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Invulnerability Tankers - the first 20 levels

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Invulnerability - The first 20 levels


(Note that I haven't yet had a chance to do an in-depth study on what's changed but thought I'd repost some of my older guides)


I've seen people asking about just how to build their Invuln tanker, and I thought I'd post a mini-guide to help new tankers through the first 20 levels. Many Invuln tankers end up with very substandard builds in the early levels, mainly because they had no idea what the critical powers to get were.  This guide applies to any secondary you might want to pair with your Invulnerable tanker.


Those of you who already know the game can skip this part.


For those just joining us I should probably digress a bit and discuss the way damage and your powers work in the game.  First, you need to  know that damage comes in different types, with Smashing and Lethal being most common (abbreviated S/L) while other types such as Energy, Negative, Fire, Cold, Toxic and Psi being less common (E/N, F/C, T, P).  Defenses and resistances typically protect against a pair of damage types hence they're referred to as S/L for a power that protects from Smashing & Lethal, E/N for a power that protects from Energy & Negative and so forth.


Expanding on that a bit any attack that uses punches, kicks, hammers or anything like that is what we would call "smashing" damage.  "Lethal" damage includes things like guns, knives, swords, claws and similar. "Energy" damage is things like electricity, lasers and other "light" attacks while "negative" would be dark attacks.  An example of negative damage is the blasts that the Skul's gang in the low levels use.  "Fire" and "cold" are pretty self explanatory, fireballs and flamethrowers are fire while ice bolts are cold.  "Psi" is the catagory that mental attacks fall under and it's quite rare in the game.  "Toxic" is poison attacks and it's the rarest damage in the game.


Smashing and Lethal are the most common damage types and those you'll encounter most often throughout the entire game; from the figures I've seen roughly 70% of all damage falls into that category.  Energy and Negative would be the second most common damage and it accounts for about another 20% of what you'll face while Fire, Cold and Psi are quite rare.  Toxic is almost nonexistent outside of a very few situations, although you'll face a fair amount early dealing with Vahzilok (sp?). After level 20 Toxic nearly vanishes from the game until a few high level encounters in the 40's.


Here's an outline for your Invuln tanker's early career:


A good thumb rule for building an Invulnerable Tanker would be something like this:



Level 1 - Temp. Invulnerability & tier one attack - TI is one of the four most vital powers in your build so get it right away. It provides three times the protection that your other choice, Resist Physical Damage, does (30% S/L resistance vs 10%).  The Tier one attack is an example of Hobson's Choice although thanks to the new Tanker inherent power of Bruising it's usefulness has climbed dramatically.

Level 2 - Dull Pain - This is another of your four cornerstone powers; I wouldn't delay it much and given the lack of choices this is, in my opinion, the ideal time for it.  It provides a huge heal for you and it drastically increases your total hit points for 2 minutes after you hit it.

Level 3 - 2 slots available, place in TI or Dull Pain.

Level 4 - Tier 2 or 3 attack depending on your secondary, some you're better off with one over the other.  For most secondaries the Tier 3 is the better choice.

Level 5 - two slots into your level 4 attack

Level 6 - Open selection, you could start the Fighting pool, grab your travel power or another attack.  Personally I typically pick up Combat Jumping here.

Level 7 - 2 slots to distribute, candidates are Temp. Invuln, Dull Pain or your level 4 attack.

Level 8 - Unyielding - this is your Mez protection and the third and arguably most vital of your cornerstone powers and you want to take it ASAP.  With this power active you're almost totally immune to all hold, sleep, knockback, immobilize and stun effects and it provides minor S/L resistance and a bit more E/N/F/C resistance.

Level 9 - 2 slots in Unyielding

Level 10 - Taunt, you have to wait until 18 for your taunt aura.  Alternately whichever of your attacks you didn't get at level 4.

Level 11 - 2 slots to distribute, candidates for them are TI, DP and your attacks.

Level 12 - This is an "open" selection, good candidates are Resist Physical Damage or Boxing (from the Fighting Pool, you'll need that pool if you want to build for maximum durability)  If you didn't select a travel power at level 6 this is another place to get it.

Level 13 - 2 slots available, by this point you're probably starting to notice endurance being an issue so I'd put them into Stamina.

Level 14 - Another open selection, candidates are the Fighting pool, RPD or a power of your choice.

Level 15 - 2 slots available

Level 16 - This is an "open" selection, good choices are RPD, Boxing or Tough (Fighting Pool) or another power.

Level 17 - 2 slots available

Level 18 - Invincibility - this is the fourth of the cornerstone powers in your build and should be taken immediately.  It provides a large amount of defense that increases with the number of baddies around you, provides a tohit bonus that also increases with the number of baddies around you so it's easier to hit them and it's your taunt aura so it attracts attention and makes the baddies STAY clumped around you.

Level 19 - 2 slots in Invincibility

Level 20 - Another "open" selection, candidates are your tier 5 or 6 attack, another power from the Fighting Pool or a power of your choice.

Level 21 - 2 slots available


At this point you should have roughly the following:

TI - 4 slots

Tier 1 attack - 3-4 slots

Dull Pain - 5 slots

Tier 3 or 2 attack - 5 slots

Unyielding - 3-4 slots

Invincibility - 3 slots

Stamina - 3 slots


Your other powers are fine with the default slot for now, you may look to add some to them later on in the build.  Now on your slotting... I would suggest slotting TI & Unyielding with 3 resist/1 endred, Dull Pain should get 3 recharge/2 heal and your attacks should get 1-2 accuracy/2-3 damage and 1 endred.  Invincibility should get 2-3 defense/1 endred.  You'll save more end with one endred in an attack than you will by slotting 2 endred in ALL of your toggles, so keep that in mind if you have end problems.


That pretty well covers your bases to level 20, from there on it will depend on your secondary. Boxing/Tough/Weave from the Fighting Pool are needed if you want to maximize your durability.  Also be sure and pick up Tough Hide at level 26, it's a nice chunk of endurance-free defense. I recommend fitting in Resist Energies sometime, probably in the 20's... it can wait until very late if you're really tight on your build though. Resist Elements is entirely skippable. If you're building for the defense soft cap (see my other Invuln guide) you may find Unstoppable to be skippable as well.

  • Thanks 1

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

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





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  • 2 months later
On 7/29/2019 at 4:00 PM, Cendwar said:

Was looking all around to find out exactly how rare other types of damage outside of s/l/e were to build a tanky brute with. Thanks for this. I probably won't focus much on f/c/n/p/t

Pre-shutdown S/L accounted for somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% of the damage you'd run into.  It does seem that others are becoming more prevalent nowadays... you'll run into more E/N than F/C as a general rule while Psi is becoming more common.  Toxic, aside from Vahz in the lower levels, is extremely rare.


It's always best to have layered protection... a good shot of defense along with a good amount of resistance is better than either one alone.

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

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





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