Speculative Build Order


Hello Everyone,

I have been lurking for over a month now, feeding on scraps of information and whatever videos I can find. I staged up, have a bit of armor and now I want to join the conversation. I have not been as excited about a game this much since I was shown the Assassin’s Creed Multiplayer Beta for Brotherhood. That has been my favorite competitive multiplayer game to date. I loved the strategy and the feeling of being able to out-clever your opponents. I’m also very fond of their 3rd person perspective, and the way matches had moments of high anxiety (making it through a chase-breaker and hiding in a group of NPCs while two people look for you, earning a double escape), as well as moments where the best case was to slow down and be methodical, (luring someone into your trap for a stun, then killing the person right behind them for the chain bonus).

Since the newest Assassin’s Creed game is releasing with no competitive multiplayer, only co-op, my primary gaming focus has turned to Evolve. I am obsessed with Evolve. I talk about Evolve so much my wife and friends have ostracized me. So I come here hoping to further lose myself in a game that won’t come out for over 2 1/2 months.

One of the aspects of Evolve that I am most excited about is playing as the Monster. From watching videos (if it has “evolve” in the title and has been added on youtube in the last week I have clicked on it), I am enthralled by the potential strategy. When to go stealth and look for a sneak attack? Should I attack with full armor or just stage up and avoid confrontation all together?

As a big fan of MOBAs the idea of a build order has been intriguing me. I know that very soon after release we will all develop our go-to builds. I am sure that a consensus will be established among the community, and may change based on Hunter Composition or map type. As someone who has not played at all, I would love to know your opinions.

I am going to share mine for the Kraken, as that is the Monster that I have been able to clearly see the percentage numbers for leveling up. As we all know, there are a total of 9 points that can be placed for each stage up (3 each evolve stage).

For the percentages I mentioned, each stage up adds addition percentage points to both Damage and Radius. All abilities are 100% Damage and Radius at level 1. There are different percentages for each individual ability stage up. For example, Kraken’s. Vortex ability is:
100% Damage, 100% Radius at level 1,
+30% Damage, +33% Radius at level 2,
+30% Damage, +33% Radius at level 3.
Please note: the damage percentage stacks, so at level 2 the Vortex is 130% Damage, 133% Radius, while at level 3 the Vortex is 169% Damage, 177% Radius.

Lightning Strike:
100% Damage, 100% Radius at level 1,
+30% Damage, +28% Radius at level 2,
+30% Damage, +31% Radius at level 3. Total: 169% Damage, 169% Radius.
These numbers were taken from videos during both E3 and Comic Con. If any of these numbers are wrong please feel free to correct me and I will update.

So with all of this said, here is how I will play my first game as Kraken, just let me emphasize again that this is all speculation and based off videos. If anyone has experience with the game and knows better please inform me. just to pass time:

Level 1: 1 point Aftershock, 1 point Vortex, 1 point Banshee Mines.

Explanation: I would make a point of always taking 3 abilities stage one. I feel the utility of 3 makes the early game go by quicker and may help me feel less helpless if I was to get stuck in a dome early. Not having to wait for cooldowns and being able to chain moves may make more of a difference than having one fewer skill, although the tradeoff in power may make up for it. As for the reason for those skills, I want Banshee Mines to use to alert me if hunters are getting close. During the Dev match I saw the strategy of placing Mines just outside caves at the mouth of the entrance so hunters exiting would not notice them. The sound would give them away and I could use the ensuing scramble to avoid the blast to my advantage.

I feel the CC provided by Vortex is too valuable to pass up and think it would almost always be worth investing in stage 1.

As far as Aftershock over Lightning Strike, I debated this for some time (too much time for a sane person). I feel Lightning Strike has uses if I got dome’d and was flying around avoiding confrontation as much as possible, just alternate between that and Vortex. The reason I chose Aftershock first is for farming. At level 1, all I want to do is farm and avoid confrontation. From watching the Comic Con video where the Kraken is able to level up 3 minutes into the match, he does so by wandering into a pack of Reavers. He is ultimately able to kill them all and feed off of a mass of corpses for the early advantage. The tradeoff is he lost nearly 2 full bars of health! That type of early health loss could have been catastrophic had the hunters been anywhere near the distracted, weakened Kraken. Which brings me back to Aftershock

Unless I am mistaken (please correct me if I am wrong) and this could just be with the 15% damage perk, but from other videos it appears a level 1 Aftershock clears a pack of reavers as well as any other 2 meats in the AOE. This would make me want to sniff out a pack as soon as possible. Worst case an auto-attack or 2/Vortex would finish the job and provide 6-8 meats and the early armor to go with it. This may cost a slight amount of health but may be worth the trade-off.

Stage 2:

Going into Stage 2 I have 2 separate plans depending on if I had an early engagement and took damage or not.

Limited to no Engagement: 1 point Lightning Strike, 1 point Vortex, 1 Point Aftershock

If I have not taken much health loss early game, I feel more confident going Face-to-Hideous Maw with the Hunters once I get some armor. I would want to lead with a Vortex and then try to get as many in my Aftershock as possible, but I still know if things were out of hand I can retreat. The move I loved seeing from more advanced Krakens was activating Aftershock while flying and then dropping down as the cast time finished. Seemed near impossible to defend against.

If I have taken early damage: 2 points Lightning Strike, 1 point Vortex.
My plan is to switch primarily to a ranged caster and keep my distance as much as possible, trying to land Lighting Strikes from afar. I also imagine that the first time I land a Strike on an opponent they will be surprised at how much damage it does since I did not level it up Stage 1, (that may just be wishful thinking in my part).

Stage 3:
I plan on winning every game in Stage 2, so I don’t have a plan for this…just kidding. You really think I would spend all this time writing this and not have a plan? Again, this would be contingent on the skirmishes that took place prior to leveling up, but I would most likely max out Vortex with 1 more point, then spend 1 point on Lightning Strike and my final point on Aftershock, giving me a spread of 3-3-2-1, with Banshee Mines not getting a point after the initial upgrade at Stage 1. It could just be from watching the videos, but I did not see Mines make a huge impact outside of distraction and the utility I described earlier as seen in the Dev match.

If someone has an example of their usefulness or why you would select them please type your opinions here. Your response does not need to be as long winded as mine, remember I have been lurking for a while and none of my friends will talk to me about Evolve anymore, cause I babble on like this. Thanks for reading, look forward to reading your replies.

P.S. As a side note, What do you think the consensus of Stage 3 will be? 3-3-2-1, 3-2-2-2 or 3-3-3?


I’m guessing you want to talk about potential monster skill orders?

One I’ve been wanting to try for Goliath is:

Stage 1 - 2 points in fire breath and 1 point in leap smash. The double points of fire will give me a good “farming” skill as well as be a good way to get hunters to back off if I get caught at stage 1. The 1 point of leap smash is mostly for extra mobility.

Stage 2 - Finish maxing fire, then 1 point in charge and 1 more point in leap smash. As I have maxed fire, I want another point in fire so I can do good damage with the gap closer and then immediately unleash extreme damage with the fire. The one point in charge is for more mobility mostly.

Stage 3 - Finish maxing leap smash and charge. I want to be in their faces constantly, never letting the pressure up and being super mobile with good damage. Rock throw just doesn’t really fit into my strategy (at least this strategy). If I was having trouble chasing down certain hunters, I might pick up rock throw.

This is 100% theory crafting though, very likely to change after I get to play it!


Can’t wait until you finish this I’m very glad this thread was made, I loooooveeee talking about strategies I’m a very competitive gamer and love to have a wide variety of play styles and builds at my disposal.


Just finished updating it right now, please let me know what you think.


Oh awesome thank you for sharing


I think you’re limited to 2 skills at the very beginning no matter what, but I would need a link or a dev post to confirm, and I’m dead tired right now.


I think it was like that originally but it’s been changed (at least in the E3 build) to three points per stage, which allows you to max 3 abilities but miss out on one ability completely.

Although I think it’s probably wise at stage 1 to have a slightly more powerful move (so 2 or 3 points) in one skill than to have 3 skills. I think with 3 abilities, your power is spread a little to thin and you want to minimize time spent engaged with the hunters.


Yup, old build you started with 2 skills, then you unlocked the other two as you staged up. As for having 1 upgraded attack, the abilities is where most damage is dealt from. If you have just one ability, once you use it, you’ll be weak until it cools down


hmm ill send my strat out in a sec. but first i want to say that one video @Plaff posted had a guy max lighnting strike and he fought stage 1 no armor. he hit them as soon as they landed and they all instantly had half hp!. he won that fight pretty easily with alot of pounces. it was very very interesting


For Kraken:

I will be putting 1 point into vortex, lighting strike and aftershock. farm farm farm. once im full armor i will lighting strike and run to try to lead the hunters to a nice area to fight in (lots of plants and/or megamouth). once im down to about 40% armor ill probably start to flee if no one has went down. master escape plan.

Stage 2 ill have 2 points into after shock and 1 into lighting strike. the goal is to harass from the sky with autos(they are strong in my opinion) and lightning strikes. then when more than 1 are low. fly down with vortex to push who i want not to be around (hyde, or maggie snares) and before i fall to the floor, I start aftershcok for the deathblow. the goal is to down 2 hunters. making laz’ job harder. if i down hyde its even easier cuz i will take virtually no damage as long as i kill buckets turrets. this time i wont leave until my armor is gone and again only if the fight is not going my way.

Stage 3: max aftershock, 2 points into the other two. vortex is now used as harassment and Mine/turret clearing so its safe to after shock. rinse repeat because laz melts and after shock has a high chance of downing him while hes cloaked. once he is dead it will be hard for the team to outrun aftershock killing blows.


For Godliath :wink:

Stage 1: Putting 1 point in charge, rockthrow and leap strike. the goal is mobility and eating as i think stage 1 goliath is not going to put out much damage. stage up to stage 2 asap. if i get domed i would hide or stay on high ground and play keep away. using knockbacks to my advantage.

stage 2: max leap strike. or if i feel like they will be hard to stick onto ill get one in flame breathe. after getting armor the fight is now on. the goal is to single a target out by contantly knocking them back. you get three leaps so if your target escapes leap away and find him again. main target:medic. leap strike, then charge them. if they start to get away rock throw ahead of them to knock them back to you. keep swatting them fly’s! flee only if you feel your not downing anyone.

Stage 3: now you are full beast mode. again focus one target at a time. I want to note that goliath has a really cool down animation so dont stop meleeing! you never know when itll happen. also if you knock someone off a cliff or ledge, jump down and pounce on them before the team can react. Goliaths biggest strength is crowd control. if laz is on the team sit on the downed member and tank the damage like the beast that you are.

Note: i want to run some bots to see how much a maxed charge does for damage. I would max that if it did more than leap strike.

another note: im not against flame breathe. in fact its really really strong. I just like the thought of playing like this and think its really good and will catch them off guard.


@MrStrategio would like this :smile:


Indeed I do. Starred. Plan to check this out when I get some free time.


Oooh, theorycrafting already. How exciting! :smiley:


My game plan for most builds will focus initially on putting 2 points into an AOE skill and 1 into a knockback move. The reason for this would be I plan to farm quickly to get to evolve to stage 2 faster…but if hunters get in the way I want them kept as far from me as possible. Once evolved to stage 2 I’d add 2 points to a long range attack and max out my AOE. Once I have full armor at stage 2 I plan to take the fight to the Hunters (by ambush from afar preferably) and, as long as I feel I am holding my own, keep pummeling them as I close in, looking for down strikes, until I lose all armor and get down to about half health…knowing I can escape and restore that health when I stage up to level 3. At that point my focus is not on farming prey and escaping but on killing hunters. I can always max out one of my current attacks and throw the extra point(s) into something else, or I might want to take them by surprise with something totally new (but maxed out), depending on how crafty these hunters are. I like a little surprise option.

EXAMPLE: Monster being Goliath…
2 pts. Flame Breath, 1 pt. Charge (charge picked over rock throw since charge can help me escape/farm quicker)
1 pt. Flame Breath (now maxed), 2 pts. Rock Throw (ambush when ready by throwing rocks from afar; flame them as they come in closer, be ready to charge away to freedom)
3 pt. Leap Smash (every attack is open to me so cooldown times won’t be a big issue, but my focus will be on AOE and leaping from hunter to hunter, dividing them to conquer)


I am an eggs in one basket kinda guy. The two strats I am excited to try for Kraken are dumping all three in either vortex or the lightning strike. The vortex is a great farming/avoidance ability and does decent damage when advanced, so it seems like it would be a great start. My thoughts for putting all of my points into the lightning strike are a little more aggressive. While it’s not great for farming, if you do decide to engage the hunters or get domed, you can pretty much take a player out of commission just like that. They are gonna think twice when you take out two thirds or so of their health in one hit :stuck_out_tongue:


I feel that the 3 most common types of builds will be something similar to this setup.

The All In: This is where the monster choose 1 skill and puts all 3 starting points into it. This lends to a very specific type of playstyle. It will also include ‘cheese’ builds built around abilities that are used to exploit specific maps. It’s also geared towards either a very defensive monster, or a very aggressive monster. With 3 points you can do huge spike dmg. with certain skills, or make it so that you can evade the hunters and retreat easier allowing you to reach stage 2-3 quickly. This kind of a setup usually involves pre-planned thinking to make the most of the single minded nature. From here, you can evolve into 3 skills with 3 points, or splatter them around. The choice depends on whether the monster player believes he can exploit a specific weakness in the hunter team, or to cover up any shortages the monster has against the hunter team.

The Balanced Build. This is where points are shored up more evenly to allow a more genearl strategy. The monster player will most likely have a general sense of what to do, but can react accordingly in a variety of ways. This player might put 2 points into 1 skill and 1 into another. This allows a specific strategy that revolves around the 2 points skill, but also gives him/her another ability to use in conjucting. Perhaps it’s the synergy between the 2. For instance, leap + fire. Leap closes the distance, fire does the damage, and then you can leap back out. Or for the Kraken, Vortex + lightning. Push them away so you can lightning them. Or lightning close by and then knock them back. Leveling up you will see more of a balanced edge around the skill levels.

The One of Each Build. I think that this will be one of the harder ceiling cap builds. Basically, you want to have access to as many abilities as you can right away. Going from 100 - 133% dmg isn’t as powerful as having an entirely new ability to use at your disposal. This will give you an even broader reaction when engaging both mobs, and hunters. If you can ‘ride the cooldowns’, you’ll be able to overwhelm the hunter tea, more consistently. I feel that this is an aggressive choice whether you are using these abilities to hunt prey, or hunt the hunters. As soon as you have 1 point in each skill at Stage 2, you can pick the 2 skills that you would like to bump up. This could depend on shoring up weaknesses, or punishing exploits in the opposing team.

In the end, I feel that the balanced build will be more defensive and what most average players will tend to start with. It doesn’t have huge glaring issues, and doesn’t pigeon you into a specific strategy like the other two archtypes might be. I think that the 3 All In build is for players that are trying new things, want to try something janky/gimmicky, high risk vs. high reward, or exploiting ‘cheese’ skills. I think a lot of people will eventually walk their way into this type of a build and some may stay if they find it suits their playstyle and can build an entire strategy around a single skill and use it to high effect. The One of Each build is where I think the most versatility, and by happen chance, highest skill ceiling will reside. Being able to have a lot of skills at your claws can make the difference in a lot of engagements. Each skill won’t do as much damage as the skills are spread out, but you make up for it in the fact that you can do a lot of different things from the get go.

Anyway, I’ve rambled and I don’t feel like writing an entire guide about this thing. Maybe one day.


I am thrilled with all of the responses and would love to keep the conversation going. As I stated in my first post, I feel it would be imperative to unlock 3 different skills Stage 1. I would do that with Goliath as well, (I haven’t seen the 3rd monster, but on principle I would still spread the points around). I just feel the utility is too strong to pass up.

I saw the video where the Kraken leveled up Lightning Strike fully Stage 1, and I agree that it was cool to see such damage in the very first skirmish, but what if that Strike missed? Then all 4 hunters can just focus me while I wait for the move to come off cooldown. I would feel so helpless.

@MrStrategio: I appreciate this being a thread you have an interest in. As a former QA Tester, I can only imagine the fun it must be to come into the office and just do regressions all day when a new build comes in :smiley:. This seems like a dream project.

I totally value your opinions in regards to strategy and would love to hear anything you have to contribute to the discussion. I would also be very appreciative if you could help me with some of the numbers gathering. Specifically, I was hoping you could shed light on Ability Cooldowns, as well as the remaining Damage and Radius numbers for Kraken as well as Goliath. I hope I am not asking too much, any information you could provide would be spectacular.


Always glad to take part in strategic discussions. :smile: I just gotta make sure I got the time to give it some thought.

When it comes to giving numbers, @MacMan would be the best one to ask for this as he has sole control over balance changes. Given the nature of our play tests, we may change around values for balance testing often, so I am hesitant to give hard numbers knowing they will change. Conceptual strategies tend to last a little longer despite balance changes as far as I have observed so I’m more likely to elaborate in those areas until the game ships.


Anytime you are free I would love to know your opinions. Out of curiosity, do you have a set build for every game, or just for Stage 1 and then fill in as the match develops?

From the videos I have seen, the game seems to reward improvisation more than always having the same build order or going to the same area of the map every time you Evolve. In your experience, is that the case? Once you know a map and a Monster really well, do you just try to repeat the same process that has led to earlier wins until it is beaten, or is there a need to keep trying new strategies?

@MacMan, I noticed you stealth-liked my first post but as of now have not joined in on the conversation. Would you be willing/able to provide Ability Cooldown numbers? I understand they are all subject to change, just a nerd on the hunt. My next step would be re-watching videos with a stopwatch. I’m just crazy enough to do it. I would also love to hear how your strategies have changed over time as the game continues to take shape. Thanks for taking the time.

This is off topic, and I hope this is not seen a me just trying to curry favor for Cooldown numbers, but this community has been an absolute pleasure to lurk, then be a part of. My first stop when I check these forums is to look at Dev Tracker (you guys have a Dev Tracker)! There are always multiple posts from separate people that I would imagine are very busy actually making this game we are all commenting on, but all still take the time to post.

How generous with your time everyone has been, as well as how forthcoming, makes me more excited to not just play Evolve, but to be a part of the community. Seems like @MacMan and @SlabOMeat did a great job putting this team together, and I can’t wait to play the finished product.