Balanced Trance Tiberius - w/ Adv. Ability Guide

by Vanilla Firaga
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Vicious Assault
Crouching Tigron now deals 700 damage in a 20-unit-radius area on landing.
Honed Senses
Generate 0.8-4% Ultimate charge every 1s while Combat Trance is active.
Combat Trance
Instrument of Fate
Reduce the Cooldown of Combat Trance by 0.4-2s for each enemy hit by Heavy Blade.
Heavy Blade
Test of Strength
Heal for 50-250 every 1s while Combat Trance is active.
Combat Trance
Imbued with Purpose
Reduce the Cooldown of Heavy Blade by 0.6-3s.
Heavy Blade
Primal Haste
Gain a 60-300-Health Shield for 4s after activating Combat Trance.
Combat Trance


So, I've been "Main-ing" Tiberius since he's come out, and I keep seeing people play him as a long range poke, or a self-healing chakram slinging dude, but that is simply NOT my playstyle, or the most effective way I've personally seen to play him. In this mini-guide I'll highlight why I took the cards and Talent I did, as well as some of my recommendations for making your own deck to cover some of Tiberius' weaknesses with how his abilities and timers function. Hint, using crouching tigron effectively is very important.

First of All, many of Tiberius's cons surround his abilities having long cooldowns, long animations (which to many will make him feel "clanky," especially considering how pitiful his jump feels without any investment into jump strength) and having only 9 rounds of ammo. Fixing this with cards is inefficient on the ammo side of things, and keeping an upkeep on your damage and movement (through combat trance - since it also increases your movement speed by 30%) should always be a priority when making decks. He is NOT a tank, and building him for a ton of lifesteal does nothing for you if you can't hit your shots, are surrounded, or you aren't in combat trance to heal faster. Focus on getting deft hands and chronos as part of your kit early on, grabbing situational blues and kill to heal afterwards are my recommendations. He doesn't attack fast enough to get the most out of cauterize and the hope is that you're hitting as many isolated/non healing enemies as possible. He also hits VERY hard while in combat trance to the point that he can out dps flank bursts, so trying to use cauterize really isn't worth the money that getting more chronos and counters to enemy abilities does in the current meta. Unless the enemy team is stacking a ton of heals and your teammates aren't cauterizing, try avoiding caut for a few rounds to see how it feels.

Let's talk about some unmentioned parts of his abilities, please read this even if you are experienced! Your Chakrams do less damage when bounced, if you CAN hit an enemy, hit them, not the floor in front of him. All of his weapons are projectiles and are not hit-scan. There is a wind-up time to his jump, he does not just pounce like Maeve would, AND you can activate abilities while jumping (see below)! You do still take damage while charging it up and pouncing through the air. His Heavy Blade goes STRAIGHT through all enemies you see until it hits a wall and all enemies hit by it are slowed by 50% for 3 seconds, it WILL remain wherever you threw it until you recall it for about 15+ seconds. REDONE on the recall of the heavy blade (and the card above that allows combat trance to have more cooldown reduced when an enemy is hit by it also benefits from the recall of your Heavy Blade). The Heavy Blade's recall takes an amount of time that is rather large depending on how far you threw it, and if you're getting smacked down recalling it may not be the best choice as it also disables you from slinging chakrams. His ultimate has a ridiculously long animation time to enter it, and if you leave it by using all stacks of his blade dance then he will have a small animation to leave it. His ult uses 25% of it's juice IMMEDIATELY upon activating it, and each charge you use uses 15%, you can cancel the ult at any time during the ult to immediately start doing your standard actions with almost no animation by pressing E again. If you somehow didn't notice this, you are invulnerable while spinning in the air but you are also predictable. All of the above matters greatly when regarding two things, TALENTS, and how his jump ability works in tandem with attacking or using abilities while flying through the air.

Talent Choice for Tiberius, AKA why Vicious Assault at Level 8 is the only real way to go:
Predatory Instincts - This doesn't change the loss in damage when chakrams bounce. Also, controlling angles with Tiberius is very hard depending on what height you are throwing these chakrams at as the bounces will frequently angle upwards or downwards. Over-all this is a newb talent but is useful on tight maps for tight corners and rooms if you are poking with a team. It is NOT a great talent for expanding his kit in any way.
Tigron's Fury - I have to say it took me a while to stop using this talent (it took until I got him to level 10...) as it does feel REALLY good to be able to spike people for 1,000 damage in an area and not have to remember where the sword is or to recall it. However the fact that the explosion doesn't benefit his " Instrument of Fate V"and we lose 350 damage while also encouraged to throw the sword somewhere where it will stick into an area near the enemies, rather than passing through multiple people means I was definitely looking to see how his jump could be any better than this talent, especially as this talent does have drawbacks. In all respects I hated crouching Tigron (his jump) because cards in his kit and the way you'd think you would use this after playing other characters would be either an engage or a disengage yet his animation before jumping and taking damage while jumping would constantly get me killed. Not to mention this jump does not go very far without investment (it's about 120 units distance base). However that was until I realized you could cancel your ultimate when landing using the jump. So...

Vicious Assault: The 700 damage in a small area when landing seems somewhat pathetic considering it's barely more than a chakram, crouching Tigron has a
15 second cooldown, and you still take damage while soaring through the air. Also, people don't realize that if you activate your jump while reloading it will cancel the reload and you'll have to re-reload, this WILL kill you since you'll land and then still need to reload. The best thing to do to maintain your mobility is to try and use his jumps from cover or to pounce onto groups of enemies for either the kill or the engage WHILE throwing a chakram and landing on the same unit/ reloading while in air/ or activating your ultimate/combat trance. If you land the chakram and the pounce you just spiked whoever that poor sucker was for 1350 damage. Throwing your heavy blade next brings the total to 2200. Which is the default health (or HP) of most squishier damages in the game. In less than a second you have a "spike" of sorts right here, and if whoever you're looking at is still not dead they are slowed by 50% because of your heavy blade making any enemies hit by it EASIER to kill or for your group to kill because they can't move as fast. Activating combat trance here would be my next move if I had thrown my heavy blade when landing instead of activating combat trance in mid-air. Furthermore if you activate your ultimate while flying through the air, it will disable the 700 damage from landing using the vicious assault talent. This kinda sucks until you realize it only disables it because it plays the animation and transitions you into the ult during the duration of the jump. See, if you activate your ultimate as you are landing it cancels the animation for the ult, does the 700 damage from the talent and you are instantly able to use your abilities for your ult. Win freaking WIN man. This is how I engage groups of enemies. This is also what makes this talent the best. You should NEVER EVER be using his jump and not doing something even if you aren't using the Vicious Assault talent. A true warrior does not enjoy the breeze passing him, but keeps preparing.

Making a deck! I would never have any deck without a nearly maxed instrument of fate, even though I've played many games with the HEALTH stealing/Health buffing variants of him they just don't have the same damage consistency and in your face dangerous playstyle that I prefer, and once I figured out how to use his ultimate without being completely garbage with it (since the damage is actually kinda sad per charge and you are rather vulnerable throughout your ult unless you have an awesome medic, let alone not knowing I could cancel it until later). Having some ult charge gain in the loadout is enticing! Now, considering that we ALWAYS want to be in combat trance for the dps increase, I maximized thed some utility in gaining 200 health over the 4 seconds our trance lasts. I was originally running 150 with 2.4% ult gain, but found that I was frequently not using the ult due to enemy positioning and timing not being ideal. As for Primal Haste it is pure filler that for me seems to work the best since I will often activate combat trance while mid-air or while turning corners, having that extra shielding is useful, and it lasts 4 seconds which is the same time as our combat trance! I originally was using the increased jump strength or jump armour but found myself overshooting my enemies in small areas or getting stuck in ceilings in side rooms, but found that the 60 outdid the 75 because of how often we use combat trance. I've also played with the chakram healing and extra health but found they just didn't do enough. Lowering the cooldown of crouching tigron by heavy blade or by health dropping low was really interesting but ultimately it didn't seem as beneficial since we don't want to use crouching Tigron as a disengage at all times. Having the increased jump % does help in getting to flank spots though if you aren't playing with your team.

Now, let's break down the dps rotation for maximizing your presence and the rhythm of Tiberius. Engaging a team with a team you should activate your combat trance and start slinging as many chakrams as you can. IF you see an enemy is about to die while low on Chakrams you DO HAVE options. You can pounce into the enemy team while reloading, or throw your blade to try and get your combat trance completely back by hitting multiple enemies and possibly killing that person with the spiky and heavy damage of your blade. If no enemies are going to die just reload and throw your blade to get as much of your combat trance back as possible and keep damaging. IF you have your ult, jump into the group when you are above half health and activate your ult just before landing so you still get the benefit of the talent. Remember to cancel out of the ult to not waste charges if there is only 1 or 2 people left on low health.
Stick with your team and jump onto fleeing enemies or into groups of enemies WHILE preparing attacks, reloading, or turning into your ultimate. Playing Tiberius in this way will allow you to have a much more controlling and high damage presence as you will consistently have your combat trance up and have a much greater spikes when engaging people. Flanking as Tiberius is great if you can pull it off, but if too many enemies become aware of you or you get silenced you're screwed.