City of Heroes / City of Villains - Guide to the Blaster Archetype
One of the 14 Archetypes (classes) in City of Heroes, the Blaster is the primary ranged damage dealer. They are all about damage and are often referred to as the "glass cannons" of City of Heroes.
What is the role of the City of Heroes Blaster?
The official description of the Blaster is:
The Blaster is an offensive juggernaut. Whether up close or afar, he can deal out tremendous amounts of damage. In comparison to the other Archetypes, the Blaster is by far the most damaging to the enemy. But the Blaster is quite fragile; this Archetype has relatively few hit points. Blaster heroes must be on their guard before getting into combat; while their immense power can overcome most foes, alone they are quite vulnerable. The Blaster can turn the tide of a conflict, but they need their friends to help them succeed.
What Primary Powersets Are Available To Blasters?
For City of Heroes Blasters, the primary powerset is the offensive set that provides attack powers.
Archery - A very stylistic set with many utility powers, you have to really love the concept of archery to go with this set.Assault Rifle - At release this was an excellent set, but the heavy smash/lethal damage is highly resisted by foes. It has a combination of single target, cone area of effect, and stun attacks.
Electrical Blast - This set has decent single target attacks with one mediocre area of effect. Each attack has a bit of end drain, that sadly ends up being mostly irrelevant. A nice looking set.
Energy Blast - This set is very similar to electrical blast but it has slightly better area of effect damage. Unfortunately, the high amount of knockback in this set makes it very group unfriendly.
Fire Blast - The best area of effect set and also good at single target. It also looks absolutely gorgeous. Burn, baby burn.
Ice Blast - Far and away the best single target set. It has a chain of single target ice attacks that animate rapidly and hit hard.
Psychic Blast - The exotic nature of psionic damage makes this set popular with PvPers.
Sonic Attack - This is a damage and support set, as every attack debuffs the damage resistant of its victims.
What Secondary Powersets Are Available to Blasters?
Blaster secondaries provide melee attacks and a few utility powers. These melee attacks are often more damaging than the primary attacks. Blasters who focus on their melee attacks are often referred to as "Blappers" (a portmanteau of Blaster + Scrapper).
Electricity Manipulation - The second best set for melee attacks, this is a popular blaster secondary.Energy Manipulation - By far the most popular blaster secondary set, it has heavy hitting melee attacks and amazing utility powers (the range boost and endurance conserve power are both very popular).
Fire Manipulation - This adds a little bit of area of effect damage, but the unreliable DoT damage hurts it pretty badly.
Devices - At release this was an excellent set. It had a fun combination of utility powers and no melee attacks (which was a plus for pure blasters). Enhancement Diversification and Invention Original enhancements rendered Targeting Drone (a set defining power) almost worthless, killing the set.
Ice Manipulation - Not a horrible set, but not great. It has some crowd control focus which some players enjoy.
Mental Manipulation - A recently added set with control and psionic damage powers. It is gaining in popularity particularly for its final power: Psychic Shockwave.