City of Heroes Best Mastermind Builds

City of Heroes Best MM Builds
And then Robert realized, NO ONE runs around in purple tights...

So you want to play a Mastermind, eh? Without question, the most complex class in the game, it is also EASILY one of the most rewarding once you figure out both how and what you're doing things (Spoiler: That's not happening overnight).

With that in mind, as you dip your pinky toe into the vast pool of MM goodness, to determine, what are the top 5 MM builds?

Get ready, it could get salty in here...

5. Beast Mastery/Time Manipulation

Beast Mastery/Time Manipulation

I almost put Beast Mastery/Kinetics here instead, but really EITHER rock, regardless, Beast Mastery is criminally underrated . You know it's decent, because people mostly only bitch about the types of minions they should have been. What you're not going to argue is the sweet synergy of this build. Anything goes well with Time Manipulation, honestly, some primaries just go better than others.

What makes Beast Mastery/Time Manipulation a good MM build?

  • Melee minions – Why is this good? Because all of your minions can be clustered in the same area, effectively shredding mobs like an actual wild pack of animals.
  • Time Manipulation is AoE-centric, so while your pack is attacking in a relatively close area, you can drop heals, buffs and debuffs alike, and it just feels like life is so much easier.
  • Your buffs buff each other, and you can upgrade your pack TWICE (basically) – Temporal Selection boosts healing for either Temporal Mending or (when you gloriously reach it) Chrono Shift. Also, Temporal Selection boosts the target's damage, recharge and regen.

Beast Mastery/Time Manipulation full details

4. Robotics/Force Field

Robotics/Force Field

Don't fret, you're going to see them again – sometimes it be like that. But few be like this one – get in Bodyguard mode and slap the bubbles on you and your bots, then go to town! This is absolutely, an outstanding, entry-level build, to get you better aquainted with Masterminds. By the time you hit Incarnate levels, it will feel like you're doing way less with your other toons. Find your way with the art of binding macros (as this will help tremendously with any MM) and you get to see what few games, in any generation, allow you to do with the character you play as.

What makes Robotics/Force Field a good MM build?

  • Bodyguard Mode becomes Beast Mode – You and your pets share the damage, but now, with those beautiful bubbles, it's so much less. You are just plain hard to kill, barely out of the box.
  • Ranged Minions – OH NOW RANGED IS GOOD?!?! Yes. For this build it is indeed. Consider the ability to mitigate damage via Bodyguard mode, with the protection from your bubbles, and now realize that there is a field of distance and death between you and your opposition. The beauty here is any melee based groups have little to no prayer of causing a scratch, so long as you begin your assault the second they are in range.
  • More survival, more time to learn about the AT – More uptime means more experience (actual, in game XP and knowledge-wise). This will assist greatly with the steep learning curve of the MM archtype.

Bots/FF MM full detail

3. Thugs/Dark Miasma

Thugs/Dark Miasma

Here we are combining the big damage of Thugs, with the Controller-ish Dark Miasma. Balanced henchmen, plus a host of tools, along with an extra pet, make this something to take notice of. Yes, You could use /Dark with anything with similar results, however a few things sets this apart from the rest.

What makes Thugs/Dark Miasma a good MM build?

  • Call Enforcer – Your tier 2 (up to a total of 2) that grant all the buffs (after Equip Thugs and Upgrade Equipment) from the Leadership Pool, and because there's 2 of them, it's 2 stacks of it. Maybe you should pick them up for yourself as well, just sayin'.... Who doesn't want stronger henchmen?
  • Gang War – Although not actually Henchmen, this summons 10 (or so) low level thugs to attack a target of your choosing. Couple this, with say, Tar Patch and/or Fearsome Stare from the Dark Miasma side of your build, and it's impressive to watch them mow down the opposition.
  • Dark Servant – You can't control Fluffy (the Dark Servant), but it does receive all the benefits from any buffs in effect (see Call Enforcer). Also, as an extra pet in play, Fluffy can debuff groups, heal and even hold a single target or immobilize and entire group, doing damage the whole time.

Thugs/Dark MM full details

2. Ninja/Time Manipulation

Ninja/Time Manipulation

Please stop the whining until the description has come to a complete stop. Yes, I know, NINJAS – the general outcry about how "squishy" they are never fails to come up. Meanwhile, their general awesomeness goes unnoticed. This build puts all that to rest, and is not going to leave you bankrupt, searching for influence to buy purple IO sets to make it work. Nope – this is a decent build that is of relatively low cost, and gives Ninja henchmen, the treatement they deserve. Time works well with Beast Mastery, and with a few tweaks, it makes Ninjas Great Again (tm).

What makes Ninjas/Time Manipulation a good MM build?

  • No actual MM attacks – WHAT?! ARE YOU INSANE?!? Nope. Foregoing any type of attack on the Ninja side allows you to focus on what you need to be doing, keeping your henchmen in one piece, and the enemy at bay with slows/debuffs. And it works, well....
  • Combining Distortion Field and Time's Juncture (with a little added help from some Slow slotting) creates an incredibly effective kill zone for your henchmen. They'd hug you, if they could, but they're busy, so....
  • I can't say it enough, like I did with Beasts/Time above, the various targeted AoE goodness from Time Manipulation, along with Melee-based henchmen just feels more effective to me. I believe if you took the time, you'd notice the difference too. Ranged is nice and keeps them from the fray, but it just FEELS like they are hitting more and doing more to the opposition. Correct away, I don't care, I don't tell you to eat your cereal with a fork, but whatevs...

Ninjas/Time full details

1. Robotics/Traps


Without a doubt, the best MM build combo, by many, not just myself – and there is an argument for Bots/Time – though I think Time is FAR more effective with Melee Henchmen (see Beast Mastery/Time Manipulation) than ranged – still viable, still good, not as great as this. The sheer destruction and near-crossover from multiple secondaries, that is the mixed bag of traps, just make this a great combination to get into. Effective as a solo toon, but far far better annoying the crap out of the group, who will inadvertently realize your contribution post-mish. It's thankless, but it's ok, trust me, they'll know, THEY WILL KNOW!

What makes Bots/Traps a good MM build?

  • Without saying, well, Bots (I said it, whatever) – The ranged assault of the equipped/upgraded bots is glorious.
  • Triage Beacon/Force Field Generator – Remember Bots/FF from earlier? Well while not as "solid" as that build, per se, you get a Dispersion Bubble, to protect you and yours (Bodyguard mode, anyone?) and then you get a healing Triage Beacon to keep near you, to laugh off that (diminished) damage you may have taken. Drop Caltrops before you give the command to attack at range, and you have a similar effect to the Tar Patch scenario (see Thugs/Dark). Not to mention you also have these other nifty little things...
  • Oh, yeah YOUR TRAPS – Acid Mortar, Poison Trap (and Trip Mine, if you can set it up pre-Assault, without interruption) for drop on the spot AoE damage (put them right in front of the caltrops). Fire off Seeker Drones for -DMG, -ToHit and a potential Disorient on targets, along with a little damage to boot. And if it's close, and you're feeling good, there's always Detonator – you blow up your henchmen instantly in a massive PBAoE explosion. Sure, you lose them temporarily, but you don't want to do this unless you need to. But when you need it, it does work wonderfully when used at the right moment.

Robotics/Traps MM full details


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Always putting "pen" to "paper" at the first Sci-Fi/Fantasy itch. Few can match the love/hate letters that comes with 40 years of gaming experience. Games become stories as we play, what's yours?
Gamer Since: 1980
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: City of Heroes, Skyrim (Modded and Vanilla), Diablo III
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