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Your Basic Power Needs
These are the absolute bare minimum basics you need to get started in Champions Online. There are many options for each, but you definitely want to have at least one of each type of power.
- 1 energy builder (obviously)
- 1 good high damage single target attack
- 1 good AoE
- 1 defensive passive - regeneration, invulnerability, lightning reflexes, personal force field, or defiance). That is basically in order of how good they are as well.
- 1 block enhancer shield - Blocking is very important in Champions Online. Enhancing it is always a good choice.
After these you can look for various utility powers or additional attacks that look fun or useful to you. But the above covers your basics.
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You get your first travel power at level 5 and your second at level 35. These are basically a necessity or else you will spend enormous amounts of time just getting around. Some even provide helpful buffs that can further flesh out your character. Check out the Champions Online Guide to Travel Powers for more details.
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A Few Nifty Powers That Are Useful in Many Builds
Sonic device - This adds a sonic explosion to your next attack. If you take the deafening dissolution, the explosion is AoE. The best way to use this is toggle off your energy builder, hit this, then hit your largest radius AoE. It adds massive dmg AND a stun to your AoE.
Resurgence - A great "oh crap" power. Big instant heal. This is the closest thing to Dull Pain in CO.
Immolation, Electric/Ice Sheathe, etc. - These are the powers similar to Build Up in CoH. They last 12 seconds and the damage buff isn't huge, but they generally have other buffs as well. For example, Immolation lowers the power cost of all abilities. Electric Sheathe raises your energy minimum and causes incoming dmg to give you energy. Best of all, these powers help you bust out of holds if you use them when held.
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Resurgence somewhat fits this bill, but not entirely. If you didn't take regeneration, you might want some kind of heal. All heals scale with the presence stat, which most people won't raise unless you are making a support character. These are not the only heal abilities, but they are some of the most common. If you solo a lot, you will likely want some kind of heal ability. If you team a lot, you can leave this to the support types.
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Bountiful Chi Resurgence
Not the same as Resurgence. This is a 12 second HoT with a low energy cost. You can basically keep this up all the time. It isn't a huge HoT, but you can basically use this to make any character have mini-regeneration. It is very clicky to use this, kinda like reconstruction in the CoH regen set. You really need to spend 2 advantage points to remove the dmg debuff from this power (kinda weird). This is a self only heal.
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This is a maintained heal that heals while it is channeled. Pretty decent healing, and its a cone so it can be an AoE heal as well. If you have no target, you heal yourself. There is an advantage you can add to it that removes status effects if you use a full maintain of it. The catch there is the full maintain part (which takes about 4 seconds), so I'm not sure how useful that actually is.
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On a tap, this costs no energy and heals yourself or someone else for a decent chunk. On a full maintain it heals a lot. It doesn't heal until you stop maintaining, unlike Arcane Vitality which heals the whole time. A lot of people like this one. It has an advantage to make it have a chance to AoE heal.
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This heal is interrupted if you take damage while using it, so I haven't experimented with it much.
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Shields your target, and heals you when they take damage. Kinda weird. You can put it on yourself as well. I haven't used this one.
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This is currently the most popular heal in the game. That probably means it will get nerfed. If you pick this one up, be ready to retcon out of it (if you can afford it). This heal puts a shield on your target, and that shield absorbs damage. After 8 seconds, however much health is left on the shield will generate double that value in healing. Fans of the power say that right now it gives the full heal no matter how much of the shield is used, which is clearly a bug. If you use this now, be prepared to have it significantly weakened in the future.
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Super Stats - One of the most confusing things about Champions Online is that the damage of your attacks scales up with whatever two super stats you choose. If you have INT as a super stat, that means more INT even adds to the damage of punch attacks. It seems odd, but that is how things work.
Every few levels you get to pick a "talent" that raises some stats. Some people prefer to totally focus on their super stats, while others spread things around a bit. You get more total stat points if you use more of the grouped talent bonuses (bonuses that raise more than one stat at a time). Keep that in mind when deciding which stats you choose to raise.
For more detail in how stats affect the game, read the Stat Guide to Champions Online.