Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing - Hunter Skills - Spells

This post has general tips and tricks for The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing played on the PC at Heroic Difficulty. For a list of all our Van Helsing posts, click here.

Hunter Skills - Spells
We aimed to play the game without using potions, and we did not also farm for gold to maximize Essences on every inventory item. So, Spells (which are generally Mana intensive) were avoided and generally used only left at level 1 and cast for their power-ups. Trying to get decent damage out of spells would also have required focusing on SpellPower, whereas with combat, increased damage came automatically with higher level gear drops.

Spells, whether learned from the Mystic Warrior or Occult Hunter skill trees, are NOT tied to whether Van Helsing is presently using a sword or a gun. For example, he can be attacking with a sword and without switching to his gun, he can cast Ray of Destruction.

Many spells ignore vertical height, whereas gunfire does not.
  • What it means is you can be on a platform high above (e.g., Dreadworks, before taking the elevators down) and shoot a Ray of Destruction at enemies below. Or, if you activate Embracing Flames and enemies would be in radius if you were at the same vertical height, they will take damage.
  • Opportunities to cheese with this exploit are not that common, but extremely powerful. It is more probable that you can take advantage of his to pull enemies from behind cover.
Embracing Flames Creates a ring of fire around the caster that lasts for 5 seconds, and burns enemies within 3 meters for 6% - 15.5% Spellpower in fire damage. Mana 25 -53. Cooldown 10 seconds.
  • Shielding Flames Absorbs 10%-30% of incoming damage (all types) for the duration.
    • Even 10% represents a lot of Resistance you would otherwise need to have the same reduction in damage, as Resistance has diminishing returns as enemy levels get higher.
    • Combine this with the Hidden Reserves aura for damage, defense, and healing all with a single spell use, good whether you are in melee and standing your ground, or kiting a large group of shooters and need emergency healing and protection as you flee.
  • White Flame +30% Damage.
  • Violet Flames Duration increased by 3 seconds.
  • Blazing Aura Burn radius increased by 1 meter.
Earthquake A violent shockwave rips through the earth in front of the caster, damaging everyone in its (4 meter wide, 15 meter long) wake for 150% - 204% melee weapon damage. Mana 130 - 143. Mana Cooldown fixed at 0.5 seconds.
  • The Mana cost is enormous, so the 0.5 second cooldown isn't that useful. Plus, after you have launched it, you may not have enough Mana left to use anything else.
  • Best used against the initial rush of a mob, if you can angle it right to catch most of them.
  • Still not as good as Lightning, which isn't as wide, but which has strong power-ups and is cheaper.
  • Brutal Stomp The shockwave is 1.5 meters wider.
  • Intense Shockwave +30% Damage.
  • Scorching Fumes Burns targets for an additional 10% of the caster's Spellpower.
  • Earthbound Soul Mana Cost decreased by 15%.
Ice Blast Generates a blast of ice around the hunter, dealing 20% - 54% Spellpower in ice damage to everyone within 3 meters. Mana 40-60. Cooldown 3.5 seconds.
  • Cold Wrath Increases blast radius by 1 meter.
  • Liquid Frost Targets will be frozen for 2 seconds. (Nemeses will only be slowed to half their movement and attack speed.)
    • Melee builds should have this, as the level 3 power-up lasts 6 seconds and the radius is very good. It can replace Embracing Flames, but it can be helpful to have both to activate Hidden Reserves healing as well as to give help and respite when swarmed.
  • Frostbite +50% Damage.
  • Larger Blast Blast radius increased by 1 meter.
Lightning A 2 meter wide, 15 meter long bolt of lightning will shoot from the hunter towards the cursor, shocking everyone in its path for 10% to 40% Spellpower in lightninig damage. Mana 50 - 195. Cooldown 5 - 2.85 seconds.
  • Forked Lightning The first victim struck releases 1 smaller bolts, which strike the nearest targets, causing the same amount of damage.
  • Thunderstruck Targets are paralyzed for 2 seconds.
    • Because of the area that can be affected by this spell, this is actually a very good spell for crowd control. At powerup level 3, this is 6 seconds of paralysis -- The enemy will not have recovered before the spell cooldown expires.
    • Recommended for all builds. Leave Lightning at level 1 to keep the Mana Cost low.
    • Great for supporting Katarina in melee and stopping initial mob rushes to follow up with area effect attacks.
  • Heartbleed The targets have a 10% chance of dying outright. (Doesn't work on Nemeses.)
    • As with Lethal Jolt, this can be a very powerful power-up, but ThunderStruck tends to be the safer choice since Heartbleed has an all-or-nothing effect while Thunderstruck has the additional benefit of giving you the option of fleeing instead of staying to engage.
  • Surge of Power Increases the length of the bolt to 25 meters.
  • Feedback Charge Cooldown is reduced by 1 second.
    • Just qualifying for this requires level 5 Lightning, and the corresponding huge jump in Mana cost. Might not be worth it unless you are willing to drink Mana potions a lot.
Flaming Sphere Hurls a ball of fire towards a target, burning the area within a 4 meter radius for 20% to 60% Spellpower in fire damage, and knocking foes off their feet if damage exceeds 25% of their current Health. Mana 100 - 235. Cooldown 10 - 9 seconds.
  • The Mana cost is pretty high and the cooldown pretty long. Knocking foes off their feet requires that they have fairly low HP, so you are probably better off just trying to kill them,.
  • Napalm Catalyst Targets burn for 10 seconds, for 10% of the original damage per second.
  • Sulfur Catalyst +50% Damage.
  • Nitroglycerin Catalyst Blast area is increased by 1 meter.
  • Mental Conditioning Cooldown is reduced by 4 seconds.
Ray of Destruction The Ray of Destruction runs from the caster towards the mouse cursor while you keep the mouse button pressed, stopping at the first solid obstacle it hits. Foes hit by the ray will suffer 69% to 105% Spellpower in Arcane (?) damage every second until they get out of the ray or die. Mana 19 - 28 "per second".
  • There is a short Cooldown, which might be equal to your Global Cooldown (which you can see if you look at Detailed Info).
  • Mana usage per second is closer to 10x the amount indicated. The damage indicated in the Skills window is also generally not a reliable value. The ratio of Damage per Second to Mana per Second is generally pretty good considering how many targets you can hit, but you will have to decide if it is worth it to occasionally be running empty of Mana.
  • The Ray passes through all targets, so this is great against the sizeable mobs in Borgova as well as to get at a particular target in the rear ranks. You could pair it with the basic Shoot skill with the Mana Leech upgrade if your Mana Regeneration is low, to help recover Mana even faster.
  • Deathburst Targets killed by the ray explode, causing damage equal to 50% of their maximum HP to anyone within 2 meters.
    • Theoretically a great power-up, but wasted if you don't manage to kill anything.
  • Draining Ray Each enemy hit by the attack heals you by 1% of your maximum HP during the first 3 seconds.
  • Ray of Devastation +30% Damage during the first 3 seconds.
  • Improved Focus Mana cost per second is reduced by 5.

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