Bishop vs Havok: Write-up

MagrailothosMagrailothos Posts: 4,113 ★★★★★
Bishop Vs Havok

A few months back, Bishop had a really decent buff. In fact it's taken him from a self-destructive nothing to a solid champion. Not necessarily the best. But definitely a really good champion for a developing roster.

But what about a developed roster?

I recently pulled a 6* Bishop. I was initially really pleased, but I couldn't help thinking... What was he going to do for me that my 5/65 Havok doesn't already do? I've been playing with Havok for years, and really like him as a champion.

I've spent a bit of time thinking on this, and testing them out, as detailed below. Initially it was a sort of pro-con list to help me decide if I was going to R2 Bishop.

TL:DR = I took him to R2 anyway: They're both great. Bishop is probably be the best overall. But I'd suggest that you stick with Havok if you run suicides.


Energy resistance
Both are good, but Bishops is definitely higher: 4173 Vs 2100. That's hugely better as a flat value; although thanks to Diminishing Returns, the difference as a percentage is 'only' around 67.6% Vs 51.2%.

Prowess/Special Damage
Both stack tons of Prowess fairly easily. Bishop can get 30 Prowess (+300% Special Damage), but it can be harder to hold onto as he converts it to Health any time he holds block. Havok can only stack ten Prowess at a time (+100% Damage), but his can persist for more than one Special Attack as they aren't consumed immediately.
Also, whilst Bishop has more Prowess, Havok also has Attack boosts on his SP2 (+175%, unless the opponent is Armoured) and SP3 (up to +400%, based on Plasma charges). So who's got the better Special Damage overall? It's very hard to work out on paper: A fight against Winter Soldier is probably the easiest way to find out...

Special Attack effects
Havok has very easy access to Unblockable. Aside from that, his Special Attacks do a heck of a lot of damage but not too much else.
Bishop can cause Proximity-driven Incinerate damage on SP1; an Incinerate debuff on his SP2, and an Energy Vulnerability debuff on his SP3.

Punish Purify
Both champs punish opponents who remove debuffs.
Havok's ability only works on his own Plasma Build-Up debuffs, which he can inflict a lot of, at a distance, and inflicts 975 damage each
Bishops works on all debuffs, including Parry-stun, and causes bursts of 2066 damage. Bishop clearly has the edge here; and this can cause quite ridiculous levels of damage to opponents repeatedly purifying his Incinerates following an SP1.

Unique Damage
Havok has a unique form of DoT, and actually this is still probably under-appreciated. Plasma Detonations are only the tip of the iceberg - his Plasma Feedback is where the real damage lies. It does rely on debuffs, and landing Heavy attacks, which can be a weakness. Havok can use this ability to turn Energy DoT against the opponent: this can start to inflict really quite insane damage on nodes like Energy Adoption.

Bishop also has unique DoT, but in his case it relies on him Overloading. He can then inflict passive damage at a distance. It's very clearly a lot less damage than Havok's, but doesn't require him to do anything like landing Heavy attacks. In scenarios like Energy: Adoption, Havok will usually inflict a lot more damage than Bishop. (Don't believe me? Check this out). On the other hand, Bishop will definitely punish the opponent who makes him bleed a lot more than Havok does.

Unique Utility
  • Incinerate Immunity
  • Reduces Critical Damage by 50%
  • Non-contact attacks (resists Parry, and is good against opponents like Electro, and on nodes like Pull)
  • Slow spontaneous power gain.
  • Regeneration - Bishop has a weak (0.58% health per regen buff), but reliable Regen ability, which can also Purify bleed debuffs. It'll also make him an option on Buffed Up nodes, and great in Cav EQ. He needs to hold block for it though, which can lead to him taking more damage from the blocked hits than he recovers from the regeneration.
  • Inflict passive stuns if Skill champs purify them (very handy)
  • Persistent Power Meter - Bishops big ability. Finish a Fight with a big SP2 (this won't often happen with an SP1) and you can open the next fight with the same thing. It doesn't make him a ramp-up champ, as such; but it's a really useful ability; both on offense and defense.
  • If he's Awakened, he can get access to a few other abilities like Unblockable Specials, or Stun Immunity+AAR whilst blocking.
Importantly, the Awakened benefits don't stack: you only get the one relevant to your power level. So if you want to have Stun-Immunity available in a subsequent fight, it can take a bit of careful planning.

Winter Soldier damage comparison:
So, I took them both against Winter Soldier for a damage comparison. No suicides, no synergies. I was a bit surprised how close it was; particularly given that I was comparing a 5/65 Havok to a 2/35 6* Bishop, who has a substantially higher Attack. When I first tried for SP3s, Havok easily out-damaged Bishop thanks to his awesomely destructive SP3. Trying different offensive strategies, the final results looked like this:

Havok (5/65, Sig120):
Fastest Fight time 3m30s
Big SP3 with 10 plasma debuffs and +20% minigame =114,145 damage

Bishop (2/35):
Fight time 2m 53s
SP3 at 30 Prowess +20% minigame 43054 damage

There's a side-by-side damage comparison on YouTube here:
The gamer starts by taking Bishop to SP3, which is a mistake that slows the fight down. I did the same in my first trial, playing by interweaving SP1s (for DoT) and SP3s (just to see how much damage they did). A separate fight favouring SP2s made very clear that Bishop needs to avoid his other Specials: his big Damage is tied into his SP2; and also that it's crit-dependent.

You can work out the damage of Bishop's multi-hit SP2 by working backwards from the follow-up incineration; which varied from 1066-1766/tick for 10s depending on big yellow numbers. So his SP2 was (including the Incinerate) inflicting 51,777-85,777 damage in total (substantially more than his SP3, on average). I threw all of them at 30+ Prowess, but sometimes you get lucky with multiple crits; and a larger follow-up Incinerate.

Of course, if Havok was a six star, he'd have had about an additional 9% Attack, although slightly lower combat power gain. That'd get his Fight time down to about 3min 10s. About fifteen seconds slower than Bishop. So their total damage is pretty close, in the Winter Soldier scenario. Obviously in subsequent fights, Bishop can start with pre-loaded Power, which Havok can't.

Havok isn't quite as good against Armoured opponents, who are resistant to his Plasma Detonations and the additional damage on his SP2. That includes a lot of Armour nodes. On the other hand, played offensively Havok's Plasma Detonations and SP2 aren't usually going to be the damage sources you reply on. Havok also lacks any Regenerative abilities, and benefits from landing Heavy attacks, which Bishop doesn't need to do.
However, Bishop is reliant on his SP2 for big damage; which ideally needs to crit. Havok's SP3 doesn't have that problem. Also, Bishops damage from SP1 and SP2 are seriously impaired if the opponent is immune to Incinerate. Opponents with Critical resistance or Incinerate Immunity will therefore be tougher for Bishop. Fortunately neither is as common an ability as Armour.

Who should you choose?:
These two champions have enough similarities that you don't need to have both; their damage is pretty closely comparable, and either will work in a variety of settings. Both have their own strengths on AW defense.
Their different utilities may appeal differently to different Summoners - choose your preference! I think the biggest advantage Bishop has is that his ability to manage tricky Skill defenders like Korg, Jabari and Agent Venom is considerably superior to Havok's. I think that's potentially enough to make the choice easy for some people.
They have different unique Synergies; which may also help to make the call for you. If you run the Quantum Trinity, Havok's synergy with Wasp is a cracker! Bishop has a similarly good one for Howard the Duck.
Apart from their differing utility abilities and synergies, the biggest difference is probably how they handle Suicides: If you use them, you'll almost certainly want to go with Havok.
Why? Because it's very clear that Bishop's big damage is in his SP2, which will inflict Recoil. Havok's big damage is in his SP3, which doesn't.

Although Bishop can remove his Double Edge debuff, Double Edge will actually harm Havok less than Recoil, as long as he has Willpower. And Bishop's Regeneration is unlikely to recover the health from multiple Recoils since he has to hold block (taking chip damage) to access it. It can even be turned against him by opponents like Warlock or Void.

Personally, I'm happy to have taken my Bishop to R2; primarily to have a great option against tough defenders with Tenacity and shrug-off mechanics; and he's a definite R3 candidate. But I'll definitely not be retiring Havok just yet as there are scenarios and opponents that he handles much better than Bishop does. And I wouldn't criticize anyone who's happy to stick with Havok, if they find themselves in my situation.
But if I drew them both, early on in my game... Honestly, I think I'd have gone with Bishop, and not looked back.

Hope you enjoyed the write-up; congrats for anyone who stuck it through to the end!


  • Graves_3Graves_3 Posts: 645 ★★★★
    @Magrailothos good write up. Have havok at 5/65 and bishop at r3 and I completely agree with your assessment. Both are useful with 1 better over the other in certain scenarios.
  • RiptideRiptide Posts: 2,873 ★★★★★
    Very well thought out! I agree with all your points, although I personally like Havok better :)
  • ItsDamienItsDamien Posts: 5,232 ★★★★★
    I have a R3 Bishop, with synergies he can be an ABSOLUTE UNIT. Even on his own he holds up pretty damn well. The only synergy I kind of “recommend” as a must have for the BIIIIIIIIIG damage is Mangog, which can be frustrating all things considered, but one slot in a team of 5 for example isn’t a huge deal when Bishop can clear lanes and bosses by himself due to the increased healing and prowess bonus that Mangog provides.
  • HoitadoHoitado Posts: 3,569 ★★★★★
    DNA’s Alt Account
  • Zeronaut81Zeronaut81 Posts: 283 ★★
    Nice write up; I remember when Havok was released that his kit was a lot closer to what Bishop should have been, at least in terms of energy resistance and gaining bonuses from energy damage.

    I only have a 5R3 Bishop, but I used him to clear the AV boss in this month’s Cav EQ. That passive stun is legit
  • Fluffy_pawsFluffy_paws Posts: 2,672 ★★★★★
    Nice write up! I like reading write ups, I always learn new stuffs
    Bishop is such a pain on defence now, I always forget his new incinerate ability and toddle in with Sentinel then yelp "WHY YOU DYI-oh"

    I love my Havok. I use him quite a loy. Bishop seems awesome now but I have too many mutants ranked already, I doubt I'd use him.. I love his passive stun ability but Storm PX does that for me already and I never have mutant t4cc.
  • thanks4playingthanks4playing Posts: 800 ★★★
    This is very informative and well-written! I just subscribed to your YT and will check out more vids later.

    I am a bit biased toward Havok b/c he was my first r3, but some of Bishop's abilities (esp. passive stun) are hard to dismiss.

    If both are unduped, who would you say causes more trouble as a defender?
  • odishika123odishika123 Posts: 5,256 ★★★★★

    This is very informative and well-written! I just subscribed to your YT and will check out more vids later.

    I am a bit biased toward Havok b/c he was my first r3, but some of Bishop's abilities (esp. passive stun) are hard to dismiss.

    If both are unduped, who would you say causes more trouble as a defender?

    Havok is good on defense but Bishop is something else...
    Unblockable 1 and 2 (good luck dexing😭)
    Incinerate damage from sp1 will clap you if you aren't immune
    If he kills you when he has 2 bars of power he starts the fight with 2 bars....

    Don't bring purify champ's near him...
  • MagrailothosMagrailothos Posts: 4,113 ★★★★★
    edited October 2021

    This is very informative and well-written! I just subscribed to your YT and will check out more vids later.

    I am a bit biased toward Havok b/c he was my first r3, but some of Bishop's abilities (esp. passive stun) are hard to dismiss.

    If both are unduped, who would you say causes more trouble as a defender?

    Bishop is probably more trouble as a defender, like Odishka says.

    I do have a YouTube 'channel', which you're welcome to check out; but don't feel the need to subscribe to it: it's largely hosting videos so that I can post them as bug reports (or something I think is cool) for the forums!
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