Recovery heals for an additional 600 instantly and increases your maximum Health by 300 for 5s.
Activating Recovery Grants you 6-30% Damage Reduction for 2s.
Reduce the cooldown of Recovery by 1-5s.
Reduce active cooldowns by 15-75% when you get a Kill.
Activating Recovery generates 1 Ammo every 0.5s for 0.5-2.5s.
Increase the jump strength of Heroic Leap by 5-25%
KILL or DIE (Based on my previous build that had Life steal instead of Vigor card.)
This Build relies heavily on two cards, and it should also be self explaining on how to play Buck from the info around them. Deep Breath and Stomping Ground are the important ones.
Deep Breath - Max (5)
Reconstruction - 2
Stomping Ground - Max (5)
Vigor - 2
Leg Day - 1
Deep Breath at max gives you 30% damage reduction after a Recovery for 2 seconds. This is vital. Because most of the time you will face situations where a heal is not enough, you also need enough sustain to survive and get the kill. This also makes the recovery work great even after everyone have max Caut. It used to be higher, but still 30% is 30%.
Reconstruction is a nice pick as it gives you more CD to Recovery. Your most important ability. Sometimes you don't get the kill (only eliminations) and this can help you recover faster.
Stomping ground at max gives you 75% CD on all abilities (except ultimate) when getting a kill. And kills are what you should look for. This build is taking Buck to a maximum in risk and reward. Therefore is the damage reduction vital and they both works brilliant together.
Vigor is perhaps the most important card that you can live with only 2 points in. It gives you 2 new ammo after a recovery, and that is great as you normally enters a battle shooting one or two rounds. Bucks 4 rounds is an issue and his weakness. This gives him basically 6 rounds and that is often what you need before escaping or winning.
Leg Day is just what you need sometimes. A few areas on most of the maps are only accessible with the extra buff. If you took this to level 3 or 4, you could get a few extra locations, but that is wasting a lot of precious card points. So stick with 1. Also might help you out of situations.
It depends on who you fight against, but I recommend to always focus to max Caut early. Never should you pick Deft Hands. Reload speed is not the issue. If you cant kill someone in 4-6 shots, then Buck is not for you. Nimble is a good secondary pick as it gives you just enough speed to avoid damage and hunt down others. Other card afterwards are defensive ones, like haven, resilience or blast shield. By the time you have max caut you will know what Champion that counters you best. Slow or stuns? Pick Resilience. Hard countered by Lex or other DPS? Go Haven. Evie or similar gives you trouble, go for blast shield. I rarely go for any health cards as you have enough healing yourself and the healing cards get worse when everyone goes Cauterize. Damage reduction is more long term and better in most situations.
How to play Buck
As any other flanker I guess. There is not right or wrong in flanking as it is very situational based. Moving around and looking for squishy target should be your main priority. You should win any 1 v 1 battles (except vs tanks) and if you remove the aspect of ultimates then the only flanker that should be a threat is Lex and sometimes Evie and Maeve. The reason for that is that they all hit hard and are ironically hard to hit back due to their high movement.
Vs every slow(er) moving Champions you will and should win every 1 v 1. You are bulky and you hit hard, and after a kill, you get every ability back. They where nothing but a speed bump. If you meet them 2 v 1 you should 90% of the time (depending on their health and your position) try to escape as you do not shoot fast enough to take down two people at the same time. Be careful about greed here. A dead Buck is no use to your team.
You can play two roles as your mobility is splendid. Either go all out hunting down their healer(s) and DPS or defend your own DPS from aggressive flankers. It depends on the team combo for both teams. You also work well in teamfights so don't avoid those.
VS Bucks favorite Champions
You really dominate against Champions that uses block skills. That includes two of the most common flankers. Androxus and Zhin. When they use a block move, you can reload or heal. Just follow them as they try to escape and kill them easily. If they try to escape with their good mobility moves, don't be afraid to follow with your Leap as a kill will reset its CD. Other favorite champion to hunt would be Kinessa, Strix, Sha Lin, (every healer), Moji, Victor, Tyra, and Vivian. They all struggle against Buck and you should have clear advantages against them as they do not have anything to directly counter you.
VS Bucks Hated champions
As mention Lex, Evie and Maeve can often give you trouble, but also the tanks are hard to do anything about with solo kills. They have too much hitpoints for your 4-6 shots to kill, especially if they receive some healing as well. Ignore them if you can, but don't be afraid to engage should they be low on health.
When to use each ability
The net shot is vital to get a edge at someone so start with that when you engage someone. Based on their position and health remaining you should try to avoid engaging with leap. Yes it is good, but if they have escapes or some babysitters close by escape is almost impossible should you waste your leap early. Use Leap more for mobility to go to higher grounds or just as an escape. Yes, you lose some initiative, but if you die for nothing you are not a threat. They just knowing you are behind their lines should give them trouble holding focus on the center. Recovery should be used when you are engaged in a battle or generally just on low health. After 2 shots or/and 40-60% lost health. Don't save it to 10-20% as a headshot or a random distance shot is always at risk. The ultimate should be saved until a team fight. It will give you lot of attention so using it from behind when alone is a bad idea. Team fights are often chaotic, so it is easier to get away with it. Also good to use in a chaotic 1 v 1 fight vs high mobility users. 9/10 games I use the ult 1 or 2 times even I have it prepared. I don't need it tbh. Just in rare occasions.
In this playstyle and description of the guide it should be no surprise that the best legendary card is the Bulk Up. It gives you more healing and more sustain and it also works ok even after max caut as you still receive some healing at least. I know a lot of other cards are more risk and reward, but this build resolve around Recovery so never underestimate that.
How to counter this build (and Buck in general)
The best way to play against a Buck is to keep him at distance. If that's not possible you need to go all out attack as fast as possible. Wait until he uses his recovery and use mobility and object to keep him away from you the next 2 seconds. When it is done, attack him aggressively again and be prepared to hunt him should he look for an escape. Or else the best method is 2 v 1, but there is no one that is not weak to a 2 v 1 .Go Max Cauterize and Haven for best results.
Buck is not easy to learn and even harder to master, but he is one of the most sturdy flankers and his damage output is skyhigh. Learn how his low rate of fire and few shots is enough to kill. Learn to escape and learn how to move around maps and reaching higher areas. It's a jumping technique. I believe this is the true and best way to play Buck and I hope you find the same joy. I don't like to exploit a tactical advantage, but seeing how many bad Buck builds that are out here, I felt this needed some improvement.