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11Troy11

Primaries Optimized for Stalkers

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A couple of people have advised me to not use Ninja Blade for my stalker because it loses an important power. That made me wonder if there are any primaries that are better than others in terms of being suited to a stalker.

 

Any ideas?

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Posted (edited)

I like Staff better on a Stalker. You don't have to think about switching stances, or worry about building charges ( unless you want to build charges.)
It has a cone in Guarded and an AOE. There is a ranged strike. You get a bit of everything.

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Edited by Vulpoid

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11 minutes ago, Vulpoid said:

I like Staff better on a Stalker. You don't have to think about switching stances, or worry about building charges ( unless you want to build charges.)
It has a cone in Guarded and an AOE. There is a ranged strike. You get a bit of everything.

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First of all...nice look!

 

Secondly, I know resistance-based sets are somewhat frowned upon for stalkers, but (from what I understand anyway), staff is a defense- based primary, so perhaps something like elec would be a nice compliment?

 

Lastly, do you have any issues with damage considering how much smashing is supposed to be resisted?

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Electric melee on Stalkers is the best version of electric melee. 

 

For other ATs, electric is a set notorious for its awesome AoE and bad single target damage, with a complete dud in Lightning Clap.  For Stalkers, you drop Clap for AS and get a set with very good (but not amazing) single target damage and probably the best AoE available to a Stalker.  

 

For secondaries, they're all pretty solid on Stalkers, minus Regen.  Shield gives you more AoE damage, which Stalkers can always use, and a damage buff.  Bio for more damage.  Rad for more AoE.  A well built Invuln can be defense soft capped to all but Psi and resist capped to S/L, with ~50% resist to everything else.  Some sets like Invuln and SR are special in that when Hide was ported to the set, it didnt replace a different power, but instead two other powers got combined to make room, making Stalkers more power efficient than other melee sets.

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5 minutes ago, Omega-202 said:

Electric melee on Stalkers is the best version of electric melee. 

 

For other ATs, electric is a set notorious for its awesome AoE and bad single target damage, with a complete dud in Lightning Clap.  For Stalkers, you drop Clap for AS and get a set with very good (but not amazing) single target damage and probably the best AoE available to a Stalker.  

 

For secondaries, they're all pretty solid on Stalkers, minus Regen.  Shield gives you more AoE damage, which Stalkers can always use, and a damage buff.  Bio for more damage.  Rad for more AoE.  A well built Invuln can be defense soft capped to all but Psi and resist capped to S/L, with ~50% resist to everything else.  Some sets like Invuln and SR are special in that when Hide was ported to the set, it didnt replace a different power, but instead two other powers got combined to make room, making Stalkers more power efficient than other melee sets.

That's all VERY solid info. Thank you!

 

Elec has been at the top of my list lately. What you have to say about Inv is VERY interesting. Ca. The same be said for the Elec secondary? I admit, I like the idea of having +Rech and +End tools 

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21 minutes ago, Omega-202 said:

Electric melee on Stalkers is the best version of electric melee. 

Electric is good too.....

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1 hour ago, Vulpoid said:

I like Staff better on a Stalker. You don't have to think about switching stances, or worry about building charges ( unless you want to build charges.)
It has a cone in Guarded and an AOE. There is a ranged strike. You get a bit of everything.

You don't really have to think much about stances on other ATs either since most everyone just stays in Body.

 

The major drawback to Staff on a Stalker is that it's not Staff on a Tanker - those increased radius/arcs dramatically change the spec's AE. However, in general, Stalkers tend to thrive on sets that are strong AE/weak single target since they tend to retain the strong AE will bringing great ST from Assassinate/Sniper attacks.

 

Claws is a good example of this. For a Scrapper, Spin and Follow-Up are the key components of the set. A Stalker loses these. But they get Assassinate, Focus remains the best single target attack and Shockwave is an awesome AE for a Stalker-style of play (which involves more fighting on the periphery and less being able to cluster enemies around yourself).

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1 hour ago, 11Troy11 said:

That's all VERY solid info. Thank you!

 

Elec has been at the top of my list lately. What you have to say about Inv is VERY interesting. Ca. The same be said for the Elec secondary? I admit, I like the idea of having +Rech and +End tools 

Electric secondary is very solid, but my personal preference is Invuln (althoigh I'm also partial to Rad and Energy). 

 

The main trade off between Invuln and Electric is ~20% typed defense (and def debuff resistance) and a +tohit in Invuln or end management, psi resist and a slight recharge boost in Electric.  

 

In the end, the question is: what do you find easier to patch up with IOs and temp powers?  End and Recharge or Defense? 

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Posted (edited)

My only problem with Elec on a Stalker is that elec feels like a brute/tank set -- but its still beast.

 

I like Ice and Rad primaries a lot. I have a Psi (all 50) stalker too -- and it is probably my favorite, but it's not cuz of Psi lol (it's /rad :P).

 

Edited by kiramon

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I'm a bigger fan of defensive stalker secondaries myself. Resistance capping at 75% doesn't really cut it IMO. 

 

I'm actually a pretty big fan of ice melee on a stalker. Freezing touch is just a great power, and frozen aura is quite an excellent AOE. The main issue is the primary is a bit shot on attacks. Frozen fists is utter crap, so you take the rest just to move along your crit charging. You have to fill up a decent chain using PPPs (dark was my choice). Frost isn't actually bad either, with a decent arc and solid damage. 

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14 minutes ago, drbuzzard said:

I'm a bigger fan of defensive stalker secondaries myself. Resistance capping at 75% doesn't really cut it IMO. 

On the other hand, resistance sets can grab 25% defense via CJ, Weave, and IOs, but defensive sets are going to have a tougher time getting 50% resists across the board.

 

I think that both have their merits, and we can all just agree that Regen sucks and also needs to be nerfed again. 

 

16 minutes ago, kiramon said:

My only problem with Elec on a Stalker is that elec feels like a brute/tank set -- but its still beast.

 

I think "feel" is subjective.  Lightning Rod feels most Stalkery, and the teleport aspect never feels Brute/Tankery to me.  Having the option to assassinate a single target or to do a "Surprise!" tele-explosion both feel appropriate for a stealth specialist.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Hjarki said:

However, in general, Stalkers tend to thrive on sets that are strong AE/weak single target since they tend to retain the strong AE will bringing great ST from Assassinate/Sniper attacks.

 

Claws is a good example of this. For a Scrapper, Spin and Follow-Up are the key components of the set. A Stalker loses these. But they get Assassinate, Focus remains the best single target attack and Shockwave is an awesome AE for a Stalker-style of play (which involves more fighting on the periphery and less being able to cluster enemies around yourself).

I would not at all pick Claws as an example of a good set on a Stalker. The set lives and dies by Spin and Follow Up, they are the hallmarks of the set. Shockwave is a ~fine~ AoE, I wouldn't call it awesome, and you don't even get it until 32. Scrappers the full Claws experience by Level 18. What you get out of the set in ST performance just doesn't make up for the key losses of what makes Claws special, and you are left with a pretty generic lethal damage set.

Edited by Crater Kate
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Crater Kate said:

I would not at all pick Claws as an example of a good set on a Stalker. The set lives and dies by Spin and Follow Up, they are the hallmarks of the set. Shockwave is a ~fine~ AoE, I wouldn't call it awesome, and you don't even get it until 32. Scrappers the full Claws experience by Level 18. What you get out of the set in ST performance just doesn't make up for the key losses of what makes Claws special, and you are left with a pretty generic lethal damage set.

It lives and dies with Spin/Follow Up on a Scrapper.

 

But Spin is effectively worthless if you're not the center of the battle - which your taunt-less Stalker won't be. It's radius is far too small. Likewise, Follow Up is superfluous given a Stalker's constant Build Up.

 

On the other hand, being the periphery-of-the-battle-guy with your major non-Assassinate attack also being a ranged attack is a huge advantage. Shockwave is a fast-activating AE that can blanket an entire spawn that's yet to be compressed and proc Force Feedback while doing it. Stalkers also get a single target version of Eviscerate that works well with the Hide-and-crit dynamic of the AT.

 

Essentially, Claws allows you to be a Blaster when it's better to be a Blaster and be a Stalker when it's better to be a Stalker.

Edited by Hjarki
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Posted (edited)

Ice melee is pretty good on a stalker.  The deal with ice melee is normally, "Well, freezing touch is awesome, but one attack does not make an attack chain." Having assassin's strike as a second hard hitting ST attack gives the set a much more powerful attack chain, plus you can use the re-hide in assassin's strike into freezing touch to get your critical damage all up front, not as DoT.  It has a cone and a pbaoe, you don't need to take frozen fists, you can take a snipe for a third hard hitting attack.

Edited by aethereal

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This convetsation just 'spin' away from the OP. 😉 

 

So back to topic:

I kove playing Street Justice on Stalkers because it may not be specifically tailored towards Stalkers, but the Assassin Focus mechanic fits so well with the 3 Point combo system. I really love the flow that is created playing this way.

 

Another example of feels good on Stalker is Savage Melee. Because it has many dot like Powers. Having a powerfull attack like Assassin Strike makes a huge difference sometimes.

 

One oddball and a set that i do not like is Kinetic Melee. It looses out some of it special stand alone percs on a Stalker. But if you are willing to ignore that fact you will have the best Single Target dps with the first 3 attacks followed up by Assassin Strike. Ignoring the T9 and ranged power, because they are bad. And burst crits allways from Hide, not only 50% like most other Primaries.

 

For Elec you allready have heard the suggestions. Still one of the best Stalker Primaries.

 

Noticable mentions because they are good: Ice, Psi and Rad. But they do not have something special, just good on Stalker.

 

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4 hours ago, aethereal said:

Ice melee is pretty good on a stalker.  The deal with ice melee is normally, "Well, freezing touch is awesome, but one attack does not make an attack chain." Having assassin's strike as a second hard hitting ST attack gives the set a much more powerful attack chain, plus you can use the re-hide in assassin's strike into freezing touch to get your critical damage all up front, not as DoT.  It has a cone and a pbaoe, you don't need to take frozen fists, you can take a snipe for a third hard hitting attack.

Ice Melee's basic attacks are low damage and its Assassinate is unusually slow to counterbalance Freezing Touch. So it's not quite as strong as you might initially think.

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3 hours ago, Hjarki said:

Ice Melee's basic attacks are low damage and its Assassinate is unusually slow to counterbalance Freezing Touch. So it's not quite as strong as you might initially think.

Sure.  But you can get to the point where you barely use ice sword, and the slower sword animation for assassinate still isn't bad, it's just not quite as good as other sets.

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10 hours ago, Omega-202 said:

On the other hand, resistance sets can grab 25% defense via CJ, Weave, and IOs, but defensive sets are going to have a tougher time getting 50% resists across the board.

I find I can get 35% l/s resistance without too much trying. You could  get to 50% if you really wanted to, but I don't put in the effort since I'd rather have more recharge usually. Though without any defense debuff resistance (which a resistance set won't have a lick of), that bit of defense will crumble under pressure very fast. I suppose some of the reason I favor defense sets on my stalkers is having started on stalkers back before they were buffed up to their current state when attacking from hide without ATO procs meant you had to hope to not get hit and the AS from hide was your bread and butter.

 

10 hours ago, Omega-202 said:

I think that both have their merits, and we can all just agree that Regen sucks and also needs to be nerfed again.

I generally assume nerf regen just goes without saying.

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21 minutes ago, drbuzzard said:

I find I can get 35% l/s resistance without too much trying. You could  get to 50% if you really wanted to, but I don't put in the effort since I'd rather have more recharge usually. Though without any defense debuff resistance (which a resistance set won't have a lick of), that bit of defense will crumble under pressure very fast.

True, and that's why I very much like Invuln for Stalkers.  Its a hybrid set that gives you a solid base of defense to build off of to get you to the soft cap, WITH defense debuff resistance, and has all of the resist bells and whistles.  

 

So many poo-poo the set for its lack of end management, but who needs endurance tools in the power set itself when we have so many P2W and IO endurance patches?  

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Posted (edited)

I guess I like never having to worry about endurance, which means other than on a sentinel, I have not bothered with invulnerability since creating characters on homecoming. I do have some shield defense builds, but I'm willing to do that for the damage boost.

 

Yes, I know there's plenty of ways to get around this (P2W and destiny), but I get irritated on the ride to 50 and I generally don't PL.

Edited by drbuzzard

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One of invulns biggest draws for me is the constant tohit buff. It makes creating a build with minimal acc slotting a much easier task. 

 

Primaries:

street is pretty well built to stack focus and combo points at the same time. It is a low management system that gives you a significant damage boost. Controlled crits on crushing blow are crazy good amd make the partial crit of total focus super jealous.

 

savage gives up nothing and gains considerably in most respects. With no consideration given to the lack of mitigation and how the set is heavily dot based, hemo is probably overperforming though. Proc'd out savage leap is really good aoe damage. 

 

Ice and psi both excel on stalkers.

 

Pretty much any set that doesnt give up any of their key attacks/features is arguably better on a stalker. You might not end up beating the /bio version of the same set on a scrapper in sustained dps, but that is largely because /bio for scraps is overturned offensively and the scrapper ATO is maybe even better than the stalker ATO in such scenarios.  

 

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The newer sets tend to be better since Assasin's Strike replaces a mid tier ST attack instead of their PBOE 

 

So STJ, Staff, KM, Savage 

 

Electric is also good 

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn’t disregard ninja blade as it is still an awesome primary. I think the main complaint about it is lack of AoE. I personally don’t follow the AoE fetish on stalkers. While AoE is nice to have, stalkers have always felt more like boss melters than trash mob killers. Their  abilities gear them more towards single target damage and I think that is fine. 
 

So, I don’t write off sets due to lack of AoE. And I don’t throw in a bunch of epic/patron power pool attacks to make up for AoE. I go in a kill priority targets and then the rest and it’s still fast. 
 

My favorite primaries are:

-ninja blade

-street justice

-savage

 

My favorite secondaries are:

- energy aura - the best one imo

- shield defense

 

Each of these sets do wonders on a stalker. 

Edited by Saikochoro

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4 hours ago, Saikochoro said:

I wouldn’t disregard ninja blade as it is still an awesome primary. I think the main complaint about it is lack of AoE. I personally don’t follow the AoE fetish on stalkers. While AoE is nice to have, stalkers have always felt more like boss melters than trash mob killers. Their  abilities gear them more towards single target damage and I think that is fine.

I think this is one of the problems I have with Stalker that others either (a) have yet to fully recognize or (b) don't care about.

 

The generic Stalker is essentially worthless on every fight until that final AV/GM. Tankers and Brutes do useful AE because they're the center of the battle. They've got taunt auras and can nicely compress spawns around themselves. But our generic Stalker isn't the center of the battle - his friend the Tanker/Brute is. Even if he's tough enough to do the 'tanking' thing, he doesn't have the taunt to keep those spawns on him. That leaves him trying to pick off individual targets. But Blast sets are significantly better at that task because you don't need to be constantly chasing enemies.

 

That's why I mentioned Claws earlier. It's a relatively good "fight an AV/GM" set with standard Assassiante and a slow/heavy single target attack to exploit Hide. But it's also got one of the best Ranged attacks available to Stalkers plus a fast-activating massive radius/arc KB Cone so you can operate in 'Blaster mode' in a team setting where you're not the center of attention for the mobs.

 

In some sort of Platonic Ideal of a Stalker, I get the notion that you're a single target guy. But so much of the game isn't single target - or involves non-melee single target - that going with this notion of a Stalker tends to lead to a hero/villain who just isn't very useful most of the time.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Hjarki said:

The generic Stalker is essentially worthless on every fight until that final AV/GM.
 

Stalker tends to lead to a hero/villain who just isn't very useful most of the time.

Snipped except for the part I wanted to address.
 

I appreciate that this is your opinion and you are entitled to it, but it is definitely just an opinion. 
 

Single target focused stalkers are far from useless. They have value in every fight. They will melt the bosses faster than most others and can tab target through the rest with usually a single attack to mop up their remaining health.  I have zero problem doing my fair share of killing even on level 50 teams full of brutes and blasters.  

The most time consuming parts of missions is killing the bosses and straggling lieutenants not the minions. Opening salvos of AoE will likely kill most of the minions, and is often overkill with wasted damage going to the same target, but fail to kill the bosses and many lieutenants are still alive.

 

In fact, I find that most of the group uses their nuke or AoE and then immediately moves on to the next mob leaving the bosses and a few lieutenants behind as they don’t want to deal with them. Stalkers will kill these faster than anything except perhaps a blaster, but usually the blaster is already at the next mob waiting for it’s nuke to go on cooldown. 
 

Lastly, a lot of the game does revolve around killing EBs, AVs, and GMs. Stalkers are fantastic for these fights. 
 

I think most people are so focused on chasing AoE that when they do decide to fight the boss themselves they are unsatisfied with how much longer it takes to kill than nuking 8 minions. That’s why they leave it behind for others to fight.  Stalkers do single target best, and it is honestly an important role that a lot of people choose to ignore. 

Edited by Saikochoro
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