Lancer Concept #4 — Spooky

Spooky the Ghost

Hello!  I said I would be posting a new concept every Tuesday (and I still will be), but this concept came to me literally two days ago and while we still have the Holo Haunt event going (and aren’t too far removed from Halloween), I wanted to post this one.  Again, this is a pretty fresh concept but I wanted to get it out there.  It’s meant to be kind of a contrast to my last concept (Vector) which was a relatively serious concept.  This one is fun!

Super Short Summary — Spooky is a ghost-themed support.  His primary launches two pumpkins, kinda like Gremo, but instead of leaving mines if they don’t hit an enemy, they leave minor health powerups for allies. His other abilities let him scare enemies (forcing them to run away), walk through walls, heal in a target AoE, and his ultimate Haunts everyone in a target area.  As always, the beauty is in the details. Happy Halloween!

Below is some additional commentary on my design process.  CLICK ME TO SKIP THE COMMENTARY.

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Commentary:

Halloween does exist in Atlas as the Grey Family Memorial Week, so this isn’t entirely out of place, but it’s meant to be lighthearted and punny (in case you couldn’t tell from the name), and to reference modern Halloween a fair bit.  So, I’m open to retheming as always, but I’m kind of pleased by the humor I was able to put into this concept, and I actually think it’s an excellent lancer concept from a mechanics standpoint.

I think the game needs another support with a straight up heal.  Supports are already in relatively short supply in ranked, especially with an extra ban, and only 5 supports (Orion, Aurora, Finn, Su-Ren and Meridian) have a staple “just heal target teammate” ability (Quark is a little different, and Helio and Khita don’t have reliable healing).  My previous support concept, Holly, has some marginal healing on her primary and an ultimate that can heal allies, but her main “healing” staple is sort of similar to Khita in that it requires a teammate to attack to get the benefit.  So, Spooky fills that niche, and, in my opinion, brings a number of very cool concepts along with him.

I very much did not want him to have a dash, but I did end up putting a conditional dash on the ultimate, which I think is useful but not game-breaking — he’s meant to rely on Ghostwalk as his mobility / kiting tool, and I don’t think the ultimate really changes that.  I also considered not letting him move after dashing on the ultimate — spent a while going back and forth on that one — but ended up deciding to allow it, both because it allows some really neat plays with Ghostwalk and because, well, it’s an ultimate.  (Despite making that choice, which I do think is a good one, I would in general prefer having more dashes in the game that don’t allow movement, as the after-dash-movement power creep seems to be borderline becoming a thing in the current game’s recent lancers (Tol-Ren, Nev:3, Isadora on foot) and seeing as some of my concepts (Holly and one or two of the new ones that I haven’t posted yet) have dashes that allow movement afterward and I don’t want that to be too common on my own concepts either.)

Unlike with some of my other concepts, I won’t get too much into all of the possible synergy and plays you can make (though I will list A Few Suggested Builds as usual) — I think you guys can spot a lot of them — but there are definitely some cool possibilities.  You’ll note that a few of the mods on his primary resemble Gremolitions mods, as the ability is generally similar, but I think the ability has its own cool twist and fits very well thematically.

All right, without further ado, enjoy and Happy Halloween!

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Spooky the Ghost.
Affiliation:  Wildcard (none) or possibly Hawk Aviation (if that is re-created as a trust in the future — Halloween being Grey Family Memorial Week, there’s a justifiable connection)
Role:  Support
Hit Points:  140

Lore:  He (or conceivably she) is a spooky ghost.  Possible appearance / skin ideas include a classic sheet, a semi-transparent humanoid (probably not too different from Atlas-world apparitions), and a day-of-the-dead style mask in a suit.

Abilities

Primary:  Trick or Treat — Blast Phase

Launch two pumpkins, one at each of two target tiles.  7 range and can go over walls (similar to Gremo primary, though 1 less range).  Each pumpkin deals 16 damage if it hits an enemy.  If it does not, it leaves behind a minor health powerup that can be picked up by friendly units.  (You can also directly target an ally to instantly give them the powerup.)  Gain 6 energy per pumpkin that hits an enemy.

Mods:
Whack o’ Lantern (2 points) (default) — increase the damage of the first pumpkin by 4.
Next-Door Neighbors (1 point) — no minimum range.
Parachute (1 point) — directly targeting an ally with a powerup heals them for an additional 2.
Hard Candy (2 points) — instead of health powerups, pumpkins drop minor might powerups.
Pumpkin Patch (3 points) — launch a third pumpkin.  Only two pumpkins can give powerups.

2:  Spook — Blast Phase — Cooldown 4

Scare adjacent enemies, dealing 15 damage and causing them to run away.  Gain 8 energy for each enemy hit.

Mods:
The Fright Stuff (2 points) (default) — gain 5 health per enemy hit.
Scared Stiff (2 points) — enemies are rooted instead of running away.  Increase the radius by 1.
Demoralize (3 points) — enemies hit are weakened next turn.
Extra Spooky (1 point) — if no enemies are hit, reduce the cooldown by 1.

Notes:  “Running away” means that each enemy hit is forced to move as many tiles as that enemy could move (be it 12, 8, 4, 2 or 0 depending on haste / slows / roots / sprinting) in the exact opposite direction from Spooky, until it hits a wall or can’t otherwise keep moving in that direction (at which point it stops).  Fairly similar to a knockback / kind of a reverse Walkies.  Despite being AoE, it only hits adjacent enemies.

3:  Ghostwalk — Prep Phase — Free Action — Cooldown 3

You can walk through walls this turn.  Gain 5 energy.

Mods:
Ghostrun (2 points) (default) — Gain haste this turn.
Incorporeal (3 points) — Gain unstoppable this turn.
Ectoplasm (1 point) — If this is your only ability action this turn, gain 30 shields until end of turn.
Candy Collector (2 points) — gain 5 energy for each powerup you pick up this turn.

Notes:  Walking through walls works exactly how you would think, for your movement that turn.  Obviously you cannot end your turn inside of a wall, so for purposes of determining where you move, pretend there is an Oz afterimage instead of every wall tile and calculate where you’d end up.  (So, for example, if you get slowed and couldn’t make it through the wall to an empty tile on the other side, you don’t move into the wall in the first place.)  It would be neat if there could be a cool graphic to show you entering a wall — helpful also for the other team to figure out what just happened.

4:  Team Spirit — Prep Phase — Cooldown 3

Heal friendly targets in a target circle for 26 and friendly targets in a larger circle for 18.  (The targeter is similar to Orion’s primary / Meridian’s fourth ability.)  Gain 12 energy for the first friendly target hit and 3 energy for each subsequent friendly target.

Mods:
Typical Ghost Shenanigans (2 points) (default) — can target through walls.
Focus Pocus (3 points) — increase the central healing by 6, but reduce the outer ring healing by 6.
Scare Package (1 point) — increase the outer ring healing by 3.
Boo-st (2 points) — all friendly targets hit gain 6 shields this turn.
Spooky Seance (3 points) — increase the AoE of both rings (radius) by 50%.

Ultimate:  Haunt — Blast / Dash — Requires 100 energy

Haunt enemies and allies in a 60-degree cone (7 range, does not go through walls), dealing 20 damage to each or healing 20 health to each, respectively.  All targets hit are marked with Haunt until the end of next decision phase.  Haunted enemies are Revealed.

Next turn, you may (activate the ability again to) dash to any Haunted target within 10 range, teleporting to any square adjacent to that target.  If it is an enemy, deal 30 damage.  If it is an ally, restore 30 health.  You can move after dashing.

Mods:
Ghostmobile (2 points) (default) — no range limit on the dash.
Recurring Nightmare (1 point) — if you choose not to dash next turn, gain 50 energy.
Friendly Ghost (2 points) — you may only target allies with your dash.  Restore an additional 10 health to both you and the target ally.
Big Spoopin’ (2 points) — increase the cone width to 90 degrees.
Haunt Today, Gaunt Tomorrow (3 points) — increase the base damage / healing of the cone by 10.  The dash no longer deals damage or heals.

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A Few Suggested Builds:

Whack o’ Lantern (2) — The Fright Stuff (2) — Ectoplasm (1) — Focus Pocus (3) — Friendly Ghost (2).  A standard defensive / value-oriented build.  You have additional damage on your primary, healing on 2, shielding on 3, more potential healing on 4, and healing on ult.  Definitely a focus on being the most support-y support you can be and keeping your team alive.  Feel free to substitute Hard Candy for Whack o’ Lantern if you think you have enough healing potential and want to give your allies might.  Alternatively, Next-Door Neighbors and Typical Ghost Shenanigans are both valuable in their own ways — dropping the powerups from primary next to yourself is useful for keeping yourself alive, and being able to heal through walls is something supports enjoy from time to time.  Parachute is also nice value, providing some additional healing.

Pumpkin Patch (3) — Extra Spooky (1) — Candy Collector (2) — Spooky Seance (3) — Recurring Nightmare (1).  This build is a bit of an energy build, actually.  Pumpkin Patch means you can hit 1-2 enemies (for damage and energy) and still be able to drop at least 1 powerup (which doesn’t give energy by itself but you could go grab it with Candy Collector for extra energy).  (Next-Door Neighbors has synergy with Candy Collector as well.)  With Recurring Nightmare, you can use your ult as more of a decent damage/healing tool and only dash if you really need it.  Extra Spooky and Spooky Seance help us hit targets with our AoE abilities more frequently / more easily.

I leave it to you to find additional builds.  There are some great mods out there for certain situations (unstoppable on Ghostwalk, for example), so feel free to experiment!

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