Author Topic: How to build a Brute  (Read 42792 times)


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How to build a Brute
« on: August 25, 2007, 01:29:28 PM »
Totally stolen from my SG's forums, but it's a great resource so i thought i'd share:

Picking your powers

The most basic thing you should do is always have 3 single target attacks by level 6. Early on, your biggest advantage is fury. Without 3 single target attacks, you neither have the tools to make use of fury, nor the tools necessary to build fury. It might be tempting to skimp out on attacks in favor of an early damage aura, but you are just asking for frustration, not only from your fury bar but from your end bar as well.

Dark Melee might want to consider adding in Boxing or Air Superiority. Shadow Maul has too long an activation time to be reliable for Fury, and besides Maul, you won't see another true attack until level 32.

Jacob's Ladder can count as a single target attack for Elec due to its reasonably low recharge.

Barrage from Energy Melee and Jab from Super Strength kinda suck. It's not terribly important in the lower levels, but you're probably better off replacing them with either Boxing or Air Superiority. This can wait until a respec if you like. Also keep in mind that using Air Superiority will put more of a strain on your end rate.

Once your single target attacks are in order, the next step is to consider what you're building your Brute for. In my experience, the best thing to do is to forget everything else in the early levels and focus on solo efficiency. If you find yourself caring about PvP or better group abilities, you can handle that in a respec, but for now focus on making the most enjoyable leveler you can.

What this means is that you want to focus on damage first, but with a secondary emphasis on survivability and sustainability (in short, end). Sustainability is important because the best thing you can do for your DPS is to never stop fighting. With the right setup, you should never have to rest for health or end in 95% of the solo missions you run, which should spell a full fury bar for the entire time. Additionally, you're best off staying at the default difficulty level prior to SOs, where sustainability is your most pressing concern.

Besides the 3 early single target attacks, you may want to throw a fourth one in before level 14, usually a high damage boss killer like KO Blow, or a good AoE attack like Thunder Strike. The downside to a lot of these choices is that they give you more survivability than you need at a higher end cost than you can afford. Touch of Fear, for instance, is a great solo ability, but you really shouldn't need it until the 20s. Fault is similar, but it has a much higher group utility. In this case, you might take Fault if you plan on grouping heavily, but if you have doubts, remember, build for soloability. If you're conflicted, err in favor of the power that'll be most useful for you without a group, and then expand to group utility powers after the pressing needs like Stamina are taken care of.

Only take your Smash/Lethal protection toggle and your status protection toggle. The other damage types are not common enough to justify a power selection until far later in the game. At 25, my SS/EA still doesn't have Power Shield, and I barely miss it, certainly not enough to remove any other power for it. Non-S/L villain groups are rare until the 20s. If your content running, you can just do it at the easiest difficulty level, where even pure psychic enemies are gnats, and if you're trying to level quickly, just up the difficulty and run cherry-picked newspaper missions for S/L villain groups.

Do not take a damage aura. Later in the game when you have a feel for your character, then decide whether to put one in. Early on, you do not have the end to handle the damage aura costs, nor do you have the protection to handle herding enough mobs to take advantage of all the AoE damage. It'll be suicide in groups, and worst of all, all the extra damage it's dealing you'll lose from how it hurts your fury generation in various ways.

Like a lot of things, I'm not saying that damage auras are universally bad. I just believe that it's a lot more characters get deleted because they took a damage aura than they do for not taking one. Stone might be an exception because of the extra utility in their aura, but you're making a definite commitment to being a group oriented brute if you go that route, so make sure you're comfortable with that role.

This should go without saying, but Do not take any of the passives. Later in the game, when you know what you're doing with your character and have your major powers slotted up, some of the passives may prove desirable. They're not at the low levels, and you are pretty much gimping your character if you take any of them.

The only exceptions are Grounded and Lightning Reflexes.

Pre-20, the only power pools you should work on are your travel power and fitness. Having Stamina by your early 20s is very desirable.

You could skimp on a travel power now that CoV gives you a jump pack and 3 flight packs by the time you hit 25, but for a brute this is not advisable. Travel time between spawns is very important for keeping fury high, so having a travel power is a good idea. More importantly, the travel power and its pre-requisite are usually powers that don't require much slotting, which is important pre-20 where you'll be hurting more for slots than for powers.

You might think, "Hey, if I put x and y together, I could have a Brute that wouldn't need Stamina!" and you're probably right. It is, however, not worth building with such a goal in mind. It's a late blooming strategy without much of a payoff. Health is a useful power to have, and Hurdle is a fucking awesome way to get a cheap mini-travel power with combat jumping. Build for Stamina your first run through, and then respec out of it into your crazy build later on.

As for travel powers, when in doubt, go Super Jump. Like I said, Combat Jumping + Hurdle is insanely useful. Plus, 2 of the 6 secondaries need Acrobatics. Some people like Flight, but a lot of people get annoyed by its slow speeds and high end costs, and as a Brute, you do not want to deal with high end costs.

Teleport isn't great as a first travel power for Brutes, unless you're Stone. Speed isn't a bad choice now that you have hours worth of flight and jump pack available, but Hasten isn't terribly useful pre-22. Sure, it'll up your DPS, but you typically won't have the End available to sustain your attacks.

Medicine is a very useful pool, but you don't really need to start work on it until the 20s. At the lowest difficulty level, you're far more likely to have end problems than health problems, so Aid Self can wait. Fighting should be postponed for the same reasons.

By 20 you have 12 powers to choose from. 3 of those should be Fitness to Stamina. 2 of those should be your Travel power. 3 should be your single target attack core. 1 should be your smash/lethal toggle and 1 should be your status resist toggle. This leaves 2 free choices for powers, which should generally be either an additional attack or a very potent defensive ability like Dull Pain or Dark Regeneration

Slotting your powers

The biggest mistake I see is people dumping multiple EndRdx into their toggles when their attacks are not 6 slotted.

The standard cost for a single toggle is .13 eps. A single EndRdx SO will save you about .04 eps.

Let's take Jab from Super Strength. It costs 3.536 end and is available every 2 seconds, for an end cost of 1.768 eps. A single EndRdx drops that to 2.56 end for a rate of 1.28 eps, nearly a .5 eps reduction.

"But toggles are always on!" might be the first response I get to this, but it's not a very astute one. As a Brute, your goal is to never stop using your attacks, so getting as close as you can to one jab every two seconds isn't terribly unreasonable.

But even when you can't use jab every time it comes up, keep in mind the huge disparity between what you're getting out of the SOs. The EndRdx in Jab saves you nearly 1 full point of end every time you use the power, so as long as you use jab once every 25 seconds, you're getting a better return from the EndRdx in Jab than you are in the toggle.

The point of all this is that slotting EndRdx in your basic toggles is a waste. It's a potentially justifiable waste later on when you have slots to spare, but never go past 3 slots early in the game, and never start dumping EndRdx into your toggles before your attacks are 6 slotted with a few EndRdx of their own.

More importantly, make a commitment to 6 slot any attack you plan to use as a brute. Accuracy, Damage, Recharge, and EndRdx all have great returns, and there is simply no reason for any attack to ever have less than 6 enhancements between those 4 categories.

Early on, divide most of your enhancement slots fairly evenly between your attacks. Getting a solid accuracy base between all of your attacks is the most important thing you can do in the early game. Also make an effort to triple slot your Smash/Lethal toggle.

From there on, it's all about balancing slots between your attacks and any extra defensive powers you pick up along the way. Dull Pain can probably justify 3 slots early, whereas, you might want Dark Regeneration up to 6 slots as quickly as possible. The best thing you can do is look through the builds guide for builds involving your primary or secondary to get a feel for which powers need what kind of slotting. They're not always a great way to get a good idea how soon you should begin slotting, but getting a feel for what deserves slotting is the greater part of the battle.


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Re: How to build a Brute
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 02:13:49 PM »
I remember this being like 10 paragraphs longer. No exaggeration. :P