Evolve Bucket Guide
Evolve Bucket Guide by HalfBloodPrince
Hey Hunters! Its VehementVulcan (or HalfBloodPrince in-game) back with the second installment in my Support guide series. I have 150+ hours on Support between Vanilla Evolve and Stage 2, and I play every support. I decided to make this guide series to compile all the information I could about the correct way to play these characters into one easy-to-access location. That being said, I do not pretend to be an expert on every aspect of every character, so my word is not law. After polling the community (with 70+ responses), you guys decided you wanted to see a Bucket guide next. So, without further ado, here is my in-depth guide for Bucket.
- Highest solo damage support
- Impossible for the monster to ignore
- High skill ceiling
- Extremely impactful
- Strong synergies with other hunters
- Zone control
- Sassy British robot
- No mobility
- Very cooldown reliant
- Sometimes focused
- Team will lack protection for focused hunter
- Requires good communication and mindful Medic/Assault
- AOE damage to Sentries severely hurts Bucket’s DPS
The community chose Bucket as my second guide, and I am excited to show you guys how differently an offensive Support like Bucket plays compared to a defensive Support (Tech Sergeant Hank guide found here).
Once again, I will preface the guide by answering the question: Why pick Bucket? Bucket belongs to the Offensive Support subclass along with Cabot and Kala. Bucket is different from the other hunters in the Offensive Support subclass in that he brings additional damage from his own kit, rather that amping the team’s damage like Cabot or debuffing the monster like Kala. Bucket provides long range, consistent damage with his Guided Missile Launcher. His Sentry Guns chip away at the Monster’s health, doing tons of damage over the course of the fight with little input from the player. Bucket’s Mechanized Recharge completely changes the state of the fight by resetting the Assault, Medic, and Support Class Abilities and reducing the cooldown of subsequent shorter Class Abilities (like E.M.E.T.s Healing Burst). Finally, Bucket’s Shield Burst provides a large, fast decaying shield to nearby allies, protecting them from burst damage. Bucket is fine to use in public matches, but really shines when you are able to communicate with your medic and assault.
I will once again take the time to briefly explain each tool in Bucket’s arsenal (for simplicity’s sake, as well as relevance after patches, I will not include many specific numbers, all of which can be found on the Evolve Wikia here, info is also available on the Official Wiki here).
I Wish I Was Made of Missile Launchers: Bucket’s Abilities
Bucket’s primary weapon (1) is the Guided Missile Launcher. Attached to the end of his right arm, Bucket’s Guided Missile Launcher has a laser that extends from the barrel. Once fired, the missiles track the laser wherever it goes. The Guided Missile Launcher operates on an ammo-reload system, with a five rocket clip before it must be reloaded. Although technically a semi-automatic weapon, the Guided Missile Launcher forces a slight delay between firing rockets, limiting Bucket’s potential DPS. The Guided Missile Launcher is great for consistent damage at all ranges, and the laser guidance system means you can pull off cool tricks like curving the missiles around walls or firing them upwards and using them as makeshift mortars (sorry Torvald, but these mortars actually hit the target sometimes).
Bucket’s secondary items (2) are his Sentry Guns. These cuties look like little floating Bucket Heads with two guns attached to them. They are deployed at a target location on the map and float about three meters off the ground. They scan a medium range around themselves and target the monster if it comes into range. Although a single turret does not do very much DPS, having all three turrets deployed for the entirety of a fight can make that DPS really add up. The turrets themselves are quite squishy, so it is important that you place them in areas close enough to the fight to hit the monster, but far enough they do not get collaterally killed by the monster’s AOE (like Goliath’s Flame Breath). Like I stated earlier, you can have three Sentry Guns out at any given time. Placing another Sentry when you already have three placed will destroy the oldest Sentry. That means that it is important to be mindful of where each of your turrets is, so you do not delete one that will be hard to replace in the heat of battle. If one of your turrets gets destroyed, you can place another with no penalty. When you place a turret, it goes through a short activation time before starting to fire. Each turret has a limited amount of ammo, and self destructs after expending all of its ammunition. This means that even in a short dome where none of your turrets are destroyed by damage, you will probably have to replace them all at least once when they self destruct. The three bars on your Sentry Gun target reticle each stand for a different sentry, so you can use the reticle to quickly assess the state of your turrets in the heat of battle.
Bucket’s tertiary ability (3) is Mechanized Recharge. This ability resets all nearby hunter’s Class Ability’s cooldown to zero. Mechanized Recharge has an affect on the cooldown of planet scanner only when the scan is over, so keep that in mind. In the case of very short cooldown Class Abilities (think E.M.E.T.s Healing Burst), the cooldown of several subsequent abilities will be drastically reduced. If Mechanized Recharge is activated when there is very little time left on a hunter’s Class Ability anyway, it will also refund a portion of the next cooldown after activation, so do not be afraid to activate mechanized recharge even if your Shield Burst is almost off cooldown. It is thought that this refund for the next cooldown only works if the Hunter activates the ability immediately following Mechanized Recharge. Mechanized Recharge has a very long cooldown, so you only get around two off per Dome on average. Note: Another way to expain Mechanized Recharge is that it makes a short-lived cooldown reducing aura around Bucket. This explains the way E.M.E.T. can spam heal bursts and how the “cooldown reduction bleed over effect” happens. credit: Zoralink & Kaelran
Finally, we have reached the Support Class Ability (4), Shield Burst. Bucket’s variant of Shield Burst is a large shield on all surrounding allies that decays quite quickly. This means that to use Shield Burst correctly on Bucket, you have to pay attention to the fight as a whole, only shielding when your team really needs it. A bad shield burst on Bucket can result in a totally wasted cooldown with no impact on the fight at all.
Prepare for Bucketfall… and Copyright Infringement: What to do During the Hunt
Unlike Tech Sergeant Hank, Bucket has almost no job to do before the dome begins. That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind as you chase down the monster.
Generally, the Support and Trapper form a two man team, separating themselves from the Medic and Assault. The trapper will probably be slightly faster than you (depending on perks), but you need to do your best to stay close by at all times. You are the Trapper’s protection. If the Trapper speeds ahead with Planet Scanner to cut the monster off and Dome it, you need to be right behind him with your finger on Shield Burst, ready to react if things go South.
While you run around the map, place turrets in wide open spaces or crossroads. Keep track of where on the map each of your three Sentries is. If one is destroyed, you know a short-tempered monster took a swing at it. In fact, I have even had times where one of my random Sentries was shooting at a fleeing monster. I simply followed the damage numbers to it’s hiding place and dropped the easiest Dome of my life.
Protecting Your Monkeys: Fighting Under the Dome
Once the Dome goes up, it is Bucket’s time to shine. Ideally, you will have a few seconds before the fight breaks out to set up your Sentry Guns. The best locations for your Sentries are cliffs or pillars in the center of the dome, or wherever you think the fight will occur. If you can not get your turrets set up on an elevated location, the best thing to do is tuck them into corners or at the base of cliffs. This gives the Sentries good lines of sight while still keeping them mostly out of the fray.
If you do not have time to set up your turrets before the fight begins, your job becomes much harder. If I am coming into a fight that is already in full swing, I like to throw down a couple or Sentries in random locations on the ground as I come up to the fight, just to get some DPS going. Once that is done and those turrets are doing damage or distracting the monster, I find a good vantage point to use during the fight. I fly up there (do not use fuel to fly, rather use the jetpack climb feature) and start to set up my turret nest. In this scenario, you want to put all of your turrets down without leaving your elevated position. Usually this means placing all three around the edge of the pillar, although you can sometimes throw a turret to a neighboring cliff, as the deploy range is surprisingly long. The disadvantage to this “turret nest” method of deployment is that all of your turrets will be destroyed at once if the monster climbs onto your pillar, but it is still favorable to spending the first 30 seconds and three bars of fuel of a fight flying around to set up turrets.
While you are doing all of this, you need to keep an eye on the state of the fight. Since Shield Burst’s cooldown is not too long, you will probably pop one early to keep your team safe. If someone is really in trouble (especially your squishy Medic or Trapper), you may need to pull off your sweet Shield Burst>Mechanized Recharge>Shield Burst combo, which will leave your teammates saying “I shouldn’t be alive.” (Note: the two Shield Bursts DO stack, but decay at the normal speed)
In general though, you want to use Mechanized Recharge only when you ABSOLUTELY have to, or when you will get optimal use out of it. This ability has so many powerful uses that it is imperative you do not get impatient with its use. Good Mechanized Recharges separate the good Bucket players from the gods, so practice, practice, practice.
Communication is important on Bucket since most of Mechanized Recharge’s power lies in the advantages it gives your teammates. Activating Mechanized Recharge right after your Assualt’s Defense Matrix goes down can let him activate it again immediately, letting him go toe-to-toe with even a Stage Three monster for 20+ seconds. But, most of the time, the more important cooldown to watch is your Medic’s heal burst. Communicate with your Medic and know when he needs the extra healing, whether it be to save himself or a teammate.
During the fight, you should be dealing damage constantly, always shooting missiles at the monster. I like to shoot a clip, switch to Sentries and see if I need to throw another (do it if I need to) then switch back to my reloaded Missile Launcher. There is no reason to not check your turrets between every Guided Missile Launcher Clip.
Keep Your Friends Close: Synergies With Other Hunters
disclaimer: This is not rating how “good” or high winrate a combo is, simply specific skill interactions with Bucket.
- Lazarus has great synergy with Bucket. Activating Mechanized Recharge right after Laz uses his massive-healing long-cooldown Heal Burst can completely turn the tides of the fight, taking your entire team from almost dead to full health in less than three seconds (although Laz may have preferred your team died so he could be the hero). Bucket’s massive damage output for a support also means that the monster cannot camp bodies to stop Laz from rezzing, making this combo very, very strong.
- Caira has decent synergy with Bucket. She is one of the less Healing Burst relient Medics, so Mechanized Recharge has less of an effect on her (although it is still very good). Caira is quite squishy, so double Shield Burst provides her with some much needed survivability in the event she gets focused.
- Val has decent synergy with Bucket. She is also not super Healing Burst relient, but benefits from the tankiness of Shield Burst.
- Rouge Val has good synergy with Bucket. Good communication can allow her to get three or four of her massive self Healing Bursts off in a single Dome, making here nearly impossible to kill when used in conjunction with Shield Burst.
- E.M.E.T. has great synergy with Bucket. Activating Mechanized Recharge right after E.M.E.T. uses his short cooldown Healing Burst reduces his subsequent cooldowns too, letting him get up to four Healing Bursts off in quick succession. This is useful in countering burst damage or even quicking reviving a downed hunter with the massive burst of healing.
- Slim has little synergy with Bucket. His Healing Burst’s cooldown is quite high, but reduced by his shotgun’s pellets. This means that Slim down not benefit from the massive cooldown reduction from Mechanized Recharge (as he reduces his own cooldown quite quickly), but also does not get the cooldown reduction bleed over effect like E.M.E.T, since the base cooldown is much higher.
- Griffin has great synergy with Bucket. His Harpoon Gun is good at keeping the monster off of the immobile Bucket. His Harpoons can also help Bucket put damage down on the monster as it runs away from the dome.
- Electro Griffin has good synergy with Bucket. His Harpoon Gun helps keep the monster from focussing Bucket, but has less chase potential that Griffin because of the reduced range.
- Maggie has good synergy with Bucket. Her Harpoon Traps can help peel the monster off of Bucket.
- Wasteland Maggie has good synergy with Bucket. Her Fire Harpoon Mine keeps the monster away from Bucket. Combat Daisy also forces the monster to not only pay attention to the four hunters, but also the Trapjaw and Sentries doing significant damage to him throughout the fight.
- Abe has good synergy with Bucket. His Stasis Grenades create safe zones on the battlefield for Bucket to run to. The combo of his Stasis Grenades and Tracking Dart Pistol can help Bucket chase the monster after a Dome and put significant health damage down.
- Crow has decent synergy with Bucket. His Pet Batray and Stasis Gun help Bucket chase the monster or get away.
- Jack has good synergy with Bucket. His Repulsor Gun can protect Bucket and allow him to do damage.
- Markov has good synergy with Bucket. His mines can pushing the monster for destroying your turrets.
- Blitz Markov has good synergy with Bucket. His mines can protect your turrets and he can also punish the monster hard for body camping.
- Hyde has good synergy with Bucket. His Toxic Grenades can punish the monster for destroying turrets or chasing Bucket.
- Parnell has decent synergy with Bucket. He can also punish the monster for camping a body with Super Soldier.
- Torvald has no special synergy with Bucket.
- Lennox has good synergy with Bucket. Her Plasma Lance punishes the monster hard for chasing Bucket or camping bodies.
And Your Enemies Closer: Monster Matchups
- OG Goliath is an alright matchup for Bucket. Goliath is easily kited and, as long as you keep your turrets spread way out, Goliath has trouble keeping your turrets down.
- Meteor Goliath is an alright matchup for Bucket. Kited same as Goliath; keep your turrets spread. His cooldowns are longer, so Mechanized Recharge is more effective at stopping Meteor Goliath’s burst.
- Kraken is a good matchup for Bucket. Your turrets take quite a bit of focus for Kraken to kill and your Mechanized Recharge can stop Kraken’s AOE burst.
- Elder Kraken is a tough matchup for Bucket. Unless you get very lucky, Elder Kraken’s chain lightning will destroy all of your turrets every time, so you will spend most of your time replacing turrets.
- Wraith is a good matchup for Bucket. Your Mechanized Recharge can negate burst and your Sentries and Guided Missiles have no problem consistently hitting the slippery Wraith.
- Behemoth (RIP Bob) is a great matchup for Bucket. Behemoth will struggle to destroy your turrets (especially if they are elevated), cannot burst through double Shield Burst, and hates that Bucket has extra damage to cut through his massive health and armor.
- Gorgon is an alright matchup for Bucket. Guided Missiles and Sentries do lots of damage to Grogon, but acid spit can quickly destroy all of your turrets.
Oh, Well That Helps: Perks
- T1: Afterburners (Jetpack Boost Thrust) give you a little more mobility in chasing the monster and a little boost to dodge abilities
- T2: Reloader (Reload Speed) Reload is great on Bucket. More Guided Missiles and more Mechanized Recharges.
- T3: Speedloader (Reload Speed) see above
- T1: Enhanced Celerity (movement speed) run faster and chase the monster
- T1: Gunslinger (item swap speed) swap faster in fights
- T1: Rocket Man (overall jetpack/jump) chase, run, kite
- T2: Bounty Hunter (item swap speed) see above
- T2: Rocket Lord (overall jetpack/jump) see above
- T2: Leadership (Class Ability cooldown) more Shield Bursts without the help of Mechanized Recharge
- T2: Poisonous Rounds (DOT) Increase Sentry DPS by constantly refreshing
- T3: Rocket King (see above)
- T3: Command (see above)
- T3: Acidic Rounds (see above)
Note: jetpack perks of any kind are always helpful and personal preference