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Thermal Radiation vs Radiation Emission


tehafp

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What are people's thoughts on these two power sets? Main focus of this build would be geared more toward 8 person teams as opposed to larger Incarnate Trials. Definitely going to be going Sonic for the secondary for the -res. Looking to make a character that leans heavily into the support side of things with a focus on assistance in taking down AVs, GMs, and other big beasties. I am also planning on taking the endurance heavy Leadership Pool.

 

Any opinions on which of these two sets would perform better for the given circumstances?

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Thermal is a set tuned more toward buffing and off healing, where rad is a debuffing, with minor heal/buff. 

Thermal may help keep your allies alive longer, but it wont provide much in actually taking down AVs etc.

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Rad is a debuff toolkit. It doesn't specialize in anything, but it has one of--if I'm not mistaken--literally every single debuff type that exists in the game. No wait, it doesn't have -perception I don't think, but barely anything does.

 

Anyway, point being, Rad is a swiss-army debuff set. It has everything, but isn't amazing at anything specific.

 

Thermal is more buff and healing based. It's a much better healer set than Rad, with both an aura heal and a single target heal, along with damage resistance shields, it makes for a high survivability set, which is also a bit more active than Rad, and less toggle-reliant. However, it has Heat Exhaustion and Melt Armor, so it's actually quite good at helping kill AVs and other hard targets as well, with -500% regen, -25% defense, and -30% resist.

 

Rad has a wider variety of debuffs, and a stronger -regen, but Thermal holds its own.

 

Both have a resurrect, but Thermal's is also an extremely strong AoE nuke. Rad has an AoE nuke that also inflicts -Resist, which can be cast only on defeated allies, but is separate from its actual rez power. Rad's resurrect gives damage, endurance, and recharge bonuses to the the person you resurrect, but then hits them with a hold when the duration of those buffs expire. Thermal's resurrect makes the target literally invulnerable for 15 seconds.

 

Additionally, Thermal has Forge, which is a +25% ToHit and +50% damage buff for one member of your group, which can easily be made perma.

 

 

 

I have nothing against Rad, but I honestly think more people should play Thermal. It's quite underrated, and has a lot of power. Rad is better at taking down hard targets, but not by a huge margin, and Thermal gives better overall mitigation (Which is not to undersell Rad's -ToHit and -Damage, but Thermal's Resistance shields are more reliable).

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I agree more people should play thermal, but disagree entirely that Rad is ‘not amazing at anything’. It’s the most powerful debuff set in the game and also has a great PBAOE team buff too.

 

Personally, while thermal is a good set, I’d say Rad is a GREAT set.

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End game wise on a steam rolling team, Rad will feel less useful as activation time on the toggles might become slightly annoying. That's about the only downside to Rad really. I read "leans heavily into the support side" as going Thermal. Either will work. Rad/sonic is one of the only defender rerolls I would do from my previous time playing the game. Never played Thermal, but I don't see how it can't be good for what you want.

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I agree more people should play thermal, but disagree entirely that Rad is ‘not amazing at anything’. It’s the most powerful debuff set in the game and also has a great PBAOE team buff too.

 

Personally, while thermal is a good set, I’d say Rad is a GREAT set.

Rad is the most comprehensive debuff set. All the specialist debuff sets debuff more strongly, Rad just debuffs more things.

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Thermal gives better +To Hit, is situational on whether its contributing a little bit more or a little bit less to team damage, and has equivalently strong -Regen and -Resist for AV killing.  It gives much worse damage mitigation outside of edge cases involving stacking with Resist based armor sets, but that is balanced by a stronger heal and having its damage mitigation always work, while Rad will have problems if things get scattered outside of it its toggle AOE.  Thermal also comes online way later than Radiation, as Rad gets almost all its key stuff by level 12, while Thermal doesn't get its -Res power until 32.

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I went with Thermal/Sonic on my new Defender. Debated Rad as a primary, but ended up with Thermal for the following reasons:

  • 30% Resistance to most damage types for the whole team all the time is really good. Rad gets similar mitigation from Enervating Field but only if the enemies actually sit in it.
  • Forge is double perma out of the box and with SOs it's quad perma so even the most basic level 50 build can keep it on all of the damage dealers in your team.
  • Heat Exhaustion offers same -Regen as Radiation (only on one target, though) with a hefty -DMG which combined with the shields is more mitigation than Rad can cough up. The longer cooldown can be offset by IO investment.
  • Melt Armor isn't quite as great as RI + EF due to the higher recharge, but again with enough +Recharge it can be made perma and then your -Res equals what Rad gives at least in AV fights where it matters the most. The clicky nature may or may not be more useful in fast paced teams against regular mobs.
  • Thermal has better heals which, admittedly is the smallest thing it has over Rad.

 

Then again, Rad offers +Rech and +Recovery for the whole team at the click of a button (also allows you to skip some +Rech bonuses in favor of something else) and the +DMG from AM is less cumbersome to keep up than juggling Forge. Radiation also has less "mandatory" powers and it's less active so it's a better fit for tighter builds or any powerset that requires you to manage things like Water Blast.

 

Both are great sets, though, so I wouldn't stress too much about it.

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