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Everything I Love (Plant/Kinetics Controller Guide)

Story Archer

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Hey all - I wasn't sure if this was better suited for the Controller board or the Guide board, so I chose here, to be among friends 🙂


In the interest of full disclosure, I’m normally a Blaster/Scrapper/Tanker kind of guy. I’ve always kinda figured that the best debuff or control in the game was the death of your opponent and my playstyle followed suit. Still, I’m nothing if not open-minded and after a bit of experimentation, I found two quasi-support characters that I really enjoyed – a Kin/Sonic Defender and a Plant/Fire Dominator. The Defender I liked because it didn’t seem to suffer the diminishing returns of most Defenders when you got to higher levels (sorry guys), since its schtick is less about shoring up what by then are already considerable defenses and more about enabling your allies to kill things (*ahem* - arrest things) even faster. The Dominator, honestly, I played because I had what I thought was a cool concept (enter The Defoliator) and he just ended up being a lot of fun. What I noticed in both characters was that, as I leveled up, one of the two power sets really seemed to outshine the other… even with the -RES, my Defender’s Sonic attacks mattered much less than the ever-loving Kinetic suite and my Dominator’s fire damage was equally little more than an afterthought by the time I’d locked everything up. So, when the time came to take a chance on a straight-up Controller, it seemed to make sense to combine what had become two of my favorite things – Plant Control and Kinetics.


What I didn’t realize was that I was about to discover the game had an Easy Mode.


The first thing I want to say about this power combination is that it’s incredibly effective all through-out its life. You don’t have to power level yourself into the mid-30’s in order to feel like you’re making a worthwhile contribution and that is a huge appeal to me, especially in an AT that I don’t have a great deal of experience with.  The second thing I want to say is that it’s cheap, and this kind of goes hand-in-hand with the first thing. You don’t need purple IO sets to make this engine run. In fact, you don’t really need them at all. In my final post-50 build I do slot a single purple set, and I’ll explain why, but even it isn’t truly necessary. One of the great benefits of this (and getting key powers early) is that you won’t need respec’s to rebuild and redesign your character near as much as you level up.


Shown below is the build that I followed, with the only difference being that, once I hit 50, I replaced the Cacophony set in Seeds of Confusion with a set of Coercive Persuasion (more on that later). I’ll include the data chunks at the bottom of the post. Note that this build features something you won’t see very often on a traditional squishy – defenses above the soft-cap for S/L/E as well as for Ranged and AoE. That covers about 95% of what you’re likely to face and your other defenses aren’t too shabby either. 




Before I get into the individual power selections, I want to say a quick thing about play-style. First off, I built and played this character exclusively as a team player. I didn’t design is to solo and I didn’t design it to deal damage. It could theoretically do both, but I wouldn’t say that would be optimal. My usual fare – Blasters, Scrappers, Tanks, etc. tend to be about finding your optimal attack chain, toggling on your defenses and then just turning into a hammer looking for a nail. Support-type characters, Controllers in particular, tend to give you a much wider array of options and tools, and I’ve found that this diversity can often work against you. Whether it’s option paralysis, spreading your enhancement slots too thin or using abilities that are redundant, either with your own powers or that of your teammates, it can be very difficult to function efficiently. The fix to that is to figure out what your priorities are, what handful of things you do best, and then lean hard into them. By focusing on a more limited subset of your abilities, you can get incredibly efficient and effective with them.


In the case of this particular power set, it’s pretty straight forward most of the time. For standard mobs, you open with Seeds of Confusion, which is your game changer and should be up every fight. Then you position yourself best for Siphon Power/Fulcrum Shift (which should also be up every fight). Once that’s done you focus on holding the big threats while keeping an eye on the team's Health and Endurance bars so that you can drop a timely Transfusion or Transference – this can be tough to do as your party gets spread out, so it takes practice and focus to do it well. Don't be shy about it either - your heals have to hit in order to function and you never know when you'll get that one crucial miss. Between fights you reapply Speed Boost and Increase Density, all while letting your team benefit from your Leadership toggles. That’s pretty much it. Anything else you might try to do will rarely be of more benefit to your team or the fight. 


With all that in mind, these are my thoughts on the powers of each set and why I chose (and didn’t choose) what I did.


Plant Control:


Entangle – Single-target Immobilize. Since this character isn’t made for soloing and isn’t made for damage, I skipped this power. 


Strangler – Single-target Hold. This is your straight-up bread and butter when it comes to single targets. After tossing Seeds your best bet is to find troublesome Lt’s that got missed or, more often, start locking down bosses by spamming this power. With the Lockdown IO set you’ve got a chance for an increased magnitude with every cast and it can almost be an attack chain all by itself so you can stack it really quick on multiple targets. 


Roots – AoE Immobilize. A lot of Controllers use their AoE Immob. Power to set up Containment but again, since this character isn’t built for damage, I didn’t take it. The need for it is a lot less than other controllers because you get Seeds so early and the Immobilize effect can actually hurt your team’s effectiveness by preventing the useful ‘clumping’ that often comes with mass confusion. 


Spore Burst – AoE Sleep. It might be worth taking – MIGHT be – if you weren’t about to get Seeds at 8th level.


Seeds of Confusion – AoE Confuse. The signature power of the Plant Control set and arguably one of the very best powers in the game. It’s got a wide 50’ cone, it’ strong enough to affect most lieutenants, it recharges quickly enough to be up every fight and usually lasts longer than the fight itself takes. It could legitimately be a tier 9 power but you get it at 8th level. Literally, if all you did was run around and toss out Seeds of Confusion at the opening of every fight, you’d already have earned our place on the team.


Seeds of Confusion is the only power that I recommend absolutely slotting with a purple IO set, specifically Coercive Persuasion and that’s because of the Contagious Confusion proc. Yeah, it also gives you 5% ranged defense and +10% global recharge, but Contagious Confusion takes a power that’s already almost OP and cranks it up to 11. Basically it makes everyone affected by the power get its own proc’ing Confuse aura, hitting foes that might have been missed by the initial cast and letting magnitude stack exponentially on all of them. It’s just ridiculous.


Spirit Tree – AoE healing pet. From what I can tell, most Plant trollers skip this. I took it to mule a Preventive Medicine proc for me, but I only ever use it if we’re going to be in a stationary fight against a hard target like an Arch Villain or a Giant Monster. Every little bit helps. I would like this power better if, instead of (or in addition to) healing it granted resistance to mezzes or to debuffs. 


Vines – AoE Hold. This is your typical brief-duration, long-recharge area Hold. In the build below I chose this over Carrion Creepers so that I could slot it with another set of Lockdown and to give me second a Hold I could immediately stack on top of Strangler. It makes for a good ‘oh crap’ button for when that ambush comes or someone accidentally pulls another mob and Seeds hasn’t recharged yet.


Carrion Creepers – AoE chaos. In what is sure to be the most unpopular decision with this build, I skipped this power. That is NOT to say that you necessarily should because for a lot of people it’s the signature power (and certainly the most visually recognizable power) in the entire set. I personally don’t take it because, again, the build isn’t designed to solo or be a primary damage-dealer and I’ve found that it’s never a difference maker so much as it just something extra going on in the background - and that’s when I remember to use it. Again, it’s not that it’s not a potentially great power, but it so often ends up just being superfluous… you open every fight with Seeds, then you fire off Fulcrum Shift, then you start spamming Strangler on Bosses or healing your teammates – by the time you get around to spending a quarter of your endurance to drop CC with its slow-proc’ing damage, the group has already defeated the mob and started to move on to the next


However, if you’re one of the great many who love this power and find it indispensable, I’d suggest taking it in place of Vines and slotting this way: three Bombardment IO’s (Acc/Rech/End, Acc/Dmg/Rech/End and the damage proc) as well as the Ice Mistral’s Torment damage proc, the Impeded Swiftness damage proc and the Trap of the Hunter damage proc. If you do that and then move the enhancement slot from Siphon Speed to Super Speed (slotting it with a second Blessing of the Zephyr), you’ll get your Ranged & AoE defenses at 43.3%, which is still more than respectable. I’d also suggest doing a little research regarding how CC actually works – it’s more nuanced than you’d think.


Fly Trap – Mediocre Troller pet. I primarily take this for the Blood Mandate IO set, which gives 3.75% AoE defense and 4.6% Ranged defense. I summon it at the beginning of a door mish or whenever we’re about to fight a major threat, but then I pretty much ignore it. It helps out, it does what it does, but you’ll usually only notice it when it pulls aggro from a mob it wasn’t supposed to. Again, if I were soloing with this character, I’d likely view it quite differently.




Transfusion – Targeted AoE Heal. This is one of the strongest heals in the game, tempered only by the fact that you have to hit an enemy for it to go off. I usually target this through whoever is running in to take the alpha and fire it off immediately as back-up for them. Like many of the Kinetics powers, you’ll only benefit from it if you’re in close to the target, which is one reason why having a high AoE defense is important. The ancillary effect of draining its target of endurance and reducing their regeneration briefly is minor enough that you’re unlikely to ever notice it.


Siphon Power – Targeted Damage Buff/Debuff. This is a pretty standard ability that you’ll be using for the entire life of the character, even after you get Fulcrum Shift. It reduces the target’s damage by about 25% while giving all of your nearby allies a 20% damage buff. It lasts for a good 30 seconds too, meaning that you’ll often have two or more up at once.


Repel – Point-Blank AoE Knockback. There are a handful of niche players who love this ability but it’s generally not worth taking. You can do some fun things with it, but it’s usually just a chaos-inducing Endurance hog.


Siphon Speed – Targeted Slow & Recharge Buff. This is another one of your standard abilities, especially in the early going. It reduces the target’s recharge by 20% and buffs yours for the same amount for 60 seconds while also giving you a degree of super speed. If nothing else it will let you keep up with your speed-boosted allies during missions.


Increase Density – Targeted Buff. Increased Density is the under-appreciated little brother of the much-loved Speed Boost, and you’ll usually be applying them back-to-back whenever your group is standing still. Slotted as-is, it will grant your allies 30% resistance to Smashing and Energy (two of the most common damage types) as well as resistance to KB, Immobilization, Holds and Stuns. Your ‘roided out melee types may not notice it very much but for the squishies on your team it can mean the difference between staying in the fight or face-planting. 


Speed Boost – Targeted Buff. Speed Boost alone would get you invited to a team when you otherwise might not. Like Seeds of Confusion it’s one of the two signature powers of its set, granting a degree of super speed, a 50% recharge bonus and a substantial boost in Recovery. It also grants resistance to Slow effects, which everybody hates. Basically, it makes everything go faster and goes a long way towards accelerating the completion of whatever story arc or task force you’ve joined.


Inertial Reduction – Point-Blank AoE Travel Power. This power might be worth taking if you got access to it early enough that it could replace the need to take a travel power for you or your allies, but by the time you get to it, everyone should already be covered.


Transference – Targeted AoE Recovery Buff.  With Speed Boost your allies shouldn’t really need this, but you likely will. Slotted as-is, you can completely refill your Endurance bar every 10-12 seconds if need be.


Fulcrum Shift – The Grand-daddy of them all, one of the most powerful abilities in the game and the signature power of the Kinetics set. You’ll probably fire this off every fight immediately after dropping Seeds. This power will usually have the rest of the team at the damage cap, which is why you don’t really need an attack yourself – half the damage your team is doing is already because of you! Keep in mind the way the damage buff works is that some of it occurs around the targets affected while some of it occurs around you, s you’ll get the best effect when everyone is up close and personal allowing the buffs to stack.


Mace Mastery:


Poisonous Ray – This single-target attack deals a little damage and will reduce the target’s defense and damage resistance. I keep it in my back pocket for AV/GM fights and pretty much forget about it otherwise. Mainly it’s taken as a pre-requisite for the other powers in the set.


Scorpion Shield – Fantastic toggle armor that gives great defense against the most common damage types, Smashing, Lethal & Energy. It also grants some resistance to toxic damage.


Summon Tarantula – Tarantula, like Fly Trap and Poisonous Ray, is a power that I usually only whip out in AV/GM fights, but – like Fly Trap – serves as a mule for the Blood Mandate IO set. Two full Blood Mandate sets give +7.5% defense to both Ranged and AoE.


Fighting Pool:
If you add up the benefits of the actual powers taken as well as the way they’re slotted here (and toss in the slotting for Increase Density as well), you end up with +13% total defense to go along with an additional +3.75% to S/L defense, an additional +9.25% to AoE defense and about 30% resistance to S/L damage. That’s not bad for a power pool and a buff that doesn’t even affect you.


Leadership Pool:
Maneuvers tops off your defense and Tactics makes sure all of those need-to-hit-to-function powers actually land. Plus they benefit your team and give you slotting mules for some pretty good IO sets.


Leaping Pool/Speed Pool:
You could take either Super Speed or Super Jump here – I usually prefer SJ but Super Speed fit the concept better. Hasten is an auto-take Hasten for obvious reason while Combat Jumping adds to your defense and compliments Super Speed.


Hope this guide helps some of you guys out and if you try this build and enjoy it, please pop back in to let me know. If any old pro's see something that's incorrect or disagree with my choices, please feel free to chime in - there's always more to learn, especially from experienced hands.

Data Chunk:



Edited by Story Archer
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2 hours ago, Story Archer said:

Ice Mistral’s Torment damage proc, the Impeded Swiftness damage proc and the Trap of the Hunter damage proc.


It's worth noting that, due to the nature of the psuedopets that creeper summons and what powers they use, slow procs do very little.


Targeted aoe procs do immensely more damage in the power - load up on those first. Immob procs are a distant second, but still worth a slot if you have one to spare.


I highly recommend slotting up Creepers with 3 Targeted aoe procs, and re-evaluating your preference on the power thereafter. It will melt entire spawns on its own very quickly. The denser the spawn, the more overlap between pseudopet powers and proc effectiveness.


I slot it:

  • Artillery acc/dam/rech
  • Bombardment acc/dam/rech
  • Bombard, posi, javelin proc
  • Hunter proc
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This really isn't a guide, it's just a discussion of your build and your justification for making some questionable slotting decisions (i.e., skipping Roots and Carrion Creepers). If it works for you, great, but...


15 hours ago, Story Archer said:

Increase Density – Targeted Buff. Increased Density is the under-appreciated little brother of the much-loved Speed Boost, and you’ll usually be applying them back-to-back whenever your group is standing still. Slotted as-is, it will grant your allies 30% resistance to Smashing and Energy (two of the most common damage types) as well as resistance to KB, Immobilization, Holds and Stuns. Your ‘roided out melee types may not notice it very much but for the squishies on your team it can mean the difference between staying in the fight or face-planting. 


While the S/E resistance in Increase Density is AoE, the mez protection is single target. So unless you're applying ID to each squishy individually, they're not receiving mez protection.


Uunderdog - Rad/Rad Scrapper | Uundertaker - Rad/Dark Corruptor | Uun - MA/Inv Scrapper | Uunison - Grav/Storm Controller | Uuncola - Ice/Temp Blaster | Uundergrowth - Plant/Martial Dominator | Uunstable - SR/Staff Tank

Uunreal - Fire/Time Corruptor | Uunrest - Dark/TA Blaster | Uunseen - Ill/Poison Controller | Uuncool - Cold/Beam Defender | Uunderground - Earth/Earth Dominator | Uunknown - Mind/Psi Dominator | Uunplugged - Stone/Elec Brute

Uunfair - Archery/TA Corruptor | Uunsung - DP/Ninja Blaster | Uunflammable - Fire/Nature Controller | Uunflappable - WM/WP Brute | Uundead - Dark/Dark Tank | Uunfit - Water/Martial Blaster  | Uunwrapped - Dark/Dark Dominator

Uunchill - Ice/Kinetics Corruptor | Uunpleasant - En/En Stalker | Uunbrella - Rad/Rad Sentinel | Uunsafari - Beasts/Traps MM | Uungnome - Nature/Seismic Defender | Uunsavory - Poson/Sonic Defender | Uunicycle - BS/Shield Scrapper

Uuntouchable - Ill/Time Controller | Uunferno - Fire/Fire Tank | Uunthinkable - Psi/SR Scrapper | Uuncivil - Thugs/Elec MM | Uunnatural - Ice/Savage Dominator | Uunshockable - Elec/Bio Sentinel | Uunfathomable - Elec/Dark Controller

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I like this build! I don't know if I could ever play it as not doing damage with Plant control seems like heresy (my main is Plant/Storm) but I appreciate they way you focused on what you want to do and rigged the build to do it.


I still haven't found a Kinetics build I like playing, but if I can get past the no damage part yours might actually let me enjoy being a Kineticist!

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Posted (edited)
On 1/6/2024 at 6:43 AM, Ringo said:

I like this build! I don't know if I could ever play it as not doing damage with Plant control seems like heresy (my main is Plant/Storm) but I appreciate they way you focused on what you want to do and rigged the build to do it.


I still haven't found a Kinetics build I like playing, but if I can get past the no damage part yours might actually let me enjoy being a Kineticist!


Well if it helps, you are actually responsible for more damage than anyone on the team, possibly for more damage than the entire team combined. Between Siphon Power and Fulcrum Shift you've got the whole team boosted til they're bumping up against the damage cap, they're hitting more often due to your maxed-out Tactics and they're doing it much faster and with less rest because of Speed Boost... in a manner of speaking, that's all YOUR damage.


And to be clear, I'm not even discouraging Carrion Creepers, I've just found that they are something which tends to look better on paper than in actual play. I'm 100% certain that other experienced Plant players would tell you exactly the opposite, though - it all comes down to play-style.

Edited by Story Archer
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