Paladins – Guide to Pip (The Rogue Alchemist)

A helpful guide for those who are interested in playing or maining Pip, a jack of all trades character in Paladins (Warning: Do not go mid or off-tank).

Considerations

Before we begin, It’s fair to put in here a screenshot of Pip’s kit, and how it works.

Also, there are some terms here that might be obscure for newer folks. I’ll explain them:

  • DPS: The Damage Class, and also refers to flanks that can melt targets, like Talus, Vora, Skye, etc.
  • Mid-Tank: The tank that fights for the capture point. Usually, those are champions who can cleanse cauterize effectively through good use of defensive skills.
  • Off-Tank: The second tank that fights for the side lanes of a map. Usually, they are tanks that have good damage and initiation into other champions.
  • Off-Support/Secondary Support: A class that acts as a second support in games, but focuses on other areas where the main support is not focused, such as damage or CC.
  • Healbot: Refers to playstyles or champions who offer nothing but healing. Commonly used to refer to Seris, Corvus, etc.
  • CC (Crowd Control): Abilities or effects that hinder movement, like stuns, slows, fears, etc. Mal’Damba’s reload stuns a champion hit, and his ultimate causes an AoE fear
  • AoE (Area of Effect): Abilities or effects that affect an area around it, like blaster projectiles (Pip’s weapon shots and potions).

Why Should You Play Pip?

Pros:

Fun Gameplay

The most important reason to play Pip is that he is really fun! I mean, are you telling me burst healing and bursting squishies is not fun? Also, throwing your ultimate in the air and praying it hits someone for your YouTube montage never gets old.

Versatility

Pip can fill the niche of a DPS, a off-support and of course a support, which means that you can play him into most situations, such as the “4 flanks” or “3 Damages 2 Supports” metas in casual, or the standard Double Tank Double DPS meta in ranked.

Lots of utility (even as DPS)

Pip’s RMB slows enemies in a small area, his ultimate transforms any champion into very squishy chickens, which can be easily taken out by yourself or 2 champions, and he also boosts the movement speed of your allies, of course! Not to mention damage, after all the enemy can’t do anything if they are dead.

Great mobility

There is so much jumping action involved. Pip’s F gives him the so needed escape and mobility most champions have, and gives some considerable juking potential for a support.

Cons:

Hitscans…

Pip has a big head hitbox, which means its really easy for hitscan champions to headshot him. This is not a problem against projectile or blaster champions, but this means that hitscan champions have the upper edge against him.

No Damage Reduction

Most supports have some damage reduction on their kits to make them safer from flanks and dives, but Pip does not have any damage reduction on his kit/cards, only self-sustain. Granted, its great self-sustain, but it’s healing, which means cauterize can significantly reduce his survivability.

Resilience

Resilience reduces the effectiveness and duration of CC, which means that, if your opponents are semi-competent, your ultimate and RMB’s slow get weaker. They are still great, but will get weaker.

Talents and Loadouts

  • Mega Potion: If you are playing as damage or secondary support, you can use mega potion as a balanced option. You are guaranteed to pretty much heal any non-tank to full in a single potion. Cauterize does counter this talent alot, but you should ideally wait out cauterize anyways.
  • Catalyst: The best option for DPS Pip. It increases your damage, nuff said. It also gives a good burst on the attack reset combo. More info on that later.
  • Combat Medic: This increases your Healing Per Second (HPS) ridiculously. If you’re solo support, you should take Combat Medic over the other talents always, it’s much more consistent than Mega Potion in healing output, but you have to go somewhat of a healbot to use this to great effect, unfortunately.

When going for each talents, you want to think in terms of what role you want to fill. In a 2 DPS, 2 Tanks and 1 Support team comp, for instance, if you have a champion filling the role of a support (Say, Seris or Mal’Damba), you are free to take any of the 3 talents and all of them would work. If you don’t have any supports, you HAVE to go Combat Medic. It is the only consistent option for solo support Pip. Pip’s base kit does not have a consistent enough healing to have you go any talent you want in this situation.

Now, what loadout should you use for each talent? Well…

Cards

For a Combat Medic/Mega Potion loadout, you pretty much use the same cards, in varied levels.

  • Gift Giver – 3-5
    This is the most important card in ANY Pip loadout. Doens’t matter if it’s DPS, Flank, Support or whatever. It allows you to sustain yourself by healing others, in other words, this guarantees great healing for your teammates and self-sustain.
  • Reload – 4-5
    Reload allows you to throw another potion faster, which equals to more healing and self-sustain. This is specially effective with Mega Potion.
  • Medical Excellence – 2-3
    This card increases the radius of the potion, reducing your chances to miss the potion, and also allowing you to heal more people. It’s a slight increase, but every little buff counts.
  • Smithereens and Acrobat’s Trick – Fillers
    These cards are kind of filler cards, but together they have a good synergy: Smithereens allows you to shoot more, and acrobat’s trick reduces the cooldown of your healing a tiny bit for each of your shots. I wouldn’t prioritize Smithereens on MP builds, however.
  • Other decent cards:
    -Moxie 2-3 is also a good choice for a filler on here, since it increases the healing you receive from your potion, and synergizes nicely with MP.
    -Pep In The Step buffs your allies movement speed. Although I emphasize the fact that Pip buffs movement speed in the Pros and Cons section, I don’t think this is THAT important of a card to have, since the previously mentioned options exist.
    -Sprint makes you slightly more mobile, allowing you to escape or reach allies faster. You’ll generally want this at level 1 at best, but it makes a significant difference.

With Catalyst, you’re THE DAMAGETHE CARRY. But you also have a great burst of healing with potions for others/yourself, and with that in mind…

  • Gift Giver – 3-4
    As I mentioned previously, this is the most important card for Pip. But you can choose to put it lower in points here. Just make sure its atleast on level 3.
  • Moxie – 4-5
    Moxie increases all healing you RECEIVE. It does NOT increase healing you give to others. The reason this card is amazing is its synergy with your potion and…
  • Acumen – 4-5
    …This card. Acumen gives a splendid 40% (50% at lvl. 5) Lifesteal bonus against targets hit by Explosive Flask. To be noted is that Moxie increases ALL healing you receive. Meaning it increases the healing this card provides. Meaning you have a critical self-sustain.
  • Smithereens – 1
    Smithereens is not so much a filler as it is a good card here. It restores ammo when you hit enemies with the Explosive Flask. This, combined with Acumen and Moxie, can be the difference between winning a duel/teamfight or losing it.
  • Acrobat’s Trick – Filler
    Acrobat’s Trick is my prefered filler card for this, because again, the more you shoot, the faster your potion comes off of cooldown, which translates to more healing. And there’s also the synergy between this card and Smithereens.
  • Other decent cards:
    -Sprint, much for the same reasons as the other loadout.
    -Pep In The Step, but not so much to buff your team as to buff yourself to gain more mobility.
    -Refreshing Jog, for more self-sustain.
    -Escape Artist synergizes nicely with Refreshing Jog.

Of course, I need to tell you what cards are garbage, so you can avoid the mistake of wasting critical points on them. (Note: these are only garbage because better cards exist)

  • Sturdy needs way too many points to be a mediocre card at best, just get Agility or the cards I mentioned.
  • Graviton is the worst card, its completely demolished by resilience and other CC immunity effects. It is the only card which is garbage because its a bad idea, not because better cards exist.
  • Shrewd Move is not a reliable way to reduce your potion’s cooldown as the other cards. It requires your team to be competent. Also, it requires you to win skirmishes.
  • Side Tanks might not really belong here, but I’ve never felt it important, specially compared to the smithereens/acrobat combo.

Items

In every match, you need to analyze each team’s comp, loadouts and items to decide what items you should buy. Some items are absolutely important, others are garbage at best.

Offense

  • Cauterize is the most important item in the game. As specifically Combat Medic Pip, you don’t want to buy it, but if you are playing DPS Pip you MUST get this item and get it to level 3.
  • Deft Hands to all other champions is garbage. But, for Combat Medic Pip, who needs to use his weapon to heal, it has the same effect as chronos, reducing the “cooldown” of your weapon’s healing.
  • Bulldozer was never a good option and will never be. On any champion for that matter.
  • Only buy wrecker if the enemy team has Fernando or 2 tanks with shields. And only buy it as DPS Pip.

Healing

  • Garbage, garbage, garbage and garbage. Veteran at maximum level does not give you nearly as much survivability as Haven does, Life Rip gets run over due to Acumen and Diminishing Returns, Kill To Heal is a waste of space, Pip has a potion that heals him for 1000+ at any time if it’s off cooldown, and Moxie functions MUCH better than Rejuvenate. Do NOT buy. Report the shop for scam.

Utility

  • Chronos. If you’re going support/off-sup Pip, ALWAYS get this first and get it to level 3. Deft Hands comes second. It’s also good for DPS Pip, but not as big of a priority.
  • Master Riding is only good for mid tanks. Reaching the battlefield first does not do good for a squishy.
  • Morale Boost allows you to get one of the best ults in the game faster. It is a very good buy.
  • Agility is not as important, but it’s still a good buy, the faster you are the harder you are to hit. Unless Lian.

Defense

  • You can’t buy Guardian. Honestly, if Pip had a shield it would be far more useful than green items.
  • Haven is one of the most important items, it guarantees more survivability, increasing your chances of victory. Note this is not a remedy for poor positioning, you won’t become Khan all of a sudden.
  • Resilience and Illuminate are situational, only buy them if there is a lot of CC in the enemy team and stealth champions, respectively. CC is somewhat common in Paladins, so I see resilience being built alot in games.

Typically, a DPS Pip’s items would be:

  • Cauterize, Haven, Morale Boost, Wrecker

And a Support Pip:

  • Chronos, Deft Hands, Morale Boost and Haven.

Gameplay Tips!

Finally, took me a while, didn’t it?

Pip is a medium difficulty champion. His weapon is easy to use to deal damage, not so much to heal some targets (vertical mobility champions). Due to Resilience, you also need to squeeze alot of juice out of your ultimate and slows. Hitscan champions make Pip’s (and yours, most likely) life harder.

There are some general tips you want to apply:
When playing Support Pip, focus on healing targets based on some factors:

  • Performance: Focus on healing teammates that are carrying. Do not reach beyond the stars to heal a Maeve that is killing herself at the enemy base, and focus the Tyra who is shredding the enemy lines.
  • Ults: Say a Drogoz or Bomb King ulting, you need to focus on healing them a bit more, they WILL be focused by any competent team.
  • Roles: A mid tank will get alot of pressure from the enemy DPS and tank. Which means they will be very low most of the time.
  • Mobility: Airborne champions like Drogoz and Maeve are relatively vulnerable. If you have trouble healing airborne targets, use your potion for them. A helpful tip is that you can re-cast your potion mid-air to detonate it.

Pip’s Healing Potion heals targets behind walls.

Also, get behind cover. You need to defend yourself from enemy DPS and tanks. Also, Pip’s Healing Potion heals targets behind walls, not his weapon shots however.

Things get different when playing DPS Pip:

  • Ideally, you’d want to stay with your off-tank or another DPS to try and flank enemy backlines, pressuring them.
  • Make sure to use Gift Giver to heal your teammates, it also heals yourself.
  • If flanking is too difficult, you can pressure the enemy mid tank as well, but flanking enemy lines is what you can do best.
  • Play around cover, and juke the enemy with your mobility.

These are general tips, but they go a long way into making you a better Pip, and Paladins, player.

But there is also the advanced stuff, some techs that really add that kick into your mechanics.

Here are 3 little techs you’ll want to learn:

Walljumps

You should apply this with every champion, but Pip utilizes this alot. When you jump while next to a wall, your character jumps slightly higher. The thing with Pip is that this applies with Weightless as well, which means you can jump higher.

Attack Reset

This is a quick combo in which you cancel the animation of your primary fire with your secondary fire, giving you a nice burst of damage, and even more so with Catalyst. Also slows the enemy due to Flask.

I know I made it sound harder than it is, but you just need to get a feel for Pip’s ROF and time your RMB as soon as you fire the explosive flask.

Blaster Jumps

You can jump real high combining wall jumps and weightless. And, if you shoot yourself mid-air in the feet, you can propel yourself even further, and even more so with the explosive flask. This is used by some other champions as well, like Drogoz and Bomb King. Note that you can’t do this with Combat Medic Pip, because you do not get knockbacked from your own shots.

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