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7 controller combinations of unique primaries and secondaries for alt ideas


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I love controllers and alts.  After trying out many types I narrowed it down to 7 primaries and 7 secondaries I liked.  Then I looked at how they play to pair them up.  My consideration was active vs passive (pre-buffing in combat or toggles is passive), pbaoe/cone/range, and End usage.  I came up with these 7 combinations that let you try all 14 sets with no duplicates.  Note that I made no consideration of power level, end game play, IO sets, etc.



















Darkness/Thermal – Darkness uses a cone starting at 8 usable every fight. And with a ST hold and a ST confuse every 8 seconds it is very active. So I paired it with Thermal that is largely a pre-buffing set with a ranged heal, so you can spend your time in combat using Darkness and be back with your cone.


Earth/Darkness – Earth and Darkness are both largely ranged aoe sets. Earth lacks strong control early on, so it benefits from Howling Twilight. And the -Def in earth makes it easier to hit with Twilight Grasp for your heals.


Electric/Kinetics – Electric has ranged but you want to be in the middle of your foes with Conductive Aura. That works well with standing next to your target for Transfusion and in the midst of your allies for Siphon Power.


Fire/Radiation – Fire is a weak control set at low levels so you rely upon radiation for mitigation with its toggles. And at lower levels your powers are all ranged except hot feet if you want to use it. So you have a lot of flexibility of movement in combat.


Ice/Time – Toggle on Arctic Air and Time's Juncture, stand in the middle of your foes and they are slowed and confused.


Mind/Empathy – Mind has a ST sleep, hold, and confuse making it very active. Empathy mostly buffs with auras plus healing. So you can spend your time in combat using your mind powers.


Plant/Nature – A standard combination but the cone use of Seeds of Confusion and Regrowth makes these play well together.




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Of the sets you list Fire/Rad is, by far, the most powerful in the end game.  Teams of Fire/Rad controllers can crush anything in the game as fast as you can run through the map... on Live there was literally nothing faster than a team of Fire/Rad controllers.  Solo they're less dominating but still highly effective; I had one at 50 and it was a fairly smooth ride the whole way and awesome once the build matured.


Mind/Emp will likely be a disappointment... I found Mind as a primary to be good in the early game but very lackluster in the mid game and beyond.  Mine was Mind/Kin and from 20 on I was mainly playing a Kinetic with a small side of control, it certainly wasn't a powerhouse by any stretch.  I did get to 50 with it, mainly teaming on the strength of the Kinetic secondary.


Ice is a decent set, just don't try to solo with it, it's like Earth... good control and team utility but very VERY little damage output.  I ended up abandoning mine because of the low damage.  Ice/Rad BTW.


I played a Plant/Storm 'troller to 50 and it was good, but I can't say it was a favorite of mine.  The other sets you list I've never played so I can't give you meaningful advice on them.

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Guardian Survivor, occasional tanker and player of most AT's.

Guides: Invulnerability Tankers, The first 20 levels.  Invulnerability Tankers Soft Cap defense





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  • 2 weeks later

Fire/Rad is a great combo. You will kill a lot. You will BE killed a lot. It's super effective, but you will get rekt if you get careless or reckless.


Ice/Time is much safer and easier. Weak on DPS, but you can pile on stupid amounts of soft control.

Earth/Kin and Earth/Storm are great too. Earth's -def is a big help with Kinetics, and Storm has lots of redundancy with Earth, so you can stack stuns, KDs, slows, etc.


My new fav combo is Ill/Poison. My theory was that if I couldn't buff my PA, I would debuff everything else. It REALLY shines on the Summer BB trial- plenty of time to recharge PA between AVs and it makes AVs MELT.

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