Paladins – Basic Guide (Counters, Maps, Team Composition, Talents and Cards)

In this guide I explain a lot of features in the game that I didn’t understand when I was a new player. (I geared a couple of things more towards competitive but this should be useful regardless of the gamemode).

Communication

In (almost) every FPS game communication is key, and Paladins is no exception, if your teammate asks if anyone has a save, don’t hesitate to give your save, even if they don’t end up saving them for you. When they ask for a ban, don’t hesitate to give a good ban suggestion, especially if their new to Paladins. (This whole paragraph only applies to competitive).

Another important time to communicate is after the game has started, the off tank and flank should have a basic plan, even if its just which side your going. Also if your teammate is giving coms with their mic. Please use yours too (if you can) it makes communication so much easier than using VGS. We all have plans, and they usually depend on our teammates. Even if your playing flank and you feel self sufficient, your tank dying can easily lead to your death.

TLDR: Please talk to your team, especially with your mic. No matter how small or seemingly worthless your information is, it can and will help your team.

Counters

Your abilities can easily turn the tides of the game. A missed ultimate can cost your team the win, and successfully hitting that one shot can win the game. Which leads to ability counters, so many people are clueless to what they should buy, and buy things that only benefit them, equip cards and talents that buff yourself. Which is good (of course) but you should think of counters.

Which is the first part of this, items, cards and abilities can all counter other items, cards and abilities. Which nobody seems to understand, if you keep getting feared by their Mal Damba and VII, buy Resilience, even at level one this will make stuns (such as Fear, Stunned, Slowed, etc) last almost no time at all, and completely destroy their strategies. It also lowers the damage from AOE (Area Of Effect) abilities, which can be helpful, although less so.

The whole item counter system goes on and on for decades and decades, and I want people to actually read this so I’ma move on to countering abilities with other abilities. There are a lot of abilities that can negate an entire ultimate. Which is something that not nearly enough people take advantage of. The first ability type are shields, more specifically the hand held shields, like Khan, Fernando, and Zhin have (I know Zhin doesn’t technically have a shield but it works the same). These shields can be used to negate ultimates such as Bomb King, Skye, Vatu, etc, and is extremely useful to keep in mind, seeing as failing to counter these ultimates can cost you the round.

The final part of this section (I’m tying to keep if brief) are cards, these work both ways, you can improve the health of your shield, which can allow you to tank far more damage, or you can up the duration of your CC (Crowd Control) abilities, which makes it much harder to counter. “The best counter to Crowd Control is better Crowd Control” – Some Paladins Player 2019.

The amount of unique counters in this game are innumerable, and I suggest you look into it (I might dive deeper in a future guide)

TLDR: Items, abilities and cards can all counter other Items, abilities and cards. Which makes experimenting and being aware of your champions kit very important.

Maps

Each and every map in Paladins is different, and as a result of this has different champions that are better, and some that are terrible. Currently the maps available in competitive queue are: Bazaar, Jaguar Falls, Ascension Peak, Warder’s Gate, Brightmarsh, Serpent Beach, Splitstone Quarry, and Frozen Guard.

These maps all have their strengths and weaknesses, for different champions. Such as Bazaar, this is not a great map for Torvald and Khan, as you cannot make any epic plays with your Ultimate. There are virtually no places to throw people off the map, and this makes their ultimates far less powerful (although still viable).

There are also differences in team compositions on different maps, people tend to go double damage on Ascension Peak, seeing as it is very open, and allows better protection of the healer. You can go with different team compositions on other maps too, but its a bit less map based and more based off you, and your enemies team.

The final point is hard to categorize, but its generally the type of Support or Damage that are viable from map to map. Such as Bazaar, the healer that is usually favored on this map is Jenos, seeing as he is the only healer who can heal through walls. This is also the only map on which Jenos is preferable, which highlights how much the team composition depends on the map. This also applies to damage characters, maps like Brightmarsh are great for Dredge, or Tyra since their abilities cover the whole point, and this map isn’t as good for Willo, and Drogoz since there’s a roof over the point and this significantly nerfs their flying abilities.

TLDR: Team composition depends on maps, please become familiar with the maps, whether its in Siege games, or Customs.

Team Composition

This is a really basic topic so I’ll try to keep this brief. The basic team composition that everyone shoots for off the start is: Two Tanks (One for the point, one to play Off the point), One Damage, One Healer and One Flank.

The first role here is the easiest, which are tanks. The first, and most important of which is the Point Tank, this is the tank that controls the point for your team, and needs to be one with a good shield. Ie: Fernando, Barik, Inara, Ash, etc. This shields primary purpose is to tank the damage that they are doing and give you a break from the anti healing they are applying so that your healer can heal you.

The second tank type is the Off tank, this is a tank that plays off the point (wow) and helps the flank. Their primary job is to soak up damage for the flank, and deal damage with the flank. Some good examples of off tanks are: Ruckus, Yagorath, Khan, Atlas, Fernando, etc. Be sure that your aware of the enemies abilities, and play an off tank that counters these, as far too many healers and damage have “escape” abilities.

The next role that needs to be filled is Damage. This is one of the most sought after roles, since you have impact on the game, and will get a lot of kills. Your job is to kill their point tank, keep people off the point, and help protect your teams healer from the flank. One thing to keep in mind when your playing damage, is who your playing against. Dredge is a terrible pick vs an Evie, however Tyra will shoot her out of the sky quite easily.

Next up is the Healer, their role (as implied by the name) is to heal the team, more specifically the point tank. Although healing your whole team is preferred. The healer just has to keep the team alive, and usually has some nice abilities to help counter the flank. If your playing healer please buy chronos, it will help you to do your job so much better, and is just generally nice to have.

The final role to be filled is easily the most sought after. Which is of course the flank, your job is to kill the enemy healer, damage and tank if you get that far. Sticking with the off tank is HIGHLY beneficial, as every flank champion has critically low health. Flank characters easily have the steepest learning curve, and are the most fun to play. Please buy resilience, their whole team is gonna be trying to stun you, and if they do its game over.

TLDR: Your team should have 2 tanks, 1 damage, 1 healer, and 1 flank. Please try to play characters who counter the enemies characters, and don’t stray too far from this formula.

Talents and Cards

In Paladins, a lot of Talents and Cards are terrible, and when you pick them your team will scream at you about how terrible of a Talent/Card you picked, but they’ll never tell you why or how its bad. Which leads to the creation of this section.

The first thing to consider when picking a card/talent is how easily countered it is. For example, Ruckus has the talent Flux Generator that increases the health of his Emitter Shield ability. This is good at face value, but can be countered by the enemy team buying Wrecker. This will cause your increased shield to be eaten in a couple seconds and makes that talent and ability completely pointless. So when picking a talent, consider if it can be countered by one item, if it can be, its probably not a great talent. There are exceptions to this of course, but just consider it before picking a “Troll” talent.

The second part is cards, your character’s loadout impacts a lot, and some cards are terrible and some are amazing. Although in general every card is good, although some more so than others. The first thing to consider (again) is how easily counterable your card of choice is. Most cards don’t have a counter, but if it does you should probably reconsider. One type of card that is exceptionally useful is one that allows you to skip buying an item. Such as Talus’s two cards that provide lifesteal. With these cards maxed out you can completely skip buying Life Rip, which can be very helpful if you have multiple enemy abilities to counter. There are also a couple of cards floating around that increase ultimate charge rate, this can allow you to skip buying Morale Boost, there are countless other cards that can replace items but I’m gonna leave this here, hope this helped.

TLDR: If a single item can counter your talent or card its probably not a great talent or card.

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