Hello! This time we’re going to talk about one of the more unique Defenders in the game (even more than Ashlock!), in more ways than one. She’s the first non-Guardian Defender (formerly known as Healing Defender) that provides a form of healing to allies, the first unit ever to provide Camouflage to allies, and the second Defender to have a talent that protects nearby ranged units. Heavyrain, the free unit from A Walk in De_Dust event, joined Rhodes Island with quite an interesting kit.
Heavyrain is a Protector Defender (formerly known as Normal Defender) that is capable of providing a bit of healing to allies, as well as making herself and allies harder to kill through Camouflage buffs and some evasion (kinda). With on-demand camouflage, she also allows players to be able to unload damage to the enemies with little fear of retaliation while also being really tanky herself to prevent the enemy's advance.
As a non-Hoshiguma Protector, her attack and attack speed doesn’t really matter. But within the archetype, her ATK sits quite comfortably in the middle. Note that most of the ones with lower ATK also have lower rarity so practically she has relatively weak base attack. All Protectors have an attack interval of 1.2 seconds, except for Nian, who has 1.5 seconds. This usually isn’t important though.
Within the Defender class, Protectors definitely have top tier defensive stats. Heavyrain sits comfortably at 7th highest base HP and 6th highest for base DEF (also 6th highest DEF for all units in the game).
As for RES, she has none.
She has block 3 by default at any promotion level
Being a free unit from events, her cost is shafted a bit by HG’s balanced decision. They usually have 2 higher base cost than the same rarity counterpart but is offset by the fact that they can easily get -3 cost from their potentials, pushing them to have 1 lower cost than no-dupe regular gacha unit. Defenders also get extra shafted by getting more DP per promotion, rather than just once at E1. So, Heavyrain has 20 DP cost at base, 22 at E1, and 24 at E2, but does have an easy way to get potential 6 to reduce that by 3.
Range, Trait, Talent
Protectors usually don’t have range. They can only hit enemies that are on top of their tile or if they are blocking them.
Just this range, unchanged with promotion.
Blocks 3 enemies
Uh well… It’s not unnecessary per se because the Defender family does have a few differences with their block counts but anyways moving on.
Available at E1 – Heavyrain and allies on high ground within her 8 surrounding tiles gets 10% physical dodge.
At E2 it becomes 20% physical dodge.
Potential 5 gives another 3%, making it either 13% or 23%.
First and foremost, I do have to take this out of the way: Yes, her talent only works for herself and units on ranged tiles around her. Here’s something weird though, the talent doesn’t work on melee units on ground tiles, BUT it does work for melee units that are able to go on ranged tiles, i.e. shifters – and it still affects them even if they are on the ground (and mixed tile maps like CE-5). It’s only pure melee units that don't benefit from this talent.
It’s kind of weird because the shifters are categorized as melee; Honeyberry’s talent doesn’t work on them. I guess the talent works for anyone who is able to step on the high ground and not necessarily “ranged” units specifically, which included Shifter and Dobermann. (also basically not Anakin.)
Second, it’s only physical evasion. 20% is not a reliable chance, but occasionally it would work out for those ranged units. This talent benefits mostly Heavyrain herself who does most of the tanking (or she should at least). It’s basically like Croissant’s talent without affecting melee allies and without the arts dodge, but isn’t halved on allies, and has bigger range.
Always available – Guarding: When in the Control Center, reduces the morale consumption rate of all operators inside the CC by -0.05/h.
And, Defender Expert α: When assigned as trainer to the Training Room, Defender’s training speed +30%
At E2, this skill becomes Field Experience: When assigned as trainer to the Training Room, Defender’s training speed +30%, and further increases by +45% if the skill is training to level 2 (M2).
Yes, she is the type of op that has 2 base skills always available and then upgrades one at E2.
The Control Center skill is basic.
The training skill is the mastery-specific one, having a relatively low number for most of the time, but drastically improved when training for a specific mastery level. In this case, when training a skill from M1 to M2, she gets +80% speed (because all trainers have a base amount of +5%), thus reducing the time from 16 hours to 8 hours and 48 minutes. Note that the skill increases training speed, not reduces training time, so it’s just a little more than half the time left.
Stats at level 7
The next attack gives Camouflage and 50 HP regen per second to a nearby unit with less than 50% HP, lasting 4 seconds (will not use on a unit already under the same effect), 5 SP cost, 0 initial SP
Can store 1 charge, Auto Recovery, auto activation
M1 gives 2 charges, gives 55 HP regen
M3 reduces to 4 SP cost, gives 70 HP regen
The healing is attached to a buff and is considered as what I would call a regeneration. This means it works on operators that can’t be directly healed by allies.
Since it cannot be given to an ally that is already under its effect, it means that for a unit that is under attack, she cannot continuously protect them. To clarify, she waits until the Camo effect is over, then casts another one, which has a windup time. During that small window, the enemies can target that operator. Given that the healing amount is small, that ally will still be under threat, especially for ranged units.
This also means that this skill's most notable upgrade is at M1 with the 2nd charge. The only reason to get to M3 is not to reduce the SP cost from 5 to 4, but to increase the HP regenerated from 220 (M1) to 280, which is okay but not that much improvement.
Decreasing the SP cost from 5 to 4 really doesn’t matter because if she holds 2 charges already, it’ll take a long time before the gap between the SP cost and the effect duration actually matters. Plus, as said, 4 SP cost on 4s duration also is just as effective as 5 SP cost in this case because of that window of vulnerability I just mentioned. So, to repeat, the SP reduction at M3 is unnecessary.
This skill cannot target summons and other non-operator units, for example Mon3tr.
Strangely enough, despite having some healing, I don’t recommend using this skill to self-sustain Heavyrain. Although if you think about it, it’s not that surprising, since she’ll camouflage herself when regenerating her HP, which leaves other operators vulnerable against ranged enemies.
The 2nd charge also allows her to protect 2 allies “at once” as well, but do note that she needs to wait for her attack interval to cast the skill continuously, because it is considered an “attack”. So the attack speed does matter for this particular skill, though situations where you need to protect 2 allies at once are rare, and when it does show up, it’s often better to just fix it by reworking team position.
Of course, on the other hand, she can self-sustain if she’s against purely melee enemies, or against a small number of ranged enemies that are weak (so they can't outright kill your ranged allies fast enough). Given the fact that Protectors have higher defensive stats than Guardians, occasionally just about 220 or 280HP heal is enough.
It’s especially great when you are against ranged enemies that cannot kill your ranged ally fast enough, because now you can actually deploy those ranged units diagonally forward of Heavyrain. So they can in turn reach farther enemies while under protection of physical evasion, camouflage and small regen from Heavyrain.
Speaking of diagonal tiles, it’s worth noting that this skill can provide camo to allies that are diagonal to her, unlike her next skill.
Stats at level 7
Stops attacking, DEF and max HP +40%, Self and allies in 4 adjacent tiles gain Camouflage, 17 seconds duration, 48 SP cost, 25 initial SP
Auto Recovery, manual activation
M3 gives DEF and HP +55%, 20s duration, 40SP cost.
Here are some more details about Camouflage (I just put this here because this skill doesn’t have much advanced details):
Unlike Invisibility, if the operator with Camouflage blocks an enemy, their Camo is negated entirely, and other enemies can target them normally. This means if Heavyrain is blocking, her self-camo is useless. But that’s exactly when the massive DEF and HP boost come into play!
Unlike Invisibility, Camouflage cannot avoid AoE attacks (which should have been the norm to begin with but thanks HG), given that Heavyrain gives camo to adjacent allies, any enemies with splash attack will still ignore that group camo as well (Emperor Blade, Demolitionist, Corrupted Knights,…) However it can avoid multi-target enemies (Grudgebearers, inspired Ursus Crossbowman, Withered Knights,…).
Of course, it can still hide against ranged AoE attacks because the enemies need to see an ally first to attack, providing all allies are under Camouflage and no one is blocking.
Just like the first skill, this skill also cannot provide camo to non-operator units, for example Mon3tr.
There are 2 aspects to this skill, therefore there are 3 ways to use it. Just kidding, it’s still 2.
The most notable aspect is visibly the Camouflage buff (irony intended). This skill is amazing for hiding your DPS operators to deal damage in scenarios where they would have died because of the onslaught of ranged attack. Here’s the most notable example (-50% HP risk lul)
Second, the stats buff Heavyrain gets, in conjunction with her talent, makes her very tanky. She will hide her and adjacent allies against ranged enemies (which I should note that it can leave some other unfortunate operators in danger because the tank just “disappeared”). So now, all enemies need to engage her in melee combat, and she gains a massive amount of HP and DEF along with the high base stats of a Protector. It all combines perfectly to the point that Heavyrain can tank 7-18 Patriot phase 1 with a 65% chance to survive by herself, a feat that no other defenders but Eunectes can do.
(Note: 65% chance because she still needs to dodge at least 1 hit and Patriot hits 4 times so it’s 23% chance triggered per hit for those 4 hits → 65%.)
I found myself rarely being able to use both aspects of the skill at once. It’s either a melee enemy and the camo is unnecessary, or a ST ranged enemy and I can just deploy Heavyrain last for aggro so camo is useless, or an AoE enemy and all camo is wasted when they reach Heavyrain (or a melee unit in front). Could just be due to my playstyle but hey, as long as the enemies are dead, it doesn’t matter, right?
Not available yet. Maybe check back after it is released
Heavyrain is one of those units that are mostly niche, but near-irreplaceable in that niche. She’s the only one that can do what she does so it’s kind of a rigged advertisement. Being the only unit (so far) that can hide other allies, she’s definitely a card worth having in your back pocket.
S1 is great for providing constant but short duration of camo. The regen is also great for sustaining as well, to protect units that don't get outright killed by other ranged enemies (“the only HP that matters is the last one”). A quick example is 7-3, where you can use the lower ranged tile because of that constant camo protecting them from the Bonethrower. I recommend keeping this at S1M1 only, and M3 is mostly for extra regen. The 2nd charge is necessary if you want to use the skill at all!
S2 is great for unleashing hell on the enemies without retaliation (most of the time). The stats boost also allows Heavyrain to tank really well in melee combat too. M3 gives 3 extra seconds which is very valuable for a longer window of time to deal damage.
Compared to other Protectors, her tanking role is pretty decent. But most of the time, if you bring Heavyrain, it’s for the ally Camouflage. It’s what separates her from other units. But that also means Heavyrain is worth more of the investment long term than even Hoshi, as she is less likely to be out of her niche. Whether or not you need that niche in the first place, that's on you to decide for yourself.
Heavyrain in VI-7 by kokokbeluk (also check him out, and his free-unit only theme means he'll make a lot of use for Heavyrain)
Despite what I said, I M6’d Heavyrain anyway because haha funny. Although, she ate all my rocks (boy does she eat rocks). Definitely fun for some wild strat that requires some hiding, but it’s not in any shape or form necessary. Basically you do have to go out of your way to make use of Heavyrain. Anyway, for those that use her, how do you find her?
Regardless, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.