Just as a preface to this post, I am the medic main for the ESL team “Spears End”. And the Medic role is literally all I play. My Gamertag is Vivid Seraph if you are one of those people who like to source check where their information is coming from. I just want you guys to know that my heart and soul has gone into this game specifically for the medic role since this game has launched. All comments are accurate to the most recent console patch 2.0.1.
This post is mainly to check out where the medics fit in to competitive play at the moment. The reason I think that analyzing competitive play for medics is crucial is that when a character is really pushed to it’s limits against the best players out there one can start to tell where it’s weaknesses and strengths really are.
So lets start this off with the very fitting first choice of Caira. Caira has something very special going for her at the moment called reliability. And right now in competitive play she is one of (if not the) top medic because of this alone. About the only thing she isn’t reliable with is healing when her teammates happen to be in the air. Other than that, she has more healing output than any other medic at the moment and more survivability than all the others. As if that isn’t enough, she also brings offensive capabilities to her entire team with a speed boost that when in the right hands will turn a game on a dime (evo dome, cloak + speed boost, etc…), and the point here is that it is reliable. Nothing about her kit is hard to pull off, and so the only thing left to skill with her is personal mechanics.
Val… my one great love is finally getting some much needed love from TRS <3. Val in my humble opinion was always meant to be the early game “push to win” character that we can find similarities in with Cabot, but still have a chance in the mid/late game. Right now people still need some time to adjust to the recent buffs, but if team compositions realize her weakness’s and respond appropriately things can start to get really reliable. The only thing I noticed with val that should be addressed is that against an ESL monster Val doesn’t have a good choice of perk aside from one perk that probably doesn’t see much play below the level of 40… health regen. Health regen allows Val to save her ever precious healing burst for when she needs to do her medic duties and save her teammates instead of constantly trying to heal herself like she is pretending to be Lazarus.
The public match favorite enters the ring now with Laz BABY. But for real, Lazarus is seen literally as a joke in competitive play at the moment. I’m not saying this to start a !KAPPA !SALT thing down in chat, but he really is seen that way to every competitive medic player I have met. And the reason in my (again humble) opinion, is that he is the most unreliable medic that is in the current line-up. A few things contribute to this at the moment and I’ll start with the ones that aren’t bugs. Lazarus intrinsically needs to have a team that during combat can position properly without error, and execute their response to monster positioning without error. The reason I am stressing this is that the moment a player makes a mistake on a Lazarus team the stakes skyrocket. And when the stakes are high, everything is on the table for that one moment in the game. Even if a team lays a beating into the monster for the first half of the game the chance of that monster to crawl back into the game is exponentially higher with Lazarus because of the amount a monster can get off of hunter mistakes.
Still about Laz, I just thought a line-break would make this easier to read. Warning: time to bust out that dusty dictionary. ‘Propensity’ is a word that I feel can be greatly appreciated in this conversation because it’s definition alone will help in understanding everything I’ve already said about Lazarus. With that stuff out of the way, people fall through the map when you play Laz. Not a joke. Bodies actually just go, “I’m gunna take a trip to Valhalla quickly if that’s okay with y’all”.
And last but oh I dearly hope not least: Slim. The moment I received my first glimpse of this stylish bug-man of awesomeness, my brain couldn’t even handle the excitement. And after I started playing him I found that something I totally didn’t expect to happen was going on. I was dealing ALOT of damage. While I was doing all of this damage I also noticed that my team was suffering even though I stretched my kit to the max in an attempt to keep them alive. The play style that Slim encourages is risky and requires an above average skill to pull off correctly. But when slim received a 30% damage nerf, he also lost a lot of trade potential playing the “high-risk” game. When the monster downs a team mate, a certain amount of health damage has to have been done to deem a trade ‘worth’. Slim lost his ability to push this in any favor for the hunters against a good monster with his nerf. If a hunter line-up wants to out-trade the monster and that’s all they are looking to do, Caira is overall a more effective pick than Slim at the moment and that is just the sad truth but I really do hope this is addressed in the future.
Just to wrap up this beast of a post, I don’t think that Caira is overpowered at the moment. I do however think that the other medics pale in comparison to her, with Val hitting a not so close second. From what I could tell about Slim, he received a nerf based on one week of telemetry where players had to get used to an entirely new mechanic and combo with the spores and jetpack from sunny. Now I DO believe that Slim was in a position to receive a nerf, but I do not believe that a 30% reduction in damage follows the philosophy Chris Ashton portrayed on the TRS stream from April 9th stating that taking small steps in nerfs/buffs would allow them to continue moving in the same direction with future changes to be less confusing.
This post is ultimately me laying out my own observations of the competitive scene as it relates to medics at the moment, and I do realize that all of my comments are subjective. I really do put tons of time and effort into this game and I really just want my voice to be heard on this topic because of how close to home it hits. I hope that this helps give clarity to the medic side of competitive play to players, and help with future changes from TRS. @MacMan @DB_Sinclair @Chloe