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Ability Damage Outlanders! – An overview of the subclasses and the pros and cons of each.

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Hey all, I wanted to write a post detailing the strengths and differences of the ability damage Outlanders to give people more insight into what makes this subset of heroes shine, and which among them rise above the rest, and why. Especially for newer players or those who may be unaware of their kits and how their play styles differ.

As weapons are now capable of much higher levels of damage, hero variety is more welcome than ever, and if you've been considering battling alongside a TEDDY or a perfectly placed Shock Tower, well, now would be a good time to try it.


There is definitely a stigma surrounding Outlanders but mostly because of how awful the class was before the ability damage buffs a few months ago, and their recent buff – giving their abilities cool downs. I think some ability damage Outlanders are in a good place right now and there are a couple often overlooked heroes who are stronger than you might think.


Abilities

There are two Outlander damage abilities. TEDDY and Shock Tower. We'll be taking a look at the heroes that have access to both (Reclaimer, Trailblaster, Trailblazer), and the Outlanders who specialize in one (Enforcer, Shock Specialist, T.E.D.D. Shot Jess)

TEDDY – A deployable cuddly metal bear who guns to down mobs one target at a time with fast-firing machine gun fists. Undoubtedly the stronger of the two abilities.

Shock Tower – A deployable totem with a short range that pulses lightning that chains between groups of enemies and is capable of stunning small targets.


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RECLAIMER

  • Regenerates charges every 60 kills (this includes weapon kills shots, trap kills, TEDDY kills, Shock Tower kills. It does not include kills on affliction ticks)

  • Has access to both TEDDY and Shock Tower

| PROS |

  • 25% increased damage and 10 seconds extra duration on TEDDY

  • Bear Stare – TEDDY will shoot eye lasers every few seconds doing a moderate amount of energy damage.

  • 35% increased damage on Shock Tower, hitting more enemies, as well as a placed DoT on effected targets.

  • Very high uptime on abilities.

  • Able to use Commando in the tactical slot without sacrificing damage

| CONS |

  • No Phase Shift – decreased survivability / slower engage & escape / optimal placement of deployed units relies on sprinting.

  • Minimum range on TEDDY / Minimum duration on Shock Tower

| NICHE |

  • Highest uptime on abilities through faster charge regeneration while being able to cycle between TEDDY and Shock Tower. Good damage perks on consistent ability use make Reclaimer versatile and strong in combat

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TRAILBLASTER

  • Has access to both TEDDY and Shock Tower

  • Extended range and duration perks in a kit that prioritizes crowd control over damage.

| PROS |

  • Extended range on TEDDY (6 tiles instead of 4) with the ability to slow movement and attack speed of enemies hit by 30%.

  • Extended duration of Shock Tower (10 seconds instead of 6) with a perk for 133% increased impact damage to reliably stun small and normal husks.

  • Shorter ability cool downs when used with charges thanks to the Impossibility Matrix perk.

| CONS |

  • No Phase Shift – decreased survivability / slower engage & escape / optimal placement of deployed units relies on sprinting.

  • Minimum duration on TEDDY

  • No TEDDY damage perks

| NICHE |

  • Using abilities for crowd control (slow / stun) is interesting but impractical. No damage buffs to TEDDY and no weapon buffs leave Trailblaster as more of a support hero than an ability damage hero.

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TRAILBLAZER

  • Has access to both TEDDY and Shock Tower

  • An ability-damage based hero with a dash of crowd control on TEDDY and a unique perk for increased movement speed on… player built floors?

| PROS |

  • OK TEDDY perks. 50% increased fire rate, slow and attack speed slow on damaged enemies, and increased duration on TEDDY itself.

  • Shorter cooldowns on charge uses thanks to Impossibility Matrix

  • Maximum Shock Tower duration (10 seconds)

| CONS |

  • No Phase Shift – decreased survivability / slower engage & escape / optimal placement of deployed units relies on sprinting.

  • Minimum range on TEDDY

  • No damage perks for Shock Tower

| NICHE |

  • Trailblazer is the odd one of the group, seemingly not specialized in anything. Odd perks throughout and while extended duration on Shock Tower is good, no associated damage perks make it mostly meaningless. Fire rate and slow are good on TEDDY, but the minimum range leaves more to be desired considering its uptime.

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ENFORCER

  • Has access to TEDDY, no Shock Tower

  • TEDDY specialist with strong damage, range, duration, and crowd control perks.

| PROS |

  • Maximum range on TEDDY (6 tiles)

  • 25% increased TEDDY damage, as well as 50% increased fire rate. Highest TEDDY damage of all Outlanders per deploy.

  • 10 seconds extra duration of TEDDY and Crowd control (slow and attack speed slow) on TEDDY damaged enemies

  • Has survivability perks with 20% increased shield, and shield regen on Phase Shift

  • Has access to Phase Shift for better positioning for deploying TEDDY and engages / escapes

| CONS |

  • No Shock Tower

  • Longer cool downs on abilities on charge use without Impossibility Matrix

  • Like all Outlanders with one ability, he's reliant on finding charges in the pre-defense phase.

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| NICHE |

  • Enforcer has the strongest form of the better Outlander ability (TEDDY) but has a long cool down. Otherwise a good hero with great ability damage at long range.

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Shock Specialist

  • Has access to Shock Tower, no TEDDY

  • A Shock Tower specialist with most perks for the ability, as well as some into Phase Shift which make him mobile in combat

| Pros |

  • Maximum duration on Shock Tower (10 seconds)

  • Increased damage on Shock Tower (35%) as well as increased impact damage (133%) to reliably stun small and normal husks, and chain lightning for a larger area of effect

  • Additional Phase Shift charge and reduced cool down on Phase Shift for increased mobility to effectively place Shock Tower in the middle of groups of enemies

  • More freedom with tactical spot as he doesn't need to cater to TEDDY

| Cons |

  • No TEDDY.

  • Shock Tower's AOE is great on Shock Specialist, but the duration / cool down ratio make its damage more situational than reliable.

  • Longer cool downs thanks to no Impossibility Matrix

| Niche |

  • Great AOE on condensed waves, but not having TEDDY leaves his ability damage mostly situational and he will spend most of defenses with no Shock Tower, and no weapon damage perks.

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T.E.D.D. Shot Jess

  • Has access to TEDDY, no Shock Tower

  • A mix of weapons-based perks, charge regeneration, and a few very good TEDDY perks put her high on the list of damage-oriented Outlanders.

| Pros |

  • Regains charges similar to Reclaimer, but with 15 headshot kills per charge.

  • Has 10 extra seconds on TEDDY as well as 25% increased damage, and the Bear Stare ability which allows TEDDY to fire eye lasers for additional energy damage

  • Forced increased reload time through headshots, and increased fire rate for Sniper Rifles.

  • Good up time on TEDDY

  • Has Phase Shift (as well as increased movement speed after Phase Shift ends) for mobility, engage/escape, and TEDDY placement

| CONS |

  • Minimum range on TEDDY

  • No Shock Tower

  • Reliant on sniper rifles or weapons capable of reliable headshots to maximize damage.

| NICHE |

  • A great mix of combat and ability damage perks make T.E.D.D Shot Jess a well rounded hero who doesn't rely on TEDDY for kills, but is able to use his increased damage for trash clear while she focuses on heavier targets.

Note: Shock Gunner is an excellent combat-focused Outlander and one I'd highly recommend for people who like crowd control, shotguns, and close-quarters combat. I wrote an overview for the subclass you can find HERE, but as her ability perks are minimal and not an integral part of her kit, I did not include her in this list. Similarly, I didn't include Flash for this reason either.



So which ability-damage Outlander is the best?

Mostly up to personal preference and play style choice, but undoubtedly Reclaimer, Enforcer, and T.E.D.D. Shot Jess are the ones who bring the most damage to the battle field. They each offer a different approach to using abilities and are strong in their own ways. The other ability Outlanders are certainly usable when played to their strengths, but their abilities may come up short in tough situations.



Whats the best load out for an ability-damage Outlander?

If most of your hero's damage perks are for abilities, you should consider , who, when leveled, will apply 20% increased ability damage when placed in the support slot. Otherwise, use what is most comfortable for you.

For tactical, if your hero is TEDDY focused and doesn't have the Bear Stare ability, I would recommend Reclaimer in tactical to apply energy damage eye lasers to your bear. This is a great help for taking down elemental enemies, particularly elemental husky husks, which TEDDY can otherwise spend too much time on. If you don't have access to Reclaimer, I would suggest Commando in the tactical slot for Grizzled Veteran, which will add 5 seconds to TEDDY's duration.



A couple tips

  1. Collect charges. Even on heroes that recharge them. Typically when I load into a map I jump on my hoverboard and the first thing I do is uncover the map for the exploration badge. On the way I will grab charges and blu-glo, activate buffs and then head over to the objective. Your teammates will love you for it. Especially if you brought a llama back with you.

  2. Use hover turret. I can not emphasize this enough. Gadget damage is effected by your tech stat, and if you are building into ability-damage heroes, you should probably be investing in tech, or at least keeping it leveled close to your offense. We all know the hover turret is insanely powerful, but when deployed between TEDDYs or along side a Shock Tower, it opens up a lot of room to focus on large threats. Get into the flow of weaving it into your abilities. TEDDY > Turret > TEDDY > Turret > TEDDY > TEDDY > etc is a lot of wave clear and control over the battle field. Take advantage of it.


Thanks for reading this much-too-long overview of the different ability Outlanders. I hope if you saw something you like, you give it a try. You might be surprised. I'm currently maining one of these heroes and as I've invested heavily into tech, I have been seeing really good results even in late Twine. So let's try to shake some of this Outlander stigma and save the world with bears. Lots… and lots of bears. Cya in the storm!


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