Defender Debuff Analysis
This is some analysis I did to compare most Defender Debuff powersets across many debuff categories. I looked at:
Powersets: Trick Arrow, Cold Domination, Dark Miasma, Poison, Radiation Emmission, Storm Summoning, and Traps.
Debuffs (Single Target and AoE): To-Hit, Defense, Resistance, Damage, Regeneration, Recharge
The analysis was done using Debuff per Cycle, which looks at the average amount of debuff you get over time for all your powers when you factor in total recharge and enhancements. The recharge I used for this test was +275% (Perma-Hasten recharge levels), and the Enhancements I assumed were 90% or 54% depending on whether it uses Schedule A or Schedule B, respectively (this only applied to Defense Debuffs and To-Hit Debuffs). To get a good spread of situations, I looked at +0 targets and +4 targets to assess purple patch effects, and I looked at generic targets (no damage nor debuff resistance) and AVs (10% damage resistance, and 85-87% debuff resistance).
The bottom-line upfront, Trick Arrow is arguably the best all-around debuff powerset. It's not the best at any one thing, but it is at least decent at everything. This is the powerset ranks for each debuff category for both ST and AoE debuffs, along with a rank-sum analysis of those performances. These results will be repeated later, I just wanted to highlight the overall performance before I bore everyone.
We can see Trick Arrow is one of the best sets for To-Hit debuffs (thanks to Acid Arrow and Flash Arrow), and ranks between 3rd and 4th in every other debuff category besides two: AoE Resistance and AoE Recharge, which is still a respectable 5th. Overall, thanks to its balance, it shows out well in the rank-sum analysis. With a score of 52, it outpaces the next tier of debuff sets: Cold, Storm, and Dark. However, this is not a priority system analysis, nor is it a true performance analysis. So barely being the best versus being the best by a mile will not show up here. So…take these results with a grain of salt and treat it for what it is, a general assessment in performance. Trick Arrow is good now. How good, that is to be determined below as I will get into a lot more numbers.
How I did the analysis
I analyzed 6 debuffs: To-Hit, Defense, Resistance, Damage, Regeneration, Recharge. For Damage Debuffs, I incorporated the Resistance Debuffs a set would provide. Similarly, Trick Arrow's Acid Arrow applies a resistance debuff to To-Hit, Regeneration, and Recharge, so its analysis incorporated the benefits of Acid Arrow.
The Analysis is broken up by Single Target Debuff and AoE Debuff. A Single Target Analysis would combine ST debuffs and AoE debuffs (just because it's a single target doesn't mean you wouldn't use your AoE debuff on it). The AoE Analysis would combine AoE debuffs and Splash AoE debuffs. This distinction is made because of Poison which has debuffs that apply a strong effect on a single target and a half-strength effect to enemies in the area around the target. So I used the ST effect for single target analysis and I used the Splash AoE effect for AoE analysis.
Speaking of AoE, I do not factor in radius. An 8 ft radius is treated the same as a 25 ft radius. Sorry, there is only so much I can do and I don't have the time to apply extra analysis incorporating size of AoE.
I assumed every power has a total of 375% recharge. This is the same amount of recharge you would have to reach perma hasten.
If a debuff takes enhancements, I slotted it with 90% debuff enhancement if it was Type A and 54% debuff enhancement if it was Type B. FWIW, this only applied for defense debuff analysis (Type A) and to-hit debuff analysis (Type B).
I analyzed against 4 scenarios for enemies: Generic +0, Generic +4, Level 50 Archvillian +0, Level 54 Archvillian +4. The Generic enemies had no resistances to damage nor debuffs. The Level 50 AV had 85% resistance to debuffs and the Level 54 AV had 87% resistance to debuffs. Galaxy Brain ran analysis on the average resistance for every AV in the game and it came to roughly 10% damage resistance, so this is what I used for the AVs. For the +4 enemies, they applied the purple patch effect modifier of 48%.
Debuff per Cycle:
Previously I mentioned I used a Debuff per Cycle calculation for my analysis. This is done by calculating the average number of stacks you get with a power and multiply that with the debuff amount. If a power can’t be stacked, it will have a ceiling of 1 (permanent single stack). The formulas used:
A quick example: Trick Arrow’s Ice Arrow can stack its Recharge Debuff. The power has 18s base cooldown and a cast time of 1.67s (1.848s arcana time) with a debuff duration of 10s. With a recharge reduction of +275%, if I spammed Ice Arrow I could cast it every 18/3.75 + 1.848 = 6.648s. The average number of stacks over time would be:
With a debuff amount of 25% recharge debuff, I would put the average debuff amount from Ice Arrow to be 25% * 1.5042 = 37.6053%. If Ice Arrow could not stack, then I would have capped the average debuff amount at 25% (permanent single stack). And if it was not perma, then the average debuff would be less than 25% (obviously).
Notes on Analysis:
Note: Sleet, I used 45s for its duration. Technically, the pet is 15s duration and the effect lasts for 30s. I decided to assume the enemy would stay in the Sleet patch for the entire 15s and would carry the debuff for another 30s after. Is this realistic? Maybe not. But that's how I analyzed it.
Note 2: I did not incorporate Fallout as I did not want to rely on an ally dying to provide a debuff effect, and I did not want to rely on there being an ally in general. So that power is not used in analysis.
Is this analysis perfect? Hell no. Odds are, you won't slot every power you have to E.D. levels of debuff and recharge enhancement. You might not even take every power. You may not spam every power when it's off cooldown. So take this analysis with a grain of salt. I simply am showing a scenario of what all the capabilities are for the Debuff Support Sets I analyzed. If this analysis is worthwhile and accepted as valid, I will do follow-up analysis that incorporates different parameters (such as lower recharge and/or lower debuff enhancement).
Recharge Time Debuff:
Summary of Results (mentioned previously):
Before I summarize results and come up with my own conclusions, let me remind everyone again that this is analysis on a very high-end build. So what follows is only speaking to the build analyzed and is not an all-encompassing opinion. Follow-on analysis would be needed for such a thing.
Trick Arrow was already discussed in the BLUF, so I won’t repeat it here. But one thing I will address, I ranked Trick Arrow 2nd overall in To-Hit debuff. This is somewhat subjective as the raw To-Hit debuff numbers are not that good when looking at Generic Targets. Dark, Poison, Rad, and Storm all outperform Trick Arrow on enemies that have no Debuff Resistance. However, I gave it the edge over these sets because of its performance against AVs. Thanks to Flash Arrow having half of its debuff unresisted, and Acid Arrow providing a 40% resistance debuff to To-Hit, it DOMINATES the other powersets against AVs – even outperforming Dark (the king of To-Hit debuffs) in these scenarios.
Cold Domination and Storm Summoning are very similar, they are excellent at the debuffs they do, and non-existent elsewhere. Both are top dogs in Resistance, Defense, and Recharge debuffs, while Storm also is very good with To-Hit debuffs. Cold sprinkles in some single-target Damage and Regen debuffs to make up for what it lacks in To-Hit debuffs to pull relatively even with Storm for a tie in 2nd place in overall debuff performance. Many folks, though, will prioritize the Resistance debuffs which might make this their powerset of choice.
Dark Miasma is right there with Cold and Storm in terms of total performance. However, its lack of Defense debuffs and weak Recharge debuffs cost it points in the overall scoring. Now…for my own personal preference, I prioritize Resistance, Regeneration, and Damage debuffs over everything else. When looking at just those categories Dark is the top dog, scoring 30 out of a possible 42 points. Surprisingly Traps comes in 2nd with 26 points (despite horrible Resistance debuffs, but it has fantastic Regen and AoE Damage debuffs), while Trick Arrow and Poison round it out with 24 points. Although I included Dark Servant in the individual tables, I did not include it in the final summation of results. So everything shown for Dark Servant is gravy on top.
Speaking of Poison, it’s sort of the poor man’s Trick Arrow now. Similar to Trick Arrow, it does a little bit of everything, just not necessarily as good. It is lacking in Regeneration and doesn’t rank higher than 3rd in any category. Also, its AoE analysis is fairly generous as the splash debuffs are a very small radius.
Radiation Emission is also a jack of all trades and is fantastic at Regeneration debuffs. However, the set is mostly average beyond that. The lack of being able to stack debuffs (other than Regen/Recharge for Lingering Radiation) limits its potential. However, Fallout is not used for this analysis, but if it’s used, it’s a significant AoE debuff. So with the new TP Target and Fold Space, there could be some real fun shenanigans with having a venge-bait teammate run into a mob, die, TP them back to you, use Vengeance, then Fold Space to gather the mob around you, then Fallout for mass casualties. Then Mutation your fallen teammate and let them clean up whatever is left behind. Good times.
Finally, there’s Traps. It’s king supreme in Regeneration Debuffs and AoE Damage, and mostly hot garbage elsewhere. Similar to Radiation Emission, it can gain a lot of utility with Fold Space and its Trip Mines/Bombs (which were not used for ranking purposes as I was only looking at debuffs).
My personal conclusion, for high end builds Trick Arrow is arguably the best Debuff powerset in the game. Personal preference, I might choose Dark over it because of how I like to prioritize certain debuff sets, and I might even prefer Cold or Storm for the things it brings to the table in terms of Resistance debuffs. But overall utility, there’s not much Trick Arrow can’t do. Throw in the fact it also has damage potential with Oil Slick Arrow, and EMP Arrow is a mass Hold along with an Ally only Faraday Cage, it’s a truly useful set for almost any form of gameplay.