Just unlocked your first support craft? Quick isn’t it? Vulnerable? Yeah, sure, but flying support is Valkyrie’s best kept secret in terms of gaming satisfaction.
We kid you not. During a Team Deathmatch, who holds it all together? In Control Mode, who zips between control points and lays down the crucial drones? Carrier Assault? Oh, come on! You fighters and heavies ain’t getting anywhere without the support craft underpinning your victory.
So, let’s take a few moments to celebrate the role of the support pilot and examine why beams can often beat ballistics.
Buff Beam (Banshee, Displacer) This is your basic, well-balanced support beam. It both heals team mates and drains enemy shields at a moderate rate.
Heal Beam (Guardian) As its name suggests, the Heal Beam focuses on healing. As a result, it heals friendlies at a high rate, but the flipside is that it drains enemies at a significantly lower rate.
Drain Beam (Warden) You can guess where this is going. The Drain Beam focuses on draining and depletes enemy shields at a high rate, while healing friendlies at a significantly lower rate.
Vamp Beam (Sentinel) Like the vampire it’s named after, the Vamp Beam pulls off the neat trick of draining enemy at a high rate and then transferring it to replenish the shield of the support craft operating it.
Corrupt Beam (Revenant) Any ship that is unfortunate enough to have the Corrupt Beam fired at it will find its systems critically compromised and, as a result, will take extra damage.
How to Use Them – An Expert’s Guide
So, now we know what the support beams do, the next question is how do we make the most of them? For the answers, we approached ace support pilot Anska, whose skills with a well-placed beam are second to none.
Buff Beam (Banshee)
A good approach is to use the five second rule… which is to say just quickly heal friendlies for less than five seconds at a time. I personally use the beam mostly for draining and just heal others if needed. Just give your team mates the occasional top up, or a more prolonged heal if they’re on the verge of death. When draining, use the phaser alongside, to get the most out of it.
Heal Beam (Guardian)
The blue Heal Beam always comes first on this ship. Don’t rule out the draining option entirely, after all, this beam has a better draining capability than it used to. However, in the main, this is the ship of choice when a match requires a capable medic ship.
Drain Beam (Warden)
I tend to take on the role of medic, so I don’t use the Warden often. When I do find myself flying it, I use the Drain Beam for draining, obviously with a little healing where needed. Use your speed to skirt around the battle, making enemy ships vulnerable so your friendlies can take them down with greater ease.
Vamp Beam (Sentinel)
The Sentinel’s Vamp Beam is a no-brainer. It’s great to use in a one-on-one situation, as you have the advantage of topping up your own shields while you’re engaging. It also gives you a distinct advantage when you’re helping out a fellow pilot. You can make an enemy ship more vulnerable to attack from a team mate while also topping up your own shields, making you less vulnerable should the enemy turn his attention to you.
Corrupt Beam (Revenant)
Before the Wormholes patch, the Corrupt Beam was mostly useful for draining enemies’ shields. However, since the patch, I often use the red and blue beam 50/50, but it kind of depends on whether or not another support is in you party. If another support is in your group, use the beam mostly to drain opponents and only heal if and when needed. If there’s no other support ship, use it mostly for healing and only drain enemies when you can also get a shot in with your mines or guns.
Short but oh-so-sweet tippage there. Thank you, Anska. We suspect that advice will encourage more players to try out the support role.
Fly safe, pilots.