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  Hand 6

Hand 6 -- More Offensive TA's

I am skipping to this hand because it holds the last of the offensive TAs.

With Whirlwind you can catch someone in a spinning vortex of air. Assuming they donít have a TA that will release them from the whirlwind you can lift your victims into the air and move them wherever you want by holding down the fire button and moving the mouse in the direction you want them to go. Kills are typically achieved by lifting your victims high enough in the air for the fall to splatter them or by dropping them in acid or lava pits. You can also fire Seekers at someone and then catch them with Whirlwind so they cannot run away. Another good trick is to maneuver someone over a bunch of Explosive Wards that you have placed earlier. The biggest drawback to Whirlwind is that during the considerable amount of time it takes to maneuver someone into a kill you are vulnerable to attack. Quite often you will have to drop your victim prematurely in order to defend yourself.

If you are caught in a whirlwind and you have a TA that will counter it, donít panic. You will almost always have plenty of time to react before your tormentor is ready to release you. If you canít get out of the whirlwind, then you might consider panicking. If you are about to be dunked in an acid or lava pit you might as well pick your best weapon and fire blindly. Aiming is next to impossible while you are spinning around but a couple of people have said they have gotten lucky and drilled their tormentor with Balefire. If you are being lifted up high to be killed by the fall and you have the Balefire TA you can cushion your fall by Balefire jumping. Charge up the Balefire as you are spinning and aim at the ground when you start to fall. Just before you hit let the Balefire rip and you will land without a scratch. Another neat trick you can do with Balefire is to poach kills by drilling people caught in someone elseís whirlwind.

Find Target:
Find Target allows you to fire seeking weapons at opponents who are not visible. During the fifteen seconds that Find Target remains active, whoever is closest to you will be targeted by whichever TA you fire. When I use Find Target I like to fire a huge salvo of Seekers or Decays. Since whoever is closest gets targeted you can fire at as many as three or four different opponents as they move around while your Find Target is active. If you have a limited number of shots donít fire them all at once. Instead, spread them out through the duration of Find Target. You can usually count on one kill from a Find Target barrage but even if you donít get one you are forcing others to consume defensive resources and distracting them from attacking.

Explosive Wards:
Explosive Wards are basically land mines. To place them, aim at the floor and click on the fire button. A small red circle will be drawn on the floor and then it will begin to glow. It will explode when someone steps on it. If you see a ward, you can detonate it from a safe distance with Fireball or Dart. Simple, right? Well, not really. Effective placement of Explosive Wards is an art that few have mastered. Most people strew them about haphazardly where they are little more than a nuisance. The key to setting wards, and it amazes me how few people seem to grasp this simple concept, is to put them where people arenít likely to see them before it is too late. Here is a list of my favorite spots to mine:

  • Where people step out of teleporters. Without a doubt, this is the best place to put wards. I have gotten an untold number of kills this way. If you are going to go through a teleporter, it would be wise to jump through at an angle.
  • Stairways. People rarely watch their feet as they go down stairs. Put the wards about four steps down from the top so the glow wonít alert anyone.
  • Underneath raised TA spawning spots, such as chairs or pedestals.
  • Just around corners of narrow hallways.
  • Metal grates over lava pits. The red glow from the lava will disguise your wards somewhat.

A healthy opponent can survive several wards, so it is best to place at least ten at a time. When you are placing wards, be quick about it. If an alert opponent catches you in the act he will detonate the wards with a fireball and your own wards will blow you to smithereens. I have suffered that ignominious fate several times. Explosive Wards can also be used to slow a pursuer by placing them on the ground as you run backwards.

Freeze is a seeking TA that immobilizes its target in a block of ice for seven seconds. Freeze, when used in combination with Balefire or Fireball, allows you to rack up kills very quickly. Freeze looks like a little sparkling blue comet that waves from side to side as it streaks toward you. It is one of the fastest of the seeking weapons and cannot be outrun for long. Although the Freeze/Balefire and Freeze/Fireball combinations are the deadliest, you can use Freeze effectively with any offensive TA except Dart. Opponents hit by Freeze are immobilized but they are not helpless, they can still aim and shoot back from within the ice. Because of this, you should never stand still when firing at a frozen opponent. Dodge from side to side or circle strafe as you shoot. If you are targeted by Freeze and you have no TA to counter with try to make it into a narrow corridor. Your opponent wonít be able to dodge very well and his advantage will be minimized. Switch to Balefire if you have it because players will often stand still while they fire at people that have iced. You might be able to turn the tables and drill them. Firing seeking weapons can buy you time to thaw out because players will often break off their attack and defend themselves. If you employ this tactic Soul Barb is your best choice.

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