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Mental Manipulation Guide


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Mental Manipulation – I will now turn the world pink. Ding.

 

Mental Manipulation works well both in melee and at range. It has a mixed bag of utility, so it can work with every primary in some way. It also layers with itself nicely, so although you won’t necessarily get one large effect, by using multiple powers you can get several medium size effects, which add up to substantial potential. In addition to Concentration, which is this set's name for Build Up, the other two stand-out, great powers in the set are Psychic Scream, a big cone damage power you get early and Drain Psyche, a PBAoE +Regen/+Recovery power which comes in right at level 20.

 

The set is versatile and one can choose powers that will fit almost all playstyle decsions. Want to range? Subdual, Telekinetic Thrust, Psychic Scream, Concentration, and Scare are available. Want to Melee? Subdual, Mind Probe, Telekinetic Thrust, Concentration, Drain Psyche, World of Confusion, and Psychic Shockwave fit that. Want controls? Subdual, Telekinetic Thrust, World of Confusion, Scare, and Psychic Shockwave are working for you. It adds a cone to compliment the primaries with cones. It has spherical PBAoEs which work well with the spheres in many primaries. You can use the knockback to help control bosses, as well as stack -recharge to keep their big hitters out of commision. You have a great endurance management tool in Drain Psyche, which also keeps your health up.

 

A note about the format of the powers guide:

Power Name (this is a link to the paragonwiki entry for the power) Level X (where X is the level at which the power becomes available) - Brief description of the power followed by some more in-depth details and some of my impressions and perhaps some advice on the power's use.

Early slotting – levels 1 - 17ish

Mid-level slotting – levels 18 - 35 ish

Late Slotting – levels 35+

Useful Sets - Some general set IO recomendations (and/or Hamis), geared towards the higher level (low level set slotting is mentioned in the lower level sections, but is not geared towards set bonuses, but instead power enhancing). Sometimes example slotting will follow. I do not include purple sets in this guide.

 

After all the power descriptions, I will give my take on the synergies between Mental Manipulation and the various primaries. Alright, onto the Powers:

 

Subdual Level 1 - Low Damage, Ranged Attack, with a good immobilize effect. While the overall damage is not bad, it is a slow DoT, so this will not be a very good power on low HP enemies once you get a few more attacks and get some slots. The power has an 80’ range, so you can keep the baddies quite a distance from you if you want. Also of note is that Subdual does not grant the target any knock resistance, so you can still use your knocks to great effect.

Early slotting – 1 or 2 Acc

Mid-level slotting – not recommended

Late Slotting – not recommended unless going with sets, although 1 range could put many enemies into the situation where they are unable to hurt you while you kill them with your own range attacks (if you slot range elsewhere as well).

Useful Sets – All of the below can grant decent to good enhancement of the power itself, as well as the set bonuses.

  • 4 Devastation yields +12% regen, +2.25% HP, and +3% damage and the chance to hold proc is always useful.
  • 4 Thunderstrike yields +2% recovery and +7% Accuracy
  • Both Decimation and Entropic Chaos yield a nice 6.25% recharge bonus, but that requires 5 slots.
  • 4 Trap of the Hunters yield +1.88% HP and +9% Acc

 

Mind Probe Level 2 – Moderate Damage, Melee Attack, with a decent –recharge effect and a sparkly, quick animation. This is lower damage than most other blaster melee attacks, but it packs a decent punch and is certainly helpful in taking out a Lt. or a Boss (or an especially high priority minion). The –recharge is especially useful on those tougher targets to slow down incoming damage. The recharge on the power is a nice low 8 seconds, so the power blooms early, when you can’t have a lot of  recharge slotted.

Early Slotting – 2 Acc, 1 or 2 damage – Franken-slotting the cheaper low level IO sets for Acc/Dam is also a great way to go.

Mid-level Slotting – 1 or 2 Acc, 3 Dam, 1 Rech – (3 Smashing Haymaker and 2 Pounding Slugfest or 2 Bruising Blow around level 30 yield very good enhancing of the power along with decent set bonuses)

Late Slotting – What? You can't put seven slots into a power, sorry.

Useful sets – Melee sets are not as complicated as Range sets, Crushing Impact and Mako’s Bite are both good, and which you would choose depends on your priorites. 5 Crushing Impacts yield great enhancing as well as the good +recharge. 4 Mako’s Bites + 2 Pounding Slugfests is also a nice slotting scheme.

 

Telekinetic Thrust Level 4 – Low Damage, Melee Attack, with a big knockback. This is a decent control power, but the animation time is pretty long. If you want a control power, this will do the job, and with some recharge slotting you can juggle bosses reasonably well. Air Superiority is better than this power in every way, if you can spare the pool. Telekinetic Thrust will give you time to use a snipe while the enemy tries to get up.

Early Slotting – 1 or 2 Acc

Mid-level Slotting – not recommended unless you want KB protection from slotting 4 Kinetic Crashes.

Late Slotting – same as mid-level

Useful sets – Kinetic Crash will get you mag 3 KB protection at 4 slots and +7.5% Rech if you go all the way to six slots. Also see Mind Probe above if you want to consider using this power as a mule for the set bonuses from either Mako’s Bite or Crushing Impact.

 

Psychic Scream Level 10 – Moderate damage, Range Cone Attack, with a great -recharge effect. The 60 foot base range on this cone makes it very easy to get a large swath of enemies inside its AoE. It has a relatively quick recharge and low end cost for its damage level. This is one of the best powers in the set, although you can make a successful build without it. (Have I mentioned that Mental Manipulation is versatile and compliments a variety of styles depending on power choices? :cool:)

Early slotting – 1 or 2 Acc, 2 Dam – Franken-slotting Air Bursts with Common IOs can work wonderfully.

Mid-level slotting – Get it six slotted. 1 or 2 Acc, 3 Dam, 1 Rech, maybe 1 End Red - Franken-slotting Air Bursts, Detonations, and the cheaper Posi’s works very well.

Late Slotting – You already slotted this by now, upgrade (to) set IOs if desired.

Useful Sets – You could slot Posi’s Blast or Posi’s Blast. I like 5 Posi’s (all but the Dam/End) and 1 common Recharge IO. Detonations are inexpensive though, and Franken-slotting can yield great enhancement of the power, if you don’t care about the set bonuses. Centrioles (Dam/Range Hamis) are also useful here.

 

Concentration Level 16 – It’s Build Up. Not only do you want it, you want to remember to use it as often as it recharges (give or take 5 or 6 seconds)

Early slotting – 1 recharge, I prefer slotting my attacks before this buff.

Mid-level slotting – 2 or 3 recharge, you can consider some of the sets as desired

Late Slotting – 2 to 4 slots total, Recharge is your priority

Useful Sets – The To-hit Buff sets are pretty decent as are the Hami’s you would use here.

  • 3 Membranes (To-hit Buff/Defense Buff/Recharge) work great, ED capping both to-hit and recharge.
  • 4 Adjusted Targeting (all the ones with recharge) yields +2% damage, +1.26 En/Neg resists, and +9% Acc.
  • 4 Gaussian’s (all the ones with recharge, and the straight up to-hit buff) yields +5% move increase, +1.88% HP, and +2.5% recovery, but you lose a few seconds on the recharge.
  • 2 Adjusted Targeting (Recharge, To-hit Buff/Recharge) and 1 Membrane gives ED capped recharge, a decent amount of +To-hit enhancement, and +2% damage.

 

Drain Psyche Level 20 – PBAoE Attack (no damage) which debuffs foe regen and recovery while greatly increasing your own regen and recovery. This has a fast and sparkly animation and will help you fill up both your green and blue bars. You have to run into melee and center yourself in a nice big spawn to get maximum effect, but under most circumstances hitting even just 3 or 4 enemies will be fine. I highly recommend taking this power, it is useful for almost every playstyle. This power can replace Stamina and/or other endurance saving techniques or it can compliment Stamina so you have nigh on endless endurance. If you slot for End Mod, and use this just before a nuke in a large enough crowd of baddies, you can negate the –recovery and start recovering endurance right after your nuke, although I do not recommend bothering to go that route. The –regen is also useful against tougher targets, and the –recovery can be useful if you have Electric as your primary.

Mid-level slotting – 1 Acc, 2 or 3 recharge, 1 or 2 Heal – Franken-slotting the cheaper Heal sets (Heal/Recharge and Heal/End/Recharge) is a good idea, you can skip the Acc if you plan to generally use Aim or Concentration beforehand

Late Slotting – 1 Acc, 3 Rec, 2 Heal

Useful Sets – This power has a lot of set options between Heal and End Mod sets. You can mix and match for some very nice set bonuses, while maxing out your heal and recharge enhancing or you can mix and match to get really good values for many of the things you can enhance.

  • 2 Efficacy Adaptor (Acc/Rech, Acc/End Mod/Rech), 3 Numina’s (Heal/Rech, Heal/End/Rech, Heal), and a Harmonized Healing (Heal/Rech) yields good Acc, ED capped Rech and Heal and some minor End Red and End Mod enhancing. You also get +12% regen and +3% HPs.
  • 1 Acc, 5 Doctored Wounds yields great enhancement value and gets you the +5% recharge bonus.
  • 1 Efficacy Adaptor (Acc/End Mod/Rech), 1 Performance Shifter (Acc/End Mod/Rech), 3 Heal/End/Rech (any sets), 1 Heal (match one of the Heal/End/Rech sets or just a common IO) yields ED capped Rech and Heal, great End Red (while not a priority, IME, it can come in handy since this power costs 13 endurance base), and good Acc and End Mod enhancement. (this slotting yields about 10 SOs worth of enhancing)
  • 3 Numina’s (Heal/Rech, Heal/End/Rech, Heal) and 3 Miracle (Heal/Rech, Heal/End/Rech, End/Rech) yields ED capped Rech and Heal and great End Red, and +12% regen, +2.5% recovery, and +3.75% HPs

 

World of Confusion Level 28 – PBAoE toggle, Minion Confuse, Negligible Damage, surrounds you in the pink bubble. This is not a damage aura; think of it more like a defense toggle. Some attacks will not be aimed at you or your team, because the confused enemy will shoot his friends instead. Without slotting, this power does not work well, so do not judge it before slotting. The confuse portion hits at a penalty, so this power requires good Acc slotting. The power only ticks every 4 seconds, and the confuse lasts 1.5 seconds, so it also needs good Confuse slotting. Once slotted with at least 2 Acc and 2 Confuse, you should notice a reduction in incoming minion attacks. This power is very playstyle dependent, and in many ways does not mix well with range attacks. Another problem is this power is really only useful vs. minons, and many blasters will have them destroyed so fast, that this power can become somewhat irrelevant. You will have to make your own choice about this power. I would take it on some builds, but skip it on others (an Elec/Mental who plans on sticking with a lot of melee and make use of the PBAoEs will see some decent use out of this, for example). The size of this effect is a bit small (a mere 8 foot radius), further limiting its usefulness. World of Confusion uses very little endurance, so at least that is not a concern.

Mid-level slotting – 2 Acc, 2 Confuse

Late Slotting – 2 Acc, 3 Confuse

Useful Sets – There are not a whole lot of Confuse sets, so its not all that hard to choose what you want to do. While slotting the power for damage is useless (since it is very low damage on a 4 second tick), you could choose to use it as a place to put the PBAoE damage sets, if there are any set bonuses there you really want.

  • 3 Endoplasms (Acc/Mez Hamis) – capped Acc and Confuse in 3 slots, good stuff.
  • 5 Malaise’s Illusions, 1 Endoplasm, capped Acc and Confuse, +2.5% recovery, +2.5% Confused duration, +2.5% Damage, +6.25% recharge
  • 4 Scirocco’s Dervish, 2 Endoplasm, capped Acc, great Confuse enhancement, +10% regen, +3.13% Neg resist, +9% Acc

 

Scare Level 35 – Range Attack (no damage), Terrorize. Boo! Another single target control power, this one makes your target tremble in fear. If that foe gets struck, he will be able to make a return attack (or move for a  bit) before returning to his trembling, so this power is best used on someone you want to deal with later. Throw it at a mezzer or pet summoner and deal with the rest of the spawn before coming back to that target. The duration is short though, so until you get some slots in it you have to be alert, because it will not take your target out of the fight very long. My opinion of this power is not high. Its duration is too short, its recharge is too long, and its end cost is too high for what it does. If you feel the need for a range control power and can’t get it from your primary or your ancillary, then this will function in that role.

Mid-level slotting – 1 Acc

Late Slotting – 1 or 2 Acc, 3 Fear, 1 Rech

Useful Sets

  • Glimpse of the Abyss. 5 slots yields decent enhancing and +1.875% HP, +9% Acc, and +6.25% recharge (add an Endoplasm to yield great enhancing).
  • 3 Glimpse of the Abyss (Acc/Rech, Fear/Range, Acc/Fear/Rech) and 2 Nightmare (Fear/Range, Acc/Fear/Rech) yields near capped Fear (if you include the set bonuses, you are actually at the ED cap), great Acc and Rech, and good Range enhancing (the power only has a base 60 foot range, so range enhancements are a nice add) and +1.875% HP.
  • 3 Endoplasms, 3 recharge – capped Acc, Fear, and Rech

 

Psychic Shockwave Level 38 – Moderate Damage, PBAoE Attack, has a great –recharge effect and a small chance for a brief minion stun. The animation is nice, the radius is good at 15 feet, and the end cost is reasonably low. More AoE damage is very rarely a bad thing and the –recharge lasts a long time, so this power really helps against bosses and with its lowish end cost (for an AoE), it is not unreasonable to use it against a tough target even if there are no other enemies around.

Late Slotting – 1 or 2 Acc, 3 Dam, 1 Rech, maybe 1 End Red

Useful Sets – You want to max out your damage, so you will generally want to stick with the PBAoE damage sets.

  • 4 Scirocco's Dervish (Acc/Dam, Dam/End, Dam/Rech, Acc/Dam/End), 2 Stupefy (Acc/Rech, Acc/Stun/Rech), great enhancing, and +10% regen, +3.125% Neg Resists, +9% Acc, and +2.5% Recovery
  • 4 Scirocco's Dervish (Acc/Dam, Acc/Dam/End, Dam/Rech, Chance for Lethal), 2 Cleaving Blow (Acc/Rech, Dam/Rech), great enhancing, and +10% regen, +3.125% Neg Resists, +9% Acc, and +1% Recovery
  • 5 Scirocco's Dervish (Dam/End, Acc/Dam/End, Dam/Rech, Acc/Rech, Chance for Lethal),1 Nucleolus (Acc/Dam Hami) great enhancing, and +10% regen, +3.125% Neg Resists, +9% Acc, and +3.125% AoE Defense

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Synergies with Primaries:

This section is going to point out various ways you can stack or layer effects (including damage) from the different primaries with Mental Manipulation.

 

Archery - Fistful of Arrows + Psychic Scream are two great cone attacks, with good range, that you get early so you can put out some good AoE damage. Fistful recharges quickly, so you can often get to use it twice on a spawn in the early levels. Blazing Arrow + Mind Probe is a good combination to help take out Lts quickly. Rain of Arrows, charge center of spawn, Drain Psyche+PSW is a great combo to lay out damage on the spawn and recover any health you lose.

 

Assault Rifle - Psychic Scream + Buckshot gives good early AoE output, and adding Flamethrower at 18 shoots you through the roof. Subdual + Ignite is devastating to single targets. Two decent AoE knockback powers can help delay damage to let the +regen from Drain Psyche work better.

 

Electrical Blast - Mind Probe adds another single target attack. Psychic Scream + Ball Lightning  gives good range AoE output. Short Circuit, Ball Lightning, and Psychic Shockwave is a great PBAoE combo, add Drain Psyche in there to keep your health and endurance up. For those wanting a sapper build, I have found that Drain Psyche doesn't help as much Power Sink or Power Boost. It can help against bosses, where the fight normally takes long enough to get that second Short Circuit off, but at that point, you probably didn't need the -recovery from Drain Psyche anyway.

 

Energy Blast -  Psychic Scream (notice a trend?) + Energy Torrent gives good range AoE output and good control. Subdual will not interfere with any knockback from your primary (which conversely means you have no way to prevent the knockback either, double-edged sword thing here). Mind Probe + Power Burst is a good combination to help take out Lts quickly. Knockback staggers the incoming damage, which helps the +regen from Drain Psyche work. Psychic Scream + Torrent + Explosive Blast is great damage and will put any survivors on their backs.

 

Fire Blast - Fire Breath + Fire Ball + Psychic Scream is stunning AoE output available early. That 3 power combo allows you to mow down minions even without Aim or Concentration (Lts. are at about half health). With Aim or Concentration, Lts. are a single target attack away from defeat. Blaze + Mind Probe is a good combination to help take out Lts quickly. Drain Psyche + Rain of Fire + Fireball + Psychic Shockwave is a great late game combo. Rain of Fire's scatter effect can be used to help stagger incoming damage, and that can help the +regen of Drain Psyche keep you standing.

 

Ice Blast - The slows from Ice stack really well with the -recharge from Mental. Frost Breath + Psychic Scream is good AoE damage early and the combo is devastating AoE -recharge. Toss Ice Storm in, as available, for even more slow power and a scatter effect. Bitter Ice Blast + Mind Probe is a good combination to help take out Lts quickly and stacks good -recharge for helping with bosses. The holds in the primary add even more control options and can allow you to shut down entire spawns if you want more controllery play.

 

Psychic Blast - The -recharge from Psychic stacks really well with the -recharge from Mental. Psionic Tornado + Psychic Scream is brutal AoE -recharge. Psychic Blast's lack of AoEs can be covered by the plethora of AoE in Mental. Like with Ice, you can put out a lot of single target control with this combination. The Knock Up from Psionic Tornado can be useful to set-up Drain Psyche + Psyshic Shockwave as well as staggering incoming attacks.

 

Sonic Attack - Howl + Psychic Scream are two cone attacks, with good range, that you get early so you can put out some decent AoE damage. Shockwave gives you a ton of control that you can utilize to get the above combo off more easily. Siren's Song is a wide cone and can sleep the spawn and give you plenty of time to get in for Drain Psyche (which does not wake sleepers) and set up the rest of your battle plan. Shout + Mind Probe is a good combination to help take out Lts quickly. The knockback staggers incoming damage, allowing Drain Psyche time to work and Siren's Song is a great time out as needed.

 

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  • 3 months later

SN,

 

Great post, I have been leveling a Plant / Fire dom and was thinking a blaster may have similar controls with more damage and was looking at a possible ice/mm build. Cost is not an issue, could you possibly suggest an end game build for all around play and high defense? I posted a build for advice /help this morning and from this post you seem to be the person to ask!

 

Thank you,

 

Arithor

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Am I crazy or does the in game took tips day psychic shockwave is high damage and 25 pbaoe range?   Was looking at it last night.... 

 

edit: definitely crazy, it says 15 ft, but it also says High damage not moderate.   Which is accurate?

Edited by natewest1987
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On 8/6/2019 at 4:57 AM, natewest1987 said:

Am I crazy or does the in game took tips day psychic shockwave is high damage and 25 pbaoe range?   Was looking at it last night.... 

 

edit: definitely crazy, it says 15 ft, but it also says High damage not moderate.   Which is accurate?

It took a hit from the nerf bat, so moderate is probably the current accurate damage description. It used to be high, and have a huge radius, but was pretty overtuned.

 

moderate damage, 15 ft radius is the current profile.

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On 4/27/2019 at 11:57 PM, StratoNexus said:

Synergies with Primaries:

This section is going to point out various ways you can stack or layer effects (including damage) from the different primaries with Mental Manipulation.

 

Archery - Fistful of Arrows + Psychic Scream are two great cone attacks, with good range, that you get early so you can put out some good AoE damage. Fistful recharges quickly, so you can often get to use it twice on a spawn in the early levels. Blazing Arrow + Mind Probe is a good combination to help take out Lts quickly. Rain of Arrows, charge center of spawn, Drain Psyche+PSW is a great combo to lay out damage on the spawn and recover any health you lose.

 

Assault Rifle - Psychic Scream + Buckshot gives good early AoE output, and adding Flamethrower at 18 shoots you through the roof. Subdual + Ignite is devastating to single targets. Two decent AoE knockback powers can help delay damage to let the +regen from Drain Psyche work better.

 

Electrical Blast - Mind Probe adds another single target attack. Psychic Scream + Ball Lightning  gives good range AoE output. Short Circuit, Ball Lightning, and Psychic Shockwave is a great PBAoE combo, add Drain Psyche in there to keep your health and endurance up. For those wanting a sapper build, I have found that Drain Psyche doesn't help as much Power Sink or Power Boost. It can help against bosses, where the fight normally takes long enough to get that second Short Circuit off, but at that point, you probably didn't need the -recovery from Drain Psyche anyway.

 

Energy Blast -  Psychic Scream (notice a trend?) + Energy Torrent gives good range AoE output and good control. Subdual will not interfere with any knockback from your primary (which conversely means you have no way to prevent the knockback either, double-edged sword thing here). Mind Probe + Power Burst is a good combination to help take out Lts quickly. Knockback staggers the incoming damage, which helps the +regen from Drain Psyche work. Psychic Scream + Torrent + Explosive Blast is great damage and will put any survivors on their backs.

 

Fire Blast - Fire Breath + Fire Ball + Psychic Scream is stunning AoE output available early. That 3 power combo allows you to mow down minions even without Aim or Concentration (Lts. are at about half health). With Aim or Concentration, Lts. are a single target attack away from defeat. Blaze + Mind Probe is a good combination to help take out Lts quickly. Drain Psyche + Rain of Fire + Fireball + Psychic Shockwave is a great late game combo. Rain of Fire's scatter effect can be used to help stagger incoming damage, and that can help the +regen of Drain Psyche keep you standing.

 

Ice Blast - The slows from Ice stack really well with the -recharge from Mental. Frost Breath + Psychic Scream is good AoE damage early and the combo is devastating AoE -recharge. Toss Ice Storm in, as available, for even more slow power and a scatter effect. Bitter Ice Blast + Mind Probe is a good combination to help take out Lts quickly and stacks good -recharge for helping with bosses. The holds in the primary add even more control options and can allow you to shut down entire spawns if you want more controllery play.

 

Psychic Blast - The -recharge from Psychic stacks really well with the -recharge from Mental. Psionic Tornado + Psychic Scream is brutal AoE -recharge. Psychic Blast's lack of AoEs can be covered by the plethora of AoE in Mental. Like with Ice, you can put out a lot of single target control with this combination. The Knock Up from Psionic Tornado can be useful to set-up Drain Psyche + Psyshic Shockwave as well as staggering incoming attacks.

 

Sonic Attack - Howl + Psychic Scream are two cone attacks, with good range, that you get early so you can put out some decent AoE damage. Shockwave gives you a ton of control that you can utilize to get the above combo off more easily. Siren's Song is a wide cone and can sleep the spawn and give you plenty of time to get in for Drain Psyche (which does not wake sleepers) and set up the rest of your battle plan. Shout + Mind Probe is a good combination to help take out Lts quickly. The knockback staggers incoming damage, allowing Drain Psyche time to work and Siren's Song is a great time out as needed.

 

You omitted Rad Blast. Any reason?

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