Why HP Burn?
First off, we should probably talk about why HP burn is useful in Hydra battles. We can state the obvious about it being good for overall damage against bosses in long fights, but there’s a bit more than just that. It also has a massive benefit for handling the Head of Blight. Let’s talk about both reasons to add this to your arsenal.
- Damage. HP Burn can be a great source of damage in many boss fights, Hydra included. In hydra, however, the damage from HP burn is capped at 20,000 HP for all the heads except Blight which is 40,000. The value falls off at higher levels of Hydra as Enemy Max HP hitters can easily hit higher than that. HP burn itself is best valued in the lower levels of hydra, like Normal & Hard. However, some interesting champions make it worth the addition for Nightmare & Brutal given their burn is more than a simple HP Burn (we’ll get to that later.)
- Anti-Poison Cloud. The Head of Blight puts up a Poison Cloud debuff with its A3 skill. The best way to avoid this is to have a Block Buffs debuff on all of the heads. However, if that’s not the case, you can also counteract it by having an HP burn on the heads. Poison Cloud makes all incoming hits “weak hits.” This means not only will the damage be lower, but they’ll also not be able to land debuffs (unless stated otherwise).
There are a ton of champions that can do HP Burn, but the list is a bit smaller for those who are considered solid for hydra. Let’s take a look at some of the strongest contenders.
Geomancer – He places HP Burn (and weaken) on his A3. It’s only a single target so he is a MUST to put in Relentless or Reflex gear. Placing means you can also land it when Poison Cloud is up, without fear of a weak hit. The rest of his kit is amazing for hydra as well, especially when the Head of Wrath is also around. The Passive skill works with HP burn: it decreases the damage all allies receive by 15% and deflects that damage onto each enemy under a [HP Burn] debuff placed by this champion. If there are multiple champions on the team with this Skill, only one will activate. Not only do you get the basic damage from the HP Burn, but also the added damage thanks to the Passive.
Sicia Flametongue – She’s got a crazy kit and is very strong for hydra overall. Her A3 is an AoE that attacks all enemies, places HP burn for 3 turns and grants an extra turn if it’s place on all enemies. Her A1 also has a chance to extend HP Burn debuffs with a single target hit. The A2 is where she gets her extra value, an AoE hit that can place Weaken & Decrease Defense on all enemies and then instantly activate any HP burn debuffs. That “HP Burn explosion” can do a lot of damage! Her Passive also increases her speed based on the number of allies & enemies with HP burn debuffs on.
Teumesia – She is a monster for Hydra but it’s not so obvious if you read her kit. Her AoE A2 attacks all enemies and places HP Burn. By reading this, it sounds like it should not land if Poison Cloud is up. However, due to the aspects of the A2 skill and the order things are “read” in game, the HP Burn is actually placed independently of the attack so will go through Poison Cloud. Her A1 also brings Decrease DEF and overall she hits hard, making her a great damage dealer and burner for hydra and one of your best options to add to for all levels
Mordecai – He places HP burns as an AoE. He’s one of very few to do this so it’s great to take advantage of for sake of damage and dealing with the Poison Clouds. When you “place” vs “attack/hit”, you don’t have to worry about affinity, weak hits, or Poison Cloud. His A2 also boosts your team’s turn meter so can be helpful to get everyone to cycle back around to their skills more often.
Cupidus + Venus – It’s probably best to mention these two as a duo as their kits work best when together. They can dominate especially in lower levels of hydra. Cupidus has an AoE A1 hit that hits very hard. His A2 attacks and places HP burn as another AoE. He also places Increase ATK on himself with his A3 and his Passive gives him more damage and 100% Counterattack when Venus is on the same team. Venus’s Passive gives a cleanse and chance of extra turn only when Cupidus is on the team. The rest of her kit is great for hydra as well with an AoE A2 that attacks and places Decrease Defense and Weaken and an A3 that also attacks and places HP Burn. Together the heads should always be burning!
Ninja – He can pump out a lot of damage in a similar fashion to Sicia with an “HP Burn explosion”. This makes his hits less based on his actual crit and more on that A2 skill. He’s a strong champion for lower-level hydra, in particular, dealing great damage plus providing an extra Decrease DEF debuff on his A1.
Other strong champions to note for HP Burn that also brings other utility to a hydra fight are: Walking Tomb Dreng, Tyrant Ixlimor, Drexthar Bloodtwin, Crohnam, Ignatius, and Elder Skarg.
All of these champions are strong candidates for Relentless gear. If not Relentless, Reflex is also a strong choice. Pairing those with Refresh accessories is even better. Any chance to come back to these skills more often is a huge plus!