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Solo Defender Builds


pjh10c
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Hi all,

 

I am thinking about dipping my toes into doing a 1-50 solo level and was thinking of rolling a defender. I have a an EMP/Rad currently but that is more team focused. Are there any reliable power sets and build you all can recommend for an easier time leveling? With your suggestions, I can then try to figure out what is most “fun”, but would still love to get input on others’ “fun” factor experience.

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Time, Rad, Dark, EA, ForceField, Nature, Traps and Storm will all give you a decent solo experience.

TA, Cold, Pain can be done, but may not be optimal.

Poison, Sonic, Empathy, Thermal can be rough.

 

/Fire, Elec, Ice, Water, Rad, DP, and Dark all have decent blast sets that are complimentary to a lot of primaries.

Some combinations that I have enjoyed:
Dark/Fire, Time/Rad, Rad/NRG, Rad/Ice, Time/Ice, Poison/Dark, Nature/Sonic, Cold/Fire.

Basically, you can't really go wrong if you get a set that has some kind of defensive power in it, some way to buff/debuff and you'll have a decent solo experience.

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I would put TA into the first category. With the (not so recent) buffs to TA it is a great set for soloing and teaming.  FF is better than it used to be for soloing with the 2 -res powers now, but I don't have much experience playing it since the buffs that happened in page 5, so I don't know if it should be in the first or second category.

 

I would probably lean towards Traps as a primary if you want to solo. There are no teammate only buffs that would be pointless.  My BR/Traps Corruptor is the only toon that I have soloed a GM with.  Traps/water or Traps/Dark would be good for solo since both of those secondaries have self heals.  Water gets Dehydrate earlier than Dark gets Life Drain, so probably point to Water.

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What this team needs is more Defenders

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Basically any set that has a reasonable amount of survivability is a good solo set. That means things that provide a substantial amount of defense and or healing. If it includes -res on a short cool down it will be even better. Additional sources of plus damage are good. Additional soft controls are good.

 

Different people put different values on sets. I'm still not 100% sold on TA but I can see the argument for it. 

 

When you are building for solo play you need to have answers for a lot of different threats. You also have to decide the type of content you want to play. Some solo tunes are very good at AV and monster killing, some are great for plowing through massed mobs.

 

At the end of the day it has to be something that you enjoy. Even if it's not the most optimal setting you can likely make it work. IOs an incarnates cover up a lot of flaws.

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Poison can actually solo quite well once you get Venomous Gas. Requires you to be comfortable living in melee range. Very good at taking down hard targets.

Uunderdog - Radiation/Radiation Scrapper | Uundertaker - Radiation/Dark Corruptor | Uun - Martial Arts/Invulnerability Scrapper | Uunison - Gravity/Storm Controller | Uuncola - Ice/Temporal Blaster | Uundergrowth - Plant/Martial Dominator

Uunstable - Super Reflexes/Staff Fighting Tanker | Uunreal - Fire/Time Corruptor | Uunrest - Dark/Tactical Arrow Blaster | Uunseen - Illusion/Poison Controller | Uuncool - Cold/Beam Rifle Defender | Uunderground - Earth/Earth Dominator

Uunknown - Mind/Psionic Dominator | Uunplugged - Stone/Electric Brute | Uunfair - Archery/Trick Arrow Corruptor | Uunsung - Dual Pistols/Ninja Blaster | Uunflammable - Fire/Nature Controller | Uunflappable - War Mace/Willpower Brute

Uundead - Dark/Dark Tank | Uunfit - Water/Martial Blaster | Uunwrapped - Dark/Dark Dominator | Uunchill - Ice/Kinetics Corruptor | Uunpleasant - Energy/Energy Stalker | Uunbrella - Radiation/Radiation Sentinel | Uunsafari - Beasts/Traps MM

Uungnome - Nature/Seismic Defender | Uunsavory - Poson/Sonic Defender | Uunicycle - Broad Sword/Shield Scrapper | Uuntouchable - Illusion/Time Controller | Uunferno - Fire/Fire Tank

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     I think @BitCookhas pretty much covered it.  I've done numerous Empaths.  They can very safe if slow (and late game give them pet(s) to buff and 'slow' is not nearly as true).  Storm/Ice and Storm/Sonic have enormous offensive potential.  Storm/Sonic and Rad/Sonic are some of the earliest AV soloers i noted among Defenders on the Live forums and recent buffs to Sonic Assault won't have weakened them any.  Dark Miasma/Ice very strong and safe (debuffs to hit, damage, recharge, resistance, regen).  I've yet to do Nature Affinity and Electric Affinity but have many features that promise good things solo and Trick Arrow post update should be very strong.  

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On 12/29/2022 at 1:10 PM, pjh10c said:

Hi all,

 

I am thinking about dipping my toes into doing a 1-50 solo level and was thinking of rolling a defender. I have a an EMP/Rad currently but that is more team focused. Are there any reliable power sets and build you all can recommend for an easier time leveling? With your suggestions, I can then try to figure out what is most “fun”, but would still love to get input on others’ “fun” factor experience.

I've had a good experience with pain domination.  While you don't get the recovery or regeneration auras that empathy does, you do get world of pain, which is a damage resist, damage, and tohit buff.  With enough recharge, you can even make it permanent.  While enforced morale and painbringer won't be of much use to you solo, anguishing cry is a great -def and -res power, to further increase your damage.  Soothing aura is a nice HoT power, but overall, you can usually just rely on nullify pain to keep you topped off, if you don't want to run a lot of toggles.  Pair it with something like sonic, where you can use siren's song to put groups to sleep, so you only have to face a few enemies attacking you at any given time.  Keep a break free in your inspiration tray just in case you get mezzed, and you should be good to go.  Later, you can take painbringer and enforced morale, (which are great while teaming), and use them on either a PPP or Incanrate Lore pet... 

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On 12/30/2022 at 8:56 AM, Uun said:

Poison can actually solo quite well once you get Venomous Gas. Requires you to be comfortable living in melee range. Very good at taking down hard targets.

 

I have made a lot of Poison characters... and I have some issues with Poison as a solo set.

1) It lacks survivability.
Yes it's got some amazing -ToHit debuffs, but that -ToHit is essentially halved.  One half is provided by your PBAOE aura, the other is an essentially ST (8' AOE) debuff with a splash mechanic.  In a perfect scenario, you can get the Aura, Debuff, and splash all on the same target.  However, in the time it takes to do that, you are likely in a bit of a spot 🙂

Against a Single Hard Target it's pretty good for survival, but as you scale enemies, the -ToHit is massively reduced and you have little else to live off other than the combination of -Res and -Dmg... which, it's very good at.  In practice, few of my Poison Characters could go toe to toe with Chimera and come out victorious without incarnates.

2) It requires you to be in Melee... without giving any other defensive powers.
Between Poison Trap and Venomous Gas, you really really want to be in melee range.  However, that's also where you struggle to survive. 

3) To be survivable makes you take away from killing things.
With the right sets you can make anything survivable.  However, Poison is also one of the sets that really loves Procs.  So... if you want damage to leverage that -RES you really want to also have highly procced powers.  Procs and Defence are not compatible in many cases.  I found that with most of my defender builds I might be able to cap a positional, but at the cost to damage.  The recent def changes make just slotting for S/L as a poor mans melee defense not as good any more.  The change to Rune of Protection made it harder to leverage that as a survival mechanism.  So, you are left with either gutting your damage or making yourself more resilient.  Now... I have made a poison/Rise of the Phoenix toon who was a load of fun... but that's kind of an outlier.

I have actually had a lot more success soloing on controllers with Poison as they address the biggest issue the set has, living to apply those great debuffs.  Still, with that said, I have four Poison Corruptors/Defenders... and I solo a lot... so it can be done, just not sure if it's one of the better sets to do it with.

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On 12/29/2022 at 6:40 PM, Psyonico said:

I would probably lean towards Traps as a primary if you want to solo. There are no teammate only buffs that would be pointless.  My BR/Traps Corruptor is the only toon that I have soloed a GM with.  Traps/water or Traps/Dark would be good for solo since both of those secondaries have self heals.  Water gets Dehydrate earlier than Dark gets Life Drain, so probably point to Water.

I would agree with Traps as a good solo choice, one of its problems on a team is keeping up with faster teams, but solo that is less of a problem.  It also has tools to deal with harder scenarios like EBs more easily than most defender sets, things like Trip Mines lets you pre-stack damage, and Seeker Drones which can absorb alphas and stun foes.  The only other Defender primary that brings much damage is Storm (which is a higher risk/higher reward defender solo set).   Finally, and perhaps most important, FF Generator lets you avoid problems with mezzing mobs, which were the main thing that killed my radiation defender when leveling.  

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     Traps/Fire is what I started as a hard core character.  And it has Triage Beacon which while not a self heal is a nice boost to your regeneration.  If I were to do another for solo work I'd probably lean towards Dark Blast for the self heal, the to hit debuffs (works well with FFG) and all the AoE.  Dark Blast also has solid proc potential which particularly on Defender helps their damage output.

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  • 4 weeks later

I have a Rad/Water Blast Defender in the mid 40's that I love to solo with. From Rad I took the standard 3: LR, EF and RI. Did not take the Healing Aura. Did take Accelerate Metabolism. Also took Choking Cloud and EMPulse. Took all the secondary powers.  Took all the Experimentation Power Pool, minus Speed of Sound, opting to fly instead. Took Stealth as well.

 

I turned off all green inspiration drops as a challenge opting to rest instead if I ever take damage. That allows more room for break frees in my tray, until I get to incarnate status you need them with a rad defender.

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  • 3 weeks later

Loving my new Dark/Dark Defender, but oh boy is she endurance hungry! I do have the p2w jet pack + 2 runs + Shadow Fall toggled on most of the time though. Just finally got Mystic Flight so I should be able to get rid of the other 3 travel powers now, having a fly/telport in one. I'm only level 10 with 2 ENDRED SOs in Stamina, but stil running out of END after every couple combat rotations. Any advice on how to manage this better while I'm levelling guys...? I won't be getting Haste if I keep this up lol!

Game over man, game over!

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2 hours ago, Nostromo21 said:

Loving my new Dark/Dark Defender, but oh boy is she endurance hungry! I do have the p2w jet pack + 2 runs + Shadow Fall toggled on most of the time though. Just finally got Mystic Flight so I should be able to get rid of the other 3 travel powers now, having a fly/telport in one. I'm only level 10 with 2 ENDRED SOs in Stamina, but stil running out of END after every couple combat rotations. Any advice on how to manage this better while I'm levelling guys...? I won't be getting Haste if I keep this up lol!

Turn off the jet pack and 2 runs while you're fighting. Slot end reduction in Shadow Fall and Darkest Night. Are the end mods you're slotting in Stamina SOs?

Uunderdog - Radiation/Radiation Scrapper | Uundertaker - Radiation/Dark Corruptor | Uun - Martial Arts/Invulnerability Scrapper | Uunison - Gravity/Storm Controller | Uuncola - Ice/Temporal Blaster | Uundergrowth - Plant/Martial Dominator

Uunstable - Super Reflexes/Staff Fighting Tanker | Uunreal - Fire/Time Corruptor | Uunrest - Dark/Tactical Arrow Blaster | Uunseen - Illusion/Poison Controller | Uuncool - Cold/Beam Rifle Defender | Uunderground - Earth/Earth Dominator

Uunknown - Mind/Psionic Dominator | Uunplugged - Stone/Electric Brute | Uunfair - Archery/Trick Arrow Corruptor | Uunsung - Dual Pistols/Ninja Blaster | Uunflammable - Fire/Nature Controller | Uunflappable - War Mace/Willpower Brute

Uundead - Dark/Dark Tank | Uunfit - Water/Martial Blaster | Uunwrapped - Dark/Dark Dominator | Uunchill - Ice/Kinetics Corruptor | Uunpleasant - Energy/Energy Stalker | Uunbrella - Radiation/Radiation Sentinel | Uunsafari - Beasts/Traps MM

Uungnome - Nature/Seismic Defender | Uunsavory - Poson/Sonic Defender | Uunicycle - Broad Sword/Shield Scrapper | Uuntouchable - Illusion/Time Controller | Uunferno - Fire/Fire Tank

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On 2/18/2023 at 11:07 PM, Uun said:

Turn off the jet pack and 2 runs while you're fighting. Slot end reduction in Shadow Fall and Darkest Night. Are the end mods you're slotting in Stamina SOs?

 

Thought so. Must set up a macro toggle, but now I have Mystic Flight, I don't think that uses much juice just to hover.

Yeah, I use SOs up to 25, then switch to std IOs, before I start thinking about expensive set IOs. If I ever get a hero that high, given my rampant, out-of-control alt-o-holism & cosplay fetish lol! *blush*...case in point:

Started a Ill/Emp troller as a pacifist support/healer only team char. Played a couple sewer runs and Positron TF with a fun 8 man pug - already 16 without having done a single point of dmg lol! 🙂

----

Now trying a Time/Rad which seems to be much easier on the END & just as fun so far!

Edited by Nostromo21

Game over man, game over!

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