Author Topic: Sylas' Hero Power  (Read 2102 times)

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CloudCuckooCountry

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Sylas' Hero Power
« on: September 14, 2015, 02:20:46 AM »


So in response to someone claiming that Sylas' hero ability may be underpowered, I decided to rock him in a friendly match against Xandahar. As we all know, Sylas' innate is thematically in tandem with his tragicly edgy backstory or whatever, but mechanically Sylas' innate ends up playing a lot like Brun's, except that he's a slow-burner instead of a fast-burner.

With Brun, the idea is to accumulate a bunch of cheap spells in your hand at once, stock up on a heap of Magic, play 3 or 4 or 5 or whatever Spells all at once and wreck havoc on poor pitiless fools with your mountain of dice. Sylas instead builds up over time, and can retain his combo bonus for potentially the entire game (not likely though). Several problems with this include that death in Armello comes quickly and at times unavoidably. Retaining a large combo as Sylas makes you a target for casters, who can (and will) hit you with high-damage ranged spells and cancel your combo.

Not only that, but King's Guards are notoriously difficult to kill deliberately. Their 5 max health means that you often have to commit more than one combat or ranged spell to killing the guard. And they are also liable to getting killed by Banes or other players.

These are legitimate concerns, but I'm here to make a case that Sylas' ability isn't as underpowered as you may or may not think it is.

Risks:

1. King's Guards are hard to kill.
The difficulty of killing a King's Guard can be mitigated in several ways by Sylas players being more opportunistic, and building up their strength in other ways in the earlygame. Revenge is worth waiting for, and Sylas' ability is strictly a mid-to-lategame ability. You actually start the game weaker than the King's Guards (4 Fight, 5 Body vs. 4 Fight, 5 Body + Hare's Halberd) and ideally you should be much much stronger than them when taking them on. Since you start the match with 3 Wits and 3 Spirit, you can't rely on damaging spells for the kill very often. Because of his innate ability, Sylas' least valuable stat is Fight. Try to prioritise Wits and Spirit quests and amulets to stock up on ranged spells to kill King's Guards with. Also remember not to neglect Treasures and Followers.

2. Fighting King's Guards can kill Sylas or put Sylas at risk of being killed by other players.
Death can be punishing in Armello, and it's especially punishing to Sylas who needs to keep up that survival time. The 5 starting health certainly helps, but not by much. I don't know about you, but I've managed to maintain a long life in Armello by keeping out of the way of combat monsters and always staying in forests at night. Survival tactics seem more important as Sylas, but paradoxically his little floating Butcher icons point him out while stealthed for casters to snipe. I would recommend also committing to Body quests. It might be pertinent to also seek out stat-upgrading Treasures and equipment, like Masquerade Mask, Wyld Staff, and Alchemist, in order to upgrade your Wits and Spirit so you can dedicate your quests to upgrading Body instead.

Reward:

1. A Butcher Combo of 2 is sufficient to make this ability significant to the outcomes of battle.
Sure, it's extremely extremely difficult to maintain a Butcher combo of 3 or higher, but do remember that many great items and abilities in the game grant you 2 extra dice. At a combo of 2, Butcher is the equivalent of Heavy Flail or Oak Spear, or a Feral, however has the added advantage of not taking up an equipment slot, Gold, or Magic, leaving your resources to be used on other things. If you have a Butcher combo of 2, then you don't need to worry about going out of your way to kill any more King's Guards. Feel free to gut a few if they're weak and on one health and you're in good shape to do so, but it's not needed. Maintaining a Butcher combo of 2 also makes you less of a target for casters, puts you at less risk of an easy death against King's Guards and Banes, and means that you won't be fraught with disappointment whenever you lose the bonus.

2. Sylas can potentially get a ginormous combo against the King when he breaches the Palace.
Sylas' ability makes more sense when he's breaching the palace. Breaching the palace on the nighttime turn means that you will be attacked by a bunch of King's Guards. Assuming that you have a ton of great combat equipment for slaying the King, there's a high chance that you will kill those King's Guards when they attack you at Dawn. If you've saved up some Magic, you can finish off any lingering guards with spells to extend your combo. Butcher might end up giving you 5 extra swords for the King when you face him. This really isn't that helpful if you do it on the last turn of the game, so it might be pertinent to try and breach the palace much sooner than you would with a character like Thane or Zosha.
This game needs more birds.

WonderfulGlory

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Re: Sylas' Hero Power
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 05:56:17 AM »
What ring and amulet do you normally take? I would think body based on what you're saying. But, I wanted to know your opinion.

Kletian999

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Re: Sylas' Hero Power
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 09:08:23 AM »
Well, the post is old, I don't think cloud frequents the forum anymore.   

Some details in his analysis I just noticed as incorrect or has since changed:

Spell kills don't activate butcher, never did.  You have to soften guards preemptively.

Thankfully, his skulls don't give away stealth anymore.  Also, it's a lot harder to break stealth then it was back then (empty tile spells used to freely break stealth when they fizzled on a stealth ed person.)

You need to have really good armor to survive a palace guard rush, it's not impossible for each guard to roll 4 hits before your shields.  Body can help but the extra shield chances from Fight or Wits is arguably better in many cases.

The bounty system now makes killing Sylas even more tempting, with the silver lining that guards will seek him out from farther away and ignore other targets if he lives long enough.