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Posted (edited)

Hi heroes!

 

Going to pull the trigger on my first Defender. I'm a historical Tanker/Scrapper player, so I'm looking forward to playing something a bit more supportive. I've always enjoyed teaming, so I feel a Defender shines there. That being said, I'd also love to having something that can solo well and deal with AV's/tough enemies.

 

Some combos I was looking at:

 

Storm/Water or Dark Blast: Storm I hear shines on a Defender. Pairing it with either Water or Dark Blast for a heal seems like it could be nice!

 

Trick Arrow/Dual Pistols: Sounds sweet, but will the redraw between weapons drive me crazy? Haha

 

Time/Dual Pistols: Started off mostly as a thematic choice, but it seems like they could really pair well. Time seems to do a little bit of everything, and the synergy between DP toxic rounds and a Defender seems like you could really dish out the debuffs.

 

Trick Arrow/Archery: Trick Arrow seems like it is pretty strong after the changes, with great debuffs. An Archery hero is very thematic as well.

 

Rad/Dark or Rad Blast: Rad Emission seems to be the classic AV Killer. I liked Dark Blast for the -tohit and heal, but Rad blast seems like it would pair nicely as well.

 

Would love to hear thoughts from anyone, but I'm also open to any recommendations others may have!

 

 

Edited by StriderIV
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Welcome my friend to the show that never ends... putting together the perfect Defender. 

 

Couple things for you to know/consider before making your decision. 

1.  Most of the defender combos can do reasonable damage after things are setup. By this I mean applying buffs and debuffs, traps, what have you. This takes several seconds and all the while things are attacking you or your team. 

     This means you may not have time to actually attack on normal team missions as everyone is doing damage from the start except you and the trollers. Most things are "arrested" before you start shooting.

     Looks like you are already doing this, but look at what your blast sets secondary abilities are. they are actually pretty powerful and can be used as debuffs. Example of this is my Poison/Psi defender who with two cones (both with high -recharge values) could protect a team pretty well as long as someone took the initial alpha. 

2.  You will want to decide if mez protection prior to end game is important to you. Defender sets often do not have any personal mez protection (3 primaries do) and that's one reason why they are often in the back of the team bus. 

     That being said, you can still solo with many sets as you have other options available such as mez flavored vitamins and -tohit, slows and the like to stop incoming mezes.

3. If you do the math, you will start to see just how much you are adding to the team. Unfortunately, most everyone on the team will not as they only really seem to notice damage boosts and green healz numbers. 

4.  If you solo a lot when you are still low, keep in mind that it all does change. You will feel the pain of an old school tank build but with less damage. Think Super Strength if you skipped KB prior to getting Rage. Some days will feel like that. 

5. Things get rough in AV fights sometimes as the purple triangle of fear discounts a lot of what you do. 

 

Note: all of this goes out the window when you get close to fully IO'd out as you become a very solo capable mini monster who wonders why they need other classes (and then you faceplant cuz you hit the wrong button). 

 

And because you were asking about specific combos, all combo's can be made from workable to very good. I would say Time/ is very close to (or may be) top of the list right now as it does so many different things. /TA is just a beast right now (I have several).

Personal favorites right now include TA/Dark, Time/Elec, NA/Dark and Poison/Mind. You will find most of these are not consensus combos or builds but they are heckuvalota fun. 

 

Hope that helps. 

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14 minutes ago, Ankhammon said:

😂Welcome my friend to the show that never ends... putting together the perfect Defender. 

 

Couple things for you to know/consider before making your decision. 

1.  Most of the defender combos can do reasonable damage after things are setup. By this I mean applying buffs and debuffs, traps, what have you. This takes several seconds and all the while things are attacking you or your team. 

     This means you may not have time to actually attack on normal team missions as everyone is doing damage from the start except you and the trollers. Most things are "arrested" before you start shooting.

     Looks like you are already doing this, but look at what your blast sets secondary abilities are. they are actually pretty powerful and can be used as debuffs. Example of this is my Poison/Psi defender who with two cones (both with high -recharge values) could protect a team pretty well as long as someone took the initial alpha. 

2.  You will want to decide if mez protection prior to end game is important to you. Defender sets often do not have any personal mez protection (3 primaries do) and that's one reason why they are often in the back of the team bus. 

     That being said, you can still solo with many sets as you have other options available such as mez flavored vitamins and -tohit, slows and the like to stop incoming mezes.

3. If you do the math, you will start to see just how much you are adding to the team. Unfortunately, most everyone on the team will not as they only really seem to notice damage boosts and green healz numbers. 

4.  If you solo a lot when you are still low, keep in mind that it all does change. You will feel the pain of an old school tank build but with less damage. Think Super Strength if you skipped KB prior to getting Rage. Some days will feel like that. 

5. Things get rough in AV fights sometimes as the purple triangle of fear discounts a lot of what you do. 

 

Note: all of this goes out the window when you get close to fully IO'd out as you become a very solo capable mini monster who wonders why they need other classes (and then you faceplant cuz you hit the wrong button). 

 

And because you were asking about specific combos, all combo's can be made from workable to very good. I would say Time/ is very close to (or may be) top of the list right now as it does so many different things. /TA is just a beast right now (I have several).

Personal favorites right now include TA/Dark, Time/Elec, NA/Dark and Poison/Mind. You will find most of these are not consensus combos or builds but they are heckuvalota fun. 

 

Hope that helps. 

This is extremely helpful Ank, thank you so much! Only issue now is, you've made me want to do a couple defenders 😂 I think Time/DP might be a cool combo. I've looked at Trick Arrow/DP, but I'm wondering if the redraw between the 2 sets would drive me nuts haha.

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1 minute ago, StriderIV said:

This is extremely helpful Ank, thank you so much! Only issue now is, you've made me want to do a couple defenders 😂 I think Time/DP might be a cool combo. I've looked at Trick Arrow/DP, but I'm wondering if the redraw between the 2 sets would drive me nuts haha.

Time/DP is one of those sets that lots of peeps love and with good reason.

TA/DP is a wonderful combo also. Remember you can cut the redraw out of the animation in the creator now so it becomes a non issue (looks a little funky though).

remember with TA/ you will do a lot of all TA powers up front and then unload with blast sets. So either way is doable.

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1 hour ago, Ankhammon said:

Time/DP is one of those sets that lots of peeps love and with good reason.

TA/DP is a wonderful combo also. Remember you can cut the redraw out of the animation in the creator now so it becomes a non issue (looks a little funky though).

remember with TA/ you will do a lot of all TA powers up front and then unload with blast sets. So either way is doable.

True, probably makes it a very “set up and than knock it out of the park” type of feeling with TA haha.

 

QQ: you mentioned 3 primaries had Mez protection. Which ones would those be?

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Posted (edited)

Of the primaries you're considering, the ones I've played to 50 are Time and Rad. If you want to be a tankermage, Time is a good choice. If you want to kill AVs and can deal with being less tanky, Rad is a good choice.

 

Time Manipulation is arguably the best solo set for defenders. It is a good set for team play, though I wouldn't expect to see it in record-setting speed runs. Power Build Up + Farsight gives you (and all teammates in range) roughly a 32% defense boost, which makes it trivial to hit the softcap. This frees you up to put procs in your attacks, to take a resistance-based epic armor (rather than Scorpion Shield), and to take Sorcery instead of Leaping or Flight (no need for CJ or Hover). The rest of the set has a mix of useful buffs and debuffs. Time is less clicky than other sets. It enables you to focus on your secondary.

 

Radiation Emission is a powerful debuff set with one powerful buff in Accelerate Metabolism. It is one of the strongest sets for AV killing. Of the toons I have, my Rad/Sonic would be my first choice to bring to a Katie Hannon TF (if I wasn't going for badges on another toon). It is not my first choice for a team that is steamrolling things. It takes time to apply the three big debuffs (two toggles on an anchor, one AOE). That said, it's not a busy set; once the debuffs are up, you can blast away.

 

One drawback of Radiation is that it doesn't include any defense or resistance boosts. The -tohit is useful, but it's not a substitute for softcapped defenses in the late game. It's possible to softcap both ranged and melee defenses and to take a resistance-based epic armor, but your build will be tight. On the plus side, Radiation is an early-bloomer, and there are four skippable powers. The essential powers are T1-4 and T6, i.e. the AOE heal, the big buff, and the three big debuffs.

Edited by Bastille Boy
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Hold on, I have it here. One moment...

 

image.gif.d22cf5ca06790230099f1691a3bd82cc.gif

 

A small cut of mission one, MoITF Solo Run at +4/x8, Buffed Enemies. Storm/Energy Defender. Storm/Water would actually operate the same fashion. This was the kind of character that ran ahead of Tanks to prepare the room for the Tanker.

 

"There is a team en route to collect your corpses. I am here to provide the arrangements for you to be corpses on their arrival."

 

Oh, but if you want something a bit more "supportive" then I'd drop a line on Trick Arrow/Archery as a fun runner up. Time/Dual Pistol is a good choice as well, but once it sets buffs it becomes a pretty "forget-me-not" set until the next buff wave.

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25 minutes ago, Sir Myshkin said:

Hold on, I have it here. One moment...

 

image.gif.d22cf5ca06790230099f1691a3bd82cc.gif

 

A small cut of mission one, MoITF Solo Run at +4/x8, Buffed Enemies. Storm/Energy Defender. Storm/Water would actually operate the same fashion. This was the kind of character that ran ahead of Tanks to prepare the room for the Tanker.

 

"There is a team en route to collect your corpses. I am here to provide the arrangements for you to be corpses on their arrival."

 

Oh, but if you want something a bit more "supportive" then I'd drop a line on Trick Arrow/Archery as a fun runner up. Time/Dual Pistol is a good choice as well, but once it sets buffs it becomes a pretty "forget-me-not" set until the next buff wave.

I think I remember seeing this in the Tank God threads when it devolved into the ITF thread! 😂

 

This is pretty insane! Storm looks like a lot of fun. I was thinking of either Water or Dark Blast. Would you recommend one over the other?

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6 hours ago, StriderIV said:

Going to pull the trigger on my first Defender.

 

6 hours ago, StriderIV said:

That being said, I'd also love to having something that can solo well and deal with AV's/tough enemies.

 

Defenders tend to be the weakest solo characters.

I'm assuming you are typing about helping a team to fight AVs and not trying to fight them solo.

 

If you are trying to build a Defender as a damage dealer, then you should be looking at other archetypes.

 

There are a couple of different types of defenders.

Like a blapper, building a defender as a damage dealer is really pushing against the archetypes strength.

Depending on the power sets and powers from those sets chosen, defenders can ...

Heal a team

Protect a team

Buff a team

Debuff enemies

 

If you are going to solo, then you should probably focus on sets and powers that debuff the enemy.

I say this as most heal, protect, and buff powers are primarily for teammates and not the defender themself.

 

Aspect of solo versus team, it takes just as much endurance to heal, buff, and defend a full team as one that only has one other character in it. It generally takes more end to use powers that will be able to affect your solo character, which most of the time would also be able to affect all your teammates as well - as indicated - for the same amount of end.

 

I would say that Bubblers (any type of shield generation) and Empathy (true healer) are probably the most team focused.

 

I'm a character conception oriented player.

If you aren't going to create a character with a conception in advance, I would pick up a set and try it out and pick powers that you think are interesting and learn how to make them work. That is to say, don't pick a power and expect it to do X, but figure out what it does do and how/when to use it. Sure, X can be a good place to start, but taking time to figure out when best to use a power based on what it does, recharge time, and what other players on your team are doing can make a big difference.

 

I have my most fun with a defender when I'm on a big team and healing/buffing/protecting my teammates.

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nature/water defender and never look back.  Hands down one of the best defenders ever.  Nigh unkillable and has a great mix of buffs (for you and the team) and debuffs (-regen, -res, -tohit and -dmg) and you have 2 heals, 3 if you also taking lifegiving spores.  With the buffs you get decent resists, heal over time and end discount and you can also achieve melee and ranged softcapepd defenses with set bonuses.

 

Look at these stats!

 

image.png.a01d5e229667360bd0f19c1e308cf4b7.png

 

I'm sure you can choose whatever attack set you want but I chose water and don't regret it one bit.

 

Regards,
Dave

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43 minutes ago, UltraAlt said:

If you are going to solo, then you should probably focus on sets and powers that debuff the enemy.

I say this as most heal, protect, and buff powers are primarily for teammates and not the defender themself.

 

That's true for some defender primaries, such as Empathy and Thermal. But other defender primaries, such as Time Manipulation and Nature Affinity, have mostly PBAoE buffs that do affect the player.

 

4 minutes ago, fitzsimmons said:

nature/water defender and never look back.  Hands down one of the best defenders ever.

 

Funny you should mention that. Nature/water is my next defender project. I think Nature is a neglected set. I've played it to 50 on a corruptor, which I think was a mistake. It's stronger on a defender. The build I have planned has softcapped M/R defense (with Agility) and hardcapped S/L/E resists when Wild Growth is up. I'm sacrificing perma-Overgrowth for durability.

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I have numerous defender alts:

 

Forcefield/sonic

Kinetics/radiation

Nature Affinity/fire

Electric Affinity/water

Storm summoning/water

Time manipulation/water

Thermal/water

Radiation/water

Traps/water

 

On a team, the most survivable is my EA/water followed closely by the FF/sonic, and the Traps/water. As far as fun, I like them all. The EA is the 'clickest' as is the Kinetic. The FF/ and the Time are the least clicky but still very survivable and very effective. I think the most underrated would have to be the Thermal/water: shields, heals, debuffs what is not to like?

 

 

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I keep meaning to roll up a Kinfender.  I like mixing it up in melee though.

Really the only reason I haven't already is my main is a Mind / Kin controller, and it always felt a bit redundant.

Only now I'm at the "well I pretty much ran out of possible characters with ZERO thematic overlap...." stage, so the next few alts HAVE to share some themes with the existing ones.

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14 hours ago, UltraAlt said:

<snip>

 

I would say that Bubblers (any type of shield generation) and Empathy (true healer) are probably the most team focused.

     While I agree with the post overall and even the above portion, the Green Machine offender in me cringes at the words "True Healer" 😜.  3 powers are actually straight up healing, 2 involve strong buffs to regeneration rate, one carries an asterisk beside its 'health effects' (Resurrect) and the remaining 3 powers do  nothing directly to the green bar.  So yes Empaths can have the strongest direct effect on your health among the ATs which leads folks to call them healers.  That leaves, however, 18 more power selections and then Incarnate choices to be had for the character.  That's a lot of other choices to make which is why it's very possible to have a highly offensive character while sacrificing none of their healing power.  And why my Empaths can heal and buff you like mad while nuking and blasting the daylights out of our foes and get slightly ruffled by being called healers ... they are so much more than those 6 powers.

 

Sorry /rant

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Posted (edited)

My Storm/Ice Offender is laugh-out-loud fun to play! She mostly soloed to 50, entertaining a few PUGs along the way. Well worth a look if you are interested in a soloable Defender, though you may need to do some 'splaining to a random group of players.

 

As in, "Yes, I have a small heal, but it's mainly a Mez fix/resist power. My debuffs should keep you from being injured in the first place." And frequently, "If you notice me healing you, it means you've left the debuff area. Please stay in the hurricane if you are at all squishy."

Edited by DoctorDitko
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Disclaimer: Not a medical doctor. Do not take medical advice from Doctor Ditko. Also, not a physicist. Do not take advice on consensus reality from Doctor Ditko. But games? He used to pay his bills with games. (He's recovering well, thanks for asking!)

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     A Storm/Sonic was one of the first defender builds I recall on Live posting about their AV soloing.  And now we have Emp/Fire/Soul builds soloing the ITF at +4/×8.  So pick a pairing out of a hat or one that looks interesting to you, it can most likely solo 😉 .  I do agree the debuffers probably solo easier, particularly early on.

     Never played Nature Affinity, Poison or Electrical Affinity as primaries or Beam Rifle or Water Blast as secondaries.

     Cold/Ice, Traps/Fire, Dark Miasma/Rad, Storm/Sonic, Sonic/Dark and Kin/Psy were my non-Empath level 50 defenders that were active at Sunset

     

 

 

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2 hours ago, DoctorDitko said:

My Storm/Ice Offender is laugh-out-loud fun to play! She mostly soloed to 50, entertaining a few PUGs along the way. Well worth a look if you are interested in a soloable Defender, though you may need to do some 'splaining to a random group of players.

 

As in, "Yes, I have a small heal, but it's mainly a Mez fix/resist power. My debuffs should keep you from being injured in the first place." And frequently, "If you notice me healing you, it means you've left the debuff area. Please stay in the hurricane if you are at all squishy."

This made me lol!

Storm does seem like a hoot. I'm thinking of pairing it with either Dark or Water myself when I roll one. Looking forward to it.

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The Defender I started was Time/DP, mostly for thematic reasons. This thread has been SUPER help though, so I'm looking forward to running a Storm/ and a TA/ Defender in the future!

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11 minutes ago, StriderIV said:

The Defender I started was Time/DP, mostly for thematic reasons. This thread has been SUPER help though, so I'm looking forward to running a Storm/ and a TA/ Defender in the future!

Storm water is thematic, and it works well synergy wise

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