|Active Skills||Siege Mode, Scanner Sweep, Combined Assault, Mjölnir Protocol, Stimpack|
|Passive Skills||Inspire, Irradiate|
Major Anvil is well-rounded hero specializing in ranged assault. He particularly excels against all kinds of boss units, spine crawlers, and in any defensive position. Anvil tends to be strongest late game when combat becomes slower paced as Odins take the brunt of the damage, but Anvil may not keep up as easily in the early/mid game where constant sieging and unsieging can hamper his pace or place him in danger. Therefore, similar to Nova, Anvil is best accompanied with a good front line like Predator, Tychus, or Tassadar to allow him to play aggressively with siege mode. Anvil's ability for global scans is an exclusive feature and extremely powerful.
Anvil possesses the same two modes of combat as a siege tank in standard play: tank mode and siege mode (siege mode being an ability unlocked via a talent). While his strengths are in ranged assault, Anvil is actually a dynamic hero with several utility abilities. In addition, he is rather durable for a ranged assault hero.
While formidable in tank mode, Anvil needs to utilize siege mode to compete with other heroes in terms of team contribution. His weakness lies in the 4-second transition period between tank and siege mode. In a defensive position where he can comfortably remain stationary in siege mode, he is rivaled only by Rory Swann. For offense, however, he needs to position himself somewhat aggressively in siege mode to keep up with a fast push (otherwise he loses time sieging and unsieging). Without adequate supporting cover fire, he cannot target units next to him and is vulnerable if caught overextended without time to unsiege and retreat—for example against fast ultralisks, airborne units, or a drop pod from the Zerg. Knowing when and how to siege mode is crucial for an Anvil player. This is much easier in a team which can keep the zerg away from Anvil.
Beyond ranged assault, Anvil has a number of unique abilities that make him rather versatile for a ranged assault hero. These include global scans, immunity to airborne stuns, an AoE buff to allied damage, Stim, detector, and personal stealth. He consistently gains access to talents that increase his movement speed, range, and durability, making him deceptively slippery and hard to kill, particularly in tank mode.
- Exceptional damage in siege mode on par with the strongest heroes makes Anvil highly effective against bosses.
- Splash damage multiplies Anvil's damage output versus groups. Very powerful against the final zerg base.
- Scanner Sweep that can upgrade to global range and enable surgical nuke strikes around the map
- Decent movement speed talents, durability, and stim make his tank mode much safer than Nova
- Passable, but outclassed when not in siege mode
- Vulnerable in siege mode to Zerg drops, mob rushes, and Ultralisks—somewhat dependent on a good support network from the team to protect him.
Siege Mode - 45 mana to activate; 0 mana to deactivate Edit
This is Anvil's bread and butter ability. In Siege mode, Anvil has:
- Increased damage, also bonus vs Heroic
- Increased range
- Splash damage vs. ground units (single target vs. air; requires talent to target air)
- Attacks twice per animation
- Reduced attack speed
- Immobile and cannot fire nukes
The transition between modes lasts 4 seconds. The mana cost is only to enter siege mode, not return to tank mode.
Siege mode is what makes Anvil competitive with other heroes, so finding ways to use it as efficiently and frequently as possible (while staying safe) is crucial for a good Anvil player. It's most powerful at the end of the game in the final push, where the splash damage wreaks absolute havoc on the hordes of incoming Zerg minions. It's not uncommon to catch up to and exceed every other hero in damage at this point in the game.
- Deals huge AoE damage, especially late game. Risky against fast units or drop pods.
Currently, Normal mode from anvil is stronger than siege mode in nearly all cases, and siege mode should only be used when you know there's a lot of units comming. Doing some math on it, providing you have all the bonus talents, the basic rule of thumb is "if you're staying in siege mode and constantly firing for 20+ seconds, its worth it, otherwise, its better to be in normal tank mode"
N - Scanner Sweep - 250 minerals Edit
This is a standard scanner sweep like used by an Orbital Command Center. Rather than costing energy, it's priced initially at 250 minerals per use (can be reduced via mastery). It has application for spotting the high ground, most notably against Spine Crawlers that can decimate your units from the fog of war with impunity. With the advent of perks, Battlecruiser Support has made scans less exclusive in revealing the high ground.
Scanner Sweeps can be upgraded to global range via the Long-Range Combat Mastery. This brings another dimension to its use by allowing a team with the Nuke Mastery to fire global nukes anywhere on the map. This is extremely powerful and can be used to snipe Ultralisk Dens, effectively removing Blue Ultralisks from the map entirely; Spires can be targeted to reduce the Mutalisk count; as well as general production buildings, all of which can rapidly accelerate the pace of the game and significantly reduce lag.
- Spots high ground
- Global nuke strikes to eliminate units from spawning, such as blue ultralisks
Heavy Tracks - Starting Passive Ability Edit
Heavy Tracks is a starting passive ability with two functions. First, it is a built-in Mud Stomper talent, so Anvil is not slowed by creep at any point in the game. Second, it makes him immune to the Hybrid Dominator airborne stun and AoE knockback, which makes him safe against the perma-stun other heroes suffer vs. packs of Hybrid Dominators (or the insta-kill if spore colonies are nearby).
Q - Combined Assault - 45 mana | 45s cooldown | 30s duration Edit
This buffs the damage, splash, and range of all units around Anvil, including Anvil himself.
- Damage and splash are boosted by 10%
- The damage buff is doubled for melee units
- Range is upgraded slightly, initially by 0.5.
Combined Assault can be upgraded via Talent to also increase spell damage.
W - Mjölnir Protocol - 60 mana | 45s cooldown Edit
Mjölnir Protocol is an emergency defense system for Anvil. For a short duration, it periodically fires lightning bolts at nearby units, that will arc for reduced damage to secondary units. This is useful for a quick spurt of burst damage, when you are confronted by a large number of enemies, or when you are caught out in siege mode and unable to target enemy units next to you. Mjölnir Protocol is on a rather long cooldown, so it may be best to save it for emergencies.
- Emergency ability to save your neck in a tight situation
Stimpack is standard fare: take damage in exchange for movement speed and attack speed. The bonuses are 50% movement speed and 40% attack speed. This is best combo'd with Combined Assault for maximum dps. As expected, it's an incredibly powerful ability on a unit specializing in damage, and it's also useful defensively to escape a bad situation.
- Standard DPS ability and escape tool
Like other heroes, Anvil can also build nukes. His nuke talent pool isn't as reliable as Tychus, but Anvil can combo Nuke Mastery and global scans to single-handedly clean the map of most dangerous structures.
These are same abilities as other heroes. Inspire passively buffs nearby Crap Patrol units, while Irradiate passively damages nearby enemies over time.
Asgard training mastery provides a well-rounded buff to Anvil's stats. It buffs:
- Attack Speed
- Mjölnir Protocol damage to initial targets
There are 75 total upgrades, each occurring by being combat, especially vs higher priority targets like bosses, as well as completing objectives such as artifacts or hatcheries. This is most useful to upgrade as early as possible to allow the upgrades to develop. It's a standard starting mastery for Anvil in many play styles.
- High priority, upgrade this early
Anvil doesn't have much use for bonus energy, especially with Asgard Training. His talent pool supplements him just fine. This is not a recommended mastery.
- The priority of this talent depends on your energy regen AND if you've take the global scan mastery.
- Reduces the cooldown on Mjölnir Protocol, Scanner Sweep, and Stimpack
- Combined Assault: Lowers the mana cost and increases the duration.
This a powerful mastery because it upgrades two of Anvil's primary abilities for DPS: Combined Assault and Stimpack. While not necessarily high priority early on, ideally it will be obtained before tackling the final base.
- High Priority
Nuke Mastery upgrades the area, heroic damage, and range to global for nukes. This is especially interesting for Anvil because of its synergy with global scans that allow it to snipe zerg production buildings. There should always be at least one person, or even better two people, with Nuke Mastery on an Anvil team, preferably by level 50. One person who never dies is enough to clean the map of priority buildings such as Ultra Dens and Spires before reaching each respective zerg base, but two people will allow a full clean, including smaller production buildings.
- Good once you get nuke talents, especially combined with Long-Range combat mastery.
Long- ange Combat Mastery upgrades the following only for siege mode:
- Attack Speed
- Energy Regen
- Scanner Sweeps become global in either tank or siege mode
Given how integral Siege Mode is to Anvil, and how useful global scans can be, this mastery is essential. It's not an immediate priority, as no one will have global nukes early on and siege mode is often too slow in the early part of the game, but by level 30 or 40 at the latest, this mastery is an important upgrade.
- High priority
Borr Protocol provides broad bonuses to almost every aspect of Anvil's game.
- Tank mode attack speed is nearly doubled
- Siege mode's splash radius is increased
- Mjölnir Protocol chains more secondary targets
- Scanner Sweeps have reduced cost
- Iron Man Mastery increases movement speed when maxed out
- Turtle Protocol Mastery applies increased health regen with stacks of adaptive armor.
Borr Protocol should be strongly considered for an early-priority mastery, because the increased tank mode attack speed is very powerful in the early game when you want to be moving through each area quickly. The mastery scales well into the late game with increased splash in siege mode and reduced scanner costs. It's just good no matter which way you play.
- Medium priority
Weapon Mastery increases:
- Attack Speed
- Mjölnir damage to initial targets
Weapon Mastery buffs all the stats Anvil needs. It's an ideal mastery that should be upgraded early on, probably just after Borr.
- Very High priority
Iron Man is the same for Anvil as other heroes, buffing over time life and energy, along with providing 90% immunity to slows when it's maxed out. Most beginners benefit greatly from its other bonus: No minerals or EXP are lost upon death.
Typically, Anvil is fairly safe in tank mode due to his durability, base movement speed, and Stimpack. He's mostly only at risk in siege mode. Beginner Anvil players will likely die very often in Siege mode, making Iron Man useful for them. As a DPS hero, more experienced players will receive zero benefit from this mastery, and especially in the higher difficulties of Insane and Mental, Iron Man is as good as obsolete anyways.
- Beginners only
Graduating Range mastery increases Anvil's range while in siege mode over a period of time. The range increases in 0.5 increments, quickly at first (every couple seconds), but more slowly at higher values (as long as perhaps 4-5 seconds towards the end). The total range buff is 6 to 6.5, giving Anvil in siege mode between 16 and 19 range depending on his talents.
This is a great mastery for keeping Anvil safe in siege mode. It should strongly be considered over Iron Man for player's trying to progress beyond normal mode. It's very useful in defense, and in general it's a good upgrade to consider after the core masteries are completed, depending on your play style.
- Good right before Leviathan or final base
Ambush Protocol Mastery lowers Shield Regeneration and increases Shield Delay on restoration but in exchange makes Anvil stealthed while in siege mode. This is the ultimate defense in siege mode, as only boss units have detection. This mastery will allow Anvil to be a force in the early and mid game with aggressive siege mode positioning. Later in the game, it's hardly necessary, not only because the Crap Patrol units form a strong front line with Odins, but also because Hive Guardians begin spawning with every wave—and they can detect stealth.
Wrath of Thor Mastery - 2500 combined score unlock Edit
Wrath of Thor Mastery applies a single burst of Mjölnir Protocol to each attack delivered in siege mode. It's incredibly powerful as an AoE effect and should be upgraded as soon as possible. Anticipate it in advance and save the mastery point if you must.
- Useful once you got all the other masteries that works wonders with it (Graduating Range, Long Range Combat, etc)