Ok, second review, and this time is going to be for Trailblaster, an outlander I have been using constantly since the fragment rework.
Trailblaster shares most of their kit with 2 other outlanders: Reclaimer and Trailblazer; so most of what I say here applies to them too with a few exceptions. It is worth noting that Trailblaster has more CC capacity (yeah, I like CC, fight me!), Trailblazer has better uptime (can keep TEDDY and shock tower on the field for the most duration and less cooldown between them IF used with fragments), and Reclaimer has the best DPS. Overall I'd say they are on par with Trailblazer (maybe just slightly better), but are slightly outclassed by Reclaimer simply because of the fragment generation and overall better DPS.
They have a TEDDY with 10 tiles range that applies 30% slowness for 6 seconds (in other words, while TEDDY is attacking plus 6 seconds), pretty good for smashers and mini-bosses; paired with a shock tower that lasts 10 seconds with extra coverage and high impact, which helps stun enemies. Also has AMC (Anti-Material Charge) and loot llama for harvesting. Plus an added bonus of 50% (instead of 30%) reduction cooldown on TEDDY or shock tower when used with fragment charges, so is always a good idea to grab' em if you see' em.
Their support perk (make it count) is exceedingly popular for people that use Ranger or Gunblazer, but is useful in any hero as long as you have a pistol with decent crit chance (at least 30 to 50%; crit chance, ideally above 50%; but this might be difficult to pull out with the changes to crit chance perks that will come with 4.2. Talk about inconvenient times to talk about something). Their tactical (your move, creep) is also a popular one for many constructors, specially the ones that have a certain focus on DECOY like Controller, and Sentinel.
TEDDY is your main source of damage and CC, so try to save most of the fragments you collect for it, but don't be discouraged to place a shock tower in a group of enemies, specially if there is a blaster in it. The best moments to place a TEDDY is when a smasher or a mini-boss is coming your way in order to slow them down, and thanks to it's increased range you can place it far away, you will need to kill any non-smasher husks the TEDDY decides to attack though.
As for shock tower, it is great with dealing AoE damage specially since it deals energy damage, only husky husks and above survive more than 3 seconds of it (but often fall to 8 seconds of it if they stay for too long), bad thing is it's small and weird radius (1.367 tiles). Of course, almost anything that survives is very likely to get stunned if hit by many lightning bolts (smashers are extremely hard to stun though, but blasters and below are almost guaranteed to be stunned at least once), so the best placements is where many husks are gathered: either on their spawn, or on the objective if they are attacking your walls, but it's radius is big enough to be used in the open field, so if you have it, do not doubt on using it. My gripe with the electroshock perk in shock tower is that the increased impact pushes husks (and blasters) away from the radius of the tower, which makes extremely difficult to stun enemies with it, and also negatively impacts the overall damage of the ability, which is a bummer because I really like this ability even more than TEDDY… please don't kill me.
Anti-Material Charge, while being a farming ability, is surprisingly useful in combat due to it's high impact, it let's you stop a charging blaster which gives you momentum to place your tower or TEDDY, and can also stagger a smasher, giving you just a little extra time. It's main use is and will always be farming though, because the damage is very small and 30 seconds cooldown is not really all that reliable.
Since impossibility matrix reduces the cooldown of both abilities by half when using them with fragments, is always a good idea to be on the lookout for fragments. But don't go crazy for them. I search for them while I farm before starting the mission, and usually I can get 3 to 5 fragments, which is more than enough for any outlander; in good matches I have found up to 8, while on others, my team starts the objective and I am lucky to find one near the objective. Note that this is in matches with no other outlanders, if there are more outlanders finding them can be a bit more tricky depending on how much interest they give the fragments.
For the weapons you can use almost whatever you want. Regularly I like to use shotguns due to their high impact and that I often place shock tower on the spawn of husks (so I am better off with close range weapons). But literally any weapon is fine for them.
Finally the loot llama. I honestly avoid getting this fragments because they block my other fragments. But when I do grab one, I destroy it with other people and leave them all the materials they want, if there are some left that I can pick, I go for it; this is mostly because the materials it gives are very easy to farm anyway.
Trailblaster is a very heavy ability outlander focused on CC, so taking a path for them is not really hard.
For support you have at your disposal:
|Hero||What it does||Self-note|
|Shuriken Master ability damage||Increases all ability damage by 10/15/20%.||self-explanatory already, plus increases the chances of stunning big enemies with shock tower.|
|Reclaimer energized||Increases energy damage by 10/15/20%||Only useful if you use energy weapons and another Reclaimer in tactical for bear stare, but usually Shuriken Master is better for support.|
As you can see, not many supports to choose for ideal setups, but in case you don't have any of them, try to search for a support that increases a specific weapon type damage (Ranger* hipshot for example, and even for melee is fine like* Electro-Pulse/Warde**n actuated attacks that increases blunt weapon damage) or that increases your survivability (Enforcer/BASE shielded for example), maybe even one that increases your farming capabilities as an outlander** (Pathfind*er work,* work for example). As for tactical, this becomes a bit more interesting:
|Hero||What it does||Self-note|
|Commando grizzled veteran||Increases the duration of TEDDY by 5 seconds||5 extra seconds of slowing down smashers? Yes please!|
|Thunderstrike dragon daze||On shield break throws a blast that may stun enemies around you for 1 second.||Extra CC and survivability. Also an extremely high HAD, which means you are closer to reaching maximum DPS with this hero in tactical. The difference of HAD compared to Commando is not all that great though, but if you are going to use shock tower a lot, he might be a little bit more useful.|
|Reclaimer bear stare||TEDDY now shoots LASERS!! through his eyes that deal 22 base energy damage||I haven't tried it, I also heard it is kinda bugged (or unreliable), TEDDY still does physical damage and this is just a little add-on of energy damage. But I am almost certain is better than the one below; it for sure is more fun.|
|Shock Gunner shocking embrace||increases the duration of shock tower by 3 seconds if used with a fragment.||Also haven't tried it because I haven't obtained a single Shock Gunner from this even yet (DAMN LLAMAS!!). But from it's description I can say that I don't like this tactical. At all. Mostly because it almost forces you to use the fragments in shock tower in order to be able to use it at it's full potential. But hey, is the only tactical that improves shock tower. Only use it if desperate,* o*r if you really really like shock tower.|
|Shuriken Master pressure points OR Electro-Pulse kinetic punch||AMC now applies 30% slowness to attacked enemies for 7 seconds OR AMC has double the impact||Both add a little bit of CC to AMC, but none of them is really ideal on a non-upgraded ability that has 30 second cooldown. Is still a fun gimmick though.|
Personally, I run Shuriken Master in support (what a surprise…), and for tactical I am often changing from Thunderstrike and Commando, mostly because I am using the shock tower more often lately, so that little extra damage might come in handy. I am thinking using Reclaimer now that I leveled up mine just to see for myself how well it goes.
Conclusion and Rating
Like most, at the beginning I disliked this hero because of the fragment mechanic (I still hate the fragment mechanic, but now is much more BEAR-able :D), of course, once it was reworked, I decided to give this class a try and was pleasantly satisfied (not really surprised as I liked TEDDY and shock tower, but hated having to choose one or the other…). I have been using them through Twine Peaks for a while, and holds their own very well. But all in all, it is nothing spectacular as there are 2 other heroes that share most of their kit, not to mention that the fragment system still makes you choose not to use a certain ability in order to save them in case a dire situation appears.
- Single-Target DPS: 6/10. TEDDY's extra range does help with the DPS of this hero, and if paired with weapons that do extra damage to slowed targets it can reach a decent amount. Is not very reliable though as the minimum wait time between TEDDYs is 10 seconds (if using Commando and using TEDDY with a fragment), but could also be 15-40-45 seconds depending on your setup and the fragments you find.
- AoE DPS: 6/10. Shock tower is a monster AoE ability, and AMC can often kill the mini-husks, and even regular husks, if you somehow find yourself in a situation where you are overwhelmed by them.
- Utility: 7/10. Slowing down smashers for 21-26 (the time TEDDY lasts plus the 6 seconds of the perk) seconds is incredible. Also stunning blasters with shock tower can save you from needed situations, and AMC can also buy you time if need be. The main issue is that the stun caused by shock tower does not last long, and shock tower fights against itself for stunning husks (it at least knocks them back though).
- Synergy: 5/10. The perks go well with each other in general, but… loot llama blocks your abilities, which is a recurring issue in all outlanders. The fragment system still benefits TEDDY over shock tower (specially because there are no decent tactical perks for shock tower), and there is no way to decide in which to use your fragments save not using the ability you don't want to use a fragment on; impossibility matrix doesn't really help with this. Electroshock is actually a nice perk, but goes against itself by pushing enemies out of the range of shock tower, which means less damage, and less chance to stun. Another detail: outlanders compete within themselves for the search of fragments, which means that if there is another outlander in the match, you are less likely to find fragments unless they are ignoring them (as I have seen many Ranger users do).
- Class: C. Is a fun gimmick that is strong enough in most aspects: not only do they have decent CC, but they also deal a good amount of damage. Of course their abilities have relatively long cooldowns unless you gather fragments, which is unreliable as you do not have a clear cut of how many times you can use your abilities per match or defense.
TL; DR Trailblaster is a heavy ability outlander with decent CC capacity, while also being capable of doing what a regular outlander can do: farm materials. Make sure to use your TEDDY against smashers and mini-bosses to slow them down, and shock tower on husks spawn or the objective to deal with groups of husks (specially if there is a blaster). AMC is both a good harvesting tool and a good time-buyer tool: use it against smashers and charging blasters to stagger them a bit. Due to impossibility matrix it is wise to be on the lookout for fragment charges, try to save them for TEDDY, but don't doubt on using them with shock tower. Loot llama is completely optional but nice to use, and remember: "sharing is caring!" or so I hope.
Hope you liked this review. Next week I will make a review of another not so used hero, it will be a bit less glamorous than this first 2, despite how much I like them T_T.
EDIT: I am having problems with fancy pants and markdown: yay /s.
EDIT-2: after bravely fighting with the formatting the fancy pants and markdown beasts, I think I have saved the format of this post. Be sure to let me know if you see an anomaly so I can beat those monsters down yet again!
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