I've been experimenting with the new Outlander event hero, Shock Gunner, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the subclass and talk about what I find to be its strengths and weaknesses. I'm mostly writing this because while players often overlook Outlanders for their lack of combat effectiveness, I think Shock Gunner, like Reclaimer before, has a useful niche and a very fun play style.
Disclaimer – As Shock Gunner is most effective with shotguns, the comparison to Raider is inevitable. As someone who primarily plays Raider, the difference in damage output is obvious, but if you don't have access to Raider, or you are looking to try out a new approach to shotguns, I think Shock Gunner is still a strong hero worth investing in.
Also note that this overview is not written to contest the meta. It is simply to highlight the strengths and play style of a new hero for the broader player base.
So what is Shock Gunner?
Shock Gunner is the new Outlander hero obtainable from Blockbuster llamas. The subclass comes in two versions, the quirky and cute Grizzly
The subclass is primarily focused on maneuvering around the battlefield while stunning enemies for increased damage and unloading shotgun magazines very quickly. The class also has access to upgraded Shock Tower, which stuns enemies with increased impact damage.
Let's look at Shock Gunner's perks and skills
Shock Gunner is an Outlander, so they do have access to some farming skills. Loot Llama, In The Zone, and Anti-Material Charge.
But as Shock Gunner is a combat-oriented class, let's look at what they bring to the battle field.
Run and Stun – Passing through enemies with Phase Shift applies a 3 seconds stun. This is Shock Gunner's bread and butter. I have tested this perk extensively and it doesn't seem to be gated by anything. Dashing through a PL 100 smasher does stun as long as it isn't in its charge animation. Multiple enemies can be stunned in one Phase Shift as well.
Hit'em While They're Down – +24% Damage to stunned, staggered, and knocked down targets. This is a great ability to capitalize on the CC you're spreading around the battlefield. It increases damage to all enemies you stun with Phase Shift.
Pump It Up – Increases shotgun rate of fire by 35%. This is a very powerful trait provided you have good shotguns to make the most of it. Great for automatics like Tigerjaw and Room Sweeper (hope you love crafting shotgun shells!). This is not only a great ability for bursting key targets, but it also feeds into the next perk
In and Outlander – Eliminating 3 enemies within 10 seconds after using Phase Shift will refund the Phase Shift charge. Shock Gunner's high fire rate and damage buff paired with this perk allows her to always have Phase Shift charges provided there are enemies to kill. The 10 second window is generous considering the reload speed of some shotguns.
These four perks synergize together to create Shock Gunner's unique play style. Dashing around the battlefield stunning enemies while bursting them down with increased damage and fire rate to keep Phase Shift charges up. It's fun and engaging, a great alternative to the standard turret play style of some damage dealers. If your guns are good enough and there are enemies to be killed, you can continue to shift around the battlefield stunning and eliminating targets near endlessly.
- One thing that's important to note about the Phase Shift regeneration is it works in the same way that Reclaimer's charge regen works. Trap kills and Shock Tower kills count. Also, the 10 second window does not end on 3 deaths. You can be at 1 charge, Phase Shift, kill 6 enemies and you will then have 2 charges.
But wait! There's more!
Dancing around the battlefield is a sure fire way to get yourself killed, but luckily Shock Gunner does have some survivability.
- Phase Shield – Phase Shift forces the shield to regenerate for 4 seconds. Your shield will regenerate even if you continue to take damage, but it will only regenerate at 20% of the regular rate.
Now let's talk about Shock Tower
Shock Gunner doesn't have access to TEDDY, but she does have a beefed up Shock Tower with increased impact damage to provide additional CC and damage. It provides moderate damage to husks through bolts of chain lightning and has the potential to stun. I briefly tested this in PL 100 missions and at hero level 50, 14 HAD, 2,300 tech. It reliably stunned all normal and mini husks. Results will fare much better at lower levels.
Shock Tower is usually disregarded on ability damage Outlanders, but it works for Shock Gunner in three ways. AOE Damage, applying stun, and contributing to keeping your Phase Shift charges up.
What support and tactical should you use?
Support slot: Raider or Support Specialist. It will mostly depend on which shotguns you're using and if your rolls are going to have a greater benefit with increased crit chance. Support Specialist's reload perk is very useful for some shotguns, and Shock Gunner in particular, considering that her increased fire rate will have you reloading often.
Tactical: Sergeant Jonesy. He gives a unique trait to Phase Shift called Phase Blast. The end of Phase Shift (where you move to) causes a blast in an AOE around you, knocking enemies backwards. This is really nice because it synergizes with Shock Gunner's +24% damage to stunned, staggered, or knocked down targets. It helps make Phase Shift an even greater initiator, and also provides easier escapes should you find yourself too far behind enemy lines.
Thankfully Sergeant Jonesy is available in the event store for 2,800 gold. If you plan to play Shock Gunner, I would highly advise picking him up.
So what does all of this mean?
Shock Gunner provides a unique play style with good damage potential and great mobility. Being able to reliably stun approaching Smashers is great for setting up kills for your team, and being able to move quickly around the battlefield is a nice way to deal with pesky hidden lobbers and flingers. Most importantly though, I find Shock Gunner's play style to be refreshing and fun, while also allowing you to stay relevant when taking down large threats.
Is Shock Gunner viable?
Yes. There are several heroes with higher damage that are more valuable in certain content (higher end Twine, particularly defense missions with mini boss alerts), but Shock Gunner has a usefulness I don't think should be ignored. Good personal damage and an on demand smasher stun are good things to have. In the overwhelming majority of the game's content, I think Shock Gunner is strong. As for the rest, she is certainly capable given a good team, good weapons, and smart positioning and targeting.
I really wanted to shed some light on what I've found to be a well designed and fun hero to play. I hope you give her a chance and do some experimenting of your own, especially if you love Outlanders and have always wanted a little more control over the battlefield! Thanks for reading~
© Post "The Deadly Dasher – An Overview of Shock Gunner" for game Fortnite.
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