I’ve noticed a great many posts in the tanker forums that are asking for advice on builds. A lot of these involve the Invulnerability powerset. Being an Invulnerability/SuperStrength tanker myself, I’m willing to give some advice and hopefully help some of the new players out there.
As I’ve said, my main character is an Invulnerability/SuperStrength tanker, 33rd level now. I’ve also read a great deal on the boards and participated in beta for almost 2 months. I’ve compiled a number of facts from the devs during beta, and read many of the posts that players during beta posted. I’ve also updated a bit from experience.
Now on to Invulnerability.
Invulnerability is not a flashy powerset. It does not do damage, it cannot stun, and it has very few power effects. What it does do is what you’d think, make a tanker able to take an incredible pounding and still be standing. This guide is written from a tanker’s perspective, so any scrappers who find their way down here to read this, it may not be as helpful as you want.
Resist Physical Damage [available at level 1]: This is an innate damage negation power that works against smashing and lethal damage. It reduces incoming damage by 12.5% (from a Geko post during beta).
Temporary Invulnerability [available at level 1]: This is a toggle power that negates 30% of the incoming smashing and lethal damage that comes your way (that number is from the same Geko post).
The thing I see the most is new tankers almost always select Resist Physical Damage as their first power. And why not? It’s innate, right? Don’t have to think about it. Well, if look at the numbers, TI is 2.5 times more effective than Resist Physical. That’s a HUGE difference. I always recommend picking up TI first. You can select Resist Physical later, and it’s no real loss. This goes for slotting these powers with enhancements as well. Since enhancements increase the effectiveness of a power by a percentage, you will always get more bang for you influence by slotting TI with resist damage enhancements first. The only reason you wouldn’t take TI first is if you plan to exclusively rely on Unyielding Stance for defense and protection against status effects. More on this later.
Dull Pain [available at level 2]: This click power increases your hit points and max hit points by half again for a couple of minutes. I do not have this power, nor am I taking it. I have more than enough hit points now with my current defenses. However, it can be useful at early levels, especially if you try to skip TI for some reason. It might also help you if you plan to use Unstoppable a lot later on.
Resist Elements [available at level 6]: This is a innate damage negation power that applies to cold and fire powers. It’s base negation is slightly higher than Resist Physical Damage (about 20%). Many people are tempted to take a power pool power upon reaching level 6. My recommendation is don’t. Take this power instead. Especially if you get a lot of 5 th column or Vahzilok missions. This power will always be useful, but overall it will be the least useful of the innate defenses of the powers in this set.
Unyielding Stance [available at level 8]: This is a toggle power that gives you some damage negation to all damage types except psionics (although lower than Temporary Invulnerability’s percentage), and makes you immune to status effects while it is active. It does immobilize you, however, and is not stackable with TI. This power is INCREDIBLY useful, but not when you can select it. Unless you’re facing Murk Eidolons and Lost Aberrants every mission, you can delay the selection of this power. I didn’t take it until level 16 and only used in against bosses. It should be used when the likelihood of stun/mez attacks are great. And let me tell you, after level 20, they are in abundance (some minions and most lieutenants can stun at this stage). Another word of advice, if you take this power before you have a taunt power (as I did), be sure to tell your teammates that you must be the first in and get the first strike before they start firing. And tell them to watch their Knockback attacks. Slot it fairly heavily, especially later. You may find yourself relying on it more than TI. The big problem is mobility, or lack thereof. A common method to get around this issue is Teleport, which I myself do not have (I took Flight instead). If you plan to attempt to skip this power (maybe waiting for Unstoppable), be careful about the opponents you face, and be prepared to face-plant a lot from being held.
Resist Energies [available at level 12]: This is a innate damage negation power that applies to energy powers. It’s base negation is slightly higher than Resist Physical Damage (about 20%). This is another must take now power in my opinion. Most people will be traveling around Steel Canyon at this point and I only have one word for you, Shockers. Oh yeah, it’s also useful against those pesky clockworks and CoT mages too.
Invincibility [available at level 18]: This is a toggle power that increases your defense (except against psionics) and accuracy for each foe that is in melee range with you. OMG! Take this power now! It will keep you alive, and it has a cool glow effect (brighter than TI). It’s a DEFENSE bonus. Defense. That means opponents miss more often, and a miss is a 100% damage negation! Also, something that isn’t posted in most things, it has a PBAoE taunt! That means when opponents get next to you, they STAY next to you. Slot it heavily. Also, some words of advice. Turn it OFF before exiting missions and do not keep it on when traveling (unless you like being annoyed by really low level perps shooting at you because you just taunted them).
Tough Hide [available at level 26]: This is an innate defense bonus. No activation needed. I had intended to take this power as soon as possible. However, my defenses are good enough that I skipped it to pursue the Fitness power pool (ah, the joys of Stamina). I plan to take it…eventually.
Unstoppable [available at level 32]: This is a clickpower that makes you extremely resistant to all damage, except psionics, and makes you extremely resistant (possibly immune) to sleep, stuns, holds, immobilizes, etc. It gives you much improved endurance regeneration while it’s active. It leaves you “drained” afterward. OK, this is probably one of the most controversial powers in this set. Some people might want it. However, be warned, it lasts for about two minutes and then drops you to 10% of your hit points and zero endurance (it does not prevent endurance recovery like some powers, it just takes it all away). If the fight’s not over and you have not perma-Unstoppabled yourself, you are probably dead when this power runs out. Its damage negation is very extreme (probably 60% or greater) and it protects against status effects. It’s a click and not a toggle. I’m told it takes about 5 recharge SO’s to make this a “perma” power, and I’m told Hasten does not affect its recharge rate (don’t know if this is a bug or intended). I also know it peeves the healers in groups to no end. However, it is the only power in this set that allows you to be mobile and still protect yourself from status effects.
I hope this advice helps you all out there.