Warg Changes Analysis Part II – Pack Flayers
One of the hot button topics right now is a new skill being proposed for Update 6 called Pack Flayers. This isn’t technically a new skill, more like a modified version of the existing Pack Hunters skill that becomes Pack Flayers when in the new Flayer Stance. Before we get to why this skill is causing such an outcry amongst the usual freep whining brigade let’s take a look at exactly what it does.
Pack Flayers: Locks the warg and his target in place removing the ability to block, parry or evade. The warg cannot use other skills during this effect and cannot be interrupted or cc’d.
The above is the description of the skill Orion posted on the forum the other day. Essentially this a root that cannot be interrupted. However, both the warg and the target are locked together. The target looses the ability to block, parry and evade, however, the warg cannot do anything else whilst using this skill. Because the skill cannot be interrupted the warg cannot be interrupted or cc’ed during the skill.
What’s The Problem?
From the warg’s perspective, and anyone looking at the ability objectively, there isn’t one. However, as per usual when creep side gets something that looks half decent the whiny freep brigade comes out in force. That’s not to say every freep is like that, far from it, but a vocal minority of them do seem to become aghast at the mere notion a creep class might have anything that is comparable in power to a freep ability.
The main thrust of the arguments against this ability boil down to the following:
- The target cannot escape, which is over powered
- The warg is completely immune to CC during this skill, which is over powered
- This skill will promote more warg packs, which are over powered and boring
- There is no counter to this skill because it is completely immune from interruptions, which is over powered and unfair
Is It OP, Unfair, Etc?
The short answer is … no!
Ok I should back that answer up with some facts. Let’s start with the notion that there is nothing that can be done to counter this skill. That’s a pretty easy point to counter … kill the warg locking you in place! It’s that simple. Kill the warg and the lockout ends. Now some might say that will be hard to do if a pack of wargs is after you, but if a pack of wargs is after you chances are you aren’t going to be alive very long anyway.
That the warg is immune to CC and interrupts misses a very crucial point: the warg can’t do anything. Orion states that a warg using this skill cannot use any other skills. The warg is therefore a sitting duck. Unless the warg has packmates or other creeps there to help him he is simply sitting there with a freep inches away who can pound him into the ground.
That leads us to the idea that this will promote more warg packs. This is a really really really stupid thing to say. Wargs will ALWAYS group together in packs no matter what skills we have. It’s built into our nature. We groups in packs no matter what. You may find wargs who like to solo or who like to join raids. That’s fine. However, there are far more wargs who enjoy grouping in packs. That isn’t going to end nor will it get ‘worse’ (from a freep perspective) because of this skill. If anything this skill might actually encourage creep raid leaders to include wargs in their raids more often. More wargs in raids means fewer wargs in packs.
Lastly we need to remember one very important point: this skill is only available when Flayer stance is active. Flayer stance bars stealth use, which means the warg has to be unstealthed to use this skill. Thus the freep can see the warg coming.
How Will We Use It?
This is obviously a group skill, whether in a pack or a general creep group. The warg using it can’t do anything else so he will need other creeps to actually kill the target he has locked in place. I see two major applications for this skill:
Creep raid leaders might want to use this skill to lock down targets so that the creep raid’s firepower can be focused on particular targets. It might even be the case that wargs are made the RAT for the raid and told to lock down targets so the Reavers can charge in and pulverize them. It will obviously be good for the creep raid when the freeps have wiped and the survivors are attempting to flee.
In packs this skill will probably be used mostly for holding slippery targets like Champions in place. With a 45sec Sprint duration a Champion can run fast long enough to get away from a full pack given their bubbles, etc. This skill should help to counter that and allow wargs to get those kills more often.