Sgt. Hammer Abilities and Strategy
Welcome to our Abilities page for Sgt. Hammer. Here, we give you an overview of every ability in Sgt. Hammer's kit. For each of them, we explain what it does, how to best use it, and how it works in combination with Sgt. Hammer's other abilities. We also give you strategy tips to play Sgt. Hammer efficiently.
1. Sgt. Hammer's Tips and Tricks
- Be careful with Siege Mode; although its damage increase may be tempting, it also leaves you very vulnerable to area of effect Abilities.
- Use Thrusters sparingly; they are your only reliable method of escaping opponents.
- Sgt. Hammer's low Mana costs allow you to use Spider Mines on-Cooldown to protect your flanks. Keep them away from Minions to preserve them.
- Concussive Blast deals very little damage; use it to push enemies away from you or teammates.
- Neosteel Plating should be used to avoid Ability-based burst damage such as an impending Pyroblast hit.
- Napalm Strike is useful for quickly checking Brushes, dismounting or Revealing opponents, and clearing Zagara's Creep Tumors.
2. Siege Mode
Although we typically list Hero abilities in order, Sgt. Hammer's Trait is quite unique in that it heavily impacts the way that she is played. As such, we list it first and not last, as we usually do with other Heroes.
- Cooldown: 2 seconds
Activate to enter Siege Mode. While in Siege Mode, Basic Attacks deal 20% more damage, have 100% increased range, and deal 25% of their damage as splash damage around the target.
Siege Mode is Sgt. Hammer's most iconic Ability and single-handedly separates poor Sgt. Hammer players from good ones. This may come off as a surprise, but for any given match, one should seek to, as much as possible, avoid being in Siege Mode. This is simply due to the fact that the complete loss of mobility, unless the Hover Siege Mode Talent is acquired, is far more detrimental than the upsides of the Ability, and will get you killed against most competent players. The only right times to ever be in Siege Mode are when you are waveclearing an empty lane, when you are sieging a base with the protection of several teammates, or when you are absolutely certain that no Ability can punish you. Although this may sound vague, this means keeping track of your opponent's most important Cooldowns, including, but not limited to, Artanis's Phase Prism and Stiches's Hook. This fact can not be stressed enough; Siege Mode is only to be used when its downside of being completely unable to move can not backfire.
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
Increase Movement Speed by 60% for 4 seconds. Thrusters are always active while at the Hall of Storms. Activating Thrusters cancels Siege Mode.
Thrusters replaces Sgt. Hammer's ability to use a Mount. It increases her movement speed by 60% for 4 seconds, and instantly brings her out of Siege Mode. It has a Cooldown of 30 seconds. This Ability is automatically activated (without a Cooldown) while at the Altar of Storms.
This Ability is one of the many elements that make Sgt. Hammer so unique. As a Hero, she essentially forfeits most of her out-of-combat mobility for a readily available and very powerful combat movement speed boost. Despite Sgt. Hammer's very defense-oriented skillset, Thrusters should almost exclusively be used defensively. This is particularly true when the opposing team composition feature melee Assassins or hard-engaging Heroes. Even if that is not the case, it is almost always a mistake to use them offensively (unless it can safely secure kills) or worse, simply for traveling a bit faster.
Since the Thrusters last for only a few seconds, being hit by any crowd control (particularly Stuns and Roots) will cause you to lose out on a large portion of the Ability's duration. It is imperative that you remain careful when activating it.
4. Spider Mines
- Mana: 45
- Cooldown: 14 seconds
Create 3 mines that arm after 1.25 seconds. Mines detonate when an enemy comes in range, dealing 96 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies and Slowing them by 25% for 1.5 seconds.
Siege Mode: Cast range increased by 100%.
Spider Mines are a proactive defensive tool, meaning that you must predict your opponent's behaviour in order to make good use of them. Early, they are to be cast into Brushes that surround your current lane whenever they are available. This prevents the Mines from being wasted by Minions on top of scouting for incoming attackers, potentially slowing them as well.
In combat, Spider Mines are also to be used whenever they are off-Cooldown, simply as added damage and for their slowing effect. Repeatedly using Spider Mines in the same area can create dangerous zones for your opponents to walk into and deter them from engaging you. Preemptively using Mines can also open up escape paths for you by slowing down pursuers. Laying down six or more Spider Mines generally allows Sgt. Hammer to fight off most individual Heroes.
5. Concussive Blast
- Mana: 60
- Cooldown: 12 seconds
Deal 141 (+4% per level) damage to enemies in front of Sgt. Hammer and knock them back.
Siege Mode: Radius increased by 50%.
Just as with Thrusters, Concussive Blast is a primarily defensive tool. Pushing melee foes away from you not only prevents them from attacking you, but also allows you to get one or two Basic Attacks in as they must close distance again to damage you. Offensively, Concussive Blast deals too little damage from too little range to realistically be useful outside of its knockback effect. That effect can, however, be used to peel or interrupt important channeled Abilities.
6. Neosteel Plating
- Mana: 30
- Cooldown: 16 seconds
Gain 25 Armor for 2 seconds.
Siege Mode: Grants 100% more Armor.
Since Neosteel Plating grants Armor on demand for a very short duration, the best way of using this Ability is when you are about to be struck by highly damaging Abilities. Although this generally means Heroic Abilities, certain Basic Abilities, such as Chromie's Dragon's Breath, are notoriously easy to hit from far away for how much damage they deal. It is worth noting that Siege Mode increases the Armor provided by Neosteel Plating by a hefty 25, making immobilizing yourself marginally safer.
7. Blunt Force Gun
- Mana: 100
- Cooldown: 70 seconds
Fire a missile across the battlefield, dealing 500 (+3% per level) damage to non-Structure enemies in its path.
There is little to say about Blunt Force Gun. It deals a moderate amount of uncounterable line-based damage in a relatively large area. The projectie's relatively slow speed means that you must predict the movement of your opponents if you plan on using the Ability from more than a screen away. Although it is generally beneficial to wait for crowd control to hit your opponents, especially in an area of effect, Blunt Force Gun requires very little setup to work.
8. Napalm Strike
- Mana: 35
- Cooldown: 6 seconds
Deals 164 (+4% per level) damage on impact, and leaves a napalm area that deals 50 (+4% per level) damage per second. Lasts for 4 seconds.
Napalm Strike's short cooldown, negligible Mana cost, long range, and solid sustained damage make it the quintessential poking tool that is to be used against Heroes, Minions, Structures, and Mercenaries whenever it comes off-Cooldown. It is also useful for scouting Brushes, knocking Heroes off their mounts, and bringing Stealthed Heroes out of Stealth. It should be noted that Napalm Strike has a short traveling time, making it necessary to aim ahead of an intended target. Napalm is an extremely straightforward Heroic Ability that can be used in any scenario where damage is required.
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