This guide introduces some subtle game mechanics to help bolster the ability of Hulk to apply status and battery effects, primarily for tank builds. Specifically, how to allow Hulk to use small debris attacks throughout entire light combo chains without the debris breaking and how to use small debris attacks simultaneously with attacks using a mob as a bludgeon.
This is a guide for subtle optimisation of Hulk for stun/status effects, and in particular battery effects. While it can be used in any build it is primarily of use for tank builds.
A Hulk tank build, while almost impossible to kill due to high defense and life regen, the downside is a lack of damage as it is not uncommon for full tank builds to have 750-1000 might/valor.
But even with a tank build, Hulk is a strong AoE character so this guide covers ways to help improve Hulk’s damage, through consistent battery effects, but to also bolster Hulk’s tanking role, e.g., crowd control, while spreading stun & status effects in an AoE with some subtle use of particular game mechanics. Specifically using dodge to maintain small debris attacks throughout entire attack chains and using small debris attacks simultaneously with using a mob(s) as a bludgeon.
- L = Light attack
- H = Heavy attack
- H*= Power attack (Hold H)
- j = Jump
- CC = Crowd control.
- DoT = Damage over time.
- Battery effect = +/- status together give bonus damage for strikes and DoTs.
- Debris attack = throughout this refers to attacking while holding small rock debris.
- Grapple = Hulk’s Grab attack.
- Bludgeon = This refers to Hulk using a grabbed mob as a weapon to attack with.
- Polarity = Refers to the (-) or (+) qualifier for a given status type.
- (-) polarity = gamma, cryo, shock, sonic
- (+) polarity = plasma, pym, cosmic, vibranium
Hulk generally has easy access to seven of the ten possible status effects: stun, plasma, pym, gamma, vibranium, sonic, and cosmic.
Primary: These are the types effective for CC.
- Stun is the simplest. It allows for takedowns and also acts as temporary CC if the mob is left stunned.
- Plasma acts as intermittent CC by interrupting some enemy attacks, and staggering weaker enemies, on top of dealing damage.
- Pym shrinks enemies causing them to take more damage and deal less damage. The pym effect also interrupts all attacks, even bosses, as the enemy shrinks.
Secondary: These are more damage oriented. The cosmic healing is not needed by Hulk due to rage healing, and with Boneshaker with taunt specced Stranglehold and Thunderclap the mobs should be focusing on Hulk anyway. However the sonic status will help keep Hulk enraged, and lessen the cool down of his heroics.
- Gamma applies a DoT which will spread to other mobs, allowing damage to spread easily. Mob death causes a gamma explosion.
- Vibranium causes damage explosions on attacked mobs.
- Sonic causes the mob to charge heroes that are close enough heroic and intrinsic meters.
- Cosmic increases damage taken by mobs and heals the attacker(s).
Note: Hulk will apply gamma damage when overcharged.
Tertiary: Hulk cannot access these effects through gear, but can apply them via using a specific mob as a bludgeon.
- Shock increases damage done to mob and increases an attacks critical chance against them.
- Cryo freezes the mob slowing all actions.
- Graviton. This causes mobs to float up into the air. This cannot be dealt as a status effect from players except through specific chance based perks on gear, a graviton bomb/box is destroyed during combat, or if Hulk uses a graviton mob as a bludgeon.
Using status damage for CC and battery effects is essential for a tank build Hulk.
Melee Without Breaking Small Debris
Hulk can maintain his hold on small debris without it breaking or being dropped throughout entire combo chains that begin with light attacks.
Using a dodging light attack vs. a stationary light attack to begin an attack chain causes held small debris to not break upon striking a mob for the entire duration of the combo.
By holding the debris for the duration of the attack chain, the status of both hand equipment (L finisher perks) and range equipment (small debris melee attack perk) will give two status effect damages, leading to a battery effect if the status types are opposite polarity, as both status damages are applied.
Standard dodge+L attack or a sprint+L attack deal more damage than the standard stationary strike. It has the same damage as the 2nd hit in the scaling L,L,L,L combo, e.g., L1,L2,L3,L4 becomes L2,L2,L3,L4 damage wise.
Debris Attacks: Non-Breaking & Breaking
Small Debris Attacks: Non-Breaking
The following attacks do not break small debris on impact with a mob.
Note: The dodge debris strike and chains do notbenefit from Hand Canon perk.
- Dodge+L,L,L,L or H finisher
- Sprint+L, dodge-> L,L,L,L or H finisher
Small Debris Strikes: Breaking
Note: These strikes dobenefit from the Hand Canon perk.
- All Heroics break debris.
Using a Mob as a Bludgeon
The grapple (hold light attack) is a very strong tanking tool for Hulk, but also gives access to more status effects, and allows him to spread them in an AoE.
- Spreads status effect(s) and stun easily in an AoE, including types Hulk normally has no access to. Graviton, Shock, Cryo.
- Crowd control. Grappled enemies = 1-2 CC’d mobs until dropped/killed, while also applying damage to the CC’d mob(s).
- All bludgeon attacks interrupt mobs from blocking with a shield.
- Hulk is immune to interrupt during bludgeon attacks with Vice Grip ability.
- Hulk can negate attack damage with a bludgeon with Combatant Shield ability.
- Hulk can generate regen packs from H attacks with perk Regen Slams ability.
Note: Combatant Shield is an odd ability. It does not absorb red attack damage, only white or yellow. Once the timing for a parry is learned this ability is essentially useless.
Note: The Ionic Overflow ability is required in the Primary/Grab Attacks tree for bludgeons to apply status effects. Mob colour indicates their status effect type: red = plasma, green=gamma, white=cryo, blue=shock, purple=graviton.
Note: Graviton effects seem to only come from Synthoids or Adaptoids.
Hulk applying Cryo status via bludgeon attack. Cryo damage is only accessible to Hulk via bludgeon attacks.
Bludgeon Attacks While Holding Debris
Hulk can grapple one or two mobs and attack with them as bludgeons while simultaneously holding small debris throughout the entire bludgeon combo.
Note: This only works with the light bludgeon combo.
Grappling normally breaks the debris but if Hulk attacks, immediately and continuously, the debris is kept. An enemy does not need to be struck to keep the debris. Thus the debris can be kept by empty attacks if Hulk needs to maneuver slightly to reach enemies. If the bludgeon dies, Hulk keeps the debris allowing Hulk to continue to use dodge debris strikes.
The status effect of the debris is applied to the grappled mob(s) and to enemies attacked with the bludgeon. This allows Hulk to apply, in theory, up to six status effects while striking with bludgeon(s) as stun, the debris effect(s), hand equipment effect, and the bludgeon(s’) status effects are applied to enemies struck with debris+bludgeon combos.
Note: This makes the Anomalous Platelet Graft ranged item, which is generally considered to be somewhat useless, to be quite useful if it has two small debris attack perks. The lack of stats make it less so on some endgame areas, but until that point it is a very effective gear piece to help create battery effects.
Anomalous Platelet Graft
Note: Hulk in overcharge emits a gamma effect. This will damage the bludgeon as long as overcharge is kept and the bludgeon is held onto.
To grapple a mob while holding debris:
- Hulk must be holding a small debris.
- Dodge +L to strike the target mob.
- During any of the hits in the light combo chain, hold L to grab.
Hulk holding a bludgeon and small debris. The first bludgeon will always be in the same hand as the debris.
To grapple a 2nd mob while holding a bludgeon and debris:
- Once holding the first mob with debris, Hulk must continuously attack in order to not drop the debris.
- While attacking with the mob and debris, strike another mob with a L,L,L bludgeon combo. After any of the strikes, hold L again to grapple another mob.
Hulk holding two bludgeons and a small debris. The second bludgeon has three status effects: cryo, plasma, and gamma. The cryo is from the first bludgeon, plasma from the hand equipment perk, and gamma from the range equipment perk. These were applied in the process of grappling the second mob.
Standing grapple will rarely work after a certain mob level, e.g., only by surprise similar to surprise takedowns, and some mobs are resistant or evasive to grapples. There are times where a grapple is essentially guaranteed.
Stunning a mob, i.e., able to perform a takedown, is the easiest opportunity to perform a grapple.
- L,L,L,L, grab
- L,L,L,H, grab
- Parry, grab
Note: The grab attempt can be made on any of the strikes. The finisher or parry however may throw mobs out of range.
- sprint+ Hold L -> float ->grab !!
- H,H, float, (Immedate Hold L) -> grab
- L,L,L,H, float, (Immedate Hold L) -> grab
- Parry, float, -> grab
Note: A mob affected by Cryo status falls more slowly as well, giving a chance to grapple.
Note: Some float hits will stagger larger enemies, but the grapple set-up still can apply.
Mobs With Grapple Immunity
Some mobs are resistant to grapples, some are partially immune, and some are completely immune.
- Riotbots. These mobs are evasive. Stagger, float, stun, or take the Enhanced Grab ability.
- Mobs with energy barriers and/or shields. Energy barriers, similar to a Jarvis Barrier, cover a portion of a mobs life bar. This must be destroyed before a grab can occur. Shields held by mobs will prevent grabs as well. This can be overcome by breaking their block first.
- Huge/Strong Mobs. Grabs are possible on these mobs with the Pym status effect. These types of mobs would include, e.g., Dreadbots, Exos, Adaptoids, and Shockmutt.
- Bosses are always immune.
Combat With Bludgeons
Melee With a Single Bludgeon
- L,L,L -> Keeps bludgeon
- H,H,H -> Keeps bludgeon
- H*, j+H* -> Drops bludgeon
Melee With Two Bludgeons
- L,L,L -> Keeps bludgeon
- H,H,H -> Drops bludgeon
- H*, j+H* -> Drops bludgeon
Note: Care must be taken while sprinting and transitioning into an attack with a bludgeon(s). Sprint + L bludgeon attack will stop the sprint and make a standard L bludgeon strike, however sprint +H bludgeon attack will cause Hulk to perform the body slam. Hulk must stop sprinting first then attack. Or while sprinting, jump+H, and then continue however one chooses.
Fast Single Mob Bludgeon Chain
This can be used to attack mobs, but it is also a great way to deal damage to a CC’d bludgeon. This sequence can make use of animation cancels to greatly increase attack speed.
- j+H, j+H, j+H,…
This deals damage faster than the standard H,H,H bludgeon chain as there is no pause after three hits. More importantly the jump animation can be cancelled by making the heavy attack, and the slam recovery animation can be cancelled as soon as Hulk slams the mob on the ground by performing another jump. This allows the bludgeon slams come out very quickly.
Two Mob Bludgeon Chains to Keep the Bludgeon
Heavy bludgeon chain finishers, while powerful, will cause the bludgeon to be dropped; the following allows one to keep the bludgeons. As with the fast 1x chain this is primarily used to damage the bludgeon while keeping them CC’d if there are no enemies to strike.
Bludgeons & Heroics
- Boneshaker -> Drops bludgeon(s)
- Stranglehold -> Drops bludgeon(s)
- Thunderclap -> Keeps bludgeon(s)