Jump to content

Wanted: Your Advice/Comments on Energy/Rad Pairing


Recommended Posts

Haven't seen this specific combo discussed, but I might have missed it buried in something else. Full disclosure: I have this Energy/Rad Sentinel already at 50, with some Incarnate work done. I like it well enough; I've always loved Energy Blast anyway. The build isn't optimized; the powers have common slotting, and I haven't even upgraded from level 35 IOs. I've been calling this toon my main, and my badge collector, but I've not yet put in the love to finish him up. Now I'm rolling up my sleeves, but before I really get going, I want to re-evaluate. What's that mental condition where you keep holding on to a bad thing just because you've already put so much time/energy/etc. into it?


What do I want to do with him? Everything except farming (I have dedicated farmer toons for that, and they have been fully kitted out, natch). Teaming, soloing, exemplaring, TFs, bank missions, just everything. He doesn't have to be the best in any given category (best defense, best damage, etc.), but I would like him to be the best I can make him at what he is; that is, I'd like him to be the best Energy/Rad Sentinel that can be achieved. I have considered that I might just have to gather a few Energy/ guides and splice them with a few /Rad guides to cobble something together, but I'm not too confident in my own Mids skills.


Here's a few specific questions:


1) Would you consider this a decent pairing? Again, doesn't have to be the best. I just would like to know if they're mismatched in a gimping-myself kind of way.

2) What powers would you skip in Energy Blast? In Radiation Armor?

3) Is there a better pairing for Energy Blast than Radiation Armor? I have to say I'm married to Energy Blast for this character, so all else builds on that.

4) Do you have, or have you seen, a Mids build for this combo? If so, imagine me now on bended knee. 😉


Hopefully I've given you a decent idea of what I'm looking for. Any and all replies will be very much appreciated, and I thank you in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you thinking of sunk cost fallacy?  That is when one views previous investments as justification for further expenditure.  Like the continuation of a project is rational since it has funds already spent despite forecasting showing little (or even no) return on investment.  You've sunk cost and you just keep going regardless of the negative outcome. 

We can look at our time as investment.  We can look at our devotion to an ideology as investment.  All of these can potentially be sunk costs too. 

There are plenty of folks that can argue that playing a Sentinel is inherently sunk cost fallacy.  You could also argue that not playing very specific builds are a part of a sunk cost fallacy, but let's not do that here. 

Can you take any level of influence/infamy investment and pour that into another build that will perform higher?  Yes.  It is also incredibly narrow-minded thinking in this context since we ignore a few things.  First off, there is very little risk in the relation of investment in City of X.  You invest time, which has value, but what you get out of that time is (hopefully) enjoyment.  If you are not enjoying your Energy/Rad character, then it is a sunk cost to keep going.  If you enjoy playing this character, then the time/influence investment is rational (not sunk cost).  Your perception is what makes it sunk cost or not as the negative outcome is time invested at your own pleasure.  That's harder to quantify. 

I'm not an expert on Sentinel Energy or Radiation.  I'm not an expert on builds either.  Regardless, I want to chat with you about how to think about using Mids to evaluate this stuff on your own.  You may not be too confident in your Mids skills, but it really isn't that hard if you give yourself some guidelines (that's what I'll try to do). 

Let's get the Q's out of the way real quick:

1) Yes, I'd consider this a decent pairing.  All Sentinel pairings are effectively "decent" by my own standards with some pairings being exceptional.  Do these do as much damage as my other characters? No, but that isn't the only thing I care about.  How fast I can down a Pylon is not the be all end all of character effectiveness for my tastes.
2) This is where tinkering in Mids becomes important - see below

3) Yes, of course there is, but if you like Energy Blast who cares? 

4) No I haven't.

Ok, let's look at #2 in a broader context.  (sorry wall of text will critically hit)

Here is how I approach tinkering in Mids when I am totally clueless to the powersets.  I plan to take everything from the primary and the secondary.  There ya go.  That's my secret!

I'll take a look at the Mids options for DPS ratings of the attacks.  I know these metrics are off due to scalars, and if I see something that doesn't look right I will reference in game.  Things that don't look right would be powers like Screech on a Sentinel showing 13 damage when in reality it does more.  Always double check in game, but sometimes these tools can be helpful when they are in the ballpark. 

For simplicity here is the list:

Power Bolt - 46~ DPS

Power Blast - 48~ DPS

Energy Torrent (Cone that hits 6) - 42~ DPS

Power Burst - 52~ DPS

Aim - Burst damage booster

Power Push - 70~ DPS

Explosive Blast (targeted AoE that hits 10) - 26~ DPS

Focused Power Bolt - 55~ DPS

Nova - 53~ DPS


(TL;DR edit: Power chopping block choices in Energy can be Power Bolt vs Power Blast (have to pick one), Power Burst vs Focused Power Bolt, and Energy Torrent vs other.  If you run with a lot of Force Feedback: Chance for Recharge then Power Burst, Power Push, and Focused Power Bolt all have value.  Power Blast isn't a bad running up in that strategy over Power Bolt.  Explosive Blast and Nova also exploit how procs work.  Radiation has a lot of strong powers so trimming that down isn't something I would do.)


Between Power Bolt and Power Blast you have to pick one.  Whichever you pick (or take both) depends a lot on how you feel about Offensive or Defensive Opportunity.  Note, Power Bolt does about 52 damage with a 1 second animation (not counting system clock functions) and Power Blast does 86 for slightly longer animation.  Yet, these two powers are within 2~ points of effective DPS from either.  Power Bolt has almost half the recharge meaning you can fire it almost twice as often as Power Blast.  Sounds great!  Recharge will change this, but that is a build question.  More on that in a minute. 

Energy Torrent looks fairly poor since it does less damage than the other two attacks.  However, it can hit 6 targets which actually raises its effectiveness.  Explosive Blast is in a similar boat.  Since it can hit more targets it gets more efficient against larger groups.  Now, there is a catch here with these two powers.  You could plan to take additional AoE from your Epic/Patron pools.  These are often point-blank AoEs (so melee range) that will also hit 10 targets.  There is synergy in the melee range here with Nova so that's a plus.  They will likely be more efficient than Energy Torrent OR you could try to take them on top of both.  This is a decision point.  Yes, Explosive Blast's damage is rather low BUT this is not the only set with a metric like this.  Some even have worse numbers and some have better.  Let's just disregard that for moment though and plan out with what we have. 

Power Burst does rather high (triple digit) baseline damage at the cost of a fairly lengthy animation time.  Depending on how the build goes this might end up better than Focused Power Bolt.  Why?  Power Burst animations faster and it recharges faster.  Call this one a decision point too. 

Aim makes for bigger explosions and the cooldown can be lowered dramatically to align with Nova.  No reason not to take this. 

Power Push looks like a keeper as it has the highest damage per activation out of everything else you have.  This attack will be a focal point of a final build deserving 6 slots if you can manage it, but no less than 5 to house the bulk of the Apocalypse set if you feel you need the benefits of the set. 

Focused Power Bolt does the highest direct damage of the powers next to Nova, but it has a very long animation time.  It also has a longish recharge at 16 seconds.  You could comfortably skip this power OR you could take it.  More on this in a minute too. 

Nova is the T9 and it is the highest damage AoE you have.  Regardless of its DPA ranking you really should take this. 

Ok, so now we have a general concept of what the powers do in a quasi-vacuum.  We know we're likely going to use about 4 out of 5 single target attacks, at least Explosive Blast due to its radius, and Nova along with Aim.  Out of 9 powers we've got 2 possible on the chopping block. 

In order to seal the deal on power skipping there is a another question one needs to ask here.  How much recharge do I need, and do I want to exploit damage procs vs getting full set bonuses?  This question gets some helpful answers from what our secondary can provide. 

Right off the bat, we know Radiation Armor is a resistance set with some bonus goodies.  Resistance sets will struggle trying to build a heavy amount of defense.  I'm not going to say you shouldn't build some defense, but this more in the realm of do not worry too much about hitting 45%.  Knowing that Radiation can grant an absorb shield for bonus effective health as well as using Meltdown should guide the build on where to go next.  Radiation also has some inherent recharge boost (20%) which works well with Hasten.  This also works well with trimming down our number of attacks. 

So global recharge would be nice, but we haven't answered the other question about damage procs.  Building up high levels of global recharge will likely require chasing nearly full (5 piece) set bonuses in the attacks OR really pushing set bonuses in the secondary.  Decisions decisions.  Either method is valid as Meltdown is your other burst damage booster. 

The other idea is a mix of effects using Incarnates like Ageless to help grant bursts of high recharge benefit to super charge offense. 

Energy Blast can benefit a lot from procs.  In going about a build like this you may want to consider 3 Thunderstrikes (Acc/Dam, Acc/Dam/End, Dam/End).  If you have the means to do it, then boost those 3 by +5.  Use the other 2-3 slots in your attacks to exploit Explosive Strikes: Chance for Smashing Damage, Javelin's Volley: Chance for Toxic Damage, 1 Apocalypse: Chance for Negative Damage, and potentially as many Force Feedback: Chance for Recharge as you can get away with.  I underlined that one because it may be the key to solving some of the build problems.  Recharge.  Grant every damn one of your attacks a chance to proc 100% recharge for 5 seconds and you should be able to juggle bursts of recharge to drop Hasten's cool down dramatically. 

Now, this comes back around to powers on the chopping block.  Focused Power Bolt has a base animation of 2.67 seconds and a recharge of 16 seconds.  This power is as close to perfect for abusing Force Feedback in your single target kit.  Power Push already does good DPA and you want to use it on cooldown.  This becomes a good candidate for that Apocalypse proc as well as Explosive Strikes and Javelin's Volley.  You plan to spam this which means you get more rolls of the dice even if the per shot chance isn't a guarantee.  Alternatively you could potentially abuse Focus Power Bolt too.  Explosive Blast and Nova both exploit the hell out of Force Feedback as they can tag 10 targets.  Your opener, Nova, virtually guarantees a burst of recharge in this manner where as your follow-ups have chances to keep it cycling. 


If abusing procs, I may drop Power Bolt from the equation and add a least Force Feedback to all my remaining attacks.  I may also drop Energy Torrent depending on other options.  I sometimes like cone attacks, and sometimes I don't. 

Ok, so recharge may be solvable through attacks. That means for Radiation focus on resistances and healing where practical.  If you plan on taking outside picks like Tough, Weave, and Maneuvers you can even plan for defense.  Upper teens to low 20's are good returns on investment and stack with purple inspirations when times get tough.  You also have an absorb shield so make sure you put some healing IOs in there. 

I can't think of much to skip in Radiation so the build would likely get pretty tight to additional toys, but you should be able to squeeze in a travel power of your liking. 

After writing all that, hopefully it helps and isn't overwhelming.  There are many ways to approach any build and they are matters of preference. 

Its a slow morning. 😉


Edited by oldskool
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

oldskool, thank you so much for replying, and in such detail! As I've perused guides here and there, it has occurred to me that a guide on the ins and outs of using Mids would be quite handy for folks like me, covering things like where to look for accumulating defense or the pros and cons of IO Sets vs Frankenslotting (which can be very much 'It Depends,' I know). You've encouraged me to open up the hood and tinker, which is a good thing. As one would become more accustomed to working in Mids, the flailing need for advice would surely lessen. I've been leery of getting started, but I think I see that it would actually be up my alley; I like organizing with spreadsheets, and this might have similar attractions.


As an aside, I should have mentioned that money is no object, not with the state of the game now. I mentioned having kitted-out farmers. I say the following without trying to brag, but just to illustrate how easy it is to get money these days, once you get past a certain point. I got a Spines/Fire Brute to 50 and kitted that one out to the tune of just under 1.2 billion. Don't recall exactly how long that took, but it had to be at least weeks of fairly casual play. Then I made another Spines/Fire Brute, got it to 50 in a few days via PLing with the first Brute (could easily have been 1 day, I guess, but I really don't play more than 2-3 hours at a stretch, and that usually twice a day), and with both of them going in-mission, got the money to kit the 2nd out fully (yup, 1.2 billion) in less than a week. I currently have less than 400 million, but I know that I could have any toon kitted out all the way in mere days. I don't live for farming, but at this point I don't worry about money.


Having said all that, I am an altoholic. I've made and deleted hundreds of toons. My main Sentinel I've had since late May 2019; don't remember when he got to 50, but there was no powerlevel involved there. He's languished, unfinished, as I've jumped here and there and there and there, but he's still my fond favorite. I've recently decided I want to concentrate on building a stable of Sentinels of every stripe (we'll see how long that lasts). Knowing what to strive for in Mids would surely go a long way for anyone in helping to build characters.


I never mentioned my take on this character. I said Energy Blast was Step 1, and all else builds from that. My first permanent character from Live (back in 2006; yeah, I was late to the party) was an Energy/Energy Blaster. When I built Guy (short for Guirddhain), I don't remember how I decided on Radiation Armor, but I think I just wanted something new in the mix. And I do like what I ended up with. I once told someone that this pairing feels very stable. Even with only level 35 IOs, I don't really have endurance problems, or recharge problems, or Oh-my-GOD-I'm-DEAD problems. I contribute to the takedowns on teams, tho I'm surely outshined in the damage dept, but that doesn't bother me. Solo, I get the job done without real frustration. Not looking to set records on Pylons or AVs or anything else. I do indeed enjoy playing Guy, and I have not been wasting my time with him ( which is not somethingt you said or even implied).


So, it's settled. My next project is to get myself familiar with Mids. Having that skill sharpened will only help me with Guy and all future characters.


Which is not to say I wouldn't be glad to hear from anyone else who wished to throw in their comments! Again, thanks!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later

Somehow I overlooked the following guide, written by Sunsette way last summer and VERY helpful for the Energy Blast Sentinel-player such as myself.




Even better, further down in that same thread, Sunsette fulfilled a request for an Energy Blast/Radiation Armor build, the very thing I'd been questing for, as follows. (This looks like a duplicate link, but it does indeed go directly to the post that I'm talking about)




So, I download the build in Mids Reborn, print it out, and prepare to follow it. Hit a trainer, think I'll just switch from one build to another rather than use a respec. *huh* My alternate build is already named 'IO Sets.' I switch to that; powers selected, slots assigned but all still empty. Looking further, I see this build obviously has already followed Sunsette's guide. *huh some more* I guess I already found my solution (when!?) and, in my altitis, forgot all about it. *grrr*


As a small aside, I wondered why Sunsette herself didn't jump in with comments or to point me to her guide. Looks like she hasn't visited these forums since October 1. I hope she's okay. Thank you, Sunsette, for your help that you didn't know you were giving me and for your excellently-written and very-in-depth guide. Be well!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...