|Active Skills||Corona, Battlecry, Demoralize, Phalanx, Blink|
|Passive Skills||Adaptive Armor, Retribution Field, Inspire, Irradiate|
Predator is a powerful melee tank. The most notable talent is Adaptive Armor as it gives you an armor buff every time you are hit, stacking up to +15 Armor. Adaptive Armor can be further upgraded with talents like Ballistic Foam and combined with Block Mastery, allowing Predator to tank even bosses and Ultralisks. Combined with the Phalanx skill and the Irradiate talent, it can give you the power you need early game to survive and kill enemies just by staying close to them.
When playing Predator in a group you are responsible for protection of more squishy teammates. Positioning and timely switching aggro of enemies from teammates to you is crucial for success.
Predator has one of the highest aggro priorities in the game, only behind Odins and Captain Smoker. It means you have to be extra careful when dealing with powerful enemies as Extremely Big Guns won't save you.
If you can't directly tank an enemy or a group of enemies, you may often kite them in circles, while damaging enemies with Corona, Irradiate, help of Crap Patrol structures and units as well as teammates when playing in the group.
You may also kite them to Captain Smoker, who who will take over tanking duties from you. Especially after you pick up the Defense Damage Artifact. But be careful - even though he's very powerful and tanky, strong enemies like ultralisks, bosses and Hive guardians deal a lot of damage to him. So you can't just let him handle everything.
Predator has low point damage, but don't underestimate his area damage from Corona and Irradiate (especially with Toxic Waste perk). Good Predator's damage score can be easily comparable with most of other heroes.
Perks Priority Edit
- Air Support (for high ground vision and damage while kiting enemies)
- Unstoppable Force (boosts damage while kiting)
- Irradiate (for early game damage, otherwise prepare to grind for a long time until you get enough energy and armor) - in recent patches, this has been buffed.
- Bug Zapper (for early game damage)
- Compartmentization (Lightweight Equipment) - Cooldown
- Weaponsmith - weapon damage
Useless Perks Edit
- Onslaught (Predator is a defensive hero, often kite so that other heroes can shoot. This perk disables all his defensive talents and make him useless)
- Doomsday (Predator doesn't have scan and is a melee hero. He also has highest aggro in the game, so running closer to enemy base to scan will kill him. Also by late game, everyone should have enough money for nuke)
- Mercenary (your role is to tank and divert attention, not to nuke)
So-so perks Edit
- Helldiver (they'll most likely die to bosses when you're being chased. Also, you have so much defense that you can survive on your own)
- Ironman (in harder modes, just don't die)
Sun God Mastery increases Corona's damage by 50, its range from 6 to 8, its beam count by 1. It also causes Predator to passively fire a single Corona beam every 5 seconds.
Each stack of Weapons Research Mastery increases the damage of Corona by 10, Retribution Field by 1, and basic attacks by 2, for a total of +100 Corona, +10 Retribution Field, and +20 basic attack damage.
This mastery is important because it reduces the cooldown of Corona - it's also nice to have the other abilities' cooldown reduced.
Gives more damage to your Corona against Massive targets (40 per beam).
Adaptive Armor Mastery increases the duration of Adaptive Armor stacks from 8 seconds to 11, and causes each stack of Adaptive Armor to increase Predator's maximum hitpoints by 1%.
Block Mastery applies a passive buff causing all standard attacks to deal no more than 125 damage per hit. This gives Predator unique near-immunity to damage from bosses and Ultralisks. Block does not affect spell damage, however it does affect the attacks of the Hybrid General, allowing Predator to fight the General head-on even without the shields of an Odin.
Nuke Mastery increases the blast radius of Nukes from 8 to 11, gives them +600 damage against Heroic targets (including Hatcheries, Lairs, and Hives), and allows them to be fired anywhere on the map within vision. This is not always extremely useful as the increased blast radius can cause friendly fire problems, but with other Nuke talents it allows players to shred the final Hive cluster and cut off the flow of reinforcements heading across the bridge.
Unstoppable Force is Predator's Score Unlock Mastery. It increases Predator's energy regeneration, movement speed, Inspire's target count, and Corona's damage by 100, beam count, and structure damage. While it is not available in the early game when such enhancements would be most useful, it can provide useful additional pressure starting from Omegalisk area.
Vitality Kit MkI - Grants a flat bonus to maximum life
Shield Kit - Grants a flat bonus to shields
Supercharge - Greatly improves energy max and energy regeneration
Learn Inspire - Allied forces fighting near you will become stronger the longer they fight at your side
Parity Checks - Periodically restore 10% of your shields, even if you took damage recently
Learn Corona - Unlock new core ability!
Learn Battlecry - Unlock new core ability!
Learn Phalanx - Unlock new core ability!
Mud Stompers - Removes the movement speed penalty on creep
Learn Irradiate Aura - Enemies around you will take every increasing damage
Imperial Funds - Periodically receive a large amount of minerals
Compound Plates - Adaptive Armor grants you additional armor per stack. You can learn this ability 3 times
Nimble feet - Increases base movement speed
Learn Demoralize - Unlock new core ability
Learn Retribution Field - Auto-attacks have a chance to release a lightning field, damaging enermies around you
Medic Nanites - Heal slowly over time, even while in combat
Support Reactor - Improves all regeneration (shield regen - life regen - energy regen)
Midnight - Greatly reduces Corona cooldown and slightly increases Retribution proc chance
Ballistic Foam - Each stack of adaptive Armor grants a small bonus to life regeneration
Heavy Body Armor - One-time big armor upgrade
Pro Life Kit Delta - Increases shields, life and energy maximum
Adaptive Shields - Adaptive Armor grants +1 shield armor per stack
Wolf Pack - Increases the effectiveness of Inspire and the base damage of Retribution
Scout - Grants a large bonus to vision range
Dusk Wings - An elite Banshee will periodically fight by your side
Sonic Reflection - Demoralize reduces enemy armor
Improved Parity Checks - Reduces the time between Parity Checks
Vitality Kit X - Increases maximum life by an absurd amount
Improved Silos - Reduces build time and mineral cost for nukes. You can learn this Talent 2 times
Attack Formations - Inspired units deal significantly more damage with all attacks and abilities
Improved Shield Generators - Heavy improvements on every aspect of your shields
Pro Life Kit Alpha - Increase maximum life and life regeneration rate (life regen - life max)
Dawn Bringer - Increases the number of beams fired by Corona
S.H.A.R.D. Generator - Chance to massacre to permanently increase shield armor
DSL Class Toxins - Irradiate deals insane bonus vs Heroic
Demolition Expert - Auto-attacks deal bonus damage vs Structures
Call in the fleet - Reduces the time in between Battlecruiser deployment for all players and linked Talents
Field Medic - Greatly increase life regeneration
Vice Admiral - Grants a high chance to deploy two Battlecruisers instead of one
Phalanx(tm) Shield Regenerator - Greatly increases shield armor and boosts shield max to top (shield armor - shield max
Megaman - Increases the range or Inspire and Irradiate. Also improves Inpire's effectiveness slightly
Defending Roar - Improves Demoralize's spell-damage penalty and Demoralize lasts forever
Nemesis Module - Bonus energy and shield regeneration rate while on creep
Pro Lite Kite Beta - Increase maximum life and reduces shield recharge delay (shield delay - life max)
Pro Life Kit Echelon - Increases max life and shield regen and reduces shield regen delay (life max - shield regen - shield delay)
Mechanized Squad Support - Heavy assault walkers will periodically be deployed at your base and attack the enemy
Dual Armor - Increase both armor and shield armor by a moderate amount
My life for Aiur! - Grants a large bonus to shield armor and a small bonus to regular armor (shield armor - armor)
Vitality Kit III - Grants a moderate flat life bonus (life max)
KBW Class Toxins - Irradiate deals insane bonus damage vs Psionic
Nuclear Winter - Permanently reduces Nuke mineral cost after earning a Massacre Bonus
Aspect of the Cheetah - Increases movement speed and sight radius. You can learn this Talent 3 times (movement speed - vision)
Surge - Grants a small boost to maximum life, maximum energy and energy regeneration (energy max - energy regen - life max)
Vitality Kite MKII - Grants a large flat bonus to maximum life (life max)
Elite Support Drops - Elite mercenary reinforcements will periodically drop near your location
Survival Kit - Increases life regen, shield regen and energy max (life regen - shield regen - energy max)
Weapons Cache - Anyone picking up Power Cubes permanently increases your auto-attack damage
Impenetrable Armor - Wear the latest shit on the front lines and get a large boost to armor (armor)
Massive Blast - Nukes deal their full damage in the whole area
Radical Restructuring - Nukes deal bonus damage vs Structures. You can learn this Talent 2 times
Boss Killer - Greatly increases auto-attack damage against bosses, hatcheries, lairs ans hives
Surgical Bombs - Partially refunds Nukes which deal a lot of damage and no friendly fire
Gladiator - Sometimes gain a small permanent bonus to life after earning a Massacre bonus (massacre - life max)
Endurance - Life and shield regenerate at a much higher rate (life regen - shield regen)
Battle Hardened - Large bonus to maximum health and shield for you and your summoned units (life max - shield max)
Unity - Grants a percentage bonus to life and shields for all friendly players (CP upgrade - life max)
Emergency Kit - When health drops low, immediately restore a large portion, 60 seconds cooldown
Moxie Cache - Anyone picking up Power Cubes permanently increases your shield armor and energy maximum (Power Cube - Shield armor - energy max)
Power Crystals - Provides a large boost to energy regeneration (energy regen)
Bio Implants - Regenerate life much quicker at the cost of reduced max energy (life regen - energy max)
Widow Mines Drop - Periodically drops 5 Widow Mines which can be controlled by you for 10 minutes
Bolstering Shout - Increases the life bonus of Battlecry
Booster Cache - Anyone picking up Power Cubes permanently increases your life maximum (Power Cube - life max)
Highpower Capacitors - Grants a large bonus to energy regen and shield maximum (energy regen - shield max)
Aspect of the Bear - Increases maximum life and Retribution deals bonus damage vs heroic enemies (life max - weapon)
Aftermath - Massacre bonuses restore a percentage of your energy scaling with kills
Survivor - Massacre bonuses have a chance to permanently increase life regeneration
Electrostatic Fallout - Nukes deal bonus damage vs Psionic and Heroic
Infantry Support Drops - Infantry reinforcements will periodically drops near your location
Heightened Senses - Battlecry increases spell-damage
Support Drop Auto-Turret - Periodically call down an Auto-Turret near your location
Field Research - Massacre has chance to permanently increase energy regen and energy max (massacre - energy max - energy regen)
Weapons of Mass Destruction - You have up to 2 nukes stored and reduces nuke mineral cost
Reinforced Exoskeleton - Greatly improves life and armor by a flat amount (armor - life max)
Modular Shields - Sometimes gain a permanent bonus to shields after earning a Massacre Bonus (massacre - shield max)
Rainmaker - Launching a nuke has a chance to deploy Battlecruiser support
Fried Zergling - Retribution deals insane bonus damage vs light enemies
Significant Talents and Explanation Edit
Compound plates are very important for the predator. You can learn compound plates 3 times. With only one time compound plates you remain somewhat squishy. So you need to have this talent at least twice to be able to sustain more damage. I quote: "Adaptive Armor grants you additional armor per stack". The question that remains are these: 1) how much additional armor per stack? 2) how much is a stack? Without these answers it remains very vague. The other very important talent I always want it Adaptive Shields, it states: "Adaptive Armor grants +1 shield armor per stack". Question again: how much is a stack? Ballistic Foam is another notable one: "Each stack of adaptive Armor grants a small bonus to life regeneration". Question: how much is a stack of adaptive armor?
The questions are addressed below in an answer from Thenarden:
Adaptive armor is a buff that can stack on the hero, meaning multiple "versions" or instances of the buff at the same time. And each of these instances keeps its own duration (8 sec). This means that the first time your hero gets hit, he gets the buff with 8 second duration (1st stack). After this 8 seconds, the buff would disappear. BUT: If you get hit again in this time, a counter is increased (now 2 stacks). 8 secs after the first hit, the counter is decreased. And 8 seconds after the second hit, the buff is removed.
The default maximum stack count for adaptive armor is 15 (and I don't know wether that is changed somewhere somehow)
So if you get hit 15x in a period of 8secs, you have 15 stacks of adaptive armor. Same rules from above applying; 8sec after first hit, the counter is decreased.(edited)
So much for how stacks work. Each instance of the buff has certain effects. The base (not upgraded by talents) effect is a Life Armor Bonus of 1. So each time you get hit, you have 1 bonus armor for 8 seconds, up to 15 bonus. Each Compound plates talent you learn increases this bonus by 1. So with 1x Compound plates, you get +2 bonus armor per buff instance (=stack) up to +30 bonus, with 2x Compound plates you get +3 up to +45 and so on. Adaptive Shields grants a similar bonus on shield armor. So again, each buff instance gives +1 shield armor, up to +15 and with Ballistic Foam, you get a life regeneration bonus per talent and buff instance on your hero (can't give exact value, since I don't know how "Vial Regeneration Bonus Scaled" actually works).
Mastery pick order Edit
Order 1 Edit
- Sun God. The passive shots alone make this generally the best first Mastery.
- Weapons. It is an effective second mastery largely because of the extra Corona damage.
- Lightweight Equipment. It's a good mastery to take after the [[Sun God Mastery]] and [[Weapons Research Mastery]].
- Big Game Hunter. It's a very strong mastery, since you will be dealing with [[Ultralisk]]s at level 40.
- Adaptive Armor. On its own, it is not extremely useful, however it is a prerequisite for Block Mastery. We get this mastery late because we need [[Block Mastery|Block]] in order to tank the late game [[Ultralisk]]s and [[Leviathan]]. The reason we get these talents so late, is because [[Ultralisk]]s can easily be kited earlier on and tanking them with a low health pool is suicidal.
- and 8. Nuke and Unstoppable force.
Order 2 (without Energy mastery) [opinion by Partisan] Edit
- Sun God. Useful during the whole game and especially helps with early damage output.
- Adaptive Armor. Allows to tank spine crawlers for a reasonable amount of time and thus push quicker. Also, it is a pre-requisite for the Block mastery.
- Block. Really helps dealing with ultralisk waves and ultralisks spawning from Lairs. You still won't be able to face tank multiple ultralisks, but kiting becomes much easier and forgiving, especially when dealing with multiple string enemies at a time. Also, it helps to clean the Omegalisk area faster as you don't have to run from Noxious Ultralisks all the time. Also, allows face tanking Omegalisk all the time or decent amount of time (depending on adaptive armor talents). It doesn't allow face tanking Brutalisk for a long time though.
- Lightweight Equipment. Corona is main Predator's damage dealer, so 2x cooldown decrease from Lightweight is definitely helpful. In this section I'd assume that you have more energy regen than just for spamming Corona by 20s cooldown. If your energy regen is low, read the adjustments in the section below.
- Unstoppable Force. Boosts your Corona damage significantly. Movement speed and detection are small bonuses, as I always play with Air Support perk. I won't recommend playing as Predator without this perk in solo game. Not only because it's one of the best perks in the game, boosting your damage output significantly, but also providing detection early, which would make you deal with invisible units much more efficiently without the need to kite them back to the base or get stuck in Broodlord's broodlings.
- Weapons. Boosts your Corona beam damage from 200 to 300.
- Nuke. Essential to chain-nuke ultralisk caverns on the Brain Bug's and Hybrid General's bases, simplifying push a lot. I usually get it after killing Leviathan (on Mental). If have a chain-nuke skills before fighting Levi, you may take this mastery earlier and start chain-nuking Levi's base as soon as he appears. If done correctly, after killing Levi the rest of the base will be an easy clean-up.
- and later. By this time you have core masteries to finish the game quite easily. There are different preferences from here.
Allrounder. Take it if you lack some important talents, e.g. some of nuke talents for chain-nuking or nuke damage.
Blink. I haven't found a big use of it except sometimes escaping Primal Ultralisks wave from the last General's wave. It allows you to teleport on the ledge of the last base, but I usually just nuke it and spend time elsewhere.
Big Game Hunter. I often take it to kill enemies faster.
Immovable Object. Don't take it and wasn't unhappy about it. By the end stage you will be tanky enough to face tank almost everything, with exception of final wave Ultras and Queens (if not under Odin shields). Kiting works fine though, as you are still taking a lot of time to kill.
Iron Man. Same arguments as for Immovable object.
Energy. By this point you shouldn't have any problems with energy.
Order 2 (with Energy mastery) [opinion by Partisan] Edit
It's very similar to above one, but makes an adjustments if you don't have enough energy regen.
- Take Energy mastery instead of Lightweight. Low cooldown is useless if you can't afford to cast anything that fast.
- Still take Unstoppable force next. I find its extra Corona damage output more helpful than lower cooldowns at this point.
- Take Lightweight instead of Weapons next. 2x lower cooldown will make your Corona dps 2x higher, while Weapons will "only" increase it by 1.5x.
- Still take Nuke, as you may need to chain-nuke before getting the next mastery.
- Take weapons and other masteries of your choice.
Order 3 (Nuke!) [opinion by Partisan, borrowed the idea from Tankz] Edit
Start with nuke mastery and Mercenary talent. Use nukes early to push faster. Use them wisely though. My main goal with this mastery is to chain-nuke Leviathan's base early, when he just spawns. To achieve this, Nuke mastery has to be taken instead of some other mastery early. I haven't found a better than Sun God. Also, blast range increase slightly helps with clean-up speed and getting more experience. I take Sun God after Unstoppable Force before the Weapons. Sun God and Weapons provide similar dps boost, but Weapons costs money. If you have enough bank to chain-nuke, it doesn't matter much.