Vector the Plaguebringer
Super Short Summary — Vector is an anti-healing frontline, able to actually reduce or deny enemy healing. He also has some CC and some self-sustain capabilities. Vector is a non-dash frontliner, something we actually don’t have in the game yet. The closest is probably Rampart or Meridian. Accordingly, he’s meant to be decently powerful. In addition to smacking enemies with his big axe and infecting them with plagues, Vector terraforms the ground into infected “defiled” squares which passively reduce enemy healing and increase Vector’s healing. His ultimate sets them on fire.
Below is some commentary on my design process, and things I thought about while designing Vector. I think it’s an interesting and worthwhile read. However, if you want to get straight to the kit, CLICK ME TO SKIP THE COMMENTARY.
Hello everyone! This is my third lancer concept and I think perhaps the best one so far! I also went back and added commentary to my first two lancer concepts, Petrus and Holly, to give you some insight into my design process, and I’ll be providing some below as well on this concept.
Also, as always, please remember that lore and theming are not set in stone, and that I generally use the following terminology: “Ally” refers to a teammate that is not self. “Friendly target / unit” means self or an ally.
Vector is a bruiser that provides a much-needed counter to healing. His landscape modification capabilities affect enemy healing a little bit, just enough to be annoying, and his Infect ability stops healing cold — although if the enemy healer chooses to heal someone other than the Infected target, Vector’s out of luck.
Part of my thought process in designing any frontline is what the primary attack is going to look like. There are only so many ways to do a short-ranged attack, and the existing freelancers cover quite a few. Nevertheless, I came up with something I’m happy with, that has its own unique benefits and fits the style of the character.
Another decision is whether the frontline gets a dash. Currently only Rampart must make do without a non-ultimate dash, and Meridian (though technically a support) struggles to do a frontline’s job without one. Still, I decided Vector should do without. He can alter a lot of terrain to make it favorable for him to fight on, and he does have a knockback in his kit as well as the unique ability to stop enemy healing.
I note that Vector also doesn’t have a true defensive move. Is he too weak? I think his primary is slightly above average (intentional), and I reduced the cooldown on Infect from the original 4 down to 3. I didn’t want it to be too oppressive, hence my thought to make it 4, but there’s no guarantee you’ll even get value from it. Vector does benefit from healing quite a bit, which I think is his saving grace. (Ordinarily it’s often better to heal firepowers over a frontline, but the increased throughput may make Vector an unusually worthy recipient!) Still, given that he has very little that he can actually do to defend himself, I also added some passive self-healing to the Defile effect (making him kind of relentless without anything too sudden — kind of like a disease, really). I think that makes him quite good without breaking him, but it’s hard to say. If he turns out to be over- or under-powered, these are the general levers I’d tweak first.
I think his theme and kit both fit Omni reasonably well, who are in desperate need of a frontliner.
At the bottom are A Few Suggested Builds to lend some flavor to how you might build and play Vector…a taste of what might be.
Vector, the Plaguebringer
Hit points: 190
Lore: Axe-wielding destroyer that uses nanovirus-based technology to cripple his enemies’ regenerative powers and warp the ground around him. Omni’s latest foray into biochemical warfare, Vector wears a special nanite-infused suit that not only protects him from the pathogens but uses them to heal him and enhance his power. (Due to his specialized nature, he is often used for different types of missions and foes from Elle, but they occasionally work together: she knocks ’em down and he keeps ’em down.) Vector carries a big axe named The Black Death.
Primary — Deathbringer — Blast Phase
Swings his axe in an overhand chop. There is a short backswing that hits roughly a 1×2 (1 being the length, and 2 being the width) behind him, and the main strike hits roughly a 3×2 in front of him. The closest 1×2 in front of him is the “shaft” of the axe and the farther 2×2 is the “axehead.” The backswing deals 20, the shaft deals 24, and the axehead deals 28 direct damage to all enemies. Gain 8 energy per target hit by any part of the swing. All squares hit by the forward swing (shaft or axehead) are Defiled until end of next turn.
Big Backswing (2 points) (default) — the backswing also deals 28 damage.
Cleaver (3 points) — the axehead deals an additional 4 damage.
Corrupting Strike (2 points) — all parts of the swing deal an additional 2 damage to enemies on Defiled terrain. Vector’s location and the squares hit by the backswing are also Defiled.
Anklebreaker (1 point) — the backswing slows enemies hit until end of turn.
Free Radicals (1 point) — gain an additional 2 energy per enemy hit.
2 — Defile — Blast Phase — Free Action — Cooldown 3
Covers a target 4×4 area with viral corruption for 2 turns. Enemies on Defiled terrain receive 25% reduced healing. Vector receives 25% increased healing (including self-healing, powerups and Second Wind catalyst) while on Defiled terrain. Vector gains 8 health (boosted to 10 by Defile terrain effect) if he is on Defiled terrain at any point during his turn (max once per turn).
Graphical note: defiled squares are somewhat black if 2 turns remaining, dark purple with 1 turn remaining, and lighter purple their last turn. This is to visually show their remaining duration.
Osmosis (2 points) (default) — can target through walls. Defiled terrain goes through walls.
Epidemic (2 points) — increase the target area to 5×5.
Traveling Plague (3 points) — if you begin a turn on Defiled terrain, gain Haste until end of turn.
Virulence (1 point) — increase the amount of reduced / increased healing to 30%.
3 — Infect — Prep Phase — Cooldown 3
Infect a target enemy (7 range, direct target) with an advanced retroviral pathogen that negates 100% of any healing the target would receive this turn. Defile the target’s current tile and any tile they move through this turn. Gain 8 energy.
Note: Super Prep Phase, like Rampart’s wall.
Enfeeble (2 points) (default) — Weaken the target until end of turn.
Decrepify (2 points) — Slow the target until end of turn.
Energy Spores (1 point) — Gain 2 additional energy for each source of healing the target would receive this turn.
Biosap (3 points) — Gain 30% of any healing that the target would have received this turn. (This is increased appropriately if you are on Defiled terrain.)
4 — Sideswipe — Blast Phase — Cooldown 4
Swipe the flat of the axe sideways in a quartercircle. 3 range. The shaft (closest 1 range) deals 24 direct damage to enemies and knocks them back 1 square in the appropriate direction. The axehead (farther 2 range) deals 30 direct damage to enemies and knocks them back 2 squares in the appropriate direction. Gain 8 energy per enemy hit.
Note: Targeting works somewhat like Juno’s ultimate. You place a line for the initial axe location, and then either sweep left or sweep right in a quartercircle. The base length (radius) of the sweep is 3 units and max degrees is 90.
Knockback note: Enemies are knocked based on the direction the axe is sweeping when it makes contact, to the nearest 45 degrees. For example, suppose you sweep counterclockwise from East to North. Enemies hit during the first part will be knocked 1 square (or 2 squares if axehead) North; enemies hit during the middle part of the swing will be knocked 1 square NorthWest; and enemies hit during the last part will be knocked 1 square West.
Biodevour (2 points) (default) — Gain 8 health per enemy hit.
Torque (2 points) — increase the maximum sweep arc by 50% (an additional 45 degrees).
Poleaxe (3 points) — increase the outward length (radius) of the sweep by 1. The extra square counts as axehead.
Heavy Blow (2 points) — increase the knockback distance of the axehead by 1.
Recovery (1 point) — if no enemies are hit, reduce the cooldown by 1.
Ultimate — Lay Waste — Blast Phase — 100 energy
Ignite all Defiled terrain, dealing 40 direct damage to enemies on those squares and/or 40 indirect damage to enemies moving through those squares this turn. (Each enemy can’t be damaged by it more than once this turn.) All Defiled terrain has its duration renewed / extended to 2 turns. (Ability cannot be used if you do not have any Defiled terrain.)
Raze (2 points) (default) — Deals an additional 8 damage to enemies below 50% hit points.
Slow Burn (2 points) — The ignited fire lasts an additional turn, but damage per turn reduced to 25. Second turn’s damage is indirect.
Pestilence (3 points) — Enemies passing through the ignited squares are Infected next turn (this Infect does not benefit from your Infect mods).
Immunosuppression (3 points) — Slow enemies in the ignited squares until end of turn. Gain Unstoppable until end of next turn.
Cauterize (1 point) — Gain 10 health.
A Few Suggested Builds:
Cleaver (3) — Traveling (3) — Decrepify (2) — Nothing (0) — Raze (2). Balanced, solid, somewhat damage-focused frontline loadout with some extra damage, haste, and a slow.
Corrupting (2) — Osmosis / Epidemic (2) — Enfeeble (2) — Recovery (1) — Pestilence (3). Basically tries to spread Defiled terrain everywhere and deny as much healing as possible. (In your face, Quark!) Corrupting Strike synergizes nicely with this as well. We take Enfeeble and Recovery to make decent use of our extra points, but these are flexible.
Anklebreaker (1) — Virulence (1) — Decrepify/Enfeeble (2) — Poleaxe (3) — Immunosuppression (3). Heavy CC build. There’s some flexibility in the mods depending on exactly what you are looking for.
Corrupting (2) — Virulence (1) — Biosap (3) — Biodevour (2) — Cauterize (1). Self-healing / sustain build. Use Corrupting Strike to spread your plague, Virulence for maximum self-healing (and healing from your support), and gain health on your other three abilities. This is only a 9-point loadout, so feel free to customize as you see fit.
11/11/17 — Ultimate no longer creates Defiled terrain. Contagion and Corrupting Strike are baseline on Infect and Primary respectively. Enfeeble reduced to 2 points and now default mod. Energy Spores reduced to 1 point. Biosap now heals for a portion of the healing that the enemy would receive. Raze now deals 8 additional damage to enemies below 50% hit points instead of 5 to all. Base damage on ultimate increased to 40 and slow burn increased to 25. Primary and Sideswipe reworked to have “axehead” mechanics. Changed suggested builds accordingly.