Did You Know? Below I have tried to list a fun and unusual mechanic about each freelancer — something about the way that lancer’s abilities work that you might not know. I couldn’t think of one for every lancer, so for the ones I couldn’t come up with anything, I listed a beginner tip based on common mistakes I see from newer players. So that sort of counts. (If you can think of something mechanics-related for those lancers, please let me know! Or if I got anything wrong…) Some of these mechanics and tips are very basic, others are a bit more subtle. How many of these did YOU know?
Asana — Tip: Use your defensive abilities, or “outs,” sequentially. That is, don’t use your Retribution on the same turn you dash (unless you have a very specific play in mind that requires you to do so). Typically, unless you are, say, body blocking for a teammate, you will want to avoid damage with your dash, which makes Retribution redundant. Good teams / players will focus you once you don’t have the Retribution available.
Aurora — Tip: Ion Cloud can only damage or heal each lancer once per turn, and it can do so at any time during the turn. Movement Phase is a great time for this. So, if you drop a Cloud that isn’t on yourself, you can still plan your movement to move through the Cloud and benefit from the healing. Similarly, it’s great to have enemies move into your Cloud.
Blackburn — Tip: Your Ultimate’s direction matters, as it is affected by cover. Make sure you are hitting the proper enemies for full damage if possible.
Brynn — Mechanics: Your Aegis gives cover against enemies standing right in front of you (i.e. on the adjacent square in that direction). (Normal cover does not protect against adjacent enemies!)
Celeste — Mechanics: The invisibility mod on your dash will nevertheless reveal your ending location to the enemy team if your dash deals damage! If you are using this mod and wish to remain unseen, be sure that your dash does not hit any enemies.
Dr. Finn — Mechanics: Spray and Play only applies to the healing your allies receive (not Finn himself), and does not stack with multiple uses. That is, if you hit a primary on 2 enemies, your next heal would be +4. But if you then hit a primary on 1 enemy before using that heal, your next heal will be only a +2.
Elle — Tip: Consider running Adrenaline catalyst so you can avoid knocking yourself back with your own Ultimate (if you don’t want to be knocked, that is). Also be aware that enemy Elle players frequently do this as well.
Garrison — Mechanics: The mini health powerups dropped by your Ultimate last for that turn and two additional turns. If they are not picked up by then, they disappear.
Gremo — Mechanics: Unless running No Downsides, Gremo’s primary can only hit enemies that are more than 2 units away.
Grey — Mechanics: Taunting your dash will reveal the location to which you dashed (even if you are in brush or running Unseen Huntress).
Helio — Mechanics: The “Unstoppable” effect on the Ironclad ultimate mod is removed if the shield breaks (i.e. if the enemy deals enough damage to eliminate the 60 shields granted by the ability), even if there are turns remaining on the ultimate. The damage portion continues.
Isadora — Mechanics: Your dash cooldown is reset when your Forceball breaks, as you are then On Foot and using a different ability.
Juno — Mechanics: If you Lockdown an enemy and they dash or move in such a manner that they leave the area and then return to it (e.g. Su-Ren dash could do this), Lockdown is triggered.
Kaigin — Mechanics: The “Eclipse” mod on your ultimate will reset Shadowstalker during Dash Phase. This means that you can only use Shadowstalker on the same turn as your ultimate if it was already available during decision phase (and in that case it then goes on cooldown during Blast Phase, so you do not get any benefit from the Eclipse mod).
Khita — Tip: Your Warped Arrow, especially with Leaf in the Wind, can avoid cover in many situations. Try to bend the arrow to hit the enemy from a vulnerable direction.
Lockwood — Mechanics: Backup Plan’s cooldown is reduced by 1 at the end of a turn in which you take damage. As the reduction happens at the end of the turn (or does not happen, as the case may be), it does not matter how much damage you took, whether the damage was direct or indirect, or how many additional sources dealt damage to you.
Meridian — Mechanics: The “head” of your hammer can reach around walls, allowing you to get hits you could not with a straight line ability.
Nev:3 — Mechanics: The primary mod “Meowch” works as follows: If the target you are hitting with your Catarang is also hit by a return Catarang that turn, they take 4 additional damage from the Catarang you are throwing. The return Catarang behaves as normal. If the enemy dodges the return Catarang (but is still hit by the primary one), they will not take increased damage.
Nix — Mechanics: Crossing the square that Nix was on when he used a Drone will sometimes trigger the Drone. (I am still testing to figure out exactly when this occurs.)
Orion — Mechanics: Fate Transfer only lasts through Blast Phase. If the targeted ally triggers traps during movement phase, they will take full damage from those traps!
Oz — Mechanics: If Oz chooses not to move, his Afterimage will remain where it last was. However, if Oz is hit by a knockback, even if the knockback only knocks him in place, he will actually travel 1 square and leave an Afterimage where he was before. That is, his Afterimage DOES change position.
Phaedra — Mechanics: Mending Swarm includes damage taken that was shielded. This means that if Phaedra is shielded for 40 and takes 38 damage, she will heal 38 from the Mending Swarm even though she did not lose any hit points.
PuP — Mechanics: Walkies will cause an enemy to run up to 8 squares (as if they were sprinting) even if they took an action. If the enemy is slowed they will run only 4.
Quark — Mechanics: If Quark and a tethered enemy both dash, the tether will persist if they end up within range of each other. However, a friendly tether will persist if Quark and his tethered ally END THE TURN within range of each other. (Put another way, offensive tether simply checks if you’re in range during Blast Phase; defensive tether simply checks if you’re in range at end of turn.)
Rampart — Mechanics: Your wall acts as a real wall. This includes: Deflecting Lockwood shots, making Asana rebound off it, blocking Zuki’s line of sight targeting for her ultimate, etc. Nix’s ult, for example, goes through walls, and accordingly will go through Rampart’s wall.
Rask — Mechanics: Uncontrollable rage will not trigger if you are Scrambled.
Su-Ren — Mechanics: Your Spirit Bend triggers off indirect damage as well.
Titus — Mechanics: Your dash path may differ from the one shown if you hit an enemy you didn’t expect to hit (i.e. couldn’t see). This may cause you to fail to pick up a powerup that you were shown as passing through when you aimed the dash during decision phase — even if the first target you hit is BEYOND the powerup along your dash path!
Tol-Ren — Mechanics: Way of the Monkey, mod on Ren’s Fury, causes you to gain increased shields (40 instead of 20) if it is your only ability action that turn. However, catalysts do not count as an ability action. You can, for example, Second Wind with it and still get the full 40 shields.
Zuki — Mechanics: If you dash into a brush, enemies will typically not be able to see the exact location you dashed to, similar to using a Shift catalyst. Be careful, though — the damage dealt by your dash is direct damage, which could trigger an Asana shield with Watchful Defense.