If I wanted to create a "tank" in DC Universe Online: that is, someone who bears the brunt of attacks and protects his/her allies, what power set and what abilities should I invest in? Are there specific abilities I should avoid?

I've seen the online game guide, but I'm interested in what works and doesn't work based on actual usage.

3 Answers 3


In DCUO, things are broken down a little differently than some other MMOs - rather than the DPS/healer/tank trinity, you've got controller/healer/tank, and everyone does DPS.

The game's name for "tank" is "Defense role". There are two flavors of Defense role - Fire and Ice.

Fire's official description: "Defense: Command the power of flame, directing gusts of heat and protecting allies with targeted blasts."

Ice's official description: "Defense: Command the power of ice, shaping it into mighty weapons and protecting allies with frigid winds."

While neither of those sounds like "tanking", a peek at the powers in the Ice tree tells us more:

There are two signature sub-trees within Ice - Storms and Cryogenics. The very first Ice->Storms power is "Inescapable Storm", which "Engulfs an enemy and others nearby, dragging them toward you. Inflicts Frostbite to make enemies vulnerable to freezing effects."

That sounds pretty tanky - pull enemies to you and put them in a state where your more advanced attacks will control them in a variety of ways. (Example: Later power "Freeze Wave", which has a chance to root or freeze enemies affected by Frostbite.)

Meanwhile, Ice->Cryogenics' first power is "Cold Snap", which "Plummets your body temperature, increasing your resistance to control effects, damaging nearby enemies, and reflecting additional damage back at your attackers when they strike you. Grants Chill Effect; gaining 5 consecutive Chill Effects activates Ice Armor."

Again, pretty tanky, albeit more defensively-oriented.

So that's how the DCUO tank works on paper. I haven't played far enough in to say how the tanking experience compares to other games.

Sources: The game itself and the online game guide.

  • I've seen the official website, but I'm mainly interested in an answer that's based on actual experiences with the game as it would provide some insight into how the character plays, not how the character was pitched.
    – user3389
    Jan 15, 2011 at 21:00

Ice is definitely the more defensive of the two, but they are both excellent. Ice has one self-heal / shield effect, kinda like the Paladin Bubble in WoW, and a lot of defensive buffs and similar moves, including a buff that reflects attacks back to your enemy. On the other hand, Fire has a lot of heals and does a lot more in the way of Area of Effect(AoE) for tanking, but Ice has enough AoE moves to manage. If you like tanking, they will both suit your needs. The decision will lie in how you like to play your class with healing or mitigation.


I would say ice but I'm not an ice player I'm a fire tank, but generally ice has the better crowd control and team friendly protective skill set.

I'd take a look at the DCUO skill planner and compare the two classes tree's and see which ones tickle your fancy or suits your playing style. Personally I love playing a fire tank, its pretty fun to see yourself keeping alive by using self-healing spells.

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