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What are your favorite Dark Armor builds?

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Posted (edited)

With Dark Armor, I think you're looking for either of two things: Stacking disorients with Oppressive Gloom, or trying to offset Dark Armor's notorious endurance upkeep costs. 

On the endurance side, Staff with its Forms can give a nice endurance discount and recovery bonus, and Savage Melee with stacking blood frenzy is a big endurance discount. Staff even has two ST disorients (though you'll almost certainly skip Precise Strike, so just 1). Dark Melee works too as it has Dark Consumption, though Siphon Life is less impressive for Dark Armor since it has such good healing on its own, but that could work as an easy passable power.

On the disorient side, WM has an area chance to disorient, and ST one. Street Justice has 3 attacks with disorient that most builds always pick. Super Strength + Dark Armor makes a good case for taking Hand Clap for instant area stunning all around. Energy Melee's ST and cone attacks all have it (but not its PBAoE). Kinetic a couple, Stone Melee has Fault and Stone Fist, Rad Melee's two really big attacks have it, MA has it on several.


The third possibility is to increase defense! Dark has decent starting defense built in with Cloak of Darkness, and you can push it towards all softcaps easily through your attack set and IO sets. Staff's Guarded Spin is large Melee/Lethal defense (15%,) MA's Storm Kick is 10% to everything, Broadsword and Katana get a massive 21.4% to Melee/Lethal. 


I'd recommend Staff most of the time, unless disorients is what you're really after, in which case Energy Melee or Street Justice. I have a Dark/Staff in the 30s myself, it was probably the tankiest character I've played out of the box? At level 15ish I was softcapped to melee and sitting at 70+ all resists, and no endurance issues (granted with amplifiers) and it seemed to have huge potential. 

Edited by Oysterhead
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The Alphabet Bunnies
50s | Tanker: Rad/Ice, Fire/MA, Inv/WM, Bio/Savage, SR/KM | Stalker: SM/Ice, Ice/Bio, DB/NRG | Scrapper: Kat/NRG, Claws/Nin | CrabSpider
| Farmer: Spine/Fire | Controller: Ill/Rad
Currently Building: Shield/DM Tanker

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Posted (edited)

My dark armor toon is dark/staff. I find it to be more than adequate for any content I throw at it. 


For me, I'm not focused on damage for this build so I literally just rotate four attacks. Mercurial blow, Guarded spin, eye of the storm, and sky splitter. Single target damage is average, AOE is pretty decent, and the only time I've ever died on her to my memory is in 801. Also, I sing the love language of "TOK TOK TOK.... TOK TOK TOKTOKTOKTOKTKOK"


Staff in particular is nice because it adds that extra layer of melee defense for the debuffing types, while still doing pretty good AOE damage. It also has a build in end reduction, but once you get t3/4 ageless... endurance problems are a thing of the past in general. 



Edited by Pizzamurai
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I am playing a little with this at the moment myself.

* dark/electric. Awesome fun against huge mobs. Lightning rod in... stack stuns with lightning clap... only problem is tough single targets. In a group ... that's someone else's problem you just need to keep them attacking you. All that said 'if you are tired of lightning rod you are probably playing the wrong game'. Electric melee is made by that one power

* dark/martial arts. Surprising a lot of aoe. dragon tail / dark regen together mean that you are constantly aoe. Opponents melt. Single targets that are hard you kick in the face...very strong defensively. Good vs single targets. Exemplars fantastically well. Silver Mantis is a joy, Positron is easy...


My current project

* dark/super str.... working great so far. Feels like it will be much better in high level content than the other two. But it sucks below about level 38. It certainly feels more 'super' than the other two at higher. 


I've tried staff/dark brute and it was pretty much everything pizzamuri said. My sole issue with it is the damage... it's low damage... Mobs don't melt away. But it feels great. And feeling great is important. On a team I doubt if anyone can tell any difference between the three builds as everyone else so out damages you anyway




Putting all that together it's hard to beat dark/martial arts. It was great all the way up (well from level 20 onwards) it's one of the toughest things in the game and is plain fun to play. Make sure you put the +recharge proc in dragons tail and the endurance proc in dark regen and you are good to go


If you don't have a lot of influence then dark / staff might well be better







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/Energy Melee covers a lot, with all of the attacks disorienting in harmony with Oppressive Gloom, the tanker AoE radius for Whirling Hands makes it a good AoE instead of a marginal one, and the addition of power crash really gives you some AoE to work with all around, while still being very high single target damage with Total Focus and fast Energy Transfer.  Works out well conceptually a lot too because of the positive/negative energy vibes.  This was the build I chose for my main.


/Savage has some great AoE and the mechanic makes Dark Armor's endurance issues a lot easier.  If you're looking for an endurance fix I'd probably pick this over /Staff just because it seems to play a lot smoother and the damage feels good enough comparatively.


/Spines and /Rad gives you a second damage aura which is a lot of fun, but you do have to build conservatively for endurance.


/Electric and /Super Strength both have AoE Knockback/Disorients in Hand Clap and Lightning Clap, when slotted for KB to KD and Force Feedback make for amazing fun and crowd control goodness (again stacks with OG).


/Martial Arts has the Storm Kick thing going for it, that +10% defense is no joke, and Dark Armor already has extra defense in Cloak of Darkness, so this synergy works out well for building extra-sturdy.


/Staff has the endurance mechanic.  I don't like the set very much though, even though the dancing is fun to watch.


Those are the synergies I tend to look at with Dark Armor.  Anything will work great though, but if I were going to pick, it'd probably be one of those.

This bird poop is DARK!

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I have a dark/MA. Once the tanker resistance proc hits, and storm kick, I've got capped defenses and resists. Tack on dark regen, and you will not die.  End is not an issue on my build. It's a pretty fun build. It might just be me though as I like the kick animations.

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Posted (edited)

So many excellent suggestions! I think I'm going to try out /Staff and /Martial Arts for ten or twenty levels and see which of the two I like better. /Radiation is one of my favorite melee sets, so I might try to squeak in one of those later, but I have an SR/Rad Tanker that is pretty sturdy. It sailed through the LRSF solo until the last mission, when I couldn't outpace the Heroes' regeneration. That was before the recent tanker changes, so that might be easier now. I haven't tried again due to lack of time lately.

Edited by SemanticAntics
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I have 2 io'd Dark Armor tanks, and an Io'd Dark Armor Scrapper.


For tanks I've got Dark/Katana and Dark/SS. They are both extremely strong defensively. End cost is a little high, I'm debating on cardiac core or musculature radial for the new dark/ss. I think the Dark/SS will largely replace the Dark/Kat as handclap procs and oppressive gloom add to it's mitigation.


The scrapper is Rad/Dark and it's all about the AoE damage. Fun to play.

Edited by SeraphimKensai
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