The purpose of this guide is to provide the optimal perks for all heroes for Hellwalker and Oldschool games as of Version 14.8 (October 2020) of Crap Patrol 2.
There are 4 categories of games:
- Slow casual games (1H45+ Oldschool games or 2H15+ Hellwalker games).
- Normal speed games (1H15 Oldschool games or 1H45+ Hellwalker games).
- Speedrun games (45min Oldschool games or 1H00 Hellwalker games).
- Solo games
- This table DOES NOT apply to speedruns or solo games.
- This applies to Version 14.8 (October 2020)
- Even for beginners playing Oldshool, playing cautiously and picking the optimal perks and mastery orders will result in less deaths than picking tenacity. Therefore, never pick Tenacity for Oldschool.
- The 4th perk, which is the Hellwalker perk, can be swapped for Tenacity, but only for kiting/front-line heroes. This is indicated in the table below.
This guide does not apply to solo games. In solo games, there are usually some significant changes to be made in perks and mastery order.
Therefore, this guide applies to the overwhelmingly vast majority of games that you will play, especially public lobby games which almost always fall into the ‘Slow casual games’ or ‘Normal speed games’ category.
What is an optimal perk combination for a hero?
- It allows the hero to reach his 2500 score very fast
- AND retains the hero's optimal functionality by mid and late game.
That is why for Oldschool and Hellwalker, we never pick Toxic Waste with Nova. Toxic waste does allow Nova to reach her 2500 score slightly early (by 2-3 minutes). However, a nova with Leadership, Onslaught, Weaponsmith for Oldschool surpasses, by far, a Nova with Toxic Waste, Onslaught and Weaponsmith towards late game.
Summary of Perks
If you want to skip reading and start playing with the optimal perks, just follow this table. If you want to know the details, keep reading.
Perks can be considered as special attributes for your hero. Perks are selected before you start using your hero. Selecting the optimal perks is the very first and most critical step to playing your hero properly. Why is that so?
- Without the proper perks, your hero is far less effective. Not all perks are created equal, and not all heroes benefit equally from all perks. Therefore, proper selection of perks is necessary.
- Miss out on 2 or more essential perks and your hero is effectively crippled. The only way to catch up, if possible, is to get those hourly free masteries if there is no death. Most of the times, it is not possible to catch up. For example, not picking Onslaught with Tychus, or not picking Leadership with Swann. There is no equivalent mastery to replace those perks.
- A crippled hero is very delayed in reaching his 2500 score. No surprise there. ALL heroes with proper perks and masteries can unlock between levels 30 to 35 on Oldschool and Hellwalker. On Hellwalker, heroes can unlock even faster. The only exception to this would be Predator.
- With a team of crippled heroes, you must delay all bosses. On Oldschool, a so-called ‘early’ Brutalisk between level 30-35 very often ends games. The root cause of this problem is poor perk and mastery order selection. Unfortunately, some players, rather than fixing the problem, use duck-tape strategies such as “No brutalisk before level 40”, “No Exiles/Jotunbanes/Iron Legion”, “No pushing east”. Those simple, petty and banal disputes can easily be resolved by picking the right perks and right masteries for your hero.
- There are no "different styles" for each hero. There is 1 optimal "style" and 10 terrible "styles". This is not Diablo. You do not have hero skill trees which create 3 or 4 hero “styles”. You have a static hero that is good at some things at less effective at other things. So, just pick the right perks to strengthen your hero's strengths. There is no "different style" or "different preference" or a variation of such pretexts to not pick the optimal perks. The ONLY exception is Dune with 2 different paths as masteries for his 2500 Ultimate Mastery.
- To be respectful of other players. If you cripple your hero, your teammates usually carry you without noticing, because they usually pick their favorite heroes which they play well, but don't know your hero properly to notice that you screwed it up badly. They end up carrying you for the majority of the game.
- To avoid the creation of bad habits which are harder to eradicate. If you keep picking the less effective perks for your hero, you condition yourself into patterns which in turn, create habits. We all know the common wisdom that it is better to learn the right habits rather than making a lot of effort unlearning bad habits.
List of Perks
There are 14 perks:
- Onslaught (O)
- Compartment (C)
- Weaponsmith (W)
- Tenacity (T)
- Absorbtion (E)
- Leadership (L)
- Air Support (A)
- Bug Zapper (B)
- Toxic Waste (X)
- Doomsday (D)
- Mercenary (M)
- Helldivers (H)
- Archeology (Y)
- Guidance (G)
The alphabets in the list above are the shortcuts for each perk. Intermediate players and above are encouraged to use the 'perk' command to quickly select their hero's perk. For example, typing -perk OCE before the perk selection screen automatically picks the Onslaught, Compartment and Absorbtion for your hero.
As a strict rule for multiplayer games on Oldschool and Hellwalker: (does not apply to speedruns or solo games):
- NEVER pick Tenacity for Oldschool difficulty and below (Exception = Beginners)
- NEVER pick Guidance (Exception = Prestige)
- NEVER pick Doomsday (No Exceptions)
- NEVER pick Bug Zapper. (Exception = Solo Tychus/Fury Hellwalker)
- NEVER pick Toxic Waste (Exception = Predator. Second Exception = Nova in Prestige Season)
- NEVER pick Mercenary (Exception = Speedrun. Second Exception = Dune)
- NEVER pick Archeology (Exception = Dune Speedrun Hellwalker)
Rule 1: Never pick Tenacity for Oldschool and below
Tenacity has 3 main benefits:
- No XP or mineral loss upon death
- Periodic increase to HP over 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes, almost complete immunity to slowing effects of enemies
The only time tenacity is useful on Oldschool and below is for players who just started playing the game, where its extremely good benefit is to not lose XP because of deaths.
The HP increase after the full 30 minutes averages to about 20% (Slightly varies from hero to hero). In the hands of even an intermediate level player, an HP increase for back-line heroes such as Nova is insignificant. And an HP increase of about 20% for a front-line hero is also insignificant because you still will comfortably tank what you can tank without +20% HP and you still will not be able to tank what you cannot tank, for example toxic brutalisks.
Suggesting that the HP increase is good because you can take 1 or 2 extra hits from the deadly brutalisks is just playing poorly. Your HP pool is lenient enough that you can already take 4-5 auto-attack hits from them if you are a frontline hero.
The most dreaded slowing effects of the game exist in Hellwalker. They are nightmare drops and Toxic Brutalisks. The Toxic Brutalisks of Oldschool do not have bile spell attacks and have a fixed patrol route, making them much less deadly than their Hellwalker counterparts. Therefore, if you die on Oldschool because you get slowed by slow roaches and/or you get inside the slowing aura of patrolling toxic brutalisks, you are simply playing the game poorly. The biggest slowing dangers in Oldschool can easily be avoided.
The only time it is OK to pick tenacity is if you are the frontline hero, also known as the kiting hero in a Hellwalker game that you expect to have many deaths. Then yes, you might get double or triple slowed by slow roaches, nightmares and toxic bosses, and die and spawn even more toxic bosses. Exceptionally, in those cases, your 4th perk will be substituted for Tenacity, while your core 3 Perks remain the same, whether its Oldschool or Hellwalker.
In summary, if you are making a private lobby with players you trust, you can skip Tenacity for all games. If you are making a public Hellwalker lobby with unknown players, you can then consider Tenacity as a “late-game salvation” perk.
Rule 2: Never pick Guidance for Hellwalker
Guidance, when fully maxed, after 118 minutes (approx 2H), gives +50% damage to all damage dealt (auto-attacks, spell damage, nuke damage), +30% maximum life, +20 shield armor and +1.0 energy regeneration.
For slow Hellwalker games with 15 deaths that last for 2.5 hours or more, there are still better perks than Guidance to pick for any hero. The only change is for FRONTLINE heroes to pick Tenacity in their 4th perk slot only. Heroes such as Nova, which are backline heroes, pick the same perks, regardless of how many deaths you expect in the hellwalker game.
A context is important here. Public lobby Hellwalker games with little deaths complete less than 2H. This means that in 99% of the cases where a HW game is dragging over 2H is because there were many deaths and the team needs to deal with toxic hordes of brutalisks.
Counterpoints to frequently used pretexts to use Guidance on Hellwalker:
1. It boosts Nuke Damage by 50%!!! This is immense and allows us to save minerals!
This is factually correct. However, for 2H Hellwalker games, minerals are NEVER an issue. You can request minerals from your allies and you can nuke the shit out of everything and still have so much money left that your hero can have 10 kids and send them all to university.
2. You get more Shield Armor, Maximum Life and Energy Regeneration!!
No Terran hero depends on shield armor for survival. They depend on normal armor. Normal armor for Terran heroes, and well as their HP pool is much, much higher than shield armor and total shields.
Tassadar, Messiah and Aquilla have insane shield armor towards the end-game and, if played correctly, can only die if they get slowed against strong enemies such as a pack of blue ultralisks, hive guardians, etc. Or Toxic Brutalisks. And a meagre +20 shield armor against those enemies will not change to fact that you still need to keep them at distance and not tank them.
I would even advocate picking Tenacity over Guidance for front-line heroes as it provides almost complete immunity to slows, allowing any hero to move unhindered by slow drops such as roaches and nightmares. Most importantly, Tenacity prevents front-line heroes from getting stuck inside the Toxic Brutalisks slowing auras.
Even if Guidance would provide heroes with more than 30% HP, it is the slowing effects of toxic Brutalisks, nightmares, slow roaches that are most lethal to heroes in the late game, not the amount of HP that your hero has. Being able to take 2-3 extra hits is insignificant, if you are constantly slowed without tenacity and will subsequently take 50 extra hits until you die because you cannot get away. So, even if Guidance provides +300% HP, you would still be picking Tenacity for the slow immunity that grants much, much better survival.
After 2 hours in the game, there is no hero that can reasonably benefit from additional energy regeneration. You will already have all talents and all required masteries in the game. In other words, you can spam all of your abilities by end-game and still find it almost impossible to impossible to deplete your energy reserves. In extreme circumstances, Nova and Tychus for his expensive Escalate skill could benefit. And that is about it.
3. Well, if extra Nuke Damage, extra Shield Armor, extra life and extra energy regen are marginally effective, then you have +50% to auto-attacks and +50% to other spell damage (aside nukes), which is surely very significant, right?
Conditionally Correct. Always think about why a Hellwalker game takes 2 hours to complete. In 99% of the cases, it is because of numerous deaths and the inevitable Toxic Brutalisks that come as a punishment for deaths. So, against Toxic Brutalisks, ONLY Tychus, Tassadar, Nova, Anvil, Fury, Pyro benefit. This is 6 out of 12 heroes.
When killing toxic Brutalisks, only those 6 heroes mentioned can make a difference with Guidance to bring them down with spell damage and auto-attacks. Not even Dune can hit them to get rage and overload, since he will die, and therefore has to run like a little bitch just to kite them for teammates to bring down. (Sorry Dune, but you know you were my favorite hero)
If a Hellwalker game takes 2 hours with 0 deaths, it also means you are doing something terribly wrong, such as camping in base and doing nothing. You still would not need Guidance in your 4-perk slot. Tenacity would still be better for front-line heroes for players who are relatively new.
Those 6 heroes that benefit from Guidance are almost always with highest scores, meaning their Guidance only stacks fully after 2 hours.
4. I still do not believe you because my gut-feeling tells me Guidance can still fit a 4-perk slot for Hellwalker.
Sorry to hear that. The best explanation I can offer is that the Prestige Season, which lasted for 6 months, required people to pick Guidance since those games were very long and tedious. This, in turn, conditioned people into picking Guidance for Hellwalker games. But I hope that the facts that I presented are clear-cut, well formed and structured for all readers.
Guidance would have been a decent perk for Hellwalker if, and only if the following conditions are satisfied:
- It was effective for all 12 heroes, instead of just 6 heroes towards the late-game. The late-game of Hellwalker games which last for 2H+ is about facing toxic Brutalisks in 99% of cases.
- People who join all-guidance lobbies understand that there are only 6 heroes to pick from. Guidance is best in a team consisting exclusively of (Tychus, Tassadar, Nova, Anvil, Fury, Pyro).
- People who join all-guidance lobbies understand that they are wasting stacks of guidance on the other 6 heroes that benefit marginally to not at all from guidance. Guidance is almost completely wasted on (Swann, Predator, Aquilla, Messiah, Atlas, Dune).
- People who join all-guidance lobbies understand that everybody must pick guidance or none at all, for guidance to effectively boost heroes. Remember that Guidance can only provide a limited number of stacks and that limit is also the maximum number of stacks that a hero can obtain.
- If there were 5 perks to pick from in Hellwalker. All heroes without exceptions have 3 CORE perks and an additional 4th perk for Hellwalker which is still much more effective than Guidance. Refer to the Hero Perks Table and Individual Hero Mastery Guides for detailed information.
- You make a private lobby to make people cooperate in hero and perk selection for Guidance to work. Public lobbies are a terrible place to do that.
In summary, for Hellwalker, Guidance requires very good coordination in hero picking AND perk picking AND the game lasting for more than 2H (118 minutes) to be effective AND requires a 5th perk slot. Guidance is an excellent perk for Prestige difficulty, and is extremely poorly suited for Hellwalker.
Rule 3: Never pick Doomsday (Exception = HW Speedrun with Dune)
- Doomsday nukes obtain the Massive Blast talent at the 40th minute.
- Doomsday nukes are upgraded to Electrostatic Fallout Nukes at the 80th minute mark, adding 1500 psionic damage and 900 heroic damage, but reduces damage to heroic structures significantly. This is extremely useful against weak Psionic units such as Hybrids.
- Doomsday nukes receive +110 structure damage every 4 minutes until the 120th minute mark up to a maximum of +3300 structure damage, for a total damage of 600 + 4500 (structure) + 900 (heroic) + 1500 (psionic)
This perk realistically maxes out at the 76th minute mark, doing 600 + 3290 (structure) = 3890 damage to heroic structures like hives. After the 80th minute, the damage drops to 600 + (3400 + 900) / 2 = 2750 damage to hives, capping out at 3300 damage. (Thanks to Rockz, for those facts above). While Doomsday nukes deal the most damage to Hives at about 1H20, nukes are primarily used to clear spine crawlers, spore crawlers, creep towers and hybrids and other weak enemies such as flyers and lurkers. The strongest buildings in Hellwalker games that are realistically nuked to death would be ultralisk caverns.
- This perk maxes out its vs structure damage at the 120th minute mark. Needless to say, that by this point in Hellwalker games, only the general base would remain, and the team will have much more minerals than needed to nuke all spine crawlers and enemies inside to death. Doomsday, therefore, for speedruns and long casual games alike is a pointless mastery to take. Its minor benefit of refunding minerals for the nuke damage is completely outweigh by the fact that there are plentiful minerals by the end game.
- The other major disadvantage to Doomsday is that it would nuke a random structure after the original nuke. If you need to nuke an influx of enemy mobs whereby there is no enemy structure, then Doomsday would not kick in to nuke the rest of the incoming mobs because it requires a nearby enemy structure to trigger.
- Yet another disadvantage to Doomsday would be that it requires no friendly fire to launch. This is against the purpose of nuke resistant heroes such as Dune, Nova and Predator who can be nuked while deep inside enemy bases surrounded by hordes of enemies.
Given how overwhelmingly disadvantageous Doomsday is, there is only one circumstance to pick Doomsday. It is in hellwaker speedruns and it is Dune who picks Doomsday. Dune, as discussed in the Dune Perks section, has a "free" 4th perk slot. Doomsday, now providing Electrostatic Fallout Talent for free, is incredibly useful against certain enemies and structures.
Rule 4: Never pick Bug Zapper
For 4-player games, if there were 6 perks to pick from:
- For Anvil, it would have been the 6th best perk after Onslaught, Leadership, Air Support, Weaponsmith, Helldivers.
- For Tychus, it would have been the 6th best perk after Onslaught, Helldivers, Weaponsmith, Air Support, Leadership. The synergy that would exist between the first 5 perks for Tychus would still outweigh the modest +10% increase in attack speed.
- For Nova, it would have been the 6th best perk after Onslaught, Leadership, Weaponsmith, Compartment, Absorption.
The only exception to this would be when Tychus or Fury solo speedruns a Hellwalker game. He severely lacks point damage against high HP targets such as Hives, Brain Bug, General, Omegalisk, etc. As such, exceptionally for solo games, bug zapper adds a +10% attack speed and also deals some significant point damage with empower shots. For multiplayer games, because enemies have much higher HP and the role of dealing heavy point damage is another hero's responsibility, there is no benefit to taking Bug Zapper.
Bug Zapper needs much more than a 10% increase in attack speed to be considered over other extremely useful perks in multiplayer games. Bug Zapper is not a bad perk. But it just cannot compete with the top 4 perks for each hero.
Rule 5: Never pick Toxic Waste (Exception = Predator)
Predator is the only hero that is played optimally with toxic waste. Enemy broodlings, roaches, zerglings, etc can easily surround and block him at all points in the game. And because he lacks AoE damage, auto-attack damage and escape mechanisms aside from Blink, he is pigeonholed into picking Toxic Waste. His only escape mechanism is blink, which has a huge cooldown and also energy cost relative to Dune’s Rush for example.
"But, Nova with toxic waste reaches 2500 score faster on Hellwalker, avoids getting immobilized by Zerglings and gets her 2000 kill streak faster!!"
There was a Prestige difficulty level where the most important perk for Nova was Toxic Waste.
However, on Hellwalker, Nova usually unlocks by level 35 without toxic waste if played properly. With leadership and drones, she can melt any surrounding zerglings with ease, even faster than toxic waste.
All so-called benefits of Toxic Waste for Nova for non-prestige games have been rebutted.
Yes, her 2000 skill streak will indeed be delayed. However, I have already established that toxic waste is a waste on Nova. Therefore, wasting a perk slot only to gain a mastery later on is not a logical trade-off. You can obtain the 2000 kill streak between the 40th to 50th minute without toxic waste in a hellwalker game. So, you can wait for 20 extra minutes without wasting a perk to get your 2K kill streak in a Hellwalker game.
"But, Tychus/Pyro/etc needs toxic waste for the AoE damage and life regeneration!"
You do not need a negligible source of AoE damage, nor life regeneration if you know how to play Tychus or Pyro or any other hero properly. While the life regeneration of +4 is excellent in the very early game, it's benefit quickly fades away to being complelety negligible soon afterwards.
Rule 6: Never Pick Mercenary (Exception = Dune)
- Starts your hero with 5000 minerals
- Provides 5000 minerals for each boss and hive kill
- It also provides the hero with +3 vision range.
- Last, but not least, it boosts nuke damage by a slight amount (+250)
Yes, perks like Compartment will take a couple more minutes to max out, but you will not have the energy regeneration to fully utilize low cooldowns on your abilities in the 5th minute of the game, unless when playing Dune.
Your only usage of minerals (after Lightweight Equipment mastery and some masteries such as Block) is to make nukes. Normal Hellwalker games and slow casual Hellwalker games at 1H45+ have double or triple the amount of minerals needed to nuke the required targets in the game.
And because we have at least double the amount of minerals required for nukes, a slight nuke damage increase per nuke is also insignificant in those types of games.
As far as Dune is concerned, he is an extremely overpowered hero. He is unique because he does not have any traditional energy regeneration. Therefore, the faster his Compartment/Lightweight Equipment mastery completes, the better. Additionally, he needs 5000 minerals to pick his Conservator Mastery. Hence Mercenary is a core Perk for Dune in any type of game, whether its slow casual games or speedruns or solo games.
Rule 7: Never pick Archeology
- Provides a power cube at the base when an artifact is picked.
- It provides +2 talent points instead of +1 talent points when an artifact is picked.
- It also provides +3 levels worth of stats upgrades when an artifact is picked.
- Other benefits include free Parity Checks talents.
Archeology is picked uner a very special conditional scenario:
- with Dune,
- as his 4th perk,
- on a Hellwalker speedrun,
- with at least an artifact in two particular places on his way to trigger the General.
In this way, a cube spawns in base and allows for a head-start in the big fight that begins. However, condition number 4 is random, and therefore could be a complete waste of a perk if no artifacts can be picked up along Dune's path. Additionally, in speedruns, once heroes leave the base at the 20th minute, they do not come back to base in an ideal speedrun. This means that the resulting cubes that spawn in the base remain unpicked.
Therefore, there is no place for Archeology in any types of games, whether its slow casual games, normal speed games or speedrun games. If heroes had 7 or 8 perks, then it would definitely have been picked since its benefits are not completely negligible.
7 Core Perks for all heroes
After the removal of 7 perks, there are 7 perks left to pick from in normal speed and slow casual hellwalker games. Remember that Mercenary is only essential in Speedrun Hellwalker games or when playing Dune. The pool of perks we pick for all heroes in non-speedrun and non solo games are:
- Air Support
Hero Perk Table for game version 14.8
As of Version 14.8, this is the table of optimal perks for all heroes for Oldschool (First 3 columns) and Hellwalker (4th column).
I have painstakingly tested every hero and every reasonable combination of perks. However, there were some top players who provided constructive advice:
Special thanks to Palmis, one of the best Tychus I have seen
Special thanks to Onyxut and Blackcud for Feedback on Swann. Made Compartment the 3rd Perk over Absorbtion. [Initially it was Absorption as 3rd Perk]
Special thanks to Mipam, one of the best Predators I have seen
Special thanks to Harmonica, for his feedback on Atlas
Links to the guides
- Introduction to GhostDragon's Guide
- Guide to all Hero Perks for Speedrun Games (GhostDragon) (Applies to OLDSCHOOL and HELLWALKER until Version 14.8 (October 2020). Solo runs excluded.)
- Guide to all Hero Mastery Orders (GhostDragon) (Applies to OLDSCHOOL and HELLWALKER until Version 14.8 (October 2020). Solo runs excluded.)