With the new buffs to Constructors and Warden specifically, I figure I’ll revisit this review with his new buffs. A TL;DR will once again be included at the bottom
Blitzen BASE Kyle is a Constructor with the Warden subclass. Note: Blitzen BASE Kyle is currently the only Warden Constructor, available originally during the 2017 Survive the Holidays event. ”Gradually heals during melee combat, and regenerates the health of any ally staying in the BASE.” Warden’s skills are: – 1-Star: Creative Engineering: 10% faster build speed, 10% reduced building cost – 1: Bull Rush: The Constructor charges forward 3 tiles, collecting enemies on a shield, knocking them back at the end of the rush or when colliding with a wall. Does a base of 156 blunt physical damage. – 2: B.A.S.E.: The BASE alters the matter of connected building pieces. Affected walls will deal a base of 12 energy damage to any enemy that attacks them in melee. Attached structures gain 12% damage resistance. Extends 3 segments from placement. – 5: Bull Crush: At the end of Bull Rush, Hardware damage increases by 55% for 10s. – 8: Automated Defense: Increases BASE connectivity by 1 building piece. – 2-Star: Kinetic Overload: Critical hits with hardware melee weapons trigger a Kinetic Overload, dealing a base of 140 plasma energy damage and knockback to the target (it no longer has a cooldown!!!) – 12: Hearty Blows: Every 4th hit with a Hardware weapon restores 48 base health to the Constructor. – 15: Exit Plan: While inside any BASE, the Constructor's speed and blunt weapon critical hit rate are increased. Increases run speed by 12% and critical rating increased by 5. – 18: Rushed Rush: Reduces the cooldown of Bull Rush by 6 seconds. – 3-Star: Plasma Pulse: Deploys a device which emits exploding Plasma Pulses every 0.125 seconds for 6 seconds. Deals a base of 18 plasma energy damage. – 25: Kinetic Overdrive: When Kinetic Overload is triggered, it affects targets within a 0.5 tile radius of the primary target. – 30: Base M.D.: The Constructor regenerates 1 base health every 3 seconds while inside the area of BASE. Regenerates 4% of maximum health every 3 seconds.
Ability Overview: Looking at Warden’s abilities it’s clear to see this is not a defense-oriented Constructor, which you may know in Heavy BASE, Power BASE, or MEGABASE. Warden is focused on getting into the thick of the fight with a hardware melee weapon to keep himself sustained and overload enemies with critical hits.
Getting roughly triple the healing from before with Hearty Blows, if your healing modifier is high enough you’ll definitely be getting noticeable chunks of health back (at ~103k in Twine Peaks, I would trigger this for ~2700 health before the update. That’s over 8000 healing now!).
Additionally, his Base MD perk now heals for 4% max health every 3 seconds (previously 2%), so it will now take 300 seconds (5 minutes) to get to full health from minimum rather than 10. But with healing traps and the recently buffed Survivalist perk, this still shouldn’t be used as a main source of healing. It’s twice as effective as before, but nothing to depend your life on against any of the Mist Monsters.
A major change with 5.0 is the removal of cooldown on Kinetic Overload/Overdrive. This makes melee much more viable for Constructors all around, especially if you’re crit heavy or use it as a main gimmick (Warden’s Hearty Blows). With a high enough crit chance, you will be a huge source of area crowd control for your team, as Kinetic Overdrive does major damage and stuns all enemies in a .5-tile radius around the original target hit. To make it even better, Bull Crush now increases hardware damage by 55% (previously 45%), and on a 9-second cooldown you’ll always have that bonus damage to melt even the huskiest of Husky Husks.
Pair this with Hearty Blows and Base MD and you’re (on paper) an invincible source of crowd control and huge area damage, with minor support bonuses for your team.
This isn’t without drawbacks, however, as Warden has a tiny BASE (4 tiles, which only covers one immidiate floor piece on each side of a 3×2 shelter) with no defensive upgrades. That may sound bad in theory. In practice, however, I haven’t found this to be an issue, even when doing the early 4-player missions in Twine Peaks. If you rely on your BASE to protect your fort, you need to get more traps or more firepower (a hardware weapon, perhaps?)
Squad Slots – Recommendations – In your Support slot, I highly recommend using Actuated Attacks (percentage increase in hardware damage) or Hammer Crit Rating (additional crit rating when using a hardware weapon). Empowering your melee or Kinetic Overdrive should be your top priority. – In your Tactical slot, use something that suits your playstyle. If you want that defensive edge Warden lacks, use Power Modulation (building pieces regenerate health over time) or Feel the BASE (energy nova every 30 kills in the Base, not recommended on Shelter missions). If you want even more melee prowess, try Stun Baton (melee crits deal increased impact and stun when interrupting an enemy), Firewall (shield damage to the Constructor causes AoE damage and a stun every so often), Corrosion (melee crits deal additional damage over time and slow enemies), Bloody Bull (Bull Rush afflicts enemies), Stormborne (melee kills temporarily increase movement speed), or Dragon Daze (on shield break, deal damage and stun nearby enemies in an AoE). Again, there’s plenty of options to suit each playstyle in your Tactical slot.
As stated in my last review, I really hope Epic brings back the Warden subclass at some point in the future, as it was enjoyable even before the buffs. Nothing too great then, but I highly recommend unslotting him if he’s in your collection book.
TL;DR: Pros: VERY high durability, high area control, high melee damage, minor healing bonus to allies. Plenty of customizability when it comes to Tactical slot bonus. Cons: Tiny Base range, lack of mobility outside of Bull Rush, no defensive perks on Base,
If you want me to review another hero subclass in the future, leave suggestions! I think I might to Heavy BASE next.
EDIT: fixed some typos, and Base range is 4, not 5, oops
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