There have been some confusion and misconceptions about the new creature on Shear tearing the world apart. Hunters of all kinds are facing difficulties on fighting this new kind of threat, and I am here to clear some of these insecurities and doubts. If you think this creature is unbeatable, then you truly are doing something wrong, and I’ll try pointing some of the finer nuances for inverting this line of thinking.
First, I must talk about the tracking skills that are useful for any and every Monster, not just the Wraith, because this is an area where Hunters sin the most. If you believe you and your team are good enough at finding the Monster, just not fighting it, feel free to skip this section (though it’s still worth a read).
Hunting the Wraith is actually no different than hunting any other Monster, but the mistakes one can make are often multiplied in severity due to Wraith’s sheer speed and segregation skills. Most of what I’ll speak here is worth to every Hunter class, but specially so for the Trapper. If you’re not a Trapper, follow the damn Trapper.
There’s absolutely no Monster which the Hunters can reach if they merely follow its tracks. Whenever you get close, if it is attentive enough, it will put some distance all over again. The only way for you to reach it will be to make a mental trace of its movements and predict its next position. Some areas of a map are more clustered then others and you are likely to encounter the Monster if you move onto those chokepoints ahead of its current position. If you are in doubt of were to meet the creature, use the mini-map at first for basic indications.
When you see tracks following to the map’s edge, there are only two direction in which the Monster might go to then, left, or right. Which direction it’s going to take can often be predicted to the track’s inclinations. Even when the Monster is a sneak type and intends to mislead you by marking tracks on the opposite direction, there are tells in his walking pattern that will help you decide one direction to go to next. Which tells are nuances that you will only learn with time and experience. Keep an open mind and a keen eye, and you will learn them sooner rather than later. I’m leaving every Trapper’s skill out of the discussion because I am talking about basic tracking abilities, which you only need to move in order to perform.
One way to decide in which direction to go to is to look for broken plants and dead animals. Even if the tracks lead to one side, if there is wildlife running on the other side and a clear sign of destruction is present, you can safely weight the odds that the Monster is not were its tracks lead.
So that goes for determining the Monster’s general direction. Once you know were the Monster went to, you can start to predict its movement. Like I said earlier, if you only follow its tracks, you’ll never reach it, unless it’s talking a stroll. When a Monster reaches the edge of the map and picks a direction to walk to, it will often circle around the map continuously. If it goes to the center of the map, you’ll find it sooner rather than later, and if it zig-zags, as well, so you can safely go to the point where it shall be a few moments later rather than were it is or went through.
Imagine that, as a Monster, there’s a certain radius around it (which is about the regular smell range) which it won’t go back to for a good while unless it sights something shiny like an albino wildlife, and therefore, there’s no point in looking around that area unless it is forwards on the Monster’s path. A Monster won’t randomly stop and turn around to back on its tracks because there won’t be as much food there and it will have a greater chance at encountering you people, and if it does turn back, you’ll get within earshot of it and will adjust accordingly. If the Monster does stop and mingle on that imaginary radius, then you will find it sooner than you’d think, and you should be thankful.
When you have a general path plotted in your head of where the Monster will go, look for chokepoints were you can meet it such as caves, tunnels, tighter map areas, because these are likely locations which it will go through that will place it and your team closer, and within dome range. Once you have the opportunity of doming the Wraith, you must make it count, and I will get into it in a moment.
Now, once you get within a certain distance of the creature, you’ll start listening to its actions. The Wraith doesn’t make as much sound as, say, the Goliath does. The most sounds you’ll be listening to are its eating, its killing of wildlife, and its warping. If it’s eating, that’s your cue to get closer fast. If it’s killing wildlife, even better, for it will be eating shortly. If it’s warping, you know you’ll have to run a bit further before doming it. Once you can listen to it moving about, you can let yourself be guided by it instead of the tracks or anything else.
There are other sounds which it can make, most distinctively the sound of its skills, but I’ll get to them once I finished talking about the hunting part.
So, I haven’t spoken anything about your team composition, but the team’s organization is immensely important. You absolutely must stay together at all times unless your team is perfectly capable of administering distance to reach the Monster at the same moment when you split into two. Everyone should follow the Trapper, which should be performing the heavy duty tracking in addition to its regular usage of tracking abilities.
If you’re not together with the Trapper when it reaches the Wraith, and it manages to dome it, the Trapper will be alone and he or she will not face the Monster alone. The dome will be wasted and your Trapper will get a strike, nobody wants that. When the dome comes down and the Wraith is caught, you have to make use of every moment in it to damage it as much as possible, and in order to do that, you must have your Trapper protected.
Even if your Trapper is a fool and knows little to nothing about tracking the Monster, you should follow it just the same, because finding the Wraith on your own will grant you nothing if it isn’t domed. If it fights you, you’ll likely get a strike or even die due to being alone, and if it runs you’ll have accomplished nothing but show the creature that the Hunters are close. Not to mention all the wildlife and chomping plants that can surprise lone Hunters. If you follow the unskilled Trapper, you might eventually get the Wraith, whilst otherwise you’ll never do it if you’re ahead of the Trapper.
Another, very important reason for sticking closely together is that there are abilities which have an area of effect which you’ll not benefit from if you’re not close enough, such as, the wonderful cloaking ability.
Once you get within hearing range of the Monster, it can likely smell you, and an attentive Monster will be smelling for signs of Hunters frequently. If the particular Wraith you’re fighting seems to always get a good distance from your team when you get close, it might be for this particular reason. Ideally, you should always approach on the first occasion with your team completely enveloped in cloak. It’s a powerful technique which you should practice.
Keep in mind that the Monster can still hear you if you make noises, such as placing traps and what not.
Playing with random players, it can be difficult to coordinate or have people cooperating like this. It is a risk you will go through whenever you are playing the Hunter. Once the players reach a high enough level, most of them will start to pick this up naturally, to an extent. Try and help them if you can.
Now that I’ve covered the principle behind this, there’s one more thing I want to talk about before moving into the actual fight.
Jetpack Fuel Administration
One of the most powerful tools that every Hunter has is the Jetpack. They, however, have a hard time at getting used to not wasting it.
I’m not going into detail about its capabilities, but here’s a few things worth keeping in mind.
You should stay in high places. It allows you to cover ground more quickly, besides being able to look farther and find the Monster or its signs more easily. Just be careful with “smartie” Monsters that sneak right under your elevated position.
Once you get used to the distances achievable by the jetpack dodging, you should utilize only as much fuel as necessary to cover that specific ground. Sometimes you can jump from one pillar to another by a single jetpack dodge. Others, it might be worth it to just make two small thrusts of fuel, for you shall economize it this way.
If you land on a high area where you can walk to until the next jump, you’ll have recovered more of your fuel than if you had jumped over a pillar with little space to walk over.
When falling off places, you needn’t jump or use any jetpack fuel at all. If you do, it will stop the recovery until you fall back in the ground.
And finally, there’s nothing wrong with running about. When reaching the Monster, it’s important to get there quickly, but once you’re in a fight, you want to keep you fuel as high as possible for the events where you need to dodge its attacks or save a teammate in need.
And now, let’s get to what matters the most. The Wraith itself.
The Wraith, like any other Monster, is a power to be reckoned with, but it is not particularly better or harder than any other, you just need to take the opportunities when they are presented to you.
The statement that a Wraith can escape the dome even if you are right beside it when setting the dome up is no exaggeration, it really can, which is why it is so important to stick together and use your abilities to the full extent. Cloaking is not merely a defensive tool, you can also use it to approach the Monster, and with Wraith this becomes more important than ever.
The fact that Wraith’s warping is so fast means you’ll have to twist your vision to the sides multiple times and be prepared to stop firing in a moment’s notice, only to do so again as soon as it went still. Although it’s abilities are quite damaging and fast, most of them render it still for brief moments which you should make use of as much as possible.
The idea that the Wraith is “squishy” is no understatement either, even on Stage 3, its health can be cut off quite quickly if all the Hunters focus their fire in an ideal manner, as they should be with any Monster anyway.
One thing before I get to the next section: Every Monster, when falling off high places, will fall slowly if it doesn’t perform any special action. Wraith falls even more slowly (or at least it feels this way) from these places, so you can make use of this to soak up some shots before it reaches the ground, or to put greater distance between you and it.
Wraith, without its skills, is quite basic and similar to other Monsters in form and how to deal with, so I’ll talk about each skill individually instead.
Warp Blast adds up as movement ability for the Wraith, and is as skill that allows it one more movement boost before the dome comes down. If you are absolutely going to be caught by its blast, you must analyze your situation in order to decide one thing: Whether to be on the air or not when it blows up.
If you are on the air, you’ll be thrown away, which might help you depending on the circumstance, or it might hinder you. So think of it carefully. If you are on the ground, you won’t be thrown as far, which means you’ll be closer to it, but it also means you’ll be closer to your team. Use this as you deem best.
If you have enough fuel, you can simply dodge away from it - It’s blast is not that far reaching as to still be caught after a dodge.
What’s most important to keep in mind, however, is that while the Blast is charging, and a moment still after it, the Wraith will remain still, and you can be assured that it is no Decoy, since the decoy cannot use any skill. While it is still, it is the moment you must take to soak in as much damage as possible. With everyone focusing firing, if possible. Hunters with tracking abilities should make use of this time to mark the Wraith.
It is rare to find a Wraith that will have to aim its warping before executing it, but if it does, you’ll know what to expect. Learn to recognize its animation, like with any other skill. Playing the Wraith helps on this matter.
Abduction is somewhat a risky maneuver, and there’s plenty you can do about it.
There are two moments in which the Wraith remains partially vulnerable during the use of this skill. The moment it catches a victim and the moment when it returns to its original position. Both moments are moments to hit it with your tracking weapons and deal as much damage as possible.
Depending on the distance it used the Abduction from, you might have to start running to help the victim stay alive, or at the very least, to get within weapon’s range and deal damage to it as it cuts the victim down. It leaves a distinct and clear trace as it travels through the environment, so recognizing it is not very difficult. Accurate weapons works best.
Harpoons can and will caught the Wraith on these two moments where it remains still if they are set up or if you shoot them at the right time. Potential victims might approach the Hunter’s items such as sentries, mines and harpoons to protect itself as much as possible. Ideally, however, you should dodge the abduction. It does have a big tell when ready for the execution. Since it is a finicky skill, the Wraith will aim it carefully before launching, and at this moment you can prevent yourself from capture by watching its ready-position. A simple jetpack dodge once it begins to travel, depending on the distance, is often enough to protect yourself. Dodge to the right or to the left, but not forwards or backwards, unless it is attempting to abduct you from under you, in which case you can go back to the safety of the terrain. Getting behind walls will add another protection, but it will make it more difficult for you to shoot it as it goes back.
Mines and other items are prone to trigger as it flies past them, but unless it actually stops over the item, it will not suffer the consequence from it, so stay inside the radius of mines and other traps in order to benefit from them.
Finally, if the Wraith is caught on a harpoon during the catch-phase, it will cut the distance it travels backwards considerably. Griffin players should make good use of this.
Decoy - Also known as: The Dreaded One
Decoy is actually not as hard to deal with as you might imagine.
You’ve read it right.
The first thing I want to warn you about is that the decoy itself has no health. It doesn’t die. It only fades in time or when the Wraith triggers an ability or attacks something. The time it lasts depends on the skill points attributed.
Therefore, stop shooting the blasted thing. It doesn’t benefit you in any way.
So, here’s what you need to keep in mind about the Decoy skill:
- It has no health, as stated. No point in shooting it.
- It flashes when fired upon.
- It follows the closest Hunter. If no Hunter is present, it follows the closest wildlife.
- It often spends three short warps right as it spawns.
- It is subject to the slow-fall described at the Wraith section.
- The real one, as you must well know, becomes invisible, but it can still be revealed in numerous ways.
- The regular warping traversal ability executed by the real one can be seen by the Hunters, even while it is invisible.
- It walks without purpose, it can be easily identified.
- It can potentially damage you with its melees even more strongly than the real one, when fully upgraded.
- It benefits from the Supernova, but it does not create it, which means that the real one must trigger it. Keep an eye out.
- It can’t execute any skill. If it launched any ability, it is the real one.
- The real one can eat while invisible.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about what you can do about it.
It has a huge and numerous tells, it’s not difficult to realize when it is a clone. Normally, Wraiths will launch their clones in the opposite direction of where they went or want to go to. Use this as deemed best.
When the decoy is created, Wraith jerks backwards as it had taken a missile blast to the face and then goes back to normal. It flashes slightly as it does so, and then quickly fades into invisibility. That moment is a good moment to focus shots around the area. The real one will be the one at the back during the cloning. When you shoot it, preferentially with area damaging weapons or weapons with high spread, it will flash a bit, and you should take that opportunity to dish as much damage as you can and to help reveal it to others.
The Decoy itself cannot be fought against, only avoided, so do your best to stay away from it while you focus on finding and hitting the real one. Once there is a small hint as to the real one’s location, all Hunters should focus their attention on that area with all they’ve got, because the Wraith will use the decoy often to position itself in a better place, but also because its armor is low and it is time to back off the fight, either to hide or to eat, and you mustn’t let that happen, at all costs.
Once you loose sight of it, hope is not lost, but it will be more difficult to track it down. That’s why you must take the opportunities to tag it as possible. Dust Tagging and Tranquilizer darts works neatly because they reveal to you the actions which the Wraith is performing - It is quite easy to say when the Monster launched it’s decoy, even behind walls, this way. Regular tracking tools such as Abe’s dart and Bucket’s UAV will help you to an extent but you will be prone to being deceived by an efficient use of the Decoy.
Ideally, you’ll be resorting to damaging or incapacitating abilities in order to reveal it, as well. The invisible Wraith, when caught on fire, will be shown constantly and will have to waste its Decoy. Toxic grenades also help flushing it out of hiding when you know its location. Abe’s Stasis Grenades might reveal it with the coils, I’m not sure about this one, but it’s worth using them just the same do limit the distance it will be able to put between you. The Assault’s main weapons are good for keeping track of it. The Lighting gun will hit the real one despite the decoy, as the weapon chain’s off targets, and Parnell’s shotgun has a wide spread to help locate it.
EVERY HUNTER should be shooting the Wraith as much as possible when it shows up, especially because of its low health and armor pool, but also because it thrives on constantly stopping your team from shooting it. If you don’t let this happen, you can effectively fight the Wraith.
Keep a keen eye on wisps of purple lines, those are the Wraith’s warps. If it just used them, you have a general idea of ts location and you can focus fire in there. Griffin can harpoon the invisible Wraith once it does that and reveal its position to everyone else. But it will only work if people actually look and shoot at the damned harpooned nothingness.
One more thing before I finish this section: It get’s harder to realize it is a decoy once it is within the Supernova, because it won’t flash, and the warping lines will be harder to see since everything will be colorful sparkles. You need to keep attentive to the movement animations it makes to realize whether or not the Wraith released its Decoy.
In any case, if shooting it isn’t damaging it’s health, it is the Decoy (I think this should be addressed: The decoy should appear as if shooting it diminished health, and once it faded, the lost health should be brought back to its actual value).
It’s in the Decoy where the bulk of the problems rely. Once those issues are out of the way, it get’s much simpler to fight it.
I don’t really see much to be spoken about the Supernova except about its combination with the Decoy, which I just mentioned on the previous section.
What I can advise you about it, is to shoot the Wraith while it is playing tornado because more often than not, it will be the real one, and any time the real one is visible is a time to shoot it. Try and save your ally if possible, but if it’s not, make sure to take the opportunity to hurt it as much as possible. And don’t get too close to it unless you’re approaching from behind, because it has a wide radius and it will hit you if you approach from the sides.
Once you have these guidelines in mind, it almost becomes safer for me to play as another Monster.
So I hope we’ve cleared that up. You HAVE what it takes to fight the Wraith. You just need to do it, now.
– Your dearest Monster