City of Heroes / City of Villains - Guide to the Stalker Archetype
One of the 14 Archetypes (classes) in City of Heroes, the Stalker is a melee damage dealer that focuses on stealth and high burst damage.
What is the role of the City of Heroes Stalker?
The primary role of the stalker is damage, but unfortunately this damage is heavy weighted towards the Assassination Strike (AS). This is a special attack done from the class ability: Hide. Due to the fast nature of CoX combats, the opportunities for setting up an AS are hard to come by. This relegates the Stalker class mainly to soloing and PvP.
What Primary Powersets Are Available To Stalkers?
Claws - Mainly single target but with a few AoEs, the claws set hits fast and has a lot of knockback attacks. It is not terribly group friendly as a result of the knockback.
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 is very similar to the brute set of the same name, and it suffers from the same problems.
Martial Arts - Mainly kick based attacks, martial arts does mediocre damage and adds some knockdown and stun effects.
Ninja Blade - This is basically the same as the scrapper katana set. It is mostly single target damage, and the attacks animate rapidly.
Spines - Spines is primarily an area of effect set, with moderate single target damage. It adds bone-like spines to your character model, so make sure you like the looks of that before picking this set. It can be a lot of fun and is a very solid set. A nice bonus for Stalkers is the fact that they can use the ranged attacks from stealth for the guaranteed crit.
What Secondary Powersets Are Available to Stalkers?
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 defense set is very similar to the brute set of the same name. It 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.
Ninjitsu - This is by far the most unique of the stalker secondaries. It is a defense based set, but fortunately it is damage typed defense rather than positional. It has click based status protection which some people prefer for PvP.
Regeneration - This set mitigates damage by regenerating it back (hopefully before you die). This is the "Wolverine" like defense set.
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.