I've played a lot of Tychus in the last month or so, testing him out vs. Mei and also trying to get the %damage to partially counter Cassia; quelle surprise, her kit counters Tychus way harder than % damage from a 4.5 range "turret" hinders anyone with permanent +15% move speed.
My experience was that he's not really very good at his assigned role as "tankbuster" unless the target is CC'd or massively overextended, and when that happens there's maybe a dozen Assassins that are just as good or better from safer positions. He's also got the "Zarya problem" with an exploitable 8 second window where if he overextends he dies trying to walk away, or stands and fights and hopes someone else dies first, and like Zarya, being a ranged hero with shorter range makes overextending easier. This is compounded by the fact that he needs to AA to contribute, so he's constantly in positions where he's either getting hit, but can't hit back, or doing nothing during his cooldown cycle. I looked and found that he actually had overwhelmingly poor winrates against tanks/bruisers and high health heroes; picking Tychus actually increased their chances of winning until you started to look at matchups against the ones with quite poor winrates themselves. So, I wasn't really surprised that Tychus got some attention.
The "new" stuff:
The Sizzling AA build(s).
It's good. Basically > or >, >, and > with whatever you need on the other tiers. Triple Run and Gun with either 7.5 range, or +20% movespeed and 6 range, is apeshit with a permanent 4%+ damage per second.
- You need your tank/frontline to be outright better than the opposing team. The build creates a situation like Sgt. Hammer; if the enemy can get to Tychus and pressure him, he'll be relatively ineffective, if they can't he's oppressive, but Tychus is just easier to get to than Hammer is.
- If it's an Odin map, you take >.
- He still feels like an incomplete hero until 20 – even the 16 "spike" from Sizzling Attacks doesn't really spike until 20, and then suddenly Tychus is an utter beast.
Overall it feels underwhelming, I think it's just undertuned for a 13/16/20 synergised talent investment in something that can just be interrupted then go on a 12/8 second cooldown, and everything ends when Q ends. Dash at level 1 is without a doubt the best for Q-build.
This is actually pretty good on tier as a single-pick, all three LVL 13's are circumstantially good, now, but this is never bad. The range increase feels wierdly non-impactful, I even went and checked if it actually went all the way from 8 to 10 (it does). The slow is good, it's just a shame it ends insantly when his Q ends (even if interrupted) or the target(s) get out of the AoE.
Guys, come on – stacking armour reduction up to maybe -15-25 was right there… This still feels like an, "I have realised that I shouldn't have picked Tychus" talent. Fantastic for waveclear/depushing and camps, even though Tychus's base kit is easily lower end of good waveclear, this talent makes it stellar. The extra damage in fights just feels far more effective for stat-padding than anything else, and I think that unless it adds some utility cough*armour shred*cough*,* this talent can only either be a stat padder, or OP if all they do is tweak the damage. That said, it's possible to kill someone with AP rounds that you wouldn't have killed without it, and the level 20 extra ~575 damage to the primary target makes Titan Grenade feel bad (target needs over 10k health for Titan to match that), but it's also, ironically, his only level 16 talent that's affected by armour.
Wow. How can something so good on paper be so bad in practice. A brand new, current design philosophy Storm Tier talent that feels like it doesn't do anything… If you need the armour, you're gonna get interrupted and lose it unless the game is a clown-fest. The cooldown reduction is pretty inconsequential, too; 4s is only 25% of the cycle – there are level 4 talents that give better CDRs than that. The positioning control you get from Bob and Weave is better in a "Q-build" by a massive margin.
What's wrong with Tychus then?
Well, really not a lot – he's great when the draft suits him, but he's not well suited to the meta, so he's not great very often; when he's not great, he's below average.
I think a big problem is he frequently has to trade-off between damage and mobility, and since a big chunk of his ability to deal damage is tied to standing in one spot from 4.5 range, holding onto that mobility wins.
This can be seen by looking at his level 1 talents, Dash is (still) the clear best performer because all it does is give a lot more mobility – the other two talents basically translate into "put your escape on cooldown to get more damage in", and unlike Dash, neither of them provide any benefit to his Q or W compared to not having a level 1 talent at all.
The problem with using Run and Gun aggressively, is it sends the same signal to the opposing team as pressing 1 does when playing Zul'Jin, "If you're going to get me, do it now, because I just made myself easier to kill", and it moves your survival more firmly into the hands of your team. Dash mitigates this problem because you've still got the +20% movespeed to disengage after an aggressive dive, but it doesn't go away for AA Tychus until he gets Bob and Weave, and then suddenly he's fantastic.
I think too much of the range and mobility he needs to actually get value from AA's, is locked behind a level 20 talent.
I kinda feel like baking some of the old Combat Tactician into his E (AA's reduce E cooldown), giving him 5 range, stripping 0.5 range from Press the Advantage, and then removing an E charge from Bob and Weave would make him a lot better, and push his power curve for an "AA Build" back down from being all-in level 20. I kinda feel like Press the Advantage should increase his range when you press D, too, instead of requiring him to Run and Gun (still for 5's, not for the duration of D).
This is getting long, I'll close it out with a couple of QOL improvement ideas.
Using Run and Gun to get into range breaks his "unclamped" Q targeting. What I mean is, when Tychus can see someone out of range, if you right click or target them with Q, he will move towards them and either start attacking or Overkill when he gets in range. If you use Run and Gun to get into AA range he will AA the right clicked target, if you use it to get into Q range he'll start AAing the nearest target if there's one in range, and no matter what, fagettabout the Q. It would be nice if his Q targetting from out of range worked kinda like Tracer's AA targeting.
Drakken Laser is just a PITA to drop. It's blocked by terrain, gates, buildings, heroes, minions. Even Alt-R doesn't fully get around it because it's blocked by Tychus himself; if he's moving it will push him in the direction he's moving, if he's not moving it will always push him directly "south", but if it can't push him completely out of the way, or something occupies the space before he's fully pushed out, it will not deploy. Pro-tip, this annoying feature can be used to "spot" people in bushes, but that's got very limited use cases since it can only "check" out to about 8 range.
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