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Show me your Stalker tier list!

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Can't be bothered to make a whole tier list, but Street Justice + Ninjitsu is pretty hard to make good (And that's despite the fact that this offensive primary is great on this AT). This ninjitsu doesn't have kb resist, and StJ has nothing to boost the defense. It seems as if Stalker's Ninjitsu has been designed to work the best with defense buffs, like what Ninja Blade, Martial Arts or Staff Fighting offer.

 

Oh, speaking of Martial Arts. They're pretty bad on Stalker as well. No AoE whatsoever. Nowadays placate is pretty useless, but it still replaces Dragon's Tail, which is the only AoE MA has.

 

So far I think the strongest combos for Stalker are Broadsword/Energy Aura and Broadsword/Shield Defense

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Why? What will the value of this list be?

 

I find lists like this to be reductive, simplistic, and often gateways to weak conclusions. One of the strengths of the game is that there are few clear-cut answers to "what is the best?" Context and playstyle variables, of which there are many, shift the answers here.

 

One of the problems on the AT build channels in the discord is that people show up and ask "what is the best?" Often we see the same people later saying things like "I made a spines fire brute and leveled it to 50. When does it get fun?" The answer is: yikes, probably never for that player. It sounds like a bad match. The only reason they tolerated the grind is because somebody told them spines fire was the best at something so they swallowed their misery and plowed through with a character they don't like playing.

 

I see that you asked this in many (all?) of the AT forums. Please consider the value of what you're asking for.

 

Thanks,

Scrap

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5 hours ago, Scrapulous said:

Why? What will the value of this list be?

I'm asking because these sorts of list are a good way to quickly take the temperature of the community. If there is any big glaring problem, such as bad Powersets that need the staff to pay attention to them, the responses fly in with a consensus really fast. Look at the post above yours for an example of exactly what I mean. That post was exactly what I was expecting!

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The irony being that the set identified as bad and the set identified as good are from a base damage standpoint pretty close to each other.  Closer than most the others.

 

The big difference being Broadsword's cone which isn't really much of an AOE.  

 

 

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For the melee sets, Stalkers are in a bit of an unusual place since the highest dps chains almost always are going to involve Assassinate and Moonbeam - which are universal to all Stalkers. Toss Cross Punch into the mix (for the +hit bonus to make Assassinate a rotational ability) and your single target chain isn't going to vary much between different sets.

 

For armor sets, the general rule is that Tankers/Brutes take resist sets while Stalkers/Scrappers take defense sets. This tends to be exacerbated for Stalkers because the power Stalkers lose (for Hide) from resist armor sets is almost invariably the damage aura.

 

So from the standpoint of pure damage, you'd probably go with sets like Ice, Psi and Savage Melee that have a strong attack to round out the ST chain with a decent AE attack. Likewise, you'd picked defense-oriented sets that provide a damage benefit like Bio, Energy and Super Reflexes. Shield technically boosts your damage, but its very situational nature makes it a poor choice (you get no real benefit when you need it the most - in that AV/GM fight).

 

You could also build for defense. A common approach would be to pick a set with a +defense attack and pair it with a positional defense set (Super Reflexes, Shield). However, your damage will normally be significantly lower than building for damage.

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@Hjarki 

 

Is Cross Punch worth adding to the attack chain, DPS-wise?  I knew Assassinate and Moonbeam were core to a strong ST rotation, but had not heard of Cross Punch being used as well.  I guess this means you'd also want to take boxing/kick to add damage?

 

Been wanting to build a ?/Energy stalker, and this information is super helpful!

 

I haven't seen it mentioned in the thread, but Savage Melee is supposedly one of the highest, if not the highest, single target DPS.  This is primarily due to the way using Hemorrhage from Hide interacts.  Something about the auto-crit and the 5x 'bleeds' that Hemorrhage applies makes it actually do more damage the Assassinate.

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23 minutes ago, wonkavator said:

Is Cross Punch worth adding to the attack chain, DPS-wise?  I knew Assassinate and Moonbeam were core to a strong ST rotation, but had not heard of Cross Punch being used as well.  I guess this means you'd also want to take boxing/kick to add damage?

I can't find anywhere that lists the exact numbers.

 

Assassinate is supposedly 129.0 base damage. If we assume Hecatomb and Armageddon are approximately the same (they're what I have Assassinate and Cross Punch slotted with), then this means my Cross Punch would be 84.0 base damage (with full Boxing/Kick synergy).

 

My second attack (Ice Sword) is about 12% more dpa than Cross Punch against a single target. So, in isolation, I'm losing a bit of single target damage by using Cross Punch. However:

  • Cross Punch is also slotted with Force Feedback. This procs ~10% of the time, so it's the equivalent of around 5% - 10% recharge.
  • Cross Punch is AE, albeit only barely. It's a 7 yard, 50 degree arc so it's more a matter of getting an extra enemy tagged every now and then.
  • Cross Punch grants +10% recharge automatically.
  • Cross Punch grants +10% hit automatically. This is the core reason I use it - it enables Moonbeam to be used reliably in a rotation.

Without Cross Punch, I could hit 22.5% for insta-snipe between Offensive Adaptation, Tactics and Kismet. However, non-Bio Armor Stalkers don't have this option. The main alternative would be relying strictly on Build Up.

 

56 minutes ago, wonkavator said:

I haven't seen it mentioned in the thread, but Savage Melee is supposedly one of the highest, if not the highest, single target DPS.  This is primarily due to the way using Hemorrhage from Hide interacts.  Something about the auto-crit and the 5x 'bleeds' that Hemorrhage applies makes it actually do more damage the Assassinate.

Freezing Touch and Greater Psi Blade also do more damage than Assassinate - which is why I mentioned those three sets in particular.

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19 hours ago, Scrapulous said:

I find lists like this to be reductive, simplistic, and often gateways to weak conclusions.

They are done so if people fail to give proper feedback. Take a powerset/build. What is it good for? What is it not? What are its strengths and weaknesses? You do you like or not it so much? If you actually bring enough data to support your viewpoint then I hardly see how that leads to weak conclusions.

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Torchbearer: Waterpark Water/ice blaster, Without Pause Claws/wp brute, Blackmoor Dark/dark controller

Time Machine: Time/Temporal SG/Channel.

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1 hour ago, Without_Pause said:

If you actually bring enough data to support your viewpoint then I hardly see how that leads to weak conclusions.

I have never seen a tier list that offered data or context, but maybe we're looking at or thinking of different things. For instance, what task is the list evaluating the sets for? Hjarki above cited SD as a problematic set for stalkers, but it's well regarded because it cranks AoE damage and interacts well when facing groups, which is useful in arguably more contexts than AV fights, especially solo AV fights. So what you're building for matters. If you're planning to solo AVs exclusively, yes, SD isn't an ideal set. But if you run 8-man teams or solo x8 content a lot, SD is a fantastic stalker set. Shield also offers AoE damage which can supplement the anemic AoE that certain stalker primaries get as a result of losing aoe attacks to pick up Assassin's Strike. So pairing matters, too. Haijinx' point above is spot on, imo.

 

I have not seen a tier list that included anything like this kind of nuance. Again, it may be a limit of my experience with these lists, but choosing a set because "somebody said it was good" or "I saw it was S-tier" is going to lead to some bad experiences.

 

When Homecoming first opened its doors to the general public there was a spreadsheet floating around that ranked all the ATs and powersets. It at least presented its data and assumptions, so it was a good-faith effort to rank things. But its assumptions were bad (like that everybody is always at the global recharge cap), and it wound up showing that Masterminds do more than twice the DPS of the next best archetype, which is not the case. I mention it as an example of how attempts to reduce complex problems to simple equations result in misleading conclusions. Tier lists are a far more simplistic approach to the same thing, and so I think the possibility for bogus conclusions is potentially even greater with them.

 

Scrap

 

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I guess there is some utility in pointing out strengths and weaknesses to give info for people with perpetual altitis 

 

/just hit 50 for the 5th time since homecoming 😣  

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17 minutes ago, Scrapulous said:

I have never seen a tier list that offered data or context, but maybe we're looking at or thinking of different things. For instance, what task is the list evaluating the sets for? Hjarki above cited SD as a problematic set for stalkers, but it's well regarded because it cranks AoE damage and interacts well when facing groups, which is useful in arguably more contexts than AV fights, especially solo AV fights. So what you're building for matters. If you're planning to solo AVs exclusively, yes, SD isn't an ideal set. But if you run 8-man teams or solo x8 content a lot, SD is a fantastic stalker set. Shield also offers AoE damage which can supplement the anemic AoE that certain stalker primaries get as a result of losing aoe attacks to pick up Assassin's Strike. So pairing matters, too. Haijinx' point above is spot on, imo.

As far as I know, you don't receive the Shield Defense damage bonuses while Hidden and Shield Charge can't critical. That would make it a poor choice for Stalker AE since Stalker AE is primarily about criticals from Hide. When you say Shield Defense is 'well-regarded', I'd argue this is because of its defensive benefits rather than its offensive ones - it's a positional defense set that also provides meaningful levels of S/L resist.

 

I do think it's difficult to comprehensively explain the strengths and weaknesses of a given set in a simple list format and metrics for evaluating good vs. bad are often implied rather than stated. However, even a short sentence can give an indication of why the individual is rating those sets the way they do.

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Either that or its well regarded in a more general non stalkerish specific sense. 

 

The damage buff is great on a scrapper for example

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Wonderful analysis in all these threads Hjarki.  Since I have a 50 ice/shield stalker I might chime in here.  Shield Charge does not critical, but it also does not immediately break hide, so its actually very nice to tp into a group with shield charge doing good damage with knockup and immediatlely follow with frozen aura or ball lightning, both which have typical aoe 50% crit rate.

 

Never thought of using cross punch in a rotation to make zapp more consistent.  Might see if I can fit that in, though I generally find because of assassins mark Im in build up most of the time so Zapp is instant. 

 

For fighting AV with shield, I usually bring along a pack of minions to keep my damage boosted, but yes sometimes that is not possible making bio probably stronger overall.  But shield charge, ball lightning, frozen stomp is a very fun 123 combo.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Hjarki said:

As far as I know, you don't receive the Shield Defense damage bonuses while Hidden and Shield Charge can't critical. That would make it a poor choice for Stalker AE since Stalker AE is primarily about criticals from Hide. When you say Shield Defense is 'well-regarded', I'd argue this is because of its defensive benefits rather than its offensive ones - it's a positional defense set that also provides meaningful levels of S/L resist.

That's right, hide suppresses the effects of AAO.

 

Shield Charge and the other telenukes don't break hide (but do generate aggro), so you can lead with that and then quickly follow up with a non-as attack for a second crit. This is probably the chief reason Shield Defense is well-regarded, which, by the way, I meant specifically in the context of stalkers. It is a great stalker secondary, because it provides a lot of offense without giving up much in the conversion to the stalker AT. You get all the benefit of positionals with a lot of extra offense and plenty of versatility when it comes to choosing how to open from hide.

 

Scrap

 

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I like Tier lists too and i'm an oldschool gamer (no tier lists back then).   I like to follow my own path but really enjoy seeing other people's opinions, often they are more experienced, some have 10 stalkers, they can definately mention pros and cons of certain sets.   You don't have to blindly follow tier lists if you get them. 

Many people mention Psi melee is bad because often resisted later and low aoe dmg, having a useless confuse.  Well, I'm going to make myself a psi stalker because i LOVE confuse, will be adding Crosspunch too because i've been using that since day 1 (of homecoming) on almost all my characters: with force feedback proccing 50% of the time (when hitting multiple mobs) and even when not proccing i get 5% to hit and +recharge per enemy hit.

 

Ice/Bio, was great, i think this is really underrated.

Staff felt really cool and fun, love the animations, i had Bio as secondary

Elec/shield was... really heavy on the endurance (but i think most stalkers have end issues at low lvls)

Ninja Blade/ninjitsu:  This was pretty neat tbh, beautiful animations, felt better in oldschool combat than the new stalker way of life;  meaning better for stealth missions, i really enjoyed caltrops a LOT, go assassinate someone, run through a door, caltrops to keep others away/slowed while i defeated them one by one.

 

That said, after my elec/shield i really wanted something with easy endurance management so kept going back to bio.  I like toys/versatility.  If one set has dull attacks but highest dps, i'll probably go for a lower dps set because it has fun stuff like confuse, sustain, buffs, utility in general.   So do with a tier list what you want.

 

 

 

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I dig my stj/ice. It's fun. I have no idea how optimal it is, nor do i care. I dig my elec/shield - I've had an elec/shield of every possible AT (tank/brute on live, scrap here) and finally landed on the one i like. Neither has moonbeam, neither has crosspunch, shield one doesn't have spring attack. I don't care. Could probably have worked in spring but I'd rather have the DDR from grant cover.

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19 hours ago, BwuceWee said:

I like Tier lists too and i'm an oldschool gamer (no tier lists back then).   I like to follow my own path but really enjoy seeing other people's opinions, often they are more experienced, some have 10 stalkers, they can definately mention pros and cons of certain sets.   You don't have to blindly follow tier lists if you get them.

I am liking the feedback everyone is giving. This is a very good conversation overall. I'm especially interested in three things: (1) Powersets that combine in noteworthy ways, (2) Powersets that are below average (or in need of a rework), and (3) Powersets that are good to the point of feeling like "easy mode" (or in need of a rework).

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Posted (edited)

Only of those I've played:

 

#1 Psi/Ice

#2 Psi/Bio

#3 Fire/Rad

#4 Kin/EA

#5 Nin/Nin

#6 Elec/Shield

#6 Stj/Nin

#6 Psi/Nin

 

Primaries:

 

#1 Psi, I'd call the confuse the opposite of useless.  It's of less use on teams - mostly against special targets like Tsoo Sorcerers, but solo it's amazeballs to lead off with a confuse on a LT then go to work on a boss while the lt is helping you instead of also hitting you.  It's a joy to level with, but It's got serious problems with high resists on bosses+ at end game, but it's got a few notes of excellence like cutting through Minotaurs and Cyclopses on ITF.  It may perform better at end game if fitting in moonbeam (which I only did on the /ninj, and kind of gave up on it at that point, so didn't get the full effect) and cross-punch to up the non Psi & AoE damage.  The T9 AE is pretty impressive coming with a KU and a significant extra damage dot if you use it with insight.   Insight is a bit much to keep track of on a stalker so I mostly just get it when I get it, but I'll try to use it with the T9 if there's more than a few enemies I'd hit.  Don't sell short the hold from GSB which slotted with the +hold mag I've held bosses and even EBs with that I'm fighting too, along with the Two KU powers it has a good deal of mitigation and looks impressive, and when not resisted does huge truckloads of damage.  I haven't PVPed with it, but it's supposed to be miles ahead of other sets there.  Many of the attacks have -rech, while small stacks with /ice's aura making it so enemies attack you even less.  

 

#2 Fire, This feels pretty good, I rather like it on a stalker, It may deserve to be higher up on the tier list but was distracted with other sets and didn't give it enough time.  I was a bit concerned that most of the extra damage is in the form of dots, which shouldn't be of much use with a stalker's ST burst focus, but could be good against AV heavy missions like LRSF.

 

#3 Kin, this feels and looks so cool, I also didn't really give this enough of a chance as got distracted, but it feels like it might just be a bit slow for stalkers, and should maybe be lower.

 

#4 Ninja Blade, this is pretty workman.  It's fast, and has some small AoE, but lacks the big attacks that Psi has.  I wasn't extremely impressed with the feel, but I couldn't argue with the results, it outperforms Psi against anything resistant, and all the -dmg means you're taking less damage. If I'm really honest this should probably be #1 for how well it performs, but it just feels o.k. nothing special.  I could see this might perform well with regen sets - bio, rad, wp and of course regen, due to the -dam effects, of course -dam is good for any set really.

 

#5 Electric,  Good AoE.  I want to like this, but it just felt mediocre.  No crits on any of it's AoE, and a weak ST heavy attack, doesn't really work with a stalker's strength, but it does cover the weakness of little to no AoE.  While the teleport attack doesn't break hide, it still agros and I found getting hit after doing it was common losing your crit attack.   I can't even take +0/1 no bosses solo with my IOed lv 23 on Torchbearer, making it clear this is a really bad set for leveling.  While it was just o.k. on Justin end game build.  Still one of my guildies has one that's quite impressive, but he's all purpled out and incarnate which covers a lot of flaws.

 

#6 Stj, o.k. I don't know, this is supposed to be one of the best if not the best set.  I just didn't like the feel or the animation, I can't get into just punching stuff.  

 

#7 Energy.  I tried this back on live, I think probably with /dark, but the attacks were slow, and look like pom-poms, apparently you don't even get full crits with the best attacks, putting this down on the bottom of the dung-heap.  I didn't include it above as it's been too long since I played it, and things have changed considerably since then.

 

 

Secondaries:

 

#1 Ice, nice slow/-recharge aura, which means things aren't hitting you as much, and they don't run away very fast either, making it easier to kill them.  Has great defenses, some -defense resist, a toggle anti-mez, end booster, and a long recharge heal/hp boost.  Pairs especially well with Psi or Ice due to -recharge stacking.

 

#2 EA, I haven't really given this set enough time either, it's very similar to ice, but has some +rech for you instead of -recharge for them.  This probably fits better into the stalker's 'kill them first' style but I prefer a little more staying alive considerably longer, than killing slightly faster.

 

#3 Rad, I haven't really given this enough time, it may be even higher up there as it has good resists, regen, self heal, a toggle anti-mez.  Unfortunately it loses the -to hit aura of other ATs which would've worked best on a stalker.  It plays well in any case for a non full defense set.  

 

#4 Shield,  People seem to like this for shield charge, but it's a small AoE, with small damage, and can't crit.  It looks impressive, but it just felt mediocre when I was playing it.  It was o.k. So I put it middle of the pack.

 

#5 Bio,  This is weird and may be better than what I experienced, but I found I had to sit in defensive mode most of the time, which cuts your damage, even then I didn't find it as defensive as any of the above, I'd definitely pair this with something like Broadsword or Staff to get some extra def from the attacks in the future.  I also never saw any enemies slept by the aura even solo.  I still think I just don't understand Bio, and it could've been my build, or it could've been my playstyle, but it just doesn't work for me.  I gave it a solid try though.  It was still better than the next one though.

 

#6 Ninj.  This is a horrible set, as much as I tried to like it, I wanted the confuse originally to pair with the confuse from Psi, but it's pretty random even with the confuse proc to give more confuse, I think I was only able to stack confuse on a boss once, and the confuse from it is so short it took more time to do than the confuse lasted.  Sure that's one power, then there's the aoe placate... that does nothing, since you can't crit with it, it's only good for running away.  But since it's a defense set, running away doesn't work, since I'll be fine, then take a couple of big hits and be dead before I can use it to help get away.   So that's two powers to skip.  Then there's caltrops.   It's of some use solo, but it mostly scatters everything, and while it does a lot of damage over time, it's very slow and most things escape before it does more than a handfull of damage.  I don't think I ever used this to any good effect.  So that's three powers to skip.  Then there's the click anti-mez, I ended up dying more times than I can count because I forgot to click it before entering combat, I think that alone is what really puts me off.   The upside is that it does have a really good heal, which I used quite a lot, but when you get your defense up and at end game we're back to that same problem with the other utilities, fine then dead, not giving you opportunity to use it.   I think this is probably the worst set on a stalker, even vs. the resist sets.  

 

On 8/25/2019 at 5:08 AM, Some Random User said:

I am liking the feedback everyone is giving. This is a very good conversation overall. I'm especially interested in three things: (1) Powersets that combine in noteworthy ways, (2) Powersets that are below average (or in need of a rework), and (3) Powersets that are good to the point of feeling like "easy mode" (or in need of a rework).

1) Psi/Ice or Ice/Ice for stacked -rech & slow.  I'd guess staff and to a lesser extent broadsword & dark to give some extra +def/-to hit which may work well with layered/regen sets, or lower more offensive defense sets.

 

2) Ninjitsu is seriously in need of a rework, with it's placate not working for crits, and not even being needed if it did, the confuse being too random and short, and the heal not really covering the issues with defense sets, it's just poor.

 

3) I can't say that any of the powersets are too good, they've all got their drawbacks.

Edited by Justisaur
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43 minutes ago, Justisaur said:

#4 Shield,  People seem to like this for shield charge, but it's a small AoE, with small damage, and can't crit.  It looks impressive, but it just felt mediocre when I was playing it.  It was o.k. So I put it middle of the pack.

 

#5 Bio,  This is weird and may be better than what I experienced, but I found I had to sit in defensive mode most of the time, which cuts your damage, even then I didn't find it as defensive as any of the above, I'd definitely pair this with something like Broadsword or Staff to get some extra def from the attacks in the future.  I also never saw any enemies slept by the aura even solo.  I still think I just don't understand Bio, and it could've been my build, or it could've been my playstyle, but it just doesn't work for me.  I gave it a solid try though.  It was still better than the next one though.

If you Boggle an enemy, it will tend to pack the group for subsequent AE.

 

In terms of Bio, I think the reason to play it is offensive adaptation. Honestly, I don't think you lose much (7.5% of all resists is about it for a Stalker) in exchange for your +hit/+damage. That being said, it takes a while to develop.

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Posted (edited)

Elec Melee is one of the better performers with proper slotting in end game. I constantly keep things bouncing with KD and slotting Chain Induction with KD along with the Procs making Assassins Shock great ST damage.

Edited by Gyffes

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Posted (edited)

BS has sick front-loaded DPA. Bio has a damage bonus. BS/Bio means taking out a +4 spawn and halfway killing it's boss on a single attack chain.

Parry is fast, deals effectively with bio's lack of built-in defense, and is a great attack to slot your chance for buildup into.
Disembowel does insane damage critting out of hide, and headsplitter does insane damage, period.

Edited by Frostweaver

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Bear in mind, that when people talk about defensive flaws on a stalker, they really aren't talking about stalkers... with their 75% resist cap and lower defaults, They play more like melee blasters than Tankers. Killing things more quickly IS their best defense. The secondary 'toolset' that helps you kill more quickly IS their best defense. That's why Bio and electric are so powerful.... increasing your already-insane damage by 20% or so hugely increases your survivability compared to an extra 10% resist or 5% defense.

That being said, though, /nin does indeed have huge problems because it's 'toolset' simply doesn't work anymore. EA, Electric, and SR's increased recharge DO work, however, and extremely well.

DPS always loses to DPA, though... which is why claws stalkers, with some of the best DPE and DPS in any set, perform extremely poorly compared to sets with multiple Big-DPA attacks. It's because you can control your crits, and doubling those gigantic DPA attack's damage almost at-will and not having to engage the next spawn until everything is recharged and you WANT to pushes your ST damage to incredible levels.

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I have only played one thus far, so my input is pretty one-sided.  I like Psi Melee quite a bit, especially Greater Psi Blade with the insight mechanic and the stalker ATO that gives hide. It can provide an excellent second hit after AS. I like Mass Levitate a lot too, but I feel like the radius is just not big enough. Overall I'm really pleased with the set, but there's a couple issues I named plus Boggle that I'm not a fan of.

Shield I do like from a defensive standpoint, really easy to softcap defenses and build for solid resistances. Shield Charge I like a lot too, but it doesn't crit and that bothers me. I don't know that I'd make a second /shield stalker.

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I really haven't noticed any survivability issues with Energy Aura - TBH feels pretty much like a scrapper. 

 

I just need to be careful around things like Countess Crey and Fortunas  

 

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