(Updated to v14.17)
Tychus is an excellent kiting hero that deals massive AoE damage with his Psionic Storm and Grenades. He also deals excellent splash damage from his auto-attacks. This means his total damage in the game is going to be very high.
However, he struggles against very high hp targets such as hives and omegalisks. Other heroes, such as Nova, Swann, Anvil, Atlas, etc., can finish off high HP targets much faster than Tychus.
Tychus' Perks for OS and HW
This is the optimal perk build for Tychus for casual and normal Oldschool and Hellwalker games, which is 99% of games involving Tychus.
- Bug Zapper
- (Hellwalker) Absorption
Onslaught and Weaponsmith are critical perks for Tychus.
Tychus can now replace Helldivers with Bug Zapper. An early game Lightweight + Flaming Moe allows him to run with 2 or 3 Flaming Moes all the time, which is more than enough for Oldschool and Hellwalker games. Helldivers would allow Tychus to reach a 2500 score slightly earlier, but become completely redundant afterwards, since their major benefit of tanking is already achieved much better with Flaming Moes. A good Tychus player also does not need the Helldiver medic to heal him. Therefore for a good Tychus player, which everyone should aim to become, Tychus should skip Helldivers in multiplayer Oldschool and Hellwalker games.
Bug Zapper for Tychus in multiplayer normal speed games is not a bad selection. However, given that other heroes are much better than Tychus at dealing point damage to high HP targets, even if Bug Zapper synergises with Stimpack and Berserk abilities, Onslaught, Weaponsmith and Helldivers are all much better perks for Tychus.
As of Version 17.17, the inclusion of additional talent points that increase Tychus' damage make Bug Zapper a marginally better choice than Helldivers for higher overall damage throughout an Oldschool or Hellwalker game.
As of Version 17.17, the reason why Absorption is the favored number 4 perk is that grenades now deal 150% their damage with the inclusion of an additional Devastator Cocktail talent point. The 25,000 ELITE status doubles the number of grenades when the Escalate ability is used. This means an increase of 200% damage (1.5*2 = 3) whenever Escalate is used. As such, being able to constantly use Escalate is now a much better proposition compared to previous versions of the game. And Absorption perk helps to achieve this objective.
For Tenacity, even if there are numerous deaths in a Hellwalker game, there is no combination of slowing effects that allows Toxic Brutalisks to catch up with him. With Onslaught, Stimpack, and Shadow Nimbus by late game, Tychus is unstoppable. Therefore, a skilled Tychus player does not need Tenacity in the slightest.
Tychus' Mastery Order for OS and HW
This is the optimal mastery order for the non-speedrun and multiplayer games involving Tychus:
- Level 0 = Flaming Moe
- Level 10 = Close Quarter Combat
- Level 20 = Lightweight Equipment
- Level 30 = Psionic Warrior ULTIMATE
- Level 40 = Mindbender or Ranger
- 2K Killstreak = Ranger or Mindbender
- Level 50 = Energy
- Hourly Mastery = Living on the Edge
- Level 60 = Shadow Nimbus
Tychus has a straightforward optimal mastery order. Any efficient Tychus build for Hellwalker and Oldschool must consist of the masteries above. The only differences start to occur after level 40. If there is a need to slow down mobs, then Mindbender is picked.
Flaming Moe is an essential mastery that boosts the survivability of Tychus, guaranteeing a skilled Tychus player maximum pushing power to reach an early 2500 score. Even after his ultimate, Flaming Moes take aggro priority from strong bosses, allowing Tychus to not flee, but rather stand his ground and keep dealing damage with his auto-attacks. With Flaming Moe, Tychus can skip Ranger mastery until mid-game since his minions will tank spine crawlers for him.
Close Quarter Combat
Close Quarter Combat follows Flaming Moe, and it's importance is very obvious. More armor, more damage.
Many beginner and intermediate level players tend to pick Ranger before level 40 for Oldschool and Hellwalker. A skilled Tychus player can make clever use of Flaming Moes to constantly remain close to enemies, maintaining his high DPS and reaching his 2500 score by level 30. Additionally, Tychus can easily deal with invisible ravagers of Hellwalker early game, therefore skipping the need for detection. When the team spawns nemesis and the need to push into more dangerous spine crawlers arises and the first toxic hive in the Omegalisk base are encountered, picking Ranger at level 40 or even later is appropriate only then.
Comments on Tychus' other Masteries
This is a common early game pick and mistake from beginners. Its main benefit would be early game to reach the 2500 slightly faster. However, its utility quickly dwindles as the game progresses.
A very good mastery to pick in speedrun Hellwalker games, where minerals are scarce.
Good to pick as a late game mastery for movement speed and invisibility.
Living on the Edge
For multiplayer games, a decent late game mastery that provides damage increase of 25% if under 40% hp and reduced stim pack cooldown.
For solo games, a great mastery, especially for the +25% damage to nukes and auto-attacks, which scale very well. In solo games, enemies have 50% of the HP compared to 4-player games, and Tychus is much more likely to get the required talent points to become effective as a hero.