- 1 Purpose
- 2 What is an optimal perk combination for a hero?
- 3 Summary of Perks
- 4 Perks Overview
- 5 List of Perks
- 6 Rules
- 6.1 Rule 1: Never pick Tenacity for Oldschool and below
- 6.2 Rule 2: Never pick Guidance for Hellwalker
- 6.3 Rule 3: Never pick Doomsday (Exception = HW Speedrun with Dune)
- 6.4 Rule 4: Never pick Bug Zapper (Exception = Tychus)
- 6.5 Rule 5: Never pick Toxic Waste (Exception = Predator)
- 6.6 Rule 6: Never Pick Mercenary (Exception = Dune)
- 6.7 Rule 7: Never pick Archeology
- 7 7 Core Perks for all heroes
- 8 Hero Perk Table for game version 14.17
- 9 Links to the guides
The purpose of this guide is to provide the optimal perks for all heroes for Hellwalker and Oldschool games as of Version 14.17 (September 2021) of Crap Patrol 2.
- This table DOES NOT apply to speedruns or solo games (perks and mastery order are very different for those)
- The entirety of this guide applies to Oldschool and Hellwalker
- This applies to Version 14.17 (September 2021)
There are 4 categories of games:
- Slow casual games (~1H15 Oldschool games or ~1H30 Hellwalker games)
- Normal speed games (~1H00 Oldschool games or ~1H15 Hellwalker games)
- Speedrun games (<45min Oldschool games or <1H00 Hellwalker games)
- Solo games
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?
There are 2 criterias for what constitute optimal perks:
- It allows the hero to reach his 2500 score very fast
- AND retains the hero's optimal functionality by mid and late game.
The second criteria is why, for Oldschool and Hellwalker multiplayer games, we never pick Toxic Waste with Nova. Although Toxic waste does allow Nova to reach her 2500 score slightly early (by 2-3 minutes), a Nova with Onslaught, Weaponsmith and Absorption for Oldschool surpasses, by far, a Nova with Toxic Waste, Onslaught and Weaponsmith, towards mid to 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.
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.
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”. Neither do you have items to further complement a style. 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.
- To be respectful of other players. If you cripple your hero, your teammates usually carry you without noticing. They end up carrying you for the majority of the game. That is why you will rarely find those types of players playing solo games, because they rely on multiplayer games to get carried.
- 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 bad 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. That is how highly experienced but mediocre players are created. There are many rank 300, 400 and even 800 players that play poorly.
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.
It is best to start with perks that you should never pick for Oldschool and Hellwalker. 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 (No exceptions)
- NEVER pick Guidance (No Exceptions)
- NEVER pick Doomsday (No Exceptions)
- NEVER pick Bug Zapper. (Exception = Tychus)
- NEVER pick Toxic Waste (Exception = Predator)
- NEVER pick Mercenary (Exception = Dune)
- NEVER pick Archeology (No Exceptions)
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
There is a common but flawed line of reasoning that 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.
- Beginner level players should not be playing Oldschool as the introduction to the game. Easier difficulties such as 'Hard' and 'Inferno' are much better introductions to the game, where enemies are much less lethal. Once beginners get the hang of Hard and Inferno, the adjustment to Oldschool comes naturally after just a few games.
- Additionally, an efficient hero that does not waste a perk slot on Tenacity for Oldschool is much more efficient.
- And finally, creating a habit of picking Tenacity would tend to create bad habits of ignoring slowing enemies that make players think they need Tenacity to play the game optimally. As such, they remain intermediate players, at best, despite being highly experienced. The bad habits remain.
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 punishment spawns that follow the closest player. By comparison, 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 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 in 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 hordes of bosses including toxic Brutalisks that come as a punishment for deaths.
Swann, Atlas, and Aquilla barely benefit from attack damage from Guidance. Nova and Tassadar reach their damage cap to bosses without Guidance.
This leaves us with only 7 out of 12 heroes that benefit from +50% to auto-attack and spell damage from Guidance (Tychus, Predator, Anvil, Fury, Pyro, Messiah and Dune)
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.
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 7 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 7 heroes to pick from. Guidance is best in a team consisting exclusively of (Tychus, Predator, Anvil, Fury, Pyro, Messiah, Dune).
- People who join all-guidance lobbies understand that they are wasting stacks of guidance on the other 5 heroes that benefit marginally to not at all from guidance. Guidance is far less effective when applied on (Swann, Aquilla, Atlas, Tassadar, Nova).
- 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 because it always lower in hierarchy than 4 other perks. In conclusion, Guidance is extremely poorly suited for Hellwalker.
Rule 3: Never pick Doomsday (Exception = HW Speedrun with Dune)
Doomsday Facts here (Special thanks to Rockz):
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 long casual games 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, that might or might not be of nuking importance.
- A third disadvantage is 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 itself.
- 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. The hybrids that spawn at the final stages of the General waves are easily killed with Electrostatic Fallout nukes.
Rule 4: Never pick Bug Zapper (Exception = Tychus)
Since the updates in Version 14.17, Tychus now benefits slightly better from Bug Zapper. Bug Zapper marginally replaces Helldivers.
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.
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 mediocre 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 10,000 minerals
- Provides 10,000 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)
Based on the changes in V14.13, Mercenary no longer provides increased vision range or increases nuke damage. However, it does provide double the minerals (up from 5000) at the start and for each boss and hive kill.
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.
Dune's abilities are not dependent on energy, but rage. Compartment reduces rage costs for each ability, and its therefore essential for Dune's survival at all stages of the game, even early game. 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 +5 levels worth of stats upgrades when an artifact is picked.
- Other benefits include free Parity Checks + Improved Parity Checks talents.
Therefore, there is no place for Archeology in any types of games, whether its 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. For example, Swann could benefit from it, because his turrets' upgrade slightly with each of Swann's level.
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 14.17
As of Version 14.17, this is the table of optimal perks for all heroes for Oldschool (First 3 columns) and Hellwalker (4th column).
Links to the guides
- Introduction to GhostDragon's Guide
- Guide to all Hero Perks for Speedrun Games (GhostDragon) (OLDSCHOOL and HELLWALKER Version 14.17 (September 2021). Solo runs excluded.)
- Guide to all Hero Mastery Orders (GhostDragon) (OLDSCHOOL and HELLWALKER Version 14.17 (September 2021). Solo runs excluded.)