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How do you make Martial Assault work?


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I am coming to the conclusion that MA just isn't working for me.  I mean on paper it looks cool and all.  But in game it is just sooooo meh.


I have a tried a few combos Elec/MA, Grav/MA, Plant/MA.  I think my best pairing is the Grav/MA, but that could be the Hero I designed.  Now granted I haven't maxed leveled them all.  But I just can't seem to do much with it.


Any tips or tactics that people want to share that they found to make MA work?

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I'd be interested in this as well. I made a plant/MA dom, and MA seemed to be pretty great at the lower levels, but after getting her up into the 30's and 40's, it started to feel pretty lackluster. Granted, my experience with doms, is semi-limited (at higher levels). I ended up rolling a plant/fire to see if the damage will feel better from that secondary.

Global: @Valnara1; Discord Handle: @Valnara#0620

I primarily play on Everlasting, but you may occasionally find me on Indom. 🙂

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It has been a while since I've played it but I believe the below is my current mind/ma/mace build. I remember the goals were ninja-esq, thus the reason for the stealth pool and sticking with ninja run.. I also remember that cross-punch from fighting was a good addition - MA has pretty good ranged attacks, but I apparently didn't love the kicks other than thunder. I can't believe I didn't want a heal.... but I must have been really digging misdirection. Mind/ is such a powerful set that it must have made up for some things... sorry that I don't remember more.



This Hero build was built using Mids Reborn

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Level 50 Magic Dominator
Primary Power Set: Mind Control
Secondary Power Set: Martial Assault
Power Pool: Force of Will
Power Pool: Speed
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: Concealment
Ancillary Pool: Mace Mastery

Hero Profile:
Level 1: Levitate -- FrcFdb-Rechg%(A), FrcFdb-Rchg/EndRdx(17), FrcFdb-Rchg/KB(19), FrcFdb-Acc/KB(19), FrcFdb-Dmg/KB(25), FrcFdb-Dmg/EndRdx/KB(21)
Level 1: Shuriken Throw -- Rui-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(A), Rui-Dmg/Rchg(3), Rui-Dmg/EndRdx(3), Rui-Acc/Dmg(5), Rui-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(5)
Level 2: Dominate -- GldNet-Acc/Hold(A), GldNet-Acc/Rchg(7), GldNet-Rchg/Hold(7), GldNet-EndRdx/Rchg/Hold(9), GldNet-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg/Hold(9), GldNet-Dam%(17)
Level 4: Trick Shot -- Rui-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(A), Rui-Dmg/EndRdx(11), Rui-Dmg/Rchg(11), Rui-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(13), Rui-Acc/Dmg(27)
Level 6: Thunder Kick -- SprBlsCol-Rchg/HoldProc(A), SprBlsCol-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg(46), SprBlsCol-Acc/Dmg(31), SprBlsCol-Dmg/EndRdx(31), SprBlsCol-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(37), SprBlsCol-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(33)
Level 8: Confuse -- SprDmnGrs-Rchg/Fiery Orb(A)
Level 10: Weaken Resolve -- SphIns-%ToHit(A), SphIns-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg(29), SphIns-ToHitDeb(15), SphIns-Acc/ToHitDeb(15), SphIns-Acc/Rchg(40), SphIns-ToHitDeb/EndRdx/Rchg(40)
Level 12: Hasten -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(13)
Level 14: Kick -- FrcFdb-Rechg%(A)
Level 16: Tough -- GldArm-3defTpProc(A), StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(33), Ags-ResDam/EndRdx(27), Ags-ResDam(34), Ags-Psi/Status(34)
Level 18: Total Domination -- GldNet-Dam%(A), GldNet-Acc/EndRdx/Rchg/Hold(29), GldNet-Acc/Hold(21), GldNet-Acc/Rchg(23), GldNet-Rchg/Hold(25), GldNet-EndRdx/Rchg/Hold(23)
Level 20: Cross Punch -- SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(A), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg(50), SprAvl-Dmg/EndRdx(48), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(48), SprAvl-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(48)
Level 22: Weave -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(46)
Level 24: Envenomed Blades -- GssSynFr--Build%(A)
Level 26: Terrify -- SprAscoft-Rchg/+Dmg%(A), SprAscoft-Acc/Conf/Hold/Immob/Sleep/Stun/Fear/EndRdx/Rchg(34), SprAscoft-EndRdx/Rchg(37), SprAscoft-Acc/Conf/Hold/Immob/Sleep/Stun/Fear/EndRdx(43), SprAscoft-Acc/Conf/Hold/Immob/Sleep/Stun/Fear(45)
Level 28: Caltrops -- SprFrzBls-Rchg/ImmobProc(A), SprFrzBls-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(31), SprFrzBls-Dmg/EndRdx(33), SprFrzBls-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(45), SprFrzBls-Acc/Dmg(45), SprFrzBls-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg(46)
Level 30: Stealth -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A)
Level 32: Mass Confusion -- CrcPrs-Conf%(A), CrcPrs-Conf/EndRdx(36), CrcPrs-Acc/Conf/Rchg(36), CrcPrs-Conf/Rchg(37), CrcPrs-Acc/Rchg(39)
Level 35: Masterful Throw -- ExtMsr-Dmg/ActRdx/Rchg(A), ExtMsr-Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(42), ExtMsr-Acc/Rng/Rchg(42), ExtMsr-Acc/Dmg(42), ExtMsr-Dmg/EndRdx(43)
Level 38: Explosive Shuriken -- Apc-Dam%(A), Apc-Dmg/EndRdx(39), Apc-Dmg(39), Apc-Acc/Rchg(40), Apc-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(43)
Level 41: Scorpion Shield -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(50)
Level 44: Personal Force Field -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A)
Level 47: Grant Invisibility -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A)
Level 49: Misdirection -- RechRdx-I(A)
Level 1: Brawl -- Empty(A)
Level 1: Domination 
Level 1: Quick Form 
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 -- UnbLea-Stlth(A)
Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A)
Level 4: Ninja Run 
Level 2: Swift -- Run-I(A)
Level 2: Health -- Pnc-Heal/+End(A), Mrc-Rcvry+(36)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- PwrTrns-+Heal(A), PrfShf-End%(50)
Level 0: Freedom Phalanx Reserve 
Level 0: Task Force Commander 
Level 0: The Atlas Medallion 
Level 50: Degenerative Core Flawless Interface 
Level 50: Knives of Vengeance Radial Superior Ally 
Level 0: Portal Jockey 
Level 50: Rebirth Radial Epiphany 
Level 50: Intuition Radial Paragon 
Level 50: Support Radial Embodiment 






Edited by VashNKnives
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honestly came to the conclusion from playing a 50 plant/MA that i think MA is the worst possible domi assault set even my grav/psi had merits to it plant/ma was just worse then the other options maybe there is some magic MA synergy im not seeing but by it self i find it is the most lack luster domi set i played so far

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MA definitely needs some love. The only really good power is Masterful Throw. Explosive Shuriken does pitiful damage for a T9, Envenomed Blades is a cool idea but the damage buff is too small, none of the melee attacks is a heavy hitter, and very few of the attacks have secondary effects that lend themselves to procs. 

Uunderdog - Rad/Rad Scrapper | Uundertaker - Rad/Dark Corruptor | Uun - MA/Inv Scrapper | Uunison - Grav/Storm Controller | Uuncola - Ice/Temp Blaster | Uundergrowth - Plant/Martial Dominator | Uunstable - SR/Staff Tank

Uunreal - Fire/Time Corruptor | Uunrest - Dark/TA Blaster | Uunseen - Ill/Poison Controller | Uuncool - Cold/Beam Defender | Uunderground - Earth/Earth Dominator | Uunknown - Mind/Psi Dominator | Uunplugged - Stone/Elec Brute

Uunfair - Archery/TA Corruptor | Uunsung - DP/Ninja Blaster | Uunflammable - Fire/Nature Controller | Uunflappable - WM/WP Brute | Uundead - Dark/Dark Tank | Uunfit - Water/Martial Blaster  | Uunwrapped - Dark/Dark Dominator

Uunchill - Ice/Kinetics Corruptor | Uunpleasant - En/En Stalker | Uunbrella - Rad/Rad Sentinel | Uunsafari - Beasts/Traps MM | Uungnome - Nature/Seismic Defender | Uunsavory - Poson/Sonic Defender

Uunicycle - BS/Shield Scrapper | Uuntouchable - Ill/Time Controller | Uunferno - Fire/Fire Tank | Uunthinkable - Psi/SR Scrapper | Uuncivil - Thugs/Elec MM | Uunnatural - Ice/Savage Dominator | Uunshockable - Elec/Bio Sentinel

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Hm. Martial looks solid in some ways, and lacking in others.

It has great animation times on its AoEs, and it has multiple that can get FF procs. And Trick Shot is another limited-targets AoE, AND you have Caltrops. It can put out a lot of AoE damage, and gets Force Feedback, and also has very good knockdown chances on its attacks.

If you leverage it as a melee-range AoE specialist, it's good.


It lacks good ranged damage, which can be a problem without defenses strong enough to go into melee, and the melee AoE is limiited in size. But it does have the advantage of throwing all of the melee AoEs (including Trick Shot) without having to change between PBAoE and cone attacks. And if you proc out Explosive Shuriken, it can get more damage into the AoE portion. Although I think it's not AoE sets, which limits how many procs you can stick into it :(.


Overall, I'm not impressed by it, it's not going to be the mainstay of a character, but I think that it can function well with a character who can draw opponents in tight and start with knockdown AoEs. Maybe leveraging Fold Space, if you can afford to lose a LotG set as a Dominator... always a hard sell, but with multiple FF procs firing off, it may be worth it to keep pulling mobs into tight melee range and hitting them with repeated knockdown attacks with the FF proc.

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Before the Blaster changes that added crashless nukes and sustains, Martial Assault would have been fairly solid. As is it's a Blaster set without crashless nukes or sustains.


Martial's cardinal sin is the same as Icy, Thorny, Electric, and Radioactive. There isn't a strong mechanism to build around. While Psi, Fire, Earth, Dark, Savage and Energy aren't perfect, they offer a strategy. Like, with /Psi, you're building around Drain Psyche. With Fire you're building around Consume, etc. 


On the plus side for Martial, Caltrops adds some AoE damage other secondaries lack, and it can sustain +ToHit that makes it easier to proc out attacks and hit with control powers. Envenomed Blades isn't a bad power at all. I wish it were more exciting though or offered more control. Even +Recharge somewhere in there would be unique and distinguish it from the rest of the pack. Dominators are the only archetype I can think of that lacks any +Recharge, +Resist, +Defense in both primary and secondary sets and there's a lot of reasons to think a "Martial Assault" set would be a good place for some of that.

Edited by oedipus_tex
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Its strength is Melee AOE and it offers no defense or heal, so...


Have to give up too much compared to other sets.  The cone kick has a really cool animation too, if they just added a melee/ lethal def buff to it, like on other sets, MA would be a good choice.

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My main issue with it in practice is the range on Spinning Kick feels confusing - perhaps the cone is overly narrow, but it feels very prone to missing if I twitch even a little while lining it up. I wish it functioned like a targeted ability rather than a freefire cone.

I've enjoyed it with Plant, which I think is probably one of the sets it compliments the most strongly, albeit at the cost of repetitive damage type with s/l. Caltrops and Dragon Tail have okay damage, but the combination of the slow from Caltrops and DT's knockup with Confuse/Carrion Creepers up are very strong, and probably the biggest contribution I find myself making in groups on the MA side. It is a somewhat hectic playstyle in practice, because it requires a fair amount of movement and darting around to line AoEs up, but these are the times when I feel like I'm doing the most outside of Dom sprees.

It's still worse than a lot of other sets, it's true, and crying out for a centralizing mechanic to make sense of its whacky mix of ranges and AoE types. I think getting something worthwhile out of it is possible if you orient yourself around its various knockdowns, and I bet it works nicely with other close range Primaries like Fire/Ice. Alternatively those with strong AoE CC like Mind to make staying in melee range easier.

Edited by fireawayx
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Well, the main thing about Martial is that it's not a set that attracts with mechanics, it attracts with concept. So you make it for the idea of being a Ninja (maybe you're a former MM's Genin who got tired of being defeated in every fight and want to improve to being defeated in every other fight 😛 ). It could use some play trick to make it have a playstyle gimmick that's attractive, but other sets do without that and are fine.


I think it can work best with a low-activity primary... use the controls for a bit, then start attacking. Treat it like a controlling unarmored Scrapper, rather than like a controlling Dominator. I'd suggest Plant and Ice as two primaries that really don't spend much animation time on controls. Use the AoE Sleep from Ice to give Arctic Air a few seconds to start working, then Fold Space everyone to be next to you, drop Ice Patch down, and start kicking. Actually, the time to use Fold Space and Ice Patch would give AA enough time to ramp up to 50% of the spawn, and with all the knockdowns it should play reasonably safe. At higher levels you can max out S/L defense and be reasonably solid.


It would work better with /Earth, which is just better, but still should be playable if you really want to make Martial work.

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Fire/MA/flame permahastenbuild



originally it started out as a ninja, flame mudras with some tools and whatnot but it ended up being barbie doll tier naked with a bowl hat who was fun for aoe damage but crap single target and only saved by fire imps.  Also level 50 is kinda important, Char with Basilisk's Gaze 4/6:





and two dmg/mez++ hamis

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I just Plant/Martial/Psionic Dominator 50 a week or two ago. For what started out to be a joke character has actually become one of my favorite creations in terms of theme and gameplay - A Beyblade Champion.


I won't go into too much detail on Plant since we already know the value that control line carries. As for Martial, I picked up the following abilities with these reasonings:


- Shuriken Throw

You gotta have it as your Tier 1, at least it's part of the badassary that is throwing Shurikens. I threw 5 slots of Decimation for the +Recharge set in addition to the occassional BuildUp proc.


- Thunder Kick

I originally didn't pick this up until I respeced later. It has respectable damage and can be used for slotting Melee sets (Kinetic Combat, Hecatomb, maybe even Stun sets). It's also been pretty useful for finishing single targets when Exemplaring or running lower level content.


- Trick Shot

Holy heck this ability is undervalued. It almost always guarantees 5 hits across multiple targets for decent chunks of damage and it procs very reliably. This, combined with other AoE's tools (Creepers, Immobilize, Caltrops) and you're gracefully slicing through enemies like butter. Realistically, lower level enemies die fast already so this helps you get through the tougher mobs (Bosses, Lieutenants) that survive the initial strike.

I have 5x Apocalypse and a Gladiator's Javelin here for the +Recharge and 2 Damage procs.


- Envenomed Blades

I have this ability nearly permanently active. Since it's a clicky, Guassian's BuildUp proc fires fairly reliably and it adds another ticker of damage to all your attacks. I'm really uncertain if it's helping me Proc Interface more, but I can say I have not seen it proc Guassian's while active. It's probably intentional but I thought it would be nifty if it did. I personally think this ability is refreshing to use compared to other Build up and Aim abilities for breaking away from the standard molds.


- Caltrops

I slotted this to be a Proc-Bomb. With the absurd amount of Control you have, it certainly wouldn't hurt to sprinkle a little salt on your enemy too. My only gripe about this ability is the obnoxiously small range it has.


- Masterful Throw

Well, it's a Snipe. It'll cut. It'll proc. It pretty much solves Single Target damage problems.

Throw Sting of the Manticore and a Gladiator's Javelin for another set of +Recharge and 2 Damage procs.



As for Explosive Shuriken, I once has it then respeced out since it felt disappointing as an ability while also adding an unnecessary attack in my rotations that isn't available when performing lower level content. At best, it's a single-target attack with a very small radius on a small-damage DoT element. I'd rather rotate between Trick Shot and Masterful Throw since this attack hasn't wow'd me beyond the cool looking animation. I wish it was more... explosive though.


I haven't tried Dragon's Tail and Spinning Kick mostly because I wanted to be more Shurikan oriented in playstyle and due to the notorious problem of not enough enhancement slots.


The Psionic Mastery ancilliary line will let you pick up 2-3 more slots to throw Luck of the Gambler on, so use it! Because, like any other Dominator, you want Domination up as much as possible.

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I rolled a Dark/MA some time back. played it until mid 20s, but couldn't get into the groove. Everything was just janky. Some time before the holidays, I went back to it. Decided to take all of the secondaries, which gave me 3 kicks and 4 shuriken throws, caltrops and a power up (envenomed blades). Now as a dom, I had to invest some picks for fighting armour (plus Kick became my 4th kick power, which goes with the theme sort of), Dark Embrace from Soul Mastery, and worked in Unrelenting as a self heal. I like to play my doms like blappers... or brutinators. Also decided to go deep into Experimentation to take Speed of Sound as my my main travel power (snipe + jaunt tps me into melee at the same time the snipe hits, then AoE kick) so I can take Adrenal Booster. However, all of that set up to make the secondary work and make sure I survived the encounter left me with very little primaries. Thematically I didn't mind, but I would have wanted to take more to be honest. However, it also freed me from the need to be permadom.

But it works for me. It's fun, different and quite strong. she's able to handle +2x4 easily (which is my personal benchmark for a decent toon) and can go slightly higher, but maybe not 4x8 without incarnates. She has a bit of trouble with AVs, but doable with a bit of strategy and planning. I'm tempted to say /MA is a late bloomer, but it's more realistically attributed to my skill and build and the fact that I had to feel my way in the 20s and 30s to get a good handle on her attack chain. I'd like to point out that I prefer cheap builds, almost no Gladiator IOs save for the Panacea proc, and definitely no purples. She's 50 now working on incarnates, but I enjoyed her so much and am now a bit more confident on how to build /MA that I rolled another one: ice/MA-- Mortal Kombat's Sub-Zero rip off. haven't played him yet as I'm busy with other projects, but definitely looking forward to it.

I find /MA most similar to how Savage/ plays on a Brute. I do so love the shuriken thows and the kicks. 

My main issue with it in practice is the range on Spinning Kick feels confusing - perhaps the cone is overly narrow, but it feels very prone to missing if I twitch even a little while lining it up. I wish it functioned like a targeted ability rather than a freefire cone.

I too had some trouble with this. I found the work around to use it as a second kick, as it ensures I'm facing at least one enemy right.

Edited by Six-Six
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I think Martial's real issue is the damage is just baseline or a little above and there are few reliable secondary effects.


The Stun in Thunder Kick should Dominate according to Domination rules. I don't believe it currently does.


I think Explosive Shuriken should borrow the AoE knockdown effect from Propel. It's an explosion strong enough to shake the screen, it knocking stuff down is justified.

Edited by oedipus_tex
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5 hours ago, Six-Six said:

My main issue with it in practice is the range on Spinning Kick feels confusing - perhaps the cone is overly narrow, but it feels very prone to missing if I twitch even a little while lining it up. I wish it functioned like a targeted ability rather than a freefire cone.

I too had some trouble with this. I found the work around to use it as a second kick, as it ensures I'm facing at least one enemy right.


One option if you can fit it into a build would be to run Cross Punch (which I feel is better than Explosive Shuriken, anyhow), and then use that first to line up the facing of the character before throwing Spinning Kick.

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  • 3 weeks later
On 1/24/2021 at 7:04 AM, Six-Six said:

I rolled another one: ice/MA-- Mortal Kombat's Sub-Zero rip off. haven't played him yet as I'm busy with other projects, but definitely looking forward to it.

I was eyeing this as my next as well, have you had a chance to see how it works out yet?


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►►►►►►►►►The Catacombs of Mars (Arc # 57809)◄◄◄◄◄◄◄◄◄
It's a Summer Block Buster B-Movie! Non-canon story, inspired by such classics as Planet of The Vampires and The Ghosts of Mars.
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On 1/17/2021 at 7:33 PM, PainX said:

honestly came to the conclusion from playing a 50 plant/MA that i think MA is the worst possible domi assault set even my grav/psi had merits to it plant/ma was just worse then the other options maybe there is some magic MA synergy im not seeing but by it self i find it is the most lack luster domi set i played so far

Hey...one of my OG doms from back in the day was a Grav/Psi, and I enjoyed playing it!   I remade him on HC, as Grav/Psi/Ice and loving it more!

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