I’ve gotten away from ranked ladder lately, playing D.Va and Tracer instead. Since there’s a holiday in two days I’ll get back to ranked games soon, but until then here’s a D.Va guide.
D.Va is a walking cliché who tops the list of most punchable heroes. However, there are other ways in which she’s unique, luckily for her. So onto the talents.
Level 1: Rush-down (6.0%)
Hit the Nitrous (83.4%) is the overwhelming favorite here, but I just don’t understand why. If you’re rushing to get to a fight, you’ll use boosters. That means it’ll be nine seconds until you can knock people back to help teammates, or escape from an engagement gone bad, or throw an exploding mech into the mix. That’s a long time to wait.
On the other hand, rush-down helps you charge self-destruct faster (because you can get to the target sooner), and halving travel time makes hearthing viable.
Just try rush-down. Since picking it I’ve never gone back.
Level 4: Bring It On (71.8%)
Fusion generator is a distant second. I’ve tried it, and it’s okay sometimes. But there are just too many things that can go wrong: you get stunned, the enemy waits for defense matrix to end, and so on. And what’s the advantage over bring it on? I could understand if fusion generator wasn’t capped at 15%, but there’s no reason to take it now.
Level 7: Coming Through (41.5%)
Dazer zone is the second most popular talent, but slowing people with defense matrix just isn’t that useful, I think. If you’re being chased, why not knock everyone back, and then use matrix? It might not be possible to get everyone in the matrix. And if you’re hunting them down, coming through enables you to shoot after knocking them back. Besides, defense matrix talents have all the drawbacks that fusion generator does.
Level 10: Big Shot (68.1%)
Neither of these is that exciting, but I don’t understand bunny hop’s role. If you’re being chased, knock everyone back and then use defense matrix. If you’re chasing, try to loop around and get in front of the target. That might not be possible if they’re going through a choke point, but ‘better when chasing enemies through choke points’ is an extremely niche role.
The only other role I can think of for bunny hop is against heavy dive teams when you don’t have self-destruct ready. I might try that out.
Level 13: Ablative Armor (44.2%)
This one depends on who you’re playing against, but ablative has the added advantage of protecting against minions.
Level 16: Torpedo Dash (30.8%)
I’ve actually never tried this one–I’ve been taking nanoweave suit–but I will from now on since nanoweave doesn’t really do its job, namely keeping you alive in pilot mode. If you can’t get away, you’ll die. You can’t stand in there and fight.
Most people take GG, WP here (56.2%). I just feel like I never get enough takedowns as D.Va to justify it. That could be my next experiment though…takedowns refreshing mech cooldown is tempting.
Level 20: MEKAfall (52.0%)
Again, none of these are very exciting. Pew Pew Pew is the second place talent, but unless you’re firing into a crowd I’m not sure how much benefit it offers.
The most important thing is D.Va is self-destruct. But, you have to make sure you can set it to explode where you want, even if that happens to be in the middle of a pack of enemies, without going in yourself. Luckily, a self-destruct triggered while boosters are active keeps the mech moving.
The way to do that is to get moving in the direction you want, hit boosters, activate self-destruct, and hit e again once the mech reaches its destination.
You should definitely test this in try mode to get a feel for it. I’ve seen a mech move back and forth along a wall even after I’ve pressed e. I’ve also seen enemies alter its path after I’ve ejected, but I don’t really know how that works. Maybe just keep it in mind when launching a mech at enemies that haven’t engaged yet.
I also just read that Falstad can blow a self-destucting mech away with mighty gust, although I’ve never seen that happen. Even then it might be worth it. Better he cancel out self-destruct than help his team disengage.
Oh, and if your team is being chased and you want to knock some people back, it’s probably best to wait until you’re close to them to trigger boosters. That way, you can put some distance between yourself and the pursuing horde; if they catch up with you it’s time for defense matrix.