Burst, The Problem with PVP

For anyone who has been around awhile, they know Dogface use to dominate the PVP scene. Then along came Panzer who was nigh unstoppable until the nerfs started rolling in. At first it was a trickle of nerfs for her, then a flood. After her was Shiv, but she quickly got a flat 10% damage nerf so her reign didn’t last very long. That and 4-Cep came along shortly after. Now we are looking at the new king of PVP which is 4-Cep.

You may ask yourself what do all of these heroes have in common? The answer is their insane burst. Dogface starts off slower, but once his bronze and silver are active he decimates opponents. He has fallen out of favor after a few rounds of nerfs though, and since better options have come along.
Panzer and 4-Cep start the destruction the second they come out the gate and because of this they are incredibly powerful. Shiv just needs a kill and then her burst damage goes nutz.

To really emphasis this burst problem you just have to look at Panzer. The design behind her is incredible burst within the first 20 seconds of a match, then her DPS drops way off and it takes her a long time to do any sort of real damage again. However, because she can usually make a match 5v4 within the first 15-20 seconds, this made her one of the strongest heroes in the game for a time. It is all about that up front burst damage. Coming back after losing a hero or two is incredibly difficult unless the opponent has heroes that basically do nothing beyond the first several seconds of a match.

Meanwhile on the other end of the spectrum you have heroes who really suffer due to their ramp up time. Hivemind, Xianjiu, and Halloway take around a minute to get all of their clones or drones out. This, along with the fact that they are front line energy heroes means they usually go down super quick before they can even get to 50% power. In PVE they are pretty terrible choices because of the ramp up time and they are usually pretty weak for the first few waves of a level.

Other heroes like Odachi need to wait until an opponent is at 50% health before their damage really starts kicking in. Due to his low hp, this rarely happens before he is dead himself. Other heroes have the same issue such as Astrix, Kunoichi, and Siren. They all have decent damage, but their hp is too low for it to really matter. Before Astrix or Siren can get their powerful abilities off, they are usually killed. Cinder would also fall into this category because she needs to destroy a lot of cover before her damage ramps up.

Then you have heroes like Prophet and Irezumi who literally have to keep stacking DOTs or buffs on before they can do any real damage. Halloway also kind of falls into this category because his silver needs all doubles up to do any real damage (if it even lands). The problem here is these abilities take forever to power up, and even once they are max power they STILL aren’t that strong.

Phantom shot only does 194k damage. Each Amp Up charge provides an additional 75k energy damage. Best case after 1 Amp Up is 269k dmg. At absolute full power it only does 655k damage. That’s not even enough to one shot most other 10*, 5 bar heroes. It’s also next to impossible to get unless the enemy has a bunch of bot heroes since you would get max of 4 charges from normal hero kills, and then need 2 more Amp Up uses. Of course he will be dead long before he even gets half way there. Compare that to Panzer’s Breach and Clear which doesn’t require another ability and can do a total of 266k mech damage to a full health target. That ability is available almost instantly too.

Heroes like Ryker and Heckler do decent damage, but it’s more slow and steady and not as bursty. Because of this it’s hard to really get a kill with them. Clyde has decent burst, but he is one of those low hp heroes and a lot is left up to chance with his stun working or not.

Finally you have the heroes with AOE type abilities, who seem decent on paper but are pretty terrible in actuality. Maven and Ghoul are two prime examples who suffer here. Even the AI easily dodge their abilities making them mostly worthless. Cinder also suffers here because both of her abilities rely on a target standing still, and with the cover destruction ramp up it really keeps her from being competitive.

So, what’s the solution to this? Well for one, I think the drone and clone heroes should start off any match with at least 1 or 2 bots activated. This would drastically shorten the ramp up time and make them at least decent right off the bat. Cast went from 1 to 2 turrets and he actually is a decent hero now. Not OP, but not worthless either. He gets both turrets out relatively quickly.

Odachi could probably stand to have his abilities start at 75% hp instead of 50, and use a slight armor and/or hp buff. The same goes for Kuno, Astrix, and Siren. Give them more durability so they can last long enough to actually get their abilities. As for heroes like Maven, Cinder, and Ghoul, their abilities just need to be sped up so they land and/or go off easier.

I know this isn’t a fix all as some heroes like Mauler and Ronin had good runs, and neither has particularly high burst. Mauler had some insane stun locking briefly, while Ronin was a mix of higher burst and buffing a bunch of weaker heroe’s hp dramatically (and in turn, his own damage). Other heroes like Fortress, Halo, and Savage also were incredibly powerful for brief periods of time, but that was due to other issues (insane health regen coupled with high damage from ability on Fortress, Lightning Rod doing insane damage and being triggered by tons of things, etc.).

However, I think addressing the underlying issue and buffing the dozen or so heroes I listed would make them at least semi-competitive in PVP without the need to nerf other current favorites any more.


Thanks for your post, I don’t necessarily agree with everything you mentioned but I do agree with the main thrust of your post concerning (a) the necessity to have high damage right from the gates, and (b) that many other heroes (in particular the summoners) are simply condemned to the trash bin because they don’t have this ability.

In my view, while not perfect, PVP is in a much better place than it used to be.

  1. We have a decent number of damage dealers, who can be classified ‘very good’ to ‘top tier’ - Shivs, 4 Cep, Siren, Kurtz, Astrix, Kuno, Castellan + Franc, to name a few. Panzer too, situationally. Do you remember the time when there was only ONE? We now have choice.

  2. FL/Ifrit revive has been toned down significantly, and now revive can be helpful but not OP; likewise Mandrake is relied on less and less.

  3. We have a more than decent and varied roster of healers and shielders (though in my view Keel is still OP, together with shields in general)

  4. We have many team compositions which work, with synergy, instead of playing the same dominating lineup over and over and over. Alvarez is very strong.

Yes, there are MANY useless heroes (in the PVP context) but that’s because we have 80+ heroes in the game. Some of them are totally useless and only good for patrols (Klayton!! Shank, Elite Rifleman). Some are better at bounty than others (eg Scum), some built for War (eg, Beck). Not every hero is designed to be a great PVP hero. But the game is getting more balanced.


I agree PVP is in a better place than it used to be. Most of the healers and support are good now. Nightingale, Flatline, Kobold, Fran, Phalanx, Mandrake, Heim, Duran, and Caine are all viable choices without being too strong or weak. I think Ifrit was over nerfed, and I agree Keel is borderline too strong with the right cover breakers on her team. Moss and Briar could also use some love in my experience.

However, in regards to DPS you only listed 9 heroes. That’s only around 10% of what’s available. I also think you are being lenient with some of those choices. 4-Cep has made Kuno, Astrix, and Siren pretty much useless. He can kill Flatline AND Siren before Siren even get’s her song off. Astrix does insane damage with her ability, if it lands, but even being an elemental counter to 4-Cep she just dies way to quick. Kuno has always been too squishy to really be effective imo.

So, of the DPS heroes you listed, I would say at the top tier it’s really only 4-Cep, rolly Kurtz, Shiv, and Panzer. That’s 4 heroes and all are mech with a lot of burst (besides Kurtz). Is it better than 1 hero? Sure, but you could argue 4-Cep is better than all of them anyways.

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Interesting observations! As always, I caution players to focus on symptom, not the perceived cause of the symptom, or the possible solution. If you feel that the sudden bursts of damage some Heroes can put out has an overwhelming effect on battle flow, and that frustrates you, that’s valid, and enough to go on.


I think its the other way around (for me at least) that not enough heroes have sufficient damage :slight_smile:

Awesome topic i wish more people would dive in here

I wouldn’t call any of the heroes useless. I found out yesterday that although Klayton may be a meat shield for PVP, he actually does incredible in PVE. His crazy spread actually allows for some insanely fast mob kills, which is ironic.

Anyways, this topic is awesome and I love he analysis above. Some tweaking here and there will be needed, but overall awesome insight about some of the heroes I love!

ITS simple the game otherwise every hero would be the same, and also odachi is a steady and good dps I don’t know how you use him but I wreck people in 30 seconds

Odachi is obsolete. His hp is really low, and ronin wreaks him

Maybe because he is an opposing element, odachi is amazing

I think @tollboothkyle is right, his HP is too low to be a “steady and good dps” (he dies before doing anything). Most of his skills require the enemy hp to be about 50% (which after, yes his dps is amazing). I do like caltrops, but its unreliable and by the time the match gets that far… someone is 50% and deserves to die.

At least in my bracket, two heroes are pretty standard in maybe 80%+ of matches

  1. 4-cep: Immediate burst death. You can protect with a phalanx early but that’s a energy shield and will get melted.

  2. Phalanx: Good luck getting to 50% with odachi as primary DPS

I remember in the lower brackets he was strong because people underestimated him in longer games and didn’t have phalanxes/burst heroes. I think hes great as a secondary DPS but you have to be super lucky with matchups. Other heroes fill that role better sinces hes such a glass cannon (and because of all the shields, not a great cannon). I think @Deathleech’s idea to raise the bar for odachi to 75% would be EXTREMELY interesting in turning him into a true glass cannon (perhaps 65-70%?).

I agree on that but I use a phalanx and flatline to heel him alive, and if you have keel and some support they protect and get enemies to 50% below, easy

And that was meta a while ago and still worked post flatline nerf until 4-cep came along … which is the whole point/issue that @Deathleech is talking about. Sure you can run the team you just mentioned, its just SO MUCH STRONGER (CAPS level) than having odachi in the same position.

Once again I applaud his idea for buffing around rather than just nerf hammering 4-cep.

What do you mean they did nerf 4cep already. Because people complained about his bronze skill too much @HHHHH

Odachi only has 448k hp at 10*, 4 bars. He has roughly 4600 armor. Kuno has 422k hp and 4,400 armor. This isn’t a big enough difference considering Kuno is at full strength within the first several seconds of a match and kill pretty much any hero from full hp if she lands all her knives, stuns, and then focuses the target.

Odachi just has too little hp for his abilities to be viable and make sense. He can easily be focused down before an enemy get’s anywhere near 50% hp and his real damage kicks in. When 2 abilities totally rely on the target being under 50% (or dead), and a big part of another ability relies on it, that doesn’t really work for a hero design.

Don’t understand me wrong but I can get people to below 50 percent faster than kuno does, and believe me when I say they are evenly good

I just about disagree with everything in this post in the way of evaluating heroes and their perceived effectiveness and worth. I agree with the feeling that summoning heroes either need to start with one or some drones already in play OR that their summoning skill should charge up at a rate somewhere in the neighborhood of Carabina’s marker light.

Beyond that…I disagree that 4-cep is the king of PVP. I will agree that he’s used a lot…because I kill him a lot…with two supposed bleh dps heroes mentioned here…Cinder and Odachi. No, not at gold or silver, i’m talking 10*4bar plat 95 to 105k range, and I don’t use reviver heroes so it’s not like they are killed and then come back. Remember, you don’t just play with Cinder, or Odachi, you play with them and 4 other heroes. And why do people think Cinder has to destroy her own cover? Anyone destroying cover boosts Cinder…even the opposing team. And Odachi crushing at 75% and below…that’s a bad idea. I have killed enemy heroes within the first 5 seconds of a match with odachi as he is.

There are many ways to use heroes that are being overlooked that, when you do it, really opens up the ability of these “glass cannons” or “long to power up” or “don’t really do anything until X and by then they’re dead” heroes to put out a pounding.

Anyway, on Prophet i’ll say his Amp up shouldn’t be three stacks, it should be one use that provides a damage boost somewhere like 60% of what the current 3rd amp would provide, and the skill should charge about 20% faster. So amp up, phantom shot, amp up, phantom shot, etc. etc.

Oro still sucks tho. :wink:

disclaimer: everything as it applies to PVP, I like Oro very much in bounties.

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Killed who within 5 seconds, low hp mech heroes like Kunoichi? Odachi is usually one of my first targets and he goes down insanely fast since his hp is abysmall at roughly 450k

I never said Cinder has to destroy her own cover. However, AI does not intentionally destroy cover unless they are focusing a target and happen to hit it. This makes them very weak at destroying cover and that is why Matador is so bad when piloted by AI, and so good when player controlled.

Both of her abilities are easily dodged making them essentially useless so that along with a ramp up to do any decent damage keeps her from being truly great. IS she terrible? No, but she definetly isn’t amazing either. Why would I use her and have to ramp up after 20 seconds just to get to the same power 4-Cep starts with out the gate? I pretty much ignore her and kill 1-2 heroes, then focus her down quickly before she gets too many stacks of her buff.

Who said it? You did. And yes, Kunoichi certainly falls fast, but Odachi’s ability to do heavy damage allows him to kill biochem and energy heroes with almost as much ease. I’ve killed a full grown Matador, Mandrake, etc. before most heroes get their first skill charge. How? It’s not because he got the target to below 50% on his own I can tell you that. And yes, Odachi is easily chewed up by 4-cep…when he’s not shielded. And, despite 4-cep’s apparent high health and damage reduction, I do well with him too. In fact he seems squishy to me. But I’m not going to try and convince you that it’s doable, I just know that it is because I do it (not all the time, but it happens.) Most of the time an opponent is just badly damaged and I finish them off at the beginning of the first skills salvo that each team gets. Sometimes the other team is better and it doesn’t work at all.

Oh, and 20 seconds?? It doesn’t take that long…

I guess I’ll just say this…….I would not turn down a change to Odachi’s skill as you described, I’m just saying he doesn’t need it. My opinion

When I said “she”, I meant her and her team, not that one hero specifically. I also mentioned later on and in other threads she is decent with cover breaking heroes like Matador/Panzer, obviously because she gains the buffs from them even though THEY are breaking cover and not Cinder specifically.

As or Odachi, I am sorry but I am high rank and I rarely see him used anymore. I have my own at 10*, 4 bars and haven’t had much success with him either. If you build a team around him sure, he might be ok killing other people’s B and C teams. But that could be said about anyone, and I would be willing to bet my 4-Cep with a Phalanx, Flatline, Mandrake, and fifth healer would beat your same level team with Odachi 9 times out of 10. He also performs incredibly weak in PVE, especially bounties because the first half enemies are 50%+ hp, but that’s a whole nother story.

Odachi needs to have a target at half health before he is running at optimal power. He also has literally half the hp 4-Cep does, and no damage reduction from an abilitiy like Nano Tech. Why would I ever choose a hero that has half hp, no damage reduction, and needs a target 50% when I can choose someone like 4-Cep who starts out the gate at 100% damage and has much more health and armor?