[u]The Need for Speed[/u]Speed. Who can resist it? Movies are faster these days. Cars are faster. Even food is faster. Why then would you not want your hero to be a turbocharged tough guy?

The Super Speed power pool offers some brilliant choices for the protectors of Paragon:

[P ALIGN=”CENTER”][FONT FACE=”Arial” SIZE=2]#[/FONT] [FONT FACE=”Arial” SIZE=2][P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Power Name[/FONT] [FONT FACE=”Arial” SIZE=2][P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Target[/FONT] [FONT FACE=”Arial” SIZE=2][P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Availability[/FONT]
[P ALIGN=”CENTER”]#1 [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Flurry [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Enemy [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Available @ Lv6
[P ALIGN=”CENTER”]#2 [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Hasten [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Self-Only [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Available @ Lv6
[P ALIGN=”CENTER”]#3 [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Super Speed [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Self-Only [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Available @ Lv14*
[P ALIGN=”CENTER”]#4 [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Whirlwind [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Area of Effect [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Available @ Lv20**

*With either #1 or #2 already chosen
**With #1 and #2 or #3 already chosen

Flurry
This power serves as an extra attack for the hero. The tight-clad titan rains down blow after blow in rapid succession so quickly that the speeding arms become a blur. This is a Damage over Time (DoT) melee attack that does a significant amount of damage at lower levels.

The down side of flurry is the animation time. Although the enemy usually gets hit with a corresponding “I’m being pummeled” animation, all the guy’s friends stand around taking their shots while you’re slinging slugs. During the animation you cannot launch another power, move, or use any inspirations. A hero punching away on a Hellion as he wanders off is a frequent sight on the street because while the hero’s feet remain planted, the enemy can wander even while vibrating and stunned. Even worse is the infrequent bug that reverses the debilitating animation back upon the hero.

There is some debate over the damage flurry does. The official forums seem to indicate flurry is an excellent damage attack from level 6 to around the lower teens. The damage drops off if the power is not heavily slotted. However, higher-level characters have reported a six-slotted flurry doing upwards of 200 points of damage.

-The Bottom Line-
For the scrapper or tanker, flurry is a decent choice at lower levels. It adds to your arsenal and slows down the bad guys. It also has a pretty quick recharge time and doesn’t cost all that much in endurance. However, it will keep you from rushing to someone’s aid if you activate the power at the wrong time.

Flurry is probably not a good choice for your average controller, blaster or defender unless you’re taking it as a stand-off power. If stand-off is your approach, then flurry will usually buy you a good amount of time because the animation inflicted upon the enemy leaves him shaking with punch after punch for the few precious seconds it may take your scrapper to get the baddie off you.

For blasters and scrappers it should be noted that a much better option would be…

Hasten
Hasten reduces the recharge time of all your powers by 35% for 2 minutes. Although Hasten does not cost any endurance to activate, you can tire easily because endurance does not recover more quickly. After Hasten wears off, you become tired and will lose some endurance.

This power can be creatively slotted and counterbalanced by other powers. The energy blaster, for example, can take Conserve Power from the Energy Manipulation pool and become a non-stop dynamo for 120 seconds of combat.

-The Bottom Line-
For those with toggle powers hasten is next to useless. Damage dealers, though, become incredibly more effective once activated. As long as the power is used wisely and carefully it can become the deciding factor in any engagement. It is not good for sustained periods of combat. Hasten should probably be taken by controllers, defenders, blasters and scrappers over the flurry power. Otherwise you may find yourself in need of escape with brings us to…

Super Speed
Holy-moly! Here we are. Your feet glow, sparks fly from the street as you set the pavement on fire with your hot rod running. The best part? The power barely tires you out. High effect and low endurance, Super Speed is a crowd favorite.

Super Speed is a toggle power that increases your defense, decreases your accuracy, and hurls you down the open road at breakneck velocity. This power is just plain fun. Slotted with DOs and SOs to greater effect and you’re a human (or inhuman) bullet. It is possible to move so fast that the enemy doesn’t even have time to react before you’ve already approached, jumped, and jeered the thugs of Paragon.

This power is credited in saving many a hero’s life when a quick escape is needed. It is also useful for scouting out a mission when the glowies need to be found before the timer runs out.

The downside comes when you run into a surprise spawn or need to get up a wall. Super Speed is aggravating in places like Terra Volta where you need to get up and over the wall, across the pipe, and down the catwalk. The hero needs to have some sort of vertical capability whether it be flight or Super Jump.

-The Bottom Line-
Super Speed is fun, effective and… hey, it’s a movement power.

Compared to flight it’s faster and less endurance heavy but is limited to the ground. Super Jump is slower, around the same endurance cost and has better vertical ability. This doesn’t usually matter because a hero with Super Speed usually ends up taking Super Jump.

Speed versus Teleport is a battle I’m not willing to fight here. Some people are faster with Teleport… I’ve seen it. What isn’t even a contest, though, is the endurance cost. Speed is incredibly cheaper when it comes to the tiring factor. In fact, the only power I’ve seen that can take a hero from full endurance down to zero better than Teleport is…

Whirlwind
With this power you spin around with such speed as to send opponents helplessly into the air. This is an Area of Effect (AoE) attack.

Whirlwind looks really cool and is really underrated. I’ve been a Whirlwind user for three months and each time I turn it on in a group I’ve been told what a waste it is. Understand, dear reader, I originally picked it up as a cool way to change my costume. Open the costume window, flip on Whirlwind, select the costume, turn off Whirlwind and watch the lowbies go “aaaaaaah!”

Then prepare yourself for the tells with “that power’s lame” and “what a waste of a slot.”

Don’t argue, though, just demonstrate the power’s usefulness. Any time you need to wade into a mob of foes or lock down a boss, Whirlwind is your tool. Any time you need to get a gang of baddies off your healer or controller, Whirlwind is your tool. It works on everything from minions to bosses. The power needs to be slotted for endurance reduction or you will quickly find yourself panting and taking damage. You can launch off other powers while using Whirlwind including interruptible powers. Careful, though, it doesn’t work on monsters (i.e. Babbage, Kraken, etc.).

-The Bottom Line-
Whirlwind is an excellent addition for scrappers and, properly slotted, blasters. It will get a controller or defender unswamped if the aggro situation goes bad, too. I can’t see much of a reason for a tanker to take it.

Scrappers and blasters can become near god-like at higher levels if Whirlwind is fully equipped with endurance reducers or you toggle on another endurance reduction power. Simply slide into a mob of baddies and start launching attacks as soon as they head skyward. I’ve heard this affectionately called the “Blender Attack.”

-The Verdict-
As a power pool, Super Speed is a very strong contender for the best. It has a good movement power, extra attacks, status effects and can manipulate your other abilities. This pool really runs the range and leaves a lot of the other pools… well… in the dust.

– Glow Girl

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