Thoughts on Toby after Double-XP Weekend, and why he's probably the worst Battleborn in the game right now

There are lots of (justified) complaints about his terrible Ultimate.

It’s not just his Ult that’s lacking.

That’s just one of the problems.

Right now, basically everything is lacking. He’s a really cool (thematically) hero with an absolutely terrible kit and the worst Ultimate in the game. Honestly, he’s probably the worst character in the game, period.

  • His character model is so wide that both of his weapons have an incredible number of terrain collision issues with what “seem” like clear shots. Anywhere that isn’t wide open (to give yourself some cover) is likely to be a myriad of issues because of the hitboxes of your projectiles and the terrain.
  • His shield is destroyed far too quickly by long-ranged enemies, making him very vulnerable to counter-sniper fire.
  • He can’t escape worth a squat without taking his level 4 helix “Sorry, I Broke Your Wrists” (stun mine). Even then, you often have to turn tail and flee because the distance traveled with his boosters back-strafing combined with his enormous hitbox means terrain collision for days.
  • His “headshot” is directly center of mass, making it extremely easy for enemies to murder him.

They had a great idea and from a lore perspective he’s a hilarious character. But he’s just so badly designed and implemented. I’ve been playing him as exclusively as possible during double-XP weekend, and it basically boils down to the reality that he has great games against bad players, but he’s a sitting duck to anyone decent.

He has losing matchups against nearly every other Battleborn in a 1v1, which is okay, except for the fact that he doesn’t have enough territory control ability or sturdiness to stand off at range and gain an advantage.

More than any other hero, he needs a complete overhaul.

Off the top of my head:

  • The firing points of both his main Railgun and his Arc Mine need to be brought in closer to his center of mass so that they have less collision issues when you think you have a clear shot.
  • His shield could have a mechanic that reduces damage taken by it based on the range of the enemy (counter-sniping protection).
  • His booster charges need to recharge faster, or there needs to be a way to refill them on an occasional basis.
  • His helix tree should be re-examined at a holistic level. Many of the abilities are neat in theory but nearly useless in reality (his shield buffs for allies since the shield is destroyed so quickly and with Toby’s massive hitbox it’s hard to share the space). Overall he’s neither an early-game hero nor a carry and sort of starts mediocre and grows mediocre. He needs either more oomph in the early game or more oomph in the late game.
  • Obviously his Ultimate needs to be reworked. It’s utterly horrible.

It’s fine that Toby isn’t a duelist, but for a territory control character, he’s very bad at holding territory and loses match-ups against most other Battleborn if he’s not able to be more of an ambusher than a defender. You can rack up a lot of kills being an opportunistic sneak, but Thorn, Marquis, all of the melee assassins, Caldarius, etc. do the same role better. He simply can’t hold ground against competent enemies, and it seems as though there are very few Battleborn who are or should be worried about attacking him head-on. This, I think, is mainly because he’s a sitting duck in the open, left with very few places where he can’t easily be attacked from behind due to map design, and his shield melts too fast for him to put out a dangerous amount of damage to anyone pressing from the front.

There’s a lot to fix, honestly, to make Toby anything like viable as anything but a noob-smasher.


I agree on the ultimate and his escape but I have fought well against competent players and I have done well with him. He is territorial because he can control areas. Had a match on echelon where my team was losing and we was defending are last sentry. Defended it by myself while my team was getting thralls mid camp and had stuff pushing on their sentry. They were not noobish because they were pushing hard and knew how take out a Toby but could not act on it because I would stun them and hit them with crit hits doing a lot damage on them so they could not rush me. Toby can take out other Battleborn very fast if you spec him that way. Even without gear he does a lot of damage. He can also get away from other Battleborn if you spec him that way. He also takes out minions no problem and thrall camps are nothing against him.

Also…Kleese’s Wristlaser Mutation (load up shot) is around as strong as Toby’s Railgun and it doesn’t need a shield to be hitscan…nearly everything about Toby is too conditional and his crit spot is huge, as pretty much the entire Penguin is it and always easy to aim at (awesome boss material, horrible for playable character).

Toby on the updated Overgrowth has been nerfed due to the access changes to the mid balconies.

Echelon and maybe Meltdown are the only maps he’s viable on pvp-wise; out of the two Echelon is probably where he’s best.

Too bad nobody votes Echelon anymore so he’s basically deadweight.

I gave him a try for the first time the other day.

So many contradictions in his kit. He seems at first like he’s the sniper equivalent of Kleese, set up a safe area using shield and mines, and just be annoying as heck by providing fire where ever it’s needed

Except his mines only last 8 seconds, and he can only have one out at a time. His ultimate forces him to stomp out into the open and get destroyed. He has a great mobility passive that… sits useless most of the time because he doesn’t want to be moving unless he’s forced to. Shield dies far too quickly so even when he does get his area set up, it’s not for long.

He needs a big rework. At first I was thinking he ought to be changed dramatically to fit with that impression I had of a nesting sniper, but I changed my mind.

Toby needs to be an aggressive, disrupting character that is constantly bouncing between action areas. Like Mellka but more reliant on direct damage rather than pinging with DoTs and running away until the right time to commit to landing enough damage to kill. So here are some ideas to shift Toby towards that route:

  1. His passive stays as is - we’re changing him into a mobile character. Introduce a helix option that replaces the normal dash movement with a constant jet action in a single direction that is faster than his sprint speed. The dash charges drain down while he is jetting, and while he can cancel out of it by releasing the second jump, it will drain the rest of whatever charge he was on.

  2. His shield is not a deployable, it stays on him. It’s directional anyways so it doesn’t step on ISIC’s toes. Being able to move means he can keep his shield up longer by avoiding enemy fire.

  3. Railgun charge behaves differently depending on whether or not alt fire is held. In alt fire, it behaves as it currently does, allowing for precision timing when trying to get crits at range. With just normal fire, it can be held and will autofire every time it reaches full, but it will likely need a damage reduction in this mode or else Toby will just be in everyone’s face critting them constantly.

  4. Toby can lay 2 mines at once (he has charges on them a la WF’s scrap upgrade) and the skill has a lower cooldown, but mine damage over time is reduced, and the stun helix option is removed (we don’t want him to just be a better Ghalt).

  5. This last one I’m not sure sure about, but his ultimate needs to be as scary as it looks. Lower the damage tick to every half second, and he can still keep his shield up while it’s active. He can still be CC’d out of it, but the enemy team will need to be fast, as he will be able to melt whoever he wants if he’s timed it right.

I’ll admit - this is all just off the top of my head. There’s obviously a lot of you guys who have put way more time into this character than I have and I’m sure you’ve got better ideas for balancing him that don’t involve basically throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

And its greatly needed because people WILL rush you down. Everyone wants to get into Toby’s face and kill him. That booster is a god send. I am completely baffled at how anyone can ever question why its on Toby. Its his escape to get away from people that want to fight him in close quarters. And equally as good, its something he can use to traverse around the battlefield freely. He doesn’t have to sprint as often as other characters, just boost and you’ll get there faster.

His mines fit with the Territorial tag on him. He can force other battleborn to give up areas he shoots his arc mine into or force them to try and destroy it while he takes potshots at them.

Honestly Toby is just fine. The only big weakness is his ultimate which is fairly trash for reasons already stated by others. Its slow, short ranged, and basically makes Toby immobile. No squishy wants to be immobile.

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