With the Marleybone and Aquila update came the release of Rank 3 epics. Some seem incredibly overpowered, while others seem useless. I recently did some gold retrains to try out some of these epics with Destiny, and came to some interesting conclusions. Here's what I learned about each of the Rank 3 talents and what I think about their usefulness.
I'm going to talk about these epics in three posts: First, attack epics. Then, response epics. And finally, movement epics.
Riposte, Return Fire, and CounterspellThese trigger when the opponent misses hitting you. They're the first types of epics that are going to split based on combat type. Riposte is extremely popular, Return Fire is not. Mostly because you see El Toro companions having Riposte wars, not Zeena companions having Return Fire wars. Musketeers are naturally more accurate, not to mention the fact that to make use of this epic, you have to have ranged units in the fight, where Riposte can make use of three classes' misses. Counterspell isn't widely available, and where it is, it simply isn't a good option because it means you have to fight Witchdoctors, and they aren't very common.
The third version of Riposte is something I had on Catbeard for a very long time. It, like Return Fire 3 and Counterspell 3, will add 15 points of dodge each time you dodge a hit, up to 45 dodge per round. The problem is, that dodge only lasts one round. That can be great if you've constantly got melee enemies on your tail (in Catbeard's case, quite literally), but is otherwise a questionable Rank 3 to pick up. This is the first of the talents that is extremely useful at Rank 2, but hits its ceiling there and doesn't get a lot of use out of Rank 3. Now if that increase lasted for three rounds (on these and Second Chance, Quick Adjust, and Jobu's Ruse), then I might give them some serious thought. Otherwise, I'll take more triggers.
First Strike, Quick Draw, and IntuitionThese half-damage hits are pretty popular all across the board, minus Intuition, which companions cannot currently train. Quick Draw was hugely popular on Bonnie builds for a long time, though I personally skipped out on both the first and second ranks of it in favor of Overwatch. With Nausica, the ultimate anti-Musk, prowling the PvP streets, Quick Draw isn't a current favorite, but it can be of some use. First Strike is pretty popular, though.
The third version of this talent has two effects - first, it affects sneak attacks. So Swashbucklers, Kan Po, Sarah Steele, and any other pirate or companion hidden by Walk in Shadows or Darkness from gear or training or Black Fog from a Swashbuckler cannot use that to attack the companion with First Strike 3 (or the others, for that matter). It also increases the damage of that hit by 25%, meaning it's no longer a 50% damage hit, it's a 63% or so hit. There are some interesting dynamics to this one, and there are some companions who can make good use of it. I like First Strike 3 on companions like Ratbeard who don't have a lot of other options.
Vengeance Strike, True Grit, and RetributionThe last of the response epics! These trigger when an enemy hits you. Vengeance Strike has become pretty popular on Buccaneers. True Grit was never a huge epic until Nausica. Retribution can't currently be trained on companions. These do raise the question of whether or not you should increase the dodge of these companions or train Dodgy on them - if the enemy misses, they don't get the epic trigger. But if they hit, your unit takes damage. Fortunately, most of the Buccaneer companions and many of the Musketeers with True Grit, have sufficient health to withstand the hits, unlike some of the fragile Swashbuckler companions who rely on dodging hits to survive.
The third version of this talent has a chance to stun the enemy. There's a lot of mystery surrounding this epic, and whether or not it prevents further epics, prevents movement, or skips their turn. I think we can throw out the last two, as I've seen several fox enemies move after being hit by Nausica's True Grit 3, and the enemy going semi-transparent, which indicates that they've been stunned. So that leaves us with stopping epics. The problem is that all Quick Draw and Burst Fires come before True Grit, so the only thing to stop would be True Grit... which means unless it's Nausica vs. Nausica, you aren't getting much use out of True Grit, Vengeance Strike 3, or Retribution.
Potential Improvements?Some of these powers are popular, some are situational, and some are, quite frankly, useless in most cases. Do you have ideas on how rank 3 epics could be improved to make them better choices over other triggers? Or are some already too powerful? Let me know by commenting!
Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral! Credits: Thanks to Destiny for helping me test out some of these epics! Thanks for Angel Ice, Jason Goldenshield, Sheldon, Storm, Dead-Eye Collin, and Kyle Spirit, and Destiny for assistance with pictures. **One or more card images in this post has been edited because it cannot be viewed yet.