Hey guys. Here are some suggestions for lancers that I think would be in a better spot if given certain nerfs or buffs, and suggestions for what I would change. Would love to hear your thoughts!
Quark is oppressive not just because of the high amount of his healing (well, okay, mostly that) but also its constant nature. If a Quark comp is able to disengage, he can quickly bring a tethered target back up to full health.
Quark’s Atomic Bond is the culprit. Move a portion of the healing to shields, that way his in-combat utility per turn is unchanged but his healing power in disengaged fights is less oppressive.
Suggested Change: Atomic Bond attaches a bond to an ally that restores 10 health (down from 14) per turn and grants the target 4 (or even 5) shields per turn (up from 0).
Oz is just a little weak. Some players excel with him, but that’s true of any character in certain situations. Fundamentally, the issues with Oz are that his dash is highly predictable (there is only 1 location he can go, literally a single path to a single square (not counting the turn after his ult)), and his positioning is VERY sensitive — a knockback or slow not only ruins his clone position but also effectively prevents him from dashing.
Given how weak Oz’s dash is, I’d actually like it to be available slightly more often. (Yes, I know it’s annoying.) Additionally, I think Oz should have another way of maintaining his positioning.
- Cooldown of Made You Look! reduced to 4 (from 5) – OR – New mod on primary attack (Phaser Laser), “Laser Pointer,” 2 points: If both lasers hit, reduce the cooldown of Made You Look! by 1.
- New mod on Zap Trap, “Light the Way,” 1 point: Gain unstoppable this turn.
Kaigin is meant to be an assassin, but he doesn’t do his job well enough. Compare him to the two other melee firepower, PuP and Tol-Ren, and you’ll quickly see why. Kaigin has only 125 hit points, whereas the other two have more, and lacks solid health restore (PuP) or a shield (Tol-Ren). All three have decent dash capabilities, but Kaigin’s issue is that he needs to stick to a target to maximize the effectiveness of his Void Mark, which is really the one exceptional thing about his kit. Sometimes you can get somebody alone, and that’s awesome, but many games it’s just too dangerous. Sure, a really well-played Kaigin can pick his spots, weave in and out, do the stuff I talk about in my guide, and find success…but you could just be a Lockwood or a Blackburn and have similar if not higher damage output while being able to stay at range the entire time. It’s so rare that a Kaigin could do something another firepower couldn’t. So, I think he needs a buff. I don’t want to make him any tankier — that’s not his role. But if he’s to get in at melee range, he needs more tools to enable him to do it.
I think the biggest issue is his invisibility. It’s just not strong enough to warrant a cooldown of 6. That’s longer than Nix or PuP, and their invisibility abilities are significantly stronger than Kaigin’s. Obviously you can’t necessarily compare kit to kit directly, but I think this is where he needs a buff. Additionally, I would really like him to be able to use Shurikens on multiple turns in a row if he wishes. (I sometimes take Brain Juice to afford myself the ability to do that once per game.) But I don’t want to make him overpowered, so, as with Oz, my proposed changes generally take the form of ability mods that a desiring Kaigin could equip.
Because I know Kaigin’s kit quite intimately, I will propose a few minor tweaks to existing mods as well. These are less important. Additionally, please note that not all changes need be made (if, for example, the totality of these changes would make him overpowered).
- Cooldown of Shadowstalker reduced from 6 to 5.
- Cover of Night is now a 2-point mod and reduces the cooldown of Shadowstalker by 2 (up from 1) if no other abilities are used that turn.
- Flurry of Knives reworked. Now a 3-point mod that reads: Razor Tempest no longer has a cooldown, but each Shuriken only deals 10 damage (down from 20). (Additional Shurikens on the same target still add +5.)
- Honed Edge is now a 2-point mod.
- Eclipse tweaked. Now reads: Reset the cooldown on Shadowstalker and activate it this turn. (It then goes on cooldown as normal.)
- Feed on Fear tweaked. Now reads: Gain 5 health for each void-marked target hit.
Reasoning behind the changes:
As there are quite a few changes listed here, let me talk about them individually.
First: Shadowstalker cooldown reduction. This is fairly straightforward. Brings Shadowstalker in line with similar invisibility moves at 5 cooldown.
Second: Cover of Night rework. This makes the mod much more useful (and accordingly, bumps it up to 2 points). With this mod, Shadowstalker has only a 3 cooldown! Wow, seems powerful! But wait, that’s only if it’s your only ability that turn. That means you can’t attack or anything if you want the cooldown to be 3. Accordingly, this lets Kaigin stealth in more regularly as a more movement-oriented playstyle option, without simultaneously letting him do tons of damage and be overpowered. This actually would give his kit quite a unique flavor.
Third: Flurry of Knives rework. The mod as it currently stands is rather unreliable. You have to plan your movement to set up for next turn before you know for sure whether your Shurikens hit. Also, good players just don’t miss very many and won’t get any benefit from this mod. Sure, a newer player could take this mod as a crutch of sorts, but why don’t we turn the mod into something new and cool? With this change, Kaigin can use Razor Tempest EVERY TURN if he wants to. Whoa — an entirely ranged ninja? Yes, that’s an option if you want to pursue this playstyle. However, you don’t do that much damage. The maximum you can do to a single target is 20, which pales in comparison to…well, just about every other lancer, actually. However, what this also does it let you maintain your Void Mark on a target (which would potentially bring your damage up to 30 if you can repeatedly hit the same target, and would provide huge rewards if you’re good enough to repeatedly hit multiple targets in consecutive turns). Despite the damage penalty, I think this would warrant the mod being 3 points.
Fourth: Accordingly, Kaigin should really have another 2-point mod on his Shurikens. Honed Edge fits the bill — ignoring cover on Void Marked targets is a relatively niche effect (the target has to be (a) behind cover AND (b) void marked), and this mod does not see a ton of play. At 2 points, it might be a viable option.
Fifth: Eclipse is a bit…weird. It resets the cooldown on Shadowstalker, but you can’t use Shadowstalker that turn. If Shadowstalker was already up and you use it, it goes on cooldown as normal (and Eclipse gives no benefit!). So you really want to do like, Shadowstalker into ult into another Shadowstalker turn. Which is fine, I guess, but I think it’d be simpler to simply have the Shadowstalker activate on the ultimate turn. I find myself often wanting precisely that, and there’s simply no way to currently do that with Eclipse.
Sixth: This change is really minor. I know the devs didn’t want Kaigin to be able to leech tank the way PuP or even Asana might be able to, and that’s fine. But come on, if you are somehow able to use your primary attack, shurikens or ultimate to hit multiple targets and then have those multiple targets in range for a primary attack the following turn, you really deserve the extra 5 hp. Again, this change is oriented at helping high-skill players develop a unique playstyle with Kaigin.
If you guys like these changes, please let me know! I would really love to hear some feedback about what you do and don’t like, and if you guys have ideas for changing these (or other) lancers!
If this is popular, I’ll try to tweak some other lancers too, although these are the ones I think need it most. (I have some thoughts on Elle, too, but holding off for now.)