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Donner's Tactics Strategy Guides #2: Absolute Zero

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Donner
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Donner's Tactics Strategy Guides #2: Absolute Zero

First, some definitions:

                Controller:  Controls the battlefield by hindering enemies or altering terrain

                DPS: Damage dealer – Deals as much damage as possible as often as possible

                Support:  Supports allies with heals or buffs.

                Tank: Takes damage.  Able to absorb a lot of hits before going down.

 

Absolute Zero

                Absolute Zero is a battlefield controller who can also do some good damage if he gets into the middle of a group of enemies.

Builds:  Controller, DPS

                Best Power Cards:  Coolant Blast, Impaling Structure

                Worst Power Card:  Cryo-Inducer

 

                Strengths:  Generating/Negating hazard spaces, if positioned properly, can perform up to 3 attacks in a turn.

                Weaknesses:  No outright strong attacks.  Strongest attack requires him to have low health.  His impaling structures can hinder his allies as well as his enemies.  No mobility.

                Works well against:  Tachyon, Proletariat, The Operative, Ra

                Weak against:  Beacon, Bunker, Anyone with strong attacks

                Controller Build:

                                Fueled Freeze

                                Impaling Structure

                                Approaching Zero or Sub-Zero Atmosphere

                DPS Build:

                                Coolant Blast

                                Thermal Shockwave

                                Sub-Zero Atmosphere or Cryo-Inducer

                Commentary:

                Absolute Zero can control the battlefield by placing terrain and slowing enemies.  He can build a strong controller build or a strong dps build.  He can minor as a tank using Cryo-Inducer, but with average defense and only two actions a turn, it isn’t going to last long.  He excels in locations with tight corridors or against melee targets that don’t have mobility.  His impaling structures are weak attackers, dealing even less damage than Tachyon’s nimble strike due to their auto-miss on 2 and 3, but they increase elevation, making them blocking terrain and slowing targets that don’t have mobility.  They can also hinder his allies, so use them carefully.  If he is teamed up with someone who can take damage for him, Absolute Zero can excel as a nuke or at getting someone to leave cover.  Without that tank, however, he will get focused down just to get his hindering terrain out of the way.  And Absolute Zero has no defensive powers to help him withstand focused fire.  Absolute Zero has one of the best potential heals in the game.  However, it takes an action and requires a 5 or 6.  Meaning he has probably spent his action (of which he has only 2) regaining maybe 1 health.  Legacy does tons better than that with Motivational Charge, which potentially deals damage, but heals his allies regardless.  And Ambuscade can take an action to heal 3, bypassing the whole roll thing altogether, even though it is a One-Shot.  AZ's heal works great if AZ doesn’t have to move and doesn’t want to aim.

                Tricks:

                Use Impaling Structures to break up line of sight with Legacy or Citizen Truth.

                Impaling Structures can be used to increase the elevation of a character.  Focused Apertures gives AZ +2 reach.  Drop a few impaling structures beneath AZ as a defensive measure against non-Area ranged or melee attackers.  

                Impaling Structures can also convince people to leave cover.  Just drop it underneath them or all over the cover.

                Use Thermal Shockwave just before you use Coolant Blast for an extra die.

                Sub-Zero Atmosphere negates Hidden Blade Strike, Living Pyre, Blazing Tornado, and other similarly nasty cards.  Note that Sub-Zero Atmosphere does not stop Rigged Explosives, as they are not hazard spaces.

                  PowerHound_2000 recommends that AZ goes first in turn order.  This works great for defensive Impaling Structures.

                  Phataskippy says: He needs the right team, I really like him with Tachyon and Baron as they can avoid and use his structures and redirect excess shockwave.  (Of course almost anyone works with those 2).  Hitting 2 enemies with shockwave and redistributed shockwave can more than offset AZ's weaknesses.

                  Unity can be fun too.  Run champ up on the last hero to act, then have AZ nuke their team at +2 die ending with shockwave that blows up Champ in someone's face.

                  One of AZ's strengths is his automisses/dice.  He rolls high dice, but with 2-3 as his automisses he keeps 4-6, which is huge.  The 2 reach means at range 6 you keep the best 3 die, and an aim gets you a 4th die.

                  Rabit notes that Absolute Zero really shines in maps with close-quarters, like Wagner Mars Base or the Citidel of the Dawn.

                Countering Tips:

                Focus Absolute Zero to get rid of his impaling structures.

                AZ only has 2 actions a turn, so he is usually vulnerable to aimed attacks.

                AZ is not a strong attacker at range.

                Avoid getting close to AZ if you can’t take him out right away.  He can potentially make 3 attacks against you otherwise.

                AZ has a slow rebuild time after being incapped.  Take him out early and it’ll be a while before he’s really back in the fight.

Edit:  Edited to add suggestions from below posters.


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Powerhound_2000
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That would be my main complaint about AZ is that he doesn't have power cards that improve his defense.   One item I would note as well is that he should be setup first in turn order most of the time.   


Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

 
phantaskippy
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DPS (at least in the old days) referred to sustained damage that was impressive over time.  AZ is much more a nuker or glass cannon.

Frankly he's a Mage, you use utility and then burst the bad guys down.

He needs the right team, I really like him with Tachyon and Baron as they can avoid and use his structures and redirect excess shockwave.  (Of course almost anyone works with those 2)

Hitting 2 enemies with shockwave and redistributed shockwave can more than offset AZ's weaknesses.

Unity can be fun too.  Run champ up on the last hero to act, then have AZ nuke their team at +2 die ending with shockwave that blows up Champ in someone's face.

One of AZ's strengths is his automisses/dice.  He rolls high dice, but with 2-3 as his automisses he keeps 4-6, which is huge.  The 2 reach means at range 6 you keep the best 3 die, and an aim gets you a 4th die.

 

Donner
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Excellent!  Thanks, Phantaskippy!


"Deja-fu? You've heard of that?"
- Lu Tze, Sweeper, Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

Rabit
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AZ depends on the map, also. Seeing Adam use him on Mars (at Gen Con) was awesome! laugh


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I can't wait for those Maps.  AZ in tight Quarters.  Ouch.