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Slotting and Strategies for Symphony Control


oedipus_tex
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Hey all, the conversation in the beta feedback thread was veering toward comparison with other powersets and leaning into strategy, so I thought we might want to open a thread here to talk about things related to the new Symphony Control set. 

 

 

I can kick things off with my read on the set so far.

 

 

1. Many of these powers are best slotted as blasts.

The damage potential of many of the powers in Symphony have high base damage that benefits from damage slotting. I think many builds will want to lean in on Ranged AOE enhancements, like Positron's Blast and Ragnarok.  

 

  • The fear cone power is a direct port of Mind Control's Terrify. Most players slot Terrify for damage and mostly ignore the Terrify/Fear duration.
  • The stun cone power is in a league of its own in terms of damage output. It deals damage more or less on par with Hot Feet, although with a different delivery mechanism. Skimping on damage in this power seems criminal. You probably still want some Stun duration as well, but the damage is the ticket here.
  • The single target Confuse I'm more on the fence about. On a Controller I definitely want this slotted for damage, and to rotate between the ST Hold and ST Confuse for the single target attack chain (I find Hold > Confuse > Arcane Bolt works well for example). It's harder to say on a Dominator. You really don't need the damage from the ST Confuse as much. OTOH it's somewhat handy to be able to hurl a Confuse and not lose much damage.

 

 

 

2. It's all about setting up and executing the Stun cone.

In the same way that a significant portion of learning to play Fire Control is figuring out how to make use of Hot Feet to leverage the extra damage, a significant portion of Symphony Control seems to involve how you execute the Stun cone, both for its stun and its very high damage. Properly set up, this power deals damage on par with ~Defender nukes. It's so good you could take this, skip almost everything else in the set, and IMO still have an incredibly strong character. Hot Feet + Flashfire rolled into one power, essentially.

 

Upsides:

  • You can use the stun cone from a ranged (including a hover) position
  • The size of the cone responds to +Range enhancements and boosts, allowing you to create a truly enormous area of effect
  • Unlike a Controller, Dominator has no need to set up Containment prior to the stun--just go all in on them right away (Controller probably wants to Sleep them first) 

 

Downsides:

  • Cones are always a little awkward to use in certain situations
  • If you miss an enemy, you're not getting any damage on them at all until the next cycle
  • Damage takes 20 seconds to fully apply (not that big a downside IMO)

 

 

3. This pet is weird.
I'm having a really hard time evaluating the value of the pet on Dominators. It's going to come down to often you're hitting the Control powers from Symphony. If you do that a lot, he's great--he spams Confusion(!) powers and also Holds. On Controllers, who really don't have many other blast options, he smokes the control capacity of other pets, no competition. On Doms it's going to depend.

 

 

4. There are no pseudo pets or patch powers to blanket an area.

This is actually fairly rare for a Control set. Most sets have at least one pseudo pet who's there to provide coverage-over-time to an area of the battlefield. Symphony has direct controls, and only direct controls. 

The upside to this is every single power in the set (except the T9 pet) Dominates. The downside is there a lesser window for error. Once you've expended your Stun cone, you still have the Terrify and Sleep cones, but circumstances can make those less than reliable. Solo, if played smartly you should not have many problems though.



5. This set is not Mind or Dark Control, it's something else.
I think comparisons to Mind and Dark Control are somewhat inevitable, because the sets are similar in a lot of ways. I've heard Symphony called Dark Control with the -ToHit debuff traded away for damage, and that's partly correct. 

What really sets Symphony apart from either of these sets though are where it takes a page from something new and throws all of its weight behind the huge damage of the Stun cone. It really is all about that power, in a way neither Dark or Mind are designed. Symphony smokes the AoE damage of either of those sets. I can't stress the damage difference at play here enough. The Stun cone is a ranged Hot Feet, and comes with all of the advantages you'd associate with a player playing Hot Feet well.

 

Basically I think it's fair to think of Symphony Control as a set where the goal is to line up and execute a nuke. You will love or hate this set depending on how good you get at doing that. All the usual rules of nukes apply--meaning you want to execute those moments with a Blaster mentality, hitting your equivalent of Aim/Build Up and leveraging any -Resist you dare to prior to firing the shot.

 


6. It's all cones except for the AoE Hold.
The AoE Hold is the ranged variety, similar to Mind Control's Total Domination. It's the Get Out Of a Corner power for me in case I get stuck. 

Being an all-cone set, I find Hover strategies work especially well.

I did get to play a Symphony/Fire/Leviathan on a highest challenge level ITF, hand selected because I perceived there would be synergies in that combo of sets. It was effective because Fire Assault can deliver such high damage from range. I'm less confident in how the set would perform with a heavy melee or PBAoE build.

Edited by oedipus_tex
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I want to expand a bit on the theme above about the stun cone ("Confounding Chant") and why I keep comparing it to a Hot Feet. Here's the two powers side by side at Level 50:

 

image.thumb.png.8fa15cf881f7ef6df86b374f3491ce68.png

 

 

Confounding Chant delivers 11 ticks of damage over a 20 second duration. This breaks down to one tick every ~2 seconds. It just so happens that Hot Feet pulses at a rate of 1 tick every 2 seconds, so these powers do more or less identical damage. Hitting an enemy with Confounding Chant is equivalent-ish to them standing in your Hot Feet for an equal duration. 

 


There's a bit more to this though, and this is why this powerset is so different from the existing sets. Confounding Chant follows rules that might be better thought of as a nuke. That's because Hot Feet recalculates its damage every tick, where Confounding Chant is front loaded. You want to hit every +Damage Strength ability you have prior to launching it, because that way you get 11 ticks of very high damage. So, if you have Build Up (+42% damage) and a Gaussian's proc (+68% damage) you'll deal +110% damage with your Chant. Hot Feet would only get the +Damage effect for half of those ticks.


With 90 recharge, 20 duration, it's not possible to double stack the DoTs. (An earlier version of the power had 30 second duration, and it was possible.) You can still get pretty close to perma up-time though. 90 recharge at the absolute recharge limit recharges in 22 seconds. More realistically, end game builds probably have this power at around a 28 second recharge, which means 8 seconds of downtime. Not a huge loss IMO--Hot Feet can technically outplay you because it is always available, but Confounding Chant comes with the addendum that you can move or hover away and that damage keeps going, where with Hot Feet you're only getting that damage while you maintain close range.

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To me this set is closer to Gravity where the pet really enhances the whole set's synergy, damn Reverb is so bold to stare down a Zeus and not get hurt. Personally as of now as Controller you want either, Sonic, Storm or Kin. Anything that can play with force feedback to keep Confounding Chant recharge low. But yeah you can easily set up Confounding Chant to be almost 90 out and touch a whole room.

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It kinda reminds me of a combination of Illusion / Mind. That being said, it is quite unique. I am playing with it right now and trying to figure out where to put what IOs. This set seems very pro-proc, for those of you in that sorta thing. I myself try to focus more on set bonuses (as there is a rumor that procs will soon(tm) be fixed, resulting in a "nerf" to proc-heavy builds.

My question is, Coercive Persuasion, Serenade or Reverberant?

Archetype Concept Compilation -- Powerset Concept Compilations: Assault Melee

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The Great Archetype Concept Battle: Final Round

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Archetype Proposal Amalgamation

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Honestly the set seems to be a waste on a dominator and was clearly not made with them in mind.
Controller is going to be the better pick this time round.


Pet stacks MAG==> Dom doesn't really need this IMO
Cones galore==>Most dom sets will require jousting to get full benefit.
Pet is squishy as hell==> Controllers have great support sets to keep it alive

This is not saying you can't make it work. I have specc'd a range cap Syn/Dark but I am leaning toward the controller version.

 

Edited by LastHumanSoldier
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You're talking about damage potential less than a Defender on these powers. Normally with a longer recharge, no Aim and no support set to boost their potential. Most of those powers aren't even close to what your Dominator could manage with their secondaries.

 

Sure, Hot Feet is nice. But not because it's a massive source damage but rather because it's an additional source of damage you can just leave running without consuming activation time you're using for your (much better) secondary attacks.

 

The Cone-centric nature of Symphony also makes it difficult to mesh with the melee-centric focus of most Dominator secondaries. It's one thing to build around the notion of opening up the battle with a single Cone Confuse before moving into melee. It's quite another to force yourself in a situation where virtually all of your AE powers require operation at range.

 

For Controllers, it's a different story.

 

The single target Hold becomes much more reliable when you've got a pet to repeat it shortly afterwards. While this could theoretically hold true for the AE controls, the combination of long delays, cone-based attacks and the damage component on the Sleep all undermine this functionality.

 

The Controller ATO is much better (with its damage proc) than the Dominator versions for the pet.

 

Controllers can counter-balance the pet's -hit and boost its durability.

 

With Containment, Controllers deal more damage with the various attacks.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Hjarki said:

You're talking about damage potential less than a Defender on these powers. Normally with a longer recharge, no Aim and no support set to boost their potential. Most of those powers aren't even close to what your Dominator could manage with their secondaries.

 

 

The damage is delivered as a DoT rather than instant damage, but it's a substantial amount.

 

Om Dominators the Stun cone deals 145 damage on a 90 second recharge. The Defender version of the nuke power Nova deals 144 on damage a 145 second recharge.

 

Modified for it's 90 recharge to a base of 145 recharge, the power would deal ~230 damage, only about 20 points shy of the Blaster version of Nova (250). Dominators (usually) don't have as many sources of +Damage, but several Assault sets have a version of Build Up. You have to wait 20 seconds for the full strength to come through, but unless you're already killing things faster than 20 seconds per pack that shouldn't be an issue.

Edited by oedipus_tex
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I've been playing around with the set on brainstorm as well, and looking forward to this making it's way over to my stomping grounds at Everlasting. I still haven't decided just what secondary I will actually pair it with though.

 

Definitely a fun set.

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4 hours ago, WitchofDread said:

What sets do we think will pair well with this? Seeing as the majority of the powers are ranged cones a more melee based set is out of the question. Dark and elec assault seem like a good fit.

 

 

I'm always surprised by what skilled players can make work. As is, I'd lean toward something that works well at range or that can close distance quickly. 

Although this set is mostly cones, there's only one cone that's critical, the Stun one. IMO the Sleep and Fear are just extras in case you get in over your head or miss a bunch with the other cones. The damage the Fear cone does is half of Mind Control's Terrify, so its not critical to spam this power. 

 

As is, the synergies I see are:

 

  • Fire Assault, due to being able to stay mostly ranged, and having an okayish cone attack to follow up with after the Stun
  • Savage Assault, because it has a decent cone attack, a Build Up style power to boost the Stun power's damage, and a teleport to quickly close range 
  • Energy/Earth/Icy/Dark and now Sonic all have a Power Boost style power that also provides some +damage, useful for doubling the Stun duration so it's safer to melee with stuff. Each of these has its benefits and detractions as well. Energy lacking a ranged AoE for example may or may not turn out to be an issue. 
  • Thorny may be the dark horse here. Altho I am not the hugest fan of it, it does have a wide cone attack (sadly with a somewhat short reach). If you can solve its range issues with Thorntrops and its cone attack it may be a decent contender as an AoE cannon, since it does get Build Up. 

 

The set I probably wouldn't prefer is Martial Assault, because Envenomed Blades does a lot less for a nuke style power than for other attacks. Someone could maybe make it work.

 

Personally I think Hover and Combat Teleport are highly desirable for this set.

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10 minutes ago, WitchofDread said:

from a controller standpoint i was thinking cold dom would be pretty deadly

 

 

I would probably avoid Cold specifically for this combo, altho the reasons may be a bit too meta for your liking.

 

I said in the post above that I don't think the Sleep or Terrify cone are critical on Dominators. On Controllers I think they are a lot more so, especially the Sleep. In order to get big damage out of the Stun, you want to establish Containment first, which means opening with a power that does Sleep, Stun or Hold. Symphony has three options, the cone Immob, cone Sleep, and AoE Hold. The Hold isn't a cone, it's a ranged AoE like Mind Control's Total Domination, and a great option, but it's not often available. That means using either the Sleep or Immobilize first. The Sleep is the safer option since we're talking about an opening shot on uncontrolled mobs.

 

Cold Domination offers great debuffs through it's Sleet power. But, Sleet breaks Sleep. 😞 So a Symphony/Cold finds itself unable to debuff Resistance without waking mobs it just slept.

 

In contrast, something like Symphony/Trick Arrow can Sleep > Debuff (since it does no damage) > Stun and rack up huge damage on the opening shot.

If you decide this is too meta and you don't care about it, Cold Domination is of course fine. I used to main a Mind/Cold a long time ago and the Containment/Sleep/Sleet conundrum is part of my DNA now. 🙂  You can still make it work, just be aware other sets may offer an easier play experience.

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2 hours ago, WitchofDread said:

from a controller standpoint i was thinking cold dom would be pretty deadly

Others have reported good success with /storm, and some of us have been using /sonic. Personally, I find my Symphony/Sonic controller quite enjoyable on beta. /Sonic gives you some -res, the bubble of protection, and makes the already tanky reverberant even tankier. Granted, I'm just an average player, but running mishes at +0/x4 with the new aggro rules, there has been more than one occasion where Verby and I are controlling/tanking two groups. Procc'd out liquefy is pretty fun too, though I need to figure out how to properly analyze if that's actually a viable strategy, but it feels like it helps when I'm able to toss it down in a group. Verb likes to move into melee too, so he makes a good candidate for the hula hoops. And since much of /sonic is hands off, it leaves you free to do more "blasting" with symphony.

Global: @Valnara1; Formerly @TigerGoddess on Live

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

Notable Characters: Apocolyptica - Demons/Storm MM; Human Mosquito - Water/Sonic Corruptor; Elfvira - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Illiana the Shroud - Fire/Dark Controller; Kincatic - Beast/Kin MM

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On 7/19/2022 at 12:34 AM, kiramon said:

This set is leagues better than anything except maybe plant.


Dark
Mind
Plant
Even Earth ( Cleared Part 2 of the ITF solo no insps no deaths and that is extremely difficult to do for any dominator)

Are super great not because of what you read on text or theories. 

They are super great by what they have been able to achieve, do, and the degree of extremely difficult content they have been able to do solo. 

This new control set has proven nothing yet.  

Edited by Voltak
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On 7/20/2022 at 2:17 PM, WitchofDread said:

from a controller standpoint i was thinking cold dom would be pretty deadly


Trick Arrow and Storm will be the top two as always, with Storm being still the top spot because STORM is ALL about dmg, and those 5 (2 tornadoes , 3 Lightning Storms) pets out will pwn in the damage category. 

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Has anyone tried this with the new Sonic secondary? Seems like a good theme combo.

 

Would Symph/Sonic be better on a Controller?

 

I am definitely wanting to try this power and want to pair it with a Sonic secondary. I just wonder if the combo would be viable and if it would play better for a Dom or Controller. 

Edited by BurtHutt
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2 hours ago, BurtHutt said:

Has anyone tried this with the new Sonic secondary? Seems like a good theme combo.

 

Would Symph/Sonic be better on a Controller?

 

I am definitely wanting to try this power and want to pair it with a Sonic secondary. I just wonder if the combo would be viable and if it would play better for a Dom or Controller. 

Symph/Sonic, imo, will be better on a Controller rather than a Dom. Symphony really wants to play at range as much as possible, and /Sonic for doms really wants to be in melee (especially for the toggle pbaoe -res power). My Symph/Sonic controller is definitely one of the funnest trollers I've made and they complement each other nicely if you don't want to go /Storm. Ice/ actually pairs superbly with /Sonic for Doms, at least from my testing with it on beta. Needs some end management for sure, but since Ice/ loves to play in melee, my dom was just melting down mobs while simultaneously confusing them. Tons of fun.

Global: @Valnara1; Formerly @TigerGoddess on Live

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

Notable Characters: Apocolyptica - Demons/Storm MM; Human Mosquito - Water/Sonic Corruptor; Elfvira - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Illiana the Shroud - Fire/Dark Controller; Kincatic - Beast/Kin MM

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22 hours ago, TygerDarkstorm said:

Symph/Sonic, imo, will be better on a Controller rather than a Dom. Symphony really wants to play at range as much as possible, and /Sonic for doms really wants to be in melee (especially for the toggle pbaoe -res power). My Symph/Sonic controller is definitely one of the funnest trollers I've made and they complement each other nicely if you don't want to go /Storm. Ice/ actually pairs superbly with /Sonic for Doms, at least from my testing with it on beta. Needs some end management for sure, but since Ice/ loves to play in melee, my dom was just melting down mobs while simultaneously confusing them. Tons of fun.

I appreciate the info. I will try for the 'troller combo as I have a themed toon ready to go. I hope MIDS gets a quick update! :)

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