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(WIP - this started as an ode to thorntrops... were doing a tier-splain, give me a bit, new stuff put to the bottom with loose diatribe between until I order it up)


Preludes to Nocturne - The State of the Homecoming Dominator


Before we begin an examination if powersets, highlighting some f my favorites, and meanly skipping over symphony because i want to scream at mobs not sing sheet music symbols at them... the state of affairs as a CoH dominator on homecoming.


Can you solo. yes. can you +4/8, ya, but its more frenetic than it needs to be.


mostly, we group, for content that either rewards much more xp/time, or is more exciting than what you can muster all alone.


So I consider group play herein, as primary play, with an eye towards at least being able to participate well with +4 regular content.


Why take a dominator to a group over a controller? theyre quasi dps, they have good control because domination and mag stacking quicker than a controller can (mag 6 typically vs mag 3/4).


however, as secondary contribution goes, we're a good damage scale... but provide nothing to a team with regard to buff/debuff/accelerant.


what does more damage? a corruptor, who provides a secondary support (e.g. kin).


what does more damage (presuming its this in a party slot or you as domi)? a controller, who provides secondary support (eg. kin)


what does more damage and says to hell with control? blaster.


whats tougher and when speccd as fortunata gets stupidly good selection of powers. VEAT fortune tellers.


so, to earn our keep, we gotta be able to pull tricks. we need to be faster than others with situational awareness, we need to soften alphas with control, we need to push groups to team with things like telekinesis or wormhole.


we need to be able to get into melee and work that damage. we need to be able to select targets right, instead of spamming a power and relying on autotarget, or spamming 'target closest', when we can.


dominator is very much a git gud AT.


its not bad news, we can really shine with lockdown cc and damage to go with.... its more where the meta has been at on homecoming that supports a play loop such as:


desire: experience powerset combo, reach power level to trivialize content, feel super.  nothing wrong with that...


but the journey is fixed on a destination that sees a reset and do over.  this os why we all have hundreds of characters and 'lose' billions of inf worth of slotting, not knowing who has what :]


then look at the higher end. someone told someone.meta that you gotta have cold dom (the most boring secondary, in the world), and not thermal or rad emit. if your in support - go corruptor... people say defender for cases like sonic, but thats typically them looking at 10-15% of -res across 100% uptime, or base values.... they wont beat the damage scale base, nor scourge.


OI'm away from dominators, our topic here, and indeed we're shadowed by a lot of other options.


so you must, work that domination mag stacking, fight hard, and pull off tricks.


good luck, and have fun.


An Ode to Thorntrops, or, why thorny assault is S Tier


Perhaps it's because a lot of folk run spines for their farmer (with good reason), that thorny assault gets skipped.

Perhaps its the spines draw, which really isnt that big a lag, that does the same.


Regardless, thorny assault is, in my opinion, one of the best, if not the best(est) secondary a dominator can get!  savage is cool, but not quite as much as thorny assault, imo.



Thorns Anime GIF - Thorns Anime Growing Plant - Discover & Share GIFs

1 - Skewer (0.83s cast) - Melee, Moderate DMG(Lethal), DoT(Toxic) -DEF


good. quick. this is my lvl 1 pick.

its a stabby motion, not unlike VEAT widows similar movement.  I try to six slot this.

1 - Thorny Darts (1.33s cast) - Ranged, Light DMG(Lethal), DoT(Toxic) -DEF


skip. you won't need in attack chain, so its recharged and not doing anything. you'd be better with another primary choice.


I say this also because skewer is a superior choice, and now we're not locked to the 1st in the secondary.

4 -  Fling Thorns (1.62s cast. 30ft, 60*, 10) - Ranged (Cone), Light DMG(Lethal), DoT(Toxic) -DEF


amazing! get.

the range is short, but the cone is wise and forgiving functionally. point at a mob in front of you. youre typically good. 6 slots.

10 - Impale (1.433s cast) - Ranged, High DMG(Lethal), DoT(Toxic), Immobilize, -DEF, -SPD, -Fly, -Jump


hard hitter, immob, fly-grounder. get.  (also look great with a wind up animation and full bodied hurl of the thorns). 6 slots, its your hadest hitter for many levels.

16 - Build Up (1.17s cast) - Self +DMG, +To Hit


its build-up + gaussian.  i tend to get this later, into the 30s, and only leave it 1x slotted for the build up proc.  on dom you end up with so much recharge, that this is up very regularly.

20 - Thorn Burst (3.0s cast, 15ft, 10) - PBAoE Melee, Light DMG(Lethal), DoT(Toxic) -DEF


yes. and 6 slots. use in cooldown with 2+ mobs.

24 - Thorntrops (1.63s cast) - Ranged (Location AoE), Minor DoT(Lethal), Foe -Speed


surprisingly good.  its a control (mag 50 terrorize), if your a primary that can immob its damage that can't be escaped.  throwable damage aura with fear. multiple patches will not cancel prior patches if recharge sufficient.


I've been running thorntrops for the first time on my latest dom.  Its great for creating a safety patch, at low-mid levels the damage is reasonable.  I will likely respec this away in the 40s.

28 - Ripper (2.17s cast, 7ft cone, 60*, 5) - Melee (Cone), Superior DMG(Lethal), DoT(Toxic) -DEF, Knockback, -SPD


its quicker than it was. tricky to use, built in knockback. hits hard enough.


skippable if you need power space.  6 slot this if your taking it.  between fling thorns as a closer, this, and thorn burst, thats your aoe short range stuff (7 ft for this, 15 ft for burst, and fling thorns at 30 ft)

30 - Thorn Barrage (2.0s cast) - Ranged, Extreme DMG(Lethal), DoT(Toxic) -DEF


pew. its like the savage eagle power. but hits harder.


so, what to skip?  Thorny Darts that's it. the rest are worth taking. no junk powers. good mix of aoe and single target.  toxic dmg dots.


what does thorns pair well with?


plant, and thematic.


mind is just good, the flow of mind/thorns is earth/earth good imo.


earth stacks def down with thorns, and thorns is a nicer set than where rad is at, imo.


probably fire, dark too.


gravity, sure! (but Id do energy there and just realize your a single target machine with TP powers)


why do you pick, or pass, on thorny assault?


Sample build:



This Villain build was built using Mids Reborn 3.4.7

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Level 50 Magic Dominator
Primary Power Set: Mind Control
Secondary Power Set: Thorny Assault
Power Pool: Speed
Power Pool: Fighting
Power Pool: Leaping
Power Pool: Concealment
Ancillary Pool: Ice Mastery

Villain Profile:
Level 1: Skewer

  • (A) Superior Blistering Cold - Accuracy/Damage
  • (3) Superior Blistering Cold - Damage/Endurance
  • (3) Superior Blistering Cold - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance
  • (5) Superior Blistering Cold - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge
  • (5) Superior Blistering Cold - Recharge/Chance for Hold
  • (7) Superior Blistering Cold - Damage/Endurance/Accuracy/RechargeTime

Level 1: Mesmerize

  • (A) Superior Ascendency of the Dominator - Accuracy/Control Duration
  • (7) Superior Ascendency of the Dominator - Control Duration/Recharge
  • (9) Superior Ascendency of the Dominator - Endurance/Recharge
  • (9) Superior Ascendency of the Dominator - Accuracy/Control Duration/Endurance
  • (11) Superior Ascendency of the Dominator - Accuracy/Control Duration/Endurance/Recharge
  • (11) Superior Ascendency of the Dominator - Recharge/Chance for +Damage

Level 2: Dominate

  • (A) Ghost Widow's Embrace - Chance of Damage(Psionic)
  • (15) Gladiator's Net - Chance of Damage(Lethal)
  • (17) Gladiator's Net - Accuracy/Hold
  • (17) Gladiator's Net - Accuracy/Recharge
  • (19) Gladiator's Net - Recharge/Hold
  • (19) Gladiator's Net - Endurance/Recharge/Hold

Level 4: Fling Thorns

  • (A) Artillery - Endurance/Recharge/Range
  • (21) Artillery - Accuracy/Recharge/Range
  • (21) Artillery - Accuracy/Damage
  • (23) Artillery - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge
  • (23) Artillery - Damage/Recharge
  • (25) Artillery - Damage/Endurance

Level 6: Hasten

  • (A) Recharge Reduction IO
  • (25) Recharge Reduction IO

Level 8: Mass Hypnosis

  • (A) Superior Dominating Grasp - RechargeTime/Fiery Orb
  • (27) Superior Dominating Grasp - Accuracy/Control Duration/Endurance/RechargeTime
  • (27) Superior Dominating Grasp - Accuracy/Control Duration
  • (29) Superior Dominating Grasp - Control Duration/RechargeTime
  • (29) Superior Dominating Grasp - Endurance/RechargeTime
  • (31) Superior Dominating Grasp - Accuracy/Control Duration/Endurance

Level 10: Impale

  • (A) Apocalypse - Chance of Damage(Negative)
  • (31) Apocalypse - Damage
  • (31) Apocalypse - Damage/Recharge
  • (33) Apocalypse - Damage/Recharge/Accuracy
  • (33) Apocalypse - Damage/Endurance

Level 12: Kick

  • (A) Force Feedback - Chance for +Recharge

Level 14: Telekinesis

  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO

Level 16: Tough

  • (A) Steadfast Protection - Resistance/+Def 3%
  • (33) Gladiator's Armor - TP Protection +3% Def (All)
  • (34) Unbreakable Guard - +Max HP

Level 18: Weave

  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed
  • (34) Shield Wall - +Res (Teleportation), +5% Res (All)

Level 20: Thorn Burst

  • (A) Armageddon - Chance for Fire Damage
  • (34) Armageddon - Damage/Endurance
  • (36) Armageddon - Damage
  • (36) Armageddon - Damage/Recharge
  • (36) Armageddon - Damage/Recharge/Accuracy
  • (37) Armageddon - Recharge/Accuracy

Level 22: Combat Jumping

  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed

Level 24: Total Domination

  • (A) Basilisk's Gaze - Chance for Recharge Slow
  • (37) Basilisk's Gaze - Accuracy/Endurance/Recharge/Hold
  • (37) Basilisk's Gaze - Recharge/Hold
  • (39) Basilisk's Gaze - Accuracy/Hold

Level 26: Terrify

  • (A) Superior Frozen Blast - Recharge/Chance for Immobilize
  • (39) Superior Frozen Blast - Accuracy/Damage
  • (39) Superior Frozen Blast - Damage/Endurance
  • (40) Superior Frozen Blast - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance
  • (40) Superior Frozen Blast - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge
  • (40) Superior Frozen Blast - Damage/Endurance/Accuracy/RechargeTime

Level 28: Stealth

  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed

Level 30: Thorntrops

  • (A) Ice Mistral's Torment - Chance for Cold Damage

Level 32: Mass Confusion

  • (A) Coercive Persuasion  - Contagious Confusion
  • (42) Coercive Persuasion  - Confused/Recharge
  • (42) Coercive Persuasion  - Confused/Recharge/Accuracy
  • (42) Coercive Persuasion  - Confused

Level 35: Sleet

  • (A) Achilles' Heel - Chance for Res Debuff
  • (43) Ice Mistral's Torment - Chance for Cold Damage

Level 38: Thorn Barrage

  • (A) Superior Winter's Bite - Recharge/Chance for -Speed & -Recharge
  • (43) Superior Winter's Bite - Damage/Endurance/Accuracy/RechargeTime
  • (43) Superior Winter's Bite - Accuracy/Damage
  • (45) Superior Winter's Bite - Damage/RechargeTime
  • (45) Superior Winter's Bite - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance
  • (45) Superior Winter's Bite - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge

Level 41: Frozen Armor

  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed
  • (46) Reactive Defenses - Scaling Resist Damage
  • (46) Kismet - Accuracy +6%

Level 44: Ripper

  • (A) Superior Avalanche - Recharge/Chance for Knockdown
  • (46) Superior Avalanche - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance/Recharge
  • (48) Superior Avalanche - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge
  • (48) Superior Avalanche - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance
  • (48) Superior Avalanche - Damage/Endurance
  • (50) Superior Avalanche - Accuracy/Damage

Level 47: Ice Storm

  • (A) Ice Mistral's Torment - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance/Recharge
  • (50) Ice Mistral's Torment - Damage/Recharge
  • (50) Ice Mistral's Torment - Chance for Cold Damage

Level 49: Infiltration

  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed

Level 1: Brawl

  • (A) Accuracy IO

Level 1: Domination 

Level 1: Sprint


  • (A) Celerity - +Stealth
Level 2: Rest
  • (A) Healing IO
Level 1: Swift
  • (A) Run Speed IO
Level 1: Health
  • (A) Panacea - +Hit Points/Endurance
  • (13) Numina's Convalesence - +Regeneration/+Recovery
  • (13) Preventive Medicine - Chance for +Absorb
Level 1: Hurdle
  • (A) Jumping IO
Level 1: Stamina
  • (A) Performance Shifter - Chance for +End
  • (15) Performance Shifter - EndMod


so, what else in secondaries?

Youve a problem as a dominator. you need 5x lotg, you need hasten, you need tough and weave.


A few 2ndary powersets help with this quite a lot - savage has a dedicated recharge help mechanic, and earth and energy assault in particular give many options for knockback.  that can mean, sacrifice a slot, get force feeback change for +recharge.  its a few seconds of 100% rechanrge and can greatly help seeking permadom pevels of recharge.


PSA - you dont need permadom, you need it up every group minus travel time and to engage your secondary when control isnt doubled more.  I'm excluding the farm state, get on a brute.


so, savage, energy, and earth... lets take a look.


Savage Assault

savage has a built-in recharge help based on blood stack count. it has combos with those too.  you'll kind of get the flow of it naturally, and dont stress exhaustion, its not that big a thing practically.


we dont get haemorrage on domi.


1 - Call Swarm - Ranged, DoT (Lethal), Foe -Defense, -Speed, +1 Blood Frenzy


as with thorny, I skip the tier 1 ranged. the damage is too low, its superflous in the chain at even mod levels.


Maiming Slash - Melee, DMG(Lethal), DoT (Lethal), Foe -Speed, +1 Blood Frenzy
decent lvl 1 pick. core to ST melee chain. 6 slot it.
4 - Vicious Slash - Melee, DMG(Lethal), Foe DoT (Lethal), Knockdown, Self +2 Blood Frenzy
same as prior. get.
10 - Unkindness - Ranged (Cone), DoT (Lethal), Foe -Speed, -Defense, -Fly, +2 Blood Frenzy
it looks really neat... the dot is ok, it build 2 stacks of frenzy. its quite a tight cone, at 30 degrees.  I try to take this, just for some aoe coverage
16 - Spot Prey - Self +DMG, +To Hit, +Perception
a build up with perception. 1 slot gaussian.
20 - Rending Flurry - PBAoE, DMG(Lethal), Foe DoT (Lethal), -Blood Frenzy
great power, that extends range if you have fully blood stacks (the button lights up when this is true as a visual cue)
24 - Blood Craze - Self +HP, +Health over Time
useful, sort of skippable if youre tight on powers.
28 - Call Hawk - Ranged, Foe DoT (Lethal), -To Hit, Knockdown, -Fly
another very unique looking skill. anti-flier, its similar to thorny's 'impale' but with more dot component.
30 - Feral Charge - Melee, DMG(Lethal), Foe DoT (Lethal), +3 Blood Frenzy, Self Teleport
signature power, does more damage the further away you are from target at cast. movement tool. good to combo with vicious slash or unkindness to get 5x blood stacks (if at 0) before popping a rending flurry.
overall, A/A-: because movement skill and recharge builder happening constantly while in combat.  also feels great to play, rawr.



Earth Assault


we have a potential for silly recharge cheating  as multiple force feeback +recharges can proc, their independent off each piwer where theyre slotted.

11my elec/earth domi 'tale of salt and sky' did well until I stripped them off this principle. (that was because of slow chains in elec)


conpared to thorny, we lack aoe punch. fling thorns really is a very good skill.  fissure is ok.


at ST melee, were better off than thorny, and the three of stone mallet, heavy mallet, seismic smash tend to wreck things - 2 of the three having potential for recharge boost, the third adding hold magnitude.


note: you want to be comfy with melee for earth assault. a lot of knockback helps a drop there, but you'll be in the thick of it, and want to be.


1 (1.6s cast) - Stone Mallet - Melee, Moderate DMG(Smash), Knockback


(force feedback candidate) exceptional lvl 1 skill. good damage. 6 slot. core in attack chain.


1 (1s cast) - Stone Spears

Ranged, Light DMG(Lethal), Foe Knock Up


(force feedback candidate) normally I skip the lvl 1 ranged, but the knockup and quick cast time make this one a pick. no missile associated with power, the mob just gets hit.


a 1sec cast time keeps this quick as a finisher, or reactive. youre casting it all the time, and in filler. put force feedback in it.


4 (2.53s cast, 15ft, 10) - Tremor

PBAoE, Light DMG(Smash), Knockback


(force feedback candidate) yes. you want a melee pbaoe (or I do) for purple sets


follow your tank, do smash.  skipping force feedback here isnt the end of the world.


10 (1.5s cast) - Hurl Boulder

Ranged, High DMG(Smash), Foe Knockback, -Fly


(force feedback candidate) - an anti-flier. perfect to 4 slot if your making room, otherwise 6. i 6 slot this and use it in ST nuke chain, as one would fit a quick snipe.


16 - Power Up

Self +Special, +Dmg(All)


skip. your recharge is sufficient that mag stacking will be fine with set bonuses from ATO / else. no to-hit, so no gaussian. skip.


20 (1.63s cast) - Heavy Mallet

Melee, Superior DMG(Smash), Knockback


(force feedback candidate)

with stone mallet, and seismic smash, your melee attack chain is looking nice, and is packed with control element.


24 (1.5s cast) - Seismic Smash

Melee, Extreme DMG(Smash), Foe Hold


get it for the damage. core in attack chain. stacks hold magnitude.


28 - Mud Pots

Toggle: PBAoE, Minor DoT(Fire), Foe Immobilize, -SPD


skip. end heavy and youre not in one place long enough typically for this to be worth investment in the power, let alone slots (we have a lot of powers to attend to in this 2ndary)


30 (2.1s cast, 20ft range, 10ft aoe, 10) -  Fissure

Close (Targeted AoE), Light DMG(Smash), Foe Knockback, Disorient


(force feedback candidate). close range aoe. its a force feeback holder, and can be slot sleighted if needs be. 


Earth Assault tier: A/S. it can open and close a build, you can easily get permadom with forcefeedback abuse, but pay in set bonus loss to do so.  pair with something that can make safe a melee zone. (dark is a standout)


Energy Assault

Energy assault is fun! Listen, villians, dont slot kb > kd, get good at kb.  in the air, is not fighting back.


As with earth, we INSTEAD sacrifice slotting for force feedback recharge procs.


Quite single target focused, energy works great with something that lock immobilizes, like earth, or plant, if your worried about mob scatter.


theres disorient in several powers, meaning you can slip in one of the procs thats good but i dont remember the name of (think its stupify)


1 - Bone Smasher - Melee, High DMG(Smash/Energy), Disorient, Special, Chance for Energy Focus


this is the one to pick at lvl 1, and becomes core in st melee chain.


1 - Power Bolt - Ranged, Light DMG(Energy/Smash), Foe Knockback, Chance for Energy Focus


skip this. while quick, you will have a solid ranged st chain without it.  powers sitting recharged and unused a lot of the time are wasted.

4 - Power Push - Ranged Moderate DMG(Energy/Smash), Foe High Knockback, Chance for Energy Focus


want a mag 16 knockback on a 1.1s cast time, that does moderate dmg? you do. aim generally at a wall, or dont bother.  this power is great as mobs close you, and you can clip a mob with a cast after, even if they end up out of range, because the next cast occurs at where the mob is at time of cast, not time of impact.


steal a slot for force feedback.

10 - Power Blast - Ranged, High DMG(Energy/Smash), Foe Knockback, Chance for Energy Focus


high damage, force feedback slot, this is a good one. get.

16 - Power Up
Self +Special, +Dmg(All)


while power up is fun to allow you things like mag ~30 power pushes, its skippable, and we gotta keep that 'i need 5 lotg' thing present in mind.  in the steamroller of our coh'ing, this wont really be missed.

20 - Whirling Hands - PBAoE Melee, Light DMG(Smash/Energy), Special


we want this for set slotting. its not too bad.


24 - Total Focus
Melee, Extreme DMG(Energy/Smash), Foe Disorient, +Energy Focus


unless your trying ranged only, very possible with energy assault (but stop, and make a corruptor or blaster, honestly, take TA if you wanna play at light cc) - this is an awesome power.  6 slot and love the damage.


28 - Sniper Blast
Sniper, Extreme DMG(Energy/Smash), Foe Knockback


a snipe, useful. you can sleight this a bit on slots. you can think of skipping (i wouldn't) as were starting to accumulate a lot of ranged ST powers when we consider a primary woth energy assault.  too many to cast.  candidate to skip with yoy might think to be power push, but I'd disagree - power push's 1.1s cast and ludicrous kb makes it a valuable tool, possibly more than this.

30 - Power Burst
Ranged, Superior DMG(Energy/Smash), Foe Knockback, Special


combos well with power push, het another st ranged.  6 slot.


see ^, theres too many st ranged in energy assault. B tier.


honorable mentions:


sonic is newer, and decent. standouts here are the -res, and a pbaoe aura that does it.

Combination of gravity, power pool teleport-foe-to-you pbaoe, into this aura is dangerous and strong in group play.  


fire primary would work well with it too. plus bonfire with kb to kd in it.


the melee in sonic assault is strong, and theres no terrible powers. 


shockwave can be used to knock back mobs for catch in large cones, in the case of a primary like symphony, or any of them that have cone fear.


Primar(il)y mind control

(some people want a pet, at high levels, it vanishes, or dies)


Over the years I've played a lot of dominator.

Of the primaries, I'm not keen on symphony because of how the skills look (wish there was a sonic-like option), but it cc wise is decent.

dark is better stacked on controller, imo.

earth is sick, pseudopet not getting domination bonus or otherwise, and likewise elec is good despite having slow crawl chains (elec affinity, fast crawl chains, elec control... hop...hit...hop...hit...)


plant is great for carrion, and the cones. it was my first dominator on live. if you dont like mind.... go plant. or ugly-symphony.


grav is grav, and plays nice for herd. i like it better on controller.


about 3/4 of my dominators I actually play end up being mind control based.


(you can see how I slotted mind in a sample build above / attached)


A complaint levied against Mind Control is its lack of a pet.  the typical comeback is: we have mass confuse.  Indeed with high recharge its going to be available every 2m or so, and coupled with the fear cone, were good.


As a control set, if you want pets, pick illusion for PA, or gravity for singularity.  the rest are fluff, to be entirely honest. at higher content they will die, vanish of your awareness, or slowly run to catch up to a chased steamroll of pounded council.


Mind keeps us light on our feet in that regard, in that we dont take a pet power(s), and we dont six slot a waste of precious slot upgrades.


1 - Levitate - Ranged, Light DMG(Smash), Foe Knock Up


skip. take mesmerize instead. toi slow cast, delay on hit. mild cc packed but dmg too low


1 - Mesmerize Ranged, Light DMG(Psionic), Foe Sleep


boosted range (100ft vs 80 on most), quick. mag4. good damage, easy to slip into attack chain. yes.


2 - Dominate Ranged, Light DMG(Psionic), Foe Hold


good, the st hold. get this.


6 - Confuse Ranged, Target Confuse


this needs buffed to ve like symphonys, as dark needs its cone fear buffed to damage. there is too much going on to piss about trying to stack st confuse.


8 - Mass Hypnosis

Ranged (Targeted AoE), Foe Sleep


low cooldown, good as opposed to the aoe immob for a ato holder on the fire orb. can be used as an interrupt of sorts, and with a drop of finesse can use right after a blaster aoe wave.  people do not give a damn about your sleeps and breaking them. advise, dont complain at them. luckily its up all the time. just use opportunistically.


12 - Telekinesis

Toggle: Ranged (Targeted AoE), Foe Hold, Repel


definate get. slot only 1x end reduce. watch your blue bar while active.

consider yourself at the circumference of a sphere, with mob auto-hit by this as center. apply gravity if not flier. now circle the mob to herd group pirtions at or away from the team.  clump mobs for a cone power, drive them into a wall, move that melee boss whos come up on you the hell away.

stack hold magnitude for harder targets.

this is a great skill, signature of mind  and should be strongly considered for inclusion.


18 - Total Domination

Ranged (Targeted AoE), Foe Hold


eh, its the aoe hold. 4m is a annoyingly high base cd.  alright once your all recharge bonused up. ultimately, sorta skippable.


22 - Terrify

Ranged (Cone), Light DMG(Psionic), Foe Fear(Special)


ludicrously expansive cone. does damage. combos well with mass hypnosis for snapping at a group.


26 - Mass Confusion

Ranged (Targeted AoE), Foe Confuse


put contagious confusion in this. high recharge, considering what plant and ugly-symphony get, but with your recharge built out, its a tool worth having. dont need to 6 slot, really.


Other Primaries


Earth (B tier):

A number of powers (earthquake, volcanic gasses, quicksand) are not affected by domination. staligmites is exceptional, with a dom mag 6 disorient, and very low cast time.  the immobs prevent knockback.  pet is ok, but at todays pacing is just kind of there.  Earth is better on a controller due to pseudopet spread, a pet taking a power slot. staligmites and the usefulness of the pseudopets props it.


Electric (A/B tier):

electric suffers slow chain jumps. the chain attacks crawl from mob to mob, but do so at 1/4 speed or slower than something like electric affinity.

the sleep patch, static field, is great for making an area safe, and is compatible with aoe spams because it pulses. its recharge will overlap for you in the 20s or earlier if your keeping slotted nicely and have haste. pets are a bit soft, and theres 2 of them. has a chain confuse (put contagious in it).  jolting chain is an early standout, and boosts my ranking of this set. put force feedback proc in it. apply with frequency.


Plant (S/A tier):


spore burst is low cooldown, and a mob interrupt more than anything.  As with mass hypnosis, I often find the aoe sleeps are good at catching at least a few mobs that escape aoe waves from teammates.

seeds of confusion is marvelous. put contagious in it.

carrion creeps can be buffed, and follows you about it seems. its what lets plant/x farm on controller along with seeds.

spirit tree is... a pretty 🌳, but not much use. 150% regen isnt doing anything. if it were 1500% regen... itd really need to be a decent placable heal aura.  good for RP if you make a controller plant/nature, and enjoy horticulture.  the pet is alright, and has some decent attacks.

what makes plant very good: creepers and seeds.


ugly-Symphony (S/A tier, but C because of sing song sheet music animations):


by all mean, this should be mind mk2, and perfect for the dominator. theres no pseudopets.

the ST confuse damages! its worth taking vs minds. 

the fear damages (poor dark control).

hell, the sleep cone damages.

confounding chant is a nuke, and a disorient. staligmites is better for control. you have no aoe confuse.

aoe ranged focus makes slotting sets annoying, pick a secondary with ST options (like energy, earth, or sonic, less so sonic as this thing wants to be at cone maximizing ranges and lends to a ranged build mainly. or just skip the res aura in sonic *gasp*).


this would be up with plant for top tier, if it werent ugly. if it had an option for sonic like look... solid S tier.


people dont like the pet.  think of it as mag stacker freebies. thats it. and its good for that echo.


Illusion (B/A tier):


people dont like that pa are missing taunt on dom version. just ignore that and them. its damage, its untouchable.

phantasm is as bad as ever, but spawns an untouchable copy.

gleam is quite good as a snappy-ish aoe disorient.

flash is bad.  we lost spectral wounds. blind had an aoe sleep in disguise.

spectral terror is a workhorse, tho has a longish cast when you need that now for area control and the steamroller presses forward.  good in that instance where theres prisoners running by.

superior invis is a worthy lotg holder.

deceive is terrible, now weve basis of compare with symphony.


Ice (C/D tier)


arctic air is too expensive. its 35% more expensive than focused accuracy! its because it combines a confuse, and energy consideration weighs that highly.


cold snap should be a 80ft cone,  its 60x135arc, that a damageless fear.  those, as with dark, are looking somewhat lackluster against mind and symphony.


Ice slick had a decent radius, at 25ft, and is like earthquake that does a drop of damage.


this combos well with sleet and ice storm epic pool... and i guess you could make a weaker ice/cold corruptor from a fldamage perspective that has a few aoe things. youd be anemic tho.


aoe hold being pbaoe pushes this set towards D tier.


Epic/Patron Power Pools:

Fire Mastery (B):

fireball  a res shield (no lotg slot), rain of fire. ok.


Ice Mastery (A):

sleet (good rain debuff), ice storm (slow effect, dmg),  frozen armor (def based, lotg slot), hibernate (situational hard recovery), hoarfrost (max hp plus, meh)


Leviathan Mastery (B/A):

water spout (cc, like tornado-ish), shark skin res armor (no lotg), hibernate, useless sunmon, cone aoe.


Mace mastery (C/B):

def shield (lotg slot), reasonable -res ST ranged (18.75%), 


Mu Mastery (B):

res armor, high cooldown buff to res, recovery etc., end drain, terrible summon.


Psionic Mastery (A):

res armor, self+ally buff with def (lotg slot), terrible confuse aura, decent ranged aoe, debuff prot with psi def (lotg slot)






the core of the dominator problem is hybrid, but without support capability.  incarnate nukes, and 1 or two alpha absorbers on the team (any melee), and your there without a purpose, or your running away from the group to solo if your able.


i dont know how to fix that other than by level scaling night and first wards and driving new content to mobs you really wanna make stop. suppose dark astoria, or layering debuff mobs -- you can make things stop.


Dominator - Mind Control - Thorny Assault.mxd

Edited by honoroit
added honorable mention for sonic assault
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It's a good start to a guide, thanks for your contribution. I'd recommend adding more and putting in testing regarding how it plays at various difficulty levels. You could try and load up the test server and run it with different primary/epic powersets to see how that influences it.


Also when saying it's S tier, I'd suggest offering comparative analysis of thorny vs other assault sets. Because as is, the guide is fairly subjective with implicit bias.


Good work so far and I'm curious to see how this develops as I do like thorny assault myself (more so for theme though as I have a dark/thorn in my cadre).

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  • honoroit changed the title to WIP - Honoroit's long winded tier-splain for domi
1 hour ago, Dungeoness said:

I'd try it...happen to have a build to share?


added a sample build. my mids is all wonky with 'advanced totals' on the latest version it downloaded. but, in principle, should work, mostly.


it's not all proc'd out, I prefer set bonuses typically.

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On 3/26/2023 at 1:08 PM, honoroit said:

Energy assault is fun! Listen, villians, dont slot kb > kd, get good at kb.  in the air, is not fighting back.


so simple and yet crazy how folks don't get it.

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"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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