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Croax's Tier List and Build Collection Index Introduction Primaries Secondaries Builds Introduction Hi all, as some of you might know, i really love to play the Stalker AT. That is why i have written a Guide to cover all the basics and give new and old players an idea of how to play the Stalker. Maybe that was the reason, why i started to look more into the Stalker AT Forum and noticed that the same Threads appeared with different people starting them. They were all like: "Is X/Y a good combination?", "X/Y need Build, help please!", "What to pair with X/ ?" or even "What is the best Stalker?". After a while i was thinking that i should rank all the Primaries and Secondaries of Stalkers and even support you with a build to every single combination of Stalkers. If you disagree with my ranking i would really like to see why you do think it should be different. And please keep in mind, that this is my own opinion and not set in stone. For the 216 Builds that i provide in this Collection, i have not played them all obviously. The build goals would change from combination to combination and could not allways be achieved. Some of the builds are just old builds of my Stalkers. If you are a new Player and need a build, this is the place to find it. If you are a veteran player, you can use some parts of the builds as templates. And if you think that Regen should be nerfed, please leave a post why 🙂 Primaries For the Primaries i started to rate the damage of each and every set. All of them are ok to excellent regarding single target damage, but some of them need a specific framework to perform properly. What does this mean? You would need some high amounts of recharge or a epic pool snipe, what makes some sets perform bad at start but shine later on in your leveling career. The next big point was AoE damage and that was a harder one to look into. The devs had replaced older sets AoE Attacks with Assasin strike which was a bad decision. The newer sets and reworked sets are all more in line with the versions other melee ATs get. I also factored the damage type into the rating. For example everyone knows Smashing and Lethal damage are resisted very commonly from all the enemys. After looking into the damage i checked the different sets for utilities like heals, defense buffs, crowd control or something similar. And finally i was thinking about all the people asking "What Powers can i skip/do i need with X/?" and that is a very important point. If you can enable a lot of build goals by having access to different IO sets and not only 5 melee attacks, that is a big selling point for some of the primaries. Now we can take a look at the Tier List for Stalker S Tier: There is no S Tier Stalker Primary, which means that there is not a single one that outshines everything else so strong that you have to ignore it for a better comparison of everything else. A Tier: Electrical Melee is here because it has the best AoE of all Stalker Primaries and it is also the best Version of Electrical Melee between all ATs. It normaly lacks Single Target Damage, but on Stalkers you have Assassin Strike and a Snipe to close that gap. Energy Melee is the best in Single Target Damage after the rework in i27. It is powerfull, strong and now it even has a cone attack. Street Justice was the former Nr. 1 in pylon damage and general content. Ice landed barely in this tier because it checked all boxes and covered everything i was asking for. Ice is equally strong for all content. B Tier: All the sets in this Tier are very close to each other, mostly because of their damage type. One exception is Dual Blades which has not been touched after release but is still very strong after all this years. Unfortunately only if you slam a lot of recharge into it and ignore the combo system at all. Another Primary that wants you to simply ignore the mechanic and stack recharge for only 4 attacks is kinetic melee. Without Assassin strike and the burst crits it would be in the lowest tier. Dark Melee was a close contender for Tier A but the set was designed with Soul Drain in mind and has therefore a little bit lower damage than it should have. The Homecoming Team has buffed/changed the set to lift it up higher than it ever was. Stone Melee was proliferated from tankers and brutes but unfortunately it has not enough damage to lift it up. The Knockdowns are a plus but there are much better options. Stone Melee feels better to play than it performs. C Tier: Like the sets in B Tier this sets are also very close to each other because of the bad damage type they deal. Savage Melee has been nerfed and lost a lot of its Single Target Damage. Ninja Blade and Broad Sword are allmost the same and are lacking Area Damage. Both sets would be D tier if they would lack parry. Staff Fighting has surprised me with how low it landed. The Damage is held back by its super long animations and it seems like you have a ton of utility but not the damage the other sets have. D Tier: "D" like "Due for a rework". These Primaries are very weak in comparison to all the others. Everything they can do is done bettter by something else. Martial Arts without AoE Attacks, Spines without Quills and Claws without Spin is all very lackluster. The Damage is low and after release these sets have not been touched at all. If there are devs that want to do some balancing, i guess this Tier is where to look. Secondaries To understand how i rated the secondaries it is important to understand the concept of "not dieing", "keeping you alive" and "immortal". Every secondary will help you not to die, but will need different levels of comitment to it. Do you log on, check that the toggles are running and just keep on killing or is it mandatory to click a healing/buff power with lengthy animations every 10 seconds? The better secondaries will keep you alive without much effort put into it. Then there is the powersets that will make you immortal. Why is it a bad thing you may wonder? Well the defense cap is well known and the stalker resist cap is also known, if you reach all caps with all the powers then you may have wasted some slots, powers and endurance into staying alive even more. When you reach a ceiling, there is no need to punch a hole into the roof and shoot for the stars. So what criterias are also used? On a Stalker Defense based sets perform much better than resist based ones, because of the lower resist cap (75% for Stalkers and scrapper, 90% for tankers and brutes). Not getting hit at all is allways more valuable than reducing the damage. Also you will not suffer from possible debuffs when you not get hit. And having lower hitpoints than scrappers makes resist based secondaries even less appealing. When we look into the tier list we also have to speak about the outdated views of the original devs, that made some unreasonable holes in the survivability of different secondaries. Be it a vulnerability to certain damage types or missing status protection. In the world of IOs some of these gaps can be closed easily, some can not be closed easily and some do not matter at all in real combat situation. I also valued the extra stuff that the secondary powerset brings onto the table. Is it a usefull recharge bonus, a useless debuff aura, a new area attack, where Stalkers are in desperate need of area damage or something else? And like with the Primary Tier List it is important to know what powers can be skipped and if it opens up build possibilities. With all these things in mind lets take a look into the Secondaries Tier List: S Tier: Thankfully again there is no single Powerset in this Tier. You can play with all the Secondaries without having to worry much. A Tier: Now if we just ignore the Psi hole in Energy Aura, this powerset just fulfills every single criteria listed above. With using energize every now and then you are fine to go. If someone is new to Stalkers in generell i allways recommend Energy Aura. You will run into some enemys from time to time that will be annoying but if the psi hole would not exist, this would be S Tier material. The other contender is Bio armor. It is the best version of a hybrid powerset (defense/resist/healing) out there, unfortunately you will be in the "not dieing" category all the time. That means you will have to understand what is going on around you and use your cooldowns accordingly or else you will die. That part keeps Bio from the S Tier. It is not easy to play but very rewarding. Stone Armor on the other Side is one of the best sets you can wish for. It has everything (recharge, endurance, damage, healing,...). It is like Energy Aura almost S Tier but the downsides are that you need every power and can not skip a single one here. It brings you a lot of build flexibility because you can decide yourself how survivable you want to be and therefor how much slots you want to put into it. B Tier: B Tier is all about the defense. All of the Secondaries that have Defenses as the first layer of survivability are here. Do not get fooled by the order, they are all very close in the ranking to each other. Every single one of them does something very unique. The only exceptions are Ice Armor and Ninjitsu. Ninjitsu is the weakest of the bunch because it has no resistances at all unlike the others. And does not increase your offensive capabilities. Ice armor on the other hand is so strong with Icy Bastion. Ice Armor caps almost all the defenses and with Icy bastion most resists. It alternates between 30 seconds of "immortal" and 60 seconds of "keeping you alive". it is very powerful as a survivability powerset. If any dev ever reads this, Icy Bastion is the way T9 armor sets should work. Unfortunately it offers no offense at all, which keeps it from getting into the A Tier. C Tier: Now we are at the Resist Tier. All Powersets are again very close to each other except the first and last one of the bunch. Electric Armor on paper looks like the resist brother of Energy Aura. It offers all the same stuff with only resists in mind. From all the resist powerset this looks the best. I was intrigued to rate it as a B Tier because i think it is sometimes better than Ninjitsu. And the last one of the resist sets is Willpower. Willpower was introduced as a hands free, turn the toggles on, do not care about psi or status protection and keep them bashing. But for Stalkers it was deprived of Quick Recovery which made it very endurance hungry and instead of having a great Rise of the Challenge aura it has Reconstruction. It feels like they wanted to insult Stalkers with this decision. Look at the wonderfull Sentinel solution for this Powerset. Take away Fast Healing for Quick Recovery and exchange Reconstruction for the Sentinel version of RttC and you have A Tier material. D Tier: It is the worst Secondary of them all. Regen really needs a rework, maybe the sentinel treatment? When i see what the Homecoming Team did to Energy Melee i think they will somehow change this Powerset to its former Glory. Right now it is just a Meme. Builds: You will now find a Post for every Primary here. If you want a certain Powercombination just look for the post with the Primary. You will find a Build with that Primary for every Armor set it can be paired with. I made these builds with Beginners in Mind and tried to make them sturdy enough to be in the "keeping you alive" category. You can change the builds as you like and add more procs or other things into it. You can decide yourself if you want to be more in the comfort zone or push the maximum dps. These builds are in the middle. For everyone that is just looking for abuild, this is the place. I hope that a lot of the players looking into this forum for some guidance will find this thread and be hopefully satisfied with what they find. And i also like to see your opinion of the rankings and if i have treated some of the powersets totally wrong. Feel free to tell me everything you think, that i did wrong and why it should be different. Broad Sword Claws Dark Melee Dual Blades Electrical Melee Energy Melee Fiery Melee Ice Melee Kinetic Melee Martial Arts Ninja Blade Psionic Melee Radiation Melee Savage Melee Spines Staff Fighting Stone Melee Street Justice
What are your favorite defender healing/support power sets for endgame for and why? I'm leveling a Fire/Fire Tanker along side a friend who wants to be a healer/support. I've done some reading on the forums and discord and it sounds like for the first power pool that Storm and Time are king, but what about for the second power pool? What are your favorite defender matchups and why are they good for duoing and group play?