The Crow

Unlike what the title suggests, this is not a post about the controversial horror film produced in the ’90s. What you’ll get is a review of the recently released Champion-type minion in DH5, which is oddly under-powered for its kind.

To best gauge how strong Corvus is, this review was done using my Light Set (7.4k/7.7k for global; 4.4k/4.5k for base) against a T6 max lvl Corvus.

Most of these skills and abilities are entitled by your’s truly as there has yet to be official terms for them…(actually, most minion skills lack any official terminology). Thus, until the devs decide to release the full list of skills, I’ll just stick to these for a while.

More importantly, major credit to newbienoobc (KW) for sacrificing his stronghold for that half an hour of testing…Wouldn’t be able to do this review without your help!…as well as Aragon for spotting all my errors (:p).


Corvus

CorvusElement: Darkness
Evolution: Nightmarish (T4), Dreadful (T5), Grim (T6)
Upkeep: 60 (T3), 84 (T4), 120 (T5), 155 (T6)

Latin for ‘Raven‘ and also referred to as a genus species of ‘crows‘, this long time antagonizer of the main character has finally appeared both as a final boss and a champion minion in the game.

The best description for Corvus is that he is a Chaser type champion, a melee-striker-ish minion that pesters the raider to the ends of the trap room, only separated upon death. Due to his speed and occasional haste, this makes him tricky to overcome for Light users within smaller trap rooms.


Skills and Abilities

Like most champions, Corvus has a good variety of attacks both offensive and defensive to dish out damage to the raider, while sporting a decent level of survive-ability. These abilities will be categorised based on passive (innate ability), active (offensive) and active (support/defensive).


Passive

Dodge dependent on Distance

Like a Vulture Harpy, Corvus is less vulnerable to ranged attacks as his dodge increases the further away from your character. Thus, always have a melee weapon as secondary or use one of those dodge-ignoring T6 skills (eg. Fire cone, Ice burst) to overcome this.

Fast Speed + Flight

Corvus is an inherently fast moving Champion with the flight ability. This enables him to out-maneuver most minions who rely on their feet to move about but of course, does not compare to those who rely on teleportation regularly (eg. Assassin).

Near-Immunity to Control Effects

Similar to all Champion types, Corvus has high resistance to effects like fear, stun, knock-down. However, stronger attacks and critical hits do cause him to stagger and break his movement and casting (skill) animations.

corvus-stagger
Immune to control but not immune to stagger as he takes a lightning to his face

TL;DR: Mainly flight and distance-determined dodge, just like a Vulture Harpy.


Active (Offensive)

Flight Lunge

Type: Single target Melee, chance to crit
Damage: Single, Mid-High (~500-900)
Trigger: Flies backwards before casting, close & far range

An indication of this attack is when Corvus flies backwards, showing that he is preparing for this attack. Thus, it’s best to roll out of the way or cast a shield-type skill to avoid getting injured from this.

corvus-melee
A mug shot of a forward Flight lunge attack

Corvus will also initiate this attack if you’re far away from him, but still within his direct line of sight. Hence, be aware of your surroundings when running away from him as he might catch up from behind using this move.

Darkness Sphere

Type: Single target projectile, chance to crit
Damage: Single, Mid-High (~500-1000)
Trigger: Cast when slightly out of melee range, Immediate casting

Resembling those spheres flung around by Acolytes, Corvus has tons of these at his disposal, throwing them out constantly when the raider is slightly out of his striking range. He adopts the usual pattern of moving slightly out of the raider’s melee range (a bit further than a glaive’s reach) and will start throwing these balls at the raider. The fortunate thing is that these spheres can be dodged both by passive dodge or by rolling out of the way, due to their moderate travel pace.

Due to the high frequency of the rate he does this attack, the later attacks will use this as a basis to gauge the rate he initiates them.

Symbol of Darkness

Type: Mid-radius AoE
Damage: Low DOT (~150 per tick), but fast-ticking
Trigger: Cast when close to raider, No Casting animation

Symbol of darkness is occasionally triggered throughout the battle, with a rate of 2-4 darkness spheres when Corvus is within visible range of the raider.

corvus-nature
Not so dangerous if the symbol is made avoidable by passive dodge

What is dangerous about this skill is its lack of casting animation. This means that Corvus can easily cast it without you noticing. Unfortunately, the physical Symbol itself is very obvious and if you’re standing over it, it’s easy to roll out of this attack if you’re not stunned/frozen/knockdown-ed. The skill’s damage output is also way too low to deal significant damage to the raider.

Wing Shot

Type: Multi-Projectile
Damage: Single, Mid (~500)
Trigger: usually after 4-8 Darkness Spheres, Moderate speed casting animation
Aftereffect: Defence Up for a few seconds

After getting tired firing all those balls at you, Corvus will launch a Wing Shot, a multi-projectile 360 degrees attack (which I can never get a proper screenshot of) which are strangely green in color. (Hmm…I really think they ripped it from the Vulture Harpy…) 

corvus-rip
Best shot I managed to get of this attack. Notice the burst of red and blue Harpy feathers with green exploding projectiles (just like the same attack animation Vulture Harpies have).

Like the darkness sphere, this attack can be easily dodged if you’re at a distance or by the character’s passive dodge.

While not a very strong attack with a moderately long casting animation, it does give a boost to Harpy’s Corvus’ defence for a few short seconds…(which frankly vanishes way too quickly).

TL;DR: Mostly Single hit projectile attacks with a nifty AOE that does low DOT damage. All attacks are (un)fortunately easy to dodge.


Active (Support/ Defensive)

Haste

Type: Self +Ally buff to increase move speed and attack speed
Trigger: When he is attacking, No Casting animation

To further add to his flight and fast-casting abilities, Corvus triggers Haste regularly during combat to boost his run and attack speeds (shown by a light red aura around him). Despite having Haste on, he is not extremely fast and does not attack or move as quickly as an Ignicore (with haste on).

He also buffs nearby minions when he casts Haste, with the same effect.
(Credit to Bob Raven for pointing out!)

Dodge on Hit

Type: Active dodge (+Damage and knockback, chance to crit)
Damage: [Single, Mid to High (~500-1000)] (not always)
Trigger: When you deal a melee attack

When you try to hit Corvus using melee, there is a chance that he might pull-back out of your striking range, making you miss your attack. This usually happens when you try to hit him for the first time or after a while of not hitting him.

Corvus usually follows up this attack with a flying kick to your character, resulting in a far knockback away from him with damage. Other attacks he might do are a Flight Lunge or a Darkness Sphere.

TL;DR: Haste and active dodging (with knockback)


If you’re against him…

Corvus has a tendency to charge in head-first to face the raider, making him an easy kill for stronger melee raiders or nature users in general…(which explains why well-geared players find him easy).

Recognising his Patterns

Probably suggested throughout the Skills and Abilities section, Corvus flies like a Vulture Harpy (flight, wing shot) and attacks like an Acolyte (spheres, symbol of darkness). He likes to linger around the character if not killed (seemingly aimlessly), keeping his distance and dodging by flying whenever he gets attacked.

corvus-flying
Corvus likes to linger near to the keeper, usually out of striking range

Although touted to be fast in his card description, his attacks are still relatively slow and can be dodged once you get the hang of rolling away from the Darkness spheres. The only real recognisable attack that he has is the Symbol of Darkness which one can roll out from easily, and it barely does significant damage to raiders.

Equipment to Have

Have a melee Nature weapon and maintain a good distance (ie. within melee striking range but not touching him). This will give you sufficient space to physically dodge roll out of the incoming Darkness spheres, the only attack he uses frequently.

corvus-range
Force Corvus near walls to keep his active flight dodge at bay.

Corvus is very susceptible to DOT type attacks/spells (eg. Fire cone, Flame Eruption) or AOE type spells (eg. Entangling vines, Predatory Instinct) as his passive dodge does not prevent these attacks from damaging him. Having the above-mentioned skills will make the battle against him much easier.

If you’re still having issues with taking him out, do equip a well-leveled shield skill (eg. darkness shield, lightning shield, healing shieldas this will help soak up damage. Recognise his skill patterns, which is mostly…dodge, sphere, sphere, sphere, dodge, sphere, wing shot, sphere…(you get the idea), as his attacks are all easy to roll away once you get a hang of it.

Interestingly, although I classified him as a Chaser type, it is very possible to out-run him if you have sufficient run speed (>15%) or have Haste yourself. This is plausible even in middle-sized trap rooms (eg. Forbidden Courtyard) and this would give you a breather to take out the faster-moving minions or to just allow your skills to cooldown. Just be sure he isn’t readying for the Flight Lunge attack when you’re about to run away.

If you’re strong enough, just take him out first before he does more damage in the long run. Otherwise, kite faster minions away from him (as he probably won’t be able to catch up) and clear him last.

TL;DR: DOT attacks, skills with Nature melee weapon. His attacks are easy to dodge so don’t sweat it.


If you have him…

Corvus is very much the ‘solo minion‘ without a proper shield, regenerative, or disabling skill to fend off stronger attackers. Although he does have higher than average HP compared to other T6 champions, relying on his passive dodge and active dodging skills alone are not enough to overcome T6 skills like Fire cone or Ice burst. Not to mention that a nature-type is probably going to take him out in a few hits, making all that upkeep go to waste.

Minions & Layout Strategy

Thus, it’ll be recommended that you pair him up with other disabling minions (eg. Monkeys, Ice colossus, Voror knight) and those which counter nature raiders (eg. Cicatrizers, Fire colossus). In fact, placing another fast Chaser-type Champion might help too (eg. Ignicore, Lord of the Eve) as the main objective is to distract potential raiders from focusing their attention to him. Additionally, placing a Warmage hexcaster or Water voror near him would do nicely in keeping him alive longer too.

corvus-initial
Corvus does horribly for a champion dealt with one-on-one

As mentioned earlier, Corvus functions well in small trap rooms (eg. Nightmare Pit, Nettle Grove, Valenthian Guardhouse) to prevent raiders from out-running him. Also, it is good to place him closer to the back of the stronghold so he does not die too quickly when he rushes towards to the player. That, coupled with the size of the room, would enable swarming of minions to occur quickly and allow Corvus to do his work.

TL;DR: Small trap rooms are the way to go, use other minions as a distraction to keep him alive long enough to deal some decent damage.


Verdict

Corvus is a fairly average Champion minion which I find hard-pressed to justify his high upkeep. Despite an impressive range of passive and active abilities at his command, these are mostly under-utilised and under-powered in terms of damage. Although the closest Champion comparison matches him to an Ignicore, he resembles more to a Vulture Harpy which lacks speed, putting him in an extremely vulnerable position on the battle field.

Hence, I would strongly not recommend anyone to use him in their strongholds at this point until further updates improve his combat prowess.

TL;DR: In short,
+Relatively fast with occasional haste boost
– All attacks easy to dodge
– Attacks have very low damage output
– Needs other minions to distract raider to be actually useful


Suggestions to the Devs

Corvus could’ve been a powerful minion on their hands. Unfortunately at the moment, his damage output and survive-ability are both sorely lacking. Here are some things which could have been done to boost the capability of this Champion.

Add an Enhanced Multiple-strike Dive Bomb attack

Like the Overseer minion, the recent addition of the Dive Bomb attack enables a higher survive-ability due to the inclusion of an invincibility frame. By removing the minion from the battle for a set period of time, players would need to divert their attention to other minions while looking out for Corvus’attacks at the same time. Hence, akin to the Harbringer‘s Dark Flare Bombardment, this added level of distraction would make him more dangerous an opponent to deal with.

Have Perma-Haste

As Corvus only has Haste periodically during the battle, perhaps it would be more appropriate to boost his speed up a notch through perma-haste. This would allow his attacks to be much faster and more difficult to dodge through active means, drastically heightening his combat potential.

Faster-Acting Symbol of Darkness + Disabling effect

Symbol of Darkness is probably the only decent skill that it has, but unfortunately its damage output is way too meager and players can dodge roll out of it easily. Having an increased radius for its effect, decreased duration between casting and coupled with a slow/stun/HP leech effect would give this skill proper disabling properties, making Corvus more worthwhile as a damage dealer without relying on other minions to keep him going.

Immunity to DOT

Removing any possibility of DOT affecting him would essentially make players avoid strategies of Fire-coning him and running off, leaving him to death, which results in his passive dodge being useless…(admit it, we all have done that cheap trick at one point or another). This also makes players focus much more on melee type attacks rather than skills or ranged.

Additional Support Skills

As the Evil Crow (as entitled in DH4), Corvus could provide a boost/aura skill to undead/dark units within the area, increasing their resistance to control effects or simply improving their base stats by a percentage.

corvus-blind
Blind skill in Raiding is an absolute terror

Moreover, another suggestion would be to introduce his Darkness Vision skill which he does relatively frequently during the Solo mission. This adds to the horror of facing him as a boss as players would have to ‘feel‘ their way around the stronghold instead of knowing where to go.

TL;DR: Just make him faster, add more useful skills, and boost his existing skill damage output.


After half a year (and six updates) long of antagonizing the main character, Mission 78 finally puts a close to the long-time fiend…(and brings him into raiding so we can slaughter him over and over again).

What evils will be faced next? Only the devs can tell…

corvus-laytorest
RIP Old Enemy
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4 thoughts on “The Crow

  1. Just saying, The haste buff is also applied to nearby minions causing their movements and attacks to speed up. What I don’t get is that the description states he can buff damage yet ingame he can’t.

    Like

    1. Thanks Bob for the correction!
      Maybe the buff favors specific minions (eg. acolytes, ravagers), but he usually falls too quickly before its noticeable.

      Like

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