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All About Archetypes

Last Modified: June 10, 2021

Origin and Archetype selection screen. Borrowed from HERE

The at you choose will determines what kind of powers you will have and what your major style of gameplay will be. Here is a quick summary of the typical role each AT (a section on powers follows):

Note: I KNOW already! Yes, you can play any character any way. If you try hard, you can make a super-tough defender and play them like a tank. However, most people don't and the game isn't going to make it easy for you. Therefore, I'm going to explain this how it's done normally. This is a guide for newer players after all.


Tanker Archetype Tanker

Bring a friend. Hell bring EVERYONE.
I can take you all!

Their job is to hold Aggro and survive as best they can while the rest of the group beats the tar out of whatever enemies are around. In short, their job is being tough. A tank will take a bat to the knee, a gunshot to the chest, and an axe to the head while his player is off taking a potty break with no problems.

Note that playing solo can be slow because of the low damage that most tanks do, but since dying is more rare (especially at high levels), Tanks rarely have to make frequent trips back and forth from the hospital to a tough mission.

Auto-power: Guantlet

Every time you hit an enemy, it and surrounding enemies are hit with a light taunt effect. This fits very well with the tank philosophy of "Hey! Bad guy! Leave those squishies alone". All you have to do is keep switching targets to keep them fully occupied on you. Having an AoE attack is especially useful for Tanks who want to keep their team safe.

Blaster Archetype Blaster

Everything looks better with a little fire

These are the mass destruction characters of the game. They are often the pullers because of their long range attacks and they're good for nailing flying foes, one's stuck in the ceiling, or runners. They also have the most aoe damage which is very fun, but also dangerous in that it draws aggro from anyone else (like the tank) directly to you. Being extremely squishy, it's important to use hit-and-run tactics, use the terrain to prevent being overwhelmed, or use the strengths of team members to stay alive.

Balancing the massive ranged power of the blaster without getting killed can be challenging and many people don't do it well. I have often teamed with blasters who really helped the team and were critical to the success of missions and tfs, while other times, vast pain and agony were the result of teaming with a "bad" blaster. The key is to be careful about the blasters on your team. A dumb tank will only get themselves killed while a dumb blaster will get everyone else killed.

Auto-power: Defiance

Woot!! They finally changed this worthless power into something useful. Forget what it used to do and let's focus on what it does now.

Not only can you use the first two powers of your primary powerset and the first power of your secondary while Mezzed, but every attack you perform from your primary and secondary (not pools or temp powers) adds a temporary bonus to your attack power (which can get insanely high after a while). Now that's a cool inherent power.

Controller Archetype Controller

You guys hold still for a second

Crowd Control. With a strong controller, it's possible to be effective without a tank because the enemies will be frozen, confused, held or whatever. This can be dangerous though. Because Controllers have low damage output, they can't kill a huge crowd before the holds wear off. Therefore, if they try to take on too many solo, it can get them into trouble. Likewise, if the team they're with doesn't fully take the aggro by the time the hold wears off, the entire room of bad guys will come looking for the 'Troller.

Auto-power: Containment

As far as auto powers go, this is one of the most useful. A controller automatically doubles damage dealt to any enemy that is under a control power's effect (such as holds, slows, confuse, etc.). Since controllers attacks are usually a hold, slow, sleep etc anyway, then pretty much all their attacks hit double.

Defender Archetype Defender

This team is under my protection!

The Everything Character. I really like defenders because they have a good balance of attack/control and healing/support powers. A defender helps the team by altering the rules of play. Defender powers can provide team protection, weaken the enemy, provide healing, improve the stats of other players temporarily etc.

For example, one time while fighting a high-level Psionic powered av, my team found that he did about half damage with me around because of the defense bonus my character added to the team and the accuracy pentalty I applied to him.

It's interesting to note that the controller's secondary powers are the primary power sets for defenders. Because of this, there can be a lot of overlap in the duties of controllers and defenders, but generally, controllers are crowd control/team support and defenders are team support/enemy manipulation.

Auto-power: Vigilance

As team member's life totals fall, a Defender uses less endurance. This is very useful IF you're on a team and IF they're dying. This used to be a fairly so-so power until…

The newest update in i17 ALSO includes a damage bonus when soloing of up to 30%. This significantly helps Defenders solo or when on small teams (though the bonus is effectively nullified with a team of 3 or more).

Scrapper Archetype Scrapper

You are an eyesore. Prepare to meet your maker!

High damage, medium hit points. The scrapper's primary job during a team battle is to add damage to what the tank does and take out the problem enemies quickly. They are strongest when fighting one or two enemies at a time, but can dish out more damage than anyone (even blasters) to a single target. Because they are also decently tough, they can take enemies far above their level.

It should be noted that for people who either don't have the skill or the desire to worry about other team mates or complications like Aggro, Scrappers make a very good first character. This is also good for impatient people who just want to get out there and kills stuff.

Auto-power: Critical Hit

A portion of scrapper attacks will be critical hits which do double damage. Because of this, taking powers that hit multiple time such as Dark Maul (for Dark Melee scrappers) will give you better chances for landing criticals. Note that you have a better chance for critical when fighting tougher enemies.

Kheldians( Peacebringer Archetype Peacebringer / Warshade Archetype Warshade )

Nova. Borrowed from HERE
Dwarf: Borrowed from HERE

These odd character types are often seen as flying squid-like things. Each type has a large amount of abilities to choose from (far more than the other ATs, though I think all types should have this many powers or more), and some very cool inherent powers.

To play one, you first have to have at least one of your other characters on any server at level 50 20 (I think it was kind of cheap to change it to level 20, but whatever…).

Of note are the three major forms: human, nova, and dwarf. Human is normal and has the most variety of power while nova is the flying form I talked about before. Novas have great attack but no defense. Dwarfs are large bulky looking things that look more like giant lobsters and have the characteristics of a tank. Because of this, Kheldians have some of the best versatility as far as team members go

A void seeker. Not too dangerous to normal characters, but to Kheldians, these guys are a problem


Depending on the team member archetypes that are with a Kheldian, they gain bonuses to attack, defense, and resistances. For this reason, Kheldians benefit by joining a team of diverse archetypes. Also, Peacebringers have Fly from level 1 and Warshades have Teleport.

For whatever reason, the devs decided that Kheldians are too powerful and decided to add a special enemy type throughout the game to deal with them. The special enemy can be obvious or look like an ordinary enemy, but the name will usually have something like "Quantum" or "Void" in it. Kheldians are afraid of these because they can be taken out one or two hits from these enemies.


Brute Archetype Brute

Who're you callin' PINK!?

Brutes are like a cross between scrappers and tanks. Their powersets are mostly the same as Tanks, but they can't hold Aggro as well. Instead, they get a damage buff for each enemy that surrounds them making them both very tough and very powerful.

Auto-power: Fury

Brutes have a fury bar which raises attack power the more full the bar gets. Staying in active battle and being surrounded by multiple enemies raises your fury bar.

Corruptor Archetype Corruptor

Don't worry. I'll donate your corpses to science... my science

A Corruptor is a cross between a Blaster and Defender. They have strong ranged attacks (though weaker than a Blaster), and healing/support secondaries (mostly the same as the ones Defenders have).

If you've played Defenders, but were frustrated by their lack of punch or if you've played a Blaster and wished you could survive a little better, a Corruptor is a great type to play. You can do good damage, but with debuffs/heals, you can keep yourself alive much better than a Blaster.

Auto-power: Scourge

Scourge is a really neat power that does double damage to enemies who are below 50% life. If you are fighting a tough enemy, but can get him down below 50%, your damage accelerates greatly. Even better, the chance for Scourge becomes much greater the lower in life the enemy gets.

Brute Archetype Brute

You think I'm a Controller!? Eat this meathead!

Dominators are a mix between Controllers and Blasters. Their primary power sets are just like Controllers which are used to hold and control enemies. Their secondary powers are all ranged attacks like a blaster.

Auto-power: Domination

Dominators have a "Domination" bar that grows with the more control powers they use. Once the bar is mostly full, you can activate your domination (a power in your tray). While the effect is active, your holds and controls are more effective and deal more damage.

Mastermind Archetype Mastermind

Soon, all shall be my servants.

Masterminds have Defender secondaries (heals, buffs/debuffs), but what really makes them cool is their primary. Their primary powers are completely unique among all archetypes (hero and villainside) and consist mostly of henchmen and powers that work with them.

They can be a bit complicated to play if you want to control your pets with fine detail, but a good set of binds makes that far easier. Even without binds, you can control them with the custom pet controls that Masterminds have access to.

Auto-power: Supremacy

Being pet-oriented, Masterminds give a bonus to attack and to-hit to any nearby pets.

Stalker Archetype Stalker

What do you mean "Where are you?"
I'm right in front of you!!

Stalkers are scrappers that have two powers replaced by the Stalker-specific Hide (which renders you fully invisible and you have access to from level 1), and Assassin's Strike which is a ridiculously powerful single-target power (which you get at level 6).

It's pretty cool to have full invisibility from level one, but being far weaker in defense compared to scrappers makes them a bit more challenging to play.

Auto-power: Assassination

Stalkers do critical damage whenever they're hidden and have a chance for critical when their not.

Arachnos Soldier Archetype Arachnos Widow / Arachnos Widow Arachnos Widow

Spyder Webb: This cave stinks!
We're leaving!
Spyder's Attendant: Yes Miss Webb.

A soldier starts out something like a tough Assault Rifle Blaster with a strong team buff and defensive secondary. The Widow is a Claws scrapper with the same type of defensive secondary.

When each reaches 24, they are given a choice of which path to follow. For soldiers, they can become Crab Spiders or Bane Spiders. Widows can become Fortunas or Blood Widows. The main difference between the two is ranged attacks (Crab and Fortuna) versus melee with stealth (Bane and Blood).

To unlock this character type, you need to get a character to 50 20 just like the hero epic sorta-epic archetypes.

Auto-power: Conditioning

Higher base endurance and health recovery than other types.

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