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Mastermind PvP Tier List (9-5-19)

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Decided to make a pvp tier list for masterminds. I'm one of the few people left that plays masterminds at a competitive level and have been fielding masterminds on test ladder teams since i10. This list applies to zones/arena (casual/PuG).

 

Primaries:

Explanation:

Because there is no real lockdown in the game right now (outside of -jump which is nullified by super speed) a primary with pets that have solid ranged damage is mandatory.

 

S Tier: Demon Summoning, Thugs

A Tier: Robotics

B Tier: Necromancy

F Tier: Ninjas

The Dumpster: Mercenaries, Beast Mastery

 

Explanation:

  • (Viable)Demon Summoning - Demons are just crazy, they don't have the strongest ranged attack chain but they are still very capable of dishing out decent ranged damage because the pets use tier 2 blasts (fire blast/ice blast) and the demon prince uses holds(which can also be procced out). Demons can do upwards of -60-80% resistance just on their own (this value gets DR'd so it never turns out to be that high) especially if the enemy roots next to them long enough for them to begin meleeing(they can wreck almost anything in melee). Hell on Earth->burnout->Hell on Earth also allows you to not only greatly buff the damage of two pets, but also spawns a billion little imps that help disrupt enemy targeting and deal additional damage. The demon prince can be efficiently slotted with damage procs as well. Overall this set has great versatility between the -res from hellfire and the extremely strong melee capabilities, decent ranged capabilities and hell on earth.
  • (Viable)Thugs - Thugs has always be insanely good since release. Everything about this set is good. The tier 1 pets are strong and get an arsonist that deals good damage with his fire bomb ability and can scourge. Thugs also get the best pets in the game, enforcers, who can be heavily procced out for huge damage and have access to assault/tactics which buffs all of your pet damage as well as your own. The thugs tier 3 pet, bruiser is also an extremely strong melee pet (think of him as a ss/invul brute, he builds fury!) and has access to KO blow, which can easily do around 250-300 damage(this is the highest damage attack any pet can do). Thugs also get the best summon/buff power out of all MM sets, gang war, which can be casted twice with burnout allowing you to run around with 26 pets in total. Overall this set has the strongest dps out of any MM set and is the go to set if you are looking for raw damage output.
  • (Viable)Robotics - Simply put robots have the best ranged damage burst output of any MM pet set. Most of their attacks can be procced with explosive strike. The tier 3 robot has the strongest ranged attacks of any MM pet and can deal significant damage to anyone silly enough to stand in front of you. Even though this set has slightly stronger ranged damage than thugs, I would not say it out DPS's thugs and is why I put this in A tier rather than S. Choose this set if you want solid, reliable and consistent ranged damage.
  • (Viable)Necromancy - Necromancy was actually A or S tier in pre i13 days. Back when you could actually lockdown targets allowing the pets to get their melee in. These days necro is still decent because their ranged attacks can be procced but they are a mere shadow of what they used to be and what this set is actually capable of. The tier 1 pets, zombies, are cannon fodder and don't do much, they have decent ranged attacks with vomit (toxic damage, very unresisted) and life drain (can be procced and does decent damage). The tier 3 pet lich does various mezzes like fear and holds which don't mean much in pvp but can be procced out to increase its hold damage and any other dark attack it has. The tier 2 pets, grave knights, is what really used to make this set shine. Think of it as having 2 broadsword scrappers. These pets are the second strongest melee DPS pets next to jounin. These pets can bang, with access to headsplitter and disembowel, even with the melee pet modifiers they can still chunk HP bars with attacks that can do anywhere for 200-250. I'd say if lockdown were ever reintroduced back into the game this set would jump up the tier list dramatically. Also give graveknights the ability to crit in pvp. It's not like MMs are overpowered to begin with..
  • (Not Viable)Ninjas - I wish ninjas were good, I'd roll one immediately. Their problem is their trash ranged damage (understandable, ninjas are not known for ranged damage are they?) which normally wouldn't be a problem because they more than make up for it in their melee damage. With some of the best melee damage numbers for pets in the game, ninjas can slam if given the opportunity. Unfortunately they will never ever be given that opportunity against living breathing opponents(no lockdown means no one is gonna get meleed by your pets :) ). Which is sad because jounin have higher base melee attacks than even grave knights (and they actually crit in pvp!). This set really really relies on having actual lockdown or slows(are you seeing a pattern yet? lol).
  • (Not Viable)Mercenaries - Bad base numbers, serum is trash, most of the pets have 3 second animations that do lower damage than say thugs/robotic ranged attacks that might be 1 second casts. Spec ops look cool but just end up throwing stun grenades (just puts people in mez suppression in pvp which is bad). Commando's damage is not great and is the only pet with an attack (LRM rocket) that has like a 4 minute cooldown, which doesn't really make sense given its damage is pretty awful. This set belongs in the dumpster for the time being until it gets reworked. My suggestion is to rework spec ops to be a sniping/critting pet, and make serum a 2 min cooldown buff that can buff pets for 100% damage or something like that.
  • (Not Viable)Beast Mastery - Has the best melee dps (not burst, that goes to ninjas) out of all MM pets. This set would be viable if lockdown actually existed. The pets do actually dish out massive amounts of damage, they'll just never have that opportunity unfortunately. I really tried to make a beast/kin work in zones but it's more trouble than it's worth.

 

Secondaries:

Explanation:

Because movement speed and slows follow a DR (diminishing returns) curve, slows do not work under 99% of circumstances (unless an enemy happens to be powerboost+weakened or benumbed). Masterminds were designed to rely on lockdown to apply pressure and secure kills, with this gone many sets that rely on slows to set up kills are extremely weak. Sets that apply buffs or have AOE healing are often times the best secondaries.

 

S Tier: Poison, Nature Affinity

A Tier: Empathy, Thermal, Pain Domination

B Tier: Trick Arrow, Cold Domination

C Tier: Kinetics

D Tier: Radiation Emission

F Tier: Time Manipulation

The Dumpster: Traps, Force Field, Dark Miasma, Storm Summoning,

 

Explanation:

  • (Viable)Poison - Best debuff set in the game, has been MMs best set since upon release. Weaken is -special which has huge utility including debuffing a healer's ability to heal, debuffing an enemies ability to debuff (lol), think of it as a reverse powerboost. Also you can powerboost weaken and strengthen its anti-powerboost effects even more so. Powerboost+weaken+neurotoxic breath actually slows people! One of the few ways MMs have to actually lock an enemy down. Envenom is also strong with a very short cooldown and -def (-achilles proc). Noxious gas is insanely powerful against melee opponents as well and debuffs almost every stat imaginable. If the enemy is not in mez suppression it forces a puke animation as well which can spell death for squishies. The only weakness of this set is no self heal(if you are attacked while in BG mode you need to heal your pets with the single target heal, not optimal).
  • (Viable)Nature Affinity - Strongest buff set in the game. Big AOE damage buff for you and all your pets and big AOE absorb shield for you and your pets AND a single target -res debuff. Need I say more?
  • (Viable)Empathy - Having a PBAOE heal on MM is actually OP in combination with BG mode. You really should never die with this set unless you are chasing friends out of BG mode to heal them which is kind of the big weakness of running emp on a MM, you will be out of BG mode much of the time. I don't really recommend this set if you are planning on just buffing your pets, just go nature if you wanna do that.
  • (Viable)Thermal - AOE heal+BG mode= you tanking 8 man teams by yourself (not really but you should never die). Heat exhaust is nice but because there is no lockdown you may never be able to capitalize off of it. Melt armor is okay, but the recharge is absolute ass, also, suffers from the same problem as heat exhaust, you have no slows, you cannot capitalize off this debuff. Res shields are useless because of DR curves unless you are buffing melees. Forge is okay but MMs have the weakest buffs/debuffs in the game so the values are gonna be bad.
  • (Viable)Pain Domination - Decent healing set if you are man/woman enough to run around out of BG mode all the time and risking getting facerolled by a blaster. Has a PBAOE dmg buff which is nice, but if you are running this for damage buffs for pets just go nature.
  • (Viable)Trick Arrow - This set boils down to two powers, entangling arrow (for the -jump) and acid arrow (can be annihilation/achilles -res procced for around -60% res). This set was designed to lockdown enemies, but because of movement speed DR curves cannot do so. Glue arrow will not do shit, no, not even with powerboost. So this is more of a set to set up kills for your more mobile teammates. All the other powers literally don't matter because no one is gonna be ever going to be slowed by you.
  • (Viable)Cold Domination - Normally, because of the movement DR curves i'd tell you this set is garbage. But because it has access to benumb (-special debuff, think of a reverse powerboost) you may actually be able to slow something with this set(just maybe). The weakness of this set is your lockdown/ability to apply an effective offense is tied to two 40 second cooldown (more on a non min/max build) powers (powerboost+benumb) to be able to actually slow an opponent down enough to attack them. If you aren't able to powerboost->infrigidate->webnade->benumb->sleet->heat loss a target chances are you will not slow them down enough to get them a kill. Not only that if the opponent has teleport this setup also does nothing. That said this is a great team arena set though.
  • (Viable)Kinetics - You can speedboost pets, removing one of the weaknesses MMs have (they are slow because of pet speed and the need to stay in BG mode). Intertial reduction is really nice too, caps your horizontal jump speed. Powerboost+transference+transfusion can mess up people's end bar too. All the other powers don't really matter because (no lockdown).
  • (Not Viable)Radiation Emission - AOE heal is nice. AM is nice. EF/RI require you to be in range for them to be toggled which wouldn't be a problem but nothing can be slowed in the game really so. Only reason I didn't put this set into the dumpster is because it has an AOE heal. Also I have no idea why but they stealth nerfed the -res values of EF (this was done on private server, not on live). Not really a great decision given what poison can do without a need for you to be in constant range of the enemy. All they need to do to fix this set is to reintroduce slows and increase EF -res back to its original values.
  • (Not Viable)Time Manipulation - The only saving grace of this set is you can hold people just a tiny bit longer than other holds with time crawl+time stop. Other than that unfortunately this set is garbage. All of the things this set was designed to do DR too hard in pvp to matter much. Also pets aren't effected by recharge buffs so the utility of this set is extremely limited.
  • (Not Viable)Storm Summoning - Can't slow anything so you can't get sleet off. Thunder clouds don't detoggle anymore. Mastermind hurricane does not -range. Absolute trash.
  • (Not Viable)Traps - Traps is actually a hilarious zone set. You used to be able to set up mines, acid mortar and poison traps and tp foes into them and insta kill them. But, because no fun allowed, tp foe was nerfed and now applies a .75 second unaffected status to enemies that you TP foe, just long enough for them to casually walk out of all your traps(while setting all of them off too, of course). I really don't understand these changes. So yeah this set is absolute trash.
  • (Not Viable)Force Field - Defense DRs hard for MMs, meaning even if you are at 300% defense, in pvp DR will put you at 20-25% defense. Forcebolt is also very weak for MMs because their buff/debuff numbers are low. So yeah this set has almost no utility. You can give your pets defense shields I guess but no one is going to ever shoot your pets. They're going to shoot you.
  • (Not Viable)Dark Miasma - No lockdown, can't fear into tar patch. Also because damage is so extreme you will get 0 utility out of the -acc, people will just roll their faces on their keyboards and explode you before that will matter. They really need to revert the mez system to make these sets actually playable again.

 

 

 

APP/PPP:

Explanation:

Mastermind APP/PPPs give MMs access to extreme damage attacks, shields, holds and strong ranged damage.

 

S Tier: Leviathan Mastery, Mace Mastery

A Tier: Chill Mastery

B Tier: Mu Mastery

C Tier: Charge Mastery

The Dumpster: Heat Mastery, Soul Mastery, Field Mastery

 

Explanation:

  • (Viable)Leviathan Mastery - How do sharks know how to KO blow? I dont know but it owns. This is the best MM PPP for pvp. Res shield means +hp IO from unbreakable guard (mandatory for MMs because their HP is so low). KO blow can be 2 acc/dam 4 damage procced and does hefty damage, in fact, this is the hardest hitting move MMs have access to period. Spirit shark jaws is the hardest hitting ranged damage attack MMs have access to as well! This set works very well in the current meta.
  • (Viable)Mace Mastery - Mace mastery gives you access to powerboost (MMs have needed this for so long..) and webnades (gives you limited lockdown, not to reliable though). This is good to pair with sets that can slow like cold or poison. The only weakness of this set is you get a defense shield which is useless in pvp.
  • (Viable)Chill Mastery - Chill mastery is actually quite viable for MMs. Ice blast can be procced and does decent damage, hoarfrost caps MMs HP (they get more utility out of this power than any other AT because even with a min/max build you are only going to get around 1200-1300 HP on MM), and hibernate isn't too bad on MMs either (you are protected from getting AS'd when you come out if you are in BG mode). Frozen armor is defense based so that makes it kind of worthless, but it can still be slotted with unbreakable guard +hp.
  • (Viable)Mu Mastery - The last of the viable APP/PPPs. You get a res shield and thunderstrike. Pretty nice. You may as well go leviathan though if you are looking for a res shield and a heavy hitting attack though.
  • (Not Viable)Charge Mastery - Very similar to Mu Mastery but instead of a res shield you get surge of power, a tier 9 resistance power. Not all that great in pvp because DR curve means that resistance is soft capping well below what you expect it to.
  • (Not Viable)Heat Mastery - You get char/fire blast to round out your ranged attack chain (if you have a ranged attack chain on a pvp MM you're doing it wrong). No res shield though makes this set trash.
  • (Not Viable)Soul Mastery - Bunch of AOE stuff, probably not bad in PVE but useless in PVP. Soul Storm is actually decent though, but still i'd just go leviathan if I wanted a strong damaging hold.
  • (Not Viable)Field Mastery - Powerblast is decent, temp invuln is nice. Everything else is AOE and for PVE.

 

 

Balancing MMs for PvP Notes:

MMs do need a lot of help. If there is not going to be a reversion of the mez system to the old pre-i13 mez system(if that happens that solves almost all problems MMs experience) then I have some suggestions to make to help make MMs more viable.

  • Buff Mercenaries - Very bad set, obviously it was designed very early on and was never really altered. I think spec ops just need to be completely reworked to be a single target damage DPS pet with emphasis on snipes and melee knife crits or something. Serum needs to be buffed to be a damage buff or something, the +res is so useless on a pet I feel. Also it's a 10 min cooldown for god knows what reason lol.
  • Give Grave Knights crits - It's not like MMs are OP in pvp by any means. Grave knights are quite literally the only real damage you get out of necromancy.
  • Increase Pet movement speed, melee pets by 40%, ranged by 25%, perhaps even more so because pets are REALLY slow and in todays super speed/super jump environment this is really a hinderance ESPECIALLY in zone pvp where because you have no lockdown you are just endlessly kited while you fight off zone NPCs, stalker AS and blasters with fly sniping you. Yeah it;s a pretty awful and miserable experience right now if you are trying to do anything but sit around and camp in a MM in zones (even that doesn't work). If some of the best MM players (Volund, Public Enemy etc) in the game struggle hard to pvp in zones that really says something about where the AT is.
  • Allow pets to be slotted with range or increase pet base range - Like I was saying playing MMs in zones is one of the most miserable things you can do in this game, if you just had higher range for pets or allowed them to be slotted with range this would make a huge difference. You could also just add +range components to pet IO sets. Thing is MMs are trying to compete with ranged damage that is procced out (MMs ability to damage proc is limited) so adding additional range to pets I feel is not asking for too much.
  • Increase pet damage - If there is no lockdown and pets are easily kitable, I feel they need their damage increased. Pets don't have very much access to proc damage which is the MAIN source of damage in pvp right now (I think it's something like 60/40 damage between procs/base damage). I think a 25-30% increase in pet damage would make up for their lack of proc damage and a MMs lack of reliable lockdown (which used to be how MMs managed to kill things)
  • Increase supremacy/Bodyguard mode range - This will help a bit with survivability. I don't think it needs to be increased much, I think right now the range is 25 ft., if the range were increased to 37.5ft I think that would be reasonable without going overboard.
  • Increase Base HP from 803 to 903 - This is such a small buff but the problem is you get caught out of BG mode you don't even get a chance to pop phase or greens, you just insta die, I don't want MMs to become unkillable tanks but some HP to buy just a fraction of a second to make a decision would be so huge. If we went back to the old mez system I would never ask for a buff like this, but there are too many times where you get auto held out of BG mode and 0-100'd killed because your HP is only 1200(this is with accolades and a min/max build). Blasters can easily do 1500-2500 in a single attack chain, a little bit of HP would go a long way for MMs especially when blasters had their HP buffed for god knows what reason (not to mention the defense/absorb shields they now get).

 

I still think the easiest way to buff MMs though would not even be to buff them directly(they would still need some buffs), but just remove DR curve on movement speed, which would allow slows to actually work in pvp. It would also help mitigate the endless ranged DPS facerolling because people would actually have to THINK before they commit to a fight. "Am I going to get slowed by this guy if I just run up to him?".

Edited by M3z
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I’ve enjoyed reading your tier list here and on the dom page, but it’s left me with a question. On the dom page you said that the only cc that really matters are single target holds. /dark and I think/time both have a hold, and the soul patron set also provides a hold so you can double up on it, which makes me wonder why they aren’t rated higher. Is it because they don’t have domination to make their holds stronger? I’m not 100%sure what domination does to your hold magnitude.

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25 minutes ago, Shoulung said:

I’ve enjoyed reading your tier list here and on the dom page, but it’s left me with a question. On the dom page you said that the only cc that really matters are single target holds. /dark and I think/time both have a hold, and the soul patron set also provides a hold so you can double up on it, which makes me wonder why they aren’t rated higher. Is it because they don’t have domination to make their holds stronger? I’m not 100%sure what domination does to your hold magnitude.

The old mag based mez system no longer exists. The game now uses an auto mez system (meaning as long as you pass the acc check and your mez lands, it will always mez the target). So stacking mezzes no longer really matters and holds are now more viewed as sources of damage because their ability to be procced. As long as you have a single mez you are good. The new mez system doesn't really allow for any counterplay and needs to be reverted back to the old mag based system you were talking about.

 

Also to specifically answer your question about /dark, slows/movement speed follow a DR curve meaning stacking high amounts of slows really don't have much effect and won't really slow a target. This means even if you hold someone and place tar patch below them, they can simply superspeed out now.

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I take it that you can’t effectively cast two holds back to back for an overall increased duration? Also if magnitude is no longer a thing, how do you establish a hold on AVs? It used to be a matter of overcoming a magnitude level of resist from what I understand. If there is no longer magnitude, is there still a point to stacking KB protection? A lot of confusing and conflicting information on the forums.

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In PVE mag system still functions the same.

 

In PVP basically whatever the hold duration of your hold(which is 2 for every class except for doms/controllers which is supposed to be 4 seconds) minus the enemies hold protection/resistance is what your end hold duration will be. That said there are still many hold/stuns that have lower/higher values than they are supposed to (dark control for instance has 6 second base holds, very broken). After you mez an enemy that enemies will be in 12 seconds of complete mez immunity. Which means if your pet does a .25 second stun or something, you put the enemy in mez immunity which can really screw you.

 

So to answer your question, stacking holds does absolutely nothing because after the initial hold duration wears off the enemy will be in mez immunity. There is no mag protection to break because your mezzes will always mez no matter what.

 

In PVP KB still follows mag system (yeah I know this is confusing, the mez system in pvp is absolute trash) so it still functions similar to how it did pre i13.

 

 

Edited by M3z

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Does KB result in Metz protection as well? If not I could see some utility in focusing on KB powers with KB to KD, and maybe a OF KD in your tier 1s.

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Yes, it has its own mez suppression duration as well (I think 15 seconds). KB is not a bad way to catch people, MMs just don't have very much access to good KB outside of force bolt from /bubble (which is a really bad set for pvp).

 

Also most people build for 20-40 KB protection which would nullify any KB MMs have access to including force bolt.

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No mention of Sonic? But I'm guessing it's pretty similar to Force Field.


Everlasting | Hullbreak - Tanker / Amarillo Starlight - Defender / Luna Spector - Controller / Captain Perplex - Corruptor / Brixton Jack - Blaster

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19 hours ago, Drakwatch said:

No mention of Sonic? But I'm guessing it's pretty similar to Force Field.

Seems I forgot, I will get around to it.

 

Sonic I'd say has a little more utility than force field. You can res shield your pets, they do not suffer from DR effects in PVP, meaning you can stack crazy amounts of resistance on them. This is sort of useful in pvp zones where people like to spam judgement (high damage ranged AOE incarnate power). You also get a cage which can be used to defend yourself from a gank briefly (cage duration is only 4 seconds I think, this value is too low right now). You get a targeted AOE -res which is a nice way to defend yourself from melee attackers, stack that with sonic siphon and you can do around -44% res. Not bad. Sonic repulsion and liquefy unfortunately will have limited utility in pvp due to most people building some form of KB protection in pvp.

 

Overall I'd put it in D tier as viable(barely viable). Although if you want a set similar to this you may as well go thermal. The only reason to go this set for pvp is thematic reasons. 

 

To make this set more viable, there'd have to be a mechanics changes to make res shields actually do something in pvp.

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Just curious @M3z  How do you slot your Beast pets in Pvp?  I'm just a PVE player but I'm interested in learning how to get the beasts fully functional.   Any tips on slotting them for PVE? 

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@SmalltalkJava

I made a beast/kin for zones a while back (did not work out as well as i'd hoped and actually did better in 8v8 arena than zones). But I did do quite a bit of research looking into how to slot the pets. They proc the best out of any MM pets, even moreso than thugs. You will need alpha intuition to hit ED cap on damage for the pets though. This slotting is also taking in account that you will have 30-40% bonus acc from IO sets. That much +acc is overkill for pve though.

 

Chance for buildup goes off all the time, i dont know what the chance is for it to go off but it seems like 40-60% per attack.

 

Also if you don't have intuition for +dam or extra +acc from set bonuses you can drop the +res IO/+AOE defense IO and put in an acc/dam pet IO and +5 it in there.


Level 1:    Summon Wolves    
 (A) Soulbound Allegiance - Chance for Build Up
 (3) Superior Command of the Mastermind - Accuracy/Damage
 (3) Superior Command of the Mastermind - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge
 (5) Superior Command of the Mastermind - Recharge/Pet +AoE Defense Aura
 (5) Explosive Strike - Chance for Smashing Damage
 (7) Touch of Lady Grey - Chance for Negative Damage



Level 12:    Summon Lions    
 (A) Superior Mark of Supremacy - Damage/Endurance
 (15) Superior Mark of Supremacy - Accuracy/Endurance
 (15) Superior Mark of Supremacy - Endurance/Pet +Resist +Regen
 (17) Superior Command of the Mastermind - Damage/Endurance
 (17) Superior Command of the Mastermind - Damage/Endurance/Recharge
 (19) Superior Command of the Mastermind - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance/Recharge


Level 26:    Summon Dire Wolf    
 (A) Superior Mark of Supremacy - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance
 (27) Superior Mark of Supremacy - Accuracy/Damage
 (27) Superior Mark of Supremacy - Damage
 (29) Impeded Swiftness - Chance of Damage(Smashing)
 (29) Expedient Reinforcement - Resist Bonus Aura for Pets
 (31) Touch of Lady Grey - Chance for Negative Damage

 

Edited by M3z
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