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Thread: It's hammertime!!! (small Helio guide for PvP)

  1. #1

    It's hammertime!!! (small Helio guide for PvP)

    Helio is quite a powerful freelancer, nearly always banned from ranked games at the moment I write this guide. He is quite tough to understand, and a bit hard to start with in PvP, but let me explain you the basics.
    This guide is mostly intended for new Helio players with the brain module activated who are playing alone and not in an organized team. But don't be too scared, you don't need to be a genius to get Helio's jokes (got it?).

    So, first, let's introduce this non classical hammerer.
    Helio is a very good support. Topping heal when you have multiple supports is very easy. Only Aurora will regularly beat you in the domain.
    In terms of damage, Helio is surprisingly efficient. But while healing with him is accessible to everyone, dealing severe damages will ask for careful thinking. Your damage output relies on combinations of powers, in general a well positionned black hole with a ultimate or a wall.
    Helio has also a good control ability. Black hole can wreak havoc, and a scrambled character can be as good as dead if he's in the open.
    On the bad side, he has absolutely no defense mechanism beside his average health pool. Surviving a whole game is often the symptom of an extremely cautious play.

    Helio loves to team up with frontliners. Especially those with good mobility. He also loves when the enemies have a lot of frontliners as they will put themselves more often into his walls or black holes. I consider that you have a frontliner in your team in my standard mod setup.
    But as this build is intended for random games, you never know what you will have in your team. So, in case you have a full range team, I give a second mod suggestion.

    Helio's abilities:

    - Echo hammer

    His basic ability is like the whole character: Badly used, it's underperforming. Properly used, it will make your day.
    So, let's look at the numbers. 24 damage on the primary target. Clearly, it's weak. 48 damage total if you hit 3 targets, it's valuable, but far from incredible for an area of effect ability. What is more interesting is that you will charge your ultimate for 6 points per targets, going up to 18 points if you hit 3 of them. Another nice ability the hammer has is to detect hidden characters. Especially in the beginning of the game, a good hammering can show you 1 or 2 hidden enemies.
    On the bad side, the hammer is very hard to land. If the first enemy of your chain dashes away, you end up with a mere 0 damage, 0 energy. So, it's very important when you aim the hammer to be sure the enemy doesn't have a dash, doesn't expect your attack or that you have multiple enemies on the line.
    So, to sum up, hitting one enemy with the hammer is not worth it. Only case you can do it is if you need to secure a kill. Hitting 2 enemies is nice, but not incredibly efficient. The hammer only shines if you hit 3 enemies. It's hard to land, but it will make your day.
    So, try not to lose turns hammering single enemies, keep your hammer ready for hammerfests!

    None: Acceptable mod as the hammer is not Helio's central ability.
    Reverberation: The nice part is the increase in chain range. Being able to hit the whole enemy team is completely unlikely, but if you ever do it, send a video, as it's a massive move.
    High amplitude: The kind of mods you take if you have a spare point. It's worth the point but not much more.
    Energy conduit (standard setup): Good increase to energy generation, small increase in damage. It improves the hammer's strength.
    Sledge (range setup): Sledge increases the hammer damage notably. I use it on my range setup as you use your hammer far more often if you can't cast black hole on a frontliner.

    - Blast shield

    Your bread and butter. The shield is efficient, reliable, easy to use and it's your main contribution to your team.
    There is not much advice to give. Just be sure to use it on an ally who will take at least a bit of punishment during the turn. So, be careful to their actions, you don't want to lose your shield on a dashing ally or on one that will certainly be overkilled by the enemy team.
    Also, use it as much as you can. Keeping it for the last moment is often a bad idea. Mitigating damage along the game allows your allies to have a better understanding to how bad they really are.

    None: No! The shield is your main ability, mod it!
    Fortress (standard and range setup): Pretty much a 50% increase in the shield efficiency. Allows you to stay with your teammates while mitigating damage. As you are the support, you are often focused. Even when not focused, you'll often get hit because you are the support. Not having fortress forces you to play much more safer.
    Nano rush: Well... haste is not incredible, shield is very good and deserves 2 to 3 loadout points. So, no.
    Omni barrier: Nice when you start playing. But should only be used if you want to play a chicken Helio who uses his abilities without lines of sight.
    Power share: Very powerful, but better use it in a team than in random games. The main problem is that you don't know what your teammates will do, and they don't know they will get might this turn. You can also use it if you have another support in the team, as your team will lack damage much more than healing.

    - Black hole generator

    Here comes Helio's signature ability. The black hole is a game changer. Properly positionned, it can put 2 to 3 enemies in the open. Expect a lot of damage to be done in the next round.
    But it's also very hard to use, as you don't know how your allies will react. That's why I only use it on a frontliner who will rush for sure. If you don't know what your frontliner will do, just don't cast it and use another much more reliable ability.
    On full range team, I nearly never cast the black hole. Sometimes, if I feel crazy, I cast it on myself and plays my next 2 turns like a frontliner. High risk high gain.
    I also sometimes use it if I can't use anything else during a turn. Like if I'm out of position. Of course, effects are very random, but it can give you an opportunity sometimes, if an enemy gets too close to the target.
    The hole has also nice combos with the wall or your ultimate. I'll speak about them in the proper section.

    None (range setup): The hole works fine by itself, and is very hard to use. So, it's valid to choose not to mod it to avoid having all your eggs in the same basket.
    Galvanic core (standard setup): If you only have one point left. Same comment than for not moding it.
    Event horizon: Not bad, just a bit expensive in my opinion. You don't cast that many black holes.
    Supermassive: Very nice when facing good opponents, as you are pretty sure they will knock your black holer if they can. In PvP, considering the average level of your opponents, it's not that useful.
    Gravity warp: Increases greatly the hole efficiency. Is a very good choice if you want to maximize it.

    - Disruption matrix

    The matrix is in my opinion the fifth wheel of the crush (got it ). Blocking the path for 2 turns is nice. 20 damage is a bit weak. Scrambling is awesome. But the wall is very hard to land. And you will be very often disapointed. In conjonction with black hole, it is awesome, but if the enemies decide to dash, if your frontliner decides to dash (got it also), or if the enemy team puts your black hole ally down, the wall won't help.
    So, in my opinion, the best move with the wall is to 'intercept' an enemy frontliner dashing in (or just an enemy moving closer to your team). So he ends up in the middle of your team with no abilities. Hard day. That's why I like to use it on the first turn when an enemy can decide to move forward. It's also very nice with Rampart's hook and other similar abilities.
    It can also be used to finish an enemy that has less than 20 hit points and who can dash away (I look at you, Lockwood) because it's very easy to put a wall on the other side of the map.
    Sometimes, when I have nothing else to do (because I'm out of position), I use the wall. It allows me not to lose a turn. Anyway, the wall is not an important ability, don't feel bad if your walls are not overwhelming or if you find yourself using it nearly never.

    None: Perfectly valid choice.
    Electric fence (range setup): A bit expensive in my opinion. I use it on my range setup because I have the points and can't take anything else. Avoid using it with gravity warp mod for black hole.
    Completed circuit (standard setup): Not incredible. I use it only because I have a point left.
    Master craftsman: Absolutely useless. It's expensive, and it doesn't change the range much.
    Enhanced matrix: Very expensive, and not useful enough.

    - Battleforged

    Here comes the ultimate. Battleforged is, in my opinion, one of the best ults of the game. First, it gives 60 shield to an ally. Second, it does 26 damage to everyone around him. Third, it lasts for 2 turns and can damage enemies a second time. Scoring a 78 damage the first round you use it is not so rare if your tank understands what he has to do. Scoring a second round with more than one hit is also frequent if you used it on a black holed character, it means a tremendous 160 damage and 60 shield!!!!!
    A properly used black hole/battleforged combo is a game breaker, especialy in PvP where your enemies are not much organized and may not see the whole potential of the situation.
    So, as a general advice, use your ultimate properly. It's hard to land it at the good moment, but it's too powerful to be used lightly.
    As a side note, with the standard setup I'm giving for mods, I often get a second ultimate ready around turn 20. So, if the game is a long run, you will be able to use it twice.

    None: Come on, it's your ultimate.
    Weapon of war (standard setup): If your tank has his ultimate ready or close to be, might can just add another pack of damage to the whole combo.
    Transference: Can be used if the enemy team managed to attract one of your teammates in the middle of it. But chances are great for your teammate to dash out quickly. Remember, PvP.
    Adaptive shielding (range setup): Safe choice. Easy to use, efficient, but not incredible. I use it on my range setup as I don't expect a range character to rush in to use battleforged's full potential. So, in general, I use it to save someone's ***.
    Ironclad: I've used it a bit in my standard setup, but I find it too hard to use. Most of the time, by turn 3, either the enemy team is at respawn point or your battleforged teammate is.


    - Prep
    Adrenaline: I've never tried it. It can save your life if you ever end up in a bad situation, but the shield is in my opinion much more reliable and easy to use. I may use it if there is another support and if I fear more a full focus of the enemy team than a slow death.
    Critical shot: It's not your main job to deal damage. And your ultimate deals damage during multiple rounds so it's useless in my opinion.
    Turtle tech (both setups): Easy to use, efficient. I use it without thinking much.

    - Dash
    Fetter: I don't see the point in rooting the opponents. If you have a black hole, the black hole will already do it. If you don't... why are you jumping in the middle of the enemy team?
    Fade: Nice to become invisible, but the short range made me kill more than once.
    Shift (both setups): The best teleport in terms of distance. In general, you can easily find a cover or a bush to survive.

    - Blast
    Brain juice: Very good, especially considering that it gives you 2 turns of shield. But it's hard to plan, and you often recall its existence when you should have used it previous turn.
    Second wind (both setups): Not incredible, but allows you to sprint during the same turn. I use it when I'm out of position or want to grab a healing orb.

    Playing with Helio in the team:
    As a teammate, you need to know a few things. First, his abilities have long range, but require line of sight (unless moded). So, stay in sight.
    Second, if you have a black hole over your head, if Helio's ultimate is charged and if you are supposed to go melee, go melee! It will be legendary.
    If an opponent goes through the wall, catch him. He can just dash out with his catalysts.
    And the last advice will be to check the buffs you have. Helio can give you might or haste depending on moding, so be sure to use them to their full potential if it happens.

    Playing against Helio:
    Of course, as it is said above, if you see a black holed frontliner able to dash in the middle of your team while Helio has his ultimate ready, just dash away, even with a catalyst. You'll avoid easily 100 points of damage.
    One of the important point is that Helio can't cast multi targeted heals. So he doesn't like area of effect attacks that will slowly cripple every member of his team.
    If you can, always move in straight lines. Moving in diagonals makes you far easier to catch with a wall. Also, don't dash alone in the middle of the enemy team if you can't survive a round without your abilities.
    And if you can mod your abilities to give unstoppable or to knock enemies back, it's a good moment to do it.
    And if you can choose your character, try to avoid melee characters. There are better moments to play Pup.

    About the author:
    Well, I'm not the best player out there, nor the more experienced, but I like to write guides. And as there aren't any about Helio, considering how the character is important, I think it's nice to have, at least, a base for the discussion. I hope it'll help all the players who want to understand why the hell he is always banned from ranked games.

    Last advice:
    Don't take Helio in ranked games just because he isn't banned if you don't know how to play it (and if your team doesn't build much around him). You will certainly be far more performant with a more classical healer.

    Now guys, I gotta go, as it's bash o'clock!!!!

  2. #2
    Helio's hammer's secondary chains don't hit people who were in camo or invisible at the start of the turn, you might want to correct that in your guide.
    The one thing that could cause cowboys and Indians to join forces is their mutual enemy: dinosaurs.

  3. #3
    Thanks for precision. I change it.

  4. #4
    I wasn't precise either, it actually doesn't hit targets that are invisible or in camo at the start of the blast phase.
    The one thing that could cause cowboys and Indians to join forces is their mutual enemy: dinosaurs.

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