There’s a problem with
Champions Online I think we all need to talk about… there’s too
much freedom of choice.  I know, I should be lauding a game for
that, but in Champions it can cause a bit of a panic attack in players
who just don’t know where they should put their power selections or
what stats to specialize in.  And when the game’s documentation
fails you, you’re left to rely on your own senses and intuitions. 
If you’re anything like me, that’s not always a good thing. 
Luckily, with the help of my fellow players and colleagues I’ve discovered
something marvelous in the way Cryptic designed its powers: Synergies.

Power synergies were designed by Cryptic
as a way to entice players to get creative when picking their powers
and when using them.  A synergy is when two or more powers work
in way that augments each other.  Similarly, different power sets
share the same driving stats as a way to intertwine the sets and make
them compatible for diverse character builds.  Let’s take a look
at a few specific sets that compliment each other, and a few powers
that have synergy as well, to illustrate this part of the game.


Supernatural beasties like this guy need to learn a bit about synergy.Supernatural beasties like this guy need to learn a bit about synergy.

Each power set has stats that effect
it the most.  For instance, the Might set would benefit obviously
the most from Strength, while the Martial Arts sets benefit greatly
from Dexterity, and Gadgets get the most from Intellect.  But something
to think about is what secondary stats to select.  Each hero gets
to pick two super-stats, and if you plan on dipping into multiple power
sets, you’ll want to try and pick stats that are complimentary to
one another.  For example…

Might and Supernatural

Might, as mentioned earlier, gets a good
deal of benefit from Strength, and Supernatural has several powers that
cause stuns and knockbacks and crushing damage.  Therefore both
Might and Supernatural can benefit from picking Strength as a Super-Stat. 

But what to pick for the secondary stat?  Both Might and Supernatural
powers deal with a lot of up close and personal combat.  Therefore
both would benefit from a high health pool and Constitution makes an
easy recommendation for the secondary stat.

Martial Arts

Martial Arts is a power set that might
get a lot of flack, but there is an undeniable amount of joy to be gained
from kicking and punching the ever-living crap out of your enemies. 
To do so most effectively, one should pay careful attention to what
stats they focus on.  The obvious choice for Martial Arts would
be Dexterity as it feeds into your damage and your critical hit chance. 
To tag along with Dexterity, Ego makes an excellent second choice as
it also feeds directly into critical hit damage percentage.  Therefore
you’re raising both your chance to critically hit and the amount of
damage each hit does. 


So by now you probably recognize what
I mean by statistical synergies, and why it’s important to pick powers
that are complimented by your statistical choices and vice versa. 
But it’s also important to remember that “over-specialization” 
is a bad idea in Champions Online.  You might have picked two fantastic
super-stats to go along with your power selections, but that doesn’t
mean you should only focus on these two.  They will wind up being
the primary force behind your damage dealing capabilities and the strength
of your powers, but don’t ignore your other stats!  If you focus
on Dexterity and Ego as with our Martial Arts example above, you’ll
do a great deal of damage, but you’ll have a lot of issues surviving
most fights.  So be sure to pay attention to other stats too with
gear, talents and otherwise.


Ice powers are a perfect example of synergy.Ice powers are a perfect example of synergy.

Power synergies are a bit different than
statistical synergies.  As stated earlier, power synergies are
when two or more powers and their effects play off of each other. 
Let’s give some examples, as that’s always the easiest way to explain
these things.

When playing with Ice powers, many powers
in the set create the “Chill” effect on targets, which slows
them down.  Then certain powers within the Ice set will do additional
damage to chilled targets.  The same can be said of many Fire powers. 
The Clinging Flames debuff places a DOT on enemies and certain skills
will refresh that debuff or increase the damage it does.

There are also things to keep in mind
with powers across different sets.  They may not have direct synergies
like powers in one set, but certain powers in one set might work really
well in tandem with others from another set.  For example Thunderclap
in the Might set places a hold on most enemies around the hero. 

Follow this up with Iron Lariat from the Supernatural tree which does
a good deal of AoE damage, can cause a knockback when the power has
an advantage applied to it, and can also interrupt enemies’ attacks.


There’s really only one piece of advice
I can give when picking your powers, aside from paying attention to
how they interact with each other.  Keep this in your mind: don’t
get over-zealous!  Each player is allowed to make eight characters
right now per account.  That means you have ample opportunity to
test different power sets and how they work with each other.  I
would highly recommend avoiding dipping into too many sets.  Not
because it’s “the wrong way to play” but because you’ll likely
find yourself having a difficult time enjoying the game when you spend
most of your time dead. Now get out there and start playing!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Champions Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016