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AlienOne

The "Complete" Guide to Human-Form Warshading

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The Complete Guide for Human Form Warshades



by Alien

 

Preface

Hello, and welcome to the 'Complete Guide for Human-Form Warshades!' This is an absolute labor of love for me, as I first began this guide back in 2009.

In this guide, I will attempt to cover the Warshade's backstory, general advice when rolling a Kheldian, power choices, strategies, cost, alternate builds, general "solo vs. teamed-play" and "chaos vs. order" mentalities, Pine's tips and tricks, and Incarnate power choices. Yes, I know...it's a lot. I've created a handy Table of Contents at the bottom of this post so you can jump to the section you're most interested in.

 

To begin, if you are reading this guide as someone who has never created a Kheldian before, I have a couple suggestions:

 

A. Please read the section on the Kheldian backstory and the section on general advice on "rolling" a Kheldian. It's pretty cool info!
B. Try rolling a Tri-Form Kheld first. Dechs Kaison has a very handy guide on how to build a Tri-Form Warshade. Leveling from 1 to 50 as a tri-former has proven to be much easier. If you still want to be a human-former after that, you can always respec into it or use an alternate build on the same character.

 

Now, why would someone writing a guide on human-form "Warshade-ing" give that last piece of advice? Is a human-former not fun or effective? To the contrary! A human-form Warshade can prove to be one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences for any City of Heroes player with the "cujones" for it, if done right. I primarily advise first-time Khelds to play tri-form because playing tri-form affords you a better opportunity to see the all-around aspect of a Kheldian, and can help you to better make a decision on what powers you like, as well as what forms you like or dislike... Who knows? You may find that you like the other forms better than the human form!

 

In addition, playing a human-form Warshade takes a lot of patience (sometimes more than a first-time Kheld can muster), hard work, strategy-practice (which obviously changes according to the enemy group you're facing), and INFLUENCE!

 

Now, it won't cost billions and billions of influence to build a good, effective human-form Warshade (unless you choose to follow one of my "purpled" builds--you may find yourself emptying your pockets), but it will cost you a significant amount--in many cases more than building just about any non-purpled tri-form build I've ever seen. This is an important point to consider when making the leap to deciding to build a human-form Warshade.

That said, I have put some IO only and SO only builds together as well, so building a cheap human-only Warshade is doable, but you'd be doing it at the sacrifice of some major global recharge penalties, which is one of the primary backbones to human-form play.

 

Human-Form Mentality

The process by which a person decides to build, slot, and set their human-former is what I like to call the "Human-Form Mentality." This also includes the strategy by which they play, which in turn affects their play style. This varies from person to person, but two major points that most human-formers seem to eventually agree on is global recharge and endurance recovery. The reason for this is that enough global recharge allows a human-former to maintain a "perma" (permanent) Eclipse, and a high endurance recovery allows for more utility when encountering a variety of situations, not the least of which is fighting bosses during solo-play when the rest of the mob is down and Stygian Circle goes out of play.

One can further break down the Human-Form Mentality into two playstyles. One I like to call "Chaos™" and the other is "Order™."

 

In the Chaos™ human-form playstyle, more importance is placed on timing and heavy reliance is placed on Stygian Circle and Eclipse. These players usually invest more in recovery from set bonuses than they do in most other things (due to number of toggles running). People who play human-form Warshades in this way usually come from a Blaster/Blapper, Scrapper (non defense-based, such as Regen), or even Sentinel background, and have no problem making liberal usage of inspirations and any other powers afforded to them. "The developers put it in the game, so I should use it, right?" People with this mentality relish every fight as a "chance to cheat death." The best example of that I can show you is in THIS VIDEO. Play close attention to the health and stamina bars during the action. This is what I mean by cheating death. Every encounter is a fight to the death, and may or may not kill you. I personally come from this sort of background (I played competitive FPS games like Unreal Tournament before playing this game), and enjoy a fast-paced, timing-based, in-your-face sort of thrill this kind of play style offers. A chaotic human-former *may* enjoy Warshade-vs-large mob play more than anything else.

The other human-form playstyle is what I like to call an Order™ mentality. In the Order™ human-form play style, more importance is placed on defense (particularly soft-capping defense), and there is less reliance on Eclipse and Stygian Circle. These players usually invest more in HP from set bonuses than Regen. People who play human-form Warshades in this way usually come from a Tank, Support or Scrapper (defense-based secondary like Invulnerability or Super Reflexes) background. This person may also enjoy a fast-paced game, but prefer the stability and reliability that soft-capped defense offers. An Order™ human-former *may* enjoy Warshade-vs-AV play more than anything else.

 

Basically, it comes down to this: Chaos™ human-formers will rely heavily on Eclipse and Stygian Circle (as their signature powers), and Order™ human-formers will not need to rely heavily on these powers, and may instead focus more on high DPS attack chains for soloing AVs than AoE-based attack chains for large mobs.

 

*NOTE*
The aforementioned statements do NOT prevent a Chaos™ human-former from fighting AVs or Order™ human-former from fighting 50 enemies at once--it is just an attempt at explaining the mentality behind specific play-styles, which I hope will help you align yourself with what build type you need to go for to best meet your own play style needs. Something else worth noting--as you will see in the BUILDS section--is the fact that an Order™ human-former doesn't have as much slotting flexibility as a Chaos™ human-former, due to the fact that they are specifically building for defense, and thus require specific IO sets and slotting.

 

It is with those two primary play style strategies, (along with an extra side helping of damage) that I put together the list of *possible* human-form Warshade builds in this guide.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

A. Intro/Preface and Human Form Mentality

B. What is a Kheldian?

C. General Kheldian Advice

D. Powers, Part I

E. Powers, Part II

F. Pine's Tips & Tricks

G. Chaos™ Builds

H. Order™ Builds

H. Incarnate Powers

I. Miscellaneous Information

J. Pictures/Video

K. Summary


*SPECIAL THANKS TO:*
I'd like to take the opportunity to thank any and all contributions to this guide from the Kheldian community, including opinions, numbers input, and builds. In particular, I would like to thank Microcosm, AIB, Memphis_Bill, TwoHeadedBoy, New Dawn, Dechs Kaison, Bionut911, Kemphler, Redlynne, Tamerlane, and Sparky for their invaluable input into this project over the years. Without them, this guide would not be as informative and complete as it stands today. Also, thanks to my wife Ruby for allowing me the time to do this.

Edited by AlienOne
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What is a Kheldian? (Kheldian backstory)

I created this section to include a guide created by Memphis_Bill on the old forums over 12 years ago because I think it's very cool information to know and what Kheld player doesn't want to know the Kheldian backstory? 😄 I am not claiming any authorship of this section other than my input for spelling corrections, updates to what was written based on the game updating (such as Kheldians being unlocked at the beginning of the game now), and general grammatical corrections. All credit for writing goes to Memphis Bill here.


This section will (hopefully) answer questions on why Kheldians are here, what they are, what we know of their history and culture, and why they can do the things they do. 

 

What is a Kheldian?

An "Epic" (story driven) AT unlocked when you reach level 20. You can play a Peacebringer or Warshade, which have a few differences between them.

 

But what ARE they?

Kheldians are energy beings from outside our galaxy. There are three types you'll typically encounter in the City of Heroes universe - Peacebringers, Warshades, and Nictus.

 

Peacebringers: Regular Kheldians. The Peacebringers themselves are dedicated to hunting down the Nictus and destroying them for what they did to the Kheldian race (and still plan on doing).

 

Warshades: "Redeemed" Nictus. These are Nictus that have had a change of heart, merging willingly with another instead of trying to force their way in. They fight alongside the Peacebringers against the Nictus, and have a sometimes uneasy truce with them.

 

Nictus: These are Kheldians who, when faced with the short native lifespan of the Kheldian people, turned to science and changed themselves. They feed off of life energy, and were at one point able to siphon the life force of the Kheldians from great distances. 

 

From the Moonfire task force:

Quote

"I have told you that the Nictus once fed upon other Kheldians. What I did not tell you was how. The Nictus scientists developed a powerful energy transfer device that could rip away a Kheldian's life force, even at a distance of light years. This terrible weapon is the reason we Peacebringers have resolved to destroy all Nictus, wherever they may be."

 

How long do Kheldians live?

The native lifespan of an unjoined Kheldian is 10 years (Also from Moonfire). 

Kheldians can, however, merge with a host being. They aren't (typically) parasitic, though the Nictus often seem to try to take over the host's mind. With a continual chain of hosts, Kheldians are functionally immortal. (Shadowstar, the Warshade leader, has been around since ancient Egypt - 3000 to 5000 years). 

Nictus, after travelling across vast distances via Shadow Cysts, tend to be weak and use the cysts as "life support" if no host is ready. If the cyst is destroyed, the Nictus die off quickly, regardless of age.

 

Join?

Yes. Most beings are, for lack of a better description, like apartments to Kheldians. They can move in if the host is willing (or very weak), and they can separate at will. They cannot be forced into someone (again, unless they're very weak, or "boosted" in as Arakhn tried to do). And with enough willpower, the host can force them out. No 30 day notice needed.

The joining has advantages for both the host and the Kheldian. 

The host gets power - typically seen in-game as attacks, shields and the like. In addition, it seems the host's natural lifespan is increased as well.

The Kheldian, as mentioned, stretches its lifespan when joined. In addition, in the future it can make an energy "copy" of any being it's been joined with in the past - such as the Nova and Dwarf forms of tri-form Kheldians. (So, yes, in the future a Kheldian from Paragon could merge with something else and change to Human form. Or alien, or catgirl, or whatever else it merged with.) 

 

Forms?

Yes, forms. Being energy, Kheldians have no natural shape. At best they appear as wisps of energy. Ok, occasionally bad tempered, deadly wisps of energy, but wisps nontheless. You can see this if you run across a Shadow Cyst - it'll spout "puffs" called Unbound Nictus that will do their best to kill you. They're pretty good at it when they get going.

Most people that have seen a Kheldian are used to two non-host forms:

NOVA - also known as the "squid," this flying, tentacled form (no relation to the GSM) is based on a life form the Kheldians encountered that lived in a gas giant. It has inherent flying ability - not much to stand on in a gas giant, after all.

 

There are two types of Nova, the Bright and Dark Novas. They're essentially the same, and best thought of much like Human races - just because you're Asian, Caucasian, African or whatnot, you're still human. The Bright Novas are from the gas giant's upper reaches, and are called Mefnanim. The Dark Novas are from the depths of the same planet, and called Hulmanim.

 

The Nova is also the key to how Kheldians (not Nictus) travel interstellar distances. More on this in a moment. 

DWARF - also called the "lobster," this slow moving, tough form is derived from creatures that lived on the surface of a very dense dwarf star. It's very durable, and has an inherent self-teleport ability.

 

Once more, two types or races. The White Dwarf form's base race are called the Kurukt, and lived on neutron stars. The Black Dwarf form is based on the Ruktur, who are said to have lived on the surface of a pulsar. Yes, we know how small those are. It's a comic-book world.

Also, as mentioned, it appears the Kheld can make a copy of anything it's joined with previously. Judging from story arcs and in-game canon, it's an individual memory, not a racial memory. This also lets "all Human" or bi-form (Human/Dwarf, Human/Nova, even - though I haven't seen anyone play this - dwarf/nova) Khelds explain why they don't have "all" their forms. We don't know if there's a limit to the number of forms they can assume or not - it's possible a Kheldian could visit, say, three other planets, have five more species of hosts, and become octoform. (And you think you run out of slots NOW....) 

 

Do they have any other effects on the hosts?

Well, other than glowing eyes, it's hard to say. Given this is in City of Heroes, people with odd colored skin (or made up color) aren't exactly rare. Given there's no consistent coloration, it's a safe bet it's part of a costume.

In addition, when forcably seperated at least, the two halves can "feel" the other's out there. We don't know if this happens with a willing seperation or not. (Lars Mendehlson, Absense of Shadows (WS) arc -

 

Quote

They used their magic, and they pulled us apart. They pulled Altered Umbra out of Lars Medelson, and trapped it in a crystal. The Kheldian is gone, and so is part of me. I can still feel Altered Umbra, my Kheldian half, out there somewhere. The rituals they're doing here will sever that connection forever. You've got to stop them! And you've got to rescue Altered Umbra! I know where he is. I wish I could help you, but I'm... I'm not Shadowcatcher anymore. I'm not sure I'm even lars Mendelson.

 

We don't know if this is from the magic, a side effect of forcable seperation, or if it "always" happens.

 

Who runs the Kheldians?

For the Nictus - Arakhn is the head cheese. On the other hand, Requiem says 

 

Quote

When we are done and this world is under our rule, the Nictus will need a leader if we are to stave off the certain Peacebringer assault and quell the growing number of Warshades. If you show such weakness again, you shall not live to challenge me for the title.

 

So, it's hardly a secure position. Arakhn's also in charge of the Galaxy troops and Void Hunter mercenaries while Requiem has the War Wolves.

For the Warshades, at least on Earth, Shadowstar seems to be the boss. 

For the Peacebringers, the top one We know of is Sunstorm. He seems to have some clout, as Shadowstar refers to him when mentioning the truce between the Peacebringers and Warshades. Moonfire, however, seems to be the Kheld "PR" department and liason with other superheroes and hero groups.

As for a ruling body, the Kheldians ARE extragalactic. While there may be a ruling council or something similar, the Peacebringers on earth don't seem to refer to them.

 

How long have they been here?

A very long time. As mentioned before, Shadowstar has been around since the time of ancient Egypt. The Nictus have definitely been here at least as long, given references to the Path of the Dark (using Shadow Seeds - essentially Nictus Cysts) being here since Ancient Rome - and they sounded pretty well established by that time. (The cyst in Ravenna mentioned in the PotD arc has been there since the 5th century AD.) 

How long have the Peacebringers been here? We don't know. There are many scattered around the globe, some joined, some not - Sunstorm makes mention of them, as does Moonfire. They have chased the Nictus "across half the universe." 

 

*** Spoiler *** Requiem planned to use Shadow Cysts ('Shadow Seeds') planted across the globe to take over and make Earth a new Nictus homeworld. During the Kheld arcs, you find a 70 year old map showing the plans. So they've been growing and planning this for quite some time. Why they've waited this long? Hard to say. It's possibly a combination of an increased Peacebringer presence and technology finally getting to a point where they can force Nictus into unwilling hosts en masse.

 

How did they GET here?

Nictus can travel great distances very quickly, by using a Shadow Cyst. The Cysts are made by (or from) weakened Nictus, and are quite tough. It's possible that a colony of Nictus, weakened, getting encysted, and just being scattered like dandelion seeds, landed on Earth some millenia ago.

Creating Cysts requires three things - a weakened Nictus, the right crystals, and the right energy available. This leads to some of the speculation at the end of this section - that the reason there were no earlier attempts to take over Earth is that we were too primitive until recently. Now, though, more cysts could be made and a takeover could be contemplated.

Being energy, they can survive in space (see references to "longing for space" in various arcs) and they are probably only limited by physics to what speed they can attain. Given the nearest star other than the sun is 4.2 light years away... well, it's all up to someone to get creative. 

And someone did. Per the lore bible, in a Kheldian's Light form, they *can* get to light speed... at which point they do something very comic-book-y, switch to Dwarf, and basically create a wormhole. They point themselves in the direction they want to go, and use the mass at the destination to slow down. Or, for a direct quote... 

 

Quote

Within the vacuum of space Kheldians use their light form to accelerate to light speed and then shift to their Kurukt or Ruktur form. Having sudden immense mass in this form while moving at the speed of light creates a time/space rip (a small wormhole) to form. The result is the Kheldian moving great distances at nearly instantaneous speeds. The only thing slowing them down is a carefully aimed vector toward single or series of massive gravitational bodies. This technique is used to leap frog between star systems with the only notable amount of time expended being the period of acceleration to light speed and subsequent deceleration at the destination point.

 

"Not Really Kheldians" - Galaxies, Quantums, and Voids (Oh my.)

Let's break these into three levels:

Quantums are nothing more than your average badguy who is armed with a Quantum Array gun. These smack Kheldians hard, but other than that, they're just a thug.

Galaxy troops are soldiers who have been infused with Nictus fragments ("pieces" of dying or weakened Nictus, though it seems healthy ones can create them too.) They are given some Warshade-like attacks (such as Ebon Bolt and Gravimetric Snare.) Not all of them are volunteers.

Void Hunter mercenaries are the real baddies, as far as Kheldians are concerned. They're infused with far more Nictus fragments which have been modified with Quantum energy and are out hunting Khelds. They have a Quantum Array gun, as well as additional Nictus damage when in melee that affects the Kheldian inside the host. Their altered fragments provide them with energy resistance, instead of the attacks the Galaxy troops get. 

 

***Spoiler*** Arakhn's in charge of the Void Hunter mercenaries, though Requiem's secretly been sending "loyalists" to undergo the process.

 

Galaxy troops can opt to go for a full conversion after a while to a full Nictus - most likely, given other in game comments, because the shards integrate more fully into the host, get stronger, and keep making the suggestion (plus the "longing for space" that's mentioned). It's mentioned in a story arc that the conversion rate for Galaxy troops to full Nictus is reaching 40%.

 

Two other types of creatures come up in conversations about these - War Wolves and Vampyrii. Failed Galaxy conversions can create War Wolves, though there is also some seperate process geared specifically towards making them. Vampyrii are made in a completely seperate process that has nothing to do with Nictus shards or Kheldians at all. 

 

*** Spoiler *** There is a portion of the Kheldian story arcs that has you dealing with "shadow" enemies - Shadow freaks, Shadow vampyrii and the like. These are Freaks and Vampyrii that have been infused with Nictus fragments. Nosferatu himself was considering it. But the fragments have NOTHING to do with the original creation of Vampyrii. 

 

Kheldians making Kheldians

We don't know how Khelds reproduce. Nictus, however, have a means apparently available to them (hinted at in the Galaxy soldier section). In order to make a Galaxy soldier, N-fragments (pieces of a Nictus) are implanted. We don't know how many pieces it takes, or how many you can get from a dying Nictus. 40% of those troops (at this point) opt to become full nictus. If you can get more than one set of shards from a Nictus - and given there's a bit about creating them from healthy Nictus, as well - you can have multiple Nictus created from one. How much of the original Nictus personality remains is unknown.

In-game, the Peacebringers seem surprised by this, so they most likely have some other means available to them.

We don't know of native Kheld gender. The hosts obviously have gender, but native Khelds - unknown.

 

So you want to be a Kheldian...

Warshades, being the scientifically changed "rebel" Nictus, have a Science origin.

 

Peacebringers are Natural. As for how they play - well, browse the Kheld forum to get 50 different answers. 

 

Of course, part of the fun is naming your character. There are no hard-and-fast rules about Kheldian naming. Everything I thought I found for Peacebringers had some exception. I THOUGHT the name would be "solar object + light reference" but that's broken by Sunstorm, Moonbow and Freeflight... so go nuts. Warshades SEEM to have a shadow reference to them - but people seem to go that way (shadow/dark) with them as it is, given their dark coloration in-form.

 

The names, by the way, are the names of the joined beings. Shadowstar's daughter Lilian is slated to become the new Shadowstar, so it's an inherited name or title. 

Native Kheldian names? We know of some - Altered Umbra, Perhelion, and Dirge of Entropy. The best explanation for these names is it's the best fit our minds and language can come up with for Kheldian names. They are, after all, energy beings. 

 

Some names from within the game:

Peacebringer: Sunstorm (Kheld named Perhelion), Freeflight, Moonfire, Coldstar, Fullalbedo, Moonbow, and Brightshift

 

Warshade: Shadowstar and Shadowcatcher (Nictus named Altered Umbra)

 

Nictus: Requiem (Nictus named Dirge of Entropy) and Arakhn

 

So just pick something that sounds good to you.

 

Other bits and pieces, speculation, and references

Don't take any of the below as canon. It's just loose speculation or interesting tidbits.

 

- Requiem is called Science Lord in the original COH comic. Again, though - not canon. Sounds cool though. 

- Earth was either not interesting enough, not advanced enough, or not needed for takeover earlier. Given recent advances (Nictus takeover map = 70 years old, Industral Revolution = 1800s, now up to nuclear power, quantum physics, and space travel) we may have just gotten VERY interesting or much more useful. Nictus may even be (in game, obviously) a driving force behind some advances. Nothing in game to back this up other than needing the right energy and crystals for a cyst. It's just an interesting choice time-wise.

- The closest star is 4.2 light years away. Unless Peacebringers have hosts that can survive interstellar space, something Cyst-like or can 'hibernate' as well, it would take nearly half a Kheld's natural life to get here (assuming that, as an energy being and having no mass, they could travel at the speed of light). Which they can. Then they work around it.

- Shadowstar's been mentioned in ancient egypt, which gives us 2000-5000 years to work with. Board speculation (or bored speculation?) came up with an interesting idea - that Egyptian funeral rites could have been influenced by experience with the Nictus, with the Pyramids as a hiding point for a Cyst. Nothing in game supporting it, but it's an interesting idea to play with.

 

You can always play through the Moonfire, Sunstorm, Shadowstar and general Kheldian arcs yourself for more information.

Edited by AlienOne

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GENERAL KHELDIAN ADVICE

I got a lot of this section from a guide written on the old forums in 2005 by a guy named Tamerlane. Big credit goes to him for inspiring this section to be included in my modern guide for the new forums.

 

1. Know your role

Kheldians are a very open ended AT. There is no right or wrong way to build one, but the way you play can definitely make your choice of Peacebringer or Warshade (and by extension -- your choice of powers and slotting) right or wrong for your play style. You should get an idea of how you want to play as early as possible during the career of your Kheldian. Unlike many builds in the other ATs where powersets, powers, and slotting dictates to a large degree how you play, a Kheldian must be built to suit YOU and not the other way around.

Over the course of leveling up your Kheldian, you should decide fairly early if you like to blast, stay in melee range, be stealthy, do massive damage, be a meatshield, control, defend, etc. Playing with a "blaster" style will definitely mean different emphasis on powers and slotting than playing as a pseudo tank or pseudo controller. Take a bit of time to get a feel of what you want to be doing when solo and in teams. Don't be afraid to reroll early on, and don't be afraid to respec when you get it to higher levels.

 

2. Get to know the powersets and ATs

Use the guides available. Take a good look at the powers and their descriptions. Get a good feel of what a Peacebringer and a Warshade is capable of. Get a good idea of what you might expect in damage output and in damage resistance. Form a picture in your mind of how you can use X power for Y effect.

 

3. Failure is an option

Depending on what types of ATs you normally play -- or even the level of your heroes -- you may not be comfortable with defeats. Getting defeated teaches you how NOT to do things. It may start out rough but it definitely gets better.

 

4. Balance concept and effectiveness: Forms

Many would like to use a straight human form build. The human powers are the ones with all of the cool stuff. However, keep in mind the tradeoffs you must make for that. The same can be said for using only Nova or only Dwarf or staying with Human/Nova or Human/Dwarf. Find something that fits your style of play but I believe that more than any other AT, a Kheldian should respec. The forms can be a huge benefit and if you decided early you wanted to use all 3, a respec might not be necessary. However, for many other playstyles, a planned respec will allow you to bypass a lot of angst in the lower levels.

 

Nova: This is basically a high damage blaster with no defense and no resistance. Nova single target attacks are very efficient in terms of endurance.

 

Dwarf: This is basically a high hitpoint melee form with a potential for very good damage resistance. You cannot function as a real tank on large teams. Taunt recharges a bit too slowly and without gauntlet, it is difficult to hold aggro. However, this form has excellent knockdown/knockback protection and outstanding mezz protection. The damage potential is much lower than Nova or Human but survivability is extremely high.

 

Human: All of the powers you take will only be available in human form except for the ones that come with the form toggles. All inherent powers are only in effect while in human form. Your human form is where you build your versatility or specialization.

 

5. How forms work

First, you have to get your mind to wrap around the idea of specialization to an extremely high degree. With the Kheldians, powers that you take when you level up, inherent powers (like health and stamina), toggles such as shields, summons for your pets, and any pool powers will only be available in human form. Click powers like Hasten can carry over but you must be in human form to use any powers outside of Nova and Dwarf.

Nova will come with 4 attacks. It also has a bonus to damage, accuracy, and endurance recovery. The form itself can be slotted as well as the attacks. If you take this at level 6, you automatically get a form of flight and 4 ranged damage attacks. This will be your most damaging form for a good many levels. In my opinion, Nova will speed up leveling to a considerable degree.

 

Dwarf will come with 2 primary attacks, antagonize, and teleport. PBs can use the teleport in this form for travel if they like. Currently, Dwarf 6 slotted for resistance will cap out damage resistance in Dwarf form. Even if you do not want to tank or fight in melee range, Dwarf form makes a good panic button. When you switch to dwarf, your hitpoints are drastically increased. This is effectively an increase in damage resistance as compared to Nova and Human (without shields). The reason being the same amount of damage is going agaist a larger health pool. In addition, the damage resistance that is slotted will mean each of those hits that is going against your doubled hitpoints will do less damage. An additional bonus is that the chances of you getting mezzed or held drop almost to 0. I have found that without hasten, cycling the 2 primary attacks results is a net endurance loss of 0.

 

Black Dwarf gets a mire buff that deals some damage (and a heal that also does some damage), whereas PBs get a PBAoE attack and a self-heal (that does no damage). While the Black Dwarf mire and heal do some damage, they aren't true attacks--the PB's Dwarf Flare is a real attack, and in many ways is a great aggro grabber.

Both forms are toggles. This means you will switch to human if your endurance drops. You will also switch to human if held or mezzed.

 

6. Missions and Quantums/Voids

Personally, I recommend running your missions on a lower level for a good bit when you first start a Kheldian. Sure, you can handle an orange Lt before you are level 20 but it is extremely difficult to handle an Orange boss Void or Quantum. As you may know, Quantums and Void Seekers/Slayers/Hunters can and WILL spawn in every mission you run. A minion won't kill you in one shot although they can definitely take a major chunk out of your health and stun you. Running at a lower level guarantees that all of the Quantums/Voids will be minions when you are solo. If a buddy joins you, you might see one as a boss or an Lt. but they are much more manageable in a group.

Run your missions. Run your story arcs. I believe before level 30 I had completed 11 story arcs. Your first Kheldian contact will give you a story arc every 5 levels. The arcs are pretty good and you still get the big bonus at the end in addition to an enhancement that fits your origin and level.

 

7. Power pools and travel powers

Pool powers are a very personal thing. As a Kheldian, you will have access to either human flight/nova flight/dwarf TP or human teleport/nova flight/dwarf teleport. Picking up a pool just for travel is a tradeoff you should carefully consider. You don't HAVE to get a pool but some would much rather use SS for travel than flight. Others would rather just put a slot or two in teleport and call it a day.

 

8. It is YOUR Kheldian, YOUR build, YOUR game

It is important to remember that there are no "must haves" and "must slot" and "must use" aspects of a Kheldian. Building a Kheldian that is contrary to the way you play will lead to frustration and debt. Building a Kheldian that allows you to do better those things you enjoy will yield a much better experience -- even when you get defeated. You had to be doing something right to get a level 50. You know how the AI works. You know what to expect around that corner. You have a really good idea of how you are affected and how you can affect NPCs. That is a huge advantage. But...and it is a big one...do not expect your Kheldian experience to mirror any other hero you have. Don't rush, plan a bit, and have fun. You are in for a very nice ride. 

 

9. Binds are your friend.

If you never took the time before, now is when you should learn and love keybinds. Other AT's and builds can get by from 1 to 50 never using a bind. Kheldians aren't like other AT's. There are excellent guides that exist that will make life as a Kheldian 100 times easier for you.

Edited by AlienOne

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POWERS

Here, I won't attempt to explain what each power does, as most guides already do that. This guide assumes that you already know how to play a Warshade, and have made the conscious decision after playing tri-form to challenge yourself with a human-form build. Therefore, what I will do is share my thoughts on the powers themselves, so you can see my thoughts/reasoning for picking or not picking them in the builds I post.

 

Shadow Bolt/Ebon Eye:
Some may argue that "this power doesn't matter," but, I like to look at every power as having its own particular use. The damage difference between the two powers isn't huge—when compared to other powers in the set—so it may boil down to just a style or even visual preference for you. 

I usually pick Ebon Eye myself, because it does more damage, and with the amount of global recharge I’ve incorporated, it's pretty much an immediate recharge anyway. Plus, I think it looks cooler. However, I've heard from several WSs who pick Shadow Bolt that they've seen Shadow Bolt have a "chance" to knock back (KB). Ebon Eye does not. If this is indeed the case, then I would advise choosing Shadow Bolt for a "solo" build and Ebon Eye for a "teaming" build. You never know when knocking an enemy back may save your life.

 

In the end, looking at the overall picture of a human-former, the pick of one over the other isn't really going to affect your gameplay, strategy, or slotting one iota unless you’re trying for a specific Damage Per Second ratio, but... There might also be a situation while you're exemped down on a TF where you're glad you picked one power over the other.

*NOTE*
 

It's important to mention that if you plan on making a single-target focused build (either Chaos™ or Order™), you'll need to pick Ebon Eye, as this power is used for the highest-damage single target attack chain (please see "attack chains" in the Miscellaneous section).

 

Absorption:
You don't have a choice in picking this power--you have to take it. However, this is a good thing, as Negative/Energy is the type of powers that Voids/Quantums/Dark&White Dwarfs/Dark&Light Novas/Cysts use. You'll need the protection anyway.

 

Gravity Shield:
Most shields are throwaway powers if you plan on making a top-level content build, due to Eclipse. However, if you plan on leveling up a human-former from 1-50 without picking up the other forms, then it's a good idea to pick up the shields. You can always respec out of them later when you hit 50. A good portion of most enemies in the game make use of Smashing and Lethal damage, so it’s always a good idea to get as much resistant to that as you can—even if you have a perma-Eclipse, because in certain situations (like fighting a boss), your Eclipse will drop and you won’t have enough enemies to max it out again until you hit your next mob. You certainly won’t make it out by using it against said boss, so it’s good to have all the S/L resistance you can get without Eclipse for those kinds of situations. Then again, if you only plan on playing your Warshade with teams, you may not even have to worry about it, depending on the makeup of the team.

 

Gravimetric Snare:
Gravimetric Snare always proved to be a "throwaway" power for me personally as a human-former, until I was turned on to “proc” enhancements and what they capable of. Not only can you stack immobilize on a Boss (especially if you’re trying to make a single-target build), you can also place some “chance to hold” proc enhancements to further help you keep your enemy in place. In my experience, putting a “chance to hold” enhancement in both Gravimetric Snare and Gravity Well, and then using those powers in quick succession usually yields and extremely high chance to hold even the toughest boss in place. I’ll include a couple of builds that show what I’m talking about in the build section.

 

Orbiting Death:
I am not good on the math involved in DoT, but as a human-former who is constantly in the middle of the action, I've found this power to be invaluable for constant damage ticks while a large mob is gathered around me. Also known as "Orbiting Debt" in some circles, some people think it attracts too much attention and possibly gives you a higher chance of being mezzed at lower levels, so this may be a preference issue. However, at higher levels with mez protection, I'm usually the one acting like the tank on teams, so if you're a huge fan of "as much damage as possible" when going into a mob I highly advise taking this power.

 

Dark Nova:
No real need to discuss this power toggle, as it obviates the whole Human-form build. Simple advice: If you are making a human-former, you don't pick this power. 

 

Penumbral Shield/Twilight Shield:
Now, you would think that as a human-former, I'd be a huge advocate of these shields, since this is the only occasion where you’d want to use them (no sense in using these toggles as a tri-former)—not so. Eclipse basically discards the need for any shield single-handedly. So, at upper-level content (level 38+, which is where a human-former tends to shine anyway), having these two shields is not much more than a "this looks pretty" power, unless you choose to build your Human Form Warshade without Eclipse. 

However, if you are choosing to level up your Warshade as a Human-Only from level 1 all the way to level 50 without picking Nova or Dwarf form, I would say that these shields would be extremely useful at the earlier levels (1-37), and you should take them. You could then respec out of them once you picked up Eclipse.

 

Shadow Blast:
Shadow Blast, although not an awesome damage power, can still be a useful part of a human-form's arsenal. It does *respectable* damage setted up, and also acts as a great foundation for solid set bonuses (if you're building for that). I usually pick it up for my builds. However, it should be noted that some human-formers out there choose not to take this power for various reasons. So, if you’re looking for a power to switch out for a power pool power or something like that, this may be a good choice. It’s up to you.

 

Shadow Cloak:
Shadow Cloak is good for three reasons: One, it provides some minor defense and some stealth that will allow you to pull off a successful Eclipse before the enemy even knows you're there. Once you've got Eclipse up, you're golden. Two, Shadow Cloak coupled with Super Speed essentially offers you complete invisibility to almost every enemy in the game (Knives of Artemis will still give you trouble), and therefore you'll become a viable asset on a TF for stealthing missions and tp'ing everyone to the "end boss fight." Three, it's going to be one of the few powers that allow you to slot a LoTG +Recharge for your global recharge. Although Shadow Cloak's defenses may be minor, I still find it to be a pretty useful power.

 

Starless Step:
Although this can be a useful power, it's usually one that I advise tri-formers to take when they can't figure out what other "non-slot" powers to pick. Starless Step isn't going to help you a lot on a human-form Warshade team-wise, considering the "average" speed at rolling through mobs (according to my experience on Freedom). In fact, it won't help you a lot solo post-i16, as spawning a mob for 8 players will almost negate using this power, unless you’re the sniping type, and like slower, more strategic play. The only situation I could see this as a viable power would be if you were teamed with a traps blaster who liked to set a lot of bombs before attacking a mob. Then, you could attempt to pull the entire mob to the bombs for the blaster by trying to TP the Boss. However, the same thing could be accomplished any number of other ways, including using Provoke, which has been incorporated into a few of the builds.

 

Sunless Mire:
This power is also a must-have for a human-former... I don’t know of any other Warshade player that has ever advised against getting this power, because you’d be severely limiting yourself as a player if you didn’t get it. If you want to get mobs down in short order, you'll need this power. This ups your global damage and ToHit buffs, as well as causing a respectable amount of AoE damage to the enemy at the same time.

 

Dark Detonation:
I've had many a discussion with fellow Kheldians in this community about this power, and the best I can paraphrase it all is it depends on your playstyle. I find the power very useful, but the KB in the power (and the lackluster damage) turns many people off to it. However, it's another AoE you can add to your arsenal if you want to be as "AoE heavy" as you can. If you don't, then it's yet another power choice you can use for something else. Keep in mind, however, that any power you have that affects multiple targets is a perfect opportunity to place "chance for" proc IOs. The more targets affected by a power, the higher the chance the proc will pop off. I've used builds where I placed a Force Feedback: Chance for +Recharge (10% chance to have 100% extra recharge for 5 seconds) in it, and have seen it activate more often than you might think. More recently, however, I've slotted an Overwhelming Force unique (KB to KD) in it, and it takes care of the whole Knockback thing in this power, which means I get another decent quick recharge AoE without scattering everyone and ruining my Stygian Circle hit.

 

Gravity Well:
Gravity Well is basically a high-damage-output auto-kill power for minions—not to mention a really good hold power. The second you can start getting bodies on the ground, your abilities as a WS to cause mass carnage increases exponentially, so I consider Gravity Well an essential part of any Warshade's (human OR tri-form) "diet" (haha). Gravity well does some AMAZING single-target damage, and so I like to slot it with a damage set, rather than a hold set, although if you chose to slot it with a hold set, Basilik's Gaze gives some great bonuses as well.

Gravity Well is basically your "oh, crap, I gotta get a dead body on the ground in a hurry to hit stygian circle so I can survive" power. Or, it could be your “I need to get a dead body on the ground ASAP while the mob is gathered tight so I can hit Unchain Essense” power.” Either way, it’s a great power to use towards the beginning of your attack chain. In any case, I'm a big fan of Gravity Well, and I like to slot it.

 

Black Dwarf:
As a “human-only” player, you don’t need to pick this power if you want to be considered “human-ONLY.” However, as pointed out by a few members of the Kheldian community, Dwarf form can be used for “set mules,” specifically if you are going for soft-capped Smashing/Lethal defense as a human-former. You can actually achieve soft-capped S/L defense as a human-former WITHOUT taking Black Dwarf, but taking Black Dwarf allows you to achieve soft-cap in fewer power choices. Therefore, towards the end of the build section, I’ll go ahead and include a couple of Bi-Form builds that support human-form play, should you choose to go that route.

 

Stygian Circle:
Ahhh... Stygian Circle. This power, coupled with Eclipse, is what makes Warshades "awesomesauce." No real need to slot for health in this power, as the inherent heal percentage from it is still twice as high as your endurance recovery percentage, even with Performance Shifter slotted. You really want this power as early as possible in your build. Really. It’s essentially the heal that a Dark Scrapper has, but without the negative endurance drain effects associated with it. All you need are a few dead bodies.

 

Essence Drain:
Essence drain can be a great "emergency" power to have for a tiny surge of health if you don't have any dead bodies on the ground for stygian circle, and if you're out of inspirations. But, if you're picking it for the heal, you're going to be disappointed when comparing it to the power that is Stygian Circle. I usually recommend Essence Drain only for the "I don't like to team--I prefer to solo only" people. However, it does do pretty good damage. If you plan on picking it, I'd focus on damage IOs/sets more than I would healing IOs/sets.

 

*NOTE*
It's important to mention that if you plan on making a single-target focused build (either Chaos™ or Order™), you'll need to pick Essence Drain, as this power is used for the second-highest-damage single target attack chain (please see "attack chains" in the Miscellaneous section).

 

Gravitic Emanation:
I didn’t like this power when I first started playing my Warshade, as it seemed counterintuitive to keeping mobs tight for Eclipse, Stygian Circle, and any of my AoE attacks like mire and Unchain Essence. However, I’ve found over time that it can definitely be a HUGE bonus to you while soloing, as the length of time you can keep larger mobs stunned is really good, while you're causing carnage in human form without fear of getting taken down. It's a good opening attack, as long as it doesn't scatter everyone too far apart from eachother for pulling off a "capped" Eclipse. Personally, if I were to use it in an attack sequence, I'd want to run in and pull off my Eclipse FIRST, hit Gravity Well on a minion, hit Sunless Mire, pop Unchain Essence (mass stun), raise a pet if I need to, backpedal and hit Gravitic Emination's cone attack, and run back in to finish everyone off. You won't be able to pull off an unchain essence on every mob if you're running at the "speedster" pace I usually do, but you should be able to pull it off every other mob, if you've got the global recharge for it. That said, on the 2nd mob, you'd probably only need to open up with a Sunless Mire and/or Gravitic Emination, then fall back into your usual attack chain, depending on your play style, or as the situation warrants. I've worked this power into several of my builds in this guide.

 

Unchain Essence:
I HIGHLY prefer this power over Quasar for one OVERWHELMING reason: there's no endurance penalty. And, also because the stun is really nice. Oh, and it recharges faster. And its damage is very respectable. And... Well, you get the picture. A quick comparison to a Warshades "actual" nuke: an Unchain Essence that's 5-slotted with Ragnarok or Positron's Blast does higher damage than Quasar does with just an ACC IO in it. And you don't get an endurance penalty for it. And you can use it every 70 to 90 seconds, depending on your global recharge. That should give you a better picture for how *respectable* Unchain Essence's damage spike is, without the major penalties like Quasar gives. 

 

Nebulous Form:
Another power I don't personally have on my human-form Warshade, but it's admittedly another nice "OH CRAP!" power, especially if you've been hit by a "stealth strike" or a major boss attack and don't have any dead bodies on the ground or any inspirations. 

 

Inky Aspect:
This is an extremely important power for a human-former, which only grows in importance according to how large the mob size he is fighting is. It is *nearly* an "auto-stun" for minions, and coupled with Unchain Essence, will provide a large enough combined stun to stun LTs, and in some cases, stun Bosses for a very short time. The "health risk" for taking this power is a moot point, considering the regeneration percentages I have worked into the builds mentioned in this guide.

 

Dark Extraction:
Your pets! Awesome little purple fluffies (as I like to call them), as long as you can keep the aggro off of them (my reasoning for picking Provoke on several of the builds)... They can *nearly* double your damage (depending on how many you can keep up constantly), so definitely don't skip this power!

 

Quasar:
Although I don't like the penalty associated with Quasar (it really slows your ability for a continuous, rolling attack chain), I do think it can be quite useful, if the situation warrants. If you're a vet player or have played any blasters, I don't have to list off all the reasons and situations it could be useful. Although I picked the power for my tri-form build, I usually don’t work it into my human form builds for one primary reason: I would have to re-toggle every single toggle-power I had running (which can be 8+ sometimes) after using it, and that would really slow my attack chain—and overall killing speed—down.

 

Eclipse:
Eclipse. Need anything be said? This is the probably one of the single most powerful powers in the game. I consider it the Warshade’s “signature” power. If you slot it up right, approximately 4 to 5 enemies will give you max resistance in every category (less if you're on a team or have build for resistance in your build or are using specific Incarnate powers that provide +resistance). It's "god-mode" in a clicky. Get it and slot it. 

 

Stygian Return:
Stygian Return can be an extremely useful power to have, especially if you get in those kinds of situations where you just realized that you got yourself in over your head. Although it requires live bodies to be nearby in order to work, that doesn't seem like much of a drawback, considering the fact that if you just got yourself in over your head, there's going to be a bunch of enemies standing around over your dead body anyway. It also has a fantastic "untouchable" side effect, which allows you to get away, re-toggle, and reset if you need to.

 

Dark Sustenance:
You "slot" this by teaming with people (haha). If you think your capabilities as a human-former are awesome when soloing, you should check out what you can do when teamed! (Then change your pants)

 

Shadow Step/Shadow Recall:
If you do any TFs or missions in Independence Port or Shadow Shard, you might see a benefit. This is also a great place to put a either a Blessing of the Zephyr KB Protection or a Winter's Gift Slow Resistance enhancement. However, the IO you place here isn't a big deal, so the choice is yours for what you need to use here.

 

Shadow Slip:
This power is mainly a convenience power. Some people think it's worth it to slot; others don't. I've found a lot of use with it personally because I do a lot of Task Forces, but if you find that you never use it, there's no sense wasting a power choice on it.

Edited by AlienOne

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POWERS, PART II

SPEED, SPEED, SPEED!!!
I consider speed (both recharge and rate at which you attack mobs) an essential build choice for a human-form Warshade, whether or not you choose to go for a lot or a little. Some recharge is dependent on budget constraints, but for the most part, you can achieve a good amount of recharge without spending a lot of money. As far as attack rate, all experienced Warshades know that the two main WS power (Eclipse and Stygian Circle) are timing-based. Therefore, if you want a continual running attack chain with a permanently-capped resistance bonus, you will need to be constantly moving from mob to mob in quick order (particularly if you are the “chaos” minded human former).

 

Hasten:
As far as any human-former is concerned, this is a "must-have" power, if you want a "perma" eclipse--and I can't see why you wouldn't. Of course, this makes you have to pick the "Speed" pool, and if you're naturally the "Super Jump" type, this can be a little aggravating. However, I also have a build in this guide with Combat Jumping/Super Jump worked in, so it can be done without "ruining" a human form build (which further illustrates that there can't EVER be "one Warshade build to rule them all").

 

Super Speed (Or any other Secondary travel power, for that matter):
I'm a big fan of Super Speed, because it compliments my personal "OMGTHERESAMOBKILLIT--kthatsdoneNEXT!" playstyle. However, if you'd rather take Super Jump, that's cool. I didn't put together a single human-form build without a 2nd travel power, because I think using TP exclusively in missions can be quite a drain on your endurance and can *possibly* mess up your attack chain sequences. On top of that, anytime you're in a cave mission, you're going to get pissed off because constantly teleporting into walls can be aggravating. However, the same thing could be said for any travel power in caves. Super Speed can cause you to constantly run into walls if you’re not extremely skilled at using it.

 

Super Speed also compliments Shadow Cloak in that it makes you pretty much invisible, which may be what you need to pull off a successful Eclipse. There is nothing more aggravating to me than being knocked back/down or killed by the alpha strike as I'm trying to pull off an Eclipse or attack chain.

 

Besides all of that, having a travel power that can get you to the next mob in short order on any map type can keep you ahead of the rest of the pack (so to speak) when playing with teammates. It can be aggravating to be “too slow” on a team, and arrive where the team’s currently at only to find out there aren’t enough enemies—or enemies are already too spread out—to pull off a full Eclipse.

 

Power Pools:
Now that the Fitness power pool is inherent, it allows human-formers a few more power choices (and possibly toggles, depending on how important Fitness is to you), which offers even more build flexibility.

 

Leadership, on teams (in my humble opinion) is absolutely invaluable. If you can afford to toggle it, you can afford the power pick. This is another reason I build for high recovery rates. While tri-formers can't necessarily properly use Leadership, human-formers can...and should, if you team often. If you prefer not to use it, it’s not a necessity, but the bonuses to using it (including the opportunity to use more LotG recharge bonuses) are hard to ignore.

 

The Presence power pool is a wonderful option for many human-formers out there. Because the human-former is so surviveable (especially the "order" builds, which can cap all resistances as well as softcap S/L defenses or softcap Melee/AoE/Ranged defenses), someone playing a human former can essentially become a stand-in tank. Therefore, having powers that can both taunt and control mobs from this power pool can be a great benefit. Even "chaos" human formers who like to both hold and stun mobs can make use of the fear powers in their builds. Definitely a power pool to check out if you're wondering what to pick out of the power pools.

 

The Fighting power pool is also notable simply because an "order" human former may need it for set mules in order to softcap their defenses. Definitely a power pool worth looking into.

 

Brawl:
This power hasn't made it to any of my power trays for years, not even when I'm at the lower lvls in a sewer run to Kings Row.... If you're a vet, then you've got your staff/wand and the Sands of Mu that dwarf brawl's effectiveness. However, if you do use it, I’d put a Pounding Slugfest: Disorient Bonus or a Kinetic Combat: Knockdown Bonus in it (or any other number of proc IOs) to expand its viability.

 

Sprint:
I usually put a run IO in here just for the heck of it, especially when exemped down on the Posi TF--although, I actually slot it in "Prestige Power Slide," because I think that purple just looks cooler with a WS.

 

Rest:
Good idea to put a recharge in the rest here as well--another Posi-TF-influenced IO placement on my part. You probably won’t use this power at all in higher-level play.

Edited by AlienOne

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HERO DESIGNER TIPS & TRICKS

One of the most useful tools that has ever come out of the CoH community (and there have been many!) is "Hero Designer" (formerly Mid's Hero Designer). This little program is almost a little game in and of itself--it essentially allows you to "perma-respec" your character to your heart's content without the cost of actually using a respec in-game. I rarely roll a new character anymore without first building a satisfactory Pine's Build for it. By satisfactory, I mean that it "can be effective." I don't mean to imply that the builds I post in this guide are the best human-form builds. They are simply options for a few different play styles.

 

That said, I will mention here that in order to see any of the builds in this guide, you need to download and install Hero Designer, located HERE. It's highly recommended that you get the most updated version, as that will allow you to accurately view your numbers and stats as well as pick different/more powers if the latest issue's release allows for that.

Once installed, you can click on any of the links in the BUILDS section located in this guide, and it will give you the option to open or save the build to your computer. Optionally, you can also copy and paste the data links into Pine's if for some reason the links are not working for you.

 

Two quick pointers: First, for first-time Hero Designer users in reference to this guide, there is the view totals button, which will bring up a three-button/tab window that basically gives you a complete run-down of numbers and percentages for your human-former. Secondly, activated and deactivated powers affect your overall numbers. You can activate (or toggle on/off) a power by clicking the little black or green circle on the slotted power. Green is activated/toggled on and Black is de-activated/toggled off. For the buttons at the upper right of the Hero Designer Program (i.e., Accolades, Incarnate powers, Temporary powers, etc.), Green is activated/toggled on and Blue is de-activated/toggled off.

 

*NOTE!!!* Another trick I happen to love using is the alternate sets feature. Knowledge of this feature is important when attempting to see all the builds I have posted currently for a human-former. You can use this feature by clicking on Slots/Enhancements at the top of the Hero Designer program, scrolling down and highlighting Slots, and then clicking on Flip All to Alternate. Presto! You now have an alternate list of sets for that particular human-form slotting. Any time I refer to the alternate or cheaper build I’ve posted in this guide, this is how you get to it.

Edited by AlienOne

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CHAOS™ BUILDS

This is a moderate list of builds I think can be effective for a human-form Warshade--with a short explanation of which each contains. Feel free to use them just as a basis for your own human-only Warshade build... These are not the best builds for a human-former by any means--they are merely suggestions to hopefully get your creative juices flowing. The idea here is to provide a jumping off point for you to make a build that fits your play style best. There are thousands of possibilities for builds, and obviously including every combination here would be counterproductive, so please mix and match these builds to your heart's content, depending on how YOU like to play City of Heroes!

I mentioned this in the Pine's Tips & Tricks section, but some people still seem to have trouble figuring this out, so I will mention it in this section too:

 

Another trick I happen to love using is the alternate sets feature. Knowledge of this feature is important when attempting to see all the builds I have posted currently for a human-former. If you have downloaded the build from the LINKS, you can use this feature by clicking on "Slots/Enhancements" at the top of the Mid's program, scrolling down and highlighting "Slots," and then clicking on "Flip All to Alternate." Presto! You now have an alternate list of sets for that particular human-form slotting. Any time I refer to the "alternate" or "cheaper" build to a build I’ve posted in this guide, this is how you get to it. Otherwise, you can just copy & paste the data links to access whichever build you would like.

 

Also, the first build is ALWAYS the more expensive option. The Alternate build (which you get to with the aforementioned directions) is the cheaper version of the same build--with the same slotting.

 

*NOTE*
In ALL of these builds, I've enabled the "auto" accolade powers... If you don't already have them on your Warshade, get them! They're a tremendous help!

 

CHAOS™ BUILDS 1/2 (LINK):

The first build you see is what used to run on my Warshade when I first created this guide in 2009 (including the “legacy” Fitness power pool choices, in case you wanted to know exactly what ran on him for some of the YouTube video links below). Obviously, affording five 5-slotted purple sets may be a little out of your budget's reach, so that's why I put together the second build--to show that achieving similar results without purples is entirely viable. The purpose for this build (with Provoke) was intended for post-issue 16 difficulty settings (8-man mob scaling) solo play. The idea of using Provoke on a human-form Warshade is to keep the aggro on yourself and off of your pets, so they can continue to output damage unhindered. This has been tested and works. This build is primarily for human-form Warshades who like to solo "scaled" mobs, but are not opposed to teaming up when necessary. This was a very enjoyable build for me at the time, and can obviously be updated to include the inherent Fitness pool to provide several more options.


CHAOS™ BUILDS 3/4 (LINK):

These builds are very similar to the first two, in that all power choices up to Dark Extraction are pretty much the same (with the exception of slotting for Dark Detonation). However, this is the "alternate" form of the first two builds for the human-form Warshades, for those who prefer to team up every time they log on their human-form Warshade. Provoke was traded for Vengeance, and a few slots were moved around to accommodate this change. This is quite possibly the *most* maxed out you can get your human-form Warshade with Global Recharge. Also, this build is NOT a “legacy” build (like the first one)—therefore, there are several more powers picked in this build (and at different levels) because of inherent Fitness.


CHAOS™ BUILDS 5/6 (LINK):

These builds assume the chaos human-former doesn't want to take the leadership powers, because he/she would rather conserve their endurance usage (or simply doesn't like Leadership). This build also shows what my slotting for Gravitic Emination and Essence Drain would be, if I wanted to work them into my own personal human-form Warshade(s). This is a great build for soloers who like to face both smaller and scaled mobs.


CHAOS™ BUILDS 7/8 (LINK):

These builds show what powers I would pick and how I would slot them if I were IO'ing or SO'ing out my human-form Warshade, for the "Solo-Minded IO/SO Purists" out there... You know who you are! 

*NOTE* ZERO Knockback (KB) protection!!!


CHAOS™ BUILDS 9/10 (LINK):

This is IO'd and SO'd versions of the builds above with leadership for "team-minded IO/SO purists" (see? I tried to think of everyone!)... 

*NOTE* ZERO Knockback (KB) protection!!!


CHAOS™ BUILD 11 (LINK):

This build was something I came up with for someone who sent me a PM asking specific advice on a human-form warshade while dualing with a friend who was a tank. I think this build is pretty decent and worth mentioning, especially for the high slotting of leadership and the fact that Quasar is added into this build. Minimal Enemy Knockback was also taken into consideration for this build. This is another ideal all-around teaming build for a human-former. 

*NOTE* Mag 12 Knockback (KB) protection


CHAOS™ 2018 BUILD 12 (LINK):

This build is what my Warshade runs now as of this posting. You will see if you go through all the builds in this post most of the iterations I went through over the course of nearly 10 years. Some things stayed the same, and others (primarily slotting) switched things up a bit. The survivability of this build cannot be overstated. I can act as the Tank/Brute on most teams and not break a sweat. I'm always the first one jumping in the mob (mostly so I can get an eclipse off before people start attacking), and there is rarely ever a time when I can't survive it. To me, this is where it's at in City of Heroes. I get no greater joy from my gaming in CoH than when I play this toon. Feel free to ask about the new slotting and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

*NOTE* Mag 19 Knockback (KB) protection

 

 

*SECOND NOTE* Apparently, my old .mxf files do not open up correctly in the newest version of Hero Designer, so I'm going to have to rebuild and repost all of these---PLEASE STAND BY!

Edited by AlienOne

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ORDER™ BUILDS

ORDER™ BUILD 1/2 (LINK):

This is an "order" build that softcaps Smashing & Lethal defense. This is one of the best examples of an "Order" pure human-form Warshade.


ORDER™ BUILD 3/4 (LINK):

In this build, the Smashing & Lethal defenses are not softcapped. However, Smashing, Lethal, Energy, Negative Energy, and Ranged damage are all placed at or over the 32.5% mark, which allows you to hit softcap for all those defense categories just by hitting one small purple inspiration (the one with the shield on it). This is another ideal build to use as a springboard for "order" human-form Warshade play.


ORDER™ BUILD 5/6 (LINK):

Although posting a bi-form build in a human-form guide seems a bit backwards, this build is actually very viable for the human-former, as it only uses Dwarf form for "set mules" to get the defense it needs, and still focuses on the "human-only" playstyle. As you can see in the 6th build, it's still possible to get a softcap on S/L defense without having to spend 2 billion influence on a Gladiator's Armor IO.


*NOTE*
If you have created any human-form builds that fit a specific playstyle that you think are not at least partially covered in this guide, please send me a personal message with the build data chunk, and I will take a look at it for possible inclusion into this guide.

 

*SECOND NOTE* Apparently, my old .mxf files do not open up correctly in the newest version of Hero Designer, so I'm going to have to rebuild and repost all of these---PLEASE STAND BY!

Edited by AlienOne

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INCARNATE POWERS

The Incarnate system is something that was introduced in issue 19, and completely revolutionized the end-game experience for many veteran players, and in some ways even made creating builds more interesting and flexible, due to things like endurance reduction, recharge bonuses, and Defense bonuses. I am going to attempt to share my thoughts on Incarnate powers, and what effects they have on the human form Warshade.

 

*NOTE*
There are FAR too many powers to name individually, so any time I refer to an Incarnate power, please just assume that I am talking about the Tier 4 (T4) version of that category. I will always refer to the T4 version of whatever power category I am referring to. It’s also important to note that you can pick up EVERY category if you want, and switch them out as situations warrant, so don’t feel restricted to one.

ALPHA

 

Cardiac Core Paragon and Radial Paragon

Both Core and Radial Paragon can prove to be quite useful to a human-form Warshade, depending on what sort of build you have, and what kind of budgetary constraints have governed said build. Individuals who are able to afford “purpled” builds (builds with 5 or 6-slotted very rare sets) most likely will NOT need the Cardiac Alpha, due to the amount of endurance recovery afforded to them.

 

However, a more casual player who may not be able to afford a higher-end build would greatly benefit from both endurance reduction and some extra resistance. The extra resistance means fewer enemies are needed for Eclipse to cap all your resistance categories.

 

If you are extremely worried about endurance issues, then by all means, take Core Paragon. Otherwise, I feel someone going for this Alpha power is better fitted with Radial Paragon. Not only do you still get a good endurance discount and the same resistance percentage, but you also get some enhancements to fear effects, if you happen to have picked the Presence power pool (or have the power Fear Incarnate). Either Cardiac works well, however.

 

Musculature Core Paragon and Radial Paragon

Obviously, this power can be a great benefit to a human-former, and I don’t really need to go into the “whys.” Extra damage is extra damage, and if you’re into building as much damage into your build as possible, this is the Alpha for you. Chaos™ human-formers can greatly benefit from this power.

 

Nerve Core Paragon and Radial Paragon

This Alpha can be extremely important for the Order™ Warshade builds… Either T4 buffs your Defense by 20%, and this can make a huge difference with how you decide to slot your human-former for the 32.5% mark or for softcapping a specific category. For a Chaos™ human-former, this power isn’t a priority.

 

Spiritual Core Paragon and Radial Paragon

This is a very beneficial Alpha power for human-form Warshade builds. Not only does it enhance recharge rates, it can also enhance stun effects, slow effects, and ToHit Buffs—all of which a Warshade depends on. People wanting to focus more on recharge need to pick up Core Paragon, and people who want to enhance their slows and ToHit effects will pick up Radial Paragon.

 

DESTINY

 

Ageless Core Epiphany and Radial Epiphany

Ageless Core Epiphany would be most useful for the human-formers who are IO/SO purists and are following my “IO/SO-only” guides, due to the benefits to endurance values as well as recharge rates. Otherwise, any other human-formers will most likely skip over this power. Also, I believe the Core is better than the Radial, unless you’re worried about getting debuffed, and if you’re worried about that, you’re most likely an Order™ human-former—and if you are, then you’d still probably be better off with Barrier or Clarion.

 

Barrier Core Epiphany and Radial Epiphany

Order™ human-formers will benefit greatly from the extra defense these powers give. This is also a great teaming power for Task Forces. The resistance values should be moot with Eclipse running, but if you’re AV soloing, this might come in handy.

 

Clarion Core Epiphany and Radial Epiphany

This is quite possibly (in my opinion) the most beneficial Destiny power for human-form Warshades. Mez protection is something I begged the developers to give us for YEARS. Now we have it, and I couldn't be happier. The Core T4 is obviously the better choice because it means you will have mez protection of some sort at all times. I highly advise getting this power and having it on standby for those especially pesky mob groups that spell “perma-hold” for a human-former (i.e., Malta, Knives of Artemis, Circle of Thorns, etc.)

 

Rebirth Core Epiphany and Radial Epiphany

This power may or may not be useful for Order™ human-formers, depending on the AV soloing situation and the build they are using, but for the most part, this is probably not a power you’re going to be picking as a Warshade, due to the amazingness that is Stygian Circle.

 

INTERFACE

 

Diamagnetic Core Flawless Interface and Radial Flawless Interface

This can be a very useful power to keep in your arsenal for soloing AVs, due to the ToHit and regen debuffs. However, it’s not an absolutely important choice, and one that I’d like to see tested.

 

Gravitic Core Flawless Interface and Radial Flawless Interface

I can also see another possible use here for soloing specific AVs, but would need to see an example of it to encourage using it above all others in specific situations.

 

Paralytic Core Flawless Interface and Radial Flawless Interface

This one can be incredibly useful for AVs who dish out devastating attacks or have high defense. Would like to see an example of this in action as well.

 

Reactive Core Flawless Interface and Radial Flawless Interface

This one is the most recommended from both myself and several other members of the Kheldian community, due to the amount of extra damage it can add to your attacks, as well as the chance to have a damage resistance debuff added to your attacks. Depending on your priority (damage or debuffs), both of these T4 powers come highly recommended.

 

LORE

 

All powers in this category are not an absolute necessity for any human-former in order to function. They are just nice to have, and thusly all power recommendations here would be highly subjective.

 

I’ll just mention that Cimerorans have very good single-target damage, and Warworks have –regen attacks, both of which could be very useful for AV soloing—assuming “not using pets” isn’t part of your challenge.

 

JUDGEMENT

 

Also another situation where recommending one power over another isn’t going to give you an advantage or a disadvantage, so any points I make here would be moot. Pick whatever fits you best here, or whatever fits your theme if you want.

 

Something to point out is Void has a great debuff, Ion hits up to 40 targets, and Pyronic does the most damage (though not by much).

 

HYBRID


Will fill out this section soon!


*WORK IN PROGRESS!!!*

Edited by AlienOne

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MISCELLANEOUS

 

ATTACK CHAINS

I get asked about attack chains a lot. "What attack chain is optimal?" "Which attack chain do you use?" "What's the highest DPS attack chain you can have on a Warshade?"

Firstly, the main thing you have to keep in mind for a Warshade is several of your attacks are situational. For example, you're not going to use Stygian Circle to heal or recover endurance unless you already have bodies on the ground. It may screw up your timing/rhythm/surviveability if you hit Eclipse when there is only 1 enemy next to you. Sunless Mire is also most effective when there are more enemies around. Unchain Essence requires a dead body and has a high recharge attached to it. Your pets require a dead body, and using any one of the aforementioned powers may interrupt your attack chain flow and timing, and ultimately lowers your DPS. Therefore, you can't really place some of your key signature powers in a specific chain of events without consistently being aware of your situation. This is something else I love about Warshades. There are some ATs in this game that are so surviveable that you can basically run to grab a drink out of the fridge and use the restroom with a group of enemies gathered around your character beating on him/her, and come back and your character won't even have a scratch. That's nearly impossible with a Warshade. You have to constantly be rolling with the punches, considering which power is best to use when, what would be most effective, when you should stun or hold, and what is the best opening attack for a specific enemy type.

It is usually best to think of a Warshade's attack chain in two parts: the "Buildup/Explosion" and the "Takedown."

 

"The Buildup/Explosion"

 

There are two specific powers on a Warshade that are most effective when used FIRST. They are Eclipse and Sunless Mire. Both of these powers are more effective with more enemies nearby, and therefore can be used to their maximum capacity if used directly after entering the center of a large mob. I usually hit Eclipse first, because I am first and foremost thinking of my surviveability. If I can't live long enough to pull off any of my next few attacks, there's no sense in running in the middle of the mob to begin with. Therefore, I will use Eclipse first, and then Sunless Mire next.

 

Now, we have (hopefully) a capped resistance percentage in every resistance category, and a fully saturated Mire, which has significantly multiplied our ToHit buff and damage output.

 

We can now start thinking about an attack chain.

 

If you have picked Unchain Essence in your human-form build, this is a power that I also like to use towards the beginning of my attack chain. It creates dead bodies quickly, and subsequently allows me to build momentum in getting the rest of the enemies down in the mob.

 

With that said, this is my usual mindset when approaching a new mob:

 

1. Target a minion (enemy with the lowest HP) towards the middle of a mob
2. Run in the middle of the mob
3. Eclipse
4. Sunless Mire
5. Use Gravity Well on minion (which is usually an insta-kill)
6. Unchain Essence on the dead body
7. Dark Detonation on the next nearest enemy

 

If you've chosen Provoke, I would use that at this point to call any enemy back to you that might have gotten knocked back in the previous attack chain's sequence, and then use a Stygian Circle (if you need to heal up) and create a pet on one of the dead bodies at your feet.

 

By this point, most mobs in most solo or team situations (unless you're going against +4s which will have a much higher amount of HP) are going to be pretty decimated. Heck, if you're quick enough, you can stay 2 steps ahead of most teams by having nearly every mob down to just a few "stragglers" by the time the team gets to the mob you've currently hit. You should only have the bosses and a few LTs left, and can start an entirely different sort of attack chain--part 2, if you will...

 

"The Takedown"

 

I don't claim to be a math magician for DPS outputs, but I have had discussions with people who were, and they informed me that there is, in fact, a couple of very good single-target high DPS attack chain sequences, which are best for taking down the bosses and LTs that don't go down during your initial "damage explosion," or for those of you who are interested in taking on AVs:

 

1. Gravity Well>Ebon Eye>Shadow Blast>Ebon Eye (rinse and repeat)

or

2. Shadow Blast>Gravity Well>Shadow Blast>Essence Drain (rinse and repeat)


*NOTE*
This is not meant to be a "be all, end all" way to use your powers as a human-former. It's just a suggestion for how you might best utilize your powers most effectively in *most* situations.

 

COST

 

As you can see from any of the setted human-only builds, it's going to cost you a good chunk of money to set out a human-form Warshade. There's no sense in posting average market costs in a guide, because that not only severely dates it, it's also not an accurate representation of the market. Market prices have soared and plummeted so many times over the years that not even the people who claim to study the market can predict what will come next--similar to the American stock market during the 2000s.

 

What I will say is this: try to get some good advice from the experts on properly playing the market (if you don't already know how) before you try impulse buying everything in one of those sets. Luck of the Gambler +Global Recharges, Numina +Regen +Recovery, and Miracle +Recovery will always be on the expensive side, as well as any Knockback Protection IO, due to their popularity. However, I advise you to try taking it out of your Pine's build and see your endurance recovery percentages drop before you decide outright that you're not going to get them. They're quite useful.

 

Also, as an alternative to paying excessive prices on the market, try a regular diet of Task Forces. You can get exactly what you want via the merit system without paying a "dime" of influence--it's what I do!

Edited by AlienOne

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VIDEOS

 

This section of my guide isn't meant to be a "how-to" on attack chains or "how a human-form Warshade SHOULD be played." It is merely a section I decided to include for entertainment/informational purposes to illustrate what a human-form Warshade was/is capable of, and (hopefully) to provide some inspiration for future human-formers to show off their accomplishments. I will be updating this section as I acquire more links to videos (and as I have time) that fit these specifications. Please feel free to send me a personal message, if you think you have a video that is a good example of what a human-form Warshade is capable of.

 

Here's the first couple of videos I made back when Mission Architect was first implemented and I was starting to really test the limits of what my human-form Warshade could handle (before the difficulty settings, before Incarnate powers, and before level shifting):

 

Video 1: Enemy Hordes (with Vengeance)

Video 2: Enemy Hordes (without Vengeance)

 

The following videos are the best examples of the sort of fights a Chaos™ human-form Warshade would trip out over. While a "stable" human-former may thoroughly enjoy a long fight with an AV, a Chaos™ human former would rather fight 100+ enemies at once (They're also a great illustration of how useful Orbiting Death is in large mobs):

 

Video 3: 100+ enemies

Video 4: Scrapperlock!

 

The next couple of videos are the very first test I did with +4x8 mobs (no bosses at first, and then with bosses added) when i16 was first released (before level shifting and Incarnate powers):

 

Video 5: No Bosses

Video 6: With Bosses

PICTURES

*WORK IN PROGRESS!!!*

 

*NOTE*
A lot of the video links in this section are OLD. I would hope to update these at some point in the future, but they are here more for historical/archival purposes at this point.

Edited by AlienOne

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SUMMARY

 

A human-former is a very adaptable and unique build for City of Heroes. The closest I could compare it to would be a scrapper who "happened" to have a frew "controller-type" powers, and had a major damage buff as well. Although you may not be able to do as much damage as a blaster, your surviveability and ability to stand toe-to-toe with extremely difficult enemies (and continue to put out a continuous stream of attacks) will more than make up for the loss of damage output for not choosing "nova" form. A "Blapper" who might be pretty frustrated with the amount of times his Blaster dies would be extremely satisfied with this playstyle.

 

Also, it is important to realize that, as illustrated in the build section above, there is no *one* way to build a human-form Warshade. There may be an optimized way to build a human-form Warshade for your particular play style, but everyone's play style and end goals for their human-former are going to be different, and therefore there are going to be many different possibilities for how your particular Warshade can be built. One may say, "THIS is the best way to build a Warshade!" but then not take into consideration play style, budgetary constraints, or power preferences. What they really mean is "This is the best way to build a Warshade for me!"

 

That's the beauty of playing a Kheldian. Some might see the sheer number of power choices on a Kheldian as a negative thing, but I see it as a positive thing. To me, more choice offers more flexibility for more playstyles.

 

As a final note, the most important thing to remember while building and playing your human-form Warshade is to be patient! Building (and playing) a human-form Warshade that causes teammates to send you tells after a mission complimenting you on how awesome your Kheld is doesn't happen overnight...

...It takes practice!

 

Have fun!

 

Alien

Edited by AlienOne

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Posted (edited)

Holding this section for Photo of current build/enhancement screens

Edited by AlienOne

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Please feel free to point out any mistakes, information that is no longer relevant or not updated, or anything you feel should be added to this guide. I feel this thing has been a "work in progress" for over 10 years at this point, so it's more "fluid" than it is "this is how things should be done." It's only meant to be a help to anyone wanting to really get into the "Warshade lifestyle"....haha!

 

Also, I'm aware I need to update the build links in the build section. I'll work on that when I can this weekend.

Edited by AlienOne

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1 hour ago, AlienOne said:

Gravitic Emanation:
I didn’t like this power when I first started playing my Warshade, as it seemed counterintuitive to keeping mobs tight for Eclipse, Stygian Circle, and any of my AoE attacks like mire and Unchain Essence. However, I’ve found over time that it can definitely be a HUGE bonus to you while soloing, as the length of time you can keep larger mobs stunned is really good, while you're causing carnage in human form without fear of getting taken down. It's a good opening attack, as long as it doesn't scatter everyone too far apart from eachother for pulling off a "capped" Eclipse. Personally, if I were to use it in an attack sequence, I'd want to run in and pull off my Eclipse FIRST, hit Gravity Well on a minion, hit Sunless Mire, pop Unchain Essence (mass stun), raise a pet if I need to, backpedal and hit Gravitic Emination's cone attack, and run back in to finish everyone off. You won't be able to pull off an unchain essence on every mob if you're running at the "speedster" pace I usually do, but you should be able to pull it off every other mob, if you've got the global recharge for it. That said, on the 2nd mob, you'd probably only need to open up with a Sunless Mire and/or Gravitic Emination, then fall back into your usual attack chain, depending on your play style, or as the situation warrants. I've worked this power into several of my builds in this guide.

I'm just going to put this here ... and allow you to imagine the possibilities ...

On 12/9/2019 at 7:59 AM, Redlynne said:

Level 26:    Gravitic Emanation    
 (A) Rope A Dope - Accuracy/Stun/Recharge: Level 50+5
 (27) Force Feedback - Chance for +Recharge: Level 21
 (29) Sudden Acceleration - Knockback to Knockdown: Level 21
 (29) Superior Frozen Blast - Recharge/Chance for Immobilize: Level 50

On 12/9/2019 at 7:59 AM, Redlynne said:

Gravitic Emanation: Superior Frozen Blast (3.5 PPM), Force Feedback (2.0 PPM)

  • 3.5 * ((45 / ( 1 + 49.69 / 100 )) + 1) / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 40 * (11 * 45 + 540) / 30,000))) = 89.04%
  • 2.0 * ((45 / ( 1 + 49.69 / 100 )) + 1) / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 40 * (11 * 45 + 540) / 30,000))) = 50.88%
  1. $Target: 1 - (1 - 0.5088)1 = 50.88%
  2. $Targets: 1 - (1 - 0.5088)2 = 75.87%
  3. $Targets: 1 - (1 - 0.5088)3 = 88.15%
  4. $Targets: 1 - (1 - 0.5088)4 = 94.18%
  5. $Targets: 1 - (1 - 0.5088)5 = 97.14%
  6. $Targets: 1 - (1 - 0.5088)6 = 98.60%
  7. $Targets: 1 - (1 - 0.5088)7 = 99.31%
  8. $Targets: 1 - (1 - 0.5088)8 = 99.66%
  9. $Targets: 1 - (1 - 0.5088)9 = 99.83%
  10. $Targets: 1 - (1 - 0.5088)10 = 99.92%

You're welcome!

Edited by Redlynne

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Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.

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nice read, thank your time and effot into this.


@Rilude

 

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10 minutes ago, Rilude said:

nice read, thank your time and effot into this.

Thanks! Keep checking back....the parts that are currently invalid (Builds) will be updated and useful in the future.

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Great guide. I was just watching some of your old youtube vids today funny enough, I'm still intrigued by khelds and what they can do, what they might have yet to do. I'll sift through these builds tonight, I like to look for slotting tricks.


Some players make their characters all about them, if it doesn't help them, they don't want it, their build advice to you will ofcourse be about making your character the best thing that helps them too if they ever team with you, because it's always about them.

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13 hours ago, AlienOne said:

Gravity Shield:
Most shields are throwaway powers if you plan on making a top-level content build, due to Eclipse. However, if you plan on leveling up a human-former from 1-50 without picking up the other forms, then it's a good idea to pick up the shields. You can always respec out of them later when you hit 50. A good portion of most enemies in the game make use of Smashing and Lethal damage, so it’s always a good idea to get as much resistant to that as you can—even if you have a perma-Eclipse, because in certain situations (like fighting a boss), your Eclipse will drop and you won’t have enough enemies to max it out again until you hit your next mob. You certainly won’t make it out by using it against said boss, so it’s good to have all the S/L resistance you can get without Eclipse for those kinds of situations. Then again, if you only plan on playing your Warshade with teams, you may not even have to worry about it, depending on the makeup of the team.

 

Penumbral Shield/Twilight Shield:
Now, you would think that as a human-former, I'd be a huge advocate of these shields, since this is the only occasion where you’d want to use them (no sense in using these toggles as a tri-former)—not so. Eclipse basically discards the need for any shield single-handedly. So, at upper-level content (level 38+, which is where a human-former tends to shine anyway), having these two shields is not much more than a "this looks pretty" power, unless you choose to build your Human Form Warshade without Eclipse. 

However, if you are choosing to level up your Warshade as a Human-Only from level 1 all the way to level 50 without picking Nova or Dwarf form, I would say that these shields would be extremely useful at the earlier levels (1-37), and you should take them. You could then respec out of them once you picked up Eclipse.

I'm just going to put this here ... and allow you to imagine the possibilities ...

On 12/9/2019 at 7:59 AM, Redlynne said:

Gravity Shield    
 (A) Impervium Armor - Psionic Resistance: Level 15


Penumbral Shield    
 (A) Impervium Armor - Psionic Resistance: Level 15


Twilight Shield    
 (A) Aegis - Psionic/Status Resistance: Level 25

 

Impervium Armor
(Gravity Shield)
  6% Resistance(Psionic)

 

Impervium Armor
(Penumbral Shield)
  6% Resistance(Psionic)


Aegis
(Twilight Shield)
  5% Resistance(Psionic)

Alternatively, if you would prefer to 2 slot, you can put 2 slots of Unbreakable Guard into Absorption, Gravity Shield, Penumbral Shield and Twilight Shield and walk away with a (global!) +10% Endurance Reduction set bonus for every power that uses endurance in your build because the 2 slot bonus for Unbreakable Guard is +2.5% Endurance Reduction for all powers.

 

At the very least, having the 3 Shield powers ... even if they're just One Slot Wonders™ ... reduces the number of $Targets you need to hit with your Eclipse in order to saturate your Resistances up to the hardcap, because there are going to be times when it's easier to hardcap resistances when you've only got 3 $Targets around you rather than needing to have 5 $Targets around you for Eclipse.


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14 hours ago, AlienOne said:

Gravimetric Snare:
Gravimetric Snare always proved to be a "throwaway" power for me personally as a human-former, until I was turned on to “proc” enhancements and what they capable of. Not only can you stack immobilize on a Boss (especially if you’re trying to make a single-target build), you can also place some “chance to hold” proc enhancements to further help you keep your enemy in place. In my experience, putting a “chance to hold” enhancement in both Gravimetric Snare and Gravity Well, and then using those powers in quick succession usually yields and extremely high chance to hold even the toughest boss in place. I’ll include a couple of builds that show what I’m talking about in the build section.

I'm just going to put this here ... and allow you to imagine the possibilities ...

On 12/9/2019 at 7:59 AM, Redlynne said:

Level 2:    Gravimetric Snare    
Superior Winter's Bite - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance: Level 50
Superior Winter's Bite - Recharge/Chance for -Speed & -Recharge: Level 50
Overwhelming Force - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance: Level 27
Overwhelming Force - Damage/Chance for Knockdown/Knockback to Knockdown: Level 27
Pacing of the Turtle - Chance of -Recharge: Level 20

 

Gravimetric Snare: Superior Winter's Bite (5 PPM), Pacing of the Turtle (3.5 PPM), Overwhelming Force (flat 20%)

  • 5.0 * ((4 / ( 1 + 23.19 / 100 )) + 1.67) / 60 = 40.98%
  • 3.5 * ((4 / ( 1 + 23.19 / 100 )) + 1.67) / 60 = 28.68%
    • 1 - (1-0.4098) * (1-0.2868) = 57.91% chance of at least 1 proc per attack

The reason why I like this particular frankenslotting for Gravimetric Snare is because the procs turn the power into a "neutralizer" that isn't heavily subjected to Purple Triangles of Doom™.  That's because if you're spamming Ebon Eye and Gravimetric Snare on repeat, you'll start getting some relatively decent procs out of Gravimetric Snare here with this slotting, and the -Recharge debuffing from the procs operates via a Grant Power mechanic meaning that the $Target casts the effect onto themselves ... and when they cast the debuff onto themselves they don't get to resist the effect in the usual way ... meaning "full power debuffing" for AVs and GMs with this slotting.  Against everything else, the -Recharge procs last a good long time and stack with the native -Recharge effect(s) built into Ebon Eye and and Gravimetric Snare (which both do -20% Recharge debuffing) and you can reasonably quickly start "flooring" the recharge on whatever you're unloading into, which when they're Immobilized might as well function for you like a Hold (without needing to stack up MAG in order to Hold).

 

I prefer to think of this bit of trickery as being more akin to a kind of ghetto hold which "ignores" MAG requirements in order to be effective.  The inclusion of the Overwhelming Force Knockdown proc is purely to add insult to injury of making Gravimetric Snare the kind of rapid fire (on a high recharge build) soft controlling "neutralizer" kind of power that locks $Targets into place (Immobilize) and denies them actions (-Recharge) and spoils their opportunities to take action when (if...) their powers ever finish recharging by occasionally knocking them down at (for them) inopportune moments so as to make their outbound attacks even more intermittent.  This turns Gravimetric Snare into more of a "quicksand mire" type of a power that renders $Targets quite helpless to being beaten down into defeat.

 

 

 

14 hours ago, AlienOne said:

Orbiting Death:
I am not good on the math involved in DoT, but as a human-former who is constantly in the middle of the action, I've found this power to be invaluable for constant damage ticks while a large mob is gathered around me. Also known as "Orbiting Debt" in some circles, some people think it attracts too much attention and possibly gives you a higher chance of being mezzed at lower levels, so this may be a preference issue. However, at higher levels with mez protection, I'm usually the one acting like the tank on teams, so if you're a huge fan of "as much damage as possible" when going into a mob I highly advise taking this power.

I am a big proponent of Orbiting Death for anyone playing a Human form Warshade in a group ... provided someone else is the designated Aggro Magnet(!).  Orbiting Death is the CHEAPEST way to deal damage (over time) per endurance spent that you've got.  Against 10 $Targets, when 5 slotted with Obliteration (including the proc), you can start doing things like inflicting some 98 damage per second to EACH $Target just by using Orbiting Death ... with no damage boosting from Mire (yet) ... and can still animate attacks for even MORE damage(!) during those 10 seconds.  That's basically around 980 Negative+Smashing (from the proc) damage output for a cost of less than 8 endurance over 10 seconds(!).

 

Orbiting Death is also really good at mopping up the last remaining slivers of HP on nearly defeated $Targets.  With Orbiting Death you don't have to take them all the way down to 0 HP, you just need to get them close to 0 HP and then switch $Targets and let Orbiting Death finish them off for you.

 

My favorite thing about Orbiting Death is just how damage proc friendly the power is.  Every single damage proc you can put into Orbiting Death basically winds up being akin to a Chance For Critical Hit for the proc's damage type.

On 12/9/2019 at 7:59 AM, Redlynne said:

Orbiting Death: Obliteration (3.5 PPM)

  • 3.5 * ((4 / ( 1 + 55.00 / 100 )) + 2.03) / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 20 * (11 * 360 + 540) / 30,000))) = 10.25% (Pre-clamp: 8.28%) upon casting
  • 3.5 x 10 / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 20 * (11 * 360 + 540) / 30,000))) = 17.95% every ~10 seconds

The reason that I say that is because even when slotted up to near +90% damage enhancement, you're looking at damage throughput of around 17 Negative Energy every 2 seconds ... which is approximately 85 Negative Energy per 10 seconds ... and non-purple damage procs hit for 71.75 damage (type depends on the proc), but the proc damage happens all at once rather than being spread out over multiple damage ticks.  3.5 PPM damage procs have an almost 18% chance to proc every 10 seconds, which is better than 1 in 6 (where's my 1d6 already?), and that can seriously skew the damage production results for Orbiting Death.

 

Now, I like to 5 slot Obliteration (with proc) into Orbiting Death so as to get the +5% global recharge bonus, but that also makes Orbiting Death a seriously damaging aura power that deserves respect since it allows you to keep attacking with Click powers while Orbiting Death does its thing.

 

If you're looking for something more ... comedic ... out of Orbiting Death, and can "afford" to drop a global recharge bonus from your build ... you could do worse than slotting the Avalanche set (or even just the Avalanche set proc) into Orbiting Death so as to add a Chance for Knockdown to your Orbiting Death power.

 

 

 

14 hours ago, AlienOne said:

Starless Step:
Although this can be a useful power, it's usually one that I advise tri-formers to take when they can't figure out what other "non-slot" powers to pick. Starless Step isn't going to help you a lot on a human-form Warshade team-wise, considering the "average" speed at rolling through mobs (according to my experience on Freedom). In fact, it won't help you a lot solo post-i16, as spawning a mob for 8 players will almost negate using this power, unless you’re the sniping type, and like slower, more strategic play. The only situation I could see this as a viable power would be if you were teamed with a traps blaster who liked to set a lot of bombs before attacking a mob. Then, you could attempt to pull the entire mob to the bombs for the blaster by trying to TP the Boss. However, the same thing could be accomplished any number of other ways, including using Provoke, which has been incorporated into a few of the builds.

I find Starless Step to be almost invaluable, especially at low levels, as a way to deal with Quantums (et al.) particularly when soloing.  Sometimes the Quantum is just in a BAD LOCATION and you want to take them on 1v1 rather than fighting them where they spawned (in a many versus one situation).  Use of Starless Step can "defer aggro" long enough for you to dispose of the Quantum before needing to deal with any adds that you've drawn from the spawn group.

 

 

 

14 hours ago, AlienOne said:

Gravity Well:
Gravity Well is basically a high-damage-output auto-kill power for minions—not to mention a really good hold power. The second you can start getting bodies on the ground, your abilities as a WS to cause mass carnage increases exponentially, so I consider Gravity Well an essential part of any Warshade's (human OR tri-form) "diet" (haha). Gravity well does some AMAZING single-target damage, and so I like to slot it with a damage set, rather than a hold set, although if you chose to slot it with a hold set, Basilik's Gaze gives some great bonuses as well.

Gravity Well is basically your "oh, crap, I gotta get a dead body on the ground in a hurry to hit stygian circle so I can survive" power. Or, it could be your “I need to get a dead body on the ground ASAP while the mob is gathered tight so I can hit Unchain Essense” power.” Either way, it’s a great power to use towards the beginning of your attack chain. In any case, I'm a big fan of Gravity Well, and I like to slot it.

This is how I like to frankenslot my Level 18 powers on both my Peacebringer and my Warshade ...

On 12/9/2019 at 7:59 AM, Redlynne said:

Level 18:    Gravity Well    
HamiO: Peroxisome Exposure (+2 Dam/Mez)
HamiO: Peroxisome Exposure (+2 Dam/Mez)
Superior Blistering Cold - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance: Level 50
Superior Blistering Cold - Recharge/Chance for Hold: Level 50
Superior Entomb - Accuracy/Hold/Endurance: Level 50
Superior Entomb - Recharge/Chance for +Absorb: Level 50

 

Gravity Well: Superior Blistering Cold (4 PPM), Superior Entomb (3 PPM)

  • 4.0 * ((20 / ( 1 + 75.57 / 100 )) + 2.07) / 60 = 89.74%
  • 3.0 * ((20 / ( 1 + 75.57 / 100 )) + 2.07) / 60 = 67.31%

This combination brings ... well ... EVERYTHING YOU WANT with Gravity Well.

Accuracy?  Got it.

Endurance Reduction?  Got it.

Damage?  GOT IT.

Hold Duration?  GOT IT.

(Almost) 90% chance for a MAG 5 Hold?  GOT IT.

2 out of 3 chance of giving you an Absorb Bubble?  GOT IT.

 

The only thing this combination doesn't give you ... is "great" set bonuses like global recharge ... but that's a SMALL price to pay for turning Gravity Well into such a blockbuster of a power with this slotting.  Being able to cast a MAG 5 Hold (9 times out of 10...) using Gravity Well is why I wound up NOT slotting up Gravimetric Snare with a Hold proc ... because under these circumstances putting a Hold proc into Gravimetric Snare would be redundant(!!) given the performance I can get out of slotting up Gravity Well this way.

 

 

15 hours ago, AlienOne said:

Dark Extraction:
Your pets! Awesome little purple fluffies (as I like to call them), as long as you can keep the aggro off of them (my reasoning for picking Provoke on several of the builds)... They can *nearly* double your damage (depending on how many you can keep up constantly), so definitely don't skip this power!

This is how I like to slot out my purple Fluffies!

On 12/9/2019 at 7:59 AM, Redlynne said:

Level 32:    Dark Extraction    
 (A) Call to Arms - Accuracy/Recharge: Level 27
 (33) Call to Arms - Damage/Endurance: Level 27
 (33) Call to Arms - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge: Level 27
 (33) Call to Arms - Endurance/Damage/Recharge: Level 27
 (50) Soulbound Allegiance - Chance for Build Up: Level 50

The Soulbound Allegiance Build Up proc will last for 10 seconds(!) on the individual Pet that procs it.  This can be quite the force multiplier for Dark Extraction!

 

 

 

15 hours ago, AlienOne said:

Quasar:
Although I don't like the penalty associated with Quasar (it really slows your ability for a continuous, rolling attack chain), I do think it can be quite useful, if the situation warrants. If you're a vet player or have played any blasters, I don't have to list off all the reasons and situations it could be useful. Although I picked the power for my tri-form build, I usually don’t work it into my human form builds for one primary reason: I would have to re-toggle every single toggle-power I had running (which can be 8+ sometimes) after using it, and that would really slow my attack chain—and overall killing speed—down.

Here on Homecoming, Quasar does not crash your endurance nor your endurance recovery, meaning that use of Quasar will not force your toggles to drop.  So this is definitely a point that you should want to rethink.

 

 

15 hours ago, AlienOne said:

Leadership, on teams (in my humble opinion) is absolutely invaluable. If you can afford to toggle it, you can afford the power pick. This is another reason I build for high recovery rates. While tri-formers can't necessarily properly use Leadership, human-formers can...and should, if you team often. If you prefer not to use it, it’s not a necessity, but the bonuses to using it (including the opportunity to use more LotG recharge bonuses) are hard to ignore.

I'm just going to put this here ... and allow you to contemplate the implications of having these kinds of chances for Build Up procs for +72% damage and +36% tohit that last 5.25 seconds ...

On 12/9/2019 at 7:59 AM, Redlynne said:

Tactics: Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control (1 PPM)

  • 1 * 10 / (60 * (1 + 60 * (11 * 360 + 540) / 40000)) = 6.5% (Pre-clamp: 2.15%)
    • Team-1: 1 - (1 - 0.065)1 = 6.5% chance to proc every 10 seconds
    • Team-2: 1 - (1 - 0.065)2 = 12.5% chance to proc every 10 seconds
    • Team-3: 1 - (1 - 0.065)3 = 18.2% chance to proc every 10 seconds
    • Team-4: 1 - (1 - 0.065)4 = 23.5% chance to proc every 10 seconds
    • Team-5: 1 - (1 - 0.065)5 = 28.5% chance to proc every 10 seconds
    • Team-6: 1 - (1 - 0.065)6 = 33.1% chance to proc every 10 seconds
    • Team-7: 1 - (1 - 0.065)7 = 37.5% chance to proc every 10 seconds
    • Team-8: 1 - (1 - 0.065)8 = 41.5% chance to proc every 10 seconds
      • League-16: 1 - (1 - 0.065)16 = 65.8% chance to proc every 10 seconds
      • League-24: 1 - (1 - 0.065)24 = 80.0% chance to proc every 10 seconds
      • League-32: 1 - (1 - 0.065)32 = 88.3% chance to proc every 10 seconds
      • League-40: 1 - (1 - 0.065)40 = 93.20% chance to proc every 10 seconds
      • League-48: 1 - (1 - 0.065)48 = 96.03% chance to proc every 10 seconds
      • League-50: 1 - (1 - 0.065)50 = 96.53% chance to proc every 10 seconds

In my experience, Tactics is either a 6-slot power (for Defense protected builds) or a One Slot Wonder™ where the only enhancement you NEED in Tactics is just the Gaussian's Build Up proc.  Going with the One Slot Wonder™ option on a slot starved Kheldian simply makes way too much sense, especially for whenever you're wanting to play Human form (and have Orbiting Death running).

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7 hours ago, Not Horus said:

Separate out the lore bits from your actual useful guide.

It'll be better off.

I don't think so. I think it was very neat. ALL in one place. 

 

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Thanks for the input, guys. To Redlynne in particular, thanks for taking the time to type all that out--some REALLY useful information there. I am not familiar (yet) with how everything works in the current version of CoH, so that was a big help to read. Once I get a 50 Warshade going on the servers, I'd like to start experimenting with what you talked about there to create some new builds. Thanks for the inspiration!

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2 hours ago, mrfreedom said:

I don't think so. I think it was very neat. ALL in one place. 

 

I'll bet you like the sob stories before online recipes too.

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1 hour ago, AlienOne said:

thanks for taking the time to type all that out--some REALLY useful information there.

I kinda figured you'd want to know all that, since it makes a BIG difference in how you want to slot (and play!) your Warshade build(s).

 

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