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A Brief Discussion of the Winter Sets


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Hello all, 

as the market is currently robust with people buying Lords of Winter super packs and buying and using the enhancements that come with them, I thought I would take a moment to go over the sets a bit. This came about because I was slotting a power with one of them for the bonuses and suddenly thought, "Wait, what are the values of this set? Are they good for this power?" and after opening up Pines and making some notes I thought it would be worthwhile to share them here. (I am using an older version of Pines so if my numbers are wrong, apologies; and please do correct me.)


What I did was not look at how the individual pieces break down for Frankenslotting, but just looked at what the totals are at level 50 for both the regular and the superior versions. It turns out the four damage sets have extremely similar numbers, so I'll start talking about the least popular set, Entomb.


Entomb (Hold)

At level 50 with Enhancement Diversification (ED) already factored in, Entomb has these stats:

Accuracy 66.25, Endurance Reduction 66.25, Hold: 92.75, Recharge: 97.09.

These numbers are actually identical to a full set of Lockdown or Gladiator's Net. It's worth noting that Hold enhancements were not well received when the IO system was launched. The community sharply criticized quite a few launch sets, but the feedback on Holds was among the most critical; it basically resolved to "are you nuts? does no one on the dev team play a Controller?" Consequently a 2nd generation of hold enhancements was released and that's where Basilisk's Gaze, Lockdown, and the PVP set Gladiator's Net came from, which have wildly different parameter allocations compared to earlier sets like Essence of Curare. The numbers in these second gen sets are good for holds like a typical control set's AOE hold with very long recharge. Notice the recharge in this set is actually the highest parameter!  As the Entombed set does not have higher numbers than a "regular" set the value might seem kind of low for the money with the proc and the set bonuses being the distinguishing factor, however the set can be upgraded to the superior version. The superior version has these stats:

Accuracy 81.53 Endurance Reduction 81.53, Hold 97.39, Recharge 101.37.

As far as comparing these sets to other high end ones, the numbers for the regular version are almost identical to Will of the Controller/Ascendency of the Dominator, but Will/Ascend are just a few percent higher on a few attributes; the numbers are on a slightly different pattern than purple set Unbreakable Constraint, but I would say overall Entomb has a better parameter spread with a bit more accuracy and a lot more end reduction. The set bonuses in Unbreakable are in a class to themselves, however. The superior version of Entomb actually is slightly better than Superior Will/Ascend. (The differences are quite tiny just 1-2% on a couple parameters.) However the kings of hold IOs remains Overpowering Presence/Dominating Grasp, the regular versions alone blow all the other sets away (A95, E88, H94, R100). However the  ATOs can be used in any mez and that might be a better place for them, especially since people routinely skip the long cooldown AoE holds. Entomb remains a highly viable choice for any long-recharge hold without damage, however the issue is there are only a handful of such holds outside the Control set primaries; Petrifying Gaze in Dark Miasma is the only one that comes to mind. Additionally, these sets are a possibility for hold aura powers like Choking Cloud; certainly the accuracy and hold duration are great, and the end reduction is quite high. It would be lovely to trade 30% of the recharge for even more end reduction but it's just not an option in a full set slotting location.

Recommendation: a good late tier set particularly in the superior form, but pretty comparable to the Tier 1 controller/dominator ATOs. Since many people skip those 300 second recharge AoE holds in control sets, the demand for this set isn't very high. It would also work well in hold auras, and for those who choose to slot damaging holds primarily for the hold and not the damage. For Controllers/Dominators who do take their AoE hold, Entomb is a good low budget alternative to the purple set, freeing up the ATOs to be used in more frequently used powers like the typical AoE stun and immobilizes. 


Frozen Blast (Targeted AoE)

Avalanche (PBAoE)

Blistering Cold (Melee)

I'm listing these three sets together because they have exactly the same stats. At level 50 with ED factored in they are:

Accuracy 85.71, Damage 97.09, Endurance Reduction 66.25, Recharge 58.3

In general, these are good numbers and compare well to sets like Annihilation, Mako's Bite, and Scirocco's Dervish, but typically have a bit more end reduction and accuracy. There's not much to complain about in terms of accuracy, damage, and endurance reduction. However, recharge might be an issue. These are not sets to put in any super long cooldown heavy hitters where you really want about 95% recharge.  On the other hand since they all have procs you probably don't want to put them in any attacks that are already pretty fast because this much recharge is probably going to really reduce the chance of them firing.  These sets are probably about right for mid-tier attacks with cooldowns around 14-16 seconds; for instance Frozen Blast in Fireball will drop the recharge from 16 to 10.11 seconds. This leaves the purple sets for high-tier powers and possibly epic powers.


Notably, Obliteration for PBAOE seems to be a 2nd gen formula and it does have much higher recharge (but almost no end reduction) compared to Avalanche, which makes it look to me like it's pretty much designed for T9 nukes (since they used to drain end fully after use, so having end reduction in them was kind of a waste). On the other hand, Avalanche's numbers would work very well for typical mid-level melee cones and moves like Spin and Typhoon's Edge, as well as some damage auras. However some of these concerns are pushed aside when dealing with the Superior version numbers since the higher numbers just quash the regular IO competition:

Accuracy 96.4, Damage 101.37, End Reduction 81.53, Recharge 72.59

In terms of the equivalent purple sets (whose stats are A59 D101 E33 R89), they have slightly more recharge but markedly less accuracy and endurance reduction. Thus the superior versions are in the ballpark with purple sets though with quite different set bonuses. ATOs are more of an issue as the ATOs cut across power type lines and typically rival these sets. However, quite a few of the ATOs have set bonuses that lead them to be split. Thus with a typical melee AT having the first gen ATO split into 2 groups of 3 for melee bonuses or whatever, and more specialized choices, purples, and 2nd gen ATOs taking up the higher tier and special powers, that does leave a pretty big area of T3-T7 powers where these sets can probably shine the most.

Recommendation: while keeping an eye on the recharge rate and its impact on procs, these sets seem solid choices and probably work best with mid-tier powers to provide their unique bonuses and supplement purple and ATO use.


Winter's Bite (Ranged Damage)

For some reason Winter's Bite diverges from the other damaging IOS and swaps out some endurance reduction for more recharge. (This actually seems to parallel the design formula used in ranged damage ATOs). The numbers for the basic and then the superior version are:

Accuracy 85.71, Damage 97.09, Endurance Reduction 39.75, Recharge 83.32

Accuracy 96.4, Damage 101.37, Endurance Reduction 49.69, Recharge 95.9

In comparison to the typical rare ranged blast set Devastation, the basic version of Winter's Bite follows the same pattern but basically just steps on it, trading about 5% less endurance for 20% more accuracy and recharge.  Again, the numbers are pretty comparable to Blaster ATOs and Defender ATOs. The set seems solid.

Recommendation: as above for the other damaging IOs.

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