View Full Version : Community Guide for Melee Characters in PvP

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 10:15 AM
There's plenty of threads around here debating various angles to the concept of having a melee character in PvP. I thought it would be a good idea to create a thread where the overall tone would stay positive and helpful to people who want to excel as a melee character. Here are some things I'd like for people to keep in mind.

1. It IS possible to be a factor in PvP using a Melee character.
2. Ranged players will more than likely always have it easier, but defeating them will be that much more rewarding.
3. While some powers need to get altered, look within yourself for change before exclaiming things need to be nerfed.

Alright. With those 3 things in mind, my experience in PvP has been to level 20, and briefly as a level 40. I'm by no means an expert, but here are my findings.

-Specialize. Think hard about your build before creating it. Have a game plan on how you want to attack and how you want to defend. It may even take you a few rerolls or alts to try different powers out in the field before you find that sweet spot of what works for you. To really excel at melee, I feel that you need to specialize and play to your strengths rather than try to have an answer for every situation. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to be well rounded, but know that to maximize your efforts you really should come up with a small number of strategies and conquer that way.

-Super Stats. You'll hear all matter of opinion here. Personally I chose Dex/Ego, but the argument for others are very valid. Strength, Constitution, Endurance, and Recovery would all be good options in my opinion. Strength adds to Melee Damage. Constitution is health. Endurance gives you a larger pool of energy, and Recovery helps you get energy faster. If you have a melee endurance builder you may want to seriously consider END or REC, as it'll make life easier for you getting a bar of energy to lay the hurt on someone. The martial arts energy builder is (I believe) the best at building energy. I have it at Rank 1 and I find I can get energy fairly quickly with it.

A good melee build will have the following:

-A Hold
-A Snare and/or Root
-One Ranged Attack
-A travel power remover (Optional, I feel depending on the availabilty of heavy items and your strength stat to pick stuff up)
-Crippling Challenge removes the ability to block for a period of time
-Rank 3 of all main powers

Melee needs to keep people in range. No competitively skilled player is going to stand there and let you charge up big attacks, so you gotta keep them in place. There are a few options available to you, and pulls like Chained Kunai to keep people in range. Study up on them and find what would work best for you because you'll need them.

I make the argument that a Ranged Attack is necessary because sometimes despite your best efforts they're going to get out of range. You will kick yourself for wailing on someone for close to a minute only to have them slip away because they got a step out of range and escaped with a travel power. Having a ranged attack will also make you more useful to your team depending on the style of PvP you're in. You don't necessarily have to have one, but I definitely think it helps. People also fly above your head and if you don't have something to pull people to you, a ranged blast can keep the pressure on until you're in position to set up your big bangers or a cooldown is off to root someone.

By no means do I feel like this is a complete guide. I am asking for other members of the community to contribute their thoughts. I'm not an expert. I encourage debate. I encourage other tips. I'm only trying to help. I've only stated my opinion based off of what I've read on the forums and my own experience.

Others, please drop your tips and suggestions in here. Melee can be a powerful force in PvP. Last night in Tier 2 PvP I consistently was pulling 10-0's and 11-0's. I even got an offer to join a PvP Super Group. :)

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 10:37 AM
Tip: Size Up Your Target

If you are a regeneration build, you want to take on people who's offense caters to your playstyle. You want someone who does small damage that hits a lot so your healing can ramp up. If you have a choice between someone like that, and someone who hits with big shots that your regeneration can't mitigate, I think the choice who to go after is clear.

Also know what kind of damage you do and who you would be good against.

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 10:41 AM
Tip: Get Your Timing Down

People are going to run, heal, teleport, and whatever else when they are in danger. Anticipate this. If I get a root on someone and I'm in position to hit them with a big banger, I know they're looking to run afterwards if their health is low. That's why I have a Hold lined up, or I'll knock them back to keep them off their feet. Get a rhythm of your attacks going. See what your teammates are doing, and coordinate with them if possible.

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 01:53 PM
Bump. I'd really like for the Melee PvP community to get behind this. The more we promote efficiency within our niche the less potential baseless claims for nerfs and changes need to happen.

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 02:21 PM
Tip: Mobility is key.

Being able to reach your target and stay on them while attacking is crucial. Snares and Holds can help, but they can't be relied upon completely.
For this reason a travel power can be as useful for a melee character for reaching their target as it is for a ranged character to avoid one.
Adding ranks to a travel power may seem useless at first, but it can both give you a mobility advantage over the person trying to escape from you, as well as reducing the energy penalty it applies to your powers. Some travel powers even have Advantage options directly related to combat use, such as Swinging granting a dodge bonus while active, or Acrobatics granting a short boost of speed any time someone attacks you.
Using a controller instead of a keyboard and mouse can also greatly ease the process of moving while attacking.

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 02:41 PM
Using a controller instead of a keyboard and mouse can also greatly ease the process of moving while attacking.

Agreed. But, also keep an eye out for whatever causes your controller to ignore input -_-. It may be that I got crippled, but at some point I was unable to pull off any attack except may main bank of attacks (x/y/b without any of the triggers or shoulder buttons held)

Also, for controller layout- I suggest(When it works, at least) to have your spam attacks on the main bank, and your charge attacks attached to your left, or right trigger. Any Powers that are designed to grant you a short buff and have a long recharge might be best suited to be on the left shoulder button, as that is the most difficult to use, and much harder to accidentally set off. (Right shoulder is for changing targets)

To Sum it up- assign tap/spam powers to the main keys, charges to the triggers, and Long Recharge's to the shoulder button. This is just a suggestion, but it is what I find works best for the button layout, heh.

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 02:51 PM
Get mines.

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 02:57 PM

When you can duck around corners to avoid a blast DO IT, repeatedly.

If you are strong enough to throw a truck at someone DO IT, repeatedly.

Watch for the green and blue orbs randomly strewn about -
they may be the split second chance you have between life and death.

Use your travel power to it's greatest potential whether to catch your target or escape.

If you are on a team, HELP YOUR TEAMMATES, you may be the deciding factor in a neck and neck battle.

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 03:33 PM
I'm of the opinion that STR absolutely must be one of your super stats. Without high STR you are going to get KBed regularly. Hell, even with high STR you get KBed regularly.

A Dex/Ego build will get owned by KBs. Absolutely owned. The only way you can make it work is to constantly run around and look for targets who are near death. They need to be hurt so badly that you can kill them in 1-2hits.

Also, Force Eruption owns anything you can do or think of. You can't do anything against it at all. Until the devs add KB suppression then there's no point using melee against anyone with it. Why? Because they can use it while held. If you can't get in your biggest melee damage against a held target then there's no point in even playing melee. A Dex/Ego build won't land anything big against a force eruption person with half a brain. You are going to be KBed every single time. By the time you get up the dude will be out of the hold and kiting you again. A high STR build can fare a little better but you can still get KBed by it, OR it will repel you so that your attack gets pushed out of range--so if you hold someone and go to charge up your big attack, you are going to get repelled away and your attack will miss. GG.

High STR also allows you to pick up large objects and throw them for big damage. That's going to be a huge part of your strategy in arena and BASH. I still think anti-travel powers are a must, but you can get by without them if you do arena/bash and stick close to objects.

Acrobatics should be one of your travel powers. It allows you to move MUCH faster while blocking. It still gets owned by Chill.

Don't bother with Lightning Reflexes until it gets buffed. Right now it's just a big "KILL ME" sign.

Defiance is very good if you have a melee energy builder because it give you energy when you block. It's a huuuuggeeee help on my Might toon. In fact I think it's probably the best defensive choice for people with melee end builders.

Unless you are a shadowform / kin darts TK blade build, then you absolutely need a defensive passive and a heal. No exceptions.

If you are a Might toon, then spam the **** outta Roomsweeper, and position yourself so that the enemy falls off a building/platform/whatever. Roomsweeper can also be charged on the move, unlike Uppercut and Haymaker. It also KBs on tap. Abuse this until the devs add KB suppression. Then re-roll to something other than Might.

You are completely fcked if you target has force eruption, chill and teleport. You are not going to win unless your ranged buddies did all the damage for you. Then you'll wonder why you even choose melee in the first place.

You absolutely need crippling challenge. Put it on Mighty Leap FOR SURE, and possibly on your first attack power (the one you get in tutorial). There is nothing worse than closing the distance and having your target block everything you throw at him. Holds don't always break through blocking, like some people erroneously claim. Be aware that not many people know about crippling challenge right now, but once ranged toons take it you may as well re-roll. They can quickly knock off your block with their tier 1 attack power that then hit you for huge damage for free. If you lunge is recharging there won't be anything you can do, but hope you can interrupt them with a pulling power.

If you say you currently "do good" with melee for "thinking outside of the box" then just play ranged any own up everything for free. Your skills will transfer over well, you will know how to laugh at melee builds and you'll actually be a legitimate threat from any range.

No I'm not bitter.

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 03:34 PM
Also--if you are hell bent on a Dex/Ego build then pick up Ego Surge from Telekinesis. It has an advantage that boosts your crit chance by 25%. Hell, even without a Dex/Ego build that's a very nice buff to Crit chance.

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 04:03 PM
Awesome tips everyone.


How do you like Defiance in PvP? I had thought about getting it but I was worried about getting nuked up front without much to show for it. I went Dex/Ego to benefit from critical heals with Regen (when they aren't bugged) and for the added spike damage. I can see what you're saying about getting knocked back, but I don't feel like I've gimped myself.

For people with the Force KB power, I usually step in like I'm going to hit them and let them waste it then tag them with a couple of tapped Haymakers. A critical one of those is almost as good as a charge. Either that or I'll pot shot them with my ranged attack. I've gotten up to 19. Your arguments are making me consider a reroll. :P

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 04:44 PM
Tip: Melee Energy Builders

Melee energy builders have the obvious disadvantage of only being able to raise energy while close to your target, but they have a few unique benefits intended to counteract this.

First, melee energy builders seem to gain a little more EPS (energy per second) than ranged ones. I don't think this comes from extra energy-per-hit, but rather from faster attacks. If this is true then melee energy builders may have greater DPS as well, though the damage of all energy builders is negligible.
In regards to energy builders in general, it should be noted that the first hit or two always does more damage, but has a slower animation and therefore energy generation.
Different energy builders also have different ratios of energy gain verse damage done or secondary effects to compensate for a lower level in each, and for energy builders with innate secondary effects, those initial hits are the ones with the chance to apply them.

Second, when a melee energy builder is activated outside of melee range, it will instead place a Tag on your target, which appears as a glowing skull symbol over their head.
In PvE this Tag will put out a steady flow of threat on the target, encouraging them to come to you and attack.
Another effect of this Tag in all situations is that, the first time you hit a target you've tagged in melee with your energy builder, the energy generated by that first hit will be increased by 15%.
It is very important to know that this Tag currently has a cooldown of roughly 15 seconds before you can apply it again. It will be removed the moment you actually hit the target with your energy builder, and seems to have a maximum duration of about 30 seconds.

Also, it is currently useless to place higher ranks into any energy builders, since higher ranks only increase the damage, which is already worthless, by a pitiful amount.
If you want to improve your energy builder then an Advantage is a better choice.

Archived Post
08-31-2009, 06:01 PM
Good tip Akiru. I didn't know that about the PvE skull. :)

Archived Post
04-06-2010, 11:48 AM
i found it useful to have a ranged builder and 1 other ranged attack. I chose ice for its slowing effect. When enemy was held or slowed i would go in for the kill wilth my claws. I had super dexterity, acrobatics and smoke pellet (i think its called) as a stealth granting power. It also helps to have high strength ratings to throw heavy items at flying opponents. i was getting 11-0s and 12-0s with that. hope this helps. :D

Archived Post
04-06-2010, 12:14 PM
ive always wanted a guy with primarily dual blades and a munitions builder and still have him do well in pvp but i havnt figured that one out yet.

Archived Post
04-06-2010, 12:18 PM
ive always wanted a guy with primarily dual blades and a munitions builder and still have him do well in pvp but i havnt figured that one out yet.

Lots of sword cyclone. Dragon's Wrath? when you can, hits hard too.

Archived Post
04-06-2010, 03:36 PM
I highly recommend that those with melee powersets add a bit of endurance. Extra endurance can mean the difference between an extra tap of haymaker and you standing there, out of gas and a foe charging electrocute..

Archived Post
04-06-2010, 03:38 PM
I highly recommend that those with melee powersets add a bit of endurance. Extra endurance can mean the difference between an extra tap of haymaker and you standing there, out of gas and a foe charging electrocute..

^^^ I have 103 end for just this reason.

Archived Post
04-06-2010, 04:15 PM
From beeeyyyyoooooonnnnnnnd the grave. When I first saw my name on this thread I thought someone hacked my account and made it. I forgot even doing this.

Archived Post
04-06-2010, 04:27 PM
I remember stealth powers being useful as a getaway but are they actually a waste? It also helps outside of PVP when all you have is acrobatics and an enemy mob starts attacking you. Also i am having a hard time deciding whether to get invuln, regen, or personal force field. I have however found great sucess in using an ice builder with ice blast. I am wondering though if i should have a munitions builder and get shurikan throw with my melee power and just get the upgrade where it pulls the enemy toward you. :confused:

Archived Post
04-06-2010, 06:08 PM
lol@ this guide. Maybe new CO members will stumble upon this thread and think melee is good. Hah.