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StriderIV

Calling all Stalkers! I need your help.

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Hi heroes (and villains 😆)

 

So, after teaming with so many stalkers and seeing what bad asses you are, I’ve decided to try and join the club by rolling one of my own.

 

I’ve hit a bit of analysis paralysis, as there are so many options and I’m excited about a few different pairings. The options I’ve narrowed it down to:

 

1. Psychic Melee/Energy Aura: I think the psi blades look sweet, and this combo gives me a cool Protoss feel from Starcraft.

 

2. Savage Melee/Shield Defense: I was a bit more hesitant on this one, as I’ve rolled a Shield Defense/Electrical Melee tank to 50 and I LOVE him. I’m just wondering if I’d feel a bit redundant running SD again. However, Savage Melee seems fun and I like the idea of having both Savage Leap and Shield Charge to help clear groups.

 

3. Staff Fighting/Electical Melee OR Ninjitsu: I will admit, I haven’t seen too many Staff Fighting heroes, which kind of peaked my interest. I felt like it could pair nicely with Elec, a resistance based set, since it can help provide defense. However, I hear Ninjitsu is a really cool secondary on stalkers. I just didn’t know if the +def from Staff and Ninjitsu would be overkill.

 

So, from you stalker pros out there, I’d love to hear your opinions! Do any of these combos stick out to you as synergizing well? Or do some of them have an anti-synergy I’m not aware of? Hell, do you have a combo you would just highly recommend?

 

Thanks in advance all!

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Out of the three you list, I would select SM/SD, however, you are correct in stating how redundant it would feel if you have levelled another SD AoE toon. If you can deal with that, you will be rewarded with a toon that is fully AoE capable with a devastating ST chain. There is an excellent guide for the build on the forums.

 

I have problems with Psychic Melee, as it always seems wooden to me. The mechanic of the set is also not the easiest to use. Done well it can be successful, but if you trust on animations to provide some enjoyment, you will end up being disappointed.

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For your first stalker I'd say Psi/Energy would be good as energy is so forgiving, psi melee isn't great because of the terrible mechanic it has, but if you like the look, go for it, it's just not anywhere near top DPS is all.

SM/SD is pretty tops on damage, but as you know, shield does take awhile to get off the ground since it's entirely defense with a little resistance (2/3 of the amount ever other shield AT gets) thrown in at low health.

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6 hours ago, Chessmaster X said:

Out of the three you list, I would select SM/SD, however, you are correct in stating how redundant it would feel if you have levelled another SD AoE toon. If you can deal with that, you will be rewarded with a toon that is fully AoE capable with a devastating ST chain. There is an excellent guide for the build on the forums.

 

I have problems with Psychic Melee, as it always seems wooden to me. The mechanic of the set is also not the easiest to use. Done well it can be successful, but if you trust on animations to provide some enjoyment, you will end up being disappointed.

Thanks for the insight man! Yeah my thoughts/hopes is that Savage Melee mixed with the hide and assassin strike/hemorrhage mechanics would make it feel fresh. Appreciate it dude!

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4 hours ago, Hopestar said:

For your first stalker I'd say Psi/Energy would be good as energy is so forgiving, psi melee isn't great because of the terrible mechanic it has, but if you like the look, go for it, it's just not anywhere near top DPS is all.

SM/SD is pretty tops on damage, but as you know, shield does take awhile to get off the ground since it's entirely defense with a little resistance (2/3 of the amount ever other shield AT gets) thrown in at low health.

That is true, basically don’t get to feel the builds full power until pretty late 😂 could be worth it though. Energy Aura I do hear is a great secondary on Stalkers. Any other primary you would recommend other than Psychic Melee?

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34 minutes ago, StriderIV said:

That is true, basically don’t get to feel the builds full power until pretty late 😂 could be worth it though. Energy Aura I do hear is a great secondary on Stalkers. Any other primary you would recommend other than Psychic Melee?

Personally I find Street Justice and Energy Melee fun and both are pretty much the best as far as damage goes; of the ones you listed, Savage is very good, Stalker has the best version of Staff, and EA probably is the best secondary to put with Dual Blades. Other than that, I'd avoid Broadsword, Spines, and Dark, as they're all pretty bad on Stalker, much worse than Psi.
But again, if you think you'll like Psi more than worrying about it's middle-grade damage, I say go for it.

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2 hours ago, Hopestar said:

Personally I find Street Justice and Energy Melee fun and both are pretty much the best as far as damage goes; of the ones you listed, Savage is very good, Stalker has the best version of Staff, and EA probably is the best secondary to put with Dual Blades. Other than that, I'd avoid Broadsword, Spines, and Dark, as they're all pretty bad on Stalker, much worse than Psi.
But again, if you think you'll like Psi more than worrying about it's middle-grade damage, I say go for it.

So many good choices 😭

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The savage/shield might feel a bit redundant if not superior to the elec/shield. However it would still be fun. 
 

What are you looking to focus on? Do you want to be the boss/eb/av killer? Or do you want to help take out the trash? Either focus is perfectly acceptable, but it would help to know. 
 

Ninja blade will be a good boss killer, but not so great a trash mob clearing. Psi will do good on bosses and okay on trash clearing. Staff has a good mix. Savage will do great on both.  
 

I personally usually go for primarily defensive secondaries over resistance sets. But I’m sure resistance ones are perfectly fine too. 
 

I know it wasn’t one of your options, but might I suggest dual blades? You will have outstanding single target damage and you will also have good AoE damage as a by product of your single target rotation. Dual blades has become one of my favorite primaries on both stalkers and scrappers. Pair dual blades with energy aura and you will never look back. Or even bio armor and just laugh as everything in shredded to bits in front of you.  

Edited by Saikochoro
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2 hours ago, Saikochoro said:

The savage/shield might feel a bit redundant if not superior to the elec/shield. However it would still be fun. 
 

What are you looking to focus on? Do you want to be the boss/eb/av killer? Or do you want to help take out the trash? Either focus is perfectly acceptable, but it would help to know. 
 

Ninja blade will be a good boss killer, but not so great a trash mob clearing. Psi will do good on bosses and okay on trash clearing. Staff has a good mix. Savage will do great on both.  
 

I personally usually go for primarily defensive secondaries over resistance sets. But I’m sure resistance ones are perfectly fine too. 
 

I know it wasn’t one of your options, but might I suggest dual blades? You will have outstanding single target damage and you will also have good AoE damage as a by product of your single target rotation. Dual blades has become one of my favorite primaries on both stalkers and scrappers. Pair dual blades with energy aura and you will never look back. Or even bio armor and just laugh as everything in shredded to bits in front of you.  

Thanks man! Since I rock a Shield/Elec tanker and a Invuln/SS tanker as well as a Claws/Elec Brute, I feel I have 3 level 50’s (plus my Fire/Rad farmer) who are great at clearing trash mobs. I don’t really have that one hero that can SIT A BOSS DOWN.

 

Psi and Ninja blade would be good at that? I hear CAN have some high resistance late game, but is great if you go the PvP route. Ninja Blade has the -def, which could help it.

 

It seems Savage/Staff could be a nice mix of both, which interests me.

 

Dual Blades LOOKS sweet, but I hear (for a stalker) that you NEED to take Placate in order for the set to work. Is that the case? I’ve seen your posts on the forums, so I’d love to hear the combo of powersets and builds you think are great!

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I am a big fan of energy aura for stalkers. I played StJ/ea first and ended up making savage/ea, ice/ea, and em/ea without caring for playing other secondaries that I prefer on other ATs anyways. Energy aura provides a ton of build freedom needing little investment to softcap defenses and no investment in endurance management. With all the 'extra' lots that would normally be devoted towards self sustainability you can stuff an unparalleled amount of +rchg and damage procs in an energy aura build. The self heal and regen buff stand out when comparing it to /sr and /sd which also dont have endurance tools in the kit. Just about any primary can work great with /ea.

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27 minutes ago, DreadShinobi said:

I am a big fan of energy aura for stalkers. I played StJ/ea first and ended up making savage/ea, ice/ea, and em/ea without caring for playing other secondaries that I prefer on other ATs anyways. Energy aura provides a ton of build freedom needing little investment to softcap defenses and no investment in endurance management. With all the 'extra' lots that would normally be devoted towards self sustainability you can stuff an unparalleled amount of +rchg and damage procs in an energy aura build. The self heal and regen buff stand out when comparing it to /sr and /sd which also dont have endurance tools in the kit. Just about any primary can work great with /ea.

Nice! Any of those primaries you feel mesh particularly well with /EA? EM/EA of course sounds like a natural pair. How do you feel about EM now? I know a year ago it was something of a joke, but apparently after some recent changes it has jumped to the front of the pack?

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1 hour ago, StriderIV said:

Thanks man! Since I rock a Shield/Elec tanker and a Invuln/SS tanker as well as a Claws/Elec Brute, I feel I have 3 level 50’s (plus my Fire/Rad farmer) who are great at clearing trash mobs. I don’t really have that one hero that can SIT A BOSS DOWN.

 

Psi and Ninja blade would be good at that? I hear CAN have some high resistance late game, but is great if you go the PvP route. Ninja Blade has the -def, which could help it.

 

It seems Savage/Staff could be a nice mix of both, which interests me.

 

Dual Blades LOOKS sweet, but I hear (for a stalker) that you NEED to take Placate in order for the set to work. Is that the case? I’ve seen your posts on the forums, so I’d love to hear the combo of powersets and builds you think are great!

I can’t speak to anything pvp related so all of my opinions are purely pve.  I think ninja blade would probably be better than psi, but they’d both get the job done.
 

You do not need placate on any stalker primary, including dual blades.  The only dual blades combo I use on stalkers is the sweep combo whenever build up is off cooldown, which is quite often thanks to the assassins mark ATO. I honestly never take placate as the stalker guile ATO has made it obsolete in my opinion. Dual blades is top tier. 
 

If you want the end all be all of boss killers though you’d probably want to go energy melee. With the i27 revamp energy melee is a single target monstrosity. I think dual blades is more fun though. 

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1 hour ago, Saikochoro said:

I can’t speak to anything pvp related so all of my opinions are purely pve.  I think ninja blade would probably be better than psi, but they’d both get the job done.
 

You do not need placate on any stalker primary, including dual blades.  The only dual blades combo I use on stalkers is the sweep combo whenever build up is off cooldown, which is quite often thanks to the assassins mark ATO. I honestly never take placate as the stalker guile ATO has made it obsolete in my opinion. Dual blades is top tier. 
 

If you want the end all be all of boss killers though you’d probably want to go energy melee. With the i27 revamp energy melee is a single target monstrosity. I think dual blades is more fun though. 

This is super helpful thanks. I’ve read a ton that DB’s is clunky with a Stalker, so it’s great that you de-bunked that for me! Perhaps I run a DB/EA and EM/EA haha. Kind of fill different holes.

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1 hour ago, StriderIV said:

Nice! Any of those primaries you feel mesh particularly well with /EA? EM/EA of course sounds like a natural pair. How do you feel about EM now? I know a year ago it was something of a joke, but apparently after some recent changes it has jumped to the front of the pack?

StJ has great burst with Crushing Uppercut, some decent mitigation with the knocks in CU and Spinning Strike, but damage can be a little less than desired in between burst cooldowns of AS/CU/Snipe, or in the AoE department. Same as StJ, Ice Melee benefits from its heavy hitter being able to take 2 purple damage procs (hecatomb, unbreakable constraint), and has similar burst heavy rotations, but fills the gaps with more AoE options. Sleeping and Held foes also benefit an increased chance to be crit. Savage has a higher ceiling on AoE damage, but the single target damage comes slower, and you can be likely to overkill with Hemorrhage. The endurance consumption on savage melee can be more intense than expected, especially if you forget to keep Energize up or want to save it for healing, even considering the endurance reduction in the inherent mechanic. 

 

Energy Melee is really strong right now. I still miss the mechanic-free 1 second animation on Energy Transfer that we had pre-nerf, but it is great to have part of that back. The AoE damage will be less than any of the aforementioned primaries, but the Single target damage comes through. I really like Adrenal Booster on EM/EA with nearly 50% uptime. It gives you a 60 second massive tohit buff and a smaller damage buff, and also increases the duration of all your stuns! Dipping in to the experimentation pool also provides an easily perma-able Experimental Injection buff (+mez protection, +regen, +recov) so you can be best friends with one of the blasters on your team. 

 

There are some variations between each build, but more or less they all about do the same thing, so pick a flavor that appeals to you. The glue that holds them together is the solid consistency provided by energy aura. 

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18 minutes ago, DreadShinobi said:

StJ has great burst with Crushing Uppercut, some decent mitigation with the knocks in CU and Spinning Strike, but damage can be a little less than desired in between burst cooldowns of AS/CU/Snipe, or in the AoE department. Same as StJ, Ice Melee benefits from its heavy hitter being able to take 2 purple damage procs (hecatomb, unbreakable constraint), and has similar burst heavy rotations, but fills the gaps with more AoE options. Sleeping and Held foes also benefit an increased chance to be crit. Savage has a higher ceiling on AoE damage, but the single target damage comes slower, and you can be likely to overkill with Hemorrhage. The endurance consumption on savage melee can be more intense than expected, especially if you forget to keep Energize up or want to save it for healing, even considering the endurance reduction in the inherent mechanic. 

 

Energy Melee is really strong right now. I still miss the mechanic-free 1 second animation on Energy Transfer that we had pre-nerf, but it is great to have part of that back. The AoE damage will be less than any of the aforementioned primaries, but the Single target damage comes through. I really like Adrenal Booster on EM/EA with nearly 50% uptime. It gives you a 60 second massive tohit buff and a smaller damage buff, and also increases the duration of all your stuns! Dipping in to the experimentation pool also provides an easily perma-able Experimental Injection buff (+mez protection, +regen, +recov) so you can be best friends with one of the blasters on your team. 

 

There are some variations between each build, but more or less they all about do the same thing, so pick a flavor that appeals to you. The glue that holds them together is the solid consistency provided by energy aura. 

This is great, thanks dude. Sounds like I can’t really go wrong 😂

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Staff Fighting just feels weak to me.  I've seen others day the same.  So that's probably why you see fewer of them.  It's just not that fun.  I think it's a combination of the animations and sounds.  Just kind of twirling and dull thwacks.  I abandoned mine once I saw how it played and didn't care for it.

 

Energy Aura is a real mix.  It gets strong defensive values and some good utility so against the right enemies it's easy mode.  Being immune to end drain isn't a factor all that often but when it is, man it's nice.  Personally I won't play typed defense sets anymore though.  The toxic and psi holes are too much for me.  Between the two there are a lot of enemies with damage you'll have very minimal protection from.

 

Apparently this is not a problem for some, but after taking /Ice and /EA to 50 I've said no more.  The feast or famine way they play doesn't appeal to me.  It may to you.  Someone else in this thread said that the higher values and utility mean you can put more damage procs in your build.  True to an extent, provided that you make no effort to plug the toxic and psi holes.  If you do, you'll find that it actually takes more slots to do a weak job of that than you'd devote to pump your defenses higher on a positional defense build.

 

Ninjitsu is nice because it's a loose build and gives positional defense with a heal.  Plus caltrops, which is really potent.  However if you want to go full softcap you have to work for it.  You'll be sacrificing max damage to get there.  I tend to get most of the way there but don't make the sacrifices necessary to cross the finish line.  A mix of good defenses and damage that are adequate for most situations with inspirations filling in the gaps for the rest.

 

Shield Defense is similar on non-tanks.  Hard to get to the soft cap so I don't usually bother fully.  Build for good defense and regen and call it good.  It's (IMO) the best set available to Stalkers that contributes damage.  There are precious few options in that category and it's something I personally value highly, so SD is one of the top Stalker sets for me for sure.

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1 hour ago, carroto said:

Apparently this is not a problem for some, but after taking /Ice and /EA to 50 I've said no more.  The feast or famine way they play doesn't appeal to me.  It may to you.  Someone else in this thread said that the higher values and utility mean you can put more damage procs in your build.  True to an extent, provided that you make no effort to plug the toxic and psi holes.  If you do, you'll find that it actually takes more slots to do a weak job of that than you'd devote to pump your defenses higher on a positional defense build.

There is absolutely no reason or incentive to plug /EA's psi hole. First off you're a stalker, not a tank or a brute. You don't need to sit in a mob of psi damage and get hit a whole bunch. You can assassinate and unload your heavy hitters on the bosses in the spawn and potentially drop the minions with the aoe you have and then there is just a few mid-health lts to deal with. You don't think about plugging a psi hole on a blaster for the same reason, or any other damage or support AT. Per your example, having psi protection is actually very similar to whether or not a set has endurance drain protection - not a factor all that often, but great when you have it. Though plugging a psi hole on demand is actually much easier to manage with a purple insp pop here or there, energy aura still has a solid heal and regen to fall back on, which is effectively resistance to all damage types relative to how fast you receive it. Toxic damage is even more rare, and typically a minimal DoT, covered by the ~10-11% damage resistance that /EA actually has, as well as its regeneration. An EA stalker can get 30 hp/sec regen with a standard IO build, I've pushed that higher on a couple of my builds. That's 50% hp to full in about 25-26 seconds. Equivalent to popping a green insp every ~10 seconds, and the time it takes for your Energize to recharge to get another 600 hp. That is hardly a hole.

 

Edit: I have 49% psi resist on my fiery aura brute and outside of making the minds of mayhem trial an absolute joke, it is absolutely overkill. Enemy psi damage, outside of carnies *cough*, tends to be balanced around the typical character not having much in the way of protection. Having rolling healing and/or regeneration goes a long way in covering incoming psi damage.

Edited by DreadShinobi
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I agree that I haven’t ever found the psi hole to be anything more than a minor annoyance in rare instances. Worst case scenario a purple or two will save the day, but I have found that those types of situations don’t really occur all that often. I almost always take rune of protection on my energy aura toons just because it gives a nice boost to mitigation. Between that, energize, Regen, and the little psi resist I have as a by product of my normal slotting I don’t have an issue.  
 

The only time I have had an issue with toxic damage enough to prompt popping a some purples is soloing apex/tin Mage with the hydra pylons spewing heavy toxic damage. Other than that I have had zero problems with toxic damage. 

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