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"Generalist" Defender, Thermal/???


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So I have a tendency towards Buyer's Remorse on characters, and it always sticks in my craw when a powerset I'm using is missing the ONE thing I could really use in a given situation.  My Kinetics Defender doesn't have Rez.  My Time Defender doesn't have a de-mezzer.  My Empathy Defender doesn't have teamwide buffs to either defenses (other than just boosting regen rate) or offenses (other than recovery), nor any notable debuffs.


After a quick scan, it looks like Thermal is the best set to check ALL these "optional extras" boxes for Defender.  I'm now trying to figure out the best pairing for it, for "all-around" team support.  Obviously something with either major debuff potential in and of itself, but there's a couple options, and there's endgame to consider:


Dark Blast has that built in -acc, but by endgame everyone has capped defense anyway, so probably not the way to go.


Radiation Blast has -Def, which runs into the same problem as Dark (accuracy is probably capped at endgame), but I'm given to understand it can be paired with some awesome proc options.


Ice Blast, slows are always useful, but only defensively, they won't make things die faster. 


Sonic seems like a solid choice, -Res makes anything die faster.  Not sure if it has defensive benefits though. 


Dual Pistols is overall lackluster I've heard, BUT it has the option of choosing just what sort of debuff you want to apply, including both offensive and defensive options, which also means tons of proc-slotting options.


Any suggestions?  Are there any blast sets I missed, with extra noteworthy secondary effects?


EDIT:  I guess Beam Rifle has a nice mix of effects, but the limited AoE may hurt in general content.

Edited by Menelruin
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Well … I think you're forgetting about pool powers. They exist for a reason: to fill holes in your capacity.


Want to rez someone? Medicine: Resuscitate; also, there's a day job temp power to do this.

Want to break someone's mez? Medicine: Injection.

Want to buff the team's defense? Leadership: Maneuvers

Want to debuff a foe? Medicine: Injection (yes it's dual function) and also Willpower: Weaken Resolve and there's debuffs in the upcoming Experimentation pool too.


Also it sounds like you only want attacks in as much as they'll contribute to foe debuffs/team protection. Have you considered playing a controller with a defensive focus instead (a Deftroller). In that situation you prioritize the secondary and select from the primary for the buffs and debuffs and very universal controls. It's not my personal cup of tea but it works for a lot of people as long as you're clear what your goals are. You do receive weaker effects to your secondary (which in this case is your main focus) but you normally can offset that via the overall benefits.


For instance if you were to roll an Illusion/Thermal controller you'd have:


- a single target attack that holds 1 foe (Blind)

- a single target confuse great for shutting down 1 foe, and actually benefitting the team if you use it on an enemy buffer (Deceive)

- group invisibility, which is also a teamwide defense buff

- various pets you don't have to manage which will just run around taking hits for the team and dealing supplemental damage

- an aoe Fear pet that will lock foes down very well


You'd probably be skipping Spectral Wounds, Flash, and maybe Superior Invisibility which leaves a lot of spots for pool picks.




Edited by Erydanus

See me on Excelsior as Eridanus - Whisperkill - Kid Physics - Ranger Wilde - The Hometown Scrapper - Firewatch - and more!

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For my "Ultimate team set" I went Earth/Thermal controller.  Low damage, yes, but lots of support.  Illusion would be a good choice as well.


/Sonic is always a good choice as lowering enemy resistance makes things die faster.

/Fire is another good choice if you want to be able to solo a bit

What this team needs is more Defenders

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You're getting a lot of 'play a Controller' advice because Thermal is almost purely a support set that provides minimal benefit to the user. As a result, it comes in handy to bring your own team to support with you - a la pets. If you're willing to wait a bit, you might want to try out Electrical Affinity (currently on Beta server) - it has the sort of support focus you want but in a more solo-friendly package. That being said, I'd probably do Illusion/Electrical rather than Electrical/* Defender.

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On ‎3‎/‎17‎/‎2020 at 1:34 PM, Menelruin said:

Yeah, but Defender will give me the strongest version of all secondary effects, buffs, and debuffs.  MOAR POWAH!

That's not always important. There is a point where returns diminish. It's best to take everything into account. For instance you could have the biggest heal in the game but if you can prevent it from ever being needed, that's better. If it comes down to a choice of a medium chance of prevention (say by defense buffs) and a medium amount of recovery (direct healing) versus a greater chance of prevention and a smaller but still adequate heal, I'd pick that.  In this case the numbers of both those things might look mechanically smaller but then you add in the extra tools and it all changes. For instance Group Invisibility + various thermal shields at controller scale. 


In any case the answer if you want to do a defender is still: dip into the appropriate pools.

See me on Excelsior as Eridanus - Whisperkill - Kid Physics - Ranger Wilde - The Hometown Scrapper - Firewatch - and more!

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If you're set on Thermal, maybe try a Gravity/Thermal Controller.


You won't be able to heal the pet, but it won't matter because your fire shields will make him nigh unkillable. You will be able to cast Forge on him. You'll also do more damage than most Controllers thanks to Propel.


If you insist on Defender, I'd think about Beam Rifle as the secondary.

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