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Gather the Shadows: a Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds


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Gather the Shadows: a Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

Under cover of night, the Hunter sets the bone horn to his lips and winds a mournful call. Breaking from the darkened forests of Croatoa, eyes aglow, the pack attends him under the rising moon. Blood is in the air! The night is his! 'Ware his prey.

 

The nervous, be-speckled teenager opens the forbidden volume of knowledge purloined from an occult shop. In it, the runes blaze in ruddy light, promising the power to summon from the darkest pits of Tartarus those who will help him rescue his sister from Crey's laboratories. 

 

From the far voids of space, a machine intelligence breaches through the Netherworld, escaping the meat beings who have decimated his race. At his side, the remnants of a protective detail, humming with electronic eyes surveying their new surroundings. They did not arrive unscathed, for the Netherworld clings to them greedily.

 

Introduction

So, you have decided to wield the powers of the Netherworld against your enemies. Whether by accident of fate, or purposeful investigation, you have learned to breach through the veil and allow the dim energies of that gloomy dimension to empower you. And weaken your enemies. As a result, the night is your friend. You call the terrors from beyond, and they heed you. Gathering shadows, you travel under a cloak of obscurity, terror and dismay - your constant comrades. You focus less on the empowerment of others and instead bring foes their ruin through decrepitude of mind, spirit and body. You have chosen the way of the Dark Miasma.

 

Dark Miasma is a secondary power set for Masterminds that harkens back to the Old Days when there was no Time Manipulation. No Nature Affinity. Dark was the prince of debuffing, with a side of control and it was, and still is (despite a small nerf to Twilight Grasp) one of the premier supports sets in the game. Why is that? It is due to the debuffs. Debuffs are king in City of Heroes. If you can weaken your foes to the strength of a mewling kitten, what have you to fear?

 

But Dark is not just debuffs. In fact, it brings many tools to the table. Controls (through holds, stuns, slows and fears) abound. It has, arguably, one of the best heals in the game. It has an extra (non-controlled) pet that acts as a mini-controller (Dark Servant). 

 

What also makes Dark Miasma so potent is that virtually every power serves multiple purposes. Howling Twilight? Why yes, its a resurrection power. But it also debuffs regeneration. And it stuns mobs. This is typical for Dark Miasma. It means that the mastermind has a huge array of tools a their disposal.

 

With all this awesomeness, there is a price. Many powers require a To-Hit roll. You will need to make sure you have high accuracy. Your minions depend on it. You have little ability to buff (Shadowfall is your only buff, and it offers relatively modest or minor bonuses to resist/defense/stealth). This means, your survival is dependent on your active ability to target and debuff your enemies. If you do not, they will hurt you at their full power. It is a power set that requires you to be active. This is a good thing. It will keep you from being bored (Force Field) and offers the mastermind a feeling of power as you raise your hands and call down debilitating powers of the darkness to drag those who oppose you to their knees, begging for mercy.
 
Dark Miasma. You take this power because:

  • You want to harness the powers of night and darkness.
  • You want to weaken, harrass, frighten and subjugate your foes.
  • You want to have many tools for many different occasions. 
  • You want to have an extra, useful pet named "dark fluffy".

 

At this point, you may be asking yourself, Force Redux, what kind of minions work best with all this overwhelming Stygian power? And I will say "any of them". But I will also caution that some work better than others. My choices (and opinions may vary) would be ranked as follows:

 

Top Choices: 

Demons: jack-of-trades
Necromancy: control-focused
Thugs: solid damage

 

Good Choices:
Beasts: high single target damage
Robots: higher AoE damage

 

Okay Choices:
Ninjas: glass cannons
Mercenaries: could use a rework

 

More on primaries later. Let's examine Dark Miasma a bit further. The more you know the powers of the Netherworld, the more you can use them for your gain and your enemies' doom.

 

The Powers

Twilight Grasp
Available at Level: 1
Purpose: Heal, Debuff
Rating: Excellent. Take immediately.
Basic Slotting: 2 Accuracy, 2 Heal, 1 EndRed, 1 Recharge enhancement. 
Advanced Slotting: 5x Touch of the Nictus. You could add in a 6th slot for the damage proc, but its not worth it unless you have slots to spare. While I have not found it necessary on my builds, there is good potential to slot a Theft of Essence endurance proc in here to help with endurance management for those who want an extra boost to the blue bar!

 

Note: This is a power you will use very often. It has a large 20' radius, so you can easily capture your pets even if they are in melee range, while you stand outside of it. The regeneration debuff is helpful vs EBs, AVs and GMs, so feel free to spam it, its -50% and stackable with Howling Twilight, below. Twilight Grasp is so good, it will be enough to keep you and your pets alive for many lower levels, even before you get to using the invention enhancements. 

 

This is not only a heal (and a big one, with a big heal that is centered on YOU), but it also debuffs the target's -ToHit, their Regeneration, AND their damage, and it stacks. All this goodness, however, does require a ToHit check, although it was recently buffed to have an innate 1.2 accuracy, so it works better out of the box and at lower levels. Once you are fully slotted, it hits very reliably. 

 

Tar Patch
Available at Level: 2
Purpose: Debuff, Control
Rating: Good. Take as soon as you can. Definitely do not delay past level 20. 
Basic slotting: 1 or 2 Recharge enhancements. 
Advanced slotting: Slow IOs kind of suck, but you can frankenslot effectively to get the numbers you need easily enough; 2 Slow IOs with Slow/Recharge/EndRed (ie Pacing of the Turtle or Impeded Switfness). You could also put procs in it, but anything but the damage procs are very weak, and even with the damage proc, I would only do so to eek out a tiny bit of extra damage if I had slots left over.
 

Note: This is a solid ability. However, it won't be up reliably every fight until you get some recharge in it, so if you need to take something else first, be my guest. It serves as a ground patch that slows enemies, debuffs their damage resistance (so they die quicker), and also grounds flying mobs who get too close to the ground. The damage resistance debuff is a hefty -22.5%. Do not underestimate this. You can use your targeting recticle to place it or use a macro to have it to underneath either yourself or a targeted enemy. Personally, I keep the basic recticle, because I like to also put it at corners for clustering mobs (see Tactics, below). 

 

This power becomes even more robust when you can start to stack other ground effects on it, such as Freezing Rain or Rain of Fire. Do be aware, no matter how much slow you put in it, there is a cap to slowing, and there are a number of mobs that really just ignore slows (such as Council War Wolves). It's control, but very soft control. 

 

Darkest Night
Available at Level: 4
Purpose: Debuff
Rating: Excellent. Take immediately.
Basic Slotting: 2 ToHitDebuff, 1 EndRed
Advanced Slotting: 4 Dark Watcher's Despair. This garners you a valuable 5% Recharge bonus. Don't bother to slot for procs, they work very poorly with toggles, but again, if you are swimming in slots, you could toss in a Clouded Senses damage proc.


Note: Another cornerstone ability, though you will find as you get higher level you might only use it on tougher fights instead of every fight. This is a toggle, so you have to place it on a target mob who will then shed AoE debuffs to all his buddies. A hefty 14% base ToHit debuff, plus a sold -22.5% damage debuff. The area of effect is a generous 25' radius. The only downsides are a 3.17 second cast time and a bit of an hungry endurance cost when not slotted well. When the anchored mob it is attached to dies, it will stick around for about ten seconds or so, which is an improvement than on live. I tend to have about 1-2 second recharge on this, so its easily up quickly to recast if needed. Generally, cast this on an EB, AV or GM. Otherwise cast it on a Minion who will die early and thus the corpse won't move. Worst thing to cast this on is a War Wolf boss, who will zip around the map aggroing other mobs who will all come running to give you a hug. You can also Hold an anchor mob to keep them in place.

 

Howling Twilight
Available at Level: 10
Purpose: Resurrection, Debuff, Crowd Control
Rating: Excellent. Take as soon a you can. Do not delay past level 20.
Basic Slotting: 1 or 2 Recharge enhancements.
Advanced Slotting: 1 or 2 Slow IOs. Stun IOs do not combine EndRed/Recharge, which is the combo you are looking for, since this an AUTO-HIT POWER (ie, no ToHit needed); so I frankenslot this the way I do Tar Patch. This power has a hefty 32 END cost, so that's why you also want EndReduction in it, as well as recharge. The boost to Slow is just extra. The Stun lasts a solid 15 seconds, which is good enough for government work. 

 

Note: This is one of those Swiss knife powers I told you about. Yes, it is a rez. The best Rez in the game, actually. It Resurrects allies in a 15' radius around you, they have debt protection AND full health AND full endurance. It also does not require a hit check. You just need some mob to target. That's crazy! But wait, there's more: it also debuffs regeneration by -500% AND also debuffs the target's recharge a bit. This means you can neuter the regeneration rate of AVs and GMs. This regen debuff lasts for 30 seconds and is easily up long enough to help take a chunk out of AV regen. This will combine with Twilight Grasp's rebuff, too. This is a fantastic tool for trials and task forces. On top of that, you can use it for crowd control, as it has a Mag 2 stun that can render a group of mobs insensate. Silly blaster pull an extra bunch of mobs over to you? Did an ambush spawn when you least expected it? BAM! Howling Twilight their ass! Don't sit on this power, use it often. 

 

Shadow Fall
Available at Level: 16
Purpose: Buffing, Stealth
Rating: Excellent. Take immediately.
Basic Slotting: 1 EndReduction, maybe 1-2 Resist Damage
Advanced Slotting: What you put in here really depends on what other powers you also pick up. It can take Resist IOs, Defense IOs, which have many good specialty procs, too. At the very least, stick a Luck of the Gambler Global 7.5% recharge boost in here. You could also put in the global defense unique IOs when you get the cash (if you slot these unique IOs that's +11% Defense vs All for you!).  This power is six slotted in all my build with both unique Defense IOs and sets to max Resists and base Defense.

 

Note: Another cornerstone ability. This is your only buff, but its a good one. Offers solid an Area of Effect (for you, allies and minions) 15% base resistance to Energy/Negative Energy and Psionic. It is one of the few powers that boosts Psi damage resistance. You will find Energy Damage, however, to be the most prevalent of those three in Incarnate stuff, but the Imperious Task Force also tosses around a lot of Negative Energy, which your pets and allies will be grateful for you running this. Shadow fall also offers decent base 3.75 Maneuvers-level Defense which you can boost to about 5% base, which is nice for everyone. It also offers Stealth, so combine it with Super Speed, or perhaps a Freebird Stealth IO and you are now *Presto!* invisible to *most* mobs. Just be careful around Rikti drones and the like, they won't be fooled. Stealth is handy, also, when entering some missions, where the door is 'hot' (ie, there is a spawn right by the door). It will keep you and the pets hidden unless they get very close up. I run this power ALL the time. This stealth is also helpful to get set up in position to use Fearsome Stare or other powers without interruption. Don't leave home without it. 

 

Fearsome Stare
Available at Level: 20
Purpose: Crowd Control, Debuff
Rating: Excellent. Take immediately. Notice a trend here? 
Basic Slotting: 2 EndReduction, 2 ToHitDebuff
Advanced Slotting: 4 Cloud Senses (gets you a nifty 6.5% recharge boost). You can add a Fear/Range IO in there, too, as range is very handy. Be aware at base 70' range it can reach back quite far, so know if you might hit other mobs far away behind the ones you are targeting. The fear lasts about 18 seconds, so its perma with a bit of recharge slotting for the most part.

 

Note: This is part of your survivability. I find I use it more than Darkest Night at higher levels. Fearsome Stare has a long, medium-width (30 degree) cone that makes mobs tremble in their shoes when you paint them with it. If they are hit, they will fire back once, then go back to trembling. They suffer a base 11.25% ToHit debuff, which I would enhance, as this will stack with everything else that Dark puts out to make mobs strike empty air. This is usually my opener when starting a fight. 

 

Petrifying Gaze
Available at Level: 28
Purpose: Crowd Control
Rating: Fair. Take it when you have room. Or skip it. Usefulness may depend on your Primary. 
Basic Slotting: 2 Accuracy, 1 Hold, 1 EndRed, 1 Recharge
Advanced Slotting: 4 Basilisk's Gaze and 1 Lockdown % for +2 Mag Hold proc

 

Note: This is a nice little single target hold. But that's all it does, unlike virtually every other power in Dark Miasma. Not even a to hit debuff. The hold is 10 seconds unenhanced, and the recharge is 16 seconds, so it won't really double stack until it gets some good enhancements and strong recharge from outside sources. You can skip it. I find it does stack well with pets that can cast a hold of their own, such as Demon Prince and Lich. I would take it with those pets. Dark Servant (see below) has its own hold, but since you can't direct what he attacks to try to stack it, I discount it. With Demon Prince and Lich, I find if we're both attacking the same thing, we can Hold bosses fairly reliably. Otherwise this is an okay power to use to take out annoying Lts, such as Malta Sappers. But with all the other debuffs and things that Dark Miasma brings to the table, this is simply not a mandatory power. I typically take it in my 40s.

 

Black Hole
Available at Level: 35
Purpose: Crowd Control
Rating: Poor. Skip it unless you want it for novelty factor.
Basic Slotting: 1 EndRed
Advanced Slotting: It doesn't take any sets, and so there is nothing to recommend here.

 

Note: This is one of the worst powers in the game. It does not jive with how the game was played back in Live, nor with how it is played in Homecoming. It has poor visuals that fail to really telegraph to a team what is going on and in the result it just slows down progress and frustrates everyone. On the plus side, not taking this means you are free to select another power. Might I suggest your Epic pool, which opens up at this level, too.

 

Dark Servant
Available at Level: 38
Purpose: Pet 
Rating: Good. Take it, unless you don't like being more awesome.
Basic Slotting: 2 Recharge, 2 Accurac
Advanced Slotting: 4-slot Clouded Senes. This gives you a nifty 6.5% recharge reduction. You could toss in a 5th slot for Clouded Senses % negative energy damage proc (recommended). If you add in a final Cloud Senses, you get a bonus to ranged defense, which is useful on some builds. I never bother.

 

Note: This is a great final power. It summons a temporary pet for 2 minutes that is uncontrolled, following you around and doing his thing. He can heal, immobilize, hold and debuff accuracy. He does all these things on his own terms, meaning he can aggro mobs (rarely) or use his powers when they are least useful. For that reason, I don't recommend bothering to enhance his hold, immobilization or heal. They are nice when they come, but rely on our own instead. However, you should enhance him with -ToHit debuffs, because he has a metric ton of those. His own version of Darkest Night has a -30% damage debuff, and a -15% ToHit debuff. Even more abusive, is his unique power, Chill of the Night: a 10' radius auto hit debuff of -30% ToHit as its base. Enhanced, that's up to -45% ToHitDebuff! I'll let you add up all the -ToHit within Dark Miasma, but when it all comes together, it can be devastating, even to AVs). The list of Dark Servant's (aka, also "Dark Fluffy") powers are: Twilight Grap, Petrifying Gaze, Darkest Night, Tenebrous Tentacles and the aforementioned Chill of the Night. Dark Fluffy will take advantage of any pet IOs you have for your minions, making him tougher - but he's no tank, he does need some help of his own. Whlle he lasts 2 minutes, its easy to get him up perma.

 

Basic Tactics
Dark Miasma offers you many ways to approach a situation. There is no one way to do anything with this power set. Often you simply lead with your debuffs before sending in  your minions. But there are some other basics that should be made familiar for common use.

 

Corner Pulling: that is, using an area of movement restriction to bunch up mobs and break their line of sight so they must come to you to attack. Usually this involves having some form of trap, zone of death or AoE attacks to render said enemies dead once they arrive. You can corner pull by either using an attack or debuff to get the attention of the mobs. Then duck around the corner, column, doorway, etc and wait for them to arrive. I recommend putting a Tar Patch down in the bottleneck point to help slow them down and also debuff their resistance for faster killing. Pulling mobs in this fashion also allows you to avoid patrols or accidentally aggroing other mobs by fighting too close to the front line. 

 

Toggle Pulling: you use your Darkest Night to generate aggro and pull mobs to you, often into your Tar Patch. Has the advantage that they are nice and debuffed already. Generally, even with the long cast, you can get out of sight before they return fire.

 

Dark Servant Shadow Bombing: summon ol' Fluffy right onto the heads of the mobs. He'll debuff their accuracy with his Chill of the Night. Be aware, he might need some help if there are too many mobs, so toss him a Darknest Night and a Twilight Grasp to keep him upright.

 

Hold Stacking: useful with Demon Prince and Lich, as they both spam their holds so they can coincide with your own Petrifying Gaze. Useful for taking down annoying bosses. Of limited effect vs. EBs or AVs, however, due to their resistances and your hold's short durations. 

 

Tankerminding: using Provoke while pets are on Defensive/Follow mode to distribute damage among you and the pets. Works well vs. single bosses, but is terrible with lots of AoE flying around. Personally, I haven't Tankerminded since shortly after City of Villains dropped I found it tedious and if I debuffed well enough, did not need it. But everyone has their own style. There are many useful guides about Tankerminding, and it has its own playstyle you may enjoy.

 

Primaries
Okay, so...you command the powers of the night. What now? Yes, you can lurk menacingly in corners and make shop keepers tremble. But you can't rule a city of fearful civilians, much less take on super-powered foes without trusty minons! The good news is, you have a number of solid choices. Some are not only good mechanically, but also thematically. But don't let that stop you. I've seen Dark Miasma recolored to resemble sand, blood, cloud, toxic gas, and the like. No reason you have to be an edgy shadow lord!

 

Demons: My first recommendation, tied with Necromancy. Demons are already the toughest of the Pet sets. They have a resistance aura that stacks with Shadowfall. They have their own heals. They have a spammable hold. They have damage spread nicely around all their pets, in a variety of damage types (cold, fire, toxic, lethal). They come with Hell on Earth, a damage buff that also takes all of the Pet Uniques. This lets you slot better on Demons. However, demons do not proc well due to the variety of attacks. But you can put a Slow IO % smashing damage in Demon Prince (everything has a slow component, so all his attacks will proc it), as well as the Overwhelming Force Knockdown IO in the Demonlings (they will proc it often, and its excellent mitigation). 
Demons are also very thematic, if you decide against Thermal (also an excellent choice for Demons) and go for a dark pits of hell theme. The iconic NPC Desdemona is Demon/Dark. This is the choice you want if you desire a solid damage Primary to go with all our delightful debuffs and some control. 

 

Necromancy: My tie for first place, if you want to sacrifice some damage for being a controller-mastermind hybrid. Lich is not a top damaging pet (but you should put a Clouded Senses proc in him for extra damage, as he has -ToHit in everything he does). But he does spam lots of powers like a mini Dark Defender. In combination with Dark Servant, they are a potent pair. Unlike Dark Servant, you can control where he goes and whom he attacks. The Grave Knights take Lady Gray and Shieldbreaker Procs, plus they have Knockup in their sword attacks. They are actually your damage dealers. Stick and Overwhelming Force in the zombies so they can play knock-down with the mobs - they will proc it often. Adds to your controlleryness. Also, Necromancy is one of three sets that has a buff power that takes the Unique pet IOs. The power summons an extra temporary pet, but its a bit clunkier to use, though helpful at times. I prefer Hell on Earth. There is nothing more thematic than undead and darkness, and Necro/Dark has been a classic for MMs both for theme and effectiveness at balancing damage with control ever since City of Villains launch.

 

Thugs: A solid choice, and another classic. The Enforcers can be slotted with procs like Grave Knights. Bruiser is a tough mini-bruiser (duh!), and the suicidal Arsonist is your mini-corruptor with a deathwish, but he is responsible for a LOT of your AoE, so keep him alive. The new pet AI changes really did help him out, though, he dies much less. The Enforcers also radiate a Defense Aura that stacks with your -ToHit to help surviability. You might want to toss a +Defense enhancer in them but I tend to go for procs instead. They can also take Gaussians to hit proc that will do fun things, so I am told. Like, it goes off a lot more than if you slot it in your Tactics due to hitting all the pets. I've never used it though. No room. As with Demons / Necro, they get Gang War, which summons lots of mini pets, for lots of extra damage, but more importantly, can mule the unique pet IOs. As always, stick an Overwhelming Force Knockdown IO in the T1 thugs to help with mitigation. Broken record and all that.


Robots: A good choice. They have -Regen in the Assault Bots's plasma attacks which means they are great against AVs and GMs. However, I find their single target damage a bit lacking, and all of the AoE is really tied up in the Assault Bot, who has a tendency to blow his targets out of his own burn patches with Knockback, unless you can use a KB to KD conversion IO, or an immobilize with -KB.  Defense Bots can heal other bots, but not you. Unlike demons, who heal you too. Defense Bots can cast Force Shields on you, however, as well as your bots. That's kind of them! Stick an overwhelming force IO in the little bots.

 

Beasts: A good choice. You can survive comfortably with the pets in melee. The pets also can self-stack Defense buffs to hit Defense Cap, or they can just stack for more damage/crits, making them safe and versatile. Plus your debuffs help them while they build up stacks of Pack Mentality to get there.  A solid choice, I just wish they could take the Unique pet IOs in a separate power. They do some Knockdown on their own, so you may not wish to slot an overwhelming force IO in them.

 

Ninjas: A mediocre choice. Ninjas are super damaging on single targets, but are frail like wet rice paper. They lack the solid resists of Demons or the high base defense of Thugs/Bots or the control of Necro. While it will make a serviceable combination, you will need to be very vigilant in applying debuffs to keep the ninjas safe. Not a terrible combo, just a bit frail.

 

Mercenaries: This a generally uninspiring choice, mechanically. Mercs just have many problems with their low damage, narrow cone attacks, poor resistances and long recharges, plus a rather uninspiring Primary special power, Serum. But if you like "MOAR DAKA" and mountains of shell casings hitting the floor, take them. You're a mastermind, even 'mediocre' is good enough and Dark Miasma makes anything better.

 

Conclusion
No matter how you go, choosing Dark Miasma is a top tier choice for a mastermind. It goes well with everything, and has a lot to offer, not just at low levels, but also at the Incarnate portion of the game, due to the strong nature of debuffs, particularly the desired -Damage Resistance, -Damage, and -Regeneration. Dark offers some style as well, can support a wide variety of thematic choices, and familiarity with it on masterminds also means you'll be a pro right out of the box when and if you decide to also play the set on Corruptors, Defenders and Controllers!

I hope you enjoyed this overview. Please feel free to leave comments, corrections or thoughts below. Thank you. 

Edited by Force Redux
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@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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Sample Demons/Dark build (see later post for more expensive build, my current one)

This is based on my real-life Demons/Dark/Soul build, it is not theoretical, and I've been working with this one for about a year. It has been tweaked several times. There is no one right way to build and you could take this with a grain of salt and run it successfully another way. I'll probably tweak it again at some point, but its been mostly static for the past 8 mos. 

 

While there are many combinations of /Dark as described above, I feel that providing one or two sample play-tested builds will allow for someone to tweak it to any Primary, as most Primaries are build along similar lines with only a few deviations. 

 

My goals with my build were:

  • To boost passive Endurance Recovery to help offset costs. That said, I've never found /Dark MMs particularly End hungry, as the majority of their attacks from their primary are cost-free. If you are spamming all three attacks, then it might be more of an issue. However, I like to plan for contingencies (such as the rare occurrence when I'm summoning lots of pets for some reason).
  • To have 30% Ranged Defense (as a base to add -ToHit with) for my Mastermind. The Demons themselves have  18% bonus Defense vs All (33% vs. AoE) from the IOs, Shadowfall and Maneuvers. This makes them rather robust when combined with the -ToHit, controls, Resistances, and heals. You will notice the +1 Level shift from your Alpha will make life easier at all end-game content. Get it immediately. If you are on Everlasting and need help on your Oroboros mission to get it, ask me.
  • To have decent global recharge (117.5% with Hasten) to get some abilities up a bit faster (Tar Patch, Twilight Grasp, Fearsome Stare, Dark Servant). 
  • Slot for enhanced -ToHit values, as this, combined with the controls, Defense, Resists and Heals is what will keep you upright and dangerous.
  • Make sure Accuracy was solid. This is boosted even at low levels with the Kismat +Accuracy IO unique. 

 

Some Notes:
Hover takes on a lot of roles - KB protection, Accuracy boost, Stealth combo (with Shadowfall) and LotG mule. 

 

You could take Afterburner (or Vengeance) as another LotG mule, but I find it unnecessary to have that much recharge on MMs. Group Fly will make your life much easier when on certain maps. It is not a long distance travel power. It is a tactical power for combat. 

 

I chose Corruption for my single attack. It has long range and also debuffs like the others. I didn't need the melee KB, or the AoE debuffing. I just wanted to stack more -Resistance on tough single targets with my Demons' own -Resistance, or tag things from a distance for pulls. Any single of these three attacks are just fine. Be aware losing Thunderstrike would drop Ranged Defense a bit.

 

You could build for Smashing/Lethal defense, but that's a whole other build. Personally, I'm rarely in melee range of anything. Minions that get too close get stunned from Oppressive Gloom. Oppressive Gloom is easily skippable if you want to take Vengeance, Assault, Afterburner or any other throw-away power. If you wanted to save a slot in Hover, you could also take Super Speed to stack stealth with. Or toss a stealth IO into Sprint instead of Hover. I hate using Sprint, I forget to use it. So I spend a slot to have Stealth IO in Hover for my own sake.

 

I put the Soulbound Allegiance, Chance for Build-up IO into the Gargoyles. There is twice as much chance for it to proc with them  and they do respectable damage among themselves. I also slotted a 50+3 Resistance crafted IO in there. Normally I do not slot direct enhancements into pet sub-abiities, but the aura Resistance is too good not to improve. 

 

I went with Soul Mastery for the Epic. Oppressive Gloom stacks stun with Howling Twilight, and is also good mitigation for any minions that wander too close to you. The armor is a nice resist armor that stacks nicely with Shadowfall. I like immobilzes and there is a decent cone immob here, too. I wouldn't bother with the extra hold, myself, but its there if you really want to lock down targets with your Demon Prince (and Dark Servant, if he's had his morning coffee). 

 

I chose Muscular Radial Alpha for the damage boost, since Demons really emphasize the MM's damage role. There are also other benefits to Immobilize, To Hit Debuff, etc. 

 

The only other incarnate choice I wanted to highlight was that I went for Clarion Destiny, as it helps you and your pets avoid mezzes. With some other builds, like FF or Traps, or even Time, its not a big deal if you get mezzed. The buffs that keep you alive generally remain. But /Dark needs to stay active, and Clarion keeps you active and laughing off the stuns and holds that fell lesser beings. Even one landing on you can be undesirable, so go with Clarion as your first Destiny slot. You can always make others later. 

 

The Totals:

Here are the Resistance and Defense totals, including the pet aura buffs, Shadowfall, Maneuvers and Pet IO Uniques (all six). All values are rounded to the nearest percentage. These values were pulled directly in-game from the Combat Attributes. No Mid's numbers here. 

 

Demonlings (Resists)

  • 74% Smash/Lethal
  • 52% Energy/Negative Energy, Psionic
  • 90% Fire (Fiery Demonling); 65% Fire (Cold Demonling); 56% Fire (Hellfire Demonling)
  • 56% Cold (Fiery Demonling); 81% Cold (Cold Demonling); 56% Cold (Hellfire Demonling)
  • 60% Toxic (Fiery Demonling); 60% Toxic (Cold Demonling); 85% Toxic (Hellfire Demonling)

Demonlings (Defense)

  • 19% Melee
  • 19% Ranged
  • 34% AoE
  • 19% S/L/F/C/E/N/Psi

 

Gargoyles (Resists)

  • 60% Smash/Lethal (Ember Demon); 79% Smash/Lethal (Hellfire Gargoyle)
  • 52% Energy/Negative Energy, Psionic
  • 72% Fire (Ember Demon); 77% Fire (Hellfire Gargoyle)
  • 47% Cold (Ember Demon); 56% Cold (Hellfire Gargoyle)
  • 60% Toxic (Ember Demon); 85% Toxic (Hellfire Gargoyle)

Gargoyles (Defense)

  • 19% Melee
  • 19% Ranged
  • 34% AoE
  • 19% S/L/F/C/E/N/Psi

 

Demon Prince (Resists)

  • 66% Smash/Lethal 
  • 60% Fire
  • 64% Cold
  • 52% Energy/Negative Energy, Psionic
  • 68% Toxic

Demon Prince (Defense)

  • 19% Melee
  • 19% Ranged
  • 34% AoE
  • 35% Smash/Lethal
  • 29% Fire
  • 39% Cold
  • 19% E/N/Psi

 

As you can see, the demons are just tough all around. The Demon Prince is even scarier, with high Defenses in Smashing/Lethal (and Elements) so that he's going to be shrugging off even more attacks. 

 

What have I done with this build?

Pretty much anything other than taking on Task Forces or GMs/Pylons solo. I don't do big game hunting, and I don't have the time or patience to solo an ITF, for example. But I run normal group and solo content repeatedly up to +4/x8 with no issues. Mother Ship Raids, Dark Astoria content, Incarnate Trials, Regular TFs and STs, etc. The only other thing I avoid with MMs that I think are just not efficient for everyone is a Hamidon Raid. The key to enjoying your mastermind is getting comfortable with your pet commands (and they do NOT need to be terribly complex for you to do so), the pet AI, and the capabilities of enemy groups and how you will respond to them. That and having the perfect costume. 

 

Final Words

This is without a doubt, my most fun character on Homecoming. If there is interest, I could also delve into what Incarnate stuff might go well with /Dark masterminds.

 

Questions, comments, etc, appreciated. @Nyghtmaire has his Necro/Dark built below, which is my next-favorite /Dark Mastermind. Thanks for posting that, Nyghtmaire!

 

The Build:

Spoiler

 

Villain Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer 2.6.1.25
https://github.com/Crytilis/mids-reborn-hero-designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Demon Dark MM: Level 50 Magic Mastermind
Primary Power Set: Demon Summoning
Secondary Power Set: Dark Miasma
Power Pool: Flight
Power Pool: Leadership
Power Pool: Speed
Ancillary Pool: Soul Mastery

Villain Profile:
Level 1: Summon Demonlings

  • (A) Blood Mandate - Accuracy/Damage
  • (7) Blood Mandate - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance
  • (7) Commanding Presence - Accuracy/Damage
  • (9) Commanding Presence - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance
  • (36) Overwhelming Force - Damage/Chance for Knockdown/Knockback to Knockdown
  • (48) Edict of the Master - Defense Bonus

Level 1: Twilight Grasp

  • (A) Touch of the Nictus - Healing/Absorb
  • (9) Touch of the Nictus - Healing/Absorb/Recharge
  • (11) Touch of the Nictus - Accuracy/Healing/Absorb
  • (11) Touch of the Nictus - Accuracy/Endurance/Healing/Absorb
  • (13) Touch of the Nictus - Accuracy/Endurance/Recharge
  • (15) Theft of Essence - Chance for +Endurance

Level 2: Tar Patch

  • (A) Pacing of the Turtle - Endurance/Recharge/Slow

Level 4: Darkest Night

  • (A) Dark Watcher's Despair - To Hit Debuff/Recharge
  • (15) Dark Watcher's Despair - To Hit Debuff
  • (19) Dark Watcher's Despair - To Hit Debuff/Recharge/Endurance
  • (19) Dark Watcher's Despair - To Hit Debuff/Endurance

Level 6: Enchant Demon

  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 8: Hover

  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed
  • (21) Blessing of the Zephyr - Knockback Reduction (4 points)
  • (21) Freebird - +Stealth
  • (23) Kismet - Accuracy +6%

Level 10: Fly

  • (A) Winter's Gift - Slow Resistance (20%)

Level 12: Summon Demons

  • (A) Blood Mandate - Accuracy/Damage
  • (13) Blood Mandate - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance
  • (46) Commanding Presence - Accuracy/Damage
  • (46) Commanding Presence - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance
  • (50) Resist Damage IO
  • (50) Soulbound Allegiance - Chance for Build Up

Level 14: Howling Twilight

  • (A) Pacing of the Turtle - Endurance/Recharge/Slow

Level 16: Shadow Fall

  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed
  • (17) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Endurance
  • (17) Shield Wall - +Res (Teleportation), +5% Res (All)
  • (40) Gladiator's Armor - End/Resist
  • (43) Gladiator's Armor - Resistance
  • (46) Steadfast Protection - Resistance/+Def 3%

Level 18: Hell on Earth

  • (A) Call to Arms - Defense Bonus Aura for Pets
  • (36) Expedient Reinforcement - Resist Bonus Aura for Pets
  • (37) Sovereign Right - Resistance Bonus
  • (37) Superior Command of the Mastermind - Recharge/Pet +AoE Defense Aura
  • (37) Superior Mark of Supremacy - Endurance/Pet +Resist +Regen
  • (50) Expedient Reinforcement - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge

Level 20: Fearsome Stare

  • (A) Cloud Senses - ToHit Debuff
  • (23) Cloud Senses - Accuracy/ToHitDebuff
  • (25) Cloud Senses - Accuracy/Recharge
  • (34) Cloud Senses - ToHit Debuff/Endurance/Recharge
  • (34) Cloud Senses - Accuracy/Endurance/Recharge
  • (48) Cloud Senses - Chance for Negative Energy Damage

Level 22: Group Fly

  • (A) Blessing of the Zephyr - Run Speed, Jump, Flight Speed, Range/Endurance

Level 24: Maneuvers

  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed
  • (25) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Endurance

Level 26: Summon Demon Prince

  • (A) Blood Mandate - Accuracy/Damage
  • (27) Blood Mandate - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance
  • (27) Call to Arms - Accuracy/Damage
  • (29) Call to Arms - Endurance/Damage/Recharge
  • (33) Blood Mandate - Accuracy/Endurance
  • (34) Impeded Swiftness - Chance of Damage(Smashing)

Level 28: Tactics

  • (A) Adjusted Targeting - To Hit Buff/Endurance
  • (29) Adjusted Targeting - To Hit Buff/Endurance/Recharge

Level 30: Corruption

  • (A) Thunderstrike - Accuracy/Damage
  • (31) Thunderstrike - Damage/Endurance
  • (31) Thunderstrike - Damage/Recharge
  • (31) Thunderstrike - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge
  • (33) Thunderstrike - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance
  • (33) Thunderstrike - Damage/Endurance/Recharge

Level 32: Abyssal Empowerment

  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 35: Dark Embrace

  • (A) Aegis - Resistance
  • (36) Aegis - Resistance/Endurance

Level 38: Dark Servant

  • (A) Cloud Senses - ToHit Debuff
  • (39) Cloud Senses - Accuracy/ToHitDebuff
  • (39) Cloud Senses - Accuracy/Recharge
  • (39) Cloud Senses - ToHit Debuff/Endurance/Recharge
  • (40) Cloud Senses - Accuracy/Endurance/Recharge
  • (40) Cloud Senses - Chance for Negative Energy Damage

Level 41: Soul Tentacles

  • (A) Trap of the Hunter - Accuracy/Recharge
  • (42) Trap of the Hunter - Endurance/Immobilize
  • (42) Trap of the Hunter - Accuracy/Endurance
  • (42) Trap of the Hunter - Immobilize/Accuracy
  • (43) Trap of the Hunter - Accuracy/Immobilize/Recharge
  • (43) Trap of the Hunter - Chance of Damage(Lethal)

Level 44: Petrifying Gaze

  • (A) Basilisk's Gaze - Accuracy/Hold
  • (45) Basilisk's Gaze - Endurance/Recharge/Hold
  • (45) Basilisk's Gaze - Accuracy/Endurance/Recharge/Hold
  • (45) Basilisk's Gaze - Accuracy/Recharge

Level 47: Hasten

  • (A) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (48) Recharge Reduction IO

Level 49: Oppressive Gloom

  • (A) Accuracy IO

Level 1: Brawl

  • (A) Empty

Level 1: Prestige Power Dash

  • (A) Empty

Level 1: Prestige Power Slide

  • (A) Empty

Level 1: Prestige Power Quick

  • (A) Empty

Level 1: Prestige Power Rush

  • (A) Empty

Level 1: Prestige Power Surge

  • (A) Empty

Level 1: Sprint

  • (A) Empty

Level 1: Supremacy 


Level 2: Rest

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  • (A) Empty
Level 4: Ninja Run 

Level 2: Swift

 

 

Edited by Force Redux
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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Incarnate Choices

The good thing about the incarnates is there really is no wrong way to go. They are there to round out your build, or focus it into a particular direction. That said, for Dark Miasma there are some general thoughts I would like to opine on:

 

Alpha Slot

Alpha is your most important slot. Why? Because when you get it to T3, you AND YOUR PETS get a permanant +1 level boost. This means your pets will more reliably hit things, damage things and otherwise operate one level higher against those +4 critters you're fighting. This is important, due to the Purple Patch, which deems that the lower level you are vs. a purple conning mob, the worse you and your pets will scale against it. Get this. Immediately. Its not hard. Shards are too infrequent a drop. Get some Empyrean Merits by doing Dark Astoria missions and getting to Veteran Level 3, where you will be gifted with a bunch of Empyrean Merits. You'll need 16 to craft everything you need for T3 by converting Empyrean Merits to Incarnate Threads and a Rare Component. 

 

Spoiler

 

Agility - Offers you EndMod, Recharge and Defense primarily with minor boosts to various movement types. While all are nice,  you don't really benefit from most anything except the recharge, and there better ways to get it than in your Alpha (global bonuses and Hasten). I recommend to pass this over.

 

Cardiac - Offers you EndReduction, Resistance and Range, with minor boosts to Fear, Sleep and Intangible. As Dark Miasma you'll benefit from the everything but the Sleep and Intangible. I recommend this build to non-IO Set budget builds, as it will help with Endurance for you  AND the pets (particularly Demon Prince, who is heavy on his blue bar), and also bump up the resistance aura of your Gargoyle and Shadowfall, plus your Epic Pool armor (if you have a resistance one). The Range will also be useful for your Fearsome Stare cone. If you plan on solving your endurance woes through IO sets, IO uniques and Accolades, you should be able to pass this one up rather easily, however.

 

Intuition - Offers you Hold Duration, Defense Debuff, Range, plus also sides of Damage, ToHitDebuff and Slow. You can make use of almost all of these (except Defense Debuff) on Dark Miasma. Depending on your Primary, you might also get some use out of Defense Debuff, but honestly a little Defense Debuff goes a long way, oodles of it rarely are needed, and buffing it is a very distant goal for most builds. You need to get a bit deep into this (T3 or T4) to get all the benefits, so some patience to craft this up from T1 might be required, though its not a terribly long journey if you are focusing on earning Empyrian Merits for conversion to Threads/Parts. This is a good, all around choice and definitely places emphasis on the two things Dark MMs like to do: Damage and ToHitDebuff. This is a solid choice for Necro/Dark, since it works with Dark Servant, Petrfying Gaze AND Lich, who has his own Hold and because Necro/Dark is a controller-mind and this boosts that function as well as damage in a balance.

 

Musculature - the other side of the Intuition coin is this - which boosts many similar things: offers Damage, DefenseDebuff, Immobilize, with sides of EndMod, RunSpeed and ToHitDebuff. Here, you work on building up the damage first with other benefits later. As Dark Miasma, you also still get ToHitDebuff, which is important, but you get Immob instead of Hold and EndMod instead of Slow. If you want to eek out every last bit of Damage boost you can get, this is the one for you. Demons, Beasts and Thugs could all benefit, since they are high damage primaries. Ninjas can too. Robots is a lower damage primary, so the bump here could be worth it, over say, Intuition. Take this if you liked Intuition, but prefer Immob over Hold. The rest is negligible. 

 

Nerve - Offers Accuracy, Hold and Defense buffs, with sides of Taunt, Flight and Confuse. This is not for you. It doesn't focus on what Dark does well, nor does it suit a Mastermind. I'd like this on an Illusion Controller perhaps, but not a /Dark Mastermind. I recommend to pass it. 

 

Resilient - Boosts Resistance, Immobilization, ToHitBuff, plus sides of Intangible, Stun and Taunt. I'm sure there are ATs and builds where this makes sense. But it doesn't for your Dark Mastermind. Swipe to the left, please, swipe to the left. 

 

Spiritual - This is an interesting alternative. It has major boosts to Recharge, Stun and Healing, plus sides of Slow, Jump and ToHitBuff. This is not bad for helping with non-IO set builds, who need a way to recharge down, but don't care to go Agility. It boosts heals (which help with Dark Servant, your Twilight Grasp, and if you have pets who heal, their heals too). However, it really misses on damage, and it is my opinion that even with the Necro/Dark controllermind, you still should focus a bit more on damage. Recharge can = damage, but this is a bit too focused on support. Perhaps if this had ToHitDebuff instead of ToHitBuff, I'd say this is a good off-choice. But it is not for Dark. I might see this as good for Nature Affinity MMs who like to play a healer role with pet damage as an extra. 

 

Vigor - this is also an interesting choice, and is a bit more valid for /Dark since so many of the boosts do address Dark's needs: boosts Healing, Accuracy and EndReduction, all three things which benefit /Dark well. Also has side boosts of Fear, Confuse and Sleep, with only Fear being useful for the most part. Core Paragon might still be the way to go. This won't boost your defenses, nor will it boost damage, but it will make sure you land things, have great heals and address any lingering EndREduction woes you might have. I would only recomend this to the non-IO set builds, however, as Accuracy and EndRedux can be solved with the IO system and a boost to Healing is a waste of your ALpha when it is the only benefit.

 


Verdict: Go Intuition or Musculature as both boost damage, as well as ToHitDebuff, which are core to your being a Dark Miasma MM. Intuition if you want to boost Holds, or Musculature if you prefer to boost Immobilizations. 

 

Judgement

Judgement is a big nuke that is on a 90 second timer that cannot be reduced with Recharge Reduction at all. All of them are good, with variations in the damage type, the AOE shape, and choice of secondary effects. You can't go wrong here, but I have some thoughts:

 

Spoiler

 

Cryonic - a big cone of cold icy wind. Best used from a distance, such as when you use Fearsome Stare. Once you are in the thick of melee, it becomes less useful, so either you use it at the start of combat (and risk some aggro), or you back up a bit from the action to let it loose. I like it on my Nature support sets, since I'm back behind the pack anyway with my healing cone. It would be 'okay' with Dark Miasma, but Dark does like to be a bit closer to the action. Grade: B-

 

Ion - chaining electricity that doesn't matter where you aim it, it jumps around. As such, can be used no matter where you are positioned. Popular for a reason. Color it dark and cackle with glee. Grade A+

 

Pyronic - a big sphere of fire. FIre! FIRE! Again, it is pretty position-agnostic, so you can use it whenever, wherever. It also has the fastest cast time of the Judgements.  Also very popular for a reason. Grade A+

 

Void - a huge negative energy blast centered on you. You will need to waltz into the mix to get things hit by it, but that's okay, because in CoH most things dissolve into a chaotic melee anyway. You can stealth into mobs to use this as an opener, or use it to perform a "cleanup in Aisle 5". Its a little slow to fire, but not too much so.  It has a nice debuff to damage, please avoid the Knockback version unless you enjoy trolling your teams. Also looks cool and suits the Dark Miasma afficianado. Grade A.


Vorpal - you flash forward and kick everything into oblivion in an wide cone area ahead of you that requires no targeting. Like Cryonic, this is best used either as an opener, or if you bunny hop back a bit. I like it on my Marital Arts tanker (it also boosts Defense), but I don't think this is very thematic for Dark, or a good fit for it as other Judgements, so it gets the same grade, B-. The extra defense might help if you take some aggro from things left alive, however. 

 

Mighty - not listed on the ParagonWiki, this was added late in the game or on HC, I can't recall. You punch the ground in a PBAOE. Things go flying on their butts. Its fun. Its super, it might not fit your concept. Do it anyway if you like surprising folks with your mighty muscles. I think its overall pretty decent and functions much like Void. Grade A-

 

 

Verdict: Go Void, Ionic or Pyronic for maximum Lolz. But anything will work. Really. 

 

Interface

Most of these are best used to boost damage, with secondary effects being rather negligible. Masterminds make the best use of Interface since between them and their 6+ pets, they can really stack the procs. You cannot recolor the Interface procs, so be aware that if you are a stickler for concept and image, you may wish to avoid some of the ones that rub your costume the wrong way when they fire off.

 

Spoiler

 

Cognitive: Take it only for Psi damage if you like Psi damage. Council Robots will mock you with their tinny electronic voices. The confuse is too short. A MM might make it work, but even without a primary to stack it with, who cares?  Grade: C.

 

Degenerative: one of my favorites. Toxic Damage proc with a chance to debuff Max Hitpoints (which effectively also lowers regen on big hit point meat bags like Giant Monsters and AVs). You won't notice the HP debuff on anything less than an EB, they don't have enough HP to matter. Personally, go 75% damage and 25% proc. YOu have enough attacks going to stack the debuff with your pets on a GM/AV even with the lower proc chance. And the extra damage will be useful on anything from a Minion all the way on up to Hamidon's girlfriend. Grade A.

 

Diamagnetic:  pure debuff, no damage. Gives ToHitDebuff and RegenDebuff. You probably have enough ToHitDebuff that a little more won't matter (and against AVs it will be scaled down anyway to almost nothing), and the RegenDebuff you can get from Envenomed Dagger temp powers from the P2W vendor. Plus your Twilight Grasp and Howling Twilight. Assault Bot also has tons of RegenDebuff. This is an easy pass, unless you have something specific in mind. Grade: C

 

Gravatic: I love the name. And one day, I'd love to see the effects of the varied debuffs matter. But you can't stack enough of these vs. hard targets like AVs and GMs to matter, and vs anything below EB, who cares? Hard pass. Grade F.

 

Paralytic: Debuffs Defense (not worth it, you should be building for Accuracy anyway) and -Damage. Now the second part is interesting. It reduces the damage of foes. This is helpful. Very helpful. But not for you. Better for Tankers and defensive Brutes. I love this on my MA/Shield Tanker, who debuffs entire spawns and keeps them from putting as much hurt on their friends as possible. This is not your role, however. Support yes. But not this. Pass. Grade D.

 

Pre-Emptive: Endurance Drain is a wierd thing in CoH. either you go all in, whole-hog, or you don't bother at all. You are not a Controller/Corruptor/Defender sapper build. It won't matter if you drain a little bit of Endurance from mobs, due to the way that mob Endurance works. So avoid that. If you like the Energy Damage proc, however, go for that. Its not fancy, but if you like the damage type and it suits your concept, it is viable. Grade: B.

 

Reactive: Another popular one. Reduces damage resistance and offers a fire damage proc. Go whole in on the Fire damage proc. Pick up the damage resistance debuff as a perk at higher Tiers. Vs tough targets, you'll get better mileage out of Degenerative. Grade B+. Add an extra letter if you are a fire-themed character.

 

Spectral: This is one I don't see too often, but I do like it. It offers a short Immob and also Negative Energy damage. Looks like a swirl of black-yellow at the mob's feet. Proc it enough and you can keep things from running all over the map. Most AVs are actually vulnerable to Immobs, making this useful enough to keep them from running often. Works even better when combined with an Immob from your Epic Pool. Focus on the damage proc, and as you progress, add some of the lower proc for the immob. Grade: A.

 

 

Verdict: Go for Degenerative, Reactive or Spectral. 

 

Lore

Cimerorans for life!! Ah, wait. Never mind. Be aware that Lore gives you another +1 level shift at T3, but ONLY in Incarnate content, such as iTrials and Dark Astoria. But you will appreciate it there as it makes your pets up to a total of +3 levels (once you also get Destiny to T3, as Destiny also gives a level boost). Read below.

Spoiler

A long time ago, some pets really were better than others. However, they were mostly normalized and all perform about the same with only a little variation. Some do damage. Some heal and buff. Some are invulnerable and can't attack. You get a boss and a Lt version when you get up to T3. For folks who do NOT have support abilities, I recommend the invulnerable buffer/healer. However, for those of you with support skills of your own who can keep them both alive, go for the two pets who can both attack. You'll be able to keep them alive as a Mastermind, so why not get some more damage? Personally, the big difference I find is that some of the pets can fly on their own, in case you don't have Group Fly, they will keep up with you. But if you took my advice and took Group Fly, this wont matter too much.

 

Verdict: Take anything you like! Go for flavor!

 

Destiny

Another big opportunity here to patch up weak points in your build. There are no bad choices, just find one (or more if you later craft a second or third) that tickles your fancy.

 

Spoiler

 

Ageless: will fix the blue bar and also recharge things. Can also offer Debuff Resistance, but that's mostly more useful for folks with high Defense from IOs and pool powers and no innate Defense Debuff Resistance than anything else, IMO (such as Time Support Sets or Bots/FF). Take this if you are on a non-IO set built and still need help with endurance and /or recharge. If you've fixed these things, there's little reason to take this, however. Grade C, unless you are in need of Endurance / Recharge, then B+.

 

Barrier: useful for adding a HUGE amount of Defense and Resistance for a short while, tapering down over time to a minor but helpful boost to both. Can fill in that last bit of defense to soft cap. Best used as an "Oh Crap!" button when your pets and the team are getting hammered and need a break from incoming damage. If you go for one version, you can even Rez with this. As Dark Miasma, you won't need that. You have the best rez in the game, though you do need a target. Otherwise use a Revive inspiration on your buddy. This is a good, if someone situational power. Grade: a solid B.

 

Clarion: offers Mez protection (and range/secondary effect buff if you take the shorter duration version). I find this is the best one for Dark Miasma. What's worse than getting mezzed? Having your pets also mezzed. In some places, like a Mother Ship Raid,  you'll find yourself slept to death. Remember, Dark Miasma needs to act in order to remain safe. If you can't act with your powers to debuff, you are not safe. Clarion keeps you safe. It also prevents knockback on your pets, which for things like Demons and Beasts, really eats into their DPS. If you get the 120 second variety, you will have this up permanently. It can also be used as a breakfree, even if you are mezzed. Grade: Solid gold, A+

 

Incandescence: this sees a lot of use in Leagues for positioning. Yes, it has other effects, like Stealth, but really the practical use is teleporting leagues all over the place. Most people at higher Vet levels will have this as a back-up and use it when called for by the leader. Grade: C. Awesome for what it does, but of limited utility day to day. Craft one when you have spare parts.

 

Rebirth: offers a huge heal with either Regen or Max HP. I like this on my Bots/FF, because he can heal all his bots at once on the rare occasion they all get hit with several huge AOEs. However, for Dark Miasma, you don't  need this. You already have the awesome Twilight Grasp. Plus Dark Servant occasionally healing when he's not busy derping off somewhere. For others this is an A ability. For you its Grade: D

 

 

Verdict: Take the one that best suits you, but I call Clarion the best for Dark Miasma. 

 

Hybrid

Hybrid helps you cross the line between ATs, but may not do so as completely as you'd think. Taking Control won't make you a real controller, for example. Read below. 

 

Spoiler

 

Assaault - There is a lot of discussion, and I mean A LOT about Assault and how to effectively use it since pets do not inhereit the buff and you have to summon them first and then cast Assault, and then if they zone they lose it, or seomething along those lines. Assault is a bit nattier to use for MMs than other ATs because of how it interacts with pets. 

 

Control - Leave Control for Controllers. Yes, that means you too, Necro/Dark in the back row. I know control is your thing, but you don't have enough of it on-demand to count. Just sit down and clean up your zombie vomit, thank you.

 

Melee - could see some use for Tankerminds. I did not do a write-up on tankerminds, so I will not touch this here. 

 

Support - provides a nice passive Endurance discount, which all MMs will appreciate. Go for the Core Support, as it has doubled values for all the buffs for pets. Buffs for pet damage, accuracy, defense, mez and healing. Core Embodiment is what you ultimately want. You'll have 50% uptime on this and its very handy to cycle with other abilities. 

 

 

Verdict: Support Core will serve you as a great all-rounder, but Melee is useful for Tankerminds and Assault for damage types who don't mind micromanaging the buff.

 

I hope you found this helpful. Please add corrections, comments or questions below and I'll address them when possible. Remember, at the end of the day, its City of Heroes, and almost anything will work. I firmly believe if it suits your concept and somehow addresses the role of your AT, you can't go wrong. Enjoy!

 

Edited by Force Redux
  • Like 3

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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Beautiful write-up! 

 

Throwing my current build up, mainly for anyone that wants a base from which to start tinkering. This is my “played” build - no theorycrafted handwavium imaginarium in the COH aquarium. Also not a claim that this is the “best” or most efficient approach. I’m sure there are many “better” builds out there.

 

This build calls for an active playstyle, starting from mid-range to leverage cones, then jumping in for PBoA healing of the pets and to give Oppressive Gloom an opportunity to stun minions. Aims to to be in the scrum most of the time to ensure Supremacy and Shadow Fall coverage for the pets (as well as OG impact). Including damage procs in PPP abilities, Fearsome Stare, and Twilight Grasp goes a long way to upping damage on what @Force Redux rightly calls a very controller-like pairing. On the subject of personal attacks, this build includes Gloom. I still feel ridiculous about it as that was unthinkable back in Retail. That said, I'm slowly coming around to an appreciation.

 

Goals for the build:
1. Maximize recharge to get key powers up faster; while,
2. Ensuring -ToHit from all sources (self, Lich, and Dark Servant) are robust; to go with,
3. A moderate base of defense and resistance; while,
4. Accentuating pet damage with procs in attacks and oft-used debuffs (essentially making powers like Fearsome Stare and Twilight’s Grasp have multiple functions).

 

Recall that -tohit debuffs can moonlight as defense. Basically, -tohit debuffs are very solid versus everything except AVs. Against an AV (most of the time), approximately every 16% -tohit debuff = 1% defense.  Just checking in-game for comparison's sake and hanging out with a Pylon (and friendly Power Analyzer), this build was reducing the Pylon's ToHit to approximately 32%.

 

Links discussing PPM procs, mastermind personal attacks, and AV/purple patch mechanics for debuff calculations. 

 

Spoiler

For a more detailed theory of procs for masterminds, please see the Ninja/Time post by @Redlynne, the Proc Monster Defender thread by @Sir Myshkin, and @Bopper's  Guide on PPM mechanics generally. 

 

For a discussion of the efficacy of mastermind personal attacks, please see the mega thread on Mastermind/Pet damage and suggestions by @Galaxy Brainand @Monos King

 

AV/Purple Patch:
https://hcwiki.cityofheroes.dev/wiki/Archvillain and

https://hcwiki.cityofheroes.dev/wiki/Purple_Patch
 

 

The Build
 

Spoiler

Villain Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer 2.6.1.25
https://github.com/Crytilis/mids-reborn-hero-designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Level 50 Magic Mastermind
Primary Power Set: Necromancy
Secondary Power Set: Dark Miasma
Power Pool: Sorcery
Power Pool: Leadership
Power Pool: Speed
Power Pool: Leaping
Ancillary Pool: Soul Mastery

Villain Profile:
Level 1: Zombie Horde -- SprCmmoft-Rchg/PetAoEDef(A), SprCmmoft-Acc/Dmg(7), SprCmmoft-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(7), SprCmmoft-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(9), OvrFrc-Dam/KB(9), EdcoftheM-PetDef(11)
Level 1: Twilight Grasp -- TchoftheN-Acc/Heal(A), CldSns-%Dam(45), TchoftheN-Acc/EndRdx/Heal/HP/Regen(48), TchoftheN-%Dam(48)
Level 2: Tar Patch -- TmpRdn-EndRdx/Rchg/Slow(A)
Level 4: Darkest Night -- DarWtcDsp-Rchg/EndRdx(A), DarWtcDsp-ToHitdeb/Rchg/EndRdx(11), DarWtcDsp-ToHitDeb(34), DarWtcDsp-ToHitDeb/EndRdx(34)
Level 6: Enchant Undead -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 8: Mystic Flight -- BlsoftheZ-ResKB(A)
Level 10: Howling Twilight -- RechRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(23), RechRdx-I(50)
Level 12: Grave Knight -- SprMarofS-Acc/Dmg(A), SprMarofS-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(13), SlbAll-Build%(13), SlbAll-Dmg/EndRdx(15), TchofLadG-%Dam(15), AchHee-ResDeb%(17)
Level 14: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(17), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(23)
Level 16: Shadow Fall -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(25), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(31), GldArm-3defTpProc(33), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP(37)
Level 18: Soul Extraction -- SprMarofS-EndRdx/+Resist/+Regen(A), SprMarofS-Dmg/EndRdx(19), ExpRnf-+Res(Pets)(19), CaltoArm-+Def(Pets)(21), ExpRnf-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(21)
Level 20: Fearsome Stare -- CldSns-Acc/ToHitDeb(A), GlmoftheA-Dam%(33), CldSns-%Dam(34), CldSns-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(37), CldSns-Acc/Rchg(37)
Level 22: Gloom -- GldJvl-Acc/Dmg(A), Thn-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(31), GldJvl-Dam%(33), CldSns-%Dam(40), Apc-Dam%(50)
Level 24: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(25)
Level 26: Lich -- CldSns-%Dam(A), HO:Endo(27), HO:Perox(27), SprMarofS-Acc/EndRdx(29), SprMarofS-Dmg(29), SvrRgh-PetResDam(31)
Level 28: Petrifying Gaze -- BslGaz-Acc/Rchg(A), BslGaz-Slow%(42), BslGaz-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg/Hold(42), BslGaz-Acc/Hold(42)
Level 30: Tactics -- GssSynFr--ToHit/Rchg/EndRdx(A), GssSynFr--ToHit/EndRdx(39), GssSynFr--ToHit(39)
Level 32: Dark Empowerment -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 35: Dark Embrace -- UnbGrd-Max HP%(A), UnbGrd-ResDam(36), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(36), StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(36)
Level 38: Dark Servant -- CldSns-%Dam(A), CldSns-Acc/Rchg(39), CldSns-ToHitDeb/EndRdx/Rchg(40), CldSns-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(40)
Level 41: Soul Tentacles -- Ann-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(A), TraoftheH-Acc/EndRdx(43), TraoftheH-Dam%(43), PstBls-Dam%(43), Ann-ResDeb%(45)
Level 44: Soul Storm -- GhsWdwEmb-Acc/EndRdx(A), GldNet-Dam%(45), GhsWdwEmb-Dam%(46), UnbCns-Dam%(46), EssofCrr-Acc/EndRdx(46), Lck-%Hold(48)
Level 47: Combat Jumping -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), Rct-ResDam%(50)
Level 49: Oppressive Gloom -- Acc-I(A)
Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Dash -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Slide -- Empty(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 -- Clr-Stlth(A)
Level 1: Supremacy 
Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A)
Level 4: Ninja Run 
Level 2: Swift -- Run-I(A)
Level 2: Health -- Mrc-Rcvry+(A), Pnc-Heal/+End(3), NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(3)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- PrfShf-End%(A), PrfShf-EndMod(5), EndMod-I(5)
Level 1: Zombie 
Level 12: Grave Knight 
Level 26: Lich 
Level 0: Born In Battle 
Level 0: High Pain Threshold 
Level 0: Invader 
Level 0: Marshal 
Level 50: Intuition Radial Paragon 
Level 50: Pyronic Radial Final Judgement 
Level 50: Reactive Radial Flawless Interface 
Level 50: Barrier Core Epiphany 
Level 50: Support Core Embodiment 
Level 50: Banished Pantheon Core Superior Ally 
------------

http://www.cohplanner.com/mids/download.php?uc=1612&c=769&a=1538&f=HEX&dc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

 

S/L/E/ Softcap "tankermind" variant

 

Spoiler

Villain Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer 2.6.1.25
https://github.com/Crytilis/mids-reborn-hero-designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Level 50 Magic Mastermind
Primary Power Set: Necromancy
Secondary Power Set: Dark Miasma
Power Pool: Speed
Power Pool: Leadership
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: Presence
Ancillary Pool: Mace Mastery

Villain Profile:
Level 1: Zombie Horde -- SprCmmoft-Rchg/PetAoEDef(A), SprCmmoft-Acc/Dmg(7), SprCmmoft-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(7), SprCmmoft-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(9), OvrFrc-Dam/KB(9), EdcoftheM-PetDef(11)
Level 1: Twilight Grasp -- TchoftheN-Acc/Heal(A), TchoftheN-Acc/EndRdx/Heal/HP/Regen(48), TchoftheN-%Dam(48)
Level 2: Tar Patch -- TmpRdn-EndRdx/Rchg/Slow(A)
Level 4: Darkest Night -- DarWtcDsp-Rchg/EndRdx(A), DarWtcDsp-ToHitdeb/Rchg/EndRdx(11), DarWtcDsp-ToHitDeb(34), DarWtcDsp-ToHitDeb/EndRdx(34)
Level 6: Enchant Undead -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 8: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(25)
Level 10: Howling Twilight -- RechRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(23), RechRdx-I(50)
Level 12: Grave Knight -- SprMarofS-Acc/Dmg(A), SprMarofS-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(13), SlbAll-Build%(13), SlbAll-Dmg/EndRdx(15), TchofLadG-%Dam(15), AchHee-ResDeb%(17)
Level 14: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(17), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(23)
Level 16: Shadow Fall -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(21), LucoftheG-Def(25), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(31), GldArm-3defTpProc(33), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP(37)
Level 18: Soul Extraction -- SprMarofS-EndRdx/+Resist/+Regen(A), SprMarofS-Dmg/EndRdx(19), ExpRnf-+Res(Pets)(19), CaltoArm-+Def(Pets)(21)
Level 20: Fearsome Stare -- CldSns-Acc/ToHitDeb(A), CldSns-ToHitDeb/EndRdx/Rchg(33), CldSns-%Dam(34), CldSns-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(37), CldSns-Acc/Rchg(37), CldSns-ToHitDeb(45)
Level 22: Boxing -- Empty(A)
Level 24: Tough -- UnbGrd-Max HP%(A), UnbGrd-ResDam(31), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(36)
Level 26: Lich -- CldSns-%Dam(A), HO:Endo(27), HO:Perox(27), SprMarofS-Acc/EndRdx(29), SprMarofS-Dmg(29), SvrRgh-PetResDam(31)
Level 28: Petrifying Gaze -- BslGaz-Acc/Rchg(A), BslGaz-Slow%(42), BslGaz-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg/Hold(42), BslGaz-Acc/Hold(42), Lck-%Hold(50)
Level 30: Tactics -- GssSynFr--ToHit/Rchg/EndRdx(A), GssSynFr--ToHit/Rchg(33), GssSynFr--Rchg/EndRdx(36), GssSynFr--Build%(36), GssSynFr--ToHit/EndRdx(39), GssSynFr--ToHit(39)
Level 32: Dark Empowerment -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 35: Weave -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(43), LucoftheG-Def(43)
Level 38: Dark Servant -- CldSns-%Dam(A), CldSns-Acc/Rchg(39), CldSns-ToHitDeb/EndRdx/Rchg(40), CldSns-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(40), CldSns-Acc/ToHitDeb(40), CldSns-ToHitDeb(43)
Level 41: Scorpion Shield -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(45), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(45)
Level 44: Web Envelope -- GrvAnc-Immob/EndRdx(A), GrvAnc-Hold%(46), GrvAnc-Immob/Rchg(46), GrvAnc-Acc/Immob/Rchg(46), GrvAnc-Acc/Rchg(48)
Level 47: Provoke -- MckBrt-Acc/Rchg(A), MckBrt-Taunt/Rchg/Rng(50)
Level 49: Victory Rush -- EndMod-I(A)
Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Dash -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Prestige Power Slide -- Empty(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 -- Clr-Stlth(A)
Level 1: Supremacy 
Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A)
Level 4: Ninja Run 
Level 2: Swift -- Run-I(A)
Level 2: Health -- Mrc-Rcvry+(A), Pnc-Heal/+End(3), NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(3)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- PrfShf-End%(A), PrfShf-EndMod(5), EndMod-I(5)
Level 1: Zombie 
Level 12: Grave Knight 
Level 26: Lich 
Level 0: Born In Battle 
Level 0: High Pain Threshold 
Level 0: Invader 
Level 0: Marshal 
Level 50: Intuition Radial Paragon 
Level 50: Pyronic Radial Final Judgement 
Level 50: Barrier Core Epiphany 
Level 50: Support Core Embodiment 
Level 50: Banished Pantheon Core Superior Ally 
Level 50: Spectral Radial Flawless Interface 
------------

| Copy & Paste this data into Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer to view the build |
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		|-------------------------------------------------------------------|

 

Necro Pets' Base values

 

Zombies:
• 25% Smash/Cold/Negative/Toxic/Psionic Resist
• 100% Recharge Time Resist
• -33.33% Sleep/Terrorize Duration
• +4.0 Sleep/Terrorize Protection
• +1.0 Stun Protection

 

Grave Knights:
• 26% Cold/Negative/Toxic
• 100% Recharge Time Resist
• -33.33% Sleep/Terrorize Duration
• +4.0 Sleep/Terrorize Protection
• +1.0 Stun Protection

 

Lich:
• 26% Cold/Negative/Toxic
• +4.0 Sleep/Terrorize


For swapping out other primaries, here is the post with a list of each primary’s def/res values.

 

 

Edited by Nyghtmaire
Second build added
  • Like 1

Red Tomax/Way Back: https://web.archive.org/web/20140625171903/http://tomax.cohtitan.com/data/powers/

 

DSorrow: “Give a man a build export and you feed him for a day, teach him to build and he's fed for a lifetime.

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Thanks @Nyghtmaire! This was long overdue. I really find Dark Miasma one of the most fun and engaging power sets in the game. I loved it as far back at launch , even when it was generally misunderstood by teammates who wanted Empathy 🙂

  • Thanks 1

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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Hey, I really appreciate this guide - it's something I have always wanted to do and never actually put the effort into doing. I'm a huge fanboy for /Dark on MM, and in my mind it is the top secondary set. 

I hope what follows doesn't sound like nitpicking, it's just minor corrections to what I hope would be the premier /Dark guide on the forum.
 

  

On 9/6/2020 at 3:29 AM, Force Redux said:

 

Twilight Grasp
Available at Level: 1
Purpose: Heal, Debuff
Rating: Excellent. Take immediately.
Basic Slotting: 2 Accuracy, 2 Heal, 1 EndRed, 1 Recharge enhancement. 
Advanced Slotting: 5x Touch of the Nictus. You could add in a 6th slot for the damage proc, but its not worth it unless you have slots to spare.

Note: This is a power you will use very often. It has a large 20' radius, so you can easily capture your pets even if they are in melee range, while you stand outside of it. The regeneration debuff is helpful vs EBs, AVs and GMs, so feel free to spam it, its -50% and stackable with Howling Twilight, below. Twilight Grasp is so good, it will be enough to keep you and your pets alive for many lower levels, even before you get to using the invention enhancements. 

 

This is not only a heal (and a big one, with a big heal that is centered on YOU), but it also debuffs the target's -ToHit, their Regeneration, AND their damage. All this goodness, however, does require a ToHit check, although it was recently buffed to have an innate 1.2 accuracy, so it works better out of the box and at lower levels. Once you are fully slotted, it hits very reliably. 

 


As anyone who's played /Dark knows, the set is very end hungry. This makes Theft of Essence one of the best things you can add to TG, since it makes the power practically free.
Another thing to note is that the TG debuffs stack with each cast and also stack with Dark Servant. This means that with both of you spamming it, you can reliably get 6 stacks of -regen, -hit and -damage, severely neutering any boss that lives long enough for this to matter. This really is one of the strongest powers in the game.

 

On 9/6/2020 at 3:29 AM, Force Redux said:

Tar Patch
Note: This is a solid ability. However, it won't be up reliably every fight until you get some recharge in it, so if you need to take something else first, be my guest. It serves as a ground patch that slows enemies, debuffs their damage resistance (so they die quicker), and also grounds flying mobs who get too close to the ground. The damage resistance debuff is a hefy -30%. Do not underestimate this. You can use your targeting recticle to place it or use a macro to have it to underneath either yourself or a targeted enemy. Personally, I keep the basic recticle, because I like to also put it at corners for clustering mobs (see Tactics, below). 

 

I think Tar Patch was scaled down to -22.5% as part of the same change that reduced Grasp's healing.

On 9/6/2020 at 3:29 AM, Force Redux said:

Howling Twilight
 

Note: This is one of those Swiss knife powers I told you about. Yes, it is a rez. The best Rez in the game, actually. It Resurrects allies in a 15' radius around you, they have debt protection AND full health AND full endurance. It also does not require a hit check. You just need some mob to target. That's crazy! But wait, there's more: it also debuffs regeneration by -500% AND also debuffs the target's recharge a bit. This means you can neuter the regeneration rate of AVs and GMs. This debuff lasts for 90 seconds and is easily made perma. This is a fantastic tool for trials and task forces. On top of that, you can use it for crowd control, as it has a Mag 2 stun that can render a group of mobs insensate. Silly blaster pull an extra bunch of mobs over to you? Did an ambush spawn when you least expected it? BAM! Howling Twilight their ass! Don't sit on this power, use it often. 

I think, at least the -regen debuff only lasts 30 seconds. To be honest, the skill is already amazing, if the debuff lasted 90 seconds it would be completely overpowered.


I didn't want to give any specific comments on detailed builds, but I think it's worth mentioning one thing you didn't touch on in the guide - Siphon Insight. Two of your powers are perfect for it - Fearsome Stare and Dark Servant. It has all the bonuses they need - acc/end/rech/tohit debuff, just like Cloud Senses, but I think its bonuses are generally better if you're going for a 5-slot. They give you two really useful things - global accuracy and very high +S/L defense. The global accuracy helps you save slots for all the tohit powers you have(particularly useful if you take MM attacks), and the S/L defense, properly stacked, can reach up in the 30s, giving you great tankermind potential.

Edited by BGSacho
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48 minutes ago, BGSacho said:

I didn't want to give any specific comments on detailed builds, but I think it's worth mentioning one thing you didn't touch on in the guide - Siphon Insight. Two of your powers are perfect for it - Fearsome Stare and Dark Servant. It has all the bonuses they need - acc/end/rech/tohit debuff, just like Cloud Senses, but I think its bonuses are generally better if you're going for a 5-slot. They give you two really useful things - global accuracy and very high +S/L defense. The global accuracy helps you save slots for all the tohit powers you have(particularly useful if you take MM attacks), and the S/L defense, properly stacked, can reach up in the 30s, giving you great tankermind potential.

This is an excellent bit of advice, here. The cost-benefit analysis for /dark comes down to my mind recharge/ToHit debuffs vs. defense buffs. And defense is an “always on” layer of protection while ToHit debuffs need to be applied (and not resisted to be effective). Identifying the low 30 range is likely ideal from a protection standpoint, as that way even the player is effectively sodtcapped against an AV (when factoring in all the debuffs). But for debuffs to land, you need to actually hit. Meaningful choices!

 

And thanks!

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Red Tomax/Way Back: https://web.archive.org/web/20140625171903/http://tomax.cohtitan.com/data/powers/

 

DSorrow: “Give a man a build export and you feed him for a day, teach him to build and he's fed for a lifetime.

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@BGSacho I appreciate your post as well as feedback. I want a rather definitive guide, and corrections and other approaches are important to get there. Thank you! I will make changes to the original incorporating your feedback 👍🏻😀

Edited by Force Redux

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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@Nyghtmaire also food for thought, ty. I might put in some stuff on goals for bonuses. I personality try for about 30-32% Ranged Defense with Dark for my MM themselves. S/L defense instead of ranged is certainly a valid option! 🙂

Edited by Force Redux

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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Good call. I think I have a S/L soft capped version laying around (based on a retail build I ran). It’s just cool that you put up a one-stop-shop for this secondary. Epic!

 

Edit - And added for misery's sake! Time to listen to some Tones on Tail and play this character...

 

 

Edited by Nyghtmaire
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Red Tomax/Way Back: https://web.archive.org/web/20140625171903/http://tomax.cohtitan.com/data/powers/

 

DSorrow: “Give a man a build export and you feed him for a day, teach him to build and he's fed for a lifetime.

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I updated with my Demons/Dark build. 

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@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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Robots can definitely use the KB>KB proc in the tier 1 and tier 3 especially. My robots masterminds also took the Scorpion  epic pool for the AoE immobilize and the defense shield to add to the tankermind  toughness. I mentioned in another thread my first villain was a Bots/poison mastermind, and I because accustomed to lining up foes for knockback into walls and such so that the burn patches have the best effect. The KB>KD is a godsend. Good kb users know that foes should not be knocked out of tarpatch, freezing rain, faraday cage, sleet, ... and on. 

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I would guess Alpha - Intuition Radial (for damage, ToHit debuffs, and a little hold). Musculature radial does similar things, depending on what you want to accentuate. 

 

For judgement/interface/lore, pick to taste and preference. 

 

Destiny would be barrier for panic-mode in most instance, clarion a not-bad second for mez protection, or Ageless radial for debuff protection (followed by recharge and an endurance fill). Rebirth is redundant for this secondary, and the tier 2 demon has a heal too.
 

Hybrid - depends on how you play. Max damage (and a joy of resummoning) leads to assault radial. Support with the pet boost is a solid all-around pick. Melee if you’re tankerminding and also want some mez protection. 

 

 

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Red Tomax/Way Back: https://web.archive.org/web/20140625171903/http://tomax.cohtitan.com/data/powers/

 

DSorrow: “Give a man a build export and you feed him for a day, teach him to build and he's fed for a lifetime.

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2 hours ago, gabrielsantost said:

Can you pls Post the Build with Incarnates? 

I will add a section that discusses Incarnate choices, certainly

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@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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  • 4 weeks later

I can totally do that for you, yes. Something later today. And thank you for the compliment 🙂

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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I would also appreciate the IO slotting overview. I love the "Basic Slotting" notes in the Powers section. I wish more guides would do that, especially when a power has multiple uses (Fear vs To Hit Debuff on Fearsome Stare). It's nice to know when an effect is worth slotting for and when not.

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@Gateisdownand @DocSkinner

Hello folks, here is the Basic IO Demon / Dark build. No sets, no uniques, just all around IO goodness. A great place to start once you are a new 50, or if you just don't want to invest a lot of Inf on a build but still have fun.

 

Please note, I tend to build for high Accuracy. I hate missing, and Dark Miasma hates missing. There are lots of mobs that debuff Accuracy to hell (Widows, CoTs, etc) and I like to compensate.  If you've ever been in the middle of +4x8 Packs of Night Widows, you'll understand perhaps. Thus, most everything that needs accuracy has 84% Accuracy with two level 50 IOs, plus Tactics (and Supremacy for the pets). 

 

Here is the build. NOTE: you can and should move Hasten earlier in the build, but exactly where is up to you, so I left it where it is for now. In my IO builds, I have enough Global Recharge at lower levels that I find I can push it back, but here you will want it no later than your 30th. Corruption and Group Fly are good candidates for a swap. 

 

Spoiler

 

Villain Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer 2.6.1.25
https://github.com/Crytilis/mids-reborn-hero-designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Basic IO Demon Dark MM: Level 50 Magic Mastermind
Primary Power Set: Demon Summoning
Secondary Power Set: Dark Miasma
Power Pool: Flight
Power Pool: Leadership
Power Pool: Speed
Ancillary Pool: Soul Mastery

Villain Profile:
Level 1: Summon Demonlings

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (3) Accuracy IO
  • (3) Damage Increase IO
  • (7) Damage Increase IO
  • (7) Damage Increase IO
  • (9) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 1: Twilight Grasp

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (9) Accuracy IO
  • (11) Healing IO
  • (11) Healing IO
  • (13) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (15) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 2: Tar Patch

  • (A) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (36) Recharge Reduction IO

Level 4: Darkest Night

  • (A) To Hit Debuff IO
  • (15) To Hit Debuff IO
  • (19) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 6: Enchant Demon

  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 8: Hover

  • (A) Defense Buff IO

Level 10: Fly

  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 12: Summon Demons

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (13) Accuracy IO
  • (19) Damage Increase IO
  • (46) Damage Increase IO
  • (46) Damage Increase IO
  • (50) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 14: Howling Twilight

  • (A) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (48) Recharge Reduction IO

Level 16: Shadow Fall

  • (A) Resist Damage IO
  • (17) Resist Damage IO
  • (17) Defense Buff IO
  • (23) Defense Buff IO
  • (40) Endurance Reduction IO
  • (43) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 18: Hell on Earth

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (21) Accuracy IO
  • (36) Damage Increase IO
  • (37) Damage Increase IO
  • (37) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (37) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 20: Fearsome Stare

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (21) Accuracy IO
  • (23) To Hit Debuff IO
  • (25) To Hit Debuff IO
  • (34) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (34) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 22: Group Fly

  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 24: Maneuvers

  • (A) Defense Buff IO
  • (25) Defense Buff IO
  • (40) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 26: Summon Demon Prince

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (27) Accuracy IO
  • (27) Damage Increase IO
  • (29) Damage Increase IO
  • (33) Damage Increase IO
  • (34) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 28: Tactics

  • (A) To Hit Buff IO
  • (29) To Hit Buff IO
  • (43) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 30: Corruption

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (31) Accuracy IO
  • (31) Damage Increase IO
  • (31) Damage Increase IO
  • (33) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (33) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 32: Abyssal Empowerment

  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 35: Dark Embrace

  • (A) Resist Damage IO
  • (36) Resist Damage IO
  • (40) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 38: Dark Servant

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (39) Accuracy IO
  • (39) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (39) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (50) To Hit Debuff IO
  • (50) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 41: Soul Tentacles

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (42) Accuracy IO
  • (42) Immobilisation Duration IO
  • (42) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (43) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 44: Petrifying Gaze

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (45) Accuracy IO
  • (45) Hold Duration IO
  • (45) Hold Duration IO
  • (46) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (48) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 47: Hasten

  • (A) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (48) Recharge Reduction IO

Level 49: Oppressive Gloom

  • [*] (A) Accuracy IO

 

 

Edited by Force Redux

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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I've added incarnate content musings to my post, above, for those who wanted it. @gabrielsantost

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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7 hours ago, Force Redux said:

@Gateisdownand @DocSkinner

Hello folks, here is the Basic IO Demon / Dark build. No sets, no uniques, just all around IO goodness. A great place to start once you are a new 50, or if you just don't want to invest a lot of Inf on a build but still have fun.

 

Please note, I tend to build for high Accuracy. I hate missing, and Dark Miasma hates missing. There are lots of mobs that debuff Accuracy to hell (Widows, CoTs, etc) and I like to compensate.  If you've ever been in the middle of +4x8 Packs of Night Widows, you'll understand perhaps. Thus, most everything that needs accuracy has 84% Accuracy with two level 50 IOs, plus Tactics (and Supremacy for the pets). 

 

Here is the build. NOTE: you can and should move Hasten earlier in the build, but exactly where is up to you, so I left it where it is for now. In my IO builds, I have enough Global Recharge at lower levels that I find I can push it back, but here you will want it no later than your 30th. Corruption and Group Fly are good candidates for a swap. 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Villain Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer 2.6.1.25
https://github.com/Crytilis/mids-reborn-hero-designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Basic IO Demon Dark MM: Level 50 Magic Mastermind
Primary Power Set: Demon Summoning
Secondary Power Set: Dark Miasma
Power Pool: Flight
Power Pool: Leadership
Power Pool: Speed
Ancillary Pool: Soul Mastery

Villain Profile:
Level 1: Summon Demonlings

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (3) Accuracy IO
  • (3) Damage Increase IO
  • (7) Damage Increase IO
  • (7) Damage Increase IO
  • (9) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 1: Twilight Grasp

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (9) Accuracy IO
  • (11) Healing IO
  • (11) Healing IO
  • (13) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (15) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 2: Tar Patch

  • (A) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (36) Recharge Reduction IO

Level 4: Darkest Night

  • (A) To Hit Debuff IO
  • (15) To Hit Debuff IO
  • (19) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 6: Enchant Demon

  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 8: Hover

  • (A) Defense Buff IO

Level 10: Fly

  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 12: Summon Demons

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (13) Accuracy IO
  • (19) Damage Increase IO
  • (46) Damage Increase IO
  • (46) Damage Increase IO
  • (50) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 14: Howling Twilight

  • (A) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (48) Recharge Reduction IO

Level 16: Shadow Fall

  • (A) Resist Damage IO
  • (17) Resist Damage IO
  • (17) Defense Buff IO
  • (23) Defense Buff IO
  • (40) Endurance Reduction IO
  • (43) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 18: Hell on Earth

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (21) Accuracy IO
  • (36) Damage Increase IO
  • (37) Damage Increase IO
  • (37) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (37) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 20: Fearsome Stare

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (21) Accuracy IO
  • (23) To Hit Debuff IO
  • (25) To Hit Debuff IO
  • (34) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (34) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 22: Group Fly

  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 24: Maneuvers

  • (A) Defense Buff IO
  • (25) Defense Buff IO
  • (40) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 26: Summon Demon Prince

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (27) Accuracy IO
  • (27) Damage Increase IO
  • (29) Damage Increase IO
  • (33) Damage Increase IO
  • (34) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 28: Tactics

  • (A) To Hit Buff IO
  • (29) To Hit Buff IO
  • (43) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 30: Corruption

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (31) Accuracy IO
  • (31) Damage Increase IO
  • (31) Damage Increase IO
  • (33) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (33) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 32: Abyssal Empowerment

  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 35: Dark Embrace

  • (A) Resist Damage IO
  • (36) Resist Damage IO
  • (40) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 38: Dark Servant

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (39) Accuracy IO
  • (39) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (39) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (50) To Hit Debuff IO
  • (50) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 41: Soul Tentacles

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (42) Accuracy IO
  • (42) Immobilisation Duration IO
  • (42) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (43) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 44: Petrifying Gaze

  • (A) Accuracy IO
  • (45) Accuracy IO
  • (45) Hold Duration IO
  • (45) Hold Duration IO
  • (46) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (48) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 47: Hasten

  • (A) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (48) Recharge Reduction IO

Level 49: Oppressive Gloom

  • [*] (A) Accuracy IO

 

 

Thanks for this Force, this is exactly what I was looking for! I know it's basic but it's so helpful for me to see the bones of a build before more experienced players start min-maxing. Very appreciated!

Edited by Gateisdown
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You are very welcome 🙂

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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  • 1 month later
1 minute ago, Keovar said:

This is a great guide, and it would be great to see more like it for other powersets and other archetypes alike.

Thank you, I'm glad you found it helpful!  

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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  • 2 weeks later

It's still a good idea. The damage cap is still way out of reach for pets even with all three powers in effect.

@Force Redux on Everlasting

----- (my current roster of Incarnates) -----

Agent Wong (DP/Ninjutsu); Android Assassin (Beam/Devices); Atomic-Warhead (Rad Armor/Rad Melee)Hell-Spawned (Demons/Dark); Holosmith (Illusion/Traps); Mechanista (Robots/Force Field); Moon Caller (Dark Control/Savage); Shadow-Spider (Trick Arrow/Dark); Willow Thorn (Plant/Nature)

----- (read my guide) -----

Gather the Shadows: A Dark Miasma Primer for Masterminds

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