Energy/Invulnerability Guide for Brutes




A new Brute asked for a Guide to Energy Melee / Invulnerability. Here's what I came up with. Also very useful for Tankers. This is a mixture of my personal opinion and conventional wisdom.

[u]Energy Melee [u]

Barrage (Available at Level 1)
I’d suggest skipping it. Or, you could take it early and respec it out later.

Here’s my philosophy on attack powers: Eventually one’s attack chain fills up, and what is really important in choosing attacks is how much damage an attack does per second of activation. Endurance doesn’t matter. Recharge doesn’t matter. (Although END and RCH enhancements are great!) Eventually, it’s all about damage per second of activation. Barrage has a lackluster 21 Dam/Sec.

Instead, at low levels, use the free Brawl (16 Dam/Sec) and the free power you get for your origin (Taser Gun, Throwing Knives, etc.). At low levels, put Brawl on auto-attack to build up Fury. Just stick an END reducing enhancement into Brawl. At some point, you’ll be able to move your auto-attack to Energy Punch.

Energy Punch (1)
Great attack! 73 Dam/Sec (+ 30% chance of Mag 2 Stun) It doesn’t get much love, but it’s good. It will be your filler attack for your whole career.

Bonesmasher (2)
Another great attack! 46 Dam/Sec. Plus a 60% chance of a Mag 3 Stun.

Build Up (6)
Personal choice on this one. Some people love it, some people give it a miss. Marginally worse for Brutes, as Brute base damage is low.

Whirling Hands (8)
Opinion varies on this. Most people hate it – I love it. Not as good as other primaries’ AoE attacks, but it’s still decent. 25 Dam/Sec to each enemy. So if it’s targeting just two enemies, it’s better than Bonesmasher. 8 foot radius, cool animation, and a 30% of Mag 2 Stun. Something of an endurance hog, so you may wish to take it after Stamina.

Taunt (12)
Most Brutes don’t consider it. Some Brutes consider it invaluable, if they tank for teams. Skip it if you’re mostly soloing.

Total Focus (18)
Brutes get this at Level 18! Score! It’s damage per second is only average – 45 Dam/Sec. But it also has a 100% chance of a Mag 4 Stun. Which is huge. So most people start every battle by hitting the Boss with this. Take it – it’s one of the two attacks that makes Energy Melee.

Stun (26)
Most people skip this. Sure, it goes off faster than Total Focus. But it’s only a Mag 3 Stun (100% chance), and does a pathetic 6 Dam/Sec.

Energy Transfer (32)
The power that makes Energy Melee. Incredibly damaging. Very fast. 189 Dam/Sec With a bunch of Fury, you can one-shot most things with this. Also does some damage to you, but it’s so worth it! Consider slotting IOs that give +Regeneration to get back this loss of hit points.


Resist Physical Damage (1)
5.625% Smash/Lethal Resistance. Always on. As a Brute, you have to take it. Tankers should also take it. It’s subtle, but very useful.

Temporary Invulnerability (2)
Great power – poorly named. You’ll always have it on, so it’s not Temporary. And the resistance it gives is only good, not great, so it’s not Invulnerability. Still, get it, and have it on whenever you’re fighting. 22.5% S/L Res for .26 Endurance per second.

Dull Pain (4)
A key power. Both heals you and increases max hit points. Some hit before battle to have higher max HP. Some hit it mid battle to benefit from the great heal. Put 3 Recharge in this, and possibly 2 or 3 Heal enhancements. Although this is a fantastic power, you don’t have to take it at level 4 – you can hold off a few levels while you fill in your attacks.

Resist Elements (6)
A lot of people skip this. A lot take it, at least eventually. Cold attacks are pretty darn rare, and Toxic isn’t exactly common. 5.625% Fire, Cold and Toxic Resistance. Always on.

Unyielding (16)
Most important power in Invulnerablity. Must have. Take at 16. You’ll be suffering from levels 10 to 16 as you get mezzed repeatly before you get this. Consider avoiding The Lost and the Circle of Thorns in those levels. Good Mez and Knockback protection, 7.5% Fire, Cold, Energy, Neg, Toxic Res and 3.75% S/L Res. At the cost of negative 3.75% Defense. (Or is it 5%?) Still, turn it on and always have it on. The Mez protection and resistances make the –Def worth it. .26 End per second.

Resist Energies (20)
A lot of people skip this. Most eventually take it in. A bit better than Resist Elements, as Energy attacks are common. 5.625% Energy and Negative Resistance. Always on.

Invincibility (28)
Not nearly as powerful as it used to be. Still a great power. Defense, Accuracy and a Taunt. All of which scale to the number of enemies in range. I believe it’s 3.75 DEF (against everything except Psionics) for the first mob, plus 1.125% DEF for each mob #2 to #10. Accuracy is 2% per mob in range (up to 10) So three mobs within 8 feet is 6% DEF plus 6% ACC. Plus you Taunt them all, a help if you’re teaming. I turn it on whenever facing more than one enemy. .21 End per second.

Tough Hide (35)
No one gets excited by this power, but most people eventually take it. I think a lot take it just because it counteracts the –DEF in Unyielding. And you always have Unyielding on. 3.75% DEF against everything except Psionic. Always on. Me, I’m a fan of always on defenses. Some people aren’t.

Unstoppable (38)
Now THIS should have been called Temporary Invulnerablity. It’s your three minutes of unkillablity. Also gives endurance drain protection. 2 or 3 slot it with Resistance to get those resistances maxed out (depending on what else you have.) The drop is annoying, but the fact that you’re virtually unkillable for those 3 minutes is very worth it. Just watch for the flashing icon to know when you’re about to drop. When you get more skilled, it’s very possible to drop in or near the battle.

Note that Invulnerablity gets no protection from Psionics. Our mind is our weakness! Except for Dull Pain – Dull Pain works great to heal the damage from Psionics. You might also consider trying to get the Rikti Invasion accolade, which provides some Psionic protection.

For more detailed numbers, I recommend:

Red Tomax's Guide to City of Heroes

Happy Smashing!