How to do solid damage as an atomic tank (a mini-guide for a very balanced atomic tank build)

Discussion in 'Oracle’s Database (Guides)' started by Deathmike, Jan 2, 2023.

  1. Deathmike Devoted Player

    This is a mini-guide for an atomic tank build that will make you:
    a) A bit tankier than the average tank.
    b) Significantly more damaging than the average dps.
    Both at the same time!

    I've had people ingame messaging me complementing my tank's damage and asking how I do it (or accusing me of cheating sometimes :eek:).
    Running this build, at worse, I sometimes (rarely) find someone who does about 50% more dps than I.
    I never met anyone getting even close to doubling my damage.
    Most dps I encounter I outdamage, a lot of time 2x, 3x, 5x or something crazy like that. I've had some older raid runs where as the tank I did more damage than the other 7 people combined :confused:.
    Anyway, enough about me.

    - Use only tank gear, gives you defense and dominance, which are good for you, they keep you regular.
    - For the back generator mod either go with the one that reduces the cooldown for Proton Remedy(this is the one I use), or Breakout Regeneration.
    - Other gear mods are obvious or a matter of preference.

    - Handblaster or Shield are the best overall choices as far as I can tell.
    - Handblaster gives you better AOE, Shield gives you better ST damage.
    Personally I use Handblasters currently.

    Utility belt
    - I use Trinket Pet, Supply Drop, Orbital Strike, Henchmen, but you might want to swap one for the might trinket.
    - Note: Not all Trinket Pets and Henchmen are created equal! Some do a lot more damage than others. Search other places for the best, or test the ones you have yourself at the sparring dummies. (Personally I have Nightmare Bat T2 and Circe Bestiamorphs; not the best, but the best in my possession so far)
    Edit: Tiered pets actually ARE created equal. Thanks to Illumin411 for pointing that out. I've also ran some tests of my own to confirm. Seasonal pets aren't standardized and generally do a lot less damage than tiered ones, but might come with their own buffs/debuffs, use them at your own risk.

    - Quislet
    - Grimorium Velum
    - Wildcard
    - There are a number of options for the wildcard, both for damage and survivability. I personally use Strategist currently, which I'm not too happy with (probably both Transformation or Dead King's Scepter, even without any swapping, would result in better damage). I will transform it into Lazarus Pit Water next Artifact double XP week event.

    - Support 1: Aquaman (for the extra pet damage)
    - Support 2: wildcard (I personally use Cyborg, can't afford leveling up another legendary, don't even have Aquaman fully leveled yet)
    - Combat: wildcard (I personally use Crypto)

    1) Atom Splitter
    2) Thermochemical Explosion (possible wildcard)
    3) Geiger Blast
    4) Proton Remedy
    5) Density
    6) Robot Sidekick

    Main Damage rotation (both AOE and ST; I use "->" to signify "clipped into"):
    - tap Hold weapon combo -> Atom Splitter, tap combo, tap combo -> Geiger Blast (repeat).
    Weapon agnostic rotation, inferior damage (if you don't want to use the suggested weapons):
    - right/left weapon tap -> Atom Splitter, tap combo, tap combo -> Geiger Blast, right/left weapon tap -> Thermochemical Explosion, tap combo, tap combo -> Geiger Blast (repeat).

    Improvise to keep alive and keep damage up:
    - Revert to alternating between your 2 melee combos when you need the extra healing.
    - When you lunge into a group of enemies Geiger Blast before starting your main rotation.
    - When you get CC'ed out of Atom Splitter, weapon combo into Geiger Blast directly, then depending on cooldowns, weapon combo into either melee combo (with another Atom Splitter being the preferred choice).
    - Use Proton Remedy when you need to activate your aura or when you need the healing.
    - When Utility belt trinkets are off-cooldown, weapon combo clip directly into them, skip Atom Splitter.

    Skill points:
    - Standard weapon combos and weapon mastery for your weapon of choice (don't bother with the WM cross-weapon combos).
    - All breakout related.
    - Hybrid or Superpowered spec.
    - All critical damage chance/mag.
    - Might/Power, Health and Dominance are important.
    - To a lesser extent healing crits, Restoration and Precision matter as well.
    - Skill points have diminishing returns, try to find the sweet spots (for example, I have 20 points in precision for the 4% increase).

    Q) Will I really outdamage players of similar CR with damage gear and in damage stance, me being in tank gear and tank stance?
    A - Yes, yes you will. Very often. ;)
    Q) How does this build fare in regular content?
    A - You'll be able to carry virtually any team through alerts, or solo them, and carry weak teams through most raids.
    Q) How does this build fare in elite content?
    A - Personally I don't usually bother with elite content higher than alerts, I only do content via queueing with random groups. I don't generally have any trouble surviving elite alerts with this build when my teammates are decent, sometimes even when they're not decent. You should be ok in elite raids too if you know what you're doing. You can always swap out Geiger Blast for Hard-Light Shield for extra survivability if you feel you need it in an encounter.
    Q) Can other tank powersets put out this type of damage?
    A - Nope. Not without severely compromising survivability, self-healing/non-reliance on a healer, CC etc.
    Q) Can't I just use this build or something similar to put out truly amazing damage in damage gear/stance?
    A - Probably, but you need to be careful. First of, atomic combos cost more power in damage stance (so you'll probably need a troll if you don't adapt Atom Splitter out of your rotation), secondly, Geiger Blast, while doing massive damage, has a pretty short range (so you'll have to survive in the heat of things, in melee/mid-range).

    This should about cover it for the most part, tried to keep things reasonably short. Feel free to comment or ask questions if anything's not clear.

    Deathmike out.
    • Like x 5
  2. Deathmike Devoted Player

    Reserved for later edits.

    Deathmike out.
    • Like x 1
  3. Deathmike Devoted Player

    Reserved for later edits.

    Deathmike out.
  4. DeitySupreme Steadfast Player

    I’d recommend using source shard as your 3rd artifact. Since (most) pets aren’t affected by your role and only your CR you can boost the damage of pets pretty effectively while in tank role. However, using source shard is also recommend not using henchmen since they could “steal” the buff from your more damaging pets.

    I personally use:
    Atom splitter (AoE pull)
    Thermal chemical explosion (AoE CC)
    God wave (pet buff)
    Remedy (aura activation)
    Rsk (additional pet)
    Swoop attack (for faint full speed between adds) or WoP for damage and group health buff for 20 seconds

    In my utility I use:
    Buff trinket
    Trinket pet
    Supply drop

    For allies I use:
    Krypto for boss damage
    Batman who laughs for buffs
    Aquaman for pet buff
    • Like x 2
  5. Illumin411 Loyal Player

    The entire point of the tiered system for trinket pets was to standardize their damage so that the differences within the same tier are only cosmetic. Now, due to the RNG involved in damage calculations, if one does a limited test, some will come out with better results than others. But the same test performed again would most likely produce entirely different results, thus, the "random" part of a "Random Number Generator". A commonly known tester and content provider even informs people of this in his videos but, people being people, they ignore that disclaimer and crown whichever pet topped his recent tests as the King Ding-a-ling of all pets anyway. But in reality, they are all the same within the same tier.

    Henchmen aren't standardized like the pets. But if you take the average difference of the higher damage producing henchmen and the lower damage producing henchmen, pro-rate that out over the entire cycle/cooldown and then convert that to a "per second" figure, it actually ends up being a tiny, minuscule drop in the bucket of one's total damage per second output. In other words, one might as well get the ones they like the best ("you're basic!" - Lexcorp Robots...haha).

    I don't mean to nit-pick at what is probably the least important part of your guide. It's just an extremely commonly believed misconception that for some reason grinds my gears.

    As for the rest, I go a very different way as far as Atomic Battletanking. But as they say, "there's more than one way to skin a cat" and I can't really speak to the effectiveness of this build. I'm sure it's the pre-skinned cats pajamas...
    • Like x 1
  6. Deathmike Devoted Player

    Source shard can definitely boost your damage big time, but the cost of an extra loadout slot is pretty big as well. If I could afford to level up multiple artifacts, I'd swap in Source Shard for a lot of content.
    The main problem with SS is that if you're running something tougher, or that you're not that well geared for, or your healer isn't healing etc., and need to adjust your loadout for extra tankiness, SS is basically a wasted artifact slot.

    Deathmike out.
  7. Deathmike Devoted Player

    You're right about the tiered pets, I've edited my post. Thank you.

    Deathmike out.
  8. Rejchadar Inquisitor

    To be pedantic (you yourself started it ....), then at least in general you are right ... but there are several nuances ...:

    Yes, pets from the tier system are standardized... but the pets themselves have different sizes and slightly different animations, this was taken into account during standardization and the average damage of these pets is close to the same... but this difference affects the smooth distribution of damage over time... in normal builds it doesn't really matter... but in builds with a shard this difference is more pronounced...

    SM pets have an additional damage bonus during SM...

    The difference in Henchmen's damage can be very large (the strongest is several times stronger than the weakest), and depending on the type of Henchmen's weapon, their survivability during the battle depends ... in normal builds, this difference does not greatly affect the total DPS of the character. ..but this difference affects the competitiveness of some artifacts (m.e.r.c.y.... for example) ..
    • Like x 1
  9. catplaysxoxo Loyal Player

    I have a few criticisms to give. But first, thank you for this. I hope others are able to learn to battle-tank but watch out for The Lorax, he has some animosity towards battle-tanking lmao


    What rank is your Grim? Geiger Blast does more damage if it has a pi setup. I suggest having Density mod that reduces it's cooldown. You only have one shield and from Obsidianchill shields video, Density is weak. Of course I have it in my loadout and used to have Proton Remedy mod but a shield helps a lot especially when your powers already heal you. I prefer to use Brawling->Shuriken Mastery. I like using Empowering Channeling hand mod because it provides cc protection and gives you defense. I'll eventually replace my hand mod with max damage once I have Solar Amplifier maxed out.

    I use Frost Breath and Amplified Heat Vision in my loadouts. Atomic tank has 90% defense in base form and when using the aura it provides protection I think 25%. Neck mod provides additional defense. Pop Frost Breath for the two hits then cancel it and then use HV. Does great damage while also providing defense bonus and cc protection.

    You said Atomic tanking is the only tank powerset that can do that much damage which is false. Rage does incredible damage as a battle-tank due to Berserk. I also have an earth tank that does insane damage. Another thing, if another player is in DPS role and has the same cr as you there's a chance they can out damage you. It all comes down to the power such as Gadgets or Electric... Also they could be the same cr but one can have more skill points than you.
  10. Deathmike Devoted Player

    Pretty sure all tank shields have been normalized for a while (some powersets might benefit more from a shield than others, even if it's the same formula, but that's a different story).
    Earth tanks definitely have huge damage potential, at least as atomic. I wrote this with self-sufficiency in mind and Earth is very limited self-heals wise. Nonetheless, in restrospect I should have mentioned Earth.
    I just don't see it with Rage damage-wise. Berserk by itself doesn't do that much, and if you build your loadout around it you give up that op survivability potential that makes rage rage.

    Deathmike out.
    • Like x 3
  11. catplaysxoxo Loyal Player

    With rage all you need for healing and survival is Severe Punishment and Redirected Rage. Rage does get boring sometimes because it's usually the same loadout. Depending on what type of pug run I'm doing I'll switch out Relentless Anger for Ragebringer.

    1. Relentless Anger (I have Black Adam passive for the supercharge)
    2. Severe Punishment
    3. Redirected Rage
    4. Berserk
    5. Outrage
    6. Lacerate.

    All tank gear, superpowered spec, all might augments and stuf. Artifacts are Eye of Gemini, Quislet and Grim (might replace grim for scrap of the soul cloak)

    For Earth I agree it doesn't have self healing luckily Earth is perfect for EOG spam using Pheromones Bloom. My main attack on Earth is Jackhammer but the playstyle is similar to Rage getting your supercharge fast. Depending on the group if theres a healer I'll switch out Pheromones Bloom for Earth supercharge Entomb. Artifacts are the same except on that toon I have scrap at 120, Quislet at 120 as well as EOG.

    It's so much fun being able to heal yourself as an atomic tank which gives you room for your utility belt but nonetheless I simply feel super powerful as an atomic tank more than any of the other tank powersets. Not sure if it was Ranmaru but a dev recently said that we're getting a new dps artifact that will syn I believe with the amulet.

    I messed around on test server using fire battle tanking against Flashpoint Doomsday. It's pretty fun so I might make a new toon specifically when that new dps art gets released.
    • Like x 3
  12. Chaos Evolution Devoted Player

    Melvinpox 13 out
    • Like x 1
  13. LisyxDoll New Player

    All I can say, is thank you for posting this. I cant wait to try it out when the game comes back up! I just started playing and am loving my Cyborg Atomic tank. I just run with one other person, so I'll most likely be doing solos and duos when I get to 30. I would love to be able to hold the aggro and still have devastating damage :D
    • Like x 2
  14. WhiskeyRainbows New Player

    New to the game here. Can someone explain what "right/left weapon tap" is and what it adds to a rotation?