Evolve Assault Competitive Perks Guide by Veracor
Hello, I’m Veracor and I’ve been playing Evolve competitively since 2015, have been on Team nDG as Assault since Feburary and have finished many tournaments in 1st place. I will explain the standard perk setups for Assault that you see in tournaments.
Markov is almost always used as a counterpick to Kraken because of his unrivaled clearing of Banshee Mines and long-ish range primary weapon; no different than in legacy, really. Sometimes taken against Gorgon since the Lightning Gun autotracks to Spider Trap in high ping games and Acid Spit has to directly hit Arc Mines now. All of Markov’s perk choices can feel inefficient, since Markov is periodically idle in combat, waiting for the next Monster deployable to be used instead of shooting the Monster.
Setup 1: Swap / Damage / Damage
Swap gives Markov more uptime in shooting Banshees and damage is for when they are on cooldown. Using up half of the clip on the Kraken for damage is a good idea, then switch after 1-2 Banshee Mines have been shot with the remainder. I like this setup on low ping games.
Setup 2: Swap / Capacity / Damage
My personal favorite, those couple extra bullets can really make the difference when you’re playing on high ping and have to shoot extra shots with the Rifle to ensure you got the Banshee Mine. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been against a European Kraken (200 ping) and a single Banshee Mine doesn’t register being shot and magnetically zips over to Fresh on the other side of the dome, and he’s all “Oh my god Vera why you never shoot Banshee?”
Setup 3: Damage / Capacity / Damage
When you have zero plans to use the Arc Mines in dome. The Capacity can also be Damage. Not much to say about this.
Legacy: Movement or Jetpack
Markov didn’t benefit much from the other perks in legacy. Mobility being king in Evolve Stage 1 anyways, Movement was usually used on him. Jetpack was also fine to keep in Lightning range and to place mines atop pillars.
Blitz is designed around a frustrating gimmick that has held him back for a long time. Damage buffs moved him up for non-competitive, but it is still a bad gameplay experience to pick him. A decent Monster will break the beam with traversal or light attack and Blitz’s Rifle just kind of tickles the Monster. I haven’t checked but his pistol might actually do more damage.
Setup 1: Swap / Capacity / Capacity
The Tesla Gun being his damage dealer and it scaling pretty much only on Capacity, there’s not a lot of options here. Make sure you have jetpack fuel before beginning a beam and use the Rifle during the downtime. It is best to place his mines at the start of the dome, or even sometimes before the dome on the path you think the Monster will go after the dome drops. Even so, after using the beam and an AR clip I usually place one mine during the AR reload, then another after the second clip before switching back to the Tesla Gun.
Setup 2: Thruster / Capacity / Capacity
A bit more mobility to help the beam but noticeably less damage when playing optimally. Dodging sideways to avoid an ability that would break the beam is a helpful plus, but I find that sideways dodges in this manner usually break the beam due to the following distance anyways (Monster usually traverses onto a teammate immediately after, or goes on you with an aerial which also breaks the beam).
Nobody played Blitz in legacy. He was awful.
Hyde is about reliable close-range sustained damage but the nerfs to Defensive Matrix has most Monsters turning and killing the Assault if he takes too much chip damage, and he has somewhat fallen out of the competitive meta. He still clears Spider Traps amazingly well, though!
Setup 1: Damage / Damage / Damage
This setup throws away Hyde’s terrible Minigun and just relies on the nonstop Grenade->Flame rotation. There isn’t much to say about it, you’re just trying to get as much damage as possible in each dome and forget about chase damage.
Setup 2: Damage / Poison / Poison
This makes Hyde deal less damage in domes but do considerably more on the chase, upping his Minigun damage by several thousand over the course of a normal game. If you have to pick Hyde against Kraken for some reason, I would totally recommend this over damage perks. I would actually consider this perk choice to be better in regular games (blind pick), as it normalizes Hyde’s matchups and frees Trapper/Bucket to take other perks.
Setup 3: Thruster / Thruster / Jetpack Recharge
This was pretty nuts for chasing the Monster, but in competitive Monsters will just turn on the Assault now, or successfully down a teammate before armor is broken. This was more of a thing before they nerfed Defensive Matrix; you could get chase damage with the Flamethrower!
Legacy: Movement or Jetpack
Hyde didn’t require a perk in legacy so you would run mobility on him, or Health Regen if the team had Laz. Jetpack was also fine to keep in Flamethrower range, and could occasionally help to boost Grenade trajectory to hit an evolving Monster behind terrain (projectiles in Evolve inherit your current velocity).
Parnell offers burst damage, sustained damage, speed, range, and quick killing of most Monster abilities and pounce. He may be boring, but he does everything you want an Assault to do. Shotgun often shoots himself out of pounce but rockets won’t work as often. Doesn’t have any bad matchups, but I’d personally take others against Kraken or Wraith.
Setup 1: Damage / Swap / Capacity
This perk setup increments his shotgun pellet damage by 1 per pellet against DR targets (this might actually have changed with last patch, haven’t verified) and offers nonstop shooting. So why Capacity? Because in most situations, one of the weapons is doing a lot more damage than the other. The extra 2 shots and 1 rocket helps a lot if you’re also shooting things like Decoy or Spider Trap. With 12/6 shots, if you’re swapping the MOMENT you run out of ammo in the clip you’re hitting your rotation perfectly.
Setup 2: Damage / Swap / Damage
This increases shotgun pellet damage by 1 against zero DR and adds a bit more damage to the rockets. This will not hit any breakpoints with killing deployables (as far as I know), so it is up to you which you prefer. I personally consider Capacity in third slot to be better because, if you’re swapping optimally, DI third slot will run into small delays which makes Capacity marginally win out overall in pure DPS, on top of usually winning at variable ranges. But if you grew up on the 10/5 timing, it’s not worth fussing over.
Swap offered a lot of damage in legacy… when it worked. Parnell suffered a lot from the double reload bug which frequently occurred when he went Swap and thus it was usually better to just go Movement to harass the Monster outside of domes as much as possible (even though it didn’t stack with SS, it was better than Jetpack due to his inaccuracy when flying).
NOTE: I don’t know the exact percentages of DR impact on shotgun pellet damage. This information might be out of date due to perk changes and the formula for DR vs Amp stealth fix last patch. It’s a very close rounding problem; TRS has told us in the past that damage is floating point and that it’s just the display, but the difference is noticeable between displayed integers and Assault’s damage so I dunno. It’s possible that it’s all anecdotal evidence from hectic scrims, but even if the shotgun rounding thing is bunk, it’s still a straight percentage increase in damage and you can’t complain about that.
Torvald does a lot of sustained damage, but at odd intervals and therefore combines poorly with Cabot. He does not have speed or much range, and struggles with Monster deployables. He is taken to combat the Monsters that have to positionally commit to deal damage. Mortaring the possible areas where your focused teammate could dodge to is the best way to land multiple Mortars per volley.
Setup 1: Swap / Reload / Reload
Reload offers a lot more consistency and a lot more forced dodging from the Monster than Capacity does. In most cases it is Mortar -> Shotgun -> Shotgun -> Repeat. Every once in a while, if the Monster is not braindead, use Shrapnel Grenade before a Mortar clip to mess up the Monster’s mental image of your reloads. Reload also offers a extra survivability in getting more staggered Mortars out while being chased solo (which prevents being pounced). Also, staggered Mortars in general are harder for the Monster to predict even if it does lower your overall damage.
Setup 2: Swap / Capacity / Capacity
I’m quite sure Reload is objectively better. Against an AFK Monster Capacity will do more damage than Reload, but as the saying goes, Capacity on Torvald is putting all your eggs in one basket (The basket being the Monster’s face, here). The rotation for double Capacity is mildly inefficient if I remember right.
Torvald was buh-roken in legacy and was never nerfed enough to be considered balanced. While he wasn’t fast like Parnell, he had a perfect rotation with Capacity that made him do obscene damage.
My favorite Assault design. Lennox was OP on Stage 2 release and saw use in almost every tournament series. TRS didn’t like this at all, and hit her with a string of nerfs that dropped her out of viability almost as fast as Tech Hank. They also randomly changed Autocannon to a fast projectile instead of a delayed hitscan, making it harder to use at high ping. Why? Ida know, Lennox. HA FUNNY JOKE!
Thunderstrike is generally used as extra mobility and ironically is best when using it to dodge an ability sideways instead of for damage, because the Monster won’t predict diagonal trajectory. This usage helps her active defense against pounces if the Monster turns on her during a chase or split. Thunderstrike’s horizontal speed does not fall off during its entire use, so using it when high up (typically after all jetpack boosts) gives a lot of extra distance covered.
Setup 1: Damage / Damage / Damage
With an almost non-existent ability to break pounces on herself, Lennox wants to do as much damage in the dome as possible, as quickly as possible, with 4x punch. You see, Lennox is good at chasing but it is very easy for the Monster to turn on her, so upping her Autocannon damage helps keep a safer distance when splitting. I don’t know if triple DI hits any thresholds with killing Decoy or Mimic rank 3 (I know Thunderstrike kills them, but I don’t know if the perks are making that happen). Though, you probably want a different Assault versus those Monsters anyways. Lennox can kill Spider Trap in one uncharged punch, which is a noticeable plus in an otherwise difficult matchup.
Setup 2: Thruster / Rocket / Rocket
This perk setup offers the right mix of getting enough jump height to block a stage 2/3 Rock Throw without using jetpack, with some fuel efficiency to hover in front if the Goliath held it. Additionally, the thrust/recharge helps on the chase, as does jump height for getting more distance out of Thunderstrike when chasing. The competitive meta is a damage race and Defensive Matrix is nerfed, but this perk setup is still sometimes used against Goliath with an AoE Medic that can afford chip damage and longer domes.
Legacy: Jetpack Recharge
It was rare to see Lennox in legacy because she was bad, but under ESL rules she had to be used in tiebreaker Bo7’s because you couldn’t re-use picks and she was the best of the remaining Assaults (Legacy balance was pretty bad). Jetpack recharge both for mobility and to get more damage in domes.
RAbe is the first Assault that doesn’t have to ASSault the Monster to deal damage. Which is to say he shouldn’t be taking chip damage from abilities hardly ever, and rarely blocking abilities for his team due to his lower DR. He needs a defensive Support to keep the dome fights going longer in order to break armor, and then the game is usually decided on how well the chase goes after the first dome. His damage, while nerfed, is still strong for the time being. RAbe doesn’t do well against all-in Monsters, especially ones that stack DR. He synergizes well with other Hunters that also play the chase game, like Griffin/Val/Caira/Sunny/Kala, however his low burst damage makes Cabot one of his worst pairings.
RAbe doesn’t particularly benefit from the Poison perks. This seems to be a common misconception. His shotgun (left or right) applies the Poison perk like any hitscan weapon would, and that’s that. His natural poison does not apply Poison perk. Therefore, if you want to maximize chase damage, take Damage on RAbe and then Poison on Trapper or Support.
Setup 1: Damage / Swap / Damage
RAbe doesn’t do a lot of damage in engagements but makes up for it outside of domes, this helps him get more health damage than he normally would, especially if the Monster attempts to play footsies in a corner. With 2nd tier Swap, his rotation is usually Left -> Dart -> Right -> Grenade -> Right -> Right -> Repeat. If Dart or Grenade miss, the space between the two right clicks is the best time to redo it, and as such RAbe’s rotation tends to be improvised which makes him fun to play. Sometimes the Monster will traverse and you won’t be in range for a right click, which also mixes up your rotation.
Setup 2: Thruster / Swap / Damage
When you don’t have Sunny or Kala for the chase, a bit more thrust helps with getting an extra application or two of the DoT before the Monster is able to break LoS for any significant time. Additionally this will help you dodge abilities a bit better if the Monster has a brain and forces your shield with a 180 ability the moment Medic or Support get pushed out of line of sight, since RAbe is such an easy kill if he activates it at too low health.
RAbe wasn’t in legacy, but if he was he would have been insanely good due to the ResidentSleeper RunningSimulator with 200m sightlines that legacy tended to be.Other Evolve Articles
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