When it comes to battling the Hydra Clan boss, every rotation brings a unique challenge. The affinities of the heads change, as do the heads in the starting rotation. It’s important to keep in mind that the higher level you hit, the less likely the same heads will pop back up. Higher levels require you to prepare for all 6 heads, not just the starting rotation. However, you can get by on lower levels if you don’t mind resetting and playing the RNG game if you focus on counteracting just the starting heads of a current rotation. For this guide, we’ll also talk about how the affinities affect your team choices. Refer to our Stages Tool for each rotation if you’re looking to prepare your teams
The Starting Rotation
If you’re hitting Nightmare or Brutal, you’ll certainly need to prepare for all 6 heads. However, let’s assume you’re just focusing on Normal level (or willing to go for RNG strategy for Hard) and take a look mainly at the starting heads. For Rotation 2, the starting heads are Blight, Torment, Mischief and Wrath.
- Bring a champion with Perfect Veil (or Inquisitor Shamael). You need a champion with this skill to prevent the True Fear debuffs being placed on you from the Passive of the Head of Torment. Shamael also prevents this. The other option is to have cleansers but can become a bit more unreliable.
- Bring a “Mischief Target”. Mischief being in the mix either requires your whole team to have high resistance to resist the buff steals or a “mischief target” to be built. You can avoid worrying about this head also by having Block Buffs up the entire time as well. But keep in mind the turn meter steal does still happen if not resisted.
- Bring a champion with Block Buffs. Two of the heads put up buffs (or steal them) so a key for this lineup will also be a champion with Block Buffs. It’s one of the most important debuffs to bring into all hydra fights.
- Bring damage mitigation. Wrath hits HARD. Be sure to have ways to mitigate the damage he will do, especially from his big smash. This can include Shield, Block Damage, Increase DEF, Revive on Death and Veil/Perfect Veil Buffs. Also landing a Decrease ATK debuff is key.
This rotation does not include Decay or Suffering at the start. This might be a big relief if you’re lacking strong Provoke champions to deal with decay. However dealing with Suffering , you should have Block Buffs used for the heads regardless so don’t skip that when planning your team. Keep in mind when Decay does come out, especially in higher levels, Provoke is still a must. If you keep the head provoked, it cannot use its other active skills, only it’s A1. This can help you avoid those pesky cleanses that reset all your hard work. (Again, it should be stressed that for the BEST success with hydra, you should prepare for these as well to reduce the RNG stressing about which head will pop up after decapitation).
The Affinities Matter!
When talking about counteracting each head, making sure you have champions that aren’t weak affinity for that role is important. The Head of Blight & Mischief are Force affinity. For this rotation, you’ll want to pick a Block Buffs champion (or two) that are not Magic affinity to avoid weak hits and the debuff not landing. Uugo may still be strong but you’d want a backup like Ukko or Lydia to keep that buff up 100% of the time. The Head of Torment is Spirit affinity; this doesn’t affect your decisions of team composition too much as you still need specific champions to counteract it. The Head of Wrath is Magic affinity for this rotation. You’ll want to avoid too many Spirit champions unless you have strong damage mitigation as the smack will be quite hard!.
If you’re preparing well and planning to counteract all 6 heads, keep in mind that the Head of Decay is Magic and the Head of Wrath is Suffering is force. All heads that really need Block Buffs debuff are Force, further stressing a backup Block Buffs hero could be helpful or a buff extender at least.
Keep in mind affinity does not matter when champion skills place vs hit. If the skill is a hit, you can get a weak hit with negative affinity and debuffs cannot land on weak hits. If you’re placing a debuff, affinity doesn’t matter as there’s no concern for a “weak hit”.
MVPs of this rotation
Duchess Lilitu, Tatura Rimehide, Truath & Rector Drath – Perfect Veil is the best way to counteract the Head of Torment in all levels of hydra. Duchess is a hydra queen for good reason. Not only does she provide Perfect Veil but she also puts up Increase ATK and Block Debuffs buffs, revives all allies and places Continuous Heal buffs and has a passive that mitigates damage from AoE attacks.Tatura is a Defense based champion that does great damage and also brings Block Debuffs, Increase DEF and Decrease ACC (and that Perfect Veil of course!). Truath is another solid champion with Perfect Veil that also self-buffs which allows him to be a Mischief Target and brings heals to the team. Rector Drath being an epic may be more attainable for most. She is a great Perfect Veil champion that also brings heals and revive.
Inquisitor Shamael – He’s an amazing counter for the Head of Torment. With him on your team, you don’t need to worry about having your champions under Perfect Veil while attacking and you can’t get debuffed by the head’s A1. You can build him in full damage or give him more utility. Toxic set is a great option for this given this head can be poisoned. Provoke set is also a great option to give him extra utility to help provoke the Head of Decay as well as rack up hits and damage against the Head of Torment.
Uugo + Ukko – This combination is strong! Between the two champions, you have double protection to land Block Buffs given the different affinities. You also have almost all other roles covered (except Provoker for Decay & a Mischief target) with their diverse skill sets. Together they bring Block Buffs, Decrease ATK, Decrease ACC, Decrease DEF, Leech, Increase SPD, cleansing, heals and a revive.
Krisk, Tuhanarak, Soulless & Khoronar – The simple fact of void affinity makes affinity based on rotation a non-issue. These champions excel in Hydra. Krisk and Tuhanark have very diverse kits and cover most of the bases needed for beating hydra. Soulless and Khoronar are strong provokers that also bring more to the fight and make them worthy of every rotation, especially if the Head of Decay is in the starting lineup (but are still very strong, even when he’s not)