This guide contains little information on how other secondaries mesh with Fire Control and comparisons with other primary sets. Fire/Storm is one of the most fun and “flashy” powersets combinations, sharing the stage with Ice/Storm and Earth/Storm. It is also one of the most flexible combinations, allowing for varied play styles: offensive, defensive, group or solo oriented, and everything in between.
Controllers can make or break a team. A good controller will make impossible fights seem doable and can often turn the tide of battle with a single power. That said, they are also a very fragile AT and until they get pets (which doesn’t happen for Mind controllers at all) are very slow soloers. Playing a controller requires thought and strategy, and much like defenders, controllers mustn’t be selfish; their first priority is the safety of the team, whether via control of mobs or via buffs/debuffs, damage and glory are secondary. Despite their frailty, controllers are required to do things that inevitably will draw much agro, whether it’s because they have to get close to mobs for PBAoE hold or because their debuffs are pissing off the mobs. This means that controllers have to be on their toes, and sometimes retreating from battle for few seconds to let the mobs cool down is the smart choice.
Note: Any damage is specified in Brawl Index (BI), which refers to a power’s damage relative to Brawl.
The Fire Control set, in terms of pure control falls somewhere in the middle, but what little it lacks in control it compensates with a great debuff (Smoke) and of course Fire Imps. It is also one of only two sets that offer a second way to “hold” the enemies, via a combination of immobilization and stun (the other being Earth control). It doesn’t however have any Sleep or Fear powers and offers only limited Slow and Knockback/down powers.
Ring of Fire
This power is largely considered useless, especially in the late game, cause what’s the point of stopping one mob if you can stop a whole group using Fire Cages. I never took it and never missed it. However, it deals more damage than Fire Cages (to a single mob) and one way to use it, is to take it and slot it for damage in the early game, and then once you got your AoE control powers, respec out of it completely.
Type: Single Target, Ranged Endurance: 11 pts Recharge: 4 sec Effect: Immobilize, MAG 3 Activation: 1 sec Damage (BI): Fire 0.6111*5 (3.0555) Accuracy: +20% Range: 80 ft Duration: 20 sec Misc: Makes enemies immune to knockback/down/up powers for 10 seconds.
This is one of your bread-and-butter powers, i.e. take it and six-slot it as soon as possible. It’s a fairly accurate hold which means that at least in the early game you could probably get by with only 1 accuracy enhancement, though eventually it’s a good idea to put a second one in. The standard slotting is 2 accuracy, 2 hold duration, 2 recharge reduction. If you have perma-hasten then you can drop the second recharge redux (that second recharge redux only speeds it up by 0.5 seconds). If you have Tactics well slotted (4-6 tohit buffs) then you could also drop one accuracy, together with perma-hasten allowing you to slot 4 holds in it.
Type: Single Target, Ranged Endurance: 12.5 pts Recharge: 8 sec Effect: Hold, MAG 3 Activation: 1 sec Damage (BI): Fire 0.6111*5 (3.0555) Accuracy: +20% Range: 80 ft Duration: 10 sec
Personally I consider immobilizes to be poor-man’s control, but in case of fire control, Fire Cages is one half of a power combo that gives you a second hold. By using Flashfire in combination with Fire Cages you will have the mobs immobilized and stunned, which essentially has the same effect as a hold – true that it’s a slow and expensive hold but sometimes it’s either that or a team wipeout. It has a weak damage so slotting it for damage is not going to give you a lot, and it has an accuracy penalty, which means that you need at least one accuracy enhancement to just even it out with a non-enhanced Ring of Fire. It is also fairly expensive, in fact, it’s as expensive as Cinders, while not as useful. Nonetheless, to use it as a part of Cages/Flashfire combo it will need to be slotted with two accuracy and two immobilization duration enhancement. It recharges fairly fast, and way faster than Flashfire so rest of the slots can be endurance reduction. Personally I didn’t bother too much with it because I try no to use the Cages/Flashfire combo, I only have one accuracy and one hold duration in it, and 2 end redux, which together with 2 end redux in Flashfire means that the combo is only slightly more expensive than Cinders, something like 26-27 end points.
Type: Targeted AoE Endurance: 22.5 pts Recharge: 8 sec Effect: Immobilize, MAG 3 Activation: 1 sec Damage (BI): Fire 0.3056*3 (0.9168) Accuracy: -10% Range: 80 ft Radius: 20 ft Duration: 10 sec Misc: Makes enemies immune to knockback/down/up powers for 10 seconds.
This is a great debuff, it has a huge area and extremely accurate. It will reduce mobs’ aggro range, effectively acting as self/team stealth and in combination with Steamy Mist means that most mobs will not see you until you come within melee range. It also provides a nice debuff to mobs’ accuracy. If you have the slots to spare it’s probably best to six-slot it because there’s no such thing as too much debuff . However, it’s difficult to see the effectiveness of the debuff, at least for me it was (though the aggro range debuff is very noticeable), and I never had more than 4 slots in it, all debuff of course, no need for recharge redux since you usually don’t use it more than once, before the fight. Personally I love this power and if I could I’d six-slot it, but keep two things in mind: (1) If you take Super Speed then with Steamy Mist it’s full invisibility and you don’t need Smoke for that, though it’ll still help your team-mates; (2) Hurricane provides much better accuracy debuff though it’s not as “easy” to apply as Smoke. So, you might be able to skip smoke completely, though I wouldn’t.
Type: Targeted AoE Endurance: 11.5 pts Recharge: 15 sec Activation: 1 sec Range: 80 ft Radius: 20 ft Duration: 30 sec Misc: DeBuffs Accuracy and reduces aggro range.
Wow, talk about a useless endurance drain. As a controller you don’t want to stay close to mobs for long but to use this power that’s exactly what you have to do. It also has the distinct drawback of pissing off all the mobs around while not mitigating their damage in any way – sure they going to move slower but their attacks are still going at normal rate so once they close in to melee range you’re dead meat. Having said that, it has a decent damage and much like Ring of Fire can be used in the early game to boost your already poor damage and make soloing a bit easier (with the intent of respec’ing it at higher levels). Problem with that as I see it, is that the early game is when you have the most endurance problems and using this power is going to make that even worse.
Type: Toggle, PBAoE Endurance: 1.5/sec Recharge: 20 sec Activation: 1 sec Damage (BI): Fire 0.5556 Radius: 10 ft
The second half of your Cages/Flashfire combo. Once again, accuracy penalty means you’ll need at least 2 acc enhancements, and it’s fairly expensive. By itself, while useful to prevent a team wipeout, generally not a good a control tool, because stunned mobs tend to spread out and create chaos, and that’s why you use Fire Cages. I slotted it with 2 acc, 2 end and 2 stun. In the early game, it might be better to replace one end and one stun with 2 recharge redux to make it come up more often.
Type: Targeted AoE Endurance: 22.5 pts Recharge: 45 sec Effect: Disorient (Stun), MAG 3 Activation: 3 sec Accuracy: -20% Range: 70 ft Radius: 15 ft Duration: 10 sec
This is your AoE hold and the primary control tool, treat it with care and love. Needless to say, six slots as soon as possible, in fact, even before Stamina. It’s fairly slow and even with perma-hasten and 2 recharge redux in it, sometimes you’re going to wish it’d come up sooner, without perma-hasten it almost becomes a situational power, not because there are few situations where you need, but because you don’t want to use it unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’s also fairly expensive but unfortunately you can’t afford to slot it with end redux. The standard slotting is 2 acc, 2 hold and 2 recharge redux, and even with perma-hasten and tactics you probably want to keep the 2 acc and 2 recharge redux.
Type: PBAoE Endurance: 22.5 pts Recharge: 120 sec Effect: Hold, MAG 3 Activation: 1 sec Accuracy: -20% Radius: 15 ft Duration: 10 sec
This is a very fun, situational, power that works well with only its default slot. It’s got an extremely reliable knockback that always hits when you first use it (only things that resist it are monsters and AVs) and is slowly reduced over the existence of bonfire, i.e. as time passes mobs are knocked back less and less, though it never drops to zero and its effectiveness depends on the relative level of mobs. I had Bonfire throughout at least half of my career and it’s a great tool for blocking doorways or locking down mobs in small rooms. With perma-hasten and 1 recharge redux you can even lay down two Bonfires and play ping-pong with the mobs for some time. It also comes very handy during Task Forces and Trials. It is however, as mentioned, situational power, and in fact, in my late forties I found that I needed it less and less. If you are planning a late-game respec (i.e. in your late forties) then you could take this power for a spin in your 30s and see if you enjoy it and find it useful, and if not then respec out of it. (It’s hard to test this power on the Test Server because it is so situational.)
Type: Targeted Location Endurance: 19 pts Recharge: 60 sec Activation: 3 sec Accuracy: +100% Range: 70 ft Radius: 15 ft Duration: 30 sec Misc: Very reliable knockback
This is where all the pain and the frustration of the first 32 levels finally pays off. Fire Imps make you into a very efficient killing machine, especially after you slot them up. You still can’t compare with a scrapper or a blaster, but combined with your holds you’ll be mowing mobs left and right. There’s not really much to say other than that, unlike other pets Fire Imps are all about pure damage - they don’t have any control powers and they can’t tank very well because of relatively low HP. If you have perma-hasten then 1 recharge redux will be enough to have 2 groups at all times, which I find enough, some slot 2 recharge redux. Although they are pretty accurate, if you don’t have tactics you might also consider slotting 1 accuracy enhancement just to make sure they hit those +3 bosses. The rest of the slots are damage of course.
Type: Targeted Location Endurance: 37.5 pts Recharge: 240 sec Activation: 2 sec Accuracy: +100% Range: 60 ft Duration: 240 sec
Storm is considered a very versatile and somewhat hard to master set, a kind of Jack of all Trades. This is actually a good thing for controllers (less so, in my opinion, for defenders) because it gives us flexibility in how to develop our character and most importantly makes the early levels more interesting. It has powers that buff, debuff, deal damage, and even provide a measure of control. Storm summoning has one of the best accuracy debuffs, a great defense debuff and a very nice team stealth/buff power. It is however somewhat heavy on endurance, it has 3 fairly expensive toggles and its 9th power costs almost half the endurance bar.
Couple of things on Slows
Snow Storm and Freezing Rain slowdown enemy movement and recharge speed. Slow enhancements only enhance the slowdown of movement, not recharge speed. The cap for movement is 10%, i.e. it’s impossible to immobilize mobs by slowing them down to 0. The cap for recharge slowdown is 25%.
Gale is not a very popular power, and for the most part justly so. It has measly damage and with the accuracy penalty it’s not even very good at what it’s suppose to do – get mobs out of melee range. Since we have to take it though, my suggestion is to slot it with one accuracy. Having said that, Gale can come in handy in the early game. You can put couple of acc and a knockback enhancement to make sure that when you use it the mobs are blown away and it takes them a while to get back to melee range. Or you can slot it with damage to help you solo a bit, although its damage is so low that anything but SOs will not make a significant difference, and by the time you can put SOs into powers you should be considering respec’ing and dumping any slots you might have put into it.
Type: Ranged, Cone Endurance: 11.5 pts Recharge: 8 sec Activation: 2 sec Damage (BI): Smashing 0.2778 Accuracy: -10% Range: 50 ft Cone Angle: 90°
If you’re a group oriented player then you should take this power early. While not a great heal it has a fast recharge, often providing the last-second heals that your team-mate needed to survive and regroup, and it has the benefit of protecting from Stun, Sleep and, with I4 endurance drain. This comes especially handy against Tsoo and Lost, and of course after Update 4 might become very wanted when going against Malta If you’re more solo oriented you can wait with it, but you should get it eventually (remember the bit about controllers not being selfish? ), your team-mates will appreciate it even if they don’t say so directly. Slotting strategy: 1 end redux cause it’s not cheap, and if you don’t have perma-hasten then 1 recharge redux will help, though not necessary, the rest heals.
Type: Ally Heal/Buff Endurance: 15.5 pts Recharge: 4 sec Effect: Hold, MAG 3 Activation: 2 sec Range: 80 ft Duration: 60 sec (not 100% sure about this) Misc: With Update 4 this power also provides resistance to endurance drain
Great power in the early levels, still very useful in late game and works great with few, if any, additional slots. It slows down both movement speed and attack rate, however only movement speed is enhanceable. You should put at least 1 end redux in it because it’s fairly expensive, and in the early levels consider putting 2 until you have SOs and Stamina. However, it’s not the kind of toggle that runs all the time so you don’t have to worry about its cost too much. Its unenhanced movement slowdown is pretty good and since you can’t enhance attack rate slowdown, putting a slow enhancement is optional. I however did put one slow in it so it’s easier to keep mobs in Freezing Rain and because its fun to see them do the “Baywatch Run”, especially the Carnies. If you’re not going to PvP then you could possibly drop it in high levels (I didn’t take it until my forties) since you’ll be holding most mobs anyway, but it becomes much more useful in PvP.
Type: Toggle, Targeted AoE Endurance: 0.76/sec Recharge: 10 sec Activation: 2 sec Range: 80 ft Radius: 20-25 ft around the anchor (?) Misc: The anchor of Snow Storm cannot fly
I took this power early and couldn’t possibly imagine playing without it, however, delaying it until after you get Stamina might be a good idea because it’s a heavy toggle (then again I managed just fine with it in the early levels). Combined with Smoke, Steamy Mist means that you can come up to melee range of mobs before they notice you, and combined with Super Speed it means invisibility without taking Stealth. It does slow down movement but SS negates that. It also provides a defense and resistance bonus for you and your team making it even better. One way to slot it is 1 end redux and 5 defense, that will give you 15% defense, which is noticeable. You could also slot it with resistance but its resistance is limited to not-so-common damage types, while the defense works against any type of damage. Either way, I wouldn’t suggest slotting it “evenly” with both, either go full defense or full resistance. I also don’t think that there’s a point in slotting it unless you can six slot it. Personally, I just have 2 end redux in it because I run it all the time and have many other toggles, if I could I’d six-slot it and put defense but I don’t have slots to spare.
Type: Toggle, PBAoE Endurance: 0.76/sec Recharge: 15 sec Activation: 2 sec Defense Buff: 7.5% to Melee and Ranged damage Resistance: Not sure, maybe ~15% Radius: Again don’t know the exact number but it seems to be smaller than radius of Tactics or Maneuvers.
This is a really great power that not only provides a much needed defense and resistance debuff but also provides some control over mobs by slowing them down and often hitting them with knockdown. Again, only the movement slowdown is enhanceable so don’t bother slotting it with slow enhancements. Resistance debuff can’t be enhanced, but defense debuff can and should be enhanced. It is possible to stack it with itself using perma-hasten and at least 3 recharge redux, but I feel that it’s too much of a hassle for a small payoff. Nevertheless, perma-hasten or not, 1 recharge redux and 1 end redux will make it available more often and much cheaper. Rest of the slots should be defense debuffs though I don’t think it needs to be six-slotted (if you can though then by all means do), 2, or even 1, defense debuff will do fine. It’s not worth slotting for damage.
Type: Location AoE Endurance: 21 pts Recharge: 60 sec Activation: 2 sec Damage (BI): Cold ? (too small to worry about) Accuracy: +100% Range: 60 ft Radius: 15-20 ft (?) Duration: 30 sec Defense Debuff: Not sure, maybe ~20% Resistance Debuff: Not sure, maybe ~25% Misc: Good chance for knockdown
First a confession – I never had this power (haven’t even tested it) until recently, in light of PvP, I decided to try it out and was completely blown away by it. In my defense, I have such a toggle heavy build that even the thought of getting yet another toggle made me cower in the corner and cry like a little girl. Here’s why it’s great – it keeps most mobs out of melee range; it pushes them away giving you a way to position them where you want them (another form of control); most importantly, it slaughters their accuracy to a point where sometimes it’s not even necessary to hold them. It is however, very expensive and at least 1 end redux is a must, 2 is better. Unlike most Storm powers that only need few slots to be effective (at least in my opinion), this is one power where if you can you should six-slot it because every additional tohit debuff enhancement really makes a difference. On the other hand, even having only 2 tohit debuffs in it will still make it very effective. Depending on when you take it, you can even wait a bit before slotting it with tohit debuffs, simply because it’s pretty effective out of the box. After singing its praises, let me say this, as great as it is, once you can effectively hold large numbers of +2/3 mobs, it becomes an additional, but an optional, tool. In PvP however, it’s indispensable – turn it on and any tanker or scrapper will have a really hard time approaching you, let alone hitting you.
Type: Toggle, PBAoE Endurance: 0.94/sec Recharge: 10 sec Activation: 2 sec Radius: 15 ft (?) ToHit Debuff: ? (Singificant) Misc: Pushes foes away from you, severely reduces their attack range, and has a small chance to knockback.
This is very cool looking power but I haven’t found much use for it. It’s an AoE disorient with you at the center, and no damage. It has an accuracy penalty, which means that you’ll need to invest at least 2 acc in it to make it effective, and it doesn’t recharge fast enough to effectively stack to stun bosses. Its saving grace is that it’s fairly cheap and can be stacked with Flashfire. However, Flashfire is targeted (ranged) AoE while this is PBAoE, making it tricky to stack them because they are usually used in different circumstances, and it certainly negates any advantage that Flashfire gives by being ranged AoE. If you take it, like most status powers, its effect should be enhanced with at least 1, or 2 stun enhancements. It becomes more useful in PvP because it can knock out toggles, but I haven’t tried it, and seems to me that its long activation time, and distinct (i.e. very recognizable) animation, means that even if you knock out someone’s toggles they’ll already be far away from you.
Type: PBAoE Endurance: 15 pts Recharge: 45 sec Effect: Stun, MAG 3 Activation: 3 sec Accuracy: -10% Radius: 20 ft (?) Duration: 10 sec Misc: In Update 4 has a chance to knockdown toggles
I have absolutely no experience with this power but it doesn’t even sound good on paper and from what I read it apparently has problems with AI. Sometimes it chases foes, other times it just stands there only affecting them if they happen to come close. Over all, even if it works as intended, it just causes chaos and doesn’t help control the enemies, plus, it’s got a good chance of aggro’ing other groups of mobs in the vicinity. I can’t recommend this power but if you found a good use for it then by all means enlighten us all.
Type: Location AoE Endurance: 30 pts Recharge: 60 sec Activation: 1 sec Range: 60 ft Duration: 30 sec Misc: Knocksback, Slightly reduces Defense, causes Fear
This is a great power for Defenders to increase their damage output, and while technically speaking it does the same for controllers, in my opinion, its damage is too arbitrary to really be useful. It’s basically a stationary pet, with the advantage that it can be summoned in the air, that shoots up to 10 lightning bolts in a fairly large radius around itself, over the course of its life. It shoots a bolt every 6 or so seconds, but if there are no mobs in range the bolt will not shoot and it will be wasted. Every bolt does nice damage, drains a bit of endurance (though not nearly enough to bother even thinking about it, let alone slotting for it), and has a nice chance to knockdown enemies. A nice bonus of Lightning Storm is that if there are 2 or 3 mobs (sometimes even more) close together (and not necessarily stacked) then one bolt will hit them all (think conductivity ). Another good thing about it is that in PvP it has a chance to knockdown toggles and from what I saw it’s equivalent to Brawl, i.e. 30%-40%, which is too much for Brawl, but considering the limitations of Lightning Storm, I think is just right for it.
It recharges fairly fast for a 9th power (though not nearly as fast as some… yes, I’m looking at you Full-Auto! ), but it costs a whooping 45 endurance, so it’s really recommended to put at least one end redux in it. Despite the high accuracy it can miss, and considering that it only shoots 10, slow bolts, you want every single one of them to count, doubly so in PvP, so one accuracy is also recommended. Although, if you’re not going to touch PvP with a 10 foot pole then you’ll do fine without that extra accuracy. Of course, rest of the slots, damage.
Type: Immobile “pet” Endurance: 45 pts Recharge: 90 sec Activation: 2 sec Damage (BI): Energy 4.0278 per each bolt (up to 10 bolts) Accuracy: +100% Range: 30 ft Radius (of reach): Fairly big, 30-40 ft maybe Duration: 60 sec Misc: In Update 4 has a chance to knockdown toggles
Do I really need to talk about Stamina? Oh well…
Take it and slot it as soon as possible, it’s particularly important for controllers, and even more so for this combo because of the number of toggle powers. The first two powers in Fitness pool are up to you and don’t need slotting.
Just in case you were wondering: Inherit Endurance recovery is 1.67/sec.
Unslotted Stamina adds 0.42/sec, and fully slotted Stamina with even SOs, gives you 1.25/sec.
Good controllers need complete 3D movement, you need to be able to observe the battle from a tactical point of view, and it helps to avoid those heavy melee hitters. I really feel that any controller that doesn’t take flight is not giving 110%.
In addition to the defense buff, Hover actually protects you against knockback – you get the twirl-in-the-air animation but you can execute powers as usual. A note on Hover and Steamy Mist: with Mist on, if you don’t have at least one fly enhancement in Hover you will not be able to move. It’s fairly cheap, and its defense bonus is small, so I suggest just putting 1 fly in it and that’s it.
Type: Toggle Endurance: 0.22/sec Defense Buff: 5% (Melee, Ranged) Misc: Protects from knockback
AS is hands down the best power pool attack, it’s fast, it has nice damage and it knocks down fliers. I had it for half my career and really enjoyed it, and if I could afford it I’d take it even now. It’s a great power to have in early levels, especially if slotted for damage, it will greatly speed up your ability to arrest mobs. In fact, depending on your preferences you might take that instead of Hover as entry into Flight, though you eventually will need Hover.
Type: Single Target, Melee Endurance: 7.5 pts Recharge: 4 sec Activation: 1.5 sec Damage (BI): Smashing 2.7778 Misc: Knocks down fliers
Fly has an accuracy penalty, which usually means you don’t use it in combat, but it can be made to work (I’ll show how later). It’s the slowest travel power but also the safest – if you fly high enough you can safely visit Peregrine Island when you hit 14. It’s expensive so it needs at least 1 end redux, because it’s a travel power, 1 will probably be enough. It’s also recommended to put at least 1 fly enhancement in it. I had 2 for a long while and when I did a respec and removed one I really felt the difference and it bothered me how slow Fly became. If you can spare the slots, a 3rd fly enhancement will really make it nice, any more than that I don’t think is needed (its speed is capped with 4 fly enehancements).
Type: Toggle Endurance: 2.03/sec Self Accuracy Debuff: -20%
Here’s a useful bind for Hover/Fly: /bind [some key] "powexec_name Hover$$powexec_name Fly"
This allows you to switch between Hover and Fly with one key. If you have a mouse with a thumb button, bind this to it and your in-combat maneuvering will go through the roof – you’ll be able to position yourself quickly using Fly and execute powers in Hover “mode”, giving you the best of both worlds.
This is a fun and annoying power at the same time. Well, first of all it’s a huge end hog, if you’re carrying around the entire team, you’ll need a lot of end redux in it not to run out of endurance after several seconds. In Update 4 I believe its base endurance cost was slightly reduced but the per-team-mate endurance cost was slightly raised. What makes it annoying is that it affects you for several seconds after you left the area of its influence, and if its owner chooses to, they can keep chasing you, never letting you leave its area, and that’s why it’s fun if you’re the owner of the power. Also, despite fly enhancements, the owner of Group Fly always moves faster than the rest of the team, making it easy to forget someone and drop them. For the longest time it was considered absolutely useless power, but recently, due to Hami raids and Shadow Shard zones, it became much more popular. Important to note, is that this power will affect Fire Imps and will allow them more easily reach places that they’d normally have trouble getting to.
Type: Toggle Endurance: 1.5/sec + ?/sec per each team-mate affected by it Self and Team Accuracy Debuff (Singnificant)
This pool is needed for Hasten, rest of the powers are purely optional (well, technically Hasten is also optional but you know what I mean).
It’s a nice attack with good damage but it takes too long to execute and as a controller you really don’t want to stay long in melee range.
Type: Single Target, Melee Endurance: 6.5 pts Recharge: 3 sec Activation: 3.5 sec Damage (BI): Smashing 0.3975*8 (3.18)
Having perma-hasten (i.e. 6 slotted) is highly recommended, though not necessary (until the first respec came I didn’t have Hasten, and I was fine). Not having perma-hasten certainly won’t gimp you (not having Stamina will. Take it! ), but having perma-hasten will make you ten times more effective - your holds will come up faster, and you’ll be herding many more fire monkeys, and who doesn’t love fire monkeys. By the way, it’s possible to have near-perma-hasten with 5 green +2/3 SOs (it’ll have about 6-8 seconds of downtime) but I tried to play with that and found it annoying – it’s either perma-hasten or no hasten at all for me.
Type: Toggle Endurance: 5pts for activation, 15 pts when it drops Recharge: 368 sec Activation: 2 sec Duration: 120 sec
One of the fastest travel powers, it is maxed out with 2 speed SOs, but generally there’s no need to put slots in it. Because of its Stealth component, in combination with any partial Stealth power (like Steamy Mist) it will give you full invisibility. This power is not necessary for controllers and I only use it for travel. In my current build I picked it up at 49 though in reality of course, I took it earlier than that cause it was a bit annoying always being last to the mission. If you can live with that though, there’s no reason to take it earlier, or at all.
Type: Toggle Endurance: 0.54/sec Misc: Stealth component (not present in PvP)
Description: You spin around at an amazing speed to create a Whirlwind around yourself. Any foes that enter this Whirlwind will be tossed into the air.
Don’t know much about this, never picked it up, and seen it in action only few times. It might be a fun power to pick and controllers with other secondaries might use it for self defense, but Stormies have Hurricane.
Type: Toggle Endurance: 1.15/sec Recharge: 20 sec Activation: 2 sec Misc: Knocksback
The main attraction of Leadership pool is Tactics, but Maneuvers is very nice too, and even Vengeance can come in handy once in a while.
This power provides a nice defense bonus to the whole team for a reasonable price. Every slot in it is worth more than slots in Steamy Mist, and I have it slotted with 1 end redux and 5 defense buffs.
Type: Toggle, Self Buff Endurance: 0.45/sec Recharge: 15 sec Activation: 4 sec Radius: ? (A bit larger than Steamy Mist) Defense Buff: 6.25% (12.5% with 5 even SOs), Ranged, Melee and AoE
10% or 15%, the damage buff can’t be enhanced. I guess that given that we have Fire Imps it wouldn’t go completely wasted, but I still can’t justify taking it.
Type: Toggle, Self Buff Endurance: 0.45/sec Recharge: 15 sec Activation: 4 sec Radius: ? (A bit larger than Steamy Mist) Defense Buff: +10% damage Misc: In Update 4 this buff is being increased by 50%, i.e. it’s going to be +15% (unless of course they mean 10%+50%, in which case sign me up!)
Works exactly like Maneuvers but provides an accuracy buff. I don’t know the numbers for the buff but if you want to be able to hold +3/4 and even +5 mobs, you need Tactics. Once I had Tactics slotted (1 end redux, 5 acc buffs) I rarely missed on red mobs (+3) or lower. It’s only when I go against purples do I start noticing misses, but even then they don’t become significant until the mobs are 5/6 levels above me.
If you want to know true power forget Tankers or Scrappers – put 2 acc in Cinders, 5 tohit buffs in Tactics, turn on Steamy Mist and fly up to a large group of Riktis or Carnies or whatever, that are all red to you (with purple LTs and bosses), use Cinders, followed by Char on the boss. Watch as every single one of them chokes on the soot. At that point feel free to use your evil laugh, Mu ha ha ha!
Type: Toggle, Self Buff Endurance: 0.45/sec Recharge: 15 sec Activation: 4 sec Radius: ? (A bit larger than Steamy Mist) Accuracy Buff: ? (Significant)
This power can be activated when a team-mate dies and it gives the rest of the team members significant buffs to accuracy, damage and defense, it’s like having Maneuvers, Tactics and Assault all at once just without the inconvenience of their combined endurance cost. Like Assault, its damage buff has been upgraded in Issue 4.
Type: Team buff +ACC +DMG +DEF Recharge: 300 sec Radius: All team-mates regardless of location Duration: ?
The above four Power Pools are, in my opinion, needed for optimal build, but if you choose to not take any of them (better not be Fitness!) then you are free to choose any other power pools, and I will quickly go over them.
Medicine – Great pool if you’re a group oriented controller who enjoys helping his team-mates.
Fighting – This pool provides extra protection though if you want it for Tough’s Smashing/Lethal resistance then you better just use an Ancillary Power Pool.
Concealment – Good pool for personal and group use. Phase Shift is also great for those “Oh Crap!” moments.
Leaping – Great travel power and provides Immobilization protection with Combat Jumping, and small Hold/Knockback protection with Acrobatics.
Teleportation – Very team friendly power pool because of Recall Friend. It has a nice, if a bit tricky to use, travel power, and a good power for pulling – Teleport Foe.
Presence – The least useful pool for Controllers, though in PvP, even after they fix Fear it will still be somewhat useful, but even for that, not worth spending a pool on.
Ancillary Power Pools
I will not talk in detail about all the APPs as this is a topic for a different thread. I will mostly concentrate on the defensive powers (i.e. shields) and will give some more details on Psionic Mastery since that’s what I took. Also, remember that while some of the pools provide attacks, our damage is low and doesn’t scale well, so even if it says “High DMG”, don’t expect to one-shot a blaster.
Hurl Boulder – Short ranged, single target attack with a chance to knockdown flying foes and nice damage.
Fissure – Short ranged, AoE attack with small damage, and a chance for knockback and disorient. Must be on ground (i.e. not Flying/Hovering) to activate it.
Rock Armor – This is a defense based shield.
Endurance: 0.25/sec Gives 20% Defense to Smashing and Lethal damage.
Earth’s Embrace – Increases your maximum hit points and heals, and provides some Toxic resistance – think Dull Pain.
Fire Blast – Single target, moderate damage, ranged attack.
Fire Ball – Ranged, AoE attack with moderate damage.
Fire Shield – Provides resistance to Smashing/Lethal, Fire and Cold damage.
Endurance: 0.38/sec Resistance: 20% Smashing/Lethal, 20% Fire, 10% Cold
Consume – Damages nearby foes (trivial damage) and sucks up their endurance. It’s enough to hit 3-4 foes to replenish the whole bar.
Ice Blast – Single target, moderate damage, ranged attack that slightly slows down foes’ movement and attack rate.
Hibernate – Kind of like phase shift (immune to damage) with self immobilization and a huge boost to health recovery.
Frozen Armor – Mix of defensive and resistance based armor.
Endurance: 1.0/sec Defense: 20% to Smashing/Lethal damage Resistance: 20% Cold, 10% Fire
Ice Storm – Think Freezing Rain with much better damage, but no Defense/Resistance debuff, and no knockdown.
Next two APPs are the most popular with controllers for reasons that will become obvious shortly.
Power Blast – Single target, moderate damage, ranged attack with a chance for knockback.
Conserver Power – Great power. While it’s active all your powers, including toggles, only cost half endurance. There’s no way to make it permanent, but it’s worth every slot.
Duration: 90 sec Recharge: 600 sec With perma-hasten and six +3 recharge SOs, you can reduce the downtime to 60 seconds.
Temp Invulnerability – Resistance based shield.
Endurance: 0.25/sec Resistance: 20% to Smashing/Lethal damage
Power Boost – Great power for controllers since it enhances all status effects, as well as heals and endurance drain.
It's possible to make this power perma but not really necessary. Still, if you're curious how - you basically need perma-hasten and 6 +3 SOs, and I really mean that all SOs must be +3, because that will bring down its recharge time to exactly 15 seconds. However, having one or two +2 SOs (for example) will only get a downtime of a tenth of a second, hardly noticeable. Personally, I don't feel it's worth it, in most cases your regular hold duration will suffice.
Endurance: 15 Recharge 60 Duration: 15
All attacks in Psionic Mastery have slightly longer range, and of course Psionic damage is rarely resisted.
Mental Blast – Single target, moderate damage, ranged attack. Like all Psionic attacks it reduces foes’ attack rate.
Indomitable Will – The Holy Grail of APP powers as far as I’m concerned. In addition to providing resistance to Hold, Disorient and Sleep, it give defense to Psionic damage – how ’bout that Invulnerability Tankers!
With perma-hasten you need 6 even recharge SOs, or 2 +2 SOs and 3 +3 SOs to make it permanent, only problem is you can’t set it on auto-cast.
Endurance: 15 pts Recharge: 320 sec Activation: 2 sec Duration: 90 sec
Mind Over Body – Provides resistance to Smashing/Lethal and Psionic damage - how ’bout that Invulnerability Tankers! With 5 SOs you can double its resistance – how ‘bout that Inv… oh well, you know it.
Endurance: 0.5/sec Resistance: 30% to Smashing/Lethal and Psionic damage.
Psionic Tornado – Moderate damage, ranged AoE attack (psionic damage), with a chance to knockup.
This is a 2-stage build (i.e. you will use at least 1 respec), it shows how I might do things now. The first 27 or so levels you use a damage oriented build, that's the pre-respec build. After the respec you create a regular controller build, that's the post-respec build.
Two notes about this:
- This build looks good on paper but I don't know if it's actually going to be fun. If you've played other controllers, you might be ok with the slow progress for the first 32 or so levels, and so won't need the pre-respec-damage-oriented build.
- I'm glad I don't have to do this all over again because there are some hard choices in this build.
The idea is that you do the respec at 27, which will allow you to sell all your current enhancements and buy all fresh, 30 lvl DOs and SOs. Because of that the last power is of no real importance, it's just something to use for one level, and then you might or might not respec it out.
You will see that I chose Cinders, this means less frequent holds and less end usage, and since the pre-respec build is less about holds, and is tight on end, I felt that that was a good choice. However, you can pick-up flashfire, which will cost you more endurance but you'll be able to apply "holds" more frequently.
When I first did this build I put in Hot Feet, but its end use is so horrendous that pre-stamina using it is more likely to slow down your soloing more than speed it up. (After this I consider Hotfeet even more useless than I thought before)
01 : Gale acc(01) acc(13) conrng(13) kbkdis(19) 01 : Char acc(01) hlddur(3) dam(3) 02 : Ring of Fire acc(02) dam(5) dam(5) dam(9) dam(9) 04 : Snow Storm endred(04) slw(19) 06 : Air Superiority acc(06) dam(7) dam(7) 08 : Fire Cages acc(08) endred(11) dam(11) dam(15) dam(15) 10 : Hurdle jmp(10) 12 : Smoke thtdbf(12) 14 : Fly endred(14) 16 : Freezing Rain endred(16) recred(17) defdbf(17) 18 : Cinders acc(18) acc(21) recred(21) hlddur(23) 20 : Health hel(20) 22 : Stamina endrec(22) endrec(23) endrec(25) endrec(25) endrec(27) endrec(27) 24 : Hurricane endred(24) 26 : O2 Boost endred(26)
As I mentioned there are some hard choice to make here. I'll go over some choices of powers that I think could be modified depending on preferences and play-style.
You could switch O2 and Snow Storm - question is, what helps more, the fact that mobs are slowed down or that you can heal your team-mates. Smoke can be switched with Steamy Mist, though since you're getting SM using respec, you have Stamina and its end usage is not such a problem. Finally, you can delay Freezing Rain and take Maneuvers and Tactics earlier, which will allow you to slot them a bit more before Fire Imps, making the Imps more useful as soon as you have them.
01 : Gale acc(01) 01 : Char acc(01) acc(3) hlddur(3) hlddur(5) endred(7) recred(9) 02 : Fire Cages acc(02) endred(5) endred(7) immdur(11) 04 : O2 Boost endred(04) hel(9) hel(17) hel(48) 06 : Hover fltspd(06) 08 : Hurdle jmp(08) 10 : Steamy Mist endred(10) endred(11) 12 : Flashfire acc(12) acc(13) endred(13) endred(15) disdur(17) 14 : Fly endred(14) fltspd(15) fltspd(48) 16 : Health hel(16) 18 : Cinders acc(18) acc(19) hlddur(19) hlddur(23) recred(25) recred(31) 20 : Stamina endrec(20) endrec(21) endrec(21) endrec(23) endrec(25) endrec(31) 22 : Hasten recred(22) recred(27) recred(27) recred(29) recred(29) recred(31) 24 : Hurricane endred(24) endred(39) thtdbf(39) thtdbf(40) 26 : Freezing Rain endred(26) defdbf(43) 28 : Maneuvers endred(28) defbuf(36) defbuf(37) defbuf(37) defbuf(37) defbuf(40) 30 : Tactics endred(30) thtbuf(34) thtbuf(34) thtbuf(36) thtbuf(39) thtbuf(42) 32 : Fire Imps recred(32) dam(33) dam(33) dam(33) dam(34) dam(36) 35 : Snow Storm endred(35) slw(40) 38 : Smoke thtdbf(38) thtdbf(43) thtdbf(43) 41 : Indomitable Will recred(41) recred(42) recred(42) recred(45) recred(45) 44 : Mind over Body endred(44) damres(45) damres(46) damres(46) damres(46) damres(48) 47 : Lightning Storm endred(47) acc(50) dam(50) dam(50) 49 : Super Speed runspd(49)
A note about Steamy Mist and Smoke
Originally I took smoke pertty early and been using it my entire career, including high levels - basically I'm in the habit of always smoking a mob before engaging even if they are the same level as me. As I mention above, if smoke does help with -acc it's not something i was able to really notice much - it's not like taking one group of mobs without smoke produces 10 hits on me, and then the next group, with smoke, and suddenly I don't get hit at all. However, I wouldn't disregard it (I wish somebody would do a test for how much smoke debuffs ). The -aggro is much more noticeable and "useable", with it and steamy mist, you are guaranteed that the mobs never engage first (unless some1 in the team approaches within melee range, of course).
To be honest, I would've liked to put smoke much earlier but in an optimal build, there is no room for both smoke and steamy mist, early on, it's either one or the other, and I chose SM. However, and this is why this is such a flexible combo, you don't have to have an optimal build to have an effective build. My original build was pretty much like the post-respec build (at least the part before lvl22) but with smoke instead of Flashfire, and I never felt like I was gimped, or missed the extra hold that Flashfire provides. In fact, because of Steamy Mist and Smoke I was always in the lead and I was determining the pace of combat - who we attack and when - because those who knew me, knew that they shouldn't attack until I smoke, and shouldn't go ahead of me so they stay under the cover of mist. (It was pretty damn cool)
I just want to say that this guide wouldn’t be possible without all the great people who have spent hours testing powers, whether it’s to get Brawl Indices, or to calculate Stamina’s rate of endurance recovery, or something else, but there are too many names to mention. So to all those peeps I give a big shout out.
Also, special thanks to Joe Chott for his great program, CoH Planner - not only does it provide a great tool for planning out a build, but I often use it as a kind of a CoHPedia (to look up a BI, recharge rate, or something else).