Kleese and Ambra, based on their kits, seem to be quite similar. They both a.) have a beam attack that locks onto enemies for some solid dps, b.) have aoe sustain abilities that they can drop but can be destroyed, and c.) have high-damage aoe teamfight ults.
However, in every one of these similarities, Kleese ends up at a disadvantage. His beam attack is really short ranged and doesn’t heal him, nor does using it for extended durations increase its range. Sure, it does extra damage to shields, but 1/5 of the battleborn (Eldrids) can just mostly ignore this.
His aoe sustain, his little shield rift things, are hugely inferior to Sunspots. They have a whopping 27.6 dps, and even that comes as only bursts every 3 seconds, so getting damaged by them is quite unlikely, unlike Ambra’s sunspots which deal 40 dps no matter when the enemy is actually in the aoe. When sustaining, it’s even worse. Kleese’s shield rifts only restore shields, and once again in 3-second intervals, at 83 shield each time, wheras Ambra’s constantly heal for 33 health/sec. This is worse not only in the numbers, but because Eldrid don’t have shields he’s far inferior when there are at least 2 Eldrid on his team, but Ambra doen’t have any of this teamcomp limitation.
And thirdly, their ults. Ambra’s and Kleese’s have the same base damage at 334. Ambra’s gets the advantage of an additional 100 damage over 5 seconds after the ult hits, popping her ult damage higher, but Kleese’s ult at level 5 can actually be superior because of its cc. However, come level 10 and Ambra gets a stun on her ult, while Kleese can give an overshield to allies or blow up his shield rifts and stop his sustain. The overshield could be good in theory, but the allies have to be in the ult, and so probably only melee allies will be able to make use of it.
Finally, it’s also important to note how big Kleese’s model is compared to Ambra’s. Ambra’s actually pretty skinny and can be real tough to hit, wheras Kleese is practically in a car. It’d be fine if he took reduced damage to his chair or something, but he takes full damage on all of his huge model from what I’ve seen. (Also, Ambra gets a get out of jail free shield on top of all of her self-sustain.)
As much as I want to play a cantankerous old man in a badass chair with upgrade names like “Geezer Pleaser”, the Dark Side calls to me. So, I’ll finish this rant with a question: why play Kleese over Ambra?