Tips on playing as and with, even against an Alani!

I don’t know if people care to read this, but I’ve been reading through the forums tonight and it seems like people are having some troubles with Alani as she stands now. It also seems like some people have issue with using her heal properly etc, so I thought I’d give some pointers I have figured out through trial and error.

To start off, I don’t have a screen shot of it, but I’ve played 181 games as Alani (all on xbox). I stream the majority of my game play, and if you want to watch me play her just pop in and ask me to. I won’t turn down playing Alani, though I am working on expanding my character pool at the moment. Out of those I’ve won 123 games, I’m sure there are people out there with a better win rate, but as it stands I’ve won 68% of my games with her.

One complaint I saw was healing minions on accident. This will happen sometimes, but there are definitely ways to avoid it. Before I get to far, I mostly play Meltdown. I have played some Incursion, but unless your team is working with you to get their heals it’s almost impossible. On that note, if you want an Alani to heal you, get out of dodge, try and get near her, and don’t jump around. Her heal is tough to track with, and if you’re playing Thorn or Melka and jumping back and forth over her head, you’re not getting healed, and that’s not the Alani’s fault. If you die from it, that’s on you. Back on topic, in Meltdown the lanes are wide enough that you can easily stand off to the side and fire at an angle. I see a lot of Alani’s try and stay head on with the lane, because then they can just fire off Riptide without having to move. Well, when you’re playing Alani with her health reduction, you need to be moving back and forth anyway or you’re going to die more than necessary. It’s easy enough to just jump across, fire Riptide, and get back out of lane. You should be paying attention to your cooldowns at all times anyway, so you can time it for when it first comes up.

I can’t stress enough though, if you’re getting frustrated with Alani’s not healing you, and you’re not staying relatively still then it’s not their fault you’re not getting healed (unless they’re just spamming self heal, which if that’s the case, oh well. I try and heal teammates as much as possible, others don’t. She’s not a Miko level healer so some people just want to DPS with her. If she’s controlling her lane and throwing the odd heal on teammates, even if you’d like it to be more, who cares? She’s still doing her job).

I see a lot of people complaining about her bubble, but it’s pretty easily avoided (unless you’re playing someone like Montana, but that’s the risk of large characters! Not everything is going to be suitable for everyone). I’ve read some people say they’ve seen people caught when they’re outside of the bubble, I can tell you this isn’t the norm. I’ve cast thousands of bubbles and 99% of the time it only catches those with a foot inside the bubble, but that’s the catch! If you can even a pixel in that radius you’re going for a ride, just like Orendi would still damage you with pillars if you had a piece of you in there. This is where some people might think I’m just trying to tell you to “git gud”. You need to stay aware when you’re playing against Alani! You need to pay attention to the ground so you’ll know when to move. It’s really no different than keeping the mini map in your peripheral when playing against a Rath to avoid getting jumped. Yeah, it’s super annoying when an Alani is hitting her bubbles, but it’s enough of a delay that most characters can fairly easily avoid it with a little bit of awareness. It gets harder later on when she get’s the radius increase (or delay reduction), but everything gets harder to survive late game. It’s not just her abilities, as much as people still hate her. I believe a lot of that is due to what she was like before. Before the damage nerf, but after the health nerf, I would love when Phoebe/Rath came after me. Throw a bubble at your feet while you’re running, and they were dead. With the damage nerf you’ll be hard pressed to melt them when they’re bubbled, it’s more of an escape now - which is completely fair since her speed is horrid and the Riptide knockback is pretty minimal if you’re sprinting at her.

The thing with Alani now is she’s really hard to play optimally. I’ve gone from playing her pretty much every game, to even someone like Orendi (plays similiar on offense with Pillars being like bubble to use). You need to get used to playing Orendi, but you only have to pay attention to killing things. To be good with Alani you need to be paying attention to everything. You need to know when the minion wave is coming so you can position to heal allies and to make sure you’ll have a riptide up. You need to know where your opponents are coming from because you’re super squishy now. You need to know who you’re in lane with so you can check on if they need heals, if they’re mid fight you might have to go to them to save them (even if they’re only down about 2-300 health it’s usually enough of a heal for them to win if it’s a 1v1, you don’t need to try and use all your wellsprings to the max). I have a buddy I play with who is constantly thanking me for my Alani heals when he’s in fights as Caldarius, and those come just because I’m aware of what’s going on.

Alani does so many things, but she’s only as strong as she can be if you’re doing all of them. You can’t reliably chase kills with her, she’s fully a team player. If you try and chase after kills, you’re going to be caught out of position, and her positioning is key maybe more than any other Battleborn.

I might have missed something, and if you have any specific questions just leave them in the comments. I’ll pay attention and answer everything I see!

Thanks for taking the time to read!

insaniacTV

PS: if you are interested in catching a stream it’s www.twitch.tv/insaniactv, and I’ll announce on twitter when I’m live, which is @insaniacTV of course.

2 Likes

I’m curious, do you ever use her Lvl 4 helix “Ride the Wave”? I’m looking for a playstyle that incorporates it.

I can’t speak for the OP, but here are my thoughts on her Lvl 4 Helix:

  • Wet Blanket gives you a second CC effect, which is great. Slow is always nice when you’re fighting the enemy team. Depending on Team composition and gear you might not need another slow, though.

  • Wave Shock is useful to support when dealing with enemy minions. Although, I didn’t use it since her Damage nerf.

  • Ride the Wave gives you increased mobility which, on paper, seems really nice. But the downside is a fixed path with predetermined length. Anyone who is paying enough attention can use this to lead some easy shots on Alani. This also limits its utility as an escape tool severely.

So, basically I always skip Ride the Wave in favor of the other options. Movement Speed/Sprint Speed gear can compensate for that.
And there are multiple scenarios I can think of where I wouldn’t want Riptide to move me (e.g. Echelon stairs before first sentry).

But that’s just my 2 cents.
I’m also curious what Helix @insaniacTV is using.

Again it’s playstyle preference. I like fast paced characters and I can see benefits of using Riptide for mobility and positioning.

I’ve already been experimenting with it and it’s saved my bacon multiple times. It’s also an effective way to initiate to set up Geyser. Makes me wish you could cash in Osmosis for melee or Geyser damage. That’s kind of Ambra territory though I reckon.

I haven’t on purpose other than initially trying it, but it is super fun to rip around on. I always use her damage, even with the nerf it still gives her enough to clear waves. I’ve debated the slow, but it always seems my teams have a lot of ways to slow down the other team without me.