== A popular power pool due to a very useful power and a travel power that's also fun to use. However, like other travel power pools, some of it's powers really aren't that helpful. Flurry Moderate Damage (Smashing) Foe Disorient (minor) "Unleashes a super fast Flurry of punches to pummel your foe. Flurry is so dizzying that it has a chance to Disorient the target." Very long animation time and craptastic damage. Really no reason to get it other than the fact it actually looks pretty decent. Slotting ideas: I'd go with, you guessed it, standard attack slotting. Hasten Self +Recharge "You can reduce the recharge time of all powers for 2 minutes. Although Hasten does not cost any Endurance to activate, you can tire easily since your Endurance does not recover more rapidly. After Hasten wears off, you become tired and will lose some Endurance." One of the powers that everyone loves and some find mandatory. It gives a huge recharge bonus that stacks with AM. And if you hit "perma-hasten", then you'll probably hit perma-AM as well, which teams absolutely love. However, it isn't necessary. I only took it at level 49 and, while it is nice, it isn't necessary. PvP though... Slotting ideas: Three recharges and nothing else. It takes nothing else either. Super Speed Toggle: Self +Speed (Minor Stealth)
"You can run at super-human speeds! While running at such speeds, you are a blur, and many foes will not even notice you as you speed past them. If you attack a target while this power is on, you will temporarily be slowed to normal speed. You must be at least level 14 and have Flurry or Hasten before selecting Super Speed." A fun travel power that lets you zoom! Good for running away, closing distances, and generally getting around. It also has a small stealth component, letting you stealth missions if you so choose. It's also a very handy PvP travel power, usually combined with Super Jump for maximum combat mobility against other players. Slotting ideas: At level 50, two runspeed IOs will put you at the speed cap. If you want other stuff after that, endurance reductions are the way to go. Whirlwind Toggle: PBAoE, Foe Knockback "You spin around at an amazing speed to create a Whirlwind around yourself. Any foes that enter this Whirlwind will be tossed into the air. You must be at least level 20 and have two other Speed Powers before selecting Whirlwind." It knocks foes away from you, kind of like a gimped Repel or Repulsion Field. It's expensive and you'll look silly. On top of that, most people will call you a n00b for taking it. And let's not even mention USING it... Though, it can be useful if you prefer to not be in the thick of things, but it'll likely scatter enemies away from your anchor, which could put you worse off. Slotting ideas: Endurance reductions if you feel so inclined to take this power. ===Teleportation=== A fun pool, and quite handy for a Rad/Sonic. It can pull foes or bring a dead teammate to you, things of that nature. Probably the least used travel pool. Recall Friend Zone-Range: Teleport Teammate "You can teleport one of your teammates to yourself. The target must be a teammate and can be selected from the team window. You can also rescue a fallen teammate who may be in a hostile location, as long as he is on the same map. Range is not infinite, but extremely long and can be enhanced. This power can be interrupted." Well, the description says it all. Please don't use it to grief your allies, as amusing as that may be. The best use for this power is to combine it with Fallout and Vengeance, as you can position that dead ally for maximum effectiveness. If you plan to have people be your nuclear bomb bait, this power is essential. Even if you don't plan to Teleport but do plan to use Fallout, try to work it in somewhere. Slotting ideas: Range or interrupt reduction. I don't recommend slotting outside the base slot. Teleport Foe Ranged, Teleport Foe "You can teleport a single foe directly next to yourself. A successful hit must be made in order to teleport the target, and some powerful foes cannot be teleported. This power can be interrupted." Primarily a minion and Lt. pulling power. I experimented with it for awhile as an anchor control power, but there's much more effective ways for doing that. Such as, for example, Siren's Song. Just don't get it and insist on teleporting foes one at a time. Leave mob pulling via teleports up to the Gravity Controller and their Wormhole. Slotting ideas: Accuracy and range. Maybe interrupt time and recharge as well. Teleport Ranged (Location), Self Teleport "You can teleport long distances. Teleport has no recharge time, and can be reactivated without pause, as long as you have endurance. You must be at least level 14 and have Recall Friend or Teleport Foe before selecting Teleport." A fun but hard to use travel power. Use it and BAM you're there! Excellent for escapes or popping into a mob. Though the near immobile hover at the end is rather annoying. Potentially the fastest travel power. Slotting ideas: One endurance reduction SO with Stamina should let you go long distances without exhausting yourself. Range IOs work really well too. Team Teleport Ranged (Location), Team Teleport "You can teleport yourself and your nearby teammates to a targeted location. Teammates must be in close proximity to you. Team Teleport costs slightly more endurance than Teleport, but you can teleport your entire team for no additional cost. You must be at least level 20 and have two other teleportation powers before selecting Team Teleport." Like Group Fly, there just isn't a whole lot going for this one outside of amusement and griefing. It's been suggested to use it to pull a team out of slow patches, but be certain everyone is on the same page first! Slotting ideas: Range and endurance reduction. -------------------------------------------- Incarnate Abilities -------------------------------------------- If you do not own Going Rogue, you may skip this section. Incarnate Abilities are optional, like IOs. You don't have to get them and you don't need them for most everything. However, if you want to run end-game incarnate content, having the slots unlocked is mandatory and having something in them is strongly recommended. The bulk of the Incarnate System isn't available yet, but this is where it'll be added as it comes. Note that becoming an incarnate unlocks a third build. Now you have even more room for experimentation without respeccing or hopping into test. ===Alpha Slot=== The alpha slot acts as a global enhancement. It is mostly effected by Enhancement Diversification and will boost all of your powers that can be slotted for those effects. Some of the Alpha ability will ignore ED: 1/6 for Common, 1/3 for Uncommon, 1/2 for Rare, and 2/3 for Ultra Rare. Rare and Ultra Rare will give a "level shift", making you fight as though you were level 51, though you're still level 50. Youcan use these for boost strengths even more, shore up your weaknesses, or to totally change your slotting if you don't ever plan to exemplar on that build. There are two trees for each boost: Core and Radial. Core focuses on the main aspects of the boost type whereas Radial throws in extras. Also, you can only ever have one Alpha ability slotted at one time and can only slot powers after you've been out of combat for a few minutes. Note: Only the common and uncommon abilities are currently available, aka Boost, Core Boost, and Radial Boost. Though, for completeness sake, I'll list the rare and ultra rare abilities since we do already know what effects they'll have. This should help with long-term planning. Common: Boost Uncommon: Core and Radial Boost Rare: All four Revamps Ultra Rare: Core and Radial Paragons --Cardiac-- The primary effect of this set is endurance reduction, which great for all your endurance heavy toggles. The secondary effects are Range and Damage Resistance, the former will help almost all of your powers whereas the latter will help with your resistance toggles. The tertiary effects in the radial tree are Fear, Sleep, and Intangibility Duration. Sleep is decent for Siren's Song as well as any APP sleeps and PPP pets whereas the other effects have little to no benefit. If you go Cardiac, I recommend taking the Core Tree. Boost: 33% End Redux Core Boost: 33% End Redux, 20% Range Radial Boost: 33% End Redux, 20% Resistance Total Core Revamp: 45% End Redux, 20% Range Partial Core Revamp: 33% End Redux, 20% Range, 20% Resistance Total Radial Revamp: 33% End Redux, 10% Range, 20% Resistance, 33% Sleep Partial Radial Revamp: 33% End Redux, 10% Range, 20% Resistance, 33% Fear Core Paragon: 45% End Redux, 20% Range, 20% Resistance Radial Paragon: 33% End Redux, 20% Range, 20% Resistance, 33% Sleep, 33% Fear, 33% Intangibility --Musculature-- The primary effect of tree is damage, which is great if you've been forced to limit the slotting of your attacks. The secondary effects are defense debuffs, which strengthens the aspect of Radiation Infection you may not have slotted for, and Immobilize, which only really benefits APP/PPP immobilizes and some PPP pets. The tertiary effects in the Radial tree is Endurance Modification, Run Speed, and To-Hit Debuff. End Mod will buff Accelerate Metabolism, EM Pulse, and Stamina as well as all those APP/PPP powers that affect endurance. Run Speed boosts AM, Swift, all versions of Sprint, and Super Speed. The To-Hit Debuff mainly makes RI nastier. Between the two, it's a toss-up and largely depends on how you've been allocating slots, though I'd probably lean towards the Radial tree myself. Boost: 33% Damage Core Boost: 33% Damage, 33% Immobilize Radial Boost: 33% Damage, 33% Defense Debuff Total Core Revamp: 45% Damage, 33% Immobilize Partial Core Revamp: 33% Damage, 33% Immobilize, 33% Defense Debuff Total Radial Revamp: 33% Damage, 33% Immobilize, 16.5% Defense Debuff, 20% To-Hit Buff Partial Radial Revamp: 33% Damage, 16.5% Immobilize, 33% Defense Debuff, 33% End Mod Core Paragon: 45% Damage, 33% Immobilize, 33% Defense Debuff Radial Paragon: 33% Damage, 33% Immobilize, 33% Defense Debuff, 33% End Mod, 33% Run Speed, 20% To-Hit Buff --Nerve-- The primary effect of Nerve is accuracy. With Radiation Infection, accuracy shouldn't have been an issue to begin with, though it will come in handy in the Apex and Tin Mage TFs, as those are minimum level 54 so RI does little and your accuracy will suck without a lot of it. The secondary effects are Hold Duration and Defense Buff. Benefits of those will mostly effect APP/PPPs, particularly Mace Mastery. The tertiary effects of the Radial tree are Taunt, Confuse, and Fly. Unless you're a tankfender, Taunt is useless. Confuse benefits the Psychic Mastery tree only. And Fly Speed only helps the Flight power pool. For Nerve, I'd recommend the Core route. Boost: 33% Accuracy Core Boost: 33% Accuracy, 33% Hold Radial Boost: 33% Accuracy, 20% Defense Buff Total Core Revamp: 45% Accuracy, 33% Hold Partial Core Revamp: 33% Accuracy, 33% Hold, 20% Defense Total Radial Revamp: 33% Accuracy, 16.5% Hold, 20% Defense, 33% Confuse Partial Radial Revamp: 33% Accuracy, 16.5% Hold, 20% Defense, 33% Taunt Core Paragon: 45% Accuracy, 33% Hold, 20% Defense Radial Paragon: 33% Accuracy, 33% Hold, 20% Defense, 33% Taunt, 33% Confuse, 33% Flight Speed --Spiritual-- The primary focus of Spiritual is Recharge. If you have the endurance to handle it, more recharge is always good and can help with getting perma-AM and perma-Hasten. The secondary effects are stun and healing. The former is mostly for Screech and Dreadful Wait, so it's not too lacking. The latter benefits Health and Radiant Aura. With a higher-end Spiritual Boost and, maybe needing a few IO sets too, you'll probably be able to get a 300 heal per Radiant Aura use. And the Spiritual tree will be making that aura pop up more, so it'd be pretty awesome when you really have to spam a lot of heals (which is hopefully rare) or allow you to use heals less. The tertiary effects from the Radial tree are Slow, Jump Speed, and To-Hit Buffs. Slow will boost the effects of Lingering Radiation, resulting in less scatter if you have nothing else to keep em still. Jump speed mostly boosts Hurdle, Combat Jumping, and Super Jump. The To-Hit Debuff mainly boosts Amplify and Power Build Up. For Spiritual, I'd personally say go with the Core tree. Boost: 33% Recharge Core Boost: 33% Recharge, 33% Stun Radial Boost: 33% Recharge, 33% Heal Total Core Revamp: 45% Recharge, 33% Stun Partial Core Revamp: 33% Recharge, 33% Stun, 33% Heal Total Radial Revamp: 33% Recharge, 16.5% Stun, 33% Heal, 33% Jump Partial Radial Revamp: 33% Recharge, 16.5% Stun, 33% Heal, 33% Slow Core Paragon: 45% Recharge, 33% Stun, 33% Heal Radial Paragon: 33% Recharge, 33% Stun, 33% Heal, 33% Slow, 33% Jump, 33% To-Hit Buff -------------------------------------------- Alignment Abilities -------------------------------------------- If you do not own Going Rogue, you may skip this section. Alignment Powers are granted seven days after changing or confirming alignments. You may only have the one available to your alignment and, since you need to do tips to get them, are available starting at level 20. They cannot be slotted and, as far as I can tell, seem to be immune to recharge speed buffs. They're mostly for flavor but, if you care about min-maxing regardless of your alignment, here's a section so you can find the right power for you. Note that all of these powers seem to have very long activation times. Also note, you can use these in the arena, even if temporary powers are turned off. Call to Justice (Hero) PBAoE, Allies +DMG, +To Hi You inspire your nearby allies to bring justice to your foes. Using this power will moderately increase the damage and to hit of yourself and all nearby allies A team buff, great for those of you who are more focused on helping the team. It effects you as well, so it isn't useless to those who want more personal strength. It does 40% damage and 10% ToHit for all allies in range for 30 seconds. It recharges in six minutes, unfortunately. Duplicity (Rogue) PBAoE, Foe Confuse, -Damage You trick nearby enemies causing weaker enemies like minions to become confused for a short time. Affected foes will also have their Damage output decreased. It basically confuses minions for about ten seconds unless other confuse powers are stacked, like World of Confusion. It'll also toss out a small, 10% damage debuff on everyone you hit, confused or not, for fifteen seconds, which stacks with Enervating Field. It recharges in three minutes. Fear Incarnate (Vigilante) PBAoE, Foe Terrorize, -To Hit You strike fear into the hearts of the guilty causing all nearby foes to tremble in fear for a short time. Fear Incarnate will only affect Minion and Underling class enemies. Affected foes will also have their To Hit chance reduced. Near identical to Duplicity. Replace confuse with fear and damage debuff with to-hit debuff (stacks with Radiation Infection). Frenzy (Villain) Self +Recharge, +Special You drive yourself into a blind rage to strike down your foes! Upon activating this power you will increase your recharge rate. All Hero Archetypes, Masterminds, Corruptors and Soldiers of Arachnos will receive a high damage increase, Dominators will have their Domination bar filled, Brutes will have their Rage bar filled and Stalkers will be put into a hidden state and receive a minor damage buff. More of a personal buff than Call to Justice. It recharges in six minutes, but instead boosts your own damage by 60% and gives you 30% recharge. It also lasts a little shorter, only 20 seconds. -------------------------------------------- Anchor Debuff Mechanics -------------------------------------------- For those new to them, Anchor Debuffs can be tricky and confusing. In short, an anchor toggle is a toggle that centers its effects on somebody that isn't you. Dark Miasma has Darkest Night, Sonic Resonance has Disruption Field and Sonic Repulsion, and Radiation Emission, our power set, has Radiation Infection and Enervating Field. Like Dark Miasma, our two toggles are centered on the enemies. So, therefore, they are regarded as offensive toggles and will shut off if you're hit with a hold, sleep, or stun. Additionally, they do generate aggro, especially if you slip damage procs into Radiation Infection. This means two things: first, if nobody has started attacking, you'll draw the alpha strike. Second, if your anchor runs off into another mob, you'll aggro that mob. If your anchor peels off and can't be stopped, turn off your toggles lest he bring half the map back with him. The nice thing about Radiation Infection is it's slow and you can move half-way through the animation. The slowness is a pain in PvP, but in PvE you can use this in three ways. First, you can stop mid-cast if nobody moves to attack, preventing any aggro. Second, it can be used as a way to tell a group to attack so that someone else has aggro by the time it's finished. And finally, you can use it to corner pull by dropping it and hiding before the effects land. Because of this, you always* want to start with Radiation Infection. Once it's on, go ahead and drop Enervating Field and Lingering Radiation. You should always apply these three debuffs every fight. Who do your target though? Typically, it'll be the toughest guy in the group. Aka the Lt, Boss, EB, or AV. However, if they drop too fast, then targeting the second one in a group (if applicable) or the next strongest may be better. If your anchor dies, usually you'll need to reapply debuffs as quickly as possible, but close to the end of a fight it may just be better to blast. If your teammates accidentally kill your anchor, don't whine and scream about it. It just causes unneeded drama. If you really need to, you can set up a bind or macro that announces your debuff target. Something like... /bind g say "Anchoring debuffs on $target, please save it for last." You can also use color customization to make the anchor a nice, visible color and ask teammates not to kill the guy who's glowing white, red, or whatever... though in my experience half the people I team with don't listen anyway. *Note that in some situations EF will be the more important of the two anchors with RI being used if you have the chance or not at all. RI has more commonly resistance debuffs by the con system and stronger opponents, like GMs. EF, less so. RI also takes MUCH longer and adds little to a high survivability team, so on steam-rolling speed teams you may be better off using EF exclusively. -------------------------------------------- Rad/Sonic Variants -------------------------------------------- Like other ATs, Defenders are very flexible in how they can be built. Of course, that's not even taking into consideration that each primary plays drastically different from ever other primary. There's multiple ways to build a Rad/Sonic that will all play quite different from each other. While I'd like to say each is equally effective, that's not true, if just because one of them is more of a challenge build than the others. Also note, I haven't played all of these nor have I seen all of these. Some are ideas that hit me while I was writing, so I cannot say they all work. Most should though. Also, these should all be considered to be extremes. Many players' Rad/Sonics are at least partially mixed of all the below. Pure Support - A Rad/Sonic focusing entirely on team support rather than personal power. Their slots are likely to be focused on their debuffs. While they will take attacks, accuracy, recharge, and endurance reductions are the focus as they want them for debuffing resistance and/or utility, not personal damage. They are very likely to have the Leadership pool for additional team buffing, they might take Stimulant to make up for a lack of a Clear Mind equivalent, and odds are they'll have at least Recall Friend from Teleportation for bringing dead allies, especially if they've taken Vengeance and/or Fallout. Most likely to have Power or Soul for Power Build Up or Power Boost to boost Accelerate Metabolism, not to mention likely to aim for Perma-AM and Hasten if they invest lots of inf into the build. They may alternatively take Darkness for Soul Transfer so they can at least get back on their feet to help everyone in case of a wipe or Mace Mastery for a mixture of control and debuff. Offender - A Rad/Sonic focusing on putting out as much damage as they can. Heavy slotting will go into debuffs to make them as effective as possible so everyone's damage is buffed. Attacks are often taken and slotted for damage and as many slots as can be spared are given to them. This type of Defender is the most likely to take their nuke attack and will likely have PBU or Soul Drain handy to make that nuke even stronger, though they may rarely dip into Electric for Thunderstrike and Power Sink instead. Because most Rad/ team support powers also directly benefit the user, an Offender is likely to have taken and slotted them, which means that they often can provide a lot of help to the team as well, though they're unlikely to have taken many pool powers in consideration of the team. Solo - A Rad/Sonic built for taking things alone. Mutate and Fallout will be ignored and, as Rad/Sonic excels against fewer, harder targets as opposed to many, squishier ones, they are also likely to skip EM Pulse, Howl, Shockwave, and Dreadful Wail. Siren's Song may or may not be taken for safety purposes. The APP taken will likely depend on the player's preferences, though, as always, Power is popular. Power Pools will often be chosen to increase survivability, which means Fighting for Tough and Flight for Hover to kite with are usually chosen. Some Solo Defenders are heavily slotted and spent on in order to make them strong enough to take on Arch-Villians and Giant Monsters alone (a very expensive and specific build). Other solo Defenders may delve into PvP, though they are rare and their builds are typically much more specialized than a normal solo Defender (ignoring the AV/GM soloists). Deftroller - A Rad/Sonic focusing on controlling the enemies. Will likely pick up Choking Cloud, EM Pulse, Shockwave, Siren's Song, and/or Screech and have them slotted for mez effects. They're likely to dive into Psychic mastery for it's plethora of mez powers, but may also take Electricity or any of the Patron pools for their mez capabilities with additional variety. Will likely slot procs into mezzes for more effectiveness, like the Lockdown Chance for +2 Hold. The rest of the power choices may either go towards team support, offense, or a combination of the two. At present, this build is only theoretical as I've yet to see one. Though, I intrigued myself on it and will probably give it a whirl with our new third builds. Defanker - A theoretical Rad/Sonic who focuses on tanking for the team. Will have dropped into Presence for a taunt and will utilize debuffs as pseudo-defense toggles. Very likely to have all their AoE powers to help keep aggro on themselves and will likely stick damage procs in Radiation Infection and Choking Cloud to help build and maintain it. While not as effective as a real tank, they do have the bonus of directly supporting the team. To make up for their squishiness, they'll dip into Fighting for Tough and maybe even Weave and, if they IO slot, will likely aim for defense bonuses. They may also get Concealment pool and take alpha strikes with Phase Shift. As this is a theoretical build, not sure which APP would be best suited for them, but they will have an APP resist toggle regardless. Scrapfender - Rarely seen in the wild, a Scrapfender is a Defender who focuses on melee attacks. Since they get no natural melee attacks until level 41, they must take them from pool powers and therefore are considered to be a "challenge build", as they are harder to play. Since they are intentionally gimped, most Scrapfenders build for solo play, though some team with friends, and will take power picks accordingly. They use debuffs as ghetto-defense toggles and may take powers from the secondary for utility, such as Siren's Song, though some purists may ignore the secondary completely past level 6. They often take Air Superiority, as it's widely regarded to be the best PP attack, and will also throw in other PP melee attacks depending on which pools they take. Expect to see Boxing or Kick if they go for Tough, Jump Kick if they go for Acrobatics, and Flurry if they want Superspeed/Hasten. Will likely dive into Electric Mastery for Thunderstrike, though Power Mastery for Total Focus is also a possibility. Some may also dip into Darkness for Soul Drain and Oppressive Gloom. Most Scrapfenders will use their second build for a more standard build so they can team freely without PUGs kicking them for mistaking their unorthodox builds as n00bs. Notice how I didn't list a "standard" build? That's right! There isn't one! Of course, this list isn't comprehensive, so I may have missed some. Let me know if I did. While I'm at it though, here's some bad variations! No offense to anyone, this is really more of a snarky, sarcastic section that I use to poke fun at builds who's choices I strongly disagree with. Debuffless Defender - No RI, EF, or LR. Often no Fallout or EM Pulse either. The ones who play these builds usually claim the powers are useless because of the damage they cause by scattering mobs or drawing aggro. This type of Defender excels at confusing me to no end where they got these ideas from. I suppose it can be done but, really, if you're going to skip those powers, you're gutting Rad. And if you're going to do that, why not just use a different primary that fits your play style better? Attackless Defender - Exactly how it sounds. No attacks. It's like a Scrapper without armor toggles, a Tank without attacks, a Controller without their secondary, a Blaster without... well... more damage, a... well, you get the picture. It's half the AT that's being axed! If you don't care about personal damage, at least use the attacks for their debuffing qualities! This isn't like other MMOs where those debuffs hardly do anything, they make a big difference here! Blastfender - The other extreme from the Attackless Defender. Like an Offender, they focus on personal damage. Unlike an Offender, they don't support the team and they'll ignore most, if not all, of their primary so they can be a "Blaster with a heal". Most likely to be playing Dark Blast since Blasters don't have it, but may also run Radiation and Psychic Blast since those are markedly different from the Blaster versions. All you Blastfenders out there, please just become Offenders. That way, you can still Blast all you want while still supporting the team. You'll get to play the way you want and your team will also love you instead of loathe your presence! It's a win/win situation! ...besides, those Rad toggles you're neglecting seriously boosts your offense AND supports the team at the same time... Healbot - Almost always an Empath, but occasionally a Rad flavor comes up. Often just spams Radiant Aura on auto, even if nobody needs it, even if you're waiting outside the mission for the rest of the team where that sound is played EVERY TWO SECONDS AND BECOMES EXTREMELY ANNOYING! Usually throws AM too and will often take the FULL Medicine pool for MOAR HEALS! Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on heals (Empathy and Pain Domination are excellent sets when played well), I'm just expressing general annoyance at those who are neglecting 15 powers from their combined primary and secondary! Also, I need to go club that dead horse. So if you'll excuse me... Ranter - A Defender who rants about the other play styles of Defenders he strongly disagrees with. Often will have very good reasons why they take this position, but they can still get on everyone's nerves if they rant too much, even the nerves of those who share the same opinions. They might try to slip their rant into an otherwise useful guide they're writing, perhaps under a section such as, oh... I don't know... Rad/Sonic Variants? Most Ranters have the issue of attacking rather than trying to help players they disagree with, though not all. If you're a ranter, please just chill. Try to help players but, if they're not going to budge, don't make a big deal about it unless their actions are getting you and/or your team killed repeatedly. Big arguments solve nothing, especially on the net. By the way, why does this entry seem so familiar...? Ok, in all seriousness, not trying to attack anyone with the "bad variations", just throwing out some advice in a more snarky, sarcastic fashion. If you don't want it... well, it's your $15/month. Go, run wild. -------------------------------------------- PvP -------------------------------------------- PvP is a tricky notion for a Rad/Sonic Defender. In the current iteration of PvP, Defenders are considered to be one of the weaker ATs and most serious PvPers will suggest rolling a Corruptor for their higher damage and Scourge. In some instances, I agree with them. However, in the case of a Rad/Sonic, I think they're down playing the Defender's buff/debuff modifiers, which are higher than every other archetype in the game. This WILL translate into PvP combat, even with Diminishing Returns. Though Corruptors have access to what was once the Defender's big advantage, the APPs, Defenders now have easy access to the Corruptor's big advantage: Hibernate. Or, with inherent Fitness, Phase Shift. So, the playing field between the two ATs is far more level these days. Some power combinations are superior for the Defender, whereas others would be superior for the Corruptor. Don't even start to ask me which set combos should go with which AT. I don't know as I've hardly played everything in PvE, let alone PvP. But, in a Rad/Sonic vs. Sonic/Rad, I'd vote for the Rad/Sonic. The strongest stacking -resistance as well as the stronger debuffs and heals from Radiation, as well as new Vigilance, should negate the Corruptor's advantage of higher base damage, higher damage cap, and Scourge. A Rad/Sonic in PvP is an interesting creature. Sometimes they are glass cannons, killing or getting killed quickly. Other times they are quite resilient and can last for a long time in fight. Consequently, the rule "if you can't kill your target in 30 seconds, you can't kill him period" doesn't entirely apply here. I've had fights last for several minutes before that were all about attrition. And no, neither of us could have just ran away, as staying alive required us both to keep pressuring the other guy so they couldn't unload everything at once. I've had fights I've won because the other guy decided the fight wasn't fast enough and took off, making him defenseless. And I've had the same happen to me. And I've had it reverse with one of us getting greedy in trying to unload and burst down the other but ultimately losing because of that. For a PvP build, you'll want to build as if you were going to solo individual groups of foes. So, Mutation, Fallout, EM Pulse, Howl, Shockwave, Dreadful Wail, and, to a lesser extent, Siren's Song are all highly skippable. The first two require a dead ally. People will just hit the hospital in a zone or auto-respawn in the arena and, with everyone's high speeds, Fallout isn't hitting anything. EM Pulse causes a recovery crash, which you REALLY DO NOT WANT. Same with Dreadful Wail. Howl is a cone and therefore does nerfed damage in PvP. Same with Shockwave. Siren's can be used as a shorter ranged, longer recharge back-up Mez or for muleing a purple set, but Screech is better. In brief for APPs and PPPs... Power: PBU, CP, Total Focus, and Temporary Invulnerability are all good. You'll want the resist toggle no matter which APP you get. Power Build Up is extremely strategic and Conserve Power will let you combat recovery debuffs and otherwise outlast foes in wars of endurance attrition. Force of Nature is only useful if you don't run resist toggles or if you only arena PvP with Diminishing Returns turned off. And finally, Total Focus just hits really hard and stuns to boot! After resistance debuffing, it can take off over half of some AT's health in a single shot! Psychic: Dominate, Mind Overy Body, and Telekinesis. A ranged hold with decent damage can be handy, and hardly anyone has Repel resistance. World of Confusion, like Choking Cloud, is kind of useless due to the fact you'll try to avoid melee entirely with this APP. Mass Hypnosis can be handy for a third detoggling mez, superior to Siren's in this regard, but that's it. Electric: Electric Fence, Shocking Bolt, Charged Armor, and Power Sink are all good. Fence can momentarily stop runners and people jumping around. Shocking Bolt is useful like Dominate. Power Sink is an auto-hit sapping attack, great for people who get into melee. Thunderstrike may do nerfed damage in PvP due to being an AoE. But, since it's main damage component is single target, maybe not. Either way, Total Focus is still stronger. Darkness: Dark Embrace is handy. Like World of Confusion and Choking Cloud, Oppressive Gloom isn't very handy. Soul Drain looses it's awesome with only one target (great for MMs though). Soul Transfer has no value and Dark Consumption might miss and saps less. Leviathan: Hibernate. Grab it and you can skip the Concealment pool for Phase Shift. Leviathan also packs an immobilize for stopping runners and a hold for disruption and grounding fliers. The resistance shield is always handy, but the pet is questionable, mostly because it'll have trouble keeping up with enemy players. Mace: Mostly for the defense shield, immobilize, and hold. Focused Accuracy helps with Stalkers (especially with the unique IO and Tactics) and anyone else stealthed. The pet is, again, questionable. The mezzes can ground enemy fliers and also debuff, which is handy. A defense shield is arguably less useful in PvP since many people have lots of accuracy and to-hit, though it works nicely with Radiation Infection. Mu: Power Sink is handy for sapping, it also has the hold and resistance shield. Conserve Power is good when you're getting sapped, but the pet is, again, debatable. Soul: Power Boost is very nice and can be used more frequently for stronger Screeches, heals, AMs, etc. Soul Drain is kind of sucky though, worse than Darkness for PvP due to recharge. Soul Storm is a nice hold and the "get-up" animation will keep an enemy still a little longer. There's also the resistance shield. The pet is strong and will hurt anyone who gets close to it, but it won't be keeping up either. For Power Pools, you pretty much have to get Leaping for Super Jump and Acrobatics. Speed is another big one for Hasten and also combining Super Speed with Super Jump for speedjumping, the most efficient PvP travel power. Trust me, you want mobility. Concealment for Phase Shift if you don't go Leviathan for Hibernate. You can also use Invisibility combined with a stealth IO for remaining unseen at distances and helping you escape while Phase Shifted, but don't expect to remain totally unseen. The last pool (or two) are more up to you. Leadership for Assault and Tactics is a big recommendation, mainly the latter for perception and more luck hitting defense builds. Fightingfor Tough is another option (like the APP toggles, it's a resist all in PvP), though DR will kind of hurt it if you get an APP toggle too. Great with Mace Mastery, however. The other pools, except Medicine, have some toys that'll help you to some extent or another. But, I personally recommend Leaping, Speed, Concealment, and Leadership. Throw Power in there as the APP and you have my Defender's PvP picks. Do you need IOs? Yes, big time! Do you need super expensive IOs? So far, experience says no. I got most of my Defender's IOs for around 50 million influence, which excludes slotting my heal with Numina and Miracle sets, getting expensive uniques for Health, the Stealth proc, and a LoTG +Recharge. 50 million for most of a PvP build is CHEAP! And I could have gotten away with not much more if I didn't grab the big shinies. It doesn't have purples and PvP IOs, but, according to Mid's, slotting those doesn't make that big of an improvement for my build, especially for the massive increase in cost. This was in I15, so your prices will differ greatly from what I got at the time. Can you get by with SOs? Kind of, but the difference between SOs and IO sets is massive. I tested it! Not only did my Defender see a huge boost in performance, but I took my Broadsword/Super Reflexes Scrapper and compared a heavily IOed PvE build against a SO-only PvP build versus my friend's heavily IOed, support-built Empathy/Dark Blast Defender. She killed the PvP build twice in a ten minute match and took zero deaths herself. The IOed PvE build was barely scratched by her and if he had any vertical travel powers (or heck, ANY travel power), he would have killed her repeatedly. Yeah, the differences are that big and, frankly, it bothers me that IOs mean more than power picks or skill right now. On the bright side, a decent set of IOs is cheap for a Rad/Sonic, especially since many of yours are not heavily used, like slow and to-hit debuff sets (FYI, slot Rad Infection for -to hit, not defense debuff!) What to slot for? +HP, +Damage, and +Recharge, maybe in that order. What about the Alpha slot? It's still handy and still unaffected by ED. However, it is effected by Diminishing Returns. Consequently, the Alpha slot does little to change the PvP landscape, at least so far. We'll see when Rare and Very Rare boosts emerge. But still, grab one if you can, it'll still help some. Alignment powers? They work even in the arena. Frenzy is probably the strongest, followed by Call to Justice. But, on six minute recharge timers, they won't have that big of an impact. How you use your debuffs will depend on the situation and whatever you're acting as damage, support, or disruption. If you're aiming for damage, you'll typically want to keep them on your target to maximize your damage, especially in a duel. Though, in some cases, you won't have time to debuff them, such as trying to kill a player in a points match who's lower on life and under fire by others. As support or disruption, you'll be playing on a team, so you'll either be putting it on the current target or on someone causing issues for the team. In all instances, you may also need to put them on players attacking you to reduce incoming damage so you can focus on attacking, disrupting, or supporting someone else. Note that, if you're playing in the arena with Heal Decay off, a well- played Rad/Sonic can be very hard to kill without an enemy team timing a big spike. Especially if Travel Suppression is off, No Diminishing Returns are on, and the Defender in question has Phase Shift or Hibernate. Now, I can't tell you how to handle every situation or player. It's never the same and you'll just have to learn and adapt. Be flexible. However, I can give pointers about each AT and some generalizations about their powersets. But first, the ATs that kill us, in order for hardest to easiest: Dominator > Blaster > Controller > Mastermind. I'll explain why below. Though, it never hurts to expect the opponent to have either Hibernate or Phase Shift, especially now inherent fitness frees up more options. And when I say x may be the y most common, this is just based purely on my perception. I PvP on Protector and I don't play on the competitive Test ladders, so my experience may differ very much than yours. Blaster Blasters are one of a Rad/Sonic's biggest nemesis. They deal lots of damage from range and melee plus many of their powers buff their damage even more. Even if you get a jump on a Blaster, you'll loose a lot of life before your debuffs are finally placed. And if you don't debuff, any half-decent Blaster will kill you first. Winning against a good Blaster is a really big uphill battle. It's possible, but really don't count on it. Most Blasters have a stun or other mez in their primary and may carry ranged or melee mezzes in their secondary. Fire, Energy, and Sonic seem like popular picks as far as I can see, but others are out there too, particularly Psychic Blast and it's sleep attack that can take a placate proc (very annoying!) Most choose Energy Manip as the secondary for Boost Range. This is largely why most Blasters are so deadly: Aim + Build Up + Boost Range = most of your HP gone before you can even get in range to fire back. A lot of Blasters seem to go with Ice for their APP, which has Hibernate. Basically, you have to kill those Blasters twice to beat them. Make sure to anchor them and heal up while they're hibernating. If the Blaster is a serious PvPer and doesn't mind FOTM builds, expect a Psi/EM/Ice Blaster. Those are one of the strongest powerset combos in PvP when player properly, though it's pretty expensive to get them there. Controller They don't do a lot of damage, but they'll often keep you detoggled. They're beatable, but it can be rough. Or easy if their power picks are bad. Don't expect to be able to maintain your debuffs long, but try to land them anyway. If you can get them on, it makes them much more vulnerable. A Controller will typically beat you out via attrition. You, however, have the option of bursting them to death. Typically, you may want to save your damage buffs until later in the fight so you can knockdown the second half of their HP before they figure out what you just owned them with. Basically, all primaries will lock you down pretty heavily... except Illusion. It has a ranged mez, but just a couple and instead mostly relies on stealth and easily avoidable pets. Illusion/Empathy Controllers are pretty easy to kill, unlike the rest of their 'trolling kin. Their secondaries are quite varied, but not as powerful as your own. Detoggle offensive togglers (Storm, Rad, etc.) and watch out for their very varied tricks. On APPs, like Blasters, Controllers can grab Hibernate from the ice-based pool, so expect it. Be aware that Controllers are a big pick for Disruption builds, such as Earth/TA, Elec/Kin, etc. Disruption is, from what I've seen, comparatively rare to anything else, but they can be a pain. Defender Considering that they're one of the "gimped" ATs for PvP right now, your fellow Defenders will be a very rare sight in battle. Most of the would-be PvP Defenders all went and rolled Corruptors. And, in some cases, that probably was the better idea. However, any Defenders you meet that have any real amount of PvP skill won't just be decent, they're likely to be very good. Why? You don't go and intentionally PvP with the underdog unless you really know what you're doing. Any other Defenders you meet, however, will likely be easy kills... especially if they're PvE support-built and just happened to wander into PvP. Though a good PvP Support Defender can be very hard to kill, though they won't hurt you much. Defender primaries are quite varied and quite strong. Some are easy to handle, such as Empathy and Trick Arrow, while others are quite strong and may require specific approaches to handle. For example, you'll probably have to stay at range at all costs against a Storm Summoner or Traps Defender. Defenders also share a lot of the blast powers with Blasters. Psy, Sonic, Rad, and Energy are the big ones, but keep an eye out for others and their significant debuffs. As already said, most Defenders will probably be packing Power Mastery, but watch for Psychic Mastery and its plethora of mezzes and Telekinesis as well as Leviathan Mastery with its Hibernate! Scrapper It's generally stated that, in PvP, range is king, figuratively speaking. If you can hit someone from far enough that they can't retaliate, they can't hurt you. CoH has taken steps to mitigate the range vs. melee disparity and while Scrappers aren't the toughest customer for you to face (generally speaking, some can still be quite nasty), they won't roll over and die when you meet them. Scrappers hit hard and can take a beating. And an unlucky critical strike can ruin your day in an instant. Also, all Scrappers can take Confront. Most don't seem to though, and I'm not sure why. Confront is a fast-recharging taunt with an auto-hitting, stackable range component. It's really, really annoying when it gets spammed on you, since you'll have to get close to attack the Scrapper, which is right where they want you. Several Scrapper powersets have some mez component in at least one attack, such as Martial Arts and Electric Melee while Claws and Spines come with built-in ranged attacks (occasionally you'll see the very rare Scraster, the otherside of the Blaster/Scrapper hybrid). Most, however, just hit you pretty hard. Scrapper secondaries are protective sets with varying levels of difficulty. Willpower, for example, is easy to kill. Fiery Aura, on the other hand, is quite resilient. If they run an offensive toggle (Electric Field, Quills, Against All Odds, etc), be sure to detoggle it. APP selection seems to be varied, but all ensure they have a ranged attack. Watch for Weapon Mastery and its Web Grenade as well as the holds from Dark and Pyre Mastery. Most seem to use Body, however, which is the least threatening for you. Oh, and if they're a Regeneration Scrapper, you will have to keep the pressure on at all times to kill them! While they can go down pretty quickly with sustained damage, if they get away from you they'll be back to full quite quickly. Tanker I consider them a bit tougher than Scrappers to deal with, simply because they can take a MUCH bigger beating. Sure, they deal less damage and can't crit, but that damage is far from negligible and they'll often Taunt you on hit, which is rather annoying in like, say, an Arena FFA and you were trying to finish off that Blaster. They share many, many powers with Scrappers, just with different mods. Most Tanker primaries are Scrapper secondaries, just better. Ice Armor Tanks will no doubt use Hibernate, which may make them not worth bothering with since they can take so many hits to get them that low to begin with. Stome Armor Tanks running Granite will be a joke. Sure, you can't kill them, but they'll tickle you if they miraculously get close enough. Occasionally they'll run the rest of the armors instead. Tankers are more annoying with their attack selection. Energy Melee and Super Strength are the popular PvP ones, and those carry lots of mezzes, and a lot of the other sets Tanks have but Scrappers don't carry some mez too. For APPs, it's the same deal as Scrappers... literally! PPPs though, they use the Brute versions, with a few differences. This means that Tankers now can debuff you with Darknest Night. Make sure to detoggle it with a well placed Screech. Peacebringer A very rare sight and usually a joke, but properly built Peacebringers can be quite strong. Potentially can have mezzes, self-heals, lots of damage from very long range, resistance toggles, flight on top of speed-jumping, phase shifting, and more! Good PBs will leverage their forms to make them selves extremely hard to kill while hitting you hard at all ranges (and from farther range than you too!) Your best bet is to hang onto your damage boosts, whittle down their life to 2/3rds or whatever lowest amount they seem comfortable with using Nova form in without dropping to heal, and then burst the rest at once before they can recover. If things get bad, you can outrun Nova and Dwarf form to recover, potentially forcing them into human form to pursue where you'll probably have a bit more of an advantage since they'll have to spend several seconds to transform again, which you can just run away from and make them waste their time. Warshade Widely considered to be the worst PvP AT since all of their really good powers requires enemies to be around, sometimes alive, sometimes dead. In the arena, this means they'll be really easy to handle. In a zone, if they hit Eclipse and both Mires in the middle of a mob, you can simply run away from the near-invincible Nova form until the buffs wear off. They have about the same versatility as a Peacebringer, but are less self-sufficient without mobs to power themselves. Some can put up a good fight, but most don't. Brute Brutes are more or less somewhere in between Scrappers and Tankers in terms of damage and toughness. However, in PvP they really can't leverage Fury well (if you can find one trying to build it off a mob, please assist the mob and laugh). In my opinion, they'd be the weakest melee AT overall if it weren't for the options available to them that are quite popular. But they can still be dealt with similarly as you do Tanks and Scrappers. Brutes carry most of the same powersets as Tankers. And, like Tankers, in PvP they really love Super Strength and Energy Melee. If they went and used the less mez-happy sets, they wouldn't be such a problem. They also carry most of the same secondaries, but notably swap Energy Aura for Ice Armor. While Energy Aura isn't very powerful, it can stealth and, if you get caught in Energy Drain, sap you really badly! Between Energy Drain and Conserve Power, they'll win a war of attrition. Brute Patron Power Pools all carry ranged attacks and pets. Outside of immobilizations, they don't have any ranged mezzes. However, Soul Mastery does have Darkest Night, the debuff anchor from Dark Miasma. Be sure to detoggle it! Also, APPs, they are near identical to Tankers. Corruptor Our mirror image. Corruptors are like us, except with higher damage, Scourge, and Fire Blast/Thermal Radiation. Luckily, I17 narrowed the damage gap quite nicely with the Vigilance buff, so long as you stay off of teams and GR closed the Hibernate gap by letting us access PPPs, all the while leaving us with superior buff/debuffs/heals. While in the past many would-be PvP Defenders went to the darkside, some may be rethinking that choice. They still have Scourge though, which can be nasty. But, if you're at the point where Scourge triggers consistently, you not only probably already lost, but also would have if they were a different AT. Corruptors switch our primary and secondary around and share many of our powersets. They get Fire Blast over Psychic Blast. While damaging, that's not a difference I'd complain about since Fire lacks any mezzes. In secondaries, Pain Domination is a fair bit better in PvP than Empathy, but not by a huge amount. They also get Thermal Radiation over Force Fields, which isn't too hard if they don't leverage Melt Armor and Heat Exhaustion well, but can be horribly sapping if they keep spamming Heat Exhaustion on you. Corruptors share our APPs/PPPs down to the T. What we can do with them, so can they. That means PBU, Hibernate, mass mez from Psychic Mastery, and more can be now found in their arsenal. This makes them a bit more potentially dangerous as an AT on the whole, but they still are not too bad. Dominator If there's any one AT you must watch for, it's the Dominator. They combine tons of mez ability with damage not far below a Blasters. Result? Any decent Dominator will lock you down, keep you detoggled, and blast through your health quite quickly. Sure, they can be squishy and easy to kill, but when they can stop our most important powers and out damage us by a large margin? ...yeah, this is our counter AT. And let's not even begin to talk about those running perma-Domination... although, knocking them out of perma-dom mode with Lingering Radiation is always funny.
Dominators share all of their primaries with Controllers, though they lack Illusion. And, as with Controllers, all you really need to know about those sets is they have lots of ways to detoggle you. Their secondaries consist of a mixture of ranged and melee attacks, making them effective at all ranges. Note that some carry Power Boost while others carry Build Up and most carry a mez in some fashion. The popular ones seem to be Fire, Energy, Psionic, and, to a lesser extent, Electricity. Their PPs contain armor toggles, more attacks, more mezzes, and more pets! Most will probably grab Leviathan for Hibernate, however, which makes what's already a huge pain to fight even worse. Some might opt for Mace Mastery for Personal Force Field, which while let's them still get attacked and doesn't heal them, it can be used pretty much whenever and let's them stay mobile. Ice Mastery may be a new pick for some, which lets them throw out Sleet and also still Hibernate. They can also start tossing a decent buff with Link Minds from Psi Mastery. Mastermind Don't see too many of them PvPing, and the ones I do are mostly Bots/Traps. They're tricky to fight if they leverage Body Guard mode well, as they can take a huge, huge beating. If they Body Guard, focus on killing the minions. Kill the Tier 3 guy, one of the Tier 2s, and two of the Tier 1s. This will make them spend lots of endurance resummoning and rebuffing as well as annoy them that they have to replace incomplete sets of minions. Keep it up until they can't replace what you killed, and then go for the kill. Alternatively, if they don't use BG well, then just murder them straight up. Primaries are all pet related and have a few attacks. Bots are the most popular with Thugs not far behind, though they're all basically handled the same. The secondaries are buff/debuff sets, but far, far weaker than your own. However, some that normally aren't too threatening, like Pain Domination, become a much, much bigger problem when pets are thrown in. Traps, however, is the most popular. Most MMs will park, set down a ton of traps, and then try to teleport you. If they do this, just stay away and make them move from their camp if they want to kill you. MM A/PPPs consist largely of ranged attacks, melee attacks, defensive toggles, and mezzes. Don't ever really see them using their A/PPPs beyond the armor, however... Stalker The stealthy class that, until you figure out how to handle them, will make you RRRAAAAAAGGGGEEEE! If they stack Hide, Stealth, and a Stealth IO, you can't see them. Remove one and you'll have to be in melee range to see them if you have Tactics. Go with Hide alone, which only bad Stalkers do in PvP, Tactics lets you always see them. Stalkers can make critical strikes randomly and when coming out of Hide, but most notably, Assassins Strike from Hide. To avoid Assassins Strike, keep moving. The Stalker may either not bother you (be wary about stopping to type to them) or may use a A/PPP ranged attack However, they almost always choose when they fight and almost always get the first attack. Also, watch for Placate. It'll open you up for another Assassin's Strike and prevent you from targeting them. But if you take even one point of damage from them, Placate will break (hilarious if they hit you with a DoT and Placate you before it goes away). Additionally, if you fight a Stalker, expect to start that fight with half your HP gone. And finally, if a Stalker doesn't attack or take damage for eight seconds, he'll go back into Hide. Primaries match Scrapper Primaries more or less, just altered with less AoE and more Assassin's Strike (though they have Energy Melee and like to use it). Secondaries are in a similar boat, with a power swapped with Hide, Willpower being... well... different, and Shields being switched for Ninjitsu. That secondary is similar to Super Reflexes, except makes some trades for a heal, another placate, and a blind/confuse power. A/PPPs are similar to the Scrappers: ranged attacks and mezzes, but also adds pets. Though Leviathan Mastery, AGAIN, gives them Hibernate. Arachnos Soldier The first of the Villian Epic ATs, Since the Soldier and Widow branch, I'll talk about each path separately due to play style differences. But, overall Soldiers are fairly rare and far less common than Widows in PvP. Soldiers and Widows use Brute PPPs and do not have APPs. Some Soldiers may go on the "Wolf Spider" path, which is basically sticking to the gun. These are not too much of an issue, as they only have a few ranged attacks, a debuff, and an immobilize (though they may pick up Bane or Crab powers). They do have various buffed Leadership powers and can summon pets, however. Overall, these are probably ridiculously easy to handle. Never seen one PvP. Crabs are fairly AoE and ranged focused and have Aim. They can fire at a distance with -defense and have a couple of debuffs and melee attacks, as well as accesses to the Wolf Spider's abilities. As a Crab, they get an additional resistance toggle, a big self-heal, and more pets. Crabs are somewhat dangerous in PvP, but nothing too scary. Bane Spiders are sort of like Stalkers in that they get a weaker version of Hide (even stacked, you should be able to see them at some range with Tactics) and can deliver a weaker Executioner's Strike from hide. They carry a mace that can shoot lasers, smack you in melee with knockdowns, and Placate you. They also have a couple of debuffs and a ranged hold. Banes are the toughest PvP Soldiers I've seen so far, but they kind of feel like gimped Stalkers, so they're not too threatening as long as you stay on your toes. Arachnos Widow At one point when Elusivity was introduced, Widows were extremely common and hard to kill. Elusivity has since been nerfed and PvP Widow population has seriously declined. Even still, they can hit hard and be difficult to hit. Both career tracks should be considered a threat when encountered. The starter track, which I see nobody stick to, is the basic Widow. I personally call it the "Blood Widow", but I don't see that term being used. I assume it's because nobody levels to 50 as a "Blood Widow". However, they, and the two real career tracks, have access to melee attacks and ranged attacks with -recharge and -speed. They also have Confront in all of its annoying glory... but I never seem them use it. They have some leadership powers like Soldiers and also some mez resistance. A basic Widow probably wouldn't be too hard, they'd just be Night Widows without the nastier stuff. Night Widows, like Bane Spiders, are sort of like mini-Stalkers. They can hide and do critical strikes out of it. They mostly use melee attacks from the Widow path, but also carry Smoke Grenade and a couple of psychic blasts. They also can hide, placate, get quite a bit of defense, and even pop Elude from Super Reflexes. Night Widows are tough, can hit you at all ranges, and hit hard in melee. Treat them more like a Stalker and you should be fine. Fortunatas are the ones to worry about. Psychic blasts and some mezzes from range, backed up by Aim to hit through your RI, make them extremely difficult. They can also pack melee attacks from the basic Widow if they so wished, they can also pop a weaker Hide and land criticals when attacking from it. Of all the epic ATs, Fortunatas will probably be the most difficult to deal with, as they're sort of like Stalkinators (or Domkers, but that sounds dumb). -------------------------------------------- Frequently Asked Question -------------------------------------------- Now that the guide is published so somebody who isn't me who can read it, ask away! -------------------------------------------- Credits -------------------------------------------- Garent and Rigel_Kent on the official City of Heroes forum, tossing out some overlooked or forgotten advice and aspects on some of the powers, such as range-slotting cones. Completely forgot about that! -------------------------------------------- Contact Info -------------------------------------------- Questions? Comments? Did I have incorrect information on something? Email me at TwilightPhoenix@gmail.com. Make sure to have something like "BS/SR Scrapper Guide" as the subject. Also, no attachments unless I am expecting one from you. Finally, hate mail will be ignored, deleted, and blocked. Also, let me know where you found the guide, especially if you are not on GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com). -------------------------------------------- Copyright Info -------------------------------------------- This guide is copyrighted and therefore subject to international copyright laws. GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com) are permitted to have it viewable as they do any other guide. Anyone else is not permitted to distribute it or use it on their website. If you wish to use it, contact me and we'll discuss. Please note that I will not let you use the current version, since I'll have to update this little section. All rights not explicitly permitted in this section are reserved. -------------------------------------------- Version History -------------------------------------------- 1.0 - Initial release for I17 1.1 - Updated for I19 release. Includes some corrections, minor additions, a few adjustments to the PvP section, and discusses Patron Pools, the Alpha slot, and alignment powers. The Rad/Sonic power sets have not been buffed or nerfed since I17.