Why I Don't Hate Post-Nerf El Dragon

(Theavarchivist) #1

El Dragon had his balls shredded by a cheese grater, there’s no doubt about that. I don’t think it’s necessarily a step in the wrong direction but the execution was kinda terribly balanced compared to other, way more broken BB. Here are my thoughts as to why I still think he’s a great addition to the roster and what they need to do to balance him while maintaining the direction they’ve chosen for him:

  • El Dragon is the epitome of support DPS / harasser now. He still has a pretty fantastic AoE and despite what ppl say his clear is pretty damn good as long as you keep your eyes open and know when to gtfo. The nerfs force you to do three things: i) actually gtfo and know your exit routes at all times, which I like. ii) pay absurdly close attention to which enemy BB are in range and which have used which CC effects recently, which I think is pretty dumb and unbalanced because the consequence of failure in this regard is pretty much death against a coordinated team. Being a master of the field/meta should make you a great player but it shouldn’t be the difference between instadeath and just being able to fulfill your role. More on this later.

  • He has incredible mobility. Dragon is fast af. Clothesline is amazing as both an exit strategy, for running down weakened ppl with the knockup, and for dramatically accelerating your xp scaling by building every damn thing on the map. In addition to its speed, its range is super long. Despite what everyone thinks, he’s still really gd hard to kill unless he overstays his welcome. Paired with a Reyna he’s a lot more beastly. Dragon can be bloody everywhere. Even more so than Pendles, only his presence is limited to the back line and short, sweet, flanking runs. He can finish, but he shouldn’t have his heart set on the KDR. Focusing on getting kills as El Dragon will get you killed and you’ll have a bad match overall. Focusing on getting as much xp as fast as possible will keep you in the game, get you a ton of minions/assists, and eventually some actual kills. He must be played ultra-conservatively now, which I love.

  • He’s a bit too dependent on his stacks. Losing your stacks is sooooo disheartening and difficult to recover from. At full stacks, even post-nerf Dragon is pretty decently effective and he can actually take a pretty substantial pounding mid-late game with the 30% dmg reduction. Less than max stacks and he’s lackluster all around and it’s hard to recover unless you catch stray minions. It’s hard to even -enter- the lane without stacks mid-game other than to splash -> gtfo. There needs to be some sort of balancing here. He needs to lose fewer stacks on death or something… anything… stacks are too critical to his effectiveness which makes him useless in Capture completely. It’s also why most players have zero chance of ever succeeding with Dragon now. His skill requirement pre-nerf was on the steeper side for really going off like a madman. Now it’s steep to even play him at all.

  • His xp scaling is excellent, probably the best in the game now. The name of the game when playing Dragon now is to get ahead and stay ahead by splashing/building bloody everything as fast as possible. Nothing should die without you getting xp from it. Shard/Wrench is mandatory and he needs to be everywhere at once with his Sonic the Hedgehog agility. I love this and that is the direction I want them to maintain with him but they need to fix his glaring weaknesses and hyperbolic vulnerability.

  • He still hit’s like an angry truck on steroids with stacks and his attack speed is ridonculous. This is especially hilarious post-nerf when everyone thinks “lolDragon” and doesn’t show him the respect needed to prevent him from 1v1 shredding or finishing them. He also crits well. He’s the ultimate glass cannon. He’s not gonna survive with much life left, but he’s pretty good at killing before he gets killed and staying alive in general with an exception I’ll cover in my next point.

  • He’s way… waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too susceptible to all CC effects. You wanna make him this super agile faberge egg grade glass cannon? Don’t make one of the biggest most flamboyant targets in the game so unbelievably easy to stun. People can accidentally stun him out of Dragon Splash and En Fuego without even meaning to because the animations take too long, leave him way too open, and seem to make his hitbox grow exponentially. The animations for both Dragon Splash and En Fuego take a ridiculous amount of time to complete. Make them faster and eliminate the time after you complete a skill where you can’t attack or use another skill. Make everything about him faster so skill can make up for his lack of tankiness.

  • En Fuego stun nerf… is… ridiculous. Especially when you gave KU a spammable 2s team-stun. What were you thinking? Dragon has to hit his Ult, THEN a skill, THEN wait for the extremely long skill animation to land the stun. Make it 3s. With the aoe nerfs and his aoe dmg reduction AND the fact it’s his gd ult it’s more then reasonable to expect his splash to deliver a 2-3 second stun. Lastly, with his ult active, Clothesline turns to ■■■■ as an egress. It still works but it requires better aim and a straight-line exit strategy, as you can’t steer it like normal. Just leave Clothesline the way it normally is during En Fuego. Gal can CC a team for 2-3 sec. She can stun lock a single target for liker 5-6 seconds. Give Dragon the stun back.

So that’s how I feel. I like the direction but not the implementation. Fix his skill animation times and get rid of the insane 1s Silence effect that follows everything he does in addition to restoring his stun and he’ll be balanced for what seems to be your intent: a super agile support poke.

(Theavarchivist) #2

Additional thought that goes along with the whole “don’t make him so bloody susceptible to every form of CC imaginable” deal: Clothesline only works when you’re on the ground. I get the logic behind it but it’s silly considering he’s squishy enough as it is. He’s got cybernetic arms that seem to be clearly boosting his running speed via some form of propulsion. He should be able to rocket his ass to safety while in the air like every other character with a dash-esque attack. Boldurdash inexplicably works in the air. Lumberjack Dash inexplicably works in the air. Let Clothesline explicably work in the air please.

On the same note, make his dropkick work like Deande’s, affording him a bit more verticality.

(Australian Lite™) #3

I thought he was balanced pre-nerf. He was powerful, sure, but he still had some really strong counterpicks and some REALLY strong ways for a team to completely shut him down.

He was super vulnerable to any kind of CC even pre-nerf, and if your team has no CC characters on it, then you deserve to be annihilated by a cyborg luchador screaming EL DRAGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON because that’s just a terrible team comp.

(wisecarver) #4

Can you take Dragon thru the Attikus dlc and come back let us know how that went? :wink:

(Quack858) #5

I’ve actually done that solo. It was hard cos I suck at dragon but it was very doable.

(Australian Lite™) #6

@Tokesy97 already has. Screenshots to prove it as well =D

(First-Sword of the Moderators | Discord Hypesquad) #7

Not the Attikus - I only did that with a team, same for the Toby actually.

(Theavarchivist) #8


I agree. He was always heavily player-skill dependent and the nerf wasn’t needed. He was fine. Now that they nerfed him I think if they make the changes I suggested it’ll fix his balance issues while maintaining his direction. It’ll allow him to be very effective in the hands of a skilled player instead of just good enough.


He’s pretty good for it actually imo because he shreds everything so quickly. Lots of people have done it on Hardcore solo with him. Only rough spot is Ronin challenge cuz you don’t have stacks yet so gotta hit n run PVP style.

(Australian Lite™) #9

It’s like in a classic shooter where they give a gun madd DPS but hilariously bad recoil and handling stats. If you can counteract those traits, which takes a fair amount of skill, you get a bloody good weapon, but it’s not for everyone.

(Theavarchivist) #10

Yeah that’s what I mean. I feel the traits that should be overcome by skill though are his squishiness and his size making him an incredibly easy target. The traits of his incredible slow skill animations/delay and his inability to escape while airborne like every other character can, however, are clunky and unpolished. They don’t jive with how he’s supposed to be played now. He can be competitive, but only with pretty much flawless play is he able to be effective because of those things. To me they’re so clunky they practically seem like bugs as opposed to design choices.

(Australian Lite™) #11

Yeah, I do think En Fuego’s animation needs to be sped up, but Dragon Splash is fine because it’s the only time you have to aim it, and 90% of the time people won’t bother to adjust their aim up in order to get the shots in.

What loadout do you use for him? I use Attack Damage + Attack Speed on melee hit, Attack Speed + Max Health, and Friction Fizz (which has saved my ass multiple times).

(PSN:Santbech_2038) #12

The skill gap is in the sky. Thats why benedict got buffed to allow new players enjoy the game.

El dragón needs a rebalance, right now i dont feel desire to use him. High risk and low reward… Deande got buffed to increase her reward because her risk was already high.

(Theavarchivist) #13

I don’t think most of the roster actually needs to aim up though to get the stun against Dragon Splash, is the issue. I think really the only skill that does is Shield Toss but it’s unmissable. It also seems that his hotbox during the move becomes a bit of a column as opposed to the flat disc of his character but this is likely a side effect of a lot of CC having some 3-dimensionality to the radius of impact, asAnything that causes any type of CC effect whatsoever right now cancels the move before it lands, same as En Fuego so the slightest breeze cancels it. I don’t think the moves should be immune to stun but I do feel that aspect especially needs rebalancing as people don’t even need to try to cancel the moves, it just happens. It’s bad enough you often gotta En Fuego well away from the action because in addition to the vulnerability to CC, the delays after you use it makes you a sitting duck for long enough that most BB would die in the same situation. Also his En Fuego stun duration is bad because it’s basically equivalent to the time it takes before El Dragon can do anything again. A few solutions would be to revert to 2-3s Stun, remove Dragon’s clunky delays (my preferred solution), and/or make En Fuego stun for 1s as well (also a good choice).

I use Vow of Vengeance + 0 cost shard + 0 cost wrench. With his speed, I like to get and maintain a lead in levels quickly. I like damage reduction and general attack dmg/speed as well but ultimately prefer the additional xp tempo/scaling. Plus with his speed combined with his need to run away regularly and wait for cooldowns til he can re-engage, he’s the optimal choice for building and maintaining Infrastructure, sending Giant Minions, and claiming thralls (he can shred thralls fast). You can Splash, hammer a wave, Clothesline out, go get shard and build something, and be back at the wave just as your skills are finishing cooldown so it works out very well.

(Australian Lite™) #14

Yeah, good point - Galilea’s Vortex is an AoE pull, Ghalt’s is a skillshot but El Dragon’s HUGE and it’s easy as hell to land, and I think Infinite Vertical Hitboxes is still a thing, meaning that Rath’s knockup and a lot of others will pull him out of it as well. Heck, if someone sneezes hard enough it’ll get cancelled. Having a 1 second stun is almost useless, agreed.

That seems like a pretty sweet setup. I’ve been trying to get my hands on a Vow of Vengeance but no dice so far, which sucks. His legendary is probably the last thing you want for this because it damages you on a miss with Clothesline, which means it’s crap as an escape skill.

(Theavarchivist) #15

Aye I’ve never even tried it. If you’re on PC I’d be down to help farm Vow of Vengeance once I finish my last few character masteries.

(Australian Lite™) #16

I really hate defense objectives but I’ve always found they’re easier solo - less enemy spawns to worry about. Appreciate the offer though.

(Aurox, omnidimensional horror) #17

But then they put benedict pretty much back to how he used to be

(Aurox, omnidimensional horror) #18

Montana ammo pack also double to propulse him, boldur has no explanation, eldragon does have jet things on the elbow and shoulders of his arms so it would make sense to have him do it in the air

(Theavarchivist) #19

Aztanti Jockstrap McGuffin Propulsion combined with the planet he’s on being repulsed by his general odour.

(Aurox, omnidimensional horror) #20

Probably right, other dash with no th plantation is mellkas, caldariuses is also an explained one