Ahoy! CaptainBenzie coming at you with Loadout Lowdown, in association with FieryTale. This series aims to take a close look at every weapon in the Armajet armory, in order to better inform all you bounty hunters how to dominate the arena with them!
Today we're going to be taking a look at one of the more unusual weapons in the Armajet arsenal - the Venom.
Other Armajet Guides:
- Blacktusk / Loadout Lowdown.
- Tremor / Loadout Lowdown.
- Longclaw / Loadout Lowdown.
- Badger / Loadout Lowdown.
This weird weapon is a radioactive goo launcher. The projectiles that it fires break into smaller globules on impact and stick to surfaces, dealing damage on contact.
Unlike other more direct damage dealers where you aim in the approximate direction of the enemy and pull the trigger, the Venom is a support weapon. Specifically, I like to refer to it as a *Zoning* weapon. I'm borrowing this term from fighting games and MOBAs but for those of you unfamiliar with the terminology I'm borrowing, this essentially refers to the ability to influence your opponent's movement. The Venom isn't necessarily about racking up your personal kill count - thought it most certainly can do this - it's about denying the opposing team access to certain paths, or entire areas of the arena.
Before we cover this more advanced level of use, let's go over the basics of the venom first, and how to use it outside of team environments.
Like the Badger, the Venom fires in an arc. It's also a burst-fire weapon that launches a handful of globules. As previously mentioned, these globules break apart when they impact into terrain, and they bounce. This means, like the Tremor, it's often better to aim, not directly at your opponent, but at the ground by their feet, or the wall or ceiling behind or above them.
In fact, these bounces travel surprisingly far, and with the curvature of the weapons trajectory, you can rain toxic goo into your opponent's whilst remaining out of their line of sight. A particularly cunning Venom user will also very quickly work out how to bounce these shots to hit targets in a frightening radius around them - for example, standing here near the Invisibility powerup on Magma, a venom user can hit opponents anywhere in this area - including directly below them. No other weapon in the game can do this, and this advanced knowledge of the maps is absolutely vital to vanquishing with the venom (roll credits).
Seriously though, learn the environments. Learn how your shots bounce from different surfaces at different angles. Get a feel for how this aspect of the venom works and you'll be able to rinse the opposition from relative safety.
Add to this that the Venom has a decent rate of fire, a fairly short reload time, and good mobility, and the Venom can very easily become very toxic to deal with, pun wholeheartedly intended. That said, however, dealing with a Venom user is surprisingly obvious when you stop and think about it.
Firstly, it's horizontal and positive vertical range is astonishingly short. If you approach a venom user side on, or from above (think 9 o clock to 3 o clock on a clock) it can be very difficult for them to deal with, especially if you keep to open spaces to deny the venom user a surface to bounce their goop off. You can easily swoop in and cut them to ribbons with a Blacktusk, Dominion, Thunderstorm... You name it. Any quick firing close range weapon will do.
Secondly, due to the Venoms short range, they are nigh on helpless against opponents carrying long range weaponry like a Longclaw, Havoc, Leviathan or Velocitas. Even a Locust can be problematic for a Venom user. Keep out of range, and take the Venom user out.
Before we cover the topic of secondary weapons, let's go back to advanced Venom usage in team play. So far, we've looked at running the Venom when queueing solo against random enemies and how to rack up your kills. Whilst you *can* just use a Venom like this in team play, you'd be missing a huge amount of the weapons utility.
Simply put, by soaking an area in a near constant barrage of venom goop, you can zone the enemy team away from certain areas or into others. Most obviously, by covering the Double Damage in a deluge, you can deter the enemy team from approaching whilst your teammates swoop in and grab it.
Less obviously, but arguably just as powerful is denying certain channels on a map. If one approach route is being splattered in radioactive goo, then the enemy team must approach from other angles. Just make sure that these angles are well covered with, say, a Blacktusk and Leviathan user, and you've created a kill corridor. Use this to keep your opponents cornered away from powerups, or held at a distance to protect your long rangers.
On the subject of teamwork, Venom users don't really require any of the powerups specifically. Frontliners will get more use for the shield pickups, and although a Venom with double damage is absolutely disgusting, your teammates will likely take priority unless they're using something like the Phantom, Locust, or Quantum.
Your choice of secondary weapons ultimately comes down to your intent with the venom. I know some like to carry a Marauder or Enforcer to quickly dispatch enemies that get a little too close, or as a way of providing return firepower against snipers.
Frag Grenades can be a great option for some extra damage if you're looking to use the Venom in solo play as you can quickly lob a grenade at an enemy that's managed to avoid the majority of your goop, and you can do so from whatever safe point you're holding.
Proximity mines are a great option for a zoning support gunner, as these allow you to further deter opponents from using certain approaches, but my firm favourite remains the Incendiary grenade, as this can blanket an entire stretch of floor in fire. If the goop doesn't get them, the fire does. I use this both in solo and team play.
For Ultimates, there are a few that I'd recommend.
Sentries are a great option for both zone denial, if you can drop them in a decent enough position, but I like to keep one close just to deter any frontliner from getting too close to my safe space. I'd strongly recommend the Machine Gun Sentry, if this is the route you want to go down.
Drones are fantastic for going hunting without you leaving the safety of your dug in, and are probably the best Ultimate for solo play to rack up the kills.
My personal favourite though, by far, is the Napalm Strike. This, with the Venom and Incendiary Grenade makes for an absolutely deadly combination that will have your opposition screaming at their screens. You turn the entire arena into a very literal and hilarious game of "the floor is lava". Just be aware, you are going to be on the recieving end of a LOT of salt if you go for this. That said, I like to personally treat this as a sign that it's working as intended! Yes, I'm evil. There's a reason that Venom mains are considered absolutely toxic in every sense of the word. We feed on the salty tears of our opponents.
That just about wraps it up for this particular Loadout Lowdown. I hope I've inspired some of you to try being a toxic Venom user for a bit, and for the rest of you, I hope you've at least learned the best ways to counter this playstyle so that you don't turn into a pillar of salt every time you encounter one of us!