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’s 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 5, the starting heads are Decay, Blight, Suffering and Mischief.
- Bring a champion with Provoke. Because you know you have a high chance of dealing with the Head of Decay the entire fight, you’ll want a reliable Provoker or multiple champions with this skill. If you keep this 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.
- Bring a champion with Block Buffs. The other 3 heads all 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 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.
Luckily, this rotation does not include Wrath or Torment in the starting lineup. This means you can hope to avoid them and not worry about extra survivability to handle the big Wrath hits (shields, block damage, Increase DEF buffs, etc) and leave out Shamael or a Perfect Veil champion for Torment’s constant Fear/True Fear debuffs. (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 Decay is Magic affinity. For this rotation, you’ll want to pick a Provoke champion (or two) that are not Spirit affinity to avoid weak hits and the debuff not landing. Both the Head of Blight and Suffering are Force affinity. In this case, you might want to avoid a Magic champion for relying on Block Buffs to land. The Head of Mischief is Spirit affinity for this rotation. You’ll want to avoid Force champions for Block buffs if you’re going that strategy instead of having a Mischief target. However, you can also have extra insurance and use multiple champions with that skill to cover your bases. (Uugo & Ukko are a great combo in a rotation like this!).
If you’re preparing well and planning to counteract all 6 heads, keep in mind that the Head of Torment is Magic and the Head of Wrath is Spirit. If your team is too Force-heavy, Wrath will be even more of an issue with the hard hits and you might struggle landing important debuffs.
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 for this Rotation
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.
Husk & Royal Guard – This might be the rotation where you let the Geomancers take a break and let someone else pump out the main damage. When the Head of Wrath is not out, you’ll notice you get much lower damage from Geomancer. Husk is Force affinity so strong for this given 2 force, 1 magic in the starting lineup. Plus, he can provoke Decay and has a strong affinity to do so. Royal Guard is weak for 2 of the heads but strong for Mischief. When there is no Hex on this head, you need AoE to reliably hit it. Having Royal Guard in the lineup will be key for getting a champion that’s been devoured back from that head (as Husk could weak hit). Both together in the same lineup is ideal for higher levels especially.
Ninja & Mordecai – Ninja brings damage + HP burns. He’s a strong affinity for Mischief so helpful for getting out devoured heads. Mordecai places HP burns so affinity never matters. This is super helpful against the Head of Blight if you don’t have Block Buffs. HP Burn prevents all hits from being weak hits if Poison Cloud is on any heads. It should be noted that HP burn is especially effective for damage in lower levels of hydra but does fall off and get outscaled by others at high levels.
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.