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Tankiest(?) Pet/Secondary Combos?(For the pets not the MM)


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So I wanna make a new MM but this time I want to focus on my pet tankiness and not my own(Last MM was Demon/Time Tankermind)  So my only 2 restrictions are I dont want to do demons or time again and I want to avoid constantly healing my pets.  So my toughts are headed towards bot/FF or ?/cold or ?/thermal or ?/sonic?  Please give me your imput!

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My Necro/Elec Aff is pretty tanky, though she's not slotted yet. My Bots/Nature is quite tanky and lots of fun to play, especially once I got her slotted with her basic IO's. Beasts can be surprisingly tanky, and they pair nicely with just about any secondary--if you like a fast, in your face style, /kin is great, though a bit squishier than what you're probably looking for.


The toughest pet sets are Demons, Bots, Thugs, and Beasts (though to a lesser extent). Demons and Bots both have pets that can heal each other, so they lend themselves nicely to secondaries that may not (i.e. /cold, /TA). 


Bots/FF is probably the tankiest option and one of the "classic" MM pairings, and it is also a very hands-off, slow playstyle, so if you like something more active, this may not be the pairing for you. 


One of my new favorite things to do is experiment with MM combos and see what happens/what works (or doesn't work). You have 1000 slots per server, pick one (or all) of the tanky powersets and then start matching up secondaries. 🙂

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

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

Notable Characters: Apocolyptica - Demons/Storm MM; Lurking Monster - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Miss Fade - Ill/Traps Controller; Sister Apocalypse - Beast/Dark MM; Dr. Elaina Wrath - Plant/Rad Controller (Join the House of Wrath, and spread the word of science!); Ruff Ruff Boom - AR/Devices Blaster

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If you want a strong defensive set but don't want to heal, I'd go with /Cold. Demons/Cold would probably be the best option, but Beasts/Cold and Bots/Cold are quite tough.


Beasts will be the toughest if you go for high Recharge and a perma-Fortify Pack build... with the Cold shields they'll be way over the softcap, enough to even withstand a decent amount of defense debuffing, and they have pretty good resists behind that. However, they'll face more damage in melee, also.

Bots won't be as tough statistically, though they'll also pass the softcap, but will play tougher due to playing at range. They do less damage, though.

Thugs do more damage than both, and are not as tough as either but will play pretty tough due to being all ranged. They won't be as far into the softcap as either, and don't have strong resists to back them up like Beasts, or heals like the Robots, but having a lot more damage does decrease incoming damage nicely.


A different option would be Necro/Sonic. Eventually the henchmen all get heals, and you can have them at 85% resist to everything if you wish to max things out that way. They'll be suffering a lot more debuffs due to not having Defense, but... will be a lot less vulnerable to cascading defense failure.

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Hrrrr all that has sparked my altitius, but the bot/cold maybe the most as I have never used the cold secondary.  Anyone have advise for leveling that combo?  I know often abilities and slotting during leveling are very different from a final build at 50!  Thanks so much all for all the great input!

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I have a Bots/Elect and Beast/Cold and had a thugs/pain, nin/poison, and zomb/dark on live.... I will say the bots/elect is by far the most tanky.


The thing about it, is yes... you are a resist/heal based set, but your protector bots put bubbles on things, then you have your auras from I/Os and manuevers. Most importantly you have mez protection for the pets 🙂 and your heal/end powers are chaining so you don't have to even look at your pets' health - just keep tapping via keybinds your heal and end buffs every so often to keep them all topped off. 


I think the following is my build:


This Hero build was built using Mids Reborn

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Level 50 Mutation Mastermind
Primary Power Set: Robotics
Secondary Power Set: Electrical Affinity
Power Pool: Experimentation
Power Pool: Leadership
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: Leaping
Ancillary Pool: Mace Mastery

Hero Profile:
Level 1: Battle Drones -- SuddAcc--KB/+KD(A), SprCmmoft-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(3), CaltoArm-+Def(Pets)(5), SprCmmoft-Rchg/PetAoEDef(3), SprCmmoft-Acc/Dmg(5), SprCmmoft-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx/Rchg(7)
Level 1: Shock -- PreOptmz-EndMod/End/Rech(A), PreOptmz-EndMod/Acc/Rech(39), PreOptmz-Acc/Rech(43), PreOptmz-EndMod/End(45), PreOptmz-EndMod/Rech(45), PreOptmz-EndMod/Acc/End(46)
Level 2: Rejuvenating Circuit -- NmnCnv-Regen/Rcvry+(A), NmnCnv-Heal(11), NmnCnv-Heal/EndRdx(34), NmnCnv-EndRdx/Rchg(34), NmnCnv-Heal/Rchg(36), NmnCnv-Heal/EndRdx/Rchg(7)
Level 4: Speed of Sound -- BlsoftheZ-ResKB(A), BlsoftheZ-Travel/EndRdx(9), BlsoftheZ-Travel(9)
Level 6: Equip Robot -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 8: Photon Grenade -- SprFrzBls-Rchg/ImmobProc(A), SprFrzBls-Dmg/EndRdx/Acc/Rchg(33), Ann-ResDeb%(36), SprFrzBls-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(33), SprFrzBls-Dmg/EndRdx(33), SprFrzBls-Acc/Dmg/Rchg(36)
Level 10: Energizing Circuit -- PreOptmz-EndMod/End/Rech(A), PreOptmz-Acc/Rech(48), PreOptmz-EndMod/Acc/Rech(48), PreOptmz-EndMod/End(48), PreOptmz-EndMod/Rech(42), PreOptmz-EndMod/Acc/End(11)
Level 12: Protector Bots -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), ExpRnf-+Res(Pets)(13), LucoftheG-Def(13), EdcoftheM-PetDef(15), SprMarofS-Acc/Dmg(15), OvrFrc-Dam/KB(23)
Level 14: Maneuvers -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), Ksm-ToHit+(50), ShlWal-ResDam/Re TP(40), Rct-ResDam%(21)
Level 16: Faraday Cage -- Ags-EndRdx/Rchg(A), Ags-ResDam(17), Ags-ResDam/EndRdx(19), Ags-ResDam/Rchg(19), Ags-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(17), StdPrt-ResDam/Def+(21)
Level 18: Discharge -- PreOptmz-EndMod/End/Rech(A), PreOptmz-EndMod/Acc/Rech(23), PreOptmz-Acc/Rech(40), PreOptmz-EndMod/End(40), PreOptmz-EndMod/Rech(43), PreOptmz-EndMod/Acc/End(34)
Level 20: Empowering Circuit -- RctRtc-Pcptn(A)
Level 22: Kick -- Empty(A)
Level 24: Tough -- GldArm-3defTpProc(A), Ags-Psi/Status(25), Ags-ResDam(25), Ags-ResDam/EndRdx(43), Ags-ResDam/Rchg(46), Ags-ResDam/EndRdx/Rchg(46)
Level 26: Assault Bot -- SuddAcc--KB/+KD(A), SprMarofS-Acc/Dmg/EndRdx(27), SprMarofS-Dmg(27), SvrRgh-PetResDam(29), SprMarofS-EndRdx/+Resist/+Regen(29), SlbAll-Build%(31)
Level 28: Defibrillate -- EnrMnp-Stun%(A)
Level 30: Weave -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(31), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(31)
Level 32: Upgrade Robot -- EndRdx-I(A)
Level 35: Insulating Circuit -- Prv-Absorb%(A), Prv-Heal/Rchg/EndRdx(37), Prv-Heal/EndRdx(37), Prv-Heal(37), Prv-Heal/Rchg(39), Prv-EndRdx/Rchg(39)
Level 38: Scorpion Shield -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A), LucoftheG-Def(42), LucoftheG-Def/EndRdx(42)
Level 41: Power Boost -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(45)
Level 44: Amp Up -- RechRdx-I(A), RechRdx-I(50)
Level 47: Combat Jumping -- LucoftheG-Def/Rchg+(A)
Level 49: Assault -- EndRdx-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 -- UnbLea-Stlth(A)
Level 1: Supremacy 
Level 2: Rest -- Empty(A)
Level 4: Ninja Run 
Level 2: Swift -- Run-I(A)
Level 2: Health -- Pnc-Heal/+End(A), Mrc-Rcvry+(50)
Level 2: Hurdle -- Jump-I(A)
Level 2: Stamina -- EndMod-I(A)
Level 1: Battle Drone 
Level 12: Protector Bot 
Level 26: Assault Bot 
Level 0: Freedom Phalanx Reserve 
Level 0: Portal Jockey 
Level 0: Task Force Commander 
Level 0: The Atlas Medallion 
Level 50: Musculature Radial Paragon 
Level 50: Ion Core Final Judgement 
Level 50: Reactive Core Flawless Interface 
Level 50: Barrier Core Epiphany 
Level 50: Robotic Drones Core Superior Ally 
Level 50: Support Core Embodiment 


Edited by VashNKnives
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Thugs is the primary of choice. Their leadership gives them strong defense against all damage. They have gang war to mule the aura IOs in. You can soft cap their defense with no help from the secondary. That frees you up to take a resistance boosting secondary. I'd lean towards sonic for max resists and the status protection bubble. Thugs also has synergy with sonic because the bruiser is a great mule for the disruption field. Thugs is a high damage set too and sonic offers strong resistance debuffing to amplify it.


You will lack healing unless you take the medicine pool though. However, you won't really need clarion so much so you can afford to take rebirth as your destiny pick. That will let you keep a strong regen on them. 



Tldr, thug/sonic will have soft capped defenses and the secondary with the most resistance buffs along with status protection for you and your pets. It will also do really good damage 

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Thugs/Solic is a combo I would never have considered!  Do you have a build I can use while leveling?  I always end up respeccing a ton of times but would be great to know where to start as I have never used either set.


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The overall 3 tankiest MMs you can make are probably Demons/elec, demons/nature, and demons/thermal in that order. Thugs/time is a contender for tankiest. 


If you wanna avoid healing your pets you're walking away from tanky. Cold, sonic, etc are good sets, but they aren't as pet tanky as sets with solid aoe heals. 

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I wish I can answer this question easily but all my masterminds were pretty much firefarmed to 50 so I can have all available slots from the "get go".  30% resist to most and 10% def to all (20% aoe) is game breaking.  my merc/ff mastermind is able to get to 41% def to all post-22 and pre-41.  my beast/sonic hits resist caps (95%) to s/l/their personal quirk like cold, my thug/trap with hami'ed enforcers buffing def stacking with FFG and maneuvers.  but even with softcapped pets healing is still required.  not saying im always hovering other aid other but its always handy


Pulling these out of my ass for a most "natural" playthrough:






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I have found that Robots/Traps is somewhat tanky. The 'Bots can all accept Knockback->Knockdown IOs, which contributes to their survivability in most situations. The traps will either disrupt enemies or also draw aggro. The FFG doesn't need much extra slotting to be a big contributor to pet defense.

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Gotta agree with tidge on the bots/traps but i'd rank bots/dark up there too. Not sure why /dark isn't mentioned, once you throw on darkest night and drag stuff into a tar patch you can kill with impunity and have a heal that insta tops up pet hp in 1 click. Perfect for large mobs and av's/gm's.

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3 hours ago, Meknomancer said:

Gotta agree with tidge on the bots/traps but i'd rank bots/dark up there too. Not sure why /dark isn't mentioned, once you throw on darkest night and drag stuff into a tar patch you can kill with impunity and have a heal that insta tops up pet hp in 1 click. Perfect for large mobs and av's/gm's.

/Dark is strong without being "tanky" and that's due, similarly to /rad, the unreliability of toggle debuffs and requiring anchors. Dark when it goes off perfect is very tanky, but it can cascade super easily if your anchor dies or just runs away from the group leaving lots undebuffed. Its a much more active and "controller-y" set as opposed to a tanky set like /elec which you stand in one place and mindlessly cycle 3 powers and are an immortal god. 

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I am sure some folks just heal bot with /elect but I enjoy using the photon grenade to pull and focus fire my bots. In addition, discharge and shock decimate the end of even 54s. Throw in a defib for those unlucky enough to come close to the bots.  It feels very rewarding to me to play bots/elect. Very tanky, which I loved since my ninja/ just about made me walk away from MMs lol. 👍

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8 hours ago, tidge said:

I have found that Robots/Traps is somewhat tanky. The 'Bots can all accept Knockback->Knockdown IOs, which contributes to their survivability in most situations. The traps will either disrupt enemies or also draw aggro. The FFG doesn't need much extra slotting to be a big contributor to pet defense.

Bots are great for playing Tankermind. Bots and demons are the only two that buff your own survivability.  Of the two, I prefer Bots because I feel I get more bang for my buck by boost defense. A bots/time/mace will have strong defenses all around and S/L/E that is too the moon.

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On 2/28/2021 at 12:25 AM, Psylenz0511 said:

Bots/FF has beefy defense but the damage isnt buffed by the mastermind so it may be slow going.

Bots/sonic overlaps defence and resistance and I found it to be very sturdy. There's a -res aura that you can slap on your bots if you can persuade them to get into melee range. People like to treat sonic resonance as force field's inferior cousin but it's actually pretty solid if never spectacular. Res boosts are harder to come by that defence boosts so it complements things well.

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When the debuffed target from /rad or /dark dies the debuff remains in place thats one of the changes HC made so the mob stays debuffed. With lingering rad or tar patch its unlikely the debuffed target will get so far away the debuff becomes useless. Darks twilight grasp heal means everything close remains topped up on hp with a click and stacks the - to hit with darkest night which is why i still put it close to the top as one of the tankiest secondaries for pretty much all AT's. And you can throw out fearsome stare on top of darkest servants - to hit debuffs. It all stacks up to make the enemies to hit so small you rarely have to worry about pet death and resummons.

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Demons/Elec, Thugs/Sonic are a couple of my Hardiest builds out there.  I am working on some /Thermal ones (Thugs & Necro) and they seem to have potential but I haven't finshed them yet.


/Elec is a very busy set with making sure shields and buffs are up.  It is a little more defensive but with all the END you can pump into your pets they can attack endlessly keeping your DPS steady (no drop off because your pets are waiting for the blue bar to recharge).


/Sonic does have a few skill you can skip (Sonic Cage, Clarity, maybe Repulsion although I do have a KB to KD in it and it helps survivability).  So you can get a few extra pool powers (Aid Other).  But with your Bruiser tanking you can keep your other minions under your umbrella to boost their resistances.


/Traps is also one you should look at FFG is a great +Def power that is also protects you from Mez.  That and your debuffs can keep your pets alive as well.  My first 50 in Live was a Thugs/Traps.  She was very tanky and could solo AV's most of the time.

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