I have an interesting idea for a hunter team composition that revolves around using Kala’s Armor Reducer. I haven’t actually played using this team so I don’t know if it would actually be effective, but I have a feeling that it could perform fairly well, in Hunt mode.
The Team: Parnell, Crow, Caira, Kala
Perks: Reload Speed for Caira and Kala; Movement Speed or Jetpack Recharge for Crow; Magazine Size, Damage Increase, or Reload Speed for Parnell
The strategy would be to chase the monster down using Caira’s Acceleration Field and Crow’s Stasis Gun so that Parnell and Kala can get close enough to the monster for Kala to use her Armor Reducer in conjunction with Parnell’s SS in order to do a lot of burst health damage to the monster. However, the trapper would not dome the monster- permitting it to instead try to get away. But by using the acceleration field, Stasis Gun, and perhaps teleporters the hunter would stay close the monster to prevent it from evolving and do damage past its armor until the monster dies.
Now this begs the question- Why not just dome the monster to do more damage? Why try to keep up with it? The short answer is: Doming is too risky and actually results in a loss of control for the hunters.
There are 3 ways for the hunters to win:
- Kill the monster before Stage 3
- Kill the monster at Stage 3
- Delay the monster long enough to time out
The 3rd way is relatively uncommon because when the timer starts counting down the monster will force the fight, so we will ignore it for the purpose of this discussion.
We know from Arena mode that a full health, full armor Stage 2 monster can beat a full health hunter team. So, it makes since that for the hunters to kill a Stage 3 monster they have to hurt the monster so that while at Stage 3 it has less health than its max health at Stage 2. Another way to look at is that in order for the hunters to win the 2nd way they have to get really close to winning the 1st way. Before Kala, the only way to reliably kill a monster before Stage 3 was to dome it, destroy its armor, then chisel away at its health. However, doming has its risks.
When the monster is trapped, it often fights back. And as a result, the monster gets strikes on the hunters. So although the hunter team has done a ton a lot of damage by the end of the game, they are weakened and the final battle becomes a test to see who won the war of attrition.
Now lets say the hunters get close to the monster and don’t dome, what does the monster do?
- Run away
- Fight the hunters without the dome
For this team comp 1 is preferable, because we should have no problem keeping track and keeping up with the monster. This allows us to prevent it from evolving and allows us to use the Armor Reducer to burst our way through its health. If the monster chooses to engage us, then we have control. If the monster tries to flee after a long battle, we still have the dome available- the monster might be out of armor and low on health so we throw the dome to fight some more. If we are in bad shape we can let the monster go. By saving the dome we are less likely to receive strikes and more likely to trap the monster at times it is most beneficial for us.
TL;DR: With this team comp it may actually be beneficial to never dome the monster and instead closely chase it and use Armor Reducer/SS to burst damage its health until it dies. By not throwing the dome the hunters are less likely to get downed by the monster and the dome can be saved for a more opportune moment.
Crow for Wasteland Maggie. Although the Stasis Gun is more effective at slowing the monster down and Crow has the extra utility of the Charge Rifle, Daisy makes it easier to find the monster early and the single Harpoon trap has a large enough radius to perhaps be able to slow down the monster.
Caira for Val. Val’s Tranq Darts may be more effective at slowing the monster than Caira’s Acceleration Field is at speeding the team up, plus the Tranqs highlight the monster to make it slightly easier to track. Obviously Val’s tranq require LOS and the Acceleration field can be used in the beginning of the game. I’d say it is more a matter of preference.
Edit: So I tried 5 Solo games using this team (once against each monster). My focus was mostly on seeing if this team could reliably keep up with the monster. I loaded up as Crow with Movement Speed, dropped in, gave the monster an additional 30 second head start, then started chasing it. The results worked pretty well- I was often able to find the monster Stage 1 (4/5) and was able to prevent it from Evolving to Stage 2 (3/4). We killed Stage 2 or sooner. Basically I kept on highlighting it with gobi and shooting stasis at it and allowed my team to get some nice damage in. I should note that I actually played as WM against Behemoth and she performed very well- she might even be better because it will be easier to track monsters that sneak.
However, playing against bots isn’t the same as humans so I encourage anyone with more friends than I to try this team online.