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Tested out the Luke Cage Bufff

EdisonLawEdisonLaw Posts: 2,773 ★★★★
So the update is live today and with that, two new buffs. Luke Cage and Nightcrawler

So I tested out Luke Cage (6 star R1 love 25) against ROL Winter Soldier and here are the results

Without synergies


With Mr Fantastic’s prefights


Thoughts

Comments

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    Wicket329Wicket329 Posts: 3,174 ★★★★★

    Were you using Debilitate to lengthen your debuffs, Edison?

    Damage-wise, he's definitely better, even if the damage alone isn't ground-breaking. Mine's 6*R1 Sig 20, as well. No recoil Masteries.

    Old Luke:


    New Luke:


    New Luke with Mister Fantastic pre-fights:


    Also, his utility is better - much better at reversing Power Gain, and weaponising the Despair/Inequity Masteries; longer concussion; which can 100% shut down most Mystics after he reaches SP2.

    His damage reduction for non-contact hits (and improved benefits of Inequity) also markedly reduced the chip damage from WS's SP2:

    Old Luke


    New Luke:


    All in all he looks very solid. I don't really see a place in my roster to rank him up at the moment, but if I got him as a new player, or as a 7*, that would be different.

    Yeah, he’d be a banging 7* since all of his damage and most of his utility is present at his base kit with just some survivability behind his sig ability.
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    BendyBendy Posts: 4,174 ★★★★★
    I like my luke cage and happy hes r4 as i run him with jj always i hope the 7 drops soon as even unduped hes gonna be able to do all still that i want him for
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    o_oo_o Posts: 834 ★★★★
    edited March 5
    @Magrailothos did you use the sp3 in your testing? in my limited experience, starting with an sp3 to apply trauma makes a huge difference to his damage output

    (edit: i now see the trauma icon in the screenshot. in any case, against WS i found that sp3, sp2 [to apply concussion], then sp1s - with lots of heavies thrown in - got great results.)
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    ButtehrsButtehrs Posts: 4,995 ★★★★★
    I'm pretty certain Luke will be a 7* in the next titan pool. Generally when they update a champ like Luke they are in the next featured pool.
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    MagrailothosMagrailothos Posts: 5,529 ★★★★★
    o_o said:

    @Magrailothos did you use the sp3 in your testing? in my limited experience, starting with an sp3 to apply trauma makes a huge difference to his damage output

    (edit: i now see the trauma icon in the screenshot. in any case, against WS i found that sp3, sp2 [to apply concussion], then sp1s - with lots of heavies thrown in - got great results.)

    Yeah, I did.

    The Debilitate is pretty key - it's another unique debuff, and it clearly allows you to stack your Exhaustions effectively. I was very easily maintaining ten Exhaustions, which means zero healing (with two points in despair), maximum benefits from Inequity, and -150% Ability Power Gain (completely shutting down most Mystic and Cosmic opponents with Power Gain abilities; like Hyperion, Mangog, Aarkus, etc).

    I'd love to see a head-to-head damage comparison between newly-buffed Luke and newly-buffed Red Guardian.
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    EdisonLawEdisonLaw Posts: 2,773 ★★★★

    Were you using Debilitate to lengthen your debuffs, Edison?

    Damage-wise, he's definitely better, even if the damage alone isn't ground-breaking. Mine's 6*R1 Sig 20, as well. No recoil Masteries.

    Old Luke:


    New Luke:


    New Luke with Mister Fantastic pre-fights:


    Also, his utility is better - much better at reversing Power Gain, and weaponising the Despair/Inequity Masteries; longer concussion; which can 100% shut down most Mystics after he reaches SP2.

    His damage reduction for non-contact hits (and improved benefits of Inequity) also markedly reduced the chip damage from WS's SP2:

    Old Luke


    New Luke:


    All in all he looks very solid. I don't really see a place in my roster to rank him up at the moment, but if I got him as a new player, or as a 7*, that would be different.

    Yeah especially for the matchup with the Mr Fantastic prefights since they needed to be consistently refreshed
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    EdisonLawEdisonLaw Posts: 2,773 ★★★★
    So in the end, who's better, buffed Red Guardian or buffed Luke Cage?
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    JLordVileJJLordVileJ Posts: 1,654 ★★★
    EdisonLaw said:

    So in the end, who's better, buffed Red Guardian or buffed Luke Cage?

    Neither, sentry is
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    MagrailothosMagrailothos Posts: 5,529 ★★★★★
    EdisonLaw said:

    So in the end, who's better, buffed Red Guardian or buffed Luke Cage?

    Basically, it depends what you need, but - TL:DR - I think Red Guardian is probably better for developing accounts, but Luke is probably better for later-game players.

    For a much longer analysis...

    What's their utility:
    RedG has buff immunity, can completely shut down Evade and Unstoppable for most opponents, and has long-lasting access to a potent and easily-maintained Trauma debuff that can help bypass damage caps. He can also (occasionally) block Unblockable specials and can gain up to an impressive 75% Perfect block, at max Sig; on a baseline Block Proficiency of 5700 (when his shield is intact) and decent base Armour and Physical resistance. That's one seriously tanky champion if you're a player who relies on block/parry rather than Dodge/Intercept, and for longer quests/Incursions.

    Luke is bleed-immune, gains Attack for every debuff on the opponent, and places huge numbers of Exhaustion debuffs to shut down Power Gain champions. He can extend these debuffs with Debilitate, which helps maintain enough of them to make very good use of the Inequity and Despair Masteries. With six of them on the opponent, they also acquire an indefinite Sunder debuff, allowing Luke to overcome their critical resistance. Luke also has a (much weaker) Trauma debuff, which lets him also partially bypass damage caps; but mostly functions to be an additional unique debuff that boosts his Attack.
    A major source of utility for Luke is his SP2 concussion. This can easily inflict a -75% Ability Accuracy debuff for 33s (with Debilitate) which can shut down all kinds of abilities (both offensive and defensive) In the case of Mystic opponents, if he's played remotely capably, Luke inflicts two of these debuffs on Mystics, and can essentially shut down every ability they have. The duration is more than long enough for Luke to cycle SP2s, if Concussion is what he needs to control the fight.
    Then of course, his Awakened ability is Invulnerability, which can work to tank SP3s.

    They're each really useful for:
    Luke is great for any situation involving Bleed or Power Gain; and there are plenty of those in the game. As well as the obvious opponents (Hyperion, Aarkus, Nova, Mangog, Dr Strange etc) there are a lot of Power Gain nodes that he can easily turn to his advantage by inverting them:
    • Generic Power Gain nodes
    • Spite nodes
    • Kinetic Instigator nodes
    • StrikeBack nodes
    With many Mystics having abilities like Power Gain, Critical Resistance, and hindrances like low or even negative Physical Resistance, Luke is a bona fide Mystic killer (especially Sasquatch); and his Concussion helps him shut down a huge array of abilities against all kinds of opponents, especially if he uses the Pacify/Assassin Masteries.

    RedG is predictably great for shutting down champions who use Evade and/or Unstoppable, so long as they aren't Skill. So, most Spiders, Rhino, Ghulk, Juggernaut, etc. Also, nodes like Mixmaster, Footloose and Brawl.
    Opponents that place or attack buffs, such as Mojo, Dormammu, and Spidey Supreme are basically crippled against him. Additionally, Nodes that punish buffs, like Icarus, Rising sun, Buffet, Spite, Burden of Might, etc.

    As for limitations:
    Obviously, both are Science champions, and both rely on debuffs. So they have fairly predictable shared limitations when opponents can get rid of, or be immune to their debuffs.
    Reggie has a particular problem against all Skill Opponents: he can't place his Slow debuff, at all. That's a significant damage drop for him, since he will miss out on increased Attack, but also on the +25% Combat Power that it gives him. Since quite a few annoying Evade champions are in the Skill class (Bullseye, Stealthy, Black Widow and Misty Knight), the fact he can't stop them Evading is significant.

    Luke is, surprisingly, significantly less resilient than Reggie. His base armour is lower and he's got no Physical resistance at all. His block Proficiency is average at best; although can be improved at high Sig (it's still not as good as Reggie's). He can use Inequity to reduce his opponents Attack rating, which will help a lot if you've got it. Still, he suffers a lot more from chip damage than 'Perfect Block' Reggie does.

    Coping with shrug-off Opponents
    A little testing shows that this is a lot more problematic for Reggie. Ironically, because he places fewer debuffs, the opponent has far more time to recover their Tenacity, or Cleanse charges, or Masochism timer or whatever.
    Luke, by contrast, places so many debuffs that most opponent's shrug-off abilities get overwhelmed. This won't help against Agent Venom or Kingpin; but opponents like Aarkus, Valkyrie and even Crossbones will usually end up carrying a few debuffs because they just can't get rid of them fast enough. Plus, on Masochism/Conflictor nodes Luke's Exhaustion debuffs will reduce most of the node-related Power Gain, and (if you've got Despair) regeneration.

    -------

    On balance, I think Luke does more for advanced players, since increased power gain is quite a common thing to have to cope with in late-game content; and he's so good at it that despite relying on debuffs, he can actually invert the power gain from Conflictor nodes. His concussion debuffs are only up to 75% potent, so he can pacify but not completely neutralise most Non-Mystic opponents. This is a pretty powerful ability against all opponents - Mystics, however, are completely toasted once Luke has concussed them - they'll usually be left with no abilities at all. Unlike Reggie, Luke doesn't need to be Awakened, but that emergency Invulnerable can be really useful.

    Reggie is very good at managing Unstoppable and Evade, but overall his utility feels a lot less broad; and he doesn't really place enough debuffs to make use of Masteries like Inequity and Despair. Still, he's incredibly durable; his buff immunity can be really useful, and for earlier players who will benefit more from his reduction of chip damage, I think he brings a lot to the table. It's just a shame he can't shut down Skill Evade champs like Bullseye. And he does need his Awakening more than Luke, to increase his damage output.
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