Author Topic: Wind Control / Storm Summoning: Analysis and buildcrafting.  (Read 330 times)

EDekar

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Wind Control, as a Rebirth exclusive (to the best of my knowledge), is difficult to find resources for.  Since I can't rely on my prehistoric reference from the days of Live, I am working to understand and exploit Wind Control as best as I am able.  I've never been the trailblazing sort; I have always preferred to leave more scientific and mathematically inclined minds to the crunching of numbers and optimization, then work from their discoveries.  All of this being the case, what follows is my best understanding of Wind Control with Storm Summoning to back it up.

Wind Control is unique among the Control sets for having a stack mechanic in the form of Pressure.  Pressure can build up to 5 stacks, and all powers in the set either consume all currently built stacks of Pressure or generate stacks.  I have mixed feelings about this mechanic in actual play, but we'll discuss that after we've gone over what's going on with our individual powers.

Updraft: This is a fairly standard Lift power that causes immediate Knockup to one target and dealing damage on impact with the ground.  It builds one stack of Pressure and deals respectable damage.  It inflicts -Fly.

Downdraft: Standard single target Hold common to all Control sets.  It builds one stack of Pressure and inflicts -Movement, -Recharge, and -Fly.

Breathless: Targeted Area of Effect immobilize.  This is our first consumer, and each stack of Pressure increases damage.  I suspect it has other effects from Pressure, but if not I wouldn't want to use my Pressure on this normally as the base damage is very low.  Inflicts -Dmg, +EndCost, and possibly -Recharge.

Wind Shear: Point Blank Area of Effect toggle power with parallels to Hurricane.  As a toggle this breaks the mold with regards to Pressure, and neither builds nor consumes.  Inflicts -Speed, -Fly, -ToHit, and -Dmg.  Most of these effects aren't particularly powerful taken alone, but they're all a helpful buffer in conjunction with other powers.

Thundergust: Target-agnostic Cone Knockdown.  This is Gale but actually worth using!  As a multiple target Pressure builder, this is our best way to quickly build 5 stacks to amp up something else.  Inflicts -ToHit as well.

Microburst: Targeted Area of Effect Disorient.  Our second consumer, this deals negligible damage while inflicting a variety of effects, most notably Stun.  Also deals -Speed, -Fly, -Recharge, and -Def if used at 5 stacks.  As with Breathless, Pressure also increases damage but the base is so low that I don't find it to be useful in that aspect.

Keening Winds: Targeted Area of Effect Confuse.  This is our other great pressure builder but isn't necessarily what it looks like on the surface.  While this is a Confuse power, it is also a recovery power!  The more targets you hit, the more endurance you'll recover, making this an excellent survival tool.

Vacuum: Targeted Area of Effect Hold.  Fairly typical TAoE Hold power found in most Control sets with all the same upsides and downsides generally present with those.  This is our final consumer, with higher Pressure resulting in more damage and a lingering field.  At 5 stacks of Pressure, the lingering hold field will supposedly last long enough to reapply the initial Hold a second time.  Massive recharge time, but it has a different effect if used on our pet, the Vortex.

Vortex: Atypical control Pet.  I'm not entirely sure what to make of Vortex, and part of this is my inability to really dig into what it's doing, how it's doing it, and what it's adding to my kit.  Its description states that it adds to our Pressure with its own actions and that the higher our Pressure goes, the higher its chance to critically deal damage becomes.  When Vacuum is cast on Vortex, it instead casts Clear Skies.

Clear Skies: A potent self buff whose duration relates to the amount of Pressure you consumed when you cast Vacuum.  This grants 30 to 60 seconds of +Recovery, +ToHit, +Recharge, and +EnduranceReduction.  Mids reports 25% on all four, but I haven't verified that.  When Clear Skies expires you receive the Cloudy Skies status, which prevents a new application of Clear Skies until it wears off.  This generally isn't going to matter since Vacuum has such a significant cast time regardless.

So, from what all of our abilities are doing, it's clear that Wind Control excels in a few areas: -ToHit, -Fly, and -Recharge are all extremely prevalent across the set and work to constantly debuff our foes outside of the actual control we are trying to apply.  I expect that foes who resist these effects are going to shrug off these debuffs, but for most of our enemies this is a great form of mitigation.

From my perspective, it appears as though our opener is going to look something like this:
  Thundergust (Knockdown and Pressure 5)
  Microburst (Stun and Pressure 0)
  Breathless (Immobilize to stop wandering from Microburst)
  Filler (Updraft and Downdraft for damage and single target holds, functionally)

Since I've taken up Storm Summoning, there's some additional synergy to leverage in our diverse marketing package.  Wind Shear and Hurricane both work as PBAoE debuffs and work beautifully together if you're able to deal with the Repel aspect of Hurricane, while Thunderclap adds additional Stun to stack with our Microburst.  Since Microburst is our primary repeatable control for managing spawns, this takes the oft maligned and skipped Thunderclap and makes it into something worth taking!  Being surrounded by enemies isn't such a big deal to us since we're using our two PBAoE toggles to debuff things, not to mention Steamy Mist granting us some stealth and mitigation as well!  Finally, Storm Summoning gives us the ever wonderful Freezing Rain, Tornado, and Lightning Storm to shore up our lacking damage.

If this combination has taught me anything, it's that there's really nothing in the two sets that you really want to skip.  I ended up not taking Snow Storm on account of being a Controller and having plenty of other control to handle things with, but even that would have its uses.

Has anyone had different experience with Wind Control specifically or this combination overall?  I've attempted a build of sorts, but as I'm not well versed in IO build crafting, it is incomplete and takes into account my own preferences for the character.  Note that the current version of Rebirth's StopGap Mids release has an error in its database that only allows Dominator ATO's regardless of the actual AT chosen, so you'll have to edit the database to fix that if you wish to properly apply Controller ATO's.

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Nod

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Re: Wind Control / Storm Summoning: Analysis and buildcrafting.
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2021, 10:22:04 pm »
Excellent rundown of Wind Control.
Thank you for that!

Donkyhotay

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Re: Wind Control / Storm Summoning: Analysis and buildcrafting.
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2021, 04:38:17 pm »
A good writeup, a few things I want to add onto this. I've found that when dealing with mobs that microburst and breathless are your "bread and butter". Stun and immobilize together are equivalent to a hold and with some decent recharge reduction you can throw both those off once an encounter. Being able to use "an AoE hold" once per encounter is incredible. It makes vacuum completely obsolete as an attack though it's still worth getting (and slotting) in order to hit your pet with it to use it a buff.

I've found wind control very much shines when paired with "debuffing" secondaries such as trick arrow, storm summoning, darkness affinity and poison. I have a wind/trick arrow controller and love using flash arrow and thundergust as an opener which plunges enemies tohit down into the abyss, similar to the thundergust and hurricane combo EDekar mentioned.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 04:41:17 pm by Donkyhotay »
Do not be afraid to joust a giant just because some people insist on believing in windmills.

Danaid

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Re: Wind Control / Storm Summoning: Analysis and buildcrafting.
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2021, 08:49:14 pm »
Thanks for the write-up. I've been interested in Wind Control but, like you said, there isn't a lot of information on it. It seems to have some interesting mechanics. I'm guessing it's a safe, but slow soloer?

EDekar

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Re: Wind Control / Storm Summoning: Analysis and buildcrafting.
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2021, 08:55:49 pm »
That would overall be my assumption, aye.  Storm Summoning adds notable damage, but it'll be a while before you can really get that aspect going.  It could be that I'm undervaluing the damage coming from Wind Control, but I suspect I could do better damage through a more traditional control set while leveraging procs.  That said, I'm absolutely not unhappy with Wind Control at all!  I just don't think I'd enjoy trying to solo with it.  That's what my Illusion / Dark Miasma is for!  Best solo Controller in the game once you've gotten the core together.  ^.^
« Last Edit: June 13, 2021, 08:22:54 am by EDekar »

MuonNeutrino

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Re: Wind Control / Storm Summoning: Analysis and buildcrafting.
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2021, 09:47:49 pm »
I can add a bit more detail on exactly what pressure does.

First, you can actually have 6 stacks of it, not 5. Stacks of pressure do nothing on their own, they exist only to modify the effects of other powers.

On Breathless, in addition to pressure increasing the (negligible) damage, the power has a stronger -dam effect when used with less than 2 stacks. It does inflict -recharge (but not -movement), but it only inflicts +endcost in PvP.

On microburst, it has the -def effect if you have 5 or 6 stacks of pressure. If you've got 6, the -def is slightly stronger than with 5.

Vacuum is complicated. The field lasts 8 seconds plus 2 seconds for each stack of pressure. The field ticks once per second, dealing its damage and applying a weak but long lasting stacking tohit debuff and slow (thus, the longer they are in the area, the more debuff they stack up). All targets in the field take a small amount of extra damage if you have 6 stacks of pressure. If you have at least 5 stacks of pressure (a total duration of at least 18 seconds), an autopower possessed by the field has enough time to tick a second time, applying a second copy of the hold effect. (Just from looking at this it also might be bugged to double-apply the hold on the initial cast for a mag 6 aoe hold, but I'd have to test that.)

Vortex is very complicated. This pet has several things it does. It flies and is immune to smashing, lethal, and psionic damage. It shares your pressure level, but unlike what its description might suggest it does not add or consume pressure itself. All of its powers have a 5% chance to critical for each stack of pressure. It has the following powers:

Blast of Debris: a moderate ST ranged attack with -fly and -jump.

Whirlwind: a permanent PBAoE aura autopower with a 20 foot radius that is simultaneously a damage aura and a 15% tohit debuff. This power doesn't slow targets but is otherwise IMO better than your own wind shear power.

Crash of Thunder: an 80 foot range, 25 foot radius TAoE with minor damage and an 80% chance for a mag 2 stun, with an accuracy bonus and a 10 second recharge - in other words a quite powerful minion level aoe stun with good stacking potential and a short recharge.

Hail of Debris: an 80 foot range 20 foot radius 'rain' style TAoE/DoT attack. The patch persists for 12 seconds, doing moderate DoT over the duration along with a significant slow, -fly, and a 20% resistance debuff - on just a 30 second recharge! This power is quite strong but has the limitation that the pet loses access to it if you have more than 3 stacks of pressure.

IMO vortex is better when you keep pressure dumped, I don't think the extra crit chance makes up for losing access to the powerful hail of debris. I suspect this actually might explain the otherwise pretty useless pressure dumping effects on breathless - IMO that power was probably made a consumer not for itself, but to give you an easily-available way to dump pressure to keep vortex going. It's gonna be hard to enhance this thing, though, given that you want accuracy, damage, stun, *and* -tohit ideally.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2021, 10:09:19 pm by MuonNeutrino »
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