City of Heroes / City of Villains - Guide to the Brute Archetype
One of the 14 Archetypes (classes) in City of Heroes, the Brute is both the primary melee damage dealer and the main tank for villains.
What is the role of the City of Heroes Brute?
The role of the Brute is both dealing out major melee damage and soaking it up. The power set choices are a cross between tankers and scrappers, but it is the class trait, Fury, that makes brute's unique. Every time a brute makes an attack or gets attacked (whether the attack hits or not), fury increases. As fury increases, a damage multiplier is applied to all brute attacks. The damage multiplier can easily reach 100-300% damage, and the brute has the highest damage cap in the game. On defense, the Brute has scrapper defense caps but the tanker hit point cap.
What Primary Powersets Are Available To Brutes?
Battle Axe - A combination of single target and small area of effect attacks.
Dark Melee - Mostly single target, dark melee has fast hitting, fast recharging punch type attacks.
Dual Blades - This set relies on combos to deal much of its damage. The set is poorly designed and ends up being weak.
Electric Melee - This set is a hybrid of single target attacks and some odd, utility attacks. The main problem with this set is the long cooldowns on its good attacks. Until that is remedied (and it appears it will not be), stay away.
Energy Melee - The highest single target damage by far. You can approach scrapper level damage with this set.
Fire Melee - A weak, badly flawed set at its core. The secondary effect (DoT) is unreliable and random. The attacks are slow animating and do poor damage.
Stone Melee - This set has excellent single target attacks and some minor area of effect damage. The attacks chain together very well to create a fast, smooth attack chain with good damage. Second only to energy melee for single target damage.
Super Strength - This is a good all around set with single target and area of effect damage. Rage can be made permanent once slotted for recharge, and this adds 80% damage most of the time. Footstomp is the gem of this set - the best tanker area of effect attack. Footstomp alone has made me renew my subscription to City of Heroes more than once.
War Mace - One of the most broken offensive sets in the game. It is really just a mess and always has been. It was recently given to brutes, and the question is: why?
What Secondary Powersets Are Available to Brutes?
Dark Armor - This is a resistance based set that features exotic protections against end drain and psionic attack. The primary weakness is to energy attacks. It has a powerful self heal (dark regen) that requires a to-hit check. This set is very endurance heavy.
Electric Armor - This is an excellent resistance based set with some great utility powers. Lightning reflexes increases the recharge times of all your powers, and power sink is a top notch endurance drain.
Energy Aura - This is a defensive set with a few passive resistances as well. It has interesting utility powers in the form of stealth, energy drain (drains endurance), and possibly the best "Tier 9" defensive power: Overload, which raises max hp as well as all defenses.
Fiery Aura - This resistance based set is the most offensive of the tanker powersets. Burn and Fiery Embrace both augment the tanker's offense. It has a nice self heal, but multiple status protection holes and low overall resistance result in the set being ultimately flawed and weak.
Invulnerability - This is a hybrid resistance and defense based set that specializes in protection against smashing and lethal damage (the two most common damage types).
Stone Armor - The overpowered set of the bunch, this is primarily a defense based set until you get Granite Armor. Granite Armor is basically god mode, and it created a tanker imbalance that has never been resolved.
Super Reflexes - This is a defense based set. The problem with this set is the defenses are not damage type based, which means they do not stack well with other defense bonuses.
Willpower - The newest of the defensive sets, this is a combination of defense, resistance, and regeneration. It is an excellent set - especially when combined with the Fighting Power Pool.