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Defense build question...


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Okay, so anyone who has looked into things will know that soft capping defense is a Good Thing. And that Smashing and Lethal damage is quite prevalent so if you can only soft cap one thing that might be a Good Thing to target unless you are fire farming in which case you would want that soft capped instead. And that melee/ranged/aoe pretty much covers every single possible attack you will face with a few exceptions so soft capping all 3 is a very Good Thing.


The question then comes into play for the characters that are not primary defensive builds and can only get a single soft cap. I'll give an example of two builds I keep switching between on my pain/psi defender.


Build 1 is an all-rounder defensive build with a focus on ranged defenses (since fly is a thing). S/L at 30.2, F/C at 29.9, E/N at 35.5, Psi at 27.4, M/R/A at 33/43.6/32.4 - this build seems to work "decent" enough but non-ranged 30s defenses means that when an attack is not tagged with ranged it lands more often than I would like.


The character is a healer type so any damage that gets through is a trifle thing to worry about. However, the big problem is the mez attacks since the protections are all at 0 so if even a single mez attack gets through it is all over. And I hate being mezzed since often just as it happens a teammate needs a heal and I am unable to do so. The mezzes do not last long due to strong status resistances but... duration is a whole different story than the original proc of the mez. Getting constantly mezzed gets old fast.


Build 2 basically traded defense of ranged for S/L with slightly better energy but far worse everything else especially psi and ranged. S/L at 45.8 F/C at 24.4. E at 40.8. N at 25. P at 19.4. M/R/A at 25/30.6/29.4 - it works amazing against anything that is even somewhat tagged with smashing or lethal, but absolute tissue paper if not tagged with either. I hoped this would be my solution to the mez by blocking off all attacks, but it feels like I get mezzed just as often.


Both builds have their pros and cons. Ideally I would prefer not to compromise but sadly it must be one or the other. I honestly can not decide which of the two builds would be better for my defender, which in turn means I am undecided when it comes to building any other character.


Thoughts from the community on which build is better if you must pick one build over the other? I tend to lean on build 2 because intellectually I know how many attacks are tagged with S/L while just having ranged as a defense leaves several Achilles heels. But I honestly feel like I am getting mezzed just as often with that build which was the whole point of the build change. And I am losing out on some important things by swapping in Mace Mastery for Dark Mastery. Mainly I really notice the loss of Dark Consumption for end returns and the self-rez. But unfortunately can't have both those two powers and the Scorpion Shield. 😕

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If you have capped SL there are *plenty* of farms for it. Just have to watch for poorly designed groups that have debuffs because the creator didn't pay attention to power choices. Space Jam is one I run almost daily, and Comic Con has smash lethal variants as well.


Bring resistance.

Edited by cejmp


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You can pick up the Mez protection in the Sorcery pool to cover mez issues.  It's not perma, but it offers a lengthy protection period and can be used like a break free.


On defense, I tend to favor high Ranged defense for squishy characters and avoid melee; that works pretty well most of the time.  My main ranged attacker is a Fire/Energy blaster so I most assuredly draw aggro, but building for ~40% ranged defense makes him remarkably durable.  If things get "interesting" I always carry a few purples and greens to patch things over.  So far I haven't come up with a build offering more defenses that doesn't compromise the character's effectiveness. 

Guardian Survivor, occasional tanker and player of most AT's.

Guides: Invulnerability Tankers, The first 20 levels.  Invulnerability Tankers Soft Cap defense





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Basically, in a non-Tank/Brute  setup, you're VERY seldom going to see something capped to all positions or all types.  FF Defenders/Corrs/Controllers being an exception.

So, at some point, you're going to have a tradeoff.

Wish I could tell you differently.

But I'd be lying through my teeth.

If you want to be godlike, pick anything.

If you want to be GOD, pick a TANK!

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On squishies I usually go for either S/L or Ranged depending on what's more convenient. I find both of them good enough, just with a few caveats:

  • if I'm staying at range, a large majority of the attacks have the Ranged tag but the occasional AoE is still going to hit me
  • with S/L Def you get to avoid most AoEs, but your Achilles' heel is in the form of pure elemental attacks: fire blast, dark blast, etc.

Overall I'd probably prefer Ranged Def, but usually it's much more convenient to get S/L with stuff like Scorpion Shield / Frozen Armor. If you spend a lot of your time in melee range, then I'd go with S/L.


Sunsinger - Fire/Time Corruptor

Cursebreaker - TW/Elec Brute

Coldheart - Ill/Cold Controller

Mythoclast - Rad/SD Scrapper


Give a man a build export and you feed him for a day, teach him to build and he's fed for a lifetime.

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