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Thread: Is the Defend Action worth it?

  1. #1
    OPA Belta
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    Is the Defend Action worth it?

    I was thinking about the Defend action and when you use it again a normal power, it is very effective. But against a Damage effect, you could end up lowering your effective defense DC.

    For those who have forgotten, when you Defend, instead the attack making a roll against 10 + defense rank (or 15 + defense rank for Damage), you make an opposed roll against the attack with the "Improve Roll" effect from using a hero point for free. (And that is where you add 10 to any roll of 1-10 on the die.) So your defense DC becomes a range of values between defense rank + 11 and defense rank + 20.

    Against a non-damage effect, 11+defense rank is better than the default. But against a damage effect, 40% of the time, the result is worse that 15 + defense rank. And half the time, the result is better than 15 + defense rank.

    Obviously, the answer to my question depends on who might be attacking you. But is it worth all the extra die rolls to add this randomness to the combat?

  2. #2
    MCRN Admiral FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Defend Action worth it?

    I think you may be confusing what's being rolled. For any attack, your "static" defense if 10+bonus. It's the Resistance Roll that has a Target DC of 10+ or 15+.

    So the Defend action is guaranteed to be better since it's always in the range of 11-20+bonus instead of 10+bonus.

  3. #3
    OPA Belta
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    Re: Is the Defend Action worth it?

    Defend is worth an average +5.5 to your Dodge and Parry. Throw in Improved Defense and it's +7.5, throw in Weapon Bind or Weapon Break and it's free standard actions (sometimes).
    Defensive Attack however, gives you a swing at somebody and keep a +2 to your Dodge and Parry, or +5 with the Defensive Attack advantage. Though, you're not likely to hit.

    The real issue with both though is that a canny enemy can just ignore you and attack somebody who didn't ramp up their defenses.
    If you're the only possible target, they're both great decisions to hinder the enemy while letting your allies do the damage. But you're rarely in such a position, since M&M doesn't have many ways to restrict enemy choices.

  4. #4
    OPA Belta
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    Re: Is the Defend Action worth it?

    Yep, I was mixing the two rolls.

  5. #5
    OPA Belta Supernaturalist's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Defend Action worth it?

    I've found that Defend is situational. It's helped me in situations where I needed to close distance with an immobile foe with a great ranged attack: An entrenched foe, a prone shooter, a pillbox/bunker, etc.

    It can also be good if you just got your "bell rung" really hard AND you're just trying to survive in the face of an enemy that keeps focusing on you while your teammates whittle that baddie down.

    Otherwise, a ranged attacker with good movement powers will still be a problem, since you have use your standard action to
    Defend while using the movement action to close. On their turn, they just move away and paste you again. Of course, you could use "extra effort" to gain a second standard action, right? You could Defend, then close distance, then attack. That way if they have used a "Ready" action to target you (pulling the trigger when you move to attack them), you can still dodge your way into close range.

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