There’s not much information on the forums about how Oscar’s skills and helix work, and I don’t think I’ve seen anyone mention him as one of their mains. Therefore, I’m making this helix guide to increase the understanding of one of the most played heroes.
The effectiveness of each helix will be rated on the following scale:
Terrible - These helixes will do more harm than good, and should be avoided by everyone.
Insignificant - Won’t make much of a difference.
Helpful - Useful, but not vital or game-changing.
Game-changer - These helixes have a large effect on gameplay and are vital to some playstyles.
Obvious Choice - These helixes are clearly superior to any other options at that level.
Note that many helixes are situational, so a higher rated helix is not always the best choice.
Frag Grenades detonate immediately on impact.
This is great for removing the 1 second fuse and controlling grenade placement, especially in pvp.
Applies to child grenades from Nades on Nades.
Deactivating Stealth Generator by using a skill boosts that skill’s damage by 16%. If Stealth Generator ends without using a skill, attack damage is boosted by 16% for a few seconds (enough time to empty a full mag).
The damage boost is good, but Stealth Generator’s 20 second cooldown makes this impractical most of the time. This can be amazing with pve’s cooldown bonuses.
Does not apply any damage bonus when using Space Lasers.
When using Ghost Mode, Sneak Attack applies to Airstrike as well as acting normally when stealth is broken.
Upon detonation, Frag Grenades create an AoE dealing 41 damage twice per second for 4 seconds, for a total of 328 damage.
This more than doubles Frag Grenade’s damage, and is great for clearing waves. This is always the best choice on this level because both options on this level are focused on dealing damage, and this does more damage in a more consistent way.
Frag Grenade’s initial explosion is unchanged by this helix.
Damage does not scale with level.
Damage bonuses from level 8 helixes Fragpocalypse and Concentrated Frags do not apply to Fragcendiary’s DoT.
Nades on Nades
Instead of dealing damage, Frag Grenades shatter on impact into 5 child grenades, each dealing 30% of base damage with a smaller radius for up to 150% total damage.
Reducing the radius of your grenades not only reduces the number of enemies you can hit, but because grenade damage is based on proximity, this also reduces damage on indirect hits. To make matters worse, child grenades can bounce unpredictably, often sending them off target.
The 150% total damage is shown in the helix menu after taking Nades on Nades.
Red Dot Sight
Oscar Mike’s Assault Rifle is fitted with a red dot sight, removing the movement penalty for aiming down the sights and increasing ADS zoom by a very small amount.
Oscar’s hipfire accuracy is good enough that this isn’t needed at close range, and at long range damage drop-off will reduce AR damage by half, making any accuracy improvement much less effective.
Fits Oscar’s Assault Rifle with a scope, doubling the range at which damage drop-off occurs while aiming down sights and increasing ADS zoom by a small amount.
This doubles AR damage at medium-long range, making Oscar much more effective at range. The other option at this level doesn’t do much, so there’s no reason not to take this.
Back in a Jiff
Activating Stealth Generator prompts Oscar’s shields to begin recharging.
This can be good for keeping your shield up, but does nothing if you’re already taking damage.
Tactical Espionage Action
Increases movement speed by 30% while Stealth Generator is active.
Up to 15 seconds of increased movement speed has a lot of uses, including escape, infiltration, persuit, and collecting bonus score.
The first 15 rounds of each AR mag gain 60% shield penetration.
If you want shield penetration, this is a must have. If not, there are better options.
Additive with other shield pen boosts.
Tactical Rounds damage bonus increased to 100% on critical hits.
This would be a good choice on its own, but gets outclassed by Doubletap.
This is the only additive damage bonus in Oscar’s helix.
Tactical Rounds now applies to all 30 rounds in each Assault Rifle magazine.
As boring as this is, the damage this adds is too good to pass up.
Frag Grenade’s initial velocity is increased by 75%.
With Impact Trigger and Fragcendiary Grenade, this does almost nothing. Otherwise, the extra momentum sends your grenades bouncing far from their intended destination.
While Stealth Generator is active, Oscar’s shield recharge rate is increased by 105 shield per second.
This has good synergy with Back in a Jiff, but otherwise seems fairly average. The other option on this level is bad, so everyone should take this.
Increases Oscar’s movement speed by 8%.
This isn’t a huge boost, but stacking movement speed makes Oscar one of the fastest battleborn.
Increases Assault Rifle damage by 18%.
This is a great damage boost, even if it is a little boring.
All Assault Rifle damage gains 25% shield penetration.
This is useful if you need more shield pen, but not great on its own.
Additive with other shield penetration bonuses.
Frag Grenade’s damage is increased by 15%. This does not apply to Fragcendiary Gredade’s DoT.
The boost is small and doesn’t apply to the most important part of the grenade. This can still be decent if you’re looking for single target damage.
Increases Frag Grenade’s damage by 30% and decreases its radius by 25%. Damage bonus does not apply to Fragcendiary Grenade’s DoT.
If reducing the size of your DoT without increasing its damage wasn’t enough to drive you away, Frag Grenade’s explosive damage is based on proximity, so reducing the size of the AoE also reduces the damage of non-direct hits.
Increases Frag Grenade’s radius by 50%. This also applies to Fragcendiary Grenade’s DoT.
This is great for wave clear and area denial. Also, because Frag Grenade’s explosive damage is proximity based, this increases the damage of indirect hits.
Deactivating Stealth Generator early refunds up to 8 seconds of its cooldown. The more time remaining, the more cooldown will be reduced.
This is good for getting your escape back sooner or making more frequent use of Sneak Attack.
The cooldown refund is not affected by cooldown rate modifiers, so with enough cooldown reduction this can fully reset your cooldown.
Activating Airstrike while Stealth Generator is active no longer breaks stealth.
This can be good if you want to be stealthy or if you’re using Sneak Attack, otherwise there are better options.
Sneak Attack will apply to the Airstrike, as well as acting normally when stealth is broken.
Sneak Attack will not apply to space lasers, but will still act normally when stealth is broken.
Operation Sneaky Ghost
Increases Stealth Generator’s maximum duration by 6 seconds.
This is a nice buff, but the base 9 seconds is usually more than enough time.
Holy Crap, Space Lasers!
Instead of missiles, Airstrike now fires a continuous laser that penetrates all terrain. This creates a small AoE with infinite vertical range (above and below) dealing 350 damage twice each second for 7 seconds.
Although this does not increase the potential damage of Airstrike, concentrating its damage into a small area is more effective on anything smaller than a sentry. The AoE also removes the proximity based damage of Airstrike, making a well placed laser into a more consistent source of damage.
Space Lasers can not be boosted by Sneak Attack.
Space Lasers use a different set of ult call-outs than normal Airstrikes.
Instead of dropping randomly in a marked area, Airstrike’s missiles now spawn directly above Oscar Mike, and this effect follows him as he moves.
Airstrike’s missiles deal damage based on proximity, so maximizing your damage means aiming for direct hits. Doing this becomes difficult when your missiles are aimed at yourself, so Danger Close isn’t as useful as it sounds.
Holy Crap, Concussive Strike!
Enemies damaged by Airstrike are slowed for 3 seconds.
This is great for keeping enemies inside your Airstrike, especially in pvp. It’s not needed as much in pve, but remains a good option for keeping the larger area of a normal Airstrike.
If there’s anything I missed or that you think is wrong, feel free to comment below.