Colossal Sear

Amidst the Pokemon GO madness which just touched-down in my country last Saturday, walking around ‘aimlessly‘ has been one of the major self-assigned tasks that I’ve been engaged in over the weekend… …perhaps it is time to do something productive and commence on writing this post.

Anyway, if you’re wondering about the title of the post, it’s another way you can say ‘Massive Burn‘, but we’ll get to that later.

And yes, I’m going to try (not) to make too many puns about ‘burn‘ (or the internet equivalent to it) here.

In the same spirit of the Corvus post last week, this week let’s examine the latest Fire Colossus that was released last month (thereabout). While not as rare as Corvus, this (immensely expensive) Champion type emerged from the flames of the (immensely controversial, two-time running) Summer event… (of which can be found in the forums should anyone be interested).

*Also, this post was modified in relevance to the latest SH 2.0 preview post that came out on the forum yesterday. 

So…on to the main topic…

This review was conducted across many strongholds I’ve raided (many of which I don’t recall the player names and thus unfortunately unable to give credit). These were tested with my Light set (7.4k/7.8k for global; 4.4k/4.5k for base) as my nature set is weaker than average and gets obliterated easily by this minion. Interestingly, most Fire Colossi encountered were at T5 (Searing), with only 2 out of the 6 being T6 (Scorching).

This was done before and after Update 11, which improved the rotation speed of its flamethrower move and impact damage from bombardment, making it much more bad-ass than it was previously. I’m also trying to tailor it to put it in perspective for SH 2.0 but would probably be edited when the raiding mechanism gets revised.


Fire Colossus

FC_card


Element
: Fire
Evolution:  Burning (T4), Searing (T5), Scorching (T6)
Upkeep: 60 (T3), 84 (T4), 120 (T5), 155 (T6)

The Fire Colossus is from the same family tree as the Colossus types (Light, Nature, Ice). While it does have a somewhat substantial backstory (worshiped as a sentient being on a tribalistic island full of Kenashi-like creatures) as compared to its less-fleshed out counterparts, it is a hardy adversary in most strongholds.

In general (or rather based on a combination of D&D and relevant video game lore), Colossi (plural for colossus) are artificial automatons that were constructed by blacksmiths/ ancient beings and brought to life by magic/magicians, usually animated with a linear protocol to guard and/or destroy. They are characterised by higher than average HP and incredible armor ratings/ defence. Hence, they are often adopted as massive boss monsters that would require specific strategies to take down.

Colossi in DH5 do possess most of the general traits as a Heavy Weight class, except that minion strengths have been…oddly stagnant, since their release. With player gear being upscaled and skills attain T6 status in recent updates, how would the newly released Fire colossus fare in a state where nature gears are able to overcome most fire types?


Skills and Abilities

The Fire Colossus has two main modes, Artillery Fire (AF) and Regular (R) mode, of which the below skills will be classified using those two acronyms. During its artillery fire mode, it is completely impervious to attacks and one would need to wait it out till the Colossus is done. On the other hand, it is completely open in its Regular mode with slow recognisable movements, making it highly susceptible to attacks of any sort.

Below would be a list of abilities which the Fire Colossus possess, in terms of passive and active classifications.


Passive Skills

Resistance to control effects

Like every Champion type, the Fire Colossus is practically immune to all control effects such as knockdown/stun/fear/slow etc. However, he is not impervious to DOT and this can be useful when accumulating damage during his open regular mode.

Invulnerability during Artillery Fire mode

As per the Colossi species, the Fire Colossus gains invulnerability to all forms of damage upon entering Artillery Fire mode. This gives him complete immunity to attacks of any kind and is unable to be staggered/feared/stunned/slowed/knockdown etc.


Active Skills

Flame Thrower (R)

Type: 2 Moving streams of flame that adjusts with direction of opponent
Damage: Multiple (when in contact), Fast-ticking Low DOT
Trigger: When standing far out of his melee range

For every colossus, there is a skill that keeps you from attacking it when it is out of its Artillery Fire mode…and this one represents the fire types perfectly.

Flamethrower ejects two ongoing parallel streams of flame towards the player, causing DOT whenever the player is in contact with the fire. The colossus will rotate to face the player at a relatively fast rate, tracking the player should he/she decide to move out of the colossus’ field of view.

T5FT
About how much damage you’ll receive for a maxed out T5.

Flamethrower is most probably the skill which you’ll be facing regardless of holding a ranged or melee weapon. It has a long spray duration which will keep players moving around it to avoid getting hit.

While the damage is in it’s low-mid range per hit, it can get quite deadly if you’re taking it point-blank to the face for the entire duration, especially fatal for nature non-legendary types. However, the weakness of this skill is it needs to face the raider before the flames are able to hit, which can be countered in the strategy list below.

Flame Expulsion

Type: Single Jet of flames and a straight line of persistent zone
Damage: Single Mid damage with DOT
Trigger: When out of melee range, Quick casting

Imagine someone farted into a flame thrower…yep, that’s what this skill is.

Flame expulsion is an occasional almost insta-cast ability that initiates once your character is close to the colossus, but still not quite in striking range (for the 2 attacks below).

It also does leave a linear stretch of persistent zone (ie. an area on the battlefield that causes damage to the player…think the poison patches left behind by a Wicker beast), dealing damage if you happen to walk through the line of flames. However, it doesn’t last very long on the ground and you’ll most probably have to deal with the artillery mode shortly after.

One-Handed Ground Punch (R)

Type: Single Melee Strike
Damage: Single, Low-Mid damage
Trigger: When within melee range (which is really dangerously close)

Done when you’re close enough, this generic attack (which is genetic to the Colossi species) is a single melee attack where the colossus will punch the ground. This causes the player to receive mid damage from his strike, though its animation time is slow enough for most alert and un-stunned players to roll off in time.

onehand
Kinda looks like he’s trying to pick me up.

Colossal Smash (R)

Type: Single Melee Strike with an explosive Knockback
Damage: Small radius AoE damage, Mid-High damage
Trigger: When within melee range, after 3 one-hand smash

This is the classic ‘you-wouldn’t-like-him-when-he’s-angry‘ (red) hulk-like smash, complete with 2 hands smashing into the ground with an explosive force and high chance to knock you down with increased damage. Usually this is triggered after 3 x one-handed hits. Nothing too speculator, except that the casting time is longer than the previous one-handed version.

hulksmash
Knockdown imminent!

Fiery Bombardment (AF)

Type: Long range artillery fire
Damage: Medium radius AoE damage, Mid damage, 3 strikes
Trigger: When within melee range (which is really dangerously close)

In his artillery fire mode, bombardments come in the form of fiery meteors that leave a persistent zone for a short duration of time. Orange expanding circles on the ground will indicate where the spot is chosen, and the player has ~2-3 seconds to run off/dodge roll out or risk getting hit within a medium sized attack zone. Altogether, the Colossus will cast 3 bombardments before ending his artillery mode.

bombard
The long range bombardment attack keeps you constantly on the run

TL;DR: 2 different modes: Artillery Fire mode for invulnerability + long range bombardment strikes; Regular mode for Flame thrower and melee attacks


If you encounter it…

Due to the varied attributes of each elemental Colossus type, the strategy I’m about to share here would be most applicable for the Fire variant. Although most of their attacks are generally similar to their counterparts, there are noticeable differences in their attack patterns (eg. lightning colossus can ‘glide’ across the room and stun often; nature heals fast when below 50% HP; ice has explosive frost powers).

Recommended gear:

  • Water Armor or at least a Water Melee Weapon
  • A strong water AoE skill (Avalanche, Ice Burst, Ice Stalagmites, Frozen Blades) or projectile skill (Ice blast)
  • (If facing a strong one)…a HP-shield skill, as usual
  • (optional) Run speed or Haste

The Fire Colossus most often starts off with an initial Flame Thrower when the raider is in sight and enters the SH, before getting into Artillery Fire mode. Although this is a relatively short time frame, the stronger water player or those with ice stalagmites could potentially one-shot it to death, making it an extremely quick (and unfortunately, boring) battle.

Of which you can see in a video here by Games Views/Warrior.

The regular player (or rather the majority of the players) would have to endure a cycle of bombardment attacks before getting a chance to retaliate at it. Do take this chance to cull the faster and/or weaker minions while avoiding the bombardments, which should be of relative ease unless you’re swarmed or stunned in place.

Once this mode is deactivated, the Fire Colossus will initiate 2-4 attacks from the list above in regular mode, depending on how far the player is. Somehow, it tends to use Flame thrower a lot (since it is one of the better skills after all). Failure to kill it off within this time frame would result in it commencing Artillery fire mode again, leading to another round of bombardments.

As you might have guessed, it is rather dangerous if you charged into it straight up should you be approaching it from a distance, especially for non-water armor players with weaker stat gears. This would warrant you a continuous stream of flame thrower in your face, something I wouldn’t recommend unless you have HP to burn (literally).

Rush.png
Rushing from a distance is probably not a good option, unless you have significant dodge on your gears

Hence, a suggested strategy would be to get close to it when its just about to switch out of Artillery mode, making sure that you aren’t swarmed first of course. But if you are, you might want to take out more minions first and come back later since this Colossus variant is slow on its feet and most probably won’t be able to catch up if you keep moving.

More importantly, make sure that its not standing to the Ruby Temple crystal (DOT + Attack Speed buff aura) or Valenthian Guardhouse spinning turret (invincibility aura) so you don’t have to destroy another thing before being able to take him down.

Once close to the Colossus, cast your strong water AoE skill when you are certain that it can receive damage. Then, start running around it as close as you can when it does flame thrower…which is usually quite often for a first move.

The rationale being that it takes a higher arc to turn in order for the colossus to rotate and catch up with raiders who are close to it, compared to far away. Think of running around on a circular track…everyone want to take the innermost lane since you run less distance to finish each lap when you’re closest to the center. (See Diagram below)

flamethrower-01
Running less distance for more effect.

For smaller strongholds with obstacles, this strategy is still applicable but watch where you’re running into. As always, cast a HP shield skill if you missed the time frame and are expecting a full face of flames.

When it stops with its flame thrower move, keep close to it but ensuring that it does not face you. This will make it constantly use its weaker smash melee moves, which are slow enough for you to avoid even at the last moment. Just keep an eye out of the Flame Expulsion move, which interestingly, can be dodged with in-gear dodge trait.

flamexpulsion
Not so dangerous knowing that you can dodge it.

If you don’t get it before he switches back, don’t fret. Just repeat the strategy and you’ll be able to take it down in no time.

TL;DR: Go close before it is out of Artillery Fire mode, cast your water AoE skill, stick close when running around.


If you have it…

The Fire Colossus can be used as a stand-alone minion as it packs a punch, but can be paired up with other minion combinations to great effect.

Such possibilities include: dual Cicatrizers, to keep the raider kissing the ground; Harbringer/Lord of Eve w Acolyte w Ravager combination as another form of damage; or Monkeys to cause stun-lock. (I don’t think I need to mention assassins as those are pretty self-explanatory.)

In smaller trap rooms (eg. Nettle Grove, Nightmare Pit, Forbidden Grove), the Fire Colossus can be placed either at the front or center, to allow the raider to first focus upon it while the other minions start to swarm on him/her; or to avoid at all cost, resulting the raider to run about the room and attract other minions in the vicinity.

keepclose.png
Placing the Colossus in the center allows it to reach the entire garden when casting bombardment or even flame thrower, leaving little room for the raider to play with

Alternatively, larger trap rooms (eg. Crypt, Ruby temple, Guardhouse) are great as well to be placed at the side wings or center, since the range of bombardment attack is easily the entire size of a medium trap room. This would cause the raider to be constantly on the run, allowing him/her to take damage from the minions or the room itself.

The downside (as elaborated previously): Despite it having higher than average HP (13k+ vs ~12k+) as well as attack (4.3k vs 3-4k) compared to other T6 minions, it is highly susceptible to water type AoE skills. This is worsened by the fact that more and more players are acquiring Ice Stalagmites and Ice Burst, which does not put it in a very welcoming position.

TL;DR: Position at front or middle of the trap room and pair it up with other minions to maximise its potential in combat.

Prediction for SH 2.0

Since yesterday, a preview announcement has been made to lift the upkeep limitation but reduce minion count in the stronghold from 10 to 5.

While we (or at least for me) eagerly await for the second announcement to arrive, the consensus would be a power tilt to the stronger and/or wealthier players with 5 or more different champions…(yes, I’ve already relayed the 5 assassins possibility to the devs and hopefully these will be 5 unique minions instead). Considering the strength of this Heavyweight Champion, would it be within one of the 5 that people pick?

My speculation would be a strong Yes.

For one, without the limiter of upkeep, players would want to choose the strongest minions which they have available, and naturally pick champions which they have. Knowing that the Fire Colossus is basically a strong event Champion which players could get without resorting to luck of the draw, makes it a prime option on most people’s selection.

Secondly, Colossi in general are known for their Artillery Fire mode which grants them an invincibility frame. This could be useful to extend battle duration (useful a counter in GW since the opposing guild gets less wins in their frenzy time frame), but also to allow other Vanisher-type Champions (such as Harbringers, Assassins) to work their magic while the raider is kept helpless and unable to target these other two minions.

In fact, I’m gonna say that 3 different Colossi (Fire, Ice, Lightning/Nature) , 1 Assassin and 1 Harbringer would be what most players would strive for in their setup for M2 and above. All being T6 of course for maximum effect.

TL;DR: Players are going to use this T6 big guy as part of their future SH setup due to high stats and invulnerability time frame.


Verdict

Before players comment that it is weak and not worthwhile as a minion, I wouldn’t be too quick to jump into that bandwagon.

Granted, it is very weak to water AOE (especially Ice burst, Ice stalagmites, Frozen Blades, Avalanche), but that reasoning is applicable to almost every champion type out there where possessing one of those T6 skills (eg. Ice burst, Fire Cone, Ray of Darkness, Predatory Instinct) nearly guarantees you an easy win in almost every SH out there…so long as you don’t get stun-locked and have decent armor.

Typically, it has higher than average stats and although slow, it does have high firepower to compensate. Skills-wise, flame thrower is brutal even against T6 armor and it gets spammed plenty through the whole duration of the combat.

slow
It usually takes a while for it to catch up

In terms of upkeep against the other Champions (at 155 upkeep), it certainly has the durability and strength to rival the rest, meaning that it could be the one that takes out incoming raiders or damage them enough for the keeper to do his/her job.

However, the 155 upkeep might be a bit steep due to the risk of stronger raiders finishing it off quickly with their ice skills, making a T5 a more popular choice instead to likely fit in another ravager/monkey. It also has the problem of a linear AI move-set, making it easy to actually read and predict its next move. Thus, figuring out how to take it down doesn’t take long.

But taking into account that upkeep is to be removed, I doubt this would be a big issue then.

Moreover, to compare it with the other elemental variations would be absolutely unfair as it is the only one out of the 4 which is able to attain T6 at this point in time. We would only be able to tell in a few more updates when these achieve that status…but until then I’m rooting for the future T6 Ice Colossus to be comparable to this fella.

Perhaps the only problem is that no one can actually get it now since the Summer Event is over. No word of them repeating it a third time though…

TL;DR: To summarise,
+ Higher than average stats (compared to other T6 champions)
+ Invulnerable Artillery Fire mode for uninterrupted attacks and prolonged battles
+ Flame thrower hits hard!
+ Can function independently
– Slow movements and casting
– Standard easy-to-read attack patterns


Suggestions and Feedback

While there have been improvements to keep Champions relevant in terms of combat prowess and durability, they seem to fall too easily during raids due to the increasing strength of players coupled with the elemental advantage.

Personally, I think Champions should still be a challenge whether they are being supported by the rest of the minions, or functioning alone (as the last one standing). Such is what makes the Assassin and Ethera () dangerous.

Instead of simply increasing the minions’ stats to fit the current player level, which consequentially makes for a guaranteed defend for lower leagues, minions need to have their skills or AI enhanced to make them more dangerous and worthwhile for their high upkeep.

Below are some quick suggestions to prevent players from making short work of the Fire Colossus (inclusive of all colossi variants in general)…which is even more so relevant now that SH 2.0 is incoming.

Start off the Battle with its Artillery Fire mode

Just remove the initial few seconds where it is left unguarded so players can’t just one-shot it instantly. Go straight to Artillery mode so it gets raiders moving.

Have an Additional shield skill

The greatest disadvantage for the Fire Colossus (or Colossus in general) would be its vulnerability when it first goes out of Artillery mode. For the experienced raider, he/she can easily time the next Ice burst or plant an Ice Stalagmites zone right before the Bombardment ends, resulting in an instant kill.

Thus, an additional shield skill, based on number of hits or damage, could be utilised to keep the Colossus from dying off too quickly from these skills. For example, receiving X number of hits or Y amount of damage before players can start reducing its health bar. This effectively would improve its survive-ability in the long run.

shield.png
The Shield skill animation could be incorporated with the 4 planted shields during its artillery fire mode, keeping it from dying instantly from the next incoming Ice burst

In fact, this could be tied in to its animation, where every ‘floating shield‘ represents the number of hits it can receive before it starts getting damaged proper.

TL;DR: No first few seconds of opening + Extra shield skill to guard it when out of Artillery Fire mode.


Phew~ another long post.

While the plan was to cover Forbidden Grove next, I’m looking at how SH 2.0 could turn out and potentially get a post out from that. Of course, that would be after the second announcement of the preview first.

Ah well…back to walking outside then. 🙂

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s