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Introduction to the Mastermind!


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I. Introduction


I've been playing Masterminds since City of Villains was released (I pre-purchased CoV because I wanted to play the new expansion as soon as I could). At that time, there were only 4 choices for pets: Mercenaries, Ninjas, Robots, and Undead (Necromancy). I loved my Bots/Dark, and I had to wait over 2 years before I could play blue-side with my MM. Masterminds are well known for their army of pets - you have 6 from your primary, and maybe one from your secondary. At that time, /Dark Miasma was considered the best secondary, and I think it is still one of the better ones. It has a PBAoE heal at level 1 (great if you're close to your pets, although you have "hit" an enemy for the effect to work), and it has a lot of weapons to make it very difficult for the enemies to hit you. The main down-side is that it's very difficult to PvP as other players will ignore your pets knowing that they will die if they defeat you.


II. Overview


There are now a total of 7 Primaries and 13 Secondaries to choose from. I'm not going into detail here about each Primary and Secondary skill. This post is just general information about the class. It's important to remember to ALWAYS get your pets (levels 1, 12, and 26)  and upgrades (levels 6 and 32) as soon as they become available. Pets are normally talked about as Tier 1 (the one you choose at level 1), Tier 2 (the one you get at level 12) and Tier 3 (level 26). I always put the maximum number of slots into my pets as soon as I can. I've seen posts about "Pet-less Masterminds" but I haven't tried it. Why take away your strongest ability?


The maximum number of pets from your primary is 6: three Tier 1, two Tier 2, and one Tier 3. At level 6 you gain a second Tier 1, level 18 a third Tier 1, and level 24 a second Tier 2. For example: you're level 20 so you have three Tier 1 pets (each at level 18) and one Tier 2 pet (at level 20 since you only have one). If you're side-kicked up or exemplared down in level, the pets are summoned based on your level at that time. Example: you're level 1 but someone level 50 has you as their sidekick (making you level 49). Although you have only the two powers you selected at level 1, you will summon three Tier 1 pets that will be level 47 (you're 49, so they are two levels below you since you have 3). They're pretty useless like that, since they don't have any enhancements.


Something to remember is that if you're not the party leader, every time the party leader levels, you change zones, or you leave the team - you will lose all your pets. This is to ensure that you're not low level with high level pets. It can be a pain to re-summon and upgrade them. This is just something you're going to have to live with.


Also remember that when you level, your pets don't level with you. You will have to either dismiss and re-summon/re-upgrade them or change zones (like exiting the mission) to update their level. You also don't get additional pets when you zone. Example: you are on a mission at level 5 and you make level 6. You can have two Tier 1 pets (each at level 5). You could re-summon gaining the second Tier 1 pet.


III. Tricks


  • If you are running low on pets, exit the mission, summon the replacements WITHOUT upgrading them, then re-enter the mission. If you have at least one surviving upgraded pet when you exit, all of your pets will be upgraded when you re-enter. It will save time and endurance. Even if you have to upgrade them, be grateful that you don't have to upgrade each pet individually (this is what everyone had to do for years). Now, one upgrade will upgrade all the pets with you - which is why this trick works: when you re-enter, it casts the upgrade on all your pets from the one that had it.
  • I now like to use Super Speed and Shadow Fall (from /Dark) - it gives you close to invisibility when you go from mission to mission. I enjoy this when running door missions to get the bank missions - just dismiss all your pets after the mission, run to the next one, find the boss at the end, then re-summon/upgrade all your pets out of sight in that room. You don't have to fight your way through the map this way. It's a lot faster.
  • If you get too far away from your pets, they will teleport next to you.


IV. Secondary Skills


I used to have to take the Fitness power pool (Swift, Hurdle, Health, and Stamina). Now, everyone gets it for free. This freed up 3 slots for other things.


Leadership - I always take this with all my MMs. Maneuvers (PBAoE +Defense), Assault (PBAoE +Damage), and Tactics (PBAoE +To Hit) is a great help to you and your pets. I read there was a bug that Maneuvers didn't work properly, and they fixed it on Homecoming. I didn't know about this so I always took it.


Speed - I'm now taking this on most of my MMs. Super Speed (for the +Stealth) and Hasten to help with the recharge of my pets and upgrades.


Flight - I used to take this most of the time. I enjoy flying (pretty safe if you go high) going from mission to mission. Although it's a little slow (before afterburner - again something that was added long after CoV was released). Also, hover adds a minor fly and defense for some endurance.


Leaping - Super Jump is what your pets use to travel, so they can sort-of keep up with you if this is your travel power. Combat Jumping is nice for the defense and low endurance drain.


Fighting - for Tough and Weave. Adding resistance and defense for you.


V. My first Mastermind


Here's how I'm trying to recreate my Bots/Dark MM on Homecoming. It just doesn't feel the same so I haven't reached level 50 yet. This is slotted with level 50 IOs, but I used to use SOs, so the slotting was different. It also doesn't have any Incarnate powers - I'm not sure what I will choose as a MM.


Villain Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Level 50 Magic Mastermind
Primary Power Set: Robotics
Secondary Power Set: Dark Miasma
Power Pool: Leadership
Power Pool: Speed
Power Pool: Fighting
Ancillary Pool: Mu Mastery

Villain Profile:
Level 1: Battle Drones -- Acc-I(A), Acc-I(3), Dmg-I(3), Dmg-I(5), EndRdx-I(5), Dmg-I(7)
Level 1: Twilight Grasp -- Acc-I(A), EndRdx-I(7), RechRdx-I(9), Acc-I(11)
Level 2: Tar Patch -- RechRdx-I(A)
Level 4: Assault -- EndRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(46)
Level 6: Equip Robot -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 8: Maneuvers -- EndRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(9), DefBuff-I(11), DefBuff-I(17)
Level 10: Super Speed -- Run-I(A)
Level 12: Protector Bots -- Acc-I(A), Acc-I(13), Dmg-I(13), Dmg-I(15), EndRdx-I(15), Heal-I(17)
Level 14: Tactics -- EndRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(19), ToHit-I(21), ToHit-I(21)
Level 16: Shadow Fall -- EndRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(19), DefBuff-I(23), DefBuff-I(23), ResDam-I(25), ResDam-I(25)
Level 18: Howling Twilight -- RechRdx-I(A)
Level 20: Boxing -- Acc-I(A)
Level 22: Tough -- EndRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(31), ResDam-I(33), ResDam-I(33)
Level 24: Weave -- EndRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(31), DefBuff-I(33), DefBuff-I(34)
Level 26: Assault Bot -- Acc-I(A), Acc-I(27), Dmg-I(27), Dmg-I(29), EndRdx-I(29), Dsrnt-I(31)
Level 28: Petrifying Gaze -- Acc-I(A), Acc-I(36), EndRdx-I(36), Hold-I(36), Hold-I(37), RechRdx-I(37)
Level 30: Fearsome Stare -- Acc-I(A), Acc-I(37), EndRdx-I(39), Fear-I(39), Fear-I(39), RechRdx-I(40)
Level 32: Upgrade Robot -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 35: Darkest Night -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 38: Dark Servant -- Acc-I(A), Acc-I(40), Hold-I(40), Hold-I(42), EndRdx-I(42), RechRdx-I(42)
Level 41: Charged Armor -- EndRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(43), ResDam-I(43), ResDam-I(43)
Level 44: Thunder Strike -- Acc-I(A), Acc-I(45), Dmg-I(45), Dmg-I(45), EndRdx-I(46), RechRdx-I(46)
Level 47: Electric Shackles -- Acc-I(A), Acc-I(48), EndRdx-I(48), Hold-I(48), Hold-I(50), RechRdx-I(50)
Level 49: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(50)
Level 1: Brawl -- Acc-I(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Dash -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Slide -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Quick -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Rush -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Surge -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Sprint -- Run-I(A)
Level 1: Supremacy
Level 2: Rest -- RechRdx-I(A)
Level 4: Ninja Run
Level 2: Swift -- Run-I(A)
Level 2: Health -- Heal-I(A), Heal-I(34)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- EndMod-I(A), EndMod-I(34)
Level 1: Battle Drone
Level 12: Protector Bot
Level 26: Assault Bot


VI. Conclusion


I hope that this information will help you as you play a Mastermind. Suggestion for improvement are appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later

Nice basic overview. Just a couple minor corrections.

On 7/19/2020 at 9:04 PM, Mageman said:

The maximum number of pets from your primary is 6

That is the standard number of henchmen, but not the maximum number of pets from your primary. Beasts, Ninjas, Bots, & Mercs cap at 6 henchmen and don't have additional pets in their primary. Necromancy has the ability to quasi-res one hench that dies as a ghost, then resummon, so it can have 7. Demons and Thugs can use Hell on Earth/Gang War to get an extra 10 pets each for 16 total.  Once you include the effects of Burnout, Necromancy can have 8 out with two ghosts, and Demons and Thugs can have 26.

On 7/19/2020 at 9:04 PM, Mageman said:

Super Jump is what your pets use to travel

Henchmen don't actually have Super Jump. They have Super Leap, which is Super Jump + minor Run Speed.  And that sounds better than it is - the pet AI doesn't use  the jumping part of the power for travelling the way players with Super Jump or Mighty Leap do..  Instead the henches run along the ground after you unless they need to jump to clear an obstacle or there is no other path to your location.  A large part of their travel is just warping to keep up with your location.

Edited by Dakkaface
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