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City of Heroes / City of Villains - Guide to the Dominator Archetype

by: Michael Hartman ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

One of the 14 Archetypes (classes) in City of Heroes, the Dominator is strange mix of ranged and melee damage attacks combined with powerful control abilities.

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    What is the role of the City of Heroes Dominator?

    The dominator is one of the strangest archetypes in City of Heroes, and as a result it is often relegated to solo play or inf (influence/infamy, CoX money) farming. Dominators have a mix of ranged and melee attacks which often means the dominator has to stay in the thick of things. It also shares control sets with the hero side controller, and its unique archetype trait is something called Domination. The domination meter builds up as the dominator attacks, and then once activate it dramatically increases the dominator's damage as well as the magnitude (effectiveness) of its control powers.

    This works very well solo or on farm teams, but in groups doing harder content the squishy dominator does not fare well in the thick of things. In many ways, the design of the dominator is as interesting as it is schizophrenic.

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    What Primary Powersets Are Available To Dominators?

    Earth Control - Considered by many to be best or second best (after ice) at pure control, this set focusses on holds and immobilizations.

    Fire Control - This is one of the more offensive control sets. The Fire Imps are an excellent damage dealing pet, and the holds and disorients also tick fire DoT damage.

    Gravity Control - This very amusing set tosses foes around and picks them up as if they were rag dolls.

    Ice Control - This is considered best or second best (after earth) at pure control. Ice Slick is the set defining power. You drop the slick and laugh as your foes slip and fall repeatedly.

    Mind Control - This set has some exotic types of control - sleeps, fears, confuses. These are very good in PvP.

    Plant Control - The newest controller set, plant control has numerous ways to impair and impede your opponents.

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    What Secondary Powersets Are Available to Dominators?

    Electricity Assault - A combination of so-so melee attacks and so-so ranged attacks. Unfortunately, it lacks a lot of the best electric melee and electric blast attacks.

    Energy Assault - This set has some of the better energy melee single target attacks, but unfortunately forces you to take the nearly worthless power bolt as your first pick. The utility ability Power Boost synergizes very well with the Dominator's control sets.

    Fiery Assault - The real tragedy of this set is the requirement that you take the absolute garbage power Flares. I have no idea why the developers did this when almost everyone despises that power from the Fire Blast set. It also gives you Fire Breath instead of Fire Ball. The power choices in this set are dubious at best.

    Icy Assault - Again, this set hits you with the terrible starting power, but after that it isn't bad. It has a decent amount of AoE damage and Chilling Embrace slows incoming damage significantly.

    Psionic Assault - This is one of the more popular secondaries for dominators due to the exotic psi damage type, and the final power is a massive, huge radius PBAE (Point Blank Area Effect power). With domination, Psychic Shockwave is a vicious killer.

    Thorny Assault - With many powers borrowed from the scrapper spines set, the attacks have slow animations and lackluster damage.