Leprechauna’s Guide to DM/Invul
v2.0

Howdy Everyone!

My primary toon is Leprechauna, a L50 Dark Melee / Invulnerability Scrapper. There are many good synergies between the two sets, most notably the Invincibility / Soul Drain / Dark Consumption circular “Dark Ring of Death”, and the Unstoppable drop / Dark Consumption / Dull Pain “Fast Combat Refill”. So I thought I’d put together a guide for the player interested in having fun with this combination build. Moreover, I feel Invulnerability is the best secondary for Dark Melee at the top end of play.

[Of course, your play style will heavily effect your choice of secondary. Dark Armor is good for crowd control, and Regen is always a good choice for a scrapper. Both also offer protection against psionics (which is Invulnerability’s key weakness, abundant past L40). However, this guide is devoted to the scrapper that wants to be in _hordes_ of foes, pied pipering 100s of mobs. For that, you’ll need that shiny invulnerability secondary.]

As a warning, the Invul set starts slow but inexorably gathers momentum (as opposed to Regen, which starts strong with L4 Quick Recovery). I’m here to let you know that the pain you suffer until L28 (when you get Invincibility) is well worth it. Moreover, I’d like to offer some build suggestions to make your life easier at the lower levels, as well as some pointers on slotting to make sure you get the most out of your limited slots. The Invul set just gets stronger the higher you go, and at the top end you become pretty much like a tank. A tank with lots of good damage dealing.

Anyway, I’ve broken the guide up into five sections. We begin with a discussion of the crucial design choices you’ll need to make for your build. The second section reviews the powers and breaks them into three rough categories: ESSENTIAL, RECOMMENDED, and AVOID, followed by some brief commentary. In the third we look at variants of the basic build, to suit your personal play style. We follow with build suggestions before and after respec in the fourth section. The last part is a hodge-podge ramble of tips and tricks.

Enjoy!

======================================================================
SECTION ONE: Crucial Design Questions
======================================================================

When designing your mighty DM/Invul scrapper, you face three crucial design questions:

————————————————————————————–
QUESTION 1) Will you be a perma-Unstoppable Scrapper?

Perma-Unstoppable is slotting Unstoppable so that you can hit it again before the 1st one runs out, protecting yourself during those key moments when Unstoppable makes you exhausted. If you slot

Unstoppable [6]= 3 Rhchrg, 2 Res Dmg, 1 End Rec
Resist Physical Damage [3]= 3 Res Dmg
Dull Pain [6]= 1 Heal, 5 Rchrg
Resist Elements [1]= 1 Res Dmg
Resist Energies [1]= 1 Res Dmg

then you are maxed out on all resists, have mobile mezz protection, and most importantly have self endurance recovery. Sounds incredible, right?

However, there are two big downsides. First, every two minutes your health and end will drop sharply, exposing you to danger for about 5 seconds. This danger can be minimized in many ways, but requires lots of management and good timing. Moreover, you will probably die quite frequently against psionic foes (since they do full damage even against unstoppable).

The second downside is a vulnerability to slow effects, and mistiming for speed effects. Timing is crucial for this variant, and if you get slowed down you’ll be hurting if Uns drops in combat. If you get sped up too much, you won’t know when to hit it next. Since all psionics have slow effects, in a way you are putting all your vulnerability eggs in the same basket.

For all the potential problems, this is clearly the strongest use of the Invul set for any melee character. I would suggest (now that we have respec) to spend your slots on passive defenses until you can get Unstoppable, then respec all those slots to other powers.

If you decide not to use Perma-Uns, then most likely you’ll want to rely on Temporary Invulnerability as your primary resist, and Unyielding Stance for mezzing situations. This can be done very effectively, and a US scrapper is the best for handling long psionic fights.

————————————————————————————–
QUESTION 2) Will you keep Shadow Punch in the long term?

It seems like such an innocuous question, whether to take the first power in the Dark Melee set. It’s a decent replacement for brawl, also does accuracy reduction, and fills all those little gaps in your attack cycle. Why not take it?

The main reason is that at the high end of play, when Hastened or sped up, you can attack continuously with all your big power attacks. Not only is Shadow Punch not needed, it’s an annoyingly lot of clicks to hit for very little damage. Moreover, in order to be effective, Shadow Punch needs 6 slots, and those slots are much better spent elsewhere on more effective powers.

My recommendation is to take Shadow Punch early and then respec it out once you get Midnight Grasp. If you decide to go the Fighting Pool early, then don’t even take it; Boxing is also a good replacement for Brawl.

————————————————————————————–
QUESTION 3) Will you 6-slot Invincibility?

Invincibility is without doubt the cornerstone power of the Invulnerability set. It is the only defense in the game that scales with the size of mob you fight. So, paradoxically, you are _more_ effective when swamped than when fighting small numbers of foes. Invincibility with just a single slot is super effective. In fact, you will find that Invincibility is better than you can possible imagine. 😉 In a mob of 9 foes, both your defense and attack are pretty much maxed out.

So why 6 slot it? The main reason is the use all To Hit Buff enhancements to give yourself a constant bonus to accuracy for all your attacks. That allows you to take out an accuracy enhancement from all your attack powers, usually replacing it with damage. However, that uses up a lot of slots in Invincibility that could have been spent elsewhere. Also, another drawback to this route is fighting single bosses, which you will do roughly a third of the time when you team.
If you solo heavily, then 6-slotting is a good option, because you can control how fast you kill things and in what order. When you team, you will find your blaster buddies are killing the minions off so fast that you’ll need the extra acc enhs in your attack powers to hit the remaining boss. 8^) You can, of course, do both (6-slot and acc enh) but that’s overkill except in very rare situations. You will reach the to hit cap very quickly, and your slots would be better used raising your passive defenses.

Both routes have their advantages and disadvantages (depending on foes you fight) so there is no clear consensus on the best way to go. If you are always fighting mobs, then you can have 1 slot in invincibility and no accuracies and still do fine. However, you would be very weak against single foes like bosses or AVs. Really, this choice comes down to whether you have the slots. If you do, put them in Invin; if not, you’ll just have to make do.

======================================================================
SECTION TWO: An Overview of Powers
======================================================================

————————————————————————————–
ESSENTIAL (18 powers + 2 power pools)

Smite [6]= 0-1 Acc, 1 Rchrg, 0-1 End Red, 3-5 Dmg
Shadow Maul [6]= 0-1 Acc, 0-1 End Red, 4-6 Dmg
Dark Consumption [3-6]= 3-5 Rchrg, 0-1 End Rec, 0-3 Dmg
Soul Drain [6]= 4-5 Rchrg, 1 End Rec, 0-1 Acc/Dmg
Midnight Grasp [6]= 1-2 Acc, 1 Rchrg, 0-1 End Red, 2-4 Dmg

Invincibility [1-6]= 1-6 To Hit (see QUESTION 3 above)
Unyielding Stance [6]= 6 Res Dmg
Dull Pain [6]= 1-4 Heal, 2-5 Rchrg
Unstoppable [1 or 6]= (see QUESTION 1 above)
Temp Invulnerability [1 or 6]= 1 or 6 Res Dmg
Resist Physical Damage [1-6]= 1-6 Res Dmg
Resist Elements [1-6]= 1-6 Res Dmg
Resist Energies [1-6]= 1-6 Res Dmg
Tough Hide [6]= 6 Def

Hasten [6]= 6 Rchrg

Swift [1] (or Hurdle [1] for non-Variant 1, see below)
Health [1]= 1 Heal
Stamina [6]= 6 End Rec

Without question, these are the bread and butter powers of this combo. You note that there is a _lot_ of leeway in the slots put into the resists. If you decide to go Perma-Uns, then you can get by with minimum slots in most passive defenses (except RPD). If not, then pour slots till the cows come home into them. Without / before Unstoppable, slots are best used in US, TI, RElem, REner, and RPD, in that order. Usually you can get away with about 4+ in the all the passives.

Some people might be wondering why we have recharge enhancements in two of our main attacks (Smite and MG), instead of just maxing everything with damages. The reason why is because so that we can be a perpetua-fighter: constantly attacking with no pause in attack cycle (the section below on attack cycles describes this in more depth). If you plan on being more of an alpha striking scrapper, or rarely find yourself in long fights, you might want to tweak the enhancements to suit your tastes.

————————————————————————————–
RECOMMENDED (2 powers)

Siphon Life [3-6]= 1 Acc, 0-2 End Red, 3-5 Heal
Shadow Punch (at low levels) (see QUESTION 2)

Siphon Life doesn’t do much healing or damage, and is very expensive in terms of endurance. However, it is also one of only two self-heals that you will get with this build, so is highly recommended. Under normal circumstances, when injured you use it to continually “top off” your health by injecting it into the attack cycle. Otherwise, don’t use it to attack, because it uses too much end for too little damage. I find I use SL less than a third of the time in combats; almost never when I’m teamed with even a modest healer. If you plan on always teaming with a healer, then this power can potentially be bypassed.

————————————————————————————–
AVOID (3 powers)

Taunt
Touch of Fear
Shadow Punch (at high levels) (see QUESTION 2)

Taunt is actually a useful power, but not really needed. Invincibility always radiates a low-level taunt for nearby foes. It’s no Provoke, but helps cluster your opponents. Touch of Fear is just, well, useless for this build. For other secondaries, these powers can be used effectively because the other builds want to divide and conquer. For other scrappers, taking foes in small controlled quantities is key. For the Invulnerability scrapper, mobs are your friend. You will work best by herding half a map and then fighting them all at once.

======================================================================
SECTION THREE: Variants of the Basic Build
======================================================================

————————————————————————————–
VARIANT 1: MR. MOBILITY

Combat Jumping [1]= 1 def
Super Leap [1]= 1 Jump
Acrobatics [1]= 1 End Red

Assault [1]= 1 End Red
Maneuvers [1]= 1 End Red

This variant is the one I started with. It’s nice because you get decent mobile status protection from the Leaping pool (Immob, Hold, Knockback), and can help the party out with the Leadership pool. Leadership is too expensive endurance-wise to run normally while attacking, but in teams you are often endurance boosted, so it makes sense there.

The other compelling thing about this variant is that it uses the least slots for these powers, which directly converts into better passive resists. This gives you the best possible defenses while running around.

One might wonder why mobile scrappers and team players are grouped together like this. The reason why is that high level parties move very quickly. In the teens and twenties, a team will be happy to wait for the tank to slowly move around, because the service they provide is often essential. At higher levels, most archetypes become more self-sufficient, and thus tanks that root just slow them down. If you solo heavily, this is probably not the variant you want.

————————————————————————————–
VARIANT 2: I CAN TANK

Boxing [1]= 1 Dmg
Tough [1-6]= 1-6 Res Dmg
Weave [1-6]= 1-6 Def

Recall Friend [1]= 1 Rng
Teleport [2-3]= 2-3 End Red, 1 Rng

The attraction of the Invulnerability set is, of course, the fact that you become a mini-tank. Combined with the Fighting pool, you become a darn good tank. The main strategy here is to have Unyielding Stance on before entering combat and teleport around. Some people think the rooted aspect of Unyielding Stance is unduly limiting, which actually isn’t true in practice. Combined with teleport, the potential drawback becomes non-existent. TPing US variants move around the battlefield faster than mobile scrappers. The triple endurance reduction in tp is key, since you will use it often in combat. Teleport is a cumbersome two-step power to use normally, but a bind to a shifted mouse click makes it a breeze, say

/bind lshift+lbutton “powexec_name Teleport”

As an aside, many people think that you should take Teleport Foe with Unyielding Stance, to tp foes next to you. Take Recall Friend instead. First, you’ll use Recall Friend all the time to collect teams together. Second, you can just as easily tp to a foe than tp him to you. Third, foes that you need to tp to you will often run away after tp anyway. Altogether, you’ll get much more use out of Recall Friend than from Teleport Foe. Remember, this build doesn’t pull, it goes right to the heart of the fray.

————————————————————————————–
VARIANT 3: YES, I AM _REALLY_ A TANK!

Boxing [1]= 1 Dmg
Tough [6]= 6 Res Dmg
Weave [6]= 6 Def

Super Speed [1]= 1 End Red

Provoke [3-6]= 2-3 Acc, 1-4 Taunt

With just a slight alteration, you can become a true tank. Provoke everything on the screen, and have a ball! 😉 The only drawback to this variant is that you’ll need to take Super Speed (because of the four power pool limit). SS is a very good movement power for land mobbing, and also good to run into a group and go Unyielding. The drawback comes because it is the worst movement power for getting around the different zones. This is a fun build just to be a damage dealing tank.

————————————————————————————–
VARIANT 4: DAMAGUS MAXIMUS

(Slot Invincibility at [6]= 6 To Hit)
Shadow Punch [6]= 0-1 Acc, 5-6 Dmg

Boxing [1]= 1 Dmg

Super Speed [1]= 1 Run

Assault [1]= 1 End Red
Tactics [1]= 1 End Red

Defenses are all well and good, but perhaps the reason you became a scrapper was to kick serious ***. In this case, slot Invincibility with 6 To Hit enhancements, change those accuracies to Damage on your attack powers, and take two more attacks. Toss on a minor damage increase via Assault, and you’ve got yourself one mean damage dealing scrapper. If you are fighting hard stuff in small groups, turn on Tactics for a slight to hit boost.

Of course, this damage increase comes at some cost. First, you’ll use up a lot of slots for attack powers that have to be taken from your passive defenses. Second, this build uses endurance so fast that it won’t be self-sufficient at the highest attack rate; team with endurance boosting defenders / controllers. Third, in many cases you won’t be able to hit keys fast enough to keep up with your incredible damage dealing capacity. 8^)

======================================================================
SECTION FOUR: Sample Builds with Rationale
======================================================================

————————————————————————————–
A SAMPLE STARTING BUILD

L01: Smite
L01: Resist Physical Damage
L02: Shadow Maul
L04: Dull Pain
L06: Swift
L08: Shadow Punch
L10: Health
L12: Combat Jumping – VAR
L14: Super Leap – VAR
L16: Unyielding Stance
L18: Dark Consumption
L20: Stamina
L22: Siphon Life
L24: Hasten
L26: Temporary Invulnerability

Let’s look at why we would start this way. Smite and Shadow Maul are clearly your best beginning attack powers, and RPD has to be taken.

Your life total will be the limiting factor to the speed of play at lower levels, so it makes a huge difference to get the healing powers as soon as possible. So Dull Pain should be taken asap, at L4.

Swift is really just because it gets muy annoying running around before you get your movement power. It also opens up Health and Stamina quickly, which is key for the pre-L30 game.

We need Shadow Punch to fill in that big gap we have in the attack cycle, so let’s take that next, and follow it by Health.
The next two choices really depend on your desired movement power. I’ve taken the Leaping Pool because of the early defense and good movement of Super Leap, with minimal slots / end. Another good choice is Recall Friend / TP, or even Hasten / SS, if you plan on doing lots of land mobbing.

US at L16 is key. This will be your primary line of defense until you can get to Temporary Invulnerability / Unstoppable. It’s also the mez protection needed for the next 20 levels.

Once the heals have some decent slots and DOs, then the main bottleneck becomes endurance. Managing your toggles helps a lot (turning them on and off and the start and end of combat) but on the whole the teens are rather tedious. You’ll spend far too much time Unyielding getting pounded on waiting for your endurance to recover. Is there no hope? (besides teaming with an empathy defender, that is

Why yes, there is. Starting at L18 with Dark Consumption, you begin to get some endurance recovery capacity. Then at L20 you get the magic Stamina, and your toon starts on the long upward path.

Siphon Life really can’t be supported w/o Stamina, so we’ll take that immediately after to give us a small self-healing edge.

With Hasten our attacks now come fast and furious, and we get a minor defense bonus to boot.

Lastly, we pick up the exceedingly useful Temporary Invulnerability, and our basic starting build is complete. TI will be the bridge that gets us to Perma-Uns, or if not going that way, our primary resist. We really can’t support TI’s end draw until we get Stamina, hence it’s late pickup.

————————————————————————————–
A SAMPLE BUILD AT L50 (for Perma-Uns)

L01: Smite
L01: Resist Physical Damage
L02: Shadow Maul
L04: Dull Pain
L06: Hasten
L08: Siphon Life – REC
L10: Recall Friend – VAR
L12: Swift
L14: Teleport – VAR
L16: Unyielding Stance
L18: Health
L20: Stamina
L22: Dark Consumption
L24: Resist Elements
L26: Soul Drain
L28: Invincibility
L30: Resist Energies
L32: Midnight Grasp
L35: Tough Hide
L38: Unstoppable
L41: Combat Jumping – VAR
L44: Super Leap – VAR
L47: Acrobatics – VAR
L49: Temporary Invulnerability

Note there have been a lot of shakeups in the early lineup for the later respec. Mostly, they are re-ordering of powers so the we are effective at every level when exemplared. We want that early Hasten, because most likely we’ve removed most rchrgs from out powers by now. Also, six slotted, it gives a good cheap defense, too.

Similarly, we can now take Siphon Life as our third attack power (instead of Shadow Punch) because we assume we have it slotted with end reduction enh and we can use it pre-Stamina.

Opening the teleport pool early means that we can do the US+tp combo at L16, and with our SO enhs it will be bearable. Morever, since US is six slotted, then this defense will be more than enough for the next 22 levels.

If you take Super Speed, this sequence changes a bit, since you can squeeze in an extra power pre-L14. If you do, go Temporary Invulnerability.

Between Stamina and Unstoppable, the powers are pretty much deterministic: take the best power you can when it opens up, and fill in the gaps with resists. The only big difference would be if you were _not_ going the perma-Uns route. Then you would want TI as early as possible, and bump the Resist Elements and Energies back.

The L41+ powers are where you flesh out your essential variant. In this example, they are just cream on the top of this build. With the leaping pool and late TI you can run around mostly protected w/o Unstoppable on, which leads to less toggle management hassle.

======================================================================
SECTION FIVE: A Potpourri of Tactics
======================================================================

————————————————————————————–
ATTACK CYCLES

Let’s talk about the basic attack rhythm. The overall structure looks like this:

Soul Drain -> {Attack Sequence} X 3-5ish -> Soul Drain -> Dark Consumption

Soul Drain is a very good Buildup-like power. It is the only buildup that scales with mob size, which is key when herding. And just by itself it is a decent AoE. The activation time and endurance for it are quite large, but it is well worth doing every time it comes up, even if there is only one foe. When you find yourself getting low, it’s time to refill up with Dark Consumption. Make sure Soul Drain is active when you do it, to maximize both damage and endurance recovery (via more things being hit). With the slotting recommended above, you can do a DC every two SDs, and your endurance should be almost out gone back to full each time.

The basic Attack Sequence looks like this:

{Short} -> Midnight Grasp -> Smite -> Shadow Maul -> Smite

where Short can be any short duration event. If you are damaged, make it a Siphon Life. If you have extra inspirations, use them. Otherwise, make it a Shadow Punch, Boxing, and /or Brawl. Past L40 you get yet another row of inspiration slots and they drop everywhere. Most of the time, I find I’m using my short duration event to consume inspirations.

If you go Perma-Uns, then you’ll want to bracket this whole thing with an overall 2 minute Unstoppable cycle

Uns -> (Attacks) -> Uns -> SD -> (Uns Drop) -> DC -> DP -> (Attacks)

If you start your next couple attack sequences with Siphon Life, you’ll be back to full health in a bit.

————————————————————————————–
THE 2-MINUTE CLOCKS

Three powers in the set last two minutes long: Hasten, Unstoppable, and Dull Pain. It’s very useful to use them as clocks for one another.

For example, if you don’t use Unstoppable all the time, you can note how big it is when you do occasionally use Unstoppable. That gives you a good feel for when it is about to drop. I’ve found I can get a sense within about 10 seconds using Hasten as a clock.

In the case of Perma-Uns, Hasten must be on auto-attack, in order to guarantee the extra recharge boost to Uns, DP, and DC. Then you use Unstoppable itself as a clock for itself, with Dull Pain as a second check.

————————————————————————————–
LEAPING MAUL

For many levels, getting the most effective use out of your shadow maul will be key. In a typical spawn, if you can hit three people at once with your SM, then that is great! A couple of tricks make it much easier.

If you are in the center of a group, select the buffest creature and (very gently) jump over his head to his back. Then other mobs will often line up right behind him. This can only be done with small footprint bosses.

If you are on the edge of a group, scoot and swivel around the one you are currently attacking. This will cause the others to reposition in a triangle.

Of course, the holy grail exploit of shadow maul is using occlusion to line up your foes in exactly the same spot. Aggro a group and then lead them behind a fence, or into a box, etc. Then have a SM good time!

————————————————————————————–
THE HERD MENTALITY

Recall that this build shines in the middle of a mob. No, I mean a _really_ big mob. Invincibility has a low-grade taunt. That means that on most maps you can do the pied piper to collect foes in one place. Then your Soul Drain becomes much more effective, as well as your defenses and attacks. Team up with some blasters and you can have a lot of AoE fun!

[NOTE: You should never herd in public areas where other people might be. NEVER. It’s much better to get a good indoor mission and herd on your own private instance.]

Even if you don’t herd, there will often be advantage to not killing off nearly dead foes. That’s where Midnight Grasp truly shines. Hit a foe with MG, and he’s locked in place while he slowly dies. Try to get each foe down to almost dead, then head onto the next. Then they all drop on the next SD or DC. It’s a counter-intuitive strategy, but often you’ll want to keep a few nearly dead guys around for invincibility / vampirism.

Of course, that goes mainly for minions. Bosses should always be dropped hard and fast, and some lieutentants (like Sorcerers) as well.

————————————————————————————–
FOLLOW THE LEADER

This is more a general melee tactic than this build specific. When fighting foes, you can hit F key to close to attack. What is little known is that you can hit the Q and E keys to swivel the camera around to see how the combat is going, while still attacking. With the camera behind your toon a bit, this gives excellent field of view.

You can also use a bind like:

/bind z “target_enemy_near”

to auto-select the closest target. I’ve found that mouse floating over other foes while attacking the current one is also a good way to plan what villains to (ahem) arrest next. 😉

======================================================================
IN CONCLUSION…
======================================================================

Well, I hope this guide is helpful to those beginning players that want to make a DM/Invul build. You can leap fearlessly into the center of mobs, Soul Drain yourself up to some serious damage dealing, and then whoop like crazy. I’ve found it to be massively fun, and I hope that you enjoy it, too.

Have fun!

Be sure to stop by this thread for more great info!

Comments

Leave a reply

You may also like