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Beginner's Guide to Tanks and Brutes

Michael Mcnutt Posted:
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City of Heroes: Beginner's Guide to Tanks and Brutes

In this quick guide to Brutes and Tanks, MMORPG.com City of Heroes Correspondent Michael Macleod writes this quick guide to brutes and tanks that focuses on the different power pairings.

Ok, so you’ve decided to roll an aggro magnet. Good choice. For the most part you are the heart of the team. Your job is to take as much aggro as possible while your team locks down, blasts and debuffs the opposing forces. You’re the first one in and the first one to play punching bag. Your place in the team is extremely crucial, so you have to think 2-3 moves ahead.

As a Tank or Brute you have some of the most sought after abilities. You can take more damage than any other AT in the game. The more damage you take, the more your “fury” meter rises,(Villain side) which when fully induced, turns you into hell on wheels, where your damage output is increased.

You run the front lines. You position where and when the attack from the enemy will occur. This archetype is the most wanted and vital aspect of teaming.

Some tips for running your Impact player are:

  • Get yourself a pocket healer. You may not be the leader of your team, but most team wipe happen once the Tank or Brute falls. So make sure you have a dedicated healer.
  • SB plz!!! Don’t be afraid to haggle that Kinetics wielder. Speed Boost is your best friend. A Brute or Tank with rapidly recharged powers is just steps away from victory.
  • Take your vitamins-Don’t forget to save them red inspirations. They’ll make short work of the opposition in no time by increasing your damage output.
  • Upgrade your enhancements. Don’t wait till 3 missions later and realize that your Damage resistance is lacking because you haven’t upgraded.
  • Can the attitude. You know you’re the most vital part of the team and everyone counts on you to do your job. If you plan on running into a mob let your team know. If you plan to herd, call it out. Also don’t get annoyed if you are getting tons of invites. Tanks and Brutes aren’t as popular as they use to be, so you could mean xp or debt for most teams looking for your talents.
  • Call them out. Taunt. Your number one way to keep the baddies off the backs of your team and smashing you. Use it.
  • City of Heroes Screenshot

  • Enhance it. Become one with it.

Power sets(Brutes)

Electric melee(Brutes)

  • Electric/Electric: This one is a favorite of the electric primary, it combines the endurance drain of electric and the absorption of endurance draining effects to achieve the ultimate endurance conserver
  • Electric/Fire: The AoEs(Area of effect) of electric, and fire secondary synergize magically, strengths include the synergy of fire and electric, and weaknesses are no knockdown protection
  • Electric/Stone: The combination of granite armor, and the ability to use lightning rod in this form is what makes this build a keeper

Stone melee:

  • Stone/Stone: The most common stone build it gives a nice defense to deliver some of stones strongest attacks.
  • Stone/Electric: The endurance conservation of /electric counters stone's endurance draining for its strong powers, along with reducing the recharge time on some of the longer recharge powers.


  • Fire/Fire: the damaging and AoE effects between Fire and fire help this build's damage output
  • Fire/Dark: the cloak of fear helps the fire AOEs do their job, along with the massive amounts of aggro, helps dark regen.
  • Fire/Stone: The fire primary helps the stone secondary keep aggro in granite form making a super tanker

Super strength:

  • SS/Invulnerability: This is the classic of all brutes, the resistances help the super strength tear through enemies
  • SS/Stone: The SS's Rage can help undo granite armor's negative damage
  • SS/Dark: The dark secondary helps keep enemies in line while SS does its job
  • SS/Electric: The -recharge of SS/electric has SS's Rage able to be double stacked for more than 30 seconds

Dark melee

City of Heroes Screenshot

  • Dark/Dark: Dark melee's fear with Dark armor's fear and debuffs helps create a fear and blindness build, great for teams
  • Dark/Energy: the dark/energy build helps double stack acc debuffs and energy defense
  • Dark/Electricity: The electric armor's end conservation and + recharge helps create a self-sufficient in terms of endurance
  • Dark/Fire: dark's siphon life and healing flames help create a rock solid defense of defense, resistance, and regeneration at once, which is the strongest form of defense
  • Dark/Invulnerability: This is my favored build, the Siphon life, and the dull pain help solidify your defenses but the real bread and butter come from Invincibility's defense buff with the -acc

Energy Melee:

  • Energy/Electric armor: This is a big ouch in pvp and pve, This build will kill most things, with aid self you are virtually unstoppable killing everything before it kills you with electric’s +recharge and resistances this hurts
  • Energy/Invulnerability: Energy tears while invulnerability keeps you alive, a nice solid build
  • Energy/Fire: The heals from fire, and energy's attacks make this a rock solid offensive build also The build up+Firey Embrace+Energy Transfer Is an incredible burst of damage
  • Energy/Dark: this build is a major way to keep enemies still while energy destroys them
  • Energy/Stone: The high damage from energy will definitely make granite damage not a big problem. This build will hurt in and out of granite.


Michael Mcnutt