I’ll cut to the chase. I know that there are some of you out there who don’t know what Deadly Reach does (I’m looking at you Kevin). The lack of understanding is what I aim to resolve with this here thread. I will do everything in my power to make it as crystal clear to you what this augment does, what it doesn’t do, and hopefully give you the information you need so that next time you look at the choice on that helix level you can make an informed decision as to which one you pick.
But first, the helix card:
Just for your reference. This is the augment I’m talking about (Left) and its alternative (Right). If you look at the description of Deadly Reach you will see the words “damage distance”. Those two words are where a lot of the confusion stems from. I myself spent many hours wondering what the hell it means. But that was many moons ago. There are two instances to look at for understanding the nature of this augment. The first one is the regular burst dash, and the second is with the Ground Zeros augment at level one that turns burst dash into an AOE.
Normal Burst Dash
The explanation for damage distance is fairly straight forward. When you Burst Dash you dash in whatever direction you are looking. However, when your physical body stops moving forward a wave of damage is projected outwards for a certain distance. The distance from your stopped body to the edge of the damage wave is the damage distance. This wave enables you kill someone without actually hitting them, therefore taking the Deadly Reach augment will increase your range and make it easier for you to land a damaging blow on one as well as multiple enemies.
If you didn’t understand what just happened then let me explain. The first burst dash was me finding my range. The normal damage distance was a hit so I moved back. For the second dash at the further distance the normal burst dash was not a hit, so I moved back to roughly the same spot and put on Deadly Reach. The burst dash hit so I moved even further back to give a rough idea of the new range.
Note – At the time of the test it was 1 in the morning so I was dead tired and didn’t think to make my friend there move back so we could do the test on flat ground. Despite that little imperfection the point remains the same, with the video’s sole purpose being to show that there is an increase to range, but not the exact increase to range. – End Note
For a frame of reference look at this screenshot which I used my fabulous paint skills on.
Now there is one other thing I would like to address on normal burst dash. Deadly Reach does not increase the distance that Deande moves. I’ve heard some people say that it did so I thought I would do another test.
That should be easy enough to understand. She actually moved a bit less on the second dash for some reason. No idea why. Anyway, due to the lack of increased move distance I can safely say that Deadly Reach will not help in your escapes from peril, or your ninja-like acrobatics from one side of the map to the other.
Because this augment changes the way burst dash functions it warrants another set of explanations. Originally I had been operating under the assumption that Deadly reach increased the radius of your AOE based on previous forum discussions. This held up in testing, however there was one aspect to the results that surprised me.
Maybe you couldn’t get a good enough look at what was going on. So look at these side by side, or download them and flip back and forth between them really fast. One is of the normal burst dash and one is of the Deadly reach burst dash.
Note – I did my best to capture the images on the same rotation of the burst dash to get an exact comparison, however my ps4 was being uncooperative. – End Note.
There is little to no visual change to the AOE of the Ground Zero burst dash. Whether or not you take the augment it still looks like it is the same size. Originally when I saw that I assumed that extra range was applied to the diameter instead of the radius, and that the expansion/contraction of the Ground Zero animation caused the two instances to look similar. However that is not the case. The damage distance is in fact applied to the radius of the original Ground Zero but there is no visual indicator as to what range you are reaching.
Note – due to my tragic inability to edit video and put the files back into a YouTube friendly format you will just have to bear with me. Uncut/unedited footage might be a bit tedious, but for the moment it is the best I can do. – End Note.
Up to this point I’ve been calling the damage outside the visible radius “phantom damage” just to make things easier when talking to others. While I don’t have an exact reading on the increase of range from a testing standpoint (probably 40% though as the card states), I hope it’s at least clear that Deadly Reach does in fact increase the damage range on Ground Zero.
On the whole this augment is a solid choice no matter which burst dash type you happen to be using. For objective play with Ground Zero you can gain greater lifesteal on minion waves, as well as weaken more enemies at once which is especially useful in PVE. And if you are using normal burst dash the added range will help you chase down those runners as well as hit multiple enemies in the damage wave. From experience I can tell you that the increased range on normal burst dash is really surprising to some players. They think they are safe, that your range is too short and that you move too slowly. And then you hit them and kill them without touching them, and they send hate mail and everyone that is you is happy.
As for whether this option is better over its counterpart, well I would have to leave this one to personal preference. Personally I like to run the cooldown option because I like to jump into a fight and make my kills as many times as possible during a match. When my team calls out a weakling I want to be ready to finish the job. However there is no denying the validity of Deadly Reach. The few times I do run it are always good fun, and if you are looking to get the most out of a single burst dash then you might want to try this one out.
Anyway, that’s all for this little quick guide. I hope this helps some people (cough Kevin cough). I hope there are no errors, but as always I encourage everyone to poke holes so that perfection can be achieved.