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Ice/dm is a monster of a power combo, however the defensive nature of both sets has left the offensive aspect a tad underwhelming. While I understand the role of a tank is to.. well tank, I'm leaning into the speed clear meta and trying to figure out the balance for hunting set bonuses and adding in damage prices to buff my capacity to add to the clear speed.


Are there any dm gurus floating about that have any pro tips on the slotting of dark melee. Bonus points for dm while coupled with ice armor.


I'm also trying to figure out whether the newly buffed shadow maul is worth taking into level 50 content or if it just serves better  on an exemplar build.

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I wouldn't describe myself as a dm guru but I have been playing a lot of it on tanks and really rate it.


My tips for slotting are as follows:

  1. 6 slot the tanker ato with the +res into smite.
  2. Split the other ato 3/3 for the juicy e/n res. Put the three with the most recharge (including the absorb proc) into soul drain and the other three into shadow maul.
  3. Fill the rest of shadow maul with procs.
  4. Slot the acc/dam and dam/end winter io's in life drain and fill the rest with procs. This is a good attack that happens to heal not vice versa.
  5. Slot 5 pieces of hecatomb in midnight grasp (without the dam/rech) and add another proc.

The rest will depend on secondary/epic but this is the foundation I've used twice now (rad/dm and shield/dm). I put another two winter io's in shadow punch to give it some basic enhancement for exemping and more slow res but as you are ice you likely won't need that part.


You will want an aoe from the epic with this combo. I'd probably go with soul which will give you the decent dark obliteration, gloom and also the toggle for extra protection.


This soul drain slotting works really well for a minimal investment in slots. The absorb is a handy bonus; you will tend to be using soul drain at the start of a fight so it always goes off and gives a little buffer exactly when you might need it.


Oh, and shadow maul is absolutely worth taking these days. It is much, much better than it used to be. On a tank the cone is massive and it does good damage. The animation time has been trimmed to the point where it's bearable too.

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This is good information I appreciate the feedback. Being an ice tank I was absolutely looking at stacking the -to hit of souls obliteration  and gloom and even the toggle should power slots allow.


I've also been looking at the new synapse shock enhancement set possibly in dark consumption  and energy absorption. The recharge and e/n resist seems almost too good to pass up. However that removes the option of proccing out another good high recharge aoe.  


Do you think layering  the e/n resist would be worth the the trade up of proccs? 


Or is there a better way to layer survivability?

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Energy absorption you'll absolutely want. More defence and end management rolled into one power is great. Dark consumption is probably not worth taking in its current form though. It takes forever to recharge so isn't worth the slots as an attack and you shouldn't have enough end problems to justify needing another refill power. If you do have some end issues try a theft of essence proc in drain life.

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Oh I had no intention of ever skipping ea.  I'm an old school player all the way back to May of 04', I just don't have the experience doing high end io slotting experience with these particular power sets. 


Dark consumption id almost much rather have then not as there are enough sapping mobs  that exist. It also frees up my incarnates to be used without having to consider using it for endurance purposes.


More so I'd like to have it for possible muling  for e/n +res and +recharge.


Now should I take it, this will tighten up power choices to the possibility of not being able to run leadership. I happen to love running gaussian's in tactics, but I can live with having it in soul drain.  This would make running in smaller packs and solo a bit more efficient so its a fair trade imo.


Now should I go the route of going mu, I could slot even more synapse sets and possibly forego a travel power and just run with sprint/ninja opening up atleast one extra power slot. 


I'll be hopping on mids a bit later to mock up a build for critique, I'd love your thoughts at that point in time.

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You can boost the defense much more easily than you can the offense. It's how we can play a squishy Fire Armor for most content. But we can not really boost the offense. At most we can add more recharge and more damage procs, but in most cases the offense oriented sets can do the same and still rely on IOs and incarnates for their defense.


In most cases we need to assume things are balanced and there is no free lunch. Psi Melee gets the Insight mechanic, but it's not free damage. The set is balanced around the idea that Insight's extra damage will happen and thus the output is slightly lowered because of it (too much IMO, as a pylon test had it lagging really far behind).


Dark Melee is the same and it's easy to look at a fully pumped Soul Drain and go whoa, but the tools that accompany it are not especially good since they already take this into consideration.



This is something that I had from a previous experiment. I tried punching the resistances as high as I could which did not end up being all that high. I would thus still use Barrier as a panic button and in any case as a Tanker Barrier to protect the whole team at key moments (ambush in the ITF's first mission, sewers in Tinpex and the whole run run run moment where we destroy war walkers and then face Director 11 while ignoring the ambushes around him, etc) feels like the right choice.


The slots in Shadow Punch would have gone a lot better in Taunt (meh 1.5% fire and cold resist, eh 1.5% max HP, 3.75% S/L versus 1.8 end, 2.25% S/L resistances and then 2.5% S/L defenses which would still reach the softcap) but if you exemplar too much you'll miss having an extra attack with at least minimal slotting. Switch slots around as you will.


Assault is a is a free power. You could take Taunt though I personally do not use it, but it is nice to have simply for the -range component. You could exchange it for Hibernate and be near unkillable between it and Barrier. Or you could take Dark Consumption, but with Energy Absorption properly slotted and on a 18 second CD it may be moot.


Single target will be Midnight Grasp, Smite, Siphon life, Smite. Repeat. You're still not going to win any prizes at ST (which won't happen anyway unless you go Fire Armor, Bio Armor, or Titan Weapons) but can unload a lot of AoE backed by Soul Drain which ought to help speeding things up.



Hero Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Level 50 Magic Tanker
Primary Power Set: Ice Armor
Secondary Power Set: Dark Melee
Power Pool: Flight
Power Pool: Speed
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: zc_Leadership
Ancillary Pool: Mu Mastery

Hero Profile:
Level 1: Frozen Armor -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), Rct-Def(3), Rct-Def/EndRdx(3)
Level 1: Shadow Punch -- KntCmb-Acc/Dmg(A), KntCmb-Dmg/EndRdx(5), KntCmb-Dmg/Rchg(5), KntCmb-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(7)
Level 2: Smite -- SprMghoft-Acc/Dmg(A), SprMghoft-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(7), SprMghoft-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(9), SprMghoft-Rchg/Res%(9), TchofDth-Dam%(11), CldSns-%Dam(11)
Level 4: Shadow Maul -- Arm-Dam%(A), Arm-Dmg/Rchg(15), Arm-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(15), Arm-Acc/Rchg(17), Arm-Dmg/EndRdx(17), CldSns-%Dam(19)
Level 6: Wet Ice -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 8: Chilling Embrace -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 10: Hover -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP(19), Rct-ResDam%(21), Rct-Def/EndRdx(21)
Level 12: Icicles -- SprGntFis-Acc/Dmg(A), SprGntFis-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(23), Erd-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(23), Erd-%Dam(25), SprGntFis-Rchg/+Absorb(25), Erd-Dmg/Rchg(50)
Level 14: Fly -- WntGif-ResSlow(A)
Level 16: Siphon Life -- HO:Golgi(A), HO:Golgi(27), HO:Nucle(27), CrsImp-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(29), CrsImp-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(29), CldSns-%Dam(31)
Level 18: Glacial Armor -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), Rct-Def(31), Rct-Def/EndRdx(31)
Level 20: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(33)
Level 22: Afterburner -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A)
Level 24: Hoarfrost -- Prv-Heal(A), Prv-Heal/EndRdx(33), Prv-EndRdx/Rchg(33), Prv-Heal/Rchg(34), Prv-Heal/Rchg/EndRdx(34), Prv-Absorb%(34)
Level 26: Energy Absorption -- SynSck-EndMod(A), SynSck-Dam/Rech(36), SynSck-EndMod/Rech(36), SynSck-Dam/Rech/Acc(36), SynSck-Dam/Acc/End(37), SynSck-EndMod/+RunSpeed(39)
Level 28: Soul Drain -- SprGntFis-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(A), SprGntFis-Dmg/Rchg(37), SprGntFis-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(37)
Level 30: Boxing -- Empty(A)
Level 32: Tough -- StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(A), GldArm-3defTpProc(39), UnbGrd-ResDam(39), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx(40), UnbGrd-Max HP%(40), UnbGrd-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(40)
Level 35: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), Rct-Def(42), Rct-Def/EndRdx(42)
Level 38: Midnight Grasp -- Hct-Dam%(A), Hct-Dmg/Rchg(42), Hct-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(43), Hct-Dmg/EndRdx(43), Hct-Acc/Rchg(43), TchofDth-Dam%(50)
Level 41: Electrifying Fences -- Bmbdmt-Dam(A), Bmbdmt-Acc/Rech/End(45), Bmbdmt-Dam/Rech(45), Bmbdmt-Acc/Dam/Rech(45), Bmbdmt-Acc/Dam/Rech/End(46), Bmbdmt-+FireDmg(46)
Level 44: Ball Lightning -- Bmbdmt-Dam(A), Bmbdmt-Acc/Rech/End(46), Bmbdmt-Dam/Rech(48), Bmbdmt-Acc/Dam/Rech(48), Bmbdmt-Acc/Dam/Rech/End(48), Bmbdmt-+FireDmg(50)
Level 47: Assault -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 49: Tactics -- GssSynFr--Build%(A)
Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Gauntlet
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 -- Empty(A)
Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A)
Level 4: Ninja Run
Level 2: Swift -- Empty(A)
Level 2: Health -- Pnc-Heal/+End(A), Mrc-Rcvry+(13)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Empty(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- PrfShf-End%(A), PrfShf-EndMod(13)
Level 0: Freedom Phalanx Reserve
Level 0: Portal Jockey
Level 0: Task Force Commander
Level 0: The Atlas Medallion
Level 50: Musculature Radial Paragon


Fire Armor/Clawssssss


Edited by Sovera
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