Power Pool Spotlight – Presence!

Welcome back, Paragonian protector, to the Power Pool Spotlight. Last time we covered the need for speed. Fun stuff there. Now, though, I will speak on something near and dear to my heart. As an intergalactic tanker for the cause of good, my ability to keep the bad guys focused on me and off my team is my pride and joy. That’s right, dear reader, Glow Girl is a tiny tactical nuclear powered pummeler. But what good is my ability to take all that damage if the baddies run straight by little ‘ole me and mow down my team? It is with this in mind that I needed to develop my combat…


For the tank, presence is a necessity. Unfortunately, as we go through the analysis it will become clear that while certain powers are pure gold while others are lumps of coal.
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Challenge is called the poor man’s Taunt. It has the same effect… when it hits and it doesn’t last as long.

The description of this power says its use is to pull an enemy off an opponent in trouble or out of a mob of foes. It also says it is not as effective as Taunt. Since the only ATs that should be pulling baddies off a buddy are scrappers and tanks, why chance it with a sub-par power when taunt is already available?

So who should take Challenge?

This power is not for the tank. The tank already has Taunt, which is better. This power is not for the scrapper, unless the scrapper is impatient and doesn’t want to wait to buy Taunt. This power is not for the blaster, controller or defender. Though the case may be made that it is a good way to pull, each of those ATs have other useful methods that don’t dedicate a slot to an entire pool which controls what they all hope to avoid: aggro.

So who is this power for if not for any of the archetypes? Well, it’s not for any archetype in general terms. Any blaster, controller or defender that has the fully slotted “Deathwish” power, however, is welcome to it as are tanks and scrappers secretly scheming to destroy their own team. While Challenge makes it look as though you’re trying to save that controller that’s been whining all night, if you really wanted to get that Green Ink Man off of him you would use…


Here’s what you need to know about provoke: EVERY TANK must have this power. Provoke brings the thugs to your doorstep and Invincibility or other AoE power keeps them there. All other ATs, with the possible exception of the Invulnerable build scrapper, should avoid this power like the plague.

Many tanks believe that provoke is not necessary once they have Invulnerability or another AoE power that holds aggro. This is dead wrong and it becomes obvious that enemies lose interest in you quickly once someone rains fire down upon a dozen of them at once. Suddenly, ten fiendish foes charge the blaster instead of the tank, what is the tank to do? With Provoke you simply have to target the middle of the pack and launch it. No group of baddies can pay attention to your blaster with the tank screaming epithets about their mothers from behind.

For almost every tanker build Provoke is one of the bread n’ butter powers. Low recharge, no endurance cost, high effect. This is a win-win situation in every way.

So, you’ve bought provoke and now you’re level 14. What to get? Logically, since Provoke is such a great power you might think the next one is. You do your homework and move on to…


Intimidate is great! Instead of attacking an enemy and then chasing him all over creation, you can skip the attack and move right into the pursuit.

I am not sure why someone would use this. Perhaps a controller, blaster or defender could use it when they need to get a mob to stop pounding them? Hmm… that would mean they have purchased one of the other two prerequisite powers and as previously mentioned, only suicidal heroes would want either Provoke or Challenge. Intimidate would just make the tool of their euthanasiac tendencies flee from the task at hand, namely: going after the debt badge.

It must be noted, however, that there is a dissenting opinion. My colleague, the one and only cigar toting Rampaging Rat, insists that Intimidate serves a valuable purpose. He maintains that Intimidate is what is known as a Mag 3 power and will intimidate lieutenants (LTs) and bosses that con the hero’s level or lower. Since fleeing LTs and bosses don’t Bring a Friend (BaF) with them when they leave, you can scare off the tough guy and arrest his minions, catch a breath while the coward gathers his wits, and be at near full strength when he returns to prove himself.

The best example Rat gave was during run-ins with the Tsoo. If you scare off the sorcerer the minions go down a lot easier. And the sorcerer gets a nice surprise when he finally teleports back in to help and gets a round of prepped alpha strikes for his trouble.

Why the different opinions? Well, Rat has to worry about taking damage where yours truly does not. So from my turtle-shelled perspective, Intimidate is a perfect power for basketball coaches. The basketball coach could derive hours of enjoyment Challenging and then Intimidating evil-doers into running lines for them. Farther than that, I’m not sure what could be more useless. Except…

Invoke Panic:

Instead of making one enemy run away, you can force whole groups to flee. You’ve basically taken the suck-factor of Intimidate and multiplied it. You’d better have a full team of eight if you’re going to use this power, you’ll need every last hero you can muster to chase down the thugs.

The basic problem with Intimidate and Invoke Panic is: if I didn’t want to fight it, why would I attack it? Anything tough enough to hurt me as a tank is probably too high level for me to effect with either of these two powers, which makes this a poor option for escaping from a tight scrape.

Again, the Rampaging One disagrees. He informed me that Invoke Panic is a Mag 2 power, meaning it will scare off all the minions and leave the bosses and LTs wondering where their support went. This is especially useful in missions with a group of 8 heroes and a zillion enemies packed into every corner. The group rushes up, Invokes Panic, watches the minions flee, and subdues the leadership before their groupies can rally themselves and return.

Of course, I have a slightly different perspective than Rat. He might be able to deal damage, but when it comes to taking it he’s got the staying power of a third party candidate (Jesse Ventura excluded). I, on the other hand, am able to absorb and deflect everything up to and including that meteor from Armageddon. I say, “let ’em stay… it keeps me warm to have a nice crowd of haters around me.”

That’s the perspective from a combat standpoint. For those that role-play there’s a whole different set of rules. If you’re in it to truly play a character concept then what tank or scrapper, or even some creepy controller, wouldn’t want to send their enemies screaming in fear?

Final Analysis:

Challenge: G
Provoke: GGGGG
Intimidate: -G
Invoke Panic: -GGG
G = Good or Glowerific

Presence has a single power with the coveted Glow Girl rating of uberfantasticoolio. The remaining three are open to debate. And that’s the view from 5’2″.

-Glow Girl

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