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The ultimate support?


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Right, so let me first off set the parameters.
There are obviously many ways to support, but I tend to levitate towards healing, buffing, debuffing and CC.
I played a Mind/Kin and Mind/Empath Controllers for a long time back in the days, when healing was of more value than today, where everyone tries to cap on res and def in some way, and often have some reactive way to sustain survivability within their own kit. CC was somewhat the same, and added another layer of passive survivability.
I feel like the meta has shiftet a lot over the years though, so I am trying to find my place within that new setting coming back to the game.


From what I gather, the 2 main supports people fancy are anything Kinetics to help hit the dmg cap, and mostly Sonic Resonance to go deep into -res once dmg cap has been reached. I guess it is fair to say that those are the purest sets to choose, as no other set can rival the +dmg of kinetics, and no other set can hit as much -res as Sonic.
That being said, there is an overlap with a few other sets also providing both +dmg and -res, like Radiation Emission and Pain Domination.
Aside from that, I think -regen also has it's place, as a full team with no -regen at all, can struggle greatly agains some obstackles. There are ways to counter this via the P2W vendor, but if it is passivly build into a set, I see that as a major bonus.
Last but not least, I also put some value into +rec, +regen and +recovery. Most people have found a balance on these in their builds, but often times it is a still a small increase to the performance of a team overall. Same goes for +res and +def buffs or +status res, which can help plug holes in the team defenses, and add a bit of overall survivability. Same goes for healing and absorb, even though it feels like the need is rare these days.

So lets break it down.
I feel like the battle is between Kinetics, Sonic, Pain and Radiation. You can argue for Thermal, but I feel like Pain does the same, just better.
I guess +dmg always wins over -res, as -res is relative to how much res the target has, where dmg is always gonna be a set % inc in performance.
This puts Kin as the top contender. Kin also has -regen, even though it is a fairly small one, with only -50% from Transfusion.
For +dmg Pain comes in at a second place, with a 20% pbaoe as well as a whopping ST +62.5% but with fairly ez perma uptime, no stacking though.
Rad hits the 3rd place with a 25% pbaoe that also gives +30% rec.
Sonic offers little in +dmg, but can go full -60% res, -30% in a ally pbaoe toggle and a ST -30%.
Pain has a -30% pbaoe with a technical perma uptime of 30sec, but has trouble if groups are killed any faster or slower than that.
Rad also offers -30%, but with much greater uptime as a target toggle, as well a whopping -500% regen in a target aoe.
Kin offers no -res, but does come with +rec and an almost unlimited +recovery, especially for melee.
Only Sonic has no options to heal, where Kin are only able to heal for melee, Rad a regular pbaoe heal, and pain offering both the pbaoe as well as a ST heal and a ST self dmg for heal.
As for the solo and party viability, both Sonic and Pain suffer greatly from a lot of the buffs working mostly for allys and not self. Pain does get the -res and +dmg buff though, where Sonic basically gets no benefit what so ever. Rad and Kin gets the full benefit in solo as well as party. Pain works well also, if you have access to a pet, like for MMs and some Controller builds, but not so much on Def and Corr.

Lest quickly mention the top secondary sets for possibly plugs or enhancements.
The sets that stands out to me are Sonic for -res stacking, Beam Rifle for -res and -regen, Dual Pistols for -res.
I find it, that even if Sonic has a bigger potential for -res than BR and DP which both sport a -20% res with perma uptime in 1 ST power, Sonic is a horrilbly designed set, and the cones are terrible at applying the debuffs to multiple targets. You also have to use at least 3 powers to stack past 20%, which means a lot more active focus on the -res stacking, than your primary set. This is maninly a concern for Kins, being a super active set itself.
DP's -res is a piercing attack that can hit mobs in a line, which is also great on paper, but not great in practise, and which I'd honestly more considder just a ST attack. It does require you to shuffle ammo to get the -res debuff.
BR's -res attack is also a piercing attack, but comes out on top here IMO, as it requires no real attention other than running your main rotation or keeping 1 ST att up every 10secs, leaving you to choose where to focus your energy, more so than the other sets. It also sports a -150% regen debuff as well with a 15s duration.

So that being said, the purist would most likely go Kin/Sonic or Kin/BR, or, Sonic/Sonic or Sonic/BR. The more broad approach would probably choose either Pain or Rad. Rad for the faster pace, Pain for the healing.

I recognize that many other sets have support aspects to them, like elec's drains, darks -tohit and so on, but I find that in endgame, it mostly boils down to the above mentioned +dmg, -res, -regen with a secondary focus on +res, +def, +status res and healing.


If you could take 1 support for your team, which would you want? (not exclusive to Defenders)
If you could choose 2 supports for your team, which would those be? (not exclusive to Defenders)

I think mine would currently be 1. Kin/BR Corr and 2. Sonic/Sonic Def


Edited by A3r0h
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     Depends on all sorts of things among which are:

  • Level range being discussed 
  • What character (AT/sets) I'm on
  • Expected Foes
  • Expected Notoriety +/- Hardmode settings
  • Team size
  • Familiarity with the AT/Sets of the character I'm playing

     My Claws/SR scrapper and my Emp/Fire defender have very different support needs for instance even if everything is otherwise similar.

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I'm surprised you didn't bring up cold.


It's a very powerful debuff set with a couple of nice buffs in it as well.  It does better AOE and spike -res than Sonic does because of stacking heat loss and sleet.  The catch is heat loss is hard (if not impossible) to get the -res permanent.


But, there's a reason HM teams like cold.

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What this team needs is more Defenders

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I rather like pain domination.  One big thing for me is that, even with how good kinetics is, you sometimes want/need that heal that doesn't require you to target an enemy.  Electrical Affinity is also very good, but it takes a bit to get the most out of the chaining effect.

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1 minute ago, tjknight said:

Electric Affinity - it literally does just about everything you need to support a team.

After playing it for a bit, you become hyper-aware of watching how many stacks of static you have and recast Faraday cage a LOT!  I prefer the set on controllers or masterminds, where you have more permanent pets available to target off of.  I know defenders/corruptors can take the sentinel, but I don't care for it.

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Nature. It offers very strong ally buffs (heal, +res, +regen, +absorb, +dmg) and foe debuffs (-res (ST), -dmg, -tohit, -regen). Generally valued for HM runs. 

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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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If I could choose 2 supports for my team, they'd likely be Cold/Sonic and Nature/Sonic.


Comprehensive +DEF, +RES, +maxHP, +absorb (and +maxHP boosts +absorb), slow resistance and heals package between the two of them.

Tons of -RES. Decent -DAM. Decent +DAM. OKish -regen. Stellar end management.

This more or less covers everything you could want.

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As Nihilii says above, Cold/ and Nature/ would be my two choices. I run a tricked out Cold/Ice Defender and it is by far my favorite character. Perma-Sleet keeps everything on their butts and provides a good amount of -def and -res; Heat Loss means no one has to worry about endurance plus more -res debuff; She also gives 39% defense to all (but Psi and Toxic I believe).


I also have a Nature/Sonic Defender who is a beast. Entangling Aura is a fantastic defensive power and keeps the riff raff held. The cone heal comes in handy, plus the two click buffs for +Res and +Absorb make you and your team pretty sturdy. The T9 buff also provides good +dam, +to-hit, and -end. cost. It also has some potent debuffs. All around, a very versatile set.


A third favorite of mine is my Dark/Water. Provides good -res and -to-hit. Also has my favorite heal and rez in the game. Dark is very controller-y with Fearsome Stare and Howling Twilight (it is your rez, but also serves as an AoE stun). The T9 pet also helps with more healing and debuffage. 


Tbh, I don't think you can go wrong with any Defender primary, but these are my top 3 for both fun and utility.

Currently playing on Everlasting


Liza Frost - Lv.50 Cold/Ice Defender; Tara Sonara - Lv.50 Nature/Sonic Defender

Tenebrous Tide - Lv.50 Dark/Water Defender; Twilight Servant - Lv.40 Time/Dark Defender

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I mained a PvP Empath for years. Occasionally I'd play with some RL friends in the same room. In my experience those blasters were the best support I could ask for. They always tossed me a cold beer as I finished one off, and they'd keep me on my toes when I was keeping them set with Fort/CM and kill stealing them.


That said in PvE without support to feed you a beer buffet, anything that lays down heavy debuffs is one of my preferred ways of playing. Trick Arrow, Cold, Storm, etc.

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May I off another alternative.


Have a look at the epic Arachnos Soldier,..in the in the initial set u have AOE (  -def,.-res,..immobilize)

 add that with double leadership for ALOT (+22% ish def,..30%dam,..18%ish TO HIT)

then add in the other abilities like  Surveillance large single target -res

all that and more BEFORE u rven count side pools or PATRON POWER pools for more buffs and debuffs.

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1 Defender in team = If you are a great player then Kin - what you choose for secondary is a little bit arbitrary in my opinion as you'll be super-busy in a larger team. Otherwise, if you're not a great player (like me) then Rad primary is a much simpler choice and all 'foe focused' - plus it blossoms early - sonic and rad are nice secondaries.

2 Defenders in team = As you'll not know the makeup of the potential remaining 6 team-mates I'd suggest both the above as I think debuff for a full PuG team just trumps buffs - logic would suggest a buff heavy and debuff heavy mix - but there's always be the time when the buffer is bored not needing to 'heal' the only squishy blaster on the team as the tank/brute brigade turned up in force.

And to answer a question you didn't ask;

3+ Defenders in team = All Rad primary with anything heavy AoE and no KB as great secondary choices. The other good choice for more than 2 defenders in the team is "Yes please, bring more defenders!" - stacked leadership as passive buffs alone is a good enough reason before even considering the 'right' primary powers (not sure there's a wrong defender set).

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If it's not broke, fix it until it is.

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