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Mercs/sonic - Here come the Men in Black [Leveling/concept character]


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Mercs/sonic is definitely not a power combo, but I want to see what I can do with it for concept reasons as part of a 'level every MM primary to 50 and try out secondaries I've never used' project.


This is a leveling build, so it emphasises hitting survivability milestones at lowest levels possible, and doesn't use any purple IOs. I am unlikely to play it into incarnates.


The playstyle intent is to spam Project Will and Wall of Force to keep knocking enemies down to mitigate damage and provide +rech to minimise pets being on cooldown if I need to resummon, and then Web Envelope to stop them being knocked back by the pets once the power is available. According to Mids' Web Envelope doesn't prevent KB.


I have used procs to leverage -res quite hard and to diversify the pets' damage type. Sonic Disruption is tricky to use solo as all the pets are ranged, but can be used easily on teams.


I'd like to keep Misdirection as a concept pick, the character concept is Men in Black conspiracy tropes as a black ops squad leader with alien ray guns.

Liquefy is a proc damage/controls mini-nuke for hard fights only but I could spec out of it.

I would like to squeeze in Assault for a bit more damage, but I chopped it out for Tactics (if the pets can't hit, no point buffing damage).


I am currently L20 so most of this is still theorycraft and not trialled in game.



At L35 -

32% S/L 30% E defences (1 Luck from cap)

32% S/L resists, 25ish% to everything else except Toxic (42%) and Psi (nil)

Mez protection from Sonic Dispersion

At L50 -

42.6% S/L 35% E defences (1 team member with Manoeuvres to S/L softcap)

42% S/L resists, 28% F/C, 34% E/N



From L30 onwards:

16%ish defence to all when Grant Invisibility used

90% S/L resists, 68% everything else resists except Psi (nil) 

Mez protection from Sonic Dispersion


Villain Plan by Mids' Reborn : Hero Designer

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Majestic 12: Level 50 Technology Mastermind
Primary Power Set: Mercenaries
Secondary Power Set: Sonic Resonance
Power Pool: Medicine
Power Pool: Force of Will
Power Pool: Leadership
Power Pool: Concealment
Ancillary Pool: Mace Mastery

Villain Profile:
Level 1: Soldiers -- SvrRgh-PetResDam(A), EdcoftheM-PetDef(3), SvrRgh-Acc/Dmg(3), SvrRgh-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(5), AchHee-ResDeb%(5), TchofLadG-%Dam(7)
Level 1: Sonic Siphon -- Acc-I(A)
Level 2: Sonic Barrier -- RctArm-ResDam(A), RctArm-ResDam/EndRdx(7), RctArm-ResDam/Rchg(42), RctArm-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(42)
Level 4: Sonic Haven -- RctArm-ResDam/EndRdx(A), RctArm-ResDam(15), RctArm-ResDam/Rchg(43), RctArm-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(45)
Level 6: Equip Mercenary -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 8: Aid Other -- Prv-Heal/Rchg/EndRdx(A), Prv-Heal(9), Prv-Heal/Rchg(9), Prv-Heal/EndRdx(15)
Level 10: Mighty Leap -- WntGif-ResSlow(A)
Level 12: Spec Ops -- CmmoftheM-Rchg/PetAoEDef(A), MarofSpr-EndRdx/+Resist/+Regen(17), MarofSpr-Acc/Dmg(19), CaltoArm-+Def(Pets)(19), CaltoArm-Acc/Dmg(21), TchofLadG-%Dam(29)
Level 14: Project Will -- Thn-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(A), Thn-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(23), Thn-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(33), FrcFdb-Rechg%(37)
Level 16: Disruption Field -- EndRdx-I(A), EndRdx-I(17)
Level 18: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(A), LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(23), LucoftheG-Def(34)
Level 20: Sonic Dispersion -- RctArm-ResDam/EndRdx(A), RctArm-ResDam(21), StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(31), RctArm-EndRdx(31), RctArm-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(33), GldArm-3defTpProc(33)
Level 22: Tactics -- AdjTrg-ToHit/EndRdx/Rchg(A), AdjTrg-ToHit/EndRdx(36), AdjTrg-ToHit(43)
Level 24: Grant Invisibility -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP(25), Krm-ResKB(25)
Level 26: Commando -- ExpRnf-+Res(Pets)(A), ExpRnf-Acc/Dmg(27), SvrRgh-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(27), SvrRgh-Acc/Dmg(29), SvrRgh-Dmg/EndRdx(31), ExpStr-Dam%(37)
Level 28: Wall of Force -- OvrFrc-Dam/KB(A), PstBls-Dmg/Rng(37), PstBls-Dam%(39), Ann-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(39), Ann-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(39), Ann-ResDeb%(40)
Level 30: Stealth -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(34), Rct-ResDam%(34), Rct-Def/EndRdx(42)
Level 32: Tactical Upgrade -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 35: Scorpion Shield -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(36), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(36)
Level 38: Aid Self -- Prv-Heal/Rchg/EndRdx(A), Prv-Heal(43), DctWnd-Heal/EndRdx/Rchg(40), DctWnd-EndRdx/Rchg(40)
Level 41: Field Medic -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(45), RechRdx-I(45), EndRdx-I(46)
Level 44: Web Envelope -- EnfOpr-Acc/Immob/Rchg(A), EnfOpr-Immob/Rng(46), EnfOpr-Acc/EndRdx(46), EnfOpr-Acc/Rchg(48)
Level 47: Liquefy -- GhsWdwEmb-Dam%(A), Lck-%Hold(48), CldSns-%Dam(48), TchofLadG-%Dam(50), PstBls-Dam%(50), Bmbdmt-+FireDmg(50)
Level 49: Misdirection -- RechRdx-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 -- Heal-I(A), Mrc-Heal(11), Mrc-Rcvry+(11)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- EndMod-I(A), PrfShf-EndMod(13), PrfShf-End%(13)
Level 1: Soldier 
Level 1: Medic 
Level 12: Spec Ops 
Level 26: Commando 
Level 0: Born In Battle 
Level 0: High Pain Threshold 
Level 0: Invader 
Level 0: Marshal 

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  • 2 weeks later

Slowly, I'm doing solo content on this in between normal play on other characters. Currently just dinged 26.


It was downright painful leveling this before 22, when I slotted IOs (with commons or SOs to fill in where the build uses min lvl 30 IOs). Since then I've done a full set of vigilante tips and the i27 Agent Watkins arc*; post-IOs, the build is far more viable as the pets are significantly sturdier. I still can't push higher than +0x2, though, I tried +1x2 and +0x3 and got smacked down in short order.


I found the playstyle that makes this combo function (prior to any significant personal defences from IO set bonuses and Scorp Shield, which I won't see for another 10 levels) plays completely differently to my other masterminds. The tankiness is all in the pets; it's trivial to get them to nearly 70% S/L resist at level 22 between natural resists, unique IOs, the Sonic shields, and Sonic Dispersion. If I feed them a couple of oranges, they'll softcap. My MM has virtually no survivability in comparison (Sonic Dispersion, Manoeuvres), and Res does nothing for the pets' survivability when they take Bodyguard damage. Therefore if I can use the environment to bottleneck a wall of pets with Goto/Stay in a tight corner or corridor and always have them start the attack, I can stand with relative safety behind them healing and buffing. As they're all ranged, they can stay in position for the whole fight, and using all 80ft of their range means they can take minions down before they get anywhere near melee. I Sonic Siphon any Lt or Boss and have Disruption Field running on one of the pet-wall; any mob trying to get to me has to try to run through it.


However, this breaks down against ambushes, on outdoor maps, or vs flying mobs; I have frequently got overwhelmed in these conditions and had to run off and resummon.


TBH, I could have achieved the same sort of playstyle with mercs/traps, which I suspect is a stronger combination, but I already have a corruptor trapper I play frequently and I didn't want to repeat a set. I am expecting that Web Envelope will be pretty useful at maintaining range.


The two Spec Ops' flashbangs and spamming Wall of Force w/ Overwhelming Force together provide a definitely helpful level of soft control, albeit a bit random - it would be nice if the flashbangs had shorter cooldown, or higher magnitude, or Overpower, but such is life. I tried M30 Grenade out, but it costs a fortune in endurance and has a higher recharge time than Wall of Force.


*The two EBs were beyond my sustainable capabilities; I got an sgmate to help vs Pathogen and ate a whole tray of purples vs Cortex.

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Id vote against scorpid shield/mace mastery if there is still time.  my thug/sonic/mu got to be one of my tougher masterminds from stacking resists.  s/l/e are some of the most common damage types

pets get a ton of acc and tohit from enhancements and your inherent.  turn off tactics for awhile and monitor your pets chances to hit then consider keeping it.  I never once took tactics on any of my masterminds

I would recommend working in the personal attacks in somehow but I remember my old ninja/ff and trying to keep up grant invis's's's 2 min duration on 6 pets and that was time consuming.

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26 minutes ago, kelika2 said:

Id vote against scorpid shield/mace mastery if there is still time.  my thug/sonic/mu got to be one of my tougher masterminds from stacking resists.

There's plenty of time (the character is L26) and respecs are cheap. Taking Charged Armour softcaps S/L/E resists and leaves defences across the board at 19-22%. Seems quite solid but I'd be concerned about mez, Sonic Dispersion is pretty nice but low mag protection. How often do you get hit by mez?


Electrifying Fences also nullifies KB, which is great on Bots, but would negate my Wall of Force soft control, which is another element to consider.

26 minutes ago, kelika2 said:

pets get a ton of acc and tohit from enhancements and your inherent.

They get 10% ToHit from Supremacy and the slotting above gives them about 50% extra Accuracy. Do you still find it's adequate vs +2 and up enemies without Tactics? Or do you slot more heavily for Accuracy (the only way I could fit this in really is to remove the procs). The pets suffer with diminishing level difference returns, that +2 mob is +4 to the poor T1s.


33 minutes ago, kelika2 said:

trying to keep up grant invis's's's 2 min duration on 6 pets and that was time consuming.

It is pretty tedious, for a not too impressive +def bonus in return. The ability to sneak pets around a map is nice, though. In my current respec I've taken Wall of Force first and haven't got GI yet, but I had it before I slotted all the IOs. I'm surprised you needed GI on a Ninja/FF, unless it was for concept?

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